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Slate's Live at Politics and Prose


Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.

Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.
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Washington, DC




Readings and discussions featuring today's best authors in appearances at the famed Washington, D.C, bookstore.






1350 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 2003 (212) 445-5330


John Kerry: Live at Politics and Prose

John Kerry has devoted his life to public service. Since he testified in front of Congress as a decorated young Vietnam veteran disillusioned with the war, he’s placed himself at the heart of American political life, serving as a five-term Senator and as Barack Obama’s second Secretary of State. Every Day Is Extra is a moving, candid account of his time in politics, and a forceful testimony about the importance of diplomacy, leadership, and collaboration in the face of the myriad challenges...


April Ryan: Live at Politics and Prose

Ryan has been a White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks since the Clinton administration, but with Trump’s arrival she has become part of the story she’s covering. Her new book is both a reporter’s inside view of the unconventional protocol in the Trump White House, with all the Tweets, policy reversals, and sudden personnel changes, and an intimate look at what it’s like to be targeted by Trump, who has repeatedly responded to Ryan’s serious questions about urgent...


Chris Hedges: Live at Politics and Prose

A longtime foreign correspondent, Hedges has reported from more than fifty countries. His latest book is a profound exploration of one of the most troubled: today’s United States. Hedges, author of American Fascists and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, cites the opioid crisis, the increases in gambling and magical thinking, and the explosion of xenophobia as symptoms of a society that has lost hope. He traces this disillusionment to the twin ills of a de facto corporate coup d’état and...


Nick Pyenson: Live at Politics and Prose

Pyenson is a paleontologist and “reading whale bones is what I do,” he says. These bones have told some amazing stories: whales outweigh dinosaurs and are the largest creatures ever to have lived on Earth, and their songs can travel some 900 miles underwater. But while we know whales descended from four-legged land-dwelling animals the size of a dog, we don’t know when and how they developed their tremendous sizes, what’s to stop them from getting still larger, or if they can adapt to...


Teach-In on Gun Control

P&P’s series of teach-ins addressing the most urgent political problems of our day returns with a discussion of gun control in the United States. What are the best ways to prevent further deaths by gun violence in this country? What are the most rapidly attainable ways? What actions are available for private citizens to take, and how can we keep ourselves and our communities safe? Participants will include Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign; Zion Kelly, gun control activist...


Ibtihaj Muhammad: Live at Politics and Prose

From being the only African-American Muslim wearing a hijab in her hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, to being the first veiled American woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics, Muhammad has always stood out, as much for her prodigious talent as for her courage and faith. Though she started fencing at the late age of thirteen, she quickly pushed beyond state and collegiate championships to become a five-time Senior World medalist and Olympic bronze medalist. But her athletic triumphs...


Ottessa Moshfegh: Live at Politics and Prose

The unnamed narrator of Moshfegh’s compelling and unsettling novel is a woman who has everything: looks, a brand-new degree from Columbia, a job at an art gallery, an Upper East Side apartment, and a substantial inheritance. But her fairy-tale existence feels cursed. In 2000, she decides to escape her life by taking enough drugs to sleep through it all for a year. Aside from the psychiatrist who writes the prescriptions, she sees only a college friend and a boyfriend. Her plan works for a...


Terrance Hayes: Live at Politics and Prose

Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these charged sonnets mark “the umpteenth slump / In our humming democracy, a bumble bureaucracy.” Angry, sarcastic, and playful, Hayes explores, reinterprets, and riffs on the meanings of “American,” “assassin,” and “future.” Notable Americans he turns to include James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Toni Morrison, but he also has to reckon with “James Earl Ray Dylann Roof... /…George Zimmerman John Wilkes Booth.” The author of...


Beck Dorey-Stein: Live at Politics and Prose

A self-described political outsider, Dorey-Stein came to the Obama White House via Wesleyan, teaching high school English in Hightstown, New Jersey, and Craigslist. She worked as a White House stenographer from 2012 to 2017, and her memoir engagingly captures her many trips with the presidential entourage, recorder mics in hand. Dorey-Stein also introduces her colleagues, among them the dedicated political insider she fell in love with. Conversational and witty, this compulsively readable...


Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki: Live at Politics and Prose

The Clash was a paradox of revolutionary conviction, musical ambition, and commercial drive. We Are The Clash is a gripping tale of the band's struggle to reinvent itself as George Orwell's 1984 loomed. This bold campaign crashed headlong into a wall of internal contradictions, and rising right-wing power. While the world teetered on the edge of the nuclear abyss, British miners waged a life-or-death strike, and tens of thousands died from US guns in Central America, Clash cofounders Joe...


Abdi Nor Iftin: Live at Politics and Prose

No two immigration experiences are the same, and Iftin’s amazing story of chance, courage, and resilience began years before he came to the U.S. Growing up in Mogadishu, he was five in 1991 when Somalia plunged into civil war. He escaped the hunger and militia attacks temporarily by watching American movies and listening to American pop music. But as he learned English, reinvented himself as "Abdi American,” and reported for NPR, he drew the enmity of the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab...


John Carreyrou: Live at Politics and Prose

Theranos, founded in 2003 by nineteen-year-old wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes, promised to revolutionize blood testing by developing technologies to miniaturize samples and so make testing fast, easy, and inexpensive. It seemed too good to be true—and was, as Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, revealed in a series of detailed articles. Undaunted by pressure from the company’s CEO and lawyers, Carreyrou raised enough doubts about Theranos policies,...


Yrsa Daley-Ward: Live at Politics and Prose

In her second book, Daley-Ward combines the haunting lyricism of Bone with passionate, unsparing prose to tell the story of her life. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Daley-Ward was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in Chorley, a small town in the North of England. Along with family tensions—a father she was often afraid of, a mother she saw worn down, and a brother she was estranged from—Daley-Ward confronts abuse, depression, racism, and the tremendous...


Lauren Groff: Live at Politics and Prose

Groff has been one of our most exciting contemporary fiction writers since her phenomenal 2008 debut, The Monsters of Templeton. Her most recent novel, Fates and Furies, was a National Book Award finalist, Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2015, and one of the most talked-about novels in years. Now, Groff returns with a collection of eleven shimmering stories. The book opens with an unnamed woman escaping her family for a walk. She sets out after dark, interested in the moment when “a second...


Robert Kuttner: Live at Politics and Prose

Kuttner’s astute analysis of the post-war “golden age” starts with measures including the New Deal and the Bretton Woods Agreement, showing how they allowed democracy and capitalism to be mutually supportive and thrive. The balance began to slip in the 1970s; as financial regulations were rolled back and taxes cut, inequality worsened, and frustrated voters turned away from progressive agendas, a right-wing turn that has led us to Trump, Brexit, the precarious state of the European Union,...


Yanis Varoufakis: Live at Politics and Prose

In his eye-opening memoir, Adults in the Room, Varoufakis, Greece’s former Finance Minister, recounts his frustrating struggle to resolve Greece’s debt crisis without resorting to austerity measures. His book give us a valuable inside look at discussions with officials of the European Union and International Monetary Fund as well as with policy makers in Washington and other capitals. Founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, an international grassroots organization dedicated to...


Sarah Kendzior: Live at Politics and Prose

A scholar and journalist based in St. Louis, Kendzior was alert to the struggles of America’s disaffected heartland well before the 2016 election. Writing on income disparity, labor exploitation, racism, xenophobia, and other conditions of the post-employment economy, Kendzior so acutely identified the conditions that led to Trump’s victory that she’s been credited with being the first to predict it. Originally published in 2015 as an ebook, this collection of essays written for Al Jazeera...


Jesmyn Ward: Live at Politics and Prose

In 2011, Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for Salvage the Bones, and last year, she became the first woman to ever win twice. This time it was for Sing, Unburied, Sing, an American epic that earned her comparisons to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. As Leonie, a mother struggling with drug abuse, drives with her children to bring her husband home from Parchman Farm, Mississippi’s state penitentiary, she and her thirteen-year-old son Jojo are visited by two ghosts. While Leonie...


John Scalzi: Live at Politics and Prose

Scalzi’s Lock In introduced the brutal, riveting game of Hilketa, in which players wield swords and hammers to try to decapitate each other. The violence is real, but the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people immobilized with Haden’s Syndrome, so no one actually gets hurt. At least, that’s the idea. The sequel opens with the shocking death of a star player, and as a pair of investigators piece together what happened, they reveal the dark side of the near future’s most...


Alan Stern and David Grinspoon: Live at Politics and Prose

NASA launched the New Horizons craft on January 19, 2006. By July 24, 2015 it had covered 4.67 billion miles and transmitted a stream of amazing photos as it flew by Pluto at 32,000 miles per hour. The images made headlines in all seven continents, uniting the planet as few events do. Telling the story of the most distant planetary exploration ever undertaken, Stern, principal investigator of the mission, and Grinspoon, author of Earth in Human Hands and inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at...