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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


Anthony Ray Hinton: Live at Politics and Prose

Hinton was twenty-nine when he was arrested on two counts of capital murder in Alabama in 1985. He was innocent, but he was also poor and black with an incompetent defense attorney. Hinton was convicted, sentenced to death by electrocution, and spent the first three years on death row in silent, bitter despair. Then he became determined to survive, and even to thrive. He kept his own spirits up by bolstering his fellow inmates, and found new representation with Bryan Stevenson, founder of...


Cecile Richards: Live at Politics and Prose

For the first time, Cecile Richards—president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for more than a decade, daughter of the late Governor Ann Richards, and heroine of the resistance—tells the story of her lifetime fighting for women's rights and making change. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, watching her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to the straight-talking, truth-telling governor of Texas. But that meant that starting as a young...


Nell Scovell: Live at Politics and Prose

With more than thirty years of experience as a writer, producer, and director, Scovell knows how the entertainment industry works. She came to Hollywood as a bookish New Englander and worked her way up from a low-level writer for Newhart to a major contributor to shows including The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, and NCIS and on to creator of the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. While her roles have mainly been behind the scenes, Scovell has had several moments...


Sarah McBride: Live at Politics and Prose

As McBride recounts in this stirring memoir, she identified as female from the start, but came out as a transgender woman only at the end of her term as American University’s student body president in 2011. When the news went viral and she was featured on NPR and other media outlets, McBride decided to focus her political activism on LGBTQ rights. Her resumé alone is inspiring: an internship at the White House in 2012 made her the first openly transgender woman to work there, and her...


Mary Frances Berry : Live at Politics and Prose

Berry’s bracing call-to-action combines progressive idealism with the pragmatism of a seasoned activist to argue that resistance effects important changes in all political climates. Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, offers a wide range of historical examples of what resistance has accomplished. She also draws on her own experiences as a key figure in the Free South Africa movement and as the chair of...


Dhonielle Clayton: Live at Politics and Prose

In Orléans, people are born gray-skinned and ugly. Sixteen-year-old Camellia and her sisters are tasked with using magic to make them beautiful but for a price. However, as Camellia’s talents draw her closer to people with political power, she learns that her world is less beautiful--and more dangerous--than it appears. Author Daniel José Older writes of Clayton’s first solo novel, “The Belles is full of political drama, palace intrigue, complex and corrupt characters, and deadly...


Robert Reich: Live at Politics and Prose

Robert B. Reich has been one of America's leading political thinkers since he served as Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. A constant voice for social change, Reich is the author of 14 books, including the best-sellers Saving Capitalism and The Work of Nations. Now, he makes the case for restoring the idea of the common good to the center of our economics, our politics, and our...


Brittney Cooper: Live at Politics and Prose

When mainstream culture stereotypes the anger of Black women as ugly or destructive, or when it dismisses “sassy” Black women by laughing them off, it does so because it knows this Black female rage is powerful. In this passionate manifesto, Cooper, co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective and recipient of the Black Feminist Rising Award from Black Women’s Blueprint and the Newswomen’s Club of New York, draws on examples from Serena Williams to Michelle Obama to her own grandmother to...


Isaac Butler & Dan Kois: Live at Politics and Prose

Twenty-five years ago, Angels in America made its Broadway premier. It won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best play, but Tony Kushner’s landmark work was always more than just a theater piece. It changed the way gay lives are represented in popular culture and the story of its many productions is also the story of AIDS and the struggle for gay rights. In this vibrant oral history, Butler, writer and director of productions including The Trump Card and Real Enemies, and...


David Frum: Live at Politics and Prose

Frum’s ninth book expands on his eye-opening March 2017 Atlantic column, “How to Build an Autocracy,” which argued that Trump is leading the nation into authoritarianism. An experienced Washington insider and one of the country’s leading conservative commentators, Frum examines the implications of Trump’s behavior as well as his policies. From Trump’s admiration for strongmen such as the Philippines’ Roderigo Duterte and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdoğan to the president’s threats against the media,...


Johann Hari: Live at Politics and Prose

Hari, author of Chasing the Scream, changed the terms of the debate about addiction with his influential TED talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong.” In his second book he uses his own experience with depression and anti-depressant medication as the starting point for a critique of current chemical-imbalance theories of mental illness. Asking if the growing levels of depression could be related to the conditions we live in, Hari talked to social scientists as well as...


Leni Zumas: Live at Politics and Prose

In the all-too-plausible future of Zumas’s second novel, the Personhood Amendment has outlawed abortion, a “pink wall” has gone up between the U.S. and Canada to prevent pregnant Americans from accessing Canadian clinics, and the “Every Child Needs Two” act means single parents are ineligible to adopt. These measures, along with the old-fashioned sexism that keeps women underpaid, under-confident, and overworked, makes life difficult for Zumas’s four protagonists. Known by their roles: the...


Race in America 2018: Live at Politics and Prose

Join April Ryan for the fifth in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on race in America. As in previous presentations, Ryan will moderate a panel of leading writers and commentators to examine recent and longstanding issues. Speakers include: Mary Frances Berry, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, the former chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the author of nearly a dozen books, the...


Linda Gordon: Live at Politics and Prose

The KKK was founded in 1865 by Confederate veterans. After a few turbulent years and federal efforts to outlaw it, it faded with Reconstruction. Then it rose again in the 1920s. This second incarnation flourished largely in the north, grounded in the same strains of racism, nativism, and Christian evangelicalism that had sparked the original group. In this detailed analysis of the new Klan’s agenda, strategies, and membership, Gordon, two-time Bancroft Prize winner and author of Dorothea...


Bruce Bartlett: Live at Politics and Prose

Bartlett’s handbook for telling real facts from alternative versions is a practical tool for citizens concerned about the quality of the news they consume. Bartlett, who served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations and more recently has written for Forbes and The New York Times “Economix” blog, is uniquely positioned to advise readers on how to evaluate sources for accuracy and reliability. Using his inside knowledge of both government and the journalists who cover it,...


Year in Review 2017: Live at Politics and Prose

This episode features seven authors, who visited Politics and Prose this year and were not featured on a previous episode. First, Bob Schieffer tells a story about where he was the day President Kennedy was shot. Then, Jacqueline Woodson reads from here memoir "Brown Girl Dreaming". Angie Thomas discusses her inspiration for her debut young adult novel "The Hate U Give". Next, comedian John Hodgman shares his thoughts on white privilege, and Patricia Lockwood reads from her irreverent...


Dar Williams: Live at Politics and Prose

Williams has recorded nine albums, most recently Emerald, and her tours have taken her to small towns across the country. Deliberately avoiding stadiums, Williams plays in smaller venues and cultivates a direct, personal rapport with audiences. Williams’s deep affection for the communities she’s visited comes through in her book, which spotlights the decline of small-town America in the post-industrial, corporate age. Williams is as well known for her activism on environmental and social...


Deb Perelman: Live at Politics and Prose

Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbookwon the IACP Julia Child First Book Award and was named one of Cooking Light magazine’s Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years. In her second book, the creator of, Time magazine’s Best Blog of the Year and a Saveur Best Cooking Blog, presents nearly one hundred new recipes, along with variations on a few old favorites. Beautifully illustrated with Perelman’s full-color photos, the dishes range from breakfast treats to dessert and...


Carmen Maria Machado: Live at Politics and Prose

Machado’s electrifying stories destabilize the familiar truths of psychological realism with jolts of a surreality that’s usually more at home in speculative fiction or outright horror. Writing in the vein of Angela Carter and Clarice Lispector, Machado focuses on women and the unequal power structure that affects all facets of their lives, especially their relation to their own bodies. In one story, she tracks a mysterious epidemic that causes women to evaporate. In another a woman...


Reza Aslan: Live at Politics and Prose

Reza Aslan is an acclaimed religious scholar, the host of the CNN series Believer, and the author of books including Zealot, Beyond Fundamentalism, and No God but God. In his new book, Aslan focuses on the notion of a humanized god and traces how the idea has developed in diverse times and places. As Aslan shows, the conception of a deity as a super-human power has been a fundamental part of most societies from the hunter-gatherers to today's modern urban dwellers, and he explores how this...


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