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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


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...


Masha Gessen: Live at Politics and Prose

Since the 2016 election, Gessen’s articles and commentary on Trump, Putin, hypocrisy, demagogues, and related issues have become essential reading. A long-time journalist who has worked in both Russia and the U.S., and author of the acclaimed biography of Putin The Man Without a Face, Gessen in her latest book traces Russia’s unsettling post-Soviet trajectory by looking closely at the lives of four different people. All were born into a time that promised freedom; all have been bitterly...


Nikki Giovanni: Live at Politics and Prose

From her work in the 1960s with the Black Arts Movement and SNCC to her iconic status in today’s hip-hop community, Giovanni has been a vital public presence for more than four decades. Her many accomplishments as an activist, educator, and one of the country’s most inspiring poets, have earned her honors including the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award and a place on Oprah Winfrey’s list of twenty-five “Living Legends.” Giovanni has published more than two dozen books, and her latest...


Khizr Khan: Live at Politics and Prose

Khan came to national prominence with his passionate speech at the Democratic Convention, where he chastised Trump for his anti-immigration stand. As the Gold Star father of an American Muslim Army Captain killed while preventing a suicide attack in Iraq, Khan is a living rebuke to xenophobia in mainstream politics, and his memoir is an inspiring look at the American dream. Expressing his “continued faith and belief in the innate goodness of America, even in these challenging times,” Khan...


Caitlin Doughty: Live at Politics and Prose

Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, was a funny and irresistible account of her experiences working in a crematorium. The job was a life-changer: Doughty now runs a nonprofit funeral home in Los Angeles and hosts the web series “Ask a Mortician.” Her second book is a fascinating catalog of funeral rituals and burial practices from around the world. Visiting Indonesia, Doughty reports on a family that dresses and cleans their grandfather’s mummified body—two years after the man’s...


Colin Dickey: Live at Politics and Prose

Whether or not the Salem witch hunts found any real witches, the story itself still gives us chills. Tourists flock to Salem, hoping to see—what, exactly? That’s one of the questions Dickey explores in this intriguing tour of some of the nation’s haunted places. Guiding us through haunted houses, institutions, and ghost towns around the country, Dickey, co-editor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology, lays out the facts about the various strange goings-on and, more importantly, notes how the...


Eileen Myles: Live at Politics and Prose

One of today’s most innovative writers, Myles is the award-winning author of more than twenty books, including the novel Chelsea Girls and I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014. Combining memoir, fantasy, and an extraordinary empathy that leaps species boundaries, Myles’s latest book is a bittersweet memoir of Rosie, a pit bull that shared Myles’s life for sixteen years. As Myles looks back on the literature the two created together, the walks they took, and channels...


Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding: Live at Politics and Prose

The results of last year’s election turned what should have been a groundbreaking moment for women into a time of anger and resurgent intolerance and misogyny. Women themselves are deeply divided: 53% of white women voted for Trump while 94% of black women voted for Hillary. Yet women must bridge these differences and work together in order to move ahead and enact permanent change. This collection of essays by writers including Cheryl Strayed, Rebecca Solnit, Jessica Valenti, and Katha...


David Litt: Live at Politics and Prose

Litt worked at the White House from 2011 to 2016, leaving as a special assistant to President Obama and senior presidential speechwriter—the youngest in history. He supplied remarks on the major issues of the day, but his focus was humor and his job might more accurately be termed “comic muse to the president.” Now the head writer/producer for Funny or Die’s D.C. office, LItt contributed jokes to Obama’s speeches as early as 2009 and was the lead writer on four White House Correspondents’...


Claire Messud: Live at Politics and Prose

Messud’s sixth novel, The Burning Goal, is the story of Cassie and Julia, best friends from nursery school until seventh grade. For Julia, who narrates their experiences, the two are as close as sisters, though their families fail to mesh and the differences between them grow more apparent over time. Without Julia to set limits and question plans, Cassie veers into potentially dangerous emotional territory, especially when she decides to track down her father, and Julia begins to see how...


Danielle Allen: Live at Politics and Prose

Michael Alexander Allen was arrested at age fifteen, served eleven years of a thirteen-year sentence for attempted carjacking, and was found shot to death three years after his release. He was Danielle Allen’s cousin, and she grew up with him, supported him, and encouraged him to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and a firefighter. His death was a shock, and in her powerful memoir Allen, the James Conant Bryant University Professor at Harvard and author of the award-winning Our...


Zoë Quinn: Live at Politics and Prose

Quinn, featured in Forbes 30 under 30 and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, is among the most prominent indie developers in the gaming industry. When she released Depression Quest in 2013, the game was met with acclaim as well as hate mail. The online abuse intensified, and by August 2014, Quinn and several other women video game creators were the targets of relentless harassment, including rape and death threats. Quinn, who has testified at the United Nations about...


Mark Bowden: Live at Politics and Prose

Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, was the country’s third-largest city in 1968 when it became the center of the Tet Offensive. The North Vietnamese stormed Hue from hidden outposts, surprising and then overwhelming American and South Vietnamese forces. The fight lasted twenty-four days and the 10,000 killed there made it the bloodiest battle of the war. It also definitively turned the tide against the U.S. Bowden’s comprehensive account vividly captures each stage of the action from...


Haroon Moghul: Live at Politics and Prose

Moghul became a public presence in the wake of 9/11, speaking out as an undergraduate leader at NYU’s Islamic Center. He was only just beginning to work out his personal relationship to Islam, and his memoir traces his struggle to come to terms with a faith he had long felt ambivalent about. Growing up, Moghul, a second-generation immigrant, wanted a typical American childhood. But his was complicated by encounters with anti-Muslim bias, bouts of depression, and his own reservations about...


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