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Michael Dukakis  2003February 10, 2017-San Francisco/1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis on what happened in the 2016 race and beyond.

We have heard it before from Mike Dukakis and now it bears repeating. “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and organize.” We have seen some very different elections results over the past couple of years. The Obama Coalition, which was overpowering in 2008, stumbled in the 2010 midterms but rebounded just in time for a 2012 victory.   After fumbling the ball again in the 2014 midterms, everything looked good for another victory in 2016.  However, while Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, Donald Trump won where it mattered, in the Electoral College. It was a wild and surreal ride.  What the heck happened? So what happens next? Dukakis believes that Democrats needs to organize down to the small precinct. Six-to-eight block captains per precinct must organize repeated door-knocking excursions and report any supporters or potential supporters back to a precinct captain. In turn, they must be responsible for getting those supporters to the polls on Election Day.  “It’s neighbors seeing neighbors. It’s putting a human face on the political process. It’s engaging people in conversations on issues they care about and responding to them,” he said. Michael Dukakis speaks from experience, crediting a similar operation with winning him the governor’s office in 1974, 1982, and 1986.

 

true-flag-book-coverFebruary 13, 2017-Los Angeles/ Historian Stephen Kinzer/The True Flag

The best-selling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America’s interventionist course in the world for the 20th century and beyond.How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat – until the cycle begins again. No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country. Revealing a piece of forgotten history in The True Flag, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the 20th century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation. The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before – in the period when the United States was founded – have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.

 

oates-grossFebruary 14, 2017—San Francisco/Spend Valentine’s Day with Joyce Carol Oates and Charlie Gross.

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day? In this taut and fascinating novel, the bestselling, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of The Sacrifice, The Accursed, and Lovely, Dark, Deep examines the mysteries of memory, personality, and identity and pierces the enigmatic force that drives human lives-love. In 1965, neuroscientist Margot Sharpe meets the attractive, charismatic Elihu Hoopes-the “man without a shadow”-whose devastated memory, unable to store new experiences or to retrieve the old, will make him the most famous and most studied amnesiac in history. Over the course of the next thirty years, Margot herself becomes famous for her experiments with E. H.-and inadvertently falls in love with him, despite the ethical ambiguity of their affair, and though he remains forever elusive and mysterious to her, haunted by mysteries of the past. The Man Without a Shadow tracks the intimate, illicit relationship between Margot and Eli, as scientist and subject embark upon an exploration of the labyrinthine mysteries of the human brain. Where does “memory” reside? Where is “love”? Is it possible to love an individual who cannot love you, who cannot “remember” you from one meeting to the next? Made vivid by her exceptional eye for detail and her keen insight into the human psyche, The Man Without A Shadow is a unique story of forbidden love, a kind of secret, evolving marriage, depicted in Joyce Carol Oates’s tight, impassioned prose. It is an uncanny, ambitious, and structurally complex novel that penetrates the mind and illuminates the heart.

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