Past Events

June 18

David Epstein with Eric Barker

David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. He has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. In his new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, he examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and Continue reading…

June 17

Ed Levine with Nancy Silverton and Kenji López-Alt

Ed Levine is the founder of Serious Eats, as well as creator and host of the Serious Eats podcast, Special Sauce. In 2016, Ed was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Against all sane advice, he created a blog for $100 and called it…Serious Eats. The site quickly became a home for obsessives who didn’t take themselves too seriously. Intrepid staffers feasted on every dumpling in Chinatown and sampled every item on In-N-Out’s secret menu. Talented recipe developers like The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt and Stella Parks, aka BraveTart, attracted cult Continue reading…

June 11

Diane C. McPhail with Jane Smiley

In her sweeping debut, Diane C. McPhail offers a powerful, profoundly emotional novel that explores a little-known aspect of Civil War history—Southern Abolitionists—and the timeless struggle to do right even amidst bitter conflict. Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres,which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, Some Luckand Early Warning, the volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy.

June 10

Eve Ensler with Idina Menzel

From Eve Ensler, author of one of the most influential works of the twentieth century–The Vagina Monologues–and one of Newsweek‘s “150 Women Who Changed the World,” comes a powerful, life-changing examination of abuse and atonement. Ensler is a Tony Award-winning playwright, author, performer, and activist. Her international phenomenon The Vagina Monologues has been published in 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries. She is the author of the bestseller I Am an Emotional Creature, the highly-praised In the Body of the World, and many more. She is the founder of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against Continue reading…

June 5

Celeste Barber with Jameela Jamil

From funny woman, Instagram star, and international comedy sensation, Celeste Barber’s Challenge Accepted! is a raucous, hilarious, and outspoken guide to life, unwanted gas, and how to rock a sexy scar. Part memoir, part comedy routine, part advice manual, Challenge Accepted! is Celeste at her best, revealing her secrets to love, friendship, family, and marriage (oh hai, #hothusband), and how to deal with life’s many challenges—why she checks the bath for sharks, how Nutella quite literally shaped who she is as a woman, and why being famous on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly. It’s real, like totally, really real. Continue reading…

May 16

An Evening with

Jared Diamond

Upheaval is the final book in Jared Diamond’s trilogy. Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Upheaval reveals how nations and individuals recover from crisis and become more resilient. Jared Diamond, a noted polymath, is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his many awards are the U.S. National Medal of Science, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of the international best-selling books Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, Why Is Continue reading…

May 15

An Evening with

Jon Meacham

In his new book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.  Meacham is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Franklin and Winston, and Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, he is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, a contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review

May 7

Melinda Gates with John Legend

Melinda Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States.  In “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” Melinda traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change. And she Continue reading…

May 6

Moby with Lizzy Goodman

Moby is a singer-songwriter, musician, DJ and photographer. Marking the 20th anniversary of his landmark album Play, Moby’s new memoir Then It Fell Apart is a wild ride of celebrity, addiction, and reckoning. The first volume of his memoirs, Porcelain, was published in 2016. The second volume of Moby’s extraordinary life story is a journey into the dark heart of fame and the demons that lurk just beneath the bling and bluster of the celebrity lifestyle. It is a classic about the banality of fame. It is shocking, riotously entertaining, extreme, and unforgiving. 

April 24

Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen with Mayor Eric Garcetti

The rise of populism in the West and the rise of China in the East have stirred a rethinking of how democratic systems work—and how they fail. The impact of globalism and digital capitalism is forcing worldwide attention to the starker divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” challenging how we think about the social contract. Renovating Democracy tears down our basic structures and challenges us to conceive of an alternative framework for governance. Nathan Gardels is Cofounder of the Berggruen Institute and Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost, a partnership with the Washington Post.  Nicolas Berggruen is Founder and Chairman of the Berggruen Institute. He is coauthor (with Continue reading…