Jonathan Alter (2010)

Jonathan Alter is an author and commentator, who was at Newsweek for close to three decades. He has written several New York Times best-sellers about American presidents.

Carol Leonnig & Philip Rucker

Pulitzer Prize journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker discuss their book “A Very Stable Genius.”

Carol Leonnig is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has worked at The Washington Post since 2000. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for her work on security failures and misconduct inside the Secret Service. She was part of a Post team that was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for revealing the U.S. government’s secret, broad surveillance of Americans through the disclosures of Edward Snowden. She is a three-time winner of the George Polk Award for investigative reporting. She reports on Donald Trump’s presidency and investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Leonnig is also an on-air contributor to NBC News and MSNBC.

Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. He previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. Rucker also is a Political Analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He joined The Post in 2005 as a local news reporter.

Leonnig and Rucker authored “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America” which debuted at number one on The New York Times best-seller list. The book tracks the first three years of the Trump presidency relying on intimate, revelatory interviews with first-hand witnesses and including never-before-reported details. 

John Grisham

International best-selling author John Grisham discusses his novel “The Guardians.” 

John Grisham is the author of more than thirty novels, one work of non-fiction, a collection of stories and seven novels for young readers. A master of the legal thriller, nine of his novels have been turned into films – “The Firm,” “The Pelican Brief,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill,” “The Rainmaker,” “The Chamber,” “A Painted House,” “The Runaway Jury” and “Skipping Christmas.” There are currently more than 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. His 2019 novel, “The Guardians,” has a strong social-justice component that shows how wrongful convictions happen. 

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes including serving as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to more than 350 kids on 26 Little League teams. 

Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien, author of “The Things They Carried,” talks about his book, “Dad’s Maybe Book.”

Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed novels include “The Things They Carried” (an NEA Big Read, which the New York Times said belongs on “the short list of essential fiction about Vietnam”), “If I Die in a Combat Zone,” “In the Lake of the Woods” and “Going After Cacciato” (which won the 1979 National Book Award in fiction), among others. In 2013 he was awarded the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. O’Brien was interviewed for Ken Burns’ 2017 documentary series, “The Vietnam War.” Most recently he was a co-writer on the Vietnam episodes of the NBC series “This Is Us.” His 2019 book is “Dad’s Maybe Book,” where he shares wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime and the challenges, humor and rewards of raising two sons.

Roger McNamee

Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee mentored Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the early days of the company. Still a large shareholder, he now thinks Facebook is destroying our democracy. The author of “Zucked” discusses the existential threat he believes the social network poses to society.

Roger McNamee has been a Silicon Valley investor for 35 years. He co-founded successful funds in venture, crossover and private equity. His most recent fund, Elevation, included U2’s Bono as a co-founder. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Roger plays bass and guitar in the bands Moonalice and Doobie Decibel System. He is the author of “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” as well as “The New Normal” and “The Moonalice Legend: Posters and Words, Volumes 1-9.” He has served as a technical advisor for seasons two through five of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” series and was also responsible for raising the money that created the Wikimedia Foundation.

 

Michael Beschloss

Presidential historian and author Michael Beschloss discusses his book “Presidents of War,” the state of U.S. democracy and writing history books that hold relevance in the modern era.

Michael Beschloss is a historian and author of numerous books on presidential history including The New York Times bestsellers “Presidential Courage” and “The Conquerors,” as well as two volumes on Lyndon Johnson’s White House tapes. His book “Presidents of War” chronicles the difficult decisions made by presidents from James Madison during the War of 1812 to present. Beschloss was also editor of the bestseller “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.” He is the NBC News Presidential Historian, a “PBS NewsHour” contributor and has received an Emmy and six honorary degrees. Beschloss lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons.

Brené Brown, Ph.D.

Author and research professor Dr. Brené Brown discusses her research on topics such as leadership, courage, vulnerability and shame.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Endowed Chair. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She is the author of several books including her 2018 publication, “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” Her TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability has garnered more than 36 million views. Brené and her husband, Steve, live in Houston and have two children.

Sandra Cisneros

Author Sandra Cisneros discusses her prolific career as a writer, Latinx representation in the arts and her 2018 short story, “Puro Amor.”

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working class. Her novel “The House on Mango Street” has sold over six million copies, been translated into more than twenty languages and is required reading from elementary through college across the nation. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and book awards nationally and internationally, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.

Anne Lamott

Author Anne Lamott talks about her writing process, Christian faith and 2018 book, “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.”

Anne Lamott writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus. But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthlessly honest. Lamott is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, as well as several novels, including “Imperfect Birds” and “Rosie.” A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, Lamott lives in Northern California.

John Kerry

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks about climate change, his military service in the U.S. Navy and his 2018 memoir, “Every Day Is Extra.”

John Kerry has served most of his adult life in public service – as Navy lieutenant in combat in Vietnam, a prosecutor, lieutenant governor, Democratic nominee for president of the United States, five-term senator and U.S. Secretary of State. He has been witness to and participant in some of the most important events of our recent history. His book, “Every Day Is Extra,” is a revealing memoir where he acknowledges faults, mistakes and lessons learned the hard way.

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