journalist

In "Obama: An Oral History," author Brian Abrams reveals the behind-the-scenes stories that illuminate the eight years of the Obama White House through more than one hundred exclusive interviews.

Among those given a voice in this extraordinary account are Obama’s cabinet secretaries; his teams of speechwriters, legal advisers, and campaign strategists; as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fought for or against his agenda. They recall the early struggles of an idealistic outsider candidate and speak openly about the exacting work that led to cornerstone legislation. They share the failures and dissent that met Obama’s efforts and revisit the paths to his accomplishments.

Brian Abrams is the author of three bestselling Kindle Singles oral histories: "And NOW…An Oral History of Late Night with David Letterman, 1982–1993;" "Gawker: An Oral History;" and "Die Hard: An Oral History." Abrams has written for the Washington Post Magazine, Time, and The Lowbrow Reader.

At the age of nine, Issac J. Bailey saw his hero, his eldest brother, taken away in handcuffs, not to return from prison for thirty-two years. Bailey tells the story of their relationship and of his experience living in a family suffering from guilt and shame in his book, "My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Midst of Crime, Poverty, and Racism in the American South." Drawing on sociological research as well as his expertise as a journalist, he seeks to answer the crucial question of why Moochie and many other young black men, including half of the ten boys in his own family, end up in the criminal justice system.

What role do poverty, race, and faith play? What effect does living in the South, in the Bible Belt, have? And why is their experience understood as an acceptable trope for black men, while white people who commit crimes are never seen in this generalized way?

Issac J. Bailey was born in St. Stephen, South Carolina, and holds a degree in psychology from Davidson College in North Carolina. Having trained at the prestigious Poynter Institute for journalists in St. Petersburg, Florida, he has been a professional journalist for twenty years. He has taught applied ethics at Coastal Carolina University and, as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, has taught journalism at Harvard Summer School.

Seymour Hersh's fearless reporting has earned him fame, front-page bylines in virtually every major newspaper in the free world, honors galore, and no small amount of controversy.

Now in this memoir, "Reporter," he describes what drove him and how he worked as an independent outsider, even at the nation's most prestigious publications.

Alisa Roth is a former staff reporter for Marketplace and frequent contributor to various NPR programs. A Soros Justice Fellow, her work has also appeared in the New York Review of Books and New York Times.

America has made mental illness a crime. Jails in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders.

In "Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness," Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker.

From Alisyn Camerota, co-anchor of CNN’s "New Day," comes a debut novel about an idealistic journalist who lands her dream job as a cable news anchor during a crazy presidential race only to find herself trapped in an ethical minefield.

As a veteran broadcast journalist and the co-anchor of CNN’s New Day, Alisyn Camerota knows a lot about the fast-paced world of cable news. In "Amanda Wakes Up," she gives us a backstage pass to the behind-the-scenes drama of a cable news network.

Voted one of the best reads of 2017 by NPR, "Amanda Wakes Up" is now out in paperback and offers substance, glamour and rare insight into the who, what, and how of the news we watch over breakfast.

Richard M. Cohen is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: a memoir, "Blindsided," detailing his struggles with MS and cancer and his controversial career in the news business; and "Strong at the Broken Places," following the lives of five individuals living with serious chronic illnesses. His distinguished career in network news earned him numerous awards, including three Emmys and a Peabody.

After more than four decades living with multiple sclerosis, New York Times bestselling author Richard M. Cohen finds a flicker of hope in a groundbreaking medical procedure. His new book is "Chasing Hope."

As host of “The Lead” and “State of the Union” on CNN, Jake Tapper spends his days bringing attention to some of the biggest political headlines.

Tapper has now brought Washington intrigue and the “swampiness” on this city to his first novel. “The Hellfire Club,” is a political thriller that takes place during the days when Senator Joe McCarthy was carrying out his Communist “witch hunt.”

Vegas Tenold is an award-winning journalist. He has covered the far right in America for years, as well as human rights in Russia, conflict in central Africa and the Middle East, and national security. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, his work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, New Republic, and Al Jazeera America.

Six years ago, Vegas Tenold embedded himself among the members of three of America's most ideologically extreme white nationalist groups-the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and the Traditionalist Workers Party. At the time, these groups were part of a disorganized counterculture that felt far from the mainstream.

But since then, all that has changed. Racially-motivated violence has been on open display at rallies in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Pikesville, Phoenix, and Boston. Membership in white nationalist organizations is rising, and national politicians, including the president, are validating their perceived grievances.

Katy Tur and book cover for "Unbelievable"
pen.org

OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College's 2018 Mona Sherman Memorial Speaker will be Katy Tur. Tur is an NBC journalist and New York Times bestselling author of "Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History."

Katy Tur will speak at 6pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts directly following OLLI's 2018 Annual Meeting, which begins at 4:30pm. Both events are free and open to the public but have reached capacity. There is a standby list.

CNN anchor and correspondent Jake Tapper is known for his hard-nosed interviews that seek to get at the truth of our contentious times. But now in his new novel, Tapper turns his attention to another fractious period in U.S. history.

In "The Hellfire Club," a political thriller set in 1950s Washington, Tapper writes about a time when the Red Scare and McCarthyism ruled the city.

As for the day job - Tapper hosts “The Lead” and “State of the Union” on CNN and brings attention to some of the biggest political headlines. Tapper talks to us about the inspiration for his foray into fiction, his life as a journalist, and which recent news stories have captured his full attention.

On Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, the LBJ Presidential Library held An Evening With Cokie Roberts
LBJ Library

Cokie Roberts, one of America’s leading broadcast journalists, is a long-time reporter, news analyst, and commentator for National Public Radio; a commentator and analyst for ABC News; and a regular roundtable analyst for "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

She was in Albany, New York this week for two events with the New York State Writers Institute. She joined us to talk about her career, journalism and current events.

Guided by the 3,000 letters between the prominent journalist, Lorena Hickok, and one of the world’s most admired women, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Bloom’s novel “White Houses” explores Eleanor’s real-life romantic relationship with Lorena.

Jorge Ramos, an Emmy award-winning journalist, Univision’s longtime anchorman and widely considered the “voice of the voiceless” within the Latino community, was forcefully removed from an Iowa press conference in 2015 by then-candidate Donald Trump after trying to ask about his plans on immigration.

His new book is "Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era."

Even with Congress’s failure to officially repeal the Affordable Care Act, our healthcare system is desperately broken. No proposed reforms have addressed the fact that the cost of medical care in the U.S. has grown far beyond what most people can afford, and pharmaceutical giant CVS’s recent acquisition of Aetna only underscores what Americans have known for years: Our healthcare system is now in the money-making business and not the healing one.

As a Harvard-trained medical doctor and veteran journalist, first with the New York Times and now as editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal has witnessed firsthand how healthcare has become a business. Her new book is: "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back."

Jake Bernstein was a senior reporter on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team that broke the Panama Papers story. In 2017, the project won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Bernstein earned his first Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for National Reporting, for coverage of the financial crisis.

In "Secrecy World," Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca ― a trove now known as the Panama Papers ― as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the super-wealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.

It's safe to say that no journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who has been following him since 1988.

Johnston's new book, "It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America" goes inside the administration to show how the federal agencies that touch the lives of all Americans are being undermined.

The small village of Norwich, Vermont, has an unusual knack for creating Olympians. Despite only having about three thousand residents, they have sent an athlete to nearly every Winter Olympics in the past thirty years, and three times the athlete has returned with a medal.

But according to our next guest, this unusually high success rate is not the result of tiger moms and eagle dads – it’s the result of a community culture of supportive, hands-off parenting that encourages children to enjoy themselves and try everything, without any emphasis on winning.

Karen Crouse is an award-winning New York Times reporter who stumbled upon this quiet village that has the secret to not only raising better athletes, but happier and healthier kids. Her new book is "Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence."

It is a sad week in Radioland this week as one of our brightest lights retires from his post. 

Robert Siegel joined NPR in 1976 and he’s been there ever since. He’ll leave the network at the end of next week. Siegel became host of All Things Considered in 1987. But before that he played an important role in the network’s growth. He opened NPR’s first overseas bureau, in London, in 1979 and stayed there for four years.

Robert Siegel’s final day as host of All Things Considered will be January 5th and it is a great pleasure to welcome his to the RT this morning.

It's one of the most revered movies of Hollywood's golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.

Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party.

In "High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman's concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.

The culmination of nearly 30 years of reporting on Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, David Cay Johnston, takes a revealingly close look at the mogul's rise to power and prominence in his new book, "The Making of Donald Trump."

Covering the long arc of Trump’s career, Johnston tells the story of how a boy from a quiet section of Queens, NY would become an entirely new, and complex, breed of public figure. Trump is a man of great media savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and political clout. Yet his career has been plagued by legal troubles and mounting controversy.

Marvin Kalb spent 30 years as an award-winning reporter for CBS News and NBC News. In 1956, Kalb was selected by the State Department to do translation work in Moscow.

He tells the story of that year in his new book: The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 - Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia.

In The Revolution of Robert Kennedy, journalist John R. Bohrer focuses in intimate and revealing detail on Bobby Kennedy's life during the three years following JFK's assassination. Torn between mourning the past and plotting his future, Bobby was placed in a sudden competition with his political enemy, Lyndon Johnson, for control of the Democratic Party.

No longer the president's closest advisor, Bobby struggled to find his place within the Johnson administration, eventually deciding to leave his Cabinet post to run for the U.S. Senate, and establish an independent identity. Those overlooked years of change, from hardline Attorney General to champion of the common man, helped him develop the themes of his eventual presidential campaign.

Rick Wartzman is director of the KH Moon Center for a Functioning Society at the Drucker Institute, a part of Claremont Graduate University. He also writes about the world of work for Fortune magazine online. Before joining the Drucker Institute in 2007 as its founding executive director, Rick worked for two decades as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

In his new book, The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America, Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers--General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola--he shows how big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits.

Michael Callahan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of the novel Searching for Grace Kelly. A former deputy editor at Town & Country and Marie Claire, he has written for more than two dozen national and international publications, including ELLE, DeparturesBloomberg BusinessweekThe Hollywood Reporter, and the New York Times.

In his new book, The Night She Won Miss America - Betty Jane Welch reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest to make her mother happy, only to surprisingly find herself the judges' choice. Just like that, she's catapulted into the big time, the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City.

Luckily, her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing but mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when the spirited Betty unexpectedly wins the crown and sash, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff's love. To keep him, she recklessly agrees to run away together. From the flashy carnival of the Boardwalk to the shadowy streets of Manhattan to a cliffside mansion in gilded Newport, the chase is on as the cops and a scrappy reporter secretly in love with the beauty queen threaten to unravel everything-and expose Griff's darkest secret.

In Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper tells the harrowing and triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

Helene Cooper is the Pulitzer Prize–winning Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, having previously served as White House Correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and the assistant editorial page editor. Prior to moving to the Times, Helene spent twelve years as a reporter and foreign correspondent at The Wall Street Journal.

She is the author of the bestselling memoir, The House at Sugar Beach (Simon & Schuster, 2008). Her new book, Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be featured on The Book Show in the near future. In this interview we speak with her about current events and what it's like to be at The Pentagon in the early weeks of the Trump Administration.

In September 1998, Claudia Rowe was a young reporter working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York when local police, confounded by two years of missing-women reports, discovered eight decayed bodies stashed in the home where Kendall Francois lived with his mother, father and teenage sister.

The corpses were found only after Kendall, a polite twenty-seven-year-old, confessed while being booked for something far more routine. He fit few traditional descriptions of a serial murderer, and many in Poughkeepsie struggled to comprehend how this “gentle giant” could be responsible for such brutality.

Reaching out after Kendall’s arrest, Rowe began an intense four-year conversation with the killer through letters, phone calls and face-to-face meetings. Rowe writes about this in her new book, The Spider And The Fly: A Reporter, A Serial Killer, And The Meaning Of Murder.

Claudia Rowe is a staff writer at The Seattle Times and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. 

As part of a team of journalists from Newsday, Michael D'Antonio won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting before going on to write many acclaimed books, including The Truth About Trump. He has also written for EsquireThe New York Times Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.

In A Consequential President, Michael D'Antonio tallies President Obama’s long record of achievement, recalling both his major successes and less-noticed ones that nevertheless contribute to his legacy. The record includes Obama's role as a inspirational leader who was required to navigate race relations as the first black president and had to function in an atmosphere that included both racial acrimony from his critics and unfair expectations among supporters. In light of these conditions, Obama's greatest achievement came as he restored dignity and ethics to the office of the president, and serve as proof that he has delivered the hope and the change he promised eight years before.

Over the course of eight years, Barack Obama has amassed an array of achievements as President of the United States.

In Audacity, New York magazine political columnist Jonathan Chait makes the provocative argument that most of Obama’s achievements will not only survive a Trump administration, but also the judgment of history, which will proclaim that Obama was among the greatest and most effective presidents in American history. 

Chait digs deep into Obama’s record on major policy fronts and explains why so many observers, from cynical journalists to disheartened Democrats, missed the enormous evidence of progress amidst the smoke screen of extremist propaganda and the confinement of short-term perspective. Jonathan Chait is a political columnist for New York magazine. He was previously a senior editor at the New Republic

Matt Taibbi, author of the New York Times bestsellers The DivideGriftopia, and The Great Derangement, is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2008 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary.

The 2016 presidential contest as told by Taibbi, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion, is in fact the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society.

Taibbi's new book is Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

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