All posts by Politics and Prose

Lisa Halliday, “Asymmetry”



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Lisa Halliday discusses her book, “Asymmetry”, at Politics and Prose on 11/5/18.

Lisa Halliday grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts and currently lives in Milan, Italy. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review and she is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction. Asymmetry is her first novel.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Produced by Tom Warren

Cixin Liu, “Ball Lightning”



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Cixin Liu discusses his novel, “Ball Lightning”, at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC on 11/9/18.

A nine-time winner of China’s prestigious Galaxy Award, Liu gained an English-language audience with The Three-Body Problem, which earned the Hugo Award. His new book combines mystery, science, and philosophy for a fast-paced quest tale that also considers the moral issues of how we use the technology we invent. The narrative follows Chen, a quantum physicist, who’s dedicated his life to solving the mystery of ball lightning, the inexplicable phenomenon that killed his parents. Others are also interested in the lightning, among them Lin Yun, who wants to harness its ferocious power for the military. As Chen learns more about the forces behind the lightning, he also struggles to reconcile his values with the social and political consequences of his work.

Liu is in conversation with Everdeen Mason, audience editor and sci-fi/fantasy columnist for The Washington Post.

CIXIN LIU is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People’s Republic of China. Liu is an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) and a winner of the Chinese Nebula Award. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked as an engineer in a power plant. His novels include The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest, and Death’s End.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Produced by Tom Warren

Michael V. Hayden, “The Assault on Intelligence”



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Michael V. Hayden discusses his book, “The Assault on Intelligence”, at Politics and Prose on 5/16/18.

Hayden, a retired Air Force four-star general, headed the NSA from 1999 to 2005, and was CIA director from 2006 to 2009. He drew on this extensive experience for his acclaimed Playing to the Edge, a clear-eyed assessment of national security decisions just before and after 9/11. In his new book he lays out the dangers facing the American intelligence community today, starting with the president. As Trump undermines the agencies working to protect us by criticizing the investigation of Russia’s interference rather than Russia, for example, he endangers our democracy’s core structures and processes. Hayden’s impassioned and authoritative defense of expertise shows us how much we stand to lose by weakening our intelligence capabilities just when we face new tensions with North Korea, China, and Russia.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Produced by Tom Warren

David W. Blight, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”



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David W. Blight discusses his book, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”, at Politics and Prose on 10/29/18.

Blight, the award-winning author of histories including American Oracle and Race and Reunion, is perhaps the foremost Frederick Douglass scholar at work today. He’s edited the annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies, and he draws on this close work and on newly discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers and other documents for this definitive biography. An escaped slave, Douglass (1818-1895) became a leading abolitionist, an outstanding orator, and one of the most prominent literary figures of his time. Blight looks in detail at Douglass’s speeches and examines his complicated views of a country he both loved and severely criticized. He follows Douglass on his overseas lecture tours and illuminates the complicated thinking behind the three versions of Douglass’s autobiography. He also discusses Douglass’s two marriages, his relationships with members of his extended family, and parses his religious beliefs.

David W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Produced by Tom Warren

Timothy Snyder, “The Road to Unfreedom”



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Timothy Snyder discusses his book, “The Road to Unfreedom”, at Politics and Prose on 4/7/18.

Snyder’s follow-up to On Tyranny moves from showing how to resist authoritarianism to tracing the path of its recent resurgence. Starting with Putin’s consolidation of power in Russia, Snyder charts the rise of nationalists and oligarchs from Hungary and Poland to Britain and the U.S. Noting that the threat these movements pose to Western institutions aligns with Putin’s goals, Snyder advises us that they also reflect weaknesses and vulnerabilities within liberal democratic systems. As he urges us to act on the choice between individuality and totality, Snyder frames this moment of crisis as an opportunity to better understand and affirm the values and principles underlying our imperiled political order.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics and Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics and Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at

Produced by Tom Warren