Politics at the LA Times Festival of Books

Whether you’re a political or news junkie, the LA Times Festival of Books is your Woodstock. Or Burning Man. Or pick some other drug, sex and rock n roll infused carnival that beats my own sloppy reference.

Fact of the matter is, whether or not you even like books, the Festival of Books features dozens of panels and speakers discussing everything from the state of the news business, to the national election, to local politics, to worldwide social issues.

Among the attendees: Gore Vidal in conversation with Jane Smiley; Arianna Huffington on a panel called “Right & Left” with Eric Alterman, David Frum, and others; Tom Hayden and Hugh Hewitt on another panel called “Defining American Character”; Willie Brown talking with Bill Boyarsky; Hugh Hewitt will also discuss the 2008 campaign with Robert Scheer, David Frum, and others on a panel moderated by Scott Kraft; a Future of News panel includes LA Times editor Russ Stanton; and two panels focus on California: “Literary California”, and “California: The Great Experiment,” which will be moderated by Kevin Roderick.

Roderick, of course, is editor/founder of LA Observed, which contains a number of bloggers on the festival lineup.

In addition to the panels, the Festival has a staggering number of exhibitors, from small publishers and local bookstores to writing groups and independent authors hyping their books. A large section is devoted to childrens books, and numerous book signings seem to take place every hours of the day at either at dedicated signing areas or vendor booths.

Best of all: it’s entirely free (and by entirely, I fail to mention a small, less than a buck surcharge for ordering tickets online).

Below are listings for political and news relevent panels and speakers at the Festival of Books. For a complete schedule, check it out here.



Rolfe 1200

PANEL 1024
3:00 PM
West Coast Publishing: Rethinking the Model
Moderator Mr. David L. Ulin
Mr. Eli Horowitz, Ms. Elaine Katzenberger, Ms. Lee Montgomery, Mr. Charlie Winton

Haines 39

PANEL 1041
11:00 AM
History: Crisis Points
Moderator Ms. Elizabeth Taylor
Ms. Patricia Goldstone, Ms. Lynne Olson, Mr. Anthony Pagden

PANEL 1042
12:30 PM
Biography: Infamous Lives
Moderator Mr. A. Scott Berg
Mr. Kenneth D. Ackerman, Ms. Nancy Isenberg, Mr. Michael J. Neufeld

PANEL 1043
2:00 PM
A History of Violence
Moderator Mr. Leo Braudy
Mr. David A. Bell, Mr. Mark Kurlansky, Mr. Scott Martelle, Mr. Andrew Nagorski

PANEL 1044
3:30 PM
Current Interest: Lessons from the 20th Century
Moderator Mr. Tim Naftali
Mr. David Goodman, Ms. Elizabeth D. Samet, Mr. Clancy Sigal

Royce Hall

PANEL 1052
12:30 PM
Gore Vidal in Conversation with Jane Smiley
Interviewer Jane Smiley
Mr. Gore Vidal

PANEL 1053
2:30 PM
Current Interest: Right & Left
Moderator Mr. Jim Newton
Mr. Eric Alterman, Mr. David Frum, Ms. Arianna Huffington, Mr. Dan Schnur

Young Hall CS 24

PANEL 1083
1:30 PM
Biography: The Explorers
Moderator Mr. Robert Weil
Mr. Laurence Bergreen, Mr. Tim Jeal, Mr. Robert Morgan, Mr. Richard Reeves

Young Hall CS 50

Moore 100

PANEL 1101
10:00 AM
Nonfiction From the Streets
Moderator Ms. Jill Leovy
Mr. Miles Corwin, Ms. Celeste Fremon, Mr. Dashaun Morris

PANEL 1105
4:00 PM
Immigration Beyond the Border
Moderator Mr. Marcos McPeek Villatoro
Mr. Gustavo Arellano, Ms. Ana Castillo, Mr. Juan Felipe Herrera

Ackerman Grand Ballroom
PANEL 1122
12:00 PM
Current Interest: Defining American Character
Moderator Mr. Jon Wiener
Mr. Howard Fineman, Ms. Amy Goodman, Mr. Tom Hayden, Mr. Hugh Hewitt

PANEL 1123
2:00 PM
Current Interest: New World Disorder
Moderator Mr. Terry McDermott
Mr. Bob Drogin, Ms. Nina Hachigan, Mr. Kevin Phillips, Dr. Michael Shermer

Korn Hall

PANEL 1071
10:00 AM
Willie L. Brown in Conversation with Bill Boyarsky
Interviewer Mr. Bill Boyarsky
Mr. Willie L. Brown, Jr.

PANEL 1073
1:00 PM
Religion: Crises of Faith
Moderator Mr. Zachary Karabell
Mr. Paul M. Barrett, Mr. Chris Hedges, Mr. Jonathan Kirsch, Mr. John Mark

Fowler Museum Lenart Auditorium

PANEL 1063
1:30 PM
Memoir: Spirit & Substance
Moderator Ms. Karen Stabiner
Mr. Andrew Bridge, Ms. Samantha Dunn, Ms. Patricia Hampl, Ms. Heather King

PANEL 1064
3:00 PM
California: The Great Experiment
Mr. Kevin Roderick
Mr. William Deverell, Mr. Matthew Jaffe, Mr. D.J. Waldie


Schoenberg Hall

PANEL 2031
10:00 AM
Peter Matthiessen in Conversation with Susan Salter Reynolds
Interviewer Ms. Susan Salter Reynolds
Mr. Peter Matthiessen

PANEL 2032
11:30 AM
Jim Lehrer in Conversation with Karen Grigsby Bates
Interviewer Ms. Karen Grigsby Bates
Mr. Jim Lehrer

PANEL 2033
1:00 PM
TC Boyle with an Introduction from Michelle Huneven
Introducer Ms. Michelle Huneven
Mr. T.C. Boyle

Haines 39

PANEL 2041
10:30 AM
Moments that Shaped America
Moderator Ms. Elizabeth Taylor
Mr. Douglas Brinkley, Mr. Michael Eric Dyson, Mr. Edward Humes, Mr. Bruce Watson

PANEL 2042
12:00 PM
Biography: California Powerbrokers
Moderator Mr. Marc Cooper
Mr. Bill Boyarsky, Ms. Margaret Leslie Davis, Mr. Jim Newton, Mr. Richard Rayner

PANEL 2043
1:30 PM
Current Interest: Latin American Identities
Moderator Ms. Marjorie Miller
Mr. Jorge Castañeda, Ms. Ann Louise Bardach, Dr. Pamela Starr

PANEL 2044
3:00 PM
Biography: Literary California
Moderator Mr. Richard Rayner
Mr. Anthony Arthur, Mr. Philip L Fradkin, Ms. Judith Freeman

Royce Hall

PANEL 2052
12:30 PM
Current Interest: Campaign 2008
Moderator Mr. Scott Kraft
Mr. David Frum, Mr. Garrett M. Graff, Mr. Hugh Hewitt, Mr. Robert Scheer

Young Hall CS 50

PANEL 2092
11:30 AM
Memoir: Hope & Challenges
Moderator Ms. Val Zavala
Ms. Sara Davidson, Mr. Mike Farrell, Ms. Dinah Lenney, Ms. Amy Silverstein

Moore 100

PANEL 2101
10:00 AM
The Future of News
Moderator Mr. Michael Parks
Ms. Cinny Kennard, Mr. Russ Stanton, Mr. David Talbot

PANEL 2102
11:30 AM
Carolyn & Lisa See in Conversation with Veronique de Turenne
Interviewer Ms. Veronique de Turenne
Ms. Lisa See
Ms. Carolyn See
Ackerman Grand Ballroom

PANEL 2121
10:30 AM
Current Interest: Checks & Balances
Moderator Mr. Barry Siegel
Mr. Joe Conason, Ms. Susan Jacoby, Mr. Philip Shenon, Mr. Tim Weiner

PANEL 2122
12:30 PM
Contentious Ground: The Middle East
Moderator Mr. Zachary Karabell
Mr. Reza Aslan, Mr. Chris Hedges, Mr. Elias Khoury, Ms. Amy Wilentz

Korn Hall

PANEL 2071
10:00 AM
State of Crisis: Can Government Work?
Moderator Mr. John Powers
Mr. John W. Dean, Mr. Michael Gerson, Ms. Nancy Snow

PANEL 2072
11:30 AM
From Column to Book to Screen: Steve Lopez in Conversation with Warren Olney
Moderator Mr. Warren Olney
Mr. Steve Lopez

PANEL 2073
1:00 PM
Fiction: Alternative Visions
Moderator Mr. David L. Ulin
Mr. Steve Erickson, Ms. Shelley Jackson, Mr. Zachary Lazar, Ms. Nina Revoyr

PANEL 2074
2:30 PM
Paul Conrad & Al Martinez in Conversation, with an Introduction from David Hiller
Introducer Mr. David Hiller
Mr. Paul Conrad, Mr. Al Martinez

Fowler Museum Lenart Auditorium

PANEL 2063
1:30 PM
Memoir: Other Places, Other Lives
Moderator Ms. Louise Steinman
Ms. Kathleen Flinn, Ms. Deborah Rodriguez, Mr. Joshua Swiller, Ms. Lijia Zhang


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