July 30, 2013

Wil Haygood spoke about his book, The Butler, in front of a record crowd at Politics & Prose on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.

When acclaimed Washington Post writer Wil Haygood had an early hunch that Obama would win the 2008 election, he thought he’d highlight the singular moment by exploring the life of someone who had come of age when segregation was so widespread, so embedded in the culture as to make the very thought of a black president inconceivable. He struck gold when he tracked down Eugene Allen, a butler who had served no fewer than eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. During his thirty-four years of service, Allen became what the Independent described as a “discreet stagehand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theatre of all.”

While serving tea and supervising buffets, Allen was also a witness to history as decisions about America’s most momentous events were being made. Here he is at the White House while Kennedy contemplates the Cuban missile crisis; here he is again when Kennedy’s widow returns from that fateful day in Dallas. Here he is when Johnson and his cabinet debate Vietnam, and here he is again when Ronald Reagan is finally forced to get tough on apartheid. Perhaps hitting closest to home was the civil rights legislation that was developed, often with passions flaring, right in front of his eyes even as his own community of neighbors, friends, and family were contending with Jim Crow America.

With a foreword by the Academy Award– nominated director Lee Daniels, The Butler also includes an essay, in the vein of James Baldwin’s jewel The Devil Finds Work, that explores the history of black images on celluloid and in Hollywood, and fifty-seven pictures of Eugene Allen, his family, the presidents he served, and the remarkable cast of the movie.

The Butler: A Witness to History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476752990
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: 37 Ink - July 30th, 2013

July 14, 2013

Glen Weldon spoke about his book, Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, at Politics & Prose on Sunday, July 14, 2013.

As Superman turns 75, what better time to look back over his life? Weldon, NPR blogger, critic, and comics expert, considers not only the Man of Steel’s adventures and achievements, but also his place in the culture as the first, and still most popular, superhero.

Superman: The Unauthorized Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9781681629209
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wiley - April 1st, 2013

June 29, 2013

Marion Winik read from her book, Highs in the Low Fifties, at Politics & Prose on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Winik, NPR commentator, essayist, and poet, may often feel her life is a mess, but her “Baltimore Fishbowl Bohemian Rhapsody” column was named a “Best of Baltimore” by Baltimore magazine. Her new collection of humorous essays is full of the wit, wisdom, and despair she’s been party to as a once-widowed, once-divorced single mother who still dates.

Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled Through the Joys of Single Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9780762787135
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Skirt! - June 18th, 2013