Seth Rosenfeld is an award-winning investigative journalist, book author and expert on public access to government records. His first book, SUBVERSIVES: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power, was published in hardback in 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in paperback in 2013 by Picador, and became a New York Times best-seller.
SUBVERSIVES traces the FBI’s secret involvement with three iconic figures who clashed at Berkeley during the 1960s: the ambitious neophyte politician Ronald Reagan, the fierce but fragile student radical Mario Savio, and the liberal University of California president Clark Kerr. Through these converging narratives, Rosenfeld tells a dramatic and disturbing story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories, poison-pen letters and secret detention lists. He reveals how the FBI’s covert operations — led by Reagan’s friend J. Edgar Hoover — helped ignite an era of student protest, undermine the Democrats, and benefit Reagan personally and politically. SUBVERSIVES provides a fresh look at the legacy of the sixties, sheds new light on one of America’s most popular presidents, and tells a timely cautionary tale about the dangers of secrecy and unchecked power.
Rosenfeld began the research that would lead to SUBVERSIVES in 1981, while a journalism student at UC Berkeley writing for the campus newspaper. Little did he know he was embarking on what would become a three-decade legal odyssey into the FBI’s covert campus activities; that he would bring five lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act in a precedent-setting legal fight; and that seven federal judges would order the FBI to release more than 300,000 pages of once-secret files and pay his pro-bono attorney’s fees of more than $1 million. These cases revealed the bureau’s covert operations at one of the nation’s preeminent public universities and strengthened the public’s right to know. The New York Times Book Review called SUBVERSIVES “electrifying.” NPR’s On the Media cited its “stunning revelations,” and Bookforum described it as “a masterpiece of historical reconstruction and narrative propulsion.”
Rosenfeld was a staff reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 25 years, focusing on legal affairs and law enforcement. His stories exposing Dow Corning Corporation’s cover-up of manufacturing defects in silicone gel breast implants that caused women to undergo avoidable surgery led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to restrict the use of implants, and won a George Polk Award for Health Reporting. Rosenfeld’s articles have also won honors from the Society of Professional Journalists; Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.; the American Association of University Professors; and Harvard University’s Goldsmith Award for Investigative Reporting.
Rosenfeld has been featured on National Public Radio and other national and local broadcasts, and has given many talks. His topics include the conflicts between civil liberties and national security; the Freedom of Information Act, excessive government secrecy and the role of the press in democracy; Ronald Reagan’s hidden relationship with the FBI in the years before he became president; and the secret history of the FBI’s activities during the sixties and how they affected individuals, institutions, and politics.
Miroslav Volf is “one of the most celebrated theologians of our day” (Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams). He is Founder and Director of Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School. He studied philosophy and theology in his native Croatia and United States, and earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany.
His book EXCLUSION AND EMBRACE (1996) was a winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Religion and Christianity Today named it one of the 100 most important religious books of the 20th century. He was a member of the Global Agenda Council of WEF on Faith and Values and for three years taught a course on Faith and Globalization with Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Journalist Dennis McDougal (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, TV Guide, etc.) is the bestselling author of twelve books, including most recently DYLAN: The Biography released by Turner Publishing in May of 2014. In a career dating to the 1970s, he has also authored hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and produced award-winning TV documentaries.
Before he began covering movies and media as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times in the 1980s, McDougal reported for dailies in Riverside and Long Beach, California. He earned a B.A. and M.A. in journalism at UCLA and won a John S. Knight Fellowship in 1981, spending a year teaching and studying psychology and law at Stanford University. A producer for CNN during the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, McDougal has won more than fifty honors, including a George Foster Peabody Award. He is the award-winning biographer of Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, Universal Studios chieftain Lew Wasserman and the Los Angeles Times’ Otis Chandler. McDougal was featured in the 2009 PBS documentary that he co-produced about the late Los Angeles Times publisher, “Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times.” He has lectured in journalism and creative writing at UCLA, Stanford, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Long Beach. He and his wife Sharon live near Memphis, Tennessee.
David Cay Johnston is an investigative journalist and the winner of a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for uncovering loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code, while reporting for The New York Times. He has served as president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors and is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling trilogy Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print. His latest book is the world-wide bestseller The Making of Donald Trump, now in 10 languages. He is the editor of Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality, recently published by The New Press. He teaches at Syracuse University College of Law.
Johnston is a columnist for The Daily Beast, Investopedia and Tax Notes and a frequent contributor commentator on economic issues, on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, PBS, CNN, BBC, CBC and numerous public radio shows.
“Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.” – Stephen King
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym of a former actor, singer, author’s agent, teacher, copy writer, lumber salesman, soda jerk and short-order cook, and the author of thirty books to date – novels, novellas, story collections, essays, memoirs and poetry, mostly in the areas of horror and suspense. Of his fourteen novels, which have been translated into fifteen languages, five have been filmed – THE LOST, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, RED, OFFSPRING and THE WOMAN.
Ketchum has been a full-time writer since 1986. Just prior to that he was a literary agent for three years with Scott Meredith, Inc., representing such clients as Norman Mailer, Arthur C. Clark, Robert Bloch and Evan Hunter. He was Henry Miller’s last agent, and was responsible for bringing the author of TROPIC OF CANCER to his agency.
He is the four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association and was elected Grand Master at the 20011 World Horror Convention. His script for THE WOMAN, co-written with director Lucky Mckee, won Best Screenplay at the Sitges Festival in Germany. His book, THE CROSSINGS, was cited by Stephen King at the 2003 National Book Awards. He is a frequent reader at the KGB Bar Writer’s Series in New York City, has taught writing seminars at Pine Manor College, Borderlands Workshop and the Odyssey Writers’ Workshop in New Hampshire, and for three years has held an online writers’ class called TALKING SCARS at LitReactor.com.
In 2015 Ketchum was honored with the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association.
David Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of natural world. His book, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (Viking Penguin, 2012), was winner of the National Academies’ Best Book Award for 2013, finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction, winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award, winner the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and runner-up for the 2013 PEN E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. A profile in The New York Times said of Haskell that he “thinks like a biologist, writes like a poet, and gives the natural world the kind of open-minded attention one expects from a Zen monk rather than a hypothesis-driven scientist.” E.O. Wilson called Haskell’s work “…a new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry in which the invisible appear, the small grow large, and the immense complexity and beauty of life are more clearly revealed.”
Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford and from Cornell University. He is Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South, where he served as Chair of Biology. He is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and was granted Elective Membership in the American Ornithologists’ Union in recognition of “significant contributions to ornithology.” His scientific research on animal ecology, evolution and conservation has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund, among others. He has also served on the boards and advisory committees of local and regional land conservation groups.”
Haskell’s classes have received national attention for the innovative ways they combine science, contemplation, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee. The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers, and his teaching has been profiled in USA Today, The Tennesseean, and other newspapers.
He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for research on his new book THE SONGS OF TREES (to be published by Viking Penguin in April 2017), a study of humanity’s varied roles within biological networks as heard through the acoustics of trees.
Carlos was born in Havana in 1950. He is now the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale, where he has served as chairman of the Department of Religious Studies and the Renaissance Studies Program. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1996, he taught at St. John’s University in Minnesota and the University of Virginia, and spent two years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, one of them in an office directly across from Einstein’s. In 1962 he fled to the United States as one of the 14,000 unaccompanied children airlifted out of Cuba through Operation Pedro Pan. After living in several foster homes in the United States – including one for juvenile delinquents — he was reunited with his mother in 1965, but his father was never able to leave the island. Working full-time jobs as he attended high school and college, he eventually earned entrance to the Graduate School at Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1979.
Eire is the author of Waiting for Snow in Havana (Free Press/Simon&Schuster, 2003), a memoir of the Cuban Revolution, which won the nonfiction National Book Award in 2003 and has been translated into thirteen languages. He is also the author of several highly-acclaimed scholarly books on early modern European religious history, including War Against the Idols (Cambridge, 1986), From Madrid to Purgatory(Cambridge, 1995), and A Very Brief History of Eternity(Princeton, 2009). In addition to serving on the publications committee of Yale University Press, he is an associate editor of the journal Church History, and was elected President of the American Society for Reformation Research in 2010. All of his books are banned in Cuba, where he has been proclaimed an enemy of the state: a distinction he regards as the highest honor of all. A second memoir, Learning to Die in Miami, was published in 2010 (Free Press/ Simon & Schuster), and is currently being turned into a major feature film. He is currently working on a biography of St. Teresa of Avila, to be published by Princeton University Press.
Carlos Eire can speak about five different areas, and has several talks ready to deliver within each area.
In 2001 Gail Collins became the first woman appointed editor of the New York Times‘ editorial page, and she resumed her twice weekly syndicated opinion column for the New York Times in 2007. Collins also writes for “The Conversation,” a Times blog in which she discusses political issues with David Brooks.
In her recent books, America’s Women and When Everything Changed, Collins offers insightful research and historical perspective, with characteristic wit and humanity. In the New York Times Book Review, Amy Bloom praised When Everything Changed as a “smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women’s recent history” that provides the “best summary of American women’s social and political history that I’ve read.” Of her columns, New York Magazine finds that “in an age of outbursts, Collins has subverted the pundit’s rude role, performing what amounts to a sly soft-shoe over a rising wave of ideological bombast.”
A native of Cincinnati, Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Marquette and a master’s in government at University of Massachusetts. Before joining The Times, Collins was a columnist at New York Newsday and the New York Daily News, and a reporter for United Press International. Her first jobs in journalism were in Connecticut, where she founded the Connecticut State News Bureau (CSNB), which provided coverage of the state capitol and Connecticut politics.
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