Tag Archives: justice

Bringing Harvard to Everyone Else

Ok, so maybe one small part of Harvard. But a part I can guarantee is pure brainfood. I previewed the upcoming national event with Professor Michael J. Sandel a couple weeks ago, so I thought I’d post his TED Talk below. Especially check out his comments at the end: our teleforum on Sunday began with his idea of a widespread, engaged discussion of the philosophical questions underpinning our most passionate political debates. Timely, isn’t it?

I’m getting pretty excited about the teleforum. We’re going to have academics, readers, and the simply curious on the call, asking questions and responding to Sandel’s informal polls (“Is price gouging during a natural disaster ethically wrong?”). Oh man oh man.

Details about the Event on November 7th


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The Best Email I’ll Ever Send

The new issue of Work in Progress went up this morning, and with it Barack Obama’s foreword to Nelson Mandela’s Conversations with Myself. Let me put it another way: I got to send out a new piece of writing by the president of the United States to FSG’s subscribers. How can I top this email? Trip over an iPhone 5 on the sidewalk and send a cameraphone pic to my friends? (“Dudes! Check it out!”)

About the foreword. It’s very good. Aren’t you intrigued by what the first black president of the U.S. has to say about Nelson Mandela? He uses phrases like “In the most modest of ways, I was one of those people who tried to answer his call.”

What else do we have in this month’s issue?

  • Edith Grossman and Natasha Wimmer on translating Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Andy Hunter of Electric Literature talks about the literary journal in the digital age. (Or: how to be everywhere.)
  • A preview of the incredibly amazing and life-changing author event I’m planning with Michael Sandel.
  • Roland Barthes. Lots of Roland Barthes.

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Filed under farrar straus and giroux, work in progress

First Look: Experimenting with National Author Events

I’ll be writing more about this later, but I wanted to give an early preview of a new FSG project. For the paperback release of the bestselling Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, my boss and I brainstormed different ways we could share Michael Sandel’s easy rapport with audiences outside of the traditional author tour. I personally love his book and try to impress it upon everyone. Just watch a couple minutes of this and you’ll be converted:

We partnered with Broadnet for a one-time, national Teleforum: a mix of free Harvard lecture and a national call-in show, with questions from the audience and live polling. They had great success with Obama events during the 08 campaign, pulling in over a million callers at a time. (If it’s good enough for Axelrod and Plouffe, it’s good enough for me.)

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Just Have to Nerd out Here for a Sec

So I mostly read FSG books because, well, I work with them. But I would stump for Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? even if I worked for the competition. It was one of those titles that I called up friends to read them passages, and left pages dripping with ink from marginalia.

Expect to see this book everywhere. Sandel’s class has been the most popular undergrad course at Harvard for years, with good reason. I’ll let the short preview and the first episode of the PBS doc speak for themselves.

Related: Harvard’s Site for “Justice”

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