Video from a Live Talks Los Angeles featuring Kurt Andersen in conversation with Lawrence O'Donnell. Event was held July 26, 2012 at Track 16 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA. To learn more about Live Talks Los Angeles, visit: livetalksla.org
KURT ANDERSEN is host and co-creator of the Peabody Award-winning public radio program Studio 360 and New York Times bestselling author. As an editor, he co-founded Spy, Inside.com, and Very Short List and served as editorial director of Colors and editor-in-chief of New York. He has been a cultural columnist for The New Yorker and Time, as well as Time’s architecture and design critic. He has also created television specials and pilots, and written screenplays and stage plays.
In True Believers, Kurt Andersen—the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Heyday and Turn of the Century—delivers a powerful and moving novel. Dazzling in its wit and effervescent insight, this kaleidoscopic tour de force of cultural observation and seductive storytelling alternates between the present and the 1960s—and indelibly captures the enduring impact of that time on the ways we live now.
Karen Hollander is a celebrated attorney who recently removed herself from consideration for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her reasons have their roots in 1968—an episode she’s managed to keep secret for more than forty years. Now, with the imminent publication of her memoir, she’s about to let the world in on that shocking secret—as soon as she can track down the answers to a few crucial last questions.
As junior-high-school kids back in the early sixties, Karen and her two best friends, Chuck and Alex, roamed suburban Chicago on their bikes looking for intrigue and excitement. Inspired by the exotic romance of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, they acted out elaborate spy missions pitting themselves against imaginary Cold War villains. As friendship carries them through childhood and on to college—in a polarized late-sixties America riven by war and race as well as sex, drugs, and rock and roll—the bad guys cease to be the creatures of make-believe. Caught up in the fervor of that extraordinary and uncanny time, they find themselves swept into a dangerous new game with the highest possible stakes.
Today, only a handful of people are left who know what happened. As Karen reconstructs the past and reconciles the girl she was then with the woman she is now, finally sharing pieces of her secret past with her national-security-cowboy boyfriend and Occupy-activist granddaughter, the power of memory and history and luck become clear. A resonant coming-of-age story and a thrilling political mystery, True Believers is Kurt Andersen’s most ambitious novel to date, introducing a brilliant, funny, and irresistible new heroine to contemporary fiction.
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL is the host of “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on MSNBC. O’Donnell brings a background in politics, entertainment and news to the nightly program, providing the last word on the important issues and most compelling stories of the day.
O’Donnell was an MSNBC political analyst since the network’s launch in 1996 and had previously appeared as a frequent guest host on MSNBC’s primetime programs. O’Donnell was an Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer for the NBC series “The West Wing” and creator and executive producer of the NBC series, “Mister Sterling.”
From 1989 through 1992, O’Donnell served as Senior Advisor to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1992, he was Chief of Staff to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. Previously he was the Chief of Staff of the Senate Finance Comitttee. and began working with Sen. Moynihan as Director of Communications in the Senator’s 1988 re-election campaign.
A writer prior to entering politics and government, O’Donnell published the book, Deadly Force (1983), which was adapted as a CBS movie in 1986. He was a political columnist for New York magazine and has written essays and articles for several publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, People, Spy, and Boston Magazine. He has also appeared on NBC News’ Nightly News, Today, “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” and “Charlie Rose.” Born in Boston, O’Donnell is a graduate of Harvard College.