Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lewis Lapham in Berkeley

I went to hear Lewis Lapham in Berkeley last weekend--big turnout, very interesting. Lewis, whom I met in New York City last month, wrote the foreword to the UC Press reprint of Carey McWilliams's California: The Great Exception. The book first appeared in 1949--the state's 100th birthday--and it holds up remarkably well. In fact, many of its insights and predictions are uncanny, and even professional historians regard it as a minor classic.

Lewis was in Berkeley to discuss his new book, Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration, and the event was a fundraiser for KPFA and Global Exchange. By the way, Lewis was born in San Francisco, where his grandfather was mayor.

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