MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2004 at 7:00 P.M.
Reservations required, 310-264-4678, admission $5.
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, Jonathan Schell wrote the following words in The Nation: "On Tuesday morning, a piece was torn out of our world. A patch of blue sky that should not have been there opened up in the New York skyline. In my neighborhood - I live six blocks from the World Trade Center - the heavens were raining human beings. Our city was changed forever. Our country was changed forever. Our world was changed forever."
From these words blossomed a regular column by the celebrated former New Yorker writer on the new American way of living, dying, and killing. Fierce and elegant, infused with Schell's characteristic compassion, these meditations were incisions into the received wisdoms of post-9/11 America. Drawing from historical precedents to comment on the current political and cultural situation, Schell presents compelling arguments against America's imperial ambitions, explores the dangers posed by the resurgence of nuclear proliferation, and argues that the public can and must hold their leaders accountable for their actions. A Hole in the World captures a remarkable moment in American history, one that will have reverberations for many decades to come.
"Jonathan Schell has a special gift for articulating the most urgent concerns of the day." - The New York Times
"Wise, passionate, eloquent, and infused with historical vision rare in these dark times, Jonathan Schell's new book makes a powerful case for the realism of idealism in breaking the cycles of violence that threaten to destroy us all." - John Dower, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Embracing Defeat"
"There have been thousands of commentaries on what this new destructive power of man means; but my guess is that Schell's book?ill become the classic statement of the emerging consciousness." - Max Lerner, New Republic on "The Fate of the Earth"
Jonathan Schell began his career at The New Yorker magazine, where he was a staff writer from 1967 until 1987. In these years, he was the principal writer of the magazine's Notes and Comments, and also wrote long pieces, many of which were published as books. His reflective work on the nuclear question "The Fate of the Earth" (Knopf, 1982), which first appeared in three parts in The New Yorker, became a best-seller and was hailed by The New York Times as "an event of profound historical moment." It received the Los Angeles Times book prize, among other awards, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Critics Award. Schell's other books are "The Village of Ben Suc" (Knopf, 1967), "The Military Half" (Knopf, 1968), "The Time of Illusion" (Knopf, 1976), "The Abolition" (Knopf, 1984), "History in the Sherman Park" (Knopf, 1987), "The Real War," (Pantheon, 1988), "Observing the Nixon Years" (Pantheon, 1989), "The Gift of Time" (Metropolitan Books, 1998), "The Unfinished Twentieth Century" (Verso, 2001), and "The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People" (Metropolitan, 2003). He received the Lannan Award for Literary Non-fiction in 2000.
From 1990 until 1996, Schell was a columnist at Newsday and New York Newsday. He has taught at Emory University, New York University, Princeton University, and Wesleyan University, where he was a Distinguished Visiting Writer from 1997 to 2002. In 1987, he was a fellow at the Institute of Politics and in 2002 a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of government at Harvard. In 2003 he taught a course on the nuclear dilemma at the Yale Law School, and also served as a Senior Fellow at Yale's Center for the Study of Globalization. In recent years, he has devoted himself professionally and personally to writing and speaking on the nuclear issue, and he is frequently consulted by both members of Congress and the media. He appears often on radio and television, including, recently, the Lehrer News Hour, the Charlie Rose Show, and Hardball with Chris Matthews. His recent articles articles on the nuclear question include essays in The Nation, Foreign Affairs, and Harper's, of which he has recently become a contributing editor.
Since 1998, he has been the Harold Willens Peace Fellow at the Nation Institute and the Peace and Disarmament Correspondent for The Nation magazine.