Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century

Harvard Book Store welcomes KATHRYN SIKKINK—the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—for a discussion of her latest book, Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century.

Evidence for Hope makes the case that, yes, human rights work.  Critics may counter that the movement is in serious jeopardy or even a questionable byproduct of Western imperialism.  They point out that Guantánamo is still open, the Arab Spring protests have been crushed, and governments are cracking down on NGOs everywhere.  But respected human rights expert SIKKINK draws on decades of research and fieldwork to provide a rigorous rebuttal to the pessimistic doubts about human rights laws and institutions.  She demonstrates that change comes slowly and as the result of struggle, but in the long term, human rights movements have been vastly effective.

This event is free and open to the public.

Evidence for Hope will be on sale at the event, 20% off.


PATTI SMITH on Devotion (Why I Write)

Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned performer and artist PATTI SMITH—author of the National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids and the New York Times best seller M Train—for a discussion of her latest book, Devotion (Why I Write).

A work of creative brilliance may seem like magic—its source a mystery, its impact unexpectedly stirring. How does an artist accomplish such an achievement, connecting deeply with an audience never met?  In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture’s beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.

This event is ticketed.  You may purchase tickets here.  Every ticket purchase includes a pre-signed copy of Devotion.


DANIEL MENDELSOHN, “An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic”

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning memoirist and critic DANIEL MENDELSOHN (The Lost) for a discussion of his latest book, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic.

When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual.  For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician’s unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his “one last chance” to learn the great literature he’d neglected in his youth—and, even more, a final opportunity to more fully understand his son, a writer and classicist. But through the sometimes uncomfortable months that the two men explore Homer’s great work together, it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too…

This event is free and open to the public.

An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic will be on sale at the event 20% off.


Folk/Rock legend ART GARFUNKEL on his memoir

Harvard Book Store welcomes folk rock legend ART GARFUNKEL for a discussion of his memoir, What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man.  This event, taking place at First Parish Church, is co-sponsored by Harvard Square’s Club Passim.  GARFUNKEL will be joined in conversation by JARED BOWEN, WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts.

GARFUNKEL writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel…about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by their path-breaking sound.  He writes about growing up in the 1940s and ’50s (son of a traveling salesman), a middle class Jewish boy, living in a red brick semi-attached house in Kew Gardens, Queens, a kid who was different—from the age of five feeling his vocal cords “vibrating with the love of sound”…

This event is ticketed.  You may purchase tickets here, and all tickets come with a presigned copy of GARFUNKEL’s memoir.

This event is co-sponsored with Club Passim.


How does addiction impact family? A conversation between Granta publisher/editor SIGRID RAUSING and GISH JEN

Harvard Book Store welcomes Granta magazine editor SIGRID RAUSING—author of History, Memory, and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia and Everything is Wonderful—and bestselling author GISH JEN for a discussion of Mayhem, Rausing’s memoir of the impact of addiction on family.

In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint, Hans’ sister, the editor and publisher SIGRID RAUSING, tries to make sense of what happened.

This event is not ticketed.

Mayhem will be on sale at the event for 20% off.


ANDREA PITZER on One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps

Harvard Book Store and the Nieman Foundation welcome Nieman Storyboard founder ANDREA PITZER—author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov—for a discussion of her latest book, One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps.

In this harrowing work based on archival records and interviews during travel to four continents, PITZER reveals for the first time the chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps.  Beginning with 1890’s Cuba, she pinpoints concentration camps around the world and across decades.  Often justified as a measure to protect a nation, or even the interned groups themselves, camps have instead served as brutal and dehumanizing sites that have claimed the lives of millions.

This event is not ticketed.

One Long Night will be on sale at the event for 20% off.


ORHAN PAMUK with MARIA TARTAR discuss “The Red-Haired Woman”

Harvard Book Store welcomes Nobel Prize–winning novelist ORHAN PAMUK and Harvard professor of folklore and mythology  MARIA TATAR for a discussion Pamuk’s latest novel, The Red-Haired Woman—a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them.

On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before.  But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion.  The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man’s wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master’s death and who the redheaded enchantress was.

This event is ticketed.  You may purchase tickets here.  The ticket includes a copy of The Red-Haired Woman.


Neuroscientist TALI SHAROT on “The Influential Mind”

Harvard Book Store welcomes cognitive neuroscientist TALI SHAROT—founder and director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London—and Harvard Law School’s CASS R. SUNSTEIN for a discussion of Sharot’s latest book, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others.

In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist TALI SHAROT takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence.  We all have a duty to affect others―from the classroom to the boardroom to social media.  But how skilled are we at this role, and can we become better?  It turns out that many of our instincts are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate.  SHAROT shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain.

This event is not ticketed.

The Influential Mind will be on sale at the event for 20% off.


The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought

Harvard Book Store welcomes Tufts University’s DENNIS C. RASMUSSEN for a discussion of his latest book, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought.

David Hume is widely regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as “the Great Infidel” for his skeptical religious views and deemed unfit to teach the young. In contrast, Adam Smith was a revered professor of moral philosophy, and is now often hailed as the founding father of capitalism. Remarkably, the two were best friends for most of their adult lives, sharing what RASMUSSEN calls ‘the greatest of all philosophical friendships’. The Infidel and the Professor is the first book to tell the fascinating story of the friendship of these towering Enlightenment thinkers―and how it influenced their world-changing ideas.

This event is not ticketed.

The Infidel and the Professor will be on sale at the event for 20% off.


Attention fantasy-lovers: MAX GLADSTONE is back with The Ruin of Angels

Fantasy lovers, take note!  Harvard Book Store welcomes MAX GLADSTONE, local author of the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, for a discussion of The Ruin of Angels, the sixth novel in the series.

The God Wars destroyed the city of Alikand. Now, a century and a half and a great many construction contracts later, Agdel Lex rises in its place. Dead deities litter the surrounding desert, streets shift when people aren’t looking, a squid-like tower dominates the skyline, and the foreign Iskari Rectification Authority keeps strict order in this once-independent city―while treasure seekers, criminals, combat librarians, nightmare artists, angels, demons, dispossessed knights, grad students, and other fools gather in its ever-changing alleys, hungry for the next big score.

This event is not ticketed.

The most recent The Ruin of Angels novel will be on sale at the event for 20% off.