Wednesday, March 18, 12 p.m.
Read and discuss a variety of books exploring how to create a more civil and engaged community. Join Mary Dumas on the third Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:30pm . Authors DO NOT attend. Meetings are in the Readings Gallery -- brown bag lunches are encouraged. Anyone interested in exploring their role as an engaged citizen is welcome.
The Entrepreneurial State by Marianna Mazzucato
The world's most popular products, from the iPhone to Google Search, were funded not by private companies, but the taxpayer.
In this sharp and controversial international bestseller, an award-winning economist debunks the pervasive myth that the government is sluggish and inept, and at odds with a dynamic private sector. She reveals in detailed case studies that the opposite is true: the state is, and has been, our boldest and most valuable innovator. Denying this history is leading us down the wrong path. A select few get credit for what is an intensely collective effort, and the US government has started disinvesting from innovation. The repercussions could stunt economic growth and increase inequality. Mazzucato teaches us how to reverse this trend before it is too late.
Working by Robert Cato
Now in paperback, Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work in these evocatively written, personal pieces. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses and to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses' Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ's mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of working in solitude, he found a writers' community at the New York Public Library, and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books.
Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page. Taken together, these reminiscences--some previously published, some written expressly for this book--bring into focus the passion, the wry self-deprecation, and the integrity with which this brilliant historian has always approached his work.