The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

What’s the Future? Join us for Our First Virtual Event and Find Out!

Join Naomi Klein, Angela Duckworth, Wajahat Ali, and many more of the world’s top thinkers at What’s the Future @ Lavin Live—a free virtual event diving into the enormous challenges we’re all facing as a result of COVID-19. 

The longer we stay under lockdown, the less likely we are to return to a world that feels familiar. From the devastation of the economy, to the newfound apprehension we experience every time we leave the house, it’s clear that there will be significant—and lasting—changes to our lives.


What’s the Future @ Lavin Live is a free virtual event designed to ease some of that uncertainty. No one knows for sure what tomorrow will bring, but we’ve gathered some of the world’s brightest thinkers to help us envision the legacy the pandemic will leave in its wake. Join host Misha Glouberman as he talks to the world’s leading scientists, journalists, economists, and public intellectuals on April 27th—29th, from 3PM to 5PM EST every day.


Check out our full line-up below and make sure to register so that we know you’re coming!

Event Breakdown

April 27th: Personal

How do we cope with the new “normal” of self-isolation—and the fear, anxiety, and loneliness that comes with it? Offering hope and compassion, the Lavin speakers on Day 1 will help us navigate the ups and downs of our mental health.


Angela Duckworth—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Grit
Dan Lerner—Professor of NYU’s Most Popular Elective, The Science of Happiness
Steven Pinker
New York Times Bestselling Author of Enlightenment Now
Eric KlinenbergNew York Times Bestselling Author of Palaces for the People and Co-Author of the #1 NYT Bestseller Modern Romance
Lori GottliebNew York Times Bestselling Author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone and The Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” Columnist

April 28th: Business
The novel coronavirus is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and its impact on business will be felt for years to come. The Lavin speakers on Day 2 show us how we can adapt to uncertainty, foster resiliency, and innovate our way through to the other side.


Nicholas Thompson—Editor-in-Chief of WIRED
Chris Clearfield—Co-Author of Meltdown, Winner of the Thinkers50 Strategy Award
Jeremy GutscheNew York Times Bestselling Author of Create the Future
Stephanie Mehta
—Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company
April 29th: Society
How we respond to the pandemic now will influence the society we will have in the future. What kind of world do we want to live in? The choice is ours. The Lavin speakers on Day 3 help us understand this disruption through the lens of our political and economic institutions.


Naomi Klein—Bestselling Author of The Shock Doctrine in conversation with Shoshana Zuboff—Bestselling Author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Jelani Cobb—Staff Writer at The New Yorker in conversation with Wajahat AliNew York Times and CNN Contributor
Daron Acemoglu—MIT Economist and Co-Author of The Narrow Corridor
Margaret Atwood—Booker Prize-Winning Author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments


To book one of these talented speakers for your next virtual event, contact The Lavin Agency today and connect with a member of our sales team.

Dragons’ Den Star Manjit Minhas Transforms Her Brewery into a Sanitizer Facility Amid the Coronavirus

Manjit Minhas is well-known for her role as a judge on the critically acclaimed program Dragons’ Den. She also runs one the world’s largest breweries—worth a whopping $187 million dollars. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Minhas shows us how it’s possible to repurpose your business and respond to the crucial needs of our communities.  

Minhas Micro Brewery and Distillery has begun fulltime production of hand sanitizer to fulfill a growing need for supplies that reduce the transmission of COVID-19. “We started investigating the process the moment we took our first call from a regional health authority. It took a couple of days to get all Health Canada and FDA approvals and gather ingredients but we’re relieved to be up and running,” says CEO Manjit Minhas, who notes that their finished product will follow the formulation recommended by the World Health Organization.
Over the next few weeks, the company is expected to produce over 1,000,000 bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which will be given to vulnerable segments of the population, from those living in shelters to  essential workers on the front line. It will also be made available to the general public through the company’s headquarters as well as several grocery chains.
“We’re all so grateful for our staff’s hard work to reposition the facility and grateful that we are in a position to be able to do whatever we can to respond to this crisis,” says Manjit. Her example reminds us that companies need to be social as well as commercial actors, especially as we reckon with a public health emergency of this magnitude.


To book speaker Manjit Minhas for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.

“Act As If You’re Really There”: Futurist Douglas Rushkoff Reveals How to Develop Presence Working Remotely

There is no real substitute for in-person contact. That’s true. But it doesn’t mean that our video conferencing and telework has to be completely alienating, either. In his latest article, futurist and author Douglas Rushkoff offers practical tips for making our work-from-home feel engaging.  

Over the last few years, Douglas Rushkoff has been steadily increasing the number of appearances he does over the internet. “It’s better for the environment, there’s less wear and tear on my body, it saves money, and I don’t have to block out as many dates on my Google Calendar,” he says. “What I didn’t realize is how much my work refining the style, format, and content of these remote appearances would prepare me for the era of social distancing.” As a result, he’s the perfect person to walk us through creating an engaging virtual presence.


In person, a 60-minute presentation can be captivating from start to finishbut in our new virtual reality, where our physical form is absent and our disembodied voices emerge from a screen, the attention of the crowd is harder to capture. To start, Rushkoff recommends cutting down your speaking  time, taking questions from the hosthelping to ground your presentation in the here and nowand provoking audience involvement. And wherever you’re broadcasting from, ensure it’s not a sterile environment, Rushkoff says. “Video is visual, and every pixel is a chance to share information about your process and proclivities.” This includes showing audiences your authentic space.


“And remember, no matter how virtual you think you are, you are still a living body. Use it. Don’t be afraid to sip a cup of coffee, jot something down, and move around within reason.”


Read his full article here.


To book speaker Douglas Rushkoff for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.

Protecting Civil Discourse: Former White House Advisor Yaël Eisenstat Joins The Lavin Agency

How did a former Intelligence Officer for the United States of America become an insider at Facebook? As crazy as it sounds, this is the story of new Lavin speaker Yaël Eisenstat. In talks, she reveals why she joined the tech giant, the reason it’s so difficult for them to get elections right, and why the breakdown of civil discourse is the biggest threat our democracy has ever faced.  

With the rise of a controversial political figure like Donald Trump, it’s become impossible to ignore how fractured America has become. Former U.S. government official Yaël Eisenstat—once a member of the CIA and an Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden— could no longer sit by and witness the erosion of civil discourse she saw happening throughout the country. So, she took a job as the Global Head of Elections Integrity Operations at Facebook, spending an eye-opening six months inside a company that she felt contributed directly to democracy’s “biggest existential threat.”


“Free political speech is core to our democratic principles, and it’s true that social media companies should not be the arbiters of truth,” Eisenstat says. “But the only way Facebook can prevent abuse of its platform to harm our electoral process is to end its most egregious targeting and amplification practices and provide real transparency.”
Now a Visiting Fellow at Cornell Tech’s Digital Life Initiative, Eisenstat uses her unique experience in government and tech to explore technology’s effect on our political systems. In her talks, she eloquently explains everything from information warfare to national security, offering a nuanced and ethical understanding of the future ahead.


To book speaker Yaël Eisenstat for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency, her exclusive speakers bureau.

Entertainment Weekly Names Works by Patti Smith and George Packer as Some of the Decade’s Best

Among Entertainment Weekly’s top 10 non-fiction books of the decade is Patti Smith’s beloved memoir Just Kids and George Packer’s historical juggernaut The Unwinding.

Patti Smith—Just Kids
In Just Kids, bohemian rocker Patti Smith takes readers through her artistic awakening in the raw and gritty world of New York City in the late sixties and seventies. Candid and poetic, the book revolves around the defining relationship of Smith’s life: her 21-year romance-turned- friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, the iconic photographer who died tragically from AIDS in 1989.


George Smith—The Unwinding
Journalist George Packer weaves together a frightening, yet compelling narrative of a nation in crisis in The Unwinding. Through individual biographies of powerful, often opposing figures—from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z—Packer discusses America’s mortgage crisis, the decline of the manufacturing industry, and the disheartening influence of money on politics. Published in 2013, The Unwinding reads eerily prescient about today’s issues.


Read the full list here.


Curious about booking a speaker for your next event? Contact The Lavin Agency today and speak with one of our knowledgeable sales agents.

The New York Times ‘100 Notable Books of 2019’ Features Six Lavin Speakers

 Selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review, The 100 Notable Books of 2019 feature the year’s most memorable reads. The latest list include works by Lavin speakers Shoshana Zuboff, David Wallace-Wells, Margaret Atwood, George Packer, Andrew Marantz, and Karen Armstrong

Shoshana Zuboff—The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Shoshana Zuboff’s meticulously researched book has already been shortlisted for the McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, and featured in TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Reads of 2019. In it, Zuboff makes a compelling argument for how tech giants like Google and Facebook are using our personal data in dangerous, unprecedented ways.


David Wallace-Wells—The Uninhabitable Earth
Our inaction on climate change—the biggest threat humanity has ever faced—has the potential to destroy life as we know it. In The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells lays bare the work we need to do to avoid catastrophe.


Margaret Atwood—The Testaments
Iconic Canadian author Maraget Atwood returns readers to the fictional Republic of Gilead in The Testaments. The “haunting and powerful” sequel to The Handmaid's Tale earned Atwood the prestigeous Booker Prize.


George Packer—Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century
Equal parts endearing and exasperating, Richard Holbrooke was an undoubtedly complex political figure. In Our Man, award-winning journalist George Packer reveals the “warts and all” picture of an idealistic America Diplomat driven by ruthless gumption.


Andrew Marantz—Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of American Conversation
When tech entrepreneurs first created social media, they envisioned a utopian world of connection and community. The reality of what transpired is much darker. In Antisocial, Andrew Marantz explores the dark underbelly of the Internet today to reveal what went wrong—and what we can do about it.


Karen Armstrong—The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts
A provocative religious thinker, Karen Armstrong has authored more than 20 texts on faith and the world’s major religions, including the New York Times bestselling History of God. In her new book The Lost Art of Scripture, Armstrong makes the case that, “if approached in a flexible and evolving way,” the old word of the scriptures can very well help us solve our current problems.

View the full list here.


To book one of these brilliant speakers for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a skilled representative.

Six Lavin Speakers Featured on TIME Magazine’s “100 Must-Read Books of 2019”

Congratulations to Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Jayson Greene, Lori Gottlieb, David Wallace-Wells and Shoshana Zuboff for penning stirring, thought-provoking works that have captured the world’s attention.  

Salman Rushdie—Quichotte
The prolific author’s 14th novel reimagines the famous Don Quixote character in a satirical metafiction. Quichotte is set in Donald Trump’s America and follows “pharmaceutical-product salesman who has watched so much TV that he believes he must marry a Bollywood star turned daytime talk show host.” As delightful as it is absurd, Quichotte was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.


Margaret Atwood—The Testaments
The highly anticipated sequel to The Handmaids Tale was released this year with as much fanfare and praise as you would expect. Atwood returns readers to the Republic of Gilead, this time through the perspectives of three new female characters. A co-winner of the Booker Prize, The Testaments “answers questions that have gnawed at readers both old and new for decades.”


Jayson Greene—Once More We Saw Stars
Jayson Greene’s world was forever changed when a freak accident claimed the life of his two-year-old daughter, Greta. Forced to reckon with a grief that “easily could have swallowed him whole,” Greene wrote Once More We Saw Stars in the aftermath of her death. Though rooted in tragedy, the memoir offers love, light, and hope in the face of unspeakable loss.


Lori Gottlieb—Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
In her stunning memoir Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb takes readers into her world as a psychotherapist. Using real patient sessions, as well as her own experience with a therapist, Gottlieb underscores the importance of the stories we tell ourselves to live. “Her blend of honesty, empathy and humor makes the book an enjoyable read—and, at a time of growing calls to destigmatize mental health issues, a valuable one.”


David Wallace-Wells—The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
New York Magazine’s Deputy Editor David Wallace-Wells has written a haunting book on the devastating effects climate change will have on our planet. Strangely enough, in painting a grim picture of what awaits us, Wallace-Wells has also inspired a heady call-to-action. TIME calls it perhaps the “most effective antidote to complacency yet.”


Shoshana Zuboff—The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Former Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff delivers “part manifesto, part deeply researched modern history” with The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. The book examines how the unchecked power of Big Tech is transforming human lives—for the worse. More than “the attention economy,” Surveillance Capitalism—a term Zuboff coined—speaks to a much larger, more menacing problem: a ubiquitous digital architecture designed to manipulate human behavior and sell it to the highest bidder.


Read the full TIME List here.


To book one of these incredible speakers for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, their exclusive speakers bureau.

Looking Beyond Money: Yancey Strickler’s Upcoming Book Shares the Blueprint for Building a Generous World

Yancey Strickler is best known for being the mind behind Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that’s brought countless great ideas to life. Now, he’s looking beyond money to consider how we can maximize our values. In his new book This Could Be Our Future—now available for pre-order—Strickler outlines how we can build a generous, fair, and equitable society. 

We live in a world of financial maximization, says Yancey Strickler. Meaning, we live in a world in which accumulating more money is always the end goal; always the right goal. But what if the point of life was not to maximize our self-interest and wealth? What if we could expand our definition of value to include things like community, purpose, and sustainability? This is the central argument of This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World, Strickler’s new book out this October. In it, he explains how we got to this dizzying point of late-stage capitalism, how we can refocus our energies, and how to create a global shift from scarcity to abundance.


You can preorder the book, here.


To book speaker Yancey Strickler for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency for more information.

The Must-Read Books for Fall 2019: Four Lavin Speakers Release Exciting New Titles

Pacific Standard has rounded up twenty-five must-read books being released in Fall of 2019. Among them are Lavin Speakers Margaret Atwood, Naomi Klein, Megan Phelps-Roper, and Patti Smith

Margaret AtwoodThe Testaments
The highly anticipated sequel to Margaret Atwood’s seminal book The Handmaid’s Tale is almost here. Fans who have followed along with the book’s heroine Offred in the Emmy-winning TV adaptation need not worry about spoilers: The Testaments is set fifteen years after the events of the first book. However, this is just about all that is known about Atwood’s latest novel. In advance of its release, The Testaments was longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize, making it Atwood’s sixth nomination for the prestigious literary award.


Megan Phelps-RoperUnfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church
The Westboro Baptist Church is a controversial religious affiliation known as an emblem of hate around the world. But as a child growing up in the madness, Megan Phelps Roper had no idea. She thought she was part of a strong-knit and loving community. It was only as she got older that she began to question the troubling ideology of the Westboro church, and eventually broke free. In Unfollow, Phelps-Roper tells the incredible story of how she found the strength to walk away from her family and faith.


Naomi KleinOn Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
Award-winning journalist Naomi Klein is back with an exploration of the Green New Deal: the ambitious set of policies designed to save the earth while simultaneously protecting its citizens. In a collection of essays, commencement addresses, and speeches delivered throughout the last few years, Klein makes a compelling and focused argument against the cult of consumer capitalism, and in favour of a radical new way of being.


Patti SmithYear of the Monkey
Writer, musician, and living legend Patti Smith returns with another memoir this Fall. In Year of the Monkey, Smith chronicles her 70th year of life, which she has chosen to spend on a solo wanderlust journey. From California to the Arizona desert, the National Book Award winning author takes us through the wonder, grief, disillusionment that she experiences on the road with her trademark prose and poetry.


To book a Literature speaker for your next speaking event, contact one of our knowledgeable sales agents at The Lavin Agency.

Shoshana Zuboff and Safi Bahcall Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Sixteen titles are competing for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Book of the Year Award. Among them are Lavin speakers Shohana Zuboff and Safi Bahcall, for their groundbreaking books The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and Loonshots, respectively. 

In 2015, Lavin speaker Martin Ford’s book The Rise of the Robots became the first tech title to win the prestigious McKinsey award. Four years later, the list is heavy with books analyzing pertinent technology themes, from the rise of artificial intelligence to the growing monopoly of Internet companies. One tech-inspired contender is Lavin speaker Shoshana Zuboff, nominated for her book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. A cutthoat indictment of Big Tech, Surveillance Capitalism explains how the powers of Google, Facebook, and Amazon, if left unchecked, will create a global architecture of behavior modification—and threaten human existence as we know it.


Meanwhile, Safi Bahcall’s book Loonshots has been nominated for its original take on management thinking. Filled with rich, historical examples of leadership, innovation, and organization, Loonshots offers a science-backed explanation of why good ideas often get squashed or dismissed, and a strategy for how to embrace them. Afterall, says Bahcall, it’s crazy ideas (or “loonshots”) that have led to mankind’s most brilliant moments.


To book speakers Shoshana Zuboff or Safi Bahcall, contact The Lavin Agency, their exclusive speakers bureau.

What Can Social Media Learn from LinkedIn? Nicholas Thompson Speaks to the New York Times

Beginning as an alternative to job listing databases, LinkedIn has grown into a professional platform boasting 645 million users and earning 5.3 billion in revenue. Despite its size and success, LinkedIn has not been marred by scandal and divisiveness. Nicholas ThompsonWIRED editor and LinkedIn Influencer—talks about the Internet’s last neutral social platform. 

“It’s much harder to be a dissident on LinkedIn, or to spread awareness about autocracy,” Nicholas Thompson explained to The New York Times, noting that business stories out-perform the political ones on the platform, especially those that follow sensationalist media narratives. “People respond badly,” he admits.
Thompson shares a daily video on LinkedIn, where he has 1.3 million followers, but he saves controversial or politically inclined material for Twitter, where users tend to lean to the left. He estimates that his LinkedIn followers, in contast, are more evenly distributed across the political spectrum. The platform itself does little to encourage political conversation, having banned political ads. Its intention has always been to connect business professionals—for the sake of business.
“The risk on Facebook is becoming too toxic,” Thompson said. “The risk on LinkedIn is becoming too cheesy.”

You can read the full article here.

To book speaker Nicholas Thompson, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.  

Forbes CCO Randall Lane Announces Editorial Expansion with 10 New Hires

Randall Lane, the Chief Content Officer of Forbes, announced the magazine would be continuing its editorial expansion with the hire of 10 new journalists worldwide. The appointments—which take place in New York, London, and San Francisco—span across nearly all the Forbes coverage areas, including the iconic Under 30 franchise.  

“It’s a thrill to be growing and investing at a time when so many others are retracting and retrenching,” said CCO Randall Lane of the expansion. “Our success begets more success, and I’m so proud to be part of this team, the most talented group of business journalists in the world.”


Notable appointments to the Editorial team include Robert LaFranco as Assistant Managing Editor of Consumer, and Michael F. Nuñuez as Associate Editor of Social Media. In addition to the new staff, Forbes will be extending its ‘Daily Cover Story’ franchise—a popular segment featuring a long-form investigative story published on the website— to take place seven days a week.


Curious about booking Randall Lane for your next event? Contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a sales agent for more information. 

Charles Fishman’s One Giant Leap—the Untold Story of the Moon Landing—Hits The New York Times Bestseller List

In One Giant Leap, Charles Fishman lifts the curtain on America’s near-impossible journey to the moon. As the nation prepares to celebrate the lunar landing’s 50th anniversary, One Giant Leap debuts on The New York Times Bestseller List.

Everyone knows the 1969 moon landing, but few truly understand the tremendous effort that went into making it a reality. In America’s collective memory, the journey has been crystallized into the single, perfect moment of Neil Armstrong descending onto the moon’s surface. Charles Fishman, author of One Giant Leap, writes, “it’s as if on a summer day in 1969, three men climbed into a rocket, flew to the Moon, pulled on their spacesuits, took one small step, planted the American flag, and then came home.” In actuality, a quarter million Americans put in 2.8 billion hours of labour—from weaving the computer memory by hand to performing complex mathematical calculations—to get us to the moon. One Giant Leap is not merely a recounting; it is a painstaking and in-depth exploration of the set-backs and triumphs leading to humankind’s greatest achievement.


But what was it all for? Fifty years later and the anticipated Space Age hasn’t come to fruition. But perhaps something even more important did: the digital revolution.“It's hard to appreciate now, but in 1961, 1962, 1963, computers had the opposite reputation of the reputation they have now,” explains Fishman to NPR. “Most computers couldn't go more than a few hours without breaking down. Even on John Glenn's famous orbital flight—the first U.S. orbital flight—the computers in mission control stopped working for three minutes [out] of four hours.”

The space race dramatically accelerated the rate of technological advancement. NASA became the first organization to use computer chips over transistors. At the time, computer chips were considered unreliable and expensive. Today, they power the world, starting with our smartphones. NASA took every precaution ensuring the computer chips functioned perfectly for space—where even the slightest malfunction could spell disaster: What NASA did for semiconductor companies was to teach them to make chips of near-perfect quality, to make them fast, in huge volumes and to make them cheaper, faster, and better with each year, he writes.That's the world we've all been benefitting from for the 50 years since.


One Giant Leap is captivating, razor-sharp, and scrupulously researched. Kirkus Reviews calls it “a fresh, enthusiastic history of the moon mission.” Publisher’s Weekly  dubbed it a “fascinating portrait of a technological heroic age.” It is a must-read to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s most impressive feat.


Interested in booking Charles Fishman for an event? Contact The Lavin Agency for more information.

Our Republic is at Risk: Eric Klinenberg Investigates in New Book Antidemocracy in America

“To confront the threats we face, we must recognize that the Trump presidency is a symptom, not the malady.” Eric Klinenberg’s latest co-edited project Antidemocracy in America: Truth, Power, and the Republic at Risk seeks to uncover the fundamental problems rooted inside America’s institutionsproblems that existed long before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Antidemocracy in America, which was edited and assembled by sociologist Eric Klinenberg alongside Public Books editors Caitlin Zaloom and Sharon Marcus, is a collection of essays from leading experts and scholars. The topics range from race and gender politics to climate change and national security, all which align to offer a striking portrait of America’s history, present day, and future. If we are to protect America’s democracy from the authoritarian forces that hope to destroy it, we must first understand how truly fragile it is.


Interested in booking Eric Klinenberg or another Civic Engagement Speaker? Contact The Lavin Agency today.

This Storm—the Anticipated New Novel from L.A. Confidential Author James Ellroy—Is Out Tomorrow

James Ellroy is the canonized writer behind some of America’s most famous crime novels, such as The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential. With his highly-anticipated This Storm, Ellroy takes us back in time to examine power and corruption in WWII.

A celebrated crime author,  James Ellroy is equally fascinated by the dark side of America’s history. This Storm—the latest book in his Second LA Quartet series, and the prequel to his celebrated LA Quartet—offers a reflection of the power, greed, and corruption that occured in the background of the America’s wartime trauma. Highly-anticipated, it was selected amongst the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2019 by Entertainment Weekly, and the Top 10 Mysteries and Thrillers by Publishers Weekly, who say this “obsessive, wholly satisfying probing of 20th-century American history deserves a wide readership”. 


This Storm is no small feat. It is ambitious like all of Ellroy’s other novels; sprawling, intense, intricate. The book picks up shortly after the events of 2014’s Perfidia, which kicked off with the ritual murder of a Japanese-American family hours before Pearl Harbour. Now in 1941, the book documents the mounting anti-Japanese hysteria, culminating with President Roosevelt’s order for the deportation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.


“Since my early childhood, I have always lived in the past,” Ellroy explains to The Guardian. “Most often the recent past of America, this historical past, it’s what I love, it’s what I am, it’s what I do. My intent with readers is to uproot them from their daily lives and force-feed large swathes of American history and more specifically Los Angeles history. It’s a love of size and scope and density and big emotion, big police investigations, big conspiracies. Everything big.”

To book speaker James Ellroy for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Can Libraries Fight Populism? Eric Klinenberg Explores for The Economist.

Populism is on the rise around the world—and it’s having an unprecedented disruptive impact on political disourse. Author Eric Klinenberg sat down with The Economist to discuss how a surprising space—public libaries—may hold the key to fighting back.

A sociologist at New York University, Eric Klinenberg authored last year’s Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. He uses the term ‘social infrastructure’ to refer to public, communal spaces that bring people together and shape their interactions. “The most democratic and accessible social infrastructure are classic public goods, such as libraries, schools, parks and playgrounds,” Klinenberg explained to The Economist.


Increasing and strengthening spaces that can be categorized under the umbrella of “public good” will have a healing effect on the frayed discourse happening in America’s political system today, according to the author. “Shared spaces give us a chance to recognise our commonalities and establish mutual respect.”


Libraries in particular have an anti-authoritarian stance built into their programming, making them especially important when it comes to reversing the rise of post-truth populism. Radically inclusive, non-judgmental, and in the pursuit of knowledge, libraries are pushing back against the “fake news” erayet they are still horrifically under-funded, suffering budget cuts across the globe. “Every time a library closes its doors our society becomes a little less open, our democracy a little more vulnerable,” Klinenberg says.


While many look to the Internet to uphold democratic values in our society, it must be acknowledged that online platforms have also been a source of division and rampant hate. Despite living in a digital age, looking at tech companies for social infrastructure won’t be our saving grace. Klinenberg refuses to give up, looking to nations such as The Netherlands, Japan, and Canada as examples of social infrastructure optimized for the 21st century.


Curious to learn more about topics like social infrastructure? Visit our dedicated Civic Engagement page. 

Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman is a WIRED Must-Read of the Summer

Touted for being funny, smart, and delightfully weird, Chuck Klosterman’s latest book (out July 16th) is a must-read of the season according toWIRED

Cultural critic and renowned author Chuck Klosterman has a knack for condensing the current cultural moment to its most essential elements. This Summer the Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs author is back with a book of “fictional non-fiction.” The upcoming Raised In Captivity is a story collection filled with Klosterman’s wit, wisdom, and appetite for the strange and unusual. 


WIRED chose Klosterman’s latest as much for its timely subject matterthe book touches on class, race, gender, and the anxieties that come with talking about them in a Trump-eraas for it’s ability to be “delightfully unsettling.”  Senior editor Angela Watercutter describes it as “funny, thoughtful, and unhinged” in a way that best describes the discomfort of the current pop culture moment. 


To book speaker Chuck Klosterman for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau. 

Emily Bazelon and David Wallace-Wells’ Best-Sellers Tapped for TIME’s Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019

In 2019, the world can feel uncertain at best, and catastrophic at worst. As a result, TIME’s non-fiction round-up this year highlights books with a vigorous call-to-action for both readers and society at large. Featured Lavin speakers Emily Bazelon and David Wallace-Wells have penned books that tackle some of humanity’s most pressing issues; namely, the devastation of mass incarceration, and the grim future that awaits us if we don’t reverse our current climate disaster. 

 In Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, journalist and legal expert Emily Bazelon follows two young defendants ensnared in America’s predatory criminal justice system. With her trademark investigative reporting and powerful storytelling, Bazelon reveals how all too often criminal prosecutions go horribly wrong, destroying countless lives in the process. Charged outlines the dangers of the current system—starting with overzealous prosecutors—and offers the steps we can take to reform it. 


Meanwhile, New York Magazine editor David Wallace-Wells focuses his attenion on the climate crisis in The Uninhabitable Earth. Both critically acclaimed and a national bestseller, The Uninhabitable Earth promises that complacency will be the death of us. Wallace-Wells spells out the harrowing future we can expect if we continue treading on our current path. It’s a scary verging on apocalyptic visionfilled with fires and floods of Biblical proportions. Time may not be on our side, but Wallace-Wells outlines the steps we can take to ensure a better tomorrow. 


To book Emily Bazelon or David Wallace-Wells, contact The Lavin Agency today.