2020 Festival Videos

Presenters included Madeleine Albright, Jenna Bush Hager, John Grisham, Colson Whitehead, Melinda Gates, Leigh Bardugo, Ann Druyan, Haben Girma, James McBride, Kate DiCamillo, Ann Patchett, Jason Reynolds, Salman Rushdie, Gene Luen Yang, Tomi Adeyemi, Sarah M. Broom, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Joy Harjo, Robert Pinsky, Tracy K. Smith, Juan Felipe Herrera, Walter Isaacson, Sandra Cisneros, Amy Tan and Jon Meacham.

  • Film, Video
    Reinventing the Festival: National Book Festival 2020 To talk about the ways this book festival and so many others are having to reimagine themselves in the age of COVID-19 and the virtual world, Marie Arana (literary director of the Library of Congress and the National Book Festival) joins Peter Florence (founder of the Hay Festival), Cristina Fuentes La Roche (executive director of the Hay Festival), Mitchell Kaplan (co-founder of the Miami...
    • Contributor: Kaplan, Mitch - Florence, Peter - Fuentes La Roche, Cristina - Arana, Marie - Kim, Lois
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    How Liberty Flourishes: National Book Festival 2020 Jared Diamond, "Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis" (Little, Brown), appears in conversation with James A. Robinson, "The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies and the Fate of Liberty" (Penguin). Diamond's book centers on why some nations recover from trauma and others don't, positing a more contemporary version of his bestselling "Guns, Germs and Steel." Robinson's book (co-authored with Daron Acemoglu) answers the question of...
    • Contributor: Diamond, Jared - Robinson, James A. - Shourie, Moira
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Big Brother Is Watching: National Book Festival 2020 Barton Gellman, "Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State" (Penguin), appears in conversation with Thomas Rid, "Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Washington Post columnist and spy novelist David Ignatius (moderator), "The Paladin: A Spy Novel" (Norton). Gellman's narrative of the modern surveillance state is based on unique access to Edward Snowden and...
    • Contributor: Gellman, Barton - Rid, Thomas - Ignatius, David
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    The Ray Bradbury Effect: National Book Festival 2020 Ann Druyan, "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" (National Geographic), and Leland Melvin, "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace and Second Chances" (Amistad), talk about Ray Bradbury's effect on their lives and their work. The Bradbury centennial is currently being celebrated by fiction writers, astronomers, astronauts and readers throughout the world. Melvin is one of NASA's first African American astronauts. Ann Druyan, widow of astronomer...
    • Contributor: Melvin, Leland - Druyan, Ann
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Sarah Scoles: National Book Festival 2020 In "They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers" (Pegasus), veteran science writer Sarah Scoles gives us an anthropological glimpse into the UFO community. Scoles tells of her experiences with researchers -- believers in space alien visitations as well as skeptics -- as they pursue mysteries, both terrestrial and cosmic.
    • Contributor: Scoles, Sarah
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Insect World: National Book Festival 2020 Edward D. Melillo, "The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World" (Knopf), appears in conversation with Wendy Williams, "The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect" (Simon & Schuster). Amherst professor Melillo gives us an insightful, entertaining dive in the fruitful, centuries-long relationship between humans and insects, while Williams --...
    • Contributor: Palca, Joe - Williams, Wendy - Melillo, Edward D.
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Katherine Eban: National Book Festival 2020 From award-winning journalist Katherine Eban, "Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom" (Ecco) is an explosive narrative investigation of the generic drug boom that reveals fraud and life-threatening dangers on a global scale, achieving for the pharmaceutical industry what Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" did for the meatpacking industry.
    • Contributor: Eban, Katherine
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Ann Druyan: National Book Festival 2020 In "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" (National Geographic), the sequel to Carl Sagan's blockbuster "Cosmos" -- written by Sagan's widow and collaborator, Ann Druyan -- we continue an electrifying journey through space and time, connecting with worlds billions of miles away and envisioning a future of science tempered with wisdom.
    • Contributor: Druyan, Ann
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Literary Lives: National Book Festival 2020 Mark Doty, "What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life" (Norton), appears in conversation with Jenn Shapland, "My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir" (Tin House). Effortlessly blending biography, criticism and memoir, National Book Award-winning poet and bestselling memoirist Doty explores his personal quest for Walt Whitman, while Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie. Moderated by...
    • Contributor: Shapland, Jenn - Doty, Mark
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Joy Harjo: National Book Festival 2020 Joy Harjo is the 23rd and current United States Poet Laureate -- the first Native American to receive the honor. A member of the Muskogee (Creek) nation, her most recent poetry collection is "An American Sunrise: Poems" (Norton), from which she here reads the poem "Running." Her recent anthology is "When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton...
    • Contributor: Harjo, Joy
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Amy Tan: National Book Festival 2020 Amy Tan began her career with her groundbreaking novel about Chinese-American families, "The Joy Luck Club." Its phenomenal success was followed by her equally successful novels, "The Kitchen God's Wife" and "The Bonesetter's Daughter." In her new memoir, "Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination" (Ecco), she talks about how memory and ancestral history have guided her in her lifelong work as a novelist.
    • Contributor: Tan, Amy
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Walter Isaacson: National Book Festival 2020 Walter Isaacson is the author of many bestselling biographies, including "Kissinger," "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life," "Einstein: His Life and Universe," "Steve Jobs" and, most recently, "Leonardo da Vinci" (Simon & Schuster). He here speaks about the elements of ingenuity, especially his subjects' most powerful, nurturing gift -- that of the imagination.
    • Contributor: Isaacson, Walter
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    From the African Diaspora: Writers on Writing: National Book Festival 2020 Ishmael Beah, "Little Family" (Riverhead), joins novelist Maaza Mengiste, "The Shadow King" (Norton), to talk about the ways African diaspora writers are too often dismissed as narrow narrators of war and immigration, whereas novels such as theirs can portray deeper human traits and dramas that cross races and culture in ways that relate to all humanity.
    • Contributor: Beah, Ishmael - Mengiste, Maaza
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    The Road to Populism: National Book Festival 2020 Christopher Caldwell, "The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties" (Simon & Schuster), appears in conversation with Thomas Frank, "The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism" (Metropolitan). Caldwell makes the case that the reforms of the 1960s -- intended to make the nation more just and humane -- left many Americans feeling alienated, despised and ready to put an adventurer in the White...
    • Contributor: Deggans, Eric - Caldwell, Christopher - Frank, Thomas
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Seasons of Change in America: National Book Festival 2020 Nicholas Lemann, "Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), appears in conversation with Rick Perlstein, "Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980" (Simon & Schuster). Lemann, the dean emeritus at Columbia Journalism School, explains the United States' and the world's great transformation by examining three individuals from FDR's time to Silicon Valley, who epitomized and...
    • Contributor: Perlstein, Rick - Lemann, Nicholas - Pearlstein, Steven
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Sarah M. Broom: National Book Festival 2020 "The Yellow House" (Grove) is a haunting and unforgettable memoir -- winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction -- about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. Debut author Sarah M. Broom tells the 100-year story of her family and their notions of home in a neglected area of one of America's most...
    • Contributor: Broom, Sarah M.
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Madeleine Albright: National Book Festival 2020 Six-time New York Times bestselling author and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright -- one of the world's most admired and tireless public servants -- reflects on the final stages of one's career. Her recent book is "Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-Century Memoir" (Harper). Interview with David Rubenstein.
    • Contributor: Albright, Madeleine - Rubenstein, David
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Lincoln, the Presidency and the Press: National Book Festival 2020 Harold Holzer, "The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle between the White House and the Media from the Founding Fathers to Fake News" (Dutton), appears in conversation with Ted Widmer, "Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington" (Simon & Schuster). Award-winning historian Holzer offers an account of American presidents' attacks on our freedom of the press--from George Washington to Donald Trump--while American...
    • Contributor: Widmer, Ted - Holzer, Harold - Bird, Kai
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Laura Bush: National Book Festival 2020 Laura Bush is a former first lady of the United States and co-founder of the National Book Festival. She is also a former librarian. Her recent book is "Our Great Big Backyard" (HarperCollins).
    • Contributor: Bush, Laura
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Jon Meacham: National Book Festival 2020 Jon Meacham, one of America's best-known historians, has written about American presidents, including Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and George H.W. Bush, as well as sweeping histories that get at the spirit of this country. Here, he speaks about "His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope" (Random House), his biography of civil rights icon John Lewis, a longtime member of...
    • Contributor: Meacham, Jon
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Jenna Bush Hager: National Book Festival 2020 The former first daughter and granddaughter, bestselling author and co-anchor of the "Today" show, Jenna Bush Hager shares moving, funny stories about her beloved grandparents and the wisdom they passed on to her. Hager launches her new book, "Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss" (William Morrow), at the Festival. Interview with Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation...
    • Contributor: Bush Hager, Jenna - Lucas, Lisa
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Heather Cox Richardson: National Book Festival 2020 While the North prevailed in the Civil War, ending slavery and giving the country a "new birth of freedom," Heather Cox Richardson's new provocative work, "How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America" (Oxford University), argues that democracy's blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system of racial dominance that had sustained the South soon moved...
    • Contributor: Richardson, Heather Cox
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Erica Armstrong Dunbar: National Book Festival 2020 Erica Armstrong Dunbar's "She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman" (37 Ink) is a lively, informative and illustrated tribute to an American heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonate today. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman's life, photos and commissioned illustrations, the book is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship.
    • Contributor: Armstrong Dunbar, Erica - Hayden, Carla
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    Eric Foner: National Book Festival 2020 From the Pulitzer Prize-winning scholar Eric Foner, "The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution" (Norton) is a timely history of the constitutional changes that built equality into the nation's foundation and how those guarantees have been shaken over time. "The Second Founding" launches at the Festival.
    • Contributor: Foner, Eric
    • Date: 2020-09-26
  • Film, Video
    David Rubenstein: National Book Festival 2020 In the essential leadership playbook, "How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders and Game Changers" (Simon & Schuster), David Rubenstein plumbs the principles and guiding philosophies of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and many others through illuminating conversations about their remarkable lives and careers. In conversation with veteran journalist Andrea Mitchell.
    • Contributor: Rubenstein, David - Mitchell, Andrea
    • Date: 2020-09-26