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J Dilla: The Beatmaker Who Changed The Way Musicians Play

Discover a hidden genius—a man whom the greatest figures of contemporary pop call a “demigod” of music. J Dilla, who died in 2006 at the age of 32, never had a mainstream pop hit, but he created a new “time-feel” that forever changed…
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Red Carpet: China, Hollywood, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy

Who decides what films appear at your local theater or on your TV screen? Would you guess Xi Jinping, autocratic President of the People’s Republic of China? Wall Street Journal film industry reporter Erich Schwartzel and veteran China watcher…
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Buster Keaton and the Dawn of Cinema

“All my life, I've been happiest when folks watching me said to each other, 'Look at the poor dope, will ya?’” Humility aside, Buster Keaton, aka “The Great Stone Face,” shares equal stature with Charlie Chaplin as a comic genius and…
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Revolution Then and Now: Four Authors Talk about Radical Change from the 1960s to Today

A quartet of maverick minds will take us on a wild ride of activism, defiance, and hard-won change. Bestselling journalist and historian David Talbot and New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot are known for pulling back the veil on social and political…
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The End of Everything: Geoff Dyer and David Thomson on Aging and Other Disasters

Few writers make us laugh–and think–as much as “effortlessly erudite” (The Boston Globe) polymath and self-described “malcontent” Geoff Dyer, whose dizzying scope of knowledge and passion ranges from jazz to photography to cinema…
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What Has Oakland Taught Us?: A History of Disruptive Development and New Visions for Urban Planning

Displacement, gentrification, the soaring cost of living, reckless development: in the past several years, these issues have ravaged cities across America, including right here in the Bay. Frequently, misguided city planning plays a role. We…
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Revolution and Resilience: Global Politics in Fiction

Three supremely talented writers with a global perspective will open our eyes to historical and contemporary cycles of oppression and resistance as only the best fiction writers can. NoViolet Bulawayo was a National Book Foundation “5 under…
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National Book Foundation Presents: Hanif Abdurraqib and Douglas Kearney

Join 2021 National Book Award Finalists Hanif Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance) and Douglas Kearney (Sho) for a conversation on poetics, performance, and the manipulation of genre to uncover meaning. The…