Presented by Maryville University
and Left Bank Books

Maryville Talks Books features lectures by noted authors. Admission is  free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Seating is open on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Ashlee Brockenbrough; 314.529.9349.

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Fierce Urgency of NowJulian Zelizer

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society

Tuesday, Feb. 24
7 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium

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Lecture, Q&A, and Book Signing
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Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal, one whose ambition and achievement have had no parallel since. In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the War on Poverty program, Medicare and Medicaid, immigration liberalization, a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts, and major federal invest­ments in public transportation. Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the Great Society. A watershed moment for the country, the Great Society not only transformed the American social landscape; it invented modern American politics.

In The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society, Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, takes the full measure of the entire story in all its epic sweep.


BettyvilleGeorge Hodgman
Bettyville: A Memoir

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Thursday, March 19
7 p.m.
UMSL at Grand Center Community Room, 3651 Olive St.

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Lecture, Q&A, and Book Signing

When George Hodgman left Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, to care for his aging mother Betty, he expected to be away for only a few weeks. But life conspired to keep him there, armed with not much more than a (mostly) willing heart, a broken past to sort out, and two irascible personalities: his own, and Betty’s. In his hilarious, heartbreaking memoir, BETTYVILLE, Hodgman shares their unforgettable mother-son journey, capturing truths about family, identity and our current American landscape.


Great Leader and the Fighter PilotBlaine Harden
Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom

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Tuesday, March 31
7 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium
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Lecture, Q&A, and Book Signing

Blaine Harden, the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Camp 14, returns this spring with Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Tyrant Who Created North Korea and the Young Lieutenant Who Stole His Way to Freedom.  This important new book explains how North Korea came to be the totalitarian state it is today, told through parallel stories of the rise of Kim Il Sung and the brave North Korean fighter pilot who escaped and delivered the first MiG-15 into American hands.


DeadWaketoChris.inddErik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
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Thursday, April 9
7 p.m.
Ethical Society of St. Louis
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Ticketed event: left-bank.com/larson
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Lecture, Q&A, and Book Signing
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New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson is known for expertly transporting readers to past worlds. With his remarkable new work of nonfiction, Dead Wake (on sale March 10), he ushers us aboard the Lusitania as it begins its tragic and final crossing. It is a timely trip, as 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

“I first started reading about the Lusitania on a whim,” Larson writes. “What I learned both charmed and horrified me. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the incident, but quickly realized how wrong I was. Above all, I discovered that buried in the muddled details of the affair—deliberately muddled, in certain aspects—was a very good story.”

Dead Wake switches between hunter and hunted, allowing readers to experience the crossing, and the disaster itself, in real time. Along the way, Larson paints a portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era, and brings to life a rich cast of characters, including President Woodrow Wilson, awash in grief after the loss of his wife, awakening with the blush of new love; famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat, a passenger carrying an irreplaceable literary treasure; Captain William Thomas Turner, who took the safety of his  passengers very seriously, but secretly thought of them as “bloody monkeys;” and Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, whose ultra-secret spy group failed to convey crucial naval intelligence that might have saved the Lusitania and its passengers.


2013-2014 Author Visits

Andy Cohen 11.25.14
Patricia Cornwell 11.15.14
Reza Aslan * 9.18.14
Piper Kerman * 9.10.14
Mark Epstein, MD * 8.4.14
Jean Kwok * 6.27.14
Garrison Keillor 6.15.14
Daniel James Brown * 5.28.14
Austin Kleon * 4.24.14
Ishmael Beah 3.6.14
Dave Barry * 3.18.14
Lacks Family (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot) 11.23.13
Ann Patchett 11.14.13
Jared Diamond * 11.12.13
Sue Grafton * 9.18.13

2012-2013 Author Visits

Khaled Hosseini * 5.30.13
Michael Pollan * 5.9.13
Elizabeth Strout * 4.12.13
Daniel H. Pink * 3.6.13
Lisa Gardner * 2.10.13
David Von Drehle * 1.18.13
Jon Meacham * 12.5.12
Mark Bowden * 11.12.12
Chitra Divakaruni * 11.1.12
William H. Chafe 10.17.12
Eric Greitens * 10.16.12
Bill Donius * 9.12.12
Buzz Bissinger * 6.11.12
Douglas Brinkley 6.4.12

2011-2012 Author Visits

Frank Deford * 5.30.12
Senator Bill Bradley * 5.11.12
Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams 5.10.12
Alexander McCall Smith * 4.16.12
Lisa See * 3.12.12
Luis Urrea
* 1.17.12
Howard Markel * 11.18.11
Charlene Bry 10.18.11
Stacy Schiff * 9.16.11
Daniel H. Wilson * 6.13.11

2010-2011 Author Visits

Justin Cronin * 5.31.11
Sister Madonna Buder, ’52 * 5.26.11
Helen Simonson * 4.14.11
Wes Moore * 2.17.11
Michele Norris 11.17.10
Ron Chernow 10.28.10
Steven Johnson 10.15.10
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri 6.14.10

2009-2010 Author Visits

Anna Quindlen 5.6.10
Daniel Pink * 1.21.10
John Grogan 10.22.09
Ken Robinson 1.15.09

* Videos of these authors can be seen in the Emmy-nominated and award-winning HEC-TV series, Maryville Talks Books: One on One.

Maryville Talks Books is also available on iTunes.


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