Author News and Book Reports

Chris Hayes takes aim at Rush Limbaugh's well-financed, denialist 'alternative empirical reality'
With an introduction by Florida State Senator Dan Gelber, the host of the All in with Chris Hayes news and opinion show on the MSNBC cable news network and bestselling author Chris Hayes took the stage before a packed audience at Miami Dade College, host of the 2012 Miami Book Fair International, America's largest and longest-running book fair. Hayes got to the heart of his new book Twilight of the Elites, recently released in trade paperback (Crown Publishing Group; June, 2013), pointing to the Republican 'polling debate' in the 2012 election, in which Republicans asserted that the polls were all wrong and convinced themselves that former Governor Mitt Romney would easily defeat President Barack Obama, who as it turned out won by over 5 million votes--in line with what the polls had been predicting all along. Proceeding to break down the relationship between trust and knowledge and consensus vs. truth, Hayes points to the elite alternative empirical reality on climate change, in which scientific research is replaced with demagoguery in the public discourse, leading to a crisis of trust, compounded by events such as Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, financial meltdown, Twitter and 24-hour cable news, which, following on the heels of a 'crisis of trust,' has resulted in a 'crisis of authority' and dysfunctional governance focused more on the sexual escapades of former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner and disgraced C.I.A. Director General Petraeus instead of unemployment and global warming. Hayes went on to define elites as people with enormous power and influence largely derived from economic inequality that has made less than 1% of the U.S. population unimaginably wealthy while 47% of the U.S. population is at or below the poverty line, and promotes dangerous pathologies (such as alternate empirical realities) at the top. Hayes wrapped his presentation with a prime example of how corrosive accelerating inequality leads to the crumbling of the system of American meritocracy, a fundamental building block of the proverbial 'American Dream' before taking questions from the audience on the meaning and implications of 'American exceptionalism'; the 'massive denialist campaigns' funded by wealthy elites and right wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh's four pillars of deceit rant, condemning government, academia, media and science; continued economic inequality despite gains in racial and gender equality; the current political battleground of voting rights vs. voter suppression; how profits and program ratingsproduce unhealthy media theatrics and audience polarization that add to dysfunction and inequality; the issue of joblessness, which he characterized as'setting people on fire'; and he handles guests, topics, and audience ratings on his own MSNBC cable network show.

Book and Author Headlines

Camille Paglia calls on artists to drop their 'snark' masks and show genuine emotion: University of the Arts professor, social critic, bestselling author, and self-described 'dissident feminist' Camille Paglia throws down the gauntlet to the Miley Cyruses of the world at the 2012 Miami Book Fair International.

Nikky Finney goes fishing for knowledge, truth and beauty: National Book Award-winning poet and teacher Nikky Finney weaves anecdotes of the people and events of her life with readings of her poetry.

John Lewis marches on, 1963-2013: John Lewis, the last living man who spoke at the famous March on Washington of 1963 where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his immortal 'I Have A Dream' speech, invokes the spirit and passion of the day.

Tom Wolfe recasts NY's Bonfire of the Vanities as Back to Blood in Miami: Bestselling fiction and non-fiction chronicler of America's best and worst Tom Wolfe captures the sociological pulse of life in Miami from hip hop music to racetrack flamingos.

Neil Young rocks the book chat with 'Godmother of Punk' Patti Smith: Super rockers Neil Young and Patti Smith compare notes on songwriting, guitars, personal backgrounds, and memoirs.

Neil Gaiman takes a 'very dark, peculiar' stroll to The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Bestselling young adult, graphic novel, and adult novel author Neil Gaiman tells how he took a rare turn at writing adult fiction and ended up in a 'very dark, peculiar' place--'The Ocean at the End of the Lane.'

Jeffrey Toobin makes a case for change at the U.S. Supreme Court: Lawyer, bestselling author, leading U.S. Supreme Court observer and legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin sat down with fellow Harvard Law graduate and news journalist Antonio Mora at the 2012 Miam Book FairInternational to talk about past, present and future cases, politics and personalities of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Gaffigan offers the perfect Father's Day gift for the man who has everything: 'Dad is Fat': Stand-up comedian, actor, and now bestselling author, Jim Gaffigan gets his act together and takes it on the road to BookExpo America 2012.

J.R. Moehringer captures America's first celebrity gangster without firing a shot: Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist J.R. Moehringer does justice to America's first celebrity gangster in his first novel, 'Sutton.'

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