Jim Lehrer

discusses

Tension City:
Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

Date

Nov
1
Tuesday
November 1, 2011
6:00 PM

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

$5.00 - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store is very pleased to welcome veteran journalist and moderator JIM LEHRER for a conversation about his new book, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.

Having presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections—and with them the course of history. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer isolates and illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.

Oftentimes these moments involve the candidates themselves and are seared into our collective political memory. Michael Dukakis stumbles badly over a question about the death penalty. Dan Quayle compares himself to John F. Kennedy once too often. Barack Obama and John McCain barely make eye contact over the course of a ninety-minute discussion. At other times, the debate moderators themselves become part of the story—and Lehrer is there to give us a backstage look at the drama. Peter Jennings suggests surprising the candidates by suspending the carefully negotiated rules minutes before the 1988 presidential debate—to the consternation of his fellow panelists. Lehrer himself weathers a firestorm of criticism over his performance as moderator of the 2000 Bush-Gore debate. And then there are the excruciating moments when audio lines go dead and TelePrompTers stay dark just seconds before going on the air live in front of a worldwide television audience of millions.

"Lehrer is a skilled storyteller, and Tension City provides a vivid peek at behind-the-curtain clashes among his fellow journalists. . . . Presidential debates are nearly always revealing, though rarely in ways that a candidate might wish. After months of shadowboxing by TV ad, by stump speech and now by tweet, there is a visceral thrill in seeing the contenders in the same room, on the same stage." —The Washington Post

Jim Lehrer
Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer is the executive editor and former anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including the Chairman’s Award at the 2010 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences News & Documentary Emmy Awards, the 1999 National Humanities Medal, presented by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and in October 2011, the National Press Club will present him with their top honor, the Fourth Estate Award. He is also the author of twenty novels, two memoirs, and three plays.

Tickets can be purchased at Harvard Book Store and by phone at 617-661-1515.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand Crimson Corner on the right side of the street and Curious George book shop on the left side of the street. Keeping the newsstand to your right, proceed along Brattle St. (you will pass the restaurant Tory Row). Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe, Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and Harvard Square Optical, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x1
mharris@harvard.com

Shipping & Delivery

Choose "Saver Shipping"
on your order over $50
for free shipping
throughout the U.S.

Learn More »

Digital Books

Introducing Kobo, our new eReading partner. Kobo is the best way to read eBooks while supporting Harvard Book Store.

Learn More »