Virtual Event: Michael Signer
Charlottesville and American Democracy Under Siege
in conversation with MICKEY EDWARDS and AMANDA EDWARDS
June 15, 2020
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes MICHAEL SIGNER—former mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies—for a discussion of his latest book Cry Havoc: Charlottesville and American Democracy Under Siege. He will be joined in conversation by former member of the United States House of Representatives MICKEY EDWARDS and Houston City Councillor AMANDA EDWARDS.
Please note: This event will be hosted on Zoom. Register here.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Cry Havoc on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Cry Havoc
The deadly invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia, by white nationalist militias in August 2017 is a microcosm of the challenges facing American democracy today. In his first-person account of one of recent American history's most polarizing events, Michael Signer, then Charlottesville's mayor, both tells the story of what really happened and draws out its larger significance.
Signer's gripping, strikingly candid "you are there" narrative sets the events on the ground-the lead-up to August's "Unite the Right" rally, the days of the weekend itself, the aftermath—in the larger context of a country struggling to find its way in a disruptive new era. He confronts some of the most challenging questions of our moment, namely how can we:
- Reconcile free speech with the need for public order?
- Maintain the values of pragmatism, compromise, even simple civility, in a time of intensification of extremes on the right and the left?
- Address systemic racism through our public spaces and memorials?
- Provide accountability after a crisis?
While Signer shows how easily our communities can be taken hostage by forces intent on destroying democratic norms and institutions, he concludes with a stirring call for optimism, revealing how the tragic events of Charlottesville are also bolstering American democracy from within.
Praise for Cry Havoc
"Mike Signer had a unique vantage point on one of the inflection points of our time: the white-supremacist rallies and violence in Charlottesville in 2017. In this important new book, he explores where we've been, where we are, and—most important—where we should be headed if we can summon our better angels." —Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America
"Cry Havoc chronicles how Charlottesville, VA, was torn apart by violence and murder in the summer of 2017 and how the small town has come together to heal since then. By telling the deep story of the rally that shocked the world, Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville and an influential political theorist, not only takes us deep inside the life of one small American town; he points to lessons that could inspire the whole country to move towards a better future." —Yascha Mounk, author of The People vs. Democracy
"A report from the frontlines of Trump's America. Polarization, race, politicized memory, violence, and good-willed efforts of citizens and politicians to navigate it all. Mike Signer gives us his on-the-ground view of 'Charlottesville under siege' revealing the deep vulnerabilities and promise of American democracy." —Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University, coauthor of How Democracies Die
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