Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 9, 2014: Benjamin Hollander

We met with Benjamin Hollander a few weeks ago to discuss his new book, In the House Un-American (Clockroot Books, 2013). What ensued was extraordinary discussion about what it means to be both American and Un-American, and how both of those seemingly black-and-white terms are in constant flux and contestation. Ben treated us to several readings from his book, including a re-enactment of Bertolt Brecht's testimony in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. Among other topics, we discussed the paradoxes one encounters in a "melting pot" society, and the use of compassionate, non-snarky irony. We ended the conversation with a focus of the extraordinary last chapter of his book which envisions the heart of Islam as American. Click here to listen.

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