March 3, 2016

Book Talk: Nation on the Take

Location: The Cafe

12:00pm - 2:00pm EST


Civic Hall welcomes senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity Wendell Potter and executive director of the organization Issue One, Nick Penniman for a discussion of their book Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It, with journalist Randy Cohen, formerly The Ethicist at the New York Times Magazine.


About Nation on the Take
Nation on the Take is an impassioned, infuriating, yet hopeful call to arms. In their book, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, discuss the role that the necessity of raising huge sums of campaign money has effected the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time, and how the marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has effected our country’s ability to address our most pressing issues.

About the Participants
Randy Cohen may be best known for his weekly column for The New York Times Magazine, “The Ethicist,” which he wrote for 12 years. Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics). His first television work was writing for Late Night with David Letterman for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s TV Nation. He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. His new book is “Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything”.

Wendell Potter currently serves as senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity. Following a 20-year career as a corporate public relations executive, Potter left his position as head of communications for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, to show the world the dark inner workings of the insurance industry. He has testified before Senate and House committees, briefed several members of Congress and their staffs, appeared with lawmakers at several press conferences, spoken at more than 100 public forums, and has been the subject of numerous articles in the U.S. and foreign media. Potter is the author of “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care” and “Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act”.

Nick Penniman currently serves as the Executive Director of Issue One. Formerly, Nick served as executive director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. Staffed by a newsroom of veteran journalists from mainstream newspapers and magazines, the team focused most of its energy on uncovering stories behind the financial crises that precipitated the Great Recession. The Investigative Fund later merged with the Center for Public Integrity, the largest nonprofit investigative reporting group in the nation’s capital. Prior to his time at the Huffington Post, Nick launched the American News Project, an experiment in online video journalism, and served as the Washington director of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, a foundation headed by broadcaster Bill Moyers. He has been publisher of The Washington Monthly magazine; executive editor of; associate editor of the American Prospect; editor of the Lincoln Journal, and associate editor at the Missouri Historical Society. In the late 1990s he ran a national grassroots group called the Alliance for Democracy, which focused on the role of money in politics and of large corporations in economic globalization. He has served on multiple nonprofit boards and advisory boards, including the Center for Responsive Politics and the Homeless Empowerment Project.

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