"Writing the White House: An Insider's Account"

March 1, 2020 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (already occurred)

Join Obama aide Ben Rhodes, author of the best-selling book The World As It Is, and his Random House editor, Andy Ward '94, in discussion with host Cullen Murphy '74.

Followed by audience Q&A and book signing. Free and open to the public.

Ben Rhodes is author of the New York Times best-seller The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; and co-chair of National Security Action. From 2009 to 2017, Rhodes served as President Barack Obama’s deputy national security advisor, participating in nearly all key decisions and overseeing national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. Before joining the administration, Rhodes was a senior speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. Rhodes has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A. from New York University.

Andy Ward '94 came to Random House in 2009 after working for almost 15 years as a features editor in magazines—first at Esquire, and then at GQ. Among the writers he has worked with as a book editor are George Saunders, Lena Dunham, Paul Kalanithi, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Wesley Morris, Emily Bazelon, Judd Apatow, Liana Finck, Michael Moss and Ben Rhodes. He is currently executive vice president and publisher of Random House. He lives in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., with his wife, Jenny Rosenstrach '93, and their two daughters.

Cullen Murphy ’74 is editor-at-large of The Atlantic, where he has spent most of his career, and a former editor-at-large of Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe, a memoir about the large cartoonist colony in Fairfield County, Conn. His other books include Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and The Fate of America and God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. For 25 years he collaborated with his father, illustrator John Cullen Murphy, on the comic strip Prince Valiant. Murphy was a longtime member of Amherst College’s board of trustees and chaired the board from 2012 to 2018. He lives in Massachusetts.

Additional Info

LitFest 2020 Full Schedule

Contact Info

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