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Powell's Books Presents Lawrence Roberts in Conversation With Barry Johnson
They surged into Washington by the tens of thousands in the spring of 1971. Fiery radicals, flower children, and militant vets gathered for the most audacious act in a years-long movement to end America’s war in Vietnam: a blockade of the nation’s capital. And the White House, headed by an increasingly paranoid Richard Nixon, was determined to stop it. Washington journalist Lawrence Roberts, drawing on dozens of interviews, unexplored archives, and newfound White House transcripts, recreates these largely forgotten events through the eyes of dueling characters. Woven into the story too are now-familiar names including John Kerry, Jane Fonda, and Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers. It began with a bombing inside the U.S. Capitol — a still-unsolved case to which Roberts brings new information. To prevent the Mayday Tribe’s guerrilla-style traffic blockade, the government mustered the military. Riot squads swept through the city, arresting more than 12,000 people. As a young female public defender led a thrilling legal battle to free the detainees, Nixon and his men took their first steps down the road to the Watergate scandal and the implosion of the presidency. Robert’s MAYDAY 1971 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a vivid account of the largest act of civil disobedience in U.S. history. Roberts will be joined in conversation by Barry Johnson, editor and founder of Oregon ArtsWatch.

Sep 24, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Lawrence Roberts
Lawrence Roberts has been an investigative editor with ProPublica, the Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. He was a leader on teams honored with three Pulitzer Prizes. Mayday 1971 is his first book.
Barry Johnson
Barry Johnson is the editor and founder of Oregon ArtsWatch. He has written about and edited arts and culture stories of various sorts since 1978, when he started writing about dance for the Seattle Sun. He edited the arts section of Willamette Week and wrote a general culture column in the early 1980s, and he started at The Oregonian as arts editor in 1983, moving between editing and writing (visual arts, movies, theater, dance) until leaving in 2009. Since then, he's been thinking about new ideas to help make arts and culture journalism ever more useful and engaged. Oregon Arts Watch is one of those ideas.