Hollywood on the Potomac

'The Last Column'

March 31, 2019

“Marie Colvin. Samir Kassir. James Foley. Shujaat Bukhari. These are just a few of the more than 1,300 journalists who have been killed in the line of duty. To honor their memories, we gathered a selection of their last works to share them widely with the world. Introducing The Last Column, a way to remember those who gave their lives to uncover the truth, and to demand justice so those responsible for their murders are held accountable.”  Committee to Protect Journalists.

Sponsoring host David Chavern sat down with Hollywood on the Potomac at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter to discuss the project.

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'JFK: The Kennedys and Me'

March 27, 2019

“We’re so happy to have all of you. There are chairs and a new room and we don’t charge for those,” joked Ambassador Esther Coopersmith at a book party she hosted in her Kalorama home for her long time friend Lester Hyman on the occasion of the release of  JFK: The Kennedys and Me. “It’s okay if you buy this book and it’s okay if you don’t. I am lucky to have my new best friend right here.”  The book sold out.

About the book: “Why have I written this book? Because I have had the rare privilege over a period of 60 years to know JFK and his family, not just as public figures, but as fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters. I now share these experiences with my readers so they better can appreciate this extraordinary family, each and every one of whom has devoted his or her life to public service. Despite all the tragedies that have befallen the Kennedys, they always have soldiered on in behalf of their country. This book explains what the Kennedys really were like and how and why they have played such a vital role in American history.”  Lester Hyman

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Stranger's Guide

March 25, 2019

Did you know that architecture was once an Olympic sport? According to Stranger’s Guide Magazine: “International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin, a historian with a love for ancient Greece, considered art an essential part of the competition. In 1912, he finally succeeded in his efforts to include art categories in the games, and they enjoyed a long run in the competition before being pulled after the 1948 competition. (Olympic officials eventually defined artists as professionals, who thus shouldn’t compete in events designed for amateurs at the time.)”

Did you know or do you even want to know that an 1852 edition of John Milton’s Poetical Works was bound in the skin of a murderer, George Cudmore. “The practice of binding books in human skin—known as anthropodermic bibliopegy—wasn’t as unusual as you might imagine. The Anthropodermic Book Project (yes, it’s a real thing), has so far identified 18 books globally that were bound that way. During the French Revolution, there were rumors that a tannery for human skin existed just outside Paris for this purpose.”

Publisher Abby Rapoport was honored at a party in Washington, DC for the latest issue at The Russia House on Connecticut Avenue. Guests soaked up Russian cocktails and vodka. The feature story took a deep dive into Russia’s capital city with reporting and commentary from some of Moscow’s best writers and photographers.  “Moscow is in the headlines—but how much do you know about Russia’s capital? This issue offers a fascinating look at the city, from its Soviet past to the current rule of Vladimir Putin, from rap battles and night life to political repression and rapid change, featuring work by Dmitry Bykov, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Michael Idov, Lara Vapnyar and many other great writers on what’s happening to the city that everyone’s talking about.”

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