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Author events this week: History Lessons with Robert K. Massie

October 01, 2012|By Liesl Bradner
  • Sixteen year old Catherine the Great at the Russian Court. Image from the book 'Catherine the Great' by Robert Massie.
Sixteen year old Catherine the Great at the Russian Court. Image from the… (Hermitage )

With millions of books sold worldwide, historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Robert K. Massie has devoted the majority of his career to studying the House of Romanov, Russia's royal family from 1613 to 1917. He will be lecturing on the craft of writing history Monday night at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont. Massie, author of  “Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman,” now available in paperback, became an expert on the imperial family beginning with "Nicholas and Alexandra." In 1981, Massie won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Peter the Great.

The root of his interest in the Romanovs can be traced back to when his son was born with hemophilia, a hereditary disease that also afflicted Tsar Nicholas II’s son, Alexei.

 "Peter the Great," was adapted into a 1986 NBC miniseries winning three Emmy Awards. His most recent biography, "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman," was awarded the first Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in nonfiction in June.

His appearance Monday night -- to dicuss the craft of history writing -- will be as the Ricardo J. Quinones Lecturer, under the auspeices of the Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.

Although Americans don't have a royal family in the traditional sense, we do have a close clique of ex-presidents, a topic Time magazine executive editor Nancy Gibbs explores in her book (co-authored with Michael Duffy) "The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity." She will be discussing the unique relationships, some volatile, others friendly, between modern history’s sitting presidents and their predecessors, including the recent bonding between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, at the Skirball Center on Thursday at 8 p.m. The event will be moderated by ABC News correspondent David Wright. 

As always, we recommend that you check with bookstores and venues listed below for any event changes/cancellations

Monday, 6:45 p.m.: Bestselling historian Robert Massie (“Catherine the Great”) discusses the craft of writing history, at Claremont McKenna College

Monday, 7:15 p.m. Pankaj Mishra, author of "From the Ruins of Empire," conversation with L.A Times editorial pages editor Nicholas Goldberg. ALOUD at Central Library

Wednesday,  8 p.m. Live Talks L.A. presents director Penny Marshall in conversation with  Garry Marshall discussing her memoir, "My Mother was Nuts." Aero Theatre, Santa Monica.

Wednesday, 7 p.m.: “Trainspotting” author Irvine Welsh discusses and signs his new book "Skagboys." Book Soup

Thursday, 7 p.m.: Jonathan Lethem discusses and signs "The Ecstasy of Influence." Book Soup

Thursday, 8 p.m.: Time magazine executive editor Nancy Gibbs discusses her book (co-authored with Michael Duffy) "The Presidents Club."  ABC News correspondent David Wright conducts the conversation. Skirball Cultural Center

Oct. 5,  7 p.m.: Joshua Welle & Anita Brenner discuss and sign “In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War.”Vromans.

Oct. 6,  5 p.m.: Steven Roby discusses and signs his book, "Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix" Skylight Books Oct. 6, 2 p.m.: John Sandford signs his latest Virgil Flowers crime series book, “Mad River.” Mysterious Galaxy  Oct. 6, 2 p.m.:  Actor Stephen Tobolowsky will be discussing his book   "The Dangerous Animal Club."  West Hollywood Library

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