Who Are These People, and What Are They Talking About?
Welcome to a new twist in an ongoing Slate experiment. For a few years now, we've been doing our book reviews as epistolary correspondences between two critics—usually big shots in whatever field the book is about. Now Slate is switching to a cast of eight reviewers, chosen not for their expertise in any one area but because they're curious, sensible, and witty general readers whose criteria for evaluating a book are probably a lot like yours. Each week, you'll hear two of the folks below discussing a new book or group of books. The other Clubbers may interrupt them with comments and questions. And we hope you will too, by submitting postings to "The Fray," Slate's reader feedback forum.
Debra Dickerson, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of An American Story.
Jodi Kantor, the New York editor of Slate.
Sarah Lyall, a correspondent in the London bureau of the New York Times.
Katha Pollitt, a columnist for The Nation and author of the forthcoming Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture.
A.O. Scott, a film critic for the New York Times.
Judith Shulevitz, the "Close Reader" columnist for the New York Times Book Review.
Ted Widmer, the author of Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City and the co-author of Campaigns: A Century of Presidential Races, a former White House speechwriter, and director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College.