Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital
Mark Leibovich is the author of the #1 bestseller This Town, about the elite world of Washington politics. In the wake of the 2016 election results, with its repudiation of so-called insider politics, the book is a prescient, must-read account of the excess, insincerity, and egotism running rampant in Washington. Leibovich is the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine.
In This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital, Leibovich presents a blistering, stunning—and often hysterically funny—examination of a city transformed by wealth, new media, and celebrity: the city where Leibovich himself lives and works. This Town was named one of the Best Political Books of All Time by Christian Science Monitor and a New York Times 100 Notable Book. It’s a crucial, timely look at the rot that has overtaken the nation’s capital, an examination of a system gone comically, tragically awry.
Leibovich wrote one of the most insightful full-length features on Donald Trump, “Donald Trump is not Going Anywhere,” during the Republican primaries—a cover story for the New York Times Magazine. Throughout the 2016 campaign, he wrote several more cover stories and appeared on television to talk national politics.
A celebrated political journalist, Leibovich received a National Magazine Award for his story on the changing media culture of Washington. The New Republic described him as “brutally incisive yet not without pathos” in naming him one of Washington’s 25 Most Powerful, Least Famous People. Washingtonian Magazine has called him the “reigning master of the political profile” and The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg nominated Leibovich as Washington’s “most important journalist” for his “ability to make his profile subjects look like rock stars, on the one hand, and to make others look like complete idiots, on the other.” Leibovich’s latest book, Citizens of the Green Room: Profiles in Courage and Self-Delusion, is a masterly collection of portraits of Washington’s elite, and wannabe elites. It features profiles of Hillary Clinton, Glenn Beck, John Kerry, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, John McCain, and more. He
Prior to the Times Magazine, Leibovich was a national political reporter in the Times’ DC bureau. He has also worked at The Washington Post and The San Jose Mercury News, and is the author of The New Imperialists, a collection of profiles on technology pioneers. He also writes a twice-monthly column for The New York Times Magazine about politics and the media. Leibovich is currently writing a new book about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots, and “the cutthroat circus that is the National Football League,” which expands on his recent New York Times Magazine cover story about Brady in the run-up to the Super Bowl.
In this funny—yet seriously insightful—keynote, Mark Leibovich takes on Washington and everyone in it. Based on his #1 New York Times bestseller, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital, he describes a city loathed from every corner of the nation, yet drunk on its own self-regard. These are fun and busy days in Washington, a nexus of big politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires. That is the grubby secret of This Town in the twenty-first century.
Through Leibovich’s eyes, we discover how the funeral for a beloved newsman becomes the social event of the year. How political reporters are fetishized for their ability to get their names into the predawn email sent out by the city’s most powerful and puzzled-over journalist. How a disgraced Hill aide can overcome ignominy and maybe emerge with a more potent “brand” than many elected members of Congress. And how an administration bent on “changing Washington” can be sucked into the ways of This Town with the same ease with which Tea Party insurgents can, once elected, settle into it like a warm bath. Outrageous and fascinating, Leibovich’s talk is a must-hear: whether you’re inside the Beltway, or just curious about what life there has become.
Can the citizen outrage directed towards our politicians produce real change? Or are we trapped in a loop of cable news screaming matches? In this talk, Mark Leibovich looks at what the average American can do to win back control of politics. What questions should you be asking politicians? How do you navigate the nexus of big politics, big money, and big media to address real concerns that affect your everyday life? How will the electorate's eagerness to disrupt politics-as-we-know-it dramatically shape the 2016 presidential election? And will social media be the salvation or the ruination of political activism? America has arrived at a tipping point in which the disconnect between the self-regard of politicians and the nation's disgust in them is no longer sustainable. Leibovich has seen the decadence and decay. But he's also seen first hand that the country's hunger for change, resilience, and yes, activism remains as strong as ever. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Town comes a talk, shorn of cynicism, that looks at practical things you can do to course-correct the future of our democracy.