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  BRIGHTSIGHT EXCLUSIVE  

Anne Nelson


Prize-winning author, playwright and educator at Columbia.

  VIDEOS   |   SPEECH TOPICS   |   BOOKS   |   BIO/LINKS   |   LATEST NEWS   |   REQUEST BOOKING INFO ➡︎

Anne Nelson: Speech Topics


① PARALLEL UNIVERSE | ② FUNDAMENTALIST AMERICA | ③ EROSION OF THE RULE OF LAW | ④ CIVIL COURAGE | ⑤ SUZANNE SPAAK | ⑥ NEWS FROM NOWHERE

① The Parallel Information Universe


This talk analyzes and unpacks how the United States is operating on two information systems. In coastal and urban areas, news is dominated by traditional news organizations and their digital spin-offs. In the middle of the country and in rural areas, talk and fundamentalist radio and Fox, Sinclair and fundamentalist television broadcasters are having a growing influence, purporting to offer "news" without journalistic practices or standards.

② The Fundamentalist Strategy to Take Over America


Anne's book (Shadow Network) traces a group of fundamentalists who began a long-range strategy over four decades ago, which involved activating untapped fundamentalist votes in swing states; planning a multi-statehouse legislation approach through ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). We are seeing them in action now on abortion laws, but they have been active in opposing same-sex marriage, environmental legislation, and other issues for years. Anne Nelson lifts the veil on this highly organized effort.

③ The Erosion of the Rule of Law


The rule of law was gradually eroded in Germany in the 1930's and in Occupied France in the 1940's, through seemingly subtle legalistic means and by packing the courts with party faithful. This led to legal rulings that defied previous rule of law as well as social and cultural norms. Anne will address the current federal court appointments, in which ratings on competence are ignored in favor of ideology to a degree that is unprecedented in modern times, and how and why this erosion works.

④ Civil Courage: the Anti-Nazi Resistance in Berlin


Most Americans are unaware of the way the Nazi Party seized power in 1933 and consolidated their control in the ensuing years. There is another powerful story in the brave Germans, many of them artists and intellectuals, who fought the regime by infiltrating it and opposing it from within, to weaken Hitler and aid his victims. Nelson draws on her book “Red Orchestra” to tell this compelling story and explore its lessons for citizens of every nation today.

⑤ "Something Must Be Done”: Suzanne Spaak’s Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris


The City of Light spent four grueling years under Nazi occupation. Over this time there was a deadly tug of war between the Germans and the French authorities affecting the fate of immigrants and Jews. One wealthy housewife, Suzanne Spaak, moved in the circles of Rene Magritte, Jean Cocteau, and Colette, but she decided that “Something must be done” and cast her lot with the persecuted Jews. She used her elite status to established a vast and complex network to rescue Jewish immigrant children from deportation to Auschwitz. This is one of the untold stories of World War II, with compelling implications for today.

⑥ News from Nowhere: How America Lost Its Voice in the National News Media (and How We Can Find It Again)


Over the past generation, technological changes and economic upheavals have transformed the way Americans receive the basic information that governs their lives. The old “news canon,” symbolized by the evening newscasts by “Uncle Walter” Cronkite, set the agenda for an informed national conversation. This has been replaced a cacophony that has generated charges of “fake news” and scrambled facts on all sides. Nelson describes professional journalism has been “hollowed out” in the areas that lie between the two coasts, creating a “news bubble” that misses the concerns of much of the country. She includes ideas for various approaches that could reduce polarization and restore a national conversation.


Anne Nelson: Books


Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right

The chilling story of the Council for National Policy, the covert group that masterminded the archconservative assault on America's airwaves, its schools, and, ultimately, its democracy … ➡︎
Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris

“Immersive...Suzanne’s Children vividly dramatizes the stakes of acting morally in a time of brutality.”—The Wall Street Journal … ➡︎
The Guys: A Play

The Guys is a timeless drama about the surprising truths people can discover in ordinary lives, and the connections we make with others and ourselves in times of tragedy … ➡︎
Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler

In this unforgettable book, distinguished author Anne Nelson shares one of the most shocking and inspiring–and least chronicled–stories of domestic resistance to the Nazi regime … ➡︎

Anne Nelson: Bio



      

Anne Nelson is a prize-winning author, playwright and educator who has devoted her career to examining the role of the media in society. She began as a war correspondent covering the conflicts in El Salvador and Guatemala. She served as the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and later as director of the International Program at the Columbia School of Journalism. She currently teaches media and development at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She lectures and publishes extensively on media and society.

Her book, Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris (2017), explores the roles of artists and intellectuals in anti-Nazi resistance movements in Germany and Occupied France. Nelson is also the author of “The Guys,” a play and feature film starring Sigourney Weaver, based her experiences following the 9/11 attacks. The play has been produced in all fifty states and fifteen countries. Nelson was a recipient of the Livingston Award for international reporting and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was born in Oklahoma, graduated from Yale University, and lives in New York.

✉ Request Booking Info for Anne Nelson



ANNE NELSON


Prize-winning author, playwright and educator at Columbia.

SPEECH TOPICS

① The Parallel Information Universe
This talk analyzes and unpacks how the United States is operating on two information systems. In coastal and urban areas, news is dominated by traditional news organizations and their digital spin-offs. In the middle of the country and in rural areas, talk and fundamentalist radio and Fox, Sinclair and fundamentalist television broadcasters are having a growing influence, purporting to offer "news" without journalistic practices or standards.
② The Fundamentalist Strategy to Take Over America
Anne's book (Shadow Network) traces a group of fundamentalists who began a long-range strategy over four decades ago, which involved activating untapped fundamentalist votes in swing states; planning a multi-statehouse legislation approach through ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). We are seeing them in action now on abortion laws, but they have been active in opposing same-sex marriage, environmental legislation, and other issues for years. Anne Nelson lifts the veil on this highly organized effort.
③ The Erosion of the Rule of Law
The rule of law was gradually eroded in Germany in the 1930's and in Occupied France in the 1940's, through seemingly subtle legalistic means and by packing the courts with party faithful. This led to legal rulings that defied previous rule of law as well as social and cultural norms. Anne will address the current federal court appointments, in which ratings on competence are ignored in favor of ideology to a degree that is unprecedented in modern times, and how and why this erosion works.
④ Civil Courage: the Anti-Nazi Resistance in Berlin
Most Americans are unaware of the way the Nazi Party seized power in 1933 and consolidated their control in the ensuing years. There is another powerful story in the brave Germans, many of them artists and intellectuals, who fought the regime by infiltrating it and opposing it from within, to weaken Hitler and aid his victims. Nelson draws on her book “Red Orchestra” to tell this compelling story and explore its lessons for citizens of every nation today.
⑤ "Something Must Be Done”: Suzanne Spaak’s Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris
The City of Light spent four grueling years under Nazi occupation. Over this time there was a deadly tug of war between the Germans and the French authorities affecting the fate of immigrants and Jews. One wealthy housewife, Suzanne Spaak, moved in the circles of Rene Magritte, Jean Cocteau, and Colette, but she decided that “Something must be done” and cast her lot with the persecuted Jews. She used her elite status to established a vast and complex network to rescue Jewish immigrant children from deportation to Auschwitz. This is one of the untold stories of World War II, with compelling implications for today.
⑥ News from Nowhere: How America Lost Its Voice in the National News Media (and How We Can Find It Again)
Over the past generation, technological changes and economic upheavals have transformed the way Americans receive the basic information that governs their lives. The old “news canon,” symbolized by the evening newscasts by “Uncle Walter” Cronkite, set the agenda for an informed national conversation. This has been replaced a cacophony that has generated charges of “fake news” and scrambled facts on all sides. Nelson describes professional journalism has been “hollowed out” in the areas that lie between the two coasts, creating a “news bubble” that misses the concerns of much of the country. She includes ideas for various approaches that could reduce polarization and restore a national conversation.
BOOKS




BIO


[PRESS KIT]

Anne Nelson is a prize-winning author, playwright and educator who has devoted her career to examining the role of the media in society. She began as a war correspondent covering the conflicts in El Salvador and Guatemala. She served as the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and later as director of the International Program at the Columbia School of Journalism. She currently teaches media and development at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She lectures and publishes extensively on media and society.

Her book, Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris (2017), explores the roles of artists and intellectuals in anti-Nazi resistance movements in Germany and Occupied France. Nelson is also the author of “The Guys,” a play and feature film starring Sigourney Weaver, based her experiences following the 9/11 attacks. The play has been produced in all fifty states and fifteen countries. Nelson was a recipient of the Livingston Award for international reporting and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was born in Oklahoma, graduated from Yale University, and lives in New York.


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