Bob Woodward, Doris Kearns Goodwin and more to lead Town Hall Speaker Series

Town Hall of Cleveland logoFrom a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian to a Watergate whistleblower, the 83rd annual Town Hall of Cleveland speaker series will bring some of the top thinkers, authors and innovators to the city.

Since 2010, Case Western Reserve University has served as academic sponsor of the longstanding program. As academic sponsor, faculty members moderate many of the question-and-answer sessions following the talks, providing their expertise on subjects ranging from politics to entrepreneurship.

Through the seven events at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theater, organizers hope to educate and inform audiences and enhance the depth and quality of public discourse.

“We at Town Hall of Cleveland are excited about the seven speaker lineup for this, our 83rd year,” said Russ Warren, Town Hall of Cleveland program chair and Case Western Reserve trustee emeritus. “Dynamic thought leaders will present stimulating perspectives on major topics for today, and will engage with the audience in lively Q&A sessions.”

Through the partnership, Case Western Reserve faculty, staff and students can receive discounted tickets to the shows ($17.50 for students and $30 for employees). Tickets can be purchased online at or call 216.241.1919; to receive the discount, simply mention in the comments a connection with CWRU.

The upcoming season will feature:

Sept. 16

Doris Kearns Goodwin: “The Lessons of History”

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an acclaimed presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of numerous New York Times best-sellers, including Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which served as the basis for the Oscar-winning 2012 feature film Lincoln by Steven Spielberg. Her new book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, will be published in October.

Oct. 7

William F. Baker (ADL ’66, GRS ’68, ’72, Communication Sciences):  “Every Leader is an Artist”

William F. Baker is president emeritus of WNET, parent company of two of the most-watched public television stations in the United States and the largest producer of cultural and arts programming in America. He is the recipient of numerous Emmy awards and is an inductee into the halls of fame of several broadcasting associations. An executive in residence at Columbia University School of Business and a journalist in residence at Fordham University, Baker is a three-time alumnus of Case Western Reserve University.

Nov. 4

Martin Jacques:  “When China Rules the World”

Martin Jacques is author of the global bestseller When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. A native of Britain, he is an award-winning journalist, columnist, editor and essayist for top British publications, including The Times, The Sunday Times and The Independent. Jacques is a visiting senior research fellow at the London School of Economics and at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and a fellow of the Transatlantic Academy based in Washington D.C.

Dec. 9

The Capitol Steps

The Capitol Steps is a comedic political satire group that has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, and four times a year on NPR’s Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials. Originally founded by several Congressional staffers, the Capitol Steps have performed for the last five presidents and have recorded more albums than the Constitution has amendments, including their latest, Fiscal Shades of Gray, celebrating the bipartisan spirit in Washington. The only complaints, they say, come from politicians or personalities who are not included in their program.

Jan. 27

Jeff Hoffman: “The DNA Needed to Succeed as an Entrepreneur”

Jeff Hoffman is an accomplished entrepreneur and innovator in the fields of the Internet, ecommerce and entertainment. He is the founder and former CEO of the family of companies. He is a founder and partner in ColorJar, LLC, an idea-acceleration company that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners launch and grow new business ventures. He is also an adviser to entrepreneurship programs, including those at Kent State, Stanford and Pepperdine universities.

Feb. 24

Michael Ruhlman: “America: Too Stupid to Cook”

Author, home cook and entrepreneur, Cleveland’s Michael Ruhlman has written 21 books of mostly nonfiction, the best known of which have been in collaboration with American chefs. His most recent books include Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking and two cookbooks co-written with chefs Thomas Keller (of the Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry) and fellow Clevelander Michael Symon. Ruhlman’s first book was Boys Themselves: A Return to Single-Sex Education (1996), about University School and its new headmaster.

April 7

Bob Woodward: “The Price of Politics”

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post and the author of 17 national best-selling nonfiction books, most recently The Price of Politics (2012), which examines the efforts of President Obama and Congressional leaders to restore the economy and improve the federal government’s fiscal condition. He established his reputation reporting with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal, which earned The Post the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. He was the lead reporter for The Post on the aftermath of 9/11, earning the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

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