Welcome to the Princeton Association of New England - Meet the Author: Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg '71


Meet the Author: Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg '71
Mr. Berg to discuss his new book: "Wilson" - a portrait of the enormously important and influential twenty-eighth President of the United States

Princeton alumni are invited to meet A. Scott Berg '71 in a backstage reception following his presentation on "Wilson".  To register for the reception, please contact Associate Producer Margaret Talcott '86 at mtalcott@themusichall.org or 603-433-3100x5012 Pre-registration is required to attend the reception.  Tickets to the event, Writers on a New England Stage can be purchased by calling the Music Hall Box office at 603-436-2400 or online at themusichall.org.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 3, 2013:  The Writers on a New England Stage series welcomes A. Scott Berg, the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning biographer of Charles Lindbergh, Katharine Hepburn, Max Perkins and Sam Goldwyn, on Thursday, September 26.  Mr. Berg will discuss his first book in more than 10 years: WILSON, a portrait of the enormously important and influential – but enigmatic and often mischaracterized – twenty-eighth President of the United States. 


The 7:30pm event in The Music Hall’s Historic Theater in downtown Portsmouth, NH, includes an author presentation and on-stage interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  The series’ house band Dreadnaught will play live music during the one hour event.


A century after Woodrow Wilson’s Presidential inauguration, Berg draws on the vast Wilson Archives as well as two major new caches of papers, to which he is the first biographer allowed access. Aided by this material, Berg was able to glean considerable new detail, uncover several unknown events, and cast fresh light on Wilson’s entire life.  The result is the most intimate and incisive biography ever written of Wilson, long viewed as a cold and aloof intellectual, but revealed by Berg to be a man of intense passion, emotional turbulence, and hidden political skill. 


As Berg observed recently in The New York Times, the central political conflicts of Wilson’s era continue to play out even today, and uncannily echo many of those faced by President Barack Obama.  Said Berg, Wilson “understood that conversation often holds the power to convert, that sustained dialogue is the best means of finding common ground…. All sides today should remember Wilson and the single factor that determines the country’s glorious successes or crushing failures: cooperation.” 


“I look forward to hearing Berg’s contemporary take on the presidency of Woodrow Wilson,” said Margaret Talcott, Producer of Writers on a New England Stage; “he is still a president many of us know little about.” She added, “For history buffs or anyone interested in U.S. politics and culture, we have the perfect season ahead in Writers on a New England Stage. Just one week after Berg, the brilliant nonfiction writer and humorist Bill Bryson takes the stage to discuss his new book ONE SUMMER, his tale of America in 1927. On December 4, Doris Kearns Goodwin joins us with her just-released history THE BULLY PULPIT: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. And, on February 5, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will discuss her #1 bestselling memoir about her childhood and rise to political prominence, MY BELOVED WORLD. Don’t miss these great opportunities to brush up on your knowledge of America, past and present, and gain a deeper understanding of history and politics over the past hundred years.”


In this definitive biography, A.Scott Berg clears away many of the myths about Wilson to reveal the living, breathing person behind the political icon. Berg vividly depicts how Wilson, who served as president from 1913 to 1921, rose from a Southern boyhood as a minister's son through the ranks of academia and politics to lead the United States into a new era  and onto the world stage.  After the most meteoric rise in American political history, he led the nation through World War I, instituted many of the progressive reforms that shaped the country we know today – paving the way for the New Deal – and laid the foundation for America's foreign policy for the next century.


Yet Wilson remains one of the least-known of the great presidents, often remembered only as a rigid, dour figure who failed in his greatest ambition – to bring the United States into the League of Nations he worked so fervently to create.  Wilson died a broken man after suffering a debilitating stroke that left his second wife, Edith, acting as the de facto president.  Berg reveals how the cover up of Wilson’s illness while in office might have been one of the century’s greatest secrets. 


Filled with new insight and detail, WILSON is not only a magnificent biography of a great and often misunderstood President whose ideas and ideals promise to endure for centuries to come, but a riveting narrative that spans seven crucial decades of American history. Above all, it is a deeply emotional exploration of the entirety of Woodrow Wilson’s life – his dreams, his accomplishments, his affairs of the heart, and his all-too-human failings. 


A. Scott Berg is the author of four previous bestselling biographies: Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, winner of the National Book Award; Goldwyn, published with a Guggenheim Fellowship; Lindbergh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and the #1 New York Times bestsellerKate Remembered, a biographical memoir of Katharine Hepburn. He lives in Los Angeles.


Tickets and Signed Books


Tickets to Writers on a New England Stage: A. Scott Berg are $13.25 ($11.25 for members of The Music Hall and NH Public Radio).  Signed copies of WILSON are $36 (hardcover) when reserved in advance through the purchase of a voucher through The Music Hall box office. Signed books can be purchased on the evening for the full retail price of $40. Tickets can be purchased at The Music Hall box office in the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, or over the phone at 603-436-2400 or online atthemusichall.org.  


About Writers on a New England Stage
Writers on a New England Stage was created by executive producer Patricia Lynch, also executive director of The Music Hall, and is a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio.  Since 2005, the series has spotlighted a broad range of celebrated authors including Salman Rushdie, John Irving, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Brown, Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Ann Patchett, E.L. Doctorow, Madeleine Albright, John Updike, Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult, David McCullough, and Cokie Roberts, among many others. Each author’s presentation is followed by an interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught.  The live shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.  The series’ media is sponsor Yankee magazine; its companion bookstore is RiverRun, in Portsmouth, NH.


About The Music Hall
The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service’s Save America's Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named "best performing arts venue" by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. A radio show broadcast on NH Public Radio originates here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $7 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending. Innovative in its outlook, the organization is community oriented and committed to making the Seacoast flourish. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 58 community partners. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget. An American Treasure celebrating 135 years.
For author interviews, please contact Associate Producer Margaret Talcott atmtalcott@themusichall.org or 603-433-3100x5012 or Executive Producer Patricia Lynch atplynch@themusichall.org  or 603-433-3100x1007 


Advance Reviews for A Scott Berg’s WILSON



“A thorough, entertaining account of our 28th president…This excellent biography is long, but given Wilson’s remarkable life and considerable list of accomplishments, one would expect nothing less.” –Library Journal (starred review)


“Berg renders Wilson with an astute, sensitive understanding of the man and his presidency. Berg’s research is deep and thorough and—important for a wide readership—comfortably couched in a graceful, smooth presentation.” –  Booklist  (starred and boxed review)
"Berg, an elegant, prize-winning biographer whose fluent prose and honest sense of majesty 
have much in common with Wilson's own writing, is especially well suited to his subject." – The New Yorker


“Impressive…Berg portrays Wilson as an utterly new kind of chief executive, in a mold that has yet to be refilled. Readable, authoritative and, most usefully, inspiring.” – Kirkus


“WILSON is an epic, meticulously documented and immensely readable account of a truly thoughtful and forward-looking president
who deserves more from history than he has yet received. This is a marvelous corrective.” –  BookPage


“Berg delivers a bright, readable perspective on America’s misunderstood and neglected 28th president. 
Access to a fresh cache of vital documents has allowed Berg to shed new light on Wilson’s idealism, passion, and perseverance 
despite large setbacks. It’s an empathetic portrait sure to bring readers closer to a fascinating
and turbulent period of our nation’s history.”— B&N.com (included in best of September list)
“An excellent read and an important accomplishment.”  LibraryJournal.com (included in “Summertime Dispatch: Books for Dudes, July 2013)



Praise for A. Scott Berg’s LINDBERGH
“Berg’s book is an extraordinary achievement. In his authoritative chronicle, Berg has allowed the inconsistencies, nuances, and tribulations of Lindbergh’s life to speak for themselves without judgment or speculation. In doing so, he has given us the definitive account of a dramatic and disturbing American story.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review


“Charles Lindbergh is the ultimate American life, and Berg’s new biography is the ultimate exploration of that life. In an astonishing biography of a man who personified the future tense, no sentence is overwritten, no passage overwrought.” —Boston Sunday Globe


“A superb biography.” —Time Magazine


“The most outstanding piece of nonfiction that I have read this year. Berg does a spectacular job of establishing why Lindbergh proves such a powerful icon for the 20th century. A substantial piece of history that illuminates an important figure in world history. It’s the kind of book that took almost a decade to create. And it’s worth it.” —USA Today


“Berg brings us about as close as I suspect we will ever get to the man himself.” —The New York Times Book Review

Event Information
Thursday, Sep 26 2013 at 7:30pm [ iCal ]
The Music Hall
28 Chestnut Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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