Main Library

Apr 25

Wed 7:00 pm

Michele R. McPhee & Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI…

In Maximum Harm, veteran investigative journalist Michele R. McPhee unravels the complex story behind the public facts of the Boston Marathon bombing. She examines the bombers’ roots in Dagestan and Chechnya, their struggle to assimilate in America, and their growing hatred of the United States—a deepening antagonism that would prompt federal prosecutors to dub Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “America's worst nightmare.” The difficulties faced by the Tsarnaev family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are part of the public record. Circumstances less widely known are the FBI’s recruitment of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as a “mosque crawler” to inform on radical separatists here and in Chechnya and the disenchantment, rage, and growing radicalization of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, along with their mother, sisters, and Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine.

 

Maximum Harm is an compelling examination of the Tsarnaev brothers’ movements in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, the subsequent investigation, the Tsarnaevs’ murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the high-speed chase and shootout that killed Tamerlan, and the manhunt in which the authorities finally captured Dzhokhar, hiding in a Watertown backyard. McPhee untangles the many threads of circumstance, coincidence, collusion, motive, and opportunity that resulted in the deadliest attack on the city of Boston to date. Copies of the book will be available for signing and purchase. No registration is required and all are welcome.

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Main Library

May 9

Wed 7:00 pm

Dan Kennedy & The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking News

The Return of the Moguls chronicles an important story in the making, one that will affect more than just the newspaper business—it has the power to change democracy as we know it.

Over the course of a generation, the story of the daily newspaper has been an unchecked slide from record profitability and readership to plummeting profits, increasing irrelevance, and inevitable obsolescence. The forces killing major dailies, alternative weeklies, and small-town shoppers are well understood—or seem obvious in hindsight, at least—and the catalog of publications that have gone under reads like a who’s who of American journalism. During the past half-century, old-style press barons gave way to a cabal of corporate interests unable or unwilling to invest in the future even as technological change was destroying their core business. The Taylor family sold the Boston Globe to the New York Times Company in 1993 for a cool $1.1 billion. Twenty years later, the Times Company resold it for just $70 million. The unexpected twist to the story, however, is not what they sold it for but who they sold it to: John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.

In just a few days, the sale of the Globe was overtaken by much bigger news: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the world’s richest people, had reached a deal to buy the Washington Post for $250 million.

The newspaper business is at a perilous crossroads. This essential book explains why, and how today’s new crop of media moguls might help it to survive.

Copies of the book will be available for signing and purchase. No registration is required and all are welcome.


Dan Kennedy is an associate professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston and a panelist on WGBH-TV's Beat the Press. He was a reporter and media analyst at the Boston Phoenix for eleven years and a featured media columnist for the Guardian for five years. He writes on the news media for WGBHNews.org, the Nieman Journalism Lab, and other publications, as well as the blog Media Nation. He is the author of The Wired City.
 

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