Monday, November 3, 2014

This Week: Bhupendra O. Khatri, RIck Perlstein, and a Ticketed Dinner with Dorie Greenspan.

Wednesday, November 5, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Bhupendra O. Khatri, author of Healing the Soul: Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope, and the Power of Mind.

Bhupendra O. Khatri, MD is the founding medical director of The Regional MS Center, Center for Neurological Disorders, among the largest MS centers in the country. Healing the Soul is a testament to the power of the human mind and spirit in the face of life’s most difficult challenges. Within its pages are stories of courage, determination, love, and unexplainable medical miracles. In an era of stunning scientific breakthroughs and ever-changing technology, there is still no substitute for the healing touch of a physician who listens, cares, and treats the whole person, not just the disease.

In the past two weeks, we have hosted two events that highlighted the challenges of living with MS. Last week Pete Fromm chronicled a heroine's journey in If Not For This. And now Dr. Khandri, director of the Regional MS Center for Neurological Disorders notes that while multiple sclerosis continues to be a devastating disease, "decades of research have yielded encouraging results." MS is now diagnosed more quickly and there are more ways to address symptoms.

But Dr. Khatri's book does not solely address MS and its treatment. Healing the Soul offers insights on positive thinking, the power of touch, and other factors that affect those with all kinds of health challenges. Well known writer Jeffrey Gingold, author of Facing the Cognitive Challenges of Multiple Sclerosis, offers this praise: "In this tapestry of human dignity, woven with the threads of resilience and a caring touch, you will often discover the often-hidden strength to persevere."

Thursday, November 6, 7 pm, at UWM Gold Meir Library Conference Center, 2311 E. Hartford Ave, 4th floor: Rick Perlstein, author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.

Rick Perlstein may now be a Chicago resident but his roots are still here. His essays and book reviews have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Village Voice, and Slate, among other publications.

In The Invisible Bridge, Rick Perlstein not only brings to panoramic life one of the most tumultuous eras in the nation’s history, but reveals how the transition from Nixon to Reagan marked the end of a fraught period of national soul-searching and resurrected what he calls America’s "cult of official optimism," which persists to the present day and across the political spectrum. He writes: "This is a book about how Ronald Reagan came within a hair’s breadth of becoming the 1976 Republican nominee for president…But it is also about much more. In the years between 1973 and 1976, America suffered more wounds to its ideal of itself than at just about any other time in its history."

Kevin Canfield wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Lest Perlstein be accused of a devious partisan agenda, he's never hidden his political leanings. A blog post he published last year was titled 'Why I Am a Liberal.' But I feel like he's dependably fair-minded. In The Invisible Bridge, he calls out Jimmy Carter for the 'all-things-to-all-people shtick' of his first presidential campaign nearly as often as he cites Reagan's falsehoods. Nor is he an apologist for Barack Obama, whom he's criticized in print on several occasions."

Ellen Warren in the Chicago Tribune  offers an insider's analysis of Perlstein's work. While she kind of wishes it were shorter, she remarks that "Perlstein has done a jampacked job of chronicling a riveting, portentous period of American history that in many ways taught us lessons we still haven't learned: Engaging in a futile war. White House cover-ups (President Bill Clinton's 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman'). CIA spying on everyday Americans. A yearning for a brighter, better future after what's come before (President Barack Obama's hope and change)."

This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the UWM Golda Meir Library and the UWM Libraries.

Updated info (as of November 6): Our event with Dorie Greenspan is sold out.
Friday, November 7, 6:30, a ticketed event at Lake Park Bistro:
Dorie Greenspan, author of  Baking Chez Moi: From My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere. Please let us know if you want a signed copy.

The Lake Park Bistro dinner features recipes from that book and Around My French Table. Tickets are $95 and include meal and a copy of Baking Chez Moi. Tax and gratuity extra. Call (414) 962-6300 for reservations.

A "culinary guru" and author of the award-winning Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan returns with Baking Chez Moi: From My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, an irresistible collection of radically simple desserts from French home cooks and pastry chefs. 

Lucinda Scala Quinn writes in Martha Stewart Living: "I fell in love (at first bite) with Dorie Greenspan when I made her “punitions,” sweet little butter cookies made famous at the Poilane boulangerie in Paris. Dorie had wrangled the recipe from world-renowned baker Lionel Poilane himself and included it in her 2002 cookbook, "Paris Sweets." Now, in "Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere," Dorie continues to do what Dorie does -- live in Paris, coax recipes from their makers, and translate the glory of French desserts for us mortals. Read the rest of the story now.

Here's a wonderful interview with Dorie Greenspan in Epicurious.

Next Week Sneak Peak, Monday, November 10, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Sapna Thottahil, author of India's Organic Farming Revolution: What It Means for Our Global Food System.

In India’s Organic Farming Revolution, Sapna Thottathil calls on us to rethink the politics of organic food by focusing on what it means for the people who grow and sell it - what it means for their health, the health of their environment, and also their economic and political well-being. Taking readers to the state of Kerala in southern India, she shows us a place where the so-called "Green Revolution" program of hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and rising pesticide use had failed to reduce hunger while it caused a cascade of economic, medical, and environmental problems. Farmers burdened with huge debts from buying the new seeds and chemicals were committing suicide in troubling numbers. Farm laborers suffered from pesticide poisoning and rising rates of birth defects. A sharp fall in biodiversity worried environmental activists, and everyone was anxious about declining yields of key export crops like black pepper and coffee.

In their debates about how to solve these problems, farmers, environmentalists, and policymakers drew on Kerala’s history of and continuing commitment to grassroots democracy. In 2010, they took the unprecedented step of enacting a policy that requires all Kerala growers to farm organically by 2020. How this policy came to be and its immediate economic, political, and physical effects on the state’s residents offer lessons for everyone interested in agriculture, the environment, and what to eat for dinner. Kerala’s example shows that when done right, this kind of agriculture can be good for everyone in our global food system.

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