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LIVE from the NYPL: From Roman Games to Reality TV: Daniel Mendelsohn on Mass Entertainment & Imperial Politics

December 5, 2006

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The Robert B. Silvers Lecture

Daniel Mendelsohn, a classicist and critic, weaves together observations about popular cultures both ancient and modern, particularly entertainments based on what he calls "spectacles of humiliation" tragedy in Athens, public games in Rome, talk shows and reality TV in America to arrive at provocative conclusions about the relationship between mass entertainment and politics in republics with imperial aspirations.

About Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn, an author, journalist, and critic, began his writing career soon after completing his doctorate in Classics at Princeton in 1994. His articles, essays, reviews and translations have appeared in such publications as The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and Travel + Leisure, where is he a contributing editor. He won the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award for Excellence in Criticism, the 2002 the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism and the 2005 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His books include his memoir The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity and a scholarly study, Gender and the City in Euripides? Political Plays. His latest book, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, the story of his search to learn about the fates of family members who perished in the Holocaust, became a national bestseller soon after its publication in September. Mr. Mendelsohn is the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College

About The Robert B. Silvers Lecture

The Robert B. Silvers Lecture is an annual series created by Max Palevsky in recognition of the work of Robert B. Silvers, editor of The New York Review of Books, of which he was a founder in 1963. The series features contemporary people whose fields correspond to the broad range of Mr. Silver's interests in literature, the arts, politics, economics, history, and the sciences.