Upcoming Events

Fri 10/24

Go to California’s Contributions to Culinary Publishing

California’s Contributions to Culinary Publishing

Date: Fri, October 24, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Bill LeBlond, Former Editorial Director of Food and Wine, Chronicle Books
Michael Carabetta, Creative Director, Chronicle Books
Margo True, Food Editor, Sunset Magazine
Jenny Wapner, Senior Cookbook Editor, Ten Speed Press
Joyce Goldstein, Author, California Food Revolution – Moderator

Our expert panel discusses California’s contributions to culinary publishing and distinct impact on cookbook writing and design in the United States. Early in the 20th century, Sunset magazine began publishing articles about California food and continues to focus on ingredients and local flavors of the West. In the 1970s, Ten Speed Press published The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, introducing meatless eating to multiple generations of Americans. Major developments in cookbook design also were pioneered at Chronicle Books, where food editor LeBlond began working with cookbook author James McNair. They launched a series of cookbooks that would redefine categories and become known for photography across multiple subjects, offering a feast for the eyes as well as the table. The panel will review factors influencing an explosion of culinary publishing, evolving cookbook design, and speculation about cookbook publishing's future.

Mon 10/27

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.

Go to TechWomen: Advancing Women’s Leadership in Africa and the Middle East

TechWomen: Advancing Women’s Leadership in Africa and the Middle East

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A panel discussion with leaders in STEM fields.

Speakers TBA

Join us for a panel discussion with four emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields from Africa and the Middle East who are in the Bay Area as participants of TechWomen. TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, launched under the leadership of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010. TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM from Africa and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams and inspire women and girls in their communities. This is achieved through a five-week professional mentorship and exchange program for 78 participants hosted at leading companies in the Bay Area. This panel will share their experiences on the program and their goals and dreams for their returns to their home countries.

Image - Changing the Way We Die

Changing the Way We Die

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

Fran Smith, Author, Changing the Way We Die; Blogger, Psychology Today
Sheila Himmel, Author, Changing the Way We Die; Blogger, Psychology Today

Smith and Himmel are back by popular demand! Is there really such a thing as a good death? How can people facing death live fully in the time they have left? Smith and Himmel are prize-winning journalists and former colleagues at The San Jose Mercury News whose fathers’ deaths propelled them to explore these questions and the nation’s $17 billion hospice industry. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care – 44 percent of all deaths – yet most patients come in too late to get the full benefits. As 76 million baby boomers turn 65, commercialization by for-profit hospices threatens to undermine the hospice philosophy of compassionate, comprehensive, patient-driven care. Smith and Himmel examine the shifting attitudes and practices around death and dying, through the stories of patients, families, doctors and the corporate giants that increasingly own this “market.” What choices can each of us make now to get the best care possible when the time comes? How can we prepare to help those we love to die on their own terms? Join an eye-opening conversation about what you need to know before you need to know it.

Tue 10/28

Image - Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Date: Tue, October 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Nobel laureate's odyssey to cure the toughest diseases of the brain.

Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases; Professor, Department of Neurology, UCSF; Winner, Nobel Prize for Medicine

In his book, Prusiner tells the remarkable story of his discovery of prions – infectious proteins that replicate and cause disease but surprisingly contain no genetic material – and reveals how superb and meticulous science is actually practiced with talented teams of researchers who persevere. He recounts the frustrations and rewards of years of research and offers fascinating portraits of his peers as they raced to discover the causes of fatal brain diseases. Prusiner's hypothesis, once considered heresy, now stands as accepted science and the basis for developing diagnoses and eventual cures. He closes with a meditation on the legacy of his discovery: What will it take to cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's and other devastating diseases of the brain?

Wed 10/29

Image - Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Why do some people dismiss miracles out of hand?

Eric Metaxas, Lecturer, King’s College; Author, Bonhoeffer and Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life

What are miracles and why do we believe in them? Is it for comfort, to explain the inexplicable, or do we simply long for a connection with something larger than ourselves? And why do some people dismiss them out of hand, as if they can never happen?

What Heaven Is for Real did for near-death experiences, Miracles does for the miraculous. It provides food for thought that there’s something real to be reckoned with, whatever one has thought of this topic before. It provides a wide range of compelling stories of the miraculous and will engage the reader in the serious discussion that this fascinating and rich subject deserves. Miracles is in some ways a more personal, anecdotal and updated version of C. S. Lewis’s 1947 book on the subject. Metaxas’s Miracles is an exploration and an exhortation to view miracles as not only possible but as far more widespread than most of us have ever imagined.

Image - The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril

The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council; Author, The World We Create
Bob Deans, Director of Editorial Content, Natural Resources Defense Council; Former President, White House Correspondents' Association

Please join us for a tour d’horizon of the emerging solutions to the central environmental challenges of our time by Beinecke, one of the preeminent environmental leaders of her generation. In a conversation with the NRDC's editorial content director, Bob Deans, Beinecke delivers her message of hope in a spirit of optimism built on a foundation of progress and change.

By naming the problem while focusing on the fix, Beinecke has led the charge in the modern environmental movement, winning the Rachel Carson Award in 2007. Beinecke and Deans will introduce her new book, The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril.

Thu 10/30

Image - Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Richard T. Houston, Ed.D., Founder, People Assets and Health Alliance Partners

Learn how a significant portion of cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease can be delayed or avoided completely when adults pursue active lifestyle habits throughout their adult years. Survey responses from 1,600 Bay Area residents reveal important differences in the cognitive experience of fitness buffs vs. people who are rarely active. Psychological research provides insights into specific methodologies that create opportunities for shaping new active lifestyle behaviors and improving outcomes for physical and behavioral health.

Image - Keystone and Beyond

Keystone and Beyond

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A conversation on powering this country’s future.

David Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle 
John Cushman, Author, Keystone & Beyond; Former Reporter, The New York Times
Additional panelist TBA

With American oil production increasing and domestic demand in decline, does it make sense to build the Keystone XL pipeline? The Keystone battle is one of the biggest political fights over energy in decades and could shape President Obama’s legacy. Supporters say it will provide reliable energy from a friendly neighbor, adding that if the oil doesn’t come here, it will go to Asia. Opponents say that building it will commit the U.S. to some of the dirtiest fuel on Earth and send a message that the country is not serious about stabilizing the climate.

Keystone is just one hunk of metal in a web of energy infrastructure. There are 2.5 million miles of pipeline that carry energy around the United States. As a recent accident in Lynchburg, Virginia, demonstrated, transporting the oil by rail is dangerous. Furthermore, other pipelines are in the works to get the oil to ports and global markets.

John Cushman’s book on Keystone tells the story of the country’s most discussed piece of pipe. He will tell that story and be joined by two other reporters for a discussion of how the U.S. can maintain its economy while getting off fossil fuels before frying the planet. Will divestment from fossil fuels have any impact on capital and energy markets? Is attacking supply an effective strategy for decarbonizing the economy? Join a conversation with leading energy journalists on powering this country’s future.

 

Fri 10/31

Image - French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Bringing together a mix of contemporary and traditional French recipes.

Dorie Greenspan, Author, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere and Around My French Table; James Beard Award Winner
In Conversation with Joel Riddell, Executive Producer and Host, “Dining Around,” KKSF Talk 910

With her groundbreaking bestseller Around My French Table, Greenspan changed the way people view French food. Come hear her, in conversation with Riddell, talk about her career in the culinary world, co-authoring cookbooks with Pierre Herme and Julia Child; her fan club, French Fridays with Dorie; and her newest cookbook. Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere brings together a mix of contemporary and traditional recipes drawing on seasonal ingredients, market visits and travels throughout France.

Tue 11/4

Image - Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (MLF)

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln

Date: Tue, November 04, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers.

Richard Brookhiser, Historian

Abraham Lincoln turned to Washington, Paine and Jefferson for knowledge, guidance, inspiration and purpose. He brought their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. In Founders' Son, celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser presents Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers. From Lincoln’s humble origins in Kentucky to his assassination in D.C., Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend and visionary.

Wed 11/5

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore the neighborhood near the Club's future home.

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This two-hour tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
A lucid account of the abuse of history.

Join us to discuss Harvard classics professor Christopher Krebs' lucid account of the abuse of history. Germania, written in 98 C.E. by the Roman official Tacitus, was lost for centuries but resurfaced around 1500. It launched a primitivist myth of ancient Germans as freedom-loving warriors, uncultured but honorable, in contrast with decadent Romans. In fact, Tacitus probably never visited Germany. He wrote for a Roman audience that shared his romantic view of northern barbarians. But enthusiastic German readers from Luther to Himmler ignored Tacitus's disparaging comments and misread passages to confirm their prejudices. Krebs warns against this irresistible human yearning to find written proof of one's ideology. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Image - A History of the World According to Beer

A History of the World According to Beer

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
William Bostwick, Beer Critic, Author

William Bostwick, Beer Critic; Author, The Brewer’s Tale: A History of the World According to Beer

Ever wonder when the first beer was brewed? Or, better yet, how it tasted? In his latest book, The Brewer’s Tale, home-brewer and beer critic William Bostwick uncovers the stories of brewers past – the unknown recipes, the odd ingredients, and the long-lost flavors – telling a history of the world through the eyes of brewers throughout the centuries. Join Bostwick as he celebrates the beers of ages past and raise a glass to the fermented magic we all know and love.

Thu 11/6

Go to Zen's Chinese Heritage

Zen's Chinese Heritage

Date: Thu, November 06, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A deep exploration of the spiritual and political origins of Chinese Chan.

Andy Ferguson, Chinese Language and Literature Expert; Author, Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings

Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism occupies a unique position in Chinese society. The religion’s history is deeply intertwined with Chinese philosophy and politics. How has this ancient teaching survived China’s explosion of consumerism? Are existing Chinese Chan temples true repositories of an authentic tradition, or are they empty storefronts for a philosophy forgotten or misunderstood?

Andy Ferguson is the author of Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings, a large compendium of the ancient teachings of more than a 150 ancient Chan masters from China’s “Golden Age” of Chan. His other book, Tracking Bodhidharma, is a deep exploration of the spiritual and political origins of Chinese Chan. In that text, Ferguson demonstrates that the religion’s philosophical origins are as surprising as its history of political influence, an influence with a bizarre relationship with some of the 20th century’s most tragic events.

Fri 11/7

Image - The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Miriam Pawel, Author, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

On November 9, 1984, at the invitation of then-President Shirley Temple Black, Cesar Chavez gave a memorable lecture at the Club. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Miriam Pawel will describe the details of the complex life of Chavez, one of the great iconic leaders of the 20th century, one of the most celebrated Latinos in U.S. history and one of the most effective labor organizers California has ever seen. Now that Chavez is once again the focus of public attention, a balanced view of his contributions and his difficulties is all the more valuable.

Mon 11/10

Image - Umpire or Empire? The History and Future of American Leadership

Umpire or Empire? The History and Future of American Leadership

Date: Mon, November 10, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Monday Night Philosophy

Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Dwight Stanford Professor of American Foreign Relations, San Diego State University; National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Monday Night Philosophy dives into the history of U.S. foreign policy. Most historians believe the U.S. is an empire; the past two presidents and most of the public disagree. What does it matter? Hoffman offers a challenging new interpretation of America's past with important implications for the way forward.

Mon 11/17

Image - Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology

Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology

Date: Mon, November 17, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A personal discussion about working in male-dominated fields.

Hilary K. Seligman, M.D., MAS, Associate Professor in Residence, Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
Diane Wara, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF
Eva Cole, Student, Holy Names High School, Oakland; Alumna, Girls Who Code
Sara Seims, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Population and Reproductive Health Program, Packard Foundation – Moderator

How and why do women decide to pursue careers in science and technology? What is the reaction of their family, friends, teachers and others? This panel of three women at three different points in their careers – early, middle and advanced – will discuss the experiences that have supported and challenged their career pursuits. Come learn from their stories and hear ideas about how to attract more women to areas of science where they are still greatly under-represented, such as engineering and mathematics.

Wed 11/19

Image - Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Difficulty of Speaking the Tr

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Difficulty of Speaking the Truth

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Harriet Elinor Smith, Editor

Mark Twain wanted to write a completely candid autobiography, without "shirkings of the truth," so he decided to speak from the grave 100 years after his death. The Mark Twain Papers Project at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley has fulfilled that desire. Editor Smith will discuss Twain's numerous observations about the difficulty of speaking the truth, and the strategies he adopted to remove his inhibitions, illustrating her talk with passages he suppressed during his lifetime. Come hear Mark Twain's "whole, frank mind" highlighted by his characteristic blend of humor and ire.

Image - Waterfront Walk

Waterfront Walk

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014
Time: 1:45 PM
Explore the neighborhood surrounding the Club's future home.

Join Rick Evans for his new walking tour exploring the historic sites of the waterfront neighborhood that surrounds the location of the future Commonwealth Club headquarters. Hear the dynamic stories of the entrepreneurs, controversial artists and labor organizers who created this recently revitalized neighborhood. This two-hour tour will give you a lively overview of the historic significance of this neighborhood and a close look at the ongoing development.