Supreme Court justice, senator among authors at upcoming book festival


The 26th Annual Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta takes place November 4 through 20. (Facebook/MJCCA Arts + Culture)

Sam Halpern

“More and more, cases before the Court involve international activity,” writes Stephen Breyer in his recent book, “The Court and the World.” Breyer, who is an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that the role of the United States in the world economy has caused for there to be an unavoidable intersection of cases that deal with foreign affairs and international law before the court.

Opening for the Book Festival of the Marcus JCC on November 4, Breyer is just one of the many notable authors presenting at the 26th annual event. The next day, Walter Isaacson, former CEO of CNN and former Managing Editor of Time Magazine, will be promoting his book, “Leonardo Da Vinci.” In it, he profiles the wisdom of the famous yet mysterious artist and how people can use that wisdom in their everyday lives.

Bea Grossman, the co-chair of the festival, told the Atlanta Jewish Times in August that, “Book topics range from scientific breakthroughs to medical to fascinating biographies, from untold stories about the Holocaust to World War II epics, and from brilliant Jewish humor to unwritten rules for sports fans.”

“Hitler in Los Angeles,” recently published by Steve Ross, a history professor at the University of Southern California who will also be at the festival, examines hidden Nazi activities that took place in the Los Angeles area in the 1930s.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Ross said that, “In L.A., [there was] a long history of anti-Semitism…And the port was never monitored. And so the Nazis were able to send their ships to L.A., and on every ship there always a Gestapo officer. When they would dock in L.A., the head of the…German-American group…here would go down to the docks and receive money, propaganda and secret orders from Germany.”

Dr. Rachel Rothstein, a Jewish history teacher at Weber, remarked that she’s especially looking forward to Dan Rather. A noted former CBS Evening News anchor, Rather will be presenting and talking about his book, “What Unites Us,” which highlights American values and traditions.  

However, Rothstein, who also serves as a member of 2018 Film Evaluation Committee of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, said she’s disappointed so many of the events are during the day this year, which makes it hard for those who work to attend the events.

“I wish that more of the daytime speakers were speaking on the weekend or in the evenings. I would have loved to hear Nicole Krauss, for example, but she’s speaking at noon on a Tuesday,” Rothstein said.

Also part of the event are Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, daughters of former President George W. Bush. At the festival, they will partake in a moderated conversation regarding their new memoir, “Sisters First: Stories From Our Wild And Wonderful Life.” Closing the two week event is U.S. Senator Al Franken presenting his autobiography, “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.”

All of the events take place at the Marcus JCC in Dunwoody, except for one. As for the topics of the events, “We truly have something for everyone, book lover or not,” Grossman, the festival co-chair, said.

The 26th Annual Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta takes place November 4 through 20. Register for tickets and learn more at

Which author(s) coming to the 2017 MJCCA Book Festival are you most excited for?

  • Stephen Breyer (50%, 1 Votes)
  • Al Franken (50%, 1 Votes)
  • Walter Isaacson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Steve Ross (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dan Rather (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Nicole Krauss (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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UPDATED 11/5/17 to reflect adherence to the AP Stylebook.