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Upcoming Reading Group Topics


Plunder: Napoleon's Theft of Veronese's Feast

by Cynthia Saltzman

September 24, 2021, 7:30 am - 9:00 am

Cynthia Saltzman’s Plunder recounts the fate of Paolo Veronese’s Wedding Feast at Cana, a vast, sublime canvas that the French, under the command of the young Napoleon Bonaparte, tore from a wall of the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, on an island in Venice, in 1797. Painted in 1563 during the Renaissance, the picture was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. Veronese had filled the scene with some 130 figures, lavishing color on the canvas to build the illusion that the viewers’ space opened onto a biblical banquet taking place on a terrace in sixteenth-century Venice. Once pulled from the wall, the Venetian canvas crossed the Mediterranean rolled on a cylinder; soon after, artworks commandeered from Venice and Rome were triumphantly brought into Paris. In 1801, the Veronese went on exhibition at the Louvre, the new public art museum founded during the Revolution in the former palace of the French kings. 

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Challenging China

by Sam Kaplan

October 29, 2021, 7:30 am - 9:00 am

Expertly researched and thought-out, yet approachable and witty, this book will immediately draw in anyone interested in global affairs, foreign policy and the future of America's role on the world stage. This book provides a fascinating insider's look at how China is changing rapidly today, how these changes pose grave risks to the rest of the world, and how the U.S. and its allies can best address these challenges. Trade wars and U.S. presidents may come and go, but the fundamental dynamics of the U.S.-China relationship will remain in place for years to come. Challenging China is a popular current events explanation of how China has become more authoritarian and expansionist and what strategies the U.S. and its allies need to adopt to address this new China. Although delving into serious issues, Challenging China is written in an engaging way and probably the only book on China that references Dolly Parton, LeBron James and Bruce Springsteen. 

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November Reading Group | November 26, 2021, 7:30 am - 9:00 am  

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