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In-Person Event with Cody Keenan/Grace

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In-Person Event with Cody Keenan/Grace

Join Anderson’s Bookshop for an in-person event with Barack Obama's chief speechwriter Cody Keenan to celebrate the release of his new book, Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America, on Sunday, October 10th at 2pm CT. Cody will be in conversation with former White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest. Their conversation will be followed by a signing line where readers will be able to take a photo with Cody if they like! 


This event will be held in our Naperville store (123 West Jefferson Avenue), and pre-registration is required as space is limited.

 

More about GRACE:

From Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter Cody Keenan, a spellbinding account of the ten most dramatic days of the presidency, when a hate-fueled massacre and looming Supreme Court decisions put the character of our country on the line, and a president’s words could bring the nation together or tear it apart.

A white supremacist shooting and an astonishing act of forgiveness. A national reckoning with race and the Confederate flag. The fate of marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act. GRACE is the propulsive story of ten days in June 2015, when Obama and his chief speechwriter Cody Keenan composed a series of high-stakes speeches to meet a succession of stunning developments.

Through behind-the-scenes moments—from Obama’s suggestion that Keenan pour a drink, listen to some Miles Davis, and “find the silences,” to the president’s late-night writing sessions in the First Family’s residence—Keenan takes us inside the craft of speechwriting at the highest level for the most demanding of bosses, the relentlessly poetic and perfectionist Barack Obama. GRACE also delivers a fascinating portrait of White House insiders like Ben Rhodes, Valerie Jarrett, Jen Psaki, and the speechwriting team responsible for pulling it all off during a furious, historic stretch of the Obama presidency—including a gifted fact-checker who relentlessly took Keenan’s rhetoric to task before taking his hand in marriage. GRACE is the most intimate writing that exists on the rhetorical tightrope our first Black president had to walk, culminating with an unforgettable high point: Obama stunning everybody by taking a deep breath and leading the country in a chorus of “Amazing Grace.”

About the Author

Cody Keenan wrote alongside Barack Obama for almost fourteen years, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to serve as his White House chief speechwriter and post-presidential collaborator.

 

Today, Keenan remains in the arena as a partner at Fenway, a preeminent speechwriting and communications firm, and is a sought-after expert on politics, messaging, and current affairs. He holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Northwestern University, where he now teaches a popular course on speechwriting. His commencement addresses at NYU in 2015 and Northwestern in 2018 were highlighted as some of the year’s best, and in 2020 Northwestern’s graduating class of seniors chose him to deliver their “Last Lecture.”

 

The White House courtship between Cody and his wife Kristen Bartoloni was documented on CNN’s critically acclaimed documentary “The End,” which highlighted Cody as one of the central characters in the final days of the Obama White House. They live in New York City with their daughter Grace.


Josh Earnest (Moderator): Josh Earnest was selected by President Obama to assume the most visible job in American politics as White House Press Secretary in 2014. He quickly distinguished himself as a tactful and charismatic White House ambassador earning the respect of Washington insiders in both parties for his ability to marshal facts and construct persuasive arguments, even during heated exchanges with the White House press corps. Whether managing a legislative setback, celebrating a diplomatic breakthrough, or reacting to a terror attack, Earnest earned a reputation for uncommon poise under an intense spotlight where there is no margin for error. Earnest first joined Obama’s team in March 2007 helping steer the President to an historic victory in the Iowa caucuses that catapulted him to the White House. His two-decade career in politics has taken him from Capitol Hill to some of the largest states and most competitive races in the country, including four presidential campaigns, statewide races in Texas and Florida and Mike Bloomberg’s first campaign for Mayor of New York City. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Earnest attended Rice University, where he majored in political science and policy studies. He is currently Chief Communications Officer for United Airlines.


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To expedite the check-in process, please have your ticket(s) with the QR code(s) pulled up on your phone or printed out when you come to the event. Please check your confirmation, open the PDF with the ticket/QR code and reprint if needed from the EventCombo website or app.


Please read these COVID protection guidelines carefully:

Anderson’s Bookshop reserves the right to change the format of this event to a virtual one at any time if it becomes necessary. Please be advised that Anderson’s Bookshop assumes no responsibility or liability for any personal injury or other loss you may incur as a result of your decision to attend an event, including the transmission of Covid-19 or related illnesses. We expect that for the protection of everyone, all applicable Covid-related protocols will be followed.  Failure to treat all participants with courtesy and respect may result in your expulsion from the event. 

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