The Commonwealth Club

Saturdays at 1pm

The Commonwealth Club of California is the largest and oldest public affairs forum in the U.S. For over 90 years, the Club has been presenting address by individuals actively concerned with the day-to-day decisions that can affect lives and livelihoods across the nation and around the world. Recent speakers have included Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala; Former Secetary of State Henry Kissinger; 1992 Presidential Candidate Ross Perot; Feminist Author Susan Faludi; and Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates. The Club's non-partisan policy strives to bring a balanced viewpoint on all issues in its commitment to "getting the facts."

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Podcasts

  • Friday, October 17, 2014 5:17pm

    James Ellroy, Author, L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and Perfidia

    In conversation with Eddie Muller, Author; Founder and President, Film Noir Foundation

    In Perfidia, his latest work, Ellroy delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives. But it has the full-strength, unbridled story-telling audacity that has marked all the acclaimed work of the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

    From "one of the great American writers of our time" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) comes a brilliant crime/historical novel, and his largest, most accessible novel yet: a pulse-pounding, as-it-happens narrative that unfolds in Los Angeles over 23 days beginning on December 6, 1941. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide?

    The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroy-ian tangle: a brilliant Japanese American forensic chemist; an unsatisfiably adventurous young woman; one police officer based in fact (William H. "Whiskey Bill" Parker, later to become the groundbreaking chief of the LAPD), the other the product of Ellroy's inimitable imagination (Dudley Smith, arch villain of The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz). As their lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing exposé of the Japanese internment and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation.

  • Friday, October 17, 2014 5:02pm

    Leon Panetta, Former Director, CIA; Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Author, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace
    Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, President & CEO of The Commonwealth Club – Moderator

    Leon Panetta has had two distinct and consequential careers as an American public servant. His first lasted 35 years and culminated in his role as President Clinton’s budget director and White House chief of staff. He stepped back from his public life to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife, Sylvia. In 2009 he again stepped into the role of CIA director, eventually leading the campaign to kill Osama Bin Laden. Following that victory, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

    In his new book, Worthy Fights, Panetta is frank about the current state of affairs. Suffused with its author’s stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 16, 2014

  • Friday, October 17, 2014 4:52pm

    Jane Kim, San Francisco Supervisor
    Art Agnos, Former Mayor, San Francisco
    Mikkel Svane, CEO and Founder, Zendesk
    John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle – Moderator
    Additional Panelists TBA

    Economic and social disruption is nothing new for San Francisco. From the Gold Rush to the Summer of Love, the city has often been at the vanguard of change. The tech boom has brought an unprecedented wave of riches and stresses to the city. We bring together some of the city’s thought leaders for a provocative discussion of how the city must nurture and/or temper this dramatic period of change.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 15, 2014

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 1:41pm

    John Lanchester, Author, How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say – And What It Really Means
    In Conversation with Michael Lewis, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Author, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker and Flash Boys

    Join us for a special pairing and a witty, engaging dialogue about the language of money and how the world of finance and economics really works.

    Lanchester is the author of three novels, including The Debt to Pleasure, Capital and IOU. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He has covered a wide range of money matters, from the terms and conditions of personal checking accounts to the evasions of bankers appearing before Congress. See him in conversation with noted author Lewis, who has covered three decades of endemic global corruption since his debut, Liar’s Poker, which transformed him from a disillusioned bond salesman to the best-selling literary icon he is today.

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 14, 2014

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 1:33pm

    Joe Garofoli, Political Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @joegarofoli
    Mollie Reilly, Deputy Politics Editor, The Huffington Post; Twitter @mollieclare
    C.W. Nevius, Columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; Twitter @cwnevius

    At Week to Week, we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the oddest political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our news quiz!

    And come early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees).

    This program was recorded at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 13, 2014