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This Week: The Change I Believe In. PLUS: Bob Herbert on What's Next for OWS | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: The Change I Believe In. PLUS: Bob Herbert on What's Next for OWS

THE CHANGE I BELIEVE IN TAKES TO THE ROAD. This week, I took my new book, The Change I Believe In, on the road, with stops in Seattle, Portland, Oregon and San Francisco. I was delighted to meet Nation readers and witness our growing and engaged community. Speaking at Town Hall Seattle, at Powell’s Books in Portland and at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, I spoke of the power of movements—from the labor and civil rights movement to the women’s and environmental movements to OWS & the 99 percent movements of today—in making change we can believe in. For more on my book, please join me in Washington, DC, at Politics & Prose on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 pm.

Also this week…

UPHEAVAL AT THE LIBRARY. Contributing writer Scott Sherman delves into the details of a closely guarded and secretive renovation project planned at the New York Public Library. With very little public discussion almost zero media coverage, Sherman reports that the project, called the “Central Library Plan,” would demolish seven levels of original stacks beneath the Rose Reading Room (which holds 3 million books and tens of thousands of adjustable shelves) to make way for a state-of-the-art computer-oriented library. As he explains, the implications of the project are dire. What was once a calm and meditative environment for library goers could be converted into a noisy branch library. And the $250–350 million raised could also be better spent on improvements to already dilapidated library branch locations. And the worry among many is that the makeover would not only weaken one of the world’s great libraries but also ruin the architectural integrity of an iconic cultural and historic landmark. At its core, the piece is both a critique and celebration of a New York City landmark. Read that here.

Also catch Scott Sherman on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Monday, December 5 at 11:30 am ET for more on the story.

VIDEONATION: BOB HERBERT ON OCCUPY WALL STREET. In a compelling interview, Nation web producer Francis Reynolds and web editor Emily Douglas sat down with Demos fellow and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert to explore the power and possibilities of Occupy Wall Street. How can OWS follow through on the great promise the movement holds? In our latest installment of VideoNation, Herbert explains that Occupy Wall Street’s success lies in its ability to represent the distress of the majority of Americans. OWS is, as Herbert describes, a “cry of the heart” that has already inspired efforts to tackle unemployment, economic inequality, the unjust tax structure and many other serious problems facing the country. Watch that here.

And for the latest on Occupy Wall Street from around the country, read Nation blogger Greg Mitchell’s OccupyUSA live-blog, here, or follow him on Twitter—@GregMitch.

NATION CONVERSATIONS: RICK PERRY’S WAR ON WOMEN. As Governor of Texas, Rick Perry has deliberately and systematically bankrupted state-provided healthcare for low-income and uninsured women. In this week’s installment of Nation Conversations, associate editor Liliana Segura and Austin Chronicle staff writer Jordan Smith discuss Perry’s perverse alliance with anti-abortion activists, and explain how a political war against Planned Parenthood has compelled Perry’s administration to divert $31 million in federal money from preventive services, including HIV testing and cervical cancer exams. Smith’s piece on Rick Perry’s War on Women is available in our recent issue, available here.

FALL BOOKS. Be sure to check out selections from The Nation’s new Fall Books issue. Contributions include William Deresiewicz on Ann Beattie, Jennifer Szalai on Dwight MacDonald, Alexandra Schwartz on Jeffrey Eugenides, Jana Prikryl on Erroll Morris and much more. As Jana Prikryl explains in her article, “photographs, first and last, freeze time.” In this powerful audio slide show, Prikryl goes back to the beginnings of photography to explore how the medium’s warring artistic and documentarian impulses first arrayed themselves in opposition to each other.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS HAYES. A heartfelt congratulations to MSNBC host and Nation editor-at-large Chris Hayes from all of us here at magazine on the birth of his new baby daughter. Ryan Elizabeth Shaw-Hayes was born on Monday weighing in at 8lbs 3oz. Chris reports that mom and daughter are both doing great. We also couldn’t resist.

As always, thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter—@KatrinaNation. Please leave your comments below.

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