Red, White and Green October in Camden
Camden — Nicholas von Hoffman will kick off Red White and Green October at the Camden Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Von Hoffman will reprise his visit to the library in 2008 on the eve of the Presidential election. Von Hoffman’s talk at the library will follow the first Presidential debate on Oct. 3, “so I’ll have plenty to talk about!” he said in a news release.
Von Hoffman is a pundit extraordinaire. In the '60s and '70s, he wrote for The Washington Post, covering the civil rights movement among other issues.
“He has a brilliant mind and a unique perspective,” said Nikki Maounis, library director, “and I never know what he’s going to say! He has been covering politics for decades.”
Von Hoffman also appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes on the segment Point-Counterpoint with commentator Jack Kilpatrick. In 1974, program creator Don Hewitt fired von Hoffman for remarks he made about Richard Nixon. Prior to his journalism career, von Hoffman worked for 10 years as a community activist in Chicago for Saul Alinsky.
He writes about that experience in his newest book "Radical: A Portrait of Saul Alinsky." In a recent column, von Hoffman said, “To be a radical, Alinsky believed you had to have it together. Character counted. He wanted people who put the work of organizing before their own schemes and self-interest ... Alinsky spent his life with the have-nots and the have-not-enoughs. He hated to see people kicked around, but he didn’t entertain Captain America fantasies. He didn’t want to wear a cape. Instead, by organizing people, he wanted to insure that every man and woman could have their own cape.” Saul Alinsky is said to have influenced the community organizing of President Obama.
Red, White and Green October is a series of speakers in October in anticipation of the issues being discussed in this election year. The library traditionally hosts Green October speakers on environmental issues, but in recognition of the importance of the upcoming election the topics are wider ranging, from a futurist thinker and a health insurance innovator to a political pundit, a pragmatic across-the-aisle politician, and a panel on the future of the North Woods.
Here is a list of the topics in October at the Camden Public Library:
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7 p.m. – Kevin Lewis, chief executive officer of Maine Community Health Options, presents a new type of nonprofit created by the Affordable Health Care Act, consumer-operated and consumer-oriented, to begin coverage in 2014.
Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. – Resilience author and PopTech executive director Andrew Zolli, a longtime researcher on the connections between technology and sustainability, argues that certain vital themes come out of the general study of resilience and can be applied across the board.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m. – Eliot Cutler will talk about “working across the aisle and across the state to find real, pragmatic solutions to Maine’s challenges.”
Thursday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m. – “The Maine North Woods” panel discussion/debate-style presentation on the issues of the proposals for a park in Maine’s North Woods.