NEW BEDFORD LYCEUM

NB LYCEUM SHOW POST

SATURDAY, 8PM

APRIL 1

Tickets: $25 / $35 / $45 / $75*
*$75 level includes post-performance meet and greet with Bob Woodward

Funded in part by

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BOB WOODWARD: THE AGE OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY

Donald Trump is creating an entirely new American presidency, breaking most rules and setting a new non-traditional course. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is now turning to the 45th president, exactly 70 days into his administration, putting him in context, pulling back the curtain and giving us a look at what to expect, all with riveting narration.

Woodward speaks to critical questions such as: How did Trump get to the White House? What are his true intentions? What can be believed? What positions are real? What information can be trusted and what statements and tweets really reflect where he is going? Can he deliver? Who will support or attempt to thwart him? Who does he really listen to? And what may it all mean?

No one knows the American presidency as well as Woodward, the Post’s veteran reporter-historian, who has written #1 bestselling books covering all eight of the last presidents from Nixon to Obama. No one has uncovered more of the hidden stories from the secret world of presidents, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Supreme Court than Woodward. Beginning with the coverage of Watergate with Carl Bernstein and their book and movie All the President’s Men (which Time magazine called “perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history”) to his two bestselling books on Obama, he presents an encyclopedia of case studies in presidential leadership, secret decision-making and the hard-nosed politics of Washington.

Only someone with more than four decades of explaining and understanding the American presidency with his signature aggressive but fair and non-partisan reporting can quickly provide a timely portrait of Trump. The 45th president comes to an office which, as Woodward will explain, has an increased and astounding concentration of power.

In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him . . . his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”

Bob Woodward’s appearance marks the revivification of the New Bedford Lyceum, a centuries-old New England tradition of learning through intellectual debate.

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NEW BEDFORD LYCEUM PARTNERS

City of New Bedford
Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts
Leadership Southcoast
New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Southcoast Media Group
Unger LeBlanc Strategic Communications
The Zeiterion Theatre, Inc.

NEW BEDFORD LYCEUM HISTORY

The New Bedford Lyceum Society was the nexus of community life both intellectually and culturally in nineteenth century New Bedford, once the wealthiest city per capita in America during the height of the whaling era. With the exception of the town’s religious societies the Lyceum was acknowledged early on as New Bedford’s oldest institution. Established in 1828, the Lyceum Society’s mission was “The improvement of its members in useful knowledge and the advancement of popular education.”  Its programming was as broad as it was substantial; tackling the most profound topics and social challenges of the day, and presenting some of the leading minds of the nation and beyond. The first officers of the Lyceum were a Who’s Who of New Bedford’s leaders, including James B. Congdon, Benjamin Rodman and Charles W. Morgan. Considered a learned society, the Lyceum grew rapidly from its original 160 members, collecting a substantial library and attracting large audiences to it varied programs well into the second half of the nineteenth century.

At first, lectures were held in the former meeting house of the First Congregational and Unitarian Societies. In 1829, the first Lyceum Hall was erected at a cost of about $2,000 “on the north side of William Street, a few rods west of Purchase.” (Ellis, 1892)

In 1838, the building was sold and became known as Liberty Hall. It hosted many and diverse lectures, concerts and performances. Historian Leonard Bowles Ellis noted that Liberty Hall under the auspices of the Lyceum was an important public venue for the Abolitionist movement in Massachusetts. “It became chiefly noted as the place for lyceum lectures and for lectures by the distinguished advocates of the cause of the slave.” Speakers included William Lloyd Garrison, Herman Melville, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, Stephen Foster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ward Beecher, Theodore Parker, Charles Dickens and Abraham Lincoln among others.

By 1904, the Lyceum’s organization had begun the process of disbanding. In 1905, The Evening Standard aptly summed up the legacy of the Lyceum in its bringing to New Bedford “lectures of national and world-wide distinction, authors and poets, editors and statesmen, scientists and speakers, and men and women of prominence from almost every aesthetic and instructive line in life: thus contributing very effectively to the intellectual advancement of the city.”

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