7 authors (and their books) coming to the Crosscut Ideas Festival

Learn about self-realization from Deepak Chopra, the Trump administration from Michael Cohen and antiracist thought from Ibram X. Kendi.

Ibram X. Kendi

Join Ibram X. Kendi in person at the Crosscut Ideas Festival.

The truth about Trump, discovering your true self and antiracism: We’ll be tackling these topics and more at the Crosscut Ideas Festival, held in a hybrid in-person and virtual format May 2-6. There’s going to be a lot to discuss. And we can keep the conversation going beyond the festival with books written by festival speakers. 

Every year, journalists, politicians, authors and newsmakers from our Pacific Northwest community and around the nation come together at the Crosscut Ideas Festival to take a hard look at the people, policies and events that shape our lives. (Interested? Get tickets now.) Tackling the biggest issues of our time can be a lot to unpack in just a few days. Luckily, there is a lot of source material to keep the dialogue going beyond the festival. Many of our speakers have written books on the topics they will be addressing. 

So if you want to get to know topics or speakers beforehand, or if you want to find a book after attending the festival, here are seven books that expand on the Crosscut Ideas Festival’s conversations. 

We have partnered with Elliott Bay Book Company to sell our speakers’ books. (The descriptions below are adapted from the ones on the Elliott Bay website.)


Living in the Light: Yoga for Self-Realization
Deepak Chopra and Sarah Platt-Finger  

Living in the Light offers an illuminating program for self-realization, combining a practical 30-day program with an in-depth exploration of 50 stimulating and restorative yoga poses. Get the book. 

Join Chopra with PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz for the virtual session “Spiritual Rx.”


Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the U.S. Department of Justice Against His Critics
Michael Cohen  

Cohen details — in blunt language, with absolutely no holds barred and naming names — his attempt to clear his name and tell the truth about Donald Trump. Get the book. 

Join Cohen in person at “The Truth and Trump” session on May 6. 


Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote - a History, a Crisis, a Plan
Eric Holder with Sam Koppelman

A brutal, bloody and at times hopeful history of the vote; a primer on the opponents fighting to take it away; and a playbook for how we can save our democracy before it’s too late — from a former U.S. Attorney General. Get the book. 

Join Holder in person at the “Defending the Rule of Law” session on May 6. 


Ken Jennings 

Record-setting Jeopardy! champion and New York Times bestselling author Jennings explores the world of maps and map obsessives. Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the Library of Congress, from the young geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Get the book. 

Join Jennings in person at the “Intelligence in Jeopardy” session on May 6. 


Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi chronicles the story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history. Get the book. 

Join Kendi in person for the keynote session “‘Woke’ and the Debate About Race” on May 6. 


Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America 
Dahlia Lithwick 

After Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, women lawyers all around the country independently sprang into action with a common goal: They weren’t going to stand by in the face of injustice. Get the book. 

Join Lithwick in person for a live podcast taping on May 6, “Slate Presents: Amicus Podcast Live — End of Affirmative Action.”


Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy 
Andrew Yang 

With America’s stagnant institutions failing to keep pace with technological change, we grow more polarized as tech platforms supplant our will while feasting on our data. Get the book. 

Join Yang in person for the session “Economic Upheaval and Our Political Divide” on May 6.

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