I would like to thank everybody for another great year with The Luncheon Society ™. 2009 was our twelfth season and there are already some great events planned with others in the works for 2010.
Good conversation is worth having. From those early days back in 1997, when there were only three of us, The Luncheon Society has grown steadily in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. There are some fun things planned for the future. Look for a Washington DC pod in the summer of 2010.
Also I would like to personally thank Naomi Epel for her help in 2009.
We are making some changes for The Luncheon Society in 2010. Annual Dues. Starting in 2010, The Luncheon Society will have dues of $20 per person annually. Like Public Broadcasting, The Luncheon Society is solely member-supported. The cost you pay for a Luncheon Society gathering pays for your luncheon as well as a portion of the speaker’s luncheon, including tax and tip. I want to keep The Luncheon Society experience alive long after the last dish has been put away and the last table has been cleared.
It is astonishing that the recorded conversations between Taylor Branch and Bill Clinton remained secret for the duration of his Presidency, even evading the outstretched hands of Special Prosecutor Ken Starr.
Best known for his massive civil rights trilogy, “America in the Age of King,” which earned him a Pulitzer for the first installment, Taylor Branch joined The Luncheon Society in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Early into his first term, Branch became the Boswell for his old friend, and these recollections became “The Clinton Tapes, Wresting History with the President.”
During those eight years, an often dog-tired Bill Clinton met with Branch in the White House private residence, often late into the night, to dictate an oral history of his presidency in real time. In a world where political memoirs are often scripted to redeem a sullied reputation or settle scores long after the fact, Taylor Branch shows us a President engaged as events were exploding around him. From the hopeful inauguration, though victories, defeats, the impeachment and the subsequent rebound, these recollections from 79 taped conversations served as a release valve for Clinton; it gave him an avenue to discuss things privately that could not be uttered publicly.