NBPLF Witte Lecture Series highlights 2020

The Newport Beach Library Foundation (NBPLF) presents its 23rd season of the Witte Lecture Series – geared to the curious, engaged and motivated. It presents serious topics for serious times. Join in dynamic, informative, call-to-action conversations about the U.S. Presidency, the impacts of income inequality, what to anticipate with rapid environmental change and learn the societal price of addiction. Participate and be fortified. Understand the complexities of globally relevant issues. 

Speaker Lineup:

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. World-renowned presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin returns to Newport Beach to reflect on more than 150 years of U.S. History, putting into context our most recent unprecedented presidency. Goodwin draws upon research from her most recent book Leadership in Turbulent Times (2018) which is a culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade long career studying American presidents. By sharing her deep understanding of the ambition, resolution, and resilience of some of our nation’s most revered presidents, Goodwin explains how past setbacks and triumphs shed light on the cultural, economic, and political transformations that define today’s turbulent times. This Pulitzer Prize winning author will, once again, share her wisdom on this important topic.*

Witte Lecture Series Goodwin 1.21

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of NBPLF

Doris Kearns Goodwin

David Leonhardt, The American Dream, At Risk – Income Inequality and Us on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 29 at 2 p.m. David Leonhardt joined the New York Times in 1999 and is an Op-Ed columnist. His weekday morning e-newsletter helps his readers make sense of current events by providing analysis and context. Prior to joining the Opinion department, he was founding editor of The Upshot section, which emphasizes data visualization and graphics to offer an analytical approach to the day’s news. He served as Washington bureau chief and wrote “Economic Scene” a weekly column for the Business section. He is a Pulitzer Prize and Gerald Loeb Award-winning author.

Witte Lecture Series Leonhardt 1.21

Click on photo for a larger image

David Leonhardt

David Wallis-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth – Climate Change is Here, in California on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m. Journalist David Wallace-Wells is a National Fellow at New America and Deputy Editor at New York Magazine. His acclaimed New York Times bestseller book The Uninhabitable Earth tells the scientific story of environmental damage to date. He explains how the future is being transformed by climate change faster and more dramatically than we realized. He asks key questions: How will the map of global power shift as coast lines are redrawn? How will this affect California – our culture, our politics, our lifestyle? What is our individual responsibility? Can we have an impact? Wallace-Wells reminds us that everything is within our control, so long as we resist complacency. His book made it to NPR’s favorite book of 2019.

Witte Lecture Series Wallis Wells 1.21

Click on photo for a larger image

David Wallace-Wells

Sam Quinones, Dreamland – Opioids in America: Past, Present, and Future on Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. Sam Quinones’ book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (2015) won a National Book Critics Circle Award and was on a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Why? The book struck a common chord. Quinones is a masterful storyteller and sought-after speaker who shares how the silent tragedy has impacted communities and families coast to coast. And what a tale...Dreamland is riveting. Quinones recounts how a pharmaceutical corporation promoted its legal opiate prescription painkiller as non-addictive and the rise of international drug trafficking. The collision of these two forces has led America into the deadliest drug scourge in modern times. Dreamland is now being adapted for a young adult audience, grades 8-12.

Witte Lecture Series Quinones 1.21

Click on photo for a larger image

Sam Quinones

Come to the lectures and chat with the speakers at a tasty post-lecture supper on Friday night, or coffee and cookies on Saturday afternoon. All lectures are held at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

For questions about the program or tickets, contact Director of Programs Kunga Wangmo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.717.3818.


–Friday, 7-9 p.m. events: Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Light Supper with Wine. Cost: General $65; NBPLF Member: $60.

–Saturday, 2-4 p.m. events: Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Refreshments. Cost: General $45; NBPLF Member: $40.

*Editor’s Note: Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” appearing on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. is sold out.