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Asner among Jewish authors to be featured at festival

Ed Asner (Tim Leyes)

The 11th Annual Tucson Festival of Books will be held March 2 and 3 on the University of Arizona campus. With hundreds of authors participating each year, the AJP traditionally highlights several Jewish writers who will be presenting authors.

Brenda and Bill Viner, Jewish community members who helped co-found the festival, gave the AJP a hand in selecting the following list, which is by no means exhaustive:

Ed Asner — The eight-time Emmy Award-winning actor and political activist’s book is “The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs,” co-authored by Ed Weinberger.

Noa Baum — Born in Israel, Baum is an award-winning storyteller and public speaker who performs internationally for diverse audiences of all ages. Her new book is “A Land Twice Promised — An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace.” (See related story, page 7)

Jillian Cantor — The Tucson-based author’s new novel, “In Another Time,” due out March 5, takes her historical fiction into new realms. Cantor’s previous books include “The Lost Letter,” “The Hours Count,” and “Margot.”

David Itzkoff — A culture reporter at the New York Times, Itzkoff has written “Robin,” a biography of Robin Williams, the comic genius who committed suicide in 2014. Itzkoff is also the author of “Mad As Hell: The Making of ‘Network’ and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in the Movies.”
Rachel Kadish — Kadish’s most recent novel, “The Weight of Ink,” won a National Jewish Book Award, the Julia Ward Howe Fiction Prize, and the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Fiction Award.

David Kaplan — As the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, he covered the Supreme Court for a decade. Author of the New York Times best-seller “The Silicon Boys”; “The Accidental President,” an account of the 2000 election; and “Mine’s Bigger,” about the largest sailboat in the world, Kaplan returns to the Supreme Court with “The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on the Constitution.”

Jane Leavy — The award-winning, New York Times bestselling author chronicled the lives of Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax. Now she presents a definitive biography of Babe Ruth, “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created.”

Steven Levitsky — Co-author with Daniel Ziblatt of “How Democracies Die,” Levitsky is a David Rockefeller Professor of Latin American Studies and professor of government at Harvard University. He has written for Vox and The New York Times and is author, co-author or co-editor of six other books on politics in Latin America.

Phillip Margolin — The prolific Margolin has written more than 20 novels, most of them New York Times best-sellers, including “Gone But Not Forgotten,” “Lost Lake” and “Violent Crimes.” He was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases. His new book is “The Perfect Alibi.”

Craig Unger — Author of the New York Times best-selling “House of Bush, House of Saud,” Unger is the former deputy editor of The New York Observer and editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine. He has contributed to Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Esquire, and The New Yorker, among other publications, and appeared as an analyst on MSNBC, CNN, the ABC Radio Network and other broadcast outlets. His new book is “House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and The Russian Mafia.”

Ed Weinberger — A television screenwriter and producer who has won nine Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, a Peabody Award and a Writers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award, Weinberger is co-author with Ed Asner of “The Grouchy Historian.”

Some TFOB events require tickets. For more information, visit