The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.Scott Kraft is senior writer for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in national and foreign topics. As national editor of The Times from 1997 to 2008, he directed the coverage of three presidential campaigns, and reporters who reported to him won four Pulitzer Prizes. Ernest F. Freeberg's book, Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent, is a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist in Biography. Freeberg is an associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee. Randy Shaw is director of San Francisco's Tenderloin Housing Clinic and editor of the online daily newspaper BeyondChron.org. Shaw, the author of two previous books, has now written Beyond the Fields, a chronicle of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers movement. Thomas J. Sugrue is a professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a specialist in the history of race, politics and society in 20th century America. Sugrue's latest work, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North is a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist in History.More
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