Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
About Joel Berg:
Labeled “Mister Frowny Pants” by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (on which he once appeared), Joel Berg is CEO of Hunger Free America, which the Nation called “one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation.” He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on US politics, hunger, poverty, food, volunteerism, and nutrition. Berg wrote the decade’s definitive book on US hunger, All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? (Seven Stories Press, 2008). Playboy (which Berg reads only for the reviews) called the book “refreshing” for its “optimism … rationality and passion.” He has also published numerous op-eds, poems, and policy papers and has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, as well as a Policy Analyst at the Progressive Policy Institute, two DC-based think tanks.
Berg has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches on four continents and in 37 states, from Maine to Alaska, while surviving moose attacks and volcanic eruptions. One audience member wrote, “Seeing Joel Berg speak in person is like watching the History Channel, C-Span, and Comedy Central all at once.” Noted by City Limits magazine for his “trademark good-natured snarkiness,” Berg has been covered extensively by national and international media, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News, CNN, National Public Radio, The Kudlow Report, All in with Chris Hayes, and the NBC Evening News, and quoted by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and tons of obscure blogs. He has also been featured in three documentary films.
Prior to joining Hunger Free America, Berg worked for eight years in senior executive service positions in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration, served on the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team, and staffed the 1992 Bill Clinton for President campaign. While working for 13 years as a political campaign professional, he lived in Kansas, Alaska, New Jersey, Maine, Arkansas, and New York. He now resides in Brooklyn, New York but has yet to overdose on local, artisanal kale chips.
In the new book, America, We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation, Joel makes a case for how we must both stop blaming the nation’s problems solely on “the politicians” or “the system” and take personal responsibility to solve them. Written as both a hilarious parody of relationship and self-help books and a deadly serious analysis of the nation's political and economic dysfunction, the book dissects how Donald Trump and other Republicans won over white, working-class voters, and includes a concrete plan to win them back, and well as a broader roadmap for reducing poverty, bolstering the middle class, and powering an overall progressive resurgence. It's a paperback original.