This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
In the midterm election year 2010, recession-battered Americans expressed their discontent with a simultaneously overreaching and underperforming government by turning the formerly Democratically controlled House over to the Republicans. Among the new GOP majority were 87 freshmen, many of them political novices with Tea Party backing who pledged a more open, responsive, and fiscally thrifty House. What the 112th Congress instead achieved was a public standing so low – a ghastly 9 percent approval rating – that, as its longest-serving member, John Dingell, would dryly remark, “I think pedophiles would do better.” What happened? In Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper explores this question just as he examined the Bush White House in his 2007 New York Times bestselling book Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush – by burrowing deeply inside the subject, gaining cooperation of the major players, and producing a colorful, unsparingly detailed, but evenhanded narrative of how the House of Representatives became a house of ill repute. Draper is also a contributing writer for National Geographic as well as a correspondent for GQ. He has written a number of other books. He lives in Washington, D.C.