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Sixth & I (Virtual)

Malcolm Gladwell

In Conversation with Dan Pink

Apr 29, 2021 • 6:45 pm ET
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Please note updated start time of 6:45 pm ET.

In The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, A Temptation, and The Longest Night of the Second World War, the five-time New York Times bestselling author delves deep into questions of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war.

Building on his exploration of these themes in the most recent season of his award-winning podcast “Revisionist History,” Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.

Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small group of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?

In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the single deadliest night of World War II was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose scorched-earth tactics cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned U.S. invasion. In The Bomber Mafia—a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war—Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?” Gladwell will be in conversation with Dan Pink, the author of six books about business and human behavior, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell Is Human.

Thanks to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco for being our promotional partner.

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