Online Premier! Puffin Interview Series with Dr. Joe Chuman: Jonathan Alter

Event Date and Time: May 30, 2023 8:00 pm
Cost: $0
Tickets and Reservations

You can view the interview in the YouTube video player above or on our YouTube channel!

Dr. Joe Chuman continues the Puffin Cultural Forum’s monthly author interview series with the interview of Jonathan Alter and his newest book, “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life”, the first full-life biography of Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian.

“‘His Very Best’ is a fascinating book, and Alter tells Carter’s life story beautifully and with admirable fairness — he treats Carter as a real person, as flawed as anyone else, and not as a saint. Alter’s pacing is wonderful; his accounts of some of the more dramatic events in Carter’s presidency are thrillingly told, but this never comes at the cost of the humanity of the people involved. It’s a book that’s bound to fascinate anyone with an interest in American history, and an excellent look at the man whom Alter considers, justifiably, ‘perhaps the most misunderstood president in American history.'”


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Jonathan Alter is an award-winning author, political analyst, documentary filmmaker, columnist, television producer and radio host. Alter’s most recent book is “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life.” (2020), which received uniformly favorable reviews. His earlier books include three New York Times bestsellers: “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies” (2013), “The Promise: President Obama, Year One” (2010) and “The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope” (2006), also one of the Times’ “Notable Books” of the year.

A former senior editor and columnist at Newsweek, Alter is a longtime political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He co-produced and co-directed the HBO documentary “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists,” which won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Historical Documentary. In 2013-2014, he was an executive producer of “Alpha House,“ a comedy on Amazon.

Over the years, Alter has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Monthly, the New Yorker, Bloomberg, the Daily Beast and other publications. In 2021, he launched a weekly Substack newsletter called “OLD GOATS, Ruminating with Friends,” which includes frequent columns and his conversations with accomplished people of wisdom and experience. Since 2016, he has hosted “Alter Family Politics“ each week on Sirius XM, 102 with his three adult children.


The Puffin Cultural Forum is proud to present our “Puffin Interview Series with Dr. Joe Chuman.” On the first Sunday of every month Dr. Chuman will delve into and explore the work of renowned authors through meaningful dialogue in an intimate interview format. There will be an opportunity for audiences to ask their own questions during a Q&A session. Dr. Chuman recently retired from his post as the leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County after forty-six years. He has taught at Columbia University, Hunter College, and the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. His works have been published in the New York Times, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, Humanistic Judaism, The Hill and many other periodicals.

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