Join us for these wonderful author meet-and-greet, catered (delicious!) events.

    • Our event calendar runs fall through spring.
    • Please note that event attendance has a per-event fee in addition to the membership fee.
    • Guests/non-members are invited to attend one event per full season. 
    • Each membership includes one copy of the featured book.
    • Event guests will receive a copy of the featured book (one per couple, please).

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Donation Partnerships: At each of our luncheons, members and guests may bring their unwanted Prologue-type books for donation to The Education Fund's Educational Materials program and new / gently-used children's books for donation to Miami Book Fair's literacy initiative, The Children's Trust Books for Free program.

2023-2024 Author Series


    • May 08, 2024
    • 12:00 PM
    • Temple Israel of Greater Miami - Wolfson Auditorium, 137 NE 19th St, Miami, FL 33132
    • 50

    The Wide Wide Sea: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook

    From New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides, an epic account of the most momentous voyage of the Age of Exploration, which culminated in Captain James Cook’s death in Hawaii, and left a complex and controversial legacy still debated to this day.

    On July 12th, 1776, Captain James Cook, already lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, set off on his third voyage in his ship the HMS Resolution. Two-and-a-half years later, on a beach on the island of Hawaii, Cook was killed in a conflict with native Hawaiians. How did Cook, who was unique among captains for his respect for Indigenous peoples and cultures, come to that fatal moment?

    Hampton Sides’ bravura account of Cook’s last journey both wrestles with Cook’s legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. Cook was renowned for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science-–the famed naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied him on his first voyage, and Cook has been called one of the most important figures of the Age of Enlightenment. He was also deeply interested in the native people he encountered. In fact, his stated mission was to return a Tahitian man, Mai, who had become the toast of London, to his home islands. On previous expeditions, Cook mapped huge swaths of the Pacific, including the east coast of Australia, and initiated first European contact with numerous peoples. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment.

    Yet something was different on this last voyage. Cook became mercurial, resorting to the lash to enforce discipline, and led his two vessels into danger time and again. Uncharacteristically, he ordered violent retaliation for perceived theft on the part of native peoples. This may have had something to do with his secret orders, which were to chart and claim lands before Britain’s imperial rivals could, and to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. Whatever Cook’s intentions, his scientific efforts were the sharp edge of the colonial sword, and the ultimate effects of first contact were catastrophic for Indigenous people around the world. The tensions between Cook’s overt and covert missions came to a head on the shores of Hawaii. His first landing there was harmonious, but when Cook returned after mapping the coast of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, his exploitative treatment of the Hawaiians led to the fatal encounter.

    At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.

    Hampton Sides is as the author of The New York Times bestselling histories  On Desperate Ground, In the Kingdom of Ice, Hellhound on his Trail, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers, which won the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Photo credit: Kurt Markus
    Publisher: Doubleday

    • Guests: Non-members are welcome to attend one luncheon per season. Members may bring with them an unlimited number of non-member guests, as long as the guests, individually, abide by the above Non-member Guest policy.
    • Registration: Pre-registration is required.
    • Payment: Pre-payment is required.
    • Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be allowed for cancellations received after registration closes, and no-shows.
    • Registration will close on Monday, May 6.

    Added  2/7/2024

    • May 13, 2024
    • 6:00 PM
    • The Hub at Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Drive, Pinecrest, FL 33156
    • 62

    An Unfinished Love Story

    An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s by Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of America’s most beloved historians, artfully weaves together biography, memoir, and history. She takes you along on the emotional journey she and her husband, Richard (Dick) Goodwin embarked upon in the last years of his life.

    Dick and Doris Goodwin were married for forty-two years and married to American history even longer. In his twenties, Dick was one of the brilliant young men of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. In his thirties he both named and helped design Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and was a speechwriter and close advisor to Robert Kennedy. Doris Kearns was a twenty-four-year-old graduate student when selected as a White House Fellow. She worked directly for Lyndon Johnson and later assisted on his memoir.

    Over the years, with humor, anger, frustration, and in the end, a growing understanding, Dick and Doris had argued over the achievements and failings of the leaders they served and observed, debating the progress and unfinished promises of the country they both loved.

    The Goodwins’ last great adventure involved finally opening the more than three hundred boxes of letters, diaries, documents, and memorabilia that Dick had saved for more than fifty years. They soon realized they had before them an unparalleled personal time capsule of the 1960s, illuminating public and private moments of a decade when individuals were powered by the conviction they could make a difference; a time, like today, marked by struggles for racial and economic justice, a time when lines were drawn and loyalties tested.

    Their expedition gave Dick’s last years renewed purpose and determination. It gave Doris the opportunity to connect and reconnect with participants and witnesses of pivotal moments of the 1960s. And it gave them both an opportunity to make fresh assessments of the central figures of the time—John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, and especially Lyndon Johnson, who greatly impacted both their lives. The voyage of remembrance brought unexpected discoveries, forgiveness, and the renewal of old dreams, reviving the hope that the youth of today will carry forward this unfinished love story with America.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin's work for President Johnson inspired her career as a presidential historian. Her first book was Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Homefront in World War II. She earned the Lincoln Prize for Team of Rivals, in part the basis for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, about the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Her last book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times was the inspiration for the History Channel docuseries on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt, which she executive produced.

    Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

    Exclusive to Prologue members & their guests: 
    • We will meet with Doris Kearns Goodwin at 6-6:50pm, downstairs, at The Hub at Temple Beth Am, for a cocktail reception
    • While there, autographed books will be distributed
    • During the 7-8pm public reception and author presentation, upstairs, we will have reserved seating
    • All Prologue members and their guests must pre-register and pre-pay for this event -- we will be unable to accommodate walk-in attendees
    • Plan to arrive early for vehicle/occupant check-in at Temple Beth Am's guard booth (photo I.D. and vehicle tag may be recorded)
    • Carpool / ride-share is recommended and encouraged!

    There is an elevator in The Hub.

      • Guests: Non-members are welcome to attend one event per season. Members may bring with them an unlimited number of non-member guests, as long as the guests, individually, abide by the above Non-member Guest policy.
      • Registration: Pre-registration is required.
      • Payment: Pre-payment is required.
      • Cancellation Policy: Refunds will not be allowed for cancellations received after registration closes, and no-shows.
      • Registration will close on Friday, May 10 (or when it sells out).

      Added 3/3/2024


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