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Registration for Programs

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING: Robert K. Wittman & David Kinney, The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 6:30 PM

A groundbreaking World War II narrative wrapped in a riveting detective story, The Devil’s Diary investigates the disappearance of a private diary penned by one of Adolf Hitler’s top aides—Alfred Rosenberg, his “chief philosopher”—and mines its long-hidden pages to deliver an eye-opening account of the Nazi rise to power and the genesis of the Holocaust.

The diary was discovered hidden in a Bavarian castle at war’s end, but after Rosenberg was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and executed, the pages mysteriously vanished. More than half a century later, Robert K. Wittman learned of the diary when the chief archivist for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum contacted him at the FBI to say that someone was trying to sell it for more than a million dollars. The phone call sparked a decade-long hunt. From the crusading Nuremberg prosecutor who smuggled the diary out of Germany to the man who finally turned it over, everyone had reasons for hiding the truth.

Robert K. Wittman joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1988. He served as the FBI’s investigative expert involving cultural property crime, and in 2005, he created the FBI’s rapid deployment national Art Crime Team (ACT). He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.

David Kinney is a journalist and author of two nonfiction books—The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish and The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times. At the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest paper, he was a political reporter on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for the paper’s coverage of Gov. Jim McGreevey’s resignation.

Free. RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or emailing

SOCIETY HILL-HOT & HEALTHY!: Preventive Health and Nutrition

Thursday, May 5, 2016, 2:30 PM

Fran Burke, M.S., R.D.
Clinical Dietitian, Preventive Cardiology Program
University of Pennsylvania Health System

John J. Stern, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Pennsylvania Hospital
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Lisa D. Unger, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Founding Director, Society Hill- Hot and Healthy!
Founding Director, Philly Is Walking In The Park

Free.  RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or emailing

The Athenaeum Literary Award

Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 5:30 PM

David Grazian, American Zoo: A Sociological Safari

Trading in his tweed jacket for a zoo uniform and a pair of muddy work boots, Grazian introduces us to zookeepers and animal rights activists, parents and toddlers, and the other human primates that make up the zoo’s social world. He shows that in a major shift away from their unfortunate pasts, American zoos today emphasize naturalistic exhibits teeming with lush and immersive landscapes, breeding programs for endangered animals, and enrichment activities for their captive creatures. In doing so, zoos blur the imaginary boundaries we regularly use to separate culture from nature, humans from animals, and civilization from the wild.

Barbara Miller Lane, Houses for a New World: Builders and Buyers in American Suburbs, 1945–1965

Between 1945 and 1965, more than thirteen million houses—most of them in new ranch and split-level styles—were constructed on large expanses of land outside city centers, providing homes for the country’s rapidly expanding population. Barbara Miller Lane tells the story of the collaborations between builders and buyers, showing how both wanted houses and communities that espoused a modern way of life—informal, democratic, multiethnic, and devoted to improving the lives of their children. The resulting houses differed dramatically from both the European International Style and older forms of American domestic architecture.

Reception and book signing to follow.

Free.  RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or emailing

This event has received generous support from the Charles Wharton Stork Lecture Fund.


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