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An American Martyr in Persia: Reza Aslan

Sat, Nov 5, 2022 from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PDT
1111 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205

General Admission Pass required for entry

Reza Aslan shares the story of Howard Baskerville, whose story is widely known in Iran but mostly unknown in the United States. Aslan will be interviewed by Andrew Proctor, executive director of Literary Arts.

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of Zealot recounts the spellbinding tale of an unrecognized American martyr for democracy.

As a student of Woodrow Wilson at Princeton, Howard Baskerville was aflame not only with the gospel of Jesus, but with the Wilsonian gospel that constitutional democracy is the birthright of all nations. Rather than become a small-town minister like his father in South Dakota, he volunteered for missionary service in Persia.

Tabriz in 1907 was a hotbed of democratic revolution. Brilliant young firebrands were among Baskerville’s students at the Presbyterian school―and became his devoted friends. He lectured on freedom; they dedicated their lives to it. Soon he would join them on the battlefield.

Was Howard Baskerville the “American Lafayette” of Iran, or a naive “white savior” stumbling into Persian affairs? Baskerville’s story, like his life, is at the center of a whirlwind, in which Americans must ask themselves, how seriously do we take our ideals of constitutional democracy and whose freedom do we support?


 

Portland Book Festival General Admission Passes are required for entry into all events. Passes are $15 in advance and $25 day of Festival. Youth 17 & under, or with a valid high school ID get in FREE. All full-priced General Admission Passes include a $5 book fair voucher and entry into Portland Art Museum. Passes admit attendees to the Festival; individual events are first-come, first-served. More info here.

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is an acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot, No God but God, and editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He lives in Los Angeles, California. His most recent book is An American Martyr in Persia.
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Andrew Proctor

Andrew Proctor has been the director of Literary Arts since 2009. Born and raised in Canada, Proctor, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Music at Concordia University in Montreal, and later worked in London for the Cultural Attaché to the Canadian High Commission. In the UK, he also earned an MA in English Literature at the University of East Anglia under the supervision of England’s then Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. From 2000-2004 Proctor worked as an editor for HarperCollins in New York City and then as the Membership and Operations Director of the PEN American Center, a global literary and human rights organization focused on the welfare of writers and editors. In total, Proctor has worked in the literary world for over twenty years in the governmental, for profit and nonprofit sectors.
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