Loading Events

This ALOUD program is canceled.


You’re not supposed to say that you’re a member of the elite. And you’re especially not supposed to say that if the intellectual cosmopolitan elite stop running things, we’re doomed. Which is why Joel Stein wanted to say it.

In his book, In Defense of Elitism: Why I’m Better Than You and You’re Better Than Someone Who Didn’t Buy This Book, the humorist who has written weekly columns for Time, the L.A. Times and Entertainment Weekly defends his over-educated, cortado-sipping people. He goes on a tour of America to meet the populists and their leaders. He meets a guy who makes fake news and goes to a tiny town in Texas. He takes on people who argue with their doctors after reading a WebMD article. The people in this case is his wife.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti allows him to reproduce the experience of being an inexperienced government official by acting as mayor of LA for a day. He does not do a good job.

He’ll be interviewed on stage by Reza Aslan: religious scholar, professor TV host, holder of four academic degrees, and proud member of the elite.

Joel Stein

Joel Stein was a staff writer and columnist for Time magazine for twenty years; he was also a columnist for Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity and writes for the upcoming TV show American Princess, produced by Jenji Kohan.

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is a renowned writer, commentator, professor, Emmy-nominated producer, and scholar of religions. A recipient of the prestigious James Joyce award, Aslan is the author of three internationally best-selling books, including the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. His producing credits include the acclaimed HBO series The Leftovers and the upcoming Chuck Lorre comedy, United States of Al. He is the host and Executive Producer of Rough Draft with Reza Aslan.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.