This morning I was delighted to attend a wonderful reading and discussion at the Hotel Bel Air with A. Scott Berg, author of the excellent biography of our 28th president, Wilson. It was hosted by the Hotel Bel Air and PEN Center USA. Mr. Berg explained that President Wilson had a major affect on our society even today, and was instrumental in creating such things as the eight hour workday, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, set up college educational structures still in use today, and on and on. Wilson also made a speech that was the basis for foreign relations ever since the moment he made it, which started the US involvement in World War I: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Mr. Berg stated, “We live in a world of Wilson’s making,” and that is not an overstatement. President Wilson was a brilliant, forward thinking man and politician, and helped forge much of what our nation and culture is today. It was a fascinating reading and the book looks most promising.
The event was held in the beautiful and recently renovated Hotel Bel Air. The hotel closed for two years while it underwent a major renovation, and the results are stunning. They preserved the lovely grounds and exteriors, while updating and modernizing the interiors, to much expense. It’s a perfect spot for an event, wedding, special dinner or weekend away. The hotel hosts many literary functions, including another PEN Center event I’m going to next week with Angelica Houston.
For more pictures from the event, visit my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett. For more information on PEN Center USA, visit penusa.org, for more hotel information visit dorchestercollection.com/en/los-angeles/hotel-bel-air.