January 4, 2001 George Soros and James H. Billington to Speak at "Books & Beyond" Program at the Library on January 22
Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
A new book, Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism, will be discussed by its author, George Soros, and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 22, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The program, part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" author series, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
Financier George Soros established his first foundation, the Open Society Fund, in New York in 1979 and his first Eastern European Foundation in his native Hungary in 1984. Each of the foundations is dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society. He now funds a network of foundations that operate in 31 countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and central Eurasia, as well as in southern Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, and the United States.
James H. Billington, a specialist in Russian cultural history, has served as Librarian of Congress since 1987. His most recent book, The Face of Russia (1998), is the companion to a three-part television series that he wrote and narrated on public television in June 1998. In 1999 he initiated the Library of Congress's "Open World" Russian Leadership Program, which exposes the emerging post-Soviet generation of leaders to American democratic institutions at the federal, state and local levels. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was the chief sponsor of the authorizing legislation for the program which, in 1999 and 2000, brought more than 3,800 new and future Russian leaders to the United States for intensive visits.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its programs, publications, and the activities of affiliated centers in 41 states and the District of Columbia, visit its Web site at www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook.