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Intelligence Squared Kicks Off Season with Burning Question: Is the Reader's Friend?

Debated Live Onstage in NYC and Streamed Online, Thursday, January 15

Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate show that airs on NPR live from New York City, kicked off its 2015 season with what may well be the most burning question the modern book publishing world has ever faced: "Is Amazon good for Readers?" It was a timely question to ask, especially after the recent brouhaha between Amazon and Hachette, the high-profile comments of Ursula K. LeGuin at the National Book Awards, and the ongoing battle waged against it by the Authors Guild. The debate about whether Amazon has gotten too big and powerful was lively, with four high-profile authors and editors on the panel. Visit the debate webpage to find out which side won, and check back next week for our feature covering the event.

Here's the description from the Intelligence Squared website: "In late 2014, Amazon and the publishing house Hachette settled a months-long dispute over who should set the price for e-books. In Amazon’s view, lower prices mean more sales and more readers, and that benefits everyone. But for publishers, the price of an e-book must reflect the investment made, from the author’s advance to a book’s production. The conflict, resolved for now, has only raised more questions about the value of books, Amazon’s business practices, and the role of publishers. Is book publishing an oligopoly, a dinosaur in need of disruption? Is Amazon, which accounts for 41% of all new book and 67% of all e-book sales, a monopoly? Who is doing right by readers and the future of books?"


More about Intelligence Squared U.S.
Based on the highly successful debate program in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented nearly 100 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues.

The debates are held at the Kaufman Center, located at 129 W. 67th Street, New York NY 10023. Evenings begin at 5:45 PM with a cash bar reception for panelists and audience members; the live debate starts at 6:45 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. For venue information, click here.