Skip to main content


7:00 am - 8:00 am


Bookings closed

Event Type

Friday, November 13, 2020
7:00am Hawaii / 9:00 am Pacific / 12:00pm Eastern
Federation of Alliances Françaises USA
In English

During WWII, residents of a cluster of villages in southeastern France gave safe harbor to hundreds of strangers – mostly Jewish children, some of whose parents had been deported. These villagers risked everything to create schools, soup kitchens and hiding places for the kids. Current residents of the same villages offer refuge to migrants today. Why? Is this a fluke of history or something more? What are the traits that make a group choose selflessness? Maggie Paxson – a writer, anthropologist and singer – was determined to find out. She unravels the mystery in her acclaimed new book The Plateau (finalist for the American Library in Paris Book Award, a Best Book of the Year by Bookpage; Oprah magazine calls it “radiant”). Maggie joins Pamela Druckerman of Pandemonium U for this discussion in English. It will be a blend of songs and talk, to discuss her family, her findings, and the resonances with today. 

About Paxson: Paxson is also the author of Solovyovo, a study of magic, ritual, and social memory in a remote Russian village. Fluent in Russian and French, she holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Montreal. She performs as a singer with the Imperial Palms Orchestra, one of the East Coast’s leading big bands, featuring music of the 1920s through the 1940s, and runs sing-along solo concerts of WWII music called “The Bomb Shelter Café.” She lives in Washington, DC.

Pamela Druckerman is the author of five books, including the forthcoming rhyming picture book for children, Paris by Phone.

This event will be on Zoom and is free for the public. Sign up below to receive the event link and courtesy email reminders. This event is sponsored by the Federation of Alliance Françaises USA in partnership with Pandemonium U.


Bookings are closed for this event.