Author to speak about his book

December 23, 2014

What’s Happening

Midnight At the Pera Palace
Sunday, Jan. 13, 3 pm, Temple Sinai

Georgetown University professor Charles King will speak at Temple Sinai about his new book, Midnight at the Pera Palace at Temple Sinai in Newport News.

When the Ottoman Empire collapsed after WWI, so many spies mingled in the lobby of Istanbul’s Pera Palace Hotel that the manager posted a sign asking them to relinquish seats to paying guests. As the multi-ethnic empire became a Turkish republic, Russian emigres sold family heirlooms, an African American impresario founded a jazz club, Miss Turkey became the first Muslim beauty queen, a Boston professor unveiled the lost treasures of the Hagia Sophia and desperate refugees arrived on their way to Palestine—one of the largest efforts to rescue the embattled Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. In a sweeping portrait of multicultural Istanbul—Islamic, Christian and Jewish—King re-creates an era when an ancient city became a global crossroads, a forgotten moment when Europe’s closest Muslim metropolis became its vital port of refuge. At the center of it all was one of the world’s grandest hotels and the untold story of espionage, jazz and Jewish rescue that unfolded in its hallways and lounges.

King is a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University. A frequent media commentator on global issues, he is the author of the highly praised history Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams, which won the National Jewish Book Award.

King’s appearance is the second of four author events presented by Temple Sinai through the Jewish Book Council network. The programs are also made possible by a grant from the UJCVP.

For more information or to RSVP, call Temple Sinai 757-596-8352.

Letter to the Editor