#C2C18: Spotlight on Speakers: John Avlon and Elliot Ackerman

Two weeks ago, we at Charleston to Charleston introduced you to our speaker, Lynsey Addario, one third of the rock star team making up the team of our Friday night marquis festival event: Chronicling Conflict. This week’s speaker spotlight is shining brightly on the other two thirds of that team: John Avlon and Elliot Ackerman, two authors with unique professional backgrounds and individual ways of experiencing conflict.  


John Avlon is an author, senior political analyst at CNN, former editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, and served as chief speechwriter to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He’s worn many hats in his professional career, but they all stem back to politics. Earning his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale and his MBA in Business Administration from Columbia, Avlon’s academic foundation and understanding of American politics is strong. Since then, he has honed his skills in this particular area and has become an efficient and expert communicator. Author Stephen Marshall commented that, “Avlon talks about politics the way ESPN anchors wrap up sports highlights.”  In Avlon’s limited spare time, he has written three books, Independent Nation, Wingnuts, and Washington’s Farewell.  He has also co-edited the acclaimed Deadline Artists journalism anthologies.


Elliot Ackerman has a completely different viewpoint and understanding of conflict. A former marine serving five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ackerman experienced conflict first-hand and now has the ability to reflect and inform upon it through written word. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, he studied at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and earned his MBA in International Affairs. Combining his academic knowledge and real-world experience, Ackerman has written three novels that document war stories. His most recent book, Waiting for Eden, fictitiously chronicles an Iraq veteran and the grim realities of war. More of Ackerman’s work has been published in Esquire, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.    

A political analyst, a photojournalist, and a former marine will discuss their experiences with conflict. Attendees will hear from three speakers with different viewpoints, but all with the single desire to communicate the effects of conflict throughout the world.

This event will be held at Dock Street Theatre on November 9, at 6:00 p.m. Get your tickets now before they sell out. This event is sure to knock your socks off.