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Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite
The Forum Files: The Stories Behind The Richmond Forum by Ray McAllister is a colorful, illustrative story of how The Richmond Forum (Richmond, Virginia) came to be one of the most prestigious and highly attended speaker's forums worldwide. Just in glancing at the table of contents you will able to glean the richness of The Richmond Forum from 1934 to present day. The Richmond Forum was the brainchild of Ralph Krueger. Krueger wanted to create a public platform where some of the greatest actors, authors, musicians, politicians and humanitarians could come and be transparent about everyday life, politics, religion and other subjects. Bill Chapman, Executive Director of The Richmond Forum, tasked author Ray McAllister to craft a book in honor of The Forum’s thirtieth season and The Forum Files was born.
In reading The Forum Files: The Stories Behind the Richmond Forum by Ray McAllister, I not only learned about the history of The Richmond Forum, but was able to get up close and personal with not only Richard Krueger’s vision but some of the personal letters, thank you notes, quotes and personalities that graced the stage. This is not an exhaustive list but some personalities include Archbishop Desmond Tutu (humanitarian), George Clooney (actor), Wynton Marsalis (musician), Mary Tyler Moore (actress), Ralph Nader (consumer advocate), Alex Haley (author), Bill Cosby (actor, producer, comedian), Mike Wallace (60 Minutes newscaster) and Oprah Winfrey (philanthropist, actor, director, media personality). If you are interested in finding out what other speakers graced The Forum and more about The Richmond Forum’s history, pick up a copy of The Forum Files: The Stories Behind the Richmond Forum by Ray McAllister.