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Date & Time: Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM EDT
Location: USC Beaufort Center for the Arts | 805 Carteret St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Virtual: None
Cost: $10
Registration: Eventbrite Click the “Get Tickets” button and choose desired event.

The Secret Gate: A True Story of Courage and Sacrifice During the Collapse of Afghanistan by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff, with former U.S. State Department Special Agent and diplomat Sam Aronson, in conversation with Landon K. Thorne. Ticketed, $10. Book signing afterwards. (USC Beaufort Center for the Arts, 805 Carteret St., Beaufort)

About the panel:

Mitchell Zuckoff is the Sumner M. Redstone Professor of Narrative Studies at Boston University’s College of Communication. The Secret Gate is Zuckoff’s ninth work of narrative nonfiction, including the #1 New York Times bestseller 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, which became the basis of the Paramount Pictures movie of the same name. His previous books include the New York Times bestsellers Lost in Shangri-LaFrozen in Time, and Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11. As a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. Zuckoff’s honors include the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Winship/PEN New England Award for Nonfiction, the Heywood Broun Memorial Award, and the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe New York Times, and numerous other publications. He lives outside Boston with his family.

Sam AronsonSamuel Aronson is a former U.S. diplomat and current global policy manager at Meta Platforms. His prior service at the U.S. Department of State included deploying on the elite team sent to Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 2021 to evacuate thousands of Americans and at-risk Afghans in the final weeks of the U.S. withdrawal. Aronson is the recipient of the State Department’s Award for Heroism, the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, and has twice received the Department’s Superior Honor Award. Originally from New Jersey, Sam and his family live in Washington, D.C.


Landon Thorne is a multi-lingual journalist, film producer, business leader, and pilot. A Yale graduate and Marine, he is an outdoorsman dedicated to historic preservation and nature conservation. Landon served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve retiring at the rank of Colonel. His military career included service in Vietnam, Africa, the Middle East, and diplomatic posting as Assistant Defense Attaché to Rome, Italy. Thorne has held seats on the boards of numerous businesses, governmental and charitable institutions, including serving on the board of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He is a poet and op-ed writer on topics related to international policy and business.  He resides with his wife Leslie in the South Carolina Lowcountry.


Photos as well as  short bios of all festival presenters are on the Presenter Page.
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