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He Weathered the Election; Now He Comes to D.C.

Ayers outside his Chicago home last week. (Photo by Peter Slevin)

Customers at the lefty coffeehouse Busboys and Poets are doing double takes when they see the big display of the new book "City Kids, City Schools" by William Ayers. Yes, that William Ayers -- the former Weather Underground radical whose acquaintance with Barack Obama dogged the president-elect during the campaign. The Chicago education professor is making his first post-election public appearance next Monday evening at the 14th and V gathering spot. Officially it's a book reading and signing, but expect someone to bring up the controversy (which recently prompted the University of Nebraska to cancel an Ayers speech).

"People need to know who the real Bill Ayers is and what he stands for," said owner Andy Shallal, who booked the appearance about a month ago. The buzz, he said, has been "tremendous"; he expects a packed house. "Part of what we do is educate," said Shallal. "The democratic process can only be done when people have all the information at their fingertips."

By The Reliable Source  |  November 10, 2008; 1:01 AM ET
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