Politics and Prose Under New Ownership

Politics and Prose came under new owners last week after Barbara Meade and David Cohen, who started the store 27 years ago, decided to sell four months before Cohen’s wife, Carla, died in October.

Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, both Washington journalism and public policy veterans, will become the store’s new owners later on this spring.

“The legacy of Barbara and Carla remains relevant and influential,” Muscatine told [Chevy Chase Patch] (http://chevychase.patch.com/articles/politics-and-prose-the-legacy-continues). “For me, it’s still one of those places for people to stop, to think and exchange ideas. We really think it’s an oasis — represents an alternative to instant news.”

Politics & Prose was founded 27 years ago by Barbara Meade and Carla Cohen in the Chevy Chase neighborhood. The two women announced their decision to retire last June. Despite wide-ranging changes in the book industry, the store has experienced rising revenues.

“Graham and Muscatine have the passion and wisdom to further strengthen Politics & Prose as a community institution that disseminates ideas and stands as a respected and revered public space,” Meade and Cohen said in a statement. “We are confident that they have the wherewithal and vision to sustain Politics & Prose for many years.”

Meade and Cohen spent nearly nine months interviewing prospective owners. Graham and Muscatine’s commitment to serve full-time as hands-on booksellers was a key factor in their selection.

“What was evident to us throughout the sale process was that Barbara and David were not selling just a business,” Graham and Muscatine wrote in a [Washington Post op-ed April 1] (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-bought-politics-and-prose/2011/04/01/AFDjweJC_story.html). “They were selling a cultural institution that was part discussion forum, part neighborhood meeting ground, part event stage. And they were determined that Politics and Prose not only survive and thrive, but continue to reflect Barbara and Carla’s legacy.


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