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Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing and the Power of Ideas

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For nearly a decade, Booknotes has been an oasis of book programming on television, the only place where Americans can regularly find in-depth, quality discussion of books. Now, in celebration of over eight years of Booknotes, Lamb has collected the program's most interesting, revealing, and memorable moments. In essays that let the authors speak for themselves, Booknotes includes David Halberstam, who explains how he readies himself to write by having "a very lazy cappuccino;" Doris Kearns Goodwin, on spending ...
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Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A. 1997 Hardcover New 0812928474. Flawless.

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Overview

For nearly a decade, Booknotes has been an oasis of book programming on television, the only place where Americans can regularly find in-depth, quality discussion of books. Now, in celebration of over eight years of Booknotes, Lamb has collected the program's most interesting, revealing, and memorable moments. In essays that let the authors speak for themselves, Booknotes includes David Halberstam, who explains how he readies himself to write by having "a very lazy cappuccino;" Doris Kearns Goodwin, on spending six years working on her Roosevelt book in a study filled with pictures of FDR and Eleanor; Civil War historian Shelby Foote, explaining why he has to sleep in the room he writes in; Stephen Ambrose, on why he became a historian instead of a doctor; Norman Mailer, on why he never gets writer's block. David McCullough tells us about meeting Harry Truman; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., describes the difference between memoir and autobiography; Paul Kennedy speaks about suddenly being a best-selling author; Tina Rosenberg tells us how she selected her book title; Martin Gilbert discusses Churchill's laundry list; Robert Caro considers the ways in which writers document the lives of the powerful; Howell Raines reveals all about fly-fishing. These are just a few of the authors that can be found in Booknotes. The result is a collection that any reader or writer will savor, a peek behind the curtain and into the minds of some of our finest contemporary authors.

For the past eight years, Booknotes has been an oasis of book programming on television. Now host Brian Lamb has selected the very best moments from the show, a wonderful and intimate collection of some of America's finest authors on reading, writing, and the power of ideas. 352 pp. Author tour. 25,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Bookpage
One of the best things that has happened to the world of books.
Kirkus Reviews
These excerpts from more than 150 of C-SPAN's weekly Booknotes interviews have all the conversational richness of the fabled Paris Review interviews.

The informal pleasures of the spoken word distinguish this collection, in which Booknotes host and C-SPAN founder Lamb's questions are omitted, allowing interviewees' voices to take center stage. Unadorned, these authors reveal themselves with honesty and vigor; the interviews, divided into three sections, "Storytellers," "Reporters," and "Leaders" (this breakdown isn't as clean as it sounds; the reporters, of course, have plenty of stories to tell in their books, too). Among the best are biographers Stephen Ambrose and Robert D. Richardson Jr., and journalists Neil Sheehan and Stanley Crouch. The selections range from such well-known writers as David Halberstam and David McCullough to such lesser-known figures as Nicholas Basbanes, a chronicler of bibliomaniacs. For numerous reporters the civil rights struggle and the Vietnam war were defining experiences. Richard Nixon talks about the long view of history. Colin Powell describes signing 2,000 to 4,000 of his books at a sitting—one every 2.9 seconds. Doris Kearns Goodwin and John Keegan summarize their longhand writing methods, while Halberstam says using a word processor has probably doubled his productivity. Edmund Morris brazenly chides editors who "love to obliterate," and Paul Kennedy celebrates the care given by his copy editor but laments that once his proofs have been read it's too late to change anything—"you're deep frozen in what you've said." Time and again these authors assert that writing is terribly hard work, and rarely fun; many just despise it; only a handful (George Will, famously) dare claim to love it. All would seem to agree with David Hackworth that "writing a book takes a lot of your life."

An often riveting insider's perspective on the writing life by some of our foremost authors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812928471
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/5/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.53 (d)

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