Sundays at Eight: 25 Years of Stories from C-SPAN'S Q&A and Booknotes

Overview


For the last 25 years, Sunday nights at 8pm on C-SPAN has been appointment television for many Americans. During that time, host Brian Lamb has invited people to his Capitol Hill studio for hour-long conversations about contemporary society and history. In today’s soundbite culture that hour remains one of television’s last vestiges of in-depth, civil conversation.

First came C-SPAN’s Booknotes in 1989, which by the time it ended in December 2004, was the longest-running ...

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Sundays at Eight: 25 Years of Stories from C-SPAN'S Q&A and Booknotes

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Overview


For the last 25 years, Sunday nights at 8pm on C-SPAN has been appointment television for many Americans. During that time, host Brian Lamb has invited people to his Capitol Hill studio for hour-long conversations about contemporary society and history. In today’s soundbite culture that hour remains one of television’s last vestiges of in-depth, civil conversation.

First came C-SPAN’s Booknotes in 1989, which by the time it ended in December 2004, was the longest-running author-interview program in American broadcast history. Many of the most notable nonfiction authors of its era were featured over the course of 800 episodes, and the conversations became a defining hour for the network and for nonfiction writers.

In January 2005, C-SPAN embarked on a new chapter with the launch of Q and A. Again one hour of uninterrupted conversation but the focus was expanded to include documentary film makers, entrepreneurs, social workers, political leaders and just about anyone with a story to tell.

To mark this anniversary Lamb and his team at C-SPAN have assembled Sundays at Eight, a collection of the best unpublished interviews and stories from the last 25 years. Featured in this collection are historians like David McCullough, Ron Chernow and Robert Caro, reporters including April Witt, John Burns and Michael Weisskopf, and numerous others, including Christopher Hitchens, Brit Hume and Kenneth Feinberg.

In a March 2001 Booknotes interview 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt described the show’s success this way: “All you have to do is tell me a story.” This collection attests to the success of that principle, which has guided Lamb for decades. And his guests have not disappointed, from the dramatic escape of a lifelong resident of a North Korean prison camp, to the heavy price paid by one successful West Virginia businessman when he won $314 million in the lottery, or the heroic stories of recovery from the most horrific injuries in modern-day warfare. Told in the series’ signature conversational manner, these stories come to life again on the page. Sundays at Eight is not merely a token for fans of C-SPAN’s interview programs, but a collection of significant stories that have helped us understand the world for a quarter-century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In all, it is a rich stew in bite-sized servings. If you have been a fan of Mr. Lamb’s literary feast, as I have, this will be a welcome addition to your shelves.”—Washington Times

“Edited into the form of cogent essays, these conversations reveal writers’ motivations for choosing their subjects, challenges in doing research and their own surprising discoveries…These richly detailed and forthright interviews offer unique perspectives on the inspirations and creativity of writers." —Kirkus reviews

From the Publisher
“Edited into the form of cogent essays, these conversations reveal writers’ motivations for choosing their subjects, challenges in doing research and their own surprising discoveries…These richly detailed and forthright interviews offer unique perspectives on the inspirations and creativity of writers." —Kirkus reviews
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-10
Notable writers talk candidly about their lives and work. Lamb (co-editor: The Supreme Court: A C-SPAN Book Featuring the Justices in their Own Words, 2010, etc.) and his C-SPAN staff have selected interviews from the past 25 years of Q&A and Booknotes, two long-running shows featuring conversations with authors of nonfiction. Edited into the form of cogent essays, these conversations reveal writers' motivations for choosing their subjects, challenges in doing research and their own surprising discoveries. Readers are likely to recognize some of the more famous writers—e.g., historian David McCullough, who discusses 19th-century American artists who moved to Paris at a time when Europeans were flocking to the United States; British writer Simon Winchester, who talks about his first visit to America in 1963 and the "amazingly hospitable and generous" people he met; and journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who recalls the quiet, circumscribed childhood in southwest Ontario that fueled his insatiable curiosity. "When I got to college," he says, "I realized that there was a virtually limitless amount of cool things to learn about the world." Christopher Hitchens, in his final interview before his death, talks movingly about having esophageal cancer, the disease that killed his father, and his hope for bold new treatments. Several writers—Michael Lewis, Bethany McLean and Gretchen Morgenson—reflect on the financial crisis of 2007. Journalists Roger Mudd and Ken Auletta are among the writers who discuss the responsibilities of the media in contemporary society. In a section on post-9/11 America, Kenneth Feinberg, who worked to mediate claims from veterans exposed to Agent Orange, talks about his similar role as "Special Master" with authority to delegate funds to victims' families. The experience, he says, changed him dramatically: "I'm much more fatalistic after 9/11. I don't think I'll ever plan more than two weeks ahead." These richly detailed and forthright interviews offer unique perspectives on the inspirations and creativity of writers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610393485
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 396,991
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Brian Lamb is C-SPAN's founding CEO and chairman and longtime on-camera interviewer. Lamb lives in Arlington, Virginia.
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