SUNDAYS AT EIGHT by Brian Lamb

SUNDAYS AT EIGHT

25 Years of Stories From C-Span’s Q&A and Booknotes
edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

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.

Pub Date: April 29th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-61039-348-5
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014




MORE BY BRIAN LAMB

NonfictionTHE SUPREME COURT by Brian Lamb
by Brian Lamb
NonfictionABRAHAM LINCOLN by Brian Lamb
by Brian Lamb
NonfictionBOOKNOTES: LIFE STORIES by Brian Lamb
by Brian Lamb

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE MAP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Simon Winchester
by Simon Winchester
NonfictionHITCH-22 by Christopher Hitchens
by Christopher Hitchens
NonfictionTHE GREATER JOURNEY by David McCullough
by David McCullough