Nonfiction Video Interviews (page 5)


Christian Rudder

author of DATACLYSM

October 30, 2014
DATACLYSM by Christian Rudder Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder, the founder of OkCupid, uses it to show us who we truly are. For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new demographers. Are you a racist? Plainer-looking than you might wish? Inclined to vote left? Big data knows—and it’s talking. Demographers, entrepreneurs, students of history and sociology, and ordinary citizens alike will find plenty of provocations in Rudder’s book. We met up with Rudder at the Texas Book Festival. View video >

Dick Cavett

author of BRIEF ENCOUNTERS

October 20, 2014
BRIEF ENCOUNTERS by Dick Cavett In Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks, quick-witted talk show host Dick Cavett dishes on some of the famous people he’s interviewed: There’s much ado about Marlene Dietrich, Groucho, Carson and the Burtons, Jonathan Winters, Mel Brooks and Stan Laurel. Brief Encounters, taken from Cavett’s online columns for The New York Times, offers piquant commentary on contemporary politics, the indignities of travel, the nature of comedy writing and the utter improbability of being alive at all. We’ll ask him about his career and his writing life on Kirkus TV this week. View video >

Jeff Hobbs

author of THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE

October 14, 2014
THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE by Jeff Hobbs When writer Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the ‘80s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, “fronting” in Yale, and at home. Hobbs’ best-selling book The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is an ambitious, moving tale of an inner-city Newark kid who made it to Yale yet succumbed to old demons and economic realities. View video >

Steven Johnson

author of HOW WE GOT TO NOW

October 6, 2014
HOW WE GOT TO NOW by Steven Johnson In How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. View video >

Lawrence Wright

author of THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER

September 15, 2014
THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER by Lawrence Wright Lawrence Wright has written books that investigate Scientology, al-Qaida, religion in America and the psychology of twinship, among other topics. He received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for The Looming Tower. His new book, Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David is about “one of the great diplomatic triumphs of the twentieth century,” when an unpopular president was able behind the scenes to convince two proud, intransigent leaders of the Middle East to compromise. We ask Wright about uncovering the details of the story in this Kirkus TV interview. View video >

Diane Ackerman

author of THE HUMAN AGE

September 8, 2014
THE HUMAN AGE by Diane Ackerman Diane Ackerman is a poet who happens to write about science. Her latest book, The Human Age, is about the unprecedented fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have “subdued about 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness.” Ackerman acknowledges the chaos humans have caused to the environment and yet she is still “enormously hopeful,” as she writes in the book, about how positive our interaction with Earth can be. We ask Ackerman about a few little things in this Kirkus TV interview: nature, evolution, humanity. View video >

Michael Morton

author of GETTING LIFE

July 7, 2014
GETTING LIFE by Michael Morton Jailed for a crime he didn't commit with no hope of ever being freed, Michael Morton has returned to society with a great deal of grace. He recounts his story in his new book Getting Life, and with us on Kirkus TV. View video >

Annabelle Gurwitch

author of I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT

May 5, 2014
I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT by Annabelle Gurwitch Essayist, funny lady, and actress Annabelle Gurwitch talks to Kirkus Reviews about her new book of zingy essays, I See You Made an Effort: Compliments, Indignities, and Survival Stories from the Edge of 50. View video >