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Beyond the Book: An Exhibition of the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection

Booknotes Section II

Below are quotes from original Booknotes program interviews and digital representations of elements of books that are part of the Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection and featured in the University Libraries' Booknotes exhibit. To view an item in detail please click on the thumbnail representation to the right and then click its image in the item record.

The Cornel West Reader, Cornel West

[Excerpt from the February 22, 2000 Booknotes interview with Cornell West, faculty member, Center for African American Studies, Harvard University. This interview dealt with with West's book, The Cornel West Reader]

LAMB: Go back to your own book and what you write in this book. Again, if somebody picks this book up, what do what's the one message you want them to get out of Cornel West throughout this book? And what's the advantage of reading all this?

Prof. WEST: Yeah, the advantage of reading is that there is a connection between cultivating the art of living and fighting courageously for the expansion of democracy. See, the art of living is learning how to die, and what I mean by that is, is that if you're really going to live life intensely, then something in you every day ought to die--some bad habit, some prejudice, some faulty presupposition--so that you're continually involved in a struggle to better yourself, become more mature, more compassionate, more courageous. And we need that compassion and courage and maturity to expand democracy, because in the end, that is still the best ideal that we fragmented, cracked vessels called human beings have been able to come up with.

<em>The Cornel West reader <br /></em>

The Cornel West Reader, Cornel West, New York, NY : Basic Civitas Books, 2000.

This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, Kay Mills

[Excerpt from the February 28, 1993
Booknotes interview with writer, Kay Mills. This interview dealt with with Mill's book, This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer]

LAMB: You say in the introduction that you met her once.

Ms. MILLS: Right.

LAMB: What do you remember?

Ms. MILLS: I remember that she filled up a room. That's the main thing. I decided to try to write the book after I came back from that trip -- from that meeting with her. I met her in 1973. I had gone to Mississippi to do a set of stories on the civil rights movement, what had become of it. I specifically chose Mississippi because it had had so much of the violence that had occurred there, and I wanted to meet her. I had seen her testify at the 1964 Democratic convention, and I wanted to meet her. So I went to her house on a very hot, steamy, probably July day. And she wasn't well, she was frustrated, she was angry, but she spent an enormous amount of time with me. And "charisma" is an overused word, but it applied to her. And when I left that day, I came back to Washington because that's where I was working then -- and I had lunch -- I remember it was at the Peking Restaurant, 14th and something or other in Washington -- with Lawrence Guyot, who was one of the people who had been in jail with her. And I told him how incredibly dazzled I had been by her, and he said, "Why don't you write a book about her?" And so that's when the idea was born.

<em>This little light of mine : the life of Fannie Lou Hamer</em>

This Little Life of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, Kay Mills, New York : Plume, 1993.

How to Overthrow the Government, Arianna Huffington

[Excerpt from the February 13, 2000
Booknotes interview with atuthor and columnist, Arianna Huffington. This interview dealt with with Huffington's book, How to Overthrow the Government]

LAMB: When did you decide that the American system of democracy was the best way to go?

Ms. HUFFINGTON: I never had any doubt that democracy was the best system to have. The question is: When did I decide that our system here is not working, that there is a crisis in democracy? I think that's really what we need to prove and what we need to convince people is the case. But when you have two-thirds of eligible voters not participating in an election, as was the case in 1998, that means that 115 million Americans eligible to vote chose not to. That, to me, is a crisis in democracy. The two parties don't really care because, frankly, it's easy for them to manipulate a smaller electorate and with this customized campaigns, targeted campaigns--I write a sort of satirical column predicting that maybe in 300 years from now there'll be just one voter left, and George Bush the XX will be fighting for this vote against whoever is on the other side.

And that sounds like an Orwellian nightmare, but it's really the trend. It's towards lower and lower turnout. And what is even more disturbing is the fact that younger people are voting at lower and lower rates. And the poor, which is always the case, of course, are voting in much smaller percentages. So as a result, we see that public policy is being effected tremendously.

<em>How to overthrow the government</em>

How to Overthrow the Government, Arianna Huffington, New York : Regan Books, 2000.

The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca Cola Company, Constance Hays

[Excerpt from the March 21, 2004 Booknotes interview with journalist, Constance Hays. This interview dealt with with Hays' book, The Real thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company]

LAMB: When was the first Coke made?

Ms. HAYS: It was made in 1886. And it was made in Atlanta, behind a drug store counter, by a man named John Pemberton, who was fooling around with another remedy he had made, trying to take the alcohol out of it. And then he put the soda water into it and took a sip and thought it was great and began to sell it from that one little counter. And he didn`t do all that much with Coke in the beginning. He had it for about two years.

And then a very forward-thinking man named Asa Candler, who was a competitor of his down the road, bought the formula from him and just loved it. It helped to cure his headaches. You know, it did have cocaine in it, at that point, cocaine extract. And Asa Candler was a believer and he persuaded people all over the South first and then all over the country to sell Coca-Cola by name. So he was sort of the master marketer behind the whole thing. And by 1895, he would claim that it was sold in every single state, and I think that was true.

<em>The real thing: truth and power at the Coca Cola Company</em>

The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca Cola Company, Constance Hays, New York: Random House, 2004.

Manuscript Annotations found in The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company]

Seen here are manuscript annotations regarding the corporate history of Coca-Cola found in Lamb's copy of The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company. They were presumably used by Brian Lamb during research for his interview of Constance L. Hays on the Booknotes program.

<em>The real thing: truth and power at the Coca Cola Company </em>[Brian Lamb's annotations]

Annotations of Brian Lamb found in his copy of The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca Cola Company

Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation, Richard Norton Smith

[Excerpt from the February 1, 1993 Booknotes interview with historian, Richard Norton Smith. This interview dealt with with Smith's book, Patriarch, George Washington and the New American Nation]

BRIAN LAMB: Richard Norton Smith, why did you call the book you wrote on George Washington "Patriarch?"

Mr. SMITH: It's the last 10 years of his life, a period that really hasn't been covered in much detail before. It's a chance to really humanize Washington, at the same time depicting him as a political leader. It's hard to believe there is not a comprehensive one-volume account of Washington's presidency. But beyond that, everyone wants to know what George Washington was like, and it seemed to me it's this period of his life when he's most human because he is most vulnerable. You know, he's an old man. His hearing is not very good, his memory is failing him. He was terribly sensitive about press criticism, of which there was an enormous amount during his presidency. He had a volcanic temper. His presidential secretary said that no sound on earth could compare with that of George Washington swearing a blue streak. He was convinced that the day he accepted the presidency would mean the decline of his reputation, which was very important to him, and that he would risk even the adulation that, I think, took the place of morconventional love in his life.And yet, despite all that, at a time in life when most men would be happy with retirement, to sit on their laurels, Washington was willing to risk everything in what I think is a time of his greatest sacrifice and greatest service to the country. So, it's that last period of his life that, I think, in some ways made the biggest imprint on America, even today.

<em>Patriarch : George Washington and the new American nation</em>

Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation, Richard Norton Smith, Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1993.

First Mothers: The Women who Shaped the Presidents, Bonnie Angelo

[Excerpt from the November 5, 2000
Booknotes interview with journalist, Bonnie Angelo. This interview dealt with with Angelo's book, First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents]

LAMB: What did Lyndon Johnson get from his mother?

Ms. ANGELO: Ah, Lyndon Johnson would never have been president without his mother. She was a great believer in education, a tremendous interest in all things literary. She insisted on going to college, even when in last year she had to pay her own way through because her father had lost his money. When Lyndon graduated from high school, he said, `That's it. No more education for me. That's it. I'm finished with it.' Well, she was heartsick because it meant so much to her. He went off, had a year in California of just knocking about and then came back to Johnson City in Texas and worked with pick and shovel on the road gang. It broke her heart. He would come home at night, he would carouse at the roadhouses at night. He would come home drunk. He was clearly going down, down, down. And Lady Bird Johnson told me about one--the worst night, I suppose, when his friends brought him home and poured him into bed, and Rebeckah stayed at the bedroom door and said, "Oh, my firstborn, my firstborn, to think that this could happen to you." And a short while later, on another terrible day of road building, Lyndon came home exhausted, threw himself on the bed and he said, "Mama, I've tried it with my hands. I'm ready to try it with my head if you'll help me." She flew into action. She called the president of the little college down at San Marcos, not too far away, to see if he could get in; it was a bit late. She then rounded up a loan for him from a bank that said, "Any grandson of Joseph Baines'--that was her father--`was--was good for a magnificent $75 loan," which is what he needed to get into college.

She then sat up all night with him, coaching him on geometry so he could pass the college entrance exam, which he did barely. He squeaked by. He got into college and blossomed. From that time on, Lyndon Johnson went from success to success, absolutely directly as a result of his mother's help and determination.

<em>First mothers : the women who shaped the presidents</em>

First Mothers: The Women who Shaped the Presidents, Bonnie Angelo, 2000