Monday, September 26, 2016

National Book Festival

It's been a couple of years since I've been able to go to one of these. It's now a one day even at the Convention Center. It allows for many more people to attend. More programs to go on at the same time. And it's inside so not to be exposed to the elements like it was when it was on the National Mall.

More about the festival:
The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Over its 16-year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States.

It was created by Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington at the suggestion of Mrs. Bush, who had created the Texas Book Festival. The first National Book Festival was Sept. 8, 2001. Mrs. Bush served as honorary chair of the festival through 2008. President and Mrs. Obama have served as honorary co-chairs from 2009 to the present.

The festival is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor and in 2013 pledged funding for the festival for five more years.

This year I head Jon Meacham talk about Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. More on Meacham:
Jon Meacham is the executive editor and executive vice president at Random House. During his career, he has been editor-in-chief of Newsweek, a contributing editor to Time Magazine, editor-at-large of WNET and a commentator on politics, history, and religious faith in America. Meacham’s book "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House" won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for biography. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times Book Review and The Washington Post Book World. Meacham has written the best-selling book "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation" and edited "Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement," a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the midcentury struggle against Jim Crow. His most recent work is “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush” (Random House).
Between sessions I saw John Lewis and Ken Burns being interviewed for C-SPAN.

The second author I heard was Douglas Brinkley talk about Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.

I had no idea how much FDR to further conservation and the national park system in the US. More on Brinkley:
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and American Heritage. He is the author of more than 20 books and the Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America's new past master.” Seven of Brinkley’s books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. His book on Hurricane Katrina, “The Great Deluge,” won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and his recent biography “Cronkite” received the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism. His most recent work is “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America” (HarperCollins). Brinkley lives with his family in Texas.
I also dropped by for a little while to hear Bob Woodward being interviewed. I also ran into my friend Christian who was there to get a couple autographs. Actually the same two people who I heard talk. I saw Meacham  and then found Christian in the book signing line. We chatted while he waited in line. I want and saw my second talk. Then went back and found him in the next signing line and talked a little more. It was a very fun afternoon.

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