his book is a collection of transcripts
from 78 episodes of Booknotes, which is a talk show on
C-Span in which authors discuss their recent books. Each chapter
is only a few pages long, and consists of a summary of the book
in the author's own vernacular. Although each author has something
interesting to say, at most you will learn random tidbits of American
history from this book; neither the writing style nor the depth of
information is remotely comparable to what one would receive
from a real book.
Booknotes: Stories from American History
Brian Lamb, ed.
PublicAffairs Books (Perseus), 540 pages (2001)
Many of the books described in Booknotes, moreover, are
superficial in themselves; for example, Tom Brokaw's book
The Greatest Generation, which is mostly self-congratulatory
stuff about WWII. Booknotes might be good reading for your
subway commute; in my opinion, this book should have been released
as an audio tape so people could listen to this extremely light
material in their car. Anything has to be better than
National Public Radio.
April 6, 2002