Sundays at Eight: 25 Years of Stories from C-SPAN’S Q&A and Booknotes
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First came C-SPAN’s Booknotes in 1989, which by the time it ended in December 2004, was the longest-running author-interview program in American broadcast history. Many of the most notable nonfiction authors of its era were featured over the course of 800 episodes, and the conversations became a defining hour for the network and for nonfiction writers.
In January 2005, C-SPAN embarked on a new chapter with the launch of Q and A. Again one hour of uninterrupted conversation but the focus was expanded to include documentary film makers, entrepreneurs, social workers, political leaders and just about anyone with a story to tell.
To mark this anniversary Lamb and his team at C-SPAN have assembled Sundays at Eight, a collection of the best unpublished interviews and stories from the last 25 years. Featured in this collection are historians like David McCullough, Ron Chernow and Robert Caro, reporters including April Witt, John Burns and Michael Weisskopf, and numerous others, including Christopher Hitchens, Brit Hume and Kenneth Feinberg.
In a March 2001 Booknotes interview 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt described the show’s success this way: “All you have to do is tell me a story.” This collection attests to the success of that principle, which has guided Lamb for decades. And his guests have not disappointed, from the dramatic escape of a lifelong resident of a North Korean prison camp, to the heavy price paid by one successful West Virginia businessman when he won $314 million in the lottery, or the heroic stories of recovery from the most horrific injuries in modern-day warfare. Told in the series’ signature conversational manner, these stories come to life again on the page. Sundays at Eight is not merely a token for fans of C-SPAN’s interview programs, but a collection of significant stories that have helped us understand the world for a quarter-century.
understand, and we were vulnerable…. [Congressional] hearings were held. The committee issued a contempt citation against Frank Stanton, the president of CBS, for his refusal to turn over outtakes from my interviews, my notes, and the citation came out on the House floor. For the first time in the history of Congressional citations, Harley Staggers [Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce] was shot down; they rejected the contempt citation, [but] it was a very close
[THERE ARE 600,000 AMERICANS living with primary brain or nervous system tumors; there are 130 different types of brain cancer; there are 124,000 who have malignant brain cancers.] These are the ones that are not only the primary brain tumors. Because we are getting much better at treating other cancers in our body, renal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, some of these tumors, when they are growing or when they release their little cells, they end up making it up into the brain…. Not only
White House Historical Association historian William Seale has been a regular contributor to C-SPAN’s history programs over the last quarter century, including serving as one of four academic advisors to our 2012–13 series, First Ladies: Influence and Image. He is the author of The President’s House: A History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, Second Edition) and joined us on Q & A in December, 2008 to talk about the White House and its many intriguing occupants. THE WHITE HOUSE IS an icon
on September 12th, he phoned me up and said, “Why is everybody calling me bin Laden’s man in Great Britain?” I spent a year with Omar, and it culminated in him inviting me to his jihad training camp. This was in about 1997, and it turned out to be in a place called Crawley, which is a very incongruous location for a jihad training camp. It’s near Gatwick Airport. We were driven there and it turned out to be a scout hut in a forestry center, with maybe forty or fifty young jihad trainees beating
in the Netherlands. [The Bilderberg meeting I tried to get into was at the Caesar Park Hotel and Golf Resort in central Portugal.] About 120 people go [to the Bilderberg Group meeting] once a year at the end of May or beginning of June. David Rockefeller is one of the founding members. He certainly goes every year. [Henry Kissinger goes every year.] Bill Clinton’s been. What tends to happen is that they go before they become president or prime minister. Of course, the conspiracy theorists will