Nathan McCall

Nathan McCall was interviewed as part of the Booknotes Oral History Project on August 14, 2014. Mr. McCall appeared on C-SPAN's Booknotes program on March 6, 1999, where he discussed his book Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America.

Interview Transcript

Good morning. Today is Thursday, August 14, 2014, and we are interviewing author Nathan McCall, who appeared on Booknotes on March 6, 1999, to discuss his book, Makes Me Wanna Holler, A Young Black Man in America. I am oral historian Misha Griffith, and Bob Vay is our audio engineer.  Good morning, Mr. McCall.

Good morning.

Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. I would like to know, how did your book come to be on Booknotes?

Well, Makes Me Wanna Holler was published by Random House, and people in the publicity department worked very aggressively to try to get me an interview on Booknotes. They talked about how important it was, and you know, that it would be a great thing if they could make it happen, and they were able to make it happen.

As it turns out, many of the authors on Booknotes were white, so we know from interviews that the producers tried to work very hard to bring in minority voices to be part of the conversation.

I didn't know about the internal workings there, but I did get the sense when I arrived that some of the black people who worked there were glad to see me. So I did get the sense that there weren't a lot of African Americans or people from other ethnic groups. The diversity wasn't as great as everybody would have wanted.


So I don't know to what extent that factored into the decision to bring me on or not. I think that I know that at that point Makes Me Wanna Holler had created quite a bit of buzz, and it had hit The New York Times bestseller list. So it was probably a confluence of factors that came together to make it happen.

How did you prepare for your appearance on Booknotes?

Well, it's interesting. Again, the publicity people at Random House did a great job of preparing me for the book tour and for interviews. I remember the first couple of times I did it without that preparation, I sort of bombed because quite often I would land good interviews, but it would be people who had not read the book. So the publicity people underscored the importance of being able to figure out how to counteract that so that you could promote your book.

So I worked with a media specialist for a minute to learn how to steer a conversation to a point where I can summarize what the book was about. Quite often I would go to interviews and I could tell that the person interviewing me was winging it. I mean really winging it.  And so with Brian, I distinctly recall them saying, "Listen, this is one of the few people who actually reads the book."  And I think even at that point I had had enough experiences with people who had not read the book or not read enough of the book to really be able to have a substantive conversation about it. I think I went in there sort of assuming, "Well, he reads some of the books." Or, "He reads a good chunk of the books." But I just didn't think anybody would read all of the books. And so I sort of went in there prepared at least for someone who would be able to converse with me and to be able to converse about it in a meaningful way.

Booknote's hour-long format differed greatly from most of the network television interviews which lasted three minutes or less. What do you think are the benefits and/or drawbacks of this longer format for the author and for the viewer?

Oh my God, those three minutes or less interviews would kill me. Sometimes I want to just slide under the table. Because it makes me want to holler. It's autobiographical. Clearly it's very, you know, personal. And on the macro level in the book I deal a lot with my experiences as a black man in America and sort of project it out onto what was happening in the total landscape in America.  Well, to try to fit one of those conversations into three minutes or less could be murder.   And so quite often one of the things that would happen to me that was very discouraging was that I'd be in the midst of an interview with someone who had not read the book, was not very informed on the topic, and so we might ramble for two minutes and then we'd look at me and say, "We've got 30 seconds. Tell us, what are the solutions?"

Oh! "What are the solutions to racial problems in America?" He was like, "I would want to just..." I told my agent, I said, "Man, I can't do this. I can't." Because if you're serious about trying to get a handle on race in America, you know, race in America, you can't do it in 30 seconds or less unless you're Jesse Jackson or somebody.

Unless you're going for the quick and easy solution.

The quick and easy solutions, right. And so to me, those interviews were extremely difficult. So the notion of an hour-long format, just by implication, meant that we really had to delve into the subject matter.

Well, I would like to know how,  Brian Lamb read the books, marked them up very thoroughly. I would like to know how does that change the interview experience?

Oh, it changes it dramatically. I think, you know, I know for me, I relaxed more because you know, I saw that he had marked up the book and he read it and I said, "This guy has thought about this." And so automatically my level of respect goes up because I know he respects the subject matter.


And so now we've got a conversation, you know, we've got a foundation for a substantive conversation, which was very important and still lives on. And still is very important to me.

And he asked you a lot of questions, you know, just basic things that he really wanted some context, some answers to, things like "jonin" and the various terms and how would you as a black man feel if I said this particular word to you? And I thought that was just an amazing part of the interview, this dialogue between you two that became a very honest discussion.

Right.  And honest and as I recall, sort of a fun discussion. Oh yeah. And again, I was sort of aware of people in the background as we were doing the interview, like Sam Whites and others, and I thought I heard sort of snickering off someplace when we started talking about "jonin." Because Brian, after a few minutes I got a sense of Brian the person. And he's this very formal white man who was basically saying, "Okay, let's not even pretend that I know anything about your world. And so let's, you know, you tell me what this means." And I said, "I'm going to have some fun with this guy. I'm going to show him what Jonin is."  And I forget the tie he had on, but I had, on my way into the building, I think I had passed some vendors and they would, you know, some of the vendors sell ties. And I looked at his tie, you know, I looked at him and said, "Okay, if I was going to be, you know, if I was going to get involved in jonin with him, where would I strike first?" 

And so I sort of went at him and he kept a straight face throughout. I don't know if this guy has a sense of humor or not, but this is cool. And so I thought that, like I said, the best way that I could explain to him what jonin was would be to demonstrate. You know, of course he didn't come back at me, but I think he got it.

Well, Mr. Lamb asked about an author's research and writing methods. Do you believe that the reading public finds these details about the practice of writing interesting? And do you think other authors or publishers find them interesting?

Yes, I think, I mean, just based on, you know, how people grill me, I think they find it interesting. You know, it's amazing the number of people that ask me, "Well, you know, tell me about the process. Tell me how do you write a book?" That's another one of those that makes you want to slide under the table, because it takes, you know, it almost takes a book to try and tell someone how to do it. And so, you know, I think that, you know, I think there are a lot of people interested, I know, in writers. As a writer, I'm always reading about other authors, because I'm curious about their process, where they write, what time of day they write. You know, I've learned that I'm a morning writer. You know, good night's rest. I clear the, you know, I've cleared the plate, and my thoughts are more interested in the morning than the evening when I've got, you know, events and other things that are on the plate as well. And so, you know, I know writers are constantly studying each other to pick up morsels of ideas about how to do it better. You know, the last time, the last book I did, I even took notes on the process. I remembered reading an interview in which Tom Wolfe said that every time he wrote a book, he promised himself that he would never repeat the mistakes that he made in the previous book. And then, when he starts a new book, he proceeds to repeat the mistakes that he made in the previous book. And I have also found that to be true. And so, we know writers, and I know writers, and publishers are interested in it naturally, but I'm often surprised by the number of, you know, readers who are interested in process. And not necessarily, not always because they want to write, but I think, you know, they're curious about, you know, how you lose yourself, how you inhabit a project such as a book. How you capture voice. How you, you know, the decisions that you made about characters and that sort of thing.

Well, Mr. Lamb frequently asked his guests biographical questions. Of course, your book Makes Me Want to Holler is an autobiography, obviously. So, did any of his questions about you surprise you? And is this generally different from other author interviews you've experienced?

I don't recall that any of the questions surprised me, per se. The interesting thing about that interview was that quite often I would do interviews and I would get a sense of whether the person interviewing me was empathetic or whether they, you know, whether there was some hostility there. You know, I mean, I was very blunt about, you know, my feelings and perceptions about what it means to be an African American in this country, you know, in contemporary terms and also historically. And there were some people who, you know, literally took offense to that. You know, I recall one interview in particular, I get there, it was on the West Coast. I get there and I'm very tired and I'm sitting sort of slumped in my chair. The interviewer starts out, well, you know, we're, it was a radio interview. We're interviewing today with Nathan McCall. He shot a man and he went to prison and he says it's all the white man's fault. Let's take calls from listeners. Oh, my goodness. So, you know, needless to say, after that interview, I called my publishers and publicity people said, look, you know, you can't, you can't, you can't set me up like that. You can't allow someone to set me up like that. And, you know, and so quite often I would get that, I mean, clearly this person was one of those who was hostile in that way. Right. Brian would ask questions that were very straightforward, but I never got a sense of whether he agreed, whether he disagreed, whether he, I never got a sense. I can't tell you whether this guy is Democrat, Republican. I can't even begin to guess because he kept a straight face throughout. And that's, you know, that's helpful. Right. Because you know, as a, you know, you don't get defensive, you know, you get the sense that here is someone who has his intellectual, he leads with his intellectual curiosity as opposed to his personal views. And so, you know, with that, it doesn't matter whether we agree or disagree. You know, it's the importance is we're dealing with the substance of the subject matter. So he doesn't get in the way of the interview in the way that so many other interviewers do. I mean, even those who are like just enthusiastic about the book sometimes, I mean, you know, the tough questions are important as well, you know, and so you're not always looking for cheerleaders, but someone who will set the foundation for the subject for real dialogue. And that's one of the things that, you know, struck me about Brian Lamb that he is about the interview.

Right. Well, did you watch Booknotes before you were on the program? And what did your, after that, your experience, what was your impression of the program? 

I hadn't watched it as much before the program as I did after. You know, and before, I don't, you know, like before I sort of, I realized that I sort of paid attention, but I didn't pay attention to Brian. And then after I paid more attention to Brian, much more attention, of course, because by then I knew him and it met him, but I loved the format and I, you know, it was just so refreshing. At the same time, I think it probably didn't make interviewing easier for me. If anything, it made it difficult, more difficult in the sense that, you know, I came away from that and said, okay, that's what the experience should be. This is the standard. And so for me to go from that into another one of those three minute interviews or two minute interviews was murder. And so the interesting thing is that after all of these years, when I go places now, a large percentage of the people who say, when we were doing research on you, we saw the Booknotes interview. They referenced that one. And, you know, I think for good reason. Yeah. Well, I'm curious, as a journalist, would your, did your interview style change at all after working with Brian? Oh, good question. I would, you know, throughout the process I've had this kind of, you know, parallel experience because as a journalist, I learned to do interviews. And when I suddenly became the person who was being interviewed, I, at some point I said, my God, I see why so many people tell me they hate the media. You know, as a, when I was on the other side, as a person doing the interviews, I would often meet people and I would try to ask them questions. They would say, I don't talk to the media. I don't trust them. I don't this and I don't that. And often I felt that the hostility was, you know, was not merited. And then after I did some interviews and I said, my goodness, this is terrible. One of the things that you learn as a journalist is that the questions that you ask often determine the answers that you can get. If you don't ask good questions, you can't, you can't get good answers.


Quite often.


And so I came away, you know, over the years, I have lost respect for the media. I would see myself misquoted. I would see things taken out of context. I would see all of the things that people had told me about when I worked as a, you know, when I worked as a journalist. And so again, the Booknotes format just sort of lays it out there. I mean, it does what should be done, which is you, you know, you ask good questions so that you can get substantive answers and you trust that the viewers, if given the right information, will come to the right conclusions. Right. You know, but you don't get in the way of the process. You, you know, you do everything that you can to facilitate the process. And so that's what you, you know, that's what I got, you know, with Brian. And I'm still working, trying to work on, you know, mastering the two minute, three minute interview. I did one this summer. I forget, maybe on the Trayvon issue. And they had maybe five people, you know, on the program. And we had maybe three minutes. And afterwards I said, afterwards I went back and I said, I promised myself I wouldn't do this again. I wouldn't take myself through this. And so that format, I just don't think you can beat it, especially, you know, dealing with substantive issues, something like race, social issues as well. Well, we're, we're doing this interview in the shadow of the Ferguson, Missouri riots and after the Trayvon Martin situation, where would you go yourself? I mean, I think you go yourself to find out more about these issues in a less mediated way than the three minute interview. You know, for newspapers, I, I, I follow the New York Times. I still like, you know, I still like the long form stories that, you know, give me as much confidence as I can and context as possible, that are, you know, is thorough. I hit the broadcast, you know, I hit CNN and some of the others for the quick hits. But I'm still very much a newspaper person because, you know, the broadcast has just gotten so much more sensational. Right. And this is an issue, this is another one of those issues where, you know, we've gotten one perspective, but I'm sort of holding my breath on this because I've learned with the Trayvon Martin case, with the O.J. Simpson case, the Rodney King case, you know, evidence can point 99% in one direction. Right. And that 1%, that 1% that you don't account for might be, you know, might be a good example of, you know, might contain a major contradiction. Right. And so my approach is to try and, you know, I'll typically go to the, to the newspaper, to the Times, and then hit several, you know, broadcast networks to see what's being said, as well as online publications such as, you know, The Root, The New York Times, Washington Post, some of the online chatter, the mixture. Well, what do you, what do you think about the, the, the Twitter, all the Twitter feeds and all that going, that, that the, that news gathering has now become very horizontal because we all have video cameras in our pockets and we can all get our opinion online instantaneously in 140 characters? Because that seems to be changing our world too. Yeah, probably because there's no surprise to you that I find that disturbing. I find it very disturbing because at least there was a point at which there were very clear standards that the media, the quote mainstream media set out to obtain. And so whenever they fell short, we could cite their stated objectives and try to hold them to those standards. Those standards have become so blurred now that it's incredible. It's just, you know, and journalism has become so shallow that I think we're doing a great disservice to the public in general. I can't tell you the number of times I watch news interviews and I see obvious questions that are not asked. And not just on broadcast, but now I'm reading, you know, many of the news stories that I read, they just don't give you the historical context that you really need in order to understand the issue. And so I think there's something to be said about the impact of, you know, and I know a lot of the news organizations are, you know, going for the young journalists, you know, they're, you know, you could pay them lower salaries and all of that, but they don't bring the historical context that is so important to help people understand the impact of the issue. And so I think that's something that we need to be able to do. And I think that's something that we need to be able to do. And I think that's something that we need to be able to do. And I think that's something that we need to be able to do. And I think that's something that we need to be able to do. And, you know, for someone who's been around, you know, and who knows history, you know, we understand that there is a context for this. You know, and for me, you know, there were, I thought about the riots in Detroit and other places, and I thought about the Kerner Commission report, you know, on civil disorders, where they, you know, explored the reasons for the riots and that sort of thing. And so I think you just do--you know, we're--much of the media now, we're doing a disservice to the public by shallow reporting. And so those people who are, I mean, seriously interested in being informed understand that they have to essentially kind of assemble their own news diet, you know, of outlets and papers that they trust, you know, to be as unbiased as possible, you know, to get their news.

I fear I have taken you too far afield. But thank you very much for your reflections on that.


In the midst of reading your book, I've been thinking about, you know, all of these things are churning while I'm reading your book as well. So I hope I didn't take you too far afield, but unfortunately I have to get back to Booknotes. Mm-hmm. So I would like to know--I would like you to describe, if you remember your experience on the program, I mean, what was the set like, what was it like going into the building, and what do you think the pluses and minuses are for such a simplistic setting and a very simple way of doing the show without a lot of the spectacular effects and whatever?

Yeah. I don't remember a lot about going into the building and all of that. I do remember interacting with people behind the cameras. Mm-hmm. And I got to meet them maybe a few before the interview, but more people afterwards. And the simplicity of the set, again, I think worked perfectly with Brian's style, and I think it reflected what I mentioned earlier, the importance of dealing with the subject matter, the substance of the issue takes precedence over everything else. And it's not about a sharp set. And so that's what I remember most about it, saying that this is a place where we can really sit down and talk. So, you know, again, I think the advantage to that, when I look at some of the sets today, you know, sometimes I look at the sets and the way that people are dressed and it's like, "Oh, come on now. Come on." You know, it's almost like an advertisement. You see some of these auto advertisements and they have this scantily clad woman standing in front of the car, you know? And, you know, they're telling you the price of the car. And you're saying, "Well, okay, what are they really selling here?" You know? And so many of the sets that I look at are like that, and it feels sort of insulting, really, because you know what they're doing. And so, you know, I'm a fan of the more simplistic sets, you know, the kind of set that we had when I did the interview with Brian.

The Booknotes series focused on nonfiction books published between the late 1980s and 2004. What do you think might be the advantage of an 800-book collection with this focus?

Yeah, I never, I didn't know before I went on the set what the focus was. You know, I knew it was nonfiction. Right. And I thought, I just simply thought that that was a reflection of Brian's interest. And, you know, again, with nonfiction, you're going to get a lot of social issues, which is my thing. And so I always think that is supremely important. I didn't, in terms of the time period focus, I didn't understand what the thinking was that went into that. And never really, you know, I don't recall anyone articulating that to me or reading anything about it. Well, Brian Lamb had a rule that authors could only appear on the program one time. That was the basic Booknotes series. If asked, would you have returned for another interview? I did. Well, I interviewed with him again. And I certainly would have, yeah, I would have interviewed with, I would have said yes anytime. You know, I mean, you know, you got a guarantee that the guy is going to read your book. And so, like I said, you know, you're going to have a substantive conversation. And that is so refreshing, you know, compared to the alternative. Right. So, yeah, if he wanted to do a weekly conversation, we could have done that.

Was there a difference in the sales or the national attention for your book after the Booknotes interview? And I'd like to also know about the critical reception of your book. What was that like?

I don't, yeah, I don't recall tracking the sales after the Booknotes interview. I do recall, you know, my sense of the impact is more anecdotal. Right. Every place I went, you know, people would tell me that they saw that interview. And I had quite a few people who got in touch with me after seeing that interview. And I mean, we're talking like for years after. And so it certainly had an impact. I think, you know, my sense was that when they when they, you know, reread it, people might come in on the middle of that, you know, it might be channel surfing and come in on the middle of that interview. And we're, I think, you know, sort of riveted by it. Right. Brian's style, if you know, if you know, you can look at it and it's almost like an interrogation. It's almost it's like an interrogation without the hostility. That's it. OK. You know, and so I know it had impact, you know, but I didn't track the numbers. What was the there was a second part to that question? Well, I'd like to know about the critical reception of your book. I mean, what did what did people feel about it? What did the general public feel about it? And also, what did the what did the African-American public say about it? Right. I got this. I mean, I back then I got and still do sort of a full range of reactions to the book among African-Americans, probably the most gratifying response that I have gotten came from black men, other black men. And I still get some today who come up and say, man, you told my story. You know, and that makes me you know, that makes let's me reinforce this for me that all that I went through was worth it. And that doing the book was worth it because I had never written about myself. I had instead of writing about myself, I had hidden the fact that I had grown up on the streets and gone to prison because I didn't think I would be able to get a job after prison. And I had you know, I wrote about the experiences in which I had difficulty. Right. And so I learned to hide that. And so in writing a book, I knew I would be exposing myself completely. Yeah. And I you know, you don't know once you release it, you don't know what to expect. And so among many African-Americans, I got that response among many African-American women. I had many who came and said, you know, you told the story of my uncle, of my brother. I'll never forget going to a book signing and one young lady was in her 20s and she bought about three or four books. And she said, you know, this one is from my uncle and he's in prison. And, you know, she named a few people. And then she said, this one, I want you to sign for my dad. He's really in trouble. And I said, wow, she's in her 20s and she's trying to save her father. Wow. And so, you know, from people in the African-American community, that was, that reflected a lot of the response. From, you know, others, there was the full range. You know, I got many whites, you know, who said, thank you for this book. I've been trying to understand and you helped me understand so much that I just have not been exposed to. And then on the negative side, I got an email just a week or so ago, you know, I would get hate mail and I still get hate email occasionally from people, you know, they don't understand it. I think some of them don't understand that in a sense they're being complimentary because I'll get messages in which people who have just read the book come away with a fresh anger as if the book was just published. You know? And, you know, quite often they'll say, well, you know, this is America. You had every opportunity in the world and you blew it and you can't blame anyone else. Yeah. And so, you know, I think the reactions sort of represent, you know, the range of perspectives that we have in the country. Right. Anyway. And, you know, so it's been overall though, it's been good. It's been a hell of a ride.

Do you get any notes or reactions from students that, you know, say it's been used in a course? Do you get any of those reactions?

Quite often college students who have had a few students who've done thesis papers on the book and they sent them to me, you know, college papers. One teacher that I exchanged emails with last week in Florida, she's been trying to get me to Skype with her class. Wow. Because she said, oh, I had to read the book and they just don't believe that you're real. They don't believe that you're real. Oh my. And so I said, we're going to do this. Wow. That's great. Yes. So, but yes, and I've heard from some professors who say that they use it in like sociology courses and even mental health courses. Oh dear. Yeah, I think the copy I've been reading was done by a sociologist because it's got little yellow torn up pieces of yellow paper in it all over and it's got these notes, but I can't understand them quite. I'm not quite sure what the, whoever wrote the notes is saying. So I think it's a sociologist. Right. Right. So you're being dissected like a frog. Oh yeah. Yeah. And in time I began to feel a bit like a lab mouse. Oh dear. Well, what did your experience with Brian Lamb cause you?

Well, I'd like to know, did your experience with Brian Lamb and Booknotes cause you to rethink any of your own approaches or assumptions regarding your research or writing?

No, I don't think so. Regarding research or writing, but I just remember that it reinforced for me what an interview should be. And so again, I think in some ways, you know, when I do the two and three minute interviews, that's in the backdrop. Right. And that's why sometimes I turn them down because I think, you know, if I think it's going to be a situation where it's impossible to tackle the subject matter, the substance subject matter in that amount of time, the allotted amount of time, then I'll try not to do it because I don't want to come away frustrated. Right. And I don't want to, you know, there's something about, I want to be respectful of the subject matter. Right. I want to be interviewed by someone who's respectful of the subject matter. So he was, you know, he was, he sort of set a standard that I was intellectually aware of prior to that interview, but experientially aware of after the interview.

Well, I'd like to know what you've been working on after Makes Me Want to Holler. If you could talk about some of the books you've written and anything you're working on now.

Yes. After Makes Me Want to Holler, I did a book of, you know, it's interesting, with Makes Me Want to Holler, I didn't finish the book so much as I stopped it. You know, and so I had this feeling that there was so much more that I wanted to say. And so I talked with the publishers about it, and they allowed me to do a book of, you know, it's sort of a book of essays, social commentary. And, you know, not only about, you know, race relations between blacks and whites, but issues within African American communities and that sort of thing. And so I did that, which was a different kind of book. And then just before I left the DC area, I had begun seeing the trickles of gentrification. And I began thinking about that issue. And I saw it here when I came to Atlanta as well. And so I began working on a book about gentrification. And you know, at some point I realized, or I decided, and here we get to process, I approached it as a journalist would, which is to, you know, we go out sometimes and we see something that we're curious about and we explore the topic. And so I did that part and I concluded that I probably couldn't do an interesting book on gentrification, because the people that I interviewed in general were very reluctant to talk openly and honestly about their feelings. The people moving into neighborhoods as well as the people who were there. And so that's when I got the idea to do it as fiction. And so I said, oh, God, OK. So first time I do autobiography, which I had not done before. Second time I do a book of essays, which I had not done before. Third time I do fiction, which I had not done before. So when am I going to get an opportunity to repeat, you know, a genre? Sure. And so now I'm doing a book of short stories, which I have not done before. There you go. Is poetry next? Already done that. OK. Sorry. Bob never interrupts. I did a little self-published book of poems. Oh, sure. I had not long after I got out of prison. I wrote a lot of poetry then. I seldom write it now.

Well, getting back to Booknotes, in your estimation, what do you think has been the lasting impact of Booknotes, both when it originally aired and then now in subsequent times?

That's a good one. I think, you know, the impact has been, you know, for those who tuned in and tune in, you know, it is a standard. You know, I mean, the people who tune into that are people who want substance. They want to talk about things at length. They want to delve deeper into things. And so I think it's more difficult. Well, I know it's more difficult to get that level of gratification today. Right. Because we deal, everything is, you know, fast and shallow. Right. And so I'm really worried about our collective ability to think. And, you know, programs such as that encourage people to sit down and nurture their attention spans, you know, nurture their attention spans and to listen and to, you know, take in information, process it, sit with it. I'm, you know, I think I'll always be a fan of that process. And today, you know, I think it's needed more than ever.

Well, you're teaching now. Do you emphasize that in your classroom?

Yes. Yes. I see a huge difference, though, in attention spans, foundational knowledge, in students who, you know, that I'm teaching today versus, say, ten years ago. I started teaching at Emory in '99 when I left Washington. And it's a brand new ball game. And so one of the first rules is all electronics, you know, we have to turn them off. Right. But what I have found, and I'm not proud to say this, but it's a reflection of what we're dealing with, that I have found that I have to use more film, I have to use more visuals than ever to keep students' attention. Because, I mean, you know, they're like drug addicts, like going through withdrawal. Oh, no. If you keep them for an hour and, you know, you don't show an image of something. And so we've become an image-oriented society. And so the notion of someone sitting down in a format such as the format with Brian and myself, just sitting down, having an extended conversation, and people tuning in from all over the country and becoming, you know, sort of becoming part of that conversation is, you know, that's a classic interaction that, you know, should never die.

I would like to know if you have anything else that you would like to add about Booknotes or C-SPAN or Brian Lamb.

Brian Lamb, look, after that first interview, you know, I came up with Brian Lamb as my main man. He's my main man. We did an interview some years later and we were just delighted to see each other, you know. And I think that -- I think he smiled then. I think he smiled then. And, you know, he -- just an example of a real pro. And so, yeah, that's it. And so I think, you know, in its C-SPAN, in presenting that format, has done a great service, you know, for helping promote thinking, you know. And that's not something to be taken for granted, especially in this day and time, you know. And so it prompts people to slow down and to process. So, yeah.

And on that note, I have reached the end of my questions, Professor, but I would like to thank you for agreeing to do this oral history interview and sharing your experiences on Booknotes. Thank you so much, sir.

All right. Thank you.