C-SPAN 1 & 2 (times e.t.)

Brian Lamb’s retirement: he has decided to retire his “Booknotes” on December 5 (his 800th show). Thanks to Mr. Barnard for the link and I suspect many of us will agree with his description of this as “bad news.” Mourning the passing of this lovely end to the weekend,

Lamb’s idiosyncratic interview techniques were eulogized. “Lamb’s show is the most strait-laced stream-of-consciousness bit of showbiz on a rigidly anti-showbiz outlet in the history of entertainment,” said one author who did not wish to be identified because he had been a guest on the show.

But, then, I suspect we can also sympathize with Lamb; he has earned both writers’ and viewers’ respect because of his careful reading. He notes with pride he has never missed a show in all those years. Still “It’s been great, but I also think it seemed, in many ways, like I was always studying for a semester exam every week. Even kids in school get the summers off.”
Saturday: Further on Lamb in Fund’s column.

This Sunday, however, he remains the host for Booknotes (8:00 p.m. and again 11:00) on C-SPAN 1. This week’s interview is with Dennis Hastert, whose book, Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics is “a true Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story, full of lived-in wisdom, funny anecdotes, and straight talk about what goes on in the “smoke-filled” rooms of congressional power.”

The featured program from last week is replayed, a panel discussion of life at the fed, with Laurence Meyer’s A Term at the Fed, on at 4:30 Sunday morning. And a popular blogger, Virginia Postrel, is the subject of the “Encore Booknotes” with her The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress which airs at 7:00 Saturday evening and again 11:00 Sunday morning.

CSPAN2’s Book TV offers seven new programs this weekend. The “Featured Program” is Tommy Franks’ discussion of his American Soldier. This will be Sunday at 2:00 and 10:00 p.m. and Monday at 7:00 a.m.

Gen. Tommy Franks (Ret.) writes about his life growing up in Oklahoma and Texas and his later life as a career military man seeing combat in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and most recently Iraq as Commander in Chief of United States Central Command. General Franks retired in August of 2003 after more than 35 years in the Army. During a talk at the National Press Club, the author spoke about leading the process leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom and answered questions from members of the audience.

Another new work (and one appropriate for the weekend) is Tony Perrottet’s The Naked Olympics, the History on Book TV choice, shown at 8:00 Saturday morning,10:00 Saturday evening and 3:00 Sunday afternoon. A second History presentation is Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee’s And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II shown at 11:00 Saturday night and again at 8:00 on Sunday evening.

Another first is Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It.

Peter Peterson “argues that America is headed towards an economic meltdown because of the large deficit the country runs every year. He says that big tax cuts and heavy spending have contributed to the massive debt the country currently has and warns that if measures are not taken soon the economy will suffer dramatically. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin offers his comments and Alan Murray moderates the discussion.

Another first time discussion is Ronald Kessler’s A Matter of Character. This discussion of Bush is at 8:00 Saturday evening. Another work about current politics is John McCaslin’s Inside the Beltway(9:00 Sunday evening and 4:00 Monday morning)as is Geoffrey Nunberg’s Going Nuclear: Language, Politics and Culture in Confrontational Times, airing Saturday morning at 9:00.

Harriet Tubman is described by Catherine Clinton, Grant by Newt Gingrich, J. G. Boswell (“The King of California”) by Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman, George Washington by Bruce Chatwin. Kareem Abdulo-Jabbar discusses his Brothers in Arms at 7:00 Sunday evening.

As usual, there are fewer about non-American history, but these include a look at Pamela Constable’s My Search for Meaning in the Strife of South Asia (8:30 Sunday morning) and Richard Ben Cramer’s book on Israel (9:30 Sunday morning).

Some works that appear more interested in the “history of science” include 9:00 Saturday morning Thomas Parrish’s history of the submarine, Karen Fox & Aries Keck’s Einstein A to Z.

Chunks of time will be (apparently) devoted to returns to In Depth discussions with Ken Auletta and Thomas Fleming. And Sunday at noon will be the PEN American Center Readings on Free Expression.