This Sunday’s Booknotes on C-SPAN 1, at 8:00 and 11:00 p.m., is an interview with Chris Wallace, discussing his work, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage.
With the indispensable contributions of Richard E. Neustadt– author of the seminal Presidential Power, former adviser to presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson, and founder of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government– Wallace has chosen nearly twenty notable acts of presidential courage in our nation’s history, including: George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion, Theodore Roosevelt and the Russo-Japanese War, Harry Truman and the Berlin Airlift, and George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. More.
If you haven’t sufficiently od’d yet, this is C-SPAN’s “All Politics Weekend”. You can view speeches from all the main candidates as well as other “election-related” programs on C-SPAN1, while C-SPAN2’s Booktv concentates on “election-themed” books. Given that concentration, the schedule demonstrates variety. For instance, at Saturday at 4:45, Stanley Renshon and Justin Frank discuss their psychological profiles of Bush. Then, Peter Singer critiques Bush’s ethics (Sunday at 5:30). (Well, perhaps these should be taken seriously; what do I know?) A variety of pundits, election analysts, and cultural critics all focus upon the nature of the elections, the nature of our divided country, and the nature of the candidates. For those of you that masochistically want to revisit the last election, on Saturday at 8 in the evening and Sunday at 11 you can catch David Boies discuss his memoir, Courting Justice; despite its Oct. 13, 2004 pub date, it covers more than the Bush/Gore case.
The complete schedule is not yet up. So far, it seems clear that some sessions are likely to illuminate either issues or our current, divided culture. Others, of course, may either reassure you in your choice or lead you to throw things at the tv. Have fun – and watch that blood pressure.
Looking ahead, the next “In-Depth” author, David Hackett Fischer, will submit himself to the 3-hour phone-in monthly session on Nov. 7. That interview will be run throughout Sunday and be repeated early Monday morning. He will be discussing works that deal with issues often discussed on this blog. We can hope the election will be over by then and we can be charmed by his historical perspective as we discover our (at least my) lost proportionality during this political season.