C-SPAN Founder Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is a familiar face on cable television, known for his hour-long interviews with authors of non-fiction. His program Booknotes is celebrating its 15th anniversary on C-SPAN, the network he founded 25 years ago. He joins NPR's Neal Conan and callers on Talk of the Nation to talk about the network and his new book.
Read excerpts from the collection of author interviews Booknotes: On American Character:
Bob Woodward on Planning the 1991 Persian Gulf War
Key portions of the grand campaign were developed by a half dozen junior officers in their second year at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. These majors and lieutenant colonels, nicknamed the 'Jedi Knights,' had been sent to Saudi Arabia to apply the elements of advance maneuver warfare — probing, flanking, surprise initiative, audacity — to the war plan. These ideas… that you come at something not necessarily from the front door are all laid out in a very unclassified Army operations manual, which is the Bible for them. In chapters six and seven, it takes the  Battle of Vicksburg in the Civil War as a model of how to do that. What really is surprising is that Saddam Hussein or some of the majors and lieutenant colonels in the Iraqi army didn't study our Army and realize what we were likely to do.
Pauline Maier on Declaring Independence
Congress adopted independence on July 2, 1776. It issued the declaration on the Fourth. After New York came in, the Congress then said, 'It is now a unanimous declaration of the United States of America,' and ordered the document put on parchment. It was only after it was on parchment and brought back to Congress on August 2 that they formally signed the document. Congress didn't actually circulate a copy of the document with signatures until January 1777. Why? Well, this was a confession of treason. You were putting your head in the noose. And the war was going very, very poorly in 1776. Think of Washington losing on Long Island, retreating up Manhattan, retreating down the Jersey coast, crossing the Delaware. It looked real bad till the end of the year, til Trenton and Princeton. Only after Trenton and Princeton made it possible to believe that the Americans might win this war, only then did they circulate the document with their signatures.