Friday, November 7, 2008

Texas Book Festival on Book TV

Last weekend was the SPI International Music Fest so I doubt if many Island residents headed to Austin for the 2008 Texas Book Festival. However, if your interests run to the non-fiction genre, then you are in luck.

Book TV, the weekend programming arm of CSPAN, broadcasts author events and highlights the latest in non-fiction books. This Sunday, November 9, they will be featuring several of the discussions which were taped last weekend, during the Texas Book Festival.

Here is the schedule:

12:00 PM
America - United We Stand?

Authors: Bill Bishop; Ronald Brownstein; Robert Cushing; Paul Stekler
American politics has become much more partisan, more zero-sum, more vicious, more willing to make mountains out of molehills, and less able to confront the problems we face. And yet, in poll after poll, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as either "very conservative" or "very liberal" hasn't budged in over a generation. America may be more diverse than ever, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood - and religion and news show - most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. How has America become so polarized? The writers in this panel address the problem from both political and cultural perspectives.

1:00 PM
Bubblin' Crude - The Life and Times of Oil
Authors: Robert Bryce; Alexandra Fuller; Lisa Margonelli; Will Wynn
How has America become so polarized? The writers in this panel address the problem from both political and cultural perspectives. Noted political documentary filmmaker Paul Stekler moderates.With the cost of oil skyrocketing to record-breaking prices (over $147 a barrel earlier this year), there has never been a better time than now to gain insight into the complexities of this all-important commodity and whether American energy independence will ever become a reality. Alexandra Fuller's The Legend of Colton Bryant immerses readers in the lives of Wyoming's oilmen and the danger, unpredictability, and hardships that they and their families must endure. Fuller gives a touching portrait of one man whose life is tragically cut short due to the negligence of the oil company he served. In Oil On the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, Lisa Margonelli provides a smart and funny account of the oil industry that deftly pieces together this mammoth economy that takes her from a Texas drilling rig, to the New York Mercantile Exchange's crude oil market, to an Iranian oil platform. Ultimately, Margonelli uncovers a series of stark warning signs for American drivers. Robert Bryce, in Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence," questions the achievability of energy independence. With his meticulously researched book, Bryce provides a nonpartisan look at how American voters are mislead about their energy needs and the necessity of embracing the reality of energy interdependence.

2:10 PM
Memo to the President Elect
Authors: Ross Douthat; Bob Moser; David Patterson; Reihan Salam; John Stauffer

Whichever candidate wins the presidential election the Tuesday after the Festival weekend, he is going to inherit a raft of problems to solve – among them, the need to attempt to unify the country. The writers on this panel, some of the nation's most astute political observers, will offer their insights about the first steps our next president should be taking.

3:15 PM
The War Over American Ideals
Authors: Douglas Brinkley; Fred Burton; Jane Mayer; James Traub; Ted Widmer

America stands at a historic crossroads; the war on terror has not only affected how the rest of the world thinks of America, but how Americans think of themselves. We've gathered the writers of four of this year's most compelling books that address America's standing in the world and asked historian Douglas Brinkley to moderate the conversation. The writers include Fred Burton (Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent), who helped create and lead the counterterrorism division of the Diplomatic Security Service; New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer (The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals); former President Clinton speechwriter Ted Widmer (Ark of the Liberties: America and the World); and James Traub (The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy [Just Not the Way George W. Bush Did]).

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