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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 19, 2012 5:15pm-6:00pm EDT

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access to the retail marketplace , publicity and marketing. we are about to have to revisit what the last year was like. one other thing i would like to mention, and every want to raise one "and i can't help but bring evidence to the discussion, an interview that the new york times did about amazon. this was last fall. he quotes a guy named russell brand, one of the top executives who said, ," the only really necessary people in the publishing process now of the up writer and the reader. think about that. the only necessary people in the publishing process now of the writer and the reader. fascinating if you consider that is amazons few. think of what who is not included in that process.
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that is for sure. >> and most of the colleagues. what about the editor, the copyeditor, the designer, the proofreader, the literary agent, the publicist. access to market needs publicity. you need all of these people to be on your side. it is that kind of business that we iran. and if that is one of the great questions that i think amazon racist. >> terrific. [applause] >> i would like to raise an interesting question, especially in the consumer marketplace. the tension, i think, between how the publishing industry views @booktv eight to use the term legacy publishers, the big six in new york. what might be out there for consumers because it is more
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books than ever before available. how you find those books is not easy. amazon only as a surgeon -- they have so many books, with the can only sell a few at a time. accessibility is a huge tax phrase. how do consumers discover books. that is why i would argue top publishers, e-bus is built around it. they helped push books of marriage, and they also help create best sellers. the debate going again. he a great. a pretty big best seller, e-book normally. no way period's 2 million copies sold for first book. that is sense, you know, random house took it on. so before we turn it over to questions i would just like to throw out a couple of things to
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the panel. how do you see publishers reporting independent bookstores now? is there anything that you can do? >> well, i think, it is a matter of collaboration with specific others. we have a wonderful local of the and washington d.c. who is here. graciously hosted by politics and prose. a very successful event and i believe played a part in our ability. that does a good thing. >> anything publishers can do? >> well, it's a good question and one we wrestle with all the time. in fact, booksellers around the
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country. there are a lot of things. we would like, for example, to have a sort of greater recognition of the value of mind share, the influence that we bring, the fact that we drive sales across the industry because of our choices, because of the expertise of territorial abilities of our booksellers, the fact that we do a lot of promotion. as he was just saying, can really catapult a book or an author. so that will drive sales in other parts of the country, drive sales across the industry. and it is typically being viewed that independent bookstores for sort of rated by their ability to sell books in their stores. a collective group, our influence is much greater on the mind share proposition that does
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have economic value to publishers and authors, and we would like to have a greater-it -- definition of that value. >> the of this got titles or symbols, and that sort of thing. >> the fascinating question. the fundamental question, price point. if you're familiar, it's a special part of amazon. and i have a lot of conversations. they are generally under 10,000 words. hard to know what the board is to describe them.
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$0.99 to a dollar 99. to 99. generally you will sell a lot more copies and lower the price point. all writers are asking about that. from my vantage point as a literary agent that is not their first and foremost ambition. >> well, a big debate in publishing. how long can the fights go, and will the unit rise enough to compete with the downward pressure. early members are i would say next. it's really not clear that you can make up what you're going to lose. but a few minutes of questions, time for questions. so fire away. >> hi. i have a simple question.
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this book fair motivated me to study the website and kid here at 10:00 a.m. how helpful is this book fair or others like it? >> well, it depends what you're looking for. i think this is a great microcosm. >> not to me. not to me. >> and kate. >> a lot of would-be riders out there. well, there are lots and lots around the country. and that think there are over 60 riders here that helps build. writers love to meet their customers'. they are important. publishers obviously help support this and help to arrange to get this 60 publishers, of this year. politics & prose is selling a
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few bucks. so, you know, it's one of the pieces. publishing is made up of a lot of pieces. it is amazing what takes place the million know, to sell an accomplice that. and it should be looked at literally every week millions and millions of books to being sold. sometimes, especially in mainstream media you hear about the demise of the publishing. it's really not the case. is not going to go the way of music which is something that a lot of people like to draw parallel. sales are flat. so angry. >> indirectly. my question directly deals with the background expertise of the panel. i would like to ask, and if it does not really pertain have a step back. i am a retired educator of local
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schools here in the area. the one thing i stress, stevens is the points. read, read, read. and now, you know, with the e-book revolution, i think it is fantastic, but i look at the entire student, he is a person. and am looking now at the fact that this individual who spends hours and hours on something called screen time, okay, tv, movies, the whole game he has in his pocket, the laptop in the schools now, which in time will be like a textbook for everybody. and then the e-book. i know they are tremendous advantages to that. i wonder, go to a billable, and you will find out that the main effects would be the physical, mental, and social. now, this is my child.
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to of one to fall into a category of getting these negative effects. you might say, sorry, there's nothing we can do. that momentum is there and it is going to go on. that phone booth out in the court to -- corner. it's gone. >> does anybody want to tackle that. publishing industry, everybody in it is keenly aware that their is a competition for eyeballs, if you well, with everything that you just described. it is something that we think about a lot. try to make it more likely. that is one aspect. the other aspect, and everybody can address it, the definition of what a book is.
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because there is enhanced e-book links to media, links to audio, applications to law whole new kettle of fish. the whole new way of reading. but the definition of a book is not what it is going to be. and, you know, i would agree with you also, one of the things that publishers have to do in the industry is to try to keep pressing forward. >> ideally i like the printed page. less distraction. all the devices have these moments where you can duck out. that is one of the great things that having of his new book your hand. that rate will not run and you can turn the page when you want to.
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you guys are changing faster than we are. is up to us. even the libraries have make technological innovations. >> i just want to add one quick point from the advantage of a regional business. this is obviously true. people are increasingly with all sorts of things, but you should come by our store and go to our children's department and see the vast number of kids in their reading physical books looking for physical books, enjoying physical books, wanting -- reading a book is a sort of tactile experience. it is not like listening to music on a different kind of device. i think that tac toe experience is sort of like the oasis from the crazy world around us. to some people that is a refuge. the other thing i will say, we also have a lot of young booksellers.
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they tend to be hired out of college or graduate school. never seen a more passionate, devoted group of people then this group of young people. if you have doubts about whether young people love reading his books stop in and talk to some of them. >> you underline it. you look at it. it says something. underlined, but it is not the same thing. okay? is not the same thing. right in the corner. i can do it in an e-book to, but it is not the same thing. an old-fashioned map, in your 70's, forget it, you are gone. i accept that. >> i read in the new york times or authors are now being posed to publish two books yearbook. i know my reading time seems to
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be less and less as i get busier and busier. how am i -- why the press? to bucks a year and especially when there is a problem getting reviewed. >> and i as to your favorite author is? a favorite novelist, for example? >> sarah prestige is one of mine. >> wouldn't you love to have one from her twice a year rather than twice every three or four years? >> once a year, yes, twice a year, possibly keep up with all the other authors that i want to year. all the other new of this i discovered, events like this. >> well, part of that, again, shorts. part of it is the settlements. there are a lot of readers out
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there in genres. rieders, you know, the root reid of one book a date. so that is what they're thinking is. also to try to go back to the earlier point, to keep eyeballs on the book and not let the mind go somewhere else. >> the justice department was suing dual. >> apple. >> apple. right. why have they not looked at amazon with its anti-competitive practices ended strongroom in a publisher's. do you have a clue that you can impart? >> it is easier to answer why they sued apple. they saw in many ways an old-fashioned price-fixing case. all of a sudden e-book prices
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are now 1499. there is no -- well, 95% of publishers, the justice apartment is crazy, they really do. but why can't you go after and was done? you can't really prove it. an easy case to make against apple. how far to actually go, i don't know. ammine -- i mean big mellon is fighting it. it will be an interesting battle >> one of the big challenges of our time. you did. a lot has to do with pricing for >> it is all about price. and that -- that is the case. how can you say this is good for consumers when prices went up?
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well, the short term, maybe that is true. maybe it's not. and the long-term it will be interesting to see as has been mentioned here, what happens if amazon is 55% at the market three years from now. >> well, can i just add one thing to that? i really appreciate your raising the question. it is almost ironic that the justice department in going after apple and the publishers is doing so in the interest of antitrust and preventing a monopoly. the fact is, when this so-called agency model went into effect with the prices went up across the board for e-books, amazon had at that point, before that model went into effect, but 90 percent of the market. when that model went into affect their percentage went down to 60 percent, which suggests greater competition in the marketplace and a broader array of people doing the selling.
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so, somehow in the interest of intent to have in the monopolistic practices, they may be creating the biggest and most dangerous monopolistic possibilities out there. that is one thing. the second thing, and this is something that we and many other independent bookstores are very or read about. people love that amazon gives lower prices. why? in part because they don't collect sales tax. where is that sales tax go? hospitals, roads, schools, police, fire. we believe that is part of our role as a member of the community. amazon does not have to play that role. we believe that they have therefore been given an advantage in the marketplace. the playing field is not level. legislation being considered in congress to remedy that, which a lot of the independent books, not just what sellers, lots and lots of retail businesses across the country are very much in line. so, you know, these are all things that concern us greatly about -- the way that they go
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about their pricing, the fact but they don't collect sales tax and contribute. the fact that we believe there will be much less competition and it could be much worse for consumers in the end if it turns out. >> one last question read here. front-row. >> i just have a general question. in the motion picture business there is a rating system. in the book publishing business there is no rating can tell if the book is appropriate for certain ages. >> i think that their is a significant devaluation system, which is one of the great things and social media. don't you think that the book websites provide for reader comments from a great deal of assessment that would be useful to reduce? >> but when you walked into a bookstore and up in a book you have no idea if the book have
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things that are not appropriate for certain ages. >> that's why you have people who could help you answer those questions. >> that is part of the wonderful thing about the bookstore. you can walk in and may not be going in for a specific book and find something new you had no idea was even out there. >> and as i mentioned before, there are millions of books published each year. i mean, compared to motion pictures were there are a few hundred, it is almost impossible to do what you are suggesting. again, that is why bookstores are important. what is available and what is out there. we have one more. >> noticed any trend as to the quality of writing that comes
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primarily from print books worry books jack and is that becoming obvious? >> lead to a lot more people writing. i don't know it is producing more riders. we could routinely receive manuscripts that don't come for another literary agent that are upwards of 250,000 words, 300,000 words. probably the skinny but that they're trying to get out. it is our job to figure out. and we routinely have of those under contract for a book of 85 to 90,000 words return in many ships of 195,000. a tough decision to make. publishers, very labor-intensive . no margin enterprise.
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>> well, i can take both sides of this. it is to the question of what makes with the most sales. it often is the reputation of the well known elements of the author more than the writing capabilities. that is true and has always been true. i am a firm believer that quality does break through, absolutely. >> thank you a lot. [applause] >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> visit to watch any
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of the programs you see online. said the author are book title in the search bar and click surged. you can also share anything you see on easily michael king share on the upper left-hand side of the page and selecting the format. book tv streams live on line for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. >> the best-selling nonfiction books according to the new york times. sales as of may 17th. topping the list is robert keros passage of power. the fourth volume of this series, the years of lyndon johnson. several appearances on book tv, and you can once those programs online at second, greg allman is the more, my cross to bear. he co-write is no more with alan right. third, lots of candles, plenty of cake. book tv guest for in depth on
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june 3rd where she will be taking your phone calls from e-mails command treats. send your questions to former u.s. secretary of state madeleine albright is bored with her memoir proud winter. it is the power of habit by charles do it. cites scientific discoveries that land explanations to forming in breaking good and bad habits. sixth is draft by ms in d.c. host. analyzing what she calls america's history of creating more and our use of the second branch of government is too powerful. then, imagine how creativity works. both recently appeared on book tv to discuss their bucks. you can once those programs online. in the president's club, time magazine examine how presidents from hoover to obama worked with
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and against each other during their terms in the white house. this is eighth. ninth is killing lincoln by bill o'reilly and martin dugard. then, peter bergen's manhunt recounts that in your search for osama been a lot. you can find out more on these bestsellers by going to ny times and clicking on art. >> arnett -- next authorr interview, campus of usc, basketball great dream abdul-jabbar his latest projecto is a children's book. what color is my world, the lost history. tell me about this project.ojct. >> a book that i did in 1996, an overview of black history inrvi america. and in one of the chapters thatr i rode, i focused on lord howard latimer.
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the practical invention.r. and in checking out what different inventors did in thew 19th century, it really madeteal me aware of the fact that there are a lot of mentor's the people did not know anything about. i got that idea from that experience.k a book on mentors villages toreo children. so many children are unaware ofn these things. >> kids today seemed to be very interested in gaming and videosc why the vehicle of the book toai get children interested in a story?a >> i think a book has they you ability to reach them on th different levels and games to. it is a lot more in-depth, and it is random access. you know, they can go to anyt part of it physically.te
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>> let me touch on that.he flip out pages with biographies. yes. and i'm sure you spend quite a lot of time with your co-authorr deciding it would be in the book. how do people make the cut? >> our choices have to do with the fact that we wanted to pick people who would do things that were important to everyday life. you know, the preservation orvar refrigeration, the fact that nowadays the can't shift food around the world, refrigerated transport. that was an idea that was first thought of by black so all these inventions have for the affected our life. the light bulb is obvious, buts there are so many other inventions in there. look at all of the lives thatlth have been saved just because of the knowledge we have a blood typing and the blood bank. again, very important for all o our lives. and most people don't understans
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that black americans were crucial in figuring these things out. >> including the super soaker, squi this court gun. how did that make the list. >> so many kids play with it and are not aware of who inventedref it. and such a important part now for telecommunication. valerie thomas, most people that are doing 3-d now are using. that application. >> our programs here are interactive, so you can call us if you would like to talk to kareem abdul-jabbar about his writing. this is your seventh book. first one back in 1983, so writing for 30 years. we welcome your questions aboutt his writing and about his book projects, why he does them, what the life of an author is like i
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addition to his otherauthor acli we will put the phone numbers on the bottom of the screen and can take your tweeds and e-mails anh will tell you how to do all of n that.e-mas. i looked through the list and waere was only one woman. why is that? >> well, we picked, what she did was so significant. there are other women inoth reference, of course. to make a significant investmenb that is in wide use, it stood out as the most practical one for us to use.f >> now, the concept of this book, the people featured,k, african-americans, the kids are part of the story, are you targeting african-american readers alone with this?an? are you hoping it will have a wide variety it -- white audience? >> i was not talking to them alone, but i thought that since. all of these people came fromast the african-american community i would focus on that.
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thought since all of these people came from the african-american community, i would focus on that. it is crucial that we reach minority kids. so many minority kids today, if you ask them who they wanted to be, they would name you are an athlete or an entertainer. they only see themselves as being able to succeed in those two realms. athletes, athletics, and entertainment. there is such a wide variety of things that young people can do today to make a significant contribution to american life and to earn a great living and be recognized as doing something meaningful. >> you spend a lot of time talking to kids about this message, especially african-american kids. there are many other avenues besides entertainment and sports. forgive me, it sounds ironic coming from someone with a claim to fame on sports. have you got a message to the young people?
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>> it doesn't last forever. the crew doesn't last forever. the fact that i'm able to be an author and a public speaker has to do with what i learned in school. the fact that knowledge is power, which gives you the ability to do things that you want to do, that is a very vital message. i want to make sure that young people get that message. >> i want to get our viewers involved in the conversation. let's take our first call. you are on the air. welcome. caller: thank you. my question for mr. kareem abdul-jabbar, first of all, it is an honor. my question is how do you feel about more african-americans being in the nba, my second question is would you ever want to be the head coach for the la lakers, and my third question is
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could you tell me who your favorite african american athlete is? >> i guess i will handle this with the last question first. my favorite inventor is lewis latimer and doctor charles schultz. what they did for people was so significant all the way around the world. lewis letter, by doing alexander graham bell's application drawings, he was right there at the salvation of telecommunication and electronics. also because of what he did with illumination and these are important things all around the world. modern lights would not be able to exist without artificial lighting. i think that his invention is very important. doctor charles has saved so many lives and impacted so many lives because of the knowledge that we
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have through the science of blood typing. again, this is a very important contribution worldwide. i think and i hope that answers your questions. sorry don't have time to answer all three. >> let's move on to charlotte in south bend, indiana. >> yes, hello. what an honor it is to talk to you. i wonder if you talk about the book you wrote about the buffalo soldiers and the significance of the buffalo soldiers to american history reign. >> well, i think the industry of buffalo soldiers is important to american history because the westward experience of our nation was a key element in to us becoming a world power. we could not have done that if we had not been able to utilize all of the land that the united states is comprised of. in order to do this, it took
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people to go out and map the roads, telegraph lines, and explored the best places to live and everything. all of this was accompanied by our armed forces, the u.s. cavalry and infantry. buffalo soldiers were key elements of that effort. i think that when people find out about the efforts of the buffalo soldiers, they appreciate more about how we became a great nation, and all of this happened right after the civil war right up until the end of the 20th century. >> many of your titles, all of them are biographies. they tell stories about people. why are you attracted to people stories? >> i think that people stories are important because most people don't envision black
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americans doing things that everyone else does. when you see their stories, which are just like anyone else's story, you get an idea of our common humanity and understanding that these are fellow citizens. they are not exotic creatures. they are fellow citizens and trying to do the same things to help make this a great nation. >> your hope is obviously to influence individual young people. who is the biggest influence on you? >> i would have to say in so many ways, jackie robinson. i was a baseball fan when i was a kid. jackie robinson was also a role model in other ways. my mom always pointed out that he was very intelligent and articulate. he went to ucla. he ended up going to do ucla. >> you are on the campus of usc. >> we won't get excited about
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that. so much of what he did with his life was an example. after his sports career, he became a businessman. a very successful businessman. he pointed out things and with regard to economics that black americans needed to know about. he was very -- very much a wall model and mentor in many of the aspects of his life. >> that's call from our viewing audience is lisa in nashville. caller: thank you for taking my call. i love c-span 2 and "book tv." mr. kareem abdul-jabbar, it is such an honor to talk you into here about the book you have written. i knew you were an author, but i did not realize how many books you have written. what was the title of your first book and how do you decide on the subjects of iraq's? >> the title of my first book was a giant steps. it is my biography. i'm a pretty tall person, i take long steps. that's how i got the title of my
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book. but i choose my subject matter with regards to how to impact people and explain things about american life that a lot of people are not really aware of. >> raymond is your partner on books. how does your partnership were? >> bremen and i worked together in great ways. -- we sit down and work together and defined areas that we want to touch on. i will give him notes, and he will write some of the things that i want to say. if he has captured my voice on it, then we go back and forth. i rewrite things to give him things to edit and vice versa. >> is writing easy for you or is it a real labor? >> writing is a labor for everybody. you have to really have a real
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set purpose to be a writer. the longer i do it, the easier it gets. >> next question for you is from jane and calabasas, california. i'm sorry, first jane in new york city. >> that afternoon. i appreciate you. you raised the question of of only one woman being in the book. you did not answer that question and i would like to revisit it. my concern is that there is only one woman. there are several women inventors. why out of all african american inventors fair, white is there only one -- why is there only
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one -- and all only one -- and all the ones we did during black history month, okay, joy, thanks. >> the ones that we were able to work fine, -- the ones we were able to find, of course, there could be a book on women inventors. all the other ones we thought were significant and we didn't want to exclude women. so we made sure that we had our women's invention. the woman whose future. >> you are also very involved in education, which is a big effort to get science technology and math and engineering and the like. is this in concert without ever? >> yes, i think that is a fact
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that all the people that are heroes in this book, they are mathematicians and engineers and, a chemist and other people involved in science. it really is a key issue in what is talked about with regard to education. so many young people don't understand that those subjects are the ones that will be the key for us having a job in the 21st century. it will be very technologically oriented with regard to the positioning for good jobs. people with good math and science backgrounds will be able to find jobs in many areas, and that is a key issue for any young people who are thinking about going to college and trying to pursue higher education and. >> it is time for jane now in calabasas.
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>> did you attend a catholic high school in new york city? >> yes, i did. i attended an academy. it is closed now, but i graduated in 1965. >> are you so they're? >> didn't have an influence on you? >> i was wondering why the question. >> my high school definitely had an influence on me. it helped me understand what the fundamentals are and foundations of education. i know a lot of my friends went to school where they could take shop and stuff like that. you could not do it at my school. everything was academically oriented. >> julie in birmingham, alabama. probably the last. caller: hello? >> yes, go ahead, please. to . caller: julie, are you there?
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to yes, i am there be not. caller: i think that your book is a wonderful thing. it is a great idea. the reasons behind it are very important, and i just wanted to say thank you for writing the book. >> thank you very much. i hope you enjoy it, and i hope you get a chance to talk to your friends and let them know that there are some great types of information in here for young people and what the deal with. >> that was a nice way to end our segment with kareem abdul-jabbar. or is the book. "what color is my world: the lost history of african-american inventors." as we closer, you just accepted a request from secretary clinton to be an ambassador, cultural ambassador. he just started that. what is the job going to be? >> the job entails me going and speaking to people, selects --
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select groups in young countries and emphasizing the value of education and giving them an insight into what life in america is all about. >> have you done any chance you? >> i have done a trip to brazil. it went very well. i had a great time. i had great interactions with the people that i met with. >> thank you for interacting with the c-span aud writing career. >> thank you very much. thanks for having me. >> here is a look at some books that are being published this week.
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