tv [untitled] June 12, 2017 7:50am-8:01am EDT
oldest publishing companies in america which started in 917. we are -- 1917. we are celebrating our 100th anniversary. we published the first faulkner, first hemingway, has a long line of great writers, and we're thrilled to perpetuate a lot of that great publishing. >> host: and you're part of the norton family. was there a mr. liveright? >> guest: there was, he lived a little too wildly and died at 49. norton bought liveright in 1974. we relaunched it in 2012, and here we are celebrating our 100th anniversary. >> host: give us a snapshot of your history in the publishing world. >> guest: this is my 39th year in american publishing. i had to count. i was at st. martins press for
many years, great house. i've been at norton for 19 years which mix me a newcomer, and i've, you know, done the liveright division for the last six years. >> host: what are some of the books that liveright has coming out in the fall? >> guest: we have a great lineup this year. we have daniel allen who is a professor at harvard who's doing a memoir called cuz who was really destroyed by the prison system in los angeles. she is this brilliant academic who tells this sering personal story, which like the best muckraker books, really could change our understanding of the american way of incarceration. >> host: did you do her first book as well? >> guest: i did, i did her book. she is one of our greatest scholars. she's one of several dozen university professors at hard --
harvard, and this book is so surprising for her because it's personal, it's wrenching. i think it's going to catch. >> host: another well-known author you have coming up -- >> guest: well, edward o. wilson is doing a cook on the origins -- a book on the origins of creativity which few people have examined from a biological, genetic point of view. he examines how the human todays and scientists -- humanities and scientists must come together in the future. he discusses how humans are distinctly human through their language and through their creativity. people always said creativity developed 10,000 years ago. he said, not so. it's over 100,000 years ago, the paleolithic age. and he traces the history with really stunning results with music and speech and art and humanism. >> host: the lost founding father, william j. cooper.
>> guest: i love this book. john again city adams has -- quincy adams has finally come into his own. he was our most hyper-intellectual president. andrew jackson slaughtered him. the mobs came into the white house, and there was a man who the author, william cooper, says should be considered another founding father, our lost founding father. he came back to congress, he led the fight against slavery. they passed the gag rules of the 1830s to try to muffle his voice. they didn't -- they weren't successful. he died on the floor of congress really against the mexican-american war in 1848, and it's the last time that the southern and the northern legislators got together. his funeral's the second largest of the 19th century after lincoln. it will move people to tears like a robert caro. i mean, bill cooper brings this
guy to life, but it's so topical. it's like what happens to a fail bed politician in a very -- failed politician in a very troubled, stormy time. >> host: does liveright do only nonfiction books? >> guest: no, liveright does superb fiction. we did, you know, we've had several bestsellers in fiction. we're doing the first three books called -- [inaudible] which are combined, his for first three novels all set in texas and a new introduction. >> demonstrates larry to be the great american writer he is. >> host: two books with american in the title, monica hess' american fire. >> guest: it's a washington post reporter who became fascinated by this very rural county in virginia which had something like 65 arsons.
the area was burning up. as she discovered, it was a married couple or a couple who were p torching these houses. once they were arrested, they turned on each other. and it's this greek-like tragedy. it's compelling reading. really examining the same kind of people of the hillbilly elegy, but it's a very unusual story which i think will get a huge amount of press. it's beautifully written. >> host: american eclipse, david barron. >> guest: that is a very unusual book. david barron, pbs, npr, science reporter, den a book -- done a book before. he chases the eclipse. on august 21st, i believe, america will have its first total solar eclipse coast to coast in in 99 years. david, of course, aware of this wanted to do a eric larson
thriller book on a previous historical eclipse. he found the eclipse of 1878 which went. >> -- which went from the northwest down through texas x. he does this thriller of thomas edison that's early 30s, megalo maniac, wanting to prove certain experiments work. this woman, mariah mitchell from vassar, is excluded because she takes her truth there. and this very pompous, bloviated professor from the university of michigan, james watson, who wants to prove that vulcan exists x. he creates this drama out of these three all covering this great eclipse. you cannot put the book down. >> host: one more book we want to talk about is jonathan -- [inaudible] new book. >> guest: he's an alabama historian. he says that we really don't know the civil rights.
we always cover the familiar stories. we cover the march on washington with, we cover letter from jail, we coffer the -- and he said that, you know, as the -- [inaudible] it came in through a traveler in alabama, scott cook, who told me, bob, you have to look at it. all this trial work about this man, caleb washington, who was awe rested in -- arrested in alabama for a crime he never committed, for killing a policeman which he didn't do. he was on death row for many years. george wallace stayed the execution because, ironically, he didn't believe in the death penalty. later, when he was freed after three trials provided the evidence, he marries a woman from new york who is still alive who worked on his behalf, and they had six children. i was moved to tears two weeks ago when "the new york times" book review put the review on the front page. and i said i can't believe that people are recognizing this
story. timothy tyson of duke wrote the review, and the book a thriller, but it really shows us how wide the civil rights movement is, how little we still know. >> okay. we just went through a lot of titles that are coming out. what's your role with these? >> guest: in the books or in liveright? i mean -- >> host: yeah. with these books that we just listed. [inaudible] >> guest: it varies, but i'm kind of old school. i'm half crazy. when i'm not at the office work all the time on, as everyone does we e-mails and meetingsing, whatever, i live to line edit. i love to sculpt words, i love to work with writers. and so on evenings and weekends and vacation, i'm communing with these wonderful manuscripts x. it's just the most exciting thing in the world to edit. i think it's a craft which needs
more attentionment -- attention. i'm very proud to be doing it. it's time consuming, but it's a love affair. and most of the books that i just mentioned i worked long hours with the authors in shaping them over various drafts to be the best possible books. adding one of these authors, your verbs are muscular. well, i was excited by that. you know, great writers love to be edited. michael hour that, whose book alone we're publishing, what a joy. he's one of the greatest editors of the 20th century. and, you know, we have such a great time. and francis ford coppola's book, wise cinema, coming in october. he came to us because he loved being edited. and that's one of great thrills and joying of the job. and i know i've trained a whole generation which are all over the business x that gives me about the greatest pride that people are continuing this craft
of actual editing. >> host: bob weil who runs the living right division of norton. liveright is 100 years old. these are some of the books coming out this fall. >> guest: thank you, peter. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> next, "the communicators" with journalist walt mossberg. then a discussion on the economic impact of opioid addiction. after that, a forum on the future of political parties. ♪ ♪ >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cabl s