Author News and Book Reports

Scott McClellan pushes back against 'the permanent campaign' and 'win-at-all-costs' Republicans
Taking the spotlight at the 2008 Miami Book Fair International, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan recounted the political storm stirred up by his book about the Bush years, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception (Public Affairs reprint; May, 2009). Setting the stage for the story of his years in the Bush White House, McClellan first offered glimpses of his childhood, growing up in a politically active Texas family, before plunging into the present-day 'poisonous' political atmosphere in Washington, D.C. McClellan decried the Republican 'permanent campaign' to control government, and, reading a passage from his book, the scandal culture permeating Washington, with its media manipulation tactics and win-at-all-costs political warfare strategies. Pointing to three key events that unraveled the Bush Administration, McClellan read a passage from What Happened describing the White House Iraq war marketing rollout, and a passage detailing the failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina, and reflected on the infamous Valerie Plame CIA leak and the disillusionment he felt that caused him to resign his position as White House Press Secretary. McClellan wrapped his presentation calling for a change in Washington, yet wondering out loud whether change is really possible in such a poisonous atmosphere. McClellan then took questions from the audience, on moderate Republicans who might be willing to join the Obama cabinet; what he thinks of then President-elect Obama; his position on forming a Truth Commission to investigate the Bush White House; and what was to blame for the Bush Administration's inept response to hurricane Katrina before and after the storm.

Book and Author Headlines

Carl Hiaasen's golf comeback is overcome by bufo toads, monkeys, rats, and a runaway golf cart: Bestselling author and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen, master of mirth and mystery, unravels the myths and mystique of golfing.

Rick Atkinson salutes Lucian K. Truscott and the men and women who liberated Italy: Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Washington Post reporter Rick Atkinson presents the second installment in his Liberation Trilogy, which began with the bestseller at the 2008 National Book Festival.

Alexander McCall Smith takes unconventional approach to his 'traditionally built' novels: Bestselling author of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series Alexander McCall Smith, wearing his trademark Scottish kilt, apologizes for the lack of action in his novels and promises more cake and tea to make everyone feel better.

Patrick McGrath offers dramatic reading of 'Trauma' at Miami Book Fair International: Patrick McGrath reads from his newest gothic novel 'Trauma' at the 2008 Miami Book Fair International.

Marisa de los Santos makes the leap from poetry to prose by way of motherhood: Marisa de los Santos describes her transitions in literature and life and her search for inspiration at the 2008 National Book Festival.

Small press authors, poets and storytellers find big audiences at book fairs: Small presses have their big moments at book fairs.

Cokie Roberts unveils the politcal prowess and power of the 'Founding Mothers': ABC News and National Public Radio reporter Cokie Roberts celebrates early American First Ladies at the National Book Festival, former First Lady Laura Bush's signature annual event in the National Mall.

Richard Price finds humor and colliding worlds in projects of NYC's Lower East Side: Fresh from his former day job writing for the late, great HBO series, 'The Wire,' Richard Price reads from 'Lush Life,' his first novel in five years and takes questions from the audience.

Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian report U.S. atrocities in Iraq, claiming 1.2 million casualties: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and co-author English Al Jazeera reporter Laila Al-Arian report on the 'collateral damage' in the war in Iraq.

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