BTS 9/22/08: Books and Politics

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Tonight we talk to three great authors about their books, politics and the current charged political-economic crises. Robert Fisk joins us in studio to talk about his new book The Age of the Warrior which brings together his trenchant, eloquent and wide-reaching articles on international politics in a single volume, ranging from the London bombings to the streets of Lebanon, from war-torn Iraq to the horrors of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For 32 years Fisk has reported on and been an eyewitness to the blood spilled in our battle-scarred world. We’ll set him talking and see where it takes us.

Thomas Frank is back to talk some more about his new book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, especially in light of the stunning economic collapse of the last week that has seen a gigantic ideological flip flop from some of the wreckers in the wrecking crew: or has it? Tom Frank says that it is no coincidence that the same politicians who ridicule the idea of effective government have installed a regime in which incompetence is the rule. Frank catches the essence of Washington's last eight years – and we’ll ask him whether the obstruction, incompetence and destruction for profit will grab hold of whoever occupies the White House come January.

And last, but certainly not least, Larry Beinhart gives us a crash course in economic crashes and talks about his new book Salvation Boulevard, a page-turning thriller that takes on the most critical issues of contemporary politics: faith, freedom and power. In our bizarre, surreal and dangerous time Larry Beinhart uses fiction to get to the truth, as he did in his previous books Wag The Dog and The Librarian, this time alerting us to the excesses our government has foisted on us and graphically showing to what depths our government has sunk.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Robert Fisk has over thirty years of experience in international reporting, dating from 1970s Belfast and Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution, the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, and encompassing the 1979 Iranian revolution, the 1980-88 Iran–Iraq War, 1991 Persian Gulf War, and 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He is the world's most-decorated foreign correspondent, having received numerous awards including the British Press Awards' International Journalist of the Year award seven times. He is also a best-selling author : His latest book is The Age of the Warrior, previous books include Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon and The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, both of which received wide critical acclaim. Fisk is currently the Middle East correspondent for The Independent (UK) and lived in Beirut.

2. Thomas Frank is the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. He is the founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harper’s. Frank has received a Lannan award and been a guest columnist for The New York Times, and he writes op-eds for the Wall Street Journal.

3. Larry Beinhart is the author of Wag the Dog, The Librarian and Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin. All are available at His new novel is Salvation Boulevard (Nation Books).