Sold: “Devouring Time: Jim Harrison, a Life” by Todd Goddard

I’m very excited to announce that under the banner of my literary agency Philip Turner Book Productions I’ve sold Devouring Time: Jim Harrison, a Life to Blackstone Publishing in print, ebook, and audiobook, on behalf of my author client Todd Goddard, associate professor of literary studies at Utah Valley University.  This will be the first biography to chronicle the fascinating, large life of the acclaimed poet and fiction writer (1937-2016). Goddard will examine all aspects of Harrison’s creative life, and how he incorporated major life milestones in to his work. Among those momentous events:

  •  The fatal car wreck that killed Jim’s father and sister when he was twenty-four; he blamed himself as they were heading to a weekend stay at a family cabin for which Jim had intended to join them until his last-minute cancellation delayed their departure. The tragedy spiraled Jim in to a deep depression, while also spurring his dedication to writing, as he soon after published his earliest poems and met Denise Levertov who shepherded his first book to publication, a poetry collection from Norton.
  • Jim received an introduction to Jack Nicholson who became a patron, supporting him financially through the completion of the three novellas that would become the collection,  Legends of the Fall; this relationship led to work on film projects and relief from the money woes that had long burdened him. Through this he also formed associations with many Hollywood figures including Anjelica Huston, John Huston, John Belushi, director Bob Rafelson and his wife Toby, who had made the match with Nicholson, and Stanley Kubrick, with whom Jim played chess.
  • Working with publisher Seymour Lawrence, who embraced the idea of publishing a collection of novellas, an unorthodox experiment that other publishers of the day were not eager to take on. Interviews by the biographer with Harrison’s longtime agent Bob Datilla explore the relationship between the writer and publisher.

Harrison’s sense of place will also be key to the narrative, as Goddard explores the importance of landscape in Jim’s poetry and fiction, mapping his life and situating him topographically. This process will unfold throughout the book in a number of important locales, from the lakes and forests of Michigan, to the crashing surf of the Florida Keys, to Greenwich Village where he drank with Jack Kerouac at the Five Spot bar, to hardscrabble Durango, Mexico, as well as Montana, Hollywood, Arizona, and Provence, France.

Todd Goddard regularly teaches Harrison’s fiction and poetry, and has presented research on Harrison’s works for the Jim Harrison Society at the American Literature Association’s annual conference. His research is well underway, already taking him in to the Harrison archive courtesy of the late author’s estate, thanks to an introduction by generous executives at Grove Atlantic. The archive includes correspondence with Raymond Carver, Francis Ford Coppola, Annie Dillard, Louise Erdrich, Allen Ginsberg, Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Norman Mailer, Gary Snyder, David Foster Wallace, Terry Tempest Williams, and Tom McGuane.

Goddard is also in touch with the The Jim Harrison Author Page on Facebook, where more than 10,000 fans celebrate the writer’s life, from preparing a special cassoulet to arranging bookstore discussions of Harrison’s work.

In Harrison’s later years, he was twice a featured guest on Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows, gaining a status as an elder statesman of American letters and enlightened living. With such biographies as Madison Smartt Bell’s work on Robert Stone (Doubleday, published this month), and Blake Bailey’s life of Philip Roth (Norton, 2021), it’s a propitious time for this biography of Jim Harrison.

 

Sold: “WAR DIARIST: The Many Battles of Richard Tregaskis” by Ray E. Boomhower

Delighted that I’ve sold Ray E. Boomhower’s WAR DIARIST: The Many Battles of Richard Tregaskis by independent scholar Ray E. Boomhower to University of New Mexico Press (UNMP) for publication in fall 2021. In 1943, combat reporter Tregaskis published GUADALCANAL DIARY, acquired by Bennett Cerf at Random House, which became an instant bestseller and the first book to emerge from the Pacific theater, when Americans had had little chance to read about the fighting there. Here are some grafs from the pitch letter I sent to the editor at UNMP, and photos that will be in the book, including one of the lanky reporter.

In 1942-43, Tregaskis (1916-73) was one of just two reporters “embedded” with US forces in the Pacific, before the specialized use of that term existed. He observed the fierce fighting between the Americans and Japanese, sending daily dispatches that had to be cleared by military censors before they could go to his editors at the International News Service. Some things he did not share with any editors or readers, as Boomhower writes:

“During his time on Guadalcanal, Tregaskis and United Press International reporter Bob Miller armed themselves with Colt 1911A1 pistols in direct contravention of U.S. War Department regulations prohibiting correspondents from using weapons. “We knew and the Marines knew that if we ran up against Jap[anese] snipers, they weren’t going to ask for our credentials.” Upon leaving Guadalcanal on a B-17 bomber, Tregaskis also helped man one of the plane’s .50-caliber machine guns and fired on an attacking Japanese Zero fighter.”

While breaking the mold for a war reporter, Boomhower notes that Tregaskis also harbored a distressing medical secret:

“Neither his colleagues in the field or his superiors at the International News Service knew that when he began his work in the Pacific Tregaskis had to contend with a recently diagnosed condition—diabetes, a debilitating disease that plagued his family.”

At one point, while briefly laid over in Pearl Harbor, he sent an expanded collection of his combat dispatches to a wire service editor who shopped the manuscript to more than a half dozen book publishers in NY. Bennett Cerf read it overnight and acquired the rights the next day. This became Guadalcanal Diary, an early example of “an instant book”; it was an immediate bestseller for Random House, and before WWII had ended, a Hollywood movie with Anthony Quinn, William Bendix, and Richard Conte.

Earlier, on assignment in Italy the 6-foot, 5-inch tall reporter had been struck by an artillery shell that punctured his helmet and nearly killed him. Following brain surgery—when a metal plate was inserted into his skull—and a difficult five-month recuperation back in the States, he learned to speak again by reciting poetry, and in June 1944 resumed work, reporting from the Normandy beachhead established on D-Day.

Boomhower’s book will chronicle Tregaskis’s whole story from before the war, and beyond. He was a Harvard grad, Class of ’38, whose classmates included Kermit Roosevelt, Joseph Kennedy, Jr., and the historian Theodore White. Tregaskis knew Ernie Pyle and the photographer Robert Capa.

I’ve found Boomhower’s writing in the sample chapters as alive and vivid about reporting under extreme and dangerous challenges as Tregaskis’s own indelible war reporting. By the late 1960s, more than three million copies of Guadalcanal Diary had been sold and it had been translated into twelve languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, and Danish. The book is in print as a Modern Library edition with an Introduction by Mark Bowden, while many of Tregaskis’s wartime dispatches are included in volume 1 of the Library of America’s book Reporting World War IIRay E. Boomhower is senior editor at the Indiana Historical Society Press. He is the author of more than ten books including Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Democratic Primary (2008, Indiana University Press), which won the Indiana Center for the Book’s 2009 award in nonfiction.

Sold: Audio book rights for “Bring That Beat Back: How Sampling Built Hip-Hop” by Nate Patrin

Excited to announce that I’ve sold audio rights to editor Madeleine Collins at Tantor Media for BRING THAT BEAT BACK: How Sampling Built Hip-Hop by my agency client, and contributor to Stereogum, Nate Patrin. The book is a close analysis of four creators—pioneering DJ Grandmaster Flash; sampling innovator Prince Paul; superstar mogul Dr. Dre and left-field curator Madlib—who’ve helped shape the sounds of what’s become one of the world’s most popular art forms, one beat at a time. I earlier sold print rights to Erik Anderson, editor at University of Minnesota Press, who will publish their edition in April 2020. #books #hiphop #sampling #audiobooks #publishing #criticism

“J.M.W. Turner: The Majesty of Vision” by Kyle Gallup

“J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate at the Mystic Seaport Museum” through Feb 23, 2020

“J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate at the Mystic Seaport Museum”

Painting as an Aide-Memoire

Stormy seas as atmospheric notations; sheer, floating sunsets; a bright-white moonrise over a glassy body of water; imaginary, architectural views of early nineteenth-century buildings; and a pastoral River Thames on a cloudy summer day. These paintings comprise five of the ninety-two watercolors, four oil paintings, and one of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s last sketchbooks that are on view in a current exhibition, “J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate,” at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, Connecticut, through February 23, 2020.

The watercolors are thoughtfully selected from the Turner Bequest, which contains 30,000 works on paper left to Great Britain and housed by the Tate since 1856, five years after the artist’s death. The show is curated by Dr. David Blayney Brown,Tate’s Manton Senior Curator of Nineteenth Century British Art, and organized chronologically with informative title cards that provide important context for these visionary works within the larger arc of Turner’s long public career.

As you enter the gallery, the first dark, silvery watercolors were done when Turner (1775-1851) was in his early twenties and one, “View in the Avon Gorge,” was painted when Turner was only a precocious sixteen-year-old. In it we see a gorge and river view with an overhanging tree, rock cliffs in powdery blues, and silvery-green leafed trees, delicately painted and already masterfully detailed. These early works, along with the thousands of others on paper, filled his residence after his death. The majority of the bequest was part of Turner’s private collection, made for himself, and not intended for public viewing.

Watercolors—a fragile, fugitive medium—are seldom displayed in public. They are loaned, transported, and exhibited even less often, so it’s very special to have the works on display in the United States at all, and an opportunity to see Turner in an intimate light, not as Royal Academician and renowned artist of dramatic oil paintings, but as a far-seeing, romantic, and hard working painter.

The exhibition has many watercolors with atmospheric notes; dashes and washes of buoyant color; sight and thought as one. I can imagine that Turner used these simple landscapes for reference, and as aide-mémoire when painting other works.

“A Wreck Possibly Related to ‘Longships Lighthouse, Land’s End’ (1834),” “Sunset Across from the Terrace of Petworth House (1827),” and “Coastal Terrain (1830-45),” give the viewer a sense of the weather conditions, movement, and hour of the day. They are Turner’s visual shorthand—pared down, yet still encompassing a larger sense of what Turner was looking at and thinking about at particular moments in time.

For the full essay with all illustrations, please click here.

“A Wreck, Possibly Related to ‘Longships Lighthouse, Land’s End (1834)”. Turner Bequest 1856 © Tate 2019

“Coastal Terrain (1830-45)”. Turner Bequest 1856 © Tate 2019

“Sunset Across from the Terrace of Petworth House (1827)”. Turner Bequest 1856 © Tate 2019


Another Good “Ride” with Marc Berger & Band

Marc Berger, 11th St BarMore than six years ago, at a now-shuttered music venue called The Living Room on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, I was lucky to hear singer/songwriter Marc Berger for the first time, a live show that I wrote about then for this blog. I made friends with Marc and have stayed on his email list so earlier this week was delighted to see that he’d be playing at another LES venue, 11th St Bar, with no cover charge on Thursday night. I made a point of turning up.

Marc always assembles a good band. On acoustic guitar and vocals, he was flanked by four good players, mandolin, electric bass, drums, and electric guitar—the bass and mandolin players had been on hand earlier occasions. They played two full sets in the intimate room—a donation bucket was passed around twice among the appreciative audience—and a piano player came on for the late set when Marc switched from acoustic guitar to an electric of his own.

I believe the songs were all his compositions, several coming from his 2013 album “Ride,” along with some newer numbers. If you enjoy acoustic and roots music drenched in the American West, and artists like Ian Tyson and Tom Russell, you ought to listen to Berger and his richly themed album. On Berger’s website, he writes about the setting that inspired the music: “Clouds that forever stampede the endless sky, shadows gliding over canyon walls–the West is a vast expanse of magic and mystery. American artists from John Ford to Frederick Remington to A.B. Guthrie have used film, canvas and the printed page to convey the essence of its unique landscape and mythology.” To those visual associations, I’ll add the 1962 black & white Kirk Douglas film, ‘Lonely Are the Brave,‘ where he plays a latter day cowboy unable to conform to modern society. The movie was based on a novel, Brave Cowboy,  by legendary iconoclast of the American West Edward Abbey. Relatedly, Kirk Douglas also played the lead role in the 1952 adaptation of the aforementioned Guthrie’s modern classic about the frontier west, The Big Sky.

Here’s an old video of Berger and band playing his song “The Devil Came Down from Idaho” at the much-missed Living Room. Jeff Eyrich, here on acoustic bass, also played at the 11th St Bar gig, with nice chunky bass parts. Berger definitely keeps good musicians around him. Rob Meador, the mandolin player, is a rhythmic rock. And Berger’s a good performer, with lots of energy and easy banter between songs.

Marc Berger and band

Among the sideplayers at 11th St Bar was a well known music producer, Steve Addabbo, who played tasty lead guitar throughout the evening. That’s him in my photos with the halo of white hair. During the break between sets I saw him talking with another member of the audience, a woman who had a friendly dog with her. We began conversing and when Steve went back to play the next set, I properly met the sweet coffee-colored Labradoodle, Bertie, and his audience member owner. Turns out she is a gifted musician herself, the singer/songwriter Diana Jones, whose catalog I’m now exploring. That’s New York for you—you really never know who you might meet when you walk out your door. Her songs are Appalachian-infused ballads with a strong social conscience. She told me of a song of hers performed by Ana Egge and Iris Dement, “Ballad of a Poor Child.” Here’s a video of Jones singing her poignant song, “Pony.”

It was a treat hearing Marc Berger’s songs inspired by the American West and his lifetime of experiences on our vast continent, and meeting Diana Jones and discovering her soulful music. 11th St Bar is a comfortable venue that I hope to return to soon. They have a traditional Irish music session on Sunday nights that runs from 10pm-2pm, which must be lots of fun.

Excited for Publication Day of “The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack on the Canadian Tundra”

I’m thrilled that Alex Messenger’s book The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra will officially be published tomorrow, November 12 by Blackstone Publishing, in hardcover, ebook, and in an audiobook edition read by the author. I’ve been working with Alex since 2016, so it’s very heartening to know that his book is about to reach the reading public.

As editor and publisher in 2002 of the superb historical novel The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke, later adapted for a Hollywood movie, it’s a happy coincidence for me to be involved with another book featuring the survivor of a near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear. If you’ve enjoyed such books as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (where by contrast the young protagonist did not survive his wilderness ordeal), Admiral Richard Byrd’s Alone, and Great Heart: The History of a Labrador Adventure by James West Davidson and John Rugge, you’ll definitely enjoy Alex’s first-person chronicle.

The Twenty-Ninth Day is also a featured pick of the Midwest Booksellers Association.

For updates on Alex’s book tour, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AMessengerPhoto and at The Twenty-Ninth Day website.

If you’re in Minnesota, there’s a full line-up of author events coming up:

11/12/19, 6pm, Bookstore at Fitger’s, Duluth.MN

11/23/19 Author signing at Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo, Minneapolis, MN

11/23 6pm Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

11/30/19 Author signing at Frost River, Duluth, for Small Business Saturday

12/7/19 Scout & Morgan Books, Cambridge, MN

12/8/19 Holiday Signing at Next Chapter Bookstore 11-1pm, St Paul, MN

12/14/19 Zenith Bookstore, Duluth, MN, with two other authors

Also, here are some excellent publicity hits and below them the video trailer Blackstone Publishing did to promote the book.

Duluth News Tribune, feature article 

Minnesota Public Radio, interview with the author

https://youtu.be/6Mb4NJcPtiI

Sold: Pedro Mendes’s “Ten Garments Every Man Should Own: A Practical Guide to Building a Permanent Wardrobe”

Delighted to report another sale I’ve made to a publisher from the literary agency side of my business, Philip Turner Book Productions. The sale is to Canadian publisher Dundurn Press for a useful nonfiction book titled  TEN GARMENTS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN: A Practical Guide to Building a Permanent Wardrobe. The book, by my author client Pedro Mendes, is described in a Deal Memo I placed in Publishersmarketplace.com on Monday:

Men’s style journalist, editor of Toronto’s The Hogtown Rake menswear blog, and veteran CBC Radio producer Pedro Mendes’s TEN GARMENTS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BUILDING A PERMANENT WARDROBE, an illustrated guide to dressing well by building a classic wardrobe, an approach to identifying sustainable apparel that aligns with 21st-century environmental values, to Scott Fraser at Dundurn Press, in a nice deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in fall 2020, by Philip Turner at Philip Turner Book Productions (Canada).
philipsturner@gmail.com

For more background on the book, the author, and Canadian creatives I count among my friends please visit my other blog, Honourary Canadian. While we now have a Canadian publisher, I am still working to place the book rights in the States, so please reach out if you know of a US publisher who may be interested in the book.

 

RIP Ambassador Joseph Wilson—Proud Progressive Patriot and Friend to Many

One of my most treasured authors whom I cherished working with across three decades as an in-house acquiring editor for publishing houses was Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who died today in Santa Fe, NM, age 69. When Joe was on book tour for his 2004 bestseller THE POLITICS OF TRUTH–A Diplomat’s Memoir: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity (Carroll & Graf Publishers), he really enjoyed giving public talks, especially to students and faculty on college campuses. He would tell stories from his career as a 25-year US Foreign Service officer, with pinpoint memories of the countries he worked in, including in Niger and Iraq, which had so much topical relevance then, after America’s invasion of  Iraq was based in part on the false claim that Saddam Hussein had sought uranium in the landlocked African country. Joe extolled having a career in foreign service, and all but recruited  people to go take the State Dept’s Foreign Service exam. Of course, he also discussed what from his perspective had happened in the run-up to the tragic invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Notwithstanding the war we were entangled in, he espoused an uplifting message, a proud progressive patriotism that was a counterweight to the jingoism of his critics. Audiences found his talks very inspiring.

On MSNBC this afternoon, at the end of “Deadline White House,” host Nicole Wallace lowered her voice in respect, and offered a tribute to Joe. Relevantly, you’ll recall she had worked in the George W Bush White House. She began a little sheepishly, a nod I think to the fact that administration colleagues of hers—Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby—had been in on the targeting of Joe and his wife Valerie Plame*. Nonetheless, through some surprising circumstances she didn’t specify, she said that she and Joe had become friends at some point. (She didn’t say exactly when.) Turns out, that like me over this past summer, Wallace told her audience that she’d heard from Joe in recent months, with word of diagnosis of a terminal illness he’d received.

In the years since 2004 Joe and I would occasionally be in touch via email, and more than once after I became an independent provider of editorial services, he referred authors to me, including a retired ambassador like himself. From time to time we got together when Joe visited NYC**, but this past June Joe’s outreach came as a surprising message on the answering machine of my landline phone. His voice sounded a bit weak, and I feared he might be unwell. I called him back and he took little time to tell me he was very ill, with not a lot of time left to live. He told me he was surrounded by family and was at peace. He told me how proud he remained of the book we had worked on together, and said that whenever people praised it, he thought of me with gratitude. We texted each other periodically over the summer, and he wrote me after the Robert Mueller hearings. Judging by Wallace’s moving tribute, when she read from one of his messages to her, which was also about the Mueller hearing, it seems he let many friends know that he was ill, and reached out across his broad network of friends, sometimes opining on issues critical to our democracy.

It is especially poignant that Joe died today, when the emergence of another whistleblower is having a seismic impact in the politics of the day. A fateful NY Times op-ed by Joe, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa,” blew the lid off the Bush administration’s falsification of intelligence before the Iraq War. It is galling to me that Dick Cheney is still alive, and Joe Wilson is dead, a cosmic injustice of the first order. Below is text of a blog post I published in 2013, when MSNBC broadcast a special program called “Hubris,” based on the book of the same name about the Iraq War by David Corn and Michael Isikoff. I took that occasion to write a post about working with Joe, and am happy to also share it below.

—–

I vividly recall how the Bush administration pushed the country, and as much of the world as it could hector along with them, into invading Iraq. It was a mad, misguided rush, one that I was upset about at the time, and soon after became involved with personally and professionally. In July 2003, after Valerie Plame’s role as a CIA official was revealed in an infamous column by Robert Novak, I contacted Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, Plame’s husband. In the months before the invasion of Iraq, he had become a vocal critic of the rush to war, publishing a number of Op-Ed columns that drew on his experience of twenty-five years as an American diplomat, including his service as the last American official to meet with Saddam Hussein before the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991, and earlier, as a junior foreign service officer in Niger. In my role as an editorial executive with Carroll & Graf Publishers I was referred to Wilson by publishing friend, Barbara Monteiro. I contacted Joe and found he was interested in writing a book that would chronicle his years as an American foreign service officer; more recent events involving his fateful trip to Niger, where he was sent by the CIA to investigate the claim that Iraq had sought uranium yellowcake from that African country; and the unprecedented exposure of his wife’s CIA employment. Joe, as I soon came to know him, agreed to the offer I made, a contract was quickly signed, and he began working diligently on the manuscript.

Fortunately, when Joe retired from the State Department, a few years before the Iraq war fever, he had sat for a series of lengthy interviews with an interlocutor from State—a good custom at the government agency—setting his memories down in a proper oral history. He drew on this aide-memoir as he composed the diplomatic memoir that made up about 1/3 of the final manuscript. From the width of the spine in the attached shot of the book cover (designed by longtime Carroll & Graf colleague Linda Kosarin), you can tell it was a substantial volume, more than 500 pages, the heft aided by that oral history. As for his trip to Niger, the positions he took in opposition to the Bush administration while they were twisting intelligence and co-opting media during he run-up to the war, and events after the invasion, including the outing of his wife, he had little need of reminders. Joe delivered a very readable manuscript, and with a team of colleagues at Carroll & Graf we edited this draft on a crash schedule, and Joe quickly made key revisions to it, based on fast-moving events in the CIA leak controversy. Throughout, we kept a keen eye on breaking developments in the investigation in to how and why Valerie’s CIA employment had become a subject that administration officials felt free to discuss openly with reporters. Getting the manuscript ready for the printer was like aiming an arrow at a moving target.

The launch for the book, was in early May 2004, less than a year after Novak’s fateful column. Joe went on the TODAY show, Charlie Rose, and he did a ton of public radio shows. I went with him to many of those interviews, sat in green rooms with him, fancy and plain settings. It was as cool when he did Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, as when we went to Rockefeller Center one morning before 7 AM, to do the TODAY Show. His most interesting TV appearance was on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” when Keith shared with Joe and the audience White House talking points supposedly rebutting the book. These had been sent to virtually all news outlets, including even to programs like Countdown, ones that weren’t having any of the BS from the administration. Olbermann held up the sheaf of talking points and tossed the papers around his set, as mockery of the Bush administration. The book became a bestseller on the NY Times, Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With Joe’s opposition to the war, and most of all the fact he’d been to Niger and vigorously debunked the fraudulent yellowcake claim, Joe had stepped across a tripwire that loosed Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby like a pack of dogs, with Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer chasing close behind. None of their talking points actually refuted Joe’s claims. John Dean gave the book a great review in the New York Times Book Review and it became a national hardcover bestseller in the Times and Publishers Weekly for about six weeks. This was Dean’s opening paragraph:

“THIS is a riveting and all-engaging book. Not only does it provide context to yesterday’s headlines, and perhaps tomorrow’s, about the Iraq war and about our politics of personal destruction, but former Ambassador Joseph Wilson also tells captivating stories from his life as a foreign service officer with a long career fostering the development of African democracies, and gives us a behind-the-scenes blow-by-blow of the run-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf war. As the top American diplomat in Baghdad, Wilson was responsible for the embassy, its staff and the lives of other Americans in the region – not to mention the freeing of hostages in Kuwait. He goes on to relate his eye-to-eye encounter with the wily sociopath Saddam Hussein; his return home to be greeted as a ‘true American hero’ by President George H. W. Bush; his stint advising America’s top military commander in Europe; and his time as head of the African affairs desk of Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, where he assembled the president’s historic trip to Africa while the ”Starr inquisition” into the Monica Lewinsky affair developed. Along the way he fell in love with and married a C.I.A. covert operative – a ”’willowy blonde, resembling a young Grace Kelly.”’

I should add the book was also a plea for Americans to be actively engaged in their citizenship, and to be unafraid if it became necessary to call one’s government to account. In 2010 The Politics of  Truth and Valerie’s 2008 book Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent was Betrayed by Her Own Government, were jointly adapted for the feature film, “Fair Game,” with Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. I saw Joe and Valerie in NYC for a premiere reception and we have remained friends, more so than other authors I’ve published over the years. Joe and Valerie played a significant role in the events of our times, bringing the Bush administration before the judgment of history for its deceptions. I am proud of the role I had in bringing their story before the public. To read about other aspects of this case, especially the federal trial of Scooter Libby for his obstruction of justice, and the book I brought out in 2008, The United States v. I. Lewis Libby, along with Patrick Fitzgerald’s legacy as a federal prosecutor, please see this post.


*
Valerie Plame is currently a candidate in the Democratic primary campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico for the 2020 election and I have contributed to her effort.

**
In 2010, when Joe Wilson appeared at the NY Times Center for a panel discussion pegged to the 40th anniversary of the newspaper’s op-ed section, he invited me to come as his guest, and arranged so that I could share the green room with him, and the other panelists, Nora Ephron, Anna Deavere Smith, Roy Blount Jr., and Garrison Keillor. It was quite a heady night. Joe’s contribution to the Times op-ed page had come on July 4th weekend in 2003, with “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.” Here’s a NY Times video of Joe talking about how he came to write the op-ed.