and castles. this was the beginning of the italian campaign which lasts a very long time, so it was good fixing in the beginning, but when the groundworgroundwork into italy, everything that had been taken out of the countryside actually was in the middle of the battlefield in many cases, and unguarded. so what have been wise thinking in the beginning. >> ilaria dagnini brey is the author of the new book, "the venus fixers." a remarkable story of the soldiers whose saved archive general gore to. >> the 16th annual national book award ceremony, award giving for books in four categories, fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature. gore vidal was also honored, television writer and he served as emcee for the evening. the ceremony took place this
past wednesday. apollo program contains language some may find offensive. >> ladies and gentlemen, andy borowitz. [applause] >> before we begin, let's have a warm round of applause although not made out of 2009 book award. come on. [applause] >> we can do much better than that. [applause] >> is i believe it was george bernard shaw who wrote what a cluster. and i think that really sums it up very well. ladies and gentlemen, i got to tell you, when i first heard of the national book awards wanted
me to host this evening, i was like i will be so honored, i would like to it for free. and it turned out they had the exact same idea. [laughter] >> but i think that's in the spirit of the evening, because that's what publishing is all about. [laughter] >> a lot of hard work and then nothing. so let's hear it for publishing. [applause] >> we are all on this sinking ship together. yes. now i have to confess, and this is true, that when that letter came in the mail that said national book warts on it, there was a moment where i thought to myself, finally, this is my year. i'm finally being recognized for my contribution to literature. i love that word, literature. it means the same thing as literature, only on charlie rose. [laughter] >> literature, i love that. and you know, this wasn't like
beyond the realm of possibility because i do, in fact, have a book out this year that it's called who moved my soap, the ceos guide to surviving as president. the bernie madoff addition. actually, c-span, if you would come in a little closer you will see that this is $9.95 at barnes & noble. [laughter] >> but anyway, i thought this isn't like a typical national book awards type book. but you know, maybe this year the judges were going to be on a i don't know, imagine a. they can give it to fill across every year, right? so then i opened the envelope and i saw that in fact they were asking me to host the awards. and you know what? i was like that's cool, that's cool to. because it is an honor. it's a big honor that and it's also probably good for my career because on the next edition of who moved my soap it will say
from the national book award hosting writer. [laughter] stack and that's awesome that no one knows what that means that it's like national bestseller. nobody checks to find out. [laughter] >> that meant you were a bestseller for one week in accra. no one checks. as i read this letter from the national book foundation, it did start to wrinkle a little bit because i realized what it comes down to, i was being asked to come here to give an award that i really could have one, two of the writers who were deemed more deserving. i mean, that is the situation tonight. let's not kid ourselves. that's what's going on. this brought back bad memories where i got a letter in the mail from the macarthur foundation. you, the genius grants people? and i was really excited that i opened that letter up and i found that the macarthur people wanted me to nominate someone else to be a genius.
[laughter] >> there's a moment i thought to myself, well, the man who is chosen to choose other geniuses, that must be the greatest genius of all. [laughter] >> but even my powers of rationalization, which i got to say are awesome, couldn't really make that work. it was really kind of a bummer. i mentioned philip roth before. he in addition to winning national book award has won a putative. i received a letter this year from the putrid committee informing me that i was not eligible for a pulitzer prize. now i don't know if you're beginning to see a theme developing here, but for the writers in the audience you have probably figured out because you guys deal with themes every day in your work. but for the ages, let me bring you up to speed four-minute. the theme here is disrespect. [laughter] >> yes. in the world of literature, i am
not respected at all. and you know what? i don't take it personally. i know it is not a comment on my talents. it couldn't be. could be a comment on that. i think it is a comment on the genre that i write in. do you know what the word genre means? okay. because if you don't this is going to be a long evening. [laughter] >> i write in the comedy genre, and that as genres go is not taking seriously is not taken since because as timmy is where to make people laugh. i have to write in a different genre so i can start racking up some of those prizes. really need a game changer. so i thought who in publishing is more respected than anybody? and i thought, well, malcolm gladwell. when you walk into an barnes & noble there is it an entire macro level section. and i decided i will sit down
and write like a malcolm gladwell type book. so i start writing a book called due. [laughter] stack why some people do somethings and other people do other things. [laughter] >> you like that? i just felt my amazon number go up. [laughter] >> but as i was writing i was saying wait a minute, some comedians are taken seriously like steve martin is taken very seriously, what did he do? and i realize he wrote a novel. he wrote that novel shopgirl, i could do that. i could be a novelist. and boy, that is a gross industry if ever there was one. i mean, it's like novelist blacksmith. it's like a great thing to be in. [laughter] >> so i told my agent mort, is mortier tonight. this is a true story. i said i'm writing a novel and he got very excited he gave me a good piece of vice and said you have got to grab them by the colonies in that first line of
your novel. you have got to get their attention and make and keep reading, because if you don't what that first line, you've lost them. this was a very powerful piece of vice, because this inning into a spiraling case of writers block that i've had for the last year. because i've just been sitting down trying to write and rewrite the first line of my novel. and i thought since tonight i have the brain trust of the american literature in one room, i could maybe try out some of the lines i've been writing from my novel and you can help me decide. are you up for that? can we do that? [applause] >> okay. so picture yourself, you know, opening your book or your candle oil what's that thing, the gnocchi? and you're just reading the first line of a novel by andy borowitz pictures the first one. that there were better times,
there were worchester times. [laughter] >> you've made your opinion quite clear, thank you. here's another one. then we are in agreement, gentlemen, he said, his eyes darting from one conspirator to another. betsy ross must die. [laughter] >> all right. give me kind of a host dore gold, a historic love story that. here's another one. i like this one. she walked across the room towards him, letting her red satin dress ball to the floor. and suddenly, there they were, her movies. [laughter] >> nicaea, that's sexy. i'm sorry. people say it so hard to write a scene and i don't get it. it's like booties, and you are in. here is another one. there were better times, and
worchester times, all wrapped up together in one big package of times. [laughter] >> i think that's getting closer. i can feel that one. here's another one. we were a ragtag team at best, with just a map of a prison and a rusty show but we are bound together by a common goal, to free o.j. simpson. [laughter] >> okay. i like that because it gives the reader on your side right at the beginning. here's another one. when i was 14 years old, i fell in love with the girl next door, mary margaret mcghee, and i had been stalking her ever since. [laughter] >> a lot of stalkers are tonight. interesting that i wouldn't have expected that. just three more, folks. better and worchester, that's what they were. times wise.
writing is all about rewriting. i think i've nailed that one. just two more. i've often been asked what it's like having the worlds longest. [laughter] >> gizzi, i just put that into because i want to show i could write for women. [laughter] >> you know what the second line of that one is? well, here it is. [laughter] >> the end of. all right, you've been such a great audience, i saved the best for last because my last first line for my novel. i'm sure you've heard stories about bad dogs and very bad dogs, but my dog charted was a funky nassau. thank you very much. are you ready for the show. all right? [applause] >> nonfirst presenter really
requires no introduction, i on the other hand really did require an induction but didn't but didn't get one. so things are a little out of lack. and nappers to present the medal for distinguished is joanne woodward. yes. [applause] >> she has been a star of stage, film and television. ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to welcome joanne woodward. joanne? [applause] >> on behalf of the national book foundation, it gives me great pleasure to present the medal for distinguished contributions to american letters, to my dear friend, the second love of my life, gore vidal.
[inaudible] >> and i haven't acknowledged anybody since. wisely i think. [laughter] >> and i do remember as a kid watching him make his instances and exits from rooms and halls and parliaments. and he was always in a wheelchair. and i thought well, the poor man, you know. he can't frolic and play like the rest of us. and then as i entered the the
artificial limb years, i began to be highly sympathetic of this gallant president. and there's a story he loved telling about himself and his debility of. in the patches come to the white house, and he was not very mechanically minded. and he locked his wheelchair. this is a nightmare for all of us. world war doesn't offer most presidents, but that to find yourself locked in the cabinet room when you want to be in the oval office. yes, mr. roosevelt, we're going to let you out in a minute. and he was -- first day in the
white house, he couldn't make the thing work. the wheels were turning around. and he was trapped and there was nobody there. and he called for help, and help did not come. and he finally, he yelled and somebody came to rescue him. and mind you, he had only been to the white house maybe one day. and there he was, locked in his chair. and so he said, the next over in the old executive building, he was a navy man, always to the end of his life, he said get me somebody from the navy to look after this thing. he was a good user of expletiv expletives. he was terrified. his head was this big. [laughter] >> and it went that way to.
you never knew which side you had it coming at you. and so there he was waiting to be rescued. and they got a kid from the navy department who started to push his chair in front of him across the cabinet room. and the kid didn't know where he was going. so the president is beginning to vanish in one room after another in the white house. and finally, the kid panics and the chair runs away. and there is the president racing across two rooms by then, and the boy is suddenly inspired. he sees an open door in front of him, which doesn't look too dangerous. he aims for the door, which
proves to be supplies to keep a great empire going, you know, in those days it was carbon paper largely. and suddenly the president is parked with all the carbon paper, still trying to get out. nobody coming to his rescue. and finally he got -- he said, you know, in that glorious voice, most presidents fear assassination. it is my impression that i shall vanish from your view, because i have been filed. [laughter] [applause]
>> well, as another president might have said, i noted i flew in on continental airline's from los angeles. and likely the pilots were not playing games. that's about as scary a story as i have ever, ever heard. but then about 75 years ago, i started to count in my head what was i doing 75 years ago? i was flying to los angeles. from new york. and i thought, the world has
changed a great deal since those days. and i did not fear being filed, but i feared some of the movies that i might be forced to observe, as i too entered the carbon paper cabinet, which mr. roosevelt was in his jolly way, was quite content to serve a little time in. then one starts to think about all the changes, particularly in lets say book publishing, a subject which has come up tonight. and nowadays, it seems that the progress of literature is really first you print the book and then you pull but.
[laughter] >> and it saves such a lot of time and. and it's fun for everybody. everybody can dance around the fire, bd lighted that we live in such a glorious era. where is bill buckley tonight? bill? bill? [laughter] >> you can come out now. usually i let him out at midnight. what fun, what fun. it all was. anyway, it was a great pleasure to be here to see chilean beaming and looking marvelous.
we have now known each other, i don't know, 50, 60 years. 50 years, yes. well, i couldn't tell. in the shadow still goes on. figure. it was very nice when we were all, i was with a friend on the fifth floor. the new window on the sixth floor. and passersby were on the seventh floor, we feared them appear who knows what they might not do. we miss the golden era of the belushi's, who were very noticeable. particularly in the lift which kept jamming.
anyway, i hope that the young, gentlemen -- [laughter] >> gets his wish. literature is a very easy if you know, you just have to be busy before the pulping. [laughter] >> it's your only crack at it. and you will enjoy it, you know. it is so nice, to shred the paper. in the old days, i had been sitting talking with sydney, who was just observed in his sage way, that nowadays to get a movie made he would rather wishes harry cohn were still alive. and i said, so do i.
and the one who said the last word on it was orson welles. who did not speak kindly of people who ran studios. orson said, somebody said archer glad that the boulder movie producer types who ran the studios are gone? gone. glad. he said there was always room for an orson welles movie while they lived. and there's nothing now. this was the voice of heartbreak and heartburn. and so, here we go again. i feel that in the era. that our brave troops are going to be sent into action.
after all, didn't george washington say, you know, he who controls afghanistan will carry new jersey? [laughter] [applause] >> and here we are in the brave new world, and -- i'm sorry, joe. if i had a speech i would be giving it. [laughter] >> that is a promise. absolute promise. bottom line. i have never been in this chamber before, and i'm happy to be here with the young man who pushes me around in this thing. he is a lieutenant in the united states navy, and a veteran of
the first gulf war. and he's also the head of the veterans against america's wars. of which they are getting too many. [applause] >> he will pass among you recruiting right and left. what is happening now that is kind of interesting from within the military, and i began life in a room in the cadet hospital at west point where i was delivered by a future surgeon general of the army, who had not been told about the navels. i did not have the repairs made.
surprised should always be offered, or offered anyway. but we are at each area's position in the world. we are not really needed, and it used to be just as an idea that united states was something quite remarkable. and now i wonder, that we've been crowded over. and it was -- there's a photograph of, in this new book that i have published, have nothing but photographs of myself which is highly satisfactory. [laughter] >> and perhaps a bit overdone, you know?
as a younger man, i went with a fellow writer, always competitive, and he saw that picture of me which they have run on the cover of the book. and he said i didn't know you were a male model. and i said yes, yes, yes, of course they appear to says a male model can't go to the top? he managed his teeth and hats not been seen since. so to one and all, and italian word, algorey, it is a blessing that italians will give you, and it means good, made the signs be
[applause] >> cheer for gore vidal, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] okay, that's our show, ladies and gentlemen. have a good night. no, we actually do have more. that is going to be viral on youtube tomorrow. i can tell you that much. and now to present the literary and the word for outstanding service to the american city is samantha hunt. her novel, the invention of everything else, when the bard fiction prize and was a finalist for the orange prize. her book won the national foundations 5435. her short stories and essays have appeared in the new yorker,
cabinets, esquire, the believer, blind spots, ten houses, new york magazine, and on the radio program, this american life. it gives me great pleasure to introduce samantha hunt. samantha? [applause] >> i was chosen to present the literary and award tonight because one mortal could not chronicle the achievements of dave eggers in the time allotted. as you can see, i'm not one mortal tonight. i knew there was something award-winning about dave early on because soon after we met, may have been hired a recovering
alcoholic to read our tarot card and when i stepped into the study with her, she told me, and this is the truth people believe me. this is the truth. she told me there's a young man with brown, curly hair, a publisher, stay close to him. it was very good advice. dave, you're receiving the award tonight for everything you've done in service to the american literary community. and you've done all of everything publishing, editing, writing, but design. use your love of language to stir social justice for schoolteachers. for the wrongfully imprisoned, or loss of sudan, in the city of new orleans. you build a pirate shop where children can learn to write for free. any of these efforts singularly would-be werther of this ward. but tonight here's a book lover. i want to praise her work as publisher and editor.
these challenges can ponder the eclipse of everything else you've accomplished, but to me as a book lover, nothing, not even so much can reckon with the birthing new literature. i remember an early issue of mcsweeney's making me so giddy that i had to first think my stomach back to earth with a hamburger before i opened it. and the journal kind of sat on the table behind me, jaime and was so much potential it was vibrant and growing. was his object of both art and mystery. it seemed like a time machine. it was fashioned with an eye for antiquity but it was brimming with the future of literature. and yes, a time machine seems totally appropriate because it's no accident that dave eggers will share the surprise with legendary rivals barney ross, editors had no lack of courage, with the tireless romanticism.
dave, you've launched the next samuel beckett and allen ginsberg on the world and he did it at a time when publishing so strapped to a support, by creating books a tremendous beauty that would not have been otherwise fathomless sleek new books. he fostered a golden age of literarily publishing of the good old days, last times that i thought i'd missed out on. luckily for us, you did it right here in the present. the initial correspondent soliciting work for a new quarterly that might be called mcsweeney's arrived like some aero, shot back for words like some new age. i think it was the third or fourth transmission i ever received by this new technology e-mail. some pieces that have been rejected by other publishers in magazines. it's no wonder then that the
writers they've assembled make such a strange forest. these rejects were first sampled by readers that some sort of curious delicacy. but under his editorship, he's been rejects have become the very basis of what's possible in contemporary literature. there are mancuso, chris adrian, at art, and coming, kelly link, jonathan, stephen elliott, even a writer named dave eggers. the list is so much longer than that. and it's packed with a generation of outsiders who said they didn't have to come inside at all to be heard. something in the seat of your pants style that makes sweeney most often in such a short time. you're still so young. you are older than i am, but you're still pretty young. and knowing that for a long time to come, we can look forward to the next issue or bug waiting to
spring for mcsweeney's keep this forever hopeful and intrigue, forever awake in the small, odd hours, reading. on behalf of the national book foundation, the grateful readers and writers everywhere, i wish you the warmest congratulations. [applause] [applause] >> i was just telling samantha i didn't know that she was with child. it's been a little while. that's not fake, i hope that this concept of gender from the confidence audience. i'm going to try to be brief.
i am going to -- i don't have a well-written speech. i'm very nervous. i do this when i'm nervous. i'm incredibly nervous to be here a few minutes after one of my idols of all time, mr. gore vidal when i was learning how to read and write, his words, his intellect, activism, his ability and willingness to always speak up and hold the government accountable, especially, has been so inspiring to me. i can't put it -- can't articulate it. so, and john woodward has meant so much to me with what they've done with their access to audiences into what they've done with i guess their fame, how much they've given back. and so, anyway, i'm very honored to be here after them. and i'm very happy to be listed
among peoples like bernie rosset and lawrence. i think it's ludicrous for me to be included or spoken with the same sentences as there is. and i don't feel like i've earned it, but i'll take the honor as a challenge to someday earn it and try to earn it every day. and i'm so happy to be introduced by samantha hunt who i think i discovered to the mail one day by opening the submissions to mcsweeney's and saw this incredible new voice. and i was always what we sought to do what is fine voice is that she is called a strange forest of voices. i love that expression so much because we were thinking that we were outsiders and feeling like we needed to do more than anything was to find a place, a home, is a spot for people that wouldn't find publishers and find audiences otherwise. and we love to rescue those folks, whether they were very new voices are old voices now neglect it.
and give them a safe race in honor of their words and put them in this beautiful package as possible so those words might endure. and i just love the idea of strange. and it's what i thought of when i first read samantha's work. she comes in a very mainstream present a bold package, as you can tell. she looks very normal, but she is very strange. very strange on the page. she spent four years on an imaginary biography on the inner workings of the mind of nicholas tesla and it's a very, very strange but i take the strange person to devote that much time to it. but i think that that found many bidders for publishing it and ended up being published very well. and so i think that this was a room full of strange people who would have a bidding war on a book about nicholas tesla. so that's why i'm so happy to be among you.
i've had such a blast seen so many of you who i haven't seen in many years. and i'm so honored to be among you. and in general, we celebrate the nonprofit with seven tenors across the country. we try to get kids interested, passionate about reading and writing. starting with the very basics. trying to incorporate the literary community, graduate students, anyone with the interest with a passion for the written word. and commuting that to the young people. and that ideally we get them so that they want to publish, that they want to write, that they want to find that power, that comes most democratically through the written word. and so, we say to all of our tenors is a bit weird. when people come to us and say how do they start a center like this they say we operate behind a pirate supply shot and give at
cisco. it's behind a shop that gives the feisty seekers of exploiting another crypt to theology specimens. we say keep it weird. writing is a weird enterprise. this is not robotics. this is not engineering. it should be a safe place whether you're so strange you can't utter or express the way. so, anyway, i wanted to say thank you to just about everybody in this room. i think there's somebody at every table who has helped one of our centers over the year. we captured so many of you guys for help spur donations, for sponsorships, for donations of books. never has anyone doubted it or pause. no one has anyone said why or what do you mean, or what is this all about. everyone just says how many books do you need, what you need and when? it has been an incredibly cute
simulators group. i feel very honored to be here. i cannot publishing to do it without any formal training. and i feel i have been embraced and nurtured by so many people, so many of you who are here. and i just want to say one more thing. i feel like this is a golden time for publishing. i am an eternal optimist. i think this is the most exciting time. it's the most democratic time, there's a pluralism and publishing that isaac is unprecedented. and i think there are so many sides of great things to come. lemony thicket is about to do another series of book. last night, i teach a class every week, every tuesday night at eight to six and is a group of high school students from all over the bay area, high school students that come every week from 6:00 to 8:00. it read literary magazines and they compile their favorite pieces into something called the best american nonrequired
reading. and if you could do this happening, anybody that ever has any sort of pessimism, maybe, about the future of the written word, whether or not high school kids love the word as we did when we were gone, you would not doubt it for a minute. you would be full of optimism. he would have every pessimistic doom thought in your mind turned around overnight. i told them, we met last night, and i told them i was coming here. i said, what would you guys say to this audience, maybe a few of whom were concerned about what is the future of books being printed in particular. and here's a few things that they said. here we go. from charlie, she said i'll only read books on paper. that's how my parents read to me and that the only way i'll do it. [applause] and then she went off with an
expletive or two on a certain electronic reading device that we won't mention. so will he said when asked about, you know, the existence of teenage readers who get excited when they opened the kenyon review. we do exist, she yelled. and we like books and we can't or don't want to stare at screens all day. [applause] and then a kid named joseph, he is a cartoonist who has been with me since he was eight. and he's an incredibly astute reader and a very passionate guy. he said, if there was a perfume that smells like oaks, i'd buy a lot of it. [laughter] i let them swear once a class. that was that one. and then finally there was one more student, his name is casey, and he sits in the back.
he says very literally, he's very shy and has very long here that he grows very long so no one can see his eyes. i said, what would you say to anyone who is doubting sort of the future of the printed word and who's out there listening and whether to keep doing what we're doing and how to do it? and this came out of nowhere. this kid is so hard to get them to talk about anything. he reads everything but doesn't come out and volunteer his opinions, but he just said, come on man, just try. isn't that great? don't you love that? that kelly said. come on man, just try. so i want to thank you all for what he done for the written word, for inspiring every one of mcsweeney's national for continuing honoring the work of our literary predecessors. i have james salter at my table. can i say that. while always keeping your europe into new voices, and so proud to be among you and with you.
and with all my strength i promise to try to some day, every day in this award. and lastly i want to thank my wife, my best friend and partner in all things. she's the first person who has to listen to every cockamamie idea. good or bad, so i share this first and foremost with you. thank you all so much. [applause] >> dave eggers! enjoy your dinner. we'll be back with the awards. thank you. ♪ >> okay, we're going to get on with the program in a minute. i wanted knowledged them of the yes. and thank them for coming. i'd like you to hold your applause until i mention each of them. we've got some incredible writers here tonight.
so here we go. former national book award david carroll, john casey, and that gordon reid, philip levine, gore vidal of course, charles johnson, marion hoberman, would also like to knowledged the presence of the two dozen a winner of the pulitzer prize for fiction, juno diaz. hold your applause please. [applause] also would like to thank our financial supporters without whom we could not bring you the national book awards. again, i'm going to ask you to hold your applause. well i mention them all. the premier sponsor, barnes & noble, leadership sponsor, theodore h. barth found a thing. lyndon meyer book publishing papers, a division of.
coral graphics, the ford foundation, tingling group u.s.a., random house, and sponsors google, borders. mr. and mrs. donald demerit. thank you. [applause] i'd also like to thank the director of the national book foundation who has been absolutely tire bowl for his outstanding leadership. the terrific staff of the foundation, my fellow board members, especially the board's vice chairman morgan and trick and who is really inspired us in his vision here it morgan, thank you. a special thanks also to our board member lynn as bait.
who longer with morgan is a cochair of the event, the dinner tonight. into her other dinner cochairs shelley and height. i thank you for coming, being part of this great tradition, remind you that the finalist books up on the centerpieces of your table are yours to take at the end of the evening. good luck to her 20 finalist and now let me introduce the vice chairman of the book foundation, morgan enter can. [applause] >> thank you, david. my job tonight is to announce the winner of the best of the national book awards. you've heard this is the 60th national book award so we came up with this idea.
actually stole it from the booker. that what we would do is we would look at all the books that had won the fiction prize over the last 60 years veered well, it turned out to be -- and then figure out and have a contest and name the best of them. it turned out that 77 books have been awarded this service over two years. and so there was this curious history to that. in some years to judges split the word and then in 1980 they actually decided to have a lot of different categories. and andy, they give an award to the best science fiction paperback, the best western paperback, the best sweeper vac. they had about eight awards. that's why there were 77. what we did was, we put a ballot together and we put sent it to a pool of 600 people. you had to be living, of course. if you were a finalist, a judge, or a winner in any category, you
were on this mailing list. so we sent out the list of 77 and we got 140 responses. and from that we got a shortlist of six titles. and i think that they're going to show them on the screen here. the six titles with a finalist for the best of the national book awards were invisible man, gravity's rainbow, the collected stories of eudora welty, the collected stories of john cheever, the collected stories of william faulkner and the collected stories of flannery o'connor. and what we announced this shortlist in the third week of september, rate between the release of dan brown and the new oprah selection, it's very strategically. at the great thing that happened with this program as we did it all summer, was it brought together, i remember one day in the grove atlantic conference room we had jamie and patricia from barnes & noble.
we had just run strauss. either on the phone or in the room we had every major retailer that gave us reporters from amazon, from the aba, most of the major publishers. all sitting together trying to come up with a way to make you aware of the six great books. it was a very inspiring moment. we fan out to hope and i think we really hoped that we might get two or 3000 votes. we set this out online. would a five-week voting. we optimistically said to the board that our goal was 5000 votes. we ended up getting over 10,000 votes. thank you to all of our partners and i endeavor. i think we helped raise the awareness of this award and the national book foundation does. and now it's my pleasure to announce that the winner is of the best of the 60th national book awards is the complete stories by flannery o'connor.
[applause] i don't think flannery is going to appear to accept, but congratulations particularly to robert who is a great, great tribute to him. and thank you to all of our partners. thank you all for coming. >> morgan entrekin. nice round of applause. in my script that they gave me it does at this point, feel free to make additional remarks if you wish. well, i do not wish. are you with me on that decision? yes, let's get this moving. ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin this year's national book award ceremony and the awards we presented in this order reversed alphabetical order, which is also interestingly how i write. young people's literature first.
poetry, nonfiction, and then fiction. and i would like to introduce nancy wore linen, the young people's panel chair. nancy is the author of seven young adult novels, the most recent of which is impossible, published in 2008. her book, the rules of survival, with a finalist for the national book award and young people's literature in 2006. it gives me great pleasure to introduce nancy. [applause] >> fiddle with my notes. thank you. it is not only been an honor and privilege to serve as a judge this year, but frankly it's been a sheer joy tanks to my fellow judges caspi, coe booth, carolyn komen, and gina.
our category, they deserve applause. our category encompasses picture books, nonfiction, which has subcategories, rocket books, more subcategories, poetry, short stories and novels. and of course the reader age range for our category is nothing short of enormous. all the way to age 18. each of us read every nominated look as we pursued our chosen mission was to try to find five books in 2009 that in our opinion had the potential to become classics. a classic work for young people is often a liver creation, one that has the ability to meet its readers who will be up. ages, both chronologically and in maturity. on their own level of
experience. a classic work gives different but equally rich and thoughtful gifts multiple levels of readership, including adult. it must be this i speculate in order to survive. out of many books that we loved we chose five diverse books that we feel are extraordinary artistic achievements and that are also notable for their writerly imagination and courage. and i'll add a personal note that i feel that the committee itself exhibited imagination and courage in the making of our list. i thank them for it and i think future leaders will as well. enough of alphabetical order. deborah heilig man for charles and emma, the darwin leap of faith. published by henry and company.
phil opposed for claudette and twice towards justice. [applause] published by melanie. david small four stitches. published by ww norton & co. lanie taylor for lake koch, reader williams for it jumped. published by harper team. and this is a love note to you, our five authors, we adore your books. and we hope during this national book award celebrations and during the past month that you have felt our admiration and our pride in you as representatives of the extraordinary young
i think absolutely everyone in the room, the four judges, the national book foundation. i think my brilliant, brilliant editor, melanie, one of the great editors in the history of children's literature. i thank all my colleagues at first strauss, simon, lauren walch, elizabeth karen, and so many others. i think my wonderful wife. , sandy st. george who listened to every word many times. i think my daughters who are here tonight. who supported me all the way. i dave think this woman beside e
claudette cools and for taking a chance on me. she had never heard of me. why would she do such a thing? and somehow she did and my job in this book was to pull someone who is about to disappear under histories were a out from under their end by god, you know, because of the kurds of these judges. the way it felt for a teenager, not just what happened, but how it felt. we have saved that story and i just can't thank you enough. claudette colbert. [applause] she did what rosa parks did a year before rosa parks did and
then she had the guts to sue the city of montgomery and the state of alabama, claiming that the bus segregation laws were unconstitutional and they won. it went all the way to the supreme court. and because of this woman, our lives have changed and it's so often that way. women and children, people who are unknown, or under known. their stories are not told and we got to tell one. thank you. thank you so much. [applause] thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] >> to present the book award in poetry. which was a finalist in the national book award in poetry in 2004. she is also translated several
volumes of contemporary french poetry including art poetic title livia cardillo, published in 1999, gives me great pleasure to introduce colt swinton. [applause] >> thank you and good evening. i'd like to thank herald and everyone at the national book foundation. on behalf of the entire poetry selection committee, which included a van jordan, cabin john, and myself. for the wonderful opportunity not just to read, but to wallow in the american poetry of an entire gear. and while every year the poets in this country turned out amazing things and in great number, this year was particularly rich emma which made our job not so much difficult as engrossing.
our phone medians quickly evolved into literary discussion in which each book that has to consider the principles that make poetry crucial to contemporary society. such is its capacity to renew language and best to renew human possibility. we found these principles and opted in so many works and to narrow it down to five was almost physically painful, but somehow we managed. and they are, in alphabetical order, ray armin trout for versed. and lauterbach for to begin again published by penguin books. carl phillips, four-speed glow.
open intervals published by the university of pittsburgh. and keith while jump for transcendental studies of trilogy published by the university of california. it was a very, very difficult decision. we spent literally hours and hours and got to know these books sell well and ended up loving all of them. it was almost impossible to decide. but in the long run, we decided to give this year's national book award in poetry to keith waldrep for transcendental studies. [applause]
existence of this award would simply get people to read more poetry. but anyway, thank you. [applause] >> the national book award and nonfiction will be presented by david. he is class of 1954 professor of american history at yale university and author of many books on 19th century american history including a slave no more, published in 2007 and race and reunion which received the abraham lincoln price, and the freighter a good price. ladies and gentlemen, david blight. [applause] >> thank you very much and good
evening, fellow booklovers. we held our final, it wasn't final, we held our longest conference call where we chose the five finalists. the feeling i had as i walked down the street to get a coffee was sadness and it was sadness i think because of all those wonderful books we just threw out. today i had a little bit of feeling a bit this afternoon, but i also feel thrilled to have this role. it's been a great privilege to serve with a wonderful jury, all of whom just met one another this afternoon. and now we're lamenting that we don't have enough time to spend with one another. our jury consisted of amanda foreman ahmed steve olson, camille paglia, and john phillips santos. nonfiction of course has been
also hopelessly broad category. we had everything, lots of biography, lots of memoir history, policy books, politics, books about dogs, books about war, it's about peace, and lots and lots of other categories. from our very first call in our very first long discussion of this, we did actually try to establish a common criteria. and they were largely i suppose what you would tank. we want a good if not very great racing. we wanted books of the accessible to broad audiences. we wanted a book we kept saying that we would recommend everyone read. we wanted books that were great research. we wanted books that would stand up over time and we wanted books with topicality, books that were about something big. this year's five finalists are,
in alphabetical order, david and carol for following the water, a high german sirs notebook. shaun b. carroll for "remarkable creatures: epic adventures in the search for the origins of "e creatures: epic adventures in the search for the origins of species." greg grandin for "fordlandia: the rise and fall of henry ford's forgotten jungle city" published by metropolitan books. adrienne mayor for "the poison king: the life and legend of mithradates rome's deadliest enemy" published by princeton university press. and t.j. stiles for "the first tycoon: the epic life of cornelius vanderbilt" published by alfred cannot.
>> you have to excuse me. this is an out of body experience. i actually did prepare a few remarks. i'm sorry for lengthening the evening. i would like to preface my bank used with a few words that i hope will give them more weight. before he became a full-time writer and worked for ten years in publishing both academic and trade. when i told my last boss that i was leaving to right, she said i always knew you wanted to be on the other side. you would've thought i was going to tunnel into the berlin wall. while i'm reporting back to say that there is no other side. i rather knew that from the beginning when i was first hired at oxford university press straight out of graduate school by woody gilmerton. woody, a fine writer with an essay from. the culture of the written word is a complex ecosystem, filled
with interdependent species and most of them could be making a lot more money and some other swarm. the author is at the center, that every exist only because of countless people who care about writing and knowledge. these are people who know that the book lives at the heart of all of our culture, that is the repository of knowledge, the breaker of news, the collector up with them, the thing of beauty. these are people, all of us in this room have relied on, sometimes yelled out, and have been ourselves or perhaps are at this moment. so before i think some specific people who helped bring my book into existence, i want to thank at the editorial existence, the copywriters are getting managers, copy editors, graphic design, production managers, and managing editors. i want to thank --
[applause] i want to thank the indexers, publishers, receptionist and salespeople. i want to thank the mailroom guys, the warehouse staff, bookstore clerks and independent look store owners. i want to think even the book reviewers. academic scholars, librarians, a specially librarians, agents and unsung archivist. i suspect that the advent of the e-book is fooling some people into believing that none of these people aren't necessary anymore. or perhaps do not even exist. if they cease to exist, then e-books will only be worth the paper they are not printed on. and i sincerely thank might fellow finalists as well as the excellent writers whose books did not fall into this particular final five.
one of the great virtues of a price like this is that they all stand up and say really, what about this book? the very arbitrariness of picking just one reminds us that the book is alive and well in our digital age. i sincerely thank the judges who have the unmanageable task of ruling out one outstanding book after another, who labored tirelessly and for nowhere near enough money, simply because they too loved the written word. and to that extent, i would like to thank at the national book foundation, also filled with people who are in it simply because they love books. so just to close with a couple of specific names, it is my great honor to have worked with my long time and brilliant editor, jonathan siegel of cannot. [applause] key is a rarity. he is a true literary editor who
understands the business as well. this book would not be what it is and might not even exist if it were not for him. my agent, and jill greenberg is a real friend as well as an outstanding representative who has believed in me for a long time now. my parents, there wasn't enough applause. my parents, dr. quest and carol styles were here tonight. having come all the way from fully, minnesota, where i was born. they looked so far north they can seize their appeal and from their house. and my wife, jessica, who is brilliant, beautiful, thoughtful, soulful come in the real professional when it comes to writing. we barely made it here this week because we were both hit with the bug that sent me to the
emergency room as well as my young son who is doing much better now and is being cared for by a wonderful mother-in-law back in favorite cisco. she is here as she has been here with me every step of the way. thank you all so much. [applause] >> last award, folks. to present the 2009 national book award for fiction is dr. charles johnson. dr. johnson is the author of middle passage, which won the national book award in fiction in the t. 90. his most recent work of fiction is dr. king's refrigerator, and other bedtime story. published in 2005. he is the macarthur fellow, macarthur? so he won it.
alright i'm better now. he is a macarthur fellow and a recipient of an american academy of arts and letters award for literature. it gives me great pleasure to introduce charles johnson. charles? [applause] >> this is my third time serving as a fiction judge for the national book awards. my second time as chair and i just have to say that the other judges this year lydia, alan, juno, and jennifer are the finest group of writers i have ever worked with when judging a literary prize. any one of them could have shared this panel. so i feel indebted to the other judges for completing this impossible chore and for
enlightening me during our process. between april and october of this year, we had two conference calls, 700 irby e-mail exchanges, as we discussed almost 300 action titles and had three rounds of weighted voting. our goal was to apprise the short list of five fine books that represented a set of diversity and cultural diversity, with each individual book standing on its own as an example of artistic excellence. by the end of this very democratic transparent and rigorous process, we happily selected bernie joe campbell for american salvage, published by wayne state university press. [applause] column mccann for let the great
worldspan. published by random house. danielle for in other rooms, other wonders, published by ww norton & co. jayne anne phillips for lark and termite published by alfred a. cannot. and marcel for roo published by for our strauss andrew. [applause] and the winner of the 2009 national book award in fiction is let the great world spin by alan mc can.
and my wife, alison. and the two parts of my life were there together. it was ireland and it was new york and america. and then, you know, it's so hard to gauge happiness. to have a book is an enormous privilege. to have a reader is an enormous privilege. and to have your colleagues read your book and to vote for your book is an extraordinary. of course, literature he and everyone who is here tonight has one and all sorts of ways. all i want to say is that stories our democracy. they are the purest form of
engagement. as somebody who's come from ireland and come here and i am extraordinarily honoredby the fact, it seems to me, and american literature is able to embrace an american publishing is able to embrace the other. and the best honor of all is being able to embrace the other. i believe in the power of the word. i believe in dave eggers and do you have to take this honor as a challenge. in best fiction writers and people who believe in the word, that we have to enter the anonymous corners of human experience. and to make that little corner
right. and there's so much i want to say. they are so many people i need to thank. everybody from random house, you did an amazing job. thank you very, very much. [applause] but the expansive and empathetic nature of american fiction is sort of for me is on display here tonight. i think to be an immigrant is an old-fashioned word, but i feel truly embraced by this. i feel embraced by the city and what has given to me and my family. i want to say one little word about a very special friend who i lost this year. and i'd like to dedicate this award to. and that's good all frank
mccourt. [applause] i think he's dancing upstairs. as he said to me one time, he's going to be dancing upstairs with the jc and the mary ann and the 12 hot boys. and in the morning it will all be forgiven. it's an extraordinary thing and i hope that we will go dancing later on. thank you to the judges and thank you to the fellow writers who are here. i'm sort of speechless. thank you so much. have a good night. [applause] caught
>> let's hear it for all the nominees and winners. come on! [cheers and applause] ladies and gentlemen, that is going to just about do it. three quick things. one is after this the party continues. we're having an after party. there's going to be liquor and lots of good stuff. stick around for that. second, please be sure to join us next year at the national book awards, where the early favorite in the fiction category is going rogue by sarah palen. and finally, just on a personal note, this is the first time i've ever hosted national book awards. it was quite an honor, thank you very much. thank you [applause]
>> longtime journalist steve roberts and has just written a new book called from every end of this earth. thirteen families and the lives they made in america. do you want to tell us about one of these families you follow. >> one is pablo romero who taught that a school in rural mexico when he was 11 years old, came to america as a farm worker when he was 13, spent his entire teenage and the lettuce fields of california. never went to high school. then he got drafted in the american army.
he got his high school equivalency, blossomed in the army, red every book in the post-library. came home and got to junior college because the local college in helena had a program for young hispanics. he got baseball scholarship and his said you should go to my school. the matter how many spanish speaker dr. and the answer was zero. today, still never having gone to high school, pablo romero runs the neighborhood medical clinic and salinas california were 80% of his patients are the farmworkers that used to work with. >> y. 13 families? the >> well, i wanted a range of families. i wanted them to come from different countries. i wanted them to represent different dimensions of the story. people like pablo came with no education and made their lives here. others came to graduate school to study biochemistry.
others as refugees from sierra leone in west africa where the eddie stanley fled civil war, his father saw his brother and father decapitated by rebels. came to america as a political refuge. he was taken in as a catholic surge in new jersey. so there's no one family or no ten families to tell the whole story, but i tried to get a sense of the broader picture. and the title comes from barack obama's inaugural address. ..
>> yes and no. the biggest and notion of immigration is one of the most dramatic and compelling of all human stories that never change. i knew from my own family history, i knew there story of their lives and grew up in the immigrant community in new jersey where everybody i knew was from the immigrant family. that sense of what it takes takes, resilience, the
tenacity does not change. but understanding the new patterns of immigration. people can use technology to stay in touch. my grandfather was out of touch with his own family for 50 years. today i have a student from brazil whose brother was marrying a brazilian if a grant and her family could not come to the wedding. semis did it took a laptop and a digital camera and did he realtime slideshow for the bride's family and brazil. that is there a different. the other is the growth of commerce. particularly in asia. and they had a tremendous advantage and no the customs and have family connections. of course, there was the
occasional the italian family but today the indians and chinese there is one family in my book, the father of tom fled to buy net in terror after the revolution. now he spends two weeks per month in china where he runs a business. in one generation it went from communism to going back and doing business with the same country. >> steve roberts. thank you very much. >> my pleasure.
>> we're here to with christina and author of the book sisters and more. who is -- who are the characters? >> they are two iraqi sisters 18 and 21 years old. they are filled with hope for what americans will do for iraq because they suffered horribly but of the older sister goes to work for the american is and falls in love with that a
contractor and the younger sister gets heard degree at the university which becomes harder and harder as the americans lose control of which country and the radical islam it takes control. >>host: where did you meet them? >> 2003 at the start of the war. >>host: you talk to them and two other women? >> one u.s. soldier, a reservist and her name is heather and she becomes in charge of the biggest initiative to bring americans version of with and rights to the middle east. the other woman is a costly and taste palestinian american and working for women international to help out by iraqi women build a grass-roots effort. >>host: you follow these throughout-- for women three-year stay on the ground. >> may 2003 through 2005. >>host: what changes did
you see? >>guest: tremendous change. one country that was thrilled of the thoughts of the u.s. overthrowing the sadam hussain, the potential to rebuild the country and give iraq a new lease, to a realization that they did not know what they're doing and was not prepared for the problems that it faced. and the country was spinning out of control. it was a safe place in the beginning but became extremely dangerous by the end. >>host: these women come from different backgrounds. how did they see a change in the way they were treated? >>guest: they had freedoms under sadam hussain and they lost with the war. there was securities and they were under house arrest. for a long time. it got worse unfortunately and that the bouwer lead to the arrival of radical islam with a very conservative version of how women should
live. been influenced by iran. and iraqi women found themselves unable to leave the house, possibly losing their rights in the constitution, government, it did not matter with divorce come it was family law, and it became desperate and they were surprised they never would have ended up like that. they have a lot of rights under saddam hussein. >>host: you happen in the middle east for many years prepared to senior relative change to your treated as a female reporter on the ground since september 11th? >>guest: at most errors are welcoming to americans despite what the media portrayed them as being anti-american. but a the think there has been a lot of changes and
their state feel they're against islam as a religion. i have had to counter that a address that in meeting them >>host: is it difficult to do that as a journalist? >>guest: it is. some people think we work for the cia, we are spies. they don't appreciate the wall but exist between the media and the government in this country. they do not believe we are neutral observers. i had to counter that before talking to them. >>host: the author of sisters and more. thank you so much. >>host: united states holocaust museum has undertaken a research project in book form. this is volume one of the research project on what is the project jeff? >>guest: and encyclopedia of all the different camps and get those during the
nazi point* and all of the allies. >>host: how many have you found? >>guest: within the volumes, we will have 20,000. >>host: 20,000 camp's? were you surprised at the number? >>guest: yes. when i came on board in 2000 the people who created the project, historians themselves come estimated there were about five or 7,000 decide spread of this turned out to be one of those instances in which a lot of different people have been doing research in their own corners and nobody but the numbers together. and restarted looking through secondary sources and contacting historians and looking at the different categories the numbers started to build and in three or four years we were at 20,000. >>host: what are the categories? >>guest: concentration camps, auschwitz, said dachau. >>host: the ones that
people know? >> plus the seven camps. each of those dachau had 1247 camps associate where the prisoners stayed and worked. then the other big category would be prisoner of four camps and forced labor and get out. >>host: what is a forced labor camp? >>guest: in addition to the concentration camps which was punitive in nature they brought millions of people into nazi germany simply to support the economy. they were not being punished they were usually not jewish. they were put into a separate system but the forced labor camps were strictly to support the war economy to allow germany to manufacture the arms that it needed. >>host: you also talk
about pow camps? those are chronicled in these encyclopedias? >>guest: they will be. >>host: how many have you found so far? >>guest: about 1,000 main camps. they also had some camps and the numbers there are a standing and well beyond our ability to cover them in the encyclopedia. >>host: you mentioned dachau, how is it they would have 1247 camps? how is that organized? >>host: is a function mostly of the war economy. mostly the concentration camps there we're created to serve camps for mining stone the would be used nazi and a grand architecture.
bad as you get into 43 or 44 ss around the camps started to farmout their prisoners rent them out literally to military industrial concerns park ave decided very quickly the most efficient way to do that was to have camps at a worksites. so of the system of sub cams developed from there. >>host: how many people do estimate were processed through the 20,000 camp's? >>guest: we do not have an overall estimate. at the height of the concentration camp system there were about 750,000 people right at the beginning of 45 before they start having to reach reach of course, that is not the total number that went through there. that would probably total i am guessing a couple of million or probably more
than that. there were 10 million forced labor in germany if i recall, a pow, a similar number, you're looking at tens of millions of people. >>host: how did this system developed? was it done by what bureaucracy? or sporadic? >>guest: no. i use the word system better -- as well furs lack of a better word. each set of camps developed more or less on its own. the first volume of the encyclopedia covers the early camps, 100 of those that developed in the first few months after the nazis came to power. from those, the concentration camps evolves. it was the punitive side. a pow camps of course, or a normal part of fighting war and forced labor camps came into play as the economy
started to go and then there were various specialized smaller categories for their own special purposes. >>host: nobody in charge in berlin to said all of these up? >>guest: no. all run by different bureaucracies. as a matter of fact i think it was part of the nazi system for each bureaucracy to have its own camp. we don't have firm evidence, but i think it was something that's for a lot of nazi bureaucrats indicated that they have power. i have my own body of prisoners in my own purpose. >>host: what were the first camps developed? >> the so-called the early camps probe developed on the ad hoc basis by local authorities, in some cases the ss our local police would handle political prisoners.
communist, socialist especially in the beginning. who than nazi considered to be archenemy and who would be determined to eliminate most of them. they put them into the camps and tortured them and put them to work and made sure they would not be active in the political scene anymore 27 where does the 1942 final solution meeting fits into all of this? to that develop more camps? >>guest: i don't believe that conference developed more camps directly. it was an implementation meeting. the decision for the salon -- resolution had been made and there is already one camp and operation and others coming on line , now i am talking about the extermination centers designed solely for the purpose of killing people. the conference was, the
opportunity to get all other bureaucrats together from different ministries and the government and say i am in charge of this effort to wipe out the jews and you have to follow in line. this meeting is to sort out bureaucratic obstacles. >>host: what have you discovered about life in these camps at the various levels? >>guest: if varied more than more people realize. if you were in english or american prisoner of war, at some extent your at the top of the hierarchy. but not these did not consider you to be racially dangerous for you were as close to an area in as anybody would get. and also the nazi spirit to some extent the treatment to their own pows if they miss
treated the americans and british. those prisoners baird relatively well. i want to emphasize that word. some people were separated and put into concentration camps or abused but across the parcels come through most of the war, they did all right. at the other end of the spectrum, or just with the pow community, the germans captured three and one-third million. about 21 1/3 million were dead by spring 1942. several hundred thousand shot all right because they were communists or jews, the more killed a through forced labor, starvation, exposure, disease, and a collection. -- neglected.
and summer also brought there and killed. >>host: how many extermination centers? >>guest: we have six. because now we have a narrow definition that the primary purpose was to kill. we avoided the term death camp because that is applied to a lot of places where people died where conditions were horrible but the purpose was not primarily to kill people. we count at auschwitz, treblinka, the other one has escaped me, i dachau? >> that was a concentration camp. >>host: really? who was in dachau? >>guest: political prisoners at first. it was created with the early camps in the beginning of 1933. when that ss took over in a
34/35 they closed most of them down and kept dachau open. dachau became one of the model camps. and helped political prisoners at first but then increasingly all of the different groups the germans broad and homosexuals, political prisoners from all over europe, resistance fighters, anyone who tried to buck the system could become a concentration camp prisoner. >>host: and you talk about the different ghettos. how many of those of you discovered? >> for purposes of the encyclopedia, it is a place where jews are concentrated in some part of a city or town prior to their murder.
again created on the ad hoc basis. they started in 1940 especially as they advanced in the soviet union there were not sure what to do with all of these jews and there were not sure what to do the end but it served three purposes, kept them under control, they were not given a lot in the terms of food or medical care, all lot were killed off in that way 1.2 million died within the ghetto and and keeping them under control and allowed them to work for the german war company. >>host: how many have you discovered?
>>guest: 1200. >>host: how have you done the research? >>guest: we have not done that much. we depend largely on outside contributors. saying that, there was 30% of the first volume we had to write ourselves from secondary published sources. that proportion will probably increase as we go along because most categories have not been thoroughly research. right now three or four people who were working for us right teeing injuries are doing research for injuries. it is not a huge team to be doing something of this scale but over time we were able to manage. we depend on local experts working with auschwitz and other concentration camps, we had people and the memorial sites, museums who volunteered all of the entries.
and other instances we might become that someone who knew about to one camp. he or she made that their particular study in the new all about it and could write that one injury. >>host: how long would that entry be? >>guest: for a main camp it would be 2500 words. not a lot. 10 double spaced pages and covering auschwitz o or t10 but we know this is not the main source that people will go to four camps like that. with the seven camps there was about half that many 1250 words. the seven camps are the ones that are what less well known these of the places that are important to document because of affirmation is not available anywhere else. and it serves to document the suffering of the people who were there and survivors
who have been very impressed we have been able to do that. it was a slap in the face. >>host: the editor of these first volume part one and two, how many volumes are coming out? >>guest: seven. >>host: the specific volume? the one now? the subject matter? >>guest: it covers the early concentration camps i have talked about and the main concentration in camp camp, the big names and the seven camps. >>host: future volumes? >>guest: organized by type of camp we thought that would give people an opportunity to see what the system was like. volume ii will cover
ghettos, three by the german military, of volume four camps run by the allies and satellite states. number five will deal with another set of camps under another branch of the us s and number six forced labor camps run by private firms not under that us s and seven is a catchall. >> were the folks who did a lot of research did they find anything in a german archive correct. >> yes. that is where most of the information comes from. >>host: is it well-documented? >> it depends on the camp broke. >> but testifying to who was sent there, how many people, what kinds of prisoners are what kind of work they did and also
prisoner test amore at -- testimony about what life was like in the camp and what kinds of treatment they received or who was killed. >>host: what is your goal with the encyclopedias? >>guest: it is too cold. to provide basic information of as many of these places as we can. we have had a series of research questions that we have contributor's try to answer. who ran the place? who guarded it? what was the purses -- purpose? how do people live? how do people die? that sort of thing. the other goal is to provide a foundation for further research. each of these injuries has a source section that discusses where the author found in the affirmation that is in here. it serves as a starting point* for anyone who wants
to try to continue on in. we also have footnotes to points within each entry. >>host: how long have you been working on this project? >>guest: 10 years in january. >>host: how much longer? >>guest: we hope to get it done by 2018. we have worked on various volumes in tandem we are about two years away from volume ii then we hope every two years after that to come out with another. >>host: who do you think will want these? >>guest: the people that will purchase them will primarily be libraries. they are expensive. it is not what a normal person will buy although i have talked to scholars who need these kind of reference works. >>host: are they available at the museum?es. and at the website.
ushmm.org. >>host: the editor of the entire project of the volume of one is now out it cyclopedia of camps from 1945. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> of the revenue booked the remarkable story of the allied soldiers who stared at italy during world war ii. who were the bns that? >> a small part of the military government whose job it was too prevent damage to monuments, works of art in the i italian campaign between 1943 and 45. they were a very small group of men who were architects, historians, arch aeologists and were in the
army and selected for this particular job. >>host: i guess they were excited to be given this opportunity? >>guest: yes. >>host: their lives were still in danger when the rescue these items? can you give me examples? >>guest: a lot of the damage them a were laced with minds so that all is meant walking on rubble that had lines so very often, that meant in some cases the artillery and the battle was still on. one of these men rushed to the countryside or the germans are still fighting. >>host: was the group
composed of mostly american and soldiers? >>guest: everyone it was composed in almost equal parts are british and americans. yes. it was british and americans. >>host: as far as the artifacts save coming can you give us examples of the pattern pieces? >>guest: there were a lot of paintings that the nazis had taken from florence, 563 from the galleries and taken up north. that was the most important accomplishment. >>host: could you put a general percentage on the amount of artifacts that were saved? >>guest: i think most were saved part of that is not very scientific but it is extraordinary how much was