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Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues Hardcover – May 17, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Readers of his new book will feast on four dozen wide-ranging conversations…which brim with big ideas and deep insights. Provocative, absorbing and necessary.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Culled from Moyers’s third PBS series, which ran from 2007 to 2010, there’s no small talk or superficiality in these interviews with 47 'independent thinkers.' The topics are far-reaching (faith, populism, the Israeli occupation of Gaza, aging, lynching in America, health care, capitalism, capital punishment, lobbyists in Washington), and the guest list is wide-ranging (pediatrician Margaret Flowers, biologist E. O. Wilson, historian Howard Zinn, economist Victor Greidel, writer David Simon, minister Jeremiah Wright, lawyer Philippe Sands, journalist Victor Gold, novelist John Grisham, theologian James Cone). Karen Armstrong urges us to find the commonalities in diverse religious traditions, notably compassion. Jeremy Scahill alerts us that Blackwater’s Eric Prince 'is a man who is building up nothing short of a parallel national security apparatus.' John Lithgow shares some of his favorite poems; Jane Goodall turns one’s attention to the animal world. In an era of much instant and ephemeral talk, it is a pleasurable thing to hold this 'book of ideas.' These challenging, engaged conversations reward the reader’s serious attention. There are no sound bites here, just food for thought."
Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. "The PBS series Bill Moyers Journal aired weekly from 2007 to 2010, capturing discussions of pivotal issues at the close of the Bush administration and the start of the Obama era. This companion book recaptures those compelling discussions on issues that matter, covering politics, economics, race, foreign policy, and the environment. Among the 47 interviews are Michael Pollan on our unsustainable food producing and eating habits; Robert Wright on the evolution of religion and why there’s hope for an end to religious wars; David Simon, creator of The Wire, on the war on drugs as a war on the underclass; John Lithgow on acting in the play All My Sons and the gut-wrenching immediacy of war profiteering; journalist William Greider on Wall Street corruption; and Michelle Alexander and Bryan Stevenson on mass incarceration of minorities in the U.S. The collection also includes Sam Tanenhaus and Victor Gold expounding on the death of traditional conservatism, and Nikki Giovanni, Martin Espada, and Maxine Hong Kingston reading poetry and discussing the impact of literature on society. Each interview is preceded by background on the interview subject and the context of the conversation. In the style for which he’s known, Moyers probes with respect, intelligence, curiosity, humor, and graciousness."
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About the Author

Bill Moyers was a founding organizer of the Peace Corps, a senior White House assistant (and press secretary) to President Lyndon Johnson from 1963 until 1967, the publisher of Newsday, a senior news analyst for CBS News, and the producer of groundbreaking series for public television. He is the winner of more than thirty Emmy awards and nine Peabody awards. Among his bestselling books are Listening to America, A World of Ideas, The Power of Myth (with Joseph Campbell), and Moyers on America. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; 1st Printing edition (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595586245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595586247
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after seeing Bill Moyers interviewed on PBS. This book is filled with thoughtful and intelligent interviews by some of the best minds in the country. I highly recommend this book to those who wish to expand their horizons and be armed with information to prepare them for making crucial decisions in the political future.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read about a third of the interviews. I too, searched this out after seeing Moyers on the Daily Show. I'm 59 and since retiring recently I've attempted to read things (non-fiction) that will improve my understanding of the past 40 years. Nothing I've read recently has caused me to go to my computer and search out "more" than this book. I know some of the names in the table of contents, but am somewhat embarrassed by how many I don't know. I like his interview style as he often asks a follow-up question to a comment made. The fact that many talking heads on the Sunday shows don't do this drives me nuts. I haven't read as many I could have due to spending time learning more about the person I just read about. My only complaint about the interviews is that they are not dated. If you want to expand your knowledge about people influential in the world, this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up the book after seeing Bill Moyers's interview on The Daily Show. The book was different from what I expected in a good way. For some reason, I thought it would be a collection of his impressions of the various interviews he conducted during his long career. Instead, he lets his subjects express their thoughts and feelings as they are without filtering through his own perception or judgment. It's almost akin to reading the interview transcripts, but they are all fascinating. The people in this book are from wide-ranging fields - entertainment to academia to politics. Immensely enjoyable to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Moyers is a National Treasure. His interviews are brilliant. Since his Journal went off PBS, there is no one offering outstanding interviews with outstanding people. Forget Hollywood gush-fest shows on TV, the entertainment or infotainment magazines, and the Biography Channel. Pick up this book and be enlightened.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As expected, this was a fun book. It is full of wonderful interviews with the important people of our times including Jon Stewart & Michael Pollan. Bill Moyers refers to Jon Stewart as the Mark Twain of our times. I couldn't agree more!
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Format: Hardcover
Bill Moyers was a guest on Tavis Smiley recently. It was great to visit with Bill as I miss his PBS show, Bill Moyers Journal. His last show was in April/May 2010. His book, The Conversation Continues, brought back memories.
On TV, I thoroughly enjoyed Bill's engaging conversations about current events. He spoke with authors, poets, artists, scholars, political figures, and diverse activists, to name a few. My favorite conversations were with writers. He not only asked profound questions, but he invited his audience inside the author's homes where we witnessed their idiosyncrasies. What fun!
When Tavis interviewed Bill on his show to promote his new book, I relived the conversations from TV. If you have never seen Bill's show, you will enjoy this book. The written conversations will allow you to feel like you are viewing the TV show from the comfort of your living room.
The book begins with an introduction conversation with Jon Stewart. I understood completely why Bill chose Jon to introduce his book. See if you agree when you read it. Altogether, there are 47 conversations in the book. As I read them, I recalled the conversations on TV. I remembered that some made such an impression on me that I purchased the books immediately after watching the show. For example, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot wrote a book called, The Third Chapter. She talked about her book in such detail that when I purchased the book, I was very disappointed. There was nothing knew, she said it all to Bill!
Another book I purchased was John Lithgow's, The Poets' Corner. John was so inspiring talking to Bill about specific poems that I knew I had to own the entire book. I also purchased the CD collection of the poems.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading or viewing the best interviewers draw out their subjects has always fascinated me like watching a tightrope artist at work. You may marvel at it, but you know in your heart you could never actually do it. Moyers is like that, an artist at ease in conversation with some of the world's brightest and most engaging people. The forty-seven interviews included read like essays on a wonderful array of topics. If you enjoy thinking about the issues of our world, this book is a splendid primer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This could not have been a more interesting book. Every person "interviewed" was compelling and if you did not like the subject matter, the next person would come around in 10 pages. I must have written down about 20 other books I want to read by those interviewed. You can pick and choose who you read. Just a great book.
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