A Conversational History of Modern America by Richard D. Heffner

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Richard D. Heffner started interviewing major newsmakers on television when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and Charlie Rose a toddler. Heffner, whose illustrious career includes co-founding New York’s WNET and serving as chairman of the motion picture ratings board, has hosted The Open Mind—the longest-running public-affairs program in television history—since 1955. Now he is drawing on forty-seven years of those televised conversations, as well as his own thoughtful perspective on the last half century, to mold As They Saw It. Drawing on the template established by last year’s Conversations with Eli Wiesel (drawn from the twenty-two Open Mind programs he and Wiesel have done together), Heffner has woven nearly five decades of provocative and thoughtful discussions with everyone from Malcolm X to Donald Rumsfeld, Eleanor Roosevelt to Norman Mailer, into a unique and authoritative Terkelesque history covering the major stories of our time. As They Saw It is a conversational history of the past fifty years, as spoken by the figures who made and lived that history. It is a treasury of never-before-published material from a dazzling array of figures—both tremendous reading and a major new source of material for students and historians alike.

About Richard D. Heffner

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Richard Douglas Heffner was born on August 5, 1925 in New York City. The son of a transportation executive, Heffner earned his BA and MA degrees at Columbia University. Following further graduate work at the University of California, Heffner joined the faculty at Rutgers University as a history instructor. He later worked as a professor at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. In 1953, Heffner put his teaching career on hold to become a freelance writer, producer and broadcaster. As an author, his works include A Documentary History of the United States, which contains documents, speeches and letters that have forged American history; and Democracy in America, published by Mentor Books in 1954. Heffner has also contributed numerous reviews and articles to various periodicals, including the New York Times and the Saturday Review. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, Heffner has been president of Richard Heffner Associates, Inc., a communications consulting firm, since 1964. MARC JAFFE, an editor and publisher--for eighteen years Editorial Director at Bantam Books--has had decades-long experience with writing of the West, beginning with his first job in publishing as Western Editor at New American Library.
Published May 1, 2003 by Carroll & Graf. 541 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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(In fairness, Heffner, who worked as chairman of the board of the motion picture industry's rating system, has avoided potential conflicts of interest throughout his interviewing career, which offers a partial explanation for these absences.) On a more practical note, placing transcript dates at ...

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