HAMDEN, CT – “Great figures can carry the weight of their own defects – history is not the lives of saints.”
So says author Ron Chernow in his most revealing interview yet on this week’s Just The Right Book Podcast, referencing the subject of his new 1,104-page biography, Grant. In the podcast, produced by CRN International’s Collisions division, Chernow details the flawed yet great life of General and President Ulysses S. Grant.
Chernow’s insights are the latest coop for Just The Right Book Podcast, which has close to 50 episodes with prominent authors and book industry insiders. The host, Roxanne Coady, is a highly-regarded go-to person for advice on books and owner of award-winning independent bookseller R.J. Julia in Madison, CT.
The show has made its mark and been featured at the very top of the Apple iTunes website not only for its top-notch guests, but with the engaging interview style of Coady which prompts them reveal insights into their lives and their writing that have never been heard.
Guests include the most prolific, best-selling authors of our time such as: James Patterson, Ann Patchett, John Grisham, Scott Turow, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, Nicole Krauss, and Maria Semple, to name a few. Celebrities-turned-authors who have told their stories to Roxanne include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Luvvie Ajayi, chef Jacques Pepin, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, perfume icon Jo Malone and leading advice columnist Amy Dickinson (“Ask Amy”). Add to the list some of the most influential book publishers from Hachette, Random House, Kirkus Reviews and the legendary Strand Bookstore.
In this week’s episode, Chernow tells Coady, “My job as a biographer is to probe the ‘silences,’ what the subject doesn’t want to talk about,” referring to Grant’s own military memoirs in which “there is not a single syllable about his drinking problem….or his terrible poverty.”
Chernow explains to Coady how he decided to make the transition from writing biographies about great businessmen and industrialists to the government scene, most notably his work, Alexander Hamilton, which became the inspiration for the wildly successful Hamilton Broadway show.
The podcast is peppered with anecdotes from the book which paints Grant as a flawed man yet great general and president. For example, Chernow says that after getting thrown out of the Army after spending his first paycheck getting drunk, Grant begs his father for a menial job in his leather factory working below his two younger brothers. Once the Civil War begins, Grant vaults his way to top commander of the Union army.
Chernow describes Grant at a landmark event in our country’s history: the military surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate government at Appomattox signaling the end of the Civil War. So what was the victorious commander of the Union army thinking in this shining life moment? Chernow reads from his book, “Asked what was uppermost in his mind at this sublime moment in history, the sheepish Grant said prosaically, ‘My dirty boots and not wearing a sword.’”
“I’m amazed at how Roxanne is able to probe authors to take you inside their books and the thinking behind them,” said Show Producer Christina Torres. “She asks the kinds of questions book lovers would ask and, with her guests, offers so many ideas for your next read. My only complaint is that my TBR list is now too long.”
The show is available on iTunes and the podcast website at www.bookpodcast.com.
About CRN International
CRN International is a leading marketing company that has pioneered strategies and produced creative programming through radio and emerging audio media like podcasts to help brands separate from the clutter of traditional advertising. CRN has served such top clients as Johnson & Johnson, USAA, Hershey, Chrysler and Microsoft and typically employs a combination of content marketing, influencer marketing and promotions to solve marketing challenges. It is based in Hamden, CT.
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Jim Alkon, Marketing Director