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Book Nook: Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America by Sherrod Brown

Desk 88 - Sherrod Brown COVER.jpg

"Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America" by Sherrod Brown
Over the years that I have been interviewing authors I have had the opportunity to speak to a number of politicians. Politicians, especially prominent ones, tend to write a lot of books. Since I love to discuss politics I have always been eager to talk to just about any politicians who publish books and then make themselves available for interviews.

I have interviewed governors, Mario Cuomo of New York, and while he was our Ohio governor, John Kasich. I have spoken to some prominent members of Congress. The first time I spoke to John Kasich he came out to Yellow Springs for an interview with me when he was a Congressman. I have also interviewed Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House.

U.S. Senators tend to be more prominent than members of Congress and that's probably why they tend to write more books. I have interviewed a number of current and former senators. Here's my list: John Glenn, Gary Hart, Barbara Boxer, Byron Dorgan, George McGovern, and Sherrod Brown.

Last November I spoke to our senior U.S. Senator from Ohio about his book "Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America" and when the book was reissued recently in paperback I had the pleasure of interviewing him again. In his book Senator Brown has written about some of the other men who have occupied his desk in the Senate before he did. These progressive legislators had carved their names inside Desk 88. Men like Robert F. Kennedy, William Proxmire, and George McGovern. The author draws inspiration from the many accomplishments of his predecessors.

I had the late George McGovern on the program twice and we really hit it off. As some of you know I'm quite interested in the political career of Richard M. Nixon, the man who trounced McGovern in the 1972 presidential election, only to resign from office in disgrace, just a few years later. My conversations with the man who ran against Nixon are some of my most prized Nixonian artifacts. The only things I could compare to them are the interviews I have recorded with John Dean, the man who was instrumental in bringing Nixon down during the Watergate scandal.

I find Sherrod Brown to be just as charming and warm as that other senator who once occupied Desk 88, George McGovern. One of my most prized possessions is the hand-written thank you note that Sherrod sent me after our first interview.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them.  Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.