Forgive me for being perhaps a bit overzealously psyched here, but this is the kind of thing that makes what I do for a living so gratifying. I'm just back today from my working/writing vacation in British Columbia (FYI - Pacific Ocean fishing is pretty damn fun). When I got back last night, my email/voicemail box was full of messages with people calling to tell me my book, Hostile Takeover, had received perhaps the best review a book could possibly get. No, I'm not talking about any review from a pundit, I'm talking about a review from a citizen aired by CNN during a preview of its Democratic YouTube presidential debate.
Here's the interchange:
LEMON: Why are you focusing on campaign finance reform?
LILES: Because that's the veil that gets in the way of getting all these other problems fixed. That's the sort of shield that the entrenched interests have in shedding the average Joe like you and me out of it.
LEMON: So, let me ask you right off, then. What would you like to see done about it?
LILES: I'd like to see public financing of political campaigns spread to a national level, similar to what they're doing on -- in Maine and Arizona.
LEMON: Yes. So, you're retired from Georgia Public Broadcasting. You're working now as a technician, like you said, your tape was very professional. What sparked you to do this? I think you said you read a book last year.
LILES: I read a book by a fellow named David Sirota, it was called "Hostile Takeover." And ...
LEMON: Was it an epiphany for you?
LILES: Yes, it was.
As I said, this kind of review, as opposed to any pundit review, is the kind of thing that makes writing books worth it. Unlike many political books written today, Hostile Takeover was written for citizens, not elites, and to hear that a citizen read the book and was motivated to get involved - well, that's what it's all about. That kind of attitude may seem strange to many in the professional political arena, where approval from folks like these Three Stooges is considered far more important than the support of regular people. But hey, call me crazy - I've just got a different attitude about what's important.
Speaking of the importance of citizens and not elites, I'm going to be at the YearlyKos Convention starting 8/2 in Chicago. I've been looking forward to YearlyKos since last year - it's truly a people-powered event. If you are there, come on by, put a face to an email address, and say hello. I'm going to be signing the new paperback of Hostile Takeover on Friday. I hope to see you there!