An Interview with Andrew Ferguson.

Abstract from Interview

1:29 – The book came to be on Booknotes because he knew Brian Lamb personally from his work in publishing.

3:05 – To prepare for the interview, Ferguson re-read his book and picked out a bow-tie for the occasion. He was excited for the interview because he watched Booknotes every week.

4:31 – He remembers the relaxed atmosphere the most from his time on the program.

5:35 – Ferguson worries that sometimes authors can talk too much and go off topic, which could make the hour-long format arduous for viewers. But a strength of the hour-long format is that you are able to go beyond the talking point to give people a real feel for you and your work.

7:05 – Lamb’s level of preparation and having read the entire book in detail is unique.

10:40 – Ferguson things learning about the process of writing is interesting to authors and readers, but not publishers.

12:14 – Ferguson was not surprised by being asked biographical questions on the program because he watched the show, but that line of questioning is unique from other interviews.

13:37 – Ferguson was very surprised by one of Lamb’s questions – “why do you do what you do?”

15:32 –Ferguson thinks that the Booknotes collection at GMU is an invaluable portrait of intellectual life among thought leaders of the time.

19:30 – If asked he would have appeared on the show a second time because Lamb is such a skilled interviewer.

20:34 – There was a boost in sales following his appearance on Booknotes.

21:18 – Being on Booknotes did not change his writing process, however Lamb did influence his next book on Lincoln by providing him information and leads on the topic.

22:37 – Since appearing on the program Ferguson has worked as a journalist and has also written several books.

23:59 – Ferguson thinks that the program impacted its viewers by attracting them to new works, but that regrettably the program did not have much impact on society at large.

24:48 – Lamb was so unique in Washington because he didn’t let his personal politics influence his questions or author choices.


Misha Griffith (Oral Historian), “An Interview with Andrew Ferguson.,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed December 3, 2022,


Output Formats

Dublin Core


An Interview with Andrew Ferguson.


Misha Griffith (Oral Historian)


21 May 2014


Andrew Ferguson is interviewed as part of the Booknotes Oral History Project on 21 May 2014. Mr Ferguson discusses his appearance on C-SPAN's Booknotes program on 3 November 1996, where he discussed his book "Fools' Names, Fools' Faces."


Booknotes (Television program)
Lamb, Brian, 1941-
C-SPAN (Television network)


Booknotes Oral History Series. R0143 Box 01 File 05.


George Mason University Libraries


Copyright held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections & Archives, George Mason University Libraries.


Video recording