An Interview with Robert Timberg.

Abstract to Interview

1:45 – Timberg mentioned that he is uncertain how his book came to be on the program.

2:17 – Timberg did not thoroughly prepare for his appearance on the show because he had done press previously. He knew that the program was going to be long, making him somewhat uptight. This was exacerbated by the fact that it was very hot out and he spent the fourty-five minutes before his appearance chain smoking outside.

3:22 – Timberg was surprised at how comfortable he was answering Lamb’s questions. He attributes this to Lamb’s demeanor, seeing him as an extremely skilled interviewer who is able to easily get interesting answers from guests.

4:52 – Timberg cannot think of any drawbacks to the longer format program. He was amazed at the latitude this format gave him in answering complicated questions so that people could understand.

6:21 – The degree to which Lamb prepared for interviews and read the book was not normal. Because of this, Lamb was able to ask very perceptive questions which triggered interesting responses.

7:39 – Timberg was a little surprised that Lamb asked personal questions. Though he was surprised, he was not upset about these questions because he thinks that his biography and military service help to give perspective to his book.

8:32 – Timberg is not certain if the reading public is interested in the process of writing, but believes the questions would be very interesting to other authors.

9:08 – Timberg had seen the program before and after his appearance. Though he always thought the program was good as a viewer, in appearing on the show he was amazed at how prepared Lamb was.

10:00 – Timberg thinks that the Booknotes collection will be a worthwhile resource for authors and those interested in Lamb. He sees Booknotes as a special program and believes that the books from the program are a crucial part of that.

11:18 – If asked back he would have appeared again. Timberg has appeared on other CSPAN programs since his time on the show.

11:54 – Timberg is not certain how appearing on the program affected his sales overall, but does feel that the interview helped his book to get the attention of some important people.

13:05 – Since appearing on the program, Timberg has written two other books.

14:33 – During his appearance on the show, Timberg got some dates wrong. He wishes that he could go back and fix these mistakes.

15:37 – Timberg sees Booknotes as a trigger for author talks being videotaped and then made available online. He sees this as a positive shift in accessibility which was pioneered by Booknotes.

17:04 – Timberg has been a reporter or editor for most of his life and CSPAN has always been a very helpful resource. He had a wonderful experience on the program and with Lamb and is happy to have gotten the opportunity to meet with him.


Lindsey Bestebreurtje (Oral Historian) , “An Interview with Robert Timberg.,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed October 7, 2022,



Output Formats

Dublin Core


An Interview with Robert Timberg.


Lindsey Bestebreurtje (Oral Historian)


26 September 2014


Robert Timberg is interviewed as part of the Booknotes Oral History Project on 26 September 2014. Mr. Timberg discusses his appearance on C-SPAN's Booknotes program on 27 August 1995, where he discussed his book "The Nightingale's Song."


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


Booknotes Oral History Servies. R0143 Box 01 File 21


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