Those Angry Days was published two weeks ago, and it’s been a real whirlwind since then. Every time a book of mine has been published, I feel as if I’ve come out of several years of hibernation into the frenzy of the real world. This time, it’s been particularly intense, with lots of speaking engagements and interviews. The day before publication, I had a wonderful hour-long chat with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Having listened to her for years, I’ve always marveled at how great she is at getting to the heart of a book and its author. She is a true master at making you feel at ease and, through her insightful questions, teasing out revealing answers.
I also loved being on Hardball with Chris Matthews and very much appreciated Chris’s extremely generous plug of the book. It was fun, too, to schmooze with fellow authors Jeff Frank (Ike and Dick), Paul Reid (The Last Lion), and Amity Shlaes (Coolidge) on Face the Nation. Bob Schieffer did a terrific job of getting us to talk about these very disparate biographies and histories.
The best moment, though, came a week after publication. I had just finished giving a speech at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute in New York and was sitting down for dinner with my daughter Carly at a nearby restaurant. I checked my email — and found that Those Angry Days had just made #10 on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. Carly and I immediately ordered two glasses of champagne. When we told the waitress why we were celebrating, she let out a whoop and returned with the champagne, announcing it was on the house. The perfect end to a perfect day!