Posts Tagged John Foreman
Very rarely a great interview opportunity lands in my comments section. Such was the case when Stephen Battaglio, author of David Susskind: A Televised Life, posted a comment in a recent Susskind post of mine. From there, I contacted Battaglio and he agreed to do an email interview about the book (here’s its official description): “David Susskind was the first TV producer to become a TV star. His freewheeling discussion program, Open End, later known as The David Susskind Show, brought the turbulent issues of the 1960s and the wild and often wacky social trends of the 1970s into the nation’s living rooms at a time when viewing choices were scant. Susskind grilled everyone from a Mafia hit man to transsexuals to a famously hilarious Mel Brooks. His legendary interview with Nikita Khrushchev at the height of the Cold War inflamed both the political and media establishments and would have made his name if nothing else did … David Susskind: A Televised Life is as much a chronicle of a glamorous time in the entertainment industry as it is a biography of one of its most colorful, important and influential players.” My thanks to Battaglio for an immensely enjoyable and insightful discussion about Susskind.
Tim O’Shea: This book grew out of a piece you wrote for the NY Times back in 2001, what motivated you to grow it into a book?
Stephen Battaglio: I had wanted to write a book about the history of television. When I researched the story about Susskind, I realized that he was a great vehicle to tell the story of the medium in its early years. What I didn’t realize until I researched the book, was that his personal story was so dramatic. I think it will surprise readers who thought they knew him.