Studio 360 Interview

My interview on Studio 360 about Newt Gingrich’s Crater novel is now available.  Unfortunately, they decided to go with another guest for the actual airing of the show, but they kept my segment as a bonus track.  After listening to myself I can certainly see why.  I’ve done a few radio interviews, but I still need to learn to slow down just a bit and choose my words more carefully.  You may just want to read my review in The Atlantic.  My next essay will be published on Monday, which offers a brief assessment of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

Thanks again to Michele Siegel and host, Kurt Anderson for inviting me.

5 comments… add one
  • Larry Cebula Dec 12, 2011 @ 12:11

    Someone needs to teach a seminar: Becoming a Public Intellectual for Fun and Profit! The sections would include:

    1. Media appearances–saying more with less.

    2. Managing you social media footprint–monetize those Twitter followers!

    3. Inserting oneself into contemporary controversies.

    4. Catchphrases 101.

    5. How to talk to Sean Hannity.

    6. What else?

  • Andrew H. Talkov Dec 9, 2011 @ 6:14


    As someone whose work was recently misinterpreted by a New York Times critic I’ve been thinking about something Rabbi Beifield at Congregation Beth Ahabah told me. In general, the media exists to tell the story THEY want to tell, not to tell the story YOU want to tell. It is clear from listening to the final piece that Kurt Anderson and his producers wanted to create a segment that criticized Newt Gingrich as a political candidate (and by extension the Republican Party) rather than on the history of the Crater and how it was twisted in the name of historical fiction.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself regarding your interview technique. You sounded great. I think they were hoping that you would rip into Newt and when you didn’t they decided to find someone who would create a bit more controversy. Take heart in the fact that both Anderson and his guest (who I’m not sure even read Gingrich’s book) referenced your thoughtful review in the Atlantic.

    Keep up the good fight,


    • Kevin Levin Dec 9, 2011 @ 6:26

      Hi Andrew,

      I was appalled by Rothstein’s review of the VHS exhibit as well. I may even write up a response. Thanks for the kind words re: my appearance and review. You may be right. I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective. Hope all is well with you.

  • Rob Wick Dec 9, 2011 @ 4:02


    Interesting that they would go with a novelist over a historian who is getting ready to publish a book on this subject. I don’t know Walter Kirn nor am I familiar with his work, but exactly what has he done on this topic which makes him an expert? I don’t mean this as a slam against him, but it seems indicative of an interest in the superficial rather than the historical. Of course, it is the show’s right to put on whomever they believe to be the most entertaining, and I imagine they felt Kirn brought something to the topic, but after listening to both interviews, I wondered why I spent six minutes listening to someone who obviously knows nothing about the battle pontificating about “Newt” and “Barack.”

    As for your perceived shortcomings, meh. I thought you sounded knowledgeable but just a little nervous.


    • Kevin Levin Dec 9, 2011 @ 4:10

      Thanks, Rob. I am just happy to have been asked to participate. To be honest, it surprises me whenever I am asked to do something like this. I’ve never heard of Kirn either, but he did a pretty good job, though one point toward the end was completely incoherent – at least to me.

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