Teresa Budasi: February 2009 Archives

D-Lister Griffin makes $2 million deal

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The New York Observer reports that comedian Kathy Griffin is being paid $2 million to write a memoir. That's right. Random House apparently put up the winning bid for the Oak Park native to tell all.

Kathy Griffin at the Grammy
Awards earlier this month.

(Getty Images)

Readers will be the judge as to whether her life is as funny as her stand-up comedy act or her TV Show, "My Life on the D-List," in which she regularly skewers A-List celebrities. But seriously, what will she care once the book is out? She'll have the last laugh either way, and $2 million in her pocket.

All Lincoln all the time

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Tried by War Lincoln and His Admirals

Civil War scholars James McPherson and Craig L. Symonds have been named winners of the Lincoln Prize, organizers announced today, the 200th anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln's birth.

McPherson, who previously won the prize in 1998 for For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, was cited for Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief (Penguin, $35). Symonds was cited for Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War (Oxford University Press, $27.95).

The two authors will share the $50,000 cash award.

* * * * *

And speaking of Lincoln, no less than 30 Lincoln-related titles have come through the Book Room in the past few months. We can't cover them all in the Sunday Books pages -- though check them out this Sunday, because it's all about Lincoln this week -- so I've listed a bunch more here:

In Lincoln's Hand Lincoln Shot Lincoln's Men A. Lincoln Mrs. Lincoln Race & Slavery 1864 Gettysburg Extraordinary Era

In Lincoln's Hand: His Original Manuscripts, edited by Harold Holzer and Joshua Wolf Shenk (Bantam, 196 pages, $35): Check out facsimilies of Lincoln's handwritten letters, speeches and childhood notebooks in this companion volume to the LIbrary of Congress 2009 Bicentennial Exhibition.

Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered, researched, written, illustrated, and designed by The National News staff (Feiwel and Friends, 40 pages, $24.95): The oversize pages of this book evoke a newspaper from the mid-1800s, to illustrate a memorial edition one year after Lincoln's assassination. All aspects of newspaper design, including typefaces and advertisements, have been exacted to evoke the era.

Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries, by Daniel Mark Epstein (Collins, 244 pages, $26.99): Epstein, an award-winning Lincoln biographer, offers the first narrative portrait of the three men -- John Nicolay, John Hay and William Stoddard -- who knew the 16th president better than anyone outside his immediate family.

A. Lincoln: A Biography, by Ronald C. White Jr. (Random House, 679 pages, $35): After researching the newly complete Lincoln Legal Papers, as well as recently discovered letters and photographs, the author decided to focus on Lincoln as a man of integrity, whose moral evolution holds the key to understanding his life.

Mrs. Lincoln: A Life, by Catherine Clinton (Harper, 336 pages, $26.99): The first biography of Mary Todd Lincoln in more than 20 years puts a human face on one of the most notorious and possibly misunderstood first ladies in American history.

Lincoln on Race & Slavery, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Princeton, 328 pages, $24.95): The contradictory nature of Abraham Lincoln's views on race are debated here, through his own words. Readers can sift through his writings from the late 1830s to the 1860s, and draw their own conclusions.

1864: Lincoln at the Gates of HIstory, by Charles Bracelen Flood (Simon & Schuster, 434 pages, $30): HIstorian and novelist Flood asserts that Lincoln was more activist than passive president, a shrewd politician and commander in chief who firmly seized control of the nation's destiny at its most critical moments.

Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel, by C.M. Butzer (Collins, 80 pages, $9.99, ages 9-14): Lincoln's most famous speech is detailed in comic-book style here, alongside depictions of related historical events before and after the speech.

Abraham Lincoln's Extraordinary Era: The Man and His Times, by K.M. Kostyal (National Geographic, 215 pages, $35): This is the official book of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, offering up stories, anecdotes and never-before-seen images and artifacts from the museum's vault.

Obama manager gets 7-figure book deal

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Another Obama insider is hopping on the bookwagon. First it was the president's brother-in-law Craig Robinson; now it's campaign manager David Plouffe, who has agreed to a seven-figure deal to write The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory.

Books Obama Manager
David Plouffe at his Chicago campaign
(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Reportedly 17 imprints competed for the project. Viking won and plans to release the book next fall. The publisher issued a statement, saying the book will offer a unique, high-level account, including "the deliberations about whether to run against long odds, the epic primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the drama of the general election campaign against John McCain and the strategic roads taken -- and not taken.

"The book will also detail the business lessons to be learned from the formation and the functioning of an unprecedented $1 billion start-up -- use of technology, crisis management, grass roots, and personnel management."

Elizabeth Edwards' 'Resilience'

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Elizabeth Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards' memoir, Resilience, to be published May 12, will likely address her husband's affair. Former presidential hopeful John Edwards publicly admitted his affair with video producer Rielle Hunter, though he denies fathering her 6-month-old child.

Broadway Books publicist David Drake declined to discuss details of the book but said it would serve as a sort of sequel to her previous memoir, Saving Graces (2006), which mostly focused on the death of her son Wade in 1996 and her battle with breast cancer.

"She has always been a kind of candid and honest writer," he said. "And people can expect that of her in her new book."