A. Newspaper reporter and editor, political press secretary for Bella Abzug and Mario Cuomo, public relations director for WNET/Channel 13, for Governor Cuomo's economic development programs (and the state Urban Development Corporation), and for the last 16 years, head of external affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A. I loved them all. During my first job, running a weekly paper on a shoestring, with creditors seizing the typesetting equipment every other day, my publisher, William Haddad, nostalgically recalled that one of his first jobs was working for the same newspaper as his wife. My wife was then working for me at "The Manhattan Tribune." My boss said: "Treasure this experience. You'll never love anything more." And he was right--though I'm not sure my wife would agree. I was a difficult editor.
A. Bayside High School and Queens College
A. Classical: Tchaikopvsky and Puccini; popular Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, also Tony Bennett and Billie Holliday
A. Easy: "Casablanca."
A. "Law and Order"--because it stars Sam Waterston, the best Lincoln ever.
A. "Work, work, work is the main thing:" Lincoln
A. Destruction of all blackberries forever
A. Paris or somewhere Lincoln visited or home
A. John Hay--Lincoln's onetime assistant private secretary, who became his biographer and, later, secretary of state
A. Mario Cuomo
A. Never winning any political campaign on which i served as a press secretary
A. Our children
A. Impatience and bad temper
A. Generosity (I'm told) and humor
A. Passenger on a time machine
A. white moustache--which ive had since i was 20
A. Hercule Poirot
A. Fred C. Dobbs
A. Abraham Lincoln, of course--and I would want the first exclusive interview--scooping 60 Minutes, Baraba Walters, et al. I'd start by asking: "What was it with you and your father?"
A. Playing with my grandchild
A. Baseball player
A. Wit, family loyalty, and honesty
A. Ice cream
A. Anything from Frank Sinatra's "Wee Small Hours" or "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe" by Peggy Lee
A. This is a tough question--so many fine writers toil in the Lincoln vineyards that I try not to designate favorites, save for the ones who helped inspire me into the field: Richard Nelson Current and Stefan Lorant. Among historians of other periods, Robert Caro is probably the best in the business, and David McCullough as riveting a non-fiction narrative writer as has ever practiced the craft. My first love was Sinclair Lewis for some reason, and i still love his books, but the only fiction i get to read now, aside from that which is relevant to the period I'm writing abouit (like Edmund Ruffin, of all people, writing speculative fiction), are mysteries: I love Robert Barnard, M. C. Beaton, Jane Langton, Reginald Hill, Walter Mosley, and was a big Tony Hillerman fan too. I worship Edmund Crispin--have read everything he produced. And then there's David Thomson and his film books.
A. The Lincoln Nobody Knows by Richard Nelson Current Lincoln: A Picture Story of His Life by Stefan Lorant Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis Scoop by Evelyn Waugh Vanity Fair by Thackeray
A. For some reason, The Great Gatsby...though every time i finish i'm not sure why i re-read it, because there's really no there there.
A. Start small: don't write the great American novel or the history of the world as your first project--try magazine or journal articles and build a reputation slowly
A. You know how to tell a story...and no compliment means more. Also, "you're a terrible proofreader." I know, I know.