The new issue of Work in Progress went up this morning, and with it Barack Obama’s foreword to Nelson Mandela’s Conversations with Myself. Let me put it another way: I got to send out a new piece of writing by the president of the United States to FSG’s subscribers. How can I top this email? Trip over an iPhone 5 on the sidewalk and send a cameraphone pic to my friends? (“Dudes! Check it out!”)
About the foreword. It’s very good. Aren’t you intrigued by what the first black president of the U.S. has to say about Nelson Mandela? He uses phrases like “In the most modest of ways, I was one of those people who tried to answer his call.”
What else do we have in this month’s issue?
- Edith Grossman and Natasha Wimmer on translating Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa
- Andy Hunter of Electric Literature talks about the literary journal in the digital age. (Or: how to be everywhere.)
- A preview of the incredibly amazing and life-changing author event I’m planning with Michael Sandel.
- Roland Barthes. Lots of Roland Barthes.
I’ll be writing more about this later, but I wanted to give an early preview of a new FSG project. For the paperback release of the bestselling Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, my boss and I brainstormed different ways we could share Michael Sandel’s easy rapport with audiences outside of the traditional author tour. I personally love his book and try to impress it upon everyone. Just watch a couple minutes of this and you’ll be converted:
We partnered with Broadnet for a one-time, national Teleforum: a mix of free Harvard lecture and a national call-in show, with questions from the audience and live polling. They had great success with Obama events during the 08 campaign, pulling in over a million callers at a time. (If it’s good enough for Axelrod and Plouffe, it’s good enough for me.)