Archive for the ‘Interviews & Profiles’ Category

Onstage Interview with
Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik

Mikes Fail, Lights Flash, but Stone and Kuznick Forge Ahead Oliver Stone, the Academy Award–winning writer and director of Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, and other films, and Peter Kuznick, professor of history and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and the author of [...]

Tribute to Joan Gartland
Librarian, Poet, Feminist

Joan Gartland was a dear friend and colleague for many years. She was always something of an enigma to me. In the 1970s and ‘80 she was devoted to poetry and feminism and social responsibility but without the hippy accoutrements of the times. Religious but impatient with religion, she identified herself as Episcopalian. “You know, [...]

Remembering Zbigniew Brzezinski

In 2012, I had the honor of chatting briefly with Zbigniew Brzezinski at the Polish Embassy in Washington D.C., where he gave an inspiring speech about a childhood encounter in his native Poland with Jan Karski, who had just been awarded posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Brzezinski himself had received the Medal in 1981 [...]

From Hoops to Ink: A Profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

By Leonard Kniffel “Going to the library helped me understand how big the world was and the incredible amount of possibilities that you had for your life,” says basketball legend turned author Kareeem Abdul-Jabbar. During an interview at the American Library Association’s 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told me, “I’ve been an avid [...]

Reading for Life: A Profile of Oprah Winfrey

By Leonard Kniffel “I don’t believe in failure,” Oprah Winfrey has said, and when you talk about celebrities who influence reading, who among them has had more of an impact on American reading habits than this extraordinary television talk-show host? The ways Oprah Winfrey has supported the programs, the mission, and the success of libraries [...]