C-Span to close down Booknotes

C-Span founder Brian Lamb is closing down his Sunday night book program in December when show number 800 is taped. The burden, it seems, has been that he requires himself to actually read the book before seeing the guests.

Lamb's Civil War histories were few and far between and he occasionally seemed a practitioner of the "star and prize system." Nevertheless, it was a fundamentally good show, run by a man of integrity with many good nonfiction moments.

This was an interesting exchange with Mario Cuomo, for example:

CUOMO: [Lincoln] was walking down the street with somebody [and] saw the sign "T.R. Strong," the name of a company, T.R. Strong. And he looked at it and said, "T.R. Strong? But coffee are stronger..."

LAMB: Why do you hate puns?

CUOMO: I don't know. They torture humor. I mean, they're too -- they're too crude a use of humor. And for a guy like him, whose subtlety I so admire -- so I'm glad I never heard any of the bawdier stories he told when -- when he was a young guy.

Transcripts will remain online, I expect.