Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
December 5th, 2012
12:10 PM ET

Todd Andrlik's book 'Reporting the Revolutionary War' documents war through newspaper clippings

Most Americans learn about the Revolutionary War through textbooks, movies and the occasional "history channel" documentary, but in Todd Andrlik's, "Reporting the Revolutionary War," Americans can now see a different side of the birth of our country, as it was reported in real-time by the journalists of the day.

Author Todd Andrlik is the curator of, an online historical archive of newspapers dating back to the sixteenth century. He says the purpose of his book is to "invert the traditional history book and provide full color access to the original newspapers that were the only mass media of the day."

Andrlik adds that the newspaper editorials were extremely powerful because they "fanned the flames of rebellion and sustained loyalty to the cause throughout the war." He believes, like many historians, that "without newspapers, there would have been no American Revolution."

Filed under: Book • History
December 5th, 2012
09:50 AM ET

“The Human Face of Big Data” author and veteran photographer Rick Smolan says ‘Big Data’ offers ‘a new dimension of understanding’

Rick Smolan is the author of “The Human Face of Big Data” and Co-founder of the "America 24/7" and "Day in the Life" photography series. He comes to the studio to explain his book, which demonstrates how real time sensing and visualization of data—from satellites, smartphones, the Internet, computers—has the potential to change every aspect of life on earth.

The concept of is all about being able to collect data, seeing the patterns within it, and turning it into actions to change and impact lives. In "The Human Face of Big Data", Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt illustrate some of the examples of how big data is already giving us a brand new way to see things.

Smolan says there are patterns in the data people collect from everything from our smart devices to our credit cards that are now overlapping and that we are now beginning to perceive. “You’re not just getting more information, you’re getting a new dimension of understanding,” Smolan says. “This is affecting health, transportation, entertainment.”—“National security,” Soledad O’Brien interjects. “Everything,” Smolan says.

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Filed under: Book • Discoveries • Science • Technology
December 4th, 2012
10:44 AM ET

Pat Houston releases tribute of images and essays to singer Whitney Houston: "Whitney: Tribute to an Icon"

It’s been nearly 10 months since the tragic passing of legendary songstress Whitney Houston. But she lives on in her iconic songs and images. Her sister-in-law and longtime manager, Pat Houston released a book in tribute to her just last week."Whitney: Tribute to an Icon" features 130 images of Whitney, some never seen before from the past 25 years of her life, taken by top photographers and curated by renowned photographer Randee St. Nicholas. Pat, who also wrote essays and the afterword for the book, joins Soledad O’Brien live from Atlanta this morning with more.

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Filed under: Book • Celebrity • Entertainment • Whitney Houston
December 4th, 2012
09:06 AM ET

Fact or fiction? Jeopardy Champ Ken Jennings busts popular myths parents tell their children in his new book: “Because I Said So!”

Jeopardy champion and author Ken Jennings comes to “Starting Point” this morning with the facts behind his new book, "Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids". In "Because I Said So!", Jennings humorously confirms or debunks common myths parents tell their kids to get them to behave. Jennings shares some of these on set. 

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Filed under: Book • Parenting • Uncategorized
November 29th, 2012
10:35 AM ET

CNN's John Avlon on his new anthology, "Scandals, Tragedies & Triumphs"

With the rise of digital media, the printed newspaper column has transitioned and found a new home online. But for generations, those black and white pages were the weapon of choice for writers voicing their opinions and giving their take on the historic events that shaped the world. Last year CNN contributor John Avlon co-edited the critically acclaimed book "Deadline Artists," which was a collection of some of the most timeless columns from throughout American history. Now he is back with the sequel, "Scandals, Tragedies & Triumphs" – a new anthology of some of the nation's most shocking and uplifting moments, as told by the preeminent writers of the time.

This morning Avlon joins “Starting Point” to explain why he thinks “it is a time to reflect on the great newspaper culture and what’s different and what continues.”

Filed under: Book
October 2nd, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Emmy-Award winning sportscaster Len Berman presents 'the greatest moments in sports' in new book

Emmy-Award winning sportscaster and New York Times best-selling author Len Berman has covered nearly every major sports event throughout his 40-year career in broadcasting. From multiple Super Bowls to the Olympics, he’s seen it all. The legendary sportscaster joins John Berman and Christine Romans on “Starting Point” this morning to talk about his new kids book, "The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs".

Berman’s sixth book, he says he realized halfway through reading it that “it wasn’t really a sports book. “I know that sounds odd because every story is sports,” Berman says. “I envisioned young kids reading this and they see boys and girls, and blacks and whites, and Latinos and Asian and Native Americans and handicapped, and they’re all succeeding. And I’m thinking, ‘Gee, maybe it’s a book of empowerment.’” Berman then delves into his memories of the greatest moments he’s witnessed and covered in sports.

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Filed under: Book • Sports
October 1st, 2012
10:57 AM ET

Margita Thomspon: Arnold Schwarzenegger is ‘a man of contradictions’

A new book detailing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life from bodybuilder to governor hit stores on Monday. Schwarzenegger’s memoir, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” reveals details about his life, including the movie star’s infamous affair with his housekeeper that led to divorce from Maria Shriver. Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary from his first term as governor, speaks about the former bodybuilder’s new book and revealing “60 Minutes” interview from Sunday night.

Filed under: Book • Schwarzenegger
September 28th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Historian Ted Widmer on “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of JFK”

Fifty years since John F. Kennedy was president, details of his presidency are still unfolding. In July of 1962, President JFK installed hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room to record conversations between him and cabinet leaders on national and international issues. These newly released secret tapes from inside the Oval Office and some private conversations offer a revealing look inside his presidency and a personal glimpse of the man as well. Historian Ted Widmer wrote about these 265 hours of recordings in “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of JFK.”

Widmer describes the recordings as highly sophisticated and clandestine. “It was a very closely held secret,” Widmer says. “A tiny number of people knew. Most of his top advisers had no idea.”

Widmer credits JFK with knowing their value, though JFK never said what his goal was for recording them. “I think it was for history,” Widmer says. “I think he was getting ready to write his memoirs, for that long into the future day when he wouldn’t be president anymore. And he just wanted to capture the raw stuff of what was happening.”

Widmer explains that the recordings demonstrate JFK’s true character and personality as president. “Throughout a capacity to learn, he was a decisive president, and you get that feeling. But he was also evolving, in the way we hope our presidents do. On civil rights, there was a lot of movement,” he says.

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Filed under: Book
September 26th, 2012
04:20 PM ET

Grammy award winning icon Cyndi Lauper on her new self-titled memoir and her career

You could say Grammy award winning icon and pop music legend, Cyndi Lauper has lived out the title of her '80's hit song "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." With more than 30 million records worldwide, including "True Colors" "Time After Time", and still recording and performing today after almost 30 years in the music business.

Lauper is now revealing how she made that journey in her new autobiography titled "Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir.” Lauper sits down with Soledad O’Brien to discuss her book.

Filed under: Book • Celebrity
September 25th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

'Laverne And Shirley' star Penny Marshall on her new memoir 'My Mother Was Nuts'

A generation of TV fans remember her as Laverne Defazio from the classic TV sitcom "Laverne and Shirley". Penny Marshall writes candidly about the hit show and her life in front and behind the camera, as well as her childhood, marriages and famous friends in her new memoir entitled "My Mother was Nuts". Defazio discusses the contents of her book with Soledad O’Brien.

Defazio says that as a child she had to form a sense of humor and learn what sarcasm was in order to be around her mother. Defazio describes herself as a Bronx native who is “not a articulate person,” but says she has “a strange combination of insecurity and fearlessness.

Defazio says she is still friends with her former "Laverne and Shirley" co-star. Defazio adds that she did not mind when her co-worker received a lot of dialogue in the scripts because she was ultimately better at business. On the topic of the show’s end, Defazio says her co-worker “got married, she was very happy” and was expecting a baby.

Filed under: Book • Celebrity
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