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The Book Trade

May 04, 1986|ELIZABETH MEHREN

NEW YORK — A major national campaign, "Give the Gift of Literacy," will be launched at this May's convention of the American Booksellers Assn. in New Orleans. Intended to raise funds as well as awareness of the problems of illiteracy, the drive hopes to raise a minimum of $1 million per year for at least three years for national and local literacy organizations serving adults and children. A similar effort will be initiated later this summer by the Canadian Booksellers Assn. Funds for the U.S. campaign will be raised through customer contributions at bookstores around the country, with proceeds to be donated to the Coalition for Literacy and Reading Is Fundamental. The program is currently under test in more than 100 bookstores in Minnesota.

THE WORD: After a highly competitive auction, Catholic nun and popular TV personality Mother Angelica has signed with Harper & Row to do a book, "Mother Angelica's Answers Not Promises," scheduled for publication in winter 1987. Like her highly rated satellite TV program, "Mother Angelica Live," the book--advanced for "a substantial six-figure amount"--will offer wit and spiritual wisdom on such subjects as loneliness, fear, love, guilt, death and sex. Profiled widely in the media recently, including as the focus of a "60 Minutes" segment, Mother Angelica has been described as "a combination of Ted Turner and Mother Theresa," and is considered the first Catholic since Bishop Sheen to capture a large, interdenominational following through television. Her Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is the fastest-growing cable network in America, and "Mother Angelica Live," her 60-minute call-in show telecast three times each week, has a core congregation of about 30 million.

ONE MINUTE, PLEASE: Without ever leaving Palm Paradise, "One-Minute Manager" and "One-Minute Sales Person" author Dr. Spencer Johnson will road-tour the United States--via satellite TV. To publicize his latest best seller, "One Minute for Myself," Johnson's publisher, William Morrow & Co., has signed On the Scene Productions to conduct 20 interviews to be satellited live to news and television talk shows throughout the United States in a four-hour time period. On the Scene Productions explains that the live satellite approach "reduces the exhausting traveling conditions and expensive touring costs" that are incurred on regular book tours.

IN MEMORIAM: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, hardcover publisher for the late Bernard Malamud, has announced the establishment of a Bernard Malamud literary award to be administered by PEN, the international literary organization. Conditions and dollar amounts of the award are as yet undecided, nor has FS&G arrived at a decision on whether to publish the novel on which the 71-year-old Malamud was working at the time of his death March 18 separately or as part of a posthumous collection.

WAR GAMES: At a meeting at Stanford University not long ago marking the publication of a collection of essays, "Makers of Modern Strategy From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age" (Princeton University Press, 1986), military historians from all over the country waged good-natured war on each other. The focus of their friendly verbal hostilities during the conference on "War in History, and War Today," sponsored jointly by Stanford's history department and the Hoover Institution, was why insurgents have generally defeated regular military forces ever since World War II. Arguing that war must be viewed not merely in the military arena, but also in the spheres of politics, economics and the media, Peter Paret, Spruance professor of international history at Stanford and editor of the Princeton University Press collection, declared that "to interpret war in the past we must recognize that we must deal both with its uniqueness and its profound interconnection with other forces."

SUMMIT LESSONS: To coincide with the second Reagan-Gorbachev summit scheduled for later this summer, Atlantic Monthly Press will publish "Game Plan: How to Conduct the U.S.-Soviet Contest" by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Now a professor at Columbia University and a counselor at the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies, Brzezinski posits the theory that rather than a temporary problem, the U.S.-Soviet relationship is a historical rivalry that will endure--an "endless game" in which each side is only restrained by the fear of retaliation or the use of excessively provocative tactics.

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