Drucker Institute, CGU Announces Major Gift of Compelling Taped TV Interviews with Thousands of Prominent Authors Including Barack Obama, Al Gore

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The rich collection of more than two thousand interviews gives scholars and the general public a compelling, candid look into the lives of authors, icons and political figures.

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There aren't too many authors of note who have passed through L.A. in the last three decades whom Connie hasn't interviewed, and interviewed well.

The Drucker Institute and Transdisciplinary Studies Program at Claremont Graduate University recently received an extraordinary donation of more than 2,500 taped television interviews with prominent authors of fiction and nonfiction over the last 30 years. CGU is already in the process of digitizing the tapes to give scholars and the general public easy online access. One segment in particular, featuring an interview with Barack Obama in 1995, has gone viral, already pulling in thousands of online views.

The gift was made by Connie Martinson, host of the cable TV program "Connie Martinson Talks Books," which has been described by Los Angeles Magazine as the city's "premier television book show," attracting "a profusion of important and well-known authors." Among them: Barack Obama, Al Gore, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, Rosa Parks, Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel, Joyce Carol Oates, and many more.

Under the direction of the Drucker Institute and Transdisciplinary Studies Program, the Connie Martinson Talks Books Collection will be digitized on an ongoing basis over the next several years, with all of Martinson's interviews eventually made available online to anyone who would like to view them. The project will be handled through the Claremont Colleges Digital Library.

"This is a remarkable gift," said Rick Wartzman, director of the Drucker Institute, a campus-wide resource of CGU. "There aren't too many authors of note who have passed through L.A. in the last three decades whom Connie hasn't interviewed, and interviewed well."

Wendy Martin, associate provost and director of Transdisciplinary Studies, pointed out that the Martinson Collection offers a window into an unusually wide range of fields, including art, architecture, economics, education, history, literature, management, mathematics, philosophy, physics, politics, psychology, technology and more.

"This inherently transdisciplinary archive will provide material for research projects for generations of scholars and students," Martin said.

A list of the interviews, including digitized segments can be found on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library Web site.

"Digitizing these tapes will give students and others an opportunity to hear and watch these outstanding authors for themselves, whenever they want," said Martinson. "Seeing authors up close like this provides a rich point of view to their work."

Wartzman noted that the Drucker Institute-whose mission is to stimulate effective management and ethical leadership across society by advancing the ideas and ideals of the later Peter F. Drucker-has a keen interest in the Martinson acquisition because of Drucker's notion that management is "a liberal art."

"Drucker believed that a healthy society is run by organizations whose values are shaped by a wide range of disciplines: history, sociology, psychology, culture and religion," Wartzman said. "In fact, Drucker once described management books as 'dreadful trash' and suggested that he derived much of his philosophy from novelists such as Austen, Balzac and others."

Martinson herself recalled meeting Peter Drucker at the home of her longtime friend Jean Lipman-Blumen, the Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Organizational Behavior at CGU's Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. "Claremont," said Martinson, "is a beautiful setting for the tapes to call 'home.'"

About Connie Martinson and 'Connie Martinson Talks Books'
"Connie Martinson Talks Books" originates from L.A. CityView Channel 35 and can be seen on government-access cable outlets around the country and PBS in New York. Connie Martinson grew up in Boston and graduated from Wellesley College, where she was awarded the Davenport Prize for Speech and Literature. She worked as an editor for Writer magazine in Boston before moving to Los Angeles with her husband, film and television director Leslie Martinson. She became involved in public relations for the Coro Foundation and taught at UCLA and the University of Judaism before starting her television program in 1979 on Theta Cable (one of L.A.'s first cable outlets), parlaying her love of literature into a self-financed half-hour series on books. For more on "Connie Martinson Talks Books," go to http://www.conniemartinson.com.

About Transdisciplinary Studies
The Transdisciplinary Studies Program at Claremont Graduate University, made possible by a generous endowment from George and Ronya Kozmetsky, is dedicated to providing an enriched research environment that enables connections to be made across disciplinary boundaries. The program is guided by the principle that knowledge has no boundaries and the most significant discoveries in the 21st century will increasingly depend on transdisciplinary research and scholarship. For more on Transdisciplinary Studies, go to http://www.cgu.edu/pages/3831.asp.

About the Drucker Institute
The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University is a think and action tank whose purpose is to stimulate effective management and ethical leadership across all sectors of society. It does this, in large part, by advancing the ideas and ideals of Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

The Institute acts as a hub for a worldwide network of Drucker Societies, which are using Drucker's teachings to affect positive change in their local communities. A dozen of these groups, spanning nine countries on four continents, are currently up and running.

In addition, the Institute maintains a digital archive of Drucker's papers; undertakes research that builds on Drucker's writings; offers a curriculum that distills Drucker's decades of leading-edge thinking; produces material that applies Drucker's work to current events (including a regular online column in BusinessWeek by Institute Director Rick Wartzman); presents a slide show exploring the "Responsibility Gap"--society's collective failure to be good and ethical stewards of our resources, people and institutions; and hosts visiting fellows with Drucker-like insights and values.

The Institute is a close affiliate of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. For more on the Institute and its programs, go to http://www.DRUCKERinstitute.com.


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