You Can’t Win Them All

I’ve just returned to my hotel in London, from the inaugural Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, for which Freakonomics was short-listed. Well, you can’t them all. The award was won by Tom Friedman for The World Is Flat. As it turns out, this was the one book for which no author was present — Friedman gave his acceptance speech by videotape from Washington D.C. (Note to self: next time you are nominated for an award, don’t show up; absence is plainly the key to winning.) It was actually a terrifically fun evening, as I got to consort with our British publishers (Stefan McGrath, Will Goodlad, and Sarah Christie of Penguin U.K.) and our British agents (Caroline Michel and Shana Kelly, of the William Morris Agency). Most interestingly, Sarah Christie was hobbled by a sledgehammer injury to her toe — yes, a sledgehammer injury — and I must say that I have never heard of an American publicist being injured by a sledgehammer, this being just one of the many delightful cultural differences I have absorbed here during my trip. Also, I hadn’t been aware that Freakonomics has sold so well in the U.K.: 90,000 copies in hardcover already. This meant that, on the whole, the evening was pretty chipper despite our losing the award. I was quite sure we wouldn’t win — Friedman just seemed the likely choice for an award given by the F.T. and G.S. — and in fact, thirty seconds before the winner was announced, I tried to get Will Goodlad to bet me $100 that Friedman would win, but out of either cowardice or kindness he declined. The evening’s keynote speaker was Gordon Brown, who many say will be the next prime minister. He is an expansive, dramatic, clever speaker, and it was worth the trip just to hear his stalwart British voice curl itself around the word “freakonomics.”


StCheryl

Typically, American publicists use sledgehammers on other people's toes.

Twist Image Multimarketing Studio - Mitch Joel Blog - Marketing and Communication Insights

The Business Book Is Flat

The winner of The Financial Times Business Book Of The Year awards was announced last night and the winner is The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Friedman wins some coin along with the prestige. Unfortunately, he was not able...

econopete

Typically, economists use sledgehammers on their students.

3612

The steel-toed safety boot: no longer just for factory workers and mechanics.

JoshNarins

Next time, make a video acceptance speech _and_ show up, to watch its reception.

I'm a Friedman loather. I loathed his hour long documentary on Israel and Palestine (he listened to all his Israeli interviewees, but typed during each Palestinian interview, even though all of it was being recorded on video) and I loathe his foreign policy and I think his economics is, well, retrograde. And if you enjoyed reading that, don't admit it.

This is my first comment here. I greatly enjoyed your talk on Sudhir(sp?) that you gave from the book on C-SPAN.

I also recently caught John Ralston Saul on C-SPAN and he, for me at least, was amazing. If you were made of money I'd recommend sending the 50 or 100 to C-SPAN to have them send you the video of the event.

Bruce Hayden

I made this comment in another thread, but I am not the least bit surprised. The Flat World is a much weightier tome, and, by its very weight must be that much more important that the relatively slim Freakonomics book.

That said, I enjoyed Freakonomics more.

scott cunningham

Friedman had an unfair advantage, what with the third eye hidden in his moustache and all.

StCheryl

Typically, American publicists use sledgehammers on other people's toes.

Twist Image Multimarketing Studio - Mitch Joel Blog - Marketing and Communication Insights

The Business Book Is Flat

The winner of The Financial Times Business Book Of The Year awards was announced last night and the winner is The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Friedman wins some coin along with the prestige. Unfortunately, he was not able...

econopete

Typically, economists use sledgehammers on their students.

3612

The steel-toed safety boot: no longer just for factory workers and mechanics.

JoshNarins

Next time, make a video acceptance speech _and_ show up, to watch its reception.

I'm a Friedman loather. I loathed his hour long documentary on Israel and Palestine (he listened to all his Israeli interviewees, but typed during each Palestinian interview, even though all of it was being recorded on video) and I loathe his foreign policy and I think his economics is, well, retrograde. And if you enjoyed reading that, don't admit it.

This is my first comment here. I greatly enjoyed your talk on Sudhir(sp?) that you gave from the book on C-SPAN.

I also recently caught John Ralston Saul on C-SPAN and he, for me at least, was amazing. If you were made of money I'd recommend sending the 50 or 100 to C-SPAN to have them send you the video of the event.

Bruce Hayden

I made this comment in another thread, but I am not the least bit surprised. The Flat World is a much weightier tome, and, by its very weight must be that much more important that the relatively slim Freakonomics book.

That said, I enjoyed Freakonomics more.

scott cunningham

Friedman had an unfair advantage, what with the third eye hidden in his moustache and all.