Interview: Amity Shlaes and Artist Paul Rivoche Discuss the New Graphic Novel Edition of The Forgotten Man Posted By Ed Driscoll

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/06/01/interview-forgotten-man-graphic-novel/?print=1

So you’ve written a best-selling book that has cast an event that everyone in America thought they knew into an entirely new light, but you’d still like to get it in the hands of more readers. What do you do? If you’re Amity Shlaes, the author of the 2007 New York Times bestseller The Forgotten Man, you turn it into a graphic novel. Why not? Lefties have been doing it for years; Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of American Empire is also available in graphic novel format.

Shlaes turned to veteran Batman writer Chuck Dixon to consult on the script, and then brought in artist Paul Rivoch to craft the illustrations. The result is The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition: A New History of the Great Depression, now available from Amazon.com and your local bookstore.

During our nearly half-hour long interview, Amity and Paul will discuss:

● Who was the “Forgotten Man” of the 1930s?

● How was new graphic novel’s visual look created?

● How did Paul research the visual details of the 1920s and 1930s?

● Every comic needs a hero and a villain. Who plays those roles in The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition?

● What is the real story behind Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother” photo from 1936?

And much more.

 

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; click here for our previous interview with Amity on the original edition of The Forgotten Man, and here for our interview last year its “prequel,” Coolidge. For our many previous podcasts with other authors, start here and keep scrolling.

MR. DRISCOLL:  This is Ed Driscoll for PJ Media.com, and we’re talking today with Amity Shlaes, the author of the best-selling 2007 book The Forgotten Man, a 21st century look back at the Great Depression, that in retrospect, was a brilliantly-timed foreshadowing of our current Great Recession. And we’re also talking with Paul Rivoche, who is the artist who drew up the latest edition of The Forgotten Man, a graphic novel edition. It’s published by Harper Perennial, and debuted on May 27th. And Amity and Paul, thanks for stopping by today.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Well, thanks for having us.

MS. SHLAES:  Thank you.

MR. DRISCOLL:  First of all, I want to tell you both that the graphic novel version of The Forgotten Man looks terrific.  How did it come to be?

MR. RIVOCHE:  I guess, Amity you could ‑‑ you could feel part of that.  I mean, for me it was ‑‑ I got a phone call from Chuck Dixon, who was involved in the earlier part of the process.  And he and I knew each other.  And Amity was hunting for an artist.  I guess that’s part of the tale Amity could relate.  But I had the good fortune of being chosen by Amity to be the illustrator for the project.

MS. SHLAES:  Well, we just wanted to find a way to get The Forgotten Man to more people.  We noticed kids don’t read as much.  Parents don’t read as much.  And we liked the playfulness of the graphic novel.

You know, history isn’t about someone telling you how it was.  It’s about you figuring it out through your own research, even for a reader of a regular book.  So we decided to offer up the ’30s, The Forgotten Man ’30s in a book, and let the reader decide in this new, kind of, fun format.

Speaking to Paul, Paul’s extremely gifted at depicting history, and he’s also extremely solid.  Each page is a beauty when he does it.  So that combo was key.

And when there’s a historical scene, we looked it up and found out what that scene was like.  And then [asked], what do we need?  And we drew it.  And Paul had the great patience to work through that process.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Well, who is the intended audience for the book?

MS. SHLAES:  A lot of people who ask about Forgotten Man, but won’t read a 500-page book; parents and kids who maybe think they’re not getting all of history in American schools.  We’ve had a lot of home-school interest in the book.  People who really want to know more about

The Forgotten Man, this idea, and this record from the ’30s, and maybe approach it in a new way, not just through a 500-page history book.

The “Forgotten Man” idea, I should mention, for those who may be new to it ‑‑ and we do have some new readers already on the Internet, Roosevelt, the great president of the New Deal, spoke of the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid — and he meant the homeless man, for whom we all have pity.

But there was a second forgotten man, who is the one who pays for the project to help the homeless man — “the man who pays, the man who prays” is how he was described.  And everyone in the ’30s knew this.  Whose forgotten man is right?  Yours or mine?  The man who pays the taxes or the man who gets the money?  And what if the project to help the man who was poor doesn’t work out?  What if it’s a waste for both?

So this idea ‑‑ over and over again, people have approached us about this ‑‑ Forgotten Man has been translated into a number of languages, especially in Asia, it wants only Spanish.  I thought, well, let’s see if we can do it in pictures, draw The Forgotten Man.

MR. RIVOCHE:  It’s a wonderful gateway, too, Ed, because the comic book market as it is, the graphic novel/comic book market, it sort of tends to break into separate, discrete groups.  You have superheroes and you have what could be called these sort of alternative, independent press.  I think Amity would agree with that we wanted to inhabit that kind of middle ground, kind of a crossover thing for people who would not normally consider the graphic novel medium; and then maybe for comics readers who are used to reading comics and graphics novels, that portion of that audience that would not necessarily consider this kind of book, they would maybe give it a shot because of the format, because of the fact that it’s in a graphic novel.

So that’s what we’re kind of reaching for, in terms of audience.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Amity, I don’t really follow the graphic novel industry. Are there left-leaning equivalents to your new project?

MS. SHLAES:  Oh, absolutely.  Our book’s pretty free-market.  Forgotten Man is a free market concept.  But I first noticed Howard Zinn, the progressive historian, had a graphic novel, [A People's History of American Empire.]  And it was quite successful.  Teachers were teaching it in high school.  College students were reading it.  Adults were reading it.  They were trying to ‑‑ you know, Paul used the word “gateway”.  And another artist said well, comics are a gateway drug to content.  The ’30s and economics, those are difficult topics, but somehow through comics you can ‑‑ you can grapple with them and come up with your own solution.

Howard Zinn was succeeding massively with his cartoon history of the U.S. empire, and I said well, we’ve got to get in here too and draw our cartoon, and let people choose.  The medium cannot be ruled by artists, as wonderful as they are, who only have one point of view, which is more to the left or progressive.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Ed, inside the book itself, in the portion that you referenced just prior to the interview, with the characters ‑‑ well, the real people — Rex Tugwell and Stuart Chase, at the Soviet art exhibition, who are having a discussion, which I think we touch on in another part later, with the Dorothea Lange image, and it’s all about how the progressives and the left are very good at getting their message out using different mediums.

So for example, at that art exhibition, I think they’re talking about the paintings, how that’s kind of like the vanguard of the Soviet ideal, and it gets a lot of attention to the cause.  Even within our book, we reference that idea of using different mediums or outlets to trumpet ideas.

So I supposed, yeah, that’s a little bit ironic, because our book is, as Amity said, an alternative viewpoint to the left and the Howard Zinn type of approach to things.

MR. DRISCOLL:  And Friedrich Hayek published what he called “The Road to Serfdom in Cartoons” sometime shortly after World War II.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Yes, we saw that.

MS. SHLAES:  Well, that’s right.  I mean, this is another example of a book ‑‑ at the time Hayek was sort of “a blitz star” ‑‑ Readers Digest took this philosopher, Friedrich Hayek and excerpted his book The Road to Serfdom, about how by increments we were going to become socialist.  And along the way, they also tried a cartoon. But I want to mention, Ed, this is a much more ambitious venture than even the cartoon Road to Serfdom.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Oh, absolutely.  Yeah.

MS. SHLAES:  Paul worked for years on this.  And just to reference, when we were drawing the Soviets as part of this book, Russia was not in the news.  Well, it is now.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Um-hum.

MS. SHLAES:  And what Paul is depicting is how freedom died in Russia.  And in the art gallery, there’s a page where the artists ‑‑ excuse me, the thinkers, the teachers, the future New Dealers, who would write the New Deal of the ’30s went to an art gallery to look around and see how the Soviets were doing.

They say, why should the Russians have all the fun planning everything?  We’ll go here.  And the name ‑‑ the name of the show was “The All Union Printing Trades Exhibition”.  And it was a specific exhibition.

So you’ll say, how did we draw that?  Well, almost every page in this book was researched.  Not everything is accurate, because it’s a cartoon book, so it has to be short.  It has an element of novelization.  But when possible, we actually took the exhibits as they happened.

The artist ‑‑ one of them was El Lissitzky, right, Paul?

MR. RIVOCHE:  Um-hum.  Yes.

MS. SHLAES:  And this means something to Paul, by the way, too.  I mean, this means something to both of us, those people whose families originally came from Eastern Europe and we know what happened to freedom there.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Oh, yeah, it has a very personal element for me, as Amity said.  I have family background from Russia.  So yeah, it ‑‑ it definitely had a personal meaning and a personal commitment in terms of doing this.

And just touching on what you referenced there about research, Amity.  I mean, if somebody could see a snapshot of my hard drive in working on this on the computer, because this book was digitally drawn, I mean, it was just literally hundreds and thousands and thousands of research images.

So for each page I would have a folder of research.  And you’d get into the most arcane kind of little details of, you know, if it’s a street in the Soviet Union in that time period in the ’30s, or the late ’20s, what would the lamp posts look like, for example.  Or what would the average people walking by be wearing?  And so we did our utmost to get these kind of details correct, or as correct as could be.

That made it a little bit maddening, but also fascinating.  You learn so much as an illustrator.  It’s things that you wouldn’t normally think about, right?  If you see them in a film, they’re just there.  But when you’re the illustrator, you actually have to go and find out well, what shape is it, what line is it.  So quite a journey. MR. DRISCOLL:  Paul, you wrote at your Tumblr page at Rocketfiction.tumblr.net, “Chuck Dixon did the initial script and then Amity and I took it the rest of the way, working on the final scenes and pages.” Who is Chuck Dixon? MR. RIVOCHE:  He’s a very well-established ‑‑ I guess you could say ‑‑ mainstream comic writer.  And he’s known for working on, among many other things, Batman comics.  I suppose you could say he’s ‑‑ I resist branding, but it’s a fact ‑‑ that he would be considered a conservative comic book writer.  And I think through that, maybe, he came onto the project.  So he did the early draft of the script.

MS. SHLAES:  That’s right, and he gave us some ideas that you can still see very strongly represented there that were big successes.  One of them is, if anyone’s interested in trade, the page of Herbert Hoover playing Hooverball, where Hoover goofs up, just as Hoover’s trade policy goofs up.

So imagine this book is like a series of plays about also folly of the policies in the period.  And Chuck has a genius for pulling it all together in a little anecdote.  And Paul does too.  I will say, that print authors learn from people in this medium.

This medium is as sophisticated or more [than] plain print.  And it was a learning process for me.  But the end was always the same.  The government gets too big, it’s a problem, even though we all mean well.

How do we depict that and share it with others that good intentions can go awry and that the vanity of planning can have perverse effect?  So we ended doing a lot of humor, Ed ‑‑ a lot more than in the print Forgotten Man.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Amity’s touched on a perfect illustration of what I was referring to about arcane details of history.  I mean, there’s so much hidden in the pages of time and in the Web ‑‑ in the “Interwebs” – [such as] Hooverball.  So you come across these wonderful photos of Hoover and some of his staff playing their own version of, kind of, a cross between ‑‑ what would it be, Amity, like dodgeball and I don’t know, like tennis over a net or something on the lawns of the White House.  And you’re sort of amazed to see all these incredible things.

So wherever we could, we used things like that to make the book visually interesting.  It’s something I had been rattling on about to Amity a lot, being a cartoon book, comic book, it has to have a visual flow, and so wherever we could find something that would work both with the sort of historical narrative, the political narrative, the economic narrative, all of which were the point of the whole thing existing ‑‑ wherever I could find something visually that would fit in, we would put that in. So in cases like that, it worked really well, I think, as Amity said.  They’re playing a game and discussing trade policy.

MS. SHLAES:  And Hoover really did play with this ‑‑ it was what we used to call a medicine ball ‑‑ a ball that’s heavy.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Yeah.

MS. SHLAES:  And ‑‑ and what ‑‑ what Paul drew so beautifully was the vanity of the successful technocrat in the case of Hoover.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Amity, along with the new book, your manager also sent me the advertising poster for ‑‑ for this new edition of The Forgotten Man. It features Paul’s illustration of Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother photo from 1936.  How was this image chosen for the promotional campaign?

MS. SHLAES:  Again, we’re talking about telling the story.  What are we concerned about?  Why are we here?  Because we love history, but we also want to be sure it’s depicted accurately.

And one of the things I learned in learning about the Great Depression, when I first went to research it as a Wall Street Journal reporter, was that it was slightly misrepresented.  The period really wasn’t quite the way it seems in the school books.

The most famous image is “Migrant Mother.”  You’ve all see pictures of her.  She has two children around her, maybe a baby at her breast.  And she’s in a kind of tented temporary picture that, you know, that’s very much like Grapes of WrathAnd it was a pea-picking area on a migrant farm where she was photographed.

And this is supposed to capture all that was wrong about the U.S., the agricultural tragedy, the terrible economy, the poverty of good people, and so on.  And it did.  A beautiful photograph by a great artist, Dorothea Lange.

But, what most of us don’t know, even though we studied this, and there are whole exhibits about this photo from the 1930s, there was ‑‑ I know people in Canada too, where Paul is from, who are obsessed with it ‑‑ is that this photo wasn’t taken by Life magazine as objective journalism.  It was ordered up by a government department with the specific mandate to justify through art what it was spending.

Well, that’s kind of different, right?  You can like the photo.  You can see the poverty is real.  But well, gee, if the department wanted more money so it could build homes for ladies like this, maybe they would want, and maybe they wouldn’t ‑‑ and there’s a wonderful story behind the story to Florence, who is the subject of this photo ‑‑ she really existed ‑‑ well gee, that’s different.

So what we did in Forgotten Man Graphic was show how the government department ‑‑ I believe it was Farm Security Administration, was basically New Deal led by Rexford Tugwell and Roy Striker, who was a genius at graphics, caused such pictures to happen, paid for them, ordered Dorothea Lange to find poverty at certain points, which she did.

And so you know, you have to balance it.  The government programs sometimes helped those very poor people in the case of agriculture, and sometimes they didn’t.

Also, there’s a cost to pride.  The family of the lady, who was this subject of Migrant Mother, was really quite ambivalent about being treated as impoverished, you know, as needy, as begging. And the whole question of what happens to people when they lose their pride. So since we know every high school teaches the picture, and I do hope you put it on your Web site, Ed, against what we drew ‑‑

MR. DRISCOLL:  Oh, absolutely.

MS. SHLAES:  ‑‑ we just wanted to say, look, there’s another picture, and here it is.  And we actually drew it. I just thought it was the most compelling ‑‑ you know, it’s the icon of the New Deal.  So that’s why we made the poster off it. MR. RIVOCHE:  Yeah, and I would add, that’s another example of what I was referencing in terms of kind of finding visual symbols or hooks or ways to show the abstract idea behind the page.

So in the three-page sequence where we see the Migrant Mother picture, we first ‑‑ on one page we see Dorothea Lange in the reality, photographing that famous iconic picture.  Then we show the picture.  And then we show, sort of, how I guess you could say it was processed by the government agency and perhaps, I think it’s fair to say, a little bit of the cynicism in the sense that they’re kind of discussing how they can use this as a springboard for their programs.

So the intention behind it, if someone’s looking carefully, they’re going to see that as a wider symbol of how government can operate, as Amity said, there’s real harsh poverty for real people, yet it’s being used in a way, by the government.

MR. DRISCOLL: Amity and Paul, when you creating the graphic novel edition of the Forgotten Man, how did you come to choose the way that central characters such as Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Wendell Willkie were depicted?

MS. SHLAES:  Roosevelt does not come off as a great economist in the 1930s.  The economic policies of our President probably hurt the economy, as indeed did, before him, Hoover’s economic policies.

So Roosevelt and Hoover are ‑‑ are problems, ego problems, basically, in this story.  That doesn’t say they’re not good at other things.  Roosevelt was a great steward, a great admiral in World War II. But in this period ‑‑ but we didn’t want to draw them as too evil.  We wanted to draw them as human.  So Hoover ends up looking kind of egomaniacal, I’d say.  Right, Paul?

MR. RIVOCHE:  Yes.

MS. SHLAES:  In that very middle age coach way ‑‑ Paul drew him kind of like the coach you love but you also hate.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Yes.

MS. SHLAES:  Because he’s smart, but he’s a little bit of a bully and he certainly wants his own way all the time.  And he’ll pout ‑‑

MR. RIVOCHE:  In the sense of coach, like powerful, athletic kind of figure or tall, you know, imposing, yes.

MS. SHLAES:  The guy who’s used to winning.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Um-hum.

MS. SHLAES:  We’ve all had a professor or department chair like that, or a department head who’s been there a little bit too long, and has always been king or queen, right?  Oh, my gosh.  That’s his Hoover.

And then Roosevelt. We started out with him being dark, because this is a cartoon, and we do have a superhero, so what is Roosevelt?  The opposite of the superhero.  But then we felt it was too mean, and we ended ‑‑ so we ‑‑ in the first pictures we had ‑‑ his glasses were blank, so you just had this opacity that you confronted, which was about his unknowability and potentially the threat of this President, who after all, took forty-six out of forty-eight states, raised taxes like crazy, and tried to crush companies.  Right?  He was a villain to many people.

But we thought it was too strong.  So we made him more mischievous, the later Roosevelt.

MS. SHLAES:  And who is the superhero?  We had to look long and hard for that.  This is a comic book.  The superhero was the businessman the people blamed when he was really just sort of trying.

And the question is, can business carry recovery? Wendell Willkie, said well, I think maybe our business could carry recovery if you don’t trash us too much.  And his business was assaulted in all different ways b by the government.  He was in utilities.  He had a company called Commonwealth and Southern, and the government created its own competing utilities company, the Tennessee Valley Authority.  This is very good to talk about in Tennessee, even today.

And then also, they created a wiring system that was Rural Electrification ‑‑ we’ve all heard of that.  And then third, let’s see, they tended to prosecute companies like Willkie’s.  I forgot, there’s a fourth.  They also passed a law that made it very hard for private companies to get capital ‑‑ private utilities companies.  And utilities is a very capital intensive business.  So it basically starved them.

And Willkie starts out friendly but gets a little bit angry and busts out of his suit, right, and puts on his cape and tries to rescue the U.S. economy in the election of 1940.  So that’s all there.

MR. DRISCOLL: And I wanted to ask you, several of the pages of the graphic novel were printed in a brown sepia tone. What does that signify?

MR. RIVOCHE:  So as Amity is saying, Wendell Willkie came in from the wings, as it were, and became a central figure in this version of The Forgotten Man, because we found as we worked in transposing her book, which is a prose book, no images, you know, to a visual book, we found a few problems which are inherent, not in the book, but just in that ‑‑ in the medium, which is that if you change time, place, and character too rapidly in a comic book, in a medium, you need someone to explain to the reader.

Because in a book, you would just say, “we’re going from Wendell Willkie’s home, to over in Washington, Rexford Tugwell was in his office.”  You just tell them that.

But if you just cut [between scenes] in a comic book and you don’t know who those people are or where they are, you can confuse the reader.  So what we found is, to stitch all this together, we needed a narrator.  And it worked quite elegantly and naturally that Wendell Willkie would be the narrator.

And that explains the brown pages, because what that means is that we had a framing sequence where Wendell Willkie is discussing the events and being the narrator with captions through the book.  He’s discussing with his girl friend Irita Van Doren.  And so to demarcate those pages throughout the book, there’s sections of two pages here and there that are these Wendell Willkie narration pages.

To demarcate those, we printed them in sepia, so that hopefully the reader who reads it sequentially from the beginning — the people who were confused were people who just opened the book and looked randomly, [and thought], oh, some pages are in sepia, what ‑‑ what’s that?

And I would say to people at this comic convention who were looking at it in that way, I’d say, well, when you read it, when you really sit down and read it sequentially, you’ll see that this is a framing sequence with a kind of voice over, as it were, if it was a film.  And he is the wise guide who’s narrating all these different things and helping us comprehend, I would say, a very complicated stream of events that Amity shows and takes us through.

MR. DRISCOLL:  So is Willkie more the narrator versus the hero?

MS. SHLAES:  He’s both. MR. RIVOCHE:  He’s kind of both, right, Amity?

MR. DRISCOLL:  Both.  Okay. MS. SHLAES:  “It all happened to me.”  And we just wanted someone from the period to tell it.  And also, Willkie is a fascinating guy.  And for this book, I did have the honor to talk to some of his, you know, his relatives, including Wendell Willkie, II and other Willkies over time, about him.  Willkie didn’t start out as a conservative.  He started out as a dynamo.  Whatever party, heck, he was going to take this industry, the most exciting industry – [electricity] was the Internet [of its time], right?

So he’s Mr. Brin, right?  He’s the financier.  He’s figuring this out.  He’s the financier behind the industry.  So let’s say he’s not the inventor.  I qualify that.

And he didn’t care who was in the government.  He wanted to be friends with everyone because his company was going to be awesome, and it was going to light up the south, which was dark and poor.

And all of a sudden he finds, well, he thinks he’s the David and, I don’t know, the government is the Goliath.  And then he realizes the government thinks he’s a monster.  The government thinks capital ‑‑ money — is a monster. His opponent thinks he’s a David, and that opponent was David Lilienthal, the head of the Tennessee Valley Authority ‑‑ actually a literal David. I’m sounding a little complicated.

But the point is, it was a titanic or biblical battle between the government and the private sector, in the nation’s most exciting industry.

So Willkie fought back and fought back and over time he formed some political views, and then, as we know, he ran for President in 1940, and articulated those.

So the education of Wendell Willkie is captured through those pages where he tells the story that “I didn’t used to have this point of view, but gee, now I do.”  How did it change?  What changed with us in this ten-year Great Depression?  Well, I think it all began back [when], and then he tells the story.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Will there be a Kindle edition of the graphic novel of The Forgotten Man?

MS. SHLAES:  We don’t know.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Okay.

MS. SHLAES:  We think so.  But we don’t have it yet.  So we’d like to punt on that right this sec.  The book is a quality of paper that’s very high.  So it’s meant to give to your clients who ‑‑ you know, the conservative client who want to share the story.

I often speak to economics classes or businesses and they say we’d like The Forgotten Man, and we want to share it with our family, but we’re not sure they’ll all read the hard ‑‑ so this paper ‑‑ and Paul worked hard in the selection of the paper as well ‑‑ it is beautiful.  We kind of like it in paper.

MR. DRISCOLL:  Well, whatever the format, this is truly a fascinating topic, one that we could easily spend much more time discussing. But we should start wrapping things up. So what are the next plans for this version of The Forgotten Man, or The Forgotten Man in general?

MS. SHLAES:  Get it to teachers, get it to all those very kind people who’ve asked me how can I share this with my kids?  How can I share it with my friend who wants a new medium and who might not be a Republican?

Well, Wendell Willkie, on some days, wasn’t a Republican.  This was not a party political story.  Get it to people who are interested in art and conveying art.  That’s very important to us.

It’s going to be on the radio a lot, and go on television.  But mainly what it is, is our gift to all those people who are wondering about the economy, wondering about economics.  There are a lot of principles in there that some of our friends have articulated in textbooks.  They’re drawn in pictures now.

And also give people something to argue about.  I’m very much looking forward to presenting this at Franklin Roosevelt’s birthplace and library in Hyde Park up on the Hudson in New York.  I’ve been invited to present it.  And I’m sure the people there won’t be so happy that I make Roosevelt not the superhero.

But you know, with [today’s] kids, they don’t know anything.  As we see, for example, now, with Russia or vis-a-vis anti-Semitism.  Our younger people don’t remember Stalin.  They don’t remember Gorbachev.  They don’t remember Hitler. So this is a way to share what happened back then with them.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Yeah — we were joking about gateway drugs.  So in a way this book is a historical stimulant, you know, because there’s so many characters ‑‑ fascinating characters.  I learned so much and having fashioned myself knowledgeable about history, I realized there was just such a deep weave of people, places, events [in the 1930s].

In working on this book, I learned so much.  So what we are hoping is that it would be a stimulant to younger people who, you know, if they’re reading, as I said, either a superhero graphic novel or a personal biography type of graphic novel, which is limited in scope, they wouldn’t find what they would find here, which is an access to historical figures.

And hopefully they will be stimulated to say, well, who are all these different people?  Let me do more research.  Because we touch on a lot of different people, and in the end we summarize it in the back with a cast of characters set of pages.  We have eight pages which show images from the book of the different head cuts of the personages, and a little biography. [Click here to see the cast of characters -- Ed]

We also have a timeline in the back of events.  That was kind of added to flesh out and give more material to the whole historical sweep of the book. So yeah, we’re really hoping that audience grabs onto this.

MR. DRISCOLL: This is Ed Driscoll and we’ve been talking today with Amity Shlaes and Paul Rivoche, who is the artist who drew up the new graphic novel edition of The Forgotten Man. It’s published by Harper Perennial, and it’s available at Amazon.com and your local bookstore. And Amity and Paul, thanks once again for stopping by PJ Media.com.

MR. RIVOCHE:  Thank you so much, Ed.

MS. SHLAES:  Oh, thank you.

(End of recording; click here for our previous interview with Amity on the original edition of The Forgotten Man, and here for our interview last year its “prequel,” Coolidge. For our many previous podcasts with other authors, start here and keep scrolling.)

Transcribed by eScribers.net, with minor revisions (including hyperlinks) by Ed Driscoll. Artwork created using elements from Shutterstock.com.

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