Pete Hamill in His Own Words…and Voice

August 8th, 2020

Pete_Hamill_Brooklyn_2007_1088x725-700x470.jpgI had the distinct pleasure of speaking with and interviewing Pete Hamill six times since 1997. There was no subject that he could not hold forth on. Our discussions involved subjects ranging from immigration to tabloids, the lexicon of news to urban America, and even Frank Sinatra.  

This podcast includes some lengthy excerpts from three of those conversations. First, in a conversation from June 2011, we talked about tabloids, the state of news today, and the way in which tabloids stitched communities together.

Our next conversation is great fun as Hamill talks about his book Why Sinatra Matters. Hamill argued that it’s not possible to understand the country without fully understanding the music and personality of Sinatra. He explains how he transformed the image of Italians and was the first example of American pop culture transported to the world. It was also a powerful way to learn more about both Prohibition and the Depression.

Last but not least, is my first conversation with Hamill from May 1997, just after the publication of his book Snow in August. It’s a look at immigration, the misguided power of television, and the story of a boy growing up in New York in the late 1940s. Because of the age of this conversation, the audiotape had not held up as well as I might have hoped, and I ask that you bear with a little 23-year decay of audio quality. However, I think it’s worth it.  

Enjoy this reminiscence of the life and words of Pete Hamill. 

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