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PAGE TURNER

Reader interview: He enjoys reading books about history

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Andy Hufford, director of sales at Summit Brands.

“Right now, I am reading 'Cronkite,' written by Douglas Brinkley. What I am enjoying is that you think you know someone and, when you read the biography and find out more about him, you find out you were right.

“Of course, I've also learned that Cronkite liked race cars and yachting. You don't usually think of that as of interest to 'the most trusted man.' I studied journalism at IU (Indiana University) and worked on the South Side Times when I was in high school, so I have always been interested in journalism. At first, journalists were very traditionalist; then they were more than casual fact reporters.

“Ed Murrow and he really did not get along. Murrow, of course, gained his reputation as he covered World War II. Cronkite did a special on Vietnam that affected and changed the feelings of Americans. President Nixon made his famous quotation about if he had lost Cronkite, he had lost the war.

“Anyway, in this book, you learn how good Cronkite was with facts, and you learn more about his character and that he was a grandfatherly truth teller. During his career, there was a change from print to radio, and then from radio to television.

“I have just started 'The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office,' by Tim Sullivan and Roy Fisman. It helps to understand the dynamics of business — where to succeed, where to fail. But I'm not far enough into it yet to comment. However, I did enjoy 'Blink' when I read it some years ago. It's by Malcolm Gladwell, who also wrote 'The Tipping Point.' I liked 'Blink' more.

“Next on my list is the new book on Calvin Coolidge. My dad is a history teacher, so I've usually focused on history. I've done a lot of reading about Theodore Roosevelt, including 'The River of Doubt,' about his trip on a boat to South America, and 'Mornings on Horseback.'

“But I've also read the 'Hunger Games' series. The books are not deep, but they are entertaining. I read them so I could talk about them with my boys. We had discussions on a world that was completely mythical — about something that maybe could happen. There was a lot to discuss with them.

“I always read books to my children. That probably started with 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear … ,' which I bet every kid under 15 has had read to them.

“I read the 'Harry Potter' books on my own, but my boys all read them. The difference between those and the 'Hunger Games' is that the Harry story could never happen. I love to see kids reading! And I have always been a reader.”