I was told that Rudy Giuliani was on Oprah on September 30 and they had a conversation about the value of books, especially biographies, and, notably interesting, about what Giuliani read the night of September 11th (actually the early morning of the 12th) when he finally got home to try to get some sleep. He read Jenkins’ new biography of Churchill. This is part of the transcript, from Oprah’s site.
Mr. GIULIANI: The—the second lesson is study, read and learn independently. It’s a little bit like prepare relentlessly, but it’s a lesson I learned from my mother. My mother used to tell me you can learn everything in books. Books contain the secrets of life... And her—her idea was that in books, you could find the answers to any—any of the problems that you face. And that’s how I ended up on the evening of September 11th, really the morning of September 12th, beginning to re—read and actually read a new biography of—of Churchill.
Mr. GIULIANI: The—the—I—you know, the best way—the best way to—to study leadership is reading biographies of the people that you admire and—and doing the best you can to incorporate those things in—in—into you. You know, I read a lot of biographies of Churchill, but I also read a lot of biographies of Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson and—you—you name it. And then I cop—and then I copied a lot of people. People that I worked for had a big, big impact on me.
WINFREY: And—and went back and read Churchill—Was it the night after the…
Mr. GIULIANI: Yeah, r—and re—read it and re—read it that night.
WINFREY: Isn’t that the first thing you read?
Mr. GIULIANI: Yes.
WINFREY: After you went home, 2:30 in the morning?
Mr. GIULIANI: I read—I went home, I found an advanced copy of a new biography of—of Churchill by Jenkins.
Mr. GIULIANI: I opened up the pages about the Battle of Britain in 1940, because I felt that that was close to what we were facing. Here they were attacked and bombed every night. And let—let me see how Churchill faced it.
WINFREY: We’ll be right back.