Founding Father: How C-Span's Brian Lamb Changed Politics in America
In 1979, Brian Lamb, then a journalist, finally succeeded in cajoling the titans of the cable industry to launch the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network, a channel devoted exclusively to unfiltered, gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress. The tone here is reverential as Frantzich, an author (The C-SPAN Revolution) and political science professor, traces the career of the unpretentious C-student from the ""middle, middle west"" who has dedicated his life to his network ""love child."" Growing out of the Indiana native's desire to expand television news and demystify the American political process, the network's steady stream of congressional sessions were soon supplemented by regional, national and international fare, and became an important outlet for everyone from authors to presidential campaign operatives. Readers get glimpses of Lamb from a number of angles-as a disarming interviewer, a hands-on manager, a teetotaler who loves frozen yogurt, a first-time husband at age 63-but Frantzich fails to probe very far into the man's blemishes (a blinding single-mindedness, a distaste for criticism) or critics' assessments of him (ties to Nixon may betray a right-leaning philosophy). C-SPAN junkies might not be bothered by Frantzich's repetitive string of accolades, but readers interested in a critical assessment of Lamb's contributions will have to wait for a more dispassionate writer.