Friday, October 24, 2008

My first book acknowledgment.

My boss's newest book hit stores this past Tuesday, Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter of 1860-1861, a title matched in length only by the 623 pages of dead tree skin on which its words reside. Not surprisingly I received an acknowledgment from him which I will repeat here:

"I am grateful not only for his help, but also for the archival and computer research skills, not to mention tolerance and good humor, repeatedly demonstrated under deadline pressure by my full-time assistant Kraig Smith, as well as the additional help provided by..." and then he goes on to name two researchers, one of whom I believe to be functionally retarded and who frightens the women in my office when he makes the occasional appearance. I'm in good company.

A few notes. First, this is the point at which I'd like to remind people I work for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. And by "people," I mean myself. Second, the "computer research skills" he refers to is, in all seriousness, Google. While Harold is not exactly an old fogy who looks at the computer like a magical box of unimaginable wonders, he's not too far from thinking it's a "series of tubes." Third, the "tolerance" he mentions is because, quite frankly, the alternative is my death. The "good humor" is, of course, because I'm fucking hysterical. He's a very good writer and, if you like historical non-fiction, this is likely to be a great one. I'll be slogging my way through it over the next few weeks (months) as it has contemporary relevance for whomever ends up as our next President-Elect. (Obama)

Interestingly, while this is my first book acknowledgment, I learned about a month ago that I had received an acknowledgment in my good friend Matt's doctoral thesis from 2002. It has something to do with physics and particles and, I hope, big explosions. Why he failed to tell me this years ago, I don't know, but I accidentally discovered it while Googling something about him. Sure enough, he calls me a "friend" in his thesis. Not as eloquent as my boss's endorsement, but equally moving. Thanks, Matt.

(Ed note: I wonder if this blog will make its way to the book's publicists at Simon & Schuster. Probably. Their archival and research skills are matched by my own. Stupid Google.)


Blogger JMW said...

I was going to taunt you and say that you have a ways to go to catch up to my book acknowledgments, but then I remembered that in order to gain that lead on you I had to sacrifice some of the prime of my life to massive-conglomerate book publishing. So I'll just shut up instead.

October 25, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oh the memories...I would purposefully hide in the bathroom when I knew Harold's "research assistant" was coming into the office...

October 25, 2008 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...


Honestly, one book acknowledgment might be enough for my lifetime. I think I'd rather be doing the acknowledging than receiving them.

October 28, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...


He still asks about you---and then promptly spits up on himself.

October 28, 2008 at 4:07 PM  

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