Presidential tradition dictates that an outgoing Commander-in-Chief leaves a letter for the incoming president, and the letter remains confidential between these leaders. But political author Brad Meltzer revealed last night that during research for his latest book, he received a copy of the message George H.W. Bush wrote to Bill Clinton.
“He sent this letter to me and told me that no one had ever seen this before,” Meltzer said during a discussion at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. “I love that he trusted me with it.”
The Brooklyn native’s latest conspiracy novel, “The Inner Circle,” was released yesterday. It's the story of a political archivist discovering secret stories and documents in the White House and solving political mysteries.
His discussion Tuesday night didn't focus just on politics. Meltzer, who also hosts “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on The History Channel, also discussed how the Facebook phenomenon is changing our culture.
“With Facebook, you are immediately confronted with your past,” Meltzer said. “It’s like someone is confronted with their own history and it makes you ask that question, which to me is the whole question of what the book is, is ‘what has your life become?’ I’m fascinated with that.”
To answer that question, Meltzer said that even with all of his recognition he’s had for his books and TV show, he has a different way of measuring success.
“No one is known in life for the famous things that they did,” Meltzer said. “Thomas Jefferson never took credit for writing [The Declaration of Independence] while he was alive. It wasn’t until people read his obituary that they knew he was the author. That kind of humility, I think, is what makes a person. That is how I think you know when you have made it.”