WHEN I WAS a job printer we'd sit down and read the finished book when it came back from the bindery. Though we'd been wallowing in it night and day for weeks, we'd never actually read it. We had a general idea of what it was about, but fragmented. We weren't being paid for editorial input, just getting the ink on the paper. I've written a number of books over the years, and every time the thrill of seeing it, holding it, as a real book is enormous. A modest bid for immortality. About as close as a man can get to giving birth. When review copies of The Free Speech Movement arrived, I took one home and read it every night as though it were totally new. Reading galleys, proofs, writing, interviewing, research, editing, designing, none of this has the same feeling as actually reading a finished book. It's strangely like reading a book you read years ago; not at all like reading your own work. You know in general how it all comes out, but there's enough unfamiliar material to throw you. I can hardly believe that I wrote such a fat book. I was someone else back then.
July 31, 1994
Post Hoc "After this."
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