Gore to Promote Book in Memphis Appearance

By Andy Meek

Al Gore is coming to Memphis next month to promote his new book, “The Future.”

He’ll be at The Booksellers at Laurelwood Feb. 18 at noon to discuss and sign the book, which he wrote to present what he believes are the macro factors that are the major drivers of global change.

The former vice president spoke by phone with The Daily News by way of previewing the remarks he’ll share.

“American democracy has been hacked,” Gore said. “It’s not working the way it’s supposed to. The economy’s not working the way it’s supposed to.

“I felt hopeful after listening to President Obama’s second inaugural. I’m encouraged that some things seem to be moving in the right direction. But I still see the influence of special interests in the Congress shaping policies in ways that don’t help the average person. You know, I don’t think corporations are people. I don’t think money is speech. I think democracy works if we get the influence of money and special interests out of it.”

Gore is the son of a U.S. senator who began his political career as a congressman representing a Middle Tennessee district. Gore became a frequent sight in Memphis during his tenure in Congress as he led the passage of the National Organ Transplantation Act of 1984.

That and other health issues were Gore’s first national political exposure. And several Memphis audiences in those early years heard the speech and slide shows that were the basis for Gore’s later acclaimed talks on global warming chronicled in the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Gore remained a visible presence in the Memphis area during his time as vice president under President Bill Clinton, even making a memorable visit to the Memphis in May International Festival Barbecue Cooking Contest after years of having a booth at the contest as a U.S. senator.

In his new book, Gore – a board member of Apple Inc., among his many other pursuits – writes that he’s done with politics.

“I have run for political office often enough in the past,” he writes. “I am a recovering politician, and the chances of a relapse have been diminishing for long enough to increase my confidence that I will not succumb to that temptation again.”