Michael Hiltzik

Michael Hiltzik, a longtime reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, had been writing about water issues when he started considering a book about the Hoover Dam. But writing Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century also had a practical appeal for Hiltzik, whose last book examined more recent history. “I had interviewed 300 people and felt that they were looking over my shoulder as I wrote,” he said. “I thought it would be an interesting change to write a book of history where I had the last word.” Below, Hiltzik answers our In The Green Room Q&A.

Q. What do you consider to be the greatest simple pleasure?

A. Reading.

Q. Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Saturday?

A. At my computer reading and writing.

Q. What do you do to clear your mind?

A. Listen to music, play Scrabble, something silly like that.

Q. What do you wish you had the nerve to do?

A. Learn how to play the piano.

Q. What music have you listened to today?

A. Schumann Piano Works, and some jazz I like.

Q. What is your favorite word?

A. Nuance.

Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. A veterinarian.

Q. If you could only take one more journey, where would you go?

A. China.

Q. What is your most prized material possession?

A. My dogs.

Q. What is the greatest gift you have ever received?

A. My children.

Q. What is your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

A. Diversity, which keeps it so interesting.

Q. Who is the one person living or dead you would most like to meet for dinner?

A. Glenn Gould.

To read more about Hiltik’s talk on the Hoover Dam, click here.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.