Thursday, January 19, 2023

Q&A with Cort Casady


Cort Casady and his wife, Barbara



Cort Casady is the author of the new memoir Not Your Father's America: An Adventure Raising Triplets in a Country Being Changed by Greed. His other books include The Singing Entertainer, and he has worked as a TV writer and producer, a songwriter, and an investigative magazine writer.


Q: Why did you decide to write Not Your Father's America?

A: I wanted to share with our sons and with readers what we went through to have triplets and recount the things we experienced together as a family. Initially, I thought of writing an open letter to our children, but as I dug up notes and journal entries that I had kept over the years, it morphed into something longer.


I remember, at one point, finding several pages recounting funny moments with the boys, which we shared with them, and we were all laughing out loud. That’s probably when I realized our story could be a book.

At the same time, as a father, I thought it would be interesting to talk about my father’s America, the America my brothers and I came up in, and add some commentary about the America the triplets were growing up in to give them additional perspective.


Q: Your subtitle describes “a country being changed by greed.” Can you say more about how you feel the United States has changed over the years, and what you see looking ahead?


A: Not Your Father’s America is essentially a family story that takes place in a 21-year window that extends from 1992, when we were trying to start our family, until 2013 when the triplets went off to college, and our house became very, very quiet.


While the boys were going from being preemies to toddlers to adolescents and young adults, as a father, I was noticing disturbing things that were happening in the country around us, things my brothers and I hadn’t experienced in the America we grew up in.


As I took a closer look, in almost every case, the underlying cause was greed caused by widespread deregulation that began in 1980.


You don’t get a tectonic shift in the television industry where I was working, without deregulating the medium. You don’t get the 2008 economic meltdown without deregulation. The horrific Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was traceable to deregulation. The epic failures of Enron and WorldCom, the biggest bankruptcies in U.S. history, were due to a lack of regulation.


I wanted to shine a light on these things to remind readers that we have a lot of work to do: to reduce the gap between the very rich and the rest of us; to restore “greed control” which, evidence shows, protects lives and jobs and fortunes. We need to restore the middle class by putting people over profits and power. In the last chapter, I also want to awaken readers to the ever-increasing threat of global warming.

Looking ahead, I see great challenges and great promise in the America our sons are inheriting. Despite the persistence of historic income inequality, we’re raising minimum wages; there’s a new law to require mega-corporations to pay a minimum tax and demands for billionaires to start paying their fair share.


There’s ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance factors that are being used to quantify the ongoing commitments and conduct of companies. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is providing billions to respond to climate change; much more is needed, but it’s an important beginning.


Voting rights have been drastically restricted in dozens of states, but I believe Congress will reverse the erosion of voting rights with legislation. I believe Congress will restore a woman’s right to choose. Deregulation is still rampant across many industries but almost every day, we read or hear about the impact of greed on some part of our society. So, awareness is growing.


I remain optimistic. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. Okay, make that a glass-half-full of bourbon kind of guy.


Q: You describe many personal family details in the book--what do your family members think about it?

A: [My wife] Barbara read virtually every draft of the book as I was writing it. She corroborated memories, corrected facts, and typos, and encouraged me frequently throughout the process. Our sons encouraged me throughout the process of writing and getting the book published as well.


Having shared notes and journal entries with them before I started writing in earnest, they had a pretty good idea of what Dad was going to write. All three have fully supported the project and believe it’s a story worth chronicling. They’ve been very complimentary.


The fellas are 28 years old now and understandably busy with their own lives and careers. Carter has three daughters of his own! When they saw my picture on the cover of Writer’s Life magazine recently, they thought that was awesome. My memoir is about the power of persistence and love, and there’s a lot of love between me and my sons.


I should also add that my eldest brother, Derek, his wife, Nancy, and one of my nieces have said they love the book. Nancy read the entire book out loud over the phone, over several days, to her daughter who lives in Hawaii. I thought that was amazing.


Q: What impact did it have on you to write the book, and what do you hope readers take away from it?


A: Writing the book allowed me to relive and complete the most important part of my life. Finishing the book gave me an enormous sense of satisfaction, as a writer. The book also serves as a constant reminder of how fortunate I am to be the husband of Barbara and the father of Braden, Carter, and Jackson. I am forever grateful for their presence in my life.

What I hope readers will take away from the book is how powerful love and persistence can be in achieving what you want. I hope readers can include in their lives what we learned from having and raising triplets: Don’t panic. Take one day at a time. Stay committed without being attached. And don’t give up.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m developing a documentary film, 100% Possible: The Battle for the World’s Energy Future, that has been stalled for nearly three years due to COVID.


As global warming intensifies, the film is about a Stanford University climate scientist with life-saving plans to power America and the world with clean, renewable energy who is forced to fight off critics representing entrenched fossil fuel and nuclear interests while escalating his work to prevent climate chaos.


The fact that there are concrete, science-based plans for how we can stop burning fossil fuels and power life on Earth with electricity generated solely by wind, water, and the sun, with storage for everything, will be revealed to the general public for the first time in this groundbreaking film.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I’m grateful for your interest in my book. Thank you!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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