The Arc of The Covenant

The typical route to the top of the New York Times best-seller list takes an author to swank Manhattan publishing luncheons and the morning talk-show circuit. But radio and TV host Tavis Smiley, editor of The Covenant with Black America--a manifesto by prominent African-Americans, including former Surgeon General David Satcher and Princeton professor Cornel West, that will reach No. 1 on next week's nonfiction paperback list--just went to church. Published in February by the small black-owned Third World Press, the Covenant has sold 250,000 copies, many on Smiley's barnstorming tour of African-American congregations around the U.S. Each revival-like meeting has drawn...

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