"Face the Nation" transcript: November 27, 2011

Kathryn Stockett, Walter Isaacson, Michael Lewis and Condoleezza Rice

Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on November 27, 2011, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. The guests are author of "The Help" Kathryn Stockett, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "Boomerang" author Michael Lewis and Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on Face the Nation, our annual Thanksgiving weekend "Books and Authors" show. And what a group we've brought together. Kathryn Stockett, author of "The Help," the book about race in the Jim Crow South that has topped the best-seller list since 2009 and led to the hit movie.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose memoir "No Higher Honor" tells of her days as George Bush's secretary of state. Michael Lewis, author of "Boomerang," the explosive best-seller about Wall Street. And Walter Isaacson, the best-selling author of the new biography of Steve Jobs. They're all head on Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Well, we are all here and I'm gonna start with Kathryn Stockett because, among those of us who write books from time to time, you are the hero. How long has that book been on the best-seller list?

KATHRYN STOCKETT: (LAUGH) don't know. I try not to keep track of numbers like that, but it seems like it's been a very long time.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But back to 2009, right?

KATHRYN STOCKETT: Yeah. It came out in February '09. And somehow I am still on book tour. I need to write another one. (LAUGH)

BOB SCHIEFFER: And it is still number one on the best-- on the-- paperback list, isn't it?

KATHRYN STOCKETT: It's-- it's-- yeah, th-- I mean, there-- it's hovering around there somewhere. But I know this is short-lived. I know that--

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, it's not short-lived--

KATHRYN STOCKETT: --you know, it doesn't last forever.

BOB SCHIEFFER: --so far, I'll tell ya that for sure. It-- it is a book that-- I must say, it is pitch perfect. I grew up in that era, I grew up in Fort Worth, and-- and this is the story about these-- black women who raised white babies-- across the South. And-- and is a-- it is simply a remarkable story. And-- you-- you really caught it-- exactly right. Why did-- how did you come upon or how did you get the idea of writing this book?

KATHRYN STOCKETT: So I was living downtown in New York City-- and-- was, you know, trying to write a book. And 9/11 occurred, and I became so homesick. And the voice that I really wanted to hear was that of Demetri. She was the African American woman who worked for our family for over 30 years. And-- you know, she'd been dead since I was 16, so the best way I know as a writer to channel the voice of the dead is-- is-- is to write in their voice.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Uh-huh. And so you went back and you did all the research of that era and that period?

KATHRYN STOCKETT: You know, for me, it really was just like playing a tape recorder back in my head. So the research was kind of-- it was reminiscing, for me. And-- and, you know, I get a lot of criticism for writing in such-- a heavy dialect, but for me that-- that was how I remembered Demetri's voice.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Condoleezza Rice, you grew up in the South, sort of on the other side of town. How did that shape you?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, growing up in the South, segregated Birmingham, probably the most segregated big city in America, shaped me fundamentally because-- my-- my family had to persevere under though circumstances-- to educate all of us. And to insist that we might not be able to control our circumstances but we could control our response.

And when I read The Help, it was really, for me, a South that I didn't know very well. You're right; I lived on the other side of town. The South was very stratified, and in our little m-- middle-class community-- it was a very different world than the one that Kitty wrote about. So I loved her book too.