Since being named executive editor at Random House back in October, former Newsweek editor-in-chief Jon Meacham has kept a relatively low profile. When the hiring was announced, Publisher's Weekly said Meacham--who wouldn't officially begin the job until January--would "focus on acquiring and editing a select list of nonfiction titles," placing particular emphasis on "works of history, biography, and religion."

Three months later, Meacham has finally made his first acquisition for the publishing house, and it is not a work of history, biography, or religion. It's the new Al Gore book. But not just any new Al Gore book. This one, the former vice president says, is intended to "start a conversation about the large-scale drivers of change that are defining and shaping our future." We can already hear the sizable anti-Gore camp groaning. Perhaps, though, things are looking up for the beleaguered Meacham: 2010 wasn't his greatest year.