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Alan Alda began writing his memoir " Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" after being struck unexpectedly by a medical condition that nearly left him dead on a mountain in Chile.  The book takes readers from his childhood, being raised among topless burlesque performers through his career as an award winning actor and writer, and includes a frank look at the impact of his mother's mental illness on his life.

Alda joined MSNBC.com's Will Femia over the phone to share anecdotes from his life and talk about the experience of collecting and reliving memories of his childhood.

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