tv Book TV After Words CSPAN December 27, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
fluffy. it is too sentimental. >> it is not scientific. >> it is not scientific. >> on the other hand you might argue that giving an animal and they might be a break to get more people to invest in that animal. >> of course. >> care about the future. >> of course it is. sometimes writing this book it was too confusing to write about all these numbers. i said, i've lost track of what is number 49 versus number 57. so i give them temporary names just for the purpose of the book. ..
completely extinct in the wild -- >> guest: no, no, no to the the the original flock was down 27 and they were summering in the nature preserve in texas and foot then they invested in more than canada but nobody knew where and all the time the flock was getting less and less and then one day some helicopter pilot was spraying i don't know what he was doing and he saw this white bird with golden colored and that is where they were. they were investing in buffalo part of canada but this little flock was down to 27, and, you know, 2000 model migration getting less and less. if the bird flew or something camel long that would be the end of that. so that is why they needed to start a second group but they had to teach them to my great because they learned from their parents and this was a new
route, an agent one that no bert news of a trained them to follow the ultralight, like bill train the egyptian geese. black footed ferrets extinct in the weigel, california condor extant in the wild, the pygmy rabbit extinct in a while, so many of them. >> host: but all of the species do have in common one thing. it seems to me that they all were to the point where we could have written them off. we could have said forget it, let's pull the plug and go away but it didn't happen and some of the incredibly invented things such as using ultralight to teach migratory routes. >> guest: and my favorite story of the whooping cranes is george all troubled who has gone so much for the cranes.
there was one female and they wanted captive gene but they've been hand raised so she wouldn't meet with a crane. so george mid-court ship toensing with her for something like a month, twice, and she did lay an egg and they were able to artificially inseminated, so her genes are all over. it's one of my favorite pictures in the book. >> host: when you first entered tanzania what equipment did you take with you other than pen and pad of paper? >> guest: we couldn't afford much. who was going to give money to this young on trinkle? it was crazy, wasn't it? louis leakey went on and on and finally, a wealthy american businessman and leader said for six months we will see what happens. the british authorities and then british protector of tanganyika,
this young girl will not take responsibility so that is why i had to have a companion and volunteer which was amazing to she was there the first four months. and so, fortunately before the six months money ran out i had seen the tool using and making and sharing of food so we were able to get more fuel to carry on the study but what did i have? i had a pencil, notebook, little notebook that fit in my pocket and not very good binoculars because we couldn't afford a really good ones and that was it and close. >> host: now field biologists have better and arguably for worst of incredible technologies. tracking devices you can put on a dragonfly.
satellite readings of an entire forests. >> guest: which we use a lot. >> host: and that is -- is it that seems to be one of the things the species in this book have in common is they've benefited from the fact that these field biologists in their mad race to find out more before it is too late have actually succeeded and have succeeded with the help of new technologies, new tools. is that the reason for hope? >> guest: that is a reason for hope but there are stories in this book dating back to before that kind of help so people who struggled like some of the island birds from the islands of australia and new zealand for example, the early existed to that kind of tool so it was a hit and miss, let's try to hatch the eggs in incubators like don
experimenting with the last of the black robins to try and increase the number of eggs laid by what is now commonly done as double or trouble clutching. you destroy a nest and raise -- normally put the eggs in an incubator and then they make another nest and you take the second day this and have them hatched and leave them with their third nest. >> how do i say this, the a satiric skill set that they have, the ability to sit for days on end in the blazing sun and watch a bird in a cave to count as one early i believe one early biologists counted the number of lives that it picked off of its wings in the course of a day. [laughter] and were there any particular
skill sets that you were impressed by in your travels? >> guest: i was absolutely impressed by some of the rock climbing ability. the story, one of the stories i love is the real discovery of the islands stick insect which is this thought to be extinct for 80 years and then rediscovered and was surviving on a pinnacle of rock miles offshore with only one quote of digitation, not very big. was basically one bush and how could this, you know, leafy huge insect so drive there for 80 years? but the team went to prove it was not there and lo and behold they find it but they had to climb this rock at night, i mean i said you are really making me nervous just to think it gives
me the wall belize but he has done a seven times, and the short tail albatross going up to that island hiroshima extraordinarily, so difficult to get to. >> host: i must say though that there are some controversy attached to some of the techniques that have been used to bring some of the species back. there are people who argue of the captive breeding programs are extremely expensive, hit and miss and that they use money that could be better spent on habitat in the field and well, that's the way the argument goes. >> guest: there's not much point same habitat, putting money into that. we've lost the species in the meanwhile. so, most of the stories are balanced between protection and the wild and also some captive
breeding. and captive breeding if it is done white and if the animals have the opportunity to learn some of their skills i think one of the big controversies was self police versus hard release. celt release, which to me always seemed better. let the animal adjust slowly. he can go out and come back. you can feed him. he words predators and things versus hard relief where you dump the creatures in the middle of the environment and say good luck. and those actually don't work very well. >> host: i have noticed also while reading the book or thought about the fact that in the time since you began your career and the time the most recent of these programs have been operating many of the threats have changed. new threats have risen, some have become less pressing, but i
wonder how whether you have ideas, whether you have been coming out of the strategies to deal with, for instance bush meet poaching problem, the commercialization of that kind of hunting or -- start with that, or climate change. >> guest: and human population growth. those are the things. it's difficult because huge amounts of money are involved and i think it's really important that people understand the bush meat trade is commercial hunting and its different from the subsistence hunting that has enabled people to live in harmony for hundreds of years and it's been made possible by land companies moving into in this case the congo basin and opening up the forests with roads and of course opening of the forests with rhodes is something that is damaging any way.
opening any piece of wilderness with roads is deadly for the animals living there but in this case it enables hunters to go from the cities and to the logging trail and they are shooting everything, elephants, carlos, tramp didn't could chimps, antelope, guerrillas, anything they can smoke and then they take it into the town. so because so much money is being made, politicians are sometimes involved because there is very little political will in many cases it is tough and the only way that we are trying to make some headway is working with other ngos on the ground, working with for example the world bank and with industry. like all logging companies and miners to try and find a way to minimize this and provide other ways of livelihood for the hunters and other sources of protein for the people.
>> i have a strong thing that came out of this book was the idea that, well, as a, well, there is a gentleman, late gentleman who died tragically who worked for the organization i worked for, world wildlife fund who used to always say conservation needed to have a human face of it was to work and i know you are a big proponent of that. can you tell me a little about -- can we talk about an example of how that has succeeded? >> guest: i can tell you how i became involved. when i got to donner be in 1960 you could go all the way around the shore of lake tanganyika, the eastern shore and was chimpanzee habitat all the way, just some clearings a couple of towns and villages. you could climb up the hills and look away from the lake to the east, a chimpanzee habitat as far as you could see. and then in the early 90's i knew there was deforestation going on but when i flew in a
small plane over the whole area it was utterly shocking the hills were devastated. there were clearly too many people living there for the land to support. farmland was overused, the trees were gone, the farmers were trying to cultivate ridiculous steep slopes, so real erosion and all the rest of it. so the question, how can we even try to save the chimpanzee's while people are struggling to survive? so that led to our take care program, t.a.c.a.r.e. that is all 24 villages, it was started by one project manager, george, who picked an incredible team of tanzanian. they went into the villages, no white faces and sat down and talked in the african way what can we do that would make your lives better and of course they didn't care about conservation
then. they cared about health and education for their kids so that is where we began and then gradually talk to them about the kind of things that we hope to this program could do, better farming efforts, ways of reclaiming overused farm land, working with groups of women to improve their lives through microcredit tiny loans they would pay back and then get a bigger one, education scholarships for girls working with women because working all over the world is shown as women education increases, family size drops so we provide family planning information and also hiv/aids education. and it took awhile but the trust gained a trend toward smaller family size and now to the last piece of the puzzle it was finding of in the high hills above gambi very good coffee.
there were good prices. so persuading the big coffee words to the green mountain coffee roasters to come in and yes it's a good coffee, by some, create a specialty brand and give the farmers really good money. as a result of that, there is so much good will for the t.a.c.a.r.e program that the villages have sat down with our gnp, gps specialist, satellite imagery, and they have put the 10% of their land of the government requires set aside for consolation in such a way that the formula buffer between the tiny 30 square mile gambi national park and the villages and will allow the chimpanzees who were trapped in this little oasis of forest to mingle we hope with other prominent groups. it is a success around that's
helped the people, it's helped the chimpanzees and -- >> host: i guess another way to say you actually can put company dumped back together again if you want to reconnect a fragmented habitat because there is a template there you could use elsewhere. >> guest: yes i stood there about three months ago with our project leader and looked over the previously bear hills behind gambi and petraeus are about 20 feet high. it's very resilient, nature is very resilient so now we are trying to replicate this are not other wilderness areas. and, you know, it will work anywhere, australia, china, india, and so hopefully u.s. aid lovesick. they said 71 of their top project managers to see how it is done, and it is one of the examples i use in this book.
>> host: i want to talk a little bit more later about the ways in which you might want to -- how one goes about getting people to invest in this point of view. reading the book would be a start but i want to know why it is you invested. you write about reading tarzan books, dr. doolittle. i find it difficult to think of you as jane even though you are jane. you would have been a different kind of gene i think but where did -- >> guest: i was very jealous of that stupid jane. [laughter] >> host: how so? >> guest: because i wanted to be tarzan's me to myself. [laughter] >> host: well i think -- >> guest: from the time i was born apparently i was only interested in animals. books about animals, 11-years-old i'm going to go to africa, live with animals and
write books about them at a time when it as you said girls didn't do that sort of thing, world war ii was raging. we didn't have enough money even for a bicycle let alone a car. this is why i never went to a university. we couldn't afford it but i had an amazing mother and she would see if you really want something and work hard and never give up you will find a way where as everybody else was laughing at me. so, it was animals, animals, animals treated was never just chimpanzees. that landed in my lap because i met louis and he had for a long time has been looking for someone to try and throw some light on the behavior how close relatives in the wild, which he felt might help him to kind of this house early humans might have the av because that was his interest. so the chimpanzees were i think a really fortunate thing for me because they are so like us, and so it really helped people to see it isn't a sharp line
dividing us from the other animals. and i think that's benefited other animals, too. >> host: after we take a break we will come back and talk about this more. >> "after words" and several other c-span programs are available for download as podcast. more with jane goodall and john goodman in a moment. did you know you can view book tv programs longline? go to booktv.org. type the name of the author, book or subjected to the search area in the upper left-hand corner of the page. select the watch link. now you can view the entire program. you might also explore the recently on book tv box or featured programs box to find and a few recent and future programs.
>> if you watch booktv recently you have seen gwen ifill on breakthrough and with jim lehrer's newshour. with your new job do you have time to read and what are you reading? >> after writing the book i had no time to read anything that had to do with a book that actually now that it's out i started reading all kinds of things again. i am in the middle now of reading john stupak's book about antonin scalia, supreme court justice. i'm reading david paul's book about the campaign of course because trading dreams at midnight by by ann mckinney who writes these wonderful fictional stories about women, african-american women in the inner city so that was my fun book and still kind of a downer. crusco what is your preferred place to read? >> guest >> i read a couple of different ways. i read on planes. i have a kindle sali can travel
with different books. on at home i have a special chair dedicated just to reading with a special task light and whole basket full of books next to it. >> gwen ifill if you want to see on a "after words" -- >> "after words" with jane goodall and john goodman continues. >> host: welcome back to "after words." we are speaking with jane goodall about her new book, hope for animals in their world, and i would like to talk a little bit about children and nature because in this country there is not any evidence that kids don't play outside anymore the way they used to. i have young boys and they play
outside a lot but mostly, they play on fields surrounded by their parents. they don't crawl around in the stream bed. i don't know of anybody in my neighborhood that has a tree house, and only one of them likes animals and a significant way and there is a concern that academics in this country have that a conservationists in this country have because that is happening we will be raising a generation that will be less interested in saving some of these animals that you write about in this book. have you heard about this phenomenon? does it happen now side of the united states and what do we do? >> guest: it's all across europe, same thing in the u.k.. and it goes even deeper than the concerns about conservation. it is being shown young children
need nature for healthy psychological development. trees and flowers and things like that are really important. they did a study in chicago where they took two areas of high crime and one area where they put -- the useful of the empty vacant lots and the did window box and and everything they could to green. the author they left and the rate of crime dropped significantly in the area which they need green so this is why people say to me why have you left the chimpanzees? why are you working with children so much in the program so for two reasons one is i have grandchildren that find in tanzania they play like children outside and my son was raised in tanzania and he did, too but i see so many of the people i know in the u.s. and europe who are just as you described durham not
play out in the wild. >> host: you mentioned the roots and shoots program. tell more about that. that is a global program. designed to what? get kids to invest in nature? is the dewey to summarize it? >> guest: it is a bit more than that. it is a symbolic name. if you imagine a small seed a stake in a court. we all know and acorn is going to grow into a big oak tree and when it starts to grow there are these little tiny roots that's chute and it looks so we can get the life force is such that to reach the water they can work through boulders and eventually push them aside and that to reach the sunlight can work through crevices and a brick wall and eventually knock it down so if we take a bold first to represent all of the ills that we humans have inflicted on the planet environmentally and socially this is hope, hundreds of thousands of young people are around the world can break through and make this a better
world for all living things. the main message each one of us makes a difference every single day we impact the world and have a choice and every group is hands on, roll up your sleeves, get out there every group chooses three different projects, one to help people, one to help animals and that includes domestic animals and want to help the environment they share and its preschool all the way through the university's. it is getting more and more adult groups like the staff of a big corporation, senior citizens places. it is in 111 countries. it is in every u.s. state, and it's right across mainland china for example and growing fast in india and australia. slowly in europe but is growing. >> host: i'm afraid it is not just children who don't know
what is out there. we live in the world now where wild places are isolated from the places where we all live most of us. >> guest: except we are urban sprawl nurse deeper and deeper into the lost places which is a total nightmare. >> host: i think as a result it is just not the same thing if you see it on tv or even in an imax theater so let me ask this question: if you could take the world that lives in the suburbs to a place where they could have the kind of epiphany that turn someone into a field biologist -- [laughter] -- where would you take him? how do you show them? >> guest: i've done that and i think to start with it is really
important that they don't go anywhere to exotic. but to go somewhere that this lovely, safe, not filled with danger but where they can hear the birds singing, where there are streams and they can see the fish and maybe frogs and perhaps there is some deer that kind of place so they are not going to feel threatened, and even that will threaten some young people afraid of silence. they are afraid of the russells of the night. but, you know, we have taken a young people into this kind of environment and seen the change. i know many people who take children out into this environment, and it's really making the change. >> host: it has worked for me to take my children out into the stretches of forest and laid out on our backs and try to hear the wind coming through the tops of
trees. i've always thought that is about my favorite sound in the world. >> guest: wonderful. >> host: but when i try to think of the far more sites people in this book have seen it is almost a difficult thing to get across to people who have never been moths spent much time and place that such miracles can even exist or even to explain the nature of the miracles. i was very lucky ones when i was a child i lived in a part of california that was near the california condor sanctuary, and at one point in my life i was standing on the edge of a cliff where to prairie falcons chased the condor down to the bottom and flew straight up 15 feet in front of me with its wings spread making this roaring sound
and that's why i do what i do today. that was eight. and i -- i tremble to think what will be lost if we don't -- if ways are not found to get across more, a better definition but it is that is at stake here of put john used to call i think the giant sequoia face of god, those are the moments when you see the face of god. do you have moments like that that he will never forget? i imagine one of them might have been the time when you saw the chimpanzee pick up what was a tool at a time when a tool was thought to be the province of humans.
>> guest: mine happened much earlier in fact i was only four and half-years-old and we went to stay in the country. we lived in the city. we were an urban family, and so i was given a job to help collect the hands and legs and i was putting them into my little basket. they were freed in those days. they were not battery firms back then. and i couldn't think or the egg came from, from busbee 18. where was cold enough for the egg to come out so i ended up hiding in the hen house and i apparently hid there for over four hours and nobody knew where i was but lysol and egg being laid and i can never forget that so i am always telling young people they say everything has been seen and everything has been discovered and it's no fun anymore and they say nothing can take away from you your own experience of seeing something for yourself for the first time even if it is being seen a million times before you have seen it with your patience and determination.
and so, because the world is that is it is today i think it's really important that we realize even something like a domestic chicken can turn a child down and that starts the curiosity that then is going to reach out to some of these more remote places and this is why i work so much of my time not to grow this youth program because i could kill myself trying to save chimpanzees in the forests and somebody else could kill themselves trying to save california condors were black footed ferrets but if we are not raising new generations to do a better job of caring for them than we have donner, then our work is useless. >> host: i do have one -- i did have one or two moments while reading this book when i found myself wondering whether
this was a set of prescriptions that might not be enough to save some of my most precious species on the present debate the plan that i think particularly of the tiger which is in a terrible state this call and the polar bear now. >> host: are there lessons that you learned in these studies you could apply on the broad scale? the tiger house there may be as few as 2,000 tigers left in all of the wild and all of its former range now and it is my personal nightmare to have to say to my kids there used to be these amazing animals that walked around in the jungles and india. >> guest: its my nightmare, too but i think there is no question we will lose them all. we can't save them all, we won't save them all. we don't have the political will or the money but to come to your
tiger maybe that is an easier problem and polar bears. i am not sure. but the only way i see and talk about it when i go to india is something like t.a.c.a.r.e program. people are desperately poor and going in there because they can sell the tiger parts or something like that, and if we can involve them in the kind of t.a.c.a.r.e program and give them other ways of finding their livelihood and bring some money in through card and credit for avoid it deforestation for example but, if that will save the tiger or not i don't know. i don't know if the political will will be there. >> host: we haven't addressed the larger size adjusted by climate change. i suppose it is possible to look at climate change as a reason to accelerate every possible way the study of the species so that we can understand how the
ecosystems function so that we can understand what can survive where i mean i know that we have learned a huge amount in the last 50 years. it strikes me that there is always this trend chart you control the amount we know about a certain species and the decline of the species and we want the lines to cross before they meet the third to the covered line that is extinction, and -- >> guest: unfortunately there are other lines intersecting here which is making it very complicated like what are we going to do about saving the environment? that line is going to cross and how many more people will get bourn? that line is going to cross. but i was just in green land and i stood with some elders seeing these huge slabs of ice crack off and crashed down where never rice used to melt and that was a raging torrent of melted ice.
there wasn't even a trickle 30 years ago. it never melted. this is the call it the big ice and it goes up to the ice cap. and i came away with a sense of this is a wake-up call. we have to do everything we can to slow down climate change. we can't stop it. we cannot hold it in its tracks. we can't suddenly turn around any more in a huge ship which is full steam ahead can be termed. it's going to take time for this thing to change course. but we just have to do everything we can. and one way is saving tropical forests, to travel the carbon. >> host: keeping it in the face of all of this it is an impressive you remain optimistic. it is an interesting thing for me to try to figure out what form of optimism this is. whether it is bullheaded optimism, whether its mike zelaya and ecologist who used to say that in conservation biology
it is necessary to be optimistic. but i think it's something more than that. i think that you really do believe that there is a way to do these things. to steal a phrase from our current president is a guess we can situation. >> guest: well, you know, things may not always have been done in the right way with the lowest plateau in china is an area as big as france i think, and it was the most utterly degraded ecosystem in the world. it was completely barron, and this was a big project, the world bank together with chinese government and all these people were told you gone to plant trees and this friend of mine who filmed it every year now 15 years and has made a film called earth hope he interviewed some of the farmers in the early days and i said this is ridiculous to the cutting tools to plant trees but it's stupid but now the
trees have grown and of course too much fertilizer chemical stuff was used but there are other examples in the book it was done in a gentle way in the well of the people to turn this devastated area which a flag nickel mining had reduced to black rock and everything had gone and the people were living in horrible situations and now go there and have a look it's beautiful. so, we can turn it around, and i think, you know, one -- the big underlying problem is the number of people. that's a huge, and we are taking away the wilderness piece by piece by piece. because there are so many of us. so that's something that we have to address, and on the one hand you get massive destruction of the environment for poverty and all the other hand and you get massive destruction of the
environment through on sustainable lifestyles. so those three things, if we can find ways to address them and they are very tough, but it can be done in pieces. you can't do the whole thing but we know we can reduce poverty. we know that can help the environment. we know that in turn can bring animal species act so it is possible. we try and think so big that it becomes so and possible. but take pieces and have people passionate enough to fight the good fight for their peace, more of those people, more and more of those people, that is what that is supposed to -- young biologists, don't give up, go out there and do your bit to read as possible. crusco the phrase appears frequently in this book i think i understand more about why.
i wanted to ask how the chimpanzees in tanzania are doing. >> guest: as a species they are not doing well. they were probably we over a million when i began stretched over 25 nations. they are now in a 21 nations. if there is maximum 300,000, probably have less and the forests are going fast. many of them like the small fragmented patches, and we shall lose many more but on the other hand there are large areas set aside for conservation. they avoided deforestation is something i feel very passionate about. and eco tourism done in the right way, you have to find a way to give african governments
and incentive because at the moment china can go in with lots of money and build dams and roads and return for taking out basically the african children's future. so, we have to be able to come up with something that is as attractive and to pay people not to cut the forests down as one way. the tour is something does work but its not a big amounts of money straight away it is small amounts of money but over the long term. >> host: 50 years ago it was impossible to imagine this world. we never would have guessed, who would have guessed the so it may not be fair to try to predict where we might be 50 years from now if we were to get things right or whether -- >> guest: there's too many
imponderables. if you take the scientists who worked on global warming and they falling of the ice they were wrong. it is actually happening i wouldn't even try to predict the future. but mauney goal is to get a critical mass of young people going out, taking up responsible positions in the adult world, sharing the philosophy and understanding that although we need money to live we shouldn't let for money. but raising money, getting lots of money and acquiring stuff, we need a different value set and if we can get a critical mass of young people thinking that we, then the future is much brighter. and oddly enough i think this economic downturn certainly in some parts of the world is having that effect. people are thinking about the priorities and if you still have
enough money in the bank to live a decent life and are spending all of your time putting more and more money and little time for your family and lose most of it was it worth it? i know this is the way of thinking in hong kong and parts of china i met people in singapore beginning to think differently. >> host: is it fair to say though on the basis of this book it seems to me that the certain futures it's not time. there are a lot of possibilities that there is a lot of directions we could go. >> guest: there may be heaven forbid there could be a play to affect we could lose hundreds of those of people. it's always been predicted with the super bugs because we misused and because we keep animals in these awful conditions for intensive farming so we have to feed them
antibiotics regularly to keep them alive so the bugs are building up resistance. it's out in the food chain. and people have already died from scratches because it wasn't a strong enough antibiotic. so we don't know what's going to happen and we've got to be prepared for it to turnaround in the favor of the environment and the animals in the future of our own great-grandchildren. >> host: i want to go back to a more respectful form of the question that we talked about, and that's related to the fact that you are/word one of the famous women in your field and now it is a field in which women are much more involved and much more accomplished and it appears to be wide open in that respect. how do you feel about that?
you are a hero to many biologists who happen to be female that i know. >> guest: it's exciting because i have letters from young women who grow up in places like china, india, where women certainly didn't do this kind of thing and they have got a hold of my book usually "in the shadow of man." av wrote to me and said i realized if you could do but i could do it, too. and this is a jury good feeling. and i know from the number of young women who said helped me stand firm and go the direction that i wanted to go because after i read "shadow of man." >> host: well, is there -- you have never met my children but would you like to give them advice what they ought to do to do their part to make some of these dreams come true? these are all unfinished
stories. they are threats to each of the species identified. i want to know if there is a message you would like to send to the next generation as represented by daniel, joan and eli willson. >> guest: absolutely. i get this is all the time and it's basically that everyone of us, not just the young people but all of us have to remember that each day we actually do make a difference. it is very hard to realize we feel small and insignificant and the choices you make how can they possibly make any difference? but in fact, when enough people to make small traces, like what you buy, what you eat, but you wear, where does it come from, did it involve animal suffering or child slave labor, did it in full use of lots of pesticides, did it destroy land to create, how far has it come, them on heels, has to travel?
if people start thinking about the consequences of their choicest they do stop making changes and kids are really good with this. they become very passionate and drive their parents months because they want to know where the food came from and why did you buy this one? we make it locally. and my sister's grandson when he was five with a goal around the store and say you must not buy that, it's got pesticide and you mustn't by this, it's poisonous. in a very loud and piercing voice. [laughter] >> host: you don't mind do you? >> guest: no, you don't buy it displays in, do you? >> host: that is a perfect note to in donner and i want to thank you for joining and tell you that you are one of my heroes as well. i know that isn't a completely neutral statement for someone interviewing e-book author, but i am on behalf of everyone
grateful for what you have done. thank you. >> guest: thank you, just as i grateful to all of the heroes who have shared their knowledge compassion and love with me. >> we are here with jason, author of the new book "hollywood on the potomac." jason, you talk about los angeles and the beltway and connection between presidents and celebrities. do you tell a little background about your work? >> guest: sure. washington and hollywood have a love affair going. it's been a longtime love affair between the two cities. one has fame, one has power and one wants with the other one has come and when i went into this book there's a lot of talk about president obama coming to washington and attracting lots of celebrity attention and having all sorts of people from everyone from j-lo to george clooney to the white house, and
i found through this book that really this has been going on for a very long time. i have the first photograph in the book actually is of charlie chaplin from 1918 standing on pennsylvania avenue stomping for a world war i box, so if you start with charlie chaplin, first from starch and go all the way up and told oprah winfrey and obama you will find hollywood and washington have always been involved with one another in one way, shape or form. >> we are lucky to have a couple photographs of from the book and it looks like it crosses party lines, it goes republican and democrat, and we will start with richard nixon and sammy davis, jr.. >> absolutely. this is in the photograph with richard nixon as comical when you have a hollywood star standing next to richard nixon. he was never comfortable in front of the camera and so he had this sort of fascination of being surrounded by celebrities and this particular picture has its historic significance
because sammy davis jr. was disinvited from kennedy's inauguration by frank sinatra who produced the show which was very surprising to me but it was his interracial marriage that was at stake. so politically they decided that wasn't going to be the best thing for the country to seek at inaugural -- kimmage you say that sinatra declared jfk and on every member of the rat pack; correct? >> yes, sinatra did that. jfk was one of our most charismatic president and i think you have to really sort of count and even more charismatic than save ronald reagan who was an actor, and he wasn't on the member of the rot pack but peter lawford, on the cover, was in the ret pact and married into the kennedy family and it was considered the first marriage of politics and hollywood. >> of one to the back to sammy davis jr. very quickly because you said that see me davis, jr.,
was the first african-american to sleep in the white house; correct? >> that's correct, nixon ruled out the red carpet for sammy davis, jr., to have a date at kennedy because she wasn't at kennedy's inaugural so he invited a senior davis jr. into the white house. he set him up at the queen's bedroom and really kind of made it a night to remember and that became as far as the research i've pulled up at the library and the national archives and first african-american to be a guest at the white house. >> three more years. let's go to the next one. it's pretty ikon ag and i think most folks have seen this one, this is richard nixon negative elvis presley. >> sure, a good folk of elvis and nixon. the most requested photograph from the national archives, which out of everything, to think of everything the national archives keeps in storage this is the one people want to see the most over the years. >> is it true elvis asked richard nixon to allow him to carry a badge of some sort?
i've heard this story many times. >> he did. he rolled into washington and was concerned of the hippie culture at the time and wanted -- keefer rolled his limousine up to the west gate at the white house and asked the guard to see nexium and wanted to be made a federal marshal at large to help with the drug problem of young people. of course he was turned away but only for a few hours because when the word got to nixon that this kind of incredible request had taken place at the west gate nixon reconsidered and said i think bring him over. let's do this. he called up his director of narcotics and have a badge cent over and that day elvis presley became a federal agent at large. >> let's go to the next one here. we have late michael jackson with ronald reagan and nancy reagan. >> this photograph in some ways inspired the whole book because when i was 16i wasn't interested in watching the news every night
like most 16-year-olds may be. but i remember one night watching ronald reagan and michael jackson with his sequence love walking out of the white house on nbc news, and i was shocked to but i thought it was the most bizarre thing i had ever seen in my life and i think from that that kind of put the idea in my mind well, gee, what is this taking place here when these stars are visiting elected officials? what are they doing? why are they fair and what are they accomplishing if anything? >> what are they accomplishing? >> i think it depends why they are there but they certainly i think in the end you have celebrities and actors entertainers who are americans after all and they really want to influence policy and decisions or in the case of michael jackson it was a great publicity stunt. >> this last 1i really like and it's totally bizarre. andy warhol and president jimmy carter and it looks like a andy warhol portrait of carter;
correct? >> that's correct. andy warhol painted these portraits, limited edition portraits of jimmy carter and the carter presidential campaign basically treated them for political donations are on the country and it was a wise thing to do at the time politically speaking because the country had just gone through watergate and the were distrustful of any one from washington or anything that represented washington and i don't think that you can get any further away from washington and andy warhol and so this actually was tremendously effective for carter raising money and was credited. he credit himself as being one of the financial turnaround of his entire presidential campaign selling these andy warhol prince. >> khator date of tomorrow political strategist. do you ever tell your clients to invoke a celebrity endorsement? >> no. i stay away from that. but, you know, we live in the age where obama and obra were 18 and mike huckabee and chuck
norris for a team so it doesn't matter whether your democratic or republican both sides are involved with all hollywoodian celebrity. >> jason killian meath, author "hockley but on the potomac." stat next call walter isaacson and ceo of the aspen institute and author of biography on albert einstein and benjamin franklin discuss his new book of essays. mr. isaacson's writings include a profile of world leaders, his thoughts on journalism and reports on his home town, new orleans. this is just over one hour. >> good evening. i am barbara meter, one of the owners at politics and prose, and i know that we are going to have a good evening to light because this is the i think fourth time walter isaacson has been to politics and prose, and every time it has been an interesting evening. he was here for his biographies of kissinger, benjamin franklin
and albert einstein. in the past he has been the chairman and ceo of cnn and managing editor of time and then i just actually read this this afternoon. in november the past month the couple of weeks ago he was nominated by president obama to be the chairman of the broadcasting board of governors, and that is a body that runs voice of america and radio free europe and other international broadcasts run by the government. in what i felt was an engaging introduction to american sketches, walter isaacson shares the drive he has had since his youth in new orleans to become a great writer. he was in a place where he was
soaking up the atmosphere of tennessee williams and william faulkner but he was also there until walker percy's death. but then before he went off to be a rhodes scholar the summer before, he was still on his great writer mission and offered a job as a summer intern by "the washington post" and he turned it down. he turned it down to become a stevedore on a derrick barge on the mississippi and the reason this was part of his great writer quest he felt that doing so he could encounter so many crews and colorful characters that he could write a novel that would be a serious contender to
huckleberry finn. [laughter] mark twain was the one trying to knock down. [laughter] welcome still it didn't happen. in his desk drawer he says there lies an manuscript still unfinished about the happenings on a derrick barge on the mississippi. there is a captain cone is his name and i think as we have walter here this evening we ought to commit if he would just get out that manuscript and polish it off we will come to hear you've read from your book. i feel his new book american sketches is about a personal question but i felt like it was
about the mission of the aspen institute of which he is the president and ceo and part of that mission is in certain points of our lives many of us feel the need to reflect what it takes to lead a life as good, useful, worthy and meaningful. we have passed through a period and the 1990's when we saw the consequences in both the business and personal irina's of becoming unhinged from our underlying values, and so this is what is at the heart of american sketches. this quest to discover what there are in the lives of some dozens of people included in this booklet that has allowed them to be such successes in the life and not