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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 15, 2010 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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tell if they got smallpox maybe an hour before they were inoculated, it was very possible that no one died of inoculation, although boylston himself admitted that six people died and it was possible at least a few of those contracted smallpox and then he inoculated them simultaneously and blamed the inoculation. it is possible. they had this great medical discovery and you can trace this discovery. i don't really tell the story because i really focus in on boston. may be one of you can ride it, about lady montagu practicing the same procedure in england and encountering much the same opposition. ..
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>> the deadliest in all of human history. it was a great effect. what i argue in the book in the covenant is that the attacks on the ministers, they are getting into the mud with their opponents. the vicious debate that raises in the streets. and in the public humans and pep
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-- pamphlets. the idea of the first puritans of the city on a hill, they are doing to bind themselves together and with god to form the perfect society, perfect church, be a model for the perform of england. it was simply torn apart. other events contributed. but the epidemic and debate tore apart the old covenant and could not survive. what we get in the success is a new covenant. it's a covenant rooted upon revolutionary principals. the idea of the constitutional liberty, of self-government. the idea of rights, national rights and constitutional rights from england. that shape in massachusetts and throughout the colonies to inform each other. anyway, thank you very much for your attention. i appreciate it. and i'll be glad to answer all of your questions.
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[applause] >> don't all jump in at one. yes? thank you. >> what about things like measles, mumps, and rubella, and even if chronic lyme disease exist, and in thinking about it in one way, it's easy to ascribe the reaction of the come -- colonist to them, because it was almost unknown. correct me if i'm wrong, there was no germs and diseases. they didn't really even know why people were getting smallpox with they scared up their arms.
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my real question, you could argue in the current day they are living in unprecedented health and longevity. and yet humans still respond to the same day to the issue. my question to you is that really historically, we are not really that different. or is it that there's something about being human that makes us response this way. >> yeah, very cautious. first of all, let me gently correct you. because cotton mather had an amazingly modern period of the disease. he and some other scientists in europe had looked under the low power microscope and saw some things moving around in there. and to do stuff they might be some kind of disease that you could inguest into your body. either through the pores of your skin, food, water, maybe it was in the clothing and the air. you could breathe is in through your noise and mouth. and so he developed the idea -- helped, you know, a lot of other
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people. he believed in the idea, i should say that disease originally by the body. which would radically change western medicine. you know, it was in the old way of thinking, it was balance of the humor. you know, you are slamming your bile and your blood. that's why they did their believing and purging and all of those wonderful cures back then. but mather did have a concept of the disease he called the anumiculi. the things swimming around and cause disease. 170 years before the past your and all of those guys. -- pasture and all of those guys. let's look at h1n1, for example. people were afraid. people in my children's school
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got sick and when the children are sick, i mean we were careful of sending them to school or sending them for a birthday party or so forth. there was a lot of fear. the same fear chased 1,000 people away in boston and made them hide in their homes and business wasn't conducted anymore and people still went to the churches to pray to god. but the social interactions were really diminished during the epidemic. people were afraid for their lives. and, you know, the whole debate over vaccinations in general. there was also a huge debate in blogs and on facebook and i saw some of my friends doing this about the whole inoculation, and vaccination with the swine flu. people were afraid, just like then, they didn't trust the authorities with it. they had a very vigorous debate
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at it. it's odd how many similarities there are actually. and i think the answer is exactly what you said. i think that stretches argyriasis 00 miles -- i'm sorry, 300 years across the miles, across the centuries, there's something about cotton mather, franklin brothers, c boyleson and douglas, no different from us. the fear, the mothers taking care of the children. i mean, we'd like to create, you know, we make the dig yours and we think in many ways they weren't human. but they were fully human. probably not all that dependent us. maybe different clothes and hair styles. but their reaction was very
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different. >> i asked about -- [inaudible question] >> is there any way to tell the raging debate was from the opinion leaders. >> right. >> is there any way to tell from other accounts who got -- how people were purr sueded. ordinary people mostly with the doctors or mostly with the pastors or in between and data on that. >> i don't think it's that easy to tell. because most of the diaries and letters and so forth were by the same opinion leaders, he might say. the great resources and letters of cotton mather, i think letters, you know, all of these guys very, very important records for us. there were obviously -- i mean the town was very divided. let me just say that. i mean we can't give you the exact numbers. but we can certainly tell that
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you were divided. because a lot of people did get inoculated. and but also a lot of people, including some bomb -- one bomb thrower was outraged by the practice. and you know, it was for and against. you think it's impossible. but it's just like today. going back to the idea. there were people for and against getting your kids inoculated against h1n1. i think the most important thing is just the outrage and the debate itself. is there support, outrage? and this really cares about the social fabric and that's really the most important part of the story. good question. >> do you touch at all on the kind of medical education that was available in the early 18th century? >> uh-huh. >> wasn't it a kind of
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individualistic come -- come prenticeship rather than academia. >> absolutely. he sighted in europe on the back water often and really frowned upon the people. he suffered from the same disease. so did a lot of people in this debate. yes, they apprentice. they read the classical text. and there was folk medicine that was handed down. and they uses all of this to practice their medicine. and again let people encourage them and it was very interesting to see how the women of boston had the same medical knowledge. there was, you know, basically common wisdom at the time.
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you are absolutely right. mather had studied medicine at harvard, as i said had a collection of 3,000 books. there was a long tradition in new england of these physician ministers who would be at the service of their flock not only spiritually, but medically. douglas does attack mather for meddling in this during the whole thing. the simple fact they had a long tradition. he's not out of the mainstream. as far as the medical knowledge, it's highly advanced. he knows as much if not even more than williams and dr. douglas. it made the apprenticeship. >> mr. williams, your particularly -- [inaudible
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question] >> in addition to the smallpox cemetery in gilford, we have probably the earliest text tile in the 1800s in the windowing. >> right. and >> and the historical society in gilford and madison has operated closely with the preservation of this very important building just as we have worked on the preservation of the smallpox, have you studied any of that in america and did boston have a so-called test house? >> right. yeah. they did. it was out in the harbor. in fact, boyleson tries to inoculate. and again, even know 250 people
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were inoculated, the town is outdangerred again. i feel that towards the end. the town ports forced those two people to go because that's how they showed people and ships when there was disease. i think maybe inform 1949. i know if that competed for the old. they had the countermeasures in place. they weren't lax or more careful about enforcing them. that was their usual defense. try to corn teen the people and pray. that was their primary defense. but it came about every
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generation. try to quarantine the people ad >> thank you for the your speech. why did you write about this? >> why wouldn't you write about a this? i was working on a book about benjamin franklin, and we were working on another book and i was coming on ev pages in a book found in r.j. julia. i wanted more detail. i just mentioned in offhanded way to my editor. he said, that's it. i was immediately consumed by it. started digging around all of the primary sources. reading a few older articles and
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even one book about 40 or 50 years ago on the topic. and i was just taken in by it. and just the measure i researched, the odder and odder the debate got. i really wanted to tell the story. here comes the permission of course. it's very pleasing for the author. it was a great story to tell and research in the whole debate that was in boston in 1971. >> i have two questions people. this is beyond the scope of your book, when did inoculation became accepted? >> can i answer your first one? because i'm going to forget it. i just turned 40. i'm getting old.
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okay. very good question. because as i read, this debate continued to rage 1760, 1770. in fact, inknocklators were driven out of town, they were banned from practicing inoculation all over the colony ies. it was strong in my own state of virginia, back when it was a colony. they still thought you were spreading. they wouldn't get beyond that idea. hit me just say if there's one, the doctors are right in taking that, for not properly quarantining the people who are getting inoculated. they let them go out into the
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streets. in fact, one guy, joshua chiefer, even went out and brought a fire. he goes to fight the fire. he's, you know, has the ax, the bucket in his hands, we he's building up a nice sweat, he's interacting with everyone around him. the minute he got to boyleson's house, he collapses. his smallpox sends him and they are just raging. can you imagine if you had fought that fire next to mr. chiefer, you know, people were pretty outraged. so they were right that they didn't properly do that. this took many, many decades. and obviously as we talked about, you know, inoculations are still not totally tested. interesting, let me build upon something that i find fascinating.
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in the success of decades, they started doing all of these machines which were completely unnecessary. they didn't do them in 1721. john adams, for example, i think he was inoculated from 1764. the doctor put him on a milk diet for a couple of weeks. then also gave him mercury. and he was poisoning one of our most important founding fathers. what would we do? no great hbo video. no american revolution. how would we teach our children? his teeth in his mouth were kind of getting wigly and getting ready to fall out. john adams was being poisoned. it was completely unnecessary. why? because of the hippocratic medicine. they wanted to get the humor in balance before they got inoculated. so you can see a very
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interesting thing. superstitions went through the decades of the century. if you look at newton, what did they do in their spare time? astrology, all of these other things. some of our most advance sciences are the science of revolution. and they were also, many of them, devote christians and so forth. so all of these things continued to coexist. that's really one the arguments of the book. look at the figure like cotton mather. even many of the doctors of the town. they were fine, they thought they were also believers in christianity. they very easily reconciled and
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that's how the heavens go. this is very easily done. now you can ask your second question. >> could you recommend a biography or more reading? >> i would start with "fox and the covenant." [laughter] >> there's a lot of biographical detail. i think it's called cotton mathers. after you read "the pox and the covenant" give it to all of your friends, relatives, it makes a great mother's day gift, maybe father's day. after you read this, there are yeah some great biographies which really, you know, excite the publication, we still have a
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very one intentional view of cotton mather. he's a witch hunter; right? he's just a fascinating character. you know, and i try to bring out that here's a guy, he's a man of the cloth. very devoted minister, man of science, but he's a father. he's a husband. he's a public figure with certain authority but also certain concerns. he's a real philanthropist. cotton mather, like many historical figures, they are complex figures. and in many ways, maybe not all that different from us.
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>> i was wondering if you can tell us about how you right and do it in the morning at home, research, how many hours, how many pages, how long does it take to write a book? >> right. you know, i thought as a writer, you know, i didn't have free time to go to the park and nice walk. the truth of being self-employed, it's hard to turn off sometimes? why? i don't know if yao been able to tell, i love history of i taught for 10 years. i love teaching. and i love writing. i'm engrossed in the story. it's hard to turn off. as a father of two small children myself, i usually write when they are in school. every possible second from the morning -- i don't wake up at 4 a.m., okay. that's not my style.
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i'm more of a night owl. i'll write all day long, usually. then i put that unimportant stuff aside and spend time with my family, my kids. that's the good stuff in life. then, you know, i'll write in the evening. although sometimes generally i'll be my background reading or the reading of the sources. but most of the time, i like sitting in my library, my bibloteca, and arranging the beauties on my shelf and be engrossed. then, you know, i like to get out. i'm a people person. writing can be solitary. if you are in town, maybe you'll catch me there with my next book. but the actual book itself, i mean between the research and
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the writing of trying to compose the very dramatic narratives around the stories. because i've always thought, hey, if you are going to write about history, why not make it about yourself? why not give young people the luxury as citizens alike. then, you know, you obviously have edited and so forth. so the whole process of a little over a year. of course, in the editing process and reaching between getting stuff with the editor and e-mail and start to develop and research hopefully. >> just a quick follow up. in terms of resources, has the internet made it easier? you still have a travel to a lot of libraries. >> right. an interest ising question. i don't use the internet for any
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research. but the sources electronically, it makes it a lot easier than 50 or 60 years ago in the archives and brush off of the duck. it's amazing. i live five minutes from the college of william and mary, they have amazing resources that you can imagine. there's a database over at rockefeller library which i'm sure you can see every single colonial newspaper in existence. it's not amazing. you just go to the computer, you click a button and pull up "boston gazette" april 20, 1961 and read it. every pamphlet like that on a database. it's just amazing. and cotton mathers, one the
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letters or one of the friends that phil yes, ma'am was writing letters to. all of their letters and diaries are in print. they have a symbol. they are great. go down to the library. here you go. they will accomplish most of what i needed to. well, i wanted to. but of course my only is i catch the botox game and it's amazing the amount of research it can do, research libraries. again, i don't use the internet, but like electronic communication and information have really made things a lot easier for scholars. okay. >> do you treat each other when
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a certain group had been inoculated and other people hadn't. were they angry with each other? people and do and don't take care of themselves. i wonder if you can comment on that. >> essentially, i didn't find evidence either way. we can speculate and imagine that, you know, they didn't know a lot about what works. they test it and we tested it to show that it works. they didn't know maybe what the long term consequences would be. they assumed it would inoculate someone for life. they probable didn't toss it until they had evidence and it. i didn't see either way. i think the anger was directed
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for at mathers and the other ministers. people who were inoculating others. you raise an interesting point. i want to say, the first person to go to the shore in boston was an african sailor. he infected another african sailor in boston. nobody actually ever blamed them for their race. they made their racist arguments from mather getting it from a slave, but no one ever blamed them. i thought that was interesting. it's really fascinating. who do we trace it back to? mather was able to use the medicine. being practiced all around
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china. that's medicine. i'm not sure if they could explain either. they were able to transmit this information to ease information to the enlightened europeans and columnist who were experiencing the revolution and so it's fascinating. like i said, mather always gave credit. never had the aha moment and never claimed to be a genius. i think that was very interesting part. again, thank you very much for your attention. [applause] >> last question actually. was it -- was there like those who have money could be inoculated and poor people
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couldn't? >> i don't know specifically. of course, there was a cost associated with it. you would have to, you know, take several weeks off work while you were experiencing. 10 days for you, and it would take a few more. there was a long trial. you're right. not everyone could afford to do so. but it brings to an interesting point that gorgeous washington's stepson jackie wanted to get inoculated because he was going to do a grand tour of europe. martha washington was afraid because she had lost some of her other children, she had lost her father and brother. she's terribly afraid that her two children who one of them her daughter had epilepsy and die. but jackie went and the got inoculated. and didn't tell his mother. and george, his stepfather,
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actually conspired with him to allow him to get inoculated and hit it from martha. you could imagine her jut rage when she found out she had been without her permission. she would have never given her consent. she was terribly, terribly afraid of losing her children. it kind of puts to lie the whole idea of historians a few generation back because death was ubiquitous, people died early, mather out lived 10 or 13 of his children, the belief was they didn't care about their children. obviously, if you read the letters and diaries of washington and scot listen -- cotton mather, that's not true. they were just like us. [applaus
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>> we're at the organization of american historians in an area that pub -- publishers row. let me introduce you to matt lassiter, who is a coauthor "the myth of southern exceptionalism." what's the whole concept of southern exceptionalism?
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>> it's the idea of the south is conservative nation that holds the rest of the country back. we're especially interested in two particular narrative that have come out of recent american history. the idea that the southern civil rights movement was completely different from what was going on in the rest of the country. the idea of the rise of the modern republican party was driven by mix son, reagan exploitation and the way that a lot of issues in civil rights, racial inequality, and racial politicked are southernized. it gist often played out in different ways but aren't particular to any one region. >> how does the concept of exceptionalism of the south really grow as a concept? >> well, there are a couple of ways to answer that. southern historians created the idea when they were taking out the field of southern history. steven woodward, the most famous
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historian ever. you had to build a southern history that would serve to criticize of american history. their argument was the united states sees himself as an exceptional nation. a nation as a superpower, a nation that's kind of at liberal democratic. if you expose what was going on at the south, you can expose the problems in the rest of the american narrative. a new generation really. it's saying that the problem with this, it's not that these problems aren't in the south, when we focus on them as mainly southern problems, it exempts the rest of the nation in a lot of ways from looking at what's happening in the terms of racial segregation and segregation of mexican americans, asian americans in the west, the issues about civil rights in the north, we need to put all of these stories together. >> we regionalizing these
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issues, it gives the rest of the country a path. >> that's right. we start the book by comparing two episodes. the desegregation in 1957 where orrville came out and stopped him from going to school. and there was a riot in pennsylvania. and first black family to move in the town and the white nay toured in the national guard had to come out. why do we not remember, but we do remember little rock when they are equally important to understanding the civil rights. housing segregation was as much of an issue. why has the one episode been lost in the memory and the way that we tell the stories and the other, you know, eyes on the prize, everybody watches it,
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even in high school. >> i'm going to ask the why again. why do you think it happens? do popular book writers all bought into this concept? >> well, it's behind the story of little rock as the reality is the end of triumph of the liberal national idea. if you ask the story, and you have to say what's the consequence of that. it's not the brown decision finally being enforced in arkansas. it's the continued issues that we have in our country with housing segregation. they leads the question about why does the city explode to leave the question about how the white backlash was fully national and always was. not just regional. it's much harder to tell the story of say housing dim nation in the north or west as a morality play that builds into the idea of united states as having over come the problems of
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the civil rights area and country. i don't think we are. we are trying to talk about other issues. not just the familiar stories. >> you explain it in the process. will you tell that story? >> we tell the conference. we chose half of the contributors to saw themselves as southern historians and the other half. we got gymmy carter to give the address. -- jimmy carter to give an address. he started to tell us that we knew more about history than any historians. we did to produce the book. that's how it came about. >> how controversial are you finding this? are you finding the generationallism in your thesis? >> i think there's a debate
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about this. sometimes what we are trying to say is misinterpreted. we're not trying to say every place is the same. that alabama is the same as new york. when we create binary models like the red states and blue states, defactor and de jure reis segregation. de facto came to mean the opposite. what happens if we don't think about this in the terms of the opposites. one region is the opposite of another. the book has been out only for a little while. the arguments has been for a long time. a lot of recent work on civil rights movement in the north and west has also attacked the idea of southern exceptionalism. a lot of scholars write about
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los angeles or detroit we have to realize the civil rights movement did not begin in the north. it didn't start with the riot in los angeles. that's the same nonviolent process we're going on, you know, for decades. in fact, earlier, i would say in northern cities than when they really rev up in the south. so i think there's a lot of, you know, support in the academy. we were also trying to take on honestly how people like paul krugman who in his columns often, i think, said, well, the southern conservatives are holding the liberal nation back. i think that's over simplify indication of how deeply conservatism is embedded nationally. >> looking to assemble traditional conservative scholars of southern -- excuse me southern scholars and people who don't view the world in the same way. did you end up having a healthy debate. or was one side persuaded? >> no, probably, -- at least 1/3
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of the people who wrote essays for the book wouldn't go as far as we go in the introduction. i thank my coeditors go as far as we go. i don't see myself as a southern historian. even though i came out of south program. this is a healthy debate. we were trying to create a debate. that was our goal. to get scholars to ask -- the best way to put it. i think a lot of times we don't question about regions. we say the north is this. the west is that. region is an extremely, it comes out of the civil war. the mason-dixon line. we are saying that scholars need to ask how the region also imagine the places. how are they cultural
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constructed. how is atlanta more similar to boston than it is to rural alabama and we -- what we are really saying is the scholars, no matter what part of the country to be writing in, to be writing and thinking about across regional down -- boundaries. >> when you say the south, what are you saying? >> sometimes we are saying the state that conceded and fought. then kentucky, a lot of those people see themselves as southern. atlanta where i grew up, some of them have no sense of southern identity and half of them are from another place in the world. what's interesting to me, in recent ideas that the george w. bush getting elected and the red states were on the rise. that was all the a sun belt phenomenal. the kind of new conservatism coming out. what's the south.
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it's a riddle. and i think every scholar who's actually asked this question and looked at it hard ends up saying the south is not a specific place that we can clearly delineate on a map. the south is something that we imagine. it's about identity. and once you start saying it's a cultural construct, like saying race is cultural construct. it means you have to investigate it. not just accept that it's true. >> this is a collection of essays. and you call it a debate. how do you envision the book being used? >> we're hoping that it will be used first of all in graduate seminars. because it's the kind of book that is about -- at some levels these are debates happening within the academy. but we also, a lot of essays are written to try to intervene in some of the myths that are out there in our country today about how the conservative revolution came about. i mean a good example would be
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the supreme court loving louisville where chief justice roberts said you can't use race to intergrate schools. he drew an analogy in jim crow and racism saying they are both wrong because they are both using race. we are trying to intervene. i think a myth of american innocence. and just to be really specific about it. the underlying reason why i started this book is because i teach at the university of michigan. mainly white upper class students, they come into my classroom and they know a lot about mississippi and alabama and they don't know that martin luther king jr. gave i have a dream speech to a couple of books in washington in detroit.
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they don't know about southern activism and in the state of michigan it was won in 1972. maybe nice to have the big public flash. our main goal was to try to focus on how we teach undergraduate students. we reach out to students and professor and teach in the civil rights movement in the broader way of the realignment, not just as one region taken over the country, but for the whole country back into the story. >> interesting, also, the camp is very affected by the affirmative action. so the students still feel the debate because it was focused on their schools. >> when it happened, it was amazing on campus. several thousands went to washington. it was a big deal. that was at the time of campus. i think it's calmed down a bit
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at the university of michigan. the students don't have first hand memory. i think there are a lot of myths about affirmative action really is. when i teach the students, the one thing i really focus on is we now mainly talk about affirmative action in terms of diversity. diversity is a good thing. students -- white students need to be exposed to alternatives and different kinds of people in the classroom. while that's a great idea, the reason that we have affirmative action in the country is because of historical and equality. and affirmative action in michigan is one of the most racially segregated states in the country. there's no equality of opportunity in our secondary school system. there's entire high schools that almost never send somebody to the university of michigan. although you can't make that argument in constitutional law for some of the reasons that we are stating in the back, you have to say affirmative action is for diversity.
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the real reason is it came out to address discrimination. >> some of your scholars take the topic of religion. we think, again, here's the concept, the religious theme centered in the southern states. would you agree with that? >> it's clearly one the issues. this is the great example of how our books has been misunderstand. we're not trying to say some states don't have a political conservative. right opinion but we are trying to say the rise of the rights was always a national phenomenal, it involved southern california, catholics, socially conservative catholics and the alliances that the groups that we know part of the religious right were building in the 50s and 60s and were always about crossing the boundaries. a good example is one the
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chapters talks about about the opposition to the school prayer. which was happening outside the south because the southern districts that comply. because it wasn't that big of an issue. a lot of issues like war or gay rights, as we see now, these are fully national issues being debated. there's differences in how it plays out. it's always been a national struggle. >> you say this is for the academy. it seems as though it might be something to help people who are involved in politics and want to understand politics have a better handle on what's going on. >> that would be wonderful. a lot of the book is public policy. there are two chapters in the book. one of those who are about how the suburbs are not the suburbs that we imagine. talking about latino migration. one the biggest tours in that traditional state of the south in the last decade or so has been sigh sigh -- skyrockets and
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a lot of things you would have seen in the west is starting to migrate to the south. when you put the south into the civil rights story as the count backwards place to mississippi story, we also have to think why is the place like atlanta such a good on the suburbs of atlanta has become adjusted nation to the middle class of the african-american, so there's a chapter about that. >> i'm going to take outside of the book. >> the conference was held in 2006. since then the economy has crashed. how has that tested the theories that are put forward in this book? >> that's a great question. i think that one of the main, at least for me and the kind of scholarship that i work on, we've spent lot of time in the last 10 or 15 years among political historians in looking at grassroots, social movements,
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looking at the raise of the right, looking at how in order people, my first book was called the silent majority that reagan praised the reagan democrats. we need to put corporations back into the story. just to give you an example, i'm doing research for the new book on the suburb. going out to california. i'm thinking different about how corporations were behind the campaigns to maintain how, not just white homeowners. because real estate made a lot of profit. if you can put one over here, white. african-american over here. you can charge both groups more because it's not a fully free market. i think that -- historians are starting to ask questions about capitalize, starting to look at the way the foundations in washington also need to be part of the story that we tell about political changes in our country
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and that the subprime mortgage is a great example. the way i teach my class on the historic of the suburbs. i actually had to write a new lecture. because you can talk all that you want about how they are defending the american dream, how they want to keep undesirable developments out and maintain class segregation, but it doesn't tell the story of how they are also being squeezed by forces that are happening on wall street and being squeezed by the subprime mortgage scandals. >> also the 2008 election of barack obama, how does that play? >> i read the essay that validated some of the arguments. one of the feign, if there's a lesson for political washington fights in here, it would be this. one the main goals in the book is to say the south is not
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unwinnable. and the republicans will always win. if you don't try to win southern states, john kerry did not try. barack obama went out. he won north carolina, and virginia which is huge. i saw the 2008 election as first of all an example of economic issues always matter in a crisis. and southern voters aren't that different than other voters. they will vote their pocketbooks and wallets. red state/blue state frame work that limited our imagination about the country just like we're shocked by the election, you know, of scott brown in massachusetts. we shouldn't be shocked. massachusetts has a long history of electing republicans especially to be the governor. i think the election show that is we need to not take for granted the broad regional categories. >> the book is called the myth
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of southern exceptionalism. thanks for talking to us. >> thank you very much. >> we're talking to ken moore here. what was your favorite book? >> that's a good question. the probably the first one that i have is god and ronald reagan. i started to write generally. and never intended to talk about. as i started going through the primary sources and letters, i came to this really, really peep faith that i did not expect to wind at all. a lot of people were suggestion
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dishes. ronald reagan didn't go to church all of the time. as i read the speeches, like the evil empire and looked at the actual document, i saw reagan's hand all over it. there's a big file at the reagan's library called the presidential handwriting file which is document that has reagan's writing, not just the significant. that's where you can really see a president's role and input. i saw the speech. at least half of it was written by reagan. including the theological portions. i realized right there, i was dealing with somebody much more substantive than the caricature suggested when it was presence. i ended up on three or four chapters and half of the book and circulated the manuscript on
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my colleagues and said you need to center this off and do just a book on reagan's face. that became "god and ronald reagan" and three years later, it was more generally about reagan and the cold war. at that time the crusader was also a surprise, i found out in the media archives that the soviets called him the crusader, because they new they wanted to crusade for freedom. and eisenhower used the word. i would say that was one of my favorite books. and the other one would be probably the one on ronald reagan's closest advisor, the judge, william p. clark, ronald reagan. here's somebody. he's still alive. he is 78 years old. he'll be 79 this year.
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lives in paso, california. he has parkinson's disease. he was really reagan's -- sounds dramatic, but secret weapon so to speak. he's the man who for all of 1982 and '83 worked at reagan national security council and laid out explicit directives with the intention of peaceically taking down the soviet union and bringing democracy or as they put it on the document, political pluralism to eastern europe and the soviet union. so that was a joy. because myself, my family, we spent a couple of summers staying at clark's ranch, interviewing them daily, getting to know him and his family. that's the case where it wasn't just a matter of looking at documents and books and other things that people had written, i got to know the figure and spend a lot of time with him. >> how did you write about hillary clinton?
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>> yeah, "god and ronald reagan started a trend. my editor tour cal morgan said your next should be on the faith of george w. bush. at the time, there hadn't been any books. steven mansfield, david aikman, those hadn't come out yet. i did that. and a couple of years, not long after that came out, cal morgan said would you like to do another god and book. i said well, i don't want to spend the career writing god and books. i am intrigued by the clinton. here are two religious democrats. religious left. i'd like to remind people the only christians aren't conservative christians. there are liberal christians. it'd be really good to look at
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somebody from that point of view. plus, i thought hillary clinton would be president, frankly. i really did. so that came out, god and hillary clinton in 2007. that was fascinating. i really enjoyed studying that as well. >> what's your next project? >> i'm working on a cold war book. and it'll be out this fall through isi books. intercollegiate study institute. they are doing an amazing job. they really ramped up their offerings. that'll be -- it's kind of 20th century history book. looks at the long role of the communist movement in the united states and how the communist movement tried to get noncommunist liberals to support communist causes. >> just a reminder. the latest book on the shelf of yours is -- >> i guess the last one would have been 2007 the judge william
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p. clark and the hillary clinton "god and hillary clinton" came out in 2007. that's too much. i got to slow down. i got five kids at home. enough is enough. >> what are you reading these days? >> oh, boy, there's a book out by lawrence reese called world or with ii which i'm reading. fascinated by that. clarence thomas' book, interesting. i'm always reading about half a dozen books. i went back and digging into thomas murton from 1789. it's old. but timeless great spiritual autobiography. right now, these are the three books i'm working through. >> thanks very much for your time. >> thank you.
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>> this event is an hour. [silence] [no audio] : it was a collection put together which i can vaguely remember from my youth, when i was in elementary school, but as i got older, i would


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