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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  November 7, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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at the time of hadrien, what was working in the rome and sees archives and who got this idea he would like to write the lives of the great roman dictators were the caesars from julius caesar on board and he chose the first 12 from julius caesar through to dimension. many of them fascinating, and some of them terrible tyrants and dictators, some of them great men, like caesar augustus.
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and that book he wrote became famous in the sense printing began has never been out of print. it is basically our source material not only for the lives of the great roman emperors' but the characters and the personalities because being in rome he was able to do interviews with people who actually lived through some of the lives of those caesars and by telling not only their public lives but their private lives this insight, this window onto the world of rome at the height of the roman empire. >> host: so when he is often credited as some was the father of the psychological character driven biography she had a classical what.
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>> guest: that's true. but the big difference i think is that he did something that has never been done since as far as i know in the biographical history. and i don't know if my book is the first time it's been tried since the roman times, but he decided to write about those numbers first in terms of how they became president and how they operated as caesar and only then to look at their private lives. so he separated the public from the private. now over the last few centuries we have become more and more interested in the psychology of human beings. so certainly every biography i've written, whether jfk or clinton or marshal montgomery, i've always tried to listen to an understanding of the character from the beginning almost before he is born, an understanding of the context and
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this ecology, the parents, the upbringing and when i was asked if i would like to write a new version of the roman caesars, 12 caesars, i look back and thought i tried to analyze how he had structured his life and i really liked that the political challenges and the administrative challenges, the leadership challenges those men faced in the time they were caesar's and only then will get their private lives. and so i wrote an initial chapter on. truman and showed it to my editor and said this works marvelously. you first see him as president. you first see him in the way
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that he had to deal with the extraordinary responsibilities on the death of roosevelt and how he dealt with them and only then do you stop and look at him in terms of his personality. >> host: you do in effect deprive the reader of a sense of a life being left evolving, reacting and all of that pre-story if you will shaping the individual who comes into office. >> guest: so it's an antipsychological approach of least in the early part of the life, but the advantage as i say if you're looking at the public a local figure in the interest in the united states as an empire since world war ii when it abandoned isolationism i think serves to clarify the issues with which these great presidents had to deal. >> host: there's a statistics the discharge of dropping --
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that is jaw dropping. the united states was responsible for 14 overseas military installations. today that number exceeds 1,000. how did we get from 14? >> guest: that is the story of the american empire and the united states was i think like 17th in terms of the military ranking before world war ii. the army was desperately understaffed. >> host: how much was a result of disillusionment following world war i that world war i had been sold to the american people as a crusade? >> guest: it was the san britain in fact john f. kennedy wrote his thesis that was made into a book, ye england slept. england slept because it didn't want to know anymore about armaments and the tragedy of world war i to.
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but once the japanese attacked pearl harbor, the whole scenario changed, and what i found so fascinating looking back at fdr was the way that the united states during is all felt so incredibly quickly to fighting not only a world war, but a world war on how to frostily separated fronts in the pacific and europe. >> host: it's interesting because, well, first of all would you acknowledge that there would be candidates for cesar before fdr, what teddy roosevelt be a figure and would rules and? >> guest: certainly there are figures who will work would be caesar's and often they were referred to as caesar, but very
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quickly that notion of the united states becoming a source or empire was abandoned and it is only with world war ii that the united states forever abandoned isolation and the real reason is the atomic bomb. once the united states developed the atomic weapon people talk about disarmament but the fault that you could disarm and somebody else would have to bomb so out of necessity the united states became not only, and in the world war ii but the great democratic hegemony of the post-world war. >> host: and i wonder -- you are in a disparate -- does that give you an insight into the mind set, and one of the sectors of the american century postwar,
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the relative withdraw of britain from that role. >> guest: absolutely. i don't think i could have written a book. i certainly wouldn't have the arrogance to undertake its because a lot of people said well nigel, is in this rather ambitious to tackle 12 american presidents? i had written quite deeply about two american presidents, jfk and bill clinton. >> host: this makes sure our viewers know you've written about the yondah jfk, a book that certainly stirred a fair amount of controversy, and a two volume biography of bill clinton, including the clinton presidency, and of course a normal high volume biography on montgomery you sort of met up with dwight eisenhower. so you brought all of that into this enterprise. >> guest: so i felt i had a sort of handle, but as you say the real the vantage i felt i had in relation to my colleagues
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in the united states who teach history was that i have actually grown up in a decade british empire. i was born in 1944. trisha was still training of holding on to india. the african colonies and so forth. one of the most fascinating things about fdr in my chapter is the way 50 are fdr tells churchill it is no go. >> host: you portray the authors and who is at this, but you portray churchill with all of his heroic qualities as essentially a man looking over his seat shoulder and fdr is someone with a grasp of the future that is yet to unfold. >> guest: i think fdr was a real visionary, domestically but also globally.
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he's definitely the hero of this book. >> host: that brings up something else, because we have 12 figures and it's interesting that the first four, roosevelt, truman, eisenhower, and kennedy are the great caesar's -- >> guest: in my view. >> host: in your view, exactly, and that raises the question what happened post kennedy, has all been downhill or the nature of the empire or the imperial exercise itself was an aum come individual presidents, a coincidence, which combined to this trajectory of fdr to the present. >> guest: the short answer would be all of the above but i do think the big turning point was lyndon johnson and vietnam war and that is the most tragic chapter in the book. >> host: uzi johnson as a
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tragic figure? >> guest: absolutely because he was a man who was raised in the south and texas and who hadn't shown any particular enthusiasm for civil rights, but then who took up the mantle of civil rights reform and basically ran down the throats of congress and certainly southern politicians and know it might be fatal for the chances of democratic candidates and it and she showed enormous courage in that sense and there is a wonderful moment i haven't come across before when in 1964 when he was still an unelected president, there's a moment when he drafts a letter of resignation to say what and stand the presidency at the
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convention and people are so worried about senator goldwater and the republican right that he was almost pressed into service -- >> host: is that what he had in mind? >> guest: yes i think he may have had in mind, but it's interesting that in a way if he had stood aside she would have had to be in this book as one of the fifth greatest presidents because what he achieved in civil rights when she was extraordinary, and he inherited kanaby's involvement in vietnam. it wasn't a war at that stage, and i think in many ways also a great man, johnson wasn't equipped to be a cesar she traveled somewhat around the world as vice president but essentially his realm was the united states, his real realm
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was texas. >> host: an exercise of itself. >> guest: exactly. and i don't think he had the confidence in the same way of jfk did look as such a young man, the confidence to overrule his advisers and say well, goldwater may still be pushing from the right but we won the election and we are not going to war during the tonkin. >> host: in a larger sense we all have sort of a set of criteria for the all entel president, presumably we all want our presidents to have a sense of history and the perspective that brings the rate is also possible for them to become prisoners of history? clearly lyndon johnson's generation was branded by a munich, and the munich and although she kept surfacing
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appropriate or otherwise, and in also was haunted by the fact the right wing had exploited china's growing communist of 1949. he recognized that in signing the civil rights bill she was probably signing away the fact. you just wonder whether all of this came together to influence it in any way. >> guest: i disagree with my fellow historians intend to believe and movements that can't be changed and i think a good example of rejecting this notion that you're in prison with the history of munich, appeasing a dictator and threat is the way that president eisenhower, the third great caesar, in my view, the way that he dealt with the
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suez crisis in 1956 because the british and french and the israelis went in to take back the suez canal, and they assume the the united states, even though the most powerful country in the world, would simply stand back and say not the kids and allow it to happen. and eisenhower did not the president of the united states and the commander in chief of the united armed forces and he said no and he basically bankrupt of the british by saying we are not going to support the sterling. i mean, the president he's in an extraordinary way to change interesting because on the eve
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act of some political risk on his part. >> guest: and courage. and i think looking across these 12 lives one of the common >> host: i was calling to ask, i mean, are there themes that runs throughout the. it's essential to leadership in all circumstances? i mean, would you learn in office are most difficult. >> host: that will probably come forth on the incumbent. >> guest: exactly. if you think of the difficulties almost every one of the president's hand whether you are talking about reagan in the
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first two years in office it is a huge learning curve, and in that sense you think surely political system that trains people in advance for this. but i don't know that there is. i was interested in when i was writing about bill clinton in my multivolume book i'm sure the intellectual smartest highest i.q. of in a president who's ever occupied the white house he just has an extraordinary able mind. but in a way he was the worst president in terms of the caesars, in terms of taking over the reins of power once we reach washington. he was obsessed with public approval and you could psychologize that, but the fact was -- >> host: winning in the
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election wasn't enough? >> guest: no, and the other thing he believed was you have to have a terrific chief of staff. i spent years with the military history and recording a world war ii from clear marshal montgomery perspective, and i knew him extremely well as a student and he would always say you've got to have a good chief of staff and work him to the bone and when he goes mad with work you toss him out and take on another one. because it is to presidents. >> host: this situation arises doesn't keep jimmy carter from unplugging it in his presidency. and as you write to his detriment to the >> guest: and clinton. it's like let's hope future
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presidents who read this book at least learn some of the lessons because they are so obvious it's not as though -- yes it's always going to be a learning curve but from history, and i think the ability to be a good demonstrating -- a good administrative chief once you enter the white house is ably one of presidency. actually making the white house, let alone the country, function are often overlooked.
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>> guest: again, one of the -- my changes of mind of biographical historians was ronald reagan in this book because i had been brought up in the united kingdom where i was there when reagan was president, and reagan was considered by michael -- my colleagues to be a joke. they did as much about term as governor of california. and nobody had any idea his political convictions went so deep and so far back into his career. and i ended up having didn't always agree with him that i ended up having enormous admiration first of all for the death of his assurance that communism could be confronted from an economic point of view and that the soviet union could finally be brought down by
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economic competition. but the other thing i admired him for was his temperament. we haven't talked about that. but i think one of the themes that run through the book is the surgeon presidents did have the right kind of temperament to be caesar. >> host: and let me ask you because if we are just talking about self-confidence, conviction, however you want to call it, jimmy carter had no lack of self-confidence. ronald reagan had no lack of self insurance, but two very different presidencies to the >> guest: right. i don't think self-confidence is the right necessarily the right requirement. i'm talking about temperament, such as jfk showed the ability to distance yourself a little bit, to stand back looking at
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the way jfk handled the cuban missile crisis. to listen to the advice you're getting from the cabinet and your national security of pfizer's, but to be able to filter that through your own mind as an independent mind and remember you were elected by the united states and you owe your royalty to them. i think it is important and i'm not sure jimmy carter had that. she had this absolute sincerity and visionary quality that he saw the challenges -- it wasn't a lack of patriotism, the believe in the national interest on the contrary he believed the so deeply that the problem was he believed is so deeply he
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wasn't listening to the other people. >> host: you quote him early on as telling to have an established relationship with the soviet union a tentative relationship with great britain. >> guest: he would come out with the fees remarkably naive notions which any we were very christian, very charitable. they lacked a certain realism if you're going to be emperor of the united states. i keep saying emperor because americans here do not like to consider themselves an emperor. you got rid of the british and they don't want to go back there. >> host: we don't see ourselves as a colonial power. >> guest: but abroad, that is exactly how the united states is seen it yet it's anybody travels outside the united states had to quickly become aware of that and as you said early on a number of
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military bases well over 1,000, well over 1,000 means that the united states is operating at a military level that is never existed in the history of humanity. i mean, not even the road and were as powerful as that in their time. so, you know, it is a huge challenge. >> host: in an interesting. so many things in this book. i think it's fair to say it is a revisionist history in a number of respects. for example, one of the threats that runs throughout the story of the last 70 years is america the middle east and the relationship with israel. and most of his admirers were the highlight of the presidency and to present that in a different light. >> guest: yes i present in jimmy carter's retrospective
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light. he came to think at the time he was very proud of it. after all, he thought the sworn enemies from egypt together and they can to a peace agreement and the israelis were going to withdraw from the soviet occupied. but over the years he felt that he got the poor end of the stick that the israelis had a run rings around him and had gotten everything they wanted and peace, which is what he really wanted in the middle east would probably not happen, certainly is in his administration and even after that. and i know certainly most of my jewish friends and colleagues think rather lovely of jimmy carter for that, and i'm sad about that because he certainly not anti-semitic and he's a
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brave man who constantly goes over there. a truly interested. i think i quote and indian once said a thing he's the donaghey of modern times. >> host: not from reading your portrait in some ways he's about a formal president and perhaps he was a president. >> guest: he would quarrel with that actually. yes, a great man but not a great caesar. it raises, to become a fascinating question of someone who is at the bottom of the ex presidency and it may very well be that the largest part of carter's legacy is to redefine the nebulous which has its clinton's senator it is as ambitious in its of reach in the various humanitarian efforts but correct me if i'm wrong there's not an
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operational diplomatic element kind of free lancer. >> guest: and it can be very embarrassing to the incoming president if he feels he's been overshadowed if a former president is struggling to feed it happened when richard nixon during president ford's time to china a week before the new hampshire primary. i mean, poor gerald ford had good reason to feel i gave this man a part in which is almost the centerpiece about the chapter triet i think that was a terrible mistake. >> host: so you are not in that -- i think it's fair to say the c-span audience knows i was close to president ford. that is one of the libraries i
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ran. we had a personal relationship i think it's safe to say he was on like lyndon johnson he left to have the satisfaction knowing that most americans had come to the point of view that what he did was necessary and indeed an act of political courage. at the kennedy library gave him the profile courage of war which is the icing on the cake but you question that consensus or you still think that it was a mistake. >> guest: yes i think it is a terrible mistake. i think richard nixon was one of the most dangerous precedents that we've ever had, and i think he was truly close to being a mad man. >> host: you compare both johnson and nixon to caligula --
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[laughter] >> guest: johnson in terms of his private life. i mean, we haven't mentioned that the each of these presidents has a private life, or a love life if you like to college, and they are often at complete odds with the public figure. and you have to ask yourself well, is life the impact that raises that question. >> host: john kennedy be hit recklessly in his private life of reckless. so what is the connection? >> guest: i don't think -- if i was a psychologist recess theologist i might try to draw some statistical inference but i don't think would be worth a damn. i think the fact is all these caesars were individuals. you need a helluva lot of individual would be to get to the white house. they were extraordinary
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characters and going through extraordinary tensions just to get to the white house let alone the responsibilities that they had and how they manage their private lives differ from one to the other. i mean, harry truman is the perfect example of a of a devoted husband. i love that story that in berlin he is about to drop the atomic or decide whether to drop the atomic bomb and he's put in a villa and this young american officer infantry says mr. president is their anything you need i can get you anything, anything you would like, women, and truman says to him passan, don't ever mention that again. i mentioned to become married my sweetheart triet i am devoted. we are loyal to each other. don't ever speak to me that way again. he was a truly honorable husband. >> host: that tells us
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something important about here truman. some celebrity juergen cultures where the commander in chief is really a celebrity. we spend too much time on private lives? >> guest: there's a risk we do but it's a lost cause. try to stop the media, exclude c-span of course but try to tell the media not to concentrate on the personality and private life and the scandals. i mean, i try to be -- to set the pattern for doing this and i tried to be truthful about the private lives and i tried to be on judgmental about the private lives, but they are in succession pretty extraordinary. the one that most fascinated me
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actually was gloomy doss when richard nixon was a young man. >> host: he was the hardest to know of these false figures? >> guest: i think so because he was quite a brilliant man, but he was so dark and have these different sides to him. he was part liberal, part right-wing conservative. we know from his psychiatrist we of the notes of his psychiatrist who said i think i quote him saying he was an enigma to himself and an enigma to me and he was a psychiatrist. even nixon's first girlfriend he pursued for five years. host about the end of his life
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that your so complex and mix in said no, you're getting somewhere. he understood. >> guest: he would look apparently to the mirror at one point when he was suffering a lot of depression and he said to his psychiatrist i don't the presidency is not how it ended the that it had to withdraw >> guest: as i see in the book i'm not the first to say it. i think that robert wrote a wonderful book on this, but basically i think he was guilty of high treason and sabotaging
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johnson's peace negotiations with north sea and on. >> host: given his personality -- he said she is a closet intellectual. it is a cool and his circle, but he was not a natural in the democratic door knocking process [inaudible] >> guest: but he studied acting at college. he was recognized as a great shakespearean potentially great shakespearean actor, and you see that when you see the archive from his extraordinary like the
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chequers speech when he goes before the camera and talks with the silent majority and talks >> host: wasn't there in some ways a takeoff on fdr's version of the silent majority? guy who is being exploited, not listened to, punished -- >> guest: but in fdr's ks it was idealism. that is there was a man born an aristocrat who could see beyond his own circle and see the true populism of the united states. but in richard nixon's's caisse i think it was actually some of that was more genuine that he can from this -- when you go to his little house at the nixon
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library. >> host: a combination of idealism and resentment. >> guest: resentment is important and he grew up poor from a very early age rather dawning of tuberculosis and a father with this terrible temper fearful of the father and so determined to do well at school he used to carry his shoes and a pewter mugs of the wouldn't get dirty and going barefoot to school. i think what would happen in those great moments of crises when he was afraid of corruption in the looked as if president eisenhower would drop him as his nominee in 1952 that it looked as though nixon would have to retire or resign from the vice presidential nomination and he goes in front of the public and
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gives a speech. but i think that is the moment when he reaches back into himself and it's not just resentment. it's that moment when he puts away his political conditions president in american history ever had. moment when they took the speech and nixon possibly prison eisenhower and the after readily stevens -- at early stevan said. he knows exactly -- the instinctive politician who spent
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a lifetime denying he was a politician knew exactly what was being done to him. it is an amazing moment. >> guest: that is his brilliance, his genius really that he could turn that kind of potential defeat into potential victory by being able to see over people's weaknesses. >> host: would you buy the notion that nixon was in effect the last new deal president? >> guest: to some extent, yes, i would. he did believe in health care reform. consensus? 80
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politician accommodating himself to the prevailing consensus? >> guest: i would say it goes deeper than that. axson's absolute adulation of his mother, very religious woman, she never be the children that they were terrified of her and calling them out for doing something sinful or whatever, and i think again he would reach into himself for a notion of responsibility for society. his mother was a true christian in that respect and so yes i don't think it was -- [inaudible] yes, definitely he wouldn't fit
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into the character. i think very few of these republican presidents would actually. you see in almost every case they are fighting tea party style elements -- >> host: that's an interesting observation because i wonder if it's not actually applicable on both sides of the mild but fdr had to put up with dewey long and others on the left to thought he wasn't -- >> guest: yet, people thought he was at decisive enough. this was an opportunity not just professional liberals. john kennedy had criticism from the left. is it fair to say that all fees' presidents -- >> guest: forced into the middle. basically are the extremes on the left and the right and in
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the end, they are forced into that middle and what was so interesting to me if you exclude the domestic policy side of it you see the miracle of how they manage to deal with that domestic policy side as best they can but how they still have the reserves they need and the insight they need to recognize a more global perspective in terms of both american interests and global peace. >> host: is it fair to say that reality intrudes and ideology receives? >> guest: definitely. i think the have to take a very deep breath and basically forget politics rough least ideological
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politics and with the reality of the situation >> host: it's interesting john kennedy is the fourth of your great caesar's. my sense is nixon famous the city would take 50 years before people could write objectively about him and the irony is thinking 50 years in kennedy's caisse that the deification that followed the assassination ensured the conventional swinging to the letter extreme and only now in some ways of the kennedy presidency, for a long time we heard he didn't get much legislation passed, style over substance minimized. but in fact if you look at the issues with the age, the cold war and civil rights, he demonstrably to use that favorite term, grew in office. and in fact before his death had increased of the politically difficult position on both. >> guest: just as eisenhower
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had adopted more progressive position on the civil-rights in the previous administration. >> host: had he as opposed to enforcing a court order, had he mistake of believing southerners of time to a new racial order. >> guest: you put your finger on when you use the time in a short order long term because a lot of these presidents if you put them together in a room would have very similar approaches. very similar visions and patriotic terms, in terms of social responsibility. they would differ in terms of when can it happen?
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when is the great american public willing to accept it? and an eisenhower's case, obviously he felt his hand had been forced by the supreme court in terms of schooling but he embraced the moment and send the troops down to arkansas, and i think it is a silly and moment in american history to win and the same with the john f. kennedy. he was concerned that he should get a second term in office so he was constantly trying to put things off to the second term. martin luther king and many people were not willing to wait for that. pting that and to that. >> host: this is a television
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irony. gft is seen as the first as someone whose mastery of the media in the news conferences contributed, but it was the pictures not only on the front page of the times but on being set upon with fire hoses and the white, which in effect to some degree forced his hand. >> guest: gist, photojournalism changed history in that respect. and that's true of -- i mean, eisenhower had accepted that he had to have training. i think he got training from morrow [inaudible] i think they've recognized like richard nixon in
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a majority speech and move the numbers. that's not really possible for us to do today, is it? >> guest: not at the diffusion of the communications means that you don't have that sort of the sermon, they are twittering and the internet is commenting and i think we are going to see different kinds of americans users in the future. >> guest: >> host: one of the lessons of this book for barack obama? as you know we are taking this and the eve of midterm elections so part of the conventional election as the dissolution on the left with this president who on inauguration day with
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his predecessor. in your narrative? >> guest: well, the obvious parallels with bill clinton in '94 who is stunned when he lost not just one house but both chambers of commerce, and it's remarkable. i think i quote the moment when clinton after losing -- bill clinton's image, talking about photojournalism, his image was more of don to candidates during the midterm election. >> host: why was he so polarizing? >> guest: for a number of reasons. >> host: was a cultural? >> guest: because now today one talks with the possible racism involved in that plurality and but in bill clinton's case you couldn't see it was because he was white. i think there was definitely the counterculture thing that new gingrich played very successfully the idea that these
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people had it too soft and they had avoided service in vietnam and they were all [inaudible] but i think a lot of it was like we were saying earlier the first two terms learning experiences and she made this terrible mistake in taking an old kindergarten friend as his chief of staff we he wanted someone he could trust or to be honest he had quite a lot of secrets. in terms of his private life he wanted a chief of staff who would respect his and was a terrible mistake because he has a brilliant mind but it's not a good administrative mind. he needs somebody like eisenhower during world war ii had general but -- bidell smith good cop or a bad cop. so i think bill clinton is a wonderful example of how a
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president can't lose the midterm election and yet once as i said of bill clinton once he got through his house -- his funk he is in this was president of the united states has commander in chief, and the whole world looks to him. it's not just of the electorate electing the senator said koln chris. the whole world especially the space world looks to him for a global leadership, and if you think of bill clinton in the ways he brought peace to bosnia, but even in domestic terms how he dealt with the oklahoma city bombing and the fact there was terrorism coming from within the united states. it wasn't only those people -- >> host: the argument is made quite brilliantly through triangulation stole a lot of republicans. he basically closed up the center.
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there was a welfare reform, balancing the budget savings the big government is over. to that option exist for this president in this incredible polarized, ideologically driven political climate? even if he were so inclined? >> guest: i don't know. i don't know i would have a guess. >> host: what carter? >> guest: i respect president obama enormously, not only for his intellect, but i think he does have a great temperament. he has a mix of fdr and jfk. jfk was quite a sort of cold man in his way. >> host: do you think he's too cool? given this tumultuous events of the last few years. >> guest: you can but i think the focus has been recently on those candidates for the midterm
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election, and i think one starts over and people see how just difficult the programs of unemployment and the foreclosures and the sea conference wrestling with that whether it's under a new or not, the statue of the president will be seen as something to one side, and i think president obama -- they hired them president reagan's we this time. so i have great confidence in his ability to lead this country >> host: what do you think of fox? >> guest: i'm not sure i want
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to say on the air. my father was an editor of chief in the london times, and report are not to be tuesday six rupert murdoch rescued the times from anarchy thanks to the trade unions in great britain and did a great service for journalism been proved to be i think a really all of newspaper and i think the way he has operated his communications empire. you could call him a season of the media. he had a really terrible effects particularly in the in a flaming of the parties ownership. i think he is a man of no deep social responsibility, and i think to use somebody like roger ailes who is a colleague and a master of dirty tricks and that
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kind of approach to electioneering i think is a very sad country, but i still feel very optimistic. >> host: winston churchill say [inaudible] >> guest: and when you travel abroad and some other countries have to deal with high unemployment and a great deal less freedom of thought i personal biographical level >> host: what was the surprise to you in the writing this book? >> guest: i think most of all the life of ronald reagan. i think, you know, the story of the attempted assassination in
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1981 it's almost impossible to get an almost 70-years-old, it's devastating the extraordinary things of the bullet, and it appears is within a couple they get within minutes just not far away to george washington university, and he jokes with his nurses. >> host: hollywood couldn't have written such a script and the assassination attempt and the air traffic controllers' strike years later. that is the larger than life reagan with on these political consequences. it's hard to believe we are just
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fascinating. we could go on all afternoon. the biggest called "american caesars lives of presidents from franklin d. roosevelt to george w. bush." i highly recommend it. thank you so much. >> guest: it's been a pleasure. booktv attended a reception for arianna huffington editor-in-chief of the dignity and post for third world america how our politicians are abandoning the middle class and destroying the american dream. the party is hosted a private residence in washington, d.c. and the program runs just over 30 minutes.-- >> >> how are you? have t [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> you can wear a sign aroundo your neck.he be careful i'm a lawyer and you can find it in thenk y. huffingtonpost.com. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> i've been around the countryn and huffington post "third world
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america" section and people have been sharing overcoming obstacles. that encouraging people to show their own story. >> i want to talk to you and get your thoughts on elections. we're less than a month away. there's a lot of talk is the gop is going to take over the house. what is your thoughts? do you see it happening? >> well, everything can change between now and the election. that's the amazing thing about politics. who would have predicted who would be now two years ago; right? it seems incredible. so right now what matters is to try and have a debate that goes beyond demonizing particular groups and immigrants and muslims. because that's extremely un-american. >> also, what are your hopes for this election? >> well, i really -- what is happening? i feel very great to already start the debate.
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people are coming together to really look at ways that we can right now at least alleviate some of the pain out there. >> he was saying we can't interrupt you, you gorgeous girl. >> thank you for coming. >> how was your book? >> thank you. so prepared. >> absolutely. we wouldn't miss it. you've gone from one success to the next. it's amazing. >> awe. look at you. >> you have a new acquisition. who was it that just joined you? >> howard. >> i congratulated him. >> we had communications for us. >> hi. how are you? >> my name anna. >> anna. designs the exquisite jewelry that all of the most stylish
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women in washington wear. >> how long are you back here? >> i'm leaveing tomorrow. now i've moved to new york. i'm here a lot. i still have my home in l.a. but i'm here a lot. ent,te i wit .. will you? >> i want you to. >> both of the pictures here. >> can you have us? >> group. >> yes. hugs. >> come on over there. come on. come on. wait a second. i want you to meet someone. seth green. >> it is a pleasure. >> so, seth, two years ago lost his job at the concierge in portland. >> where?

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