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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 23, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

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obviously there were embarrassments for me end of the people in some of the things you've said and you just have to accept that. .. >> your personal experience with chinese leader and china. thank you. >> i don't think there's any country that did more to stimulate its economy to keep the world economy as a whole moving forward than china. and if you actually look at the figures, the amount of extra construction, the amount of extra investment, the amount of extra stimulus in the economy
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was greater in china than in almost any other country in the world. and china has had the capacity over these last 30 years to take 400 million people out of poverty, and that is a great achievement that i know from talking to president hu and premier wen that they are rightly proud of. now, we can have disagreements with china about human rights and about the freedom of the press, but we must also seek agreement with china about the future. my argument in the book is that if china, i india, asia, america and be europe in particular but with africa and latin america as well coordinated our policies, if china was able to raise its consumption of goods and services so you would be able to take more people out of poverty more quickly, be able to grow
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your middle class in a faster way than previously planned, and if at the same time indonesia and japan and other asian countries were able to do likewise, then you would l have such a boost to demand in the world economy that the american and the european economies would be able to move forward as well because they would be able to export goods to the rest of the world. and i just say that the biggest single change you will see in the next ten years -- and we've already seen massive change through the productivity of the chinese worker and through the asian growth we've seen in the last ten years before duh the biggest -- but the biggest change you will see is this billion be more middle class consumers wanting to buy goods including the branded goods, the technology-driven goods that we produce here in america and in europe. and that will be the biggest boost for the world economy that can, could happen. and that will create thousands of jobs here in america because we are in a position to export,
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as is britain and europe, to the rest of the world. so china is absolutely vital to the future of the world economy not just because of what it can do for itself, but because what in combination and in concert the rest of the world can do to boost world growth and world jobs. so we need more dialogue. we need more discussion. i believe that the best thing that could happen to push growth forward in the next year or two is china agree to consume more, america invested more in its education and technology for the future, europe tackled its unemployment, and, of course, we've got africa and the different continue innocents of the -- continents, a agreeable agreement would make that possible, and i don't think we're that far away from getting that part of the next major discussion of the g-20. so you can see how important i think china's role in the future is and is going to be. >> yes, sir. >> good afternoon, mr. prime minister. my name is daniel, i'm a senior
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at the eastern school of business, the undergraduate business school at nyu, and i had the terrific privilege to study for my freshman year or in london. i hope you'll be able to drop by -- >> of course. look, we need a columnist in britain to give us advice. >> i'd love to come back. [laughter] i saw you last night on a show, and you said markets need morals. i couldn't agree more. i'd like to know from you what ethical principles drive you and if you'd have any advice for a 21-year-old such as myself who holds a moral compass and hopes to be able to continue to hold it andly by it as i -- live by it as i enter the work force? >> well, that's a brilliant question, and i do wish you well, and i'm not joking when i say we need economists in britain for the moment, so think about coming to work in our country for a bit of time. you know, it's a question, what
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is the morality that's going to underpin a successful marketplace? and, you know, the study of economics is changing quite fast now i because in the '80s we were talking about the efficient be markets model. now people are talking about behavioral economics to try to explain why people don't always act rationally and why fairness, why, if you like, fear, why irrational exuberance sometimes dominates the behavior that you see in the marketplace. and i think we're going back to the study of political economy. and i think that will be something that any economics student will want to play their part in examining in future years. and as i understand political economy, it started with adam smith who happened to be a citizen of the town in which i grew up, and i'm now the member of parliament for serving in the house of commons. and adam smith lived in this
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town and was born there and grew up there, and it has a two-mile esplenade. and -- can you hear me? yeah. this two-mile esplenade, he would look out every morning, and he would see ships coming in and out that were trading with the rest of europe. and this was the middle of the 18th century. and because he saw this trading taking place, he then thought, well, trade is the engine of growth. and then he realized that to trade you had to specialize, and to specialize you had to have a proper division of labor between those who did certain tasks and those who did others. and his whole theory of how the economy worked was built from this idea that looking out on the sea he could see the trade was actually transforming the whole economic landscape in the town in which he was born. but adam smith thought that the theory of moral sentiments which
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was the book that he also wrote was far more important than that who portrayed the wealth of nations. and he also said this was the most important thing he was tribing to contribute to the study of -- trying to contribute to the study of society. underpinning markets that had, in his view, had to be values that people held to be important. and, of course, you value enterprise, and you value competition, and you value the entrepreneurship that is absolutely vital to the success of an economy. but adam smith also said that you've got to value fairness and responsibility, and the values that we think important in our everyday life -- and my people who are friends of yours who don't show integrity or you can't trust and are not responsible and don't do their duty and live off the backs of other people rather than help contribute to the common good. and in the same way he said that the economy, and we would now
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say big multi-national companies and finance companies if they don't consistent these values, then there is a danger as we had two or three years ago we will have markets that don't self-regulate, but markets that self-destruct. so i would say that the values that he wrote about in the 18th century are still the values that have got to guide our economy. and i think the 20th century was a battle between markets and states. what power should markets have, what power should governments have? the 21st century i think people will say that markets and states can both become vested interests. they can both take power at the expense of the ordinary citizen and the public interest. and to control and temper and to supervise the operation of governments and markets, they have got to be visibly underpinned by clear, ethical
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values. and you've got to test how markets are working and how government's working, are working according to these values. are they acting responsibly? is there integrity? can they be trusted? are they operating in a fair manner? and i think these are the values you've got to look for in a company and in a country's way of operating as well as the values that you admire in the families and the neighborhoods where you live. and that's the case, i think, for political economy becoming more important in the study of economics in future, and that's why i would urge everybody who is thinking of a career in economics and business and finance to read some of the great works of political economy which show that an economy can sustain by prosper only when there is trust, integrity, responsibility and where people accept that in response to then being allowed to do everything that they want to do with their enterprise and in a competitive environment, they have got to exercise responsibility and not
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be reckless in their risk taking at the exe pence of others. so these are the values that i think are age-old, the values that come out of our experience of learning lessons from the crisis. >> thank you. you have my vote. [laughter] >> i wish we could stay for another whole hour because this is terrific. but we have time for maybe two more questions. yes, sir. >> all right, thank you. hello, prime minister. i'm also from china, so i have, also, one question regarding china. what specific suggestions or advice do you have for china to boost its consumption which you said is very important, significant job for china to do and to adjust itself in the mega trend of globalization? that's my question, thank you. >> some of you may know that the amount of the national income consumed in america, so consumption as a share of national income in america is something like 70%. the amount of consumption in china as a share of national income is about 35%. so china is producing a great
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deal but only a third of what it is producing is being consumed by its own citizens. and that's where china can do more to help itself and to help the world economy. you know, in the 19th century britain and america which were among the first countries to industrialize, germany and france, not one of these countries committed themselves during the period of industrialization to the reduction or abolition of poverty. they may have thought they might be able to do something about it with welfare percentages, but they were -- programs, but they were never committed to the mass reduction of poverty. china is, india is, african countries are, and that is a commitment. what are they going to do? they've got to create a safety net so that people have a health provision. they have got to create a safety net so that if people are unemployed, they've got some sort of of income. they've got to create a safety net so that people who are retired and elderly have some sort of provision for their retirement.
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and if these things can happen and at the same time people are in a position to use some of the savings to buy homes and in a position with higher wages to buy the goods that they want to buy including consumer goods that we take for granted in this country, then china's path to being a middle class country with large numbers of people owning their own homes and at the same time in a position to buy consumer goods would help not just chinese people, but help the rest of the world. because instead of america consuming more and europe consuming more, then china would also be consuming a great deal, and the demand and supply in the world would be in balance which it is not at the moment. so i think the chinese government understand this and want to do more to improve the safety net, want to do more to help people who are going into the towns to get jobs, want to take more people out of poverty. but if we were to advance that more quickly in the next year or two and had an international
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agreement which china felt comfortable about because that was part of the agreement that different countries would do certain things, this would take the heat out of the currency arounds, it would take the heat out of the balance of payments which is the latest issue that was discussed at the g-20. it would be china doing what it wanted to do but a bit more quickly than it had planned, and it would be boosting consumer demand and exports and be boosting production right around the world. so china can play a major part in rebalancing the economy, but also in getting growth in the america and europe. and i think the pattern of events over the next ten years are clear that china's going to consume more. if we could move that a bit faster, then a lot of the unemployment we're likely to see in the next few years could be avoided. >> unfortunately, we've got one more time -- more time for one more brief question. >> so it's my answers that are too long. >> no. >> hi. i'm a reporter with "forbes",
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and i wondered if you could comment on the crisis developing in europe, wondering if you think the mechanisms currently in place, both the t.a.r.p. fund and the plan for new mechanisms after 2513 are -- 2013 are going to be sufficient to curb the crisis? >> yeah. for those people who are not involved in these european issues, let me just say that the euro is the single currency. its introduction was very, very controversial. britain was one of the countries, and i was partly responsible for that who decided not to join the euro because we thought it was difficult to manage. and at the same time there's a huge amount of euro skepticism, in other words, people skeptical about whether the euro can work in the long run. there's a lot of skepticism in britain as well, and there was one euro-skeptic being interviewed on bbc which many of you will know about, the news program. and he was being asked why he
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was so skeptical and so hostile l and so anti the euro. and the interviewer eventually said, well, why are you so against it? is us ignorance or is it apathy in and the man replied, i don't know, and i don't care. [laughter] and the euro -- the euro, the euro at the moment is undergoing difficult times because greece has got a financial problem. it finds it difficult to get tax revenues in, and it's got a big public sector. spain has got a different problem. spain has got banks that really were overlending, particularly in the property sector, something that happened in america and particularly also in ireland as well which has got a huge problem because it overbuilt property, and it's got huge bank debts as a result of
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them lending money to property developers who could never pay that money back. and you've got portugal which has got a lot of private debt that is owed to people outside the country of portugal itself. and people are then asking, well, if you've got all these problems with the euro and you've got to have all this help for individual countries, can the euro itself survive? >> -- i think it's got to survive. i think once you've made a big decision like creating a single currency, you've got to make it work. and there's three things that can be done to make it work. we've got to bring together the three difficult issues, the fiscal deficits, the bank liabilities i've just talked about, and the inability to grow. and if europe can only solve its fiscal deficits but not grow, you've got massive unemployment. if it cannot solve its bank liabilities and fails to do so, you've got big, big problems ahead because banks will not be lending money to businesses. and you'll have low growth anyway. you've got to have a meeting of
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the leaders to get together, they've got to find a way forward in the one fell swoop for dealing with these problems. i've got ideas, but it's important they do this in private, and then they've got to seize the initiative from the markets because countries are being picked off one by one. you hear about greece, then ireland, portugal today and spain next, and you've got to seize the initiative from the markets. one of the lessons we learned in 2009 when we had the threat of a world depression was if governments don't act together and lead rather than are led by the markets, then you will get into huge, huge problems, a downward cycle, a downward spiral that you can't get out of. so my recommendation is the euro group get together to deal with these three problems which are all soluble but have got to be dealt with together otherwise you will have continued crises in the euro area. so my recipe for the future is greater cooperation within the euro area to deal with what are
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real problems that arise from the failures of the banks as well as some problems associated with the return of economic growth. but we've got to avoid, and america as well, 10% unemployment this euro area, 9.8% unemployment in america. this calls for urgent international action for all of us to work together because we're all faced with similar problems where the resources of our economy, the people themselves are being denied the chance to realize their potential in the workplace, and what is the purpose of economic policy if it does not include getting people in to work so they can be prosperous by their own efforts and not to have to rely on either social security or charity? sure ri, the important element -- surely, the important element of the next stage is getting more people back to work and giving young people the sense they will have opportunities in the future. >> three quick announcements. first, in a few minutes the prime minister will be signing books in the greenberg lounge across the hall.
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could all of you remain in your places until he's left. secondly, i want to thank all of you for coming. this has been a fascinating discussion, the beginning of something very important that gordon brown will lead here at nyu and around the world at nyu. and finally on your behalf, and he quoted this person earlier, let me thank someone who more than almost anyone and maybe more than anyone i've ever met exemplifies president kennedy's insight that leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. the world has benefited from gordon brown's leadership, and the world has a lot to learn from him, and so do we here at this university. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] thank you. >> this event was hosted by new york university. to find out more, visit
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>> we're here at the national press club talking with maureen beasley about her new book, "eleanor roosevelt: transformative first lady." can you tell me what aspects of her life you concentrated on? >> yes. well, this book concentrates on the way eleanor roosevelt wrote the script for first ladies. now, every first lady since eleanor has either followed the script or hasn't followed the script, but at least they had to read the script. they've had to know about it. there are lots of books on eleanor roosevelt, but what this book does is tell what she did in the white house to make the job of first lady more than just that of a hostess or somebody who was interested, perhaps, in a cause or two. she really made the first ladyship a potent part of of the american presidency. >> so was the script that she
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wrote giving the first lady a role to play in policy? >> the script showed what a first lady could do. the script showed that the first lady could make the job of the president's wife of into one in which she could promote the
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. >> political reporter for the associated press, and it was lorena hickok who introduced eleanor to the plight of miners in west virginia who were living in horrible circumstances. so one of eleanor's first projects as first lady was to try to do something about these miners and set up a model community called arthurdale which she probably wouldn't have gotten interested had it not been for lorena hickok.
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similarly, before the second world war eleanor had a very warm personal relationship with a young man named joel lash who was a socialist and a leader of student movement. and eleanor had always been interested in young people. but because of this very warm relationship with lash, she became especially involved in causes of young people and international student works and ways of trying to get young people as part of the political process. also in doing so because lash had skirted communism, in fact, i think he was a communist at one point, she learned a lot about communism. she said she did. and the fact she learned so much about communists prepared her later on in the united nation to
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know how to deal with them. >> thank you very much for your time. >> booktv of of is on twitter. follow us for regular updates and news on nonfiction books and authors. >> every weekend booktv brings you 48 hours of history, biography and public affairs. here's a portion of one of our programs. >> thomas, what do you think about hip-hop now? >> supg to -- sunk to new lows. the very inspiration for thisof book i started thinking about -- >> sunk to new lows, he said. whoa. >> i do. i started writing this book in,s well, i wrote the op-ed in 2007u and i believe that the dominant artists at the time -- not the solartists, but the artists that were really driving the media
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coverage of the genre and that were really setting the cultural tone were soul ya boy and the b dip set.utrtis and i think if you compare that even to, like, the so-called gangsta rappers of the early '90s or jay-z or biggie, that's such a -- >> so you're cool with biggie?ge >> i'm not cool, but i think he had a lot more complexity than what you see now. i am kind of interested in watching a guy like drake. lot but i don't think that, yought know,no one artist guides an entire culture. >> so you say it's sunk to new lows. explain to me why you feel that way. i d i mean, these are street poets, okay? why do you feel that they have sunk to new lows if they are expressing their reality?our >> well, it's debatable if they're expressing their reality. a lot of them are simplyty? propagating some of the worst i'
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stereotypes about black peopleet that ever existed.ity. >> but if those -- okay. [applause]some but if that's their reality,laus should they be silent? >> it's not many of their realities. some of them do have pretty cruddy realities. >> well, there's been a movie o about biggie, and we can clearly see that he rapped about hisf th reality in the streets. >> no. biggie was actually a guy who m observed some other people's realities more than he rapped about his own. i've lived this fort green area of brooklyn for a few years, and the part of fenton hill thathan biggie comes from is quite nicei compared to the parts of the rural south where a lot of --oky it's much nicer than what james baldwin grew up in, and it was far more affluent that the --l o >> i mean, the guy was a drug n dealer. are we going to dispute that? >> yeah, he made choices because it was very cool. >> right. right. >> his mother was a schoolteacher, and he didn't have to deal drugs to feed
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himself. >> right.o but that was his >> it was, exactly. >> so let me ask you this, whats is good hip-hop to you? >> >> well, i want to make -- i want to be very clear about this. my book is not about music, it's not a critique of the artistic merit of hip-hop, which i don't dispute. >> well, let me repeat your- title, "losing my cool: how a father's love and 15,000 booksay beats hip-hop culture." >> it's about a system of values that the music doesn't create, but it provides a sound check to and an echo chamber, it mag magnifies, often, and it glorifies and romanticizes these things. i'm not -- a lot of older blackr critics of hip-hop have ani problem withfi hip-hop on a musical level and find it i inferior to jazz and other formo of black music. that's not my argumentle whatsoever.m a i'm trying to attack ideas and cultural values and critique them and talk about what i really see as the secular
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religion of hip-hop which is it's a way of living. it's even a way of reaching for a cup of water, t a way of greeting someone in the street, it's a way of dismissing certain ideas as not real. i'm not talking about whether an artist like andre 90000 -- 3000 has ability, because i think clearly he does. i wouldn't even need to critiqu culture if the music was trash because one of the reasons theat culture's so powerful andwo seductive is because the music,i the culture is aesthetically pleasing this a lot of >> uh-huh. but that's the history of african-american music in a sense. >> well, not really. i mean, if you listen to a love supreme by john coltrane, there's really no similarity between that and something like gucci main, you know? >> right. [laughter] [applause] so, and i'm a john coltrane fan.
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>> me too. >> i am, i am. so i want to go back to my question which i want you to answer directly, what would be good hip-hop? >> well, i can list, i could -- wei could spend the rest of the panel with me listing -- >> no, we're not going to spend the rest of the panel. what would be good hip-hop since you're saying --hi >> good hip-hop music ise reasonable doubt by jay-z. now, is the content and some of the message involved in some ofg that great music poison? yes, it is. if you try to live the way jay e instructs you too, you will not fly in a private jet, most likely. [laughter] >> to watch this program in its entirety, go to simply type the title or the author's name at the top left of the screen and click search. >> visit to watch
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any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. >> next, a round table discussion on george w. bush's memoir, "decision points." the panelists include laura brown, assistant professor in the department of political science at villanova university; tevy troy, senior fellow at the hudson institute and former deputy secretary of the u.s. department of health & human services; and julian salazar, history and public affairs professor at princeton university. this program originally aired live and includes your phone
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calls. it's 90 minutes. >> host: and now a historian's roundtable discussion of george w. bush's presidential memoir, "decision points." joining us here in washington is professor laura brown of villanova and tevy troy who used to work for george w. bush and is associated with the hudson institute. let's start with just a general assessment of "decision points" as a presidential memoir. tevy troy. >> guest: well, the whole genre of presidential memoirs really started with ulysses s. grant who wrote a fascinating and novelistically written one and that's the standard by which these things are often measured. i think in the overall panoply of these things, i think bush's comes out pretty strong. i think it's more casual than your average memoir, i think that's what the reviewer in "the new york times" said. >> host: and you agree with that?
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>> guest: i do agree. he's got a lot of humor in there. she noted the fact that he's got a dog poop story towards the end of the book where a few hours earlier i was on air force one, and now at the end of his presidency he's chiening up his -- cleaning up his dog's business from the neighbor's lawn. there's a lot of humor in it. up with of the readers said there's even sort of potty humor in it. -- i think he's kind of at ease in a sense that he's not running for anything else down the road. he's kind of done with politics. he just wants to say this is what i thought, this is what happened to me, and i think that majors it -- makes it a very readable memoir. >> host: dr. brown. >> guest: i would agree it's a very readable memoir. i'm not sure how enlightening it is. i think really from my perspective i very much enjoyed reading it. i came away thinking much of what i've always thought which is george w. bush is a likable person. he is somebody i would enjoy having a conversation with. but i didn't get a sense that it
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was terribly reflective, and i guess maybe i'm comparing it to the many different books of richard nixon,ing things where there are really insightful moments into nixon's both psychology and ashe accessments of his -- assessments of his presidency. so so from my perspective it's a good, fun read, and i did appreciate the fact that it's not as sort of long or as seeking approval as i think president bill clinton's was. but i did very much enjoy this. >> host: now, one of the things that george w. bush said in his book, he wrote in his book was that he was told by historians to read ulysses s. grant's memoirs and to start there. >> guest: absolutely. well, because it's the idea that you want to focus on those critical aspects of one's presidency, not every moment that exists. and i think bush does
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effectively do that. i enjoyed the fact that his book is organized by theme, not necessarily chronologically. it was helpful that he really takes things that have been most controversial for him and can be, basically -- basically, puts his mark on it. >> with yeah, i agree with that. a couple points. first of all, i'm glad he didn't do that. second of all, a memoir really reflects the person's personality, and you can have all the ghost writers in the world, it's still about you. nixon's book was about his tortured psyche because he had a tortured soul. clinton's book was desperately seeking approval because he needed approval. bush is a regular guy, and it's filled with all sorts of stories that show that. one quick story, there's a tale of of when he is meeting tony blair for the first time, and he's a little nervous about it. and blair was famously friends with clinton. they got along great, they were
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the same generation, they had similar l politics, so bush wasn't quite sure what was going to happen. and they had dinner at camp david, and bush said, well, tony, what movie do you want to watch? and blair said, i think we should watch meet the folkers. he said at that moment he knew he was going to get along with him. a regular guy aspect to him. >> there is another new book out, and it is called the presidency of george w. bush, and it's edited by history professor julian zelizer, and he joins us from from princeton. doctor, your assessment of "decision points "as a presidential memoir. >> guest: i thought it was good. i don't think that highly of presidential memoirs. we don't often learn that much that we didn't know, and we don't learn nearly as much as we're going to find out from the research. there's not that many surprises in the book. i think it is smart to structure it around decisions rather than
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a straight chronology. we get to see a little bit of what president bush wanted to everyone sides from his presidency -- emphasize from his presidency. but overall other than a i few key point bees such as something involving senator mcconnell calling for a troop pullout behind the scenes of the story with vice president cheney and the discussion about dropping him in 2004 from the ticket, i didn't come away with any big surprises z. what i like most is you hear the personality, you see the personality of the president. there is a kind of defiance and certainty in the writing about his decisions and even about his mistakes that i think very much captures what kind of president he was. >> host: now, before we go any further, we want to yet you involved in case you're interested with speaking with our historians' round table about "decision points." for those of you in the east and central time zones, 202-737-0002
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if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones. you can also write to us, e-mail or you can send a tweet, doctor zelizer, one of the things that george w. bush writes about and what he spoke about in his presentationing in miami was that he was not elected president to be -- i mean, president bush while he was in the white house he slapped the white house with this book argued that he was interested -- obviously, whether it was the response to 9/11 or after 2004 and 2005 social security and immigration he very much sees himself as a president who's not constrained by political considerations and was willing to do riskier about his
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decision after this big re-election to go after probably the most controversial issue you could do nestically -- domestically, social security reform. >> host: laura brown. >> guest: well, i mean, i think that's right about this issue around small balls. the problem that i had going through this book is that bush seems to lack a sense of political savvy where he doesn't seem to understand that in politics your friends can be dangerous, and your enemies can be helpfulful. and i think one of the things that is surprising to me how often even if he's sort of not wanting to play politics he is also missing the political game that's being played around him. and that was one of the things that did come through in the book as i was reading it. >> host: and laura brown is the
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author of "jockeying for the american presidency: the political opportunism of aspirants" which just came outop this year. dr. brown, if you were to rate president bush for your book, if you were to write about president bush for your book, where would you put him? >> guest: well, i mean, i do have a case study of president bush that talks about his election/campaign in 2000, and i basically see similar problems with him that i see with most o the presidents. and that is, quite frankly, their experience in politics ism rather limited, and as a result they may be sort of good at giving the speeches or making all the right moves or being ins the right place for the photo ops, but as i said, they seem to miss a lot of the politics that are happening around them. either by their advisers, theis consultants, foreign leaders, what have you. >> host: and tevy troy who is associate with the the hudson institute is the author of
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"intellectuals and the american presidency: philosophers, jesters or technicians?" does president bush fit into one of those categories? >> guest: my book is how intellectuals deal with presidents, and the question of philosopher, jester or technician is the intellectual adviser to the president and which role do they play, and there was a question asked about arthur schlessinger when he was kennedy's intellectual. bush refers to a lot of books he read. he read 14 different lincolnr wh biographies during the course of his presidency which is a fact i found fascinating. he also had a mba-approach the whiteed house. he had an office created in the bush administration, didn't existon before the bush administration. president obama has gotten rid of it,id but that specific offie under barry jackson who's now chief of staff to john becamer and later a writer at the ethics
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and policy center, that specifi' office was designed to bring intellectuals into the white house, have them a share the b input from the white house about who's going on to the intellectual community and the whole panoply of writers out there who would say things to defend the president. and i think they did a good job of that.e >> host: 202 is the area code, 737-0001 in the east and central time zones. 0003 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones. again, our roundtable of historians joining us from princeton, dr. julian zerizer. here in washington with us, laura brown from villanova and tevy troy of the hudson institute.e. one more question before we go to, to our calls. what president bush writes about and what he said, and, dr. brown, i'm going to start with you, is that 9/11 clarified his presidency.9/ >> guest: oh, i think that's right. thi i mean, i've often joked that i think that president bush
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actually had the presidency that dick cheney wanted, not necessarily the presidency that he wanted.k i believe that he went into the presidency thinking that he would be doing mostly domestic policy, things like immigrations reform, education reform. he had a strong record on those things in texas, and those were huge parts of of his campaign platform. and i think what you saw was that with 9/11 his entire focus of his presidency had to change> >> guest: i agree with that. the president clearly went in thinking this is going to be a domestic policy presidency. everything changed on 9/11, and i think his chapter is an interesting one point is when he talks about the book he was reading to a bunch of school kids when 9/11 happened for which michael moore famously mocked the president. he says, i knew exactly what was happening. i knew i was on tv, but i also knew that a leader cannot inspire panic in if his people,e so he p intentionally wasn't trying to cause panic.
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it also talks about the best moment of the bush presidencyutt when he got up on the wreckage at ground zero, and he took thee bull horn, and he was speaking to the crowd, and can they saida we can't hear you, and he shouted out, i can hear you, anr the rest of the world will hear you too. i thought that was a particularly interesting chapter. >> host: and dr. zelize rex.nk i >> in all these ways it clearly shifted the focus of his presidency to issues that he was not, you know, coming into the white house thinking would consume his time.ow he was interested in education reform and immigration, veryer interested ines immigration refm and really liberalizing immigration and all that, you know, takes a second place when 9/11 happens.w on the other hand, and the book does wrestle with this, you know, iraq doesn't clearly fitre into the post-9/11 strategy. and there's going to be ans go ongoing debate, there was while heil was president, there willth continue to be about why we went into that war at that time, what
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the relationship was with 9/11. president bush makes some admissions or apologies in the book about iraq including the effect of not finding weapons of mass destruction, the mission accomplished d he still defends the bar, and he has a chant -- war, and he has a chapter on his freedom agenda,fr as he calls it.thin but i think there is aon, historical debate that we'll have. it does clarify, but it's nots clear why that war as central th the strategy, and i'm not sure this book will resolve that at all. >> host: how long do events overtake a presidency anyway? >> guest: almost always. that's what presidencies are about. they're about responding to crises, they're responding to the way in which events unfold. you know, rarely does a president campaign on, you know, ten issues, go into the white house, focus on those ten issues and leave. something's going to happen.s go and i think the best presidents like lyndon johnson, for example, or fdr or ronald reagan
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knew that. i mean, ronald reagan and the emergence of gorbachev wasr something he couldn't really predict, but it really reshapes what he does, how he approaches the soviet union, and it affected how we remember ronaldn reagan. and lyndon johnson with vietnam. the way that overtook hiscy presidency was something he didn't expect in '63 and '64. so that's what being a president is about, and in some way that's one of the things we look for, how do they respond when those shifts take place? >> host: and, tevy troy, you ari nodding your head.d. >> yeah. this question is of politicalqu savvy and the question of ofs whether there's aa checklist. showed his savvy by being elected twice, but also he had an agenda going boo thatin first term, and he really accomplished the things he saids he h was going to accomplish. te he had the no child left behind, he had the tax cuts and the medicare part d.ree
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those were three things that hen pushed for, and he got them allm the second term was clearly not as successful from a domestic perspective, but he said he wass going to do that, and he did that, and i think that shows a o lot of political savvy. >> host: let me respond to this one thing about why iraq because it struck me in the context of the wikileaks and many of the sort of more recent articles. and then i sat there and i looked again at the map that is in george w. bush's book, and it struck me that we went into iraq in large part to isolate iran. as i sat there looking at it and i realized, you know, a afghanistan if it were aaf flourishing democracy and if iraq were a flourishing democracy, you would essentially make sure that iran was i and, in fact, later on in the book as bush is discussing sort of hezbollah and lebanon, he hez does say that one of the longer-term strategic gains waso to isolate both iran and syria.
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and i think what you see is with a much larger strategy of, if you will, afghanistan, iraq if bringing pakistan on as an ally, liberating or making more robust the democracy in lebanon what you end up seeing is actually a playing out of that preciseof t strategy. >> host: boston, doug, you are on wit h our historians' w roundtable. please, go ahead with your. question. >> caller: yeah. i think bush is delusional to the point where he thinks that we're stupid. o if bush, cheney, rumsfeld, any of those characters step out th bands of the united states, they're all going to go the pint oak treatment, and i think that'll be a good thing for. everyone.all you all have a nice day, thanks a lot. >> host: laura brown, the pin they treatment. >> guest: i'm not really sure how to respond to that comment. certainly, i think some people do have those feelings about president bush and his team.
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you know, i, i sort of look at president bush and his team, and i say he made a series ofnt b decisions some of which i agrees with, some of which i don't, but we'll see actually, i think, how history shapes up. i think history has been interesting in terms ofi relooking at different presidents down the road. >> host: julian zelizer, do presidential legacies outside the boundaries of the u.s. matter? >> guest: to a certain extent. p i mean, i think usually what we measure is how the american public thinks about a president which will change over time.'s h i mean, you know, when people say will the presidency be w revitalized, will we think better of them, will we thinkrs worse of them, the reality is i we'll go through cycles.chan how historians write about them will be important. i mean, it's important how the international community thinks m of a president in the currentine moment because that does shape, think, international but 50eu78 not sure in -- i'm
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not sure in terms of how we remember the presidency that's where, you know, the outcome will emerge., th but certainly what people think of a president overseas does matter in the kind ofesid relationships we build with other countries. >> host: st. petersburg, florida, go ahead, vera. >> caller: hello. first, i'd like to thank you very much for taking my call. i'm not really asking a question of anyone, it's merely aone. comment. regarding these weapons of mass destruction, i don't believe i have ever heard from day one anyone, including the president, mention the fact that before we went in actually to look for tht weapons of mass destruction we announced it so many times that we were going in, doesn't anyone realize that by the time we wenn in the had they been there, they were certainly removed?oved if these people were not stupid
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f there had been anything there, they were long gone, and i havet never heard anyone mentioningt that fact.fact by the time we went in we announced it so many times, as s say, shay somebody -- they certainly got rid of them, and i'd love to hear anyone's comment about that.nly >> host: tevy troy. >> guest: e he certainly doesn't say that in the book, but oneab thing he does say is if husseinf p didn't have these weapons of mass destruction, it was a stupid and short-sighted decision by hussein not to makek that fact known because he,y obviously, knew the troops were building up. maybe he was bluffing and heught thought he'd be able to hold on to his presidency, but it seemed like a bad decision on hussein's part. >> host: what did you think of president bush's point by pointu argument about the strategy,sh b reasoning for going into iraq? i >> well, i -- >> host: and i know that wasn't your department.your >> guest: it wasn't my department but you were,t
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clearly, there.lear you're sort of living and breathing it. he makes this case that if he had perfect information, he might have thought about things differently. he doesn't regret what he did,id and he makes the case based on d this notion that the world is better off without a dictator like saddam hussein in powerhe there. so he makes the case based on that, he doesn't regret his decisions, and i think he is pretty be honest about owning ug to some of his mistakes.akes i counted at least seven cou mistakes in the book where here's something i did wrong, and that's in stark contrast to 2004 when he was asked then question, can you name any mistakes, and he famously dodged the question. >> host: julian zelizer? >> guest: well, i mean, what he doesn't talk about is the debate over the intelligence, and that did take place. where there was a sense that the intelligence was shaky, the whole scandal that unfolded with scooter libby and some of the writing that's taken place vicee president cheney, that's notably
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absent from the book.nt f i mean, bush does apologize or admit kind of the crisis of or confidence that results both in him and in the country making it impossible to find weapons of mass destruction, but the questions have been raised about how much did national security experts actually know is not in the book, andst the noti surprising. i do think it's a piece of the story that will have to be addressed and researched. in terms of the caller's question, you know, actually, we learned that the weapons weren' there, there were some making that argument i remember, and i remember who, but the suggestion they had moved. but it is notable that presidene bush doesn't say that in this book. he doesn't fall back on that defense. so that's really speculation to. say that, and can i through there would need to be a lot --n think there would need to be a lot more evidence to support that claim at this >> guest: well, anald i think wt
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was true especially in the summer of 2003 as the libby scandal was sort of unfolding as there were, you know, meetings in england. i mean, there were parliamentary sessions where they were grilling individuals andng d discussion about reports being -- [inaudible] as i recall in that wonderful h way they say things. you know, we're important andan and this issue of the - intelligence manipulated, was it all as good as would hope it would be? and despite the fact that bush does admit that intelligence never 100%, i think that bush, again, sort of reveals his for lack of a better word just sort of five today in the sense that he seems to trust you. and i think this is where, again, saddam hussein may have
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been saying things that maybe bush could have actuallysein listened to a little differently if he was a bit more savvy. >> tevy troy, you were nodding your head. >> there is a sense that there's some people that president bush stuck with too long or promoted to pig positions that they might not have been worthy of gettingh or shouldn't have gotten. and there was the sense that he was very loyal the his people, but on the other hand, somepe people didn't serve him as well as they could have.ha >> host: okay. julian zelizer, we have thisse tweet here, and this is from joshua kneelson. is there presidential deify case in recent u.s. culture? where do you see the current political locus of control of the public and presidency? >> guest: in terms of how the public sees the president, i mean, i don't think it's great.k i think it's hard to be president. i think the public culture leans towards destroying you, and that is a bipartisan thing. i think the romance, the
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honeymoon with presidentses ison actually very short, and i think becausn e of the way the medias works, because of a certainuse amount of cynicism we have toward government institutions,d certainly since watergate, that that is eventually people areha going tot turn on presidents. and you have blips like when a book comes out or when presidents go through great moments that, you know, people look again and have better feel beings or opinions. but in general i think cynicism is the name of our age, and it't the name of the came in public -- game in public opinion. we don't hold up presidents very highly, it's just the opposite. and where rick opinion, yo controls it.who i'm not sure if this day and age there is any center of control at all. i think with the internet and the way information flows i allf over the place, i don't think historian willth see how they -- and i think it will be an ongoing debate with multiple
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opinions and sources, and we'll never have a final opinion. i think it's an ongoing debate, and president bush's, you know, first effort to shape that debate. >> i've just got to say that working in the bush white house i never for a minute felt president bushh was being deified. he mentions that about howme hysterical the culture was against him. >> host: i'm starting to think this tweeter meant carter'san rates, clintons, jrcl w. bush's numbers have gone up. >> guest: that, in some ways, ws expect.pect carter, of course, also also had tremendous controversy. tre but, look, when a president is gone, they are out of theon political realm, and they have a lot more control about how the t public sees them and what they're doing, and they're freed where the ugliness and difficulty of washington o o it's natural that when my a
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relationship with the public because what we don't like isss the. political process, and what we don't like is often seeing the president right in the i middle of these very bitter and tough democratic debates. so if that's the question, i think it's just removing yourself from the difficulties and ugliness of washington.shin >> guest: well, i think that that's right. i also think there are really interesting phases. there's a bookly thomas langston called with reverence andth contempt, how americans feel about their president. and i think it is a fantastic title because it really does get at what we do. in a campaign we usually push them to the highest hits -- heights. fix anything and everything thar we hope, and then they get there, and the realities strike. and, quite frankly, one of the things that is amazing aboutly,
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american politics is that we ar a lot less comfortable with partisanship than one would think we should be given that we are one of the most longstanding, greatest democracies on earth. >> host: leonard in goodyear, arizona. good afternoon to you. >> caller: good amp. i have a comment and a question. my comments about the book asmet compared to, say, bill clinton's "my life" autobiography, i found the bush book to at least take a hot more responsibility. bush's book, even if it didn't convince me that he made everything being the right decisions, that at least took responsibility. my question is in evaluating a president, how long -- when ilut think about when i was in high school, i was taught that eisenhower liked to play golf,nw he didn't really get involved. but when i read sufficient the about the cold war today --
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stuff about the cold war today, there was a lot more in theelat relationship with cruise clef. we thought reagan was kind of, s quote, a dumb actor, and today you read the stuff about just how involved he was in the dum presidency and just what a role we played in ending the coldr. war. even trueman when he fired mclaughlin was extremely unpopular, but now he's a top five president. >> dr. brown. >> guest: well, i will say this, most historian dislike political scientists like me because we actually do end gauge in sort of contemporaneous evaluation and analysis. f the historians that i know is a good time frame to start where you end up with some sense of more objective analysis. i think one of my favorite cots


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