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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 6, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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we still don't know much about the near east. egypt was very important. [speaking german] the document talked about him. he went first to syria and be then later on to south americament so, but these people went everywhere. i was in ethiopia just a few years ago presenting the book there, and when i was at the cemetery for foreigners outside of addis ababa, i found the grave of an austrian nazi camp doctor who went to ethiopia after the war and worked and died there. so it's not only argentina. canada, the u.s., many other destinations. ..
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[applause]
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>> back in july 192685 years ago this month this country was celebrating the sesquicentennial become a 150th national birthday. here in texas i imagine it was quite a big deal but in fort worth, adjusts airways from year festivities are overshadowed by a brewing local battle that involved political religious business and civic leaders part of a catalyst was a preacher the
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issues were public and personal and the citizens found themselves polarized. they talk about conspiracy and troublemakers. july 17, it came to a head when a successful businessman pretty well connected to the movers and shakers went to pay a visit on a local pastor but this was not just any pastor. far from a typical man of the coffee was multifaceted ruling over and the religious empire. more than a preacher he presided over the largest protestant congregation in america, the first megachurch. a radio broadcasting pioneer and he was viewed by many as the emerging leader of a movement called fundamentalism and arguing
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that the language became hot within a few minutes gave way to thunder of four gunshots. he fell and was left for dead. nobody approached him to offer help. some police arrived and then he reached a local hospital he breathed his last breath. he was known as de by everybody and the other was j. frank norris known as the texas tornado more as that man. the story what happened that day 85 years ago and the following six months is likely the most famous story you have never heard. it reached a here to austan because it was one of the most celebrated trial is of the decade known for famous trials like the scopes trial
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and leopold and so forth. this trial was one of the most captivating at the time but lost to history. and has never received the full treatment. the context is the 1920's that i have found to be fascinating. at time just after the world changed in the soldiers just this year have the last living soldier of world war i, 110 years old was buried at arlington national cemetery. there are no more from that era and few were every day from the greatest generation of world war ii. the people came back from world war i and have a change to view the influence of what they saw and what we
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know of the 1920's, two things happen at the same time. one is a tremendous revolution of morals and manners casting of restraint and women voting and a lot of independence and sexual revolution and radio course begins to become a popular medium to become the media of the day. tabloid newspapers are strong and the film industry was around for a few years but really got the traction in the 1920's but along that the colt the celebrity what andy warhol would describe a 15 minutes of fame existed long before that s movie stars became famous.
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then you have this reaction to the revolution that was described in an odd word described at the beginning of the decade going back to normalcy. he was the first republican to make up for it it hotbed going back to the way the things use to be because they saw the country going apart and the values are changing so the number of things came along at the same time. one was a movement called fundamentalism. so it is associated with islamic fundamentalism and terrorism and people throw it in with question fundamentalism and make the mistake of using evangelicalism as a reaction
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to the modern world raw with those theological changes taking place something for somebody to get involved with but it is hard to imagine today it was such a pervasive movement in 1927 famous sage of baltimore said if the word to heave in me from a pullman car you word hit a fundamentalist in the head. millions of people embraced it it was a cultural reaction to the way things have changed. another movement that was very big and here in the state of texas was the ku klux klan. but there was many manifestations even through
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our time and many marginal but the biggest emergence of that movement was during reconstruction with the original plan but about 1915 there was a regrouping and by the time you come into the 1920's this group, very patriotic and pro america and anti-immigrant, foreigners take hold in a culture and for a moment in time, and a blending together of the fundamentalism of the ku cloaks klan but losses have we have a difficult time acknowledging one of the ed reasons having a difficult time repudiating that it was part of the past. but there was affinity between the klan basically about three things in the 1920s. it was a racist organization but also anti-semitic
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message as in -- has always been an anti-zionist the this is where the story comes then in texas, also anti-catholic as a throwback to the know nothing. and the anti-catholicism that was part and parcel of its popularity in america and "south park" view of the 1920s predict it is the breeding ground for the coming along of the demagogues as history tells us this has happened in the name of religion. along comes a complex character and "the shooting salvationist" j. frank norris and the murder trial that captivated america" is about him is john franklin norris.
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born 1877 the movie with his family at a young age to the hill country of texas worried grew up. and survived a gunshot wound 13 years of age that almost killed him. the father was a hopeless alcoholic but mother was a devout in driving force of his life. and his late teens he experienced a religious conversion and felt the call to the ministry and went on to baylor university were all baptist kids went and did undergraduate work and graduated with honors and going to the seminary of louisville kentucky to take his place as one more baptist preacher in america but a gifted person who was fiercely ambitious man the perpetual or prototypical down man in a hurry. he caught the notice of denominational leaders in the southern baptist world
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which was a big four bit and act at -- as a young age task of being the editor of the major baptist periodical still publishing today called the baptist standard. during this time he develops a flair for public controversy and decides to write a series of articles against race track gambling and is credited for leading the way to see gambling band in most of texas for the next 20 or 30 years and he likes that crusading type of stuff. he becomes the faster the of a church that is celebrated call the first baptist church of four north texas and one of the wealthiest congregations in texas known as the church of the cattle
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kings because there were 12 millionaires. and norris was one of the highest-paid and voted the best dressed pastor in america. he began a mystery that the first was sedate but eventually decided he would turn into a composite price have done a lot of radio interviews to give people a feel for what this person was like. i want you to think about a personality where you take a the name of billy graham. and add to that a little dose of william randolph hearst, a famous newspaper man somebody who had napoleonic tendency is. after that a great deal of p. t. barnum that sensation
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and showmanship and because it is the 20s and norris of what he did put a little bit about capone in there because he was very much into winning and fighting battles. he built the first baptist church from 190921 that would draw sometimes 10,000 people by the 1920's. there are churches bigger than that now but at that time there weren't. this was unheard of. back them. it was before the name the first megachurch of america. but not without controversy. there was an area during the days before world war wind called the red light district of the town where the of brothels were and it was a place all but
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cattlemen it was the picture of pledge cassidy and the sundance kid was taken. but norris decides he would take them on to shut it down. he was a crusaded pastor cleaning up the city and along the way made a few enemies. one day his church blew up and burned. rumors were circulating how did this happen? was it the work of the enemy? eventually many people believe j. frank norris burned his church down for the notoriety. and charged with arson been indicted for perjury and indicted three times with two tryouts and acquitted on all accounts.
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but it was never fully proven and they do detail that in the book although that is of the story that i focused on. but he leverage is the notoriety and celebrity and becomes of big mega church pastor in the 20s. let me read a passage but one illustrates what the media thought about him during this particular period of time. it is a description from 1924. >> early 1924 popular periodicals called the world's work in monthly publication devoted to national and international news with a penchant for muckraking profiled varese's the leader of all fundamentalists in the country. >> potential leaders abound and among them the
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strongest, shrewdest and most dramatically adventuress of j. frank norris of fort worth. opinion regarding norris is divided one says he chose a done the other says he totes to guns and many of his former foes as says half of the community when his auditorium alteration is complete will hold 6,000 with a choir of 700. the paragon of advertisers and the sensationalist trading in new preston the church e efficiency expert harold good as the cyclone injure any city you choose to lay with some church to galvanize them and iraq day living and lasting monument to his abilities but after witnessing his performance
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in the cleveland declared in the service of a business corporation his genius would be worth $50,000 per year. he understated the case. that gives a glimpse of the press clippings around the country many don't know but was the emerging figure. you how we don't know because of the whole story that happen. most are familiar with the scopes trial in dayton tennessee the issue was evolution and lawyers pitted against each other was william jennings bryan 1900 and 1908 and then nominate three times. than a hero of the little people coming in the great, thereby the twenties he is in his 60s and
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relegated to the yes side role of party politics and becomes the leader of the movement called fundamentalism. at the apex is when the big trial took place and of course, william jennings bryan goes down to work with the prosecution. when demand for most secure for getting william jennings bryan to go to dayton was it j. frank norris. one of the last things that brian did was write a handwritten note thanking him for his help and encouragement and then norris open fat hand written after he got the news he had died and printed in his newspaper at that time had 50,000 subscribers.
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and using his way to link himself with his goal was the heir to william jennings bryan and the leader of fundamentalist or what we call conservative christians at the time. and then getting into a battle with local city leaders and four were the always fights about something. first baptist church atoned a tremendous part of the list the entire downtown block of four or is. above for the buildings they weren't using a rented them out. j.c. penney day rented space from first baptist church however was not paying taxes on those properties strictly for incomer business purposes brass a result, norris
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was taxed as rather churches at the time and j. frank norris resisted this and vowed to fight for two he got into a heated battle with the city leaders including the mayor and named of henry clay mecham. mecham airport is named after him credited to bring aviation to fort worth texas during that time. are we okay? do umney to keep going? -- to you want me to keep going? and norris would could use the newspaper and the pulpit for personal attacks and not above the where he would accuse the mayor of all sorts of things including
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having an affair and other things. you can imagine. before they fcc the first part did not come along until 1927. it was wide open to say what everyone to on the radio. this is that period of time and fort worth and i am on -- and took umbrage and said i will speak to the preacher to defend my friend. he went to see norris july 17th basically having a heated argument stop criticizing my friends and norris said he would keep on doing it. what happened in the next moments was debated come analyzed, testified, a lot of controversy about what really happened. but the facts are that norris picked up the gun
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from the rolltop desk not imagine in william jennings bryan the pacifist above the desk. and shot four times and ships lay dying on the floor. but to put it into perspective, if you heard of rick warren the megachurch creature or televangelists like pat robertson in. how big of a story would it be if for whatever reason even in self-defense shot and killed a person in the office? this would probably be casey anthony who? it would make a go away. that is how big it was with the media at the time that was saturday and by the next morning every newspaper in america because of wire services that was just coming along, i got it out
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to every small and large paper had a headline about a minister in texas, the ambitious leader who wanted to be the eric hall up william jennings bryan shooting and killing a man and was indicted and charged with first-degree murder. if convicted he would face the electric chair in texas. the mayor wanted to make sure that norris was convicted so decided out of his own pocket, to hire extra lawyers and special prosecutors to help the district attorney and it was welcome to. so what you have beginning is a big legal battle that will come along with some of the most powerful and influential lawyers of the time. and they have a hearing hong in fort worth but clear he
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cannot get a fair trial because opinion is so pronounced. they move it to austin, texas. the judge sets the date is january 1927 somehow not realizing that by doing this, he makes sure the trial which is one of the most celebrated takes place the same week that the undiscovered governor in the history of the state, dan mini is inaugurated as the governor of texas. and along the campaign trail and moody, because it was the biggest auditorium in town he spoke from norrises bold but as part of his campaign. you have the inauguration at that time austin, texas has 50,000 residents per it is sleepy quiet university town state capital plan has not seen the boom yet.
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the trial is moved to austin, texas and draws every media outlet to the triangle park as a result, norris, the case is brought before the jury. it is a duel between lawyers. the most celebrated lawyers and names that are forgotten today for the prosecution. wild bill mcclain had already been like f. lee bailey of the day. ironically, his chief lawyer was the name of moses said he was led in the wilderness of the trial by dayton moses. as a result, a breed of -- right about it and "the shooting salvationist" and it comes to the point* of verdict then just like we
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see in trials, the verdict does not turn out to the way people think it should turnout. norris does not die in the electric chair. in fact, he lives in tel 1952 and never reaches the place he wanted to reach. because he will always be marred by the story but still a gifted man and begins to pastor to churches at the same time between michigan and fourth texas. in the thirties with 25,000 members between the two. after row or to is involved in anti-communist some and realizes roman catholics here on the same page and this man who was against the catholic says an audience with pope pius xii. pay was the interesting
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pragmatist one more footnote. in the 1940's one of norrises young students who always had young people come along with his charismatic individual wanted to be like kim and had a reputation for not taking anything from anybody was a young young man by the name of john birch. a he became a missionary and while he was in china when the war was teaching up john birch got involved with military operations and became an aide and he was actually an interesting individual himself when there is time to drop the bombs john birch wrote to
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recover some pilots to take them to safety he was murdered in china right at the end of the second world war by a band of chinese communist that shot him to death and norris greenspan called it john birch hall it is familiar because it is called the john birch society but that a group did not start until 1958 by a man named robert welch. there is a display over here at president johnson's library at the university of texas. what he did was use the name john birch because he was the first casualty of world war iii killed by the communist using the name of the john birch society one of the great features of the work was there was a
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conspiracy against him. this group or that a group and in the 20s the mayor and the catholic interests are against him. then later of course, john birches name is on the john birch society and the love of a conspiracy. is a fascinating story. motocross the 28 siam great fall i could dig it out. thank you very much. [applause] i would take your questions then i will be happy to sign a book. raise your hand.
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>> how did you get onto this story? what brought you to the issue yourself? >> i told you early i am a minister and i have been. my background is baptist. i am from each right michigan and my mother grew up in the church that he pestered in detroit michigan after this happened so i heard the name and what i remember saying he preached long messages for you would pack a lunch because he would preach a two-hour sermon. but one day with a chance encounter come i told somebody where i went two church. even though these things happened long before he said i would never go to that church because that is the
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pastor who killed the guy. i ask my mother and her the story. they did not know it completely and nobody talked about it. that was dr. norris who had a fight with somebody and killed the guy. i heard about as a teenager than steadied baptist history and came across his name as most well and developed an interest. i had a file folder to put articles and then the internet comes out you get more stuff. about 2007 it was several boxes and my wife said do something or else. i collected 6,000 pages ultimately of court records, newspapers, a complete run of his newspaper which republished weeklies so a lot of the story is in his own words which makes it interesting
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from the original source standpoint. that is how i came to know the story. >> what did you find was the most difficult thing of retaining the book? >> after i had gotten it done in thinking i was done, that was the difficult to go through the edits and rewrites. much like my first daughter was born and made the mistake to say i am glad that is over but the doctor said you are just getting started. i finished the manuscript a couple years ago this is so much better than the raw footage but that is the hardest part for chronic love the research. i like the rating of the book but going through the editing is probably the most
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difficult. >> what about the last year or two of his life and what was his health and how did he die for his political involvement? >> and 1948 the was almost 75 years of age a great debate on israel her employer it comes to be harry truman 12 minutes after midnight is the first country to recognize the state of israel. norris was inexpert of politics and history and had an exchange of correspondence with president truman. an interesting footnote to a local story is pretty boy floyd who was a gangster
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that was made into the movie, apparently they were a fan of j. frank norris on the radio and took her other son jackie to be baptized by norris and for a brief time played intermediary to effectuate the pretty boy i bet that what is the interest dain post script and finding our way but had a series of health issues and a lot of this stuff he have built an alienated people around him by the time he died, the group known as independent fundamental baptist called the isp is the first of that group splintered into
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different ways he was speaking at a youth camp in florida 1952 and the body was flown back to ft. worth and not buried not far from where d.e. chips is buried as well. interesting closure to this story. >> carter is a famous name was the publisher of the fort worth star telegram and the fort worth club was the big plays for the movers and shakers the oligarchs at that time. he was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of d.e. and manage not allowed to get bated but i
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deal with him a lot and is a fascinating character. after the mayor mecham dies his daughter married carter and was a power couple in the early 1930's. that was his wife and daughter of mayor mecham and to this day the papers are together at arlington and i reached those. >> and distance himself? >> everyboby forgot about it. norris did not want to talk about it. slew bringing in the klan and then it is buried under the silk of time and that is
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where it has been. >> do they ever talk about the klan to say later that is a mistake? >> i never found evidence where he dealt with that issue. certainly the klan went away. >> he was involved early out. >> he spoke at their rally is at the local grand dragon and was a member of the congregation and ordained him while that he remained the grand jury again by the name of blood worth but times change and he moderated his views as people did. go back to look at major figures, senator robert byrd who died a few years ago hailed as a great statesman had a record with the klan and it is unfortunate part of a repudiated by did not
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find it where he said i am so sorry. he did express regret of his staff but a lot of it was the body language and to go from being the anti-catholic to having an audience with the pope to get a blessing is a paradigm shift but he was an opportunist. that is my view of him. was the sincere? i cannot plucked myself in their shoes but he was an opportunist and the cautionary tale is the colt of personality when people take themselves too seriously and follow blindly. that is part of the difficulty.
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>> if you read the books about sociopath? >> no. you could probably build a case and i could not comment on that but i don't know. but people don't experience read fred o.r. seem to happen a. i don't know if they go that far and people have told me over the years that he never got over that moment. and his public persona i think he liked that controversial bill tough-guy type of thing. even before world war ii people did not talk about their feelings. and enjoyed that persona even though it may have trouble him with the things that may have happened in the early ministry. one more. >> there is a book cover on
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the back story of the history of the times. >> great question. i wish it could have vast due to ask that. when i wrote this come i am not from fort worth but i am from detroit. i am a yankee. i spent all my ministry in life than the new york city area and washington d.c. area. nine new i was good ride a lot about ft. worth taxes in wanted to make sure i got that right. wanted to make sure that if somebody who grew up around there they would read the book and know that i did the research. some people have said maybe i put too much detail. i don't think that i have but there is a lot about the city and that is what it drew bob schieffer who wrote the foreword graciously.
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he said he heard these things when he drop in fort worth and said it the have not grown appear he thought somebody mated up but nobody did. its really happened and he was gracious and declined. it was nice that somebody would take it that serious enough. thank you very much. i appreciate you taking the time to come and listen and i hope you enjoy the book. [applause]
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>> this is a fabulous book during a a book signing if i am not mistaken. not just the revolutionary period but history in general this is what you should have line your bookshelf. i am hoping for 10%. [laughter] that i could light to prove questions then ease our way into the book as well. to start since we're here at the national archives the first thing i want to get your thoughts is many of us in the historical field have lamented the lack of knowledge and why is it
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important we study history? >> and not knowing where you came from and you could be lost. there is a movie where man has no memory. can you imagine how terrifying that would be not to know your past? that is a comparable situation in. if you don't know where we come from it is difficult to know where we'd go so we need to know where we have been. that is a classic answer why we should study history per . without knowing the history one lives in the two dimensional world not
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experiencing reality as about the experience. is as important as the other and want to acquire the historical sense once you study history and greedy enough so you see the world differently. and suddenly the whole world appears different. the perception of your presence is different. >> as we sit here speaking, those events sweep being the events with the arab swing people are rising up trying to grab at peace of the greater say of their destiny and what you think
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the founders could teach them and what could they learned by looking at the experience as young americans wrestle with setting up their republic? >> presumably, these people are seeking democracy in that is true and 12 votes to and they see how the rest of the world is living and want a share of that. democracy is hard work and does not come easy. the authoritarian government is easy to put together although the monarchy is the wrong word to use because half of the nato is made up of monarchy like sweden and holland and england. that is not the word but what they met was
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authoritarian government. it is difficult to govern a democracy it has to be governed from the bottom of willing to sacrifice their selfish interest or dead good of all cold. returning your private interest for the sake of a public good. it requires a lot of self sacrifice and it is not easy to do. montesquieu who is the leading french philosopher very much read by the founders said democracy can exist only in small states because you cannot build a consensus with a large and diverse population part of that is an important possible -- what the can founders had to confront drying up the federal constitution. because montesquieu would
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not be surprised what happened when tivo was removed from yugoslavia. suddenly the serbs and the other ethnic groups were at each other's throats in the yugoslav very apropos or when the soviet union was removed. suddenly those parts began to fight with one another. once you remove the authority from the top down, then these ethnicities come to the floor and make democracy very difficult because people have to willingly surrender some of their issues. that is not easy to do part of the founders became very pessimistic about the ability of other people to become democratic. they thought the french were following them. 10 years later.
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many french leaders thought so too. mafia who at the outset was one of the leaders of the french revolution, 1789 thomas sent the key to the best deal which was the prison and bastille day is still july 14th celebrated as the beginning of the french revolution. said that key to george washington and hang steady in mount vernon. that is his way to say you are responsible for our revolution and americans assumed that they were responsible and also thought they were responsible for all revolutions that took place that somehow they were in the vanguard of history spreading democracy around the world. but as the french revolution spirals into tyranny, then they became pessimistic about the ability of other people to be like them. that gave them the notion
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they were exceptional. which is very controversial, a comparison with you. but the hope, the dream, that other people would follow us has always been there. my last sa is one team to spread democracy around the world. but it by showing the world we could do that. mobilize saying then north and the last best hope and could we survive? napoleon iii was in the throne and the new empire in france. there were no democracies left. linkdin is appealing to the
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dream we have to keep the hope alive. that is history from the beginning. >> how did you include the narrative we were looking for out of print narratives that were not known at all. and also that might to be known as south carolinian is. one of the 18th century slaves was known in british abolitionist circles and identified transatlantic but from south carolina and then went to canada and nova scotia and africa where he writes his memoir. so that was the inouye to conceive of a history.
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have a collection of seven people that for the first time late days ever to see the connections of a more coherent narrative. >> what major scenes were reflected? >> both small and big. small patterns. two out of seven wars slaves to confederate forces in and in the carolinas they were slaves to those forces. but the bigger connection is even those who left south carolina pay all referred to themselves as a from a
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relationship that would not let somebody take that away from them. but the rest of them this tingley 12 claim themselves although they have both left the state. and even through the 20th century. >> what story resonates with you? >> the number of them and speak to me in different ways. zero clarinda is very short and mysterious and written by her dictated has called for:but we do know that to ended up playing violin and meeting people. i thought i want to know
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her. what is she about? what happened to herbert out but then sam alex then wrote his memoirs of very old man at 1913 and he had an edge to him than there were many people who talk about slavery but the only good saying it is the emancipation and proclamation. i would have liked to have known him but they all talk with different voices. >> would you hope leaders will learned? >> i hope they learn to get rid of expectations. the voices were hard. 18th century narrative art to individuals whose spoke about slavery but also
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defined their lives that their memoirs are about religious awakening in the freedom they found through their spiritual awakening. that does not fit what you think they should be about. i respect that term to the narrative written during the abolitionist era. it takes by land and distressing scenes but the testimony of witnessing and those who come away with the political and personal calls but these voices are really the most terrifying in the
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other is anonymous. we don't know because he is a fugitive so running from a bounty hunter. >> the last three, jacob and irving, were much more complicated baird is because i would not say they had good things to say about slavery but not testimony to violence and talk about a lot of love and probably glad they are no longer slaves but was almost nostalgic and that was hard and a troubling and fascinating why they one articulate that in such a way. to find out slavery across
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the state was different for each individual and they wanted to re-read. to make sure those stories got out. it is beautiful and troubling and i think they all speak as a new way to listen. >> thank you very much. >> there is a book about machiavelli that came out several weeks ago. i want to read that book and then there is a book called reckless in terms of the financial crisis in the country and it involves two local businesses freddie mac
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and fannie mae and i know the players and a curious to read what happened there. then i want to go back and read a controversy how the use of the n word there is a professor who took it out of the text this rite aid controversy of changing american history are in the context politically correct speech code and given the fact mark twain sanibel cleamons wrote it with the power of that word intended soto look at the sanitized text looks like and that is sitting on my desk. then there

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