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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 14, 2011 10:00pm-11:30pm EDT

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bases are loaded. that's not what's happening right now. >> host: and make that contingent, set up harbors, set up real coast guards and try to get them work on the problem for and with you. >> guest: i think the coast guard is now too big of a step. it requires a lot more training and logistics and it's a lot more expensive. i think right now well phased out coastal garrisons equipped with radar. 2k3w4r6 and it probably should be said, the president is absolutely unequivocally against piracy although he has not been effectively against piracy but he made that very clear to you that he opposes >> guest: i made the suggestion that there's a much lucrative -- lucrative klep tocratic opportunity than taking pirate
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ransoms which may other senior officials have been accused of taking. i think he has been partially effective. ewl is not a piracy area. he has sent flat board trucks. ewl is no longer a pirate base. they moved south -- they move all over the place. it's like a game of whacamole and you have to make it difficult for a pirate to launch a mission. >> host: jay bahadur thanks very much for the issue. i think the book is well worth everybody reading also important for policymakers to begin to start to think about this. you deserve a lot of praise for your courage and for getting this done. thanks very much. >> guest: thank you. ..
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frederick law olmstead. mr. trained to report on mr. olmstead's numerous designs which include new york city's central park in boston's emerald necklace and also, mr. olmstead's experience as a journalist and abolitionist. this is about an hour and 20. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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this is great fun for me. i ran classic park for 20 years than i thought i had read everything there was to know about frederick law olmstead until i read justin's boat. it is a very, very fabulous and fun book to read. i was very pleased that justin asked me to come and ask him a few questions about olmstead because i learned so much in this book. plus i learned a lot about the history of that time period, which is a fascinating time. the time before the civil war, what is happening in this country, all the things that can happen afterwards moved so fast, just like today. but i'm not sure we can still produce this genius of place. but anyway, justin is a highly praised -- has written two great
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biographies, one about alan greenspan and what about ralph nader. he lives in forest hills gardens in a beautiful place in queens. and was designed by olmstead said. which one? >> will be more casual. not charlie. anyway, so it's really fun to be here tonight that it was right off the bat i was a little surprised to sort it cpq had written these books about theater and greenspan, who are controversial in their day in time and are still alive and kicking. then you pick olmstead, who is pretty well thought us by the time he died in with an interesting guy. so what made she moves from one to the other? what do they have in common?
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>> i guess that makes me move into olmstead and says "the new yorker" folk like central park was in a common yard along with so many other new yorkers in overtime sort of got a deeper appreciation for the park in the tour guide dedicated me to resume moved out to forest hills gardens and the like made that such a was staring me right in the face. and it actually does connect in a strange country to greenspan a major and that is a really vague subjects it to a whole bunch of things and to be several things very well. in the case of greenspan music professional jazz musician, part of the inner circle before he became fed chairman in the case of ralph nader, a writer, a lawyer, consumer advocates and then olmstead of course was sort of
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fields in the figure that regards. he did so many things in several of them very, very well. >> i think that's the thing that comes out so well in your book your olmstead has always been called an urban planner, landscape architect, but all the other things talk a little bit about some of the great things he excelled in over those years and didn't even turn to landscape architecture until 35, maybe 40. >> so true. i mean come essential fox pioneered was so questionable that they repeated the opportunity to perceive that he actually had another circus -- two deviations from there. he had a death -- central park, the construction was interrupted by the civil war and was pretty far along. at that point, he went off, chewing the human cost, a
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battlefield for the south it was really a foreigner for the red cross. then he went to california and had to pit gold mine. you asked earlier about serious things he did. he was a sailor, farmer, surveyor. those are all scattershot, not particularly proficiency con into, but he was a really come a really notable journalists. he also cofounded the nation magazine. he had all other career besides landscape architecture, some of which such a state of journalists are not enough women to landscape architecture with the astute note circle for his landscape. >> and he was an abolitionist, a social reformer. he thought a lot about dairy interesting topics. any sort of wonder because he became such a great landscape architect coming to you think
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people have to have a lot of different backgrounds to really be great designers and maybe even more so than architecture? >> i kind of feel like he really benefited from a multidisciplinary, might even call it a classic liberal arts education. he tried so many different things. it wasn't intentional if you set out to have these experiences. but once after all the trials and errors in deviations i described, which is scheduled, he was trying on all these different disciplines and certainly couldn't have planned it, but his designs benefited massively from the experiences they are. >> i think the fact that his parks today actually are still as usable, if not more so companies have to be be something pretty fabulous. many come in many parks have gone over generations. but those olmsted parks have done very well.
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i keep thinking that maybe it was because he thought so much about people. >> he did. i mean, he gave so much thought what today we call user-friendliness. he really thought about how to convey people through the parks. one of the things i'm not sure and mention the profession farmer. as a farmer he had the air of a farmer and start island. many tickets did to market, if he had my regrows, if his car got stuck, has produced an bad. nancy became part designer he was very well aware that no matter how beautiful the design, if he didn't deal with the simple, mundane issues of rows, the part to finally be a failure. he was brilliant at that and brought many of the things that fall into the category of user friendly. >> is a wonderful part of your book, where his stepson, john
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charles, who is his brother's child safety a top good, so it's very complicated life, this man worked all the time was a very complicated guy. but anyways, john charles has been sent off to europe to come out with you called it quick >> the wonder years. >> i called up more like the wonder years. >> right, the wonder years. i think he went off to europe in the taxation thought about it and sends him with these huge lists of things and how you look at something. and i think that it's coming in no company didn't publish the holiest in your book, but it ain't that just had to be something that would help all of us think about things when we see them, when you go on a trip. he must have had alcohol.
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>> that list is a creamy xeon last. it's something i can look at, commit to memory the following. it says all coppola's princes, and mostly huge -- and many sequins as 50 or 60 different types of architectural features that he demands that olmstead was a tough father. he tells john charles when he goes to europe that he needs to make sure and absorb all this stuff. those interesting to me is olmstead himself, in the pre-google age, when he went someplace camelia to really to really soak in and. olmstead and his you went to birkenhead park outside of liverpool and people playing a central part. it wasn't as if he said the word that he could do a google search
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or even find many books with images. he really chew on his own just vivid memories because he had to send very different than when you visit place, you have to soak it up, particularly once it became a landscape architect. he would hungrily absorbs everything he could then apply those ideas in the parks. he expected nothing less from this poor sons in a letter to rick is detailed and demented. it goes on for many paragraphs, poor john charles was supposed with stairs and also finance at the suggestion that upon returning to the united states he should be prepared to give full report and survey drives, et cetera. >> on the other hand, he was trying very hard. rick came on much later john
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charles is a great draftsman. but i think that evil and provided quite a bit to him because certainly impressed that part, you just walked into that longmeadow and it feels like an ect 9:00 through, he walked through like all of these wealthy people's estate off to the architects have learned about it. i think that had a big influence its outcome and not just the birkenhead, which was a public park and that's why i was so impressing. >> that's very true. he visited a lot of different states and there's this wonderful description of him at church council in wales. he wrote this letter -- really a diary and tree which he described the private accounts that the capsule and had to pull strings to visit the grounds. thirty-first of all first
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holiday feeling like he's sort of felt, what a beautiful place, so free of the rabble and so beautiful and well manicured. and then he just had a pendulum swing., which he suddenly thought as an american this is american cisalpine egalitarians to be appreciating this landscape, which has been cloistered. so he had this epiphany where he thought the city beautiful landscape. as an american i really can't conscience trying to think about reproducing such relief gave. it should be for the masses. so the experience kind of been taken that as a pageantry comfort at the same time i'm in the cafeteria at heart. >> it was great because it very much influenced the way people looked at parks in the states at that time was really just wealthy enclaves, places that were fenced and you could only have a few. so for this country, it opened
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up an amazing difference in terms of what could happen. i think to talk a little bit about our friend cal three box. four feet 10 inches, statured, had problems. talk a little bit about vioxx, but also how important that relationship was to me -- olmsted did some really great work after, that he was truly a discreet is in a system some of those things. maybe chicago with sql, but we can't experience that now. but talk a little bit about that relationship and how that was so interesting. >> sure, as you describe first of all some of the great central part prospects are box is olmstead working together as
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collaborators. olmsted once said it will go to get the exact quotation, but were not for fox that would still be a farmer. olmsted lost his journalism job. he'd been at the top of this game as a journalist and along comes the panic of 1857, this terrible economic cataclysm. he took a new job that is really not his. he was clearing this really ugly piece of land is prosaically named for the middle of new york city called central park for someone else's design in this document shanties. along comes box. he looked around and said the existing design he thought was terribly. he looked around and said the existing design he thought was terribly including a fifth avenue mansion for one of design he thought was terribly including a fifth avenue mansion for one of the board members. so we said let's store the
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design. and that olmstead and fox teamed up together. the reason a team of together wasn't because they thought olmsted was amazing. i'm on this piece of land, knocking on shanties can be a perfect partner because he literally knows the lay of the land. they teamed up and basically olmstead brought the partnership these amazing ideas and apprenticeships he served in all these different areas. he brought training, tracking skills, which olmstead never had. fox was a very much member of the hudson river school. he was sort of a contemporary and hung out for lack of a better word that the landscape painter. he was married to mary machen
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t., another not so will remember, that had sent her a. he brought this real hudson river school at aesthetic within. i mean, fox had been traveling the circles. he had an idea for his private botto, which was nature first, second and third. architecture after a while. and if you take a look at central park or prospect part, a lot of people suggested those urges hudson river school paintings, just slap down the middle of the city. boxes really the engine for that and fox assault osm architect, a trained architect in england was just brilliant at creating structures. dutiful bridges in central park and so forth. a lot of the table, especially for being forthright and.
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>> well, i think the other interesting thing is that olmstead said teamed up with architects after the mid-70s when he and fox split. they had these ego problems that were fascinating. i thought that was one of the more interesting parts of the book. maybe we can talk about the reason they broke up. >> boy, they really clashed on a lot of issues. one of the main issues with olmsted was a journalist by training. when astragalus friends heard about parks, prospect park are such a part can be described as is olmstead parks and fox of course urged me to find out. equal partnership. it's no accident olmstead he was
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always. obviously you work for your part in her your partner feels about you at any given time and olmstead had the song phrase the journalists at work or at called box to have an incredible -- vox, the designer of the central park is a beautiful structure. the pro-rich and so forth sort of the desired to instead been olmstead set tennant company, partner designing beautiful bridges and beautiful structures , he thought you'd like to be one of the preeminent designers of buildings. he landed he is olmstead always
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put vox in a position to say let's break up. they will have to do these commissions, but the one problem for vox is the earned with the white flame for your art. use a small man, always pushing his class up on his nose. he stuttered, stumbled, had trouble working with clients. he was a journalist among these different types of training, maintaining relationships. sub tab without olmstead fumbled both great commissions and by late in his career, he was really sort of had to look to the kindness of strangers and even olmstead for the commissions he could garner. he was unable to execute these two great commissions is kind of on the decline. >> there is always great and the
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park about vox or olmstead because vox came up with the original concepts way before olmstead was even involved. and then i had to bake olmstead to come back from this miserable life for prospecting. they put a relationship that's very interesting. do you think olmstead dataflow with the other architects that came along in his life? a very good relationship with the other one. >> hh research them. >> richardson died of 45 or something. >> i not think he ever found a partner who he worked with as well as vox who taught us much about prospect park and originally was supposed to be two separate pieces of land with a bridge between them and vox
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was the one he said let's make it one bit contiguous. he would think about the landscape and provide a lot of landscape ideas. i think olmstead has these division of labor partnerships. literally hh richardson was going to design structures and think that landscape. some of these folks have such massive egos said he was just going to design a bridge to elect whoever he thought a bridge to vote. olmsted designed and was willing to accept the relationship because they weren't that many bridges in a part to design. >> yes, i think a lot of interesting other topics came up. the chicago world fair to me was amazing because he was a skype it is now -- >> would have been a 70s. >> you associate that time. and just the fact that you
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mentioned google, the traveler. so you have all these commissions going on at the same time. and here he is doing this rush job for the chicago. maybe he can talk a little bit about that. >> olmsted was not a dog and in that area being in the late 60s or 70s. you doubtless the lead of your contemporaries. and olmstead did not settle into a restful latter years. he actually became fever. the reason he became fever does because the tape architecture is so different from the painting or a work of music ecosystem is never final. yet the real anxiety that after he was gone all of this work would be undone. he spent his whole adult life fighting against people who are mentally with central park, which is the place everybody wanted to stick something, racecourse or something.
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he had a sense that particularly because it involves the sense that after he was gone, everything like a reversed. as a couple commissions in the world fair grounds being one of them, that late in life he was desperate to stake his reputation. as an old man, he just took on commissions in milwaukee, kansas city, denver, asheville north carolina and a bunch of other places and he was work on the chicago world's fair, which he came up with this preposterous formula for he would give half of this attention to the world fair and have to go for state all the way down to nashville, north carolina they are to used up hundred% to rochester, milwaukee, et cetera. so he would work you working on
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those fairgrounds and literally when he sensed there was a break in the action committee with sneaked onto asheville, where he would sneak off to louisville, which is pretty close to asheville. he was just desperate traveling around, taking late-night railroaded and trying to secure his reputation and make sure also that he left a legacy. if he did enough parks, and maybe some of them with last. >> and writing letters all the time. we've send a short e-mails to everybody. there probably are going to vanish off the face of the earth. it's fabulous because he wrote thousands of these letters. >> the way i always described it as it was a 19th century. olmsted was very much a man about town. yet a lot of friends in the best way to describe it this olmstead cross the street, he did a diary entry, wrote letters about it.
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and then several friends either diary entries or letters they wrote about crossing the street. it created this kind of -- like so many different takes on any given action, but at least it was an embarrassment of riches to be able to have so many acts in his life for him to be accounting for them very articulately commit or insightfully and very long -- nothing like e-mail stan, 15 pages of explanation of his being arranged about a park to find being rolled or whatever and all the other people you tend to respond and create a rich trove to dig into. >> i guess nobody will be as easy to follow. >> will have to update the face but page. >> exactly. i wonder what it would look like as a face but page.
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he also ate horrible food. well, it's interesting you say that because in the late -- in the early 1890s, he was brought back to prospect park to try to figure out where the tennis out of chicago. so he goes around and of course he doesn't like the house because it's a form of architectural piece and so on and so forth. but he does say at that time, this is the perfect park. now, there is a little reference in your book, i would say significant percentage of part. now, if somebody from prospect for who spent 30 years there, i have to say that i agree with olmstead, but that was the perfect part because he has all this money come the complete freedom and essential perky about those, mr. green, everybody. so i don't know. what do you think?
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>> yet a quotation which i won't be over-the-counter. >> i know that quote. i'm not going to be able to dig up a quotation. i found a letter in 1873. >> he did love central part. >> but i guess the way that i would attempt to counter that is by saying it's kind of the old -- an outcome i always think about musicians like paul simon deutz heard him interviewed where he said, you know, my early work with simon and garfunkel was amateurish. it was youthful, et cetera, really at the top of my game during the more world music, et cetera. i defined the artist on the best authority and so i know then olmsted felt that prospect park was his finest work but am going
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to try at least based on two things. one is that was his first work in so many great artists he brought all this. that was when all the spontaneity, all at the saint eustace came bubbling to the surface. that was throughout the sudden he just goes from being a surveyor turned farmer turned sailor and brings it to part for. the other sort of suggestion and make is that central park i feel is a particularly masterful design simply because of the constraint. it was a perfect rectangle -- it is safe perfect rectangle, which is a horrible shape for a part. terrible piece of land. this was chosen to be part of a horrible wretched piece of land that people didn't want and olmstead faced with that
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constrained on top of the actual design competition had all kinds of mandatory demands, all kinds of things that had to be done as part of mandatory design element. olmsted was a terribly construing shape demand to feel achy and vox bought the best creative thinking they could to make this very constrained space have a photo, the sense of grandeur and skill. just one thing that always strikes me as you talk about a park atop a mile wide, which literally means you could never be anywhere more than a quarter mile away from civilization, rose. with the considerable who should. you can get laughs that part be in that part can really feel accurate nature. so that is my sort of -- >> i'm going to add to that argument actually is he also got
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to keep coming back over and over again. so because of a period of time, comes that. he keeps being brought in for a few questions and then sort of sent to way. take some and not all. from olmsted's to he probably would've said if he had to pick at such a purpose still his tv, and his firstborn, you know, is everything. but i figured prospect park we like to say they learned from their mistakes. so they found somebody who's going to fund the whole thing anonymous of a single question. they were able to use a lot of the team that put together. it's the other thing that's so interesting is his ability to manage -- he pointed that out in many parts of it, but managing by picking really good people who could handle the job.
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>> very true. a lot of these park designs above calling it, doing the drafting, and olmstead's case writing some documentation and then you had to turn it over to someone else, at least at central park in prospect park you could make periodic visits. when he was certain in other places, milwaukee, again he really was so dependent on the people at the ground. he had to really hope these people would do the actual part a work of designing a part. demolition of plastic box and so forth and be true of his plan because he certainly wasn't going to go to micromanage it. >> switch into that were supposed to open the questions from the rest of you. you do that prior. >> thank you.
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[applause] >> will say that you have to wait until the microphone has gotten to you. there's someone over here because this is on the television. >> thank you. your talk was so good that i'm going to forgive you for saying that sub time [inaudible] also, i would like you both if you have to comment on the idea that although olmsted was god intended. and, arguably the origin in the early years of central park not totalitarian. seneca village, take out community attached to this little village. the rules against baseball
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playing and so forth up until he cast in 1800, he wasn't very working person family. how did the origin in the early tears reflect olmstead's ideas? >> you should talk about seneca i don't know as much. >> seneca village was an african-american village had 264 people right about where across from the natural history museum in effect was where was the news when it's in many places that was raised, purchased to him that domain, but ultimately razed to make central park to the first thing is olmsted cleared eventually structures, but wasn't involved in the land acquisition driving out to people. chill puppet tom, the yankee
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great, great grandfather who bitterly help drive people off the land. but also i guess, it's a very valid argument you make. olmsted certified noblesse abeche. the sickly he felt he was egalitarian. he wanted to condescend to people who are the lower classes into their rightful entertainment diversions. i guess i say if you have to put them in the context of the time to give them credit, i feel, for intent. his intent was central park another part creations was that the speed calla turned places and spaces. he really did want that. he has specific ideas about what
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people should be doing in the parks. they should be at a time can hearing orchestras, ice-skating i'm walking around with hands behind their back looking at nature. he couldn't want them to be ravished types of things. as administrator he did a lot of signage that said things like do not annoy bird by three missiles, things like that. so i think you'll do to keep off the grass, but ultimately his intent was in the 19th century context, particularly progressively egalitarian. the other thing i would say is that the opportunity to do my research on like a whole bunch of late due to 50s accounts for central park, literally when it had just opened. what was noted by all newspapers of the day or how people of all kinds are mixing and mingling. that told me even though it was hard to get to central park for certain people, expensive for a large family to take whatever
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conveyances exist, but people managed even if nothing else some people walked. when i got there, at least according to 1850s accounts, really early in the game you have something very new. a key to people on the periphery. central park was open to everyone and even earned the in the game a lot of different people mixing and mingling. maybe not as many as there should be and may be walking with their hands behind her back as opposed to playing sports going around in the grass and so forth. the mac i also think he put kerry is supposed to central in prospect because it was a way for people to get milk because there wasn't pasteurization yet. he was a lot of social reform is very important to him. he had a friend who learned a lot about in your book, who was the children's aid society guy.
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he wanted to make healthy living for young people who are kept in terrible conditions, sometimes had to work seven -- five or six days a week. so what yankee did a lot more than anybody else who thought about doing in the public space and believed in not mixing so that he might have a place for the carriages could go and see a beautiful view. but he sought an even more beautiful view when you walk the walk that poor people could rock. i now find, was a writer that olmsted many, many years ago talked about how olmsted really wanted people to feel that any man could stand on a hillside and say to his family, and this is sorry state. so he took that sort is english
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concept and really wrote about that and felt strongly about it. so i think he did it for the good job considering. can't get to some of these people. >> just incoming admission that olmsted one central park here but was it about their design that made you doubt all of the other? >> it really stood out. it is distinctly different from the other. 33 competitors for the stood out from the others to make other regards. one of the main things that relates to what topper was saying in being able to look out and see this blogs to meet. it had a naturalistic aesthetic, which was really directly taken
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from the hudson river school. a lot of the other 32 designs in which you might call imperial parks. archways, grand foundry and olmsted felt strongly that if the part were full that it would be a constant reminder of their lowly station. they have to pass underneath arches and think what a great general or political leader is this a celebration of? for his nature, olmsted was the way belongs to everyone. part of what made the distinguished design from the other dirty to assist naturalistic design that if it's nature-based, a lot of these other people really wanted a very elaborate park. a couple other standout elements are described earlier as mandatory requirements for all 33 designs. one of the mandatory requirements for central park be
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crossed at four different spots, four different places. the other 32 contestants contented with this requirement and came up with photos crusting in arabic tango in these cramped crib plans, or you couldn't have been a meadow, and he opened this would have you. olmsted and vox came up with something transfers is that having said treating channels. you could build land bridges across the second channel set certain point and all of a sudden open up the planes. you could have some open that does come us and this of monkeys. olmsted said if you walk across the part of me wouldn't have your view of erupted. it would be traveling century family. that design element continues to work because people walking to
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central park are unaware. very close by there might be taxis and buses hurtling by. so that was one of them. and i guess enough of the commissioners to vote to recognize something transmissive brilliant motivation. i think that i actually had every thing. >> you know, the civil war is usually comes iterative nature when. and i'm thinking the way he approached his artistic life later on, whatever the challenge was, aye in rochester, chicago, milwaukee. also, the fearlessness of the chicago lagoon. you can almost say that they fredricksburg. an impossibly difficult challenge. he said i would never do that.
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do you think this is an experience you can say to this sense of what that rate is? >> that's great. i never even thought about that. olmsted is really good friends with william lebaron jimmy, the two can't be sure when, when sherman was ulysses s. grant something. they were trying to take vicksburg and came up with this crazy idea across the mississippi river on the louisiana i wanted to take the fortress city. william lebaron jimmy came up with this idea they should take trenches and send those to take vicksburg from the other side. the union troops come in an aside that weren't expected. they met during the civil war. he later was a brilliant
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engineer and if you're an engineer you could turn that into something very different. he ultimately became one of the people to build a scrapers in chicago and olmsted went to chicago and came up with the crazy looking system. i never thought of it, but it's very possible that olmsted, inspired by chase field plan to take vicksburg from the other side what to scotland came up fairly consistent. works for me. >> great talk. he mentioned the huntington river school several times. as a painter, i am curious, what their specific locations in the park or just direct quotations from things that are known for just a general sense of space? >> well, you'll like this.
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olmstead -- vox rather come as a plan for central park went on, it became necessary for the original plan to build mine ridges. it got more elaborate cd32 design bridges and archways. if you like to position the archways so that it would frame would feel like hudson river view. he never made reference to literally quoting some work by church or mac into your anybody like that. he never said i am literally this. but he designed the archways so that as your wackiness of pedestrians, you walk under and archways were maybe horses and chariots were going at the. it is what really matters he was standing as a pedestrian like a hudson river school paintings. [inaudible] >> you know to be one of the
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most exciting angst about a landscape architect is just that. you have to think about it when it going to start, when it's going to be middle-aged, when it's going to get old. to me that is the most fascinating thing about managing a 150-year-old park is what are you going back to? and how do you re-create as it stays that are so important? i mean, they still work. still when you walk through this archways, you really have to see. when i got there, somebody put a lamp post right in the middle because every 20 feet you put the lamp posts. so of course it was right in the center. i think it is a fascinating issue with landscape architecture because what do they -- you know, how do you think that way? you make a painting as an artist. you've made the painting.
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they are making a painting that is going to change and change and this on purpose going to change. so it's pretty exciting concept. [inaudible] >> -- equate the cemetery they are, which is a fascinating place. i was lucky to take a tour of the. they had no problem. they said they made a deal. >> the quakers are forced to move their cemetery out of manhattan because the sanitation issue since it's a. such as five or six years before, i'm assuming you don't know -- >> i don't knows i'm interested to hear. every six years before hand, did purchase this land. they purchased a few different pieces of land. into this in the perfect
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location. so the park was originally planned to be really just if you don't prospect part a first half of the part. and then it is going to jump across the street and be where the botanic garden in the library and museum buyer. so was this odd shape. and so they weren't in the park proper at that time. so when vox came up with this idea of let's leave flatbush avenue over there and hold the other land for institutional development because everybody's trying to push museums and essential part, they finally did have to buy that land. so they didn't buy it, they just gave them full access. so if you were to visit atrios, you would be allowed anytime of the day or night to drive go. but you better know who it is.
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last night's >> is there somebody in the back classics >> i just had a question about later in life. you mention you saw all around, that he may have a house in massachusetts. if he actually did so down at the end of the life. it is curious. >> teenage in the early 1880s for me at the opportunity. this sort was trying up in new york. he done everything he could. he done a couple masterpieces in central park and prospect park i worked on morningside park and so forth. meanwhile, circa the late 1870s, all of a sudden boston
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common sense to have the first to one park in another. pretty soon they announce they want him to do an entire series of parks. at that point he was thrilled. he really said furthermore, he was born in hartford connecticut to monitor returned to new england. but his father had recently died. when his father died when he got into the bruising estate battle with his mother-in-law. he couldn't go back to her. he suddenly appears in boston and they hire him to do the whole admiral necklace. so is pleased with the opportunity. go back to boston. same as saying 1881 and was there for the rest of his life. but you know, he moved to brookline, which is a suburb. he lived in the city, lived on a farm, was excited to move to the
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suburbs. and it was very fresh. i can live in the city and have a yard. so he bought a house that he dubbed fehr said in brookline, two acres of land surrounding it and landscaped the land just beautifully, created personal part. and fair status quo straight now. they are renovating it, but it will be open again -- the national park would be opened soon when it's renovated. you know, spent the rest of his life with her clan. he would be away from fehr said in brookline for months at a time to see when i'm late-night rails all of the country, crazily trying to attend to various commissions. the >> and then he ultimately died in a different place. >> that is straight. if you take me to speak to that,
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jack, olmstead mode designing mental institutions. it was one of his favorite types of commissions. he did a half dozen of them, including the hartford retreat, the current grounds of columbia university. make it that way you will. in a number of other different mental institutions. he vowed to defend because it was literally a therapeutic landscape at one of the many designs he did was for them to claim asylum. he first started working to sign in the 1870s and had to spend elaborate, incredible rich ideas about what he wanted to bring to this design. at the end of the life he started showing signs of what was senile dementia. might've been alzheimer's disease. he became increasingly agitated, increasingly confused and even violent. so ultimately he was confined to
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maclean, which was on the outskirts of boston. upon checking in to maclean reported that he said confound them. they didn't follow my design. last night's >> just that he was worried about. >> is not a reputed design for him. >> are their archives at fehr said in brookline? either archives that are available? and is a psycho for my life very or is it open to scholars or what? >> it is -- it is a place people go is a landscape architect. >> i think fehr said will no longer has the archives because it can't be kept as well as it should be. so the archives have been moved to an outside world for they can be kept, but you can still get to them.
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so physically i don't know where they've moved it. [inaudible] is still in the boston area. so they've moved it to an archival place where it can be those. my staff and they were doing about prospect park were allowed to go through touching things. they use spondylitis other places. would she say was your best treasure trove? >> definitely the library of congress. what we are leading to hear is the actual designs, literally the design of the park, which would've been fun for me, but given a deadline was not really the central topic. of course for a landscape architect, this is the place you want to go be able to look at literally part designs. for me what he wanted to look at what letters and notes the
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documents, part science, articles he'd written in obscure, long defunct magazine, that kind of thing. the library of congress and many different places, the five archives and library of congress, labrie at harvard, new york public library which has lost its letters and also stuff in the united states commission, the medical city had to do. the stanford archive and there was one other that slipped my mind. but those are the places to visit. and there's also beyond that. just because of how much repeated, there were seven volumes, keep onions made the papers. charles come a brilliant scholar has spent the last -- his life -- basically the best week to describe it is a lot of letters you can find in the seven volumes, which are rigorously annotated in each volume is seven or 800 pages long. i read all seven.
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but those are simply -- those are wonderful because that means you have seven volumes you can get this at your desk and referred to. those are certain papers to supplement that. you have to go to other archives to look at the paper is not published in the seven volumes. that just gives you an idea of the volume of stuff olmstead and his cohorts produced in a lab way through. >> wondrously deprivation is a retirement. >> i know he was a terrible at omnia. insomniac. >> as with as with you, and lived in proximity to refer to the sun rick's work and ryan part, which came along many decades later. i was wondering if you could say a few words about his
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relationship in terms of work with his son. >> i guess at the rate particularly, the best way to describe it is the strange division where john charles was olmstead stepson. he was a talented draftsman, but issam said that, you're not a man of genius. and so where's rick was his natural son late in life, rick was called away for the first years of his life because all set to cost a couple of children. he was so fearful that something would happen simply calling him fully. at the age of two he was christened henry. when he hit the age of seven and it was clear that bp would live to maturity, he was rechristened , frederick law olmstead junior. boy, henry to frederick law
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olmstead junior is terrible. and frederick law olmstead junior and olmstead and his 50s, and may be tears, cometh that this young boy he, olmstead was an old man and his 60s. rick went away to college. they're a wonderful letters in which olmstead demands account for his time, show us -- and for landscape architecture. and rick deflected when they simply describing a football game. he said football sabrina sport. here's a new sport you don't understand and not describe the action, touchdowns and so forth and celebratory bonfires. the interesting thing with vpc itself is parental pressure, which was unavoidable, but also had a genetic request of the vision for the cape.
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wendy's kind and thoughts i'd also pressure, he proved to be an incredibly architecture. they took landscape architecture to use number of projects such as for china. one little footnote is he dropped the junior and retired and died in 1958 you say you have olmstead starts working at central park 1850. ranked as the 1958, the chap to junior professionally so it appears he worked for 100 years. >> he was fabulous.
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>> could she say something about the context that was for public parks that olmstead designed central part in the united states and parks in europe? >> sure. well, europe had some public parks and that was certainly a point of pride. they are often royal parks that it given over to the people. there's certainly something that olmstead drew on and his experience of visiting your. in america community couple things. he did it paddocks and squares and the boston common, which you think it's from the 18 may be and is really a place where people can meet and there could be public discourse and so forth beard these are very limited in size. the main thing you had far
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really perambulating and relaxing or cemeteries. you at greenwood cemetery, not the other. you had a whole bunch of cemeteries, where people would walk around and picnic in the shade of a mausoleum. that's part of a made central park and prospect part extraordinary. so these further spaces, design flow spaces that would cemeteries, what other paddocks and squares. >> did you want to know also about one of the questions that came out of that was there is a contest for central part or did they often to enter contracts to get these design things? and a prospect park totally not. >> actually the only other context, they might've been others, but often not a contest for the various first part that
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olmstead designed for came to be known as the back bay fans. and they held a contest. the bad defense is a swamp, or by studying for her winker. the winner of the contest had a simple plan. bush's slave flower bed on top of the song. very naïve design. they quickly disenchanted with it, so this guy won the contest, paid the designer $500 for his floral park system in pdm to come in. he took a look at the this offense at this used to be a really decrepit saltmarsh, a staple of new england type of scenery. they came up for this elaborate engineering plane to return to the saltmarsh, rather than come up with an ornamental garden. that's the only other contest i can think of that olmstead was in some fashion involved in.
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>> hi, i wondered if you could comment on mary, his sister-in-law and then his wife, and the role she played in his life, some of the layers suggest he was a real partner for him in terms of the kind of shorthand he writes to her. can you fix this design? can you do this? whether it's a marriage of convenience, i'm going to marry my brother's life or love or some combination of the two clinics >> sure, and very olmstead's brother, john, died of tuberculosis. homestead actually had a flirtation with mary before john and mary married. and olmstead concluded that the a-list friendship material only. john thoma with mary.
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when john died of tuberculosis, his deathbed letter has literally fps. this is ps, delivery suffer while your life. lo and behold a few years later in central park but he was constructing, he and mary got me. olmstead dot did bury his three sons by his brother, john come including john charles who i described earlier and then he proceeded to have a number of children between them, including rick. in my read on the relationship was with a marriage. that point of obligation and also a myriad that had a lot of tragedy. they had a lot of flaws. the last children and so forth. and so, a fascinating letter that olmstead wrote, in which he talks about all this romantic language and talks about this tiny passion he felt while working on central part. he is referring to the fact that it kept him from being able to realize the part planned for
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solely as he it would be at the language he uses is so stymied romance. he married mary while working on central park that seem to be a clue to something about the relationship. i mean, i think they were collaborators. i think they had a mutual respect. they stayed together and i think they receive any form of landscape. i just don't think it was any kind of great passion. and they give us more born of publication, of sorrow. so that's my take on it. >> the other women in the whole story is his daughter. then i found fascinating. can you talk a little bit about what happened to her? the one who ended up working in the firm, but nobody knew who she was. >> yeah, it's very interesting. he ate that are, mary and, who
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was a tomboy. that is how you describe your and she lived at home. she lived in fear stand in brookline and really stayed close to olmstead and showed real interest in the work and the landscape work. there's so little documentation to be found. i felt like there is a quiet desperation story in the area because the olmstead for was called the olmstead others. for a long time as the olmstead brothers, the firm that was rick and john shares. it is good evidence based on letters and so forth it is good evidence based on letters and so forth it is good evidence based on letters and so forth it is good evidence based on letters and so forth again drafting work she was obviously involved in the business, get in a different area. it is the olmstead brothers. the knowledge midst of the contribution of the sister who
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is unmarried throughout her entire life in state affairs said in brookline. i felt like it was something i learned her about it, a glimpse of what he nested data but must've thought. he was not a constructible, the somebody finds an amazing trove of letters. this person was very much part of the olmstead turned and was not given credit. >> we talked earlier about the pressures senior put on his son when he was shape shifting so to speak professionally, his family worried, how common was that for middle-class young man and an older man to go from career to career? is a very contemporary phenomenon, looking for myself
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and sometimes i'll find me, but how common was that in the victorian area to try and get for a professional hat clinics >> i think it is really uncommon. olmstead's own father was very different and olmstead turned out to be choices children. he was a kind of comfortable harford berger who ran a check at shop and for a lot of reasons to visit very kind of quiet man who is very generous. it. in a way if olmstead had to pick a father, his father is the best person because his father was indulgent. he is emotionally expressive. he often told his son he loves and. he showed embryo affection and showed them he respected in the olmstead was lost with trying out these different professions. if father is very supportive
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emotionally and also financially very unlike the 19th century father. if feel like olmstead was somebody who i don't think what it benefited from having him arrested friday. he would've rethought more and taken longer to find himself, and they be kind and radical directions. it is a father who recognize to surrogates give him enough latitude, give them enough time to be a person is meant to be. it's a wonderful episode where olmstead is clear enough to house and her. it wants them to take all this stuff and go. he opens the true art and science just years worth the price of beans his father had stored in his tour from the very first public thinking it is to display. he said with his father died, he made a comment, but something to the effect that there's nothing
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much at this point to continue to therefore professionally. so his father was crucial in his development. >> and reading the olmstead for, i think of olmstead is possibly manic-depressive. i was wondering what was your take on that and how that informed your design. >> i think if olmstead today we took a cinematic psychiatrists couch, it would be a matter of seconds. he described a few of his same gems and you'd quickly be diagnosed, probably as bipolar. i mean, you're dead. suggest incredible manic activity. when i was reading these letters it was two people at once, exhausting to have an idea of how much he was doing.
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this is the faubus to kristin hersh in habana couch, literally doing nothing. he was asked to to him, pop mercury, which is not good for you in other types of medicines. and then he would launch back into one of these crazy periods of unbelievable activity. but in the book i resisted getting in the diagnosis. amen, i suggested that maybe in modern terms he'd be diagnosed as bipolar. i resisted giving him a diagnosis because you have to review his mental state in a context. the 19th century hide something available to him. i signed up wonderful anyways, which he was able to have fallen for towns. the best way to describe you as a rich man. if you had a fun break down, you
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could tell your employer, and having a break down, had it not up to saratoga. that would be issues about ensuring. the employer would say, olmstead is a creative dynamo and needs this rescuing fair token. okay this is best. give them a week, two weeks a month, whatever he needs. in this very different conception of what mental states where, olmstead really may have been bipolar. when i was reading it, he would spend several weeks scanning a rescue search and then would return to the road renewed and refreshed and would be a creative dynamo and we do have flooded the amazing part such as montréal, inactive genius that came on the heels at the state
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to saratoga, such as brake down, retreat from the world, give refreshed and renewed to create something masterful in today's world can be treated in a different way and maybe he would have been detained in the u.s. >> one more. >> he mentioned that he liked to write a lot and he mentioned frederic church. did he say anything about it? are they talk about frederick churches milan now? >> i guess olmstead didn't have anything to do with it. he is a relative of olmstead. they are close in age and both grew up at hartford. they don't seem to have had -- i don't have any confidence.
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i took that maybe he was a grand committee can take figure and maybe olmstead and he. given the commonality, i took the lack of relationship this may be a sign that olmstead are a bit more standoffish. they didn't want to collect too much. he was much more comfortable for whatever reason and they were very, very close friends. i couldn't tell you what vox had to do, but he did help.
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>> that's really another one along with maryann, you know, the daughter where it would be wonderful to know about whatever, the prickly distant relationship, or maybe it wasn't, but that's the existing record as i was able to encounter it. >> i think we have time for one last question. >> you said that the family -- i had a trammingic personal life with loss of children. they were loss older.
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was it illness or accidents? >> lost children a couple ways. he had a baby who he was riding a carriage through central park, this is one the most fascinating things while researching the book. they had a bible and were test driving a horse, thinking about buying a new horse, and the horse bolted, the carriage fell over, mary, his wife, was in the carriage, and she held the baby to her chest, he broke his thigh in three places, the bone jutted out of the skin, and he was given little chance of living. he recovered, of course, his liz left leg was two inches shorter than the other. the baby died eight days after the death, but mary and the father could never imagine it was too weird of a coi understand den. she holds on to the baby, and eight days later, the baby
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dies. he rarely talk about this episode, but when he did, he said the horse was bothered by flied and bolted. seventeen years, mary wrote a rem necessary sense saying he fell asleep behind the wheel, the horse bolted, and that led to this. whatever is true, i thought this is mary's perception as least, and that goes towards explaning the no so happy marriage of these two people, married, fell asleep from overwork, and that was one child in the way that child died. they lost a son also to tuberculosis. he was an adult, and he shared the same wheat constitution that his brother died of. owen dieded of tuberculosis, but
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another insisted he died of diabetes. people with tuberculosis get diabetes too. i think they felt guilt about his brother, john, died of to bushing low sis, felt guilt when owen, his charge, john's son also died of tuberculosis. you have those two children, and charlotte, another one of john's children, and she, throughout her life, was high strung, she was hysterical, and at a young age was confined to a mental institution for the rest of her life. he lost that child in that fashion. he had all this family and tragedy of friends who also died early and so forth. >> his mother, that's right -- >> his mother, when he was 3
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years old, his first memory was of his mother sewing under a tree, and his second memory was a moment in the house saying don't come into the room, and his mother died of an overdose of opium mixed in with whatever else, and she took too much of it, and what's interesting is she had just gone through a congressionalist, one of these regular con gagessal events in which she was forced to be interspecktive, and this would have been the 1830s in a new england congregational setting, and these people were forced to have terrible intraspection, and just a few months after the events, she overdosed. it's just pure speculation, but maybe it was overdose or maybe she took too much on purpose after being forced into a bout
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of intraspection. a lot of tragedy in his life. >> on that light note -- [laughter] thank you. >> thanks a lot. thanks, it's been great. [applause] >> that was justin martin on the life of fred lick. visit the authors website for more information. >> up next, booktv visited the book launch party of juan williams. they signed books and interacted with guests at l2, a private lounge in washington, d.c..
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[inaudible conversations] >> juan williams, nice to meet you, and this, my friend, is ed rogers. thank you for coming. i appreciate you doing it. very nice of you. your dad's helping me out big time, so, yeah. it's a tv camera. >> we're on tv? >> yore, it will be on c-span. [laughter] future president of the united states? >> you should write -- here, nothing wrong with being a president, and yo co put your home phone? >> is that true? >> uh-huh. >> that's good. >> do i write congressman? >> you can write congressman. >> yeah. >> i like him a lot.
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so tell me, mary, what do i say to make it special for the congressman? like something he cares about, you know? this is obviously about free speech and debate and not being politically correct. >> [inaudible] as a guy who refuses to be silent on issues you care about -- something like thatment i hope you will enjoy that. >> really, that was terrific. a man who refuses to be silenced about things that he cares about. so, this is michael rayhill. >> yes. >> from politics and prose which is washington's hometown bookstore, and pretty much every major author that comes through washington stops at politics and prose, and if they are lucky,ing have the opportunity to give a presentation and talk about
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their book, and i've done two books at politics and prose. >> excellent. >> i did "eyes on the prize there," and the "biography of thurgood marshall". we had a blessed city in the sense that so many cities are losing independent bookstores and big box bookstores, but politics and prose recently purchased by hometown people, and it's thriving, and we are blessed. >> thank you very much. we look forward to seeing you up there. >> oh, yeah, i'll be up there. thanks for coming, michael. >> thank you. >> how are you? >> good. how are you? >> he's a man with a new book coming out, "secrets of the fbi," and when that's coming out? >> two weeks. >> this is a short best seller, and has all the secrets you ever want to learn about what truly happens inside the fbi with the top source. i can't tell you the sources
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because then he's mad at me, and i don't want him to be mad at me. >> meanwhile, your book is a knockout. it's great. i'll have a story on it tomorrow, according to lee. >> according to lee? now i'm in serious trouble. >> i asked npr for comments, and they said -- >> i want to hear what they said. >> it was polite. you know. they said we're not sure which party's they are referring to, which party's he's referring to, but all the parties sponsored by npr, which could be a broad range of things -- >> you know, they are so self-conscious about their own failings, but i didn't even hit them on that. >> clearly -- [inaudible]
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not have what you want -- >> maybe they'll breakthrough. >> larry, how are you? do you know ron? >> no -- >> he runs the center for politics and journalism. he's also one the smartest people. if you ever read him. but he's a truly investigative journalist. he's the real deal. [laughter] no, i mean, a lot of people in this town pretend that they are really investigating, but he's the real deal. >> every time we go out, yeah. >> i wore my libertarian chain broker. >> get this on camera. >> unmuzzled. right here. >> can i give you -- >> unmuzzled liberty. >> looking forward to reading.
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>> larry, want me to sign this page? >> yeah, i like the ones with the title and the title page and such. and the author. okay, good. [inaudible conversations] >> you realize this means you have to sign my clouds next semester, the book. >> as a libertarian, i feel muzzled all the time in terms of the conventional wisdom in this city. [inaudible conversations] >> any time. look at you.
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>> how are you? >> you know, sometimes he says to me, she's too busy for me. i can't get on her schedule. he talk about the bible study, the exercise, and says really doesn't deserve to have a wife like you. >> oh, isn't that cute. that's my husband for you. >> one time he met a movie star, she left, and says you know what it's like to live with a beautiful woman? how high maintenance. >> not high maintenance, bow daric. >> you werpt there. you weren't there. >> but she was there, turned out. >> oh, you were there? >> he didn't she i was there. >> that's even better. >> i said, everybody was saying huh beautiful she still looked, and i said, well, i feel like i
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ought to know because i'm married to a beautiful woman, and she was there. >> it's a good thing you weren't pulling her leg or making fun. >> thank you for doing this. >> i'm excited to read your book, so thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> excellent, congratulations. >> thank you for helping me through this struggle. >> you're the man. >> virginia, how are you? >> i'm good, thank y


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