email@example.com. >> every weekend booktv offers 48 hours of programming focused on nonfiction authors and books. watch it here on c-span2. >> next, booktv attended a book launch party for syndicated columnist armstrong williams for his latest title "reawakening virtues, restoring what makes america great." mr. williams greeted guests and signed his book at the party held in washington, d.c. ..
>> just because you use bad judgment and accept responsibility for it, you still have a price to pay. you pay a price when you do things that goes into virtues and the values upon which you were reared. and so, um, from 2004 to about 2008 i was this valley -- [inaudible] and i was wondering if i would ever have my way of life back again, would there ever be media presses again.
and then i realized there was one particular morning i was lying in bed, and a light just flickered. and after four years, i had reawakened. it was just as clear as i'm standing here talking to you. something said go back to the roots, go back to the beginning. so i had to reawaken the value of truth and honesty and integrity, had to reawaken the values of physiology of success, i mean, getting back to the gym, working out, taking care of my health, making sure i was in top physical shape. but more importantly, as it reawakened the values of whether i wanted to be a journalist or whether i wanted to be some hack for the republican party. and i decided that not only did i want to return to journalism, that i wanted to return as the voice of integrity. i knew many people would question it, a lot of people would dismisme, they would call me the $240,000 man, i had lost
so much credibility, but i realized it wasn't about anybody else, it was about me. it was about my getting growned again. -- grounded again. i started with going back to church, getting back to the kinds of things that my parents taught me about honesty, about trying to be good. and, you know, sometimes being good we say these things about being good, but it's not enough. you can't just say things that you learn about being good. so it was because of this that i decided i needed to reawaken the virtues of my life to see if i could turn things around. and things started turning around. but really i realized in reawakening virtues that things weren't as bad as i thought they were. even though i lost 80% of my business, i'd managed my business well. i'd managed my money well. i did not spend frivolously. i did not have much overhead, and i did not have a lot of
debt. while i had people wanting to help me out financially, i said, no, i have to find a way to get myself out of the storm and return to the virtues that built what i had in the beginning. so i realized that all had not been lost which had been lost to me for about three or four years until i realized i had to get back to where i was. >> put that on a macro level. how do you return that to america in. >> you know, america is in if a financial crisis. america's in if a debt crisis. if you -- and many people just don't understand when we talk about the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling and our financial crisis reflects who we are as america. we spend more than we earn, we buy things that we cannot afford, and we don't want to make sacrifices. and so the united states has accumulated so much debt, it's gone from $10 trillion to $15 trillion over the last two and a half years. we keep spending, spending,
spending, and our revenues cannot keep up with it. we have to get back to fiscal responsibility. it's like having a credit card. if you max out on that credit card and you increase the debt on that credit card and your interest rates are soaring, at some point either you're going to have to pay that credit card off, you're going to have to find a way to restructure your debt, or you will become bankrupt. so we have to return to fiscal discipline. we have to return to being responsible. we get caught up in looking at television, all this materialism, but you should buy whatever you can afford. all of this started with the toxic loans during the early real estate boom where everybody thought owning a home was a right as well as a privilege. you should only own a home that you can afford. there's a lot of upkeep that many people just don't realize. and be instead of the government -- and, yeah, the government is in a financial crisis and, yes, the government is on the verge of bankruptcy. in fact, we're the 800-pound gorilla in the room when we talk about greece, it's the united
states. but the only way the united states is going to turn to solvency, return to what people are key customed to, the american people must get their financial house in order. >> and finally, armstrong williams, who's new chapter publishers? >> you know, new chapter publishers is out of sarasota, florida. chris is my editor. i wanted -- this is important, the publisher. sometimes we invest so much in our opinions and our views, we don't even realize when we're biased. so i really wanted a local editor. i didn't want a conservative editor. i didn't want somebody who had the same views that i had. i wanted to be challenged because i was rethinking everything in my life. and so i met with chapter publishers, in fact, larry klayman, you know larry klayman, he used to be with judicial watch. he made the introduction, and chris knew about my views.
and when i told him the book i wanted to write, "reawakening virtues," he said, well, it can't be a political book. you can't just beat up on democrats. i don't know if you can do that because you've been doing what you've been doing for so long. and i must tell you, i didn't realize what a challenge it it s for me to think about the criticism i had and how i was biased towards republicans. i did not hold them as accountable as i held democrats. so the first eight months was wrestling with myself, getting into the integrity and virtue of writing an honest book where people can say this is fair, this is just, this is honest, this is valid. and so chris angerman at new chapter publishers was a blessing for me because he reawakened the integrity of my writing to be fair to both sides. >> we're at a book party for armstrong williams. "reawakening virtues: restoring what makes america great," is
his latest. go enjoy your party. >> how you doing? oh, ron, how you doing? you made it! you got my e-mail. oh, my god, ron, how you doing? oh, my god. you know, i was online, right? i was reading ron's column. he did a -- it was a very interesting piece about juan williams. i was very intrigued by that article. and i was just reading what happens sometimes when you write, i get stuck and reading things. i kept reading and reading and reading, i never knew that story. i thought, my god, i've got to invite him to my book party. i sent him an e-mail, he never responded, so there he is. it's hard to write a book, find the time, and then you always agonize as people want to read you, is it right for the times. >> right. >> you've just got to let that all go. >> so you tarted -- >> two years ago. i started two years ago. >>
[inaudible] >> no child left behind. i needed to purge. there was so much i wanted to say. but then i realized in order to reclaim virtue, you start reclaiming yourself because you get lost, you know? i was looking for everybody else. once i had the premonition, no, it's within you. you've got to reclaim your virtue. and once you reclaim your virtue, then you can start living again. this is -- [inaudible] >> so the book's doing well. we hear all about it and everything. even people who don't like you like the book, they have to say that. [laughter] >> well, i didn't write a political book. i stayed away from politics. i strictly dealt with virtue. financial virtues of capitalism, savings -- >> right, right. >> you've got to stay away from politics. do you know ron kessler? >> who? >> ron kessler. he's the managing editor for -- let me introduce you. clyde told me you were coming.
you were confirmed. now, where do you live? >> i'm in new york. so i'll be at the new york book party as well. >> you will? now how do you know clyde? >> he's my lawyer. >> really? he called to tell me, he said, be on the lookout, he's coming. i said, what's that surname? >> right, right. >> so what brings you to d.c. this weekend? >> we're meeting up with, vanessa and be i we're kicking off -- [inaudible] >> a what? i didn't hear you. >> art collection. >> art collection? >> oh, you should talk to mr. bender. he's huge in art. in fact, you know that guy salinger who's in jail? >> yeah. >> that was his -- >> oh. >> yeah, he's in jail. it's a small world, isn't it? i saw deniro, that's right, last week testify against the woman who managed him, and she was selling the art. >> yep. >> yeah, i read that. yeah. >> so we were just meeting up
with some friends and clients. i mean, you know, wanted to be down here for -- >> well, i appreciate that. i thank you, thank you. >> [inaudible] >> yeah, right, keep telling me that. you've got to read the book. >> oh, yes. absolutely. >> so are you going on a national -- >> yeah. this kicks off the book party, and then i'm in new york wednesday, and then it goes from there. and i enjoy it. let me tell you, books have changed so much since my first book in 1995. the publisher would do everything. they would set up the book parties, they would set up the media interviews, they would fly you all over the country. >> right. >> basically now you -- it's a partnership. no, it's a partnership. they will publish the book, new chapters is my publisher. there's so much you have to do in terms of the book. >> right. >> publishing is not what it
used to be. i'm so glad i wrote the first book. this is the first book i've written in 16 years. >> wow. >> 16 years. well, i can only write if i feel like i have something to say. when i went through no child left behind in 2004, and i wanted to reawaken my own virtues. >> yeah. >> that's what it started with. and, you know, you can talk about writing another book, that's the easiest thing. but actually getting it done is just a huge task. it's a huge undertaking, it really is. but you should try it. >> i would like to thank all of you for coming to our home tonight. dr. ben carson and his wife candy and my husband morty and i are happy to have you in our home tonight for our friend, armstrong williams' book signing. we met armstrong a number of years ago at then our marcia and alphonso jackson. alphonso jackson was the
secretary of housing at the time. we became infriends and still -- instant friends and still are great friends today. armstrong gave me his book a few months ago. i read it. i feel that it's philosophical, it's his biography. um, i have my, some issues with some of his comments. [laughter] i won't elaborate on any of those. but the important thing what made me realize that he had something very important to say, and that is we have a really great country, and we really were great, and we really are great. but our compass broke somewhere along the line. and it needs to get fixed. it needs to get fixed both politically, it needs to get
fixed with friends and most importantly with family. i was telling armstrong today that it makes me very sad to realize how many kids today are in families that the mothers are working because they have to work. when i grew up, the only mothers that worked were those that were professional doctors or lawyers and nurses. no one else worked. but kids today, their mothers have to work to put food on the table. the other thing is those that are well educated because their mothers that get a degree and work wanted to work and didn't want to stay at home. so these kids are struggling for their identities. and it's a whole generation that's being lost. and i think armstrong's book touches on that. may not agree with everything in it, but you will agree that we're a great country.
we've lost our compass, and we need to get it back, and families need to get back to being families. so, armstrong, would you like to say something? [applause] sorry, sorry. my co-host, dr. ben carson and candy -- forgive me for not introducing you, and you introduce -- >> armstrong. well, first of all, thank everybody for coming out for this occasion. armstrong's been working on this book for a while, and it's been very exciting project. as you probably know, he -- this is not his first endeavor, in the book realm. "beyond blame" and "letters to young victims" have also been excellent publications. and now, armstrong and i have an
opportunity to talk several times a week frequently when i'm driving in to work. discussing the issues of the day, what's going on, and, you know, most of the time he's right, and the other times he disagrees with me. [laughter] so -- >> true. >> but, you know, a book about virtues is so timely in a time in which we live right now because, you know, people have a tendency to do things, you know, and to manipulate situations for their own gain, for political gain as opposed to doing things that are right. and it seems to be a part of being an american that's been lost. you know, in be 131 when alexis of turkville came to america to look at what was going on here because the europeans were just
flabber gatted at how this -- blabber gassed as how this nation that was barely 50 years old was already competing with the powers of europe, and they said that's impossible. so we've got to go over and find out what's going on. but in the process of looking at our government, they also said let's look at their schools. and they were absolutely blown away when they saw what was going on in the schools in this country. because, first of all, anybody finishing the second grade was completely literate. you could go out in the mountains and find somebody, and they could read. and they knew all kinds of amazing things. anybody finishing the fifth or sixth grade was like a college graduate today. in fact, if you want to be amazed, go look at a fifth or sixth grade exit exam from the 1800s. i doubt that most college graduates today could pass it. but, you know, but not only was there a high academic standard, but in the schools they taught
the children values. and, you know, one of our founding fathers said if you educate a person without teaching them values, you're creating a menace to society. and i think we've seen many examples of that in our society today. and i think this book that armstrong has written really addresses that issue on many, many levels. it's extraordinarily important for the time in which we live, and i'm extremely proud of this man, armstrong williams. >> thank you. prison -- [applause] >> this is an awkward place for me, but i'll make the most of it. [laughter] i'm not accustomed to being high, looking low. but i'll do my best. you know, um, i want to thank
grace bender and morty bender for opening up their home and their hearts to host this book party. and i want to thank the carsons, dr. carson and candy, for making time to be a part of this. because, you know, in washington it's a lot about theater, you know? it's about being seen. but the benders are really dear friends of mine. their son, j.b., has been our producer for the radio show for the last three years, so when you call the office and you hear that young voice, that's j.w., it's their son. so there's a real relationship here. and the carsons, um, when murray and ross and all of them at some point have stayed with me over the last few years, and we've built a real relationship. you know, it's very difficult in
life to build real relationships, to really get to know people. how we make it work with dr. carson and candy will tell you, every morning at 6:30 a.m. we're on the phone if he's in town, 6:30 in the morning. and that's easy for me because every morning at 4:30 a.m. i'm on the phone with my mother and my brothers and my sisters. that has been going on for at least 15 years. no matter whether i'm out on the country or not, i talk to my mother every day, seven days a week between 4:30 and 4:35 a.m. why? because i get to know who they are. you're so disconnected from them, when something happens you say, oh, my god, i didn't know that about my brother. i never have that issue because i'm in the constant contact with them. that was part of my upbringing, to communicate. so it's very easy for me. many of you have gotten a phone call at 5 a.m. from me. but that's how i operate. and be, you know, it's the only way i can talk with dr. carson.
he's a surgeon. he has those gifted hands. he's in the operating room at 7. so i want to talk to him, so i respect time. the virtue of time. but i want to get back to, um, the book, and i have some very dear people here in the room. shirley dade, shirley, come up, please. she's one of my marijuana editors -- main editors on the book. [applause] really just a blessing. where's murray carson? dr. carson's son. he was one -- i have been writing this book for almost two years. oh, yes, you are. he doesn't want you to see that hair, but he's going to be seen today. murray, he was very helpful with me with the book. bo who was very helpful with the editing process, and iowa marry west. these are the people. i don't go out and get professional writers. i get the best writers, the best editors, and these are the people who have worked with me for the last three years on this book to make the book possible.
>> [inaudible] [laughter] >> i'm always responsible. so i just wanted you to meet the team of people who make this possible, and you will see them all in the book, and i wanted to thank them before the c-span audience. pleasure. [applause] um, i would want to introduce you to my friend david smith, but i know he's not going to come up. right, jane? all right, thank you. and kobe is here. so let me tell you this. everybody remembers no child left behind from 2004. and there's the dog. [laughter] i must have said something to awaken his virtues. but anyhow, 2004 was no child left behind, and it was a very tumultuous -- not just a tumultuous year in my life -- oh, my god. [laughter]
yeah. oh, angela. you have to follow the spirit of the dog. the dog is trying to tell us something. but anyhow, so, obviously, i had my, my moment in the valley from no child left behind. and i was trying to figure out because i lost my way of life, i lost 80% of my business, but you know what was interesting, i never lost any of my friends. never did. my friends really dug in and hung in there with me, and normally you say you find out who your friends are, but never happened with me. kamal who's, we've known each other for 30 years. we got our real estate license together. there are and my pastor, frank tucker, that i could always go to would always give me sound advice. so, you know, my relationships never changed. and, you know, when your relationships never change, it says a lot about you, what you've really invested in if. so in if life because i've lost my way of life, i lost a lot of
money, i lost my credibility, and i also understand it doesn't matter how many books i write, how many columns i write, people will always believe that i have no credibility because i sold myself out to write about no child left behind without disclosing it. and you know the good thing about life? no matter how much god gives you, no matter how much you restore yourself to a better place, you still have to pay the price for your short comings and for falling short. that never goes away. and that's a price i will always have to pay. and so the lesson in life just because you're forgiven, you never stop paying for your sins and your shortcomings. don't ever forget that. so that will always be a mark on my history. but you know what? it's okay because life goes on. you've just got to keep living, you've got to get up in the morning, you've got to hold your head up high. you've got to keep going. you've just got to keep dealing one cinderblock at a time, just keep building. and so i realized in the
"reawakening virtues," you know, i used to be so busy writing about everybody else's problems, and it's so easy to write about everybody else. but i woke up one morning, and something reawakened in me. i can't even tell you what it was. it let me know that everything was going to be all right. what i realized i had to do was reawaken my own virtues, my virtues of truth and honesty, my virtue of integrity, my virtue of capitalism. you see, virtue starts within. if you work on yourself, the hardest work you will do 24 hours a day is working on yourself. that is the hardest work in the world, working on yourself, trying to be good. because being good is not easy. it's a very difficult process. that's why it's much easier for you to point out the problem in somebody else and not look at yourself because you don't have to work on yourself. but you want to know what i've learned over the last several years? the more i work on myself, the better the world around me becomes. it starts with you. so i didn't want to write a
political book, i didn't want to write a book bashing democrats. i was tired of that. i wanted to write a book about virtues because virtues are not black and white, they're not liberal or republican, virtues are universal truths. and so we found this publisher, new chapter publishing, out of sarasota, florida, and chris angerman who's very liberal. i wanted a liberal editor. i sought him out. and i must tell you, i never realized just how biased and how locked down i was in my political ideology that i could not even tell you what the truth was unless it were republicans, unless it was conservativism. it took me eight years -- eight months just to work out my own issues in being fair. and this is what happens to us. we get so bogged down in being a democrat, being a republican that we buy into it so much that we have no idea what it takes to get to the truth. it took me almost a year to get to the truth, things that i thought i could never see, they
made me see the light. then i began to see things in terms of truth and honesty. i began to see the issues with the republican party that i would empower. but you know the conclusion i've come to? they're all the same. because at the end of the day in order for the country to get back to where it needs to be, we have got to get back to the virtue of savings and capitalism. if you want to know what's wrong with the country, why we have this debt crisis is because you look in your own home. people spend with what they don't have. your home is just like the country. it's a corporation. you have the mother, you have the father. you have children. those children while they're assets, they don't bring any revenues in the house household, so they're all little debts, all little corporate debt that you have. >> major debts. >> yes. major debt. and what you have to do is sit down with your spouse and set a budget because you realize no income will be generated by those -- and guess what?
they will be with you for almost 18 years that you've got to calculate that debt. but imagine you have that debt, that debt continues to come, and you keep spending more than you have. while you make $150,000 together, you're spending $250,000 a year. and then you say to somebody, god, i've got to -- i'm just overleveraged. i need to go to someone to increase my debt ceiling. can i get an additional $500,000 to work with? i know the interest rate is high, i'm going to pay it off. but imagine that accumulates over 10 or 15 years. imagine what's going to happen. you're going to go bankrupt. you can't pay it. you're going to lose your home. you're going to lose your way of life. it's going to impact everything, especially your kids. so americans are living beyond their means. they don't want to sacrifice. well, i want to get this ice cream cone. no, maybe i should sacrifice that ice cream cone. it's just that simple. i don't need to go to europe, maybe i should go to a farm. maybe i should do something different. we're not willing to sacrifice. it's easy for me to sit and
criticize the people in the white house and the people in congress, but it reflects who we are. and money and materialism has replaced god in our lives. we've got to get back to the virtue of the sabbath. and what do i mean? we have got to find time to be alone with god. we find the time to be alone with our money, we find the time to be alone with our toys, but we've got to find time to get back to being alone with our creator. so we can redefine who we are, get back to the essence of what once made america great. virtues. honesty, hard work. we don't need the government to tell us to be charitable. we don't need the government to tell us -- we know how to take care of our neighbors. and people, you know, they bash the rich. it's not the issue about the rich. and i believe the rich, they give. the haves, they give. the issue is that there are a percent of the people in this
country that don't pay taxes, so the other 53% is carrying that 47%. i believe in virtues that everybody should pay the same. it should be 10% across the board. everybody should have skin this the game. that's not black or white, it's just the way it is. and the problem is not everybody is pulling their weight in this country. and there's got to be shared sacrifices. everybody must suffer in this economy. everybody. no one will be left unscathed as we go true these very tough times -- through these very tough times. but you've got to make the sacrifices whether it's entitlement programs, whatever it is. whether it's the pentagon, whether it's the wasteful spending in congress. and they're all the the same, they're like drunken sailors who just keep kicking the bucket to the next party, and our children will be the ultimate ones to pay the rice for it. -- price for it. we have got to get ourselves out of debt. and you cannot increase the deficit from 10 trillion to 15 trillion over two and a half -- you can't live that way. and then the problem is foreign countries own our debt.
look in your own home. if, and i believe this because i know -- if the government managed its household the way you manage yours, i think america would be a better place. we've got to get back to the virtues of capitalism and saving. and what do i mean by savings? it's a great lesson that my mother taught me. when the bill would come in, my mother would pay it immediately. she would pay it immediately. just because you make money here, you may make a lot of money this year, there maybe a drought next year. put something aside. you never know when hard times are coming. you can't spend like every day is going to be a blessing because all you've got to do is go back to the virtues of the bible. you've got to learn to save money. you never know when your storm is going to hit. you never know when you're going to have a medical crisis or a crisis with your children. you've got to have financial discipline. and then the other thing is as we talk about, um, the crisis it's not the end of the world. you know, my crisis may have
been no child left behind, and, you know, for all practical purposes not only did i survive it, god has blessed me tenfold over. i can't tell you why. there are a lot of people who serve god and believe like i do and have just as much to show for it. everybody's different. not everybody wants the same thing. while we may be created equal, we don't make the same choices. there's a price you pay when you don't have a father in the household. it's not a criticism of women, but children are much better when they have a mother and a father. and if you don't, if you think a father is a luxury today, you're kidding yourself. i cannot be the man i am today if it were not for my father. for us to believe that you don't need a father in the household is lunacy. and what we begin to believe is to tell us what we don't need. and the virtues of motherhood, of being mothers. if we get back to the virtues of motherhood. i write the things that brought me to the precipice of success, but then i lost that. and be i realize if i just get
back to simple things -- hard work, discipline, sacrifice, respecting time. so anybody in this room will tell you if you have an appointment with me at 12, i will be there at 11:45 a.m. because i respect time. that's just the way i operate. you've got to respect time because it's the one thing you cannot get back. you can never get time back no matter how hard you try. you have to respect the virtue of time. i really encourage you to read the book because the book is not about me. it's about what works. from the beginning of time, more absolutes -- i don't care what anybody tells you -- will always be absolutes. and whether you believe it or not, we all have some kind of struggle. somebody may be struggling with breast cancer. when you struggle with diseases, terminal diseases, you learn things about yourself that you never knew before. you learn how to tight to live. it may be a financial crisis. but everybody faces a crisis. but a crisis is a blessing
because you really learn who you are when you're in the fire, when you're tried by fire. what rupert murdoch is going through, the bottom line is it will test his character in a way it has never been tested before, and you will see whether or not the phoenix will rise out of the ashes. i think about my friend, david smith, what he went through with sinclair broadcast, came back better than ever. because you know what? the talented ten will always rise to the top. and you've got to look at the virtue and the value of you and realize from which your strength come from. doesn't come from your dollar. doesn't come from your marriage. it comes from the deeds that you do when nobody else is looking and the moral choices that you make every day that make your life better which, ultimately, make the lives better around you. i want to thank you for coming, i want everybody to go out briefly in the heat because i want to -- and thanks to the benders and the carsons. they wouldn't dare allow you to buy a book today.
they said, just no way. they pray for the book themselves. candy and dr. carson, morty and grace, the books are all paid for, okay? mass -- [applause] and i'm grateful. [laughter] let me tell you, i'm grateful. but i want to thank you for coming. but reawaken your virtues, you've got to reawaken the virtues in you, you know? no matter how blessed you have, no matter how fortunate you are, you could spend 20 years building something, and you can lose it in this a flash. and the last thing i want to say is the virtue of friendship and relationships. you've got to take care of your relationships. not when you want something, not when you need something, you've got to take care of your relationships. and if there's one thing i would think i'd do a very good job at with my relationships because they are very important to me, my relationships, i think i picked up the phone and called about 70% of the people in this room to make sure -- because i really wanted you to be here. it was really important to us that you come because we want to
not just reawaken the virtues in this room, but we need to reawaken the virtues of this nation and get this country back on the track of financial solvency, get rid of the issues like race and class. because you know what? we're all going to die. and when you're on your death bed, the last thing you're going to be thinking about is your empire or how much money you have. you're going to be trying to save your soul. i remember as a child, and i'll close with this. one of the things that was really always with me as a child. my parents were so obsessed with this thing called heaven. they really believed that there was a heaven. they really believed that there was a life beyond earth. they used to tell me there's no more sickness, there's no more sorrow, there's no more sadness, there's no more hurt, there's nothing but joy. now, as a child you imagine a place like that, does it really exist? and even though my father passed away and on his death bed he was talking about this city called heaven. but he said, boy, you know how you've got to get there?
you've got to live right. you've got to do good. you've got to be honest, you've got to have integrity even when it means you lose. so for me as a gambling man, and i take risks, as a gambling man what do i have to lose if i bet on that there's this place called heaven? that if i die tomorrow that i can lift my eyes, and there's a place where i have no more problems. can you imagine that? no more problems in the world. i can't lose on that bet. so my ultimate bet is in life no matter what i do, in the back of my mind every day i say aye got to work on -- i've got to work on armstrong today because i really think mama was on to something. even if i'm wrong, i don't lose. you know, everybody talk about it, especially when there's a crisis. but as a child, that was my obsession, trying to get to that city called heaven. and to get to that city, there's a certain way you have to live. and there's a certain way you have to give. and there's a certain way you have to conduct yourself. and if we get back to having a goal not just the lofty goals of
materialism on earth, but if you really believe that you can be free of all these things that you can live the rest of your life in peace, i don't know about you, but i want to get there. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] is it cy? [inaudible conversations] >> thank you so much. >> ron. you should sign away your name. >> thank you. >> oh, my goodness. pastor, pastor. you know, you're in this book. you know about that place called heaven, don't you? >> yes, sir. [laughter] >> it's true, isn't it? >> you got it right. >> huh. >> you were doing preaching up
there today. [laughter] >> hey, jim! i was wondering where you were. come on, man, gotta move this line. >> thanks, armstrong. i'm tim landis. actually, i'm gigi's friend. thanks again. >> somebody bring me a paper towel, please? >> i have to say good-bye. >> i haven't signed your book though. >> talk to you soon. >> let me sign your book. >> yes. see, i'm not going to even tell you what you said. that's all you said? that's okay. [laughter] stop, stop. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> see you on the show this week. we look forward to it. >> i hope so. >> this was a book party for armstrong williams hosted by morty and grace bender in their washington, d.c. home. for more information on armstrong williams, visit his web site at rightside within wire.com.
>> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> california heat shake mohamed is about 4 years old at the time. his father dies. and i search for the death records. apparently, his father died in 1969, and the kuwaitis simply department keep records of -- didn't keep records of foreigners. it just wasn't interesting to them. so we have this account of his father's death that's very sparse. there's really no official transcripts to back it up. his father dies, and there's no
welfare state. there's no organized charity. in kuwait for foreigners at the time. so his mother takes a job of washing the bodies of the dead. female bodies of the dead and preparing them for burial. it's a very low status, low-income job, but it enables her to the eke out a living. at the time she has nine children, khalid sheikh is the fourth male. years pass on, and khalid shake is doing very well at school. he's a good student, somewhat bookish boy. and the family decides that not -- they can't, they don't have any money at all. that they need to just back one son to get an education. and that one son, this is typical in arab families of this period of time, would support the rest of them. and that son is khalid shake. and they sent -- ultimately, he applies to school in north
carolina, an historically baptist school in murfreesboro, north carolina. and either the family has saved some money, or more likely the muslim brotherhood of kuwait has agreed to sponsor him. he had joined the muslim brotherhood after two of his older brothers had joined at age 16. so he arrives in america at roughly 18 years old, and he's unprepared for what he sees. i interviewed the man who picked him up at the airport outside of virginia beach who drove him to more freeze borrow. and what he -- more freeze borrow. and what he remembers, this is years later, but the memory he remembers is khalid sheikh being surprise bed by what he saw -- surprised by what he saw. personally, he's surprised by the geography, the intense greenery. when you see trees in kuwait, they're usually behind walls privately owned.
here there were just tree everywhere. but more offputting than the trees were the people and what they were doing. they were sitting in lawn chairs on their front lawn visible from the road. they were grilling out, playing with their kids, taking a hose to the bushes outside the front window. but what surprised him was so much of american family life happening this public. and this is not the kind of thing that would happen in the arab world. and the more time he spent in north carolina, the more he was persuaded that american were really backward. they did things that should be private in public, they trusted each other very quickly, and can they didn't go out at night. after dark is when most social occasions would happen in kuwait and in many arab countries, but in the united states, in murfreesboro at the time, 1983 ooh, -- '84, there was one pizza
parlor. no bars. that parlor closed at 9:00. the town was asleep. so far from the night being alive and social and friendly, it was as silent as the tomb. it was the day when americans were busy. so he became more and more alienated by america because it wasn't an arab country. now, these are, you know, very small observations, these things by themselves do not make him a terrorist. but it does set him at odds with the country. there's nothing that the university did other than make him attend chapel service that made him part of its larger community. and, in fact, one of the things i learned in writing "mastermind" was really there's nothing our civilian colleges do to integrate foreign students, to explain this country to them. we take it for granted that everyone knows these things. when the fbi searched the car of the 9/11 hijackers left behind at dulles airport, they found a
small spiral-bound notebook, and in very careful arabic script there was a description explaining the differences between shampoo, conditioner and body wash. we think we're easily understood. but from another culture, another time, yeah, it's -- we're puzzling. maybe an explanation is in order for foreign students. so naturally, ksm spent most of his time in college with not just other arab students, but other kuwaiti-arab students. he didn't even mix with the non-kuwaiti arabs. after a semester he transfers to north carolina a and t. here he studies engineering, his social network is limited to about 15 or 20 people, all of whom are muslim, all of whom are kuwaiti-arab. but he merges as someone who's
known on campus as a mullah. technically, he's not a mullah, but what they mean by that is he's an enforcer. he makes sure that the other students in his group do not violate these very small, very obscure ten ends of islamic law or what they believe to be islamic law. for example, you know, the cuff of your pants can never cover your ankle. it is forbidden ever to wear shorts because they expose the knee and so on. so even when they would go to the gym and work out, they would be fully covered. enforcing all these differences kept them apart from the american college campus. i met a number of people, almost a dozen in fact, who went to college with ksm who remember him. and, by the way, they mostly remember him fondly. he was a comedian, he was a member of an informal student troupe known as the friday tonight show where they'd put on plays and skits, very successfully and apparently very humorously imitate variety arab
leaders. but his audience was those other 20 kuwaiti-arab students. he didn't, i couldn't find anyone who wasn't a kuwaiti-arab who was a muslim who knew him well in school. his lab partner just remembers him as a person who had very broken english. his professors remember him being very good in math and science. but never had a single substantive conversation with him about anything that didn't involve molecules and formulas. so he was in north carolina for almost four years, but he came into contact with americans on a very glancing basis. it's as if you are changing planes in a strange city, and you walk through the airport. have you met the people of, say, cincinnati? not really. you've passed by them. that's what he did in, basically, four years. he self-isolated himself, and he policed the borders, the perimeter, the social perimeter to limit contact with americans.
but sometimes events intervene. and one of the things i learned which was a surprise to me was that he had a criminal record in the united states. i'm surprised that other investigators, even the government didn't turn this up. but he liked to drive at high speed with an expired driver's license, and he would sort of roar through the streets of greensboro and other parts of north carolina, maybe he saw too much of "the dukes of hazard," i don't know. but he would occasionally crash. one day two women are talking in a parked car -- some urgent confidence that couldn't go on in a living room, i imagine -- when their car is smashed by khalid sheikh mohammed. their injuries are so severe they sue him. i found a copy of the lawsuit. their last name, by the way, is christian. the lawsuit is christian v. mohamed. [laughter] ultimately, they win the case. he is -- they are awarded more
than $10,000 this 1995 -- in 1995 which is a substantial sum of money at the time, so their injuries were fairly severe. he never pays. he dodges the sheriff, he flouts the law. but i talked to their, the christian women's attorney, stephen j. teague, and he remembers ksm bursting into his office with a translator and a small posse of other arab students to lecture him about the iran/iraq war and why america's wrong about israel. israel turns out to be a very important point in his radicalization. more so than i would have thought. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> you're watching booktv here on c-span2. here's our prime time lineup for tonight. starting at 7:30 eastern syndicated columnist mark stein argues that the united states is on the verge of losing its status in the world and discusses why we should all get ready for armageddon. at 8:30 from the 2011 los
angeles times festival of books an interview and call-in program with hustler magazine publisher larry flynt and columbia university professor david eisinback. they're the authors of "one nation under sex." then at 9 eastern, "after words." and at 10 p.m. booktv attends a book launch party for be columnist and radio host armstrong williams, author of the recently published "reabackenning virtues." that all happens tonight here on c-span2's booktv. >> booktv is at the publishers' annual convention in new york city looking at some of the upcoming fall 2011 books. basic books and nation books are well represented here. they are part of the perseus book groups, and we have joined by the publisher of basic and nation books, john sherer. john sherer, there are three books coming out this fall that
i wanted to ask you about, and i wanted to start with the thomas sow well reader. >> right. so thomas so well is a libertarian economist who works at the hoover institution at stanford. publishing with basic for almost 40 years now, does a lot of books on economics, history, social issues, politics. what we're doing this fall is a thomas sowell reader which we hope is going to be a one-volume introduction to the really remarkable array of subject areas that he's written about so people who haven't wanted to endug in the 600 pages of basic economics can have this turnkey to get into the really remarkable array of subjects. so we think it's kind of a career-encompassing volume and a good way to introduce yourself to dr. sowell. >> will he be going on tour? >> he does do some interviews, so we're going to try to get some key interviews for him. >> another book that's coming out by basic, or is it nation
books? >> nation, right. >> "the interrogator." >> right. glenn carl went to these so-called black sites, and i'm really not at liberty to say exactly where it was, but he was one of the people that interrogated one of the highest value targets that we had captured after the attacks of 9/11. and he participated in the, in the interdpaitions, and you can see that the manuscript was reviewed by the publications review board at the cia, and they thought -- >> and you're leaving that in? >> we thought it'd be good to leave it in because we thought it was important for people to know what's at issue here. it's subtitle. ed an education because when he started this process, he was a firm believer that interrogation would get us the results we needed, and he came out with a very different take on it. obviously, with sort of the discussions about the capture or killing of bin laden, this has become highly relevant again.
>> there's one more, and that's richard burke heiser's latest book on james madison. >> he's done a number of books on the founding fathers. in fact, he can be sort of credited or blamed, however you want to look at it, for the recent resurgence in founding fathers. james madison's a very interesting character. he was, obviously, the father of the constitution and a co-writer of the federalist papers. but he also was sort of the founder of modern politics with jefferson. he founded what was then called the republican party but is now the democratic party. >> john sherer, you publish both basic books and nation books. we've talked about two conservative authors and nation books would tend to be on the liberal side, i guess. >> that's right. >> is that -- what's that like, being the publisher for thomas sowell and nation books? >> it's rewarding. we tend to be agnostic politically. we want authors who are
idea-driven, and you actually find that the publicity is very similar. as long as people are doing in the field of ideas, a very consistent kind of publishing actually. >> when it comes to the so-called transition that publishing is in now with e-books, etc., how does that affect your day-to-day life? >> it's been, i think it's been interesting. the publishing business was very stable for the first 15 years that i was in it, but mostly it's been useful. i think it helps us to keep the supply chain of books more readily available, and i think in general it's a very good thing. >> basic books, nation books. john sherer is the publisher. >> what are you reading this summer? booktv wants the to know. >> well, i always read in the summertime and really throughout the year, but summertime's a great time to read because you get to catch up on stuff you've been wanting to read. and one book i just got through finished with which is "too big to fail," and that's by sorkin. very good book.
this book kind of details the financial crisis of the last few years. i've read a lot of books on this very same topic, things like "the big short" and "financial shock." there have been a whole number of other titles. but this is the last one i read, "too big to fail." and it's a book that kind of details the series of events that led to the financial collapse starting from the early roots of the crisis which were worn in subprime lending, ninja loan, no income, no job type loans and how people actually made money selling those. and those mortgages were sold on the idea that they would be able to refinance. but, of course, when the housing market flattened and went down, that became impossible. it goes into a lot of detail. it's actually a fascinating book. i really enjoyed reading it. of course, i'm on the financial
services committee, so i kind of lived it, but it was actually really fascinating to see this take on it. i also have read henry paulson's, hank paulson's book on the financial crisis as well, so this is an area that i really want to become a much better student of, and this book helped me do that, "too big to fail. " and another book that i'm reading right now, and this is a book that i'm just about done with, is allah, liberty and love. she's a good friend of mine, and i admire her willingness to question tradition and convention. and she promotes this islamic ideas which is inquiry, questioning. and at a time when you find some people who offer ideas based on
tradition and just precedent and what has happened, she's one who says, no, there's this other tradition of inquiry -- excuse me -- and questioning. and her book, basically, is, you know, talking about how the modern islamic world, um, has an opportunity to really incorporate ideas of liberty and freedom. and as we look at the arab spring, you know, there's no doubt that the book she's writing is actually an important perspective because that's exactly what the people in tahrir square and the tunisia and in all over the region are saying, you know, that they believe that they can have their faith, and they can have liberty. they don't have to live under authoritarian government. and she is one who's really raising some important questions. so, um, i, you know, i really --
you know, reading is a huge part of my life. i do it all the time, and i'm sure i'll be done with this book in probably a few hours or maybe even quicker than that. but then i'll be on to something else next, and i've always got a bunch of books in the queue. i've got a bunch of books i'm ready to read, it has to do with the history of goldman sachs, the investment firm. and that's in the line of these other books i've been reading about the financial crisis. and i just got a whole list of other books that are sitting up there, and i'm getting ready, getting ready to crack 'em open. actually, hopefully, in august i hope to reread a few books too. you know, there's a book i read years ago called "100 years of solitude," and i love that book. and i just kind of think that during -- if i get my vacation in august, i'm just going to crack that book open and be read
it. i also got a book on the history of the ottoman empire which i also want to read. so those are not yet being read, but i hope maybe to get to them. >> tell us what you're reading this summer. send out a tweet -- send us a tweet@booktv. ♪ >> coming up next, booktv presents "after words," an hourlong program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week freelance journalist jay bahadur and his first book "the pirates of somalia." he exposes the motivations of high seas hijackers some of whom made international news in 2009 and later the murder of four retirees who were sailing around the world. mr. bahadur discloses how he made his way into the pirates' inner circle and what he believes can be done to stop them. he talked