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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 9, 2011 7:15am-8:30am EDT

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then he said he didn't read the book. i don't know where you go with it. the reality is it is a very true story. he meant to have sex on moon rocks because he wanted to be having on the moon. jet had a problem with that with me saying he just put them under the mattress. but that's not true. he did this on purpose. so i used the facts but i tell it in my style. in some people like it, some people don't. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> next on booktv, amanda smith recounts the life of cissy patterson, the 20th century's first female publisher and editor-in-chief of a metropolitan newspaper. this is about 45 minutes. >> thank you very much. if it's all right with you i thought i would read from a few
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passages from the book and explain to you a little more about who cissy patterson was and then i would be happy to take questions. so, this is from the prologue, overview of her. it opens with the family motto, when her grandmother gets raped, put on the front page, editorial standard. our patients have come to breaking point, december 11, 1941. a plan prepared by president roosevelt has been revealed in the united states. according to which his intention was to attack germany by 1943 with all of the resources at the disposal of the united states. but this declaration of war that afternoon, hitler did not awaken the sleeping american giant. rather, the fear took the first
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at reggie vision after discovering the preparations for battle. having long suspected to be insane and particularly despicable president of the united states promoting quote the work of hatred and war mongering throughout the world, hitler had been presented with what he took the refutable proof that his trust had been justified. he was not alone in questioning the sincerity of the presence long expressed a willingness to untangle the united states abroad. away before the german declaration of war, eager to galvanize isolationist sentiment nationwide, two of the most anti-administration members of the american press had published in chicago and washington newspapers what appeared to be confirmation of their own fears that president roosevelt was
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laying the united states into war with germany. this monumental scoop not only consisted of excerpts of the leaked top secret rainbow five play, the army and navy joint test with that yes, it should be ready to launch an assault on germany by nature 43 but perhaps even more damning a copy of the presidents own letter ordering the assessment. the german embassy wasted no time in cabling a copy of these revelations. on december 4, 1941, a week later hitler would bark that despite his many peacemaking efforts to recently published proof of roosevelt sneaking pollutants towards germany left them no alternative but to declare war on the united states. on december 14, 1941, the german high command would present the furor with his radical reassessment.
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in november 1946 nearly half a decade after the "washington times-herald" rainbow five resolutions have been cable to berlin, one day the movies was get around. earlier that fall governor paterson have been selected to fill the void left by the recent death of her brother as chairman of the board of the "new york daily news." after launching the daily news in 1919, joe patterson had made not only the united states first viable tabloid but the newspaper was the largest daily circulation of any in the nation. the largest sunday circulation of any in the world. the choice of the late publisher sister had not been a sentiment one. her in her own rights she was already own and publisher of the most widely read daily nation and nation's capital, called by
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many the damnedest newspaper ever to hit the streets. according to popular journalistic axiom the pattersons like a first cousin, colonel robert redford mccormick, their grandfather, and joseph medill have been editor in chief and eventual principal owner of the "chicago tribune." from the tense years immediately preceding the civil war until his death in 1899. by the mid 1940s under nearly three decades of colonel mccormick's acrimonious and i roosevelt isolationist direction, the tribune had grown in both worlds widely and certainly full-size daily in the nation. eleanor patterson as both the youngest and the only girl for a generation among boys had been her grandfather's darling. as such she inherited his portraiture of tribune company stock and a considerable fortune. bypassing eleanor roosevelt, bess truman, clare boothe luce, dorothy schiff, emily post, and
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every other prominent american women of the 1940s, with her patrimony, her own attainment and her latest accolade, quote cissy patterson, nobody calls are eleanor, is probably the most powerful woman in america. it added and perhaps the most hated. so cissy patterson was as i said, the daughter of chicago, and she was born in 1881, as a woman born in the late 19th century she had no expectations getting a job or going into the family business at the tribune. so she did what young heiresses typically do at the turn of the 20th century, and she married one of them fashionable so-called international men, in her case a very handsome but sort of devious count called joseph you just give, wasn't ethnic goal like growing up in vienna. whose ancestral states were in
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the ukraine. she had been warned by her family that he was one of her mother's friend put it, an infamous bad egg. it turned out to be much worse. she went to live with them in his castles in the ukraine, which were in need of repair. he married an american heiress in hopes that she would provide the funds to do that. and to allow him to buy a fox hunt. among other things. find that her parents cut him off. that's when the count became violent and started beating sissy. she finally left him just shy of the fourth anniversary. she took the two and a half year-old daughter with her but the count followed eventually and kidnapped little girl and held her for ransom for two years until she was almost four.
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in the meantime the pattersons and their cousins, the mccormick, were so well-connected, her uncle had been the american ambassador in vienna and as result he had connections at the russian court. so the family was able to prevail upon the present have, and old republican friend, and the czar of russia to put pressure on the count to return the child eventually. she came home with her daughter and after going through a lot of trouble, entering a lot of anxiety, spending a lot of money to get the little girl back, cissy in fact ignored her and she grew up sort of neglected and cared for by nannies, one of them actually abused her. and 60 by that point had become sort of victorious. she tried her hand at acting for a while and like force where they went to live. gave that up for writing novels,
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and wrote to quite successful novels. one of them about an american girl who married a russian count, a russian prince actually in the novel. but cissy ended up getting up writing novels because she really wanted to be in the newspaper business. so her family had given her much a chance to do that. but in the meantime her brother, joe patterson went on to find the "new york daily news," and her cousin bert mccormick had come to the floor of the "chicago tribune." i don't imagine i could tell chicagoans anything they haven't heard about colonel corman, but joe patterson may be a less emotive figure, although he seemed to be the heir to a large newspaper fortune, he was at the turn-of-the-century and devout socialist and a member of the socialist executive. although he was still an avid polo player.
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he had been sort of estranged from his family but came back into the tribune fold. when he and his cousin ran the tribune, they made a lot of innovations that hadn't previously been seen in american journalism. so i will read you a little about the collaboration. india 1909 i was accustomed -- one day a friend told me there's a man in the hot rum, evidently intoxicated. this son approved to be none other than the newspapers treasurer who robbed and one's father -- cissy patterson's father. in february 1909 as joseph medill's all republican party began its lavish commemoration of the centennial of lincoln's birthday wish it would credits
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of world's greatest newspaper, joe patterson navigating to grow his more extreme views, had been welcomed back into the tribune fold as secretary. in march 1911 the competition between the local morning papers evolves into a skirmish. the tribune's board of directors named joe patterson as chairman and bert mccormick recently voted out of district presidents fight democratic landslide acting president and chief executive officer. in 1914 they became the joint publishers can't find a shared responsibly for the tribune with a written so-called ironbound agreement lasting until we were both dead. they're diametrically opposed outlooks notwithstanding, is almost unprecedented personal and journalistic collaboration between the patterson and mccormick's would prove to be surprisingly harmonious for a decade and a half. it's inventive genius is hereditary. bert mccormick would later reflect. i got it from the mccormick site.
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none of the motels new a fence along more. the cousins play to their strengths. born to understand why people behave as they do, why they laugh and cry and hate and love, why they by some newspapers and ignored others. as his daughter went on to publish the long island newspaper put it. joe patterson revolutionized the content of his father's tribune while bert mccormick launched a technical and mechanical metamorphosis. and initiate the process of vertical integration. to this end or begin acquiring huge virgin tracks of timberland in eastern canada, constructing paper mills in qu├ębec and ontario and assembled a fleet of vessels to transport the newsprint to the great lakes to the tribune, press is in chicago. under just ended the tribune features, advice, health, beauty and child-rearing columns, crime and divorce reporting, comic strips expanded influence. he demonstrated an affinity to
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the comics and contribute to the creation of a number of the tribune's most popular sunday offerings. nelly patterson, their mother, don't be such a gulf. so familiar to them throughout their childhood. would lend his name to the strip is at an joe patterson overseen. the gums. would grow to adulthood in old age over the decades almost in real-time before readers eyes. this relies escapades of patterson's other cartoon brainchildren, and later their younger siblings, the working girl, detective dick tracy, and little orphan annie, attracted and held a loyal affectionate
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and ever-growing following. joe patterson at 1050 transform the sunday tribune into a sort of comprehensive magazine of such a wide and friday agreement is that eventually its readership would take no other publications. the tribune begin paying the highest journalistic salaries and often the unprecedented benefits of medical insurance, sick leave, credit, death benefits, pensions and dental care to its employees. to streamline day-to-day decision-making and operations, the cousins split their duties but the tempered socials alternating and role of publisher on a monthly basis with his conservative cousin. only love and war would threaten the ongoing successes. so with the bird and joe, in the newspaper business, since he decided she wanted to go into publishing, two. but there was no outlet hard to do that. in the meantime one of the tribune's great rivals, was of course william randolph hearst. and when he made, when hearst made his first in the midwest,
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as you know, the result was, people actually died into circulation wars of the 19 tens. hearst in a gesture was to seize his mind gallons, very irritating to her brother and cousin, offered a cissy the chance to for start writing for the newspapers. and he gave her the chance to actually edit is "washington herald," which was running fifth in the six paper washington market in the late 1920s. so cissy had had a number of boyfriends after her second marriage. several of them who were legendary newspaperman. walter how he was in particular, very colorful character. who is the model for the main character in the play the front
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page. and one of the lieutenants is famous for creating huge circulation gains. so at the help of her brother and cousin and hearst and a number of hearst's deputies, economist called arthur brisbane who is often credited or faulted with creating yellow journalism, she took the helm of the "washington herald" in august 1930. and during her tenure, when she first arrived in the herald city room, it was filled with old hearst curmudgeons who were skeptical to say the least about the arrival of a woman at the helm. and i think hearst attitude towards it was maybe it will work, and if nothing else it's a publicity stunt to have a woman added a major metropolitan newspaper.
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and it was sometimes said in the press at the time cissy was the first woman editor of a major metropolitan newspaper in american history. that wasn't actually the case, although there hadn't been any women at the helm of american newspapers for so long that i guess they've been forgotten about at that point in cissy was reported to be the first one. so cissy started up, and she immediately started making some changes to the hearst formula. one of which was to try to focus on local news, which hearst had resisted, but which he graduated. and one focus of her life in washington was that she'd been very social engineer a lot of gossip. and so she initiate a lot of gossip columnists. and she also would, somebody like and idiot the day when i was talking to them, she was the 1930s equaled to blogging but she would often use the front page signed editorial box on the
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front of the herald, most of the time to attack some and she was angry at. one of them was her old girl had frenemy, teddy roosevelt's daughter. the effect of these box editors offer and very general changes to the paper was that within six years yet double the paper circulation and had made it by far the morning leading paper in d.c. at the same time william randolph first was certain to go into bankruptcy. yet overextended himself. and cissy happened to have a lot of cash on hand, and with hearst mistress, marion davies, they loan hearst about a million dollars when we can so we could meet payroll for next week. and that sort of indebted him to her. and when his financial advisers were trying to unload some of his newspapers which was understandably very upsetting to
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hearst, he didn't want to part with them. hearst newspapers are not for sale in any sense. but his economic reality forced him to sell. and so, cissy bought not only the herald from him, the paper should in editing, but also his evening paper, the "washington times." and merge them in 1939. one reporter to scribes the merger as electric, and that washington went from like a trout to apply. and so one of the interesting things about cissy's time here was this was the paper that was described as being the damnedest paper to ever hit the streets. and she had the bright idea to personal make it a very locally focused paper but also to use the irresistible elements of the tribune, "new york daily news" syndicate alongside the hearst syndicate items.
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and associate taken these two elements that were usually at odds, or if not at war, put them side-by-side and created her own sort of irresistible mix. the washingtonian at a time as a sort of guilty pleasure of people might not admit that they read it at the circulation statistics don't apply. it was by far the leading paper throughout the end of the new deal. and write to the war until her death in 1948. so this is a small description of what she did at the times herald. although cissy patterson's times herald show that isolationism of the other family newspapers, prompting charges of the existence of a mccormick patterson access, from both viable press outlets and the roosevelt administration, it did not show their ownership structure. were as the tribune effectively on both the "chicago tribune" and the "new york daily news,"
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cissy alone owned the times herald. a sole proprietor, the redhead who according to one veteran reporter sport and equipment editor and a temper to match, had no board of directors, no trustees, no stockholders. as her editor, frank put it, she owned the "times-herald" and quote exactly the same way in the legal sense but as she owned to close and her houses. she wore it and ran it that way. everyday we rest her entire property and a very stubborn act aact as publishers say they enjy none of the protection that the corporation of the paper would have afford to resolve the "times-herald" led the capital newspaper market that only in circulation and revenues but also in the number and size of libel judgments rendered against it. cissy paid out of her own pocket as she -- the civil dockets of
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the district limit from the 1940s are as much a testament to her devil may care attitude toward defamation, as the new deal of truck drivers and hustlers and complete their appointed rounds. whatever or whoever might stand in the way. other vehicles, pets, elderly or children. in her constant efforts to keep the paper editing and to boost circulation, cissy held a beauty contest, giveaways and publicity stunts. at her insistence or members of her personal staff began writing for the paper. a culinary column ghostwritten, appeared on the byline of cissy scope, rebecca. and antecedent i guess to over in that way. to renewed astonishment of the old hearst grew, the equine, sometime bar manager proved to be extremely popular in the capital, situate as it was between the maryland and virginia horse country's.
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it was cissy's own contributions they gave the paper much of its notorious bite and too much of its readership. she continued to indulge by attacking old friends who have fallen away. likewise, her patience with a new deal and franklin roosevelt were thin, particularly as american intervention into the european war appear to be increasing like a -- likely. so cissy up until the war had been like her brother joe patterson, very enthusiastic about the new deal. and actually her brother had onto the extreme of pledging on the day the roosevelt was inaugurated not tried any criticism about the administration for a year. in your daily news renewed that a year later and continued it for another year. the rationale being that roosevelt faced unprecedented difficulties coming into office. but over the course of the 1930s since he began to grow
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sort of suspicious of the new deal, and both pattersons began to fear that roosevelt was maybe less neutral with regard to american intervention abroad than he claimed to be publicly. and so they became very vocal and opposed to the administration in late 1941. and after pearl harbor, neither paper back down and they continue to attack the administration all the way through the war. at the same time cissy was undergoing some personal struggles. those little girls, her daughter had been kidnapped as a child, had become estranged from her. and at the same time cissy was under attack, all of the country, particularly on the floor of the congress where various congressmen and
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senators, she felt good attacker with impunity because you can't be sued for sued for slander on the floor of the congress. so at the same time cissy's former son-in-law, her daughter's ex-husband, was a famous political columnist who had supported roosevelt through the war and who cissy fell out with. but he and his new wife basically formed the only family that cissy had managed to hold onto. so she was very much alone at that point. and seems to began to drink more, according to reports that her friends made. and the paper reflected this. and at the same time cissy seems to have fallen in with a very colorful and peculiar character in washington during the war, a white russian doctor, it seems
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that his credentials were not quite right to practice in the united states, but he had a practice anywhere that seem to revolve around giving the ladies lunch in washington injections for weight loss or for, you know, to feel better, to slay. and he became very chummy with cissy and came to a lot of her famous parties. and one night from exhaustion, she had heart trouble throughout her life, she fell face down in her soup. it was summer and they called in the russian doctor who moved into her office, would lead anyone else see her. at the same time they begin getting her large doses of various nikon x. and kept her in this twilight
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state for most of the summer of 1943. when cissy sort of came to one point she managed to scribble letters to various friends, come and safer. they were always thrown out by the doctor. cissy's great complain about them in the inn was he had drunk all of her champagne when she emerged from her stupor. one of the friends finally got the message and managed to get her out. she had something of a nervous breakdown in the meantime. but she recuperated and went on, but the attacks continued and she became increasingly paranoid and frightened, and rightly so. because a bomb was thrown to the front door of the time show that one point and cissy had been a marksman in her early life. she was a dude ranch in the 1910s. it was said that should probably the best woman shot in the entire united states, and she was a very avid big game hunter
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at one point she given all that up osha still a very good marksman. and so she started keeping loaded firearms in her purses, in her car and in her night table. and she hired armed guards to sit outside her bedroom door when she slept. at the same time she began to worry about her mortality. and started buttonholing peoples parties, so what you taken a liking to and she would say, i keep remaking my will and i don't know what to do with my newspaper, i have thought with my daughter. i don't know if i will return because we we don't speak anymore. but she might say i like you. maybe i will give you my paper. she told this to enough people, and also told people she had decided at one point to the the paper and what was really radical and unprecedented bequests in the course of american history. you want to leave the paper not to any member of her family, which was traditionally the case, but she wanted to leave it
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she said to her executive staff would run the paper with her, and to allow them to divided equally amongst themselves. as time went on she began to grow suspicious of her executive staff, too, and started announcing a parties that she intended to not give it to them. she started telling people publicly also that she was going to change her will and that should make an appointment with her lower for the night of july 24, 1948, or july 25. and on the night of july 24, she was at her country house outside of washington in the maryland countryside, and everything seemed to be as usual. she at this point had a large pack of poodles who by all accounts were ferocious, badly trained, and they protected her but people were apparently terrified of them. they were completely unruly and
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bit. at about 1:00 in the morning she handed the poodles off to the armed guard outside of her door and said i'm going to bed, don't put the dogs back in when you put them out. her ladies majoring in that office that night the poodles started howling. and didn't stop until the morning. the next morning one of the editing and calling it said i need a comment on that story, could you please ever get back to me. the staff was too afraid to go into her bedroom and wake her up. she was famous partly for her kind of off with their heads attitude towards human resources, and she didn't want, nobody want to go and wake her up. so the hours went by, and finally the butler went in and discovered that she had died during the night. cissy was somebody who, as you might be able to tell, was one of those people who created
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controversy and upset wherever she went there and that was the case even when she was incapacitated, for example, when the doctor came to her house. but also after her death, and the story of what happened with her will is a really extraordinary when in her own right. her daughter whom she been estranged, came back not having seen cissy in three or four years and said well, i think my mother wanted to be cremated. so she had her body cremated and mmr shot gun, only after i did that i realized it would be no way to do an autopsy. what is she had been murdered? cissy had been buttonholing people et cetera might lead you my newspaper. she also said she began saying if i died under strange circumstances, my cousin, colonel mccormick, he wants my newspaper. colonel mccormick happened to be absent when she died. there was an amazing story told
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at the time that when he got the call that cissy had died, he sang a little song and said i'm the last leaf left on the tree. so the daughter challenge the will, and it's a long story, and but she did manage to secure, or to get the agreement to testify from one of cissy's former secretaries and her former treasurer, that cissy had been the victim of coercion and fraud and that she had been of unsound mind at the time she made a will that was submitted for prograde. as the daughter put it, very aptly and succinctly i think, she said on the day that i actually officially brought the suit, both of my witnesses committed suicide under peculiar circumstances. and in both instances the suicide, whether they were
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suicides or not, never been clear, but both instances, the suicide belongings and papers had been rifled through and it seems that documents had been taken. and what happened to those documents or what was in them nobody knows at this point. but in any case, cissy's was a very, was an amazing life. but a very troubled one in a lot of ways. it made for great newspaper reporting. it was a sort of summation that "time" magazine gave after her death saying it was the kind of story that cissy would love to tell on someone else. and i'm not sure that that assessment in the end was a very fair one because after all, the family's editorial motto was if your grandma gets raped, put it on the front page. a lot of her old reporting staff and said that when they covered the story of her death and of
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the will fight, they really played up just the way she would have wanted. and anyway, thank you for coming tonight. and if i can answer any questions, please let me know. [applause] >> spent why did you choose her as a subject? i don't think she's as well known these days. she probably was 40, 50 years ago. so what compelled you to pick her as your subject for this book? >> the question is why did i picked cissy as my subject. my last book was in addition of the letters of joseph became the. i got interested in the better known isolationist, joe kennedy, colonel mccormick, william randolph hearst, lindbergh, and many others who are less well known and. that's a very colorful outlandish group of people.
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and of that group, cissy was by far the most colorful and outlandish your and often felt that it came to her because all roads lead to cissy. and on the other side of that was two of my mother's sisters had worked for cissy. and so i had always heard about this lady publisher in d.c., and i'd always had the impression that she was sort of a zany socialite who got a newspaper and, but when i started digging deeper i looked up the circulation system six and one thing that people don't tend to mention is that the "times-herald," and before that, the herald, have by far the widest readership of any paper in d.c. it struck me that was a real interesting thing that whatever else you said about her, the paper, both papers were doing very badly before, fourth and fifth, in a six paper market.
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she made them by far the leading paper. and that struck me as interesting. and then if you look at the history of the ownership of those papers, i mean, some of the most important, some of the most successful american publishers of the 20th century had owned those papers at one point, william randolph hearst for example, had it before cissy. after she died, cissy i think would've been horrified to discover colonel mccormick bought the paper from her executive. by the executive sold it because even though they were sticking to her formulas, circulation just seem to drop very quickly. and she had been running in the black, but her executive staff couldn't maintain that so mccormick bought that and try to squeeze into the tribune mold which didn't go over in washington very well. and then finally it was sold to the post in 1954. and actually through the watergate era the "washington
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post" was published as the "washington post" in large type and in a much smaller type, diminishing type over the course of time, "times-herald." and it just sort of wasted away like that. but anyway she struck me as a really interesting woman who, to go from being called probably the most powerful and hated woman in 1946 to been forgotten, by the beginning of the next century struck me as amazing. that's how i got interested in it. >> i have a loud voice. okay. i've read the works of ralph martin, it's unfamiliar -- so i'm only. what intrigued me about the similarities between her and her daughter, felicia.
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i meant to say felicia. they are both very rebellious, stubborn, no one can push them around. they both had traveled all of the country and europe. they both married very impoverished european aristocrats and then as soon the worst, marriages made in hell basically. they both became novelists. they both had strange relationships with her daughters. and they were both alcoholics and very promiscuous. and i'm just wondering, like to what extent both of them having grown up in a very, well, an environment where they were deprived of any motherly affection, pre-to post them to have been that fate in their lives and maybe made them insecure, and they both tried to like overcompensate, for maybe
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the way they were emotionally crippled in that respect. >> yes, i think that that is, you make some really good points. felicia was an amazing woman. and i don't know how well-known it is, but one avenue that her story in the book took me down was that, dinner, she was the little girl who was kidnapped and then her mother ignored or more or less when she came home to america. but not surprisingly, felicia went on to have some issues with drinking. and actually, becoming the sixth woman ever to join a a in the 1940s. and i hadn't even realized that aa went that far back. but fallacious live was an extraordinary one. it was very comfortable and luxurious at times, but then she divorce herself from her mother. and renounced any claim to any
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money. her mother had been giving her kind of a gigantic allowance, although she was still in her 30s by then. she cut it off and she picked herself up and earned her only living as a writer. and kept, stayed sober basically until the end of her life in 1991. to me one of the very interesting things about felicia's childhood was spent in a way it was, if possible, even more emotionally and poppers and cissy's have been. cissy's mother was a very ambitious socialite, who didn't have much time for small children. in felicia's case, you know, not that i am a child psychologist or anything like that but certainly for the book i read a lot of modern theory about children, emotional development of children.
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i don't think anyone could argue that it's not emotionally devastating to be taken away from everybody now, at the age of two and a half and then be returned to them at the age of four. and so i think felicia started life with a particular deficit. and i came to really like her in the course of writing the book. and i know that, you know, maybe not that all objective of me to say, but she was a really extraordinary woman and i think it is an amazing thing to pick yourself up and start afresh and turn over a new leaf like that. but to do it at a time when people just didn't acknowledge alcoholism, let alone as a disease or something you might control, you inherited from your ancestors was a really amazing thing. and i think in some ways yes, she had a difficult relationship with her daughter, but she did manage to get herself out of
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that rut to some degree. and i think that's really extraordinary. >> you know, felicia's daughter who just died a year ago, did she leave any airs? >> i don't know about felicia, i mean about alan. >> did she ever marry or have to? >> she did. she married a couple of times, and she has, let's see, two sons and a daughter, all of whom are still living. >> so she does have heirs? >> she does, yes. do you know them? >> oh, no. >> you know a lot about them. >> i do have family connections. that's another story. >> yes, she does have heirs. i can give you whatever contact information i have for them if that helps. anybody else?
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[inaudible] >> the question is, asked me to comment on the proposed story, which is a story that cissy wrote early on in her publishing venture. she was on her way out, in maybe 1932, so shortly after she took control of the herald, and she stopped in miami. i don't know why miami was on the way from washington to california, but anyway, she wanted to go drive by capone's house. so she did, and lo and behold there was capone standing right outside. so she jumped up and wanted to do a good reporter, and said mr. capone, my brother owns a newspaper. internet is very proud and he offered to show her around. so in she went and she said, she wrote very, sort of unusual for
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a newspaper story but she wrote about how she went into capone's house and was anxious and the heavy iron gate closed behind her and locked. and then, he showed her around the pool, and i guess he had sort of a little compound and in the middle was a pool and colonnades and arches and he sort of unobtrusive but still menacing figures, you know, lurking under the columns to protect capone. they have sort of an extraordinary conversation where cissy had been a socialite before she took a publishing, and so she said that the butler came running into offer them a drink, and cissy added something like i wish i could get that service from my staff. and then she talked to capone about his tax woes because that's how they finally got in
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was on tax evasion. and that his recent arrest. and cissy who had married this horrible, crazy count early in her life, closer account by beating capone by saying why is it that bad boys have such an appeal? anyway, it was a big seller for her, and her reporting career. anybody else? okay, well thank you very much for coming. ..
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>> you first made the decision, it probably had something to do with that. either, um, you were, you felt like you really had the warrior ethos, you were a high school athlete or a competitive person or something hike that, and you were looking for a venue where you could use it, and you said i want to join the most elite unit i can join, that's one, or maybe you felt there was the absence of that in your life. you might have been adrift and wondering if you were going the right way, am i headed for jail, am i headed for some kind of life that's not going to bring all that's in me, so you said to yours, well, i want to go somewhere where this kind of code of honor exists and where it can talk -- it can be taught to me. so i think, i'm putting myself in your minds, that's certainly
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the reason i joined, and i hope that's what you guys are too. and the other thing i think that's really honorable about making that choice is in america today it really is a choice. i mean, if we were born in ancient sparta, there would be no choice. but here as the general and i were talking yesterday, you've got 100% of the armed forces these days coming out of 1% of the population. and so that's a real choice that everybody made here, particularly if you think about it, the, um, the values of the civilian society -- and i'm not knocking anything here -- but are quite opposite to the warrior ethos values. so the conscious choice to choose the warrior ethos for yourself is a pretty amaze thing. and i'm just, let me just talk about the values for one second. if you think about anytime civilian life, um, probably the paramount value is freedom.
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individual autonomy that a person can be whatever they want to be, they can be a rock star, they can be donald trump, they can be president of the united states. whatever they want to be, and that is kind of, you know, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. that's held out as the -- and rightly so. that's kind of what makes america great. but when you choose the warrior ethos, duty becomes the value. and service. so that you can't wear your hair in a ponytail if you choose to, and you can't decide, hey, i don't feel like deploying for another couple of months, i don't feel like te ploying at all. so that's one value. a second value that the greater culture, you know, holds up really high is money, wealth, the pursuit of, you know, affluence and celebrity. so that somebody like a donald trump or something like that is lionized throughout the culture whereas nobody's going to get rich in this room from what you're doing. ip ted of money what the
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warrior -- instead of money what the warrior culture offers is honor. and, in fact, there's a great story about when an ancient story -- i'm going to tell you a few ancient stories today. i hope i won't put you to sleep. when the syracuse sans in sicily were under siege, i know general holland's up on this, the spartans came to their aid. and whenever they helped another country, they never sent money, and they never sent an army, they just sent one man, a general, and he would kick them all into shape. and this general when he came to syracuse, syracuse was a very wealthy city in sicily, and they had really, virtually, no army. and so he had to somehow form an army out of these, you know, kind of crazy civilians. and, um, so when he went to pick his officer corps, he gave these instructions. he said, search for men who care not about wealth or power, but who crave honor.
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and i would guess that that's pretty much what's, what is filling this room here. another difference between the civilian values and warrior ethos values is in civilian life people want the creature comforts. they want air-conditioning, and they want an easy life. if you can take a pill and lose 20 pounds, you'll do that whereas in the warrior culture adversity, the willing embrace of adversity is the huge part of it. in fact, the rougher the better. and when people tell stories in a warrior culture, it's always the most hellish stories possible, right? and i know, you know, i'm a marine, and when marines talk about their history, they don't really talk about the great victories, but they talk about the worst casualty scenarios like iwo jima, that kind of
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thing. so adversity, the willing embrace of adversity is one to have great, um, warrior virtues. um, i'm trying to think of one other, but it's slipping my mind. so let me -- oh, i want to say one other thing about special forces troopers particular. in my opinion, i think that you guys are the pinnacle of the warrior ethos. because not only are special forces soldiers have, possess the military skills which, you know, we all know how difficult that is, and possess the character skills, but particularly working with indigenous forces, indigenous insurgencies, something like that, that is really, to me, the highest level. because a small group of men have to go into a completely foreign culture and exercise influence without authority, not able to make people do what you want to do by money or power or anything, but only by really by
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personal magnetism and personal honor and personal integrity and personal warriorhood. so that is about as high as it gets, and, you know, i salute everybody for that. um, so let me get into a little bit about what i think the warrior ethos is. and i'm going to start with some stories from this book. four quick little one-minute stories about ancient sparta. and i'm going to talk about the warrior ethos here today, i'm really talking about the classic, old-time, ancient warrior ethos which one of the things i hope when we get into some questions i really would love to hear what you guys say about the modern world, what rules of engagement and some of the really dubious gray areas. but this is old school that we're talking about now. um, these are four quick stories about the spartan women, the ancient spartan women. somehow it always starts with women. and these stories come from a
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book called moralia, and a part of that book called sayings of the spartan women, and if you have not ever read this, i highly recommend it. there are all these little nuggets. so here are four stories. a messenger returns to sparta from a battle, and the women all gather around him to find out what happens, what has happened to their men. and to one mother the messenger says, mother, your oldest son, i'm sorry to tell you, your oldest son was killed facing the enemy. and the mother says, he is my son. and he says to her, your younger son is alive and unhurt. he ran away from the enemy. she says, he is not my son. one story. second story, another messenger returns from another battle, and a mother approaches him and says, how fair is our country? and harold bursts into tears and says, mother, i'm so sorry to tell you all five of your sons
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were killed facing the enemy. and she says, you fool, i did not ask about my sons, i asked about my country. he says, mother, we were victorious. she says, i am happy, and turns around and pose home. third story, somehow -- i don't know how this happened -- but two spartan brothers were fleeing from the enemy back towards the city, and their mother happened to be coming down the road. in any event, she sees them coming, lifts her skirts up over her head and says where do you two think you're running to, back here from whence you came? [laughter] and the -- now, we don't know the end of that story but, hopefully, the two brothers turned around and went back the other way. [laughter] then the final spartan mother story is the shortest one of all, it's one with of the spartan mother, excuse me, who hands her son his shield and as she's sending him off to battle says, come back with this or on it.
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so, um, that, that, to me, is a really hard core culture. you know when the women, when your own mother's kicking you in the ass, there's something to that. so, um, i'm going to refer back to those stories. there's a reason why i told them, not just because i love those stories. the warrior ethos, i think really probably evolved out of the primitive hunting band and the virtues that were needed for us little homonids. it was originally designed, i think, to accomplish two things. one, to overcome fear, the god of the battlefield, and to make people work together. and so since fear and -- is probably the most primal emotion, self-preservation, other emotions and other things had to be brought in to counter
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that in a cultural way, and i think that's my feeling of what the warrior ethos comes from. so there were three things, at least three things that were kind of recruited to counter fear and to make people work together. and that was honor, shame and love. let's start with shame just for a second. i think a lot of times people don't think of shame as a positive. but certainly almost every great warrior culture is a shame-based culture whether it's the samurai culture where if someone suffers dishonor, they have to, you know, kill themselves. and certainly pashtun wally is a shame-based code of honor. i would certainly say the marine corps is a shame-based culture, and certainly sparta was a shame-based culture. among other things, for instance, going back to those stories when you think about the mother whose son was alive but had run away from the enemy, and
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she says, he is not my son. a kind of a real, you know, that's a -- the application of shame to make, to make people go forward into the face of fear. there's a great story about alexander the great, excuse me a second. when, um, his army and he and his army were in india and they had been on the, you know, fighting for ten years almost, the army was ready to revolt. they were tired, they want today go home, they'd had enough of this stuff, you know? the so alexander -- it was a serious moment. so alexander called the whole army together. i don't know if you've heard this story. and he stripped naked in front of them. and you could see across his whole body was just one wound after another. he had been wounded with arrows, with javelins, rocks, you know, big boulders, burned, everything possible. so he said to his men, look at these wounds on my body, all got for you and in your service.
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and you'll notice that they're all in the front, there's nothing in the back. he says, i will make you a deal. if any one of you can stand forth from the army, come up here and strip naked beside me, and if your wounds are greater than mine, i'll turn the army around right now, and we'll walk home. and not a man came forward. instead, the whole army burst into a cheer, and they begged his forgiveness for their want of spirit and begged him only to lead them farther forward. so that is kind of a, that's great leadership, but what that really is, is the application of shame to make the men, to make the men go forward and to kind of summon their spirit. um, in sparta they used to have the pretty young girls had these little anthems of shame that they used to if someone failed in action and came back to the city, there were a number of things that happened to them, but the pretty young gals use today gather around them and
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sing these kind of songs of ridicule, and that would, you know, the next time the guy went out, you could be sure that he didn't, you know -- in other words, shame is a technique to make the application of shame's worse than fear of the enemy. okay, let's talk about honor for a second which is sort of the flipside of shame, the opposite of shame. honor is the, as we know from tribal cultures and i'm sure you guys know this a lot better than i do, in a push tune culture, let's say -- pashtun culture, let's say, honor is the most prized possession of a man. much more important than land, money, women, anything. as long as a man has honor, he's okay. but if he doesn't have honor, life is not worth living. and so honor is the, that high level which a person internally will not let himself fall from. there's a famous gunnery sergeant in the marine corps
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named gunny featherstone, and he tells his young marines when they complain about their salaries, he says, in the marine corps you get a financial salary, and you get a psychological salary. the financial salary sucks, but the psychological salary -- and this absolutely applies to everyone in this room -- is knowing that you're part of a corps, you know, i don't need to repeat it. you know what it is. and he says that's -- so that psychological salary is honor. and that is something that is worth a lot. how can you put a dollar figure on that? >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> here are the bestselling nonfiction books according to the los angeles times as of october 5th.
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>> for more bestseller ors go to
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>> ken beckwith, political women and american democracy. how did you decide which essays to include in this work? >> my co-editors and i, um, organized with a grant from the aaron berg foundation, the project on american democracy at the university of notre dame that we would convene, um, by our estimation the best scholars on women in politics in the u.s. not only in the u.s., but, um, scholars who were working on u.s. women in politics. and so we brought together a range of people, um, whose research we knew well and, um, convened for a two-day conference at notre dame after which -- at that conference we discussed all the manuscripts that constitute the chapters of these books, of this book and had some commentary about it and discussion and then put it together as an edited collection which cambridge university press published in 2008. >> describe the role of women describe inside this book.
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>> well, there are several emphases in in the book, so let me tell you first what we're not doing in this book. we're not looking at public policy per se, we are not looking at women in the executive because even in 2008 there were so few women in the executive and not yet a major candidate from a major political party. very few women at the executive level which meant the research wasn't there yet, and finally we didn't address women in the judiciary. so what did we address? we looked at the behavior of women as voters, the behavior of women as candidates for office, both state and national office, behavior of women within political parties, the behavior of women once elected to national office. we also have a few chapters look add the gendered nature of political institutions as well as u.s. politics for women and politics in the context of comparative politics. that is, what does the situation for women in politics look like
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in the u.s. compared to the rest of the world. the picture there's not so pleasant, actually. we have one of the least advantageous electoral system for women which is the single member plurality system with some modifications. at the state level, electoral college. we also have only two major political parties which are informal in their internal construction, have no clear formal, um, instructions for becoming a candidate, um, offer very little, um, clear structural means by which women can work the party, so to speak, to increase women's candidacies. so there are lots of disadvantages that women have in the united states in terms of actually achieving elected office. >> so in relation to the political parties, as a woman voter what are the findings related to, you know, encouraging participation directly related to women? >> there's some interesting things about women in politics in the united states that make women, in fact, a politically relevant demographic category.
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first, there are more women than men in the voting electorate. secondly, women have slightly higher registration rates than do men, and women turn out at slightly higher percentages, and can the number of women combined with women's heightened turnout makes for a big electoral impact. women are also disproportionately democratic. this is true across all age groups and is also true across all racial groups. so racial and ethnic groups women still have a slight preference for the democratic party compared to men. so when we come into an election, things like turnout and a range of issues that might attract women are very important. women are more likely than men to vote for the democratic presidential candidate. that's within the case since -- that's been the case since 1992. that gap has been between two percentage points to five percentage points depending on the poll site you look at. but nonetheless, a democratic
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advantage in the elect trait for the -- electorate for the democratic party in general because of women. the absolute numbers that turn out in the preference for the democratic party. now, the issues that seem to, um, mobilize women and attract their vote have to do with social welfare issues, um, have to do with foreign policy issues and also to a certain extent so-called morality issues. but on these women vary in different directions. so, for example, on issues like same-sex marriage, women are much less opposeed to that than men, for example. not by a huge margin, but there's a difference there. women are less concerned with foreign policy issues, and that can have an impact on women's vote, and women are more concerned about social welfare issues, things like health care, employment, the state of the economy, education. >> with a woman candidate for president coming into the campaign, do you see those preferences changing, um n2012?
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or do you -- based on your research, do you think they'll largely remain the same? >> first of all, i see no female candidate coming to the candidacy in 2012. there are only two on the list that i know of, sarah palin who has not yet declared and michele bachmann who is doing very poorly right now in early returns or early poll results in the republican party debates, um, and in the polling numbers for her. i don't see either of them being the ultimate candidate for the republican party. and on the democratic side all things being equal, um, the current president, barack obama, will be the party's candidate. so that will foreclose any opportunity for a woman, um, in that party to come forward. so i see no presence for women as presidential candidates in 012. -- 2012. let me do say, however, that some polling data -- and the most recent i've seen has only been from 2008 coming in very early in the 2008 presidential primaries.
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about 37% of -- 87% of americans are willing to say they would vote for a qualified woman regardless of sex, they'd be as willing to vote for a woman as to vote for a man. um, americans are more likely to vote for someone who's african-american or someone who's jewish for president than they are for a woman. and i think that number is slightly lower than had been the previous results because in 2008 there was a clear potential female candidate, and that was hillary clinton on the democratic side who ultimately failed to win the nomination. >> so what are some recommendations for women in that, um, that position, an electable position or running for office? does that matter come up in your book? is that something that you touch on? >> well, we don't turn to the presidential specifically, but we do look at women's candidacies for lower level office. so a couple of recommendations. and these aren't recommendations for women. so let me just make clear, we only need about 4,000 women
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nationwide to contest and win elections to have equitable representation in the senate and the house and in the statehouses. there aren't that many elective offices at the legislative level at least that requires that we need a million qualified women. i think we can find, say, 4,000, 4500 qualified women to run. so that's not the issue. the problem is not with women, the problem is with political partieses and the unavailability of access to candidacies both through the incumbency effect if we have, um, as we do can 83% of congress, um, consisting of men and most of those men are incumbents, it's going to be very, very difficult for new openings for new candidates whether or not those candidates are women. and so part of it has to do with political parties' willingness to persuade members of congress, seated members of congress to step down, willing to sport women challenging incumbents within their own parties, willingness to recruit women for
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office. right now, um, the so-called big money people on the republican side are trying to recruit, um, governor christie from new jersey to enter the presidential nomination race on the republican side which he so far at least, at least this morning, still has refused to do. but there are women that might be recruited. there are some very good female governors on the republican side who might be recruited. so at this point my argument is it's not the problem of women, it's the problem of parties and specifically, i might add, the republican party. women aren't represented -- are represented within the democratic party by a two to one to three to one margin over republicans. >> thank you. >> the you're welcome. [laughter] >> here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals this month. on october 9th portland, oregon, hosts wordstock week fair, the large literary festival in the pacific northwest. then southern festival of books is in nashville, tennessee. the author lineup includes
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william burnett and timothy johnson. madison will host the wisconsin book festival starting on the 19th. the five-day festival will highlight several poetry readings, book sales and live music. the west virginia book festival will be in charleston, west virginia, for a two-day festival beginning on on the 22nd. the festival will feature several authors including former los angeles laker jerry west. let us know about book fairs and festivals in your area and we'll add them to our list. e-mail us at booktv at >> i'd like to wade in a little bit on this. you're talking about fundamental confusions. if you think about what a warrior is, a warrior is a person who, first of all, chooses a side.
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the warrior clearly knows that these are my people, and those are my enemy. and he will risk his life and limb to use violence to try and stop the people who are trying to do violence against his people. that's a warrior. a policeman will also risk life and limb, but they cannot choose sides. they have to be on the side of the law. if a policeman chooses sides, it's called corruption. we have fundamentally confused the role of warriors with the role of police, and we've put warriors who are trained to oppose another side into a situation to act as policemen where there's no agreed-upon law. they have to be on the side of the law. if you go to the state pen in
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any state in this union, the people who are inside will all tell you if you say, well, is it bad to kill or is it against the law to steal, yeah, they all agree. there's an agreement on the law. we've put people who are trained as warriors into a situation where there's no agreement. well, you know, it's perfectly justifiable to cut a woman's ears off if she's humiliated her husband in some way. oh, which law are we dealing with? and the second thing is if you have policemen who are trained, they are generally more mature. infantrymen are young. would you take a 19-year-old and send him to a troubled neighborhood and, you know, in bedford stuyvesant with an automatic weapon? it's not likely he's going to do a good job. you send him to go up against the enemy and he clearly knows who they are, he'll do a magnificent job. that's what 19-year-olds do. so if we don't get over this fundamental confusion, we're going to be finding ourselves in
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situations time and time again where we're putting people who are trained one way into a role that has none of the requirements that make that role successful. >> and clarity of purpose in battle is a real force multiplier. um, in the middle of matterhorn, you have this devastating moment when a u.s. officer suddenly realizes and begins worrying other the fact that the north vietnamese army units that he's opposing are infused with a sense of purpose and mission, and you offer this devastating observation. you write, for the americans that kind of clarity was a thing of the past. the marines seemed to be killing people with no objective beyond the killing itself that left a hollow feeling tried to ignore by killing people and the cycle of, the cycle of this dynamic can quickly detach itself from larger strategic missions, especially missions with


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