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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 15, 2011 7:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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-- and the best tv people have said this over and over again; i mean people like cronkite and dan rather and the rest of them -- it would be impossible to make any sense out of the world if you confined your knowledge of the world to tv news. you would have to do an awful lot of reading in order to make sense out of what you're seeing on television news. also, maybe finally on this, i do think people have to understand why decisions are made on tv news shows as to what people will see and in what order. this is not done in a haphazard way. there is a psychologic reason involved in deciding what people will see first, what they will
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see next, what they will see after that and what they won't see at all. c-span: the title of that book is going to be? >> guest: "how to watch tv news". c-span: and it's going to sell for...? >> guest: oh, it's not going to be expensive. i don't really know, but probably about $5. c-span: in paperback? >> guest: yes c-span: this is what one of his books in the market at this moment looks like. it's called "technopoly", and our guest is neil postman. thank you very much for joining us. >> guest: thank you, brian. ..
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and in the white house. caroline kennedy presents her mother's recordings next followed a panel discussion that includes michael beschloss, ted widmer and richard trained 10. >> the evening. you've read the news stories, but your copies at the book, watched the abc primetime special, morning television and even "the daily show" with jon stewart. and now tonight, live from the kennedy library, with its early history was so carefully house for the past half-century, we hear directly from jacqueline kennedy about her life with our 35th president and from their daughter who has practiced by state to history today. and tom putnam, director of the
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john f. kennedy presidential library museum and our behalf of the executive director of the kennedy library foundation, members of our foundation board and many of whom are here with us tonight and all of my library and foundation colleagues, a thank you for coming in on those watching on c-span acknowledge the generous underwriters of the candy library for them, boston capital, boston foundation and our media partners, "the boston globe" and debut pr. the opening panel of a new exhibit, and her voice, jacqueline kennedy: the white house terry's with never before seen documents and artifacts from our collection reads jacqueline kennedy had a rare combination of gas. intelligence, courage, discipline, artistic creativity in a style all her own. she adventurous spirit and was an accomplished woman who lived life at full gallop. there'll history provides us a
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mrs. kennedy's personal recollections and insight and i hope you allow me to comment on just one. when asked by arthur/editor whose son andrew is here with us this evening about where the president best relaxed, mrs. kennedy replied, it was while flailing. he loved the sun in the water and not the phone. and she remembers jfk is blissfully happy with the wind blowing his hair anastas was for him what getting out on a horse was for me. ever thought full forward to the book and some of her mother's recollections, we also learned about caroline kennedy whose presence enemies the institution like no other and steady leadership puts the fiber in the forefront of the presidential library system in providing worldwide access to archival collections. we learned the adventure stories her father told caroline is a young girl, stories about to ponies, white star and black star as he wills these tales from the president would let her pick which were she was to write
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and ask which of her cousins should raise in the other. in an interview in parade magazine, caroline describes off in choosing stevie smith as their adversary whose father is named for her. and when asked by the interviewer if he was always the in jfk stories, she quit, of course, which you want to go bed thinking that stevie smith triumphed over you? [laughter] we will open tonight with a brief introduction with a triumphant chorus of women. aftercare lines words, an introduction to this new book as well as an extensive annotation. richard k. donohue, member of the kennedy administration, they sure the kennedy library foundation yours who knew and worked with jacqueline kennedy in the white house here in massachusetts and the 1960 campaign. were delighted to have ted widmer, a speechwriter for
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president bill clinton and now director of the john carter brown library by brown university at the moderator. we'll take written questions from the audience. index cards available and staff will collect them from you. a few other special guests here with us tonight including vicki kennedy, kathleen kennedy townsend, sidney laufer mckelvey , stephen smith himself and two former kennedy administration officials who both happen to be my predecessors as director of the fiber it, charles daly and dance them. also joining us is jim gardner who among other duties oversees the presidential library system for the national archives. a nation reveals itself as the men and women that produces jfk once stated any jacqueline kennedy this nation produced a most remarkable one in. among the many compliments one can bestow on this book is that it is truly revelatory of her extraordinary life, keen with an historical congressman. as maureen dowd noted in a recent column, who else could read war and peace during the
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wisconsin primary. persuade the french to london london on the lisa two yes, the only time it is nevertheless france and encourage white house chest to serve french cuisine and state dinners rather than irish stew. in its editorial to "boston globe" praised caroline for publishing oral history and demonstrating her trust in the general public and prosperity to judge these recordings for themselves. she has for many of us our own gallant knight, still astride white star galloping through these troubled times on behalf of the cause her parents believed in, not the least of which is an appreciation of history. much is revealed, caroline writes in the forward to the new book by her mother's statement, tone and even her positives in the same can be said of the decision to publish this sort of history by the daughter that jacqueline kennedy race so well. ladies and gentlemen, caroline kennedy. [applause]
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>> thank you all for coming. i want to thank the staff of the library and foundation for the stewardship and tremendous care and dedication that they show every day here at the library. and board members who are here and people working here over the years and especially members of my family who are here. so much to me and i think it's a wonderful tribute to our parents that were all here together. thank you all. most importantly, it means a great deal. 50 years after my father's presidency, so many people still share his vision for america and are interested in learning about his administration. his time is really becoming part of history. rather than living memory.
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in president kennedy's words, spirit and example remain as vital as ever. now when young people often feel disconnected from politics, it is up to us as adults to reach across the generations and we commit ourselves and our country to the ideal of life. for my kennedy and the sandy library, the goals in his anniversary years are to stimulate interest in public service and use the power of history to help us solve the problems of our own time. we've undertaken a number of important projects. we've created the largest presidential digital archive in which my father's papers are now available online worldwide so that people can study his decision and the history in the making. we've watched the jfk 50th website, which includes downloadable exhibits and curriculum for students and where kids can put testimonials about their own public service in the spirit of jfk.
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we sponsored conference is on the presidency, civil rights, scientific innovation and the space program and the quest for nuclear disarmament. all issues that continue to shape our national destiny. and as you all know, we've published the seven interviews my mother gave in 1964 as part of an oral his dirty project in which more than 1000 people were interviewed about my father's life and career. when these interviews were completed, she sealed the audio tapes here at the kennedy library and put the transcripts in a safe deposit vault in new york. though she often spoke of them to me and john, a few other people knew of their existence and she never gave another interview on the subject. the underlying goal of the oral history project, which was the largest of its kind at the time was to capture recollections by
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the refresh, before the stories had been told a million times or become overly mythologized. no one interview was expected to be complete or comprehensive, but together with the underlying documentary record and historical archive has here at the kennedy library, it was hoped that they might form a composite picture that would be valuable in later years. to be the most important values they make history come alive. to give us a glimpse of the human side of the people in the white house and remind us that they are just as imperfect as the rest of us. people have been surprised that my mother, who was so famously private, participated in this project and gave it her full commitment. but to me, it'd make perfect sense. my parents shared a love of history. as a child, my father was sick a great deal. while his brothers and sisters were playing football, he spent
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hours reading in bed. i had his books on british parliamentary history come to the federalist papers, the american civil war and the great orators of ancient times. my mother preferred novels, poetry and memoirs. as tom said, she read war and peace during the wisconsin primary. two bleak winter landscapes. [laughter] she has some nice things to say about wisconsin. and she always told us that the separation for life in the white house was reading the memoirs of the two discussed the matter describes how the king's attention at the court of louis the 14th. my mother brought the same intellectual curiosity to current affairs. when she was engaged in first married to my father, she transited countless french books written about the struggles for independence and the french french colonies of algeria,
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tunisia, vietnam and cambodia, all of which gave her a deep understanding of parts of the world to most americans were barely aware that the time, yet are still shaping our history today. so she brought to the oral history interviews to respect for accuracy and historical scholarship. that's why she chose to be interviewed by arthur's passenger. the pulitzer prize-winning historian who served as a special assistant to my father. detect a great deal of courage to be as honest as she was, but around reading the chronicles of the past convinced her that future generations who benefit from her commitment to tell the truth as she thought it. it wasn't easy, but she thought she was doing this for my father's sake and for history. since this book is come out, some people have been surprised by her statements and opinions. in today's world of cautious political memoir, it's hard to imagine a contemporary public figure writing such a forthright book. but she did not take cheney at
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the number one spot on the bestseller lists. [laughter] [applause] so i think she deserves a lot of credit for her honesty. one of the difficult decisions i faced was whether to edit the interviews. there are repetitions, issues that have withstood the test of time, comments that can be taken out of context and use that she would later change. it didn't seem fair to leave them in, but on the other hand, these are formal interviews, not accidentally recorded conversation and both participants understood that they were creating a primary source document. so although there are good arguments on both sides of the issue, i felt that i didn't really have the right to alter the historical record. i also wanted people to see what and how my mother saw at a particular moment in time. it's sometimes difficult for me to reconcile that people feel
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they know her because they have a a sense of her and style, but they've never been able to appreciate your intellectual curiosity and her sense of mischief, deep engagement with people and events around her and her fierce loyalty to my father. for a modern listener, one of the striking things about these interviews is how they evoke a moment in time. and her statements, mayweather takes care to come across as an obedient wife of the 1950s, thinks only of creating a home for her husband and children. in keeping with the purpose of the interviews, but also in keeping with the times. arthur schlesinger asked few about her public role and an interview at first lady today. and now that she has become sort of an international icon, it's hard to remember that she was only 31 when my father became president and totally
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overwhelmed by the prospect. it's interesting to track her evolution into the modern woman and ironic that despite the hopelessly old-fashioned views she expressed as, that transformation began in the white house. though she played largely traditional roles of first lady, like so many women, she found her identity through work. when she moved into the white house, she had a 3-year-old. and a newborn baby. her pregnancies have been difficult and she would lose another child in 1963. the caring for us and protect the mass was her top priority. but had been a long time since there have been children in the white house and the obligations of a first lady included a busy official schedule. she fight to carve out the time she spent with us each day, an early version of the work family balancing act that women are so familiar with. but she was dismayed by the
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uninspiring or shall i be honest and say, hideously unattractive look of the white house and its surroundings. she shared my fathers believed that american civilization had come of age and was determined to project the very best of our history, arts and culture of the world. she wanted the legacy of washington, jefferson and lincoln to be visible to american students and families who visited our nation's capital and two heads of state who were entertained there. so she set about to transfer in the white house into one of the nation's premier museums of american art, decorative arts in history. this is more complex than simply redecorating, a word she didn't like. the project about congressional oversight and interagency debate. she was determined that it be self financing and self-sustaining and proud that elevated academic research and scholarship in the field of american art and her television
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to restimulated new interest and pride in our cultural heritage. she sat at the fine arts committee, founded the white house historical association and reorganize the white house library to showcase works of american literature. she created a mostly wrote the first guidebook that arthur schlesinger to help the book's presidential biography on one page, both of which are still sold today. of course people were deeper to help her, but this was an ambitious, high visibility undertakings and though it's hard to believe today, it's controversial and carried lit up a risk. during my father's senate campaign in 1958, in the 1960 primaries, my mother felt that she was a political liability to my father because of her fancy french accent and clothes. and his advisers did, too. they wound up against the white house restoration, which state that was elitist and they were concerned about propriety of creating a guidebook.
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i recently came across a few memos on the subject and i thought you might like to hear some excerpts. the first is from a memorandum to the president were i propose failed mementos in the white house from jack ally, a loyal irishmen from western mass who was put in charge of the white house administration. he attacks supporting memos from the white house believes in the department of interior who joined him in opposing the idea of the guidebook. in behavior that could not be called a profile in courage, my father just gave the memo to his secretary to forward to my mother who is on the case. [laughter] it reads in part quote the large people to the white house was accomplished by the fact there were no obstructions to slow traffic. secret service contended that a moving crowd is a safe crowd. we must take into consideration the possibility of severe
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criticism from the public. further references are made by tourists as commercialism does not and has never existed in many forms and the president's home. consideration must also be given to the impressions formed by visiting dignitaries who would be exposed to such a commercial venture and the president found, also possible criticism from the press and members of congress. as examples of the criticism that might result, we would like to say the unfavorable publicity that was given the truman balcony and the efforts of the eisenhower admitted patient to keep squirrels that the president putting green. this last reference is too much for my mother her vote in the margin, absurd, how. this is not a concession stand. there is absolutely no connection. like other people who cannot against my mother, mcnally didn't stand a chance. not long afterwards, my mother wrote to jay the west, the white house chief, mr. west, the
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president tells me that jack mcnally was again selling guidebook from the beginning now says lots of art can be sold on the way out. [laughter] this is your province and doesn't want to mention it, which is rather sweet of him. i agree we can use the money, every penny of needed. not long after her commitment to history to pressure my father of the unesco effort, which were flooded by the ash on dan. she wrote a long memo to jfk, laying out the importance and suggested this to be a nice gesture to nasser is a promise to ramco not to interfere with bad in yemen and thought area. she demonstrates an understanding cold war diplomacy writing, the psychological political argument carries more weight than economic one. the russians are building a dam is strictly an economic enterprise. by saving the temples, the u.s.
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could show they care about the spiritual side and realize the importance of saving the cultural patrimony of egypt. i think by father rolled over on this one, too. the temples are saved in the template and you're not the metropolitan museum of new york was a gift from the government of egypt to the people of the united states to thank them for their support. her commitment to history also encourage my father to save lafayette square and start restoring pennsylvania avenue. these efforts have launched an historic preservation movement at a time in neighborhoods across the country were being demolished for modern office buildings in urban renewal projects. and she didn't do that. in 1970, she was still twisting my uncle teddy's arm. a letter to henry's commentaries teddy, you can tell where this is going. [laughter] by senator pat moynihan's letter to me. a week before i left the white house come out to see president
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johnson to ask him if he was the president kennedy's committee for pennsylvania avenue. before we left washington, jacobin working on the president pennsylvania avenue project. what would drive from the white house to the capital and sometimes we would walk halfway there at night, the encroachments of the presidents house to preston. he wished to do something that would ensure immobility of architecture along the avenue, which is the main artery of the government of the united states. this is not something that came with my trying to restore the white house. it was his own vision. that's why felt such an urgency about asking president johnson. i knew he would've so many things piling on him he would not give priority to the committee for pennsylvania avenue. that's why that's than to receive them. he did. you can ask how surprised they were to be among the first means of lyndon johnson. here comes the hard part. i gather from what has letter he has reason to feel comfortable with you. i don't other reasons, but i can guess them.
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[laughter] i just wanted to tell you with all my heart this is one thing that really meant something to jack. love jackie. satiety after resolving his differences with moynihan as he always stayed from him in all of us, he found a way to make it happen. and so many ways, both private and public, she defines the role of first lady for the modern age. she straddled two areas. the one she describes in the oral history when women stayed home and had few opinions that differ from their husbands in the coming age when women broke free to become independent and self supporting. she lived fully involved in the first lady she took the traditional women's focus on the hog and transformed it into a full-time job and a source of national pride. in doing so, she created her own identity as an independent women. she became an international sensation, a new kind of americans speaking the languages of the country she visited with
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my father and traveling abroad to india and pakistan on their own. most of all, my mother was a patriot. she believed her time in the white house who is the greatest privilege and worked hard to be worthy of the honor. she loved my father and her courage held this country together after his death. and when it was over, she resumed the life of a private citizen, his status she cherished. she found the strength to create a new life for herself and embrace new worlds. although john and i would have preferred to stay near the penny candy store in hyannisport, she remarried, took us to greece and expanded our horizons immeasurably. she devoured everything she could about ancient civilization and renewed forensic test lefferts teaches french. [laughter] been like so many women of her generation, she went back to work with our children are grown. she took tremendous satisfaction from a job as an editor and from the fact that he was a job that
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she could have gotten as she had never married at all. she loved her colleagues and their authors. she enjoyed the chase for the next big bestseller. she was excited when she landed michael jackson's autobiography and she was proud to bring quality literature to a wider audience when she was the first to publish the work of the egyptians noble laureate, make enough booze in english. her love of history continue to inspire her. she published a book about sally hemming and was always trying to get us to be the only known diary of napoleonic soldier was she discovered an obscure library. as she continued to advocate for historic reservation, mixed-use neighborhoods and quality of urban life. she led the fight to save grand central station and secure that it very but the landmark supreme decision. though she rarely talked about herself and gave almost no interviews, her interview is a public figure and her life as a private citizen and inspired
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millions of women to live life on their own terms and continues to do so today. when i was growing up, she often used to say that she thought american history was boring because there weren't enough women in it. i'm proud that she hope to change that and made possible the world that we are fortunate to live in today. now i'd like to share a few of my favorite excerpts with you. first you will hear a description of my fathers reading habit and affection of the cuban missile crisis and finally a brief description of the white house restoration. i hope you enjoy them. [applause] just not ♪ ♪ shoot captive breeding and so
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on. he greeted the table, meals, after dinner, and the bathtub. he'd read and prop open a book on his bureau while he was doing his tie. he would just read some book ieú was reading, just devour it. he really read all the times you don't think you have time to read. >> he'd reduce your case. as a member i come back and take his theory. >> everything he wanted to remember he could always remember and easy rings cds in the speeches. you'd be sitting next to on some platforms and then become a sentence two weeks ago in georgetown he would've read out loud when i because it interested him. >> i was mostly a biography.
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and we remember hearing how the independent gun does not have mcnamara and after winter. and on that thing. remember just waiting the blockade from what it was like an election, but much worse, you know, one ship was coming underwriter would turn back, they didn't have anything oil on it and all the ships cruising forward, sharing the joseph kennedy was there and sainted jackie, just remembering and finally turned back and was ordered, wasn't it? >> i can't remember the day finally when it was over insaneú
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to me -- when the same to meeú that it it it just dawned on maybe two more days, everybody would have cracked. you would've been awake night and day. shepard in a situation. you know, every one.eú and they went to mcnamara afterwards, which i showed to jack and everyone had worked. >> our president feel about the restoration of the white house? >> he was interested in it. he'd always get so interested in anything -- i cared about him
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and he was nervous about it. you wanted to be sure was done the right way, so he sent clark clifford to see me. clark clifford was really nervous because he tried to persuade me not to do it, which jackeú never -- he said he just can't touch, their strange about it and looks at the truman back. if you try to make any change will just be like that. it won't be like the truman back and now we hope to get. so it went on bit by bit and hoú you set the committee up andeú certainly go things in the clock is very good about setting up the guidebook. so jack is going along with good counsel. he was so excited about it. >> did you ever consider anything he did in the white house? >> is the most incredible
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interest amended tourists would start going. but many come home saying we had more people today. this would be after you found the monroe table. eisenhower and their first two years. the guidebook with sally and teasing mcnally about it. i was so happy that i could do something that made them proud of me. because i'll tell you one wonderful thing about and. i was really never any different once i was in the white house than i was before. suddenly everything had been alive before your hair that you spoke french, that you didn't just adore the campaign. and when he got in the white house, all the things he had always done suddenly became wonderful. i was so happy for jack that he could be proud of me then.
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because he made me so happy. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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, >> good evening. can you hear us all right? in her foreword to this book, caroline said that for her parents the pass was a gathering of the most fascinating people you could ever hope to meet and thanks to these remarkable interviews in which we can hear and read them aware privilege to attend a gathering of the fascinating people of the past, people ranging from edmund burke to canyons buried. and that the center at this gathering is the family living in a home that is famously not been welcoming to its inhabitants that has been likened to a present. i want to stay with you. you studied many presidencies. franklin roosevelt, president lyndon johnson. we strip or how many times the word happy came up in his conversations?
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>> i was. and nothing if not frank loved these interviews and one thing that she says more than one is that when her husband was elected in 1960, she had a novel reaction. like most incoming first lady's car she was terrified and she was surprised, per the because she had just given birth and partly because she thought it would recker family life, that there was just such a fishbowl of so many pressures and she was amazed as she says that it actually had the opposite effect. during their marriage, this 1953 john kennedy had run for vice president to run for reelection of the senate, run for president and so, she says almost every week and very much a part, a first-time now de rigueur in that house seat to make oval office. they were together in physical proximity a lot more. so i think there was an exhilaration finding a convert to it she accepted.
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we heard about her interesting fellow campaign in wisconsin. >> she just loved wisconsin. >> the good thing was running. >> i do these proceedings have been televised in wisconsin. >> she's extremely fond of wisconsin. everyone, just a week apart. >> there is a working entrance could barely splendored how to spell and in wisconsin in the winter she says e.u. >> i think she says that she did like a single person that she met in wisconsin except for the people that work for jack and then in west virginia she liked almost everyone she met. >> that's right. but obviously she brought great charisma to the art of campaigning and was announced that from well before the
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election. in the hard work daily politicking, how did this staff feel about her. and i am sorry that she was not as happy about wisconsin as i saw it because we were in the main street broken down storehouse and that was the headquarters. and i remember her being there with the right team and things and at least entertaining the people who came. they found out who she was and they wanted to visit with her and they did. so i do not remember her -- that part of it. i do remember that there was a pastor -- pestiferous salesman for some newspaper and cat bothering her and die.
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her and eventually she was riding with the president because kenny adamo told me this. and she said, you know that fellow i bought an ad. and he said quickly, i wrote -- he said that's my money. and so, it was not what they had hoped he would be. but thereafter and west virginia of course it was great. and she was marvelous. the best part about herbicide if you got an assignment for her, it was done completely and fastidiously and as beautifully as it possibly could then so with you on that committee, you had better make sure that you did everything proper. but she was very good. >> one of the fascinating things as there is a film crew doing a documentary of the wisconsin
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primary, which i'm sure you have seen. just to give you a sense of how far she came in such a short period of time, she said in a grocery store with a microphone almost begging people to come over and say hello and they're still shopping and not paying her any attention. i think i may have had some influence on her wisconsin to her quite deservedly. >> when the book was published in the 14th of december, there is a huge amount of media attention and an immediate cut something started a few things that survey. a lot of attention was paid to her remarks about the obligation of a wife to subscribe to the political opinions of her husband fairly uncontroversial statement. i'm glad someone laughs, thank you. and yet, on the feminism media that was coming into existence in the sixth season as he mentioned that he for games published in 63, obviously she has very independent dots.
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she's a sharp judge of human nature and of all the people populating the white house and the actions happening all around her. and she later did work. and so where do you see her as a feminist and evolution? >> i'd say she was an unwitting feminist in the early 1960s and she explicitly says in the euro history, i'm not a feminist lakers social secretary. but when you read and when you listen to her, this is someone who has caroline said very well, she came to the white house, get she decided to do it her way. she had found for herself an anonymous project, which was restoring the white house, which was probably three careers at the same time as she had young children. she did the job of first lady in a way that was very much her own choice and she made other choices about her life, too.
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so i think that the definition of feminism that we now suggest, i think she was an early feminist. but her political instincts would have cost her to say no, absolutely not a feminist. >> as i track your sense as well? >> there's no question that she was a feminist. she just basically took over and did a job that under others somebody might have assigned it to a man because when she undertook the remodeling, remaking -- refurbishment of the correction of the mistakes they've made in the white house, she did it with string and the verve and intelligence that captures everybody. so it is not -- you know, i would not dismiss her on any account, but certainly not for lack of some wishy-washiness. but that's not -- that was in
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her stereo. >> one of the observations with me reading this book was the extraordinary degree of physical pain president kennedy was never much of his adult life, including much of this president be. and if i can continue with you, as someone working in campaigning and in congressional liaison, was that constant pain something you picked up on as a staffer in the white house? >> no, he never complained of pain. he complained about lack of having sufficient hard water or some pain to get it back to relieve their back pain, but he did not complain about what was happening to him. and indeed, i was literally strip by the book because that because that because that because that corrector all illness is, where we are
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including with sam graber and obviously was not giving him the relief that he should have had. the latest thing with the doctor that todd hamstringing and stretching was what gave him relief. but he was not a complaint about anything. >> mrs. kennedy tells to things that illustrate the she talks about after has two back operations 19541955 to one of the most poignant is the she described what torture it was and how he went through this and that she says we later found out he was absolutely unnecessary. she says that the following summer he went back to the senate and she said he looks so wonderful in his gray suit and was strolling around the senate floor as if there is nothing wrong. then he would go back to bed at night in a hospital bed.
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and the other thing is that when he was president, i think you would confirm this, that it when he was an agonizing pain he never saw it. one was in spring of 1961 can the first foreign visit, which was to canada. and he planted a tree and he had been told not to aggravate his back and just forgot to do it, so he went over and essentially almost ripped his back and put himself in unbearable pain which he suffered for the next number of months. but if you see the video, he was such a stoic and he was so accustomed to not making people uncomfortable, that even the people who are close to him didn't quite know what it happened. >> do you think any other president was never in such constant physical discomfort, including franklin roosevelt to me for? >> hard to think of one. i think for instance robert kennedy says in his preface to
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the memorial editions of profile encouraging 1864 that at least half of his days honored were spent in physical pain. and if that's the truth, i think whether frank would was about, absolutely. >> he must've been thinking about arthur's questions as you were researching this book and he was a friend about a virus. were there questions he didn't ask which he wish he would have? >> i did, but everything is always 2020 in hindsight 47 years later. as caroline mentioned in those days most historians would not thought to ask her about about her own experience. the first lady in those days by sam knowing historians like arthur schlesinger would have less on her and also the purpose of the oral history was basically to talk about president kennedy. but carolyn and i have discussed
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this, too. gary thinks that since we know what happened later on you she wish she had asked. for instance, what president kennedy might have done in vietnam, other issues that were not support him in early 1964 that in retrospect we now know are very important. >> at things like by asking there was no one else to ask with better skills and training of the historian, a decision was made to take a certain path to the story, which was the path of the harvard elites with come down to the white house. dick committee to kill there were stories that weren't told? >> yes, including anything that arthur told because arthur was the greatest author of stories about self. [laughter] i know specifically because kenny o'donnell told me when the mask came to visit the president, he had a particular message. would you please get arthur
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schlesinger junior off the list of people who can't buy cables? wide? because arthur was about the most garrulous party going person in the whole white house. because breast-fed less than anything you can't buy cable has around town by nightfall. so then he said to kenny, no, you better not. i'll have to do it. you're going to come out poorly in this book as it is. >> and one thing she says in the areas how in many ways compartmentalize president kennedy's life was and she explicitly mentions this path. >> yes. and you know, one of the things i found remarkable that was rio, nobody in this staff related dismiss the memos. we communicated by phone and
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conversation and that good. so there are not great record. >> in the oral history program? >> that's right. and it made very refreshing when you could tell that something that you had seen or done was not recorded, but you could also see -- >> was there anything particular he would have felt? it's not too late, dick. >> no, no, i saved up for my book. [laughter] no, the thing that i remember the best about all of that was when we came -- it was really about getting some stuff done at the white house.
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and everybody would get all excited about why someone celebrating a memo? where they doing that? we don't need a memo. we just get things done. i think dave prowess remarked that we should have no historian. we should have three ticket people to give a report of what went on. and that was -- that was his personal look at the president's attempt to deal with people on this staff. but the people on this staff very, very generously with one another. amine, generously are not so generously, the critically, you bet. but not in the offensive way. nor were we offensive to one
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another, although i could've been. [laughter] the most important memory that i have of that game was at formation of the campaign for the presidency. and that really began with the fight for the control of democratic state committee in massachusetts. >> onion's prayer, not bedminster. >> yes, from the western part of the state got to be unanimous with onions they think because they have an onion patch out there. >> he was an onion farmer as well as a bartender. >> well, that was not untypical. in the leadership of the party. [laughter] >> it hasn't changed. >> but it started because that was when we determined that this guy who had just been a let it
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to the senate and should take a shot at getting control of the mechanics of party. now that is really where you get wreck nation nationally. nobody cares who is chairman of the democratic party in new hampshire or anyplace else. but who are the officers? but if you are getting ready for a convention to people who care about who are the party leaders want to know who's in charge. given that they find that the man charged doesn't put you in charge of much. but they did. so that's when we started the campaign for the control of this democratic state committee. and it was a tumultuous event that went on and on and on although i remember only clearly that it was on mother's day in the year in which the election was held, when we were in the
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hotel park isaiah, copley plaza and the president was interviewing the people at the state committee and asking they support him or not. and if they did, we thought they were wonderful people. and if they seemed a little hesitant, would like to find out. >> india remember years later he was for you and who is against you? >> yes, you knew. [laughter] you remember it, yes. and if you wanted to get a ticket to go to the white house, you better have been on the right side. >> in 1956. >> yes. but that is when it began and it was a crucial campaign. i mean, we didn't have onions --
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>> mrs. kennedy talks about these wonderful figures that have not been apart of her previous life lectures at ramallah and another gentleman has referred to. tell about them. >> you know, this really goes back to the hotel bellevue. and the hotel bellevue, which apparently no longer access, but was at that time to write a block from where the president's apartment ablaze. and right across from the statehouse. it was the buzzword of all poles who were around and they were in and out -- >> he had his headquarters there, did meet? >> i don't know. perhaps. but it was not a place where you don't have e-mail send twitter and all of that type of thing because you just met.
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we had a fella toma called whispering at e. smith. mean -- >> why did you call him whispering eddie? >> because he whispered. >> thank you. >> they would spread rumors as quickly as you could spread the disease. and when he did, what they spread with the disease. but as we were getting ready for the fight for the control of the state committee, we had mayor lynch at somerville, which was their champion. and the champion of the mccormick's. that narco mccormick, which was eddie mccormick's father was also on the state committee. >> brother on the house majority. >> yes, and marco is about as different as a speaker as you could make.
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he was coarse and rough and tough. and i remember when his son was withdrawing from a campaign for the attorney general ship or something of that nature and the father stood in the middle of the aisle in the mechanics holcomb and yelling at his son, sit down. that's a thing to do. [laughter] so he wasn't what she called a wise counselor. season the back of a lot of these things. but we got through this site and everybody was convinced that there were big piles of money because the kennedys were going to buy this thing and how much are you getting -- so i went home and said she i hope there's something waiting for me. [laughter] it was dinner that was waiting for me. but that was the leader of the day. to determine who is good and who
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is bad. but that continued on and everybody is correct. people will recall where were they in the fight for lynch and o'neill burke. and they never did get itself because people were still not much, much later and they never would ever stop. >> i think they were so mad about the 1980 result. >> i had high hopes talking about the ascendancy moment, but it really is fun to talk about edens bird. there is some fascinating but it's in the story, michael. there is a hint at an opening to china was anticipated in the mid-60s in the quoted matter now and the trip to russia. did that strike you as a
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surprise? >> is interesting i suspect, but the first-time offense more solid evidence from the witness john can be essentially was beginning to plan his second term and the thing that he planned to do was to go to the soviet union but the first time the president had been there, believe it or not. and also an opening to china, which in retrospect given what our world is like today was an enormous impression. these to say those are subjects for a second term after every other day. >> and lyndon johnson, hubert extensively with doesn't fare that well in a straight man. there's a story of how we went out one night in georgetown, had a bit too much to drink and just thought he was enough to the job. does that track we are sense of where lbj was? >> i think mrs. kennedy and should lead this later on she would've thought she was a little bit hard and lbj. this was the spring of 1964.
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lbj had just become president. she was not happy he was beginning to overturn a number of her husband's intentions. and i think if she were here, one cautionary note that perhaps she would've wanted him blazoned on the front of the book would be this is a snapshot in time, like she may have thought in the spring of 1964 he may not attract with their feelings later on. and later on she said in oral history she came to resume her old fondness for lbj. she was very close and i think when the u.s. have to remember when you're reading this book is that some of the more fascinating opinions she didn't always keep them years later. ..
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>> the administration voting record was about 2%. >> yeah. whenever you needed the vote, you couldn't have it, and then he invited the president down from the white house for din e and we frequently complained about it which did no good because he continued to entertain him, and happily, he determined that his career was not going to be furthered in politics, and he got out. as it were, you couldn't really understand why he was so charitable to them, but he was
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forgiving, and his motive app -- app deny aprendi was you may need him tomorrow, don't stab him in the back. >> she says, i used to tell him, you know, why are you being nice to the guy? i hated him for the last three weeks because what he's done to you, and the president would say, no, no, he's done such and such last week which was good. he says, never close off a relationship so there's no possibility of reconciliation. i hope everybody in washington now would take that to heart. >> yeah. [laughter] [applause] michael, the term "soft power" has been in vogue for about a
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decade spoke by joe nye, and carroll uses the phrase in her forward, and i don't know if there was a first lady before over sense that had that ability to change people's attitudes around the world towards the united states, and even if she doesn't talk about her political thoughts as much as we might like in these interviews, there's clearly the sense of getting a great deal done to support the administration, even in her choice of countries to visit, her choice of how to present herself, all the cultural work she was doing. was there anything like that before her? >> she really could see around corners and see things others could not see m one of them was latin america which then and later on, got short thrift from american presidents. she thought it was important to go to costa rica, mexico, they traveled there. one of the most poignant things in the book is a newspaper
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headline that mrs. kennedy was nice enough to actually shake hands with little children who were from a latin american country because that was so unusual at the time. one of the thing they both felt is what you said, ted, which is that one test of american power is the number of missiles and nuclear weapons and so on, but oftentimes just as important as how people think about america and their hearts, that's what the peace corp. was about. >> there's some wonderfully undiplomatic statements in this book. >> one or two? >> one or two, thank goodness. [laughter] i learned she named her poodle negal. >> that was my footnote. >> that's a nice detail. did those surprise you? did the acuity -- >> she said she came to have the same, i think, opinion of french people as she did of people in wisconsin.
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[laughter] and i think sort of for the same reasons because wisconsin could not ultimately vote overwhelmingly for john kennedy, and the french, particularly charles degul, was giving her husband a great deal of trouble. you can see it to some extent as a great test of loyalty. >> there's beautiful language as well in thing the of the cuban missile line. >> no difference between sleeping and waking. >> right. >> i thought that was a signal because one of the toughest things in the story and i think you'd agree with this, we talked about it a little bit is find out what someone -- two things, one, the death penalty of his or her re-- the belief of his or her religious and she described the cuban missile crisis that they were together more during that period than perhaps any other time during that presidency, and he would call her, and they would go for walks on the lawn,
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spent a lot of time together, and that does tell you something because you mentioned franklin roosevelt. he admired eel -- elenor, but at a moment of anxiety, she was not supportive company, probably would not have spent a lot of time with her in a crisis like this, but with jfk, who does he turn to? jackie. >> any part of this cd set and book, dick, that surprised you to new sides of president kennedy? >> not really, but i must say i was marveled at her concern at, for instance, the remodeling of the white house. the detail that she went to in that she had the research that she did, and then her ability to administer it a really overwhelming. i just don't -- can't believe that a person could do it on
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short notice unless she had been planning it for much longer than we know. [laughter] >> i think it was a depth of her reaction when she came to the white house and had a lovely experience with mrs. eisenhower who did not treat her terribly well after reading the book if you have not read it read it yet. she was led but the rooms, and she said it looked like a bad hotel, and there was a reason for that whichfuls when the white house was reconstructed in the truman administration, they left the four walls on the inside, and they ran out of money, so harry truman characteristically made a deal with the department store in new york that just furnished the ground floor of the white house, and it looked that way, and she felt it did, but dick is absolutely right because sometimes the restoration of the white house is sort of written
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off as interior decoration or just superficial. she had to raise this money, which was not easy. she had to keep particularly to or three advisers, architectural advisers from essentially colliding with one another, and sister parish to some extent. if anyone doubts her political skills, the fact she did that, got it in on time, under budget and for the white house to look the way it does today, and if it was not for her, it would still look like a bad convention hotel. >> president eisenhower walks around the residents in his golf shoes, and eisenhower is not a sympathetic figure, but i felt sorry for her because to have been succeeded by jacqueline kennedy must not have been the easiest thing. >> i think not, but as she -- as mrs. kennedy says, things drift
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to her ears like her saying the restoration, i hear they made the red room purple, things like that. >> we're at an interesting moment in the history of publications because i wasn't sure whether to listen or to read and which is faster and really between the two, you get so much more from hearing her speak, although, i had one alarming moment in the car. i had the it loaded in, and i left one cd of keith richardson in, and that took a little understanding. >> i actually love that one. [laughter] >> you where do you think -- do you think your readers and her readers, i mean, are they even readers or should people -- >> i think there's different experiences. when you read it, i think you can absorb what is it a little bit more, but had you listen, i think you're absolutely right, ted, and this is true of most tapes of this kind. you get a sense -- in fact, i
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heard caroline talk about this, you hear her tone of voice, the meaning that you just can't get just from reading the words. >> right. >> we're now at the part of the event taking questions, and i have a few to begin. this is for you, dick. she talks about joseph p. kennedy and rose kennedy. you must have known the two individuals. do your impressions match with memories of them and her interactions with them in public? >> yes. [laughter] >> i think i'd have the wrong career in political life. [laughter] so distinguished. >> well -- [laughter] no, mr. kennedy was very much a dominant figure in almost everything that went on in in the political life of john kennedy.
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his mother was even more dominant on the prayer life, and kept after them for all of the reasons that good mothers do. i mean, to make responsible children, and -- but they kept very, very close track of what each was doing, and so i would not disagree that anybody who thinks that they were enormously up -- influential. the only thing i'm conscious of, however, is ambassador kennedy could not influence certain people in the democratic party. i mean, people that we were supporting. he frequently did not, so that -- >> who are you thinking of? [laughter] >> oh, well, i'm just really
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thinking about one fight that we had, and he just was not responsive. i mean, well, barbie was the responsible one, and what happened was that bobby had indicted the brother of a congressman from new york, and congressman who had been very, very responsive to us and wanted desperately for the indictment to be withdrawn, bobby refused; then there was a talk to the ambassador who said, no, he will do what he's going to do anyway, and so it caused us some pain, but not a great deal, but it's the type of thing in which they would differ, and if he differed, he differed because
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you see, one strong rascal -- [laughter] >> ambassador kennedy used to joke he was a robert taft democrat? >> yeah. >> michael, what surprised you the most? did any of her assessments of key players differ from your views and those of other historians? >> sure, in all sorts of way, but in a large sense, the thing that really surprised me is if we were talking a year ago, i would have said she was a large influence during that period, but i wont have particularly -- wouldn't have particularly said she was a large political figure in this administration, and if you read this book, you have to say that because the number of times she talks mainly about people, but not only always about people, and you notice that the people that she's very critical of wound up not doing well during the administration, and to some extent she was absorbed in her husband's views,
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but she talks about a few cases being in pakistan, added to her trip to india to balance it off for political reason, and two things happened actually -- john kenneth was the ambassador to kennedy who john kennedy knew since being in harvard, the ambassador in pakistan did not have that relationship, and for diplomatic reasons it was a good idea to employee walter mckaun hay and so mrs. kennedy implied that president thinks well of the ambassador and so on, and well, that's funny, i just met him once when i left to take the job two weeks ago. that didn't work teshbly well, but -- terribly well, but not as a result of this, but being in pakistan, watching her husband in action, she wrote her husband a memo saying this is the kind of ambassador that we should not
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have in a job like this, and it went to the state department, and he served until 1966. >> she didn't seem to get as involved in domestic politics. would you agree, dick? >> well, i don't know that she didn't get involved in domestic politics because for instance the talk about the monuments from the s1 dam flooding, i remember going to see congressman from brooklyn who was in charge of the appropriations. >> now, would he have brn politically eager to help egypt at that point? >> no, he was not. he was politically, he was not at all answer, to help the president -- at all anxious to help the
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president because he was the unruly type -- [laughter] and -- but he was in -- i went up to call him off the floor to ask him to please vote the thing that the president wanted, and he eventually said, yes, he would, but he never forgave me for it. >> another question for michael. as a presidential historian, are you aware of any first lady prior to jacqueline kennedy who provided a candid public relation of her experience in the white house? >> no, and one thing that if you study her life, she always broke the mold. she was always innovating and perhaps maybe putting near the most important innovation she made was this idea that she would be asked for eight and a half hours very personal questions in great detail about her time as first lady. that had not happened before,
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and since then, it almost always happens, first ladies even write books which in those days was very unusual. >> there's not a page in the book that's not fused with her wit and the sense that she and president kennedy were sharing -- >> there's a wonderful story to interject tar a second -- for a second where there's a state visit, and the not very good reputation had proceeded him, but they were trying to make the best of it, and so oftentimes she says when there was a leader coming to the white house, president would bring the leader upstairs to visit with the first lady as sort of a special thing to do for him, and he was said to have published his art collection, published by the chinese, and so mrs. kennedy, the detail she went into, got a copy of the collection, the book from the state department, about 20 minutes before he arrived. she was not able to read it
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before he got there, mrs. kennedy on one side, president on the other saying, oh, we have this wonderful book of your art collection. they opened it, and virtually every page was a topless woman. there was my second wife, that was my third wife, and she says, jack and i had to make such an enormous effort to keep from laughing. [laughter] almost didn't make it. >> dick, could you tell how funny she was? >> well, i'll tell a funny story about her family. she was very close to her sister, who was married to the prince of poland, and he came here during the campaign and he was very big in the polish crowd, but he was not a american citizen, he was a polish citizen, and there was the drive was to get him out and see the
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people, and this foal low who -- fellow who worked in the state department, and he was a very, very powerful political figure in the polish world, so he definitely wanted stash to come to his district or to go campaign. i said, mitch, we can't do that. we can't have a foreign dignitary campaigning in a domestic election. well, he says, let me see what i can do, so the next thing i remember is i get a call, and hello, dick? yeah? mish. last night, stash was a smash. [laughter] you hear me? last night, stash was a smash. thank you, stash.
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[laughter] >> and pennsylvania went democratic that year by a much larger margin. [laughter] we now know the reason. >> well, michael eluded earlier to the toxic political climate we live in now, and, dick, how do you think president kennedy would have negotiated within that kind of a climate? how would he have helped our system recover? >> i really do not know with this system as we have it today where people refuse to tolerate the other person's view, how he could possibly have honed up to it. when i left washington, exactly a week before the president was assassinated, i had been working on the civil rights bill. now, we had put together, with a lot of work and a lot of things, a real coalition of republicans and democrats prepared to support a real civil rights
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bill. it was -- and i left washington with a certain assurance that it was over, there was no need to do it. i used to be able to name the republican congressman that i could line up on almost any given matter because they respected president kennedy and respected the things he stood for. you don't have that today. no one respects anybody else, no one has shared with anyone else, and so i don't know how he could have fit into today's world unless he could have bombed them with something. [laughter] >> one thing that does it for me is this space program. when he went to congress and, dick, i'm sure was a part of this saying a moon landing before 1970 is essential to national security. a lot of republicans didn't want to spend the money says 23 the president -- if the president says national security is at stake, i'll vote
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for it, which they did. >> well, i think we should all take from the book a measure of optimism about ways that our system can perform well at its very best, and on that note -- >> even though we're not american idol, no number to place your vote, but our bookstore reports directly to the "new york times" best seller list. if you want to keep jacqueline kennedy ahead of dick cheney on that list -- [laughter] we encourage you all -- [applause] to buy a copy or two or three of the book at our bookstorement i ask you to remain in your seats, if you will. the book signing will be right outside this door. those of you in the satellite room, there's a line coming in from the front. those of you in this room, the line is forming literally blind the back of this wall, but most of all, i want to thank caroline kennedy for her comments and for
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this panel, michael beschloss and dick richard donahue. [applause] >> this event was hosted by the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum. to find out more visit >> well, back in july of 1926, 85 years ago this month, this country was celebrating its sees queen ten yal, 150th national birthday, and here in texas, i imagine it was quite a big deal, but in fort worth, texas, aways from here, the celebration was overshadowed # by a battle involving civic leaders. the catalyst was battle was a preacher. the issues were both public and personal, and the citizens found
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themselves polarized. some talked conspiracies and others about troublemakers, and on july 17, 1926, it came to a head when a successful businessman, someone connected to the movers and shakers of the town went to pay a visit on a local pastor, but this was not just any pastor. far from the typical man of the clothe of his day, he was a multifaceted personality ruling over a religious empire. he presided over the largest protestant congregation in america, in many ways, america's first megachurch. he was a radio brood casting -- broadcasting pioneer star, in the newspapers, and he was viewed by many beyond teaks as the leader of a movement near apex called fundamentalism. as the businessman argued with the preacher that day, the language was hot, and within a few moments gave way to four
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gunshots, three of which struck the businessman. he fell dead. twenty people were working in the office and none approached the gentleman to help. before the man of the stretcher reached the hospital, he breathed his last breath. the dead name was dexter elliot chips. the pastor was john frankly norris or the texas tornado or to many simply as that man, and the story what happened that day 85 years ago and the following six months or so is likely what i'd call the most famous story you've never heard. the story reached all the way here to austin because eventually the trial, which was one of the most celebrated trials of the decade, a decade that was known for famous trials like the scopes trial and, of course, the leopold and so
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forth. this trialfuls one of the most captivating at the time, but it's been lost to history. it's a footnote in a lot of books, a story that's made it into some places, but it's never received its full treatment, i think. the context, of course, is the 1920s which i've always found to be a fascinating time. it was a time just after the world changed when the soldiers that, you know, here we have just this year in march, the last living soldier of world war i, a man 110 years old was buried at arlington national cemetery. there's no more from that era, and fewer from the greatest generation of world war ii, but in the 1920s, people came back from world war i, and they had a changed view, somewhat, i think, influenced by what they saw in europe, and what we know about the 1920s is thrmp two things -- there were two things happening
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at the same time. one there's a revolution in manners and morals in the country. they cast off restraints. you have women voting and you have a lot of independence. you have a bit of a sexual revolution that goes on. you have all the media things that come along, radio, of course, begins to become a very popular medium. eventually, becoming the media of the day. tabloid newspapers are strong. movies, the film industry had been around for a few years, but really reachedded its, got its traction in the 1920s, and along with that, the cult of celebrity came along, what andy warhol describes as 15 minutes of fame, it was that in the 1920s with sports figures and movie stars becoming famous. over against that, you had this reaction to that revolution, and it was described in an odd word that was created at the
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beginning of the decade by warn -- warren harding who ran in 1920 wanting to get back to "normalcy". there was no such word. he was the first republican to make up words, but he said "normalcy" getting back to the way things used to be, and that resinated with a lot of people. they saw the country blowing a part, the values they held were changes, and there was a number of things that came along at the same time that emerged. one was a movement called fundamentalism. when you hear about the word "fundamentalism" today, what you think of is it's associated an awful lot with islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, and, of course, people through it in with christian fundamentalism and make the mistake of using evangelical and fundamentalism as being interchangeable, which they are not. it began as 5 theological movement, a reaction to the
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theological changes taking place in mainstream protestantism. it was a cultural thing, something for people to get involved with. it's hard to imagine today that it was such a pervasive movement in the 1920s that the famous sage of baltimore, a man by the name. hl jenkin said in the 1920s if you heave an egg from a car in america, you're bound to hit a fundamentalist in the head. there were millions of people who embraced it. it was much more than religious, but a cultural reaction to the way things had changed. another movement that was very big, at least for a time in the 1920s, and certainly here in the state of texas, was the ku klux klan. it had seen a revival. there have been many manifestations of the clan up until our time, many of them marginal, but the most significant emergence of


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