rank-and-file republicans actually believe about gay issues. and i think that conventional wisdom is that all republicans a case, that they are opposed to gay rights, nothing could be further from the truth. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> and woodrow wilson disregarded the constitution to
>> no more from america -- book tv college series. this interview was recorded at the united states naval academy. it's about ten minutes. >> on your screen now, professor of history at the u.s. table academy. author of several books, including his most recent, american sheikhs, to families,j) for generations, and the storyk) of americj)a's influence in then middle east. who was dana? >> the founder of what later became the american university of beirut. >> added he go about doing that? >> a lot of american entrepreneur real spirit.
>> made the family quite wealthy. >> what was his goal in founding the american university? >> his initial goal differ from a became his life's work. he arrived in the middle east and 1850's determined to convert muslims to christianity and very quickly realized that wasn't going to happen and that's the way to make a connection was not to convert them, but to educate them and to improve their lives and tangible, concrete ways because that is with they responded to positively. once he had that in sight he ran with it and develop what they became the harvard of the middle east.
>> is is still open? >> it is time indeed. weathered many tough years. it remains open and stay that way even through the tough times of the civil war. >> who owns it? who runs it? >> it is still run by a very impressive faculty of professors and administrators who are both middle easterners and americans. an age a biologist by training. and chaired one of the important departments of the university of chicago for the took this job just a couple of years ago. >> is it coincidental that he is a direct descendant? is that on purpose? >> i think it is a happy coincidence. he is an extremely well credentialed and a capable administrator, but he had a personal passion for the school because of his family connections.
>> again, who owns or runs the american university? >> try faculty, middle easterners. the vast majority of students. >> associated with religion, other schools. >> deliverly secular and nonsectarian. >> what does it cost to go there for your. >> i have no idea. >> what did it cost back in the reverence days? >> i don't know the answer to that question either, but i do know that over time it began to open doors, not just to the offspring of the elite organ is a religion, but to people of all of the city's, glasses, and religions and that is its appeal, marriage. >> how is it viewed in the middle east? how is it you back when the rev. up in the? >> a lot of suspicion on the part of the middle east when the school opened in the 1860's. run by christian missionaries,
americans, he did not have very deep roots in the region. it became a path to middle easterners who were not just orthodox christians but muslims and jews. this is the best place to get the best possible education. within a generation, by 1900, eight and become what it remains to the state colleges the harvard of the middle east. what is magnificent about that is it is an all-inclusive institution founded by americans that exists to serve the interests of the people of them released regardless of background. and it's an example of the nez states giving to the region. >> speaking of which, professor, how would you -- to use the bis as being a part of american diplomacy to the middle east? >> only indirectly. the leaders of the school has traditionally attempted to
maintain independence from the united states government. which i think. it serves american interests in the sense that it gives ministers of whatever background and faith and awareness that states have a humanitarian presence. it's not always of access to oil . the military force for purposes of national security, americans of been there for 150 years giving to the region in much more practical and beneficial ways for the people of the region, and not just for us. that's why i wrote the book. i wanted them to know. i wanted the american people to know the story. >> who is now come, and what happened to end? >> professor of political science who happened to lead ucla the year before i arrived to work, ph.d. he and grow up in their rick. his parents had been on the faculty.
and though he had made a very distinguished career for himself in the united states is a scholar of the middle east, he went home in the early 80's to lead the school during particularly difficult times when they read and fractured due to the civil war and the israeli incursion of 1992. the city was a mess. the school is under assault. a lot of personal danger. crisis was the best thing to do for it in institution that he loved. he gave his life for the school. he was assassinated in january january 1984. >> by whom and how? >> most likely by the fanatical wing of hezbollah, a group known as islamic jihad that comprised lebanese shia who have historically been underprivileged, excluded from
the politics and economics of the country, had ideological affinity for the regime. and radicalized by the israeli incursion into south lebanon in the early 1980's. a very toxic makes that led them to take dramatic steps that climaxed in the assassination amount of pressure are was the target? >> because he was an american. not only american, but very visible president of the great university in the middle east. there was no more higher profile example of an american involved in that region than the presidency of a you be. >> the american university, beirut, back in the 1850's, what was a paper like? >> was and still is a multi
cultural cosmopolitan city. then and now muslims, jews, and christians all next and co existed to a significant degree. in the american missionary presence was particularly significant in better, and it became sort of a launching pad for creating what became the greatest university in the region because of this american missionary connection. >> kid that university had been put in and other middle east and cities? >> perhaps. but the american presence was never anywhere else. the in visionary and practical of compassion. very patriotic the american. other nationalities to my other interests. he wants to create a school that represented the american model of education, lived american
values and that gave people in the middle east and awareness that an american education was something that would benefit their lives, every day in tangible ways. >> why is it important to tell the story near you? >> aware of this longer, deeper, humanitarian. a usually centers on security. many easterners feel likewise. they don't think about whether the longer roots of american involvement had nothing to do with oil, is row, the plumb the combat troops to protect their interests. >> his most recent book, american and sheikhs, to families, for generations, andíz the story of american influence
in the least. this is book tv and c-span2. >> we would like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback. twitter.com/booktv. >> what i discovered is that jefferson and appears to be a man of contradictions come by when you do something rather simple, which is to put him on a time line and examine all of his sayings and actions in an excellent chronological order, certain patterns emerge, and things simultaneously get a little bit more complicated, but a lot simpler. and we are actually dealing with to jefferson's. the young jefferson was a fiery radical emancipation, and there was the older jefferson who really embraced slavery. the year in jefferson on the enough has not been studied all that much. as a newly minted member of the house of burgesses he made a proposal to immense apace slaves
in virginia. he made on the sly, shielding his intensity using relative to submit the bill, which is a good thing because is relative was denounced as an enemy of this country, and the bill was summarily dismissed. and later under his own name as the revolution approached he floated a more explosive plan that actually might have changed the course of our history. if only the country would stop the slave trade, jefferson wrote to me to proceed to the enfranchisement of the slaves that we have, meaning that they would become citizens. and he wrote this in a document called the summary of -- the summary view of the rights of british america which she also submitted to the house of burgesses or to a committee thereof and it was, again, summarily rejected which led to his being chosen to write the declaration of independence where he denounced the slave trade in no uncertain terms, another clause that was struck because south carolina and georgia would not abide any
strictures on the slave trade. after the war a strange thing began to have been jammed. and oddly enough, france is the key to understanding. and we think of france to think of sally in james samsung's, for the jury . but he went over there, very important national business. he was there as our trade representative. we were desperate for money. the u.s. code enormous debts to britain, and our most important export was a slave raise crop, tobacco which brought in some 30 million the year. now, jefferson had one problem, the most important and influential friends that he had a court among the french aristocrats were all abolitionists and could not understand how we have fought a war for universl