like a maintenance of effort, just don't cut it. just start there. i'd like to think we could have pushed a little further. the danger, of course, is that nobody wanted to go back to the lehning standards of 2005, and we shouldn't have been pushing that. but i think there was room. not so easy. you're quite right to call attention to it. but there was room between nothing and crazy lending standards, and we just didn't explore that room back in 2008, way before the obama crowd took over, let's be clear. [applause]
>> discuss the research and decisions made in the creation of the film script. they're joined in conversation we daniel wineberg, opener of the abraham book shop in shop. >> welcome to virtual book signing, we're in the abraham book shop in chicago. it's gorgeous day. we have a few people here with us and we're happy to have c-span join us. thank you very much to be here, and illinois channel is here and liz daryl from the tribune, literary book section, is with us, and we appreciate all of them being here, also voice of america is covering us today as well. just before we go on, should
tell you all that while we're live -- and this is not for c-span unfortunately but while we're live you can e-mail in questions. we hope you will. give your first name and where you're from and we'll shout out and try to get it on air as quakily as we can. if you're watching the archives you can always ask us if we have signed books or leftovers. don't want to be with the screen play of the lincoln movie after it gets to be an oscar winner and you don't have it signed. so get it now while you can. and if you're on c-span and would like to be part of us i hope you will by getting to virtual book signing.net and leave your e-mail and be part of the virtual book signing family. also, i should let you know that next month we're not going to have a author in. instead we're going to launch
our now live broadcast. that's me. we're going to talk about for collectors and by collectors, collectors on air or tape. we'll talk about artifacts we have at the time here in the shop and stories behind them. artifacts, historical artifacts were made for some human desire and need and its up to us and the collectors to find out what these are. so i hope you'll join us for that. we'll have many other segments, what it's worth. ask you as a collector to e-mail into us maybe a description and an image of a prize example you would have in your collection and we'll try to put that on and tell the story about and it you can ask questions as well. so next month, the premiere, and again, for anyone who wants to, virtual book signing.net so you can get on with us as well. well, the lincoln movie is out, i've heard so here we are,
with two books, two authors and two books related directly to the movie. tony kushner lives in new york city, the recipient of a pulitzer prize, two tony awards, an emmy, the critics choice for best adapted screen play and up for an oscar in just nine days, and frankly, it should win. we here think it should because it made a different statement than anyone else has in all these years on lincoln on film, and made the biggest difference, i think, than other films that don't have the same impact as this one does. the author -- co-ed debted wrestling, home body kabul, and
caroline or change hitches screen plays including angels in america, munich, and today's book is the screen play for the lincoln movie, and it's a forward by goodwin, the communication groups publishes. 164 pages, you can order while we're live or later on as well. we'll have signed copies for you. as well we have harold holzer, co-chair of the u.s. lincoln bicentennial commission, me ad rest in peace, has co-authored 44 book0s 'lincoln and is a specialist on lincoln and the go-to guy for the media for
anything lincoln and has a nice artifact collection in fact. he won the lincoln prize. has also won the freeman award here at the chicago roundtable, three achievement awards from the group of new york. and also the james robertson young readers award from the roundtable of new york, and that really goes right to the book he has done today. which is his latest book, how abraham lincoln ended slavery in america, a come papillon book for young readers to the steven spielberg film lincoln. it's a new market praise for it books, 224 pages, illustrated, and it's 16.99 and we can get you this signed as well in first edition. well, thank you both for joining us here at the shop. and i have a ton of questions
and i hope some will come in as well. first one is one you may have heard before but first time here and that is that we now know that john favreau, obama's speech writer, has decided to become a screen writer. so as a screen writer, you think you can become obama's speech write center. >> i don't think i'd make a very good political speech writer. i think the requirements of the job that i -- patience and willing to be severely edited, and writing on deadline and so on. not me. >> put some wonderful words into lincoln -- >> i did my best. i think that we have a president that at the moment is really capable of writing very beautiful speeches on his open. and it's night to have a writer back in the white house.
>> the spielberg -- >> done being president he'll become would screen writer. >> could happen. >> he is young. could -- >> if anyone is interested i'm available to either be a presidential speech writer or a -- >> or president. >> john quincy adams, go back into congress. tell us about your relationship with steven spielberg and how the film -- you're the third one on the movie, and how did it change from what spielberg was doing in the first place and what he asked you to do? >> steven originally was thinking of this being a general film about the civil war, and helicopter met doris at the point she was working on rivals. he bought the rights to team of rivals and read it. by the time he asked me to take a look at team of rivals and consider adapting it, he had really moved from thinking of it as being a film about the entire civil war to being a film
specifically about lincoln, which i think where is his heart was always. he said many times, as a kid, he was fascinated by lincoln. he was very frightened when he was taken to the lincoln memorial as a little boy. thought this figure was kind of giant scary figure, and when he looked into the face and felt it was a very kindly face, and it sort of had a big impression on him. so, i think when we first started talking about lincoln, one of his el early memories was cut ago out black cardboard silhouette of lincoln on president's day in second grade, and when we had our first meeting with daniel day-lewis with were at a pub after the meeting and daniel and i were talking about a window and it was twilight, and daniel was
silhouetted, and steven took a picture with his phone and he e-mailed it to me and it looked abraham lincoln. so this is something he had always wanted to do. >> how do you approach your part of the project? and you certainly have to do a good deal of research in the lincoln literary field. what were the major influences you had? >> i came to the abraham lincoln book store, actually, and left with a carton full of books. i began reading what seemed to me sort of the major lincoln texts. i began reading through the library of america, collection of a series of speeches and letters. i read a few general histories of the civil war. and so -- i've always loved 19th century literature, american, english, russian,
french, and i sort of pick and choose american novels from the period and english novels from the period, to get more fluent in 19th century spoken language. and i began to figure out how to narrow the story down to something that seemed to me to be containable within a feature-length format. only two and a half hours. but that was significant enough, and in a way emblematic enough to stan in for -- i mean to sort of dig into major themes of the lincoln administration, because at the time that i -- every read a few books i began to realize there were certain themes that would repeat themselves. they repeated themselves during the four years he was in the white house, and so i began to zero in on the last four months, and then with steven, after i
learned the -- decided to focus entirely on that. >> harold, you also were brought in early as a consultant, and tell us your experience with that. >> the first experience i had came, i guess, with 2006 when, along with a group of lincoln historians, organized by doris, we all met at a hotel in new york city with steven spielberg and tony kushner for the first time, and were given two wonderful meals in an all-day session and asked -- bombarded with questions about lincoln. what he looked like. what he sounded like. what his relationships might have been with his sons and with his wife, with his cabinet ministers, how he walked. it was extraordinary, and also the thinking process, questions, lighting style questions, and my
now-friend tony was taking notes with a fountain pen dipped in ink, and i thought we're talk too fast are this is never going to work. and now i know it's more about lincoln than any of the stories. so i think there was a computer at work somewhere, probably his brain, but that was the beginning, and i've known doris for years. just enormously flattered that she asked me to participate. there were some terrific people there. jim mcpherson, and many others, and we kicked around so many subjects the highlight of the meeting for me -- this is really -- i don't want to -- it was an extraordinary experience. the highlight came when both tony and steven spielberg were asked by us -- we didn't ask any questions until the very end. we actually thought there might be a third meal but we were ultimately disappointed.
we said, how would you film the get get gettysburg address that would be different than, same, gregory peck, or sam watererston's speech in the miniseries. they went on this flight of imagination that a camera back at the end of the crowd, leave falls falling from the trees. wind obscuring words, and not paying attention, and only at the last minute would there be a huge closeup of lincoln's face and you hear the final word, and i thought this made it all worth while. rather than listening to each other, because we just heard the difference between a screen writer and a director, and your chronicling of facts.
the next thing that happened is that disney and dreamworks asked me this summer to do -- early in the summer to do a young readers companion book and expand on the evolution of lincoln's views on opportunity and equality, and they did evolve. he was a flip-flopper in the best sense of the word. so that was a privilege, too. >> you're skipping one important step, which is that after i think two years had passed and i had a first draft, sometime after the first draft, we contacted and you asked you and jim mcpherson as well as doris to serve as historical advisers for the film. so you were one of the first people to reed -- when steven said i think this is getting close to the shooting script. we need to show it to historians and have it checked. >> then we met a couple of times. >> which was great. the script came with a lock expect was like, in get smart, of you opened it, smoke would
come out. >> i was very unnerved. >> pages waterparked. one of the things that has been happening the age of the internet, people in l.a. go through dumpsters and find discarded draft odd scripts and then publish them on the internet. so the entire script appeared on line for w the day before the started film, which is a nightmare, and nothing -- we really kept it under lock and key. there will certain precautions made. hall was shocked win he got the script and every paige had his name in big gray letters across it. reported to his supervisor. >> you spoke about gettysburg and a question came in about this and get monday to the dream sequence which i loved. lincoln had a dream that was significant to him. four significant events in his life.
like get tisburg address 0, their battle or his death. he talked to the cabinet that day, and the night before, and that was great surprise near the beginning when you have that beautiful scene of him on that ship toward an indefinable shore. but before that scene, just before, was lincoln with a couple of black soldiers, couple of white soldiers, and talking to them, them to him, and he said the get tisburg address to them, portions of it and to me it seems -- i if a shrink the audience here. seems that was part of the dream he had himself in his dream sequence he remembered the last part, but the earlier part was something he was proud of, and saw perhaps being imbedded into the culture already, and so here we have mel from cleveland
saying, tony, did you ever consider having the movie open with lincoln doing the get tisburg address. well, yes. >> originally when my first attempt to narrow the store down i started in september of 1863, around the time chase is secretary of the treasury and began to make his publicly known that he intended to challenge lincoln from within the cabinet for the republican nomination in '64, and so when we began in 1863, very rapidly i discovered i could write an entire feature-length script and it did and it only got me through january of 1864. so it was impossible to start that far back. but starting in september gave in the chance to do the address, and what hal is remembering is accurate. steven was very interested in
acoustical trickery, shadows, and the battle on one side of the hill and people cooperate hear it on the other, and then lincoln's words at gettysburg, when the wind changed direction, you lost sentences itch was struck by -- there were these two guy buoys who climbed on the platform and heard the whole thing, in my 1863 version i did have them giving the address, you're under the platform with these two kids and you can see the bottoms of his feet and they are hear some of the words and they're shocked when it's over in two minutes and then he walks off, and that's the way that you hear the address. i never really -- i was absolutely determined i would get as much of the second inaugural address, as magnificent, as perfect a prose poem as the gettysburg address, the think the second inaugural address is the greatest
speeches. one of most beautiful passages in thening lyric -- in the english language. that's what i especially -- the last part but i wanted the whole thing in. that was important to me, to hear him do it, and i am really happy because i think that daniel -- the way that daniel does it is a shocker. you think, because it's so clipped and sort of almost modernist, and the war came, i mean, has this kind of precision and economy until he gets gets o the theological part, that he must then whisper -- would have an inaudible, and i thought daniel did -- complete surprise to me, never would have occurred to me. i was jealous he thought of it, lincoln went to the theater as offer has he could. he loved acting and actors, and he would use 19th century stage language, the big
rhetorical jess tours -- gestures when he spoke, and daniel does it as somebody who is not an actor, not a politician, doing it with grate and authority and i thought that was a real new wrinkle into what we know about. >> just because he was so contemporary, said he was very spare with his gestures but he would suddenly do a grand gesture but it would look awkward and also dramatic. so with malice toward none, and charity for all, rings very true, an emphasis he would make, particularly at that event which may have been, except for one lincoln-douglas debate, the largest crowd he ever spoke to. >> including soldiers he addressed in the field. >> he didn't address them when he reviewed them. >> on gettysburg agrees, i like your interpretation of it being
the extension of a dream. but because there were no african-american troops permitted to fight at gettysburg, the governor some tosome strange reason chickened out in afining those troops to the battle. we don't know if there where are any african-americans at gettysburg, and yet the idea of freedom and unfinished work is directed at that least whites recognizing their presence and to have the device of african-american -- an african-american soldier knowing it and almost saying to lincoln, you're on record here, you've made a promise. >> it was fantastic. >> and the african-american soldiers in the scene are veterans of subsequent battles. they were not at gettysburg. if they were captured they would have been sentenced to slavery. >> confederates decided not to
take prisoners if they captured black soldiers. killed them in very brutal ways. >> i do want to say hello to the ken northern should civil war museum. a spectacular museum. if you have never been it to, you should. it's just up north of chicago about an hour and a half, and they're online with us today, and as well my hometown, holm land park become public library, hello, neighbors, welcome to our shop. i appreciate you being online as well. i was -- peter from milwaukee asked was there a character that was especially difficult to write for? >> well, no one ever asked me that. lincoln. that was the hardest -- once i got over the fear of doing it,
it became easier, although you have to be very, very careful when you putting word thursday the mouth of lincoln. >> what about seward? >> the difference between -- seward is obviously an immensely gifted politician and an incredible figure, but not, i think, -- i hope you'll forgive me -- not a jeepous on the level of lincoln and had in a way for all his peacock vanity, the wisdom and clarity to recognize the difference and to sort of -- that's the point where you portray him, he understands lincoln -- >> yes. one of the things that really -- you put little quotes on your notebooks and on your -- the wall of the writing desk. one of them was actually from bob dylan talking about world war iii blues, does a rip on
lincoln. the last two lines are i'll let how be in my dream if you let me be in yours, which i thought was an interesting way melancholy. i feel frances, his wife in this alert -- early on, i think it's 1861 -- engrossed with compassion and authority every day and it's a tremendously interesting insight. you can hear what he is wrestling with. this guy who has this tremendous authority and power, has this -- harriet beecher stowe talks about it. this kind of yielding compassionate introspective side and he combines both. and i think found that unnerving and then it feels to me and everything i've read, really
began to fall like one of the first great lincoln obsessions, he fell in love with lincoln and he couldn't bear and he was jealous and envious and competitive and also aware he was standing next to somebody who was unbelievably greater and smarter than he was, and was happy to be his sidekick, his lieutenant. he was a lot of fun to write. >> a question has come up, and i'd like to -- thomas lincoln shows up in here and i think it's spot on. how to -- you say, as long as i can remember in a way i never troubled my father. he hated it. in his own fashion. could compete with slave plantations, went to kentucky to get away from them. wanted indiana kept free. he wasn't a kind man but there
was an urge for fairness and freedom in him. i learned that from him, i suppose. if little else from him. >> so that the relationship in one speech, right? >> i think you did this -- between the two of you i think, tony, you nudged it toward the economic. that's one of the reasons he left, he could not compete with the free blacks coming up. >> with the slave owners. >> with the slave owners. >> i -- well, there was this religious fervor that came from his baptist church where they had an antislavery preacher every week, but then again, when the service was over, young abe would stand on a tree trunk and imitate the sermons and remember them perfectly, and invariably his antislavery father would come over and belt him on the
head get to him home. i just think the moral side against slavery. i think some -- >> a lot of the movie says -- lincoln was very careful to say -- particularly about his kentucky neighbors -- in their place, we would have felt the same thing. it's not that northerners are more morally right. >> there's been an argument that absolutely -- >> [overlapping speakers] >> in '68 and -- we would do the same thing. >> life that passage. >> it was important to me to make a distinction that there's a way into antislavery -- the abolitionist, moral,th ethical, and religious abhor residence of slavery, and then the wig
position. i was immediate evil studies major and one of the jokes the department is when witness the middle ages end? and the answer is, who said it ended? and it's hard. on what day did the middle ages -- when did it become the rein nuance and modern time. i actually had this -- i think it would make a case the middle ages ended during the american civil war. this is his the moment when a precapitalist, precontract all, form of societal organization runs right into the demands of the industrial revolution and is clearly so it utterly out of sink with it. lincoln was surrounded by people who really rejected slavery on that -- ever since the beginning, and moral repugnance wasn't -- it was a different kind of antislavery politics and
it wasn't rooted in a deep conviction or friendship or familiarity with slaves or with former slaves. he really was -- he lived in illinois, and there was an insulation. i think that -- i want to just sort of bring that out. >> he was complex. >> a scene that i think shock many people was lincoln slapping his son. robert. how did that come about, that scene? >> okay. >> in lincoln president elect that when robert lost the
inaugural address, the first inaugural address at the hotel in indianapolis, forcing lincoln to jump over the registration desk and throw this carpet bags up in the air until he found the right one, that would be a good scene in slapstick comedy. when he got back, robert was not sufficiently contrite, and one report says he cuffed him, and that's in public. he is 17 years old, and was drinking, we know, on the train trip. and so that's another story. so, i don't know -- they were very indulgent parents, irparticularly with a young boy. >> the estrangement or the distance between the two of them, the heartbreaking thing is on the last day of his life, that's breakfast and they talk about law as a profession robert thinking back on that had a sense maybe they were beginning to come closer, but there's a strong sense that robert was sort of handed over the
difficult -- given the responsibility of taking care of mary in a way while lincoln rode the circuit and they were not -- certain certainly not close in the way that willy or tad were with lincoln. i think that's important thing to point out. there were many, many accounted of lincoln not getting physically violent but becoming enormously angry very quickly, and then it passed quickly. he got control of it. >> he didn't three-be didn't learn to be a parent himself. his dad didn't have one since his -- was killed. >> was killed by the indians. so it was a string of not having a father figure for them, and i think abraham learned a little more later on when willy came around. >> they either learned to be abusive or learn to be indulgent. on the subject of -- my theory
about the family is that lincoln actually had two families. he was almost like a man two was twice married and two different families. he had property and eddie, and when eddie died, mary got pregnant and they had two more sons and those were the two babies and robert was the remnant of the first family, and when robert was young, lib lip was on the legal circuit. they seldom saw each other. and when willy and tad had all of his attention in 1860, lincoln was home through the whole campaign season and off to washington, living in the white house. so they got the benefit of closeness. also just because of the physical present. >> his particular strange kind of closeness. >> i'm showing a photograph that came out of the times of those who worked on the 13th 13th amendment. here's the congress that passed the 13th amendment, and you see speaker in the middle,
colfax, hamlin on top, and lincoln at the bottom. >> anyone who had almosting in to do was hap hannibal, the president of the senate, gets a spot at the state of the union and here. this is a beautiful example of the photo. the 13th amendment was the crockets of the movie -- was the crux of the movie to me, more than lincoln. that was another actor, the 13th amendment. how too you approach the 13th 13th amendment itself and the actors in -- that were portrayed in congress, dealing with each other, in. >> in doing the film, if all one has to say most severe national crisis imaginable, people's government deciding to self-destruct, providence or
accident or something intervened and this completely perfect guy -- i think this is actually an accurate description -- a man made for the task, perfectly fitted to his time and the particular task, showed up and saved the country, and there's a way of reading the civil war and lincoln that way people have been doing it ever since the civil war, but even if that's true, and i think there's a way in which it is sort of true -- whats to that say for us now? because i think that barack obama is an extraordinary president, great president. i don't think he is abraham lincoln, although he may have been begin the beneficiary of the kinds of providential intervention given what we had before barack obama. and i think helped turn the country around. the important issue, i think, has to be, a democracy doesn't work if it's dependent on every once in a while an absolutely great leader showing up.
for democracy to function and have continuity and coherence and progress, the system itself, the people, have to work, and i think that by and large, american history, we have -- it has a system that functions, and i think steven and i both wanted to make a movie in which -- the real hero is not abraham lincoln but democracy itself, the democratic process, small d democratic process, and the house of representatives, in its own cumbersome fashion, is a big element in the process, and has from time to time succeeded with all of its shortcomings and warts and problems, in passing some of the most splendid and important pieces of legislation passed by any body in all of human history. so, it's important to remember that, and when it passes, the
voting rights act or the civil rights act or he 13th 13th amendment, it's not necessarily the people at that moment were particularly splendid. they were a bunch of thieves and great representatives and it was that mix of people evin something works and -- eventually something works, and lincoln had great faith in the people and the process and this this people's house, the house of representatives. >> if without lincoln i'm not sure we would have got ton that point. he was a major figure. without him what would have happened to his country, literally, without him? >> that's -- i think you're both right. i think what the movie doesn't show, because it doesn't have the time to show, is that lincoln becomes supportive of this constitutional change in time for the june 1864 republican convention, renamed
the national union convention. he strongly endorses platform plank, and in those days people read political platforms and took them seriously. so the senate actually votes before the house, which is sort of unusual, in '64, and then the house votes for it, the majorishing but not the required two-thirds, so lost in the house of representatives. then comes the november election. and then the second chance with lame ducks, which is where the movie picks up. all of this background and the vividness which is portrayed in the movie, doesn't begin to express my admiration for the fact that steven spielberg picked this moment to focus the movie on. because as i've said before, 16,000 books about abraham lincoln. one book about the 13th 13th amendment.
one book and lincoln himself said this is the hard spoon that is -- harpoon that is killing slavery. and one more thing. when the resolution is shown to him at his desk, he says -- he writes on it, approved, abe lincoln. we presented you with copies of that resolution in new york a few weeks ago and the senate and house were outraged. how dare he sign. presidential signatures are not required on amendments so this is a body that was not able to function for four months on this issue. they immediately passioned a resolution condemning lincoln for signing his name the 13th 13th amendment but that's how much he wanted to be part of history. >> he was a consummate politician. >> when he signs the document,
it's the same as when he signs the emancipation. his name is going into history and he wants wants to be part ot and it took politics to get there. >> it's like an ad, the signed bill with his name on it. i absolutely agree with you that the history, the course of the civil war as it happened is unimaginable without abraham lincoln. it went from -- when he passed the emancipation proclamation, he turned it from a civil war to a revolution, and lincoln knew it himself, this horrible holocaustal war end with the extrication of slavery, had a great to do do with the legislative history of abe lincoln. i think there's a dialectic here. the country is perhaps unimagine blyable without lincoln and lincoln is unimaginable without the country. had the house of representatives failed to pass the amendment, his effort to get it through would have -- it was, as we show
in the film, mixture of some self-interest and greed and also some dawning of moral principle, and also his tenure, lincoln's face -- one of the most moving things i know of in civil war history is the percentage of the soldiers -- 80 prts -- 80% he got in 64. and you took of these guys, a lot of them kids, having a choice between a famous military general and a civilian who doesn't -- >> good conversation. >> exactly. general doesn't make -- running as a candidate for a party that is saying we'll end the war the minute i get in, we'll just call this thing off. we're not fighting a war for slaves. and these guys go out and 80% of them vote in way that's going to keep them in harm's way, and many of them are going into battle, meant they were very likely to die. and that spirit of sacrifice,
lincoln said, i'd rather have the soldiers and lose the election than win the election and not have the soldiers. what he is articulating, that's real, that's somebody saying, i have faith in the people, and the people over and over again show me that the faith is justified. so i think it's a dialectical thing, not just a great leader who is born and then rules in this isolation. it's a person who has the ability and the capacity to engage in this fashion with the people. >> the soldiers came in contract with contraband. the freed or runaway slaves and saw them as people for the first time as they began to work alongside them, sometimes in
regiments alongside them. i think that helped change the perception of what they also wanted to do. >> going down south. >> exactly. >> lincoln comes through in the movie but so does the political side. when it comes down it to and you have your progressive and reform-minded people on one side and your intrackable big gots on the other side, the middle ground are all lame ducks, eager for gainful employment in the future and that's a true story. the story of the fight for those undecided, all democratic votes to bring that amendment over the top is a -- one of the great untold stories in american history. >> the more i dug into those guys, how difficult it gets to -- there's some people who clearly were just purchased, but then were -- who just sold their vote. but then there were people who
really were an incredibly complicate blend of, want a job after i lose my seat, which is coming in march, but also i really -- i'm tired of slavery. a'll of democrats, at the point that this lost, horribly in the last election, were losing -- look at what our defense of this terribly -- you can imagine modern day republicans have been saying the same thing about things they have been defending which led them to a terribly reduced degree of power. and will lead the into further in the wilderness if they don't abandon these positions, and democrats were saying by '65 we have riddingen the slavery nag into hell. >> one the peculiarity office the system then, the election was in november. the guys who were defeated stay there for 13 months.
until december '65, so they really need to make some good plans but they're staying around, and in the special session. so, the connection of all these events -- >> talk about reality versus art. history, truth, if we know it, find out what truth is, versus art, and creative license that you need to have. there's been some controversy, as you know, on lincoln and some other film, iow nowent wish to talk about the other film, "argo" and zero dark thirty but lincoln has a little bit of where people are asking, what about the correctness of this or that? the academics are going toward minutiae most of the time, and don't see the arc that is necessary in a film. i'd like you to talk about that problem in producing an
historical fiction. >> let me start this. this way i can object directly to your comment that academics are involved only in minutiae. i think -- >> i'm glad you -- >> at least i heard you. there's a difference between drama, historical drama, and hoyt. and i think steven spielberg expressed it beautifully when he gave the gettysburg address this year. he was the speaker at the 149th anniversary of the address, and he goes art goes where hoyt cannot go and that's what we all want a film or a theatrical piece to do for us, is get us closer to the people and their emotions. so i -- >> he is a filmmaker and not an historian. >> and tony is a playwright and not a screen writer. he knows a lot. it's amazing. but this is -- i don't want
americans or film viewers or people who love history to think we all have to count quibbles because the quibbles aren't as important as the fact that we are revealing for a generation that halt no clue about this, a., to focus on this amendment which has been untold. historians get this slap on the face, and lincoln said a slap on the face for ignoring this for 150 years. b., the passion, c., the political machinations, the mobileity that was required, the patience. i don't think it's appropriate to count the little things, and i think -- i don't think they are errors. i think there are decisions by people who write fiction, historical fiction, or fiction, to focus our attention in ways that are dramatic. i said if we want to get the exact history of the debates in
congress we can read the congressional record. nor do we think congress was visited by an angel. i think the question is, when you are an artist and you decide to dramatize a historical event, you're certainly borrowing trouble because if i write a play about completely madeup people or screen play about madeup people i can have them do anything i want and people can't say they wouldn't do that. when i say i'm going to dramatize the fight of -- during the lame duck session of congress for their 13th 13th amendment i'm asking for trouble because i'm saying this happened. my ruling has been you can't change what happened but you can change what happens on the way to what happened, but which i mean you can say, did this happen? if you say, yes, then it's historical. did it happen this way and the answer is yes, it's history. if the answer is, yes, it happened but not exactly this
way, it's historical fiction. it's grounded in fiction. the overall story has to be true. we can't say lincoln did this thing and got it through and it squeaked by a vote of two if i tutly pga passed by 30 vote that would be a lie, or if lincoln had nothing to do with the campaign. that would be a distortion of history. but for, with the congressmen voting, except for the major congressmen like thaddeus stevens and ashley and so on, people that are really specific incidents being dramatized, it as all the other guys -- 1 1-181 votes. we changed the name of the congressmen to show the vote and keeping it dramatic we would be able to assign this madeup congressman reside name to this or that madeup congressman's name to this or that vote. to keep in mind of the audience
this was a very close vote. it was not a none deal. nobody knew how the day would end. so we engineer that because that's the necessity of making -- that voting sequence steven did a beautiful job of make it suspensement. to make its suspenseful so you're not just listening to one name after another been droned off, and we made absolutely inconsequential alterations in the actions of fictional characters on the way to an actual result, which ills the -- which is the thing passed be 119 votes, two-vote margin over the supermajority it needed. i think the great shame is the public conversation about movies becomes, keeping a score card of this got -- this is right and that's wrong, and that becomes what we're looking at, and you're not looking at what is being said. i think the movie has had a huge
success now because it's talking about government as -- and politics as an expression of a collective will towards civilization as an express of the better angels of our nature, and about the value of governmentings -- government and the value of politics and how to achieve revolutionary change through electoral politics. that what i'd love the conversation to be about. it goetzs drowned in -- it feels like nitpicking, none of them central to historical facts have been challenged by anyone in any way that i think has caused anyone to ask whether the movie is accurate. this is an accurate work of historical fiction. >> i should not mention when i heard someone in the film take up a letter and i heard the russell of it, and sounded like
pulp paper instead of rag, that's nitpicking. >> for all the paper you handle every day you're entitled to stand up and say that. i told you had a big crisis because in one of the telegraph scenes the telegraph operator ripped off a piece of paper from a perforated pad. and i said, wait, when was perforated paper invented? so we got rid of the paper. >> the watch on the church bill -- >> that's exactly -- you care about it in that moment. wouldn't have hearted if perfect rated paper was used. people who are stationary obsessive, you might be upset. perforation was invented in 1916. then you have reason to complain. the thing that was wrong was not like getting the exact date of perfect rated paper. it was the sound sounded to me
like a 20th century sound, sounded like a noise from our immediate moment and it didn't feel right for the period. i checked every word in the entire script against the l.e.d., especially words that sounded like maybe. i have this big crisis before is the compound word maybe something that -- perhaps but it's not clear whether maybe was really in use in the middle of the 19th century. i don't think they say maybe anywhere. if they do it's not my fault. but i think say perhaps, and you want to make so it it sounds plausibly of that time so the audience can get lost in that time. so, little pieces of paper were more 19th century feeling. >> i don't think anybody who -- i've spoken to hundreded and hundreds of people who have seen this movie, and whatever delight people are having with little items that they would have
written differently -- nobody would have hired them to do the screen play, but nobody has emerged from the film in less than a revelry of being transported into another era with every bit of the automatickens of the 19th 19th century. the sounds, lee the light, the feel, the interaction between men and men and men and women, which were different and more formal. every bit of that grips you from the beginning carries you through -- one feels that. >> i didn't hear people who criticized the film -- and they're entitled to their criticism -- is in in terms of its interpretation, and one thing i was asked what did i final surprising about lincoln and it was hard to answer. and the really astonishing thing is the inexhaustibility of the
subject. you can read every five minutes, six new lincoln books, and the good ones always have something new to say. dog louse said many people say things that are true about lincoln but no one will ever again say anything new about lincoln. but he was wrong about that. for all sorts of reasons, this seems to be one of those inexhaustible subjects. so i knew they would absolutely reject our interpretation of lincoln and ore interpretation in his role of ending slavery and his attitudes toward african-american and slave rhythm that's him. that not because the movie is inaccurate. it's say we present one reading of history with the facts presented as they, as far as we know, happened. >> as i said earlier, we could
decide never to read richard iii again because shakes spears left out the park about burying him under a parking lot. >> that's right. >> it's very very dark, intimate film as well and i loved the intimacy of being part of it. especially the big screen. i don't think a dvd we show it al home. and i loved being able to be drawn in and almost in the room itself. >> i've watched instantit on tv. i it looks great on television. >> [overlapping speakers] >> we don't have much time left, and here i have scores of questions coming in, and we can't get to all of them. something i wanted to ask. we talk about this earlier and i want to ask again. here we are, the three of us in the vineyards of lincoln, holding on to his coat tails for dear life.
there's a reason why they're millard freeman book shop. when we're drawn in, lincoln, you fall in love with him. you mentioned this before. and it's easy to fall in love with lincoln after you get to know him. when i came to the shop, it was in my dna. i was born and raised here in chicago, and in illinois, but it was when i came here and started to study him i said, that mythology is a man and he deserves to be on a pedestal. so how do we cope our objectivity as historians when we have a love for the man. >> you know, there are historians who function purely in the antilincoln tradition, and there is an antilincoln tradition that exists.
blame lincoln for everything from the welfare state to imperialism, atomic power and all of this stuff. but it is -- it seems to me inconceivable that anyone can look at the course of events in the 19th century, look at this moment when the moment met the man or the man met the moment or both, when american democracy was challenged and might easily have died and not been a symbol to light the world as lincoln wanted. when americans might have decided to retain slavery into the 20th century could have easily happened. when we might not have produced a character who emblemmized american opportunity or vote as michigan enough sently and sirringly and enduringly about what america meant and should mean. the idea that we should be -- pretend ourselves or assume ourselves to be so sophisticated, that's not appealing and it's sad. i i'm glad in this -- since the
bicentennial and with the explosion of interest because of the film, that by and large people are coming to appreciate lincoln afresh. even for the body politics. >> should also recognize there's as much danger in losing objectivity through a determination ahead of time that someone can't be great, or can't be greatly good, you know, you're left at the end of lincoln's life with a string of public utterances, letters, speeches and reports of many people, many who are reliable, some who are not, and you can really compile a dossier, indoing iting him as one of the worst people or as one of the greatest people. i would argue or for that. if you approach with an assumption of his unworthiness,
leave. just to remind myself that i know you're a man of the theater. i know, bruce was a man of the theater. i knew lincoln was shot in the theater. why did he learn about the murder in the -- thank you, i needed this. >> oh. well, decompensating psychotic of the theater not -- >> you start signing to . >> talk and sign at the same time. >> why do we show -- chad was in the in and out of theater. -- he was brought to the white house right after. >> -- to guard and did they talk about his reaction at the time? >> they couldn't do it because the place we were filming didn't actually have the bocks. we couldn't have him run through. what happened penned out the body guard was so stunned at
first but the news he didn't look then he turned an looked and chad wasn't in the seat anymore and ran to the lobby and saw pandemonium and saw him looking for an exit. it makes me want to weep. i want to show his reaction. first of all, i was happy not to show john wilks boothe. he was one of the worst people that ever lived. i thought it was important to connect the audience to the terrible, personal sense of loss, in a way no more heart breaking figure in the whole story of the assassination than tad who died -- >> if the nation would have gotten a wish he could have been the guiding spirit in
reproduction. >> i thought it was ironic he was seeing the "fantasy." >> something else that came up to me a number of times, the ending of the film. the last scene he's leaving and tad and lincoln in the petersburg battle field going but a confederate flag that never would have touched the ground. some have thought it would have ended just before that. what was the collaboration that brought the last scenes together? >> yeah, surprised by that -- i thought it was important to show the assassination happened. i didn't feel it was a good idea at all to sort of end with him walking to the twilight. one of the things i find on notion, i love him very much.
but, you know, the ship -- well, no it hasn't been won. reconstruction was going to be harder than civil war, lincoln said. i didn't want to do a pot owe sis approach where he strived to glory. he was murdered by a lunatic. and the laws of lincoln as president the moment the reconstruction begins is, i think, with a catastrophe of proportions. i want to show that and i thought that i wanted to make sure that somewhere in the movie you heard -- as i said the greatest political speech ever made that president at the moment of great try yomp stands up and say we may have paid the price because we have benefited. we have profited from this the
horrible sin of a slavery. and we may have to shed blood and move the wealth to sort of set correct some car mick inbalance in the universe. it's a stunning thing the president can speak that kind of truth that to scare a country that -- country that suffered so much and ready to celebrate vict. i i'm happy it ended as it did. it's up listing and broadening the horizon from a domestic scene to a global scene. >> here are at the book shop i love it to be a trilogy. somebody asked will there be a another movie? >> if steven spielberg and
daniel day-lewis want to do anything more with lincoln i would drop everything. having said that, i feel it's not too much -- i can't imagine in my lifetime there's going to be another "lincoln." the performance of "lincoln" comparable to daniel's. i can't imagine why i want to work on him a dramatic figure unless this guy was doing it. i suspect daniel did what he came do with lincoln in this movie. maybe i'm wrong. maybe he'll sign up for a series next week. i think that we sort of all feel happy with what we did, and . >> let me ask you briefly, the filming in various places, richmond, et. cetera, steven's office. do you remember when it was filmed? >> the state capitol at richmond
. off on one side in a conference room, i think. i don't know the room. they made a desk. >> it looked very much like the treasury department where andy johnson in the six weeks before mary would be kicked out by him stayed in the white house. it looked like the oval office overlooking the executive mansion in the -- corner. >> the entire thing was shot in richmond in petters -- peter burg. >> it was propped against the statute where robert e lee took command of the confederate army. >> that's a tough place to film you have the hugely interposing statute there. >> they didn't . >> tell was the rotunda who had the sculpture of washington
which was is the only statute which washington actually posed. the value is beyond the imagination. and, you know, they put the chicken wire around it. there were these people going by and it was like grand central station there. and everything kathy kennedy was going there white every time we switched shot. he was sure somebody was going to knock washington's head off with the boom. >> i'm sorry we didn't get to all of the questions. it i hope we answered some for you. we thank you for participating and we will try to get the next questions on air. and we thank you for being with us live and if you're on the archive coming back to us, again, all of you out in c-span and at the high land park, we thank you for joining us and those who came in here to be a part of us as well.
we appreciate it. we thank your publishers for bringing you in. it's your support that helps the publishers bring great authors like this no the shop. >> i want to thank you . >> this bookstore which i discovered a few years ago which is a national treasure. it's an enormously important place. i'm really thrilled that we got to do this here. because i think it's really extremely . >> i know the story that you heard that graham smith was here for lincoln vampire hunter and you said i need to follow it up. >> that's where the got the idea that we need to launch this. >> thank you. it we thank the staff for all of you do. without you we couldn't make the shows exist. thank you again for being with us. thank you. [applause]
tell us what you think about our programming this weekend. you can tweet us@booktv. comment on the facebook wall, or send us an e-mail book. booktv, non-fiction books every weekend on c-span2. here's a look at the upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. during the second weekend of march, booktv will be live from the tucson festival of books in arizona. among the authors featured are timothy -- the virginia festival of the book begins wednesday march 20th and runs through the sunday the 24th. the annual event features several authors including doug douglas, philip, and congressman john lewis. it's the 26th annual tennessee new orleans literary festival in louisiana. it will feature the poetry
contest, one act plays and highlight presentations. florida will host the venice book fair and writers' festival during the first weekend in april. please let us know about book fairs and festival in your area and we'll be happy to add to the list. post them on facebook.com/booktv. or e-mail us at@email@example.com. . back to ten things congress doesn't want you to know about how it does business. powerful members of congress in the safe noncompetitive seats hold fundraisers outside their district to increase the leverage outside the members. congress spends more than $100 billion every year on well over 200 programs that are not authorized by law. and number 6, congress routinely
raids the social security trust found cover general revenue shortfalls. >> if you look at the appropriations that have not within doing because of the political dynamic going open and say we're appropriated x amount of money and you look at the programs. it's other $350 billion now of programs that are funded that are not authorized by the congress. which tells you that there's an imbalance in congress. is how do we appropriate funds for program that we haven't said we should be spending money on. and it tells you the power of the appropriation committee and the power of benefit going back to the states of what is most important. is it most important to actually look good in oklahoma by the amount of money i can direct there? or is it more important to think in the long-term what is health
of our country going to be in the long run? how do we make the tough decisions and politically put you on the losing side of every argument based on the force up here. you have to work hard to explain yourself in your state. >> host: members of congress frequently do not get the opportunity to read the bill thrais voted on. number 8, one of the more secret ways congress spends is directing money in report language that member of the committee can vote on or amend. number 9, each year congress spends countless hours preparing and debating a budget resolution it has no intention of keeping. and congress cur -- exploiting the own budget procedures. >> guest: those are all true.
>> host: the budget resolution. we are about to begin the season in february. is it a waste of time? >> guest: no, if the -- right now we have a $3.65 trlt dollar spending. the big criticism of the last two years is congress is gridlocked. >> host: really? >> guest: how do we authorize spending $3.65 trillion? what we're grid looked in is spending money that we don't have that are not absolutely necessary. that's what we're gridlocked over. we're gridlocked over that to make ourself look good to the constituency. there's no gridlock when it comes to spending your kids' feature in washington. we wouldn't have spent $3.6 trillion if we had a budget last year. we did a continuing resolution that passed, which means it's
bipartisan. it passed the republican house and the democrat senate an and the president signed it. we borrowed money we didn't have and i would contend $600 billion was wasted. literally did no benefit directly for the citizens of this country other than those that took the money to administrate or develop or give out the program. so, you know, in a wand, you can look with a wand and just say, every program stand up that is actually effective and efficient. and what you see is minimal and the reason social security -- it's so members of congress haven't done their job. they turn a blind eye and say, it's hard to sight and i'm going to get criticism on what i do. therefore let it go. it goes back now we're -- now in that cr last year, the $350
billion worth of programs were appropriated money that had either never been authorized by congress, or that authorization has lapsed. it means the authorizing committee in congress aren't working. because if we're going to appropriate money whether it's authorized or not, why not have an authorized in the proposing committee and put it in one. we ignore our own resumes -- rules >>. >> host: how much fear is there of the criticism of the constituents of not being re-elected? >> guest: i think it runs the game out. i think you need to look at the largest perspective, i was a businessman long before i was a physician. built a business, i became a physician as an older
individual. i was known as grandpa in my medical school class and practiced for twenty five years. my embole was to be a -- goal was to be a physician. i wasn't at the risk of my populous other than my reputation with my physicians and my patients. so if you put in context, it depends on what the goal of a house member of the house of representatives or senator is. if the goal is to fix the problems in the country, to create a at least as good of a future for the next generation that follows as we have had. if that goal is above your personal goal of getting in office that has note notoriety, power, and position, you're going to do fine. you're going keep that in perspective. when your number one goal is the position with a notoriety and
secondary goal, which helped you get to the goal is to secure the future, what happens is how you value your physician on certain policies changes. that's not impure. that's not terrible. that's just how human nature. i make the point in the "debt bomb." if you're going solve the problem, if we're going secure our liberty, and the freedom for our kids and grand kids, it got to quit sending career politicians here. >> host: senator coburn, did you get any hostile reaction from your colleagues from the "debt bomb" >> guest: i think the breech of trust. i'm sitting here talking to you about this i make the speeches in my own caucus.
i do it on the floor. i'm okay to take the consternation and criticism of my colleagues if i think our country is in trouble. it is in trouble. we're bankrupt. there was a great article, if you take generally accepting accounting principles, the same thing c-span has to operate under, the same thing every other business has to operate under. most county governments operate under it. we have $88 trillion of things we have to pay for. we have no idea where we're going get the money over the next seventy five years. $88 trillion. that's more than in bills coming due that what we have over the next seventy five years, if you didn't grow the government or the economy at all, why do we put ourselves in that position? the fact is we're now the federal reserve has increased the balance sheet in other words
it created $2 trillion worth of funny money. they printed $2 trillion worth of money and ultimately the pain of that is going fall on the middle class and the very poor in this country. and it's going defeat what both parties say they want. and yet we don't have the courage today to make the tough choices even if means we lose our seats to secure the future for this country. we put ourselves first instead of the country first. it's not hard, any american citizens if they read "back in black" there's a lot of common sense ways to save money in there. just the last way, the affords announced -- it's a great sample. it in the federal government we're going spend $64 billion on i. f. projects.
that's the gao says at least half of that will be wasted. in other words it l never get completed, it will never do what it's supposed to. in "back many black" woe said you ought to cancel it. we said it two years ago. you ought to cancel this. it's never going work. all right. here is how inefficient government was. this last week with the air force capabled it finally. they spending $100 million before they canceled. it they paid a settlement fee of canceling it for $8 million. two things didn't happen, the person that was responsible for that contract didn't get fired and wasn't held accountable. the company that didn't provide the service get get sued to money back. the taxpayers of the country, nobody runs their household that way. most state governments don't operate that way. but we are totally incompetent
when it comes to spending america's taxpayers' money. why would we don't waste money on i. t. programs that don't work for the federal government? that's 60% of what they want to take additionally out of the penalty gone. that's government wide. why would we do that? where does the leadership in the congress we're going to get it stopped weapon are going to have special committees that look at it. we're going demand the people who make the decisions get fired and the companies that are not performing pay the money back. none of that happens. so you can defraud the government, you cannot perform on a contract, and you do it with impunity. that's because members of congress are basically not willing or inexperienced to not know you ought to be able to hold people accountable to what they say they're going do.
whether it's a federal employee, a procurement employee, or the company that is providing. that's one example that happened this week. >> host: senator coburn, what was the business you built? >> guest: my father started a machinely mechanicking business. i started a placic plastic lanes. i did it in southern virginia. i lived up for ten years from 1969 through 2008. >> host: does the company exist? >> guest: it's been sold. it was sold and portions still exist. you can watch this and other programs onlike at booktv.org. you're watching booktv on c-span2. here is the prime time lineup for tonight.
claim amazon and the major publishers have formed considerable agreement. it will concentrate on digital rights management with independent bookstores urging the the court to prohibit that limited to certain devices or application. it was filed in the u.s. district court for the southern district of new york. and l finalists have been announced for the 33rd los angeles book prizes. they are broken to ten category including biography, current interest, history, fiction, and science technology. the winners announced on april 19th. the night before the l.a. times festival of book. for the entire list go to l.a."times".com. stay up to date by liking us on
facebook and facebook.com/booktv. follow us on twitter@booktv. you can visit our website booktv.org and click on "news about books." >> i was curious what you think the role of ceos in talking about c.a.t capitalism is. you talk about role of government sometimes and how it works against business, the ceo have a role in talking about and defending capitalism and explaining to people or is it something you do by example? >> i think we do. i mean, one of the most disturbing statistics for me is that for the longest period of time, you have to understand the history of the united states. we started out really poor here. we were back water here in the united states. and really as we embrace
capitalism in the united states, we had tens of millions of immigrants to come over here because they had more freedom. the freedom to surprise -- comprise and start businesses. for the longest period of time well over 100 years the united states was the freest nation in the world in term of the economic freedom. the most capitalistic nation in the -- world. the year 2000, the united states ranked number three on the economic freedom index behind how hong kong and singapore. we were number three against the dynamic economies there. but over the last thirteen years we dropped down to 18. when people ask what is wrong with the economy. why do we have high
unemployment? why has disposable income on a per capita basis why is it declining and has over the last ten years. the answer is there. we are less economically free today than thirteen years ago. as the economic freedom declines as government regulations increase, and taxes increase, the engine that is the basis for our prosperity, which is business is less end and our prosperity is therefore declining as well. economic freedom goes down so does prosperity. if the capitalist, if the business people aren't willing to speak up for free enterprise capitalism. we can expect economic freedom to lessen and american prosperity are lessen as well. we are far from being in a free comprise capitalism as well.
a great example is the fiscal cliff bill that just pass. you see payoff for politically well connected organizations such as hollywood, alternative energy, those are the two stand out for me. there are special dreams being cut. we are moving away from a system where people think it's fair and this is a system you get ahead and through hard work and enterprise to one where people think the way to get ahead is being politically well connected. that's a problem. you can watch this and other programs online. at booktv.org. next from a program from the booktv archives. playing videos and watching popular television programs actually make people smarter? that's the question the technology writer address