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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 27, 2013 10:00am-5:01pm EDT

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susan dunn will present in three hours her book 1940, takes a look at the country during the election of 1940 followed by cheryl mollenbach with double victory:power african-american women helped win world war ii. christopher o'sullivan is next and we will conclude our live coverage with keynote speaker alli've got black on eleanor
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roosevelt's tomorrow is now. coverage of the 2013 president reaching festival starts now. here is maureen beasley. >> good morning. i am the education specialist at the roosevelt presidential library and museum and on behalf of the fdr presidential library museum welcome you in our audience, those of you at home watching on c-span to the tenth annual roosevelt reading festival. franklin roosevelt's plan for the library to become a premier research institution for the study of the roosevelt era, the library's research room is one of the busiest of all the presidential libraries and this year's group of authors reflect a wide variety of research done here. let me go over the format for the festival's concurrent sessions. at the top of each hour session begins with a 30 minute author talk followed by a 10 minute question and answer period of. than the authors go to the new deal store where you can purchase books and have them
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sign them. at the top of the next hour the process repeats itself again. today's attendees can visit the exciting program exhibit in the presidential library museum free of charge. ask one of our staff members for the admission button and the program we will have free to go over. i would like to remind you when we have our questions and answer sessions please come to the microphone to get the question on the mic and we will be able to answer that. is my pleasure to introduce maureen beasley, the author of "women of the washington press: politics, prejudice, and persistence" which is the winner of the frank luther capital out of research award in 2012, she is a professor of journalism at the university of maryland and author of the low roosevelt:transforming the first lady and first ladies and the press:the unfinished parter cit in the media age. maureen beasley is co-author of taking their place, documentary history of women in journalism
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and co-editor of eleanor roosevelt encyclopedia. it is my pleasure to introduce maureen beasley. [applause] >> thank you so much. it is great to be back at hyde park. this is a tremendous research facility. i would like to express my appreciation to the roosevelt library museum for inviting me to be here today and to c-span for presenting this program. you may wonder how my book fits into this program. part of my research was done here at the roosevelt library. i have to introduce my husband and the audience, hank beasley. eleanor roosevelt is one of the dominating figures in the first
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portion of the book, women of the washington press, politics, prejudice, all of these are touched in the book. the first portion of it seen through the eyes of eleanor roosevelt and the women who covered her press conferences. i start out with women in washington journalism with a back in 1830. you may see what is there a woman in washington journalism than? yes. there was a notable if not notorious individual. so the book then move through the 20th century and the first decade of the 20 first to today. women probably constitute half of the working journalist in the nation's capital. why concentrate on washington women journalists. when i write about women
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journalists in general. journalism in the nation's capital is so closely allied to the political power structure of today that it can be considered a testimony to the extent to which women have been able to break into what is traditionally a male preserve of politics, journalism. if we look at this group of washington women journalists we can gauge how far women have come in both of these areas. how are wind and fairing today? i am not going to go into that, but i would like to point out in this period when we are changing from print oriented culture to digital culture and so forth, the very idea of journalism itself is being discussed and read the find, women are playing important roles but they are still more likely than not to be
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working for male superiors. the roosevelt library helps chart the course of women in washington journalism due to the extraordinary career of eleanor who in the opinion of many, the single most important in the mid 20th century, and we think of her as the path breaking first lady of 1933-1945, and the guiding spirit dog and the universal declaration of human rights when she served as u.s. representative to the united nations 1945 to 1952. we tend to for get she was one of the most successful washington women journalists herself. and not to mention all her paid speeches, when she was in the
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white house. equally important to the story of washington women journalists was her impact on other women in the field and that is what i am going to talk about, ground covered in the first chapters of the book. i had to tell you i had been working on this book for a very long time. it started with my dissertation many years ago at george washington university. i had the opportunity to interview some of the women who actually attended press conferences when they passed from the scene. therefore i think i do have some insights here into the way these press conferences when that would be of interest to us. the importance of the conferences which are often brushed off by people who write about eleanor, she held press conferences for women only and go to something else.
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the importance of them has been overlooked. i would like to ask some questions of view about eleanor as the focal point of women journalists in the capital of her day. i would like to raise these questions and elaborate on them and i would like to hear from your answers when we get to q&a. questions? did these press conferences allow women journalists, newspaper women, that is what most of these women were, 1933-1945, when newspapers were still the name of the journalism game. and still newspapers where the thing. and period when washington d.c.
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and five newspapers, but these press conferences allow newspaperwomen to be admitted into the male culture of washington politics if only on a very marginal level. did these press conferences and eleanor roosevelt helped 350 of them for women reporters only while she was first lady. did they help eleanor enhance her own journalism career through not working with other women? a third question, to what extent did they facilitate opportunities for women to bond with each other and promotes an alternative journalistic culture to be male-dominated one that excluded them. then there is an overreaching question that i raised in the book and i would love to hear
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your answers to, after we get to the q&a, did the conferences help or hurt the women professionally who covered them? i will tell you the reasons people hurt women and some of the reasons people thought they helped them and you can decide. a step backwards to the first washington woman journalist of the 1830s who published two newspapers in the nation's capital from 1830 to 1854. one was named paul fry and the other was nathan hunt first. and royal was the count joke, an impoverished town where the who got off tight band hired a couple of boys from orphan age
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to run the press for her and put out these newspapers. she was determined to have her say about what went on political politically. she would let on to members of congress as they entered the capital. and insist they get hurt news items and if she did a row nice things about them and if they didn't you can imagine. a story went around that she once said on president john quince--john quincy adams's closed when he took a dip in the potomac and refuse to get up until answering her question. historians say that never happened, but no less a famous washington journalist, then the trail blazing helen thomas who unfortunately died a few days ago called it a wonderful legend when she spoke to a society of
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professional journalists audience in 1990, but there was no rule against, quote, irritating presidents with impudent questions. by the time franklin roosevelt was elected president in 1932 women journalists were washington freaks. if you got close to a president. you were allowed to be in the same room, in the same city room with men reporters. imagine ourselves back in an era when most women in journalism worked in segregated quarters for what were called women and society pages. do you remember the women in society page? newspapers dropped in the 1960s going to lifestyle section but anyway these were segregated sections of the newspaper and they were segregated in terms of
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where the women were, not even in the same room. in washington, these women were known as the green room group probably after the green book, washingtonians on society. a small number had credentials to cover the president, actually paid dues to the white house correspondents association. but they were not allowed to go to dinner because they were when. it was some 30 years later that women members of this association actually were able to go to dinner. and the first women president. in this year and now in the early 1930s when franklin roosevelt was elected president did have the handful of women like this foreman, a clever
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feature writer from nebraska to work for the associate press accredited to the capitol press galleries. opportunities were limited. and listed at the bottom of all the a p representatives to the press galleries and could cover only women members of congress, you can imagine how many there were. she said the men at capitol hill were holy ground on which all was not to set foot without explicit orders. and knew she was fortunate to be employed at all. united press, the chief rival refuse the any women. when eleanor roosevelt held
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women reporters, was compelled to hire rudy black, a 5 the kappa graduate of the university of texas, black, who started her own news bureau in washington and had a hard time hunting up plans found eleanor a welcome change from her first lady predecessor, lou henry hoover. mrs. hoover had stayed so far away from the fresh that black had been forced to bribe a male colleague to reveal details of mrs. hoover's daily schedule so black could write an article for women's magazine. doug mitchell colleague who was brought and had to snoop around a secret servicemen and report back to black, similarly thurmond reported to dressing up in a single girl scout uniform and sneaking into the white house to cover a christmas party that mrs. hoover gave for a
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scout troop. you can see that the idea of the lenore meeting openly with women journalists was very welcome to a good number of washington women. with the greatest of pleasure thurmond and black were among the 35 who gathered for a lenore's press conference on march 6, 1933. they had a nervous first lady who knew the white house staff was very undignified to meet with the press, explain why she intended to hold a conference. the idea of making an understanding from the white house to the general public, eleanor told them in a statement you are the interpreters to the women of this country of what goes on politically in the legislative national life and also what the social and personal life is at the white
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house. it must have been so gratifying for these women who were paid less than male journalists and generally looked down on actually to be told they were important and had a political role in washington which is up placemat revolves around politics, to be sure, eleanor said she could not comment on political topics. that would be her husband's department but she sometimes did. the idea for the press conferences came from lorena hitchcock, the reporter who became an eminent friend of a little while covering her in franklin at successful 1932 presidential campaign. she was described by time magazine as a rotund and lady with a husky voice, peremptory manner and baggy clothes who had
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gone along -- gone around a lot with the first lady. time didn't like her, was forced to give up her reportorial career because of her closeness to eleanor. historians disagree on the exact nature of their relationship but letters of endearment which are here at the library changed between the two, testified to their closeness and some physical intimacy. according to eleanor's autobiography, hic as hiccock was called suggested the press conference because women were losing their jobs as newspapers cut payrolls and of course being women less capable than men, let the women go. hiccock who went to work directly for the roosevelt administration as an undercover investigator of police activities never attended the press conference but often stayed at the white house when
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she was in washington and probably council eleanor on them. and good fortune of talking to some of these women who attended the press conference years ago, according to the christian science monitor, a woman who was so capable that she was given the highest praise possible she wrote like the man. anyway, she thought lorena hiccock persuaded mrs. roosevelt everything she did was news and certainly at these press conferences, eleanor would go into all kinds of detail about her personal life. she would tell the women for example, on like to have facial, like to go horseback riding, i do this, i do that. dorothy gukiss who covered these
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press conferences for the international news service said that hiccock tried to guide eleanor on how to handle herself. she said hiccock tried to make her say the wise thing, not the impulsive. mrs. roosevelt had a tendency to ramble on and these press conferences went for an hour, an hour and a half. 0 women chatted among themselves. as a group, the women covered up for eleanor by not reporting comments they did not think suitable to the fringe. why would they shield her from edward's publicity? they did not want the conferences to end. they liked them. the first conference produced little news. eleanor would allow herself to be courted directly and only one sentence.
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one that requires courage and common sense on everyone's part. a reference to the anxiety gripping the nation in the great depression. this was hardly a startling assertion and it resulted in a modest one column headline on a brief story very deep inside the new york times yet the press conference had been a great success judging by a picture taken at the second press conference on march 13, 1933, and ordered -- ordered by fair and of the associated press that this picture became an embarrassment. it showed roosevelt seated in a chair with the women reporters clustered around her. some of them were standing up but others were sitting at her feet. male reporters scoffed, targeting globe women as eleanor's incense burners.
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they said their scorn reflected prejudice against women in general, franklin himself made a joke about the newspaper women seated in his life at sea, clifford berryman, a noted cartoonist for the washington star newspaper drew a caricature of the conferences and i think for years it was here on the library, museum exhibit. i don't know if it is still out or not. black countered this by publishing a comment that mrs. roosevelt, without ever mentioning it, put it into this girl, mrs. roosevelt's seat by giving orders to the white house that it shares be provided and attended by meetings. a the black was attacked as a lenore's slave because she ropes as laudatory things about the first lady, which the conference
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produced more hard news. riding herd journalism sorry publication, black said the first lady would speak in generalities about social concerns including housing, education and legislation that aimed to bark married women from working. the mundane quality of the announcement elenore had announcements about her social schedule or places she was going to, and a great traveler. and the personal schedule. it offered feature material for women's pages. male journalists gave the conferences more respect after the roosevelt administration decided eleanor, not franklin, should release the news on
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may 3rd, 1933, a visit at the white house as the first step ending prohibition. this decision showed the white house press conferences as part of its political communication strategy. eleanor discussed this in advance with marcus fraser of the washington daily news, to extend had become a member of eleanor's inter press conference circle. this group coached her by planting questions and advising statements. strah straher, a trim teetotaler advised eleanor to have a carefully thought out statement along with a carefully worded expression of hope that the change would contribute to temperance. eleanor accepted these suggestions but did not follow the recommendation, with the
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beer announcement. and but questions on other subjects as varied at easter hat. and what you going to wear this early. and her views on sweatshops? she would be asked her opinion on issues of the day. i must move on here, a lot more we can say about these press conferences. they continue to draw reporters. by 1939 there were 120 women accredited to these press conferences. and during world war ii when women formed mrs. roosevelt's press conference, and chiefly many craig from maine newspapers who was close to the press conference encircled thought men should be admitted on grounds of fairness.
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eleanor said no claiming men would force her to encroach on my husband's side of the news. did these press conferences enhance her own career as a journalist. and writing the most famous journalistic endeavor, my day column in 1935, and in 1962, the women thought this column was silly, a very amateurish thing. they were the professional journalists. at first they were quite willing to overlook it and write about it positively. but as time went on this column became very important. it was one of the most widely syndicated columns of the day
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and eleanor made monday out of it. the women got a little bit jealous. for example, press conference group was rather annoyed when she used the my day column to break stories that otherwise might have come out in the press conference such as resignation from the daughters of the american revolution over its refusal to let the african-american singer marian anderson give a concert in the constitution hall. they called the column very naive but today we would call it a blog with emphasis on where eleanor went, and a chatty, informal style. and mainly as a reflection of the lenore's desire to make
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money. and for 12 years. and the draw of these women eager to gain access to the white house. detractors said they weakened the status of women journalists. and encourage dependence on one source. eleanor was careful what she said to these women. also she would stipulate they not face certain things. and running for reelection in 1936 she told the women to related to birth control that come up at these conferences last because that was a politically volatile subject. black's closeness to roosevelt did not help her career. he became known as roosevelt's apologist, obtained a government position with eleanor's help that did not work out.
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and alcoholism and mental problems and identify. and wrote in her autobiography that i pitched my wagon to a star. and the star was eleanor roosevelt. so eleanor continued to help theremin and thurmond was less needy perhaps then rudy black and got help from eleanor but not in such an -- after eleanor left washington, following franklin's death in 1945, must be remembered. i have here at lenore's earnings in the white house years. this is based on study of income tax returns available in the
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hyde park library and it showed from the years 1937 to 1939 she averaged annual earnings of $62,000, a lot of money in those days, 68,000 before expenses. and they never wrote about eleanor. and enhance yourself. they covered up that kind of thing because they did feel somewhat grateful to her for allowing them to come to the white house every week. it was made craig, the one wy c first asked men be allowed in the pushed for the civil-rights activist for end to sex
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discrimination and forced news organizations to hire women on an equitable basis. in 1964, 81-year-old howard w. smith, a conservative virginia congressman, major civil rights legislation, and the pending act, jolo discrimination on the basis of race, by including sex, he held to review the proposed legislation to debt. capitol hill insiders, tagged the measure. and pushed for years, adjacent to the capitol press galleries for the women reporters accredited to the press
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galleries. the closest bathrooms were weighed down the hall, women had to run down flights of stairs and that kind of thing just to use the restroom. was craig supported by other washington women in this endeavor? not particularly. other women journalists thought was on ladylike. and she was by herself on that one. and one reason capitol hill insiders tend the measure in honor of craig's feminist views. at this point in 1964 craig, who was known for her down-homey eastern accent, from maine newspapers and her sunny hat, maybe you remember her, was one of the few women to be a regular guest on meet the press. passage of the amendment
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outlined sex discrimination was a short when senator herbert humphrey of minnesota told a meet the press audience in answer to a question from craig that the democratic leadership in congress had decided to accept the amendment with the word tax. at this point, one can say perhaps eleanor would have been extremely pleased that a member of her press conference circles this -- succeeded in widening opportunities for women journalists. thank you. [applause] >> if you have any questions please go to the microphone. >> this is about women and men in journalism today. i have been concerned about the
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increasing partisan politics that came into print journalism and tv journalism. i wonder if it really is new, has always been as bitter and as vicious as it is today and is it possible for a journalist to have a career today and be neutral, present the facts and be more traditional in the way they are presenting the news? >> i am happy to comment on that. it is the new development, certainly in eleanor roosevelt's day these press conferences were not controversial. they didn't ask pointed questions about using your position to earn money? i you using your name to sell things no one would buy otherwise? they would have considered that rude. nobody asked eleanor about the rumor floating around the capital that franklin had an affair with lucy three years
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before, those things were not mentioned. what has happened in recent times is a result of the fragmentation of the audience and the increasing demand of the 24 hour news cycle that we have with cable television with digital media getting everything, people so interested in objectivity and accuracy, they are interested in terms of being journalists in getting ahead by being edgy, by being out there, being talked about by getting attention. also there is a fine line between entertainment and journalism. journalists are supposed to be people who actually got facts and presented those facts to the public. the public no longer seems
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interested in fact, seems to be interested mainly in having media reports from those who have the same biases that they do so i think it is a recent development, a very disturbing one which we would get back to an age in which facts were validated statements, but since there seems to be less of a public consensus, makes it very difficult to reach such an agreement. >> i am curious about fdr's role in relation to eleanor and her relationship with the press through press conferences and the myday column and other activities. what degree did fdr either
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directly or through a press secretary or someone else on the white house staff attempt to play a role, tactfully or otherwise, in monitoring and screening was eleanor was doing. obviously she could be a great political asset to demand his administration but one false step could cause a great deal of damage. how active in the middle of everything else was the president in relation to his wife's press activities? >> excellent question. thank you for asking it. he was quite active. he supported the press conferences, louis howell who was his political guiding genius supported the press conferences. steve riley, his press secretary, had a big hand in deciding who got in and who didn't, no african-american women got in because african-americans were not admitted to the president's press conference. steve didn't want any
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african-american women admitted to a lenore's press conferences c. there. they were kept out on grounds they represented weekly newspapers, not daily newspapers but actually that was just a ploy to maintain segregation. definitely the white house of these press conferences as a political at with -- asset for franklin. at the relationship between franklin roosevelt and newspapers of the time, the reporters, individual reporters like the roosevelts, the people who ran the newspapers did not. one of the members of the lenore's inner circle at a press conference was a woman names and the but the --emma bugby newspapers opposed to franklin roosevelt, here she is writing these nice features about the roosevelt family and the white house, going to the white house living quarters and telling how
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eleanor furnished fingers, that sort of thing. franklin definitely realized these press conferences helped him reach women who were voters. he also had absolutely no objection to eleanor writing her my day column and once offered to write it for her when she was sick with a cold but she refused. it was her thing. he talked of a column by telling the man, there were few women, very few, that is just -- she writes a diary, and it was what we would today consider a blog. thing, humanize the presidency. franklin, as smart as he was, realized this quote from the first night day column, december 31st, 1935, writing
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about herself in the white house. the house was full of young people, my husband had a cold and was in bed having no test for his supper so i said a polite good night to everybody and at 7:30 close my door, but my fire and settle down to a nice long evening by myself. does that give you a nice picture of life in the white house? it certainly doesn't tell you about the opposing political factions in the white house itself between franklin and eleanor. so franklin is very supportive of her efforts and she was careful not to do things that would upset him such as talking about subjects like birth control that were no-nos to a political conclusion including a lot of women catholics. [inaudible] >> she was. >> advancing liberal causes that
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for political or other reasons he did not have interest in advancing. and if you want to put it that way, in a way that he was not always happy about. >> that is very true but to what degree she used these press conferences to advance these liberal causes and to what degree she used my day to do that was in the context of a wife speaking out and roosevelt could laugh at off by saying that is just my mrs.. there was a prevailing ideology that women are supposed to be better than men so it is all right for them to be more moral. eleanor went around visiting day care centers and having her picture taken with a lot of african-americans at a time when the segregationists in the south objected to that greatly but
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certainly that helped the roosevelt coalition in the northern cities where the african americans were voting and franklin, although he didn't attack the southern segregationists in congress, still could make use of eleanor's interest in civil-rights to attract a liberal constituency. countervailing currents. >> hello. i think we all know that journalists are very important in a society, civilized society. they are to bring to the people friday's happening, where, what and when, objectively.
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but today with the internet we have the rise of the citizen journalist. and sometimes they don't give it objectively. so what are we readers going to do in this citizen journalism society? >> very good question. how do we maintain some semblance of finding information, i can only answer that -- i wish i could give a good answer but i can only answer by saying in a lot of universities including the one i work that for many years, university of maryland at college park, an increasing interest on providing course work and media literacy that will give some people some idea how to find accurate sources of
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information, let students understand not everything they find on the internet is valuable information. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> had far more stuff. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> we will be back in a few minutes with more from the 2013 roosevelt reading festival in hyde park, new york. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate, weeknight watch key public policy events endeavour weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web site and you can join the conversation on social media sites. >> you spend a lot of time on israel, iraq and islam and one thing you talk about, the real reason the islamists declared war on the west is it impedes the freedom of the individual and negation of theocratic authority. in a globalized world, the freedom is viewed as a contagion that threatens islam everywhere.
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>> yes. this is an issue which preoccupied me for several years and preoccupied all of us more and more. as i said there was a problem here. and with the religion at the root of the islamic world, it is very important to understand in all this when one talks about these concerns what is not talking about all muslims. on the contrary. in britain, there were very many muslims who had come as immigrants of britain precisely because they wanted to sign up to british and western values and live in freedom and prosper and have good jobs but want to live in freedom because freedom is important to them. the women wanted to be treated as equals. they wanted all the things we all want. freedom, peace, security,
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prosperity. they are not hung up on religious precepts that are causing us in the western world so much trouble. in the islamic world those precepts have been interpreted in a way that comes out of religion which is now dominant. that is to say the view of the world that says the world has to be remade according to islamic precepts, that there is -- muslims, where muslims are enjoying western tight freedom, that must be pulled back and they must be made to conform to a very narrow, authoritarian, conservative interpretation of islam. that view is now governed and the view that the west must be brought to heel for this vision, this interpretation of islam is governed and that is what i call islami
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islamism? what do you mean? it is islam? it is a made up word but i use it for a particular reason, because it is in order to allow for the fact that there are muslims who are not extreme, who do want western values and we must acknowledge that and those who don't, i call islamists because they're trying to impose islamic doctrine, islamic values on people who are not muslims and trying to impose the most anti freedom interpretation of religion at its most narrow on muslims so i call those people islamists. they are the threat to us. they say the whole time what their intention is, the old islamic, the old muslim empire from sitting on that and conquer
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britain, to conquer america, very explicit. and impose sharia, the rule of islamic law where muslims live. some of them are violent, some acquit themselves with weapons of war and terrorism, some are not violent but believes they can counter the west through a cultural creeped, a kind of cultural debate we should also be extremely worried by them. those islamists, some of violence, some are not. there are a lot of muslims who are not islamists and we must keep those in our minds. there is a difference between those who interpret the religion in a way that threatens us and those who belong to islam who are muslims who are themselves threatened by these islamists and we must keep those two things in our minds at the same time and that is what i try to
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do. when i wrote my book, that was what i perceived to be the case which was the way in which to my great horror and fear the british ruling class and giving in to this attempt to take over, this attempt to undermine britain and the encroachment of islamic values in britain and the british ruling class for a variety of reasons were basically saying let's go along with it. i was extremely careful about -- we all must be, to acknowledge many muslims who find this equally frightening and worrying and have nothing to do with it. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> what you reading this summer? booktv wants to know? >> i have a couple books.
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i don't finish any one book at a time. i go back and forth to different ones. 1861, about the first year of the civil war ended in 1863 what is happening in gettysburg we commemorated that battle, really getting a sense of what was happening in 1861, the first shots fired at fort sumter and all the behind-the-scenes going on there at the time, what was happening around the country pertaining to slavery and other issues during that time as well leading ultimately to the emancipation proclamation and the clinton administration. for 100 years, a great book about 1969-1970 about the breakup of the beatles, about
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the emergence of james taylor, from a musical standpoint what was happening politically at the time. we had woodstock in 1969, really the remnants of the civil-rights movement moving to the war in vietnam and the political unrest at kent state. all of that happening during that time, remarkable book. reading a book called the execution -- the executioner, a book about the diary of an executioner from the sixteenth century, early part of the seventeenth century, a little bit glory but very interesting all the same. the executioner, his diary in germany in nuremberg during the
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time and deal with the devil about a murder trial that took place just as our country was at its dawning. it was the trial of levi weeks from manhattan. was on trial for the murder of a woman named elmer stands. mr weeks's defense attorneys were aaron burr and alexander hamilton. kind of interesting. really was remarkable trial that took place as the country was coming into being and to have these two rivals as your defense attorney. and won't give away the ending of the trial or the book itself. remarkable book as well. so far that is the book, books i am presently reading. >> let us know what you are reading this summer, tweet us at
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booktv. post it on our facebook page or send us an e-mail at >> the first problem with conventional ways of explaining secularization has to do with the historical time line. secularization has been understood by most great modern thinkers and for that matter plenty of mediocre ones as a process in which religion slowly but surely vanishes from the earth or it least it's more sophisticated precinct. as people become more educated and prosperous the collective story goes, the same people come to find themselves more skeptical of religion's premises. they find themselves less needful and religion's presumed consolation and somewhere in the long run many people have fought, religion or specifically the christianity once dominant on the european continent will just die out. this could take a while.
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frederick nietzsche predicted that it would take hundreds and hundreds of years for the news of god's death to reach everyone but again, no matter how long it would take there has been opposed enlightenment consensus at least among secular thinkers that in the long run to paraphrase john maynard kingston in another context, god will be dead. exactly which feature of modernity would do this has been unclear but once again it should be stressed this process has been assumed by many people to the inexorable like with candles on a birthday cake, it has been conjectured. the religious faithful of the dance was will sooner or later went out until nobody is left. on inspection there are several logical problems with this idea including insurmountable ones. first, the conventional story line does not describe the reality of christianity's persistence in the world.
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american sociologists of religion, rodney stock who is a contrarian in these matters wrote a lively as a in 1999 that is something of a classic. it was called secularization, rest in peace. it opened with an entertaining review of predictions of the demise of the christian faith going back to 1660 and continuing to the present day including but not limited to such secular profits as frederick the great, thomas jefferson, sigmund freud and others. as stock riley implied, lot of people proclaimed the death of god didn't get the fact that their own obituaries would be written long before the deity's. plainly as the points out the almighty has not expired in the timeline predicted. as a side note the new atheists who are vocally frustrated about exactly this point, christianity's persistence in the world would be the first to agree with him. that is problem one with the conventional story line.
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here's another one. contrary to widely held stereotypes, believe in the christian god also isn't a straight out function of social class or education. this stereotyping is deeply ingrained. we saw this a few years back when the president of the united states unthinkingly repeated a stereotyped in singling out jobless rural people who supposedly, quote, cling to their guns and their religion. the implication was clear. religion is something that embittered and poor people do. in this the president was reiterating a few offered many times before. christianity in the minds of many sophisticated secular people is karl marx's famous opiate of the masses. consolation prize for the 4 and backward. many people take it for granted that the better off have less use for god then the worse off and smart and educated people have less use for religion than other people. to be fair to president obama he
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is not the only one to put that stereotype out there. remember up somewhat notorious piece in the washington post ten years ago that describe the followers of leading american evangelicals as, quote, largely for, uneducated and easy to command. those are immortal words. everyone knows these things and yet in actual fact few people who believe in the stereotypes know the empirical truth. once again if the conventional account of secularization were correct is it predicted who was religious and why? then we would reasonably expect to find the poorer and less educated people are the more religious they would be so the fact that these stereotypes are not correct and we conducted to cases where the opposite is true means once again that the conventional understanding of secularization has missed something. here is an example. a british historian, hugh mcleod
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his book is called class and religion in the late victorian city. the documents that among anglicans in london during that period, quote, the number of worshipers rises at first gradually and then steeply with each step up the social ladder. put differently, quote, the poorest districts tended to have the lower rates of church attendance and those with large upper middle-class and upper-class populations had highest. in other words and in contrast to the keynesian idea of the highest for morally outstanding of debauched upper-class reality among the populace seems to have been the opposite in victorian london, quote, 0 a small proportion of working class adults, the historian observed, attended the maine sunday church services. ..
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>> and we're back live with more from the fdr presidential library. here's joseph persico. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. >> morning. >> my name is bob clark x i'm the supervisory archivist here at the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the tenth annual roosevelt reading festival,
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we're celebrating the tenth anniversary of the henry a. wallace center which is where we're hosting from today, so we're very glad to have you. a couple of housekeeping matters, one is will you, please, all take out your cell phones, pagers, things that beep and moan and turn them off so that our presentation isn't interrupted today. the second thing is i want to thank our colleagues at c-span who are filming live from hyde park today, so thank you to them for being here and supporting the roosevelt library and our public programs. and then finally, let me just kind of go over the format of the session. as those of you who have been here many times before know, what our speaker will do is speak for about 30 minutes, then we'll have 10 or 15 minutes for questions and answers, and i would ask that for the questions you would come up and line up and stand at the microphone, and then mr. persico will call on you for questions. and then after the question and answer period, we'll escort mr. persico out to the lobby where he will be happy to sign the books that you will all want to purchase at the new deal
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store. [laughter] and finally, as many of you if not all of you know, we just rededicated the library after a three-year renovation and installed all new permanent exhibits, so if you will find one of the library staff people and get one of these buttons from them, that will let you see the museum exhibits free of charge. so with that, let me introduce to you our speaker. it is always a pleasure to see joe persico here at the roosevelt library. he is one of the great gentleman in the profession. he is a great friend not only to the library, but he's a good friend of mine. he's the author of his latest book be, "roosevelt's centurions." throughout his career he was chief speech writer for new york governor and later vice president nelson a. rockefeller. he is the author of many books including "the imperial
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rockefeller." his roosevelt's secret war, espionage, the 11th month, 11th day and 11th hour and franklin and lucy focus on franklin roosevelt and the era. he's living proof once you write one book about roosevelt, you will keep coming back for more. [laughter] he's been a writer and commentator on several documentaries, and two of his quotations are inscribed on the world war ii memorial in washington d.c. ladies and gentlemen, joseph persico. [applause] >> bob, thank you for that overgenerous introduction. bob has helped guide me through at least two of my three books on fdr, so i'm very much at home here. there's a certain spell for me to come to this library, i can just feel the history oozing out of the wall, and i've enjoyed it
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for perhaps 20 years now that i've been speaking. my aim in writing "roosevelt's centurions" was to examine the performance of fdr in three roles as commander in chief during world war ii. the first was as the recruiter in chief, how able was fdr in his choices of the generals and admirals who were to conduct the war. next, fdr as strategist in chief, how did the strategies that he adopted hasten or delay the victory. finally, as morale officer. how well did he inspire and motivate a people and a nation at war? today i'm going to talk about the first standard that i mentioned, fdr as recruiter in
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chief. his main selection was general george c. marshall as chief of staff. the nomenclature, i think, is sometimes confusing. the chief of staff of the army is not a staff officer, he is the chief of the army, and that is what george marshall became under fdr. their first serious encounter in the white house did not go all that well. the president was describing a plan that he had for increasing the output of aircraft, and this was prior to our entering the war. ask he was very pleased with it -- and he was very pleased with it. he turned to general marshall, and he said don't you think so, george? and you could just read marshall's face. he was not at all pleased with this easy familiarity that fdr employed almost on first meeting
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anybody, and thereafter roosevelt picking up on this, they became throughout their association general marshall and mr. president. now, marshall, nevertheless, went on in this meeting which i've described to criticize the president's program. he thought it was an overexpansion beyond the capacity of the army air corps at that point. roosevelt, he could be surrounded by yemen who were a dime -- yes men who were a dime a dozen, and he was very impressed by marshall's willingness to stand up to him. and marshall becomes throughout the war, essentially, fdr's stout oak. now, soon after pearl harbor george marshall brings into the war department a very promising
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officer of whom he has heard nothing but praise and rave reviews, and that is dwight eisenhower. he and ike develop a plan for winning the war against nazi germany. very early after pearl harbor. their plan is to conduct a massive buildup of troops in the british isles, americans and brits and other allied forces, and then thrust across the english channel, invade nazi-occupied france and more or less drive the 500 level miles right straight through to berlin. now, marshall assures the president that this can be done in 1943, roughly about a year or so after we've entered the war.
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roosevelt appears to approve of that project. they have made a sale with him. he then sends george marshall with his closest confidant, harry hopkins, to london to exlain the plan to winston churchill. churchill seems to agree to it. they've made a sale with winston churchill. but to fdr, the promised invasion of 1943 still sounds very far off. we're in 1942 at this time. "time" magazine has noted that we've been in the war for six months, and not a single inch of enemy territory has been occupied, nor have we won a victory. fdr wants to engage the germans somewhere in 1942. now, winston churchill had given lip service to his support of an invasion across the english channel, but his real objective was to save the british empire.
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and his conviction was that the lifeline of the british empire was the mediterranean sea. and if you wanted to control the mediterranean, you had to control north africa. now, at this time north africa was essentially controlled by the french. you had the three colonies, morocco, algeria and tunisia, all french colonies. these colonies were run by the french government, the government that essentially surrendered to nazi germany in 1940 when france fell, and they were allowed under the terms of that armistice to hold on to their colonies in north africa. so presumably, when we invade north africa in november of 1942, we're going to be facing french troops, ironically. now, f, the r hears -- fdr hears
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churchill's arguments for first setting our troops against the germans if north africa, and he agrees. george marshall, when he finds out that the president has abandoned the original plan for the cross-channel invasion in 1943, is appalled. he realizes that if all of the men and material are sucked off of that campaign that's being arranged out of europe across the channel, that you'll never be ready by 1943. and, indeed, d-day, the invasion of normandy, doesn't take place until june '44. when eisenhower learns that the president has been persuaded by churchill to abandon the cross-channel strategy, he describes it as the blackest day in history. but as the point arrives in which the continent is to be
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invaded, the big question is who will command the allied forces? who will be the supreme commander? now, everybody knows that this is going to be george marshall. winston churchill knows it. josef stalin knows it. "the new york times" knows it. [laughter] and mrs. marshall knows it. she's already packing accordingly. and george marshall has every reason to expect that the command will be his. in a few minutes, i'll get down to the story of how fdr fooled them all. to run the navy, roosevelt's centurion is admiral ernest king. king is an old, crusty sea dog with a very mercurial temper. his wife described her father as the most even-tempered man that she ever i knew. he was always mad.
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[laughter] his philosophy was to chew his subordinates out in public and praise them in private which is not considered good personnel management policy. but fdr had seen in ernie king a real scrapper. king was so tough that fdr used to joke that he shaved himself with a blow torch. [laughter] in some respects fdr was ahead of his navy chief. in 1942 the sinkings of merchant vessels which were keeping great britain alive were severely threatened by u-boat attacks which were sometimes sinking three and four ships in a single day. roosevelt wanted a convoy system where warships would track -- would protect the per chant vessels -- the merchant vessels. king just didn't move along fast enough on that, and roosevelt literally dragged him into the
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convoy system which resulted in the fact that ship sinkings started to plummet soon after the adoption of the convoy system. now, there's another naval officer that, in my judgment, would have been every bit as good as ernie king as the navy chief, and that's admiral chester them in miss. just -- nimitz. just days after pearl harbor,fbr summons him to his office and says, chet, i want you to go out to the hawaiian islands, and i don't want you to come back until we've defeated the japanese. so admiral king ruled, essentially through fear, nimitz was a beloved and revered skipper within the navy. i think he could have conducted the leadership of the navy in the war with a great deal of less wear and tear than ernie king inflicted on his subordinates. nimitz was also a very open-minded officer. at one point a rather mid-level
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officer who runs the coding operation, the decoding operation in the pacific -- a chap hi by the name of joe roque further -- tells admiral nimitz that his code breakers have intercepted japanese messages, decoded them, and they can pip point where a jalapeno -- pinpoint where a japanese fleet is steaming toward the island of midway, preliminary to mounting an invasion on the hawaiian islands. roquefort assures the admiral that he can tell where that japanese fleet is going to be and at what time at any particular moment. nimitz gambles on this intelligence, okays a raid against this fleet, and there is a rendezvous between the japanese fleet -- unintended from their standpoint -- and american bombers who within five minutes sink four of the most
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vaunted carriers of the japanese navy. now, after six months of doom and gloom in the pacific, the loss of wake island, the loss of guam and the utterly humiliating surprise attack that succeeds against pearl harbor, after our success at midway, the war in the pacific turns around, and we will never really look back until victory. running the air force, the president picked general henry "hap" arnold. he's known as "hap" because through some facial anomaly, his lip is always curled in what appears to be a smile, but he's a tough guy apart from that. hap arnold went so far back in american aviation history that he was taught to fly by the wright brothers.
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[laughter] and yet in 40 years, which is a short span as history is mentioned, he is in charge of an air force that launches flotillas of a thousand heavy bombers against german cities including berlin. arnold's talents had been spotted by elliott roosevelt, the president's son who was a great aviation enthusiast. and arnold started out on a very high plane. at in this point -- at this point the air force is phone as the u.s. army air corps, so it's subordinate to the army. so, in effect be, hap arnold serves under general marshall. but roosevelt gives hap arl hold in a seat on the joint chiefs of staff, that is marshall for the army, king for the navy, admiral leahy is the general staff commander of this group. so by giving hap arnold a seat
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on the joint chiefs of staff, he has, in effect be, elevated the air force to equal status with the other services. hap arnold describes this move where he's able to sit down on an equal level with king and with marshall as the magna carta of the u.s. air force, and it's granted by franklin roosevelt. now, these two men -- the president and hap arnold -- had rather similar free-wheeling management styles. as one aide of president roosevelt put it, the president would give one man is six jobs to carry out, or he would give six men one job to carry out. it was something of the president's leadership style. hap arnold, similarly, would go to the airplane manufacturers, and he would say you've got to start producing more planes
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because my air force is training more pilots. then he would go to his training staff, and he would say you've got to turn out more pilots because the aircraft industry is producing more planes. [laughter] now we will discuss two interesting figures in the american echelon during world war ii, two men who circled each other like wary lions. that military peacock general douglas mcarthur -- [laughter] and that political lion, fdr. shortly before becoming president while roosevelt was still governor of new york, he remarked to some of his associates that there were two dangerous men in the united states. one, he said, was the demagogic senator from louisiana, huey long. and his staff asked him, you know, who is the other dangerous
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figure in america if and he said douglas mcarthur. nevertheless, after the president enters office in 1933, mcarthur is then running the army as chief of staff, and his term is about to expire. but fdr keeps him on. in the middle of the '30s, mcarthur retires from active service. he goes on the inactive list, and he goes to the philippines which he's always loved. he then begins the cushiest chapter in his military career. he is named by the philippine government as a field marshal in the philippine army. now this appointment, to me, has something of a comic opera overtone. and he very likely could have been left to sink in obscurity as a field marshal in the philippine army.
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but as the war appears to be approaching and the united states will be drawn in, the president puts mcarthur back on the active list, and he gives him complete command of all the troops in the philippines, americans and filipinos. soon after pearl harbor, the japanese invade the philippine islands. they sweep across and drive mcarthur and his forces out of manila down the peninsula down onto this rocky island. the japanese are going to succeed in conquering the philippines, and mcarthur faces three fates. he could either be killed, he could kill himself, or he would wind up as a prize prisoner to be paraded in tokyo before the victorious japanese. now,izen our at this point -- eisenhower at this point is still in the war department in
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washington, and his view is that, yes, you should leave mcarthur there on the island. [laughter] eisenhower had worked under mcarthur and still apparently felt the sting, and his view knowing the mcarthur theatrical personality was leave him there, it would suit mcarthur's martyr complex. but the president still has great faith in mcarthur's military genius, and he wants him rescued. consequently, mcarthur is plucked from the philippines. he goes to australia, and roosevelt gives him command of the southwest pacific area. that is roughly half of the pacific war zone. the other half goes to admiral chester nimitz who i mentioned earlier. after mcarthur leaves the philippines, he is plagued with doubt, plagued with humiliation,
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and he then makes his famous battle cry regarding the philippines: i sal return. i shall return. by mid 1944 there is a competition, a controversy between two forces as to how to win the war in the pacific. admiral nimitz and his forces have been conducting an island campaign. they've jumped from guadalcanal, they island hopped to saipan, eventually to iwo jima and okinawa, and it's brilliant strategy because it leaves other well-fortified japanese bases to wither on the vine as he hop scotches across the pacific. and nimitz's point of view is that we can continue to do this, we'll eventually surround the japanese, strangle them economically which will obviate the necessity of a very bloody invasion.
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the contrary opinion is taken by mcarthur who says that the way to defeat japan is to let him invade the philippines, to liberate the philippines and then use that as a jumping board for the invasion of the japanese homeland. also, if he can win the president's approval for going back to the philippines, he fulfills his promise: i shall return. now, the president in the summer of 1944 he summons mcarthur to the philippines and nimitz, and he if a sense is going to referee -- in a sense is going to referee between these two gentlemen as to which strategy is going to be adopted, island hopping or going up through the philippines. he hears both their arguments. mcarthur makes a brilliant defense of his position without a note in his hand. nimitz is piled high with books and maps and makes a very
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convincing argument for his case. fdr solves this dilemma in typical roosevelt fashion. he approves both approaches. [laughter] he will allow the island hopping, which he thinks is a brilliant strategy, to continue, and he also okays mcarthur's wish to invade the philippines. now, after that something happens which is brazen even by douglas mcarthur's behavior. here we are in the midst of war, and he makes it known clear to republican leaders in the united states that he would gladly accept a draft, their nomination to run for president. this would pit him against his commander in chief in the midst of war. apparently, mcarthur the
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military hero fares a great deal better than mcarthur the politician because when the republicans meet that summer at their convention to pick a candidate, among 1,046 delegate votes cast, douglas mcarthur receives one. [laughter] i'd like now to talk about how fdr regarded general eisenhower. you know, after eisenhower became president he was caricatured as a man who mangled the english language, a man who was inarticulate. and the interesting thing is this irony, that when he was first brought into the war plans department by general marshall soon after pearl harbor, ike initially made his name by the cogenesee -- cojencs, and sound
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papers he did many of which went before president roosevelt. so clearty the obfuscation was a smoke screen to conceal the things that he did not want to say. now, as i said earlier in my talk, everybody knows that president roosevelt would back george marshall to be the supreme commander when the time came to invade europe. it would have been the logical capstone to george marshall's career. even the president himself pointed out that every school kid could name a civil war battlefield commander; lee, grant, sherman, stonewall jackson. but who remembered from the civil war era who would have been chief of staff of the army which was the position that marshall now held? but fdr had observed something that captured his imagination about eisenhower.
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he saw eisenhower as a skilled political general in the best sense of that word. now, when the time came to invade north africa, the colonies -- as i mentioned, algeria, due tease ya and morocco -- were under control of the french government. in command of north africa and its colonies at that point was a french admiral by the name of francois darlan, a known nazi sympathizer. but eisenhower dealt with him, something of a pact with the devil, for which he was roundly criticized in the united kingdom and the united states. i mean, what was this war all about? weren't we fighting fascists and nazis? why do we have an american commander dealing with him? fdr backed eisenhower completely
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in his dealings with darlan in north africa. the president realized that what ike was doing was cutting a deal with the devil to reduce the resistance of french troops when we finally invaded these colonies, which was the case. the french fought for about three days, and that was it. so as a result of the deal that eisenhower cut with the admiral, many thousands of lives or were saved. eisenhower saw -- excuse me, the president saw eisenhower perform again in north africa. the president went to the conference at cat blank ca in -- casablanca in 1943, and he met at this oint be eisenhower, and the president always had an eye for a pretty woman. and he noticed that eisenhower was chaufferred around by a very comely britisher, a witty woman, very attractive, by the name of kay sommers by. at this point in the upper
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levels of the allied command, the rumors are fairly rampant asking the question how close is dwight eisenhower to kay sommersby, his driver? admiral marshall is dead on any suggestion of hanky-panky of people under his command. he had a commander in the middle east, and he'd heard a rumor this commander was involved in a dalliance with his secretary. and he contacts that general and said i want her sent back to the states pronto. fdr's utterly unconcerned with eisenhower's private life. hehe has seen in eisenhower a leader who can bring together strong-willed national leaders; churchill, de gaulle and his own president and unify them for a concerted attack during the
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war against nazi germany. he's able to do the same thing with very competitive generals like general montgomery, patton, his own supporters. so the president very much appreciates this absolutely critical talent. i like one of eisenhower's subordinates said best about the rumors regarding kay sommersby, he said eisenhower's bearing crushing burdens. if kay sommersby is helping to relieve some of those burdens, i'm all for it. leave him alone. [laughter] now, who does the president she can to be the -- select to be the supreme commander? november 1943, it's getting a little late in the day, it's about time he decided who he supported to be the supreme commander for the liberation of europe. in cairo he summons george marshall to his suite, just the two of them. and as marshall described this
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meeting, the president beats around the bush at great length, ad nauseam, before he gets down to what he wants to sew marshall -- to see marshall about. and be he finally just says what do you think about the supreme command? now, george marshall hungers for this command, as i've said. this would mark the capstone of his career. and any general worth his salt wants to be a battlefield commander, not a paper push or. pusher. but he's also a monumentally modest man. what does he tell the president? he says, i'll do whatever you say, whatever you think good for the country. at that point the president indicates that their meeting is over. marshall rises and heads toward the door, and just at that moment roosevelt says to him, i wouldn't be at ease without you in washington. george marshall knows that he is not to get the supreme command,
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and it goes to eisenhower. eisenhower after the war is viewed as the liberator of europe. he's elected president once, he's elected president again. george marshall, a truly great man, his image in the public consciousness has dimmed seriously since that period. let's talk a little bit about, perhaps, the most flamboyant pirg in the u.s. army -- figure in the u.s. army and maybe all the armies engaged in world war ii, general george s. patton. george patton's a brilliant battlefield commander, but he can be a terrible, terrible human being. nevertheless, fdr holds him in very high esteem because he's impressed by the boldness, the dash, the package nation of a george patton -- the imagination of a george patton. so just before the campaign in north africa in which patton will play a very serious part, the president invites him to the
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white house. patton is an old cavalryman, and the president says to patton, george, are you going to slap tank -- excuse me, he said, are you going to slap a saddle on that tank of yours and go in with your saber raised? he just finds patton a fascinating character. they have a very cozy chat, and afterward the president writes a memo longhand describing this meeting, and he wants this memo deposited here at hyde park among his papers. and he ends it saying george patton is a joy. not long afterward, patton gets in hot water. it's during the siciliano campaign. he goes -- siciliano campaign. he goes into two military hospitals in sicily, and he slaps two shell-shocked g.i.s. when this story is revealed, there is a huge cry back in the
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united states for patton's scalp. the president nevertheless sticks with george patton. and when he is asked by a reporter about the patton incident, slapping of the g.i.s, the president doesn't answer directly, he answers as he often does, with a parable. the parable here of the relationship between lincoln and general ulysses grant. and he points out that the president was criticized for elevating grant to such high status because grant was known to be a drunkard. abe lincoln looks at this winning general and says, well, let's find out what it is that he drinks. [laughter] patton is viewed, essentially, in the same way. patton is like a star athlete who breaks all the training rules. he stays out all night, he gambles, he winches, but he wins ball games. and this is not a player that fdr is going to bench regardless
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of the furor created over patton's activities. i think at one point in patton's behavior during world war ii occurs at a point when his forces have driven across france. they've now entered germany. and patton knows that his son-in-law -- an officer by the name of john waters -- is a p.o.w. held by the germans in this camp not far distant. so he orders a rescue mission in which 300 men approximately are sent as a forward group to go into germany, reach the walls -- breach the walls of this camp and snatch his son-in-law. colonel waters. as a result of this mission, 25 g.i.s are either killed
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outright or presumed missing and presumed dead. very expensive price to pay for trying to rescue his son-in-law. and that mission does not succeed. one more centurion i'd like to talk about is general omar bradley. bradley when the invasion of europe takes place, d-day, the normandy invasion, has half of the forces under his command in the south and the other half is general bernard montgomery. eisenhower has shown very great, good judgment at giving this command to omar bradley. and you have this irony. at the beginning of the war, bradley is a subordinate of patton. but eisenhower sees that omar bradley might have the same battlefield dash and boldness
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that patton has displayed, but he sees him as a better overall manager of men, manager of command. so their roles are reversed. patton now becomes a subordinate to omar bradley. there's an interesting interlude between omar bradley and the president. it's just after the sicilian campaign, and the president knows that omar bradley is back in washington briefly, and he summons him to the white house. and they discuss the sicilian campaign. and then suddenly the president starts to tell omar bradley about this extraordinary project that is taking place out in the sands of new mexico, and he starts describing the manhattan project, the development of the a-bomb. bradley is amazed by this because at this point even officers above his level,
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officers like eisenhower and mcarthur, don't know anything about development. so he assumes that the president has just been carried away for the moment, goes back to europe to continue the war, never breathes a word to anybody including his superior, eisenhower. that this project is advancing in the sands of new mexico. which will produce an atom bomb. on the subject of the bomb, there's a misconception that i would like to clarify. after the war president roosevelt and ari truman -- harry truman were criticized for the use of the bomb. the charge is that we would not have used the bomb against a white nation like germany, but we would have used it against a yellow nation like the japanese. however, during the battle of
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the bulge the president is very concerned about the heavy casualties. before the battle of the bulge is over, 19,000 american g.i.s will die. so roosevelt at this time calls general leslie groves to the white house. groves is in charge of the manhattan project. and he tells groves that he wants to use that weapon. groves is rather surprised and explains that they are nowhere near ready, it'll be months before they even test the atomic bomb. but it's very clear in my mind that roosevelt had every intention of using it as long as the german resistance couldn'ted at the level that it did during the battle of the bulge. interesting thing about roosevelt's centurions is that the team was very stable. the people that he put in charge of the military at the beginning of the war were still there at the end, a time when winston
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churchill was firing generals left and right. so i would have to give a very high grade to fdr as the recruiter in chief. the figures that he selected still resonate in history; marshall, admiral king, admiral nimitz, dwight eisenhower, hap arnold, and it's hard to quarrel with a winning team. by the time of fdr's death in april of 1945, his battles have essentially been won. cruelly, he does not live long enough to see the defeat of germany which takes place just shortly thereafter or the defeat of the japanese. but when we consider the impediment that he bore, the polio that made of him a paraplegic, the suffering and pain that he went through, the heights that this man rose to as commander in chief during world war ii can only be described as
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heroic. when liberty-loving americans all over the world needed a giant, fdr stepped forth. in my judgment, the president ranks with the immortals, he ranks with washington, he ranks with lincoln as a great president in time of peace and as a magnificent commander in chief in this time of war -- in time of war. thank all of you. prison -- [applause] >> we have time for a few questions if you want to come and line up here. you need to line up, ask your question to joe so that c-span can catch your question on the microphone. >> winston churchill has frequently been criticized for meddling too much in the actual
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military planning in considering himself a military planner and leader, and that's always contrasted with roosevelt who, as far as i know, left much of the military planning to his generals. could you make any comments as to why roosevelt took a path in military decision making that seems to be quite contrasting from that of churchill? >> this is true that the president left the day-to-day conduct of the war to his military figures. but he was the strategist in chief. he made the big strategic decisions. it was fdr even after the united states had been attacked by japan and and the american people were seething with rage against the japanese, e made this initial strategic -- he made the initial strategic decision that our first objective must be to defeat nazi germany.
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was he realized -- because he realized that the defeat of nazi germany would ultimately bring about the defeat of japan. but the defeat of japan would never insure the defeat of nazi germany. another major strategic decision that he made in january 1943, casablanca conference, he surprised everybody by insisting that the war must be terminated in only one way, and that is by the unconditional surrender of our enemies. major strategic decision can, very much criticized in quarters at that time. so throughout the war while he does not meddle with the generals, he is our strategist in chief. any other questions? >> thank you. what about the story, i think it's actually a fact, that the president of the philippines
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actually gave mcarthur a quarter of a million dollars while he was in our army, and some of his subordinates also got like 25, $30,000. is that true? >> the only thing i can say about the point that you've raised is that you were off by a quarter of a million dollars -- [laughter] president quezon even after his island had been invaded came through on a deal that he had cut earlier with mcarthur, and he got a half a million dollars at that point in the war. another question? >> mr. persico, in world war ii you mentioned all men. in today's war there are women there. the only female that you mentioned was kay.
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why was she picked? you know, i'm looking at it from are mamie eisenhower. wasn't it a bit embarrassing? why was she picked as a female? >> it was interesting to me that after ike gets the command to invade europe, he's the supreme commander in europe, general marshall -- who as i pointed out if my remarks was death on any kind of hank can key spank key -- hanky-panky -- he cooks up a reason to send ike back to states. he's been separated from his wife, mamie, for something like a year and a half. and he sends him back ostensibly to have meetings with the president and other figures, but he mainly wants to get ike and mamie together for a while to make sure this marriage survives and it doesn't interfere with eisenhower's command of the other forces in the europe.
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any other questions? >> all right, mr. persico, thank you. but it did not answer my question. [laughter] >> i was always concerned about the this decision in the pacific command where after the gawptless surrenders, but at that point they then expand the command further down, and when wainwright vendors -- surrenders, he loses over half a million men, places they haven't even begun to fight. who makes that decision to expand? >> well, mcarthur assumed that after he was plucked from the philippines that wainwright would carry on almost to the death. wainwright sees his forces essentially starving, outmanned, and he surrenders nothing like the figure of half a million, but he surrenders them. and mcarthur publicly says thereafter that wainwright carried on a heroic battle to
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the very end, but as he makes clear to his inner sickle, he is -- circles, he is outraged that wainwright surrendered in the philippines. anybody else? >> time for two more questions. >> i want to play off the relationship further between fdr and mcarthur. was fdr uptight about mcarthur? was fdr inherently hostile towards mcarthur? i mean, i ask this in a certain context. when the japanese attacked pearl harbor, the commander and chief of the pacific fleet, when the japanese attacked the philippines, mcarthur was not only plucked -- as you put it -- out and taken to australia, he was given the congressional medal of honor of all things for his role. what can you elaborate on? i realize it could be the subject of an entire talk, but what can you elaborate on in
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terms of the relationship, the psychology between fdr and mcarthur and perhaps particularly in terms of mcarthur's inordinate compulsion to retake the philippines? >> well, as i pointed out in my remarks, the two men circled each other like wary lions. mcarthur, i think, behaved with a considerable amount of disloyalty and a lack of appreciation for the fact that the president rescued him in the philippines, gave him this very important command even though mcarthur was driven out of the philippines, and the president undoubtedly as we try to read his mind is saying this man is a military peacock, he's filled with arrogance and hubris. but in the long run, he's a great soldier, and i'm going to have to depend on him.
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>> i was wondering how would you compare roosevelt's ability to manage or deal with his generals as compared to, say, lincoln, or would you say roosevelt was just luckier in his recruiting abilities up to a point where, for instance, lincoln until he was able to get grant in the place? >> well, the only thing i could say here which may have some relevance is abraham lincoln is facing these choices for the first time, and some of his appointments failed like mcdowell and several others and that roosevelt was a student of the civil war, a very clean student. perhaps he learned from lincoln's experience, and he was, as i say, a recruiter this chief of a remarkable team. these people are there from pearl harbor to the japanese surrender aboard the missouri in tokyo bay. >> so his background like in the navy was the difference, do you think? >> more military experience and, as i say, more knowledge of history.
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>> let's give a hand to joseph persico. [applause] i'm sure that joe would be happy to answer some additional questions out at the new deal store, but if you give us just a chance to get him out there before you try to talk to him, that would be appreciated. thank you, and have a good rest of the day. [inaudible conversations] >> we'll be back in about an hour live from the 2013 roosevelt reading festival in hyde park, new york. >> i think sort of interestingly that the korean war if a sense sort of -- in a sense sort of helped the south korean, south koreans unify themselves in a
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way that was not there before. when the communists came down, they were brutal, right? and a lot of the south koreans turned against the communists in the north. and that sort of solidified, i think, their sort of sense of national cohesion and identity. but i think, you know, it was miscalculated because had he waited, it's very possible that the south probably would have, it's possible that it would have disintegrated on its own. >> sixty years after north korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, a war that never really ended. sunday night at 9 on "after words," part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> what inspired you to write a book about savior generals at
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time in history? >> we have this 19th century genre of great captains, great leaders, and we read about alexander the great and hannibal and napoleon, wellington, and we're supposed to distill lessons from tear military genius. -- their military genius. or we have the antithesis, the 19th century anatomy of -- the very popular 20th century, who were the worst generals. but we don't really look at situations this which generals prevailed whether we look at strategy or tactics, to logisti, manpower, they were put in very unenviable positions, especially in consensual societies where the public opinion and the bureaucracy or the elected technocracy had given up on the war. so i wanted to find people throughout history who should not have won and were not responsible for the bleak situation they inherited and yet they prevailed, they salvaged it. maybe they didn't win it, but
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they saved it. >> i'd love to go back and talk more about those great captains and those genres of history, but first i'd like to hear a little bit more about those you choose to write about. >> yes. that was hard to do because everybody cans me that question -- asks me that question. curtis lemay is a savior general. george patton saved the american army after the hue mill nation in north africa. we could go on and on. but i was looking particularly at situations that had chronological sweep. so do midwest cleese of athens all the way to david petraeus in the surge, but i was also looking for things that were completely pessimistic. i think we could have won without pattop, without lemay perhaps. but you take away domesticles in burned out athens, and two-thirds wouldn't have even fought. or the emperor would not have
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recovered much of the western part of the business an teen/roman empire. i don't think there was a union general alive who could have taken atlanta at the cost that we took it, very small cost compared to what was going on in virginia, and i don't know anybody who could have done what matthew ridgeway -- and i wish i could say there were american generals, maybe one or two but not very many that could have done what david petraeus did. so i was trying to look at unique individuals throughout history chronologically to try to remind us that even a therapeutic, sociological era of high-tech, these human qualities remain constant across time and space. >> few readers and few historians would dispute that some of the people that you select were, indeed, saviors of their countries, and i think domesticles is a great example. undoubtedly, he saved the greek city-states. but they might argue with some of your other choices such as
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ridgeway, because the original strategic outcomes in korea were not actually achieved. so how do you respond? >> i think, actually, that criticism would be valid for all five of them because they're not winners, they're, they saved the situation for others to lose or to win. for example, domesticles saved the greek cause, but he didn't win the war. he was almost immediately forgotten, and-up to the iowa then yangs and spartans the next year. and at the height of his power, belisarius was relieved, put on trial and died a blind beggar. and as you point out with ridgeway, he was only there a hundred days, and he made a strategic choice not to go across the 38th parahell. he defended it in a strange way. he said the american people were with mcarthur when everything was going well, they raced up the 400 miles, and then as soon
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as the chinese crossed, we had the great bugout, the first time that word got currency. then they turned on him. now they're behind me, and if i go up, back up to the north with the same logistical strategic tactical situation that mcarthur faced -- whether that was true or not, i don't know -- they will turn on me because thai not willing to -- they're not willing to sustain this type of war this long. in retrospect when we look at the threat of north korea today, we can question ridgeway's judgment. but he felt at the time the nation was not in the political frame of mind to support what would be with needed to crush the north koreans and the chinese north of the 38th parallel. and the same thing is true with iraq. david petraeus, i think, saved the american cause in iraq, but he left it to others whether they were going to take that legacy, that inheritance and leave a residual force and try to make sure it became a consensual society in the way that we had done in the '40s
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and '50s in places like korea or serbia. we chose not to do that, but i don't think that necessarily tarnishes his achievement. >> this summer booktv's been asking washingtonians, legislators and viewers what they're reading, and here's what some of you had to say. on facebook: >> in november, booktv attended a conference on "witness" where several panels us thed the themes of the book. you can chick that out on -- check that out on
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>> c-span's covered several events in which edward snowden's come up. you can watch those by searching for edward snowden on >> a few years ago booktv covered an event to talk about the monuments men, and you can watch that online at what are you reading this summer? post on our facebook wall, tweet us or send us an e-mail to let us know what's on your reading list. you can visit all of our social media sites to see what others are reading, and we might even share your posts here on booktv.
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>> ira cats nelson presents a history of the new deal. he argues that the roosevelt administration had to broker a deal with southern politicians who wished to maintain segregation and did not cease until the civil rights act of 1964. >> anyone who loves american history finds it a privilege to be in this building and to be invited to speak here. it's especially gratifying. shortly before his death in 2007, one of the great historians of the new deal, arthur. >> schlessinger jr., wrote the following: conceptions of the past, he noted, are far from stable. they are perennially revised by the urgencies of the present. when new urgencies arise in our
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open times and lives, the historians' spotlight shifts probing now into the shadows throwing into sharp release things that were always there but that earlier historians had excised from collective memory. ..
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the first belongs to walter lippmann who was arguably the single most important journalists of that time. he wrote the following in 1939, 9 -- 91933 when president roosevelt as we heard famously declared the firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. in 1939 he wrote the following:three times in these 20 years the american people had great hopes and three times they have been greatly disappointed. the three disappointments he was referring to in 1939 were first, the promise that democracy would triumph globally after the first world war, second, that capitalism, the market economy would produce enduring prosperity which it seemed to be
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doing in the 1920s and the third disappointment that he noted was the failure of the new deal to quash fear. that surprised me. it was the same walter lippmann who one week after franklin roosevelt was inaugurated in march of 1933 and we used to inaugurate our presidents in march, not january, the same littman who had written the nation which loved confidence in everything and everybody has repaired its confidence in the government and in itself. so why disappointment? not many years later, it might be observed that the 1933 littman is the littman most
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historians remember or the new deal most historians remember, the new deal that converted fear to confidence. a second voice, this voice belongs to senator james eastland, 1944, the united states, july of 1944, the united states was at war with more than ten million soldiers under arms and deciding at that moment that congress actually deciding from the period january to july 1944 householders could vote, recall that the election of 1944 took place after d-day. we had soldiers in the ground in europe and sailors on ships throughout the pacific, how could they vote?
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the roosevelt administration proposed every soldier in the fear, soldiers who could not get absentee ballots should be handed a federal ballot and fill it in, write the name do we, governor dewey of new york and president roosevelt as the preferred candidate for office. instead of bill sponsored by james eastland of mississippi and john rankin of mississippi passed into law, that bill was justified by eastland in the following way -- these boys, he wrote, are fighting to maintain the rights of the states. these boys are fighting to maintain white supremacy. that is a precise quote stated on the floor of the u.s. senate. or hear one more voice -- the great writer e.b. white writing
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to the herald tribune. in november of 1947, a letter to the tribune which began i live in an age of fear. the last voice to begin my remarks belongs to dwight eisenhower on the day he was inaugurated, in january of 1953, science, he noted, seems ready to confer on humankind its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet. these voices, the voices, the kinds of voices i believe had not been fully attended in new deal histories remind us that concerns about fear did not stop in 1933 or 34 or 35 or 36, but
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fear remains a constant feature of american public life throughout the 1930s and 1940s and it was that recognition, multi dimensional quality of fear, that led me to write the book "fear itself: the new deal and origins of our time". in writing, i thought the only true justification for writing a new book on the new deal, if you were to go to the library and punch in new deal on a computer, catalog thousands of entries would come up. why write another book? it was those voices that motivated me to write another book but motivated me also, those voices motivated me to think about the relationship between fear and democracy in our time when we too live in an age of fear.
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we confront economic volatility, global religious zealotry, military in security. so listening to those somewhat forgotten voices from the past, i decided to write about the 1930s and 1940s to better understand the relationship of democracy and fear. our time -- were being tested in similar ways. to explain how the new deal dealt with such a challenges, and the cost of what was doing necessary to preserve liberal democracy and protect its values. the book investigates fear and democracy by offering four shift in perspective. the first is quite simple, at least at first glance.
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i extend what i mean through the truman administration. harry truman was franklin roosevelt's last vice president. most historians of the new deal stopped in 1938 or 39, 38 was the year of the last major new deal piece of domestic legislation passed, the fair labor standards act that gave us the minimum wage and the 40 hour week. 1939 was the years the second world war began in europe. some historians go as far as 1945 carrying through the age of roosevelt himself. the great historian david kennedy does that in his book freedom from fear. i thought to continue through to the truman administration, not just because harry truman had been part of the roosevelt era
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but because by continuing up until 1952-53, we can see some features of modern realities that might have remained somewhat obscure, two in particular. the first concerns the layering of fear in american life. fear is generated by circumstances that go beyond those of ordinary risk. life is full of risks. we buy a home, we hope it goes up in value. until leeson read always goes up in value. remarry, half of marriages today don't end well, they end in divorce but we have a sense we know something about the parameters of risk when we buy a home or mary but there are some circumstances that seem
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absolutely unique, that shatter our understanding of the status quo that make it difficult, even impossible to reckon with the true dimensions of risk. the collapse of capitalism after 1929 was such a fear generating experience, certainly for americans. unemployment rate, 25%. in an age when most women were not in the labour force, that meant something like half of american adults, as it were without sustenance from employment, but it was not just the collapse of the market economy that generated fear in that 20 year period between the inauguration of franklin roosevelt and the inauguration of dwight eisenhower, just five weeks before roosevelt was elected or inaugurated as
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president, adolf hitler became chancellor of germany and just 19 days after the roosevelt inauguration the german livestock voted to hand over all legislative power to the cabinet of chancellor hitler, thus beginning formally and in some sense legally, the german dictatorship of the third reich. this was also a period where mussolini's dictatorship in rome was thought to be immensely successful. it was up period in which many people around the globe including a good many americans admired the experiment in bolshevik russia under stalin. those dictatorships generated fear, generated the fear that they were somehow superior to liberal representative democracies in solving big
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problems. after all, we in america where european countries like france and britain had very complicated procedures that stood between a problem and the solution. we are familiar with this today. our congress rises up immediately and solves problems, congress has to grapple with those problems through very complex procedures, divide and polarized party and ideologies, with often shaped by the influence of various interest groups and money and politics. there is no clear looped from the problem to its solution and that was the case in the late 1920s and early and mid 1930s. that was a source of fear but did we have institutions that could grapple with the collapse of capitalism and meet the tense test of a dictatorship?
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that layering of beer was followed by the great violence of the second world war. unprecedented violence far greater even than the first war, putting civilians at remarkably greater risk than they had been in the first war and causing deaths and casualties in multiple ways including as we learned after the war, the holocaust and culminating in the use of atomic weapons at hiroshima and nagasaki. yes a new source of fear and then of course the cold war shaping and a anxious american people certainly in circumstances after 1949 when the soviet union to anatomic power. each of these developments was
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unprecedented, the collapse of the economy, the rise of the vast and to some extent popular dictatorships, the violence of the war, atomic weapons, cold war directing the kind of annihilation that president eisenhower spoke about at his inaugural address. we not only sir -- i not only see fear in its full dimension when we extend to the truman administration, we see an outcome that we might not have seen in 1938 or 1945. by 1952 this city, washington, had become the home of a dramatically new kind of federal government, one that had simply not existed or even been anticipated in 1927-28-29-30-31 and that government had two
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faces like the roman god janus. one was the face of domestic affairs. we had by 1952 by the eisenhower election, a much larger federal government than any american dreamed of having 20 years earlier and it is the national government of social security, maximum hours, and a variety of new federal agencies, bureaucracies, securities and exchange commission regulating wall street and on and on and that is the new deal legacy we know but that national state developed through the truman administration and in a particular twist in the truman years. in the mid 1930s congress passed
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the wagner act. the wagner act that created a legal framework for the national labor relations that created a framework within which trade unions could organize and between 1935 and the late 1940s there was a dramatic increase in the proportion of americans who belong to unions and that number peaked at 39% in 1954 and has been declining ever since, something like 7% of americans in the private sector belong to trade unions. as late as 1946-47, that trend seems likely to continue as far as the eye could see and it was expected by many including many new dealers that the future of
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the american economy would be shaped decisively by a bargaining game between organized labor and organized business but in 1947 congress passed the half hartley act which i will come back to, time permitting in a few moments but which radically sharply limited the capacity of unions to organize, passed by a vote of joining republicans and mostly southern democrats who together overrode a veto of that bill by president truman and the impact of that new law was essentially to make it impossible for organized labor to become a national political force because that was all authorized right to work laws, which are now in the
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news again but which then were largely limited to southern states. the south, state after state, passed right to work laws which made it difficult for unions to organize and by the end of the 1940s and early 1950s it was already clear that the new big american national government would not be the site of national competition so much between organized business and organized labor but would be a national state in which cans of different interest groups would 5 for influence and power. the second side of the new national state that was created
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in the truman years was a new national security state. the united states had no army to speak of when franklin roosevelt came to power. by the end of the truman years, by far the united states was the strongest power on earth and all the institutions we recognize at the heart of our national security state, joint chiefs of staff, national security council, central intelligence agency and on were created after the second world war in the truman years. also includes the atomic energy commission. this new set of institutions gave us a second side to our national state and in a shorthand version one might say that whereas the domestic
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interest groups centered national state was a state very thick with procedures but also national all money that did not have an a priori sense of public interest, it was about what democracy produced. of democracy produces the affordable health care act, that becomes the public interest. of democracy produced the repeal of the affordable health care act, that would be defined as the public interest, that is today. and that is the kind of democracy that was developed in the late 1940s, an interest group democracy, strong on procedures but without a strong fixed sense of public interest. the national security state that we created was precisely the inverse of that. that was a state with a strong sense of public interest. the united states, in the globe,
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was battling for as we battled today for democracy against dictatorship, against forms of anti-democratic zealotry. a very powerful sense of galvanizing public interest that is also a national state, relatively weak on procedures. that is to say there are by contrast to the domestic stage very few constraints on what the national security state can do on the issue of drones and american citizens who are very much in the news these days. just one example of what one could argue on both sides of the question but one example of having the national security state in many ways insulated from the normal procedures and processes of democratic politics so by extending the truman administration to the truman
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administration, we see fear and we see an outcome of the kind of national state we live with and live within today. the second move that the book makes is to situate the new deal in a global context. the dictatorship's after all did claim to be better democracies. they claimed to have solutions because there solutions did not have to travel through parliamentary procedures marked by party divisions and ideological polarization or the influence of interest groups or forms of corruption. they claimed to be direct representatives of the people, the german race in germany, the italian people, the italian nation in rome, the working class in the soviet union and
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friends of democracies shared the worried that american democracy would not be able to govern effectively. i mentioned walt whitman. listen to walter littman again, this time in february of 1933. he advocated extraordinary power to the incoming president. the danger, he wrote, the danger we have to fear is not that congress will give franklin roosevelt too much power but that it will deny him the power he needs. the danger is not the we shall lose our liberty but that we shall not be able to act with the necessary speed and comprehensiveness of the dictatorships though we are able to do and then he proposed extraordinary authority should be given full president for a period of one year. should have the widest and full
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list powers under the most liberal interpretation of the constitution. congress should suspend temporarily the rule of both houses to limit drastically the right of the amendment and debate, to put the majority in both houses under decisions of the democratic party caucus and the suppression of normal politics he concluded, quote, is the necessary thing to do. of the american nation desires action and results, this is the way to get them. the new deal began then in a context of deep anxiety about our capacity that is the capacity of our institutions to govern. roosevelt picked up this theme in a largely forgotten part of
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his famous first inaugural and this is the third ship in the book, toward congress and to some extent away from the reading figure of roosevelt and this is what franklin roosevelt said that day. our constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary need by changes in emphasis and arrangements without loss of essentials form. that was a deeply ambiguous sentence and then he flirted with littman's constitutional proposals. it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for action may call for a temporary departure from that normal balance of
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public procedure should congress not act properly and decisively, and by quote i shall not of a the clear course of duty that will confront me. i shall ask the congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis, broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe. the great thing about the new deal, the greatest thing about the new deal was that step was never taken. united states never did suspend congress. congress captain increasingly asserted its legislative prerogative even during the hundred days, the legislature dealt with the economic emergency through ordinary legislation. however novel and far-reaching.
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never a state of exception and the kind that littman proposed and roosevelt indicated he might ask for. after the hundred days congressional forms of dispute, debate and decision survived and thrived and there were intense differences of view about the proper role of government and the character of public policy. they were debated and acted on within the institutions of the congress. congress was not a casualty of the country's various crises that fashion fear in the 1930s and 1940s. congress was an instrument that sought to overcome them. that brings me to the last shift in emphasis in my book. within congress to the american south. we sometimes forget that the democratic party in the era of
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roosevelt and truman was an alliance of very strange bedfellows. the non southern wing of the democratic party, largely consisted of urban voters, most of whom were immigrants or children of immigrants, catholic and jewish, many of whom voted for political machines, and most of whom supported what came to be called in the roosevelt administration liberal political solutions. the american south had an electorate, rather small electorate because of rules that kept african-americans and many whites as well outside the electoral system. in the american south the democratic party was supported by an electorate that was largely rural, not urban, mostly
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protestant, not catholic or jewish, largely anti-immigrant as opposed to being pro immigrant and so on. and of course the sharpest division between north and south was the fact that the united states at that moment, until the brown decision of 1954 contained 17 states, 17 states that mandated racial segregation including delaware, missouri, south carolina, florida, etc.. 17 states, 34 united states senators. in 1940 every single one was a democrat. 34 united states senators is a veto block in a senate of 96 seats and the south had this disproportionately high
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representation in the house of representatives. .. >> mississippi had seven members of the house of representatives and a population of 2.3 million. collectively, the seven members of the house elected in november 1938 secured 43,000 votes; that is seven people, 43,000 votes. and none ran with an opponent. so the south had a one-party state, low franchise, and that, of course, gave enormous
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advantages to members of congress from that region. they got seniority because they didn't face a two of party system. they ran the committee system. they composed most of the party leadership, often very distinguished party leadership like sam rayburn of texas and, of course, later lyndon johnson of texas. because of the capacity of the south, nothing, nothing could pass into law in the 1930s and the 1940s against the wishes of southern members of the democratic party. and after 1938 the democratic party, when republicans began to make a comeback, the democratic party was composed by a southern majority in the house and senate. and in the 1940s everything that passed into law mapped onto
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the preferences of those southern members of congress. so in that sense it was the south that was critical in making the new american state, the domestic and foreign policy state, the national security state. it was the south that was critical, a critical actor in making the modern new deal. now, i don't tell this as a morality tale, though it has ethically-charged features. this was the way things were in the 930s and 19 -- 1930s and 1940s. and it is the task of a historian and social scientist to think hard about the implications of that. and the implications of the capacity of the american south in the last era of jim crow, um, that capacity had more than one
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kind of impact. let me just briefly illustrate with two or three quick examples. the first great piece of legislation of the roosevelt years for the economy was the national industrial recovery act which created agreements between business, labor and government on how different sectors of the economy should work. this law was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court in 1935, but it governed the american economy in the first period of recovery from the great depression. roosevelt did not propose a public works be part of that bill, but the southern members of congress coming from the poorest region of the country insisted on public works. and much that we remember about the new deal, jobs through
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public expenditure in the first instance, was the product of southern wishes. second example, the wagner act i mentioned. or one could also take the social security act of 1935. southern democrats were not conservatives. they came from a dirt poor region. only one in three households in the south on the land simultaneously had running water and electricity according to the 1930 census. they liked a strong washington serving money to the state -- sending money to the states. but with caveats. and the key caveat was, which they inserted in all the key new deal legislation, the wagner act, the fair labor standards act that gave us a minimum wage: these laws would not apply to farm workers and maids. why? well, that's what african-americans did who lived in the south. black women lived in white people's houses, and black men
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largely worked on the land. every piece of new deal legislation of the '30 bes did not include farm workers and maids. that reversal of that only took place after president eisenhower was elected when domestic workers and farm workers were included in social security. for -- third example, i mentioned the soldier voting act. under that law soldiers could only get a federal ballot if the state in which, from which they came would approve the use of a federal ballot in the legislature and by the governors. so the eastman-rankin bill essentially met southern disenfranchisement would continue. but here's a surprising, to my eyes, positive feature of the southern story of the period. in july 1941 franklin roosevelt
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asked congress to extend the peacetime draft. in 940 we had the -- 1940 we had the first peacetime draft in american history, but it was hedged with restrictions. the soldiers could only serve for one year, and they could not leave the western hemisphere. that was a period when isolationists and internationalists were debating what to do about hitler should america get involved in the globe. well, isolationists could vote for a peacetime draft in 1940 because the soldiers couldn't leave the western hemisphere. so they were there just to protect the homeland. but roosevelt looking around in 1941 said this won't do, we need the capacity to have a serious armed force that could serve, if needed, anywhere in the globe. the house of representatives voted yes 203-202. if one person had switched
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votes, we would have entered pearl harbor with an army smaller than belgium's. we voted yes. how? the republican party opposed a peacetime draft arguing, not without reason, a peacetime draft when the country is not at war is a threat to liberty. many northern democrats voted no. those northern democrats who had irish, italian andier map con stitch -- german constituents voted no. irish were not particularly enamored of great britain, which was a colonial power in ireland, and italian-americans and german-americans not to a person, but many were deeply wary of a military that might be sent to fight their own families back in europe. only because a unanimous southern bloc voted in favor of a peacetime draft did we have an army and a navy on the eve of
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pearl harbor. at least an army and navy that was seriously equipped to begin to fight the second world war. and the last example i've already given of the taft-hartley act which changed the framework of and debilitated trade unions in the united states at least as compared to the wagner act. and i might add perhaps finally that with respect to the national security state, the american south was the most sure partner for internationalism as late as the 1940s, early 1950s. the majority of the republican party still had grave doubts about a global role for the united states. senator taft, the republican leader in the senate, was opposed to nato originally and to american troops being stationed in europe. and the northern democrats were
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divided between those who were on the wallace, henry wallace side of the democratic party which blamed the cold war on the united states more than the soviet union and did not wish to engage in a global competition with the soviet union. and then the other side of the northern wing of the party stood with truman in favor of creating the new national security state. but again, it took southern votes to create the major institutions that we know today. so in this sense modern america, the world we know was created in congress through the truman years and decisively by decision making, law making decisions taken by representatives from the american south. and those representatives were remarkably heterogenerallous
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bunch. richard russell of georgia, great political figures like lyndon john szob of texas -- johnson of texas whose very first speech in the congress began we of the south. it was a debate about fair legislation, and he to oazed it at that point -- opposed it at that point. but it also included the southern wing of the democratic party, also included cartoonist racists. finish but what they shared was a common commitment to preserve the autonomy of the south in matters of race. and in the 1930 bes and 1940s not one southern politician -- even the most liberal including a hero of mine, claude pepper of florida -- not one ever publicly opposed racial segregation.
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so let me close by just reading the last two paragraphs of the introductory chapter of my book. if history plays tricks, southern congressional power in the last era of jim crow was a big one. the ability of the new deal to confront the era's most heinous dictatorships by reshaping liberal democracy required accommodating the most violent and ill liberal part of the political system, keeping the south inside the game of democracy. while it would be folly to argue that members of the southern wing of the democratic party alone determine the choices the new deal made, their relative cohesion and tear assessment of -- and their assessment of policy choices through the filter of an anxious protection of white supremacy often proved decisive. the triumph, in short, cannot be
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severed from the sorrow. liberal democracy prospered as a result of an accommodation with racial humiliation and its system of lawful exclusion and principled terror. each constituted the other like united double nature of both soul and body in goodness. this confirmation confers a larger message, a lesson that concerns the persistence of emergency, the inescapability of moral ambiguity, perhaps the inevitability of a politics of discomfiting allies. it also reminds us that not just whether, but how we find our way truly matters. thank you very much. [applause]
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i'd be happy to take questions. there are microphones on both sides, and kindly identify yourself when you ask your question. >> good afternoon, professor. i'm david roughen, i live -- ruffin, i live here in washington. i was wondering if you could talk about the fear, some of the domestic fears. there was a great deal of discussion about communism here in the united states, but there was also, i'd like for you to talk about fears on the right, the ku klux klan, the american nazis, father coughlin, those people and what kind of impact did that have on the development of policy. >> the question is what about fear generating voices and movements from within american civil society including the ku klux klan, including preachers on the radio who preached hate, father coughlin, for example, from detroit and including
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pro-fats si movements in america -- pro-nazi movements in america, and you also began by with noting the communist party and people's fear of communism in the united states. i think each of these realities and dimensions of american life amplified the sense that americans lived in a period of, in which they had to take a journey, as it were, without a map. a sense of fearfulness that we didn't know our way. now, of course, there never were majorities of americans who a majority of southerners did not belong to the klan. the majority of southerners did not lynch. but lynchings continued in this period, and the congress was unable to legislate against lynching a as a result of the blocking power of the south.
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not that the southern members of congress favored lynching. a few did, but the great majority were appalled by it. but because, simply because they wished to protect regional autonomy. in this period both the communist party and the german-american bund could fill madison square garden in new york multiple times with rallies of more than 20,000 people. as late as 1939 and '40s, the bund paraded with swastikas and in german uniforms in new york city. so there are many such examples. i think they are both -- they're as much a symptom as a cause of fear. they signified two things. first, that the dictatorships had followers, and in part because it was thought they could solve problems a constitutional democracy could not. they had their own appeal. and second, those movements
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signified that americans were grappling, sometimes groping, for a secure floor on which to stand in order to deal with the fear-generating realities of the time. yes. >> hi, my name's roger williams. that was a very interesting and innovative construct from my standpoint, historical standpoint. i had never heard of what litman advocated which i find almost shocking from this, from today's perspective. but i'm wondering what did roosevelt's advisers propose to him, if you know anything about that, particularly his most liberal ones? and did the idea ever gain any traction in the congress? >> the, much of what was said between advisers and the
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president we don't have direct access to. we do know that a text was written for the president which he decided not to deliver just one day after the inaugural in which he was, he spoke to the american legion in the city, and the text he chose not to speak said that in additioning to the american mill -- in addition to the american military, he was going to ask for the creation of a, an armed force that would report exclusively to the president so as to keep peace and stability under conditions of emergency. but, so there clearly were speech writers who penned those words and and thought that was in keeping with the proposal that had been spoken of the prior day. but roosevelt did not utter those words, chose not to. so we can see clearly the drawing of the boundary between keeping the constitution intact
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be versus stepping way over the line and reducing it. >> i wonder how many of his detractors realized he never took a step like that? >> yes, of course, he was accused of being a dictator, but he willfully chose not to. and in some of his addresses he spoke of that charge and emphasized, much as i emphasized today, that he never suspended the american separation of powers system. even the famous court-packing proposal was a proposal that first we should remember never went beyond the constitutional limit because the constitution says nothing about the size of the supreme court. and second, when congress said no, that was the end of it. a proposal was made, a proposal was rejected. the supreme court remained as
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nine. so there are, of course, instances we could talk about if we had a lot more time such as the interment of japanese citizens in which the united states did step over a traditional line of constitutional protection, arguably then argued in the conditions of a very special emergency. but on the whole i think the great, compelling story of the new deal is the not stepping over the line. yes. >> you've not spoken about the alliance with stalin's soviet union without which the war in europe either could not have been won or would have been won only at exceptional cost in casualty. i'm just wondering, i recall i'd like you to say a few words about the decision to ally ourselves with the soviet union
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as an unfortunate necessity of winning the war in europe. >> two of the keywords in the end of this interesting, important question are our intention with each other. that is a decision to ally and the ability to ally. if the united states had not sent weapons through lend lease to the soviet union after germany attacked the ussr, if the united states had not had that alliance, i think historians are in complete agreement that there's no question that hitler would have triumphed in europe. the third reich would not have been defeated. it was the soviet union that essentially defeated the third reich certainly from the east. but compellingly, the western invasion could not possibly have succeeded without the movements on to germany from the east.
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but this was, at best, a morally charged -- this was stalin's soviet union after the great terror, after the purges, after the gulag having been created. and, of course, that alliance or what would become of that alliance after the war was a central great question not just for roosevelt or truman, but also for churchill who had to come to terms with the reality that when the war ended, soviet troops were sitting well into central europe and were not about to leave. so the, this is not a moment to reflect at any length about the origins of the cold war, but what is clear is that the division between and west existed on the day the second
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world war ended. the, a theme of my book, one of the themes is one philosophers sometimes call dirty hands or we might just call moral ambiguity. life, including political life, throws up instances where sometimes doing things which are bad compromises or even rotten come propoises might be -- compromises might be fess on behalf of an instrumental -- might be necessary on behalf of an instrumental good such as, this your question, winning the second world war. yes. >> my name is brad patterson. i served 14 years on the white house staff. i wanted to comment that as you were looking so well at that period and the reconstruction period at the beginning of the roosevelt administration, the first couple of years one author
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has written the roosevelt white house, roosevelt wasted a great deal of his time trying to settle arguments within his own add misers. and -- advisers. and be he saw that he was wasting his time that way, and he went to a gentleman friend of his named brownlow who asked him and two others to form a group to take a look at his white house and see if they could bring, propose a more efficient place. turns out that brownlow had made a trip or two to europe around in the early '30 bes from that period and witnessed the rise of hitler, and he came back to america really quite concerned at what was coming over the horizon to face decisions which would face the roosevelt government. and in 1936 it was the brownlow commission, and the first sentence of the report was the president needs help. and nothing happened for three
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years, but then in 1939, it wasn't the congress that strengthened the government, it was roosevelt himself with his famous executive order in september, 1939, number 84 -- i forget which created and strengthened the white house staff, created the section anonymous assistance and so forth. the famous quote was men of great passion and vigor -- of great physical vigor and a passion for anonymity. in that case from then on that was the beginnings of a strengthened white house at the very time when it was most needed. >> i appreciate that. i just, a little footnote, academics love footnotes. franklin roosevelt did propose a reorganization act after that in europe including rome to try to see how an efficient executive worked. and congress, the president did issue an executive order, but
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congress passed the reorganization act in 1939 which surrounded that executive order and gave it some legitimacy. so i think it's a case both of interim strengthening from -- internal strengthening from within the executive branch and yet another example of where congress, which had refused the initial proposals in 937, maintained its constitutional prerogatives even under growing conditions of emergency. >> the organization act said it might be better if this were done administratively rather than waiting for congress. really ought to have taken him up on that. >> thanks. we have time for one more. sir? >> i remember 12 years ago telling my mother how much i envied her generation because she had a president who was able to tell the people that they only had fear itself to fear, and while i was saddled with a president who made it his continual business to stoke fear
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after 9/11, and it was their kind of stock in trade, was generating fear. and during that decade they seemed to be working hand in hand with the electronic media. we have a term these days called media anxiety, and fear sells. by generating kind of a virtual anxiety or fear, you sell product. i'm wondering if there's any, if you can comment was there any, is there any meaningful different between the role of the media today in generating fear of any kind in the public and the role that it played back then in the '30 bes and '40s. i mean, what was their posture then, and how did they practice their business vis-a-vis fear prevailing in the country? >> it's a wonderful question and probably worth a good, long hour which we don't have. i think there are three things to remember about the media in that period. first is the especially the
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press media, there's a printed press, but also to some extent radio was a more deferential media in the sense that it was, certainly didn't probe very much into private lives of leading politicians, but it also was willing to play by background rules, by keeping to the rules of the game established by the president and executive branch in reporting the news. but second to remember, president roosevelt was a master of the new media both in his very regular press conferences and, of course, in his fireside chats and his pioneering use of the radio. and finally, it might be observed going back to a question asked earlier that the new media, especially the radio, was also used by other political
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views and forces including some social movements most of us would judge as quite ugly. i mentioned father coughlin who began as a radio priest who largely supported the progressive policies, as he called them, of the new deal. and by the late 1930s was overtly anti-semitic on the radio. so radio was the new player that had a galvanizing and transformative effect and heralded some of the changes we would later see. but the issue of how the media relates to power remains as then today a vexing issue. i'll end with a short, tiny story which is very personally important to me, but you mentioned talking to family about how they might have been luckier than we.
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my first political memory was 1952. i was 8 years old, stevenson stevenson-eisenhower election, and i went with my parents to see my grandmother. and my parents, who loved stephenson. my mother said, mama, for whom are you going to vote? and she said, i'm not voting. not voting, said my parents, and my grandmother, i can still see it, slams her newspaper down and said since roosevelt, they're all pygmies. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] >> visit to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting
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the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. >> susan dunn is next from the 2013 roosevelt reading festival from the fdr presidential library. .. like the person you're about to hear on their work. before we get started, just a couple of housekeeping matters, the first is will everyone
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please take out your cell phone, pagers, things that beep and whistle and -- moon and turn them off so the program isn't interrupted. thank you. the second thing, i want to thank c-span for being here and broadcasting this event today. they are great supporters of the public programs we do at the roosevelt library. we appreciate it very much. let me tell you a little bit of the to mat for the session for those who haven't been to the reading festival before. i'm going to introduce the speaker. she's going talk for forty minutes or so. after which, if time permits within we'll take questions. i'm sure susan will be happy to speak with at the new deal store. where you will want to flee the room to buy one for her to sign. susan dunn is the author of "1940: fdr, wilkie, lindberg, hitler- the election amid the storm" she's the parish third century professor of humidity at williams college she's been
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teaching since 1973. she graduated from smith college and has a ph.d. from harvard university. she has written and edited a dozen books that focus on two key periods in american history. the founding period and the president sincerity of franklin roosevelt. she's the author of "fdr purge." she's coauthor with pulitzer prize winning author james mcgreger burns of the three roosevelt leader who transformed america. she lives in massachusetts with jim burns and their dog roosevelt. and i know that -- [laughter] just on a personal note, for one thing, susan is a great friend of the library and me as well. james mcgrayinger burns is the roosevelt scholar. he wrote the first volume of biography. he's in williamstown, massachusetts, and will be watching the program later. we want to send our best to him
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in williamstown, massachusetts. [applause] so with that, i'm pleased to introduce sue san dunn. -- susan dunn. [applause] >> thank you, bob. it's a great treat and great privilege to be speaking in this magical place. have you ever seen alfred hitchcock's movie "foreign correspondent"? it made the debut in the summer of 1940. in the first scene, a newspaper editor asks him flip what is your opinion of the present
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european crisis, mr. jones? what crisis said the reporter played by joel. i'm referring to the war, mr. jones. oh, that. well to tell you the truth, i haven't given it much thought. you don't keep up with the foreign news, do you? >> how would you like to cover the biggest story in the world today? give me an expense account and i'll cover anything. you'll get an expense account, what europe needs is a fresh, unused mind. you think you can dig up some news in europe? i'll be happy to try, sir. later there are us is sensible encounter with nazis in dutch windmills, and amazing scene of an assassination that takes place in a heavy reign on the steps of the peace palace in amsterdam. and finally, joel mccia winds in dlon when german bombers are
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wreaking havoc on the city. in the last scene of the movie, johnny jones is no longer that detached reporter. instead, in the style of radio he speaks seriously to americans from a radio hookup on london. hello, america, he says to the radio audience back home. i've been watching a part of the world being blown to pieces. a part of the world as nice as vermont, ohio, virginia, and california and illinois. all of that noise you hear isn't static, it's death coming to london. you can hear the bombs falling on streets and the homes. this is a big story. you're part of it. it's too late to do anything here except stand in the dark and let them come. it's as if the light were out everywhere except in america. keep those lights burning. cover them with steel, rig them
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with guns, build a canopy of "battleship" and bombing planes around them. hello, america, hang on to your lights. they're the only lights left in the world. hitchcock got it right. hitler's nazi army and air force crushed norway, denmark, holland, norway, and france. governorgreat britain was left standing alone. in 1940, the battle began. almost every night until may 1941, the planes would drop tens of thownldzs -- thousands of tons of bombs over london, liverpool, birmingham, southhampton, bristol, and other industrial cities and ports. everything that we valued most in life stood on the brink of destruction. the essence of jew jew
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the precious legacy of the enlightenment. and thomas jefferson's immortal aver pursuit of happiness. and we also value the survival of great britain. in 1789, al sander hamilton said we think in english. with that brief statement, he encapsulated the profound intent yule and cultural ties that binds the united states and britain. in 1940, the fate of the world hung on the united states. that summer republicans and democrats would hold their conventions in preparation for the november presidential election. so what are conventions?
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conventions are about bands playing, delegates parading through the aisle. sporters cheering, and poll ticks speech fying. at both of the convention that took place in the number of 1940, there was an elephant in the hall. not the republican elephant, but the nazi faint. -- elephant. there was uninvited guest. his name was adolf hitler. the question on every's mind was whether fdr wanted the party nomination again in 1940, and he refused to give a clear answer. mr. president, would you tell us now if you would accept a third term one reporter asked him point-blank? put on a dunce cap and go stand in the corner. fdr replied with a laugh. not even the members of his own family knew what his real
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intentions were. of course, one question was whether fdr deserved another four years in the white house. his attorney general, robert jackson, was convinced that war and war alone compelled fdr to run for an unprecedented third term. jackson believed that at least as far as domestic policy was concerned, the president had already pulled everything out of his new deal bag of tricks. only the foreign crisis justified a possible third term. of course, fdr's own ambition also played a role. some democrats had accused him of torpedoing all the other potential candidates, but in fact, the widely president had done the opposite. he encouraged them all to run. secretary of state, former
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indiana governor, senate majority leader, new york governor, and even his isolationist ambassador to great britain, joseph kennedy, who salivated at the idea of occupying the white house. it fdr cheerfully welcomed them all in to the race, then left them twist and dangle in the wind until they gave up and dropped out, and that left only himself. roosevelt had chosen a very shrewd strategy by not declaring himself a candidate and by refusing to compete for the party nomination. he was saying that if the democrats wanted him, they would to draft him. and when he accepted the nomination on the last night of the convention, that was precisely the point he made. he told his listeners that he
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would have loved to retire and return where else, to hyde park, and work peacefully and quietly on his papers and his new presidential library. but he said that he had no choice but to accept the call to duty of the american people. he made it very clear that very soon he would have to draft young men in to military service, and take them far away from their families. and since he was going to ask those young men to make huge sacrifices for their country, he had to be willing to do the same. and what happened at the g.o.p. convention? well, the best known candidates were all isolationists. the most popular one was new york district attorney, the famous gang buster who locked up
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well known gang people. he was willing to give some aid to britain, he sternly warned against any other involvement in the war. his main competitor was conservative senator robert taft of ohio who opposed the draft, and branded the democrats the war party. another senator buying for the nomination was michigan's author. instead of calling himself an isolationist, he preferred to call. himself an inisinsulationist. nobody could figure out the difference. the most unlikely republican candidate was former president, herbert hoover, hoping to make a comeback. only one candidate was not an isolationist, and he was definitely the dark horse at the convention. his name was wednesday l will
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key. he came from indiana and was the head of the southern utility corporation. he agreed with much of the new deals he claimed he managed the programs more efficiently. on the subject of the war and europe, willkie was determined to stand up to hitler, and supply great britain with all possible aid.
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he said british defeat would be a calamity for the united. on the fourth evening of the convention, state delegations finally cast their votes. on the first ballot, dewey held a significant lead. taft, willkie, and the others trailed far behind. but on the third ballot, willkie jumped to second place. on the sixth ballot that took place way after midnight, the dark horse willkie sprinted to the finish line and won the g.o.p. nomination. later that summer, willkie traveled back to his hometown of elwood, indiana to officially accept the g.o.p. nomination. he spoke to a huge festive crowd, and just like roosevelt, he stressed the importance of compulsory military service. i cannot ask the american people
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to put their faith in me, willkie said, without putting on the record my conviction that selective service is the only democratic way to get the main power we need for our national defense. he explained that a voluntary system was neither adequate nor fair. only a draft would obliging rich boys as well as poor boys to serve their country. he denounced the fascist dictators and made the usual pitch saying that he hoped the united states could stay out of the war. then he showed more spine. he said that if elected president, he would try to maintain peace, but he said, in the defense of america and of our liberties, i should not hesitate to stand for war. ice --
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isolationists in the audience were not pleased. willkie told the crowd in the little town of elwood, that elwood seemed very removed from the shattered cities smolders buildings and the stricken men, women, and chirp of europe. was the war really so far away? he didn't think so. he said on the contrary, the war raging on the other side of the atlantic would inevitably effort the daily lives of all americans. and then directly attacking the isolationists, he said that all all americans intickettively knew they were not isolated from the suffering people. he wrapped up the speech by challenging president roosevelt to a debate. would fdr accept the invite in i don't think so.
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fdr had nothing to gain from a debate, and he let his pitbull, secretary of the interior, put the icing on the cake. he commented if willkie was eager for a debate, he should debate the isolationist in his own party including his own running mate, senate charles mcnary of oregon. the conventions were over, and surprises had taken place at both of them. the democrats broke with the two-term tradition, and nominated fdr for a third term. the republicans nominated a new newcomer who had never before held public office and never participated in g.o.p. affairs. and at both conventions, the delegates made wise choices. fdr and willkie were intent, principled, courageous, and
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skilled men. they shared a commitment to social justice, they had a clear understanding of the mortal threat. they loathed everything that fascism stood for. despite the weasel-worded campaign promises not to send american boys to foreign war, they both wanted to protect the world from the brutal fascist onslaught. roosevelt was more experienced and had the support of his own party members in congress than willkie did. both men were qualified, in my opinion, to lead the united states. and some commentators proposed that the two of them run together on a joint ticket. the suggestion that they both laughed off. but isolationists were not at all happy with the choice they now had between two
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internationalists and strong anti-fascists. and they called the two candidates "the willkie twins." in fact, the dangerous conflict was not between roosevelt and willkie, who were in basic agreement on the war, but rather between the two of them on one side and american isolationists on the other. in the 1930s, the united states was bitterly divided between isolationists and internationalists. it was a clash more so than the debate over mccarthyism, in the 1950s or vietnam in the 1960s. family and friends, churches and universities found themselves torn apart. the spokesmen for the isolationists and their national organization, called the america
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first committee, was none other than the charismatic heroic avenue -- avenueuateer charles lindberg. he was the fearless young pilot who had flown across the atlantic in 1927 in his single-engine single-seat plane spirit of st. louis. when he returned to the united from france right after that flight. he was showered with ticker tape and a huge parade in new york, and you can see that parade on youtube as well as his landing at the airport outside of paris, where thousands of people stormed on to the tarmac. after the kidnapping of their son, they felt hounded by the
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press. they decided to move to europe. they lived first in england than for instance. -- france. they often visited germany. in germany, charles was wined and dined, and honored by the nazi air force minister. bottom line, lend -- lindberg bought in to nazi propaganda, hook, link, and sinker. he called the spirit of the german people magnificent. he was intoxicated with their advances in aviation. he especially admired their strength. for lindberg, german strength were the keys to the future. when he returned to the united, in 1939, he became the public voice of isolationist -- isolationism. he hammered roosevelt for failing to appease hitler and
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aluate nateing the powerful nation of germany, italy, and japan. land -- lindberg's standard line that the united states was completely protected by two vast oceans and in no danger whatsoever of any foreign innovation. he insisted that the only real danger to america was roosevelt himself. an in any case, it was pointless for the united states to intervene in europe because he believed that with germany's powerful army and air force, hitler was unbeatable. lindberg was sure that the dye had already been cast. well, it was so completely obvious to lindberg that germany would win the war, that he wondered why in the world
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roosevelt persisted that fact. he thought about that and rounded up the usual suspects. he decided that roosevelt was a victim of american jews. who were conspiring to push the nation in to war. lindberg a-- accused jews of controlling and manipulating the news and entertainment media. and he advised americans as he said to strike them down. now lindberg added the final toxic ingredient to the isolationist recipe. a strong doze of anti-semitism. bravo. well, as if that wasn't enough. lindberg's wife pitched in too. in the fall of 1940, at the
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height of the election season lindberg published a short book that jumped to the best seller list. the tight was "the wave of the future" and can you imagine what the wave of the future was? it was what else? dynamic in dazzling fascism. well, it was obvious that fascism and dictatorship were more modern and energetic than old fashioned slow democracy. oh democracy is so quaint, so inefficient, so worn out. ann marrow lindberg argued the conflict takes place in europe between democratic nations and fascist nations wasn't between good and evil. no. it was between the forces of the past and the forces of the
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future. believe it or not, she actually wrote that hitler, and i quote, is a very brave man. like an inspired religious leader. as such rather facebook page fact call, but not scheme, not sell fish, not greety for -- greedy for power. a visionary who wants the best for his country. her book was beautifully written. but the message was repulsive. she argued that americans must embrace the wave of the future. she described her vision of fascism in the united states, i quote, pa -- peanut cure it's the white steeple of new england or the sky descraiper of new york.
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as americans backyard life and small towns. her loyalty to her husband and her trips to germany had apparently blinded her to breathtaking evil. she didn't understand that history is not made by waves or lunar tides but free, human beings who are accountable for the political, moral, and criminal decisions. they supported wendell willkie. willkie was appalled bier their vision as a fascist future. in a speech he gave that fall, he said, i see an america for
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which democracy will arise to a new birth. an america which will once more provide this war-torn world with a clear glimpse of the destiny of man. at noon on tuesday, october 29th, exactly one week before the november 1940 election, a lottery took place in an auditorium in washington. a few weeks earlier congress had passed the selective service act for universal, compulsory military training and service. it was the first peacetime draft in american history. now the lottery would determine the order in which american boys would be called up. on a table in the middle of the
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stage, sat a huge glass fish bowl that was filled with 9,000 blue capsules. each one contained a different registration number. the audience was packed with cabinet members, senators, congressman, young men, parents, and reporters. they grew quiet when they saw president roosevelt walk slowly on the stage on the arm of his assistant. he gave a short talk that was broadcast across the nation. this is a solemn ceremony, he said. it's accompanied by no fanfare, no blowing of bugles or beating of drums. he explained that the reason for the selective service lottery was to muster all of the nation's resources, manpower, industry, and wealth to defend america. he told the young men who would be called up for military
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training that they would become member of an army that first came together during the war of independents to secure essential rights and liberties for all americans. then henry stepped forward. he was fdr's impressive new secretary of war, and he was a lifelong republican. with his eyes blinded he plunged the hand in the bowl and took out the first capsule he touched. a million men between the ages of 21 and 35 held their breath. anxiously awaiting to hear if they were going called for induction. you can watch the video of this lottery on youtube. you can hear roosevelt slowly saying, drawn by the secretary of war, the first serial number
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is 158. in the rear of the auditorium, a woman let out a little scream. she just heard the president announce the number of her son. about 6,000 other young men around the country held the registration number which became draft order number 1. the lottery went on until 5:00 the next morning as dozens of people read out the number of the 800,000 men who were called to service. 45 million young men would eventually register for the draft and 10 million would be drafted. the head of a local draft board in tennessee, a man by the name of alvin work said he had a problem. his small rural county only needed to draft two men, but 40 boys showed up and wanted to
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serve. alvinwork, was of course the real life hero of the 1941 movie "sergeant york" starring gary cooper. in another 1941 movie called, "you're in the army now" comedians jimmy and phil silverses. whom my students have never heard of -- [laughter] sergeant -- joined the exuberant chorus and sang the song "i'm grad my number -- bad my number "glad my number was called" you can see it on youtube. many people assumed that roosevelt, mac would delay the lottery until after the election. he showed tremendous courage and statesmenship in going ahead with it a few days before americans would cast their votes.
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but the day after the lottery he did drop in the polls. and willkie climbed up a few percentage points. pollster george gallop called the race neck and neck. across the country, willkie was the favorite of almost all the nation's major newspapers. "the new york times" opposed a third term for roosevelt and endorsed willkie. the times wrote that willkie would preserve the traditional ballot of the american system of government. the "los angeles times" called willkie the indispensable man in the time of national crisis. one of the few newspapers in fdr's corner was the "chicago defender" the nation's largest african-american newspaper that was sticking with fdr and the new deal. so who would win on election day? fdr or willkie?
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in either case, the world would not lose. on election night, roosevelt was right here in hyde park. while his family members and friends chatted quietly in the living room and the library, fdr sat all alone in the dining room listening nervously to the radio and reading the ticker tapes. finally a newspaper in cleveland called the race for him. roosevelt could breathe once again. he opened the door to the dining room and relaxed and laughed with all the others. a happy parade of dozen of his hyde park neighbors arrived at the big house about 100-yards from where we're right now. roosevelt went outside to greet them. he said to his neighbors, we're facing difficult days in this country, but you will find me in the future just the same franklin roosevelt you have
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known a great many years. my heart will always be here. the election was not the landslide that took place in 1936 when on two states voted for al. maine and vermont. in 1940 roosevelt still won by a substantial margin. the vote was 449 to 82. he carried 38 states, willkie carried 10. my students think 12. [laughter] after the election, roosevelt said i'm glad i won. i'm sorry wendell lost. two months later, in mid january 1941, willkie flew to england as roosevelt's personal representative.
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his mission was to see firsthand what was happening there, and express american solidarity with britain. he -- birmingham, and liverpool, he inspected military factories, and he drank beer and played darts in pubs. and while nazi bombs were falling over london, he dissented in to the underground shelters with hundreds of londoners. they loved him and nicknamed him the "indiana dynamo." the nazi blitz after the election in december 1940, winston churchill sent the most important letter he'd ever written to president roosevelt. he explained that britain desperately needed planes ships
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and munition in order survive. but it was broke. it couldn't pay for war material anymore. and so in order keep britain in the fight, roosevelt proposed that the united states simply lend them everything they needed for free. look, roosevelt said at the press conference, if your neighbors' house is on fire, he can't put out. but so you a garden hose that you can attach to a hydrant, are you going say, hey, buddy, you have to pay me $15 for the hose? no. you're going to give him the hose and he'll replace it later for you. fdr's neighborrerly story about the garden hose was a master stroke in the fight. in jan -- january and february congress held hearings.
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after lindberg and joe kennedy testified against it, secretary of state wired willkie and asked him to leave england at once and return to d.c. to testify in favor of the president's bill. willkie immediately agreed. he gave his full enthat's -- enthusiastic support. at the hearing, one isolationist senator wondered out loud why the g.o.p. candidate was now helping his former opponent. he grilled willkie about the all of things he had said about fdr during the campaign. but willkie casually slugged it off and said that was all standard campaign or oratory. after willkie's long day of testimony, he and roosevelt had kin -- dinner alone in the president's study in the white house.
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willkie stayed until after midnight. fdr's secretary later said that from the sounds of laughter that she heard coming from the study, she could tell that the two men really enjoyed being together. fdr and willkie became a team and continued to work together during the war until willkie died suddenly in october of 1944. a few weeks before that november election. by then the g.o.p. wanted nothing do with their former candidate and they wouldn't even let willkie speak at the 19 e -- 1944 party convention. roosevelt's speech writer wrote that fdr admired willkie and was profoundly eternally grateful for his support in the battle
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against isolationism and fascism. once sherwood overheard fdr's closest aid harry hopkins make critical remarking about willkie to the president, sherwood wrote that roosevelt angrily slapped hopkins down and said don't ever say anything like that around here again. don't even think it. you, of all people, ought to know that we night not have had selective service or a lot of other things if it hadn't been for wendell willkie. he was a god send to this country when we needed him most. i began the talk alfred hitchcock. let me close with a few more words about the movies. americans in the
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light, sparkling entertainment. films with charlie, freds escaped stair, ginger rogers, and the marx brothers. starting in 1939, there were darker films too. films that informed american audiences about the nazi terror spreading around the world. one of the first antinazi films was "confession of a nazi spy" with edward g robinson. it was followed by others like the "mortal storm "starring jimmy stewart" murder in the." "sergeant york" the great dictatorlet"let" blank some there was a hollywood conspiracy to whip up war his tar ya and
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propel the united states in to war. since many of the head of the hollywood studios were jewish, those isolationists decided it had to be a jewish conspiracy. two passionate isolationists of montana and north dakota demanded and got congressional investigations and hearings. the hollywood studio heads needed an attorney to defend them. they hired as their lead council none other than wendell willkie. just a few month before pearl harbor, the subcommittee hearings were a nasty side show. but fortunately willkie provided
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a healthy dose of sanity and realism. he told the senators that the motion picture industry was happy to plead guilty to being 100% opposed to fashionism. i wish to put on the record this simple truth, willkie declared, we make no pretends of friendliness to the route lest dictatorship of nazi germany. we abhor everything hitler represents. we plead guilty of a -- the industry desires to plead guilty tow doing within the power to help the united states defend itself and the world against fascism. so in conclusion, i personally would like to thank americans in 1940 for voting for franklin
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roosevelt or for wendell willkie . i thank them for having watched and i thank you for still watching great movies like "foreign correspondent" and the "mortal storm "and casa casa blanca that remind us of fascism and what was at stake during the terrifying election year of 1940. thank you. [applause] i want to make sure you have the opportunity to visit with sue -- susan enget your book signed.
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i'm going go ahead and ask you if you have any questions hold them. she'll be happy to visit with you in front of the new deal book store. thank you, susan. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] in about fifteen minutes we'll be back live from hyde park, new york with cheryl mullenback.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] mark twain was a young man when he was here in carson city. born in 1835. he arrives in 1861. dot math he's like 26 years old. it's a formative period in his life. it's the experiences he has here. all the things he does and the things he writes and the notoriety he gets beginning if san francisco and new york city. this laid the foundation for the man who would become one the greatest writers in american history. i would argue without the carson city experience that the
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experience samuel clemons could never have been mark twain. >> more about samuel clemons as booktv and american history tv look at literary life of carson city, nevada. next week on c-span 3 and c-span 2. >> maybe i should start by saying how did i get to write a biography. why did it occur to me to do that? it began about twelve years ago. i was asked by the newspaper to review a collection of his correspondents. up until that point, i knew about him only what everybody knows. he district -- had at security taken away from him he was directer of institute of princeton. that's all i knew. i didn't know that he wrote poetry and short stories. he was an expert in french literature, that he was he
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caught himself sanskrit. he was deeply interested in hind hind youism in order to read the classic in the original language. neither did i know the political activity in the details in 19 30s or his relation with his friends and students and family members. all of which i found out absolutely fascinating. i said in the review there's an interesting biography to be written about him. and after it was published, publishers got in touch with me saying, well, why don't you do it? and so i did. it took me eleven years. it's an incredibly rich and absorbing and fascinating life. there wasn't a single day in those eleven years when i lost interest in my subject. he continues -- such as i don't find out new things about him. and he is -- i guess, like most complicated
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cop -- complex people. you never feel as if you choughsed the subject. which brings me to the subtitle "a life inside the center" why inside the center? the phrase comes after a number of things that come together in the life and personality of robert oppenheimer. the most obvious, i guess his work as a fizz -- physicist much was to do with understanding the forces that happened inside the center often atomic nuclear. and his great importance, historically, and politically is in district directing that made use of the forces to construct an explosive of previously unimagined power. that's one reason. another phrase comes that to do with oppenheimer. and do with his background and
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sense -- i'll talk about it in a moment. he grew up in manhattan. a member of some sense an elite. a jewish family. he wasn't quite accepted by the establishment of america. much of what he if throughout his life by his desire to get inside the center of american intellectual and political life. and also in since he wanted to be at the center if not inside the center of what was happening at all stages in his career. that had a great influence on the various decisions he made throughout his life. he choose to do one thing rather than another. it would place him inside the center, so to speak. and then the final full phrase inside the center comes relevant to my effort in writing the biography is that i wanted to
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essentially get inside his mind putted to write about a biography that tried to draw all the thing i found in the correspondents the political involvement. the challenges to bring it together. and describe, you know, what was motivated him. the way he saw himself and the world. >> you can watch this and other program online at what are you reading this summer? booktv wants to know. two books. the first by pulitzer prize winning author and investigative journalist "who stole america." it's a real eye opener. anyone that wants to, i think,
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understand america, how we got to where we are today why the average american is struggleing the way they are. i think that this is one of the most thoughtful and, as i said, eye opening reads, at least for me. and a long time and it's someone i would listen to right before and admire a great deal. i would highly recommend the book. as a policy maker, obviously what policies what can we learn in the policy from last thirty to forty years that may have contributed to this and where do we go from here? it's a highly real haven't. it would be relevant to many others. the second book that i've read is a rather small one in term of pages.
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but i did really wonderfully inquisitive. it's called "ever ancient, ever new ." it's written by ash bishop john begin. one of the great american bishop intellectuals, and he studies the structures the catholic church. as how best to reform them. and during someone that oversees a very large bureaucracy and many structure and very often ask why is it the way it is, how can we do this better? i think that all institutions can and should go through reform. this is a very, very thoughtful book. it's in addition to many other books he has written and published, and he is a -- someone that i admire a great deal. he's the former arch bishop of
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the archdiocese in san francisco. "ever ancient, ever new." let us know what you're reading this summer. tweet us @booktv. post it on facebook or send us an e-mail at @booktv glmpleght several years ago, my father told me about a german ship spunk at the end of world war ii. he didn't know much about it other than its name, that it was incredibly devastating. and so i just decided to look it
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up. when i discovered that it was in fact the worst maritime disaster in peace or war. more than 9,000 people died on january 30th, 1945, when a soviet submarine, the f13, attacked the wilhelm gustloff. that's about six times more than those who died when the titanic sac after hitting an iceberg. during the initial research in to the incident, i found that few people outside of the military took note of the sinking until the immediate aftermath. as the years went on, it would gain mention in certain histories of world war ii, but there have been nothing that was exploring it in depth. and so because of that, little
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is known about the wilhelm, gushloff. i could not -- why did so little exist? but that actually just piqued my curiosity even further. i wanted to know more about the sinking, and i wanted to know more about the people who were aboard the ship that night. because to me "barack obama: the the story is not only the story of aship's sinking. it's a story of how people came to be aboard this ship. it's about what it was like to come of age in a part of nazi germ until until the early 1940 had remained in some way isolated from what was happening closer to berlin. well, the first survivor that i found was a man by the. he grew up in east pushsha.
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he today he lives about three hours north of toronto. he was a 10-year-old boy at the time of the sinking. so i traveled to canada to meet him. the sinking naturally still haunts him. he thinks about it every day. the loss of life was massive, and as desperate as conditions that forced him to flee, story like his have remained largely unknown. i spent a few days with him. after -- i knew after the very first hour of meeting him that his story and the story of the other survivors needed to be told. and so this book is the story of what i found. it's the result of interviews with survivors and times spent in the archive including the national archive in washington, d.c. i was fortunate enough to spend time at the u.s. holocaust
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memorial me siewm as well as obtaining record from the federal archive in germany. in early 1945, the end of the war in europe was in sight. the americans and british were closing in from the west, and the soviets were closing in on berlin from the east. many civilians and some soldiers, choose to abandon these volatile areas of europe by any means possible. especially for those civilians living in east prussia at the time. they knew exactly what awaited them when the soviets were approaching. they knew that the same act of bash brifm -- brash would happen to them. however, they were under order not permitted to leave until the end of january,' 45. the nazi government forbade
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anyone to leave. to do so would have shown sign of defeat. an acknowledgment they were going to lose the war. you can watch this and other programs when did we reach a point where you have to have a certain philosophy because of the color of your skin? when did that happen? [cheering and applause] you know, a reporter once asked me why i didn't talk a lot about race. i said, because i'm a neuroseason. -- neuro surgeon. they thought that was pretty change. i see when i take someone to the operating room and cut the scalp and put it down and take down the dura i'm operating on the thing that makes them who they are. the cover doesn't make them who
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they are. surgeon and author ben carson takes your calls, e e-mails, facebook extents and tweets. in-depth three hours next sunday at noon eastern. here on c-span2 booktv. [inaudible conversations] booktv is live from the 2013 roosevelt reading festival. the next author is sharon mullenback. [inaudible conversations] i'm the especialists here at the roosevelt library and museum. on behalf of the museum i would like welcome you here in the audience. and those that are watching at home on c-span. so the tenth annual roosevelt reading festival. franklin roosevelt planned for the library to become a premiere
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research institution. the research room is consistently one of the busiest of all the presidential library. this year's group of authors reflect the wide variety research that is done here. let me quickly go over the format for the current concussion. they begin with 30-minute author took. followed by ten minutes of question and answers. we wrap up after that. then the authors will move to the table in the lobby outside of the new deal store you can. purchase their book and have the author sign them. at the top of the hour, the process repeats itself. today's attend key can go to the museum and take look at the exhibit we have there with a red admission button we'll give you. please remember, if you want to ask a question come up to the mike phone and we'll do the questions and answers from there. there's -- it's my pleasure to introduce the author "double victory."
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that book came out this year. she's a former high school history teacher and state education department consult assistant. in addition, as a project manager statewide public television staid she oversaw production of educational multimedia resources. she's edited and written for variety of publications including "arizona lifing magazine" and "leisure world news "she contributed several entry to encyclopedia. ..
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>> it's especially gratifying to be here at hyde park. it gives me the opportunity to introduce the stories of some individuals who, like the roosevelts, showed courage and determination as they fought to overcome fascism and naziism to make the world safe for democracy. they did it with perseverance, resolve and stubborn resistance. often with grace and dignity under unimaginable pressure. but unlike the roosevelts, the experiences of these african-american women were generally ignored during the war years and largely forgotten by the time we realized time was running out to collect the fading memories of that generation. many americans showed courage and grit during those war years.
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they worked in factories, volunteered in scrap drives, gave blood to the red cross, and many joined the armed forces. maybe some of them or were your parents or grandparents. despite their eagerness to become involved in the war effort, many women had to overcome gender issues as they tried to do their part. but african-american women faced double barriers. because of their gender and their race. as african-american women applied for jobs at war plants, they were reminded time and again they weren't welcome. if not because of their gender, because of the color of their skin. when some african-american women tried to register with an employment agency in the nation's capital in 1942, they were told the agency had not yet started taking negro women. when a couple of african-american women responded to an ad for civilian positions
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at an army camp in 1942, they received letters telling them to report to work. when they arrived at the facility, they were told negroes cannot be accepted. the commanding officer at the camp told them it wasn't known when the letters were sent that the recipients were black. although they had passed government tests asthma chien operators -- as machine operators, he explained negroes cannot be used in such a capacity. in 1943 an east coast war plant explained why managers couldn't hire african-american women who had applied for jobs. the work required the handling of small mechanisms, and all the black women had sweaty hands. and in 1943 are a spokesperson at a baltimore war plant told black women who had applied for work that colored women just do not have the native intelligence
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necessary to do highly skilled work. all of these companies had advertised their urgent need for workers. many were benefiting from huge government contracts. confronted with such stark racism, it would have been understandable if these women had given up, but thousands of african-american women refused to let racism and discrimination keep them from serving their country in a time of need. we're that stalwart got a job -- bertha stoll wart got a job in pennsylvania. ellen hunter left her position in texas and secured a job in a california plant that built warships. in chicago fannie curry and hattie alexander went to work for the illinois central railroad as section hands. they shoveled cinders and swung picks. betty murphy phillips was a journalist working for the
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family newspaper, the baltimore afroamerican. she became the first black female overseas war correspondent when she traveled to europe in 1944. after getting sick, she reported from her hospital bed as black soldiers came to her bedside to tell their stories. willa brown held a commercial pilot's license and a master mechanic's certificate. you can imagine how unusual that was in the late '30s. she taught aviation classes for the new deal's wpa, the works progress administration. with her husband, willa established the school of aeronautics in chicago. at the school they trained pilots. the school was open to men of by race. be -- of any race. and men who completed training could take the exam to qualify for training as pilots with the u.s. army air force at tuskegee.
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even some of the instructors had been trained at willa's school, many by her. none of these women let discrimination stand in the way when their country sent out the call for war workersment -- workers. as fewer men were around to fill jobs, opportunities opened up for women, and these african-american women as well as many others like them were willing and able to step up. the same could be said about service in the armed forces. in 1942 when the women's army auxiliary corps was established, black women fought to be included. mary mcleod bethune successfully led the effort. partly because of her close relationship with eleanor roosevelt, african-american women were included in the corps. but the goth used a -- but the government used a quota system to limit the numbers of black
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women. it was estimated that 10% of the u.s. population was black at the time, so the number of african-american women allowed in the wac was limited to 0%. 10%. some newspaper reporters referred to them as the 10%ers. as the first class of 439 female officer candidates began to arrive at the training center in fort des moines, iowa, in july 1942, the commanding officer issued his first directive: will all the colored girls move to this side. this set the stage for the 39 african-american women who had come from across the country, most of whom were college graduates. vera campbell was a podiatrist from new york, cleopatra daniels a school superintendent from alabama, mildred carter, a graduate of the new england conservatory of music. this first class of officer
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candidates met with discrimination throughout their six week training. it started the first day. the african-american women were housed in building 54, segregated from the why is wacs. and as they entered the mess hall for their a first meal, it was clear they would eat away from the white wacs too. a sign with the word "colored" had been placed over a table this the corner. this prompted the wacs' first but not last act of resistance. that first meal they sat at the designated table and ate. when they arrived in the mess the second day, they sat at the table marked "colored" and turned their plates over, refusing to eat. when they arrived for meals the third day, the sign had been shortened to four cs. the wacs again turned their plates over and refused to eat.
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within a week all the signs had disappeared. the back wacs were allowed to use the camp swimming pool but only one hour a week on friday nights. the pool was drained and purified after the black wacs used it before it would be used the next day by the white women. anyone who knew the army way of life may have thought the cleansing of the pool was just the army's obsession with order and cleanliness, but the african-american wacs knew it was more. it was intentional. thousands of african-american women served in the military during the war. hazel and mabel greer were the first twins to join. to brine family sent three -- o'brien family sent three daughters into service. the first african-american grandmother joined the wac.
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she was the granddaughter of a veteran of the civil war, and her dad had fought in the great war. after basic training as wacs moved into field assignments, they worked as typist, librarians, medical technicians, photographers and mechanics. many african-american women served in arizona where they filled a variety of positions. hilda from new york was a technician. a cosmetologist in civil yang life, she was a chauffer for the fort's officers. she also maintained vehicles, maneuvering trucks and tanks and repairing engines. eleanor praise si was a chemist who had one of the most important jobs at the base. she worked in the sewer disposal plant where it was her duty to prevent odors. congress swell la brand, an
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accomplished soprano in civilian life, was a mail clerk in arizona, one of the postal-packing hama mas as they were lovingly called by the male soldiers. [laughter] african-american nurses traveled to all corners of the world to serve their country. they usually served this segregated units, black nurses caring only for black soldiers. but they served in africa, england, the china-burma-india theater in the pacific. in liberia army nurse sammy rice and her fellow nurses treated patients at the 25th station hospital. prudence burns was a surgical nurse in new guinea and the philippines. before she left the philippines, she and her fiance wanted to get married, so her fellow nurses -- not having any fabric for a wedding dress -- used silk from a parachute to make the wedding dress for her.
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daryl foster and and agnes glass were among a group of thuses who served in the hospital in the clouds at the all-black-staffed 335 beth station hospital on the ledo road in the china-burma-india theater. before they could treat patients, the nurses helped set up the hospital installing a water system and a drainage system. in england african-american nurses cared for injured nazi p.o.w.s. some believed the black nurses were intentionally assigned to p.o.w.s, a job other nurses didn't want. during the world war ii years, yenly the sight of a -- generally the sight of a military uniform commanded respect and special treatment, but that wasn't always the case, especially when the uniform was worn by a black woman. louise miller had been serving overseas with a black nursing unit. toward the end of the war, she traveled back to her home in the united states. louise experienced firsthand the
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insummits of racism, and her army uniform didn't shield her. during a layover at an airport coffee shop,. >> she was told she could eat in the shop, but only in the back of the room. louise left the shop without being served was, in her words, i know that i could be with lynched in the u.s. uniform as well as a man many overalls. louise's experiences didn't end at the terminal door. just as she settled into her seat on the plane for the next leg of her trip, the flight attendant asked her to move to another seat. the white passenger next to louise didn't want to sit by her. volunteerism was a big part of the war effort. hundreds of organizations existed to provide services to military personnel and the their families -- and to their families in communities across the country. some offered civil defense classes or conducted scrap drive
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cans. usually the groups were segregated by race. when black women were denied access to white organizations, they sometimes formed their own groups. there was the american women's volunteer service, the awvs. there were chapters all across the country. and in 1942 the los angeles chapter sponsored a boxing match between -- [inaudible] and henry hurricane hank armstrong. they raised over $4,000 for their cause. the women's ambulance defense corps of america, the wadca, was another one. they had 54 chapters across the country including motorcycle and cavalry units. they were military trained, and they knew jiu-jitsu. they're known as the glory gals, and their motto to was the hell
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we can't. [laughter] the red cross offered opportunities for civilians to volunteer for the war effort. the group organized blood drives and trained nurse aides and ran clubs where members of the armed forces could relax and socialize both in the united states and overseas. african-american women served overseas with the red cross around the globe. helen dixon payne caused a sensation when she reported for duty in march 1943. hazel was an assistant director of a red cross club, assistant because women could not be directors, only men could be directors. she worked in the red cross club in dawson creek, british columbia. she was the only woman at the club. and it served the 95th engineers, that group of engineers who built the highway across canada and alaska.
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when she arrived, she was greeted by 1300 black soldiers. they hadn't seen many women in the year and a half that they'd been on the job, and hazel was the first black woman they'd seen in all that time. grace outlaw was one of four african-american women who arrived in australia in august 1943. they operated the doctor carver red cross club. clara wells operated a club in new guinea where she described her typical day as far from glam glamorous. no time for breakfast, no coffee, no juice, no ice, no bath, no mouthwash, plenty of ants and mosquitoes and, thank fully, plenty of deodorant brought from home. kitty cox was the only woman with 10,000 men at oral bay in new guinea where she operated a red cross establishment called club paradise. she was known as having a knack
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for locating scarce supplies like ice cream and jam, cheese, chess sets, paper cups and even circus tents. geneva holmes ran a red cross club in england for black soldiers who had participated in d-day. after the liberation of france, she set off for paris to set up a red cross club there. daverne lee was a red cross worker stationed at a club in india in 1945. calcutta was a place for rest ask relaxation for black and white soldiers. the army had built a new swimming pool for soldiers and red cross workers to use. a big grand opening celebration was planned for july 4th for white personnel and a separate one for black personnel on july 3rd. the black troops and red cross workers, led by daverne, decided to boycott the july 3rd party.
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she wrote to the red cross headquarters: july 4th is a day longhorned and respected by negroes as well as other americans for its significance to democracy and the principles on which our government was founded. such a day's celebration involving americans anywhere on the face of the globe becomes an insult to whatever minority group is excluded from participation. african-american entertainers and movie stars did their part for the war effort just as their white counterparts did. but they faced unique obstacles. no matter how successful they were, african-american entertainers were not immune to racism. hazel scott won acclaim as a broadway performer and a hollywood film star. she gained popularity combining her training as a classical pianist with her love of jazz. traveling by car through the midwest if 1945 -- in 1945, she
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stopped at a café along the way. when she went to the counter and asked for service, the waitress said you'll have to eat in the kitchen. i'm sorry, but i don't eat in kitchens, hazel replied. when hazel asked if she could get some sandwiches to take out, she was told she could, but that she couldn't stand at the counter to wait for them. later someone asked hazel why she didn't identify herself to the café workers. surely she would have been served if they'd known who she was. hazel explained: i don't want any special privileges. there are 13 million hazel scotts in america. they just don't play the piano. black women entertained the troops across the united states and around the globe. many were part of uso shows. as with most areas of society in the 1940s, the shows were segregated. black entertainers performed for
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black audiences. alberta hunter, touring with uso shows, made a name for herself as the gal who set two continents afire. she performed in india and in the jungles of burma. in may 1945 when general eisenhower and the allied military leaders were meeting in defeated germany to discuss post-war europe, he invited alberta's uso show to perform for the officials, and it was reported that ike sang along with alberta as she performed one song after another. the international sweethearts of rhythm was a girl band that traveled around the country in their bus, big bertha. it was difficult for the black members of the band to find sleeping accommodations, so it was easier to just sleep in the bus. but another problem they faced was that white band members performed on stage with black members, something that was against the law in the jim crow south. so white members wore dark
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makeup and permed their hair to pass for black. toward the end of the war, the sweethearts performed for troops in europe, and refreshingly had no problems with race. lena horne performed with the uso during the war. when she prepared to step on a stage for a show in a southern state, she asked someone why there were no black soldier cans in the audience. -- soldiers in the audience. she was told she would sing for them the next day if a vat show. the next day, as she prepared to step on the stage to perform, she saw the black soldiers sitting in the back rows and white men in the front seats. now who the hell are they, lena asked? they're german p.o.w.s, she was told. lena walked down off the stage to the back rows and performed facing the black soldiers with her back to the german
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p.o.w.s. this summer we'll commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. we generally think of the 1960s as the beginning of the civil rights movement. however, the changes that came about in the 1960s may not have happened without the efforts of some determined african-american women in the 1940s. another march on washington was planned in 1943. it was led by a. phillip ranful- randolph with the help of two women. phillip randolph called for african-americans to come to the nation's capital on july 1st to draw attention to discrimination in hiring rackses and in the military -- practices and in the military. the march never took place because president roosevelt signed executive order 8802
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which banned discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries and government. the march on washington movement was established then to continue to fight for equality for african-americans, and it was organized largely by three women -- pauline meyers and a woman named earth them payne. they dropped a slogan for the movement: nonviolent, goodwill, direct action. in other words, they encouraged african-americans to resist discriminationing by direct action -- discrimination by direct action taken with goodwill in mind in a nonviolent manner. they planned mass protests over the united states in 1942 and 1943. the march on washington movement trained people to participate in pickets and parades in nonviolent ways. it taught them how to remain quiet when being insulted.
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how to endure physical assaults without striking back. howard university law student pauline murray led sit-ins in washington, d.c., there were sit-ins in restaurants in st. louis and chicago. some of the banners that the participants in those sit-ins carried as they marched in front of the restaurants, our boys, our bonds, our brothers are fighting or you. why can't we eat here? and we die together, why can't we eat together? another one, a nazi's bullet knows no prejudice. hattie duval was one of those women who was involved in a protest if st. louis. he -- in st. louis. she carried a sign that said i invested five sons in the service. these women laid the foundation for the civil rights movement of the '60s. they and many other african-american women believed there was no better time to demand equality.
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the world was at war to defeat be fascism. black men and women worriesinging their -- worriesinging their lives. some gave their life for a country that denied them basic rights. what better time to demand an end to racism? double victory signified the struggle of african-americans who were fighting for victory over fascism and for victory over discrimination at home during the war years. the terminals took on meaning term also took on meaning for sexism and racism. over the past 70 years, we've worked to recognize the heroes of world war ii. their stories of courage and sacrifice have been told and preserved for future be generations -- future generations, but many of the contributions of african-american women who broke through extraordinary barriers in order to serve their country have not been celebrated. be my hope in writing about some of those experiences is that more of their stories will be
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uncovered, remembered and appreciated. fewer and fewer of the greatest generation remain. throughout their life many of the stories have triumphed over the challenges african-american women faced were overlooked. many of their accounts of victory over racism were ignored. it's up to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to recover the stories of the women who survive. it is their responsibility to insure these victorious women are not forgotten. it will be a double victory. [applause] >> thank you very much. is there anyone with questions? nubble -- [inaudible] >> historically, women have always billion kind of, faced
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sexism within movements such as within the civil rights movement and the labor movement and scholars like ehrlich concentrate on the female exclusion in the labor movement and deborah white writes about the exclusion of woman there civil rights. and during the second world war did any woman experience sexism from within the movement? does this -- or was this a deviation from the pattern of excluding women from the civil rights movement which was practiced by not all leaders, but some leaders? >> i'm not sure i'm understanding exactly what your question is. >> um, okay. so let me try and rephrase it. women have, sometimes were excluded from the civil rights movement and from other minority movements that involves both men and women. women have experienced sexism. was that the case during world war finish.
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finish -- >> yes. i did find things especially in the march on washington movement, some examples of that, absolutely. >> you remember specifically? >> sometimes the women who i mentioned were denigrated by some of the men in the group, yes. >> thank you. >> anyone else? no? okay. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we'll be right back with more live coverage from the fdr presidential library. >> i think sort of interestingly that the korean war, in a sense, sort of helped the south korean,
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south koreans unify themselves in a way that was not there before. when the communists came down, they were brutal, right? and a lot of the south koreans, in a sense, turned against the communists in the north. and that sort of solidified, i think, their sort of sense of national cohesion and identity. but i think, you know -- [inaudible] miscalculated because had he waited, it's very possible that the south probably would have, it's possible that it would have disintegrated on its own. >> sixty years after north korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, sheila jager looks at a war that never really ended. sunday night at 9 on "after words," part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> this summer booktv's been asking washingtonians, legislators and viewers what
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they're reading, and here's what some of you had to say. >> in november of 2012, booktv attended a conference on whitaker chambers' "witness," and you can check that out on >> c-span's covered several events in which edward snowden's come come up. search for edward snowden on
2:33 pm >> a few years ago booktv covered an event with robert edsel to talk about the monuments men, and you can watch that online at what are you reading this scherr? post on our facebook wall, tweet us or e-mail us. you can visit all of our social media sites to see what others are reading, and we might even share your posts here on booktv. this summer booktv's been asking washingtonians, legislators and viewers what they're reading, and here's what some of you had to say:
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>> in november of 2012, booktv attended a conference on "witness" where several panels discussed the themes of the book, and you can check that out op >> you can watch those by searching for edward snowden on
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>> a few years ago booktv talked about the monuments men, and you can watch that online at what are you reading this summer? post on our facebook wall, tweet us or send us an e-mail to let us know what's on your reading list. visit all our social media sites to see what others are reading, and we might even share your posts here on booktv. >> now, i have been trying for, i guess, the last 20-something years to stop writing books. [laughter] and i keep, you know, i totally get it that i work for the ancestors. and i sometimes will feel very free. you know, i finished something. i remember finishing "the color purple" 30 years ago and just
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weeping in joy, you know? okay, you know, i'm done. [laughter] and i have had that scenario with myself many times. thug i'm dope. thinking i'm done. so anyhow, i'm going to read from the cushion in the road, and i wanted to read a little bit about how that came about. how did i come to think of the life that i lead which is very -- when i'm not, you know, on the road somewhere, it's so quiet. it's so meditate i have. it's so -- meditative. it is so contemplative. it is so happy with me and my sweetheart who is a hue decision. one of the -- musician. one of the ironies of life is that i love quiet so much is that i fell in love with a person who plays trumpet. [laughter] and so life, you know, i'm sure it's the same with you. life is just always, you know,
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telling us who do you think is in charge? did you by some dream did you imagine that you are in charge? well, i'll just show you. so this is, this is a very short introduction to this book, the cushion in the road. i have learned much from daoist thought. it has been a comfort to me since i read my first poem which was "sitting quietly, doing nothing. spring comes, and the grass grows by itself." to we, this is a perfect poem. but there is also there that tradition this thought: a wanderer's home is this the road -- is in the road. this has proved very true if my own life. much to my surprise, because i
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am such a home body. i love being home with my plants, animals, sunrises and sunsets, the moon. it is all glorious to me. and so when i turned 60, i was prepared to bring all of myself to sit on by cushion in a meditation room i had prepared long ago and never get up. [laughter] it so happened, it so happened that i was in south korea that year, of course, and south koreans agreed with me. in fact, in that culture it is understood that when we turn 60, when we turn 60, we become eggy. it sounds like eggy, but this means we are free to become once again like a child. we are to rid ourselves of our cares, especially those we have collected in the world.
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and to turn inward to a life of ease, of leisure, of joy. i loved hearing this. what an after fir haitian of a hearing -- affirmation of a hearing i was already beginning to have. enough of the world. where's the grand child? where's the cushion? and so i began to prepare myself to withdraw from the worldly fray. there i sat, finally, on a cushion if this mexico with a slip did view of a homemade stone fountain with its softly-falling water, a perfect soothing backdrop to what i thought would be the next and perhaps final 20 years of by life. my life. unlike my great, great, great grandmother who lived to be 125. [laughter] i figure 80 is doing really well. [laughter] and and then a miracle seemed to
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be happening. america, america was about to elect or not elect a perp -- a person of color as its president. what? my cushion shifts minutely. then, too, an unsuspecting guest left the radio on, and i learned that bombs were falling on the people of gaza. a mother, unconscious herself, had lost five of her daughters. didn't i have a daughter? would i have wanted to lose her in this way? wasn't i a mother each if reportedly -- even if reportedly imperfect in that role? well, my cushion began to wobble. i add friends who became eggy and managed to stay eggy. i envied them. for me, the years following my 60th birthday seemed to be about
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teaching me something else that, yes, i could become like a child again and end joy all the pleasures -- enjoy all the pleasures and wonder a child experiences. but i would have to attempt to maintain this joy in the vicissitudes of the actual world as opposed to the meditative universe i had created with its calming, ever flowing fountain. be -- my travels would take me to the celebrations in washington, d.c. where our new president, barack obama, would be inaugurated. they would carry me the morning after those festivities to faraway burma, myanmar, which would lead to much writing about often sang suu kyi. they would take me to thailand for a lovely trip up a long river where i could wave happily at the people who smiled back when smiled upon. they would take me to gaza, yes, and much writing about the palestine/israel impasse. to the west bank, to india, to
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all kinds of amazing places like, for instance, petra in jordan. who knew? i would find myself raising a nation of chickens in between travels and visits to holy people in oakland, wood acre and -- [inaudible] my cushion, the fountain, the peace because of my attention to some of the deep suffering in the world, sometimes seemed far away. i felt torn, a condition i do not like and do not recommend. and then if a dream it kim -- in a dream it came to me. there was a long asphalt highway like the one that passed by my grandparents' place when i lived with them as an 8 and 9-year-old. my grandfather and i would sit on the porch in the still georgia heat and count the cars as they whizzed by.
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he'd choose red cars, i would choose blue or black. it was a sitting on cushions of sorts, i suppose, for the two of us because hours could go by, and we were perfectly content. perhaps that is why in the dream the solution to my quandary was available. there in the middle of the long, perfectly-straight highway with its slightly faded yellow center line that i i had known and loved as a child sat my rose-colored meditation cushion directly on the yellow line right in the middle of the road. so what do i believe? that i was born to wander, and i was born to sit. to love home with a sometimes almost unbearable affection, but to be lured out into the world
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to see how it is doing as my beloved, larger home and paradise. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> about every 40 years some foreign global power has tried to come in and dominate the afghan scene and control it and use it for its own purposes. there have been periods of afghan history when the rulers of afghanistan have taken advantage of the gee photographical -- geographical position of afghanistan to play a sort of neutrality card using the favoritism towards one global power, playing that against the possibility of leaning towards the other global power to keep both of them somewhat at bay. and the has been the diplomatic strategy of successful afghan rulers whenever there have been any. and the cold war, for example, was a mote bl period -- notable
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period. both the ussr and the united states were interested in the afghanistan, they both were competing to enlarge their influence in the country. and somehow because of the counterbalancing of those two forces, there was a period when afghans were sort of in control of their own destiny. and during that period you saw modernization and change in afghanistan that was more rapid and more sort of dramatic than you've seen anywhere, you know, in this country. that period ended when the pendulum of trying to swing back and forth between the inner afghanistan and the outer world, it just, it started to swing so fast and so far that it finally crashed, and the country succumbed to a coup by a small communist group which then quickly was followed by the soviet invasion. and i would contend that from that day to this we are still in the aftermath and the after
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effects of the soviet invasion. the soviet invasion pretty much destroyed the fabric of the country, you know? the six million refugees that it drove out of the country, the destruction of the villages, the tearing apart of the tribal structures and the creation of a state of what in which -- of war in which, you know, the old traditional afghan systems for generating leadership gave way to a new system which was in that state of chaos if you had a gun and you were good with it, you were probably going to end up being an important guy. so that, you know, brought into being a whole other class of calf began, you know, leaders -- of afghan, you know, leaders who are commanders. now they call them war lords. and that entered the fray. when the soviets left, those guys all started fighting each other, and they tore the cities apart. and then in the wake of that came the taliban. and is -- and so now we're in
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the country, and i think we have come in with something of the same idea that the soviets had which was this is a primitive country in a lot of trouble, and if we can restore everything and produce material benefits for the people, they will be grateful, and they will come over to our side. and there's more to it tan that, however. i mean, afghans are very interested in material benefits like anyone is, but there is a question of the reconstruction of the afghan institutions, the society, the soul, the family structure and the reconciliation of all these contending factors on the afghan scene. this taliban business is not completely separate from the contentions within afghan society over dominating the identity of afghanistan. >> you can watch this and other rams online at -- programs online at
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>> how are you been in. >> i was going to buy you a camera. [laughter] >> i know, she's right there too. [laughter] >> last chance to get eric a new camera. >> it's about time. >> okay, great. >> thank you. >> thank you. yeah, great. great turnout. [inaudible conversations] >> thank you, sir. nice seeing you again. >> nice to see you. chief. >> we're not going the see you otherwise. we just came to -- >> thank you, steve. thank you. >> what a great crowd. >> you want to be on c-span?
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>> hi, how are you? >> good to see you. >> there's a big line to buy the book. >> oh, okay. >> but i thought i bought one when we were -- [inaudible] maybe not. >> was it on the way? >> well, i thought i did, but now i'm realizing i didn't get it, so probably not. [laughter] >> well, thanks for turning out. >> is this how it usually is? >> well, you know, i've had different kinds of events, and this one's probably the best so far. yeah, definitely -- >> there's a huge line outside. >> the first one we've had beer and wine at, so that's probably why it's the good turnout. >> there's a long line outside too. >> really. wow. okay, great to see you. >> first of all, my name is david -- [inaudible] , work here add edelman x be thank you so much for coming out to support eric and the launch of his new book. i was in the bush
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administration, had the honor and privilege of running the white house web site, so i often refer to -- [applause] white so every morning we started with -- [inaudible] , obviously, and it was almost like a blank slate because it was waiting for the conference of the day, and whether it was text, video or audio, but i always told eric the photos were kind of like the paint that filled the data helped tell the story of is the george w. bush presidency. it's so good to see some former colleagues, and with that, i'd like to introduce anita mcbride, former chief of staff for mrs. laura bush. [applause] >> well, good evening, everyone. thanks so much for coming. this has been an incredible turnout and, in fact, eric -- as you know -- he was on fox news as one of his interviews, and i went on facebook and i said, eric, when are you going to do your party in washington? and he responded right back,
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well, would you be willing to host it? [laughter] so -- >> immediately. >> so it got this going, and with david, thank you so much for hosting us here at ed lman and brian mccormack who helped, of course, and all the coof hosts who are here, olga, i don't want to start with names because i will forget all 30 of you that were willing to support this and also your book out front. so we thank you so much for doing that. we know that we had an incredible turnout, we could fit about 200 people, we have responses, as you know, beyond a waiting list. so we know we've run out of book bees. i was just told. however, we were prepared that that was possible. you can still order the book, and eric will sign -- these are bookplates. they're nice and big, they're beautiful, they'll go on that page where he's signing. he will still be signing tonight. you can take these, and these will be in your book.
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so we don't want you to wait any more. the books are selling out like raise crazy everywhere that i that on sale. so we're so proud of you, eric. >> thank you. >> president bush, mrs. bush, all the photographers that supported us as well for eight years. so we congratulate you. >> thank you. >> and look at this incredible turnout. >> yeah, this is great. thank you. [applause] >> oh, okay. and especially those that were waiting outside, leads, if you can get to the refreshments, you have earned it. [laughter] there's beer and wine, scotch, we have wonderful sponsors who supported us. jim dyke with wine and rebecca spicer who supported us with the peer that's -- with the beer that's here. so we thank them for making it possible for us to end joy a wonderful evening. so thank you all. >> thank you. [applause] well, first of all, i want to
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thank david for hosting the event. it's overwhelming to see everyone here. and then most of all anita for responding. and i'm so glad i got that message from you. [laughter] and wonderful. i mean, i can't thank you enough for you to do this for me. i really appreciate it. and, you know, i never thought that manager like this can happen -- something like in this can happen to someone like me, an ordinary guy. but all of you out there, especially the folks that worked for the administration, i need to thank you all because you helped me with my success, and i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. and i'm overwhelmed, and what i'd like to do -- which i'm more comfortable behind the camera than in front of the camera -- i'd like to show you some photos. it's a quick little presentation, and what i decided to do was to take a favorite
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photo from each chapter. one of the questions i get a lot is what's your favorite photo? well, i'll pick a photo from each chapter starting with -- [laughter] chapter one. and this chapter's called the beginning. and a lot of you who know president bush remember how timely he is. and we know how timely he is because he started his meetings on time or early, typically early. and so this is a great illustration. this is, this picture was made the first week of the administration, and obviously the vp's in sync with the president, which is great. chapter two -- [laughter] this chapter is called "life in the bubble." and by the way, this is not representative of the relationship with the president
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and mrs. bush. [laughter] don't yet me in trouble, okay? many -- don't get me in trouble. this is inside buckingham palace, and the president and mrs. bush are actually kind of clowning around for the camera for me. so this really helps show the president had a a great sense of humor, and buckingham palace is like the white house but bigger, as you can see. [laughter] chapter three is called "family." and whenever the two presidents were together, for me, it was like a magical moment. first of all, you have the history, the only second son of a president to become president. and one of the first things i learned was whenever you say mr. president around them, they both turn around. [laughter] so i had to learn, you know, refer to them as president 41, president 43. chapter four, "the western white house." and this is probably one of my
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favorite photos in the book, and this is a great illustration of the president on the ranch, a proud texan. and something about thissicture you can't really see, but barney is sitting on his lap. [laughter] we'll all miss barney. chapter five is on 9/11. and this moment here is very critical, and you might notice there's a clock on the wall there. it's around 9:25, and the president was so focused on gathering information, gathering his thoughts or preparing for a statement to the country and to the world, at this moment on the television they're replaying the video of the second tower getting hit and that horrific image of the fireball. and we hadn't seen it at this stage, at this time. and so dan bartlett alerted everyone in the room at this stage, and the president turned around ask saw that a horrific image that's burned into everyone's memory.
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chapter six, "war president." and this moment in terms of intensity is probably, obviously, 9/11 was off the charts, but this was the moments after the president decided to commit troops to iraq. he made that decision in the situation room just moments earlier before this moment. and i photographed the beginning of the meeting, and i photographed the president walking around the south lawn, and i noticed that he was very emotional. and i knew something was big. i didn't know exactly what was happening. so i made this image, and you can see the weight of that decision's still on his face. and the president actually spoke to me right after i made the this picture. and he said, eric, are you interested in history? and all i could say was, yes, sir. and he said, the pictures you're making are very important. the one in the situation room and the one here on the south lawn. and just as e said that, out of
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the corner of my eye, secretary of defense rumsfeld and vice president cheney came walking out of the oval office, and the president walked over to greet them, and they're deciding on the timing of the start of the war. chapter seven, it's called "to the world." i traveled to neary 70 countries -- nearly 70 countries with president bush, and on this trip, i believe this is 2007, the president's travel to kosovo, and there's a small town there, and the people -- he was the first american president to visit that country, and you can see they're very happy to see him. and it's such a unique moment. the only time i've seen this many hands on the president. [laughter] i'm sure the secret service, you can see the agents there. and the final chapter is called "sprint to the finish." this is the moment the president leaves the oval office for the very last time, january 20,
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2009. and i was there the eight years earlier to the day when the president walked through that door for the first time. and through the years i always wondered, you know, what would that moment be like. i thought it would be emotional, i thought there'd be crying and hugging, but it was very simple. the president, around #k, -- around 8:00, he called for his coat, he put his coat on, and he walked out without turning back. and so that's my mini slide show. [laughter] [applause] and, and again, i want to thank all of you for coming here. and i want to give a special thanks to mary diamond stirewalt. [applause] who, who has really been a dynamo and has gotten me so much
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press. she's awe many. and myway, thank you, mary. and thank you again for coming out. [applause] >> now from the 2013 roosevelt reading festival, christopher o'sullivan. .. you get to see your family again
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when they cam back to hyde park. before i get started i want to take care of a couple of details. one is, everybody who has a cell phone or anything that beeps and whistle, please turn it off so the presentation is not interrupted. second, i think most of you have them but if you have not yet been to see the newly renovated roosevelt library and the under permanent exhibits, if you'll find me afterwards or other members of the library staff to get a button, you can see the exhibits for free and we're open until 6:00. so they're really outstanding. and want to thank our friends at c-span who are broadcasting the readings festival live. they're always great supporters of work, so thank you to c-span. christopherle o'sullivan, the author of the origins of american power in the middle east. also the author of collin
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powell, and the quest for a new world order. he teaches history at the university of san francisco was a recent full bright visiting professor at the university of jordan. he received his ph.d in hit from the university of london, and i just want to give a little shoutout to his 90-year-old father, a retired army general, who is watching this live from his home in san francisco. so, general, thank you for your service. [applause] >> thank you, bob clark. bob also want to thank you and all of the staff at the roosevelt presidential library, the other ancillary staff. always great to come here. i don't need an excuse to come back to hyde park. it is without peer the funnest
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place to do research in the world. you have the hudson valley here and all that the valley has to offer. so, thanks very much, and congratulations on then redesign. i hope everyone gets a chance to see the museum. it's fabulous. well, i'm going to tell you a story. it may sound like a've story at first -- a love story at first. we begin on valentine's day, 1945. at the great bitter lake in egypt. president roosevelt has just returned from the yalta conference where he was meeting with churchill and stalin for the last time. the president would be dead by april. and he was having a meeting with the king of saudi arabia. he was very interested in meeting the king to roosevelt this was the culmination of his
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middle east strategy during the entire war. but at the same time, it was also an effort to undermine the british empire in the middle east, because president roosevelt saw saudi arabia as the mold for the relationship the united states would have for other nations in the region. 0 not only about sew hit identify -- solidifying the relationship but always an effort to outmaneuver the british, and winston churchill, understood this was the case. churchill was very angry and beside himself when he heard that roosevelt was going to have this one-on-one meeting with the king of saudi arab ya. churchill also wanted to be included. and was also worried that the americans might be conspiring behind britain's back in their relations with various middle
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eastern countries. roosevelt has very strong views about empire. and about decolonization and the end of empire during the war, and now we're 20 years hence from the end of the cold war. a lot of the scholarship about president courtroom. his wartime diplomacy focused on real relations with the soviet union and whether the tensions that an meat the cold war are in the second world war period. there will a series of other subterranean conflicts. one of them being the conflict between the united states and britain over the fate of the european colonial empire, because, remember, world war ii was also seen by many, particularly american policymakers, as an opportunity to end empire once and for all. president roosevelt had forced this idea upon winston churchill at the atlantic conferencin'
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august 1941. roosevelt always made sure when he had an opportunity to commit the british to gradual decolonization or agreements that might lead in the direction of decolonization. fdr believed that the end of empires was inevitable. this was going to be a consequence of the second world war. it might happen in part during the war in certain places, perhaps immediately after, or in some cases, sometime after. but he did believe that peoples all over the world were questing for freedom. they did not want the second world war to result in the return of all these european powers to their territory. i think the president always felt a little alarmed about this. he wanted to be clear that the united states was not fighting the second world war to make the world safe for empire. that we were not fighting in the pacific, for example, merely too
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return the dutch indies to the dutch, ma lay ya and singapore to the british, and so on. and endochina to the french. we know how that turned out with us filling the breach for the french when they left in 1954. roosevelt had very strong emerging views about the middle east. he -- i think in a word, to describe the way that he saw, he reciprocity. he believed the countries should receive something in return. it wasn't good enough for the united states to function like a european colonial power and extract the resources of the countries and the countries receive nothing in return storm this is very alarming and disturbing to winston churchill and the british, because the british had behaved in the
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middle east in a way that was exclusively ex-tracktive without those countries receiving much. occasionally the small number of elite received something but president roosevelt had a more universal idea of reciprocity. look at saudi arab ya. at that time the american oil companies were. splitting the proceeds with the saudi arabs. this was not happening with the iran petroleum company so the british thought the american involvement in the middle east, if the americans were going to use saudi arabia as a model, was a real threat to the medium and long-term interests of britain in that region. and britain did realize if they were to hope to continue as a great power of the war, their
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relatively easy access to the petroleum of the middle east, the contractual control of egypt with the suees came -- suez canal was essential. there was a general consensus in roosevelt's administration about these ideas. his senior advicers on foreign policy, his secretary of state, sumner wells, his undersecretary of state, were by and large in agreement on these big issues about decolonization. some of them people who were unsung heroes of the story are the lesser known figures. people who were dispatched out to the region to be ministers de facto ambassadors to these various countries. in egypt, the united states had an ambassador, a man named alexander kirk, who felt very strongly the egyptians should know that the united states was
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not in league with great britain. yes, we were fighting a world war with them but our political objectives in the middle east had to be perceived as different from britain in iran, roosevelt had selected, along with the state department advice, of course, man named lou we dreyfuss. dreyfuss was man of actual heroic labors to try to bring to the world's attention a terrible famine that broke out in iran during the war, which was partly the result of russian, soviet and british quebec sequestering of the iranian wheat crop. so dreyfuss warned washington and said i can hardly see how we can win the hearts and minds of the iranians when we are starving them to death. we should try to find a way to provide them with food aid during the war. one of the president's more keir curious diplomatic appointments was the man he ultimately chose to be america's first fulltime minister to saudi arabia.
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prescribe to that the manipulate store the egypt doubled up as minister to egypt and sau arabian. map named colonel eddie. he was a lieutenant northern the me a recent corps and was selected to be the minister to staudt diarabia because he spoke arabic, and we didn't have a lot of arabic speakers in the american government in 1930s and '4s so this was great opportunity to send an arabic speaker to the middle east. didn't matter he was marine corps of. and let me geoff a shameless promotion to my book. on the cover of my book, that picture of president roosevelt meeting saudi aabe ya. the interpreter is colonel in his marine corps uniform. so we were hard pressed to find people with expertise and middle eastern languages. one of the first places where roosevelt's goals were tested
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was appropriately enough in iraq in iraq in the spring of 1941 the british decided to overthrow the iraqi government led by prime minister ali. the charge at the time was that he was proaxis and was hoping to make iraq an outpost for german or italian military forces in the middle east. the american state department was dubious of the charge. the american officials had worry ode that the british never made a distinction between being proaxis and antibritish. these were not one in the same things. american officials say it's perfectly legitimate to be antibritish in the middle east. the british had been there as a power since the first world war, and in egypt, substantially before that. but didn't necessarily imply you were pro-axis, but this confrontation that led to the overthrow of the prime minister in may 1941, occurred several
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months, seven months before pearl harbor. america was not in the war yet so the americans were in a difficult position. very poor leverage to actually press the british about this. and we were always torn that americans felt, well, we want to press our political objectives, but we shouldn't do anything that jeopardizes the war effort. so when the british heard the formula they immediately said basically anything you do will jeopardize the war effort, so don't do anything. this sort of handcuffed us in a way. there was a great deal of frustration in washington that we weren't able to do anything about iraq. the region of oiraq, the king was a baby -- the regent of iraq were brought back by the british and put back in power. meshes scratched their heads and say this isn't the best way to build legitimacy of the iraqi political class. the next big test came almost exactly a month after pearl harbor. america was in the war, and that
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was in egypt. egypt has been in the news, the arar spring, the overthrow of hosni mubarak, the recent government change, even this morning news about another massacre in cairo. in 1942 the british government determined to overthrow king farouk of egypt. they felt he was an obstacle to britain's political objectives in the middle east and in egypt. american officials had very serious problem with this. they were very concerned about the perception, again, of the british overthrowing yet another arab leader, and american officials let by the u.s. minister to cairo, alexander kirk, wrote to washington and said, farouk is not pro-access. he is merely antibritish. there's a distinction even if the british aren't willing to make it. so the americans made it clear the british we would be upset if farouk was overthrown. the british made elaborate plans to get rid of farouk.
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i've seen the documentation. in fact, they wanted his overthrow to be so humiliating and uncomfortable that they sort of sat around in the foreign office speculating, what would be the worst place to send a king of egypt? let's exile him to canada. so, they were going to send the king of egypt to canada. and the americans sort of stood in the way of this. one major obstacle the americans had was that the ambassador -- the british ambassador to egypt was named sir miles lampson. you have rarely met so -- as victorian schooled colonial official as sir miles lampson. he was remember early the high commissioner in egypt. maybe nut such a good idea to transition your high commissioner as ambassador. he insisted all egyptian politics, political decisions, parliamentary decisions, cabinet decisions, even depressions of the sovereign himself, had to be made in the british embassy.
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and this, of course, created -- provoked incredible dismay amongst the egyptians. lampson and the u.s. ambassador there, alexander kirk, had a terrible relationship. kirk thought that lampson was actually shooting himself in the foot. he said this is the worst thing the british can be doing. like in iran, they're not make anything allies or friendses in the region by bull using them, overthrowing them and using violence. i mentioned earlier that roosevelt saw reciprocity as being a kind of approach to the middle east, and one reason he came up with the idea is that model that the president frequently used for understanding the middle east was latin america. the good neighbor policy in lat turn america in the 1930s. roosevelt thought that a lot 60 these middle eastern countries might be in different stage office development like latin american countries were. his goal was initially to form strong ties of friendship and alliance with the major leaders of he region as he had done in
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latin america. didn't really matter to him where they were democrats or had the consent of their -- of the people. the point was just to make a strong alliance with the people. so, he set out 0 outmaneuver the british to establish relationships with king farouk of egypt, the new shah of iran and the leadership class in iraq, led by the prime minister and the king of saudi arabia, saudi arabia became the centerpiece of this. roosevelt went so far in 1943, to invite two of king saad's sons, one of scores of sons but two of his favorite sons were brought to america on a grand tour, during the war. and roosevelt told the state department, make sure these young men see projects in america, some public infrastructure projects new york
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deal projects, applicable to saudi arabia that's young prince wanted to go to hollywood and meet starlets. they weren't interested in these projects. roosevelt insisted they good to west texas -- no offense -- arizona in the 1940s, parts of new mexico, the arid west because fdr said these are dry parts of america. we can show these arabs how the places can be irrigated and developed. remember, roosevelt really did believe that parts of the united states could be a model for the middle east. it is sort of funny you find this occurring again and again, whether he is meeting with shah of iran or king farouk or king saud. he is constantly bringing up for station. roosevelt is always telling them how many trees he has planted,
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estimates how many trees he has planted in his life and says, he flew over the middle east in 1943 when he was leaving the tehran conference and was appalled how arid the middle east what, and he said everybody should be involved in a big civilian conserveation corps to plant trees in the middle east. all the glory that trees can bring. so some of the arab leaders, ivan saud ruled over a country with only one paved road. so talking to him about these massive infrastructure projects. the americans said we can bring the new deal to the middle east. we can develop the middle east. part of the plan of res supposety. here's -- reciprocity. but the american critique was that the british had sided with most of the regional elites. allot of them were very corrupt in the american estimation, that they failed to distinguish
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between the needs and interests of the people versus the relationship between, say, britain and these elites. so american officials, including the president, thought, over time if we begin to develop these countries, there will emerge a technocratic middle class. of engineers and educated people who will naturally grave today -- gravitate toward american. an exchange of engineers and developing their own country, and this was the idea, that we didn't have to worry about the old discredited upper classes of the countries. the british could have them. we would build new relationships with emerging middle class technocrats and educated people. it didn't really happen that way. part of the problem was that the president did see latin america as a model. middle eastern societies, latin
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american societies are not necessarily the same. there are distinctive differences. and american advisors faced particular challenges in the mideast in trying to develop the countries and also to develop an emerging middle class who hypothetically might naturally become all lies lies of -- allif the united states. the country of iran was test case for this. we probably devoted more money and more labor hours to iran than any other country in the region and ultimately had 30,000 troops there during the war, also to help keep the road to russia open. we had thousand office -- thousands of technicians trying to develop hospitals and schools and infrastructure projects. the president said at one point that iran will stand as a model for what we under the atlantic charter, the idea that self-determination, teaching these countries to develop themselves, can achieve. again, there were mixed results. iran had a very rigid social
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structure that made it very difficult for the americans to work with people other than some of the same discredited elites who the british had been working with. keep in mind that the middle east had their own sense of agency and reacted to this effectively. all over the region, middle east elites, just as he british feared, said, oh, the gravy is good over in america. let's deal with them. the americans will cut a pragmatic deal with you. it's no longer the old british way of saying, 99% for us, 1% for you, take out leave it. the americans actually would cut a deal. so the saudis led the way and the iranians were terrificked to dealing with the americans and the iraq can -- iraqis cut a del with them and when president roosevelt died on april 4, 1945, a delegation of high level iraqis, including the prime
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minister in the region, were in washington, waiting for the president's eventual return to meet with him and have their photo op just at king akas du king farouk. iraqi was more imbedded in the british system, british control, than almost country. the problem for the americans the people showing up in washington were the same old discredited elites that it did not enjoy the support of their people. if you look at things happening in egypt, it's chilling, the he can companies, because american officials during the war said one problem we 1/2 egypt, and throughout much of the rest of the middle east, is this. we can develop close relationships with the leaders, but if those leaders don't represent their people, what have we gained? there is a cass jim between the
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masses and the governments. many governments had been terribly discredited, delegitimateizeed with their close relations with france. we want to work with the leaders but if the leaders don't represent the people, what the in the relationship between the united states and the actual people of the country? something we have never very successfully resolved over the decades. in conclusion, i would be remiss if i didn't mention to you one of our favorite figures in the roosevelt period, roosevelt's -- run o roosevelt0s chief antagonists who was not a member of the axis alliance, charles degaulle. degaulle created for roosevelt and for a time win stop -- winston her chill headaches -- churchill headaches.
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when they went in, in july '4 1, the americans said it would be nice if you made a pledge that syria and lib nonwill be free after the free french anglo free french invasion, and the french were in a poor position and said, sure, we'll give them their independence, their freedom. we said, we approve of you intervening at another arab country. they had overthrown the first shah in '41, overthrown the prime minister the british had in iraq in '41. tried to overthrow farouk, and here they were invading damascus and beirut. americans said, as long as you make a pledge of independence. of course. once this happened, degaulle changed his mind and said, now that i'm here, he actually made it his headquarters -- i kind of lick it. we're not going to give them their independence now. and roosevelt was infuriated by this. churchill said to degaulle, you pledged to grant independence to syria and
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lebanon before. they countered, said, free your colonies. why do we have to free our colonies. why don't you free the possessions you have in the miami. churchill said, that's beside the point and degaulle said that's precisely the point. so a squabble broke out and then degaulle, very clever man, came up with the perfect formula to outsmart the british. and to unfewerrate the americans further. he dvded to create a relationship between france -- or free france or de gaulle's committee, as roosevelt disparagingly called him -- and syria and lebanon along the lines of the relations britain enjoyed with egypt and iraq. so churchill said, that's fine. and roosevelt said it's not fine with me, but that's what persisted throughout the war. so we found ourselves in a very strange position throughout the
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war, very strange, that degaulle said why didn't america recognize lebanon and syria as new independent countries. roosevelt said there's not independent. it's a phony independence schemes the british hadron up for the iraqis and british, and we found ourself in the streak position of british recognizing syrian and lebanese and the americans did not do that because we did not think it was real independence. so it's fascinating to me. i think that the past has consequencees. the events that occurred in this region during the inner war years and second world war had tremendous consequence. i think there's an element to tragedy, though, that we did in pact because of the cold war abandon the idea that we could try to have relations with people of the middle east that were in some ways reciprocal. they would get something meaningful back. the president thought, what kind
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of thing would a country like -- how can saudi arabia benefit if they only have one paved road? let me end with an anecdote about roosevelt meeting the king on the great builter laric on that valentine's day in 19 45. roosevelt came bearing gifts. a transport plane because i'm shower motor vehicles weren't of much use. a transport plane. the king admired the president's wheelchair. he said you're very luck you to have your handlers and retapees push you around in a chair. i have us rate -- it rated legs and roosevelt gave the king his backup wheelchair. roosevelt had been warned by state department briefers be very careful about what gifts you receive and return from the king. the king has been known to offer people. a second arab wife. this -- mrs. roosevelt might have something to same also, the
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manifest for the summit meeting told roosevelt that the king would be bringing ten slaves with him, which in the context of the atlantic charter, was a little ambivalent, but at least the colonel eddie citiedded in convincing the d succeeded to convince the kinding to leave heirs hardem at home. we allowed the king to put his tents on the top of the ship. they slaughtered a goat during the travel. they -- we put on demonstrations of arms. there will exchanges of gifts between the crew. the crew mingled with the saud diz. when the british met king saud a couple days later the order went out, have no interaxe -- interaction to the arabs at all and to the arabs think were a proud people and told them something about the difference of the approach of the
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countries. i'm sorry we didn't continue that more sophisticated. mature cultural approach to try to engage people on terms. thank you very much. look forward to your questions. [applause] >> we have several minutes for questions. come on up to the microphone. >> i will sign it but it lowers the resale value. >> any questions? >> in that meeting with saud, fdr said he would clear any future decisions in the middle east with him? >> fdr has consistently said -- there's a real contradiction
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here. fdr was always excited to a jewish homeland in palestine. he game more committed to this also the war went on. particularly during the 1944 presidential campaign. the president issued several public statements saying that he was reluctant to either say homeland because more zealous zionists wanted a state put he was reluctant to say state which might appear to be too radical. so he came up with a -- typical roosevelt, quad commonwealth. a jewish commonwealth. so he was committed to this. both roosevelt and his republican opponent, thomas dewey of new york, were competing to each other to outpromise palestine to the jews. the problem, however, was that the president had also promised to saud that no decision would ultimately be made in palestine without him consulting the king of solid -- king of saudi arabia
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first. if you're pledging there's going be a commonwealth of homeland for the jews but you're going to allow the king of solid -- king of saudi arabia. when roosevelt met with the king at the great bitter lake in 1945, this issue was raised very briefly. roosevelt persisted in believing, despite all evidence to the contrary, despite the warnings of the state department that it wouldn't work, he could cut a deal with the king of saudi arabia, he really in a sense, as a very talented, skilled politician, saw the saudi king as just another state governor or senator, some who would you build a dam in his district, maybe he'll vote for you. he did believe he could off ever the king a package of endododish enduesments that would make the king his point man in the middle east for. helping the facilitation of the
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jews in palestine. the state department warped roosevelt this will never happen. no arab leader no matter how polite, is going to agree to something like that's. so the king first of all the king would never agree to this. second of all it's a bit of a geographical stretch to think that the king of saudi arabia can speak for something happening in palestine. we made the mistake from the president on down -- not the american experts but a lot of officials made the mistake of thinking that. the arabs were much more of cohesive, nation. that saud could speak for things that happened throughout the middle east. and our middle east experts say this isn't necessarily true. is quote-unquote a desert arab help does not speak for the urban masses of the met -- head -- mediterranean. >> did eleanor roosevelt enter
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into in the discussion office policy towards the middle east? >> only in the sense that eleanor roosevelt was a strong supporter of the possibility of a homeland or state for the jews in palestine. but she didn't get very involved during the war. post war she was more involved, became a very strong supporter of israel after 1948. but during the war i found no evidence of eleanor roosevelt lobbying her husband on middle east or palestine issues. >> if you could comment on the role of the soviet union in the cold war there was concern about the soviet intervention in iran or turkey. was there concern. >> a little bit. one thing i point out in my book is that i've concluded that because of the cold war, we have focused perhaps inordinately on u.s.-soviet tensions in iran during the war. i found much less evidence of
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american and soviet tensions in iran during the war than for british tensions in iran and that wag obscured by the cold war. it was hard for us to conceptualize that the british were a much greater political antagonist than the soviets were, and it's fair to say in a lot of areas of the war. roosevelt felt -- we lost sight of this and it changed during the cold war, but roosevelt felt that the relationship with stalin might be more manageable than the relationship with britain. why? because our interests intersected to a greater extent with the british empire than the potential soviet empire. during the war roosevelt said there will be problems -- what's the state of the baltic states. what would be the composition of the government in poland.
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but these are not primary interest of the united states. but who controls the middle east and who controls parts of asia, these are primary interests of the united states, where we are dustined to come into conflict with the british empire. so something shifted radically with the advent of the cold war but a if you look at the second world war, a snapshot on its own terms. the tension with churchill with fraught with the potential for more problems than the tensions with stalin during the war. >> i have a question about decolonization. i'm keeping with the theme of getting aim away -- away from the cold war frame and i don't know if you have insight or not, but this question of the degaulle and the british, the kind of phony independence for lebanon and syria and the model of egypt and iraq, are looking ahead ten years now in history to a conference. carlos from the philippines is
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furious with the other asian leaders for saying he is not an authentic, independence nation, and what cite tieran whoa fdr use when he was making these distinctions and how do we want to look back at the philippines and their home ruler independence in comparison to egypt? >> it's an excellent question. the philippines stood as a model worldwide for president roosevelt. throughout the war, roosevelt realized he could point to the philippines as an example of america's determination to decolonize. we had offered the filipinos in the 1935 mcduffy act that there would be a timetable for filipino independence. this was disresulted by the war, but we thought that the philippines would stand -- that's why we brought kayson to
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washington and use him as a photo opportunity hoping to send the message that british would design for india a similar approach to gradual decolonization so the philippines is crucial this. american officials during the war came to the conclusion that there were different varieties, different flavors of empire. there were formal colonies. there were also informal colonies. the united states ended up in part because of the massive expansion of american powers as a result of the cold war, creating its own informal and economic empire throughout the world. but in the middle east the americans never believed these mid eastern countries were independent. iran was a de facto part of the sphere of influence ofity the soviet union.
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iraq and egypt were not actually independent countries. they had been granted nominal independence in 1932, and 1922 respectively. but this had not really amounted to independence because the centers of power in both iraq and egypt, up until very much after the war, were the british embassies and the u.s. knew that. we had ministers in beth countries who reported to washington and said it doesn't matter talking to the legislature or the king. the nexus of power is the british embassy and always has been. >> i have -- happen to be an old historian and one of the things you haven't mentioned is oil, and i can't believe that oil doesn't play a major role behind all this political things you're talking about. i knowt, for instance in
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1938, a small company with very poor assets discovered a major oil discovery in saudi arab ya and that company later became chevron. i still have a prejudice that behind all of this is money, and oil is a major factor in the middle east. and europe did not have enough oil in the 1940s, the major producer of oil in the world was the united states. it was a major exporter. that changed in the '70s but you have not mentioned that at all and i cooperate understand the history of the middle east without considering oil. >> it is certainly relevant in places like saudi arabia, iran and iraq. not relevant in egypt, and transjordan and in palestine. oil is the driving reason for
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this new special relationship with saud disarabia during the war. prior to the war we did not have a minister to saudi arabia. the minister to egypt doubled as the minister to saudi arabia, and during the war, colonel edie went there. we had this precip pro -- reciprocal relation with the saud diz. the americans hoped we do duplicate this relationship with iran. that iran -- we did not have the degree of involvement in iranian oil we would have after 1953, for example, but we were hoping to achieve that in fact the iranians were also very open to that because the people of the middle east, the rans and iranians were savvy at looking at opportunities. there were some arabs that supported the axis powers and supported the soviet union, some supported the united states, trying to get out from hurt the
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french and british yoke. the -- believe it another nor, in my book i have a chapter about iraq. you may find that the americans were far more involved in trying to obtain a larger portion of the iraqi oil concession that want previously understood. one of the major driving reasons for even being involved in iraq during the second world war was to change the percentages agreement of the iraqi petroleum company. so in iraq, iran, and saudi, very important. syria, lib non, egypt, palestine, and transjordan, not so number. -- not so much. >> we have time for one more question. >> only deals in part with the middle east. i was impressed with your thought about the culture, political culture in terms of end over empire, decolonization,
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that roosevelt espoused and i'm sure the state department. but what we see is in southeast asia, degaulle, france, trying to resurrect empire in indochina, and in iran in 1953, after unsuccessful attempts by the brits to engage in the americans in overthrowing -- the over throw, we get involved and the results for those have been horrific in term 20th century history and 21st century. >> this where is the cold war comes into play, tremendous role and some ways altering the path we set out upon during the second world war: you mentioned french indochina. senior american officials dirk the second world war felt with
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returned french indochina to the french that would undermine what we were fighting for. in the pacific, lot of americans fought and died and sacrificed in the pacific. what was the pacific war for? was it merely to defeat japan in what was the point in defeating japan and removing japan from various asia nations and then returning those nations to the tender mercy of the french or the dutch or the british. so we were cognizant of that during the war. it became very difficult for us to have control over that. the british fought very hard to have a british military officer in charge of the southeast asian command. which we ended up calling the save europe's asiaatic colonies because we understand eventually why they were so concern about going back there. you mention ode iran as well. american relations with iran, when they started in the second world war so much optimism on
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both sides and with both the mesh advisers and iranians hamp at tragedy over the course of 75 we have gotten to this point, considering that at the inception we did see ourselves as a third force. we weren't like the soviets and british and samelessly exploit iran. we wanted to have a relationship reciprocal that the oil revenues would be invested in iranian society and we would make a significant stake in their development as well. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you for your great questions. you ask such great questions, and chris will be able to sign the book. enjoy the rest of the day.
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[inaudible conversations] >> mark twain was a very young man when he was here in carson city. born in 18 5. and arrives in 1861, duthe --
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do the math. 26 years old. a very formative period in his life and it's the experience he has here, all the things he does, and then the things he writes and then the notoriety he gets beginning in san francisco and new york city. this laid the foundation for the man who would become one of the greatest writers in american history. i would argue that without the carson city experience, the virginia city experience, the nevada territorial experience, samuel clemens could have never been mark twain. >> looking at the history and literary life of car son city, nevada, next weekend on c-span 2 and 3. >> about every 40 years some foreign global power has tried to come in and dominate the afghan scene and control it and use it for its own purposes.
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there have been periods of afghan history when the rulers of afghanistan have taken advantage of the geographical position of afghanistan to play a sort of neutrality card using the favoritism towards one global power, playing that against the possibility of leaning towards the other global power to keep both of them somewhat at bay, and this has been the diplomatic strategy of successful afghan rulers and the cold war was a notable period. uusr and the united states were interested in afghanistan and both competing to enlarge they're influence in the country, and somehow because of the counterbalancing of this two forces there was a period when afghans were sort of in control of their own destiny, and during that period, you saw modernization and change in afghanistan that was more rapid and more sort of dramatic than
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you have seen anywhere in this country. that period ended when the pendulum of trying to swing back and forth between the inner afghanistan and the outer world had just -- it started to swing so fast and so far that it finally crashed and the country succumbed to a coup by the small communist group which then quickly was followed by the soviet invasion, and i would contend from that day to this we're till in the aftermath and aftereffects of the soviet invasion. the soviet invasion pretty much destroyed the fabric of the country. the six million refugees it drove out of the country. the destruction of the villages. the tearing a part of the tribal structures. and the creation of a state of war in which the old traditional afghan systems for generating
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leadership, gaveway -- gave way to a new state. if you had a suspicion good were good with i you would probably be an important guy. so that brought into being a whole other class of afghan leaders who are commanders, now they call them war lords and that entered the fray. when the soviets left they start fighting each other and tore the cities after part and then the taliban came. so now we're in the country and we have come in with something of the same idea that the soviets had, which was, this is a primitive country and a lot of trouble, and if we can restore everything and produce material benefits for the people, they will be greatful and they will come over to our side. and there's more it to than that.
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afghans are interested in material benefits but there's a question of the reconstruct of the afghan institutions, the society, and the family structure and reconciliation of the contending factors on the afghan scene. this taliban business ills not completely separate from the contentions went afghan society over dominating the identity of afghanistan. >> when did we reach a point where you have to have a certain philosophy because of the color of your skin? when did that happen? [applause] >> a reporter once asked me why i didn't talk a lot about race, and i said, because i'm a neurosurgeon. and -- [laughter] >> and they thought that was
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pretty strange same when i take someone to the operating room and i cut the scalp and open the tour remarks i'm operating on the thing that makes that person who they are. the cover doesn't make them to they are. when are we going to understand that? >> surgeon and author ben carson takes your calls, e-mails, facebook comments and tweets in depth, three hours live, next sunday at noon eastern. right here on c-span 2's back tv. >> joining us on booktv to preview his upcoming new book, bill bryson. one summer america, 1927, the name of the book. why 1927? >> guest: i had always been fascinated by the fact that charles lintberg flew in the
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atlantic and that made it an interesting summer. the events happening in exact parallel and i had in mind maybe it would be interesting to try to do a dual biography of these identifies and the meeting in the summer of 1927. then when i began looking into what else happened in the summer of 1927, i found that those were only just two tiny parts of much greater arc. there were other stuff happening. the great mississippi flood, the largest natural disaster in american history. you had al capone beginning of the end of al capone and the end of prohibition, the information that prohibition was coming to an end. they started building mount rushmoore, kalin coolidge decided he didn't want to run for president.
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he could have won in a landslide but decided not do it. the reason is misty -- mystifying. henry afford had the madid to build an american city in arizona. so one thing after another. lots going on. so we whole nature of the book changed to look at not just these two figures, but looking at all of the stuff happening, which -- the first talking picture was filmed the same summer. was a kind of -- frenetic amount of activity. a great deal of which changed the world, and changed the way we perceive popular entertainment and so on. so it was consequential but the results are interesting and lively. >> host: there is any reason all these events happened in the summer of 1927? >> guest: they just happened in the summer of 1927. that's kind of what is interesting about it.
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sometimes these thingsu happen, and all of these happen -- there wasn't by and large any particular reason. they weren't there because they had to happen in the summer of 1927. mostly they just happened then. there were connects. the reason that lindbergh was able too fly to europe was because of the same storm system that was -- that caused the flooding in the midwest, that caused the great mississippi flood. the same weather system had all the other aviators pinned down in new york and allowed charles lindbergh to fly from san diego to new york and get ahead of the others, and if it hadn't been for the weather system causing havoc in the country, richard byrd would have gone off first and would have been the first to cross the ocean and that would have changed popular history a great deal. >> host: there was a contest going on at that point.
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>> guest: a contest. i didn't realize this before i started degree book. always thought that charles lindbergh got in his head he would fly the expose -- the ocean and did it. but there was a pride called the ore teething prize, named of a french hotel, named after raymond ortiz, and he was excited by aviation, with all of the dog fights and everything, and he put up a very generous, $25,000, a lot of money in those days -- for the first person or team of miami could fly between new york and paris in either direction. and there were lots and lots of teams getting ready to fly and take off that summer. and every single one of them was better prepared and better funded then charles lindbergh. lindbergh was just a kit. 25-year-old kid front the midwest, who arrives in new york
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with a plane with one engine, no navigator no copilot, just him and a small plane, essentially a flying gas tank, and everybody thought it was suicide and if he got away first he would crash in the water, and of course he was the one who beat everybody because he had so much -- his plane was so much simpler and so much less that had to be ready to get it ready to take off. >> host: you open the book talking bat fire in new york city and how people would gather for events. >> guest: it's amazing. and this happened again and again. i didn't know what it was. i don't know that anybody can say what it was but there was just this impulse by people to gather in huge crowds for almost everything. the fire in the hotel in new york, fifth avenue, which was under construction, nearly finished. there was whole lot of wooden scaffolding around the top because they were just finishing
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off the very summit of the building and it caught fire and all the wooden scaffolding wents up in smoke and as i say it was like a matchhead. and within a couple of hours, crowd estimated at 100,000 people had spontaneously turned up. and imagine what it would take to get 100,000 people in new york to gather in one space now. it would have to be something quite dramatic. then just a big fire did it. and lots and lots of other things. the same summer you had kelly the flag pole sitter. went up on a flag pole in new jersey and tones thousands of people came to watch that. people would turn out for anything. and it's strange. they just -- much less in the way of popular entertainment, but people temperature there was something going on, people in great crowds would turn out. >> host: bill, on a macro level
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when it comes comes to american politics, calvin coolidge not running, al capone. was there the economy was -- was there something happening on the macro level as well? >> guest: yes. the economy was very interesting summer from the point view of the economy. the economy was booming and america was just motoring along. it was overheating if anything. and this was really a kind of matter of concern to some people. herbert hoover in particular was worried it was overheating, and it was. and the federal reserve, the federal reserve bank of new york and then the central bank of britain, france, and germany, and they had a secret meeting on long island, and they decided, very mistakenly, good intentions but decided to cut the interest rate everywhere, which was what
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really led to the stock market crash in the following year and then the great depression that followed after that. >> host: that's just a quick preview of bill bryson's upcoming book, october 2013. one summer, america, 1927. you're watching book tv on c-span2. ...
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[inaudible conversations] good afternoon. i'm the director of the franklin d roosevelt presidential library and museum. it's my pressure to welcome you to the keynote address of the tenth annual reading festival. when he dead rated the library in 1941 he declared the purpose to be bring together people to learned from the past so they can gain in judgment in creating the future. we think there is no better way of fulfilling his purpose than the roosevelt reading festival. it's showcasing how complete his vision for the library as a research constitution is being filled by a vary of it authors that produce books of all kinds. the work of the authors who have gathered here today there's much that can be learned and great inspiration drawn from the roosevelt era. through the generosity of c-span, we are able to share our
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tenth annual roosevelt reading festival with a grand audience across the country. none of this would be possible without the creative and dynamic staff of the library and volunteers. i thank you for their help. [applause] we have just finished a major building renovation updating the roosevelt library. the first presidential library and the only one use bade sitting president. through the generosity of the non-profit partner, the roosevelt substitute we enalled a new -- installed a new museum exhibit which opened on june 30th to rave reviews. it's an exciting time as we bring a new tale to a jen generation. library and -- optimism beginned with a significant purpose always carried out with good humor in the face of the greatest challenges. i hope you have chance to see
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our nur mu seem today and return with family and friends. and now it is my disticket honor to introduce our keynote speaker ale, ta black. she's my dear friend. i met her many, many, many years ago. [laughter] in the research room at the library i was pushing book trucks and she was a poor graduate student with a tremendous work ethic and vision of mrs. roosevelt that went far beyond others. we may have aged a bit, not too much. i assure you her work ethic and knowledge has continued to grow. she coordinated the effort to reissue book "tomorrow is now" for which she wrote the introduction. she's a historian and the author of "casting her own shadow ."
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and courage in a dangerous world. the political writings of el inure roosevelt. she serves as founding editor as editorial advisory board chair of the eleanor roosevelt papers. black also serves as consult assistant to the women's division of the united nations high commission for human rights. she has written many books as well as a variety of articles on women, politics, and human rights policies. she will take questions after her talk. you q up at the microphone and be available for signing books in our museum store. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my friend,. pll. >> hi, everybody. i have been told i have to stand behind the podium. which if you know me it's very
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difficult. so i will promise lynnly try to do this. i want to say that i have waited all of my life, i'm a proud 61-year-old, to see an exhibit like the one that lynn, herman, and bob and all of the staff of the fdr library put together. it is stunning. it is the best political museum i have ever been in in my life anywhere in the world. [applause] and so i really encourage you to go see it. my job here is to be the wrapup which is to insert el eleanor to any conversation in any room whether put as a one dimensional person who didn't do anything. didn't know how to read fdr or
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in fact with some liberal fly with no political sense whatsoever. and so for me, the effort to get "tomorrow is now" reprinted, was a thank you note to her. a testament to her political sense. her ability to articulate the weaknesses of democracy, the failings of the united states with complete and total love and candor and courage and an ability to motivate the american public to stand up to look themselves in the mirror, and say this is my country, this is what we do right. this is what we are unprepared to face. and let's figure out how we can work together to address the problems that we want to sweep under the rug. and so for me "tomorrow is now"
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is her clearest, boldest, and most insighting work. she wanted us to stand up. she wanted us to charge the barricades. she wanted us to understand that comprise was good as as long as we comprised up. that is as long as we petitioned ourselves in silos of political belief, we would go wack back ward. continue to be unready in her words, to face the challenges that we as americans owed one another at home and the challenges we, in americans, of the world. and so before i talk a little bit about the book, and the story how she stayed alive to finish it, and why i think it is herman --
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her manifesto i would like to thank nancy roosevelt. when you take a book in copyright, and major publisher owns that copyright, it's very hard to get that copyright back. and this book was published it hit the stands approximately five months after eleanor roosevelt died. wasn't around to hock it. she wasn't around to go on "meet the press" or "face the nation" or do one of her tv show "prospect of mankind" to talk about it. none of the major book review editors like "the new york times," or publishers weekly or "reader's digest" a particular bone in my cross she helped hock more reader digest books than the law should allow. didn't pay any attention to this.
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in my 25 years of looking at her, and we first met, can i say in 1988? that this, to me, is her truest voice. and it is so incredibly relevant to every issue that we face today. ranging from what are we going do about the middle east, and america's inability to understand different threologies. to what is the crisis in public education. as long as we tie public schools to property taxes, she said we'll have three tiers of schools in the united states. schools that are falling apart. schools for kids whose parents have money, and private schools. talks about race relationship. talk about the revolution and communication. the revolution and technology. what are we going to do when the cold war is over?
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what about the social red -- revolution. not just the issue of race and gender. but the issue of ethnicity. how are we going to figure out how to look at ourselves as people rather than as card board stereo types of different populations that we have embedded in our brain. and so i went to nancy and i said to her, nancy, i really love this book. nobody read it. and grandmother stayed alive to tbsh -- finish it. i think we have to go to the publisher, really plead with the publisher to give us the copyright back, so that we can in fact reissue this in a way that americans moderate means can benefit from it. nancy immediately said yes. for that, i am eternally grateful.
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because then i went president clinton, and i said, mr. president, you know i love this book. will you read it? i want you to -- will write introduction. he looked at me -- it didn't take three second he said i've read the book, when do you want introduction? he cleared so much about the book. he himself went through five drafts of his forward. so this is not something that he just stood in a coach -- corner and dictated to people. i say it to you because i want you to understand how important we think it is to get eleanor's voice back to the conversation. as she said -- as he said, in his introduction, in bold blunt prose, the greatest first lady in american
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history. traces the country struggle to embrace democracy, and present her declaration against fear, that midty, complacency, and national arrogance. i couldn't have said it more myself. and so her bold insistence in labeling political leaders, in labeling different organizations, in addressing fdr's successes, fdr shortcomings, as well as her own, and the state of both parties in the united states. it is her political manifesto. and so what tomorrow is now means to me is a window of -- in to her heart and spine. why do i say this? why am i making such sweeping generalizations? fdr --
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elle elle eleanor residence volte was dieing when she wrote the book. she was too weak to hold a pencil or pen to write. she certainly couldn't type. many times during that period, she had to sip her food through a straw. she dictated the book to a woman whose name was eleanor den stoun. sometimes her voice would go so horse she would have to whisper across the table. and she would apologize to her colleague for having to talk so low. there were times she had to interrupt what she wanted to write because she was bleeding from the back of the throat and could not continue her point. what i would like to do is to bring her own words in to this for a little bit.
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give you something from her. in the past i have written of the era in which i grew up and the experiences which shaped my life. from a lonely childhood and a cast bound society with narrow tradition through the crowded years of my husband's presidency. in which a great depression and a major world war bought sweeping change to the whole world. and finally, of the years in which i came to know a great part of that work first and first hand, and through my work with the united nations. to learn that its destiny, like the tainted wind blowing over it, is common to all. i'm going skip around. now; however, i have learned to see that nothing, nothing of what happened to me or anyone
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has value unless it is preparation for what lies ahead. we face the future fortified only with the lessons that we have learned from the past. it is today that we must create the world of a future. to conclude it, once more we live in a period of uncertainty of danger. in which not only our own safety but that of mankind is threatened. once more we need the qualities that inspire the development of the democratic way of life. we need imagination and integrity. courage and high heart. we need to fan the spark of conviction. which may, again, inspire the world as we did with our new idea of the dignity and worth of free men. but first, we must learn to cast out fear.
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people who view with alarm never build anything. in the following pages, i have set down one woman's tempt to analyze what problems there are to be met. one citizens' approach to the ways in which they may be met, and one human being's bold of a make that with imagination, with courage, faith in ourselves, and our cause, the fundamental dignity of all mankind they will be met. so what did she set out do here? the basic premise of "tomorrow is now" we are unready and unwilling to face the challenges that are ahead of us. we're are paralyzed by fear and political stereo tip, we focus
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on what divides us rather than what our common core is not in a way to gloss over the differences. but in a way to say this is a platform from which we -- must go forward. and so she looks at the fear of communism which today you can insert the fear of terrorism. she looks at how we are unable to master the new means of communication. that television is a vaulted tool, but we must use television to entertain and to educate, and of course, must preserve free speech but not -- she argues that radio is a position -- is a medium. that we all should respect and
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not abuse. she looks at the revolution in education where we have battled over textbooks. where we have one-sided political debates in classroom that encourage students not to think but to regurgitate rather than to analyze. she encourages the study of foreign language. she encourages the study of foreign government, she encourages the study of different religions. you will never know what you believe eleanor's great teacher taught her unless you can argue with equal conviction the position that is assume bid your fearest critic. now i ask you if one-third of the people who live in the city that i worship, washington,
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d.c., or any capitol in any all fifty states embrace one tenth of that, how much progress would we make? let look at the scientific revolution. eleanor argues there's a constantly evolving science that will change the way that we live. that will make -- she wrote this in 1962, that will make 1984 look like a comic book. that until we learn to encourage scientific developments, foster new medical care, and in a way that will make that medical care assessable and affordable to all who need it, we will have failed science and science will have failed us.
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so she argues that we have an extraordinary history. and that we are beginning to face our shortcomings in our history. that race and ethnic prejudice and religious bias are the lead that will unravel american society. that will makes so weak that we will lose our position of moral leadership in the world. she talks about being a custodian of the environment, and what that means in terms of the development and wages. she talks about international trade and the battle for the living wage. she talking about our tendency to see human rights as siloed in
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only -- as only affable to people who live off our shores and concern of rich intellectual elite who want to tell the poor how to live. she said that is the height of american arrogance. where after all, the universal human rights began, they began in small places close to home. the field, the factory, the farm, the church, the synagogue. if they do not have meaning, there they have little meaning anywhere without concerted citizens action, they will disappear. so she is saying without revealing all of the risks she took, we have the greatest document in the history of the world. the universal declaration of human rights. it is a barricade to justice.
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it is what we need to arm ourselves with, it is our body armor. that we must embrace to build our own country and help the world advance. because if we advance america by only focusing on america, as the world gets smaller and smaller with international travel, revolution and communications, the world will get smaller while the barriers between us increase. and so when she was dying, she wanted to get this out. when fdr died, harrold, the longest serving member of --
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with francis perkins, the longest serving member of fdr's cabinet, and who was secretary of labor -- , i mean, secretary of the interior in truman's administration came up to meet with eleanor roosevelt. that had a conversation in front of the steps of the library. he writes her back a recap of this conversation. he asked her to run for governor, to run for the senate from new york, to be secretary of labor, to engage in create political organizing work. major ivy leagues were coming to el nor and saying will you be president? she turns them down and writes harold, you need not worry, my voice will not be silent. and as she aged and as she
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became my distance from the white house. she became more outspoken on the political impact that she had while she was in the white house. because eleanor roosevelt covered all her tracks. now, i love this woman. there's nobody in the world who knows me that doesn't know that. i have a picture of her in almost every room in my house except my toilet. [laughter] she's not a saint. she's a fierce patriot. in a battle scared political warrior. who understood politics and played it keptly. and denied that she had any influence whatsoever.
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he said i never changed franklin's mind on anything. come to my house, give me you my address, i'll pull out four drawers of from document. many are from here over from here. to tell you the role that eleanor had many military policy, in economic policy, how she lost the fight to have health care be the forth prong of social security. the fight she had with harry hopkins over race. the fights she had with fdr and secretary -- , i mean, attorney general over internment. the work she did behind the scenes unsuccessfully to get assistant secretary of state -- god, i just blocked it. i'm losing it.
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in the state department. the work she did behind the scenes the meetings she had with fdr, the fights she had with party leaders to get breaken ridge fired. i can tell you the memories she had when she went to the camps. she didn't want to go to the camps after the camps were liberated. the army wanted her to go. she goes through and said when will our consciousnesses grow so tender we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? so by the time she's dying, she's mad. she love this country. she's tired of timid politicians. she believes that politics is an honorable and noble calling. she's fed up with jack kennedy.
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she browbeat him to death to set up the president's commission on the stot titus of women. he takes credit for the peace corps. when eleanor is trying to talk about the peace corps. and sends material to him, you know, sending all of this material about how it would be good, she feels like the country has lost its way. at the time right before she begins this book, there's a young man whose name is welden who is 15 years old, he's african-american and standing in front of -- in alabama. he's out there for less than 45 seconds when he's arrested for handing a leaflet. he's taken to jail, he's not charged with the crime, he's not allowed to see an attorney, and i he doesn't appear before a judge. he's beaten so severely that his
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jaw is wired shut, and he has to have pins inserted in his wrist. she comes down to washington 103 fever to go to the community room of the "washington post." because the naacp have asked her to chair a special hearing on the freedom rights. it's the only time in almost thirty years worth of work on eleanor roosevelt i find she loses her temper in public. and the purpose of this is to get the kennedy judges who are not holding the civil rights violaters accountable under the law. that doesn't mean they're not doing anything. don't interpret that that as lack day call approach.
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they're not holding them legally liable. she leaves here at 11:00 at night, her chauffeur drives her down to washington, when weldon comes on the stands to testify, some of the attorney general staff and the civil rights division staff are sitting right there. some are friends with whom she worked for her life. one stands up and say they should go to special session. and eleanor said sit down, professor. i didn't come here to equivocate. i have it on tape. she comes back enraged by that experience. and she writes in "tomorrow is now" did not we learn anything from the war? this is what the nazis did to the jews.
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she is mad. but she will not let go of her belief in the country. so this book is a declaration as powerful as the universal declaration of human rights that says that america was born in a vision. that vision wasn't perfect. we had to tweak it all the way. and a lot of times we got it right, and a lot of times we screwed it up. it's continually marching forward. and yet in the early '60s we scummed is a cummed to excessive fear. not hysteria.
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that said we can't change that. it if we do this, somebody is going to come get us. disple about growth. human righting are about political and civil rights. they're about social and economic and culture right. they are about the right to food, the right to shelter, the right to an income. the right to go to school. is the right to dream and to is dare. eleanor roosevelt said if people go to bed hungry every night and they don't have a place to live, how can they dream if they dream democracy fades. and if democracy fades how can we advance our nation and how can we advance the values that we cherish? and this is her summation long
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ago, there was a noble word liberal. which was derived from the word free. now a strange thing happened to that word. a man named hitler mate it a target of abuse. a matter of suspicious, those who were not with him were against him. and liberals had no use for hitler. then another man named mccarthy cast the same approach on the word. indeed, there was a time a short but dismaying time when many americans began to does trust the word which derived from the word free. up with thing we must all do, we must cherish and honor the word free or it will seize to apply to us. that would be an inconceivable
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situation. this, i know, this i believe with all of my heart if we want a free and peaceful world, we can do it. if we want to make the desert bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being, we can do it. but we must do it with courage, integrity, and a high heart. the last sentence that elle inure roosevelt will ever write for a publication is in . -- it was late august, he and his wife may had come to drop their daughter off at college.
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they go to college to see her. she gets up out of bed to see them. sitting insitting in the living room and she's so excited to see them. when they leave she asked the young woman who was staying in the house to bring her a bed tray. and to look at the the manuscript. she's trying to turn the pages to get to the place where it stop -- she wanted to write this sentence. and it's hard for her. and she finally gets there, and she writes this with almost illegible handwriting. which is the monetary of her -- monetary of her life. if we love our country. we should tattoo it on the inside of our eyelids. and this is what it says, "staying aloof is not a
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solution. it is a cowardly evasion" eleanor roosevelt battled nausea, diarrhea, great fatigues, blood dripping down the back of her throat, to write this book. it's her collaron call and her love letter to the american people. i hope it will become an american classic and inspire americans the way it inspired me and human rights leaders and young leaders around the world. and so i appreciate your attention very much. and i would be happy to answer any questions you might have. [applause]
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i'm glad somebody who doesn't know me ask the first question. >> many of us are interested in eleanor roosevelt. i'm sorry to change the tenor of the question. i read in a book -- because i was interested in the diagnosis in medicine that eleanor roosevelt was misdiagnosed. i wanted know what she died of. is that true? the other -- dr. -- professor richard buy ton's lecture he quoted someone who met with her at the end and said she was virtually alone. was she alienated from her children. did anyone care about her at the end? >> i disagree with the characteristickization she was alone. she was misdiagnosed. it's a complicated case. but she died of turk low -- tuberculosis. a weird strand of it. i'm not trying to get in who diagnosed what and all of that stuff. she a very strange condition.
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eleanor roosevelt was angry when she died. she loved people a lot. she had incredible friends, ed that and david, joe and truda. her children. but she was angry. she felt like she had risked herself and basically dedicated her life to this and her husband died for it. and people -- especially elected officials and young party leaders had dropped the ball. and so part of this comes from the story of when steveson goes to read to her in the hospital. t the day of the mismissile
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crisis. he's trying to read "the new york times" to her. she said nothing makes sense. and she rolls over. so she's lonely not because she doesn't know people. not because she doesn't love people. she's trying to say where are the leaders? this is a woman who braved assassination attempts. who traveled without secret service, who wrote 8,337 column, 27 books, 226 and counting articles. and the only time she fired anybody was when they signed her name to something she didn't write. and she is trying to see -- she pins her hope on young people. and this book is really written to the young. to step up to the plate. she knows she's dying and she's done all she can.
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she lets go. that answer your question? [inaudible] how could she been disdiagnosed? >> i can't answer that. there are a ton of articles written on it. but, you know, i'm not a physician. yes? [inaudible] hey, sorry. i didn't see you. >> if you can ask eleanor roosevelt, what would you ask him. what do you think his answer would be? same question for eleanor roosevelt? >> it would be the same question to both of them.
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how did you possibly have the courage to keep faith when you saw every day it wasn't working and you had to send people to die to make it work and fight for it? and to build a country and to see the huge despair of the depression. we say 25% unemployment. that's bunk. that's bunk. we just are taking -- we're just getting unemployment statistics. it's more like 40%. half of every mortgage in the united states was either in foreclosure or one payment away from foreclosure. race rites were pan dam -- pandemic. people blamed themselves. you take that, you deal with a struggle to implement the new deal. you see the new deal work. but at the same time you know if you have 8 million people at work, there are 8.5 million
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people who have no income or job. think about what its like to understand that you have to fight a war and the congress is not there. the draft passes by one vote. one vote! we think happens in a vacuum. it doesn't happen in a vacuum. it's the third step that fdr takes. he's almost breaks the law to do it. and to live with what he knew the casualties would be glum had a better navy than the united states. our soldiers threw softballs for grenade. they carried rifles to train with that were made out of wood. he knew people were going get
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slaughtered. eleanor knew that took. she took it in a different way. fdr was in the white house. he had to stay there. eleanor went everywhere. people tried to kill her. they shot at her like they shot at fdr after he won the election and before he became president. she'll have the largest fbi file in history. she saw the clan go after her. they -- tried to kill her. they fire bombed trees outside of where she stood. they wrapped dynamite around the axe is of her car. they did not stop. if we understood that, imagine what we can do. did i answer your question,
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herb? [applause] david, who great -- wrote a great book on harry hopkins. >> yeah. he had his fight with eleanor and disappointments. iwondered whether you would be willing to talk about eleanor -- whether that can be anybody in today's world that could have the kind of courage, political courage that eleanor had and whether you see it. i mean, what the hope is today that would carry-on her legacy. >> well. it's in the book. i can read it? >> what? >> i can read it. it's in the book. >> as for the dedication, hillary clinton are the leader of my lifetime. they give me courage determination, strength, skill, grit, and laughter. all the things that we need to
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change the world. [applause] >> yes, sir? >> like you, i'm fan gnattic about franklin and eleanor. a revelation came recently that many of the dozen of conversations i've had. franklin roosevelt's polio was considered by many to be considered a defining moment in life. especially making giving him degree of humility. if the revelation that came to me is actually was more of a defining moment for eleanor. and that because of franklin's illnd, she was forced to come out of her shell. and i wondered what your thoughts were. >> i disagree. >> okay. [laughter] i think jeff is brilliant. i think his book on fdr and polio will stand the test of
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time for generation. i think the film in the library that which jeff wrote and are in narratedded is pitch perfect. and incredibly revealing. the fore lore that eleanor became political because fdr got polio. they already redefined their relationship. they had -- she had already begun to be political, and to go out in to resume the work that she had done in the settlement communities, which was, you know, in some ways a effort. she learned a lot. world war i really was the defining thing for eleanor. because she understood the sacrifice that the soldiers were going to face. she defied convention to repeal against proper behavior to have
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conversation with feed and give comfort to men she didn't know as they left on the train to a dirty, soot laden, hot, fealt union station. she became more acquainted with international women. she helped translate for the international conference of working women in washington. she began to see the importance of women's suffrage which she didn't get before. she learned to create her life for herself in a way that allowed her to rebel and not have to leave calling cards for everybody. and then at the same time, the discovery of franklin's love for lucy herrer is, we don't know if it was an affair. we know that franklin -- they loved each other. when they came back to
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reconcile, and he takes her to london and to france after the war. when he goes to investigate the conditions of the american fleet it's -- it has a profound impact on her. she goes to hospitals, she goes to battle fields. she sees unburied soldiers. she sees decimated towns where there are just sticks, you know, burned sticks. she comes home from that determined to work to prevent that. and so she begins to reach tout carrie chapman cat. she becames more aqaipted in ab intimated way. trust friend way as much as she could transcend the various of class. with immigrants and with working
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-- with labor and especially with working women. and so it is a story that the roosevelts created to give eleanor the political cover that she needed to have to go out and help keep his career alive. now did polio -- his polio change her? absolutely. she was terrified by it. terrified for him. and terrified that she was going lose this independents that she craved? a way that would confine her to the bedroom upstairs in the house. she was already tat before then. [inaudible] >> i want to thank you for your comments about eleanor today. it was terrific. i'm intrigued by your comment on public education as a high school history teacher. i have become afraid while i
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know that corporations like mobile exxon are talking about the role of science, education, and matt -- math i'm worried we lose a sense of history. i look around the room and see very interested people and some great provoking thoughtful question. i'm concerned about the missing numbers of young people, you know, i think we need to carry this message through to young people. more so perhaps than anyone else at this point. to followup with that. in term of review on public education, is there an idea -- is this the book her last book? the best subject for her to read on public education or is there an? >> well, she's certain talks about public education here. there are countless column on public education. and speeches she gave on public education. this book it's eleanor writing to juniors, seniors, under
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classmen. i opted to go with penguin classic and paperback so it would specifically be targeted to that community. they are teaching guides that go with it, and i skype in to classroom that will have me. >> terrific. thank you. we're going try to followup. >> okay. god, you're so quiet! who disagrees with me? [laughter] oh, come on! [laughter] i feel like the nap -- nancy grace question. i have a circle of friends that are crazy of eleanor roosevelt. >> i don't mean she's perfect. i'm crazy about her too. >> no. in the new show in the museum. i have only seen half. i was delighted by the fact somewhere it says that fdr found her beautiful. >> yeah. she's gorgeous. >> i can see how -- >> look at this! does this woman look ugly to
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you? go in there and look at her wedding picture. right. look at her high school portrait. i mean, this woman had strawberry blond/reddish hair, piercing blue eyes, and ugly teeth. okay. >> and a beautiful figure. >> and, you know, we do so much in this country to physically disparage people whether they are female or male if we don't like them. they have beer gut, they are bald, we don't like their glasses, we don't like their lipstick, we don't like the clothes they wear. i mean, we have got to be able, you know, to go back to that old adage of judging a person by the content of their character. and part of, i mean, eleanor did magazine spreads for "vogue."
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do i have hate the hair net? >> yes. is there a ground rule in every illustration and i picked for all of the georgia zillion book i have done? no hair net picture. [laughter] but, you know, but that doesn't mean that she's ugly. so when i go in to -- when go in to classrooms who don't know her at all. and, you know, whether they're kindergarten classroom or third grade classroom or, you know, inner-city high school, i say, okay,let get past this. everybody looks at this and see an ugly dead white woman. why should i care about her? once you get that out there and you talk about what she did then you get past it. >> i wasn't addressing that. my real question was that. one, fdr's mother give him a hard time. number one. he was in college when i think they began courting. >> yeah. >> and two, it was pretty
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wonderful for fdr to be able to see her -- i'm not sure everybody considers her beautiful. he did. what does is say about him? >> that he was smart. [laughter] [applause] anybody else? [laughter] wait, wait, wait, we have to share it. okay. >> switching gears. i've read that eleanor was a dry, for prohibition. is that correct? >> i'm sorry? >> that eleanor for was prohibition. >> yes. a dry. i'm sorry. hearing aids sometimes -- umm, her father was an alcoholic, he died of alcoholism and addiction to narcotics. her brother, her beloved brother
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was an alcoholic. she was not a fan of alcohol. as the daughter of an alcoholic, i get that. does that mean that eleanor wanted -- after -- did eleanor try to change fdr's mind on this? no. did eleanor have alcohol served in the white house? yes. as the first press conference. she was the first person to announce that the white house is going serve 3.2% beer. so what she is very -- she drank. she loved a drink. t sort of scary what you know about people. [laughter] she was painfully personally
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aware of how alcohol could exacerbate human frailty. so she'll write columns later on, you know, moderation and her question answer column. should my daughter drink? should my son drink. she's not saying don't drink. she's just saying be careful, watch what it does. -- don't fall in love with the bottle. does that answer your question, david? [inaudible] no, no, no. >> okay. >> i have a question. >> hi. >> you mentioned a couple of times and made a point of pointing out that eleanor roosevelt wasn't perfect. i was wondering what you could elaborate on what some of her flaws we were. thank you. [laughter] you were supposed to be my friend.
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[laughter] umm -- there's sometimes when you want somebody that you admire so much who sees it and wants to speak out against something to go ahead and do it. and to say to your husband, the president, i don't care. i'm going to say it anyway. and so the things, for me, -- the two things that are the hardest for me -- the first is internment. i have to be very clear about this. eleanor was une qvcic belie publicly very, very, publicly opposed to internment before fdr signed the executive order.
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the day after fdr gives the great day of inif in inmy speech which was the day after that she went on the radio to talk about pearl harbor. he was her voice they heard first. they hear his great speech the next day. hers within the happeny either. it's in the new exhibit too. she gets on a plane to fly from washington, d.c., their -- they're going refuel in chicago. she's in la guardia and they're going california. they hear all of these rumors fanned by the hurst newspapers that the japan subs in san francisco bay. eleanor recruits the plane and they go to san francisco and where does she go?
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japanese-american communities. she appears with japanese-americans in major rallies. she goes to tacoma, washington and stands in a major. it's no time for hyphen ens. we are an american rally. we talks to justice william o. douglas who is on the extreme court to get arguments she can use with attorney general francis and fdr against internment. okay. she's very publicly opposed to internment. when fdr signs the exerktive -- executive order, eleanor is silent. however, about 22 months after that, 20 months after that there are riots in the camps. eleanor is in arizona visiting her daughter, and harrold tells the president that, quote, unquote, the camps are
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hemorrhaging to death. and so fdr asks eleanor to go to the camp. she goes to g.i. gila river -- whoand meets with one of the organizers in the riot. they have a long conversation. they continue to correspondent with each other. some of the correspondents which was destroyed. we only have snippets of it. she writes a very painful article called "in defense of american sportsmanship "for every argument she gives for internment. she gives one against it. and you can see how profoundly conflicted she is. she fights with fdr to adopt japanese-american families legally to -- japanese-american pen pal in the
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camp. she sends packages to the camps. she was -- she writes she to justice william in california who was the dissenting judge in the case to try to use his dissent argument to fdr. and she doesn't make that publicly. she splits with fdr and comes out against it in' 44. there's a painful silence. you can tell how distressed she is she writes it disstills my soul to think of american children behind barbed wire. >> the the second thing is -- umm, it's hard to expl


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