in her bicycle basket and she ran and said she knew that was less. >> was a similar see your experience? >> absolutely. i love to read and i went to the library in midland, texas, in the basement of the midland county courthouse. had a library in the center of town and the courthouse that is the center square of my town shows me how important reading and libraries were to everyone in the town. ..
>> to kick off today's book festival, we have kay bailey hutchison kicking off her book, turn to. live coverage on c-span2 of booktv. >> designed to support childhood literacy and increase company volunteerism. through the program, more than 1 million books have been bred and donated to prekindergarten through seventh grade classroom libraries across the country. the search has shown that these years provide a crucial window of opportunity to establish a foundation for future success.
we're teaching them to read, we teach them to learn to love to read. in addition to our reading first program, we gave away 1500 books to children at last year's national book festival and we hope to give away even more this year. for more than 160 years, we have been working with our customers and our communities to help them succeed financially. in 2012, wells fargo invested a total of $315 million in overt 19,000 nonprofits. at wells fargo, we recognize the importance and the significance of supporting organizations that are working to build healthier lives and strengthening our local communities. it is a common fact that a
community prospers when its businesses thrive. schools offer high-quality education and it is affordable, and residents of access to hospitals, banks and other services. wells fargo helps that happen in many ways. and it goes far beyond being a leading provider of financial services. thank you for allowing us to be part of a special celebration this year. we are honored to be here and we look forward to this weekend's festivities. before i relinquish the podium, i would like to introduce carlos. he is our next speaker and the editor of outlook. "the washington post" opinion section, it i read it every week and if you do not, i wish you would. please welcome carlos lozano
area. [applause] >> good morning, and the half on the library of congress we welcome you to the 2013 national book festival. as pete mentioned, i am an editor of the outlook section of the post. the sponsor of the festival has begun 12 years ago. our first author here at the pavilion has made a habit of writing about strong history making american women. and she should know being one herself. it is my great honor to introduce kay bailey hutchison, a three term senator from texas and the first woman ever elected to the senate in the lone star state. when it comes to her writing, she is not a bo ever do x, y, or z. in her book, leading ladies and american heroines, she
chronicles women in business and science and of course, politics. through a series of profiles and portraits. no history can be written appropriately, she has said, without acknowledging the part that women have played in building the greatness of our country. in her latest book, "unflinching courage", she has told the story of pioneering women in her state that she has served for so many years. as a reviewer for the dallas morning news, this is a book that is clearly closest to her heart. there will be time for questions after her remarks that you can approach the microphones here. i should inform you that the presentations are being film for the liber congress libra congress website and we are also on c-span. please be on your best behavior. also, the author will be signing books from 1130 to 12:30 p.m. please join me in welcoming senator kay bailey hutchinson.
[applause] >> thank you so much, and thank you for coming out early to start getting the flavor of this wonderful treasure that the library of congress puts on for our country and especially our children and our booklovers. i am so happy. this is my third presentation. as carlos mentioned, i have written two books about american women trailblazers. i think alexis started out talking about the women of america in his famous trip here in the 1700s. he said when it gets down to the end, when it gets down to the end, i would say that the most important attribute of this state and country is the
superiority of the women. he talked about that they had strong opinions and that men listened to them. so i thought that that was a great beginning. knowing that the earliest women showed a spark that was different. showed an independent and a resilience to them. my first two books were about the american women who broke barriers in the different fields. i was able to show the first woman who made the starting getting into a field, whether it was aviation, politics, education. and i was able to interview the women who were still breaking barriers in the same field. in my first book, american
heroine, i was able to talk about women in an interview madeleine albright, condoleezza rice, and sandra day o'connor, who were breaking barriers in states and politics. after my first two books of my wonderful publisher, harpercollins, they said well, would you like to write another book. and then i came in to the great state that i represent. texas. the role of women in history generally has been less on the market then our great nation than the state of texas. so i thought i would do something on 19th century texas women. it was for a couple of reason. number one, i love my state. number two, there is something
special about texas. and i believe that the spirit of texas was created in the 19th century. there has been a lot of talk about it, as i came into the national scene in the senate. i would see people roll their eyes and we would talk about how great texas was or how big we were or how important we work, so i got used to that as well. and so i thought, you know, there is something different about us. some people like it, some people really do not. but there is a spark in the spirit. i wanted to continue my insistence that women be included in history by writing about this texas spirit. our history is different. we are the only nation that fought for our independence and
became a nation. we fought for our independence from mexico. we were part of mexico in the early 1800s. that revolution and the women who were there during the revolution really showed a resilience. but there was something else with revolution and the trail drives in the ranching and settling of west texas, harsh land in harsh conditions. it was a spirit of not only resilience, but a positive attitude and a happiness and a deity that had impact on our generations, thank goodness, to give us a kind of spark that i think is special. i will quote from a couple of people about texas. someone said get another person
-- yet another person has made another decision and a hard decision as they throw themselves in front of a runaway train. then there is molly ivan, who was a dear friend of mine. who broke the mold after molly ivan. and she said that i dearly love the state of texas, but i consider the harmless provision, which i only discuss with consensual adults. so i know that we are controversial. but i want to go back and look at the beginning. in the early 1800s, it was part of mexico. the women who came to texas would basically -- they were genteel southern women. they had refinement, a quality of life that was pretty good.
they married husbands who were adventurers. why would men from the east coast in the southern states that were already in the united states, why would they come to america -- i mean come to texas, when it was so primitive and pretty open, pretty lawless. here is why. because then so many of the young men are born into families with a lot of kids. a lot of boys and girls and in some families there were 10 kids. even if they had a good life, there wasn't going to be much to be passed down. so the lower of free land is what really brought the men and the adventurers. if you live in texas back then when they were just getting started, and they were trying to encourage people to come from america into this part of
mexico, you got free land. as long as you would harm its end user, you are were able to keep that feeling. so the southern belles came with their hearty husbands and what they found was a stark reality. there was nothing there. there was harsh land, harsh weather, no houses whatsoever. certainly no furniture. so i have a couple of quotes from letters that were written and things that were said back then. my great-grandmother was one of these southern belles. her father was the governor of tennessee. she married her young husband who just graduated from medical school and was setting up his medical practice and they moved
from saint augustine, texas. it was pretty primitive back then. but she wrote this letter that just touched my heart. out in this new country -- she was writing to her sister. dear lizzie, in this new country i have seen no one but strangers. but they are the kinds of people that i have met and the society is a good portion, as good as any portion in tennessee. there seems to be as much refinement as you'll see in any place. there is no such thing as fine houses or furniture because there are comfortable houses but you cannot get give furniture. we are too far from navigation to get such things. by the time we make the money, they will navigate the river. then we can all get the little notions that we fancy that we need. if i had been in tennessee, i would have bought the house.
i thought the house we occupy was not that small. we live in two rooms, it has a passage but not a plain plate overhead, with all these inconveniences, we are getting along finally. i mean, just a positive spirit that that shows in a new place that was really nothing. another book was written in 1831. her cousin is considered the father of texas, was trying to encourage people to come from the east and subtle. he encouraged them to come back from north carolina and write a book to encourage people to think that this was a great land of promise. and she did. she was actually taken with texas in the time that she spent
here. it is not uncommon for them to ride long distances on horseback and attend balls with silk dresses and saddlebags. vigorous constitutions, it re-spirit and spontaneous ddr does, indeed and continue a rich legacy to their children. it is to be hoped they will proficiently value the blessing and not squander it away in their eager search for the luxuries and refinement of polite life. use on 1831 that spark that said things are tough, it is hard. but they are presenting a deity in society and so much fun. read about two of my captors and
margaret houston and sam houston. sam was the commander in chief of the war with mexico for independence and he had already been governor of tennessee but he left tennessee after something happened that has never been really discovered by the historians. that was a disastrous marriage. he married a young and beautiful girl, a liza allen. that's something terrible happened, and it was so bad that he resigned the governorship of tennessee and left. he went and lived with indians, where he had lived several times in his life and was actually a great help to him. when he came to texas and understood there was trouble
with the indians. when the settlers moved in, the indians way of life was to be severely as disruptive. but he understood the indians and he loved the indians and considered himself an indian. in many ways. when he came to texas, he became an immediate hero because he did have a military background and he had thought in a war with the indians. he had a special character and he is really the most famous of the lawyers in texas. he became one the first two senators from texas. but when sam houston came to texas, he had this glory pass and he married margaret houston. he he's gone so much of the time. he was gone to start writing the parameters of the new republic of texas and he was part of the
leadership of texas and texas became a republic and we were a republic for 10 years. and he became one of the first two senators. he and margaret were married. there are two chapters on them because they wrote so much, which was a godsend for historians because it told about life in the early struggles of texas. but margaret was very quiet and very shy. she did not even a company general houston when he became the governor. and he was president of the republic at one point. she didn't even go to austin with him very much because she was very shy. she had the same wit and determination, she was an alabama girl. she met houston after winning the battle of saint gel.
after she had her second child, she had a tumor in her breast and it became very painful. well, he was in washington and she didn't want to trouble him. so she reached out to his best friend, who is a yale educated physician who was also in the revolution and also a great friend. and she said that i have this, i know that there is something growing and it's very painful. and i feel that we need to do something without it. while, he came to see her and he agreed and said we need to do something, i am not the best qualified, but i'm going to come back in a couple of weeks with a the surgeon, and we will take this out. so she wrote sam houston that said, i am in pain, but have a little surgery, it's going to be quick. it will take two minutes and not to worry. well, she had the operation to
take out the breast tumor and because she had been so strong with her husband, sam, that he not drink, but she refused to take the alcohol that doctor smith was urging her to dull the pain and she refused to take it and smith wrote a houston and said, she took it like a soldier and endure this and survived and had more children, and she had a very long and regular life. but of course, with no anesthetic. she had that amazing resilience, just like those girls that came in. thomas rusk, who was the other for senator of texas, he was actually the secretary of war
and he and sam houston were best friends, bonded, and elected by the texas legislature to be the first senators from texas after the tenures of the republic and texas came into the union. i am going to digress for a moment and say to texas to come in to the united states first under a treaty because we were a nation, of course, and the treaty was signed. but they could not get the two thirds vote in the senate to ratify the treaty. so president tyler said, all right, i'm going to introduce a resolution and we will pass it along to let texas into the united states. well, john quincy adams, who had come back to the house of representatives by then after being president, filibustered the entry of testis into the united states for days on end,
every day. every day he did so until finally he was worn out. at the end, texas came into the united states by one vote in the house and one vote in the senate. so i like to tell my friends in texas when i'm going back, and we have had all of the wars that we have been fighting in the senate for texas, but it's not you that don't love us in washington. they never have. but thomas rusk was the first senator along with sam houston. because they were in the revolution, i thought he wrote something in the report to the president of the new republic about the battle that again told the tale of the greatness of texas women. he said the men of texas deserve much credit. but moore was due to the women.
armed men facing a foe could not but be brave. but the women, with their little children around them, without means of defense or faced danger or death with "unflinching courage" and that is the name of the book. it was true that that they face the perils of settling texas with so many obstacles. they feared that the mexican army was coming into the east and they fled in what was called the runaway street. many of the children died. my great-grandmother was in the runaway scrape going towards this and all four of her living children died. when she came back, her husband was signing the texas this declaration of independence and
she was going and struggling by herself. she came back to nacogdoches and reunited and have nine more children. so these hardy women did their part. it was a life that they embraced and loved. moving on, the next biggest challenge was the settling of the west. and that is where there was nothing, literally nothing. at least in the eastern part of texas they had trees so they could build the log cabins and have a place with a roof over their heads. but when they got out to west texas there were not very many trees. when you talk about harsh land, there are places where there is nothing but grass. there may be holes.
these women were going out, and this is where the indian raids became much more prominent because the indians were being moved out of their land, especially the cherokees, about whom much has been written. they were very harsh. i mean the comanches. not the chiefs. the comanches would -- they would brutalizes families that were out there basically with no means of defense. they would kill women, old people, children. one woman that was captured, and the great historian wrote that the ones that were killed were the lucky ones because the ones who were captured were really terrorized. one woman wrote and lived to write about her time. she talked about the fact that
she was 18 years old which is captured and pregnant. the indians let her have the baby, then they killed the baby in front of her and threw it in her lap. that was the kind of harshness when they started going out west. here again we are talking the 1850s, 60s, 70s. the women were so resilient and amazingly so in the face of such harsh conditions. one of the women who was a subtler, who started also going on the trail drives with their husbands. once you were out in west texas, you were raising cattle. but you have to get the cattle to market to make your money so that you could keep building. well, the trail drives would go on these old historic trails
like the chisholm trail or the goodnight loving trail, many of these would go on horseback or covered wagon in the cattle would be moved on foot from texas, sometimes the south texas all the way to kansas, missouri, colorado. the women would dare to go with their husbands. one of those women was a liza bunton johnson. this was lyndon johnson's grandmother. i didn't know about her, although she was in the books, but i have not dwelt on a part of the tarot books about lyndon johnson. but lucy johnson was giving me my children a 200 of the johnson
ranch which is a national park and a preservation area. she was giving us a tour of the house that they had grown up in and were part of that range. she talked about her great-grandmother, who had been out there in johnson county in johnson city in that area. and how she had survived an indian raid in their home by hiding under the house and putting a rug over the trapdoor that she had gone under and putting a diaper in her baby's mouth so that the baby wouldn't cry, and she heard the indians, in. she stayed down there, and she took the horses outside and then
she heard footsteps back in and her husband was crying or it just out loud, thinking that she had been taken or killed. so she opened the trap door and came out. this is what was passed down. and i said, oh, my gosh, she should be in the book. and i went back and did verify all of the things that lucy had said and a lot of it was in the caro books. there was also a letter that wasn't in the caro books, but we found it in our research that was written by one of the young cowboys. we put it on the payroll and he wrote to his father. this was 1871 now.
i am the hero of this account. writing out with mrs. johnson a mouse in advance of the train, i shot a deer. if they were in front of us, that means that this was the most change in trend dangerous part of the trail drive. that she had done that. it said it when it was written about her that a liza bunton was gently reared, she was one of the southern women who was genteel that took to the frontier life like the heroine that she was. she often saw horses -- it depends near the house with
airways sticking in their flanks. so she was another of the women that came forward. two other ones were women that presided over very famous ranches. the king ranch at one point was the largest ranch in the world. it started in texas with a hard drinking ship captain, richard king, who met this lovely creature who had come to south texas and her parents were horrified. but she was in love and they got married. it was great because she stopped drinking, she did stop enough of it to make him the productive person that he was. but she started her life as the
doyenne of the greatest ranch in the world, but she started it in a mud hut, because they were not trees other to build a log cabin. so she was happy in her mud hut and talked about what a wonderful honeymoon they had and the times that they were able to ride out together. that mud hut of which there is a picture in the king ranch archives, it didn't even have room for her kitchen utensils. so they were hung outside on the hut. they found women who came in and through their of influence helped to shape the men into the successes that they were. i transitioned into the 20th century with another woman that i revere the did so much to
blaze the trail from women. she was the woman who actually started this at the request of general george marshall when the war was just heating up in the late 30s, early 1941, george marshall said to her, because she had been volunteering in the run-up to the water, he said i want you to give me the things that women can do that will take the men and put them in combat, and we can have the desk jobs done by the women and let them be a part of this effort. she loved that and she drew up the things that she said the women could do, which were 236
functions. then she gave him a list of the people that she thought she had worked with it would be qualified to form this great club, the women's of celery army corps. and she gave him all of this. george marshall said no, i want you. and she said oh, no, i live in houston, i have a husband and children in houston. not me. and then marshall talked to her husband who had been the former governor. and her governor has been said, of course you're going to serve your country when you are asked. and so she did so she put it together and they were an incredible success. what she said was that with all
of the things, douglas macarthur once said that blacks are my best soldiers. they are better disciplined than the men and they became so successful that in the end they had hundreds of other responsibilities because they had been such a great group of people that did a great job. so that was the transition. i have about 10 minutes left in trend left and i would love to take your questions. this is something that is dear to my heart. i am so pleased that i have been able to share with you some of the things about the great women that have really helped to shape america that was recognized as early as the 1700s that gave america the advantages we have. thank you.
[applause] >> you have a question? >> i have a question. >> that was wonderful, thank you. do you feel like if there are more than women in congress now we would have a little bit more productivity? [laughter] [applause] >> i have to say that my experience in working with my women colleagues has shown that we do find a way to go forward with wins on both side and make progress for our country. i have to say that. i have been the chairman and breaking member of the different committees with dianne feinstein and arba mikulski and we have a way of getting down to business, kind of like douglas macarthur
said. we are organized. we kind of say, this is where i am. you tell me where you are. and it's not that we compromise principles. we stand for the principles that we are able to move forward and do so many important things via allowing the basics of negotiation, which are that both sides can win something and move an agenda forward. then you have the people to decide if you are going the right direction. because thank heavens, we have great elections but we give the people the chance to say yes or no. [applause] >> the governor had a couple of daughters. i was wondering, excuse me. i was wondering what their contribution to texas was?
>> who did you say to governor hobby? >> governor hogg. >> oh, okay. he gave a great constitution per se. and he was a contributor to the great state of texas. he has given so much to the history and culture of our state. the home that she had in houston is called bio band. it is a house of treasures of beautiful artwork that she preserved through the years and then donated to the people of texas and the people of houston, texas, and it's one of the finest furniture collections probably in the world. it is open for tours, it has
beautiful grounds right in the center of houston. it is a park as well as a beautiful mansion with very refined furniture. so there were rumors that hogg had two daughters. it was kind of a joke that there was an ima and a ura. but it was a great governor, he was hogg. >> i read nine women and counting in micro-scout troop. it sounds like in this book you are focused a great deal on women who have a connection to the leaders of the state. do you have any reflections of some of the lesser-known, like maybe susanna dickinson? >> absolutely, she is in the book. i have a number of lesser-known
women whose stories have not been told before. the women who went on the trail drives in the first woman in trent woman known to have had a baby on trail drive. susan dickinson told the most accurate history of what actually happened during the fight at the alamo. she survived and did tell her story. jane long, who is called the mother of texas, as well. nine and counting, the first book, not counting my three, but the reason i met my publisher was that "nine and counting" was written by the topic of women in the senate at that time. maryland was still having terrible murders and assassinations, they were fighting. we have the women who came from
both sides of the northern ireland factions. they came and they wanted to meet with the women senators. we did. we met with them and we each hold her stories to try to encourage them that they could be a force for peace. because we all overcame obstacles and we talked to them about the obstacles that we have overcome and we also talked about the divergence of our backgrounds. we have conservative republicans like me. we had liberal democrats like the other women of the senate and we had such diversity in our way of being elected. but we all had obstacles. we all knew how to work together. when we came together in the senate, we made a difference. because the men listened to us on women's health care and the thing that we knew that we had
credibility on. every time the women of the senate, not one woman in trent woman voted against the violence ends women act. republicans and democrats came together. there were compromises to try to make sure that it was a write lock doing the right things. but when we came together, we passed legislation and we talked about that these irish women. the northern irish women. that was the first book, "nine and counting." we even had a sequel to it after others came to the senate. hillary clinton was elected, and of course there was so much of tristan hurts that we had a sequel to "nine and counting." and we agreed that it was important for us to donate all of the proceeds to the girl scouts. so they started a leadership group that was from the proceeds
of that book. yes? >> first of all, thank you for your wonderful series of books documenting the history of women. i know that you are a strong supporter of getting a national women's history museum here near the mall. >> yes. >> my question is what do you think the chances of ever getting approval through congress to buy the land is? there is no funding required, it's just approval to buy the land. >> the women's museum should be a part of the history of this country. that is something that i have to say -- cokie roberts has been another of these women. it's not that we are denigrating what the men dead. oh, my goodness, they were so brave and hearty and they were visionary to write a
constitution and declaration of independence. but there was an impact of our women. to make sure that is in the annals of our history and to show the young people about overcoming obstacles. including what the women did to make sure that there was an equal voice. if you look at the world, the countries that have the lowest economies are the countries that do not include the women in the economy. it is an issue for children and families that women have the ability to be a part of society and to be the professionals that can teach our children and treat our people in medicine. those that have so much to offer. because of the input of women. the product is better and it's proven if you look at the global economies of the countries that do have women in equal parts in
our society versus those who don't. yes, i think that we will get it. meryl streep has been one of the leading individuals in that movement to have a museum. and my colleagues, susan collins, all of the women senators are supportive of this. it is something that will happen, just like the right to vote. but it can be done with a positive effort. we are not mad or down or morose. but we will keep going with a positive attitude that has the mark of women on america. [applause] >> is at the end? can i go one more? >> no. >> okay, that was my last time. thank you all so much. it was great to be with you.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching live coverage of the 13th annual national book festival on c-span2 on booktv. senator kay bailey hutchison you can see coming off the stage that. she is on her way over to join us on our set and she will be taking your calls. the numbers are on the screen if you'd like to dial in if you have a question for her. (202)585-3890 for you in the eastern and central time zones and 585-3891 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zone. she will be over here in just a moment. if you want to go ahead and die
along in, feel free to. this is the 13th annual national book festival held on the mall. don't get too wet out here on our makeshift set. it is the 15th year of booktv as well. this is the 13th year that we have covered this festival live3. you can watch all of our programs, and you can watch online at booktv.org. if you want to check out booktv.org, the full schedule of our shows is there and you can also get schedule updates via
twitter. like us on facebook and you can get schedule updates all day long. joining us on this that is kay bailey hutchison, former senator kay bailey hutchison. now, you started your talk by describing the women in the 19th century who came to texas as genteel southern women. a lot of people think of texas as a rough-and-tumble place. do these women remains genteel southern women? >> you know, i think that they did. of course they had to adapt because it was hard. but i do think that they brought goodness with them. they brought their pianos. they did want to make sure that there was a quality of life. they kept the refined
backgrounds that they adopted to the harshness in a very resilient way, as well as a positive way. that is what i thought really set them apart in so many ways. let me just say that when i graduated from law school i couldn't get a job i thought it was very difficult -- a door closes and a window opens -- i went through a town and i stopped at a television station and i walked in and i said, i would like to apply for a job and i ended up getting a job as a television news reporter.
and there was an obstacle course that i went through. or selected to the legislature and then state treasurer and the united states senate. >> when did your family come to texas? >> my family came to texas in 1828 my great-grandfather, he made his way to texas and he was actually trained in the law and he was catholic. so i say a lot of people marry a catholic woman or declare it to be that. but he was real, and he was part of the sellers and he signed the declaration of independence and became the chief justice of the county and was a great friend of
sam houston. so my roots to go way back. >> we are talking with kay bailey hutchison, her book is "unflinching courage: pioneering women who shaped texas." first call is sally. good morning to you. you are on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: good morning. my question is about the mexicans. >> yes, there were times when many of them stayed in the early days, but it was hard for them of course. because there was a revolution. and it was a hardship.
but the early women that came in helped to settle this. >> norwalk, connecticut, please go ahead. >> caller: i thank you so much for the weight you are bridging the gap and you are a peacemaker i would like to hear about the women involved in the military. >> well, i didn't hear what she said. >> the women involved in the military? >> oh, yes, i pulled out the first women involved in the military who became officers. that was really mad century of last century and the 40s and the great job that they did.
they then became part of the army and admirals and generals and i worked with the women in many ways because i was on the armed services committee and also on the defense appropriations committee. there were certain things that we did for women both in health care and as prisoners of war, making sure that families got the best quality of life that we could give them. i am very close to the women that have served in our country, and they are fabulous women in the military. leaders that are so much a part of our military. >> when he missed about the senate? >> i don't miss it.
i think you should want to come and serve and do your best. but i believe it should serve the entrepreneurism and free in free enterprise and i love being in the private sector. >> any future elected office for you? >> no, not at all. i love what i'm doing. i wrote books and i love doing that. i wrote on the subjects that i talk about, i'm on the bank of america advisory board. lots of things i'd love to do and i wouldn't trade it. >> we have sam in silver spring, maryland. we are on booktv with kay bailey hutchison. >> caller: thank you. i wanted to ask why the senator did not mention the atrocities committed by native americans on why, you went into the
atrocities -- you mentioned the white woman and her baby. >> he said atrocities against women. >> okay, yes. some of the indians were very peaceful. i did say in my talk that of course the indians were reacting against the settlement particularly in the west because the sellers were encroaching on their way of life in the land that they had roamed. so i think we certainly all understand that. the comanches were particularly brutal and that has been written about significantly. because they did such atrocious things to the captives when they took them. that was something that certainly should be a part of history. but the fact that they were pushed out is also certainly a part of history as well.
>> senator kay bailey hutchison, while you were talking i was thinking of contemporary texas women. >> oh, yes, barbara bush, so many. we have this spirit that i have talked about in the book. the brazilians with a positive attitude and it is shown in all of the women that you have mentioned. many of them are in my books. this one were the last two because that has caused women in texas to be able to be governors and senators. yet it's considered a rough-and-tumble state, and one
of the quotes in my book is that texas is heaven for men and dogs and hell for horses and women. well, that is kind of the attitude. we have made women leaders. we know how to work with others, and i think that says a lot about texas. actually the men are supported and they like strong women. >> next up is julia in buckley, washington. >> thank you. i'm wondering if mrs. kay bailey hutchison has children, who raised them and where are they today? >> i have 212-year-olds. i have bailey and houston. he is named for sam houston in my great-grandfather charles taylor.
they are in dallas where i live. that is where i spend most of my time. they are great kids. i have had an enrichment in my life. to be able to have these children and be a great part of their lives. they are in school in dallas. >> next up is gone in fort worth texas. >> caller: hello, you had mentioned sam houston in the tragedy involved with him. i was wondering if you could talk more about what that was. also i have converted and become a baptist and i was wondering if you knew any issues about influential issues on conversion. >> sam houston converted to baptist? >> oh, yes.
he was catholic at one time, baptized at another because that is part of mexico. and margaret did have an influence on him. he would write her letters, she did have an influence and he would write about what the pastor said in washington dc and she was a devout baptist. >> wireless this catholicism angle taken early on. ..
benefactor, and philanthropist. she -- her poem said in houston, texas. she gave it to the public. it's a beautiful museum of fine american fur churn. the grounds are lovely. they have azeal ya fest value there every year. i'm. >> does anyone point out that unfortunate combination of names? >> i'm sure there was a reason that governor -- he must have had a sense of humor. i was in she probably didn't have much to say about it. knowing what she must have gone through in her life, but she turned out to be a lovely woman. remembered on her own for the great deeds she did.
>> -- >> caller: good morning. i wantedded to know if you have anything about family that is part of my husband's family from texas in your book? >> i'm sorry, i don't. i love know more about her. but i don't have her in my book. i don't know if she was 19th century, but so the book that i have today is -- >> well, ovita was the wife of william b. for whom the air force is named. he was the governor of texas. ovita in her own right was a
trailblazer in texas. she was a businesswoman. the houston post and the television news stations that were started with governor. she and later her son and daughter together built the communications empire. she became even more wealthy in her own right, but her contribution to america was great. she started the at general marshall request. she made it what it was, the great success, which became the precure or so -- cursor of women in the military. she became the secretary of health and human services. she went with roosevelt as the head of the wacc to england and might eisenhower on a trip during the war. she thought she was a great man. how to they --
though they were a prominent democratic family, she went out on her own supported eisenhower for president. when he won, he asked her to be in his cabinet. she was. she was a prominent political figure her son's -- lieutenant governor was texas for years as a democrat. they in the democratic poll. her daughter jeez can would marry to the republican henry, who was ambassador to the court of saint james, and a republican administration. reagan. so reagan or bush xiv. they have an ability to be leaders. she and both her children were leaders. now their children are also prominent leaders in texas. some republicans some democrats. it's very -- a prominent nominee is given much to our strait. >> how strong is the --
[inaudible] we read about that every once awhile. >> no, you know. in the treaty, in which texas came -- under which texas came, there is the right to rekind fie states. we, of course, any state, i guess, has a right. but it's not a serious movement. probably neither one are serious. sometimes they are unfairly treated in washington. i've dealt with a lot of battles. there's a succession movement and people are mad, but in fact we're a great state of america. we're a great part of america, and any thought of states -- succession, i think are not realistic. certainly not in my lifetime. >> kay bailee --
bailey hutchison. this is the fourth? >> the fourth and counting -- the third that is mine. and on my own. >> barbara in st. louis. good morning to you. >> caller: miss hutchinson. first of all, i want to thank you for the book you contributed to -- am i on? >> we're listening.. >> caller: okay. i'm sorry. all you contributed to our government. you just terrific inspect is a story. i've been through river bend and through the gardens, it is indeed very beautiful. but i read somewhere that when hog's grandfather found out that he was going to give the name to the daughter. he wrote night and day to get there before the kristining --
cris have you ever heard it story? >> i haven't. you know it had to have been controversial at the time. i'm sure it was hard on her. what a name, but yet, look at the resilience and the survivor-mentality created by it. because she became a loved figure, and in texas people don't think about anymore. i can't imagine what her child life was like. >> an economy kentucky. >> caller: good morning. i would like to say you are a great lady, you have done a good job in the u.s. senate and everything. i have a couple of questions. i know, you -- would you consider doing that again in texas? also, if, like, rand paul or, like, cruz, or mr. perry, if one of those three, like, run for
president. would you consider being, like, a vice vice presidential candidate with one of them? >> that is such a nice thing. of course, as you know, under the constitution, you can't have two people from the same state running as president and vice president. i certainly that would be a bar. but i really love my time serving in the senate. i loved my colleagues, i love -- you have two wonderful senators from missouri, i love the time that i did. i think we do better in our country when there is a cycling. new people come in with new ideas, and fresh approaches and i'm very happy doing what i'm doing. i love the book writing, i love the speech making, i love the global advisory board i'm on. i'm doing things that i really
enjoy, and feel like are a contribution. i have a law center at the university of texas, kay bailey hutchison center for latin-american law. i want to promote trade with mexico, central and south america. i want texas to be the law school you can get a joint degree with the mexican-law school. you can serve to increase the trade and commerce with our southern part of the hemisphere, which i think, is the best alliance question make. i'm doing things they love. i want to keep doing them. >> kay bailey hitchson, do you run in to george w. and laura bush? >> i do. they are wonderful citizens of our state. they do so many good works, and laura is also doing so much to help women in countries where women's rights are not really respected, she has done so much
to promote that. when president bush was in office he was promoting the treatment of afghan woman. i think they have done so much. they keep doing good work. in fact, i'm doing my book presentation in the barbara bush literacy deal we're having in october in dallas, texas. they have sthor -- authors that come together. it's something that barbara bush has done to promote literacy, especially among adults when they can't read she has done so much. so i love the bushes, they have been great for our nation. they're still doing good work, both of them. >> eleanor in silver spring, maryland. you are on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hi. i've been watching the first
lady series on c-span, and there is an aspect there on that show about steel. steel magnolia, i wondered if you could comment. >> senator hutchison, in case you're not familiar, c-span is doing a series on the first ladies that we just kicked off the second season. it's automatic 20th century. last week was mrs. william howard taft. this coming monday are the wilson wives and all the way through michelle obama. but the steel mag -- mag -- magnolia. i do profile of the first ladies, and, you know, they are the unpaid women of the country. they are ambassadors for our country, and they have done so
much to improve the quality of life whether it is just they know nancy reagan did. the literacy, which barbara bush did. certainly michelle obama doing nutrition and good habits for our children. laura bush has done so much to help women in the countries where they aren't equal partners, and i think our first ladies -- hillary, also, helping women in other countries. hillary and were the honor co-chairs where we bring in the women who have stood up to regimes that have suppressed women, and we honor them and we encourage them to keep making their contributions to the country. all of our first ladies have had mark on our country that has been positive. i'm so glad that you are continuing to do those all the
way through our present first lady because we should do more to assure their good deeds are rewarded by a part of our history. >> the last -- kay bailey hutchison comes from shirley in wisconsin. hi, shirley. shirley? turn down the tv. go ahead. >> caller: hello? >> hi. >> hello. my son made trip to europe last spring, and he a bus trip to paris, france, texas has its own u.s. embassy. it's a texas embassy. is that true? he saw it! but why would texas have its own embassy?
>> well, there's not an official texas embassy. there is a if it's a texas office that was there or there is a historic building, i know there was one in london that was a texas embassy. possibly one when texas was a republic. we did go to france to try to help raise money -- we were trying to raise money for our war efforts. so there might have been one there. i'm not good on that part of history, but i know there was one in england as well that has been preserved, and -- but could be a restaurant called the texas embassy too. who knows? >> what is it about texas? >> it's a spirit that is positive and resilient and can laugh at ourselves. >> "unflinching courage: pioneering women who shaped texas." kay bailey hutchison's latest
book. here is the cover. published by harper. she's been the guest here at the 13th annual national book festival in washington, d.c. senator, welcome back to washington. >> thank you. it's great to be with you. thank you for booktv. it does a great job. >> thank you for watching. we appreciate it. >> i love your viewers. >> we will let the senator go on about her day now. the i want to show you what is coming up next. next is charles. we're doing a call-in program with him as well. "the centrist manifesto." nakedeconomic.net in case you're interested. he'll be coming up in a minute. as i mentioned earlier it's the 15th year of booktv on c-span2. we started in 1998. 13th year of the book festival. the national book festival. the first one was in 2001, it was two days before 9/11, and
that day a lot of authors revered. laura bush kicked it off. she's the founder of this book festival as well as the texasbook festival. well-known historian was speaking in 2001 at the national book festival. here is a little bit of him. >> in the case of john dammeds and abigail adam it's possible because what they wrote and their letters to each other and others member of the family, and their diaries to know them better than we can know any of the founders. not even franklin, for all that he wrote, ever really takes us, if you will, in to his confidence the way that john adams did. john adams pored out the inner most feelings all of his life on paper. sometimes to his detriment. sometimes he tell us more than he really should.
he was a wonderful writer as was abigail. either one of them could have been a professional writer. scrolled had a career as a reporter or as a biographer or novelist. they had a perfectly super command of the language. one releases when one thinks of what they had to go through just to get through day in the 18th century, the discomforts, the labor, the hard work, the threat to one's health or one's security. in everyday life beginning early, beginning about 5:00 in the morning. the idea that the end of such a long strenuous day, putting up with inconveniences and concerns that never even enter our minds today. they would then sit down by a candle at the kitchen table or a little desk in philadelphia in
some cramped boarding house room, and with a quill pen write the letters they wrote is really exceptional. and humbling. humbling. one of the reasons that i tried as best as i could to explore that other time, and that was a very different time from ours, is that it seems to me that we can never ever know enough about that founding generation, that founding era. we must never ever take it for granted. we must understand what they did and against the odds they faced. against the personal sacrifice and the danger and the risk of life one signed one's name to the declaration of independence. one was signing one's own death warrant. you were supporting you were a
traitor, and if caught, you would be hanged at best. legally you could be drawn and quartered. and it's not inconceivable it could have happened. the temptation always is that look back at times passed as events happening in a prescribed order. we're often taught that way in school. this follow, follow that, follow that. you'll get straight and memorize it. it's going to be on the test on thursday. [laughter] what -- therefore, you come away thinking it was on a track. it was preor dane -- preordained. in fact, nothing was ever on a track. all the events of times passed whether they be great moment in history of the country or the world or the events in an individual life could have gone off in any number of different
directions for any number of different reasons anywhere along the way. and most importantly, you have to keep in mind what they didn't know there's a kind of human beingous of the present. we look and say they didn't behave very intelligently. they should have done this or that and why didn't they realize such and such was going happen? well, that's the huge advantage and the arrogance of hindsight. they don't know how it's going come out. none of them. they a poll of the country and the colonies in 1776, decide whether to go ahead ahead with the declaration of independence and the revolution. they would scrapped the whole thing. only about third of the country were for it. another third were adamantly against it. and the remaining third in the good-old human way were waiting to see how it came out. [laughter]
the idea that this scattered small population settle element that only reached about 50 miles inland along the eastern shore was going revolt from the most powerful empire in the world and succeed of on the face of it preposterous. that was from the 2001 book festival. the first ever. we're back live at the 13th annual national book festival in washington, d.c. you can see the crowds, the capitol, we're between the capitol and the washington monument, and we're covering events in the history and biography. we are also doing author call-ins. we are pleased to have joining us author charles who has written this book "the centrist manifesto." >> is it a call for the third
party? >> and/or a third-party movement fop recapture the process. we couldn't be talking about it at the better time given what happened in congress. the looming show down. one would argue, certainly i would, that the team captured the process, and the folks in the middle have been disempowered. it's a call and strategy to kind of recapture some political strength for the middle which is where most americans are going and more are going. >> a lot of people heard your answer and a lot of people saying been there done that. >> we have been there and done it from the extreme. needer messed up. he was not middle. if they are history buff they're thinking teddy roosevelt and the bull moose party. we have third party movements. they tend do two things. one is a mistake they tend to come from outside the main stream. you think of voters as the bell curve, which i do. i wrote a book about stakes.
most people are in the middle. if you have a third party movement coming from the tail. that's a different dynamic. we talk about coming from the middle. second, people focus on the presidency, which is a -- the electorial college there is no way a third party mothere is no way a third party movement is going win the presidency. they're not going to do well in the house either. the the strategy in the book is built around the senate which is, to say if you can muster some centrist rings in a handful of states. there are 22 states that have a center from one party and a senator from one. we know these are places where the folks in the middle name the difference. it you can run a sentries in an open seat and you know what they'll going do. they go to the primary and the primary they're going to talk crazy talk. the democrats will say thing they try to walk back. the republicans will say things they're going walk back. they expect they can do the etch sketch. what romney has given us. i didn't mean that. i -- instead there will be a centrist
candidate in the middle. all the person has to do is hold 34% of the vote. not 50%. and you've got a centrist senator. that's not nearly as hard as trying to win the presidency. >> if your view, has the two-party system always been broke someone. >> no. i think there have been times particularly in the senate we had working groups, bipartisan working groups, the gang of something. you see it to this day, and a lot of really good legislation came out of those working groups. i do think there was a period -- must have been about the late '90s you had a mass series of retirements. bill nancy, a handful of relatively moderate senators. when we lost the folks and seeing more partnership at large, the senate lost some of its tooblght do that. when it's working well, you see the best of the u.s. government coming out of the senate, and coming out of the bipartisan working groups. i want to inject more centrist
voices so the tobacco -- so the gang of six becomes the gang of 12. "the centrist manifesto" is the name of the book. we put the phone lines on the screen. if you would like to participate here on booktv. 202- 58 if you also make comment on our facebook page our twitter page. twitter.com/booktv. facebook.com/booktv. what is your background that you're writing a book about centrist? >> my background forced know write a book. it's almost wrote by accident. i was making madder. there are probably three experiences. one is my first job out of college. writing speeches for -- probably better known as olympia snowe's husband. at the time governor of maine. >> a democrat. >> a republican. one of the last -- he was a new england
republican. rockefeller republican. moderate republican. pro-choice. very involved in k through 12 education. you would say a democrat. fiscally conservative, the old breed of republicans who are perhaps close to extinction. after that i became a policy person. so in public policy. i wrote for the economist. i've been involved in politics, now i was watching it as an outsider, then studying it. so thinking about everything through the lens how you fix social security and so on. then the last piece was i was a candidate. i was in chicago for almost twenty years, happy my teaching. and obama gets elected. more relevant he appoints rahm emanuel as a chief of staff. he was my congressman. nobody was queered up there's no successor.
no machine, and the last piece is rewe just elected president a guy that taught at the university of chicago. i said wait a minute. i teach there! i decided if i was going care enough i ought to be willing to get in the ring. i ran for that seat as a fiscally conservative democrat. my politics hasn't moved very far from the speech writing. i'm in the other party, and i realized there were incidents i can't get out of a democratic primary. i had a wife that became a math teacher in an inner-city school. i think performance-base pay and what i have to do. if i said something offensive. we don't have to use it. and it's just like, okay you're
going to endorse me. i can't win the primary. i realized i was a person without a party, and i was not great. there are a lot of people like me out there. and that combination of experiences that drove me to this. charles wheelan is our guest. how do you define centrist. walk us through it. >> it's not just a series of mulgding comprises. there has to be a certain prague pragmatism involved. it's a -- i would argue take the best of each party. there are a lot of good thing about both parties. what do we like about the democrats? i think the sheeter in the right place. the richest country in the take the welfare spending and channel it to people who need it most, i think the democrats are right on the environment. i don't think they are terribly effective in what they propose, but there are certainly relative to republicans. we should be doing something about environmental responsibility. i think the republicans are
right on the fiscal issue, i don't think they're going to about it the right way. i don't they actually have done much. they talk a good talk. bush was not fiscally conservative when you look at the math. the idea is important. there are a lot of republicans who care a lot about this. if you take a couple of simple concepts, so fiscal responsibility, we have to get the long-term books in balance. environmental responsibility, just with those two bumper stickers, i've eliminated both parties. i would argue neither party at the base is fiscally responsibility and environmental responsibility. they make sense together. they are both about not living better today at the expense of tomorrow. i would throw in social tolerance, and thing means both being pro gay marriage. it doesn't realistically effect people not involved in the marriage. i would also say it means if you want to have a gun in your home you can have a gun in your home nap doesn't affect anybody outside. as soon as you take it outside, we need talk. and i would say genuine
deployment economic opportunity. i think both parties talk the game. neither party has delivered. we have to get back to a place in the face of income inequality and precurious middle class we offer an opportunity for everybody born in the country. that's it! >> robert in jackson, tennessee. you're the first call with charles wheelan. hi. >> caller: good morning. i tuned in the last ten minutes, but living in the west tennessee area in the south has many small cities, i think we are more conservative. we always say that. we have a movement in west tennessee called constitutional party. we're focusing on moderate senator lamar alexander. and lot of us feel like a small minority are making the decisions for the entire country. even in both parties. how do you see that --
[inaudible] we feel like nobody listens to us. he -- who shows up in primary elections. it's the base. their opinions are not always in sync with the electric trait. those are the photos who -- folks who are choose on the ballot. they are folks, by the way, who are waiting in the wings to knock off any incumbent who has the awe disty, i would argue the wisdom, to make a comprise on some of the things we have to do. slox the folks who are showing up in primaries, giving the base, are the ones we get to pick from on the general election ballot. we're going to continue to get a system that is polarized as a result. now, i would also argue that it's kind of our fault, which is why do the people who show in the primary have so much power? they show up in the primaries! the rest is -- if we're not
willing to pay attention, we're not willing to engage. we're getting what we deserve. what i offered as centrist party, i would hope, a place with the middle can actually get energized and show up! >> have we had a centrist president? >> we've had presidents with centrist-tendencies. i think it worked reasonably. clinton, at its best, was willing to comprise with the republicans. welfare reform, nasa, and other things like that from a policy standpoint a lot of things were significant pieces of legislation. certainly reagan, if you look at on the tax policy side, the most significant tax overhaul we've ever had. we need to do again. there was a tax reforeign of -- reform of '86 reagan was whetted to lower rates. that made perfect sense. it was dan, democrat from chicago who was chair of ways & means, bob who was chair of the senate finance committee. that was a purely bipartisan effort, and reagan was willing
to comprise with those folks. they were willing to comprise with the president. i think we have had absolutely presidents with centrist-tendencies. and legislative leaders willing to meet them. we're not seeing enough of that, probably, right now. >> where do we see harry reid, mitch mcconnell, and john boehner. >> let me answer a slightly different question. what happens to them if we manage to elect the centrist senators? we didn't get to talk about the last -- there are a you have to roll to up one step further imagine a senate that is 47 democrats, 6 centrists, and 47 republicans. they are the swing vote, and your question earlier. they're not crazy on the poll. they are not the smallest coalition in the israeli parliament tear coalition. they are right in the middle; therefore, they're the ash terrors that bridge the two parties. one is nobody an enemy. you can't --
you can turn to the republicans and say, if you're serious about tax reform, here is six votes. turn to the democrats, if you're serious about putting a price on carbon, here is six votes. back to your question about harry reid and mitch mcconnell. i don't see you think see them. the first decision the chamber has to make is who is the majority leader? there is no majority. republicans won't put up mitch mcconnell and the democrats won't put up harry reid. who is the most conservative person question put up? who is also going to get six centrist vote. it's almost like baseball arbitration. we know the house is difficult chamber. you change the i i did nam knick term of who leaves the chamber. >> nakedeconomics.com. up next is phil calling from new york state, hi, phil. >> caller: hi.
i really enjoy the listening to your guest, and i have a question. i'm a moderate republican, which is i feel like maybe i'm getting instincts or something. and my question is, as it come down to who do i dislike more tea partyers or teachers unions to decide who i can support now. i also agree with what the weak -- as republican, i think the middle or whatever you want to call it centrist we get what we deserve. we don't show up for primaries than you deserve what you get! so maybe we're whistling in the dark trying to get, you know, centrist people to take action and go out and vote in primaries. little things like that is almost too much. >> you describe as a moderate republican, you touched a little bit on teachers union or tea parties. could you name two or three issues where you stand on those?
>> deficit we have cut spending and raise taxes. there's no getting around. the smatch right there. two republicans are raising taxes. no, no, no. the other side to cut spending. i'm -- i guess i'm a minority there, but anyway, i'm talk too much. i appreciate listening to your guest, and your book. thank you! >> if we can't make him a centrist. it's not going work. what i want to do is give him a party that he would be excited about. he's exactly right. most of america goes to the general election and hold their nose and say does what the other guy say bother me. i'm, you know, a republican like phil i'm going pretended. i'm going ignore the view on gay
marriage. serve -- everybody is ignoring something. the idea of a centrist candidate we already talk about the fiscal situation. we're going start with simpson bowels. we feel the candidate going to washington and the idea is to comprise and get a deal done so you can talk to constituents like that. you wnt -- wouldn't have to apologize. i did raise taxes and your done. i promise to do a deal on the budget deficit i thought was good for the country. i did that. you may not like all of it. you'll like what we have done and the direction. most americans, i think, are willing to embrace it. it's the prototypical person we want to give somebody to be excited about. >> you're watching live coverage on c-span2 of the 13th annual national book festival. we're here on the mall in washington, d.c. covering event in the -- we're talking with charles
wheelan and the next call for him comes from john in michigan. hi, john. >> caller: hi. mr. wie listen, how are you? i don't know if you think the number of independents reluctant to declare a party affiliation represent a significant number, and usually it's an exclusive ballot whether you're going to be voting for one party or the other. one of the things e want to do is not make the centrist party with a capital c. an exclusive movement. we talk about riding a second horse. supporting a small centrist movement. other folks laying in the mid grounds. it includes like no label that work two existing party. the idea we want to support anybody in this middle space including some cases supporting
moderate republicans, moderate democrats and so on. i think you're right. a lot of independents don't like political party. what they come down -- they are likely to like the centrist it's an attractive candidate. on the ballot act. anybody who has been around the business knows that really we have a two-party. like any they like to keep competition out. so you to get a lot of signatures in a short period of time. people committed to the centrist party from california, michigan, and florida and may not be a
candidate there, there is a willingness to go where else to get candidates on the ballot. hopefully question get independents to vote for them and committed centrist to get them on the ballot. >> you mentioned no label. and pop lie 99 tweets. it know labels organization is -- valuable third party. he says that the -- right. >> we're staying out the house and presidency. i think so you to put your constitutional glasses on here. you have to think deeply about the system we have built. but i don't think you'll get enough of the seat to make a defense. it's a lot of work. that's why we're in the senate. it's a great organization, but as long as folks are still committed to one party or the
other, the comprise -- still something they weren't sent to do. at least by the extreme. so it's all well and good. i think that's a big difference between having an constitutional home and keeping folksed in the two parties and try to get them together. let me be clear, i'm totally in favor in supportive what no labels is try dog do. it's tough to muster two-thirds and they probably won't get you there. we have a system designed, and i love all the, you know, talk by david and the constitutional stuff up. we have a system designed not to
be king george the third. we pulled it off. if you adopt nothing it's easy to do nothing. the presidency could be an obstacle. the house could be an obstacle. if you can get legislation out of the senate, because you have the centrist building on the gang of whatever bipartisan working group. there's a bill passed and it does turn the heat up a little on both the house and the presidency. you can say, look, we have a social security reform bill that has been passed. it's now sitting on your plate. they are doing nothing politically and and substantially higher. i think it's shame and two tools question send to the other chamberses. that's probably the best question do. >> david in san francisco, hi. >> caller: yeah. really the two-party system itself and because
mathematically generate -- there's nothing in the constitution that said we have to have a two-party stm. they didn't like parties at all. single-member district for legislature with first pass voting generates a two-party divide, and not only that, but neither party actually represents anybody in particular. it's a -- both parties are rotten blocks. twont be better to have a people who have vote -- say the green party gets 10% and the tea party gets 10%.
whatever. echt parties get that percentage of representation in the legislature. wouldn't that get rid of the jerry mannerring problem. we get rid of the rotten block party. everybody is forced to be in the same party they have nothing in common with except mutual hay trade for the other side. wouldn't it make a more honest legislative process people from actual political parties that represent real political views would have to get together and negotiate policies. because nobody would have an absolute majority. >> i think we have the point. >> i think dave gave us the better half of most comparative politics. these are really good points. i don't think people think about the system and the processes they generate even when you hold the voters' preferences hose age. it's true, actually, you get rid of the problem if you enter
proportionate representation. you get a lot of different parties. all parliament tear systems. it's noolt a miracle cure. we're not going get there and tear up the constitution and go there. i'm try dog something within the constraint of the constitution we have. in essence what i'm talking about is kind of creating a parking -- parliament tear system. you have to remember in those systems, you get a different problem, which is if you don't get an absolute majority which has beens when you have more than two parties. you get strange bedfellow coalition. you get what you describe in the current party. for a long time l party had a coalition that included the communists. you have the prime minister who is an economist trying to reform the economy with market reform in a coalition that includes the communists. you look at real and you have coalition small party might hold
a couple of seats. and care passionately about settlement in the west bank which make the peace process more difficult. what you do with any system you trade one set of problems for another. in the fundamental take away is govern innocence is hard. it's not easy. here or anywhere at any time. here is the cover of centrist manifesto. jim in california, we have about a minute left. >> caller: can you hear me? >> we are listening, sir. >> caller: my question, the person before me said pretty much what i was leading to. i'm saying in my mind, people who earn $60 ,000 to perhaps $200 or $300 ,000 have more in common with each other as opposed to just being a democrat or a republican. it's like the 49ers or the
raiders. and you just one side or the other. but in reality if we take away. i'm farther than what the parliament tear. i'm seeing no party system. people are just elected for their ideas, and then the chamber, the congress, and the senate are set up a different way where these 500, 600 whatever people come up with a order how they go about, you know, making rule or deciding things. that's my idea. thank you. >> there a lot of people who say do away with the party. it's something -- george washington didn't like the party. i would say they have some benefit and they provide at lough information. and they provide a lot of organizational power. i would say this gets back to your call and the one before it, that the current parties are just a comp police -- compilation of interest. what i try do is outline a
coherent governing philosophy. fiscal responsibility and environmental responsibility, social tolerance that people can organize around as and believe in and get excited about. as opposed to just growing their lot in with a coalition of folks with whom they have nothing in common other than desire to win seats. >> here it is charles wheelan "the centrist manifesto." thank you for joining us here on the national mall on booktv. >> it's a great event and pleasure to be here. >> thank you inspect is the 13th annual national book festival in washington, d.c., held on the mall between the capitol and the washington, d.c., monument behind us. we are live all day long. we'll be live again all day tomorrow with author events, author call-ins. interviews, get updates on our schedule on facebook.com/booktv. you can also get updates on our twitter feed@booktv is our twitter handle. go to booktv.org. the full schedule is there.
coming up in the history of biography tent we'll be live. here are some of the author. kenneth mack is a professor at harvard. he's written a book called "representing the race" about civil rights lawyer. martin luther king will be there as well. just starting is through various means of generating meaningful meta day they on the item. once you find the item. another part of my team works to make sure those digitized items are true to the originals. i'm here today to introduce -- author of biography about president lynn ton secretary of state. the book is tighted lincoln's
indispensable man. i think "washingtonians" love a political biography. and walter has certainly delivered with this one. in his new career as an author. an should be another interesting read i'm looking forward. mr. starr's book on steward has been well received in the history and literary communities both in and outside of washington. he's been interviewed on c-span
and npr, the new yorker review of this biography called it a mas masterly biography. a thoroughly researched, balanced view of a complex man central to a compelling time in our history. i would just add that over 700 pages this book is not for the faint of heart. but it's definitely worth the time spent. and now mr. starr is here at the national book festival. before i bring him to the podium, please allow me a moment to go through a little bit of legalese. this event is being video taped for subsequent broadcast on the
library's website and other media. while we encourage you to offer comments and raise questions during the formal question and answer period, please be advised your voice and/or image may be recorded and later broadcast as part of the event. by participating in the question and answer period, you're consenting to the library's possible reproduction and transmission of your remarks. so thank you for your time, and please join me in a warm welcome for mr. walter star. [applause] thank you for the kind introduction. thank you for being here. it's wonderful to be in washington which was my home for many years. i've done so much of the research for the book. when i told taxi drivers what i was doing. i was writing a biography. most of him have heard of him. he bought alaska. [laughter]
and that's right. but what else did he do? what was he like? let me take that last question first. what was he like as a person? during the civil war years, he was in his early 60s. short, lean man with as mas of sort of disorderly gray hair. big nose, almost always a cigar in his mouth, and if it was any time past 5:00 in the evening a glass of wine near the hand. talking, always, always talking. one of his also lived and famous host gathering around his table diplomats, soldiers, politicians, actors, you know,
the life of the party. what he ask do? he was secretary of state for eight years under lincoln and president johnson. before that he was a federal senator for 12 years. before that he was governor of new york. maybe i should start there. he was governor of new york in the late 1830s early 1840s when new york was by far our most pop lis state. he was a progressive, even a visionary governor. one of his main causes as governor was education. particularly the education of irish catholic children in new york city. many of those children weren't going to school at all, because the public schools used protestant text and less warrant acceptable catholic parents. he was determined to see all
children educated regardless of religion. i should mention here on this stage he was also a big fan of libraries. and believed that extending publishing library of new york new "new york, new yorkers" -- to bind the nation and the state together more closely. and me made himself famous in the north, and infamous in the south when he refused a request from the governor of virginia affiliate a brief period of walk
he was elected senator and came to washington. his most famous speech as senator in 1850. arguing against what we know as the comprise of 1850. he was spes lecial against the idea that any part of the recently acquired territory in the west would become slave territory. a higher law than the constitution he declared. dead candidated that western territory of freedom. he was the favor to become the republican nominee for president. the first ballot of the chicago convention in may of that year, he had by far more votes than any other candidate. he was within striking distance of the nomination.
he was in the guard within a few friends when it happened. and he knew it happened even before he read the telegram. because the man running from the telegraph office had a piece of paper in his hand waiving as he ran toward him yelling, oh god! oh god. it's gone, gone! it's in chapter vii. a brief version. [laughter] a brief version is that some of what he said and done over the years came back to haunt him. it if i had to name one factor that prevented him from getting the republican nomination, it was what he had done for those catholic school children in new york city a decade before.
that is stevens and some of you may remember from the recent lincoln movie said his state, pennsylvania, would never vote for even back in 1860. [laughter] he was disappointed and mast herbed it on the campaign tail for the rieferl lincoln. campaign from maine to minnesota, new york city all the way out to the prairie of kansas. no man did more to secure the election of lincoln than him. and it was in part because of this that lincoln named him the secretary of state. there was a tradition in the 19th century. presidents often name the man
they thought should be their successor as secretary of state. jefferson, monroe,ed a damns, all of the men had served as secretary of state before becoming president. by naming him as suck sayser. that winter, the suck sex winter as southern states started to succeed, sue around was leading advocate of comprise in washington. in jan 1861 in a packed senate chamber, he stood up and gave a speech. the first part was closely based on the words of my man john j. he talked about how disastrous it would be the united states to divide in to two or more nations. ..
>> he predicted rightly that would lead to a civil war. and once it started, his main task was keeping britain and france from siding with the south. he knew his history and engineered at the critical moment back in the american revolution was when france recognized and pledged military support to the united states. britain did the same with the
confederacy and the game was up. in some form the confederacy would survive. so that was his first task to prevent that and he succeeded. anyway his success leads us to forget that we have accomplished that. but seward did not limit himself to diplomacy. he was not a man that could limit himself in any way. he helped with recruiting. he gave political speeches. he advised lincoln on military matters. he was lincolns closest counselor and friend during the war. his cabinet colleagues, notably navy secretaries complained that on important issues there was only one man with whom seward, i'm sorry, with whom lincoln spoke. william henry seward. because of his important role as deputy president, if you will, that john wilkes booth targeted seward for assassination in
april 1865 that he killed lincoln. he was in some respects a very easy target that night. he had been injured in a carriage accident two weeks prior and the assassins knew exactly where to find him. the assassin managed to get into his bedroom. he had a pistol in one hand and an 8-inch knife in the collections in california in the other. he had already used that nearly to death outside of seward store. but the night wasn't very good working order. he pressed seward down with the other slashed his face and neck. in one sense he missed. he didn't sever the arteries but he succeeded quite well. you see the picture of him after the assassination attempt and he was horribly disfigured and bled
copiously. and it continues to serve as our secretary of state through controversial administration almost all of you know that he was mocked and it was called seward's five. i'm here to tell you that that is a met. dozens or hundreds of newspapers after the treaty was signed while was hanging in the senate. and the senate ratified with only two dissenting votes. and this is things that people
mocked as folly. it becomes clear that he doesn't have and the panel cannot the hartford current roadbed seward would buy up the whole hemisphere to the glaciers and if only he lives long enough, i credited the nation that folds out. none of those purchases came to pass during seward's ordeal, but some of them did come to pass and some of them were accomplished by seward's protéges years later. i would like to close my remarks and take your questions from a speech here in washington of july of 1863.
it is not long after gettysburg when i think the mood in washington was not unlike the mood in september of 2001. the capital had survived an attack and it was apprehensive about another. and seward said that whatever happened, he is determined to remain on through the year, saying that if i fall here, let no kingston or friend remove me to a more hospitable grave. let it be buried under the pavement of the avenue in the chariot wheels rattle over my bones. until we are more heroic. and this is life liberty and independence. now he says, we must resolve and not wait for a draft or conscription. ask not whether the enemy is near or far out.
sorrell come out in arms underrate yourselves to meet that enemy. and they said that the american flag must come out to wave here in the nation's capital, but also throughout the country. not one disloyal citizen remains in arms to oppose it. i thank you. [applause] [applause] >> good morning. i enjoyed your book immensely and it was a very good read. as a son of eastern ohio, i hope your next book is on secretaries stimson reedit. >> i am deeply into a secretary
stanton right now. >> in reading your book, i really felt that he had a great sense of timing as to what may need to be done in terms of compromise. but the one thing that struck me is when he proposed to awaken a war with great britain and bringing the country back together. with this, was that him grasping at straws and considering how divided the country was at that point? >> okay, when seward proposes to lincoln that we try to gin up a foreign war, was that grasping at straws or was there a reality to it. i admit that when i first tackled this, i wanted to be able to say that it was an idea that i have one day and forgot about the next. i kept finding various things and the speech that he gave in december and reports coming back from washington to foreign
capitals. as he looked at the hehon an efe the union, maybe not a war itself, but it rally people around the flag and it would be a possible way, maybe not a bringing south carolina back into the union, but preventing let's say virginia or north carolina from leaving the union. a choice between standing by the old flag or defending it against the terrible british and fighting in north and south war. he thought that the border states want to stand by their old flag. >> yes, good afternoon. i have a question as far as the secretary seward advising president lincoln on the war. did he believe in the hardware or wanted to negotiate with the south and bring the war to an end, somewhere around 1863 or
1864. did he agree with the way that grant proceeded with the war? >> okay, is he a hard war man or did he compromise with the south. there is never a point at which seward descends from the hard techniques that are being used. indeed, he is at the forefront. in the first year of the war he is responsible for what we would call domestic security and throws people into jail. and he leaves them there until he is ready to let them out. and throughout the war, just as in a secession, he is keen to find a compromise. so he talks about how soon the south will come back. he uses it to states, to liken him to stars of a constellation. just like the stars are attracted to gravity, the states
have a natural gravity and they will come back together. most notably, it is seward which lincoln's this in january of 1865 at the hampton roads conference. lincoln comes along as sort of an afterthought. there are actually five men and seward is very keen at that junction to find a negotiated resolution with the south. because of that, there are people here in washington, his friend for example, who think that seward is too keen to negotiate. in 1863, something that he was too successful because he feels that the war will be won and that seward let the southern states back in. for some there, that his entire liberal. >> as you pointed out, seward was eloquent in imposing the
compromise of 1850, in terms that really speak to us today. he sounds like a man living in the 20th century speaking to people who are living in the 19th. he is by far the least willing to compromise in the senate. as i think that you also point out in your book. his wife is harboring fugitive slaves in new york. he is a fierce anti-slavery man. can you say something about how he personally and morally evolved to the point where in 1860 he is ready to compromise with the slaveholding south? >> seward on slavery definitely evolves over time. he does harbor fugitive slaves in his home, which is really quite remarkable for a man with presidential ambitions to commit
a federal felony and risk his entire political career. yet by 1860, he is ready to think about compromises of slavery in the south. and he proposes a constitutional amendment to declare that congress has no authority to interfere with slavery in the southern states. seward is actually reluctant to endorse the emancipation proclamation. after the war, he is largely unconcerned about the fate of the southern slaves and is highly criticized for saying that he earned honor by thinking of the sleeves earlier in his career and now earns dishonor. that is the "new york independent." in this sense is not like daniel webster's speech in the compromise of 1850, where he
comes to speak not as a northern man but the united states senator representing the whole nation. seward, after the war is keenly concerned to include the southern states back into the union. if that means that the slaves, former slaves suffer for another decade, so be it. >> hello, doris kearns goodwin in her book suggested that seward thought that he was going to be more like a prime minister, maybe a bit of a power behind the throne kind of thing. but fairly early on he sees the greatness in lincoln and his leadership and he shifts. if you agree with that, what does that say about seward, that he is willing to shift and see
that and then quickly, what did you think of the trail of him in the movie "lincoln." >> i basically agree with her that seward comes into power in the state department thinking that he is going to be some secretary of state as some have been. have to charge. and lincoln disabuse them of that notion and seward comes around and realizes that lincoln works equally for him. for me, it is not the initial pension, but it is the four years of faithful service and friendship. the one memo suggesting a war. we have all written an e-mail that we regret.
but seward is at lincoln side throughout the war. but the trail in the movie of seward, you know. how do you put it? when you see a movie and spend your time and resources, you will see a few things here and there. but in general i liked the seward in the movie. i love the incidents with the cigar in the glass of wine. i think that is pretty close to what he was like. i only regret that the movie did not have time to take us to seward's house and show him in the social settings. certainly the movers and shakers, the man man who knew how to get things done on capitol hill that is for trade in the movie. that is my man. it is not an accident that lincoln turned to seward to get the 13th amendment through congress. what the movie unfortunately doesn't betray, which we should
think about, if lincoln and seward have not accomplish that at that juncture, it would not have happened for years and years. because andrew johnson wasn't going to lift a finger to get the anti-slavery amendment through congress. so on the side. >> religiously and philosophically, how diverse was this cabinet of weekends? particularly in personally with abraham lincoln, how much did they share and interact on such weighty matters? >> religiously and philosophically how diverse. seward was an episcopalian. lincoln, it's harder to say. there was a great joke that he is headed out in a carriage, and the road is bad and the carriage driver is swearing up a storm. lincoln says, my friend, are you an episcopalian? and the carriage driver says, no, i guess i was raised as a a
baptist. and lincoln says, oh, well, you are swearing just like secretary seward, and he is a firm of episcopalian. [laughter] thanks to noah brooks, the newspaper reporter for that one. i really am not sure that they talked a lot about religious issues, other than as they bore on the war. seward shared lincolns sends that this is not just something, a war between men. that does involve god in some ways and he puzzled over how god was involved. whether he and lincoln actually sort of talk about those issues were just were thinking about them simultaneously, i did not have any proof. >> this is a follow-up to the last question. is it accurate that seward in the administration wrote lincoln a letter in which he proposed
that he essentially made the big decisions and lincoln would carry them out? >> yes, that is the famous april 1, memorandum. it is in the library of congress in the manuscript. you can see it for yourself on the online version of the lincoln papers. seward writes a note saying, look, we've spent a month, all of our time has been spent on who will be the postmaster in chicago and we have not developed a domestic policy or a foreign policy. on the domestic front, seward wants to give up fort sumter and try to use that as a way of making lincoln the union president. on the foreign front he raises, as was mentioned, the possibility of war or the threat of war with britain or france. then at the end, i do not have the precise wording, it is kind of convoluted as his sentences were, but he said something that
whatever is decided, someone must be in charge of seeing that it's done. i did the president or some member of the cabinet. i do not mean to suggest myself, but i am not shirking the matter either. lincoln writes out a response which is not among the seward papers in rochester. it's in lincoln's papers. in all likelihood he did not give it to seward, only talked about it. at the end when he got to the question, he can say that as to that i must do it. that is the quote and the heading of my chapter that deals with me. although this memo is interesting, i think to spend too much time on it, it distorts the relationship between lincoln and seward. it focuses on one moment of tension rather than four years of collaboration. on this side? >> a question about maybe the not so glorious part of seward. his relationship with lincoln's
successor, perhaps the worst president in the history of the country. a comment on that? >> yes, andrew johnson. when i started this research, i was keen to say that from the moment that lincoln died, seward these to be involved in domestic politics and he was only focusing on foreign affairs and alaska and british columbia and all sorts of other nice issues. but as i did the research, it became clear that seward continued to be intimately involved in domestic policy, and in particular johnson's reconstruction policy. there is a great image and a condé nast cartoon that shows johnson as a roman emperor, and he is sitting in the amphitheater. on the floor of the amphitheater, the whites are slaughtering blacks. johnson doesn't look very concerned. who is the evil advisor leaning
over johnson's soldier, whispering in his ear and giving him ideas about policy? it is seward. it is true that seward agreed with johnson's reconstruction policies. he thought the most important thing was to bring the states back together and have representation of the south and the congress. he was not especially troubled by the fact that there was some white on black violence going on, the fact that the blacks couldn't vote. it is not the greatest chapter in his history. but it's there. >> following up on the conference in february of 1865, what on earth could seward feed to the south. the lot was virtually one. i had never seen the purpose of that conference because what could the north give in on at
that point? >> well, there is some suggestion from southern sources, which is controversial, there is some suggestion that seward said to the three southern delegates, look, lay down your arms and rejoin the union, and then your votes will be able to prevent the 13th amendment from becoming part of the constitution. think about that. he had just spent the month of january in an all-out lobbying effort to get the amendment passed by the house of representatives. he goes down the hampton roads and basically offers a constitutional amendment ending slavery as a bargaining chip to the southern delegates. so i think that his position at that point was basically akin to that of lincoln. the union is one. slavery -- although seward may be soft on that point -- everything else is up for
negotiation, including points as whether the federal government will take on some of the confederate war dead. and how quickly and on what terms they would come into political power in their own states. so there were things that the south cared about that lincoln and seward could've offered them. at that point the southerners believed that they were still going to be able to establish this and they were not willing to negotiate on our first and most recent point. >> thank you. >> and my through with questions here? >> i will ask a question that nobody has asked, but someone should ask, which is tell us a bit about his wife and his family. [applause] >> his wife was mary seward, she
was the daughter of a prominent man and is a curious and contradictory figure. on the one hand she is much more ardently anti-slavery and pro-women's rights and among her first personal friends was those women who created the seneca falls convention, and francis seward, those were some of her very best friends. but in the summer of 1862 when lincoln is thinking about an emancipation proclamation, francis writes to her husband saying that he owes it to himself and his country and to his god to see what the president is doing, the right
thing. if he wanted the right thing, he should remain on office to give countenance to a great moral evil and seward writes back and says no, we are going to win the war with the army. this political view is here in washington and that's how we know that we are back home in auburn where she remains for the entire war. she is generally in her bedroom with the blinds closed and she was often ill, and i think many other illnesses were psychological and hypochondriac. he was up in washington or traveling around the world.
she did come to washington after the carriage accident to tend to her husband. and she was here on the night of the assassin came into her house and nearly killed her husband and son and stabbed several other people. and she tended to her husband and son lovingly until they were back on the road to health and then she passed away. it was just too much for her. and sadly, seward lives last few years of his life without his beloved wife. the wonderful diary provides us with much of the we know that night, he passed away of tuberculosis. roughly a year later a family
often divided by distance. yes? >> i was wondering in albany, new york, there is a copy of the emancipation proclamation edited in part by seward with his comments between the lines in lincoln's hand. and i'm wondering if he has enough credit for some of lincoln's work as lincoln's editor. >> the question was the first inaugural address, the emancipation proclamation. as his biographer, he can never get enough credit. but i think that in general that historians have noticed the little instances in his handwriting. it is on lincoln's work and giving him his due. they were two lawyers and a respected one another as lawyers and wordsmiths. seward would often pass drafts
of his messages to the foreign ministers for his political speeches to lincoln for his comments. and lincoln, vice versa, would rely on seward for a sounding board and speechwriter on some of his more important speeches. so on the side? >> can you tell us a little bit about your research process and how long it takes you to come up with your book? >> this book took about five years from conception to publication. my research process starts with a document that i call a bibliography. it is not one yet because i haven't looked at anything. but i start by checking out what books i need to look out and when manuscripts are and what newspapers i look at to write the book. as i take notes and organize those in chronological form, for at the moment i have about 900 pages of chronology with the day
by day in the life of edwin stanton. at some point i will put that at one point on my desk and a few other things will be put off nearby. i will start to turn that into the life of edwin stanton. that's a very short version of how i do the research. >> how would you compare seward's role as the indispensable man to lincoln, to hamilton's role george washington? >> it's one of the things i love about coming in doing these things, you get questions that you never thought about before. [laughter] well, there were some similarities and some differences. some of the similarities, it is true that washington relied very heavily on hamilton's clever pen to write things for him and he
came to trust in hamilton's political judgment. although i don't know that there will ever be a moment in which washington will put himself quite into hamiltons hands as some of his later critics have said. and some differences, there was a huge gap in ages and position between washington and hamilton. seward and lincoln are on par. if anything, seward is better known and more experienced with washington in the world then lincoln was when lincoln arrived in washington as president-elect. i think it was more of a personal friendship than washington had with hamilton. i'm not sure that anyone was ever a friend of george washington, but i think he was already sort of on a pedestal that made that different.
>> fascinating stuff. i will have to read the book. would you care to speculate on what a seward presidency would've looked like had he gotten the nomination in 1860? >> the question is what would seward have been like if he would've gotten the nomination. i'm not sure that he would have been elected. i originally thought that he would have, the more time i spend thinking about his problems, the anti-catholic sentiment, i'm not sure that seward would've been able to win all the states that lincoln did. but let's assume that he did. the place that it is clear is that they would've diverged is in a secession. seward would not have meant that shipped to fort sumter. it was fired upon the led to the start of the civil war. i think that there would have been a civil war, or some other
flashpoint, or he would've conducted it more or less as we did, but we might have gone to the same point with the emancipation proclamation. like, hey, we are going to get there without this and the armies will conquer the south and the fleas will free themselves. why risk the political consequences of the proclamation. it would have been some differences. thank you so much. [applause] [applause] >> this is live coverage on booktv on c-span2 of the 13
annual national book festival in washington dc. that was walter stahr talking about his book, "seward: lincoln's indispensable man." the next bother speaking in the history and biography tent is taylor branch about the historic movements in the civil rights movement. ten to 15 minutes from now. but we want to show you a little bit more from 2001, the first year of the national book festival. [applause] >> it is a real pleasure to be here, yes, i am from nantucket who has a tradition of having an unseemly pride for being from that wonderful island and it does go back to that era and probably before it. nantucket in the early 19th century was something special when it came to america. it was the center of america's first global business.
the oil business. before there was petroleum, before there was john rockefeller and standard oil in texas crude, there was nantucket whale oil trading was lubricating the machines of the industrial age. on this little island, only 50 square miles, a sand bank, crescent shaped, about 25 miles off of cape cod was the center of this business. in 1819 when the whale ships were right around 7000 people, the quakers had begun to wane. but the spiritual influence of quakers had infuse the whole community. i was in philadelphia not too long ago. being a quaker doesn't necessarily interfere with your ability to make money. [laughter] these nantucket quakers were some of the most sophisticated
and hard-nosed businesspeople that the world has ever known, and they controlled every aspect of their oil business. it all started in 1869 when a group of families moved there. there was a huge native american population on the island. disease has moved in and stabilize at 800 people, native americans. once again, a very large population. what nantucket had that no other new england community have is a potentially cheap labor supply. there were whales out there but you also need people to man the boats. they would launch their 25-foot open boats in pursuit of the
whale. each one of those whaleboat, particularly one english nantucket sailor at the helm and then they had oars on this vote. they would be very good at what they did and this would be a pattern established very quickly. they moved out from the white whale to the sperm well -- sperm whale. it was part of this, and the sperm whale was an oil rig a living creature. a huge block shaped head was filled with hundreds of the spermaceti, the quality oil, wonderful oil they gave this terrific light.
so the sperm whale represented what was the edge of nantucket whaling. it was a deepwater animal and they pursued it into all of the edges of the atlantic. once again, killing bees whales. by the turn of the century, they taste at all into the pacific. it now went from an average of about nine months to two to three years. if you can imagine, you are part of the society where most of the men and boys return home for three to four months after being gone for two to three years as the ships head out. to have children seemed to be an amazing thing given the compressed circumstances.
but nantucket or as are known for their large families and five to 10 kids is a large family. this crescent of sand was very quickly losing its layer of topsoil through over farming. so they just realized that the future lay offshore. it's not wrong to look at nantucket as its own kind of mother ship because these people were completely tied to the sea, even though they have their feet on land. in 1819, the island was in a boom even though the rest of the world was in a depression due to the war of 1812. but the sperm whale was wanted everywhere. nantucket was in their own little bubble prosperity. they didn't have enough people to man their whale ships. they had to look off island.
a crew of 21 men, half of them were from the island or off islanders. they had a first-time captain, captain george pollard, 28 years old. he was about to leave these 21 men on a voyage that would bring many of them back from being boys at the beginning to grow man at the end. thomas nickerson, the cabin boy was 14 years old. these boys who have been raised on nantucket, their whole life preparing them for this voyage. whaling was perceived on nantucket island is the only thing you could do and also as a kind of warfare. even though these whales were benign, once you harpooned than they would often fight back. there were many men lost at sea through a typical voyage. when they left nantucket in
august, just a few days after the birth of herman melville in new york, she had just left the island when she was lambda i a squall in the gulf stream. she lost two of her whaleboat. and they were virtually disposable. the whale had just destroyed it with a flick of its tail. toulouse two of these votes boats was a terrible thing to have happen. captain pollard decided to go back for repairs. he had an opinionated first made by the name of owen chase, 22 years old. this was his third voyage and he felt that he was really, that he really had the background that he needed for a command and he was a little bit impatient with his first time captain. he convinced them not to go back but to push on. to find another whale boat,
where they routinely stop for positioning and two push on. the word is reversing this and this was known on the quarter deck of a whale ship. the ethics would round up on after picking up leaky whaleboatboats. on november 20, in a poorly lacr voyage, it was west of the galapagos islands. thomas had just had a birthday and was at the helm. thomas was mailing a piece of canvas to the whaleboat and it was then that he saw this incredible site.
more than 80 tons floating on the surface of the water. head pointed towards the side of the ship. but the men were not particularly concerned because never before had a whale been known to attack a ship. this whale had a huge tale that began to move up and down and he began to make his way slowly towards the ship. they were not too concerned. the other two crews were off wailing. then this whale build down and by the time it came up, it was moving quickly for the ship. che saw it coming, hard up the helm, he is a 4-foot 1'5" boy and he had this blunt head of the whale that slammed into the side of the ship and then it it went underneath the ship, hitting it
heavily and then service beside the ethics. its head was pointed towards the ballot dispute from the ship. it was so close that case picked up the lamps come in 18-foot spear with which willman calmly killed the whales, motioned to stab his creature that had dared to attack his ship. but he noticed the tail of the whale was right beside. he predicted that he could take that out and there were no sounds where near close to land. so that cabin boy would relate later in life that chase knew what was going to happen next. and his huge creature sprung to life. and now it was a very angry sperm whale. he began to snap its jaws and
can be heard for miles. and this is a very angry sperm whale. it swam several hundred yards ahead of the ship and turned around and came at the ethics. a huge tale, working up and down. rapidly, 40-foot whitewater weight behind it. so once again hard up at home and he did everything he could and once again it was too late. the blunt head of the 80-ton creature slammed into the port bow, crushing it as if it wasn't eggshell even according to one account driving this ship backwards. and eventually the whale disengaged its head from the fractured -- >> we are showing you some of the events from the first national book festival in 2001. that was historian nathaniel
phibrick. we are with author and historian taylor branch was about to start. this is live coverage on booktv. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, welcome. welcome, welcome. my name is jeffrey brown and i am with the pbs news hour. [applause] thank you for that. thank you very much for that. before we start, let me read what i am supposed read and i will get to what we are doing. welcome on behalf of congress to the 2013 national book festival. we hope you're having a wonderful day celebrating the joy of reading on the national mall. before we begin, i want to inform you that the pavilions presentations are being filmed for the library congress website and archives. be mindful of this as you enjoy
the presentation in addition. please do not sit on the camera risers as they are located in the back of the pavilion. thank you, i have done my duty. i want to thank members of commerce for putting this on and asked me to participate. i've been at the festival many times often participating in one form or another. but most often just as one of you as a lover of literature when i travel around the country, as a book lover and citizen of the world, when i travel around the country i meet up with news our viewers that want to come and talk. what they want to talk about is the stories that i've done or the conversations with writers and artists.
i believe that there is a thirst out there for connecting through the word and through art. there is a thirst in our culture for even more of this. [applause] what we preach for a moment, especially in our culture today to bring literature into our daily lives. especially in our public lives. yes, here on the national mall, this wonderful public space. it's why there needs to be a place for the arts and culture on the nightly news program like the news hour thank you again. there is an unfortunate and unhealthy disconnect between the world of the mind and history
and the arts in the public sphere that i have spent my daily life in. right here today, we are making the connection, and i'm pleased to be a part of it. that leads us to our speaker. also the reason i was pleased to be asked to introduce him. because taylor branch is one of the preeminent connectors of our era. he connects the past and the present and deep scholarship with a general public and he is a teller of our story, the american story. the american people and to others around the world. he is best known for his landmark trilogy of the civil rights movement, america in the king years, of which parting the waters won the pulitzer prize, the entire series has one numerous awards, as has mr. taylor branch himself. i would like to mention one
other book in particular, because it was a special interests me. his 2009 look, the clinton tapes, it was a fascinating personal tale of his many years working with president clinton on an oral history of those years. i have a chance to talk with him about it on the news hour. his new book is "the king years: historic moments in the civil rights movement", looking at key episodes from that era. of course, it could not be more timely as we look back 50 years at the march on washington recently and on so much else. i have had the pleasure of talking about this for the news hour and now you have the pleasure of being with him. these and gentlemen, taylor branch. [applause]
>> thank you, jeffrey. thank you to all of you for coming. this is a very exciting time, and i hope to use the civil rights history to look forward rather than backward. i think all of u.s. citizens on an equal share of this country devoted to the idea of equal citizenship. that we should aspire to the model of the civil rights era, in which children are denied the right to vote back then, studying the principles and taking risks to make it real. [applause] so i think that the civil rights movement is about our past but also about our future, which has a number of implications for those of us who are not students and one of them is that we should be concerned when our schools are teaching only reading and math because history
in america, the only country founded on an idea, that is how we learn what citizenship is. [applause] are citizenship to some degree is paralyzed by the age of gridlock. and i think that we are to some degree responsible for it ourselves. i will try to challenge you with a little bit of that. we normally get inspiration from the civil rights era, and it is there. but it is also sobering the degree to which the comparisons between now and then leave us a little bit behind as far as applying those lessons towards the future. this little book, my compact book, is dedicated to students of freedom and teachers of history. the reason that i did it and shed so much blood over i had
written over 24 years, was because teachers have complained to me that it's half right. that might trilogy was half right. it is what makes history accessible to students. they learn things are human stories and not through abstract categories and argumentation and labels of analysis. they get involved with stories. therefore that is good. however, 900 pages of stories is a lot, even for a college teacher, let alone for a high school teacher. so they said tried to preserve the stories and give us something that is a little bit more compact of an introduction, if you believe that it is so vital not only to our past, but to our future, and that it is crucially misremembered. in the united states we have a terrible history of
misremembering our history when we don't want to remember it. we can turn it upside down. i was born and grew up in atlanta, georgia. it was in my textbooks that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery and the slaves were better off here than they had been in africa, and the people that were stored white rule in the south were known as the redeemers. that is still true. it's a religious word for terrorists. so we must be very careful because of race and citizenship and freedom are tricky. we are in a tricky era. right now i am using this book to try to teach students now. we had an experiment last spring at the university of maryland. i live in baltimore. to teach a seminar on the basis of civil rights history and citizenship, a seminar classroom in baltimore with online
students from russia and the solomon islands and all around the world. we are going to do it again for credit and our goal is to cut the tuition costs by 90% and open up to the world the people who can with some skin in the game and prospects for credit, gain access to the mastery and lessons of civil rights history for the world. there is a revolution coming in higher education. just like the revolution that has, in newspapers and made detroit a shadow of itself, and that has affected the book industry. this has something called an enhanced e-book edition that i cannot read myself. it's my own book. because i don't have an ipod. you can read along in the e-book for a fraction of the cost of the regular book. one says president kennedy had
an interview about vietnam and civil rights right before he was killed, you can click on it and actually see the interview. not just that but the outtakes. when he and walter cronkite start opposite in. enhanced e-books are amazing. there are revolutions coming in all kinds of aspects of american life. in some respects they are thrilling and in other respects they are killing. because non-of us wants to be a part of the industry gets made obsolete. have our politics is saying that that is what black people are for, they should be in the industry that is obsolete because they have been used to it for 200 years. blue-collar work when out of work, farming was out of work. all of that fell on black people that has been behind. the great lesson of our future is to what degree we are willing to look to the inspiration and the discipline of american
history to form public policies and public trusts together to help us have rules and public policy that will advance and help us to address the serious problems that we face the way they did in the civil rights era. when an invisible minority that was 10% of the population with none of the traditional tools of politics. no armies or newspapers. they were not in the newspapers. they would not even put most other social events or even refer to them by name. they didn't even have a police force but they had a willingness to study and sacrifice for the basic principles of american freedom to put the rest of the country towards its own values and they did it. it's an amazing story and accessible to children today in
part because it was children in that era who were leaders in it and to confront the problems that made adults mumble. and stare the problem in the knees rather than in the eyes. on a time that we were so addled by the concept that the first citizens were cast aside, young black people cannot be addressing these problems that make the president of the united states, at that time, dwight eisenhower sound battle. in 1963 when the rest of the country was saying essentially that this race problem of segregation in 17 states that takes basic freedoms away from a segment of our population is
wrong and someone should do something about it, but not me, not now, i can tell you that myself, growing up in atlanta, it had worn me down and i had been trying to avoid it my whole childhood. when i said that i get impossibly old, like 30 years old, i'm going to stick my toe in this race problem and no sooner had i said that at the age of 16 that i turn around and turn on the tv and there were little children marching into firehoses singing the same songs that i sing in sunday school and not running from the dogs and fire hoses and not waiting until they were 30 or had any of the advantages that i had growing up middle class in atlanta. it was so stupefying to me that eventually changed the direction of my life's interests against my will. where did that come from? it was their activity, this stupefying dammit when the whole movement was about to go down the tubes, it was condemned by
every political figure in the united states from george wallace and robert kennedy to malcolm x. to use small children in those demonstrations as young as eight and six years old when they could only get the conditions in the movement was so intimidating to black adults that they could only get 10 or 12 with the greatest martin luther kings speech that i had heard. ..
but a multiracial democracy at great risk and great effort to all of us. inspiration has gone around the world and we have been to some degree trapped in and i will give you two reasons i think we are trapped in it. they all grow lot of the book. they are not the kind of thing i try to teach young people absorbing stories on the inspiration of this but they are ideas that i think we should address today as citizens in the gridlock democracy. i mention them, thank you for jeffrey brown but i mentioned them on newshour the other night and got a real double take. i said the greatest and examined question in american politics today is to what degree the
underpinnings of partisan gridlock are racial. [applause] >> as we came out of this, kind of dance around a little bit and she said do you mind if i ask president obama if i get to interview him whether he thinks the underpinnings of gridlock that he is suffering with some much and threatening to shut down the government and everything else right now our racial and i set of course not. she said i will throw you under the bus and sure enough the very next day she got an interview with president obama and said this historian says this and obama danced all around it. it is dangerous, it is delicate. but race throughout american history has been the gateway to the advancement of freedom and to the blockage of freedom. it is the gateway where we go
through. two ways of looking at it. 1963, 50 years ago segregation ruled. 17 states, george wallace had just been inaugurated governor with his famous speech segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. he talked about nothing but race. 50 years ago in september this month he flew to baltimore, my own city, and announced he was going to run for president and never mentioned race, never mentioned segregation again. he turned on a dime when the march on washington and the birmingham demonstrations made it obvious that in the future over it segregation and talking overtly about race was no longer going to be respectable. he switched his message adroitly. he said he was running only to restore local government against big government i pleaded
bureaucrats, tyrannical judges and tax-and-spend legislators and he had never denigrated the race of any personal group of people in history, and people wanted to believe that and that is the beginning of misremembering history and the beginning of the vocabulary of modern politics and if you don't believe that big government opposition today and the notion that what makes me say it and makes me free is not all of the painstaking ties we have built up over two centuries of democracy for our economy and our politics, but the pistol i carry in to starbucks, if you don't believe that is driven -- [applause] -- by race, ask why a big government is only a slogan and never analyzed. what part of big government? the big government and the pentagon? the big government in for foreign policy? the big government in the land
security agency that frisks you but whenever you get into an airplane? it is only the big government that could conceivably put you in a position of common citizens it with somebody that makes you fearful of makes you anxious. that is big government. that is where it comes from. [applause] >> that is why obamacare works only as a slogan that mentions the obama and therefore racial signal and obamacare and a piece of legislation without anything about it and doesn't address the fact that if you got rid of it the presumption is we would have a nevada system. are medical system works miracles but it is also bought on most expensive one in the world and we have convinced ourselves that it is a rational system to run out every payment including a dental checkup through that bureaucracy of profitmaking insurance
companies. [applause] >> so the notion we are imprisoned in a system that is a choice between obamacare and an unspecified nirvana that is not really nirvana is a measure of our good luck and is driven by irrational fears and apprehensions that are similar to the fear and apprehension all of us face about things that confront us in the modern world. you and me in the book business, my book business is evolving in many respects a we all have to adapt to that. leslie, and want to take some questions because i am trying to recently say that our democracy is as simple as these wonderful stories of the-year-old girls marking the in to the fire hoses ball so basic and challenging as democracy itself and we are not dealing with it very well today. is easy to say gridlock all belongs on the other side of people who are fearful and
cussing the government and transmuting there and the fear and hostility on racial grounds to the government itself which among other things is anti patriotic. our whole government since the beginning has been about what we can build. the tea party was a purely destructive movement. great to go back to basics but it was a revolting against a foreign government that allegiance to the king. the hard work became after that. what government are we going to build? everybody from george washington to abraham lincoln to martin luther king is saying we are going to build something together through government of the people, by the people, for the people. that is what is patriotic, that is what they uncommon and what i call the modern civil rights movement modern founders, they were doing just what they did. showers side, the people who appreciate the movement is complicity in our good luck for two reasons and they're not easy to talk about. but i want to throw them out
because i think we need to get out of this, out of this notion that the only hope we have is for the other side to drop in. and [applause] >> the people who appreciate the racial aspects of advancement in american history historically from the very beginning of our republic through the civil war, through the progressive era, through the civil rights here and today down to obama, the people who appreciate the racial aspects talk only about race. they don't and large it, don't pay attention to lessen martin luther king and the civil rights movement talked about, the larger premise of justice and use race as a doorway to talk about it. the people on the other hand who showed up at the march the other day, and this was to meet the
most hopeful thing about the 52 anniversary march, you had representatives from all the collateral movements that benefited from the civil rights era, the senior citizens, the gay-rights movement, the women's movement, the disabled movement, and johnston up and said i am standing here because of what the civil rights movement did. that is half a formula, make race relations the doorway to things that benefit everyone. dr. king said famously in a long and that is the first to be forgotten, when the civil rights movement got rid of segregation in the south, some of the chief beneficiaries would be white southerners because their whole system was imprisoned psychologically and economically in a system of segregation that depended on trying to keep people degraded. it degraded everyone. when segregation when, what did
you hear about? the sun belt. you never heard about the sun belt when it was segregated, it was the hookworm belt, we were poor. much mayor ivan allen said in atlanta as it is the civil rights bill has not quite 50 years ago the city of atlanta build a sports stadium on land it didn't own with money didn't have 14 it hadn't located, the first professional sports team, the atlanta braves from milwaukee to atlanta. it opened up the whole world, every politician in the south who causes the civil rights movement stands on its shoulders for its prosperity, for the hopes and dreams of their daughters to an out and go to princeton eln the and the university, the university of north carolina that only admitted nursing students when i was there in 1960s, we take all this for granted. we need to have an open minded discussion where we are all more comfortable about talking about
race but we are not paralyzed in talking about race only, we are not fearful that we are going to insult some spokesman for different racial groups that we are diminishing them by talking about things they set in motion that liberated everyone. the larger justice so let us all, the reason civil rights education is so valuable is because it is accessible to children, it is because it addresses issues of freedom that affect all of us, it makes raised the gateway to the promise of democracy and when you recognize the deficiencies of democracy today in race, in our jails, in our poverty rates, in our school, the drug wars, it is not imprisoning you there in the race issue and hopelessness, but it is going through that that you realize the larger connections and possibilities the civil rights movement once
opened with less resources, less hope facing more difficult problems, when an audience like this in my lifetime would have everybody's palms sweaty just for fear that a mixed audience would drop the police or would have somebody's father lose their business because the customers thought they were race mixers. that kind of terror is gone in every breath that we draw. our gratitude for that kind of freedom should never be taken for granted through this history, we not only regain the balance of what it means to be an american devoted to freedom but we regain the tools, habits, literacy, cross-cultural genius at the heart of america to address problems before us. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you. thank you. that is very kind. i was trying to be a little scolding with inspiration but i appreciate that anyway because i don't want us to be complacent. this stuff is too serious so if we are not thinking about what we're doing wrong we're not as mild football coach said of it is not hurting it is not doing any good. . we have time for questions until they stop us and i have raised some difficult ideas but the questions don't have to be on any of that. you can ask -- this is a test subject. first question the of the day was plaintively is it really true that martin luther king was only 5 foot 6? yes.
next question, yes, sir? >> i want to compliment you on the borgias, eloquent speech, form of wisdom really. want to listen and be totally impressed and i think the most ironic thing with your speech is that the people who can benefit the most, who work about 300 yards from where you are speaking are not here to listen as we did to a beautiful speech, thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> one quick comment on that. members of congress didn't show up at the march on washington 50 years ago either. there were only a couple. in 1963 what they did instead was at a quorum call to spread upon the pages of the record the scenes of anybody who was not there because they wanted to
attack anybody who showed up at this march, never been convinced that the march on washington 50 years ago was a warm and fuzzy event. there were riots troops stationed all around. they canceled elective surgery and to me -- they eliminated, they banned liquor sales for the first time since prohibition, the recess scared of this thing but to me the real kicker is procedurally in baseball, which has played right through floods and world war ii and everything a week before the march on washington postponed not one but 3 to washington senators beams, the day of the march and the day after for fear that we would still be cleaning up the results of armageddon. those of the unspoken signals of reese. most of us to deal with race deal with 99% subliminally. before we deal with the concepts that we freshen, not to save that for and concepts and dealing with it and adjusting
and governing ourselves is not our highest duty, but we are kidding ourselves when we think we are in complete control over this thing and all of us to some degree are not racial lines. racist is a difficult word because it means overtly organizing your whole life around system but rationalize, we're all racial lines and the question is will be going to do about it and how much of our minds, soul and inspiration we're going to apply to a. >> my name is sylvia henderson and i wrote a book a few years ago called why you talk so white and it was about the questions i got asked by my peers because i learned to speak well, against. >> speak white, that is all right. >> when i was interviewed a few years ago during the don imus debacle, a comment was made about you just explain some
stuff on the radio in a way that made talking about race save for lack of a better word. so as i listen to you now and agree with a lot of what you say what strikes me is we need some kind of language, we need to learn how to speak about race so that it is not threatening to either side, any side, all sides, whatever. how do we learn that language in a day of antagonistic internet comments, the moment somebody says something, and the world we live in? >> very difficult because people, when you try to raise the subject at all in today's media age people are only listening for the first spitball. then the conversation is set because it is going to try to get us the ball going back the other direction and that is our atrophied public discourse.
the civil rights movement never -- they faced that problem too. they couldn't get stuck in the newspapers. that was not the end of it. that was the beginning of it. do we have to write down the names and addresses of all the reporters and start badgering them and sending them what we think these stories are? do we have to amplify our words with witness and sacrifice? we need to make the real challenge is never to take any stumbling block in racial dialogue as the final stumbling block where we give up and say they have to drop dead. i think the key which it sounds like you already have is every conversation about race as it had affected american democracy should begin with the premise that talking about race makes us bigger. it enlarges the store. it does not pigeonhole this boy. that is not to say there are not some people who talk about race
who only want to use it as a grievance to bang people over the head and are not opening up but we need to displace those people by conversations that save this is the gateway. historically and every other way, the the way to a larger freedom for everyone. there are no magic answers but i think the first answer is never take today's failure as the end. is the beginning of the question how do we get around it? thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. you are like a ball of fire, man! you are a ball of fire! you inspired me, you really do. more white people need to learn to talk like you do. because if they did we would open up this conversation. i am on the faculty of the university of maryland and we
are taking on this issue especially in the area of health and health disparities, this is where jim crow was still hiding out and i hope one day you will take this on to expose racism and discrimination that permeated our society. my question is this. there is sometimes pain when we build into the story. what haunts me is some of the photos and images of that period, when we would see black men hanging, being lynched but there would be a picnic, there would be a festival with children. who were those people? who were those children who are now adults? what fear do they have in going into that history? that is deep, man. how we deal with death, that trauma the we have all
experienced as a people, and get through that trauma to get to the healing side. >> that is a tough question, i can't tell you what, going back 30 years, how many black folks so they were raised being told in their household, it is dangerous, and embarrassing, the story is dangerous, painful and revealing of our hopelessness. i was afraid you might offend somebody or display your ignorance or that sort of thing that you need to get over. that model is robert kennedy is not event silly about race as anybody. he kept banging away at it. and he would feel guilty.
and very difficult issues. but to me they are little emblems of how quickly people can in the future, those people who will just to those memories. and we remember about race what we want to remember. but the degree you can turn it upside down that is what we have to guard against in all our conversations to go through this something bigger and better on the other side. and the courage that it takes to be a democratic citizen in a country that says those responsible for the government of the government is screwing up it is not just the people in the government. diane-diane nash, of my favorite
people from the civil rights era, some of you may know her, she was leader of the sit ins, freedom rides, her family was harassed by the fbi. in one of my interviews with her, she says by don't bother with that, that was just hoover. that was the fbi. i blame us for hoover. arbitrary secret power for 50 years. whoever studies american government in sixth grade. i blame us. here is diane nashua is black and cannot devote herself, she is assuming responsibility for j. edgar hoover instead of a sense of victimhood. that is an amazing example to me of the kind of wisdom these
young people, she was only 23 years old when she was doing all this stuff with j. edgar hoover. there's a lot of wisdom here and there are no easy answers. it really does make our history enthralling. >> keep it on. on the subject of this national gridlock, fort dietrich to develop party specific plague. for one side or the other i don't care which. what do you think is the past forward. stupid, crazy gridlock. >> you got to apply your heart, soul, mind and body to detach from people on the other side from the irrationality they are trapped in the anti big government side seems to me pretty much reached a cul-de-sac because there's a larger and
larger body of people, it appeals to fear, anxiety but also tried in the sense of saying if i didn't have these public budget -- people ask me to pay a small amount for food stamps, i would be better off. i don't need any of our public conveyances, anything we had. i would be better off digging my own plumbing. and is not true. we had to figure out ways to show people if we had the same initiative, the same education, same genius in sudan or uruguay, they wouldn't have the same -- we get an awful lot about from what we built together. our checks clear, our roads need -- the public space is a glorious example of our cooperation but it is all invisible and can be taken for
granted and makes people susceptible to politicians who are saying you may be scared of these other people and you would be even better off if you listen to me and strangle the government in the bathtub. we have to figure out ways to peel off people because some people live that way, very wealthy people lobbying and spending a lot of money basically to have the government pay them, but they rely on great masses of people who are diluted by propaganda and we need to figure out how to address that. >> back to the kids you were talking about, are we getting a generation of teenagers to 8 or 9-year-olds who will be capable of doing what those kids did then and in particular with reference to the common core to force feed confidence in this generation, are we losing any way of inculcating them in the history of the culture that they're going to need to --
>> less and less and that is dangerous. to me that is one of the scary things, we're deemphasizing american history and citizenship in our core curriculum in the united states. if you want to turn it around and say if you are in my generation and you have benefited, the breakthrough in birmingham in 1963 opened up doors for equal citizenship for our whole generation far beyond what they did, we are indebted to them, we could repay young people. we need to do something for them by helping to restore that education, and by release studying and not approaching young people on the basis of what we may have heard. some young people are far more liberated and natural in their views and antiquated prejudices and free of them but some of the
marketing trapped in the month also not being educated. we have to encourage the good part. it makes the citizenship example more pertinent, >> we got teachers to do it. >> we have some. our best teachers today, one of the saddest things, i'm not an expert in education. i'm getting a teacher's who were heroic to me. gosh. imac teachers in idaho, send me to idaho. who were teaching civil rights history at 10:00 on sunday night, googleing diane-to find something to present to their students the next day that would be accessible. the a heroic but undermanned. we in many respects are slipping
into a notion that we accept the idea that being a teacher is more or less like being a military draftee in the 1950s, you can only doing for four five years and you will be burned out. they are heroic but we do not as a whole society treat teaching, both the content and professional corps and a life of it with the seriousness that it deserves if it really govern their future in the information age. >> can i ask you to restate your question to the president? >> over the years dr. king has been repackaged and a lot of ways by corporations, a mcdonald's placemat, a day of service. how do we go about reclaiming dr. king and making it clear this was one of the key progressive voices of his time? >> great question.
everybody here that? dr. king has been repackaged by everybody. how do we go about reclaiming the genuine? first of all, i do believe personal stories are the key to that. if you reduce somebody to a concept for an idea or a label that it can be refuted with another label and you can have ralph reed like he did the other day said dr. king's whole career was about saying it is only the contents of your character and it was a movement about family and not about politics and public change. anybody who studied martin luther king's career for five minutes knows the i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed delivered on them all, he came to the mall to do that. this is about our public purpose. to say that he is an anti-government person too is preposterous. but that is what happens when we and they reduce everything to
sound bites. the stories are of key. you have to pick the right stories people will relate to. one of the reasons i was obsess to try to put down a storytelling record of this whole period is storytelling, things that are human are harder to refuse. that is why we are all the turtles grateful fat in the depression the roosevelt administration tookthat in the depression the roosevelt administration took those oral histories of slaves, otherwise slavery was an idea and vulnerable to anyone else's counter idea that they were all well-off and they were all happy. you had personal testimonies, personal testimony matters and what the rest of us need to do is find a bit of personal story about martin luther king that illustrates the part of him and his public ministry and that you want to pass on and preserve.
it is there but we need to do a better job of passing along. to meet the greatest thing about martin luther king was he could speak about religion and politics in every speech constantly and was never accused of mixing church and state which is remarkable and it is because he did it with such an amazing and when is the you want equal souls? fine. wendy will vote? fine. they both lead to the same place, they both need to justice and go through race and he is not trying to subject one to the other which is how you get in trouble with that. they're examples of that, so i think the best general notion about how you refute the tendency, approve an historical tendency to distort and even in her lessons from race to make a more compatible with what you want to believe, to preserve personal stories that have the truth in them. and that is all the time we
have. i am sorry. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching the tv's live coverage of the thirteenth annual national book festival, there was still to prize-winning author taylor branch talking about his book "the king years: historic moments in the civil rights movement". we are live all day long in the history and biography tent and the c-span bus is parked down here on the national mall and we want to introduce you to somebody here on the bus with us and that is natasha trethewey who is the u.s. polk laureate. what is a u.s. poet laureate and
what do they do? >> the job is pretty simple, it is to bring poetry to a wider audience across the country. the only official duties i have are to open literary season at library of congress in the fall by giving a reading, a closing lecture in may to end the literary season and to choose the two poets or the one polk in some years who is to receive the fellowship and introduce the putt for reading at the library. >> tube get it? >> guest: there is a stipend that comes with, a is not funded by the american public. there is an endowment that does that. >> host: what is the scholarships that you refer to? >> the scholarship just recognizes and american poet who is doing extraordinary work. >> guest: are you a poet? >> host: you have to be a poet first. >> guest: -- start writing some poems. the pilot laureate is chosen by
the librarian of congress and he is given that duty by congress. congress enacted the law that made the position of the laureate ship in 1986 used to be the consultant in poetry for many years and a first consultant was joseph cost lander in 1987 but in 1986 it change to a different title, united states, gloria consulted. >> host: what is your position in a state of mississippi? >> guest: i'm the poet laureate in the state of mississippi, the outgoing governor haley barbour selected me as the poet laureate. >> guest: is that a term position? >> guest: in mississippi east the lifetime position but with my term the previous poet laureate died and they decided to make a term position and is
now four years. >> host: we can characterize authors like to give the brand as joyce carol oates or a novelist or historian. can you characterize pellets the same way? >> guest: plenty of poets write in other genres. you might also call me a nonfiction writer because i have a book of nonfiction but i am thinking about something my southern predecessor said and that is the historical cynicism, the poetic sense shouldn't be seen as contradictory because if poetry is the little myths that we make, then history is the big myths that we live and in our living constantly remake and so for me that suggests there are lots of links between the different genres 11 though we may call someone a poet or non paula, i feel i am someone for whom the historical sense always animates the work that i do. >> host: where did you grow up?
>> guest: i moved to georgia later on. >> host: why and when did you start writing poetry? >> guest: i wrote poems peer leon. my father might say even sooner than i will tell you. in the third grade my earliest memory of writing poems happen then. i was riding in a class and had a teacher who with the librarian in my school bound a little collection and put them in the school library. >> host: how many collections have you written and published? >> guest: four collections of poetry. >> host: collection of poetry. are they related? >> guest: i work, kind of project and all the poems circle around a historical question i pose for myself. something i try to grapple with
in language. imac that robert frost's's idea about the twenty-fifth poem so even though there's a whole collection of individual poems the book itself becomes the 20 fifth poem, the hole, the unified whole of all the things, all the parts. >> host: what is the theme of fraud? >> guest: my father is also a poet and for all is a book dedicated to my father. i think of that in many ways as an intimate conversation held in a very public place, in a book, between me and my father. it is about the history of ideas of racial difference across time and space, things that i think we still contend with in our discourse and everyday lives as well as internet discourse and families, my interracial family. >> host: pulitzer prize winner. >> guest: not that one. >> host: in 2007 you won the
pulitzer. our is poetry taut across the school? is it still taught in schools? >> guest: i don't know. i don't know how much students are getting in school. i teacher freshman seminar in emory university and my students have various varying degrees of experience with poetry from their high school. some have a lot more of it, some took creative writing as well as the study of poetry as literature, some haven't had much at all and it does vary depending on what school you go to. >> host: natasha trethewey, you have a lot more coming out. >> guest: i have one i am writing. >> host: and? i don't know, it is doing 2014. >> guest: thanks for reminding me. >> host: natasha trethewey, the u.s. paula laureate. thanks for joining us at that national book festival on the c-span bus as we continue live coverage.
want to let you know what is coming the next. kenneth mack, harvard law professor representing -- "representing the race: the creation of the civil rights lawyer" is the name of his book that people talk about civil rights lawyers in the history and biography tent in just a second and will be joining us for a call in opportunities so if you hear anything you would like to comment on during his presentation go ahead and think about that question, call in and talk to him afterward as we go back live to the history and biography tent. this is booktv's live coverage of the 2013 national book festival. >> on behalf of the library of congress i want to welcome everybody to the 2013 national book festival. we hope your having a wonderful day, the weather is holding on for now and we hope that continues. before we begin i want to remind everybody that the pavilion's presentations are being filmed for the library of congress's web site and their archives so
please be mindful of this as you enjoy the presentation. in addition you can stay off of the television writers in the back that would be great. i am a reporter at the washington post. washington post has been a founding sponsor of this event for the last 13 years. thank you to the library of congress for putting on this fantastic event. i am delighted today to be introducing our next author, his name is kenneth w. mack, he started his career as an electrical engineer. he says now he majored in the wrong thing and his entire career is essentially the result of a mistake. history and law came calling for him and he ended up going to harvard law school and was a clerk for the honorable robert carter in the united states district court for the southern district of new york and practiced law in d.c. as well and he is now a law professor at
harvard university and focuses on our nation's complicated history, legal history and racial history. fiasco edited a collection of essays called the new black, what has changed and what has not with race in america and he is here to talk about his book "representing the race: the creation of the civil rights lawyer". if you are anything like me when you think of a civil rights lawyer you probably think of thurgood marshall, his book focuses on the freeing brown vs. board of education period and those lawyers. in this book which historian david j. barrow has called a richly compelling and impressive list to the volume, he profiles these lawyers and renders a portrait of these lawyers that really labored and they're very particular and specific burden. he argues that these lawyers, people like john mercer
langston, at howard law school and ravens alexander of philadelphia, that they essentially had a very specific and difficult expectation and that is they represent the african-american race but also appear to be nothing like it. this band of lawyers has a fraternity that cross the color line, very live in manner of bearing with equal treatment for african american, the washington post named this book and nonfiction book in 2012 and was a finalist for the julia how ward book award. please join me in putting your hands together and welcome kenneth mack. [applause] >> thank you. thank you to the library of congress for inviting me and thank you to all of you for
coming. what i would like to say is talk a little bit about the book, a little bit about how i came to write it and i will lead a little bit also and we will take questions. so the book, the book is a biographical account of men and women to change america, men and women who helped transform america from a country that denied basic citizenship rights to a portion of its citizens based on race to the country we know today that embraces racial equality as one of its core principles. is a collective biography of african-americans who practiced law during the era of jim crow. lawyers like thurgood marshall and lesser known figures like los angeles lawyer lloyd miller, paul e. murray spent a career in washington d.c. alexander in philadelphia and a host of others who are not that well
known. this is a story we think we know but we do not. and brown vs. board of education, some of us read a biography of thurgood marshall but one that i tried to show in the book, it is very familiar but we don't know much about it. start digging around in the library of congress and lots of other places reconstruct a defeat contextualized story about the men and women who snatched jim crow and the way americans think about famous figures like thurgood marshall and introduce previously unknown characters to the civil rights narrative. it is a familiar story told in an unfamiliar way. it is a story of
african-americans, african-americans who crossed the color line. to cross the color line meant in fact at the time these were called representative negros, this is what african-americans called themselves who did this, they cross the color line, did something people were not supposed to do, african-american lawyers came to court in an era where there are no black judges, and it your job is to convince a group of white americans in the year of jim crow to decide in favor of your clients, when the entire court room is a deeply prejudiced institution, these are americans who crossed the color line to speak to white people, and at the same time people thought that they were supposed to be representative negros which meant they were
supposed to be white like the rest of african-americans. the book is about the demand, of black people who break through a barrier that hasn't been broken through in -- it be like the larger society, and the rest of the race. and they represent the rest of the race at the same time and i talk about how these lawyers struggled with this as an issue through their whole career. in fact the book was very much written in the present. i am a firm believer that we all write history in the presence. we right questions we want to hear. we want to answer. what is the present racial politics? we have a confused racial politics, racial identity itself seems more complicated each year. and of president born in hawaii
who is heir to all of the african-american traditions and what i really want to do in the book is shows that even in the era of jim crow in which race was supposed to be fixed, we knew who was black and who was white and which boxes they all went to, which schools they were supposed to go to, even in that era race was fluid and lots of people stepped across the color line, confounding the expectations of blacks and whites and among the people who did this were african-american civil rights lawyers. let me do one more thing, let me tell you how i came to write it because this is a festival that is all about riding, people who love books and i love books and i loved writing this book. let me tell you how i came to write it and i will read just a little bit and we will take questions. as some of you know i am a
lawyer, a law professor at harvard. i went to law school and graduated 20 years ago and i went to law school with a number of people doing interesting things in life like barack obama. and like most of my classmates i spend the next couple decades working to get something accomplished, and i don't know, round 2006 i was a tenured professor at harvard and i had this book, trying to write a book about civil rights lawyers and what i did was something that people at my stage in their career don't usually do. i sat down and i thought for a while, about a year, thinking how did i want to write the book? i began to think who was i writing it for?
who was my audience? who did i admire? whose riding styles really, really and for all of me? one that i admired was the person you're heard just now, taylor branch. what were my objectives for the boat? i paused from this tread mills but i was on and i began to ask all of these questions you are not supposed to ask of yourself at this stage in your career but this is one of the things tenure is for. allows you to ask questions without thinking you're going to get fired the next year. i did this and i came up with a book. it is a very different book than the one i set out to right at the beginning, writing is a journey, very different book from the one i set out to right at the beginning. i began to see things, practice
laws during jim crow and most people haven't seen before. i began to see these stories i wanted to tell. let me do one more thing before we do questions. let me read a little bit because i thought a lot about how i wanted to tell the story. how i wanted to relate it, how i wanted to draw the reader in and who exactly i wanted the book to appeals to. let me read about a couple lawyers who are in the book and then we will talk. let me start with a lawyer named john mercer langston. he was the first dean of howard law school. he was also the most prominent african-american lawyer in the nineteenth century and he had a very unusual career so let me read a little bit. john langston is only faintly remembered today although some
have tried to claim him as a model for the first african-american president. in the nineteenth century it was a different matter. langston was famous. langston was one of the leading public figures of his day. he rivaled frederick douglass for prominence in black politics and earned the trust of whites that would seem notable in almost any era of american history. who was langston? langston was born in 1829 in virginia and raised in ohio and graduated from oberlin college in an era when most americans didn't think plaques had basic citizenship rights. langston was also the son of all white slave owner and african-american woman who sent his sons to a high to get an education because they were not going to be educated in virginia. he was biracial but he was also
in our language and african-american. though langston went to ohio, went to oberlin college, became a lawyer and somehow persuaded a steady stream of whites to beat a path to his door and hire him as a lawyer in ohio when ohio didn't even allow african-americans to vote. he then rose through black and white politics until he had his career by becoming the dean of howard law school and the united states minister to haiti. links and as i argue in the book was the quintessential nineteenth century representative black man, established abolitionist minded white, a person in whom they could see a darker reflection of themselves. for them langston's seemed to personify everything the colored race might be, through office tackles of slavery--slavery and
became bold citizens. is improbable journey, this journey that would see him get white clients, become dean of howard law school and u.s. minister to haiti, his improbable journey began with the decision to become a lawyer. that was key for langston, gave him the confidence to speak in public life, and allowed him to earn the trust of whites in a way he would later put to good use bet to become a lawyer, the person who believed he could represent black people had to first prove that he was a white man because african-americans were not allowed to become lawyers in ohio. john mercer langston, who was later than i was but not looking white, was admitted to the bar as a white man. he went before a panel of judges because this is how you got admitted to the bar back then,
they examine you, assessed your fitness to become a lawyer, you are learning in law and he was very fit, he learned a lot but there was one problem, he was black. the lawyer who proposed him caught up and he proposed a solution and the chief judge asked where is mr. langston and langston stood up in the courtroom, looked what he looked like and promptly swarmed in as a white lawyer. this was a sign of how langston would rise in the world. he rose in the world by convincing whites that he was one of them. at the same time, he was the most prominent black lawyer in america. he earned the trust of whites and represented blacks. this was the kind of story i wanted to tell in the book.
i tell us similar story about thurgood marshall. thurgood marshall rose to prominence in maryland because when thurgood marshall would show up in that town that nobody had ever seen a black lawyer before, nobody knew how to treat him. the solution was to treat him like a white man. not completely like a white man, it wasn't like that. but the solution was to think about marshall the way marshall could convince white lawyers and judges to do what he wanted, to convince them that he was a representative negro as it was called. at the same time thurgood marshall was supposed to represent black people and the key to marshall's career, the key that would see him rise to the supreme court first as a litigant arguing brown vs. board of education and later as
supreme court justice, was that whites could see him as somebody like them but at the same time they could see him as african-american. the book is about the stories of men and women who all have unusual, and expected, surprising stories, people like loren miller, a lawyer who practiced in los angeles, he was one of the leading lawyers who had a racially restrictive covenant cases the challenge restrictions that kept houses from being sold to black people. but loren miller was a black lawyer, also by racial and his mother was white, his father was black, he grew up in an indian reservation in kansas and found himself in los angeles where he was that neighborhood that was
half african-american and half japanese and loren miller was trying to sort this out. what did it mean to be african-american in that kind of sort of stew of race and ethnicity. and the two of them traveled to the soviet union and learned about race in the soviet union and came back to the united states thinking he was a marxist and that he was opposed to people like thurgood marshall and charles houston and spent five years writing, writing about lawyers like thurgood marshall were selling out african-americans accusing them of being not representative and one thing i try to do in the book is life is complicated and miller's life got more complicated.
he was 33 years old and by this time he was married and had a law degree and wasn't making any money and his wife and other people said you ought to practice law and miller was this person who always thought practicing law was exactly the wrong thing to do because mother was a marxist. he thought law was just this superstructure and the real struggle was the workers and as they went to practice law and by golly likes it and he is helping people and there are all these black people about to be thrown out of their homes in los angeles and miller is the only person who conceive them from being evicted. within six months of practicing law he changes his mind. he writes a letter to charles houston, thurgood marshall's mentor disavowing everything he had been saying for the last
she was a lawyer. she was a 1944 graduate of howard law school, and around the time she graduated from law school, she game up with an idea she called jane crow. it sounds familiar like jim crow. that was the idea. it was something out there calmed jim jim -- called jim crow which lots of people was trying to show was contrary to law. there was something called jane crow sex segregation and she argued it was more or less the same thing. it was a radical thing to say in 1944. let me just read a little bit how pauley murray came to have this radical idea that effects all of us today. in the fall of 1941, she arrived in washington, d.c., for her first year of study at howard
law school. wanting nothing more than to represent her race and struggles with segregation. she described her civil righted a vote -- ed a vote she was egger to demonstrate it. on the path to law was a simple trip south the previous year to see a relative which lead to her arrest aboarded a segregated but in virginia. after her arrest, the ncaap lawyers came to defend per. she loved what she saw. she loved seeing lawyer like thurgood marshall and she decided she wanted to be one of them. the following year she became her study at howard law school and earned top honor. she was the number one student in the 1944 graduating school. she joined the lawyers. it was a tradition at howard number one graduate would go one
way or another work for the ncaap. murray was, at best, a representative woman, not a representative man. and the civil rights courtroom was off limits to women. there were no women civil rights lawyers. in fact, murray was a poor choice even as a representative woman of her race. she arrived at howard in the middle of a personal crisis. behind the confident assad was a middle in a middle of crisis identity. in a world in which people had to identify as black or white, murray thoughtsha she was a little bit different. she came from this family where she said it was a united nations. every color was represented. she had a lot of family members who could pass for white. she was one of the darker members of her family subpoena
-- she struggled with where she fit. she was born in north carolina. she struggled with racial lines. more importantly, in a world in which people had to identify as men or women, she felt as though she was something else. she felt as if she were a man trapped in a woman's body. many people today call this transgender, she didn't have that kind of language. but she was a civil rights lawyer, and she tried to use civil rights law to describe her own struggle with identity. she was a woman who wanted do the things that men did. including become a civil rights lawyer. she never went work for the naacp. she was disappointed in that, but what she came up with was the idea that the barriers that
kept her out of the civil rights courtroom were just like the barriers that kept african-americans out of thing -- places reserved for whites. at first, almost no one believed her. 1944, even her professor at howard didn't really believe her. sex discrimination wasn't a word then; right? jay crow, people couldn't figure it out. she kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing. twenty years later people dwan to believe her including a lawyer named ruth bader ginsburg who cited her as one of the principle influences on her when she finally convinced the u.s. supreme court to recognize sex discrimination as a constitutional claim. in 1944, almost no one believed murray when she said jane crow was like jim crow. the years passed more and more people did. okay.
so these are the kinds of stories i tell in the book. storieses of a complicated lives of african-american lawyer under jim crow. stories of men and women who changed the world around them. stories of men and women who struggled with their own particular crises, problems of identity. stories men and women struggle with the question what it meant to represent a race. i troy to tell them as stories, as wonderful, human stories. i spent a lot of time thinking about and i hope you'll read about them. thank. [applause] so now i think we're supposed to have questions, comments, and -- am i -- should i moderate? sure. do we have a mirk phone --
we have two microphones. we will alternate. i'll start with the gentleman in the dark blue. >> hi. first, congratulations on this book. i think so you done this country a favor with your -- [inaudible] >> thank you. >> i'm wondering, well, two questions. first, could you talk a little bit about the political affiliation and affiliations and identities that some of these lawyers, like, who were liberals, socialists, communists, republicans like bill coleman. also, i'm wondering in addition to muir i are if there were any of the lawyers whom you wrote about who were lesbian or transgender or gay, and if that inflected their work in any way? >> okay. good questions. one, politics. so, you know, civil rights -- you know, by the 1960s, the
middle of 1960s, you know, the civil rights became very identified with the democratic party, but as the questioner remarkinged, you know, these lawyer ran the gamete from -- there's a lawyer named benjamin davis in the book. she was a -- he was a harvard law school got beat up in the first civil rights trial in georgia and. he joined the -- he was alienated. they went from him all the lawyers very, very conservative. there's bill coleman, who is actually quite old now. published his autobiography a couple of years ago but secretary of transportation for ford. they ran the gamete. second question is about sexual identity. you know, it is hard to know.
i wondered a lot about muir i -- murray. i have two pictures in the book, i use them there's a picture of her graduating from high school. she a 1920s woman with that kind of outfit. there's a picture of her five years later she looks like a boy. she has short hair. she's really thin, and i always wondered. but the reason i know is because she kept a diary, and she wrote it down. she also went to see a bunch of doctors. she didn't have the language to describe what she was. she went to a doctor, she wrote down what the doctors told her. with her, you know, you've got it. but with those people, you don't. so there are deep and complicated stories -- i think her story is more complicated than most people. there are deep and complicated
story out there that we just don't know because people didn't write it down. and if she hadn't written it down in a diary, i would look at the pictures pictures with, think about, but never know. the gentleman in the yellow. >> during the 2008 election, some comments were -- i don't think they were meant for public, but they kind of got out to the press, majority leader reid -- and i think then senator i'd biden said some comments like, oh, senator obama, he's okay. he's clean cut, and in effect he's not al sharpton. [laughter] and so when i was listening to you talk about the representative, african-american lawyers, i started to think this sound pretty similar, and that the president is in some ways still having to live in multiple
world. how do you -- do you see any similarities in term of the president and the people that you write about? >> very good question. and, you know, i write history in the present. you look at the past through the lens of the present. i'm writing about the past trying to take people seriously in their own con technical. clearly you are inspired by things in the present. i was not inspired by barack obama, he did -- we did go to school together. i think i was inspired by a larger set of questions that have a lot to do with the world we're in. color line are being broken. we not only have an african-american president, but we have african-americans as heads of major corporation. you know, during the financial crisis, one of the people who was heads of one of the wall street banks almost went over was a guy named stanley o'neal. we live in a world which racial barriers are falling, and i
think it's always been true that breakthrough african-americans are always negotiating all of these demands, you know. are you, like, are you represented of the institution? the presidency, or -- investment bank, the larger world, or are you, quote, unquote, representative of african-american. are you more authentically black. the question about obama. is he authentically black? i think it's a wrong question. it's a question asked about african-americans -- breakthrough african-american like thurgood marshall. going all the way back. clearly i'm inspired by thing like that. not directly by obama, but, you know, in the book i do mention obama at the end. i mention clarence thomas at the end. i think they are in the middle in which they're in a world where african-americans are not expected to go, and at the same
time, they're in a world in which people demand they be authentic, and they are struggling with that. and one of the things i try to show in the book that kind of struggle isn't new. it goes back to the civil rights era before. go ahead. >> i read that you were an electrical engineer with bill -- an integrated circuit design. >> yes. >> what made you change your career so dramatically? >> yeah. i started my career as an electrical engineer. i was an electrical engineer because, i guess, i was good in math and science and, you know, particularly if you're a minority you're good in math and science. everybody says you should be a engineer. my father is actually an engineer. it was the biggest influence on my entire life, and i majored in the wrong thing in college. that's really the real lesson. i majored in engineer, i worked
as an engineer. it wasn't for me. i didn't love it. in my job what i do today, i get up every day, and i love what i do. i wish everybody could feel that way about work. but i didn't love it, and i went to law school just because i wanted to do something different. so, you know, as said, i think, you know, i like the way things have turned out. i like my career, and it's all the product of a mistake. that's how life is, sometimes. >> yes. a couple of weeks ago we were here celebrating the march on washington, and we are remieshed there had would not have been a president obama without a dr. king. and i'm convince there had wouldn't have been a dr. king without began i did. i'm wondering for the people you studied have self-conscious they were being part of a long-term movement development of nonviolate civil resistance as
an instrument for social change. >> this is very interesting. the question about nonviolation and began i ghandi ideas were circulating in the united by the late '30s. some of the lawyers in the book were deeply influenced by them. in particular murray. when murray -- she became a lawyer after she got arrested on this bus in virginia in 1940, and she was arrested on the bus because she thought she was practices began ghandi sis obedience. she was in a circle reading about ghandi and thinking about how to put in practice in united. she went to virginia and thought, you know, she would do this on the bus. not only did she did it on the bus, she came to court and testified she thought she was practicing ghandi and
nonviolence. she became really, really enthralled with the courtroom, and yes, so she was very influenced by. it some people weren't. but even lawyers who aren't so much in the book, harris crawford, the administration briefly senator from pennsylvania. was also ?b he went to howard law school. he's the white man went to howard law school. howard had white students all the way back. and she he was very influenced by ghandi nonviolence. after getting out of law school writing a memo to thurgood marshall saying you thought do it. marshall twhawnt sympathetic. so lots of people in the book were influenced. some people in the book were influenced by began i -- ghandi and ideas and others were not. who is next? >> hell --
hello what are the current civil rights issues facing african-americans today? >> i think civil rights -- i actually have a new book about this it's called "the new black; what is changing what is not, race of america." in the book i and a bunch of other people argue the civil rights issue of today are not the civil rights ideas of a generation -- excuse me the civil rights issues are not the civil rights issues are those of generation ago. in some ways they are, some ways they are not. i would think the biggest civil rights issue right now is the fact that an entire generation of african-american men are essentially being sent to prison and no one seems to care. [applause]
it isn't a civil rights issue like a generation ago. there's no -- not outright discrimination. in fact, there's lots of stuff that looks a little bit like discrimination that helped it to happen. we have basically very little public policy trying to address this. every now and then; right, so it's not an accident, you know. erick holder is the first african-american attorney general. it's not an accident holder has been, you know, he announced the policy not long ago, you know, essentially that this part of justice is going to not try to put as many people in jail even when the law seems to require they send someone to jail. there are people that worry about it. there are people trying to get
-- with it. we're in a huge debate about pots education right now. it's about how to improve schools, and i think if you could do two things, if you could get black men to graduate from high school and go college, you dramatically decrease the likelihood of winding up in the criminal justice system. if you do thing two things, improve the quality of education, and prevent some people from going to jail you get something -- you get an incredible -- okay. i'll say one last thing. in my other book, there's one statistic in the book between about 19 -- let's say 1975 and 1995.
in 1995, if you're a black man with some degree of college education, you are less likely to go to prison than you were in 1975. in 1995, if you're a black man without a high school diploma, something like, i don't know, i'm going get it wrong. it's something like four times as likely to go to prison as you were in 1975. that's with a we've done. that's what we did in twenty years, and the number one civil rights issue today is undo that. >> thank you. [applause] excellent presentation, by the way. what take away or lessons do you think modern public interest lawyers, which is the new term of civil rights lawyer, can take from the figure you wrote about? do you think the economic
crisis, the lack of funding for public interest organizations, and the high student loan rates is lowering the number of people that go in to civil rights law as a practice? >> okay. , you know, lessons for present civil rights lawyer. one of the thing i try talk about in the book is that all of the way back, civil rights lawyers be question that marshall spoke with his enthat marshall spoke with his entire career how to be representative, and what i do in the book is i make representation to a question. he struggled with, am i representing the larger group? what is my relationship to the larger group? to some extent, being a lawyer meant that he was different. his key to the system was being different from the african-american. that's why white lawyers and judges could accept him in court. that's why he could win. and i think this is something
that, you know, public interest lawyers struggle with today; right? you're representing a group, sometimes a member of the group. sometimes not a member of the group, but what is that relationship between the lawyer, the advocate, the person who has greater access to the legal system representing all of these people who don't? there's not a right answer to that, but it's just always have a question you have to keep asking you're. okay. second half of the question was the -- sorry. give me the second half of the question. >> the second half was asking whether or not you think there are going to be fewer people entering to the civil rights field. >> two things, right. we're in the middle of madness right now.
i should say this. the federal government is going to shut down on october 1st, maybe. probably, i think. and if it doesn't shut down on october 1st. on october 15th, the federal government will lose its ability to borrow. and there's a bill in congress cut, you know, millions of dollars from food stamps. and those kinds of public policies disportion nately impact the ability to offer legal services to people who can't afford them. the ability to offer health care, the ability to offer a variety of social services to a wide group of americans when we are struggling to get out of a recession. so the short an to the question is, yeah, i mean, resources for public interest advocacy of any kind have been dwindling over the past generation, public
resources. we're in the middle of something that is crazy. it's not too strong of a word for it. the craziness -- [applause] the craziness disportion nately affect those who are in most need of those services. and it's not just racial minorities. lots of people in america will be affected by the mad thank we're in. and i -- i'm not going say anything more poignant that that. we're in the a nonpat dan gathering. >> you speak very eloquently in regard to the civil rights movement, thank you for that. my question is this; have you ever done any research about those people who have advocated throughout the judicial
process. advocating for civil rights who are not lawyers? >> i'm sorry. not lawyers? yes. >> yes. >> okay. the pro-say civil litigant on behalf of the public interest? >> i i haven't done a lot of research on pro-say litigants. i haven't done a lot of research on people who are not lawyers. social movements. lot of people doing that kind of work. it's very needed, you know, you can only do so much in one book. i kind of do something in one book. i agree 100% with the rest of the question. it's something that we -- i'm a historian. we struggle with it because the people easy to write about, easiest to write about are the people who are the most education, the people who leave paper behind, the people who leave some mark of their presence. and very hard to write about
other folks. but we have to. i think we are at time? so thank you for a wonderful set of question. [applause] [applause] live coverage of the tbirt national book festival in the mall of washington, d.c., continues. kenneth mack you've been listening to is walking over to join us on the set here on the mall. he'll be joining us to take your calls. we're going to put the phone lines on the screen 202-585-3890 for the eastern and central time zone. 202-588-3891 is the mountain/pacific. he'll be over here in a few minutes. we're between the capitol and
the washington monument here on the mall, about 200,000 people are expected to be out on the mall this weekend for the national book festival. this is booktv's 15th year on the air, and it's a 13th year of the national book festival. we have covered every one of them live beginning in 2000. in fact throughout the day and throughout this weekend, we're going to be showing you some of the 2001 coverage. we've got some calls already for mr. mack, and we will begin taking those in just a minute. just want to let you know we have several hours of live coverage coming up today. james swanson will be doing a call-in program after kenneth mack is done. president has been shot about the assassination of jfk. that's coming up after kenneth mack. then david will be back in the
history and biography tent. he'll join us about joseph kennedy. he'll join us for a call in following that. we'll be talking to steve who is written a book on war of 1812, and marie will be talking in the history of biography tent later on this afternoon. that is the rest of our coverage today. we'll be live all day again tomorrow down here on the mall. you can find the full schedule at booktv.org. by the way, you can also get schedule updates by following us on facebook. facebook.com/booktv. or on twitter @booktv is our twitter handle. alice in baltimore, what is your question for kenneth mack? >> caller: first of all, i want to compliment him on the wonderful job he had done with the book. i'm from baltimore the home of thurgood marshall. we're proud of him and his contributions. i want to ask what was the
relationship or if the he found the information regarding the relationship between walter white who was then the president of the naacp and thurgood marshall. mr. white was also a -- [inaudible] i was curious if he did any relationship on the relationship between the two of them? >> thank you very much, once he is ready. we'll ask him that question. we're going go next to joe in pittsburgh, hi, joe. >> caller: yeah, thank you for taking my call. i was curious whether mr. mack mentioned in his book the name of the lawyers montgomery blare and -- [inaudible] they were the lawyers for prescott decision. >> joe the second name? montgomery blair. from washington, d.c. ands are --
roswell field. >> mr. mack is joining us on the mall. let see what his answer to the question is. montgomery blair and roswell. i don't mention the particular lawyers. most of my book takes place in the 20th century. i do a couple of things that happen in the 19th century. i mention charles, the great abolitionist, and and black lawyer, i long with summer brought the first major school desegregation case in boston in 1844. ..
was mostly good. they were rivals. the naacp does a lot of things. it has lawyers, chapters, legislation, lobbying, over time the lawyers come to be the center of power so i would save they were friendly rivals but that is the way the world works. >> host: kenneth mack as law professor at harvard and the next call comes from linda in little rock, arkansas. you are on booktv. >> thank you for taking my call and i want to thank him for his
book. my question is what is your opinion or message to black america today in terms of civil rights? >> guest: message to black america in terms of civil rights. i was asked this at the national book festival 15 minutes ago and what i said that is what i will say now, the number one civil rights issue today is the fact that an entire generation of black men are being sent to prison and for the most part the country doesn't seem to care. we can identify what is it could you were born in and buy that identify how likely you are to go to prison. if i were a symbol or -- civil rights attorney today that more than anything else, i would be interested in. the problem is it is not exactly the same kind of civil rights issue as we had before, out and out discrimination, it is a set
of policies, commitments as a society to equality that we simply don't have in that particular area. >> host: when you began your talking history and biography tent today you said you didn't like the book you set out to write. >> guest: when you write you learn things, you find things you didn't find before. you think about things, you think about things that are different. i set out to write a book that was about thinking about alternative civil rights movements, trying to figure out people i liked in the past who may have had up broader or deeper civil rights division than someone like thurgood marshall. history is the process of learning. you learn more about the people you write about, you learn to respect them, to criticize them, learn about their context and learn new questions to ask, new things to be interested in and
they kept calling themselves representative negros, all of these african-americans in this area representative negros. i started to wonder what do they mean by that. we didn't know what they meant but what they meant was something we are still debating today which is how to deal with african-americans who break through barriers that are supposed to circumscribe their opportunities by race. i just learned and got interested in new things. >> host: what you just said, does that cut into the authenticity issue you raise in representing the race? >> there is a question of authenticity that is always asked, african-americans who break through barriers, thurgood marshall, asked of all the lawyers in the book, you broke into a barrier -- because you are not like the rest of the
group, you are more integrated. thurgood marshall was a lawyer and he got the respect often of his white lawyer colleagues and judges in the south. they didn't treat him with the bully pulpit but differently than they did other african americans but does that make you in authentic? if this was the questions thurgood marshall kept struggling with andy wasn't just that whites wanted him to be integrated and blacks wanted him -- whites and blacks were both confused about which of those things they wanted because white lawyers and judges wanted to deal with an authentic black person so it is complicated. this is a question the doesn't have easy answers. >> host: next call from janet. >> hello, mr. mayer. i have a question that has bothered me for 50 years. i was living in chesapeake, va..
my husband was in the navy at the time and i saw a little third grade girl. i'm going to start crying thinking about it, trying to get on the bus to go to the why with the other kids and they wouldn't take her. she turned around and when left. i said what is the name of this place? young christian association and you are turning that little girl way? so i thought about that little girl monthly. my question, i am of irish descent and i don't like the british, how does a black person get past that animosity? i didn't even suffer under the british but i am at some because they did it to my ancestors. >> host: what year was that?
what year was that? >> caller: it was the late 60s. >> host: how does a person get past that? >> guest: i have faith in capacity of people to grow. my own father went to a segregated school. couldn't go to the white movie theater in pennsylvania, my own father couldn't get the job that he wanted. he would apply for jobs and be denied because of his race. my own father is a very broad minded and forgiving person, he is still alive and have the capacity to grow. some time that is a matter of faith, doesn't always happen, but i think it can happen and in
some conflict around the world it has happened. we have to remember the past. it is part of our history, we can't forget it but we can't let it control us. >> host: you are on booktv on c-span2, we are talking with author kenneth mack. >> caller: yes. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: i was calling because my family life was violated. my ex-husband -- right now, he was abusive and no one was monitoring him. we are in minnesota and i would like to know where can i go to have somebody help me? >> host: is there a large pool of civil rights lawyers? >> just to be specific about the
question -- >> where in minnesota are you? st. paul? >> guest: i would start with the local bar association. there will be a local bar association in save all, you can call them. if you need representation even if you can't pay, most local bar associations have a way of referring you to lawyers who can investigate your case and get you help. i don't know enough about st. paul to be more specific but particularly if you live in a city there are always organizations that are trying to get people matched up with lawyers to help them out of their particular situation and finding those, i would start with the local bar association. >> host: civil rights lawyers -- >> there is a large pool but they are scattered.
new organizations pop-up, and there are individual civil rights lawyers. is harder to be a civil rights lawyer today than it was a generation ago. let me be more specific. in the middle of the 1970s, it is harder, less resources devoted to it and it is a hard life. most of us don't want a hard life. people who do not work at some point decide they want a steady income, they want to send their kids to school and not struggle so much. it is very hard. less resources devoted to it each year, something we emphatically need more resources devoted to. >> host: what was your path to becoming a professor at harvard? >> my path was a lot of accidents. i majored in the wrong thing in college. i was an electrical engineering
major. i liked studying in school, didn't like being an electrical engineer. i came to harvard to get away from engineering and i love that and i loved being a lawyer, i love to learning about history and i just kept pursuing it and had no it at the end of the day i would wind up as a harvard law school professor, but i figured at the end of the day i would wind up doing something that i liked and that was the most important thing. >> host: where breyer race? >> shares during, pa.. >> host: next call for kenneth mack, author of this book "representing the race: the creation of the civil rights lawyer". sunny in miami. you are on booktv. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to understand the point you are making clearly. i use saying there's a difference in terms of the issues facing people about civil
rights issues today as opposed to 50 years ago? >> guest: yes. there are struggles of 50 years ago the we have not completed. we still struggle to get people to vote without constraint. one of the core issues of the civil rights movement was to get access to the polls and we still struggle with that. we still struggle with a host of issues. it is different because there is not a law saying you can't go to school with someone of the opposite race. there is not something you can't do, we have a huge and active black middle-class where african-americans are doing things you couldn't imagine a generation ago but at the same time we have lots and lots of african-americans and people of
other races who are the same if not worse off than they were 50 years ago. we are in a new civil rights era and much worse from 50 years ago still remains to be done. >> host: next call from mississippi. >> caller: i would like to congratulate kenneth mack for a wonderful ending gauging book. the question that kept coming in to my mind that he didn't address directly, lawyers in the jim crow era, when speaking to the court, do we have a ratio of the number of cases as opposed to the number of cases lost by black lawyers? >> guest: we can't figure out how of many cases they win versus that they lost. we know they won a lot of very
improbable cases. we know they won in circumstances when people thought they couldn't win but we can't quantify it in that way. very hard work, how do you measure those things? one thing we do know is they won under circumstances when nobody thought they could possibly win. >> host: how did they win with white juries, white judges? >> guest: one thing is to be an african-american was to in some measure convince a bunch of white people that you are like them. and loren miller and los angeles or earl dickinson in chicago when they came to court their job was to command a bunch of white people who were very
prejudiced to decide in their favor. and they were lawyers and not an honor of black lawyers and they had to be lawyers. everyone knew there were black lawyers, they were just lawyers, just lawyers perceived as white lawyers and that was part of the key to winning but at the same time everybody knew they were black and they were supposed to represent the rest of their race, supposed to be like the rest of their race and one thing i argue in the book is the key to winning was finding a deal with the paradox of being white people to win. >> host: next call is from oakland, calif.. you are on booktv. >> caller: i was wondering if during your research you found
any overtons in virginia or north carolina. >> guest: i didn't find that. >> host: why do you ask that question? >> guest: working out in virginia. >> caller: in 1940, a i know that. >> guest: i didn't find any overtons. i found places, people like didn't expect to find. you do research, you look into the archives and find things that surprise you. >> host: what is one of the surprises you found? >> guest: i talked about this earlier in the presentation but i was wondering about her appearance and you wonder, she looks sort of boyish but she seems to be just a regular middle-class african-american
lawyer. on was going through her papers and suddenly i find diaries and start reading them and she talks about it all. and found medical records and she talks about all of that. sometimes you think things, you worry, you think they might be through, but with her i just got lucky. lots of people -- she didn't destroy that. didn't expect them to find it and just got lucky. >> host: what was the year she asked about? >> guest: she started practicing in 1944, to graduate school. and in the middle of the 1940s he remains a lawyer until 1968. she was a professor, end her
career as one of the first women priests ordained by the church, very complicated and rich career. >> host: did thurgood marshall's contemporaries get that? >> guest: they didn't get wealthy. they figured out how to make money at the practice of law. i argue in the book to understand civil rights lawyers you have to understand they have to earn a living. civil rights cases don't have a. you have to be good at the cases that do day. a really fascinating figure, not wealthy by the standards of white lawyers around him but made a pretty good living at it. and he was such a good trial lawyer in an area in which this is the year of race prejudice
even in a place like philadelphia. lots and lots of white clients, made pretty decent money as a lawyer and at the same time he was one of the leading civil rights lawyers in the country but his story is rare. most of these men and women struggled all of their lives to play the bills. >> host: next call for kenneth mack from rocky mountain, north carolina. the lead with your question. >> this three strikes and you are out have to do with putting elected in prison and the second one is what is the new term for the civil rights lawyer? i didn't understand what the young lady was saying. >> host: could you slow down a little bit? >> first question was do you think three strikes and you are out has a lot to do with putting more black men in prison and the
second, is expected, the new term for civil rights lawyers, what is the term? i didn't get it. >> guest: three strikes and you are out is one of the reasons there are so many blacks in prison but actually changes mostly in the drug laws dating back to the 1970s that the number of people the united states has in prison exploded in the 1970s, straight through basically today and it is getting to the deck of the states can't accommodate it. they don't have the budget to do it and it is bad public policy, people who don't have to be in prison. three strikes and you are out is part of the story but the story goes much earlier than that. the term the lady used was public-interest lawyer.
that is what many people call civil rights lawyers today. >> host: do you use that term? >> yes. it has to do with lawyers, connotes a certain set of issues, certain set of identifications and lots of people think of themselves as public interest lawyers to denote they are dealing with a larger set of issues, may be different from ones in the civil rights era, different groups, different issues, different styles of advocacy. not necessarily going to court. you might be helping out of nonprofit. many people call themselves public interest lawyers who don't fit the old mold of civil rights lawyers like those in the book. >> host: michael in oakland, you are on the air. >> caller: i have a question. public-interest attorneys, the attorney who wasn't even a civil rights tight attorney said he would never do another case and
that was the only case he had ever done on civil rights and you are going to get more of terry's that are moving along commack as i remember, the late thurgood marshall didn't even interview a black law clerk for a number of years. anybody from howard university because civil rights movement came about, the school change to more economic type efforts for the attorneys such as corporate law, wall street and whatever else and you were right along that, i don't know about public-interest attorneys whether they're doing employment discrimination or rent or whatever else, those become civil rights but i have a question about friends gendered people becoming the new minority and having the same rights as everybody else in this country or even more rights. would you comment on that? >> guest: let me take the first part of this. one thing i try to point out in the book is even in the civil rights era, most of the lawyers
in the book are not doing civil rights cases all the time. some may have done a few really big cases, some of them may have done a lot of big cases and some did a lot of little cases but most lawyers don't work for the naacp, don't work for a civil rights organization, they're just practicing law and they see some injustice and decide they want to do something about it and that is part of a story i tell in the book. we are in the midst of a big debate right now. lots of people claiming the mantle of the civil rights movement and the civil rights era. i expanded not just prejudiced people, but lots of people who are defenders of one kind or another claiming the mantle of the civil rights movement, a new look at the u.s. supreme court and acknowledge that. we are in a big debate about that and we are not done.
i think in some measure they are doing what they should do. civil rights was about convincing americans that what they didn't think was wrong and unfair and contrary to american values really was. and lots of other groups are trying to do that today and in that sense they are standing in the shoes of the civil rights movement. >> host: a few minutes left with our guest, author of "representing the race: the creation of the civil rights lawyer," kenneth mack. eric in california, it is your turn. you with us? let's move on to denise in south carolina. >> caller: you almost got it right.
the count is down. fascinating. i am 60 years old and moved to virginia in 1963 [inaudible] >> without working well. >> could you understand? >> guest: broke up a little bit. >> host: you were a couple little bit. can you try again very quickly? otherwise we will have to move on. >> caller: i moved from north carolina to virginia when i was 4 years old. my dad was a carpenter so remove the there and in stafford
county, there was a junior high in the southern part of the county. in the northern part of the county which was real world where i lived, we all moved to one high school and i have the long trip on the bus and there were many black people who were picked up on the way and i became a cheerleader on the basketball team and stuff. there was the theater for whites and a theater for blacks. at my age i didn't know until 1981, when we had a class reunion that the civil rights
movement even when on. >> host: shouldn't realize there are the civil rights movement. >> guest: that is an amazing story. i might not have heard it right, she was saying she went, rode buses and went to school and her school had blacks and whites and ed and she didn't understand that there was a civil rights movement going on. i am not familiar with that particular area of virginia but that is a wonderful story. i wish there were more like it. virginia as many people know, didn't get massive resistance. they closed the schools to prevent integration whereas in parts of north carolina, charlotte, greensboro, they integrated and made it happen and blacks and whites had not the perfect experience, but they got to know one another and that
was a more hopeful story. >> host: our last call for kenneth mack comes from virginia. hi, will. >> caller: how are you all doing? my question is why doesn't the civil rights lawyer channel his law in the supreme court under the age of 18. and prosecution around the country has it both ways and the supreme court for a lot of people around the country, a lot of children are around the country. >> guest: those challenges of been made. the supreme court doesn't want to entertain them. the caller raises a significant issue. if i understood properly, the prosecution of people under 18
as adults in prison for serious crimes. right now aside from narrow circumstances the supreme court doesn't want to take that up that people actually are pushing that issue, they pushed that issue and continue to do so. >> host: which current situation regarding voting rights, has there been an uptick in the presence of civil rights lawyers? >> i don't know if there's an uptick in the presence of civil rights lawyers but there has been an uptick in our debate in access to the valley and that is actually good. access has never been guaranteed in the united states. we think we are in a nation where everybody gets to vote. that has never been true. the ballot has always been restricted and there has always been a movement to extend voting rights and we are in the middle
of that right now. >> host: how easy is it going to be for people to get access to the polls? >> guest: i don't think there are more lawyers working on it but as the matter of advocacy there are many more advocates working on it than there were ten years ago. .. we'll put the numbers up in a minute. you can dial in. after that, david nasaw will be
in the tent history and biography tent. we'll be bringing it to you live as well. he's written a book about joseph kennedy called "the patriarch: the remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy." we'll cover it live and take calls with mr. nasaw as wells. lots of call-in opportunities this afternoon. let's hope the rain hold off. we've, wait forking the rain to fall all day. it hasn't yet. we're hopeful. we have a few more hours and we'll be okay. we'll be live here tomorrow. you can find the full schedule of events atbooktv.org inspect is the 2013 book festival. the 13th annual. the first one was in 2001, two days before 9/11. he was held on the ground of the capitol. one of the authors spoke there was well-known historian world war ii historian. here is a little bit of steve ambrose from 2001. >> there were more b24 than any other plane ever built.
it would be an exaggeration to say that the b24 won the war for the allies. don't ask how they could have won the war without it. the army air force needed thousand of pilots, and tens of thousand of crewmembers to fly the b24s. and needed to gather them, train them, supply them, service the planes, and -- relatively small number of men knew anything at all about how to fly. even a single-engine plane or how to fix it. [inaudible] the pilots and prose of the b24 came from every state and territory in america. they were young, fit, eager. they were sons of workers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, businessmen, educators. a few were married. most were not. some had an excellent education
including college, others were barely, if at all, out of high school. they were all volunteers. the unit's army air corp. after 1942, the army air forces didn't force anyone to fly. they made the choice. most of them were between the ages of 2 and 10 in 1927 which charles lind berg flew the spirit of st. louis. for many boy, this was the first outside the family event to enter themselves. it fired their imagination. they too wanted to fly. in their teenage years, they drove model t fords or model a, if i that drove at all. many were farm boys. they plowed behind horses. they walked to school, one, two, sometimes more mile. most of them, including the city
kids were poor. if they were lucky enough to have jobs they earned $1 a day sometime less. if they were younger son they wore hand-me-down clothes. in the summer time many went barefoot. they sell tom traveled. many had never been out of their home counties. even most of the had been out of their home state those best off, only a handful of had been out of the cub. almost never of them had been up in an airplane. a surprising number had never even seen an airplane. but they all wanted to fly. there were inducement beyond the adventure of the thing, glamour, extra pay, quick promotion. you got pick your service. they knew they had to serve. most of themed the to serve. their patriotism was beyond question. they wanted to be part of smashing hitler, news
mussolini. they wanted to choose how they did. they all wanted to fly. nay wanted to get off the ground. be like a bird, see the country from up high. travel faster than anyone could do while attached to the earth. more than electricity rights, more than steam engines, more than telephones, more than automobiles, more even than the printing press. the airplane separated past from future. it had freed mankind from the earth and open to the skies. they were atongishing young. many joined as teen. some never got to be 20 years old before the war ended. even over 25 was considered to be what is called an "old man ." and the 21st century. they hardly give young steers
the detail family car. adults set them out to play a critical role in saving the world. most wanted to be filt are pilots. but a relatively few attained many became pilots or co-pilot that goal. on two-and four-engine bomber. they served as gunners, radio men, flight engineer, or navigators. never mind. they wanted to fly. and they did. >> and that was steven ambrose. world war ii historian from the 2001 the first national book festival. on your screen now is a live picture of 2013, the 13th annual national book festival. as you can see, you download and get a book bag. the c-span button here. covering the history of biography tent. we have a little set right here in the middle of everything et. else.
and joining us now is james swanson. his newest book, young adult called "the president has been shot!: the assassination of john f. kennedy." james a swanson, how do you write about an assassination for young adults? >> it's tough, peter. this is my third young adult book. i did my first one based on my manhunt. i did "chasing lincoln's killer." i didn't know what do. i thought i would adapt the adult book and cut down and do a kids book. it was one of the toughest thing i had to do. i had to write a new book about the lincoln assassination. it's a different kind of audience. different kind of writing. i learn kids are sophisticated. you can't write down to them. they'll catch you like that. you have to write at their level or above their level and challenge them. you have propreserve the core story, bringing them to the moment. so it was tough to do with lincoln it was tougher to do
with jfk. it's a complex story. and kids don't remember jfk. they don't know him. they don't remember november 22nd. i have to tell the story of the assassination. i have to tell children who jfk was. what his administration was. what his loss meant to america. it's writing a spice biography of president kennedy and the times and telling children about the assassination. they don't remember what we do. >> this is a young adult title. "end of days" is your adult title. when it does it come out? >> in november. 12th. that's much like my book "manhunt ." you were there. trying to recreate moment by moment what happened right november 22nd ballot. >> james swanson, why should people with all the books coming out on the assassination on the 50th anker have i -- anniversary. why should they pick up your book? >> a couple of reasons.
first, a lot of the books get off the point this they talk about multiple conspiracy theories. some contradictory. many speculate about whether we don't know happened or not. one thing happening with the 50th anniversary, people -- some forget the realty of what america went through and what happened. america lost a president, a wife lost her husband, two children lost their father. a policeman was murdered. he left a widow and children behind. people have forgotten the human consequences of this story. t not an academic game, it's not an academic exercise. it was one of the worst days in american history. it was the saddest day in american history since the assassination of lincoln. what i tried to in my book, in a way hope is more interesting than the other books coming out, is take you back to that day. and make you feel what it was like. live in america in november 1963 when president kennedy was shot. and just like i tried to with
"manhunt "i try to tell the slow way. it's 10 or 15 little coincidences. kennedy might have lived or survive the plaza. nothing that happened that day had to happy -- happen. i try to make my readers back. i hope they'll suspend the doubt and knowledge and experience it in a way for the first time. i where it for two people. people of the later generation today who don't remember anything. i want this to be the first book they read about the kennedy assassination. for those of us alive then who remember it. i want us to reflect what people experienced that day. i'm hoping they'll think this is exactly how i remember it. this is what happened. that's what i'm trying to bring. the intense human drama of the story. >> historian james swanson is our guest. the phone number are on the screen.
and would like that talk with james swanson about the newest book, "the president has been shot!: the assassination of john f. kennedy." this is the young adult title that is out now. the "end of day requests "is the adult tight. i don't know if we can get close enough to show you that to see what the cover of the book looks like when it comes out in november as well. we'll begin taking the calls in minute. james swanson, you take us back, you say. what in a marc sense was like in november '63 and particularly what was dallas like on november 2*end? >> america in 1963 was a different country that we wouldn't recognize today. it wasn't the mass media. it was a simpler time and way. no cell phone, no computer, no instant communication. you wanted news you got it word
of mouth, radio, networking news at 5:00. there were four main television stations in america. people don't communicate the way they do now. everyone watched the same newspaper. they read the same magazine. you got news in a different way. big immediate events would unit the nation. that's whatted on november 22nd. dallas, dallas became known as the city of hate after jfk was assassinated. it was unfair characterization. there were -- jfk saw protests at the airport. protest newspaper ads ran against him. welcome, mr. kennedy, to dallas. jackie why you look at that we were heading to nut country purchases a 12-point atd explaining why he was procommunist. the president said in his hotel room this that morning in fort worth, jacks key, a man could climb this a tall building with
a rifle and shoot me and kill me. and there's not a thing anyone can do. little did he know it was going to happen throw or four hours later. it wasn't the conservatives that killed kennedy. it wasn't the right-wing. that night she said can you believe it was just some little communist. he didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. so it really wasn't the climate of hate in dallas. the reason people blame dallas, i think, not for the assassination. they blamed dallas for the murder of lee harvey oswald two days after the assassination. 70 policemen, a crowded basement, it deprived america of the rest of the story. no trial of oswald. no change to explain why he did it. people felt the third act of the play never happened. and people couldn't forgive the dallas police and dallas officials for killing the most famous murder be murdered on
live television. it took decades for dplas to overcome that image. >> yams swanson, who in dallas is still surviving -- a part of what happened? >> the major players have long died. i'm told that today detective jim who is wearing the light colored suit escorting oswald, the moment before he's shot is still alive. northeast in his 90s. marina oswald, lee harvey's widow is alive. the policeman who was slain, his children. some of the news men who covered it. dan rather have great stories to tell about the day. many of the witnesses there were several hundred people are still alive. many of the people who knew oswald are alive. some of the workers and the texas school book depository. some heard the rifle shot one floor above their head are
alive. most of the principle players are gone. lady bird johnson, jackie kennedy. many of the ancillary players and withins are still alive. >> james swanson is the guest. herman ins y. you are the first caller. please, go ahead. >> caller: hi. good afternoon. [inaudible] i'm currently in a high school -- i'm supposed to do a budget -- project on president kennedy. the research i've done is a lot of historians have suggested that president kennedy's assassination in a way was his fault because he requested that he have the open limousine for the day he was to arrive, and that his security, you know, how he typical chased the -- he requested that the security not chase behind the limousine. i wanted your opinion, in a way was his assassination his
fault? >>. >> you said you were in high school. what grade are you in and what class are you taking? >> i'm currently a junior, and this is for u.s. history ii. >> and herman, had you -- how much had you known about the assassination prior to your class studying it? >> caller: well, i'm really interested in, kind of history, i love history. it's my favorite subject. my teacher asked us to do -- i've known a lot. my grandparent told me about it and stuff i'm interested in what i call historians who know a lot about it. i was interested in covering it. >> thank you for calling in, herman. >> yeah. it's very interesting question about the security for president kennedy. we didn't learn many lessons from the time lincoln was shot being poorly guarded in 1865.
98 years later dallas. it is true, president kennedy liked to ride in the open car. he did not like to have that plastic bubble top on. to clear up one myth it was not bulletproof. it could have deflected a bullet. the weather was beautiful. he wanted to ride in the open car. another point president kennedy didn't like it when the secret service agents ride in his car. clint hill, secret service agent who pushed jackie in the car told me and others in his writings that the president would say, i want you to stay off my car! clinton said we didn't know what he meant. he didn't want us on the car. he didn't believe in an imperial presidency. he didn't want to look like a king or emperor guard bid dozen of guards. he loved meet crowds. that morning in dallas he met hundreds of people and shook their hands. in fort worth he met hundreds of
people outside the hotel. he looked the human contact. it's unfortunate the bubble top was not on. jfk was completely exposed. just like he said that morning, someone could climb in a building with a rifle and shoot me. he felt the president should not afraid to meet with the american people. that was a risk he was willing to take. unfortunately that day it was an unlucky day. he did, in fact, partly die because nothing stood between him and lee harvey oswald's rifle. >> if herman were to go to dallas and visit the plaza, what would he see? >> going to dallas is a great idea. the best place to go in dallas is the texas school of depository. once a upon of time it was almost torn down. it was almost embarrassment and shame. fortunately, it's now a museum. it's a great museum. it doesn't glorify oswald or the assassination. it's a wonderful museum about
the 1960s, jfk time, jfk's presidency, you must go! and another reason to go to dallas is go to the sixth floor and look out the window next to oswald's window. oswald's window is barricaded so souvenirs don't chip away the brick. first thing you notice it looks smaller in person in real life than it does in photographs. and second thing you're going notice is it looks so close. os waltd was trained to shoot in the marine corps. longer target. if you've fired rifles with, as i have and friends of mine, you look out the window and think he could have made that shot. but the school book depository is a great place to go. then you can follow oswald's escape route and the boarding house, you can visit where his wife lived. so if you're interested in the subject of the kennedy assassination, i think it's a must to go to the sixth floor
museum in dallas. >> and lyndon in south bend, indiana. you're on c-span2 with historian james swanson. >> caller: hello. 7 very interesting. i was in high school when kennedy was killed. from what you have said, i think you believe the warren commission that oswald was the only attacker. but what can we do to people who have watched the movie to say that this cannot be true? how can we set history straight? >> well, the purpose of my book, especially my book for young adults is introduce young people to the story. so i don't get in to huge details about the warren commission. you're right though. i'm told they believe in the conspiracy theory. what i advise young people do is
begin with the facts. don't begin with multiple competing theories about what might have happened. begin with who was lee harvey oswald? he ordered the riefm. he ordered under a false name. he learned how to shoot in the marine corps. he carried a long package to work that day. three coworkers of oswald were in the window below him. they heard the shot and the cartridges hit the floor. the warren commission is not the be all and end all. we don't want -- much more than the warren commission did. so far no one has come forward with the smoking gun evidence that it wasn't old war. the theory are diverse. communist cuban, it was russia, cia, lyndon johnson, texas oil companies, it was the secret service i.t. some theory say there were two oswalds. a man shot darts at the president from an umbrella.
it's a elaborate to pursue those first. look at the known facts first, continue research, continue reading, you decide. many of the conspiracy theories are patriotic by good intentions. they believe the president was murdered bay plot. all the i'm telling young people we have to be skeptical of the controversial and conflicting theories of they are of the official version. i'm not an app gist for the warren commission. everything i'm saying it was oswald. he fired the shots. we know more today than the warren commission. that's in a nutshell all i can say about the warren commission. >> next call for james swanson coming from louise calling from caramel by the sea in california. please go ahead. >> caller: thank you. i want to express my appreciation to be the sensitivity to be a 16-year-old that the time.
after watching three days of -- [inaudible] the grief just became overwhelming. at the point where jackie kennedy put the ring on the president's finger in the casket, i just went away in to my room and wrote a poem how senseless, crazy, and shocking it was. and the three widows, and i so appreciate your touching on the point about the three widows involved. thank you. >> thank you. it's something that is often forgotten. destroyed not only the president's life, literally his children's lives, his wife life. mariano oswald was a victim. oswald had two infant children and a wife. and he left them to murder the president of the united states. marina os wamed along -- were victim of the day. it's a good point. all across the country, high schools went in to shock, young people were crying in their
hallways, i think it's a most traumatic day in american history since april 14 and 15th, 18965 when lincoln was shot and he died the next day. >> james swoun son is the author of this book, "the president has been shot!: the assassination of john f. kennedy." this is a young adult title. his adult title is coming out in november. it's called "end of days." he's known for "manhunt" about the lincoln ais a nation. what is it about you and assassination? >> i don't know. i've told my wife and children. one day i'm going write a happy book. peter, here is one reason why. i look for intense dramatic moment in american history. everything can change overnight. i'm attracted to the moment that not only change leader and policy but that shock an entire nation. i think those moments tell us so much about our past. >> thank you for being with us here at the naicialt book festival.
>> thank you, peter. >> the rain is coming. in just a few minute we're going have another event in the tent. that will be david nassau written a book called "the patriarch: the remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy" hopefully we'll have a call in in program. right now we have to end the segment, i'm afraid. we're going to show you a little bit more from 2001, the first national book festival before the event in the tent starts. you're watching live coverage in the rain on booktv on c-span2. arrived in washington on a june day in 1942 with my journalism degree in hand and my -- [inaudible] [laughter] i still have the journalism degree. [laughter] [applause] but this became home. i quickly realized that the reporter that, you know, not
10-acre area of the two office buildings that it is a area of words, words, words. it's the perfect place for the summit. [inaudible] everybody up here is either in the business of writing words, reading words, speaking words, and so it lead me, finally on the 80th birthday to bring out the wisdom i acquired in this. that is what this book "start with the laugh "i write tender autoimraf -- autographs. [laughter] but after that people need to start with who i am. and it's an insider guide to writing yule guys. too many of those. and speeches and i try to give some advice that is helpful. because virtually everybody
today is making a speech, a presentation. and too many having listened to most of them, i can assure you they are too dumb. what i did try to do is give some -- [inaudible] at the same time i was going through what i laughingly call my paper. which one i give my children and the lbj library. i kept coming upon things i thought if i don't tell them that, nobody is going tell them that. so that is why i got in to it. one of the things i'll tell you to always be at the speech you're going make, an hour before because i just experienced the horror of hearing michael steal one of my stories i personally told him was going to tell today! [laughter] you need to know those kind of things. [laughter]
and he told it more or less like a hawaiian. i tell it like a texan who embellishes thing. i certainly do remember my favorite story that was lbj who really loved speech makers. and speech writers. and he found them everywhere he would grab you and tell you to write something. one time this fellow came in who had done had a graph for president johnson, in his nervous way was standing there going through with his pen and reading every line, he got down to the quotation that mike will tell you about from aristotle. he stopped there and turned off the drafting person and said, you know, i like the chart. those people don't know who the hell aristotle is. he scratched it out and said my dear old daddy used to say.
[laughter] having to write speeches under pressure. i say that's fair. do it any time you can. [laughter] i don't want to go on and on like senator hubert humphrey. who was a darling of a man. he no terminal facilities. [laughter] and he said he couldn't even sneeze in less than five minutes. [laughter] well, he was going on and on one time and suddenly somebody in the back of the room stood up and shouted, senator, your watch has stopped that's a calendar behind you! [laughter] as i said, i've brought this book out on my 80th birthday and lady bird gave a wonderful
party for me at the ranch. some good friend -- [inaudible] and i had no gels. most of them favorably end -- [inaudible] [laughter] they wrote the one i knew. to see the one alive, that is. if they would send me a letter of congratulations. much to my surprise, the best they sent one. the best letter came in from george bush the elder. former president george bush. i say surprise because i never expect republican to be funny. [laughter] his the funniest story. the funniest letter. he wrote me, dear, 80 years title l you to a lot of respect. it's a good time for change. it's right before the election. change parties. you are compassional, you are a liberal, definitely compassionate. you don't want to leave any
child behind do you? you must apt guy who says they don't lead. we will. join us! cut the republican -- cross that bridge. do it. start with the lion. enter the new ma less than yum. that was the elder's advice. i love it. i'm not going to do it. [laughter] but that's the way politics ought to be. [inaudible] [laughter] and am sorry that so many of the words you hear on the hill and so forth have become meaner and unkinder. because you can use words to rally. you can use words for so many purposes. and too many are used to wipe somebody out. [rain falling] live coverage from the 2013 national book festival continue. that was liz carpenter you were listening to from the national book festival. and now coming up in the history of biography tent here among the rain is david nassau the author
of a book on "the patriarch: the remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy." after he finishes his presentation he'll take your calls. live coverage on booktv on c-span2. [rain falling] good afternoon. my name is dennis, i'm a contributing editor of the "washington post." and the post is very pleased once again to be cosponsoring the national book festival. i have one bit of housekeeping before we start. try to tell you that the presentations are being filmed today for the library of congress website, and for their archives. also for c-span. so please be mindful of this as you enjoy the presentation. i was going say if you are on the lam, now is the time to put on the disguise. [laughter] and please don't sit on the camera risers that are located at the back of the pavilion.
i'm not sure where those are. be careful. david nassau is one of those all too rare academics who can both write for journals and also for a popular audience. his articles have appeared in publicly indications ranging from the journal of contempt pry history are to the daily news. he's professor of history at the graduate center city university of new york. most of you probably know him as a best selling biographer. here, again, professor nassau has departed from the standard approach. instead of taking typical path of the academic ladder of writing about minor figures whom everybody has thought of writing about before, he tackles the big boys. andrew carnegie, william raldolf hurst, joseph kennedy, what he
brings to these outside subject is research cupeled with narrative. hurst, for example was the press lord par excellence. and nasaw succeeds in capturing the man's drive and gusto and his fullness in the american tradition. the kennedy biography was authorized for the family but he refused to undertake with without assurance he would have complete access to the archive and wouldn't be second guessed. the result is a biography of a man who a lot of awards, figuratively speaking. among professor nasaw awards are the ban kroft prize in history. his books have appeared regularly on the years' best list compiled by various newspapers including my own, "the washington post. please welcome david nasaw.
[applause] [applause] thank you. last time i had a captaineddive audience, nobody is going to be leaving and getting wet. when i spoke in a prison. [laughter] i'm delighted to be here delighted to give you a place to get out of the storm. i want to begin -- i've never done this before, but when i was at the signing area for the first time in a long time i felt bad about the length and the weight of my books. seeing people struggle. when i finished my first book, my hurst book, which was my
first big biography, my publicity tour began very inauspiciously in boston at a bookstore. one of the bookstores no longer with us. a huge bookstore, and i walked in, and they escorted me to the corner where the readings were, and there was one person waiting to listen to me, and my guide, the bookstore employee, sat next to her. i spoke -- what was i going to do? and this lovely elderly lady looking a bit frail came up after the talk as people sometimes do, she was my entire audience. so i was particularly gratified. she came up and she shook my hand and said, young man, it sound like you have written a
wonderful book. i would love to buy it. it's too heavy for me to carry home. [laughter] i made up my mind at that point that i wasn't going to do it again. when i wrote my carnegie biography. i learned it was carnegie, she was scottish. when i did my carnegie biography, i swore it was not going a big fat book. i couldn't help myself. when i did the "the patriarch: the remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy," again, i made up my mind that i was going to cut out in advance or simply not write all of those sections that would have to be cut out in the end. when i finished the book, and handed it in to my wonderful
editor, she read through the manuscript, and instead of coming back and saying, david, this is magnificent, don't cut a word. she said, you know, it's a great read, but it would be a better read if it were 100,000 words short. i took out the 100,000 words, and maybe a little bit more and still ended up with this huge thing. so i apologize with an explanation. this man lived an incredible life! an incredible life. and in writing the story of joseph p. kennedy, especially if you're a historian, you end up writing about the 20th century. you end up writing about world war i. you end up writing about the
joseph p. kennedy came home in disgrace because he was an an piecer. he came home in disgrace because though an irish catholic who grew up with prejudice, who grew up understanding the pain of being a minority that the rest of the world looked down upon. having grown up and graduated from harvard with his future father-in-law, the mayor of boston. and his father, an important political figure. having graduated from harvard, with a head for numbers and a harvard degree. his dream was to go in to
banking. he couldn't get an interview. he couldn't get an introduction to someone who might help him get an interview. why? though because a harvard graduate, smart, charming, handsome, he was irish-catholic from east boston. the boston banks wanted to do with a boston-catholic no matter how smart, charming, charismatic he was. joseph p. kennedy didn't give up, he found another way to banking. he took a simple service exam, and got a job -- harvard graduate --
got a job as an assistant bank examer. his job was to go visit the banks in massachusetts and look at their books to see if everything was in order. he figured this is my way in! this is my ticket. they will see -- i will be sitting across the table from bank officers and from treasurers, they will see how smart i am. they'll offer me a job. didn't work that way. so joseph p. kennedy understood prejudice, and yet during world war ii, he scummed to the myths that have plagued this nation
and this world. antisemitic myths. he was unat mr. williams opposed to american entry in to world war ii. he believed if they world war ii the only result would be an end to the economic progress that was slow but steady since the great depression. and a return to depression. he was opposed to american entry in to world war ii because he believed the british were doomed. and why should the americans bail out the british a second time? he was opposed entry in to world war ii, he believed the germans were invisible. he believed that of it common sense that we shouldn't fight in
world war ii, and that it was the jewish-americans who were pushing this in to this war. it there was absolutely no evidence for any of this. he should have known better! he should have known that contrary to the myth, jews didn't control the american press. he was a friend of hurst! hurst wont -- wont jew. yet he succumbed to those myths. those scandalous, dangerous myths. he blamed the jews for pushing the united states in to a war that could not be won. he served as bads -- ambassador for two years. he was a great first chairman of the security and exchange commission under roosevelt. she supported roosevelt.
he had gone on the campaign trail in 1932. it in 1934 roosevelt asked him to take over as the first -- the first chairmt of the security and exchange commission that was a new deal organization set up to regulate the stock market. roosevelters advisers is a id what are you crazy? are you out of your mind putting a stock market manipulator in charge of the stock market? roosevelt said, trust me. trust me. and joseph p. kennedy was probably the greatest chairman of the securities and exchange committee we have ever had. at the end of 18 months, this is how good he was, at the end of 18 months, he had tran formed
transformed the way the stock market works by outlawing every trick that he had used to make himself millions and millions and millions of dollars. [laughter] when he left the chairmanship of the securities and exchange commission, he stopped trading sock stocks because he knew he couldn't do insider trading. he couldn't sell short the way he had to. he couldn't use all the tricks that made him a millionaire. he went in to real estate instead and made million there too. okay. he had been a great public servant. the nation respected him, washington respected him, then he went to london where instead of following the instructions of the president and the secretary of state as ambassadors are
supposed to do, he set out on his own agenda, which was to make sure we didn't get to world war ii. when he returned to this country in 1940, he returned in disgrace. he had been talked about earlier as a potential candidate for president if roosevelt didn't want to run for a third term. and one of the reasons roosevelt didn't bring him back earlier when he should have, after his first month, his first six months, his first year, roosevelt kept him on though he was a disgrace as an ambassador. why? because he was afraid of joseph p. ken i kennedy. he was afraid of his political power. he was afraid of his popularity with the american people and his popularity with irish-americans, and with wall street.
so he allowed him to remain in great britain too long by the time he returned, he returned in disgrace because the nation had -- and roosevelt and washington had begun to understand that there was no way to make an agreement with hitler. there was no way to sit down at the table and negotiate with hitler. that war was in the -- as horrible as it was. he returned in disgrace, as i said, in 1940. and added to his disgrace by telling a boston newspaper that britain was dead, democracy was
dead, the future was bleak, we might as well accept the fact that the dictators were going take over. he didn't like it very much, but he saidlet make a deal rather than be conquered. then he went to hollywood where he had made his first fortune in the 1920s, he made his fortune as a producer of films. some of the worst films ever made. [laughter] but joseph p. kennedy knew in the 1920s the way to make money was not by make movies, but by buying and selling stock in the companies that made the movies and pushing the price of that stock up-and-down and up-and-down and making money every time it went down. he was the first head of the
studio who demanded to be paid in stock options. and manipulated the stock options by the time he left hollywood with a train of grade b and grade c movies behind him, with a movie with his mistress, gloria swanson, that was so bad that it has -- was not seen for thirty years and only in a truncated form. "queen kelly" has anybody ever seen "queen kelly "? the rest of you, don't waste your time. he left hollywood with millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars, and he set up trust funds so each of his children would a million dollars to himself or herself. he told his children from the
time they were teenagers, i've made this money, so you don't have to make any money. i've made this money to give you the nest egg so you can go to public service. as a part maybe of his catholic upbringing. he believed it was incumbent upon those who were privileged to give something back. they believed it. ted kennedy, whom i worked worked with at one point, he told me an extraordinary story, he was, you know, the youngest child in the family. everybody loved him. his father, nobody could ever yell at him. whenever a window got broken,
some disaster happened, his -- jack and bobby and joe kennedy, jr. the older boy who died in the war would blame it on teddy teddy would happy my say i broke the window. i smashed the car. he was 8 years old. he couldn't drive. they knew daddy wouldn't yell at teddy. when teddy was 11 years old, he tells me the story that he did something, you know, -- i don't know what it was. i think he may have taken out one of the boats, one of the yachts and not -- jump off and left it out there. he did something dreadful, his father called him up to his room and he went up expecting to just -- he didn't know what to expect. his father looked at him and
said, ted, i have a lot of responsibilities and a lot of children. he said, i'll love you no matter what you do, he said but if you want me to take you seriously and spend time with you, you understand right now that you got to do something worthwhile with your life. he said, if you do something worthwhile, he said, i'll be with you, i'll be behind you. he said, if you decide simply to become some playboy or make mischief for the rest of your life, he said i'll love you. i'm not going have time for you. i have too many other children. and ted kennedy remembered that and walked out not thinking, you know, as i would, you know, if i make mischief my father is going to abandon me? no, ted walked out thinking -- thinking as a kennedy got do something.
i've got make a difference. in 1940, joseph p. kennedy returned in disgrace. he knew know that he could never run for public office. he tried to get after pearl harbor he tried to get an appointment somewhere in the roosevelt administration. to do something to aid the war effort, but no one was going to trust him in washington, no one wanted anything to do with him. he was, after all, an appeaser, who had indulged in the worst kind of antisemitic rhetoric, privately, not publicly, for the most part. he was an eaglist, he was a man who believed and most of the time he was right he was the smartest guy in the room.
he sat out the war. bitter, angry. at one point, when the war was over, winston churchill who had been defeated for office as soon as the war was over, the british said you're a great war leader, but we don't want you in peacetime. he was thrown out of office in 1945, he came to the united states with phil and at the the racetrack, he was introduced to joe kennedy, who he worked with when kennedy was ambassador. they hated each other. joe kennedy never forgave churchill because he didn't drink. and every time he went as ambassador to meet with the prime minister churchill, churchill would offer him a highball filled with whiskey. kennedy would say, i don't drink.
two days later he walk in again and churchill would give him another huge glass of whiskey. join me. he would say i don't drink. finally kennedy couldn't figure out. churchill played the mind game with him, whether churchill was teasing him, or was so drunk he forgot from the day before that churchill didn't drink. they disliked one another intensely. the war was over. there was intense suffering. and churchill said to kennedy held out his hands and said, i'm so sorry for you loss. joe, jr. had died during the war. churchill was so sincere. and joe kennedy looked at him, his eyes glazing with hatred and he said to churchill, what good was it all?
why these deaths? what did we gain? germany's defeated and now we got the russians. churchill looked at him unbelieving world war ii had destroyed -- in churm hill's mind hitler, moose mussolini and democracy. it said western civilization, so churchill thought. and kennedy blazed hatred at him. the war had been a mistake. kennedy was true to his isolationist sentiments. through the 1940s and the 1950 opposed the cold war. he opposed the war in korea. he opposed america giving help to the french in vietnam. he opposed stationing troops in
nato. he opposed the marshall plan. in 1946, his second son, now his oldest son, jack kennedy, who had always been the runt of the family, nobody had taken very seriously because he was so sick. he had been sick all his life. every childhood disease that anybody could possibly get from scarlet fever through, you know, the measles, the mumps, everything. jack kennedy had gotten it. his bad health continues in to his boyhood and teenage years and young adulthood. then he made matters worse by going in a boat and coming baa with his back injured, the stomach worse, and with malaria. in 1946, he took up the family
business. he knew his father wanted him to do it. but he wanted to it. and beginning in 1946, joseph kennedy decided with the rest of the family that he was a liability. he loved his children. he was a remarkable father, and he knew that his children were going succeed in public life, he had to exit. he to fade away in to the shadows. he couldn't quite help himself from 1946 through 1952. he figured his son of in safe district in montana, whatever his father said, his son would be reelected. in 1952, jack kennedy decided to run for the senate prep preparatory for running for the presidency. joe kennedy shutup.
from 1952 on, you didn't see him. you didn't see him. he was a force behind the scenes, he spent more money getting his son elected to the house, senate, and presidency than anyone spent before. when jack decided he was going run for president the first time. there was a family conclave. the family got together and joe said, looked at jack scene said, whatever it takes to get you elected, i'm going to spend. and bobby looked at him and said what about the rest of us? joe said, don't worry, there's enough for all of you. there was. ..
what historians try to do is chart a path from past to present and look at change over time. in 1960, the country was ready for a change and nixon in 1960 was not the most attractive candidate this country has seen. in the debates, kennedy, coached by his father, jack kennedy who had grown up coached by his father had to appear before the newsreel cameras and nixon was a stuffed shirt.
from possessors, to college experts committee doctor jack kennedy woodwind -- in a landslide. so did all of can these people in nixon's people. democrats so congressional candidates hold 55.5% of the votes across the country. 55.5% of the votes. the president on the democratic side got less than 50%. when joe kennedy woke up with his son, understanding that millions of americans who have always voted democratic end to voted democratic for the state elections and local elections.
the congress and senate fuse to vote for john fitzgerald kennedy. and why was that? because he was irish catholic. no one understood why, in cheyenne this point at the armory, in hyannisport, he is the president-elect with the rest of his family -- no one much smiled. certainly not the father. joseph pete kennedy didn't live long enough. he had a stroke after his son selection, within a year. the ultimate iron, his son is elected he spends his entire life and he has a stroke. and he loses the ability to talk
and to communicate. in the year 2012, three of the four candidates for national office, only one was a protestant, and he happened to be a man of african heritage. because of joseph kennedy and because of jack kennedy. we no longer look at the religion order the ethnicity of our potential national leaders. joe kennedy did not live to see that. he died emir and delighted that his family had achieved what he had wanted. to be let into the establishment, but he didn't understand that some of the
tribal passions that separated americans would be a thing of the past. that one of the legacies of the kennedy administration was that one could be a catholic and one could be an american with no distance between them. i thank you, and i am so delighted to take questions. [applause] [applause] >> there is a microphone here and there is a microphone over there. i have answered all your questions? [laughter] >> yes, sir? >> it just struck me that you didn't see anything about the father of joseph p. kennedy. i'm wondering if that plays into the look at all? >> joseph kennedy's father was
-- you know, one of the joys of writing about these guys who everyone thinks they know, and nobody does, is to correct the misconceptions. kennedy's father was not a saloon keeper or shanty irish and he didn't come over on the vote. he was a respected political leader, who had founded a bank, had a real estate company, was one of the richest men in east boston and well beloved and was a solid citizen. he loved his son and his son loved him. >> i'd like to ask your question. you made a statement little while ago that no one we elect national leaders, ethnicity and religion are not part of the equation anymore. you are from 2071 obama declared his candidacy through today, there are people who believe he
was a muslim and certainly where he was and race came into the discussion around him. so help me overstay and understand why this has happened. >> yes, we understand race and ethnicity and we have come a long way that race and ethnicity, with those we still have quite a way to go. >> thank you for your wonderful talk. i wanted to ask about joe kennedy junior, and do you think that he volunteered for particularly dangerous missions during the war to make up for his father's image? >> i don't think so. joe kennedy and his son and his
brother, jack, wanted very much -- they were raised as americans and patriots. during public service, world war ii, how do you perform public service? he talks about this in the book, he hates this war. he said are you sure and he said we have to get them to where they want to go. he gets him to fly fighters and that the most dangerous ones of that. he gets his son into a pc vote and his son can hardly stand up because he are ready has to pay back. he says i don't want to go to college i want to fight.
he gets into school. then he writes a letter to a friend and says that i'm walking teddy in the basement because of this war goes on too long, he's going to want to go to war also. >> we didn't hear anything about anything about bootlegging. is that also in their? >> that's a great question. thank you. i would have loved if i would've found out he was a bootlegger. but i searched things and i'm a crazy historian. when anyone says something, i want to know where it comes from. the stories about bootlegging didn't happen until after the assassination of his son and they are trying to connect that assassination tomorrow. nixon dug up all of the dirt that he could possibly find on joseph pete kennedy in 1960. kennedy was investigated dozens
of times by the fbi and no one said he was a bootlegger. where do these stories come from? one of the great sources was all components piano tuner. who told a variety of journalists that he had overheard allen show making deals. who is leader of the chicago mob entries third wife, third of five said that she was with murray when she was buying votes for jack kennedy and knew about his bootlegging. none of them could be taken seriously which is a shame because i would've loved to have written about our own.
>> i work for the maritime commission i'm wondering if you could say something about his tenure there. was he successful at the sec? >> roosevelt understood that we had no ships. if england was at war, there was no merchant marine. he asked kennedy to become the first chairman of the maritime committee. he was the miracle of efficiency and leadership and the public relations. when kennedy left the american public and congress understood that we had a problem that had to be solved. >> sir, this isn't a question, but i just want to tell you how proud i am that john f. kennedy
wrote in my convertible when he was campaigning in springfield, massachusetts. >> congratulations and thank you. >> i'm not sure how to ask you this question, but it's speculative worry based on some of the readings we have done about the family. again this goes back to joe kennedy and some of the discussions and articles that we have researched. almost rumored that joe kennedy's mission that he was on has known to be a suicide mission that he did in order as a hero to do what he did and he knew he wasn't going to come back from that mission when he set out on a mission. you know, obviously you're the person.
is there any possible truth to that? >> yes, yes. but you have to remember that the kennedys grow up. they are all daredevils. they are all nuts. they all believe, because they had grown up they can do anything and that they don't play by are the rules. but they are not portal like everyone else. so yes, he knew it was a dangerous mission. perhaps a suicidal mission. but he was a kennedy and he was going to come back. >> thank you very much. >> 11. last question. >> hello, have a kennedy become so famous?
>> joseph kennedy became so famous, so incredibly famous because he knew how to court the press. because he knew how to smile for the cameras. i mean, he taught his children. he taught his children how to pose for the newsreel cameras and how to give interviews. fame is not something that comes to someone in the case of joseph kennedy. it is something that is courted in something that is one because you work hard at it. i think you all. [applause] [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> you're watching live coverage of the 2013 national book festival on the mall in washington dc. david nassau, his book the patriarch. the history and biography tent is on your screen. professor david nasaw is going to join us now for a call-in program. the numbers are up on the screen if you'd like to participate. if you have a question or comment, you can join us. for those living in eastern and central time zones. (202)585-3891 for those in the eastern and pacific time zones.
you can send a tweet at booktv that's our twitter handle. many different ways of getting ahold of professor david nasaw as he is right here at the history and biography tent. we were down there a little bit ago, and when the rain started, we got hit a little bit with rain. we moved it to the c-span studio and mr. david nasaw will be on c-span bus with us in just a moment. by the way, it is the 15th anniversary of booktv. nearly all of our programming is available to watch online at booktv.word. type in an author's name, it will pop up, you can hit the button and you can watch it online including all 13 years of the national book festival have been covered on c-span as well.
contribute to our 15th anniversary, we have been showing you different video clips from the 2001 national book festival, which was the first one ever here in washington dc. we have irna in washington. what is your question for david nasaw. >> caller: yes, indeed. first of all, i would like to tell you how appreciative i am heard i'm sure many others are as well. this is an outstanding program. the first part of my question is that joseph kennedy, it was purported had offered jackie kennedy a million dollars not to divorce john kennedy due to this revolving door of women, and sexual encounters.
the second part of the question is after jackie kennedy divorced from aristotle onassis, she did not remarry, but she had a constant companion there in new york in manhattan. he was already married and et cetera. i would appreciate clarification on both of these points. thank you very much. >> host: we will ask professor david nasaw that as soon as he gets settled on a bus. we have bill in tuscaloosa, alabama. what is your question or comment? >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i enjoy your show very much. he had to enter office and decide whether to proceed or not. i want to know what influenced joe kennedy on jfk's decision
come in after the disaster began april 17 through the 19th, it was all falling apart. what influences did joe have on jfk at that time? >> host: thank you for that question. it looks like professor david nasaw is ready on our bus. we will take one more call from patricia in maryland. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. my question is a variation in broader perspective to the first question from seattle. that is what professor david nasaw comment on kennedy's regard in treatment of women? he obviously treats women, you know, differently and his own marriage between his wife and the reported liaison with gloria swanson. but it appears to have carried through to his son's marriage is. so the broader question -- could
the professor comment on not regard between the messages between the father and children. >> host: in just a moment, david nasaw, the author of "remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy" will be joining us for a call in. we are taking a couple of pre-calls while he gets settled in. the phone numbers are on your screen, 202-58-5389 oh for the eastern and central time zones. (202)585-3891 the is the phone number for the pacific time zones.
>> caller: was joseph kennedy a jew hater? >> host: okay, we will ask that question to professor david nasaw as well. our two-day national book festival in 2013, this is the 15th annual national book festival. professor nasaw, beginning with the question from tran-six in seattle. she wanted to know about jackie kennedy's relationship with joe kennedy. and specifically, what was their money exchange for her to stay married to jfk, particularly in regard to jfk's extramarital affairs. >> guest: joe kennedy loved jackie and jackie love joe kennedy. they had a strong relationship.
after his stroke when joe was a cripple. an old man, when his right hand was gnarled like a clock, the rest of the family would cover up that right hand with a blanket or a sleeve. whenever jackie came in, she would uncover it and hold that hand as if to say whatever has happened to you, i love you. i have no evidence that joe kennedy gave jackie any any extra money. i therefore heard dresses or her fashion or to stay married to jack. she knew exactly what was going on. jackie kennedy was a smart woman and she made decisions by herself and she made the decision that she was going to stay married to the president of the united states. >> host: she also wanted to know about jackie kennedy's relationships post aristotle
onassis. she said she had a constant companion in new york. >> guest: i do not know. i do not know. my expertise on the kennedys goes as far as joseph p. kennedy. it doesn't go past his stroke in 1961 when he stopped being an active character on the american stage. >> host: when you're busy.? >> guest: he dies in 1968 soon after the death of his second son by assassination. >> host: how aware of the death of rfk was he aware? >> guest: he was aware, but he had a stroke. first they said that he wouldn't come out of the hospital then he was told to have three months or year. he lived eight years. which was absolutely remarkable.
but the decline after the assassination of the president was fermentable. he was conscious, he could understand what people were saying to him, he communicated with his children all the time. bobby's death in the summer of 1968 was just too much. he never quite recovered from that. >> host: we have another call from patricia, wanting to know about joe kennedy's view of women. >> guest: joe kennedy's view of women. it is a complicated issue. one must understand the context of the times. joe kennedy believed that a good husband was one who did not embarrass his wife and provided for his family.
joe kenney from the very beginning of their marriage together, believed that his time and affairs were his own business. it is a position that i find abominable and one that many of us find abominable today. but one must remember that in his social strata and in his time, a husband philandering was not nearly as frowned upon. joe believed that this didn't embarrass roads. roads must have believed it as well. but the marriage could remain intact. >> host: bill called in and he was asking about joe's influence with jfk, specifically on the bay of pigs issue. but maybe you could probably not
as well and talk about whether he had any influence on the administration. >> that is a great question. by 1960, when his son ran for the presidency, joe had begun to take a backseat because he understood that his son and he was president and attorney general, he knew as much about what was going on in the world as he did. he was not about to interfere. he never went to the white house before his stroke because he didn't want anyone to believe that he was pulling the strings. when the bay of pigs occurred, the bay of pigs was the low point of the presidency. we now know from jackie kennedy's interviews with arthur schlesinger, which were released in book form about a year ago or more than that, we know that
jack kennedy was absolutely distraught. his wife saw him crying and did not know what to do. at one point about a week after the bay of pigs, bobby kennedy said to jack, let's call back, he will make us feel better. the two of them felt that their presidency, jack's presidency was over and that the personal laws of the men who believed that they were going to be supported by american armed power when they hit the beaches of cuba and were now prisoners of castro, it was a huge tragedy. they faced a call to palm beach. their father got on the phone. he said, voice, jack, that sure was a fiasco.
but he said if you're going to have a disaster and a fiasco like that one, it's better to have it earlier in the presidency. and he said that jack, the fact that you took personal accountability for this disaster, the american people are going to respect that. within a week, his father said to jack that your approval ratings will start going up again and they will continue to climb. he got off the phone and bobby said, well, i feel better, what about you, and he said yes, i feel better as well. their father proved to be right. >> host: david nasaw is also a professor at the university of new york. one other call that we had was from burt asking about joe kennedy's relationship and view of the jews.
>> guest: it was an immensely complicated issue. joe kennedy, during world war ii in the run-up to world war ii. he believed in every anti-somatic myth that have been around for a thousand years. he was very much opposed to the war. and he believed that use of america were trying to push roosevelt and his country into a war not because it would be good for the united states. but because they wanted revenge against hitler. he believed at that the time, and god knows he should have known better. but the jews of america cared about this oversees more than they did about america. and he believed the jewish
influence was dangerous because the jews controlled the media. that's another false tale. it was not easy writing about this part of joseph p. kennedy. because as a irish catholic he had experienced hegemony himself. in 1960, the same thing would be said about his son. the joseph kennedy said about the jews 20 years earlier. namely that one could not be an irish catholic, one could not be a catholic, and a patriotic american at the same time. kennedy knew that that was false. he should have known that it was equally false about the jews was not the next call comes from tim in california. >> caller: hello there. good to hear you, professor. i have enjoyed all of your books. that question relates to joe wanted to appoint bobby as
attorney general. can you tell us what his reasons were for that? >> yes. he understood that jack kennedy was the first irish catholic and that jack kennedy was popular among the electorate but not necessarily among washington insiders. he understood that every president has opponents who are out to get them. and he said to jack over and over again that you need someone who is loyal to you who will watch your back and tell you the truth and who will not talk about you behind your back and the only person that will do that is bobby. jack kennedy, as president-elect, believed that his father would want to have a
role in naming secretary treasury. jack was wrong. the only appointment of the father pushed on the sun was that bobby be the attorney general. it got to be so that the body didn't want to be the attorney general. and he asked clark clifford, a washington and a lawyer of immense reputation to please go see joe and explain to the father why one son didn't want the other to be the attorney general. he met with him and he laid out all the arguments. the patriarch listen very carefully and said, mr. clifford, thank you so much for coming in to see me. i have only one thing to say. bobby will be the next attorney general of the united states.
and neither on this issue is willing to oppose their father. once again, the father was right because after the bay of pigs, jack kennedy relied upon his brother more and more because his brother was the only one whose opinion he trusted. everyone else had a secret agenda, he thought. his brothers only agenda was loyalty to kennedy presidency. >> host: a win in mclean, virginia. please go ahead. >> caller: thank you, professor. i enjoy your books and i enjoy listening to the stance you take. i do have a question involving joseph p. kennedy. he talk for a moment about the decision regarding his daughter
and a medical procedure that was so controversial at the time. as well as the impacts and the decision why he made the decision and the impact on the family. >> guest: i would be delighted to answer. one of the tragedies of the kennedy family was that rosemary, the oldest daughter was born as her mother said, slow. they knew it from the time she was six months old and they did everything they possibly could to protect her and to train her. they visited the a specialist from washington to new york to boston. they sent her from school to school and small schools, montessori schools, strict schools, to individual tutors and homeschooling, trying to
find a way to help rosemary. as long as the rest of the children were home, rosemary was okay because her brothers and sisters watch out for her. jack would take her to dances at the country club and dance with her. the sisters would take her on trips to europe and watch over her. but as rosemary got older, the rest of the family moved on. and rosemary was left alone. she began to understand, she had the intelligence of a five or 6-year-old. she began to understand that the life that she was going to live was not going to be that of her brothers and sisters. she became violent when people told her she could not go
outside her she couldn't do this or that. joe kennedy consulted with the best doctors he could find. the head of neuroscience at johns hopkins and he was el trained and sat down with joe kennedy and instead, the only solution is a lobotomy. it will make rosemary content with her station in life. she will not be unhappy, she will be anxious or violent. and her intelligence will not improve, she still went to be, as the world that they used. but he went ahead with the operation. he did not consult with rose,
which i thought bazaar until i read all the medical literature and at the time, the lobotomy was performed, in the 1940s, the parents of mentally disabled or disabled children were told over and over again, don't let them make the decisions. mothers are too sentimental. mothers can't get past their own emotional attachment to their children. it's the father who has to make the decision by himself. this is what the experts said. joe had always been in charge of the children's health and he was the one who visited the doctors and made the decisions. he made the decision that his daughter would have a lobotomy and it was a disaster. she came out of the lobotomy with her intelligence reduced
from a 7-year-old to an infant and she came out and she couldn't walk and she couldn't talk and she couldn't communicate. after years of rehabilitation, she learned to walk, but she could never communicate again. joseph kennedy thought that it was best for her, certainly best for him, that should be separated from the rest of the family and moved her to a school in wisconsin where he never saw her again. and he devised the rest of his family to leave rosemary alone by herself. but it was better for her to live separate from the family. it was not until the late 1950s in the early 1960s when the family began to visit on their own, they never told
their father, because of his guilt and his shame, and his fear of seeing his beloved daughter in the condition she had been reduced to because of this botched lobotomy, he didn't want to see it and he died without seeing his daughter again. it's a terrible tragedy. but to blame joe kennedy is just wrong. if you want to blame anyone, blame the medical establishment for believing that lobotomies are the solutions to these problems at all. >> host: by the time you finish writing your book, "the patriarch: remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy", what was your opinion of joseph kennedy? >> guest: my opinion was that he was an immensely talented man. he was a man who fought against the prejudice he encountered
upon graduating from harvard when he couldn't get a banking job. he thought against it all his life and he wanted to be an insider. as soon as he became an insider, whether it was in wall street or hollywood or washington. he refused to be a team player and again and again, metaphorically shot himself in the foot and was banished to the outside. his legacy, and that's an important one, that legacy of public service. did he talk to his children, his children talk to their children. but the kennedys, like other children of privilege, they have a responsibility to those that were not as privileged as they were to make the world better. he believed this, his children believed this, and i think that
it is a lesson that is well learned and well practiced by the rest of us. >> host: clay in davis, california. thank you for holding. you are on with david nasaw. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i understand and my question is, did the irish position on world war ii have any influence on turkeyjoseph p. kennedy's posit? >> guest: that's a good question. as an irishman, joseph p. kennedy must trust the english. he certainly didn't trust the english when they talked about saving civilization by going to war against mussolini and hitler. he was distrustful to put it mildly. in the beginning of his tenure, as long as the english
government and british government agreed with him and chamberlain was prime minister then, that appeasement was bigger than war, he supported this. and as soon as the british public voted him out and replaced him with her till, and the british governing to go to war, he reverted to his we cannot trust the british stance, that was part of his upbringing. part of his upbringing as an irishman or irish-american. >> host: david nasaw is joining us from the c-span bus which is parked on the mall at the 2013 national book festival. you can see the bus there. that's a live picture. the rain has started, so we lost our nice set on the grounds until tomorrow. we will be back there tomorrow. they did not saw was gracious en
us from the bus. let's take another call, rich. please go ahead, we are listening. >> caller: number one, did nixon and jfk ever meet while they were serving in world war ii, and number two, what were the differences between them concerning communism and the soviet union, given the fact that they were both anti-communists and anti-fascists play a role? >> guest: that's a terrific question. they were both elected in the late 40s to congress and they were friends. they were friends and they traveled together and they liked one another. in 1960 there were differences between them and a lot of the differences have to do with jfk being the patriarch, joseph p. kennedy's son.
too little, if they threaten him, that we should defend him and jack kennedy said, that is absurd. these are two little islands on the other side of the world. and kennedy said that joseph kennedy had always said that america should protect and be aggressive in the western hemisphere but stay out of the affairs of europe. and then he said that it is a disgrace that the soviets have an influence in cuba and we have to do something about it. and nixon didn't have much to say.
it was close enough, but nixon was a more aggressive anti-communist than kennedy once. on this and many other issues. when eisenhower went to meet with chris taft and began to talk nuclear disarmament and he embarrassed eisenhower because he had flown over russian and soviet soil, and eisenhower first denied it and then admitted it and chris just said i'm not going to talk to you, eisenhower came home and there were no talks on disarmament. they said that it is more important to talk with your adversaries than to have the threat of war. eisenhower said we should never talk to the sky this guy and kennedy said if i am elected president, and if there were
such an incident, i would apologize but that is what is necessary to get the settlement talks going. >> host: the next call comes from erin in lawrence, new york. >> caller: thank you very much, professor. there is so much that one could ask. what was actually the political ideology that joseph kennedy had been his son, john and bobby. because it seems that you have the first one elected president, the first irish catholic. but what was their political philosophy and having originally been anti-communist with senator joseph mccarthy, some people say that they are the ones who began the liberalism that would eventually take over the democratic party and changing.
and so was their true illogically partyhe? >> guest: is not a liberal. he said over and over again that i don't know, but his closest friend, william lloyd douglass, he said i don't agree with them on anything. and bobby kennedy moved further to the left and his father would not have understood that. joseph kennedy had no understanding of the civil rights movement or poverty or raise and he really didn't care where the children from the father and was that military
action have huge problems. and jack kennedy in his inaugural address said that we should never fear to negotiate, but we should never negotiate out of fear. that came right out of his father's playbook. when he said ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country, that was a paraphrase of what joseph p. kennedy had chosen his children to follow over and over again, he told them that. so the liberalism that we believe that government has to do something to equal the playing field for those who were discriminated against, for those who were born in poverty. that was not a part of his
ideology. the understanding that government must play a role in economic regulation and that capitalism cannot go unregulated and joseph p. kennedy believed in not and that is why he supported the new deal. it is in foreign affairs that i believe the boys were learning the most from their father. this is an ongoing controversy. but i am convinced by the evidence that john fitzgerald kennedy, had he lived, he would not have sent a half million americans to fight in vietnam because he had grown up with a father that had said over and over again that it is better to negotiate a war than to fight a war and risk the death and
destruction that follows. >> host: the last call comes from claire in debate harbor, maine. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. because of his irish background, how do you feel about the irish struggle for independence? because of his antiwar stance, i'm wondering how he felt about the irish struggles in ireland. >> guest: joseph p. kennedy was, in many ways, uninterested in maryland. he was a catholic and a devout catholic through and through. he went to mass every sunday and
brought his kids a catholic. but his allegiance to irish and his interests were minimum. he never visited until he became the ambassador to great britain. nothing infuriated him more than once someone introduced him as an irish american. he would say that i was born in the united states and my father was born in the united states and my grandmother grandfather came over here when he was a young man. he said what do i have to do to convince you that i am american, first and second and last. >> host: finally, david nasaw, 1963, what was joseph p. kennedy and how did he find out?
>> guest: joseph p. kennedy was in hyannisport. he was with the secret service men. and as soon as his son was assassinated, teddy called the mother who knew all about it and said turn off all the television sets and do whatever you have to do. so that dad doesn't find out. they disabled all the television sets in the house. ted and eunice kennedy arrived in the afternoon in hyannisport. they went to see their father who is in bed. they said, why are you here? and he could not talk at the time. but he looked puzzled. they made excuses and they could not tell him, they thought that he would be strongest in the morning. and he said, what is wrong with
you. and he motioned at the television sets and they made excuses. they had dinner with him in his bedroom. the next morning they steal themselves and called in a doctor from boston and a friend who is a priest. rose could not bear to be in the bedroom. ted and eunice went in and ted tried to say jack has been killed and he couldn't quite get it out. and eunice had to continue the sentence. joe started to cry. he could not communicate other than through tears and he cried and cried and cried. a few days later the family left for the funeral and they were not going to take joseph p.
kennedy with them to the funeral. and he was left with his friend, the priest and housekeepers. he tried to fly to the funeral. and he got his nurse to drive him to the hangar where the family plane, the caroline was. he knew the only way that he could fly was in a specially outfitted plane that could accommodate his wheelchair. he got there and the plane was gone. he got back in the car and went home. and he had the television on 24 hours per day, watching television, turning away from it. and he tears up the entire time. it was a calamity and it was
made worse by the fact that he could not express himself in words. he could not express his grief in words. >> host: david nasaw is the author of "the patriarch: remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy." he is on c-span at the national mall for the national book festival. thank you for being with us, professor. >> guest: my pleasure. >> host: in just a minute, we will introduce you to steve vogel, who has written a book about the war of 1812. he will be on the bus in just a moment. then, another author event in the history and biography tent on the mall. that will be the rio bravo, she will be talking about her book about simone bovard.
that will bring to an end the coverage of today's national book festival. it looks like we have one more interview and then we will be live all day tomorrow. the 15th anniversary of the tv and the national book festival. the first one was held in 2001 at the grounds of the capitol. john hope franklin, a professor and historian was speaking there. then he will be back to take your calls. >> this includes my resumption of the final stage of pairing his biography for publication. it did not diminish my fascination for what he had to say and how he said it. nor did it change my view of
what he said was of great importance. if anything, this lapse in time served to increase my admiration and indeed the manner in which he wrote. there were not many young african americans living in the territory at the close of the 19th century that could provide a vivid account of their experiences and our compatriots. in addition to this was significant aspect of his life on that unlikely frontier for the person of mr. tenet of 10%, his firm grasp of reality made his narration both credible and compelling. consequently, as i resumed work on the manuscript, is not unlike my father in 1959 who can choke attempt to control via did not release this until we have completed this is part of the
press. now, in going through the papers, i found a draft of a novel called the trail of tears based on native americans in the african-american compatriots and slaves in case people to the indian territory. as he told the story that was more than fiction, it was in uprooting of the people whose claim of the land they were leaving was much greater than those who were replacing it. there were also numerous essays, such as thomas jefferson and the negro and the new deal and the negro and communism. as i read through these and many more, i began to entertain this. it would contain season opinions and observations of the
seditious man. there were two things that my father omitted from his autobiography and i am not certain why that was the case. and he explained this during his entire adult life and he used the initial bc instead of his initial name, buck calder. nancy was as simple as it was characteristic of him. he did not want my people to address him by his first name. it was obvious that they had attached an implication of subordination or inferiority. ..
and us whites tended to be more more -- then he wanted them he began to use the term p. maxie instead of bug culture. it did not always work because for many whites they were certain that the origins of the name so certain of the origin of the name that they regularly referred to him as ben franklin. >> host: that was the late john hope franklin from 2001 the
first national book festival and on your screen is a live picture from the 2013 national book festival. that's the c-span bus pocked on the mall in the rain. they got caught in a little rain this afternoon but joining us on our warm and air-conditioned c-span bus is author's steve vogel who has written this book. it's called "through the perilous fight" six weeks that saved a nation. steve vogel what was the war of 1812 about? >> guest: it was different things to different people but it was fundamentally a war about the future of the north american continent. you had great britain with which still controlled the canadian colonies and this new american republic that have been established for gender -- a generation earlier and fundamentally the united states and great britain were fighting for control of the continent, who would be the power that
would be able to expand into the western or the northern regions and there were issues that were raised that more or less foster the war including some maritime issues. great britain of course was in the midst of an enormous struggle with napoleon and they were stopping american ships at sea because they needed to impress sailors off of our ships in order to man royal navy ships. you had british restrictions on american trade with europe and you had -- in america there was just this beginnings of a further look westward and maybe northward. those were some of the fundamental tensions behind the war of 1812. >> host:>> host: how did he get started? >> guest: we often forget it was the united states that declared war on great written and not the other way around.
sometimes the united states tends to think that great britain is interested in re-creating its colonies. it was really american exasperation with great britain's refusal to really honor american sovereignty. great written because of its struggle with france was quite often quite willing to ignore a american sovereignty with those trade restrictions or with the impressment and president james madison had come to the belief that if the united states continue to allow this to happen we would then be nothing more than a vast estate of great britain not truly an independent nation. >> host: how long did it last? >> guest: the war of 1812 is a poor name for the war because it lasted nearly three years. the war was declared in june of 1812 but the events i write about really take place some in
1813 but fundamentally six weeks from 1814 when the british were attacking washington and baltimore and the war continued on through early 1815. >> host: steve vogel before we get to those six weeks what was the conclusion of the book? >> guest: the treaty was concluded it with negotiations in ghent christmas eve of 1814 and in a lot of ways the treaty which was not ratified until a few months later, the treaty reasserted the status quo so a lot of people think well the war of 1812 didn't really settle anything but they actually settled quite a bit in terms of establishing that canada would remain at that time part of great britain but laid the path for its future independence and the united states was given more or less a green light for westward expansion. >> host: steve vogel as her
guest and we are talking about the war of 1812. he is a reporter with the "washington post." he has also written a book called the pentagon. 202 sierra code 585-3890 for those of you in the eastern central timezone. if you'd like to discuss the war of 1812 live 853891 if you live in the mountain and pacific timezones. steve vogel what are the six weeks that you concentrate in "through the perilous fight"? >> guest: this this is a periodn august and september of 1814 when british army troops arrived from europe. they had been sent as reinforcements to british royal navy's which had been doing quite a bit of damage in the chesapeake bay for the better part of the year. in august these reinforcements arrived and over the course of the next six weeks they would
attack -- they would land in maryland and capture the capital of the united states and then launch an attack on baltimore which of the time was the third-largest city in the nation and it was a very precarious moment in american history where the outcome of this war and really what the united states future would look like was at stake. >> host: how did the british get to the white house? how is it possible that they have managed to make it to washington and were able to burden the white house? >> guest: it was a mixture of unbelievable american competence really some bold leadership on the part of the british commanders, very veteran accomplished troops that they had to fight. part of it was almost just the disbelief that this relativelrelativel y small british force would be able to capture the capital of the united states when they were really so far from really any
major support. they were operating off of the ships. they would have to march 60 miles inland and were really quite exposed. the united states set a very small military at the time and much of the military they did have was on the canadian frontier engaged in various futile attacks on canada. the militia that was left behind in virginia and maryland weren't really that well-trained or equipped to stand up to the veteran british forces that were attacking washington so poor leadership and a little bit of luck on the part of the british. >> host: we are going to begin with a call with john and saint clare short michigan. hi john. you're on booktv. get. >> caller: hi, thank you. one of the --
is the surrender of detroit in the behavior of general william holt during that time. i have read the summary of the court-martial that is in the library at the university of michigan and they describe the whole at the time of the british bombardment as personally having a mental breakdown. [inaudible] he is absolutely oblivious to everything that's going on behind him and then he unexpectedly surrenders before. i also found in another document that he had suffered a stroke between the revolutionary war and the war of 1812. he was a hero in the revolutionary war. his brother was -- the constitution. he had a sterling record up until detroit. i would just like to know what your views are on him and the
court-martial results that happened afterwards. thank you very much. >> guest: will, hole was essentially having a nervous breakdown. he really wasn't expecting the situation he was facing. he lost his nerve. there have been different accounts as to how much responsibility he deserves for that disaster. i think he deserves quite a bit. there was a big push for him to be executed actually for treason but president madison declined to do that. it didn't hurt that hull's relative as mentioned was the captain of the uss constitution which had a major victory at at sea so i think they more or less cashiered him.
my book is focusing more and what's going on here in the chesapeake at essentially in the last six months of the war. >> host: steve vogel if the outcome of this war had been different with the history of the country have been different? >> guest: i think it's certainly possible. the peace treaty terms that great britain was initially proposing at a time when they seems to be in a position to end the war on british terms included turning over a large swath of american territory in what was then the northwest today including much of indiana, come michigan, parts of ohio. this would have become a buffer state that would be turned over to the native american tribes and essentially great britain is interested in dominating the great lakes and not allowing any
any -- not allowing any american military force to remain on the legs and retaining navigation rights of the mississippi. had they been able to get peace on those terms you would have seen a much weakened the american state that wouldn't -- that would have been hemmed in and wouldn't have had the expanse of of the west and the military quite weak so i think a lot was at stake at the early point in its history. >> host: steve in mount olive california he wore on booktv on c-span2 with steve vogel. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i'd like to ask a question about thomas jefferson's provision of the war of 1812. they had the embargo trying to keep america from being involved with napoleon. at the end of his up in the station the embargo was listed. america almost immediately gets dragged into this war.
do you think jefferson thought the war was -- from from the embargo or what was his position on the war altogether? thank you. >> guest: well the war was really almost a continuation of his administration policies. james madison had served as jefferson secretary of state for eight years. they together had co-authored the embargo which had turned out so disastrously and when the united states declares war jefferson is basically quite supportive and in fact declares that the capture of québec would be a matter of just mere marching a couple of american regiments so he thought that in a strategic sense the united states plan was to take canadian territory and more or less use that as a bargaining chip to force great britain to respect
american sovereignty and jefferson and madison were very much of the same mind on those issues. >> host: nick from dallas texas. we are talking about the war of 1812. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. mr. vogel my question is about andrew jackson. i know that he became a military hero in the battle of worship and in new orleans but i have read that the american forces he commanded were really fairly pathetic a ragtag forces farmers pirates indians of all kinds and i'm wondering if that is true and if you could comment on that thank you. >> host: steve vogel. >> guest: like the forces that were defending washington at baltimore we were primarily relying on militia troops so a lot of the forces that jackson
had in the war lands were militia it a mixture as you said of everything from water men and pirates. that's not to say they weren't necessarily good fighters. jackson was a very good leader. he also unlike the commanders who were defending washington they established a strong defensive line that protected new orleans whereas in washington you had a pretty capable troops. some of the militia troops particularly maryland which was probably the best militia troop unit in the area was fighting at bladensburg. they were very poorly led. they were rushed to the position because the americans just had not properly anticipated the british avenue of attack on washington. they didn't have the cover and