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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 7, 2013 11:00pm-12:16am EST

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>> history of american infrastructure next on book tv. the author, a naturalized u.s. citizen follows in the footsteps of those who aided in its geographic reunification of the country. from lewis and clark's exploration of the american west to civil engineer thomas mcdonald's creation of the interstate highway system. this is about an hour.
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>> well, thank you very much. first of all, the apologies. a slightly weird to be writing a book called the menu united states during its time when given that reason struggles and washington is seems more disunited and it has been prolonged a long time. icons, a very short trip of music at the end. i just hope that there will be no telephones during his presentation. otherwise i will feel like it was altered the -- had to answer actually addressing a huge political concept. so let's hope that does not happen. what i want to try and do tonight is to tell you a bit more of the background of this book which is a big sort of plum pudding of an affair. once i tell you how it all come
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into being, plums from the putting. the background, quite a complex story. you might be able to tell english. i fell in love with this country quite literally when i first arrived here in 1962. hitchhiking. i basically met at a science fair in london, the delegates, and met a young canadian women, 16. we met at the hospital. and i had taken a year off between high-school going to oxford. i would visitor. so i worked, you know, oddly enough in north london. oftentimes.
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to earn enough money to go and see her. i arrived in montreal in the early 1952. and then after a little while there was this huge continent beyond. so my parents dismayed when they learned about it, hitchhiking to vancouver. not a very long time, people were very nice. some dispatch. and then i decided to go and have a look at america. been fascinated by any english child, the cisco kid and champion and all of those kinds of programs. so i entered the united states. the time of blame in washington state. the first time i remember seeing , the incident as its i
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looked bewildered. stopped and picked me up. so would you like to come to seattle. that was the beginning of a series of unbelievable things which -- i visited every single state in the union, well, at least a lie, everyone in the continental u.s. i traveled -- i think it was about 38,000 miles. and everyone, without exception was kind inhospitable and generous. i mean, i remember one occasion to south of san francisco. i was trying to get a ride. good southdown to los angeles, could not get a ride. all night, left standing there. about five in the morning, police car stopped and said, was
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i having trouble. no problem. don't worry. alicante. he invited me to the squad car and took me out to the police station. the staff sergeant and took my fingerprints. why not read these charming little metal bracelets. he didn't. and then he took me on his family. had a shower, breakfast. he took me in his squad car to a truck stop and ordered in a team with a driver to take me down. and then probably the same day the next guy was a chap who worked for nbc television in burbank. the film industry. it took me to see the filming of to me john frank and hammer, the director. i got to meet lancaster. and in the next day i had coffee with johnny carson.
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unbelievable really. it just went on and on, this kind. i entered with 200 american dollar bills. and then a nice letter i had 182 of them left. so the entire trip that cost $18. the following year and went back that was more drilling. was not at oxford. i was quite a complete -- quite a keen climber. and much the same thing happened hitchhiking. they picked me up for a different series of reasons. i had a union katzenbach of my website. this was the year -- i doubt the audience will remember this, the scandal. people would decrease to a halt when a summer union jacket and say, did i know christine keeler personally. and i ever met mandy. and then we had the great train
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robbery. of course there was robert trade. of course i knew nothing of this. also, on the poignant side of things, the opening of a lock on the st. lawrence seaway. pushed toward. and so you can imagine quite a few months later he was assassinated. poignant. so my love affair with this country is based on solid foundation. but then i did not come back for quite a while. i went off and became head geologists' when i graduated, i practiced geology. and a series of reasons which are not relevant, sadly, i ended up not as a geologist but as a journalist. enjoins the guardian i was in ireland for three years. the difficult beginning, the troubles. and i think essentially, i
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revised the reward. the paper then sent me to washington. i came back professionally to the united states. of course in 1972 this story, i was mostly back in washington at this time. the committee. and then within the white house tonight, however, was occasionally at least in the lab to god look. and sometimes that someone backed by -- backfired the dates that general ford pardoned richard nixon. in washington. idaho covering evil can evil intent to jump over the canyon. and when i found in to the foreign desk with the story they said, well, scandalous not
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in washington. the business web. have the decency to kill himself which would have been on the front page. now you're buried on page 13. he should have been covering richard nixon the that was it. so my fascination had now moved from adulation to professional fascination. addis i now read a book about america. and so i had this idea. much as you here in chicago, the sympathize group. i was persuaded the essence of america is liquidity lane not on the east coast of the west coast , but in the midwest. so i took six months off and drove up and down and up and down 35 which goes down to the middle of the country to laredo and texas. i wrote a book which was called
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american crisis, published in the bicentennial era, 1976. and well, i had already written a book and northern ireland a to done relatively well. the dow was infected with this american hubris of youth thinking of this is going to be a success. when i get the root of the statement in 1977 it showed the book has sold precisely 12 copies. so it was not a commercial triumph by any manner of means. few years deal i spoke with an author who wrote a cheering letter said that he initially thought it not a bad book and had bought a copy recently thereby bringing my total sales up to 13. [laughter] so not exactly a moneymaker. anyway, then i sort of -- getting back into journalism, realizing this was not the way that i was going to and living. i went off to various places.
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india for three years. back in london briefly. and i was sent up for a long stand, 12, 13 years to china. and then 1997 and went to hong kong, converted to chinese rules. then had one of those, was i going to go visit london and establish myself there, or go to the art. and that decided it was not a foot of the coin. it was a deliberate thought, that i would actually get to new york for all sorts of reasons. in my career might take off a little bit more enthusiastically so i settled down in new york. after a few years, realizing that was not paying taxes in america and using the old mantra no taxation without representation, i thought that i should get our try and get american citizenship. so i applied for small for a
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green card which it did not kid. and you have to wait five years once you get a green card. applying for citizenship. and i finally did that in 27 -- 2011. i was called to my interview there. there are things, into a bride in english. want to make sure you complete. but they turned general knowledge questions about america, the first of which i managed to screw up rarely did he simply wanted to know. and without thinking had plated of america the beautiful and the immigration officer said it will she was not what it is which is the star spangled banner, but i'm afraid that's one wrong. you've only got nine more chances. a distinct possibility vimy denied permission. and then was one man. complicated story helicon about. they have not talked to people to take the oath on the after
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deck of the u.s.s. constitution which is this wonderful sailing vessel, the oldest commission water should actually in the world. nelson's victory. but this one does. so the of was performed on independence day 2011 during a hot day. it was just magical an incredibly moving paid have to say. i've never seen an immigration ceremony, all people who suddenly were free to do with their waste. and they can vote. they had no fear of arrest. all of it. it was wonderful. the judges on the end was as remarkable woman who has now become a great personal friend. i have lunch with her. she is called marion bolar. she was the judge at the moment in charge of the boston america
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to the boston marathon bombing case. when that yemen will cut she was there by his bedside in system essentially, your way, do you know where you are, what is your name, where you live? is to amend here is the prosecuting attorney. there any great deal of trouble. but she's a very interesting and wonderful one. toby -- one of the eastern very things she said is, you would be surprised how many immigrants as wherein, about 100 per year. four and a half years that she appeared before -- for a half years later appeared to me in court in trouble. why? they give you this trouble. i got my voter registration card . then i got my passport.
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travel over. i gather then about a week. no one to say, very moved, but when i returned back and and my passport to the immigration office with a small, welcome home. it was a great feeling to feel i was part of this extraordinary country. become so fond of it. and that they get that moment and decided that i would like to have another go of writing a book. the first attempted fail so dramatically. i could write another book. the lesson i learned a simply that it should not be in any way should perform like a book published in 1976. but then came the vision of what should i write about. this huge country cannot beloved complexities. the first, and i put all of these ideas -- and you have to write a proposal. as it turns out. one of want to write it in this
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way. the first was simply that i should write something to this country until the story in some detail why had fallen in love with the story in such a dramatic way. i knew that was not a very good idea at all. some -- detrimental. and then because i love real rate twain's i realize that it is possible to cross the entire united states on class three frame rail lines. go all the way from east board in maine to a little town in far northern california. and then i got a ready-made title for the book which was 545 to paradise. the reason for that was back in the -- i think it was the late 70's and early 80's, i had been looking up -- i think it was at the time, paris texas. i was looking up where paris texas was in the atlas. i noticed a column 18 it turn
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out, all called paradise. i thought it was pretty fascinating. eighteen cities called paradise. why were they called paradise? or they still paribas? so i rang and editor in london at a time when english magazines and newspaper editors spend money like drunken sailors. i said, cannot possibly gun visit. no, no problem at all. so the kind that you would never get today. i said well, the first one was out of florida which was a retirement community. moran gave way. and then -- well, one hopes. and then there was paradise pennsylvania which was just down the road from intercourse pennsylvania which excessively bloody. it was paradise arkansas and paradise montana. all had been ruled in one
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aspect, except one which was in her northwestern kansas. and therefore knew the geographical center of the continental u.s. so i went there. what turned out to be routine, i went to the post office. the postmaster and a said, i'm writing a piece about all the towns called paradise. she said to wallow, here in this old town of about two under and 50 people you have to stay with the patriarchs. in the village there called john and mary angel. so i stayed with the ages of paradise. mary angel rising to the occasion went to the bottom of the guard and baked me a cherry pie. quite honestly if anything
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appeals to my love for this country this eating cherry pie in paradise and as it happened there was a union pacific train which would leave in the morning from paris and then come back at about 40 in the afternoon. the house twice had been shopping in the market would get back to the farms in time to cook dinner for their husbands, people who worked on the farm. i was trained 545. title to the book was trained 545 the paradise. well, that did not wash. he said, no, that want to sound to people like trains, not america. add to write another proposal. and this was even more juvenile. it was a series of books, very successful in britain, the anatomy of bread. i thought, might not i write the anatomy of america, this basic structure of gray's anatomy, the television, but the book, which
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is, i think my published in 1886. so, yes, it was organized, brain, nervous system, cardiovascular system. i thought, this could work. the university's, the creation system, the mayors, the highways, the arteries. the skeleton, all the bridge work in the skin. they did not like that. have was really stumped until one day a couple of years ago i was just looking. i've got to write a book about this country. the united states of america, the word united. how come american managed to keep itself with the exception, of course, the miserable years in the 1860's, keep its of united? no other and larger entity on the planet has managed to keep itself united in any to the coherent way.
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russia as an example, the soviet union the dissolved into a dozen little. canada, wonderful, though it is, there is a great disgruntled jump in the middle of it. i'm afraid as i get closer to the border the audiences will get more restless. i think i will tell on that bit down. but i mean, where i come from, we have tried desperately ever since the end of the second world war to unify. not fully manifested. the don't use the euro. you try and plug in your shaver in stockholm video plug for the one you use in madrid. they speak different languages. they cleared each other. so that has not achieved unity, but this place, such a mongrel nation full of every color and creed and persuasion, race,
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linguistic background, all crammed into a country. yet this jewish person in new york, patinas, a fisherman in oregon, they can all feel some sort of mystical feeling that they are all americans. how did this happen? well, you know, it is possible to say that abstract things like language, common language toward giamatti ton chiller free of human rights has helped this unity, but my thoughts are that actually the physical agencies, the real things. it is easier enough if your of the same, region. b.a. in more or less the same manner.
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my wife is japanese. very easy for japan to unite itself. america, much more difficult. i cannot put this idea that inventions in creations in a diaz, the physical union or actually but familiar in this country. in know, the people than i could think of, they helped weld this country into one nation and kept it. and this list and longer and longer. first of all, familiar people like jefferson and those:00 and so forth, but then a lot more very obscure people. and i mentioned it to my wife one day. she said, you're creating a list of the man who you had to -- united states. i said, my god, that is the title. elected up on the amazon and of the various book catalogs i could find. no one is ever used the title. such an obvious title it also is
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the title betty essentially gives me into a lot of trouble. i find a very good way of bringing yourself to enter for taking this of town a bigger to is to look and amazon one star reviews. one star reviews, when they say, this is the most boring book and never read in my life. there is 11 star review at the moment from a woman he says, i am an unabashed militant feminist and and so appalled by the fact is called the men who united the rates. so i get no one star of you without even being read. but her view is one that i anticipated. why is it all made? the fact is, the reality is that in the physical united states of america it has been the business, almost entirely, man. there's only one woman who appears in the story, and that is sacajawea analysts in kaj
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saga. otherwise i'm afraid to say women play and sillery rules. in other an important role and other aspects of america, but not in the physical union of the nation. so it is in establishing this list, i think again about 100 people and it, which may be 75i had never heard of. i was convinced that it played an important part. in you come to the part, how do you organize it. and that, i once taught at the university of chicago for a semester, the university of california system created nonfiction writers. and analysts thought there were three key elements to the writing of a book, nonfiction. one is the idea. the idea, you have to have a terrific idea to write a book. the writing has to be good. it is not the second most important thing. the second most important thing
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is the structure of the book. you can might lyrically about a wonderful idea, but if the structures of the amount they're going to lose the people's attention. so how do you look at the -- versus a 100 people who played such an important role in the story of the netting of america, how you organize it in a way that will make it readable? well, you can organize it alphabetically. but that would simply be an encyclopedic book that would not be an all interesting. you could organize them chronologically, but i would argue it just does not work. so i was puzzled and monday i was writing a letter to a friend of mine in shanghai. in china for quite a long while. as of their members that in nearly all eastern philosophe the systems there are what is called the classical element
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which underpins almost all aspects of life. everywhere from india, once you give in to china, and china, korea, japan, nearly all of them have some variation, but essentially it is fine classical elements which underpin every aspect of their lives. in those five elements are would, if, water, fire, and metal. in that fund to get my work that i could corral of these people and their achievements into these headings of these five classical elements. and so i started, first of all, china. i thought, well, how about would be a rethink of lewis and clark, thomas jefferson sitting on the terrace in monticello. here's a man possessed with trees. your to monticello, so many of you have and you look at the
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gardens, they're dominated by trees that he planted because he regarded them, he love sitting and and, to look at them, the simple majesty of the. so he -- i'm sure you know the story to me was sitting on his terrace with the secretary reading a book, lake 18 and two, maybe 18 to three, which had just been sent to and from london written by men, alexander mackenzie about how he had succeeded in crossing and described his success in subduing on of rock of the town and none is bella, in british columbia. the root of his achievement which was a stellar achievements jefferson was at perplexed that a scotsman had crossed canada in the said, this is entirely well. turn to marry let's -- meriwether lewis and his
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secretary, and said this cannot be allowed to stand. you must cross our country and feed the achievements of the mere akkadian. no one ever remembers alexander mackenzie, but everyone remembers louis and, of course, lewis and clark. well, to get to the starting point, the real turning point of the expedition they had to hack their way and somehow drive their way through virgin old eastern forest. so woods dominated there journey. they traveled in wooden canoes, build wooden palisades around the forts with a stop to. kind of wood fires and so on. well, it seems that one could tell the story of early american exploration under the general loosely, the general heading of would would. remember, i said i used to be a
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geologist, not a very good 1 billion this seems at what was next guy to happen in the american story involved geology because once you come to understand the extent of it, union now thanks to lewis and clark on their journey at in their journey back, you knew where the rocky mountains or, when the sierra war, the pacific ocean began. rivers and so on and so forth, will you now need to know was what america was made of, not just wireless. and so you sent out the surveyors, the geologists. the first one, i had written a book in 2001 called the man that change the world about william smith and his construction of the first ever geological map. the amount of britain, even though well, and published in london in 1815. i thought it was the first, but
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it turns out that the first is created in america by a man, william mcclure, a scotsman he did a beautiful, totally inaccurate, but nonetheless beautiful geology of the appellations in 1809. someone publishes back in london , tongue-in-cheek saying, perhaps we ought to amend the title. my book should be the second map the change the world. william mccloy's was the first. so you have mccloy doing a survey. they have various yell is working on the lens -- west coast to discover things which lower out people in the east to come not. they said the wagons to find the gold, to find the farmland, the fine nickel, diamonds, of the geologists looking for. in yet the great force surveys, lincoln with his mind and other things, the 1860's which really
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finally told america when america was made of. first to seemed to work quite well. water, well, once again, the early american settlers nicely got into the interior of the country. the potomac in the hudson. after ana for your 58 miles of one of them down the rapids. they settled there is towns. they take a piece of the settlement from richmond and fredericksburg and washington d.c. in albany. and once they establish the settlements, trade routes are being -- bring trade rift down, the early canals. so they perfected the business of building canal the senate building more obviously commercial canals, not simply a round rapids. new hampshire which effectively created the vatican as a city of
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commerce. the most important of all american canals, the erie canal from buffalo and albany, which made new york the center of commerce that is today in in in the canals than in chicago to the mississippi river, the illinois and michigan can now and the chicago sanitary canal, is using important in allowing great lakes comers to go down to the elements. in and day cannibalization of control and taming of the untamable mississippi river. so that part of the story fits neatly into the chapter of water you remember, but it's going and these canals travels slowly. it was about the time the canals had been completed it became apparent to early americans that in applying steam they create
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devices that would get across america. the railway train in the building of the transcontinental railroad, the motor car and ultimately the state highway system. in an the airplane and transcontinental air journeys. all of these devices which are powered in their hearts by fire. so that worked quite neatly. finally, the fifth colleges metal. it is all seeming to work in this sort of -- not a chronological cents. would predated tariff which predated water which predated fire, all of which predated metal. no, telegraph wire and then the telephone. in in the distribution of electricity. in radio and television and cable television and the internet. so it all seemed to work moderately well. so i put the idea to the publishers.
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they thought, this will work. this idea we will except pretty off you go. write such a book. so that worked. that level, early on in the publication of the book, the critics, well, mercifully the two major reviews that have come out of the book had been highly positive. whether they will continue to be in not, on no. but to put it in its crudest, when is come up with the study commission check idea. as crude as i think, help that i have done away with it. adelle want you to think that this is a cynical approach to writing. the king of the chinese classical elements, something that some people might find offensive large and check. you will see. what i thought i would do, and i mentioned at the beginning, take
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a couple of plums from a couple of these categories the mentioned, things that i did not know about when i wrote the book would be very interested know what you know. select one place and one person and a couple of others. the first place which i did not know anything about, so there is no shame if any of you did not, would like to ask, you will be identified and television massively kelleher knows about a town called east liverpool? i would love it if no one knows it. and yet i would argue that it is one of the most important in america, certainly the story of the making of america. you probably all got something in your house that was made in east liverpool. until very recently it was the
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crockery capital of the country. in so all your resources and that's probably one made in east liverpool. none of the 400 had been reduced to about two. broker downtown on the right bank, the west bank of the ohio river, up north where ohio and pennsylvania and that tiny little sliver of west virginia all need. it is important for no obvious reason except when you drive from east liverpool eastward toward the bridge of the ohio he noticed -- if his past in a heartbeat, an obelisk on the side of the road. that obelisk is use the important because thomas jefferson as an act that he passed before it became president in 1785. hughes the important act in the
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making of america, and that was the land ordinance of 1785. after that point in the eastern united states is the model of land ownership, the model enjoyed our suffered in the british island command spelunking is where the aristocracy of the church. and ordinary people had no right of business to be and inland. jefferson thought this was entirely wrong. and for this country to prosper everyone should have the right to buy into own land because it gives them a tangible good that they can trade, something. they could build, develop, mine, do all sorts of things. moreover, the government could levy taxes on it and thereby allow itself to a minister. of course, at the time and had many debts to pay. the revolutionary war. it seemed an ideal which everyone was a winner.
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and it passed in congress. the consequence of it, well, americans will be able to allow to buy land, find out where the land is. surveyors, arranges, townships in ranges in sections. the new flyover the western united states today, nebraska, kansas, arizona, you looked at these lines running north and south and count. the airplane is going. you know there are a mile apart, all pointed north and south. the country is divided into he squares, the 40 acres and a meal and all these things, the measurements that passed in to invest:00. but those lines had to begin somewhere. dismantled thomas hutchinson point to the first-ever jennifer
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of the united states. the point of beginning would be built in east liverpool ohio, a river at the junction of pennsylvania and ohio, west virginia. and so he put up an obelisk, the obelisk the you will see today. is the point of the beginning. right up to the north pole there is an offline command area east and west, baseline east and west all the way out to them the suppression. the point the beginning is the tremendously important symbol of the development of modern america. and yet the obelisk is covered with graffiti. there is a literal of the place. in my view if this book does anything i hope that it might encourage some people to build it romantic, park, visitors center, a transportation center, and bring every schoolchild in -- school child in the region to see how america was originally survey and laid out thanks to the wisdom of thomas jefferson.
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so that is one thing i want to mention. another to figure who i think did heroic work and yet, his personal life was quite extraordinary, a fellow called clarence king, part of the geological survey, these lawyers of the 1860's and 70's, basically a slightly dolmen called wheeler is surveyed most of the coast of nebraska, the northern plains. and it was taken. menem at the yellowstone. john wesley, he no at his arm shot off at the battle of shiloh despite the disability manage to get all the way down to the grand canyon. the two of them, incidentally spinning in their graves if they knew what was going on in washington someone ago when for trivial reasons the arguments in
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congress and the national park, they assess the discovered it had to be shut down. but then there is a fourth man, clarence cain. a fascinating character. to many jews, highly educated, and using. from newport rhode island, and fantastic american was from a very good ones family who went to yale, ph.d. at harvard. the aged 27 he was given charge of the survey of all the lands between sacramento and the west of cheyenne. a hundred miles to the north and south, the 40th parallel survey. to consider years. the books and maps. could cost hundreds of thousand dollars. beautifully, beautifully accomplished. and he had all sorts of amazing adventures while doing the survey, but as a reward for doing so well he was appointed to be the first-ever director of
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the newly established body count the united states geological survey which, of course, today the country in its entirety. the move to new york, the headquarters of the usgs and he was the first director. the second was john wesley powell. his personal life is what i want to mention briefly. i was astonished when i stumbled across it. help no one will hold this against and, but he was a sexually energetic in man, but he did not like white women. he loved native american women, and he loved black women. so one day in new york when he was well on in years, something like 60 indeed he saw coming toward him a black woman who he -- he thought, this is the creature of my dreams. what he should have done is to have gone up to her and said,
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good evening, madam, and plans king, director of the message she loved the survey, which you could have dinner. for some extra their reason he went after and said the current thinking very quickly to my good evening, madam. although i mean that quite i am in fact black and i am a supporter of the portland company, a job reserved for black people. no, she agreed. she was from misleading family in georgia. they had dinner, fell in love, married and had five children. in for the next 20 years, the last 20 years of his life, he lived two entirely separate lives, never telling an aside and the idea. tv in example, he settled down
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in queens in new york, and then every couple of weeks he would say, well, when government, have to go after it to capture the twentieth century limited. i'll see you in two weeks. he would leave the house and walked through queens across the newly built brooklyn bridge to norman and where is offices or. no, no, geology center geologist and will be here for a couple of the shredding of my notes to beat you did write a business and live in a hotel in what is now tribeca. and after two weeks to say, well, it by. and, if another field trip, go back across the brooklyn bridge cannot resume his identity. the heads of the little children, two of them will white and he's in his life.
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and this perception continued for 20 years. only get into terrible financial trouble. he had to borrow money from the secretary of state, a great friend of his pretty also in very mad. he hit someone quite hard, and inside the lion cage, the central park zoo and had to be put into an asylum for a couple of weeks. and then eventually he fell ill with tuberculosis and was sent down to albuquerque to convalesce, but actually to die. he confessed to is doctor, the only person in never told. he said, i think you ought to send the message to queens. and in his actually mrs. king and that her husband is not even a tiny bit like. he is entirely away from a very good family in the part of thailand and i'm frightfully site where the confusion that may not he had died.
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the doctor very kindly in no way , it may sound sentimental, but it plays into the book away, he had a certificate of death and the rest of the race of the deceased. he scored to wear black and white and simply go in and read american. said that seemed quite charming. and to fine of things which relate to a chapter donated by metal. the first is that electricity. fascinated. i'm sure they you're aware of the basic ideas beyond the distribution of electricity. everything, the first one to distribute electricity build power stations and norman and tennant distributed deasy palin. deasy, had an advantage. the for the run from the power
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station the lights of the power. and then tesla invented a c. and then there was this battle of the current, a cdc. and at this and fun than in the to keep d.c. by saying to people that ac was dangerous. one of the things if he did and i don't know whether you have seen it, but there is some michael video clip which you can see on you to. he should that they can be used to elect to keep people and, indeed, elephants. and he electrocuted c'mon phone, the assassination and the electrocution of an elephant, autopsy, colony and the autopsy attack whenever keepers. hardly surprisingly the keeper had fed her a diamond of lit cigarettes. it is said that there would killed her and use electricity. there were not entirely certain
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of carats placed with cyanide in and put copper boots, big circular boots and each of her legs and maneuver onto a metal plate and then pull the lever. you can see the result which is really quite distressing. the poor thing crashes over, two and half times, dying very quickly and effectively, but despite a c1 the day. won the contract for the chicago fair in the 1890's. you had ac ever since. but not everyone in america had electricity. the city's did. the suburbs did. the fires did not. and so one of the things, eight and a dozen farms in america with no electricity went in the wintertime, particularly the as being melted, the cattle being milked, to do it with an electricity, the amount of funding that is needed, the
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needs of the huge population committed was wretched for american farmers. and so one of the things and as well did many came into power was to set up the rea, the rural electrification ministration, and farms were eliminated. the irony is that the first farm ever eliminated things to the efforts of roosevelt's new deal, big, big government was in western ohio, specifically a town called miami in what is now the eighth congressional district of ohio. the eighth congressional district yesterday the home of john maynard, so the archetype of into a big government, his district benefited hugely from the biggest government that america has ever known. the final thing i want to say, and this is where i bring in
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comfort. help it's going to work. cross my fingers. it relates to radial. you will know that video was invented essentially by marconi in 1902, an image which we can all remember from school days, marconi sitting on that had lent him a signal hill in newfoundland, a stormy night with the aerial those of a country of 400 feet above his head listening to nine -- palin possibility of the letter f being transmitted by his colleagues to a dozen miles away . and then at about two in the morning, this magical moment when suddenly he heard and all to ahead with great clarity being broadcast on the way across the land aggression. some radio and transoceanic radio was suddenly reality. no, that was fine. so far is knitting the country
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together, a conversation in moscow was not of the best. it did not have a great intimacy would you really needed was to be able to transmit the human voice. that was all down to a forgotten man. we'll remember morris and marconi, but we probably don't remember this man, reginald. he was a canadian who worked in america for the national weather bureau. and he came up to fund a very technically adept man, with the means of transmitting voice, the initials the you will know well, a.m. half in, or essentially his inventions. they allow basically hold the microphone on this on to the radio transmitter is set in the tapper and transmit any thing that his microphone could pick up. someone like me speaking with the sound of the window whenever
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in this changed everything. analysts thought, the way that grady reunites families and unite the country is very emblematic of the technology, at least in the 1930's, 40's, 50's, the image of the nuclear family candid to fund and an iran the radio. mother and father and children and dog and cat and so forth get in front of a radio listening to a, a program from los angeles are play being broadcast from new york, that is radio at its best unifying family in the nation. but it was conducted in voice. now, what -- some -- what he did was run out how to do it, built to huge areas. rather near plymouth rock. of the one his government did he transmitted test messages.
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he realized that he had done the right. he then sent shortly before christmas in 1900 to six a message by morse code to aid the ships in the western atlantic that belong to the in hanford company in a or bringing bananas of from the places of like an heiress to the east coast port saying quite simply, this now for a broadcast at one minute to midnight on christmas eve. christmas eve 1906 happened to be a dark and stormy night. it was a blizzard blowing of cape cod. ships for lumbering two years in toward the airport. but all of them, the radio operators went to the radio said, switched on a radius, through the static, the signals of other ships talking to one another handsomely heard something quite different that they had never, ever before.
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they heard this. ♪ f and dusted the national conversation began. a few days after that the radio station in pasadena california, the musical as to mr. roh is still exists, shortly there after the first of a real radio station opened, whan madison wisconsin. america started talking to itself to be that image action which really began on christmas
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eve 1906. nothing at all to do with americans, but a king in persia and huddling under shade tree. then came on, said the lord spare and a list of the ships to sea at the christmas. that was the beginning of what i think is perhaps the most unifying feature of modern america. thank you all very much indeed. [applause] >> and know that there are some limitations imposed by television, but i would be alerted if there are any questions, china hansen. >> would have been different and he been born in america? do you think you would have had a different perspective because you are going in and of the
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country? >> i do know what you mean. not too long ago i wrote to the canyon in eastern arizona. i don't know if any have been. it's a wonderful canyon : dwellings. every single person that was there was european. an italian and argentine, non-american. it seems to me that the people that are most curious about this country are outsiders. and the americans to my love, and i am an american now, are somehow condition to bunt genuinely to be as curious about their country has, perhaps, they should be. such a remarkable country dividend as with things like east liverpool, ohio, of lack -- this is going to sound critical.
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i don't mean to be hostile, a lack of curiosity which had think is an example because i am curious. no one to know. so i think it would have been a great thing indeed if i had been born and bred and educated in this country. more curious about france or africa or somewhere else and not this country. this country is full of wonder. >> i read two or three of your books. i am fascinated, really interesting information. put your ideas to get in. and then i have to think about the research, your caresses the
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do all researchers cells? your will to rely on others? >> i love doing there research. i was tested with the construction. the conventional view is that eisenhower got the idea once in the audubon's in germany after world war two. that is untrue. the idea is actually generated when he was appointed as an observer on deck transcontinental military convoy with the sense to across america and this young lieutenant. appointed as the observer and kept a diary of what turned out to be a complete shambles. this convoy setting out to 58
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days to reach lincoln. west of omaha there would be essentially no roads. the original idea was so quickly we could respond. well, if it took them 58 days the japanese haven't taken california, arizona, new mexico. probably not too bad a thing. ..
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but became swiftly known as donna reid. i had seen its it's a wonderful life and thought she was mrs. mrs. george bailey the most beautiful creature ever. i wanted very much to go there. i wish i hadn't confess that. i will be in terrible trouble. speedo want to ask you about -- when i read your books i have to surround myself with masks so i can get a sense of where you are and learn via jugaad -- geography. my question is when you are writing these books do you surround yourself with maps? >> they are not in my head and i spent an inordinate amount of
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money to produce books. i go to new york not akel where they have their chart agent and i'm just about to begin the pursuit to get ocean and the first thing i did was to buy the major charts. i adore maps. i have a huge map cabinet which i bought many years ago and i have a huge number of books but my private joy, these are maps and i adore them particularly the maps of the u.s. geological survey under their topographic maps or the geological maps. a book which probably most of you will not have one of the great legacies of the nixon administration was the national atlas of united states published in 1970 i think and there is a huge very expensive to buy now but if you can find a secondhand copy cheap it's a joy.
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i love atlases and indeed the london times atlas which is in my view the best atlas in the world i always give as a present any couple who gets married they get a copy of the "times" atlas which is huge about the size of this table. i always put the same inscription, may all your travels to all these places be healthy, happy and serene. i am so pleased with the publisher. last year they wrote this on the back jacket of the book so now i don't have to write it at all. i just say with love, see the back cover. thank you for your question because i love maps. >> are you aware of the university. [inaudible] >> well yes and the reason i know a bit about it is because
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because -- you are the library and they are? >> there was an incredible attempt some years ago to produce what was known as the international map of the world where the entire world would be mapped all at the same scale in the same colors in the same groups and so forth and made in such a way that if you take them all together they would reduce a sphere, 1 millionth the size of the world which is the size of the very large house. they started this in 1890 i think in a produced -- it would be a ton -- 1800 sheets to cover the whole world class the cd and they made the wars intervene because things like america map china. italy map argentina and britain mapped the united states i think and eventually the map started coming out but by 1984 the effort they have produced 1600.
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it was now under the auspices of the united nations. they said let's not continue it. the only complete collection of the 1600 maps of the world are in that map collection. it's a great great library. if there is nobody else, thank you very much for your time. it's been great. thank you. [applause] >> as you walk and there are tables in front with lots of pamphlets.
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prior to entering the gun show in the pamphlets are how the government is trying to take away your rights and the government is doing this and obama is doing bad and obamacare is terrible. those were the guys i wanted to talk to because they were the guys with the leaflets so i said to them, they said who are you and i said actually i'm an academic doing research on these organizations in these ideas and trying to understand the guys and the men who believe this stuff. he will looked at me suspiciously and asked me questions and i just said look, here is what i am. i don't get it. but here is my job. i want to understand how you guys see the world. i want to understand your world view. , you will not convince me and i will not convince you. that's off the table. what is on the table as i want to understand why you think the way you do.
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>> is located on perhaps one of the most beautiful lakes in the country called lakes coeur d' alene on the northern shore up for the spokane river runs out at the lake. most people agree that the name, which would be two french words,
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cooler and a lien. it's a small leather mall and we think it was first used by some of the french-speaking writers who were with the british company that moved into this area. as the tribes that lived around lakes coeur d' alene would travel near the canadian border for some reason we think because they were extremely -- traders and we say this person is as sharp as a tack, the sharpest tool was this all. and there mounts an uneducated french they started calling the indians when they went to trade they would take days to trade.
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they somehow referred to them as coeur d' alene which means people with hearts as sharp as the point of and all. for some reason the name that attached to them, they began to call themselves the coeur d' alene's. pretty soon it's on one of the early maps. the lake which they live around this whole basin which they live around became known as lakes coeur d' alene and when the first military ford was killed in 19 -- 1878 he was named fort coeur d' alene in the town which grew up around the fort was coeur d' alene city. the mountains surrounding them was the coeur d' alene mountain and the river was the coeur d' alene river. quite often by the time we get into the early 1870, 1880s the reason people say i'm going to the sub five's region, go
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back one step into history. the battle of little bighorn in montana. that was lost by general george armstrong custer and his command when that happened this was an embarrassment to the united states government and embarrassment to the president, and embarrassment to the military so general william tecumseh sherman set out to look over the possibilities. he came right on the spot basically where this building is. he looked at the lake and thoughts this is a perfect spot for military front. so when a ford is commissioned, some people know it's a good place to make money. we can set up a saloon, a brothel, a number of things. you have 300 soldiers in spot and so the town started a short distance from here intense and
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lean to's and log cabins. the year before sherman was formed was in 1878. the actually it's interesting because as the idea of the fort began to take shape there were serious indian conflicts in the region so this was the primary reason for it. that as it town began to take shape next to the ford it didn't have a name to start with. it was just a collection of tents and lean to's and cabins as i said before and pretty soon it was called fort coeur d' alene trade the town took on the city as it began to expand and then once there began to be more people moving into the area as a result of construction, gold was discovered in the coeur d' alene mountains. then it coursed thousands of people came through here so we had hotels in various orting
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houses and pretty soon you have a general store in the hardware store. coeur d' alene was a transfer point to the gold and silver mines by rail and by steamboat in them by rail began into the mining district. so when you have all these people coming in to go to the district they need things. so that is the origins of the economy. what really changed, major change was when the ford was finally closed in 1898 and when they discovered a different route into the mining districts which people didn't have to go. they were all rail lines. this little town was about to go under but nobody knew this. while all of this was going on there were federal surveys going on in the entire pacific northwest determining what is
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the marketable timber in this region? right behind me, i don't know if you can see it or not it is basically white pine, william -- millions of acres of white pine. a report was made from a survey in 1898. that report was made public and of course you can guess what happened then. all the major timber companies including the biggest warehouser was diamond international. they came to this area. so that is really what produced the town. when you walk through the town today that was the town that was primarily reduced. the town's population was about 500 in 1900. by 1910 it was almost 8000. coeur d' alene today is a modern progressive city and we depend pretty much not entirely, but tourism is a big part of our
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economy in this area. the timber industry is still viable. mining has had some problems but our main focus was on diversity. we wanted to have a diverse industry because in the past. [inaudible] so we are very diverse in almost every way you can think of. to me as a historian, i don't think you can truly understand the present unless you know something about the past area of the more you know the better you understand the present and if you understand the present and how it got here you're capable of making some choices about what is going to happen in the future.
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>> joe scarborough former republican congressman coast of "msnbc"'s warning show presents his thoughts on the current state of the republican party. the author argues that in order for the party to restore relevancy it must look to the likes of presidents dwight eisenhower and ronald reagan. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> do you want me on the right of the left? >> he follows directions well. hi everybody. he is on a marathon


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