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tv   After Words With George Nash  CSPAN  March 21, 2014 10:21pm-10:52pm EDT

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called sure socialism. >> he's thinking about communism in russia which she deplores. he was not for recognition of communist russia that he is also complaining of the regimentation and the new deal which is related to we would call mandates, unfunded mandates. too many rules. it would be too much state control. i want to move really briefly because it is very important and interesting to you, your own career and the art of working on hoover and you are from new england. you went to amherst college where hoover did not go, but coolidge did. class of '67. coolidge was class of '95. you are also quite a coolidge scholar. what was your first book? >> the conservative intellectual movement in america since 1945.
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>> and this book had a tremendous effect on many conservatives are free marketeers. i remember as a young writer at the "wall street journal" learning about it. you did in the vision of it of sorts. what to you think -- what did you say back then and what changed? >> i kept the initial book in print as a history of the conservative rise after world war two. more recently have done a book of writings call reappraising the right in which i bring up today some of the more current happenings. while doing that i worked as a historian and biographer wrote several volumes produced on the life of herbert hoover. it was not something i expected to do with back after getting my dissertation completed and looking for a job and the academic job market. i was commissioned to write a biography. i felt it made sense because as you mentioned who was a friend
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and patron and kind of the saintly figure for many of those embattled and beleaguered conservatives in the new deal. so it made sense to me to transition to for. >> embattled and beleaguered is some many conservatives feel today. one of the interesting things you have said is that it is not necessarily as bad as it was in the 70's or mad at least there are some conservative magazines for those who don't see hope in the political process. >> two points to make there. one, there was in an overtime and even into the 70's a very -- there was a developing conservative presence. william f. buckley jr. was a major figure. you could in 1960 put all the conservative intellectuals in the united states into one room of modest size. now we have a much more elaborate infrastructure and
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apparatus of conservatism and its many formulations. it's of much more rich. for conservative to live in because the movement has grown. but there was a time when it was very much a lonely occupation. back in those areas. hoover was kind of a figure of rectitude. here is a man who had been defeated. >> and the figure, is very important. want to ask you briefly what did he do with the hoover institution before we come to the break? >> herbert hoover founded what is called today the hoover institution. it started in world war one and its aftermath as he began to collect documentation relating to the war, particularly his own relief work in and he expanded the mission. he wanted to find and save for future historians tremendous
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amounts of material that might otherwise be lost or blocked that would document this immense human tragedy. it started as a war collection and has grown over the years to him much broader institution with think-tank characteristics. >> a fabulous archive on soviet material. the world premiere archive on that. >> i believe so. there is much that that is not elsewhere. the story is told that he ended up at the hoover institution doing research for some of his later writings and had wreckers that he obviously could not have access to. >> you have written that hoover said that this might be the institution with its library, his greatest accomplishment. very interesting. just say a few words about that and we will close for the break. >> said that in 1959 at the end of this phenomenal career in which she was 50 years in the public eye. for him to say that bob was a
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remarkable statement. i think it illustrated his great concern that history be understood at the lessons of history be assimilated by people and that this great archive that he found it could make a singular contribution to better understanding of the world of revolution, the world of communism, national sea to of socialism, this tremendously tumultuous and bloody 20th-century. here he was collecting from all over. the documentation that future historians could delve into. and he thought that maybe that was his greatest contribution to america. >> soviet scholars have always used this archive, its library and the hoover institution is certainly one of the premier think tanks and america. we will come back very shortly after our break.
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>> here's a look at our prime-time schedule saturday night. napm u.s. supreme court justice >> we are back with dr. george nash, premier scholar of herbert hoover. we are going to spend a little time now talking about the job of hoover biography. i wanted to mention some of the names of the people that we built our work on because they're is a lot of hoover work. many other hoover biographers. john wilson, the forgotten progressive to my eugene lyons
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mike glenn johnson meant david berner, robert merry said hoover and fishing. is there anyone to at? >> well, there are many that ever and monographs that we probably would not have time to list, but these are very eminent people. i knew all of them except for mr. lyons. one of the things that has happened in this generation is that hoover scholarship as taken off partly because his papers
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were opened in 1966. up to that point people had to rely and newspaper articles. now they get to see the hoover story from the inside. there has been a kind of a boom. maybe more detachment as time has passed. some of the motions of his era faded. i am happy to be in the company of those scholars. many of the assessment time at the hoover institution and the hoover presidential library. >> what's the difference? >> well, as we said earlier it was founded by herbert hoover and stanford university. it exists within the framework of stanford university. the -- >> i want to stop and said that dr. nash's wearing the hoover institution tie. >> i am. >> that is the tower. that is his tower.
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it is quite pitiful. the are all very proud of the hoover institution's wonderful place. >> indeed. 285 feet high. there is system of presidential libraries in the united states administered largely by the national archives. one of those is the harbor and hoover presidential library at his birthplace in iowa. that was my base of operations for many years. i have also spent many, many months because if you're a hoover biographer you end up having to draw upon the archival resources of both places. ..
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>> wade back in 1920.
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she went around ian and interviewed people. he did not care for the book entirely anti-he was clever rightist. >> host: this is very exciting to get us feel for how friendly he was for hope he was a figure people never would have imagined. here is your book. this is sure six the seventh relating to hoover. he wrote so much after the presidency where does this fit in? >> guest: this is just dead published previously eat not known to exist in all my previous years i did not know. it was part of this set of memoirs he started to write it in 1940 led hoover realize that was his last you so he said his life took a u-turn and so he put the
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energy into writing which turns into six volumes of memoirs. for were published in his lifetime. there were too laughed white historians had borrowed about because he had referred to but they had not yet seed after he died 86. . . to be descriptive called the back of opus this eagerness book about world war ii and his critique as roosevelt reckless board policy. -- foreign policy. it was given the title frieda betrayed that was put in storage by his peers as far as i can determine that it would likely cause the unseen the controversy to open battles just after the
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state funeral he is 19 years old when he dies then to turn around with a blast from the past they put in storage but not intel another generation of the family cave that decided the time had come they years later to bring that to publication and was invited to edit it that cannot as freedom betrayed. i give you the privilege -- the prelude because working on the other book the manuscript of this book the other one focuses on foreign policy and world war ii and cold for this is his crusade against collectivism. also with simon tirrivee chapters of his family life. the time period is the post
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presidency but only one was known to exist then i discovered this one then with permission with the hoover family foundation. >> host: so many books his autobiography a number of times. you can see where he says hoover changed this or that. is this like frederick douglass to rhode about the biography? why did you feel could be to go back? >> he wrote over 30 books between the ages of 85 tuned 90 he published seven books. not including the two.
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>> host: by dictaphone? finigan no. he would send it off to the typist the draft would come back and he would free write a and revised and again and again and she wanted to see what it looks like said he would have it set up and then keep tinkering. why? partly at was perfectionism his style but also the facts to be perfect because he saw both as having a didactic purpose. with a crusade against the new deal and socialism in he regarded the says people to learn the lessons from. because of his unique stature with the resources
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that he had with inside information to bring out the to the american people so that drove him to do it all the more carefully. he effectively finished the book just before he died. >> host: in the pitcher of fabian of tremendous energy. he would open a can of campbell's soup then go off to right a little better. before anybody was up to you think he'd do hayek the great philosopher who did talk about the road to serfdom?
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>> they corresponded once or twice i know that hayek was hoping hoover would give a blurb of his own in 1960 but i have not been able to find much beyond that and i don't know possibly correspondence has been lost but it would seem a couple of casual contacts but beyond that i don't know. >> host: we come to the third part of the chat which is about the controversy because today you read it is all hoovers fault or coolidge and hoover but not roosevelt or once it was all roosevelt and this is why it is timely. for the first time because it is about that dark economic period so i could
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write about your discovery professor nash finds new things. people often blamed calvin coolidge for a statement he allegedly made that the market was just fine and stock prices for okay. with the copies of the article that prosperity was absolutely sound to the stocks were cheap in the market so it turns out the only source other historians can find but what i did from one year ago. with the right teams in to discuss this before, hoover
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wrote several drafts and it turns out just before hoover cave in to office before coup vigilante read these statements but not a quotation marks around the original draft said with the typescript they were added by the time of book gets published a looks like coolidge said this precisely hoover may have had a little slip or the earlier episode to make some of the nine comments about the stock market. >> host: we all of a natural eagerness to shift blame to someone else say and maybe he shifted to
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coverage. he shifted a little bit much to hoover. but there was a tremendous burden for terrible motion in the business cycle. since we have been studied hoover there has been some revision one piece relates to the soviet union. hoover said it was bad but a standard history did not say that. with the reality reported by soviet refugees we have come to see regarding the new deal there were people who
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were communist for some who were reporting to moscow. as i begin to look into it with the hoover archive but harry dexter white. there was not wrong the soviet union was evil. >> hoover regarded one of the great mistakes of roosevelt that the diplomatic recognition of the soviet you did 1933 gave them much easier access to american public life. perhaps a 1.100,000 members. but they were concentrated and energetic to think this
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was pulling to the left so tuesday from mccarthy but to give them credit not inaccurate about the economic and social prospects. >> but if we were not careful in our proper disruption of the of bouncy evil empire we would have another in its place it that stolid would win the of war that is part of the other book freedom -- freedom betrayed that roosevelt had that not even feeling of his ability to domesticate joseph stalin to make him into a gentleman after the war and hoover was critical to see the book freedom be treated as the will and testament to say you have done to steve and
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the mistakes that we've made that the starry i did the russians would have. >> host: but that is controversial today you and important were is it exhibitionist david davenport with george lloyd published that the new deal is the paradigm. if you are for government experience and your stimulus if you are against it then you have other positions about career policy. so therefore hoover looks at him as the deflator baby coolidge is out of bet.
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but you show hoover thinking about the new deal to formulate op-ed articles that we cannot extend the mastery of government without making it the master of people's souls and thoughts. can we say another word about what is in this book about the new deal and how it could be perceived? to make yes i am glad that you mentioned them. there was a book out the few minutes ago by the same publisher we did not know that we were writing it but we have a convergence in thought as a leader of the deployment of the anti-statist arguments that are now in trouble and some of those arguments and hoover bakes are arguments as say permitted to issue in
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politics with the government a and free economy how far should we go. hoover raises issues in this book that are defying -- to fight the of the american landscape. hoover gave a taco madison square garden with the unsuccessful reelection campaign that this election is more than a contest between to bet and two parties but philosophies in the outcome will dictate for 100 years to come and he regarded that as one of the most prophetic speech did he ever gave. what he is to flee in his book is documented in his battle against the new deal from the 37 forties. and regarded this as a critical fall line the
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america of a more individualistic philosophy this might be lost moving to a regimented society. >> with step-by-step so just so you recall of a new deal in the 1930's and unfortunately unemployment did not come down and to with the duration that made it so great. sometimes it went too far. you have zero wonderful item where he wrote a letter to a justice. tell us about that. >> yes. very briefly when running against roosevelt hoover was
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terribly afraid it roosevelt would get the third term hoover went to the chief justice and asked him to resign from the court in the middle of the campaign to campaign against roosevelt. he just had a big battle with his court backing scheme that cost him political support he was an opponent. >> host: hoover did not approve of the court packing because it was a political change. >> guest: he came up with the idea of the dramatic gesture could turn the tide but hughes thought he could not put the court is in jeopardy that way to use his position to leave it. but especially if roosevelt was elected he would not feel the court which longer
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but hoover does not talk about it in the regular book but this is a rather sensational had it happened to who thought could. >> host: he is wrestle league with a sense of urgency with his own sense of the importance but to how to conduct yourself fiber with president bush his incredible graciousness that pulling back. he was less active because he is more of the state's mood. if you have added some 80 about the future. what do you think?
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>> but hoover was the usual i will be his time that he believed in the importance of the understanding of the past. so he did not want to go quietly into the night so he fought back energetically sketched out a covered narrative is and that argument is parked of the constant argument whether government can be a menace as well as a hell. who oversaw creepy collectivism in the 30 soon worried about totalitarian liberals.
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that but we could keep our other freedoms and still have a state control that you cannot have that combination. there are some interesting a comparisons. some friends do not like hoover. end with the gospel according teetwo palo alto what about china now? >> of course, he was highly disturbed american policy had undermined schaede kai-shek have prevented him to take power

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