tv After Words CSPAN June 9, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT
are on track. i started also with living history but in this case making sure all of our best people are working on it. we are pushing hard choices on june 10 and it's the fourth book with us and i was the editor of the book. i was overseeing all aspects working very closely with all the people at the company. >> as the editor ar are there at of e-mails back and forth between you and the author? ..
>> >> it depends on the potential for a book. what i'd like to think of us a top down campaign like campaigns of hillary clinton that breakout from there. that they generate a number of things that create themselves. my role with the clinton title is to work on the marketing side which involves a blood site for
the of book a facebook page page, the release of content on the web. my role up to now is very much the digital marketing role and to see how much people care silvery toyota way but we don't have many that go up on the homepage of aol or that yahoo! picks up instantly. the part has been fun tttt regulr viewers of booktv know that every month we have a new book for our book club, and this month we have chosen "the iginotten man," either t >> every month we have a new book for our book club wee have chosen the forgottenbout man easier said digital edition for the graphic edition if you would like to read along well, amity shlaes' "forgotten man" is our book club
section for the month of june. pick up a copy, digitally get a copy and join us in reading. if you go to booktv.org, you'll see right up there at the to be -- top there's a tab that says "book club." and beginning this afternoon we will start posting your comments. we want to hear what you have to say aboututhor of "finding the dragon lady: the mystery of vietnam's madame nhu." >> are going undegood morning, . welcome to the 30th annual "chicago tribune" winters road lit fest. i want to give a special thank you to all of our sponsors. the authors book will be told in the main lobby and son outside of the auditorium. book signing will immediately follow the program.
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row. gives me great pleasure to introduce to you guys are moderate today's conversation, eric banks. mr. banks. >> thank you. thank you very much. welcome everybody. it's good to see you here this morning and it's my pleasure to welcome today monique brinson demery, the author of the amazing book, "finding the dragon lady: the mystery of vietnam's madame nhu," which has recently been published by public affairs books. she holds a masters degree from harvard university, and when she made contact with madame nhu who was the unofficial first lady of the south east government in 2005, she was the first journalist to interview her in almost 20 years. she is based in chicago where happy to walking, monique. >> thank you for having me. thank you for coming today.
>> it's such an interesting book. i'm curious how you first became interested in writing a book about what i think a lot of people might be somewhat unlikely an unknown subject, someone who was known to scholars of history of the vietnam war, but probably not that well known to so many other people. how did you become interested in madame nhu? >> it started sort of by a mission. my mother is french and my dad is american, so it was a very clear to me what had happened there, and every time i tried to ask the adults around, it was too controversial to really talk about. so there is this nagging question of okay what happened in vietnam and every time i looked at a book there was a very gory picture, that you've seen a vietnam or napalm picture and then flip the page and here's this beautiful, stylish comes with a very cosmopolitan looking woman and they're calling for the dragon lady, the
diabolical -- what is not to be interested in? i started digging around, and actually out of curiosity wanted to read a book about this woman because her life sounded interesting to me, putting the pieces together. i would have known that she grew up during the french colonial period and i thought, okay, someone has written maybe a great historical book about this one. there was nothing, really just these articles from the '60s that had been written about her. and then no biography, no mr. koh fiction. what i noticed was no obituary. so that led me to think, ma wow, she still alive. >> somewhere out there. yes. great fascination for writers who are reporting from vietnam. there was very much a built-up image of her in the united states, but then after she went into exile in rome and later in
paris, she does kind of disappear from the records. you had a lot of sleuth working and tracking her down. >> i did. i mentioned there was no obituary. there was no obituary from madame nhu but what he did find was an obituary for parents. her parents in 1986 were living in georgetown. they made the elder after he resigned in protest from his daughter and son-in-law's government so they been living in georgetown. and 96 they were murdered in their sleep by their only son. and i thought, this is a real-life? this is nonfiction? so the ministry really threw me in -- zooming in and those of us time madame nhu emerged from her self imposed exclusion to say this is a family affair, leave my family alone. at the time she was living in rome but she was back and forth between rome and paris. >> did you start out possibly,
the parents, did you start out thinking about writing about their lives perhaps and then she became such an interesting figure to you a long the way? >> i sort of thought there was something there. their faces looking, 90 -- i'm going to get the names wrong -- 90 and 86 or something when they were murdered and they were murdered i read in their pajamas. that seem so heartbreaking and sad. i start looking into it and what i found was that these lives, these very sympathetic, elderly couple had, in fact, lived quite a life before that. madame nhu's mother was known as the pearl of the orient by the french. and benefit archives was digging around all these references to she slept with and why and then she slept with the japanese. and in this sort of further confusing, she was 14 when she had her daughter. 14 years old. so i thought, there's really, there's so much contradiction
here and she wasn't just a sweet old lady. she was a sweet old lady who slept around quite a bit. but you also had a daughter at 14. all of those questions kind of led me to pursue them. >> it's a very aristocratic family. we probably need to take a step back and see exactly who madame nhu was. she was calm her brother-in-law, the brother of her husband became president of south vietnam in 1956 or 55. >> fifty-four he becomes premier. so yes, madame nhu is the first de facto first lady because the president of south vietnam, and there's a few titles before that, primus to, premier, for simplicity call him the president. he was a bachelor. that's what makes them sound like he was going to vegas on the weekend but he was really very moral. he slept on a hard, wouldn't can't. he personally signed entry visas in and out of the country sing
up late at night. there's this very catholic austere man who needed a first lady became somewhat to host parties and go to the orphanages and those flowers should. so madame nhu, his younger brotherbrother site becomes thin and she perfect for. she looked great for the cameras. should like to be out there. this gives her a voice. all of her life i think matter had been looking for the perfect combining, she was the second child, she been overlooked as a child. she had a bit of a chip on her shoulder, and so for her to be handed this, you go, b. the first lady, be the official hostess, she took it and ran with it. >> and she basically occupied this role up until 1963, when the government was upended, and her husband and her brother-in-law were both executed. >> that's right.
and one within. madame nhu wasn't just first lady to she was overwhelmingly elected by like an unrealistic 99.9% of the population to hold seats in congress, in their legislature. so by doing so should still the first lady hosting parties but you can also pass laws. so madame nhu past these family and morality laws. some of them were very well intended, i think perhaps they're all well intended but south of the needs women were not able to open bank accounts but they were not touch the south vietnamese women. madame nhu -- before the laws. so madame nhu recognized what her husband and her brother did that was the 50% of the population was being just ignored except by the communists were doing a great job of recruiting women. so madame nhu thought okay, let's give these women some rights and some power, and she did and sort of took it upon herself to be the voice of the women. she doesn't like most vietnamese
women. she came from a very aristocratic family. they spoke french at the dinner table. so for her to suddenly declare herself a voice of the vietnamese woman was all presumptions. >> she couldn't msha's unable to write in vietnamese, is that correct speak what she didn't write, i mean she could, but she expressed herself most will only in french which is what of course she studied in school and what they spoke at home. so the other laws that she passed were a little ridiculous. i mean, thinking about them in context it seems to make sense. vietnam was a country at war and the north vietnamese, the communist were to ever good job of saying this is a war, we have to treat it is usually. madame nhu was wordy, it's becoming like a party. there were girly bars and all of that stuff that is on restarting and madame nhu said no, we have to take a series of. so she outlawed dancing along with prostitution.
she outlawed hand holding and kissing but she outlawed underwire bras, but she wore them. so she had these sort of, this moral like high horse, and then the best was her sister had been married off young like a madame nhu head, this is her older sister issues married to a guy who worked for the government. they fell out of love i guess come in a, and she fell in love instead with a french guy. he was a big game hunter and madame nhu thought you can't leave good upstanding vietnamese guys for a french guy. disappointing colonial. so when her sister tried to divorce her husband, madame nhu outlawed divorce, and the story goes, there's a record of this but the story goes madame nhu sister slashed her wrists and going to the pound and madame nhu locks up in hospital and takes her own mother to come back to saigon to break up the daughter then goes to the united
states enters the french guy anyway. >> they are still alive, correct? >> i believe so. >> she lives in north carolina, correct? >> i tried to reach out to her with letters, but the event unanswered. so her husband has published a couple memoirs at this time, and they been published by a small press and candida, perhaps self-published. quite interesting. >> one of the things remarkable about your book and her store, and i should point out you mentioned her looks, a real striking figure is hard to characterize her but the image on the cover really says it all. you all probably can't see it from a distance, but she knows how to handle a pistol. and especially with the sort of beehive haircut that gives a nice luck's been she did have a fashion thing. a high collar, a manager in
color and madame nhu was one of the first to say, you know, if you've got it, flaunt it. so she cut the neck down so you could see kind of her collarbone. at the time this was like really risk a. so the president, her brother-in-law, said don't you think that's a little too flashy quick she said something like, it's not your neck that is sticking out, it's mine so shut up. >> that's a great line. what is going to say though is it's fascinating not just from a geopolitical standpoint and from a historical standpoint but it really is a family saga as well. one also where you see someone who is able to use whatever we think about her, and we can come back to that end a little bit, has this incredible amount of gumption. she managed to create herself and to really direct her own idea of what a public image would be, with an iron will pick anything that's really
fascinating about her. and it seems like when you may contact with her, many years later, that that sense of herself was still very much intact. >> i love the word gumption but i think that's a great description. and yes, madame nhu was going to tell her own story. so when i did find madame nhu she was in her early 80s, and she sort of said to me, this is great. you are the angels that god sent to me. we are going to do my memoirs. you're going to get me a book deal, it's going to be great. and i was like, all right, you know. but i wanted to hear what she had to say but she had very specific way of seeing her past, which is understandable. perhaps we all revise history in our own way but madame nhu, she was -- vietnam was the center of the universe and she was sort of the thing everything revolves around. so she was very much at the center of her story, but then
again it was also understandable. her husband and brother-in-law were killed by the sanction of the americans and should gone through this life had been quite hard. and so i think to make sense of it she really turned to religion and that was the only way that she could really make sense of things, and biblically or ordained. >> a joan of arc idea, survivor story. how did she come -- do you think it's just the force of her personality gave her the presents she had in the government? the american thought she was really the problem behind the problem that were very clear with, in the south vietnamese government, that she was the one pulling the strings. i think the way that you write about or she does come across as a who had an unbelievable amount
of influence over what her brother-in-law did. do you think that's just come you know, force of the personnel because you write about, for example, when she was taken a prisoner of war in 1946 by the communists, and that this figure images from that who is so strong. is that your sense of it or do you think her role has been somewhat overrated in government? >> i think it is actual bit of both, if that's possible. madame nhu has the story of when she's taken by the communists and she's carrying her infant daughter, walking across the bridge and bullets are flying and she emerges unscathed. for her, she was like oh, yeah, i got i a. all got to do is be brave. and that message, that, in the face of your in any, stare him down, and stand strong the matter what you do don't back down, that was kind of her
motto. everything she tried to pass that on to the brothers. there was one point when they ty were negotiating, there didn't t attend to attend an institution to open up his government and madame nhu thought that was just awful, that he would dare to share power and all of us do. she convinced him to stand firm. in some way yes, she had the power to convince the brothers that they did need to open up the government. they needed to lock all the doors and keep it even more -- but i think the other thing is just the appearance that it looked like the men were following what she said. kennedy said something like she looks like she is leading the meant around by her apron strings. so they're just sort of following and i think i was just as dangerous as any real power, to make it, they were sort of an estimate by her and that was kennedy's biggest fear is that they would look like america was following us for late around and that was not going to fly.
>> yes, and so much of her criticism of, well, i should put it this way. so much of her reaction to what was taking place in vietnam, modernization, its neo-colonialization if you want to call it that, westernization that started to appear in south vietnam, in the late '50s and '60s that she run it against, was very much a criticism of america. it put her very much, because so much of that was made possible by the influx of foreign policy money from the united states, which put her very quickly i think on the opposite side of the thinking of the government of the united states. states. >> she was happy for the money. let's be clear, that was how they were funding the fight. but what they wanted was the money but then stay out of our business, let us run our government. and the united states obviously wanted strings attached to that money. when things were going the right
way, for example, the united states tried to send in ground troops a lot earlier but the brothers of said absently not. you know, these have to be advisors only. it wasn't until much later that the vietnam war escalate into what it became. >> there were several trenches attempts against the government began in 1960, i believe. -- coup attends. a couple of air men desperate she narrowly survived spent there was a direct hit on madame nhu's bedroom. some rogue south vietnamese air force pilot was tired of this sort of bossy lady, pushy lady. one of the vietnamese i talked to said she was, talked to big. she was too much. one of these south vietnamese air force pilots was upset about it and did a direct hit of her sweet. so there was this gaping hole. madame nhu fell through she said
three stories -- again, one of her sort of survival, she survived it, it was magical. but she hurt her arm but one of the children's nannies was killed but otherwise no one, no one in the family was hurt. >> and then finally the protest against the government began to escalate in 62 and 63, and there are, for the first time very strong confrontation with the buddhists in vietnam, which he described very well. why don't you tell us about how those protests started and what, i think this is really when madame nhu filter place, a bad figure in history around the buddhists protest to if you will remember, there was the famous pictures of the buddhist monks burning themselves at traffic stops. i think they were seven who committed suicide that way, the way of protesting against the government.
>> it started with a law that had been on the books since colonial time. no flag was allowed to fly-a state like but, of course, nobody really paid attention to the. there had just been a catholic festival and white and gold flags have been flying all over, and so for the buddhists birthday sometime in may, one of the brothers, so there's the president, his brother, madame nhu's husband who was kind of ahead of the secret police, also in charge of all the politics, he was kind of a guy who did the dirty deeds, and there were a few other brothers, one of whom was the archbishop of a city in central vietnam. when is coming into town one when he noticed that buddhist flag was flying to i. so he ordered people to take it down and there was this backlash by the buddhists of why are you enforcing this random law now against the backing down and saying, you're right, we're making a mess out of this, they
cracked down and it was suddenly a protest by the buddhists. people started firing on them. people were killed, and so then assessing we are sorry, things got out of hand. the family played the communist. blame the communist. sort quickly turn into a mess, and basically the buddhists repression was less, less repression in the way we think of now than more of a vehicle for every grievance you think of because no one had been allowed to say anything against this family. but 90% of the country was buddhists so anyone could identify with this, you're putting down these people, so it would -- everybody jumped on the bandwagon. elderly monks were self immolating, which means they were letting themselves on fire. when madame nhu solid, she sounded like marie antoinette. you know, great, let's clap our hands and have a barbecue.
the most cruel response you get to old buddhist monk lighting himself on fire and that just spread like wildfire around the world. people couldn't believe that she could be so callous. now, from madame nhu's perception was the buddhists have been intoxicated, which doesn't mean drunk, it means poison. they been intoxicated by communism everywhere a very loose knit association organization. there were no strict rules coming in, coming out. madame nhu was pretty sure they had already been infiltrated by kindness. and it turns out actually that by 1968, the united states even agreed, yes, they had been used as a cover by communist. but it was such a shocking thing to say and then to be so light casual about suicide, it's unforgivable. >> it's never, i don't think it's ever a good tactic for a leader who is dependent on foreign aid to castigate
buddhist monks for protesting in the name of religious freedom and whatever else. and that is really when i think at that point that the u.s. government knows that is a problem on its hands, and it passively supports the coup that will,. >> correct. in august, president kennedy okayed a change in government. the new ambassador was sent over to saigon goes with the understanding that he is there to go look for alternatives to the summit has been in power now. and it takes some, there's some false starts but, you know, some real alternatives have finally been identified. the brothers are killed in november 1, 1963, which many of you know that's just a few weeks before kennedy himself was assassinated. so madame nhu is a conspiracy figure in some of these who killed kennedy questions. many think it has something do
with madame nhu, but i can assure you it doesn't. but it was a terrible, terrible time. and so kennedy seems really shocked that the brothers had been killed. by all accounts he gets up when he hears the news and he is visibly shaken, can't believe it, they killed the brothers. but he was the one who sort of gave the okay to go ahead and topple this allied country, this from the regime and overthrow the. for him to think they could've got any other way, a little naïve. >> at the time she was on a tour of the united states. did she believe that if she came to the united states to convince people that there was a grave threat, if our government was not supported that communists would topple south vietnam quite quickly. so she came to the united states on a speaking tour, and quite a spectacular tour. she went to a lot of colleges, did a lot of television. and it was probably a lot harder
come at a time is a lot harder to do that than it probably is today i think. what was her reception like when she came to the united states? >> it was very next. so as you say she came to the united states because she been asked to leave vietnam. by now the buddhists thing that really escalated. the united states thought the only thing, th the way we can tp this down restore any order is if madame nhu just lease. so this is been something that the brothers have not going to but finally they said okay, madame nhu, you've got to get out of vietnam. shut up and basically. so what is she go? she comes right to the united states and goes on it this press relations to. she doesn't understand, she was invited to speak at harvard and columbia and georgetown, and she's also invited by "meet the press" and all of these press organizations. she doesn't understand why she feels like the government hasn't rolled out the red carpet for
her. was and she invited? she doesn't get this separation between the press and the government. because in her country of course like the government, the press can only see what the government wants them to see. for her it was really toy . .didn't they want me to? she goes, ghost in your comment goes to washington, d.c., comes to chicago. she stays in the blackstone hotel, and what my favorite poems of the trip is she goes to dallas and there's a ranch there and she gets invited to go shooting. so her daughter dresses up in like western gear and apparel has the first kind of teenage romance with a texas guy. and her reception that madame nhu gets from her mother, was very worried about madame nhu's visit to the united states so she posts a state department has had an estimate as has madame nhu really shouldn't come you. i have aren't all that the in
these to throw tomatoes after and if they see her to run her over with the car. this is her mother. she does get tomatoes for better. she also gets standing ovations from fordham, from georgetown, from a lot of catholic education speed is good to say, she really mapped out the catholic college and universities, i can or as part of her tour was she presented at that point as -- her catholicism commune, very important part of her political ideology, if you want to call it that. was she seen in that light, in 1963 in the united states? i assume to the extent that she was hitting, you know, places like fordham, georgetown, they were very much self-conscious of that. was the part of her reception as well? >> i do think that part of the political closet of the south vietnamese government was based on something called personalism which is this philosophy that started in france in the '20s
and it was a catholic closet, supposed be an alternative to pure capitalism and communism but it was kind of his third way. governme a cornerstone of that was a cornerstone of their government. no one could understand how that translated, so that was the problem was in the marketing, but the regime brought all this property outside of rome and property in the post for rome is pretty expensive so they have a large track of land to get in doctrine aided in their vision of personalism and then conduct itself via its mom and that didn't work out so well for them but it was a place that she knew when her family was self empowered she could go back to that land which is now very valuable. >> i was always curious about that in her relationships and he disliked her so much and was
interested in the catholicism that worked into that you would almost think that there might be some kind of sense of closeness. if anything the person that had the fondest thoughts about her would have been lbj. >> he must have flirted with everyone, but the connections between the kennedy family in washington is really uncanny on paper. both governments were run by a lot of family members and very anti-communist so they should have gotten a long while. she thought that the madam was just pushy.
she bolstered about her own marriage to president kennedy saying they have this marriage that i don't know -- what is that? who knows but it's a sort of submissive. but it was that she was probably a lesbian. >> you talk about the dragon lady and any number of powerful women from the countries particularly in the government from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the 20th century. >> absolutely. you see her in every kind of hollywood bad guy movie starting -- starring the powerful conniving asian woman or she is the very submissive.
so there are these two ways that the asian women have been portrayed and so when they rise to a certain level of politics they certainly get shoved into one of these categories. >> we even had to chicago's own. the one i was trying to wreck in with is a complex figure and you try to present her and all of the complexity that i think it's wonderful i kept thinking also about who does not, but in the book that strikes me as a kind of counter model. she certainly was a figure like that. >> i heard there is an off-broadway play in new york. it's called here live and love.
but she was flashy and flamboyant and didn't go quietly either. >> has anyone been interested in making a film about her life if i may ask lex >> not that i know of. >> what was she like -- you portray this very well in the book but tell us about what she was like when you finally did make contact. she wasn't exactly advertising where she lived in paris and she had avoided paris for some time because she could have been extradited. was it the apartment that he owned in paris? >> she said it was an anonymous gift and she always implied it had been given to her by the government because they felt bad
a look around paris and i realized all of the terrorists were really low. i won't have to go very far. there are limits on how high it can be built so that really sticks out. >> they started walking around paris. there is an older vietnamese woman here. that is how i found her and i was writing her letters and asking her to let me tell her story and pitch it as a sort of let me do this in a scholarly way. what ended up happening was the most unscholarly thing possible.
i had retained ten letters at this point the day that i found out that i was pregnant i get a phone call and the woman says that i'm in i just found out i was pregnant so my relationship with her going through the birth of my son was an almost maternal grandmother thing. i've been there. let me tell you my experience that was so personal and unthreatening for her because suddenly i was this girl that needed help and she could tell me everything she needed to know. >> there is certainly a game of
cat and mouse. how long did it take to talk about the memoir that she was hopefully going to tell you about? >> it was clear to me that it was never going to be produced. she had been talking about it in 1963 and she mentioned it to the saturday evening post so than one time we were talking and she said there were pages everywhe everywhere. and i thought we are never going to get to this. she was ill for a long time and before she passed away she decided okay i've got to get this done this is my last chance to get my side of the story heard. i want to ask a couple things before we do that. you are writing about a period
is preceding for being so important. how has that been received? when we were talking earlier you mentioned that you get a lot of feedback from the vietnam veterans, people that are interested and invested history of south vietnam and want to know more about that. what has that been like? they've been curious about my work and in some sense i'm young and i wasn' wasn't there and i t have that experience and so i really do respect who had first-hand experience. but they wonder why would you ever go digging into this woman? she was terrible and she should just be left as it is. she hurt so many people and made the vietnam so much worse and my answer to that is simply because
she was a fascinating exploration of what went wrong. people of my generation couldn't even talk about the war yet in school it was controversial. controversial. so now there's more education about it but it's a hard conflict to streamline and get people talking about it so if this is one way to do that, she was a very polarizing figure and i think that it needs to be explored. >> did your personal feelings for her change over time and the fact that the way that you saw her i didn't know if you started the project with a sense of it being a black-and-white figure lyrically and historically whether you did begin that kind of a position but did she become
much more personalized in the process of working on about? she had been stereotyped but she didn't really need to be rescued. she was good enough and complicated. so my initial i'm going to do this world a great service was quickly changed when i started learning all the facts. but i have the utmost respect for her. she was a strong woman and i think that she embodied a lot of the conflicts women face when they are trying to be ambitious in the place that won't let them express themselves and try to put them down. >> not only strong detractors in the early 60s but the couple
of people that really thought she was a much more complex person and wanted to write about her in the complexity. they were big advocates, you're right. >> we are living in a time when we see more interesting biographies written of political figures and particularly from asia than we have seen. there is an interesting biography presented a woman that wrote -- it seems like there is a different generation of women who have come of age after the victories of feminism offer interesting perspectives that wouldn't have been available at 30 or 40 years ago so that's wonderful and i think it is a
touristic book. i am happy to be able to read it. does anyone have any questions for the audience? >> you talked a little bit about how the recollections might have been covered by the trauma that she experienced in the reliability of the source while you are working on this project. >> she wasn't an unreliable narrator and in writing my book i chose the unorthodox pathway of putting myself in the book and someone that could see both sides so i did the research into the materials here in the united states and there are no real
objective views. it was planted by the mostly white male reporters who are writing about her so from both of these sides i have to kind of navigate what is true and what is false and in her memoirs that she wrote where she's the center of the universe that wasn't going to be much help finding out what the shoe she was she wg and the little details that i wasn't going to get any place else. but that is tricky and i try to be as honest as i can in the book about walking that fine line between the living what she says and also making sure that it is factually correct. >> the photographs, i mentioned this earlier are quite incredible. and i noticed a couple of them came from her own collection. those are part of the memoir to be published.
how do you think the press did how it was under the thumb of the vietnamese government and how much better did the american press to do because you must have read a lot of articles and watched a lot of news clips. the u.s. media did they build her upward trivialize her, how did the press do? >> dot u.s. press i think if you read the accounts of malcolm brown who were there in those early days, they tend to have really believed that the united states was doing the right thing by being in vietnam. this was a country that needed to be saved area to the dominoes were really falling into so they
were really sort of petri out of clay behind the united states and south vietnam but because of that, they were really in a stumbling block. these reporters could see it and no one else was talking about it and so they were advocates for i don't want to sa say for the ree change, but they were advocates for getting a become more involved in south vietnam and reporting the facts as they solve them which was hard to do in that context. i don't think that they build her up. i really don't think that they liked her very much. [laughter] panic we should point out that they rated religiously and there is a point in the book where you tell her that david has been killed in a car accident, he was in a car accident in 2008 or something like that and you tell her, you break that news t the r and she seems kind of sad by it.
it was a personal friend of hers she raised her hand like mussolini. she was like well i remember him. he was a good reporter and always told the truth. >> i think we are about out of time and i want to thank you very much. the books are for sale and we hope you will pick up a copy. >> thank you everybody for attending and thanks to mr. banks. copies of finding the dragon lady are on sale in the name of the torreon and she will be signing books outside of the auditorium. thanks everyone and enjoy the litfest. conversations]
every month we have a new book for the book club and this month we have chosen the forgotten man either the original edition or the graphic admission. so if you would like to read along economics, depression, you can tie a part of things in today as well. amity shlaes the forgotten man is our book club selection for the month of june so pick up a copy digitally, get a copy and join us in reading. if you go to booktv.org will see at the top there is a tab that says book club. beginning this afternoon as we
will start posting your comments and we want to see what you have to say about the forgotten man for the month of june. >> in 1986, the chairman of the communist party who was a sympathetic to the students and in the democracy movement at that level was put under house arrest and when that happened china came into a relatively oppressive period when the debate had to go underground and caused a lot of tension and that was until the 1989, spring of 89 when he unexpectedly died of a heart attack and as you all remember that was the events that triggered the demonstrations and the students
wanted to go out to the streets and demanded that they would be allowed to the funeral to say goodbye to someone who was sympathetic to the students. when that was received at the students took to the streets and it developed into a massive demonstration. i was at the universit universie time and i took part in the movement with my friends and some of them became very prominent in the movement and became the student leaders and led hunger strikes for example and throughout the seven and a half weeks throughout the movement. when june 4 came they rolled into beijing and the army fired on the students, the movement was crashed. after that, beijing came under the law and the campuses were
off. there were a lot of arrests. there were executions, and it became a very dangerous place. i had, before the event, earned a scholarship continuing my graduate studies. so i was able to get my passport after i had been in hiding for about a week. once i received my passport, and i got my visa from the council and i left china on the second of august to america and i remember clearly still today when i arrived in williamsburg and i stood at the campus of william and mary and was very quiet it was an amazing feeling to be standing in a place where
i realized for the first time in my life no one was watching me and was going to report the things that i said. >> you can watch this and other programs about the protest online at the booktv.org. programs are available under the featured video section of the home page. booktv asked what are you reading this summer? >> i am just finishing the round the house. her latest book and she might have one after that. i would recommend it to anyone that wants to understand the native american jurisdiction and perhaps one of the challenges we have in terms of law and order on the reservations and she'd write with such a wonderful ear. i spend enough time in the country and she's captured it so
well, very authentic. the valley of amazement i pretty much read anything she writes and i think she's a great offer and then i have a friend that has a great concern about the privacy debate and she sends me lots of books so i'm going to actually try to get through some of the books that are being written about the privacy challenges in america because those are some of the challenges we will experience in the next couple of years here in the legislature and also in a way that doesn't shut down the wonderful development of accessing information. >> can you tell me a little bit about your childhood and reading? >> i read a lot when i was a kid. remember i'm so old we only had three channels on any given day with a good antenna you could only get one so i think we all probably read it mor more becaue wasn't able to entertainment alternative. i spent time reading nancy drew
and i don't know if anyone would know the old books but he was a sports hero and we love tammy and i love books about cars racing and that was a form of entertainment. that's what you would see if it wasn't a harry potter were hunger games series. i think it takes a big blockbuster to do that. live coverage from the printer's row of literary fest will continue in just a few minutes.
releasing hillary clinton's lead us to both hard choices. booktv was in new york at the publishing offices to talk with some of the people involved in the production of the book. >> i've been totally involved in all of the books actually. i am not the one publishing them to the official publisher but i've been involved in the process all along. way back when she was in the white house and we went down to try to persuade her to publish a book that became it takes a village, i was there trying to help convince her to do so and i
got involved in every single one of her publications. i am not the editor because that is not my core strength. but i watch over the publications and i helped get it organized and make sure things are on track. i also started making sure that all of our best people are working on it. >> we are publishing hard choices on june 10. .. overseeing all aspects, working closely with all the people that the company. >> is the editor, is there a lot of e-mails back and forth to train you and the author, is that how it's done? >> every case is different. in this case they try to get just as much att