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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 15, 2015 2:30am-4:31am EDT

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that is daniel james brown and hampton 5 in the kingdom of ice. those three historians will be on the panel together and afterwards f c gwynn who has written a book about stonewall jackson will join us for a call in to talk about the civil war. that is coming up. if you want to get updates for what they follow us on twitter at booktv is our twitter handle and you can go to our web site to see the full schedule of 5 events. everything you are seeing today will air this evening at midnight eastern time which will be 9:00 p.m. eastern time out here in the west. now joining us is alan lightman. i want to ask, in "the accidental universe: the world you thought you knew" you have a chapter called the spiritual universe. my question is rather inarticulate but is religion real? >> it certainly is a real. there are a few thousand years
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of human history that a test to quince reality. >> how does it tie in with what you do as a physical theorists, fit theoretical physicist? >> it doesn't tie-in at all to what i do as the theoretical physicists. as i human being, physicists are people. we live in human society and my mind, religion and science have been the two most powerful forces that have shaped human civilization so if you are ignorant of religion or you dismiss it, you are discounting a lot of human history. >> are the incompatible? >> i don't think they are incompatible. i have many scientific colleagues who are devout
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believers. there are fewer scientists who are devout believers than in the general public, but the fact that there are scientists who are devout believers shows that they are not incompatible. i think there are not incompatible and all if your belief in god is the kind of god who does not intervene in the physical universe. a god who sets things up and sits down on the sidelines. that is not incompatible at all with science. i would also add i don't think there is any way science can prove or disprove the existence of god. >> host: what is a theoretical physicist? >> guest: a theoretical physicist is a person who studies the laws of nature using mathematics.
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so a lot of nature might be for example different objects attract each other. the gravitational force. and experimental physicist with studies that law by dropping lots of things and seeing how long it takes an object to fall to the floor. a theoretical physicist would work out the mathematics of that. einstein was a theoretical physicist. isaac newton was a theoretical physicist. those are some of the most well-known of that species. >> host: has the big bay and theory, the success of the big bang theory program on cbs enhance your work? -interest in your work? >> guest: i think it probably has. science depends a lot upon the
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support of the public, for funding. and i think the more the public is interested in science, the better. programs that are on cbs, nova on npr, science magazine, scientific american, not only that but in recent years we have seen at number of artistic venues in which science appears like plays and movies. the movie a beautiful mind, the play copenhagen. these are other venues in which people can experience science and the culture of science. >> host: m i t professor alan lightman is our guest. the first call is from can in daly city, calif.. you are on booktv. >> thank you for taking my call. a question here now.
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back before kepler astronomers were trying to describe what appeared to be the erratic motion of the planets in the solar system and of course because it was at the time the church dictated earth centric solar system. some of these included intricate geometrical shapes, and they just never got anywhere until they conceded the fact the we had our solar centric -- heliocentric solar system. anyway, could it be with all the elaborate mathematics we have the we are making something very elementary, something we are not seeing that should be there but is not being included? >> of course, yes.
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that is a good question. i think we should always view science has a work in progress. we should always be open to new series new ideas new discoveries. just about 12 years ago we discovered the dark energy, what we call the dark energy, this anti gravitational force that appears to be pushing the galaxies apart as opposed to normal gravity which pulls the galaxies together. that was the new discovery which has shaken up science. it is certainly true the we could be missing something very important right now and we have to be open to that. >> host: what exactly is dark matter? >> guest: dark matter and dark energy are two separate things. dark matter is matters that has a normal gravitational effect. it pulls things together like a
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normal gravity, but it is a matter whose existence we can infer from its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies but we can't see it. it is not making any light. dark energy on the other hand acts as that repulsive gravitational force that is pushing things away from each other as opposed to normal gravity which pulls things toward each other. we know about dark matter since the 1930s even though we can't see it. we inferred its existence. stock energy is something we just discovered very recently. >> host: johnny in maryland, good afternoon. >> hello. thank you. first i would like to say great questions to everyone who asked them. i heard several contradiction in your belief that rose out of
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your dry humor. it seems to me the irony -- the redundancy of your use of the word futility. a child cannot know all that he does. case in point imagine knowing more than scientists and engineers who designed and built. i doubt scientists will be hundreds of feet below the surface. i am a little nervous. i would like to say the scientific community and physicists one piece of the puzzle has been excluded is philosophy. this might take a while. i don't know if this is --
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stephen hawking's book the grand design was a disappointment in the last paragraph when he said since we have gravity there is no need for the existence of god. that was like the worst conclusion i ever read or even seen in a movie. getting back to the point. the community must be -- two more letters. you have theory. >> host: i think we got your point. let's get an answer from alan lightman. >> guest: i appreciate your comment. i think i said earlier, and i believe that science can never prove or disprove the existence of god. i want to put that on the table
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right away. philosophy and science they are different disciplines. they are both important. science makes propositions about the physical world that can be tested. if you can't test the proposition of science than it doesn't belong in the realm of science. it belongs in the realm of philosophy. philosophy helps guide us in terms of what matters in the world. it was not replaced by a science. his own discipline science cannot be replaced by philosophy either. they differ in their experimental contact with the physical world. philosophy makes statements of the value.
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it raises very important interesting questions but questions which cannot be answered by experiment. for example is it right to kill an enemy soldier in a time of war fare? that is a question of ethics values, a philosophical question. science cannot touch that question. science deals with those questions that can be answered by experiment. that bill is the difference. they are both valuable enterprises. >> host: here's the cover we're talking with alan lightman about, "the accidental universe: the world you thought you knew". he has also written a book called feinstein's dreams and a new book out, the name of that is? >> guest: screening room. >> host: what is the topic? >> guest: it is about the south that i grew up in 50 years ago. is also a book about my own
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family in the south going back to the 1800s. >> host: bill in california. >> guest: are you able to hear me? >> host: i am listening. >> caller: i have a question that has long since bothered me, wonder if you can answer it. we are able to look back through the telescopes' almost to the big bang, 11 or 12 billion light years away now. what i have been wondering about is i would have thought that the message of the late, they from magnetic radiation or whatever from those initial quasars would have long since passed us by in the place in the universe the we have come to occupy. like coming upon -- don't know if you need the analogy, but
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sort of like coming up on an accident five minutes after it happened. someone should have seen this. >> guest: i get your point. thank you. the point is as we look further away we are looking back in time. it takes light a finite time to get to us so if we get galaxy that is 8 billion light years away it took white 8 billion years to get from their to here. five minutes later that white will have passed us by you are quite right but we will see a galaxy that is a little bit further away in the next five minute. at any point in time the furthest we can see we are seeing out to a sphere where it just has time for like to arrive to go from there to here.
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each day that's fear gets a little bit larger because we conceal little further out into the universe. i hope that answers your question. >> host: another call from california anthony in santa monica. you are on the air. >> caller: first, how do your ideas square with stephen hawking's search for one theory that explains everything and 2, how does your theory square with time travel to the past? have you read richard god's book on time travel and einstein? and how to -- thank you. >> guest: the one theory you are talking about we call the grand unified theory or the theory of everything. i think physicists are split on whether such a theory exists.
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string theory could be the grand unified theory, the one theory that explains everything. we don't have any experimental confirmation of string theory. it might be wrong. i think many physicists do believe that there is one unified theory that we haven't yet arrived at. we have unified some of the basic forces of nature but not all of them. the gravitational force still remains a unified with the other basic forces. regarding time travel, time travel seems to require very special conditions that probably are not able to be created. i would say that although richard got's work, time travel requires a very special configuration of matter and
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energy that may probably is impossible to produce. as you know time travel causes a lot of problems with causality, with having causes come before their effects. most physicists believe time travel is not possible even though it is a wonderful concept. >> host: and is on the line from gaithersburg, md.. you are on with professor alan lightman of m.i.t.. >> caller: good afternoon. to understand the concept of when you look out into the universe, looking into the past, what i want to understand is so if we are on another planet somewhere out there and there is intelligent life out there, and we are looking at earth, are they looking back at earth also
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into our past? >> guest: yes. they are looking in our past, that is right. the first radio signals that earth produced that are capable of escaping earth were probably the i love lucy shows in the 1950s and scope now we are at 2012, we are about 62 years after the first i love lucy shows which means if there in television life on a planet 62 light years away from us they would just now be receiving the i love lucy shows. it has taken 62 years for those radio waves or tv waves to travel through space to get to that point. >> host: why did you pick the i love lucy shows? >> guest: that some of the only -- earliest television we
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broadcast. >> host: are those the ones that can transmit outside? >> guest: television and radio signals. the program you are broadcasting right now we're working on c-span, right now that is only a few light seconds out into space but if we wait five years, those tv and radio waves will have been able to travel five light years away and five the is from now the program we are broadcasting will have reached the nearest star. in 100,000 years from now it will reach the edge of our galaxy. any living creature is at the edge of the galaxy will be able to watch our program 100,000 years from now. they won't be able to watch it before then because there will not have in time for those radio and tv waves to have traveled through space to get there. >> host: if you are watching it
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100,000 years from now don't call in because we won't be here. we won't be able to take those calls. this is a layman's question. is there life outside our planet in your view? >> guest: i think there's definitely like outside our planet, multiple life. there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy and recent work by the satellite has yielded the result of probably about 3% of those stars have life sustaining planets planets that are the right distance from the central spot to have liquid water and so on. that is hundreds of millions of planets out there with the conditions right to sustain life. it seems to me it would be a miracle if there wasn't life on one of those planets. >> host: next call for professor
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alan lightman comes from trish in lakeside, montana. you are on booktv from tucson. >> caller: thank you so much c-span. i enjoyed your as a tremendously. i am going to pick up your book. here is my question the some of the earlier questions tie in to my question. i struggle, the first half of my life believing there was the god, trying to find faith and now that i am 49 and watched neil the grass tyson and read more on science, my question, the age old question of religion and science how do you with your tremendous scientific expertise how do you personally, how high you able to reconcile? this might help me to reconcile your personal beliefs and face with your own learning and expertise in science over the
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years? >> host: thank you. >> guest: that is a great question and i don't have any answers. i have been struggling with this for many years myself. the one thing i do believe is there is no cosmic meaning. i don't think there is the universal meaning out there this is the way you need to live your life. this is what is good, this is what is bad. i think each person has to find their own meetings. that is all i have been able to come up with so far. >> host: you talk about and "the accidental universe: the world you thought you knew" the transcendent experience in the spiritual universe chapter. >> guest: i think many of us have had at transcendent experience in which we feel connected to something larger than ourselves. that may involve god.
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it might not involve god. but i think most of us have had some experience of many experiences like that. is one of the most wonderful experience as a person can have. >> host: is it contradictory to science? >> guest: it is not contradictory to science. not at all. >> host: next call tim, batavia, ohio. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for taking my call. i am in like mind with the professor. i see absolutely no contradiction between science and religion. bose do the same thing. religious people lincoln events in their life and do a spiritual mathematical equation and come of with the answer god intervened in my life. scientists do the same thing. they look at how things interact with each other and come up with their conclusions. the pathology of thinking is
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basically the same. having said that there's a question i want to ask and you are the perfect person to ask this question. the big bang, i heard that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. we now know that the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe, 186,000 miles per second. when scientists look at that, isn't the universe really slowing down? the beginning point was faster and the speed of light and winnow see -- >> guest: when people say the ever expanding faster than the speed of light they are not quite stating the situation correctly. what we believe was happening in the early universe is space was being -- was expanding. doesn't mean two objects were
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actually that an object was moving past another object sp exceeding the speed of light. it just means space was expanding at a very rapid rate. that is the way we envision the situation. it is hard to intuitively think about how space expand but what we mean by that is the distance between any two points like two adams was increasing and that rate could increase as arbitrarily high rates without one of the adams passing another at a speed exceeding the speed of light. >> host: susan in louisville, ky. >> caller: hello. i am wondering if multiverse one discuss the big splash at pherae earlier. i joined the program very late
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and content to watch the repeat of it but would like his opinion on the theory that i read about, lisa randal mentioned it in her book on the multiverse. >> guest: i am not familiar with the big splash theory. >> host: we move on to dan tim clarksville, tennessee. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i was curious if there is any consensus among those who are speculating about multiverse as to whether or not they shared the same what do you call, t = zero, the same origin in time or could they have begun at different times or is time even
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at the mention that might not pertain to some of these universes? >> guest: that is the core rate question. i think the last thing you said is probably true, that what we call t = zero was a period in which time did not exist as we think of it now so we do believe that the different universes had difference starting points so if you were to try to translate the different starting points into a time dimension you would say they started at different times. >> host: a few minutes left. did you have some more? a few minutes left with our guest professor alan lightman of m.i.t.. john in wilmington, delaware you are next. >> caller: hi. i think alan lightman is the
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most thoughtful science writer today. i have enjoyed his work tremendously. i want to ask about his book, mr. gee, to many people who is a religion and science are incompatible but i would like to hear him say little about what motivated him to write that book and specifically how the book relates to his answer to the caller a couple minutes ago asking about his own faith. concluded there is no cosmic meaning in the sense that you could figure out a way to live your life and i guess when i read the book i understand the god he posits is that kind of god who doesn't compute any meeting but on the other hand he had the option at any point to -- answer the prayers he found confusing anyway. that is too long a question but
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i would like to hear alan lightman speak about that. >> guest: my motivation is i wanted to have a playful discussion of the interaction of science and religion. i thought it would be interesting to portray god as a modest fellow, the most organized religions on earth. in terms -- i was not trying to make a particular statement about science or religion in the book other than to have fun in a literary sense with the. >> host: we can fit in another call, dave in oakland calif.
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you are on booktv with alan lightman. >> just a second. in the theory of dark matter is it possible there's no such thing as dark matter but instead dark gravity? >> host: why do you ask that question? >> caller: the theory of gravity has gone through different transformations in the past. einstein upset our concept of gravity. just that median alternative hypothesis that there is something else besides dark matter. >> guest: einstein's theory of gravity actually allows for dark energy. i think you are referring to dark energy and not dark matter. one version of his theory allows
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for it but it doesn't say what caused it. i don't think dark energy hypothesis which is not been experimentally confirmed, i don't think is in conflict with einstein with einstein's. gravity. it actually fits fundamentally into the us theory. is just the we don't have an explanation for what causes dark energy. >> host: calif. last call. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. could you give me your opinion about the soul of the body? ..
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no matter how much science advances people are still interested in that confluence of science. >> here's a book we have been talking with m.i.t. professor allen eichmann about the xml universe the worldview that you knew. dr. lightman thank you for your time on booktv. >> thank you peter. >> our live coverage from tucson continues. we are in the campus of the university of arizona for the
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seventh annual tucson book festival. about 120,000 people attend this and when you go outside and it's all set up in the quad here at the university just a big crowd enthusiastic book crowds. it's a nice income about 350 authors are down here. we are going to be light today for several hours and then again tomorrow all day. go to and you can get our schedule and follow us on twitter to get updates throughout the day and atco booktv is our panel -- handle. the next panels about ready to start and this will be a panel what they are calling narrative nonfiction. it's three historians talking about their book. s.c. gwynne has written about the civil war many times. his most recent book is on stonewall jackson. hampton sides in the kingdom of ice and finally daniel james brown is here the boys in the boat nine americans in an epic quest for gold in the 1936 berlin olympics. booktv on c-span2 from tucson.
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[inaudible conversations] >> what a pleasure. >> thank you so much to everybody. thank you for your help. we'd really appreciate it. enjoy. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i think we are live now. >> hello. i would like to welcome you. my name is bob houston. i will be moderating this group of very distinguished writers and i hope gentlemen. [laughter] i want to thank cox communications for sponsoring this venue and apologize for the fact that i have laryngitis this morning. we also thank jennifer and george johnson for sponsoring this session. we will last about 55 minutes and we will leave about half that time for questions and answers. so if you don't mind please go to your questions until these gentlemen get through with their presentations.
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immediately following this session the authors will be autographing books and the usa bookstore tent on the mall sponsored by the university bookstores. books are available for purchase at this location. please note s.c. gwynne or sam gwynne if he doesn't mind will be late to the book signing location. he is being interviewed live on c-span which is recording and broadcasting. c-span booktv. if you are enjoying the festival, please become a friend of the festival. your tax deduction donation allows us to offer festival
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programming free of charge to the public and to support critical literacy programs in the community. you can learn more about friend of the festival benefits at the information booth on the mall and at our web site. out of respect for the authors and your fellow audience members, please turn off your cell phones. i have to be reminded of that every time also. there will be guards circulating. i'm happy to introduce i've been given 30 seconds only which is something of a disservice given their distinguished bios.
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daniel james brown is the author of the acclaimed new york bestseller bestseller, the boys in the boat, nine americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 berlin olympics. he has also written for the different stars above about the ill-fated donner party in 1846. under the flaming sky, the great hinckley firestorm of 1894. he is from the bay area. i was reluctant to admit it sometimes. and graduated from berkeley and ucla. s.c. gwynne or sam gwynne that is allowed, is the author of
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four books including rebel yell at violence passion and redemption of stonewall jackson the book i just finished and 20,014 "new york times" bestseller and empire of the summer men quanah parker and the rise and fall of the comanches the most powerful indian tribe in american history history, which was on "the new york times" bestseller list for 82 weeks. and was a finalist for both the pulitzer and the national book critics circle award. he won the texas book award, oklahoma book award. sally money is about his years as an international banker and many other interests.
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this journalism for the texas monthly magazine is legendary. hampton sides is the author of another book. i have just finished all of your books by the way. critically acclaimed "in the kingdom of ice," ghost boys and other best-selling works of narrative history. on his trail about the murder of martin luther king jr. and the international manhunt for assassin james earl ray. ghost stories, which is also sold over a million copies has been translated into a dozen foreign languages and was the basis for the 2005 miramax film
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the great raid. in the interest of disclosure i am someone who has written a few pieces of historical fiction and i have given these gentlemen my permission to beat up on me whenever they want. i would like to get us started with a question which we have discussed briefly in e-mails. exactly what is meant by narrative techniques and writing history and what are the limits? >> are you looking at me? >> whoever wants to answer. >> there's a lot that we can say about this. this is where fiction and nonfiction in their site. i think all three of us here do
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agree that we are not the sort of writers who will make anything up in the context of writing nonfiction. we don't make up little details. you don't embellish and say the way someone was feeling at any given moment or the weather. you did not embellish and you are not allowed to do that. i think at least from my background is a magazine journalist having been fact fact checked within an inch of my life by editors for 25 years at some point you understand what the fact is some what isn't. there's a lot to say about this and i'm not going to try to say everything. i know both of my colleagues here have advanced notions of the same thing basically what you he can do and nonfiction is you can use conventional narrative techniques to build your book and by that i mean here you have your book and the book has characters. these are nonfiction characters based on documented stuff but you can use those characters in ways that you see fit.
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who are you introducing first? who are you bringing out on stage i? who is the foil? >> can flash forward and backward in history. there are all sorts of things that you can do that are techniques that a novelist would use except that you are dealing with the modules in your hand are real and that's the only difference. so what you can do i think a lot of were one major change in the way introduced by the new journalism back in the 60s was beginning to use fictional techniques techniques, not inventions but techniques to write narrative nonfiction. and you know i'm going to pass it to my colleagues here at this point but i just want to say that what we do in effect is we imposed story upon inchoate
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chaotic mess. that's what we do. look at one of the first great big stories, let's say the old testament for example. the old testament the history of the jewish if something happened and something else happened in somebody did this in history just flowed in time just load and there was no particular story. then somebody came along and said i'm going to make a story out of this. we are going to impose a story upon the unformed historical facts that have gone for long time and we are going to make a story about something. it's going to be about the relationship of the to god and it's going to be a story that has suspense and what's going to happen in the egyptian exile in and all the things that happen. it becomes a story. i'm not saying the bible -- that's not the argument today but it is just as homer did, you're imposing a story where
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there wasn't one. so in effect that is our business. our business is to impose a story where there was not one before and that is sort of what we do. we do stories the last syllable in history stories. >> i subscribe to everything sam said. i think there's one place i might depart a little bit which is that i will report what somebody is thinking if i have heard that directly from that person or from a very good proxy for that person. >> i agree completely. i'm sorry. >> the other thing i would add to that is something that often gets lost in the discussion about writing what i call narrative nonfiction and some people call it narrative nonfiction. there are variations of how this genre is described.
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i think it's important to point out because i think there is kind of the misconceptions sometimes. imagination actually plays a huge role in what we do and i don't mean that we are imagining things that they then put in the book that i write almost entirely in small chunks that i think of as scenes and i tend to think very visually. part of my job before i write a scene is to research the heck out of everything that might go into that particular scene in say the "boys in the boat." but then my job becomes to use my imagination to figure out and sam alluded to this, what distress, what character to bring forward, how much of the physical environment to describe describe. for me it's an inward process of visualizing that scene and composing the parts that will
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make it up. and i think that is use of the imagination. so i just think sometimes i think we shy away from that term because we do want to make it clear that we are writing nonfiction. i think very much as a novelist uses imagination and non-fiction narrative nonfiction writers also using imagination, working with the facts before him or her in order to assemble and bring alive the scenes. >> i think a lot about this question of nomenclature. what we call what it is that we do. if first of all bugs me that we have a negative in front of our profession. derek jeter is the non-basketball player. this should be the other way around. truth and be that as it may i
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agree with everything these guys say and by the way i feel very honored to be onstage with these guys. they are really at the top of their game and it's a really interesting time to be doing this kind of nonfiction, whatever we want to call it. i don't like calling a creative nonfiction because that already implies that you are making something up. it seems literary journalism or literary history sounds a little precious i thank. so i don't know but i call it narrative nonfiction. and you know one of the things it is compared with and often with a certain note of hostility is academic. all of us write history so there is academic history and then there it is whatever it is we do. popular history and i have never fully understood the puzzlement
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and the outright hostility that exists in academia towards narrative, telling stories. i give talks all over the country at universities and i'm also a teacher at colorado college in colorado. what i do is like a hot potato. if no one in the history department wants anything to do with it. i get called in to speak under the auspices of the american studies department journalism, mfa programs, english departments. everyone seems to recognize what i do is a completely and utterly legitimate thing but not these books. so i don't fully understand it but i don't think that the birds would fly backwards of narrative for todd little bit in history departments. i think it's viewed as entertainment or history light. i'm not, don't fully understand it except i think that one of the major differences between what we do and what goes on in
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academic history, even very good academic history is the absence in our case of argument. i don't argue in my book. i don't have a thesis exactly. somewhere along the line to history department got taken over by a bunch of lawyers. that is what we were taught to do. that is what i was taught to do in history at yale was learn to build an argument, a beautiful well reasoned argument. marshal your facts build torture conclusion. come to your conclusion and then of course go to the office of your professor and defense your thesis. it's a very different model from narrative which is really trying to tell stories. it's one of the oldest art forms. it's perfectly legitimate. the early historians were doing it like herodotus in their cities. i don't know exactly why it's gotten to be sorted viewed as
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perverse or seditious or dangerous within academic departments so it's a little bit of an issue for me. those are some of my thoughts on the issue. you can't make anything up. the. >> i feel exactly the same way and i think the tragedy of it is that people who feel that way are missing the extraordinary power of story story and storytelling is as ancient as we are. what we do and it has the power to move people. that doesn't make it illegitimate. for all of my books i have heard from many readers who have said i never read history and it was an interesting history until i picked up your book or hamptons book or sam's book. particularly young people that were not particularly into history. a good story that is also
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history will like them up and will engage them in the context of the history in my case of the united states and germany in the 1930s in a way that no number of textbooks or dry dissertations will be able to do. so i just think there's a tragedy and the fact that history departments and certain other academic cornerstone to embrace the enormous power that story has to engage the imagination and pull readers in. >> thank you. that covers a great deal of it. when you mention that the old testament readers are old testament tellers understood that the function was different from god's because didn't --
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god didn't have an editor. [laughter] then that is where it came from and hampton may be your answer is when scientific rationalism took over everything universities, history departments to follow also. another question that occurred to me that you guys might want to address is the fact that it seems to me what you are doing and this is a quote that i mentioned to you earlier. attributed to john steinbeck who said that history tells us what happened. fiction tells us how it felt. but it seems to me that what you guys are all three doing is trying to combine those two hand
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10 that is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. that's why so many people are responding to your writings. >> i would agree with that. i disagree with steinbeck. i don't say that fiction doesn't tell people the way things feel. that's what it does better than anything in the universe but that sounds of you know trying to come if you know i just wrote a book about stonewall jackson. stonewall is a very very complex and tragic character and it's all about him. on some level it's nothing but about what stonewall jackson was, what he meant and what he felt and what he did. i think there's this idea of using imagination. that is what you bring to bear on it. you are constrained by facts. you must follow the facts. i didn't mean to mislead anybody. if i have a document from someone saying how he felt that what he was thinking of that's
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exactly what i will say. i just mean i can't make that up out of whole cloth. so i think when you are able to tell a story you were able to introduce something like things like suspense and suspense is great. withholding information is one of the most critical techniques in any kind of writing and certainly fiction but when you are doing nonfiction expose to be good story and your withholding information. you are setting up -- and the opening of my stonewall jackson book i have got a man coming into a railway station and there is chaos in charlottesville and no one knows what's going on. the confederacy is going down and who knows what might happen? richmond is threatened in richmond is going to fall and the whole confederacy is all going down the chute. this little disheveled guy arrives at a train station in charlottesville. okay now whether you like it or not it's my intent to build,
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what's going to happen next? the suspense. can stonewall jackson say the confederacy? this disheveled guy with two divisions of exhausted men could that possibly be true? i'm not dealing with a single thing that is not documented truth, fact but i choose to open that moment in charlottesville. i choose to say what it felt like to be standing in that railway station and watching as the train with all the cinematic smoke which by the way is real cinematic smoke just as good as the scene in dr. zhivago. it's real small, to real train. there were 2000 confederates clinging to it and there was chaos and nobody knew it was going on. richmond was going to fall. you know what i mean? so i'm in the business of creating that suspense so you're
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going to say what the heck happened next sam? could richmond fall? but also you know trying to communicate what it felt like what the emotion of the scene was, with the emotion of the moment was. all those are techniques that can be used in any good writing and in fact hampton and i both come out of the world of magazine writing. this is absolutely critical. this is how you structure your 6000 come a thousand word piece around suspense and withholding information information that will sing it piecemeal as you go along, creating tension between the characters. anyway i digress. >> and the scenes are so key to what you're talking about. you mention the word cinema and all of us have been accused at some point of writing cynically or cinematically. that's a complement. i think it's great.
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that's the way in my magazine work was and that's the way i tried to do it in my books as well to advance the story in scenes not in arguments, not an exposition, not an analysis but in scenes. you could have an argument and analysis embedded in the scenes that the scenes are kind of the basic building block of these books. i'm reading "boys in the boat" now and it's just one scene after another. doesn't really let up. there's not that moment where you step in and sort of get the brand analysis of what it's all about and think. it's really just scenes and there is such a discipline to writing scenes. i think a lot of people think that writing a scene is including a sunset like once every 35 pages. that is not a scene. that's a nice little detail but it's not a scene. the scene is finding a very pregnant moment for a moment fraught with meaning or something is about to happen or
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suspense as sam talks about and really playing that moment out and sort of injecting it with every piece of information that we can find out about what was happening. what were they wearing? what was the architecture like? what was the season of the year so we can begin to say what flowery plants were or you name it. you have to use your imagination as a reporter to dig up those details. it's a joy. it's a lot of fun doing that but it is a lot of work. i do think back to the argument in terms of academia i think there's this perception in academia that this is easy. this is entertaining. it's easy to do this stuff when in fact i would argue there is an enormous discipline to it, an enormous amount of work. it's every bit as hard to paint a masterful scene and not that
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i'm calling what i do masterful but i would say this guy is. and at least aspire to a masterful scene as it is to advancing a brilliant thesis. the truth is we need all the tools. we do need to know how to argue and we do need to know how to explain. we do need to pull back and set the larger stage. but the scenes and the cinematic sense of the scenes is really what animates this kind of nonfiction. >> just a little bit more on the topic of scenes because it is so critical. i'd go so far as for many of the scenes in my book too literally think of myself as behind the camera when i'm laying out the structure of the scene. just very briefly the first scene in the "boys in the boat" is joe and roger morris walking across the campus and going down to the shell house turning out for group practice the first
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day. a whole bunch of research went into the details of that scene but when i sat down to write that scene i remember literally thinking about duo wants to pull back and show the whole campus here are? do i want to zoom in and just show roger and joe and literally with their faces look like and i tend to do that when i'm composing a scene that i tend to by putting myself behind the camera and working from that premise. it's not always that clean-cut but it's a good sort of starting point for me at least to make sure that the scene is visual and cinematic and for me i take that as a compliment not as an insult. also in terms of the narrative techniques of the novelist. there are others of course that are very important to me and to all of us i'm sure that in a couple of the most important for me are setting and character development. i am kind of particularly on
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setting i'm kind it is not about, a fanatic about creating as vibrant and real a setting as is possible. so for me it was a huge challenge to describe for instance the alloway in the 1930s because i wasn't around in the 1930s. may look that way but i wasn't. [laughter] but aside from that i grew up in the bay area not in seattle so i knew something about the bay area during the depression from my dad that i didn't know anything about seattle. in order to get that sense of the setting i spent days in the isuzu loeb library at the university of washington hunched over microfilm reading issues more or less random issues of the seattle times and the seattle pei from 1933 34, 35 and 36, from cover to cover reading the whole issue for a particular day knowing i wasn't going to use 99.9% or any of what i found but i found after
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doing that i would look for roving stuff for a while and more or less take a break. i would read a whole issue from cover to cover and i think it helped a lot because even though i threw out virtually all of what i learned it gave me a real sense of seattle in the 1930s. it taught me what kinds of movies were in town and how important movies were in the outset of the depression and what it meant to people, how much money it cost to go to a movie and what kind of a trade-off there was, just all kinds of little factoids that then i hoped would create a rich and reasonable semblance of what depression era seattle was like. >> this whole issue of research is one that i think the audience might be interested in also.
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a very good historical novelist ron hansen and i were talking about the research he did for his wonderful novel on jesse james and he said his initial impulse was to include everything that he had learned historically so that no one else would ever have to do that much of a search. [laughter] but in the final version he realized what he had to let go of was all of the historical detail and keep the story. you guys seem to be doing that. but there's another kind of research that i think is interesting that doesn't involve libraries. can you talk a little bit about the need to actually be there
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and walk the streets and smell the air? is that something that interests you? >> i think hampton should talk about that because i just finished reading his most recent book "in the kingdom of ice" and it's a tremendous book on all kinds of levels the one of the things that impressed me the most was when i read this note and realize the places he had gone, the extremes to which he had gone to visit those places. so i defer to hampton. >> i do think it's really important to go to these places. not just for the little incidental details that people pick up in this case going to be arctic in siberia and remote parts of the russian high arctic but the other reason beyond the details is this confidence it gives you to write your scene or private moment to have heard the
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ice and to have experience with sun sound does when it travels over the ice, the fog the sound device at war with itself, the shrieking and shuttering and terrifying noises that ice makes. all of that inform informed the book in ways large and small in ways often hard to measure but i think it's really important. research is the fun part of doing these books for me and probably for all of us. i didn't have to actually turn in a manuscript i would probably still be working on my first book and 20 years into it. there are a lot of obstacles that come up. one example is my book blood and thunder which is about manifest destiny about the life and times of kit carson and his role in the conquest. the obstacle was the kit carson was illiterate, real problem when you are dealing with when you're a historian. so i went to the library come
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the state library in santa fe where i live in they said they had the kit carson papers. this was really great and i was very excited. they ruled him out in a cart and sure enough they had them in a box. they opened up the box and they had the kit carson papers, both of them. so then i had to really get creative here. i figured i live in santa fe the new age capital of the world home of high and aura massage and all that. so we have a séance and that book is based on direct communication with kit carson. [laughter] otherwise you have have to do it the old-fashioned way which is good at the archives, go to the place physically. i'm sure you walk the battlefields of samuel jackson's battles. it just gives you so much richness of detail that works its way into the books. >> i feel totally the same way.
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i've fortunately didn't have to go to outer siberia for the "boys in the boat." the furthest i had to go was to prevent or the eastern sectors of berlin to the racecourse for the gold medal race was held. again i would not have written a book if i could not have gone to do that. it's so important to me, even though of the things i saw and observed and the observations i took in again i probably didn't use 90% of what i thought that the things that i did use were little tiny details that i think just added another dimension to the story but i couldn't have gotten. i have lots of life photographs and news reels olympia footage to look at in terms of what was happening on that piece of water in 1936 that being there seeing the swallows fly over the water the little details that vermeil made a lot of difference when i sat down to write that scene. so i wouldn't do it any other way.
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>> and the word scene keeps coming up again. >> for me, i agree with all that. there were things for me that for simple that sets so much. it would just tell this whole book of information coming through. one of them was just when i was writing a book about the comanches and tired of summer meant to go out on the high plains and stand in the middle of them for a while and not do anything but look around and remember back when the comanches ruled those planes there wasn't anything out there. just stand in turn 360 degrees and of course it's very flat out there. there is a musician from lubbock who says west texas is amazing. you can see 20 miles in either direction, in any direction and he said if you stand stand on a tuna fish can you can see 50 miles in any direction. [laughter] >> they say it's country you can watch your dog run away for
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three days. [laughter] i live in santa fe -- i live in santa fe. and think for a moment that these comanches could navigate 800 miles easily across these planes. imagine just simply being there sometimes and going back to imagination and imagine because they were real. they were absolutely real. there was another moment for me it was very telling. it's always fun doing the research. when i was a reporter it's like you just wanted to keep reporting on the story. by the end of the reporting on the story you were the world's greatest authority and he wanted to keep going being the world's greatest authority never having to do anything. the stonewall jackson he lived in lexington virginia and he lost his first wife giving birth to a stillborn son. he was so distraught and so
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overcome with grief people that he was losing his mind. what he would do if he would leave the house where he was living a walk to the graveyard, his wife's graveyard and stand there. then he would turn and he would walk back to the virginia military institute where he taught. i think i gave that walk-through for times and it gave me chills every time. the graveyard is the graveyard where the wife still lives and where he is now. i remember was a cold november day as it was when he was there. the wind howling and the leaves blowing. i mean just seeing and feeling it and then turning and walking as he did, tracing his walk. he was walking back to a section of it and that just gives me whole worlds of information. >> i hate to do this because i have lots more questions also but i'm sure you do and we are
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running a bit short on time. so i think i will turn it over to you while and let you ask questions that are pressing for you. >> there's a sense of excitement about the scene. >> step up to the microphone please. >> a sense of excitement when you describe scenes is really wonderful to hear it but i'm wondering when what it is that you achieve closure on the scene and say now it's done. do you have somebody else read it or do you reread it because i also sense that maybe you could go on and on and on with certain scenes. >> for me, first of all let me
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say something about how my writing process as it pertains to these chunks i called scenes a research the heck out of them. i get to the point where i have thought about this first scene where joe and roger walk across the campus from every conceivable angle. i get to the point where i cannot write it down. i get to the point where i'm afraid if i don't write it down i will lose it. this unfortunately usually happens to me when i'm in the shower so i come bursting out of the shower wrap a towel around myself and head for the computer. so i have to get it down. the writing for me actually is almost never painful. it is more like a release. i get that scene push down on the paper. however i then put it in a drawer and i won't look at it for at least a week and hopefully more like three or
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four weeks while i move on to write other scenes. i know when i come back to it and look at it the way of readers going to look at it i'm going to see strengths and weaknesses and i may throw the whole scene out for a certainly will tweak it and fiddle with it and improve it. i will do that a number of times as the manuscript evolves. to me i'm not not sure there's ever closure. the thing goes off to the publisher at some point because it has to go up to the publisher. you get the book and you realize they're things you could have done better. so i'm not sure there's ever complete closure but that that's sort of the way it works for me. >> your subjects are so interesting, some of which i'm aware for some of which i'm not. my question is very basic, how do you choose your subjects or events? >> hampton has a good story about how he found the kingdom of ice. >> this whole question of how you picked topics is definitely something that i have tried to
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analyze a little bit. you don't fully understand it. it's sort of half rational and half irrational. the rational part is are there good documents has it been told recently? hasn't been told well is it part -- are you going to be swimming uphill against the current in order to get that kind of story published? things like that and the irrational part is like the feeling. it's just like a hunch. it's literally sometimes i will feel that kind of tingly spine kind of thing that you feel like wow this is just a haunting story, beautiful story, poignant story and it's something i have to tell. so it's great when you have both. as far as the most recent book yeah and i think i do magazine journalism between my books and there is a semipermeable membrane between my journalism
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work in my book work. i got an assignment for "national geographic" to go to oslo norway to write about in a region explorer who has a museum in oslo called the frond museum, this boat and inside the museum there are repeated references to an american expedition called the uss jeannette, george washington delong and it's mentioned for a five times with the assumption that you know what it is. i had never ever ever heard of it and i filed that away and decided there was a book in there. as soon as i got home i found out that it was a big deal in the 1880s. these guys were household names. this was a u.s. navy expedition very important one but it somehow felt between the cracks of history. that's really how i got the idea for the current book. >> just a note on that, this is a field exploration that was absolutely scrubbed within an
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inch inch of his life for a decade and a half. everybody wrote everything they could possibly find because i thought of 10 or 11 ideas that had already been done and hampton found the scene. it's interesting where you found it. you didn't find it at the new york public library. anyway we are all trying to do that. >> do you ever start with a place? i love this place, there has to be a great story here? i want to live in this place imaginatively? >> i've tried that because it really appeals to me because i said a minute ago setting matters to me. i meant very into place as a writer. i have tried that and it has never really worked. not to say it couldn't work. it's one of many possible starting places but it hasn't worked for me. it's very much what hampton said and i sort of leaned towards the feeling part of it this king
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william sensation you get when you come across something you know could not just be a story but it may be a really great story. i know that feeling when i get it and then unfortunately my agent does not agree, doesn't get the same tingly feeling. [laughter] so we move on. they are more focused on the rational part of a sometimes. >> as far as places concerned i seem to come up with story ideas like siberia. my next book is about a battle that happened in korea. i never come up with brilliant book ideas that take you to hawaii. [laughter] i just don't think that way unfortunately. >> i'm not sure which of you to his next. >> the question concerning argument and story. his sister in argument or is it a story? >> it depends on whether or not you have a thesis as hampton was
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saying. one of the academic books are often driven by some sort of a thesis whether you are frederick jackson turner or walter prescott webb theorizing about the american west. there has to be a single central driving concept and one of the things i think we all share here, i know of hampton and i do and i think dan does too we believe the truth of something let's say the civil war can come through in your presentation of the piece without having an overarching thesis of some sort into which all of your factual information must be put. we deal in stories and i don't think it's any less valid a way to communicate to let's say someone why the comanches were important american history or why y. stonewall jackson was important to do the confederacy or how he affected the war. there are still plenty of ideas inside of this but there is no
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overarching single idea that you are arguing. i think that is the difference between me and people that write books that we would call academic books and i'm with hampton. the differences are exaggerated. i love many academic historians. my favorite historian is william manchester. he wrote the two-volume piece on churchill. anyway i'm stumbling and fumbling. >> i think it's kind of a false dichotomy. i don't think it's either/or. i think it's both. it's all of the above and i don't think nrda should replace traditional academic writing either. i think it should just be one kind of tool in the arsenal of how to teach and read and enjoy history. like i say the tectonic plates wouldn't shift. it would be okay but a lot of academic diplomacy to fear it or make a subversive.
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then they make home at night and read sam glenn's book or something. [laughter] >> the argument may be between the propaganda of the story. that's a clear distinction. >> speaking of propaganda i didn't set off to write the "boys in the boat" in order to teach my readers about the depth of cynicism that were involved in nazi propaganda surrounding the 1936 berlin olympics but i think if you read the story you are going to come away with a pretty vivid sense of how dark and cynical that effort was. so again i agree i think it's a false dichotomy. i think that story does teach and does make an argument. if it's worth it's salt that will do that.
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>> yes maam. >> this may need to be just about the last question unfortunately. well, two more. >> by questions about using letters internally within your work. do you try to summarize generally what you know is your writing or do you try to sometimes use quotations and if you use quotations how often do you use them? >> are you talking about when a letter is the source? >> yes, letters between people so you have actually what they said and did many cases this is very old-fashioned english. >> personally i do both. it depends. if there's there is a particularly apt line in the letter that i think summarizes or gets across the key thing that is really essential i make a direct polk from it. it's a more general sentiment for instance bob months wrote to
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tell him his family history was jewish. i didn't quote from that message message. it was paraphrased paraphrased basically so i think both have a place. >> just about the only way you can get away with using first person in history is quoting from letters and journals. >> i think one of the things, my big dilemma in writing my civil war book was in my just quoting it in the body of the text itself so i would say two sentences in the body of the text and when am i breaking up the peace? when is so significant even though it is written in 19th century language, when this is so significant that i will break it out? that is the thing i wrestled with every page almost. which quotes should come out like this and just let the guy or the woman speak for him or herself. >> i did that in the most recent book. i have this experience but i think all historians fantasize
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about but it has never happened to me before. that's finding a distant relative who says you know i have got this trunk in my attic. [laughter] full of letters yellow old letters, would you please take it off my hands? it proved to be a treasure trove of the personal papers of the widow of this commander of this voyage. i use them a lot. just go forward into the whole thing from beginning to end. but that's rare. usually there are phrases or snippets. >> this gentleman has been waiting. >> just a minute. i guess i would like to get something clarified. i think it was mr. sides he said he didn't marshal arguments and try to make a case. i thought if you are writing a book you were telling a story one of the things readers want to know is what did the writer think what are his conclusions?
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that you draw conclusions? was joe mccarthy bad or good good or do you just put the facts and expect the reader to draw on the conclusions? >> i think what i tried to do is to draw conclusions through narrative and not the argument. i wrote this book about kit carson. kit carson is a very complicated did. consider this great indian killer. his first wife is indian, his second wife was india. he was very close friends with many tribes. a complicated person just as stonewall jackson was a complicated person but i don't want to tell you, i want to show you what he was like. let you decide so yeah i don't like to be completely coy and say i have no opinions on the writer. you decide but i don't either like to have this great summation of this great conclusion at the end of ties it
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all up in a bow and says this is what he or she was like. i hope that begins to answer your question. >> i agree completely. i think probably for instance with the nazi propaganda top of that is a hard case to make. when i'm done treating that topic i expect you'll probably come to a particular opinion but i'm not going to tell you what that opinion should be. it's perfectly reasonable to do that but that's not something i choose to do. i'm arguing every paragraph in some sense. it depends on what sense you mean i guess. i'm arguing that comanches when the horse tribe swept south and eradicated the apaches and changed history and change the entire balance and the entire history of the country does that
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sound like argument to you, it is. but i have been doing that constantly. i do it all the time. i'm arguing but it's maybe the style or the type. i don't quite know how to answer that question that anyway to some extent i want you to understand what i think that i'm going to try to persuade you that this is what i think that i'm going to go out of my way to persuade you. stonewall jackson was secretly a passionate 19th century romantic with an abrasive beauty. i'm going to argue that point and make you believe it. [laughter] [applause] >> i would like to thank you for attending this session and your support of the festival. don't forget to become a friend
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to ensure our festival remains a free event and supports important literary programs in our community. all audience members are asked to vacate the venue quickly. [laughter] so the next program can commence. you guys were great. i just want to make sure they get the signing. where do you start with your signings? [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> booktv's live coverage of the tucson book festival continues. you have been listening to s.c. gwynne hampton sides and daniel james brown all historians talking about what they're calling narrative nonfiction. well, joining us in just a minute is s.c. gwynne has written a book on stonewall jackson "rebel yell" is called and we will be talking about the civil war and stonewall jackson. from what you heard from the panel or if you have any questions for this author 202 is the already -- area code 748-8200 eastern and central timezones 848201 and we are live from the university of arizona where the tucson book festival is held. it's a beautiful day out here in tucson. unfortunately we are inside but fortunately we have some very interesting authors that are taking your calls. we have got a couple more hours of programming to go today and we will be light again tomorrow.
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you can get updates at @booktv on our twitter feed or you can go to our web site, and you can see the full schedule there as well. joining us is s.c. gwynne. here is his book. let's show you the cover. it's a pretty dramatic cover "rebel yell," the violence and redemption of stonewall jackson. mr. gwynne first of all what was it like to research as stonewall jackson? i the archives wherever you went pretty good? >> the civil war, have to say the civil war suffers from no shortage of data a broad data and information. it's the most written about and research topic in american history. unlike some subjects like in my previous book where they were few and far between, in some ways you were drowning in data and the weight and research of letters and microhistories and everything else and to some extent the challenges to find
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your way through it. .. >>
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>> note. >> the story of this award is a story of a transformation in the generals are the best. with the the civil war transforming people all over the world there were two versions one was the political general, other of glorious senators and congressmen and speaker of the house and those who often came to the ear of the war and were incompetent and word cowardly and washed out with a very negative side. of the other side you have ulysses s. grant leading on the broom just before the war with failure at everything he had ever done. just like failure in business.
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with the obscure failure of a physics professor these transformations follow with amazing speed what is amazing he went from being an eccentric physics professor to the most famous military in the world. >> what did he employed it made him successful is well-liked? >> that is a very complicated question. first of all, he won it when everybody else was losing. that is simplistic but winning accounts. so he moved armies at speeds of known at the time to train and away they had not before. and to rely on history and
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deception and speed and astonishing ability to make decisions out of the great wilderness. and to have a tremendous ability to do that. but then to not get out of the of park but then the confederate general was compared to napoleon and suddenly is the most famous general of the war. but he was wellhead ahead of his class with the generals of the early war. how to fight. >> host: march 2015 right now. was richmond virginia like?
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>> at the end the whole commercial side was -- the famous pitcher was from the warehouse district from hiroshima the warehouse of industrial district of where the south was in fact,. but the subject of my book stonewall jackson died may may 1863 so it was still the prosperous capital. >> host: rare was jefferson davis? had he fled? >> just to be fair my book ends may 1863 so the whole end game of the war i really
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did not give in to say you're probably better asking a jeffersonian. >> host: we will take some calls for you. >> caller: i am calling because i enjoy this program and a one to express my gratitude to mr. gwynne for empire of the summer moon. this. >> guest: thank you. i appreciate that. >> host: what is the topic of the empire of this summer moon? >> guest: it is the history of the comanche indians. a book i wrote five years ago and then to get through that part through the texan
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and american and every indian tribe you could name. >> host: new york go-ahead. >> caller: i have to question is. with regards to stonewall jackson. he was a very religious man but it seems he was not very compassionate. and the other one is more generic. in the third is completed with consent. anti-takeover as prime minister. the touche discuss the attack on bismarck to disable the steering mechanism.
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and there is always mention of the world every so often i will come up with different accounts of what is happening. i don't know what to make of it or what to do about it. >> guest: you are afraid of that third book that he did not finish? i must say i am honored churchill or world war ii scholar so i have to disqualify myself however the first two volumes of the history are my favorite single night ever read. with but this is not my field but to is your original question he was extremely religious. the it turns out there were people in all sorts of wars
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that our religious and tolerate killing. liggett world war ii for example,. in the early war one of the things he advocated was to march north to march to the great lakes and even with the black flag war it is not a pretty idea at all. how is a devout presbyterian to be racist? in the end to end the war quickly with the least possible casualties. so instead of having a very long war for man and woman and child try to end it
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quickly. >> nobody did that although he tried it later. but so did linkedin and lee i am not here to sort out who decide god was on but to find the overwhelming weight of christians that we were of the right side of the gods reside in the germans and the japanese and italians were not. so natalie for christian nations to inflict death but to believe that god is on your side. but history has come down on the other side of history. but i don't think it was contradictory in the larger tax at the time. >> host: stonewall jackson
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was see a diehard believer in the confederacy? >> he was but not as much with the fire eaters in parts of the south. extremely strident convinced the south needed to get out of the union. and absolutely convinced the absolution of slavery, he was a unionist until the very last minute. jackson was not in favor of secession. said he tried to organize a national day of prayer for what he saw coming. there was no one who believed for that institution of slavery.
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to fight off the invasion. so there were many different versions you could say of why people thought that. >> host: washington d.c.. >> caller: thank you. i have a question it is in about stonewall jackson and i apologize. he is unfamiliar with but my great grandfather was born in d.c. and around the old navy yard to hell with the big succession of mitt and at the start move the family to richmond and well looked like it would fall he slipped back into his old neighborhood and in between there he had a son he named after beauregard.
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said he is back their late 64 semi question is was there a lot of this is going on where were they would slip into this house and then slip back into d.c.? >> i would say that is fairly unusual. earlier it was easier but then it got harder. but i would say generally speaking to say richmond into washington and those things that got very much more difficult.
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in sympathies for through? the union? >> but where do the sympathies lie? >> i think he is gone. >> i hope that answers your question. >> host: michael from alabama. >> caller: good afternoon. it is an honor to meet you. i am very interested in children's book writing widow, from the perspective of a professional historian miami studio artist. loving to work at the mgm warner brothers hanna-barbera style.
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and to make it come alive so with historical fiction and is not a professional historian. and i would really respect political history with those able-bodied white males in the past to make decisions that would cause more fair from later on. from the treaty of versailles and how they snubbed japan however hobbyist history is a term that i use about wars like the civil war and political decisions and so forth to say nothing of the kings. >> host: i think we got the point. thank you very much to call an. >> guest: the first
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question i think is for people under the age of 19 i think the with my first book empire of the summer moon, my first history people would say this is interesting everything we learned about the west was dry and dusty. i think it is just telling stories. instead of giving somebody a through z beginning of time if i'm talking to the eighth grade class i will tell the story where this six shooter came from these guys went out there who were being killed by indians and there were bands of frazier's to fight the comanche and then they had a terrible problem they didn't have enough bullets to shoot against their enemies and somehow that little fire shot of all
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for invented by a colt from the skin into their hands and i tell the story of that was the sixth shooter in he became one of the richest men in america how the of rangers rated the comanche's. you can tell stories that are fun and dynamic and interesting that either involve the an individual such as this case the greatest texas ranger is possible to do anything certainly in my field of has been neglected. >> host: stonewall jackson the slave owner? gimmicky was. he has an interesting relationship. he grew up in of parts of west virginia where slavery was not a big part of
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>> against the laws of virginia that said you are not allowed to teach the slaves to read and write which he did in violation of the law. >> host: the next call for s.c. gwynne comes from connecticut. >> caller: mr. gwynne. >> host: turn off your television and listen through your telephone and go ahead. >> caller: freeman implied that if jackson had lived then south would have won the civil war. day you agree with that? >> he is a wonderful historian but there is the big debate between the south and north.
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i think he died two months before gettysburg. the south failed to pursue its the advantages to take the high ground if jackson had been there almost certainly he would have taken the high ground and i don't believe what we believe now of what happened the battles were the same. so let's just say that it ended up with a confederate victory which it might have so to me it is more interesting now you have a confederate army victorious in so many battles the only one it didn't have a significant victory was antietam and now withdraw. but the army of northern virginia of losing to the north are they going to burn philadelphia? it is amazing to think of the demons and the spy would go so far to say gettysburg
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could have been a confederate victory. >> host: florida go-ahead talking to s.c. gwynne on his new book with stonewall jackson called "rebel yell". >> caller: good morning. how were you? i am holding your book right now i got it from a local library i have 100 pages to go. and is coincidental you were on tv today. it is fascinating from the civil war buff going back to my freshman year at the university of florida where my dorm was malory all named after stephen valerie the confederate secretary of the navy. i think it is well established most americans understand the majority of the southern population were not slaveholders but yeah generally supported
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secession. day you have any numbers or percentage to tell us about the flip side? so many southerners at that secession convention at the second or third ballot who did not vote to secede and what percentage of the south would be considered unionist ? >> guest: that is a very difficult question to the answer. but it depends where you are if you were in the border states are up at in the north the views are radically different in virginia they were radically different from other places particularly in the southern states that seceded. i think virginia ideas wrote a book about virginia mostly so look at that. i would say majority.
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you get up to the end and what happened is those attitudes changed and they change very, very quickly. sometimes i think it happens in a war within invader to the north invading the south in virginia across the potomac river, suddenly you have battles and people who die and relatives to die and attitudes harden and whatever you thought if you did was of good idea or if you thought the union was the way to get things done he was a moderate states rights democrat he would rather be inside the tent rather than outside to work with enormous representatives with advantages but they think the attitudes were so different between the early
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states that seceded after fort sumter in think those attitudes were very different it is difficult to generalize. >> host: a few minutes left with the ninth caller go ahead is mr. gwynne hello. >> caller: i heard you talk about the war and if stonewall jackson called realistic he could have done that or could he have sustain that and how did they feel about him doing that? >> they thought he was crazy. just look at the war department in richmond had as a view that jackson was basically on of control he
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needed to be reined in and he had radical posture is in the early war the south had an idea it was said defensive war we were not to the invader and the moral sector was on their side it was a radical idea but eventually 86 degrees then they have the march in pennsylvania. but what could jackson have done initially? absolutely but think if it would have had the effect that everybody always wanted everybody in the south wanted those invasions to have to make the north feel the pain to bring them to the table to win the 1864 election perhaps a sense they should intervene or mediates with the idea you could bring the war to the north was not a plan to
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dominate. nobody rationally believed that would ever happen the south did not have the resources but maybe they could bring somebody to the table or ended on their terms where they ended up being recognized. >> host: overall what was his relationship with robert e. lee? >> very quickly relationship with dave is up through your the end, what he had with robert e. lee was the extraordinary partnership that determined the first two years of eastern theater than and anywhere else. they were opposites in deeply religious but they found each other somehow these aggressive spirits found each other early in the war and formed a partnership that changed the world. >> host: we have one more
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call from seattle. >> caller: there is a piece of information that i think is very relevant for the civil war. of course, i am against slavery but the piece of information i have never seen anywhere is what is the total value of the slaves in the south? of course, the southerners were fighting to save. why haven't i ever see in that figure or estimate? and number two what is the estimated value of the slaves? >> i don't know the answer however if you hold the idea of constipated -- with we will put all the war for years to buy slaves
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justified everybody's freedom to a fair market with compensated slaves for for '05 years. i remember -- i don't remember if there was the number set? i don't recall seeing it but this abject was absolutely considered. >> host: may 12, 1863, what was that they like? >> enrichment jackson is dead lying in state. one of the points i make in the book that historians have missed is that jackson's death had the first great outpouring of national grief in america period. not north or south. the founding fathers were old at the end people came for zack taylor is funeral but he never got anything done but it was shattering
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to the south as lincoln's was to the door thous was jfk but the first great outpouring of grief the tides of history have watching this over was jackson. he became the national funeral. for all the funerals that would never happen for the boys that would never come home it was deeply symbolic national funeral and the trade would go back to the homeland of course, we did was bigger - - of abraham lincoln was bigger but what happened subsequently overshadowed immediately jackson's death in the south which in part if given dismiss said invincibility the you could win with the inferior resources with the underdog of the south and
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not only that but he was also more generous but abraham lincoln wasn't people believe he was a christian and warrior and a man who was fighting for the wrong kinds. >> host: s.c. gwynne most recent book "rebel yell" the violence, passion, and redemption of stonewall jackson". booktv live coverage from the tucson book festival at the university of arizona continues. author of the book the case against the supreme court is next. founding dean of the law school at uc irvine he is the only guest and afterwards he will join us. then there is a panel with "the nation" magazine contributor and one of those has written a book is she is also joining us so we have plenty going on left here
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date number one of our coverage of tucson. now we have the case against the supreme court. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> welcome to the seventh annual tucson festival of the books i teach constitutional law and related subjects year the university of arizona thank you for sponsoring this video to cox communications also the cunningham family. the presentation will last 55 minutes including questions and answers so please hold your questions to the and. he will be available to sign books later but immediately


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