tv 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Saturday CSPAN April 18, 2015 2:30pm-8:01pm EDT
rider in the early 60s and i was in the anti vietnam war movement, 50 years ago this week, the first peace demonstration in washington and we are commemorating that on may 1st and second coming up in washington. then i went on to 18 years in the california legislature and off and on i wrote, and i right for publication, "the nation," i right hubble log tom hayden.com and books that reflect my experience combined with whatever study or interviews i am able to do which brings us to cuba. >> "listen, yankee!: why cuba matters" just came out. you had to update it because of what president obama did. >> i believe from intuition and study that obama and castro
would create a diplomatic relations and that was the original purpose in the book. no one believed including my publisher thank you dan simon, i started to doubt it myself. when it happened i had to rearrange the book and i was fortunate to update it. its arts with a detailed account of how it happened on december 17th, the beginning of normalization. the rest of the book is about the preceding 55 years or 60 years and i interviewed for many hours a former leader of the cuban revolution and government his daughter in havana said it should be called two old guys talking so i made that the initial chapter. >> host: tell us about ricardo.
>> guest: you have to write this book because nobody knows him. if that is true, you are talking about a man who after many decades the cuban foreign minister, cute and united nations representative in new york at the cuban head of natural assembly which is speaker of the house of representatives. he has been a public human figure, he knows more secrets, has been through more ups and downs a very valuable resources we would have benefited from talking to him but he had a ride in the back of car seats and go to places like toronto to have surreptitious meetings with american officials to sort out immigration issues or other issues. he is in retirement, i thought it would be good since we both started as young philosophy students at the university of
havana and the university of michigan to ask him in particular but also ask myself what was this all about, these 50 years, how different is that from what we imagined? >> how did you get to cuba for the first time? why did you go? >> had to violate u.s. law which many hundreds of people have done because there was a ban put on cuba as if we would be infected with something if we met cubans but it shut out cuba from any dialogue or press coverage. was in 1968. finally, that travel ban has been eliminated by the current agreement. one of the funny things remaining is a limitation on the americans going to cue by as a
tourist but you can go for almost any other reason. it will require an act of congress. if anybody has questions about my opinions on cuba fortunately there is an excellent thing to go to, not wikipedia. get a plane ticket and go to cuba. see for yourself. it is that simple. and million canadians went there last year. hopefully a few hundred thousand americans will start going. >> host: we are going to put a phone line did you would like to talk to tom hayden about u.s./cuba relations, 202-748-8200 in east and central time zones 202-748-8201 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones. in your book "listen, yankee!: why cuba matters" you write cuba nevertheless remains a 1-party state with significant racial stratification and a long
history of exclusion and persecution of political dissidents and minorities like its l g b t community. >> yes i wrote that. your question is? >> looking for you to expand on that. >> guest: elaborate? it is interesting because if you think that cuba is the totalitarian state and only that it is hard to explain how it has evolve and adapt it. for example on the question of lgtb gay/lesbian/transgendered rights the daughter of role castro is in the parliament, calfs no vote now and then it is the foremost crusaders for ending discriminate gainst the lgtb community.
without changing the 1-party system she has managed to change its policy so there is hope for policy change. not regime change. that would cause a blood bath. it is interesting. not to take too much credit but north americans had something to do with this because of our constant believe will travel in interaction and cultural exchange thousands of people. cubans began to get a perspective on the issue of lgtb rights that caused them to reconsider. for example allen ginsberg, the great poet who is gay, is a big supporter of the cuban revolution. he went and was thrown out for speaking out for gay rights in 1965. we in north america realized
that. that is really an outrageous. people go see for themselves but it was a much more open society that appears from what i wrote if you took it literally. >> what could we have done different in the last 55 years? >> i interviewed many national security officials in several administrations because i was puzzled. since we have relations with almost everybody what was the difficulty here. on the small level there was a division within our administration, people who were more hawkish and wanted to strangle them thinking they would succeed. and the way to go, open up trade
or dialogue. each time we got close, our administration sabotage themselves. that this -- the book is called listen yankee against the book. if you don't listen to what humans are saying it is not that complicated. if you refuse to listen. if you never talked to them, reptilian premonitions let you are bigger and you are going to squash these people but it wasn't that way. obama is the first to listen. it was that simple. >> host: sol, who was the? >> guest: a good friend of mine. died recently. he is a classic example of one of the americans who became pro cuban, in 1960 was a translator,
did many films and books and stayed very close to the revolution in its ups and downs. sometimes he was depressed, thought it had lost its spirit but he stayed to the end. he even passed messages between the cubans and henry kissinger. i wanted so much for him to live to see this day. i saw him just before he died and he said i promise you this is going to happen. said that is good. deegan barely talk. he said it is not paradise. they just want to be treated like a regular country. >> host: i want you to expand on that. you mentioned in the epilogue that he passed messages between fidel castro and henry kissinger. what kind of message is? >> when you don't have diplomatic relations you go with what you have. there where messages from the cubans to henry kissinger,
handwritten that had to do with steps on diplomatic relations or holding non governmental meetings in certain places, sometimes a restaurant at la guardia, sometimes a hotel in toronto. i talk to ricardo and my old friend john kerry. john kerry has been in cuba. he was there as chair of the foreign relations committee because he couldn't get from one place to another. they put him up and treated him like an american official even though they couldn't recognize him. there has been a lot of surreptitious contact over many decades. let's leave it that way. >> host: let's take some calls. "listen, yankee!: why cuba
matters" is the name of the book. tom hayden is our guest. we begin with a glint in greenland, michigan. you are on booktv with tom hayden. >> caller: thank you very much. and frankly, i don't know much about cuba be on the classic movies are faced with al pacino which i like very much. they told me i can ask you another foreign policy question. if i remember right, when you were a politician you were a big supporter of israel and later you got out of politics. you said you regretted that. you were under pressure from the israeli blobby and that kind of thing. i have a three part question for you. one is do you think the israeli lobby has too much power? and what would be in your mind a fair settlement of the israel
and palestine disputes and do you support -- >> host: we will leave it at the first two. since it is off topic. did you say what he said you said and what do you think of u.s./israel relations and a solution to the israel/palestine issue? >> guest: i recommend godfather ii as another one that tells the whole story in an interesting way. the israeli question that you asked, i am extremely supportive of president obama's efforts to come to a diplomatic resolution with iran over the objections of benjamin netanyahu and many in the republican party and so-called israel lobby. i don't know how it will go, but
that should give you 30 seconds summation of where i stand now. >> host: debra is calling from alabama. >> caller: hi. i have a question. i am very concerned about the way things are going. i live in the 60s through the cuban missile crisis. i've lived through the riots of black and white. i lived through the murder of john kennedy. i do not want to go back to that. how do you forgive people who are still in charge that did the things in the 60s that they did? i was on the gulf coast and as a child in middle school we were scared to death. finding out where our parents would pick us up in case we were attacked, we were scared to death at home. now we are going back to is
that. how do you justify giving the rights to the cubans when these same people are in uncharged? and also holds political prisoners and harbor some of our criminals? i don't understand how you can think dealing with these people will make things right? >> host: thank you. tom hayden? >> guest: thank you. the real question is whether you want to go another 50 years without having any diplomatic relations whatsoever with cuba. that is the first question. your questions are about forgiving cubans for what ever they did and they would ask you to think about what we did from the 19th century when we invaded the country, took it over, put
it under our thumb, bombed it invaded it, eight times tried to kill fidel castro, assassinate him. there is a lot to be absorbed. not to be forgotten but i think the point is now to keep talking and what the president has done is the correct thing. it will improve our relations with latin america overall and it will be very good for u.s. foreign policy. it will be very good for cuba because they can't be hurt by more ideas as more insurrection with american tourists. >> host: tom hayden, you think ethel kennedy in a. why? >> guest: i love ethel kennedy.
ethel kennedy and her husband -- i had to interview her and bobby kennedy. the original 3 i a plan to invade cuba could be carried out because he thought the cuban revolution was going too far towards communism and he was listening to these former cubans, cuban revolutionaries, who were going to be kennedy estate in virginia and visiting the white house and the justice department and got caught up that an invasion would happen. and would be successful. it was the total fiasco. a total mistake. you go to the site today if you are a tourist.
you should read about it. five years later, he was beginning, his brother was rethinking the position on the very day he was murdered in dallas john kennedy. this was a better option putting ourselves in the position of being alike accused imperial bull lea against a small country which would do no good for our reputation in the world especially since it wouldn't work. i talked about the evolution of ethel kennedy from when they were pro bay of pigs to the days when they had cuban officials in their home. she has met with fidel castro. she has gone there. people on the island love her. a lot of forgiveness has occurred. her kids have done some medical work in cuba.
it is a good american story about what is possible. >> host: john is calling in from trumbull conn. you are on with tom hayden u.s./cuba relations. >> i remember in the late 90s the monica lewinsky scandal but there might be a relationship between cuba and the monica lewinsky scandal. all the reporters were in cuba because the pope was there. they were all back to the u.s. a to carry the monica lewinsky scandal. i wonder if that was deliberate timing. >> host: i think he is connecting some dogs. >> guest: you have taken conspiracy theory to a advanced graduate level. you could be right. thanks for making the connection.
>> host: i want to make sure we talk about elian gonzales we have a chapter on in your book "listen, yankee!: why cuba matters" but let's take at call from kathleen in florida. >> caller: hello? >> host: hi, kathleen, you are on booktv. >> caller: i grew up in miami and i was very friendly with the first wave of cubans that came here in the 60s. it is interesting now because a lot of the kids who came over there's a real risk between the two. and it is time to open it up. unbelievable, all the suffering for no reason. >> guest: i agree with that. obama has carried florida twice and has gotten the vote of the younker cuban-americans there. even some of the cubans in florida who are very much
against castro are in favor of normalization because they think the current policy has failed and others want to visit the island on a regular basis. they want to see their old homes and relatives, they want to normalize them on ecumenical and that is all to the good. >> host: elian gonzales. >> guest: elian gonzales is in his 20s. people may remember scary scenes of his being fought over by cuban against cuban with a young man from the justice department in the middle, our attorney general, eric holder. the question was this kid who went through the most unbelievable trauma, lost his whole family at sea arrives in florida. whose kid is he? the cuban father in cuba wants
him back, a cuban relatives in miami want to take him to disneyland and make him a good american citizens. it is partly a legal question, a hugely emotional question. finally the justice department and courts ruled in favor of the father's right to take him back to cuba but it became physical. it is an example of the secret diplomacy. to my knowledge and my research our government could not tell its operatives in the southern region that this was going to happen because they thought they were infiltrated by two anti-castro to let it happen. so they sent in a swat team to pick a kid up and take him out without any notice. eric holder was in the middle of that. is an example of how bad it can
be when you have no relations. uconn almost goes straight to physical force over of flash point like that. one boy who suffered the greatest loss any kid could possibly suffer. ricardo was negotiating with the u.s. while his wife was suffering parkinsons in a havana hospital and he was on a phone back and forth trying to to make this happen and he met elian gonzales when he was flown back to have an aunt as far as i know, elian gonzales is a strong athletic part of the cuban young generation and i am sure his experience with the united states would give him wisdom going forward because no kid should ever be put through -- they should go through a normal process of relationships, not drift at sea and come board and the same with baseball players.
i don't want to claim any bragging but the best baseball players are cubans and they all got here like illegal aliens taking great risks great jeopardy and faint god baseball scout will go to have an answer out and make deals and people will be able to play in the majors and if they want playback in the winter leagues in cuba. that is another example of things to come. >> host: joe in wesley chapel, fla.. your question please. >> caller: good afternoon. my question revolves around our diplomatic relations with china, with vietnam, both communist countries and q. and the excuse is made in cuba
being a communist country, explain to me if you will provide some history on the u.s. loss of life. i am talking soldiers etc.. how is it the week and have a diplomatic office in the united states with vietnam where there was 50,000 u.s. soldiers lost fans we cannot recognize cuba? can you provide the listening audience with somewhere of the total number of u.s. blases dealing with cuba? >> host: >> guest: tom hayden. >> caller: i don't -- >> guest: i don't think the number of americans killed in conflict with cuba is large compared to vietnam but you raised a very interesting question. the book tries to answer it. i interviewed many people. it is as if we got stuck in time
in 1961 when we invaded cuba it failed cuba became a more revolutionary country. they shook up latin america, sent troops to africa to fight against portuguese colonialism, south african apartheid, as they were seen here as doing the bidding of the soviet union. guess what? there is no soviet union anymore. hasn't been for a long time. we have to wait for the castros to fall. they are still living on, the consensus among cuban americans that they are anti-castro but in favor of diplomatic relations so they can go back and forth, cultural exchange and the rest.
the grip of the so-called cuban lobby in congress for why it has taken so long. >> host: richard in alaska. >> caller: my question is how could we have handled the cuban revolution differently? maybe we wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place? >> guest: good question. is that where sarah palin is from? nice to hear from you. i leave it to the reader. jimmy carter came very close. he had andrew young as his view and representative, elected in 76, and he ran on a platform of
normalizing relations with cuba. they started to make a lot of small steps significant steps in that direction. that was his policy, it conflicted with the policy of stopping soviet communism. the cubans are in africa fighting against apartheid. they are doing so, it is helpful to the soviet union so we can't normalize with cuba. carter finally agreed with fat and terminated the rapprochement. andrew young said he was equally concerned with racism as with communism and he thought the u.s. should have normalized relations cliff cuba and taken it from there. no one knows but i know one thing about jimmy carter. he regrets his decision because he never thought it would take
another 30 or 40 years to get where we are. so mistakes are unbelievable in life or in politics, how long it takes to remedy what looks like a mistake when you are looking back. that is what happens. >> host: rich in michigan, one minute left, please go ahead. >> my wife and i just got back from cuba. we were there in february. my wife and i just got back -- hello? my wife and i -- >> host: turn off the tv. >> caller: in february. we were very impressed with the cuban people. they are very open but they have the fear, they have freedom of speech but they are very afraid, they don't want to become another by hamas or trinidad. they want to have their economy be helped by us but don't want to be accommodated by the american economic system but they want to build bridges with
our economy. i want your comments how they can retain their identity and still flower their middle-class needs to grow. >> guest: i think american forests help, canadian forests help, people to people program you were probably on. the cubans have a worry about an invasion of tourists. they had a million canadians last year. it is not like they are unfamiliar with in coming north americans looking for a beach, at least it is not the bay of pigs. they are just looking for a beach to sit on. they do have to have a private sector as my friend said there's nothing in marxism that requires the state bone the barber shop, the restaurant the car wash, thousands of small
hours of live coverage ahead. you can follow us on twitter at booktv to get updates, you can look at the bottom of your screen. coming up next is a panel on publishing. the if you're interested in -- if you're interested in the business of publishing. live coverage on booktv. >> that's not actually true. [laughter] >> but if you stand outside -- no. so you are not allowed to personally record this session partly because c-span is recording it, and it will be there for all posterity. so save up your really good questions. you might get on c-span. so this is reagan arthur who is publisher of little brown ethan nosowsky who'sen toad around t d -- who's an editor, and bonnie nadell who is a fabulous editor -- did you take over in a coup? >> well, it's sort of not a coup when the other person dies. >> oh.
but it's still hill nadell. >> yes. carolyn is remembering -- >> talk into your mic. >> carolyn is remembering my late partner whose name is fred hill who died in 2011, so it's not really a coup when the other person isn't there anymore. >> how old were you when you started working with him? >> i was 25. i had come from meshing in new york. i'd -- publishing in new york. i'd been working for simon & schuster, and i moved to san francisco from spending my whole life in new york and i met fred who had worked at ca november, which the novembers and then had started an agency in a victorian, in an attic facing san francisco bay. and i met him and he was like do you want to be an agent? and i'm like oh, i'm not mean enough because all the agents i ever talked to were hell on wheels. and he was like, oh, you'll learn.
[laughter] and, of course, i did. >> so, ethan why don't you tell us how you got started as an editor. >> i was essentially, i think maybe like a lot of editors i was a graduate school refugee. i started a reader, i think that's probably how all of us started in the business, you start as readers and you mind yourself with too many english degrees and too few skills, and publishing for me shone as a flashing light of salvation i think. i finished graduate school, and i moved to new york and started looking for jobs in the publishing industry there, and i started as an editorial assistant at farrar strauss and rerue, and i'm here 20 years later. >> reagan, how did you get started? >> i grew up here in woodland hills. my dad was an english professor at cal state cal state northridge, and my mom was and is a voracious reader. so i group up in a book house
and always wanted to live in new york which may seem incomprehensible to everyone in this room. >> i know did you see the weather? >> i know. i wanted to work in publishing, so i got a job at st. martins press as an editorial assistant and never left. well, i left st. martins but i never left the general tristate area or the industry. >> when did you join little brown? >> 2001. >> and was it little brown then? >> yes. yes. little brown's been around for 180 -- 178 years i think. they started in boston and we're the publishers of louisa may alcott and other luminaries and they were bought -- anyway they've been little brown for a long time yes. >> okay. so you all found careers in the publishing industry, but isn't publishing dead? [laughter] >> she throws down the gauntlet. [laughter] who's going to answer ethan?
>> i, maybe counterintuitively feel like we're in an incredible golden age of publishing right now. i think it's as interesting and full of possibility as it's been certainly in my career and i started around 1993. and i think that's for a number of reasons. i think that traditional publishing landscape is as rush and diverse and vital as it's been in a long time. there are, you know, the big publishers are still doing excellent books and funding authors to be able to do the work that they need to do. there are any number of mid and small sized publishers that are discovering interesting writers and taking chances on sometimes difficult books. and i think that book selling after some crises is stabilizing. i think everything you see in the eing-book and self-publishing -- e-book and self-publishing landscape is giving people more options to get their work herald, get their work out there at least. so i think it's just kind of an
awesome moment. i think just the opposite. there was a rather shaky period. i think the first time i did a rather similar panel at the l.a. times festival a few years ago we were rather more nervous, but i think we're all feeling -- i don't know, i can't speak for everybody here, but it's getting better. >> and to be frank i once worked for bonnie and it was during a very shaky time. have things gotten better? >> yes, much. it was during the height of the recession, and it's very hard to get people to spend lots of money when the stock market was going down 500 points a day and no one was buying books, and i actually said to my husband who's a restaurant critic, we do things nobody needs. [laughter] when people get desperate, they don't need books and they don't go out to eat. we should become dairy farmers or something. [laughter] and then it all got better. [laughter] >> i'll just go ahead and agree. and i think also there was a contraction, there was an expansion, i guess, as part of
maybe the go-go '80s, there were a lot of publishers, there were a lot of bookstores, there was a lot of, perhaps overexcitement. and so what happened in the recession and i think over the past 10 or so years is kind of a necessary contraction. it has been painful in a lot of ways certainly the loss of borders was something that we still feel acutely and anytime we're trying to estimate a book sales from something that was, you know, we have a sort of shorthand in the office for pre-borders and post-borders especially for fiction publishing, that was a big loss. it was not like those books that were stocked in -- i forget how many borders there were but certainly more than 100 stores across the country. they're just not getting -- >> you don't feel like the independent stores have made up the difference at all? >> no, they haven't. the independents are great, but they can't buy -- if their daily order is five copies, they're not going to get 20 because borders isn't two towns away
anywhere. >> what about in terms of sales for e-books? >> that's been interesting too. e-books, i think have the most direct effect on paperback because it used to be if you didn't want to pay for the hard cover, you'd wait a year, and just like movies you might wait to rent it on video or dvd. so now what happens is, of course, the e-book is available simultaneously, and so it has, i think, had a real effect on paperbacks for the most part. >> i wonder if we could talk about people often ask why e-books -- since an e-book is just like a dingingal file shouldn't it be cheaper? >> i have so many answers for that. >> go ahead. >> i get really -- angry might be too strong a word, but i get very defensive, i guess is more apt about that because i think it assumes -- i think for a while in this tenuous period of
seven or eight years ago and the e-books were coming into their own and the kindle was completely reinventing that experience and the economies around it, that people thought like, the same way music, you know, if i can just push a button and hear a song for free why can't i push a button and read a book for free? there are good reasons, of course why both are wrong. first of all a writer spent a year sometimes ten years writing it. a publisher even if it's, you know, no matter -- let's say it's from a traditional publisher. there are salaries involved in editing it, copy editing it making a jacket for it. you know, nothing about that book is free or came freely to the people who created it. so there's no reason why it should be free and there's no reason why it should be $1.99 either. that was the big danger, i thought, threat a few years ago, that these low prices were somehow going to set a standard which nobody thought a book should be more than that. but, in fact, of course, it
costs a lot more to create something, and that is why publishers, including my own have fought so hard to keep e-book prices in line with the actual costs that go into making that book. >> right. so essentially, the paper is only a small part of what the book actually costs. >> right. exactly. i mean, it does make, you know a couple of dollars' difference in that cover price, but that doesn't get you from 12.99 down to 1.99 so the math doesn't make the e-book free. i do understand the frustration because when you buy an old book, it's on your shelf and you own it, you know, when it's on your kindle or ipad do you own it? it disappears. so i get why people think that in a way but yeah sometimes the e-books take -- especially with e-books that are kind of targeted up with goodies -- >> tarded up? >> yeah. when i was after -- i worked at
mcsweeny's for a couple of years in san francisco, and we were making an enhanced book of david byrnes's how music works. we have to make, was because the hardware and software is completely different for all of these e-bookstores, we had to make a different book for every single store. the sound files didn't work in the same way we would try to upload them, and they'd buttingty, and -- buggy and we'd have to repeat them. it was extraordinary the amount of work we had to put into this e-book that supposedly feels free to everybody. then the frustrating thing -- actually, it wasn't that frustrating -- we made this beautiful print object trying to be a nicely designed book, and it turns out that's what people wanted. so with all this e-booking, you'd think everybody wants the
audio thing, but actually they want the object. i think it's these kinds of experiences that kind of made some of the agents like bonnie and editors like reagan and me feel like the print book isn't disappearing right now and it stabilizes our business a little bit. >> well, and i don't mean to criticize, but i have a copy of that book, and the white cover gets dinged up really fast. >> does it? >> well, yeah, because it's a white cover, and it's so beautiful, and then i put it next to a black buck again. >> you can -- book again. >> you can buy a second. laugh. >> so i wonder if you guys could talk about because you've all i think collectively there's 50 years of experience in the publishing industry at this table. >> probably more. >> we're pretty old carolyn. >> wow what year is it again? i wonder if you could talk about was there any time that you made, like that one mistake that you still kick yourself over, one thing you wish you had
done differently or you wish publishing was doing differently to sort of work better? you can point fingers instead of kicking yourself. >> well i mean, as an agent, part of what we do is we have to -- we are the first sort of the first line of defense. we're the first readers of someone's work and so what that means is that we have to decide -- it's like triage. we have to decide sort of what piles things go in. there's the immediate yes pile there's the maybe pile and then the no pile and the no pile is easy and yes pile is easy, but the maybe pile is actually quite hard. and one is always doing this with a time factor involved because while there are certain writers who will send us material and say i'm only sending it to you and i will wait for you to read it, more and more -- especially because most admissions are electronic -- people are like, well, i'm sending it to a bunch
of agents at the same time so read as fast as you can. probably in the last few years years -- published three books and i think a guggenheim and been nominated for an nacc, perhaps, anyway, he had sent me his first novel. and i start to read it, oh, this is interesting, african-american man in brooklyn, and then i got distracted by all sorts of things, and by the time i got back to it, of course, it was too late. and he had an agent. the agent he has is a very lovely guy so i don't begrudge him any of his success but it's one of those things where i should have read faster. i should have just dropped everything and read faster. >> how many manuscripts were you, like, considering like in that week, like in a given week, how many things are you trying to read? >> well, there are five of us reading in the office; two
interns, one associate and another agent and myself. and i think -- i don't actually know how many things we get because i only see the ones that are sort of at the top of the pile. i think we get about 250 queries a week, but i'm not actually even sure. because if they tell me this, i would have a nervous breakdown. [laughter] they just sort of get answered and read, you know, and, i mean, yes, things get prioritized but that's how it works. when it was on paper, it was a lot easier because you've just have this stack -- >> and then you'd have what a friend of mine called the shelf test. if it sat on the shelf long enough he realized i'm never going to keep reading it it was horrible, but true. as an editor, i would get -- i calculated on average five manuscripts a day. >> yeah, i probably get one full manuscript every day x that's just agent to manuscripts.
>> so those are things that have been represented and vetted. and do you try to all of them or -- read all of them or take a little bite at each of them? >> yeah. >> yeah, absolutely. i try to at least look or, you know, our assistant editor. sometimes we -- i get some early reads, but i try to at least see if the sentences seem to me in -- sing to me in some way before i even pass it along to somebody. but, no, i can't read, you know because every book is 300 pages, and i'm getting -- myself, i'm not talking about my firm i'm talking about myself -- i'm getting 1500 pages a week of manuscripts, and these are the books that we're not publishing you know? so it's a lot of, there are a lot of submissions and a lot of competition. >> did you have any that got away? >> i think in business when successing in any kind of business possibly involves you're forgetting the things that you missed.
[laughter] but one continues to be resentful about the things that you tried to get and for various reasons you lost. >> that's a politic answer. i told carolyn beforehand i have this form of a syndrome on panels where i'm compelled to blurt out my most embarrassing mistake in the book i turned down. i'm not going to name it -- [laughter] i'm growing up, but it was less a turndown than something i was on the fence about, and i didn't love it, and it was preempted which is sort of what happened to bonnie. speed can be of the essence, you know? editors read quickly, they make decisions fast and suddenly you're reading something and the agent calls and said i took a preeveryone, and it's gone. pre-emp and it's gone. if i'm being honest, i probably would not have pursued it, and it was preempted for what seemed to me to be a major amount of money, and so it happens. >> i remember thinking many years ago when i was at fsg my
first company i/we did on the book fast food nation by a journalist who'd never published before, and i remember it went for quite a lot of money, and i remember thinking, man, i don't know, with this book they must have to be betting that every single thing is going to go right. >> and it did. [laughter] >> and it did. >> sometimes that happens. >> but we bid on it. that's one of those things where i'm like oh, if we'd been a little more aggressive. but i totally understand the perspective, so it's not one of those regrets because the logic, in retrospect makes sense to me, and they did a brilliant job. >> so tell me about the inverse. tell me about a coup or something that you saw potential in that other people doesn't see it -- didn't see it, and you were able to get it to readers. >> you want to go first? >> i've gotta think of mine. >> one of my favorite stories about myself -- [laughter]
sit down. [laughter] i got a manuscript from an agent i didn't know well at all i'd met her once and in her cover letter she compared to -- i tease her about this now, she said it's like the office -- now i've forgotten it. anyway she invoked the office and i always think a novel that's like a tv show is not going to interest me. but i looked at the first page at my office, and it had this amazing opening paragraph. so i said okay well, i have to keep going. so i took it home with me that night on the train to my house. i clearly remember sitting on my couch reading it like staying up late to finish it and thinking at a certain point, please, don't screw this up because it was going so well, and then it took a couple turns, and i thought oh no, it's going to go off the rails but it didn't. and i came in the next day and said we have to buy this book so that was a wednesday. and then i made a preemptive offer on thursday. on friday i was meeting the
author for the first time and celebrating, and that was "then we came to the end," by joshua ferris, and he is an amazing writer to i'm happy to still publish. one of those things where the reviews came in great and then we were at the frank further book fair, and we got a call that he was a national book award finalist and i burst into tears. [laughter] it was just a really happy time of thinking i just loved it so much, and things went right for it. >> i don't want -- oh. go ahead. >> a lot of i mean, no matter what anyone tells you about plushing a huge amount of it is luck. things just have the go your way. i represent rebecca suggest snuck, and i've represented her for years and years and years and first book we did together was a book of migrations which i feel like i couldn't give that book away. i did finally sell it to a british/american publisher, but it was an incredibly difficult sell. and then about a year, year and
a half ago at this point she did a collection of essays called men explain things to me. and we sold it to a tiny publisher called haymarket who she knew the people who were running it. they bought it for very little money, very little money means, like, under $5,000. and it has gone on to be the biggest success, and part of it was that it was riding a wave of like feminist essay collections which took off in the past year. part of it, unfortunately, had to do with, yes, all women hashtag that came out of the santa barbara shootings and all that. and the book has now sold 40,000 copies, we've sold it in, like and countries, and, you know, publishing surprises you. i mean the good thing -- i think part of the reason we're all still in this business is it always surprises us. when you think you know what's going to happen it doesn't.
sometimes when you hope something goes well it just totally takes off. so that's like the happy version. >> yeah. i mean, i think, you know, there's maybe a perception out there that we all have to be so market driven, and people give up on writers and writing but i think, you know very few publishers go into this business to make money because we could do something else. >> except like maybe what, teach english? >> well, yeah. >> purchase all i got. -- pretty much all i got. >> or write yourself. and i wake up every morning happy i'm not a writer, because it's too hard. the writers i know work so hard and it's a tough business. i guess my version -- but a lot of the best stories are about persistence, sticking with writers and being willing to follow them where they're going to go and where they want to go. so i think you really, you know, as an agent or an editor, you have to pick somebody you're willing to follow wherever they go, because it's a really long game, and sometimes it's not the first or the second book, it might be the third or fourth or fifth book -- >> or tenth. >> -- you know, by a writer that
really works. and i guess my myny version of that story would be one, a british writer who i've worked with probably the most in my career a writer named jeff dyer the first thing i ever published was one of his and he came in with a really different book about, it was an obsess i have book about not writing a book about d.h. lawrence called out of sheer rage and i loved it. i thought this was sort of a generationally significant book, there was something about the voice that felt really new to me and the form. and, you know, we published the first book and it had done okay, but i brought in the second book that was really different, not what anybody was expecting, and the publisher then roger strauss -- who was a legendarily cantankerous guy -- i knew he wasn't going to like it. so i wrote this wrong memo trying to defend myself against all of the arguments against him, and i gave it to him. a couple of days later it landed back in my inbox, and he would
just paw through manuscripts they were violently handled. and so he came back with pages sticking out all over the place and one word in red pen at top of my memo saying, awful. [laughter] and so i was forced to reject this book, and i was just completely broken hearted, and i had to send some letter to his british agent. and then -- and i just thought about it continuously. in the meantime the book calm out in england and was getting all of these nice reviews and i told the agent just send me every review you've got as it comes in and this was a year after i'd rejected it. and then i would quietly just drop the reviews one by one in the editor-in-chief's inbox, and finally -- >> no bond or he was cranky. [laughter] >> probably true. and i, you know, they ended up promoting me to editor right around then. i remember roger strauss said to me, so we're making you an
editor which means you can make your own stupid mistakes so here's $7500 for that crappy book you wanted to buy. and then it went on to win the national book critics' circle award, and within three years everybody at the company had forgotten how much they supposedly disliked the book. [laughter] then the night we went on to plush him continuously after that. >> isn't that characteristic of jeff dier though each book is completely different -- >> and it's made him difficult to publish because, you know, with a commercial writer their job is to produce in a way, replicate the thing before. but the literary writer, they're there to defy your expectations, and he's a particularly extreme version of that. so yeah, they were all really difficult, but now people just publish jeff dyer books rather than a book on lawrence or a book on jazz or a book on -- >> or not doing yoga. >> yeah, which are his, each of those is a book. >> yeah.
did you tell us a good story? >> i'll tell you another. oh, do you have another one, really? >> no, i don't. so if there was something that you said about how like you talking about jeff dyer's book getting plushed in the u.k., and -- published in the u.k., and it was a year after you rejected the manuscript. could you walk us through the process, what if we start with bonnie and then move down. bonnie, from the time you get something in your inbox, how long does it take before a book is gonna be on a shelf? >> well i'm going to have to divide it into fiction versus nonfiction because fiction when you sell a novel, you're selling the entire novel. i started publishing long enough ago that you used to be able to sell a novel on a partial. those days i think unless you're already a best selling author, are gone. i think j.k. rowling could probably sell them on a partial
but most novelists that i'm dealing with are either first novels or on their -- novelists or their first or second book, so they don't sell a lot of partial. i actually sold -- >> partial's 500 pages. >> and at the time like, we didn't know it was going to be quite so long. so i think the contract said you know 100,000 words maybe it said 150,000 words. >> which is about 300 pages or so. >> 600,000 words, which is what it actually wound up being. but these days you really don't sell novels particularly first novels on a partial. so to walk you through it, i actually just sold a novel this past week where i started working with the writer. she sent us her novel in, i'd say, october of 2013. i read it around christmas of '13. we gave her editorial notes, so the entire process has been a good year and a half of her
doing two huge drafts of it, like really working on it and fixing it. and this was a novel we love, like love love, love. and we're like, yes, you have to fix this, you have to fix the ending, you have to fix the beginning. [laughter] but we love it. you have to change the characters. so two big relies and then -- rewrites and then one small finish. and so that took a year and a half, and it sold in a week. and got preempted by random house for a lot of money. so -- and then she's like, it's so fast. and i'm like, glad to know you think so. [laughter] so is, like novels we are very much a hands-on agency which means we really work with writers to get things in the best possible shape so that by the time i send it out it's as good as i know how to make it. i actually remember a book i sold reagan a few years ago
which she was conveniently getting on a plane to bulgaria because you do -- >> as you do, you know? just going off to bulgaria. she was going to a writers' conference there and it was a novel i had worked with -- i think i'd worked with the novelist for at least a year. by the time i woke up the next day, you had sent me an e-mail saying i love this, i want to buy this. so the process with the writer can take a long time, and if you're lucky, you can sell the novel fairly quickly. nonfiction obviously is different because you're selling it on proposal, and proposals -- you have to shape a proposal, and that can take a very long time too. but then the writer has to go out and do the research, interview people, and so there's usually, a writer usually gets at least a year sometimes as much as two years to write the book. so no one expects you to do the interviewing, the travel and
everything else on your own money. you do it with a publishing contract in mind. but it's like even writing proposals i've made people do 20 drafts of a proposal to get it right -- >> oh, my god, you can be mean. >> oh, yeah. >> that's nice. [laughter] seriously. >> you know, and these are journalists, people who have been journalists for years, like, you know award winning pulitzer prize-winning journalists. i'm just like, yeah, it's not good enough, yeah, it's no there. so it's a long process. and that's just to get it to them. >> right. so this author who you'd gone through a year of work with, and then you get it to this enthusiastic editor who said oh, this is great, i'm so computed, now we have to change the beginning and the middle and the ending, because that's when the start of the editorial process starts, and i guess i'll just take the baton. i usually go through at least a couple of drafts of every book with the author to try to get it into its best possible shape. and this isn't -- and none of
this kind of making authors work is strictly masochistic -- strictly saw dis cantic i guess -- sadistic, i guess. [laughter] it's really to to give it's such a crowded market and we're all trying to give any given book its best possible chance to get noticed. and as anybody all of you who are just readers who walk in a bookstore, there are a lot of different choices so we want to not give you a reason to put a book down. so that can sometimes take a lot of work. but at gray wolf we're a small nonprofit press, and we don't have -- >> that had how many finalists for the national book award this year? >> el we had -- well we had four finalists for the national book critics' circle award with only three books. >> i'm on the board, and it was the first time we had a single book that was up for two categories. >> yeah "citizen" was a finalist in both the poetry category and criticism category
and ended up winning in the poetry category. the story of that week has been a great publish -- of that book has been a great publishing success. but because we don't have these big budgets, we take a lot of time -- you can technically make a book in a few months or even less. but the time it takes to make sure that all of the booksellers out there have read it and are talking about it when the book comes out and all of the reviewers and critics are ready to talk about it, that can take -- that takes many months. so we start -- can i finished a very final drift of a manuscript and hand it over to the copy editors and we start the process of publishing the book, that's a full year. so the writer can be done with a book and not see it out for another year. for us, we need that extra time to seed the field and make sure we send manuscripts and bound galleys of books to booksellers we think will like it. i write individual notes to people like carolyn and let them
know something that i'm excited about. so that process is quite slow and very -- and strangely in this, you know, very technological, modern world of e-books, still very much a person-to-person business. >> and we also have to plan, you know, if we have two debut novels set in the south, we don't even want them in the psalm catalog, if we can -- same catalog, if we can avoid it. so you have to plot out your entire list's worth of a schedule and that means perhaps accelerating or delaying. so everything is fairly strategic. but it does seem sometimes, my god, you wrote this book five years ago, and now it'll come out next year. >> by the time a book congresswomans out -- can comes out, i'm like didn't we already publish this? [laughter] >> a friend of mine says the worst thing you can say in publishing is, "did that book come out?" >> you know, i wonder you guys published this debut mystery writer named robert gal braipt
and i wonder could you talk about that a little bit? >> sure. so we we have a crime in print called mulholland at little brown, and that's what they do, they do crime books. when i became -- i had been an editor at little brown, and i became publisher just about two years ago in sort of the period where we were getting ready to make the handoff. michael peach became ceo. he said to me have you read that book, the cuckoo's calling that mulholland's doing later this year i said no, i haven't, it's good, you should read it. i will definitely take a look at this british mystery by an author who used to be in the brush secret service or something. i kept not getting to it. he said you really should read it -- >> [inaudible] >> sorry? i thought someone asked me something. so i did and it was really good. and he said, great. then he told me, he said i'm going to tell you something that
nobody ills in this company knows -- nobody else in this company knows and in fact -- can i say this out loud? >> he said it's j.k. rowling. and i said -- it was a really surprising, exciting news. he said she wants to do this she wants to write something as undercover of just being not j.k. roling. and so --. >> k. ruling and so we published the book. i was at the writer squaw valley writers conference in july 2013, and i got a call from our little brown u.k. which had published it -- which had started the relationship with her an editor there, and he said it's about to break, someone found out. i don't know if you know this, but someone tweeted -- and it was the wife of one of j.k. rowling's lawyers tweeted that she knew who it was, and all these journalists were like who is it, and it was just about to go. >> i think it was the best friend of the wife. the wife had gotten drunk with her friend -- [laughter] >> yes.
>> it was a midnight tweet and i was like that's got to be a dinner party. >> so i'm sitting there in beautiful lake tahoe completely freaking out about this thing that was about to happen. it was very exciting. i think we printed 7,000 copies and it went to a little more. but it's a little sad. she did this purely, she did not do it as a stunt, she did it -- and she was very happy to have just -- at least she got that one experience well, she's had two experiences of writing anonymously, but to try something new out of what people knew her for. and so that's a long answer but that's sort of part of the story. >> so, i mean like i remember where i was when that news broke. i was at my cabin in joshua tree on a sunday morning, and i was like yeah, what i really want to be doing right now is writing about how the harry potter lady is -- seriously? it's sunday. i'm in joshua tree. but it was kind of exciting to
think about what it must be like to be the person who loves inside of that myth and that fame. but what was it like for you trying to manage? what did you have to do, try to tell journalists what was happening? try to block it? >> no. i mean once it was out we had to, we managed it via the u.k. because i think we had struck -- they'd spoke not guardian and gave them the first interview about it. so we were lucky the first time because, i mean, nobody -- the editor didn't know the publicist didn't know, nobody knew, so i had to -- and it's funny because i still had that you all remember where you were when you heard about robert galbraith. so, yeah, i called -- i had to let everybody know. >> you had to, like, tell everybody in your own company p.s -- >> yeah. felt a little bad about it. it's the sort of thing you wish you could tell but it made it very easy the keep the secret. and again, two years later, i
still have the residual memory of how secret it was. >> so when you said it was a prohibiting of, like, 7500 copies, is that normal? is that, like normal for a debut author? can we go down -- like say i'm a debut author and i've written my first -- [inaudible] about being a journalist at the los angeles times. okay, good lord, zero copies of that. [laughter] say i'm a debut author with something that somebody might want to read. how many novel copies will you plish, and if i'm j.k. rowling how many will you print? >> well concern. [laughter] now we get to the anytimety gritty. it really varies. that was, to use galbraith as an example, he wasn't touring, nobody -- there one much we could say about him because it was a pseudo, so you couldn't pitch profiles that might have generated more interest. >> he wasn't going to talk on the radio.
>> yeah. so we're going to put it out there and hope the reviews are good and people come to it and you build the author. expecting a slow build versus a mega sort of arrival of a big deal, let's say, debut. of there's a novel called city on fire that i'm sure you'll be hearing about, it's a debut author. i just saw a galley, it's got all these illustrations, it looks very cool. >> gatt smith.. -- garth smith. >> i'm guessing they will print 100? 100,000? >> really? >> the thing about any of these numbers is that i've seen successful books, really successful books sell 8000ing copies, and i've seen books fail having sold 60,000 copies, you know? it really depends where your expectations start with the book. so there's no right number. i think for any writer you're just trying to build a sustainable career you're just trying to do well enough that you can write another book.
>> yeah. and, i mean, the way publishing works these days the technology is such that years ago publishers would overprint because they wanted the books in the warehouse because they then have to ship them all over the country whereas now it goes much faster. so they don't overprint the same way. i mean, they used to pulp books which is a really sort of harsh way of saying they just got rid -- they just shredded them and got rid of them and dumped them whereas now people will do lots of smaller printings as opposed to one giant one. william morrow used to be known for their, like print runs which was, you know, you know, we're printing 100,000 150,000 -- everyone's like, take a zero off. [laughter] and they were known for that. >> will a lot of us do that, it's the announced first print, and it's like a signal.
it's telling the reviewers in the bookstores we have high hopes and expectations for this book, and we're saying 50,000 as more like a target. [laughter] >> and that's a wish not an actual actuality. >> so i wonder if there are any questions in the audience? i have many more questions but i know that you guys are curious. we're going to do this on the pass mic because we want the viewing audience to be able to listen. how about the woman in blue first. >> [inaudible] >> oh, no, no, they're right there. >> i notice that you said first sentences, so if you remember one of your newly acquired books and the first sentence that sold you and then you haven't talked about titles. agent? do you help with the title? editors? titles? how important are they? will that convince you to read the book?
and your favorite first sentence from history. so that's kind of three items -- >> i'll go. >> [inaudible] >> i do help with titles. i've titled a number of books because i have certain authors who come up with terrible, terrible titles. [laughter] and i'm like i forbid you to call it that. i can't sell that. my husband is actually amazingly good at titles. i'm like it's about this it's about that. um, he actually came up with the title funny in farsi which is a book published and has gone on to sell a whole lot of copies. one of my worst titles was the a title called the lure of the quest -- [laughter] which somewhere, i mean, it was about a dog sled race, and the publisher bought it. six months in they're like the lure of the quest it doesn't actually mean anything, does it? [laughter] i'm like, no. so i come up with titles all the time because i need a good title that i can sell it on.
sometimes it remains the title of the book, sometimes it's not. so yes, we absolutely help with titles. >> we have a title committee. that's i how fun we are. >> really? >> we have four people, we meet at the beginning of every season, and we go over titles and subtitles, and you have to do that before it gets to the jacket stage. for the word nerds among us, just this morning i was e-mailing to say i think how should be the first word not why, and then we go on from there. but it can be exhausting too. we definitely spend a lot of time on those titles, especially for nonfiction. >> yeah. the subtitles for nonfiction can be very tricky, and we argue about them a lot. this is slightly unrelated, but i have a funny title story which is an old editor that, i worked at viking for decades alan williams, was a guy i knew in his later years, and he had been one of john steinbeck's editors. he was in japan or something for
a conference, and -- or, no, he had told the story about stein become's widow had been in japan for a conference and somebody ran up to her and said, oh, mrs. steinbeck, i just need to tell you how much your husband's work has meant to me. there's no book i love more than angry raisin. [laughter] >> and i have another title story also from viking when they were publishing graham greene, and i think it was travels with my aunt. and they said that is not a good title, and he said it would be simpler for me to change publishers than change titles. [laughter] >> drop the mic. >> yeah. >> do you have any like, you said josh ferris' first paragraph, like, just sort of basically slammed you into the chair and you stayed there pretty much. >> and here's the first sentence. we were fractious and overpaid, our mornings lost promise. >> that's great. [laughter] >> i'm glad you asked so i
could recite it. >> >> there any other first sentences that you know are like -- >> you know, it's funny too because sometimes -- maybe not the very first sentence but the first couple of pages are going to have to -- or rather, maybe the easy way to say it is i'll sometimes read a bunch of submission and not be sure what i think and kind of torture myself and almost always i should reject that book. it takes me a long time to get there. and then when i read something that i really like, i'm like oh, my god, my job is so easy. you actually know it very quickly. because the reaction is not very sophisticated, it's no different than when you were reading a book when you were a kid, and you decided you really liked it. our job as editors is just to be able to articulate that reaction in some ways that's helpful for a reader. but a lot of times it's happened more than once where i'll be editing a manuscript that we've acquired, and he'll say, no, no, the start of the
book isn't here, it's two paragraphs down. sometimes you just want to get right into it, so i find that sometimes the firstbility? isn't there -- first sentence isn't there. >> bonnie, have you also done that to drafts? hike your manuscript actually starts on page 5 or in chapter 5? >> oh, yeah. i do that with the broom of the system david wallace' first novel -- wallace's where there was a first chapter and i was like your first sentence is most really pretty girls have ugly feet and so does mindy middleman, and i'm like that's your beginning. and he was like okay, yeah, you're right. he disagreed about a lot of things. we had a big fight about the end of the novel where i was at the time, you know you can't end in the middle of a sentence, you know? you're not thomas -- [inaudible] and don't think that you are. [laughter] >> he's like, i actually do think i am. [laughter] >> and i had that fight with him. and i lost it.
and then his editor had that fight with him and lost it and it stayed the way it was. but i did win the beginning. >> how about this fellow here in the vest. >> several of you mentioned that if everything goes right. what has to go right for a book to sell big? >> i think increasingly -- >> you have to buy it. you. [laughter] >> i feel like this is rom per room. [laughter] >> i think so much now is about what happens before publication. the publishing process sort of begins at least a year before publication to go right. we have to do so much as ethan was saying, so much work ahead of time to make carolyn, to make other reviewers, booksellers, bloggers, you know everybody awar of a book -- aware of a book. this big best seller now, girl on the train i felt like i could not turn around river had
published a ton of galleys, they got it out there -- >> and it was super fancy packaging, it was like they were sending you a dvd or something. >> and that's just one example. there are other things too. what also happened with that book is a week after publication "the new york times" gave it a rave review that, i think, said this is the next gone girl and it was like, you know, that was sort of another thing. everything -- that's one example of, you know the reviews came in the way you want them to, people were liking it and responding vocally -- >> but that review alone would not have been sufficient without all of the work that you did to support that review in a way. >> right. and from my point of view -- sorry. >> go on, go on. >> from my point of view of, like, everything that has to go right in order to sell it, i mean, i can love a book, and i can believe in it, but then i have to get ideally at least one editor if not several to believe in it and love it. and there are sort of these various mechanisms where you
send it out to a number of editors at the same time. they get talking about it. there's sort of -- there's a drum beat in the industry where i'm based in l.a. so there's no one near me who is in publishing. i mean, like not right near me. and i will hear from editors who i didn't submit the book to or from people known as scouts who are always gathering information for foreign publishers and for movie produce ors. they will e-mail me or call and be like hey i hear you have something out, and that's when i know that, like the drum beats have started. and then i can try and use that to help sell. sometimes it doesn't work at all. >> right there and then come around to this side.
>> i'm sure all you publishers love each oh but are -- other but are there any back stabbing stories that you can tell us about? [laughter] >> gosh. [laughter] >> i just told bonnie one this morning, but i can't. you know, it happens. it's a competitive industry and there's bad behavior. we'll talk later. [laughter] >> actually i think one thing that's interesting about that is that all three of you are in different cities. bonnie you're in los angeles. ethan, you're in san francisco, and reagan you're in new. do you think being on the west coast -- does that allow a little distance from some of that new york -- or not? >> yeah. it does allow a little distance from the hysteria. and, certainly, there was a stage where anything that took place in brooklyn was selling, and if you live here, you're like okay, i get it's brooklyn, but seriously, people in the rest of the country don't care. don't care at all.
don't care about that little café on the corner don't care about the restaurant. so, yeah it sort of gives us a different perspective because i feel like particularly for the two of us there are issues, and there are things that are important, like immigration the drought that we see here that we then have to explain to people in new york. i mean, seriously in the last two months or like the last month since "the new york times" has started writing about the drought, people are like so i hear it doesn't rain there. [laughter] and you're just like no, hasn't. >> i wouldn't say -- i mean politics always depends on the company you're in in a way. but it is a competitive business, and there's some bad behavior, but i think probably compared to a hot of corporate businesses -- >> [inaudible] >> it's like academia. well, it gets more vicious sometimes. >> yeah. >> i heard one, sometimes there are different corporate cultures, and i heard one anecdote. when somebody moved from one corporate publisher to another
somebody i knew and at the new place they say well, at this company at least they do you the courtesy of stabbing you in the front. [laughter] >> you talked a lot about titles and sort of the process of marketing for books. what's the process for discovering covers of these books? how much does that play into the process of picking a title, how much does it play into the marketing scheme? where does the cover take shape p and where does it come from? >> we, you know, we have a weekly cover meeting. the first thing that happens once the title's settled is the editor comes in and pitches -- describes the book to the art department, and we bring slides of comparable titles, you know we love this about that book we love the way the image, you know, the feel of the look of that. not to copy them, but just to give the art department a sense of what we're sort of after in general. and then anywhere in at the earliest a week or, you know, a few weeks, a month later then we come back.
the designers bring back covers. it can be frustrating for authors because we don't like to show them -- all these designs this is the one we like best, but we want you to see the seven others so you know we worked hard. and it happens i'm just going to do it this one time, and it happens. the author picks the one we don't want to use, but we have reasons, and we feel like, okay, we've chosen the one and we have our sales perp marketing person publicity perp, so we're thinking of it not just in terms of what i the editor like, but what we think the market will respond to best. it is a commercial business, so you want -- >> the cover is an advertisement. >> yeah. >> it's not, you know, i mean it should be graceful and elegant if that's appropriate -- >> or gaudy. >> yeah. it's got to be appropriate. but it's also, you know we want something to stand out if you walked into a bookstore and you see ten books on a self what's the one that's going to catch your eye?
>> except it's a balancing act right? you might see a whole bunch of books that are targeted at young women that just show cute shoes you know? like there are all those shoe covers because you want to be able to speak to the people who bought the last cute shoe book that this is also a cute shoe book. >> or the ones where they have like, the woman's face but without her -- without the eyes? without her -- >> her eyes averted? >> right. yeah. >> but then you'll hear all of these things like, oh, yellow books don't sell. but then miranda july publishes something, and it's really super yellow. >> and then there was a flash of yellow books marlon james. oh, my god. go ahead, right there. right there. [inaudible conversations] >> yeah. this is an agent question, but it's not just for bonnie. nowadays if you want a significant publisher, you pretty much have to go through an agent.
traditionally that wasn't the case, and i'm just wondering if it will remain so for the foreseeable future? are there more publishers you can approach with that one? not that i wish you ill or anything. [laughter] >> for as long as -- i mean when i first started in publishing yes, you could submit directly to a publishing house. that doesn't exist anymore as far as i know. there are a great many agents out there who -- and more and more all the time and who like all different kinds of books. i think the self-plushing route has gotten way easier than it ever used to be, like way, way easier and that people can find their niche and find their readership without a publisher and without an agent. but if you're going the traditional publishing route you have to have an agent. i mean, in order to get people like this to pay attention to you, you need an agent to facilitate that.
>> yeah and i'd just add it's actually even true. at gray wolf, we a couple of years ago had to take unslo licited -- the poets generally don't have agents none of our poets do and we find work that way. but now we have -- which doesn't mean that i don't read at work. there's a big distinction here. >> gray wolf has that great nonfiction competition. >> that's right. we have an open door for a nonfiction competition. it's sort of every year now, and that is one open door. that's not to say, though, as i say, we're not reading as unagented writers. people like reagan or myself i'll read a literary magazine and then find that author, you know? and i'll help them get an agent you know, if they don't have one yet. but the agent is really just a volume of submissions, you heard it, and it's just become too difficult to give them, to give everything the attention it deserves. >> how much of a digital
presence does someone have to have before you have to take notice, and how do you quantify that with amazon keeping a lot of their sales figures secretive? >> that's kind of two questions, i thought you meant like do you have a social media presence is that what you meant? >> [inaudible] >> you can follow ethan and ray gap on twitter. [laughter] >> blogging -- >> it depends can. i mean, it's definitely not a reason we would ever say no to somebody. if we love their book we love their book. if it's a nonfiction author who is -- i'm trying to think of an example. it definitely helps if you can say -- >> rebecca skloot. she's a nonfiction author who had a big blogging presence and a big presence on twitter. >> yes. i didn't know that. [laughter] well i think that that definitely helps. but as i say, it would not keep us from doing something. i think more with let's say if you're a food writer and blogger and you have a big following,
that's something where we say 200,000 people know where this person is, that's a great leg up. and in terms of amazon, they don't. >> i'd say for certainly the fiction and literary nonfiction that we publish it is not important at all. >> i saw -- more questions? hands up? go over to that side. the woman in the light blue sweater over there. one more. okay. and i saw a galley that came in this week that said that the author had 7500 followers on twitter, and i was like, dude, that's like -- i get four book deals out of that easy. so you don't have to have much of a social media presence for your publisher to want to be able to leverage it once you're at the publication stage. >> hi. i'm a high school junior, and i have been entered nor a couple of years now -- interested for a couple of years now going into publishing i serve on the board
of my school's literary magazine. my main question is what should i be looking for in terms of now during high school and during college and after that to kind of get into the industry and to help prepare myself? my current plan is to go to a small liberal arts college with a great -- >> a trust fund will help. [laughter] >> well, i think it's safe to say we didn't go the trust fund route. >> yeah, exactly. >> there are great internship programs you know, in college, you can apply to those and after college nyu, denver and columbia all have really good postgraduate publishing programs which are expensive and not totally necessary, but a very good way to get a foot in the door and contacts. good luck. >> and it's really it's an apprenticeship business. i mean, we all started as assistants, and you learn by doing. and it really is that's like way the business works.
[inaudible conversations] >> this is booktv live coverage of the 20th annual los angeles times festival of books. you have been listening to a panel on publishing. coming up in half an hour, biographies of world leaders with several authors. we are on the campus of the university of southern california on a typical california april day joining us on set, author, talk-show host, personality, tavis smiley, his nascent the dishes latest book is "my journey with maya". when did you first meet maya? >> when i was a 21-year-old working for the mayor of the see tom bradley. two a good hoosiers' hanging out in 7 california. welcome back to l.a.. we are excited about this festival. this is the 20th year, it means something for city of this size to put on a festival where most of these activities are free and open to the public.
too many of my friends on the east coast think smart television or book readers are smart people, only live on the east coast. there are a lot of people on the west coast who love to read and have things to say about our country and my show is based in southern california. this is one of those annual events that i love, it showcases the best and brightest, booktv and c-span. i met my angelou as a kid working for the mayor of the city. the mayor was out of town one day and as is often the case when the mayor couldn't attend an event, i was the stand in, to use all hollywood term was a stand in for tom bradley. i would go to different venues indications and offer a welcome or present a proclamation, things you do when you are the aid to of mayor. in this occasion the mayor will
be out of town, and i was tickled on the inside. i was a student and it still is now one of my favorites, here is my occasion to meet dr. maya angelo. i spent five minute with her. in that five minutes i came to understand the power that was palpable in her presence the passion, you should see a list. anyone who has ever seen her or spent time with her said the same thing, she is a force of nature by herself. i was in her presence less and five minute and at some point in my life i have to make my way back to her and find a way to spend time with her. little did i know a few years later i would have a chance not just to spend time with her but to travel to africa with her for
two weeks and had a friendship blossomed. >> host: in your book "my journey with maya" you refer to her as mother maya. >> guest: when we first got together i referred to her as dr. but the longer we spent time with her, one of the great joys of my life when maya angelou said to me, young tavis smiley, the time has come you can stop calling me doctor, if not doctor what what i call you? and she said let's think of something because we have been together long enough. was a wonderful compliment because it was too formal for our relationship. and her and her sister friend, she said sister, i will be your mother. and she said that sounds good to
me. some what of her stature to invite you into her world and to get to a place in the relationship, a turn of endearment men the world to me. >> host: would work to you do? >> guest: i carried a bag, my first occasion to spend time with her to laugh and learned from her was on this trip to ghana she lived in ghana earlier in her life but this was her return to ghana so they rolled out the red carpet as you can imagine. to me but to be given this opportunity i am a 20 something-year-old kid, trying to find my own way in the world and find out what my place is in the world's, i am lost to spend time with maya angelou, if
anybody can help you find your place, to know that you matter and your opinions matter is maya angelou. she was raped at the age of 7, this is the story of her book i know how the cage bird sings, for five years she doesn't say a single word and if anybody understands what it means to find your voice that is the mother of understatement to find your way back and establish your place in the world and do something the world will remember now that she is gone, maya had something to say to me. to understand what my role is and how to find my voice i am carrying her bags. to listen and laugh and learn and to be loved on by here, was the life changing life altering
experience. >> host: tavis smiley is our guest for the next 25 minutes or so, talking about the life of maya angelou and his newest book "my journey with maya". 202-748-8200. in east and central time zones of a 48-8201. for those in the mountain and pacific we are live in l.a.. in your book you talked-about the casual use of the n word and maya angelou's reaction to that. >> the stories in this book are all true, some debates we had 3 years. there are a long running conversations, we debated whether law or courage was the greatest of all the virtues. i took law, she took courage. for 20 years we debated that. there were a number of things we went back and forth on. maya had no use for the n word, the context did not matter.
she said to me all the time and still others that if i have thought vile that has calls and crossbones, and the word poison written on the bottle that is poison. i take the contents and put it in the most beautiful crystal, it is still poison. hoping the context of the n word didn't matter, and it was not open to being used. she is of one generation and dime of the hip-hop generation. my view is more nuanced. words and meanings change over time. certain words, certain cultures they decide how those are used, etc.. for 20 years we had this debate about the n word as it were. jean never came to my understanding of it. out of respect for her generation i understood her
point of view but it was one of those things where we could never quite frankly get on the same page about that but the beauty of that whether it was that conversation or any other over the years if there is any tension in our conversation, every conversation ended on a love note. never did we hang up the phone, walk out a restaurant, go to bed at night in north carolina or harlem, we never parted company at night, any conversation that did not end on a love note. for someone of her stature to welcome her into our world, and open head and hart, to invite me to interrogate her and disagree with her, to invite me to contest her point of view, wanted to know what i thought and felt. imagine a young black kid, someone of her stature welcome
you into that space and invite you to that space and no matter what the conversation wasn't always ended on a love note. that is the most affirming kind of relationship at that age. >> there was another conversation you had, during the 2008 election of barack obama. what was that conversation? >> host: cheese started as a supporter of hillary clinton, she was from arkansas and we famously know bill clinton is in a place called hope, that is why in 1993 she chose to give that wonderful brilliant home on morning at the clinton inauguration because of that relationship and was that gifted artist, prior to her giving that inaugural poem in '93 the only person to have done that prior to her was robert frost. she shows up in '93 as the first black woman to do this that
relationship is olive. when he runs in 2008, until she loses in the primary obama wins the nomination and she becomes an obama supporter. some people thought my commentaries and my questions were too tough on the president which is laughable to me because if you are trying to be president of the united states and can't handle a few questions from tavis smiley maybe shouldn't run for this job. we ask tough questions. for whatever reason, people thought he needed to be protected from me, he couldn't handle tough questions. how are you going to handle vladimir putin if you can't handle tavis smiley. the old notion was laughable to me, the obama campaign didn't think so every day they would send some surrogate after me to try to get me to tone it down and when of that worked they played their ace card they called maya angelou. that is how strong our
relationship was. and asked maya angelou to check me said to speak. recalls, we have a long conversation, the whole conversation, it is in the book obviously but at the end of this conversation, i won't say i won the debate but i knew i scored a point. half of this back and forth. let me ask a question, who do you think taught me all of this? who taught me how to stand and live my life with a set of immutable principles this is long after africa. they helped me find my voice, my place in the world she has been a mentor, surrogate mother, she is mother maya to the, i learned a lot about being my own person
holding people accountable i flipped it on her and said you taught me all of this. and just lay off of him. that conversation ended on a law known as a lot of them did. there were moments we didn't see eye to eye. she very famously and i think mistakenly voted an op-ed piece during the clarence thomas nominations. supporting his nomination and even if we don't agree on every point calling in the black community, because he was born in georgia into poverty, that notion is going to kick in, the distance franchise, understand what it means to grow up in
poverty and whatever she thought was going to happen many of us believe that is not quite happening yet. for those politically economically ands socially part of the franchise. i won't debate clarence thomas. maya wrote this speech in defense of him and was a very controversial piece given that it is authored by dr. maya angelou. we had a serious conversation about this peace and there were things we can disagree on over 20 years but she always welcome to my point of view. i repeat for the third time every conversation, all we end ed up with her respecting my key manatee, dignity, point of view and i felt the same way about her. >> host: "my journey with maya" is the name of the book but it is not just a book. >> we were pleased if you weeks ago as it was about to come out to announce we were going to broadway.
we were broadway bound was a wonderful director won the tony last year. reading the galley before the book can out we had a conversation about this. i was humbled as i am now, that a director of his stature was so moved by what he saw, and read the book, the fact that he was open to partnering a broadway play, humbled me but i wasn't going to pass the opportunity. the minute we finish this tour, going to get to l.a. settle down and get to work on getting the stage play written with we are about to announce in a few weeks, going to light the stage play and off we will run. >> host: we are going to begin
with martha in charleston, south carolina. this is probably martha barkley pulling in that one of our regular viewers, i met martha in savannah, georgia. thank you for the pictures, that was very nice. go ahead with your question for tavis smiley. >> caller: it was wonderful to be at the savannah book fest. i missed seeing tavis smiley. you doing the martin luther king book. i missed out. i missed that particular one. too much to choose from but i want to especially thank you for your voice. you have spoken of your finding your voice and c-span has certainly put your voice on many times.
i want to ask about maya angelou's beautiful quality efforts speaking voice. and because of her trauma. >> j. j. abrams of star wars and star trek and mission impossible. warner brothers is distributing it. the death of the king book. the maya book is going to broadway and warner brothers will be distributing it. a lot of work to do. it will always be special to me. and most americans don't know how he turned on him, and
against the war in vietnam. a connection between my own and maya. as you know maya is born on april 4th and king is assassinated on april 4th. is literally on her apartment in harlem, putting finishing touches on the dinner for all the friends she is toasting to celebrate her birthday, the news comes over the dr. king has been assassinated in memphis. maya was friends with martin and malcolm. that is special to be a friend with malcolm x and dr. king but martin is gunned down on your birthday, for years she wouldn't celebrate her birthday until one year coretta scott king sent her of bouquets of fires saying -- flower saying you have to live. on april 4th maya with incorrect scott king flowers and she would send maya flowers until she passed away. a beautiful story of how coretta
helped maya learn how to celebrate her own birthday. when maya was in fact -- she was raped and 45-1/2 use didn't say a word. she is raped at the age of 7, by her mother's boyfriend. she tells her brother bailey what happened. was arrested and jailed for one night. when he got out the next day a group of people killed him, beat him to death. maya thought it was her voice because this man to die. she thought because of that she would never say a word again. and traumatized by the fact that her voice killed him. this five or six you see doesn't say a word. that is why anybody understands what it means to fight to find your voice to fight your way back, to find your place in world. what are the chances somebody who didn't speak for a 5-1/2 years ends up being one of the
great orators of our time, one of the great poets of our time. i regard her america's greatest renaissance woman. who else has done more? ryder cup author professor, dancer choreographer, actor, director, presidential inaugural poet laureate, etc. etc. who else has done more in one lifetime. was america's alternate renaissance woman. the take away is simply this. people can't take your voice, you surrender your voice. because you surrendered it doesn't mean you can't go claim your name from the lost and found, claim your name from the lost and found, establish your identity and find your place in the world. maya did it and so can the rest of us. >> host: 40 you are on with tavis smiley. >> caller: thank you, hello, tavis smiley.
i had the pleasure of meeting maya angelou and a portrait conference in orlando, florida and i had the experience of seeing her exhibit class even though she was upset. we were waiting for her. she was a guest keynote speaker and we were waiting in the lobby for her and she was late and finally she came and when i saw her i rushed over to meet her and she was upset. i could tell that she was really upset because no one had met her at the airport. she had to get a taxi and she was accustomed to that kind of treatment but when we move further into the lobby she exhibited class, and asked where is the director? i know she wanted to ask why no one met her at the airport. >> guest: she was a class act. she was -- >> caller: she held herself with
class. >> so many stories you're going to law, any number of stories where she did just that, handed herself with class and dignity, and because she had been treated she said so many times, she had been treated well by so many people she couldn't understand why anybody should never be maltreated by her. it wasn't your fault for the folks waiting in the lobby to meet her not your fault she was late partake that out on you. sometimes a celebrity we had bad days too. tied to maintain that class and dignity but i have seen her exhibit that dignity time and time again and a bunch of stories underscore that and what you saw was authentic blues something she said to me was i am cumin and because i am human nothing human is alien to me.
because i am human nothing human is alien to me. it is a way of saying a number of things not the least of which was there is no reason to ever treat any other human being in differently, and she charged me years ago to try -- you move on and it is a perennial lesson. she said to me there's nothing in life, hard as this might sound, there is nothing in life we ever have to say or do to another cuban being that you cannot find a way to say or do in law. there is a way to try hard enough to say or do that thing in law and try that everyday of her life. >> we will save that for people to get the book, "my journey with maya" and it is the reason tavis smiley does not swear any more. cecil, bridgeport connecticut. >> caller: how are you doing
today? i just wanted to commend you for the good work you have been doing throughout the year, watching you on channel 13, i like the way you have been coming from and hope to god you can look into my situation if you could. i have a web site called www. cecilyoung.com. a modern-day lynching, i was born april 6th, 1950. when dr. king got killed april 4th it hurt me to the point that i got involved from that day on when i was 16 years old and would do all i could to help dr. king struggle in terms of helping our people out. i have seen at that date my mother and stepfather started crying and why were they so upset? i didn't know that about dr. king but when i heard about that, all of the above i have been fighting on the front lines as wanted to let you know if there is any way possible, you could look at my website and see
if you can get me back. >> host: what was that? we have got that cecil in bridgeport, connecticut. will is calling in from cranberry, texas. >> caller: how are you doing? >> guest: our you? go ahead. >> host: we are listening, go ahead and make -- >> caller: i apologize. thank you for your books. i don't know who she is and thank you for what you do. when i look at you the broadband soldier, and that was most impressive. i has to do that.
i was in the fire department and when i was on my home page i worked construction and j.d. straighter was my brother. >> host: will in cranberry, texas. tavis smiley, would you think of the stamp controversy with maya angelou? i always call her maya angelou. >> guest: it never bothered her. >> host: what you think of the stamp controversy? >> guest: not much. it was a bit embarrassing for the government and the postal service. i made a joke to some friends of mine that only the government could find the one thing she didn't say. the thing she did say, they could only -- only our government could find the one thing she didn't say. great things to choose from but i try not to focus on it because the great honor, the controversy notwithstanding is a great
honor, seminal honor as an american citizen to be put on a postage stamp. that is high, now as we say in my neighborhood. i wanted to celebrate the she was on the stamp. i was gratified that the stamp came out the same they my book came out. i figured maya must be in heaven pulling strings. it was a love letters to her it comes out the same day and she deserves all that and so much more. >> host: when was the last time you saw her? >> guest: i saw her a few months before she passed away. i was in new york, i was with you on this program on may 29th of last year. may 29th in new york, previewing my king book passed away the day before and a major talk at the international book
convention. and previewing my king book. distribute was so overwhelming. my publisher said to me we got to figure out a way to get a book out about your relationship because my editor didn't know the friendship that deeply. i was trying to do three things at once which almost killed day. and i wasn't dancing with the size and trying to write this maya will call at the same time. and have it out and out. the s on my test stands for smiley, not superman. i can do anything but i can't do everything. that process almost killed me. given the response i am glad
about all the other stuff we got it done. >> host: sydney, we have one minute left. >> caller: hi, this is sydney and i happened to turn on c-span and see your wonderful face. i wanted to thank you first of all for these last week to books you have written. i thank you for the autobiography that i read. one of the most wonderful books and i laughed i cried, i felt so bad about your situation as l.a. l.a. and what you went with, what you went through and the terror you must have felt and the person that you have become, i can't put it into words. >> if you don't stop you will make me cry on national television. there's no crying on c-span.
>> host: recently, we spend three hours with tavis smiley on our in-depth program. type in his name on our search function and even what all three hours. as always thank you for being with us. "my journey with maya" is the name of the most recent book. booktv's live coverage at the university of some southern california, twenty-fifth annual festival law books continues. we will go back to the panel of biographers, world leaders with scott bird talking abut woodrow wilson, kristin downey talking about "isabella" the warrior queen and others hosted by jim newton who is an editor at large with the l.a. times. live coverage on booktv.
[inaudible conversations] >> everyone, get going here. before we start i am supposed to make a couple announcements. please turn off your cellphones. second, let you know there is a book signing after the session. the book signing is located at signing area number one. the center of the event program. finally let you know person or recordings are not allowed. with that, my name is jim newton, spent 25 years at the l.a. times, i have written a few books each of which would qualify for the title of world leaders in history and therefore it is a delight for me to
moderate this panel today. before we get started let me quickly introduce to you our panelists, to my immediate left, kristin downey's latest book joshua horowitz 26 the warrior queen represents the culmination of a lifelong ambition that she comes by quite naturally. she is among other things the daughter of the sea captain. don't get to say that every day. she grew up in the panama canal zone where she became interested in the pervasive influence of spanish history and culture as a child she likes to sit on the sea wall overlooking the caribbean and a place first explored by christopher columbus in 1502. before embarking on a reading biography of "isabella" she worked as a journalist at the san francisco business journal and as an award winning business and economics reporter for the washington post where she was for 20 years. in 2009 she wrote the woman behind a new deal, a biography of frances perkins. e-book "isabella" is a finalist
for the times book award which will be announced later this evening. next on the far left we have stephen kotkin who teaches history and international affairs at princeton university where he has been a member of the faculty since receiving his ph.d. from berkeley in 1988. cheese spent time in the shadow of the cold war, first administration was the fall of the berlin wall. and he studies and writes about our especially power under authoritarian regimes as well as state to state relations for geopolitics. stalin, tavis smiley volume one the paradox of power is his fifth book. it is a finalist for the times book award this evening. in addition he is a fellow lead the hoover institution at stanford and served as chairman of the editorial review board at the princeton university press. the book reviewer of the new york times sunday business section where he says he read a lot of business books and he
continues to write reviews and essays for various publications including the wall street journal and foreign affairs. at the center of the table a person familiar to many of you, my friend a. scott berg. a. scott berg is the author of five best-selling biographies, each the work of extraordinary grace and collective the stunningly very incapable body of work. max perkins won the national book award in writing the biography, he was awarded guggenheim fellowship and his 1998 biography of lindbergh won a pulitzer prize and los angeles times book award. for 20 years scott was friend and confidant of katharine hepburn at his biographical memoir kate remembered became the new york times best-seller for most of the summary was released. his biography of woodrow wilson was published in september of 2013 and did you don't mind my saying it is a masterpiece. >> scott heard me say this
before scott has been a friend for many years and his writing as a source of personal information petitions for ration for me during dark moments of writing my first book, my salvation for getting stuck here simply to pull in the dirt off the shelf, it is of wonderful thing not to be reminded what writing can do. it is always my pleasure to introduce scott but today it is my special pleasure to introduce him to you. give a round of applause. [applause] >> we agreed to dispense with any opening statement so we will start with questions. when we get to the end of 45 minutes or so we open up for questions so keep in mind, i thought i would ask each of you, we will talk about biographies of world leaders and talk a little about the work of setting the context for the biography you are writing, the larger
world people tend to we've. you want to start with that? >> yes. it was interesting. i knew it was going to be challenging to write a biography of queen isabella who must a muscle in know as the name the sponsor of columbus so i knew there would be a lot of information to honor. i didn't realize i was going to have to learn a whole new version of european history-i had never been introduced to and i learned it pretty quickly when i noticed that when i read isabella's history of the world that she had commissioned during her lifetime she had one page about herself and three pages and this is talking about the significance of the history of the world, three pages on the fall of constantinople and how terrible it had been and how terrifying the ottoman turks were. this was the deciding factor in
her life, how to secure europe from ottoman turkish invasion and much of what she did as to the understand in that context. >> i wrote about woodrow wilson when woodrow wilson became president of the united states in 1913. he was presiding over a country of 120 million people. we were an isolationist country actively so, on each side and protecting us, one% owned 50% of low wealth in the nation. with for wilson, a poor minister's son who had never run for office until he was in his mid 50s, who had the most meteoric rise in american
history in 1910 he had been the president of a small men's college in new jersey and by that i mean at small small men college, not a small -- not a small -- [laughter] >> james madison did go there. >> might want to just cut this off. >> anyway i digress. so he had this rise in 1910 running a small college and in 1912 he was elected president of the united states and so he has now inherited this rather quiet contend nation or so it seemed on the surface. the reason to write a biography i think is not just to tell the story of a fascinating life but the bigger objective really
should be to illuminate the times and i could think of no greater figure who could be that beacon, be that great search light than woodrow wilson. trying to show how this country went from the nineteenth century into the 20th century and we are now living with a legacy that is in almost every way still will draw wilson's, whether we talk about foreign policy, our economy today our psychology, so much of it comes from woodrow wilson. that is the world he came from the we are trying to eliminate. >> i teach the woodrow wilson school at princeton university. i don't have much adhere. as you saw i am one of those small men. my subject joseph stalin obviously a different path way,
not a hereditary monarch and not all former presidents of an ivy league university as he did go to university, my task was to figure out how guy born in the periphery, in the russian empire in the south, in the caucasus mountain region. is father was a shoemaker and his mother a seamstress, how somebody like that could get anywhere near power in what was then the largest country in the world, one sixth of the land mass of the earth. how do you get somebody like that from the periphery, from a poor family from circumstances that normally wouldn't deliver power to you. and the sketch in the world into which she was born, and germany and that is where the book begins it might seem it is odd that a book on stalin begins
with germany but it seems a logical point. somebody has to destroy that world for stalin to get near power and that is what happens. world war i which was then known as the great war is massively destructive especially in russia someone like stalin get sneer and with his talent, cunning, ruthlessness and with the mistakes of the disease able to create a personal dictatorship in a dictatorial regime. my story without a larger world couldn't even be told. >> how did you decide? you say bismarck but you could have written about the middle east, you could have written about africa. how did you decide to set the parameters for that? >> excellent question, thanks. with all the simple direct questions. geopolitics 101 goes like this,
the british empire, the global dominance empire, they had a long war with the french culminating in napoleon's defeat in 1815. by then there's no doubt the british are the dominant power and they will go on to create the first global economy, they are going to lay all the cables under siege, provide 90% of global shipping, transactions will be a pound sterling british dominated world. two raptors happen, what is bismarck's unification of germany in the 1870s. all of a sudden you have a new dynamic power on the european continent and the other is the restoration in east asia where japan is not a new nation but a consolidated nation. both of those embark on industrialization, germany, japan, both become the largest and most important powers in their regions and they happen to be on either side of the russian empire. that is the world into which stalin is board.
many other things are going on as you alluded to but the most immediate ones are rise of germany and japan and the persistence of the british dominated world. once he gets in power he will reshape all of that, he will deal with hitler hirohito's japan fighting significant wars. before he gets the power in russia fight the war with japan he gets the power because russia fight the war with germany. while i understand how one could have the china story in there, many big stories are involved but there's something special about the rise of germany and the restoration and consolidation of japan in a british dominated world that helps you understand stalin and what he is going to do. >> the not small challenge, a unifying thread between isabela woodrow wilson and stalin. the only one i can think of is they were all children once.
and wanted to ask all of you how do you deal with the growing up period of your characters? we are interested in these people because of a role they played in the world not terribly interesting as children. how do you grapple with that in terms of telling their story? >> is extremely important and in a way i don't begin writing a book until i know how the book ends up once i know where i am going to be taking my subject and my reader, i hope, i am going to go back and follow old trails and look for the seeds that will become these flowers. the childhood i find extremely important and inevitably, the story of any great person, any subject of a biography. in the case of woodrow wilson i had this very strong streak of religion that ran through
woodrow wilson's life and career woodrow wilson was the son of a presbyterian minister grandson of presbyterian ministers and going for his family tree there were a dozen presbyterian minister is going back to stalin of course. then they all work this in fused everything woodrow wilson said, thought and did for the rest of his life. woodrow wilson became the most religious president we ever had. this is a president who preyed on his knees twice a day, who read scripture every day who said a prayer before every meal of his life. so this is with him. i was able to go back to wall of woodrow wilson's childhood homes. i could go to the churches in which he sat as a 7 and beat-year-old. i could sit in the pew he with
the rest of his family used to sit and look up and see where his father and the rev. wilson who had this great booming voice, i could imagine what it must have been like for a child to hear a bitterly the voice of god in agusta and, georgia or columbia south carolina wilmington, north carolina, and all these factors come in to play. then of course i wanted to deal with the fact that he was this nineteenth century child, he was born before the civil war, grew up during the war and became of age during reconstruction. these were great cataclysm is. what kind of effect does this have on a teenage boy? unfortunately, i will turn the mike over to the others how to put this, woodrow wilson left no
thought unexpressed and this changes the face of the world. >> i would like to go back -- all three of the people we're talking about were very unlikely rulers. certainly the example you gave, a. scott berg with "wilson," the relative poverty of his childhood and isabella even though she was the daughter of a queen and had royal blood on both sides of the family we don't even know what day she was born because no one bothered to write it down we don't know where she was baptized more educated, no one ever thought she would be significant for anything except they would marry her to a distant country at some point.
the thing that made her seize power in a coup which is how she became the queen was she was terrified, she was a deeply religious woman, she prayed constantly, she took her children into the battlefield, marching with a cross in front of them and when she wanted to do something for leisure time, she would -- this is not woman who lives and breathes catholicism, thought catholicism was deeply at risk but christianity was in mortal danger and put herself pushed herself into a job that no woman had ever held before. 200 years since the woman had been a ruler in spain and the previous times when had ruled had been viewed as a failure and a lot of people thought it should be illegal for a woman to rule.
in most of europe it was illegal for a woman to rule. what she had to do was create a way to prevent an image of how old woman could rules so i think one of the things that is interesting about all three people we have written about is you have to imagine how they had to fashion images for themselves that would allow them to move into political and sociales that would allow them to wield power and that is fascinating, the self invention they all did. >> stalin was a pretty unpleasant kid. >> this is a big one. the need to be a priest and decided to become god. you could see his appetite growing. we have a lot of books about stalin obviously. this is in big literature, the books that i wrote. most of those books treat his
childhood as a bad one. underwent some hardships maybe his father beat him, he was impoverished, etc.. there are many stories about his childhood portray as unsuccessful and unhappy. the problem is those stories aren't true. when you look at the facts of stalin's childhood it turns out he was of very successful student. because of the russian orthodox church there was a parish school where he was growing up in a town of glory so he went to that school, he was a star pupil, he sunday in the choir, he earned admission into the seminary which was one of the two highest educational institutions in the region. once again he was successful that the seminary, his grades were very high, teaches that means he was a snitch watching the other students on behalf of the teacher.
some of the main no that role. it was proffered to me when i was growing up but then he gave it up. gave up what was a successful trajectory to be a priest for a month because he believes in social justice. he believed the tsarist regime, czarist russia was a threat and it was and he would fight it. politics were illegal in russia they had no parliament, you couldn't associate, the opposition to these are regime was still legal in the underground and it was as extreme in its opposition as the regime was in its existence. stalin embarked, never graduated from seminars, he could go on to university and embarked on a life of the underground where arrest, prison, exile, long stretches in siberia, no job, no money. the only position he ever had, he worked as the weatherman.
he took the temperature periodically and wrote it down. that was his one job before he became a dictator. a flight presume and the other part was that revolutionary on the ground experience. it turned out he brought about his regime in many ways was more evil than the tsarist regime that he fought and so it is a tragic story but a story of ideals and idealism and a story of successful childhood that he himself gives up in order to pursue these ideals and a miss the gone way. you can discover the stalin of later years. life and death power, 200 million people to find anything
like that. there are great stories in his child does, important episodes, major mentors and teachers he has got, things that he learns, skills he acquires, the solemn reno is invisible in childhood, something else had to happen. one of the things i do with the book is put politics at the center of the story. it was the creation of a dictatorship, day-to-day running of the dictatorship that produce the personality rather than the personality that unfolded in a dictatorship. because stalin's rule was so monstrous in many ways people who survived it looking back, trying to find the roots of it would look at childhood episodes, they would be 70 years old living in paris or new york in exile remembering i misstated a heap said, he put the cat in the microwave and blew it up, he
was going to kill us all but he never put a cat in a microwave. they didn't have microwaves yet. we have all these remembrances we're late in life they figured out what it was that produced the stalin who became -- but those episodes are undocumented. you need to go back and look at his childhood not with the perspective of his later rule and i think i found the 1920s episode after he is in power after the 1917 revolution, it is not the downplay that his child this was significant in some way. >> to follow up on that i had this uneasy feeling particularly the first third of it where he is increasingly tangling with the reprehensible tsarist regime, found myself rooting for him and feeling weird about that. >> what are the special
challenges of writing about a villain? >> the revolution happened for a reason. 1917 in russia didn't happen because the tsarist regime was nice and functioning well and competent. there was a lot to fight for. in some ways i don't necessarily side with the social democratic party that became the bolshevik party but we want to understand what they were about. >> stalin is not the kind of person you come to admire in any moral sense, at least i wouldn't after spending all the time i spent with him. pickups and documents and their confessions, the crimes people didn't commit and there is dried blood on the documents because they were being beaten in order to assign these confessions, sometimes they had their eyes gouged out so you encounter documents like that and don't know how you come to admire a person whose regime was like that but this is the thing about
stalin. from the point of view of power is the gold standard of dictatorships. no one has ever accumulated more power. no one has ever exercise more power. the hitler regime is about 12 years, nazi regime 12 jam packed horrific years but the stalin regime is almost 3 times that, 2-1/2 times that the regime. now comes into this category also but he didn't have a modern military the way stalin did. he didn't have a modern military industry so as a born diseases a different character. you have the spectacular dictatorship. >> isabella is it different character but the inquisition is
on her watch not a happy moment. generally favorable account of her life and how do you grapple with the defect? >> there is no way for you to look at the inquisition and put a favorable light on that. >> i sure hope not. >> the idea of burning people at the stake is basically disgusting. the idea of burning people at the stake because of what they believe is repulsive. she killed probably -- he allowed under her reign to 2,000 people to be burned at the stake. it is very disturbing. it doesn't compare to stalin.
that is the thing. the thing that makes her a challenge, and difficult person to look at is that happened under her watch. she is responsible for that happening. why do so many spaniards law and admire her yet? because they feel -- i read somebody wrote a review of your book and they sat on some level in some ways people think that stalin was a tough man for tough times and i think that a lot of people in spain believe isabella was a tough woman for tough times. i would also like to make the point that this concept of religious tolerance is a new one in world history. we really invented it in the united states about 250 years ago. and we pray that we come always maintain it.
but there was no culture previous to that in world history that had ever had religious tolerance. from the perspective, church and state were one. and assaults on her religious faith was an assault on her political power and it was at a time that she felt she was at a global war and that threat of invasion. so that can never justify it in any way but it does explain it. >> did she think the inquisition was a way of purifying -- she was doing a good thing. >> you was devoutly religious herself and she was doing a cleansing of the catholic church which the rest of the roman catholic church in europe had been unable to do. e disagreed with the board ofs who were her spanish subject and how they were importing themselves at the vatican she
the thing that is a very challenging question for us intellectuallyñiit( though, is that this is a woman that somehow combined beinge1 very close-minded and being very open-mind çó so he is religiously very close-mind and very open-minded to intelleu she married one-ore daughters and then her second daughter to the kingj# brazil -- the kingçó97
daughters and her thus the controllers ofoiát americas including the philippines, andñr they -- the spanish dominated the wavesq for 300 years. it was an extraordinary thing.0e and it raises many questions for usxd about power close-mindednesst( andc the institutional mechanisms, including the inquisition, that can retain power for very long periods ofr >> scott, talking abouts7 evolving values or religious tolerance being a relatively new notion on the planet. another view of raceçó an area where -- a language to defqd or whoñi can strike by certainly ourçó modern era as bag racist. how would you characterize wilson on race-ó and both in hi\=a time and inçó the -- with thet(
benefit of hindsig l >> i would characterizeñi him today as aok racist.fáçó i would characterize woodrowt;/s wilson in 1913 as a centrist, whicht( he was. and actually even today, if you pick up a newspaper you may thinkt( he'sçó still -- this is basically a racist na]a think, and there is e1 a?7u 2 beneathjf t states that is race. andr woodrow wilson, as i said was a southerner southern born and southern bred, so, he grew up where there were two americas. there was no questioki about that. i think he wasgh
he believed this country in 1913íój eight years he believed the united states was not ready to integrate. and he said time and again there's one part ofg#l# this country nobody needs to explain anything to me about and that is the south. and he realized that the nation, at that time, was not ready to have>2 blacks and whites usingu% the same lunchrooms, the sameze washrooms, the same seats on the bus, all those things. hes]o simply knew enough about the south that there would be massive rebellion from the whites. and=) so i think largely to keep the peace he did that. there was one other factor, which is, evenvnbefore he tooklg the oath of office, the very=/
southern; third of the congress, was from the south. and they were 100% democrats. 100%. there wereñr statesu wilsonzv carried in the south by 95-96%.ë it was just pure democrats, and the%i came to wilson and said, if you have any intention of integrating washingtoni] or beyond you'll get absolutely nothing of your domestic agenda you have this newg# freedom this federal reserve board 40-hour work week, child labor laws, antitrustr laws. you'llñ get nothing if you start integrating the country. so if you put together all those elements you will see that is why wilson is perceived today as a
y to integrate iní.) but at least the conv-mbpáion was being had and woodrow wilsonaá conversation. and i'll just give you one more note about wilson and race, and it is where i think he really failed as a leader, because he was this]' nation's educator after world war i in which a few hundred drone thousand
african-american soldiers fought. the came home from the war thinking we have our red badges of courage. a lot ofv mothers lost their sons and it was a moment, theyqwe thought when there would be -- there was a good reasons]o to haveúg&=) integration and it would have been a wonderful momentqvl for america's educator in chief to step before the nation and say, these m?j6 died oar gave limbs just asøkzm much as white peopleav6 did and woodrow wilson, on this subject said nothing. and i think it is no coincidence that the summer of 1919, just after the war, and wilson has said and done nothing we had the greatest race riots in the4hñ3 history of the united states what is nobody as the red summer. red summeraun because it was so bé 9ñ >> let me ask a question stevenp and kirstin talking about world leaders, raises questions about language, how tozework in other languages. i don't know
dealing&% languages you don't speak, are you working torp5 translators? how are you checking your own translations to see they're appropriate? how do you deal with language issues? >> that's another excellent question. thanks, jim. maybe i canw2p make a small comment on some of the other things on the panel and then take the research question. so i started withrof the british dominated world, but if had gone back farther in time we have thed8 spanish-dominated world. and the phrase, the sun never sets on the empire, was made for sp!!ypc5 what we're are not just interesting people but really big moments in history in whichñ a-k; gigantic personality could emerge and could shift this. it's very hard to imu > someone being like president lincoln today in the united states, but it's not that hard
to imagine although it took a lot for lincoln toé"$tu&l this off to be a lincoln invoí his time. you could have been a lincoln when lincoln was lincoln. didn't mean you were going to be. it had to be achieved but it's hard[inz did outside of a certain context, and i think that's -- the other point i would make is it's aboutko about a combination of ideas and will h power.l[ you have driving will to be a significant person in history to achieveh?ç something in life to be better than others, tohtñje# overcome whatever obstacles there mightje# be. you u have this determination and driveq/2 and it's hitched toykm an idea.@c4 whether that idea is the glory of spain or the purification of the catholicwjkñ é aith or its social justice the; of exploitation, the destruction of capitalism in markets to bring about socialism. there's a drivingt idea here that is the lever that enables you to
move history the way some yer these people did. we just heard of -- there are other ideas about internationalism that could be injected into this and america's role in the world, which are well enunciated in scott's book. so it's very important to keepy)68 that in mind.whi u$e person in a the person which is will power plus ideas in some form, some package. about doing íht research.a c so, the documentation on is very, very extensive.@g0% there are probably 4,000 or so, and notes in this biography two original primary@< sources. vast majority are in russian languageñ but algñ lot of stuff in german and polisha+l french and other languages. so i used those documents and tried to read as many of those documents in the original as i could. i worked in important archives that have come down from theçó soviet europe, but i'm not alone.
many other people are working in these " materials, tooxd and one of the things that's happened in the past 15 years or so an avalanche q primary source documents. so they were secret declassified and% then published in big bangs. sok=v if -- big books. so if you're interested in german-soviet relations, 1920 to 1930. there are three volumesrg$ of documents in the original russian and then the germans6zñ have their version. so it's actually the problem is too much material to trykg; to assimilate and synthesize. ire sure the panelists can sympathize with me on this one. when you embark on a project this big, you're buried under mountains and mountains of documenttsk you want toc;l read the originals as much as youko can/jq precisely because w turns out people think stalin's father beat him and
it's passed on in every biography. you want@c to seeu what.k the documentation on that. and you go back and look,wkk and it's notw3"gn very -- it's very thin the documentation on that. so7s8g÷ being acquainted with as much of the original documentation as possible is how you freshen the history. not just the perspective you bring but it's the kind of -- the shoe leather work, as you know from reportingx make the extra phone call, dig through the record even when you're tired. we get the impression about russia
russia is a really big amazing civilization, and so trying to get insidenb that and trying to é allow that to unfold in addition to the personalityçathat is at the center of it, and it may be a politics we don't support. it may be ap(=k don't support.xñ but there's something very deep about the subject russia, here. that is very captivating and very difficult to master. so you want to see not just what the americans think but what the pols thing,yh think and7 germans thinkhcu so you wantq( in those materials if possible. you do as much ofjmñ that as you can, and obviously you're limited inaál the amount of time and effortol' that you have but the mozpy of that you do, the better you
becomes easier to grasp when there's a human person there rather than aoox caricature. shakespeare doesn't explain. and you watch the character unfold in that@c spectacular language. and you're not saying, jeez, can you connect that to how he was humiliated in school or can you) tell us why his mistress did this? so it's there's something aboutx&oñ evil that is beyond an easy explanationp sometimes.rq. like we were talking about i think, on the inquisitionxgc%q or wilson'sa.asn slaveryq(@÷ stuff or his -- sorry, racism stuff where you kind of get near toqáhñ an understanding butkwj ultimately you're'kf not sure how deep÷nñ was the racism and was he better or worsex¿ than hiskwj contemporaries. there's some mystery even after all of the research. that's actually okay if you can
show the human qualities and the context, the complexity of the context. the read2mh can then decide in the end#l$ñtc> about these questions like kristin was saying about the inquestion sayings and scott was --q inquisition and scott was saying about the ñzy3 racism and about stalin as well. >> i found the language problem to be far more difficult than i an tase it whenrgoolucky it was, it was all in modern english and that made itr> much easier. the isabella period is written
in archaic spanish,d presenting press wasúf6 invent inside the late 1400s and is bell in that period of time was known to be so extraordinarily important that many of the chronicles thatwere written during her time period weregoá published inpe% printed volumes very early. and that was really invaluable to mekwj because you can't readzózh#zav6 the$xñ hand-written letters in the archaic. only a handfula,iñ of people in the world that can decipher them. but because theye ñ had been put into book is was able to take them. the library of congress has a fabulous collection. i photocopied a lot of these books and and i translated on the margins of the photocopies and that's how i did it. because there's been so much propaganda about isabelle in soñ#i many different9w÷n ways i decideds]o it was essential to get everything back as close as possible to theigej
documents to the people who were there the people who were witnesses at the time and what they said happened. so that meant i used a lot of arabic documents, in translation. but checking to make sure that islamice.c scholars also used those same sources as valuable and gop important. i usedñ.' translations of hebrew from people who had known isabella jews who were in spain in;ú:÷ws remembered everything that happened. a lot of. the, when they fled=.5 to' records were kept in cypress about what the recollections were and those were somefá invaluable records. there was very much the --@c= has been lost for 400 years behind the iron curtain. when the ottoman turks"ninvaded albania and the former yugoslavia and all thatip)it was very brutal. none of us had a memory of that.
a lid has been put on those accounts in a lot of ways. those things, now that the iron curtain has come up. a lot of albanian documents are being translated into englishivh for the first time. leave spa "eels really bad about it. so luckily i got to spendm a lot of time in spain and also did a -- there was really some excellent material in england because theyca were keeping such a keen eye on the growing spanish empire. and there was also a,0 ot inzv france. i went a great many places. i was extremely lucky that the
library of congress isl! really the alexandria library ofní%ñ times and had such a spectacular collection and it's available, the way it is, iol' wasbm i don't think i7!ez could have written a book if i didn't live near washington, dc and have accessgijñ┘= original sources. >> we'm promised you time to ask questions. we have 10 or 15 minutes. what's our drill? we have a microphone >> thank you very much. this is a question for professor kotkin. i'm just wondering, as you were doing yourdc? research were you at times just shaking your head at ineq#qbñ way this mystery of stall lynn how this, as youú2 said person from the edge of empire came, pockmarked, not the most attractivem physically. just were there moments6qr where you were just astonished by his
rise and his ability to -- was he totq ways? how did -- just wanted to see if you could just give a quick[ >> yes, there were times and still are times i'm surprised and shocked. this is volume one. and there's a lot more explaining and writing to do. one of the things about stalin that i thought i understood but now i understand much better, is the skills he had. the ability of him tonjñ outsmart others outmaneuver others, the cunning. strategy -- at the think of strategy as something where1wñ you write up a big plan, it's hundreds of pages long, and then you execute the plan. and mo:=1lr less you execute as according plan, right? but if you read the prussian
this is one of the52 discoveries i -- i understood some of this before deeper work in theq+5 archival materials now i6zñ have a much stronger sense and i try to lay this out in the book and the 1920s,n&o the description of how he became the heir of lenin and then built a personal:g, dictatorship inside the dictatorsh]d8 the skill set he had help was not ajnv genius. he made many mistakes. he#l$ñl' didn't under fascism and that was a big mistake given the job he created for himself. so we don't -- he had blinkers. ideology blinders on. and there were moments he failed to see that he could have seized. and as you see stalino[[ unfold, you see all sides of him not just the skills he had. if you're looking for member to create a -- hen dictatorship, he is probably your guy.
>> so he didn't execute a plan just executed. >> yes, he did. yes, he did. >> the real execution joke that we're -- [laughter]!+ebn 4ñ >> yeskvcymñ sir. >> after5ayour experience3om of penetrating the minds and the times of these different06u powerful people howqwe does that informh÷q-r you and how did your@a perspective change on the people in power today such as putin or different people like that? >> scott? want to go first? >> host: no. >> kirstin? >> i ended up at the end -- i was&j veryxñ saddened by isabella'sla60v life. as a woman i was glad to see she had managed to succeed andqwe become a leader&&[t% and iy$ñ think that she had some successesr>ñ that4? really have had resonance for all of us shep was a huge proponent of femalehtñzv education.
withoutg i saw come>#v across#:e isabella's íç desk five hundred years ago and i hope we find people in positionsq÷ of power who can find ways to06 deal with this new and terrible challenge ing6d ways that are in keeping with our core values ofi religious tolerance and it's going to be a vhw challenge. >> i'm missing the core ofé4 the question. [inaudible question]
a. >> we're here todayçó andx>z we're existing inbkyiu$ not a vacuum, and people in those days were existing not inqsa a vacuum. so how can we take thkc7 understandings you have come to in writing these books in affecting our worldqwe today? >> the more i was writing about wilson and trying to zot how he was twigging off of the past and the more i read the newspapers today, as kirstin was just saying, the more i say w or feel anyway that when a leader walks into office, the dayh7 woodrowx wilson takes office,fs6pw.8k"prá's like a clean slate. either you remember nothing or there's a whole new set of circumstances. i feltv: this particularly with wilson and foreign affairs. as im suggested in the beginning
of this talk, weco were an isolationist country, and with every good reason to be. people didn't want to go to war. nobody could everi-[ invade us so what's the point. then a seriessgi>v of brand new circumstances unfold that the world has9 never seen before. ande4 certainly the president of the united states had never seen before. - and so there's this war going on thousands of miles away in europe. well, now the world has'4 though.v: communications transportation has made every nation closer to each other. our economies are becoming increasingly interconnected. do we do nothing? and then throw in the most religious president we have ever had,w5b woodrow wilson who is now saying gee don't we have some moralds obligation too? can+ñ we just sit here thousands of miles away and watchw72$x germany trample over belgium? do we not have something we must do?h!"p"on't we have to makecw the
world safe for democracy?÷ don't we have a moral imperative? so whatever you may have known of history and woodrow wilson knew a lot about history.x&oñ he wrote history. now making history is a different matter because he now sits in a chair that nobody else sits in at ax time nobody elseca has or will in which he has to view all the circumstances round him and has to make the best single choices.jfn >> want to' wait for the microphone. >> my question is directed to steven. you haverl takent this huge historical figure and you're going to write9w÷ multiplekm6 volumes on him. you have written oneq,rñ hu%rxr book;
the story be on the protagonist bigger and bigger and bigger. geez, it would be nice to have a set peace on this question for this happened in the world at the time. that is that is why we have somebody, and editor. [laughter] and if it were not for the editor i have a penguin the book that i wrote would be even more unwieldy that it is. they were likes to say that you can't sue if you drop on your foot. i think that the justified stance. but scott 300 pages got taken out, out, believe it or not. that is what i am now doing with the manuscript of volume to actually. after a while you actually achieve the opposite of your goal. you you bludgeon the reader instead of drawing them in.
i we will say this the story of stalin has an arc. the arc is this world in which he is born the 1870s germany, japan, britain, the clash of the britain, the clash of the russian empire the building of the personal dictatorship the decision to collectivized agriculture which is where volume one in's in 1928 when he decides to enslave more than a hundred million peasants. then comes the world with hitler, the buildup, volume two is called subtitle waiting for hitler. the stalin no hitler is coming? is he preparing properly? is the intelligence he is receiving good? is he modernizing the military? where volume two ends that they re-created in his office. volume three of the war itself.
here is what here is what i go into this. stalin as a big life. he is still a very teeseven very big figure today. the christian of secret speech after stalin's death. part of the public record or is oppressive. dealing with world war ii. had a stalin come out? and so there is no actual ending in some ways. >> a quick note. stalin's life as an arc. he is a biographer. that is when you pick up a biography.
we haven't said anything here about jens book especially about eisenhower. but we are all given a certain set of facts. the biographer who sees the dramatic arc and in essence you are not buying just a compendium but reading a dramatic story that's what biographies. >> and on that note i think all i think all of you for being here. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> and book tv live coverage from the 20th annual los angeles festival of books continues. the university of southern california. several more hours ahead. you can go to booktv.org to get the full schedule of events. live all day again tomorrow. different calling opportunities. now joining us your onset on the campus of the university of california is margo oge. the new book is called canine -- "driving the future". abcatoo i was with the epa for 32 years. i worked with many toxic
chemicals and nuclear a nuclear waste. programs that inform the public about the releases of toxic substances. for everything that moves. from cars trucks airplanes, locomotives. so that is the my 33 years of experience. >> host: you came from this country from greece and spoke no english. >> guest: when you are 18 years old. went to an engineering school little things.
i had the best team of professors, and not to students. 5,000 432 woman. everybody was working very hard to help me out. and i learned a big lesson in life never to give up. because down. i down. i came back. i did my masters in engineering. i can speak the language. i could pass my class. >> host: all cars. >> guest: we are getting there. for decades the science is been screaming at us that we humans are increasingly greenhouse gas emissions in the planet. that warms up the planet and
changes are climate. decade after decade we have the science. the problem is real. we have to act right away. for three decades we did know that. the main reason is the politics of the issue. first what we heard from the oil industry the automobile industry, the coal industry energy sector that we don't know much about science when it comes to climate change. and later on we heard well, too much uncertainty. no way that human actions can claim a child -- change the climate. they will be an economic, economic, financial disaster in the country. in 2007 very simple epa
greenhouse gases are considered pollutants under the clean air act organic chemicals sulfur dioxide. if you find pollutants pollutants, public health and environmental problems we must regulate them. so that was so that was the beginning of a starting to think. but the bush and ministration sat on the data for three years. my office years. my office work with another office of epa to come out with a scientific findings in response to the supreme court the basically said public health and environmental problems.
the bush white house said on that information. they never open the e-mail. when obama came. >> host: go back to that e-mail story because you talk about in your book. what happens what happens if you don't open an e-mail? >> guest: well if you don't open the email you don't have to act. basically my office produced to documents. one was thousands one was thousands of pages of scientific document the basically said greenhouse gas emissions, they are pollutants. they cause environmental problems in public health problems. that was the 1st. the office of management and budget. the other part, we did an analysis to basically layout a path.
that didn't go anywhere. basically from april april 2007 until president obama came to the office this technical and scientific data just sat they're. we didn't do anything with it. >> host: we we're talking about climate change, electric cars, the environment with margo oge her new book "driving the future". 202 202 is the area code. 748-8200 and 748 8201. margo oge when was the 1st electric car put on the road? >> guest: it was in the state of california in the early 90s. general motors had an extra nine ordinary work developing batteries and electric motors because there were -- because there was a requirement.
as the book lays out that program was killed. it did not really start again until 2009 when president obama came to the office. the 1st regulatory action to reduce emissions, carbon pollution from cars. >> host: why do you think electric cars have not caught on? we there giving tax credits environmentally they are helpful. they just haven't caught on. on. people still like their suvs, pickups, etc. >> guest: electric cars are doing extraordinarily well given the short time to have been in the marketplace. don't forget the internal combustion engine was introduced in the previous century driving gasoline engines for over a hundred years. by the way that engine is only 20% efficient, so 20 percent efficient, so we're wasting 80 percent of the energy that we put on
our gasoline and diesel cars electric cars started again with tesla in the early -- you know, 2011 timeframe. you have the nissan car. i am driving a vault. and last year from 2013 to 2014 is still went up by 24 percent. so i would say for new technology like electric cars are doing extraordinarily well given the fact that we need time for the cost to come down. the cost the cost is come down from 2007 until today. the cost the cost is right now about 300 to $400 per kilowatt hour. so i'm an optimist by nature, as you can see in my book. the future is electric powertrain. materials. build the cars. they're going to see more and more of this in the marketplace.
because all are working on it. the good news is not your traditional, you know, car company. thank god for that. and for that. and they are putting a lot of pressure on the marketplace for other traditional to invest. and also if you see what is going on in china the incentives we put in place to have electric vehicles it is a matter of a matter of time in my view that you will see more and more electric cars. >> host: that electricity has to be generated from somewhere. if it is not coming out of the tailpipe it is still coming from somewhere. >> guest: absolutely right. there are two kinds of emissions we are concerned about, tailpipe emissions when you burn gasoline you have nitrogen oxide organics, tom
organics, tom -- carbon dioxide. electric cars will give you zero emission. but then but then the source of electricity that powers those cars are also very crucial. to give you an example i live close to washington and drive in the city it gets me 56 miles per gallon. if i was here -- i'm sorry, equivalent to 56 miles per gallon. if i was here in california it would have been closer to 75 because your electricity here and the carbon do you are producing is less than what we have in virginia. >> host: y? >> guest: in california you don't have call firing power plants. you have natural gas wind,
solar. in virginia some of our sources come from call. if you were if you were in denver with my car your car would not do any better a carbon pollution than driving that say a honda. because most of the electricity comes from call. but the good news is regardless you're in the country, the majority of people it's still good for the environment. and the more of these we by the more the industries learn lessons how to reduce the cost and more innovation takes place to the cost come down. and we're seeing them come down. >> host: "driving the future". wendy from san francisco. >> caller: high. thank you for taking my call
what i would like to know, what i have been looking into lately is hydrogen for cars. because with hydrogen here again you have zero mission and you don't have to worry about burning coal to get your electricity or growing corn to get methanol. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: there are two strategies for cost to get us to zero emission. one was electric as i said earlier. a clean grade with renewable energy. the the other one as you said, fuel-cell cars. the the good news is in california you have some infrastructure to power your hydrogen fuel vehicle. one more thing i want to say like electric cars also we want to make sure the sources of energy will come
from renewable sources. right now it comes from natural gas. it is still good but we need to do better when it comes to fuel cells. >> host: didn't president bush proposed hydrogen fuel cells and his a ministration? >> guest: he did. but there were not any regulatory policies in place to convince the car companies to start investing because like california you have a requirement right now and a significant large percent by 2018. abcaten. >> host: you want presidential awards from both president bush and clinton. >> guest: correct. >> host: tell us about those. >> guest: president clinton, we worked with the
administration to do two things to reduce sulfur from gasoline fuel because offering gasoline it's like what led was doing back in the 70s. and then and then we work with his administration to reduce emissions cars. together putting clean fuel and clean engine produce significant public health benefits. so president clinton recognize that and gave me an award. president bush come as you as you know he is not known as an environmental president. actually he did very little for the environment. but when it but when it came to the work that we were doing our office it was to clean diesel engines and make sure that they don't pollute. behind the bus and all the bus, the black smoke. your windshield, that is
what is going on. and it kills people. so under president bush we worked to finance and implement a program that started under president clinton, and pleasant -- president bush recognize that and that was the reason i got the award. >> host: ten from ontario california. high. >> caller: hello. hello. >> guest: high, tim. >> host: please go ahead, we are listening. >> caller: if it is a given that there we will always be political differences about environmental concerns and environment affixes regardless of who is in power regardless of who is in the white house because of those differences isn't widespread zero emission transportation completely out of reach forever?
>> guest: absolutely not. you know, i am going to take you back to the 50s and 60s. the air was similar to what you see in beijing today. no one would have expected that today pollution would have dropped over 70 to 80 percent. although. although our here is not as pristine as we would like it , it is much better than what is in beijing. at the end of the day people's voices of been hard we we have taken the 1st action which will reduce the carbon pollution by 50% in 2025. this is equivalent to removing 80 million cars out of the us roads reduce oil consumption by 2 million barrels a day, which is equivalent of half of what we import from other countries and the country
is going to gain over $1.7 trillion in economic benefit because we don't spend it on fuel. we we take it has been developed parks. and the us or canada, 75% of all knew cars and the planet from the major market have some form of a requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. and by 2025 all those requirements will convert. convert. so i am a strong believer that we may not have zero emission vehicles across the board tomorrow, but in the next 20 or 30 20 or 30 years we will see a significant portion of our vehicles the zero emission. the other thing i was going to say, it is not just the technology of the vehicles but the social trends that at the end of the day will probably allow us to have fewer cars
and take fewer trips them what we do today. >> host: larry is in wilmington, delaware. you are on with margo oge talking about climate change, the environment, enter new book driving the future. >> what do you think of hybrid vehicles as a transition? and also what affected the development of drive-through's from pharmacies to fast foods to banks have on climate change? >> host: what do you think it is? and what do you think of the hybrids? >> caller: get great mileage on a hybrid. i like the fact that you do have time where you don't use the gasoline. obviously it will solve the problem. but if people shifted to that of a that would make a difference. >> host: margo oge. >> guest: hybrids, we hybrids, we are going to see many more hybrids on the
road before we start seeing many more electric vehicles on the road. you road. you are absolutely right. hybrid is a wonderful drift from the internal combustion engine to an electric powertrain. the car the car that i drive, i drive a volt. so it has both. it is a hybrid but an electric powertrain. powertrain. so i can go from 40 miles of electricity, battery. in them when in them when i run out of range i can plug in. so i am pretty proud of the statistics. i had to use 67 gallons of gasoline. very rarely i go to fill up my, gasoline. but on an average of getting something like 200 miles per gallon. so that's a fantastic car. i never thought going to be sitting here and saying so many things about gm but it
is a company that regardless of problems they are investing on alternative powertrains, and resting on the vault which is a plug-in hybrid really they just announced another electric car called bold is going to be around the mid- $30,000 cost. full electric. so that makes me optimistic. that is why i end up staying on epa for 33 years and waking up every morning and continuing to do what i was doing because i believe on innovation and people. abcaten. >> host: patrick and rolling meadows, illinois. go ahead. >> caller: i just i just want to thank your guest with a very important work she is doing. i had two points. one is back at my history and forward, he did not intended to run on oil or gasoline. it was only because time
someone had discovered oil and it was plentiful that he will with that. and to i think that having electric cars would be great because then you would not have a tailpipe on each car spewing out and possibly trying to capture the carbon from that. it would be centralized that one plant to be able to, you know, take care of it that way. that's all i had to say. thank you. >> host: thank you sir. margo oge. >> guest: thank you. >> host: this is a story you telling your book. >> guest: exactly. for over 100 years. and i am not that naïve and optimistic to believe we will get out of gasoline overnight. but the science but the science tells us that by 2052 over the worst catastrophe from climate change we must reduce across
the board board not just for transportation greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from the 2005 level. for cars the translation by 2050, they all should be zero emitting vehicles. are we going to be they're? maybe not for the whole part plate but for new cars introduced in 2050 i would say absolutely yes. yes. and we're seeing the innovation today. >> host: a few minutes left with our guest. ed in northridge, california. >> caller: hello. thank you, kayfive, for taking my call. you have call. you have not said a thing about cng or compressed natural gas. what about that? >> guest: my view is that the best place for cng for
natural gas is replacing coal for the purpose of energy. now, as you are probably aware cng has a low carbon footprint of about 20 percent less than gasoline and diesel. that is the good news. and i think probably it can serve as a bridge for some of the transportation sector as long as they can be centrally fueled, but i see cng and lng as a bridge to renewable sources of energy for the long run. >> host: margo oge, if any of our viewers by "driving the future", where do the proceeds go? >> guest: i wrote i wrote this book is an extension of my 33 years of public service because i i strongly believe we have gone through significant environmental problems. a through innovation and regulation and good science
we have not resolve the problem 100 percent, but we have made huge strides. when it comes to climate change i believe that the science and innovation and working hard not giving up is going to get us there. and i wanted to tell that to the american public. whatever comes will go to the nonprofit group that i serve on the board do it -- the board of directors, the union directors, the union of concerned scientists, the international council for clean transportation in the alliance for climate. a wonderful, small nonprofit group here in california that is trying to educate teenagers about the importance of understanding the climate science and participating in having a voice and taking action to mitigate the effects. >> host: riches in
seattle. you are on the year. >> caller: nobody seems to talk about the cost of developing batteries and disposing of dead batteries. a lot of expense in that and pollution as a result. no one ever seems to say it. you just talk about how much it costs to produce electricity. there is the other end where it is very expensive and may be worse. what do you think? ..
q the up front cost, for example when i plug into electricity, my cost is halft( than buying tq ofó[ miles. as far as theñr> host: sharon, apopka florida, goodym afternoon. you're on with96zym -- driving the future if the namet( over the book. >> caller: thank you for yg+- book. my question is, i'm hopeful9i] that elon musk in's newxd battery factory and research center will make a big impact for electric cars. do you agree withp, that? >> guest: yes, i do agreet( withe1 that.xdsí(s7 >> host: why? >> guest: well because we need
research. we need additionale1 research to reduce the cost. a lot of the batteries areñiq liquid-basedt(ñr batteries. one of the best ways that people are investing a lot ofñr effort, solid batteries, to the extent we can spend money to lower the costxd oflpñi batteries.w3 that willq go huge wayt(j+er the affordability of electricfá vehicles.w3r >> host: how significant was the switch fromñgoçñr loaded to unleaded gaké8 >> guest: very challenging. it became --jfçó when the success happenedñr is when general motors decided in order to use añr catalyst, which they fought, by the way the beginning of the introduction of the clean air act, the first requirementr to reduce emittans fromçó cars, and the car companies, starting with general motors, basically said, it cannot be done. cannot do it.+n0çó we're going to shut downt( the
company. it's going to be an econo+) catastrophe. and then what happened is that theyñi invested in a catalytic converter and realized to have a catalyst, you need to removee1 lead.fá so e wereó[ very helpful tov also efforts toçó reduceé@ lead but a in shawne decide one year they'll remove lead. in three years they removed lead. but a lot of c
corning company, we're preventing 1.5 million deaths a year because of catalytic converters inxd cars. when did theñi innovationr here. startedxd removing lead in this country. so that's why i'm so optimistic that we're going to innovate our way out of this big mess that we're calling climater >> host: low rain in california go ahead. >> caller: thank you for withing me the time. ijft( want to compliç%ht this lw$ó on the work she is doing and the length of time shew3 has devoted to it and how thorough sheñ ifá am encouraged about buying an electric car. i just converted fromxwnç pg&e power to -- they are supplying thee1 electricity and we have ar installation now. and i had eight panels people think it's very expensive tofá
convert to solar.y but because of president obama's clean energy act, i'm able to qu!&fy ñ for eg is really sufficient forqjf our 0f =1 ñr because of my creditçó rating. i am going to have -- well, you normallyc have 12 to 18 months of noçó payments. when the payments started $72 a month. the installation stays with the house and you start pay startinge1xdçó at $72 a month and goes on,xd and it goes with the house.w3w3 so it's not like you're committing yourself to paying $12,000 when mostñi solar companies are -- they'2g#uájj i várá takes 22xd to $23,000 and it doesn't.t( >> host: we'll leave it there and hear from our guest.w3 >> guest: so, i'mi] glad you are considering an electric car.
i'm glad you're consideringn solar energy.q t( at the end of the day very often when i talk to people about climate change,q they feel there's nothing they can do.fázlq! they'refá extraordinarily concerned that there's nothing we can do as a society, and we're going toñ destroy the planet or the think there'sjfq not anything i can do as an individual. so i believe on the power of individuals, having a voice voting, talkingok to your congressmen and senators taking< action. your house your personalñi transportation, these arelp all very important aspects, and every action does count. >> host: do you have solar at õ >> guest: i6z don't. >> host: i'm sorry. >> guest: i dook notxd haveé@ solar hat home. >> host: besides your car how else have you channeling your pejavior?u >> guest: i'm very cautious about using water. how much water i use.
c tq i rr electrical bill. make sure i autious about my shut off my lights. ijf have two wonderful girls, and i tell them what you do about recycling, which is important, don't get me wrong but there are many more things to÷d do than recyclelp. myr plug-inqjfxd car. so i'm in a family ofw3t( three plug-in electric cars. >> host: barbara, virginia.çóxd hi barbara you're on withxd margo. >> caller: first, thank you, c-span norxd diversity of subject and views. my question to your authorfáw3 has toxd dow3 with battery life. i understood that part f the problem with electric cars was battery life. how has that improved andxdjf wherew3 are we in developmentñof longerxd
life between charges? and i'll take my answer off the air, thank you so much. >> guest: so, first of all, all the owefá ems are warranty the battery for eight years which is a lot. second depending on what car you are driving, you can go --e1 like i can goe1 40 miles because that's the power ifá have. but you can get a tesla and you go over 280 miles. you havew3 to pay more. but there isq a lot ofxdko research t@q was to plug inxd5a andt( charge fastest which takes me two and a half hours to charge, and also a lot of research thatq só[ taking placee1 andv andw3 will extend the range you're going to get. beyond the 90 or 100 miles per gallon you're doing now. >> host: if you want to hear moreok fromm argo oge, here's the
book, driving the future. combatsok climate change with cleaner, smarter cars, thank you for being on book tv. >> thank you. /. >> host: booktv continues its livelpi] coverage from "los angeles times" festival of books here on the campus of usc. upe1 nextok an author panel on science, continuing our conversation onñr science. after that panel. we'll have alpñiçó call-in this is booktv.
we have been sitting on the other side for ten minutes wondering where you all were. so i was not able to make so it they asked me to sub for her. she is supposed to be emceeing this session. i'm the publisher of skeptic magazine and the author of this book the moral arc, how signs lead humanity towards -- right now i'm your expert guide here on science writing. we have three awe that-do authors and three books and i'll ask each author to say other few words about their book, and then, more importantly for the subject here, what kind of writing they do as a writer i'm always curious what other writers do. how do you come up with your ideas to write this book or any book, and how do you do it? write from 8:00 to 9:00 every morning or catch as --
catch-as-catch-can on airplanes or do you google or when was the last time you were in a physical library. and then how long does it take you to research or write your book? research first and then write or good along as you go? so we have infinitesimal, amir alexander's book, on how dangerous mathematical theory shaped the modern world, and we have martin blaser missing microbes. how the overusing for antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues. watch what you eat. and this beautiful book, cosmigraphics, chas -- which has been on my coffee table, filled with maps and photographs of the cosmos from as far back as we know until last week. so i thought i'd start with amir, who has a few prepared
thoughts here on what your book is about how you came to write it. how do you do your writing? >> thank you very much. i'm glad we made it. just a few words about what the book is about. what the main story is. so it's a story. on august 10 1632 five men in flowing black robes got together in this plaza near the tiger river in rome. they were -- their names are anonymous to us and they were then but their office is important. they were the revisers of to the society of jesus also known as the jesuits and it was their job to pronounce on all the new idea coming before them and decide whether they were acceptable, whether they were kosher, or whether they should be completely rejected. now, the question that came
before them that they was very simple. the question was whether a line, any line, could be made up of indivisible, individual points. and intuitively kind of makes sense it would. everything is made of something. a rope is made of threads and a piece of cloth and wood is made of little shardses. everything is made of something. why not the most basic thing of all, juster a line. but the revisers didn't think so. they did not take them long and they came to a decision. they said, that we consider this proposition to be not only repugnant to the common doctrine but it is by itself improbable and is disapproved and forbidden in our society. once they pronounced that, there's an elaborate machinery that immediately kicks into action. they made their decision that decision was deliver to every single one of the society of
jesus jesus' colleges and they were all over the worlds, from nagasaki in japan to peru europe. hundreds of colleges, the largest educational system that the world hayes ever seen. i'm pretty sure of that. immediately that decision was disseptember mated and jesuit knew this particular idea is banned. in the idea you can take a magnitude and treat it as if it's made of up point but the jesuits forbade it. why would a religious order do that? why would a religious organization whose job is to save souls, promote the fortunes
of the catholic church, why would they care what a line is made of? don't they have more important things to worry about? but apparently, apparently not, because that decision was not just one single decision, it was one in a continuous barrage of denunsations of this -- dedenunsation of this doctrine. why did they care? the jesuits cared deeply about mathematics because jet suits were formed at a time of great chaos, in a crisis in the fortunes of the church the reformation, and they -- their job was to bring order, proper order, hierarchy and re-establish it in the world. thanks to one particular jesuit, they decided that the way to do this was to introduce geometry. it's necessary certain and that's the way -- all other
disciplines including theology could be as certain as that all those pesky protestants will give up and say, nothing more to say. right? that basically geometry -- you include in geometry with winning the battle of the counter-information, except that just as they were doing that there was a new kind of mathematics coming to the fore the original idea that led to calculus and those ideas were forbade. and that is a paradoxical. that is a contradictory. that is a problematic. a very problematic idea that's been known for -- paradox been known since antic quit. -- antiquity.
and they concluded that even mathematics has such errors in it that could lead to mistakes could lead to absurd conclusions, if even mathematics couldn't be trusted to be partly -- to be orderly and logical, then what hope was there for anything else? so they set out to destroy it, trying to destroy this mathematical idea, they were protecting their program of save ing the world from the reformation. the other part of the book is a counter-story, the jesuits won. they annihilated the infess tess malls in italy in the 17th 17th century and basically want their campaign. the opposite story is in england where the same struggle ensued but infin tess -- infinitesimals won out, and the story is howe how this became the focus of a struggle over the face of modernity.
what will the future -- what will this new modern world coming to the nor -- what would it look like. those who like geometry and hated infinitesimals thought that it should be properly rationally organized ridge justice, hierarchical, and leaving no room for dissent or error. those who promote infinitesimals thought in a very -- thought very differently but there has to be a way, has to be some flexibility, has to be a way of coming to conclusions without -- of come to go conclusions without this absolute necessary kind of reasoning and they supported -- they supported views of more pluralism liberalism and in time -- i'm saying in time -- even democracy. so that particular struggle focused on mathematical idea and that is a central argument i make in the book. >> amir, tell us about what was the inspiration for this book.
you're a professor of history at ucla. i forgot to mention that. also, all the authors will be at the signing area number one immediately following this. tell us what the inspiration was and how long did it take you to write and it what kind of a writer are you? how do you do it? >> if you take it from the beginning of this project to the end, that would be 24 years. 25. because this book -- it is very very original form, a paper i wrote when i was in graduate school and -- about the jesuits and mathematics, and it's one of those ideas i think everybody authors have the idea that sits in the back of your mind for a very very long time one day you'll get back to it, and flesh it out. and make it happen. and that was indeed one of them. more broadly, i'm very
interested in the intersection between mathematics and broader culture. you think about mathematics as insular, self-contained, nothing do with the outside world. i'm very interested in all the ways -- all the book eyes written about the ways which mathematics is very much intersects with real life, real life and history, and culture. so, this was one of those examples. and fundamentally i think the reason why mathematics is actually appears in these surprising places, because mathematics is the science of order. not the offered anything in particular. of order itself. and our idea about what is fundamental, the deepest order in the universe has implications that are very far reaching. implications for science and also for society politics and
religion and different ideas about mathematics can have very, very far-reaching implying indications to the human world as well -- one of the main questions, until the 19th 19th century, people who deal with mathematics, thought it was the science of the world. when we're investigating mathematical order we're actually investigating what actual objects in the world look like at the deepest level. and that's why it has all the immediate scientific implication and religious implication, many believe it was the order placed by god in the world. and some mathematicians still believe that. but beginning in the 19th
19th century there is an idea that mathematics only refers tanists this perfect alternate world, and mama particularses think of it one way, physicists think of it in a different way and the kind of idea you have about that question can really determine both your interests but also broader implications like the one i was talking about. >> do you try to write a thousand words a day two hours or how do you work? >> you're very close. three beiges, double spaced. that's almost. >> do you feel bad if you miss? >> horrible, horrible. >> thank you. knew there was good reason to come to l.a.
now i know. >> i can see somebody can just take a break for two weeks and then sit down and write ten thousand words, more power to them. >> i feel better. >> michael, since you spoke up there, tell us about cosmigraphics and how you wrote this -- how did you get permission from at the illustrations and how did you find them? >> that involved going to a bunch of libraries and different sources. thanks for the question. i've one working -- in fact the only other time i came to the festival of books was 2004 so 11 years ago when i came up with a book -- came out with a book called "beyond: visions of the interplanetary probe." and since then i've been working at -- so with that book and with some subsequent work including another book, i was going into archives of the interplanetary missions, jpl
nasa archives, european space agency archives and looking for extraordinary images in raw data image data files and processing them in a sort of semi obsessive way. and producing large format increasingly large format landscape, photography of extraterrestrial landscapes. and i've been doing that for over a decade now, and during that whole process, and even prior to that, i was interested in this, but particularly in the last decade or so i started to really think about the prehistory of that activity, and the ways in which information -- the ways in which knowledge can be found in images. so normally we think of knowledge being in words or in mathematical occasions. we don't necessarily accords the same respect to images but we all know the rope we have these
temples, paintings to images, is because we know there's information in there, there's a reason. we don't necessarily think of immigrations as containing knowledge. and in fact we particularly -- one thing i discovered when i made this book was that one of these revelations i had is in fact discoveries are made in images. i knew this intuitively also because plan tear scientist goes into the archives looking for discovery in the image chain from let's say, voyager. moons are discovered orbiting saturn or jupiter 20 years later because people have a hunch and look in images. we know images have that kind of potential for discovery. right? anyway, i was working on the plan tear data sets for quite a while, and also writing about it. this book has a lot of writing in it. but it's an image-based book.
so during that whole process i started thinking about prehistory the preu.s. presputnik photographic history and then the prephotography record of our attempts to represent the universe graphically, and i always thought, just as you said, sometimes -- amir, sometimes something can percolate for a long time and then finally -- actually i pitched it to my -- the editor in chief at abrahams years book and he was not sure, math-maked books, and i love him dearly don't misunderstand me but he called me a couple years ago and said, what do you have for next year? i said what do you mean? he said do you have any -- i said there's that thing i pitched to you that you shot done. he said i'm not always right. so i very excitedly went back.
i really believe in this idea. i knew there have been quite a few books, prose only books, look at the history of cosmology, physics, attempts to understand the universe fantastic books but i knew there was another way to approach the story and that's threw image, and i wasn't disappointed as aresearched the book. for example discovered -- apart from this business of making discoveries within image which i'll get to in a minute, discovered an extraordinary thing, which is that when natural philosophers, which is what scientists were called for much of the history of scientists. scientist have only been called scientists for 150 years or so. when natural philosophers produced books attempting to income pause all of knowledge that was the idea. let's encompass everything we know in one book. we're talking about 17th
17th century, 16th century 15th century. so that would typically start or certainly in a lot of books would start with the creation of the universe, and one thing i discovered is that -- they were frequently illustrated of course, and i was gravitating towards illustrated books. i discovered when the topic was the creation of the universe then frequently these natural philosophers in collaboration with the image producers that they worked with to make plates for these books invented a vocabulary that would not reepa for another three or four or five hundred years. for example in 1617 robert flood, an english mystic philosopher, astronomer, cosmologist, produced a book -- i won't attempt to quote the name of the -- the title because it went on for a full page of lattin.
but there's a fantastic etching el straighting the creation of the universe, and he -- we don't know if he himself made the sketches and then the unnamed artist who we worked with who produced etchings -- we don't know who came up with the idea but the first illustration for the creation of the universe was a black square on a white ground. that's in 1617. so a lot of people here will know about the black square on white ground which was 1917 which was one of the remains, of course one of the open -- one of the most important works in abstract art. and then there's another artist even earlier than robert flood. from 1573, portuguese artist, historian, philosopher, student of michelangelo, who -- and his
name escapes me at the moment but will come back to me in a minute. he illustrated the creation of the universe with the unbelievable paintings and a notebook which was discovered in the mid-20th century in the library in madrid. dehollanda. his name. so some of his paintings looked like william blake's but this is 200 years before william blake, a visionary. but other of his painting where he depicts let there be light -- on the left, thank you very much. on the left there, that let there be lying -- let there be light, and the sun is created and the earth and so forth, but that vocabulary of triangle that geo geometric vocabular --
it's 1573. so there's something about the need represent the creation of the universe that somehow pulled ideas from the future of our history to the past. some kind of strange alchemy. the first example i locate was from the mid-'50s, an ocean ographer marie -- she got a job at the columbia university ocean -- lamont ocean ographic institute. balls she was woman they said sit down over there and if we need you, we'll call you, and the men went out in the boats to conduct sonar sounding of the mid-atlantic ridge and marie tharpe was incredibly brilliant woman and said wait a second. i need something to do and i
want to do something important. and finally the man who became her collaborator for the rest of her life through a big stack of sonar sounding data on her desk and said maybe you can find something to do with that. go grandson. so the plotted the information and after while she realized the mid-atlantic ridge, which had been known since the first telegraph cables had a series of rift valleys running down the center of the ridge, and she discovered this by making -- there you go -- by making a map. she discovered it in the map next image she put together, and she said hey, this is proof -- this is evidence of tectonic plates and the head over the institute practically threw her out because he did not like
theaterry. but the discovery came from the illinois and other examples that are extraordinary, much more recent examples, an astronomer in hawai'i brent tulley a story about the super cluster. they created -- had all this data from thousands and thousands of galaxies in a cube of space massive cube of space 500 million light years square something like that. the super computer created a film, a simulation of that cube of space, and they made their discovery in the image. they made their discover about what amounts to -- amounted to a kind of watershed, a gravity well of galaxies being pulled in one direction which our milky way belongs to. so he and his team realize our milky way belongs to a flow of galaxies all heading in one
direction, call the great attractor, because of the visual simulation. so the discovery was made in the image. >> very good. thank you. >> we'll allow time for questions after martin tells us about missing microbes. i have to say as an optimist when i read books like this you give me pause about thing wes should be worried about. you direct nyu the study. if you can tell us how worried we should be. >> all right. well, thank you. thank you for the education to my colleagues. the book, "missing microbes" is actually a very special story but a story that i believe has implications for everybody on this planet, and once i realized that, i knew i had to write a book. and this is my first book. and so i want to tell you a little about the context, the
dilemma, the issues and the writing. the context is that i'm a doctor and a scientist. i'm a working scientist, and publishing scientific papers all the time. my specialty has been microbes and people. the early part of my career was concentrated on how to beat the microbes, how to understand them and find new strategies, and the more i began to study them and as the field began to change issue realized that there were a lot of friendly microbes. they weren't all the bad guys. i wasn't the only person to understand this. but the more clear it became, i realized that we were heading for trouble. and once i realized that issue realized i had to write other book because i speak to doctors and scientists all the time but it was important to talk to the
public because there's a very important interaction that goes on in doctor's offices between doctors and patients or doctors and parents, about whether medical therapy should be done or not. and in order to change the situation, we have to deal with both sides, both on the doctor side and on the patient side. and i felt that just going through the scientific channels it wouldn't happen fast enough because too mach are much was going on and too much at stake. so the dilemma is -- and missing microbes foeses on antibiotics but that's not the only issue. the dilemma is that antibiotics are miraculous. we know that. it's part of our knowledge our common culture. for the last 70 years we have ignored or it hasn't even been in our universe that antibiotics could have long-term costs.
certainly when i was studying we never even considered that. and it reminded me of the dogma story because this is a dogmas well. it's accepted by doctors and patients alike but -- and we do know that the more antibiotics are used, the more resistance there is and that is an issue, it's well-northern it's getting worse. but the issue of antibiotic resistance in general is an issue that concerns somebody else. if a doctor says, i might want to give you an antibiotic but it would increase resistance. well, that's about the community, not about you. not about the health of your child. if it's an issue about the health of you and your child now versus some abstract thing about the community, everybody chooses themselves which is understandable. so, how i arrived at this thinking about this was in two
directions. the first is that i studied a bacterium that was discovered in 1979 bacteria that lives in the human stomach and was discovered as pathogen, as bacteria that causes ulcers. that was a huge breakthrough. the people who discovered it won the nobel prize. it changed the course of medicine. subsequently we and others showed the bacteria caused stomach cancer. so this was a very bad bacteria. and doctored started saying we need get rid of this. the only good bacteria is a dead one, and it didn't seem right to me. the key came when we discovered that the bacterium is quite ancient. humans have had it since time immemorial, and that in fact it's disappearing. and since it's disappearing now we can assess what the costs of having it or not having it are, and it's clear the cost of having it is ulcers and stomach canner, but we found there were
costs of not having and these were differences of the esophagus, like reflux, and asthma. what was particular about these diseases or these diseases -- these are diseases that are rising very rapidly. it suggested that maybe the loss of an ancient organism could have some cost as well as benefit. and then the second light bulb was when i remembered that farmers have been feeding antibiotics to farm animals for 70 years to promote their growth. and the reason they do it is because it works. and that's where so much of the antibiotic goes to in this country, and one day i -- it just occurred to me if farmers can affect the early development of the animals by giving them antibiotics-what are we doing to our children? there are unintended consequences of antibiotic use in children? and to make a very long story short, we have been working on this for more than ten years and we have -- in my lab and other
labs as well. we have been providing evidence that supports the hypothesis that these are important and they're disappearing. so that's why i wrote the book so people would understand there's a cost hind this extra doses of antibiotics and tremendous variable in the use of exhibit antibiotics and the explosion in the rate of secession sayrean sections. so to answer your question before your ask it, what's my writing style? i write scientific papers and i try to crowd this into about a year of nights and weekends and the long vacations, and i had the help of greated it -- a greeted did for and another writer but they said your work
is fantastic but is so dull so i had to put in personal stories about myself my career my daughter's illness how i nearly died from something that required antibiotics and i was certainly glad there are antibiotics. and many other personal factors. >> which ones ones should be most concerned about right now? might have -- >> at the bottom line is that in sweden, the people are at least as healthy as we are and they're using 40% of the antibiotics we're using. at every age. one of the best hospitals in the country, and between the practices that prescribed the least antibiotics and the most, the variation is 100%.
and for broad spectrum it's 400% variation so there's not one right answer. they prescribe more antibiotics in the south than the west. >> is this a medical culture thing or -- it's not just a medical culture but it is also part of the general culture because we're all thinking that antibiotics are like our jesuit friends there they're miraculous, and they have only benefit but no cost. but once you start to consider the question, it's obvious that there must be cost and as we begin to study it, there are the costs. now there are a number of epidemiologyic studies, studying groups of children born by c-section or not. and they have higher risks of diseases, it's the diseases rising in epidemic proportion, like at marks like food allergies, oobesity, perhaps
even autism. >> cesarean bypass is the natural birth process from which these natural antibiotics come with -- >> no, no. since the beginning of animal life on earth, 500 million years ago, parent animals have been transferring microbeses to their offspring for mammals as a very choreographed process and we're thwarting it. it's not surprising there are consequences. so we have to figure out who are the women who real ay need c-sections and who are the women who think it's an advantage or their doctors think it's an advantage or their doctors are selling a bill of good it's an advantage, and who -- are -- for whom there may be a cost for the baby. >> this reminds me of -- there's a french so-called urbanist, and he came out with an or sir vacation some years back that
for every kind of new technology created there's a new kind of accident. >> sure. as i point out here when carl bens invent it the internal combustion engine he didn't anticipate everytime you turned the engine greenland would melt a little. >> say a few words about vaccinations the antibiotic vacser movement here in l.a. we have some of the highest rates of noncompliance. is. >> that could be the next book but that's a separate issue. vaccines are very specific. antibiotics are broad. they have a lot of collateral damage. vaccines, it's a different story. i'll just say that almost all the vaccines i know the benefit to the person clearly exceeds the risk in almost every case.
>> culturally, socially. what about parent weather say i don't want to do it. i don't care about other people's kids. >> well, this is a problem. [laughter] >> as a doctor what would you tell your patient? >> there are two issues. one issue is what is better for your child, and parents want to do what's best for their child. and what is best for the community. in general, they're the same. there are some exceptions. not too maybe. -door not too many. >> you should do the antivacser book next. this issue comes up a lot. as 0 form of pseudo signs, the vaccination debate was over a century ago it. i'll throw the last question and open it up to the audience to our other speakers. what's the next book? >> well, i'm doing my three pages a day right now.
and to compliment the book about -- all the people who -- the advocates of gee am met triwere the bad guys. i'm doing a book about geometry and how changes in geometry -- >> historically. >> yes, how geometry has a very, very privileged place in the well-tradition as the embodiment or truth and rationality going back to even before -- to plato. and therefore because that is the embodiment of rational rationallivity conception of geometry has enorm mess implications, one case i'll talk about is the switch between the the -- a switch between saying there is only one absolute necessary universal truth to saying that there are all those -- infinite number of truths that are completely
incompatable with each other but are all absolutely true and equally true. that's just a mind boggling shift between one way of looking at the world and another way of looking at the world. and i'll be talking about implications. >> i'm investigating natural design at submillimeter scales with this extraordinary instrument that allows you to peer into the tinyiest little crevasse of an an antenna of an insect so small you can barely see it. i'm looking agent many other different kinds of samples. plants and so forth. and i'm doing it -- it's similar to what i was doing with the plan tear work in -- the
planetary work in the sense i get to take my own shot. the plan planetary work i'm processing and it making large format things but here i get to decide where i'm going to good with this half million dollar piece of equipment. it's brill brant. it's $80 an hour and that's a problem. anyway so, that's nano cosmos, and that will be -- the writing will come later in the same way as how in cosmographics i left the writing until i had already sort of gotten myself satisfied when it came to the images. but i also have an idea and i haven't started it.
>> what did it -- apparently most adults thought the same thing when way were walking down the street -- >> her answer was, i don't know? i've subsequently seen it at least -- i mean god nose how many sometimes i can play the whole thing in my brain no problem. i went to see arthur c. clark. was he happy with the film? >> by then he was. >> when it first came out he apparently meant -- i read recently he left the screening -- the first screening, stanley kubrick was there. he left before it finished with tears in his highs because kubrick didn't use -- that might be too reducktive but he thought there would be more narration. he wanted to explain things
more. that was the source of tension between them. i'll compare it to the relationship between lennon and mccartney. the famous story, mccartney came in with a song it's getting best are all the time it's great it's good, bubble come pop really and then lennon said -- add it couldn't get much worse. that's a true story. and with kubrick and clarke. -- i love kubrick but he has a very icy, cold, brilliant, genius way of looking at the human condition, and clark had a much more optimistic utopian idea very athiestic but you tonan, and -- so-door you -- 2001 is a very affirmative with the rebirth and so fort. although there's a lot of
that -- it's kubrick's movie and its cold and icy and all that. >> prance you -- perhaps you can tell us, what does it mean? >> well, for the price of -- i don't know what amazon will mark it down to. i certainly couldn't come up with that right now. leonardo didn't write at the bottom of mona lisa, she is smiling because she is hiding a secret from her lover. >> how about questions from audience. stand up and shout it out back there. right here go ahead.
shout it out. we're on c-span so i guess they want the microphone. >> i'm the medical writer and researcher. for consumer, i don't want to argue with you what the doctors in western medical researchers. a lot of problems but most consumers do not know. in western medicine they're using microscope for last 100 years or whatever but they couldn't see outside of microscope. that's why they do not know the cause of common cold and flu and other cancers and -- >> what's your question?
>> so, my comment is for the -- >> no. >> consumer, you should pay attention, he said antibiotic do not use, really overuse. very harmful to your health and body. so you have to change your -- the ideas and approach in terms of -- >> i have a feeling this is not question but a statement. so does anybody have a question? pretend this is jeopardy. state your statement in the form of a question. right there. [inaudible] >> neanderthal man. >> amir? >> i recently read -- birth of a
theirum. a book about being a mat me -- mathematician. >> michael. >> there's so many. one i read as i was getting ready for the writing phase was copernican revolutions. i think it's plural. which is absolutely brilliant, and -- but then it was entertaining for me because then i got to know owen gingrich at harvard while i was making the book, and owen -- and kuhn was harvard professor so there was a little bit of posthumous rivalry going on there thomas kuhn is no longer with us. owen has a different view of what copernicus was reacting against when he came up with this their rhythm solved that with classic journalism owen said -- i showed owen my chapter, he was an invaluable person to show this material to
because he is a historian of astronomy and science without compare, and bibl oui-phile and second editions, et cetera. anyway the way i solved it is owen -- i sent him the chapter about the cosmos and i quoted kuhn, and said but there's a problem here. that's not really the way it went. so i solved that by killing two images,en creasing the length of the chapter and adding his view, too. it was not equipped. but it's a great book. >> that's a classic. i'm on "the los angeles times" science book prize. all 200 book is read are all great. and we whittle it down to five so come tonight to see who wins. another question. >> i'm trying to draw common thread between the three books here, and i think to myself, how
unique we are as a human species. on one hand we're trying to tackle all the bacteria in the world, on the other hand we're trying to limit the number of dots on a line and another hand we're trying to map the cosmos and trying to understand what it looks like. these made me think about issues about the need for the human species to try to control itself environment, and try to sort of stave off elements of fear about the unknown. and how as writers or scientist you're trying to either open it up and make us more amenable to notions of the unknown or not. i'm sure you have been thinking about this in the course of studying your subjects. do you have a thought on that? >> i'll just say that i'm a biologist, and biology doesn't exist without evolution. half the people in the united states don't believe in evolution. that's a problem. >> only a theory. like gravity. >> or relativity.
this issue between faith and reason has been going on for years. we trytake it a better world through reason but faith is a very important counterweight. >> i think mathematics is interesting in that regards. a math define it it it is the field we know not what we talk about. we and a an interesting thing when it comes to religion, is that mathematics is not clearcut one way oar the other. a lot of the at tributes we associate with mathematics it's perfect, it's eternal unchanging, universal. those are the attributes of god,
not just mag mat -- math mat ticks and that's not really a coincidence because -- that's not only because it was seen as the fundamental law that god laid down the universe, even by somebody like newton, who contributed enormously to mathematics and science in general. that is how it was understood. and just as a matter of anecdote when i was studying mathematics in jerusalem back in 1980s, it was -- the thing is if you go to american university you don't know what the knackty or anybody else's religious views or commitments are because people don't wear it on their sleeves inch israel they do. in israel if you're an orthodox jew you dress a certain way ask it's public knowledge.
it was clear a good percentage of mathematics professors can be or sir e serve -- observant. more from physics and biology almost none. but is was obvious for some very serious, very outstanding mathematician,. >> you're getting closer to good are god through mathematics. >> precisely. you're studying math and glorifying god. this is god's work, you're sharing in your little ways in the mind of god. now, they weren't really -- there was one was explicit and went on to invent something called the bible. maybe you have heard of it. but -- >> maybe the same skill that makes you good -- makes you good at math. >> the scholarship behind the -- the scholarship is kind of
legendary. >> very legalistic, very logical, and i think there is certainly overlap. but i would just -- just to tie it up think mathematics whether religious or secular i think you find that mathematics has a lot to do with the kind of -- with the sense that the people make of the world the kind of mathematics -- more than you expect. it has a lot to do with what kind of -- what people believe about the kind of world we live in. in...
that is a shift from a more traditional view of mathematics is completely abstract is separate. now thanks to computers it has become integrated into the world and becomes very much associated with machines eight. and that cycles right into mathematics. and i think that that shift we will indeed have an already does have broad implications. >> welcome our time is up. thank up. thank you for coming. thank our speakers. [applause] signing area number one just out here. you can here. you can get your book signed there. thank you for coming. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> host: and book tv coverage from the annual los angeles festival of books continues. just south of downtown la. we will be here again all day on sunday. joining us on our outdoor set, author and radio talkshow host hugh hewitt. mr. hewitt, we brought you on to talk about your newest book but i i don't have a copy of.
>> guest: secrecy. it is about hillary. we are keeping it very under wraps until it releases. first of all i want to to congratulate you on bringing books to usc. all all my trojan friends out there command talking about you. i have written a book based closely on nokia valleys the prints which was published 500 years ago. some people say was that was 502, published 502, some people say 498. and so i wrote a book of advice for hillary on how to when and how to govern. that will be released on june 19. some of my republican friends are going to like it because it is how she could win and govern. >> host: what is it called? >> guest: it is called the queen. >> host: how did you come up with that name? >> guest: because it is not the prince is the queen.
i we will do everything i can to stop her from winning. to adapt billion dollars, the dollars, the electoral college, the confusion of the republican ranks, we cannot make a single mistake. i'm a conservative a conservative republican. i would rather any republican beat hillary. right now if you look at her and you are london bookie i bet they have for at least three to two odds of winning >> host: recently on to me to press he said the democrats are afraid they'll have a a candidate that they need to prop up. >> guest: i referenced weekend at bernie's. he invites genuine conservatives on. he asked me if the republicans were going to go overboard hillary. i said we can't. democrats are worried that she is a terrific candidate.
i think this is part of how she wins. she can't do what she did this past week, and she can't do what she did in 2008, she has to do something completely different. if she repeats what she did in iowa we will beat her. she her. she's a very smart lady, very experienced not much a compass the compass maza senator, but terribly smart. they have a great team but they don't know how to run run for pres. bella sat around for pres. one of the mistakes that they made -- and i will give you a little peek inside the book -- is how to use bill clinton. the over force of american politics. he may show appear. the only good thing is tonight on saturday night
live they will have a hillary segment. for the 1st time in years democrats worry about what will be on saturday night live in the way the republicans worried during the last two presidential campaigns, they will every single week. >> host: you do did not think much of her drive across the country. >> guest: no. chuck todd was on the radio show yesterday talking about the launch. chuck said she had a great 1st day. chipotle in disaster for parking in the handicap space, disaster not taking any questions, disaster. remoteness. yesterday maggie of the new york times wrote apiece in this week they have planned fakes smiled our events because they don't really care about the small donors that they have to pretend like they do.
it is all absolutely fake but a collar to my show let's give credit to the college's. she has got people excited because of who she is but because of what she will be. that is true. she will be the 1st woman president and that is a big deal. as a result she has energy and some good staff but if she runs -- if she does not do what i tell her to do she will lose. right lose. right now i think she is smart enough to do what i tell her to do. >> host: if you go to huge hewitt .com you will see that you lament the fact that hillary clinton has never done an interview with you. >> guest: i wouldn't do it, neither has has president obama. i did a three-hour interview with him, terrific book. he truly transparently authentically laid out his life, which is full of sorrow and victory defeat
and triumph and he made pres. obama. after that i was hoping maybe pres. obama would accept my invitation to appear command he has not i have i have known a lot of people around the former secretary of state command i would be respectful. the trouble is she can't really answer a lot of questions that our friends in the mainstream media politely nebraska. and as and as a result she can't actually going to harms way. for example how much do you attribute the collapse of our relationship with russia to your engineering of the reset to make sure connection reset us back to 1988. so she really so she really can't defend her tenure at state. she will stick with thomas friedman and some wonderful people. she will going to harms way. >> host: we will put the numbers up on the screen. screen. how are guest is radio host and talkshow hugh hewitt. >> guest: june 19. >> host: june 19 called
teefor -- called "the queen" he has written a slew of books. we want want to hear from you as well. go ahead and dial-in. we will begin talking in just a minute. marco rubio. >> he was on my program a week ago monday and was terrific, as always. republicans are blessed this time with a deep bench of able communicators. in the in the last eight days of talks to rand paul chris christie marco rubio, rick santorum, carly fear arena. i for the arena. i am forgetting someone. jeb bush was in studio week ago. ted cruz was on yesterday. marco rubio is the best communicator. ted cruz is right behind him senator rubio is almost incandescent in the way the
pres. obama was. i was there in 2004 when john kerry was nominated. keynote. i walked out of the same while. what a torch. i think i think people who watch marco rubio on monday said well. so i am very favorably impressed. i am not endorsing anyone. they are all my friends. i invite them all on and let them come on as often as they want. they always make news, but i also have some very difficult questions. and so they are ambivalent but coming. marco rubio is probably never not prepared for anything i asked. i asked former florida governor jeb bush if he was committed to building 11
carrier groups in rebuilding the ohio class submarine. he said quite straightforward i have not studied up on that yet. it was a good answer them a but he had not yet studied up on the number of carrier groups we need our boomer our boomer for the benefit of steelers fans out there. the draft is getting close. don't mess up. the response was detailed, precise in the senate that is what they do. unlike anyone else he has none of the ohio class submarines. >> host: bush versus clinton 2016. >> guest: i asked former florida governor bush a month ago what message it would send to emerging democracies like nigeria and india where they are going through there 1st peaceful transition of power in nigeria. they're getting used to an india. what would it say about politics if we keep recycling the same candidates again and again?
and jeb bush's answer was good. if in fact it is about dynasties that is bad bad, but you will see, my campaign is not about a dynasty. nevertheless, bush versus clinton or clinton versus bush does have an awfully familiar ring to it. this is hillary's 6th run for office. a.that out in "the queen". 2004 she is a sen. supporting john kerry, john kerry, 2008 she runs from a 2012 she is secretary of state were not in politics but around it. this is at least number six, arguably number seven. jeb bush has been around 1980, 84 88. ninety-two 2000, 2,004. this is his 8th time. between the two of them they
have have run 15 to 16 presidential campaigns or been close to the decision center. it is like that some of your audience will be old enough to run moroccan soccer robots. it's like playing it endlessly for 20 years. it will be magnificent. >> host: scott walker. >> guest: again, in the studio two weeks ago. in phoenix. i was in phoenix for chamber of commerce lunch were interviewed him off the record. then he came to my studios for a half-hour unscripted. i spent it all on foreign-policy because the rap on scott walker is that he is not ready. tremendous foreign-policy advisor and a guy named mike gallagher. former missouri former missouri senator has joined his team. one of my law partners is deeply involved. so i pushed a very hard on nato allies and things like that. he was ready and prepared.
and if you are governor two years ago is that you are sitting. all about obama care and the economy. all of economy. all of a sudden the world has gone to hell. crimea and china building airwaves on small islands. all of a sudden the senators got engaged. it is going to be a great year. the best of times for talk radio are the worst of times for the world in the country. the best of times for talk radio is when there is a highly competitive republican primary for president and the world is going to hell. that is the best time to do talk radio these everybody listens and we bring in breaking news. >> host: if someone were to pick up one of your books which would you recommend? >> guest: i will i will answer twofold. if they were younger should read and but not of.
i wrote in but not of 15 15 years ago for young people. if they are middle-aged or older the happiest life, my most recent book which i wrote looking back saying here is what i figured out. you are in that book. all the people in a student in the things that actually matter. that would be for the general audience. if you are 22 or younger younger and but not of. >> host: on your website you list all the books but you also have a bookshelf recommending books. what is being recommended? >> guest: i brought along books. then i hope you interview bill and shoots. bill and shoots. i just finished this book. out with the west begins. a marvelously successful american entrepreneur.
he owns aeg, interest and most of major league soccer, is a staple center been to a lot of different businesses, denver businessman who loves history and loves the west. profiles of 45 entrepreneurs who built the west. for example fred harvey. he built the harvey houses, invented the harvey girls. in 2000 word profiles he profiles all of these people i finished them on the drive here today. a genuine contribution to american history because it is successful and make accessible a lot of people you have never heard of. i did not no meyer guggenheim made his money in mining. so all of these different people profile in their. the los angeles times festival of books. from the great state of
ohio. he is profiled in there. it is an amazing, riveting read. fascinating but 1st woman press secretary for the republicans in the middle of a war. but these are both going on my necessary bookshelf. books that i think people need to have read in order to understand the world in which we live. number one on their i always asked people. >> guest: by the way our guest on our in-depth program. >> guest: i have not read his david book. i think the looming tower is probably the most influential book in the way that i understand the world. >> host: by the way hugh hewitt has been a guest on
our in-depth program. you can watch all three hours. >> guest: one more book. this is book. this is what they give freshman when they come to usc. it is how rocket learns to read. signing books read. signing books out there. i got that and picked it up for the ufc freshman. abcaten. >> host: where did you go to school? >> host: i did my undergrad in michigan. a great law school. so when are you interviewing? >> guest: i we will play it over the course of three weeks. because there is so much there. i'm going to cut
it up a a little segments on each of the entrepreneurs. >> host: do you read thoroughly the books? and calling you out here. here it is underlined. we can show we can show a little bit of the underlining. my annotation system was taught to me by pres. nixon. he used a check mark and a a star in it!. underlining is good. check march 1 through four important. a star you must discuss this. something new that you never knew before. when i go back through i we will prepare the interview over the next 2436 hours. i we will go back to my annotation and tell me how to outline the interview branches. it will be like you guys. as a seven i sat down interviewers i'm number 39
never used steroids. >> host: rand paul. >> guest: on the show we can go friday. very different from the other republicans. with smart. i asked him about drug legalization, one of the big divide in the republican party. i asked them about drug legalization. very much against it. i think bill bennett's tells us why. chris christie and marco rubio i dedicated i dedicated the cracking down on washington in colorado drug sales. rand. grandpa very much open to the state option. a libertarian republican the better on foreign-policy than people think. he is open to more defense spending and he is very attractive on-air.
some people are natural some people are not. we are blessed with a lot of natural communicators. it was interesting doctor ben carson. he's a surgeon. he speaks deliberately. he is not deep in foreign affairs. mitt romney was thinking about reentering the race. ben carson is polling at 14 or 15 percent in iowa. a tremendous paul because of his dramatic and appealing personality and life story but he was on with chuck todd and he is very deliberate. i don't mean slope, but he is very deliberate. and i don't know that american media will treat them well. when he was on my show he appeared not to know that
the baltic republics are part of nato, which is one of those things that a first-time candidate may not know but if your running for president you have to know who is in nato and what article five is. while he is gifted, probably the weakest force the republican field is ben carson. the 2nd wasted -- 2nd weakest used to be carly farina. all of a sudden she is galloping across the national media state with abandon. i can't even line them up. they are stacked between five and 20 percent. >> host: speaking of stacked, our phones are stacked so let's take some calls. joe in pittsburgh. >> caller: yes i want to ask you about the legacy from bill clinton's a ministration. does anyone ever bring up the fact that he pardoned some very heinous criminals like marc rich who had some oil drilling wraps?
>> guest: i will bring up the marc rich pardon. who doubt pardon. who doubt the phone for you? you are steelers fan probably. marc rich is probably going to dog bill clinton a lot less than republicans and conservatives like it. this is simply american memory. american memory is four years old. if it happened more than four years ago in american politics it doesn't matter. you can survive scandal, defeat anything except ridicule in american politics. that's the one thing that you can come back from. >> host: matt. >> i'm just curious. does he believe the republican party since -- can survive another neocon being elected?
if so -- if not will someone like rand paul ever really have a chance? >> host: could you define 1st what you mean by neocon. >> caller: neoconservatives like bush senior and bush junior both neocons. hannity is a neocon. they have taken over the republican party in the past ten or 15 years. basically a democrat that is pro-life and pro- big government. homeland security act that is not something a republican would have done. it is not something a republican should do. they one of the republican ticket. >> host: thank you sir. >> guest: thank you. we used to call neocons hamiltonian's commendably
golden we can ask. rich lowry wrote a great book and abraham lincoln conclusively proving he was the first. 1st. i am not ever been a democrat. if you were to ronald reagan it is hard to be elite -- a neocon. the libertarian element is the knew element, and i welcome it. i'm glad to have it. but they have been around since alexander hamilton. free traders, infrastructure bankers, homestead act signed by abraham lincoln, the greatest giveaway in american industry. so i get a lot of calls on the radio show from people who think rand paul is not getting a fair shot. he will get get a very fair shot. he will get 10 percent or more in every presidential primary but he may have the lowest ceiling unless he successfully persuade people
that he will be open to the use of american force whenever necessary command i would.out, in washington dc this week a gyroscope landed on the capitol. i was there on monday. i was actually in the company of a fighter pilot a monday night asking about airspace over dc, the most heavily controlled airspace. every aircraft is handed off and closely monitor. this gyroscopic lands on the capitol. it's only a matter of time until the country is again hit. lindsey graham was on the program this week. i asked him if he was amazed it wasn't shot down and he was. i asked him do you think america is more susceptible to a mass casualty attack today that it than it was six and a half years ago? and he said absolutely yes. and so i think one of the
burdens that he will bear is persuading people that a non-neocon will be adequate to the task of defending the country against mass casualty attacks. our friend matt may believe he is. he may not. abcaten what do. >> host: what do you think of the term islamic terrorism? >> guest: it has to be used. you have to name what you are up against. i use islamist terrorism since i believe the strain of islamist terrorism is primarily to headed. the al qaeda variant the homeless or front, the islamic state, and then and then there is the sheer variety which is augmentin is odd imam variety, end times variety, and and those are -- if islam is like anything else a bell curve, there is a 3rd kind
the sunnis other we will have us if they are troubled. on this end of the bell curve of the shia and they are troubled because they are fanatics. i think fanatics are in control of iran. we know fanatics are in control of islamic states. we also know that we have many strong and powerful allies among arab nations in the muslim nations like saudi arabia jordan kuwait, and we have to be careful. egypt. i am a big fan of the new foreign affairs course. i think you say that country from a brotherhood takeover that was neither democratic or liberal. at the same time, he is a strong man using strongman tactics because of the nature of the country that he governs. we we should work with them to improve its human rights record. neocons are very aware of
the world as it is. >> host: joe in malibu california. >> caller: hello. nice program. hello. i am wondering whether or not in your book you might have gone back far enough to hillary's 1st job which was secretary. it turned out to be at the time the largest bankruptcy government bailout at that time. >> guest: no. >> guest: what -- >> host: have you heard of what he is talking about? >> guest: on the watergate prosecution team, but that's not in my book either. the american political memory is five years. the meat is five years. some people will remember ten but you are not going
to make a lot of traction recycling hillary scandals or bill property. it's just not going to happen. it will be about what is going on in the world in 2016. her tenure at the state department will make a big difference, but not her 1st job at a savings and loan. i have read hrc. i don't know if they were on the program. terrific book, very well reported. another one coming out. so i've read pre-much everything that matters. i just don't think the former secretary of state has to worry about her summer jobs. when the washington freebie can, they have a terrific team, adamant matt and lock: a but i don't really care if she wrote letters and she was 20.
i don't think it matters. >> host: will you be doing a book to her? >> guest: i will. i leave that up to the publishers. fifteen bucks, as you know. they all do things differently. what is amazing to me the one i've sold the most, 2,004 book. i don't know why i made the bestsellers list i don't know why the romney but did. i don't know. it is always -- unless you are daniel silva, red to work, alex berenson more cj box my don't know why. as of are the four novelists i have on whatever they put out a book. >> host: no. >> guest: terrific books. the only non- thriller that i read. he underestimates the threat from yellowstone volcano.
i learned from them every time. i always love to put them on i think i think that americans would be well served by reading more thrillers. that is how you teach people about the world perfection, not nonfiction. unless you're one of those poor guys he never quite know what is going to be. >> host: his 2012 book, a mormon in the white house. romney is a presidential candidate. >> guest: i would have -- he would have run. one of my law partners. we wrote a piece saying 3rd time is a charm because i think i think the way that the rules of been set up a terrific chairman of the republican party and i say that not because i get to asking questions. he is involving conservative journalists, and i love that no more surprise got you questions by george
stephanopoulos. the worst question ever. i've been on this program. that one was from way left field. remove the convention up put it in cleveland. don't mess the draft. he put in cleveland. he also limited the base to 12 total command he made a compressed schedule for primary selection. i think that last thing is going to result in probably the 1st open convention we have ever had. if i can summarize if you hold your primary or caucus you have to allocate your delegates proportionate to the votes the common. if you hold it on march 15 or thereafter it will be winner take all. everyone is going to get a little bit of something. iowa new hampshire south carolina, nevada. march 1. in florida godzilla jeb
bush versus marco rubio the distraction of the sunshine state they will win it all, but it is also the 1st big taxes georgia super tuesday thing. it will all be a great convention. >> host: c-span will be in cleveland gavel to gavel and , and we will also be in philadelphia. pat in palo alto california. you have been patient. >> caller: fortier chairman of committees in the house and senate. forty-eight way people. one white woman. i'm wondering, what kind of representation is the republican party trying to tell the american people?
>> guest: and african-american from south carolina, probably not senior enough yet. committee chairmanship typically comes from the number of years you have been in a particular seat. i no that there are number of women who are in position of subcommittee chairmanship rising. most of these things are a function of seniority. while there is diversity in the republican party in the chairmanships which are functional longevity he will probably be another ten years. i would also ask the question back, what kind of diversity is it when you only have one candidate for president? it is something of a shock to democrats that they only have hillary. no one would know who he is. james webb i no him because he is a great offer.
but lack of diversity is a problem when you only have a party of one family. that is the real lack of diversity. they might have a lot of committee chairmanships, but basically the obama team has been running everything and have destroyed every other part of the democratic party >> host: will california ever be in place of the republicans again? >> guest: no. i would love to say yes. i have lived here since 1989. p 1989. p wilson was governor for eight years governor for six you wonder if we could come up with the governor somehow if we have the right combination. but i think think we have to go for michigan before that happens , actually go for the chart. and that may happen sooner than i think. the unfunded pension
liabilities are staggering. the sales taxes a half percent in many places, nine in some. a terrific new gov.'s picking off off every knew business that rick. for taxes. states at the edge of fiscal collapse but it has the most powerful public employee unions in the united states and therefore it will be difficult to save the state before it goes bankrupt. >> host: the water crisis. >> guest: pretty bad. the marine corps brought with it she believes i am wasting water. but just this week i water districts and is a bill that they are pressing water differently. pretty bad. we have never experienced anything like this. >> host: i have i have
been out here two days and fully expected to see a sign nobody has warned me to save water. >> guest: the hospitality business is one of the exemptions. farmers especially of being hit because of the delta. i'm endangered species lawyer. they have less water in the reservoir. i spent some time in lake tahoe. it genuinely is a unique situation. we have been they're before, just not since i moved back. every hundred years in the worst year. this might be our worst year it will be interesting to see why jerry brown is building a train to nowhere when we have desalinization plants along the coast. there is an experimental desalinization plan down in huntington beach.
california ought to be pouring money into d sell like crazy. is the future. people don't know that. they provide water for more than 60 million people every day. we're going to need water. it is sort of like the book. the industrialization of desalinization. we have a big ocean. >> host: have you thought about leaving the state? >> guest: i we will go to colorado. i teach there this fall. the 1st time i haven't been in california full-time since 1989 and then we we will assess thereafter. ohio is home, but the north coast is underappreciated by my wife. >> guest: john kaysix.
>> guest: great governor. what went wrong? he carried trumbull county. deep blue steel worker. one of the most natural politicians. is a steelers fan sadly. but his only but his only problem is he is never made a mark in media. he never gets a break. >> host: next call is tom in rosewood. >> caller: hello.
i believe cicero and the greeks had a saying which was adopted as the motto of the university of north carolina amanda goes like this, to be rather than to appear. i think it is a profound saying. i am wondering i am wondering how you contrast that with hillary clinton. >> guest: he was a greek -- a roman. i guess said earlier, the excitement around hillary is because of what she was to be not who she is. i no she has some deep admirers and loyal people but you would be hard-pressed to find people running around thinking that she is going to change much. she is not a quantity that ignites enthusiasm. it is going to be an effort
to coldly calculate where the votes are collect them, and get them to the polls. she will be the 1st lady president and hopefully she will persuade people she is more fatter than a historical footnote. >> host: from the colony texas. >> caller: hello. i am much like -- not the person you just talked with, but the one before, bible belt raised farm girl in western kansas. having the same water problems. my main question that i wanted to get across your is if you are a staunch republican and don't want big government and all that all the stuff in the middle east, the chaos in crisis and killings christian
killings and everything you can think of, you know, it is going on. why would you write a book that is going to help hillary when when you are a republican? it's a simple question but i just want a simple answer. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: because when the union discovers general these plans on the march two antietam, it was a significant advantage. if. if i am right and have anticipated what she has to do to win it can advantage the republicans. forewarned is forearmed is an old saying. i saying. i tried to put on my best spark in mind meld to think through how bill clinton would see the selection and what he will be advising his spouse to do because he is a magnificent politician. i think i have done that. >> host: june 19 is the
release date. our next call is john in portland, oregon. >> caller: hello from portland. it looks awfully nice down they're. we have the same weather up here, but don't tell anybody forget about it for now. the thing i want to comment on having to do with the definition of words i would argue that what you mentioned this historical neocons are simply classic republicans. the neon crowd neocon folks by definition new would be distinguished by one unique characteristic. that is an aggressively protective stance on israel.
it seems to be the most consistent feature of the folks that we would call neocons. i wanted to get your comment. >> guest: i will agree with you that i have never met and neocon who was not a staunch defender of israel. i have also never met one who would not come to the aid of japan if it was attacked by china one who would not come to the aid of taiwan if the people's republic of china threatened it. they all believe in article five of the nato treaty the north american treaty alliance. i think the reason that israel is more forward in people's conversation is that they are our ally who is most routinely threatened forces antithetical to a democracy. therefore israel is the one that is most often threatened. but neocons support, like jack kennedy was a neocon. followed by lyndon johnson
with a poor strategy. 550,000 troops to the republic of vietnam. we won that war. there were democratic neocons. and in the biggest difference between a non- neocon at a democrat is the democrats today don't believe in the use of force unless absolutely positively they have to. and at a minimum risk of loss of american life. i think that is why israel comes up more often than not i did not hear an antiseptic we will to hearing some people mean jews. i get that all the time. time. i'm just an irish catholic boy from ohio. they believe in american exceptionalism. >> host: hugh hewitt
indiana. would you be standing behind governor of be one of the business folks? >> guest: i would i would be with them. a big believer of religious liberty. i believe that any individual or business that has a deeply felt conviction about to his principles if your serving people i make this gradation. photography, forests kate baker. forests, unless there being asked to be there during the ceremony to which they object they had to sell flowers and leave.
the real issue is not the floors to the caterer. the real issue is whether or not a store that is staunchly run by roman catholics and believes in the sanctity of life to be obliged to provide for abortion services. hobby lobby of hell that. most importantly of all churches have to be left alone to believe what they believe and decide what they decided any social issue. our 1st freedom. i like 1.0. i'm a big believer in religious liberty. of of the most of my academic work in religious liberty. >> host: from a political.of view the
majority of americans support gay marriage. most people in indiana work against that bill. have is a republican party benefit from supporting? >> guest: this is one where they have to support religious liberty. depending on how the question is framed, framed, but i asked marco rubio and jeb bush about this. not about same-sex marriage. the court will decide that. whether or not you object to having intimate sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and woman. i just wrote a book a book and white evangelical seven reading scripture on.
all the st. paul. it's a good book. if you believe otherwise, our framers fully intended that you would be unmolested in your religious belief and practice by the state. that is the core issue here. the hobby lobby case reproductive mechanisms hobby lobby one and i.out to people corporations. he goes on the "washington post" to write about the necessity of nondiscrimination against gays. i am all for template speaking out as the ceo of apple, offer citizens united , as my speech as possible. a big political speech person. let's not pick and choose winners. the marketplace of ideas.
i've known him forever. wrong about everything. please just wrote. debating for years. i i think that i feel forward. we ought not to criminalize speech, there is a new book coming out. this attempt to shut down conversation. they will sell 1 million bucks. a million bucks. americans are tired of being told you can have that conversation. it's unacceptable. >> host: you been very patient. >> caller: thanks. twenty-five years ago. i i left the country there was obviously in decline. i came to the united states left a good career behind. a solid country going down
elected in 1980. the world was actually in a much worse situation. they were cubans all over africa for inflation in double digits, digits, unemployment in double digits, prime interest rate of 12 or 13 percent. we bought a house and 85. her interest rate was 12 percent. and so america and so america was up against the ropes. reagan turned around. i wished we got started earlier. think would be further along. the beginning of that is dealing with the american military power, the sequestration is almost suicidal. into project american power wisely and user technology. we can shut down using any
technology. we combined the pure we combined the people's republic of china. the china. the subject of attack from the people's liberation army. you'll have to worry about americans we spend the money on defense. talking about our new printing ability. all the technologies our disposal. the way we did ten years ago or 20 years ago with 30 years ago. information i mentioned earlier information changes everything. on the cusp of an amazing century if we don't screw it up. >> host: a few minutes left.
>> caller: about two or three months ago islamic scholars published an open letter to baghdad he and isis in which they said they gave 24 points at which isis was not following the principles of islam. i would observe i would observe that the ku klux klan claims that they are christian although they hate jews and blacks. i wonder if you could give me more than a one-word answer if i were i were to ask if there was a newspaper headline that says christians whence negro. would that be a fair headline? thank you much by. >> caller: not sure where
your going to mobile you are attempting to say is we ought not to be quick to judge islam by the extremist actions of illness or front for a big daddy. i agree with that. president lcc was the leading university in cairo the seat of islamic burning in the world give a lecture on january 1. you will be able to find where he instructed the scholars of islam that the problem wasn't islam. needed to be confronted reformed. they. that for me to say that. leading islamic scholars. it is a problem. a lot of people in isis.
returned isis fighter. we have had that happen in london commend the united states, in france. we france. we have to be serious about the fact that there are a lot, thousands, tens of thousands of radical islamists who are not representative real and present danger to the world. it doesn't do us any good to say 50 years ago there were lynchings in the united states have nothing to do with christianity. that doesn't advance the argument. but we do right now about terrorists who are right now killing in nigeria hundreds of people. last week 200 plus christians were murdered because of there faith and ecology kenya. that is a right now problem that most americans don't know happened. massacred two years ago. the problem is getting
worse, not better commander does not help the world. i i judge you to be a left-wing or by virtue of your calls. for left-wingers to confuse the problem. it has nothing to do with american politics. will be arguing about bathrooms for transsexuals. we have to get serious of a serious problems. >> host: one minute left. >> caller: stop the bombings, funding the cia and fbi, secret activities. tens of millions of dollars in unfunded, unknown money. hundreds of millions of dollars going to the cia. do you support either overt
or covert assassinations? that's it. >> host: all right. you had half. you get the other half. >> guest: i disagree. i support drone strikes. i believe pres. obama has has constitutionally used his authority in that regard. >> host: kayfor, the newest book by kayfive. he comes out on june 19. then on book tv to give us a preview of that. thank you, as always. ..