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tv   Open Phones with David Mc Cullough  CSPAN  October 4, 2015 1:05am-1:46am EDT

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coolidge succeeded harding people were quite sure what he was going to be, so it's difficult to be sure exactly who you are electing, but-- and it's dangerous to look at what worked for two or three people in history and it absolutely applied to someone today, but i can't help but to really defining events, one for coolidge and one for reagan when how coolidge the boston police strike of 1919, and it was a very controversial strike and unrest in all of this stuff was going on. coolidge tried very hard to come up with a solution, but couldn't come up with a peaceful solution, so he finally just acted to break the strike and
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one of his top political advisers came to him and said, you psy and your political career is over and coolidge said you're probably right and then find it an issue the statement that no one has a right to strike against public safety anytime anyplace and that little short quote resonated with the american people and really was responsible for him being nominated as vice president in 1920, but how he handled that strike really defined him in the public's mind. then, the-- similar to reagan with air controllers strike, which sent a very strong message both domestically and internationally that reagan said what he met and meant what he said. no question about the context of the both of those. i wouldn't say it's a sure thing, but i am reminded of
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scott walker's experience in wisconsin, and i think that is one of the reasons that his potential campaign is resonating the-- with people because they actually saw on tv how much pressure he took up there and i think that's what we conservatives are hoping will get someone in there with a scott walker or someone else who really govern with the principles that they talk about when they are running, but will actually implement them once again. one last. >> was john randolph's daughter married to robert e lee? >> know. but, there was a-- robert e lee was married to custis is daughter, like george washington's granddaughter or
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great granddaughter or something like that, but randolph was somehow in the family. randolph was a kid to just about everyone. he was well-connected and not as close of that, because he was relation. >> garland tucker. [applause]. >> thank you so much. thank you for joining us, everyone. have a wonderful afternoon. we appreciate you being here. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching 48 hours of nonfiction. three cal television for serious readers. >> pulitzer prize winner david
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mccullough joins us here on our set at the convention center.loh the woright brothers is his most recent book, his most recent bestseller. mr. mcculloch, who funded the wright brothers? >> they did.? there are only funding had was what they took from their rather modest earnings from their bicycle shop. they not only funded theirer efforts, but they virtually made everything that they were in they need of to create the firstlyin flyers that they built in the first flying machine, as they a called it.shey with th ce exception of the blok for the motor they have for thea flying machine, which was made of aluminum at their idea. that was made for them in a the small startup company as we would call it today inpany a pittsburgh, and aluminum company here in america.
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it was the first aluminum injured ever belts. firs when it was first used, theuilt. block split and rather than sayt well, i guess that won't work, they said build another one. so, the second one did not split and in fact produced more horsepower than expected, son it's a wonderful example of not only their innovative capacity to solve the problems, but also when something didn't work they didn't give up. they never gave up about anything.hee up a there pboerfect-- perseverance against the odds ras a lifeseve lesson that i think we can all>w benefit from. >> we will put the phone numbers at because we want to give you chance to talk with david mccullough, teatime pulitzer prize winner.wn has written about paris and nowd the wright brothers in his most recent book.
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unta we also are taking text, if youn if u to text an idea or question to david mccullough.ial you can also contact us via social media and we will put those addresses of as well. you sa mr. a call, you say they self to funded. they die wealthy,?>> gut: >> guest: yes, they did, but not superrich. orval, mower soba's wilbur mor because wilbur died tragically in 1912, so he never really lived to see money. but, they were never in it for the money.ere they were in it to-- because int
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they had been raised on the idea that good life is the life of high purpose and they selected this as their objective and they were not bothered by the factthe that they had no money, not bothered by the fact that theyyr had no college education or not bothered by the fica peopleotheb thought they were crackpots ande they were made fun of andthey w ignored even by the press, evenb after they had proven that they could fly an airplane. >> host: after number birt-- november 1, 1903? a >> yes. the world was willing to admit that human beings could fly and' it didn't happen in this country. it happened in france, because neither the federal government here in washington, nor thernmei press nor anyone else wanted to accept the fact that these men had done something miraculous. imagine, they cracked what was
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one of the most difficult andmio presumably impossibleof technological problems ever in history and by doing so changedh history, changed the world in a way nothing else ever had, much more than the invention of the telephoneor or the libeled or ay of the other things that were happening at the same time.ere >> host: how do you pick your topic? ) there's, truman? >> guest: i really don't know. something happens then clicks someth and that is its.in with this one happened because i had just finished a book one americans who went to paris wito their ability as architects, doctors, painters, sculptors, writers because the training of the kind they knew they neededai wasn't available in our country medical schools way
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there were no schools and architecture. are medical schools were way behind those in europe and it e. medical school in paris was thee greatest in the world. i took that of all 1900, but i got so intrigued with thisd with little-known fact of american life that i was thinking ofamerh preparing the into the 20th century in the second volume anh in doing so i found out about the wright brothers in france. something i never imagines. once i started reading aboutd rn them as human beings, not just as they are coworkers i realizee this is the book i want to do.a skip paris, just the wright par brothers. the right i thank my lucky stars i did because i found it so infinitel.
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fascinating and holds so many surprises about how different they were than what most people imagined. ar >> host: friend-- fred and inirt the car, new york, y cou're the first call it.ough. ask your question, please see three hello? >> caller: just finished your book on the wright brothers and i didn't realize until i read your book that a piece of that plane went up r with neilf thei armstrong and 69.id >> guest: i'm sorry. i could not hear. >> host: i could barely hear it, also. but he said something about youd just finished your book and there was a piece of the plane taken to the moon with neil armstrong? >> guest: yes, neil armstrongst? carried a swatch of the canvas that was covering for the wingsf
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with him to the moon. didn' he didn't leave it there. he took it as a symbol of theira heritage, if you will. their allegiance and their gratitude to with the wright brothers had done.titude they saw it as an extension of i what they were doing was anof extension of what the wwright brothers started and what is so very interesting is that neil armstrong also came from the sedum -- the of ohio, that the bright-- wright brothers came from.rothers so, the first human beings ever to fly in a motor powered h aircraft, the first human to step foot on the moon both came from the same neighborhood, if it were, in ohio. >> host: chris from tampa. were was the competition initially and where it they aware of it? >> guest: the competition was comparatively modest up and tell
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them yes, they were aware of it. most of it was in france.erealsw they were also aware that they were way ahead of the competition. because by studying birds, soaring birds and figured out a solution to the problem thatlut wish they called wing warping and when they eventually went t france, to demonstrate what thet had achieved the great frenchey aviators all said we are but children compared to them.ildren they are so far ahead of us thau it's almost heartbreaking, butis they also felt immense respect e for what they achieved.. >> host: next call for davidst: macola comes from stephen in quincy, illinois. hello, stephen.ui >> caller: hello. i am honored to be able to askd david mccullough question.
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whyidid president adams, who had been a great attorney and a faid and reasonable man ever signed addition act and why was that acts enforced during his presidency so vigorously againss the supporters of thomas jefferson, many of whom were imprisoned for criticizing john adams and his administration? >> guest: the signing of the sedition act was a grievous mistake on the part of president adams, but he himself never goti involved with it. he realize, though he never said so, but it's apparent from his actions that this was a mistake and he really had nothing to do with it once it was passed. yes, it was wrong. yes, it was against the fundamental faith, as it were, o
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but aif you look at how relatively few people were, in fact, imprisoned, it was a mild mistake rather than a mistake of great consequence. i don't know about president who didn't make a mistake in office. it's a shame when they do, butis then again history is aboutut human beings.m the history is human. >> host: david mccullough, here re another text from the indianapolis, area. which president had the most consequential career after theie presidential term ended? >> guest: john quincy adams. >> host: y? >> guest: he went back and>> cerving congress and that was his star performance. his s he was for all the right things. and he fought for them till his dying day and he died with his
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jutes on-- his boots on on the floor of the house of representatives.reprenta john quincy adams is a vastly underrated american.astly we don't give much attention to one term president's and he wasn a very great man. he i think intellectually, iq level, however you want to say it, he may have been the mostl, brilliant human being to ever occupy the office. >> host: if you want to text in a question four: >>guest today. next call for david mccullough comes from tom in florida. hello, tom. >> caller: good morning. my question is my father-in-law was the manager of the rightthe aircraft factory in 1916. did mr. macola learn anything about him? his name is william lind. w guest: i wish i could sayn yes, but no i don't.no
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my book really has 1910, when thval and wilbur wright decide they have achieved what they set out to do and therefore, they could take a flight together inp until me plane. until then, they would never dto that because if one were killed they wanted the other one to still be alive to carry on what their mission and it was a mission with which they gave total devotion excluding almostg everything else that we think of as the normal life in order tove achieve it. they never married. oney never went on vacations. they were totally committed tore their work. much the way their father, who was a minister was committed to his work on his mission. his through them, their objective t fly control themselves in the air was a mission. it wasn't just one of the
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misunderstandings about thet wright brothers, it wasn't that, they just implanted the airplane, which in its help would've been a phenomenal, schmidt, but they invented how to fly its. they learned to fly. they were the first test pilots ever and they were testingthey something that no one else hadei ever tested because the worldnge never had such a machine available. >> host: what is the next book on? >> guest: i don't know, peter.ii >> host: my good ideas to takees this call from kathy in illinois. kathy, you are on with david mccullough. >> caller: mr. macola, i thoroughly enjoyed "the wright brothers". , delta airlines employee and i have an appreciation of applying. my question is what really took. wilbur's health down, did they between the wing
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warping? a was that ever resolved? >> guest: it was in existence-- not long after the wing warpingt the rights knew about it, but. they upped their method, their wing warping was superior. they began to come into use shortly afterwards. but, no, i don't think so. they-- they felt what they had done was exactly what was necessary at the time. had they lived longer, hadhey wilbur lived longer he might have changed.have chaed the answer to your question, did the business problems where wilbur down to the point where he contracted typhoid? i don't think there's anyit question about it, yes, , he di.
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he had lost weight.d about he was pale. he was on edge and then he contracted typhoid. to me, it's like a greek tragedl because their father had warned them all of their lives since st they were little boys to beware of badwater. b we take clean water, pure water for granted, but it wasn't by any means. i one of the perils of the earlier day. >> host: a text from matthew whg asked, i recall mr. macola saying president kennedy inspired him to public service and following his dream. thn he please discuss this part of his lifeis and how he changed career paths.e >> guest: i would be delighted i> g: it's been a very very long timey since the president of the united states has c alled upon us all to do something for our country.
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too t o often spending time tellinga us what they are going to do for us and when president kennedy made that summons, gave that he magnificent eloquent summons in his inaugural address i took a i entirely to heart and i had a very good job in new york, working for time and life and i gave it up to come to washington to do something in some way toti serve my country.in i wound up working at the us information agency, which was a. wonderful organization. which also happened at that point with my very good luck was being run by edward r murrow, sd for the next three years as lonx as kennedy lived it have a hug privilege and the graduate school glory of working for the
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us information agency under edward r murrow. it change my life and it was while i was in washington working on a particular project that i happen to discover some material at the library of foundess and i suddenly myself launched with the ambition to write a book. once i got started on it, doing research in the writing i knewsh this is what i wanted to do fori the rest of my w working life ad so it's been. >> host: up next, richard in charlotte, north carolina.ca richard, you're on book tv with david mccullough. >> caller: thank you, david. i appreciate the bookshelftt britain, especially the "the wright brothers". my grandmother knew the wright brothers and she called them the crazy bicycle boys. the but, i was going to ask you, wasn't the wright patterson air force base where it is now, for, wasn't that a reasonable place for them to learn to fly in that
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would've taken north carolina out of the equation. >> guest: first of all, your grandmother was among a large crowd that thought they were wacko, crackpots.wack, they would say they are nice young man, but a little off their balance. it is as you say 8 miles out of dayton, part of the wright patterson air force base and because it is part of the air f force base it has orbeen preserd as exactly the way it was.been p what on there is far more important than people realize. the plane that they flew at kit kitty hawk in 1943, was not a wn practical airplane yet. it took three more years to develop a practical airplane. so, the real airplane as we would say, the airplane wherewot
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people could learn how to fly and fly it was born there. >> host: craven from new jersey. a tax. do you think the wright brothers bndered progress of a americant aviation? >> guest: no, no more so than alexander graham bell's patent hindered the use of telephones. bell or the development of these of telephonete or that alexander graham bell's patent stalled the development of the telephone. no. all you have to do is look at what happened to aviation. in almost no time the wrightappe brothers-- the plane that they had developed was not recognized as the reality until 19-- the plane he that-- it was used in i world war i was vastly differen
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than what they had flown and that more advanced plane had developed in just those seven years, eight years since theears wright brothers plane was recognized to be a reality.ane g of course, the acceleration of progress was beyond anyone's imagining where lindbergh spline the atlantic in the 1920s and lb orval writes lived to see theen jet propulsion, jet engines. orval wright lived to see rockets. orval wright lived to see the horrible devastation caused by airplanes used as weapons in world war i and world war ii. wilbur wright did not see this. he died in 1912. didn'o it didn't hold back the advancement of aviation whatsoever. >> host: karen is calling in from pennsylvania. >> caller: thank you for taking
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my call. i wanted mr. macola to know howw often i have read his books and enjoy them. the question is, why did it take americans so long to get behind the wright brothers and their ideas?ndheir the french seem to get on board quickly and i just wondered whyi thank you speech you think the most dramatic example of how blind we were and also what undoubtedly the reason we were that way is that they were flying if i know most every day when the weather permitted, juse 8 miles outside of dayton. the reporters and editors of the dayton newspaper would not even bother to come out to see for themselves what was happening. well, some years later one of the editors of the paper was
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asked how can that be happening right under your nose is any h paid no attention and he said i guess we were just plain stupid and. the first person, the first to publish an accurate account of their flightsey and this is immenselyt important breakthrough, change in history was a beekeeper up i northeastern ohio, named amos route who drove down to see for himself what was happening downf in dayton.ppeng d saw what was happening and wrote an article about it for his what w beekeeper's journal and that was the first complete, accurate account that the airplane had ever published, by a beekeeper who is very interested in whatever was going on that was creative and new, whether it was in any field. he was not blinded by what he
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had come to feel was what h everyone knew. is like the king has no close. someone had to say it.clots. it's real.dy h it's here.re, that was amos route's.hanks is g tom hanks is going to be making a miniseries grayscale based ona this book and i can't wait to see who he casts as amos route. i have some ideas.some i wase it's paul giamatti, because he does that kind apart so spectacular. >> host: will you have any input? >> guest: very much, as i did wi thedams series. i think the world up tom hanks had i know what beautiful work he does and all of the people who work with him, some of the best people i have ever worked
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with in my life. >> host: mr. macola, this is a text from the philadelphia areae carried i'm an aspiring writer i with a background in history education and a great lead meyer how you blend excellentelling storytelling and brought it research. how did you find your voicnte ad i apologize, kami in huntsville, alabama.untsvie, >> i assume you mean my voice in a writer. to lear by writing, there is only oneted way to learn how to write and ti that's to sit down and write and to write and rewrite and learn to edit yourself. f it all.the writ o you have to separate the writer you for the editor you, unless the editor show the person wrote this very difficult how to makeo it work. one way to do that is to take what you have written and put it on a shelf for a couple of weeks
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or more and then take a fresh look because you will see things about it that you didn't seeee t while you are writing it.ou another very helpful way to. learn to write is to have someone read it aloud to you. try to write for the ears while the eye because you will hear things about it that you have h written that you don't necessarily see, the repetition of certain words or certain kinds of structure or the factr that you suddenly become very boring. you will hear that. so, my wife has read to me me everything i have written forte the last 50 years, and still does and that means she reads it maybe three or four times because i do one draft after another and always, always iand hear things, she hears things that need to be changed. >> host: do you enjoy the book to her?
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>> guest: i love it.oy it's very gratifying. i love meeting my readers. no writer could survive without readers. c i'm dependent on readers. it's like carrying to meet youry customers and i love to heare te what they think and what they like about what i've done or eeat they feel might have been f better or what they would like w me to write about the next time. >> host: next call for you comes from tom in dublin, indiana. tom, you are on with david mccullough, on the tv. >> caller: mr. mccullough, i really love your books. iive the bishop preached here my little town and orville-- no,s wilbur was born a few miles from here in melville. >> guest: that's correct. few ms >> caller: i was surprised to
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learn of the support that the father and sister gave the brothers and i was a little i waa litat the end that orval and his sister kind of had ad hs falling out and i was just wondering if that was ever i resolved or not? resold >> host: first of all, who is the bishop? >> guest: the bishop was their father who is a bishop in the church, the denomination he belonged to and the sister was katherine, the youngest of the wright family children. yes, i was very surprised to learn how important the father was, how important the sister h fas and one of the joys of up mo work on this project was to bring both of them front and center because they were parts o of the joint effort and you
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the j can't leave the poieople like tt outs. the sister was far more important that people have realized. i personallyim feel that if she hadn't been there, had it been part of it the story would not, have come out as it did. she was always there when they needed her. she would prod them into more effort to keep their spirits up and they oftenne needed that ane she was very bright and very w funny and could be very sharp if she thought someone wasn't sh i behaving as they should behave. of course, the father was inspirational their lives andnet never lost faith in them. understand thet technology they were working with. .ery few people did. it wasn't just that they were bicycle mechanics, they were brilliance businessman,ics. aeronautical engineers, solving problems, intellectual problemsa that no one at massachusetts
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massitute of technology or the smithsonian have even smisoni attempted-- got anywhere near as neveas they did and yet they have never even been to collegeg never even finished high schoolh but that never held them back. wilbur was a genius. i don't think there's any question about it and that's important to understand and catherine understood that. as did the father. >> host: from andrew, in virginia. fantastic book, are youginia, surprised that he rose about did not embrace wright brothers directly? >> guest: he did and he didn't. he had the nerve, courage to go down in the submarine for the first president to ever go downb in a submarine, which is notwn exactly saved thing to have not done.
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it was leaked from the whitefr house to the press and he was thinking seriously of going out over to fort myer, cross the river to washington to go up with orville wright when he wasv doing demonstration flights.e orville wright was very upset by that and he told people that he didn't think the president ofsh the united states should take such a risk.ak but, he insisted that he would do it. i within a few days later young, g lieutenant in the army when up with orville and orville crasheh ond suffrage was killed. so, had theodore roosevelt chosen to go over and go up as he apparently wanted to do, he one who theave been the was killed. twa >> host: here's a text suggestion for your next book.
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how about your bio? >> guest: that might be awful steamy. [laughter] >> guest: i might. i might. a lot of i have a lot of stories to tell about the people i have met along the way and people that i have been so grateful to for the help they have given me, windows they have thrown open and the friendships i've made and thinge i've learned about how to go about this kind of work. >> host: robert in west lafayette, indiana, you are on with david mccullough.r: >> caller: i just want to tell mr. mccullough, that i'm a big fan and i want to thank him for. >> host: rich, are you with us.
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>> caller: my wife and i had thm opportunity to you speak in dearborn, michigan, a few month. ago. you refer to paris as one of the centers of clinical research in the first portion of the 19th century. why france? y paris? what was going on in the countr? that that type of research, whyf was it carried out there? what changes were taking place this? >> guest: the french were way ahead of us in medicine and way ahead of us in technology, engineering, science. f the french also had the best medical training in the worldedc and is so that was not available here.ot the harvard medical school, for example, was small, inadequate and part of the problem was that
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cadavers were illegal in muchs h backcountry.e ntry so, therefore, anyone who wanted to understand anatomy andnatomyd understand dissection, anythingr of that kind was limited in thet opportunity to do so because ale the cadavers were sold on the black market, as it were. they were very expensive. very often even the doctors themselves and the professors themselves didn't have access t. cadavers to show about how the workings of the human body are put together. whereas, in france there is none such ruling. they could spend days, months dissecting bodies. one of the beneficiaries of tha. marvelous experience was oliver wendell holmes senior who wentlw on to become one of the looming
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figures in harvard medical thatol who specialize in anatomy and dissection most ofay his time there, but that wasssec only one example.exple. we are far more indebted to the french in many fields then weed realized. t medicine cis one of the clearet of all examples. >> host: how much time do you spend in paris? >> guest: a good deal, but not as much as most people would imagine because what i wasteal, getting my information materiale from what the letters these young medical students from home or the remnants that they publish years later and many of them were sons of doctors whose -- and their fathers wanted to know, what are you learning, what's the latest. they were in the very forefront of technological experimentation in progress there in paris andt
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the doctors and father's here in the united states didn't want th be left behind, so these sons write would write home about what they were doing and also what theyout of t were learning everyday and thosd letters are absolutely phenomenal and they are all still available at the harvard medical school library in boston. >> host: here's the last question or comment for you, oen it's a text. who was the last president to write his own speeches? what are your thoughts on the modern presidents and their gaggle of writers and handlers? >> guest: that's a good question and my guess is it would be theodore roosevelt. i think that the presidency and. the power of the presidency to communicater with the country is somewhat diminished by that.
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that is not to say that some presidents since i've written sm some of the most powerful partse of the speech as they have made or pronouncements they have issued. john kennedy, of course, was a very good writer. writetrongest praises, i think, are often when they are speakinw from the heart's and not fromheh someone's script. some presidents have had s wonderful writers for their writpts. ronald reagan had peggy noonan as one of his writers who also wrote for george hw bush when he became president. of course, kennedy's ghost writers and print the roosevelt

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