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tv   2012 Texas Book Festival Saturday  CSPAN  October 17, 2015 11:00am-6:01pm EDT

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mental health, civil rights, the relationship between the u.s. and israel and the american space program. that is all coming up live today from boston. you can get a full schedule at booktv.org and follow us on twitter and facebook as well to get scared a lot the, twitter.com/booktv and facebook.com/booktv. here is h.w. brands with reagan:a life with the texas book festival, live coverage on
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booktv from boston. >> good morning, good morning, and thank you so much for joining us at the 20th annual texas book festival. please make sure all your cellphones are turned off, it is a great privilege for the festival to use the capital and its grounds of please be respectful of this isn't normal remind you of this at an end, following the session, h.w. brands will be signing copies of his book and you can buy copies in the adjoining tent. if you have questions and want to chat with the bill, rather than doing it appear, go to the signing and, he will be here until tomorrow if necessary. she didn't promise me that. i will briefly introduce myself to as a you know who is and i will introduce bill and then he and i will talk for about 25
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minutes and then to 20 minutes of q&a. we wanted to make sure there's plenty of time for people to ask questions, i am damn oppenheimer, a working communications at the university of texas at austin and also the author of a book coming up next year from simon and schuster and prominent americans who have gone from the left to the right of the political spectrum. so henry william brands, h.w. brands, was born in oregon, went to college in california, sold cutlery across the american west, taught at the jesuit high school where he was a student and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in oregon and texas, taught at vanderbilt and texas a&m before joining faculty at the university of texas in austin where he holds the chairmanship in history, he has written 25 books and cotton or edited five others including a number of bestsellers, two finalist for the pulitzer prize, the first of which is traded his class, the
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privileged life and medical presidency of franklin delano roosevelt and the first american:the life and times of benjamin franklin. with the publication of his biography of ronald reagan which brings us here today he has now completed a six volume history of america as told through biography. maybe the first of its kind. finally, i am almost certain this is the first of its kind, he is in the middle of tweeting a history of the united states in haiku form. [laughter] and as of thursday when i last checked the has gone up to 1948 with this week on truman's executive order to desegregate the military. truman pushed the cause ordering the pentagon to retire jim crow. so my first question for you is whether you are looking forward to or dreading the 1960s and
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dealing with this in haiku form. >> i'm looking forward to it. i will get there in relatively short order. one thing i discovered when you write histories this way, you can choose how much time you want to spend on any particular we're or topic. sometimes when i write these things i actually lose ground to history. the battle of gettysburg took three days to fight. it took me three weeks to tweet it out. there was a time during the civil war when i said this is not good, i will never get any closer to the present that i am but i can skip fairly quickly through the 1870s and 1880s. i'm in the 1950s, i will get the civil rights revolution into the 1960s in quick order but it will slow down when i get to vietnam, when i get to the domestic protests, all the stuff going on in the 60s. i hope this will eventually get me to the present.
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one of two things will prevented from doing so. one is that i will simply run out of gas or the other thing, this is more likely, i started doing this via twitter because it was at the time, this was five years ago, a time a preferred social medium of my students, this is a way i can communicate with my students. they are no longer breeding long for history, this is shorter form. really short form. it turns out twitter has become rather essay among the 19-year-old crowd. i may have to switch social media. i don't know what i go to next. instagram. i am not sure how that is going to work out. i do want to talk about reagan because that is what we are here but i want to start with a kind of overarching question on this
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topic of a six volume history of america through biography, it is important and useful to know why that is important to do. so the idea of the six volume history of america through biography. it was originally going to be a six volume history of the united states. i propose the idea to a publisher who laughed at me and says no one does that sort of thing and who said some of you will date or age yourselves if you know who this person was, the publisher said to you think you are any way? will durant? okay. those people who laugh and know who will durant was are of a certain age and they rode this wonderful story of civilization and the answer i wanted to give this publisher was yes, i would like to be will durant history of the united states because i had read most of that 25 number of volumes and i was enchanted by the idea of a guy, this one
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voice carry you through these long stretches of history. my feeling and reading the durant series was if the author gains your confidence in volume 1 or whatever volume you pick up the story, then that author has the advantage if your confidence is going forward into other areas and one of the things i learned by this point in writing is one of the arts of writing is to right about the stuff that you really are confident about, the stuff you know deeply and then you are going to write about stuff you are not so confident in, but you have to convey the same confidence even though the ice is finish the you are skating on there so i thought okay, develop confidence by -- would not necessarily be volume one. it would be some volume in the series that something i was really confident in and develop western reader should confidence
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and then you can carry the story forward so i was originally discouraged that the author's lack of encouragement but i came back to and thought of i don't write it as history but instead as a biography maybe i can draw people in because people have often times unfortunate memories of history classes from high school or elsewhere in part because they were made to take often buy and an enthusiastic teacher but nobody took a biography class, nobody had a bad experience in biography. people will read biographies. some of you, forgive me if you have heard me say this before, i say this is definitely true in texas, probably true in other states, a whole lot of people cannot remember the last name of their high school history teacher but are pretty sure that the first name was coach. [laughter]
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>> run through very quickly, one of the six volumes in order? in order chronologically. >> volume one is about benjamin franklin. each of the books has a theme, what i consider a task of american history, the first american because franklin's generation was the first to define itself as americans. andrew jackson is volume 2, he introduces democracy into american life. a man who saved the union, grant, in his case twice a, as president, civil war general and as president. the third volume, the fourth volume is t. r. the last romantic. teddy roosevelt, transition figure from the end of the romantic era of american history into the industrial age.
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volume 5 is franklin roosevelt, the book is called a traitor to his class because reagan goes from left to right, roosevelt goes from right to left. he was seen as a traitor to the patrician class in which he was born and reagan is volume 6, why reagan? there were other people who would have taken on this period of history, while ronald reagan? >> when i started the series i had no intention at all that it would mostly be biographies of presidents. it turned out that way because presidents are very handy if your goal is to tell the story of american history. if you choose industrialists, a writer, an artist, then you wonder pretty far from that individual's like to get to the big stories of american history. presidents fill that need pretty well. so when i came to reagan it was almost certain it was going to be a president.
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i needed someone who met two four important criteria for me, one was this person had to be an adult by 1945. the practice i had developed was to step my next character under the stage as an adult at the time of the death of my previous characters so andrew jackson was 23 when benjamin franklin died and so on so i didn't want somebody who was born in the 1940s in part because i don't do child could very well. i wanted to almost drop in them down as adults. dragons fit that. i also needed someone who would carry the story as far toward the present as possible. ideally at least into the 21st century. alternates were richard nixon, lyndon johnson, both of those are compelling individuals who have the big advantage in those
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cases of having a dark side to their personality that really intrigues the biographer, a complex history both as president and as individuals. my problem with both of them is that they leave off us too soon. the last reason and perhaps the most important is that both of them, especially johnson but even to some extent richard nixon are simply continuations of the preexisting era. the era of that i modestly define in the franklin roosevelt but as the era of franklin roosevelt because lyndon johnson is the best example, he just carries the new deal for reintegrate society, richard nixon in his own way is a domestic liberal. the big finger that happened in the second half of the 20th century, the big change is the turn to the right, the emergence of modern conservatism in american life. that is the story ronald reagan
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embodies so that is why reagan. >> i think this is important to understand the sweep of reagan but can you talk a little bit about the early reagan and how he comes into alignment with this rising conservative movement and ultimately becomes its standard bearer and most effective articulator? >> one of the big questions for somebody writing reagan's biography is how did this guy wind up as a first of all president and secondly as a very conservative president? what is going on here? because he was someone who was not born a conservative, not born into a conservative family, he was essentially of legacy new deal democrat, his father who always had a hard time holding down a job because he had a hard time staying sober took the job, got a job with the new deal, low-level position in the new
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deal in rural illinois. it was a time when the reagan family needed any income they could find and so the new deal seemed to ronald reagan and other members of the reagan family as almost a godsend. this was something that held the family together so the reagans including ronald reagan were grateful to franklin roosevelt and this new deal program. they had really been a savior to the family and reagan voted for franklin roosevelt every chance he had, voted for -- reagan voted for franklin roosevelt four times and never thought seriously about the philosophy behind the new deal. just seemed like something the family needed at the time but gradually he started reconfiguring his political philosophy. at the time, i don't have any
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belief that he thought there was going to be a political future for him in this. was still hoping his film career had legs. but eventually reagan went into politics because perhaps for the most prosaic, but compelling reason. team needed a job. in fact one of the striking things about reagan's career is he was 53 years old when he essentially first set foot on a political stage. in 1964 he gave a speech on behalf of barry goldwater, made reagan's name as a potential candidate for high office in the united states. if that speech had flopped, reagan had no plan b, no fall back. he had gone from being moderately successful film actor to not successful at all film
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actor to not very successful tv host to having lost that job and by the early 1960s looking at for work. he started giving a few volunteers speeches on behalf of republican candidates in southern california and some of the people listened to him like what they heard and said maybe you could put together a speech for barry goldwater and so he did. in many respects his speech for barry goldwater was reagan at second screen tests, his first screen test was the 1930s for warner brothers, this one was for a bigger job. >> bill and i were having coffee last weekend at the pointed out something about that speech, a seminal moment in reagan's career, how long into the speech was that before he mentioned barry goldwater? >> a 28 minute speech and he was 14 f-15 minutes in before he mentioned goldwater but he was very interesting because the crowd was not a real crowd,
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wasn't the real political crowd. these are people who were brought into this auditorium, wasn't even a tv studio. was an auditorium. the television business is trying to figure out how to use tv in politics at this time so they bring in a bunch of presumably goldwater supporters and they have got their order. what you do, a bunch of them had goldwater signs. every time you hear the speakers speak the word goldwater you raise the signs and jumped up and down. he goes on and on, he essentially recycling versions of speeches he had been giving for decade on behalf of general electric corp. where he was preaching the virtues of private enterprise, he left out the lines of better living through electricity. but it was all about freedom and reagan had the opportunity to
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test these lines down audiences so he knew which once worked, but there is this odd disconnect because reagan is used to getting applause for the applause lines. but the audience had instructions, wait till you hear goldwater so reagan is speaking and no one is reacting to the way they are supposed to. doesn't know quite what to do and the audience are waiting to hear about goldwater and they're not hearing about goldwater and they don't know what to do so reagan really looks awkward and these days with youtube and everything, you can actually pull up the speech itself. there is this awkward 15 minutes or so where is unclear this speech is going to be a success at all. eventually does mention the name goldwater but by then the audience is realizing this isn't about goldwater, this is about this new guy reagan and they get into the moment and start clapping and leave the goldwater
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signs down and reagan understood that parts of this would be excepted and all of the good lines are just reagan himself. and people -- i presume barry goldwater himself, who watched or read the speech later were rather miffed by this because the very next day republicans all-around a country with a oh my gosh, we nominated the wrong guy. if we had nominated this guy we would have a chance to win. >> i think one of the interesting things to me about reagan from the perspective of a writer is on the one hand he looks like somebody who should be incredibly for these kinds of reasons to should be a great subject for a biographer and yet the fact is if you know about the history of reagan biographies, people have been -- the best example is his
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authorized biographer who had to somewhat fictionalized, end ed up he was so driven over the edge by reagan in some sense that he created a whole fictional aspect to the biography. my question to you is a -- legendarily sort of odd biography and history, my question is what is so confounding about reagan given that he has got such dramatic stories and was such a charismatic guy what is so confounding about him to biographers and how did you deal with whatever that is? >> i will confess that being confounded by the confounded this of biographers because i don't think reagan is a hard guy to understand. i think it is fairly straightforward what made reagan taken by will share an experience that i had when i was doing a book tour for a previous book about ulysses grant, we talk about grant and toward the
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end of the interview, this is a radio interview, the host put his hand over the microphone and said when we get off the air i will tell you something. okay, that is good. we got off the air and he said -- he said his your next book about? i said it is about reagan. okay, that is when he said i'm going to tell you something so we get off the air and i am waiting to hear what revelation he has about ronald reagan. when you write about people who are recently deceased, you run across maybe reagan had dated his grandmother or something like that, that kind of thing but what he said was if you want to understand ronald reagan there's one thing you need to keep in mind, reagan was the son of an alcoholic father. i didn't know how to respond to this bit of information because
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this was not exactly news and i to know if my informant fought it was news. reagan had written about his father as an alcoholic in his own memoir, so i did what seemed to be the logical thing to do, i just kept my mouth shut to see what more he had to say and you went on and he said a i speak as the son of an alcoholic father. and i will tell you that when you live in that kind of environment you develop a certain characteristic emotional style because one day your father is your best friend and he's throwing the baseball around with you in the backyard and takes you offer ice-cream and tells you funny stories and you think he is the best guy in the world. and the next day he is beating the living daylights out of view and each morning when you wake up you don't know which father you are going to deal with. thanks, i will keep that in mind
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and so i did keep it in mind. i heard of this kind of reaction but i thought i would try to see if i could identify it in reagan himself so i went back and reread reagan's own memoir. reagan in his memoir treats his father quite gently, he treats his father away his mother whom he idolized taught him and his brother to treat their father, the father had an illness and therefore he deserved the sympathy of the sons rather than their anchor and for the most part reagan is able to hold that pose but there is a particular moment and i am not sure reagan himself understood what he was revealing when he wrote this scene, he is in illinois, about 10 years old, coming home from school on a winter afternoon, getting dark, temperature is
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below zero, there is snow deep on the ground and he turns into the sidewalk in to the walkway into the house and he encounters his father passed out face down in the snow and in the memoir reagan says he paused for a moment asking himself what he should do. should you wake his father up and help him inside or should he simply walked past? the implication of simply walking past is that his father might very well freeze to death in the snow and fact that this can year-old kid had even a moment where he is thinking to himself my life might be better off if my father were dead is but pretty heavy weight for a kid to bare. reagan quickly passes on in the story where he says all right, i
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woke him up and took him inside. the moment passed, but i think to understand reagan's emotional life is to keep that in mind, reagan kept people at a distance including nancy who would say that she knew ronny as she always called him better than anyone else on earth which is quite true, but there were times even with me that curtain would come down and i would know i couldn't reach him and that is the way it was. that part to me is not particularly deep or unfathomable. to me the really interesting question is not so much what made reagan take, but what made reagan successful? how did this guy succeed in politics at the level he did? he didn't have those obvious characteristics of great success. she didn't have overweening
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ambition, he didn't have powering intelligence, he wasn't any it ordinate the charismatic individual, he struck fear in no hearts, so what was it that made him, i say it in the book and make the case for, what was it that made him the most important president of the second half of the 20th century? that was the question i had to solve. >> if people want to start lining up we will switch to the queue and day in a minute. my question is this, and i think i sort of focused on early reagan intentionally in part because i think the closer you get to the present the more the gravitational force field of our current politics takes over the discussion of reagan and i didn't want to lose sight of who he actually was. my question is what do people
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get wrong about reagan, when you are trying to talk about him, what is -- how does contemporary politics distort an understanding of who he actually was and the influence he had? >> reagan remains the darling of the republican party but only by virtue of reagan's ability to be two different people. there was reagan the speechmaker, reagan the campaigner, and reagan the practical politician, the one who had been elected and who then had to be governor of california for two terms, president of the united states for two terms. if you simply listen to reagan the speechmaker, if you read or these days watch on video the speeches, he could be speaking from the platform of the tea party. he is 100% conservative right down the line and anybody in the republican party can look at
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that reagan and say he is our guy, and he did give really good speeches and so every republican candidate today can aspire to be that candidate and if they can be that candidate they can imagine being that president. but if they were that president, if they look at reagan the president, republicans to they look at president reagan's records they have serious problems ticos' as late as the 1980s, republicans were willing to compromise. the greatest republican president of our living memory was willing to compromise in the interests of larger goals. reagan was a tax cutter, but he was not a dogmatic have to cut taxes all the time, he had to cut taxes and free to big chunk
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so the top rate on personal income tax went from 70% to 29% under reagan. .. people ask you if ronald reagan would win if he were
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running today and i think the answer was if he were the speech giver he would. the political towns would come into play in the mastery of the rhetoric and philosophy but that if he had to run on his record in the republican party you would get a friend print. i would add that ronald reagan had something that you can't write a recipe for. that goes a long way. it was an interesting kind of appeal that ronald reagan appealed appeared friendly from a distance and so people that knew him by television and who ran into him at a political rally began the speech is what a joke and they told the joke they are not deep or particularly.
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but it went a long way towards dispelling skepticism but people thought that he was a likable guy. there's one other thing in short supply in the republican party these days he had a very firm sense of optimism and he believed that america's best days are ahead and reagan had not one strike of anger in him. he wasn't an angry guy. i tell you if the people are fighting it out among themselves one of them is going to land among that group. ronald reagan was the less conservative than barry goldwater in 1964 but barry goldwater scared people.
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and that its it's best days are ahead of it and he made americans believe that, to back him. they were under the impression that john wayne won the second world war things what happened. and i think that ronald reagan john wayne had a lot in common. the appearance, the fact that they were good speakers and
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hollywood actors. you're asking why he was successful i always thought he was successful because people confused him with john wayne. i would say both john john wayne and ronald reagan represented what i will call a simplified version of american history. if i want to be more critical eye would call it a simpleminded version but i will settle for simplified. and the simplified version is america gets things right. sometimes eventually. and america has been on the side of justice and freedom, which by and large is true and reagan was one who believed implicitly and he had a hard time acting on any exceptions to that.
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there were those dark periods in american history and ronald reagan was talking about watching a movie with his dad. and he said didn't do u.s. government treats them pretty badly and his father reluctantly indicated iso and he would say that my father really wanted to believe the best things about the united states. now he wasn't a fool and he wasn't ignorant. he understood that there were moments in history that didn't look very well on american values. he never felt that was the heart
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with a good set of values and that was the appeal. that was the ronald reagan appealed and it's something that is in old times in american history. you can criticize america about don't expect people to vote for you if you do that. ' [applause] my question is about the iran contra scandal. how did he get convinced that the scheme made sense and december 2, what if anything was the role of george shultz? >> is the stupidest idea that he ever heard coming into this trying to block when he realized that it was going ahead without him he just got as far away from him as he could.
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he became very embarrassed once it came out because it was clear he wasn't running the show with a contra scale is the role ronald reagan got involved in it primarily because reagan was extremely sensitive to the issue of hostages and in american foreign policy. you will recall that reagan was elected in large part because there were 52 hostages begin held in iran and reagan made great use of them against jimmy carter politically. so, the hostages were freed on the inauguration day with more hostages were taken. not as many that there were seven or eight. in retaliation for actions that ronald reagan had ordered in the foreign-policy and ronald reagan became personally invested. he ought to know the families and the names of the hostages in almost every day when he met
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with him he would say is there any progress on the release of the hostages? how when he had this idea is that he was a national security advisor he casted in terms of maybe we could get the release of the hostages. ronald reagan signed onto the hostage idea pushing the strategic opening and so they are going to make this happen by delivering the spare parts to iran because they have this whole arsenal built arsenal of weapons and the idea goes forward. in his diary he understands very clearly that there is a mechanism connecting the sale of the arms to the release of the hostage. one more shift of antitank missiles and two more hostages are supposed to be released but
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somehow this goes back to the subdivide version in history and of reagan himself where we do not trade arms for hostages, we do not negotiate and he repeated it again and again so he had to believe that this was an arms for hostages, that the united states wasn't negotiating with your wrist. there was a bit of a cut out because the arms were actually going off to the hezbollah terrorists that were holding the hostages but to the underwriters in tehran is. this was a violation of american law and in violation of the american policy but he denied
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his arms for hostages. if you read the diary you realize it's not arms for hostage. you have to ask yourself what's going on here? ronald reagan was an actor but have never gone into politics. but he was one of those people who was able to convince himself and i think that we all do this at some level he was able to convince himself of something that he needed to believe was true for just as they were on the site of rights and justice that was almost essential to his understanding of the world and so he eventually as presented with the evidence asked to make a public concession inside didn't want to believe it, i didn't believe it at the time that i've seen the evidence so i guess it really was arms for hostages. this was one on purpose with you scratching your head.
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he was a likable guy and got far less in the violations in american law and constitutional authority to >> my name is carl and you have six volumes of history dealing with individuals could human beings. have you ever considered writing history from the standpoint of various forces such as science
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and engineering, financial and economic >> i wrote one book called the strange strangest of american liberalism and it was a study of this idea of liberalism. they have the subtitle of the capitalist revolution in america and the public become about emergence of the american capitalist system so yes i have and do. >> i was going to say when you pretend 25 books and edited or co-authored five more the answer is probably yes. >> i have an advantage over the
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readers because many of them are so skewered they wouldn't have had a chance. they are all still in print available at the local bookstore and online. >> it's working this time. i wanted to ask about the research did you see him as the kind of iceberg that people like morris described or the more likable intelligent and maligned guide of some might describe? >> i would say that he was a very -- he was approachable as long as he didn't get too close
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to. he was the nicest guy you could imagine. reagan was some of you learned it early age when he does in hollywood how to be in public, how to behave in public. i will say how to be a celebrity. and one of the secrets of success which is in politics generally is knowing how to behave in public there are people who become president who don't understand that the ritual aspects of the presidency are as important as the policy aspects. jimmy carter was stronger than any number of policy issues but jimmy carter seemed to disdain for the demand to command to be president. he took his cues from franklin roosevelt and understood the secret of any president's success is his ability to channel division and hope and
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dream of the american people. and especially if americans are at a moment of crisis when they are looking for somebody who will be only person they revealed to the president because the president is the only person who represents the country as a whole. senators, members of congress, they represent you by groups. because the president is the head of government and head of state to the united states the president does both and ronald reagan understood that if you can perform that role, if you can channel the hopes and dreams in the generation than you can accomplish pretty much everything that you're looking for. franklin roosevelt did it in in the 1930s, ronald reagan did in the 1980s. >> thank you for talking about arms for hostages because one of my most vivid memories was
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seeing him on television saying this is not an arms for hostages deal but my question has to do with another book that's out there and i hope that everyone reads yours but imagine at least a few people are buying and maybe reading and i wonder if you could comment on that but for us. >> is a basic problem with killing reagan. he doesn't die in the book. he survives. so there is bad. [laughter] >> have you read the? [laughter] >> may be in the book he does by which an case i have bigger problems than i thought. [laughter] i will leave others to comment. the >> that brings us to the end of the session and i want to thank you again for your attention.
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[applause] if you need to buy one go to the tent where they are selling them. they also sell multiple copies. it would've a life and career of president ronald reagan. we have a couple minutes before the next program begins.
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that's by the way is steve talking about his book jackson-lee and looking at president andrew jackson and the removal of the indians in the 1830s. we just heard h. w. graham talking about president ronald reagan. he's a historian that has written several books and in 2005 he appeared here at the texas book festival. while we are waiting for the room to get reset, here's a little bit from one of the earlier books. >> i am trained as a historian and so i tend to look at biographies regardless how they are written to the life and times of your subject i tend to include more times than some other biographers do and my experience and observation tend to come to the subject for one of two directions they are
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either historians like me or they are journalists and sometimes novelists find their way and into the folks that come from the direction of history tend to sort of borrow an image from filmmaking they tend to broaden the focus on their character. you see that character. it's part of the vehicle for telling the story of the characters times. journalists and others. so they fill up four of the frame. beyond that we could get into the question how do you reconstruct the lives of people.
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i will confess that i've times in some of the books i've taken on. first of all there is the whole question of how can you write a bunch of pages you don't know exactly how tall they were. you don't know some very basic stuff. you don't encounter the subject for 15 seconds in life you. the other thing was there's all kinds of life experiences that we all share so we are all children at one time and so you can imagine the subject.
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was going to consist of franklin growing old because he became america's emissary to france during the american revolution at the age of 70. it was about 40 or so and i wondered if i would understand if you like to grow old which is a part of the story. as much as possible is for the people that saw him and knew
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them. there was a choice writing a scene in my own words and in the words of somebody who was there that conveys a certain authenticity and relieves me of the burden providing the authority because the question anyone should have reading the work of history how do i know the author is telling me and if i can make it very clear it's not me that's telling you this. the room looked like this to see that somebody was actually there booktv is live from austin texas come home of the 20th of book festival. this book festival was founded by laura bush when she was the
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first lady. of course she also founded the national book festival now in its 15th year. while we wait for the next program to begin, steve will be talking about andrew jackson. here's another offer that appeared at the texas book festival in the past. this is 2006 the great escape nine jews fled hitler and changed the world. >> the first lady of texas started the first texas book festival. that's where we are apt for the texas book festival. the last weekend in october every year this is the 11th. the book is the great escape who fled hitler and changed the world. they were born and raised in budapest in this golden period
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and as they fled across europe from budapest to berlin to london and then arriving finally on our shores they brought with them two things. one a sense of the gathering danger to america from hitler from the not cease at a time when americans were not yet ready to hear that message. they acted as a sort of early warning system because they already as young men had experienced the violent nausea some and number two they brought with them the cultural currents that they had soaked up as they moved across europe. so everything from surrealism to construction of some, they
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brought it with them and it's not an exaggeration to say that they really did transform america. >> before we go through the specifics,, place us in budapest in a period of time what was the cd and lifelike? >> although i was born in budapest i never knew but heard about from my past and was eager to re-create, this was also a personal book for me. it was a city of great intellectual excitement where a lot of the excitement place on sidewalk cafés. there were something like 300 cafés. anna banana from all fields had interacted with each other and i think that's part of budapest magic in those years and we are talking about leading up to world war i so a brief window.
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but it was a city that was creating itself because it had just become the capital of the empire so now along with the anna became a world-class city and needed a lot of human capital and became much like new york is and has been for many generations a magnet for the best and the brightest. but if you briefly it briefly had its moment and it created these truly remarkable individuals in all these different fields who profited from this kind of hothouse of the city in full bloom and so the best schools in europe, which all nine of the night for trade attended the same high schools and benefited from a very vigorous high school curriculum which is more like a college into the theater and the
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opera and in all these fields it was like paris has been many times but nobody has ever written about this. >> so it wasn't because the education levels that you chose four of the nine scientists? >> i chose them because i was looking for individuals who played a role in our country and america. and these for collectively were responsible for the manhattan project, the largest scientific military enterprise in our history, which ultimately resulted in hiroshima and nagasaki. so that rose president roosevelt to start the manhattan project by getting out of einstein. i opened up the book with a rather amusing scene of 200 reasons lost in long island looking for the great man albert einstein in arguing between themselves as hungarians often do. whose idea was this anyway.
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so this was the first scientist in the world to make a connection between nuclear fission, the splitting of the atom bomb, and the destructive atomic weapon. he connected the dots before anybody else and because he knew einstein come he knew the signature on his letter would possibly get fdr's attention. the second scientist was a physicist who went on to win a nobel prize and then a third one came because they had to go back for a second later and that was edward teller who is as you know doctor strangelove and also the father of the h-bomb and the one that persuaded ronald reagan that it wasn't but it wasn't enough to warrant our planet we have to arm elder space. so these three.
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then there was a fourth. johnson first conceived of the digital computer. it's not as well-known though because he died early. but i am hoping he will be better known now because he really deserves to be well-known. not only did he first conceived of the computer which he then used to speed up the creation of the bomb because along with the other three they were all in los alamos under oppenheimer's leadership feverishly working to beat the germans to the bomb because they knew they were on the trail of these powerful bombs at the time when the american scientists didn't because they had studied in berlin and were familiar with just how advanced german physics was at the time.
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we haven't talked about the others but robert, people have heard of him, the man that directed casablanca. nobody has ever could have pulled him into a group before. so it was very lucky for me. >> we are back with more coverage from the texas book festival near the state capitol grounds in austin. coming up in just a minute, steve talking about jackson land. he chronicles the removal of the cherokee tribes in the 1830s. you are watching booktv live on c-span2. >> good morning.
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good morning and welcome to austin texas. for the 20th anniversary of the greatest book festival festival in the country, the texas book festival. ..
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"jacksonland: president andrew jackson, cherokee chief john ross, and a great american land grab". please welcome to the texas book festival steve inskeep. >> thank you. thank you. if is nice to be sitting next to you. i have the theme for morning edition playing in my head. >> i get them all the time. there are actually lyrics to that song. not wanting to be up in the morning. the startup, a couple ways i want to starting to this book but where want to begin is something that you write, in terms of coming in to the subject matter at hand, with this very powerful, critical not only to the formation of the united states but also something that remains very controversial topic, writing this book read quieted need to join us centuries old argument. tell us about that argument and what you found yourself
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wandering into. >> people have argued over andrew jackson and particularly the removal of the indians for a couple of centuries now. it was great to hear the brilliant historian h.w. brand, not talking about ronald reagan, men struggle to get perspective on years after his death because partisan passions were so strong in his time, they're so strong about andrew jackson two centuries later and when you go through the 200 years of history there are periods when andrew jackson is under the federated and next to george washington in the pantheon of american heroes and we are now in a period where and rejected's reputation is under the terrible. my book investigates some of the things that made his refutation deservedly quite so bad in many ways but he is an extraordinary and complex figure whose life was so jammed with the events but it is hard to get your brain
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around all. i pair him up with john ross, a man much less known than he should be and what i would like to think of as the flight of two men battling over real-estate and a democracy and each of those is vitally important, jackson is an incredible character, john ross, the principal chief of the cherokee nation in the early 1800's is also an amazing character. they fought over the control of land, the land that became the deep south of the united states and the redoing it just is our democratic system was devolving, taking the shape that is recognizable today and innovated themselves and made some of the area's uses of the media and other tools of our democracy. it is a fight that is vaguely known, people learn about it in elementary school. i had a page on it at some point in elementary or junior high school but when i got into the details of this story had
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discovered i did not know the story at all. it is an amazing tale. >> tell us a little bit, most of us are familiar with and rejection, certainly the notions around him and his legacy, maybe not as much for john ross. help us set the stage because as we begin this book ross and jackson, ross is serving in regiment under jackson's command. i want to talk about how their destinies match, where they worked together and how eventually they come into conflict. >> and amazing story because this is the early 1800s, period when the new united states was expanding westward across the continent, further and further into indian land coming in the nation and they were legally recognized as such. not like the indians were just wandering savages, they were recognized by treaty and by law has possessing and having sovereignty over large chunks of land that are now much of the american south not to mention most of the rest of what we now
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think of as the united states. these guys came into conflict because two civilizations were coming into conflict, the cherokees had been there for centuries, there was this much larger, infinitely dynamic, growing and incredible country that was swamping them, overloading the cherokees and jerryes were responding to this essentials the acting as though they were immigrants to a new country except the new country was coming to them. they attempted to adapt. they adopted white man's close, white man's agriculture, i am saying the white man because that is the best we to describe, short-handed describe what is going on, european-style, up the adopted the american style of government. one of don ross's innovations' was he was a primary author of the cherokee constitution which was partly modeled on the constitution of the united states. the cherokees were seeking to
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assimilate with the united states but also maintain their own sovereignty and their own identity as cherokees. that makes this an incredibly modern story. think about this country and how much it is changing and how we are struggling with the question of how do we blend so many kinds of people into one nation, how do we ensure everyone's individual rights while also making sure we fit together as one nation? it is a struggle now, it is a revelation to discover how much it was a struggle then, how central that was to our political process than and john ross became a leader in trying to establish the cherokee place in the world. andrew jackson was a representative of this newer country, this new system, this new way of being and he was an incredibly effected representative of it. there are many things jackson did that are not admirable. one thing that is hard not to admire is his determination and
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persistence. he thrashed around for much of his life, made a lot of money, enslave the lot of people frankly but did not make a grand success he wanted to have until he was in his late 40s. now that i am in my 40s i appreciate that. in any case, he continued on, his health was terrible, we see him in the war of 1812 getting a chance to be a general, going through what was then wilderness will proceed by white men as wilderness what is now alabama. his house -- his health was terrible, suffering from dysentery, terrible mutt digestive problems. the only way to relieve the pain sometimes was to have someone not go for handling of a small tree and free himself over the tree and the position gave him some relief, he would pull himself back together, and lead his men off to destroy indian village. the end results is not good.
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unit won a tremendous victory in the battle of horseshoe bend in what is now alabama defeating a rebel faction of creek indians, two things are better -- some of the soldiers were indians. there was a regiment called the charity regiment which had been raised to the united states. the charitys much like african-americans or later generations were resolved to prove the allegiance to the unaided states by fighting for the united states and putting their lives on the line. young's john ross in his early 20s at this time was one of those who signed up for the cherokee regiments and one of the fighters in the battle of horseshoe bend. two guys start off on the same side and john ross would have said they were always on the same side. andrew jackson really really really wanted real-estate and represented a whole system, for
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the american south, brought them into conflict more than 20 years afterward. >> one of the key themes of american merit, starting at the beginning and heading west to manifest destiny. you say more than almost any other person in american history, andrew jackson is responsible in some way for the deep south as we know it. >> composed of land that andrew jackson had a huge hand in obtaining for the united states through conquests through treaties, legislation, president of the united states to 1887. is the prequel to the civil war, no way you can imagine the civil war without the creation of the deep south. it became many of the
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battlefields of the civil war. it is up for equal to the state where we are now because the techniques jackson employ it would be added to and adapted for places further west and many of the same people in the state of texas obtain land further west in california who are acolytes, advisers, former soldiers. >> let's go back a little bit to jackson and ross. one of the things that this book does is traces in some way, how you viewed jackson complicated legacy that is handed down and how his reputation has changed over the years. dimension to the battle of horseshoe bend and in that victory, there is water on both sides, an initial slaughter of the settlement that precipitated this battle but at the end of it as you say as jackson is
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commanding native american troops in that regiment, there is an order from the tribe that is left over, jackson does what? >> talk about complicated. jackson is a complex legacy, you often get a response to that. >> when dealing complex? genocide, nothing complex about that. >> people feel -- it was a complicated figure. there was the slaughter of creeks in a village the course of this laurent men, women and children were killed. it is alleged that the women fought back as well as the men, the suggestion is some were legitimate targets. you have men, women and children being killed, hundreds of people and only 80 survivors and one of the survivors was an infant whose parents had been killed.
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we only have this story from white forces which is something we have to underline about a lot of these historical tales but the story we have from white sources is that the infant was offered up to the surviving greek women and the creek women said you should just kill that baby because the parents are dead. they didn't want the baby. it is said that the baby was taken to andrew jackson. andrew jackson was himself an orphan. you can think of him as an orphan of the revolution. his father died shortly before he was born in 1767, is mother died during the revolutionary war, she had contracted cholera after caring for american prisoners in south carolina. he was an orphan, an orphan of work and felt a connection with this baby who was an orphan of work and heat sent the baby home. it is said that andrew jackson
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adopted this indian child. the actual record doesn't quite give him credit for that. is more complicated than that. there is a letter he wrote his wife rachel, when he sent the baby home, he sent the baby, the letter and i'm paraphrasing but this is pretty close. i sent you an indian baby for andrew, their adopted son. so it seems he was sending this baby home almost as a ploy or a plate for his life's son, but the child was raised in the jackson house hold, died eventually of tuberculosis as a teenager but was part of the jackson house hold for quite some time. this was the man who could feel the human connection with indians, regarded some indians as france, was regarded by many
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indians as a friend did he care about as human beings? perhaps not ahead personal intimate connections. >> what a the real reasons that after that war he was writing letters on behalf of soldiers. >> this is important to realize. he is described as simply an indian a year. let's make that a little more complex. he had cherokee's as soldiers, he respected the mass flight is a respected their abilities and promised them, this is in 18 third team, at 1814, he promised these members of a racial minority equal pay and benefit right soldiers. inevitably they didn't get it. after the war, he met some cherokee widows who told them they had not received proper death benefits as the widows of
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white soldiers and the went to bat for them. he wrote a letter on their behalf to the war department and demanded fed a be equal be treated, he said i made that promise to them believing it was just and this is clearly an important word to andrew jackson, he believe in the idea of treating people just we. that he should be treated with justice and other people should be treated with justice. in many instances we would not agree with his idea. >> and you go on to make the point for those episodes which are perhaps are puzzling based on what we know, there may be a sense that for those that andrew jackson saw as on his side or part of what he is interested in, fine, but those people that were in his way or presented an obstacle or standing in the way of something he wanted to do he was a completely different view. >> exactly right. he could have empathy for other people until the moment that they were an obstacle.
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>> tell us a little more, shift gears, for me certainly the great unsung hero in this book who i know little about was in fact john ross. tell us what happened coming out of this period of american history when they became the essentially adversaries. what was the notion of that? >> i am impressed you heard anything about john ross. i did not know the name three or four years ago. in chattanooga, tenn. it was a commercial spot, trading spot on the tennessee river. he was the son and grandson of scottish traders who came to trade with cherokees, he was also the son and grandson of cherokee women. if you slice that is ancestry he
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was actually only one 8 for charity, but that was not particularly important to charitys. it was a matrilineal society and the indian blood was on his mother's side. there was an unbroken string of cherokee women there and it was easy for people to accept him as cherokee but it was the fact that he was a man of mixed race who could also be said to be a man of mixed culture whose identity as a charity strengthened over time but most commonly wore white man's close the we would identify as white man's clothes who was literature in english, who may have had a little bit of charity but certainly not enough to carry off a big speech. if there was a political event people would gather as we have gathered, c-span would come in 1832, little technology a little different than but people would gather by the thousands and according to this what has survived john ross has given his speech sentence by sentence in
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english and would be translated sentence by sentence into cherokee and the cherokee elites within the standard english and the masses would understand cherokee. this was a man who did not even fluently so far as we can tell speak the language of his cherokee ancestors and yet he had neck-and-neck in, a political connection with his people in this time when the united states was becoming more democratic and the cherokee system was clearly affected by those democratic wins. there was a cherokee elite, ross was a member of that elite but he found himself opposed to many of his own fellow in the cherokees who wanted to give up and move west, the master class did not want to go anywhere and ross became a political leader, democratic leader representing that will of the masses. >> another point you make it in some ways used in this narrative forward and say what can we learn from this period of
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american history, what the jackson and frosty just? the idea that jackson represents a very strong arm of the majority of those in power and ross represents the flight of minority and how that -- >> john ross was accused the innovative figure. i'm not sure even he realized how innovative he was and i don't think history has recognized him. from the very beginnings of this country there was a question about the great principle of majority rule and the principle of minority rights. the founding father concerned themselves with this but they were mostly thinking about it in a different way. they worried about the rule of the majority being too powerful, they worried about the rights of minorities being trampled upon but the minorities they worried about was the minority of men with money. they were afraid someone was going to take away their money or take away their slaves and
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they didn't want to be trampled upon by an uncontrolled majority and that is one of the reasons they build so many checks and balances into the constitution. andrew jackson came upon the scene representing a much stronger notion of majority rule, the majority should just ruled period, end of story and if you want to know what the majority is thinking or wants on any issue happens to be whatever and rejectiorew jackson wants a moment. john ross said we are racial minority, we want our rights protected and they had rights by treaty, rights to their land, rights to some sovereignty in the broader fabric of the united states and ross did accept himself as a member of the great family of the united states but they wanted their rights to be preserved and they argued in the
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democratic system, argued in congress, argued in the press, suit before the united states supreme court, won before the supreme court with the ruling ignored and troops came to take them away, they engage in what we could call civil disobedience. it is an amazing story that is a prequel that prefigures many things that will happen much later in american history with other racial minorities. >> we think about it today, our a story like this speaks to where we are right now with many of the issues we struggle with today, issue is this nation and our culture have always struggled with. where do you fall right now on the current debate? we have seen in terms of jackson's place on the $20 bill, we heard recently the change of jefferson jackson dinners, the notion -- we are in this debate, how do we properly acknowledge or memorialize a whatever the
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right word is jackson, where does he fall? what is the proper way to think of his legacy? >> i got a chance to read about this in the new york times and put forth a proposal having to do with the $20 bill. you guys must have heard of women on 20s movement which is really impressive, a brilliant thing, get jackson of of there, that is the two sided thing, they want to promote women but they also specifically want jackson gone because of his record with native americans, because he was a slave owner. that is completely understandable. i have a slightly different proposal, the proposal i have made is we should put john ross on the $20 bill. go ahead. go ahead. [applause] >> and put andrew jackson on the other side. and then goes through the other
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bills and put pairs of people on all of them, different kinds of people so you can see in each bill a story, the fact that jackson and ross to were opposed to each other for more than 20 years which tells a great american story. and you could do that with the bills and include other kinds of people, you could have put the $50 bill, the man whose armies won the civil war, you could have on the other side harriet beecher stowe whose novel uncle tom's cabin did as much to start a civil war as grant's armies did to end it. you could tear abraham lincoln with frederick douglass, the escaped slave who fraud lincoln to hurry up and end slavery, who argued lincoln was moving too slowly and hesitantly, they are incredible american stories you could tell that way. for some reason the treasury department didn't take my advice when they decided to change the currency. and chose instead to focus on
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alexander hamilton on the 10. this is for their own mechanical reasons, worried about counterfeiting, they change the bill from time to time, and they are actually thinking of some way to get the woman and alexander hamilton both on the bill, there are two sides to the bill, treasury secretary jack lew set on in the are the of the day they end up with something like that but i thought the outcry over redact was revealing and revealing as to why andrew jackson might still belong on our currency even through his misdeeds that i investigate in this book. alexander hamilton was a great american, a great treasury secretary, a man who established the credit of his country but he is also arguably a bit of a creepy figure who believed in a large public debt, borrowing lots of money because he wanted rich men to loan money to the government so that rich men would have an interest in upholding the government. he was really interested in a
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positive way but also in a way we worry about economic inequality, in an unsettling way, making sure the wealthiest people and the government had the same interests and it might be a different interests, andrew jackson was not very smart on banking, destroyed the bank of the united states and yet in terms of the politics was the exact opposite of that and was more in favor of the people having a say and the people having power. let's remember jackson himself was a member of a wealthy elite and believed whatever he wanted was what the people believe that he spoke up for the people and became a representative of an era when ordinary people, ordinary white people were taking a larger and larger role in democratic politics. he had a vital role to play in our system. >> i don't know the we can see it but we may have a few images to show. >> there is an image, someone
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shot me down because i can't see if i am wrong, we're looking at a plantation, the remnants of a plantation called for cuts of cypress. forks of cyprus outside florence, alabama. it is in land that andrew jackson captured from indians and that is vital to understand, he was creating the deep south for the spread of the plantation economy which was the slave based economy. this is an all-american story and troubling american story and a vitally important american story. let's look quickly at our main characters here. there is a portrait of andrew jackson. this is shortly after his victory at the battle of was issue binge and the battle of new orleans and you see here my favorite thing about this portrait is you see the lines on his face and you can sense beneath the uniform of painfully thin guy there. this is a stick man in uniform whose health was terrible and yet something about his will power drove him forward even though he had bullets in his
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body. by the time he took office as president he had two. in his body, one from a dual where he had been shot and killed, the other man, the other in a gunfight in a hotel in nashville, neither of them were winds from combat. he got them as part of ordinary civic interaction. >> let's look at a couple maps. the first i labeled white man's map, this is a map of the united states as it looked in 1812 and you could see some of the state's taking shape there and there is a territory called mississippi territory that is going to the mississippi and alabama, toward the south, florida is owned by spain but got matt is very recognizable. that was an imaginary map, the white man's map as i call it. there is a different matter that had more legal force headed been followed, it is the next map we
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will look at. i call it the indian map, legally recognize, you could see the states are different shapes, georgia is the different shapes, smaller, tennessee is a different shape, the territory doesn't exist at all. you can see it? i will keep pictures, i do it on the radio. i will keep talking. [applause] >> mississippi territory doesn't exist, georgia is a little sliver along the coast and along the river, tennessee is smaller, north carolina is smaller, mississippi doesn't exist at all and instead you cavs five indian nations including the cherokee nation and their land recognized by treaty, they were legally recognized by the united states, the white man's mad and the indian map were recognized at the same time by the united
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states and this book "jacksonland" bling is about how that was resolved so legally binding map, the indian map was slowly replaced by this imaginary map of the united states and that became the real map. >> have we lost his entirely? >> one last picture i want to ask you about, if you go to jacksonland today, what you might see representative, do you -- >> if you doubt that andrew jackson made the deep south, was the single most important author of the deep south just look around because there is jacksonville, fla. jackson, mississippi, jackson county, alabama, jackson county, n.c. jacksonville, alabama. i am missing some. i could go on for awhile. he was recognized as the man who made that part of the country. part of what he did was through
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tree and war and other ways, pride indians out of there but i wanted to be understood jacksonland to say in the 21st century in spite of jackson's best efforts includes indians. you can applaud that. there is a cherokee, n.c. in the western part of the state, some indians resisted being removed by the united states were eventually allowed to stay and today they have a legally recognized reservation and rather and hiding in the hills cherokee is a tourist town where you can go to a moccasin shop or the casino and it is of lovely place. the photo, the photo that you referred to shows signs that you are entering the cherokee indian reservation. another sign saying you are simultaneously entering jackson county, north carolina. that is jacksonof land.
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street signs in english and cherokee and recognition of the place, a restaurant advertises itself as indian own selling indian tacoss which are awesome and a sign for a church, our lady of guadalupe catholic church, they have the mack in spanish because of another wave of immigrants, changing that region once again and suggesting the constant challenge we as americans face of absorbing and recognizing the rights of newcomers to this country. >> we have about ten minutes or so left. if anybody would like to ask a question of steve we have a microphones right here in the
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center. i will say we are live on c-span, before we begin, and begin the book is "jacksonland: president andrew jackson, cherokee chief john ross, and a great american land grab" the author if steve inskeep. he will be at the book signing can't before we finish this session. as i say we have ten minutes left to go. let's start with you. what is your question? >> great job on npr. [applause] >> as you know in the 1940s arthur/injured published a major book on jackson called the age of jackson. he was known as a great historian and became very much a part of the kennedy administration. in that book, you know that too because you did a lot of research, the trail of tears is not even mentioned. there is only one tiny mention
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of cherokees and involved some minor things. but our offense -- artist schlesinger won a pulitzer prize for history for that book which boggles the mind. can you explain how that could happen? >> yes because it is part of the two century long argument. there was a period where jackson was revered and indian removal was described by one of his earliest biographers as wise and humane and hardly worth focusing on. in later years the cherokee perspective began to surface. by the time of solicitor in the 1940s when he was writing this book, there was a lot of information about what happened to the indians and the was apparently considered wisest if you were going to very andrew jackson to just start to ignore it and not talk about it at all. that is what he did. created and andrew jackson for his time. the time of franklin delano roosevelt and there are explicit
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references to the new deal. is clear that's was injured when setting up jackson as a democratic hero, to his hero of his time, fd are. people always do that with history. when we talk about history we are talking about then and now. you could accuse me of the same thing because i am thinking of a change in america and i reached back and find a complete be different story than schlesinger did. i argue this person where you include the indian removal and confront jackson as a slave owner and confront him in his complexity is the more honest representation. one that jackson himself would have been comfortable with because he wasn't private about any of this stuff, you isn't secretive about anything. >> you touched on just a minute ago the similarities between jackson and jefferson and some historians will tell you that
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the real author of the indian removal policy is not jackson but thomas jefferson. >> you have much that is correct about that. in "jacksonland" i quote some letters by thomas jefferson. jefferson had a view of indian that they should be subsumed in some fashion by the united states. he felt it was fine to his credit if he chose to become a citizen of the united states. she thought it was their right if he would rather they keep moving west. one way or another, there's a troubling matter where he sounds like a drug dealer and a drug he is pushing its consumer capitalism. he uses the word pushed, he wents trading posts to be opened in indian areas where they can buy the goods that will civilize them and bring them in touch with what was understood to be civilization at the time, modern
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clothes, modern agricultural tools, manufacturing instruments, he wanted them to have that stuff as civilized and push the trading houses on them. and get in lots of debt and in order to pay off their bill or whatever it was, they would be willing to sell some of their land. jefferson was definitely thinking about that, and is fair that jackson -- yes, sir. >> jackson's decision to ignore supreme court decision could have set a dangerous precedent of presidents ignoring supreme court decisions. why didn't that happen? why didn't future presidents just ignore decisions they did like? >> that is a great question. i should clarify jackson according to history, according to a short version of history ignored a supreme court decision which said in short in 1822 jerrodes have rights to their
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land, states, governments that are trying to take over should just leave them alone, they have a right to govern themselves, it was ignored by the state of georgia. jackson was quoted at the time disparaging the ruling in many ways and suggesting team might earn it but he did not without creating a constitutional crisis. quiet talks went on behind the scenes over the course of a number of months after the supreme court ruling to make the case, to undermine the case and make it go away and finally be withdrawn. jackson made that case go away without having any practical effect. didn't quite ignore it but he sort of did. he made it go away and you make a great analogy if that had happened later with brown vs. board of education, if eisenhower sent this desegregation thing is a terrible idea, history would be completely different.
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jackson's time was a partisan time, there were people opposed to andrew jackson who understood this to be a wrong court ruling on so many levels, people in the years came to be known as republicans. they made exclusive references when they outlawed slavery at the end of the civil war. there were things about the ruling that the effect of the ruling would be sustained and just for decades after words and remembered for decades afterward and were corrected in later years. yes, sir. >> in western north carolina not far from the cherokee preservation, a major reason for the removal of the cherokees, it was a big rush to get in and claim that land and the whites wanted the indians off that land and wanted to claim it for their own. i don't know if you touch on that in your book or not.
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>> i would suggest it is not quite correct although understandable version of history. there was a discovery of gold in north georgia. was a gold rush before the gold rush to california. hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold were found even in those -- many millions of dollars but the land, but real-estate was worth far more than the bold and georgia wanted the real-estate decades before the state of georgia wanted the gold. i think that the gold, a rush of white settlers on to the land because of the gold was like spraying lighter fluid on your grill. it was an accelerant on a fire that was already burning. what people wanted was the real-estate. >> as i told you earlier i grew up in northeast oklahoma and have many cherokee in my family. have you touched either in this book or do you have plans of
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talking about in written form or however you choose to the effect of the trail of tears in immigration to oklahoma and western arkansas? >> i am really interested in that, could be that will come out in some form because there is an incredible story that dates back to that time that continues today. there are still cherokees in oklahoma, there is a principal chief of the cherokee nation, a successor to john ross. they are allowed certain sovereign rights even today although their government, the state of oklahoma in different ways, there are african-americans among that charities called the freemen, descendants of cherokee's waves. the charitys have been emulating white men, took up the practice of slavery in a similar way. many of their slaves west with them when they were forced to
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remove. those slaves when freed after the civil war where, according to a treaty, assured the opportunity to be members of the cherokee nation but in recent years it is a complex story, they reduce don't. to send eventually by a referendum that change the cherokee constitution, this caused a clash with the federal government, it caused the change in cherokee elections in governments and a subject of lawsuits that continue to this day which is a very concrete reminder of how this story which can seem so distant is actually so present. >> i regret the we are out of time. i would like to thank all of you for joining us today at the book festival. i would like to thank steven for coming back. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> that of course was steve inskeep live from the texas book festival in austin. this festival now in its 22 years when the booktv has covered live since 1998. in just a minute after they reset their room the next
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program is going to be a look at the science and history of mental illness. that will begin in just a few minutes but as we wait we want to show you some of our past coverage. here is a program from our 2010 taxes book festival coverage, best-selling author talking about henry etna lacks. >> i am constantly being asked, i have a few answers that i give, narrative science writing is pretty rare, i want to say how cool it is you have three women talking about it. women's narrative science writers, is great the we're talking about this. i think in some ways it is everything in the kind of writing that we do, science is something that affects everybody's life, is so
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important for the general public to understand science and to see the way science interact with daily life and important for scientists to learned the stories of the people behind the science we are doing, but a lot of people don't, a lot of what you get in science writing is just the facts and those facts are often intimidating to the general public. one thing that i hear over and over again from people when you hear about my book, technically it is the story of the first human cells overgrown and when you say that they go oh my god. you wrote a book about cells? but of course it is not. it is a story about a family, the story of what happens when you lose a mother to cancer, the story about ethics in science and the use of people in research without their consent, about class and race and so many things and science is that. science does not exist in a vacuum and i hear over and over again people who send me e-mails
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say and i hate science, last time i took a science class i was in middle school and avoided it the rest of my educational career and i almost didn't read your book because there were sells on the cover but then i did and i couldn't put it down and i got to the end and realize i accidentally learned a lot about sells. i don't exactly remember when i did it. that to me is the highest compliment i could get. it is a cliche to say it but giving the medicine, this of the tastes really good. it is important to use the stories to slip the science in and tell people the human stories behind the science and let them learn about the science in a way that is not like here is the science part you are learning now, take out your highlighters and get the textbook, narrative lets you do that, it lets people go through the science because they want to see what happens next. >> i agree. i am proud to be one of the
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women sitting on the panel today. i actually have very little interest in science in school. i was not drawn to it because it's so impersonal and my first real interest with it came in college, i went to a liberal arts school, english and writing major, always wanted to go into writing and was forced to take a science course as part of my curriculum side to the chemistry of age. the first time i had seen signs or learned science applied to a particular disease. from that point on i was hooked on it, i loved it. i think science tends to be intimidating, it is very impersonal and a lot of ways with as the science writer your job is to make the impersonal personal. truly illness is one of the universal things that we all have in common. something that connects us all and transcends time periods. it takes place in different time periods, 1870s or 1920s but something that today we can
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still understand and relate to certainly with epidemics. is the future lesson as well. the roll of narrative in science is as you said absolutely important, you're getting the story across. i like the point you made that it is important for physicians and doctors, researchers to understand the role of the personal story of the patient. especially with my second book of sleep, that was a really important element of the book to me, this was an epidemic could spans 20, 30 years with long term effects and doctors develop long-term relationships with patients, exchanged letters, visit one another in vacation homes, that was interesting for me to see because i don't think we have relationships like that today. that was part of bringing the in personal story to life. >> the presidential candidates have written books to introduce
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themselves to voters and promote their views on issues and here is a look at some of the candidates's books.
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more presidential hopefuls with books include democratic candidate and harvard law school professor laurence lesser.
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booktv has covered many of these candidates. you can watch them on a website, booktv.org. >> you are looking at a live picture of the 20th annual texas book festival from the state capitol grounds in austin, texas. . washington is next talking about mental illness but here is david oceans the who is talking about polio. >> one of the most surprising sentences comes on page 5 of your book, you write polio was never the raging epidemic portrayed in the media. that will surprise some people.
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>> it is through. it it was our national crusade a lot of it had to do with the fact that infected children in a very suburban middle class time. a lot of it had to do with the march of dimes which was the greatest most revolutionary philanthropic organization and fund-raising organization in the country and in fact if you looked at the number of kids who had polio as opposed to the number of kids who had cancer or series digestive diseases or died from other causes it was not that great. polio is a very visual disease, you know who has it, you see the leg braces and the iron lungs and wheelchairs'. also it simply came after a time when american children were being pampered in such an extraordinary way the medical advancements were so great and suddenly on the scene comes this disease the largely affects children and is crippling them and killing them. >> where did it start? >> poliovirus has been out there forever but the main epidemics
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occur in the united states in the 20th century and we believe polio is a disease of cleanliness, more antiseptic we became as a society the less likely children were to be exposed to poliovirus at a very young age with maternal antibodies. >> when we are using the gills to keep the germs off of our hands. >> germs are not always a bad thing. it can make your opinion system more resistant. on the other hand i would encourage everyone to watch constantly. polio does appear to be a disease of cleanliness. >> you, tell us gloria how polio cause ddt to be used. >> to some degree it did. nobody knew what caused polio early dawn, they thought might be murky water or flies, there was tremendous ddt spraying in
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towns in the southwest, places where there were a lot of bugs and screening was not as good, sanitary conditions not as good, it was easy to blame flies. >> host: how did this story evolve to get two scientists feuding against each other to find a cure to this? >> the march of dimes was an extraordinary organization in that it went through the best scientists. this was a time before the government was involved in any medical research so there was no and i age funding, no cdc funding, it was done by the march of don imus and it went to the best, most aggressive scientists when there was great anti-semitism in american medicine, they gave the biggest grants to jews, at a time when there was great discrimination against women they gave two of their largest grants to a horsemen at yale and visit gil morgan and hopkins.
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they were told to cooperate and they had to share information but at a competing vaccine, one was a live virus vaccine, one was a kill virus vaccine, they wanted to come out first that hated each other's that. >> host: what happened? >> guest: sock came out first, he is the great american hero, he was one of the great scientists of the 20th century, satan came out with what is considered by most scientists to be a better vaccine, he came out second and after that vaccine came out most of the developing world and most of the western hemisphere went to the sabin vaccine. >> host: how did america react? >> guest: one of the great parts of the story is you have not vaccine that no one knows is safe, no one knows is potent, the government has not tested it and yet millions of parents like
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my own, the biggest public health experiment in american history. >> host: what is this picture? >> kids in 1954 lining up to get their shots, you see doctors work for free, nurses work for free, this was an amazing crusade, people gave their time, their money and in the end they gave their children to fight for of vaccine that would end polio and the vaccine turned out to be safe, potent and effective but it gives you some idea of the incredible fear of polio. when i was a kid they would close swimming pools every summer, you couldn't go to the movies, you couldn't make new friends because you get new germs, they close down each summer with this plague, that fear was so great that parents line their kids up for the largest -- done by the march of
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dimes, not by the government and it was quite extraordinary. it was the fear of polio and but believe that the march of dimes had a safe vaccine. there was no guarantee of it but it turned out to be true. >> booktv covers hundreds of author programs throughout the country all year long. here is a look at some of the events you will be attending this week, on monday, the new york society library in manhattan, nineteenth century african-american wall street broker jeremiah hamilton who amassed a fortune equivalent to $50 million today. on wednesday at the free library of philadelphia, sarah that all looks at the american revolution through the eyes of the french born marquis they lafayette. booktv will attend nor which book for in norwich, vt. for the future of drone technology.
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on friday, in washington d.c. investigative journalist bob woodward's discussion on the life of a nixon aide alexander butterfield and a role he played in divulging president nixon's secret tape system. also on friday historian dan jones look at the creation of the magna carta and its impact on democratic principles. from anderson's book shop in illinois. next saturday we are live from the wisconsin book festival in madison. coverage will include a look at they troy in 1963. evan thomas on the life and political career of richard nixon and former labor secretary robert wright will weigh in on the current state of the economy. days a look at some of the author programs will tv will cover this coming week, if any of these events are open to the public look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2.
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[inaudible conversations] .. >> welcome. this is the pant on "infectious madness," this wonderful book here, "the surprising signs of how we catch mental illness."
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my name is maura mull doone, i'm a writer here in austin currently at work on a book about the challenges of dual careers and training in medical school. but you did not come here to see me, so let me please introduce ms. harriet a. washington who will be speaking today. ms. washington won a national book critics' circle award for medical apartheid, this book here. she has had a fellowship at the harvard school of public health, a research fellowship in medical ethics at the harvard medical school, she was a knight fellow at stanford. she was also the page one editor at "usa today" and has a background in science writing and science journalism. so everyone, please, put your hands together and welcome ms. washington. [applause] so for today what we're going to do is she's going to begin -- i'm sorry. so she's going to begin. she's going to give explanation,
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some context, a little bit of reading. then we're going to talk a little bit x then you will have an opportunity to ask questions, all right? so, ms. washington, i turn it over to you. >> good afternoon. and thank you for that warm welcome. i'm very excited. it's my first opportunity to talk about my new book, my new baby, "infectious madness." and to give you a little context, i'm going to read a little bit from the introduction, then i'll talk about the book's content. i'm not going to try to summarize the contents of this doorstopper book, but what i'm most interested in is your questions. i want to talk about the things that you are interested in, the things that intrigue you. i hope everyone can hear me all right. >> no. >> how does one turn it up? oh, good. okay. they're responsible. [laughter] can you hear me better now? no better?
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lean in closer. all right. is in any better? all right. i'll keep talking. i'll read you a bit from the introduction to begin. gazing into the night sky with a seemingly numberless stars, if you seek the ultimate multitude, look closely to home. what lies at our feet and within us dwarfs the heaven heavenly spectacle. yet we need our imaginations to see it. microscopic bugs, not stars, dominate the galaxies. the earth alone holds five million more times microbes, it is home to infinitesimal numbers. accompanied by 50 million
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viruses. this makes viruses the most dominant, most common life form in the sea, and no wonder. viruses infect most other living things including bacterium. microbes do more than infect us, however, they are us in the sense that we harbor more microbes than human cells. your intestines alone provide a home for 100 trillion viruses, mostly bacteria. these single cells outnumber your own cells 10 to 1. microbes thickly coat our skin, eyes, genitals and cover the surfaces of our mouths. [inaudible] that's just the surface. 10,000 different species of organizations thickly populate your gut. just as our genes make up our genomes, these microbial fellow travelers constantly adjust in
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type and numbers on different sites on the body and the globe, and our health -- including our mental health -- changes with it. your -- [inaudible] has an astonishing power to keep you healthy or ill. from the beginning, internal microbes guide your immune system's development and your gut possesses its own brain. it hubs the network that contains a thousand times more neurons than your brain does. it weighs twice that of your brain and sends neurotransmitters to help direct your brain's activities. that's right. neurotransmitters in your gut tell your brain what to do, not the other way around. it's very important to understand the role of microbes in dictating our health to be able to you understand the conct of microbes affecting our mental health as well. some of the ways they do it are familiar. how many people have heard of rabies?
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all of you, of course. rabies has long been known to be an infectious disorder, a virus-transmitted disorder transmitted by the bike of an infected animal or -- bite of an infected animal or human, and what does it do? it triggers madness in the affected person. and rabies is not the only microbe we know that does that. people think of it as unfamiliar today, but there's a disease called paresis which used to fill one in every five hospital beds in new york city in mental hospitals. one in every hospitalized people with a mental disorder in new york city had paresis which nobody ever heard of now. and what did it turn out to be finally? it is the final stage of syphilis which is transmitted by a bacterium. we never hear of it today because now we have antibiotics against syphilis, and it's treated and cured before it can develop into paresis. so again, we've known about this
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for a long time. a mental disorder with an infectious cause, we just tend not to think of it that way. and the list goes on and on. we're lucky in this country that we have a good health system, a good public health infrastructure, good physicians, but in the developing world, they don't. and in the developing world is rife with neck elected tropical diseases -- neglected tropical diseases. we hear about ebola, we hear about hiv and aids. we don't hear about the others, and there are many, many others. many of them are parasites carried, many of them are bacterial and even viral. and what do they do? they not only cause mental disorders very often, but they also lower intelligence. if you look at a disease like sleeping sickness, we think of it -- most of us know the person falls into a sleep, they never wake up. there's much more to it than that. sleeping sickness causes mental illness, violent mental illness according to the doctors of
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doctors without borders. they report that when they treat these patients, they have to tie them to the bed because they tend to be violent and crazed. there's even a very sad case of a person with sleeping sickness, a man killed his 3-year-old niece, because he was convinced she was an emissary of say that under the in-- satan under the the influence of sleeping sickness. again, transmitted by microbes, we just tend not to think of it that way. and i do, actually, go on and on in this book, but i won't do that here. in the news you might have heard about a bacterial disorder transmitted by parasites, actually -- [inaudible] it's called tgande for short, and it's been transmitted by cats, and it's been linked to many disorders but dramatically to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. scientists have evidence for this, and i'm talking about scientists at johns hopkins
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university, at the national institute of mental health. it's one that's been well demonstrated. we also have many, many other -- [inaudible] where only now are we getting good evidence for because now we have better tools to make the link between infection and madness. and for a long time, our discussions about this, our perception of this has been hampered by the fact that we have fallen into a habit of -- [inaudible] not something proven where we tend to look at the body and the mind as being totally separate. the car tease january split, first promulgates by day cart says that, you know, only the mind has -- [inaudible] by sort of the body. but in truth, many diseases affect both the mind and the body, and my book dwells on this a great deal. so in the end, as i said, i wanted to hear more about what your questions are, and i would love to go into a little bit more detail in my answers about the kind of disorders that we need to be worried about and, very importantly, what we can do about them.
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>> okay. i get to ask the first question, and then i'll turn it over to you guys. but there are so many things that get covered in this book. the one thing i really wanted to know was of all the research that you reported on, what was most interesting to you, and what do you think held the most promise for future study? >> the most interesting for me personally was to learn the effects of neglected tropical diseases. in the third world and increasingly here in america -- and i hate to say, the epicenter is now texas -- there are many diseases that do cause mental disorders. and they have been ignored, largely, because the people there don't have good care. and that, i was shocked, frankly, to discover how prevalent they were, how horrible they were and the dramatic effect they had on people's mental health and on their intellectual development. that really shocked me. i thought why aren't more people writing about this? so now i have. i wrote an article in "american
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scholar," it's a discover story, about these ntds and how, unfortunately, they are encroaching on the u.s. because of our climate. in texas, for example, a lot of people are coming to emergency rooms with fainting episodes or headaches. and when they -- you do an mri, what do they find? hate to tell you this, tapeworms in their brain. a horrible disease, but something that's not unknown in the developing world. it's been happening there for a very long time, and now it's happening here. it's a horrible thing, and if there's any silver lining, now i think it'll get more attention. so that's what really shocked me the most. >> you tell us really quickly what ntds are? >> oh, neglected tropical diseases. >> okay, all right. we're ready if people would like to stand up and start asking questions. if you don't, i will. >> for those of you who have questions, if you would please come to the microphone and ask your question, and then we will move forward.
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>> okay. looks like a line is already getting started. >> i had a, i had a family member with schizophrenia, and i've always been interested. you mentioned fox so palace mow sis -- fox so palace mow sis, but what else has been implicated in that? >> excellent question, because it affects so many people, 1 in 100 people in this country develop schizophrenia. and what's interesting about the causes, tgande is, indeed, implicated by scientific studies, but so are many other pathogens. her piece simplex, which is ubiquitous, and even influential saw which, of course, is everywhere. they tend to affect the brains of infants or fetuses, you know, young, developing brains. but we need more evidence for the infriends saw connection and for herpes simplex.
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johns hopkins is convinced herpes simplex is, indeed, a factor. so many pathogens are involved because it's, rather, a process. when you have a young, developing brain or a fetus or very young child and they're expose today a pathogen at a certain key point in their development, they're at risk for that kind of brain derangement in its development. not every child, luckily. we're talking about perhaps 10 15% of children. >> to keep our gut healthier, what more can we do than keeping live yogurt? [laughter] >> one at harvard is convinced we are what we eat, and he does espouse the right cultures, but nobody yet knows what the right cultures are. that's an area of research that is burgeoning, but there are no firm answers yet. in terms of what we eat, there
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are things that we can avoid eating that will certainly have implications for our mental health, and one of them is undercooked food in general, and pork specifically. which harbors pathogens that can create tapeworms in your brain. undercooked food is always dangerous, and now we know it's dangerous to the brain as well. >> but when you say undercooked food, they're saying that a lot of vegetables like now kale is up there for macular degeneration. should those be raw or is there some benefit, do they know which ones are better, vegetables are better cooked? >> the cooking is important only because it killed past generals. if you have -- pathogens. if you have another way to kill them, for vegetables they tend to be on the outside, then you can do other things in preparation like wash them thoroughly. so it depends on the food that you're eating. and i don't pretend to have expertise here. that's what i bring to my writing. >> thank you. >> good afternoon.
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if you read the bible, especially the four gospels, it seems like nearly every town that jesus and his disciples visited, they ran into people who were possessed by demons. they were just everywhere. and aye often wondered -- i've often wondered would say is wrong with those people. any opinions? [laughter] >> well, you know, i'm a little -- i have a little bit more of an opinion. i actually have things i've encountered in my reading. and it's true, many disorders that we deal with today in biblical times would have been ascribed as biblical sins or eating the wrong foods or not washing at the right time, that sort of thing. we have discarded that as a cause now. but those are really important, um, bits of our history to remember. because the important thing is that back in that time that was science. people believed it. and so now when we have things that we embrace as science, we have to be very careful to make sure it's supported by day that and not -- data and not by
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custom and belief and sort of unacknowledged feelings about who is and isn't clean. so i think there are lessons for us to learn from the bible and other writingings for that reason. great question. >> hi. i have a question. my sister came up, my sister came up recently with a mania, i guess bipolar type of thing. and it's kind of out of the blue. she's been fine her whole life, and all of a sudden she gets manic and then depressed. and now meds have got her under control, but she had lyme disease some years ago. but they tested her, and it doesn't show up anymore. could it still be a residual effect? >> it could be because the tests are not all equal. some tests are more discriminating than others. i would definitely take her to an expert that has the most discriminating test to make sure
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there's no residual problems there. >> okay. my family has a great deal of history with depression and anxiety, and i have some with adhd. all of these are currently treated now with various drugs designed to manage neurotransmitters in the brain, and i'd like your opinion on what, whether that is appropriate treatment, what else is coming down the line for those and what else, you know, in terms of nutrition or otherwise to do. >> sure. i need to stress here, i'm not a clinical person with no clinical expertise, so i can give you an opinion based on what i've read. based on what i've read, medications for depression do not help most people. they help only a small segment of the most severely depressed people. i'm not sure why they're still being prescribed. there really is not any controversy over this. there is consensus in the
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science literature that the medications simply don't help. what i found intriguing that i pointed out with the book was i wanted to know, if possible, why do these few -- why are these few people helped by the medication and nobody else is? i still don't know after poring through literature. one thing i did learn, the medications against depression don't work well for depression. they do work very well in different arenas. they quell infection. so i asked myself, is it perhaps possible that the people whose depression is caused by infection are being helped by the medication and not the others. i don't know, but i hope someone will do researching into this. medications for the oh disorders -- other disorders i don't know much about, but for depression i know medications are not the answer. personally, i think we need to go back 30 or 40 years and readdress talking therapy, other forms of therapy for mental illness. i think it's very regrettable that it's too frequently the
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case that one is given a medication. the person's not being treated as a holistic person. the history does not do a good job of trying to find out what other factors could be there, and i think we need to go back in this case and reevaluate how we treat people with mental disorders. >> i was wondering in your studies if you found any connection to sleep. it seems like sleep apnea is everywhere now, and specifically i'm thinking of my husband who is about my size, thin, physically fit, you know? when he went in to the doctor, they said, well, you must snore, something must be going on x. he doesn't. i won't bore you with everything that's been done, he's been through surgeries, he's 100% compliant with his machine, they've got data to track that. when i met him, he didn't want anything to do with pharmaceuticals, and now i would jockey him against anyone's
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pharmaceutical cabinet, because it is ridiculously overflowing. and it's gone all the way to now a group of doctors at mayo clinic trying to look and see what else they can figure out about him. as you can imagine, i was just thinking of mental illness and lack of sleep. i mean, he's miserable. i feel like he's dying before me. he's incredibly smart, he's a nuclear engineer, but he cannot sleep. and they can't -- i mean, there's nothing -- i don't know what else to do. so i'm curious, any connection. >> i wish i were able to help you. i do know, i do know that sleep, of course, is closely tied to mental illness. no one has to read a book to know that. we all know this, right? we know what it means when you tell someone you didn't get enough sleep last night? got up on the wrong side of the bed? scientists have done studies tracing the immunological changes in the body to a lack of sleep. none of which will help your husband, of course. i think that this is an area
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where we need to do more research, because when we talk about sleep apnea, very often i see case discussing the obvious causes; obesity, various disorders we know are tied to sleep apnea. but i'm not sure what caused it in many people who are of normal health, good health, normal weight, etc., and it's it's an area that we need more research. >> hi. my name is joe. i'm a psychiatrist, and so i wanted to say a few things, because i'm a bit concerned about some of the things that you're saying. first, i want to preface my criticisms with praise. what you're saying about psychiatry needing to do more therapy, about the lack of a holistic approach to human problems is dead on. and i couldn't be a bigger fan of that statement. on the other hand, i think it's very important that when you talk about something like infectious disease at the heart of mental illness, you acknowledge that mental illness at this point in time is largely
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a phenomena that's to not fully understood, that we don't fully understand how the brain works, that the numbers of variables relative to any individual suffering from what we might call depression -- i just want to say openly to the audience -- everything that causes a disease is a fiction. the classic definition of disease is not met in psychiatry. we have a very provisional, phenomenon logical approach to diagnosis which is not the same thing as saying you've got a pneumonia, we can kill the bug in a culture dish, and we can give you an antibiotic that kills it in the lung, and when we inject the bug in another animal, you see the same phenomena. we don't have anything like that in mental -- so it's a very provisional set of approaches to mental illness. the reason i say all of this is when you say something like antidepressants don't work, the truth is that in most studies, antidepressants show about 70%
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etch cat city. that means -- efficacy. about 50% of people will respond to placebo. the difference is very, very small. and it may be that all of effect is a placebo effect. the problem is once people get on these medications, their brains develop tolerance to them. and coming off of them can cause severe withdrawal and significant recurrence of depression, lots of problems. so i agree, we should be very cautious about pulsing people on these things -- putting people on these things, but we must also be cautious when we criticize people that end them to stop them suddenly, so i urge caution. >> your points are good. i want to point out i have never stipulated anybody stop medication. what i say is based on what i've read. what i have read though is not a 70% efficacy rate, but rather, a 90% lack of response.
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so i would like to hear from you, if you happen to look at it and you can test them, let me know. if you convince me, i'll change, but i based it on what i read in jama. >> the best critic of the literature on depression is kirschner. he's at harvard, and he's written an extremely persuasive book called "the emperor's new drugs." >> i have it. >> but he will acknowledge that the efficacy is about 70%. the problem in psychiatric research is there's a tremendously high placebo rate. >> i know. >> so that's the problem. >> right. and the same studies i cited said the la placebos work better for people who are depressed than the medications. thank you. thank you so much for your comments. >> hi. my question is shorter. [laughter] it seems like it's only been in the last five years or maybe in my reading that the idea of microbes ever even came up in conversation. it's you and i are human beings,
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bugs in our body are bad, let's get rid of them. and i guess the reading is the opposite of that. we are our bugs, they are what help us make us healthy and ill and everything. and just going in a different direction, besides what you're doing, what other research into microbes have you encountered that's interesting, that is worth going towards as well as this? >> in my book i discuss exactly what you're bringing up. there's a belief that microbes are something we have to fight and annihilate to stay healthy, there's a belief that microbes should be embraced. i don't take such a binary view. microbes have both effects, and sometimes the same microbe can be helpful to you and harmful to you at different stages in your life development. so instead of taking this all-or-none approach, what i propose is that we have a better way of analyzing the effects of microbes, understanding what they do before we decide to
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craft an assault on them and get rid of them. and we have to take a more nuanced, sophisticated look at what microbes are actually doing or what we think that they're doing before we decide how we're going to handle them. and keep in mind that at different times in our lives it will be different microbes that might concern us or might be helping us. so it's much, much more -- i'm glad you asked that question. the picture is so much more nuanced than we have tended to address it up til now. i think now we're at -- right at the border, frontier of being able to address the question in a more nuanced, sophisticated way and understand that microbes are sometimes our friends, sometimes our enemies, and our lives and health might depend on knowing which is which. >> where are they doing the most research in this kind of studies? >> the research, it's everywhere. i'm thinking of a belgian group, the largest belgian research lab has focusedded on this very
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closely. and i talk about their work in the book. but we also have scientists in prague, czechoslovakia, who are looking at as well as our native, home-grown scientists right here. there are scientists -- some of them have been working for 30 years at places like columbia looking at the effects of microbes and trying to understand exactly how they change with our health. they're changing our health, but they're changing too. one of the things need to keep in mind is that we have evolved with these microbes together millions and millions of years. and so for us to decide that a certain microbe is a problem and decide to put the brakes on might be a shortsighted approach. many people are con rinsed that -- convinced it is why we're dealing with so much autoimmune disease now. because we did not evolve to be so clean, basically. if you go to countries where they're not able to maintain the same standards of hygiene as we do here, you will find they
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don't have a lot of asthma, they don't have a lot of autoimmune disease, you know? i still would much rather be here than there -- [laughter] but the reality is i think it tells us something about our all-or-nothing approach to treating microbes and disease in general. >> could you talk about the role of pri ons and how you think they are playing into mental health as well as what you think maybe the causes of autism are and if it's a multipronged sort of thing or if we're going to be able to figure out if there is a particular cause that we can address? >> i can't even remember that question, much less answer the whole thing, but i'm going to take a stab at it. in terms of triprions, a strange concept for all of us. and you might have heard about a group of new guinea highlanders who developed a strange disease,
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began staggering about, had mental health changes, and it turned out -- according to this guy named stanley cruzinger, that it was caused by a new infectious particle. when he first proposed this back in the '80s, people openly derided him. he was cast as a huckster, discover mag, he was vilified all over the place, and people had a lot of kept similar about whether -- skepticism about whether this was possible. ten years later he won the nobel prize for this discovery. and that is a great example of how science works. after a theory is openly derided and mocked, you know, it wins a nobel prize. but they've been implicated in everything from mad cow disease, you know, to carew, and does anyone remember the ballet director, george pellen teen?
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he died of a prion disease. a human equivalent of mad cow disease, very similar. it's shorthanded pjd. so he died of this, but he wasn't diagnosed for a very long time. ..
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they are convinced that he's right and if it does exist we have to reinvent our thinking about infectious disease and what's causing it. your question of autism was -- >> if you learned anything in heard anything in your reading about the causes. >> i did not learn very much. i learned just a bit. autism has a lot of focus on it already. but one thing i learned is that there is mounting evidence that the hypothesis is probably right. basically there's mounting evidence that some of the pathogen -- crimper i said in your nervous system and your intestines you have this brain producing euro transmitters to tell it what to do. the transmitters in your intestines have an affecting on
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the brain that is much higher. 100 times more powerful. so the transmitters that leak from your intestines to your brain can be very powerful and many people think that that is implicated in the development of autism. you have to keep in mind one of the important things i say in this book is that the cause is only a minority of the cause of many mental disorders. ten to 15% tops. so we are not talking about most schizophrenia or bipolar or being caused by an infection. we are talking about maybe ten to 15%. so it is a possible cause that would only account but it would only account for a minority of the cases. >> we have time for a few more questions if anyone would like to come forward. >> anyone feel free to come up as i'm asking, and i will be d.
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for. i wonder if you can talk about cat pee. [laughter] >> i found this kind of fascinating, this section of the book. would you mind? >> i had a personal experience with cat pee that might have triggered by involuntary experience. a friend left her cat while she went on vacation if neglected to tell me one of them was an epileptic. i woke up in the middle of the night to her cat is having a fit in my bed on me. when i saw some people were implicated cats and schizophrenia by ear is perked up and i read everything i could find. so, the evidence is very compelling and in its been performed by people all around the world not just in this
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country but also in prolog and turkey that this parasite does indeed lead to schizophrenia in many people. mostly in young children. [applause] mothers summit here i was also affects fetus in utero. the parasite is known to protect their animals by making them crazy. it's known to have that effect on rodents, rats and mice. rats and mice who are infected with this cat parasites change the behavior. mice are typically timid. they avoid the light when they travel. they travel along the walls in the dark, very quietly. the same path of time and if they encounter evidence of a cat especially on cat pee the wealt. my spy moscow anywhere near where he cat has been if they can smell it. mice that are infected perhaps
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by being exposed to cat sees or some other react very differently. they stagger out into the light if they smell cat pee they run towards it and the studies have shown studies have shown that there is actually evidence of excitement when they smell cat pee. their behavior is transformed by exposure to the parasite. why? the only place the parasite can reproduces the stomach of a cat. what better way to do that then make a mouse ran up to a cat. so unfortunately scientists get has the same effect on us we have the same euro transmitters and when we are infected, the scientists say we also began behaving differently. now in this country we don't have to worry about any cat predators. but we do have data traffic. and what do people do when they are infected? to begin to swing her into it
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traffic and become irresponsible and very bad drivers. they are much more likely to have an accident if they are infected. so it changes our behavior in the same way. the parasite has reasons of its own and we are collateral damage. fascinating story i think. >> i certainly found it so. i would also like to ask you -- i'm trying to think that there, there were a lot of things i wanted to ask you or you could you also talk about where we need to be putting more effort into research like where should we be looking going forward if you have $10 million, would you put that into? >> okay 100 million. [laughter] >> with 10 million for research, it might buy you some lab coats. $100 million neglected tropical diseases and one reason why they
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are no longer tropical diseases. remember i mentioned the epicenter becoming more common in texas. so are the other diseases. entities do not only affect one's thinking that one's intellectual ability. i would put money into making people aware and finding vaccines against them. they are great because you don't need a lot of resources to develop vaccines. you can line people up and give them a shot. so that's what i would do. but having said that there are other avenues that are much easier and also very important. >> the best prevention is to listen to your mom. all the things mom told you she was right on the money because they are all the things one can do to protect oneself. wash your hands, very simple. but you know that in physicians
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hospitals, some physicians, a minority of course when you got 20% who do not routinely wash their hands when they showed and most people are even worse. do you ever walked people in watch people in the ladies room for example how many don't wash their hands? it harder for me because the people that's probably got it from not washing their hands. when you have parasites if they are on your hands and you put your hands in your mouth, that's it. so washing your hands is important. cooking food thoroughly and washing it very thorough is important. these are very simple and yet they will protect people from horrible diseases that i described in the. >> i would just like to ask about fecal transplants. did you do any research into this and could that be hopeful in the future for more things than just what they are using it for now?
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>> fecal transplants are very promising. it's starting to be used more widely. and i don't talk about it a great deal in the book i do discuss them in the book. and i think it is a promising avenue. especially since they are talking about more presents ways to administer them now. but i think that it is a really good example of how we have taken a more nuanced approach in a microbial environment. knowing that by replacing certain microbes or augmenting them to either report offered to her the disease is very exciting and something we can do without pharmaceuticals and relatively cheap. >> [inaudible] >> it's what it sounds like. [laughter] basically not only in your feces but also your stomach or interior microbial environment there are many microbes.
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they told "the new york times" half of your stool is not food it's actually microbial mass. the microbes inside can protect you against disease and even ward off certain diseases but some people don't or cannot make those microbes or retain them. sometimes they have lost them for medical procedures for example. so replenishing them is important and replenish them by taking the fecal matter or microbial matter from people who do have them and process it and put it into the person lacks them. >> can you talk about using microbes i don't want to say to fight other microbes that help you can use microbes in tandem to better your health. >> it sounds good to me. that is one of the things we
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have to do. we don't always have a vaccine and it will take a long time to get one. we don't always have a medication. one example is in sweden. there was a problem with people on the ventilator is developing out-of-control bacteria that could end up killing them. the problem was the person would become resistant pretty quickly and it didn't help so they decided to use a different bacterium. this different bacterium they gave the people after they fought off and killed the bad bacteria, that is a brilliant move enough to get much better at doing. so using microbes sounds good to me. >> i thought i saw a hand in the back. or am i imagining things? >> okay. could i ask you then about --
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there was something in the back of the book i wanted to talk about. -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> you spoke about alzheimer's before. are there other microbes or situations that would affect alzheimer's? >> i'm sure there are but i didn't research data. i did write a little bit about it but not that much. alzheimer's is very difficult. isn't real proof or strong evidence of a microbial origin. it's not that there is and keep up with her is one yet so i didn't really dwell on it except to talk about the theory that some might not be alzheimer's but something easier to prevent.
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>> 's as you have talked earlier about the fact one of the things in this country is over cleanliness as a thing we don't have another countries but then you also talked about a little bit cavalierly about the vaccines being easy and i'm wondering -- i mean there is research about some of the negative effects and i'm just wondering what your overall thought is around that and how that helps or hurts in terms of getting rid of things at the same time creating things as well. >> i couldn't quite hear what all the noise out there. >> okay then. [laughter] >> now i can hear you. you talked earlier about the idea -- i'm interested in your ideas are out of the impact of vaccines you had cavalierly said it's easy to get people people lined up yet on the other hand i imagine you have a much deeper analysis of vaccines because there is obviously evidence around both the pros and cons so
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i'm curious about your general thoughts about that. >> i didn't cavalierly say it. it's a fact actually. plus, -- [applause] i'm going to assume that you know some problems or issues with vaccines. all i will say is there are many people for many reasons but distrust of vaccines and i'm sympathetic to them i know people are only trying to do the best for themselves and their children. i also know that vaccines are medications and as such they are not perfect but i think that many of the people don't really understand the nature of vaccines or the nature of medicine. we in general all of us i think of developed an intolerance for medical uncertainty.
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by that time he met when i was a child, everyone got measles. many people got polio. everyone got chickenpox. and fact our parents wanted us to get these out of the way so we could go on to being kids. no one respected these diseases but they were killers and they are in places like the tropical countries where there are no vaccines and children die. many children die every year. now we have vaccines to treat them and i think that we need to respect that and be grateful for that because they now save the lives of many people. [applause] ms. washington will go from here to the book signing tent where if you would like you can purchase her book and have her sign it. thank you everyone for your questions and for coming out today. [applause]
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that was was a book at the history and science of mental illness with offer. washington. next from the 20th annual texas book festival is former white house chief of staff and new hampshire governor johnson who do. he's written a new book called a man detailing the presidency of george h. w. bush.
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festivalgoers are getting situated for this event in the booktv tent and while we wait for the senator to begin, here is part of our 1999 coverage. this is due talking about george w. bush and the bush family dynasty. >> the two that i really admired, richard kramer and david marinus who was kind enough to write a book for my blurb studied what they had done. they end bart on very good books about contemporary politicians and i noticed for each of them on the next projects they wrote about dead sports figures afterwards. richard kramer wrote about joe dimaggio and there have been some party -- vince lombardi.
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he's a very good retail politician as you like to say and disarming you into getting you to like him whether you want to or not. some of his political critics really like him a lot. i'm not sure if molly is here or she would add to that. she likes him personally she will write otherwise maybe that so yes i like george w.. his personality is a very engaging and disarming fellow and it's interesting. i'm glad you brought up a bit for several million dollars. he said he believed it into his subject in some way.
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i haven't made up my mind yet who i will vote for but i feel better about what decision i will make. to me, george w. is a little bit like ronald reagan in some ways and in fact i think it's more like ronald reagan than his dad. he has a way of kind of sailing through life and even turmoil with a very sunny disposition. and in some way, he does have this kind of thing that's hard to narrow down. it's almost like again this sort of eternal optimism about him that's hard to really wrestle onto the page. i devoted my first chapter at least compared to the other chapters it was written in a way to try to convey his personality more than anything else. it was written in a more colorful and sunny optimistic
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vein as possible so i came to know him a lot better but there's still something very intriguing about him it's kind of become a little joke i heard in washington with his favorite movies is austin powers international man of mystery and for a lot of people in the united states he is still a man of mystery himself. he's very as you know far ahead in the polls and enormously popular here in the state and traveling around a lot is still a mystery about him in the sense that we don't know a lot about him and maybe never will but i tried. >> [inaudible conversations]
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many in the bush family have called texas home for several years and in 2003 barbara bush at ten of the book festival to discuss her book reflections life after the white house. here's a portion of the program while we wait for the john sununu booktalk on george h. w. bush to begin. >> the urge to write was still there. i saw my good friend mary higgins clark and told her she suggested that i write a novel and she said it would be very easy. she recommended i do what she did, take a plot continuity ending and then work back. mary told me that when her characters talk to her, she won't let them -- won't let her say something she knows that
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she's on the right track. it is as if they tell her i wouldn't do that or i wouldn't say that. it sounded easy so i set forth to write a mystery novel. i need to i thought was a rather interesting plot that center around two female roommates come , a flight attendant and secret service agent who never stayed in town long enough to meet any attractive eligible men. they decided to get in touch with an escort bureau, a dating service. all the men the women dated ended up dead. like mary i knew the killer and i worked my way back. i have one huge problem. my characters never said one word to me. [laughter] i spent hours waiting. nothing. and besides that, my conversations were deadly stiff, awkward and a really boring. so, i decided to leave the
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imagination further real writers and to stick to what i knew. after all, life had stopped after the white house. the last ten years have been filled with travel and new experiences, making new friends, working on cars is that we care strongly about and the usual ups and downs of a family in some very exciting moments. i bet you didn't know that outlaw biker magazine declared me first lady of the century. [laughter] this of course accompanied by a picture of my head superimposed on a curvy schist body draped over a harley-davidson bike. [laughter] biker babe of babe of the century i think was one headline. after cow it was quite an honor and worthy of another book and yes there were two sons, one went on to become governor and
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want to become president. so there were something i could write about. for research, i didn't really have to do any trying to remember what happened when and who said what to whom. i didn't have to worry about that either. i have been a devoted diary keeper for years. so so all i had to do was take my diary already on my computer and turn it into some kind of a readable prose, take out an opinion or two maybe, not all but some. some things are left best unpublished. now, i toiled away usually in the early morning sitting with my laptop in bed while george read the newspapers. while i wrote, he cursed. [laughter] somehow it all works. now already coming people are asking me if there will yet again be another sequel. at age 78, i rather suspect not. but who knows, just as life
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didn't stop after the white house come it doesn't stop either as you approach 80 years of age and beyond especially if you are married to george bush. after all this is the man that swears pair shooting one more time on his 80th birthday. he jumped on his 75th birthday and he loved it. and incidentally he raised $10 million for the great cancer research hospital. on the 13th of june, this is the day after to celebrate his 80th, he will make his last jump and friends around the country are raising $30 million to be shared by m.d. anderson, the points of light foundation and the george bush presidential library foundation. this will not only be his last jump, but this piece wears well be the last time we ever ask
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anyone for money. [laughter] larry king has announced that he is going to jump with george and i think so far he's lined up the texas university grandchild jeb junior is going to jump with him. i have to share one little story that happened this past september. during a trip to russia, george and i were invited to spend a day with president putin along the black sea, sort of the russian-made coverlet of camp david. when we arrived, george was wearing a suit and tie while putin met us in more informal clothing at the airport. no we were very, very flattered that he came to the airport to meet us and while we were driving some 20 minutes away he
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suggested he would drop us off at the guesthouse and we can could freshen up and then he and mrs. putin would walk to meet us and we would walk to meet them. so, they were going to have a press conference right after that so george rushed in, changed into very casual clothes. he wanted to be like putin. would you be the sweat pants and a shirt that's all he had. as we walked up the hill and they were walking down it soon became obvious president putin also changed his clothes into a suit and tie. [laughter] anyway, i found myself writing in my diary that night this should go in the next book. i do know that writing this book reminded me of a couple of things i've always found. one is he really shouldn't take your self or your life too seriously. i would like to read a short passage from the book to prove
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my point. a regret, not my only regret is that a regret is i didn't keep all the pictures that i got i've gotten from the barbara bush look-alikes. i get at least four letters a month and have firmly these that have been told they look exactly like me. i am so common looking that when i spoke to the junior league in toledo ohio in october, they had to look-alikes. they could be 5 feet 2 inches tall order up to 6 feet 2 inches tall. they could weigh 120. i would like that, too too funny. they could be 55 to 95 years of age. they all have one thing in common. and i finally learned to say i wish i didn't look as pretty as you.
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you can imagine it brings all sorts of funny surprises. one year after giving the commencement address at texas a and m. university i received a letter from a vp that thought i might be amused by something that happened after my talk. she had taken her granddaughter with her to the graduation. when she returned, the little girl to her mother, the child ran into the house yelling you will never guess what i did. i heard the mother of the president of the united states. i heard of george washington's mother. [laughter] live coverage from the texas book festival continues now. this is for white house chief of staff, john sununu and his book is the quiet man.
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it's on the presidency of george h. w. bush. ♪ welcome, everybody. my name is jim herman and i am here to moderate this discussion with the governor. governor john sununu was the governor of new hampshire from 1983 to 1989 and served as white house chief of staff chief of staff from 1989 until 1991. he's the father of eight children which would explain a couple of those wrinkles. [laughter] but among his children is christopher sununu come into
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john sununu has a former united states senator. governor sununu was also the chairman of the new hampshire republican party from 2009 to 2011. i must confess to a little biased because governor sununu has written a book called the quiet man, the indispensable presidency of george h. w. bush. for those of us from texas of course, 41 as we call him is one of the most revered of all texans. briefly, he was a hero. he was the youngest pilot in the united states navy in the second world war shot down. he went there after two yale
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where he was actually born while he was at yale. 41 was a phi beta kappa and all-american baseball player, captain of the baseball team. he his entire life was a huge success in private business and has a service to the united states is almost without. but this book is about george h. w. bush the person, and how that person most characteristics and personality contributed to a wide variety of accomplishments. so please join me in joining -- join me in welcoming governor sununu. ' >> thank you very much. [applause] >> this is a touching book about sort of the inside story and a description of many events which
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contributed to the presidency of george h. w. bush. but because of his unique personality are not necessarily known by the public. why don't you tell us how you first came to be associated with 41 and under what circumstances. >> i was running for governor in 1982, and i was running against an incumbent democrat that was guaranteed to win, so to speak. i won that primary in september and i need a fund raiser, so i picked up the phone and called the vice president of the united states, whom i had met during his travels to new hampshire and 80 when he was trying to beat ronald reagan in the primary. and i said mr. vice president, i need somebody to come again to be the speaker at a fundraiser.
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11 days later, george bush was there and we raised the money we needed to go on to defeat the incumbent governor. as i served as governor from 83 to 88 as it happens in new hampshire can anybody that wants to run for president spends a lot of time talking to governors of new hampshire and i got to know george bush and barbara bush quite well not only in terms of individuals but frankly in terms of his commitment in particular to serving the public in understanding that one of the attributes that are really significant in this country over the years is that there are
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people that are willing to give up their time to make the country a little bit better if that was a perfect description of what george bush was all about. so, i got to know him then and obviously as we moved into the new hampshire primary season, it became an even closer relationship as he began to spend even more time up there. george bush went into iowa. he lost iowa, came to new hampshire a little bit nervous. i met him in the barbara at the airport and i said relax. you're going to win new hampshire by ten points. they won by 9.6 and went on to confirm the fact iowa picks corn and new hampshire picks presidents.
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after getting beat by bob dole and pat robinson and iowa. he won the new hampshire primary and after that of course he got the nomination of course elected what i would like to do -- in the book as you go through a variety of situations and achievements i would like to get into those of you don't if you don't mind, governor, give us a little insight. the cold war the wall came down and for the most part i think i reagan has recorded a good bit of credit for that. why don't you tell us a little
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bit about the personal relationship that developed between the chopped into president bush and how is humility and lack of ego contributed to the cold war coming to an end. >> i call this book of called this book of the quiet man. if george bush had won a feeling he didn't talk about himself and it's not in a position his mother made. there's two messages. one, you really shouldn't be talking about yourself, let others do that. you go and do things that just do them right into the second one relates to that. she was talking about tennis but
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the message was more than that. it was when you do anything, do it the right way and that was the hallmark. we all know about his success in foreign-policy adviser talked about the relationship which i think is one of the important ones. but i would like to put and overall message in this so that you listen to all of these little pieces in context to read one of the reasons i wrote this book is to try to get george herbert walker bush the credit he deserves for being the only one of the great foreign-policy presidents come about one of the great domestic policy president. george bush passed more domestic legislation than any president except lyndon johnson and franklin roosevelt, little known fact. little-known fact. and if george bush passed more good conservative legislation than any president in history.
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he's a foreign-policy president and not a domestic policy president and i think that's because the domestic policy achievements are sort of overshadowed by the amazing things he did in foreign-policy. so let's put up a collapse of the soviet union and where george bush was instrumental in not. george bush was the vice president. he watched as reagan did the most important thing for those years. it was the military strength. he rebuilt the army and navy and marines. and the soviet union was watching. and gorbachev who came into power in the soviet union in the middle 80s began to understand
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that the soviets really could not catch up. and gorbachev came to the conclusion that he ought to try to figure out how to bring the soviet union into this family of nations so that there could be economic prosperity and the soviet union. ronald reagan built up the defense structure and realized they were developing a unique opportunity to change the conflict between the superpowers and they understood that in order to do that, he was going to have to do two things in particular. one, he was going to have to bring our allies together in the agenda and he was going to use nato as a vehicle into the most important allies of the structure were margaret thatcher, transform and own own
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it cool with germany. and then he understood whose vision might be right but whose position in the soviet union is the position of all leaders in the soviet union was always going to be precarious. so he would have to do it in such a way that dealt with that between george bush and those principal characters were what led to the collapse of the soviet union. in his description of the relationship they share a good many of these characteristics. he mentioned in one place where there was a good deal within the russian delegation about making
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this sort of conciliation with the west and what would you say is the contribution to resolving those internal conflicts in favor of positive outcome that we have >> let me put that even broader. george bush really understood how to do things in a way where he developed the response from people to join him and his agenda that wasn't reluctant that was absolutely enthusiastic and one of the great examples of that which will give you a feeling for the comments i will make when we talk about the site is how he dealt with france one. he was the president of france and towards the end of the
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administration, france and the u.s. were beginning to veer from a common administration. they just didn't get along. they had two different personalities and there was no reconciling the difference. bush watched this and understood it yet he understood how important phrase was to try to deal with the soviet union. so bush decided he was going to try to mend things. brent scowcroft was the chief of staff and one day in the white house in the oval office the president said i think i'm going to invite them. schoolcraft tonight and looked at each other and our eyes kind of rolled a little bit. he was the classic and they are
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about as informal as you can get and we were nervous, is this going to interact? the president as one would expect god his way. he gets a $2,500 suit. but he was dressed as a european patriarch to go to an evening dinner. they would be slightly less significantly formal.
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it was more than he'd ever been in his life. he let them make long speeches on the history of europe and how that would be a very important part of developing a strategy. he asked for his advice and by the end of the day, day and a half they were calling these other george and france are. the death of that friendship is agonized.
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a couple years afterwards he held it for him in where margaret thatcher and gorbachev and george bush all showed up about how they interacted in a way that would do the collapse of the soviet union they were talking about how things changed and what made it amazing. the best way to explain how they understood how critical that was is to talk a little bit about what happened in the collapse of the berlin wall. the berlin wall was following what was happening.
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they were talking about what is happening in czechoslovakia and hungary. the other one was saying soviet will never let germany get united. one afternoon they were sitting in the site office the smaller office of the oval office is that we have to turn the tv on you got to see this. they were getting to move back and forth across the wall and the east german guards are not shooting at as they had in the past.
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it can go here to the germans on both sides that gorbachev was going to allow the same thing to happen. in the next couple of hours and a couple of days it is classic george bush. the press comes into the small gathering in the oval office and they are waiting for the president to be quoting about how this is the end of the soviet union. they expect them to be cheering or getting ready to go as some of the presidents george mitchell on the democratic side put it come he ought to go and dance on the wall. george bush understood if we gloated and embarrassed the gorbachev, the changes would end. the hardliners in hard-liners in the soviet union would make
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gorbachev pay them so george bush in a very low-key way said that this was another step in the process. he wasn't going to go and dance on the wall. he took the criticism from the press. he took the criticism from the leaders of the democratic party for a number of weeks but gorbachev in his memoirs point out how important it was that george bush understood the tone that had to be taken on that amount to stay. >> let me change gears a little bit and talk about some domestic issues. i suppose the most memorable issue and its consequences were the words of george w. bush read my lips and of course the third
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rail of the domestic politics is the marginal income tax rate. they opened up some time to a blanket where among other circumstances something had to be done. to describe a lengthy negotiation process among other republican and democratic leaders in the house and senate and in particular we know how that turned out that you are critical of newt gingrich who i paraphrase it had signed off on the deal to trade a bunch of budget cuts for some increased principally in the gas tax.
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why don't you tell us what happened after you wall cut a deal and gingrich left the white house? >> the budget deal was a very important piece of legislation. and probably the reason or one of the reasons george bush wasn't able to get reelected in 1992 and one of the most important contributions in history and led to all the surpluses in the mid-90s and to the economic boom and it really addressed what has become a critical problem. george bush came into office after having set read my lips at the convention in new orleans.
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deficits were real and growing into the national debt was growing with those deficits. the dollar was getting weak. the world was telling us they might stop buying u.s. treasuries. a lot of it had come about for the right reasons. the growth in the budget spending is used to pay for the growth of the defense capacity which led to the collapse of the soviet union would for the fact is that have to be dealt with and we got around by using the one-year budgets together that had no taxes and cut the deficit pretty well but they still need something aggressive and the world was saying in the federal reserve chairman must say in foreign finance ministers said you need a multi-year budget that is significant enough to really cut the deficit and so
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president made the commitment to do that and we started negotiating with the democrats and they controlled congress 260 to 175 in the house and controlled senate 55-45 and george mitchell ran the senate and he was quite a partisan majority leader. tom foley ran the house and was a little less partisan than george bush but was part of the democratic team that would determine to make george bush keep his words and pay the ransom if you will of having to accept taxes if he wanted a multi-year budget. we put together a group of both republican leaders and democratic leaders and we started constant negotiations. nothing in washington happened without presidential leadership and without a president committing to spend his political capital. and george bush understood and he was willing to do it.
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we went through a long process and negotiating teams included that mitchell and foley was the democrat chairman of the ways and means committee and he came around 20 times during the association for the one-on-one associations with the president. he invited them down if they worked out the details. the republicans i included out old at the republican leaders in the senate and the house and included phil gramm, the senators from texas who were probably the smartest on budgets and economics in the senate and included newt gingrich on the republican side who is a conservative leader, and we went through a negotiating process in which they all participated. and gingrich was pretty strong on what he would and would not accept.
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he gave a list of nine requirements he couldn't touch personal income tax. there have to be at least 50% of the improvement into the deficit had to come from spending cuts and so on. we went through a negotiating process and came up with a package that is all the criteria of all of the republicans that was acceptable to the democrats that was a $500 billion reduction in the deficit which was by that time have been the largest reduction in deficits in history. it included one major tax. it included an increase in the gasoline tax for chat and an adjusted for inflation for nearly a decade and that meant the criteria establishment. but when we went to celebrate a few while assigning in the rose
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garden for some rebellion republicans that that littered the led to the deal and a lot of them to replace the gas tax with personal income tax the package had a 3.5 times as much spending cuts as the taxes and it went on as i said earlier to produce the surplus in the '90s and it went on to produce the economic growth to make it almost impossible for george bush to win the reelection. >> let me touch upon some other issues. the environment. he was a mover in getting the clean air bill passed in holding the cap and trade for polluting
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industries and so forth and that was a major priority of his was a knock? spirit as i said earlier they passed were domestic legislation than anyone but lyndon johnson and roosevelt. we had the budget agreement, we have the clean air bill, air bill connolly of energy deregulation, we had the civil rights bill of 1991, we had the americans with disabilities act, we had agricultural reform bill which opened the doors for the agricultural export film. we have child care based on the altars to the families and not popping up bureaucracies which was the whole that was necessary to get not only vouchers for child care about vouchers for charter schools and education. he held the summit in history with the governors to talk about education, the third summit the
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only ones held before but teddy roosevelt on the environment and franklin roosevelt on the depression. they talked about how to deal with the need for education in the country while making sure that the leads on the k-12 were at the local control in state control. he also addressed immigration both with limited legislation and under the provision of the legislation to deal with that. george bush dealt with all the major issues. he got all that legislation passed. he didn't succeed him everything he proposed welfare reform and bill clinton went on to pass the same package when he became president and he proposed pulp care reform that would have been a good health-care package that didn't get through. but this was a domestic policy
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president. on clean air and energy, this was a man that understood how important energy was to the american economy. and he produced an energy policy with personal involvement in the development of data that recognized how important it was to take advantage of our production capacity, how important it was to deregulate stick at the price of the consumer prices and how important it was to provide incentives for alternatives. he was clearly the first in the all of the above policy preference. but on the environment it really is interesting. for 13 years congress has been trying to pass an amendment to the clean air bill and it had been blocked for a bite to democrats. senator byrd because he came from the coal producing west virginia and john dingell because he represented the
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district for the auto industry in detroit. and those two democrats prevented any new environmental legislation from getting a foothold. that was the day of the beginning. it was the days where we have done as much as we could be existing legislation to deal with the problems that were there and water pollution and bush was determined to try to do something different said he came and proposed not command and control assets and tradition but he put together a piece of legislation that was based on the market-based incentives that allow the private sector to produce the results that were required at the lowest cost even if somebody else in their industry was able to do a little bit better than they did twice
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as much to sell part of that improvement to the other company for whom it would be too expensive. george bush worked on it personally for a year and a half. and we worked out a negotiation process with dingell and bird which allowed them to feel that their states were not going to have their economies got it by the bill will and george bush george bush speak with personal involvement of that broke the logjam and gave the country of the clean air act, broke the logjam of 13 years and that the bill has been the most successful piece of environmental legislation in terms of efficiency of cost and capacity to preserve the incentives of the marketplace. ..
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>> president obama caught a good bf grief about that, but that was pretty consistent with george bush's concern for the family, wouldn't you agree? >> i would. just to give you the full context. the '86 bill was called the
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simpson ma solely immigration act, and it provided a process to deal with a problem that was very similar to the current one. it had in it the intention to seal the border, although the democratic congress didn't fund it well enough. and it tried to give focus to legal immigration, particularly recognizing that there was an economic benefit to the country if that was done right. and it provided a process there that began to require employers as we talk about today to make sure they were hiring people who had been legalized, not who had come here and failed to meet the legal test. it really was a well-intentioned piece of legislation, but it had some serious problems. george bush's personal involvement was to propose legislation to try and
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strengthen the border and to try and deal with a focus on immigration that he felt was most appropriate. in particular, to encourage the numbers that were allowed to come in to be allocated to those that had family here already and a serious allocation to those that were coming with special skills in science, technology, engineering and education. it probably was the first effort to really give some constructive structure to the immigration problem the country had. even that, as we see, wasn't enough, and we have continued to develop a problem and where it's now one of the contentious issues. but the president was willing to try and deal with that issue. >> he was, he was dedicated to a resolution of the israeli-pal
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ten january conflict -- palestinian conflict. i was just curious to get your read on it. recently, james baker has indicated that the united states should follow a more even-handed policy towards israel, and it appears that that is not very popular in the republican party these days. so i was wondering how you think george bush would address that issue today particularly where the settlements on the west bank and other occupied territories are continuing to expand at the expense of the palestinians? >> well, following desert storm, if you remember the president made the commitment to get saddam hussein out of kuwait? and he did it by building a true coalition, a coalition which
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surprising to most of the world brought the soviet union in as a coalition partner and brought in the arab nations in, surprising people that they participated against another arab nation, iraq led by saddam hussein. and, of course, he had the great result of getting saddam hussein out of kuwait and dealing with an issue that was a serious problem not only for the united states and the rest of the world, but for the people in that region, the arab countries in that region had seen it as a problem. so george bush built up a huge level of goodwill amongst the nations of the mideast and thought he might be able to at least begin the process that has over the years, just like dealing with social security in the u.s. is the third rail of domestic policy, dealing with the arab-israeli issue,
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palestinian-israeli issue is the third rail of foreign policy. but george bush and brent scowcroft and jim baker felt they had a unique opportunity because of the relationships they had developed during the gulf war. and what they succeeded in doing which is so critical, which catalyzed the possibility -- although it has been frustrating in that it never came to fruition or a solution -- the possibility of beginning serious discussions between the israelis and the palestinians by bringing them both to madrid. for the first time, they sat down at a common table to begin discussions on how they might deal with the conflict. so you ask how bush might deal with it today. there is not going to be success, i believe, in that issue until we have a president again with the prestige expect
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trustworthiness to both sides that george bush brought to the table. george bush's greatest asset is that he never made a commitment he didn't fulfill in foreign policy dealings. he was, developed a trust of these foreign policy leaders, and he was always cognizant of how difficult it was for them politically in their home countries to make the kinds of concessions that were necessary. and i think it is that combination of sensitivity that would be necessary if we are ever going to make progress on that difficult, difficult issue. >> we have just a few minutes left, but the governor would be happy to take a few questions if anybody has a question. please come forward to the microphone and ask it. >> there's a gentleman in the center aisle. >> yes. can you describe like the a day
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in the life of a chief of staff? [laughter] >> sure. [laughter] >> we only have a few minutes. [laughter] >> i'll do it quickly. look, first of all, what a chief of staff does depends on the president they're working for, you know? everyone says what's the job of chief of staff, it's what your president tells you your job is, and every president is different. the president i worked for, i would get to the white house about six a.m. i had a couple of staff members that were there earlier. they would have prepared for me the newspaper clippings and the documents that describe what happened overnight. i would meet with them for a half hour. i then had a half hour of open door. anybody in the white house or the executive office building could come in and see me for a half hour while i was preparing to work, but if they wanted to complain about something, it was available. i prepared material for a 7:30
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meeting of the senior staff. i met with my deputy chief of staff, andy card. i met with a couple of other staff members. and then at 7:30-8:00, about 20 of us -- all the senior staff in the white house -- met, and i literally in 30 minutes went around to all of 'em so that they could tell us what they thought they were going to be working on that day so that everybody in the white house knew what everybody else was doing. i then went in to see the president at 8:00. at 8:00 the president, scowcroft and i and quayle were briefed by the cia for 15 minutes, although sometimes it went a little further. that's the no to notorious press daily brief we've heard about in recent years. then scowcroft would discuss with the president me foreign policy issues that either were critical from overnight or what we expected to do that day. i would do a half hour to 45
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minutes with the president on domestic policy. then it usually drifted into 125 minutes -- 15 minutes of discussion on politics. then during the day i attended virtually all his meetings. but i had my own meetings x if i had a problem, i'd wander down to see him and try to get the problem resolved immediately. the white house -- my role as chief of staff really reflected what the president wanted me to be doing. >> yes, sir. >> i'd like to know more about 41's character. how does a quiet man in texas with a family and an oil job become a politician where you have to go out and talk about yourself, sell yourself? >> well, he did it reluctantly, and he learned, he learned he had to do that. i think the high point of talking about himself was the speech that got him into trouble, the acceptance speech at the republican convention in new orleans. that's to probably the one time -- that's probably the one time he did talk about himself a lot.
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but what he did is his best thing politically was personal interaction. and in new hampshire we took the president in for one-to-one contacts. and we estimated, for example, in the primary of new hampshire, we're a state of a million people, we estimated he shook about 50,000 hands. and for those old folks that are here, you'll understand when i say we took 5,000 polaroid pictures. you understand what polaroid is. [laughter] based on the theory that if somebody had a picture of themselves and the vice president on the mantle, they'd work awfully hard to make it a picture of themselves and the president on the mantle. [laughter] he was great in 1-1, 1-5, 1-10, face to face where he could talk about -- he almost always talked about the people he was meeting rather than himself. but he became pretty good at it. in '88 we had a great team;
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roger ailes, lee atwater and myself provided some of the toughness and the hard response. and it allowed him to talk in a positive way. what happened in '92, i think, is that he was expected to do both sides of that, and it really just didn't work. >> how much of the time was spent on policy and how much time was spent on re-election focus? general domestic policy and foreign policy? >> i was in the white house from 1989 to march of 1992. and even though you do political things in that period -- the president would do some fundraisers and would during the re-election cycle of 1990 went out and campaigned for some republican candidates -- i can tell you that probably not enough time was spent on politics. and the president -- just take a
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look at what was happening simultaneously. the dealing with the soviet union, dealing with saddam hussein's invasion of kuwait, the negotiation on every one of those pieces of domestic legislation i talked to you about by a president who would invest personal time meeting with rostenkowski over two dozen times, meeting with congressional leaders on a regular basis, meeting with his cabinet and making the hard decisions on issues like energy policy. so in an odd way, i would say we spent about 90% of our time on policy and maybe 5-10% of the time had a political component at all, and it probably wasn't enough. >> referring back to your question about the sensitivity that that george bush had dealing with foreign leaders, gorbachev and the israeli and palestinian leaders that helped
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him be so successful as a president, in your opinion, is there anybody run running for president now -- and i guess i would include the vice president who might run -- that has the sensitivity and finesse required to deal with the problems of the world that would even come close to george bush? >> i am working awfully hard not to get dragged into this political -- [laughter] and i have not endorsed yet, although a couple of my kids have. i will say this, i am very partial to governors or former governors because they have dealt with the legislature, they have worked on a bipartisan basis, they have a record you can examine, they they have gotn results, and i think there's almost a handful of good republican governors running. there's probably one or two senators that have some experience back at the state level. and i'm not trying to endorse him here, but just as an example, rubio was a speaker of
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the house in florida. i want somebody who's been through that tough mill of making policy and getting results. because, frankly, we are at a stage where we need that. [applause] >> governor, i'm a veteran of operation iraqi freedom, and i look forward to reading your book, particularly the chapter on desert storm. i'd like to ask you based on what we knew in 1991, mission englished, i think the coalition president bush put together was very successful. why -- did you think we handled it right in 2003 after operation afghanistan began? >> well, i think what happened in iraq on the second invasion of iraq and afghanistan is that we handled the invasion and the military side right. under 41 he decided he did not want to try and stay there and
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even though he was criticized for withdrawing rather quickly, everybody now recognizes it was a great decision. i think if we were going to deal with iraq, we either should have done it the same way as 41 did it or invested more resources, mobilized the iraqi army that was ready to be mobilized instead of disbanding them and bringing additional resources in there and keeping a presence analogous to korea in iraq rather than withdrawing from iraq. we have been in korea since the korean war. it has stabilized that peninsula. i think there could have been a parallel stabilization of the region if we had used that as our model. that's my personal opinion. >> ma'am. oh, we're all set? >> thank you very much.
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>> thank you all very, very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> and you're watching book tv's live coverage from the texas book festival in austin. and that was john sununu talking about his book, "the quiet man: the indispensable presidency of george h.w. bush." now, as we wait for the next author panel on civil rights to get set up, we're going to take a short break from our live coverage to show you a couple of the authors who have appeared in texas in the past. first up, sherman alexei talks about his best-selling
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absolutely true diary of a part-time indian. >> i just got sort of a generic e-mail about the sin nothing he's putting together called the poets for impeachment. [laughter] [applause] talk about the powerless making a powerless move. [laughter] you know? saying, yeah, bush was in the white house right now thinking i was okay until the poet started talking. [laughter] so i'm feeling incredibly powerless at the moment. [laughter] and it's always weird to do this in a church. you know, i was an altar boy so, i mean, this is not a catholic church, but still, i get a little freaked out. [laughter] so i'm going to talk about my book, and what i'm going to tell you is a mixture of fact and fiction that the book is.
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so i could be lying, you don't know. [laughter] i'm actually italian, so it's a lie from the beginning. [laughter] i was born with water on the brain, hydroreceive lis. tush spinal fluid -- too much spinal fluid was crushing my skull. i had brain surgery at six months of age. and my mom, they didn't believe her at first, and they told her my skull was growing, and finally she actually started doing charts, so she had this draft, look, his skull is growing. and i had surgery. and i was the first generation of people who had this surgery which was they cut open my head, pulled back my head, got the mini hoover in there, they took mine out. i think i was a resident indian guinea pig, let's see what happens if we take the shunt out. i was supposed to die during the
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surgery, and if i didn't die, i was going to be severely mentally disabled. standing there in the hospital the doctor said to my mother, if your son wakes up, he's probably going to be a vegetable. and my mother, being who she is and having taught me how to to e that way, asked him, "what kind of vegetable?" [laughter] so i wish i had the flux capacitor to go back to that moment. i survived the surgery, obviously, and i'm not severely mentally damaged. it affected me in all sorts of direct and indirect ways. first of all, my head is huge, as you can tell. my head is e -- enormous. i've grown into it. imagine this on a 7-year-old indian boy. i look like a super villain on an x-men comic book.
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the bullies called me globe or orbit, you know? they'd pick me up, spin me around and say i want to go there. [laughter] and big held, big head. my hands were big. second grade i could palm the basketball. my feet were size 11 in second grade. but i had a pencil body. so with that skinny body and big feet, i looked like a capital l. [laughter] and i'm nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. but indians health service back then only had one kind of glasses, those black, thick, ugly ones. and they only had glass lenses, not the plastic ones which are thick. they had glass lenses which magnified my eyes. my eyes were magnified to different sizes louisiana laugh this -- [laughter] this side was that big, i looked lopsided. hey, what's wrong with that kid?
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this side's corps delain, this side's spokane. [laughter] i had a stutter and a lisp which you can still here. skinny, big head, what else? seizures. i had the we fit seiziers which is more like day dreaming with drool. and then i had the grand ones. first one i had, i was watching the tonight show with my dad, and i started -- [laughter] my dad thought i was dancing. good dancing, junior, good dancing. [laughter] then my eyes rolled back in my head -- lillian! throw a shawl on him. oh, teeth, i had 4 2k teeth. -- 42 teeth. 32 is usual, 32 is normal, i had
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ten teeth past human. [laughter] indian health service only funded major dental work once a year, so i had to have all ten teeth pulled in one day. what's more, we learned that the white dentist on the res at that time believed indians felt half as much pain as white folks did, so he was only giving us half the novocain. all these years later, i hope he shows up at my reading, 'cuz i'm going to kick hn the crotch. [laughter] not just a regular kick either, one of those big mythic kicks, you know? years from now indian grandfathers will be talking to their grandchildren and saying you see those two stars up in the sky? [laughter] i'm going to kick him, and he's going to be all bent over and weepy, and i'm going to say that hurt you twice as much as it would have hurt me.
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[laughter] >> and you're taking a live look inside the tent at the 20th annual texas book festival. the next author event is a discussion on civil rights, and booktv will be live with that. but first, we want to show you a little bit of isabelle wilkerson's presentation of "the warmth of other suns" from the 2009 texas book festival. >> why did your own family leave the south for the north? >> very good question. that was one of the reasons i set out to do the book, because my parents never talked about it. as with michelle. this generation was, in some ways, an misunderstood segment of the greatest generation. they bore up under incredible odds. they were in many ways locked in a caste system, and i describe the great migration as, essentially, a defection from a caste system which was untenable
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and could not last and, ultimately, ended violently through the civil rights movement. but ultimately, these people were, needed to be -- i felt that their stories needed to be heard and told. and they were not talking. one reason why the story hadn't been told is because the people were not talking. they were not talking for many reasons. >> selective. >> one is it was just too painful. another is when they left, they left for good, and they did not look back. one character in the book no longer wanted to be known by the name he'd grown up with. some people melted into the new world, didn't look back, and they started anew. they turned the page, and they acted as if whatever had happened before had not happened, and their children were raised in a whole new environment without knowledge of what had happened before them. one of the main questions i wanted to know is how did i get here? how is it that the majority of the african-americans in the north, midwest and west can trace their roots to some very
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specific part of the south? it's no accident that michelle's father was from alabama and ended up in the midwest. i know he went to boston, but he ended up there. and i find it so inspiring. this was not a haphazard unfurling of lost souls. these people were making a decision, the decision of their lives, to leave the only place they'd ever known for a place they'd never seen not knowing what the future held. and many african-americans, as the case for many americans, wouldn't even exist. i wouldn't have existed x michelle, i think -- it would have been very different. my parents, to get to the end of your question, sorry -- you get us started. [laughter] my mother migrated from rome, georgia, to washington d.c. my father migrated in a different decade from southern virginia to washington d.c. they were from families where the people had had, their parents had had some education. they themselves had education,
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but they could not use it in the caste system in which they were growing up. and they decided to go to a place where they thought they could. they happened to meet there, they got married. had there been no great migration, i wouldn't even be here. i don't know who i'd be or who'd be sitting here, but it wouldn't be me. and the same goes for you as well. so they were seeking that. i think the idea of a kind of political asylum that the people were seeking is the kind of thing that -- it's a different way of looking at what happened with a migration that occurred within the borders of our own country. within the borders of our own country, there is an immigrant experience that was not unlike that of people coming across the atlantic in steerage. and it's my goal to show how much we have in common, how we have so much more in common than we've been led to believe. these people bore up under incredible odds just to make the decision to leave. and my goal was to try to understand what were they up against and how did they make the decision to leave and that
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the reader would be able to put him or herself in the mindset of these individuals and be able to say to themselves what would i have done if i were living in a caste system in which it were -- it was against the law for a black person and a white person to simply play checkers together. that is astounding, that someone actually set that down as a law. and in courthouses across the country, there was actually a black bible and a white bible to swear to tell the truth on. that is astounding x. this is not that -- and this is not that long ago. and how much was lost on both sides? how many, how many black people, how many white people were deprived of the opportunity to get to know people that they might have actually had so much in common with? so many wonderful experiences were deproved of all races because of the caste system they were under. so that was the reason they left. >> in my family's case, i learned through the reporting of this book exactly why my father and his brothers had left. i had a different experience in that they didn't look back in
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terms of telling their stories, but they remained tethered to birmingham. i went back to birmingham every summer. so in that sense i may have been slowly writing this book and collecting stories for this book, and my father did me an enormous favor by making sure i knew his birmingham. i didn't know it was also the place where he was shot by a white police officer, but i spent a lot of time in birmingham. and that's what makes his journey north so surprising to me in so many ways. i knew that they moveed to chicago ultimately -- they all settled in chicago, he had five brothers. they were all incredibly handsome men, which you will see if you read the actual book. there's pictures inside. and i knew that they had moved to chicago looking for better work. and you will see how handsome they are in these pictures because they used to take pictures -- this was a common experience -- even though they worked in blue collar job, my father and his brothers were all either postal workers or
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teachers, and they would dress up and send those pictures back home, and those pictures would essentially say we're doing all right up here s. and they served as magnets. people would see the picture and saying they're doing okay, i want to get up north. >> little did they know. >> right, right. >> and our hive coverage from austin -- live coverage from austin continues now with a panel discussion on civil rights. this is booktv on c-span2, live coverage of the texas book festival. >> good afternoon. hope you all are doing well, and welcome to the texas book festival. and what i hope is the most exciting and engaging and provocative panel of the weekend. [laughter] [applause] all right. so today we have two great authors. my name is leonard moore, again, i teach at the university of texas at austin. i'm a native of cleveland, ohio, and lebron james did right in
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going back home. although i wasn't born in texas, i got here as soon as i could, all right? [applause] my first author is jason so kohl, he's a professor at the university of new hampshire, and he's just published his second book called "all eyes are upon us." his first book was published several years ago, and that was called "there goes my everything." and next to jason we have a phenomenal artist and professor from the new york city area by virtue of detroit, wendy walters, and her book is called "momentum ply/divide." and i think we'll have an awesome time for the next 40-45 minutes or so. wendy, i will start with you. you make this argument when we talk about race in america, we need to talk about where it's occurring. and you talk about the south, you talk about the north, and when we think about race issues, we don't think much about the
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northeast and the midwest. why do you think it's important when we're talking about race to be specific to the so-called regioningal context? >> well,. >> the north has a complex regional history that has been in some places buried. so there's little willingness to engage with the history of slavery, for example. one of the places i talk about is ports mouth, new hampshire, which actually had a slave burial site under the downtown. and that site was unknown to most of the people who lived there until there needed to be construction on one of the water mains. and so the backhoes went in and started digging, and they started finding people's remains. and that kind of horrifying discovery brought the town to a
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very critical discussion about how they had buried and in some ways knechted to -- neglected to deal with their own history, the history of the people who had built many of the colonial houses that were celebrated in the tourists' walks through the city, the people who basically brought much of the prosperity to the town which continues through today. >> and you talk about in the book about how for a community history is important. you talk about the history that a community acknowledges and the history that they negative atlanta and want to forget. -- neglect and want to forget. can you talk about that for a minute? >> so there's a way all towns want to celebrate their past and emphasize to people who are visiting or who are prospective residents to the area, but there's also a history that is less -- sometimes more salacious
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or sometimes more violent. and that history also incomes the area -- informs the area because the act of moving around that history or trying to build artifacts or cultural institutions without acknowledging that history results in a community that is really disconnected from its own path. so many of the issues of, you know, discord, many of the issues of -- many of the conflicts seem to reappear over and over again. >> it's funny you mention that. i remind my students that i think in america we may have between 12-15 holocaust museums, and it didn't even happen in the u.s. so in many ways it is always easier for us to tell, you know, to tell bad stories as long as our hands don't have blood on it. and i talk about how we have one museum dealing with enslavement but then so many others dealing with this tragic incident, the
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tragic holocaust over in europe. let me switch gears and go to you, jason. the subtitle of your book is race and politics. i'm a kid of the 197 0s, and every spring i look forward to the lakers playing the celtics in the nba playoffs. i don't know any black people that cheer for the boston celtics. >> right. well, i didn't cheer for the celtics either. [laughter] >> so in writing this book about race and politics from boston to brooklyn, you make a point that this is a distinct region in the country. you talk about it represents the best of american democracy, but at the same time it also represents a dark history in america's racial, race relations. can you speak on that? >> right. i mean, i -- you know, i wrote my first book on white southerners and on race in the south. and in some respects that history was a lot more straightforward because the side of racism and segregation had for so long won out.
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but i'm a northerner, and i had always been attracted to studying this what i saw as a conflict in sort of the northeastern region, northeastern soul. on the one hand, the cities of the northeast -- boston, new york and the states -- were often associated with progressivism, political progressivism, cultural enlightenment, liberalism. and on the other hand, if you look at those cities, the experience of african-americans on the ground, it's an experience of housing segregation, unremitting police brutality. so i wanted to tell a story that had both of those stories together. on the one hand, honoring this reputation for liberalism trying to understand where it came from, what to make of it, and on the other hand telling this story of this more bloody history of segregation, racism and prejudice. >> and when you talk about the
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north, i mean, we talk about north v. south, what does the south mean, malcolm x said anything below canada was south. [laughter] >> he did. >> and in your book you mentioned some other authors talk about the north is anything outside the south. >> yep. >> so the north can be black folk going to seattle during world war ii going to work for boeing, going to los angeles, going to oakland, even going to minneapolis. can you just speak to that for a minute about when we talk about what's not the south? >> i think there's a lot -- there's a lack of precision that i think wendy was speaking to. and i think we need precision when we're talking about race and place. in a lot of even histories of the united states, there's the south and there's everywhere else. and the north is whatever sort of outside of the south. california's in there. oregon's in there. along with chicago and boston. but as we know, these are all very different places with,
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importantly, different histories. and, you know, so i wanted to sort of be true to that. >> okay. now, wendy, in your book you have a chapter set in my hometown of cleveland. >> yes. >> people always say cleveland is a good place to be from but not a good place to be at. so why cleveland? why did you pick cleveland assort of the context for that chapter in your book? >> well, i should say that my book is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, so the chapter on cleveland is a fictional chapter. >> uh-huh. >> but i was drawn to cleveland. i'm from outside of detroit originally, and i was drawn to cleveland in part because it's a rust belt city. it's also a city that's been going a lot of challenges since the recession. and so one of the articles that first drew me to talk about cleveland was the number of students in cleveland public schools. so suddenly teachers were being
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face with the 40-45 students in the public schools because there just wasn't enough money for teachers. another light for me in cleveland was the playwright adrian kennedy whose work has been very influential to my own. and she is from cleveland originally. and so i thought that there was a good opportunity to talk about, you know, race and politics in cleveland, but to -- that story is written with me in the first person as if i'm following the playwright around, kind of stalking her, actually. and i'm stalking her because i am a fan of hers, but also because i want her to explain something to me about my own identity that i can't quite get a grabs on. and so -- a grasp on. so cleveland was, you know, it's one of those sites in which people would think there's not a
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lot going on there, but it gave me a chance to talk about, you know, there's a mass serial killer of african-american women there, anthony sowe will hl. another case that kind of went underreported in the mainstream. and so by, you know, engaging all of those different stories, i was really able to kind of enjoy cleveland for its wealth of complications. >> right. that's a good way of putting it. now, jason, you're from springfield, massachusetts, right? >> i am, yeah. >> so you have two chapters, one dealing with the springfield plan, this world war i effort trying to promote peaceful race relations, and then you talk about the supreme court case in springfield k. you share about the supreme court case? >> yeah. my chapter on school integration is focused on the struggle to try to integrate the schools of springfield, and i think it worked as a microcosm.
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springfield was a small city with a relatively small african-american population, but all of those african-american students were directed into certain specific schools. and that was not by accident, not by the accident of where they lived, but that the school committee had purposely drawn school, district lines and redrawn those lines and had affected busing and transfer plans to make sure certain schools stayed black and certain schools stayed white. and in 1964 the parents and students in springfield filed a lawsuit against the city. the naacp took up that lawsuit, and robert carter argued the lawsuit, and robert carter was, of course, thurgood mar hall's second in -- marshall's second in command during the brown v. board case. and carter eventually won the case. to this school board of a liberal northern city, the liberal leaders kept saying we're not segregationists. if we were segregationists, we would have said that white kids
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had to go to these schools, and black kids had to go to these schools. they kept saying, we're color blind, we're color blind. which is a defense you still here liberal whites give. and robert carter said to them you can't be color blind in a scenario that's segregated, that's already segregated. if you're color blind, then you're acceding to those conditions. and so robert carter said you have to come up with a plan that's not color blind, that is sees race -- that sees race and that undoes these patterns that were already put in place intentionally by you. carter won that lawsuit, but then the higher court vacated it. >> wendy, in your book you share a lot of your soul, a lot of your personal experiences, right? in the book you talk about you have a jewish husband, and you have a biracial child, and you live in manhattan. and when i was reading the book, there are a couple of incidents you point about about how race is still an issue in america, in
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new york city. you mind just sharing a couple of them? the one that stood out to me was at the daycare, then the hardware store. but you have some other ones in there. >> so i'm really fortunate, e guess, that people want to share their opinions with me. [laughter] about my family sometimes when i'm out in the street. and that gives me, you know, a lot of things to write about. [laughter] i did have one incident, a couple of incidents at the daycare. you know, i focus on the daycare because the neighborhood we were living in in manhattan we chose because it had a lot of black and jewish families. so i was seeking out a very particular demographic that you're not going to find in many maces. and -- in many places. and in the daycare my son was running around singing a song -- singing a version of the pittsburgh theme song black and yellow, he was singing black and jewish, black and jewish. [laughter] he was very young.
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and one of his teachers who was of west indian descent, she said to me when i picked him up, she said, well, you're not black, are you? and i said, well, yes, i am. she's like, oh, well, i thought you were latin or something like that. and i said, oh, no, that's not correct. and she kind of went on with that assertion as if her confessing it was going to make it true. [laughter] and, you know, that was one of several incidents. another one was, you know, when my son and one of his friends were playing in the daycare, and another woman came in, and she asked me and another mother -- well, there was a white mother there, and she asked if those boys were her twins. and it was kind of a shocking moment to be erased instantly out of my son's life just by that presumption. so kind of a funny moment.
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>> okay, okay. jason, i'm very critical of white liberals. >> uh-huh. >> you know, me and wendy were talking over at the green room. i've spent 32 -- 22 of my 44 years in the south. four years as a student, nine years as a professor at lsu and another nine years here at austin. and i told wendy that i would rather deal with folks in texas and louisiana and mississippi any day than folks in cleveland, detroit, chicago and new york city. any insight as to why? [laughter] i mean, because you -- >> let me just get straight on the question, leonard. the question is why do i think you would be more comfortable -- [laughter] >> no. because in your book you talk about this contradiction in boston -- >> right. >> -- where they can elect ed brooks senator but also elect this racist school board member,
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louise day hicks. >> right. so i think the presence of white liberalism in the northeast did a couple things historically. you know, one really important difference for me historically in terms of race was that african-americans could vote in all the northern cities and that they did. and so voting didn't mean the world, it didn't bring them, you know, better -- it often didn't bring them better schools or better places to live. but it could bring them a measure of power. and that was sometimes, sometimes they could press their hands on city machines. and sometimes in this rare moment in massachusetts an african-american could get elected u.s. senator. and ed brooks played on the heart strings of white liberals in order to get elected. ed brooks was not only african-american in a state that was 97% white, but he was also episcopalian in massachusetts
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which was majority catholic, and he was also republican in massachusetts which was high majority democratic. so ed brooks had a sort of triple whammy working against him on paper. and the way he overcame it, on the one hand he told voters just look at my record and don't pay attention to my race when you vote for me. but on the other hand, he knew he was dealing with these white liberals who desperately wanted to congratulate themselves for being white liberals -- [laughter] so he nodded at them and winked at them as you could almost see barack obama doing in 2008. and he said, you know what? you can go ahead and vote for me, and then we can all celebrate it afterwards. he was saying that subtly and in a nuanced way. and so he was playing on that, he was playing on the hypocrisy of white liberals a little bit which actually provided an opening that, i would argue, didn't exist in the south. certainly not in the middle of the 960s.
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>> but didn't he have to diminish his blackness? >> that's definitely what his critics said. i would say that he probably did, yes, allude the fact of his race on the campaign trail. and he was criticized as a black conservative. but if you look at his record, he, in fact, was not. what he did was when busing came to boston and boston turned into one of the most racially violent places in the united states, ed brooks defended being even though -- busing, even though hundreds of thousands of his white constituents detested the policy and detested him for it. and so i would argue that he actually stuck his neck out for some very racially-progressive policies even though he did downplay the fact of his racial identity in order to get elected. >> okay. so this question of authenticity, wendy, me and you were talking earlier about, and i think i made the point that if you are black and you haven't spent any time in the south, it is impossible to understand the
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black experience. and you gave a great response to that. >> well, my feeling is that there's not one black, right? >> experience. >> there's not one black experience and that, you know, the black experience is as varied and diverse as there are people who claim to be black. so in that broadness, you know, there is the northern black experience, there is the midwestern black experience, there is the southern black experience, there is the austin black experience, there is the black experience in a certain neighborhood. and all of those particularities are really important for us to consider if we're really going to fully acknowledge the humanity of black people. >> okay, okay. but there has to be some kind of overriding thread that brings all black folks together. or not really. >> it's the desire to be known as black. >> explain. [laughter] >> well, it's the, you know,
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some people, some people, you know, in my family there was a period in the '30s where part of my family stayed white or went white and part of my family stayed black. light-skinned, black folks from louisiana. and, you know, i am descended from the side of the family that decided to stay black. even though they suffered in some ways economic hardships and definitely physical risk at times for choosing that identity. and i think that -- i'm hoping that in this 21st century that we can enjoy the idea that many people see identifying as black or african-american as a benefit. it's not a deficiency, the -- it's, to me, you know, it's something, it's a big part of my
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identity, and it's a big part of the affiliation with a broad group of people whose, who have overcome many hardships makes me very proud. >> so you're saying we should, we should leave space for there to be a broader definition of what blackness is. >> yeah. i think some of us already live that. >> okay. >> and so it's just, you know, if somebody wants to be in the party, let them a party. [laughter] >> okay, i like that. and it's funny because i always tell a story when me and my family moved into our house here in austin, first thing my white neighbors did was ask me where i work at. white folk always want to know where a black person works, for some reason. [laughter] and i said, well, i work at ut, and the follow-up question is, are you a coach? [laughter] and i said, i don't think so, all right? but, you know, i don't think they were trying to be stereotypical or prejudicial at all, but in their minds a black
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man working at ut had to, on some level, be involved with the athletic, you know, the athletic enterprise. >> yeah. >> so this question of authenticity, and you have a chapter in your book about our president, president obama. when we -- black folk first heard he was running, right? the first thing a lot of us did was question his blackness until we saw his wife, all right? what many of my students say and their parents say is that you've had a black man in the white house, you can say the first time was a fluke, but when he blew what's his name out in 2012, that budget a fluke -- that wasn't a fluke, all right? why is race still an issue in 2015? and in many ways are we unwilling to recognize the racial progress that america has made? >> yeah. i mean, it's a tough question, but it also gets to the heart, to the heart of where we are. obviously, where we are is at a
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very painful place, i think, in race relations. i mean, i ended my book with a chapter on deval patrick's re-election in massachusetts and obama's re-election where he beat what's his name, romney -- [laughter] by a lot. >> right. >> and if i had extended my book, though, beyond 2012, i think it wouldn't have been as optimistic an ending. because i think the racial violence that we've seen -- and not only that, but the housing segregation, school segregation that we don't see, i think all of that is just as entrenched as it's always been. i would say that that we still should emphasize the fact that an african-american president has been elected and reelected, and that has, you know, worked to make some things possible both symbolically and tangibly that weren't possible before. but, you know, at the same time you can't lose sight of the fact that that hasn't sod many of the problems -- solved many of the problems that have been surfacing for decades.
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>> let's go to ferguson for a minute briefly, and then we're going to open up for question and answer. what we saw in ferguson -- because i don't come out of the camp where we expect governor, other folks to solve our problems. at what point do black folks step up and say we have to be engaged civically? what we saw in ferguson was a lack of civic engagement on many levels. i think the suburbs, 75-80% black. but in terms of school board mitch, in term -- board membership, in terms of people holding elective office -- >> right. >> -- there was that lack of civic engagement. wouldn't you argue that is sort of the next step? and, wendy, you can jump in you want. how do we get black folk more engaged civically? >> make sure that the states can't pass strict voter id laws. [applause] you know? and then, and then, yeah, after that make sure that african-americans understand the power of the vote, that they
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understand that thousands of people who risk their lives, you know, to insure that right and then that they use it. yeah. but, i mean, the first step is making sure that the franchise is theirs through making sure voter id laws aren't passed and working on felon disenfranchisement, other things like that. >> wendy, you want to say something? >> i live in harlem, and there's a lot of economic development going on in harlem right now. and there's a huge, you know, push of capital suddenly into an area that has been neglected for the last 50 years. and we're seeing -- and i think this is something that's happened in austin too -- you're seeing housing prices right, just skyrocket, kind of go out of control. so people who have lived in communities for a long time are being unable to stay there. and i think housing is another part of this question. in terms of not just public housing.
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i live near a bunch of public housing projects, and one of the problems they have is that there's just problems like locks on the doors aren't put on the doors. so murders happen because people can't lock themselves in the building when they go in. there are other problems like the fact that public housing becomes this program that gets neglected. and i'm not sure, maybe it's the votes that are going to make a difference for that. but it's also, you know, the question of civic engagement is also a question of capital in many of these places, and i just think it's -- >> but the reason i brought that up, wendy and jason, is because too often liberals talk as if black folks are, like, 3 years old. you know, it's this whole thing where, you know, democrats, white democrats treat black folks with pity, you know? white republicans treat black
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folk with contempt. you know what i mean. it's as if we don't have any agency or efficacy on our own, and that's why i sort of bring that up. >> that's looking for affirmation, looking to white democrats or white republicans for any sort of after my mission. but i do think there's a group of young people and a group of politically-engaged people whose work has never been about looking for that affirmation. ultimately, the community needs -- the community is going to reflect on itself. but sometimes there's not even affirmation in the community when it's happening, and, you know, there's a guy in my corner who's been running for is city council, council, and he's standing on corner all summer passing out fliers with his name. you know, please rebellinger the to vote, i want -- register to vote, i want to do something for this neighborhood. that's the kind of thing that's actually going on. >> and y'all can start lining up at the podium if you have questions in the house. let me ask you a question.
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do you think that going to wendy's point who said this young man who's been trying to get young folk engaged politically, although we have had great victories from the '60s on -- mayors, congress people, governors, even now the president -- and we haven't seen much community change, do you think the black community has been disillusioned to this idea that political power can bring about change? >> oh, definitely. i mean, i think that's why, that's part of why voter turnout was so depressed in places like ferguson. they thought they were caught in this cycle and in this system that they were pretty powerless to change. i mean, in the 2012 presidential election, the percentage of registered black voters who voted was actually higher than the percentage of registered white voters who voted. so i think perhaps that's a hopeful portent. i don't know. >> all right. if we can get your question or quick comment. >> okay. i want to thank you for writing
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about prejudice up north. as a southerner, i used to think we were the only racists until i liveed up north, and i think my goodness, they're just as bad as we are. [laughter] my question is about the black conservative movement. do you think people like herman cain and dr. ben carson are awe themmic black people or not -- authentic black people or not? what is your take on them? >> that's addressed to me, right? [laughter] [applause] i don't have a, i don't have a particular comment on their authenticity or lack thereof. but i do think that dr. carson's legislative goals are a bit curious. i think. [laughter] in light of america's racial history, a lot of his stated goals seem completely blind to that history. so i would have expected something a little more robust from him.
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>> wendy, are you going to leave that alone? [laughter] >> i think it's, you know, it's an authentic experience. i think there's, you know, there is an outcome in some ways from posturing for approval, and i think sometimes dr. carson's opinions are looking too much for external validation. ..
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i have been beating a series of books called the great divide and the great divide said we had these great divides and conflict going back to our founding fathers. the seeds of slavery were planted back then. there was a quote, we were here before. so everything i have read, all these prejudices and contradictions have been with us since our founding fathers so we have had these divides. another author, labeling people as liberals and conservatives is political labeling and nothing more than that, is not functional because i have heard that expression several times today, but basically we are people of disagreements going back to the founding fathers.
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what do you are white liberal or conservative is really meaningless i think. my question, do you agree with that premise that we always had this prejudice and contradiction that our country has had this for years, where are we going to go with this? what is the new hope to move out of this histoc realm we have been in? thank you. >> i would say yes, we always had white racism and prejudice. it wasn't always code of fighting laws when the jim crow laws in the 1890s they were ushering something new. and given the power of the state that shouldn't have happened. i don't think it is efficient to say racism and prejudice have always been with us. we have to look at the way that it has empowered certain groups
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and dispossess other groups and try to work to change the laws to get back to a more even playing field if that makes sense. >> i think ultimately racism is rooted in anxiety and fear, fear of people who are different from us and i see the we have overcome other fiers, fear of falling, fears of flying when we learned to fly, i think we need to think of it on a human level. it is and anxiety and legislating anxiety is not a good idea. >> that event in georgia, cars with the confederate flag in truck and the whole gang to think. that morning i shall up at school, i saw a confederate flag shirt, mentioned it to one of
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the teachers who replied to me something about it is just a symbol of southern history. i have a lot of issues with that. not talking about general connotation people have to the flag. how would you respond to somebody who doesn't seem to understand it is not just, that is a symbol of southern history but it is a symbol of slavery too or whatever you want to call it. >> the student doesn't have to take your word for it, you can show him the documents of secession. >> i didn't interact with the student. this was a teacher conversation as well as i think it is important because of a modeling standpoint. >> i would show the document of secession where the secessionist stated, the reason they received was to protect their right to
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enslave black people. and the years in which you have a good handle on the history was when the confederate flag popped up on state flags during the civil rights years and to resist the civil rights movement. just a couple of those sorts of historical resources could help to formulate a response for the student that would make them may be open their eyes. >> hello. my question, this forum i attended by a professor of anthropology called race and reality and she points to the conversation by discussing her kids, her husband is african-american and they have twin boys. it looks like he is irish, he has red hair, very caucasians seaming and her other son is african-american seeming so i am
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curious, we discussed how racism and slavery is somehow and range but it is almost not been that way for most of history when slavery was a trace based, it was based on other institutionss we brought up and that led me to think is race a culture or is race of biology? what are these things? where does blackness or white mess began? are these things we are constructing for ourselves, the fact of the matter that enters into what is race? >> there are moments when we believe in race and we don't believe in race. when we are up close and care about people there is a way that race becomes a construction, makes it visible as a construction. when we step away and looking at crowds of people in the distance race can become very real at
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least in political discussions and so i am of the standpoint that race is always a construction. if you look at family history, family photographs from overtime, people who were often names to be one racial identity or another often aren't, and there are adopted children, they come from all different places and culture is a real and affinity is real and there is even, i believe in biological memory, we carry traces of memories from our ancestorss, there is some genetic were going on proving that right now. we actually do carry some of that anxiety from the past. what we know to be true may actually just -- science may prove it is just a few exploding cells in our brain that are
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registered from previous generations of anxiety. >> we have been talking a lot and i feel i hear this in general, this idea of liberal hypocrisy and my question was not quite in defense of liberal hypocrisy but is there something to be said for it? jason, you wrote in your book about the way that it sometimes functions to bring people along despite themselves or despite their racist impulses? to you in that sense and if you are in man and and you are a dissenter, the hot epicenter of liberal of progress in the country probably in of biracial family. are there ways you resent it and weigays you see its utility?
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>> i am a woman. i didn't get to say that before. that throws a wrench in all sides of this discussion and makes the finished things unfinished. as a woman i experience liberal hypocrisy very strongly in the academic world with regard to things like salary and workload and those kinds of expectations but i am also -- one thing i liked about the liberal community is the discourse, the open discourse which may not be the same. i like the conversation you had with your neighbor, leonard, about where do you work? more conversations like that are great. the conversations we can still have far more in depth and i do floats in many liberal communities so i appreciate that in depth conversation. what i am always opposed to is
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duplicity. i really do think when you believe in something you should act as though you believe in it. that gets hard to do. >> a couple more questions. >> how much do you think u.s. citizenship or citizenship is devalued or diluted by the lack of voter id? >> lack of what? >> voter id. >> i think voting is as central to citizenship as anything else, more central. strip citizenship it via understood that. don't think you answered this question. >> i believe he was asking about
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voter identification requirements. [inaudible question] >> when you don't know who is voting there is no finding of any in person voting fraud. it is basically the voter id laws are all trumped up for this franchise. [applause] >> do you think having and delectable police chief is an effective way to improve police brutality? >> having a country that is not constantly at war is an effective way to diminish police brutality. >> i am a native southerner from florida near tallahassee.
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my main question is to lack of civil engage and buy a lot of blacks in inner-city is across the country. my concern is how the are you able to get engagement when i look at -- you have a lot of dysfunctional families, lack of fathers, lot of black kids dropping out of school, and not thought process of engagement, the problem around, how do you address these other more important things in a democratic society? we got to get to the point, that has nothing to do with republican, democrat, liberal or conservative, that is just how black folks have operated. after the civil war of the first thing a lot of things to reunite
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families and split apart but what happened, we can live any kind of way, family structures, i had two friends of mine, talking to black and keynote girls, fathers didn't matter and one of them -- they went to pennsylvania and i said let's just take this idea daddys don't matter. who paid for you to go to college? >> mom paid for college too. [applause] >> there is the idea that any talk of self improvement from within the community is somehow being conservative, blaming the victim. i think that is who we have always been as a people. time is up, thank you all. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the texas book festival is in its 20th year, founded by it than texas first lady laura bush in 1995 and will tv is live all
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weekend with author presentations and panel discussions. booktv has covered this event since 1998 and while festival goers get seated for the next author we are going to show you a couple programs from passed texas book festivals. in 2010 karl rove wrote his autobiography, courage and consequence. here is the portion. >> i remember walking up and down the streets of the other book festival buying too many books it took me months to consume. never thinking i would be here as an author. i never grew up thinking i would work in the white house and certainly never thought i would grow up to write a book about the experience. when i worked at the white house tightened anticipate writing a book, but when the time came to leave, having lunch with the president's in a private dining room, three people is leaving,
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him, me and my wife and he said i hope you write a book. we were having a very fancy white house lunch, very fancy. he was having no fat hot dog and i was having the peanut butter and honey whole wheat toast. at the white house he has to pay for his meals and i have to pay for mines of the careful what you order. he said i want you to write a book. i want it to be durable so make it authentic, make it true, what we did right and wrong and be frank and i tried to do that in this book. i have never written a book, this is my first, may be my last. it was a great experience. one thing i found about writing books is the more you write, the more you hold it the more you get drawn from the big arc of the story down to chapters and episodes and pages and paragraphs and praiseds. at the end of the process if he really honed this thing down and lost the big arc, the week before launching the book last
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week of february of this year, we got a messenger at my door, wasn't fedex, it was a messenger and the guy had me sign for it. no but but-no one but the critics of the package and inside was the first copy of the book i had ever seen with a note from my publisher simon and shuster saying before you go on, the today program with matt lauer next week, useful for you to sit down and read your book. refresh your memory about what you said in your book. so i did. i sat down, got this on a tuesday, began to read the book, read it all afternoon, read it through the evening, finished it wednesday afternoon and i put it down, my first thought when i finished it is it is a darn good read. my second thought was thank god for editors. anyway, i hope you enjoy it. i took a couple sections out of
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it to read today. i will read for half an hour or less and answer questions until we get out of here. because it is texas i thought i would read a section but probably doesn't mean much to anyone outside texas but for those of us in austin, political aficionado's, i really enjoy what i wrote, i really like what i wrote, sounds pretentious, nobody like -- this doesn't matter to people outside the state, this larger-than-life figure, i right about this after bush had gotten elected and we go to governor's conference where he a immediately bonds with a lot of his fellow governors who had gotten elected in 1994, people who figured large in his future political life but the relationships are not as important as relationships with two and predictable texas political figures, bob bullock and peach weenie. he would have to make allies out
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of them before he could have any success. a fixture since being elected to the legislature in 1957, 27, he knew more about texas government and dozens of legislators, bureaucrats, prof.s and newspaper editors combined. as a state representative, assistant attorney general, secretary of state comptroller and lt. governor bullock had been in the middle of every big controversy in texas politics and a lot of small ones, almost 40 years by the time bush was elected. was a man of big passion, big grudges and big ambitions. at times it seems what he loved most was the scratch. his political enemies have scars, missing appendages or near-death experiences to show for their run ins. his adversaries included the press. following hemorrhoid surgery isn't heated report what he claimed was the excised tissue.
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it was really can the oysters. he lost part of his right lung to cancer at 43, had heart bypass surgery at 65 n. too many broken bones to enumerate the she was diagnosed as the manic depressive. the hat ph.d. in abuse especially in his drunken years. he once woke up in a stranger's back seat going 60 miles an hour north out of austin trying to sleep off a bender in the wrong car. he sobered up at 52. he unmarried five times four women. once he left his own family on thanksgiving to pick up material from the grocery store and drive the spice to bullet's house. bullet was juggling two thanksgiving dinners, one with amelia, his current third wife who had been his first wife and one with his second and former wife. he finally settled down to 55 with the love of his life, jan. blog was so demanding, i saw
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seniors break into a cold sweat when their beepers went off, i saw an overweight lobbyist sprint across the capital, he had a fascination with weapons, rifless, shotguns and kissels which often have and to be lined in full view of his worst political enemy around. but once that all drugs carry guns because they always thought somebody was after them. he didn't like republicans particularly during the years when there inconsequential in texas with his sympathies were populist, rural, left of center. more importantly he understood power, how to get it, how to use it and how to deny it. he demanded aids give him regular, quote, fornication reports on who was sleeping with whom around the capital. information like that could come in handy some time. as bush said at bullock's funeral, everyone has a favorite bob bullock story, the problem is you can't tell most of them
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in public. >> that was karl rove talking about his political autobiography from 2010. karl rove has a new book coming out of william mckinley, that will be out in november. up next live from the texas book festival will be former middle east diplomat dennis ross. while we wait for him to get settled and the audience to get seated, here is john been talking and the festival last year on but nixon defense. >> let me ask this crowd how many of you people watched the house impeachment inquiry or the senate watergate committee? we know your age. my book, one of the questions, most frequent questions i thought i would address in this opening is the process i went
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through to assemble it. the first thing i discovered was nobody had catalogued the so-called watergate conversations. the national archives has gone through all the tapes now and prepared a subject log and while that is not a transcript they are able to hear in most instances the voice of the person speaking and the subject they are addressing. at the time i did it they were not digitized. today they are so i manually extract all the watergate conversations. i found roughly a thousand conversations, run from five minutes, to five hours. once i had those i began the process, who may have
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transcribed them. the watergate prosecutors office had done 80 tapes for the various trials and parts of their investigation is i found another it 320 partial transcript said been done by historian stanley cutler who brought legal action the force the archives to release the tapes a little bit before they were prepared to do so. that was 400 tapes. the other 600 tapes i found i don't think anybody outside the national archives has never listened to them when they were preparing the subject of logs and they contained a lot of new information. i also found some of the earlier release tapes that had personal information because one of the reasons the archives have to go through the tapes is to remove national security information and personal information, personal information being conversations with the daughters, julie and tricia were the first lady. and references they are recording when talking about
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government business but as a rule not. when i started through them i started transcribing myself and did a number of conversations working primarily with those who had done partial transcripts. for example the watergate special prosecutor, i asked them who did these transcripts? the 12 that reused in the trial were excellent, the rest of them are of varying quality, sometimes have the wrong person speaking, they have ziegler when it is really ehrlichman so i had to go through and correct all of those. in the process i realized i can't do it this. this is a big job so i hired a crew of grad students and was very fortunate in finding a former legal secretary who was working on her ph.d. in archival
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science. we put braces on her daughter, and she did, believe it or not, 500 of the conversations, she was remarkable. when i did and they were all in analogue. i don't know if you did the and a lot of these and not. they were tougher with the analog so i found in do you cay, a machine that i could take the reference kate, put it in this gadget and digitize a 90 minute conversation in five minutes, once it is in general form, it distorts the of voices, but you can also pick things up that you could not otherwise pick up so we did a good job on the tapes. i told my editor i don't know
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which was more difficult, transcribing them, turning around and converting them to dialogue and narrative, they were both difficult, that is generally the frost this. i also told my wife along the way that vote. of in my family started losing their hearing in their mid 70s where i am and god forbid the last voice i hear is richard nixon. >> booktv covers hundreds of author programs throughout the country all year long. here's a look that some of the events we will be attending this week. on monday, the new york society library in and and and, nineteenth century african-american wall street broker jeremiad hamilton who amassed a fortune equivalent to $50 million today. on wednesday at the free library of philadelphia, sarah bell looks at the american revolution
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through the eyes of the french foreign marquis they lafayette. that is a look at some of the
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offer programs booktv will be covering this upcoming week. many of these events are open to the public. look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> now but tv is back live in austin for the texas book festival starting now, former mideast diplomat dennis ross talking about his newest book "doomed to succeed: the u.s.-israel relationship from truman to obama" on the relationship between the u.s. and is real, live coverage on booktv. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, and mark wellman, chair of the texas book
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festival. [] >> thank you all for needn't here and participating, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the festival. unnavigable housekeeping notes. respectful of this space. office will sign copies of books purchased at the festival with i'm honored to introduce dennis ross this afternoon especially at a time when the middle east is again at the center of our attention. i am honored to be introducing dennis because he is the consummate professional. over the last 15 years or so i have been fortunate to be around dennis and his calm reasoned perspective on a wide range of issues regarding diplomatic and national security issues. i am not sure there is another
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person in the united states or even the world who knows and understands as best as anyone can the middle east. for five decade since the administration of jimmy carter, dennis has been in the room or at the table trying to bring together warring parties, to craft a peace in what looks like an impossible part of the world. in preparing this introduction i was fascinated to learn that dennis's first foray into national security after earning his doctorate at ucla was as and analysts under paul wolfowitz who was serving as the carter administration's deputy assistant secretary of defense. since then he has worked in the administration of presidents george h. w. bush, bill clinton and barack obama. during his career dennis is worked on a broad range of
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issues including the soviet union, reunification of germany and arms control, specifically related to the middle east dennis has been involved in some way with any facet of middle eastern politics and security. she has dealt directly face-to-face with all the beat about whom we have read for decades from yasser arafat to king hussein's to benjamin netanyahu. like any good diplomat or seeker of compromise he has been criticized by both sides for being pro israeli by the arabs and false friend of israel by conservatives in israel and i imagine in america. between 2009 and the end of 2011 dennis served in various roles in the obama administration most recently as special assistant to the president. he currently serves as the william davidson distinguished fellow at the washington
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institute for near east policy and as a distinguished prof. of diplomacy at georgetown. janice is author of four books and today he is here and to talk about his newest, "doomed to succeed: the u.s.-israel relationship from truman to obama". the book received a coveted star from kirkus which called it a learned, wise template for understanding long-term relationship between two countries tended to one another out of shared self-interest and geopolitical necessity. dennis is going to talk for 20 or 25 minutes at the end of which we will have a q&a. please join me in welcoming dennis ross. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. obviously the shrieks are from members of my family, thank you for traveling here with me. it is true that i have been a
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political appointee for two republican presidents entry to democratic presidents which more anything else makes me an extinct species. the book is called "doomed to succeed: the u.s.-israel relationship from truman to obama" and later i will explain why the sense of irony in the title. it was a book when i began writing and i actually had a little bit different frame of mind. i wanted to write about the u.s. relationship with israel, do it from the perspective of what it told us about our approach to the middle east. i thought i would do a kind of summary of the administration did came before the more recent ones and described the recent one is all of which i had participated in and talk about it and the implications for the future. it ended up being a little different. i still am drying out lessons from the pass and laying out lessons for the next president whoever they might be.
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it ends up, you are dying to read it. by doing chapter and any american from truman to obama. and the historical summary. i had a number of wells moments. what were these moments? 5 discovered not just that there was a recycling of arguments from the beginning to today, that didn't totally surprise me. what surprised me was i looked at an exchange between henry kissinger on the peace issue when henry kissinger was asking him to give answers to the then you and on for a and telling him look, you don't have to reveal anything to anybody else but you have to tell us, we are only friends, tell us, you got to let least tell us. when i saw that i said that is not just the same kind of
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conversation, it is the same words. i had an exchange like that with a ehud barak in the year 2000, not 1971 command than in 2011 hillary clinton had the exact conversation with benjamin netanyahu. tell us, we are your only france, at least tell us what you and do and then we can figure out what is possible. in all these cases it didn't matter who the israeli prime minister or foreign minister was, they tended to hold back and they held back because they were convinced whatever they told us when we went to the arabs or palestinians, they would say no, it wouldn't be good enough and we would come back to them and it would be a slippery slope, whatever they offered would never be good enough, they didn't trust us to hold the line and fill in the concluding chapter i suggest the remedy for that and you can't wait to read that so i will let you read that. that wasn't the only moment, i was seeing not just the same
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discussions, describes the same kinds of arguments being used, i saw the same words being used. in the case of not so much the piece issue per se but on the question of reciprocity is the relationship between 2-way street. the kennedy administration, robert comeare was senior middle east manager in the staff, the staff had a grand total of 12 people on it. when i headed the central region in the obama administration on national security council staff i had 33 people working for me, a little different than it was the force and comeare says in a series in 1962, it is all give to was in israel, give and we don't get anything, we give and get nothing in return. i am sitting in this situation room with robert gates, hillary
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clinton and others and suddenly robert gates says the relationship with the israelis is all give give give and no debt. he was using the exact same words 47 years later. what did it reflect? what it reflected was the sense that somehow the relationship really isn't reciprocal. the irony is the israelis actually do give quite a bit and especially in the security area. if you look at what the israelis have provided over the years, they captured soviet equipment, they would that they our equipment in light of what they rediscovering in combat and we got the benefits of how they modify our equipment given that, learned much more about soviet doctrine, what we learn from the israelis on terror and counter teheran intelligence is hard to quantify and you can't give it a dollar value. it wasn't that we weren't getting something from the israelis but what we were getting them is not what we wanted.
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at least when i say we, people like comeare and robert gates, one week beginning was not what they wanted. we were not getting what we wanted on the issue of peace because peace we felt would improve our relations of with the arabs. in terms of the israelis never acting unilaterally. during the reagan administration several times, we suspend arms sales because of unilateral actions. the perception was we are not getting what we want and from the israeli side, we felt they were giving and sometimes we would be asking things of them on the peace issue or not acting unilaterally which they viewed in existential terms and as i found to benjamin netanyahu, they frequently felt we were naive about the region. we didn't understand the region. we didn't understand the implications of what we were asking and certainly today you will see when you go through the
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book every chapter identify in the future, what i say echoes back to the future. if i were to say if benjamin netanyahu looks at president obama on iran and doesn't think he gets the reason or gets iran, that would not surprise you. what these exchanges i'm describing reflect is a kind of interesting mind-set that has existed in part of every administration. since the reagan administration there has been a constituency that looked at it is realize that national partner but there has always been a different constituency and it has been in every administration and you see it in the second term in the obama administration the book is true through the lens of being more of a problem than a partner. in the obama administration susan rice is someone who fits the description. your place comment on lanier reflected a different approach. his attitude was the israelis and national partners and if
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there issue is where we may have differences if we take a collaborative approach we are likely to monitor those issues, attitude was in a sense more combative. this notion of looking at the israelis, being in a sense, i get choked up when i talk about this, the constituency that has been in every administration used israel for more of a competitive lens, they have shared a sense of related assumptions and there's only three, i want to show how they have been revealed overtime as being incorrect and not reflecting the reality of the region. the first assumption was we need to distance ourselves from israel and if we did distance ourselves from israel we would game with the arabs. the second is the corollary, if
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we cooperated with the israelis we would have price for the arabs, everyone to establish that in the lower region, there was something that made sense about them, but they reflected our view of the region, and ironically much less of the reality of the region. i wanted to give you examples of this played out. i could give you an example in every administration but since we don't have that much time i understand if i go past my eluded time, there's a trap door up here and we are both in trouble then. one example that stands out, i could give you multiple ones, in the spring, for the first time the soviet union, shipping military personnel outside the
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bloc, and the nixon administration, reach out to the egyptians, we thought of we did, gain the egyptians, but at the very moment, sending troops outside the soviet bloc, sending 10,000. we suspend arms aircraft to israel. if you think president obama is serious today about what the russians were doing, and in the aftermath of declaring the suspension he sent his undersecretary of state to see nasser and the suspension now the egyptian would respond to us. and basically nasser blew him off. she wasn't interested. what about the assumption if we cooperate with israel, the price
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of the arabs. and the kennedy administration. there's an image of truman, in many ways he was, he recognizes israel over the united opposition, would cause a terrible problem with the arabs. he doesn't do much else after that, and kennedy breaks the taboo. when he makes the decision to do with the secretary of state says this will set a terrible precedent and it will do great damage to our relationship with the arabs. the same day the news of this sale comes out publicly happens to be the same day the secretary of state is meeting the crown prince of saudi arabia who is in fact the real power at that time in saudi arabia and what does
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the crown prince do? does he go after us because of the arms sale in israel? no. that is not what he is concerned about. he raises a coup in yemen which he sees backed by the egyptian as a threat to saudi arabia. and president kennedy, and focus on the arms sale to israel. the average to nasser, providing economic assistance, and providing two thirds of the supply, the out reach, the economic assistance to egypt freeing up egyptian resources threaten us, they change balance of power in the region and threatening all your friends. i said the book, every chapter has ideas for the future. does that sound familiar to you? this is sound like something you
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heard recently keys if you substituted the word iran for egypt would you think the saudis are saying to as? what was the saudi reaction to the iran is the deal? they will get sanctions release and a lot of money for that, it will freedom of to cause all sorts of trouble in the u.s. change balance of power, reaching out to the iranians and we will pay the price for it. what it reflects, these examples they give you is the end of the day it is not that the arabs love our relationship with israel, they never make their relationship with us dependent on our relationship with israel because first and foremost, security and survival. more than anything else that is what matters to them. what we see as the ultimate guarantee of security they will not put at risk. they will complain about the relationship with israel but they will not make what we do with the israelis of fact what
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they want from us. when we shaped the approach to the region, we need to take into account, there are three assumptions, the third assumption, you have to solve problems for the united states to become well-positioned, strong position in the region. we are looking at someone who spent 30 years trying to produce peace between arabs and israelis and especially it arabs and palestinians. i'm the last person to say made it that life's work. i did not make my life's work because i knew it would be a game changer, it was the right thing to do, israeli and palestinians not because it was going to transform the middle east. look at the region today. if we had divine intervention right now which is what is going to take. to produce peace between israelis and palestinians.
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it did not stop one that didn't happen. it it and stop the growth of isis in iraq or syria. it wouldn't change the civil war in yemen, it wouldn't alter the struggle egypt has today with the muslim brotherhood and american islamists. it was important in its own right. it did not transform the region, these assumptions we described were part and parcel with a national security establishment of every administration from truman to today, and don't reflect the reality of the region, we are not going to change how we operate their. the region today is a mess. it will not surprise any of the is the relationship between president obama and prime
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minister netanyahu, how can i put this, they're not bosom buddies. when they see each other on november 9th aspect they will try to mend fences. the gap between the two on iran reflects a very different mind-set, a different view, in a lot of ways, this is just a transaction issue, they really hoped by doing this, to empower the pragmatic, what they see as pragmatic forces in iran led by presidents rouhani, but he is not the decision maker, the supreme leader is. they operate on a different region and what we're seeing is
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the supreme leader demonstrating, when i say when you look at the relationship today, why do i say this? it does not doomed to succeed, the trajectory of the relationship, we started on this in the period were the first arms sale in the kennedy administration. and then we developed an institutional structure to cooperate. at the end of the day, israel is the only democracy in the middle east. we share interests with israel, and it is not even that you are likely to see a closer relationship over time, within
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the obama administration and netanyahu administration, the next administration whoever it is will move back again and probably improve things and if you look at the middle east today, the whole state system is under threat. there isn't one arab state that doesn't feel the threat of some form, most is a terrible conflict because of something completely basic, over identity and who will define that identity. and iran and saudi arabia, there is a struggle over who defines the identity, which plan, which tried, and will produce uncertainty, and predictability, and instability, for the next 10 to 20 years.
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measured against that reality, israel has problems, for sure it has problems whether it is with the palestinians or how they manage israeli arabs for their own secular orthodox relationship, religious relationships but israel has something else no one else in the region as, they have rule of law, separation of powers, independent judiciary, regularly and and regularly scheduled elections where the loser accept the outcome, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, very vibrant civil society, artistic freedom, they respect women's rights, they respect gay-rights, there is no other country in the middle east like that, whatever its problems its institutions will allow us somehow to cope. think about the fact this is a country that has preserved its democracy and civil liberty
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environment of severe security threats. i recall the l.a. riots in 1992 and i recall at that time people felt threatened, out the window was civil liberty. in a lot of ways it is pretty extraordinary that is retained its basic character with its problems in that environment and chat neighborhood. and one of the reasons that involved in a certain direction, one of the reasons the relationship is doomed to succeed is that reality. i will stop there. [applause] >> i imagine a lot of things,
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the microphone right there. if and -- how do you feel about the iran agreement? >> how do i feel, out there very publicly undecided. i was not undecided because i thought the agreement did not have positive elements. and enrichment, i didn't see once the agreement had been reached but other members of the 5 plus one negotiated this with us this agreement was blocked by congress, they were not prepared to renegotiate the deal. and then it would be hard to
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sustain sanctions. and why was i and decided? >> after 15 years iran gets -- they are not japan or the netherlands and you can't base policy on the hope they will be transformed in 15 years. no limitation in the size of the nuclear program, size of the infrastructure, and the ability to decrease the program quickly, starting in year 10, they are allowed to insult five advanced models of centrifuge plants which are more efficient than what is happening now. and there is a position on the deal. i wanted us to change our
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declaratory policy, to tell the iranians that now with this president, this administration, given the way this administration and president preceded, as i wanted him to say if iran move towards the weapon if they dashed toward the weapon our answer would be forced not sanctions. it will be too late, the gap between threshold status and weapons status is very small. i wanted us to declare now that if after 15 years they produce highly enriched uranium which means it basically being able to move very quickly to weapons grade that would be a trigger. i wanted us to transfer to the israelis the massive ordinance penetrate which is a mountain buster, not a bunker busters' because if the isn't for iranians question whether we would act on our threats, no one doubted that the israelis would act under threat if they saw them -- that penetrate it would allow them to take out one of the two enrichment sites that is
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built into a mountain. i could keep going with my other conditions that you get the flavor of where i was coming from. >> thank you, sir. >> you mentioned one of israel's positives. equal rights for women. do you think the united states of america ought to put more pressure diplomatically and publicly on arab countries to change their views towards women to give women more equal rights? >> is a wonderful question. if you go back to there was a study done by -- done for the u n d, and agency by a group of arab epidemic's back in the year 2002, talked about what was necessary in the arab world to really advance and overcome where they were and they talked about a deficit of education comment and they talked about a
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deficit of freedom and they talked about a deficit of respect for women's rights. if in fact you are excluding half of your population from being able to advance, guess what? you are not going to advance very far. than answer is yes. issue want to advance as a society and illegitimacy, one reason they put their preoccupation on everything else is they lack legitimacy. the way you develop legitimacy is creating an increased sense of participation and inclusion including have your population is not the way to advance economically and not the way to advance i would say publicly from a logistical standpoint so the long answer to your direct question is yes. [applause]
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>> so carter with the israel and egypt got the sinai agreement to, do you foresee any thing, smaller steps like that happening between now and the end of the obama administration? >> i don't see it now before the end of the obama administration because we are in all the time i worked on this issue we are at the lowest point. ..
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you can't go from where we are to producing the peace agreement and you can't make the choices in diplomacy. either resolve the conflict or we do nothing. when you set up that equation, by the way that's true not just in this issue but also in a place like syria where you put boots on the ground or you do nothing. when you set up for a creation as a binary choice, we will end up doing nothing. and when you do nothing a vacuum is created and we see in the middle east who builds the vacuum's? the worst possible forces. so we want to get back to peacemaking.
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don't establish the objective we are going to make a peace agreement because we have no chance of producing it. now we have to stop the violence then you have to diffuse tension and create a different kind of environment and change the reality from the ground and then do something i've i have been pressing for for some time and unfortunately the administration was able to restrain our enthusiasm for this. [laughter] because of the disbelief on the two sides i want to create an agenda where even if we are creating a unilateral between the two sides, we would ask each side to show that they are actually committed to do things for people. so we would ask the israelis as an example to no longer built outside the settlement blocs. you don't build settlements outside the box area you're saying we believe in a two state outcome and tuesday outcome that we will not build settlements and outside of the palestinian state.
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you don't build 92% of the west bank. i don't expect that they will respond to that but i think it allows you to say at least they are demonstrating if that isn't the final border you still have to negotiate it and believe in the two states and maybe you can get them also to create incentives for those that live to the east of the barrier in what would be a palestinian state. maybe create incentives for them to be back in israel. these would be two kinds of examples. on the coast and the inside i suggested to the palestinians could actually say, could actually say they would be prepared to put israel on the map. pretty hard to convince them they believe the two states have no manifestation being on the map and how about the
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palestinians saying they understand that you can't get everything? what he meant by it is each side had big decisions to make. you never heard that any longer. but i would like the palestinians tuesday palestinians to say is we will have to make historical decisions. we don't have to make adjustments. in other words i like both sides to be able to justify the principle of compromise. right now the palestinian side is the sense that the victimhood is so great they reject the very idea that the compromise with israel. i think what that's going to mean over time frankly if you are going to get to where you need to be unique to take the kind of steps and describing that you need to create a cover for both sites. today the israelis don't believe that the that destiny and they made concessions to them could produce anything in response that would be meaningful. so you you would have to have compensation for the israelis
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for concessions with the palestinians have to come from the arabs and they are too disbelieving in the idea of compromise they need them to assume the responsibility for the compromise. so you probably need to change the paradigm to have them create more of a cover for this. what makes that hard is today they are really consumed by their own internal problems. and i don't know that this issue matters enough for them. but i don't think we should assume that. we should test the possibility to see because we begin to change the environment and move something. >> yes or. >> my name is david. the question we are talking about -- about 100 years ago the ottoman empire collapsed and they set up certain borders in the arab states and we've been dealing with that for the past century. what is the possibility of
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entities like isis and others changing those borders; but i do for what does that do for the american foreign policy if all of a sudden they are facing certain unknown problems of certain states and all of a sudden the new states are covering the border's? >> i said a little earlier but we are seeing is a threat to the state system in the middle east. some of that is a function of recognizing the borders are always colonial borders and artificial. the problem is when you try to change the borders now, given the fact that there has been the rough identity with the state the only way you do it is with force and i had a great way to do that. the question is what are the biggest threats for the states today's mostly it's coming from the nonstate actors and whether they are isis on the sunni side or iran, shia side. iran uses all these proxies like
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hezbollah. and so, one of the things we should be doing is focusing on how do we preserve state structure because it -- and how do we preserve some kind of pluralism? in the end, this is a region that is going to be sorted out and it's a whole lot better to sort it out through peaceful means and violent means. i'm afraid that we are going to face violent means, but i think if i were shaping up a policy, i would say i want the objective to be that the radical us whether they are sunni or shia become weaker every day and what do i have to do to make them weaker every day and who do i have to work within the region to make those who are dealing with that stronger every day? data should be the lowest part of the policy if it creates a vision for what we do and more coherency for what we are doing.
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i think it's fair to say right now that many people in the region don't really understand what our policy is or whether we have a strategy. >> can you give us an example of something that would make our friends stronger? >> well, let's focus on -- i will give you an example that shows we are prepared to try to make the radical islamists week or. anc reactivating only answer is going to be if you want to stop the refugee flow, and if you want you have to be able to discredit isis. you can't be in league with what the russians are doing right now with the iranians is trying to kill the sunnis that are not isis dot our opponents of the regime. now when we step up our attacks against isis, it makes us appear
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to be in league with the russians whether we are or not. so in other words they are killing sunnis and we are killing sunnis. if we want want to try this or states to decide that they have to confront both radicals not just the iranians but also isis who is much less prepared to confront the have to show we are prepared to work with them. the way to do it is to try to make the sunni and shia worse. we have an approach to syria. we are going to do is create a safe haven that you use your leverage to get their. they have been clamoring for a safe haven for what he should say to them is we will provide -- we will produce a no-fly zone and tell them not to mess with it but here is what we require to you. you have to police the safe
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haven so i can't just infiltrate on the ground. you have to be on the ground. you have to finance the infrastructure so they don't feel they have to continue to go to europe and they have no place to go. and you have to ensure that all of the money is going to go only to those that are part of a more coherent opposition who are prepared to create a kind of federal syria over time into the same time we go to the european state and you want to stop the refugees coming you have to contribute your efforts on the no-fly zone and do something that matters and require something from you. it needs one of the things president obama always wants to share the burden and it deals with the logic of vladimir putin that understands the leverage. so that would be an example. >> i want to thank you for your
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excellent service. i'm a big admirer both of your thinking and it's very inspiring. watching things play out recently the situation has been absolutely agonizing. i've been a cautious but fairly clear critic of what i see as the naïveté not wanting to go there because it is such a difficult situation and on the other hand we have the brutal vision to support an absolute monster that you cannot in any way claim the superior vision. it's more friendly to the west because it keeps people in line but for the people that lived there it is a monstrous vision
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for how to intervene you are to give some thought, but i thoughts on it but i would appreciate others if you have been. >> there is no question that the secretary when he was the secretary of state used to refer to the balkans and then make it look like child's play. we are looking at 12 million people displaced out of the population of 21 million living in conditions that are impossible to imagine. looking at the people that have actually left the country this is a humanitarian catastrophe and it is unconscionable that the world has responded the way that it has. the idea that in the end you will be able to negotiate some kind of political process remaining in power as a complete evolution.
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they are not going to live with him so yesterday you have to create a transition and maybe you don't have a coherent opposition. all that is true. you have to start by creating a safe haven first for the refugee flow but also if you have a safe haven where the opposition isn't causing the territory you can begin to create greater coherence. as opposed to being fragmented and all the different oppositional groups it gives you a potential. it gives you an easy answer overnight, this is some too far to produce an easy answer. where we are today is dramatically more than a year ago which is much worse than it was the year before that. if you go back to 2011, our concern about the cost of action was understandable. you always have to balance the cost of action with the cost of inaction and when you in balance
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he will be drawn into something where the price is higher. >> i think we may only have an opportunity for one more. >> how do you respond to the united united states foreign-policy establishment is not a balanced piece but in its apartheid colonial settlement as evidenced by the brutal killing of a 2-year-old kid burned alive by summer -- settlers. >> thank you for that question. [laughter]
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>> the difference is i want to hold both sides accountable. i heard that you are quite prepared to do just fine. i believe in a two state outcome. but you know what, you will find this when you read the book when there's been an offer to the palestinians has created the possibility for the conflict. it was the principal author and we said no. they offered to cut through everything and outlined a way to resolve the problem and they gave him no answer. when president obama in march of 2014 presented a set of principles for the core principles in any borders, security, refugees and jerusalem
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he got no answer even though what he presented went beyond what he worked out with the israelis. we don't make it more likely if we give them a pass. i am not favor of giving them a pass. what they've just decided i was like the israelis to demonstrate that the settlement policy is consistent in the two state outcome. i would love those that want to criticize only the israelis to outline what they would like to see the palestinians do. peace doesn't come by requiring only one size steps. it requires both sides to take steps and then holding those accountable. [applause] >> sadly, we've come to the end of our time. thank you all for being there. the ambassador will be in the signing tent and would love to sign a book for you.
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[inaudible conversations] you've been listening to the farmer mideast diplomat dennis ross talking about the relationship between israel and the u.s.. the book is called doomed to succeed. the texas book festival is in its 20th year and booktv has been covering it since 1998. we have another author panel coming up this afternoon and that will be on american spaceflight but first here's a look in the past in 2009 to talk about the book man on the moon.
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>> we will be launching our new book here the music capital of the country and the literary capital in my adopted hometown. i am john uri and i'm not from these parts. ten years ago i thought of dating a gal from austin and i popped the question while dancing at the broken spoke in about six weeks ago we welcomed back. [applause] when i say i love austin, i really mean it. we are delighted to talk about our new book if we can put a man on the moon. if we can put a man on the moon, how many times have you heard that phrase tax >> likened the end homelessness? if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we pick better schools, if we can put a man on
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the moon why can't we put metal in the microwave? [laughter] it didn't start off as a cliché of course. it starts off in 1961 as a challenge issued by president john f. kennedy. iab lead this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. no single space project in the spirit coke will be more impressive to mankind. [laughter] >> it was an impossible challenge that america will pull together and in july of 1969, neil armstrong planned armstrong planted that american flag on the moon and it was an achievement but for anyone who saw it it was an amazing accomplishment. it was like flying so low across the atlantic, climbing mount everest, reaching the north pole
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wrapped into one and people that saw it were especially impacted especially one young man in hawaii named barack obama. barack obama as a young boy he remembered sitting on my grandfather's shoulders watching the apollo astronauts come on, on shore in hawaii. i sat there and i know my grandfather explained how the americans could do anything we set our minds to accomplish. who could argue that american government wasn't capable after putting a man on the moon? we had won world war ii and helped rebuild europe. helped rebuild europe to the marshall plan and we had on the national highway system in this clip add-on with the manhattan project. but now are we still justifiably proud of our accomplishment and can we still see the same about the government today to be still have that pride, and is the question of the day is the
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government capable of executing on the most important challenge is? in the recent events they are not likely to lead to these praise. we have the own collapse in the interoperable economic meltdown. we are trying to accomplish big things and they know we have a big problems with public officials. we surveyed members of the senior executive service and a 60% said the government was less capable today of executing projects than it was 30 years ago. president obama even made note of it a couple of years ago in his radio address when he said he raised the question whether or not we as a nation are capable of tackling our toughest challenges if we can still do big things in america. we didn't ask him to say that but that is what he said. it's a question everybody is thinking today and the answer
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really depends on who's side you're on because everyone is asking who is to blame for the current crisis and to some people come up with the answer of george w. bush, barack obama, newt gingrich, republicans, democrats, the union, rush limbaugh. [laughter] who is to blame, it's what everybody asks if it's a natural question to ask because whenever something goes wrong, the normal instinct is to find out whose fault it was. all you need to do is visit a bookstore and go into the current events section. it's filled with villains and some of the titles appear, very inspirational titles. i of course wanted to appear in the cover of our book in a short mini dress but i thought i would generate a little depressing to john talked me out of it. [laughter]
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instead of who's to blame we asked a different question. why do big and initiatives fail and why do some succeed? the answer to the question we studied 75 major undertakings from "-begin-double-quote until recent times are you looking for patterns of success and failure because we are looking for the journey to success. we looked at everything from the success of the marshall plan to the struggles of immigration. when we began the task of trying to review 75 major undertakings to really understand them we realized we were going to require a small army of possible intelligent people that understood government and yet were willing to work for nothing we we needed to graduate students. [laughter] >> and so we had over 70 graduate students participate in helping us with this book.
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we couldn't have done this book without their help and with their help he sought to understand the pattern of success and failure to get under the essential question of why can the government sometimes do such great things and other times it struggled to do things we wanted to do. >> the final panel from today's book tv coverage of the 2015 texas book festival will begin shortly. the history of the american space program. while we wait, here is the look at the book festival and coverage from 2000. eugene and jim talk about failure is not an option. >> a science-fiction writer science fiction writer once observed that in a thousand years as we are in space in that time we will look back to the middle of the 20th century with some envy because we took the first steps into one of those
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men that took the first steps sitting next to me. [applause] >> thank you very much and it is a pleasure to be here today at the texas book festival. i feel somewhat constrained as they normally stand up and if i seem somewhat reserved today it's because this is a somewhat different then you. it is a pleasure to talk today. before i go into the discussion of the earlier years i would like to read about the one and a half pages of my book. houston, we have a problem. sometimes in the hours that followed the announcement from apollo 13. many of us in the mission control wondered mission control wondered if we were going to lose our crew. each of us had "-end-double-quote memories of
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that day three years before when three of the astronauts sat the power spacecraft firmly anchored to the ground. we were running a systems test that was routine in the terms of the distances involved in spaceflight. we could almost reach out and touch them. what was after the first indication that something had gone terribly wrong. creating the fire that was virtually a contained explosion in those few seconds the man inside the capsule do what was happening. and they must have realized at the last moment that there was no escape. we simply couldn't reach them in time. now, and apollo 133 equally brave men were far beyond the same distance far out in space
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the most steadily and unforgiving environment ever experienced by man. we can measure the distance in miles but with so many miles, the number was an obstruction albeit one we become used to dealing with in a matter of fashion. we hadn't anticipated what happened this time. in fact, it would be hours before they really understood what had happened. there was one big difference in this case. we could buy time. what we could accomplish through technology or procedures or operating manuals. we might be able to manage by drawing on a priceless fond of experience accumulated over almost a decade of sending men into space far beyond the envelope of earth's protective atmosphere. all we have to work with this time and experience. the term we use is more about work around options. other ways of doing things,
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solutions to problems that were not to be found in the manuals and schematics. these astronauts now were beyond the fiscal reach but not beyond the reach of human imagination instead of this that we all live by. failure in this business isn't an option. for me and others sitting safely in mission control, we can only depend on the learning curve that started in the place that wasn't more of a complex of sand and new concrete and asphalt. it wasn't even the kennedy space center but it was our first classroom and laboratory. all we had learned since those first uncertain years would be what we have to work with to figure out what had happened and what we must do about it. it only first started in the spaceflight the world was vastly different and torn by the
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conflict in southeast asia and in a decade we were to have three political assassinations in the civil rights movement was just starting within the nation. the cold war guided every aspect of the foreign-policy and it was a rationale for america's space program area computers existed only in laboratories. there were no global communications, and in that decade students would frequently arrive at the campuses. and then in 1961, a young president john f. kennedy gave a dream and said we choose to go to the moon. we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things not because they are easy but because they are hard. he made the statement as we were struggling to put john glenn into orbit. so engineers and people experienced the small group of 31 canadians and englishmen joined the mercury astronauts at langley and in virginia to form
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a space task group and our objective was to put an american in space. >> now here is a panel discussion on the american space program. [inaudible conversations] good afternoon everybody. are you all ready to blast off? had to do at least one before we started. welcome, everybody to the texas book festival and to all of you joining us on c-span book tv listening throughout the universe or even the known or unknown it's good to have you here. it is my pleasure today to
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introduce two authors i couldn't put them down in the unique aspects they were extra money while britain's allied sure that you will very much enjoyed reading them. the first book we are going to hear about is called leaving orbit by margaret lazarus dean to my left was a professor of english at the university knoxville and then steven moss has written written this interesting because while called we could not fail. stephen is a professor in the english department at texas state technical college in waco and i am so sure that you will enjoy hearing the remarks.
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i'm going to start with you. i just want to say that this book leaving orbit was a very deeply personal account of the last days program and what was an interesting perspective is that margaret gives kind of in every person's view of what's going on during this period i-india feel and you feel almost like you are in the sidecar going back and forth to florida. >> thanks for coming out, everyone. the end of the space shuttle program it was announced in the fall of 2010 that it would be
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retired once and for all and we would have the last launch of the discovery than the last one of atlanta. when i heard about that i thought that's too bad. i love the space shuttle. it was the only space program that we've ever known and that's the definition of the american spaceflight. someone should go see those and write about what it's like to be there and talk to people that worked on the shuttle all their lives and do that kind of first-person literary journalism no one is going to do this for me because i wanted to read the book i was at going to have to
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do it myself. three it tried to document what it was like to be this huge program so many people are so proud of to see this slowly wind down. i'm going to start by doing a little reading for about four minutes, not super long but to give you a sense of what the book is like from one of my first visits to the kennedy space center for the project in 2010 around the same time it was announced it was going to be retired i was invited to go to the space center for something they call family day where employees were allowed to bring family and friends into these spaces where people normally get to go and i have made friends
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online that i'm a i made a friend that works for the kennedy space center. it was at this day that we used to do the projects to solidify. so i'm going to read you a scene from the family day when i got to go into the assembly building for the first time. some of you might know the name sums it up the assembled rockets and it was for a long time the largest building in the world. it's still one of the largest buildings in the world by its volume. it's really huge. clouds sometimes gather in the unprecedented height. the windows are obscured by the
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rain clouds. omar has never seen this himself he told me when i asked if he had heard that it happened. the evidence is like any real building the heavy concrete floor posted on either side bicycles prohibited. it's not like any other space in the world. i hold my breath while i follow him across the threshold and looked up. the expansion is made possible by sliding the 12th century meant to draw the eye up and not the spirit. the architecture was meant to stir emotion and connect visitors with god. other visitors and other families streaming on either side. i studied many images of the vehicle assembly building but i never before quite grasped the way that it all fits together.
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like all to the girls of the drills the vehicle, we building is laid out like a cross. i can recite all the facts about the dav. all the doors opened wide enough to take in the united nations building and tall enough to take in most skyscrapers. the volume is three and a half times that of the empire state building and the roof is big enough to contain six football fields. but i couldn't ever have pictured quite how big it really is. looking up i see floor after floor with the orderly rows of the lights twinkling. the buildings disappear and even though we are all in the same room. in his book about apollo 11, norman mailer wrote the vehicle assembly building may be the ugliest building in the world from the outside but from the inside it was the candidate for the most beautiful. i could finally see what he means. this is where spaceships are
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assembled. i feel the nominee of the work that has been done here in the days and weeks and years of work, children grow up into the endless and delicate work of assembling machines were going to space. i feel tears forming in my eyes i imagine other sites viewed with a special grandeur and urgent importance but none of them has made me cry. cry. i look around at the other families chatting, wandering, pointing things out to each other in a normal tone. none of them are weeping. i draw my eyes onto my companions. i feel him at out my shoulder. what do you think, he asks? as surprised by the hopeful tone in his voice the expression on his face when i turned to meet his eyes he was concerned i might not be having a good time. it's stunning i tell him. i'm stunned. he left before moving towards the platform. he told me how of a space
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shuttle launch vehicle is stacked before the transporter lifts the whole business to move it slowly to the launch pad. he noticed i had tears in my eyes he does a good job of not letting on. if asked to this is a deeply personal account of the end of the shuttle program. what makes it so personal for you? >> i think as i said i grew up with space shuttle launches, the first ones took place when i was a think a second grader so this is a vehicle that has been fighting for my whole life and it's really defined what american spaceflight needs for me if i'm ever going to turn on the tv and see a launch come if i'm ever going to feel like i get to know in astronaut or what's going on in space for me it was the shuttle to see that vehicle that i've been watching
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and following sometimes with more interest than others but i didn't grow up with a spaceflight of session but to see this thing retired in such an un- ceremony always was just sort of quietly teetered out and most people you i know didn't even know about it, people were not talking about it are upset about it so i think that's what drew me to document it in this way i wanted to write about the kind of personal and emotional relationship people have with spaceflight not just a science project or a technology, people love it and respond to it in a way that we respond to our and beauty. >> so, but is aldrin was at this festival about three years ago and presented his book and you actually on the same book tour you hosted buzz aldrin in nashville and you clearly admired for hemant had several
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and have had several pages in your book about him. it surprised me when you mentioned that he wasn't too hung up on the ending of the shuttle program and he even called the cancellation obama's jfk moment. did that surprise you that he took the position? that remark was about the cancellation of the constellation which was the program that was meant to follow the shuttle. what was surprising talking about the end of the space shuttle i thought he would be as upset as i was and he was not pleased that we no longer have our own spacecraft to space craft to center on astronauts to space, but he didn't take it quite get quite as hard as i did and i think it's because having been around through gemini and apollo, he sees kind of the longer our of the history of spaceflight and i do and he has
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his eyes on mars, so shuttle or no shuttle, whatever why aren't we going to mars and he saw as the means to an end which makes sense if you think about it having walked on the moon himself he wants someone to walk on mars. >> at the end of the first chapter you close by saying that you wanted to see the strangeness and the beauty of the last days of american spaceflight. i want you to talk a lot about that statement and also you categorized everything that has come after that moment as not american spaceflight >> absolutely not. giving the book this subtitle has gotten me into a lot of trouble. i don't think the american spaceflight is over and i certainly don't want it to be over and when people see my subtitle they think i'm arguing that it should be over and that that would be a good thing which i'm not that i do think it's
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important to mark this moment when we retire the shuttle we lost our ability to send american astronauts into space ourselves and we still have american astronauts living had american astronauts living on the international space station as we speak and there are more training to go there so americans are still flying and there are various rockets that are being designed to follow it to mean something is lost when we don't have our own launch vehicle and hopefully that will be replaced and there will come a moment when we can do that again. but the plans are sketchier than they've ever been before. at the end of apollo we have a plan that was good to be the space shuttle that we have now. the plans are very vague and dependent and so by titling it this way i wanted to kind of raise the alarm in peoples people's mind that this could be over if things change this could be the end of american
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spaceflight. i hope that it's not and i hope this sort of renewed energy can come to do with nasa is doing and private companies are doing. >> going back to the statement of us what you think is strange and also beautiful about those last days. >> i think the beauty anyone that's ever watched a launch event on tv it's self-evident in a really cool to see these enormous machines with fire pouring out of them taking human beings to space. i don't know anyone that is immune to that and i've been to many launches nowadays a lot of people with different ideologies and interests. there is some people that are really against government spending on anything which would lead you to think they have a very terrible attitude about the space shuttle launch but in fact they cry just like anyone else.
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there's something about seeing these beautiful machines do do with a view that's very moving and i don't know anyone who can resist that and the strangeness and a huge project like this that takes hundreds of thousands of people and goes on and there's always going to be strange pieces of that narrative that come out and that's kind of what i love about it after the first space walk the astronauts came back in the spacecraft and they could smell the smell on their spacesuit and. that isn't scientifically important and it doesn't change the be the astronauts performed a spacewalk they just think that is incredibly cool and we can only learn about through that kind of impressionistic description from the people that have actually done it themselves and risk their lives so that's one example of the kind of defense details we get a hold of
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that and we don't know what it means necessarily that we grasp onto it and it means something >> the thing about the smell of space but is strange to me i happened to me to the commander who i think commanded one of the last space shuttles he came here to austin and he also talked about this. how many of you would even think that space would have any smell? it never occurred to me that what is the smell of space? >> they say this was like something burnt. some described as burnt steak so you get a lot of different descriptions from different astronauts. what does it mean to you what is
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the phase of american spaceflight and what does that mean during it mean during a very short pier koh? >> it is divided into two eras because it are like air of 1961 to 72 which is 1981 to the present they call it the shuttle era and i first came across the deceptions i thought it was interesting that the spaceflight that my parents grew up with a secure link at the spaceflight cannot they shuttle and the shuttle is like a van that you take from economy parking to the airport. it doesn't give you the feeling like the word hero at.
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it was between 1961 to 1972 they invented the spaceflight and they learned how to rendezvous the two different shifts in and how to climb out of the spaceship. they did all of that in 11 years which to a lot of people is a lot less exciting. you are on the hot seat now. let's hear more about your book which is a very interesting account of it's called we could not fail and one of the things that struck me about this book is i never heard anything about this subject but stephen wrote a book about.
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it's going to be incredible to you that no one has written a book about this before and it kind of reminded me of the first time i heard about the buffalo soldiers in the west. of course they existed and had a huge impact that nobody ever wrote about them until 25 years ago so why don't you tell us about your book lacks >> first i have to say hello to my co-author for all of his work on this that brought us here today. it was about the first african-americans in the space program not necessarily in nasa because we also talk about people that were contractors and
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associated in the space program through political and social protest particularly in houston and we also look at the official rule in the civil rights so we have a very narrow part of the heroic age 1961 to 1965, 1966, and we talk about the economic history and what the kennedy and johnson administration did to replace workplace discrimination. but most importantly, we take these two great streams of american culture in the 1960s. the space program and the civil rights movement and we do with nobody else ever did. we realize they need somewhere. and the focus of that meeting is the focus of our books. not the official policies, not
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you've got to hire this or that but it's the men that were hired. the african-americans who did work for nasa and the contractors at the deep south installation where alabama and georgia wallace and the clan had free reign in. these were very brave man who achieved civil rights victory by showing up to work. it's one of these stories were a group of stories that hides in plain sight. we all knew there was a civil rights movement. and we all know what happened in alabama and florida and houston texas but never quite make the connection of the millions and millions of federal dollars going into these places and
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various bond brown is the civil libertarian advocating civil rights and equal rights are african-american and george wallace's face. that is a story that gets lost and that we tell him to started in 1995. so, we have our own story of the story. i was in graduate school at texas tech desperate to find a topic and i was told find something otherwise i will find something for you which wasn't going to be good. and i said there's always old stories and all these other tiny backstage stories and my thesis chair said prove it or i will give you something serious. if anything was there it would have been written into the night got proof of it.
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nasa had never heard of it. the kennedy and johnson libraries offered me grants provide research. so now, after all these years with this book i can say in all honesty it is written. it's taken a long time to get this story out, too long. but it's written, and i hope the people that need to read it read it and those of you that do enjoy it. and i would like to do an excerpt addresses from one of our first pioneers and it takes place in 1956 in florida. julius montgomery is one of the first employees to work there and the first african-american employee what he would do in his crew would do is when the rocket or missile is launched and it goes wrong, they would go out into the field, check the data,
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so those of you that don't know what the slide rule is you are missing out and it they have to make their own parts to fix these things. but this is some of the story. florida had a distinct reputation among african-americans. julius montgomery made about black men that looked at white fang crossways and disappeared in the middle of the night. a consequentially come he expected respite from his coworkers. it wouldn't have surprised him. he knew quite possibly he could get punched. he faced his coworkers on the first day of his new job armed with nothing more than his knowledge of the rules, the southern life, along with his went into the people but said he
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belonged there. as a southerner, montgomery grew up under segregation. i haven't talked to a white person in my life until i was in the service, he said. no conversation. that's the way it was growing up. but because that segregation was complete because he never encountered people he never had to feel their content. the government as he segregated before it drafted so he has dealt with people. i remember walking into this full of white guys and said good god. how in the world will i be able to identify them? they all look alike to me. [laughter] but the job at cape canaveral was going to be different. did they think that he belonged? did they even think that he was
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human? i was a strange person have is a strange person coming into an all-white building, all white. nobody would shake my hand. his heart was pounding. who knew the number in the room tax one by one as he approached these men come each one turned away. i got to the last fellow come he said and i said hello i'm julius montgomery. he said look that is no way to talk to a white man. at this point if there are any number of ways a man could react to these people he would be spending every day with for who knew how long. he could flash out that he could go to management come he could storm out and finally completed. but that isn't who he was.
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this is who he was. he looked him in the eye and said i said forgive me. [laughter] what should i call you. [laughter] i really did say that and i laughed and he laughed and he shook my hand. [applause] so in your book you describe both specific things that were done to incorporate african-americans in the program but also kind of indirect things that happen and i wonder if you
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can talk about the event in houston that revolves around a parade for a gemini astronauts coming home? >> houston was a strange place. i know everybody that lives in texas thinks every town that is if there is isn't theirs is a strange place. but houston the parade was scheduled to go through houston and houston was good to be very proud of that and the astronaut had just spent the longest. longest period with time and space of any american astronaut. houston gets its parade.
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but inspired by events earlier in the spring, three african-american decided they were going to do something and they were from the east and elderly stearns and otis king. they had organized the houston cities lunch counter sit in and they're both associated with texas university. they organized a student protest that you never heard of. they had the students make signs, hide them under their clothes and under their jackets, get aboard the bus is coming to lobby and down the parade route and weight and then they had runners who would stand by the payphone, and i'm glad there are people here old enough to know what payphones are.
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standing by to call the headquarters and to get called by headquarters and then they would run a whisper instructions to the protesters and the idea was when the car reached the protesters, david jumped out into the street with their signs urging desegregation in houston. and on negotiations kept going on and there was a failed state moment that there was no way to turn around. the parade starts, the negotiations are going on, 20 minutes left before they take over the parade and get everything plastered on national media. they get a call at the protest headquarters. houston agreed that they would
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have desegregation of downtown movie theaters and restaurants, and then the call goes to julius stearns do we cancel the protest and he says yes. ..
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asked barack obama if he believed in manned spaceflight. he still believed in manned spaceflight. they really speaks to the legacy of the space program that you were talking about. yet in your concluding chapter you quote james jennings, one of the -- one of several black deputy directors a nasa as saying that we have not made much progress related to equal opportunity. >> ii agree to an extent. we are dealing with the same issues.
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a clip to the purging of clive foster one of them in her books. a tremendous amount of advanced training in the south the 1960s. we probably do, and you can see that on the evening news. the same institutional problems that we had a 1960s and 70s. obviously we are not. so i think he is correct in that we still have not achieved women do come into the issue, but the way that we might have tried to resolve them in 1965 or 1975
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is dramatically different from the way that we might resolve the now, in part because so many people now think they have already been resolved. >> exactly. well, i would like to quote something from your book which is another kind of intersection of stories. maybe get you to comment. you say that the space-age was thought to be a kind of a they use ex machina, ghost in the machine, and it was thought to be a panacea for mid- 20th century issues. it was perceived to be a solution for all the worlds problems, real and perceived. g you think that that is true?
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>> yes, thisyes, this idea that, you know, 1966 to 1967 we can solve any problem we want giving them billions of dollars selling loose a lot of smart people on the problem. that is such an appealing idea that i can't testify as to whether it is true or not by the time i came along we had decided that the government is not a great way to solve problem. collectiveproblem. collective action is not necessarily the best way. private industry will be better. on the other side of it there are certain problems that cannot necessarily be solved in such a delivered a straightforward manner. the idea of going to the moon was so outlandish. i think it was inspiring to a lot of people. let's let'speople. let's direct that kind of energy toward poverty,
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cancer, sexism, but it turns out a lot of these problems are so complex, have many more threads or are deeply rooted that they cannot be followed just by deciding that we are going to do it, and i think that is disappointing because i do still think that that kind of collective action, finding smart people and sending them loose on a problem creates good results that we don't seem to be creating anymore. that said, it issaid, it is probably true that there was a bit of a fantasy that we could solve any problem that way. with cancer, it seems to be a scientific problem.
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i would like to invite the audience to come up and ask any questions you would like as well. what about the ghost in the machine? >> the ghost in the machine. i think in 1961 to 1966 they're was really an unbridled optimism that with technology and the american spirit of that time my anythinganything could be done. you could cure polio, how the polio vaccine, do all of these things. if you read the politicians in that time, not the speech is about going in the space, but the ones about garbage collection and reporting: and ending job discrimination, employment discrimination, they use the space-age is a cause for all of that because the space
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agency or. we are breaking up these patterns of employment. there was a mere, i think -- i can't remember where he was from, but he was talking about because of the space-age we have knew ways of collecting data on criminals and maintaining police record. it is like okay. the space-age is the cause of all of this. and i think that is where it becomes the machine of the gods. this is this great technological achievement. if we can go into space, if we can go into the moon or go to the moon and bring people back alive, what can we do? and even as an aside, in the 1970s there is a wonderful article that put the space program and to american civic religion.
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i think now the space program has become more a part of our civic mythology rather than an active religion that you think about. it is part of the american story. it is part of, you know, you know, for a lot of people, meeting and apollo astronaut, people my age is like meeting davy crockett. it's like meeting any of the great pioneering heroes and folk heroes. so for usso for us command is part of the american mythology very much. and was it a machine from the gods? sometimes the gods need a little help to make things work. >> great. let's get some questions. >> this is for margaret. i was wondering if any of the people you interview shared what they thought about the space program mental being taken over by private industry and people like
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elon musk and that sort of thing? >> i met people with a lot of different viewpoints. when i 1st started talking to people who work at the kennedy space center, basically people who were about to lose her job, i assumed that those people would not have a great attitude about the idea of private companies taking over what the show used to do which is what is happening now. nasa has granted contracts and is paying them basically to develop the rocket, the hardware, and the capabilities to do with the show used to do. but what i found was attitudes about that are a lot more complex. most of the people who work at the space center and used to our huge space fans and want to see space bar it happen by whatever means is going to be next. also, a lot of people being laid off were hoping to be hired by spaceno space six and, in fact, there is a space x facility down
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they're and they rent a launchpad for massive that used to be a shuttle launch pad. it is complex. a lot of people are still really skeptical of the private approach, and a lot of that has to do with the way that private companies pay their employees differently from the way to government agency does. people who are doing the same workerwork for doing it for a lot less money and a lot worse benefits. this is anecdotally. of people i know, they are getting paid a lot less and getting no benefits of all. and that is an issue, too. those are important questions ask, but a lot of mixed reactions command all negative at all. >> ii guess this is more of a historical perspective on the shuttle program. when it was originally proposed and conceived it was supposed to be a space
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bar's tomb of that they would launch a flight every week in the space to do whatever they need to do, and it was sort of a stopgap program until we figured out how we were going to get to mars, but instead of doing it every week it became every month or six weeks or eight weeks, and instead of being a cheap waya cheap way to get things in the space command became inexpensive way. that is the historical perspective. when i grew up we were watching or listening as they were orbiting earth for the 1st time and hoping that something would happen beyond the shuttle. to be there is not so bad that it is gone if there is something beyond that.
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>> i think a lot of people feel that way. itway. it was kind of a compromise and kind of his appointment until suddenly it was about to end and realize that we loved it because it is an american spacecraft and now we don't have one at all anymore. that is sure. first contracts are granted in 1972, which is a really long time ago. the ideathe idea was it was supposed to have a turnaround time of two weeks that there would be a fleet of identical shuttles. with the average turnaround time is not two weeks but more like six to nine months. a lot of people think of that as being a failure of nasa. theythey never got to build the show that they wanted. they had an innovative idea come easier and cheaper to turn around command congress talking them down over time.
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what they wound up with was clunky or, harder to maintain, not as safe. the history is complicated, but it is not fair to lay the blame at the feet of nasa. it would have had a different history. >> it seems like there is a lot of passion but it is very hard to imagine manned spaceflight peon that parameter.parameter. with the images we are seeing in the news we are getting, do either of you see the ability of unmanned spaceflight to capture the same passion? in a leotard cannot, but do you see a future for unmanned spaceflight as part of this. >> yes. and part of that is his will the pictures come back and
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maybe i just have a particularly geeky group of friends on facebook, but as soon as there are great pictures from the explorers out there and overtures out there the engine it is flooded with these pictures. there is a great romance with unmanned space in the pictures that come back. it is hard to look at a robot as heroic, but the images are still going to inspire people. we want to see more, and generations, 12, 13, 14 years old to have of course we're going to go to space. we have got to do all of
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this, andthis, and they are going to make darn sure that we do. >> i also easton. throughout the course of black men who went to the program? >> could you repeat the question? >> first part is, what type of opposition was there for them to be a part of the program, go into space. the 2nd. the 2nd was, what effects were there, negative and positive? >> as early as the spring of 1961 the white house was sending memos to the pentagon, find a minority astronaut candidate command we are talking early in the kennedy administration. whether or not president kennedy said do this call you don't know, we have
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white house staff writing the air force saying friday candidate. find a candidate by the state, so it is. at the administration, kennedy administration wanted an african-american astronaut or any other minority group to enter the astronaut corps. as well, edward r murrow was saying, well, we really need to do this.this. the great journalist voice of america is suggesting that this is to be done. finding one was not as easy as it sounded his best the would not bend its requirements for anything. it set requirements. you have got to meet these requirements. nasa was not going to give that up, regardless of whatever influence.
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what happenedwhat happened is, a gentleman named ed flies, and he is a chapter in the book, and air force captain, and he gets brought into the stream. he has to complete some test pilot program before he can apply to the astronaut corps ed white is in the early 60s, 1961, 1962, 1963 on the cover of every african-american magazine comeau winning and receiving awards and honors from the naacp all over the country. he is the john glenn of the african american press. headlines about him are just as big as they are about any of the actual astronauts. and there is always an issue that curtis lemay claims
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that bobby kennedy was aa colored in space and so we will have the sky. he was the chief of staff for the air force. once doit finished the pilot training program he applies to the astronaut corps. fourteen of about 138 applicants get picked. later on he is transferred, has a desk job in the air force, gets very frustrated. there is a bit of controversy over whether his treatment was because of race or qualification. there is a bit of an investigation into it, but eventually he resigns and frustration, reliant -- resigns his commission with the air force and is now in colorado as a sculptor. but the 1st african-american astronaut was an air force astronaut
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who is being transferred to nasa, and henasa, and he died in a plane crash without ever going in space. >> they get the feeling that space exploration was important for minorities to break the barrier. it is true that the international space station is helpless break national barriers. >> what a good question. i think there are still barriers to be broken. internationalbroken. international space station is international, but it is dominated by the us and russia. the europeans space agency has a stake in it, but it is a much smaller stake and they have fewer astronauts as a result.
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the chinese government has a space program, working on things we only here a little bit about. that would be true and international corporation, but there are barriers to be broken in terms of who gets the opportunity to study math and science gets access to quality education and he doesn't. if. we don't really talk about social class when we talk about breaking barriers, but that is still an issue. education plays a role in keeping people from studying what they need to study in order to become astrophysicists. a lot still needs to be done. >> this is about the subtitle, notes from the last days of the american spaceflight.
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do youdo you think the new projects like spacecraft, ryan, space launch system, things like that, to bring back the heroic age? it feels like these programs are sufficient. >> i do follow space launch system and o'ryan closely. he's or projects nasa has been working on to sort of be a replacement to shuttle. itit is that they will be able to do more. they are both kind of stripped-down, they'll constellation programs. but constellation was defunded and stripped-down and was left of syphilis. o'ryan is a spacecraft looks exactly like an apollo capsule. you know, i will get a sensitive when it flies
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being no space fight but i also think we could be doing better. >> is a product of the 50s and and will forever be grateful to the space program. what willalthough we have done without tang at the breakfast table? [laughter] >> thank you very much, stephen and martha. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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back. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and that concludes our live coverage for today from austin. we will be back tomorrow for more from the 20th annual texas book festival beginning at 11:00 a.m. central time and noon on the east coast. you can find a full settle for tomorrow at 213, and the
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writer to follow a schedule schedule of this throughout the day on twitter, facebook, and instagram. now, younow, you can watch all of our coverage of today starting at midnight eastern on his feet -- on book tv and c-span2.
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>> here is a look at some books being published in this week.
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>> welcome to buffalo on book tv located on the eastern shore of lake erie, the 2nd most populous city in new york with about 260,000 residents. with the help of time warner cable will hear from local authors of the city's history, including immigrants. later as the mark twain room as we learn about this famous writers time in the 1830s. first america says through vacations that have a hell is hundred euros see toxoplasma happy pills in america. >> if you are aa woman you know how much fun it can be.