tv 2015 Paolucci Book Award CSPAN October 31, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
>> you're watching the tv on c-span two. with top nonfiction nonfiction books and authors every weekend. but tv, television for serious readers. this week and a book tv we bring your coverage for the 2015 southern festival festival of books held every year in nashville. starting at noon you can watch authors talk some panel discussions on the life of pat conway, race race in america. southern culture and more.
also this weekend on afterwards, sean provides history of joint special operations command and conversation with washington post investigative reporter. republican presidential ben carson has a new book out. a more perfect union. and john carl and mary ways to reform and record prisons system in a country called prison. also this weekend history of the gay rights movement. >> ..
>> i know they would be very happy this evening because they have a long association with william f. buckley, jr. that was very involved with national review in the conservative party of new york and that paolucci's were involved over many decades. we have three longtime friends of the family here part of the book selection committee then york state senator and his wife and
brookhiser will sign it after his remarks. there has been so many books written on lincoln but these are the ideas that animated the specially the influence with the founding documents and in particular pain and washington. sometimes like to refer to work with the famous address the root of very early age. to focus on the fact in
have him as the editor-in-chief of isi in addition to oversee modern age to focus on the enter graduate students with other part-timers with an amazing amount of work with a very small staff for what they're able to accomplish. with a remarkable editing career to a very successful books that became a senior editor.
to of quite the illustrious editing career like professor george and other accomplished authors thataway say give my regards they are really lucky to have them on their team. [applause] thanks for being here tonight. i and vice president of publications i am delighted to be introducing richard brookhiser over two decades and eight books as a leading historian of literature not
to aida's turned his attention to a remington -- abraham lincoln. some of those judges are here with us this evening for sitting there dropped his rating and then to his namesake but paolucci's would have admired these aspects of his work but he has written a serious book stuck on the shelf somewhere but at the same time but what the judges may have most admired was his
masterful exploration of ideas those that animated abraham lincoln that politicians and pundits routinely unless the pound -- and was the founders' that was true in lincoln's day but how often do they really engaged to say it is too easy in the monuments and money to be admirable but empty. he does a great job with what the founders really didn't. the elder's and lincoln are
not in your rollicks end it shows that lincoln grappled with the founder's thrust his life a part of the great controversies of his own age. with today's most promising college students. but there is so blind in his book that talks about training future leaders. this book is training and thinking if we study how lincoln engaged with the founders but we with their
i enjoy it and others recognized and he would be 90 years old and he was still with us and would be very happy to see one of his colleagues derecognized by isi. to be engaged with the founding fathers is most famous expression is the "gettysburg address". where he said our daughters brought forth to this nation conceived in liberty. but three years before that, february 1860 the cooper union address in new york city a kickoff to his first presidential campaign with a 90 minute speech half were devoted to the man assigned the constitution and what they thought of the federal government's power
to regulate slavery and the territories. instead of slavery it is an evil plot to be extended but to think is they think unspoken as they spoke but six years before that in october peoria speech this law against whoever -- she would never give, three hours he said the republican road in a soiled let us turn indian the spirit in their revolution so to talk about the three founding of water -- from others. from thomas paine and commerce jefferson.
-- thomas jefferson. his actual father thomas lincoln and think he studied the founding fathers so avidly with his own dissatisfaction with his own father. as the war drew on he would turn to god the father of the fathers are no longer quite to the nafta, thomas lincoln born in virginia and tickets are really to kentucky bin abraham was born 89. in 1817 thomas lincoln took his family to indiana abraham was nine years old and in 1830 when he was 21 they moved again to illinois where thomas lived the rest of his life.
all his adult life he was a subsistence farmer and carpenter. they were referred to as white trash but here we now recognize that thomas lincoln never wear broker left bad debt and served zero and several juries which is a sign of respectability he was also a trustee of the church where they were shipped he had two children sarah and abraham were sent to school to get an education.
it was in one room schoolhouse almost fly by night. all told abraham weaken spent one year in school but you learn to read and write to do simple mathematics and these are skills that thomas lincoln wanted his daughter and son to have. his first wife died and lived in indiana for thomas waited one year and buy back to kentucky looked up an old friend sarah bush johnson who is a widow. he said your husband died my wife died i have a family to raise we come to indian with me? she said she would but she had some that she had to pay he said give me the list and i will pay them. he did that day then they set off. so he and his son never saw
eye-to-eye one source of friction his father retired amount to work for neighbors and although wages that abraham berndt that thomas would pocket. with different people different ways. hi bill think it is visible to see some of the hatred of slavery coming from the own youthful experience that he would be free of this relationship for those who is a slave for life. but nevertheless to have an
experience of taken by someone else. another way is that thomas lincoln wanted his children to be educated but he saw reading and writing of this bill for an artisan to have banned for abraham reading and writing were portals to different worlds. this is something thomas lincoln never understood. but his stepmother did. we know from an interview that she gave after her husband and her son were dead she remembered how abraham was curious as
adults came to the lincoln house if they talk about what he did not understand he would say what was that about? what does that mean? if you read something he did not understand he would write it down then try to read righted again. he didn't have paper it was on a piece of wood with charcoal when it was soil that he would plane off and try again in the stock -- the stepmother saw this encouraged it. in the 1860's campaign autobiography he said my father never learn to more than san bungling to write his own name. so much contempt in the word bungling.
to say he did not make the effort. there's so much of the source of friction between them. they're differently built. they were both powerful this is important on the front to because if you knew my dash move to replace you have to prove yourself against the local tough-guy both thomas lincoln and his son went through these challenges physical strength was the importance -- important inheritance and early america was a nation of alcoholic you read statistics it is astonishing
but thomas lincoln did not drink and neither did his son. the most important thing abraham inherited breast ability to tell stories. we know this from cousins on his mother's side and one of them said that he was as good of a storyteller as abraham. the other said abraham was better and we know how good abraham once to distract people to make a point in this is something he heard at home and that is where he must have picked up this bill. thomas lincoln died 1851 abraham named a hoarse after him that after he was elected president he visited
his father's grave to say a half to put a stop but he never did that is the summary of his relationship with his biological father. if we don't get everything from our parents to have substitutes in surrogate's in the most impressive substitute were the founding fathers the generation that wrote the constitution many of these men were still alive when lincoln was born jefferson had one more month to serve as president when he was born. after you left the white house madison was president 80 years then james monroe another eight years. this takes us through the teenage years.
by then the rest of of the grounding brothers have died neither came to kentucky or indiana or illinois in he never went to the east coast and tell later said he was to meet them it would have to be through books. and in the greatest of all was george washington was the life of general george washington. parson was the ordained clergyman but his career to open down the east coast washington died in 1799 to know the life would be a scholar he can now with his book the next year.
as the rector of mount vernon parish there is no such parish. [laughter] he met washington wants it had written him one letter. to bring out the second edition of the year before this is the book that lincoln would have read probably when he was a little boy in kentucky. we know he read it because he said so himself when he was on his way to his first inauguration. in those-- the gap between elections and inauguration's so he leaves springfield and february takes the train on the way to washington. south carolina in the gulf states, texas and then
passes through new jersey bank gives a speech to the legislature in speaking to the new jersey state senate you would recall one of book the life of george washington. that the battle fought here then to mention the hardships of the soldiers crossing the delaware if you read the account this is what he spends pages to describing in detail. then lincoln says boy that i was i realize the mr. struggled for something important even more than
national independence so what that was was liberty this is exactly what he says because after he described washington crossing the delaware and then they get to trenton to the engage the enemy that to be the spirit of liberty to say she is driven from europe as the last refuge but only their ragged band of men.
in the words they play in washington's mouth is he say to his troops remember what you are about to fight for. but lincoln remembered but the second of founding father that thomas paine is somewhat of an odd and he'd never hold public office the responsibility or the army but a great journalist in rights the pamphlet common sense to urge independence six was before congress declares it as washington is retreating with the american
crisis that these are the times that try men's souls. i have to tell you that is a great lead paragraph. but after the war there was another book that almost destroyed his reputation in america called the age of reason. this was a ferocious attack on organized religion. thomas paine was never in neediest to say i believe in one god and no more but he went on to say with this system set up to terrify and enslave mankind. in the age of reason most of the fire is directed to religion that they know best which is christianity. and pain goes through the
bible in the liberal spirit to examine statements with the most literal meaning to highlight everything that is contradictory or nonsensical. so either expanding or defending them he does not care about any of them he is the first person and will take it as a liberal document. he is over 21 years out from under his bother shadow and thinks this is great. this doesn't make sense to don't have to worry about it he even writes a pamphlet of his own. in his early 20s lincoln had a series of jobs he was a river boat man, a
blacksmith, postmaster id in those days you had a desk and a store people would give you letters or pick up their letters but normally you sat around to talk to your friends. so he is explaining his pamphlet that jesus was an ordinary illegitimate child the bible is full of contradictions and older man named hill asked to see the pamphlet and he put it in the stove. [laughter] the reason is he was already interested in politics in mr. hill knew that you don't go far if you write pamphlets saying jesus was the ordinary illegitimate child so he steered him later embarrassment. he learned to be discreet and later he changed them.
but what he took from paine were those he showed them how to make serious points using humor. use that from his mother but paine showed him how to use humor to make serious points this literal approach can be very funny and it is a technique that he used as a mature politician. when he was sedated why would you care about slavery? you must want to sleep with black women in his eighth answer was just because they do not want a black woman
for a slave does not mean they need her for a wife. just leave her alone. it is in the form of a joke to take your obnoxious argument to say i am not interested if you leave her alone you let her be free if he makes his audience laughed also encouraging them to think that is a technique he picked up first so thomas jefferson was a very complicated me and he loses heart on a number of issues i sometimes think his mind is like a house without of rooms.
but the jefferson that we can embrace with the young jefferson and first through the self-evident truth is that all men are created equal in psalm will make this a touchdown of his politics for the rest of his life. in 1859 and he is invited to a celebration of jefferson's birthday by republicans and he sends a message that he clearly labors over and he says there are the definitions of of free society to have the coolness
and the forecast of the revolutionary document the truth to apply to all men. they were fighting for something but this man who expresses this eternal believe. the most famous indication than that is the gettysburg address because bourse for seven years ago 87 years is 1776 in the lincoln identifies the declaration as the beginning of the american experience the gettysburg address was given there is a lot of death of lincoln's life and his
mother died when he was nine his sister sarah died when he was 20. of his first sweet are died in his early 20s. people who knew him at the time said he was downcast that they had to hide the razor's. he served in the black hawk war from the indian war in northwestern illinois he did see a group of men never just scalp. >> host: top of every head there was a size of silver dollar m blood's seem to be everywhere also his own grandfather was killed by the indians. he was in his field one day when indians shot him and thomas lincoln was there when he was about to runoff
then one of the brothers -- brothers shot the indian. this was a normal experience of that in early america there was a lot of mortality from diseases or a number of small wars with the civil war is not a normal experience. it would be something else in it touched lincoln personally. so there was a rebel flag so that the union troops sent to alexandria were led by a man named ellsworth he would come on his stranger to the first inauguration in when he went up the stairs to the
hotel he was shot by the owner of the hotel and killed. october 18, another illinois friend was killed in baker was an old political crony he named one of his son after him and he introduced into the public for the first inauguration in he moved to organophosphate became a senator. when lincoln went to his funeral he was described as a child. and another man was william mccullough and early in the war he asked for the president's help he needed the help because he was 50 years old with one arm and have lost one but still
wanted to fight for the union or the of liberty. and then was killed december december 1862 with the eloquent letter and how she could only thing she could be happy later to begin the process of healing. and often to you too were a military hospital and then to be complete by the illinois reporter named brooks that was a young man and then with the sacramento unions of washington because of this connection yet get access so in this military hospital the he himself goes
down the line of beds together to distributing tracts to the soldiers then he laughs to drop that backdown. bin lincoln says he is just trying to be helpful in the man says you don't understand both of my legs have been shot off. that is the form of a joke but of course, it is on the soldier and i am lincoln because he is the commander in chief of by his colleagues shot off. still the belief is predestination to believe in free destination but he
never left the belief behind the a logical mind that every cause has its own cause. one of his catch phrases was before you're even bored everything you do is determined and if you follow these actions back remember he was not to neediest i believe in god and lincoln always believed in god also. and was willed by god. so he gave to the country in
1965 the second inaugural address. and to read ( eight that this may pass away. but intel all the wealth powered by 250 years of every drop of blood shall be paine by another from 3,000 years ago with the judgments of the lord are true and righteous. when i came to write about that is how far this is from thomas paine.
to figure was below polls -- full of holes now looking for consolation and explanation. the arithmetic of the gettysburg address was fourscore and seven from 1776 per year is 250 years of unrequited toil. that was jamestown. the first american colony to import black slaves. so that is the american founding. but that is in the end of the speech.
he has to deal with a third of the country that he has been in arms against the rest of the country. he also has to deal with for million freed young men women and children, by the time he is murdered that is are ready pass congress have gone on to the states for ratification. so it is coming. it is coming down the road. so this is a whole different terrain. also, lincoln is tired after four years of stress. people already, there is no constitutional amendment that prevents the third term. it is already well-established.
jefferson already left after two terms that really set it for jefferson, munro munro and jackson. he was the only president to be reelected who lost after second term. now, on the other hand we know he is a good politician. he is a wise man, a funny man, one of his people from illinois said if he thought lincoln was a simple man you would wake up with your back in a ditch. lincoln was a good politician. he was good at keeping the republican party together. there were radicals who thought he was not going fast enough. there were slower moving people who thought he was going too fast. he was good at placing himself in the center of republican and keeping everybody
in the tent almost all the time. he was also good at using those democrats from the north who are willing to be pro- war, it's not a good time for the democratic party actually. there also some good-natured democrats in lincoln showed he was good at working with them. in the south, freed blacks and i think there were a significant number of defeated -- while there were southerners who didn't want it in the first place, we tend to forget this. a loss caused a nostalgia. there are southerners in every state except probably south carolina who thought success and was just in the state. in fact there were units in the union from every southern state except south carolina.
every succeeded state had soldiers in the union during the civil war. a lot of these were people from eastern tennessee, western north carolina, west virginia leaves virginia and becomes a state. these are people who feel they have gotten into this, they never paid attention to us anyway this is a terrible thing. that is a possible core of republican support. also, there are people who thought, among all these northerners he is the one who would treat us best. one expression of that is when he was murdered the last southern army had surrendered but there is still an army under general johnston and the carolinas and they're going to surrender to sherman. sherman gets killed and gestures
him to a room where the two can be together to tell him this news. johnston's reaction was a calamity to the south. there are southerners who applauded that he was killed. others who thought it was terrible. he was our best hope. so i think it is not unreasonable to think that lincoln could have done the best possible job trying to deal with a supremely difficult situation. we certainly went to one of the worst presidents we ever had, andrew johnson. he was temperamental man, he took flight, he was boiling with resentment, he was a unionist democrat and the only southern senator not to succeed in 1861. he was a self-made man probably
poor that lincoln actually. always a chip on his shoulder and this just informed his politics, quarrelsome feuding with people, small minded. john wilkes booth did a lot of damage. [inaudible] >> to take it all seriously he says he is reading about trenton , a course it is exciting, it is a great great story and he told it pretty well. but it is not just the past, it is still relevant, it is still important. he said this is something for all men at all time. so the founders were thinking and acting about issues that were not just particular to
them. they still matter to us. similarly with lincoln, we are not come to have a fight over whether there is slavery in kansas, but what are men, what does the declaration say, what does the constitution mean, how should we let them guide us? these are things are things lincoln was thinking about all of the time. then he was having to act on it as a politician. so, to see how he goes through it and how his great predecessor goes through it, you know you are watching other people do it. some of that might rub off. [inaudible]
>> yes, washington made the country, lincoln saved it. neither man alone. they are both blessed with excellent health but washington was my first biographical subject and what struck me about his story, the american revolution was the first revolution of the modern era. we were first, france france was next, haiti was next, very directly tied with the french revolution. then you have the revolution of europe and it spread to the former colonize parts of the world. they go to latin america, so it is like two centuries plus it revolution how many of them had gone awry. i don't say that in the spirit of china of other countries and
other people, because some countries really have a terrible situation to deal with. nevertheless, when promises are broken, so many leaders who never go home, so many leaders who turn out to be greedy. here, in washington all he did was everything he was asked to do. that is all he did. but he did it. for years, he was commander-in-chief in 1775 and died in 1799. so for 24 years, most of those years that's a lot of years of being the most important guy in the country. no president has touched that. his record is pretty good.
so yes, washington and lincoln is like a fabric with a pattern in it. it depends on how you rub it which strikes you more. those are the two certainly. >> yes man, you had a question. >> what you think the founding fathers including jefferson had on lincoln suspending habeas corpus such as the case that in very modern times said chief justice chided it in the hampton versus brown's field case. >> well, the bad order into which the federalist party fell in its modern day, which is part of that is the tradition act most of it was the work of 1812
when the british was wanted to win. people still remember that. lincoln make some reference that he is being accused of being a glue like man. that was the nickname for federalists and the word of 1812 they hung blue lights in the houses that show ships were along the coast. so some of this whole rhetori was still being used. lincoln suspended haiti's corpus and really that was what he was dealing with. the supreme supreme court said you can't do that as president congress had to do it. also, the confederacy stuff.
both sides were recognized in the extreme situation and justified by the constitution. i don't think lincoln was, in that instance was looking to justify himself. >> two years ago a short book about the tradition of american culture, you seem to disregard the previous institutions that were incorporated into the american rule of law, parliamentary democracy if you will. then you cited revolutions that went awry, well maybe the
american revolution went right because it was inheritor of institution. >> when lincoln was studying the law, i think he was in salem, a town so tiny it disappeared, and he was sitting on a woodpile one day reading a book and someone said what are you reading here? and he said blackstone. the blackstone. the man said, great god almighty. but of course blackstone from the 18th century and was still the foundation of the judicial education in the united states. this is how link can looked at being a lawyer. he borrowed borrowed it from another little lawyer and read it himself. so he is self-taught and self-starter but he learns what he has to known which includes the past.
okay, thank you very much. [applause]. thank you so much, that was a brilliant talk. don't tell the other recipients that but i think it was our best lecture yet. rick agreed to speak earlier today force and tonight for free, the labor free speech however we do have to tell you an award and it also comes with a $5000 prize as well. congratulations on that. we would like. we would like a few pictures with that. as soon as we have done that, rick has agreed to sign copies of the book. we will have a reception following until eight pm. thank you so much for coming. [applause].
>> next on book tv is the 27th annual book festival held every year nashville. for the next few ours you'll see authors talks and panel discussions on race in america. southern culture and much more. first, best-selling author and conversation about life and career with catherine seltzer, on author of understanding pat conway.