tv Book Discussion on Lafayette in the Somewhat United States CSPAN November 14, 2015 4:00pm-5:16pm EST
those from the dorm who came out with with their hunting rifles, surrounded by house, got there. i threw open the door. ready to come to the rescue, the troops are here. cavalry has come, and on the floor was bob dylan and a friend with the get or tar that had been -- but what does that mean when norm american college students and a college professor and minister assume somebody has come with weapons to destroy you. that's where our minds were and that's where black minds have been for hundreds of years and black people are raises questions now that question better understand our history if we're going to move forward. >> well i can speak on and a half myself as well as the audience that we feel greatly honored to be within your presence, and to see what you have done and what you continue to do in the pursuit of justice for all of us, and thank you for
all that you've done in the face of great opposition as well as danger so that we could have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so that's commendable. >> thank you. >> thank you for attending this presentation. i hope you've enjoyed the res ot of the louisiana book festival, and thank you for attending. [applause] >> and that wraps up booktv live coverage of the 12th annual louisiana book festival see it tonight at midnight or watch it online at booktv.org.
[silence] >> all right we'll give stragglers a second to grab their streets. good evening everyone. before we begin, most of our usual housekeeping please silence your cell phones, and also we ask that you refrain from any photography both here and during the awesome book signing that is going to take place immediately after this event in the main lobby. welcome to the free library of philadelphia my name is jason freeman a cool part of this job is getting to introduce writers that you like. i'm excited to be here tonight to introduce sarah. praitdzed by "new york times" for her learned or learned --
engazely funny, jolly rough to american history. sarah is a clear eyed, funny, observer of our history we're able to be -- she's the author of the partly cloudy patriot, personal favorite. vacation and unfamiliar fishes among other. a contributor editor for this american life and as well as original contributors to nick sweeney been published in a variety including village boy esquire and too many others to name. she's made numerous appearances on letterman and late show with jon stewart. there's a new book with a frank portrait of the squash buckling of the american revolution and his insightful return to our young country. interviewing sarah tonight is webcastly. not only a frequent guest author
but also one of our favorite interviewers of writers on this stage. i tried to count, six, seven, might be, ten. charles considered as a murderer, and most recently one kid. you may know him by his rock 'n' roll hearting, it is awesome smart, fun, album. wess is also the founder of the cabinet of wonders radio variety show released by who's -- featured a who's who of contemporary musician, writers, and other sundry performs. ladies and gentlemen, before you join me sarah has said she's going to read for a minute which is terrific for us. so now won't you join me in welcoming sarah and wesley to the free library of
philadelphia. [applause] >> thank you. >> hello, philadelphia. i would also krrks c-span is here taping so i would leak to say hello to the five insomniacs watching this 5 a.m. on a sunday. i just wanted to read a little bit first because you can see what happens when i sit and think about what i want to say and how i want to say it before i sit over there and just gibber jabber when i willy-nilly i'll e excerpt from the book. one thing towards the end maybe
that you would want to know is about how the marquise to lafayette beloved revolutionary war hero from france who came over in 1777 as a 19-year-old, and was with washington's army through yorktown and monroe invited the elderly lafayette on the eve of 50th anniversary of the revolution to come back to america as the nation's guest and it was quite a to do. he -- well you remember what a big deal it was in philadelphia. [laughter] you know when he arrived in new york what harbor, 80 something thousand new yorkers were there and of new york was 123,000. so he has that on the pope.
[laughter] most of the book is about his time in the war and a little bit about that return i from. but this is i guess you could call it a tan jengt nowadays lafayette is a place, not a person. lafayette is a boulevard in phoenix, a pennsylvania college, and a bridge across the mississippi in st. paul. it's the alabama birthplace of boxer joe lewis, and three different towns in wisconsin for the fayette county chicken ranch known as the her house. lafayette, indiana were founders of both c-span and guns and roses were born. when i bunched into an old neighbor while visiting my
montana hometown she asked me what i was working on. i answered a book about lafayette. so she inquired if i would be spepgding a lot of time in louisiana. and if i was confused wondering if she forgot that thomas jefferson decided against his initial impulse of appointing of the french colony first governor after the louisiana purchase. but then i realized that the city of lafayette, louisiana, must be her go to lafayette label noun. even though from montana it is actually a closer drive to lafayette, utah, not to mention the ones in oregon, california, kansas, and colorado. so i explained that i meant lafayette, the french teenager who crossed the atlantic on his own dime to volunteer to fight with washington in the revolutionary war and likely to visit pennsylvania where he got shot. he nevertheless professorred her
findness for zidaco. then encounter arosed indignation in my breath that i moralized human glory and evanescence of many other things. no, wait that's one did in 1870 when a random straib stranger in a cigar store had never heard of his revolutionary war's grandfather. when i found out my neighbor had never heard of my protagonist, i went and got a taco with my sister. so it does seem eerie one day in 1884, two-thirds of the population of new york city it was lining up to wave hello to lafayette and 19 decades go by and all that's left of his memory is the name of a cajun college town. thanks to nationwide euphoria or the lafayette return tour of the
united states in 1824, countless americans streets, parks, county, city, warship, horses and babies bear his name. long list include scientology founder lafayette l. ron hubbard and great uncle lafayette time who went by faith for short. the most meaningful name sake by far is lafayette square, across the street from the white house. also known as lafayette park. this is the nation's capitol of protest. the place where we the people gather to yell at our president. [laughter] or as jorntle h.w. bush complained auring the gulf war he complained of the demonstrator who were beating those damn drummed in front of the white house when i was trying to have dinner.
of all of the rallies that was staged at lafayette square over decades i think we can agree that the one americans should be the most proud of is the gathering of the ku klux klan there in 1882 stay with me. three dozen or so light to premise thunder heads who show up demonstrate or provide police protection against hoards of agitated protesters pouring into the capitol to demonstrate against their demonstration so freedom of expression truely exists only when the society's most repugnant knit whit are allowed to spew their nonsense in public in in lafayette park, this distasteful speech is literally permitted with permit issued by national park service managing the site. goes on from there. but you know -- you can read that later. [laughter]
so i would come over -- [applause] >> yeah. oh. oh, you're holding it like oprah or something. >> it works, yeah, thanks. don't tell me what to do. >> one , lafayette what do you think of him now despite the things that were named after him with towns, the glory that comes with that? do you think of him now as an obscure character in a sense what is part of your point with the book, you know, by trying to let people know about it? >> british, i don't know if you can tell. >> he hates --
it >> many historical figures are obscure figure because we don't remember anything. [laughter] you know, yes he's obscure. but i guess maybe you should which can with your teenagers if they know who like ben franklin is or something. is he obscuring for? he has become one. he used to be this -- i mean maybe he was just thes trip from 1984 but i don't know how many of you have been to the lafayette monument in the brandy wine valley that is a little street laver looking thing off the side of the road. nowheresville in your west chest tear that sounds like a town
right it is in a lady's yard i met her. she was really nice. but when they built that monument in 1895 after he had been dead for 60 years, 5,000 people showed up to celebrate this -- not very impressive, no offense monument being put up. so i think -- and then you know maybe the culmination of the lafayette legend comes in world war i when, you know, france it was in a bit of a pickle. and when the americans allied expedition their forces under general persy cam to help out our old alley, the french against the jer german they marched to the cemetery where lafayette is buried and one of the officers famously said lafayette, we're here.
after that, you know, poem -- people got busy. there was hitler. yeah, yeah. so i mean he used to be a bigger deal, obviously. and he's i'm not one of those writer who is i've certainly ready some of these book where writer is like my subject is to formed there would have been a zombie apocalypse, with he was important and fascinating enough they wasted threer years on him. so he's up there. but in rev lyings their generation it is an embarrassment of riches, you have your jefferson, jefferson, beloved boy franklin. blurred byham hamilton, chief
artillery officer, you have john adams james madison. like, if -- even there's a lot of talent there. >> he's the hit it of choice. >> he's definitely the writers choice because henry, as, you know, was famously a book seller in the own or of the london book shop, and he joined up with the militia in madison, massachusetts, eventually when that marched into the army he was the guy in boston who was think about the guy you buyer books from. hopefully it's still a guy or a lady in a store.
yay. [applause] so the books guy walks up to washington. i mean, there's a siege in boston, and the british control the little peninsula of the city of boston itself but they're surrounded by all of these patriot militias that have kind of marched into the continental army, an they get word that ethan allen, and ben arnold who we like at this point have captured with the cannon and martyrs leftover from the french and indian war. so in order to break this down, they need -- not just better weapons. they need some weapons. and the thing about having artillery is it's heavy and henry goes up to washington. he says my brother and i will go
get that stuff. 300 miles away across the mountains, and it's winter, and washington is like -- go ahead. [laughter] and then you know a few weeks later here's the knox brothers show up and they built this special sleds and they were called i don't know how many hundreds of tons of heavy artillery over to boston, and then the crafty washington, and his men in the middle of the night put them up to chester heights and people in boston wake up the next morning impressed. [laughter] and they leave by ship to canada never to return to the moral of that story is never underestimate an independent book seller. [laughter] [applause] i know -- i know what side the bread is buttered on.
>> okay. get back to all of that -- >> yeah. but i have a couple of questions, one is it struck me. >> unless it is possible in this town. i'm sorry that iftion just glorifying violence. mostly go ahead. that was a disclaimer. >> back to quakers in a minute. >> can we? >> so just to the distribution -- we need to go to london. >> we should have one. that would be great on c-span. like a whole roomful of people. that is like q and a. >> just the sound of a bunch -- an the viriles will visuals of e just trying not to make eye contact. >> subtitles, nobody moves.
so crown, you must do a lot of research. books, must be big fat books there. on your subject that you're doing and so the hit story i'm going to keep going with it. >> keep going. >> what you're doing is you know you're taking the facts. you're taking the urge to educate and the urge to amuse people because you are, you know, a comic also. and you're taking your love of the hrs. first question you want to ask is allage expression of you. what order did those things topple out of you when you furs thought of laugh lafayette are you waiting for spark to come to you. when it does come, how do you keep those things in balance while you're doing it? that's what we love you.
>> like it goes -- i tend to be educational now. ding. joke, joke, no. the books you talk about i talk them the books that dads get for christmas. single subject book about a person, usually it's like -- biography the title, a door stopper. usually the tight title is a person's name and they asked what the book is about, they'll say the person's name they won't have this weird word like somewhat in their title that you're just look oh, my god that's going to take 45 minutes to unravel. in the beginning that's what had i think i'm going to do is like the straight story. with lafayette i had written a
short stoirl about that short trip and it was fizzy, it was all just kind of a love story an about the american people's affection for lafayette, and i just thought i was going toy a book about this nice french boy. i never really think things through enough. so there's a war that he's in. so that's no fun. so the reason i was drawn to him so the l civil war is kind of like starting to bubble up. basically it's now that i think about it, the civil war is bubbling up, you know, across town in independents hall in 1774 so the thing at independence halt first continental congress first thing he says we should start with a
prayer. second is two saying no way i'm paraphrasing i'm not going to pray with quakers we can't pray together too many religions. right there -- that is is the moment like we can't get look. maybe the third thing that should have happened is all let's go home and save everyone the trouble. so anyway i was drawn to him because -- because he was french, laugh lafayette everybody loved him he was just this everybody's uncle from across the sea. i thought it would be nice to write a sweet, simple story about this person every loved. in order to tell that story pretty much, every step in their
research he gets here. he's here from maybe 5 months he writes george washington a letter from the campus. valley ford saying i feel look america can defend it herself. you can fight the british if you would just stop fighting with each other all they do is bicker. congress can't get anything done. they disagree with everything. the congress and amy are at odds. there's a conspiracy within the congress and the army to oust george washington. so george washington spends a few hours a day pighting the british in a few hours a day trying to keep his job from the people who were undermining him, his friends. and then writing about 1884 election was in full swing when lafayette arrived most devicive presidential election in american history. there's an andrew jackson wins popular vote but no wins
electorate college so decided to the house per the constitution. but u through what comes to be known as corrupt bargain so everything is a mess. when i'm researching i want to go to my little battlefield so see where my french boy got shot, and it happened to be in the follow-up of 2013. the government shutdown, so independence hall is closed. battlefield closed, and so like all of this ended up flavoring the story and the book kind of became two books, maybe three if you count the fact that i sort of use lafayette as the per personifcation so it just expanded its waistline. it will be one of those.
it happened to him this happened, and then he died. >> a lot of your writing is dependent. >> and then i met quakers that distracted me, anyway. >> so a lot is dependent on your personality it is filters through you but you like going to places. you like telling us about the people you meet. >> wess went with me to one of the places valley forge. >> i did. got to that in a moment. i can tell you the inside story. [laughter] >> a terrific lunch and dinner. >> i recommend the cucumber. [laughter] >> just going back a little bit. >> i'm dong it to you. you have questions that you want answered so i keep interrupting you. luke -- it tangent and distracting you.
>> i want to imagine sarah at school and her relationship to history. what happened that now this is what you write now? something must have -- >> i have two images of me and american history class. one of them is me skipping it to go to the public library to read the other one is sitting there with the boring teacher at the blackboard and one kid making a break for it and jumping out the window and running away. i think like my interest in history is kind of identification with infashion nation comes from my family background. >> tell us more. >> i mean, both of my parents have ancestors who were cherokee on the trail in the united
states government marched in gunpoint to oklahoma. it was just a topic of conversation in the family. and then also at the cherokee capitol and in oklahoma. every summer when i was a kid we would go there and watch. they would one of those pageants so every summer i was a kid i watched -- also, i mean, we lived either very rural childhood. it was the only theater i ever saw, you know, till i was maybe 14 oring something. so i literally watched history come alive every summer and this one story was so kind of present in the family partly because my father was -- he hated oklahoma. he hated that he was born there and andrew jack song's fault. that historical tragedy made it so that he was born in this place he hated it.
so he had a bone to pick with andrew jackson about that. so i think this world -- historical. >> making sense now. >> so the world historical event that happened it was in 1838 it's not really that long ago. but it happened to our not so distant ancestors that always made hrs. seem like something that happened to people like us. you know, it wasn't just this distant thing, and i don't think school had much bearing on that. i think partly because i was never one for textbooks. i always wanted to read book books that's why i was scping school was to go to the public library. >> nots to psychoanalyze but you feeling that your family was affected by the kind of history that you're writing for us
nowadays of which you are very -- very present in the writing of 37 it. >> yeah, yeah. it wasn't just that too but maybe just the way that my family was. like it wasn't just that story. my great, great grandfather fought and owned slaves. i'm eligible because the cherokee sided with the confederacy so that was like my grandfather u knew that guy. and then you know my family is from oklahoma. you know, like pretty boy floyd left 20 under the dinner plate when he came by in his studebaker so history does seem like one of the things that you talked about because it was one
thing that happened to people. but i noticed especially with that cherokee thing and with the quakers too that i met. they were incredibly well informed about the revolutionary war. not only like most people i would talk to -- had like a vague notion of who lafayette was if they did at all, and the quakers know exactly who he was and they had a problem with him. by extension me, and like we were talking about that and one of the quakers said that sectarian groups teppedz to know hrs.. >> that quote leapt out to me when i was reading -- >> last book was on the united states takeover of hawaii in the 19th century and people who were the most educational were the native hawaiian sovereignty act visions, the people who are still protesting the american of
hawaiian 1898 and they, i learned so much from them. so within program where history filters into the stories is the family sitcom blackish. you know, and where it's about this middle-class black family and a whole episode about martin luther king day how they go skiing on that day and different it generations red light to these stories or that whole episode about the n word. i think history or there was one episode recently about a family member who was hesitant to visit a physician and a whole thing about a tusky and like a little documentary, so i think people who come from --
who descend from people who have been leftout or wronged in some way tend to be very focused on history because they're still upset about. and you should for good reason. >> you're one of the few americans so engaged not envious that the history goes so much further. >> you know -- [laughter] i was speaking thrftion there was an american high school in paris an international school, and i remember this kid i was tg him what i and that i write abot american history i don't understand that that was only hundred years ago. but a lot happened but your
history is my history too. >> yeah. >> i have had time wring about how brsh americans are. and that's not necessarily a compliment. just to let you know my education a very convenient place to start english histories with the war -- so i did two years and taking a liking to school. went to another one. saw there again, and when i went to the school drk >> -- missing out. >> i did it three times. >> budika look her up. >> the moment when she started being called budika. >> also what about carta?
>> great band. >>let's talk about wring writing for a bit. i reviewed a book for the tls a bunch of writing about hank williams. and a fantastic piece by you that i quoted in the review that you wrote for someone in san francisco i presume about the williams -- >> television a village. >> we know this american life and your books and stuff but you kind of start off with a music writer maybe? >> pretty much. well i used to be way artsier, and i started writing for my college newspaper that's how i started wreg. i started writing about visual art. because i just felt like art
reviews in the montana state university newspaper could be better and i thought i should give it a whirl. and then after school i wrote for some art magazines a little bit and i did book reviews. and then i moved in to music partly because the music writer he was the one i interviewed him for my college paper and he got my first job wring writing for art form so he was like the only writer i had ever met. so i had been a college radio dj so i had a background in music so i started record review and spin, and writing for weekly newspapers and stuff about music. mostly the first ten years as a
writer i would write anything. a record review, a book review, a column, an interview, radio documentary, i did as much as i could. i think that's great looking back, it is it great for the experience. plus everything paid so poorly i had to do as much as could. i always had so many different interests. but yeah, writing about music was -- that was -- i remember, though, i loved music. but sometimes i think i was running out of adjectives in record reviews. and also i think i was becoming a nicer person you know which made it harder to be a critic like an honest critic i think. one point to the end i was reviewing a slayer record for spin it was, obviously, terrible
so i felt so bad but the drums are micked really well. >> l same experience i've reviewed one. i'll never do it again. i felt i couldn't be honest it be the bock but i don't feel so bad about nonfiction. >> so they're little delicate flowers and then nonfiction bullies they deserve what they get. >> so what -- we know you're in casting, screen of books what was the thing that first took off for you? let's put it that way? that first took off? took off -- >> this american -- would you start doing. >> it was all a progression at the time mag me sound like i'm
multiple personality disorder so one thing. i start working on american life so i work less when i was wring a diary of listening to raid media for a year. which was not a task i recommend doing and i started writing that book because it was 1990. 1994 -- and i remember that midterm congressional election that year when the ditto charmers took over the congress calling themselves that because they were proud to owe that i recall rush limbaugh and people like him had won this revolutionary election, and i had never listened to rush limbaugh. only one i knew because i hang
out with people like this -- i just thought radio is having a huge effect on the country and no one was writing about it. no radio critic and newspaper the way that media is covered. so i thought i wanted to write about this so i started listening. i heard some red read some disspurting things because i was wring that book and then i moved to chicago and then met eric glass and then i had become friends with him and writing for a local paper in chicago. i was having dinner it with ira i said i had written a book review about a -- record guide, a book of, you know, music reference books. and i had gotten a thank you letter from this random guy in
chicago thanking me because i had mentioned the great old seattle punk band. youyou know them, this guy thand me for mentioning them just a guy he wasn't in the band and he enclosed in his thank you letter this book he had made. this is sort of i guess maybe al gore had invented internet at that point but most didn't have access to it. we're yulessed to all of the many corners of the world, and expression by random people in their basement. but at the time -- he had sent this book he had wring that was all about the fast fact of pie charts. it went u through drummers and
there was like 15% of the song. mike, you know, an -- >> guns n' roses. >> that's with the first drummer, he was in there, sure, of course. >> good stuff c-span. wait until we bring up kurt. >> that guy should run for president. he's the guitar player. >> and songwriter. >> you can't believe this -- that i got. he's in chicago. he's like i'll give you a tape record tear it wasn't would you look to work for my radio show but give you a tape recorder, of course, you are going to go to this guy's apartment and talk to him about his obsession you know. >> that was my first piece.
>> my goodness i would love it hear it. >> it's probably on the internet now. >> i don't have that. so anyway. >> that was like i guess me working for that paper writing review, and i started working on that show and doing more stories. and then i made a documentary on i hate to keep bringing this up. the trail of tears, and that changed my life because that was the first like american history story i had done. and if i loved it -- i loved. it was hard because a lot of people died in the story. >> but the personal connection. it is interesting, like that story i was doing what i was going to be doing the rest of my life which was a road trip it was a documentary of driving the whole trail with my twin sister,
and so we went to places along the way. and it was kind of it turned basically i've been writing about american culture whether about hank williams or you know new england missionary to hawaii or what whatever and that trip t seemed to med like the perfect way to talk about not just american history but america because it was a road trip so we would stop, and we were crying every day because every time we would stop it would be like where more people were burled along that way. 4,000 died which was a fourth of the tribe. every day we would drive we would stop, stand sometimes there were literal graves and cry, and then because it was a road trip we would go get barbecue or -- it we would listen to chuckbury.
at one point gong to chattanooga one of the starting point for like the trail of tears didn't start in up with place but wherever they were living and kicked out from there, and from there moved to chattanooga to -- it was fun to say choo-choo all day long. so we would cry, and then a fun road trip. and later on, i remember reading what the novelist steve erickson i think wrote that the two great inventions of america are annihilation and fun because he was writing about the nuclear test in the nevada desert in vegas. like on that trip it would be indian genocide, barbecue.
racism, watching the x-files with my sister in a motel room. so the who who who whole thing s annihilation and fun. so i think like it's such an extreme place. prntle so you have the new book. a good example of that too suspect it? because a lot of things you're doing are fun things to be doing yet what we were doing. >> lock a normal person. >> when we were on the valley forge site because we were in a place where there have been incredible devastation and depravation we saw that movie. that they show at the battle site some of you might have seen it. yet a joyful time. >> i didn't know really what we were looking at. so you were able to explain it all to me. that works.
>> one reason i invited west because he's british. i thought it will be fun to be with a british person and just look rub it in all day. but as it turned out he knew nothing about the revolutionary war because they don't care about it. it's just like a colony that was lost. so he robbed me was what was supposed to be the best fun of the day. i remember there was that big monoyowment at valley forge with names, you know, generals look lafayette and dekalb, grep we were talking about it later, and wess those are people. you know. you know that big monument thing with all the of the street signs on it.
>> i know what i'm talking about. >> yeah, focus on the wars we want. a lot of those -- it is with your help. >> somebody said twaid a funny thing, so lafayette is it lafayette -- get that right? >> i say lafayette unless i'm saying lafayette. kind of look you know that song -- i was dancing in the lesbian bar. he says both. : in the same song. >> look that i think. if you're french lafayette. >> got that whole shopping thing named after him in paris. >> i don't think he got any of the back end there. >> so he was french. he came over. >> someone in their underwear
said i wanted to watch c-span, real c-span. >> i think they're getting their moneys worth. >> so the culture reference from richmond to the -- ranger. the cover. so lafayette was a frenchman who came over to america to fight a war against the british. >> right. >> somebody says very cleverly in your book about a continent far away from where he was with a country close to where he was from like someone from ukraine battling in brazil. >> did you say that? >> that was me, yes, yes. [laughter] >> i mean, one reason, one reason -- yes. >> thanks. >> i love it when people quote themselves. >> shall i tell you other thing
about that? i improved whatever i said. >> no you said that. >> i said to my friend when you read this from the book there's one bit that doesn't sound look me. but too good. i'm making sure i know where those places are. >> do by need to compliment you further? [laughter] >> it's all about you. >> it's all about me. >> i mean, i could go on talking to you for hours, but what we should do because of the signaling that i see so fran it franticly -- >> like jumping up and down with the guitar. >> what we need you to do because if you would like to ask sarah a question please do so. physical you would look that question to be heard on the
podcast or on the television wait until the microphone gets to you even if you think you can shout loud enough. does anybody have a question for sarah? there's one right there. that gentleman there. the microphone is coming towards you right now. >> i would like thong wess and say he did prepare questions about the qawl book. and i kind of kept derailing you. one good question at the beginning a and then a chat. >> what are they going to do fire us? >> nothing worse than a question asked. the agenda is to keep you talking because you're so interesting. >> one question -- more than wess. [laughter] >> what did you come up with? >> when you went under central
of tears grand tour. >> are you ever going to get over that? >> when you wrote about it in a book what i think of when i see the $20 bill. >> i know where you're going with this. >> talking about putting a woman on the 10 or 20 dollar bill alone. what did you think when you you heard that news and who do you think should be on either of those two bills? >> i mean, yeah, look the $10 bill as i recall they're not going to get within rights. one proposal is there will be two, or two pictures on it or two separate $10 bills i don't know. why the 10? why hamilton? everybody loves a treasury secretary. [laughter] but leak andrew jackson one people are talking about it. and i would --
i would love to get rid of him on the 20 because it is really distracting like say you're just -- you have the afternoon off. and you and your sister are like going to go see the new tom kriewlz missouri and you got your popcorn and paying for it and you have to look at the face of the guy's whose policy you know ruined your ancestor's life. like puts a damper on things. so if they want a woman -- well, i mean, i'm not opposed to everything about jackson. but i'm against nullification like everyone else here. but what was i going to say? >> you were going of to someone --
that you would look to have. >> i grew up in montana and our great hero is the first -- the first female congress person, and she's -- she's the only member of congress who voted against entry into world war i and world war ii. everyone though i think most people in montana are onboard with world war ii everyone when i was growing up there everyone was always to proud that she voted her conscience, and then when i was a teenager in the 0u in the antinuclear movement she was luke our great hero because she had been like -- she had 3ust been a great peace activist her entire life in the vietnam war. there was a statue of her in my
hometown. she's one of the great heros of montana. and whether you agree with how she voted or not, she held her ground, and it was not a popular stance. you know, especially with world war ii. so she is i think a person of character, and quality, you know i wouldn't mind looking at her when i was buying junior mints or something. [applause] >> another question right back there. yes. >> so i haven't had a chance to read your book yet. >> that's okay. it just came out yesterday. what were you doing last night? [laughter] >> so i was studying --
but i did buy it but not able to read it. so -- [laughter] i was wondering. >> take the test yet? >> i did. >> an a. >> so it was worth it. >> so i study early american history from revolutionary war. i was wondering when you were reading as they were called the john morris alexander hamilton in lafayette i was wondering if there was any like a lot of personal stuff is kind of leftout a lot of history books look biographies. >> i know so focused on accomplishment and not who was making out. [laughter] >> yes. so wondering if there was anything. >> i remember we asked a ranger like there's that house that
bachelor. [laughter] it's possible or maybe even probable he is homosexual but when he arrived he witnessed the first soldier dismissed a guy who was literally drummed out of the camp. so i don't know about the others. they are very affectionate in the work together and very good friends. but it is possible and that is the reason he came here if he was gay or not. so up past the "don't ask,
don't tell" era it was an important story to gay and lesbian soldiers because of his manual and he wrote was officially part of the u.s. army through the war of 1812 but much of that carries over from him so his ideas of military order and discipline and training exercises are a part of the american military tradition from the get-go. so if gay and lesbian soldiers were excluded that was pretty hypocritical. edits probable i don't know about the others.
>> and he mentioned a monument somewhere and in your book i wonder if you took road trips as a kid so do you have a story what is the strangest weather research for your books or travels? >> i know strange but the most perplexing going to the mckinley memorial in canton ohio i do remember in the gift shop this of the year was a yo-yo.
[laughter] so that is to be assassinated president and that was the momento. [laughter] i thought that was all little disrespectful. [laughter] the most disturbing writing the book about assassinations with the memorial to john wilkes booth that was a highway median it is very spooky and preferential and a memorial to him. it's not official in looks fishy. [laughter] but it is there and i found that pretty creepy. but to be light-hearted. [laughter]
one of the founders of the town who became the richest man and had a cattle drive. and i grow upon story st.. and up and tell a few years ago he is shuffling around town. and walking around town in his plaid coat everybody and their dogs in to him and then he just lived well into his 90s the town put up a monument to him from the old
story mansion from the middle school that i went to a a the high-school before that. is so they put up the statue of malcolm in his coat. [laughter] and my sister's dog went bananas. [laughter] she remembered malcolm. malcolm was always walking around town so was lucy the dogs was so weird he saw the statue. [laughter] i like that but the town put up of one unit to a guy everybody knew because he was older we all grow up to say why not go. [laughter] lenovo who put that up but it is still there.
seemed to bizarre. and then to live among them for a while and attitude take it to work for every retired high-school and he was talking and he said that have spent so much time at the mansion house and thinking about these people and one of the reasons they came there is they had an idea that god had made them perfect so why would they
so those people that listened to such sermons with christianity to say what if he said the service you're listening to? so hopefully that is a depraved sinner but to think of yourself as a free person and they're really changes how i thought about these people and their admissions for their own lives that seem so crazy and silly to me. but it was a place of refuge
of freedom and community. they really made him seem like someone i would know. >> as we watch from a distance. >> there is so much knowledge out there that comes back to not necessarily always a class but talking to my grandfather or medical -- i of a writer and i am in favor to pass down the knowledge to meet fellow
citizens. when i was in the brandywine valley mayor not excited of the idea is coming into the world last the discord of american life when they shut down the government when people show up that military funerals to protest all of the fight's about abortion and stuff like that but when i was in that meeting house talking to moody's friends laughing and joking and telling me and explaining everything that the crops