tv 2015 Miami Book Fair Saturday CSPAN November 21, 2015 10:45am-8:01pm EST
custer where i wanted to think about, you know, fiction, about, you know, people -- so i went back and i read a lot of tolstoy's shorter stuff based on his experiences as a soldier. some of which is amazingly applicable. and isaac bauble's work, cavalry stories, etc. just fantastic stuff that is universal. and gave me, i think i understood cus kerr far -- custer far better are from reading tolstoy's writing, the ray. and he talks about a character who is just like custer. i felt like thousand i understand him -- now i understand him. sometimes it's what i need, sometimes it's just for pleasure. when i read nonfiction for fun, it's often a field i never do any work in at all. so i love classical history. i'm never going to write about ancient greece or rome, so it's fun to read about it because i have no idea when they're completely wrong.
>> it's interesting that you bring up tolstoy, i was talking to the executive editor of "the new york times" the other day, we were talking about afghanistan, and someone had told him and he then read it and agreed that if you want to read one thing to help you understand afghanistan, it was tolstoy writing about chechnya, of all things. i want to go just a little bit deeper into the question of why you choose what to the read to get at sort of a fundamental be question, why we read. i was at my own book club last year, and we were having a heated debate about one book or another, and someone just sort of stopped the conversation and said, well, to the group, why do you read? it's a very simple question, but there's a lot of ways to answer it, and i want to ask everyone here if you could distill it into sort of one sentence, i read because, how would you answer that? how would you fill that in? or i read to, i read in order to.
>> i am going to invoke that old word, escape. i read to escape from parts of my life and myself, and i read to escape to something else that i know i want or need or must have or -- well, i'm going over my sentence. yeah, so it's an escape from and an escape to. lots of motivation going on in escape. not a simple word. >> that's a variation on my own which is i read to be transported. brad? >> i was going to say i want to look through someone else's eyes. i feel like it's the one moment, especially in a book, where you can really sort of see through someone else's pupils and experience their world. but i do think as i get older, i think in the beginning, you know, from a little kid when i fist got that library -- first got that library card, but as i
get older; i feel there's a subcongresses thing in me -- subconscious thing in me that wants to connect. there is something rewarding and nurturing when you read a book and someone else has read it and you get to explore that. i remember, i mean, i feel like all of my closest friends in writing are people who i connect with and we share that love of a certain book. i remember junot diaz or even neil, we just love the same things, and that connection is just, there's some kind of i don't know, maybe it's nurturing, maybe it's something, but just that brings you together that is more than i think -- >> and in one sentence, that was brad. [laughter] sloan? >> still on. there we go. i mean, this is going to be sort
of repeating what's already been said in a way but i think with a slight twist. i read for empathy, and i read for entertainment, and i just pray for crossover because it's not -- you know, there's a sort of magic that happens when that crosses over. the authors that i'm thinking of are not just nonfiction authors, but lori moore or michael cunningham, tobias wolf, jim shepard, he has a tiny, slim book called project x that you should -- i mean, don't leave now. [laughter] we're all in the middle of talking, but then afterwards. maybe go pick it up. and i read to be moved when i'm not looking. i mean, i know it sounds -- i mean, you want to feel like you're in good hands with any author, there's a relationship of trust, but i also want to be laughing until the very end when i get kind of punched in the gut a little bit.
>> i kind of read for the language. at the end of the day, if it doesn't sing somehow, if it's not leaping off the page, i'm going to find myself impatient. so for me even if there's the issue of translation that's in the way, the language has to go somewhere and to something particularly special or else i'm going to turn elsewhere. >> i'm reminded of my son was 2, i think, he had a favorite book, and, you know, i came into his room, and he had the book on the floor open, and he was trying to get his foot inside the book. he was literally trying to get inside the book. [laughter] and, you know, that's just such a, you know, it's cute and makes a nice story, but that's, you know, that's the experience you want when you're reading. and, you know, reading for
information is interesting. sometimes something is not immersive, but it's just a good story, you want to know what happens next. and that's, you know, i don't turn up my nose at that at all. but that feeling of later when he was, i think, 5, and he really got into comic books, and i did this thing where i bought all of the marvel classics. you know, they've republished the original marvel comic books, the original spider-man be, i thought this is america's mythology. you love superheroes, let's start with the classics. and i remember, and he loved batman. i wish gotham city were real, i want to live in gotham city -- >> you know batman started because his parents were dead. [laughter] >> exactly. it's a little disturbing. but, you know, it's -- to know people, to get inside somebody else's head, to live in that world and to understand, you know, i mean, i love reading fiction that has -- i talked
like, about, you know, reading war stories, veterans stories, but, you know, i love edith wharton. i love getting inside the lives of people, you know, of women, of people of completely different cultures, of different eras. but, you know, when you really get a great writer who immerses you in that experience, there's nothing like it. no other medium does it for me the way that a great book does. so, you know, ultimately, that's why -- also not to sound stupid on panels like this, you have to read. [laughter] >> i, that brings me to another subject dear to my heart. i always, i have little patience with people who disparage children's literature because it's what we read when we are children that makes us readers, that makes lifelong readers. and it's those books often that we turn to when we have children and that we think back on when we think about what inspires us. so i'd love everyone on the panel to just describe what
their life was like as a childhood reader, what kind of books they had, the books that were dear to them, the heroes and heroines that inspired them. all right. we're going to start again with t.j.. back to superheros. >> by the way, i'm going to say hi to the people over here that can't see me behind the podium. yeah, it's interesting because when i was little, i loved comic books, but my father had this, like, 1950s idea that comic books were pad for kids and, you know -- were bad for kids and, you know, taught them to play pool and awful things like that. so it was like this special pleasure because it was forbend, you know? "iron man" is really going to turn you into a bad kid. i guess you would, because you become a drunk and etc. but so that was, like, you know, the kind of furtive pleasure and having to go to a friend's house
to read comic books. it was great. and then as i got a little older and i started to read real novels, i had the same experience of having, you know, friends who were recommending books. and, you know, we started to read count of monte cristo, the three musketeers, you know, science fiction like dune that was just, like, you know, it was just this amazing add venture that, you know -- adventure, you know, that was living out. and that pleasure of kind of the adventurous life even though now, you know, i write about an adventurous life, and i'm finding the dark side, and i'm thinking about what it's like, there's still something about that, you know, just that pleasure of somebody putting themself in peril and how are they going to get out of it. inside of me there's something really deep that i love ant that. so i -- about that. so i find myself writing about often detestable people, but they have these physically dramatic lives, and i think that goes back to what i read when i was a kid.
>> like many people, i have that sort of life-changing experience with where the wild things are. [laughter] by maurice sendak, and i love all of sendak, sort of the thorny, prickly intensity was moving to me then and still is. and i've had occasion to think back as an adult, i have a 6-year-old daughter, so she's into many of these books. i've had occasion to go back to "where the wild things are" and try to figure out what about it is so remarkable. and i think, you know, sendak was an acute and very intellectual thinker about why children's books were valuable and what was important about them. and i think "where the wild things are" is about young in a way. it's about the unconscious and the way that can kids, you
know -- that kids, you know, are sort of like, they're like icebergs. there's a little part of the top, this conscious, and then there's a huge lower section that they don't really have access to. and i think in retrospect that's part of what that book's about. and it's why it's so resonant for kids, and it's still resonant for me now. >> i just -- >> i just want to say that that book is, like, about the reading experience, you know, where the kid descends into this other world, or ascends, i don't know how you want to put it. you're right. it's so powerful because you live that experience -- >> everyone wants to talk about maurice sendak. just as an aside, i interviewed him a couple years before he died and he talked about that book and talked about, you know, children are little beasts. we're all really little beasts. and another aside about that book which i think is in dear genius which is a collection of letters by u.s. rah nordstrom from -- ursula nordstrom who was the editor of sendak and many
other amazing children's book authors of that period, and there was a dispute over the last line of that book. the editors wanted to change it, you know? he comes back from where the wild things are, and he comes back to his dinner, and maurice sendak had written "and it was still hot." and they wanted it to be warm or lukewarm, they wanted him to have somehow have suffered for his indiscretion chasing the dog with a pitchfork and all that. but he was very insis tent, sendak, that, no, he comes back, and the dinner is still hot. >> i love that, that's beautiful. so i have sort of a formative splatter painting when i was a kid. my parents were literate people but not hyper-literary. so we had, you know, like shelves of, you know, the yellow
spines of national geographics as far as the eye could see and a little bit of robin cook. and my dad had spent some time in ireland, so we had -- [inaudible] but these are not really children's books, although my mother did read me all of "gone with the wind" when i was a kid. but i wasn't even sure what to read. i mean, they read to me alice in wonderland, certainly, very formative. i remember reading the secret garden and my mind being blown. and really for the same reason that where the wild things are, this escapism and the idea that it's still hot, and you can travel through time in this portal, and nothing's changed. you know? you can have these adventures that lets you out a little bit. the escapism we look for as adults, but it's just so much more visceral and active as a kid. and then i went to a book fair, but i still wasn't sure what to read. and i remember i went to a book fair at a church in new
hampshire when i was, like, 10, and we could pick up two books. and i picked up -- i really did not know what to do -- and i picked up the far side and thomas hardy's far from the men in the crowd. >> you were on the far section. >> and i still have the thomas hardy with all the words i didn't know underlined like various, you know? figure out that one later. and the first time i think i remember falling in love with writing though was i finally when i was in middle school, and it was funny, it went back to the beginning, we read double -- [inaudible] by james joyce. and there was a short story, and i don't know if everyone's familiar with it. the gist of it, very quickly, a kid has a thing for his older next door neighbor, and he asks her to go to the fair, and she can't go. but she says, oh, you know, bring me back something. he is so excited, he has this crush, you know, he has this mission. he goes and he wanders the fair
all day, and finally he goes up to a stall at the very end of the day, and i think he sees like a blue vase, and he says to the woman working the stand, oh, can i see that, but he realizes that he's pulled her from a conversation with two other gentlemen her anal. she looks at -- her age. she looks at him and gives him the same smile and says how can i help you? never mind, he walks away. ..
i think what changed me when i was little with mike grandmother given me that library card that was a big deal for me. i remember she took me to the brooklyn public library and it was so far from her house the librarians said this is your section. i remember thinking, these are mine. i thought this was awesome, right. the first 1i remember reading from there was agatha christie. i remember coming home with murder at the vicarage. i did not know what of vicarage was, i was a was a jew in brooklyn. i just remember sitting there and and there is a chapter one there is a dead body. that was just amazing to me.
there's something special in there that it's the imagination and a special way. the one that did it for me that maybe comeback was it judy bloom. judy bloom bloom was just it. i remember it started in an almost obvious cliché way, it was the first book that i thought she was writing about me. then i remember hitting puberty and liking girls and her book are you there god it's me margaret, that was like an instruction manual to me. to this day, she is a hero to me. the books that stick with me are the books, not that i enjoy the most but the books that at that moment in my life i needed. i really, really needed. they were just like life preservers. >> when you are very little, reading comes through the ear a
lot. i got red to buy my mother, she read a lot of poetry, i especially love nonsense poetry. lewis carroll, so it is language separated from the usual meaning and that to me was absently wonderful. you could hear and read simultaneously and words and rhythms would do unexpected things. also, in my house and certainly in my head, at least, early on words on the page and being read to got mixed in with a lot of words used at home. so gilbert and sullivan, those are both in some way outgrowth of nonsense poetry. in my day we had a book of folk song which covered everything
from blues to early bluegrass. you play them on the piano but then you would recite them, you would sing them, all spiritual. now i am going to do a shout out to sean for secret garden and a little francis. these girl books with heroines and huge for a young girl and little women. speaking of books at a certain point, little women. okay. >> i'm. >> i'm going to ask one final question of the panel, i can rest 20 more. one of the questions i asked him by the book is if you could recommend a book for the president what would that one book be. if you could you could bring a book to an island, what would that book be? i'm going to ask because we have a room here readers, if there is one book that you think
and you want to evangelize and say, what one book would you recommend whether it is something great you read this year or something that you always have to good good reader. what would that book be? >> we will go no order. just as he think of it. >> will actually what i would recommend to the president and also something that i just love and so many people are -- this is kind of one of those things where you recommend a story such a copout because of course you could read the story it is so intimidating to a lot of people. these gigantic novels. but it was like a war and peace and 150 pages. it goes bizarre at the local level and crosses culture boundaries. it's amazing story and amazing piece of story.
it's an astonishing piece of writing and unfortunately extremely appropriate also. >> that was a book about afghanistan, correct? >> i am going to go live at don lake keith ho tate today i'm really into the pre-19th century classics right now. this is a good one, it's an adventure story, a dream story, love love story, it's incredibly funny. there are few novels that are is funny. the editha growth translation is the want to go. >> and you can read all of these writers here at the miami book festival. >> i'm good to go with something current. hi-lo by jed wittig. we do an interview show at my house and no offense to anyone
at my panel, the book, the person i invited to my house last night for dinner was the captain underpants. it unlocked reading for my kids. my son read 12 books in three weeks. suddenly he was a reader. i wanted to shake that man down. >> margo question. >> emily dickinson. >> thank you so much to the authors on this panel. thank you. [applause]. >> can we have a roundabout plots for authors? thank you very much. let mac. >> [applause].
[inaudible] >> this is book tvs live coverage of the 32nd annual miami book fair, held at miami dade college at downtown miami. book tv will be live all day long from the chapman hall where you just on this event with pamela paul and the new york times leaving the discussion. we have another set here on the campus of miami-dade where we are joined by several authors throughout the day. we are going to begin with author eileen pollick, here is the book, the only woman in the room while science is still a boys club. eileen pollick, what is the room you are referring to?
>> for different women it is a different room. really the experience of being the only woman in any room, i i think i'm trying to address. in my case it is any room in which science is going on, physics in particular in my case. i was one of the first two women to get a bachelor of science degree from yale, so i was often the only woman in the classroom. really looking at why -- you know, in my day we understood why there are so few women in the rooms. really, yell itself had only opened up to women a few years before. but what interested me was larry summers, the president of harvard, looking around his own university at the time and saying, where are are the women physicists on my faculty? i was really trying to answer that question, what has happened
between the time i was in college student in 2005 with larry summers was saying wire there's still so few women in the science rooms on his campus? >> why did you major in science that you'll question. >> will, it is interesting. it initially happened because when i was in seventh grade my high school didn't really have any advanced courses in science and math but they decided they would skip a few kids ahead so when they were seniors they could take courses at the local community college. two or three boys for my class were allowed to skip ahead but i was not. i was already very boarded school. so i was hurt, i was upset. i asked my asked my mother to ask him. teachers night wyatt had not been allowed in the principal told her that it was because i was a girl and girls were not
going to go on in science and math anyway, so i would just be wasting a seat. of course if you don't let them take the courses you would go on. he said it would be ruining my social life if i would would skip ahead in science and math. of course, if you are a girl who loves science and math at that age you don't have much of a social life anyway. so you need not worry. it made me so angry that i just decided that i was going to be a scientist. i started reading a lot about science and math and teaching myself trying to make up for not being in those classes. i actually actually really fell in love with physics. i really was reading about physics more but i love just thinking about space and time and how the universe got started and how many dimensions there were, and could you ever travel faster than light. my parents took me to the world's fair in 1964 which i was just enthralled by everything.
that is what started me on the path to loving science. >> you right in the only woman in the room, you write for my entire four years that yell i saw myself as handicapped or behind. >> yeah, because i came in behind. that is experience is still a lot of women today and certainly a lot of minorities. so if you do not get to go to really good school when you are in high school, of course it probably starts in elementary school right? you have to be prepared for the good high school. the problem was sciences it is too late by the time you get to college. if you discover a love for history or art or something when you get to college, you can make up for lost time. but if you get to your freshman year in college and you have not had calculus or really college
based physics, it is really too late. not only because you have so many courses to make up, but there is an even those in science that does not really exist in the humanities. it is one thing i discovered when writing the book. they're trying to weed you out, they are trying to weed out anybody who they think i'm a by the time you are 18 isn't serious enough but also isn't prepared enough so basically their idea of who should be a scientist is a white male who since birth has had access to really great education. so i came in, i taught myself calculus, i have had only a very general course in physics. there were two women in a room with 118 men in my first physics class. i was so far behind, i panicked. i got a very low score on my first midterm and i was actually going to drop the major. which is what happens tomorrow the women and minorities. i also had an exceptional teacher for that course and he
would not sign my drop slip. he gave me great advice about not looking how other people were doing and just give me some other books to read. i ended up scoring third-highest on the final out of those 120 people. it it often happens if you come from behind you overexert and end up going far past the crowd. so i ended up top of my class. i still always felt as if i were behind, as if i did not do what i was doing, as if there is something different or wrong about me. i found that is a very common experience too. >> back to. >> back to your book, in elementary school you write girls and boys performed equally well in math and science. only in junior high school, when in those subjects begin to see more difficult and girls become more conscious the boys of their social status to their do their numbers diverse. >> that is still true.
i think you'd be surprised we've loose most of the women, the girls who might become scientists or computer engineers are what what have you in seventh grade. in eighth grade, when they really feel the pressure not to be doing well in the sciences or really much of anything in school, it it is considered nerdy. they are making decisions at that age that affect the entire rest of their lives. they're not taking the advance science, math courses that they would need. their parents often, without even realizing it let them take that easier course, the less rigorous science and math course with their brothers the parents say of course you are going to take advanced physics, you can't top that course because it's hard. but the girls they are sort of like, all, zero course honey you don't need that course. guidance counselors and teachers, i was shocked how even
today so many girls told me that there science and math teachers in high school would say things, you are too pretty to be good and math were ugly to be on the girl curve i would expect you to be on the boy curve. this is going going on even today. not in all schools, this is not what all girls encounter but you would be shocked at how prevalent it still is. >> speaking of today, you were talking of two women out of 118 in your class, have those proportions changed? >> i they have. that was in introductory class. there was like 12 of us and i was actually the only woman. there is someone a year older. there were a few more women now so maybe there would be three. so women are now more likely to
go through and get an undergraduate degree in physics or math. now we are losing them, they are not going on for the phd or they start a phd and they drop it. so often for the same reason that i walked away from, i got my undergraduate degree but did not want to grad school because no one encouraged me to. no one said you are really good at this. no one seem to care. so there are few more women in those feels and we are losing them at a slightly later stage in the process. but we are still losing them. of course for minorities it is much more dire. >> today you write only one fifth of all physic phd's in this country are awarded to women. only about half of those degrees to nativeborn americans, and
only about 14% of all physics professors in the u.s. are female. >> that is true. >> what did you do after four years of science at yell? >> will first i had a breakdown. i had been working so hard, almost every working minute of my life to do the problems and the labs, mi research. once i walked away from it i really had to change everything about my life. i had taken some really wonderful creative writing courses while i was at yale. i was encouraged in those -- i don't think i was more talented as a writer talented as a writer as a scientist, if anything it is the opposite. but i have professors telling me, you are really good at this at the writing.
and in four years of physics i did not hear that. so i became a writer. i made myself over. >> and what are you doing today? >> i am a novelist and a short story writer, i am a professor at university of michigan. i teach on the faculty of the msa program in creative writing there. >> ute creative writing there. >> you do creative writing question. >> yes. >> have you utilize your science degree at all question. >> yes, certainly early in my career some of my writing was science -based when i was trying to earn a living. many of my characters are scientists in my fiction. coming back to it after all of these years to write these nonfiction book the only woman in the room, about what i had thought of as my most shameful part of my life that i -- my principal said women never go on a math and science and i felt that i proved him right because i did not go to graduate school. to come back to it in this way and have it be something so much more -- to really look at what was going on in to stop blaming myself for not having continued
has really been remarkable for me. >> eileen, you talk about characters in your book but one of the most popular shows on tv today is the big bang theory. >> yes well most scientists i knows especially most female scientists can't bear to watch it because it has such stereotypes. it is a very witty show, very well acted and in some ways it makes those scientists, even sheldon who is super near the same endearing. look at the. look at the stereotypes. penny who is the neighbor from next-door who is the women you would really want to be if you were a young woman watching the show, she is pretty, bouncy, happy, bouncy, happy, and normal. she is totally math and science illiterate. then the real scientists who are pretrade as a brilliance are all mail. you would not even want to be one of those if you are a young man, you would not want to grow up to be sheldon. so he is perpetuating the stereotype that scientists are
horrible nerds that are barely human. when there forced to put women scientists on the show they came up with amy, sheldon's girlfriend who in real life the actor super tate patrice or is it an attractive women and has a phd in neuroscience. but to make her an credible scientist they make her look really dumpy, she is strange. because that is people's perception of a female scientist. well what scientist. well what women would really want to be amy? bernadette is a little better but she has a squeaky voice and she marries howard. but amy in particular -- i think especially now the images of women that girls are raised with our much more hyper feminized than they were when i was growing up in the 60s or 70s. so for women today the gap
between how they could look at acted someone like amy who is still the stereotype of a woman scientist is really even wider than it was in my day. it is even harder to think of yourself as being sort of feminine and a traditional way of bidding in to that world of either high-tech or physics lab or something like that. >> you think gloria steinem in your book. why? >> because every woman should. i mean, there is no direct link but think when i was growing up in the 60s and 70s we thought the battle had been fought and won. when i go around to campuses today and young
women say to me, everything is fine now, it was just awful in your day. no, in our day we thought it was five two. if you would've asked me when i was in college i when i was in college i would have said i am not a feminist, nothing is wrong, it is not different for me. you are kind of in denial. but women like gloria steinman were really fighting forward the privileges that i got. i think young women today still need a wake-up call, i think that is what we are witnessing now. >> who is the only woman in the room written for? is it written for high school students, college students? is it written for your generation question marks. >> i'd like to think it is written for all of the above and it is also written for women -- first of all i would hope that a lot of men would read it too. anyone who is interested in their daughters, their wives, wives, their mothers what they have been through. it is not only for women in science, it is for women in any field that is not traditionally female. i have heard from a lot of women in business, certainly
high-tech, law, finance that they really feel the experiences are similar. a lot of the studies i quote at the end of the book are trying to address that. the final chapter and an x cert of the book came out in the new york times two years ago and i heard that literally thousands of women and men from response to that. the epilogue is really, i am trying to bring in a lot of other voices. not only the studies that have been done on gender bias in science but the experiences of other women and men who wrote this in either a agree with me or filling the the gaps and in some cases disagree. so, i i think it is for anyone who is interested in -- i hope it is just a good read too. i think some of it is pretty funny so for anyone who is interested in women and environments that were more
traditionally open to them. >> the only woman in the room, while science is still a boys club. eileen pollock splits her time between ann arbor and new york city is the author. things were being on book tv. >> thanks for having me peters. >> our live coverage from the miami book for entrée affair now continues. we are going back to the auditorium with representative john lewis will be talking about his second in his series on -- >> here to introduce our special guest authors today is robbie bell [applause]. >> great and powerful morning to all, we are all going to be enriched. ladies and gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to present this morning, retired are architect ron fraser and gina fraser. they are exceptional community
active volunteers. ron is chairman and ceo of a funding corporation and member of the board of historic hampton house community trust inc., regina is chairman of the book committee of the link inc., greater miami chapter. and a liaison to a member of the board of linkages and legacies link. that is the publisher of linkages and legacy volume wanted to. these are historic profiles did pick dean notable greater miami, florida pioneers of african descent. it. it gives me great pleasure to introduce the links and incorporated national president and her husband, mr. and mrs. ron fraser. [applause]. good morning and welcome. we are excited to present to a
major participant in the civil rights history of this nation. united states representative john lewis from georgia's fifth congressional district. congressman lewis is a man of integrity. one of the most courageous leaders, the civil rights leader movement has ever produced. >> on a sharecropping son of the viewer 21st, 1940 outside of rural troy, alabama. he lived on lived on the family farm and attended segregated public schools in alabama. inspired by the activism surrounding the montgomery boycott and the words of reverend martin luther king jr. that he heard on the radio, he decided to join the movement. ever since he has remained a
vanguard of professional social movement and the human rights of voting struggles. congressman lewis is a subject, co-author of numerous texts, most notably he has co-authored the number one new york times best-selling graphic novel series, march. >> book one was released in 2013. book two was released this year and immediately became a new york times bestseller. congressman lewis is the recipient of numerous awards including the medal of freedom from president barack obama, the naacp spin guard metal, the award for national council of la raza, and the only john f. kennedy profile encouraged award for lifetime achievement. now, as you sit at his feet please listen and learn from an
insider's perspective about march. but first, stand up and give a rousing ovation to one of the finest citizens this nation has to offer. ladies and and gentlemen, the honorable john lewis and co-author andrew aydin, codirector and policy -- [applause]. good morning. i'm delighted, very happy and very pleased to be here. at the miami book fair.
i want to thank for being involved in part of this effort, thank thank you for these kind words of introduction. i grew up in a i did not grow up in a big city like atlanta, washington, washington, or new york, or chicago, or philadelphia. i grew up in rule alabama, 50 miles for montgomery. outside of a little place called troy. my father was a sharecropper. back in 1944 when i was four years old and i do remember when i was for, how many, how many of you remember when you are for? well what happened to the rest of us? my father had save $300 and a
man sold him 100 acres of land for 300 dollars. hundred dollars. my family still on the slant today. on this farm there is a lot of peanuts, dogs, cows, and chickens. we'll out there working in the field that we tell the story in march, picking cotton, gathering peanuts, pollen corn, and my mother said boy you're falling behind. you need to catch up. i would say this is hard work. she would say hard work never killed anybody and i thought well it was about to kill me. so working on a farm, raising those chickens taught me hard work. discipline, perseverance, to never give up, to never give in, to keep the faith, and to keep
my eyes on the prize. now some of you no doubt have heard me tell the story, you probably read it in march, that on the farm it was my responsibility to care for the chickens. i fell in love raising chickens. i know you are all great readers the books, you love books, but you don't know anything about raising chickens. i know some of you love to eat chicken but you do not know anything about raising chickens. as as a little boy it was my responsibility, my calling, to care for the chickens. so when they had was set to take the first eggs to market and wait for three long weeks for the chicks to hatch. some might be asking, john lewis
-- well from time to time another hand would get on the same nest and there'd be some more eggs. you had to be able to tell the fresh eggs from the eggs that were already set. you follow me question? you don't follow me, that's okay. so as soon as the chicks were hatched i would take this little chick and give them to another hand. get some more fresh eggs place them under there, and she was it ominous for another three weeks. he kept on poulin. when i look back on it it was not the right thing to do. it was not the moral thing to do or loving thing to do, it is not the most democratic thing to do, but i was never quite able to save $18.98 to order the most
inexpensive incubator from the roebuck store. anyone old enough to remember the row box catalog? the roebuck's catalog some people call the ordering book someone called it the wishing book. i i wish i had this i wish i had that. but i just kept on wishon. but as a little child around eight or nine years old i wanted to be a minister. i wanted to preach the gospel. so from time to time with the help of my brothers and sisters, cousins we cousins we would gather all of our chickens together in the chicken yard and we would gather here my brothers, sisters, cousins, mind the outside of the chicken yard along with the chickens they would make up the audience, the congregation. so i was speaking was speaking and preaching and when i look back on this somebody so many chickens would shake their heads, they never
quite said a man but i'm convinced some of the chickens that i preach to the 40s and 50s tended to listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me in the congress. as a matter of fact some of those chickens were -- at least they produced eggs. that's that's enough of that story. growing up there we visited a little town of troy, visit montgomery, visit tuskegee, the signs that said the white men, colored men, white women, colored women, white waiting, colored waiting. go downtown on a saturday afternoon to see a movie, all of us little black children had to go to the back. all the little white children were downstairs to the first floor. i asked my mother, my father, my grandparents why? they said that the way it is.
don't get in the way, don't get in trouble. but in 1955, 15 years old and in the tenth grade i heard of rosa parks. i heard of martin luther king junior. and it was that leadership that inspired me to find a way to get in the way. i was inspired to get in trouble. i got in got in what i call good trouble, necessary trouble. so the march book 1, book 2, next summer book three will three will come out, we will find another generation of young people not so young to stand up,
to speak up, and speak out and get in good trouble, necessary trouble to help change our country and make our sis society and make our world a little bit better. some of you may be asking when we retell the story, how do you meet rosa park? how did you meet martin luther king jr.? rosa parks came to speak at a rally at a church and i met her. long before the end i tried to go to a little college called troy state college now known as troy university. i submit my application, my high school transcript, i never heard a word from the school. it never had black students. i wrote a letter to doctor martin luther king junior, i didn't i didn't tell my family, and doctor king wrote me back and
sent me round-trip bus ticket to montgomery to meet with him. in 1957 my uncle gave me 100-dollar bill, he gave me a big trunk with some of you would maybe call a footlocker. one of these upright trunks they open up, bring it back together, have the curtains, i put everything that i owned except those chickens in that footlocker and took a greyhound bus to nashville. and i was in school in asheville for about three weeks i told one of my teachers that i have been in contact with doctor martin luther king jr., this teacher knew doctor king king they had both studied together in atlanta. so, doctor king suggested i come
see him on spring break. in march of 1958, home for spring break i took a bus to montgomery. a young lawyer, never seen a lawyer lawyer before, never met a lawyer before, a young man by the name of gray who had been lawyer for doctor rosa park. he became our lawyer during the freedom ride and during the march from selma to montgomery. met met at the greyhound bus station in downtown montgomery and he jumped to the first baptist church and ushered me into the pastor study and i saw martin luther king junior standing behind the desk. i'm so scared. i didn't want to say or do. doctor king or do. doctor king said, are you the boy from troy? are you john lewis? and i said doctor king, i am john robert lewis. i gave my whole name.
and he started calling me the boy from troy. i went back and had a discussion with my mother and father, i told them of my meeting with doctor king and the reverend. doctor king had said i had to follow suit against the state board of education, tri-state and in that process we could lose the land and go back and have a discussion. so i'd decided to continue to study in nashville. in nashville a group of students from the university, tennessee state, american baptists college, vanderbilt university, university, and peabody, black and white students stood in the way of peace, love, nonviolence.
for what they accomplished in south africa, they studied civil disobedience, they studied what martin luther king jr. was all about. andrew would tell you that he did a little research working on march and discovered that in 1960, after we had been sitting in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion waiting to be sir. people would. people would come up and sit on us, like their cigarettes in her hair, down down her box, pour hot water, hot coffee on us. we were so orderly and so peaceful. then we heard we may get arrested. during those days when i
protested i wanted to look good. i put on my sundays best. i had very little money, i wanted a new suit if i was going to go to jail, so i went to a used used men's store in downtown nashville. i bought a suit, i paid $5 for it. i tell you, see in this picture with andrew, i looked fresh. if i still have that suit today i could probably sell it on ebay for a lot of money. during the 60s i was arrested 40 times. since then, in congress five more. the last time i got arrested, two years ago october, it was
200 of us. eight members of congress, hundreds of private citizens, we're trying to get the speaker of the house to pass a bill that the senate had passed to bring it to the floor for comprehensive immigration reform. it doesn't make sense to have millions of people living in this country of ours and not providing them citizenship or on a path to citizenship. that is not right, that is not fair. in my book there is no such thing as an illegal human being. as the pope said -- [applause]. as the pope said when he spoke to the congress a few weeks ago,
we are all immigrants. we all come from some other place. now, marge tells an unbelievable story. not not just my story. just think, a few short years ago in 1961 the saviors that president barack obama was born, black people and white people cannot be seated together on a bus leaving washington d.c., traveling to virginia, south carolina, georgia, alabama, georgia, alabama, mississippi, we were on our way to new orleans to test a decision of the united states supreme court. fifteen of us became part of the freedom rights. i was one of the 15. we went to a period of training
for four days, then night of mae restaurant, i grew up in rural alabama, attended school in nashville, i never had chinese food before. we had a wonderful meal, someone spoke up and said you should eat well, this may be like the last supper. the next day some boarded the bus, some boarded a greyhound bus, but there is a white gentleman we entered a white waiting room, attempted to and in south carolina we were tied, beaten beaten and left lying in a pool of blood. we were beaten by members of the
clan. may 1961, february 09, 1 of the guys beat us. he came to my office in the 70s, his father in his 40s, he came and said mr. lewis i am one of the people that be to you. i want to apologize. will you forgive me? the young son started crying, he started crying. and i said, i accept your apology, i forgive you. they hugged me, i hug them back, the three of us cried together. that is the power of the way of peace. the power of the way of love. that is the power of nonviolence that is moving to
reconciliation. march is saying in effect that we must come to the point where we lay down the burden of race. that we can create the beloved community and it doesn't matter whether we are black or white, latina, asian-american, native american, people, we are one people one family, one house, we all live in the same house, not just the american house, but the world house. [applause]. there is a man born here in the great state of florida, he was born in jacksonville, florida. he moved to new york and became a champion of civil rights, human rights, labor rights, and he said when the big six were meeting planning the march in washington he was said to us
sometime, maybe our foremothers and forefathers all came to this great land in different ships but we are all in the same boat now. we must look after each other, care for each other, and try to move closer to the beloved community. doctor king put it this way, we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we perish as fools. gandhi said it is nonviolent or nonexistence. march is saying to another generation, it is possible for us to be a little more human, just be human. human. i tell young people all the time, this is what march is saying and andrew is going to speak about it, we have to come to that point where we have the
capacity, the ability to forgive lay down the burden of division, the burden of separation. i tell young people, never hate, hate is too heavy a burden to pass. now, some people ask wire you so hopeful? why are you so optimistic? i think it is in my dna. but it is also that i discovered in school, in life, it is better to love and to hate. it is better to do good then to do evil. can we come to that point as
human beings where we recognize and respect the dignity and worth of every human being? we want to spread the word, we traveled all across america caring a good message, the message of hope, the message of love, the message of peace. in my last arrest, i must tell you i left my bail money someplace. we were told it was going to be $50, i did not have the money. the pleas that arrested us were apologizing and said i hate to do this but we have been ordered to do it, we want to apologize arresting you and it is going to cost $50 to get out of this place. this young man, he was a staff person and i went in his pocket
and i found $50 and got me out of the place and i did repay you right? and very, very hopeful about the future. march 1 is out, march 2, march 3 and i am so sorry that the artist, illustrator's not here. this young man is so good, andrew will tell you, he makes the word sing and dance. sometime when you're signing a book and we signed together, we will draw a chicken. the chicken is saying amen. so i say to each and everyone of you, you must never, ever give up. you must never, ever cease to
despair. you must keep the faith, be hopeful, be optimistic, be happy, enjoy life let's do what we can to see this little piece of real estate called earth. not just for this generation but for generations yet unborn. we can do it and we must do it. thank you very much. [applause]. >> how do you follow that?
my name is andrew ayden, i serve as the digital director and policy advisor washington d.c., i am the co-author of march. [applause]. i'm sure some point before you came here today you asked yourself why did tom lewis decide to write a graphic novel? it is my fault. it started in 2008, it was the summer of hope and change in president barack obama was sweeping to the democratic primary. i went to serve on lewis' campaign. was coming to the end of the campaign, those of us on the staff were starting to talk about what we're going to do afterwards. some folks said i'm going to go to the beach, other folks that i'm going to visit my parents, i said, i'm going to go to a comic book convention.
you can imagine at the side of politics i got laughed at saying that, except one person did not laugh. it was john lewis, from from the back of the room he said do not laugh, there is a comic book during the civil rights movement and it was incredibly applied show. the comic book was, at luther luther king of the montgomery story, sulfur 10 cents and it was 16 pages, was published by a book publisher called reconciliation. i did not know much about it at the time, i i looked it up on the internet, it will was about the montgomery busboy account, is an introduction to gandhi. it struck me, here was a lifelong comic fan, i had been i had been reason comic since i was five years old. truth be told, i started reading comics after my dad left because it was a refuge, a place to read stories about justice, about role models and heroes who fall for the right things for no other reason. it was the right thing to do.
so, having done that, that, having read the my whole life and seen john lewis, and seen that a comic book had played a meaningful role the civil rights movement, could not help myself. he was a man who had been a part of almost every important movement moment of the civil rights movement. he he sat in at nashville, he was a freedom writer, he chaired and help lead the march on washington. he he helped lead the mississippi freedom center and ultimately the march on bloodied sunday. size 24 years old, years old, i did not know any better. i started asking the congressman, the icon jumbo john lewis, why don't you write a comic book? at first he said zero, well maybe. which if you ever have a chance to work in politics well maybe is a very kind way of saying no. but i cannot get up on the idea,
it meant so much to me. he meant so much to me. i grew up in atlanta, he had been my congressman since i was three years old and yet -- avenue that's right, my mother still does not believe it. yet, having grown up in atlanta, having heard so much about the rights movement nobody ever taught me about sncc, nobody talk me about the role of young people. it people. it really and truly they were the linchpin, they were what pushed radical reform into the mainstream. they made the movement to work. they were the glue. so i kept asking john lewis, why do you write a comic book? people kept laughing. i kept asking. until finally one day john lewis turned around to me and said, okay, let's do it. only if you write it with me. that day changed my life. i say to you today, people are laughing at you you are probably doing something right people. [applause].
that was just the beginning. how do you go from a congressman saying okay i'll do it to actually get a book put together published question market took us five years. congressman honestly has a j job, i am on his staff, i did too. we met every night, every weekend when people would go see their families, when people would go out and relax, see a go out and relax, see a movie, we would go back to work. i told the kids the other day you think homework is back, try that question onto. in the meantime i decided to go back to grad school as if things were not hard enough. i wrote my graduate thesis on my luther king and the montgomery story. i wanted to know the history. what i found proved i found prove to me that we were on the right path. the terms doctor king helped edit that comic book. can you imagine? doctor martin luther king
junior, comic book editor. there he was he was in the fall of 1967 pouring over comic strip. in fact his his edits made it in the final version. so patiently working with from bonds that became years. it was a surreal journey. early on the congressman invited me to go on a pilgrimage which is where he leads members of congress to alabama, he shows them the site, tells them the story. i got into an elevator and there was john segan fowler, and ethel kennedy, robert kennedy's widow. i cannot help myself, zero my gosh, excuse me, i just thought you would want to know, you are in a comic book comic book that i am working on with john lewis. ethel kennedy looks at me with those big beautiful eyes and she says, well that's nice dear.
so you can understand what it meant to me when a few years she called me on my cell phone to tell me that march a book one was the first graphic novel to ever win the robert f kennedy book award. [applause]. but that was not the moment we will realize we are well on our way to inspiring a new generation, but moment came just before book one came out. i got a phone call from a reporter at a a conservative newspaper that shall remain nameless, he said look i don't usually do this but i gave your book to my 9-year-old son. he has read it. then he went on and put on his sunday suit and is now retched marching around the house to maintain equality for everyone. imagine if we existed in a world where there was a social conscious and every 9-year-old.
in a generation of injustice we see would no longer be tolerated. it is not just that, we do not teach the civil rights movement. teaching tolerance puts out a report that a few use that looks at education in this country. it is nothing but bad news, 34 states get four states get a d or an f, another 13 get to see, three states do it okay. that's it. how can you understand what is happening in this country if you do not understand the civil rights movement? so much of our politics stem from that vital decade, so much legislation, so much activism, so much hope everything comes from that. we have to change that. we call it the ten word problem. kids graduate from high school knowing ten words about the civil rights movement, rosa rosa parks, martin luther king, i have a dream. that's it.
but we are changing that, in two years march is being taught in schools and more than 40 states. it is been used in reading programs and more than a dozen universities. the congressman is going around the country and talking to students and explaining his life story. it's important they see him that he is a real human being. someone they can emulate. in the society today is sorely lacking. >> ..
one of the things i ask students when we go to the schools, what would dr. king had tweeted? what would gondi have posted? how would they have used these tools? people like to voice their opinions that they are not using it to organize. we are starting to see growth. that is why marches are so important, it lays out the principles of nonviolence the way and another generation did. we are focused on communication and mimeograph machines and small tools they were able to use to great effect to show this generation how to use those principles to achieve greater results. they are getting room there. we had students engage in campaigns of civil disobedience after we visited their schools, students e-mail and said they
were organizing, the passion they have, they want to know what they can do. we will get there. where should we start? with student loans. kerri so much wrong in this country we need an activist generation. we have to get rid of student loan debt. it is not the only problem, certainly not. to create an active this generation, to put it a different way when john lewis got married in 1968, the wedding announcement read billion miles, unemployed political activist john lewis. people who were ahead of their time pay a price. we must lift the burden of debt so this generation is free to pay the price and build a more perfect union.
one more story when i was a kid, i was in high school, i thought comic books were my english class and my english teacher to, way saying they were not real books and shouldn't be on my desk. i had the opportunity to go back to my high school with congressman louis. and see it my english teacher and discuss her experiences teaching our graphic novel. i say that has no form of comeuppance to the teacher because she is doing a lord's work, she's a teacher, deserves a nobel peace prize for cutting up with us students every day but i say it as an example of the power of an idea whose time has come, the time span in which change is possible. so i ask you, joy anin us, marc.
[applause] >> we have time for a few questions. >> congressman lewis, i would like to ask you a question about a guy i know from my synagogue, an activist, calls himself an activist, he protests stuff, but he refuses to register to vote. i would like to know how i can convince him to vote. he said he followed the money of both parties and they are both corrupt. i told him it is of basic civil right. >> you tell him -- just tell your friend that i would
strongly suggest that he register and vote. to vote is the most powerful non-violent instruments or tool we have, we should use it. [applause] >> i met this guy named john lewis who said dave a little blood and the bridge for the right to vote and we have to vote. you fail to vote you don't have a voice. [applause] >> thank you both for writing these books, among other things it gives us the pleasure and honor of a hearing from you. what was more difficult for you, the hard work on the chicken farm or a serving on the
benghazi committee. i think -- the partisanship in washington is too far. the important part of john lewis's story is he is above that. he is an example what it is to work together with different people of different ideologies. i would not have given my 20s on spreading this story if it wasn't worth it, if it wasn't crucial to the future of our democracy. he is everything and his example is something we all must follow. you are right, that was too far too much, but i avoided pointed out to the american people is we have to rise above it and follow john lewis's example of forgiveness and show you can
spell revolution without love. love is the highest virtue in this country and it must be honored as such. [applause] >> congressman lewis, i just wanted to say there was absolutely no need for the couple who introduced you to request a standing ovation from this miami book fair. >> thank you. okay. congressman lewis, in light of your vast contribution to civil rights, in the civil rights movement what is your view of flat black lives matter and the second when be what is your favorite book you have read that you would highly recommend that
other people read that has had a significant impact on you? >> the young people engage in the work of life--lives matter, following a rich tradition. when you see something that is not fair, not right, not just, you have to speak up and find a way to get in the way. to get in trouble. to educate, held in form and inspired. i think in america today we are too quiet. >> one if you favorite books you i'd recommend. >> read march by all means. >> or thomas virgin, when i was watching on that grid from selma to montgomerie and it became
fashionable. i had two books, one was the history of political tradition by a harvard professor and a book by thomas virgin. on contemplation. before going on a march, before setting in, going on the freedom ride, before walking across the bridge, some of us have what i call an executive session with ourselves. you prepare yourself. i thought i was going to die. you read and get the necessary energy and the necessary strength. i thought i was going to be resting jail but i was beaten, had a conclusion on that bridge. that is where i saw death.
some time just reading books, essays, plenty of good books out there. thank you. [applause] >> i have a question. you know how water, you have that huge bite, water is shooting down it, good force and you have smaller pipes coming off of it, the pressure and speed of the water is going to go down because it is getting diluted. you say civil rights and the first thing i think of is african-american civil rights, changing the system. the focus of all african americans and many other american citizens, contribution
of the media, television, everything came together to do that. tectonic shift. when i hear you say today you must continue civil rights and start off with for example student loans. here it is the thing. when you take on a lot of things, sometimes you lose efficacy, your strength is weakened. when you say civil rights do you think -- you can do many things parallel or is there and border so that i don't know -- >> the reason we start with student loans is it allows an entire generation to find their voice. let me put it this way. is john lewis had to pay student-after he graduated, in
the freedom ride, in jail, he was in prison. there would have been no civil rights act, no voting rights act because he would have had to work. how many progressive reforms are we missing because this generation, the next john lewis, rather than serve this society? [applause] >> let me put it another way, the march on washington, the march on washington called for minimum wage, equivalent to $15 an hour today. these are fundamental human rights efforts and the language of the civil rights movement was coopted, the freedom summer, the freedom rides, freedom vote and the freedom caucus that stands for nothing, like the freedom vote or freedom movement did, and it was about so much to so many people. they didn't focus on one thing,
we can't live ourselves. we start with student loans because we need a whole generation. >> exactly. when i hear you say talk about civil rights for everything, okay. >> thank you. >> congressman lewis, would you say the civil rights movement has emerged into the progressive political movement completely and if it has not completely merged into the progressive political movement, what would you say and what would you enumerate are the remaining goals of the civil rights movement that need to be accomplished? >> part of our politics trying to catch up to the civil rights movement. they still have a great distance to travel. and the voting rights act, more
than 30 states change their voting laws making it harder and more difficult, not just for people of color, but for our senior citizens, my position opened up the political process and let everybody come in and spoke at the march on washington on august 28, 1963, when i was 23 years old, and i said one person, one vote. and today money is controlling the american politics. [applause] >> as the great nation, great people, we can do better, we can do much better. make it easy, make it simple. >> you have to -- we will answer
you on social media. is that cool? >> congressman, you are one of my heroes and in fifth grade you signed my cast so when i came to your office i quoted you when you said hate is too heavy a burden to bear. can you give some practical tips on how to put it down? >> in this audience, i heard dr. king said on one occasion maybe i can hear frei's him and let him take it. love the hell out of everybody. love is a better way. just love everybody. putting someone down because of the color of their skin, sexual
orientation, part of the world they come from, is it possible for us as human beings to come to that point, emerge, grow, we can be just a little more human. i pray for those chickens. i would teach those chickens don't fight, you be kind. listen to me. why can't we as humans, kind to everybody. [applause] >> thank you.
you can't deny the fact that courts have now ruled that the procedures that he questioned were illegal and unconstitutional. the white house has had 36 different changes they issued as a result of his disclosures, the european union passed the resolution honoring him and saying he should not be extradited in any member countries. and the major social network, the microsofts and yahoo!s have change their practices because they lost $40 billion when disclosures became public, and people who use those social media were not guaranteed the privacy they thought they had.
it will change in dramatic ways. >> los cia director saying we are being hamstrung the weekend get this information that we need to prevent terrorists. >> the cia and nsa were called to account, the position is when national security is endangered, they have got to be given -- not card lunch, very wide discussions to do what they need to do. and a crucial and important and especially endangered time of terrorist attacks like we have seen just this week that we have to be very dutiful in terms of what we do and have done in our name. anyone who would argue any to why -- otherwise is foolish,
robert jackson, the constitution isn't a suicide pact. that doesn't mean anything goes. after world war ii which was considered the great war where we fought against fascism and tens of thousands of american lives were lost, in the history of those times we have come back to question some of the things we did in that, quote, great war such as the internment of japanese-americans citizens and now in the wake of 9/11 we are questioning similarly things like extreme rendition which is the kidnapping and torturing of suspects in crimes so our book takes the position that national security and constitutional liberties are not an either/or proposition the we have to strike an exquisite balance between issuing both of them at different times in different periods, the pendulum will swing as to how much we want to give
one interest in competition with another and that will always be changing from time to time but it is important even at times of great pressure like this to say wheat one national security protectors to do everything in our name to ensure domestic tranquility but that doesn't mean anything, torture for example. i don't think most americans would condone that. we have to ask ourselves what particular early mr. brennan and others want that they don't already have and we don't feel is excessive. >> host: in your riding in the history of the united states it could be said about most if not all places, national security, domestic terrorism and personal provocation, with people's civil
liberties, the former prevailed that is human nature. >> that has been so historically, we are very attuned to it this week in the wake of what happened in paris recently. the citizens there and the watching world would be naive to think at a time like that, you don't want the police and national security interest to take every measure to assure perpetrators of those acts of terrorism are caught, doing everything they can to see it isn't repeated. that doesn't mean anything goes or we find ourselves not being in a democratic state. there is always a question of balance, very easy for national security, a ticking bomb, don't you want us to do everything,
the answer is this. you can't live in a democratic society where everything is done in secret and there are no checks and balances the heart of a democratic government, a system of checks and balances, in the wake of 9/11 we have seen congress was not overseeing the national security establishment as well as we had hoped, responsible people like senator graham, former governor of florida were critical of congress failing in its role to the checking what it is the security establishment is doing, and the courts were passing and deferential to the executive, whatever the executive state secrets are involved, the courts brought it back off and don't
examine the validity of those claims. not saying all of those are wrong but some have been excessive and they have determined in hindsight, so we need to while the executive is doing everything in our name, the rules that they established have been followed and that is not the view since 9/11 by a lot of people in congress now and the courts are doing what they should be doing. we have chapters in this book deal with each of these questions, the goal of this book was not to decide or advocate whether or not ed snowden was a hero or not. but to explore the issues his revelations made public. has the press been active enough, do we protect whistle-blowers, what is the role in national security cases?
what is the role of the courts, what is the role of congress, what happens with regard to citizens' privacy in a digital age which so much as been made public voluntarily but with the understanding or assumptions, that doesn't mean total x-rays so to speak of all of our lives, those are complicated but important issues and six students of those subjects contributing valuable chapters to those questions. >> who are those contributors? >> guest: carter writing about -- health reasons kept him from -- he was a longtime editor newspaper in mississippi. end assistant secretary of state in the carter administration so he was on both sides of the table both as a newsman pushing
to project information to the public, even when he was told by the executives that he shouldn't be doing that and also an official of the government in the state department meeting to withhold instances information that can't be made public. he brings a very balanced and probing question, the dean of berkeley journalism school and a columnist for the miami herald rights that chapter on whistle-blowers which, he is the best man on this subject pointing out in the case of ed snowden, with three people. he won an emmy, not an emmy but
oscar for her documentary, into two print journalists for the washington post, one for the guardian who both won pulitzer prizes but ed snowden was indicted for espionage, there is a disconnect. either this is valuable information the public determined was worthwhile and prize-winning, is criminal. >> some of those, tom blanton who runs the national security archive knows more about classification of documents, just about anybody, has written a very interesting chapter on classification which gets to one of the points of the balance we talked about earlier. and in the wake of 9/11 they
gather the biggest haystack of information because we don't know what we don't know so we don't want to miss anything. we need to have the biggest haystack. critics of that have taken the position that we don't know what we do know because that haystack has been so expanded that the needles of information to use that metaphor have been lost. >> host: in your book you quote the wall street journal as saying 75% of internet traffic is being vacuumed by the it u.s. surveillance program including private communications of u.s. and foreign citizens and government agencies, classified thousands of documents every day, millions of documents so many documents are classified as no meaning anymore. after ed snowden, privacy, secrecy, security in the interim
asian age. ronald goldfarb rights the intro. en now from the miami book fair back to jackman hall on the campus of miami dade college and author and wall street journal columnist peggy noonan is about to get started. she is being introduced. her most recent book is the connection of her columns, "the time of our lives" and she will join us later to call in program. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> i am happy to introduce peggy noonan. peggy noonan was president ronald reagan's speechwriter and no one will ever forget how the president's words, after the challenger incident, helped us cope with that tragedy and those
words were authored by peggy noonan. peggy noonan as any good journalist, any good writer, is extremely political. this is one of my favorite peggy noonan quotes, quote, don't fall in love with politicians. they are all a disappointment. they can't help it, they just are. she is an author of eight books, five of which were on the new york times best-seller list, she writes a weekly column for the wall street journal and is a frequent guest on the sunday morning news show. turn latest book, "the time of our lives," collected writings 12, for the first time encompasses all of peggy noonan's ridings in one volume. in the book she chronicleds her career in journalism, the reagan white house and the political arena. we have a special treat, not only will we be hearing from
peggy noonan but the anchor of panel 6, the emmy award winning anchor is going to do a question and answer with peggy noonan and i promise this, it will be and in lightning hour, when you are not going to want -- you will want to pay attention and not forget because these two remarkable individuals have played such an important role not only in our community but in our nation. i am pleased to introduce peggy noonan and jackie. [applause] >> big round of applause for peggy noonan. thank you for being here. it is lunch time and used a, thank you. just thank you. it is a great book. if you don't have it yet you should. i finished it in hours. it is wonderful. thank you so much for coming
here to miami and gracing us with your presence. >> guest: thank you. thank you for giving me a saturday afternoon, you have a sunday show coming up, you are broadcaster, there are a number of things you could have been doing this vehicle saturday afternoon, i am touched and honored that you would agree to do this. we baked her to do a q&a, very happy that she said yes. >> my pleasure, let's get started. don't know if you remember this song native new yorker. i am a native new yorker and i have been reading so much about you and that song for whatever reason came to mind because you are a tough cookie. i think that is fair enough. in my own way i am a new york girl. i was born in brooklyn, n.y. brooklyn.
i was born in brooklyn, new york, big irish catholic family, moved out to massapequa park in long island in nassau county when i was 5 or 6 years old, but lived in northern jersey, came back to new york but the ethos of my life has been i am under yorker and i am very flattered you thought of that song for indeed i am a native new yorker. >> when did you realize you wanted to be a journalist? >> i always realize i was a writer. i knew that from childhood. i was a great reader ended occurred to me, from the time i was this high i've loved books. one of the beautiful things about the old culture in america is it was so boring, reading books was actually fun. it is what you did for fun. i was a great reader.
somebody must be the person who makes up the story in the books. i think i found out that person is called a writer. i have actual wheat -- this isn't in the book, but this is actually a true story, when i was in third grade on long island i had a teacher named miss brown. ms. brown told us one week before thanksgiving when thanksgiving was on everybody's mind, she said go home, your only homework is a home about thanksgiving so i was not a kid who always did her homework but i found this really kind of an exciting idea and i bitterly remember writing a poem about thanksgiving and trying to describe how a house smells when thanksgiving food is being made and how nice it is to eat it. i did this whole thing and handed it in the next day.
the day after that, before she let us go for thanksgiving vacation, she said i'm going to give everybody back there papers and i have graded them so i have graded your poems, she gave back the poems of every kid in the class with a grade on top but me. and i immediately thought wow iron had so much fun, the teacher is going to call me of to have a private conference and tell me what i did wrong. that isn't what happened. instead, ms. brown said and now before you all go, class i want to read the poem i liked best in this class and i thought it was very good and went you to hear it and she read my column. she gave me and a. i actually thought after that, i
am a writer. it was a beautiful moment in my life to barely know what a writer was and to know why was a writer so i didn't know what kind of writer i would be and for the next 15 years i thought maybe i will be a reporter writer or maybe i will be nurse writer. maybe i will be an actress writer, no, maybe i will work in handicraft, i knew whatever i would be i would be a writer also. >> does ms. brown as she had this influence? >> she does not. i have to admit it is long ago and far away. only a few years ago that i try to find her and a few other teachers and they were no longer with us. my best friend from those days became a teacher and so she tried to help me find a few people. >> you are considered a pioneer
in this industry and can't imagine going into this business in the 1970s and going to the white house in the 1980s. give us of a little description of what that was like especially in the 1970s as a woman journalist getting into this industry. >> when i was a young woman i was in my 20s in the 1970s and i was part of its huge wave of women just entering places like cbs, nbc and abc and this wave of young women just out of college, we were shocking for the old fellows on the desk at cbs, the fellows who were editors and producers. i came to learn those guys who were like antique because they were 57, i thought that was the oldest person in the world. >> i suppose lodis, a they were
the boys who essentially along with ed murrow during world war ii had invented broadcasts news writing and worthy guys who in the case of charles who were broadcasting live from europe in the lead up to world war ii so i am walking in with this wave of young women, we already had our first job, we made it to the leagues, to cbs news, we were in formal, colorful, we all had as i remember it tight jeans, fried boots, aviator glasses like gloria steinem and various lengths of hair and these guys looked at us like we were an invading martian army but here it is the beautiful thing they taught us, everything they knew they taught me, everything they knew so it was a fabulous
experience. there were tough old fellow's. i can't say they welcomed us and they got to know us. and then we were friends. that is how it went. >> host: you worked with dan rather? >> guest: i started out at cbs in that newsroom doing writing hourly radio network news reports like the old news roundup on any cbs station, and became an interviewer and went on to write dan rather's daily radio commentary every day for the three years before i left cbs to work for ronald reagan. i know i am going ahead before i should, but how did you feel about what happened with him after the george w. bush fiasco? >> guest: dan rather was a great
person to write for, he was completely fair, such a great guy. here is what we did together. i had to write his five minute commentary on the news that went up on the cbs radio network and 4:00 p.m. each day so it is stand being fought for about the news that so much of the news of america even then was political and again i perceive to be to the left of me. i was a young woman, and pondered a great deal, i was politically conservative so it was an awkward fit but it was a great job to be offered. dan had been made anchor of the cbs evening news replacing walter cronkite. it was back huge job in three
network universes and was a fabulous honor and a great thing, but it was an uncomfortable fit. i went to him after working the first few weeks and i said i feel like i am not capturing your voice and your views because we come from such a different place, you politically are liberal and i am conservative. he did not say he was politically liberal but did admit that i was politically conservative. and meet with me every morning at 3:00 a.m. choose the topic, discuss how it is a right/left thing, how conservatives feel about the topic and how liberals feel about the topic and that the end we conclude and suggest where i stand and where i come, it is my show. let's completely fair, i can do
that. that is how we did the show. the show had a huge following. conservatives were so surprised to hear their viewpoints fairly and accurately portrayed but they thought it was a conservative show. liberals were so happy dan was giving the liberal case and usually taking the side of the liberal case so they were happy too so it had a huge following. i went off on the dynamics of that and forgot what the question was. >> host: the george w. bush fiasco. >> guest: here is the moment that few people will have had in life and i will never forget it. in 1988 george h. w. bush was running for president. now i supported him. i thought he was the right man of those available for the job, i worked for him, i was, during
his campaign as speech writer. i didn't join his white house after he won but i was his speech writer. one night i am at home. i had just had a baby so doing most of my work at home. i am at home in virginia watching the news, watching cbs, and suddenly dan rather, my beautiful friend, my former boss is in a fight with george w. bush, my court -- former boss. it is dan rather trying to more or less kind of i am afraid i would say a little bit my gut george h. w. bush over this serious issue of his involvement if any in the iran-contra scandal, they had a terrible fight. i got the funniest feeling in my stomach. i felt like i was a child in mom and dad were fighting upstairs. it felt like two people were fighting who i cared about a
lot. 10 had a bit of an issue with the bushes. he was a texas boy, the bushes were texas guys. dan was on this side, though bushes were on this side. at an end of the day there was not much area between them but then made a bad mistake with his reporting on george w. bush's military history, and just one of those unfortunate thing is. >> host: you were a speechwriter for the great communicator ronald reagan. how did that come about? >> guest: it was a fabulous time. looking back on those days it was a fabulous time and i knew also, i could tell it was my sense especially if you are
irish, every generation gets a president. every generation thinks that is my guy, my grandmother, it was franklin roosevelt, kept we do our part sign, more crumbling sign on the window of the apartment in brooklyn. long enough that i remember seeing it in the 1950s, 20 years, for my parents was jack kennedy all the way with jfk and for me it was reagan. guy was so excited to work for him. i got a name for myself, cbs's writer, and speechwriter for ronald reagan. i agreed with him. and was the correct one and be constructive one, and even though i was working for dan.
i couldn't try to be anything but what i was, a writer. when i would meet conservatives at cbs, and the visiting conservative would be brought in to do a talk show. cbs was friendly and sweet and everybody knew i was politically conservative and i would tell them if he has interests in debate, cbs, some visiting conservative from a place like washington was coming for a talk-show the producers and writers would stop if i was in the newsroom they put their arm around me and say this was peggy noonan, it was our conservative, it was cute and sweet. the white house heard about me. the guy who ran speechwriting in the reagan white house had 20 years before been the conservative at cbs news. he had worked a floor above me
and gone on to doing the things that wound up working for reagan. he heard about me and heard the i loved reagan, he called me up and he said my name is ben elliott, i run speechwriting at the white house, i heard about him, i know it is not easy to be a conservative in the mainstream media. i know is not easy to be where you are. i want you to know i admire it and keep on keeping on. if you ever come down to washington i would love to know you just come by and knocks on my door. at that point i did something totally unlike me in that it was proactive and a total complete lie hand i am coming down to washington tomorrow. he laughed in my face. he knew it was light and he said you are coming down tomorrow and try to the eastern shuttle to dc
and went to see him and i said this is who i am, this is what i do. i am not kidding when i tell you i would do anything to be a speechwriter for president reagan. and i have a feeling of destiny about it. i am supposed to do this. this began a process that went many months in which they vetted everything i had ever written and she had me to make believe speeches for the president, they made it hard for me. they offered me the job and went through a great show of making believe i had to deliberate about it so i would walk around and say to people i have been offered this job, do you think i should take it? and they go yes, stupid. i went to bill moyers's who was at cbs in those days, fabulous man. and bill of course worked for lyndon on johnson in a serious role and head of communications and he was now doing commentary
for cbs. what should i do? this isn't even a question. how many people in the history of the united states have been lucky to work in the white house for a president of the united states? at most 20,000 possibly. we have to do this. and i knew i had to and we did. and it was fabulous. let's talk about the challenger explosion and that famous speech that is in the books now as one of the greats. >> guest: that was an interesting day. that was january of 1985 or '86 -- oh my god, i am blocking. january of 1986. there is in my book a chapter called a lecture and what it is is a lecture that i gave to some students at harvard university a
few years ago. they were members of a class on government traditionally many members of that class to go into government. i wanted to tell them as a visiting person invited to speak to them about i wanted to tell someone thing and it was this. you are going to go into government and after a while your job is going to bore you, every day is going to be the same, the same old same old and you're going to start to cut corners of little bit and get a little bit lazy. sunday something big is going to happen and it is going to explode and the world is going to turn upside down and done that they you are going to have to bring the best you have within you to that moment and everybody around you has the best they have got to meet that moment and that is what we did
that day. >> host: i wanted to talk about the poem. >> guest: sorry. a terrible accident had happened, the challenger had blown up, we watched it live on tv and a single thing happened, the white house when a tragedy like actors everything stops, everybody is on the phone, everybody is in a meeting, everybody has to have an urgent communication with somebody else. i removed myself from all of that and i know the president has to speak in the next few hours because this was a huge tragedy and someone is going to have to start working on that so i went to my boss and said i will start work, he said go. i sit in my office and start working as everything is exploding around the. had a certain point, little girl meredith had gone to work with him that day, walked into my office, my little friend, 7 or 8 years old, looked at the tv and
looked at me and said quizzically the teacher was on the rocket. is the teacher all right? at that point i remembered every school child in america was watching the challenger go up because in cheek there was a schoolteacher, a public-school teacher, christa mcauliffe was on that space shuttle. she was there as an astronaut. it was so exciting for the schools of america so all the kids were watching and assemblies, all the teachers, everybody was shocked so it occurred to me the president is going to have to do a speech that is aimed at peak years old, those who are 8 years old and those who are 18 and those who are 80 without patronizing anybody as we all do when we talked to the young and we talked to the olds. as i worked a woman ran in from
the national security council. she had just talked to reagan, she had been in his office in a meeting with him, wrote down everything he said, brought in to me and that became the spine of the speech. at an end of the speech i had been out of the corner of my eye watching cnn all that morning after the blow up and they kept it, cnn showing of brand over the 4 astronauts in their astronaut uniforms leaving the holding arianna and going to the space shuttle itself and as they left in their astronaut uniforms with their big heavy gloves they waved goodbye to the television cameras in this all the way that said see you in a few hours or a few days, very poignant. watching that i thought of something i've learned in the seventh grade in english class by john gillespie magee jr. in
the 1930s when those people had not flown. he was -- became a fighter pilot in world war ii as world war ii began and died in the run up to the war but left behind this beautiful poem that ended with the word slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of god. it just came to me. i just remembered it from seventh grade. here it is the thing. i made that the end of the speech, but there was a mystery. i knew that ronald reagan were used those words if he knew that poem and if that poem meant something to him and i hope he knew it and i hope he meant something but just to be careful the speech ended before that paragraph so it would be easier for the president to kill that paragraph and not say it. we got the speech done, there
was no time to ruin it by which i mean normally presidential speeches us at out to hundreds of people who can't help themselves. they think defensively or aggressively, what ever they are doing, they change everything around, they don't know good from bad, they make things a little worse or takes out something good or even something that is dumb so the staffing process can kill a speech. in this case there was no staffing process. it was more or less made to a small group of the president to a president, we bring in a big hurry. i put on the tv like everybody else and watched reagan and indeed he looked very disappointed, not disappointed, he was sad and was dashed. you looked stricken on tv. he did the speech, it had everything he wanted and that the end he quoted the john gillespie magee jr. program.
it was the first time i could see ronald reagan really upset. he was upset in part about the teacher, in part about the dreadful tragedy, in part because he understood it was the height of the cold war, you have to let the world know a little bit, no, soviet union, this is not, quote, a military disaster, there was a lot going on in that speech. reagan left the oval office after that speech feeling that it had not succeeded. in the words of abraham lincoln he felt that it happened scoured. lincoln said a good speech scours, it breaks up the earth. reagan did not feel the speech had met the moment. i came to think afterwards that he thought that in part because there's nothing you can say that could meet a moment that was that painful to the american people and to you. i picked up from watching reagan
how he felt and i absorb it and felt it too so everybody went home not buy it that night, feeling very sad about what happened, the history that happened and also on reagan's part and my part feeling we had not met the moment, feeling disappointed in ourselves. something changed overnight. people started reacting to. the press started reporting. kids started talking. something happened overnight. at the time i got into work the next morning i got the impression, you want to know something? that speech did that job. came home, came into the office, tip o'neill had called me, tip o'neill, i am a well-known person now, i was not well known than. he was the powerful democratic speaker of the house of representatives. i was in an office in the old
executive office building. cit o'neill bothered to find me, call me and thank me for the work i had done. it was really beautiful, things like that don't really happen these days but that happened then. george shultz called me, the president called me. he was totally honest about how he had fought the speech had not worked or had not done what he hoped to do. ..
then he honestly told me he had not thought this beach succeeded in doing whatever should be done but came to believe by this morning that it had. i said, will mr. president what made you think that it work? there were a number of things that made him feel at work, but the most striking one was he said, will you know, frank sinatra called me and frank sinatra did not call me after every speech, let me tell you. it was one of those moments rarely would reagan be absolutely removed minded that reagan came up in show business. he knew when something landed and when something didn't. he knew when he could tell you when something work. maybe frank sinatra was one of his friends that would give it to him straight that told them if it would work or not. that is my challenger story. the fact is that all of us there that day, that hectic hectic
day, that crazy painful day, did the best we could do. we all made it through. that is an interesting story. >> especially the part that frank sinatra validated the speech. >> frank sinatra was telling him in show business terms, don't worry ronnie, it landed. you know did the joke lander did not land question market landed. >> was your relationship with him after that, with the present? >> with the president, after the challenger speech, sometime after that maybe six or eight months later i left, there is a a kind of a little power collision in the white house where the people i had work for and who had hired me left and went on to other things. a fabulously colorful man named don regan came in to beat chief of staff or reagan. i have a great affection for him but as chief of staff he did not
work with the people, he brought in and i dug the mice. he did not work well with speechwriting. i just thought, you know my work here is done. however at the ends, very beautiful thing happened, i went, i had a baby. reagan, about three or four months before he left the white house in january 89, he asked me, this felt like the greatest honor he asked me to come and work with him on his farewell address. so i got to work for a few weeks with the big successful american president on the meaning of his presidency. we worked on it very well and i worked very hard on it. i think reagan would say that is the speech of his that nobody talks about but that was very important for ronald reagan and contains a lot of advice for the
future. >> will have a few minutes let before we'll open it for questions in the audience. there's a section of politics in the book as well, i love the section. i want you to get what you write about in terms of hillary clinton in your opinion on hillary. >> oh my goodness, i found as i went through my work i could isolate various themes and put them in various chapters and have just a ball doing it. one one of the chapters is called people i met. about, and i will get get your question in the second, it just pleases me, it's called people i've met and it is about people i was lucky to know why thought made a great contribution, like joan rivers, tim russert, jackie onassis who i didn't know but i met and observed her from afar. tennessee williams, margaret thatcher, there is a chapter
about political disputes i have been involved in, big political arguments. i criticize someone, they criticize back, they criticize back, we are all at war. this i consider to be sometimes painful but also part of the fun is talking about politics in real time in america. with mrs. clinton, i'm blocking a little bit about how much i have about mrs. clinton in the book, i i know it is plenty, i think a lot of it revolves from the 2008 election year when she ran against a young guy and nobody ever heard of in 2007, what's his name, brock obama. so the insurgent goes up against hillary clinton and her fabulously funded well oiled machine. and what happened between the two was an epic, upending event. i've never seen a political
demolishing it like what barack obama did to hillary clinton. there's plenty about mrs. clinton and mr. clinton two. >> when you look back at your time with ronald reagan, which obviously is one of the highlights that you mention, do you see any reaganesque qualities in any of the nominees now, for the presidential election? >> that is a really fair question, there are nominees on the product republican side and democrat side and i tell you how i look at it. i never see john f. kennedy and qualities in candidates running for president. none of them ever reminded me of fdr. none of them ever reminded me of a reagan and for that matter lincoln. i see candidates as men and women responding to and living in very much in their time.
i beg your pardon, i've been talking to much past few days, they respond to and live in very much their time, i always hope for them that they will be great. i always hope for them that the 20 years from now will say something like, it will be the year stayed 20/40 or whatever it will be 20 years from from now, let's say it's 2040 hope we look back and say long and live some presidents for candidate yeah, but is he a marco rubio? rubio? do you know to me? yeah, but as she hillary clinton? i think greatness comes in real time that is only judged in retrospect. i just never compare anybody in politics to anybody who came before them. i do not find it helpful and i do not find it clarifying. >> we are going to up questions, you do have a quote that i love
on your wall that says do not walk through time without leaving where the evidence of your passage. do you feel you have left an impact? >> oh my goodness. that beautiful quote was said, i went to the mass in which pope john the 23rd was recognized as, or declared as a saint by the catholic church. that indeed was a quote that i saw on the little pamphlet on the street in rome from john the 23rd. do not go through life or time, do not go through time without leaving where the evidence of your passage. that was written on an envelope taped to my door at home in my office. i will admit to one of the reasons i made that an epigraph of the book, it is that i think
writers are always, writers who are serious about it and trying to do constructive work in trying to be truthful, their efforts are ultimately an attempt to leave were the of their passage. that applies to very many, very many professionals in their efforts, but was i trying to do that? yes, do i think it is*good advice? i sure do, that is why this taped to my door in my office. >> that i think that's great as well. i'm sure you great as well. i'm sure you have questions so let's get to it. [applause]. yes or. >> ms. noonan, in your column in today's wall street journal you try to analyze what the quality of leader should have in this post- paris world.
you and your column by saying the next president should have a lot of confidence and that is a quality you feel perhaps maybe the current president is lacking. giving the candidates that are running and the fact there is one particular person whose name is donald trump, seems to be the one candidate who campaign is all about confidence and he is confident that he can fix everything in the whole world, could you comment on what you think eight donald trump president might be like? would it be horrible, what be acceptable, would it be new and it might make? >> yes, it is interesting to the outside question in florida because you folks may decisively answer the question. will donald trump be the republican nominee? you know, in your your florida primary, what you folks do with regard to marco rubio, donald
trump, ted cruz, that is going to be significant in the choosing of a republican nominee. look, i think trump is the result of many things. one of the things he is the result of, in my view is this, the american people certainly a lot of republicans, the american people have looked at the past frustrating, painful, difficult 15 years. they have thought, what have we have her 15 years from washington? okay to essentially on one wars, the mideast blowing up, and economic collapse if you will, followed by an extremely feeble recovery, indications on education et cetera, you know what they are, everything seeming to get worse in the past 15 years. who gave us us that world? oh, i note the most
credentialed, experience, accomplish, political accomplished, political figures in america gave us that world. so, what i think republicans republicans especially are doing this year is saying to themselves without articulating it, oh, i think we are going to have to go outside the political world and judge the experience, accomplishments, background, and history of others. just brought in the indicators of what you're looking for, if you will. trump that if it's that benefits from that, so does ben carson and carly p arena, rather card traverse you one. i think trump who has a natural earthy political sense understood the moment that we were in. he moved forward. i don't know what is going to happen there, i don't always know what to make of his confidence. i will end with this.
because i have been out on a book tour and because i worked for ronald reich and i get asked about him a lot but i get asked about him in a very specific way lately. people say, ronald reagan reagan was so successful because he was optimistic, he was such an optimist, was in his leadership optimistic? i miss his optimism. and optimism. and i will say to people, actually what you miss was not optimism and he was not always optimistic, believe me this was a guy who sometimes took a very stern look at the history of man and what it might produce. he was not a man who had optimism, he was a man who had confidence. he had confidence in himself and his own abilities and powers and ability to think. he was confident in you, the american people as he explained
his case would back inches e he had confidence in the american system, it could be made to work, the congress, the white house could be made to work together. the executive agencies could work. this is a man who had confidence. you looked at him, you self-confidence, and it allowed you to feel optimistic. that is what was going on with reagan. what we will see, there are many candidates who feel certainly a personal confidence, confidence in their own ability, we'll see if they get to do the rest of the form. >> hey, good evening. so my question - mac i wanted to come back to the challengers speak. i'm you spent a lot of time speaking about it. could you have written that speech and what you have written that same speech if george bush would had to give it? so that is a specific specific part of it and the underlying part of it is , to what extent when you're writing a speech as a speechwriter for a candidate or
for a ceo, ceo, or for whomever, do you have to take into consideration that thought that kept going through your mind, will this resonate with the speaker because if it doesn't it will not resonate with the audience? >> it is one of the easiest parts of speech writing is taking a chance. you may think the person you are running for is going to respond very much to and relate very much to something specific that you put in. that is fine, you you may be right. it will turn out to be just great. you may be wrong and the president say if that is who you work for, will simply remove it. so it doesn't matter. so i. so i always tell young speak writers, there you're stuck us stuff, through your best stuff, if they they don't like it they will take it out. all presidents know they rise and fall in their speeches, history judges them by their speeches. with the challengers speech be
different? if it had been with george hw bush? i can tell you, of course yes because george hwb shows comments in the oval office before the speech would have been recorded by the same person who recorded ragan's but they would have been different thoughts because he he was a different man. it would have been a different speech. in a way, i guess i just answered that but it is also hard to answer. if you said to ted who worked with john f. kennedy and then attempted to work with lyndon johnson who is president for little while, are your speeches for jfk and lbj different? i think his answer, he was a friend of friend of mine, i knew him well, cared about him a lot, i think his answer would be yes. because lbj was not jfk, they were just different human beings. but his answer would also be, but at the end of the day ted
was the writer so there would have been some similarities, you know? so it is a complicated little dance. >> dance. >> we have time for one more question. peggy is going to be signing books. >> first of all thank you for coming, appreciate being here. as someone who has spent several years working with presidents reagan to use elegance to rise to the equation of national crises, how would you assess looking at president obama's in turkey how would you assess his performance in terms of his comments following the terrorist attack question. >> very often, i don't see the world 100% the way barack obama does, the way president does, so very often i feel different from him. i am in conflict with his thoughts. my thoughts are different, my convictions also. but after paris i felt disheartened by him. i i felt he hit a kind of low in terms of
missing what was needed. in his celebrated news conference in which he was challenged, it really quite wonderfully in my view by cnn's jim acosta who said mr. president, isis has done this, they have done that, they have done this, they have now done this, they are here, they are here, many americans are feeling frustration and thinking why can't we get the pastor's? that was just an honest, you don't get more honest than that. the president, to my unhappiness seemed in response to that to be intellectually weary and frustrated that people do not understand the fabulousness of his strategy, which he keeps explaining, and don't you get it? he was defensive, he was not
someone who could explain to you there is a great absence when it comes to obama and isis. it is an absence of how he thinks about isis. not just what to do about it, what it, what your little strategy supposedly is, but how should we think about it , how should we view it, what kind of threat is that, how should we be preparing to meet that threat, what are the possibilities? he does not speak about any of those things which makes you wonder, my gosh, is he not speaking because he does not know he we need to hear from him? or is he not speaking because he does not actually want to share his plan because they think it may be unpopular. so we are are already uneasy. and now there's a president who is acting less like a president
then an absence. it does no good, it was very bad leadership the past week. clapmac week. [applause]. >> we are going to have to leave it at that. the book, the title of our lives. the time of our lives. peggy noonan, thank you. [applause]. >> peggy noonan will be with us here in miami a little later today. she she will be taking your calls. right now and are set, here on the campus of miami-dade colleges washington post reporter jody, his upholster plies winner, his latest is
called black flag, the rights of of isis. here's what the cover looks like. what happened in 1999 that led to the rise, the creation of isis question marks. >> there is an essential character in this tale, you see his picture on the cover here his name is zarqawi, some people may remind him of the -- the american sniper this was the guy they they were after. he actually became a problem because he got out of jail early. in 1999 there is an amnesty in jordan, he was a prisoner serving a 15 year prison sentence. supposed to be there until he was relatively old man. he ended up getting sprung in his entire group got sprung. this is sort of the beginning points of this long complicated story that leads us twice as somewhere we are today. >> who was abu messiah balser kari before 1999?
>> probably the most unpredictable are least likely person you could imagine to lead a tear screw. he started out as a nobody, high school dropout, thug, criminal, he had dropout, thug, criminal, he had test to's, heavy drinkers, not religious at all. he lived in jordan but he ends up getting radicalized as a young man by going off to fight. that was the beginning of his jihad he journey. he comes up with some crazy ideas even by jihadist standards wanted to do very violent things. wanting to reform society. this is the core personality around which isis later evolved. >> what did he die question marks. >> he died in 2006. we ended up getting a lucky break, took us two years of hard hunting to track him down. in the meantime he had built incredible successful insurgency as we remember from the mid to thousands, very nearly drove us out of iraq because of all the killings and creating a civil war. we ended up getting his number, got good intelligence, tracked him down to houston iraq
and dropped a couple of missiles. >> what was the turning point in his career question marks. >> to copy lucky breaks. one was the amnesty we mention and the other is the u.s. government 2003 made him famous. he was at a dead end of his career, he had a small terrorist group nobody would have heard of. the u.s. administration decided to make him the poster child for connection between saddam hussein and al qaeda. try to make this argument that these two were linked in some way. not to be true at all but by making the case and literally putting his pi
they wanted to defeat these countries that shouldn't exist. so a lot of the attention has been to these local governments, the jordanians, syrians and lebanese and syrian ba number one to eradicate the country altogether. >> you open the book with the hanging or the execution of a woman in jordan, where she question marks. >> this woman she was most of us if we had heard of her at all we would have got a long time ago. she was an earlier version of the paris attack that took place in 2005 in jordan. some of zarqawi's people people were sent over to the country not at war. they went to hotels and blew them up with suicide bombers. one of the bombers survived survived because her vested not
>> that you allow them to communicate with one another and reach out to the world and reach out to the 4% of the male population that's completely insane in any given society and let them say, gee, come with us and be with us and kill and name and be as crazy as we want to be and we allow them to be on the internet. >> host: paul, thank you very much.
>> guest: it's frustrating to all of us to watch. freedom of access arguments being made. you see isis using twitter, using facebook, instagram and they would do tricky things, change accounts and multiple accounts, they were pretty savvy about using social media. they turned to other kinds of social media, workarounds for them. a lot of wireless network is a network out of southern turkey. they're still exploring avenues to be able to communicate with the rest of the world in a very powerful and not managed a way to block them. it has to be fundamental to any strategy to prevent them from being able to spread the garbage around the world. so you have to hope that it's a first step. >> host: don't call this number.
it's just for texting, 202-271- 9684. amed is calling from salt lake city. amed, you are on book tv. >> caller: yes, thank you so much. i just want to give a couple of points. first, i don't mean in any way, i'm not referring anything to your guest, in general it's very difficult for -- when people try to explain things they don't understand. okay. we see all of the time, you know, the isis, al-qaeda, all of these people in orange suits. where did that come from? these people wherever they are, somalia, all of these people, i follow the basic islamic, every
friday prayer after mosque, people come out and watch the government behead people in public squares, chop their hands because of theft. you know, number two, these people there -- >> host: amed, we are going to have to leave it at number one. thank you. >> guest: you make some very good points. first of all, it is true that the fundamental theology that motivates isis, religious core they are teaching is very close to wahabi islam which came out of saudi arabia in 18th century. it does contains hard believes and interpretations. some of the beheadings took
place, the western world was horrified. it wasn't that -- i think what's -- you know, what isis is managed to do is go off the reservation to take what is really a fresh hard and take it even further and just ignore, you know, theological practices and involuntary norms when they. it's certainly against the karan. they find a way to justify it. they are taking core issues and twisting and making more violent. >> host: this is a text from ron in honolulu. why is there an an ongoing?
>> isis doesn't have an air force and don't have a navy. they do have quite a lot of equipment and certain lots of money, but we haven't been able to push them out after months of air strike and coalition has 60-member nations in it. i think what's strike to go me is the fact that first of all when they take over territory there is no resistence. we haven't seen no sort of sons of iraq-kind of movement. people rise to go fight them. the ability to control local provinces. nobody challenges it. and so until there's a way to deny them their safe haven, a way to counterchallenge them in their heartland, it's going to be impossible to defeat the ideology. thank you. >> host: please, go ahead, bob.
>> caller: hi, peter, i love your show. my curiosity stems from the extension jihad and how that's spreading globally, but more importantly how is the current gopolitical environment shaping up. we have the russians coming in support of the assad regime and the iranian, chinese, russian alliance that is moving in support of the assad regime against the u.s. back saudi arabia and other interests. what's the role of saudi arabia's rise to isis and have they been part of this jihad that is increasingly being spread globally throughout africa and even in asia now?
>> host: bob, we are going to get him to answer the question, how long have you beening there the -- been following in the institute? >> caller: i was dealing with people that were coming and going, communicating back and forth from afghanistan and iraq like some people do from kansas city to chicago on a daily basis >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: one of the great places to live. what's complicated with this fight, geopolitical blocks are against one another. the fact that you have russians
and iranians and saudis and americans on the other side. how do you come up with a new government in syria that would be acceptable to both sides or even have the un resolution for goodness sake which seems to be impossible to do now. you know, there's meetings under way where government are trying to find concerted leverage against isis. the right people are in the room right now talking, and so they can figure out a way to unit at least on common goals, then maybe something good can come out of it, but i don't think we are there yet. >> host: you said the right people in the right people and talking, etc. this is a text message from the 718 area, isis and al-qaeda problem has
continued to grow in all reality, can it ever be truly contained or eliminated? >> guest: that's a very good question. i think there's two things going on. one is an effort finally to try to drive them out of hair heartland, to try to end this stay that's developed in syria and western iraq. even if you succeeded in doing that, that's a really big f and complicated challenge. the horse is out of the barn in a sense that ideology is existing in multiple states, at least 12 that we know of that are active and communicating with central bañ -- here is his most recent work. the rise of isis. >> caller: i tuned in a little bit late.
let me get to my question. i want to go from 15 years ago today. if al gore had one that election al gore would have had probably the afghanistan war because of 9/11 which happened the following september 2001 but would not have invaded iraq. because of the republicans, i'm saying as a liberal progressive democrat myself, that george w bush invasion as hobble dictator of sudam hussein was, without isis emerging. so if iraqi war had not happened and george w. bush or dick cheney had not evaded iraq,
there was no iraq war -- >> host: all right, bill, i think we got the point. that's bill in west hartford, connecticut. >> guest: the book argues and i strongly believe that the iraq invasion was the original sin not just of the invasion itself that gave jehadist cause, was ready for the americans to arrive in 2003, also omission of not having security in place, essentially anybody was a professional inside iraq in the early 2000, dismantling the armed forces. also a very angry, you know, disenfranchised elite population that was happy to help coming in. plenty of iraqis that would have
helped anyway. he was able to melt this extremism with the iraqi discontent and bringing two together turned out to be a powerful brew and those people who started the movement that's isis today. that's the same ideology, some of the same individuals, even guys like abdaul, the french terrorist, he cut his teeth in early stage. so this is all very relevant to the situation you have in isis today. >> host: randy in slaughter, louisiana. we have a couple of minutes left. >> caller: yes, i can remember the ship. can you touch upon that? >> guest: yeah, what you see there is an al-qaeda attack. it reflected the difference between al-qaeda and the isis folks we see today. so al-qaeda picked a strategic
target and a highly symbolic one going after a u.s. aircraft carrier or navy ship, rather and creating images on television that made al-qaeda looked powerful and it took us quite a long time to deal with that. isis are not so much interested in tough targets. they are most interested in going after soft targets, civilians. that's what you saw in paris last week, going after innocent people. it's not the first time they did that. showing no mercy, even muslim children being legitimate targets from them. that's why they're different from al-qaeda. >> host: latice in staten island go ahead. >> caller: yes, my question, sir, from the beginning -- yes.
my question is that from the beginning in syria that syrian soldiers or regime are fighting these people and all of the other terrorists, and recently, of course, the kurds are fighting also. west and the united states are not helping assad because the soldiers are under ground to defeat terrorism? >> guest: just to understand the question, is it to why aren't we helping assad? >> host: he is gone at this point. you can take that question or comment as you heard. >> guest: the syrian civil war and how to deal with it has been sort of the challenge and historians will find fault in the obama administration and
inability to foresee events. everyone assumed that assad was going to be gone more quickly. disappeared in a matter of days and everyone assumed that assad would go the same way and we didn't anticipate the fact that it would become a civil war but a stalemate and how much leverage to we give one side versus the other, whether assad better off in power to begin with. all of these things are questions to dissect later. >> host: there's a book, black flags, the rise of isis. jobbie warrick is the author. >> thank you. >> host: you are going to see panels on cuba, you'll have the chance to talk to peggy nunan.
up next judy miller, here is the book, the story, you know what this is about. she'll be here in just a minute. recently we covered on book tv with ms. miller. we want to show you part of that before she joins us in our set. >> what was strike to go me was when i went back and interviewed english intelligence and british intelligence and isralian intelligence is whether or not they want to go to war, whether or not policy makers wanted to go to war. they were not divided about existing in iraq. people of good will could disagree without challenging. i mean, i think that there's a
lot of rewriting of history of what americans were actually told before the papers wrote a very good article on aluminum tubes. americans already knew that the tubes, that there was an intense debate about the tubes. five days after, michael and i wrote the story about aluminum tubes and we wrote the story and put it in "the new york times", and yes, i would have liked the story to be in the front page, but it wasn't. so, you know, i think it's -- i know if you're involved in the debate at the time you feel strongly and you might have felt pressure, but all people like me had to go on were what we could
get at that moment and then subsequently the finding of these different panels, you know, getting it wrong was just bad. >> well, like the famous case involving curve ball. >> yeah. >> the german intelligence were saying don't trust this guy, it's not -- >> not all german intelligence. they were not all saying that. i'm not going to drag the rest of you, but that is not accurate. >> okay. >> also, you know, once again people have different memories. >> ma'am, ma'am. >> i think it's important that if you should write an article or something about the classified heart that you've written about the classified
information, so you said there was only an unclassified report. where is your article about the classified information? okay. i'd love to see because i haven't seen it. i was not -- i did not report on biological labs until we -- the stf came across one of those labs which turned out to be for rockets. but they were convinced the analysts that i talked to and i was there reporting on them as they were doing the measurements and taking the measurements, were convinced that these labs were for biological production, and bill and i wrote the first story about that and the cia issued a white paper saying
that, we wrote that and put it in the front page. then i went back no iraq in june to talk to people, one of whom is now dead, so i can name him. he was still in britain, david kelly, british biological analyst who told me, was one of the people who told me the cia has got it wrong and dave k. who lead the weapon hunt and went on nbc and said, this is a biological lab as i'm standing here. he got it wrong. he didn't lie. he got it wrong, and so we then did a third article that said these labs actually appear to be for weather balloons. this stuff -- what i love is talk about mistakes i made. it's really important to make mistakes we've made,
intelligence community makes so we can understand not to make them again, but when -- when you stop doing that, when you stop going back and asking the questions, that's when you fall into convenient pattern of thought that fit your ideological, you know, preference or something you want to believe. >> and that was a recent appearance of judith miller talking about her new book, the story of the reporter's journey. ms. miller joins us here in miami. judith miller, this is a complicated story. in your book you lay out in a sense an outline in the first couple of pages to let everybody knows, here is where it begins and here is where it ends and you explain the in between. how long have you been covering the middle east?
>> guest: since 1971 when i was a student i went to jerusalem and fell in love with the middle east and decided to learn more about it, went to egypt, jordan, et cetera, et cetera, and it was instant, it was out of my childhood bible study class. there was it -- there it was. each person gives a little and we divide jerusalem and no problem here. but i kept going back and learning how complicated it was and now i have fewer solutions and only more questions. >> host: what was your life like in 2002? >> guest: 20 -- 2002.
>> host: you were flying high, weren't you? >> guest: i lived downtown. i had seen friends pushed out of the homes. we had all in new york lost people and friends and i kept saying and asking myself if only we had done our series sooner and written about al-qaeda and threats sooner, i was filled with remorse about everything we hadn't done cosharing with the fantastic team. but it was so -- it was such a frantic period. i didn't have time to think or really to grieve or to mourn. we were just busy trying to figure out who did this, why did they do it, who was to blame, how do we fix what we went wrong. that's what i was doing in 2002.
>> host: all right, let's move it forward. what did you write, what happened, where scooter libya involved in this and why did you go to jail? >> guest: i went to jail to protect a source for a story i never wrote about a conversation, it turned out, we hadn't had. the reason i wrote this book is i that i really think i didn't get wrong, the intelligence was wrong. that wasn't a cop-out. i was also praised for doing something that had turned out was not so good, which was to give testimony that turned out to be wrong and peter, if i have a regret and the reason i wrote
this story is because i wrote a story to say, journalism is complicated, we are always going to get things wrong but the real sin in our profession is not going back to look at what you did wrong and get -- try and get it right, and why -- i went to jail because not because i'm courageous, i'm not. no one would talk to a journalist if we did not earn our pledges to protect the people who cooperate and inform the american people, tell them thing it is government doesn't want them to know. that wasn't courageous. i had to go back and correct it and look at the whole process of journalism, what happened to us, what happened to wmd, adventures, along the way and it
was the most difficult book i had ever written. i hope it's a fun book but in parts but i'm not used to writing, i, we, me. i'm more comfortable writing about you and other people, this was tough. >> host: today sitting here in 2015 in your personal view was the invasion of iraq a good thing? >> guest: i don't know. it turned out to be a disaster but the decision to invade, i think, is more complicated and that's what i try and look at. let's look back. after 9/11 if you were president of the united states republican or democrat and you had been told by your intelligence agencies with high confidence all 16 of them that they believed wmd was still being hidden away from saddam,
violated 17 resolutions, killed the kurds and conducted terrorism against westerners, invaded the neighbor, would you take the chance that that material would be passed to enemies of the united states. i don't fault george bush for the decision he made, i fault george bush in the way he conduct it had war because -- and then i congratulate him for the equally tough and surprising decision he made to do the surge when all of the advisers were opposed to it. he thought it was the right thing to do. it turned out to stabilize the country. we can argue about the rest. >> host: judith miller is our guest. we all heard the story. we are going to start with a call from marjorie in west virginia, go ahead. >> caller: , hi, thank you so much for taking my call. one of the things, ms., miller
and i watched you be interviewed a few times on c-span, you don't seem to think that you were manipulated by dick cheney and many do believe that you were manipulated, and the reason i believe you were manipulated was the timing of the article and how it seemed to be well coordinated with dick cheney and others appearing on the sunday morning news talk shows at the same time, so my question is this, when you have an opportunity to do a future story about our going to war, have you thought about what you would do in order to avoid the kind of controversy you found yourself in because i do believe you had so much credibility that your seeming to get manipulated really honestly hurt me --
>> guest: , well, it's a really good question, let me just tell you that i have not met george bush to his day and i did not meet dick cheney until after he left office, years office he -- years after he left office. the people did not give me the information. michael gordon and i wrote the controversial story about aluminum tubes. we had to pull it out of people. we had to stitch the story together and confront the administration with what we knew and only after we did that, did they agree to talk about a top-secret program that the administration didn't want to talk about to us about. i think from their standpoint, once they realized we have the story they were going to spin it and make the best of it but what i wanted to do in this book is to tell how people how the story came about so to understand more about my business and how we do
it, are you going to be used and what you write is going to be used, yes, and i'm sorry if it raised questions in a lot of people's minds about my intentions but my intentions were simply to -- and michael gordon's, by the way, most of the stories were written with other people at the time. and, but, yes, did they spin it once we wrote the story, yes, dye that i had. thank you for asking the question. >> host: this is a text message from area code 205, was cheney dishonest about weapons of mass destruction, yes or no? >> guest: i don't think you can put it in yes or no question. the information he was getting was just really terrifying, you
know, before also his health problems and his heart attacks and i think -- he writes about this in his own book and we talked about it afterwards. 9/11 was a really shock to the system. he was determined to go to war. so did he spin the information in the hardest way possible, yes, he did. was he lying, i think that's a question he has to answer. i only know that i didn't get the information from him. i got it from the men and women who had never lied to me. they were the analysts who were actually doing the assessments and they more than any people feel a sense of saddens and tragedy about what happened. >> host: and here is the book. bill in north port, florida, you
are on the air with judith miller. >> caller: yes, for taking my call. a couple of questions. during the 1980's war when iraq, didn't suddam hussein used chemical weapons to kill thousands of them and to go back a few years than that, didn't iraeli force took out a nuclear development site right out of baghdad and did anyone ever check syria for -- >> caller: yes. >> caller: take them over the border into syria and didn't assad use them recently? is this all possible and if you're the president of the united states -- >> host: that's a lot. >> guest: that's a lot of questions. absolutely the israelis bombed the iraqi nuclear facility and
destroyed it and in so doing they destroyed the nuclear program, really, which was never able to get up and running again, though saddam tried. and yes, the reason i felt so strongly about wmd in iraq i had studied. i had stood on the sight of mass grave and watch bodies children and women frozen after attack. that's at least what we thought it was. i knew he was willing to use this material and wouldn't hesitate to use it against us if he had the opportunity. so there was every reason for a president to believe that he had wmd and was willing to use it. as for syria, charles delford, wrote an extraordinarily report,
definitive report about what happened to the md, the reports on syria that chemical and biological weapons had been shipped to syria, he leaves that as an open question. he was never actually able to verify one way or another, this i will say, readers of the new york times learned in september 2014 that iraqis and american soldiers were being sickened by weapons that they -- chemical weapons that they were still encountering from the age-old program that saddam had either forgotten about or didn't know where they were hidden or continued lying about. if this wmd story is very complicated and i'm sure ten years in now we are still going to be asking questions about it. surely i am. >> host: chris from silver springs, maryland sends in text. do former iraqi and syrian officers combining with soonie elements come price the isis leadership today?
>> guest: absolutely true. jobi that you just had on the show, isis is the son of al-qaeda and it is lethal specially lethal because it has saddam's operatives, generals, security people advising them, organizing them, running their finance. this is an extraordinarily serious group, a group that does not hesitate to crucify people and they boast about it as a recruiting vehicle. i don't know about true evil, but i know that they are it and that has to be stopped. and stopping them from getting their hands on chemical and biological weapons and weapons
of mass destruction is surely a fight that surely we have to make as a country and as members, hopefully, a civilized world. >> host: a story by judith miller in both new york city times review and new yorker. well, book tv now continues here from miami where the next panel that we are going to be covering is on cuba, and you'll hear from several cuban american authors talking about their books. as judith miller mentioned, we just had jobi and judith miller talking about her experience and now we are going to show you a clip in just a minute of michael wice who has a book on isis as well and we want to take all of this and get your reaction here on book tv to some of these events, isis, current events as well and show row some of the new books that are out on isis. let's show you michael wise from
the texas book festcal a couple of weeks ago. >> many of this year's presidential candidates have written books to introduce themselves to voters and views on issues. here is a look at some of the candidates' books. jeb bush, presidential and former neurosurgeon ben carson argues a better understanding of the constitution is necessary to solve america's boast pressing issues in his book a more perfect union and secretary of state hillary clinton looks back in time serving in obama administration in hard choices. in a time for truth, texas senator ted cruz recalls his journey. carly fiorina, former ceo of hewlett-packard, she shares lessons she's learned from difficulties and triumphs.
in my story he details his childhood and career in the air force. former arkansas governor gives take on god, guns grits and gravy. john kasich calls tradition values in stand for something. former new york governor released where he looked back at governorship. in his latest book taking a stand. more presidential hopefuls with book include florida republican senator marco rubio, he outlines plans to advance economic opportunity. independent bernie sanders is another candidate for the democratic nomination for president. his 1997 titled jowdzer in the
white house was updated in launch of presidential campaign. and in blue collar conservatives rick sanitorium argues the working class has to retake the white house. and finally chris yisy and former governors have announced candidacies but haven't released book. book tv covered many candidates, you can watch them on our website book booktv.org. >> so i was covering the syria crisis more or less the inception in the summer of 2011 long before there was isis presence in syria or acknowledged declared presence and i got to know a lot of the opposition, which in the beginning had been peaceful protestors and activists, when
it became an armed rebellion against the assad regime, i started to do a lot of reporting meeting with refugees and rebels, you have to understander southern turkey has become for this rebellion. in the summer of 2012, actually was ramedan, i went with the syrian army convoy just as the city or parts of the city, the north eastern had been liberated from the assad regime and spent the night in a town about an hour's drive north of the city called albob. stayed with a family. the owner of the house was a syrian rebel. it was extraordinary because i had seen firsthand. but you really have to see it, you know, for yourself to
understand what is the driving force behind this rebellion. it was amazing because the rebels put down guns, picked up white gloves and garbage and cleaning the rubble because assad government was bombing and targeted the hospital in the town so in rebels were badly wounded could not be treated. these guys, it was extraordinary. they turned a mosque into a make-shift hospital and they were treating everybody, they were treating progovernment, progovernment fighters with surrian -- syrian rebels. i also saw that with my own eyes. about five to six months later the town i stayed had gone over to isis. it was completely taken over. the house i stayed in is now controlled by isis, the family that i stayed with fled the country, they went into turkey.
and so i watched a generation against a brutal government and like many revolutions had become sort of a -- the parallel image of what it aimed to overthrow or reject. my coauthor is actually a syrian national and comes from a town which is the eastern province of syria. abukamal. to put this in context, this is a gateway down from syria and iraq which had been a traffic point for al-qaeda and iraq, the jihadist group that is now known as isis. so it sort of has a relationship as being the kind of juárez of el paso if you like. those of you in texas know the mexican drug cart else. it -- cartels.
the purposes of doing this book, we are not going to write a book about isis unless you to interview guys in isis. even more important than that, their family members, how come a guy, a 16-year-old who was studying chemical engineering or electrical engineering want to go live in the west decides to cast his luck with barbarians? what is the driving mechanism behind this? the purpose of writing the book is to try to explain, by no means justify, but accounts of the rise of this terror army, which by last geographical contains roughly the size of great britain. the other purpose, i should just
add, i did a lot of media in june 2014, thus inaugurate the oh coalition war. how did these guys emerge from nowhere? in the book we say, imagine it's 1985 and has conquered a third of southeast asia. everybody is scratching their heads saying, where did they come from, where is this enemy. isis was al-qaeda and iraq from 2004 really up until now they have been a primary enemy and primary target of the united states and allies in the region. they just changed their branding and marketing and strategy has evolved in a very dire and sophisticated manner which makes them thus all the greater to defeat. so a lot of this book is a work of history. we go back to the early origins
of the terrorist organization. a jailbird went into iraq after coalition into afghanistan, first he spent time in iran and syria and went to iraq and essentially set up the organization which didn't start as al-qaeda franchise but became after attacks targeting the united nations. we want today sort of give, you know, the average reader people interested in the matter. we all have targets on our backs. this guy if they had droders, they would do everything they possibly can to try humiliate the united states and every civilized country in the world. this is sort of a broad history but culminates with very sort of in-depth reporting and profiles
of essentially who these guys are and what they want, which is more important. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> and this is book tv on c-span2. we are back live from the miami book fair n. the last hour or hour and a half if you've been watching us we talked to a couple of authors, jobi and judith miller who covered the middle east for many years and we just showed you a video from a couple of weeks ago in the texas book festival. it is certainly in the news these days and we want to get your reaction of some of the recent events and what you heard from authors or other books or authors about isis and terrorism in the middle east. 202 is the area code. we will put the numbers up on
the screen. finally if you want to send a text message, no calls 202-717-9684. if you do send a text message please put your first name and city you're texting from so we know that much about you, but i want to get your reactions before the next panel begins. of course, we are here in miami in the book fair. it's running a little late today so we are playing it by ear a little bit. the next panel is a panel of cuba. you will hear cuban-american authors. you will also hear later on from stacy shift, book on the witches. we will talk to peggy newton and
john michem which has written a book on george h.w. bush. so let's begin with a call from eric in new jersey. gary, what did you hear from the authors that you want to comment on? call >> caller: thank you for getting my call. not only a strong leader but something who could really be in a position to counteract what's happening not only in the mideast but what could happen in the united states. i think the republicans and democrats are not addressing this issue. i think the only one that is addressing the issue is donald trump and it's unfortunate that a lot of the authors who are embedded with the rebels or with embedded with isis are writing books, it's great, but it's important, i think, that we have
a strong president. if we look back at washington, lincoln, eisenhower they all had trades of leadership. thank you for taking me call. >> host: that was gary in new jersey. this is nora in kentucky. hi, nora, you're on book tv. >> caller: hi, i feel honored to be here. i am definitely a george bush fan and i would like to have said to judith -- >> host: so when it comes nora to what is going on in the middle east and isis, what would you like to see done? >> caller: i would -- i think that i've seen times, you know,
where they would be calming all the isis out there and basically killing people right there on camera and it bothers me that you can get a camera and you can get a picture that close and that clear, why can't we get rid of those people if they know they're going to go and behead somebody. we have pictures, if you can flash a picture, i always figured that you should shoot a gun. i don't want to see nobody hurt, but you know, this is affecting all of us. it's very, very concerning specially our little bit older or seniors because we are scared to go out, we are not sure, you know. how do we know we are safe to go to the grocery or whatever? so i think we do have very nazi
leaders in the government right now. but i'm real positive of the up-and-coming people that will probably be taking their place but as a mother -- >> host: thank you, ma'am, for calling in. nora in richmond, kentucky. isis gets on the internet for entirely different reasons. a comment from washington, d.c. 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. dick marian in illinois. dick, good afternoon from miami. how are you, sir?
>> caller: fine, thank you. in regard to the concerns of security in this country, i've been trying to advance an idea with regard to the use and expansion of the use of the green fire. this would help from a perspective that, you know, in our past history in vetting people coming terms in immigration, we had people in new orleans and san francisco and they were vetted at a central point. if we had a standardized green card particularly dealing with -- what do you want to call it, visas that are experred as well as border patrol f we use the green card and have it issueed at various points of entry as
well as those in the country i legally in which they could be vetted so to speak if necessary. that you could have issues on federal zone, particularly state and down to each local a motor vehicle licensing point. we should take the green card and use that as a standard identification for all people's coming in. it would not discriminate on the base of ethnicity or with regard to religious preference or anything of that nature. >> host: dick, dick. >> caller: yes, go ahead. >> host: why are you watching book tv this afternoon? >> caller: why am i watching it? well, i love c-span book tv.
it's like going to college for me on saturday and sunday. i live out there in the rural area of illinois and that's why i watch you guys. >> host: are you retired? >> caller: yes, sir, 72 year's old. >> host: from what are you retired? >> caller: i was a dean of continuing education in a small rural community college. >> host: thank you, sir, thanks for watching book tv. sam is calling in from deerfield, illinois in the suburbs of chicago, go ahead, sam. >> caller: i'm obviously -- i think the world's population concern about isis, i think you have to take a two-prong approach. number one we try to -- we have to try to get to the youth and make them interested and
obviously other venues, education, freedom, a purpose so that when they finish college or university in the middle east they have a potential of getting a job and not just joining the hundreds of thousands of unemployed individuals. so that's number one. we have to get them to focus on -- on their futures. better life, a good life and the second prong is to get rid of the isis members who are there presentee. in the first gulf war we assembled nearly a million troops and the four top countries provided troops to get rid of are united states, great
britain and they should be most concerned and, you know, it's just a matter of short time that we were able to get rid of saddam. you can't get rid of them without trying to reach the youth. you have to get rid of the group. they continue to create havoc no matter where they are and that's my point. >> host: anthony in las cruces, new mexico, black flags and a little bit from michael wise on isis and anthony in las cruces, new mexico, we are listening. >> caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. i think it's really interesting the information that the reporters are able to get to us
about these groups that we know little to nothing about and you know, the more that we know about them the better we will be able to fight them. the only problem is that we are fighting an idea, we are doing everything that the republicans are saying that should be done bombing and all of these operations but how do you beat an idea? you can't really -- i don't know the answer to that. the more information that we get and these are doing a great job about getting inside information about how these things start, obviously invading iraq and taking out saddam seemed like a
good idea, by the way he was repressing those types of ideologies, we can't do that, but how it was repressed. there was more stability in the middle east then than there is now. so how do we go about doing the same thing and doing it in a humanitarian way? >> host: thank you, sir. book tv is live in miami, this is the 32nd annual miami book fair and got several more author panels coming up this afternoon. you have full coverage tomorrow and with judith miller. and we are taking your calls right now. the panel is running a bit late so we have a few minutes and we
then go back, 15 of the were from saudi arabia, i forget where the other were from. none were from iraq. so we had absolutely no right to go into iraq for hussein. the war was not against hussein, it was supposed to be from osama bolin bodden. thank god they were able to find him but in going to iraq to destabilize the middle east, as bad as hussein was, he kept that balance of the different
factions. as as bad as he was. bias going in there as opposed to avenging as we're supposed to do, we now have the crisis that we find not only the united states and but the entire world. the solution with the syrian refugee and migration, the solution is to have those individuals go over to saudi arabia today, they have a military backed by the united states, they have plenty of landmass, step up to the plate. >> that is pamela and marilyn, ezra ezra is calling in from illinois. hi ezra. >> hi thanks for taking my calls. basically listening to this program you realize there has been to law of war and
intervention in the middle east in the last 60 years. i think in many ways we have to take responsibility to what happens there. and bombing and killing is not going to be the solution because you kill one child and create ten more people with the same ideology. you need need to put some great minds together to find a solution so that people in that region can have hope peace, tranquility, rather than ethnic divides and violence. thank you. >> a few more minutes between the next panel begins, this is is a panel on cuba, richard has written a book called the prince, a miami childhood and an island called home, lives on the sata rolando estevez and orlando
garcia martinez will also be participating in that panel. often at the the miami book fair they will hold the panel on miami, or u.s. cuban relations because of the special relationship between miami and cuba. joyce's of philadelphia, joyce were taking phone calls right now while we're waiting for the next panel to begin. based on some of the books that we showed you just recently, anything anything else you like to talk about. >> joyce is gone. let's move on to barry and orange massachusetts. hi barry. >> hi. i'm a. i'm a graduate of miami-dade junior college, great school, graduated 40 years ago. i think the critical issue here and i would like to tie the middle east to the success of donald trump. the big issue is that political correctness has squelched any
form of ability to communicate honestly between different groups that expends locally within the united states through the world. in this country the left simply denies impact of illegal immigration and the right to nice and will not commit a discussion of global climate, and it goes on issue after issue. you cannot make progress until you can honestly deal with reality. whether it is pleasanter beneficial to you or whether it is harmful to you. i think trumps success is because he is leading a discussion on things that are taboo within the worlds in the united states today.
>> that was perry imports massachusetts, up next on book tv is kelly calling in from las vegas. hi kelly. >> hi, how are you. i just want to can hear me. >> i want to make a comment about people wanting to go to the middle east to fight isis. the problem we have is that if you put everybody there and wipe out access and then leave, what is is going to happen after we leave? so i think the president is making us smart decision, it probably was a big strategic. [inaudible] i don't think that's the prominent solution, we probably need to reassess our alignment and sit figure out what strategic interest is for the united states and that.
we may been there primarily because of war the past but we probably need to get out of that. that's my comment. >> thank you sir, also this afternoon, another author who is going to be live on book tv is ted koppel, his most recent book is called lights out, it's about cyber attacks, particularly on our national infrastructure, you'll hear from ted koppel as well this afternoon, hussein jamaica new york, hello. >> good afternoon sir how are you. >> how are you sir? >> hussein, we are good how are you sir?
>> my comments are a student of history who told them years ago it was the romans who were cooperating with the middle east, then often 700 years back these romans were kicked up by the muslims, then came the crusaders, 400 years they have fighting, they were fighting to occupy the middle east, then the first world war by the white americans great britain and
france, so you tell me that if this country is occupied, what will the people do? my problem is why in occupying nation and those people why they are called the terrorists? muslims are being bullied by the israelis, so you tell me that all of this is possible the native people don't have the right to assist. all of the programs just know i was listening to this program, they were commenting what they're telling us.
to start here in a few minutes. it is a a panel i cuba, as you can see the room is being set, the audience is in place and in just a few minutes the panel will begin and we will be going live to it. in the meantime we have time for a few more calls here on our set in the center of miami-dade college. this is john and stanton island. hi john. >> how are you doing. hello? >> we are listening sir. >> i'm sorry i didn't hear you. >> are you ready for your comment. >> we are listening, please go ahead. okay, i'm sorry. first of all we haven't got a strong government, he is the weakest president we've ever had a power. besides that, the american people have to understand something, the isis situation, i'm watching the miami book fair okay, beautiful people walking all around,
should be walking around enjoying themselves. these people have to understand, all, all americans have to understand, this is not a matter of race, this is a matter of americans. they they have to understand one thing, okay. these people, isis will come in here and they will kill us. for instance, that book fair right there, if they planted a couple about that that book fair, there be sony dead of the dead bodies around it would be ridiculous. grown-ups, children, everyone. we have to stop them before they can do something like that. my humble opinion is, a a nightlight isis. once we annihilate that we have to wait 5000 more years and we can see if we can do it again. but right now, annihilate, annihilate them. too many kids i'm looking at -- >> okay that is john at staten island. so as we continue our live coverage here from miami we're going to go back to chapman hall here on the campus of miami-dade
college, this is where the next panel is set. all of the panels are being held here. this panel is held on cuba. you will hear from five different authors talking about their personal experience with cuba, as you can see the stage is set, we got the warming warning it is about to start. after that, to give you an idea what we are going to do today you will hear from stacy ship, the witch assailant 1692 is the name of her book. it is on many bustling looks right now. we're going to talk with david reed right later. his book on world hunger, john beauchamp will be talking about his book and chapman hall as well. the new book out on george hw bush. ted koppel will be in the room, peggy noonan will be taking your calls in the day finishes with brian dory and actor paul giamatti and david
strengthen. they'll be talking about brian dory's book, the theater of war. the book he does but it is also combined with the play, it has to do with ptsd and were, that is the finale here today from the book festival. if you want to follow us and get schedule updates and pictures you can follow us from twitter apple tv is our twitter handle, you can follow us on facebook at facebook.com/book tv. the full schedule of our coverage is available on our website at book tv.org. let's go go to chapman hall right now and the panel i cuba is about to begin. [inaudible]
[inaudible] >> good afternoon. good afternoon and welcome to the 32nd anniversary of the miami book fair. i am doctor nicholas present and i'm here to welcome you to the book fair today. you'll see across our campus there many venues and i hope you have had a chance to see others. this year, actually first few like to consider being a friend of the fair you are in the right building. downstairs and 310411 your charitable contribution could support this book fair this year
and in the future. if you'd like to become a friend of the fair please do so downstairs. we also have a way to support the fair using your technology. if you'd like to text books, be okay 2501, 501 to donate $10 you can do so now. you will receive a text back asking you to confirm your donation, just say yes. i'm asking you to do that now because in the moment i will ask you to turn off your technology. if you'd like to make a donation please do so now. we are grateful first answers including the night foundation, or gel and the bachelor foundation. so many more that you'll see listed on the signs around the fair. miami book fair is a year long endeavor. today is not the identifier is not not the only day of the book fair.
after the discussion today there'll be a question-and-answer period, just down the hall and around the corner there will be a signing session. it is time for me now to ask you to turn off your technology. silence your phones, unless you're donating please complete that and then turn up your technology. i will ask lydia to come come up and introduce our guests. >> [applause]. hello, happy miami book fair everyone. i am lidia martin is a columnist at the miami herald. i'm honored to be introducing the panel. ruth behar will be the moderator today is a macarthur award winning writer and anthropologist know for her work. she was born in havana, cuba and frequently visits and writes about her native island. among her books she is the
author of the vulnerable observer, anthropology that makes your your heart, and island called home. returning to jewish cuba and traveling heavily, a memoir between journeys. she is the editor of a memoir which will be reissued this year of the 20th anniversary edition. her poetry is included in the whole island six decades of cuban poetry and several homemade books designed by cuban book artists. richard blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in u.s. history. the youngest, first latina, immigrant and gay person to serve us in such a role. born imagery of and raised in miami the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterizes his bodywork. he is the author of two acclaimed memoirs a book that explores is coming-of-age on his attempts to understand his place in america while grappling with his identity. for all of us, one today.
and three award poetry collections looking for the golf motel, directions to the beach of the dead and city of 100 fires. also a children's book, one today. illustrated by day. pulitzer prize-winning lives is a food editor and dining critic for the palm beach post. she has worked as a foreign correspondent, mixing writer, television news producer and columnist. it was as a compliment us that she won the 1993 pulitzer prize for commentary. later shared a second pulitzer for breaking news. she was one of the very first people in this town to move the cuban conversation for before before it was cool. she has authored and co-authored books that include the memoir of
miami's doctor to the homeless, called waking up in america, the memoir of a television anchor, i am my father's daughter. and a novel a novel sweet mary. born in cuba will he still lives rolando is a visual artist and put who works in multiple mediums including drawing, painting, performance, stage design and book design. he is an author of a volume of poems about his exile cuban family and is the recipient of agent honors including the cuban national book design award. a cofounder, he created over 500 handmade artist books between 1995 in 95 and 2013 which he collected, which are collected by the british national museum and the u.s. library of congress. he now directs his own imprint
and which is creating limited addition, one-of-a-kind artist books that are getting recognition for their beauty and culture. born in cuba, he is a historian and writer. he directs a writers and artists union and is the founding member. he teaches history and social cultural anthropology and is a prolific and highly respected author of numerous major articles in a dozen books about the history of slavery and slavery emancipation in cuba. he has lectured about his research in the u.s., europe, and latin america. has been a visiting scholar at the david rockefeller center at harvard university. he has been honored several times. welcome everyone. [applause].
hi everyone. thanks for everybody for coming out today, family and friends and many, many things to the book fair and to the incredible team area and it's an incredible book for this year. i will be be the moderator so i will try to be brief. let me keep my watch year and may be able tell me when i am talking for too long. let me begin by saying that throughout the 90s when i began traveling to cuba, i would stop in miami and i would would visit my grandmother, my maternal grandmother. she did not like that i was going to cuba so much. she would always say, what did you losing cuba? what are you trying to find that? i wasn't sure. i really wasn't. this was the grandmother who had
spent nine years working in cuba to help bring her family from poland to safety in cuba on the eve of the holocaust. i felt a need for reconnection with this place that have been a refuge for my jewish family. i am the one in the family, i guess one in every family there someone like that who really felt the need to reconnect with cuba. as going back-and-forth for many years, when i went back on those first few visits, one of the very first visits my great aunt and uncle, they had a son who died in cuba of leukemia. he was buried in cuba in 1954. when we left cuba in the 60s of course, his grave had to be left behind. when i went back they said, please i went back they said, please take a picture and
find out if his grave is still there because they were afraid maybe it would have been defaced or mistreated. i went to the cemetery on the outskirts of havana, i found the grave, it was in perfect shape, it was being very well taken care of. then i found out the woman who had been his nanny and her younger sister had been my nanny, those women, two black cuban women had been taking care of this grave that was the grave of a jewish boy in cuba. that, i think for me is where the bridge to cuba began. in this sense that there were other people holding onto jewish memory for us back in cuba. they did not have to do that, it was an act of kindness and love
that they showed to my family. i think that is where my desire to create bridges to cuba began these are bridges of sentiment and feeling, of of emotion, of ties across time and across history. when i edited my anthology 20 years ago called bridges to cuba, conversations between conversations between cubans on the island and the diaspora were rare and far between in the process of reconciliation was just beginning. our lives had been ruptured by politics and by ideology. it was was almost as if the civil war had broken between us and broken assassination. i wondered, what did we still have in common is a culture? was there something about being cuban that united us and made us one people? if there was, how, how are we to tell these shared stories. that was a question we try to answer in bridges to cuba, an anthology that came out 20 years ago and it brought together 80 writers and scholars, and
artists. our mottos was walls turned on their sides could be bridges. many were part of the generation that had left cuba as children. we were searching for lost childhood. i call myself and others of that generation, niños, and old the child. on the island i found people were trying to understand who we were. we seem to live, those, those left, we seem to lived in two worlds over seeking a bridge between past and present. now, 20 years later we are living in a very different moment with the restoration of ties between the u.s. and cuba. there is now a 20th anniversary edition of bridges to cuba out with a beautiful cover. i'm just going to read a couple of paragraphs from that. to bring us up today.
>> when the news broke on december 17, 2014 of restored ties between the u.s. and cuba, it felt felt thrilling that cuba was in the spotlight. my mother and father who had never been back to father cuba since we left in the early 60s reacted in typical fashion. my father said the united states was condoning another 50 years of tyranny on the island. but my mother began to dream, a a finally going back to visit cuba. maybe, she said daydreaming out loud, the ferry will begin operating again. my father once said he would even go back only if the ferry service from key west or miami to havana were restored, thinking this would never happen. but now it's our family dramas being played out on the world stage there is a great expectation that the ferry and
other bridges between the u.s. and cuba will soon become a reality. i have been waiting forever for this cuban moment to arrive. so i then am i a little ambivalent about the stance run cuba? aren't bridges what i wanted? wanted? like other cubans i feel distressed when i observe the mushrooming of the numerous instant experts who are marketing and exotic and exhort image of cuba in a mad rush to get to cuba and to get to figure out cuba there is a terrible silencing taking place. we are not paying enough attention to the more subtle and poetic voices of those who have been experiencing cuba for a lifetime. that is what we hope to do in this panel. to share the voices of those who have been experiencing cuba for a lifetime.
this past june, richard and i created a blog called bridges to and from cuba. we want to create a space that conservatives a form for cubans to express the poetry of this unfolding moment. a moment of anxiety and hope, of doubts and dreams, a moment when we are trying to create a bridge to the future. we invite all of you to read our blog and give us your comments and send us your contribution. so we are very fortunate to have an incredible group of panelists today. all of them, dear friends of my that that i have known for 20 years. we are going to start with rolando who is the most incredible book artist that you will ever know coming from cuba. [applause].
i'm going to translate. does everybody speak spanish? okay. okay i was taking very good notes, that is the very good thing about being an anthropologist. so. so i have notes and i'm going to translate or at least to a summary of what he said. he said some really incredible things. so he started by talking about what the word bridges means to him. he lives in the city and he does not like the name of the city because some of you will know what that means, it means killings or slaughter. so he does not like being in a city called slaughter. so he was involved in a campaign to change the name of the city. he mentioned that he lives in a city with a horrendous name. it is a city city with three rivers, about 15 bridges. he is always crossing physical
bridges. he is always thinking about bridges in his day-to-day life and that he recalls when he was eight years old, that was the first time he got a passport. his family got him a passport, he did not know what it meant being a boy at eight years old. he would hear these terms passport and money order. he was not aware that something complicated was going on but was not quite sure what it meant. the the years pass, eight years past and he was of military agent cuba at the time and he was 15 years old and a young man of military age could not leave cuba. it was impossible for a boy of that age to immigrate.
so his family had a very difficult wrenching decision to make. do we all stay, or do you stay and we will come back for you later? this was his parents and his younger sister who is eight years old at the time. the idea was you'll stay and we'll come back for you soon. so as he put it, the boy stayed, 15 years old. they sought thought he would stay for a short while but he ended up falling in love, having a family, building a family family and cuba and his family left with the air bridge. so he never got to live with his family again. they came to to miami, his parents and sister and he stayed in cuba. so, for him art has become like his family and since 1985 he is he is been making these really beautiful, unique books and they are made always with simple brown paper and using fragments and bits and pieces and initially with many of graphs to
make something beautiful out of poor things. the books take time as he says, they are a symbol of time passing. it takes long time to make them. it involves artisans and he has also built a very beautiful bridge between cuba and michigan, over the years we have become close friends and have collaborated on books together. so there is a bridge to michigan. he has come a couple of time as an artist in residence. we formed a really beautiful bridge. so he says in conclusion, art is a bridge, he now has his own independent in print imprint and he is the first person in cuba to have this independent small imprint. he is doing this all by himself. very difficult very difficult to do. but he is doing it.
as he says, all of my life i will be making these books, both for cubans and people in the united states. he. he is constantly going to be building bridges through his books. thank you. [applause]. went. >> when we talk about bridges i think what we're talking about his conversation. unfortunately when that conversation of all sku can be loaded with distractions and agendas, and all of those things that can fill political speeches but commit conversation. here's the thing, i think a conversation can also happen internally. i believe a conversation can also believe with yourself and it can happen many miles away from cuban. it. it could happen in miami, anywhere. for me, the point of entry into a conversation about cuba's
identity. it is matters of identity. it really goes to the core of who we are. in order to reach that point of entry sometimes it is hard to shut out a little bit the noise. i always always say, just let cuba find you. let yourself find cuba in daily life. i think you can do this when you approach the topic from an identity standpoint not as an ad agency or not as an outsider, but if you do it with an internal dialogue and you can allow cuba to find you that way. i find it in music. i find cuba cuba every day music. i think you every day in the language i hear, fragments that
i over here in west palm beach where i work. i find it in food. in fact, i conjured cuba in my kitchen constantly. i am now now the food editor for the palm beach post and i just love stories about food. i love stories about how recipes came to be, how they are passed along from one relative to another, from one generation to another. so this week i'm going to conjure cuba once again to make kitchen when i make my mother's black beans for thanksgiving, because as you know we have to have that alien dish always at thanksgiving. our alien dish is always the black beans. my mom passed away in 2006 and every year i still make that big batch of beans exactly how she used to do it, i don't know if
it comes out the same but the secret is that little touch of sherry at the end. but i will tell you, it is a insoluble bridge. i traveled to cuba on a raft of from frito, constantly with with aromas, with memories, it just gets me. for me personally and my life that's enough. i feel it is as valid as is the cuba of the next great monkey to make her. and that hit havana that is going to happen predicted by anthony bourdain, -- i feel that cuba for me is just as valid. i allow cuba to find me in palm beach just as my parents found cuba in hialeah. i feel very fortunate that i can still have that intimacy with the country of my birth.
there is a misconception i think, people thinks cuba belongs to a government, or generation, or long-suffering people. cuba belongs to me, cuba belongs to you, cuba belongs to all of us here. i feel i have a i have a birthright personally to walk the streets and to claim cuba, not only in physical dimensions but to claimant in figurative dimensions as well. i can do that being an american, i am a proud american. that ever flowing conversation that is cuba will always be part of my soul. i went to cuba one is 23 years old, i went to the place i was born. i walk the streets, unpaved, the streets outside the house where my parents lived. it was such a gift to me because
it informed my soul who i was. i felt after i had been there and i had seen the weight my parents, the places where my parents met for instance and where they grew up, even to bathe by dipping a free canon water the way they did once upon a time, i could go anywhere in the world after that and i knew where i came from. i knew who i was. that fragment of identity no matter how old i get it will always be with me. that is what i can personally bring to this table. i can also bring an open heart, i can bring open ears to talk about your cuba, whether it is physical memory or aromatic. thank you. [applause].
[inaudible] speaking in spanish. [inaudible] speaking in spanish [applause]. >> so that was really fascinating, i will attempt to be brief translation. so he once began by talking about the difficulties of these interchanges himself actually went through a lot of difficulties to get here to the book fair getting his visa, he is very glad we are at a stage where cubans on both shores are moving beyond the blocked
relations we had before, he remembers that it young man how sad it was watching people leaving cuba after 1969. all of these beloved people who are living in the drama and trauma and evolve for those who stayed behind. so he remembers the emotional bridges that began to be forms in the early 90s area there is a time called the special. , there's a crisis in cuba. everyone everyone was worried about how to survive. how to make it from one day to the next, how to make enough food to put on the table, that is when all of these bridges began in that. in the early 90s. he recently met richard blanco, richard i were in cuba in june and we went to see him since richard's family was was from there. the turns out orlando new -- so
orlando new richard's mother who is right here who had been a very beloved teacher. so he knew about her, he she was a teacher they still spoke about even though they left cuba. correct me if i am wrong about not telling the story correctly richard. when we went back as suddenly as started talking about all of the connection they said wait but i know your mother, is that pretty much it? >> you so that was pretty amazing, again just a way of saying that people in cuba did not forget those of us who left, there is still fond memories of those of us who had left the islands. so going back to the difficult time in the early nineties, it was a time people in cuba were thinking of survival, making it from day
today, i know orlando mentioned a writer named tom miller who wrote a book trading with the enemy he appeared and he kept asking how do cubans live? what is it it like to be a cuban et cetera? rolando just finally got tired and say you want to see how they live come to my house. so in the 90s, time of great shortages and so on. they got to the house and there is a blackout. no electricity. the only thing that was available for dinner was rice and an egg that was for the child's in the family. this is what we have eggs and rice for the child. i will see what else appeared there is a man appeared selling tamales, so they bought one and cut it into four pieces and i thought what if something else appears in a neighbor appeared giving them some sweets out of the pioneer. so suddenly
they they had dessert too. it all came together. subsequently an east german scholar came by and they said how did you find me and at the time he is feeling very depressed, he was not doing his scholarship he did not have paper or ribbon for his typewriter at the time. he lent some of his research material to the scholar and that is how rolando started coming back to his scholarship. he is a a specialist in the history of slavery in cuba. the scholar came and started encouraging him to go back to his research, then my colleague who is a historian meant toward him who is here at the book fair and he just recently wrote a book about cuba and haiti, so traveling back to cuba she was the first american historian who
pushed to be able to do her doctoral research in cuba in the 19 eighties. this has all changed since the 90s but in the 80s it was still very hard to get permission. she cap push in until she was able to do her doctoral research in cuba. that opened up a path for open other researchers and scholars as well who started to go do research and cuba. so i'll be brief now so orlando talked about creating these different workshops and being open to different methods of doing scholarships. very interesting scholar historian now at harvard and he had been doing his research and cuba but then decided to do his dissertation writing in the united states because they
called him a traitor back at that time and tried to get him to go back to cuba to be in a workshop that is very difficult but he finally got his visa anyway, i happen to to have met rolando in michigan, he was invited by rebecca scott, i i was holding a party for an artist and that was actually where i first met rolando. i want want to add a personal story. so many years ago when i was in cuba i actually became very sick. i've never told my family so don't tell my mother. my aunts my aunts and uncle are here. i don't want them to get worried. many years ago a cube i got very sick and didn't know what i had. i i was had a fever and was very ill. i got there and immediately rolando said you are not well i have to take you to a dr.. we went to the hospital and a friend of his who is a dr. and they said to me, if they ask you your name say you are ruth, so
they do not know what that is. [inaudible] speaking in spanish. >> so i went and they did the x-ray and it turned out i had terrible pneumonia. right, and and we did all of this because they took me to the public cuban hospital so that i would not have to pay anything. as you note medical attention is free. so i got free attention. i got the x-ray done and it turned out i had terrible pneumonia and nice poster going to eastern cuba and the dr. said you can go on but if you do then you will probably be in the hospital. you may may not want to do that. so i did not and things to rolando as well, his wife had stuck piled some antibiotic. so they had some antibiotic that
i could take and start to get better. i came back to michigan and had to be in bed for two weeks. so i think rolando save my life as well. [applause]. but we met in cuba, he was there for this workshop with rebecca scott. anyway, so he is really glad to be here. he was very glad that we are now in a different space and there is more openness for debate and discussion of there should be more brotherhood and sisterhood back-and-forth, cross the border. he wants to say that we're the same people, the same country and that it is important to continue creating these bridges. thank you. [applause].
>> good afternoon everyone. thank you for all of your wonderful comments. you give me so much to think about. i have notes all over the place. i wish i could talk spanish like rolando and i wish i i wish i could take notes like ruth. that is just insane. she was just able to do on the spot. [applause]. when rolando said and darted talking and we visited the stuff that comes out of his mouth, i wish i could could speak spanish that way. i like to give you a brief tour of what bridges has been in my life from both physical as an engineer, both proverbial, literal, and artistic and all the rest.
i do not know if this is getting over miami already but as i like to say i was made in cuba, assembled in spain and imported to the united states. my mother left seven months pregnant cuba i was born in madrid and 45 days five days later after my birth we immigrated to miami. of course, that signifies for me among many things is the idea of crossing when i was 45 days old. beyond that was that i was kind of -- my brother was older actually looks younger than me now but we will say that he was 20 years older than me. i was the first person in the family to learn english. i learned english and spanish is at the same time. i don't remember not knowing to language. so my first role as a bridgebuilder was translating.
i remember my parents were saying how do you say that? later on, as an adolescent really been able to pull the wool over their eyes and tell them all sorts of things in english and get away with linguistic murder. they did not know one bad word in english is good. later in life, my bridge started in a different way. as we all know and list correct me if i'm wrong because i have maybe been misquoting you throat the entire world that lives one time said -- i don't know if it was me with love living in miami because it's so close to the united states. and you don't need a passport. so, i think these things were talking about here is generational and also what happened with the idea of bridges. for me, my first bridge was to america. growing up in up in miami was a very on diverse culture, the city especially
back in the 70s and eighties, everyone was cuban. everyone was like me or my parents, my grandparents, the community at large. so as a little kid the instinct was we do not always accept the given culture because it years parents right? we are not doing that. so the idea was that i wanted to see that mythic america. i wanted the bridge to america that i had seen on tv. of course, as is natural when you grow up and mature, and realize you are given ulterior birthrights senses are trying to come and tear on and you realize these are not just stories that old folks in the family are telling. it's really a part of who i am. so i began another bridge toward cuba. my bridge did not begin on one end and ended in another it began in the middle. kind of the opposite the way
you're supposed to build a bridge from woodside to the other. that middle point was miami. they are both very on anish bridges. in some ways even though i went to cuba for the first time in 1994, my mother left her entire family in cuba, her eight brothers and sisters. so i needed to see that that really happen, i needed to see those people. i need to see the landscape. it was a bridge but it was not to the place i needed to go yet. it was a bridge that was in a way that you had to come back, especially in 1984, the possibility of even thinking
about having an intimate relationship with the island, emotionally and otherwise was not really a possibility. it is still kind of strange sometimes. ruth and i always comment that the minute you come back and get off at the airport it just seems like all that happened was just a dream. did that really happen, did we just go to cuba? but, in any case that bridge was finished on the side toward america was also sort of not finish. in a way, as much as i tried i still felt like i need to be that mythic peter brady, that little kid on tv and even though i was living and lived up north in connecticut, and eventually maine. this is where i was when ruth and i first started to go to cuba this last june. well before that i think.
there is a sense that i'm just going to be this person in the middle of the bridge that doesn't reach either place. that is my life. that is okay. then obama called. he said richard, right up pole, i can't do an obama impersonation, wish i could. write a poem for america. suddenly that bridge did get finished in some ways. one of the greatest use of the inauguration was the process of writing that poem then unfolding today is that sense not that ice peter brady but i realize i did not have to be peter brady to be american. that was part of the american narrative that had always been there. it was starting to be recognized and i belong to that story, i belong to the narrative. it was like i was peter brady or something or another.
so that other side the side to cuba felt unfinished. i thought well that's just the way it is going to be. it was weird because i felt so grounded in my american us and in all my years i had been looking at america sorted through the lens of the other as though i'm looking at a strange land that i live in the trying to connect with that. then, december 17, almost two years to the day of when i got the call from the white house for the inaugural poem the news gets on leash. i i don't know about you, or anyone in the audience but it sent shockwaves to all of us, and good ways and bad ways, just bewildering ways because i realize that unfinished bridge to cuba in some ways, whether you are for the embargo or against the embargo, wherever you stood politically, emotionally, in emotionally, in some ways that a
possibility was the glue that was holding us. it was in the center of so much that we could all walk around. suddenly that bottom dropped out. i took four days imus had to go into therapy. i thought i knew how i felt about cuba. i thought i knew. suddenly, so many different questions popped up that it never occurred to me. just read some of the list here, would i be now for america to cuba? was i really cuban? what did he mean to be cuban? does it mean going around miami and saying something a few times. suddenly it became became a real place that i can have a relationship if things unfolded. and watching them unfold hopefully. also realize that i was a
romantic i, jeremy i i and realize that there is a real country here that has been around for a long time longer than my story. the country had evolved in its own ways, had its own problems in its own ways. i had a a whole another history to catch up with. a whole other community and friends, and family, new family new family members. suddenly it became a real country. which, i thought i had thought thought about it that way but no, seems like there is so much more to catch up. one of the other things that started concerning mere thinking about and this is really important to me and something i'm very anxious about. it is the idea that the sale of
these changes happen, does it mean that my mother's story gets the race? does it mean that my story in cuba gets the race? if all of these changes, who is going to be the curator of the history now. who is going to be the curator of the stories that are so important to me that none of them get washed out the cause i don't see it as a history here in history there. but there to history that are really part of one history. we have to to be able to bridge that history of that art, it is not like one side one of the other side loss. it is not that black-and-white. this is what i'm calling the emotional bridge. the emotional embargo and we need to link the things that have been severed are not talked about in a way. those real stories and not let them be washed away.
two more things. the idea that i also build bridges as an engineer. i am also a bridge -- one of the things i did was a bridge hydrologist. it is not the one that opens up the bridge which is what i thought it was when my boss told me. where bridge really starts is not in the peers, not the cable, not, not in the dax, a bridge starts really below and the things you cannot see. it is in the currents. my job my job as a hydrologist is to study the river and those that he its history and to understand how it grows, how it swells, how fast it moves, all of the things the eye cannot see. ultimately that is how a bridge stands or how it would fall apart. i think what we're trying to do
as bloggers, or blog that each of us are trying to do individually and i would love to note that each of a star on bridge building in our own ways, is to look at that stuff that you cannot see that it's going to either make or break their bridge, the emotional stuff. the stuff of family and all of the rest, culture and all the rest. the the stuff that runs in the currents about art and family and histories and whatnot. i think that is how ruth and i have been able to follow that moment. we did this largely because we need to respond to something, we knew that center had fallen out in some ways. we wanted to protect the stories , our stories here and the people of cuba, the people that often go on heard all the
time is a way of making the foundation for whatever that new bridge may look like if it ever finishes on both sides. anything else talking with ruth about recently, i don't know i don't know who said it, maybe it was list to, i think what i want us to think about intake, is what conversations were having here are academically, culturally and all the rest, this world, what we're trying to solve here yes we're trained to think about cuba but it is really larger than that in a way. look at what is happening in the world. look at the movements of people. look at countries and how things are getting blurry. the idea of nation's blurry. the idea border is a blurrier and blurrier every day. look what is happening with
syria. for us, as thinkers and academics it is really a foundation to think about larger issues about how cuba is just an example of one of the fundamental human issues that humanity has. this idea of immigration, movement, et cetera, how we solve it may be something useful or whatever mistakes we also make may be useful in the long run. i think, how much time do that? is that it? so and this is my quote. never never give a cube and a microphone. [laughter] like to share closing an excerpt. oh yeah, and i think in part that is what one i was asked to more little things.
the idea that i feel personally and emotional personal responsibility and these changes that i did not necessarily create but to participate them in such a way that we can effect with the change looks like. again, to honor and respect the stories of my parents, the exile community, the stories equivalent of the counterparts of cuba. but to make sure those changes really are toward something meaningful. that is why chose to step into that moment in the reopening of the u.s. embassy. for very personal reasons but also for prosperity and the sake of carrying, hopefully having an effect in some ways. not politically because what we're talking about is academically artistically, and all of the rest. but influencing it in way. i would like to close with an
excerpt from the preface i wrote for the poem. i grew up with half a family and half a mother, emotionally. i was a fractured person made of two halves, the cuban happen the american have connected only by so-called cuban-american. but through the writings and matters of c, and participating in the usmc reopening the mending has symbolically began. i started to think of myself not as a choice between american or cuban, nor hyphenated cuban-american, but american cuban. i realize that indeed, i hope, my heart is big enough to embrace the people of two countries, two cultures, two histories, two homes. i dedicate this poem to my mother, to all those who also
need to heal, to those who believe that love, compassion, communication are key in sending human distress individually or collectively. to those who have risked or lost their lives in cuba or the sea we share in the sake of change. while politics may sometimes divide people, the deep attachment to family, country, and the memory of home have the power to bring us together. as such, and is my humble hope that this poem may reach deep into our emotional swells, connect us to our shared humanity and thereby, serve as a catalyst for meaningful changes in cuba and a new understanding among cubans everywhere. [applause].
>> thank you so much richer, we're so lucky to have richard as our poets ambassador right now with cuba. thank you so much. so beautiful. i don't know if we do have time for questions or not. i don't think so. let me make some important announcements. i just want to let you know richard has another panel soon at 4:30 p.m. in the children's alley. his book has been turned into a children's book. rolando has another presentation at the exile lounge, that is a building room two, 2103. his books will be available for you to look at close-up and purchase. i would like to thank liz for a beautiful piece she wrote for our blog, manifest over cuban heart. rolando also has some history books. i think we go outside now and the books will be there if you are interested.
thank you so much. [applause]. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> you are watching book tvs live coverage of the 32nd annual miami book fair. that was a panel on cuba that you have been watching. up next, the next author you'll see is stacy schiff to his written about the salem witch trial. her book as a best seller, we are live and we are live in the center of miami-dade college. we have created a call call and said here and we want to introduce you to an author
named adam levin. the book is called swipe, how to protect yourself in a world full of scammers, fissures and identity thieves. first, first of. first, first of all mr. levin, you are noted as founder and chairman of credit.com. what is that? >> credit.com is an online educator, advocate. it is also a site where you can get products and services that are appropriate to where you are in your credit life. also it provides free scores in pre-information as to how to get you from wherever you are to wherever you want to get to. so you pay less money for access to money than you pay when you started. we are one of the longest surviving.com. we started in 1994, we swapped a hard drive to get the domain so that is how long we have been around.
we have had a wonderful opportunity to communicate with consumers, helped millions of people over the years and we hope to continue to do so. >> you are also the founder of a website called identity theft 911. >> yes idt 911 is the new name because we are scaring people with old navy. it's an organization that works with companies for the benefit of their customers and employees come out we have everything from identity theft at education, identity management, breach response, preparedness, identity resolution for those who have become victims. where the first company ever founded based on a core competence of helping people get through the trauma of being victims of identity theft. >> okay so your book is called swipe. if someone goes to credit.com how much do you and your company learn about them? >> we learn a great deal. but they give us their information willingly. we have free products and services for them. it is designed to help them
better their position in the credit world. so it is sort of a collaborative effort on credit.com and as consumers we are security conscious. we do not share information. that is all about education, information, helping consumers. we consumers. we have one of the largest content library, thousands of articles that are there because our goal is to answer question and to anticipate the kinds of questions that will be asked. >> from your book you have written since 2005, more than, more than 1 billion sensitive records with personally identifiable information has been leaked. >> yes. that is really the problem. we are in a new dime now. the paradigm is that hacks and breaches have become the third certainty of light behind death and accidents.
because way over 1,000,000,000 files have been accessed with personal identifying information, here's one inevitability and reality. each of us is going to become a victim of identity theft in our lifetime. unfortunately possibly multiple times. so the question is, how do you adjust yourself to this new world. as much as you would we would like to say can be prevented, fortunately cannot. you can do everything right but if you're on the wrong database at the wrong time you're going to be a victim. if the information includes your social security number they have an option on your life and it is no longer as to if but when they are going to exercise it. >> is a social security number the golden key? >> it is. the fact is we need to get off this addiction to social security numbers. we are starting to. do you know for those of us i got that magic card in the mail
any other reason? if you die we need your social security number. call my lawyer, he has my social security numbers and, you don't need to have it and there are so many instances where people ask for your social security number. in financial transactions the social security number, hopefully we will start moving off of that but when you sign up your kids for the league or go to a variety of different programs, royalty program, we need is your social security number, no they don't, don't give it to them. >> a child and social security number is christine. >> totally. a great story, one of the people i know who is an expert, chief privacy officer from one of the biggest organizations and world her daughter became a victim of child identity fact nine years before she was born because someone invented another, used
it, social security and ministrations not knowing that assigned number to her and she became a victim. the recent children and social security numbers are important as they are pristine, they are not used for anything, no one should be using the social security number for credit or anything like that until they are age 18, so people steel this information, use and no there are 15 or more years because children don't check this social security numbers, parents won't check it children that social security numbers and the only time they even think about is if they want to get a college loan or a car, their first credit card, that doesn't really happen. parents use children's social security numbers on their tax returns as dependents but there has been a breach of the transcript section of the internal revenue service so more and more of that information is out there. it is a real problem, child identity theft. >> host: who are the scanners and identities thieves we should
be most worried about? >> there are four types of hackers and they are the problem, those pack because there state-sponsored, hacking for intelligence reasons, those that sponsor because they want to make the money, those that hack because they can do it and they want to prove they can do it and those that hack because they're trying to prove the point. there what we kolkhoz hackers. ashley madison was a cause hacker for 37 million people had their information exposed because someone was the angry. the sony hack was a combination of someone doing it for money but really because they were state-sponsored hackers representing north korea and they were angry at sony for putting on a movie they felt made fun of the premier of north korea's do you have those, people who want to make money so they hack people who work in organizations that are angry at the organization and want to make a point.
you have people who are subject to being bribery victims who are being exported the might give up information. the office of personnel management which is the human-resources department of the united states government was hacked presumably by china but after the chinese authorities had done what they want to do with that information, as they could sell a dance suddenly people are exposed. the problem with that hack, 5 million fingerprints were exposed. the most intimate details of investigative reports for background checks for security clearances were exposed as a result of that hack and those intimate details could lead the person who has that information in their position to blackmail intelligence operatives to try to bribe intelligence operatives and these are the different ways that you can be exposed because
of that, social networking, people get on social networking, they have to tell everybody everything and they don't realize some of the people they think are their friends are not their friends. people are approached by someone in a romantic way but suddenly they ask too much, they want to get too close too fast and then start asking for many, start asking for personal information and you could be exposing yourself that way as well. >> host: don't give your social security number even though many places as fort it require it. besides the social media aspect what are we missing as far as protecting ourselves? >> guest: minimize your risk of exposure, don't care your social security card, those of you who are children, don't carry your inventory of credit, debit cards, don't give information to people you don't know and be careful about giving information to people using you know. if someone calls on the phone and says there from the irs hang
up, they don't do that or say they are from your bank, if they ask you anything more than we noticed some suspicious activity in your account, just confirmed the transactions. if they ask you to authenticate yourself, hang up. protect the devices that you use, you're smart phone is more than a communication device, it is a data storage device and make sure you put the right software and protections on their, same with your laptop, with your ipad. you should also be using long passwords and don't share your password across your entire universe of websites because all you need is to have one hat on one website and diffuse the same password they are going to be in to every one of your sites, and monitor, go to any willcreditreport.com and get a copy of your free credit report and see if anything doesn't look
like, is a credit thought, and get free overview or scores updated monthly, check your bank and credit-card accounts and databases and if that is too much of a pain, up for what is transactional monitoring, if your bank and credit-card company, any time there is activity in your account, they take it as being suspicious but you may catch it because you know where you are and where you haven't been. you can get more sophisticated forms of monitoring including monitoring done me not meet alert which is someone is attempting to open an account in your name right now. is the you? yes or no? that could prevent fraud. consider no one but you can't get into your credit account without a passport or pin number and last is the damage. a lot of people say do-it-yourself, you could and then you have no life but there are many institutions out there that have programs available to
protect you free as i perk of your relationship with the institution, your insurance company, many credit unions, smaller banks, the age our department where you work. call and ask do you have the program, am i in it? its not what do i need to do to get in it? well will it cost and make the determination if it is worth it but because identity theft has become so sophisticated and it takes people so long to find out they are a victim that by the time they do find out there's so much in the suit they need a professional to help them through it. >> host: there has been a lot of talk about back door into our smart phones and encryptions. does that increase security? the city decrease security? >> when there are back doors in encrypted systems you are weakening the system. they say just make sure the government has the back door.
look at the track record of the government protecting the data we have given them, from the white house, the state department, the postal service, the department of defense, the department of education, the office of personnel management, a state-by-state bistate you see all these breaches time and time again, encryption should be absolute. we don't have enough, the reason we are in the mess we are in today is because we didn't encrypt and the only shot we have at protecting ourselves is we have to encourage, we have to protect that encryption, the government has different ways it can get the information it wants, there are many different systems out there that aren't encrypted, it can use if it has to and if it goes about it is the right way which is going about it through the judicial system, but we can't look for ways to weaken that which we are trying to strengthen and we have
to assume also based on sophistication and creativity and persistence of hackers whatever you create, a system you think is totally secure they may well find a way around it anyway, they have their own system, they are going to do what they are going to do, we have to get better at detecting the bad guys. >> host: awhile back there was a commercial on the air of a gentleman saying here is my social security number, go ahead. come and get me. >> he was trying to say i have a wonderful company behind me and they can help me if i have a problem but what you don't want to do is precipitate the problem. the real issue is in the world we live in you can do everything right, you can secure yourself the best possible way you can, you can do everything everybody told you to do but it you are on the wrong data base and the wrong person gains access and your information is on there, you have a problem, the truth is yes, there are companies out
there that can help you and the wonderful place to learn more information, consumer federation of america has developed a site, idtheftinvoke.org and a number of providers have taken the best practice pledge, they have a series of questions and answers and they tell us the right thing the company can be doing and what you need to be thinking of if you choose a company to help you and you should minimize, you should monitor, you should have a program to manage the damage, monitoring programs out there have different damage control programs attached to them, read up on some, study them, understand them, make the right decisions. >> host: what do you think of retina scans and fingerprints to get into your phones? >> that is all good. but again, mastercard came out with a new thing they are developing which is to an online transaction, take a selfy and
you are supposed to blink because it is supposed to show proof of life so it is not a static picture but i was with the security expert that said someone can cut out one of the eyes and wink. we have to continue to move toward biometrics, very important part, the way you press the key on your smart phone, your heart beat, your blood flow, that will be part of the biometric security system in place, but you not only need the biometrics the defector authentication. to authenticate yourself for the site, the site to be authentic itself and you end it needs to communicate with you and make sure they got the right person, the right device and as time goes on we will have more of them. >> here's the book, swiped, adam levin is the author, you are
watching booktv on c-span2 live from miami. and now as we can continue our coverage of the miami book fair we are going back to chat mahal at miami dade college campus, stc chef, best-selling author of the witches, this is about salem in 1692, booktv on c-span2. >> winner of the pulitzer prize, author of cleopatra, a life. best-selling book and winner of the award for biography, the author of a pulitzer prize finalist and great improvisation, franklin, france and the birth of america, winner of the george washington book prize and the ambassador book award. she received fellowships from the guggenheim foundation and the national endowment for the humanities and then a word in literature for the academy of lights and letters.
her latest book, "the witches: salem, 1692" tells the story of a woman who screamed and convulsed and it ended a year later shearon roberts women had in hand and an elderly man crushed to deftly depicts spread quickly involving domesticated the plant prominent politicians in the colony. in curious ways the trials would shape the future republic. as psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminole, "the witches: salem, 1692" is stacy schiff's account of the story. please join me in welcoming stacy schiff. [applause] >> thank you all. don't worry about timing, i am a
slow rider but fast synar. i will get to everybody. after i started writing this book i went to see one of the great seventeenth century experts that i've thought had welcome the best pages we have on sale and because i wanted some advice about the archives. when i left that afternoon, as an afterthought, offered another piece of advice, i should probably work you, he said, strange things tend to happen when you work on witchcraft. it was a fall day, i walked off, research and wrote the book, delivered on schedule, the publisher was pleased with it, more pleased when they discovered publishers weekly, the book industry publication was going to be doing a feature on me and with it they would include a full page lead photo and they did and it looked like this. [laughter] as you might notice,
that stacy schiff is not i. thanks to twitter it took 90 seconds to learn that is the novelist amy stewart. she has a book out this fall which i will also be signing after this talk. when i asked my publisher to send this over to show it to you i also asked for an image of the table of context i had not seen any scented and here it is announcing my return to fiction in my forthcoming novel. and the four years i spent in the archives deciphering and inciting from documents, corraling my imagination and triple checking details, also that i could write a novel. strange things happen to you when you work on witchcraft. no witches is not a work of fiction. is an attempt to grapple with what precisely what happened in eastern massachusetts in 1692
among the more disturbing moments in our history, may qualify as the best known, least understood chapter in america's past, partly because it seems so improbable. partly because it comes to us largely through hawthorne and arthur miller who were writing fiction but partly because new england's enemies seem to have made off with the story. here we are about halfway between plymouth rock and paul revere and all seems to go entirely off the rails. several kinds of stories at once as i will make clear in a few minutes but all of that in nine short months, the tragedy to which we regular the return of few corners of american history have been so often explored and if you don't believe me, this is my local library shelves on seventeenth century america and these are my office shelves when i finish the book, those little volumes at the top of the
screen, the classical library refugees from the cleopatra years and only recently did i look up and realize what cicero must think to be surrounded by puritans. the national campfire tale, one of the bear moments in our history when candles are knocked out and everyone seems to be groping around in the dark. of place where all good stories begin. in the dark we believe fervently in imagine most vividly, in the dark we contemplate our mistakes and wrestle with our fear is. in the dark there is an italian proverb, every cat is a leopard. if you read the papers, seventeenth century essex county you begin to notice the new england there lived very anxiously and attentively in the dark. win and stumbled into bed to find strangers sleeping there, then trooped home through the night to discover familiar landmarks have moved and are lost in their own backyard.
young men report they are we need at the thought of writing to their family farms after sundown and when the devil offers to accompany them they accept his offer. in a dark bar and a camel knocked from her hand, teenage girl in forms a man who attempted to assault her, quote, i would rather be bored by the cow than defiled by such programs as you. baja i read every seventeenth century account of the howling wolves and the native americans, but it took me a long time to realize how dark dark truly can be. our world is the electrified. their world is palpably physically black. it took me until, this is downtown manhattan in 2012 in the wake of hurricane sandy i was driving friends home when the car was out and turned off the headlights and suddenly all of those accounts of the new
england wilderness made sense to me. the seventeenth century dark, the line in chapter one, the sky over new england was pitch black, so black it could be difficult to keep to that task, a line of trees might migrate between other locations or you might find yourself pursued after nightfall by a rabid black hog living in a home bloody and disoriented on all fours. i should mention in court test me any the early american mentioned an ear witness, words and sound reigned supreme, it was really quiet. the testimony about the rapid black hogg is from september which trial, the hog, swore a 40-year-old far was no ha at all, it was a double and custom to trip, slashing his leg with his knife and he knew who it was. it was a witch, he swore and he
could identify her, the woman who had come into the tavern where he was drinking with a friend of the night there and told a friend he shouldn't have been out quite so late. the woman named for witchcraft two weeks after that testimony. the basic salem facts i simple. in 1692 over particularly harsh winter, a 9 and 11-year-old girl, happened to be the niece and daughter of salem village minister samuel paris, just before the move to salem when he would have been in his late 30s, complained something bit and choked them, their bodies twisted, they attempted to slide through the air, lunge into fireplaces, one of them disappeared halfway down a well, the number of descriptions of their symptoms but we have no image. this is the closest we can come, this is from a nineteenth century french text on the faces
of hysteria or emotional trauma and its physical manifestation, arched back and peddle limbs, rigid limits very much for people who observe the paris girl described. no one in the seventeenth century distinguished between a overtaxed nervous system and be which. in a matter of weeks two other village girls began to convulse liz dahlem soon learned from samuel paris and other authorities they were bewitch and with that diagnosis you can guess what happened, their symptoms begin to deteriorate. soon enough all four of them revealed to be which the them. we don't know why they named the name they did but think about it for a second. the question who annoys you, who and settles you, who irritates you, we all have an answer and so did the girls but a month or so ago my credit card was packed and when i called american express to report it, the first question was did you lend your car to anyone and the second
question was do you know anyone who might have done this to you and all i could think is i know that question. turned out there were not one but three whiches are around salem village, one went out at february for their arrests, suspects appeared a immediately before the authorities who interrogated them in the manner of the day which is to sell local beggar woman, the first woman to be depots was asked when she signed a contract with the devil, why she urge the girls and what creatures she had dispatched in order to do so. those questions came to her from important well-dressed men who lived in stately homes and own significant businesses his spoke with weight and authority, the context was asymmetrical. the story has something for everyone and here it begins to mutate. if it started as a fairy tale, once upon a time, a wicked witch cast a spell on two little girls, it turns into a courtroom
drama. let me talk a few minutes about witchcraft and how it worked. not every seventeenth century new england there was clear on this subject but those who were exceedingly clear, the early american, a which existed as heat or light, as if one already had it. the spirit could convey men and women through the air as that the wind could flatten a house. the early american which i should add did not look like this. although there is a great deal of the wizard of oz in this story, nor did the seventeenth century which look like this. this is the original wicked witch of the west from the 1900 edition of the wizard of oz, i am partial to that flying braid and unexpected dispatch. this is an early american halloween which, we don't know how they were involved with halloween in the first place but
they dressed very, fully, basic black after margaret hamilton in the 1939 movie. so which is the seventeenth century new england knew her as someone who performed by virtue of her contract with the devil and from that pact she drew the power to transform herself into cats, wolf, rabbits and rabin black hogs which could be a man or woman, the more often she was female and she maintained a menagerie of familiars, demonic mascots the dinner bidding, often turtles, weasels, cats, dogs and toweds. you conceit here this seventeenth century woman is feeding her blood to her diabolical toads, this is a woman with great black cat and demon familiar, she illustrates the 1621 english witchcraft case and this woman was acquitted of all charges. these are more diabolical
familiars, they range from basic standard issue barnyard animals to fantastic gargoyle like creatures. black cats, a particular favorite, turn up regularly throughout the salem testimony, black dogs occur, but historically english whiches tended for canine -- k-9 for. this is not a witch's familiar but a family catch. looking ever so vaguely demonic here. a which could be a muttering contentious malcontent, she or he could be inexplicably strong war unaccountably smart. those kinds of whiches could turn up as salem as would merchants, see captains, ministers and homeless 5-year-old girls. witchcraft tended to run in families along matrilineal lines. there would be a reason so many
of the accused were related to earlier witchcraft suspect or both. her power was supernatural. the which's crime was religiously in new england all tatar good was the soul rather than the body and her connection to those convulsing girls in salem, every englishmen had long known what enchantment looked like. according to the legal guide, was about to land on samuel paris's desk, which cracked manifested senseless trances, paralyzed limbs, convulsions, jaws clamped shut, and the symptoms of the girls and the parsonage to lead the. among the abundant approves of the which's existence was the biblical injunction against her, you shall not suffer a which to live, commands the scripture. i am sorry to share with you the basic english translation of exodus 22:18. any woman using a natural powers
or secrets arts is to be put to death. that pretty much applies to every woman i know. when massachusetts established the legal code the first capital crime was idolatry, the second was witchcraft. besides the mystery of the symptoms, the greater mystery, why in 1692 the hasty and reciprocity is in? charges were familiar from earlier cases, casting spells on livestock was a fairly common one. in salem which is cast spells on cattle, on wagons and muskets, enchanted fireplaces and send dishes sailing. from an early case, they did not fare well, riding a pagan
because they had been accused of pig be witching. new england which did a great deal of flying, down chimneys and apple trees and to a diabolical sabbath but traditionally the english which did not fly. continental whiches did which will provide a significant clue to what happened in salem in 1692 nor had there been any ghosts which flit around the court room in salem. women who come back from the dead to avenge themselves on abusive husband. those who confessed to witchcraft mention having slow, i should add on the devil's shoulders on branches or sticks, no new england which will never fly on a broom. these are english flyers, there are some english flyers, they seem to be recruiting the women on the ground. this comes later, probably 18th-century. as far as broomsticks go, this one is my favorite, leave it to a french woman to fly
gracefully. these are fifteenth century french blooms 6 -- broomsticks. they existed in all times and places. how is it possible imagination which was so personal and unpredictable could deliver the same conceit across cultures, in other words witchcraft was so preposterous, so improbable it had to be true. you couldn't make this stuff up. the impossibility of a shared delusion, the most compelling reason to believe in witchcraft, not to subscribe to it was heresy. sober minds did not make sport of the invisible world especially in light of the evidence, young, influential, at the center of the crisis. without mystery there is no faith, to deny witchcraft was to deny religion, small step from the more provocative assertion, to deny witchcraft was to
advocate it. the first arrest surprised no one. the three suspects counted among the likeliest people to be voted off the island but let me talk for a few seconds about the next one, the fourth accused which. -- witch. it is the accusations, one of the next knock were to land on your door and in the case of martha corey, up highest farm woman in her 60s, we know precisely what happened when that came at midafternoon on march 12th. surname, first uttered by a 12-year-old village girl surprised everyone. because it did, the church deacon and another villager hit a call on her because of a courtesy. first went off to see the accusing girl. could she possibly be mistaken. did she describe the close third tormentor war. the girl could not. but witch had blinded her
temporarily. the men road off, they found martha corey at home, welcomed her with the smile and anticipated the question. i know what you are come for, to talk with me about being at witch, she said. she was not at witch, she could not stop neighbors from gossiping. how do we know all of this? because the two men later wrote a detailed deposition. i show this to you so you feel sorry for me. this is vintage seventeenth century handwriting. when it was revealed that a be which girl named her, she was prepared but does she tell you what clothes i have on, she asked. the two men were flabbergasted by the question, seem to have supernatural knowledge so they asked her to repeatedly she assured them she had no for concern, everyone knew how about she was. you was given to lecturing, not surprised if the devil recruited the first three woman accused. in her estimation they were idle
people. the remarkable thing about salem, those who believe themselves to be innocent think the other accused whiches to be guilty. that afternoon my the promised to open the eyes of the magistrates and ministers so they might locate the real which -- witches. her 12-year-old accuser but the girl's mother was also afflicted. a spectral corey nearly tore the older woman to shreds offering her a diabolical pass design. the warrant for corey's arrest went out immediately, she is accused of having committed an acts of witchcraft on one woman and four young says, one of them samuel paris's 12-year-old niece, the notes in black at the bottom is the salem constables confirmation that he rested corey and she is in custody. this is dated march 15th which was a saturday. because of the sabbath the next day she couldn't be immediately apprehended and that left her
time to attend meeting alongside her accusers so before the appalled but that sunday, the higher five spellbound girls and women and that witch suspect, they stood in close proximity, 24 x 35 ft. building, every construction of the village meeting house, you get an idea from also -- how dark it was inside. suspect had to be taken outside to be properly identified. the minister began the service, was interrupted by riding in the pews, the girls demanded he name, complained was too long. one pointed to the ceiling, could see martha corey sitting night in the queue but on the beam above nursing a diabolical cadbury. the next day corey returns to the same room to defend herself, there was up probable small space, the kind we tend to feel round contagion. minister said he could merely
make out by hammering hearts and raise fares on the backs of next. she insisted before the authorities on her innocence, appealed to the lord to open the eyes of the magistrate please they did not appreciate the implication that they were not already clear cited. one asked the question on everyone's mind, how had she known she would be asked about her clothing? she tried to explain but was interrupted, the girls frantically pointed out the devil in the room whispering in martha corey's ear. what did he say to you? she had neither seen nor heard a thing. he urged her to confess, she would not. one of the oddities i should mention about 1692 is those who refused to confess were hand. those who confessed would be spirit which was to say the most principled and noblest feared the least well. corey was pelted with questions none of which she would answer. would not concede that the girls were bewitched, one of the justices reminded her everyone
else around her believe that they were. instead she posed a particular the plaintive question herself. can an innocent person, she asked, the guilty? this is the account of her deposition. the magistrate's first lines are you are now in the hands of authority, tell me why you heard these presents and she replied i do not. the asked to pray, asks three times and three times the request is denied. she insisted she had nothing to do with witchcraft which incensed the crowd. the girls began to yell and mock her replies. when she bit her lip with nervousness teeth marks bloomed on the arms of her accusers. seemed she worked her witchcraft before the court's eyes. by this time two adult women were be which. in the course of korea's testimony, one of them, of 40-year-old began to howl in pain, she could feel my the corey reaching into her body to hurt her, and threw her across
the courtroom, failed to hit her, leaned down to take off one of her shoes wishy through hitting corey squarely in the head. a pain that she had stuck in one of her victims turned up in a child's hair. by the way some pins reportedly preserve from the salem court room. over the next weeks they would protrude from girls and legs, one girl would turn up with puncturing her lips together, binding them together so she couldn't testify. how do we know all of this? from two sources, former village minister was on hand that day, published his wide eyed account of the infestation in april. this is the title page, nothing to alleviate symptoms and we have a lot of the paperwork from the hearing. this is the deposition of one of martha corey's accusers, 17-year-old elizabeth hubbard. martha korea urged her to sign a pact with the devil, she joked
and pinched her, the girl does later bruises. i believe in my heart that mar the core is a dreadful which, the teenagers wears as you see the ink was added later. court testimony is not infrequently edited or expanded upon after the fact. this is a samuel paris deposition against martha corey, you see added the local innkeeper later he has written after the account. corey when to jail that day. would spend a six months in chains awaiting trial, six days after hearing the minister delivered this sermon in the meeting house, march 27th, christ knows how many devils you are, it begins the occasion by dreadful witchcraft, broke out a few weeks passed and one member of this church and another in salem, a public examination, civil authorities suspected for
witches and upon it committed. is the finger pointing sermon in which paris takes the position that would solidify in the weeks to come. we are safe or devil's peak reaches, the bible offers no middle ground. you can imagine what happened next, people remembered things they couldn't explain, often decades old things they couldn't explain. they began to see neighbors flying through the streets, one man's war his neighbor whipped past him swift as a bird, another wrestled with the black goblin in his parlor. again and again working on this book i thought of the harry potter book, of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it is not real? fingers pointed right and left, 60 people were soon jails, first case came to trial in june and a first suspect paint a week later protesting her innocence to the end. events moved quickly, arrests and afflictions multiplied.
it was a play involving 100 witchs that grew to 500. here's where the courtroom drama mutates yet again into a horror story. not only for those who spend months roasting and starting in airless filthy prisons, several suspects would die there, others would give birth there. it begins to emerge from the testimony, details of a diabolical plot, it seems that witches yves a leader, a minister arrested in may and their intent on a grandiose conspiracy. beginning with salem village, intended to destroy every church in massachusetts bay and while they are at invasive intend to subvert the government. this churned up through the early summer but not until the epidemic spread to andover the town with a great number of witches. by late june by the authorities piece together the tale of this diabolical said the to which
witches move from all over by various forms of conveyance, to land in salem village. you could reconstruct this from 50 odd testimonies that we have no image. here instead is the seventeenth century engraving of a german witch sabbath, a more decadent production, themes are familiar to what the salem confessors will mention,. and women, goblins join them, a woman tumbles from her mount, a woman would crash as she flew to salem. remember that i said there had been no flying in massachusetts before 1692, suddenly everyone was aloft. here is an illustration of 22 years earlier from swedish witchcraft epidemic and from the book you will see why sweden is essential to what will happen in salem. a woman flies within children in massachusetts, girls of 8 or 9,
accused the isn't forcing them to sign pactss with the devil and by late summer, enunciations fly in every direction, but is accused daughters, sisters, parishioners, accuse ministers. one in ten people were accused, mr. cs did not accuse servants, wives did not incriminate husbands, generally usher that women tend to come off better in this story as a group, it was young men who provided the most outlandish testimony but no one ever suffered afflictions without being able to name a which. martha coakley went to her death september 2nd, the last hanging. before she hand, she was visited in prison by reverend harris excommunicated her. this is his account of that conversation. irritated the condemned prisoner, she was a very devout woman, refuses to pray with him.
in the seventeenth century a prisoner paid for his own hay and blankets, this is an accounting from the salem jail keep and the third entry is martha corey and her husband. by september, had executed 14 women, 5 men and two dogs for witchcraft. somewhere between 140, and 180 people had been accused and as abruptly as it had begun the panic was over. the question salem the message are those of our nightmares which can an innocent person be guilty, the korea asked the might ida which and not know it in quite another suspect? could anyone wanted a group of men late in summer think himself safe? a brash widow and his 60s was not a witch, couldn't even say what witch was, she had the bad luck to be appearing before fine attention. how can you know you are not at witch and yet not know what witch is counted the justice? the story is one part faust one
part the brothers grimm and one part kafka. what we have in our hands is not entirely at fairytale, nor a car room drama or or story but a thriller. presumably there were no flights through the air or telecasts. please wikipedia no witch stuck pins in the girls, presumably there was no satanic celebration with tankers and secret french in the meadow. how do these things seem to happen? when you cried the whole episode apart you begin to say that it makes eminently modern and uncanny sense. the clues to what drives a 4 word may grow and men c. goblins in their parlors, what results in unprecedented 100% conviction rate and the only witchcraft panic in american history woven into each chapter of the book and revealed entirely in the last pages. the story is a thriller and a book reads like one and the
logic of the dream and the lucidity of the supernatural. the unlikeliest of heroes will ultimately emerge. we go back to salem again and again for the same reason it came to pass in the first place. that irksome lack of closure. we share the villagers's need for resolution which we go to the trials for another reason too. we are helplessly drawn to disasters. as crackups go this one counts among the more sensational in american history to which so many later missteps would be compared. it is less an account of the scale than the circumstances. 1692, witchcraft court consisted of the best and the brightest. that year it was the state in the broad light of day in the name of god laid by that able to split from the colonies isn't innocent people to their deaths. when friends and acquaintances came before the authorities, the authorities doubted not the girls that their long-term
friends. this is chief justice william ed snowden who head of the courts, i will give you a hint and tell you he is not the hero of the story. he is as starchy as you look here, the most eminent new england legal authority, he died at home nine years after the trial without a word of regret or apology. field and in seventeenth century massachusetts knew the legal code as well as he did which meant something crucial about a panic. there is much more of a role in english -- ignorance, the colony arguably qualified as the best educated community in the history of the world until that time. the new england ministers especially increasing the father and son to him any matter of civic authorities appealed for guidance, delved deeply into the literature, devoured libraries on the subject of witchcraft. if anything they may have read too much. they new english prosecution, continental variation, they knew
what the skeptics that argued, they knew what swedish witch's doma looked like. while this was a truly deranged moment in our history, it was also profoundly significant. wins the spell breaks the recriminations wheat away rich layer of faith. the very idea of confession central to puritanism would be tainted, mass.'s leaders would never again apply to the church for advice. complicity in 1692 cracks open the door to religious toleration and the trials would change the way the country and new england and the way new england saw its self. no one did more to keep the live, would later shame new england with its rich prosecuting whenever new england wanted talk about slave voting. today the trials and/or the moral guardrail where salem mutates yet again to become a cautionary tale. you stop us when we overreact or
overcorrect, when fear overpowers reason, the experts, seem less expert. they remind us of the risk of thinking ourselves exceptional. where will the devils show most malice where he is hated most? satan's appearance in massachusetts seemed merely to be a badge of honor, further proof new england qualified as the chosen people. i want to add the salem is deeply familiar in an age of crowd sourced stories and public shaming, an oral culture bears a remarkable resemblance to an internet one, on rumor, neither has much use for truth, the internet turns out to be a brilliant full for selling mass hysteria, there is no better way to broadcast a zombie apocalypse. something i didn't see at the outset or how much politics informed the story or how much class had to do with it. at its heart salem is a fairy
tale, sexual undercurrents, terror, features flying monkeys and the alleged davis, enchanted apples and evil stepmothers, it is what happens when for 23 years you have been dying to tell a neighbor with you think of her but find as a good christian woman you just can't. in 1692 you suddenly could. it is what we see when we close our eyes and how those images evolve, sometimes they mutate from this into that. and like a fairy tale, the story of when in which women played the starring roles, one written by men. strange things happen when you start to write about witchcraft the strange things happen anyway and often our efforts to make sense of the lead as a stray into what pope called the wilderness of error. this is one of the five pieces of salem material. i hope what you will take from the book is a reminder of the
importance of civility and how easily the moral can skid into the sanctimoniously is essential we keep our heads as requested our ideas even if that leaves us bewildered and uncomfortable state but as a leader bostoncsn noted, it is crucial and we would be lost without it. it seems probable, wrote henry james, exactly 200 years after the trials, if we were never bewildered, and there would never be a story to tell. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we have time for some questions, comments. >> thank you so much.
i heard you in barnes and noble, just removed from all public records from diaries from all different sources, so where's he's torn out? was it visible they were ripped from the pages? what did this look like? >> great question. it goes missing in a way that leads one to become conspiracy minded oneself, not that that would happen to any old historian but the church record book is rewritten, not the first time the record was rewritten to cover up an embarrassing history. amid a published minister's published sermon, samuel willard in boston simply skipped over the summer of 1692 that he never delivered a sermon that summer. we have in typescript, 1692 has gone missing. samuel paris did not record the deaths of people who hang, only people who died of natural
causes or indian incidents that summer so the trial papers disappeared all those that happened later and we don't know the circumstances of it. there is a strange conspiracy, there is truly a blanket of shame that falls on the entire episode that is clear from other research -- recriminations and fighting after words but it was an orchestrated attempt at remaining silent and hoping you could erase history. it is an event no one is comfortable speaking about until several generations after it happened. >> wonderful lecture, thank you. i wanted to ask quickly with any thought given to organic causes like tetanus? you mentioned nails or causing seizures or possibly even hallucinogenic agents like wheat growing like l s d. >> sounds like everyone is tripping, right? those theories have been put forth, fungal or lsd from 1976,
those theories have been repeatedly explored and generally debunked for the following reasons. some children in the paris households suffered but some did not. you would think an entire household would be afflicted. more to the point the girls are hallucinating or claim they see diabolical canaries at some moments and at other moments they are in perfect position of good health and your does their health deteriorates. strangely they seem robust. it affects some like steroids so they don't get worn down. nothing has ever entirely explained why they would be not only sometimes affected but when they are in the grips of this whatever it is, they happen to be seeing exactly what they heard from the pulpit they should be seeing. you would think if you were
under the influence of the hallucinogenic agent you would be talking about turtles or something that wasn't part of your normal ministerial diet. nothing really explains it. the lovely thing about those furies is they absolve everyone. >> with the field about the belief that these were really witches by the peoples and to prosecute them if? were there politics involved or what? >> i go into this at great length in the book. there is clearly a tapestry of the agendas at work here and among the justices perhaps most of all. again as i said the larger mystery is the prosecution, why are they so intent on prosecution q you saw the image, he feels himself on a crusade,
there is the moral obligation to quince society of these elements and he does seem to believe evil is at work. however, there is also every reason at this moment, massachusetts was in a state of political dislocation and a new government was installed in 1692. the new governor was put in place not knowing there had been witch, not having heard yet there was a witchcraft epidemic with which he had to contend. and this is very important to wrap it up speed of the, this new government has a legitimacy and can't enforce order, the previous couple years have been anarchic. there is enormous incentive not only to prop up the fledgling administration but for the civic and religious authorities to remain hand in glove and no one to descent one from the other and that may indeed account for much of what happened. >> did it stop abruptly or
gradually? it does the record show why? >> great question. again a number of factors. a number of factors come in to play. earlier in the year if you expressed any doubt about the proceedings, you would express doubt, skepticism have witchcraft you generally were awarded without witchcraft accusation. by an end of the summer, tentatively and anonymously, people have begun to express their concerns. it tells you something about the climate of the time, even an influential massachusetts minister had to make those commentss anonymously and buy a piece of literature. those concerns, the advice of the new york ministers, very poignant jail petition, crushing of a man under stones which was a particularly gruesome ordeal but all combine, the sheer number of accused people, there were not prisons large enough to accommodate so there were a
number of factors that came together. the terror seems to burn itself out as i fear we are now doing. thank you all for coming, thank you. [applause] ♪ [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> booktv live coverage of the miami book fair continues. that was stacy schiff talking about the witches of salem and we have some more events coming good today.
the full schedule is available at booktv.org. this festival is running a bit late so you kind of have to take it all back an hour or so but you have ted koppel coming up, peggy noonan, coming up and when talking about his new book on george h. w. bush and then paul g. ramadi talking about soldiers, some still several more hours left even though it is -- the son is falling in miami, it is getting a little dark and a bit on the rainy side with normal november shower down here in miami. in 15 minutes or so, jon meacham will be starting but in the meantime we want to show you an interview we did earlier today. this is i've been pollack talking about women and science,
booktv in miami. here is the book, the only woman in the room, why science is still a boys club. what is the rim you are referring to? >> for different women is a different room so really the experience of being the only woman in any room. ..ny room, i i think i'm trying to address. in my case it is any room in which science is going on, physics in particular in my case. i was one of the first two women to get a bachelor of science degree from yale, so i was often the only woman in the classroom. really looking at why -- you know, in my day we understood why there are so few women in the rooms. really, yell itself had only opened up to women a few years before. but what interested me was larry
summers, the president of harvard, looking around his own university at the time and saying, where are are the women physicists on my faculty? i was really trying to answer that question, what has happened between the time i was in college student in 2005 with larry summers was saying wire there's still so few women in the science rooms on his campus? >> why did you major in scien that you ques >> guest: is interesting, you know initially it happened because when i was in seventh grade, my high school didn't really have any advanced courses in science and math but they decided they were going to skip a few kids ahead so that when they were seniors they could take courses at the local community college and two or three boys from my class were allowed to skip ahead that i wasn't and i was already very
bored in school. so i was hurt. i was upset. i asked my mother to ask on parent teachers night why wasn't allowed in the principal told her since i was a girl, and girls weren't -- girls never went on in science and math anyway so i would just be wasting a seat. a person you don't let me take the courses and he said it would ruin my social life if i skipped ahead in science and if you are a girl who loves science and math at that age you won't have much of a social life anyway. but it made me so angry that i just decided i was going to be a scientist and i started reading a lot about science and math and teaching myself, trying to make up for not being in those classes and i actually really fell in love with it. i really was reading about physics more but i loved just thinking about space and time
and how the universe got started and how many dimensions there were and my parents took me to the world's fair in 1964 which i was just the fault by everything. so i really, you know that is what started me loving science. >> host: hugh wright and the only woman in the room for my entire four years at yale i saw myself as handicapped. >> guest: yeah that's an experience still up a lot of women today and certainly a lot of minorities so if you don't get to go to a really good school when you're in high school and of course it probably starts in elementary school because you have to be prepared for high school, science, it's too late by the time you get to college. you discover a love for history
or art or something when you get to college. you can make up for lost time, but if you get to your freshman year in college and you haven't had calculus or college-based physics is too late not only because you have so many courses you need to make up but there's an ethos in science that doesn't really exist in the humanities. one thing i discovered when i was writing the book, they are trying to weed you out. they are trying to weed out anybody who they think, by the time you're 18 isn't serious enough but also some prepared enough so basically their idea of a scientist as a white male who has had access to really grade education. and so i came in, i had taught myself calculus. i had only a very general course in physics. i was one of -- there were two women in the broom with 118 men in my first
physics class. i was so far behind i panicked. i got a very low score on my first midterm and i was actually going to drop the major which is what happens to most women and minorities. i actually had an exceptional teacher for that course and he wouldn't sign my drop slip. he gave me great advice about not looking at how other people were doing and gave me some books to read and i ended up scoring the third highest on the final out of 120 people. something happens when you come from behind. you overexert and you end up going far past the crowd so i ended up at the top of my class but i still always felt as if i were behind and i didn't know what i was doing as if there was something different or wrong about me. i found that that's a very common experience. >> host: back to your book, in elementary school you write, girls and boys perform equally
well in math and science. only in junior high school when in those subjects begin to see more difficult that girls become more conscious of boys of the social status and their numbers diverged. >> guest: yes, and that's still true. you would be surprised how i think we lose most of the women, most of the girls who might become scientists or career engineers or what have you in seventh grade, in eighth grade when they really feel the pressure not to be doing well in the sciences or really much of anything in school. it's considered nerdy and they are making decisions at that age that affect the entire rest of their lives because they are not taking the advanced science math and computer courses that they would need and their parents often without even realizing it let them take the easier course, the less rigorous science and math course whereas the brothers, the parents say of
course you're going to take advanced physics, you can't chop that course just because it's hard. but the girls, they are sort of like you don't need that course, you know. and guidance counselors and teachers. i was shocked how even today so many girls told me that their science and math teachers in high school would say things like you are too pretty to be good in math or i will grade you on a girl curve because i would expect you to be on the boy curve. even today, not in all schools it is somewhat all-girls encounter that you would be shocked at how prevalent it is. >> speaking of today you were two women out of 118 in her class. has that changed blacks have those proportions changed? >> they have and i should say that was an introductory class of the actual class of physics majors, was more like there were 12 of us and i was the only
woman. so there were a few more women. sometimes there would be three or four, so women are now more likely to go through and get an undergraduate degree in physics or math but now we are losing, they are not going onto the ph.d. ordered the ph.d. -- often for the same reason that i walked away. i got my undergraduate degree because no one encouraged me. no one said you are really good at this. nobody cared. and so there were few more women and those skills and we are losing them at a slightly later stage of the process. we are still losing them and of course for minorities it's just much more dire. >> host: today you write only one fifth of all physics ph.d.s in this country are
awarded to women. only about half of those degrees to native-born americans and only about 14% of all physics professors in the u.s.. what did you do after four years of science at yale? >> guest: first i had a breakdown because i have been working so hard almost every waking moment of my life. once i walked away it changed everything about my life that i had taken a wonderful creative writing course and i was encouraged. i don't think i was more talented as a writer than a scientist come if anything it was the opposite but i have professors telling me you know you are really good at writing and in four years of physics i
didn't hear that so i became a writer. >> host: what are you doing today? >> guest: i am a novelist in the short story writer and i am a professor at the university of michigan. i'm in the faculty of msa in creative writing. >> host: you do creative writing? have utilized your science degree at all? >> guest: yes, certainly early in my career some of my writing + space when i was trying to earn a living but many of my characters are scientist and it's not science fiction but it's about scientists. coming back after all these years to write these nonfiction books, "the only woman in the room" what i'd miss my most shameful part of my life that my principal headset women never go on and math and science and i have proven them right as i had gone to graduate school, to come back to it in this way and have
it be something so much more -- to really look at what has been going on and stop blaming myself for not having introduced has really been remarkable for me. >> host: eileen pollack you talk about characters in your book that but one of the most popular shows on tv today is "the big bang theory." >> guest: scientists i know, especially most female scientist can't bear to watch it. as such stereotypes. i say it's very funny and well acted and witty show and in some ways it makes the science -- scientists sheldon the super near the same endearing but look at the stereotypes. penny who is the neighbor from next door who is the woman you would really want to be if you are young woman watching the show, she is pretty and bouncy and happy and normal. she is totally math and science illiterate and then the real
scientist portrayed is a male and of course you wouldn't want to be one of those if you are young man. you would want to grow up to be sheldon so it perpetuating the stereotype that scientists are just these horrible nerds who are barely human. when they were forced the women scientists on the show they came up with amy, sheldon's girlfriend who is incredibly, in real life the actress that portrays her as an attractive woman and she is a ph.d. in neuroscience but to make her a credible female scientist they have to make her look incredibly dumpy. she is very strange to she has no affect. because that's people's perception of the female scientist. what woman would want to be amy? bernadette is a little better but she has a really squeaky voice and she married howard but amy in particular, and i think especially now that images of
women that girls are raised with are much more hyperfeminized, hypersexualized in high per se se -- hyperromanticize them when i was growing up in the 60s and 70s. her women today the gap between how they are supposed to look and act and how amy who is still the stereotype of a woman scientist is even wider than it was in my day. it's even harder to think of yourself as being sort of feminine in a traditional way and sitting in into that world of either high-tech or you know typically something like that. >> host: you think gloria steinem in your book. why? >> guest: because every woman should. there is no direct link but i think when i was growing up, strangely enough in the 60s and 70s we fought the battle
so when i go rent the campuses today in young women say everything is fine now. in our day we thought it was all fine so if you asked me when i was in college i would have said i'm not a feminist and nothing is wrong. it's not different from me. you are kind of in denial. but women like gloria steinem were really fighting for the privileges that i got and i think young women today, they sort of still need a wake-up call. i think that is what we are witnessing now. >> host: who is "the only woman in the room" written for? is it written for high school students, college students? is it a written for your generation? >> guest: i like to think that is written for all of the above and it's also written for -- first of all i would hope that a lot of men would read it too. anyone who is interesting --
interested in their daughters, their wives, their mothers what they have been through and it's not only for women in science. it's basically women in any field that's not traditionally female so i've heard from a lot of women in business, certainly in high-tech law, finance that they really feel the experiences are similar. a lot of the studies that i quote at the end of the book really are trying to address that. in the final chapters on excerpt of the book came out in "the new york times magazine" two years ago when i heard from literally thousands of women and men in response to it. so the epilogue is really, i'm trying to bring in a lot of other voices so not only the studies that have been done in the sciences but the experiences of other women and men who wrote that the third re-with me or in some cases disagree. so i think it's really for anyone who's interested. i hope it's just a good read too.
i think some of it is even pretty funny but really for anybody who's interested in women and environments that were traditionally open to them. >> host: "the only woman in the room," eileen pollack who splits her time between ann arbor and new york city is the author. thanks for being on booktv. >> guest: thanks so much for having me. >> host: that was eileen pollack from earlier today here in miami. we we are back live and as you can see darkness it has dissented and it's a little bit rainy here today but several more on the panel are coming up from miami so stick with us. in just a minute we will be going live with jon meacham and his newest book is destiny and
polity followed by ted koppel, peggy noonan and paul giamatti on the theater of war. but now that go to the mall at miami-dade college where jon meacham is being interviewed. booktv on c-span2. >> we are proud to be sponsoring the miami book fair at miami-dade college. it really feels -- fills two cornerstones for us, literacy and committed involvement of every year during the summer we have a summer reading program where we give out thousands and thousands of books to students all for our footprint in florida. we also think many made events like this that bring people together that help people engage in the community are really powerful and impactful. so we are proud to be a sponsor of this year's miami book fair
at miami-dade college. without further ado i would like to introduce our next session. jon meacham has received the pulitzer prize for his 2008 via graffiti called american lion. executive director of random house but he is also the author of new york times bestsellers thomas jefferson, the art of power, american gospel, franklin and winston, and meacham who teaches at vanderbilt university is also a fellow at the society of american historians. his book destiny and power, the american odyssey of herbert washer -- herbert walker bush from random house takes a surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. through the oval office to camp david from his study in the private quarters of the white
house to air force one, from the fall of the berlin wall, to the first gulf war, to the end of communism. "destiny and power" charges the thoughts, decisions and emotions of modern presidents who may be the last of its kind. this is a human story of a man who has led the nation he led once noble and flawed to ladies and gentlemen help me introduced jon meacham. [applause] >> thank you all very much. whenever i hear a warm introduction i'm inclined to think back to a national book festival on the mall six or seven years ago when i was on my way to give a talk about andrew jackson. a woman ran up which doesn't happen enough.
[laughter] and said oh my god it's you. i said well yeah. existentially speaking that's hard to argue with. she said i'm such a huge fan. we await right here and sign my book? i said yes maam. she brought back john grisham's latest novel. [laughter] so whenever i'm tempted to believe that i am all that i remember that there is somewhere in america the woman looks for a john grisham book. it's a true story. i am thrilled to be here to talk about george herbert walker bush this book was 17 years in the making. i first met him in 1998 and almost instantly realized that my caricature of him, which i think was more broadly shared as well around the country, was wrong.
i had kind of a dana carvey view of the former president. i had been an undergraduate. i went to a small college called sewanee, university in the south and for those of you that don't know what is best understood as a combination of "downton abbey" and -- put together. i will confess that during the first gulf war i was really good friends with someone. you may all know him. he has gone to great laurie lorry. a man named jack daniels. so i was a little fuzzy about her 41st president to be quite honest but a medium, i was immediately struck by this quiet or assistant charisma. within a half hour i understood how he managed to convince the majority of american voters to entrust him with authority.
if you do what i do which is my biography of people who ask us to entrust them with the base of our country and the balance of the world how they get their, how they make that sale and what they do once they are there and the characteristics and qualities play out. often their vices and their virtues. you want to be able to a floor floor -- explore a complicated story and i believe george herbert walker bush among the most complicated emotional men in the presidency in modern times. he is also one of the most emotional men. it was a great surprise to me. he has as his speechwriter christopher buckley once put it the paradox of the sicilian grandmother. i began interviewing him in 2006
for this book and the last interview in exchange for it was on september 8 of this year. so it's been a long journey. sometimes it was like the world's worst wasp on wasp therapy. he would cry, i would cry or if we would look at the j. press catalog and move on. but the key to this book, and the key to understanding george bush is this remarkable document, and audio presidential diary. he dictated several times a week , in times of crisis which you would think you would drop back and not do so much, he actually would dictate more and he gave me unconditional access to that copy. he gave me vice presidential diaries, presidential diaries with no conditions whatsoever and we will get back to what that tells us in a second. the other great building block of this book was barbara bush's diary. she kept it from 1948 forward
and the only condition, the family had no right of review is that any quotations from mrs. bush's diary had to be cleared with her. now they interpretation but the quotations and so i took her 90 pages of excerpts that i asked her to write. she took nothing off the record so functionally she gave her approval to everything but the wonderful thing about that afternoon when she was reading what i brought her every once in a while she would look up and say my hat was an opinionated 38-year-old. it was all i could do to save maam, the apple doesn't fall far from the chronological tree. the silver fox still has plenty of opinions. so this is a portrait as detailed in a sentiment as i could get of george h.w. bush. the family is obviously
essential. your former governor here is obviously a character, former president of the united states, the ford -- 43rd president of the united states but this is chiefly a story of a remarkable american who won his 18th birthday graduated from high school and drove to boston and took an oath as an enlistee to fight in the second world war. he had wanted to sign up on december 8, 1941 and joined the royal canadian air force. you could get in quicker and the united kingdom was at war with nazi germany. he decided to wait until graduation. his father and secretary of war henry stimson had urged the graduates of bush's school to go to college for a few years and try to make themselves more useful to a long-term war effort after the graduation ceremonies prescott bush's father asked george bush, to the secretary's words have any effect on you and
george herbert walker bush said no, so we got in the car and drove to boston. from that moment until this hour , and he is 91 years old, he has done his best i believe to put the country first. he has done things for which is not particularly proud like all politicians and like all human beings if i may. i don't know about you but i have several this afternoon and will again for supper -- before supper. it's the nature of a fallen world but my argument about george h.w. bush is that he sought power partly because he believed he was destined to hold control and play a part on the largest of all possible stages but whatever he did to amass that power, once it was in his hands he tried to do what he believed the national interest
ahead of his own clinical interest. we will walk through some concrete examples of that. this is not nostalgic. it is not sentimental. it's just simply fact of the matter that this man who ran tough races, who did not always take the positions that we would like him in retrospect to have taken, but once he was there he put his own blue go career at risk in order to advance the interests of the nation as he saw them. that is no small tribute to the public man. the diaries, which i use extensively, really do take you inside the presidency in a way that i have not seen before. possibly john quincy adam diaries, i'm sure you were all reading those on the way over. there is a great audio. that's unfair to john quincy adams. he was a remarkable guy and we
all should read him. the diaries put you in the moment and he says things, talks about what it feels like to deal with gorbachev and what it feels like to deal with the fall of the berlin wall and what it felt to take on saddam hussein, what it felt like to lose bill clinton in a way that is as close to the american presidency as i have ever seen. he's such a seemingly buttoned up man. remember when he looked at his watch on his right hand. we all remember the caricatures. the supermarket, the seizing inability to connect that terrible last year for him to the presidency. but in private he was an incredibly tactile man who i believe used his diary in a therapeutic way because part of
his code, part of is if i may wasp code is that he never complained. he put it to me once no one ever wants to hear the president of the united states say oh woe is me. you are just lucky to be there and because of that the only person who the heat could complain was himself. he used a handheld cassette recorder. he carried it around in his briefcase dictated at camp david in his study upstairs and a study in the oval office and on air force one and on marine one. always being the great director of the cia he compartmentalized and even those close to him knew he kept a diary. through this diary i think we find a man as i say to always was tempted knowing the political cost of what he was going to do one of to put
america first. let's talk about how he got there. he had two separate forces that always shaped his character and they both came from his mother. a formidable woman who once broke her wrist while playing tennis and finished the match and one. jonathan bush the president's brother told me mother was always gracious at the feet but of course she never lost so that makes it easier. so there was this ambient sense in the bush household in greenwich, his father was an investment banker and actually it private equity guy. he put together the deal at brown brothers and his mother who was the daughter of the formidable figure george herbert walter big st. louis moneyman became the east to come to wall street, big personality, he was
received in a sense that pushes were to compete at all times. one of his old texas political aides told me that years later you never want to play ping-pong at the bushes house because it was like a projectile missile coming at you. henry kissinger once came to dinner and the secret service agents were defeated in tiddlywinks in a way they left the bad -- bandages on. these are people who fight hard and so there was this ambient expectation that the bushes were to compete and to win. always fairly, always within the rules but compete, compete, compete. mrs. bush used to expect them to climb the trees in the yard as high as they could and a neighbor once came over and said mrs. bush i think they're going to call and she said well if they do they will learn something. it was this intense, intense competitive reality. but then mrs. bush talked them
and particularly poppy bush, george h.w. bush were never to talk about themselves. she issued a fatwa so george would come home and say i hit a double and she would say that's great dear, how did the team do? she said no one wants to hear about the great i am. she said george no one wants to hear of rugged toshio. when he was vice president of the united states she called him and asked him why he had been reading along, what he had been reading during president reagan's state of the union and he said i was reading the text of the speech. she said while he was reading it out loud, didn't you listen? [laughter] and he never again did it. i think one of the reasons he was occasionally challenged by the english-language which gave
dana carvey a career was because these were two competing forces he heard in his head. win, win, win but don't talk about it, don't talk about it, don't talk about it. so he emerge from childhood as this remarkably empathetic figure. his brother jonathan again said his brother had been born with an innate empathy and fact his childhood nickname was have had because whenever you get a treat or a dessert he would cut in half and give it to the other kid. dennis mcnickle was a key figure. venice mcnickle lost until history was a slightly overweight kid at greenwich high school who got stuck at in a barrel on an obstacle course race and it was poppy bush who stopped, went back and pulled them out of the barrel and they finish the race together. and i asked then-president bush
decades and decades later, why did you do that and he said well you know i have never not been picked for a team. i have never been stuck in a barrel and i thought what if i wasn't picked and what if i were stuck? i would want someone to pull me out. so these forces created a remarkably complex adult. during the war i believe to other human tragedies shaped demand that we know is that bertie -- 41st president. one was any flu and mission code-named baker in the pacific. he was to take out a radio communications point for the japanese. he was hit by japanese fire. he finished his mission and he dropped the bombs, took the tower out and peel back out to sea. he saw the fire warning along
the wings. the cockpit filled with smoke. he ordered his two crewmen to bail out, he turned the plane as he was supposed to do to enable them to do that and he bailed out. he was nearly decapitated. he went out like this and the plane kept going so he gassed his head on the tail of the plane. another six or 7 inches and he would have died right there. he plunges deep into the sea. fortunately his life raft is fallen near him. he spent four hours in the specific. if the wind and tide had been blowing toward it as opposed away from it he would likely have become a japanese prisoner of war on an island which was famous later for war crimes including cannibalism which led george bush to say occasionally to barber that he almost ended up as an hors d'oeuvres. but the loss of those two men held the laney and ted white were with them every day and still are.
i asked the president on a number of occasions if he thought about them every day and he said yes and he wept. he had two questions about that that haunted him all these decades later. one was did he do enough to save him and the answer was yes and the second was why was i stared? why me and not them and i believe every day since then since 1944 he has been trying to prove himself commensurate with their sacrifice that he was worthy of reading spared when others were not. the second tragic event was the loss of their daughter robin. she was four years old and w. had been born in 46, robin in 1949. neither george or barbara bush never heard of their diagnoses until they were the
pediatricians office in texas. she survived for about six months and died in october of 1953. in discussing this the president was invariably emotional and teary. i asked him what he felt when he came away from it and said the chief thing was life is unpredictable and tragic. unpredictable and tragic. i think combined with his experience in the second world war he understood that some bad every moment was a gift and every hour was in power that could be taken away at any point. i think that helps explain his drive, his essential concern for other people and a sense that we should have a kinder and gentler nation. he was always trying i believe to prove that he was worthy of being spared.
his crewmen and his daughter had not been. he enters public life in 1964 and this is where the story gets complicated. he opposed the 1964 civil rights act. it's an uncomfortable reality. now a piece of american scripture essentially is an incredibly important step on the war against jim crow mostly empty jeffersonian promise that we wrote created equal. he was running for the senate in texas and he was a goldwater republican. he was uncomfortable with that level of conservatism but he was a very ambitious man. he was a man who wanted to win, win, win but what does he do when he becomes a member of congress two years later? he is elected to congress in 1986 -- 1968 and in the wake of the assassination of martin luther king congress votes on
the fair housing act two with discrimination they housing market and bush votes for it. this is a man who represents the seventh district of texas, a republican district. his constituents rose up against him. he went down to memorial high school in houston and faced down an angry crowd with words that should not have been used and enter never used now they were thrown at him. he quoted edmund burke saying a representative did not tell his constituents simply voting there will in his best judgment and his best judgment was that he had seen african-american soldiers fighting for their country in vietnam and he could not imagine a country where they could fight a broad but not by a house where they wanted to buy one. so he took a courageous stand while they actually had the power so he had been on that issue early on. it was a pattern that would
recur. he was a remarkable public servant. i believe his sense of washington was formed in those years in the house. he served until 1971 this is like talking about -- so bear with me. george herbert walker bush a republican congressman from texas voted with lyndon johnson 53% of the time. can you imagine a republican congressman voting but they democratic president or vice versa 53% of the time? do you might think that's fine but nixon comes into office and 69 and that number must skyrocket. it does. it surges to 55%. this was the man who came of age in a washington where republicans and democrats were friends.
again this is like talking about the peloponnesian wars. i understand that. three of his best friends were democrat, blood ashley of ohio, sonny montgomery at mississippi in don rostenkowski of chicago. he played handball with them. but his reality was you compromise. compromise to him was not a dirty word. moderation was not a dirty word. rather it was the oxygen of democracy. the constitution is based on the premise, on the reality that we are not going to agree all the time. in fact we are going to disagree most of the time said getting to 60%, getting ahead and getting just enough and coming back for more was the reality of george bush's political education. he then went on as you know to
have a remarkable resume. he was ambassador to the united nations and one road not taken, he was for 40 minutes in 1971 in eight to bob halderman. that fortunately was undone. he had rather early and we made pitch to nixon. bush wanted to be the u.n. ambassador and nixon wanted him to come into the white house but brilliantly bush knew it would appeal to nixon's ego and emotional mindset and was the case he made to nixon, no one is making a case for you. no one is sending you in the media and the financial circles of new york and i can do that. it was a brilliant thing to say for harris to polish son of the senator from connecticut saying to the son of a grocer from yorba linda that i want to carry water for you. i want to make your case and nixon sat alone at the oval office for a few minutes and decided which had been right, he
wanted him in new york. there's a secondary piece of news in the book for the real out there like me. nixon wanted him to forgo living in the ambassadorial apartment on the 42nd floor of the waldorf-astoria which was the home of herbert hoover for many years. one of the bushes moved to greenwich establish residency and bush would run in the senate against abe ribicoff in 1972. bush at that point believes himself a texan. his journey to texas in 1948 is absolutely essential to his life without that i do not believe he would have been president of the united states. he was a new england republican we know how many of those there are now. there are four and maybe they are here. it's like episcopalians, there are only six of us left.
we can vote on anything with four people. but he believed himself to be a texan on his trip down there. he had stopped for barbara and george w. came on a chip later. drove a red studebaker and stopped for lunch. he ordered chicken fried steak not knowing it was chicken fried like a steak or steak fried like a chicken. he ordered a couple of lone star beer senate didn't matter at that point. it was interesting he had moved from the political center of gravity was moving south and west and bush moved south and west. he comes to run for president in 1980 against ronald reagan. he won the iowa caucus and was very nearly not on the ticket. this is the story of a man who
at many different points when things were spoken this way or that way would have been a political order. he barely made it on the ticket with reagan, becomes vice president and then comes to the 1998 campaign. this is the second example. in 1998 campaign was not the pbs model high-minded discussion without question. but once bush won, and i also believe that he was not a reagan third term. that's not a fair way of letting it. exit polling from the 1988 campaign shows that 50% of the country to vermont -- did not want the country go on and 50% did. it wasn't as though there was this great 75 or 80% of the country that wanted reagan to continue. bush finds enough people as he had his entire life and their
fate would be safe in his hands. what does he do when he becomes president after this hard-hitting race? he tries to re-create the world like he had done as a congressman. a culture where the president through the doors of the white house open as lyndon johnson had done and he produced for several years results. he would take polaroid one step pictures of congressman on the lincoln bed. a polaroid one step, young people in the audience was early social media. totally parenthetically. i was teaching a class of vanderbilt last year and for some reason the conversation fell to the student newspaper and i describe how we used to cut columns and type them out and pasted. a one woman named her hand and she said oh my god that's were cut and paste came from. [laughter] it's tough being middle-aged.
god bless her. where we come from i say bless her heart. what do we get? we got the americans disabilities act and we got the clean air act that is functionally our environmental policy. he got the 1990 budget agreement which sets the agreement for prosperity 1990s. all of these things george bush did working with democrats in congress against the answers and against the will frankly up his own right-wing. he had run a tough campaign and he had become president and the moment he became president he saw that his ancient history. he always pushes hand out in each district. one of the great things about writing a book about george bush is the number of people you get to talk to. in the course of a single hour in the summer when it's fat
checking his book with henry kissinger, dick cheney and dana carvey totally in character. [laughter] so i'm still not sure it might have been the president. not that i do it. so i ask carvey, how did you form the impression and he said imagine mr. rogers trying to be john wayne and it was a brilliant description. unleash of death. me doing dana doing bush is not a good thing. there is a key moment that tells you about the politics we have now. when john tower failed to become secretary of defense in 1989 george bush asked dick cheney to leave the house leadership and become secretary. that opened the way for young congressman from georgia you may have heard of newt gingrich.
gingrich became the republican whip. weber a congressman from minnesota would run gingrich's campaign and the house caucus and come down to the white house web ranking kritsch can tell that there is something that bush is not saying that wants to. so finally weber says mr. president tell us what worries you the most and bush said without hesitation i worry that sometimes your idealism may get in the way of what i think of as sound governance. i worry that sometimes your idealism may get in the way of what i think of as sound governance. that is seen solution of what has happened in the 25 years in weber and weber tells the story
generously, point out that he always appreciated that bush has said idealism. he didn't say. he come he didn't say theology, he didn't say nothingness. he gave them credit and that was their idealism. that's what happened when the right-wing republicans george bush in the summer of 1990. he began at that point on the domestic political standing that ended with his defeat in 1996. but he knew that would happen. breaking the read my lips breaking taxes was the example. he knew that he would be as he told me once politically i was going to be -- but he thought in the interest of the nation the lesson of george herbert walker bush' life is that no political life is perfect but one should be judged on the whole and what one does when one actually holds
power. by that standard he is a great inconsequential president. i want to leave you with this. this is as close as i can come to to give you a sense of what i think of as a man who i don't think enough people know. this is a letter that george bush wrote in the late 1950s to his mother about rob and their daughter that they lost to leukemia. the boys were at that point, neil and marvin were born but he wrote this after a day in new york. robin had been buried in greenwich and she was very much on his mind. these were the words in the late 1950s. george h.w. bush about his daughter. there is about our house a need. a burning pulsating restlessness of four boys as they struggle to learn and grow need to
counterpart. we need some crisp rocks to go with all our blue jeans and helmets. we need some soft blonde hair to offset the crew cuts. we need a doll house to stand firm against their forts and rackets and baseball cards. we need someone who will not just scramble to catch the elusive ball aimed at a roof usually butting against the screens. we need a legitimate christmas angel, one who doesn't have cuffs beneath a dress. we need someone who is afraid of frogs. we need someone to cry when i get mad, not argue. we need a little one you can kiss without leaving hamm or gum. we need a girl. we had one once. she would fight and cry and play in make our way just like the
rest but there was about her certain softness. she was patient. her hugs were just a little less wiggly. like them she would climb into sleep with me but somehow she would -- she didn't flip and wake me up. no, she would stand beside her bed until i felt through their. silently and comfortably she put those precious fragrant locks against my chest and fall asleep. her piece made me feel strong and so very important. my daddy had a certain ownership which touched a slightly different spot than the hi dad i love so much. but she is still with us. we need her and yet we have for. we can't touch her and yet we. we hope she will stay in our house for a long, long time.
i asked the president to read that letter out loud to me in the course of our interviews and long before he finished he broke down to the level of physical sobbing so much so that his chief of staff that was next-door heard into the openoffice during cayman. she asked me, why did you want president bush to read that wax and i said well if you want to know someone's heart, and before i could finish the sentence the president said, you have to know what breaks it. thank you. [applause] thank you. [applause] thank you, thank you.
thank you. we have time for two questions and then koppel. yes sir. >> when you wrote the book of the president were you aware that the firestorm with rumsfeld and cheney and could you do one more thing? >> i appreciate that. i'm not sure dana appreciates me doing dana but one side of bush's sense of humor is after the 19 -- he invited harvey to the white house to do the imitation and carvey spent the night. he did criticize vice president cheney and secretary rumsfeld. he offered a critical observation about his son's use of rhetoric along the way. he made the comments initially to me in the fall of 2008 and
repeated them along the way over the next four years. before i publish them i took them to president bush 43 and vice president cheney and secretary rumsfeld and fact the book includes their responses and rumsfeld to did not want to comment. so yes, i certainly knew they would and in december of last year, i took them back to president bush and said i'd can't as they say in the legislative branch i can't let you or buys your remarks but if you want to extend them, that is if you want to say i said this seven years ago and passion sets pooled and i've rethought it i will certainly note that. i will note that you change your mind and he looked at me dead in the eye and he said that's what i said. and so i believe that he said
these things because he believes in the historical record. i believe that's why he cooperated to the level he cooperated. he honestly believes that he did the best he possibly could and that clear-eyed historians and hopefully it clear-eyed posterity will see that. >> thank you for the talk. so jefferson-jackson roosevelt and bush, you have written books about all four of them. the only difference is that only one you could ask a follow-up question to. >> how do you know that i'm not like jack nicholson in the shining? [laughter] >> based on today's performance i would put you close with robin williams. so the question is, that observation that must have presented a series of unique insights but a series of unique
challenges professionally and personally for you to write that book because of it -- and to bush obviously caring for you to let you do it you seem to care for him so how did you balance those two? >> fabulous question. i struggle with that for more than a decade. the final test had to be, and this is why i worked to the last moment. special forces came to my house to get the manuscript. it was like "zero dark thirty" the literary version. people were coming in the windows. they were very patient in tribulation as st. paul says. i think that what i had to make sure of is in my heart and mind did i believe that i had, as close as possible as i could as a biographer and the truth about
this man what he did? i believe i did. i'm confident in my heart that i have done that. the question you are raising is what worried me in more than a decade was would i be able to call them as i saw them? would i be able to through a biographical punch when i thought he deserved to be called to account. i believe i did that. i find the iran-contra to be a dark chapter. i believe that his strange under persuasion of the rhetorical requirements of the office to be a signal failure on the presidency. three days after he broke been no new taxes pledge he did not appear to the american people. ..
if i write a couple of paragraph it is that i find elegant and coherent i say that must have been what it was leak to have dinner with thomas jefferson. but to describe someone as complicated as bush. i believe him to be a kairs mat egg figure. i would say that you greet that with skepticism. robert siegel asked me about this couple of weeks ago said that he had used the word around the offings. he had said that he asked some of the people that worked with him. would you ever think of the word charismatic when you think geor. bush and have they ever met hem? they said no. because a presidential leadership cannot be predicated upon his needing 3500 meal people.
you have to lead in a broader sense, and so i think we call hem to account on that. but these are -- these were challenges, and you know i've written about the living. i've written about the dead, and i hope that you will this to be fair and compelling because i believe he's a fair and compel ling man. thank you very much. [applause]