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tv   Open Phones with David Mc Cullough  CSPAN  December 25, 2015 1:35am-2:16am EST

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from authors who have written about it, who researched, researched, who are experts in their field. we had a panel discussion on it, we had people from all walks of life. very diverse who were in the audience and asked about it. it was a great discussion. it was like the beginning of the discussion that needs to happen in this nation. and book tv thank you, i, i love book to be in politics and prose. we are going to do this again in february. i hope book tv will be there. but we had a discussion that was needed and we'll keep it going. >> april ryan, from the white house and the presidency and black-and-white. >> at this year's national book festival in washington beat d.c. we talked to david mccullough about his book, the right brothers and took calls from viewers. this is a recorded program so we will not be taking any new calls. >> david mccullough joins us on
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our set at the convention center , the wright brothers is the most recent book. the most recent bestseller, esther mccullough, who funded the right brothers. >> guest: they did. the only funding they had is what they took from their modest earnings from their bicycle shop. they not only funded their efforts but they virtually made everything they were in need of to create the first flyers they built of the first flying machine as they called it. with the exception of the block for the motor which was made of aluminum it was their idea and that was made for them in a small startup company as we would call it today in
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pittsburgh. alcoa, aluminum company of america. it was the first aluminum engine ever built. when it was first used the box split. rather than saying that's not going to work, they said build another one. so the second one didn't split and produce more horsepower than they expected. so they had a great capacity to solve problem but when something didn't work they didn't give up. they never gave up about anything. the perseverance against the odds is a life lesson i think we can all benefit from. >> host: we will put the phone numbers up so you can talk with david mccullough. they have written about paris and other right brothers in the
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most recent book. we also are taking text messages. you can text a message as well. you can also contact us via social media. we'll put those addresses up as well as we talk. you say they self-funded, did they buy. >> guest: yes they did but not super rich. not like some of the great robber barons of the day. orval more so than wilbur because wilbur died early tragically 1912. he never really live to see -- but they were never in it for the money.
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they had been raised on the idea that good life is a life of high purpose. they elected this is their objective and they were not bothered by the fact that they had no money or no college education, they are not bothered by the fact that people thought they were crackpots. they were made fun of. they were ignored, even by the press, even after they had proven they can find a plane. >> host: after december 1, 19 oh three's. >> guest: yes, it took five more years it wasn't until 19 oh eight that the world was willing to admit. it didn't happen in this country and happen in france. because neither the federal government in washington surprised or anyone else wanted to accept the fact that these men had done something
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miraculous. imagine, they cracked what was one of the most difficult and presumably in possible technological problems, ever in history. by doing so, they changed history, they change the world and await nothing else ever had. much more than the invention of the telephone or the lightbulb, or or the other things that were happening at the same times. >> host: how do you pick your topics, the right brothers, truman? >> guest: i really don't know. something happens and it clicks, and i think that's it. with this one it happened because i just finished the book on americans who went to paris to protect their abilities as architects, doctors, painters, writers, because the training they knew they needed was not
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available in our country then. there is no schools with architecture. our medical schools were behind those in europe. the medical school of paris was the greatest in the world. i was so intrigued with this little-known fact of american life that i wanted to carried into the 20th century and in doing so i found out the right brothers in france. something i had never and manage imagined. once i started reading about them as human beings, not just as miracle workers, i realize this was a book i wanted to do. i think my lucky stars that i
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did. i found it so fascinating. rises about how different they were from what most people imagined. >> host: bread, you are the first call for david, go ahead and ask your questions. >> caller: hello? >> host: we are listening, please go ahead. >> caller: i just finished your book. i didn't realize. >> guest: i can hear them. >> host: i think he said he finish your book and there is a piece of the plane taken to the moon with neil armstrong? >> guest: yes, neil armstrong curtis watch of the campus is
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the covering for the wings with him to the moon. he did not leave it there, he took it as a symbol of their heritage if you will. their allegiance on their gratitude toward the right brothers had done. they sought as an extension of what they're doing was an extension of what the right brothers started. what's so interesting as neil armstrong also came from the same section of ohio that the right brothers did. southwestern ohio. so the first human beings ever to fly in a motor powered aircraft, first human being to set put on the moon both came from the same neighborhood in ohio. >> host: chris from tampa text, what was the competition initially and were they aware of it? >> guest: the competition was
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comparatively modest up until then. yes they were aware of it. most of it was in france and they're also aware they were way ahead of the competition. by studying birds, soaring birds, they they had figured out a solution to the problem and that is what they called wing working. when they eventually went to france to demonstrate what they had achieved the great french aviators all said, we are but children compared to them. they are so far ahead of us that it is almost heartbreaking. it they also felt immense respect for what they had achieved. >> host: next call comes from stephen in quincy, illinois. i stephen. >> caller: hello. i'm honored to be able to ask
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david a question. why did president adams, who had been a great attorney and fairly reasonable man, ever signed this edition act and why was that act enforced in his president c so vigorously against the supporters of thomas jefferson, many of whom were imprisoned for criticizing john adams in his administration? >> guest: is signing of the finishing acts was a mistake on the part of president adams but he himself never got involved with it. he he really realized, though he never said so. that this was a mistake. he he had nothing to do with it once it was passed. yes, it it was wrong, it was against fundamental faith, the
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american faith as a were. but if you look at how relatively few people were imprisoned it was a mild mistake rather than a mistake a big consequences. i don't know about president who who did not make a mistake in office. it's a shame when they do, but then again, history is about human beings, history is human,. >> host: here's another tax from the indianapolis area. which president had the most consequential career after the presidential term ended? >> guest: john quincy adams. he went back and served in congress and that was the star performance. he was for all of the right things and he fought for them until his dying day and he died
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with his boots on on the floor of the house of representatives. john quincy adams is vastly underrated. we don't give much attention to one term presidents. but he was a very great man. i think intellectually, iq level, he may have been the most brilliant human being to ever occupy the office. >> host: if you want to text a question you can do that. next call is from tom in florida. >> caller: good morning. my question is, my father-in-law was the manager of the right aircraft factory in 1916. did mr. mcculloch learn anything about him? his name is milton when?
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>> guest: i wish i could say yes, but now i don't. my book really ends in 1910. when orville and wilbur wright decide they achieved what they set out to do. until then they would never take a plane together because they wanted the other person to be alive to carry on the mission. it was a mission in which they gave total devotion exclude including everything else that we think of as a normal life in order to achieve it. they never married, they never went on vacation, they're totally committed to their work. much the way their father was an itinerant minister who is committed to his work in his mission. for them, their objective, to fly control themselves in the air, was a mission.
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it is not just a misunderstanding about the right brothers. it it wasn't that they just invented the airplane which in itself would be phenomenal, but they invented how to fly it. they learn to fly it. there are the first test pilots ever. they're they're testing something no one else had ever tested because the world that had had such a machine available. >> host: what's the next book. >> guest: i don't know peter, do you have some good ideas? spee1 my good ideas will be to take this call from kathy. >> caller: hello mr. mcculloch, i fully enjoyed the right brothers, i'm a delta airline employee and i have a further appreciation of flying. my question is, the patents that really took wilbur's health down, did they ever established
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between the was that never resolved. >> guest: the aileron was in existence not after the wing warping. the rights new about it but they thought their wing warping was the period. then shortly afterwards some use the aileron, no i don't think so. they felt what they had done was exactly what had to be done at the time. had they live longer, had, had wilbur live longer he may have changed. the answer to your question, did the patent where wilbur down to the point where he contracted typhoid.
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i think yes he did. he was washed out. they. they were all worried about him. he lost weight, he was very on edge. then he contracted typhoid. to to me it's like a greek tragedy. the father had worn them all their lives, beware of badwater. we take clean water for granted, but it wasn't for them. one of the parents of that earlier day. b1 this text is from matthew. i recall him saying that president kennedy inspired him for public service can he please discuss this part of his life and how he change career paths. >> guest: i would be delighted to. it's been a very long time since the president of the united states is called upon us all to
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do something for our country. too often spending time telling us what they're going to do for us. president kennedy gave that magnificent beach in his inaugural address i took it to heart and i had a good job in new york working for time in life. i gave it a to come to washington to do something, in some way to serve my country. i want up working with the u.s. information agency. it was wonderful organization. it also happened at that point by my good luck, was being run by edward moreau. so for the next three years i have a huge privilege of the graduate school glory of working
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with u.s. information agency under him. it changed changed my life and it was while i was in washington working on the project that i happen to discover some materials at the library of congress. isolate myself launched in an ambition to write a book. once i got started on it and doing the research and writing i knew it was what i wanted to do for the rest of my working life. >> host: up next, richard in charlotte north carolina. richard you're on. >> caller: thank you. i appreciate the books you have written especially the right brothers. i'm a proud day tony and, just make a make a comment. my grandmother knew the right brothers. she called them the crazy bicycle boys. i would ask you, wasn't the
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prairie wasn't that the air force base wasn't that a reasonable place for them to learn to fly? is it some they could've done in dayton? would take north carolina out. >> guest: personal your grandmother among a large crowd that thought they were wacko. there is sale they are nice young men but there are little off balance. hoffman prairie is 8 miles out of dayton. it is part of the right patterson air force ace. because as part of therefore space it's been preserved exactly the way it was. what went on at hoffman prairie is far more important than people realize. the plane they flew at kitty hawk was not an airplane yet. it took three more years at hoffman prairie to develop a practical airplane. so the real airplane, as we
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would say, and airplane people could learn how to fly and fly was born at hoffman prairie. >> host: raven from new jersey is next. do you think the right brothers using a patent hindered the progress of aviation. >> guest: no. no more so than alexander graham bell patent hindered the development of cell phone. or alexander graham bell's patent stalled the use of the telephone. no. and i have to do is look at what happened in aviation. with an almost no time the right brothers were not, the plane that they had developed was that recognize is your reality until
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1908. the plane used the plane used in world war ii was, world war i was vastly different than what they had flown. that was more advanced plane had developed in just the seven years or eight years since the wright brothers plane was recognized be a reality. of course, then the acceleration of progress was beyond anyone's imagining. limburg was fine the atlantic the 1920s. orville wright lived to see jet propulsion, orville wright lived to see rockets, live to see the horrible devastation caused by airplanes used as weapons and world war i world war two. wilbur did not see world war i, he died. it did not hold back the advancement. >> host: from dallas, pennsylvania. hi karen.
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>> caller: thanks for taking my call. i just wanted mr. mcculloch to know how often i have read his books and enjoyed them. my question is, why did it take americans so long to get behind the right brothers and their ideas? the french seem to get on board quickly. i just wondered why. thank you. >> guest: i think the most dramatic example of both, how blind we were and undoubtedly the reason we were that way. is that we are flying a plane almost every day when the weather permitted, just 8 miles outside of vegas. reporters and editors from the data newspaper would not even come out to see for themselves what was happening.
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some years later, one of the editors of the paper asked, how could that be. it was happening right under your noses and he said i guess we're just plain stupid. the first person, first eyewitness to publish an accurate account of their flights and this immensely important break through, change in history was a beekeeper from northeastern ohio named amos. he drove down to see for himself what was happening. down in dayton. he saw was happening and he wrote an article about it for his beekeeper's journal. that was the first, complete, accurate account that the airplane had arrived had ever published. by beekeeper, who is very interested in whatever was going on. whether it was in any field.
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he was not blinded by what he had come to feel was what everybody knew. it's like the king has no close. somebody had to say it. it's real, it's, it's here. those amos roots. tom hanks is going to be making a movie, a series for hbo based on this book. i cannot wait to see who gets cast as amos roots. i have some ideas. he does that kind of a part. >> host: do you have any input? >> guest: very much so. and i think the world of tom hanks and i know what beautiful work he does. and all of the people who work with them. some of the best
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people i've ever worked with in my life. >> host: this is a tax from philadelphia area. i'm an aspiring writer, background and history education, i admire how you blood excellent storytelling and brilliant research, the question, how did you find your voice? >> ..
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