tv Book Discussion on The U.S. Navy CSPAN February 6, 2016 9:45am-11:01am EST
>> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and got his every weekend. tv, television for serious readers. >> this weekend on booktv we are live with author and former fox news host eric burns. he will take your questions and discuss his many books from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern. on afterward the daily caller's mad losers republicans to reach embrace conservative principles or run the risk of the party's demise. this weekend, report on the largest refugee camp in the world. panel discussion on the life of librarian of congress james billington, director of national cancer institute examines the
challenges of curing the disease. booktv visits and the barbara, calif. to talk to local authors and tour the city's literary sites. for complete television schedule booktv.org. booktv, 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors, television for serious readers. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. everyone here me well? good. i m mary mclaughlin, with the smithsonian associates and i welcome you tonight to what promises to be a stimulating evening exploring some of the
major aspects of the history of the united states navy. it is always a pleasure to welcome our speaker back to the smithsonian, craig symonds has several outstanding programs in the past several years on topics related to u.s. naval history. craig symonds is professor of history emeritus of the u.s. naval academy, the first to win a naval academy excellence in teaching award in 1988 and excellence in research award which was won in 1998. in addition he served as the academy's history department chair from 1988 to 1992 and received department of navy's superior civilian service metal three in times. prior to coming from the naval academy was professor of strategy at the u.s. naval war college in newport, rhode island
from 1971 to 1974 and royal naval college in dartmouth, england in 1994 to 1995. he is the author or editor of 26 books including prize-winning biography is the of josephine johnson and franklin buchanan has well as american heritage history of the battle of gettysburg published in 2001. his book decision at sea, five naval battles that shaped american history won the theodore and franklin roosevelt prize for in naval history in 2006. his 2008 book lincoln and his admirals, abraham lincoln, the u.s. navy and the civil war won the mariners prius, lyman prius, lincoln prius, and abraham lincoln institute book award.
his newest book, "the u.s. navy: a concise history," on which tonight's program is based we have available outside the entrance, craig symonds will sign copies at the end of tonight's program. we will get the lecture under way. give a warm welcome to dr. craig symonds. [applause] >> very generous introduction. i am delighted to be back here at the smithsonian called america's back. and one of the granny nation's great forums would be exchange of ideas, where we have been as a people, perhaps who we are. and to talk about the u.s. navy.
the genesis of this particular talk, and the hess of editors at oxford university press, oxford has a series, very short introduction. i have the first slide up here please. it is pretty colorful. supposed efforts in various fields offer various summaries, and we are commanded to write no more than 30,000 words. if you are writing a paper for school, 30,000 words is a lot but if you have to talk about in my case 250 years of institutional history is not very many. if you don't know this series i encourage you to look into it. it is not quite clicks notes for
grown-ups, rather the idea is to force scholars to be synthetic, to get away from the encyclopedic approach that is often irresistible to many authors and look more broadly, even philosophically at the big picture. there are literally hundreds of titles in this series. you can look, on the internet and the topics range from aristocracy and art history to utopianism and witchcraft. remarkably ambitious and even a little esoteric. here are a few intriguing titles in this series. a very short introduction to complexity. a very short introduction to free will. a very short introduction to ideology. if those are not ambitious enough, there is this one. i guess i shouldn't complain about having to do 250 years in 30,000 words, this guy did everything in 30,000 words. my favorite is a short
introduction to nothing. it would be a joke of the pages were blank but that is not true. is very thoughtful, philosophical discussion of the concept of nothingness. e-book i am discussing tonight is in this series and writing it forced me to think about the navy in broad strokes which i am going to try to do tonight but instead of starting at the beginning let me instead start with the present. i want to be as clear as possible about this. the united states navy in 2015 is not only the most powerful seat force on the planet but the most powerful seat force that has ever existed. i wanted to make that point early because i read recently some of alarmist rhetoric about how today's navy is a sad end declining shadow of its once
great shelf, the we are letting things slide. being alarmed seems to be quite popular these days, fear is in the air. as regard to the navy, the modern jeremiahs no accurately that there are fewer u.s. navy combat warships on active service than at any time since world war i, 283. is the current number. by comparison, on v-j day in 1945 the united states had a total of 6,000 ships in commission and that indeed is a dramatic reduction. on the other hand counting ships is not necessarily an accurate yardstick for measuring and 80's influence or strength. it depends on what those ships can do. comparing ships from 1945 to those in 2015 has to account for
changes in technology. an aircraft carrier in world war ii displaced 30,000 tons and carried her propeller driven airplanes at the range of 200 miles to deliver bombs that ridge delivered on target by aiming his airplane and your target and releasing the bomb. gravity did the rest. u.s. carriers displaced more than one hundred thousand tons, their jet planes have a range of 1200 miles an scary laser-guided weapons as sophisticated as sailors in 1945 could not even imagines them. even compared with other modern navies the u.s. navy is a uniquely awesome force. a useful comparison, one u.s. navy nuclear power aircraft carrier battle group with it
embarked airplanes and accompanying escorts the force you see here has more potential firepower and more destructive capability and the entire navy of any other nation on earth. and we have ten of them. there's only one other nuclear power aircraft carrier in existence besides the ten that fly the american flag. do you know which flag it flies? not russian, not chinese. it is, as you say, the tricolor of france. that shipped, the charles they gaulle is as we speak carrying out operations against isis forces in syria. 35,000 tons, is the third the size of america's carriers though still impressive. i guess my message in this early part of the talkies rest easy.
no one, not russia, not china, not even france is going to catch up with the united states navy during the lifetime of anyone here and for some time afterward. it was not always so. in the early days of the republican was not certain the united states would even have that navy. half of its history until the end of the nineteenth century there was a fierce debate about it. initially the dispute derived from our experience in the american revolution. that was principally a land war and the only important role played by patriot sea forces was attacking british merchant shipping. in that, we prove particularly adept. in those days a private citizen, a matter of marge, is essentially a permission slip to attack merchant ships of the
enemy, vessels that engage in this practice were called privateers. these were small, lightly armed vessels often with only one master, perhaps only one gun as is the case in this example and they were packed with men who could serve as prize crews on the ships they captured. they never fought a battle at least not if they could help it. rather specific mission was to seize on armed merchant ships and if they did they got to keep the ship and everything in it. one or two such captures made him rich men which is no doubt why these fellows appear to be cheering. this is not just their enthusiastic patriotism. during the american revolution some 800 american privateers captured 600 british merchant ships. you can do the math. some privateers koch nobody at
all. those who did got rich. this type of naval warfare not only made a number of opportunistic patriots wealthy, it reached havoc on british merchant commerce. many of the merchants lost their ships and their cargoes and all of them dramatically increased maritime insurance rates whether their ships got captured or not. naturally they all complained about this to their representatives in the house of commons and that created enormous pressure on the british government. at the time, many americans saw privateers and private theory as the maritime equivalent as that seagoing militia. like a militia it was a military force that did not require a lot of government maintenance in peacetime or for that matter even in wartime since all the expenses were borne by the shipowners, even the men who manned the ships worked for a
share of the duty since they made after. all the government had to do was print the permission slips, relying on private years as the nation's primary see force was like having a navy, or nothing. there were limits, it could not fight off an enemy. a real nation needed a real navy that the joy flag overseas and protect american maritime interests abroad, one that could command the respect of other nations, private years could do none of these things. you wanted those things than you needed a navy of national warships which in the age of sail meant ships of the line. this fringe three decker is the kind of worship possessed by european navies in the late eighteenth century and some
americans insisted the united states should have at least some of these as a symbol of its nationhood. the problem of course was such ships were enormously expensive. even if the money could be filled which was very problematic there was no shipyard in america that could build one. it would be like throwing gold into the sea. the americans, the revolutionary generation could do was build a smaller type of worship called a friend that. that is a frigate you can see beyond the bow of this ship of the line. another one closer, also french but the key feature of all frigates in the age of sail was that single row of cannon on both sides of the ship.
they were much smaller than me ships of the line and just within a hypothetical reach of americans in the early republic. and a authorise 13 of them. 13 representing the 13 states and creating what was called the continental navy. alas this effort to build what champions call the real navy proved a little short of a disaster. ..
this was the battle that they responded to the surrender by calling back i had begun to fight. it was a stirring moment then and still is but in all fairness it had no impact on the strategic outlook and a fourth pausing avatar of pausing here for a moment to dow jones like the crews on most of the warships was pretty neglected as the sailors came from every nation in europe.
jones was willing to accept anyone to point a gun often in the age of sail they might turn to the loser and offer employment on his own vessel and it wasn't much to those that accepted that kind of an offer. what did change the trajectory of the war was the french fleet that became america's ally after the battle of saratoga in 1777 and four years later after what was called the battle of the capes. they drove the british fleet away from the chesapeake bay
forcing the surrender to the franco-american army under washington. that and the hundreds of privateers who sapped the will of the house of commons after cornwallis surrendered. once the war ended, the american navy virtually ceased to exist they were sold off and given away and all the privateers went back to being merchant sailors. two americans in 1783 there seemed to be no good reason to have a navy in peacetime, what would be the point. it was a threat from the city states of the africa where in the early 19th century they made a business out of seizing the urchin ships of the western nation and to solve the problems authorize the construction in
1964. this wasn't the creation that it could decision to create because the ships were authorized for a very specific task and the authorizing legislation that had ridden into it somehow the pirates and the mediterranean could be bought off the ships wouldn't be built and they were bought off. after a years worth of negotiations, we agreed to pay them an annual tribute calculating that it was cheaper then billing the navy and the war if in fact it was a war ended. since three of the six were by completion congress decided to go ahead and complete the three but not the others.
it was a is a pivot point development of the american navy it's because of any change in the view of the role that the united states navy should play. on the eve of the war in 1861 though the navy had embraced several new technologies including steam propulsion which is evident in this slide, it remained pretty small by global standards there were a total of only 42 u.s. ships on active service and then again consistent with the pattern it
was dramatically expanded to meet the crisis reaching the peak of 671 ships in the 1864. they conducted a search path alongside the union army in the western rivers chased down on the high seas. for once the navy was the superior power and the navy made a significant contribution to the union victory. it was the confederates had adopted the racing as the policy and the union union or the united states navy that had to chase down but once again almost from the moment it was overtly contracted over they contracted to the prewar numbers by 1870, five years after their world a 52 vessels listed in the navy's register. much of the reduction made a lot
of sense. 418 of them were converted have no real value as the oceangoing warships. others were river gunboats and iron clad in the ocean. even so many critics at the time and subsequently solve this as a missed opportunity in the united states. for one thing that navy seemed to retreat only in its size but its abandonment of many of the new technological innovations that characterized by the rowboats and obviously here's one in particular.
these were essentially called auxiliary steamers. you see them portrayed as a steamship by the mass in the middle of the back. it's not that they were the obtuse. they were overseas on distant stations thousands of miles from the home port and they didn't possess any basis where they could recall. the circumstances made it the coal burning steamships utterly dependent on the foreigners for fuel. consequently they moved place after place and fired up the boilers only in times of emergency. any captain who decided he needed the boilers had to show
the reason he did so in writing. often that is interpreted to be an example of the naval pennypinching but it was to ensure they didn't find themselves out of fuel in the midst of a crisis. nor am you can see where they armored despite the battle of the modern era and the merrimack in hampton roads in 1862 americas ocean going ships were unarmored. the 60 or so monitors don't. big navy advocates insisted this was a terrible mistake that most of the time viewed it in very practical terms. this warships we had were only needed from the limited jobs
that were assigned. why build and maintain an expensive battleship fleet when there was no mission for them to perform and having the big fleet could actually get us into trouble if it came nonetheless we would do what we always have and build up the navy for the emergency. the moment is changed came at the end of the century first the ships like we see here were simply wearing out. it was evident they would have to be replaced and they would have it would have to be replaced by the new technology ships that in itself didn't constitute a change in policy. but the second reason and more
important one had little to do with the navy at all. they have been focused edward on the south south or the reconstruction issues dominated in international politics and on the west where the homestead act opened up new land for settlement and made them more accessible. in 1875 the indian war seems far more pressing than the naval war it was a northern capitulation to the south or not but a passive or active resistance and the northerners agreed to let southerners which introduced the social arrangement known as jim crow that soon became a national and not just a sectional
protocol for american race relations. and at about the same time, the national census in the 1890 census was published and indicated that there was no longer any part of the last that could be considered a frontier, not that it was filled up by any means but it was no longer a blank slate and of these offered circumstances to begin to look outward rather than inward. third was a navy captain who published a book based on his lectures at the naval war college in newport with the rather daunting title of the influence of power upon history and note the date 1663 what does this have to do with us.
what he did is to show how the small island country of great britain managed to become the greatest power on earth within empire which the sun never set, the secret he said was the power battleships in the line of that era allowed britain to secure the scene lanes. it offered a rationale and a justification for the expansion that was already beginning. the central issue for the navy remained the same. what was it for?
up to this point the arguments about having the navy. if piracy was a problem they would build a couple of slips and smugglers for the civil war we need the blockade on the coast. they argued that wasn't at all the way to go about it. nations could rise to the status of the power only through the possession of battleships and it was battleships that we begin to build in the et 90s. by 1896 we had five of them again not for any purpose but in the conviction that somehow a great nation should have some battleships and in 1898 we use them to defeat spain and what
the secretary called a splendid war. the spanish-american war that year is lesser than the bloody war of the 20th century. it is very much was very much nevertheless a milestone in the nations history that marked america's coming-out party as a great power. they utterly destroyed the older and weaker vessels in the philippines and off the southern coast of cuba & the auto. these victories led to the settlement in which the united states acquired its first important overseas possessions. in 1867 nobody was living there
anyway. but now as a result of the spanish-american war we acquire porter rico in the caribbean and the outpost from hawaii to the philippines all lost like stepping stones across the pacific to the great markets of china. now these american positions of only provided the stations that keep the battleships fueled they also created an empire and empire and interest in protecting and defending the entire. it was the same seachange. of the 20th century was the american century. in 1901 the united states emerged from its self-imposed cocoon could become first the emerging power than the comment power and finally the most
powerful nation in the world and the very founding the opponents of the naval did it come naval expansion into the position of the war fleet. there were many that argued great power status wasn't something to be avoided but a prize to be pursued and among them was the first president that young and vigorous theodore roosevelt. he had been a naval list since he had been a collector of naval ships and he even wrote his thesis on the naval battles of the war of 1812 which were published by little brown in
boston and remains in print today, still a good read by the way. roosevelt liked churchill who in many ways he prefigured and foreshadowed what's both a prolific writer and a champion of the naval expansion. he had been assistant secretary during president mckinley's first term before becoming vice president during the abbreviated second term and that for mckinley was assassinated and the roosevelt presided over the largest peacetime expansion of the u.s. navy and its history between 1906 and 1908 in just two years to commission with no fewer than 13 new battleships. it would be like the united states deciding to build ten or 20 carriers in the next two years.
they were not part of the buildup of anticipation anticipation and a crisis or the war but rather a manifestation of the decision or the willingness to possess a permanent large combat fleet. it was the declaration of america's arrival on the world stage because the ships were painted in peace time white that came to be known as the great white fleet. apparently they were not very worried about air pollution in those days. when the war broke out in 1814, the united states declared determination to remain uninvolved. inevitably perhaps the vortex of the war drew us in any way. ostensibly the reason was american opposition and and discuss if you will add the
decision to employ the warfare that a larger reason is that by the early 20th century the united states have become too prominent and powerful to remain uninvolved in the great power rivalries. once again be built up for an emergency and the ships most needed by the allies were not battleships. the british had quite enough of those. what they needed were escorts to fend off the boats so the united states to decide the 20 or so battle cruisers they were working on and hundreds of smaller warships. by the end of the war, the united states is the largest naval power on earth or what would be when they finished
building the cruisers still sitting on about ways. traditionally now according to the past record, the united states would now begin to divest itself and it did but in a way that allowed it to maintain its new global superiority. it invited the other naval powers to join the united states in washington for the planned demobilization and succeeded in getting all the great powers to agree to a formula. so they were tied for first in the global pool while japan, italy and france got to keep a lesser number it was a remarkable achievement and while it didn't prevent the future war it did save everyone billions of dollars. it wasn't world war ii that they outpaced all other navies on the
planet. finally given full range to the capability to the united, the united states built ships in numbers and sizes previously unimaginable. here is only one of scores of shipbuilding facilities created to produce literally thousands of ships to fight the second world war this is the swing shift coming in to replace the shift that one of henry kaiser's 20 shipbuilding facilities. the build up this time was unprecedented having entered with you but then battleships and seven aircraft carriers the united states emerged in 1945 with 120 battleships and heavy cruisers and accounting escort carriers nearly 100 aircraft carriers.
it was larger than all of the other navies combined. the third wave of the naval progress did again he is downward after 1945. in the 18 months after, the navy processed 3.5 million men and scrapped thousands of ships but it didn't return to its peacetime in the immediate onset of the cold war the united states kept within a thousand ships on after service. they fought the war in korea and after that the numbers. from 300 to 500, ronald reagan somewhat famously tried to boost the numbers to 600 again reaching the peak of 592 though that included a number of
refurbished ships that were kept on active service to make a statement more than out of any particular need. the numbers dipped back down and reached the low in 2007 at 278. today as i mentioned at the outset number is 283. critics are correct to note by standards this is a lower number but as i suggested, that is misleading. if we use a longer lens to make the comparison number that the numbers are greater than the nation's historical average even in the 20th century. the difference is that the nation has now accepted and even an embrace the notion that we should have a powerful navy but that it should be and indeed that it must be the most powerful maybe on earth and that we should show responsibility of patrolling the world's oceans. a duty that we didn't be read
fell on us until the generation whether that is a good thing, a bad thing were simply a fact of life as a conversation we can perhaps have later on. i'm almost finished and then we can go to q-and-a. with me make a brief comment about the navy as an institution. like all great national public institutions, the u.s. navy is also a mirror of the culture and values as well as our strength. there's a few ways it's different than it was in the 19th century or even most of the 20th century. as i noted earlier the principal duty was to move heavy objects around, which is why it especially in britain men are often recruited by simply bringing them over the head with a spike and dragging them on board. we were a bit more subtle about
that in the united states but not particularly picky. by the 20th century this is no longer the case probably due to the more enlightened view of citizen rights, but also because the service in the late 20th and certainly in the 21st century requires much more then pulling on a rope or moving a cannon around the deck. they enlisted greetings today that include the following aviation electronics technician come information systems technician, missile technician though they will be in no doubt glad to hear we still have them. the navy is demographically different, too. they served from the earliest days and they made up 13 to 15% since its beginning. for that reason president truman has an executive order
desegregating in 1947 s. immediate impact on the u.s. navy than it did on the army. on the other hand, persons of color particularly blacks and filipinos are often relegated to particular duties as stewards or what at the time were called mass boys. i don't know if you remember how they insisted that the eight strawberries. great film if you haven't seen it. then in the years after world war ii, the officers were all white as they are in this light from the film and they were limited to services like books, stewards or some other role that began changing and accelerated
and there are no such restrictions today. 10% of the navy's admirals are african-american. nor is the navy any longer all male. women began serving as early as the civil war when the volunteers nurses. when the call for nurse volunteers went out, the expectation is that they would all be male. when women volunteered, no one knew quite what to do about it so the service was accepted. during the 20th century the navy's manpower needs were such that the navy reached out to white men to serve in a wide variety of support roles. there is irony and obvious sexism in this recruiting poster from 1917 but within months, they did indeed join joined the
navy as secretaries and administrators but then in a wide variety of posts though not on combat ships. in world war ii by world war ii by the navy's top women called the wave is an acronym for women accepted for voluntary emergency service. there were 27,000 women in the navy. they were to the airfields. i have met people who thought when the navy were still in the waves. they are not. they are still in the united states navy, the service ended with the emergencies. but when it remained in the navy. the force today reflects the nation at large. 20% of the navy personnel identifying as black identify as black slightly larger percentage of the country as a whole.
latinos because 16% exactly their representation of the general population. 18% are women and the law that barred them from combat have come down, too. the last barrier was breached when two women reported by the nuclear powered submarines you may have seen in the news recently to army officers who were women who were accepted and passed the ranger training. so far there were no women's heels but i'm sure that it's only a matter of time. and finally, gays and lesbians serve openly. the code of justice made homosexuality a crime punishable by physical punishment as well as dishonorable discharge but no
more in front of my dear no one under 30 seems to care. so, that is a short introduction to the u.s. navy area i will put this up just for the general patriotic emotion that it might engender and i look forward to your questions. thank you. [applause] >> because we are being recorded for c-span. if you have a question i've asked you come to the microphone at the front please don't be shy so the viewers can hear the question and i won't have to repeat it. we can get through this pretty efficiently i think. yes, sir. >> battles seem to be fought now quite a bit different than the battles of one another and even
now the idea of airplanes attacking have changed. it's now by remote etc.. what is the defense for the carrier group by in any nation can have ballistic missiles etc.? >> that is a great question. the technology is remarkable. it would take me another lecture to go through in some detail that i will point out the ships that you see escorting do not go to see without escorts, never did, certainly not today. and those carrying with them a him a number of defensive capabilities that can shift down the missiles like the close and defense systems which can fire -- my numbers might be off the coast of 320 rounds of uranium shells per second. and these are all rigged to the
systems that can identify a threat and hopefully illuminate the threat. no thread can be entirely eliminated but the offense as impressive as it is dispatched for the defense. so, one of the questions of course, we had ten of the years, they are enormously expensive and valuable and one of them being destroyed at the sea would be such an overwhelming blow to american credibility and american strength not to mention the loss of life that it would entail for an overwhelming response to the essential so if we are a floating target and aware of that as we are very well protected but the point is are we putting too many eggs into too few baskets which could theoretically perhaps become honorable, but i think that is the answer to the question. >> how many confederate ships
were brought in from the blockade? >> many more than were prevented from running through the blockade. this was a subject for the attacks in the administration and particularly the navy department by the new york newspapers in particular. here we have hundreds of ships guarding all the ports and the blockade runners got through anyway. the answer to that question is no blockade can be a impermeable but what's interesting is the number that never tried to run the blockade because they fear capture by the ships so while most did so successfully,
thousands routinely went in and out of the southern ports did not do so in fact southern trade was reduced by more than 90% in just the first year of the war because they didn't run the blockade force so it was as much as an actively blockade blockade of ports that straddled confederate economy during the civil war. >> i wonder if you can mention the conflicts within the navy. aside from that we have the land base and any other number of frictions which in the very fast and varied service but beyond that in the latter stage of my days there was a great concern
among the naval officers of having too much duty with other services than what they call purple suiting and how that could destroy a naval career. >> i'm shocked you would suggest there is a rivalry between the services or were elements within the services. [laughter] beat army. [laughter] apostolate you're right that rivalries were there and before that it was the war department and the navy department that were openly antagonistic. 1947 the act was supposed to end all of that but it did not. they were rivals for budgeting, public support, the congress and that hasn't gone away.
there is also ask you suggest the warfare communities and those that are going to fly consider themselves at the top of the peak. the power community is also very prestigious and they claim to be at the top of the peak and of course the surface warfare have their own point of view. so all of those are real thing and not just kicking around in a bar but also as a mention for budgetary support and in other ways. but what has happened i think since your day in the navy and since for that matter, my day in the navy is that promotions have been based more on the willingness and the ability of officers particularly officers listed as well that it but it applies mostly to officers to
cooperate with and among the service branches. in fact being a purple suit or if you don't know the term by the way that's the color you would get if you took air force likely come immediately and marine dream in the army and put them all on the washing machine on the hot cycle they would all come out purple. so it's someone who embraces all the services together and isn't committed to just my own specialty. if you're you were the best pilot who got promoted to. that has changed the dynamic of the culture within all of the services including the navy and virtually everyone today is a purple suit her and i think that is a good thing. there was too much duplication and argument and wastage when they were all squabbling about legal squabble a little.
they were thoughtful rather than reactive commanders. the last one was stephen decatur don't get me wrong. you need some of those guys. but maybe not at the dinner table. i am not sure. >> there were 282 active ships now can you give us an idea of what the numbers are of the other type of ships will.
i talk about spies like you don't need a spider find out who's got what in what may be. the general port at 77, 110,000 tons displacement. dozens of billions of dollars i hesitate to give you the term because they are going out to trial but the embarked airwaves are fantastic and on the budget for a single american aircraft carrier is greater than the budget of any other navy on the planet. they are just enormously effective and capable
potentially at least at risk. the next noteworthy type is a term borrowed from the sale for the larger service conduct and worship in the destroyer class. there are many of these and they are changing all the time. we had something called the littoral combat ship and we decided we are not going to call it that. that is probably the dominant. when you think of the navy ships arriving at the port of the vessel would be most typical and they fire guns and guided missiles for the anti-missile. they do have visiting days and it will blow your mind.
yes sir. >> related to the earlier questions about the subdivisions of the navy, the marines often see the navy existed to provide the right in the various locations and we have an acquaintance serving on the expeditionary unit and understandably he's not able to talk too much about the role of that. can you say more about that? >> the idea in the last 25 years is that the navy is less frequently going to be called upon to fight a conventional full-scale global naval war where others attack us and we attack them. when the u.s. navy sought to the iranian warships in the persian gulf more often what we need to do is respond to brushfires here, there is another place and to do that, the combined uniform
force of navy and marine corps forces and expeditionary unit. i have exported by the destroyers. they get us there and then we get it done. some of that comes from the rivalry we talked about earlier. most is with a smile on her face. my personal experience is that the marine card team is filled with mutual respect. the marines when they say the navy just drives the bus, they know that's not true. they are seeing if they can do that to get into a bar fight. [laughter] and when they make fun of the jar heads you know darn well what they do.
and the attention nowadays seems to be on what is called asymmetric warfare and what would the role of was the role of a very large and awesome navy be? >> the united states government or the united states naval academy if i ran this in the world i think i would probably put off the next two nuclear powered aircraft carriers. >> i say that because. they can make a political statement, the carrier arriving at the scene.
it limits the number of places and times you can do that. it means you can react to fight crises around the world there may be sick someday. you have 20 or 30 more on active duty so we would have the capability and flexibility to respond to the crises but that is absolutely a personal opinion and certainly not to be considered as part of the official government policy and with that i will stop. [applause] we have the u.s. navy and the
picked me up and swung me around and said you're not as big as i thought you were. they spent six months there and made about 18 trips covering the middle east. we are all terminal at some point in our lives. one of the models if people had more yesterday than tomorrow. >> how long have you had had parkinsons and what has that done for your work? >> i've had it for about five
years. it's very painful. >> it takes me an hour to do one paragraph. i feel terrible about. as you are standing now hear how do you feel? >> very weak and shaky. one point i began the book is i go to the white house as much as i can. i'm sincerely interested in people. >> from the ambassador from israel at the press conference
we are supposed to identify for ourselves. connie lawn, each morning. so that was nice. thousands of people have told me the same thing. it's kind of nice. >> lets look at your career and get a snapshot of presidents that were fun to cover and difficult to cover. >> barack obama is a good president but difficult to cover. in the old days you would have maybe 20 reporters one question each and now you are lucky if you have four reporters chosen and once they get to the floor they can go on and on. they are repeating the same thing. i try to answer different questions but there have been a fun president. hillary clinton was the most exciting, ronald reagan was
fascinating. >> how did you get into this business? >> capitol hill was deadly boring and i went up to new hampshire in 1968 and then i told the reporter goes for hard days. i slept any place i could. it was different effect i did it all myself. i worked for a series of companies and that is the way to survive in the business now. maybe they would pay at the most 10,000 a year. i never had anybody pay me big bucks or insurance. i did that myself. this is the age of the
>> we have a scenario basically where you have to pretend to be something you're not and the unfortunate part is that in order to pander to the republican primary voters in iowa you have have to adopt a persona and a style that would actually hurt you when it comes to winning over the millennial or cosmopolitan americans who should be voting conservative but are turned off by the cultural baggage and the stylistic stereotypes of what we
think of when we think of conservative. >> booktv saturdays and sundays at 9 p.m. eastern. you can watch all previous programs on the website, booktv.org. mr. norris will be interviewed by press club member up with a correspondent for the "washington post" and the author or co-author of the books including two "new york times" bestsellers published in 2012 with the late john's and the battle for america 2008. he's a regular panelist on pbs washington week and a frequent guest on cbs, nbc and cnn. and he's so busy he will probably have to leave this event in less than an hour to be one of the roasters and toasters