>> many of these events are open to the public. look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. >> welcome to hattiesburg, mississippi, on booktv. located in the southern part of the state as apocalypse of nearly 80,000 is home to the university of southern mississippi. with the help of our comcast cable partners, over the next 90 minutes we'll talk with local authors as well as about the history of the area and the dakota clinic look at the civil war through the eyes of both
well-known and ordinary families. >> i really had always wanted to write this kind of sweeping, i guess sauger of the civil war. and for me as a military historian over the years what i of those is that as much as was ousted by what happens on the battlefield and this sweeping changes that take place because of his campaign on that campaign, the soldiers are always looking older i really came to deciding on my writing that you have to look at both. you have to look at the soldier and the families, the battlefront and the homefront if you're going to understand war. >> later we'll take it to the university of southern mississippi's mccain library to see rare books and other unique items in their special collections. first we are from author david davies about a mississippi newspaper reporters and editors cover the civil rights movement and what impact this had on race relations in the state. >> my book looks at the
mississippi press pretty much from the time of brown going through the voting rights act of 1965. and what i tried to do was look at a range of mississippi newspapers and how they covered issues of race over this time period. mississippi is interesting because it was the state that seemed to be the most segregated of any of the southern states with opposition to integration being absolutely the most hard-core of any of the southern state. psychic mississippi is interesting in terms of the vehement of some sections of the mississippi press in defending the racial status quo. in jackson we had both the jackson clarion left her and the jackson daily news which in these years were absolutely
solidly opposed to any challenge to segregation. so i think what you find is a very solid wall and opposition to racial change the mississippi, particularly from the leading papers in mississippi. "the clarion ledger" at one point was labeled by the "columbia journalism review" as quite possibly the worst metropolitan newspaper in the united states. and, in fact, the paper in those years lived up to that label, sadly. the paper would ignore racial news. it would have pretty much one-sided accounts of any activity concerning civil rights. its colonists and its editorial writers were absolutely --
colonists -- vehement in their opposition to desegregation. day, if i can use such strong language you just have to wonder if they played some role him if not inciting violence, at least in failing to condemn it. and mississippi in those years was quite a violent place. so i expected the mississippi press to reflect the society from which it emerged. however, i was shocked at the vehement tone of the dominant newspapers and a lot of others in those years. i would emphasize the range of opinion from within the press in this period. there were heroes who really stood out. they were journalists who were behind the scenes, worked
closely with the state mississippi sovereignty commission to undermine the civil rights movement. i set out to explore how newspapers approached this absolutely cataclysmic event for the american south. i started with the idea that there were good guys and not so good guys in terms of editorial coverage of this very complex issue. and what i ended up finding is that, well, that's true. there were some true heroes in all of us, but there were also many shades of gray in terms of how journalists approached this topic. a really interesting case study of the civil rights years is hazel brannon smith. hazel called the lexington advertiser in these years. lexington is a small town north of jackson, mississippi.
her story is so so compelling. in fact, at one point i want to say it was in the mid '90s, she was the subject of a tv movie. and her life is truly the subject of a tv movie. she was a southern belle, graduate of the university of alabama, and like so many journalism graduates of that era, she wanted to own her own newspaper. and by golly, she did. she went to tiny lexington, bought the local newspaper and made a success of it. she proceeded, as she liked to recall, today every eligible bachelor and hundred she donned her succeeded. she ultimately met some fellow on a cruise, but about the lexington. they got married and she ran a final newspaper and was making a good bit of money. hazel was a segregationist. she very much with reflective of her time and place, but you know
what? she believed in justice for all and that citizens should be treated equally. now, she thought that white people want to live with white people and black folks wanted to live with black folks. and so she believed in segregation. but equal justice was a different thing. she seemed to go along pretty well until a time in the 1950s when she stood up in the local, against the local sheriff or mississippi in these years had sort of, liquor was illegal but yet law enforcement looked the other way for years and years. and remember, hazel cared about justice, and so she took on the local sheriff for overlooking local bootleggers. and, of course, that got her into some hot water. but what really amounted to her
bravest stand against the establishment was when she took up for a black man who had been shot by the local sheriff. a man had been walking along the side of the road, was stopped by the sheriff. the sheriff told him to get going. anand wasn't moving fast enough. they sheriff shouting. it was a flesh wound. the man survived, but hazel took a stand on the. i mean, he shot an unarmed man. will, in mississippi in the years, defending a black person for anything was a breach of pretty much the racial code in mississippi. and mississippi took it out on hazel. and the local citizens council which was an organization across
the south but it began and was especially strong in mississippi, businessmen opposed to desegregation. thecitizens council took a stand against her, started a rival newspaper, and she started a long slide that end in her bankruptcy. and again, her challenge to mississippi in these years was not a challenge to segregation, but a challenge to her readers to stand up for justice. that's how ingrained racism was in mississippi in these years. for a time at least, the press helped to reinforce the racial status quo and was probably a little bit of an obstacle to racial change. at the same time there were folks who were outliers. there were folks who were so-called moderates. hazel brannon smith, some
observers have said pretty much showed the first cracks in the racial status quo. carter in his day had the prominence of dan rather today. carder of little greenville mississippi was known as sort of the southern journalistic that along with people like ralph mcgill and maybe a few others, mcgill being in atlanta, he wasf the south to the north. and he wrote for the "new york times" magazine talking about some issues but he wrote a number of books working there very closely with his wife who deserves about as much credit for what he did. but he was a really special case. he and betty were very much a
part of greenville society. it's interesting in that he very, very much challenged mississippi. he had a running feud with the legislature. he was the racial moderate in that he's not mississippi should ultimately change. he thought that civil rights activists are pushing mississippi to change after mississippi is going to be able to. so in many ways he was a little more moderate than, a lot more moderate than the civil rights activist would've liked. but still he was pushing mississippi to change. what's interesting though is because he was so ingrained in the community i think that kind of protected in. hodding never lost his paper and yet the klan would burn a cross in his yard and that sort of thing, but he still survived and i think is because he was very, very much a part of the fabric of the community. pdd a sense of how we're
mississippi west indies years, at one point hodding wrote something or other that off the local clan or whoever, and so while he was away these hoodlums spread trash all over his yard. but hodding was gone because a relative had died, and so when the hoodlums realized he had been away for a funeral, they apologize. that was mississippi and the jeers, you know. you don't spread trash over someone's yard if they're going for a funeral. it was quite a world that hodding carter and that these people lived in your by contrast you can look at somebody like hockey he was absolutely the most probably the only outspoken integrationist of any of the editors in history.
he ran a great newspaper and little pascagoula mississippi on the gulf coast, and his readers flocking to keep without a great paper he went all the work of the state newspaper contest because his newspaper was just so good. but iraq was different. he said that his wartime experience taught him that soldiers bled the same whether they were black or whether they were white. so ira gradually integrated changes into his newspaper. he would cover black news, where as most newspapers just didn't cover black news or they labeled it as black news. ira cover black news. he also gave black folks the same courtesy title that they gave white folks, mrs. smith, mrs. jones, that sort of thing. his readers didn't like that. he got some pushback from his readers, but they forgive him
because he ran a heck of a good paper. on the other hand, than five, excuse me, ira lost me of his readers when he came out in 1962 in defense of james meredith. he vehemently defended james meredith and his right to desegregate ole miss. he said it's crazy that mississippi would oppose the federal government. how can a state opposed the federal government? seems like common sense today but that was an incredibly radical stance in mississippi in the jeers. if you compare coverage then versus coverage today in terms of issues of race or almost anything else, what's most interesting to me now is that the press is so scattered and it's coming from sony different directions, both in terms of its method of delivery and the messages therein. the press was much, much more monolithic in mississippi in the civil rights era, in that for
the most part the press represented the segregationists point of view. it was so monolithic that the few outliers, the so-called moderates and the few liberals, they really stood out. today, press coverage usually just all over the map. i think that will actually help those in mississippi is to have the leadership of papers like "the clarion ledger" which is really led the way in investigating cold cases and whatnot. so i think that what's so different today is, first of all, the leadership of "the clarion ledger" of the good it's done over the 20 years he had devoted to uncovering forgotten that civil rights cases, and also just a vast range of approaches in the press now. mississippi is a largely rural
state, and its newspapers could pretty much be fairly easily termed community newspapers which spent a lot of time on local issues. there's just some fine journalism out of there. it was a surprise to very few of us that the biloxi sun herald, along with the new orleans times pay giunta won a pulitzer prize for coverage of katrina. there's just fine, fine journalism going on today. and here as in so many other places journalism is going through quite a transition with the economic underpinnings of newspaper being challenged so so severely by the internet. our larger newspapers are still struggling with that. our community newspapers are still quite vibrant because they provide an outlet for king or dean is that readers just can't
find elsewhere. so today the press is very much all over the map in terms of its economic health and in terms of its news coverage. quite a different world from the 1950s mississippi. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2. this weekend where visiting hattiesburg, mississippi, to talk with local authors and toured the city's literary sites with up of our local cable partner comcast. next year from andrew wiest, history professor at the university of southern mississippi about the u.s. armies charlie company experiences during the vietnam war. >> as i began researching the war, it dawned on me that the real story of the vietnam veteran had not been told. the name of the book is "the boys of '67: charlie company's war in vietnam" and the real
reason i decide to write it was vietnam veterans had been used as a little football. they have been used as part of a morality play. they have been used as many things, but hardly anybody had gotten to tell their story, who they were as young men before they went, the trauma of war that they went through both its great victories, it's funny times, it's horrible times, and then what happened to the as a generation since they've been known. the reason i chose the year 67, that was in many ways the high combat year of the war in vietnam. years before that were ramping up. year after that, 68 was a big year all of its own and we get the ramp down to 67 in some ways. to be at least give me the kind of quintessential year of that were. the book begins with who these young men were before they left, what their lives were, what their hopes were, what their dreams were. as it turns out this unit argument is representative of the entire country. there's a city slicker some
cleveland. there's migrant farmworkers from texas. there's young african-american sharecroppers from the south. there's a whole bunch of kids from los angeles, you name it. it's a real hodgepodge of what it meant to be american at the time. the military in these that are part of his the ninth infantry division after all drafted, essential on the same date in march of 1966. i wanted to get that few. i wanted to figure out who these young men were. infantry division is 15,000. that's too big. an infantry platoon is 40 men. that's too small. charlie company seem to be just about right, 160 men, and i was able to get to know the company through a i interviewed more than 80 of them which is a really good sample of the unit. interviewed about 30 family members come especially other charlie company members who died in vietnam. i had to understand who they were as people. so i interviewed their brothers, their mothers, their sisters, their wives.
so charlie company was just about the right size to write a book about. anything bigger than that and you begin to forget who people are. anything smaller than that and you don't have a representative sample of what was to be a soldier in vietnam in 1967. >> many units and individuals establish themselves either professional behavior under attack. yet most of the soldiers had never been in battle before. [background sounds] >> so they were trained in the middle of kansas, trained in the dead of winter. when you leave for vietnam there is no all over the ground they all get on a train out to california and then got on a troop ship and ship loaded it on the of course if you don't it's over 100 degrees. it's a bit of a jarring circumstance for these guys. they go from being civilians and then they go into being guys were practicing to be in the military and then suddenly they are thrown right smack in the middle of a very difficult war
in 1967. originally they were stationed just north of saigon in a rather dry areas of vietnam. as it turns out that was just for acclamation that was to get the soldiers ready for how hot it was, what the jungle was like, what may be a small any attack was like, what made if you did come booby-traps were like the a couple months of a commission and then they sent them down to where the real business was going to happen, and econ river delta south of saigon. the landscape is quite different. it's rice paddies, endless rice paddy. rice paddy after rice paddy after rice paddy, village after village after village. very densely populate. the without a net in which the u.s. could indiscriminate use firepower. these guys use firepower. discuss the use firepower. these guys have either a controlled and when they fired and what they fired at. what they got was a flat, very wet war and what they got was a war in which the enemy, the vietcong, had lived there for 10, 20 years.
they knew the terrain. they knew the battle sites. they prepared a train and battle site. so our men were fighting in a foreign country, about as foreign as you can get to the vietcong were fighting on their home turf. these guys were in a watery unforgiving environment, and the important thing to remember about it on top of that is since the enemy had been here five years, 10 years, 20 years depending on the area you are in, every rice paddy, rice paddies could be 50 feet on one side, why not put on the other. these are pretty small agricultural fields. every rice paddy could have an enemy bunker system in it. the side of the river could have an enemy bunker sitting in it because of the river was lined by dense jungle foliage that you could see through. so every 50 yards could be another ambush. every 50 yards after that could be another ambush. was it likely that that next to dealers who could to get shot at?
probably not, but you have to be ready. if you were not ready, that's probably when they were there. to the guys in charlie company could never switch it off but it had to be switched on the whole time. the adrenaline had to be running. any moment that you let your guard down could be the moment that killed you. the first part they were on the very first operation, and one of the sergeants went around, one of the sergeants at a trained and. they were very fearful of the sky. he's the one that's made them do push-ups before and all that during training. the one that yields at the next item on the head. these guys have just dug foxholes. they probably just march 20 miles to albany. at night they are supposed to maintain sleeping discipline to only 50% of the soldiers are supposed to be asleep anyone done. of course, the sergeant sneaks out, because someone foxholes to an of and the first fossil he finds anybody specifically wakes the. the lieutenant is following them.
the lieutenant is out there, ma lieutenant locke, the soldiers all loved them. he'd once been a soldier and so. but in a black false of the sergeant eddie comes to the first fossil and that everybody is way. good, the sergeant did his job. but he also knows they were tense. second thought so, everybody was later everything was good but everybody will still kids. third fossil he finds out why were tense. the sergeant had taken that 10 out of the grenade and added to the soldiers and said he falsely, grenade will go off and you are all dead. for the allstate very well of late that first night. in vietnam. so this slow steady nature of the war really took a toll on them, as much or even more than the days when the war got really bad. at least when the work abbottabad there was somebody to loose your anger on right over there. maybe he got lucky you could kill a few of them. that was something of an about the war, too, as a noncombatant.
i've never been to war. one of the equation i always wanted to know, what's it feel like to kill somebody? and the answer i got was pretty surprising, in general, while the action was going on, the guys in charlie company were almost uniformly excited when this happened. because that guy was just trying to kill you, and you put him down. it was his mom was going to have to mourn that night, not yours. it took until maybe the next day for them to kind of understand that they just dealt death to another human. when the adrenaline is on, i for two or three of them tell me, i've never felt so more a live than when death was nearby. it turned you on. eat quiche up, every since the every action you take, is meaningful. it's the next day when everything turns down that you
begin to have to wrestle with the decisions you made the day before. so it was a cat and mouse war. the enemy could be there, probably wasn't her if he was there and you're in the wrong place, your life was forfeit. for them it was a draining water i like to call it the drumbeat of war. charlie company went over as 160 young men. 25 of those young men died while they were in vietnam, and 105 of them were wounded. and as part of the process of writing this book, i wanted to come to know the young men who didn't return from vietnam. all 25 of them. and in almost every occasion i was able to do that again buy anything, numbers, mothers, brothers, cousins, nephews and nieces. and what are the most exciting part about writing the book was bringing these young men back to life. i just an example build either a
young man from chicago, moved out to the suburbs before he was drafted, big cubs fan. to tell his life i got to research my favorite income got to research what the cubs were doing. at a research about the bears commiserating also a black hawks. i got to integrate myself into what it meant to be a chicago kid in 1965. it was a fun to read his life. all of his friends loved him so much. he was 19 but he leapt 13. he was a tiny kid, cherub faced, all with a smile on his face him and he was so happy when he got chosen to be and that it can not a soldier. he was a soldier of course but not a combat soldier. that meant he was going to save people, not kill them and that meant so much to them at december. so it was open to go to recruit him and how much everybody loved it and what his life was like. and then the hardest part of all
was on the 19th of june when he died, he went to the aid of another man who had been shot to that of the men had been shot of course an open area under fire, and bill put himself between the wounded man and the source of the fire. and he gets killed as a result of trying to save one of his friends. his friend is survived. bill doesn't. i had to write that and i had to speak to the two men who held them as he died. to hear what his last words were, and then igot, got a chance to speak to his mother about how she received that news. his younger brother, bill was his hero. he looked up to bill, worshiped him, and when the army guard came to the door and the two men came out, both younger brother and mother figure out even before they got to the door what had happened. that was the hardest part about
writing the book and perhaps the most revealing to me, that's something i want to know as both an author and a historian of what this war due to the families of the men who don't return. and they are still dealing with it to the state when i see them adding charlie company reading you, they are still holding bills and memory as bright as they can. they love to pass out pictures of them. they love to talk about in a meet his friends. when they meet his friends at a charlie company reunion, it's almost like bill is still there. so to me that wasn' was in somes the most interesting part of writing the book, was re-creating the lives that no longer are, and understand how those lives affected the lives around them. district about the guide named larry. larry on the battle of the 19th of june 1967, had held one of his best friends in his arms, had been and about when he got shot and he fell out of the
boat and was floating by in the river. larry was able to reach down and grab them by the enemy fire was so heavy that teeny said let me go. he letting go and they didn't find it until the next day and he lost his life. that horrible event in larry's life was eclipsed by what he saw when he came home. no matter how bad he heard him, he said what i saw when i came home, the people not only didn't care about what we had been through, they actually didn't like us and didn't like what we've been through. he said that hurt me worse than vietnam had hurt me. ..
>> to ask these soldiers because, again, i knew vietnam as a political thing, as a thing that grown-ups older than me argued about. for them it was something personal, it was something that involved the deepest friendships of their lives, perhaps the worst tragedy of their lives too. and a question i continually asked them was knowing how it went, knowing that it didn't turn out all that well for us, knowing that when you came home you weren't going to get welcomed, would you do it all over again? and every one of 'em said, yes. every one.
one guy who's paralyzed said yes. a guy who lost both his legs said yes. it was the most meaningful year in their lives, the most adrenaline, accentallized year in their lives, but they also formed the greatest connections of their lives. these guys are still brothers, friends, confidants. they can hardly live without each other nowadays. while we, as noncombatants, often focus too much, so much of our attention on the bad side of war, what these guys often remember most is the good side of it; the friendships they had, the friendships they lost, sadly, the laughs they shared, the jokes they played on each other. and, boy, did they play a lot of jokes on each other. the good times for some of them, more most of them outnumbered the bad times. these were complicated young men with dreams and hopes like everybody else that when their
country said do something, they went and did it, and that thing was really difficult. but these guys are 70 years old now, and the really difficult thing they did -- although maybe the most important thing they did -- was one year out of their lives. these guys are now grandparents, great grandparents, leaders of businesses, retired folks, preachers in churches, painters, dreamers, you name it. our vietnam veterans aren't a word, they're something much more complicated and meaningful than that. they're americans and as full a meaning of that word as any other american. >> during booktv's recent visit to hattiesburg, mississippi, we spoke with susannah ural at the university of southern mississippi about letters and diary entries from soldiers and their families during the civil war.
>> i really had always wanted to write this kind of sweeping almost like a saga of the civil war. and for me as a military historian over the years, what i've noticed is that as much as we're fascinated by what happens on the battlefield and, you know, the sweeping changes that take place because of this campaign or that campaign, the soldiers always look at home. they always want to know how soon can they get home, did you get the crops in, you know, is the horse still lame. that's what they want to know about. and so i really come to decide in all of my writing that you have to look at both. you have to look at the soldiers and the families, the battle front and the home front, if you're going to understand war. so when i started the book, the primary goal was to weave the latest arguments, the latest historical theories into the stories so that, for example, one of the standing arguments
for a long time in the field was that one of the reasons the con fed rat city was defeated -- con fed rassi was defeated because they lost the will to fight. it was broken in part because so many women were writing to their men at the front saying i don't know exactly what you're fighting for, but you need to come home, because we got about a fifth of the crop we normally do. i just buried our youngest in the back, and we're not going to have anything left. you need to come home. well, there had been a recent book out and really a series of books. anne i reuben talks about this in her book on confederate nationalism. amy taylor had talked about this. but the latest book that really addressed it in detail was called "confederate reckoning." and what those historians were able to say was the women weren't all saying you need to come home, they were staying to county -- they were saying to county representatives, to the state governments, to president jefferson davis that we had a deal.
my husband would go fight, and you promised him you would help take care of this family x you're not doing it. now, you either take care of our deal and hold up your end of the bargain, or you need to send him home. and what's fascinating, we found this happening all over the united states. not just in the south, but in northern communities as well where, you know, i think it was about a fifth of georgia's budget by 1864 was going to providing for soldiers' families and the poor. realizing, again, if you're not taking care of the home front, it doesn't matter what you're doing on the battle front. and vice versa, right? it's this combined effort. i also wanted to point out, you know, it's not just southerners who were wearing down. and so rather than zoom in on kind of some southern family where the will was kind of breaking down, i did show those examples of women writing to county officials, state officials, but i decided to zoom in on a northern family that was getting exhausted. and that's madison and lizzie boweller in minnesota.
he's very, very dedicated to the war, very idealogically motivated, and she's, you know, this newlywed out in the middle of nowhere in minnesota wondering when are you coming home, and you still haven't come home. what do you mean you just re-upped your enlistment? this kind of stuff. i was able to weave in the latest arguments and then use stories to do that. so it's not this discussion as much as it is people i'm hoping are just kind of absorbing this. so i wrote about, for example, the erskine brothers. and anne erskine is going to be left at home to run in texas, she and her husband owned an inn, a stage stand, a cotton mill, they had a ferry they ran. i mean, a huge business. not to mention he was also in charge of handling a lot of the cattle that was in the family business. so when the civil war began, her
brother goes off to war, but it's not for another year that her husband goes as well. they have a number of children at home, including a newborn, and they've also lost a child who walked into the river and drowned. so i really wanted to talk about her story because her husband did not go off and serve right away. he had fought with the texas rangers before the war, he had a lot of responsibilities and felt like, you know what? i've done my part for the community for years, he was in his 40s, let the younger men go. by '62 the confederacy has to enact a federal draft, and he does not want his children the know that he was drafted, so he goes ahead and volunteers. his letters home in '62 are just, they're not like madison boweller's. he believes in the con fed rat city, he wants to protect what is his own and his family's, but he's going because it's his duty, because he had to.
he'll talk about finding a dead federal soldier and in his jacket was a photograph of his child, and it reminded mihm of our young powell who had just died. and she will get a letter from him in the late fall of 1862 telling her that, you know, i'm so sorry. i really don't even know how to write this, but your brother has just been killed at the battle of second bull run in august of '62. and the very next letter that she'll receive is a letter from his brother telling her i don't know how to tell you this, but your husband was just killed at the battle of antietam. and i can tell you he died peacefully which may or may not be true. this is often what they would say. but she is going to be on her own. she has lost her brother in 1862, she loses her husband the same year, she has lost a child earlier that year. her father-in-law dies during the war just on a cattle drive. just the normal tragedies of life that continue that we don't
always think about in times of war. so she is literally, i think all of her children were under the age of about 8 or 9 at this point, and she's going to have to run the family business, run all of this. so what i was able to do is the family had shared some of these letters that really hadn't been used anywhere before, so that was fun knowing i was letting people hear a voice that hadn't been herald. but i was also able to track her in the census records and discover she never remarries. she does all of this on her own and does very well. so it kind of got me thinking i need to incorporate more of these stories about these women who we think, well, gosh, i mean, somehow they just kind of kept it together, right? but we don't really realize, yeah, but how did they do that? then we think about, well, their men come home and they resume as it was before. what happens if he comes home and he's lost a leg? what happens if he comes home horribly sick and he dies within a year or two as a number of them did? those women have to find a way
to provide for their families and move on. there'll be a certain amount of local support, which there is, and later there'll be confederate pensions, but i really wanted to get into these stories of talking about how these women do it. and it's hard to tell the story because they don't always leave diaries, they don't always leave these detailed accounts. but in the census records you can track them, okay, this is what the family worth was in 1860, this is where she is widowed in 870, this is where she is when she applies for a pension in, you know, 1900. so i can tell the stories that way. they're harder to get to, but you can get at those stories, and i think they're fundamental. you have to include 'em. i wanted to include some better known people because, number one, when people pick up a general history of the civil war, they want to hear something about abraham lincoln, about people that they know. so i would tell it, but i would tell it from the perspective of someone they didn't always think about. i talk about mary todd lincoln and, you know, her brother and,
you know, he gets horribly wounded at the battle of shiloh. and just that awful tension of you're the first lady of the united states, but the media is very happy to talk in a very ugly way about the fact that you also have brothers serving in the con fed rassi and how she dealt with that. and i wanted to talk about the death of their son, willie, who dies in the spring of 1862 to make people realize that both presidents, both the daviss and the lincolns lose a child during this war. it wasn't like they're these elite families who remain untouched. they're suffering as well. when i talked about jefferson davis, i did the same thing, i talked more about his wife who i actually liked better than jefferson davis. that was just kind of me being spoiled. but that way you get these people in these stories. you know, i don't -- i can't talk about the american civil war ending without talking about the lincoln assassination.
it's endlessly fascinating to me, to readers, to students. but i again, i decided to tell us from the perspective of claire harris who's there with her fiance in the presidential box p with the lincolns when president lincoln's assassinated and whose husband -- she's engaged at the time -- but whose husband is so traumatized by the experience, mental illness, that he's going to be suffering and he'll wind up killing her, claire harris, after the war along with their children. and talking about, again, i couldn't protect her, i couldn't -- somebody came in, somebody came in and attacked my family, i couldn't protect my family. and later he admits that, no, he killed them himself. but he's still trying to save the president. he's still just traumatized by this horrible night. he almost dies the night of the assassination because nobody's paying any attention to him. they're trying to save the president. and claire harris finally says,
you know, major rathbone needs some attention. it's this amazingly tragic story. when i was talking about slavery which runs through the war, you cannot understand the war without understanding slavery, and americans white and black really wrestling with, you know, the peculiar institution. i wanted to weave in some figures who were, you know, fairly well known, make sure frederick douglass is in there, key figures like that. but i also wanted to get people in these stories who people don't always realize. and one of the most powerful stories is about a man named joseph miller who was enslaved in kentucky. and by 1864 even though kentucky is still a union state, a slave state that remained in the union, joseph miller runs away, and he's able to join the army. and he insists on bringing his family with them. in the book i weave in some accounts of men who went off and joined the union army, but they had left their families at home, and they're getting letters from
their wives saying you need to come back and get us. we're getting beaten, we're getting horribly abused. but joseph miller brings his family with him. and he was promised, in exchange for his service, his family could remain in camp with him, and they would all have their freedom. he and his wife have four young children. well, by november of 1864 union forces in kentucky are building barracks for winter quarters, and they realize that the section of camp where free african-americans are, the contraband section of camp, the contrabands are going to have to be moved out, they decide. and they forcibly remove the african-americans who have been escaping slavery, coming to this camp, being told they would be provided for and protected here. they forcibly put these individuals in wagons and remove them from the camp because they actually need that section of camp for the union troops for winter quarters. joseph miller talks about the fact that he goes and he sees his wife, they have a horribly sick child.
they're all being loaded on these wag gones, he isn't told where they're going to be taken. he goes raising after these wagons and he finally gets permission to leave camp, go down the road and try to find his family. he finds all of these men and women and children have been placed in this meeting house just crowded in. he finds his wife, and she's cradling the body of one of their children who had died in the process. he was a horribly sick child, had no business being moved. miller is absolutely furious. he has to go back to camp, get permission to go back again the next morning to bury his child. and we learn this story because he files a formal complaint with the army saying, again, like these women on the home front, we had a deal. i would serve, you would provide for my family. this was the understanding. and the horrible tragedy of joseph miller is two things. number one, he never even get the opportunity to fight for his
own freedom and the freedom of his family. this is all happening in late fall, early winter of 1864. by the spring of 1865, his wife has died, his other three children have died and joseph miller have all died from disease which is part of, also, being kind of forced into these sections of cooperates that were often very unhealthy with very little medical care provided for these individuals. the other tragedy that i really wanted the joseph miller story as part of this book was that this gets covered in northern newspapers -- including by some abolitionists -- as, see, we told you, you don't have to worry about all these freed slaves coming north and taking jobs. this was all caused because they can't handle the cold. so they'll stay down south, so don't worry. we can free slaves without really anything inconveniencing our own bigotry, our own beliefs. and so it was this powerful, painful story that i knew had always resonated with students
to see how even this beautiful story of emancipation has so much ugliness still wrapped up with it. i wanted to include some of the major battles in the book that readers would know but come at it from an angle, again, that they hadn't necessarily seen before. extra, with the -- for example, with the battle of gettysburg, i talk about a soldier who becomes famous because his body is found in town, in gettysburg. he's dead, he's leaning up against a building just along the street in town, but he's holding a picture of three young children. they finally track his family down, they track down his wife, and she's become almost a celebrity in this very kind of a macabre way by this point k. and they bring her and the three children to gettysburg because in gettysburg they open an orphanage to provide for all of the families who have been really just left destitute by --
it's the biggest battle in the western hemisphere, the most casualties of any battle in the war. so you have a huge amount of delaware station to these families -- devastation to these families. so this orphanage is created that she will run. i'd love to tell you it's a beautiful story. she's miserable. she ends up marrying some man who comes through town, and they leave. i always thought it was interesting, when the children are all into their older leaves and pass away, nobody realized that they were the orphans of gettysburg, is how they were referred to. nobody knew -- they never talked about the story at all. and, again, it helps me make the case that for some people the civil war broke them, that they were just traumatized by this war. they were never going to be okay again. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2.
this weekend we're in hattiesburg, mississippi, with the help of our local cable partner, comcast. next, we tour the rare books collection at the university of southern mississippi's mccain library and archives. >> today we are in the sam woods room which is located in special collections in the mccain library and archives at the university of southern mississippi. the sam woods room honors the legacy of mr. woods, but it also is used for many different ways. we have meetings in here, this is where students from the university come in and learn about the sam woods collection, other materials we have here. we have his artwork and furniture adorning this room including a couple of exhibit cases and a portrait of mr. woods himself. in his collection we have over 1200 books. in addition, we have different
artifacts like a viking helmet or various furniture and paintings and prints and a whole slew of different materials. so throughout sam woods' career, he started collecting a lot of books and a lot of different materials that showed his interest in learning and in education. towards the end of his life he married minnie bush who was the heir to the bush fortune. and they lived in a beautiful castle, mansion at the foot of the alps, and they would entertain a lot of people there and house a lot of these books, materials you're going to see today and artifacts as well. after her death he had the intention of moving back to hattiesburg where he had family. so he had sent all of his bookings and a lot of the furniture and different things ahead to hattiesburg to be a part of the university of southern mississippi collections. unfortunately, he got sick and
died before he was able to make the move. but that's how we were lucky enough to get a lot of this material here. and he still has family who lives in the area. so today what we're going to look at are a series of things from the sam woods collection. we're going to see different examples of books, man you scripts -- manuscripts wells ephemeral material and artifacts. this is the perfect glimpse into not only one person's collecting so you get to see what kind of motivated one particular collector, but you also get to see an assortment of different materials relating to religion and history and art and just life in europe and america. so i'm going to show you a selection of different things from the sam woods collection. this right here is a palm leaf man you script. as you can tell, it doesn't open as a book does, so you have two pieces of string there that hold together this series of palm
leafs that have writing on both sides. and you'll notice that on both sides of the document you have writing. and i believe there are six or seven lines of writing. often times these texts were used for buddhist ceremonies or buddhist texts, but it's a very -- not only is it an interesting text and would be great for a researcher, but just the format. and that's another thing when you're looking through a lot of special collections materials, that often times the bindings can be beautiful, you know, separate from the texas as well. and i think this paragraph -- from the text as well. and i think this particular item is so unique because of not only the way it's held together with the string and the wood, but the fact that it's written on palm leafs. so, you know, the dates on this, it's always tricky. again, we're going to date it probably the past, probably within the past 3, 400 years, but it could be much, much earlier than that. next i'm going to show you we
have this little drawing. and, again, i wanted to show a different variety of the kinds of materials that we have in this collection. so this drawing is attributed to albert durr who is the famous illustrator and engraver. so this claims to be an original sketch or drawing by durr which is very fascinating. so is this book here is are interesting. -- is very interesting. it is by carl von lean, and it's from 1776. he was known as the father of modern taxonomy, so he was the person who developed the universally-accepted convention of how to name organisms. and so through this book you're going to see different examples of the organisms. this particular one is printed in german. and you can see throughout he has the different labels for
various things. but what is especially interesting is these pull-out sheaves of some of the organize -- sleeves of some of the organisms. so this particular one has an interesting pull-out sleeve where you have a bore, a kangaroo, a serpent of some type and then a weird mermaid woman thing there. so this is really fascinating because, again, he was such an important person to biological sciences. and to be able to have one of these books here is really quite a gem. so in our collections, we have a couple of these type of books. and, you know, one thing when you're looking at these kinds of materials, as i mentioned earlier, is that the book itself, the beauty of it. so, for instance, this one is really pretty with the marbleized paper on the outside cover. this book is a manuscript of math problems.
so we have a student, and we have a couple of these in our collections here at southern miss where a student would write out word problems and then work out the actual math for various questions. and so this is just such a fun thing because you get to see kind of the ways in which, you know, math kind of evolved over time. so this one was from we think around 1800. but to be able to see all the kind of math problems and how they really differ from today. what may have attracted sam woods was the fact that it was a manuscript, that it was something a little different and the fact that it was done by a school child rather than by an adult, by a scholar, different things like that. this book is an edition of the new testament from 1580. you know, we have so many of these different editions of the new testament, the bible, different sermons, things like this.
but this one's kind of unique and different. as you flip through, you will notice that already three columns of text. and that's because this book is in, let's see, it's in two versions of latin and in greek as well. so this is perfect for the student or the scholar who wants to learn, you know, different versions of latin or greek and then be able to compare them all. so it's great to have these translations right next to each other. so you do have, again, a versioning of latin here -- a version of latin here, the greek and the latin, and the text across here is identical, just in different languages. so it's a different way to look at this. not only does it appeal to scholars who are wanting to perfect their languages, but also for students who are wanting to just kind of see how the different languages work or
how the differences between the two versions of latin, for instance. so just another kind of fun, kind of cool way to look at the new testament that may be different from the typical books that we see. so this particular book as we look through it is a 1581 version of the history of the world. and this starts from the creation of adam and eve up to the present, which was 1581 -- [laughter] at that point. but throughout you're going to have different details. like, you'll have engravings of different key and letters throughout. you'll have engravings of various events. so, for instance, you'll have one of the noah's ark, and, you know, throughout this you're going to have illustrations accompanying the text.
but it's just a different way, a more elaborate way of looking at the world. and, again, the fact that it started from the beginning of the bible also gives a different perspective and a different view on what people in the 16th century were considering the history of the world. so here we have, and this is one of the most talked about items that we have in special collections, because when i bring students in to the woods room for library instruction and learning to use our collection, they always see the viking helmet. so this helmet is made out of metal, and it has wooden horns coming out here. and so this was actually a creation of wagner, the composer, and he used this as a element, decorative element in his opera. so you often see the women singing opera with this on their heads. and is so this wasn't developed until probably the late 19th century.
and come to find out vikings did not wear these. so -- which would be kind of funny, because you almost wonder were they supposed to go up and, you know, ram someone with them? but you can also tell it's a very small kind of reproduction. so it actually fits my head quite well, and i wear this often when i go to fancy dress-up events. but again, this is a cool thing. all the students want to get selfies with it. but it just shows you another element to the sam woods collection, how we have interesting, fun, kind of 19th century reproductions or creations of, in this case, you know, what's known as a viking helmet. so this is just a selection of materials from the sam woods collection. and, you know, one thing about special collections everywhere is that not only do we collect these materials, but we preserve them for people to use them 500 years in the future. so the fact that we have a book from the1500, you know, this is going to be -- this has lasted 500 years, and we hope that it lasts another 500.
and that's why, you know, one of the reasons why we collect and preserve and maintain humidity and temperature controls for special collections, is to be able to provide access to people, to these materials now but also in the future. >> during booktv's recent visit to hattiesburg, we spoke with heather marie stir, author of "beyond combat," about the shift of gender roles in american and vietnamese cultures following the vietnam war. >> the name of my book is "beyond combat." i wanted to write this book because as i read contemporary accounts of the war, so presidential documents, media coverage of the war, memoirs, those sorts of things, i realized that women were, women themselves were absent from these stories.
ran fellow don watkins discusses all >> i wanted to know what the vietnam war story would look like if we put women and these gender ideas at the center of the story. americans who served in vietnam during the war, maybe 1%, of those were women. in terms of the military, american women served primarily as nurses and they also served the next biggest number of
american women were civilians serving through humanitarian organizations and churches and mainly through the red cross. from the american perspective, the women in vietnam served a couple functions for the u.s. military in vietnam. one of the functions was to serve as domestic workers on american bases. washer women who are washing american military uniform, cooks who came to bases and cooked meals for american service men. housekeeping, cooking and other domestic things. interestingly, in that case,
what americans would discover was these were women who were serving with the national liberation front. they were essentially spies coming in to be working on american bases and in those capacities they would be getting information about what the u.s. military was going to be doing or they would be measuring the distance from a base to a position in the field for them lat later launching later attacks. these women were counting their clicks which was a way to determine where the missile or field was going to be launch and measure that to where the base was.
u.s. troops were all in south vietnam. they were fighting with the vietnam army against the national liberation front in south vietnam. so american women who served in vietnam served in the south. some were stationed in saigon, the capital, and others were stationed at bases throughout vietnam. one of the major bases was long bend so there were quite a number of american women army core personal who served at long bend. american nurses served at hospitals throughout south vietnam served whsh they needed to be. they could be at mall, military instillations out in remote
areas, out in the jungle, out in rural areas and so really american women were serving all throughout south vietnam. american women who served in vietnam found the way they were treated depended in part on who they were interacting with. many of the women i interviewed for "beyond combat" said the enlisted men treated them better than officers. there were some officers that assumed even though these are american women but assumed they were there to be available to officers and be there and be pretty and an example of a pretty women or they were sexually available to officers. whereas, almost every woman i
interviewed said the enlisted men they worked with appreciated them and treated them as their sister or loved one or someone they wanted to protect and care care of. that helped because those woman felt a closeness and developed bonds with the enlisted men it made them feel like their job was more valuable. however, it could also have the result of making their jobs really difficult. for example, one of the women i interviewed talked about getting to know an enlisted man very well. this woman was serving the red cross and got to know this unit of men, in particular one, they both played guitar and they sat around and played american folk music and entertained the other troops while they were waiting to go out to fight.
and one day she found out this particular guy that she had become good friends had been killed and she said after that she stopped learning names. she said, you know, there are probably guys on the wall who i knew, but i don't know their names because it became too hard for me to get close to these guys. so i checked myself emotionally and stopped learning their names. if a group of men got killed and someone started talking about their names i would not know where to place that. that was a way to protect herself emotionally and that was something a lot of the women had to deal with whether they were the in the red cross and they were entertainment programs or nurses who were dealing with mass deaths, they had to figure out a way to protect themselves
from what they were seeing and that was the most difficult aspect of their jobs for them. just as american women were bound by ideas about feminity, american men who were serving in vietnam were also bound by gender roles. the idea the american soldier is the ultimate american man. he is rugged and brave and doing a job for his country. he is fighting communist behavi behavior. some men, their experience
serving in vietnam, led them to rejack reject these gender ideals and the way to prove your manhood is to fight in war. that led to the development of the gi anti war movement as a result of being in vietnam and seeing combat and not feeling like you are a man but like you are dehumanized. american men talked about opposing the war. the gi-anti war movement developed in vietnam and on the u.s. state-side on bases where gi and veterans were publishing newspapers and speaking out against the war, joining anti war organizations, and one of the things anti-war gi talked about was the idea of going to war makes you a man.
they feel dehumanized by the experience. not only am i against the war but also these gender ideals that are constraining men and women into the boxes saying in order to prove your manhood you have to fight and in order to prove your womenhood you have to wear a dress and mind your husband. so they were calling for a rethinking of gender roles. when women came back from the vietnam war they faced a number of things. some women talked about once they were in vietnam they came back opposing the war even if they had gone believing in the cause. they say what was happening in vietnam, and they came back opposing the war, but didn't
feel welcome in the anti-war or the woman's movement. so those who felt because of gender what they could do in the war was limited they didn't feel welcome in the anti-war movement or women's movement because they had been at war. they mind go to rally or try to join a woman's group. once it came out they were in the war they felt rejected because they were an ex tension of the american military machine. even if they wanted to oppose the war, or talk about how we can rethink the gender roles, they didn't feel welcome. another thing women faced coming back is what was normal to them before they went to war was no longer normal. they came back and their friends wanted tgo shopping, or a
party or talk about men, and those things seemed frivolous to them. other women felt what they did in vietnam was the most powerful work they did. i interviewed a nurse, linda alexander, she was a nurse in vietnam and came back and worked as a nurse in the u.s., and she talked about nothing in here career ever matched the importance of what she felt she was doing as a nurse in vietnam. in our interview show broke down in tears talking about what she had seen in vietnam in terms of the cas ualties and the destruction of young men she saw in military hospitals in vietnam. she said even though it was so hard nothing in my career since
then has compared to how powerful and how important i felt like i was when where was serving in vietnam. -- i was. i also hope that people will understand how center ideas about gender are to war experiences. what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, how we define our aallies and enemies and how we define countries we engage in. we use gender and gender of language to make those definitions and that continues to be the case. i hope people will understand the deep connection of gender and war. >> for more information on booktv's city tour, go to cspan.org/citiestour.
>> jefferson davis, who at the time was one of the u.s. senators from mississippi, stood before his colleagues in the u.s. senate and uttered the phrase inequality between the black and white races was stamped from the beginning. ironically my book came out on the day the title was inspired from. he made that statement because there was a bill on the floor that was considering granting funds in washington. many of you know, jefferson davis later became the president of the confederacy and that was indicative to the long idea of racist ideas and over the course
of american history you had races policies put in place, or you had individuals who did not want anti-races policy to be put in place like a bill that would provide education to black children in washington, d.c. in the same manner that educational funds were being provided to white children. and then you had individuals like jefferson davis, present, reproduce racist ideas to either challenge those anti-racist bills or defend existing racist policies. so what i am saying in a nutshell is that typically we have been taught this history that ignorance and hate has led to racist ideas and then individuals who have these racist ideas are the ones who essentially have created these
viciously racist policies that impacted the lives of african descent over the history. what i found from studying the history of racist ideas is the connection has been quite the opposite. what i am saying is, i am saying there are producers of racist ideas, these powerful people, someone as influential as jefferson davis or today like a donald trump, powerful producers of ideas, i am differinating from them and the consumers. in my book i study the producers of these ideas. why were they producing these ideas? and i found people created racist ideas to justify the slave trade. i found that people created
racist ideas to justify lavery, i found people created racist ideas to justify segregation, i found people continue to create racist ideas to justify mass incarceration. we have these policies and disparities in place and people were creating racist ideas over the course of american history to justify and rationalize things. then it caused you and i to look out at america and see this barrier and see people enslaved or two billion black people in jail, or hundreds of thousands of people in chains coming over to america, and view that as normal. that is the power that racist idea said have had over the course of american history. i try to chronicle that from the beginning.
these ideas have been powerful enough to make us believe inequities are normal. >> here is a look at authors featured on booktv's after words. don watkins argued that measures to help income inequality actually hurt american. and we remember the company that turned the country around during the height of the crisis. and aol founder steve case told us how the internet is being reshaped. tamera drought will talk about the american working class in the coming weeks, and mitch mcconnell discusses how his political philosophy formed his
time in the senate and senator barbara boxer of california will look back at her life and career in politics. and >> this book isn't about making excuses for the decision i made but it is about explaining what is happening to so many young men and women. we don't talk about sexual abuse, substance abuse, and the things that lead to the paths we take. this isn't about making excuses and my mother made the excuse and i don't blame her but ultimately i was the person that pulled that trigger that night. >> you can watch all previous after words program on our website.
>> the newest book here is called power to the people. is it possible to reform the entitlement program politically? >> yes, only the way described in this book is it possible. these reforms are positive, poplar, pro-growth, the book decides how to reform every major entire program. social security, medicare, welfare, obamacare, and others. this is the extension of all of these ideas that developed into fruitition. after you reform social security, seniors get higher benefits.
poor people get higher incomes. sick people are able to get better health care not less. these reforms are not based on cutting benefits. you cannot get anywhere cutting benefits for poor people, senior citizens and sick people. these reforms are based on structural reforms and changing the way the programs operate so they contribute to the economy. they are pro-growth and make the beneficiaries of the people able to become self sufficient and self financing. so a lot of this government spending and these tax programs are shifted off the federal budget into private capital and labor market. so instead of working people today, we spend a trillion a year in taxes basically to pay the bottom 20% of the income ladder not to work. that is very unproductive and
counter productive. hence we have the defining label you read about under obama and that started and accelerated under obama. when you pay people not to work you are detracting from the economy not contributing to the economy. and one of the reforms involved empowering workers to chose, personal saving accounts to finance future social benefits rather than tax and retribution. there is no saving investment anywhere in social security. so people participate in the program lose the benefits of that accumulating return. when they asked albert einstein what was the most powerful thing in the universe and he said
compound interest. this is more powerful than the atomic bomb. this is why you will have middle class couples able to retire as millionaires if they can take what they and their employers take what they are paying into the investment and into their retirement because the money continues to work after you retire. now you have something working on your side and that is why these reforms can be poplar and they would all be pro-growth because the capital and people not working today would go to work and this is a prescription not for entitlement reform but renewed economic prosperity were the country. >> what about the risk factor? when you are older, people are not as willing to be risky with their money. >> well, this doesn't require
you to be risky with your money. you can make your own choices but you are backed up by a safety net. when i sat down with paul ryan and we wrote the legislation for that part of the reform, 2004-2005, that was the foundation of the ryan roadmap. that deal provided you are backed by a federal guarantee you would not get less than promised by social security. you can gain but not lose. the chief actor in social security said these personal accounts are a good deal that he would assume a hundred percent of workers would chose the personal account. this is a lifetime career number guy for social security and he supported the ryan bill and it is posted at the social security administration website. we are hoping to generate new legislation that will provide for that and rally people across
the country and give us power over our own money. that is what it does and that is why it is called power over the people. just like the reforms facing obamacare that are expressed in the book, power and control of your own health care, just like the reforms about reforming welfare in the book gives you the ability to be self sufficient. it is power of the people. >> peter, does your approach, in your view, reduce america's debt? >> yes, this is a path to paying off the national debt. that is the other part of this. after all of the advantages of the reform, this is the kicker left out. after generations, federal spending is less than half of what it would be otherwise. if people favor a small government and want to reduce federal spending this book explains how to do it.
it is the only way to make government smaller. it is described in this book. it is not a long book but once you get the idea and see how it applies everywhere. these are all ideas that have been proven to work in the real world. all have been proven to work so let's take that and do more of it. >> what is the heart land institute? >> that is the free market, the libertarian think tank that promotes what the team of this book is: power of the people, economic prosperity and growth for everybody. this focuses on the most vulnerable in society. we want economic growth and prosperity to spread from the poor to seniors living on retirement to sick people. we want all of this prosperity. this is a roadmap and we are spreading that prosperity to all
of the most vulnerable in society. that is why the subtitle is what it is. >> is so-called obamacare isn't that a free market approach to health care? >> no, the government is controlling everything and it takes away power from the people and gives power to the bureaucrats. the government tells you what insurance you must by and the government tells insurance companies what they must sell, it tells your employer what insurance they have to buy. they can tell your doctors and hospitals what health care they can give you and there is going to be more of that in the future. obamacare is not a free market system. that is misleading rhetoric for people who are gullible and easily misled.
obama's approach is the opposite of power to the people. it is power to him and his buddies in washington because they think they are smarter and more moral than everybody. so they rediscovered the old ration rational. we are the smartest and moral people. it didn't get shot down. he backed off. he talked about it during the election and won with that and carried florida even. when they ran for president, they used the formula exactly as i described it and it worked.
and once they got elected they picked people inside washington to implement it and they said are you nuts? we cannot do this. we cannot shift power to the people. we will have to give all of this power. we have to have power in washington. that is the real issue. entitle reform is the topic of your book. >> c-span, brought to you by your local cable or satellite