tv 2016 National Book Festival CSPAN September 24, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
he is very interesting. you can win a trivia contest. he won three national elections in a row. but as is the peculiarities of the american democracy is the electrical vote that matters. as they found in 1876 and grover cleveland found out when he won the popular vote he won the popular vote again. and was president again. the only person to have it to nonconsecutive terms. >> do we blame our president too much. >> i think the founders would be shocked to come back and understand that for basically since tr and certainly since franklin roosevelt that the president has been by far and large the most important person in the government. they assumed there would be times as they were in the 19th
century. when what happened at the other end of pennsylvania avenue on capitol hill metal mattered much more than the executive is doing. and the powers weren't associated with the culture personality. now we live in a media culture. there's something manageable about the singularly of the presidency and congress seems willing to go along with this they have moved everything to the other end of pennsylvania. >> before we get started here we were talking about the gettysburg address. what were you saying. in the age of media even with wonderful glorious c-span whether we know how important it was. it would be very clear that only you would cover it and chances are that the main networks in the cable might say that there was a dedication of a cemetery but i
can imagine the cynicism of somebody standing up in front insane while he was talking they try to distract attention from the disastrous military campaign out west. we would never hear it. but then with the tsunami of all of the information would we know all those your leaders that it is a declaration of independence 2.0. and now he is doubling down. he's saying we really do mean it and we can have a new birth of freedom. nobody has replaced that in the hundred 53 years since he delivered it. for those of you out in the mountain and pacific time zone you can also contact him via social media. here is a text.
please include your first name in your city. with all of your documentaries did the book ever come first with accompanied books with many of them. but the word always comes first. i want to make that clear. it's very much the dynamic of our media culture that the word in the image are in somewhat in conflict with one another. you know that is not the case in the beginning is the word with us. so when we begin a project we don't have a set research timeframe that we can learn things. neither do have a set writing timeframe where they were delivered and they shoot and edit based on that. we never stop researching and writing. and we write and concerned with whether we had images to illustrate and most important perhaps we have those and
concerned with whether it is going to fit in on paragraph two of page seven of episode one we just won both of those things to operate and then the editing room becomes like a house and senate committee room to hammer out the difference where the horse trading goes on. for us we would never say that one thing is supreme. obviously the visual medium. but if you ask people why they liked the civil war series they will talk about the sullivan blue letter. all of these. they might not say i love the pain of richmond in ruins. it's true and very effective. they remember the words. i think we have to take it from the bible in the beginning is the word. >> the sharps he was a
based on evidence and back. a reaction to that which is part of the broader reactions which say no when we talk in poetry what matters most is identity and solidarity with the community. what matters is my relationship to you which very quickly becomes the order that is key in this. in association with authentic language with nation and with the national community. we talk honestly i think being authentic it's in the eyes of the beholder. people who struggle to appear authentic and want to leverage or exploit the idea really
begins in the 19 sensory of course germany authentic schism becomes central to their appeal when they try very hard to distinguish themselves in the way they speak from traditional rational politicians. and so they focus much more on stories and stories about us and them we are together. i am like you. i speak like you i understand what you're going through together we can ward off the threat from them.
>> we are back life. we have a ken burns here on the set. the phone numbers are up on the screen as you can dial in and after this question we will begin taking your calls can, who are the sharks. >> they lived a comfortable middle-class existence in wellesley massachusetts. probably the biggest drama was what he was gonna say on sunday and they got a call from the church leadership in january of 1939 to go to prague and try to get jews and other refugees out. they were writing in invisible ink. you cannot make this up. so dramatic. we just had a film out last week called define the nazis. about the story of them. it is a good story.
because we are in a refugee crisis only to the second world war how critical these things are. >> the roosevelt et cetera. what's next. >> i am just finishing a 10.18 hour series on the history of the vietnam war which i think will be our best work. it's a controversial subject but i think we made it pretty straight. we are raising a lot of questions and adding a lot of different voices and let them coexist within the american experience. i think it is can be a fairly complex portrait of very complex . starting sunday september 17 september 172017. one year from now.
as you can imagine the soundtrack of the 1960s and 70s is phenomenal and we head about 90 people we want to introduce to you at the end of the serial you will know folks you just had thanksgiving with. jeffrey is in fort lauderdale florida. you are on the air. >> can't believe i'm talking to you. i'm looking for a to vietnam your documentary i just one of your many fans. i was first introduced to your work through the civil war in 1989. i had one comment and it's simple. when i heard you were on book tv i wanted to call you just to personally think you for teaching so many of us so much
about our history that's great. we have a very complex society which we would do well to more we are knowing less of that. there are people like john meacham here i think collectively we have a group of people including c-span that is interested in trying to rescue our path. they talk about the most recent book. jim is in king george virginia. i want to thank ken burns for all of the work he's done in this area in particular i want to ring up the issue when they divide people 5050.
they demonize them. for usually the rest of their career. even after they leave. >> this is a central threat to the american democracy. he said that no european or asian if we were gonna die i think there now deceased. there is too many of that. they are exactly right. they had developed from issues. from demonizing the other. we should only be demonizing our accepted enemies. i disagree with you about this point but you're not a bad american. we challenged whether they actually are americans and
distracts us. may add to ratings. about domestic policy. about the economy that no one is addressing because it is all of this circus. the appealed to the better angels. they speak to democrats and republicans alike. we have to get along. then we will save our country. since the beginning of contested election.
all of the bad features of all of the elections of 1928. as he was catholic and because he supported a repeal approach. it's all in one grab bag this time. it's pretty low. what do you think a donald trump president could compare to a past president. >> i don't know. they can't predict the future but i know it is almost unanimous among historians that this is the least qualified and the most temperamentally unsuited person that has ever run for national office who has almost zero grasp of foreign policy that has a strange infatuation with russian dictator. he said he admired his power.
someone who escaped the soviet union said admiring that is like admiring arsenic as a strong drink. there is a lot of things that make this very troublesome. i think more than that it's been the demonization of the other. his opponents first he had 16 or 17 other opponents and when you get to schoolyard bullying the stuff you cheapen the conversation and you make it impossible to go back to a plain field in which we can talk about real issues. i think the democratic nominee is not without her own issues but hers are the issues of a politician who has been in the national scene for decades. his issues are galactic in my opinion disqualify him.
>> thanks for all of your wonderful films in projects. tell us how your daughters and women in your life had influenced your project. i don't know where they haven't. that might've been easier and simpler way to do it. i'm blessed with four daughters. and a reminder i now work with our to stutter. with her husband. and we've also completed a film recently. we are working on several more projects they are my life. my tombstone i would want to read good father and nothing else. i would be happy with that. conrad go ahead. >> i saw you in 2003 at the louisiana purchase that cold
they probably have some affection because they'd already passed something up. they would've recognized in any jackson the morphing of the democratic ideal that the government dissolving estate. and yet jackson would go on to consolidate just as you would say the most important feature of thomas jefferson's presidency was not small government as he espoused all his life but the purchase of louisiana which is a big government with a capital b and a g-uppercase-letter. one of the things i like about working on a children's book you don't even say even. you get into some of the things. sometimes the thing and the opposite of a thing is also true. i think you can find that with every president. i would just remind you if
they have won the presidency in 68 richard nixon probably would've been the biggest critic. if they'd have the guts to open up relations with china. it took only a communist like nixon to say were not recognizing the most populous country on earth. and do this landmark event in foreign policy. i think and the opposite of a thing happened at the same time. again this was about john adams. 1770. a group of people started attacking british shoulders. it was called the boston massacre. but the lawyer agreed to defend the enemy soldiers because he believed everyone has the right to a fair trial and he won the case. this is why we love him for
being so pugnacious and abstinent. you are a better writer but no one likes me. he was a man of extraordinary principle. and when we go back to american history and when i look at that and delve into the qualities of leadership it's always somebody that could possibly appear in profiles in courage. it's always somebody who is willing to serve in the country and place placed the country's interests above their own self interest. it's always a person who has empathy for the other. i was very surprised to find was the hallmark of the greatest president to each one of them could put themselves in the shoes of the other even someone who opposed them and understand them and walk a mile in their shoes. i think if they vote for the person that has the qualities there will be a new problem. we will go on through all time.
you're on book tv. >> i just want to echo a lot of the comments that are being made about your books. it was the first time i have seen it. it was a series that dealt with african-american contributions to this country in baseball. i'd never seen a series on baseball. i just want to ask i think you are a leader. particularly at a time after the 60s when things were a bit quiet and i happen to work for an organization at that time that was still redlining. are you in the new civil war museum that opened today. i think you deserve a place there.
>> that such a nice thing to say. we have told a top-down version of our past. we had put african-american history in february which is our coldest, darkest and shortest month as if it's some politically correct addendum but not as it turns out in the center of it. you just need to pick up today's paper and read what's on the front line. he owned a few people. and set it in motion. it's always struggling with the question of race. i'm interested in how my country works. it is important that what were not trying to do is substitute one person's history for another . we are to try to expand. when they said at the end of that sentence that we should be in pursuit of happiness that meant we were a country in the process of becoming and always getting better.
he meant all white men of prof pretty free of debt. in it mean a lot of different things. we have constantly gotten bigger. what i think the opening represents is not a narrowing or replacing of our history it's an expanding of her history. the south had 9 million people. 4million of them were owned by other people. if you're willing to include and add the dramatic african-american history. that's all i've done. i think you for that complement. the author of the newest book. a treasury of american presidents.
live from the national book festival. coming up in just a minute is another author. and this is from black lives matter. she will be our next guest. we will be taking the calls with her as well. book tv sat down with a brand-new library of congress we had aired the full interview. you can watch it on our website but we want to show you just a little bit of that interview. >> you come here under the new law that they can only serve for ten years. the last library served almost 30 years. there has been other library and to have served even longer. so different times in the library's history that they had been a longer or shorter.
you've have lawyers, politicians. dollars. along the way. i think at this point when there is so many opportunities but also challenges with technology if you can digitize that. that would be something. it's healthy to look at an institution in different periods of time. >> i'm not sure. even though i have just been sworn in and things i want to really get in the weeds at that.
and see the actual artifacts. to work with the staff to say how many things if you can match some of those it would help with the process. this is a question that has somebody who has never been to the library of congress and doesn't have a clue as to what they can see or do one of the fun things. i got my library of congress card what would you suggest to somebody that is intimidated by the big buildings when you
think about this temple of knowledge and information it looks like a massive tower of information to encourage people to come in. that's actually something i'm going to be working on quite soon is to make sure the public knows that not only can they come in and see one of the only three copies of the bible they can see thomas jefferson in the original library that helped start the library of congress the crucial type to really reach out to the public and let them know it's difficult to put it in one type of thing. will be working to see what can you do. there is a young readers center. you can go into that if you have young people.
that is a challenge for sure. they want the american public in particular to know more about it that congress libraries but it's also america's library. >> let's say someone is watching this. i want them to be able to walk in somewhere in this library system and say dr. carla hayden told me to come here and ask you how to see what you want to see. the first thing a person should do is to go up to a wonderful information desk and talk to the person that is there they can also go into the madison building and there is an adams building there is a theme with the presidents.
book tv is back live. >> several more hours of coverage to go into now joining us here in the lobby of the convention center on our set is author and professor keeanga-yamahtta taylor here is her book from black lives matter to black liberation in professor taylor i want to open with a quote from your book it is no exaggeration i think it is no exaggeration for anyone that has been let alone the last two years it is difficult to draw different conclusions and
the situation in north carolina in columbus a couple of weeks ago this is a situation that has been going on for quite some time and it's only been the result of the movement in the last couple of years that have been brought to much broader attention. i think when you mention that in any black community across he made seats that the commonsense understanding of how police tend operate in most communities. >> we have a quote from your book. it might be surprising that a black protest movement has emerged during the obama presidency the reluctance of his administration to address any of the substantive issues facing black communities has
meant that suffering has worsened in those communities. i think to me the comment that most exemplifies that it was when obama was ready and 2012 and seem to be reminding white voters and black voters that he was not the president of black america. he was president of the united states of america. i think obama is reluctant to engage with issues of race. in some sense understandably because of the hostility of the u.s. congress during the duration of his tenure but nonetheless it has meant at a time of economic crisis that had disproportionately horrible effects in black communities from 2008 onward that the kind of specific attention that was needed in black communities to attend to that crisis never developed. and never manifested itself. i think we are still seeing
the consequences of that. >> could he had been elected president without taking that tone in 2012 he probably could not had been elected president however i think it's important to remember that in 2008 candidate obama ran his campaign to basically give the impression that his campaign was the permission of a social movement that you could consider his campaign and aspect of a social movement. i know for one i have never heard a mainstream presidential candidate talk about a campaign as part of an of the abolitionist movement. of the sitdown strikes of the 1930s of the civil rights movement in the social movements of the 1960s. he went out of his way to cultivate the idea if he were
to be elected that this impact would be the fruition of the civil rights movement and so there was an effort to connect the campaign to a sense of social organizing and social justice and so it's somewhat disingenuous then once you get elected that people have these expectations of you to then say actually, i'm not the candidate of black america. even though that is kind of how i ran my campaign. so i think obama helped to elevate the expectations in such a way his inability to deliver on that created an enormous amount of disillusionment frustrations that i think helped to lay the groundwork for movements like occupy in 2011. >> our guest is a princeton university professor. our guest keeanga-yamahtta taylor the four numbers are up
on the screen. there are three ways to contact our guest. if you want to send a text message include your first name in your city. professor taylor when you hear the term all life matter what is your reaction. >> i think the problem with the phrase is in many ways it's an assumption that many of us begin with. the point of saying black lives matter is to really highlight the extent to which black lives have not mattered in the united states. and most recently concerning the issue with police in peace and violence. i think of the reluctance to embrace that really shows the depth of the lack of
understanding about what the conditions of african americans in this country actually is. i think we can understand it. we can live in a deeply segregated country where white people to see the does speak to an additional problem there is more general issue with the absence of seen seeing poor white people and ordinary white people and so there is a whole number of ways that our lives are distorted in this country and talking about black lives matter is really about bringing attention to the condition of black people which i think for most americans are shrouded they have no understanding of.
>> where were you raised, how did you get to where you are today from restarted. >> i am from dallas. i was there for most of my early part of my life. and then i lived in upstate new york for a while. then in chicago. in new york in chicago i became very involved in political organizing which compelled me to go to graduate school and to find out more about the conditions of the operation that i was organizing against. i was most interested in the area of segregation that's why i went to graduate school and that's why i'm here today. why do you think what's going on is going on.
it's really a black-and-white issue. they one of the highest and black poverty black poverty rates in the united states. one of the highest black unemployment rates in the united states you have a mayor who has embraced public policy agenda destroying the public sector. on so you of a situation of growing inequality and poverty in the city of chicago in the sense of growing hopelessness. ember seen the fruits of that bear out. >> keeanga-yamahtta taylor i want to read one more quote before i go to calls. i want you to explain them. it. black elected officials rule.
in the general american public makes them indispensable in american politics and then you go on to write it was a black insurgency that created the condition that allowed blacks and the elected officials claiming to represent them. >> what i'm trying to describe their with the development of black elected officials. in many of the most populated cities.
the main argument is that it is a black movement that makes that possible the mostly white political establishment. it becomes clear that heavy black people in charge will take some of the edge off of the kinds of budget cuts and approach to governments that was necessary in the 1970s in the 1980s. if you look at the shift the black mayor of philadelphia they were actually able to authorize. in the major metropolitan city. on the black counterculture group. there was no situation in the basket met imagine a white mayor dropping a bomb.
and being reelected. and so black elected officials were essentially brought in to do the work that white elected officials could no longer do. ability to do that any longer was shunned by the rebellions and uprisings. >> let's take some calls. steve, you are on. please go ahead. good afternoon professor taylor. the problem of racism is really an economic issue? >> what is your answer. of course it is.
if black people made white people rich with every racism. do you? >> let's hear from the professor. i think it's both economic and it's racial. it affects working-class employees. one of the most famous recent examples remember professor skip date. who was stopped and interrogated because it was believed that he was breaking into his own home. and so that is just something that white people of any
demographic of any income level never had to deal with. i think we have to deal with that and understand racism as both a product of class and inequality they overrepresented among the ranks of the poor and working-class but it extends beyond that as well. how would you advise her what would you say to those african-americans who don't see the initiative as something that matters to them. >> i think we all had a stake in supporting this movement for some of the reasons that i just said. the issues of policing can be very pervasive and reach beyond the working class.
i also think that is not necessarily required for the movement to be successful if anything i think there are more fruitful collisions that can be organized in terms of the ability of the movement to connect with the undocumented movement. to connect with those who suffer from police violence and abuse. the ability i think we also had to have a much broader conception of how we are going to achieve justice around this issue. it can be confined to the issue of policing.
it brings in to view whole numbers of questions about social inequality in the nine unit as well. >> the next call comes from evelyn. evelyn, you are on book tv. >> let's move on to terry in brooklyn, new york. >> this text message came in for you. and in this -- specific terms explained the end result that you want to achieve i think there are short and long-term goals. there is a long-term goal that looks at how we have to attack
social inequality. you can deal ultimately with the question of policing. it's not really about stopping crime or anything like that. it has been a way of dealing with the social crises that exist in communities across the country. in the short term it's looking to do. one had to do a whole number of nuisance type ordinances that have been passed that create constant opportunities for the police to engage with the public in a negative way. the second thing is to look at the ways that budget in cities
our portion in the city of los angeles 50% of the operating budget goes to the police department 42 percent of the operating budget goes to the police at the same time the city has been cutting a look schools. in the last think we to look at police unions would codify illegal police behavior. it's something the new york times wrote an editorial about a few weeks ago. there are both short-term goals and there are long-term goals. we have to try to understand the relationship between the two. violence and brutality had always defined the relationship. there is no global age of policing. there is little reason of optimism.
that they can truly be reformed. greg, go ahead. must most people don't want to hear it. i have something to say if you don't mind as we say in black lives matter. but when we have young men out here that's making babies and don't want to work young girls who don't want to work. up in the house. they are laid up in our communities they don't want to work. in america is broke. we have all of these other
poor people coming in our country. we need at work. work. our country is broken. you can get half of them a job. >> let's hear what professor taylor had to say for your remarks. >> the first thing i would say is america is not broke. it's one of the richest countries in the history of the world. what we have an issue with is how those resources are important. upwards of $38 billion. for its defense. we spend a ton of billions of dollars to maintain military operations in afghanistan for example and so the idea that america is broke is simply wrong. it was simply the legacy. we just celebrated the five year anniversary of the occupy
movement last week. and the legacy is really to raise the level of awareness about the tremendous amount of wealth that exists in this country and in the second part of that is i think that we have to separate fact from fiction when it comes from the state of black families in the black morality in fact teenage pregnancies are down at a historic low. their jobs exist that pay people a meaningful wage that allow people to support themselves but people don't want to work. i think that is untrue. i think what we actually had to do is improve the conditions of people and their lines in this country.
we have to improve the quality of work. with to make life worth living in the united states for african african-americans, for working-class white people for documented and undocumented immigrants in this country. we lack the political will to do that and that is what social movements are about. about created the political will to do some things where it does not exist. >> next call. for the author of this book keeanga-yamahtta taylor comes from catherine in tucson. thank you so much for your contribution i was born in detroit. i moved to chicago and spent about 40 years there. i was shocked to see how segregated chicago was.
but i was involved in a lot of grassroots programs. there seem to be a lot more opportunities to work in the grassroots on the street with people than there are now. and i'm wondering my reaction first of all when mister obama took office i was hopeful that he would have an influence on chicago just because my heart was there. do you think that he has added some of the bitterness and betrayal that contributes to some of these things and just a sense of the trail he lived in that city and he have an opportunity in the beginning that he might've missed i'm not sure i just wondered what your opinion was on that. let's hear from professor
taylor. >> i think initially he captured the black youth millennial vote in a way that no one has historically. 92 percent of young black voter voters went for obama. there has been a profound disappointment among a certain layer with the inability of the administration to turn that support into tangible gains for the majority of black people. but i think for a number of people whether or not they were tightly tuned in to the election of obama in 2008 or not i think there is a feeling that politics in general just don't matter. that we can talk about hillary clinton or donald trump but if you're a young black man in chicago right now well there
be a change consequence in your life if either of those candidates are elected to office. i think the kind of disconnect that has happened because of a set failure really of our two-party system to deliver substantive change subsidence change in people's everyday lives is part of the disillusionment and the disconnect because it's not clear where'd you go where you turn to change the situation in chicago. if are told that the weight you change these things is through voting and politics and be patient the west side of chicago has been in a similar condition to this for 40 years. so where do you go to change that. it throws the entire question about the system open is extremely unsatisfying.
>> professor taylor they had approached african-americans in different ways but what about his message maybe we try something new? >> i think he is not sincere in reaching out to black communities i think there are deep problems that exist in african-american communities today that if you look at what trump is actually proposing policy wise the few slivers of actual concrete detail we get would make the situations patently worse. donald trump has a unabashed pursuit of privatization and putting really in the in all public services into the hands of entrepreneurs of private corporations which are mostly interested in how to make a buck off of the situation not actually defend the public
welfare. there is no alternative to be found in the clinical program political program that has been offered by donald trump. >> are you teaching this semester at princeton. was called race for profits. it's about housing discrimination and public policy i have the feeling i think this is a psychological problem. it is more in my feeling like the emperor has no clothes. each person a person that has
a profession everybody is doing their little own drama. let's give you an example. there there's something called innovation the nerve which is like the second brand that actually receives a blood is amazing that people don't see they also had 12% of the population are more has psychological problems. >> were almost out of time when he put it there. we don't even know what we have there in congress.
>> i do think there are deep mental health issues that exist in this country that probably stem from the frustration that is born out of the kind it does have an impact on people's ability to function on a day-to-day basis. is so unfortunate that the mayor leads the effort to close half of the public mental health hospitals. along with the a sense of hope and vitality. you are on.
and the author of this book. >> i would like to run something by you. let's consider this. i feel like these new organizations that come up to represent the new young people coming up they need to establish themselves with the church organization an organization that is not consider a terrorist threat. then they won't get labeled. any new organization is going to be labeled any new organization is going to be labeled considerate have a negative connotation. they are labeled to give them
a bad label. >> every social movement in the history of social movements in the united states in the 20th century has had to encounter martin luther king was one of the most revival human beings in the united states right up until the moment of his fascination. we can't really let the perceptions of other people shape your political agenda. in the thousands of people who have come out to demonstrations and protests into chia they are concerned with justice.
and how do we transform these conditions of racism and inequality into this country into something different. i think ultimately history will determine whether or not we were affected with that but we can be concerned about how people perceive us. and people would consider it as activist terrace. keeanga-yamahtta taylor. thank you for being on book tv. doug brinkley is about to begin.
[inaudible] >> okay everybody. please sit down. good afternoon all of you folks. i am tom sherwood. in the public radio. thank you for being here. you are welcome. your cell phones are not. if it rings we just want you to put it on speaker phone speakerphone so we know who is calling you. your presence here is your permission to be videotaped. ..
>> quote enjoyably exhaustive. that is the high praise the new york times review gave to douglas brinkley's latest book on american politics and culture, rifle, rifle heritage, franklin d roosevelt in the land of america. i incidentally will not be exhausted. in his nearly two dozen books over 25 years, historian brinkley, and not related to the other guy has retraced so many
elements of america, our wars, our politics, our industry, our natural disaster called katrina. the professor has been honored for his attention to franklin d roosevelt and teddy roosevelt. so it is fitting in this year of the 100th anniversary of the national park service, not far from the fdr memorial and the potomac river in roosevelt's honor that we can understand america. it's the nations capital today as we celebrate and we opened the new national museum of national mall. yes, as we steal ourselves from monday night, not football but the presidential debate in this campaign year. in this next next few minutes maybe douglas brinkley can give us hope and
they're still forming sweet land of liberty. please welcome douglas brinkley. [applause]. >> there it is wonderful to be in deuce by tom who has extraordinary voice, and i try to modulate mine, i am used to talking loud because i am a university professor professor and you have to project without microphones. i'm here to talk about franklin d roosevelt and the national parks. fdr, we all know he was called the squire of hyde park, he was born in 1882 in the hudson river valley. his whole life the hudson became his sanctified landscape, the
place he most loved, he was born in hyde park on the hudson, he lived in the same home where he was born his whole life and he is buried at hyde park, our nation's first presidential library. he would always find strength from that river, 315 miles going from the high adirondack mountains committed to new york city, it is spectacular river. when he was born in 1882, his family was part of keeping the hudson uniform movement, today we call it the scenic hudson movement. but everybody was starting to look at resources being destroyed in the east coast. this is when he was born when you say the national forest in the east and everybody was clearcutting and the river was getting polluted and stocks were dying. franklin roosevelt's father became popular in local conservation on the hudson.
also, the number one book writer, i met a book festival if you are live in 1880s, 18 nineties, the 1900 the big writer was john burroughs. the great naturalist to sanctified the catskills, so fdr grew up conservation as we call today it was part his life script, most famously because theodore roosevelt, his fifth cousin who he nevertheless called uncle teddy, her uncle theodore, as you know it's anonymous with the conservation movement to roosevelt. and they always enjoyed looking at from new york city but looking west. fdr was more about the oceans, the rivers, but by the time franklin roosevelt goes to college, to harvard and you need to know if you want to understand anything at all about franklin roosevelt you have to study theodore roosevelt. he took as a model, uncle
theodore's life is sort of a script so theater roosevelt had been the head of the forest fish and game commission in new york state, fdr becomes the head of it. the door roosevelt was assistant secretary of the navy, fdr was assistant secretary of the navy. the in our roosevelt was the governor of new york and so was fdr, theodore love big maybe, fdr love big navy, theodore loved that your national resources and resources and heirlooms of america, fdr loved all of those. theodore roosevelt had a niece named eleanor roosevelt and fdr married her. you cannot deal with all of the revolution of the new deal years in conservation and civilian conservation corps in a minute without thinking -- but theodore roosevelt created two mechanisms as president that all national
parks we are celebrating, the system was born under the organic act in 1916 by woodrow wilson. that organic act for a national park it has to go through congress. so theodore roosevelt as president would do that from 1901 until 1909 he pushed through crater lake and oregon, and mesa verde in college track colorado, and others. dinner roosevelt as president created two mechanisms which all presidents follow have used in one is called national monuments and the idea is built on the antiquities act of 1906 that was an elastic piece of legislation set for scientific reasons, mainly meant for archaeological digs of prehistoric dinosaur bones and for native american relics that a president could
declare, ward off an area, think about a murder a murder site with a yellow piece of plastic going around, hunk of land that could be by executive order, saved. the reason this antiquities act of 1906 when into play is because the europeans were robbing our western sites, they western sites, they recognize the importance of the navajo and the apache in the plane indians and they were stealing things. there were stealing dinosaur bones, so this gets passed in congress. the it or roosevelt ends up going to yellowstone with john burroughs, the the great naturalist and then he goes to the grand canyon and teddy roosevelt stands at the canyon and looks out over the divine and says, do not touch it , god has made it, you'll you'll only margaret, leave the grand canyon alone. in congress and senate starts moving to perhaps mine it for zinc and copper.
theodore roosevelt then uses the executive order meant for smaller parcels for over 600,00. now it is over 1 million acres today or else the grand canyon would have been lost. he would would do that to say that save the redwoods. he would do that to save double tower, wyoming. that lives on duty theodore roosevelt, barack obama obama is now the president that assigned for national monuments and any other, i just wrote a piece about a week ago the new york times about it. secondly, 100 years ago woman would have worn a bonnet with ornamental feathers to hear me speak, you may not think you would've, but you would have. these would've been feathers of the heron, nothing calls for federal action more than bird protection. you cannot have a liberal connecticut ottoman society that is protecting the
birds to have them fly to florida on these slaughtered, willy-nilly. birds do not know boundaries or demand a federal attention if we're going to save species with extinction. theodore roosevelt goes to the pelican island, florida, a bird area where these guys are coming with guns and getting all the birds and plucking the feathers and stealing the eggs. and he says, i so declare it a federal bird reservation, and he does that 51 times saving the albatross of hawaii, saving parts parts of alaska the size of west virginia and giving these areas to wildlife. those 51 are later expanded by dozens to over 100 to 200 by fdr, fdr, it is franklin roosevelt building on the bird reservations that create the 1948 and saves u.s. fish and
wildlife. you in the audience on over 550 national wildlife refugees because of teva roosevelt starting it and fdr moving on it. for the national monuments i just mentioned, when you cannot get a piece of land say through congress you do the executive order. many places that we celebrate in this country, capitol reef in utah, great great national park, fdr creates it is the monument, today is a part. channel islands office santa barbara area and the ventura california, gorgeous islands, the galapagos of america. fdr saves it as a national monument. today it is a part. the olympics national forest, the dutiful rain forest in washington state, fdr went there and saw how people were recklessly clearcutting the land
and franklin roosevelt said whoever did that i hope they are roasted in hell, he pushes pushes through the creation of our evil olympic national park. so keep in mind the monuments and wildlife refugees are both roosevelt's but fdr takes it to a new level, the turning point for franklin roosevelt, think as a true conservationist to match and perhaps supersede theodore occurs in 1921, fdr goes and he loses, were doing an election right now and in 1920 it was warren hardy b cox and roosevelt. fdr was the vp in 1920, the democrats lose, fdr had no job, he had been assistant secretary of the navy and was the losing vp candidate. he asked himself, what would theodore roosevelt do? and the answer was, he worked
for the boy scouts. of greater new york. teddy roosevelt was a great pusher of the boy scouts, the godfather of it and now franklin roosevelt organizes the boy scouts of greater new york to go to bear mountain state park on the hudson river in his backyard and bring all of these inner-city kids to do horseshoes, archery, fishing, and enjoy and enjoy the bounties of nature and the hudson. unfortunately he went swimming with the boy scouts and we think they're contracted the polio virus. it didn't manifest itself until he got to new brunswick and while he was there he went to bed, he had the sweats, he did not feel well, and he woke up with no feeling in the lower half of his body. the man you know for saying we have nothing to fear but fear
itself, that was another fear and panic and terror. eleanor roosevelt became is florence nightingale. was very generous of her because she had found love letters from lucy mercer that fdr was having an affair. she put that aside and he goes back to hyde park on the hudson to heal and nobody wants to see him. because to hug someone with polio would have been a fear that you would have contracted it. so all of these friends, mrt secretary of the navy, mr. the navy, mr. i was just the vp nominee, is now a pariah and he found solis on the hudson among the squirrels and birds. fdr was a lifelong ornithologist then he says, what did theodore roosevelt and his crisis ?. it was now not when he was a rough
rider when he was a in the spanish-american war, his big crisis was when he got shot 1912 in milwaukee when he was delivering the speech for the bullmoose party. theodore roosevelt party. theodore roosevelt huge crisis came when he was young man on the same day that valentine's day was. he lost his mother in the same house, his mother would collapse and his wife died giving childbirth, he lost his mom and his wife on the same day, theodore roosevelt. we as scholars read people's mail for a living. there is nothing more moving than seeing a giant x that
theodore roosevelt puts in his dire and said the light has gone out on my life forever. what did she do when he's depressed, losing a mother and wife? he got lost in the wild. he went to north dakota, the dakota territory, door, the badlands, looking for grizzly in buffalo. in fact he badlands, looking for grizzly in buffalo. in fact he starts the modern endangered species movement of protection of north american animal life when he kills the buffalo up there and didn't realize they are all disappearing and creates a club to save them. so fdr gets lost in the wilderness, but he goes to the everglades. the everglades is national park that franklin roosevelt creates but he goes in the everglades and the florida keys and goes boating. he thinks that water will help them with the polio. he is down there with an ornithologist friend in the 1920s writing down the different species he sees. he's birdwatching and trying to heal in nature. the same itr had done in the badlands. he comes back from the florida trips and buys a warm springs, georgia, resort to natural thermal natural thermal pools in
georgia, meriwether county. you can go there now. he creates a resort for people with polio living in nature among the trees. that is his business, fdr. it becomes the leader of the state park movement, do you realize fdr in the 20s is pushing not state parks but by the time he was president it will create over 800 state parks in the united states. states did not even have state parks until fdr's new deal workforces bought built them even decides what will try to get back into politics and he trains to give a speech in madison square garden's for al smith, the big shot in new york. his training isn't practicing his verbiage, it's learning how
to lean on one son and move his hips in a painful motion to get to the podium. everybody in madison square gardens held their breath. first off everybody thought he was done with politics, history sick. here you are just praying he does not fall. then he got to the podium and gave an amazing speech and got a thunderous standing ovation. off the charts. it went on almost an hour. the next day new york yorks times says move over al smith, fdr is the man, he is the hot guy in politics now. from that resurrection fdr runs for governor in 1928 in new york and the governor in 1930 and he wins both. in his big program is planting trees, soil conservation, reforestation, because he was a rural, upstate new york politician not a new york city
guy. i have read letters from lynn roosevelt would write, please do not say i'm from new york city. his constituents were apple growers and people growing orchids and lumbers on the catskills and fishermen. he was a role politician and he worked as governor to pay men with no job, on applicable holders, essentially 1 dollar per day to start tree planting building state parks and restocking lakes. franklin roosevelt's calling card was conservation as governor. so when he cut to 1932 when he gives the new deal speech and you cut to franklin roosevelt's in we are going to put people to work, he in the his mind creates a civilian conservation corps. not only does he beat herbert hoover but at his famous inaugural, weeks later he
announces his new deal program, the ccc. ccc. the ccc, from 1933 - 1942, he plants around 3 billion trees around the united states. these are done by unemployed men, someone from newark, new jersey are selling pines himself on sign national park in utah. somebody from a poor neighborhood of philadelphia is suddenly on a new mexico, arizona border. it was remarkable. and it works. because the big mistake that we make is thinking about the great depression and the wall street collapse, financial markets and bank foreclosures. we had destroyed the land of america. we had done the great plow up in the midwest and shopped all the trees. we had soil erosion. man-made problems and environmental disaster of the dustbowl in the 1930s. we drained wetlands, swamps, so
it became an absolute landscape that was dying. he takes it over and was able to as president take the conservation to a new level. do you want to know how committed he is to our parks in the love of america franklin roosevelt at the time of pearl harbor, he gets a letter from rosalie edge in the great secretary of the american history and ed is and she says dear mr. president the trumpeters swan is going to go extinct because you built the tenth mountain division for ski troopers at henry's lake idaho. it happens to be, that area doesn't freeze over so the
trumpeters spend their winters there instead of migrating. if you do do not do something, trumpeters can go extinct. they were training and they write a moving letter to the secretary of defense, dear henry, i have now found out about the flat between the u.s. army in the trumpeters. i've looked into it in the verdict is, it's in, i side with the trumpeters. the tenth mountain division must re- nest. sincerely, franklin d roosevelt. why at the time pearl harbor would he do that? who here doesn't want to save trumpeter swans, but this is, because he is telling the war department and he would write letters like that to the agriculture department and to every division in government, our public lands are an
inheritance, we are not going to destroy our national forest in parks and monuments and state parks by going in for win the war. these are what we are fighting for, or public lands system is what america is about, it is our heritage that's why a call my book rifle heritage. that is what he would call all of these recreation places and special places that we have. he did something similar to save the whipping cream by signing an executive order. a national parks guy, on june 6, 1944, d-day, do you realize on d-day here in washington franklin roosevelt with all the news was coming would not cancel meeting about big bend national park and he creates and takes a lamport on d-day, with carter and people from fort worth there's pictures of him bringing
visitors to bring that, goes to glacier, national park and make some set up radio shop there so he could say stand with the ccc and say there's nothing more american than our national parks. in 1937, he traveled in our nation's first national -- creating and designation. he is not very keen on that and that's why kate card national seashore, south padre island in texas, but little-known is roosevelt would go all on his yacht and on navy ships and he would disappear on the eve of world war ii in the late 1930s to go disappear into galapagos islands with the collections from the smithsonian institute.
for new species of burrowing shrimp and fish. because this level of biology and conservation is in the roosevelt bloodstream. i will end by telling you two quick things. whatever franklin roosevelt put on a form occupation he would write tree farmer. he ran tree plantations. if you go you will see the force, he was showing off the force that he planted and how he was a scientific forrester, it meant everything to him. he learned inside inside and out about soil conservation, fdr thought that d4 station in the killing of trees met utter poverty. so much so that the time of the conference he went over and of course was in the middle east and he comes home and writes a
personal letter to the shaw of iran and to the king of saudi arabia saying i have been to your part of the world and i have to tell you have a four-story problem. i'm personally willing to loan my time, pro bono to help you fix it. do not do not feel bad, we have this problem, where we know some but i figured out ways to help. do you realize that in 1945, right before, right before his death, april 12, 45 franklin d roosevelt was working with gifford -- the key for surfer theater roosevelt who is now in his eighties, had a couple of heart attacks, was was going to be dead soon, they conspired to make the founding of the united nations, key principle is going to be conservation as a basis of permanent peace. fdr was moving to those sources
global to have actual four-story and and wildlife protection laws. everybody at warren state department went running. the two times that fdr it was saying to be a big part of the un to do global conservation right off the bat. when he died, a lot of this energy of conservation died with the truman administration. the jermaine had no interest. in the end, our heritage in the united states of national parks like the smokies, the everglades , a great roads like the blue ridge parkway and the natchez trace, magical parts like mammoth cave in kentucky, i can go on and on. we oh it to franklin d roosevelt for at a time of crisis in the great depression of world war i
reminded us that stewardship of our national resources was one of, if if not the most important thing that we can do. great countries take care of their landscapes. franklin roosevelt, my mind along with teddy roosevelt was one of the great conservation presidents. thank you. [applause]. >> i have a comment before i asked my question, we just came back from hyde park and you know that across the hudson there is a walking bridge called the fdr bridge. i thought it was because he and eleanor came from that area, but now you're saying maybe it was a tribute to the fact that this is the only bridge that you can that people can walk, no cars.
>> yes, that is is part of why they did that. but across the river from hyde park is a home john burroughs, he's like john mure, john burroughs, we are book crowd here, look up and read about john burroughs. he lived directly across the street on the hudson. fdr would always have to go on the other side of the hudson and that bridges a way to connect that region. >> now let me ask you a technical question, going back to the relationship between teddy and frankly, you know when teddy was police chief or whatever he was walking the streets with newspaper people. he knew to use the newspapers as a vehicle to communicate. you know, many many years later the sky, franklin roosevelt, and enhance the to the radio. so that was a big change. >> you're absolutely right.
teddy roosevelt was a genius at manipulating cartoonist, the teddy bear, the toy grew out of his going on a bear hunts and he would not shoot the baron mississippi and it became a symbol for fair chase hunting and conservation. theater roosevelt, fdr used radio so effectively to bring up voice because he was incapacitated, unable to walk, but what is not known about franklin is that he trained his upper body it was amazingly strong. he would go fishing all over. he became a big marine conservation so he would pull in silver kings, giant tarpon bring in these marine expeditions because that's how he could get outdoor recreation. it was also weight not to have the press come with him because his health was deeply precarious at times. if he could get out at sea in gold some places and spent time
whenever he would see a place that he liked he would sign an executive order and save it. was quite remarkable. >> today with the press you see, and trump you see other saying as president i would do this and this. the key point that when roosevelt came into office use the term, let's try it. did he inherit that? >> i never quote stalin in public but i'm going to do it just for you. stalin used to say after negotiating with churchill and fdr, churchill will work with you and then try to sneak his hand in your pocket to steal a coin. fdr smiles and greets you, jams of both hansen and pulls out everything all at once. it is very true, fdr loved -- people when he tried to pack the supreme court for example, people were were all saying is he in 1937, he would sign an executive orders left and right
saving wild places because nobody knew what was going on. then he got revenge on that pipe picking william douglas, the most environmental conservation driven person of the 60s and 70s who saved the cn oak canal incidentally and he put him to the supreme court, also should tell you, the mall here that we are honoring at the national book festival, that that is fdr months after he becomes president he grabs all of the monuments, the mall, the, the white house, and puts it into interior department that used to be run by other war department, agriculture. agriculture. he made it, he built today's interior department. franklin roosevelt and now our national park service keeps growing. that's what fdr wanted, the the history to be a part of not just the stones in yosemite. so brock obama just signed an executive order to do stonewall for lgbt.
justin caesar -- for latino history. he he just it harriet tubman and marilyn for underground railroad. he is opening up the narrative as their saying of american history. obama has been great on that. fdr is the one who started the ability to save labor strike places or something that might be controversy and save those as part of our national heritage. thank you. >> yes or i have had a chance to read both your books, thank you, they are magnificent. and reading and listening to you today i observed that we have one great republican president and one great democratic president. for a long period of time conservation in the fire mental movement was not really a
partisan issue, now it is a very deeply partisan issue, what happened? >> amazing question, it used to be republican party got into conservation all the time. many of the heroes, including the rockefeller family who incidentally did florence rockefeller did so much for, ronald reagan created over 50 wilderness areas, that is roadless areas, reagan did that. today, you have republican party that is running on oil, gas, oil, gas, oil, gas, drill baby drill, open, open, open. there is a backlash against the federal government particularly in the west and alaska so put things that loggerhead. so if you are a republican in in the senate today, being a conservationist is very hard. the turning point in my mind is when the word conservation was
replaced by environmental. george mcgovern told me before he died that i wish we just what a cap conservation because it sounds like conservative. and i can push things through in the senate. once that word environment came in it was tied up to the 60s cultural wars of hippies, tree huggers, marijuana, and it became seen as a left issue out of the 60s. we have not fully recovered with that. but there are congressman from idaho who just recently saved of older white clouds as a wilderness area. there are a few very, lamar alexander of tennessee has gotten into the conservation story quite a bit. unfortunately like so like so much in our culture it has become partisan and i'm hoping eventually it will come back. if i go to a group of conservatives, republicans somewhere and talk about saving the local lake or river, they love me, because i am praising local sites and we want to
clean, we want our kids to fish and hunt, but if i if i start dropping the e bond, environmental, you lose half of your audience right now so a lot of it might be the way we package how we speak about it. but it is a frustration. >> barry goldwater was a good conservationist actually. >> i have read your book on teddy roosevelt, looking forward to the book on fdr. i'm a huge huge fan. i appreciate your lecture today. i want to ask a question or get your thoughts on an issue that is related to the last question. in the course of your lecture and in your book you describe the way the president is in the way they use their authority to create and conserve these national areas. it seems that overwhelmingly they relied upon the power of executive orders or unilateral executive authority, in particular the reason on the
antiquities act which authorizes the president to apply that authority without consulting her getting approval of congress. it is my amateur observation over the decades that the fact that these conservation efforts to place your presidential authority in many instances bypassing local congressional delegations that without seeking the support of congress he created a situation that presented challenges in the modern era. i recognize the presidents need to do with the need to do. i certainly prove of what they do, i love the result but we have come in your view created something of a federalist problems in terms of the backlash and the assertion. >> the national monuments to keep it on fdr little, fdr in the middle of world war ii was gifted jackson hole wyoming. he wrote that the rockefeller's
land and fdr signs an executive order saint we are going to save the grantee times you should read what happened fdr, your hitler, your land grabbing, the federal government, there's just nobody today that doesn't want jackson hole protected like fdr did. they were in california and joshua tree. that is fdr's. a woman named -- hoyt was trying to get it out park. they said it's a desert, nobody wants it. she was a botanist and saint botanist and saint these joshua trees are amazing. meanwhile the kids that go out to the birmingham used to go out in the desert and poor gasoline and burn the joshua's because they shoot up like a torch through the night. they would look to the biggest and they burn them all. so she eventually gets fdr and says can you save it he looks at her plan and said all 7,000,000 acres and she would say while
the railroads have interest in local minors she said lawyers will figured out lawyer. we are going to do it. she was stunned she got what she wanted from him. and kings canyon, and other other national park of fdr's in california, it took a young, unknown photographer called angel adams took the photos and he said if you want my husband to save something, bring the photos. photos. he's a sucker for. well adams photos he ended up seeing these and pushed to save kings canyon. but fdr did not like that there's going to be roadless. no roads he said i'm never going to be able to go see it. that area because if they're not roads and visitor lookouts i will not be able to go because of my thing. but he did did it anyway because you just have to have a strong president do it or else, i've i've been for example to haiti. you want to drive over hispania lane look at dominican republic
in haiti do for us to come i need you to all believe that in the 1930s or early 40s our country was in genuinely awful state. in swamps, arctic tundra, deserts were not considered ecosystems were saving. to now saving. to now these places are the big economic engines. joshua tree doesn't know what to do with visitors is so overcrowded. so the antiquities that gives presidents a mechanism and george w. bush signed a giant one in hawaii for a marine area. calvin coolidge used to send them all the time. i'm just suggesting that has become bipartisan. monuments, presidents will do that. but obama just did the maine woods, and they are angry and main about it even though the land was gifted by rocket quimby who founded bert spears, the woman's the woman's product, she became the biggest land over a
set i will not only give you the land to the federal government as apart, but i will also endow it with $20 million. the conservatives in maine don't want to, they see it as federal government intrusion into their lives. so the good news and i think a better and, the national parks, on their centennial right now are spectacular. we need need to love them more, visit them, they really are this great gift and we'll both theodore and franklin roosevelt a huge bit of credit for being visionaries and making our country something special. without it there would be stripmall's and superhighways. by saving these wild places it has kept the essential spirit of america, and my mind alive. thank you. [applause].
[inaudible] [inaudible] >> book tv's live coverage of the national book festival, the the 16th year in a row continues to. you're listening to doug brinkley talk about his most recent book on fdr and the environment. coming up next you'll hear about a washington post reporter, he will be talking about his book, black flakes, the rise of isis. that happens several more hours you can go to book to be.org if you want the full schedule. we have our book tv set in the lobby of the convention center in washington. our guest is author mary rhodes, the curious science of humans that were, here's the cover,
mary is this a science book? >> yes it is a science book. i don't how to do anything else. you will not not find me writing a memoir, a biography, a textbook, science book, but it's a fun science book. >> but were you trying to achieve with this book? >> as always i am trying to inform people and entertain them at the same time. make make them laugh. i like to make people laugh. i like to surprise them. >> what is a grunt? >> a grunt is a infantry, a marine, someone who is caring the big backpack who is out there doing the hard work, the grunt, not a general a grunt. >> host: what is the science behind developing an american grunt then? >> guest: it is all the thing that grunts have to deal with like extreme heat, flies, fear, panic, diarrhea and all the
things that you don't really associate with military science, people things like guns and bombs, they don't really think of them. and that's a small percentage of the experience, the actual day-to-day experiences a lot more mundane but grueling. there's a lot of science that goes into trying to make that situation a little more bearable. >> let's start with what they are carrying, back part backpacks and body armor, how much weight? spee2 about 100 pounds. depends on how big you are, what unit you are and etc. but just the body armor alone can be just the body armor alone can be 30 some pounds plus you're carrying the equipment you might be carrying food and water. it really is into paying for them, a a lot of the equipment is electronic so you need batteries, batteries for this and that. there's more more like the guy on the cover, that's not an
actual, we have photoshop that. that's a little bit of a hyperbole there. i'd love to know who that dude is. i don't know who he is. i keep expecting to be here from the guy the cover and say hey that's me. i didn't care that much. >> host: how much research goes into what they carry, how they carry it? >> guest: were different facilities, you have collapse word their testing things like an excess skeleton that will help you hold a lot of stuff and sort of move, take the weight off but there again, battery pack, you have a few hours and then your battery runs out and then what are you going to do then, just trash trash the whole thing and keep going. so the exoskeleton i think is great if you are unloading the ship and it helps to lift things. as for having an ironman, that
has a ways to go. but they look into that, there also folks who look into heatstroke and how if you have a uniform and body armor plus you're carrying this load and it's really hot, you have a situation where you could come down with a pretty scary possibly fatal heat injury. there is a lab with the cook box where they would it's a treadmill and they can turn up the heat and humidity, put you in there with body armor which i did. they put the full load on me and i'll lasted seven minutes. it was about one third of what a soldier would actually carry. it is really a grueling job. >> host: what was the cooperation level you got from the military on this? >> guest: amazing really. i decided with this and needed
to start at the top and get some kind of permission because otherwise i was going to run into well it's okay by me but i need to have my superior and so on. and there go six months. so i started with the pentagon which has a public affairs for books office and they were tremendously helpful. they basically send you an e-mail saying yes we are okay with this and that means people don't have to be paranoid about getting in trouble. they basically just say yes, this is a story, story, we are fine with telling. that did help. i got a lot of help and cooperation. i think it is information that the military was happy to share because it is a little more positive, it's about trying to keep people alive rather than killing them.
that's information they are happy to share. >> surprisingly writes occasionally game changing things happen when flights of on orthodox things happen collide with large abiding resource budgets, such as? >> guest: everything in the book, outside the box thinking like i think that's the introduction were talking about the chicken guns, the chicken gun being every artillery piece that fires frozen supermarket chickens, not at the enemy, although that could be interesting, it certainly would take them by surprise to fire supermarket chickens, but anyway what it does is let's say you have a jet canopy, windscreen and you want to make sure if you have a flock of canadian keys coming at you that it does not shatter the windshield and had the pilot. that happens fairly frequently. so the chicken gun is a way of testing pieces of jet to make sure they will withstand bird
strikes. >> host: were you impressed at the level of research on each part of what soldiers carry, and where they were used et cetera? >> guest: yes. just a simple uniform you have a division that is looking into flame resistance, another division looking into repelling insects and mosquitoes. then you have another division that makes the uniform repel everything in case of chemical and biological attacks. stuff just rolls off. you have for people who deal with the microbial anti- stink component. and then these different components have to work together which chemically can be challenging. they have to withstand the army laundry, they they can't just wash off. it's a lot of complicated, interactions of different treatments of things. there's also a fashion studio,
there's a woman there who you use to design swimmer and now designs military uniforms. i thought it was an interesting transition but she said it makes sense because a swimsuit is a high-tech fabric, it has to deal with water it has to be expandable it has to be forfeited, it's geared to a particular activity and all of that stuff you need to know a focus on when you design military outfits. >> host: you going to write that i would've guessed the military to be a fanta polyester, strong, cheap, does not ignite. >> yes, but they are not, you know why? >> host: why don't you tell everybody else. >> guest: because polyester, there's fire nearby, there's he, polyester melts and trips. i wouldn't melts it melts and drips onto is your skin. so the longer something hot and molten is in contact with your
skin is worse. so you do not want to wear pantyhose in a tank. that might be breached by some sort of rpg and there would be an explosion in your pantyhose would melt and burn you. so don't wear pantyhose in combat. >> mary has written several books and putting stiff, spook, bond, packing promoters, help, and now grunts. where do you do you come up with the names of your book? >> guest: just my head. >> host: where do you get the topics from your book, they are unique. >> guest: sometimes i work backwards from a few interesting things. i encounter and then tried to figure out what the umbrella that would go over these two interesting things. like with this book, i was reporting in india on chili pepper which the indian military had turned into like a teargas,
and they had is chili pepper powder bomb and i reported on that and realize that they have a science lab and they were working on leach repellent ten chili peppers like that will military science is not what you think it is. there might be approachable -- so off i went. >> zippers and military uniforms? >> guest: the fashion studio lady, the designer was showing me a sniper top and it had the zipper on the side and i thought it was sleek and fashionable and she said no, it's because if you have a zipper here and your job entails line on your belly for hours at a time as a sniper might do, that's very uncomfortable and also you could get dirt, sand into the teeth of the zipper and now it will not work. so you so you don't want to zipper if you are sniper. suicide closer, i said velcro what about that and she said no because it's loud.
if you want to be stealthy, if you're someone who wants to sneak around in the military and not be heard you do not want velcro. you want the side closure which is the way to go. >> what surprised you the most in your research? >> i was not expecting transplants. this was two years ago and i know that was something, now that the first one has happened in the u.s. but two years ago i had no idea it was on anybody's radar. i was reporting on one of the early cadaver run-throughs of the transplant that was a surprise. >> host: why is the military during this? >> guest: there are increasing number of genital, urinary trauma injuries because of two reasons, bigger explosives, ied's getting bigger and bigger
so if you step on one you're not talking about injuries here here and here, all the way up to the public region and number two, the trauma care is much better. some 97% of soldiers and marines are injured survive now. so more men are surviving these tremendous injuries and needing reconstructive work. i see cross your legs there. [laughter] >> so that's why, and you throughout a thanks thanks to the transit gender community for this research. >> guest: yes because setting aside transplants reconstructive work, a lot of that is being done, it's it's still relatively speaking far fewer injuries to the growing then to the lens, but anyway more than there used to be, and the surgeons who know how to build a our surgeon from the transgender world. so it's an interesting cooperation between military surgeons and transgender
surgeons. >> host: mary, can you donate your body to the military? >> guest: you can, absolutely yes. i was at a very interesting, it was work going down at aberdeen proving ground to come up with a crash test dummy so if you're driving with a personnel carrier and have a bomb that force comes up for that there's no crash test dummy for that kind of force, there's this of that, but not not that. they were design a crash test dummy and to do that you have to do the early work, you you have to study cadavers and look at what kind of damage does this for stew and make the cadaver represent that. so yes, there are are folks and they have to say yes i'm okay with being and writing the rig, they're not blown apart but if you watch it it's like it looks
like they took a speedbump too fast. but if you slide down you see at the very extreme kind of force to apply to a body in a very short lit second of time. that breaks limbs and tears things. so yes you can donate your body to military research. i find, i think and i could imagine that if you wanted to commit yourself, i'm just essay for the record you're making a face at me. anyway, you could do it now or after you're dead so i might prefer to do so after i'm already dead. >> host: those are the types of things you're going to learning grunt. mary's latest book, as always we appreciate you being a book to be.
book tv did a three hour interview with mary roach. you can find that, as, as one of our in-depth programs pre-go to our website booktv.org, type in mary roach, in-depth and you can watch three hours of mary roach book tv has several more hours left in our coverage of the national book festival this year. coming up next we're going back up to the history and biography room and you'll hear from joe b work, washington post reporter and author of a book on the rise of isis. this this is book tv on c-span2. >> . .