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tv   Beth Macy Discusses Truevine  CSPAN2  November 24, 2016 10:30pm-11:31pm EST

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itself from this podium. yes? >> he talked about lafayette coming back to america in 1824, can you tell a little bit about the reason why almost every city in america at that time name something after lafayette? what impacted he have on america that did that imac in fact, great question to end on. i made the right choice. thank you. yes, when lafayette québec in 1824 and 25, that 13 month victory lap around the country where he went to all of the states is the origin for how all of these states and not states, but cities and counties and warships and horses and babies and streets and parks got named after lafayette. and i think washington dc it's worth remembering that the most meaningful of any of these, no offense to lafayette ronald hubbard is lafayette park across
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from the white house because this is kind of our capital a protest. this is where we had-- as a people go to yell at our present i mean, i was kidding about lafayette being an only child, but one of the most only at child things he said was, he said i did not hesitate to be disagreeable to preserve my independence. and so i think lafayette park or lafayette square as it's also called embodies that spirits and even though we beat ourselves up in this country for how much bickering there it-- this is and how we cannot get along, i think that is annoying and time-consuming, but also the source of our greatness and at the fact that we have this place across the street from our head of government's house where people as george hw bush said,
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they would beat those damn drums when i was trying to have dinner , i think this is something that we as a people and you and your city should be enormously proud of and i think the fact that it is named after lafayette, i think, that would probably be to him his greatest honor. i think it is, also. good night. [applause].
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>> good morning. i'm alice cary. as a reviewer for book page i read a lot of books and one of my favorites this year is "truevine". took beth macy to unearth the saga requiring painstaking research on multiple fronts to unearth the she writes to untangle a century of whispers from truth. the result is deeply moving and endlessly compelling and such intricate tale that's worthy of
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not one but two subtitles. two brothers, a kidnapping and a mother's quest - a true story of the jim crow south. "truevine" has been shortlisted for the kirkus price and long listed for the andrew carnegie medal for excellence producer porter for the ron at times in virginia that's one more than dozen awards and earned a fellowship at harvard university. her first book "new york times" bestseller factory man was on numerous best of 2014 was and is currently in development to become an hbo miniseries executive produced by tom hanks and gary goetzman. please join me in welcoming beth macy to the southern festival of looks. a pasta of. >> thank you alice. "truevine" has all the elements of the southern gothic novel but it's it's true so could you read a section that explains how you first heard about the story? >> i would love to. as a young journalist who arrived in roanoke in 1989 to write feature stories for the
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roenicke times i took two years to muster the nerve write. a newspaper photographer had told me the story based on rumors he had heard growing up in roanoke. quote is the best story in town but no one has been able to get it he he says that by the time i poked my head into the soul food restaurant with the idea of writing a story about her famous great uncles it was clear that all personal details were going to be closely held, trickling out in drips and droughts and very much on nancy's timeline. the first time i asked if i could interview willie muse he was then in his 90s, she pointed to a homemade sign on the goodie shop wall, customer had stenciled the words in black block letters on a white painted board and given it to her as a gift. the sign said sit down and shut up. willie was not now nor would he ever be available for comment so
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hoping to generate some goodwill for a future story on her uncles i wrote a feature about her restaurant a place where the menu never changes and it's not even written down. you are just supposed to know. regents of people could recite the daily specials i would eventually commit to memory. tuesday spaghetti or lasagna except every other tuesday which is pork chops. wednesday's fish on thursday country fried steak page friday his ribs that you had better come early because the rim sell out quick way. the line out front starts forming at noon and the lunch doesn't officially begin until 12:15 and not a moment before and later if nancy has to run home to check on uncle willie uncle willie's favorite special was tuesday spaghetti. nancy also to painted rock on top of the cash register. was a gift from her preschooler nephew jason whom she helped raise. she was not above picking it up presumably and just showed a customer offend her.
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when i returned from lunch two days after my story ran because red fridays are my favorite nancy shook her finger man was clear i was not getting anything close to a pat on the back. her mother sat nearby peeling potatoes watching the young and the restless and cringing about what her daughter was about to say. nancy had been ready to send me packing the first time i walked in the restaurant inquiring about her uncles but persuaded her to let me stay. a fan in my youth i saw the first episode. i had wanted quickly with dots over the characters who would help peel potatoes and your kitchen much to nancy's chagrin. you know what your story is nancy said? at trot out a bunch of crazy white people, that's all. paying customers some might have added she was in no mood for backtalk. she walked past without further
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comment. she is going out to leave the goodie shop as many as five or six times a it should. if nancy sanders got or way are for great uncles story would stay buried. the first time she heard she was just a child and she found the whole tale embarrassing and painfully wrong. the year was 1961 and black black-and-white people alike wanted to know worth a white-skinned brothers black or white? had they really been trapped in a cage and forced to eat crow me? these men deserve respect. they did not deserve the gawkers who came by their house at all hours standing on the front door. those were some of her first memories, people banging on their door and mildon i peer by the time and mildon i peer by the time it came as he no one talked about savages or circus freaks and that -- in front of nancy frank at the temples whose skin was white as the chef kozier would work.
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she bakes bread every good as her mother's ash cakes. he had never contemplated bringing the subject up with them. that is one exceptionally guarded family he told me. you've got to take a few steps. you have to think of them as a tribe. they fallout with each other sometimes but if you fallout with one of them they will come roaring back in like an army. it was 10 more years before nancy warmed up enough to let me in the call writer author and newspaper series about her uncles and only after her death in 2001, he was 108. she didn't reveal much though. she invited my fellow reporter jan mccaffery photographer josh meltzer and me inside the house exactly one time. she made reference to a family bible that we were not permitted to view and for years after the series ran whenever i visited the restaurant she hinted that
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there was so much more to this story than we had found. she actually when she would say things like that she would call me scoop. our newspaper was the same one of her family's version of the kidnapping story early. look the other way when city officials decimated to historic lack neighborhoods in the name of midcentury progress via urban nor or as they black community calls it may grow removal. they cheered when the city knocked down homes and buildings including a church. refused print black wedding announcements until the 70s because the wealthy white publisher roanoke had no black middle last. i myself to use a illustrate a story about roanoke's hide teen pregnancy rate in 1993 the story that went viral before the internet term existed and made the girls the object of ridicule even rush limbaugh joined in with a rant.
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when the girls dropped out of school shortly after my story ran it was devastating. words linger in words matter and turned and it's not possible to predict the fallout it can have on the subjects like it would take me 25 years finally to earn something nearing nancy's trust to convince her wasn't one more candy peddler intent on exploiting her relatives for the color of their skin are purely for my own financial benefit. in 2013 when i hit a. >> updating wrote a story, updated story on the pregnant teen more than 20 years after the original explosive first story it seems safe that one of them a 37-year-old mother four was just around the corner from nancy's northwest roanoke franchise but after angry relatives tried to bully me into not writing the story physically threatening me and demanding a meeting with my newspaper bosses nancy reassured me you don't need their permission to do the
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story just like you don't need mine to write your book, not really you don't. and yet month earlier nancy's permission is exactly what i sohtz. on the eve of publishing my first book about a third generation factory on or who battled chinese imports to save his company i had given an advance reading copy a factory man dog airing at chapter on race relations i found hard to navigate. it detailed decades of mistreatment up black furniture workers in the sexual harassment of black domestic. workers who wore two girdles at one time he in defense of their bosses -- a friend of my mom's she would be vacuuming down the steps in the husband would be feeling her up from behind. my mom had to fill in for her one day so she told the man first thing, don't take me open up your chest by which.broun
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with the tip of my neck. nancy and i had come a long way from the days of sit down and shut up. it was by no means a get me when i called her november asking for her blessing to pursue her uncles during the book. she was in the mid-60s and recently retired after closing the goodie shop. i wanted her help delving into the family story as well as connecting with the relatives including one albino still living in true vine. more than six weeks later, oh she enjoyed making the way, she finally called to she said i waited so i could give it to us a christmas present. it was christmas morning and nancy decided to let me write her uncles story with her help
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and blessing but on one condition to she said no matter what you find out or what your research turns up you have to remember in the end they came out on top. i knew this story's ending already i assured her. i had art interviewed several people nurses and doctors neighbors employers all of whom described the -- i was less certain about who force them into servitude about the struggle to have their humanity knowledge and they were compensated. how exactly during the harsh years of jim crow had georgian willie managed to escape? >> how frustrating was that all those years knowing this remarkable story was so close and yet so far away and did you ever feel like giving up? >> well willing to give up because she said no. she actually said, i asked her i you didn't even let the
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interview them and say i would hold the interview and tell after he passed away. she didn't want anything written about him until he passed away. she said you are too curious. she didn't think i could hold the interview. i said if i would hold the interview a i would but she didn't believe me. now she says when you walked into that shop the first time and you just thought i would give you a story i said to myself, scratch has met her match. i was scratch and she was the match. >> you call yourself a unicorn. in this globetrotting world he stayed in roanoke for deck eggs. how has your staying staying power allowed you to read both of your books both of which require deep reporting? >> not a lot of books get written from rural america. i live in the city of valley of the quarter million and most
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reporters move on after few years. some of our best reporters at "the new york times" and they have been great stuff. i've decided to stay. i stayed at the roanoke times. i'm no longer there but you see i'm still writing stories. i'm able to write these stories because i have time on my site or improper care of said timing is true. maybe she didn't want to talk to me in 1991. she begrudgingly let me do a restaurant feature and then i started spending time there. sometimes i would say maybe she will let me do the story but it just became, these people in town that call my story can lead me to other people in the community. at the time in the early 90s newspapers across the country, diversity was a big push. newspapers were better staff then and i had a fantastic
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editor. she was as tough as nails and the paper was sending a lot of emphasis on having more black editors, more black reporters and doing stories that more at early reflect the diversity in our community. so if i was writing a general story about something and roanoke has a 23% black population if one of my sources was an african-american she was done at that. that was great training for a young journalist. i'm not sure papers have the resources to do that now. that was wonderful training and that's what led me to a neat but really what i did was i had been trained to work outside of my zip code and getting stories that nobody else had the entrée into because i had spent time
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with immigrants, refugees and caregivers for the elderly and i have really made that might be. one of my favorite in the book come he passed away recently but it's al holland. he was an assistant is relative. he was a civil rights leader and roanoke and he would with an 11-year-old boy in 1927 when. muse got hurt -- in his job after school was he would help a blind man cell on the city market. he had this wonderful insider view to the story. he was there when they came home that night so he is 98 when i interviewed him for this book. i knew him because i had done numerous articles on him before. i just think because i had made those connections in the community i was able to get people. it was really the time and the fact that i'm still there, these are my people.
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i know them and they trust me. >> maybe if she had said yes go ahead 25 years ago you would have been ready to write this book like joanne poindexter. >> joanne was a newspaper's first black reporters of the neighborhood in roanoke the microvillage only the very old people still refer to it as jordan's alley. joanne was able to, she doesn't live in the neighborhood anymore but she goes to church there and she was able to put me in touch with 80 and 90 and 100-year-old people who could help me bring back neighbor to life. one of the questions is the story is what happened, also were they better in the circus than it would have been a home which begs the question how was life of jim crow in roanoke
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virginia and what was that like? i was able to drive around with these older people. i didn't always drive around but i did my best stuff when i drove around. it reminds the ones your kids are teenagers and they don't want to talk to you. because people not only what they were saying with jobs and memory that they were more comfortable with the book facing forward. it was a technique i used. it's nothing special but i would drive different people around the same places and searching here some the same stories. the next time i could say so-and-so said this and then the news would come out. c you also say that kitchens are great place to do interviews. >> you all know kitchens. that's where their buddy lance at a party.
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everybody is in the kitchen even though the host doesn't want you there because people are just more comfortable in the kitchen. i always ask if we can do the interview in the kitchen. they usually have some questions written out and my recorder and it's easier and i take notes because i don't trust the recorder. it's easier if i have missed up on the table. i want people to be in her kitchen because that's where they live. >> i staying in one place you haven't limited yourself in terms of material because a few blocks away from this another person wrote another bestseller. >> henrietta lacks was about a block away in jordan valley a block away so just remarkable.
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i think probably every place had these remarkable stories that these two stories came from one tiny place. and they are very different stories. very similar but different. >> the facts in the story that you wrote are so few and far between that photographic evidence of the research played an important role. at what point of the you realize this would be so vital? >> actually there was a circus historian i was intervening flynn and he reminded me the circus managers would often change their names. the brothers were called darwin's missing link, the ambassadors from mars, the headed men, the ecuadorian savages. they were never called -- protected type in eco-and aye but that wouldn't necessarily bring up those other names. so i had to be cognizant of that
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and also the photographs themselves became the great reporting tool. the news clippings were so skewed. they never recorded and the stories about the reunion they never reported what the families point of again they went to the trouble of recording the dialect but it was clear from the wrong person that they didn't actually talk to her. the photograph i find his and controvert up all evidence so this earliest photograph of them as child exhibits and when i saw it to me they looked like scared young brothers had been taken from their mother. they were told she was dead and they should quit crying. i studied it and then somebody said there is a person in charleston named joshua bonn professor who studies historical
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costuming. i e-mailed him the picture and it up. he saw so much more in the picture that my eyes could see. he said the seams were stretching. he said these suits are two sizes too small. they are nice suits so there were some -- his tie is askew and the suits are too short. during this time, so you've got that evidence and you can really try to figure what's going on the picture and then you have family stories of willing telling everyone when he was little georgie would look after him and there was a popular song in 1914 called it's a long way to tipperary. you can sort of player the facts with interviews and stories and memories, pictures and the
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documentation as it exists in this very racialized lens. that's what i tried to do, to bring it into its fullness. the pictures were just great. i found this picture from around 1917. there was lg barnes circus by then. mr. barnes writes his memoir and the 1930s in which he brags about buying them and making them a paying proposition so that's more proof. he was proud of it because why wouldn't he be? everybody thought african-americans were subhuman and they were getting something over on them. so this picture i showed to nancy when i found it and it's the first picture of them with instruments. we were driving around at that picture prompted a memory. sure he remembers willy -- it was supposed to be if photo
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prop. they would have pictures of their act and then they would sell them and keep the money. they were called pitch cards. that was supposed to be a photo prop. they thought cert we they can play instruments. turns out they were kind of geniuses. they could hear a song and play it once by many accounts including willie at the end of his life. we have a recording that unfortunately i can't share. we have a recording of him and a 105-year-old singing its along with to tipperary. it's a picture in the book of him playing his guitar and the front porch is totally worn down. he was a wonderful musician and when nancy saw that photo she was able to add that layer. it first became a joke but the joke was on them because they were wonderful musicians. here is the only known picture of them with one of their captors out to barnes in 1922. once their mother got them back and was able through a very poor
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track if legal battle to get them paid, you can see in the pictures that they have more agents in their lives. they're happier. this is a casual backyard picture. they had friends and they played music. i interviewed interview people who remember them playing music and the music gave them this agency and this power. any skill that we have, like writing makes me feel good when it's working. music made them feel good and it gave them something to do and it gave them self power. >> can you describe what their life was like in the circus before their mother got them in after unexplained how many years with by.
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>> i'm sure at least 13 years went by. could it then, the documentation is scant on that but he said willie always told nancy the day were guarded closely in the beginning. there was a bit of stockholm said i'm going on. they were illiterate and never let to go to school. later in life she taught him how to write his name even though it's totally blinded that was a big moment for him. the sideshow managers and their main manager was the only person who ever said anything bad about him in a really hated him. even at age 107 he remembered some vile things about him. once she got them back, and they knew they could come home after that, even though they try to take advantage of them and not pay them when they could get away with it they became happier
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and as i say that was really the only world they knew. >> they travel the world and they became famous. c in the headlines of "the new york times." they performed before royalty in england. whenever the doorbell would ring when he was an old man at the house in roanoke which was able to be bought and paid for by the time they retired, that's what she did by getting that legal settlement. whenever the doorbell would ring he would go housekeeping which he had learned at a hotel in london and i just love that. >> one of the real heroes of this book is willie and georges mother. can you describe for persistence and bravery and how she became what you and others have called a bad if in the quest to get her boys backpay a. >> in roanoke virginia a very harsh place to be an
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african-american. there was a city code that said we could live and segregation was just so ingrained in everything. and so at the circus they were told they had to sit in the back under the big top. there was a carnival they would make one day out of the seven-day stretch the david african-americans could come but the circus typically only came for one day. in 1927 thing was october 14 she told relatives in the dream that her sons were with the circus and this is the story that the families passed down over generations. ..
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>> this. >> and they cannot seem very well and they see her come
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up in this scene that the family has paced -- passed down that he elbows or i'm sorry george elbow's lillian says there is our dear old mother she is not dead. so the eight police officers come the one to take of brothers to the next doc the mother with them to come home there hircine he says they're my children and he had paperwork with his last name. somehow she talked the police into letting her bring them home. not only that a couple couple-- later she hired a young ambitious lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the british show on earth and
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spend again she kept at it. >> because a lever they could do would not pay them redwood's which then to another show and then another and profit the many and sheep found another lawyer through clever arrangement declared incompetent so then if the checks would lead bounce they would go find them and his bail bondsman would track them down to get the circus to pay. >> then figuring out how they did that was another mystery. >> she was illiterate with no internet spy guess they were written about in the headlines of the new york times which she did not know where they were. we would not have known either we don't get "the new
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york times". >> it is amazing she intercepted with them. >> so this story have giorgio willie is mostly an untold because of their race and social status and disabilities and help us to understand the widespread process not even bothered to interview the family head any point. >> i interviewed one of the oldest living up reporters to was working there who remembered then they would have to write colored after their name. so badly me feedback on what that was like the road down
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some of these quotations the way the media entreated the reunion and from the day after she found her son that was told the newspapers all love while humming happy songs never quoted the family also reported they were not overdeveloped and mental capacity which i repeated over and over again a new yorker piece profile them the following year there i is did not quite focus like monkeys and kangaroos. >> put their eyes did not focus because of albinism for canada's and talk about
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jim crow or poverty because it was widely believed blacks were considered subhuman. and 1928 season opener the headline was their happy. the times did not mention the loss in the servitude just that they were back unhappy because they had the permission of the parents finally. this almost surreal thinking that was the predominant way and it is heartbreaking and shocking but that is what they live in and the challenges they face some make you think it is a book about the circus, but it is so much about race. here you were, this reporter from the roanoke times how
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did you get people to trust you had no reason? in but with the stories that they told you? >> one of the stories begins with the first black reporter who is now retired in her 60s and called felt the older ladies and heard churchill had grown up and asked if i interviewed them berger she is helping my career when i wrote to the pregnant and proud story that got me in so much taller water, after that i had a hard time jeff american people to trust me did not mean to make those girls the subject of ridicule i honestly did not but that is what happened. she would actually go out to interviews, there was a
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church that was starting it was a crack house and was trying to get the neighbors to open up because i wanted to get that story. so she sat on the porch of every neighbor and she would vouch for me. she did the same thing years later with this. they have seen the work since then where it wasn't just ahead drive by anecdote and i was really digging into spend time with people. so just my time just to make a complaint about the difficulties and she gave you a valuable piece of a feisty safe really wrote the history who left detailed records really get to know
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about the privileged people you have to piece together your evidence of conjecture. how did her words inspire you quite. >> was beating myself but because there were so many holes in it bought -- and i thought the way she'd put it that they gave me permission maybe my story was not perfect but there was a reason. so if i could write about that to put that into a deeper context i also complained once to the younger relative that it was really hard to get some bum month negative some basic facts they are numerous different years in that document but i was just
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complaining to a young girl relative so nancy sent back the message if she thinks this was hard to write she should think about how hard how hard it was to live she better pick her ass up. >> so you pick your asset. >> i tried. [laughter] >> soto about the life after ? >> so about that secondary lawsuit the checks were sent home most of the money was funneled into a retirement account. and the family and her mother and metall all lived
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in a house together to take astonishingly good care. they protected them the barber would come to their house and later in his late nineties he was on no medication they thought it was a doll obstruction to watch m over night and then nurse put on a heating pad it was turned on way too high so the next morning he had life-threatening burns that took two years to heal. so the family calls her the award in so to find a scrappy formidable player
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and she sued the hospital which was the largest employer and one the allowing her to work and still have full-time care so some of the best people of the sources were the nurses who would come to the house to attend to his wound and take care of them. so you can see how the story progresses from in the beginning there is a cautionary tale. stayed together you could be kidnapped. by the end of their life there are elders in the community like willie giving his nurse grated vice be better than the person who is mistreating you.
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>> you describe them to be so gracious even after all he had been through quite. >> it was on his tombstone. this season he had a magical quality quick. >> initially i had a little bit of trouble convincing my editor could find enough ax to make the book so i was calling yancey she was giving me permission that was insured by could get in that book by finally i did more research and an addendum to my proposal however find out the information when i finally called her that i sold the book she said i told you just remember they always
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come out on top in the end. said she believes uncle willy is responsible in the book will do really well because he is looking health for me and i love that. she is right. [laughter] >> your books are about connecting with people and the past and a the president and this is your vice for young reporters get away from your damn smart phone and computer and back to the basic papers and scissors and be the glue. connecting stranger to stranger. can you elaborate, meeting
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people with their stories. the best parts of the book i think are the of greedy micro aggression that men and women live with the like of little girls are walking to school and they're to parents on the side porch and they are trained to squawk racial epithets in because of these memories with rent collectors to excepted sacks as partial payment would never have these stories have not spent the time and with people and opened up two stories. >> also if you could comment because they're known we in the soul can you talk about
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that? >> it turns out a friend of mine was so lawyer:just so happen with all lawsuit i took camera out to lunch hour is having trouble getting that final documents . they were misfiled the circuit court clerk had to help me. he was giving me it vice and he said what would you like? he gave me detail but another lawyer who deposed them said it was mid december with that better handle on his christmas shopping and he did. and he was blinding cannot get out of the house but he had arranged to give her the present and how much money and what she was getting.
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the doctors, nurses, he just had a way about him. wonders remembers walking upstairs and he heard her footsteps he said u.s. there? she said it is the nurse and he said does the nurse have a name? >> how was in making the leap from writing the articles to the book? >> a good friend of mine had written the first book and gave me the device that sounds simple but aikido competency to say it is just like one very very, very long feature articles with is all the same techniques techniques, tools, trust building, documents, talking to experts, showing a
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picture to somebody is all the same skills but over time both cover 100 years and this cannot be totally apart from this part with factory man, my editor said the first time he read it data reads like to books the first part is southern virginia and the second part reads like china. so his suggestion was to build on always going on in china early in the book at the same time so always seem to move seamlessly had that in my mind when i was writing "truevine" so i have the boring office supply but stuff that is plastered all over the wall you can move it with dry erasers so i
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would keep up what i wanted to get back to. c were still writing, would plot out a chapter then this section and want each chapter like a stand-alone and in journalism recall a kicker which is the end or a chapter to have the kicker and then feed on what the next chapter would be. so people turned up page. >> it is such an intricate story of the past and the president how did you figure out that structure quick said like the way that you start with the basic story and then you try to get the story. >> and basically it is chronological laughter that except the digression were i
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cannot find where it adds another layer of context and newspapers release weren't allowed to tell the story. i always went along with it but i feel like it is almost more honest when we peek behind the curtain showing how we got the information but with factory man some of the past details is the constant calling me on the phone he is relentless trying to control the story. one day 8:00 in the morning he has already called me three times i was downstairs by the time i got up at 814 he said i guess you are sleeping in today. can you imagines that not being in the book?
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that shows his relentlessness i would have lost some of the best of from the cutting room floor. >> do we have any audience questions? please come up to the i microphone. i have enjoyed your presentation so much. is said the vote said down and shut up this i should say i don't give up and as we are with you as you write the book so house did you celebrate when you it would publish or that it would become a book quick. >> i called nancy in had a celebration with her. my husband and i celebrated because now zero have been in come the next couple years. [laughter]
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the book comes out tuesday we will have a book launch party and in in the and her family are coming in all those old babies if they drove around i hope they are coming 100 tyrol from the "truevine" who kept sharecropping alive for me in the book i said during the said she would come and get you because it is one hour away he set a five-year light coming i will drive myself so i think it will be fun and exciting in that will be the moment nobody celebrated them when they came home and i feel or i hope it is a special thing for the family like a homecoming.
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>> this is such a an important story i am so glad you never gave up to try to write it. but if you're african-american would it have been easier for you to get the information? or what is your perspective from that? >> i don't know. because i am not. it took me a long time to understand her mistrust of immediate and myself. issue would have levied interview per bar really not until i looked at the way the family was treated did a really understand this tough layer that she has.
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and because i was there she has read every single when article i have ever written for the last 25 years into a litmus stories and she would talk about whatever i had written in the paper and we would have a discussion about it didn't she became one of the people that would then help me find other stories. i did a 10 part story for caregiving of the elderly in 2008 and all of the people we profiled for -- where people i got from nancy. i just think it is really important and to write all of the community. >> is a joy there are days when i drive around i cannot
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believe i get paid to do this in the second graduate degree would ever you are interested in. that is why i love what i do >> thanks for the wonderful conversation. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> ha could he keep the 20 boxes of material? >> when he left a the white house when he needed to get out 1973 before everything was the unraveling of the watergate story, he pulled his car and his wife and they loaded the 20 boxes right there from the executive office building next to the white house. again the lesson is that you don't know where you can get away with the less you try. >> what did you find in the 20 boxes? >> again, butterfield told me stories that i was not sure precisely were accurate but then never be a document
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describing. one of the ones that surprised me was that a top-secret memo from early 1972 that kissinger had sent to nixon about a routine update of the vietnam war and nixon wrote in his handwriting, because he said the bombing in southeast asia, vietnam has gone 10 years we have achieved zilch . it is a failure. of course, he was touting the bombing was very successful but it turns out when he made this declaration but since they have shown he was right it was achieving nothing except energizing the north vietnamese so what did nixon duplex it is the year
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preelection 1972 seoul polling shows that he was taw -- tough so was said of stopping the bombing or the killings he intensified them and so 1972 ordered the dropping of 1.1 million tons of bombs. >> added butterfield get to the white house quick. >> it was an accident he knew the top aide chief of staff from u.c.l.a. he was an air force colonel and asked to interview aldermen and he realized years someone out of airforce central casting perfect to bring in as his deputy. he did that with nixon's
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approval but he did not meet butterfield until the first weeks of the presidency then the scene is described as a shows nixon literally could not talk all he could do was mumble. >> thanks for being with us. that is a great book for political junkies


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