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tv   Susan Quinn Discusses Eleanor and Hick  CSPAN  November 25, 2016 10:00am-11:01am EST

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to live the same life a generation from now. obviously, giving such a speech would have doomed anyone's presidential candidacy. his party probably would've been out of power for years. no one in america would've voted for such a vision, and yet just like the optimistic first part, the second part a fictional presidential speech would also turn out to be true. it became true enough not because of a historical accident because our economic system is intentionally rigged in favor of large corporations over everyone else. trickle down economics was woven into our consciousness as if it were written into the founding documents of our country. 20000 years of struggle and progress had been reversed over the course of the past 40 years. as a foreign power had announced that was its plan for america, we would have gone to war. >> you can watch this and other programs online
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[inaudible conversation] >> good evening everyone. can everyone hear me at the very back? >> i will talk more loudly for the moment. then we will fix that. thank you very much for your participation. good evening and thank you all for joining us. i am alex and i'm one of the book sellers here at the store and i'm very happy to see all of you for our talk tonight. the book has a vibrant and busy schedule year-round and we depend on your enthusiasm to keep our store and those events
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going. if you would like to know more about them and what else we are up to, feel free to take an events calendar. we have them next to the register where you will also find susan's book. you also join our weekly email list will look us up on facebook or online which keeps getting reinvented and is very suave. tonight, we welcome susan quinn and her new book eleanor and hicks. although susan has, for a long time, i'm told 45 years, made boston and brookline her home she was raised in ohio. thank you fellow midwesterner. i always appreciate meeting you out here. a graduate of overland college, she soon began to write her periodicals on a daily newspaper and then her publications including mid magazines, the new york times magazine, the atlantic monthly, cambridge, the real paper and boston magazine. her investigative reporting on the transport of dangerous
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through boston and the underbelly of home inspections were award-winning. she has written books about the lives of marie curry and psychoanalyst as well as the federal theatre project in the book human trials which is about the process. sometimes harrowing of modern drug development. she tells a story of a reporter, much like our author and first lady eleanor roosevelt. whose intimate relationship and possible romance have made them quiet clear icons of history for decades. tonight we will begin to delve into the possibilities and facts of their thirty-year story guided by someone who's record is called relentlessly captivating. they do not like giving out compliments, clearly they had this one derived from them by a book they could not put down. we are so lucky to have her as our guide tonight, please join
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me in welcoming susan quinn. [applause] >> thank you. thank you all. i am really pleased to be talking at brookline books map. it's been such such an important place in my life and i feel out of sorts or between task, i just walk into the book smith and look at the staff recommendations in the new books and it gets me charged up. when book smith outsold and outlasted the chain bookstore down the street, it felt to me like a personal triumph. tonight i am going to talk about what went into the writing of eleanor and hick. every book has its ups and downs, but this one had more than most, i would say. 2008, eight years ago, i published a book called serious improvisation.
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it was about the federal theater project during the roosevelt administration. i loved writing about that and thought i would like to continue my first idea was to write a book about harry hopkins who is probably the second most important person in the new deal under roosevelt, both with wpa projects. just an enormously important figure. i wrote a lengthy proposal which i sent to publishers, i spent a year year on it, it's very nicely packaged and photographed. it was well-written and both my agents thought it was a sure thing. now, i need to take a moment to to introduce you to two important characters in the story. one of them is my agent. jill is much more than an agent. chill has been a friend, i'll just read you what i say here.
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i think it's here. but see if i can find it in the acknowledgments. well, i don't need to read it. i'll just tell you. she's been a friend, critic, a support and she's so very important to me and this writing process. we both thought it was a sure thing. the other person i need to introduce is my husband dan. he is right there and he's probably the reason you are all here because he really pushed me to send out the saved save the date. he is my biggest cheerleader and critic. also, there are a whole lot lot of friends here who are listed in the back of the book. many of them have heard parts of this story. okay so march 2011, the proposal goes out, we couldn't sell it. they wrote back very flattering rejections and they were right.
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it was too big. it was too unfocused. it wasn't mine in some important way. it was like, when they talk about tennis player and they say they're pushing it over the net, that's what it was like. it was pushing it over the net. i wasn't actually engaged. so i got very depressed for quite a while and i thought my writing life was over and i couldn't think of anything else to write about, i didn't get ever find another subject, and then come i'm not sure how it came together but i realized there was a story connected to hopkins which was both compact and more compelling. it had to do with a woman named llerena hickok who had had a relationship with eleanor roosevelt. i knew a little bit about of the background. i knew there were letters and there is even a book in 1980 about this by a woman named doris. it turns out, that they exchanged over 3000 letters and
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most of them were given to the library when she died in 1968. llerena who was hick to everybody stipulated that the letters could be open ten years after her death. by chance, she was the one who first abba letters. she had written a lot of children's books about presidents and presidents wives. she was horrified. she had even tried to get the library to lock the letters up again. when they wouldn't, she she decided to write a book about their relationship. this is the passionate part of the story. when it came out, it lamented that turning those letters over to doris saber was a crime akin to turning over. [inaudible] to mid- evil theological christians. [laughter]
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>> so, i realized right away that this was an opportunity to revisit a story. here's where writing about what you can connect to came into it. so all my books with one exception, the book about research had been about strong remarkable women. karen was the first, cycle analyst who took issue with freud's ideas about sexuality, and even the theater books focused on one strong woman who was the head of a federal theater project. so, there was was another reason that i connected to this. even though the love relationship had been floating around in the atmosphere, times had changed and this was a story that could be embraced, even celebrated about two women who loved and empowered each other. it helped that i have a daughter
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anna who is queer. i say gay, she says queer. i noticed that alex had queer. she actually prefers it. okay. anyway, because of anna, i have a more accepting and tender feeling about the subject of love between women. so there was. i knew it from the moment it came to me. i can even remember where i was when i can realize that. i set out to write another proposal, 55 page thing which took several months produces one of jill's ideas. these ambitious proposals really help you to solidify your ideas and it's true. they also help you sell the book. okay so in april 12, it went out to about 20 publishers. the response was not all positive. an editor at large at one house said it feels like a slice of the elinor market. unclear how big, not sure we can
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garner significant attention beyond the lovely reveals it will no doubt received. filling me with kindness. another one set i have a son-in-law writing a biography of eleanor so my heart wouldn't be in it. now that's an honest response. then there were positive ones. one said, it's an amazing thing to read a strong proposal and know without any doubt how much more exceptional the book itself will be. july 2012, i was in contact with penguin press after a bidding war. two 1/2 years half years later the book wasn't done. i was really pleased with it. i had a date for lunch with jill on december 8, 2014 and i looked at my calendar and it said lunch, eastern standard, three!
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obviously i was expecting a triumphant lunch, but the lunch didn't turn out the way i had expected it would. i thought it was done. according to jill, i wasn't. she thought the writing was stiff and distancing. there were too many quotes but every time i see quotation marks i feel like you're pushing me away from the story. she said what's with calling her er. she said it feels cold to me. it's to inhibitive. she said it's nothing like the proposal. it's not nearly as good as the proposal. that really hurt. so i was really devastated. it happened to be a snowstorm that day so i walked home in the snow and the snow was coming down and the tears were coming down at the same time. i was upset. i thought she was wrong.
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i felt unappreciated and annoyed and angry and all those things. still, by by the time i got home i was beginning to see what she meant. the er thing, particularly. i realized why was i using er. i was using it because i had reverence for this woman. too much reverence. i was talking about hick on the one hand and er on the other hand that i couldn't talk about a relationship of two equals as long as she was er. she had to be eleanor. nobody, during her lifetime call tour eleanor. even hick didn't call her eleanor. they called her mrs. are. her husband called her babs. nobody called her eleanor. but, for what. i had to take charge of this. it had to be my story and she had to be eleanor. as soon as i figure that out to my things began to come together so there are months and months of rewriting, i was determined
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to finish it before we went on vacation in spain in the spring of 14, but i wasn't finished and my husband, my other most important reader was still reading it and suggesting ways to make it better, which was also annoying. [laughter] and meanwhile, the editor who bought the book left. this always happens to me and happens to a lot of other riders. it's called being orphaned. it's not good. especially since it often means that the book gets turned over to a young editor who is invariably described as brilliant, but usually is not. [laughter] while we were in spain, i became convinced that the book was in trouble and that it wasn't going to get published at all. finally i made a desperate call to my agent and she put me in touch with the editor-in-chief and i remember she called me at midnight spanish time.
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she was still in the office. i was in tears. i said what's happening with the book. i think she was quite taken aback. she had no idea. she said well, there's no reason to be concerned. she was very calm she said were planning to publish in september 2016 and take advantage of the hillary clinton run for president. she had complete confidence in my book and in hillary's nomination. so i calmed down. in the end, it is what happened. and, a new young editor named emily cunningham took over at penguin. her parents were actually here tonight. bravo. you did well. she actually was brilliant. she insisted on more rewriting but she was invariably right and what she suggested.
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sometimes it would be needing to explain something more clearly, sometimes it would be addressing an uncomfortable truth about one of my two true heroines, facing up to things that were cringe making, and she did the best job anyone has ever done. that is my happy ending. now i will read a short passage from the book. i have to give you a little bit of background before i do this. so, just briefly, 1932 arena hickok, hick was assigned to cover eleanor roosevelt. this was during fdr's first run for the presidency. she did cover her all through the campaign and a little bit "after words", but then, the relationship began to shift. eleanor started confiding in her and trusting her more and more
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and she started falling in love with eleanor and vice versa, eleanor with her. by the time fdr was and are graded, it was very clear that hick knew so much about roosevelt and was so in love with eleanor that she couldn't continue as an ap reporter. she was one of the few women at the very top of the ladder in the ap, it was really a male world and she had climbed her way to to to the top and succeeded. so, this was very poignant, but she was under pressure from her bosses. they were pressuring her more and more about roosevelt secrets, and the roosevelt had a lot of secrets. she felt more more oil. on the night before the inauguration she was with eleanor and fdr was in the next room with his son polishing up his speech to which he said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. he passes on to eleanor who read it aloud to hick and hick
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realized at that moment that all she would have to do is go out to a phone, dropping a nickel and give a few key phrases and it would be the scoop of her life, but she didn't do it. and instead she stayed with eleanor and slept in that hotel room with eleanor that night. after that, he become increasingly clear she couldn't do that job anymore. she went to work with eleanor's help for the wpa. she went out on the road and reported on conditions in the field and wrote terrific reports and also long letters to eleanor about what was going on. all that made its way back to fdr and he often told stories and people would wonder where he got the details. the details came from hicks reporting. okay so 1933, hick and eleanor went off on a vacation together in the summer in eleanor's buick
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and they managed to not be noticed much and had a lovely time. they were counting on doing the same in the summer in california. they were going to meet up there and go on this private tour together. so, that's all you need to know except that hick, by this time, she had a car that elinor helped her get, a used chevy called the blue acts. but it got totaled. it was a very serious accident and fortunately hick wasn't injured but the car was totaled. it rolled over. now she another car, a cheaper lemon which figures in the story, as you will note here. chapter nine. getting away with it. hick and eleanor had been exchanging letters for months about their west coast trip.
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quiet secluded beautiful places, but when hick walked into the lobby of the hotel at sacramento where they were to me, she encountered a swarm of reporters and photographers clamoring for a story about eleanor. thanks in part to hick, eleanor was now the darling of the press celebrated for her astounding energy and ability to turn up here and there and everywhere. time alone together was going to be hard to come by. but hick had a plan. the next day, she picked eleanor up at the sacramento airport and brought her quickly through the reporters in the hotel lobby, explaining that the first lady needed to freshen up before any interviews. as a former reporter she understood their situation. they agreed, for the moment. unbeknownst to reporters, hick had arranged for a state trooper to drive her newly up wired small convertible to the rear entrance of the hotel and wait
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for the two of them to emerge. they took the front elevator up, then another elevator down to the rear entrance. with their bags and the rumble seat, they jumped in and started up with the trooper at the wheel the secret service, which eleanor usually treated as the enemy had helped out by changing her plates for california ones. it was no use. they hadn't even gotten out of the city before they discovered they were being followed. the state trooper was game and stepped on the gas pedal. another trooper swung around in front of the car and put on his flashing red lights. hick was worried. her little plymouth and inexpensive replacement hadn't been broken and yet in the trooper was taking it up to higher and higher speeds. it was eleanor who finally called a halt to the chase. it's no use, let's stop. she thanked the trooper and sent him on his way. we will have to find some other
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way out of this business. the reporters who crowded around the two women had one main question, where were they going. eleanor refused to answer. this is my vacation i told them and i expect to be treated as any other tourist would be treated. she pulled her knitting from the back seat and announced that she would sit there all day before she told them where she was going. finally they all agreed to retreat to a nearby roadside restaurant where the reporters got a story of sorts. mrs. franklin roosevelt said one account was trying to lose herself and get away from being the president's wife. they were actually going to cle who is hick's former's former lover, a woman she lived with very happily for eight years back in minnesota but ellie hadn't fulfilled her childhood dream so she left hick. they remained friends. they went to see her.
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something i can marriage, lifelong partnership might have been possible with someone like ellie. hick's relationship relationship with eleanor could never be that even if eleanor had dared to leave fdr and admit she was with a woman, she would not able or willing to devote herself to just one other person. she was always going to be tied not only to a husband but to a bond of duty and a friendship with many others. this was a painful realization that had grown on hick in the years since she had met and fallen in love with her. it made this time alone together especially precious. eleanor had insisted they would do a lot of resting and reading on their vacation. she also mentioned, in passing, her idea of taking a little camping trip in the mountains. while hick discovered that there was an elaborate plan to explore yosemite on horseback, writing up to a lakeside camp in the high sierra's, 11000 feet above
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sea level, how could you do this to me hick protested. >> oh, will manage she replied casually. she had no riding experience nor was she in any shape for such a trip pitch is not too much and she had gained weight during the month on the road. lady, i get hungry. eleanor surely believed she was doing her a favor with her plan patch you worried about her smoking and eating and suggested she cut pick up on knitting to cut down on smoking. eleanor's roosevelt roosevelt once threw her into the water to teacher to swim. he advocated the strenuous life. a vigorous ride up the mountain would no doubt do her good.
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as long as they could be together, without the prying eyes of press and public, she was content. even when the mayor decided to take a swim and dumped her in the creek, she is only embarrassed and amused. what infuriated her where the tourist who suddenly recognized eleanor when they came across some chipmunks. they had just started to feed the animals when they noticed that people had surrounded them and were pointing their camera at their rear ends. hick exploded, employing some choice profanity. the two women left in a hurry with eleanor trying to shush her. the rest of the vacation followed the same pattern. there were happy times in san francisco, delicious evening at her favorite restaurant followed by cable car rides to the top of russian hills where she had lived with ellie. the required talk in the midnight, but the piece of that
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moment was followed by the shock of their return to a hotel lobby crowded with reporters and flashing cameras. over and over again their private moments were interrupted on the final night together at a hotel restaurant in oregon, with a spectacular view of the snowcapped mountains, they managed to find yet another crowded lap lobby packed with curious people, including the mayor. eleanor silently handed hick the keys. she knew by now that hick was likely to behave badly under such circumstances. hick went up to their room, leaving eleanor to deal with the crowd. eleanor arrived a half hour later. she slammed the door behind her. they were right. they'd say i'd never get away with that, and i can't. from now now on i shall travel i've i'm supposed to travel as the president's wife and try to
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do what is expected of me. when they got back to portland where eleanor was scheduled to meet fdr's ship returning from hawaii, the sitting room was filled with flowers and sent by the first lady's admirers. more flowers than either of them had ever seen in one place. to hicks, the flowers represented the future, the intimate life she and eleanor had hoped for was simply impossible. all you need, she declared, looking around the extravagant display, is a corpse. all as she prepared to resume her official role, eleanor told that she should have a right to privacy when on vacation. then she offered a piece of ironic advice about catching the
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gangster john dillinger was who was currently on the lam. if i had charge of the dillinger case, she told the reporter, i would call off the police and send reporters after him. they would find him. [laughter] [applause] i especially appreciated that eleanor made a joke. to now a little bit of talk and questions. yes. >> did eleanor have a previous history of same-sex relationship? >> no, but she was surrounded by lesbian couples who were her closest friends. she was involved in a lot of relationship with women who loved women.
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it's so interesting that so many of the women who are involved in democratic politics were activists, starting with suffrage and after, they were in these life commitments with other women. it was all around her. the thing that probably shaped her life was that she was sent to a school and the woman who ran it. had a partner and there was a kind of atmosphere there were girls loving girls was possible. there's a play about that. it's very interesting. there's all this, there are things around. in some ways, because she married at 18 and she had to marry within her class, it was a narrow thing for her, this was freeing.
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>> i've had one question the relationship is similar to my fair lady, the ironic thing is that eleanor roosevelt was the one who was developed and hickok would've came apart, it was the one who influenced her and helped to mold her and eleanor who was certainly more wealthy. :
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they realized before too long that this could be a column, he began six days a week for the rest of her life. that was what introduce her to the wider world and made her by the end of her life the first lady of the world. do we need to fix that? i don't know -- that's all right? okay. so definitely hick held her with writing. she was not a very good writer. she never became a great writer,
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eleanor, i have to say. but hick helped her a lot to become less preachy and talk about her personal life much more than she had in the beginning. >> the rest of the discoveries. i'm wondering if there's a favorite discovery or a moment that she would like to tell us about, something that just really -- >> the joke i read at the end of that reading? that was something i discovered online going through papers. >> repeat the question. >> the question was discovery. i'm probably not going to be able to come up with a specific one now. i counted how many times i traveled to the fdr library. 22 times. each time i stayed for probably a week.
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i read all of the 3000 plus letters. it's a totality of understandi understanding, the depth and breath of the relationship from doing that. maybe you remember something. >> i gather some of the letters cut out or concealed? they didn't all survive, is that right? >> hick through some into the fire. she did say at one point, your mother was way too explicit at times. so she did throw some out. doris accused hick of really wanting to have a posthumous fame from reviewing these letters. i think hick understood these letters were a treasure. i'm glad she didn't throw them all out.
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>> so when you do this research on these two women, what was the relationship between fdr and eleanor? >> what was the relationship between fdr and eleanor. very complicated relationship. as you know she discovered that he was having an affair with her secretary. that was pretty wounding in 1918, lucy mercer. and after that the relationship was a partnership but the romance was gone. she set about creating this separate life which is one reason it was so hard for her to leave new york and become a first lady. fdr had a number of flirtations. they may have been sexual
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relationships, flirtations with women and the like to implement around them who adored him, laughed at his jokes, and shared his cocktail hour, what he called the children's hour. eleanor was just no another person's we always had someone else. missy was the primary one and doesn't interesting new book by the way. i think he really accepted hick and all of eleanor's relationship because it got them off the hook. they lived separate parallel lives. he liked some of eleanor's gay friends a lot. and he helped them to build out and they called their love nest. so you have to just sort of make some leaps about how much they need because they didn't talk
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about this, certainly not publicly. >> in the greater united states, how did that go? >> you mean did people know? they pretty much loved hick and she manage, because of the album and press coverage is which were idea, a lot of women got jobs. they protected? >> guest: . sometimes she was described as a news hawk or managed. there were those descriptions are for with the subtext but that was as far as it went in the wider world. i would say. >> roosevelt's for children and eleanor was another. i'm just wondering if you delve into how that related to our relationship with hick, having
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the children of the children related to that. >> keep forgetting. yes, eleanor was a mother, five children. and how does that relate to relationship with hick? hick had no children, no pedigree, a woman alone but she became eleanor's main confidant in terms of these children. the children were pretty much a heartache. the oldest daughter anna was the which is closer to and manage the best but among the five children there were 17 divorces over their lifetimes. this was starting to happen when they were in the white house. anna was, one of the first sequence that hick knew was that anna was having an affair underside with a journalist, which she wound up marrying that person. another son had just married,
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had a newborn and left within months. the mother and the baby stayed at the white house. everybody stayed at the white house, including hick who lived there, add room there for almost the entire 14 years of the roosevelt presidency. patricia? >> on children, could you say something about franklin's mother? >> one of my theories -- sorry, say something about franklin's mother. so one of my observations is that eleanor spent her life being involved in trying to. i think even in her family origin, you know, she adored the father who was absent, and after the mother died she even wrote i
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wasn't sure if i was to be the mother and he the father of a little brother. so she was confused about that and had wished to be her father's -- but then when she married franklin she was also part of a triangle very much because franklin's first allegiance was to his mother and she wasn't is very powerful figure. that was one of the things that complicated the children. because she would even tell them i'm your real mother. very undermining of eleanor and eleanor wanted to set limits. whenever she did, sarah undermine them in one way or another. eleanor have a lot of rage towards her mother and that came out a lot in the letters to hick. hick wasn't a safe person and that was one of the most important things. she could talk about these things. yes, susie. >> could you talk more about your writing the book, where it
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slowed for you, where it got really difficult? your own sort of emotional journey through this. >> right. about the writing of the book and my emotional journey and wire it slowed and didn't. i'm not sure, not sure i have an answer to that. one thing as i said about what i took hold of material, when i decided that she wasn't eleanor, when i decided i didn't have to quote letters all the time, that i could paraphrase things, that was very, very important. i could make it my own. my opinions would move the narrative forward. that was the driving that's what i needed. i shouldn't be afraid of it. it was about not being afraid of eleanor, this person. one of the things that happens when writing a book about eleanor roosevelt is that half the world met eleanor roosevelt. people all the time, my mother,
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how many people have known someone who might eleanor roosevelt are better themselves? yeah. said it would be these things. i better. my mother better. she wasn't the greatest woman, the most wonderful woman. it's very hard to write a book about a paragon. it's impossible effect. and eleanor was magnificent but she had her flaws, and some of them actually wound up hurting hick in some ways. i had to love them both and i had to get rid of all that awe which was getting in the way. >> after fdr died did eleanor and hick lived together than?
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>> after fdr died did eleanor and hick lived together? no. what happened was by the time fdr died, the relationship was no longer passionate. the passionate part lasted i think about six years, five or six years. and then hick, through tremendous discipline, managed except that she wasn't going to be number one, which was her dream and she wasn't going to be able to go off with eleanor and have this private relationship. there which is all these people in eleanor's life. she was at that point sort of in love with a young man, a young radical and then there would be another person. to which is a whole lot of people, and hick was one among many, which she said. that was painful for but there was a point at which she realized if she was would have any relationship with eleanor she had to accept that.
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so she toned down somehow struggled with their needs, got it under control. so she was having outbursts all the time. so they remain to difference and they remained correspondence. she was not well. shed diabetes pictures of ourselves in a cottage for a long time but then she wasn't able really to support that. at one point eleanor heard she was not paying her rent and that actually maybe even able to read and eleanor said for her with one of her cars and had her come to hyde park. she lived with eleanor for little while and that she got her own little place. towards the end of her life she managed a small victory. she began writing children's books. she wrote one about helen keller that became a huge hit. by the time, i talked to her granddaughter recently who is given the right after she died, and that book about helen keller
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still brings in about $85,000 a year. that's an amazing thing. so she did that but she really wasn't, it wasn't such a happy ending for hick. then after eleanor died she lived on for another five and half years. she requested at the end of her life that she be cremated and that her ashes fertilized trees somewhere. actually the ashes stood on a shelf in the funeral home for 30 years and then were finally dumped in the unclaimed remains part of the cemetery. quite recently in 2000. the number of women including a married gay couple found out about this, decided to raise money for a pot and so there was an installation of a plaque in
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the cemetery rememberirememberi ng hick as a journalist, activist, friend of eleanor. thank goodness for that because i ended my book with applescript about that. yeah, that's -- yeah. >> two short questions. the granddaughter who wrote the helen keller book, it's not hick granddaughter? >> no, hick wrote the book but then hick die, she gave eleanor's granddaughter the royalties. the royalties. >> franklin is kind of absent from this story. can you see anything about -- >> franklin is kind of absent from this story. is one of the things i remarked on right from the beginning. the profiles of eleanor, and is about eleanor, descriptions and
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other franklin, their absence from each other stories. [inaudible] >> his relationship with hick speak with a lighter. he would use her stories and people would be impressed that he wouldn't necessarily give credit but he said at one point you better watch out, this is army on coming you better watch out for that hick woman. she's really smart. she was. i think he liked her and i think in some ways as i said before, that relationship got him off the hook. ross. >> a two-part question. at the time was either lady worried about being outed? and now is there any chance that, or are you expecting any
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blowback or denial of the nature of the relationship between these two women as the book comes out? >> yes. any blowback or denial about my talking about the lesbian relationship, and worthy of great at the time of being outed. i have very little evidence of how they felt about that or whether they worried about it. hick at one point said there's a book, a famous book called the well of loneliness which is a classic about love between women, and hick once said i wouldn't walk around in public with that under my arm. that's about as close as they get to how they felt about this. it wasn't talked about. to know, we debate quite a bit about whether to call it a love story and we talked about as we could've called it -- was the other thing?
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an intimate relationship. jill and i were very strong on love story. it is a love story. eleanor was a very inhibited person. i don't know how much she enjoys sex with franklin and i don't know how much she enjoyed with hick either. there was hugging, kissing, maybe there was more. hick was more experienced. but there's no doubt that their time together particularly in the early years was very blissful and their longing for each other with deep and genuine. it was a love story. nowadays, it's almost a 10 story. it doesn't seem like a big deal at all, which is widely celebrated and they can be kept in proportion. it can tell it like it is and not sensationalize it. there's no need to. or deny it.
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>> winston churchill often visited. did she have a relationship with churchill? >> eleanor our hick? eleanor, yes. winston churchill often visited the white house. they eleanor have a relationship with churchill? yet she did. she did not like a turtle at all. it's a very funny incident about this because hick in eleanor often celebrate christmas together but not on the day because hick couldn't stand to be in competition with everybody else so they would have their own private celebration. they were supposed to have it on christmas eve, and hick came to the house, to the white house to celebrate and eleanor seem very annoyed and she said hick, the whole celebration has been ruined because winston churchill has shown up. at which point of course hick thought it was hilarious, you know. she thought she disliked the way
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the two of them come fdr and churchill talked about war. she's said they were like two little boys playing at war with their maps and the pins and everything. she hated all that. she hated his whole pure list view of the world. they argued about that. they argued about the spanish civil war which see said, he said at one point those, that in the spanish civil war both of us would've had our heads handed to us by the republicans. so they thought about things i didn't really like each other much at all. >> did your opinion of eleanor changed over time as you are researching the book? >> yes, definitely.
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did your opinion of the eleanor change as, while you're writing the book. very much. they went through different phases. i had to kind of get past the heroin part of her and see her as a real person with all her works. but then towards the end especially after raglan dies in the last period of her life, it's so heroic, that i came to just admire her family as hick, did, too, sort of watching from the sidelines. >> i find it interesting how eleanor carved up his public role for the first lady almost on a day by day basis. and yet historically looking back on it, she was in this incredibly private relationship,
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fdr, there's upwards of three books about his affairs, you know, it just seems funny to me because the adoration of the presidency at the time in the white house is so huge that i think the impact of the country so big and yet these days the moral standards were holding politicians -- especially america once. i which is what if you had any thoughts on it. >> so many thoughts, i don't know where to begin. lucy is the person responsible for the subtitle. the question is -- what is the question? about the amount of attention that's been taken fdr and his affairs and the kind effect of this has been in the shadows it is that your point? well, no more.
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[laughter] >> how it would possibly translate to the modern-day, i would guess. >> can you imagine? i actually wrote an op-ed which now has published yet about what would happen if eleanor ran for office. this beloved person. if she ran for office for civil she would be attacked for her teeth, her hair, her clothes, and all of that idealism would be suspect because people would be saying is she really idealistically she ambitious? is she outrageously ambitious which i think is been said about hillary. i'm not sure what is going with that except to say that nowadays it would be very different. of course, the eleanor didn't want to run. she's about have to be chloroformed first. but now they are one of the cubs
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would like eleanor probably would run for office and then should have to deal with all the i feel terrible bias and unfair tax hillary has had to deal with. the other thing is but the men, both of the men being, screwing around. that would be all out in the open. >> some of our less admirable qualities, sort of ended up hurting hick. using some of her flaws or something, something, upper qualities spent she could be kind of oblivious. what are some of the goalies that hurt hick in the end? for instance, she really never, she never gave hick enough
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credit in her memoirs and so on. that might be also a concern about outing the relationship. it kind of got buried in her divorce got buried and eleanor wrote a lot of books. she was a writing machine. she turned out one more after another. there's a lot in them is untrue, or polished up for public consumption. hick is pretty invisible there. she could be hurtful in that way. [inaudible] >> hick was probably the only person eleanor love. she had a number of people she loved deeply loved her only. was not in some of the relationship. tended to go from relationship with the joe and this doctor later who are married to someone else and she was that the person. at the end of her life she lived with this couple, they bought a
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house together. she was on one floor and they're on the other. so the triangle pattern repeated itself over and over and over. hick was only one who loved her and wanted to have an exclusive relationship. eleanor was incapable of that. that is the deeper thing. she really was incapable of true intimacy of that kind. she had no really love their child. it's understandable. one more. i'll try to repeat it. >> i'm wondering as you read that excerpt, i found it very interesting that the reporters like paparazzi were running after her and looking more. i was just thinking about other first ladies in my lifetime. and i think maybe the only one
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who might've been followed around like that was jackie kennedy. why were they so interested in her taking this trip? did she have that kind of charisma at that -- >> i think she did. as i said before, it was hick doing. she created this phenomena. people got a big kick out of eleanor because she was common inexhaustible. so she was a star. you're right, like jackie kennedy but a very, very different kind of woman. i didn't repeat the question, did i? [laughter] [applause] thank you all. thanks for coming.
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>> a look at some office recently featured on tvs afterwards, our weekly program.
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there was a very generous -- areas of low income. that is what things like this happen. and if a young person a shot in one of those areas, ma it doesn't challenge your understanding of the way america challenges it. it's not so surprising someone would get shot in that area. so it becomes not news. there's that phrase, when dog bites man, that's not news. it's one man bites dog is when it's news. you have to ask who owns these dogs are why do dogs keep biting the same people i want to we do about this -- >> we take a break as the senate
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is gaveling in for a pro forma session. no legislative business is scheduled. these sessions are held in order to prevent the president from making recess appointments and usually lasts just a minute or two. live coverage. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., november 25, 2016. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable daniel coats , a senator from the state of indiana, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 3:00 p.m. on monday, until 3:00 p.m. on monday, >> as you heard the senate return for legislative business


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