tv Lafayette in the Somewhat United States CSPAN November 25, 2016 11:00am-11:48am EST
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 on monday november 28 at 3 p.m.
no roll call votes will be held at a. annex vote is scheduled for tuesday on the building with health care resources and remote communities. watch of the senate live here on c-span2. we now return to booktv. >> like all of you who support the authors, are interested in them and really come out in droves until we are extremely excited. thank you very much for being here today.he [applause] okay, thank you dirk this year's festival is inspired by journeys. and the idea that a book is ats voyage unto itself. taking us to places that we might not be able to see inn person but we can visit by reading about it. and it gives us ther unders opportunities to better understand our world come and to particular why we are today celebrating histories of of biographies. debris into his is an ideal form of travel, and it's really the
best way for us to develop and encourage and grow our mind. in addition to the author presentations we have on the stage for you today we have lots of other events.y i hope you'll take the opportunity to visit the lower level of the convention center where we have lots of family activities. we have booths for our sponsors, aarp, wells fargo. we have a library of congress pavilion where i encourage you to visit us and learn more about your national library. learn all about the wonderful things that we are doing at the library of congress to the art treasures available to you whether you visit us in person or online. so we have a great line. i don't want to take up too much time, so i hope you'll welcome our first presenter who will kick things off for us, mr. carlos lozada is the associate editor and nonfiction book critic for the "washington
post." i invite him to come up and introduce our first speaker.ry thank you very much and enjoy your day. [applause] >> good afternoon. welcome to the 2016 national book festival. as david mentioned my name is carlos to our review nonfiction for the "washington post" which is a charter sponsor of the festival. thanks again to the library of congress which has hosted the festival for 16 years as well as festival co-chairman david rubenstein and the many sponsors that make the event possible. i've never met sarah vowel personally until right now, but maybe like a lot of you i feel like i have known her for ever. whether through her work on this american life, our delightful books into the side alleys of american history and in the role that most excites my moody sage old daughter as the voice and soul of violent from the
incredible. sera can basically do anything and make it seem effortless and funny and profound all at once. if you've not read her own obituaries of john ritter and tom landry, you are missing out here to talk about our books for children's digital why, the puritans, a presidential assassination sides and most was that a book on america's revolution bff, marquis de lafayette. in her book, "lafayette in the somewhat united states." there will be time for questions after she speaks coming c-span is covering the history of biographies session, so be on your best behavior. sarah will be signing books at 1:30 p.m. so please get one.y pu it is my huge fan boy pleasure to introduce sarah vowell.to [applause]
>> hello. hello, book lovers, people of c-span. i realized recently i've traveled around the country so much and i only meet people who read books. and i don't know if you watched the news like the last year or so, i would like to say that i am cool with that. [laughter] [applause] thank you. >> that i like my little vision of america that i get from meeting all of you.a so i'm feeling very contemplative today, if you're watching this on television, we are here in washington, d.c. and for me i arrived in the city precisely half my life ago, 23 years ago. i'll wait a second for you to do the math. [laughter]second
i know that's not your strong suit, or mind.ther n [laughter] you have other nice qualities. so 23 years ago i arrived in this city on the train from a montana. my parents drove up to shelby montana where i caught the amtrak.rove me i took it across north dakota. that took a while. changed trains in chicago, saw the buildings of luis sullivandp thought i want to live there someday. i ended up doing that. went across pennsylvania. i remember the conductor. we were passing the river and he said get a load of this scenic wonderland. and i arrived here in d.c. for my smithsonian internship, and i think it was the next day yasse arafat shook rabin's hand on the white house lawn. it was a hopeful time in america. the library of congress is sponsoring this event.ng this
you know when i was an intern at the smithsonian the first works i worked on that had the isbn number, we're finding aids to things like art in philadelphia, the archives of american art, or, yeah, that was the main one. italian-american art history. i was saying earlier that for me as an author every time i get one of my books when it comes in the mail the first time, the first thing i do is look at that catalog number.is because as we all know life is short and the library of congress is forever. [applause] so take that, great britain. [laughter] but anyway, being here thinking about when i was a young pup leaving home to come here i
realized that is the story thate i've been writing all these years through seven books. it's always the story of themi misfit leaving home, and that is the story of our country. i think earlier this year in the city t-bone burnett said this is the story of the united states, a kid walks away from home with a song and nothing else in home conquers the world. so for me that is always the story i'm writing whether it is theodore roosevelt leaving newoa york city to mourn his wife and mother, and head out to north dakota to be a cow man, you know, as one of his biographers said he was the only president who ever read anna karenina andd while on a three-day search for cattle thieves. [laughter] or our friend abraham lincoln of who, when he left springfield to come here as president and took the train to philadelphia tother independence hall, he said the
political sentiments i entertain have been drawn from the sentiments which are given to the world from this hall. and he said that the goal of his presidency was to save theinvent country invented there, and he added ominously i would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. obviously, the person who did assassinate him is another misfit who left home, from baltimore, you know. [laughter] and then i've written about new england missionaries who come to hawaii, like so many churchy folk of the early 19th century who saw the new map from expeditions like that of captain cook and resolved to spread the gospel to all the places where the sailors had spread the clap. [laughter]
or to their forebears the new england puritans such as thehe massachusetts bay colonists who, unlike those hippies from plymouth, were trying to convince the english government that they were not separate from english, and that they're goingt to america where they would remain as english as beheadingsi and even wrote a letter to charles i in 1630 called a humble request to which they said they just wanted to remind the king that we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilderness, whereas in private john winthrop, their leader, would tell them the opposite, we will be a city upon a hill. so misfits leaving home. my latest misfit leaving home as a french teenager, marquis de lafayette, and this book tells
the story of him leaving home and his pregnant teenage wife, to come to america to throw in with george washington's continental army. and so i'll read for a bit and then i'll take questions i wanted to read this section of his voyage to america and his early time, and then read a little tangent about a heroic bookseller, to pander to thewr subject of the proceedings. [laughter][laughte >> so 1777 lafayette has a -- obscounded to america. he bought his own ship to come to pick the king of france is trying to keep them at home.ossh once he makes it onto the ship to purchase across atlanta, he starts writing his wife these letters to try to explain why he
has abandoned her. and their forthcoming child. i believe i say in the bookeir t while history might be full of great fathers, recorded history is not where to find them. [laughter] >> at sea, lafayette unveiled the grandeur of his mission to his wife and attempted to include her in it.o includ he wrote i hope as a favor to me you will become a good american. she is a teenage french aristocrat from one of the most illustrious families in france. she lives in a mansion in paris when she isn't living in herer mansion in versailles. asking her to become a good american is sort of baffling. he also wasn't really in a position to ask her any favors. [laughter] nevertheless he proclaimed to his wife the welfare of america is intimately bound up with the happiness of humanity.
she is going to become a deserving and sure refuge off virtue of honesty, of tolerance, of equality and of a tranquil liberty. now to establish such a forthright dreamland of decencyp who wouldn't sign up to shoot a few thousand englishmen just as long as mr. bean wasn't one of them? [laughter] alas, from my end of history, from our end of history, there's a big file cabinet blocking the view of the sweet natured republic lafayette for told, and it is where the government keeps the folders full of indian treaties, the chinese exclusion act, and nsa monitored electric messages for international security which is apparently all of them, including the one in which i asked my mum for vice i had to get a red sharpie stains out of couch upholstered. lafayette confided in his wife's
in coming as a friend offer my services to this intriguing republic, i bring to it only my frankness and my goodwill.and my no ambition, no self-interest in working for my glory, i work for their happiness. disregarding the contradiction of proclaiming his lack ofdi ambition and self-interest in the same sentence, he reveals that attaining glory was one of his two stated goals. [laughter] obt he was an only child. [laughter][laugh the phrase coming as a friendd glows on the page because itng turned out to be the truth.at it's appropriate to ding him for the casual cruelty for which he abandoned his family, roll the eyes of it at his recto crust for fame or in these outlandish optimism, but now that the gates of the fact he turned out to be the best friend america ever had. i'm not only referring to hisot
youthful daring view only battlefields up and down theoar. eastern seaboard, most referrinr to any number of this bill grown up kind of -- i decided such as assisting thomas jefferson, the united states minister to france, in opening up french markets to american goods. lafayette's lobbying procured nantucket way alert, the contract to supply the whale oil that lit the streetlights of paris. because of lafayette the city of lights glowed by new england boiled blubber. and to say thanks, all nantucket rallied its milk cows to send him a giant wheel of cheese. [laughter] that's gratitude. [laughter] what's so american? let's send cheese to france, okay. [laughter]
so finally after his two-monthva voyage on his ship the victory, which he called floating on thi dreary claim, they came ashore in charleston around midnight on june 13, 1777, waking up thehe household of major benjamin cukor of the south carolina militia, and that's where they stayed. lafayette wrote later, i retired to rest that night we do see that i had at last attained the havens of my dreams. he went on to gush, the next one was beautiful. everything around me was new to me.s beauti the room, the bed draped in delicate mosquito curtains, the black servants who came to me quietly to ask my commands, a strange new beauty of the landscape outside my windows,e the luxuriant vegetation all combined to produce a magical effect.
in other words, it was a buggy swamp chalk full of slaves.or [laughter] but lafayette was in love. he and his men basically start out in carriages and end up on horses and by the end they are walking to philadelphia where hy is going to, what became independence hall to announce here i am. he expected a warm welcome. the moment lafayette recalled was peculiarly unfavorable to strangers. i don't really get that at all. the americans were displeased with pretensions and disgusted by the conduct of many frenchmen. consequently he wrote, that congress finally adopted the plan of not listening to anyly stranger. so lafayette and his friends
called on the state house, james lovell of massachusetts issued snarling it seems french officers have a great fancy to enter our service without being invited. but most of them including lafayette had been invited bylat american agents in france, hence the throngs of frenchmen who had been washing to shore from its expected to be welcomed withan rank and riches. also i should mention at this moment europe is unfair to sleep at peace, sal the european officers especially frenchmen come over in droves wanting a job. and washington who is always in need of men wasn't excited about these particular men, because he said they had no attachment now ties to the country, and hetry bemoans their ignorance of our language. and he pointed out that american
officers would be disgusted if foreigners were put over theirif heads. so that's exactly what happened right before lafayette arrived,r this other french guy, felipe, a french veteran of the seven years war, and he showed up in philadelphia months beforethe lafayette did saying here i am, i'm a bigwig -- i'm paraphrasing, bigwig at louisig' xvi court, and i am the greatesh renowned authority on artillery in france, and what he was was s wine merchant's son who had maybe seen a canon, but he shows up and he says i deserve to be your artillery chief. e so it turns out that replacing the continental army's beloved chief artillery officer was not
as easy and arbitrary as bewtiched casting a second darren. [laughter] because henry knox was the revolution. born in boston in 1759, the irish immigrants, he dropped out of school to support his mother and siblings after his father's death, and eventually open his own bookstore, the london bookstore. after the coercive actions in 1774, this is really hard on pretty much all the colonists but especially the merchants and especially knox, they close the port and couldn't get any of the books he was selling from england and the colonists were boycotting stuff from england anyway, so those acts, they were supposed to serve as a warningns to all the other colonies and it does not massachusetts into submission. but what happened was it further
radicalized an already radicalize massachusetts and rallied the other colonies to come to its material and political aid. so henry knox, meanwhile, he had wooed the royal governor's daughter, lucy flucker, great name, and he joined a local militia, and then shots were fired at lexington and concord in 1775. so knox leaves his failingis fee bookstore in the hands of his brother, throws in with the militias. then when washington is appointed the new commander-in-chief of the continental army, he shows up and he is telling the soldiers we should have no more sectional rivalries. we are all one country.ec when privately he is writing to his cronies back in virginia, these people are stupid,virgin especially the massachusetts men. [laughter] it's still a work in progress.
and at that time, boston was under siege, the britishnder s occupied the peninsula of boston and the navy controlled the harbor and they were resupplying the city with provisions shipped down from canada. this is me, these are the maps. i'm drawing in my mind. i just assume you can see them. [laughter] the patriots had them surrounded, but to break up the stalemate they needed weapons, and then they got the news that ethan allen and benedict arnold and their people had captured fort ticonderoga whether all these artillery cannons and mortars and howitzers 300 miles away. henry knox, the bookseller, he's like 26 i think at this point, he goes up to washington and says how about i go get all them weapons? [laughter]
300 miles away. washington is like yeah, sure, go ahead, bookstore owner. [laughter] and he did it. he and his brother set off foreo new york in november i think iti was, and then by january they had returned with a 43 canons, 14 mortars and to howitzers dragged across frozen rivers and over the snow and mountains by oxen on custom slide., the old yankee proverb, if you can sell a book you can 60 tons of weaponry 300 miles in winter. [laughter] and washington like is all this artillery moved up on the hill and in the british wake up and see all these cannons pointing down at them, and they probablyi hightail it to canada.
>> that's how henry knox became the chief artillery officer of the continental army. he got the actual cannons he actually got the artillery andti then he trained and recruited all the other artillery officers. so everybody liked him. [laughter] and thought he was doing a pretty good job. win this french guy shows up and says i am your new artillery chief, there was a big flip out among the men, officers of theco continental army. so that's sort of, you know, that's the environment that lafayette walked into. luckily the french guy had the decency, he and his cohorts were crossing the delaware river and he drowned. the horse live so everything was fine.
[laughter] it's a win-win, you know. [laughter] so that's what lafayette walked into. the thing the colonies, especially your leadership, congress in washington and his highest-ranking officer or in this weird position with these french and all this french nobleman, lafayette included, all they want to do, they just want what any self-respecting terrorist wants. they want to become a state-sponsored terrorist and they're just waiting for the king of france to give the money and guns and support and his army and his navy, and that's how they won the war eventuallyw so they take lafayette on because ben franklin sense ofphi this letter -- again i'm paraphrasing -- this kid is a really big deal, be nice to him. i haven't finished shaking down the french government.
[laughter] so they make lafayette a majorge general. that's what is called. he is basically a glorified intern. [laughter] until he proves himself. so finally he gets his commission and then a few days later he meets george washington. washington was six-foot four inches tall and he historically makes a big impression on lafayette. lafayette was so starstruck when he meets washington he wrote, it was impossible to mistake for a moment his majestic figure andn department. nor was he less distinguished as a noble affability of his manner. which is a sweet memory, but it does get on my nerves how easy it is for tall people to make a good first impression. [laughter] [applause] unfortunately, because of a
scheduling mishap, we can't be a cream abdul-- kareem abdul-jabbar's presentation next door. i'm just going to go out on a limb and say everybody loves kareem abdul-jabbar. [laughter] i do love kareem abdul-jabbar. [laughter] so anyway, he joined up in washington, he goes on washington because he is just so gung ho. washington, the whole war, all has been are deserting in droves and years of this french kid who is just, the whole war is like, put me in, coach. [laughter] and when washington says okay, you can join my military family, which was lingo of the day just to basically washington said okay, you can become one of my minions, like the way alexander hamilton was described as a member of washington's military family. remember, lafayette was an
orphan, and then when washington said family, he meant mignon but what lafayette heard was some. then hijinks ensue. [laughter] so i guess i will take some questions if you have them. there are these microphones set up here. yeah, let's get cracking. [laughter] >> i was wondering when i read the book if you had seen the show hamilton and what you thought about the portrayal of lafayette? >> if you didn't hear that the question was about hamilton. [laughter] [applause] have i seen hamilton and what do i think of the portrayal of lafayette?
i've seen hamilton. i obviously love hamilton, even though there's so much hamilton in hamilton. obviously, you know who wouldil' love the lafayette in hamilton is lafayette who was just a publicity whore. [laughter]at he the fact that he comes up so charming and chivalrous and such a good dancer with such wonderful hair. [laughter] w lafayette was already going bald at 19. the last time i saw it, therelam was an empty seat in front of the for some reason i just kept picturing lafayette in it, andfo he would just have been swooning the whole time. it is interesting though, one thing about that show especially because it's the casting, and b this wasn't your question i have been thinking about it lately because people have some qualms
about the founding fathers, especially the ones who owned other people. there are some people lately who want to disregard all of their accomplishments. i can understand that but one way you get past that is make washington black. which i am definitely doing next time. [laughter] such a good idea. we should have done that. that should've been out of original casting, washington should have been black. .. n black. >> in today's i guess mass recording that goes on in everyone's life is so archived, how do you think that will affect our look at today's events as a historian? how do you think that will change? >> everyone's life today is so archived? >> right, just like with television, social media, everything is out there and like
very intermittent thoughts are posted for everyone to see. how do you think that will affect your job as a historian looking back? >> i mean, i guess the nsa is archiving a lot of stuff; right? i mean, my bread and butter in a lot of these books is letters like letters on paper that you have to put on white gloves to look at. they had to put on white gloves to look at it. i think as things are being saved, that's good good. one thing that i think will be used to future historians, for better or worse, people are pretty forthcoming about everything. you know, sometimes it's really hard to figure out what washington was thinking. his white burned all his letters upon his death in their little cagey and tactful and they leave out private things because those
are private. i guess one advantage of this world we live in, how people are documenting every armor and aspect of their day, i'm guessing i'm not on social media, but i hear the jokes about it. i guess i would be helpful.ocia especially if you are a social historian where your job is to figure out what people eight, all you would have to do is look at all these food blogs and twitter and everything and you could see, like oh, willie ate a lot of goat cheese. i don't know. laughmac. i think think because communication is so constant,ico there is maybe less of that grandeur, like george washington was painfully aware that everything he was doing was basically, as as president, he
was inventing the presidency and so he wrote these letters with such care. he was writing to the person bu he was also writing to us for prosperity and, i don't really do that when i'm just e-mailingd my friend so i think with the letters, because they were more more formal, but also he got the best of these people. >> i'm with the american friends of lafayette. we are 400 strong. thank you for bringing our hero to the forefront. >> that's right did it. >> i know. >> i would've done it for free. >> we bought your book. so he sometimes, lafayette is criticized for doing things for the glory of it, not for the
reason, the purest reason. back in the 18th century, wasic that such a bad thing, doing it just for the glory? >> no, i don't think so. i think, if we think, if we are going to condemn all historical figures who accomplish their accomplishments because what they wanted was glory, that wipes out everyone, maybe maybe mother teresa, but she got a lot of credit too. if you doing good things, i don't really care what your motives are that much. i learned something about lafayette. he such a boy. he's 19 and in his kind of bad form to abandon your pregnant teenage wife so i can't overlook those things, but his glory, that was part of his quest foror glory was part of what fueled his accomplishments in one of the reasons he was so valuable to washington and the american cause is that he was so gung ho,
he was so brave, he didn't care about his own personal space, when he was wounded at the battle, he was supposed to be recuperating but he gets up, wraps his bum leg in a link it and write back to the front. he kind of reminds you of what lincoln said about grant. for washington, he needed him. he fought. all of that glory, it had a very, very practical outcome. it wasn't just that he wantede a the glory. he certainly loved it, and when he came back and as an old man in 1824, he just loved, it was a lovefest for over a year of people talking about how much they loved him and so happy he was back. yes he wanted lori, but he got things done.
glory was based on achievement. it wasn't based on blood and sweat and the old college try. it wasn't like getting glory for, i don't know, what do people get glory for now. it has to do with twitter, i think, not that that isn't an accomplishment, but you know i mean. >> thank you very much. >> hi. >> hey there. so you've written a lot about american rogues and you tend to enjoy the life of the rogue more >> the road?e? >> yes.ut on >> history is bad, or girls. >> i was wondering if you had a favorite. >> oh if i have a favorite restaurant i mean, rogue, i
guess that's what i was sitting at the beginning.ss i do write about the misfits. i have a soft spot for a lot of them, even the unlikable ones, maybe especially the unlikablele ones. i subscribe to the digital washington post and i'm surprised unshared sure if allta of you do, you wake wake up to an e-mail from all of them and the headline was issued likable. i'm not sure who they were talking about. , in my opinion likable can be overrated.ovte one of my favorite people to write about was roger williams who was a puritan theologian, likable already, and he comes to the massachusetts colony and they offer him the job of being the minister in boston, whichh has puritan jobs go, that's the
one you want, and he turned them down because he basically found them not. technical enough and they kicked him out of massachusetts because they basically wanted him to calm down about religion. the puritans wanted him to calm down about religion. he is just this annoying person who is constantly and so they beautiful ham out and another misfit leaving home, he goes to rhode island and found rhode island's and for a lot of non-ie bdp reasons, basically he establishes freedom of religion in rhode island. not because he thinks everyone believes are valid but because he feels like everyone except for his wife is going to hell for what they believe and maybe that should be punishment enough and so everyone, rhode island
becomes this bastion of misfits, of jews, baptists, quakers, so he thought the quakers had a right to live there. he spent three days debating them to the extent that i think they wanted to kill themselves, but meanwhile, back home in massachusetts, quakers arereare actually on boston common. he's a very weird and likable and annoying person, but i found him sometimes hard to like the very easy to love. people can do great things, and maybe you don't want to have lunch with them. [applause] >> i love reading the books history and i loved what you
learned in the correspondence and all that you delve into. i was wondering if when you write people like lafayette and winthrop, do you know what their theme song would be? you get that in your mind, if you could give them a theme song. >> i don't know about that, but generally the book has theme songs for me. like this one, for some reason i always wanted to put on pete seeger's version of shenandoah. for some reason, it just adheres to that passage i read, what lafayette thinks america is going to be like. there's something in the way he sees that song, that's the country they were trying to build and that's the 1i like to live in. when i was writing about thead e puritans, i had three sons i would always put on because they were leaving home and they had
these ideals, and one of them was, what was it oh, the mormon tabernacle choir version of bound for the promised land and it was chuck berry promised land and springsteen's promised promised land because it was ale about, it was all about promise in the future, and it had these kind of biblical overtones. >> hello. i love the dirt history the dirt of history. george washington is an overall marginal general. what do they what influence did washington have on him?
>> i think for one thing, lafayette just sucked up to washington for most of the war. washington was about to get fired. sometimes for cause. lafayette was always on his side and whatever these conspiracies arose get rid of washington, lafayette was the one saying these people are idiots, you are one for the ages. so there's that. i think it was just keeping washington going. and washington keeping going wad kind of the key to that war. just his endurance, just putting up with it and sticking it out. i think there was that influence. also he was a pretty fervent abolitionist. he could have influenced washington's decision to have some of his own slaves freed upon his death. there's talk about that. i would say, mostly it was moral support.
i don't know if you have a friend like that who, when you're down, they're the ones who bump you up, i think that's who lafayette was for washington. >> family have times for one question, because someone else is coming in here next. which one do you think has the better question between you two. >> he says you have the better question. that makes me want to hear his question. , but you can ask me your question after. i just have to physically removl myself from this podium. >> they talked about lafayette coming back to america in 24. w can you talk a little bit bit about the reason why almost every city in america named something after lafayette. what impact did he have. >> yes. in fact, great questions and on. i made the right choice.ht thank you.
when he came back in 1824 andard 25, that 13 month victory lap around the country where he went to all of the states, that is the origin for how all thesentin states and cities and counties and worships in horses and babies in streets and parks got named after lafayette. i think, being in washington d.c., that was the most meaningful of all of these, noay offense to lafayette, ronald hubbard is the lafayette park across from the white housee because this is kind of our had capital, this is where we as the people go to yell at our president, and i was kidding about him being an only child, but 11 of the most only child things that he said was, i forget the context because we don't have time, but he said, i did not hesitate to be disagreeable to preserve my
independence. so i think lafayette square embodies that spirit and even though we beat ourselves up in this country for how much bickering there is, how we can get along, i think that is annoying, but it's also the story of our greatness. the fact that we have this place across the street from our head of government house where people as george hw bush, i think this is something that we as a people, and you and your city should be enormously proud of. i think the fact that it's named after lafayette, i think that would probably be, to him, his greatest honor. and i think it is too. >> good night.
[applause] >> after the recent presidential election, the new york times suggested six books to help understand donald trump's win. first first is the unwinding in which new yorker staff writer george packer argues that people across the country have suffered at the hands of the political system over the past three decades. national book award finalist profiles conservative americans and reports on their concerns about liberal policies. in strangers in their own land, also on the list is where the
decline of white working-class americans as outlined. the new york times recommends that in order to better understand donald trump in election 2016, read thomas frank's listen liberal where he argues the democratic elite has abandoned its traditional commitment to the working class. in the populist explosion, they contend that both major parties are turning elections into a circus of populace ideas. and historian nancy eisenberg provides a history of class in america and white trash. that's a look at the books the new york times has suggested to help understand the 2016 presidential election. many of these authors have or will be appearing on the tv. you can watch them on our website, but tv.org. >> john miller, what do you do here at hill stone college? >> i'm director of the journalism program which means i oversee a program that includes a campew