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tv   The Polygamist King  CSPAN  December 4, 2016 4:15pm-4:31pm EST

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having another river bottom. we said we want to have some pretty water. we spent 30 years figuring out the answer. we started in 1965. this concept was created by asu, arizona state university and its architecture students came up with this idea. over the 30 years they figured out how to fund it. we figured out what it would take to support the annual maintenance sunday. for about $100 million for the $1.5 billion back with all these beautiful places to live, all these great places to work in truly hundreds of new businesses generated just ran the states that want to be here. >> you are from tempe originally. what do you want to see next? we've seen all this growth and changes that have been pretty rapidly. what is your ideal scenario for your city? >> what i think tempe one, the city itself, but why tempe wants
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is to make the world a better place. not only that, but we have a lot of young people in the goal of the cities to help its residents achieve extremes. that's the goal of any city. we won our residence to do whatever it is they want to be able to do. so if they want to cure disease, great. if they want to open a popsicle stand that's okay, too. if they want to come to work in paddle board on their lunch hour, that is good, too. whenever they want is what we want for our city, too. >> john miller, what you do a so-so college? just on the trek to the program which means i oversee a program that includes a campus newspaper and radio station and a bunch of scholarships and i teach some classes. >> host: what is tao? >> guest: the dow of the great michigan a business name from michigan. >> host: they've contributed to hillsdale?
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>> guest: herbert h. dow is of that family. >> host: what do you do at national review? >> guest: i'm a writer. i've been on the staff for 18 years. it was a full-time job for a long time. i lived in washington d.c. and worked at the washington bureau appeared five years ago i got recruited to come to hillsdale and i remained on the staff of national review, but it's become very much part-time. >> host: you were from michigan originally. >> guest: i am a detroiter born and raised in and around the city and went to university of michigan and upon graduation went out to washington and unexpectedly had a chance to come back home five years ago. >> host: what was that experience like? >> guest: that was great. i loved living in washington d.c. my wife and i that we would spend the rest of her days there. we sometimes thought maybe we
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would retire to michigan. but then i was fortunate enough to get a phone call and get a job. we kept talking about we are moving home and not a circus of felt like. >> host: are you glad you did it? >> guest: i don't miss washington. i liked living there, but i don't miss it. i preferred in michigan. it does feel like home. hillsdale is a great place to live and work. i loved the small town. that was new for me and my wife. this is a bit of culture shock. the small rural aspect of it. but hillsdale college is just a great place to work. the students are excellent. they are smart and hard-working, which is true of a lot of selective colleges, but they're really good people. i enjoy being around them. they make me feel young. >> host: john miller after four years of studying journalism, which you hope hope
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your students leave with? >> guest: i hope they leave what the major and a different subject for one thing. journalism is a minor. we think students should major in one of the traditional academic disciplines. the best training you can have for being a journalist is not to major in journalism. as to major in biology, economics or history and fill your head with real knowledge can bring to work. so they leave with a traditional liberal arts education, the best hillsdale can do for them. it is a minor and we do a few things in the classroom. but you learn journalism by doing journalism. the center of the program we have the campus newspaper, the campus radio station and students actually running these names in learning how to be a print journalist or broadcast journalist doing internships and by the time the four years are over, they are pretty good and
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they get jobs if they want them in the media. >> host: you are a writer and you've just written a new e-book that is available. who is james strang? >> guest: at a fixed rate or strong at the valley of any. james jay strang. the book is called the polygamist king and the subtitle is a true story -- "the polygamist king: a true story of murder, lust, and exotic faith in america." the story of this remarkable man who ensured tried to form a theocracy on an island in lake michigan called fever island in the 19th century. things didn't go so well for him there but it's a fascinating story about a colorful man who tried this -- you try to do this amazing thing. >> host: how did you discover the story? >> guest: growing up in
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michigan i learned about michigan history. i always thought the interesting things happen elsewhere. other civil war battlefields for allergies to nothing happened in michigan was something i was concerned about. there were no battles in michigan, a couple but nothing significant. at some point along the way a learned in the story i'm not quite sure where, but if you make an effort that he michigan history, read up on it and the explorers who came here, the original people, the things that did happen coming eventually stumble upon this footnote in michigan history of this guy who attempted this remarkable project. >> host: what was his relationship with brigham young? >> guest: james strang was a mormon. he was born in upstate new york around that you're a canal times you grew up in atheists.
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he didn't believe in god at all, but eventually came to a church. either changed his mind or started faking it. eventually he moved out west with his wife into wisconsin for some of her relatives and they were mormon and eventually decided to become a mormon himself. he traveled to illinois. a town on the mississippi river where he met joseph smith, the founder of mormonism, the guy who wrote the book of mormon is a mormon message translated into english. he's essentially the author of the book of mormon. dealmaker reader of the major religions since mohammed. so he met joseph smith, became a mormon under joseph smith. the joseph smith was murdered, when he died, strang said i am the successor to joseph smith. i will now lead the flock. he claimed to have a letter of
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appointment from joseph smith. it's a forgery. people at times it almost immediately, but he forged a letter naming him his successor. he wanted to succeed smith. his great rival with brigham young and brigham young as we all know i'm out in this match and to the mormons to utah and the rest is history. these guys are locked in a power struggle. it quickly became apparent that program was the favorite. he was a success through joseph smith. the strang became a dissident mormon leader. he said i'm against polygamy for one thing. i will take my people will form our mormon colony and eventually wound up on the island. >> host: with the monogamous? >> guest: he was originally. one of the reasons why a lot of mormons at the time were tracked to him was because he rejected
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polygamy. brigham young and joseph smith had practiced polygamy but in secret. james franck reject it and a lot of people like they were drawn for that reason. eventually he did get to be the island. hundreds, possibly more than a thousand people followed him there and as he became a key, he was a political leader, but he had a coronation ceremony and called himself the king. he was the king of your event. as powered navy went to his head, he's rethought the whole polygamy in. he had a wife, a woman he had moved out west with, but then he decided to take a second wife and then a third and a fourth in third and export benefits and eventually fifth and eventually he had five wives, children with all of them and was a polygamist by the time he was on beaver island. >> host: how well known was the story at the time? >> guest: at the time it was
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reasonably well known. this guy was in the newspapers quite a bit. the modern figure we might compare him with this david karesh if you can think back two decades ago in waco, texas. he was kind of late. a religious leader who wanted to have his own colony and a certain level be left alone but also provocations and so forth. he was a figure adventuress and became an increasing interest as he clashed with locals because there is a fishing colony there at people who did not belong to it that, but also people in the region and eventually came to the attention of the federal government and their claims of piracy and so on. he was a forgotten figure now in a bout ways, but certainly a person of interest back in the 1850s. >> host: do you write this story? do you write this book as an
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adventure tale? do you write it as a lesson? >> guest: it is first of all just a story. and within a genre i collect historical narrative nonfiction. i try until a great hurry. as a writer i'm always looking for great stories to tell, preferably that haven't been told before exactly the way i think they ought to be told. this was that way. i knew the contours of the case a number of years ago and i know it's occurred to me a really great book to be done on this figure. the e-book [-open-bracket as i thought this story is actually not worth the full book. it's not worth 60 or 80,000 words. it is worth less than that i think i'm asserted a page turner of a story that gives us the basic facts. the e-book is 17,000 words. you can do a 90 minute.
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it's like a really long magazine article, but longer than any magazine could hold. the e-book opens up this space in reading habits from a long magazine article to a short book that can occupy this space. i thought this was a good story to tell. >> host: people were interested in purchasing this as an e-book. >> guest: it is available only on kindle. you have to buy from amazon. amazon is actually my publisher in addition to this day saw the book, but they are my publisher in the way -- or harpercollins have published other books of mind can amazon is my publisher and you have to read it on the kindle pop on. >> host: did you have added her? >> guest: i did. the branded product of the kindle single, there are a series of these e-books they say
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10,000 to 20,000 word range i had added her to make a copy editor they made an attractive color for the book that i had nothing to do with except to nod my head and say i like that one. but i did have an editor. >> host: did you get an advance? >> guest: i got a very small, not even in advance. i got a very small amount of money the basically almost an entirely royalties deal. >> host: how is this process different than writing a more traditional book? >> guest: it is faster for one thing and do this and much more quickly in terms of finishing the manuscript and seen the products become available to readers. when you don't have to print thousands of copies of a book, when you just need to upload it basically, it can be almost instantaneous. the real work was the research and the actual writing. we went through a few rounds of
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editing, but when it was done it is almost push a button on his life. >> host: have you thought about the next book? >> guest: i have. i'm trying to decide whether i want to do another e-book or a full-length book. i've written a novel previously so i'm wondering about another novel but i'm not at work on anything at the moment. >> host: john miller, church of the journalism program at hillsdale. national correspondent for national review and author of the e-book available on kindle, "the polygamist king". this is booktv on c-span2.
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>> and i'm very pleased

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