tv James Baldwin CSPAN December 11, 2016 5:30pm-6:31pm EST
>> this is booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here is our prime timeline up. 6:30 p.m., the book imperfect union. the search for his son in the aftermath of gettysburg. at 7:30 p.m., psychologist james mitchell discusses his involvement in the cia's enhanced interrogation program. on booktv's afterwards program at 9:00 p.m. eastern, eugene solstice examines white-collar crime. at 10:00, fox news anchor megyn kelly recalls her life and career. we wrap up our sunday prime-time line-up at 11, former army intelligence officer, nina
wilmer, recalls her personal and professional connection to east germany. this is tonight on c-span2's, booktv. [inaudible conversations]. >> i think we're going to go ahead and get started. thank you, everybody, for coming. a quick show of hands, this is your first time to book culture of columbus. oh, welcome to the family. 20 years ago this space was the endicott book seller and it was lost to the upper west side along with many other wonderful bookstores over the years, but almost two years ago we took the
plunge and opened our third location here. we're so happy to be a space that is able to host just farber and this wonderful panel to talk about the james baldwin, james baldwin, escape from america. exile in province. we have many up front and pick up two or three so we can stay in this neighborhood as a community space. i'm trying to do this very elegantly. so first let me introduce our panelists. carol weinstein is the mother of, a mother of danielle baldwin, also on the panel. partner of james baldwin's brother david whom she met in 1964. later, jimmy would refer to his sister out of law. when jimmy house in st. paul --
thank you. david and carol first visited jimmy there together in 1977, from amsterdam where they were living at time. they drove there to celebrate his buying the house. carol visitedded in 1974 and again several summers from 1975 into the '80s with daniel. she and daniel made nostalgic ries its after jimmy died and his father david there as well when he became very ill. carol was very active participant in the afternoon sessions at welcome table where the author sought criticisms of his work and completed an in early hours daniel fondly recalls his uncle jimmy hand in hand up to the town center, visiting villages in the area, being taken on sightseeing tours to the, to paris, swimming in
the pool in the mornings and to the ocean air yum in monte carlo and being taught chess and astounded finding baldwin's books in many strange languages for him in the house. carol is long time upper west cider, and long-time patron of book culture. hails from brooklyn, new york, and managed to travel and work extensively across the globe her lengthily career. currently chief learner of her sole consultancy learning works. she provides consulting services in diversity, inclusion and human rye sources and development in leadership management across any work place. also associate professor for graduate programs and her greatest accomplishment is her son daniel, his greatest accomplishment, her two grandchildren, poplin. and graham isaac. daniel the nephew of james and son of david and carol and father of graham and poppy.
visual artist and resides in providence, rhode island. traveling with his mom since he was born in new york city and having lived a few other places he had the benefit of seeing much of the world though now he enjoys much quieter smaller life in providence. okay. thank you, thank you. also joining sus british-born nicholas delbanco who lived near baldwin a number of years. regular literary sparring partner, his book, running in place, scenes from the south of france, comments on frequency of time spent talking at jimmy's table. he has published 25 books of fiction and nonfiction. his recent novel, the years. the latest nonfiction, the art of youth, gershwin and nature of fine arts. dell banco. director of mfa program and hopwood awards program at the
university of michigan until retirement in 2015. robert frost distinguished professor at university of michigan and lives around the block from our store at 114th. so all a these new yorkers together, come together as a result of their association with this project. done by jules farber who attended brunswick university in and received letters in journalism residing in amsterdam in netherlands wrote for various american public cakes awarded silent prize by the minister of foreign affairs for the best articles published in the american press about the netherlands. farber wrote in english and dutch editions for four books. since moving to vermont, written three more books in published in french and english. but the most recent project has been this collection again,
james baldwin, escape from america, exile in promise. quick round of our panel its and jules and i will turn it over to them. >> [inaudible] >> you're right. unfortunately george wendt was not able to join us for the panel. he was very disappointed but not feeling up to it. he turns 91 on monday, and he had a flu shot earlier this week and had a bad reaction to it. sew stayed home. but he wanted us to know how disappointed he was and he really loved jimmy baldwin and looking forward to reminiscing with the others about him. thank you, jules. thank you very much. [applause] >> i don't know if it is better if i sit or stand? can everybody hear me?
is that better? maybe i'll stand. first thing people asked me when they hear about the book is, why did you do this book about baldwin? there have been enough books and eight airy commentary and so forth. i did it because of an accidental finding, discovery of a photograph of james or jimmy as they called him at the hotel in devon. the colendor. many of you probably know it. the whole hollywood crowd goes there in cannes, at the film festival. years earlier picasso, cigal and came there and traded artwork for meals and inside of the hotel restaurant is full of those wonderful things. i thought it was, i love james
baldwin's work from the time i was in high school and read many of his books. i thought it would be interesting to find out why other people like us, we lived in amsterdam as you heard from cody, for a number of years and later we moved to provence. we made a ritual to go down to st. paul every summer to see, have lunch there, to see the wonderful -- which has a great art collection and enjoy, it is a very unique, special ambience there. and i thought, it would be nice, my last book was cezanne and one was a big photo book, sort of cocktail table size about cats, photographed by the world's greatest photographers, and those kind of people.
so this was, sort of a, off challenged, as what could i do to that is different about baldwin and i found out that he was in st. paul levanse, from 1970, to 1987 has been written about very little. everybody knows about the period in new york and other places but, and then i thought, maybe a fresh approach might be, let's find out about people who came to visit him there and how they shaped his life there like carol and daniel, and nicklaus and a lot of fame must people like sidney poitier and harry bell font day and angela davis.
i got on the phone, very brazen like, said, perhaps you would like to help reminisce? everybody to the left, man, was happy to cooperate. nobody was said, i'm too busy or whatever. some of these people, i met, i was able to interview or visit here in new york. people like, david lemming, who unfortunately couldn't come tonight because he is living in connecticut and limits traveling. david lemming and other people like that who spent a lot of time with baldwin at home. that is what -- besides those, i was also interested in the everyday contacts he had with the people in saint-paul de
vence. that is not the most obvious place for a new yorker from harlem to live. a all white, conservative, agrarian community, that had never seen a black man in their lives. they thought it was revolutionary and the police had a car parked outside of his door, which everybody said, you're fantasizing but it was there and came out in later publications. so he had a hard time. he said it was like being in new york and harlem. there was a lot of antagonism but due to his broad, big toothed smile, he won over the people. everybody he met on the streets, hey, joe, come back and have a drink with me. let's stop there. correct me if i'm wrong, carol? >> oh, yeah. >> she knew him very well of course. this was part of it. the book is concerned with why
did baldwin go to saint-paul? he was feeling depressed an on the verge of a nervous breakdown an because of all the assassinations in america. because of resistance to his work with the as an activist. the other young black writers were condemning him. he was having problems on all sides. he felt, so he pled to paris again for the second time. had a self-induced breakdown, probably mental, he got into the american hospital in naye, just outside of paris. after treatment, they said why don't you go to saint-paul, you know people there, for your convalescence? he went to saint-paul, he was greeted there in hotel which became his second home.
by simone senore. and etf mon and. he knew simone by the student riots. he watched television with her and drank a lot of booze until all hours of the night. simone and he both lived in the hotel in separate rooms. so, he was in simone's room for all these encounters. and, she said, you have to stay here and i will help you find a place to live. and the place that they, she came up with was a very elegant, 17th century big home in virtually one kilometer from the heart of the city but really very elegant and the only
problem was that the owner was a, someone who hated blacks. she came from algeria where they were dispossessed during the algerian war, were a very rich family. even though she was only go years old and she kept this hatred for anybody black. but simone and the woman owner of the hotel, convinced her to do it. so what did she do? she built a big, brick, thing, blocking her doors, her part of the house. almost, well, actually, she put an armoir there, a big wardrobe and so he couldn't, never come into her space. but slowly, slowly through the years she learned to love him and wanted him to have the house. and all her forlorn years of, with loneliness and so forth,
she passed on to him. she wanted but he kept buying rooms in the house but he didn't have money to pay for them. he gave her ious. and on her deathbed in st.-paul de vence had them pinned to the nightgown. leaving instructions, he can't get the house until he pays. that became a court case for 20 years, between the cleaning woman who was supposedly distant family and claimed that she was, she was entitled to the -- and all these remote relatives who appeared from nowhere. so for 20 years the house stood empty. it was pilloried by people who stole shutters off the building. there was rain coming in but until it was finally settled and this cleaning woman got the house finally and sold it and
now it is in the news again because the present owner wants to build 20 villas on this beautiful property and monuments committee didn't do anything to protect it. he already knocked down two wings of the house and no one knows what is going going to happen. that is in the news now. put on -- [inaudible conversations]. [inaudible] even looking at it, sorry. one of the things in, in this, the book he can mores "life with jim" my and, with over0 interviews. -- 70 interviews.
it took me four years because the essence of the book is to try to get to know his life through the people that came there. besides the famous people like maya angelou and those people, there were everyday, everyday locals who were very close to him. his doctor after he was retired, was there every night for dinner his, mailman, who was a very young boy at the time used to come because he was the only one in saint-paul who read any english. he had to take down the telegrams which came in by morse code or something but word by word and then bring it. he said, he told me said, i came there when i was 15 or i was 16 and would always greet me with a big kiss. but he was like a grandmother to me. he used that word.
i always got invited in for a drink. he was living in this tense situation at that moment, being followed even in america, when he went back, to teach, when he went to new york. the fbi was on his tail, organized by j. edgar hoover. how did you know about that? [inaudible]. everybody was saying this is only -- and he called him a black homosexual communist and he has to be, he has to be followed. he was not a communist. i think j. edgar hoover should have come out of the closet as -- [laughter] people like "rolling stone"'s gift tart it, bill wyman was a good friend of him and good
picture of them together in the book. the book has 50 photos which traced his earliest days there with carol. daniel and other people, simone, and right up to his burial in new york and at saint-paul divine cathedral. while taking distance from america he retain ad love love-hate relationship. he always helped very american. he said i can't be an expatriate. that is only for white people because i have a lot of baggage with me with my, the family history and heritage and don't forget, i was the grand son of a slave. he ails felt this double-sided relationship. he finally became he became, as
he called himself, i'm a small ugly, gay black american as he described himself. he was finally accepted as one of us in the community. one of the wonderful things going back to the picture for one minute, i asked the waiter in the hotel why is there a photo of james baldwin here? i understand picasso because he came and all the others. and he said, because he was like a son to the family rroux, who owned the hotel, and and the grandmother of the present generation, said we want you to be part of the family. you come eat with us and you stay with us and so forth even though he had his own home. this also went on with her daughter and the present generation. they saw him as a sibling, and brother.
they supported him and of course with simone's backing and family roux, which were the most important in town because of their establishment, helped him become known and accepted by the individuals. he remain addition placed american writer using black english which tony morrison confirmed in some of her writings. she learned a lot of that from him. that he didn't, he never wrote anything, he never wrote anything that gave indication that he was living in france. he was always, living in america and doing usual essays and writing and so forth. the only thing he was writing when he died was called the,
welcome table because he called the, dining room outdoor and indoor, the welcome table and people who came, he had guests day and night. i didn't have the money for it and getting huge advances from the publishers. it was spent before the check was casheds practically. this went on and on and on until it really became a problem after his death with money that he had gotten from a major publisher and couldn't be paid back. but, he was writing this this play, the welcome table, but he died before it was finished. but aside from that, everything he ever did was america, american -- i think i hope, that answers the question why i did it. i was fascinated by baldwin
being in this little french village by the people who came. everybody, i felt all kinds of people, one of his lovers, that fled to the caribbean after baldwin died because of the relationship. all kinds of people, local, the mailman, the chauffeur and cafe owners, everybody. i did not find anybody who had a disparaging word about him. he was popular there and very successful. i think it is wonderful that such a book could be produced with all the good evidence and all the nice people on the panel. nick -- nicholas lives there all the time. i remember from his book that his wife was keeping notes when they were there and they were there at lunch and dinner, or dinner and lunch or breakfast and dinner. he had to have a lot of people around him all the time but people he liked.
he was very close to the artickic community in saint-paul. the artists that painted and writers that were there, nick loss and a few others. that tells the story of the book and i hope you enjoy it. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]. i think we would like to call on carol now, to tell, tell in her words, her relationship with jimmy and through her partner, david and her frequent and visits staying in the house, being with him, hearing, writing that he read to her several other people.
at the lunch table because he got up very late. he worked all night. drank a lot of whiskey and produced this fiction or, essays and then he asked several very close friends and his secretary and his family to please tell me what do you think? so please, carol, maybe you can -- >> thank you very much, jules. well, i med david baldwin in 1964 in the east village at a party. i was living in the area and. we met at a party at the home of an attorney that worked for jimmy. and then it was up or down from there, depending on how you look at it. but it ended up being literally the next 3/4 of my life in terms of amazing experiences things
that i treasure. so david was at that time in rehearsal for a blues for mr. charlie, which i don't know if anybody in the audience see it? well, a lot of people left because they couldn't handle it. it was quite a play. actually a wonderful work of jimmy's that has never received the proper due as much of his work. i was at a performance at the amphitheater every night and then, it closed and, it went to london for a little while. and it ended. there have been resurgences of the play. in fact it was done recently where daniel lives in providence, rhode island at the trinity rep paer to theater which is exciting after all these years.
it is a wonderful play to read. it is an important play. too many people said it was poe lemmic and didn't want to what the play was about, which was based on the emmitt till lynches and other lynches -- lynchings. he had quite a hard time with the actors studio and lee strasbourg and the whole clan to get it done. burgess meredith was involved in the whole process as well as a lot of great actors, including diana fens and many others. so i then went with david in 1967 to and we lived in the house. jimmy was exiting that summer. that is why i submit david ruben who written a biography about jimmy and i've known david that
long. we closed the house. we went to london. we got an apartment for jimmy and his sister paula and david and i. we lived in london together in 1967, fall of '67 through the spring of '68. . . in the fall of 71 when i was supposed to be working on a medical publishing house, but i snuck away. i got an old volkswagen and we
drove through the mountains and fought all the way about how to shift and not shift. i was a great driver. i had been a cab driver, by the way. i didn't know how to drive a stick until a move to europe. so we got to jimmy's at 6:00 in the morning and jimmy opened the door and had all kinds of classic status. he loved to cook and he was delighted that we came to the house with them. we stayed for a week and then i went to the house 72, 73, 74 and he was born in 73 and he came in 75.
and some of these pictures here are my photo and four of them were in the book. of course they're not very good. i was not a photographer. i was not trying to do that. others make in a memory boat. we didn't think of jimmy as the famous jimmy. my friend jimmy, my brother jimmy appeared so i had the good fortune incredible fortune to get to know him very well as a human being, as a kind human being to the world and so opposite the images people tried to effectuate about him.
so i got to not only admire him, but to see him as an advisor to me like when i make decisions about where should i send a note to school, he would weigh in on that. what did he think about that i didn't strike in 1968 with my high school teaching career and what did you think about that? what is fascinating is what is going on right now is exactly what was going on and and that's pretty terrifyinterrifyin g. if anything we need jimmy more than we ever, ever did. then we'll go with me in the summer and spend all summer and we had the most extraordinary time. he treated daniel very much -- it was his brother's son and wants to. he would just get a thrill.
maybe i'll turn this over to my son if he wants to read this. this is something jimmy wrote about daniel very late in the day. but i think it's pretty special. >> just as a bit of an introduction, obviously you all know who i am. and daniel baldwin. james baldwin was my uncle. just as a bit of an opening, i was considering myself lucky, especially looking back on it. i was lucky because i was a black kid in new york city, didn't have a lot of money and got to spend the summers in france. you don't know it cool when you are too in most drowning and many olympic phobia for the next two years. but you look back on it as you get older and people ask what it
was like. most of us grew up with the family. they have a really cool uncle. he was just a pool or uncle appeared he had the courthouse in france, it was warm. there were pear trees in his yard. great, awesome. cats running on over the place. even as you get older, you don't realize what is in front of you when it is rare. as you get older growing up lack of the jewish in america. i lived all over the country and nobody ever gets it right. i must be algerian. i must be middle eastern. but on the right costume.
but my uncle had a lot to do with me understanding my identity growing up in the sense that if my mom, that's my dad, i'm the middle. that's great. growing up not to be confused about it, which could have been. but senator and figure out who you are. i've read this before, but we are out now to a group of people. i'm not going to do my best impression because i won't do him justice. at least not watching a few videos. intercepted memo classified empire. napoleon bonaparte and jack joe corsica a profits friends. the last time for the french.
[inaudible] are understandably proud of this and never match the power to have any competition if it had not been far more trouble than we have had with this somewhat -- [inaudible] that come to our attention that a certain daniel now american province of harlem is now in the south of france. he speaks more than one. around the clock deciphering the code. his cover is that he's traveling with his mother. we have our belgian acts. that work. ditto c. monte carlo with a suspicious friendship with the
aquarium who respond to them. i need not to tell you how to allocate this is in view of our recent ongoing intelligence with marine life. he's also familiarize himself with the casino and the suspect did to princess grace has looked up on him with favor. he also spoke at length with a group of arabs and luckily we have not yet decided this either. this night, july 1975, he was seen where he conversed around around -- it was observed that the bartender smuggled him peanuts and crackers. he was also seen with two straws. he has received several cars, one elephant.
and a fleet of cars, eight. he had enough candy to offer candy tossed it on the terrace. he was seen with members of the television room. the english couple invited him back. he spends a great deal of time with this on both eric gardner. he appears to speak a kind of creole with his uncle's gallery. she's the only person in the house who understood me for three years. and this clearly is just the beginning. we had enough trouble with napoleon as you must remember. we may find ourselves crushed between the jealous portions and intrepid genial and then what will become a france? assert your most important and obedient, et cetera, et cetera.
[applause] >> well, that is hard to follow. i've been struck all evening by the presence of the past, how vividly he occupies this room again and how welcome we all were at that table when i first did not thought daniel when he was decisive issue. so i'm going to follow jimmy's lead and because i am a writer, the definition of a writer is retake a march hare with the language that we put on a page then doubtless rolls out quietly off our times. i thought it would read to you from the book to which jules commonly referred end quote and
that table this book of mine that came out almost 30 years ago about our shared neighborhood called running in place, scenes from the south of france. my wife and i sat her in the south of france this very week in return from it having given given -- a wide berth because the house and its history is no longer a happy one. but my memories of it are almost all wholly happy and i thought i would share a few pages from this boat about that. i first read and consequentially as it were in istanbul in 1970. the play of his is running. added speak in a turkish.
we shook hands once or twice. but then we ran into him as he was moving men to this and this is just as we were planning to leave. we had about a week. i was shocked by how warm and immediate his welcome was and that we probably drink 40 bottles, 30 males, couldn't get out of town or country without his blessing. and it felt like a literally fast friendship formed. but i want to read to you about is a period in 1974 when we returned. jimmy baldwin however remained. this time the welcome mats like
long-lost friends. he established a word pattern in the entourage. he had to show for large love to double as a bodyguard. the cook him as a companion named philippe elected as a kind of secretary manager and various others who function is less easy to describe. there'd be a dancer or painter in tow or painter and toe or lovers or associates from some project and they often were projected. they came from italy, nigeria, finland, brothers and not his pastor. we were rarely less than six at table and more often 10. they came and went, the men stayed on. they treated their provider with a fine deference as if his talent must be sheltered from invasive detail, the rude matters of fact. they answered the phone on the door. this sorted mail.
there's an intricate hierarchy of way, he jockeyed that evokes nothing so much as a core truth in favor, who i've known jimmy longer or better or where who would do the shopping or join them in paris or the television interview or with a book jacket photo. he was working again on a novel if these streets could top. she majored scotch. we drink wine. i've not yet described the quality of kindness in this manner, affection he expect it and express. his face is widely known that dark lair, god knows, large protruding eyes, starting to go away. but photographs cannot convey the mobile player feature come and intensity of utterance, he could try to attention that matters and gesture can count.
there is something theatrical of baldwin's moderate or automatic at times. when embark on what seemed a high-speed compilation of phrases that clearly had been phrased before, the kind of improvised lectures at his previous speech. he stared at you, he couldn't turn away. he wore expensive jewelry. he smoked. he'd been holding center stage for years. he shifted in your seat. he said yes to new releases and curious manicured hand. dialogue for baldwin was uninterrupted monologue. he would yield the platform neither willingly by longley. he could speak incisively on a book he had read. [laughter] but again and again he impressed me with his candidate ranging, his alert intelligence.
understand me, he was. it's important to understand and it was a new understood. my pleasure in our meetings is easily explained. he was the source of this generation speaking directly to me if you take it seriously that he read and respect by work or appear to. plied us with them as often as possible. all of this was flattering. late at night jamie would say see you two tomorrow. if we came for lunch instead, he urged us to stand for dinner when a friend pass through he would insist we meet. wanted to be with us they think less clear. each friendship partakes in reciprocal trade agreement and i can only speculate as to baldwin's motives in the trade. he was the most sociable of solitaries, but constantly attended to his same nonetheless
alone. he wanted to hear news from home. elaine, my wife adverts several years in a rehabilitation agency for drug addicts in new york whose clientele is largely black. she moved easily through his old streets. there she was without exception a single woman in this house and in a party of a dozen and she was given pride of place here she sat at his right hand. they liked each other i believe that unfettered immediate liking. she treated him with just the right mixture of impatience and respect. they embraced each other, huddled in corners together and there is nothing exclusionary about its attitude to women, though surrounded by adoring boys, he was also a family man. i matter to him i suppose as a practitioner of a shared trade. he was stark with a chance to talk books for a discussion with
someone who had read in. we talked the way most writers do in a kind of shorthand sign language. we asked each other always how the work had gone that day, how his paragraph is doing for that character and scene. this is a lengthy recollection. we had been in his house two or three times in a row. it was our turn therefore to invite the baldwin clan. we did so one thursday for lunch. they said they would come happily. there were seven, maybe nine. the two members of his party to remember men passing through and the publisher named willie. the farmer was leaned, beautiful and lack. he danced and the latter this
mountainous come away. we been warned about its warned about his appetite by bob was cooked is before when he was a voracious who centered to the mark or three times that afternoon. i should explain that we relive the indicate house, a gardener's cottage in effect to be very grand estate of olive groves, et cetera. this was owned by an elderly woman who is nothing if not snobbish and whom i hear referred to as rosenthal. okay we've made an extra pot. those simple takes time to prepare we started the previous day. the key of the lamb and rounded fashion did okay. we peeled turnips and carrots and leeks.
peter rosenthal knocked. she was hoping we might join her for lunch. there were people who thought she should meet if we made our excuses, invited her in. as she could see these two were preparing a meal. we will therefore be able to enjoin or invite her to silly number of not naming his name. part of this is inverse snobbery , it does taste for glitter by association and part the suspicion that have been going on baldwin was coming ,-com,-com ma we should have had to invite her also. that any rate, she hoped we would take a carwash. it hung on the clothesline outside. she wanted to walk by the house and what her friends take photographs. they were passionate
photographers. her friends were distinguished. they were the last respectively or perhaps the host i insert collateral branches instead. in any case, they were old and distinguished and wouldn't appreciate the laundry on our line. she hoped we would ready the house. we promise. what made the second about an extra dozen bottles from a car, three additional friend the baker and waited for jimmy to come. he himself didn't drive. he had however purchased a brand-new mercedes, and dark brown and substantial, just short of stretch limousine sides. [inaudible] who strive it would be working that day he had assured me they had no idle chatter car is bringing philippe, willie.
at the appointed hour we'll are ready. a car came. the day was overcast. but pulls into the parking space was not jimmy's mercedes, but in ancient renault. it was followed. we will rosenthal appeared and guests emerged. there was slow small and bad. the process of arrival took sometimes. the doors opened, faltered clothes. the last of those ward dark suits and carried cameras and teams. they shuffled together. they kissed one another's hands. as soon as they were out of sight, we heard another car. the deep throated growl of gears, high-impact ironist
trumpeting the horn and the mercedes roared us. scott grabow. ltd. in the sun. four doors flung wide in unison. her company had come. they were dressed for the occasion grimly. they boot gleamed. bergeron especially was splendid. he wore away/thinks so. he did a few dance steps and salon has steps and slung his pattaya come extended extended his hands for applause. we applauded. jimmy embraced us, we had. the chauffeur was not happy with the drive. he brought his lunch along an elected to stay with the car. he stood arms folded glaring down to the olive groves. he was danish, and impervious to
charm. what a charming place the publisher proclaimed. this wasn't easy. they swarmed. they race to the crest of the matter what took so [inaudible] they approved their view. they clattered her house on the bedroom balcony. keeping the simple life as a gardener. philippe had brought flowers. we emptied for bottles of wine at the time we settled to ease. that was a success. the publisher proved. oddly, he sighed. he sat back and rolled up his sleeves. which part is for me he asked? there is much laughter, celebration, praise for the
salad and bread to the dining room could barely contain us. we wrote about the table like a leader of puppies, jocelyn, slicing sausages and cheese and fruit and cake. a shadow appeared at the window. i looked up. leader rosen all was outside of the car. she and her four companions were inching to the house. they had their cameras to shoulder level focusing granting them clearly to approach. we must have looked to them like fingers night i realized the decline of the west. the beaming black man at the center, the array around them, but the luminous white man with close in his hands. the young host giving everyone wine. the ruckus of festivity, the mercedes being polished, all of this was hard to focus on.
i could see the explaining. i do not know how she explained. there was no laundry, however. they circled warily. we didn't invite them in. they move to the back of the house. [applause] >> nicklas, that's wonderful. thank you very much. part of this excerpt in the boat because i found it so important. are there any questions now for people on the panel for me? or do you have to leave? okay, bye, adios, au revoir. questions from the public? anybody on the panel or to me?
>> we have kept you long enough. thank you all for coming and for having patience and interest. we all appreciate it. the family, the literary friend and the book come publisher cody who did such a good job in organizing this. thank you so much. [applause] >> we are going to real quick schedules upfront to sign copies for anybody who wants it to. thank you, everybody for coming and celebrating this part of james baldwin's legacy. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> we are here tonight with laura stokes, daughter of louis stokes, author of the gentleman from ohio. tell us about the book. >> first of all, my father has been on c-span many, many times. u.s. congressman for 30 years. he came in 1969 congress 30 years later in 1999. he was always pushed by his colleagues and family and friends. you have to read this story. but he was always too busy and caught up in whatever and finally buckled down five years ago. it is a story, an american story. my father is born into poverty in cleveland, ohio in 1825.
his father died. his mother was a domestic beauty raised in an anna's brother carl. there is a paper route trying to get his first bicycle. going off to war, coming back the g.i. bill. my father argued in ohio, but it is a story we talk about even a day stop in frisk in iran that went into the u.s. house of representatives and he was on the iran-contra canales chairs the house of ethics. and he was close to tip o'neill.
he died at the age of 90 after a very accomplished career. he died two weeks after completing his autobiography. even in this room, i feel he is still here working things. it's an easy read. ohio state university press published and it's done remarkably well. this is his hometown. so other than cleveland. >> what are some of the lessons he learned from his book as well as from head that you think are significant for americans today? >> one thing that my father among many wonderful qualities he had was this ability to reach across the aisle. he was known.
it is reflective of who he really was. and his ability to reach over to the colleagues that were republicans and that is why so many times tip o'neill it actually happened chair committees because he knew that he could get the job done, that it's okay to have differences of opinions. but at the end of the day, you're sent to congress to represent the constituents that put you there. yes, that was in one of his outstanding qualities that he was a statesman, that he was a well to have that kind of trust with other individuals, a respect we don't often see on capitol hill and he could get the job done. the other thing is never forget where you come from, that you owe it to others to lift them up as well.