tv Wrestling With His Angel CSPAN May 20, 2017 2:15pm-3:16pm EDT
the arts and humanities and we could not do this wonderful festival without the generous support of our sponsors and volunteers and as a chamber exact odd-- i would be remiss if i did not say please support our sponsors and we see our volunteers, please thank them. just a few announcements, please silence or cell phones. if you are on social media today and i know everyone is, please use the #gps when tweeting and post pictures on facebook. also, your feedback is important. there are surveys around. please fill them out to enter into a drawing for a visa card. sidney blumenthal will find books over here after this presentation. you can get the book at politics and prose tent. i do want to mention the book sale. please if you can and if it's
within your means please pot-- buy books at the book tent. this festival is free to all of us, but book sales are important because it helps publishers and convinces them to send their authors to the book festival and we would like to continue to make this festival grow. it's now my great privilege to introduce our speaker, sidney blumenthal was the former assistant and senior advisor to president bill clinton and senior advisory to hillary clinton and began his career as a journalist and has been an national staff reporter for the "washington post". washington editor and staff writer for the new yorker and senior writer for the new republic as well as contributor to many other publications. he has also written several bestsellers, the clinton wars, rise of the counter establishment and the permanent campaign and has worked in television and film was executive producer for the academy awards taxi to the dark
side. he is here with us today to talk about his newest book, "wrestling with his angel: the political life of abraham lincoln". it is the second in a four volume series. he was here last year to talk about the first book. the power of this series is the detailed analysis, not only of the president to lincoln, but the decisions that were made that affect the course of our history. so often those details are left out of the history books or at best just a footnote, but to fully understand the complexities of major historical events such as the movement to end slavery or the seemingly inevitable decision for one fraction number country to take up arms against another part of the country, those decisions and those details, we need to look at those more deeply in terms of
political climate, what the personality is involved, the alliances made and betrayed along the way so we can only fully appreciate those details when we look more deeply as mr. blumenthal has done. we have to wait for the train. excuse me. it's one of the beauties of gaithersburg is that you get the train going by ever so often. so, when we think about him or her-- when we think about abraham lincoln we think of him as a fully formed a leader that brought our country back after the civil war in this book along with the first volume gives us a detailed account of how lincoln actually becomes lincoln, the leader who we now envision. 150 years from now someone is
going to write a book about the 2016 election. [laughter] >> lets hope the writer is as committed to telling the full story of the 45th president as sidney blumenthal has so doubtfully given as number 16. thank you. [applause]. >> thank you very much for that kind introduction. i'm delighted to be here at the gaithersburg book festival, which is a terrific events, not only for gaithersburg and maryland, but for the entire washington area. it's a really unique event and i'm glad you are all here. i was here last year in torrential rainstorm and there were a lot of brave souls who still came and i delighted that you are here now to hear a few words about our 16th president, abraham lincoln.
this is the second volume in my four volume series on the political life of abraham lincoln. this a volume takes lincoln from the entrance of his political wilderness to his emergence as the man who we can see is abraham lincoln and i like to read and this is my poor imitation of charles dickens. since i have a captive audience i will read a little and then i will take any questions you might have hurt i find your questions more interesting than anything because people often have the-- important insights into our politics and questions about lincoln. the more time i have spent with
abraham lincoln and i have never been-- i have been right now, for about 10 years and the more i have come to understand that his words and actions with a careful result of his intense self-discipline. the silences that his law partner and friends described as his melancholy were also a masks -- massacres concentration, intellectual absorption and focus. his depression and other feelings deepened his self-awareness and spurred his self-education. lincoln, after all, had only a few weeks of a formal education and the bad informed his acute understanding of human nature and politics. even when his life seemed to have been reduced to insignificance he was scamming
the herat-- scanning the horizon and interpreting its assigns. the young lincoln in his first formal speech as a springfield illinois in 1838 could see a crisis to come. at what point, then is the approach of danger to be expected, he said. i am certain if it ever reach us, it's a must spring up among us and cannot come from abroad. if destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its authors and finisher. my book, "wrestling with his angel", which is a title taken from the biblical story of jacob who wrestled through a long night and found himself at the end and assumed a new name, the
name israel. describe lincoln dark night of his soul, lincoln coming to his revelation of a house divided from which he emerged as the recognizable lincoln of history and he would be that man until his assassination. actor abraham lincoln's one term in congress where he lived in a boarding house that is now the site of a library of congress facing the capital and his return to his law office in springfield he stared into the distance for long periods of time. his partner, william henry herndon recalled him breaking one of his prolonged silences with the cry of anguish, the political world was dead herndon
road. things were snagged that and i'll hope for progress in the light of freedom seemed to be crushed out. lincoln was speculating with me about the deadness of things and the despair which arose out of it and deeply regretting that his human strength and power were limited by his nature to rouse and stir of the world. he said gloomily, despairingly, sadly oh, how hard it is to die and leave at once country know better if one had never lived for it. the world is dead to hope. death to its own death struggle. may know by universal cry, what is to be done, is anything to be done? who can do anything and how is it to be done?
did you ever think of these things? and so lincoln in the depths of his depression almost as soon as lincoln return it to springfield , his wife mary todd lincoln, sent him around back on a mission to her hometown of lexington, kentucky, to serve as the cocounsel to recover the todd family fortune, which was considerable. lincoln found himself thrust into the vortex of his native states politics in 1849, which were turned into a mortal kombat between proslavery and anti- slavery forces. the lawsuits and the politics were intertwined, so if you will
follow these threads now. for nearly a decade mary's father, john asked todd, henry clay's business partner and political ally had tried to rest the todd estate from robert woodcliff who would marry a cousin of john todd named polly todd. she had held that the state, but passed away. woodcliff inherited the todd estate, all the land, all the money. woodcliff also was not so incidentally the leader of a proslavery movement in kentucky. john todd ready for the state senate against that movement, though he was a slaveholder himself was demonized as an abolitionist. in the mill of the campaign in
july 1849 he died of cholera. lincoln arrived to pursue the family's case in october. just in time to observe the proslavery movement triumphantly rewrite the state constitution to eliminate the kentucky law prohibiting the slave trade within the state. lincoln lost the case and the todd family as the estate to woodcliff. at the very same moment that the political legacy of henry clay lincoln's early though i did have a and mary's father's legacy were destroyed. if of those events were not sufficiently invigorating, there was another factor profound but concealed and lincoln certainly knew it was.
from memoirs: journals and pamphlets at the time, a mystery underlines the child-- todd are casey merges. it was the todd family secret. there was in fact a living error -- year, polly todd's grandson, the only child of her son who had died and at a relatively young age. this error was not legally a person under the law because he was, in fact, a slave. he had been emancipated and shipped to liberia. in 1878, many years later this former slave, the invisible man of the story whose name was
alfred francis russell was elected the vice president of liberia. in 1883, he became its president mary todd's second relation to become a president. back in illinois, from kentucky lincoln spoke with john todd stewarts, his first law partner and early political mentor who was a conservative old whig. the time would sue, in which we must be democrats or abolitionists said stuart and stewart would eventually join the democrats. when that time comes my mind is made up: can replied. the slavery question cannot be compromised. lincoln added that-- stewart
added that lincoln spoke in an emphatic tone. lincoln further expressed to many of his friends his anger at the writing slave power he had observed in kentucky. he was livid that an anti- slavery whig lawyer he knew there, samuel miller have been driven out of the state for his views. lincoln would appoint him to the supreme court. lincoln described young, thoughtless, giddy slaveholders with slaves trudging behind them the most glittering ostentatious and displayed property in the world. lincoln would get excited on the question, said one of his friends, and believed the tendency of the times was to
make slavery universal. he told another friend in a few years we will be ready to accept the institution in illinois and the whole country will adopt it. the todd are case with its hidden history left lincoln smoldering in private until he stepped onto the public stage five years later, but the time for lincoln to step forward had not come, not yet. lincoln would remain a whig. the whig party was the party of lincoln. for several more years before finally deciding that he had to become something else or disappear along with the whigs. his own political prospects were dimming while those of his rival , senator stephen a douglas were lighting up the sky.
lincoln was not an abolitionist. but, he was and-- as he insisted naturally antislavery. his deepening understanding of slavery in its full complexity as a moral, political and constitutional dilemma began in his childhood among the primitive baptist anti- slavery discontents in backwoods kentucky in indiana whose churches his parents attended. as a boy he wrote-- row down the mississippi river to new orleans where the open air emporium of slaves on a gaudy display shocked him. as a congressman, he lived in a boarding house known as abolition house. he experienced the invasion of slave catchers coming to seize one of the waiters as a fugitive slave. undoubtedly, lincoln knew the
secret of the house where he lived across from the capital that it was a station in the underground railroad. he denounced the mexican war as fraudulently started and voted numerous times against the expansion of slavery in the new western territories that had been seized in the war. with the quiet assistance of the leading abolitionist in the congress he drafted a bill for a massive patient in the district of columbia which never received even a single hearing in the house of representatives and then he came home to an obscurity that seemed as though it would never end. suddenly in 1854 the once and future rivals of lincoln come mind to go to smithereens the cornerstone of political peace. senator douglas, seeking a
gesture that would carry him to the democratic presidential nomination combined with secretary of war under franklin pierce jefferson davis of mississippi. are two slaveholding wealth and the de facto acting president of the united states operating behind the week lane president pierce. they converged in their collaboration on the kansas nebraska act. that act repealed the missouri compromise that forbidden slavery north of the line of a middle latitude through the country that it prohibited slavery towards its north and now it's repealed made possible the extension of slavery to the west. in a stroke, the old political
order cracked apart. we were thunderstruck and stunned and weaver yield and fell another confusion, said lincoln, describing the atmosphere of the early resistance, but we each rose fighting, grasping whatever he could first reach aside, a pitchfork, chopping ax orbiters cleaver, we struck in the direction of the south. in two brief autobiographies that lincoln put out during his 1860 presidential campaign he depicted himself in this wilderness period as strangely content in a kind of internal exile, becoming nearly indifferent to politics, immersed in his legal practice. he told the chicago tribune in
1854, his profession meaning lincoln's profession as a lawyer had almost superseded the thought of politics in his mind when the repeal of the missouri compromise aroused him as he had never been before. it was at about this juncture in lincoln's career that herndon, his law partner wrote of his partner's ambition. that man who thinks lincoln calmly said down and gathered his robes about him waiting for the people to call has a very erroneous knowledge of lincoln. he was always calculated and always planning ahead. 's ambition was a little engine that knew no rest. now, lincoln still clung to the home of the sinking whig party that broke into northern and
southern wings. he held onto it longer than some others, but he also knew that a new coalition must be organized. in this period of party chaos he cast himself into the world when he studied. he disciplined himself. he read and then he wrote a long speech. he sequestered himself in the library of the state capital as he drafted the speech against the canned the-- kansas nebraska act. stepping under the podium to speak in the illinois hall of representatives on october 4, 1864, he never again left the stage of history. lincoln, the defender of the declaration of independence and this idea that all men are created equal invoked the blood of the revolution, the american revolution. lincoln, the shakespearean
pointed to the moral wrong of slavery quoting from macbeth like the bloody hand you may wash it and wash it. the red witness of guilt still sticks and the stairs horribly at you. now, in this chaotic period many movements swirled across the landscape, movements born against slavery, against immigrants and against liquor. these many movements compounded the development of one big antislavery coalition. lincoln felt that he could not then draw it all together. some people in the abolitionist movement understood that a more proficient and gifted political figure was required to draw the
elephants together that brought them to ask lincoln to lead them , but he dodged them. he went out of town on a long case. in retrospect, his closest contemporaries-- lincoln's whole life was a calculation of the vase of the forces and ultimate results. the question of cause and effect reflected his friends the illinois lawyer and fellow whig member, he believed the results to which certain causes tended would certainly follow. he did not believe that those results could be materially hastened or impeded. his whole political history, especially since the agitation of the slavery question has been based upon this theory. another man who knew lincoln very well, john w bone, a
springfield merchant who happened to find lincoln's campaign, there was a lot of campaign fund-raising even then. judge lincoln, unique among politicians. lincoln's entire career proves that it is quite possible for a man to be a droit and skillful and effective in politics without in any degree sacrificing moral principles. little man try to do the same thing he did and make very bad work of it. they lack the high moral inspiration that animated lincoln. for the years lincoln had turned over in his mind the menace of slavery to democracy until in 1855 he envisioned the prospect
of what might come. i think that there is no peaceful extinction of slavery and prospect for us. he wrote the cocounsel in the tidier case, a kentucky judge named robertson, lincoln and on the single failure of henry clay another good and great men in 1849 to affect anything in favor of gradual emancipation in kentucky together with a thousand other signs distinguishes that hope utterly. at the same time, another complicating factor entered into the equation between 1845 in 18543000000 immigrants arrive on these shores. the first great wave of immigration about 40% were poor
irish plane the potato family. about 40% were germans fleeing the failed liberal revolution of 1848. conservative protestants view the irish especially as a source of crime, corruption and poverty. both the irish and germans were beer drinkers. a habits that aroused temperance crusaders to condemn them as drunken, lazy and sinful. a new party arose. it was called the know nothing party pick the know nothing gave their name because they were a secret lodge and when anyone who is a member was asked if they were-- if they belonged to the know nothings they were to
reply: i know nothing. it sprang from a small anti- immigrant native sect in new york city called the order of the star-spangled banner. within months after the 1852 election it attracted an estimated membership of more than a million. its program held one that only nativeborn protestants could hold public office in the united states. its slogan, americans only shall govern america. as the crisis deepened lincoln wondered how he could be effective in fighting slavery while maintaining his identity in the crumbling whig party and
all of these various movements were swirling around him. on august 24, 1855, lincoln wrote his intimate friend joshua speed with whom he had shared a room in springfield. speed has gone back to his home in kentucky where he presided over a plantation. he and nick-- lincoln disagreed about slavery in lincoln wrote him a long letter and in the forefront of his thinking was the threat of the know nothings. i am not a know nothing. that is certain. how could i be, how can anyone who bores the oppression of negroes the in favor of degrading classes of white people? our progress and degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid as a nation we began by declaring all men are created equal. we now practically read that all men are created equal except negroes. with the know nothings get
control it will read all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and catholics. when it comes to this, i should prefer immigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty. to russia, for instance. [laughter] >> where despotism can be taken as you wore and without the alloy of hypocrisy. that lincoln could write. he could turn a phrase. state-by-state the new republican party was being organized and in illinois a group of anti- slavery newspaper editors invited lincoln to join them as their leader at a meeting to organize a convention of the new party for all annoying.
lincoln absent at the time recalled herndon and believing i knew what his feelings and judgment up the fight a question of the hour work, i took the liberty to sign his name to the call. john todd stewart who you remember as lincoln's first law partner tried to remove lincoln's endorsement. he rushed into the law office and confronted herndon. he asked if lincoln had signed the abolition call. herndon said i answered in the negative adding that i had signed his name myself. to the question, did lincoln authorize you to sign it i returned on emphatic no. then, explained the startled and indignant stewart, you have ruined him. i thought i understood lincoln thoroughly, herndon row, but in order to vindicate myself if it
failed i immediately sent out after stewart had left the office and wrote to lincoln who is then in case well county attending courts. a brief account of what i had done and how much stir it was created in the ranks of his conservative friends. if he approved or disapproved i asked him to write or telegraph me at once. in a brief time came his answer and this is what lincoln wrote in a telegram to herndon: i'll write, go ahead. we will meet you, radicals and all. at that meeting on february 22, 1856, which happened to be george washington's birthday, george snyder, the editor of the leading german language newspaper in illinois proposed a plan to denounce the know
nothings and the nativists present at the meeting opposed it. the conference to create the republican party threatened to collapse. schneider announced he would finally submit his resolution to lincoln and abide by his decision. gentlemen declared lincoln, the resolution introduced by mr. snyder is nothing new. it is already contained in the declaration of independence. this declaration of mr. lincoln, schneider recalled, saved the resolution and in fact helped to establish the new party on the most liberal democratic basis. therefore, lincoln's judgment made possible the creation of the illinois republican party, which became the instrument that
would in four years carry him to the republican nomination for president, but he could not foresee that distant future that nor could he predict the shocking 10 days that shook the world that would soon polarize and clarify the conflict. 10 days in may, of 1856, on may 19, 1856, senator charles sumner of massachusetts delivered his speech on the attack on democracy. he titled it the crime against kansas. may 21, an army of nearly 1000 proslavery missourians under a red banner inscribed a southern rights rampaged through the free state town of lawrence, kansas, and ransacked it.
the next today in the senate while sumner was writing at his desk congressman preston brooks of south carolina approached him without sumner noticing. he lifted his a gold handled cane and smashed it relentlessly on his head, nearly killing him. blood streamed across the floor of the senate. it two days later on may 24, along pottawatomie creek in kansas radical abolitionist john brown and his followers packed five proslavery men to death. five days later at may 29, lincoln stood as a republican before the convention of the new party he founded in illinois. it was among the most significant events in the coming of the civil war. ultimately, ralph emerson would
declare his mind master the problem of the date and as the problem grew so did his comprehension of it. rarely was a manso fitted to the events. within two years of assuming his new identity as a republican, lincoln sounded his own note of destiny. lincoln's language was her drenched not only in shakespeare, but also drawn from the king james bible. from the gospel of mark, if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand and if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. from the gospel of luke, every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste and a divided household falls. on june the 16th, 1858, declaring his candidacy for the
senate against stephen a douglas lincoln said if we could first know where we are and whether we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it. just remember a few years earlier he despaired what is to be done. now, he says a house divided against itself cannot stand. i believe this government cannot endure permanently passed-- have slaves and i do not expect the union to be dissolved. i do not expect the house to fall, but i do expect it will cease to be divided. it will become all one thing or all the other. lincoln lost about race, but his sense of historical time and political timing had become a queued. two weeks after his defeat to douglas he wrote to a friend,
the fight must go on. the cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the end of one or even 100 defeats. in 1860, beginning his campaign for the republican presidential nomination lincoln came to new york city and delivered a speech at cooper union and in it he concluded, neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of discretion to the government nor of dungeons to ourselves. let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us to the end there as to do our duty as we understand it. lincoln's political education was long, but many of the moments of lincoln's awakening from his period of political
slumber were not known for many years until afterwards. in early 1855 a free black woman in springfield illinois whom the historical record inscribed only as polly appeared at the office of lincoln and herndon with a tale of woe. her son had hired himself out on a steamboat on the mississippi, gone down the mississippi like lincoln had done years earlier, but when he reached new orleans without free papers proving he was not a slave he was imprisoned and to be sold into slavery. lincoln appeared before the governor of illinois, joel mattson, democrat and ally of douglas. lincoln appealed to the governor of louisiana who rejected his request again, he returned to
the governor's office and again he was denied. so, lincoln and herndon raised funds, located an agent in new orleans and purchased the young man's liberty. soon, the prison doors of swung open and he was returned to springfield and his mother. lincoln had bought a slave and freedom. it was lincoln's first act of emancipation. at about this time in 1855, traveling the county court circuit stayed overnight in a boarding house's discussion with a former judge in the low, a conservative old week with a deep into the night. judge dickey contended slavery was an institution which the constitution recognized and which could not be disturbed. lincoln argued that ultimately slavery must become extinct
recalled anotherillinois lawyer who was present. after a wild, said dickey, we went upstairs to bed. there were two beds in our room and i remember that lincoln sat up in his nightshirt on the edge of the bed arguing the point with me. at last, we went to sleep. early in the morning, i woke up and there was lincoln half sitting up in the bed. dickey, said lincoln, i tell you this nation cannot exist half slave and half free. oh, lincoln, reply dickey go to sleep. [laughter] >> thank you. [applause].
>> and i am eager to hear your questions, if you have any. >> this is a little outside the compass of the years that you mentioned for this book. budge, i was curious, during his administration, didn't he entertain for quite some time notions about resettling slaves in south america or africa and doesn't that seem out of keeping with his otherwise growing moral outrage and sensibility about slavery? >> that's a good question. there was not only a movement, but a very well-known society called the american colonization society and it was led by a very prominent american, one of the advocates was henry clay and the descendents of george washington belonged to it and they believed somehow gradual emancipation
through their efforts of returning slaves to africa would solve the problem in the united states and that accounts for the origins of liberia. lincoln entertained notions of colonization. this was particularly an idea among whigs and was considered a reform idea. it was vague, condescending and it was a misplaced idea that we can see in retrospect. the whole thing collapsed, obviously, but lincoln still raised this idea and exported as president. every time he tried to do it, his efforts went nowhere. she even raised this idea before he issued the emancipation proclamation.
lincoln really had no vision of what was to follow through emancipation. he had a sense of about blacks gradually becoming citizens and assuming full rights. his very last speech on april 11, 1865, he talks about granting voting rights to black soldiers and he says and the very intelligent. that's a wedge to open the issue up. in the crowd, watching him and hearing him at the white house was john wilkes booth. ..
pragmatically as a political question. his opening was the speech april 11th a few days before he was shot in which he opened the question of political rights and voting rights. he had of course in january shepherded through the 13th amendment abolishing slavery. he would not live to see the 14th and 15th amendments that granted full citizenship rights to former slaves. we don't know what lincoln would have done in reconstruction. ideal with this. i have to wait for the exciting conclusion. lincoln would none have the things that andrew johnson would have done in opposing
reconstruction and granting of equal rights and lincoln would have operated in a very political way and exercised his leadership. lincoln said i may be snow but once i take a position i never retreat. we have a question here? >> my question is about you as a writer. i coach writers and i am curious, you know when you decide to write a four volume set how you know number one that you are going to finish, and really, how you divide up what is in each volume and how you go
about, do you do some of volume 4 before you do volume 2 and all that. it is admirable, but wow. >> my own experience is unique and i don't recommend it to any other writer because it was and still in an act of madness. i began writing and wrote for years and wrote to the end, realized what i had done and decided what i had done in the beginning was inadequate and threw it out and started over. and wrote the first two volumes again from scratch. i didn't know how many volumes there were until. i didn't have a contract although i had written many
books before. when i showed the book to my editor, alice mayhew, distinguished editor of many lincoln works, simon & schuster, very lucky to have her as an editor. she said it seems like three books and they multiplied in the dark and became four. i am still rewriting three. four in pretty good shape. as i get distracted by current events as everyone is i do my best to try to return to the 19th century and feel safe. [laughter and applause] >> one more question over here.
>> lincoln, of course, as you mentioned, was taken with the declaration of independence. jefferson wrote that. jefferson is also discombobulated by the slavery question. is there any evidence of lincoln's thoughts after -- any research that he did with respect to jefferson? jefferson was stumped by the slavery question. >> great question that i will answer briefly because we have time and i deal with it in the book with a full answer but jefferson was the icon of the democratic party and when lincoln was working to create the republican party he wanted to bring in democrats.
he appropriated the tradition of jefferson as he would reinterpret it. the jefferson who was the inspiration for the ordinance of 1787 that prohibited slavery in the midwestern states was his jefferson. the jefferson who wrote all men are created equal was his jefferson. lincoln saying all honor to jefferson. he was seizing the democratic jefferson from the democrats for himself and taking that tradition into his new party and lincoln was the kind of political genius in doing that. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible
featured on booktv's afterwards, our weekly author interview program, doctor and editor-in-chief of kaiser health news elizabeth rosenthal reported on the current state of healthcare, new york times reporter cooper explored the life of liberian president ellen johnson surly, the first democratically elected female president in african history and ohio governor john kasich reflected on his 2016 presidential campaign. in the coming weeks on afterwards, chris hayes will look at racial inequality in the united states, rachel schneider will report on how low and moderate income families manage money. nebraska senator ben sass will argue america's youth are not prepared for adulthood and on afterwards stuart taylor will explore sexual assault on college campuses. >> the obama administration has shown resoundingly they are incompetent at doing this, terribly biased.
incompetent that they don't know how to investigate, don't have subpoena power, don't have scientific evidence, don't dig up evidence, they train their so-called adjudicators by telling them almost all guys who do this are guilty. if the guy is persuasive and logical when he says he is innocent that is a sign of guilt. if he is not persuasive and logical that too is a sign of guilt. so the question is is there any way the system can be reformed so that it is not so guilt presenting? theoretically there is and i hope the trump administration will take steps to do it. i have grave doubts knowing what campuses are like today, knowing basically, extreme temp feminist side, the attitudes of people who run it, not all of them but the people who make the noise, people leadership is afraid of. i don't trust any campus in
america to do a decent job of this. >> afterward there's on booktv at 10:00 pm and sunday at 9:00 pm eastern. you can watch all previous programs on our website, booktv.org. >> i thought in -- a 19-year-old it or 18-year-old kid, my brothers now that i got to take care of and not fair if they go overseas so i canceled my orders in fort hood, texas and went overseas. what an idiot. i went overseas. a lot of firefights. in the platoon, anything i want, the first sergeant complement, got a new haircut? the package, can you believe it? some of you got that. kissing up.
got a phone call -- a phone call, some ieds in the city. got gear on, the ground back and forth. 120 pounds, when i hit the ground and the closest device. my mind went down and back. after the bone being hung gone by a couple tendons, my left arm was blown out at the wrist. my thumb, pinky and index finger were mangled up. the left side of my face on the ground, left eyes swelling shut. and over here. my medic started working on it.
it is okay. two guys got hurt with me, they had been hurt, not going to solve this problem with a lot less. i never went to die but a minute and a half. my tourniquet and left leg turner kept, and two guys were fine. and a helicopter blue me out to kandahar hospital. so good at traumatic injury, leave there alive. and traumatic injury.
trying to get back up, i am mad i am lying on this bed. jumping my chest, one guy's just held me down. i can stop being afraid of showing fear. saving private ryan, the medic yelling for his mom. my last memories, and you are going to be okay. shut up and do your job. if i die it is not your fault. my little girl am i ever going to see her again, my girl is 6 months old, my left leg came off with it, triple amputee now. 14 hours of surgery, two nurses,
30 blood transfusions, i had to do month of testing, they didn't have time to go through this procedure to keep me alive. everything got me going, that was april 10th, april 12th, my brother-in-law was in afghanistan as well and when you are overseas, the blue book is what you write in if you die, who will bring your body home and what music plays at your funeral, it is morbid who gets the money. josh flies to kandahar, they took me into surgery and cut my left arm off because the skin had died. two days later they wake me up for the first time out of my goal station and first out of my mouth my brother in law is in the room, they are okay.
am i paralyzed? you are not paralyzed. we don't have them anymore. angry, upset, i was questioning does god hate me, am i a bad person? what is going on. take care of my family. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> live from the gaithersburg book festival, sally mott freeman talked about the search for a missing naval officer during world war ii.