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tv   Sting Like a Bee  CSPAN  July 16, 2017 9:30am-10:32am EDT

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i remember this from a child. all four of my grand parents plus my mother were born in italy. i actually have that asked. they went for thousands of years in the aquarian area. but not altogether my mother described in italy how all the women would get together to do the laundry and go up the hill to the fonts and cut out the side of the mountain and so on. she remembered picnicking, it better, et cetera. even though people were laboring physically in the aquarian area, there was a sense of identity. it's no place for an independent thinker. if you're an independent thinker, you have no options as a woman except to become a man.
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>> at evening. thank you for coming. kind of programming coordinator for the library and am very pleased to present tonight program. i would like to thank our sponsor, maryville university barnes & noble, the team from the chesterfield barnes & noble has books for sale in the room. please consider buying the book to make a the book help support the other series and bring more great authors to st. louis. after the talk will just fine you up a row and get it going very efficiently. tonight is presented by the favorite authors series. the program started in 2004 and represents authors of politics, history and sports.
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.. in which it's very appropriately titled "sting like a bee". nero's focus to a somewhat
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overlooked area of all his life, a conscientious draft objector during the vietnam era and the subsequent legal battle that took him all the way to the supreme court. researched and filled with great suspense, "sting like a bee" is an inspiring account of the highs and lows of an exceptional individual and never fails to capture the charisma and complexity of muhammad ali. please help me welcome for [applause] >> a very nice introduction. thank you st. louis. i've celebrated from this not a cut outlet and the last time i bought a new book, i gave a whole talk and i walked out and i sent this
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along the side of the panel, it was a long plastic thing and it said 30 by 32 by 30 so i was really careful in taking the answer to straighten things out. mohammed ali, this should be like thegreatest book talk of all time because we are talking about mohammed ali . there's 1 million bucks on muhammad ali out there and why should there beanother book? that's a very good question, why is this guy writing this book . the last book i wrote was about evil knievel and i finished that and we were talking, what i should do next to my publisher and i think most writers wanted sort of an obscure story that nobody knows, a seabiscuit kind of thing where america all of a sudden discovers this great story and falls in love with it. so i proposed a book about a
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guy named will mcdonough who was a writer at the boston globe when i was there. he had some mob connections and things like that and told great stories and he was probably the most charismatic guy i knew in my other editor said could you write about a 25 page proposal on this? and i did, i wrote out the 25 page proposal and he turned down and about five seconds he said, you need to write about some iconic athlete. so i wrote a list of iconic athletes and i wrote johnny unitas, bill russell, walter payton and they all seemed to have been done. there were all books on those guys. then i put down muhammad ali and i said that's the most iconic guy of all. he's the most iconic athlete that ever in the united states, but in the world and
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i said maybe there's something in there. and the time period i came up with on this, the last big book on muhammad ali was written by the editor of the new yorker. david remnick and it was written in 1997 and it covered the time in his life from when he was born in louisville till you won the world title in against sonny liston and it ended right there. and i said what if i take the time period that went from there and when he had the trouble with the draft board of the united states government and kind of go with that. and i said that to my editor and i gave him a note and said the proposed title, mohammed ali versus the united states. and he said could you write me two paragraphs on that. so i wrote the two paragraphs
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and the next day he called up and said we got deal, were going to do this. so that's why i'm doing it and i found as i got into it, there were a couple reasons to be doing it. i'm 18 months younger than mohammed ali was and so i was going through the same stuff with the draft and vietnam war in the 60s and i got married around the same time so his draft problems came up at the same time, my draft problems came up and but i really looked in on that. the vietnam war kind of changed a lot of lives, just about everybody i'd say my age kinda was affected somehow. i knew guys that got married to stay out of draft, i knew guys who started careers in education when they had no reason to be in education and they've beenin education all their lives . because of the draft, because
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you get a deferment. i myself, i graduated from the university of connecticut. i would have gone to paris or somewhere like that and bummed around for a while but you couldn't do that so i went to 15 different national guard outfits and cg, i'd love to go there and i found some outlet that needed somebody and i wound up in port jackson and the first time i flew an airplane was from fort jackson to st. louis . to go to fort leonard. and we hitchhiked once to st. louis from fort leonard where we stayed in some kid's room at the washington university and then we went to type back and we got stranded in raleigh missouri. >> we stood by the axis there, for six hours reading for somebody to pick us up and finally a guy came, he had a truck and only the
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third year was stripped and he kind of chilled over and he picked up that and took us home and i promise to god that i would, from that moment on that i would always pick up every hitchhiker that i saw but i kind of broke that promise since then and i'm sorry, doug. so the draft affected everyone and mohammed ali, when he first, the first thing that happened with mohammed ali was in 1964, right when he was fighting sonny liston, he was called up to go for his draft physical at the age of 18. and he went for the physical and the mental test and he flunked the mental test. he really couldn't read very well. and couldn't write very well. and math was, he was dyslexic, i think. and so he flunked the mental test and then he flunked it again.and he had a score of life 16 on the test. and that was underneath the
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barracks, plus then he got married so he was out in two different things, he was for h and he was married and he fought sonny liston a second time and he got divorced. he joined the nation of islam and got divorced because his wife wouldn't conform to the nation of islam, she wouldn't dress like that or follow the religion so now he's eligible that way and vietnam, he says that's to enough people so they dropped the test and so now is 16 passed the test instead of flunked the test and so he was called in to be in the service and he was called in, he was changed to one a and that happened in 1966 and i'll kind of review what he said. when that happened. >>.
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>> and when he said. >> you can eliminate this part where he makes sure you list this thing in the book. >> when he was reclassified 1a and the reporters all stood around outside, he had gone into training to fight, he was going to fight bertie terrel in chicago and he was in miami beach when he found out and he came out in front of this house where he was living and a reporter put on the cameras and stuff and he said this, he said i can't understand how they can do this to me. why take me, a man who pays a salary of at least 200,000 men a year, 200,000 men, i can't understand all the baseball players, all
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ballplayers, all the basketball players, why seek out me who's the world's only heavyweight champ? why are they so anxious to pay me $80 a month, me who had to fight pays for six new jet planes? i'm fighting for the government every day. i'm laying my life on the line for the government every day.nine out of 10 soldiers, would not want to be in my place in the rain. it's too dangerous. for two years the army told everybody i was a knot and i was a shame and now they say i'm a wise man. they embarrass my parents, everybody was asking them questions, asking them if i was a knot. even my ex-wife was ashamed. it doesn't bother me a bit. now it without ever testing me to see if i'm wise orworse than before, they decide i can go in the army. he said all that and more and the next day , he gave the quote that became famous or infamous around thecountry
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was , i don't have any quarrel with those vietcong. and that's kind of seems to be at the time, when the war was just kind of picking up it almost seemed citizens. that he was like aligning himself with the enemy and his popularity kind of just went down in a minute and the fight with ernie terrel was canceled in chicago and a whole bunch of stuff. he took a big public relationshit . and the reason he objected to the war was because he was a member of the nationof islam . that was his total reason. he was a true believer in the nation of islam. and the nation of islam was sort of an offshoot of islam with a different kind of
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theology on the side of the white devils and oppressing the black man and just a different theology and the idea was why should a black man fight in a white man's war? the honorable elijah mohammed who was the head of the nation of islam answer for years in jail from world war ii and a bunch of members of the religion had served time in jail for not going to correia and muhammad ali was in that line in his religious thinking. so he applied for conscientious objector status . which entailed a bunch of things. edward jack who had been a big lawyer for malcom x in the nation of islam up in harlem, he was called jacko the giant killer because he defeated the government on a bunch of things and they file
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a thing for conscientious objector and as part of that, he had to go see a special judge that they brought in a retired judge, this was part of the apparatus for applying for conscientious objector. they brought in a retired judge to talk to decide whether or not he should be a conscientious objector. and this is at least one time that he really stated his place and the guy here was 65 years old, his name was lawrence braman and he was in louisville kentucky. and he wasn't known as a baby civil rights guy or at all. he was kind of a country club guy in louisville. and you wouldn't think he would have much of a chance and he had a new lawyer now, a guy named hayden covington
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who had been a defender of the jehovah's witnesses for a long time. and hayden covington has been the most successful lawyer ever to appeal cases to the us supreme court. he had dropped a lot of jehovah's witnesses out of serving in the army and there are a lot of cases of jehovah's witnesses refusing to slay say the pledge of allegiance and stand and salute the flag and things like that. >> so they went before this judge rahman, stated his case. the fbi presented a file and judge grauman went off to decide on this. and afterabout three weeks , judge around and decided that ali should be a conscientious objector and he filed his thing with the justice department and it was a nonbinding decision and the justice department said well, that's very nice for judge from in and he said well, we think you 47 should consider
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muhammad ali a 1a and he should be drafted. so the justice department overrode what he said and what john prominent said and away we went to this whole thing where eventually ali was called for induction into the army in houston and he refused to set forward and that caused him every state started with the new york athletic commission, every state kind of rescinded his heavyweight championship and took it away. and the justice department, had his passport suspended so he couldn't go anywhere else in the world to fight. so he was out of a job. and 3 and a half year period started that he got married again to a 17-year-old girl, belinda boyd was a member of
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the nation of islam and had kind of loan up in the nation of islam school and her parents were friends of the honorable elijah mohammed and he probably knew more about the religion that anybody. and the two of them kind of went off to figure out life. and he was making no money, he had spent all his money and he wound up doing these college campus things where he went around to colleges and presented his case to the college kids and he wasn't, he wasn't part of the draft board apparatus. he was a great protest of going against the draft. he was doing this mostly for himself, he wasn't with the kids that were hurting their draft cards, he wasn't with the farrakhan brothers and the priests who were going in on the draft record and all that stuff. he was off trying to protest
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things on his own route and he wasn't a civil rights guy either, he was the nation of islam believed belief was separation, not integration and he once said if he voted, if he could vote he would've voted for george wallace . he wanted a segregated society where the black man, that you would go to state or something or a couple state and it would be almost a separate country. and so he in fact, you know, he would call the people that were marching under the reverend martin luther king, he would say what are you doing, this isn't a thing you should be doing. if people don't want want you you should be trying to force yourself upon them. he said we should go off in a different direction.
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so he had a really different viewpoint than he had later in life, i think. and he was very controversial . and a funny thing happened as he was doing all these college dates and a couple years went by. 1968 came along where everything went crazy. maybe crazy if you're going when martin luther king was assassinated, robert kennedy was assassinated. there was that convention with merit daily in chicago. there were riots in 110 cities in america, just a whole bunch of stuff. this guy tried to assassinate andy warhol. stuff was going on everywhere and mohammed ali just didn't seem that controversial anymore. and as the war had ground along, more and more kids had convinced their parents that maybe this wasn't the greatest war in the world for
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them to be involved in and had kind of rebelled against this thing and slowly but surely, the national perception of muhammad ali had become much different. and when he finally got to the end of 68, there is a great thing. he was on firing line with william f buckley, i don't know if anybody remembers that show. liam f buckley was the erudite guy with the big words and he was arguing with muhammad ali. muhammad ali was very good against him and he had gone off and perfected his rap in all these college things and arguing with college kids and he was really good in that show. and different things along those lines, he showed up on more and more, johnny carson
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and merv griffin and the mike douglas show and he became more mainstream. he appeared in a play on broadway. lonely but surely, the idea came that maybe he should be back fighting and the guy in new york, a young civil rights lawyer named michael meltzer, he had tried to follow the whole thing in new york to get his license back because ali, he had been convicted of anything, he was still in the appeals process, how could he lose his job for something he hadn't been convicted for? that wasn't an american kind of thing. so that had gone on and another guy had tried to get him a license and in atlanta georgia where in georgia it wasn't the state commission that licensed fights, it was the city boxing commission so under the nose of western automatics, probably the most segregationist governor in
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america, they pushed through the thing in atlanta and he decided to fight jerry corrie as his comeback fight and he thought jerry corrie in 1970 and then new york opened up and he thought oscar, he beat jerry corrie in three rounds, cut him up pretty bad and they stop the fight. he thought oscar on a vein of in madison square garden. and that flight went the distance, 12 rounds and he won the decision and then he decided to fight joe frazier, the flight that had been building and building. frazier had become the champion in absentia and allie considered himself to be the people champion. >> and it's got opened up and it was probably the biggest sports event in 20th-century
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america. it was just huge. each fighter got $5 million which was an unbelievable amount of money. >> at that time. >> and jack cook who was the owner of the washington redskins, whatever. he was the one that put up the $10 million and they fought and ali for some reason despite his comeback fight of his life, really didn't train that hard for it. he wound up spending most of his training time talking to reporters and hanging around and doing stuff and in the meantimefrazier was riding away, grinding away . and ali's wife told him, she said you're going to lose to this guy, i don't even want to sit in the good seed, i'm going to segue in the back because fair enough, sure
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enough, frazier just growled away, ground the way and in the 14th round knocked ali down and frazier won the fight. he won a decision. and about two months later, the case finally came before the supreme court and it had gone to the supreme court once and the supreme court had refused to rule on it which would have sent ali to jail. but a second thing came up about wiretapping and the fbi had wiretaps some of the conversations of muhammad ali, just five of them without his knowledge. so that brought him back to another chance to go through the courts and go to the supreme court and it reached the supreme court and the supreme court decided, judge thurgood marshall recused himself because he had been part of the justice department prosecuting ali
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way back when all this started before he became supreme court justice so it was eight judges were voting and the vote was 523 that ali was convicted and he was going to go away, he was going to go away for five years after the joe frazier fight and then judge john harland was given the job of writing up his majority opinion that mohammed ali was going to go away and he of course assigned his interns, his law clerks to take the opinion and the law clerks really were, they were part of the young people who were, changed their mind about mohammed ali and they figured out a way to convince don harmon that muhammad ali really should have got a deferment as a conscientious objector way back there in the beginning when the justice department had turned over what large ground and
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the judge had ruled. and john harland to his credit kind of believe the clerks and went back to the supreme court and said i changed my vote. so now it's 4 to 4. and it's a tie and muhammad ali still would go to deal with the time but one of the other justices, carter stewart said what kind of decision and that? people will look at this famous face and say oh my god, the court can't make up its mind and that he still have to go to jail? they set up looking for a way to change the vote and to get him off the hook and they found some wording in the justice department's decision on grommets thing that kind of seemed contradictory so they all voted eight to nothing that ali was off the hook and he was off into the world and that's the whole
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time period is covered in the book. it kind of ends right there and as we know, there was a whole bunch of his lifewas lived afterwards . >> i have had problems figuring out what the introduction was to this book . i was doing it for a couple years and i tried out a few introductions and i couldn't do it. and then ali died and there was such an outpouring of emotion, it was like gandhi had died or mother teresa had died and you know, the funeral was showing live on television and billy crystal and all these people were talking and it was all great stuff. so it kind of you couldn't see where the edge was, what was going on at the time. where the friction was, what was happening and i said,
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well that's what my book did. showed what the edge was and what the friction was. ali at the endof his career , he became sick and he just for the last half of his life was more of an inspirational figure than anything and he did some wonder. and i think a lot of qualities were assigned to him that he had in the second half of his life that maybe he didn't have in the first half when he was a much more controversial guy and he's a fascinating guy and i think he will forever be the most interesting athlete and iconic guy we've ever seen. >> anybody want to ask questions? >> evil knievel or anybody else that i've written. >>
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which helped the civil rights cases, kind of did it pro bono. and charles morgan did it pro bono and the guy who did the work in the new york, to get his license back in new york, he did that pro bono. he was a legal defense fund guy, too. >> can you address the rumors
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that a process about ali not stepping for to be sworn in because he feared for his life under the threat of perhaps being killed by members of the nation of islam, if he went and -- >> there's one thing in a book about sugar ray robinson. sugar ray robinson talked about ali coming to see him at the motor in the night before his going to fight, and saying he was terrified and everything. but he truly, i don't buy it. i think he truly believed in the nation of islam and was very strong in the nation of islam. you know, for sure there were some tough guys in the nation of islam. i mean, they did kill malcolm x,
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and they did some things to kareem abdul-jabbar also. but i think he was just a true believer, i really do. you know, when he got the olympic gold-medal he was backed by this group in louisville of 11 white businessmen, and they hired angelo dundee to be his train and the cendant to miami florida -- sent him down to miami. angelo went home at 5:00 every night and he was this 18 year old kid down the kind of figure out and make connections in life and meet people and do things, and that's when he felt enthralled with the nation of islam. it really became his life, you know. so i don't think he was afraid.
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>> you never talked to him? >> i covered five fights of his but they were after this time period, but no, for the book, no. he was kind of out of it. >> and so when you talk about the directory, i mean, you had a lot of newspaper accounts and things, but what about direct interviews and things? >> i talked a lot with his wife at the time, linda. she had a good point. she said that ali always, the narrative, he controlled the narrative to his wife better than anybody controlled because people would just listen to him and he would give them so many great quotes they never go talk to anybody and they would never anything else from anybody else.
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and she was really interesting anissues kind of tough on becaue their life into badly with his womanizing. there's a famous saying where the thriller in manila, she was home with the kids in chicago and he was with veronica porche who was his girlfriend and went to see ml the marcos, or ferdinand marcos. he said your wife is just a beautiful woman. and all he said thank you very much. belinda saw this in chicago and she went to the airport and got on a plane and flew right through manila and came to the hotel room and raised a huge ruckus and then turned round and can come back on the same plane that should float. they were refueling the plane at you came back to chicago. that was kind of the end of their marriage. she had interesting things to say.
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[laughing] >> another question? [inaudible] >> no. the nation of islam, once the honorable elijah muhammad passed away, his son, his son changed the nation of islam over to like a sunni muslim kind of part of islam. and ali went with that. the reverend louis farah can come about three or four years later, reinstituted the nation of islam when he broke with elijah muhammad son. so no, he became just for lack of a better word a normal muslim for the rest of his life.
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which was what happened with malcolm x. that's where malcolm x got in trouble with the nation of islam because he had become a regular muslim and not a member of the nation of islam. yes, sir work. [inaudible] >> howard cosell and ali always maintain their friendship when they were interviewing -- [inaudible] >> yeah, i mean, i think they were friends but i think it was a business relationship, too, you know? i think they both got a lot out of it each other perspective, you know. howard afforded him the stage to work on, and he afforded howard the stage to work on. i think they were friendly but i don't think they went out to dinner a lot, you know.
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ali was walking out of one of his court dates with one of his lawyers, and he said to a reporter come he said, i don't have any white friends. the reporter said, well, your lawyer is a white man. is he your friend? he said he's my lawyer come he's not my friend. [laughing] they were friendly, but you know, they didn't go over to each others house all the time. >> the abc studio, a fight between him and fraser, was that legitimate? >> you never knew with him, you know? early on when he came back, when he came back from the olympics he thought the streets are going to be paved with gold and he was
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just start to fight and there would be sellouts than people would go crazy, but he had to fight a whole bunch of people that most sports fans did know about you kind of a record. he wasn't getting crowds at all. what he did, he met gorgeous george who was the wrestler, and gorgeous george whole thing was art i pretty? art i good-looking? he had blonde peroxide hair come he throughout bobby pins and he had a ballet that would spray perfume awning and things like that. gorgeous george which is packed these arenas and people would go crazy, and ali looked at him and he said, well, that's how you do it. if you're a feeling you get people to come out. he kind of added that to his act and that was what he did with sonny liston and the bear, going to beat the bear.
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he made himself into a villain, which was all well and good, but then when a draft thing came up became the villain plus, you know, because he had said these things that most of america didn't like at the time. you wonder if all the were around today in his prime what would he be like, you know? and i say if you look at colin kaepernick, you know, and you say people had a lot of problems with colin kaepernick, they would've had ten times the problems with muhammad ali. colin kaepernick wasn't doing anything. he just wouldn't stand for the national anthem. you know, he was just protesting. he would be a great controversial guy today in the situation. yes, sir.
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>> did your research abaco, was he ever reimburse financially for his loss of employment during that time after his case was ruled upon favorably? and then a two part one. was there any other precedent set with this for any other conscientious objector cases that followed or maybe his case set a precedent for? >> the answers are no and no. the first know is in a way though he was reimburse in that everything was so big when he came back, you know. if he had not gone away for the three years, wiki and fraser have gotten $5 million apiece to fight each other? that's what made that whole thing, him coming from the desert, you know, and fraser dean here and just colliding, you know. i remember watching that fight.
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i lived in boston and he went to this, there was a nightclub, caesar's monticello in framingham massachusetts and i took my wife and she was young and we were there. there were 9 million guys and they were all half drunk. the whole place went crazy that tiny tim and walked in. everybody, tiny tim, tiny tim. [laughing] it was just a crazy time. frank sinatra took pictures for life magazine, you know, stuff that, and no, there were no precedence. you know, it's muhammad ali were just another guy, he kind of got celebrity justice in the first part, singled out because he was, because the things he had said and so he was kind of singled out and classified one a and eligible for the draft. but at the end he got saved with celebrity justice because his reputation was such, so it's an
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odd thing, the way it all went. it he had been another guy, he would've been either in the service or in leavenworth i think. he had lawyers to back him up. >> anymore questions? i will come over with the microphone. >> i remember his later years in how wiki looked for my guess parkinson's disease. did he ever talk about that and whether, a boxing had affected the rest of his life? >> while i mean -- well, i mean, you know, it's in easy pop medicine type thing to say that boxing is what happened, you know. the rope a dope and all that what he was just letting people pound on him and a cumulative effects of all that. the moment where he let the torch in 1996 in atlanta was a
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huge iconic moment. janet evans gives him the torch and i think america watched it with a whole bunch of different emotions going on. and part of it i think his guilt, that you got so much enjoyment from the sky and he was so interesting with the way he talked and the way he acted, and the thoughts he made you think. you kind of night into this in a way because you cheered him on as a boxer and such. i think there were some guilt and some definite devotion, you know. while he wasn't part of the antiwar movement per se and he wasn't part of the civil rights movement per se, he certainly got a lot of people talking about the stuff, and people kind
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of used him as a model for action, to stand up to the government just to kind of go for your rights. in the end that's what his image was. >> in your research did you ever come across anything on joe frazier being in the service or having served in the service? >> no. joe frazier, joe frazier had a lot of kids real early, you know, and i kind of kept him out. but he always come he was always very patriotic. like five or six days after the fight in 1971 where he beat ali the one time, he was in the white house with nixon.
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and ali, ali before the fight ali said that, joe frazier will be there with nixon. he said nixon will not have anything to do with me, and that was part of ali's rap about the whole thing. >> i was at the airport here several years, many years ago, and a flight from atlanta came in and guess it came off the plane? and we locked eyes just very briefly and without even thinking about it, my hand went out to him and he put his hand up to me. we shook hands. i just met the most famous guy i will probably ever meet. he was very friendly. he was a put office or anything like that. >> he had a great curiosity about people i think. that overrode a whole lot of stuff. he was very pleasant, very glib. my big memory, the first fight i covered him was when he thought chuck wapner. there's a movie that just came out about chuck wapner. i was young and he was at richfield ohio writes right
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outside cleveland and it was 45 minutes in cleveland. i went to the corporate i was there for the "boston globe" and i rented a car since i drove out the way the day before the fight and i did know the media mostly got on a bus and went out and they got taken back on a bus. i drove out in a car and after the weigh-in anybody got on the bus what i was still there. and i said maybe i should go to muhammad ali's dres treasure a k at epic maybe i can get different. and so i went and i went in and there was no security, nothing. i went in and there were maybe, i don't know, seven or eight people in there and he was stretched out on a rubbing table and his back was kind of up against the wall. billy epstein, the singer, that old black magic, james brown, the singer, poppa got a brand-new bag, he was there, and red fox was there. and red foxes telling dirty
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jokes. red fox is in st. louis i guess. red foxes telling the best dirty jokes i've ever heard in my life. [laughing] and he would tell, everybody's sides were just leaving, you know, and tears were in their eyes and ali would say tell another one. and red foxes tell another one that was even more dirty and even better than the last one. it was like a moment, you know, just in the moment i can't say i wish this could go on forever. maybe james brown will start singing. maybe someone else will come in and the whole thing. i kind of peeled out of there, you know. i was just a little howdy duty guy skinny-dipping i went over to chuck wepner does him and chuck and his wife were there and they were all by themselves. we talked and it was nice. the famous quote from chuck before the fight, he bought his
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wife a flimsy n├ęgligee and he said i want you to wear this tonight when you go to bed with the heavyweight champion of the world. so he goes any fights and he puts up an incredible thing, they based rocky on his fight against ali buddy get cut up and he goes to hospital comes to step in 3:30 a.m. and he gets back and his wife the center and she's got the n├ęgligee on and she says, well, ec coming down here or am i going to go to his room? [laughing] >> i was interested in your comment, paraphrase it, ali was the most iconic athlete of i guess years history i think you said. and you've written about babe ruth and ted williams a number of others. so quickly, who else do you list as iconic, and the any quick
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answers, response, while ali is number one? and a side of that, what were your impressions and did you respect evil? >> okay. one, let me think, ali was global. i mean, that's the difference. babe ruth was semi-global, but ali was global, you know? everybody knew ali. he was probably one of, i don't know, for most known people in the world when he was going on right up there with presidents. he was the biggest. iconic, i don't know. i mean, we all know all those people, the famous athletes, you know. i suppose iconic is attached to your age. it is a johnny unitas, ma maybe that says you are in a certain age, or if you say walter payton or jim brown or, you know.
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it almost people are iconic in their own respects. an evil knievel, no, evil knievel was a bad guy. there's a lot of talk about narcissism today. he was a narcissistic guy with big hair, so i don't know, you know, how you want to relate that to our present situation. [laughing] >> i think one or two more. >> anybody else? >> i was just curious to know if laila ali is the daughter of melinda are some notes? >> she was later. she was later after, veronica porche. he had some children were not with his wife. he did lots of promulgate the
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future of america. >> is there one more question or should re-sign some books? okay, well, thank you so much. >> thank you very much. [applause] the books are for sale in the back of the room from barnes and noble, and leigh will be right at this table and we will get you some books. [inaudible conversations] >> tonight on "after words", syndicated columnist naomi klein on a book know is not enough, resisting trump's shut politics. >> i wonder if he could tell us a bit about how the stage was set for trump?
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>> i see this effort much at bipartisan process, the table that was set for trump. it isn't just about politics. it's about media, news coverage, the table was set for it in so many ways that all he needed it was just show because it was sort of we were already treating elections like reality tv shows. we already had a media landscape that was much more interested in interpersonal drama between candidates and in-depth coverage of the issues. we already had a democrat using the tools of corporate branding themselves there president obama was a fantastic brand. he used incredible cutting-edge marketing techniques and a lot of us felt that behind the claims that he was leaving this deep change and transformation that the wasn't enough change and that also helped set the table for trump. >> watch "after words" tonight at nine eastern on c-span2's
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booktv. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> let me back into the question by saying i highly and strongly encourage people to read, whether they be young, whether they be old it opens up this discomfort expand your horizon. you learn and gain knowledge and a just despise and lots and lots of ways. you don't have to necessarily, for instance, go on a long trip to feel like you've been if you read about the place in the book and look at the photographs and things like that. i was going to put at a couple books i read in the past. these are some autographs i collected over the used on the topic of winston churchill i did just happened the first autobiography i ever read was aa book by winston churchill called my early life. that got me interested in reading biographies and autobiographies and plus i've
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read hundred love winston churchill way where users for its, expressive, memorable. i tried to emulate winston churchill without much success because i think he's such a great writer. yet abraham lincoln's autograph you. this is a copy of a photosynthetic it from the library of congress that's a copy of the only photograph of lincoln when used in congress by discrepancies one of my favorite presidents and deborah just about every biographer you think of of lincoln. one of the best and by benjamin p thomas a as a one volume biography of lincoln and one that pulitzer price of years ago so that might be a recommendation or on point isn't autograph of james madison, just reminded we're all here, that we are all income is to just basically guard and protect and enforce the constitution. i've read james madison as well. he was not as well-known as the president but again one of those early dedicated individuals who
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helped build our country, start the foundation of our government and really is a great president and lots and lots of ways. but now to get to be answered your question, what if i read recently? it just so happens yesterday morning i finished a book called the gatekeeper and it's a book about the chiefs of staff of presidents. it is this book right here by chris whipple. interesting enough and help you will not take this personally, i think he might have benefited aa look by having his own chief of staff dick this is a very good book. i think it could've been maybe slightly better if he had had a chief of staff himself is said may be better not to put in these half-dozen paragraphs. still a great book. i'm just saying maybe through a half-dozen paragraphs he might have thought about taking out, but it was still worth reading. i'm doing both notes on this. my staff is nice enough to type up whenever i read a book, the type of everything that underlined.
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i underlined every book i have pictures of the an example of book notes, this is from a book called the agenda mover. it was a book i read before the gatekeepers, and this was just wonderful. i would recommend this to a member of congress because the subtitle is when your good idea is not enough. it's not enough to come up with a good idea. you have to figure it how to build coalitions, put in practice or enacted in the case of legislation. the agenda mover i thought was what the the best books i've read. if anybody wants book notes i'd be happy to share a reader's digest version on that. there's a book on climate, one of leadership and usher he's right here. this was a book, it says real leadership. it was a rare book on leadership. there was a little bit of spiritual dimension to this. in about increasing trust, joint and engagement in the people you lead. there wasn't a hard-boiled kind of leadership.
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it was a leadership that was more emotional, more intuitive and more uplifting than some of the books on leadership. this is a book by somebody must testify before the science committee that i chair called the climate fix. it's not, he is not a climate denier nor am i that this is down the middle of the road book on climate change, making the point i happen to agree with that better than government mandates, better than high taxes can why do we let technology solve our problems? why do we let innovations reduce our carbon emissions? that's been the way it has been with the united states and with america throughout our history. technology solve our communication problems. it has salter healthcare problems and transportation problems, why shouldn't it solve our energy issues as well? that's what i'm trying to put more money into research and development for climate change.
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this is next book i hope to read, it's called do i make myself clear? despite what some people are saying in office this was not given to me by my wife but it's about how to write better. i tried to improve my writing. unfortunately, i never stop editing to the conservation of frustration of many of my staff but as long as i give it back i will keep editing whether it's an op-ed piece or statement i might be giving any hearing or market of legislation. but there's just a wealth of wonderful books out there and am frustrated because i can't read everything i'd like to read. i tried to read a book every week or two and i didn't really love to learn to read until college but it just, i found a very helpful to either you get good ideas, it helps to inspire you, and helps i think be a better person a lot of ways. having said that, my caveat would be that i think you can read too much and i think i'm getting to that point where i'm
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not just reading to read i mean i'm picking subjects what i like to read about come mostly nonfiction, sometimes on leadership and whatnot but i think it's important and just as important to stop and think as it is to read here you can think about what you have read. you can think about life. you can think about how to do your job better. you can think about how to help more people. i would say it's important not just to try to read to read but it's important to read for a purpose and i think it's important after you read to take some time to think about what you just read or as a safe life in general. maybe that will change your reading habits. maybe you'll think about read on a different subject as a result of just thinking, but so i would say i am a proponent today i'm reading but also reading and thinking, that commendation is a potent one. >> counthow to taking notes whiu read really display that come
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rotational, really show how you think and read? >> i like to underline points that are important in a book and read for a couple recently as i underlined them are remember them better and i written twice or even three times because a hr reason what anna go back and underline passages like practicy like a found salient. and so i think that is helpful to me, then who knows the poor into my office to get to type up all my footnotes, i hope he or she is loading something as well. they tell me are in that way they could to feel like to read the book even though they're just typing of my footnotes. i give those footnotes to my family members. i give them to senior staff on the committee and in the personal office as well. i'm not convinced they read all of my book notes but i think they read some of the book notes and found them helpful. but that's what i do. i underline or put in the margins passages i think are important. >> booktv wants to know what
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you're reading. send us your summer reading list the twitter @booktv or instagram @booktv or posted to our facebook page, booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. >> the flag, april rees unfurled, here once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world. >> welcome to concord, massachusetts, on booktv. located 20 miles west of boston and a population of about 17,000. it's here at the towns old northbridge were some of the first shots of the american revolution required in april 1775 sparking the battle of concord. and it is a were literary revolution begins in the mid-1830s with ralph waldo emerson and his contemporaries.


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