tv Churchill and Orwell CSPAN August 29, 2017 4:22am-5:11am EDT
thomas ricks is next. his book is "churchill and orwell, the fight for freedom." >> hello, everybody, walk to the 33rd annual "chicago tribune" print effort row lit fest. answer to thank our sponsors. today's program well be broadcast like on c-span2's booktv. if there's time at the end of the q & a session we ask that you use the microphone provided to that the viewers at home can hear you. before we begin today's program,
please silence your phones. welcome our interviewer, kolen mcmahan. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming. thank you for coming to prisones row lit fest and i'm thrilled to be here today with tom ricks who as written several books. his brief books, the generals, and fiasco, which is a "new york times" number one best seller. this one is also on the best-seller list, charting near i think last week for the first time. congratulations on that. first question is bat previous book, actually. fiasco. given the state of affair today, international, national affairs, do you wish that maybe you had held back on titling the book
"fiasco." it's a little bit close to home on that question. you're right, i never thought we'd be living in a situation we're living in this country no. >> host: let's talk about this book. "churchill and orwell, the fog for freedom." i'm going to read one small passage which tells you the theme of the book and then ask tom to talk about why he whose these two guys. the people in my view is this: orwell and church chill head many difference and tom will talk about that but when you look for similarities, owell and churchill reek tied the question question of the century is not who controlled the means production, as marx thought, or how the human psyche functioned. as freud talked. but, rather, how to preserve the liberty of the individual during an age when the state was
becoming powerfully intrusive into bright life? how did you come response these two guys and to at the the story. >> guest: it's the theme. you really picked it. i'm impressed. it took me a while to settle on the theme. the book began after i wrote the "the generals." i was thinking of myself more as a writer and less as a reporter. really leaving daily journalism becoming a full-time write and as my farewell to journalism i went back and read a lot of the famous 20th century journalist. i man with h.l. mine minimum. i moved on s j. perlman, not funny. i read e. b. white's hi concerns weren't mow. hingway, blow hard.
then i picked up orwell and it was so different from all these other stale writers. george orwell died not 1950 but his prose style feels like it was written today. you know as a newspaper person you could draw up a paragraph out of orwell and it we right at home. his concerns are the concerns of today. what do you do to protect the individual's freedom in an era of the intrusive state and now an era of the intrusive corporation. how do you think about liberty? what's the vocabulary we need to discuss governments that don't listen to people? and a lot of the vocabulary we use, big brother, the memory hole, comes directly from orwell residents "1984." so as i was diving more and more into orwell and going back and re-reading, it occurred to me, there was a parallel with churchill. as you say, very different people.
one on the right, one on the left. churchill in imperialis consecutive. orwell a dedicated anti-imperialist socialist. just totally different personalities yet they came down key question of our time and they were in the minority. it's important to remember that most people thought they were wrong. they both spent a lot of time in the wilderness because they were willing to criticize their own political sides. in that i found inspiring as well. turns out they never met so you ask yourself, why would you write such a book? but they admire each other from affair, anybody remember the name of the hero of 1984? it's winston. right, as long as we are playing stump the chump, anybody remember the middle name of john lennon? winston. people were being named winston back then, and john lennon was
born, of course, during the battle of britain, october 9, 1940. >> host: that i didn't know. that's not in the book. there's slight dig at hemingway in the book. so, orwell also covered and fought in the spanish civil war, and as did hemingway and there's a pint where you slip in a little dig at hemingway, quoting somebody who called hemiway boozey, preoccupied with the image rather than the reality. so, there's some other spots in here, tom, where you're slipping in some modern day digs. >> guest: i am. hemingway, as you might guess, is a special peeve of mine. he reminds me of "60 minutes." he wasn't really a war correspondent but he played one. "60 minutes" famously says, we're not really reporters but we play one on tv. there's a kind of running theme
there. a lot of the stuff my very good editor made me put in the footnotes. the footnote -- there's a lot of good stuff in n there that he said, get it out of the book. >> host: yeah, editors. so, talking about these two guys and they were on the -- outcast from their own groups and they were ridiculed for being out of touch. but there's a phrase in here that captures what they did that very few people were able to do, and it's they were able to ascertain the long-range meaning of sudden changes. the long-range meaning of sudden changes. orwell knew before anybody else what stalin was up to. churchill new before anybody else what hitler was up to show. long-range meaning of sudden
changes. >> guest: that actually going to who is orwell is much more fame n.o.w. than in his own time who why churchill spent in the 1930s isolated from his consecutive party, mocked by them and thought to be washed up and finished. i think they both began from first principles. they both believed that freedom begins if the individual, at the atomic level and if essentially the right of the individual to think, to observe, to come to -- individual conclusions about what they see, to trust their own perceptions, and to associate -- to express themselves as they see fit and associate with other people who might want to discuss the same issues. so, in 1984 this boils down to winston saying, it all comes down to two plus two equals four. you'rary able to say that and believe it, agency else will flow from that.
of course, by the end of the book, the government has big brother has tortured him into saying and believing that two plus two equals five. >> host: so, state intrusion into the realm of the private individual, the one constant here. when we look at today's world, you could look at a bunch of different things. think some of the things you address in the book are torture by the government, drone strikes by the u.s. government, the nsa, of course, and the electronic eavesdropping that is so prevalent. propaganda, alternative facts. a lot of different elements you address. when you think about orwell, what do you think his message is for today? which of those areas is he most on point about in your view. >> guest: nye think he's really on point -- this is a surprise
of "1984" how much he is able, writing in 1948, to sense the nature of today's world, where the dangers of today's world. we don't live in a totalitarian world but we live in a world in which these threats are everpresent so the use of torture by the u.s. government as policy. never happened until after 9/11. he describes an age of permanent warfare in which winston cannot remember a time in which his country was not at war. that is the same true of basically anybody in this country who is 18 years old or younger. they cannot arm time when america was not conducting air strikes and special operations raids in corners of the world, which is the way he describes it in "1984. "obscure ward being fought that nobody paid attention to except when a bomb went off in a city.
why did he anticipate this so well? he observed, thought bit it, shocked by what he saw the spanish civil war. talk about fake news, not only that the left -- that the right lied as a socialist he expected that the right wing newspapers would get it long and was shocked to find the left wing newspapers got i wrong and an eloquent paragraph about fake news where he says entire battles have been fought were said now to never have occurred. men were described at heros who never heard a shot fired in a battle. and he is very puzzled by this and that's what triggers him into saying, i'm not going to go with anybody's party line. i'm going to begin by trusting my own instincts. and that's why at the end of the book i go to martin luther king writing from the firmingham city jail, inheriting orwell's tradition and saying, here are the facts of the matter
birmingham is the most segregated? i america. here's the fact of the matter. the u.s. government tells us that the negro has rights but the local security forces do not permit is to exercise those rights. he layed out the facts. you have churchill and orwell and martin luther king, have your principles, discover the facts, trust your own judgments and apply your principles to the facts to decide on a course of action. something we could all benefit from no this troubled, turbulent times. [applause] >> that paragraph ends i tau history being routh not no terms of what happened but what ought to have happened according to various, quote are party lines, and i wonder what whorl would think of today's white house communications office for
starters. right? >> guest: i think he would be appalled by news as entertainment, which is a hit not just on fox news but also msnbc and similar shows. want to say c-span is not news as entertainment. c-span is pure information. >> host: nice. well done. >> guest: i think both orebell churchill would be shocked by the degree to which opinion is given more weight nowdays than facts. they saw this in the 1930s but as lou as something what shouted over and over and loudly enough, people would i believe it. his other familiar mouse novel is "animal farm" which if you haven't read it is worth going back. to you can read it in an evening. it's short and it's very funny. i mention this because talking about endless repetition until people believe it.
the sheep in "animal farm" are the morons of the farm but the love chanting and chant all day long, four legs is good, two legs is bad, until the birds get upset and tell them to knock it off. >> host: so you mentioned earlier that orwell's estimates has risen so dramatically. a guy who hold hundreds or thousands of titles in his lifestyletime and has now surpassed 50 million i think it is. even in the book you get the sense that in many ways churchill dwarfs orwell, right? but at the end, what is lasting, of course, is the writing. so, the writing orwell -- talk about the writing from church churchill. >> guest: i began with orwell, and orwell of his own writing,
my ambition is to write as transparently as a window pane, and i think he achieved that and invents the modern op-ed, the newspaper column where where you have a clear statement of an observation, laying out a few facts, exploring implications. winston churchill is such a different guy. winston church chill's writing was a window it would be the stained glass in a cathedral with rays of green and red and blue shining down. in his wonderful little essay on painting, which is also worth reading, this thinking on strategy, churchill says, i honestly feel sorry for the drab colors, the browns and the grays. churchill lived life as a pageant. a cabinet member once behind chat arguing with winston in cab met meetingses is ick trying to argue with a brass band. this was a difficult book to write.
i've written six books. this was the sixth. it was hard one mitchell editor read the first draft and said, this stinks, redo it. but an ed -- editor is like a spouse. you have to have a trust relationship. writing about orwell and trying to listen to him. never writes about his personal life. an introvert and writeses about his chickens more in his diaries than he writes about his wife. and i'd be trying to listen to george's little whispery vice and churchill would be marching through like the energizedder bunny. like a big kid sometimes. >> host: yet, you like his writing. right? i think there's -- when you dissect some of churchill's writings you have praise for it. while at the same time it is awfully showy in parts mitchell favorite part is when he
counseled the president at the time of the united states, might be familiar with his work, franklin roosevelt. he counseled him to use fewer adjectives and adverbs which may me think, physician heal thy self- >> fdr's response is to counsel churchill on what to do about india. to which churchill muttered, at least we didn't kill all our indians. well; it was a tough relationship between those two. it was important but not just lovey dovey which is the way it's printed nowdays. >> host: let's talk about that. take us through -- churchill was even called him half breed american at some point? his mother was american, right? orwell didn't know the united states very well but the presence of the united states, the growing power of the united states, was significant and both of them in some ways missed it.
>> guest: i think orwell did. don't think churchill missed it that much. churchill being half american, another crack of his when he was invited to speak in front of the congress, december 1941, right after pearl harbor, he got up and basically the first thing he said was, thank you for inviting me here but i like to think ahead been -- had my father been american i would have gotten here by myself. churchill was fascinated by america. spent a lot of anytime america. in fact, was nearly killed crossing fifth avenue in the 1930s because being british he looked the wrong way. a car hit him and dragged him 30 feet. his scalp was open, several ribs broken. interesting that both guide nearly died in the 1930s. churchill was shot through the neck in the spanish civil war and was very lucky not to have his -- i'm sorry -- i always -- say the wong one. orwell was shot through the neck
and very lucky not have his spinal cord or the artery or his windpipe destroyed, which would have killed him. america as christopher hitchens said is orwell's great blind spot himself never okay. to america. he intryinged by 19th century america but never got it on his agenda, and i think that does affect his understanding of economics especially. the economy -- the economic system he witnessed was late industrial capitalism under the british aristocracy, not inow said -- not innovative, disdains the probation've university research to the factory. so, again and again, they're doing very good research in british uniters and invent penicillin and most of radar but again and again the americans quickly surpass them, and so, for example, the british in the
1950s drop out of the mass automobile industry. they only do a few luxury vehicles. they drop out of theary aeronautics industry and there is no british ibm or apple. had orwell come to america i think he would have seen a very different sort of economics. the british system he saw was simply concerned with twisting out a little bit more efficiency. cutting wages or cutting investment. he never saw the dynamism of the information age economy we have seen develop over the last 30 years in his country, which after all is based on failure. if you are going to innovate you're going to fail most of the time. it's not looking for efficiency because innovation is very inefficient. the interesting thing is, the writer, dave eggers, took "1984"
and placed in silicon valley and wrote a book called "the circle" which is what i'm toll is not very good movie. >> host: the relationship between churchill and roosevelt, critical to the success of the allies in world war ii, of course, but talk about the british in general and their view of the united states. when i was reading the book i was rye minded i went to a 40ing in birthday party for a british friend of men and i was the american guest, and everybody kept saying to me, what do meshes think of us? -- what to americans think of us. the first couple times your nice and polite and the third drink in you're like, we don't. and i think that is kind of the -- what you start to see in the '40s. talk about that relationship between the two countries. >> guest: in an alternative life, i'd like to have time to write all these books that i would love to get into but i'll
just -- true, can only write so many books. one book i'd love to write how the power of britain becomes the power of america in the summer of 1944 and how the british suddenly realize, my god, they're just going shove us aside. another book i'd like to write is characteristic figures of british society. the figure of the 1930s chamberlain, the apiecer, who think outside can feed hitler little pieces of europe and that wig take care or him. the figure of the 0 '40s is churchill. the fuller of the 1950s is fillby. the pie, british aristocrats, russian spy, which they paper over with james bond. a reason james bond is to popular, he's a good guy, not a traitor. the characteristic figure of the
19060s is the beatles for england. what that shows you is in the 1950s, both the british left and the british right agreed on one thing. they disdained america. the ahis to thattic -- aristocratic people. and at the same time, british working class kids in liverpool and elsewhere, embraced american culture as it never had been embraced in britain before. you have kidded grog up in ene inland trying to sound like african-american field hands and succeeding and making money on it. and so many ways this class system divides over the question of america, and i think that's still persists. the working class fascination with america, if you have ever been in man chest are you see the direct flights to orlando.
the whole british working class is going disney world. >> host: let's stay on class. one thing that surprises me was -- i'm not saying churchill was a progressive but his understand offering the dynamics and even -- understanding of the dynamics and the sympathy toward the working class and middle class. talk about that and the raf and other areas. >> guest: one way to get a good idea of your class, they all start denouncing you. churchill spent the 1930s being abused by his class, who were sympathetic to naziism. a head of the house of lords and a cabinet minimum ferristor while, in the 1930s, he kept in his office his whole life a gift that he had from the nazi party of an ss trooper, porcelain statue. the british foreign office, when
ordered the british national football or soccer team when they played in berlin, to give the nazi salute. we forget how much britain was kind of cozying up, especially the ruling party, and the american ambassador to london, joseph kennedy, thought that exactly the right thing to do, and in fact, he writes a letter to franklin roosevelt, september 11, 1939, advising roosevelt to make peace with germany because the british were going to lose. that very same day, by the way, f dr. opens up the famous back channel to churchill in response to his distrust of joseph kennedy. where was i getting with all of this? >> host: class. >> guest: so they're both attuned to class issues. ore well, of course, sees the
world through a bit of a class prism but churchill notes something interest. the pilots of the royal air force are not the aristocracy. he asked how many pie lets win to private schools and the find a very small number. the 5,000 pilots who win the battle of britain and help stave off the german invasion that everybody expected in 1940, they were middle class and lower middle class. they were the sons of government clerks, of rural clergy, grocery store managers. and churchill observed rather stridently, they have saved the country and earned the right to run it. and that sense margaret thatcher is churchill's natural heir. the daughter of a grocer from
the country side. she experiences a lot of class sort of snobbery, her own life as she grows up, and one thing she does upon becoming prime minister is restore the war rooms where churchill fought world war ii and she guess to czechoslovakia and giving a beach apologizing for hoe the british gave heck slovakia to hitler. >> host: nick you discovered that churchill or whorl that surprise -- or orwell that described you. >> guest: a lot surprises me. you write a book because you're trying to ask questions or answer a question, figure things out. the first thing that surprised me is that these two men are so human. they are both failures for most of their lives. they fail in most of the thing they do for most of their lives.
orwell, as we said earlier, is an unknown author and not very successful until the last couple of years of his life, and when he dies at age 46. churchill is a failure for much of his life. he has an awful father, unhappy youth. he's desperate to get some glory and then he is blamed for a big mess of fiasco in world war i. he goes in the political exile and then in the 1930's at odds with his own party. churchill only hat one great year but if you're going to have one great year, make it churchill in 1940, because he saved the west. had somebody else been prime minister -- the king wanted somebody else and a lot of people thought somebody one, like lord halifax, would be prime minister. england almost certainly would have made peace with germany 1940 and i was churchill who rallied the british people, who
insisted they would not have a peace agreement, and who gave a series of speeches in 1940 that pulled the country together in mobilized it. and the speeches are great political speeches. they're very tough and very truthful. speech wiz remember, fight them on the beaches, this is their finest hour, blood, sweat and tears, all 1940. we will fight them on the beaches is remarkable because it describes a fighting retreat. if the germ germans invade we'll fight them on the beach, top the landing field, in the cities. we will fight them in the hills. describing fighting and retreating from the germans as they come over the country. this was startling stuff to hear in england at that time. i think the churchill speeches that year are the literary equivalent orwell residents
greatest essaysy and yet are '43 his speeches were far more infrequent, far less passionate. did he run out of gas? just too much? what do you think? >> guest: everybody pretty much ran out of gas. fdr doesn't survive the war. churchill is pretty much a burned out case by 1945, and i think the british public realizes this when they vote him out of office in july 1945, even before world war 2 has ended in the pacific. i think world war ii just was -- consumed these guys, especially churchill and it led me to think, though, it was their very flaws -- these are flawed people, who made them able to do what they did. if churchill had been more elm the tissue -- almost no empathy -- been more sympathetic to people, think it would have crushed him. instead he goes through world
war ii very concerned about how much booze do i get today? where is my pink silk underwear. loves pink silk underwear, go to breck fastest the british embassy in cairo during the war and asks the ambassador for a carafe of white wine. she raise her eyebrows and said, don't worry, madam, i've hard'd two whiskey sodases. orwell is different. he comes home and his life left a plate of dinner for him on the double but he is very absent-minded and kind of self-denying, and by mistake he feeds his dinner to the cat and eats the cat's dinner. and didn't notice until he is finished. >> host: we'll take few questions. i'll ask tom one more question at least bit -- but if you want
to line up to ask questions, that's fine. i'll actually -- while we're doing that, lay a big one on you. that is he run out of gas. you have a plea toward the end of the book about people rig obviously finding out the facts -- rigorously finding out the facts and challenges assumptions and allowing colleagues and bosses and everybody else to challenge their assumptions and really work through that. and then make a decision based on principles. i'm thinking, just reading this week and can feel churchill's fatigue, and i'm reading this challenge and thinking, man, that's a lot of work. so how do we do this in the modern day and how do we hold ourselves to that standard? >> guest: it is a lot of work. this first thing i'd suggest is turn off your tv, except for c-span. i live in rural maine on an island, and i remain very well
informed without watching television. except for baseball. and what i've noticed lately, especially since our last presidential election, is i have been trying very consciously to see who out there fits this pattern of principles and facts. one group that i really started paying a lot of attention to is anti-trump conservatives. i don't have their perspective, don't have their -- i don't carry those values in my heart but i respect them. so, for example, these people are very tied to tradition and to supporting american institutions. and so i'm thinking here, for example 0, the atlantic monthly, david frum.
max boot, people who say -- writing very loudly the most interesting and important things about our new president. they're saying, for example, the is not a conservative. he is a radical reaction area. he has no loyalty to traditional institutions. in fact he is ignorant of our most important document, the u.s. constitution. seems to dislike it and is frustrated constantly because the judiciary is checking him, and under the system of checks and balances. the more i see this, the more i have become a real fan of the us constitution and the judiciary. one officer my bumper sticker wood be, have you hugged a federal judge today? so, find myself -- those principled conservatives who are operating on the facts of the case i am finding very interesting. i'm also looking for people who are willing to criticize their own side. so, for example, if you are
critical of a congressional candidate knocking down a reporter, which you should beer, should be equally critical of college students preventing somebody from speaking. and until you do those -- until you're willing to be is a vigorous on both you are not really operating issue think, on principle of free speech. >> host: thank you. we have some people lined up. [applause] if you can keepure questions short wed like to get to as many as possible been the end of the >> host: , sure. you describe. >> sure, you describe whorl is concerned by surveillance, what is now cia, nsa, and fbi. do you think the current situation with this president, this the only institution that can save the country and, therefore, this surveillance is bad is actually wrong.
it's very good. >> it's not really a but i'll address your point. no, i don't think the security apparatus is the only thing that can save this country but what can i this u.s. constitution. [applause] >> one of the things that orwell did in "1984" is give us the vocab here to discuss this. when we talk about intrusive government we use the vocabulary he developed but we also have a vocabulary of the constitution and one thing i think the left and liberals should recover is the phrase, "unamerican." when a candidate knocks down a reporter, that's unamerican because it violates the constitution. and we should be willing to say, when the president embraces autocrats and dictators and kings overseas and alienates our democratic allies, that's unamerican.
when we have president who seems to actively dislike the constitution, that is unamerican. but the american system is built in anticipation of this. this constitution is written in many wees in reaction to the excesses of the british monarchy. what would we do if we have a crazy king global george? they say don't give none one sector of the government too much power. allow the judiciary to stop the executive. allow thank you congress to look into the workings of the other branches, and so we have a system that actually encourages dissent, encourages adversarial discussions. have no problem with adversarial discussions as long as their respectful of the law and constitution. basically if somebody violate his bill of rights that's unamerican. think that is going to save this country. as we watch the president get a multi billion dollar education in the constitution.
>> [inaudible] >> thank you. thank you very much. next question, please. >> hi there. i was just curious. while these men i know they were contemporaries, they've obviously in different roles and spoke to different people but did the know about each other? did they write about each other? were they aware either while they were obviously both in their careers and later churchill when he reflecting did he think about orwell? >> good question and the answer is, yes, they never met each other which is surprising in a country who a has a relatively small elite. they knew people who knew each other. a british writer, for example, edited churchills memoirs for publication in a newspaper, and also became a close friend offerorwell's in the late '40s. and recall, of course, that the hero of "984" is named winston and there was only one winston
in britain of the 1940s. the other politics were known at thatley atley or bat win or chamber an about churchill was known as winston. the last thing, and also churchill we need read "1984" twice. loved and it recommend it to his doctor. and the last thing that orwell wrote and published from his death bed was an admiring review of churchill residents war memoirs in which he said that this is a man who really, while a politician, writes like a human being, the highest operates he could give hem and then salutes churchill's largeness of spirit, which i think is a wonderful phrase because even now it resonates. you read that and say, that's right. whatever his flaws -- there were many. he was a deeply flawed men and was wrong about a lot of thing
but a large spirit. >> churchill was surprisingly -- you think he is very well-read but he wasn't. shallow but not deep, his reading. >> like a lot of -- what he knew he knew really well and whatnot the didn't know, he didn't know he didn't know. and he was always surprising to people. one day a woman who wanted to marry him, brilliant woman who would have been a great politician in a later time, quoted one of the odes of keiths to him. never hereto of keats or the ode but tip tall churchill, the next time the saw he, he had me. rised -- memorial -- memorized it. >> in your research did you find that tocqueville was an influence upon either gentleman?
no he never comes up as far as i can tell in their writings, though orwell was fascinated by 19th century america. in a very romantic we itch don't think he read tocqueville. he was very influenced by dicken's view of america. basically keeps on churning on the question that family of johnson asked, why is that drivers of slaves yelled most loudly about liberty? >> during world war ii, the behavior of us soldiers in london and in britain was an u, particularly the treatment of the black soldiers during that time. >> the british were shocked that the american army wanted to enforce segregation in england, and they were kind of appalled. the said you're going to import this loathesome institution of racial separation into our
country? yet the americans said you have to, otherwise we'll have discipline problems and military necessity, again, was cited. one of my other holidays in life is george marshall who was chief of staff but hi is a human being and had a huge blind spot on race. a lot move progress could have been made on race during world war ii had marshall been more attuned to it and as you saw the korean war the u.s. army integrated quickly and successfully. >> might be on your list of future books. right? >> i actually would love to help make a movie about the chosen reservoir battle, the most interesting battle in american history. instuff attention paid to it in korea. the middle of the korean war. >> stay tuned. >> what was your research process when writing this book? churchill and orwell are quite different. how did you go about researching them. >> good question.
three basic ways. first i had a researcher in washington, dc to retrieve for me documents i couldn't find go to library of congress to get things that are were obscure. second, it's amazing how much is online. couldn't have lived in maine 15 years ago and done this because i wouldn't have had broadband internet. for example. all these works are online. the british have the equivalent of the congressional record, but it's much better than the congressional record, much more user friendly, and much more searchable for things like how many times is this word used in a given month, when does this word appear, how many speeches did churchill give on a certain subject and so on. the third thing and the main thing was books. my office is about half the size of this stage, and by the end of
the process you couldn't see the floor. there were just stacks of books everywhere. there's stock of the writings of churchill and over there a stack of orwell, and i think i read pretty much every published diary or letters collection by politicians and writers of the '30s and '40s and i loved the diaries and the letters because they captured the moment. they're not written riff hindsight, they're what people think at a given time and what you see of the political weakness of churchill when he takes power. a lot of people expect him to last six months. it's not like the saviour arrived. it's like the buffoon took over. maybe he can pull it out but maybe we'll have to century rein door germany. those came alive, the diaries and letters. >> time for one more question. >> mr. ricks, i'm curious. i'm a fan of historical fix and
you talking about the battle of britain and how churchill marshaled the forces to responsibility. i wonder what would have happened instead the british debate weather it was actually germany that invaded and i take written and if they debated that for months and months what would have been the fate of britain. >> if day very dinner geed no, if they couldn't firing out who attacked them. kind of like what's going on here now where 17 intelligence agencies say that russia has attacked us but we're nothing doing anything about it. >> yeah. there was a lot of interest in lot look at the facts in the 10930s in england, as there seems to be today with what exactly has happened with russia and its relationship with a set of people now in power in our government. i think it would have been very bad for england. they would have dither's away
and you see the german power increasing because the british are dithering. if hitler had been told in 1936 when he tine the ryan land, no, stop, he would have had to pull back. but get austria and a chunk of czechoslovakia, and all these things increase german power in several ways gets more land and people and the austrian gold and the czech arms factories. if the british had not leapt in, you would have only seen nazi power increase as the took over more and more countries and started extracting people to serve in their militaries militd their factories and basically they would have won the war with -- because there was no challenge and they would have
turned their attention by '44 or '505 to how to con at the america. they were interested in nuclear weapons and building a bomber called the america bomber. there was supposed to be a transcontinental aircraft. >> i think that's all we have time for. tom ricks. >> thank you for coming out. [applause] >> books and signings will be available any auditorium. thank you again.