tv Jill Lepore These Truths CSPAN October 7, 2018 5:00pm-5:56pm EDT
crazy, sex-starved woman who's mad because men don't like you. it was already -- when i was writing pop comedy about paris hilton, the response automatically was you're too angry for me to take your seriously. even when i was covering up that angry with jokes and a general good cheer. after words airs saturday at 10:00 p.m., and sunday's at 9:0 i'm very pleased to welcome you
to this evenings event with trento, discussing her latest book, "these truths." harvard's book series is in full swing in the coming weeks will have steven johnson comest you could not get to mr. robinson, and pete souza among many others. the details tickets on our fall schedule visit us online at harvard.com/events. tonight we'll conclude with questions from the audience. those asking questions will form a line at the microphone in the center island will get to as many as time allows. we are pleased to have c-span booktv here with today's event. when asking questions in the q&a, please know you will be recorded. when q&a concludes the most dynamite will form down the aisle to my right and wrap around the back of the hall. does jordan from the center aisle or the section to my left will proceed to the back of the hall to join the signing line. you'll be able to purchase
copies of tonight's featured book at the top of the hall right here at the table to my right. before we began a quick reminder to please take a moment to silencer cell phones. and now i'm so pleased to introduce tonight's speaker. jill lepore is david kemper professor and staff writer at "the new yorker." she is the acclaimed author of many books including new york learning a finalist for the pulitzer prize, book of ages in the time magazine's best nonfiction book of the year and a finalist for the national book award and the secret history of wonder woman, a national bestseller. tonight should be discussing her latest book published just this past tuesday, "these truths," history of the united states. henry lewinsky junior calls it an epic work. [cheers and applause] [laughter] he calls it an epic work of
grand chronological sweep comer brilliantly eliminating the idea of truth in the history of our republic. npr right jill lepore is an extraordinarily gifted writer in the streets are nothing short of a masterpiece of american history. engage in other countries painful past and present an intellectually honest way she has created a book that truly does encapsulate the american story in all its pain and all its triumph. we are so pleased a poster here in harvard square tonight. please join me in welcoming jill lepore. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. more applause than wonder woman. that's because to the evening. this is also a thrill to talk
about this book in my hometown to the city of cambridge. it's going to be one of my goals this evening not to say these two words again. supreme court. what i want to do in the short-term we had this evening evening is to try to give you a glimpse of why i decided to write about it would cover the sweep of american history and it's really a question about scope. what i really wanted to do, the reason i wanted to write this long book that covers centuries is because i was so frustrated by what i think of best the prison of the present. we are so trapped in a moment by moment, second by second news cycle, ever shrinking an accelerating experience of breaking news and distracted that it can be really hard to get any long field i'm in a contemporary problem. i want to extract myself from the president and cover the love
story of american history. it has become really clear to me that as little as there is genuine conversation about the path in american life today, almost all of our political argument are essentially historical arguments. they are just historical arguments crunched into the smallest possible size. make america great again as an argument about the relationship between the past and the future. so the arguments made on the left are always thinking about the relationship especially between the present and the future. so much of our politics makes comparisons between that time that was an imagined future comparing george washington and barack obama in 2009. the way our partisanship articulates itself is i suggesting that on one side of
the political aisle are people who believe in the future and change in on the other side of the political aisle are people who want to stop change. these very crazy redact to this from a slogan oriented understanding of the path are everywhere. i find myself most sympathetic with this. [laughter] definitely dr. gilbert stuart of george washington. but some degree to which -- do we believe in change, are we opposed a change? what do we mean when we talk about american history? how are we to reckon with the fact that our present day is so polarized that we believe that the past is two different paths. we can't even imagine sharing a common ancestry as a people. it seems to me a fairly perilous state of affairs. so i decided to undertake this project to cover all of american
history and what i want to do tonight again just to give you a little bit of a taste of what it means to try to cover that many centuries, what are the insights? what can you see that was invisible to you before. because i've made an argument that you should read a book that the thousand days long, i try to show you this in 30 minutes. i'll ask you to bear with me to think about these things as placeholders for a much bigger set of ideas that are full of contradictions. we will begin with images of the world. i want to show you representations of america. -- it is an incredibly beautiful conceptual map of the world but the four directions essentially in these four corners. quite similar in many ways to the ways europeans perceive the
world before 1492. this is the first printed map printed in 1472 although it was originally drawn in the seventh century and in those from a european safety of the world remain fairly stable. this is a map of the world divided into three, asia, europe and africa and the mediterranean connects them all. this is not meant to be a geographic or cartographic representation. the people who drew this understood, but this is a representation in a particularly christian one because the world is essentially a trinity of which there is unity. it was kind of a boom to mapmakers because everybody had to paint and draw new maps. this map is really important, drawn by the mapmaker in 1507. he was trying really hard to
update the map with the latest cartographic information. you can see at the bottom kind of latebreaking news running the tip of africa gets kind of added. the map is already then essentially drawn. but what they are also doing his reckon with the europeans called the fourth part of the world because they thought this fourth part represented here on the left is this big green map because ultimately knew nothing about it. he also didn't know what to call it because the two europeans didn't have a name. he has just read a book or the italian explorer, amerigo vespucci called the new world. and so, and he decided in honor to invent a word, this is the first time, the part of the world we live in was referred to
as america and the name stuck mainly because it was really, really popular and it's a good illustration of how what we think about is a product of happenstance. would survive, but last, what influence them. a lot of other things people wanted to call these lands are lost to history. in thinking about how to represent america as a place, the europeans very quickly turned to a taken a graphic representations. this is a dutch engraving. he is on the left. this is about 1600. this was an incredibly popular engraving. i often think of this as harvey weinstein awakens sleeping america. he's ready. this is essentially an image of rape.
he is adored with all of the accoutrements of european civilization and especially technology, the ships come in the cartographic, geographic transportation technology in america here rendered as we become quite conventional even on the flags of our instead of massachusetts a woman. lacking that rate in. lacking culture, religion, technology, lacking language, backing shame. there is a real confusion here on whether the americas or garden of eden or whether the americas are amanda savages. here i wonder too about the kennel is in here, which is important to this image because it's an act of cannibalism that for many europeans justified the conquest and assassination at the end of americans.
the idea of america in europe at the time. queen elizabeth making her own attempt to take possession in a graphic way she has her hand right over north america. this is mine. he saw this portrait, elizabeth ended. this is at a time when england has nothing. spain has conquered and seized massive territories from portugal has taken great territory north america appeared the pope has decided to divide us between spain and portugal. other european states are encouraging. elizabeth has done virtually nothing. but this is aspirational.
it's a document asserting the taking of power. it's also a document with the inhabitants of america's perceive their own world. this is quite beautiful. it's actually several deer skins switched together by the algonquin people but is now virginia. the father of pocahontas and he is pictured here finely embroidered seashells, picture the human figure and on either side that they attribute to them. this is a claim to the sovereignty and power of this leader and his rule over the people that were his subjects. but it's completely erased by the way. it has a real influence on how british columnists come to represent an animalistic
representations of the world and they can be seen as quite famous printed in 1754 in which he is urging the colonies to unite in common defense amongst both native peoples on the french. we think about that as a political cartoon, but it is also a map. you have a picture in your head north is this way, but this is a map at a time when the first maps are being made and sold as jigsaw puzzles. so this is essentially a jigsaw puzzle that is also a map and has these interesting influences than it. if you've spent any time looking at political cartoons that appeared at the american revolution, you will see much that dispute the awakening here -- america here still a native woman about to be rape, by british tax nurse here in
1774 as punishment for the dumping of tea in boston. but a representation of america in british eyes. we don't think of the constitutions of a visual representation of america, but of course it also is. the constitution as a charter in a map is a chart and has the same root. the constitution is the constitution of the body of the american people that we talk about. the word constitution comes from the disposition of the body. we think about the constitution itself, the physical document is a kind of representation of what becomes the united states of america. it cheered me up. this is an early political cartoon between federalist and anti-federalist. they oppose ratifying the
constitution. c-span will be unhappy with this. this is an anti-federalist on one another. [laughter] it is just so vicious. it is just plain vicious. so to bear in mind the degree to which impetuousness and viciousness and worthlessness of political divisions from the start is i think worthwhile. there is from the start in early representation of using the same as the woman. now quote and become liberties they represent liberties as an indictment of the continuation of slavery in the united dates after the revolution. slavery was about to be abolished before the american revolution and the fact of union
outweighed the push for the establishment of slavery in the 18th 18th century colonists here in north america. and the misrepresentation, the arts and sciences of enslaved africans, who are at her feet and behind her in the background, another scene of what appeared to be enslaved men, women and children engaging in their own kind of dance about liberty and aspiration for liberty. there will be all kinds of ways in which this is used to critique the limitations of the constitution the way in which the constitution and state law sanctions with the enslavement of people as property. i want to remind you it's important to think about the degree to which representation
the conversation about race in the united states and racing family. here is jefferson pictured alongside sally having a bushy eyed relationships and many children which you deny publicly for the entirety of his life. this kind of incredibly interesting painting from 1840 of which is called war news for mexico as i've seen a representation of the united states than just this form. the united states is called the american hotel. a little bit hard to read in this light, but it the american hotel. it is a bunch of white men in reading the the newspaper, which is what you do when you are in franchise. they can go. they have opinions about india's
about it and they will vote one way or another in the election of 1840 depending what they know about mexico. it's a real celebration. if you are alive in 1848 you could look at these guys because those are rich guys and poor guys and immigrants a nonimmigrant. they're old, young and particularly then it's a celebration of what's new in the history of the world and 1820s and 1830s, which is all white men can go. it's a huge extension of suffrage. but then you look more closely at this incredible, incredible piece of art. for one thing, this is about to collapse. and i'm just saying that's a worrisome picture. and over this window, so this is a woman. a white woman leaning out of the
window trying to hear what these guys are saying. she's not allowed. she can't vote. the year that women first publicly demand the right to vote at seneca falls. but she's not there. she's depicted what is so interesting. down here really close to the porch but not on the porch. presumably his daughter or son who were figured as if they are enslaved here in this painting. the thing that just knocks me out, and very red white and blue. it is their country. this is a painting about the united states that asks us to think very differently. by the 1850s as a nation moved toward civil war you get this kind of thing, which should look really familiar to you now. [laughter] and that is because these
divisions between the free and the slave states, which come to always be represented in this way with different colors. you can see it here as well. the coloring of the united states dividing the political persuasion of the different parts of the country by color. which color. which color. richer habits in most parts of the country is the uniformity of belief. the whole country and what we think about the red and blue states. this is as artificial representation of the united states as any other that we've lucked out. it becomes conventional and so familiar to us that we take it as if it as if you speak some deeper truth rather than simply being another form of message. this is my favorite slide of the whole set of pictures. this is sojourner truth, the great abolitionist.
my gosh, i'm okay, here is maine, florida and texas. this is a lot cooler than the american hotel. this is my country. i made this country. this is a path to claim a citizenship here this is a claim of ancestry. this is a really deep and subversive visual argument that has a forest that in this room you can feel like even to this moment it is just exposed before your eyes in this really important way that i think we to our great detriment lost sight of. other ingredients in the ways that cartoonists and others represent the united states that began in the 1880s and that last or have been recently resurrected.
one of those is the idea that the country should have a wall where does have a wall at its borders. there is no federal law restrict teen in the united states before 1881. the nation's borders were open until 1881 and then they were closed only to chinese immigrants, immigrants from china, which is being critiqued in this image in which china on the far side of the pacific is dismantling and racially caricatured americans, african-americans, german, et cetera are building a new wall to keep out the chinese. at the same time, in the 1880s there is this tremendous celebration of immigration, the united states as a land of liberty and a beacon, other than the 1890s, we haven't resurrected, that someone will
give a killer speech about the balloon. in the 19th century, the political movement of the left. it was an indictment of the plutocracy and of government with corporations in stealing political power from the poor. but the populism was and it was much ridiculed on the eastern and west coast elites here making fun of the patching is the populism on the american political order. the plutocracy was much represented in political cartoons from the progressive era when reformers, including wilson and roosevelt began trying to bust the trust and think about the challenge to the constitutional order of the great aggregation of the wells were a skilled at age. the great campaigns of the suffrage campaign to hold the 19th century but go back to the icon of americana the woman,
america's liberty, but then they shackled and have her break free for bond. she has to break free of her bonds. this is instead of representation barred from the abolitionist movement. pictures of this are the plant, which elicits a lot of anxiety about mass democracy. where the equality that is promised in the declaration of independence to really be possible, and at the same time there is a whole new movement to restrict in the united states. peak in the 1920s and 1924 with the origins act in which the border of being a finalist
introduced again. this is something the moment is quiescent. we don't talk about the funnel. no one is going to build a funnel anytime soon. this is a prominent way of thinking about the nature of the borders during the 1920s. there's a new way of thinking about united data representation only during the second world war when america comes to understand itself as a superpower mostly because of having been scared the first world war and also at home to the devastation of the second world war begins to merge with the sensibility of superheroes to create captain america in 1940 and one woman in 1941. at the same time these challenges to the idea as one would say the united states is the last best hope for democracy .
the biggest migration in american history has been going on in the non-black press. and it has the sense of continental expansion to it. almost the manifest destiny of the 19th century. this great sense of people extending themselves across the whole of the continent. but you now get a very different representation and what you saw with queen elizabeth holding her hands over the globe in 1588 when fdr had himself photographed at a time when he's beginning to imagine the united nations. a post-world order in which the united states will become the leader of the free world as the protector of a liberal world order advancing open borders and open market and free trade.
on the backs of this incredible military strength of the united state is the arsenal of democracy. after the war, though some of their begins to be representations of the night they could intersect with the history of technology. the first general-purpose computers are built are in order to calculate missile trajectories including atomic homes. the machine is in the science center over on the other side of the square if you've never seen it it's actually they are installed and you can look at it. but what these computers will do of course is count the population and represent the population quantitatively with a different facility in speed and enhance tabulating calculating machines can do and as we know now from our vantage, and this instantaneous way in the sorting of people demographically is a necessary precondition for present political agony. the very first time, in the
first general-purpose is used in 1952 to predict the presidential election on election night. they are trying to use. they don't know what they're doing. they also do look like they don't know what they're doing. but they are trying to predict the election, which is hilarious because what happened in 1948, the presidential election. yeah, do we did not see truman, and that's out of the newspaper -- so did the tv station. as the televised election night. two things are wrong. i made the wrong call and it was incredibly boring. he watched the coverage from 1948, and it is the cutest thing. care must finance the podiums and saying what time is it now, fred? nobody has any idea what to do, how to make it interesting.
get people to watch because we'll have a computer and then they don't know what to do. it was charming man. think about the degree to which the technological urgency of sputnik in 1958 continues to drive how much investment the federal government made into the kinds of technology that is now in your back pocket and that we expect should be unregulated by the federal government is if your iphone wasn't built by the federal government. with a lot of ingenuity from apple. but this turned to celebrate this sort of spam life begins in 1957 with this new panic at the particular atlas lake obligation and burden of the united states is less a political one than a technological one and efforts should be directed. these are m.i.t. engineers to rest assured we'll save the
world here. that is a very unsettling notion of order that we are all bits in a giant machine. by the 1960s aesthetically you see challenges, the smell to you, groovy come incredibly unsettling and also beautiful jasper johns map of the united states. very different from the political maps you've seen before. maps become a whole source of political protest at the nation divide over the vietnam war during the civil rights movement as well. there is a whole different generation of the use of map. the flood takes on a different role in the 1970s and the world of the planet from space which is an integral part of the environmental movement, but the challenge of the photography is not meant by the political
order, which fails to address fully the problems that are identified by environmentalists beginning in the 1950s really. when i get to this point when i teach american history, i usually just put up a slide. it is shorthand for the last few decades and it does a few things. it also helps to understand how fully we understand around time quantitatively. the inclusive social sciences and understanding of the world that we live in. so this is a map that purports the chart. income inequality from 1947 until 2002. you can study it for a long time, but it is quite fascinating. you notice a fair degree of flatness between 1947 in about
1972 were income inequality is quite low measured by this index node as the gini index, and it's just not a huge wide gap between the wealthy and the poor. this is largely due to the g.i. bill and the degree to which it works as a sole welfare state for veteran. those benefits but she do get this incredible explosion for a generation of men. they pay back in taxes 10 what they get. but also grows in distributing income across population. incredible economic growth, which you also have low income inequality. you also have low political polarization. if you look at members of the house encode them by their polar
positions as house members and then you do roll call votes. both of these measures begin to go up around 1968, 1972 and have consistently gone up ever since. the question of political scientists and historians ask about these years, really quite important questions we could and a lot of time thinking about these. terms of representation, to look at this, which of these things is driving the other. they both -- they don't just correlate magically. what is actually going on causally during these years. we can ask questions about what is going on there. at the end of that. or towards the end that is represented, you have this representation that the united states end of the world and above all wired. the internet opens to commercial
traffic in 1996, bringing united states into the world and every household into this global network and internet -- an international work of network and wired magazine and other dedicated boosters of the internet and at the age of silicon valley punch for viewership want to assure comments hard to say, that the united states are wired together. any problems like the political polarization where the income inequality do we've been suffering will be solved by the internet. 1999, 2000, even 2001. there is a no restraint in the utopianism. it's quite interesting and in some ways unparalleled. the sense that there is a disaster that has befallen the
otherwise never before attacked on the continent united states really challenges pictorial representations of the united states after 9/11, of yours challenges the united states and the world as well. talking about pictures here. the ways as manifested health. where i find some of the most provocative forms of expression about the last two decades in american history and that is in public art. has anyone seen this electronic superhighway from the smithsonian museum of american art? it's a giant installation and it's hard to do it justice. it's as big as this altar i would say and it's all neon tubing. in each state there's a whole bunch of video screens. as you get closer to it, and it gets louder and louder and
louder, but it becomes more difficult to hear what anyone is saying. he'll say that the television screens are playing snippets of things in constant loops that are representative of the state. you go to oklahoma and it's like ♪ oklahoma where the wind ♪ of minutes like i got the horse right here his name is solved, but it is just a cacophony of noise. this is this artist and his point is, among many points, everybody is broadcasting and nobody can hear a thing. i find it one of the more powerful essentially indictments of the promise of the internet. we of course in our contemporary culture just to circle back to where i began invoked the american pass all the time. two by then do we invoke that pass in the insurance of building together a better
future or in the interest of fortifying our own political position, broadcasting and not listening. what is the purpose of the way you and i invoke the past in a way that we see our elected officials do so. and couldn't we demand a little bit more of them. all kinds from left and right, invitations and resurrections of past moments in american history. we see the conversation, these glimpses representational in a deeper divide and also promising connections. we see the constant recycling of representation of the country as deeply divided as part of what still as of 1952 draws viewers and keeps television stations and networks, cable networks and business. i want to and with a piece of art that i find really speaks best to the present political
moment, which is this beautiful work again called double america. there is a whole series of these. he inspired to do these works really and i'll mosh to the relationship between our world and dickens tale of two cities. it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. thank you. [applause] >> i hope there're some questions. please come up to the microphone. don't be shy. i've made an argument for
inquiry. thank you. >> so, in your research, have you seen a pattern of what helps change things? is it a person, is it a movement, maybe its technology, and a combination of things. i mean, you see what i'm thinking about. what can we learn from the past that will help us maybe give hope for the future. i mean, i have read, you know, many of your books. i see that there is often like a really strong, powerful person that makes a big difference. i'm sure it is other things, too. i'm wondering if you had some
thoughts about that. they make thank you. that's a very hard question. there are patterns. one pattern is the technology 10 to break an existing order and people think the next technology will fix it. that is not a positive story. it is too many expectations for -- technological path on the problem. the things that tend to make a difference from the vantage of history, it's hard to know what that was like at the time. powerful calls for behaving decently. and i don't mean like the meaningless chant disability or something. i mean heartfelt, sincere commit beautifully composed stirring remarks delivered in a public venue, often at great personal cost. those are actually the things. the go to thing that people think of when joseph walsh says that last has been no decency in
that the moment people remember because it made a difference. it wasn't an easy thing to do you people think of lincoln's second and not girl address in that same way. not moments purely honorific. the gettysburg address is very powerful. none more powerful in many ways. but it's not quite the same kind of thing. so i tend -- i tend to find that the unnecessary ingredient of change. >> hi, i heard shoot interview and i loved what you said about the correlation with that map and the advent of political consultants and how we sort of started to change the idea when it comes to voting people, going
from reasoning to mainly about persuasion. i was wondering if, you know, in this correlation you might also be thinking about the advent of the "mad men" era when it comes to advertising and telling us how much we need to own in sort of a reframing of the american dream going from what it originally had been to just we need to consume more and more and more. >> yeah, that is great. i'm going to separate that into two questions. with regard to the "mad men" piece, i am fascinated by this story, but it's not really a 1960s story. it is the 1930s. the first local consulting firm in 1933 in california is called campaign ink. it is responsible for transforming california politics, one of the big reasons california is really the birthplace of the modern
conservative movement is responsible for defeating national health care in 1945 after the statewide initiative had been proposed by the governor. it was largely responsible for richard nixon's career. and how the married couple that bob's campaign reinvent politics as a business for profit is very much what creates american politics all the way into the 1980s and disband in the 1960s, its influence is felt to the presidency of ronald reagan who also came up as campaigns and what is so interesting to me also closely tied to the polling industry which is the 1930s story. the political correction of the 19th century, which was the party machine, kind of buying
votes, decades of progressive era reform labored to thwart and dismantle the machine and almost as soon as they were done, as soon as they finished political consulting replaced and we have no reform movement in this country and nor ever had was interested in dividing political consulting for what it has done to the republicans. i was given a pause there because i thought people would kind of be stirred. thank you. with consumerism, and an interesting progression that we should be quite alarmed by it. when the country was founded, the idea of progress that animated the framers was chiefly immoral idea. it came from christianity into salvation and had an enlightenment cast on it, which
was about improvement. every day the world is getting better in every way. the sense that you should be making decisions that the people, and leaders of the republic about the commonweal. but the progress was at that time. over the course of the 19th century progress in that sense of moral progress for the commonweal is gradually replace by progress has technological enhancement and into the 20th century by progress as prosperity. we talk about economic growth as if that means progress, but that doesn't mean progress of the road is not becoming better for more people. but is now petite teen century idea. so you can trace actually significant shift enough concern and from a moral progress to consumer satisfaction come you go from the politics of inquiry, like you and i should have a conversation. i don't know, do you know that
guy? to a politics of consumption. the politics of mass persuasion. we are just to be persuaded about who to vote for because we are consumers in many political operator is the product we has to die. so thanks for that. >> i am just thrilled to be here and that you are a part of this community. the question i have is first of all the quote that you put at the very beginning about we must distance for all ourselves. i wanted you to unpack that a little bit for us. the second piece, which seems to go against it is the idea that there is an art, some kind of an arc in history. that somehow we are on an arc that will eventually take us to a better place in terms of an
historical sense or destiny. it seems to me that those two things that kind of go up against one another. i thought i -- >> yeah, thank you for that. the two competing historical narratives to work in our culture and also aligned the two parties have on one side the marches of presidents we need to think about going back to whatever was the greatest moment in american history. and on the other side, kind of american history involves the story of roofs of people in conflict with one another and experiencing different forms of oppression and we need to chronicle those things and reckon with them. when i tried to do in this sweeping narrative is refused those binaries. i don't understand why you'd ink you should only study the president by social movements
that you cannot have one without the other. they are constantly interacting with one another. on one hand you cannot tell the story of the 19th century president and then you hop on another page tell the story of slavery and emancipation. there's no presidency that is the most slavery and emancipation. it makes no sense. you allow people to have a version of american history which there are no people of color. you just have a very eviscerated pass. and you have no path to power. like all change happens through social movement and that's not true. the question was about the opening in the book i quote abraham lincoln. we must distance ourselves then we shall save our country. i just love it, but also in that spirit of we are all drawn to
different versions of the nation's past, but you have to give up what you think you know and be willing to think about how other people think about this path and what they know and what their ancestors now and what their ancestors had as a different experience than your own and be willing to do some drawing yourself in the belief you are only the descendent of one. thanks. >> thank you. this is more along the lines of things you decided not to use continued along now. the that come to mind, one is sort of economic forces, which shaped things, which i'm sure you talk about some. some people think about the major thing. second is the role of force, including in 62 when we were lucky and we weren't all killed and we've been lucky a verse and though we haven't all been
killed. so i am interested why you avoid those two particular lenses. >> yeah, i think avoidance is the wrong way to describe that. in no way the narrative works, economic explanations are not the driving explanations. economic forces are not the driving agents of change and i would just say i spent a lot of time on how the american economy is organized, and what cycles of the boom and bust are, what the federal government do to regulate them in with the history of debt is and what the history of taxation is actually an enormous amount of history in the book. i would say more than i would've preferred. it does have a status important for a contemporary political debate that for me is the question i need to provide enough information. the book has to cover taxes. going back to the very ancient
form of taxation. they are also really deep ways we need to understand the relationship between that and slavery historically or other forms indentured letterforms of exploitation. so for me as an organizing principle that isn't how the book works. the same is true of war. and it's not for the contribution i could make to call attention to things that have not been seen. the military and economic history. there are no women, no family life. no experience of sexuality. no struggle with difference. no domestic strife and that is the narrative is important to reject. it's very much. [applause]
>> i got the book today, i haven't read it yet. i was skimming through the index and i noticed that puerto rico was included in usually in history books, puerto rico is not included. my question is -- territories in the history book. >> that's a good question. if you're writing u.s. history text book, what you think needs to be in the about puerto rico? >> colonialism -- >> yeah, i agree with you. i spend time in bed on cuba and the philippines so that i can call a reader's attention to debate over whether the united states. i spend a lot of time on the mexican war of 1848, which engaged the first set of conversations about whether the united states as an empire should be an empire.
i spend a lot of time on the southern slavery slave defenders who want to extend slavery into islands in the caribbean. in the 20th century i don't talk about alaska or hawaii either. it is really just a question of scale and scope. i think it's a very good point. thank you. >> first of all, thank you. the use of maps and imagery were so interesting. your title of course makes me think of the declaration of independence and the declaration of sentiments and maybe some other declarations. i am wondering what is it you're declaring in what is it you're calling us to do because in both of those documents there is a clear trust us to what is needed. >> yeah, so of course the declaration of independence we hold these truths to be self-evident.
as the book opens we remember about it, but we forget about it, the requirement of inquiry that a nation founded on inquiry. they be submitted to a candid world. so actually the founding of the country is in light mint experience in demand that everybody is a participant with the very hard work of inquiry. not just making demands for equality or inquiry. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks, everyone. if you'd like to join the signing line, i'll just ask that you hold your seat for a second while we move the screen and the books.