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tv   2019 National Book Festival  CSPAN  August 31, 2019 9:59am-11:59am EDT

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sharon robinson, the daughter of jackie robinson and pulitzer prize winning historian rick atkinson. check your program guide for complete schedule. now it is time for the first author program of the day in just a minute investigative journalist david epstein will discuss his new book range, being a journalist in the specialized world. this is live coverage of the national book festival on book tv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning and welcome to the 19th annual national book festival brought to you by the library of congress. [applause] this festival is free of charge thanks to the generosity of donors large and small. he . . .
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please make it brief and to the point, you are giving us permission to use it to web cast and finally i ask that you please turn off your cell phones, thank you and enjoy your day. >> good morning, book lovers, how are you? can we stop for a moment and acknowledge the librarian, hard-working staff and the volunteers? absolutely. [applause] >> i'm chairman for the national endowment of humanities, we proud to continue partnership of national book festival, topic of
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this festival, change-makers and one way we are doing so is to discuss topic on the bottom level of the convention center, they'll we will recognize importance of 19th document, documentary on pbs, we have wonderful cutouts of suffrage movement, leaders that you can pose with, grandchildren, fredrik douglas and others, alexander hamilton, popular figures we've had in the past as well and we will have programming about civics and importance of library but for this room and this moment, we are here through funding of this pavilion understanding our world and our federal agency awards more than $130 million a year through the generosity of the taxpayers to libraries and museums, universities, scholars,
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civic leaders across the nation and here we join you not just as one of your voices here in cultural funding but as leaders, your day as our day will be presented with fascinating presenters and they'll be books signed by authors, meeting with fellow book lovers and treasure hunts, of course, for children. so we are delighted to start the activities with the author david epstein and engaging thoroughly new book, range, david is investigative reporter, graduate of colombia university, he majored in environmental science and atron -- astronomy, master's degree in environmental science and journalism, he served as senior writer at sports
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illustrated, investigative reporting, technology that many of you have seen and about technology and sports performance certainly worth your consideration and he writes in the book, the challenge we face now is how to maintain the benefits of diverse experience, delayed concentration, in a world that increasingly incentivizes and even demands hyperspecialization, if that's the challenge, then i would say, indeed, that range answers the question, so please welcome david and my colleague the honorable andy who will conduct the interview. thank you. [applause] >> welcome, david, i'm hoping that you think i'm a journalists
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because these are my notes that i will try to use to draw questions from, you have so much in your book, you're a story teller which is fascinating because this is a book about leadership, how to become a leader, how to, well, how to become somebody who takes in many, many experiences and solves problems, so for me, i was fascinated to see not only great stories, great examples, so much data, but the data sneaks in and you find yourself remembering all of your points, not particularly because of the data but some of the stories, so what i will pull some of the prompts out of the book so you can tell the stories because they are fascinating.
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i also wanted to give you a shout-out for talking about francis, she is alive which you tell me, 103, the woman who saved the girl scouts and her ability to help shape leaders was recognized by peter who called her the greatest ceo of all time, basically and i know that you've been influenced by her but you've taken it a whole step further, so without further due, i was wondering if we could start out with the stories with repetition, when you play sports and you're a sports writer, we need to keep practicing a certain thing, practicing, practicing but you're saying that's not always the best thing to do so, there's your first
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pitch. >> thank you very much, we should come back to francis because she had a big influence on me. >> we would love to hear about it. >> the book start in sports because the seed came out of kind of of debate that i had with malcolm when i wrote about a book about sports science previously when i was at sports illustrated and critique to the science underlying the so-called 10,000 hours rule, we had to introduce each other, this is david epstein who devoted first pages of the book criticizing my work. [laughter] >> little bit of a hairing introduction. so we were invited at conference at mit and he wrote about the importance of practice, repeat the same thing over and over and i was the science writer at sports illustrated and said let me go look at the data, in
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almost every sport around the world, scientists call a sampling period, wide variety of sports, broad general skills early on, later technical skills, they learn about their own interests and ability and systemically delayed specializing until later than their peers and that's the norm, but we never really hear that story, what we hear is the tiger woods story, essentially, and sort of, you know, very selective version of it where he was, you know, 7 months old his father gave him a putter, just giving it him as toy, he's on national tv golfing, 3 year's old, i'm going to be the next great at 21 and greatest golfer in the world and as i argue in the book, probably most powerful modern story and extrapolated
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and golf is worst human model that people want to learn. [laughter] >> we have been making a really dangerous extrappulation from gofl. >> well, tell the story about repetition all of the time. >> hardest structural writing challenge i've ever faced but smoke jumpers who parachute in to big fires, to contain them, high-performance teams but psychologist would noticed when they would face something unexpected, for example, they would be on a hillside and they
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would be ordered to jump tools and run away from fire and they would refuse and what he noticed when these -- these -- what he called high-reliability organizations, when that would happen because it was something obvious to an outsider. hundreds of pounds of equipment and maybe within 100 feet from safety and what he realized was happening that when training was very repetitive, that was really good as long as you were facing the same situation over and over again but when something changed, you get stuck in the pattern and do the same thing anyway, so the firefighters would refuse to drop their tools even though it would have saved their life and he started to see in all sorts of areas, most of commercial air disasters occur when the flight crews sticks to
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initial plan they have done before, even when random outsider is clear that they are heading for disaster or, for example, he said carl who was walking on tight rope, instead of grabbing the rope below, balance pole, he fell trying to grab pole instead of wire that is could have saved him. it's a proxy for being flexible in the face of something different and that gets me me to writing, you're ability to take your skills and knowledge and apply them to a situation you haven't quite seen before or something changes and what predicts your ability to do that is a diversity of experience that is you had during training, you had to be very careful about going things $10,000 away unless you are engaged in activity like
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golf which are kind environment that we can talk about it. >> i was fascinating in your chapter how the wicked world was made when you start talking about iq. when i was growing up that was it, everything got judged by iq and in your chapter you say iq has gotten higher everywhere, i don't feel special anymore. >> you should feel special. [laughter] >> everyone who came before you -- >> oh, okay. >> but, yes, it's not just iq's have gone up, it's effect, iq's have gone up points in decade, they didn't just go up, they went up where they were least expected to go up. there's a test that it's just abstract patterns and one is missing, and you have to deduce
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the rules and this is created what is culturally reduced, nothing you learned in life and school should have affect ability to do well on test. if martians landed on earth, we could give them this test to see how clever they are, in fact, that turned out the least favorable test, it turns out that it has to do with the way our minds have changed to accommodate modern work, some of the studies illuminated how this happened and looked at experiment in soviet union n remote areas, agricultural land and they took what had been farmers living in premodern conditions and started forcing some of them to engage in modern work, they had to coordinate with other people, think about people's work that they didn't actually do, so they had to start thinking about their own experience to coordinate work and some of the people were still in the condition because the change was spreading and a
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group of psychologists went and studied them and found that the people who were still in premodern situation, their thinking wasn't worse, it was adapt today a different situation where they had to rely on very concrete experience, they would be asked something like where it's cold and snow all the bears are white and they would say -- what colors are the bears, you could never get them to extrapolate outed of their own experience, people had to think about work that they don't do, it completely changed how their minds were and get better at grouping things even though they had never experienced them and we continued to go where we have to live by what's called transfer, taking our knowledge and applying to situations that we haven't seen, work that we haven't done before, that's how we get by, we take it for
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granted and caused us to get much better at deducing rules essentially when they are not there and it's changed very opportunity mentally the way we think, so particularly on the abstract parts of iq tests, by the way, this is a side point, but i think the effect is good measure in some ways of gender equity in society, dosage of modern life, some society where women are less allowed you see effect separating. it can be indirect measure of gender equity in the society. >> i don't know if you're aware that on weekend here in washington in government buildings, of course, we would love people to be working even on weekend they turn off the air-conditioning and turn off the heat, whatever, you say
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saturdays is a great day to get things done. >> yeah, i got an idea from favorite interviewees, scientist who i was reading his notebook that is were digitized by the university of north carolina and what you noticed his most important work always occurred on saturdays, he called saturday morning experiments so as he told me, people ask why i came in to work any other day other than saturday. [laughter] >> he would go and this was experimenter and he would go in to work and on saturdays he said you don't have to be completely rational, do i things that are unfunded, stay with other people's equipment. really, when colleagues were going to get rid of equipment, nbgbokfo, no bloody good but okay for vol -- oliver and it was saturday morningings where
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he got a key to janitor's closet and invented something called jell-o, allowed us to separate molecules for study. [laughter] >> learn how to work with dna, he was training to be a doctor and he said i'm going to do chemistry and this was seen as him getting off track at the time and he helped pioneer biochemistry, was at the time hybrid and in 50's he becomes geneticists. he learned how to alter genes in animal to study for disease. i kept seeing the trend for creators, time set aside, unfunded, unstructured where they could do the experimentation and that's where their breakthroughs would come.
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>> i want to get back to francis because i want you to explain your relationship to her and her study and also listen to this story you just told probably not many of us in here will win the nobel prize ever but in what we do in our every day we can certainly learn from this and i think that a lot of people are now thinking about saturday not so bad after all. [laughter] >> but talk about francis because she's an amazing person. >> so the nutshell story of francis is she grew up in johnston, pennsylvania, when he was a big steel town and when her father was sickened and passing away she had to take care of the family, she got married fairly young, her husband went away to the world war ii, he was photographer, she was born in 1915, by the way, and came back and started
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photography and she would do whatever was needed, she was this or -- sort of jack all of trades person, jack of all trades master of none often times matter of one. in her 30's a prominent woman said would you like to volunteer lead girl scouts, she said i don't know anything about leadership, okay, we would have to disband the girls and frankies says, fine, six weeks and you can find a real leader and turns out she enjoys it and stays with them for 7 years until they graduate high school and short story is she keeps getting jobs with the girl scouts and she kept saying no, if you don't, we will have to get rid of this program and so she keeps saying fine for like a
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month and acts are getting better and chair the united way campaign for girl scouts and she never wants jobs, feel frees to do whatever she wants, i will get union to be supporters of this and united ways are like, whoa, whoa, it was big supporter, you told me to run it so i'm going to do my way and he does it in has biggest per capita in country. the second woman to lead it was last year, she was doing it like decades ago. and so keeps happening, taking on bigger jobs, swhen she gets in her 50's asked to be executive director of local council, that's a professional, i would never take an actual job, of course, we will have to -- [laughter] she start reading management books and realizes the work is
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vocation, in mid-50's start career, keeps going well, eventually asked to new york to interview for job as ceo at the time when girl scouts is in crisis, memberships are falling off the cliff, not very cliff, no, don't want that job. and so she gets there and they say what would you do, the press girl scouts little has been captain, started coast guard reserve, leadership in industry and education, francis was one of local leaders and one semester of college education, she said i would get rid of the sacred handbook and do four that appeals to different age communities and other communities when they look at us they see themselves. and so she says get rid of camp,
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she goes home that was kind of fun -- [laughter] >> she arrives in new york right after as new ceo of girl scouts which she perceived to stay, 130 volunteers, enormous diversity, she's told when she gets there, fix the finances and then worry about diversity. she said, no, the diversity is the problem. beautiful messages like one targeted native girl, your names are on the rivers and left beautiful messages and so she saves girl scouts potentially, tries to retire and the next day it is called mutual of america, come to your office on madison avenue, what are you talking about, we've noticed that you've never made long-term plan in your life. we will give you office and you
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will learn what to do with it. she goes to work 5 days a week at the age of 103 and a half and so this is in a chapter about the importance of short-term planning and how -- [laughter] >> there's a lot of research, long-term plans are actually really counterproductive. she became a role model, more of than a role model, one was leadership is not a matter -- it's a matter how to be and not what to do, the other is you have to carry a big basket to carry something home which meant she would go to trainings and people would say i'm not getting anything from this, if you're open minded you will get something from anything, i was stuck with my own writing and i decided to take beginners online fiction writing course,
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beginning writing class and didn't help in the way i thought. there was an exercise where i had to write a story with no dialogue and i realized i was leaning on dialogue in a lazy way, i went back to the whole manuscript, tons of quotes, narrative writing and that really came out of her saying, you do anything and if you bring open mind to it, you will. i'm now convinced no amount of beginning courses to take and not learn something from. and i went over the hotel and realized it was like conference, i sat in beginner's writing class, i'm probably not going to write any japanese comics but -- >> never say never. >> i definitely wouldn't. believe me. [laughter] >> but structure, it's dialogue, conflict and so she really made big impression on me in a lot of ways, i was honored to include
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her in the book in a big way. >> when i read her name in the book i went out and found her book about leadership, the difference, i think, you inspired by her and i think you've taken a whole new -- a whole new way, meaning, when you read her book which is amazing, it's really a how to we do this, this and this and then if this happens we do this. but it doesn't tell stories and i keep thinking, i keep going back to the fact that the way you tell a story makes it -- you can remember it. i don't think it's just a matter of advancing age but i can't remember everything that she says and i find myself point 1, point 2, point 3. but the sinthesis of it all and i think she would love your book? >> i think she does, in my
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previous book i read a lot of memory research and i tried to leverage that that will help people, and i tried to the to that's proactively. >> what i read the story, i would love for you to talk about, i thought you should write about history and then people would read it. [laughter] >> that's interesting that you mentioned that one of the big thicks of the book was get to go build -- really changed my experience of concert and museum, the del coro, music is one of the areas that we associate with early civilization so i knew i had to take it on in the book, it was in invented 17 or 18th century. problem with baby girls dropped in the canals when sex workers
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couldn't take care of them essentially and so then it started the very progressive social service institutions called hospedali where there was, they would take girls and raise them and when you put your luggage in the testing and if the baby would spit in the box they could raise her, no questions asked, they wanted to make the girls citizens, self-sustaining and teach them different skills, give them incentives to learn skills, if they learn skills they would do less chores and people started donating instrument and some of the girls start today learn all of them and what the governors or institutions started noticing that they would play and people would come by and money would start pouring in, donations, they started soliciting donations, the ground zero of innovation at the time, modern piano was being invented, the
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systems of major and minor keys and the girls became most famous musicians in the world, start learning every instrument they could and they became musical laboratory for composers who started fight to go be able to compos and bevaldi was one and they became world famous and the only odd thing about training instead of focus, they started learning all instruments and that in fact, looks like exactly like -- the researching musicians looks like the one in sports, they try variety of instruments, early practice in a lot of instruments, famously musicians, didn't like them, quit music for a while and then came back to xelo. we all remember the battle,
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talking about a signing violin. you picked it and quit. i thought one i want to restore place in history, composers became famous, partly because were women and napoleon threw records when they arrived in venice. >> i volunteered over the phone, i volunteered again to go to venice and we would look paintings and i'm sure that a lot of the women in those pictures with musical instruments must be members of the group, we have to figure out who they are. >> i'm sure, there was painting in gallery where they went unidentified, it was like the women of balcony playing
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instruments. >> i could go on forever but -- and i know you can as well. i highly recommend this book line 5 is where he'll be signing them but we have 15 minutes left and i think it would be fun for people to ask questions, so we can hardly see because of the lights but if there are microphones and if you come up to a microphone and ask a question, if you want to identify yourself as a generalist or a specialist, we will take that too, but one of the stories that you have to get the book to read this is analysis of the challenger, it's really important to read this. anyway, go ahead. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> girl scout 11 years. [laughter] >> when i speak to teenagers 18, 19 who are going to college and what their majors are going to
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be, everyone says they have no desire to major in english or history or any of what i consider liberal arts and their concern is the amount of money it costs to go to school and that they have to come out and get a technical i wonder if you had any thoughts on that which i find despairing? >> i think that's troubling for a lot of reasons, in the book i write about research on timing of students choosing majors and, for example, economist found experiment in higher-ed systems in england and scotland and what he saw that the systems were very similar except in england, students had to specialize about 15, 16, they had to decide what program to apply to of study which in scotland they could continue sampling throughout university if they wanted and he
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specializers the one who pick and those who go more abroad and they end up having more variety of classes and turns out that the early specializers do jump into income lead because they have more domain specific skills, the later specializers get to sample more things and broader view of what's out there and when they do pick they have match quality, the degree of fit between interest and work that you do, their growth rates are faster. meanwhile the early specializers start quitting career tracks in much higher numbers because they were made to pick so early that they more often chose poorly, you know, so i think if we thought about careers we wouldn't pressure to pick so early, that said, when they do quit, they are putting in response to quality information, renewed emphasis on specialized
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vocational training which has uses, the outcomes are that if you watch the study, research matches people for parental education, various test scores, years of education, only difference if they get broad education or specialized education. the specialized education they jump to income lead but much more narrow skill set and much less time overall in the labor market, again, they win in short-term and lose in the long run, but one of the -- i think to me one of the themes of my book, sometimes the things that you can do to cause short-term progress undermine your long-term development and with that realization which is deeply counterintuitive, how can we structure systems to accommodate and psychology is not set up to accommodate it and only getting worse, student debt makes us more and more prone, when you start something and can't leave it even though it's clearly wrong and broader, once you
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start going down an area you keep going down. this is what con men do, once you invest a little and then things are setting up in the wrong way to incentivize what the research says is the way to develop people, unfortunately. >> gentleman. we have 10 minutes left and we have people standing so short and sweet. >> sorry, i'm very ie -- digressive. >> that's all right. >> you mentioned the individual on the other side, 10,000 hours and i think you referenced in your book as well or sports book that you wrote as well with respect to hockey players and specifically when they were born, the month of their birth
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and school years as well depending upon september, march-born individual, part of it is because of body weight and part of it how their minds work as well. i would like for you to talk about that as well as within the context of range, you brought up chess and i remember that one chapter where this one family just had chess champions after chess champagnes and i was curious as to that dichotomy with respect to golf or with respect to any other type of, let's put it this way, academic environment as opposed to just necessarily a sports environment? >> right, great question, a couple of things in there, two things i want to mention because i think are important, famous 10,000 hours study, original study, replication was attempted last month and not considered to
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be true and one important thing and probably most influential paper. malcolm and we were on the panel in march and on youtube towards the end, i now i believe that it's two ideas, it's important to get good at something which is true with the idea that in order to k -- can become x things and he and i are on the same ground now, the other question you asked about relative age effect, this is the finding that both in school and in sports that the earlier you push selection of something the more likely you get kids who are just born early in the selection cohort because whether it's teacher or coach they will mistake being, you know, 7 or 8, or 9, 10 months older and it's wrong, so kids who are born late in their cohort, like 3 times more likely to get diagnosed with adhd but actually they are
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acting like younger kids and you see the same thing in sports, and hockey famous example, like the whole junior national team would be born january and february because they've had the matthew effect, at the top level it disappears which suggests to me that you are deselecting an enormous of people who would go to the top if you gave them a chance not to get kicked out of pipeline, some countries have realized like uk and australia, develop pipeline to diversify the entry points and try keep people in longer, our secret not kicking people out soon so they can pull themselves by the bootstrap if they can and got world records out of those who would have been deselected earlier. the other question was chess, okay, that's important because this gets to a fundamental part of my book early on where i set up why are golf and chess different, why it's wrong to
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extrapolate them. the father trained from very early age 3 daughters in chess, chess doesn't matter, any kid can become a genius in anything if they are started in hyperspecialized practice, early chess is my practice ground and daughters became master chess players. kind learning environment, kind learning environment is patterns repeat, rules are clear and never change, work next year will look like last year, you get feedback when you do something that is immediate and completely accurate, most of the things that we do are what they call wicked learning environment, nobody told you all the rules, the rules might change, work next year may not look like work last year, you may get feedback delayed or teaches wrong message, he talked about famous new york doctor who became rich and famous because palpating patient's tounge.
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so there the feedback was delayed and one of the arguments i make in the book is that by far most of us are engaged are in wicked environment where early is the trick, not specialization early, you don't want to be in the areas where super specialization is right away, chess is so easy to automate, it's such kind learning environment, that's not where you want to be, big mistake extrapolating from sports and games and everything else people want to learn. >> okay, we have a question on this side and then after your question we will have time for one more. >> thanks very much. let's start by listening to anecdotes, the structure's body
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change to industrialization to the information economy that you're describing how people respond to that change in environment, so i wanted to take it and maybe think about it going to the future a little bit, what have you thought about as you researched the book that might be changing that would take us off the -- the continuum that you described or what is changing? >> yeah, that is something embedded in the book and that's why i was looking at the research of specialized vocational training and general training, it's grounded in tailorrisms and being industrial economy, specialization made a ton of sense for industrial economy because people could expect work next year to be like last year and huge barriers and all the sorts of things, the problem is that doesn't make so much sense anymore, and so if you look at -- people think of
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education getting worse but if you look at proficiency test they have better test rules than fore bearers, not even close, actually, the work changes so rapidly now, you to apply your knowledge to new problems and in order to do that we have to teach in different ways because we want to focus on specifically human things, right, so when atm was invented, for example, bank tellers would all go out of business overnight and in fact, atm more bank tellers, makes fewer tellers for branch and totally changes job from transactions to one where the -- the professional is, financial adviser, customer service representative and marketing professional, much more human skills and that's what we will see, things based on repetitive pattern will be automated, we want to focus on skills, some of
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the ways to do that is to teach in ways, forces people to build conceptual models and learn what is called connections now instead of using procedure's knowledge and one way to do that is with things like interleaving, randomized math classrooms are different types of learns, some block practice, aaa, bbb. all the problems are thrown in hat. interleave kids frustrated, they are force today learn how the match a strategy to a type of problem and when they all see new problems on the test, the kids destroy, moving the kid from 50th to 80th i'm percentile with a new problem. i think we need to embrace the kinds of learnings that force people even though it's frustrating at first to learn flexible conceptual models. >> and finally one final
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question. >> good morning, everyone, i'm anthony, how are you doing, mr. epstein? >> i'm good. >> good to hear, i will be quick and brief as possible. in a world winners and losers in global economy, how might you apply the flint effect and what would it look like for -- what does it look like for the -- how can i say this properly, for those who are late in civilization? >> i think it said something good about late blooming, in fact, some of what has coincided with the quinn effect is spied of -- speed of light history and the slower the benchmarks comes
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along in develop the more clever is organism is and slowing down making us more clever so we should design things for late bloomings, humans are designed for late bloomings but we should do it and we have conceptual knowledge that allows us to transfer knowledge between domain, we should be looking for late blooming, right, when i was at a kind of investment, the conference recently, they took something from introduction and gave poll to audience, average age of founder of tech start-up, 25, 35, 45, 55. 25 was like and then 35, 45, 55, answer is 45 and a half. and even they don't know that but i think if i was a leader the way i would use quinn effect gender equity for one and then i
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think i would try to speed it up wherever i could to put the globe on -- on the same footing and it's not that one type of think asking better than the other is one more adapted to the kind of work that we have to do but the problem is once it start to touch society and engage in modern work then the more rapidly you can get them into that and speed up the more you can get people working on the same ground, once it touches someone and no going back, i would try to accelerate that, gender equity as fast as we possibly could. >> in your book, in your author's discussion you say i've got a turnout of doing this, we got a turnout of this today. >> thank you, pleasure for having me. [applause] >> thank you. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> you're watching coverage of book festival in washington, d.c., coming in about 45 minutes ruth bader ginsburg, that would be live on book tv here at
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convention center in washington, d.c. 200,000 people will be attending this year's festival. i have never seen it as crowded as it is already today, we are live all day long, check program guide for full schedule or checkbook for schedule. elaine white is the author of this book, it's called the women's power. ms. white, nashville august august 1920, how was it like? >> sleepy southern city in summer, time you drink tea and sit on your porch and nashville became the center of the political universe in the united states for several weeks in the summer of 1920 because tennessee
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might be the last and deciding state to ratify the 19th amendment and tennessee legislature did, then women across the country in every state, in every election for the first time, all women would have the right to vote and was all coming down to tennessee and got really wild. >> how many women for at voting age? >> 27 million women of voting age, of course, not all would vote and as we know for african-american women and for asian women and for native american women they would not be allowed to vote, the 19th amendment did give vote to all women but jim crow laws in the south and other state laws denied the vote to quite a few women, minorities, 27 million
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women were eligible to vote and no one knew how they were going to vote and the politicians were worried about it, it was a presidential election and so the presidential candidates were very worried about it, the governor is very worried about it, he's up for reelection, becomes political free for all from the white house to congress to the legislature in nashville. >> before we get into some of the characters involved, august 17, 60-degrees and sunny and cool? >> no, it wasn't, it was, in fact, the characters that i write about, the participants in the political battle women and men write in memoirs how hot it is, northern women coming down to -- to participate in this battle, this legislative battle of lobbying and filibustering and all those things, they were
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not used to the heat, so in fact, when i started my research in the summer of 2013, i purposely went down in august so i would feel the heat. i wanted to feel it bearing down on me, it was sort of method acting for historical writers and i did, i felt how it really is bear down and surround you and then i tried to imagine what it was like without any air-conditioning and wearing 10 pounds of clothes which women had to do. [laughter] >> so it helped me understand how uncomfortable they could be. >> elaine white, why did it come down to tennessee? >> the federal amendment, the suffrage cause had been going on for 7 decades, 72 years at this point if we market from the first organized meeting, 1842.
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that's not the first time it was discussed. it wasn't the first time women were advocating for it but we market as that from various reasons, the first public, from that time to 1970, 72 years for various that i explain in the book women were working both as state level and as federal level, they finally got a federal amendment passed after 40 years, it has been stuck in congress for 40 years, since 1878 and in 1919 in world war i and women participating in a different way than they participated before, congress relents narrowly passes it, goes on to the states, 3 quarters of the state have to ratify, 36 states because it's 48 states in the union at the time, 35 have ratified by the summer of 1920
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just one more is needed and for various reasons it turns out tennessee is the sort of best hope for the suffrage. >> any other southern states ratified? >> yes, just the two. most had rejected the amendment, had not ratified but texas and arkansas had, but it was clear that there were two other southern states in play at the beginning of the summer which were north carolina and florida, north carolina rejected it during time tennessee was considering it and then florida refused to call the special session. so for various reasons it came down to tennessee and it was a dangerous place to be seeking the entire enfranchisement of half of the population of the united states because tennessee was a southern state, there was
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a lot of opposition to suffrage there but there was also a very vibrant women suffrage organization so what happened is they say to national leaders, we can do it, come down and help us, the national leaders come down and you see the fascinating almost ballet because it was not a unified movement and working against opposition that's very strong and has both corporate and political and religious opposition and leaders of those movements and then it also has women of different -- different persuasions so becomes free for all and it's a fascinating
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cultural and political and moral question that was alive at the time. >> how did she become the leader of the anti? >> no, the leader of the suffrage movement, pearson -- >> i got my movements wrong. let's go to josephine. >> i was shocked, i'm not a suffrage scholar and i hadn't been studying this for 40 years, when i encountered the concept that there were women organized all over the country to oppose women suffrage and oppose the federal government i was really shocked. i didn't comprehend that women could oppose their sisters getting the votes but it does teach us that women do not speak
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monolithically and one of the characters that i followed josephine pearson, she's very well educated, dean of a small college, she's a professor and she comes from a very traditional conservative background in southern tennessee, the father is a baptist minister -- pardon me, methodist minister and grows up in the household where women moving on out of domestic sphere, not accepted and would elevate women to an equal status as men and she sees that as unnatural, she also has some religious opposition and she has
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racial opposition because one of the things we encountered especially in the southern states, especially this -- in the black battle that there's opposition because black women would be given the vote by constitutional law and in some of those jim crow states that was not an accepted political concept and so their fighting against. >> josephine pearson was the anti leader. >> the leader of the tennessee antisuffrage. >> pretty savvy political operator from your book. >> well, she's a very interesting woman, she's also aided by the national antisuffrage leaders who come down from new york, from washington and boston to help her. so she is leading the tennessee contingent, so she's the home team but being assisted by some very, very strong and
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well-funded women who are opposing and have been opposing in other states, so it's very interesting, she's also a little bit of friction with the national leaders how to run the campaign in tennessee. >> before we leave ms. pearson, describe how she kept her cool? >> so josephine was called into service, this is now mid-july of 1920, they realized that tennessee is going to deliberate on this, the legislature is going to be called, and so she gets the summons to come to nashville from her home in mount eagle, the southern part of the state, we need you, come immediately, the suffrages are coming, she travels by train to nashville and they've arranged for her to stay in the fanciest
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hotel at the time, beautiful, beautiful hotel and she's not used to this kind of luxury and, of course, it's not air-conditioned and it's very hot, it's even hotter than usual, the week in july and so she spends the first night in the bath tube running cold water and using the telephone to call her colleagues and send telegrams saying come to nashville, we need to oppose this amendment, come quickly and so she's doing this from the bathroom, she writes about this in her memoir and i actually checked with the hotel if they had bath tube and did they have showers and, yes, she was in a bath tube. >> one of the leaders. >> yes. right.
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again, fascinating figure, iowa farm girl, becomes a teacher, widowed, actually widowed twice, susan b. anthony and susan anthony was a very good mentor and she would sought talent, young women who she thought could be future leaders of the movement and she trained them and have them accompany her on the campaign trail because she was going across the country constantly trying to get interest and enthusiasm for suffrage. so she sees she has the fire and the logistical find to be able to lead the movement and so she becomes -- she actually becomes
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susan anthony's successor, she literally is anointed by susan anthony to take over in 1900 as susan anthony is aging, and she becomes president for a while and leaves it for a while because her husband is ill and other things, comes back in 1916 and says the women's hour has struck and that's the title of my book and she takes over as the master strategist. .. .. the way things are going. and a young woman with a phd from the university of pennsylvania has volunteered -- >> sue white. >> actually this is alice who
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started a movement, radical stream of the suffrage movement. she was such a young adherence, sue white who is the head of the women's party the national women's party splitting off from the mainstream, we see this happening all the time in the labor movement, the civil rights movement, a young more impatient. so sue white, daughter of west tennessee, wants to be a lawyer, women don't become lawyers, she joined the suffrage movement and then gradually gets impatient and joins alice national women's party becomes ahead of tennessee. those are my three characters that we follow, the head of the establishment, 2 million women who are affiliated with the
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national american suffrage association in her organization. she comes down to new york to run the strategy for getting the federal amendment group sue white, who is a tenant alice paul, she is running the women's party, to women's organizations, the same goal but working separately and sometimes at odds with each other and then you have her who is leading the opposition and then a whole translation of men and politicians and corporate lobbyist, we don't think about that but corporate lobbyist were a big part of this equation all gathering in national and having fistfight. >> we will continue to talk to elaine white, we want to make sure you follow the segments if you have questions for her.
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(202)748-8200 and further those of you in the central time zone. to two separate 8201: and we will get to those in just a minute. sue white, nash mark. >> i don't have documentation of that moment but they were there in a week and you have both wings of the suffrage movement and headquarters at the hotel, the interceptor just have their headquarters in the lobbyist and the legislators, it was a crazy place in their meeting in the lobby, dining rooms, sometimes they pass and do not speak to each other, but i don't have, a
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confrontation altogether. but they certainly were bouncing off each other in the hallways. she kept in her suite for most of the time so she such a lightning rod, outsider considered a yankee and she is not allowed to be in public, she does not go lobby in the legislator. she writes things from her hotel suite. >> who owns sacramento is today and were they helpful? >> so helpful. it is beautifully restored in many of the same elements are there it was built in the 1900s. it's only ten years old and the most literary's place. when i stayed there for the dedication for the suffrage monument and i was there last week to help them kick off the
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centennial year. they were in the room that was carrying that and that is truly a thrill because one of the things she talked about in her letters is a c house is right out the window, it's only a block and a half away and there i see it. it really blooms of the window in the sense of seeing her entire legacy being played out in that beautiful statehouse, so close but she cannot go down, she cannot touch it shift the weight for messengers that was really exciting. and actually now it has unveiled in the lobby that is dedicated to the suffrage of what happened in the hotel and they have a beautiful place.
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>> let's take a call later from diane. diane you are on the phone. >> about a month ago on c-span, i heard something i never heard before that a lot of white men wanted to act the earlier of the negro men to go. is that true? >> thank you diane. >> did you understand the question, a lot of white men wanted their white waves to vote to counteract the black vote. >> that is very true. there was a sense especially in the south but other places to that there were more white women than black women who could vote
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and who would be eligible to vote but they would be prevented voting by taxes increasing literacy requirements. but yes, there were white men and i counter that in my book and congressman and senators and they do say, this book is my wife, my daughter to vote so more white women would be voting. it's one of the racial, uncomfortable aspects of the movement that we need to understand and confront and explain. >> it is funny our next three colors are all men. i want to hear what they have to say. jim from california. hi jim. >> they convey much for taking my call. my question is intersection of the suffrage movement because i
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understand susan b anthony was close friends with the head of the temperate union and coalition was passed at the same time in the women's rights. >> yes indeed. that was a very interesting intersection from the very beginning in the 1870s and 80s when the women christian union begins to organize, many of the suffrage leaders were advocates. we had to understand for some it was a more question but for many others it was a question about domestic violence. because women had very few legal ways to redress an abusive husband or father. police were not interested, they cannot bring them to court so by stemming it as historic, temperance becomes an answer to
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this domestic violence problem. so the suffragist who are looking at the votes are also looking at the votes to amine to gains other kinds of rights for women. what you will see, even though in the summer of 1920 prohibition is already in effect and you would say it's all over, why would the liquor lobby be interested in by the way the liquor lobby has been trying to oppose suffrage in all the states and at the federal level for decades because they do not want one woman to get the vote because they fear they will want prohibition so thoroughly in effect and they say wire the interest is still. they were hoping if they could keep women from the ballot then perhaps prohibition would not be
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enforced so stringently. so they were looking to congress and legislators to enforce prohibition and that's why even in 1920 and a national, they are fighting to stop the federal amendment and there's a wonderful scene that i describe of something called the jack daniels wheat which was the liquor lobby attempt to persuade legislators that they should not ratify and so it was a speakeasy for the hotel dispensing liquor 24/7 and you have drunk legislators bouncing off the walls singing keep the home fires burning in this is all to keep the federal amendment from being ratified and perhaps
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helping the liquor industry not be affected as strongly by prohibition. >> left the back, this is augusm the first election. >> that affects what happened in nashville a great deal. because a political party are nervous about suffrage, some have been supporters and the republicans have been better friends to suffrage both at the state level and national level. >> it was interesting, we have to move things around in her eyes, republicans supported the movement more strongly and they were for the most part supported of reform in fighting the trust
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and reforms like clean milk and fraternal milk. they were actually the heroes in many states of the suffrage movement. so you have the political parties, very nervous about suffrage as presidential elections and then you have the candidates who play a part in my story because both the suffragist and anti-suffragist want the candidates to support them. and they go up and they're both from ohio and he's winning with the young franklin roosevelt as his vice president. and then we have warren g harding who is running and they're both being courted and pressed by the suffragist in the anti-suffragist.
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so you do see the presidential election is really effort to all the things happening in nashville. >> robert is calling in from california. morning robert. >> good morning sir. i just wanted to pass on for my late grandmother, who was part of the whole suffrage movement out of minnesota back in the day to get the vote and then she was an educator as well and then she started a private organization and at that time a lot of the women could not own property or cash a check or anything so they had a private party called the peo which nobody else knew, the guys did not know this. but it was pop's evening out. and they would act money to send
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girls to school and i just wanted to pass on. >> that is fascinating. thank you for sharing that. one of the great things as i've toured around the country talking about my book in the suffrage movement and i've been to minnesota and there was very vibrant activism there and there was a scandinavian women suffrage association who actually would go to suffrage parades in native costumes into one of the things to understand, we pick of the suffrage movement as may be susan b anthony and elizabeth stanton and we don't have a sense of how large this movement was then in every city in every state and every town there were suffragist organizing and african american women, organizing, latino women
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organizing and one of the great things about the centennial since were now entering the centennial years, august 2020 will be the 100 anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. in every state is beginning the commemoration. one of the great things it is stirring more research at the local level. so were going into archives and places that were not looked at to get all the voices into the story like the black women's club, like the church records, all these places that told the story of ordinary women who really make a big sacrifice, they risk reputations and risk being condemned, their pastors are against them and they are very brave and at every level
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alter the country in one of the great things, we are getting much larger, much more complex, more colorful idea of the suffrage movement was. it was not just two ladies at the top. sir grandmother as part of that. >> from the women's hour, that the franchise movement of the american woman. that is a step in the process. they were eventually disposed by wiseman on their daughters and sisters. the women asked politely -- and without much trauma those two women went to achieve that hour. next call jim, and harbor michigan. >> thank you.
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particularly where do they go? >> i apologize, very difficult to understand you. if you're on speaker or on a cell phone, that will not work for us. speak very clearly into your phone. thank you. >> my question is, the women and how they evolved or did not evolve after the minute was passed, did they say i'm not going to vote on principle or do they ultimately evolve? >> thank you very much. the anti-after. >> that's a wonderful question and i do deal with that in the afterward of the book. one of the fascinating and unexpected result is after ratification when the women who
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fought so hard to word this meanamendment that would give a woman a vote. they take advantage of the political power and they do both. they learn to organize and while the suffragist dissipate, they go off in different directions and of course there are legacy organizations of the suffragist, carrie cat forms the legal voters which is at 100 years still going strong across the country, alice paul of the women's party formed the draft the equal rights amendment which has been not ratified after 96 years. it was introduced to congress in 1923. they enter suffragist actually organize and use their newfound electoral power and the organizational skills to try to
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oppose certain legislation in congress that they feel is government overreach and they call it socialist if that sounds familiar. they accuse the suffragist that are still supporting of you turn the health, legislation, they evolve into the anti-communist activist of the mid-20th century. we see them working through training organizations, advocacy organizations and receive them in the mccarthy era and receive them again emerge in the 1970s and 80s as the eagle forum. we have conservative women who have learned to harness the political power and i think we
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still achieve the product of that organization. so yes they did. pearson felt that she could not after fighting this for so long, vote so she devised a very strange scheme which was, she would tell a man in her hometown how she wanted to vote and he would go and vote for her. that's how she solved this. >> so she never voted the rest of her life? >> that's how she describes it. i can't tell you if some point she relented but she had strong opinions but she let a man vote for her. >> jackie from texas. go ahead. >> hello thank you for taking my call. i was wondering do you see any
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parallels between the abortion issue in america in the suffrage issue as it played out in the 1900s? >> that's a very interesting question. i'm not sure i see a direct comparison but again the suffragist, many were also feminine. and they were working, not just for the vote but the vote as a tool to be able to be represented in congress and the state legislators to make sure that women have rights which they had been denied and many of them had to do with agencies and being able to make decisions on their own. you have to understand when the suffrage movement begins in the mid-19th century, not only
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women could not vote, they cannot own properties, married women did not have custodial rights to her children if she divorced, she cannot testify in a court of law, she could not serve on a jury and so a lot of the idea of suffrage as being the tool to guarantee women's rights of her own decision-making and agency, i think there are some parallels but i think it gets much more complicated as i'm sure you agree. so i hesitate to make a direct comparison but i think again, women working for their own rights to make decisions about whether it is their bodies or their legislators, it is part of
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the whole larger idea of suffrage as a tool for reading rights. >> how controversial was this in 2019. >> when congress finally got around to voting, in the house it passed somewhat comfortably. i think it was about a handful of votes. again you would think by 1920 it would've been okay, women are equal to men in a political sense, let's get this done. but it was not. in the house actually votes on 1918 and the senate refuses to actually voted on twice in the next year end half and finally it passes by two votes. so the idea that this was a time
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i come in a political -- it is still very controversial. and woodward wilson has come around arguably and slowly to supported the idea of the suffrage amendment and the federal amendment so he does supported but that's an interesting evolution that i put in the book also. it was still tough, it was not an easy road even in 1920, even seven decades after the first asked for the boat. >> ruth from maryland. >> i just have a couple questions. one, in order to pass amendment you need to have two thirds of the vote in women i think voted about 31% in the first election and maybe men were more interested.
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and mostly that there is more for protection than it was for the national women's party of a small group in a little bit more average and things like that. thank you. >> okay, to answer the first question, it is true that in the first election in 1920 which the amendment is ratified only ten weeks before the election and so there was a big rush to register women. but it could not evolve or be a bush. some states like georgia refused to extend their deadlines and the deadline to pass and they refused because they do not want black women to vote. so only again as you said one in three eligible women voted in
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1920 and we talked about that. she said, you have fought for all these years, how come only one in three women voted and she says voting is learned. it is something that you learn, you get used to doing and women are not accustomed to doing it yet. they will learn. it takes longer than i think she expected it takes about 40 years and that's until 1962 american women participation in a 1980 this passes but the participation of men were significantly more women votes than men. in today's election at the national level. the second question -- >> that there were other issues involved in the women's party. >> i think we are talking about
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the civil rights amendment. it is true that not all women who were in suffragist supported equal rights amendment. one of the things that has been accomplished in the decades before 1920 was that they had managed to past protection laws for women in industry. women are working in factories at this time in their working in sweatshops and they passed the legislation that says you can only work ten hours or 12 hours not 20 hours. and you cannot lift more than 2. this was protection for women's health. and this was the union which had emerged to predict women. so the equal rights amendment might jeopardize the special protections which they dirty one in congress for women.
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so there was actually a disagreement among these women about whether be equal rights of moment or be beneficial. that is also a history. in eleanor was about supported. it is a very interesting history of the amendment and you are right that there were issues of protection. but that was not what the suffrage movement. >> from arizona yet 30 seconds. go ahead. >> good morning. my question is, to what degree did men who understood the ability of their wives and sisters and daughters play a role in the suffrage movement? >> thank you. >> they played a large role and there was very important and
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supportive men champions and there is a great book that came out a year or two ago all the suffragist and it's about the meal in the league that has been supported and suffered. only men can make decisions. men had to be in men could only work in the legislators and only men in congress in 1918 as only women who was a first woman elected to congress and there's only one and when referendum at the state level or adjudication, it's only make a decision. so having male allies, we see some very praised male allies step up in nashville. and so, men were important.
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you have somebody in the series is a new panel. >> yes, executive producer's secretary hillary clinton, she read the book and really found it a story that we should know. . . . >> guest: she says let's bring this story to a wide audience, and that's what we're doing. >> host: how do you react when secretary clinton calls and says she wants to be involved in your book? >> guest: take a deep breath, i was thrilled, and she's been a wonderful, wonderful and supportive partner. >> host: and the women's hour is now out in paperback, here's the paperback cover, "the great fight to win the vote." elaine, thanks so much for your
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time. >> guest: thanks so much, peter. lovely to be with you. >> host: we are live for the 19th annual national book festival, and now we're going upstairs to a room which looks like an airplane hangar. ruth bader ginsburg will be speaking. this room is enormous. we were up there yesterday while setting up, and it does look like an airplane hangar. 5,000 people, the line began forming this morning at four a.m. so she will be speaking shortly live on booktv, a full day of events and call-ins. you can find the schedule on your program guide or at this is live coverage. ruth bader ginsburg. ♪ ♪ [cheers and applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> well, as you can see, justice ruth bader ginsburg's event has not started here at the national book festival. it will be starting shortly, and we will bring it to you live from the washington convention center. she will be speaking for about an hour or so once she gets started, and after that several
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more hours of events coming. so we'll watch the room as we wait for the justice. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning! [cheers and applause] i'm carla hayden, the librarian of congress, and i hope you all have been enjoying yourselves this morning. [cheers and applause] now, we have a rather large crowd this morning for this particular session. and that's why i'm very thrilled to introduce our next program. for the past year at the library of congress -- you may sit down. [laughter] because i have a few more things -- [laughter] for the past year at the library
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of congress, we have been celebrating change makers. and i can think of few people who more than aptly fit that description than the united states supreme court justice ruth ruth bader ginsburg. [cheers and applause] >> okay, i'm going to hurry up. she is -- [laughter] a hero and an inspiration to so many of us. in fact, at four a.m. this morning students from american university were right over there -- [cheers and applause] camped out in front of this facility, and they are here. she says -- and i said, justice, you know, i'm going to talk about your graduation from columbia law school and taught at rutgers and columbia, spent most of your career advocating
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for women's rights, all of these things, and you've been called recently the beyonce of jurisprudence -- [laughter] [cheers and applause] and the joke, i said, could i say that, and she said rather you say the jlo. [laughter] so without further ado, she is joined by her co-authors of her best selling memoir, "my own words," co-authors mary hartnet, georgetown law, wendy w. williams, a professor emeritus at georgetown law, and her interviewer today and the interviewer, the person you know very well from npr, ms. nina totenberg. so -- [cheers and applause] the notorious rbg! [cheers and applause]
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>> please be seated. [applause] >> and i have to tell you before i leave the stage, i want to shake her hand. [cheers and applause] >> well, i want to give her a hug, but that would be very unprofessional. so this is quite an amazing group, and i'm very admiring of
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all the people who have been on line for so many hours and waiting to see the justice. there's a lot to see even though she's a pretty little person. [laughter] so how about jlo? what was -- how did that happen? >> i was called about a month or so ago by jennifer lopez, and she said she would like to meet me and introduce her fiance e, alex rodriguez. [laughter] so they came to chambers, and we had a very nice visit. she mostly wanted to ask if i had any secret about a happy marriage. but now a-rod is traveling with
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her to concerts all over the world. [laughter] >> so what was your secret to a happy marriage? did you pass on your mother-in-law's secrets? [laughter] >> on the day i was married, my mother-in-law -- i was married at her home. she took me aside and said she wanted to tell me what was the secret of a happy marriage. and i said i'd be glad to hear it, what is it? and she responded, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. [laughter] and that's advice i have followed in every workplace -- [laughter] including the good job i now have. [laughter] so if an unkind word is said,
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you just tune out. [laughter] [applause] >> i was personally advised that instead of chairman mao, you listen to justice ruth. [laughter] justice ginsburg, we all know you have some health challenges in the last year, the last month. you had radiation the month of august, so let me ask you the question that everyone here wants to ask, which is how are you feeling, why are you here instead of resting up for the term -- [laughter] and are you planning on a staying in your current job? [laughter] >> how have i been? well, first, this audience can see that i am alive. [laughter] [cheers and applause]
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and i'm on my way to being very well. [applause] >> and why are you here instead of resting up for the term? [laughter] >> the term, we have more than a month yet to go, so i'll be prepared when the time comes. [cheers and applause] >> so how do you just keep trucking? [laughter] >> for one thing, i love my job. it's the best and the hardest job that i ever had, and it's what -- it has kept me going
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through four cancer bouts. instead of concentrating on my aches and pains, i just know that i have to read this set of briefs, go over the draft opinion, and so i have to somehow surmount whatever my, whatever is going on in my body. i concentrate on the court's work. >> so your book, "in my own words," it's the first, essentially, of two by mary hartnet and wendy williams and you in some -- in the first one because it has a lot of your own words from the time you were in grammar school and writing for the school paper and opinion pieces as to your supreme court opinions. and then there's going to be a later authorized biography.
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these two ladies have been working on it for some time. so, mary hartnet, let me turn to you for a moment and is ask you about -- and ask you about the upcoming book. i hesitate to ask this, but i'm going to do it, because at least i have 4,000 witnesses. when. [laughter] >> can i just say preliminarily e that "my own words" was to be second. my official biography, mary and wendy have been at work how many years? >> fifteen years. >> fifteen years. >> 2004. >> and the idea is the book would come out, the biography would come out x it would be followed the by the lectures and speeches that i've given on opinions i've written. but the years were going on and on, and then the it came to me that mary and wendy expected that i would be on the court for some time into the future.
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so they, to make the book complete, they wanted to wait, and i said, okay, let's flip the order. let's have my selected writings first and then the biography. >> and it was a marvelous idea. [laughter] >> so you still haven't said when. [laughter] that is my job, asking questions, you know. >> this justice keeps doing things, and we're very happy about that -- [laughter] [applause] and so it will be, the idea originally was that it would break the story of justice ginsburg. it was before she was notorious. but now -- [laughter] it will be the complete, full story. and so we want to wait until we have that and, hopefully, it
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will not come out very soon. [laughter] [applause] >> well done, mary. >> i talked to you a little bit about the upcoming book. you won't tell me much, but i do know that there's a whole chapter about justice antonin scalia. justice ginsburg's great friend, sparring partner and entertainer, in some ways. [laughter] so tell me why there is a whole chapter about him and about your interview of him? >> sure. so there's also a whole chapter of him -- about him in "my own words" including justice ginsburg's reminiscences about justice scalia. and everyone i think in this room knows about the unlikely friendship between the two.
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and interviewing justice scalia was a real treat for the book, and we interviewed him for the biography, but parts of that interview are in "my own words." and as they are so different in so many ways, going into his chambers is very different. justice ginsburg's chambers are light, airy, modern art, dozens or hundreds of pictures of friends, family, colleagues. and going into justice scalia's chambers, dark, leathery. there's a big dead animal looking down on you -- [laughter] so as i sat there interviewing justice scalia, i watched how he went from the kind of tough jurist that we all know, and his face just softened and lightened up as he talked about his good friend ruth. and he told several stories. one was when they traveled to india together, and they went to visit the taj mahal. and justice scalia described how
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he watched justice ginsburg listen to the tour guide describe the love story behind the building of the taj mahal, and he said he saw tears start to stream from her eyes. and as he told me that, i'm 98% sure i saw a tear not related to an opinion or a dissent come out of his eye. [laughter] and the other story that he likes to talk about was parasailing. justice ginsburg, as -- when she was a young 70-year-old, was in nice for a legal exchange and was standing in the hotel looking out at the water and saw all these people parasailing s. and she turned to her husband marty and said, marty, that looks like fun, we should do that. [laughter] ty looked hour -- marty looked horrified and said, are you crazy? if you do that, i'll remember you to our grandchildren.
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[laughter] the host said i'll go parasailing with you, dean yellen, and his wife was equally horrified, and she said if there's an accident and they can only save one of you, it better not be you. [laughter] so they went parasailing. they had to adjust for weight because dean yellen was a normal sized human being -- [laughter] and there was justice ginsburg. and off they went, and they went up and down, up and down, flopped into the water. and wendy and i asked justice ginsburg about this experience a few years ago when we were interviewing her and said what was it like? did you like it? and justice ginsburg said it was marvelous, glorious, and then she related it, of course, to a greek myth and said it was like icarus, but we didn't get too
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close to the sun. [laughter] >> the weight was also a problem when we took a ride on a very elegant elephant. there's a photograph of it. some of his friends asked why are you sitting on the back of the elephant? [laughter] and i explained it had to do with the distribution of weight. [laughter] >> justice ginsburg, you've always been a rather determined person. when you were in law school, your husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. doctors told you his chances of survival were extremely slim, but the two of you just carried on. and, as we all know, he survived. but i thought people here might be interested in what your days and nights were like in that year and how in some ways it set
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up your sleep patterns for life. >> yeah. it was my second year in law school, marty's third year, and there was massive surgery followed by massive radiation. there was no chemotherapy in those days. we just took each day as it came. my routine was ill attend my classes -- i would attend my classes. i had notetakers in all of marty's classes. i would then go to mass general, the hospital where he was, in the afternoons. and then when he was released from the hospital and was having daily radiation, he was, first, very sick, and then he would sleep. until about midnight when whatever food he'd ingested that
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day, he would have not very good cooking -- [laughter] and then about 2:00 in the morning -- he was also dictating his senior papers to me. he went back to bed at about two in the morning, and that's when i hit the books myself. and in between there was our then-2-and-a-half-year-old daughter. so for weekes, many weeks, i was sleeping maybe two hours a night. and that's how i became a night person. i appreciated it in those early morning hours. the telephone didn't ring, there were no e-mails in those days. it was a quiet time i could concentrate on the books. >> well, i hope you're getting more than two hours these days. i do know that if you want to call the ginsburg residence, you
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do not -- on a non, on a day, like a weekend day, you do not call before noon. >> not true on sitting days. >> not true on court days at all. [laughter] so today women, to some extent, take for granted their equality in the workplace, but that was not the case when you were a young lawyer. you couldn't get a job in a law firm, you had not one with, but two strikes against you. you were -- >> well, i was, first, a jew, and there were many -- >> three strikes. >> -- well known firms in new york that were not yet up to welcoming jews. the next, i was a woman. that was a higher barrier.
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but the absolute killer was i had a 4-year-old daughter when i graduated from law school. >> you were a mother. >> so if they would take a chance on a woman, a mother was more than they were willing to risk. >> so you had top grades at harvard, and in your last year of law school when you moved to new york with your husband, you were tied for first place at columbia law school. and you're applying for clerkships. and tell us how you finally did get a clerkship, because nobody, by and large, would even interview you for the most part. >> yes. those were pre-title vii days. so employers were up front about saying women are not welcome at this workplace, or we had a lady lawyer once, and she was dreadful. [laughter] so how many men have you had that didn't work o


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