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tv   [untitled]    May 26, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT

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t.r., it eel feels a lot -- some of the states i foe ocuss are washington state, oregon, hawaii, alaska, florida, mississippi, louisiana, oklahoma, virginia, i took the battle to a lot of these places and hopefully giving a new generation of people -- environmental heroes to look at. the beauty of oregon coast was a real battle out there to save it. or the islands off of san francisco. and these are all t.r. last one, roosevelt in hawaii if you grab a map -- if viewers look at a map of hawaii, look at the hawaiian islands, look to the west of hawaii, heading towards asia, midway, roosevelt saved all of that for bird sanctuaries. and not just that. when the japanese -- he's threatened war with japan when japan, for example, would try to kill birds on that island, japanese, he'd threaten war with japan. and an alaska chain where he
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saved seal herds, he heard japanese seal hunters went to american archipelago, rocks and killed american seals. and he was gearing up with war need be with japan over seals. so when i chose "the wilderness warrior" this wasn't just a policy. it's not like doing conservation and richard nixon or something. this was a whole other thing. you can't understand the essence of theodore roosevelt if you don't understand his relationship with darwin, with ornithology and with the big game and forestry of america. >> who introduced roosevelt to darwin? >> that's a good question. roosevelt's father was an early reader of darwin. t.r. -- we don't know the exact moment he discovered darwin, but we do know when he was 14 years old, 15, he was over in egypt, and he writes about darwin.
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and, in fact, brian, there is in my book he draws out how we evolved from the stork. you know, i just told you about the stork. roosevelt has himself evolving from a stork. and draws little pictures of it and shows his brother evolving from apes. darwin "or gin igin of species" out in 1858. it didn't really hit america because of the civil war. by the time theodore roosevelt goes to harvard, majoring in naturalist studies, darwin was the rage. and it was a revolution. you know, people talk about for me being a marxist ideologue, people became darwinian ideologues. in fact, i argue in this book that darwin is the central figure in roosevelt's intellectual life, and what some people don't like about his foreign policy, survival of the fitness, the biggest navy, we are going to be the biggest power in the world, that's one
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side of him and he also erroneously ventured into social darwinism quite a bit. but on the flip side of it domestically he was spot-on right of his understanding of natural resource management and how to make sure you save species and entire environments intact. he was a great lover of the prairie. people don't realize theodore roosevelt said i feel most at home in a horse in kansas and nebraska than i did at sea. he would get terribly seasick. he was our first president to go abroad as president, he went to panama, he went to puerto rico. do you know what he's writing about when he goes down there? birds. he's taking notes, field notes, of the wildlife of panama. and he saved forests in puerto rico and the philippines. so here's his imperial, i'm president now, we control these properties and he had a huge concern of protecting ecosystems and species in those places we acquired. it's fascinating.
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>> by the way, why the gloves? why the white gloves? >> they make you wear them here. they do at a lot of archival places. look how -- i mean, this is from 1902 and this document i'm holding, you could call it if you want it essentially the birth of u.s. fish and wildlife right here in that little map because that's the day roosevelt started it all with the wildlife protection and saving the birds. >> has that ever been seen outside of here? >> you'd have to ask did mark here. i don't know. i think probably online or something with the pelican island site. c-span should go to pelican island sometime because u.s. fish and wildlife has built this incredible boardwalk down where each refuge gets, like, a plank and it goes out with this incredible view, so if you're doing family vacations over the summer to florida, take the time to go to pelican island to this center there because it's really worth it for kids. and you're guaranteed to see a rare patch of wild florida. >> where is it in florida? >> it's close to vero beach --
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when i would say there i would stay in vero beach which in between, you know, st. augustine if you like and palm beach on that atlantic coast. but also the ding darling national wildlife refuge, and ding darling was a young cart n cartoonist who roosevelt adopted to promote conservation. and roosevelt created the national forests in florida that links the atlantic to the gulf. and if you look on a map you'll see the big green swatch of national forest and that's a heavy manatee area which he preserved also. >> i've been interviewing for 15 years at a minimum, how do you remember all those things? >> i love history. you know that, brian, about me. i just love it. and i have a good memory, i guess, for things i -- i have a micromemory when i get in to something -- >> a photographic memory? >> i don't know if it's that. but my enthusiasm is so high,
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when i find documents, i'm very excited about it and i'm able to incorporate all of that. this really opened my eyes. i had been going before i wrote these books to these parks and i wasn't thinking about the backstory of how we got this system and we're also looking for good news in america. well, i'll give you a good news story, look at our incredible park system we've got in this country, the wildlife refuge, the national forests, national parks and we did that right. now we have an obligation to maintain it properly. >> but how do you -- i know you remember this because i've talked to you many times, but how do you when you're doing your research keep track of it all? what's your system? >> well, late historian steven ambrose once told me abandon chronology at your own peril. and so i realized events happened day by day, there's no, well, this is today. so, you get in a danger if you start going -- switching around dates, so writingwise i try to
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stay chronological because t.r. lived his life chronologically, then i would get the dates of all the places that he stayed which i put as an appendix. so, the date he declared something, i have that date. so, i've got t.r.'s biography and the dates of all these places and i make sure they intersect properly. you know enough about politics, you don't create anever glades national park or a grand canyon if there was no fight or something. who was the champion that got the winning results. who is the great grand canyon champion, who was the champion of yosemite, et cetera, and i try to bring them into the story. i'm dealing with two timelines and then a cast of characters. >> but where do you put it? is it on cards? is it on sheets of paper? on file? >> sheets of paper. notebook after notebook. not cards but notebooks. spiral legal pads, notebooks. i put boxes by state of this
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thing. identify also wanted a diversity, i wanted devil's tower in wyoming, so i wanted to make sure, like, i'd have a devil's tower box. and he went to the bighorn out in montana and wyoming, you know, when he was a young man, so maybe -- so i would arrange it in different ways, but i think in terms maybe more than most humans i think in terms of geographical places. i'm terribly influenced by my voi environment where i'm at, the places i went to is the one i wanted to write. i collect everything like a stamp collector. i want everything i can get, you know, on the painted desert or the petrified forest. roosevelt saved the petrified forest national park in arizona. >> so, you're finished with your manuscri manuscript, how do you ensure it's accurate? >> it's hard. it's always the thing you worry about the most. i get ill that if you're going to have a mistake in your book and you're bound to, and believe me, you know, somebody will e-mail you or write you a letter usually nice and you'll say i'll correct it in the next edition.
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but additionally, like, in this manuscript, i sent chapters to all the people in the parks that helped me. >> mark madison? >> i sent him the entire manuscript here because he's dealing with all the u.s. fish and wildlife. but i would send individual to paul tritek down in florida who used to run pelican island and he now runs ding darling and i sent him my pelican chapters, and if he didn't have answers he had two guys down there look into it. and if i went to, you know, you get the idea, donald worster who wrote the recent biography of john muir is the expert on reclamation projects and roosevelt made a lot of mistakes i think in building some dams he shouldn't have, trying to bring electricity to the west. it's controversial and it's a big part of my book, reclamat n reclamation, and donald worster is the national expert on the arid west, so i would send donald worster my chapters and
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say can you give me some feedback, what did i do wrong. everybody i sent a chapter to, i got something wrong. sometimes it's a word change. i say winds blew frommet southeast and it can't be the southeast, it's the northeast. that micro thing in particularly with my ornithology, i'm a bird lover and an amateur but i would send it to oaudubon specialists on birds to make sure i'm not misidentifying a bird species, because they're very particular. >> how much do you trust the first edition books? and did he write them himself? >> one of the things people ask me, how do you write so much. i mean, you did this and your teaching. i'm nothing compared to theodore roosevelt. this guy was doing five times more while he was running the country he was writing books at a regular interval. this book here is his letters to his children. and it's a wonderful book
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because he would write them a lot, like, look, he's a letter to his children just on the love of flowers. t.r. on flowers. later in his life toward the end of his life, he became a wildflower expert. look at this one. i'm just randomly opening this. puerto rican scenery. i just told you when he went down there, he's not writing home. he's writing all about the, you know, there are vines of masses of brilliant and purple and pink flowers and others with massive white flowers and he goes on and on and on and on. >> have you read all his books? >> yes. >> how many books did he write? >> it depends because there were so many edited versions of him, they would take a piece of it and call it a book. and there are massive volumes. but he wrote what i would call roosevelt books over 30 that are his own titles and really some people say over 50 -- if he would give a speech, people would make it into a book. like, he didn't make the book "letters to my children" it was roosevelt's writing, but it was
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done later. >> i've read this somewhere and i might have asked you about this years ago, but can it be true that he read a book a day? >> yes. >> i mean, how could you be the president of the united states, write books, go all over the world all the time, fight the world and all the problems he had, be the big anti-trustor, and read a book a day? >> he was a phenom. his mind was at such a rapid pace. i have noticed that people that read a lot read quicker because he knew how to read and he read all the classics. even when he was in the woods he'd bring called the pigskin editions and he would bring his favorite classics. he would read and memorize and it informs everything he did. but his -- reading -- what was unique about him in the presidency, he focused on naval history and military history and wildlife conservation, forestry. >> how much of navy experience had he had? >> well, he wrote -- his first book he wrote at harvard is called "the summer birds of the
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adirondacks" and he wrote about birds in new york. his second big book became the naval war of 1812, which made him the top naval strategist. and he became an assistant secretary of the navy. so, he would juggle navy with this sort of western hunting, like, this boone and crockett club with the buffalo on top. roosevelt knew everything. what i'd like people to understand as president roosevelt didn't just know about, say, gray wolves or cougars, he was the world authority on them. in a science way. and george byrd grenell who is an undersung hero of merge co-founded the boone and crockett club with roosevelt and it was specifically formed in the late 1880s out in new york to save the big game of america, to save buffalo, antelope, deer, caribou from being exterminated. and they would commission
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articles and roosevelt would write them, see, this one's on elk. you can just turn -- and these are great old books that roosevelt got very involved in bringing out the boone and crockett club books and it was about gentleman hunters. they were working to save animals to shoot animals. and people have problems with that sometimes today. but it was the hunters of america that really formed the early conservation movement. it was done by field -- field and forest magazine and these -- what became "field and stream" magazine, but all of those sporting journals that started putting in, oh, that you've got to have bag limits. you've got to put a fish bag limit. you've got to not shoot a dove. we take it for granted now, the g grenell, he proofread my
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chapters on grenell, because george burns grenell is the other important figure in my book. he was the american authority on game. >> last couple questions. who pays for all your travel to all these sites and all this research done? is that part of what the publisher promises you? >> yeah. they give you an advance, and then i squander it on my travels and so i make no money, therefore, i have to stay as a professor. this book on theodore roosevelt was very expensive for me. >> do you have any idea what it cost you? >> i don't, you know, and i don't lavish -- i go economy, i rent the cheapest car i can and i stay at a modest inn when i go to these places, but nevertheless since i've been really doing it since, you know, the '90s it adds up to the point you're wondering from a lifestyle point of view, it probably doesn't add up to do a book of this nature. but once you do a big, serious, heavily footnoted research book like this, my next book i could
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do something that i can do out of home without so much travel. >> last question. how did you know that it was over, this book was finished? what was the last moment? >> i ended this book -- i wrote the chapters already on his ex-presidency, but i didn't want to bring the focus away to africa and book, and the subtitle is america, t.r.'s america. so, i end the book in march of 1909 when he's leaving the white house, so the reader can see here's what this man accomplished on behalf of america from 1901 to 1909, so i micro do his whole life and i end the book in 1909 and my next volume is going to how roosevelt influenced a whole new generation including a young franklin roosevelt who got very interested in conservation and started planting trees all over and was trying to be like teddy roosevelt, so fdr and eleanor roosevelt got very involved in conservation, and people like
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ald leopold, and ding larl idar et cetera. this goes 1858 t.r.'s birth in new york and i'm going to eventually end with the era of global warming, the time we have right now and march us through in a multiple volume history. >> thank you, professor. >> brian, thank you. >> from a history stand point, where did you find the different artifacts that you have and
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materials, did you have to bring them somewhere else to here? >> that's a really good question. most of theters we have have come off refuges or fish hatcheries from the field. almost everything in the archive is donated from the former employees or field offices. so, the historic things that doug brinkley has written about and so on, they were in garages and basements and attics and they were suffering from all sorts of environmental deterioration and so on. once we opened up the archive, we basically filled up the archive in ten years for the historic objections so we can use them and teach about them. >> rachel carson is our most famous employee. when rachel carson retired from the fish and wildlife service, much of her papers and material went into the incinerator. and we will never let that happen again. >> oh, god. >> who put them in the incinerator? >> they just saw no value in it back then. >> put rachel carson in historic
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perspective. >> sure. it's very easy. you just talk to douglas brinkley, easily theodore roosevelt is our starting point for the american conservation movement. rachel carson plays the same role with what we call the american environmental movement which has different concerns than roosevelt had. a little more holistic concerns. beginning of concerns about toxins and pollutants. beginning of concerns for endangered species, preserving all speecies and pest or predators and she's a touch point with "the silent spring" that's where it begins. and with theodore roosevelt is where the conservation movement begins. >> you told me earlier you have a son named theodore. any relationship to theodore rooseve roosevelt? >> yeah, it's no coincidence, he's named partially in honor of theodore roosevelt, because theodore roosevelt has so manied
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a admirable qualities. he loves nature and my 4-year-old loves nature. >> steve chase, one of the things i picked up from being here is that you have a facility with rooms to rent, i mean, a facility that people can come in and put on a conference and all that. how does that relate to the outside world, and can just the average company or organization rent it? >> well, the important thing to remember about this place is it's a center for conservation leadership, and that doesn't only mean the federal government. that means everybody involved in the conservation, whether it be the feds, the state government, nongovernment groups, or corporations. and we think the only way to address our conservation challenges in the future is through partnerships across all those sectors. so, the nctc is open for people to come here from any sector to talk about conservation and to try to figure out solutions to the challenges that we face.
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>> but you can't just walk in the front door. >> no, not open to the public, but anyone who is interested in coming out and doing some research in our archive, we're happy to have you out. >> and you say anyone. do you have to have credentials to be a researcher? >> the archive is open to the american public, but most people come because it's a serious archive are researchers. a lot of graduate students, a lot of filmmakers, a lot of historical outlets on cable and so on have used us. we worked with the smithsonian and walt disney world of all places, so we serve a broad cross-secti cross-section. >> fit this into the american government structure. how does -- who's the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of this kind of a place? >> well, we work for the u.s. department of the interior, so overall, it's the secretary of the interior, and above that is the president of the united states. we work for whatever administration is currently there. >> what's the budget for an
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operation like this for a year? >> our budget is a little more than $23 million a year. and that gives us almost 600 events a year and more than 15,000 people coming through our programs. >> and in history how much are we spending on this kind of effort compared to, say, what it was 50 years ago? >> i don't think we were spending much money at all on history 50 years ago. in fact, i'm the first historian we've had for the fish and wildlife service and i was hired ten years ago so, you know, basically 12 years ago we didn't have an archive. we didn't have a historian. we didn't have a history program, and the last 12 years we've created a history program. we still run really tight. we don't spend a lot of money purchasing artifacts or anything. we basically manage an archive, manage the museum and manage a couple personnel and that's it. >> so, both of you could have whatever you wanted to make all this better, what would you ask for? >> you want to go first. >> what i would ask for would be
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for the public, the general public in the u.s., to all know who the fish and wildlife service is. because we have really dedicated folks that do great work for critters and for the american people. and a lot of people don't even know we exist. >> how many different places are there around the united states that come under this umbrella? >> we have about 800 field stations and we manage 150 million acres. >> mark madison, what would you wish for? >> two things. i wish everybody would think about the environment when they study history, because it transforms things from the dust bowls to ddt, but also i wish everybody would go out and enjoy the environment at a park or a refuge, i think that's the way we get our constituency, people going out and enjoying themselves in nature in places like this. that's really where our future lies. >> gentlemen, thank you. >> thank you.
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a better understanding of who she was and what she was like in the four-year period, because there's a lot of books written, and most of it has been written by people who have talked to friends of friends of friends, they really don't have the information themselves. i happened to be there. i knew her. >> from late 1960 to 1964, former secret service agent clint hill served on the protective detail to first lady jacqueline kennedy. >> there isn't any gossip in there. no salacious information. it's just what happened, what she was like, things that she liked to do, how humorous she was at times, how athletic she was at times and how intelligent she was. and how kind of rambunctious she was. she tried to put me to the test many, many times, and i did my
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best to -- >> more with clint hill sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q and a." mr. cronin, you are an environmental historian. what does that mean? >> so, i would say environmental history is a relatively new kind of history that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, which tries to see the role of nonhuman nature, plants, animals, diseases, the landscape, geophysical processes in american history or in world history, it's not limited to -- >> not just recent history but -- >> all the way back to the glaciers or however far you want to go back. i think that the great insight of environmental history and mark's book is really a fulfillment of this vision, is that we understand the world better. we understand the past better if we don't treat human beings in isolation from the rest of creation, from the rest of
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nature. we're in nature. our lives are dependent upon natural systems, and our relationship with other organisms, and many, many historical phenomena aren't fully explicable if you see us isolated from those relationships. >> is it your viewpoint that history in the past has been taught as a series of personalities and more of events rather than, say, all of the factors including the environment, the topography, the climate? well, certainly if you were to talk about the history of history very broadly, you could say that the farther back you go, the more the impulse is to see history in terms of the role of single individuals or great leaders abraham lincoln, tell the story of the civil war in terms of one person. but i would say over the last 100 years really, there's been a greater and greater tendency among professional historians to think about groups of people, institutions, large processes,
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but often before environmental history, nonhuman things were not much a part of that. so, we could talk about the history of the supreme court, the history of the congress or the history of the stand are a oil company, but we wouldn't always situate them in their larger natural context. that's been the contribution of environmental historian. >> this is c-span3 with politics and public affairs programming throughout the week, and every weekend 48 hours of people and events, telling the american story, on "american history tv." get our schedules and see past programs at our website. and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. each week "american artifacts" visits museums and historic places. next join us for a visit to milwaukee for a look inside the restored gilded age mansion of german american beer baron captain frederick pabst. >> i'm john eastberg and

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