tv QA with Rosemary Stevens CSPAN January 8, 2017 11:00pm-11:59pm EST
with author rosemary stevens. then, michelle gives her final speech as first lady. after that, a conversation with incoming white house press secretary sean spicer. ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," professor emeritus of history at the university of pennsylvania, rosemary stevens. professor stevens discusses her book "a time of scandal: charles r. forbes, warren g. harding, and the making of the veterans bureau." brian: rosemary stevens, why do you think somebody wanted to read a book about a man named charles r. forbes? rosemary: because he's interesting. because he had not been written about before.
because i thought he was fascinating, and that was because nobody had looked at the veterans bureau scandal before, and it was a big scandal in the early 1920's. most people and about the teapot dome, the oil scandal in the early 1920's during the harding administration, at the time, the veterans bureau scandal was equally important. and yet, this man had come down in history to the present as a crook. but, it did not appear to me that that is what he actually done. i got intrigued by this. brian: on your first page, and the preface, you write, "good that until now that the fact that the that are in's scandal -- the veterans scandal was
forbes'd and culpability unexplored." why do you think that was? rosemary: partly because it was a huge, good story at the time, which was a different story. that was that charles forbes was a crook through and through. and what's more, he was a jolly , crook. this was a friend of warren harding, the president, who was a younger man, a curious man in that nobody seems to know what his thoughts were. what his pastor was. past was.s he met warren harding in hawaii when harding had just been made senator in 1915. they got along well and became friends. when harding became president, he appointed charles forbes to a job he did extremely well. director of the bureau of war
insurance, but then became wrapped into the much bigger veterans bureau, and forbes was raised up to become director of the veterans bureau, which is v.a.he now i've lost my train of thought. brian: let me jump in, because i wanted to read a quote from your book that explains what warren harding became president in 1921. here's what you write, from a journalist named mark sullivan about the world, the atmosphere in the united states in 1921. it's a little long, but it set the stage. bye year was distinguished postwar malaise, discontent, dissolution, and a kind of fretful sullenness, the sense of living in a cockeyed world, drinking and flouting the liquor laws, weak moral curry each,
-- week moral courage, suspect status as an immigrant or an alien, wartime correction, and stereotyped messages from the culture at large, will together and fanning fears for the moral together, fanning fears for the moral fabric of the nation. woodrow wilson had won the war, and warren harding was left with the effects." that sounds horrible. does that sound like today? rosemary: i think there are some things you can get from the book to think about today, not necessarily directly comparable. it was a very unsettled time. it was a time in wartime that there had been a clamping down of freedom of speech. the development of public opinion had worked its way, the way people thought. after the war, there was all of this on settlement. washington was being transformed.
there were 2400 dealing withices war under wilson. there was a building near the station, near here, for women who came in to take war jobs. you don't just stop a war and expect everything to go on. how do you get from centralization of government in wartime to somehow normalcy, which was what harding wanted to do? how do you get there?
ande was a lot of unrest there was a burst of nastiness, people who had been estranged from free speech during the war who were becoming very smart and pointed in their critique. it was a kind of nasty period altogether, but, on the other hand, some things went very well. you had trains that went across the country, you had a good mail service, you had a lot of professions developing everywhere. there were certainly a lot of questions arising among people who were in different parts of the social framework. brian: in your book, you say we were 18 months into world war i during 1917, this is 1921.
you say, 53,000 americans died from other63,000 204,000 were wounded. insurance"?r risk wonderfulthat's a phrase, isn't it? a program was developed in 1917 to provide social benefits for veterans of world war i. this was extraordinarily expensive on the treasury, because it wasn't just the veterans, but their dependents and dependency insurance and benefits and so forth.
it was a progressive time. there was workers compensation for workers in industry in dangerous jobs, and they got medical benefits as well. so the parallel with workers compensation, if you have workers compensation for getting wounded in a factory, surely you should get workers compensation for being drafted against your will into the u.s. army or navy. and maybe you should get some form of defined benefits. those defined benefits were called war risk insurance. they were life insurance, benefits for dependents, sickness and disability benefits, and they came as workers compensation did, with they weretion that
medical benefits and locational educational benefits, as well. in other words, job training and expectation of getting a new job. brian: when was that setup? how did charles forbes become the head of it? rosemary: he was the fourth head of it. the first three didn't last long, it was a very difficult job. you can see all the paperwork that would be necessary to set up this kind of thing. there were 4 million people in the military. they were drafted from all over the country. it was an amazing bureaucratic success to get all the people signed up, to get 24 million who were registered from the draft signed up. at one point, there were 17,000 people working for the insurance bureau, trying to get them all
signed up, including officers in france getting signed up in the trenches. by the time the previous director of the war insurance bureau was so exhausted by all of this, he left, and very quickly after that, he died. he was a young man. he was in his 30's i think right? so he becamehk, a hero in retrospect because he died on the job, and it was felt that the job had killed him. maybe it had, maybe not. but that was the expectation. so when harding was looking for a job for forbes, this came up. he was a decorated war veteran.
he had been a major and a lieutenant colonel in world war i. he got the distinguished service medal. he had run a divisional signal communications program, he was the divisional signal officer for the 33rd battalion. and he was a reasonable choice for that job, and i think he did it very well. he didn't know anything about insurance, but harding said that doesn't matter, because all of those things have been worked out. his job was to ride people along and make sure the system worked reasonably well. but it was only one part of what became the veterans bureau because of these other benefits that had been thrown in.
brian: let me go back to two things that you write a lot about in the early part of your book. the harding scandals. what were the harding scandals? rosemary: that's a very good question. the harding scandals were scandals that were made public in the coolidge administration, the administration that followed the harding administration. there was a series of investigations, congressional investigations, into there is parts of the government where things had gone wrong that were treated to harding. one of those was the oil scandal known as teapot dome, which was where the secretary of the interior was responsible for getting oil leases taken over from the navy department, and harding signed this.
but then he sublet them to major oil corporations. i think history is still out as to what his culpability was on this, or rather he thought he was running a business of the interior. whether he thought he was running the department of the making itr efficient as a business or was actually guilty of taking bribes for passing over oil leases. brian: was he prosecuted? rosemary: yes. brian: was he convicted? rosemary: yes, he was convicted. brian: did he go to prison? rosemary: yes he went to prison. brian: for how long?
rosemary: i don't actually remember how long. he didn't go to prison until the 1930's. harry dockery was the attorney general, and briefly he was at coolidge's attorney general as well. these are all fascinating and interesing people. i'm surprised there hasn't been a really good book of him in the department of justice and what happened at that time. the department of justice was coping with prohibition, with civil rights questions because of what the role of fbi was, and all sorts of other problems.
and dockerty was, in the 1920's, not quite gentlemen, not quite eastern establishment, and that was a time when gentlemen were supposed to do certain things aboutily post wrote behavewere supposed to in society. you were not supposed to get too close to people. you're not supposed to pet people on the back. you're not supposed to be informal.
you're supposed to have a mask and be charming. none of these three people really fall into that category. dockerty appeared as a political operator. brian: was he prosecuted? rosemary: he was prosecuted. brian: was he found guilty? rosemary: no. brian: do you know why? rosemary: not exactly, because work needs to be done on dockerty. he was prosecuted with a man called tom miller on one case. tom miller did go to prison. but since the charge was conspiracy and he was the other conspirator, he wasn't convicted. the question is who did what? as far as i can tell, it has still not been totally taken a look at. brian: warren harding was from marion, ohio. but you also talk about his ohio gang. was dockerty from ohio? rosemary: yes. fall: where was albert
from? mexico?: new was charleshere forbes from? rosemary: if you asked him, he would have said he was from the state of washington. brian: so harding's ohio gang was what? rosemary: his ohio gang was, in my view, a made up firm to link these three people together with some other who were prosecuted, and to call them the ohio gang. to say -- the phrase of gang has been used in ohio to describe the republican machine in ohio which wa civil war effective
political machine. gang" wasohio familiar. but it didn't include these three people. they weren't from ohio, nor were they particularly connected to each other. that's another question of, in my view, having an assigned term which carries great weight, because the ohio gang sounds evil and really serious. part of the book talks about the development of fiction around the harding administration, which developed after his death. death, he died in his third year of office. when coolidge came in, coolidge had this image of being an efficient, and getting along with the investigation. everything that was wrong that could be righted under the coolidge administration was attributed to the harding
administration. the harding administration then became this kind of gang like empire in literature. brian: let me to part for a moment to get some background on you. where are you from originally? rosemary: you could probably tell that i'm an immigrant. from england. i grew up in england, went to school in england. i worked in england at the hospital administration. after college. and then i came over here, became a u.s. citizen in 1968, and spent most of my life in the united states. brian: why? rosemary: i came here with my husband who was teaching at yale. then i went back to school and
did a phd, masters degree and phd at yale. i've had -- this country has been very good to me. i've had a very interesting career for myself. brian: what subject matter did you get your degrees in? rosemary: initially, english. my undergraduate degree was in english, this is probably the most salient aspect of my education that i've had. it was a wonderful background in terms of english history and writing, and thinking about prose. then i went into a program in england for senior hospital administrators for britain. i was selected into this program, went through a graduate
degree in social management, and then ran a hospital at the age of 25. i was running a 100 bed hospital as part of the national health and nutrition. in london. then came over feeling rather womancause i said i was a am following a man to the united states. am i abandoning england? i felt very bad about that. but then i went back to yale and got a phd in public health, epidemiology, sociology, and health administration. how did i become a historian, you might ask? well, i'm an immigrant.
immigrants are naturally comparative people. in some respects, when you come to a new country, you see things anew. it's not very much different coming to a country in the 1960's as i did, as looking at the country in the 1920's. so i've always had a historical perspective on all the work i have done, including the history of medicine, of the medical profession, the history of hospitals, and so forth. brian: where have you taught? rosemary: at yale, at tulane, and mostly at the university of pennsylvania. brian: are you still teaching? rosemary: no. that's one of the reasons i was able to do a huge amount of research to put this book together. i've been having a very good time doing this. brian: and you live where? rosemary: new york city.
brian: going back to charles forbes, where did you find the best material for your book? rosemary: different parts of the national archive. i couldn't have written this book 20 or 30 years ago, before the internet. the internet has really revolutionized access to historical materials. i have been able to find records, national archives relating to the veterans bureau, the bureau of war risk insurance, and you can now get
federal employment files for people in this period. i got his leavenworth file, his fbi file. elias mortimer is a central character, i got his fbi file. you can put an awful lot of this stuff together from disparate sources besides book published sources and others. there is so much you can get a hold of. you can get military records, now you could access the military records, which i did. in the united states, forbes's early records in the navy and a teenager in the marines. which is where he was in his
teens and then his stint in the army. his father was actually a cavalry man in the british army under queen victoria. it's really fun what you can get these days. brian: go to the 1920 election. woodrow wilson had been president for two terms. world war i was over. we gave the statistics earlier on how many were wounded, died, hospitalized. why did this country elect a united states senator, warren harding, who had been in a little tiny town in ohio? rosemary: i'd like to ask that question. well, he was elected on the 10th ballot. so, there was a great deal of debate at the time. he came out as the candidate, and he won the republican candidate, and he won the election by quite a lot.
he came with the image of being a calm, practical man. more thand been much smalltownr of a he had been lieutenant governor of ohio, a senator, he had been involved in national politics. he gave a speech in 1912 to the republican national convention. a really good speech, as a matter of fact. he was a pretty experienced politician, and he tried to evoke the image of being someone you need in the white house who down-to-earth practical person who will work with
congress, although that didn't work extremely well. he opened the white house to people who wanted to visit. and i think, and this period of turmoil, having somebody who seems to be normal was a very good thing. that's from the electoral point of view. brian: how many of these people that you wrote about play poker with him inside the white house? rosemary: difficult to say. brian: was dockerty or forbes that close to him? rosemary: they were, but other people played. some congressmen, people he knew in washington. it was a relaxation for harding. brian: what was his wife florence like, and what impact did she have on the story? rosemary: that's a good question. she was a politician. she sat in on poker games.
she didn't play poker, but she was there. it is very difficult to assess her, because she comes across in two totally different ways. she comes over as a very supportive person and is labeled as a managerial person. i find her very difficult to assess. i think she was a complicated individual. she was clearly a very competent person. whether or not she knew about her husband's affairs, i don't know. she protected him. she was highly protective of war -- of warren harding. she turned against charles forbes because she thought he was hurting her husband.
thathe correspondence would have helped to clarify all of this no longer exists. so it's very difficult to be precise because there are certain records which are not there anymore. she destroyed a lot of letters. she destroyed a lot of letters from harding and presumably herself. it's a great pity there is a big gap there in the archive. brian: i'm jumping ahead. this is a phrase you wrote several times in your book and i want you to explain it. "secret handoff of $5,000 at the drake hotel." it seems to be a constant in the book. it. "secrett handoff of $5,000 at the drake hotel."
the drake hotel is in chicago. rosemary: and $5,000 was about 14 times that if you want to translate it into today's terms. it's a lot of money. brian: i plug it into the calculator in it said $70,000 in today's money. rosemary: wow. forbes ran into a difficult period of his life he had an extraordinary difficult job to do. he had to pull three different groups from different parts of washington, all of whom had been jostling with each other. the medical groups from the public health. the vocational group from the jobs thing. and the insurance people from the insurance side. his wife decided that she could not live with him anymore. she took their daughters off to
europe for 15 months while he was going to difficult work. brian: how old was he at this time? rosemary: he was in his 40's. so was she. he and his wife had met a very charming man named elias mortimer. very, very charming. there were various other cases of mortimer before he met ford. he was a con man. he was a bootlegger and a con man. brian: you couldn't drink legally during this. rosemary: you couldn't drink legally, but he didn't drink. -- he did drink. he drank a lot apparently. that was beside the point as far as the $5,000 was concerned.
he lent people money, he lent some congressman money. brian: mortimer. rosemary: mortimer did. he expected something in return. like putting in good words with the prohibition directors. give me some sort of favor. harding's sister some money. he used lending money as one way of getting into people, to use people's moral sense, in a way. he would set people up through friendship. he befriended ford. his wife became a good friend as well. catherine mortimer.
it is very strange. mortimer beat up his wife when she would not agree with him and ford knew this, found this out, but didn't interfere in other people's marriages. mortimer then in 1922 asked if he could go to the west coast with them on a business trip with some of his associates from the veterans bureau. to inspect parts of the veterans bureau in the midwest and on the west coast. mortimer very foolishly said that he could come. on the business trip.
which then became a tool for mortimer to say that he had been in all the meetings, and so forth, or to assume that he had, when he hadn't. when they got to chicago, --timer, in retrospect, said they all stayed at the draco tell, which was then very new in hecago, and mortimer said went into a bathroom -- said, come on, forbes. they went into the bathroom. he handed over $5,000 in $500 notes, which is not easy to cash. so he handed over the $5,000 allegedly but there were no witnesses. there was no receipt. according to mortimer, he had this wonderful story again.
how he handed this over, and well now, and they toghed, and went back shooting darts with mrs. mortimer. they had this wonderful story of merrymaking and possibly sex. he put all this together in a lump. there were no witnesses. he could not get his wife catherine to testify for him in any way. this became a central part of the investigative hearing that came up and then the trial. it was a very good story. it seemed very plausible. brian: let me ask you about
mortimer. what did he do for a living? in addition to the $5,000 that was supposedly given, he said there was hundreds of millions of dollars that supposedly people were ripping the whole system off with. where did mortimer come from? rosemary: he came from minneapolis. he had a record in minneapolis of being a no gooder, of being drunk and incurring lots of different debt. even his parents, they sued him in court for what he owed them in room and board, which is quite an extreme thing if you think of it. in 1917.ast he did not register for the draft.
which he should have done, of course, legally. he became a fixer. he tried to fix contracts and he probably did fix contracts, though i don't know much information about that, what butracts he actually fixed, with the war contracts being made the whole time, a very energetic period in trying to get war production going, mortimer became a fixer. he was very, very plausible. he could say, i can help you. i know these people at this firm. he could go to the firm and say, i know the people in government, and put a contract together, and take a cut. , andis what he was doing then prohibition came along. he also became a fixer in prohibition. a middleman, in terms of liquor.
brian: when charles forms was veterans bureau, they were building what kind of things around the country, how many hospitals, and did he get into the contracts to build the hospitals, meaning mortimer? rosemary: mortimer says he did, but there's no evidence actually that he did, or that he influenced any contracts whatsoever. contract,e dubious possibly dubious contract, for a hospital in massachusetts, which happened to be coolidge's town. brian: he had been mayor there. rosemary: yes. so mortimer said he intended to fix the contract. but it was only mortimer's word. contractors who were involved in this case whenever
asked at the senate hearing or the trial what their version of events was. it was only mortimer's word that he fixed it. he said that he fixed a contract in new york state for a hospital called tupper lake hospital. he hadn't done that. he got the corporation down into washington to ask them about it, and they denied mortimer had anything to do with it. mortimer was a colossal liar. brian: how old was he? rosemary: he was younger. i can't remember exactly how old he was. he was younger than forbes. he was probably still in his 30's. he may have been in his early 40's. brian: i know there is an enormous amount of detail in this book. if you talk about the event you already mentioned, we haven't gone into detail of all the things that he constructed in
the veterans bureau, but how long was he a head of the veterans bureau? rosemary: i think about 18 months. brian: why was there a group of hearings held on capitol hill? how did that all happen? rosemary: that was 1923. that was after harding died. he became the director of the veterans bureau in 1921. he didn't initially have any direct responsibilities for building hospitals. that wasn't until after may, 1922. he didn't actually finish any hospitals during his time, but he was involved in planning for the hospital program.
and -- help me again here? brian: the senate hearings. why did they come about? rosemary: they came about because in 1923, there was a reaction to the way in which the veterans bureau was working. there was these three jostling groups. -- forbes hadthem put them together, the education group, the insurance group and the money group. he had been responsible for reorganizing this national social welfare program. it took 1/5 of the entire federal budget. it was huge. brian: 1/5 of the entire federal budget for veterans. rosemary: he was responsible for
doing this. he had to relocate a lot of people. he sent people out, he had to provide and hire managers for these new regional districts. there were 14 districts, i think. it was a very unsettled time. you were just reorganizing a whole group of people. there were 30,000 people involved at one point, in the veterans bureau, under his administration. almost 30,000. not surprising, there was a lot of unrest. brian: was this public by the way? rosemary: yes. there was grumbling, though there was also a lot of praise. there was grumbling that appointments were being made on a political basis. there were many people who were
sent out to somewhere they didn't want to go. there were physicians from the public health service, who had been running the public health district, but now they weren't taken into run the bigger district. they were furious. there was a lot of unrest. , being a wiser man, he would have resigned at this time. he would have avoided this later stuff. he would have avoided the hospital issue, which was really another big set of agendas. brian: who was out to get him, in congress in particular? rosemary: there wasn't any one person out to get him. there was the man, senator walsh, who ran -- who didn't run, but -- he didn't run the committee because he was a democrat, but he was part of the
committee of three people who of theshing for reform veterans bureau and became the senate investigative committee in 1923. actually, while harding was still alive, they were told to look at the problems of the veterans bureau and see what they could do. this whole senate investigating committee was not supposed to be about forbes to begin with. it was about, let's see what we can do to reform the system from the legal point of view, because the laws needed to be updated, and reform it from the organizational perspective. brian: how long were those hearings? rosemary: those hearings didn't take place until 1923. they only went for a few weeks but they were after several
months have been done of investigation by a team of generalho were run by john ryan, who had been called upon by the senate investigative committee to do this big review. it is like a huge management review. brian: where was mortimer in all of this? rosemary: mortimer was on the sidelines but he became part of the story. before the hearing, he testified. he became part of the theme. andaid he could mail forbes much of this could be laid on the shoulders of charles forbes, the director. mortimer was one person. mortimer then became the star witness of both the investigative hearings, which focused on forbes, and
eventually of the trial. what happened between charles forbes and mortimer's wife? and when did that happen? rosemary: that is a good question too. charles forbes broke with of 1923.in the fall they both agree about that. september ofnd 1923. be either the lover of catherine or the protector of catherine, or both. here she was being beaten up. mortimer beat up on his wife. and charles forbes was a
supporter of his wife, and they ended up -- they ended up as lovers at some point. that is the sort of thing you don't know in history because it is not written down. brian: when did they marry? rosemary: in 1925, before he went to prison. mortimer never went to prison. mortimer was very slick. -- he became the chief witness at the trial. paidat time, he was being by the department of justice to be a government witness. brian: the justice department believed him? rosemary: they said so. brian: all over this $5,000 check? rosemary: that is what it boiled down to in the end. the trial was in chicago. the only major claim in chicago was the $5,000 check.
so the trial really revolved around this payout if it was a payout. brian: and then forbes had left the bureau of veterans? rosemary: yes. he had been away for months. brian: and he didn't get married until 1925. i hate to jump through this. we don't have much time. forbes went to leavenworth prison for how long? rosemary: about 18 months. brian: how long was the trial? rosemary: only a few weeks. brian: and he was convicted by a jury or by the judge? rosemary: by a jury. there was a judge who gave a very condemning speech about the whole fabric of the nation being threatened if you had people in responsible positions being corrupt, and with a very fiery
prosecutor who had worked in the department of justice before becoming the prosecutor. brian: was that mr. cream? rosemary: yes. brian: trying to put this all in focus, you had the harding scandals. when did their trials go on around what was happening in chicago, with the trial of charles forbes? rosemary: forbes was the first. it kind of set a pattern. he was the first to go to prison. brian: the reason i mention they leavenworth thing. you have a paragraph in here. one of the things that you found out was that there were 30 doctors. rosemary: is that funny? probably many of them on drugbry
leavenworth thing. you have a paragraph in here. charges. there was not only alcohol flowing but there was a lot of drugs flowing. brian: drug use, smuggling and trafficking were rife in both penitentiaries. morphine, cocaine, and heroin circulated widely in the american society in the late 1920's. elaine battler was trying to supply narcotics to an inside syndicate. forbes later estimated that one third of the leavenworth inmates were on drugs. is there any similarity? we've gone through this, the opioid problem right now in this country, any similarities to what is going on now to what was happening back then? rosemary: i think so.
not with the doctors, i would hope not. 30 doctors in one federal prison, we hope that is certainly not going on. in the sense that drugs were readily available, that addiction, alcohol addiction as well, was a major problem, we do have a major problem with it. brian: how much did you lay off this happening because of world war i? rosemary: i don't know. that is another topic. it is very interesting. the history of drugs. there's the whole prohibition literature on the history of alcohol. brian: what were your conclusions as you were doing all this research? what were you thinking?
rosemary: i was thinking that forbes was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. brian: innocent? shouldn't have gone to prison? rosemary: he should not have gone to prison. he should not have been convicted. he was convicted on the word of mortimer who was a known liar, a very compelling liar. he was a brilliant witness. he was witness in other cases as well. it doesn't mean that forbes was without blame. he was a very strange person in many ways. he was very careless with his reputation. he irritated a lot of people. salient part of this is that nobody in the bureau said he had done anything untoward. they said this after he left.
nobody said, i saw forbes one day with a bottle. nobody says that. laura, i saw forbes doing some dirty work with his associates. that is extraordinary. he had a secretary, a personal assistant. this is a man who was never accused of anything and seemed to be a very upright person. he came back and worked in the federal government. he worked until 1940. he was 100% behind ford. when asked if anything untoward had happened -- brian: during the trial? rosemary: during hearings.
it was a very germane piece. lawyer, james smith, who had a reputation for rectitude in washington, d.c., taught at georgetown, handwritten lots of -- apparently, this blameless person. he wrote the letter to forbes' wife, saying this was the worst case of, whatever the word is -- njustice, that he had ever seen. i think he became a scapegoat for troubles in the veterans bureau. and for assigning problems in government back to the harding administration. by the time of the hearing and
the trial, harding had been dead for a few weeks. brian: he was in his 40's and he lived to be in his 70's. rosemary: 75. brian: what was the rest of his life like? did he stay married to catherine mortimer? rosemary: he did stay married to catherine mortimer. it is difficult to follow somebody for whom there is no public record. he and catherine went out and lived in california for a well. he ran a gas station which is a nice little thing to think of. gas stations were a big deal then. he came back. they settled in washington. he also worked in florida. himself retired army
colonel charles -- no, not .harles, c. robert forbes his nickname was bob, so that was reasonable. he wasn't distinguishable as the former forbes. and catherine, this poor woman from philadelphia who had been beaten up by mortimer, she became a federal civil servant in the 1930's. she worked for the new deal. she worked for the bureau of budget. she became a placement officer. when forbes died, she organized a magnificent funeral for him. he is buried with honors in arlington cemetery. brian: how long did you work on this book? rosemary: i worked on it on and off on this book for 10 years. brian: how many have you done?
rosemary: seven or eight. i don't know. brian: most of these books that you have written were on what? rosemary: i've have written about specialization. i wrote about the history of the british national health service from the medical point of view and the political point of view. i have written about immigration into the united states. that was a big deal then. i have written about the history of hospitals in the united states, particularly in the 20th century and it was out of the history of hospitals that i became interested in why we were having veteran hospitals. why do we have a separate system for veterans services in the united states? other countries mostly don't. brian: i'm sorry.
we are out of time. the name of the book is "a time of scandal." we thank you, rosemary stevens, very much for joining us. rosemary: thank you. it was a pleasure. for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q-and -a.org. q&a programs are also available as c-span podcasts. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> if you enjoyed this week's q&a interview, here are some other programs you may like. frederick downs junior from the department of veterans affairs