austin american -- thank you. [applause] >> i will be your moderator today. you might say that this is like a first date for me because it is the first time i have moderate for the texas book festival and, boy, did i luck out on my first day. [applause] >> i get to introduce a great journalist, a great writer, eugene robinson. so forgive me if i'm gushing and giddy. before i got to the intro, i have already taken care of the housekeeping duties. you know where to go after the conversation with eugene robinson is over. so with no further adieu, i'd like to introduce mr. eugene robinson. [applause] >> he was born and raised in
orangeberg, south carolina. that's where my mom is from. and earned his ba at the university of michigan, where he was the first black student to be named co-ed did for in chief of the michigan daily. he began his journalism career at the san francisco chronicle, and joined the washington post in 1980. where he has serve in various capacities, including london bureau chief, foreign editor, and currently associate editor and columnist, he was a neiman fellow at harvard, and serve on the council of foreign relations in 2009, robinson was awarded the pulitzer prize for distinguished commentary, the highest prize in journalism. [applause] >> the citation read: for his eloquent kole lums on the 2008 presidential campaign that focused on the election of the first african-american
president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture. robinson lives in arlington, virginia, with his wife and two sons, "disintegration: she plinterring of black america" is his third book. so show him some texas love. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, austin, and thank you, texas. all i can say is, ah, shucks. >> i read this book and there were a lot of surprises in this book for me. we decided to talk about this like a discussion and let him do most of the talking, and one of the things i won -- wondered about the title. pie disintegration. "don't ask, don't" tell us how h
the title. >> i didn't. my wife came up with it. i give her full props on that. i like the title, and my editor and publisher liked it, everybody liked it because does have that ambiguity about it. integration, and it suggests something that has ups and downs, you know, in the context of what is happening to black america over the last 50 years, and it just seemed right, and we couldn't come up with a better one. so, we went with that. but it was precisely for that ambiguity, because we -- that's what we were trying to express. >> i think it works in so many ways, eugene. on page 4 of your book -- this it what really blew my mind.
totally blew me away. you talk about -- you introduce the concept that black america is no longer one black america no longer one community. that was a surprise to me. i'm still dealing with that concept. as i read the book, it became very, very clear to me, and you talk about four different groups that are -- have now emerged in the african-american community. can you talk about those groups? >> sure. actually, alberta, maybe i will read that one paragraph and then i'll talk about the four groups. there was a time when there were greed-upon black leaders, and when there was a clear black agenda, when we could talk confidently about the state of black america, but not anymore. not after decades of desegregation, affirmative action, and urban decay, not
after globalization, decimated the working class and trickle down economics sorted the nation into aways and lose -- into winners and losers. not after most people ceased to notice, much less care, when a black man and a white woman walked down the street hand in hand. these are among the forces and trends that have had the unintended consequence of tearing black america to pieces, and so that's kind of the departure point for the book. i had been turning this idea over in my head for a while, and in 2007 two things happened. i worked for the washington post, and we had a group of black publishing executives, mostly from the african-american press, visiting washington. they dropped by the post. i was supposed to do a kind of five-minute drive-by greeting,
basically, in our conference room. hi, how are you, great to have you hear, you know. and i went down, and i started talking, and i started tossing out this notion. i tossed out the notion of, well, is there a black america anymore? are there -- or in fact are we several groups? to my surprise -- because i broached the subject gingerly -- there was such a reaction, there was such -- the enthusiasm for talking about this subject, that this five-minute drive-by turn in an hour-long discussion, where i talked and they talked and somebody said, what about the immigrants and what about this and what about that?
and so i said, well, hmm. maybe i'm on to something here. and then the other thing that happened was the pew research center came out with a poll, survey of black americans, that contained just a stunning figure. one stunning figure. it was that 37% of the african-americans they surveyed believed that black americans could no longer be thought of as a single race. i said, what in the world does that mean? 37%. that's almost four out of ten. what do you mean by single race? didn't really ask followup questions, so i had no idea that meant and still not quite sure what that means. but those kind of -- those two things, the encounter and the
pew finding, made me want to know more. so that what launched the book, and the exploration of this question, i started pouring over census data, marketing studies, talking to people, doing whatever i could, and then something intervened, thissings thing called the presidential campaign, this guy called barack obama, a name that seemed to be off the guantanamo list, junior senator from illinois who thought he was going to be president, and then it started looking like, well, maybe he was going to be president, and he was certainly going to try. and so it seemed clear as the campaign went on -- seemed to illuminate and illustrate a lot of the -- and at times aned a -- answered a lot of questions i was asking and issues i was addressing. so i said, we can't do this until after we see how this comes out.
so that was the timing. you know, you have to pose at the end of the day -- impose a structure on your thinking, i think, and it seemed to me that you could outline four groups that constitute black america today, and it seemed to me that the distinctions among these four groups seemed to be clearer and more vivid as time went on rather than more -- more than soft or diffuse. the first is a majority, 55%, maybe, 54%, of african-americans who it seems to me have entered the middle class. now, there's been a big asterisk there. what is the middle class these
days? especially during the recession. you can certainly argue that the middle class is precarious, white, black, or otherwise, in this country right now. but to the extent there is a middle class, i'd say a fairly slim majority but a majority of african-americans have reached it. and i'm not just looking at income but also educational attainment and amibition, and other kinds kinds kinds of inde. i call that group the mainstream. there is, however, a large minority of african-americans, somewhere between 25 and 30%, that did not climb that ladder into the middle class, that remains in this kind of stew of
poverty and dysfunction in the inner cities and the rural south, and in places around the country, and for whom the possibilities of climbing that ladder seem to me slimmer than at any time in the last 50 years, maybe that at any time in the last 100 years, simply because the rungs on the ladder are no longer there. they're missing. and someone of limited education, maybe with high school or whatever, used to be able to go down to the plant, get a job at the plant, and union wage and -- with job security, wages good enough to take care of your family, to buy a house, buy a little house, send your kids to college, so they'd have a better life than you did, and when it was time to retire, you had a pension. now, that sounds like a grimms
fairy tale at this point. that's not the way increasingly this country works. and those jobs at the plant are not there because the plant is in china, or the plant is in brazil. it's not anywhere near where these folks live. so, i call that group the abandoned. because i do believe they have been abandoned, not only in the material sense but we don't even talk about them anymore. we did during katrina. we said that was going to open a discussion about poverty, and that discussion lasted about three weeks and we all went about our business. the other two groups are interesting because they're new. there is a very small elite --
oh, any elite is small by definition, and this one is, too. this is a group of african-americans who have attained wealth, power or influence on a scale -- not just relative to other african-americans but relative to the whole country or the whole world, and obviously -- who belongs to this small group? obviously president obama. obviously oprah winfrey. obviously tiger woods, richard parsons, the former c.e.o. and chairman of time-warner, who -- here's an example of something that could never have happened before in our history. financial crisis hits. the banks melt down. citigroup is among the financial institutions that takes a big himself needs needs -- hit.
needs to be gotten back on track, and an african-american president can turn around and look to a seasoned african-american chief executive, richard parsons, who used to run the biggest media and entertainment company in the world, time-warner, and ask him to come out of retirement and encourage him to step in as chairman of citigroup for a time, to help get it back on track. that could never happen happened. so i refer to this small group as the transcendent group, and there's the group i call the emergent. and there are actually two major components of this group. one is made up of immigrants, black immigrants from the caribbean and africa, and their sons and daughters. a few years ago -- this african-american immigrant group
is particularly interesting because it, too, is new. there's always been a pretty good stream of immigration from the caribbean, but certainly before 1965, when the was a change in the immigration law, and then there have been subsequent changes -- in the past it was almost impossible to immigrate from africa. it was very difficult to do. it became easier and some programs were instituted that african immigrants from nigeria, ethiopia, every country, have taken advantage of. so we have seen an unpress departmented wave of immigration. the numbers are still not huge yet, but the impact is starting to be huge. a few years ago, harvard professor skip gates of the beer summit fame, you remember the famed beer summit. he and lonny, another name you
might recognize, did an informal study at harvard. they looked at the list of incoming black freshmen, and just picked off the african surnames and found that was more than half of the incoming black freshmanmen at hard record. so the sons and daughters of immigrants are doing very well. the best educated group of immigrants coming to the united states today, the african immigrants. better educated than the asian, south asias, europeans, anybody, the best educated group. they don't come with a lot of money but come with a lot of education, intact families, educational aspirations and they're going to have a big impact in years to come. as the other component of
emergent group was biracial americans. there there were laws outlawing misogeny. strom thurmon called it misogyny iation, and that was in the 60s and 70s, and a time when social barriers between white people and black people were tumbling, and i know in the generation of my sons, who are 27 and 20, they have tumbled. it's just not there or they don't feel it's there they've grown up in integrated settings. they have gone to schools where diversity has been taught as a
good thing, and so there's a growing number of biracial americans, and it is hard to give specific numbers. what interests me is something that president obama, who was one of these groups -- with this group -- he belonged to several of these groups, actually. one of the things he said -- if you recall his race speech during the campaign in philadelphia, and he said something -- i'm paraphrasing here -- this is during the first reverend wright eruption. the said, could i no more disown the reverend wright than i could disown my own mother. he eventually did disown the reverend wright. but the point about his grandmother i found interesting because he was saying he has a
somewhat different emotional relationship to white america than i do, than with two african-american parents, having grownup the south at a time when there was very much a kind of sense -- you know, at it not that i go around thinking us versus them anymore, but that was -- that's how i was raised, and his -- the way he was raised and the way he has to think of himself -- because it is him -- is somewhat different. so those are the four groups, main stream, abandoned, transsend transcend dent and emergent.
>> you talked about gates, but the situation in cambridge brought together the intersection of race and perhaps power and him being in that transsend dent group. it brought it together for him and brought it together for president barack obama, and how the situation was perceived and handled. you did a wonderful job of taking us through that scenario, through henry louis gate's eyes and president obama0s eyes. can you talk about that? >> we're both journalists so you understand, this context. i loved this incident because it was one in which no one behaved well. everybody behaved badly. and so here you have the situation where, what we think
of as the traditional power relationships between black and white, power and status relationships between black and white in this country -- were reversed. you had this rich, famous, arrogant, harvard professor -- to say arrogant harvard professor is a redundancy. tired, cranky, coming home, his door won't open, jimmies his way into his house, and he feels a certain status about himself, and a certain sense of himself. here you have this working class white police officer, a sergeant
who -- a police officer in cambridge, mass, probably makes a good living but doesn't make the living henry louis gates, jr. does, and doesn't wine and dine with presidents and he wasn't on his way back from china, having filmed his latest pbs special. you know. it was a different thing. so, you have this clash, and what happens? well, skip gates, the powerful person in this encounter, nonetheless goes off, and goes immediately to, you know, you're harassing me because i'm a black man. and acts like an arrogant harvard professor but goes over the top, and officer crowley is
being given lip by this uppity black guy who has the nerve to dress him down, and the result is, of those two examples of bad behavior, skip is handcuffed and taken off to jail. i thought that was a fascinating little vignette of how power relationships can work now -- they don't always work this way -- but they can work now in this country and could not have worked that way in the past. i also thought it was fascinating that when president obama said what he thought and, frankly, what i thought at the time, was a very innocuous thing. the officer had behaved stupidly. he had, after all, arrested the man on his own front porch, having already ascertained he
was who he said he was and it was his house. skip gates is this tall and walks with a cane. he wasn't swinging it at the officer. he wasn't in danger or anything like that and there was no threat to public safety. and nonetheless there was thing -- this big outcry when the president said the officer act stupid he -- stupidly, and then he had to invite them both in for a beer to tamp it down. it was fascinating to me there was such a reaction from so many people. >> the reaction from the country, as i read in your book, because of how they felt certain whites viewed what the president said not as a statement just coming about, well, this is stupid, but almost as a racial
identity -- >> as if he were taking sides. >> right. >> and i onceot a -- wrote a column during the election, and i said for president obama to get elected he had to be perceived as -- i didn't know how true that was at the time. i've seen surveys -- i wish i knew chapter and verse on this but i saw a survey once of republicans, and to me it was a shockingly high number believed that president obama was advocating and instituting policies that specifically
favored african-americans over others. and i thought that was bizarre, given that i know for a fact that the white house has taken enormous pains to frame all its policies as race neutral, and it is not possible to go to the white house and to get -- at least get them to say -- and i think they're being honest -- that that ain't part of their agenda, specifically aimed at african-americans. and that's not -- they decided not to do that. in fact, i think it's in some ways -- it would be easier for a white president to say, you know, gee, we need to do
something about this -- about entrenched generational black poverty and dysfunction and here's what we want to do about it. a white president could do that, and president obama can't. and it is well understood at the white house he can't. >> that's very true, because our own lbj absolutely did that. >> he did. >> and with the voting rights act, and the civil rights act. but talking about this whole disintegration and splintering of the black community, you also hit on the topic of the great migration, and i did not realize that by 1950, close to seven million black people had left the south because of jim crow. but you also talk about two types of racism, north and
south. you talk about that in the book. and maybe even a third hybrid. you talk about. could you talk to us a little bit about that. >> well, it's just where i grew up in the south, everybody knew where they stood. okay? there was white sides of town, black sides of town. there was jim crow segregation, which had the force of law. so, there were laws that segregated public accommodations. in my town, orangeberg, there were stores that black people were supposed to enter through the back door. i had real buck teeth when i was a kid, and went to an orthodontist, who lived in another city, and i remember being cop -- confused. we could never wait in the waiting room. we waited in the doctor's own private office until it was time
for our appointment. we weren't allowed to wait with the white patients. and i didn't quite realize what was going on until i got a little older. and so with that -- that was what it was like in the south in the north, it was more subtle. but there was discrimination and there was effective segregation. sometimes through housing covenants. chicago, for example, and in many neighborhoods there were -- if you don't keep up the house, you sign one of the pieces of paper you signed was -- said you want sell it to a black person or in many cases a jew. so, they didn't want blacks and jews. i guess they didn't think about the possibility that anybody else other than white would existed or would want to buy a house.
so, they were different, not only in terms of their formality, but they were different in degree, too. my father grew up -- he was born in rural georgia. as a child, made the great migration. his mother and father had, i guess, a total of six children, and every one was born in a different city as they made their way north, from -- started actually out west but came through alabama, mississippi, georgia, tennessee, ohio, and my father ended up growing up in an arbor, michigan. it was a pretty liberal college town so he was one of the few -- he died at the age of 92 and one of the few black men of that
generation 0 -- who went to an integrate it high school. so there were exceptions. >> we're going to get to some questions, so please get ready to line up. we have only ten minutes left in the session. one quick -- one more quick question. eugene. what are the ramifications of this splintering of black america? >> you know, i think the ramifications are that one size does not fit all. what frustrated me at the outset was that -- to the extent we talk about black america, we talk about it, i thought, as it might have been 50 years ago. but we weren't talking about it as it is now. and i think, again, we both -- we're both journalists. the way we, i think, see the world is to try to understand it
and write about it and to -- because one of my core beliefs is that if you -- how have to see things clearly in order to then try to figure out what to do. if you're talking about -- if you're not seeing things clearly, you're not going to see what needs to be done, and so i thought that there has to be -- you know, an acknowledgment, number one -- there are 40 million roughly african-americans. it seemed to me there has to be an acknowledgment that there are quite a few african-americans who are doing well. that not to say that racism has disappeared. it has not disappeared. there's lots of indications we see, lots of studies, you know, every year, somebody sends a white couple and a black couple with the same identical credit
scores and income to a mortgage broker and the black couple gets a worse deal. that's a kind of standard study that gets repeated all the time. so at it not -- there's not kind of full parity between the black middle class and me white middle class, especially in wealth, but it's not like it was 50 years ago, and it's -- there have been changes. we should acknowledge that. i also think we should see and acknowledge the fact that there's a far too large group of african-americans who haven't made the climb and that, as i said before, the rungs of the ladder are gone, and so kind of yelling at them and ignoring them and whatever isn't going to work. as far as i can fine in -- find in my research what does seem to work is a holistic approach
because you have to look at health and education and infrastructure and all sorts of things to really begin to have impact, and -- but is that politically possible? there are 60 votes for that in the senate? i decided in the end that if i was going to confine myself to what could get 60 votes in the senate, i'd still be writing and have to call up florence lincoln and the two senators from maine and ask them, what should i write? >> well, thank you. we're going to move on to some questions. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and -- we have about ten minutes so please be brief. >> do you think the -- do you
think the election of president obama will make it easier or more difficult for the next black presidential candidate. >> will the election of barack obama make it easier or more difficult for the next black presidential candidate? well, you know, on the whole i would say easier. because before barack obama we didn't know there would -- that we'd be talking about the next black president, you know. the fact of his election opens up a possibility that at least to many of us seemed not to be there. you would have asked me five years ago, would there be a black president in my lifetime, i am sure i would have said no. or certainly would have said the
odds are against it. so, just by having been elected, yeah, i think it makes it easier. it mighting be a while, put we'll see. i don't know. >> i do come from the south, and you said some things that brought some things to mind. when i was born, there was the n-word, but if you're a little more polite you used the world colored, and if your were liberal you said negro, and by the time i was teenager, black got to be the term, and now the term african-american has taken hold. do you see this is where this whole type of desi nation is -- desi -- designation and there's going to be different ways to refer to people of african origin? >> i have no idea. you started the evolution well,
and the answer is, i don't know where it goes, to tell you the truth. maybe this will stick around for a while. some people -- i've heard as i've been talking about the book, a couple of times people said, i prefer black to african-american. >> i'm black. i'm still black. >> there you have it. >> i'm an admirer of yours and watch you on tv and read your columns. >> thank you. >> one of the thing is notice about you is kind of your bemused take on most things, be they racial or political or whatever, and i just wonder where that comes from? how do your keep -- [laughter] >> it's not from medication. [laughter] >> i can answer that question. [applause] >> ask my good friend pat buoy
can buchanan, and i have wanted to throttle him a couple of times. i've come close. comes from my grandmother, who was full of sayings. she died at 98, and she just was a fountain of sayings, and she used to say, well, just as well the last is to cry. and sometimes things i talk about are just so stupid and so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh at it. and so, anyhow, that's where it comes from. sadie smith was my grandmother. >> i don't know if you read today's "new york times," an article writ was -- where it was black voters are poised in 2010 to have a strategic impact and quotes the center for political
and economic studies. to make the point that they can do this because there are many of them -- men blacks still reside in the areas in district in states that have the most contentious elections. can we, given the premise of your book, speak that way of black voters, and if not, how do we politically plan? >> i think politics and voting is the one area in which, yes, we can speech meaningfully and confidently about black voters in terms of who they will vote for, especially right now. for some time, black voters have been overwhelmingly in support of the democratic party. i believe that one reason is that the republican party hasn't
made a serious play for the black vote, and until they do that, i don't think it's going to change. i also think that, you know -- i would put a whole lot of money on the prop proposition that when president obama runs again, he is going to get black support in the 90s, not just because he is a democrat but but -- because of his historical saying significance. the one question about that its, black voters traditionally, generally vote in lower numbers in mid-year elections than in presidential year elections. mid-terms, they are a smaller percentage of the electorate. so the dropoff in terms of black
voters is greater than in terms of white voters. so, in order to have that outside impact -- which black voters can have in this election -- turnout is the key thing, and they have to define historical trends and come out in larger numbers than they usually do. in which case, if that were to happen, then there could be a significant number of surprises on november 2nd. but it's always dangerous to predict that historical trends. >> we're into the lightning round. we have two minutes left, i'm told. so let's make it brief. >> in the course of creating blackness were you told that we haven't actually come to a concrete general consensus what constitutes blackness? >> we haven't and that's an
open, shifting definition, and used to be if you had one drop of african blood, you were black, and then i wonder if that's still the case to the extent that it used to be. most people are biracial. black and whites identify as black or african-american. i wonder if that will always be the case or if there will be more of an identification as biracial, as there is in some other countries. >> i think that's the last question. >> the concept of the talented -- 10% of the black population were our aristocracy or our elite and that was almost
100 years ago, 50 years ago, malcom x talk about the field negro and -- he used different words. >> uh-huh. >> and some people say that, well, the fact that blacks are fragmented, politically and economically, is a no-brainer, and to try to find evidence of that, bill cosby got in trouble for his, i guess, critique of the black underclass. do you think that his critique, his take on the relationship -- does that exemplify how we're thought about? >> i think there's some people who think that and others who don't. my only problem with bill cosby's critique is it didn't do a lot of good to yell at people, just yelling you must do better. fine. where are the tools? where is the possibility?
>> we do have time for our last question. >> my question and concerns of the audience makeup here. it's almost entirely white and older than the average demographic, and does that mean that -- well, what does that mean in regards to black americans reading and young american reading and the texas book festival and austin, texas? >> you may live here. i don't live here. so i don't know exactly what it means. talk about black reading habits, though. african-americans, particularly african-american women, are avid readers and book-buyers, and they are a hugely sought-after demographic for publishers. so i don't think that necessarily says that black folks aren't reading. may have more to do with austin. i don't know.
i'm glad everybody who is here is here. >> thank you. [applause] >> with that, the old saying, if you want to keep something from black people, you have to hide it in a book. but we won't get to that today. with that, we thank you so much for being here, this was a speed date, so next time we have to have him back, it's going to be a long date. >> okay. >> thank you so much. next door at the book signing. >> thank you all very much. thank you. thank you.varmus has been talki.
thank you very much. >> thank you. >> now we are pleased to be joined by the founder of the national book festival and former first lady, laura bush. it was september 8th, 2001 that the first national book festival was held on the capitol grounds, founded by laura bush and now grown so large they hold on the national with all sorts of tense. >> that's right is a thrill and i'm thrilled to see so many people who have come for the very first reading. we can hear gordon wood reading from the history tense. very happy to see him and how many people love the books. >> we continue to hear about the demise of the publishing industry and the demise of books in general but then you hold a book festival, in its tenth year. >> 100,000 people show up. >> the texas book festival as well which is one you founded.
what does that say to you? >> i think people to love to read for sure. a big part of the demise is the publishing industry which i don't think is a demise. they will figure a way of a rounded but now you can get all the books when electronics. rather than buying the hard copy of a book a lot are downloading them because you can do that in 35 seconds so as soon as someone recommend a book you can rush, and down load on your electronics. i think people will continue to read and continues to buy hardbacks, hard copies of books because they want them for their collection and there are certain books like our beautiful children spoke, so many we are fortunate in america to have, people will want to look at because the illustrations are lovely and it's fun to look at with a chalice.
>> it was september 8th, 2001 you open the first national book festival and now you are returning as an author published in may, "spoken from the heart", and i want to read into your reaction because when you speak you will speak about 9/11. you read the -- you're right on september 10th, we held a gala for the festival before the official day. dr. billington the library of congress introduced me as the back of the stage opened it, i walked out and the crowd gasped and i felt this was my official debut as first lady, not quite nine months after george took office. i was doing what i loved, finding my place in the world of washington and beyond. >> as rights. when i looked back and wrote the book i saw that leading m2 sept. 11th the book festival and then on the morning of september 11th which i will be reading in imminent, i was on
the way to castle hill to brief the city. i was finding my way as first lady. right before that we can before. we hosted and mexican president fox and martha fox on september 6th for our first date dinner, when i left for the capital that morning september 11th the white house grounds for covered with picnic tables and we were hosting the congressional families for the picnic that night, so i think in many ways i was just finding my way and figuring out what i wanted to do. of course, i wanted to work on education and reading because that's been my whole life and that's what happens that we can before september 11th. >> he also writes extensively about 9/11 and about the iraq war and katrina. how personally did you feel as
first lady the politics and what was going on in the world? >> of course, i felt personal to the politics and the criticism about george. everyone does, but i also knew it was a fact of life and i knew when he ran for president that's what happens to the american president. remember we had been the child of the president, we have been so distraught when president bush george's that was criticized some months in 1992 when he lost the election. so we knew what we were getting into. i thank you really know to expect that and it's nothing new. we feel like its new as we look around now and say the criticism of our current president, but if you visit to the lincoln library in illinois and see the terrible things that were written about lincoln it wasn't 24 our newsstand pamphleteers, pamphlets that were published ever so critical and terrible
about him so is a fact of life and really is also a function of our democracy. that we can criticize our president. that we do have the freedom to say what we want to say. so as much as i hated it when it was terrible things about george i also knew that's part of life in the united states, really a part we should be grateful for. >> at what point do you broke is candid enough to withstand the criticism? >> maybe we have drawn the skin from when george's that was vice president but i also think i knew more than the critics. i lived with george, the threats were and didn't know everyone of them, he didn't think kevin's tell me everyone because he didn't want to add to my worries, but i felt i knew a lot more about the issues than the people criticizing him did purvis. >> in "spoken from the heart" you write about those. you are a pretty private person,
only child but some of the things are about the private trips you took and one of those that wasn't on your schedule is a visit with mary and pearl in paris. >> that is right. i knew about danny perle, his kidnapping, a wall street journal reporter and he had been kidnapped. we all at the time probably assumed he was dead if it did not know for sure. when i was in paris maryann pearl lived there, she was pregnant with their first child. so i made a call on her and had a chance to visit privately. my daughter jenna was with me, we have a chance to talk with her and bring some encouragement and comfort to per. shirley after that we found out that danny perle had been the head and and that the tragic and brutal when he was killed. i kept up with mary and pearl when i went to paris last year a year ago after george was
president for international literacy day, i invited maryann out to lunch with the two spouses of the current embassadors, bilateral ambassadors to france from the u.s. and the wife of our ambassador. so they could meet her but, in fact, she told me then and two weeks later she was, became an american citizen so she is a citizen of the u.s. nile. >> again, with the privacy thing you discussed some of your yosemite trips, hiking trips with your friends and how you were able to get away on those. is it possible we have seen the articles about the karla britney book, the first lady of france, and what michelle said. is it possible to have private conversation in your capacity? >> it is absolutely. she probably did not say that at all, that was probably made at.
carl i didn't say that after all but it is possible to have friendships and have a very normal life. i know people don't believe that because you're living in a magnificent mansion with every sort of help including a pastry chef that you can imagine, but i knew the white house to be a home. george and i say there with his mother and dad and, of course, barbara bush made it a home for all of our children and grandchildren and i knew i could do that for barbara and jenna and george. we have lots of longtime friends who came up and visit the thus and stayed with us. >> mrs. bush, there is another bush family book coming out in two months. have you read decision points? >> i have and it's very good. i think people like it. george's book publishes in november, and decision points, and i think people will like it. mary george bush. >> suggestions from you?
>> not really. we were both writing our books at the same time ensure researchers, we each have our own researcher who would go to the archives where everything is documented. for instance when i wrote about 9/11 the look at secret service lot of the timeline to look at our advanced time lines, looked at everything else on our schedule a run that day so i could write about in very straightforward and honest way as. so we did share researchers, we did talk to is whether about what we were writing. george did ask me to take a couple stories out of my book that he thought were his stories and they were. >> will we see them? >> you will see them and decision points, stories that happen to him i was riding second hand in my book that he wanted to include in his. >> in your acknowledgements you acknowledge and thank in