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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 28, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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people moving out of poverty than ever before, it's just that the population's growing fastest in the poorest places in the world. there's too much instability in the world, but there's also more opportunity than ever before. i think climate change is real, yet i don't think we'll deal with it until everyone is convinced it's good economics to do so. so you have all these tensions going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and i think if all of you are confused by some of those things you read in the paper every day, this is a nice little filter for you. say, is this a manifestation of the positive or negative forces of our interdependence? that is, we can't get away from each other, what happens here effects what happens there and vice versa, and the whole -- every citizen's duty is to try to build up the positive and reduce the negative forces. and when you're all said and done, the best you can ever hope for is to have a positive record because everybody makes mistakes. i think when you read tony blair's book, you will
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consider -- you will conclude that he's had quite a good run, and the score is very high on the positive side. .. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> tony blair was british prime minister from 1997-2007, and had
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the tony blair foundation. for more information visit tony blair >> former secretary of state condoleezza rice recalls her childhood in birmingham, alabama, in the 1960s, and profiles are parents, john and angelena. ms. rice discusses her memoir with her cousin constance rice, codirector of the advancement project at the millennium biltmore hotel in los angeles. the program runs close to one hour. spent we're going to reflect a bit for people. we are not sisters. we are cousins. we are related because our fathers are first cousins, and we are very, very close, both as children and as adults. and, indeed, connie and i did not meet until i was provost at stanford and she was be at the
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stanford law school. i had met her father many, many times as a little girl, but when we went to visit them, connie was already in college so we didn't need. but i knew of her because the time would always come when someone would say, you know, i saw you on a program in los angeles and you were expressing views that i would not have associated with your republican party. [laughter] >> and i would think, there goes my cousin again. and i would get stopped outside a post office, the one time i got confused with you, the most interesting was when this lady came up, she said, you know, you're a dead ringer for that girl who was related to that sister in the white house. i don't know either of your names, but she's important. [laughter] >> so it's been a pleasure though to get to know each other better over the last several years, and we have spent more time together in the last 10 years or so. and which really wonderful about getting to share this particular
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stage with connie is to talk about extraordinary ordinary people because the book, first or second chapter, is the rice is in the race. it's a book really about our families and how they were educationally irrefutably very much in social justice. that's something that we share. >> absolutely. first of all, the family is so proud. this is a wonderful tribute, not just to your parents who were beyond extraordinary, but to the whole family. and i think the whole family is extremely proud of this book. so thanks for doing it. to think that is so moving about it is that in going through your early life, you are showing that you lived in sort of the last chapter of the jim crow era. and it was important for you to share that with the world. and it has aspects for today.
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why was it important to start there? >> you always think when the going to say after eight years. i was going to write, and still writing, et cetera states memoirs of the last eight years, and here's what we did in foreign policy. but i'm often asked the question that i decided i wanted to answer, how did you get to be who you are. and i sit in order to know that you have to know john and angelena rice. and the ordinary in the title is because my parents were in many ways ordinary people. my mom was a high school teacher, first an english teacher, whatever for students was willie mays, who she taught at fairfield and social high school. and even though she knew nothing about the sport, he said she told him son, you're going to be a ballplayer. so if you need to leave class a little early, you go right ahead and do that.
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[laughter] she knew talent when she saw it. she taught school. she was an elegant lady, who was a musician. love to bring the art to her students, particularly per student in the very poor high school that she taught him in arming him. they had operas and they play, so she was a very eloquent lady. but an ordinary person, a schoolteacher. my dad was also an ordinary person. he was a presbyterian minister, high school guidance counselor. later on the university administrator. he was an athlete, and a big sports fan. in fact, my parents had a deal, connie, which may relate to you. because i know your name and mine almost the same. my parents had a deal. had i been born a boy i was going to be named john. and my father had already bought a football for john, who is going to be an all-american
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linebacker. but he got ago, my mother got to name her condoleezza, which comes from a musical term meaning -- but my parents were in that way ordinary. i doubt they made more than $60,000 between them and their entire life, but there was no opportunity, educational opportunity that i didn't have. and the extraordinary part comes from the circumstances that you mentioned. i grew up in birmingham, alabama, that i was born in 1954. i am 55 so you don't have to start counting. 56 next month. my parents, their in birmingham, alabama, thoroughly segregated. i did not have a white classmate and to we moved to denver when i was 12. you couldn't go to a restaurant or to stay in hotel. couldn't could go to a movie theater. and yet my parents and people in our community, also true of those little enclave in
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birmingham called -- a little community i grew up in. this community had the kids convince we might not be able to have a hamburg at the woolworth lunch counter, but we could be president of the united states if we wanted to be. that's the extraordinary part, because they believed very strongly that if you couldn't control your circumstances, which we certainly couldn't in segregated birmingham, you could certainly control your response. >> that is extraordinary part of this, because being ordinary, if you are african-american men that you had to extraordinary path to arrive -- rise above the jim crow. the lessons of that today, i think they still applied. there's a way to rise above it without getting better. that's what our family taught us was, how to transcend it. have to face in dignity with grace. so john and angelena, my
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parents, our great grandparents who were born slaves. we share great grandparents. and they were 12 and 13 when they were freed. so we are for generations out of slavery, connie. which is an extraordinary advancement, and yet who has got left behind books because i know you and i share a passion for the kids who are still at the bottom of the well. and i'm so glad that matter out of the white house you can help us get that heavy lifting done. >> i do think it has lessons today. first of all, if you don't consider yourself a victim, and if you're not given the bitterness, and if you really do believe that as my parents and your parents taught us well, you might have to be twice as good. and they said that by the way as just a statement your. >> it was a given. >> then you can overcome whatever is in front of you.
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but we were very fortunate. we had parents who were there for us. we had teachers who were there for us. we grew up in communities where our parents were educated and knew how to deliver on that message. and what i worry about today is that kids who are trapped in that which is a group which is poverty and race. and for them, there is no way out if they cannot be educated. and when i can look after zip code and i could to whether or not you get a good education, and i can look at years it could entail, then we are doing something very, very wrong. we were fortunate that our grandparents were able to give to our parents the possibility of education. in fact, my grandfather, who would have been your grand uncle, is a particularly interesting case that his name was john wesley rice senior.
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and he was a sharecroppers some. they were to others land in utah. that is the e.u. ta w. i'm not kidding, alabama. and when john wesley rice senior was about 19 year old of he decided he wanted book learning in a college. so he asked people coming through how a colored man could get educated, and they told him about little stillman college which was in tuscaloosa presbyteries copiously say so he saved up his cotton and he went off to college, and his first year went great. and after his first year they said so, how are you going to pay for your second you? and he said, i'm out of cotton. and they said you are out of luck. he said how i those boys going to college? they said, you see, they want to be presbyterian minister so that what's called a scholarship. at my grandmother said, you know, that's exactly what i wanted to be, too. that's exactly what i had in mind. [laughter]
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and my family has been presbyterian and college-educated ever since. [laughter] >> so they were very industrious people, but also a little bit in genius any defining way for education. >> and that's to get republican party as well. the party of lincoln. i can't quite say a stay that way, but, you know. we are pretty much republican spin up except for me. >> except for you. [laughter] >> there was no party that would accept me. spent in fact, my father was the republican at the beginning. connie mentioned the horse of the south and birmingham was the most segregated big city in america. and it was 1952. my parents were actually not married yet. they were courting. so they went down to get registered to vote.
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this is the kind of thing you would have sued for. the parents are in those days you had what is called the pope hester. this person would ask questions. and if you pass a question then you could register. and so my mother was very fair skin, long hair, and et cetera, so, what job you have? she said i'm a schoolteacher. and he said then you probably know who the first president of the united states was. she said, oh, yes. george washington. he said fine, you go register. and he looked at my father, a big imposing man, dark skin, six to, but like a football player. he said to my father, how many beans are in that jar? and they were hundreds of beans in the jar. so my father couldn't enter. he said you failed. so my father was very unhappy. he went back, was talking to mr. frank hunter, an old
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ministers. he said don't worry, i will show you how to get registered. he said there's a clerk down there, and she's a republican. she's trying to build the republican party. he said, she will register anybody who will say they are a republican. [laughter] if you didn't register by party, but i suspect this woman was telling, go register republican that my father kept his word. he registered as republican that he was a republican the rest of his life. a very proud republican, he can do it because it was a way of getting to vote. >> it stuck in the family. mike grandfather, my grandmother made them sleep in the other bedroom. but it is a tradition. economy, one of the most moving parts of the book that really came through so loud and clear was, you felt the fear. i mean, you weren't watching it on television. and so it was the first
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terrorism. african-americans experience terrorism before we knew what the international terrorism was about. and it was the plan. the state sponsored terrorism otherwise the premises plan. so you have direct contact with that. i think about the kids who now live in fear of a different kind of care. not from the klan. they games. and i wanted you to hearken back to that and tie it up to today. >> terrorists have something in common, what is the klan or the way that games terrorize a committee, or the terrorism that we see that we experienced on september 11, and the need to fight. they want not just to fight. they want to terrorize to the point that they can humiliate and control.
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and, in fact, they want to send a message. don't process. and, indeed, that was what was going on in birmingham in 1962 and 1963. now, it's fair than birmingham have been segregated and there were incidents of from time to time, but one thing that i wanted to do in the book was to show that every family in birmingham, used to get up everyday and go to school and go to church, and you have your piano lessons and a ballet lessons. so it's not as segregation in truth of every waking moment of every day. people lead normal lives. by 1962 and 1963, that was all shattered. birmingham became called bombing him. because mobs are going off in communities all the time. i remember one night got it back from my grandparents house, and a loud explosion as we are driving up to the house. and in those days, 1962, you
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knew that a bomb had gone off in birmingham. and my father turned the car around and started driving. and my mother said, what are you going? he said, i'm going to the police. and she said they probably said it all. what do you mean you are going to the police? because there was no such thing as protection for black families from the authorities in birmingham. eugene connor was going to enforce it by whatever means necessary. now, when this reached its culmination was in september of 1963, after a very violent summer of water hoses and marches and so forth. dr. king had realized that they weren't getting the response that they wanted, and so there was something called the children's march in may of 1963 where these children had been sent right into the teeth of the
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henchmen. but on september 1963, september 15, 1963, we had just gotten to church at my father's church. and it was again a loud thud. and everybody assumed it was in our community, but it'd been two miles away. and pretty soon, the phone calls over the phone tree star and they said there had been a bomb at the 16th baptist church for a little while later they said that for little girls had been killed in the basement getting ready for sunday school. and if you, a little while later they said the names it instantly we realize that little denise mcnair, with whom i had known from kindergarten, there's a picture in the book of my father giving denise mcnair her kindergarten graduation certificate. before little girls had been killed by these terrorists. and i remember at the time thinking that people must have a lot of hatred to kill four
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little girls. and being quite frightened. and my dad then sat on the porch that whole evening, in the september heat, with a shotgun on his lap. and that next day, they organize a neighborhood watch that he and his friends, and they would patrol with their guns. and it would go to the head of the community, and once in a while they would fire into the air to scare off knight rider. they actually never shot anybody, but they would have if somebody had come to the community. >> you know, when i was happening we were in london and i remember my dad coming in. that bombing made headlines in london, and he said, what kind of country kills little girls? so that really was a turning point. and the way you tie it up with the determination to keep the community together, and to bridge with our allies and the
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white community because you talk about the kindest of so many whites. we have a lot of allies in the abolition and in the civil whites -- civil rights revolution that were the things that struck me about the book was how you tie together those alliances. they were cross racial, cross class, and we marched together to get birmingham into the 20th century. and so, today we seem to be along some fault lines. i wanted to get your thoughts, what were the lessons you can apply now? we've got to get this country together. >> i think that particularly when it comes to issues of race, we have to be very careful in the united states and how we throw around titles like your races, or lines like your a racist. the united states is a very deep set of world around race.
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we have a birth defect called slavery. and it is a wound that is so deep that i think the worst thing you can say about somebody really is your a racist. now, the volume has gotten off in high about race these days. and we would do well to turn down the volume, step back, gave each other the benefit of the doubt, and try to work again on the kind of common problems that are affecting us all. i don't care what color you are. they are affecting us all. the interesting thing about segregation in birmingham is of course affected most dramatically, mostly black people. but it also affected by people in birmingham in a negative way. it took birmingham a long time. it is still, still trying to overcome a lot of those cars of having been known as bombingham, and having been known as the most racist city in the united
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states. it finally has overcome some of the impetus of things that matter, rather than birmingham because part of its reputation combining, the fact is that racism had a very negative effect. jim crow had a very negative effect on the white unity, too. and there were a few whites who are trying to break out of that. i tell the story of a doctor that my mother had a very bad bronchial infection. my father had a mentor who was the white director of guidance counselor for the schools in alabama, in birmingham. and my father went to mr. sheffield, and he said, mr. sheffield, my wife has a terrible infection, can you recommend a doctor? he recommended doctor carmichael, a white doctor. the first time we showed up, i was seven, we went and and the waiting room for blacks was this horrible kind of paint peeling above the pharmacy, step straight up hard benches to sit
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on. and so after dr. carmichael saw my mother, about 5:00 that afternoon on a saturday, he said now, reverend rice, he said, the next time you bring angelena, you bring her after 5:00. and so we came after 5:00, and his white patient population was gone. and so we were able to set up in the front waiting room where there were magazines and leather chairs and the whole thing. and pretty soon, over time, dr. carmichael kind of integrated his own waiting room. because i think for him, it was humiliating to have to treat someone like my father that way because of race. so racism and segregation hurt not just the black community, it hurt also the white community. and today, when we know that joblessness and homelessness and gang violence of which are working with folks, the violence
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that comes with that, we know that poor schools that are not preparing kids so that united states of america is both becoming more inward looking, more fearful, less likely to lead, these are scorchers that hurt not just black kids got in poverty are hispanic its kind in poverty, but they hurt us all. so maybe one thing that would learn from that period is bridging those divides, it is not really a matter of charity. it's not a matter of reaching out and try to help somebody. it is essential to who we are as a people, and essential to our national security. >> and essential to just try to get some prosperity back for the kids coming behind us. you talk about having to be twice as good. and you and i both know that we are constantly compensating.
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unit, comcast, compensate for cover. race, language areas. that's the human enterprise. and we just take it for granted. is part of the problem here that we just haven't done homework that we haven't done the really hard work? we just want to go off over it and pretend like we don't have the kind of unpack that suitcase to get rid of the baggage, you've got to unpack your suitcase, that there's a lot of work to be done, we need to stop swinging the labels and doing drive-by labeling and try by debate, but really take a look at a joint history and our different roles and it. been to get back. one of the questions i had was, your dad and my dad used to ride around, and for the family who could get together and couldn't get their crops, could get the wood shop, they would go around to the families that weren't quite holding it together. and when we disintegrated, when we left, when we moved up and
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out, moving on up, that kind of fell apart. how do we make up for that? >> well, you do know, every that system has some things that are not so bad about it. and the black community was a very much, had integrity in the segregated birmingham. so the middle class in birmingham lived a not too far from the working-class and the underclass. my dad had a church group called youth fellowship group, and he was a presbyterian so he could have dances, unlike the baptists. [laughter] >> so his church, it was really, really popular. but behind the church and it was a government project. and the kids in the project were part of his youth fellowship that he would bring in income and many of them said he would do george doerr, like my grandfather did. he would go door to door and say your child is smart.
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and shiite to go to college. and i've got a scholarship for her at tuskegee. i got a scholarship or at stillman. not even asking the parents. do you want your child to go to college. just sort of insisting. now, my father is very middle-class, church, this was an unpopular. one of the things i tell the story, my father a picnic for his kids. and, unfortunately, some of the kids were out teaching the church children how to shoot craps that a number of his elders and said raven, we told you they were ready for to be with us. but for our fathers, and when the class barriers when it came to making sure that kids are educated, the families are taken care of. but when the middle-class moved out, as we all did, the people who were left in that witches brew of poverty and race, are the most damaged in our
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community. and how we get that back now i think is one child at a time. now, i had tears. i had teachers. but i don't care if it is a teacher or a parent, if it is a community leader, a minister. every child has got to somehow have some adult that is advocating for the. >> and at the other end, institutions. >> that's what i'm going to do a few -- >> i can't let you off the stage without talk of stokely carmichael. >> of course would bring of stokely carmichael. [laughter] >> the one time she would want to be confused. >> stokely carmichael, a name out of the late '60s and early '70s. stokely carmichael was the firebrand leader of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, sncc. he was one of the original black power people. and my dad, who was a concerted
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republican presbyterian minister invited stokely carmichael to speak at stillman college in 1966 and 1967, much to the dismay of the power elite in tuscaloosa, which thought stokely was going to start it right. but my dad really was attracted in a funny way to the radical end of black politics. i try to understand why that is, because he was a conservative meant that he loved united states of america, but always a little bit of what was come he admired the prior, he admired the dignity with which these radicals confronted racism, rather than taking it with the kind of sublimation and quietness. he was not, for instance, willing to march in 1962, 1963. i remember standing myself in the hallway and hearing my parents talking in the living room, and my father said, they want us to go out in the
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nonviolent but what if somebody comes after me with a billy club, meaning the police, i'm going to try to kill them. and my daughter will be an orphan. and so i think you would somehow attracted to people like stokely, but i did say in the book when it was all this talk about the radicals around then senator obama, i thought i sure hope they don't know so that you are at our dinner tables that they were quite a few of them. [laughter] >> congratulations. it's a wonderful, wonderful book. >> thank you. [applause] >> if you all remember -- it should be on. it's odd that if you all remember to just wait for the microphone when your chosen to ask a question, we would appreciate it. thank you. >> please raise your hand if you have a question.
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>> my name is pastor charles patrick, and i was born in birmingham, alabama. before you, a little before you. and what you said, sharing the expense of what happened is absolutely true. my dad expressed the same thing, and one of the reasons we can't come out of california is because he was almost run out of town if he hadn't been run out of the naacp. he possibly would have been killed. but it's all of the book that i gave you earlier. god bless you. thank you for all of which he said, it interest me because over a long period of time i harbored a lot of the anger that my dad, when he was being and all that back in birmingham, alabama. the areas, my mom went to tuskegee. so i am family without places you talk about.
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but congratulations it i'm excited about your book. my wife and i bought one and hope you will talk to you soon. >> thank you very much. thank you spent oh, one question. [laughter] >> i forgot to talk about that. my question was, who was your he will when you grew up? who was your hero? >> that's a good question. you know, i think for all of us there were several. my family loved -- we maven, my dad may be republican but we love of the kennedys. we love president john f. kennedy, and we adored bobby kennedy. i remember very well going to hear, after university of alabama integrated, going to their bobby kennedy in one of their -- just being completely taken with him, and being totally devastated when he was assassinated here in los angeles. so, the kennedys were huge. and another one, another person
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to talk about in the book, fred shuttlesworth, who was the local leader in birmingham who really brought about raise consciousness in birmingham, founded the early group, had to leave and go to cincinnati because he was so much under threat. and i think he has never really gotten his due compared to the great national leaders for all that he did. and he was a family friend, and also a great hero. >> the lady right over here. >> hello. i, like you, grew up with a lot of my front of alabama say is that the real south. but i grew up, i pretty much grew up in an all white committee most of my life, but i never really experienced a lot of racism until the moves to northern florida and went to school at a&m.
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and actually once i moved here. when you talk about letting go and not harboring the resentment, what would be some of the things that you can encourage the younger kids of today to hold onto and remember, to help them to transcend that anger and resentment? because myself, i had to learn to let it go, you know, and to move back, not use it as a crutch and as an excuse to spend is a really good question, because fortunate, my parents, and in some ways growing up in segregated birminghbirmingham, in disregard was a bit of an advantage. because if you in a totally segregated school, segregated principle, blacks, students are blacks, then when the teacher said to you, that's just not good enough, there wasn't any racial overtones. and so people could be fairly tough in terms of insisting on
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achievement, and insisting on excellence, without racial overtones, a somehow they are being racist. one of the most interesting things that happened when i was at stanford was i suddenly realized that there is a subtle bashing president bush called it a saw it between low expectations that creeps in when people see black students. and all of a sudden, well, you know, they've had a tough time. or, maybe you shouldn't do anything about that. and i'll tell you, related to the books i will relate it to you. i noticed, i went to my first phi beta kappa ceremony at provost in 1994. and at stanford and his group of i think 300 phi beta kappa's, there was one black student. i thought, this is really odd. and so i started kind of looking
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at it and thinking about it. and we formed a little group called partners in academic excellence, and we asked black graduate students to meet with black freshmen. and to read their papers in her introduction. and these black graduate students would take the black freshmen, how did you get an a on this paper what this isn't in a paper. soft bigotry, right? low expectations, and so and so by the time the students were getting really tough classes in june and senior year, they weren't prepared for tough judgments. and so sometimes racism shows itself in very unexpected ways. and it shows itself in just not holding that person as quite equal to yourself, but one the best for them, and wanting to help them. and basically patronizing them. i think one of the deepest problems we have in the schools
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right now is that we aren't expecting enough of every child. and kids read it. they know when you don't expect much. and they underperform. and so, one of my answers to kids who are feeling bitterness or anger, or whatever, is put it aside. it's their problem, not your problem. and if you let become your problem, then you're going to think of yourself as a victim, and the next thing you're going to do is be agreed. and by the way, the twin brother of the agreement is entitlement. so now, you owe me, i don't have to work for it. and now you're on a really bad road to nowhere. and there are plenty of people, plenty of people who will play to that sense of the grisman, and that sense of victimhood, and that sense of entitlement. and you still won't have a job. and so i really think our kids have got to find a way to be
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tougher with people who underestimate him. those most racist people in the world. >> hi. my name is lincoln and your book talks about you were given every kind of educational opportunity by your parents come and get a very child busy childhood when you wake up and go ice skating, go to school and were ice-skating. was ever a time we just didn't want to get up in the morning that early? and if so, what was the motivation, that extraordinary motivation to get out of bed and do all that? for your parents, you want to become your internal motivation. >> cottages said -- our parents were pretty good, you would want to want to take a scale as to what you and you don't want to get up now? no, i think i was pretty most self-motivated. i was pretty bad at it. i am five-foot eight-inch.
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i have five-foot 10 inches long lead. when i pick up a tennis racket so years ago, i said to my father why did you not putting tennis racket in my head instead of schedule might be. he said you would want to want to skate, i did like getting up at 4:30 a.m. to take you. i was motivated because something i did learn from that, it was hard for me. and i think i learned more from overcoming something that was hard for me than something that was easy. i was a natural. it wasn't the best art for me. but i would tell you a story of parental intervention on the piano site. when i was about 10 years old, i've been playing since i was three. i could read music before i could read. when i was about 10 years old i wanted to quit. and i said to my mother, i want to quit piano. and she said, you're not old enough or good enough to make that decision. [laughter] >> and, you know, years later when i was playing with yo-yo ma, i was really glad that she didn't let me quit.
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so part of it was self-motivation. part of it was parents pushing a little bit and saying, you know, you the one who wanted to do this. and so some of it was, and i think we did want to disappoint our parent. we knew how much they're putting into a scotus i just did want to disappoint them either. >> dr. rice, thank you for joining us today, both of you. i grew up in washington, d.c., area, born and raised there. also a graduate of notre dame. undergrad actually. >> object. [inaudible] >> go irish. [inaudible] >> my question actually is political, but i'm interested, very interested in what you think obama is doing really well, one of those -- is a long list, but what you think is doing really well. but even more important, what you think he should be doing a
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lot better. >> well, you know, i said when i left government, and i feel pretty strong about it, that when you're in office, it's a whole lot harder than when you're sitting out here. and it's really hard when people are chirping at you from the outside and you think of well, why didn't you do that when you're in here because it's obvious it a lot easier out there. and so just as president bush said, you know, i felt frankly i owe the president and secretary clinton and others my silence. if i disagree with something they're doing, i will tell them that an attack i know them all well enough that if there's something out like to say, i will simply call up and say, you do, particular pockets and secretary clinton and others. i think that we are very, very tough on our presidents. now, i'm going to make two separate statements you. one, just about the president and general, and what about our politics.
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i think we're tough on our presidents get a there in audrey. they are the smartest, most amazing human beings went ever seen. and a year later, how did we ever elect him? [laughter] and i watched this happen over and over and over again. it's the longest job in the world. it doesn't get tougher than being president of the united states. i do think that the people that we elected in office our elected for the things they have stood for office for the right reasons, and they're trying to do the right things. and sometimes i disagree, and sometimes i agree. but i'll tell you something that i think is going on in our politics quite apart from the administration. and that is that what you're seeing in these grassroots movements, and look, i am not one who agrees with everything that is being said, for instance, in a tea party. i am more pro-immigration, more pro-free trade it but i will do that. what people are saying in this grassroots movements is the conversation in washington and
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the conversation out in the country is not the same conversation. and they are saying it across the board to washington, d.c.. and i frankly think that is a healthy development, because what concerns me about the united states at this point is that we have lost our confidence and we have lost our optimism as a people. americans are the most optimistic people on the face of the earth. trust me, i've been across the faith that they face of the earth. we are the most optimistic. but only when we are confident, and when we have deficits roaring and when we can't get joblessness down, and when we can't get immigration reform so that we are battling each other, and our educational system is not delivering, we are not very confident. and i think that's really what people are saying, whoever is
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president. >> i live over in the south-central, and i was just wondering if, when you were a kid, did you were just know that you going to be this big when you grew up and have a lot of people -- flashback. >> thank you. thank you for asking that question. >> have a lot of people just, the joys have a state of mind as a kid that you going to do better and she was just going to make something out of your life? and that you be was going to like inspire young black woman like me to do more? >> what's your name again? [inaudible] >> betty marie. >> i had no idea that is going to end up as national security adviser and secretary of state. no idea. in fact, how old are you?
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>> sixteen. >> when i was 16 i was going to be a great concert units, all right? and i had studied piano from ages ago and i could read music and as going to be a great concert pianist. and then i went to something called the music festival school. and i were prodigies their who could play from side what it'd take me all your children. and i thought, i'm about to end up teaching 13-year-olds to murder beethoven for living, or maybe i will play at nordstrom, but i'm not playing carnegie hall, that's very obvious. [laughter] >> so i went home and i had a falling conversation with my parents, which if you find yourself in this position, remember this. mom and dad, i'm changing my major. what are you changing it to? i don't know. you don't know what you want to do with your life? well, it's my life. well, it's our money. find a major. [laughter] >> and i tried in which literature. i hated it. i tried state and local
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government. my little project instead of local government class was to into the city water manager of denver, the single most boring man i've met to this day. i thought that's not it. that wandered into a court, in international politics. it was taught by soviet special. he was madeleine albright's father. he taught me about diplomacy and things international and soviet. the soviet union, and all of a sudden i knew what i wanted to do. and i went out and i told my parents, i want to be a soviet special. now i first did say what a nice black girl from birmingham talk about being a soviet special is? they just said, go for it. so they're a couple of important lessons in their for young folks like you. first of all, nobody is so confident that day, at your age, or even older, that they are just sure that they are going to be great, turn out to be
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terrific at what they do. when people are that confident, there's something wrong with them, all right? [laughter] secondly, you need to find what you are passionate about. not to put you, like, but which are passionate about it what is really interesting to you? and you have a long time to do that. you've got a couple more years of high school, and then you've got college, so you've got a little time to find out. >> i graduate next to. >> and you are way ahead of the game already. but you still have time. i was a junior in college before i found it. so go to college, go to school, take some classes, try things that are hard for you, not easy for you. if you're good at math, learn to write to give your good at writing, take some math. and you'll find what it is that really interests you speak is i was just, like when you're a kid, did you have your mind says it is i'm not sure you do know what you want to do. [laughter] >> it's not what i'm doing.
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so my point is, take your time, don't plan every step. just try to be good at what you do, and they would have done that, and when you're doing something great, you will realize that he can because you gave yourself a little time to find what it was you really passionate at doing. and by the way, it may not be something that people would look at you and say, that's what she ought to do. there is no earthly reason that i should have a soviet specialist from birmingham, alabama, okay? you're welcome. >> any more questions? over here. >> hi. my name is hannah. my question is, are you going to plan to run for office again?
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>> know. i actually never was even, in my high school student council -- did you run for student council? i bet you did she won the presidency twice, i knew it. [laughter] >> no, i was never, never for anything and probably won't. i love public service. i'm very involved in case education, very involved with the boys and girls club's. probably will get more involved with my cousin in the work that she was doing, because i care a lot about those issues, about the state of california, and where we're going. but that's all the public service. i was interested, there's no better job in government. that's enough. spent ladies and gentlemen, would you please help me thank the absolutely wonderful condoleezza rice. [applause]
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>> condoleezza rice served as the united states secretary of state from 2005-2009, and as a national security adviser from 2001-2005. she's got a senior fellow at the hoover institution. for more information visit >> mr. wells as a pulitzerrob. prize-winning biologist and naturalist, and were here toppet talk to him about his firstout novel called "anthill." welcome to the tell us, how did you come up with the title of your book?>> e >> because there are a lot of anthills. it's a coming of age, novel about a young boy who grows up in the deep south. who grows up deep south and becomes the enamored, in love, a rare
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package, end begins to developed special liking and understanding and that he will do anything when he grows up to save from developers in that part of the south. i saw things like that under threat of developers. in the course of studies of natural history he focuses on and -- ants who make up two thirds of the weight of all insects. they own the earth. that is where ants come in. a little boy learned about them when he goes to college. >> after writing about nature and biology, why did you choose to write this one as a novel? >> here is one reason. i wanted to continue to push awareness of nature and how fast it is disappearing in this country and around the world. i have found something that you
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would know very well too. people respect nonfiction which was what i have been writing all my life. but they read novels. this is one reason i decided to write a novel. >> tell us more about the main character and is there a biographical elements to his character? >> i have to admit his childhood, for his early teens, closely parallels that of your faithful author who grew up in that part of the country but then they diverge as rafael salmons cody, his mother's made a name, for reasons of his own, though late hero of the confederacy, after that, proceed on to law school and find solutions that he sought to be
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an effective conservationist and save this precious land for what he learns of the law. >> what do you think readers will take away from this book being that it is a novel that they might not pick up from a nonfiction book about the same topic? >> for my fellow southerners, my heritage especially, the preciousness of the natural environment and the rapidity with which we are losing it. second, the importance of knowing in detail for purposes of fiction and not just nonfiction their rich environment around all of us. the natural environment which skimmed over by novelists and it is not here. nature becomes a virtual character. third, takes up a quarter of the whole book, the account of the
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ant wars, colony against colony until one finally exterminated the other another comes in and exterminate the second one, all of that is in particularly iraq scientific detail. when you follow the life cycle of the colony, their wars, tournaments like military groups on parade, they demonstrate their strengths to other colonies and the way they communicate chemicals is based on fact. >> he will be presenting at the national book festival. what kind of information would you like to impart to the audience, what you hope they get from your talk? >> the most important is pretty much the themes we touched on of enormous importance of america's
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environment and for my fellow southerners the critical nature and the enormous importance of nature and its relevance to fiction and nonfiction for future creative work. >> you mentioned your relationship to the south. do you think there's more of an awareness between man and his environment in the south than in other parts of the united states? >> not particularly especially the mid-atlantic states in new england, or the far west. or the close attention many southerners give to the outdoors to -- tends to deal little much on fishing and hunting which is okay but i want to help encourage a broader interest
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>> mark thiessen, author of "courting disaster." your subtitle is pretty strong. how the cia kept america safe and have barack obama is inviting the next attack. >> that's true. the president when he took into office in his first and one of his first acts as president was to limit the most important tool we had in protecting the country, which is the cia interrogation program. this book is an inside story of that program. it is the first book were anyone has ever spoken to the actual interrogators who waterboarded khalid sheikh mohammed and use enhanced interrogation techniques on some of the senior al qaeda leaders and got them to give us information that stop cases of terrorist plots that were planned as a second wave of attacks. today we don't have that capability anymore. we are in grave danger of another attack. >> how did you get that action? >> i was president bush's chief speechwriter and i was called in by the president to write a speech acknowledging this program, the existence of the program that its existence have
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been classified. in order to write a speech i was given access to all of the intelligence that this program provided, all what was behind the most covert and important intelligent program in the war on terror. when president obama came in, i start out by saying the persons of the book is you should not be renewed spoken i should not have able to write it. because all of that information should remain classified. but president obama released all of these documents in an effort to say that we committed torture and that we violated american pie. that did a great harm to national security because it gave our enemies a playbook for how to resist interrogation. it also freed people like me have been given access to the intelligence, who knew how the program worked to write a book and speak out and talk at what this program to to keep this country safe. >> given the nature of your book, did it have to be clear that any national security officials. is actually. it went to the cia review
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process. it took about two months, where they read every word and every. they give a few minutes, not too many. i was amazed at how much they let me say that there were things in the look i thought it would take out the taking. so it's really a real behind the scenes look at this program that no one has ever had before. >> has present bush's former speechwriter, did you read decision points before it cannot? >> not before but i got an early copy. he is very vigorous in defending this program. you have seen in the press he said he to order the water burning -- waterboarded of khalid sheikh mohammed, he said you're damn right. i got a chapter of that in my book on how he has been behind this program. so he's unabashed in his support for what these men and women day. they've had terrible thing said about them. for years, the left in this country have been able to saving about they wanted. spread all sorts of lies. i would say to your viewers,
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almost everything you've heard about this program is untrue. because of these journalists have written exposés, all of us who knew the truth and could rebut the charges had our hands tied because the answer to the charges were classified. and so in a way for barack obama get us a favor by untying out as an us to fight back. this is the first book that takes on all these people have been spreading lies about the cia. and tells the truth about how these people were responsible for stopping the next terrorist attack on america. >> mark thiessen, former chief speechwriter for george w. bush, and author of his first book, "courting disaster." >> coming up next book tv presents "after words," an hour-long


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