could have been been, well, he might have been driving improperly or something. you know, he was a young man. could be something like that. relatively trivial but still written about because he's the president's son. are there other questions? or comments? yeah. okayment -- okay. >> i'm from britain, and i was impressed when i read the biography of hers to find out that she had, in fact, spent three year as what you mentioned was a finishing school which i'm sure is what it was. but i understand from one biography that it was, in fact, a very good school -- >> yes, it was. >> -- run by an intellectual french woman who was very fond of her, wanted her to stay for her fourth year of high school, and her relatives in new york with whom she lived did not allow her to stay for her fourth. >> that's exactly right. her grandmother said she had to come home and make her debut.
[laughter] she didn't want to make her debut, she was afraid she wouldn't be popular. her mother had been one of the great beauties of new york society, and apparently when eleanor was a little girl, her mother said something like, well, you better be good because you certainly aren't beautiful. and eleanor did not have good memories of her mother, the love she got as a child came from her father. but then, of course, he was a desolate individual who die inside a drunken stupor, a fire involved at the home of a mistress. and he was a disgrace to that side of the family. ..
>> this book is part of the university press modern first lady series. visit kansaspress.edu. >> now booktv begins live coverage of the 2,011 roosevelt reading festival. thanks for joining is. for the next seven hours we will discover presentations from the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum in hyde park, new york. coming up in a couple minutes, todd moye on the tuskegee of world war 2. and literary editor philip
kerr's the presents "architects of power: roosevelt, eisenhower, and the american century". in two hours we will take a break from our live programming to show an event from the atlanta history center. david nichols discusses eisenhower in 1956 about the days before the 1956 presidential election. in three hours we will be back live from the 2011 rose about reading festival. fdr's new deal legislation. susan dunn discusses president roosevelt's efforts to change the democratic party. in five hours greg robinson presents his book a tragedy of democracy, japanese confinement in north america. that is followed by the final event of the day, discussion between presidential biographer james macgregor burns and presidential historian michael echelon and susan dunn. that is live from the 2,011 roosevelt reading festival. and now todd moye on his book
"freedom flyer: the tuskegee airmen of world war ii". >> hello. i am the museum curator at the franklin roosevelt presidential library and museum. wait a second. i would like to welcome you to the eighth annual roosevelt reading festival. i would like to welcome c-span's booktv which is broadcasting this program this morning. franklin roosevelt planned for the roosevelt library to become the premier research institution for studying the entire roosevelt era. the research room is consistently one of the busiest of all the presidential libraries and this year's group of others reflects a wide variety of research done here. we are delighted to highlight these others's works at botox for route the year, especially
at this hour annual meeting festival. let me quickly go over the format for the festival's current sessions. at the top of each hour a session begins with a 30 minute author talk followed by a ten minute question and answer period and authors move on to the tables in the library where you can purchase your books and have the author's son them. of the top of the next hour the process repeats itself. now is my pleasure to introduce todd moye who is sitting to my right. todd moye has been associate professor of history of the university of north texas and director of that university's history program. todd moye will be speaking today about his new book "freedom flyer: the tuskegee airmen of world war ii". a narrative history of the most significant civil-rights struggle of the world war ii era based on a collection of 800 oral histories. todd moye is also the author of
what the people decide. in addition to numerous scholarly articles, review article that up beds, graduate of the university of north carolina chapel hill where he earned his b.a. in history at university of texas austin where he earned his m.a. and ph.d. degrees todd moye directed the national park services oral history project from 2000 to 2005. please join me in welcoming professor todd moye to vote roosevelt reading festival. [applause] >> thank you very much. great to be here. i need to look for more reasons to travel from texas to the hudson valley. this is a great place to be ended as always fun to come back to the fdr library. this book began as an oral history project. from 2000 to 2005 i was one of
five historians who worked for the national park service developing a national historic site called the tuskegee site in tuskegee, alabama where the tuskegee airmen work. the national park service dedicated a significant amount of money to interviewing the surviving tuskegee mn to work those in to programs to find information museum architects needed as they were rehabing structures at the national historic site and create this repository of tuskegee history for when there will not just the tuskegee airmen to talk about what this experience was about. we recorded 826 oral history interviews and those interviews
formed the core of this book. it is a narrative history of the experience. i tried to explain who and what were responsible for the remarkable changes african-americans in particular but american society as a whole went
through in world war ii period. using the tuskegee airmen as an example. to explain what was responsible for that change and using the words of the tuskegee airmen themselves what was like to ride that change and i hope i have been able to accomplish that in the book. i would like to begin by giving you a sense of what the army air corps as it was known in 1940, that became the army air force during the war. shortly after became the united states air force. what it was like for african-americans as the united states was on the eve of war.
if you take yourself back to 1939-1940 the rest of the world was already at war. japan have long invaded china. germany invaded poland by 1939. united states had not entered the war but it was a world war. franklin
roosevelt knew the united states was headed for involvement in this conflict and led the nation along kicking and screaming. the army air corps was all white. the only african-americans who had positions in the army air corps worker looks, janitors, security personnel who guarded the fence around the base. the generals in charge of the army air corps like that way. they had come up in world war i when the army air corps was all white. that was the world they knew. they liked it that way and expected to stay that way. they had no plans whatsoever to include african-americans in any way in their branch of the
service. they had some research backing them up. following world war i they commissioned a study called the use of negro man power in war that was meant to study are african-americans performed in world war i and to use that research in planning for the next war. this was created in 1925 but still form the basis of army human resources policy as late as 1939-1940. it began under the terms of the constitution the negro has the rights of citizenship and as evidence he must bear his share of the war. it continues the negro is physically qualified for combat duty but the negro is profoundly superstitious. he is by nature subservient and naturally believes himself to be inferior to the white. he is jolly, trustful, lively and docile by nature.
but under harsh treatment they become a sullen and stubborn. he is susceptible to the influence of crowd psychology. the psychology of the negro is such that we may not expected draw leadership material from him. the negro has not a lot of confidence in leaders of the race and it would be an impossible to place leaders of his race over whites. he has not the physical courage of the white. he cannot control himself in fear of danger to the degree that the whites can. the negro's growing sense of importance will make the more and more of a problem in racial troubles may be expected to increase. that was still the state of the art if you want to think of it in those terms of the way generals in the army air corps thought about african-americans as late as 1939-1940. as you fast-forward to shortly after the war one of the first studies of that kind that came out of the army air force's air command and staff college was written by a man named colonels
will perish who was the commanding officer at tuskegee airfield during the war. he was chosen for the air command at staff college meant to train up and coming officers so they could be generals and leaders of the force. they had to take classes and write a thesis. the title of his speech the segregation of negros in the army air forces and he concluded by observing in the administration of segregated units there is no routine, there can be gnosis -- consistent segregation policy because segregation is contradictory and inconsistent. racial segregation in the of forces had to end not because it was immoral as he believed it was bad because it was wasteful and impossible to implement logically. that is a remarkably fast change from 1945 to 1946 from a service that treats african-americans
as, quote, as of >>--a sub species of the human family to someone who's about to become a general calling for the desegregation on the basis of efficiency. not to mention morality. that is in a span of six years. it swings because of the tuskegee airmen. the tuskegee airmen for those of you who don't know where the first military pilots of color in the united states. there was -- there were 15,000 african-americans and a small number of whites involved in this program to train african-american pilots in alabama during the war. 996 pilots graduated from the program. roughly 500 served overseas during the war.
the remainder were either station in the united states and fighter units and didn't make it over for combat or they were trained as bomber crews and a 477th bomber group, all tuskegee trained never mated overseas because of civil rights battles at home. it is one of the most important parts of the story here. but the tuskegee program almost didn't happen. obviously the generals in the army air corps didn't want it to happen. didn't want african-americans forced on them. went along kicking and screaming. the naacp, phillip randolph, the most import african-american labor union in the country, the presidents of historically black colleges and universities, formed a coalition in the 1930s,
1940 to plus for african-americans inclusion in the air force. they saw this as the tip of the iceberg. and forcing the federal government to create greater opportunities for african-americans, giving them a chance to prove their patriotism, the competency so that they could use that to further civil-rights goals after the war. they were able to force president roosevelt to create the program in 1940 and the wave that came about as interesting. the naacp had been calling for this in 1937. every year at their annual meeting they passed a resolution that the united states army air corps, all the branches of the armed services but the air corps in particular because this was considered the cream of the crop, the most technologically advanced, if you think about what pilots looked like in the 1940s with their leather jackets and stars and bottles these with a masculine ideal of the day. every blue wanted to grow up to
the military pilot and i have been told that young women in college had canucks -- pinups of pilots like african-american women's college had been ups of the tuskegee airmen. you think of men as having been ups. everyone wanted to be a military pilot. african-americans could force their way into this and prove they belong then that would lead to greater changes. it would be a symbolic victory and more substantive victories as well. they had been pushing for this for hensarling 40s and were finally forced their way in in 1940. it happened for surprise we random reasons. roosevelt was pushed into a corner and forced to do this. as was often the case in dealing
with african-americans he was reactive about this rather than proactive. black newspapers editorialized about this and the naacp in the oval office lobbying him about he had african-americans writing his life. eleanor roosevelt in turn was lobbying for this with a blow war department and in the back of the bed berdache the bedrooms of the white house that this was the right thing to do. but he didn't do it because it was right thing to do. it was because it was the politically expedient thing to do. he needed the 1940 election, black votes. wendell willkie had done more since lincoln to make the republican party the party most favorable towards african-american rights.
there was a real danger african-americans who voted for roosevelt might switch back to the republican party as they had before 1932 so roosevelt's political advisers were worried about this. roosevelt had some embarrassments in the 1940 campaign. the most odd and significant was stephen hurley, his press secretary's run in with the new york city police officer. fdr was campaigning at madison square garden. the press secretary considered the first modern press secretary was trying to get through a police line at madison square garden. an african-american police officer would not let him for and he got in a wrestling match that ended with early sticking his knee in a policeman's galene
. the black newspapers coverthe b this not very favorably. one of the most interesting moments i had doing research in the archives was when i found a memorandum from roosevelt's most trusted political adviser who devised a plan to win black votes. he was going to see to it an african-american was appointed to the draft board, the national institution that oversaw the draft. he was going to see that roosevelt promoted a black colonel to general in the united states army. that was benjamin david senior. he was the first african-american general in the army and was going to announce that roosevelt was creating this training program for african americans in tuskegee, alabama. i found a memo where he figured out when the press deadline would be for the weekly black
newspapers on the last day before the 1940 election and he released this press announcement that roosevelt was doing all these things for african-americans just hours before that deadline so he guaranteed the top headline on every black newspaper in the united states on the day of the election was going to be roosevelt create programs for blacks, promotes first black general, all these things. very astute political. there are moral reasons for doing this. there are political reasons for doing this. you don't have to be too much of the senate to believe roosevelt did this more for political reasons than for anything else but he did create the program and tuskegee. that created some divisions within the african-american community. the naacp had been lobbying all along for the creation of integrated flight training.
it is easy to get african-americans into flight training. just let them in existing programs. the air corps was not willing to do that. the war department was not willing to do that. general marshall, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff had a spokesman who said the army is not a sociological laboratory. the rest of the united states is segregated. why should we try to solve a problem no one else has been able to solve. as long as the military has civilian leaders you can bring political pressure on civilian leaders and make it is sociological laboratory. general marshall was wrong in that instance. the naacp had been pushing for this. they were unwilling to accept the half loaf of segregated all black flight training program but several of the black newspapers thought it was worth it.
this was a step along the way that is going to get us there. tuskegee institute which had become the hub for black aviation had been pushing for this and convinced the war department to create this program tuskegee. they wanted that to happen. it was good for their community and graduates. they believed it was good for african-americans and americans in general. that was the divide between the naacp and tuskegee institute and that goes back to the founding of the naacp. were w. e. b. du bois argues against the pragmatic vision of tuskegee's founder booker t. washington, much more idealistic where washington is more pragmatic. it is a debate they had been having for 30 some years by this point but the program was created, african-americans did begin flying in tuskegee under
the army's in 1940. they created the site the national park service now has as a primary flight training facility that would be managed by tuskegee institute. civilian instructors teaching african-americans to fly on a large scale for the first time using federal dollars. the fact that they forced the federal government into this to they side is giving african-american greater opportunities lead to greater changes down the road so in that sense the pragmatic side was right. once cadets graduated, they advanced to tuskegee airfield where they were taught to fly the army way. there are three ways to fly. the right way, wrong way and the army way. they taught them to fly in the army training facility and talked them into being combat
pilots at tuskegee airfield. task became a small, highly functioning, nearly all black small city. maybe 10,000 people were working there at any one time. will lead the highest cotter of officers were white. everyone else was african-american and they made the trains run on time. they made the bank's function at a high level proving they could do the job. the argument all along from the pragmatic side was we gave them a chance to do the job and the country has to change as a result of that. they were able to do that. roughly 500 pilots who graduated from the program served overseas. most famously they flew fighter escort for bombing missions in central europe against the axis powers. at the end of the war there was
a press story, that the 330 second fighter group made up entirely of these african-american pilot had never lost a bomber under their protection. turns out that is not true. is a mythology that has been perpetrated through the years but dan homan, historian at the air force historical research agency in alabama has proven conclusively using documents in their collection that there were some bombers lost while the tuskegee airmen flew fighter escort. that is an argument that has been impressive over the last couple years and one that largely misses the point. they proved they could do as well or better as any other pilots in the army air force and that ought to be enough. they did that, they have the
record. it was impossible to ignore the record when people like old parish, the white liberal from houston, texas, have to give credit to texas liberals because there are so few of us. coming out of work use this experience to prove conclusively using evidence, not ideas you might have about african-americans, evidence that african-americans can fly airplanes as well as anyone else and staff these complicated structures as well as anyone else and run airbase as well as anyone else. it is counterproductive to separate them from anybody else. that leads to the air force which is created as a separate military institution in 1947 to become the first institution to desegregate. when that happens on paper in
1948, in reality it takes longer than that for all of the military forces to desegregate and the pressure is always on african-americans in the service to make that happen. the pressure is not on whites but on blacks to continue to prove themselves but but white house is at the forefront of this because of the example the tuskegee airmen said. when it desegregates the only national institution that is desegregated is major-league baseball. there are three african-americans playing major-league baseball, jackie robinson, larry dobie and roy campanella. i would argue -- i am a baseball fan but i argue the air force is a little more important national institution than major league baseball. coming out of the war african-americans' forced themselves into this through
lobbying campaigns and threatening to march on washington. they forced themselves in and got the opportunity and proved they can do it and they forced the government -- important branches of the government to the side of desegregation. when you think of the civil-rights movement as really beginning before the direct face of the civil-rights movement, direct action against the montgomery bus boycott seven or eight years later. having taken the side of desegregation, that takes years to play itself out but that is important coming out of this experience. if you indulge me i would like to read a short excerpt from our oral histories with a pilot who was an atlanta at native who i got to know pretty well when working for the tuskegee airmen
oral history project. i think this theme, i like to tell the story as much as possible. this gets at the seams of what this program and for the men who were part of it and the larger african-american community and what it meant for the united states as a whole. chorused augustus buchanan required no introduction to jim crow. the death of ten children born in to pour circumstances he knew all about racial segregation and unequal treatment before he came of age. if you don't go that way it is white only it you are supposed to be reserved or preserved over here. that -- we had to live with it. somewhere early in life my mother goddess to understand if you live right you serve well
despite segregation laws and so forth. and a simple piece of the advice you do right. the first of many jobs at the age of 8. his favorite childhood assignment was as a helper on a laundry truck because the laundry service made pickup and delivery atlanta's airport. when she got there and there were pilots talking. you didn't get to touch the airplane but you were in the audience listening to them talk which i enjoyed. the truck driver, a full-fledged georgia cracker filled up with all the things his father had taught him, took pity on him and tried to talk the boy out of his life's dream. i know you like that stuff but you are wasting your time, told him. verrazzano chance in the world you could ever work around them or beat one of the pilots. i didn't argue with him but i like to look back on it today and i wish i could see the same
man, he said before he died in 2003. he didn't mean to be destructive. he thought he was doing a favor by saying don't even dream about it. i never quit dreaming about it. he worked his way through booker t. washington high school and went on to study at lincoln pennsylvania university. when lincoln began a program to train civilian pilots buchanan was not far back in the line of students who went to sign up. it was so exciting because there was something new every day. i don't care who you were there was always something you didn't know about flying and the whole world. he dropped out of college before his junior year to earn money. a friend in atlanta and let him know about tuskegee airfield. the military base under construction at day's driveway in tuskegee, alabama. they instituted training civilian pilots, a primary flight training base that operated under contract for the army air corps. now the war department was
building from scratch on the outskirts of town. the idea of building an air base in treat him. he found a job at taft and are carpenter's apprentice and as soon as he got to tuskegee he learned about training black instructor pilots. he used the skills he learned in civilian pilot training to pass the entrance exam and began a training course. when the program was unexpectedly interrupted he found work driving the station wagon that ferried aviation cadets back and forth from their living quarters at tuskegee institute and was later hired as a timekeeper in the control tower tabulating cadets flight time. on march 1943 in order to save enough money to return to lincoln he quit his job and went back to atlanta to drive a cab. by september he had enough money to resume studies and was back in pennsylvania. he found out he had been drafted into the army and turned around and reported to fort benning, georgia. he applied for transfers and was
accepted into kieffer field for basic training and made his way back to tuskegee as a flight to that. he was surprised how well he took to military life. in his words in the army air corps you got to know millions of people who had dreams and desires. he cherished the camaraderie he developed with the cadets that he met mike charles johnson jr. his father was president of says university in nashville or his first cousin had become a distinguished attorney and federal judge. and pokey spaulding who manage the north carolina mutual insurance country -- company in north carolina, one of the most prosperous black businesses in the country. the air corps only accepted cadets who completed two years of college so the elliott -- tuskegee training program drew from the black elite. the tuskegee airmen the most talented african-american men never brought together in one
place. 60 years later he could recite the versus he was forced to memorize as a cadet as a hazing ritual. if an upper class and asked what time is it he had to stand at attention and say, remembered this word for word, the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of my poor chronometer are in such a sad state of this card with the great that your movement by which all time is commonly reckoned that i cannot with any degree of accuracy give you the correct time. without fear of being too wrong or far off on will say it is 58 minutes and 22 seconds. do two ticks of the talk past the hour. we had a good time. he remembered december 20th, 1944, when he graduated from the cadet program and received his wings as an officer. as one of the protestant his life to show his family around taft. pablo came on guard at the gate where black sergeant and corporal and private, the whole military is black. as he drove through they found
other men doing their work all over the place except the top cadres of officers were all black. the place was clean and orderly. i wish you could have seen it. his family was impressed. his best day came soon after the war ended when he was an officer in the fighter group stationed in kentucky. officer pilots who needed to log a certain number of hours a month were allowed to fly anywhere they wanted provided aircraft were available. when his time came up of course the place i wanted to fly was can and field. he took off and radioed his location and announce to the tower in atlanta is content to lana the flight controller asked for a fighter pull up. the maneuver would require him to fly at low altitude in a propeller driven fighter plane, one of the most powerful in the military arsenal into a vertical climb and land. this was regular duty for a
fighter pilot but guaranteed to provide a thrill in a civilian airport. on his initial entry he radioed the control what is my minimum altitude? the response came back my grass needs cutting. he barrel full speed into canada field three feet off the ground and pull his aircraft straight into the air. then he engage the plane's landing gear and cut the engine. the airplane descended to a perfect landing. he said if you do it just right you don't have to give it any gas. onlookers perhaps some boys just as crazy about flying as he had been, were, quote, cheering and cheering and cheering. i figured they might not recognize me because the helmet cover your face and all you can see from outside the plane the bottles and the helmet. i took the helmet and goggles up and raised the seat so you could see there was an african-american flying that brand-new airplane. it was the latest model and it
was pretty. all the way of the taxi they were cheering especially the black guys. i hope that gives you a sense of what are have tried to accomplish with the book. that is a triumphant story but this is not an entirely triumphant history. there is much for americans to be ashamed about in this history but there's much to be proud about as well. i hope i have given that sense to my readers. i will entertain any questions you might have. [inaudible] >> i am john hart from the university of pittsburgh.
we worked with w q e d in pittsburgh to produce a documentary and had a grand opening and surviving tuskegee airmen who came from pennsylvania. one thing we were told was there is a larger than normal amount of african-americans who came from pittsburgh in the pennsylvania area. the other thing was i did a news release and there was a story about eleanor roosevelt where there was an actual black pilot and she agreed to go up and everyone said don't do this. she went up and sure that black pilots were capable of being fighters. is that story true and what can you tell me about the pittsburgh and western pennsylvania area? >> i will start with the second part of your question. the gist of that story is true. but that distorts it a little bit.
mrs. roosevelt was in tuskegee in 1939 or 1940 for a board meeting of the roosevelt fund. she was on the board of directors of the fund responsible for doing lots of things, mainly building schools for african-american children in rural areas. she had been to tuskegee several times because of her interest in infantile paralysis research. what people don't tend to remember is they had to do that research at tuskegee because it didn't allow blacks. she had been there several times. she knew about the work dr. carver was doing and when she got there she did hear about this training program that tuskegee institute had going on, civilian program for its students. chief anderson was the chief instructor pilot and when she visited the facility she asked if chief anderson could take her for a plane ride.
there was a famous picture taken of the two of them along with louis jackson who was another instructor pilot who appeared in black newspapers all over the country. she wrote a couple of columns about it. it provided very important publicity for the project and momentum for the project. it must have been 1940 because the war department had selected tuskegee as the site for the training facility. the mythology that has grown up around it was mrs. roosevelt was solely responsible for this and she flew with an african-american pilot and told franklin about it who created the program and that is the methodology about it. doesn't quite live up to the facts. no question it is an important moment in the story. as to your question about western pennsylvania i don't know whether an inordinate amount of pilot cadets came from that area.
i can tell you that west virginia state college is another historically black college that had a civilian pilot training facility before everyone else did and several people from that general area went to west virginia state to learn to fly before the air corps had opened this up to others. there is that central focus that is bringing people in from that area. the pittsburgh courier is considered the first among equals among the black newspapers that are calling for greater opportunities for african-americans in the armed forces. they were the first to use the term double victory. african-americans in world war ii were fighting for a victory abroad and over jim crow at home. they pushed so much legislation that the package to allow african-americans into the armed
forces and to desegregate hiring and defense industries that package was known as the courier bill. so the courier was at the forefront of this. the chicago defender might say this was doing better work. i would let them argue that among themselves. but the quarrier -- thanks. the chicago defender was doing that because they wanted a program to train black pilots in chicago. that was another center of black aviation in the 1930s and 40s. >> richard taylor from hyde park. i was wondering as the war ended in europe, i was wondering if there were any plans for the tuskegee airmen asked to or in the planning helping in the pacific to end war? >> great question. the 477th bombardment group
which was the carter re of african-americans who trained in bombers in tuskegee, that program was created well into the war after the fighter training program established itself, they were able to create a bomber training program as well. the 477th was training in the pacific. but it moved from base to base throughout the war because it refused to be segregated. you can segregate officers' quarters, and station that a base in california where they try to create 1 officer's club for african-american -- west texas, kentucky, indiana kept getting shifted from place to place. their superiors decide they are too much trouble and are
untreatable. by 1945 they were in indiana and once again the commanding officer in this case created 1 officer's club he designated for supervisors all of whom were white. they returned combat veterans. they risked their lives and came back to freeman field in indiana. it is not just a southern problem but a national problem. they are segregated in officers' clubs. 104 of them refused and physically refused to enter the
white officers club. not all 104 did that. several dozen did that and three were arrested. they refuse to sign a letter that said i agree with this policy. three were court-martialed. the others had marks on their record for the entire careers. they were shifted again, transferred to kentucky. they would have been trained and ready to go to fight in the pacific as had been the plan all along. in 1944 or 1945 had it not been for these extra curricular they did not refuse to go along with this. remarkable story comes out of the tuskegee airmen experience, they were in the age in surge
ins in 1945. they have there un -- naacp chapters writing letters to the war department demanding that the stop, writing letters to mrs. roosevelt. the command officer's boss was general hunter. he hated it. sunni they hit the pressure forcing them to desegregate. long and rich your question -- short question. >> thank you so much.
[inaudible] >> thank you very much. [applause] >> todd moye, associate history professor of the university of north texas and his book "freedom flyer: the tuskegee airmen of world war ii". coming up in 15 minutes philip terzian will discuss his latest publication "architects of power: roosevelt, eisenhower, and the american century". more of booktv's live coverage
from the 2011 roosevelt reading festival hosted by the franklin d. roosevelt presidential library and museum in hyde park, new york, after this break. >> part of this book group is an imprint that is rather unique in publishing circles. it publishes 12 books a year and a new publisher and editor in chief is carried gold seen. how are you liking your new job? >> i love it. it is wonderful. >> let's talk about your upcoming books. you talk about christopher hichens. his autobiography. a follow-up is coming out. >> this is christopher's first collection since 2004. it is about 2,002 in the run-up
to the iraqi invasion and covers all sorts of territory. literary criticism, political commentary the personal profile, annoyances and other amusements, international affairs, it is fantastic. purview as a social commentator. >> next to that is republic lost. >> probably best known as an authority on international copyright. and this is about -- americans have the sense that money controls congress and our system
is corrupt. it is a corruption of the system, not any particular corruption but back to cogent and very radical systems for this problem. >> when is that coming out? >> in october. >> that is quite a cover. you are the premier of 40. >> eminent outlaws. >> probably best known as a novelist. from the film gods and monsters. this is the gay writers who changed america and what is fascinating is it covers james baldwin and british writers through edward albee and those riders are no longer thought
about has gay writers but they were tandem writers and ironically the second half of the book which goes from stonewall and larry kramer and edmund white, you find a more specific ghettoization of gay literature and is more insular and reaches a narrow audience like michael cunningham and others. a broad perspective on the history of gay literature and how they would be on the literary and affected our political culture as well. >> i want to ask about man seeks god. >> i believe it was late 2008 or early 2009, but geography blitz. eric went around the world looking for the happiest place on earth. eric begins with an ailment
which turned out to be caused by an unreasonable deadline imposed by an editor. it occurs to him when you find a face that fits that he has to so eric sets off on another journey this time to find the religion that works for him best and cover the religions we know well and some that we don't. he goes to they paul and finds an american named wayne and in vegas. brazil they worship the little green men. it is a serious study about the role in our lives and also objective of irony. >> finally, time for out rage on wall. >> this is a really exciting book. this is a phenomenon in europe. it was originally a 4,000 word pamphlet in october. it sold two million copies.
we call it time for outrage via 94-year-old french resistance hero, a concentration camp survivor. instead of easily identifiable for germans, calling for action against a more evasive enemy, the tyranny of the dictatorship of the financial markets the unequal distribution of wealth. western aggression in places like gaza and in virginia and people all over the world to get involved and without their involvement like he and his colleagues made a difference in the second world war nothing can change and as i mentioned before there's a general sense of malaise, had power to make things happen. it is living proof that we do. >> how far in advance doing 12 books a year, how far in advance
do you have these planned? >> scheduled through august of 2012. scheduled three books in the 2012 season. we leave room because big projects come up. we are very selective in the list so we have some peculiar demands and books that would work very well on some of this because of our odd expectations may not be right for us. we try to allow room for the surprise book that comes in that everyone is asking about that we can make work in a big way with a focus -- >> kerri gold steen is editor-in-chief of 12books.com. >> what are you reading this summer? booktv ones to know.
>> tell us what you are reading this summer. send us a tweet at booktv. >> this is where it gets interesting. why does the individual -- this is my new hero. she was a young woman probably early or mid 20s who was mostly a slave to mark washington. he helped to address her and did cooking in households. and in 1796, that martha
washington was planning to give her away as a gift to one of her relatives. what this meant was whatever promise to washingtons had made to their slaves that at some point you will be free when we die, going to be out the door. so she made her plans in and one night in spring of 1796 when washington was in the delivery room having dinner, went out the door. you can see where is the suit? she was gone. she had made contact with of the black community. and her personal possessions and vanished. it turned out accidentally she was discovered in new hampshire.
found out through complete accident and decided to go after because even though as president of the united states who was declared and try slavery he would have thought she is gone, i am representing the country, let it go. they wouldn't let it go. they went after her. they were embarrassed about it. so they sent an envoy to meet with her. if you come back we will work out and all is forgiven and we will let you free. i am free now so i don't really see the point of this discussion. i am not going back so that program failed but then washington decided to my nephew will go and we will figure out a
way to kidnap her and bring her back. but she was warned and she was able to get away and washington never got her back to. she learned to read and even though she never went back into slavery arrest of her life she was the from the laws of the country at a time. think about it. this is the young woman who basically challenges the most powerful person in the country. and not just some small farmer but the president of the united states with all the military office at his beck and call. but she is so driven by her own desire for freedom, not to mention we talked about the inspiration from the haitian
revolution which happened in the 1790s and whether you are illiterate or not, every slave in the country knew about the haitian revolution but also by the american revolution. the people who were and slaves from jefferson and other presidents were there at every moment when the discussion and the debate about american democracy and american freedom and the principles of the country were happening. they had more of and access to those discussions than any of the journalists or scholars or people writing about government at the time. how could they not be influenced? how could they not understand these contradictions more profoundly than anybody else out there? most of them didn't have the opportunity to escaped and get away but she did. she said i will risk it all.