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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 8, 2012 12:30am-2:15am EST

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standards and that just can't help but rub off on you. i think i am more -- and believe what i am doing because i have learned so many lessons from one. those are my last words. >> thank you. [applause] i just want to say i think the other key is not just a citizen movement that has developed but an incredibly vibrant alternative and dissident press represented by so many young people in the media centers represented by democracy now, demonstrated by non-commercial radio and community radio, demonstrated by the african-american and latino independent press, which should not be considered just an ethnic
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press as people regarded it as part of the dissident press of america throughout its history, and i think that these examples really give enormous hope for what can be done overall end of media system. and so i think that clearly, i have been privileged to work with democracy now and the whole democracy and now through all of these ears. years. i tell you, commercial newsrooms in america today, there is nothing but pessimism and fear. in the noncommercial and community press, there is hope, there is a sense that change can be made. there's a sense that you can make a difference, that your journalism matters and i think that is, that in itself shows you as a great singer said, which way the wind is blowing. [applause] >> well the book is called "news for all the people" the epic
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story of race and american media also special thanks to diana and dennis moynahan who will coordinate the whole journey that joe and juan are being too -- going to ban. when you think about the holidays think about the gift technology can give to someone to understand how the media system developed in this country and never forget your local library and how important it is to keep these public spaces alive, and tune into democracy now every day. it is all over the country on television and radio. you can check your local listings or simply watch it or listen to it or read it on line at democracy again, congratulations, juan gonzalez and joseph torres. [applause]
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now nowlan booktv chris derose discusses the creation of the bill of rights and the election that enable that with former economic analyst for the cia -- author of more than 25 books. this is just under 40 minutes. [applause] >> thanks so much to all of you for being here tonight. thanks to our gracious host, changing hands independent bookstores like these are a treasure and we should support them whenever he can. that is why no one is getting hundreds out her tonight until every copy over there is sold. [laughter] so my book is "founding rivals - madison vs. monroe" the bill of rights and the election that saved a nation. for those of you who showed up to see the lead guitarist of
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kids i regret to them for me that was last night. you know, poor as important as this project has become in myth life, i can scarcely rememberut the first time i learned about this historic congressional racn between to future presidents in 1789, but what i do remember is reading about it in a book and you were treated with one or tw. sentences that you would see about this congressional race. e i thought to myself, way wait ae very believe. all of a sudden we are in this race between to futurees presidents, james madison andey james monroe debating the most important issues we have ever talked about as a country. whether we should have a bill of rights, what kind of union we should have, and all of a sudden you're on the next page, and they're in the first congress. and i said, way to bury the lead. so i decided i would read everything i could about this 1789 election, and when i found that no one had written about it before, i decided i was going to tell the story. at the inauguration of george washington, what many people
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don't know is when he took the oath of office, two of the 13 states were outside the union; north carolina and rhode island did not ratify the constitution because of their concerns that it was missing a bill of rights, a guarantee of fundamental liberties. this was common for the anti-federalists throughout the continent. the common denominator among the anti-federalists -- of which james monroe was one -- was that they opposed the constitution. some of them genuinely believed you could not have a union that covered all these different and diverse states. they believed in independents or perhaps regional confederacies. james monroe represented the majority of anti-federal opinion in that his objection to the constitution was centered around it's missing a bill of rights. while washington took the oath of office, two states -- new york and virginia -- were agitating for a new constitutional convention. in the words of james madison
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and george washington, they were terrified of this prospect. they believed that it would be infiltrated by enemies of the new government and that the constitution would be scrapped and done away with and that our union would be fractured, never, ever to come together again. the book then goes into the french and indian world which was a conflict in the new world and europe, perhaps the first true world war we've ever had, between the french, the english and their allies. the english expelled their opponents from continent, but aa consequence what they did was a check that kept their colonists in terror. free from the threat of the french, the american colonists were not so reliant on great britain. great britain also tried to shoulder some of the enormous costs of this onto the colonies. what followed was a rising cycle of taxation, resistance, followed by oppression where we
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ended up in a revolution against great britain. both madison and monroe played important roles in the revolution. james monroe was a student at the college of william and mary when hostilities began. as a student, he wasn't excited by latin or grammar, he was out drilling on the college queen at william and mary with his compatriots. the governor of virginia, lord dunmore, the royal appointee, seized the gun powder. nobody bought his excuse which was that he was fearing a slave revolt. that ratcheted up hostilities to the point where james monroe and his compatriots raided the governor's mansion which is still there today. monroe was then sent north to new york to join with george washington's army, and he would serve with washington in many theaters of the war, places like valley forge, germantown, the philadelphia campaign, and most importantly, the battle of trenton. we all know this famous portrait
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of george washington crossing the delaware and going over to face the hessians who were not expecting it. monroe led a vanguard of men across the river in that important battle. their job on the morning before the war was to secure the street heading into town so that no one would be able to alert the british and their allies as to what was about to happen. it was christmas, there'd been some revelry, they thought the hostilities had ceased for the season, and they were unprepared for the attacks. in the process, james monroe and his men alerted a doctor, they woke him up, he started cursing at them because he thought they were british. when he realized they were patriots, he told them, i, too, am a patriot, and it seems something is going to happen tomorrow, and i'm going to go with you because i may be able to save some poor soul. well, that poor soul turned out to be james monroe. he charged the cannons, was struck down by a bullet and would have bled out right there in the street before trenton had
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it not been for the doctor. this is one of two incidents in the book where james monroe narrowly escapes death. one of the things i focused on was just how precarious everything that happened really was and how seemingly small and minor and unrelated events conspire to make great events happen on the stage of history. during the revolutionary war, james madison served in the u.s. congress. when he arrived in congress, he found an absolutely ruinous state of affairs. i know it's nothing like you could imagine today, but -- [laughter] the congress had already taken an enormous, crippling national debt. when congress had exhausted its revenue and sources of credit, they simply started printing money and giving it out to people. [laughter] thank goodness our leaders today are too wise to do this. [laughter] i think it's really telling that madison served on something called the board of admiralty. this is the committee that ran the naval affairs of the united states during the war.
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one of the first things they do is to deny a three-month-old request for a sea captain for bread and flour. it was not that this request was unreasonable per se, it was simply that they had no bread or flour or means to plo cure it to give him. they did sell him a note, however, telling him to keep up the good work. [laughter] an 18-gun boat named the saratoga was sitting in the dock for a want of simple rigging. the triumph l, ready to go to sea and fight the british, was waiting on a few more cannons and a little bit more food before it could be deployed. perhaps worth -- worst of all, they had to deal with the issue of several common criminals breaking into a warehouse. perhaps they were inspired by george washington's daring christmas raid because one christmas night they broke in, they stole the -- [inaudible] congress had already directed them to distribute this canvas to the places where it was
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needed, and the letters to the board of admiralty are actually pretty humorous if it wasn't so serious. the men in charge of the warehouse said we've killed tree of the men responsible, we think we know where to find the fourth. congress wrote back saying, well, that's nice, but we just want our canvas back. [laughter] so madison and monroe begin a lifelong correspondence that'll stretch over five decades. and by this point madison was back in the virginia legislature, and monroe had gone to congress and dealt with many of the same frustrations that madison had. talking about the articles of confederation. in 1777 the continental congress put together a plan to try to unify the states. before that the continental congress basically existed to air grievances against great britain. now they had to conduct a war against the most powerful country in the world, so in 1777 they sent the articles of confederation to the states. the letter that accompanied it almost sounds like an apology and with good reason.
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it says, this was the best that could be adapted to the circumstances of all. not very promising. [laughter] under the articles of confederation, the hapless league of friendship was unable to raise revenue on its own, unable to raise troops on its own. it was unable to conduct any sort of rational trade policy. so even after the war, the european powers would punish our merchants, our producers, hit our producers with heavy taxes and tariffs. because the national government had no capacity to create a revenue, a trade policy, they would be able to play the 13 states against each other. if 12 states were to respond in kind to great britain, at least one state would look around and say, you know what? we're going to lower our tariff and have all these british goods come in through our state. so it was impossible for the congress to do anything. it was totally unequal to the task. the idea of some sort of north american union actually started in 1754 with something called the albany congress. that was benjamin franklin's
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idea, and it was not created with the idea of independence in mind, it was created in response to the fears generated by the french and indian war. and it was to be a body that could coordinate the response to the impending war. this was attended by 17 delegates from seven colonies and one lobbyist. and the meeting broke up inconclusively, but that general framework was later adopted into our articles of confederation. the national goth was so weak at -- government was so weak at one point, it was completely laid low by the greedy sheriff of chester county, pennsylvania. george washington issued a passport to the british to bring in supplies to feed and clothe their prisoners of war. so they're bringing the wagons in to go to the prisoner of war camps, and the sheriff of chester county stops them and says, you know what? under the pretext of saying that they brought in too much and planned to sell it on the black market, he seized all of their
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merchandise, and congress was powerless to stand up to the greedy sheriff of chester county. one county sheriff standing up to the national government of the united states. totally, totally unequipped to govern a country like ours. at one point congress has to deal with a mutiny. with no revenue to pay soldiers, the soldiers lose their patience, and as the war comes to a conclusion, they're not feeling any better about their chances of getting paid. once the hostilities are done, they weren't very optimistic about what might happen. so they went to philadelphia, a group of soldiers went to philadelphia, and they're pointing guns in the windows of congress, and they're menacing members of congress. and congress is inside trying the to figure out what to do. all they can do is appeal to the governor of pennsylvania who tells them, hey, it's not my problem. [laughter] just one of the reasons philadelphia lost the capitol and would only get it back for a temporary period under the new government. so john dickenson, the governor, wasn't willing to help them out. so what congress decided to do
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was they would flee like a group of common debtors to princeton, new jersey, and they reconvened in james madison's old dorm at princeton. [laughter] one of the most important issues that both madison and monroe had to deal with during their time both in the virginia legislature and in congress was the question of the mississippi. the spanish were of a belief because they controlled new orleans and the port of new orleans that they were entitled to the mississippi river. james madison pointed out that under the international law that existed at the time that a free and peaceful people could move across international boundaries without impunity, so why should the american people who were not at war with spain be more restricted than in any other place? and imagine what losing the mississippi would have done to the united states and westward expansion and ports of entry that we have, the growth of the american west. it's unimaginable that had we given it to spain, you know, we probably never would have gotten it back. but there was a northern confederacy led by john jay who
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was the minister to spain and at different times during this debate the foreign affairs minister for the congress under the articles of confederation. and john jay thought as follows. he thought -- he was a northerner, the mississippi river was a far off place. who had ever heard of it? who needs this far off river? we're going to risk a war we can't win for a river that we can't use. and so he was firmly of a mind that he was going to try to give this river away to the spanish. and really this gets at the heart of the problem, that the continental congress and the congress under the articles of confederation had no capacity to bring the military might of the nation. and if it had, the spanish would have never dared to provoke us into a war. but it's the quick thinking of madison and monroe and founding rivals that prevents the mississippi from being lost to the united states forever. well, we all know about the problems of congress under the articles of confederation. madison and monroe worked very, very hard to try to alter them.
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they tried to do two measures principally. number one, to pass an end post so that trade that comes into the united states could be taxed and the national government would have a steady source of revenue and be able to stand on its feet and pay its war debts, particularly its war debts for the brave soldiers who won our resolution. it never passed the requisite 13 states. it had to be man unanimous. the second thing they wanted to do was regulate trade policy. we've already talked a little bit about that. because the european powers were belligerent towards united states merchants and producers, and they wanted congress to be able to respond in kind. another serious issue, there are 13 states, at least 13 different forms of currency used, at least 13 different standards for weights and measures, currency was subject to dramatic fluctuation. and the courts, there was no national judiciary. so if you were a new yorker
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trying to buy something in virginia, you didn't know what you were buying, and you could be sure you would get hometowned if deal went south and you had to file a lawsuit. so they were trying to unleash this economic engine to create not only a military union, but also an economic one that could unleash the prosperity of the american people and, indeed, something that has allowed us to be the most prosperous country in the world. so what they tried to do was create a convention. and it's the virginia legislature that is the first to call for some sort of national convention of the states to look at amending the articles of confederation. james madison gives this off to john tyler, the father of the future president, to pass. james madison is a member of congress, former member of congress, was suspected of having gone federal. and john tyler who'd never served in congress had more credibility to call for this new national convention. so that's what happened. unfortunately, when the delegates met in annapolis, maryland, the states didn't send the best people that they had.
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some states didn't send anybody. nobody sent their full delegation. and so they meet for a few days in mann's tavern and decide, you know, the best we can do is to write up a long letter of all the problems we see with the confederation, distribute it to the states and agree to meet in philadelphia may next. well, that gathering, we all know, is the constitutional convention. james madison goes there as a delegate, james monroe does not. madison earns his soak ri cay as the father of the constitution. once again, he uses someone else to bro deuce his policies which is something he always did throughout his career if he thought it was more likely to succeed coming from somebody else other than him. imagine leaders like that today who don't don't care about the credit, but they care about getting results for america. that was james madison. so he had edmund randolph introduce what was called the virginia plan, and it is the
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basic framework for our government today. the executive and the two branches of the legislature and the judiciary and all of the characteristics and all of the powers that we associate with our national government today. there are some serious fights in the constitutional convention, both sides nearly walk out at different points. the biggest issue that they have to con tend with is actually one of representation. in the congress of the confederation, every state had one vote. the bigger states got to send a bigger delegation, but all that delegation could do was cast one vote at the end of the day. virginia has over 700,000 people, and delaware hasless than 50. and the virginians, not surprisingly, didn't understand why someone in delaware had a right to so much more representation. so this is a big problem. but the southern states -- not the southern states, but the smaller states will not yield on this point. so it's a question of yielding to them in the spirit of accommodation or scrapping the whole enterprise and going back. fortunately, they did agree the house of representatives would
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be based on population, and the senate would be based on equal representation among the states. from philadelphia comes the constitution, and i think in history books we tend to gloss over this period in history. and it goes straight from the constitutional convention in philadelphia to george washington taking the oath on the balcony of federal hall. but what really transpires in between is a nearly two-year knock down, drag out fight all across the continent over to ratify the constitution. each state elects a constitution to sit in -- a constitutional convention to sit in judgment of the constitution of philadelphia. i focus two chapters of this book on the virginia ratification convention as the largest, most culturally important, most commercially important state in the country. it is critical that virginia ratifies the constitution. the opponents of the constitution try a plan, but it completely backfired on them. they decide they're going to
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hold the debate in june. what they figured, some states would approve it, some states wouldn't, and there would be virginia to broker some kind of compromise. that was what they thought was going to happen. the problem was they created a third party in the virginia constitutional convention. not anti-federalist, not federalist, but people who were so concerned ab preserving the union that they were able to vote for ratification. none was more important than edmund randolph. randolph was one of only several dell bait gates in philadelphia to refuse to sign the constitution. and there's a lot of suspension around what he's going to say when he first stands up in richmond in the virginia ratification convention and what side he's going to come down on. and he says, you know, these objections to the constitution haven't changed. my principles, my positions on this haven't changed. i have my doubts, but at this point seven states have ratified the constitution -- eight states had ratified the constitution, excuse me, and i'm not going to be the ones to separate us from
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our sister states. and so at the end of the day there's a lot of debate, fascinating, some of the leading names in american history, patrick henry along with james monroe who decides that despite his frustrations with the current government, this constitution was too potentially dangerous. it was missing the bill of rights, he couldn't get behind it. he could get behind something that increased the powers of congress, specifically over revenue and trade, but there had to be a bill of rights, and so he reluctantly comes out, but comes out full force against the constitution. george mason's also in the constitutional convention, richard henry lee, some of the most important people in american history are all in this room in richmond. at the end of the day, the anti-federalists try a gambit. they say why don't we stop what we're doing here, recommend some amendments to the other states and pick it up later? this would have had the effect of completely ending the process. the momentum would have stopped there. the vote in new york was going to be so close that alexander
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hamilton kept writing madison saying all is lost if you don't pass this constitution in virginia. no pressure. [laughter] but everything is lost. and, in fact, new york only ratifies the constitution a month after virginia and only then by three votes. and only because the federalists agree to this unanimous declaration that they're going to call for a new constitutional convention unless and until there's a bill of rights that comes out of the first congress. so what the anti-federalists do is let's set this aside. that measure fail bed by 88- failed by 88-80 votes. james madison didn't even know if he was going to participate in the ratification convention. indeed, if anti-federalists had simply scheduled it earlier, madison probably wouldn't have been able to make it. in fact, he gives his first speech in a long career in public service, gives his first speech in support of his candidacy to be a part of this
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ratification convention, and aren't we glad that he decided to participate? because the constitution gets out of their alive by eight votes. all seems inevitable to us today, but that's how close it was. well, following the virginia ratification convention is a legislative session that is dominated by patrick henry and his anti-federalist allies. it's a chapter in my book called "the terrible session," and if you were a federalist, that's exactly how you would have seen it. first of all, virginia calls for a new constitutional convention. second, patrick henry who could be very petty and personal in his politics took a supporter of james madison's, came up with a pretense for him not to be eligible to be a legislator, and then it was referred to the committee on privileges and elections. the committee said of course he's eligible to be a legislator. this doesn't make any sense. it was reported to the floor that he was eligible. patrick henry offered an amendment said was not eligible and invade against the constitution for a long, windy,
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ponderous speech. i don't know what that has to do with edward carrington's eligibility, but patrick henry thought an awful lot. now, carrington wins a special election three days later, but this is what you were dealing with if you were an anti-federalist -- if you were a federalist, excuse me, and one of the problems and the reason they were so outmatched is because the leading federalists of virginia, people like john marshall and james madison weren't part of the legislation church, but patrick henry who demanded his -- commanded his majority with absolute obedience was able to get these measures through the legislature. at the end of the session, james madison went and sang, and his colleagues thought it was because of having to deal with the anti-federalist backlash. enough to drive you crazy.
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two other very important things happened in this session. first of all, this is back when under our original constitution the state legislators elected senators. so james madison is offered up by the federalists as a senator. and patrick henry talks about rev you lets of -- rivulets of blood in the land, there's going to be this great turmoil if we elect a federalist to congress, and he'll never, ever support your rights. and james madison loses to two anti-federalists by a narrow majority. you know, the issue of redistricting is on a lot of people's mind right now perhaps, no more so than here in arizona. the virginia legislature at this time perpetrated the first act of gerrymandering in american history, and as one other author point out, it is patrick henry's luck that they didn't think to call it henrymandering.
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[laughter] he did have the results of the virginia ratification convention. two delegates were selected from every county. because of the late day of the virginia convention, delegates were more or less on the record with their positions on the constitution. so he created a district for madison that was probably three to one anti-federalist to federalist. not a great start. a lot of madison's supporters asked him if he would consider run anything another district. the only district that he probably could have lost in virginia was the one that was created by his enemies to defeat him. and they even passed something called the residency law which said, oh, by the way, you have to live in your congressional district for a year before you can run. targeted at one man. the federalists and anti-federalists on a party line vote had a fight over whether to strike the residency law, and the federalists were outgunned, and they lost. so madison decides, you know, i don't want my election being called into question in the first congress. i don't want this to become an issue in a different district.
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remember, at that time the virginia legislature was one of the oldest institutions on the continent. it had a lot more credibility than this new constitution. the constitution says you only have to live in your state if you want to run for congress. in fact, there's a number of house of representatives members right now who don't actually live in their district. madison decides, no, he's going to stand and fight for his corner, and he's going to fight in the district that he lives in and the district he's always lived in. so the anti-federalists start shopping around for a candidate to take on james madison. and reluctantly, they're able to convince his friend, james monroe, to carry the anti-federalist banner. james monroe was a decorated combat veteran, former member of congress, member of the virginia legislature, extremely experienced and probably would have stood out head and shoulders above any opponent other than his friend madison who also had a long tenure in office. when monroe gets into the race, though, however reluctantly, he gets into it full force.
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while monroe was in congress, he lost an election in virginia for the legislature by a mere four votes which his campaign manager kept writing him and telling him, come back and campaign in person. he ended up losing by four votes. if you work for politicians long enough, you realize their losses are seared on to them, and monroe remembered what it was like to lose that race. so he was busy writing letters to important people in the district. then, as now, the candidates relied on local supporters in the various counties of the district to give them advice about the lay of the land, important people to reach out towh to .. supporters in the county, and the supporter would distribute them. newspapers were a critical source of information at the time. some of them, we'll call these
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essays, the historical antishe dent to the anonymous blog commenter. they were anonymous essays, they were written in the newspapers. one of the enduring myths which i hope to dispel in "founding rivals" is you hear it every election, this is the messiest campaign ever. [laughter] so i challenge you, i challenge you to read about the election of james madison and james monroe which featured false and even negative communication. the anti-federalists, and i should be very clear, james monroe had no part in this. but his supporters said james madison has said that not a word of the constitution can be spared, and he will not get you your amendments. james madison realized and represented the federalists' opinion, thought the bill of rights was dangerous, we have a government of enumerated powers, and if we didn't give them the right to regulate speech, why do we need a free speech amendment to prevent the government to do that. you might have some rights, but
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forget others, and it was premature. the vessel just launched a new government. least try it out and see what happens and whether or not we need amendments. james madison realized, as a result of his contest with the federalists and anti-ratification convention and the election in 1759 that there was a significant sentiments in the country, and these people would never, ever be satisfied until a bill of rights was passed and adopted, so in order to gain the confidence of the got that he saw as the best chance of a union working for the states, he acted in the spirit of accommodation. he announced support for the bill of rights as a campaign promise. george eve is the most prominent baptist minister. the baptists and others were important political groups
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created like many groups, because the government persecuted them. baptists were arrested in private residences for prayer as we declared all men are created equal, people were arrested in church, for preaching the gospel, and these folks were concerned. there was a resolution among the baptists, and it said the constitution does in the protect the religious liberty. whether that constitution protected freedom of religion, well, they believed it didn't, so madison writes a letter to george eve, and you imagine it's real virginia,1789, and that's one minister going to many churches. eve had quite a few congregations he spoke to. he was in tune with madison's
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sentimentses on re-- sentiments on religious freedoms. madison had been a friend of free exercise of religion, and they knew that. there's the letter saying if i'm elected, i'll support a bull of rights, and among that is the freedom of religion, and during a really intense meeting where one of the congregations gathered to decide who to endorse, eve was able to pull out the letter and rebut the liars who were distorting his opinion for the benefit of all, and eve did great damage to their cause in the words of one observer. they james madison and james monroe, i talked to things similar in the election to elections today. one of the things we don't see enough of is they maintained a high level of civility towards one another in the course of the campaign. in fact, they traveled together. they stayed in the same hotel room. they engaged in long, heated
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debates. one of the debates at a church that is still there in cullpepper, virginia, the oldest lutheran church in the united states standing out in the freezing cold for hours, and he got frostbite, and he considered it his only war injury he ever had regaling the youngsters about that campaign. james madison and monroe reported to thomas jefferson after the election and they were friends throughout. they disagreed passionately, fell out over important issues, they were civil to one another, even if their supporters were not civil to each other, they were always civil to one another, and that's reflected in the debates and public appearances they had. james madison by co-oping the most important issue monroe has takes the wind out of his sails, and he wins.
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one of madison's biggest supporters said if this happened a fortnight sooner, you would have lost. if you wouldn't have come to virginia to campaign, you definitely would have lost. what's the consequences of this? what's important? well, we already talked about the federalist opposition to the bill of rights. in the first congress, the federalists win lopsided majorities. rhode island and north carolina are staying outside the union. virginia and new york are agitating for a new convention. the anti-federalists are coordinating up and down the continue innocent to -- continent to sweep, and effectively putting an end to our union and our constitution. only madison seemed to appreciate the threat posed by the anti-federal movement, and so what he did in the beginning of congress, he announces there are going to be a bill of rights considered this election, and i plan to introduce them, and we are going to consider them, so in a nixon goes to china moment,
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where only the strong anti-communism could have gone there and opened it to the west, he's able to bring the majority to his side and pass the bill of rights and it was remarked among virginia that the antis have a new hero, and it's unlikely james madison and it was because of the election of 1789 that the bill of rights passed and the union was cemented, and we're all here today in the freest, most prosperous country in the world. this was set against an unpromising context. try to imagine a crippling national debt, a government intensely parollized by partisan system, a government seemed holy and adequate, a leader -- i know, you can't imagine that; right? [laughter] it's impossible to think about. one of my favorite quotes about history doesn't repeat itself, but it rimes. [laughter]
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they found themselves trying to make this work against the most unfavorable context that i think maybe anybody of decision makers ever faced, but they rose to the occasion. every generation in american history faced challenges. the first generation did, and every subsequent generation did whether it's war or economic calamity or a trifecta, but each generation rose to the occasion and passed on to the next generation in the greatest american tradition, a country was better, freer, and more prosperous than the one before. we're in trouble right now as a country, but rivals is an optimistic note how they had the challenges we face today, and how we, as a nation, can go forward. we have to get out of the mess, work together to do it. the final line of the book, which i know is not something you hear often at the book readings is remember, and what i want you to do is remember how in the past when things looked
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uncertain and difficult, america always has risen to the occasion, and i hope when you read "founding rivals" you have optimism about how we're going as well. i'll be happy to take questions. [applause] >> any questions 1234 >> beside the creation of the bill of rights, what's another consequence? >> there's two important con convinces, in addition to the bill of rights. if that's not enough, there's two other significant events that happened only because madison happened because of monroe, and if not for that, the country still may have faltered on the tarmac. it's the decision of 1789. when they introduced cabinet
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legislation to create the president's cabinet positions, there's a phrase in that there says there's a secretary to be removable by the president, and james madison didn't think that was controversial, but he touched off the greatest constitutional debate of the first congress. some say the constitution is silent on this and congress could grant the power, but they don't have to. other people thought, well k i think you need to use the impeachment method. that's the only meftd we have in there. some thought you could grant it to congress, just impeepment, and -- impeachment, and others believed you removed them the way you appointed them, with the advice of the senate. any of these would have been a dray dramatic blow to the separation of powers we created. these are so critical to the government. madison called the constitution a sublime commentary or human nature. he knew that the tendency of people in power was to koa lesk and get more power, and so we
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created three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judiciary. the greatest of these, the legislative, is broken up into two houses, and they are pitted against each other with checks and balances, and it's important to maintain the system to avoid tyranny. madison engages in a long debate on the floor of the house, uncertain as to what's going to happen. the first blow from the other side is the amendment to strike the language of being removable by the president. later on, madison wins the dpeabt by getting behind that amendment, but not for the same reason that it's offer put forward. he struck the language from the bill, to be removable by the president, and then he added language that said there's a clerk of the department which shall serve as secretary in the event that the secretary is removed by the president or for any other reason. [laughter] so it's such an offhand reference that no one would mistake it as a grant of power
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from congress, but the defense of the congress is that the president can remove his supporters board nants at will, and it's unimaginable to think of a president who couldn't remove a cabinet official who was not implementing the agenda they were elected to work on. the second important consequence in addition to the bill of rights is the location, the debate over the nation's capitol in washington, d.c. and the assumption of the national dealt. for those of you watching in washington, d.c., you are there because of this debate and because james mad di scone won the election by 336 votes over monroe. madison emerged as the focal point of the opposition in the first congress to secretary of the treasury alexander ham hamilton's plan and for the states to assume the debt. this realized every state off to a good footing, restore the public credit of the states, would cement the union and keep tieing the union together. well, the southern states had
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more or less paid off their bills. the northern states more or less had not. the sorn -- southern states wanted to know why they had to pay when they were frugal and paid down their debt. the northern said if you're not coming to our aid, what's the point of being in the union at all if we can't rely on you for this? people talked about succession, a bout of influ enhit washington, d.c., nearly killed washington, and it's a precarious time for the country. he runs into hamilton who is usually well polished and clean shaven, looking none of those things. jefferson what's wrong? the credit's going to fail. what jefferson did was broker a deal over wine and food at his house between madison, the leader of the opposition of the plan and hamilton. madison was not going to vote for the plan, but he would not be too strenuous in opposition.
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there's speculation they found the additional votes hamilton needed to put him over the top. hamilton then used his leverage with the northern states who needed the bill to select the fite for -- site for the nation's capitol. this is known as the first of three great compromises before the civil war that kept the country together. what was different if monroe would have been there rather than madison? number one, his biggest objection to the constitution is the power of the executive. he'd gone to war and risked his life to throw off a tie rapt, he was not going to vote for a new one. he was concerned about the power of the presidency. he would not have carried the banner the way madison had, and he would have voted differently on the executive question. it's my belief the people who believed that the president didn't have the power to remove the subordinates, i think they would have carried today and upset the balance the powers, and i think the country would have crashed, and what can yo do with a president who is
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beholding to every employee in the executive branch? monroe was opposed to state debt like everyone from the south, but he couldn't have emerged like madison did. he was the leader of the federalist party in congress. it's important to note the deference between then and now. he's the leader of the party, most powerful member, but in the first congress, the speaker was confined to a ceremony role like the british house of commons. james madison is the leader in the first congress, and with the leader of the federalist party opposing the plan of hamilton the federalist, he blocked the legislation in a way monroe couldn't have. these three things, the bill of rights, the first great compromise and executive question were decided differently because of 336 votes in 1789 in the fifth congressional district of virginia.
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>> where did you do your research? give examples. >> yeah, i spent a lot of time in the madison reading room, in the library of congress, and so it was fun to research james madison in a room namedded after him. there's university libraries with great resources, and unlike the library of congress, i can check home books i had absolutely no business being able to check out and take home. [laughter] my primary source is the founding fours themselves. i tried to left them speak for themself, and madison was me tack louse. he cataloged every letter, and monroe, not much, but there was enough there to see how he interacted. arizona state university was an excellent resource, the library of congress, and i tried to go to places like the church to see
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what it would have been like when they sat out there after a church service to debate the constitution in the snow for hours. i spent time in virginia while i was writing the book because i was working on an election there, and it was wonderful to be able to retrace the same steps and even work an election in what used to be the fifth congressional district in virginia, worked to support candidates there in the footsteps of madison and monroe. those are the resources i looked to for this research. any other questions? >> why do you think that this race was to overlooked by other historians? >> great question, and i get that a lot. the problem is immediately jumped out to me is it's historically significant, so for everyone who ignored it and let me write the book for the first time, thank you for not appreciating the race and writing about things you thought more important. [laughter] if anything, it ended with such controversial events on either side of it. there's the constitutional convention in philadelphia, and washington takes the oath of
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office, and all is well. one of the things i tried to point out in the book is nothing's inevitable. the things and actions you take have consequences. never give up. they dispaired of getting a government equal to the unionist states. and philadelphia looks like both sides are going to walk out, when it looks like the congress or the ratification convention might not approval the constitution, it was desperate, and it was close, but they didn't give up, and so that is sitan important thing that -- such an important thing we don't consider. it looks inevitable, and independence, throwing the bond of the world's most powerful empire anybody saw. we established an orderly government, not a monarchy or anarchy, but a republican free government, and that's without precedent in all the activity of
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humans. this is important, and it is badly overlooked by history. when i just started reading about this, and not write about it, i went to the comprehensive three volume life of madison written by a contemporary of him, and i thought it was would be a great account, but it was four pages on three volumes. we think of congressional elections as a result of trends, reactions to economics, reactions to wars and unpopular presidents, and we think of them as trends with the exception of the race between lincoln and douglass, that's one race for congress we know about that we talk about, the places where they debated are well marked, tourist attractions in illinois, but if you go -- you know, anyone here been to virginia? you can't go there without seeing a gray and black signs to denote someone famous who lived there, a battle that happened
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there. my favorite is the church of the blind teacher. i think it's great that they take their history so seriously, but you'll never find anything to denote a spot where they debated each other, and hopefully someday we can change that. >> two questions. are you able -- are we able to tease out what parts of the district of the fifth congressional district of virginia were supported one or the other candidate, certain segments of society that one was more or less popular with, and secondly, what was any role, at all, of jefferson and washington, two big virginians of the age. >> great questions. to the first, that's a great question. why did people fall on the federalist side of things and the others on the anti-federalist side of things. to generalize, federalists were involved in the trade, saying i see the benefit of having the same currency two miles north into maryland.
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i can see the benefit of having a fair judicial system when a deal is sour in delaware. i see the benefit of having a government with national trade policies so the british stop taxing my goods and i can have a worldwide market to my products. people who were not engaged in interstate trade, they were, you know, they said i don't know about this new government. i think it's going to invade my liberty, and i don't see any consequence to the confederacy staying the way it is. to generalize, that's neatly why they fall in one place or another, and sometimes it's not that neat. it's just the conclusions people drew. it was uncharted territory, a government unlike the world had ever seen, and they came to different conclusions about it. james madison and monroe, both from the 17th century, early inhabitants of the virginia colony with similar upbringings, both well educated, and they came to different conclusions
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even though their service actually almost totally mirrored each other. they served on the counsel of state, which was -- there's a plural executive. the colonists were free americans were terrified of the free executive. they had a counsel of state to exercise power jointly. they both served on the counsel of state with the governors of virginia. they both served in the congress and the congress of the confederation. they had almost exactly the same resumé, but they had two different conclusions about this, and that was true for a lot of the countrymen as well. the second question, jefferson's in paris as a minister to france during this time. he does receive the most complete post-election analysis from both madison and monroe. jefferson was the dear mutual friend. he referred to them as the twin pillars of his happiness. jefferson invests times in the founding rivals in trying to convince madison to move next to
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him. they already got monroe. if we could live together, we'll hang out and retire from private life, and we'll be happy reading books, talking about books, the big ideas of the day. they were the twin pillars of his happiness, and he was pleased to get messages from both of them about their friendship, felt bad about running against my friend, and this is what happened, but we're still friends. jefferson is in france, and washington wanted madison to win the race. one of the first letters of congratulations madison receives is from washington. it was nothing against monroe. washington was responsible for promoting monroe through the ranks of the army, and who lived with someone else during the winter in valley forge could ever help but see that person as a dear friends. i quote a different book talking about valley forge, a name associated with misery in the
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18th century, and, it was. they lived through some of the worst fighting of the war together, but it was because washington relied on madison, his advice, council, and madison is the principle adviser to washington, and at least in the first year of the presidency, i think to some degree, that role shifts to hamilton, but in the beginning, it's madison, and the first letters of congratulations he gets, congratulations on the majority of a respectable number of your peers, now help me write mic -- inaugural address, and that's what he does. they call for the constitution to satisfy the anti-federalists, setting the stage, and congress asked madison to draft the response to washington, and he writes this response like, wow, that was such a good speech. i don't know how to respond. [laughter] then washington says, well, i have to reply to congress.
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help me write it. madison was happy to oblige him, and i offer that in in the rivals because it's humorous and a test to the high standing that madison had among the colleagues in the congress and the president of the united states. everybody wanted to be a part of washington's inner circle, but only madison had the caliber, the trustworthiness, the intelligence to be the principle adviser in the critical early days when washington's trying to figure out what is a president, and what does a president do? >> was there a great deal of debate in the bill of rights or just generally understood that it would be religion, speech, ect.? >> that's such a agree yet. there was an enormous amount of debate over what a bill of rights would look like. in fact, many of the state ratification conventions, virginia included, sent recommendations to congress, long lists of recommendations saying we think you should pass
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these amendments in the first session. there were hundreds of ideas around there. madison focused on a few things. he was not going to do anything structural. some focused on weakening the executive, stripping away important powers from congress like the power to regulate trade or raise revenue. we were not going to go to anything structural, focus just on fundmenteddal lib -- fundamental liberties. he's calculating what measures do that. first, look to the rights of free englishmen, the long great traditions of english history that people had, the freedoms that people had as englishmen. one of the great things about living under a tyrant, subject to king george the iv, and you have a -- king george the iii, and if you have a mad tyrant, what would they try to do to get away with it? for instance, when they tried to tax them after the french and indian war, one of the things, smuggling went through the roof, and to catch them, they decided to send soldiers into your house
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without warning, without notice, without any sort of sanction from the judiciary, and they will be able to get into your house, search to their heart's content, and so people knew what they had to protect against in the event there was a mad tie rapt again. the example of george iii is in our mind, and there's the liberties with a long tradition in the united states with the the most grievance offenses, and that passes pretty much how he introduces. the bill of rights was originally 12 amendments, and 11 passed, one even in the 1990s. in the 1990s, finally enough states ratified an amendment that says the following, "if congressments to increase its pay, that's fine, but the pay increase will not go into effect until there's an election for the house of representatives in between so people just couldn't vote themselves a lavish salary
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and retire. you won't touch the pay increase until the voters had their say. what happened was it was a student, i believe, in the 1970s at university of texas who wrote a paper about this, and he said this is still out there. states could pass this. his teacher gave him a failing grade. [laughter] this is the worst idea ever. [laughter] you know, never underestimate the power of spike. he went, and in the preinternet days wrote a letter to every legislature in america saying in case you want to, you can do this. why wouldn't you? it's a winning issue to go after congress, so why not? why wouldn't you want to pass this? in the 1990s, finally enough states ratify this. the 12th amendment, thank goodness we never passed it, it would have guaranteed one member of the house for every 10,000 citizens. you think they can't get anything down, wait until there's 10,000 members of the house of representatives.
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[laughter] what did monroe do after losing the election? >> great question. well, it's a happy ending for monroe, not at first, but you may be able to sense familiar sentiments. monroe was a frustrated attorney. he didn't necessarily enjoy the practice of law. at one point he says i'll get a law degree so i can run for office. i'll never practice. as he's champ uponning the bill of rights, monroe is winning an indictment against a man for stealing a gun from his neighbor. he's writing letters to irritated clients about the pace of litigation, some things never, ever change. [laughter] what happens is there's a death, and monroe is chosen to fill the vacancy, and monroe serves in the first congress after all, and he has a fantastic career.
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he is ambassador to france. he helps negotiate the louisiana purchase along with james mad donson who was the secretary of state for jefferson. they have a falling out who succeeds jefferson of president, and some of the opponents of jefferson went behind monroe as a possible candidate to go up against jefferson's chosen successor, who was madison, but he bringing monroe, and they preside over the war of 1812 together, and they are the best of friends in retirement when the public careers are over. they will serve in the end of their lives in a state constitutional convention in virginia. those two and john marshall and all the young hot heads, and they are fighting over representation in virginia. there were few slaves west of a line in virginia, and western virginia didn't have the recommendation that eastern virginia did, similar to the debate in the constitutional
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convention. they tried everything. they said, well, how about one branch, maybe the senate could be based on -- it would be equal, and maybe the house, we're not going to pick slaves and do accounts. you don't know what you're talking about. it's the danger of bringing old men into public life. at first, they are excited to have them, they elect monroe unanimously to chair the convention, and you're all old, you don't know what you're talking about. of course, they didn't appreciate the fact that the union had once been so payrollous, and they knew what it was like to live in a time when it was an open question whether america could be a one country, and only if they could listen, those old men had lessons to teach them yet. >> did madison remain in the federalist camp, or did his time with jefferson and monroe switch him over to the democratic republicans? >> yeah, there's a lot of discussions. i think it's clear he moves out
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of the federalists, what had been traditionally the federalist orbit. they were defined by the position on the constitution, and once madison passes the bill of rights, you've really removed the source of the -- the source that divided the anti-federalists and the federalists, and now the question to keep the constitution is out of the way, they have new issues to fight about, and so the new party falls along different line, and you see a split in the cabinet with jefferson and hamilton, and madison was on jefferson's side of that split. all right. looks like no me questions. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> for more information, visit the publisher's website,
1:33 am >> the author was given access to all of madoff's family and he recounts how the family reacted to madoff's illegal activities. >> hello, i'm here to welcome you to diesel, a bookstore. when the information broke, i guess i thought in the "new york times," about the -- i don't know what to call it -- the --
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the madoff debacle, the scandal -- it was so shocking and so fascinating, and i don't think since watergate was i rushing to get the paper every day to read the next episode of what had happened. as the story unfolded, i was thinking, well, this is like a great tragedy. this is amazing, and, you know, if only we had escalus here to write about it, and later on as we got more and more information, and the victims, we started seeing what happened to some of the people who invested with the madoff. i thought, no, shakespeare should have done this. only shakespeare could write this fully. well, now, sometime later, three
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years later, here we are, and i came across laurie's book, and i want to say that it's utterly fascinating. i mean, we thought we knew everything, but we didn't, and just reading about the family and finding out that even though bernie madoff is absent from the book because you didn't interview him, but at least, i, as a reader, i will say i realized this man was a bully, and he bullied his wife and sons, and so they got to the point that they were afraid to ask him questions. they certainly never -- he didn't answer their questions. there's a whole psychological element that she managed to get
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into the book that just was never in the newspapers, and i want to say that i think the madoff family was incredibly lucky to pick laurie because of ail the possible -- all the possible journalists that could have written this book, she is the best because she, herself, grew up with a conman in her life, so i now present to you someone who really knows what she's talking about. laurie sundell. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much for that very generous and wonderful introdiewx, and thank you, diesel bookstore, for having me today. i want to tell you how the book came to be, and then i'll read a chapter from the book. in 2009, september of 2009, a
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book that i had written called "the imposterrous daughter" about my own father and his upons and deceptions came out, and i was reading in a story -- store like this one, and a woman approached me saying i can't believe you're here and i can't believe your story and introduced her as the fiance of andrew madoff, and my jaw dropped, and i followed the scandal like everybody else, and i came to know the family over the course of two years. like so many people that have been following this story, i, of course, thought that andrew was most likely involved, that he and his brother knew about the fraud. i was convinced ruth had to have known, and it was only really prudent curiosity that brought me into the story. i was a journalist, and i wanted to get to the truth of this story like every other journalist out there, and most of the people in the public, and so when i was, you know, when it
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came time they were ready to write a book, and i sat down with them, was taken into the heart of their story, i was astonished to find that nothing i thought i knew was true. i'm just going to read to you from the chapter of the confession itself. there we go. the confession. by 6:50 a.m., andrew and mark were, once again, perched in the conference room behind the trading floor and shot each other worried looks. one thing they knew, something was terribly wrong. by eight o'clock a.m., peter still had not arrived. mark shook his head. let's wait at the desks. ruth, according to court filings, had taken out some $15 million in two separate withdrawals from her brokage account. she was asked to move it so he could cover redemptions. she did the bidding unquestionly, something the
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media says is proof of involvement, then again, they moved millions around all the time buys boats and apartments, and making donations to organizations. had this questioned the directive, bernie would have barked of her, and that would have been the end of the conversation. it was not until 9:20 a.m. that andrew spotted peter across the trading floor. peter is bernie's brother. he signaled to mark, and they got into the conference room. as andrew took o seat, the back of his neck grew hot with anticipation. he to do by the door, i talked to your father. it's bad. he wants to talk that you himself, he said. his stomach dropped. he knew his oping l was positive. they pushed the chairs back and went on to the trading floor, passing the colleagues shouting orders at the desk, a world of administrative officers, secretaries, and a large conference room. the walk seemed to take forever. when they arrived at the glass
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walled executive office, he was leaning back in the chair, staring at a television set mounted on the ceiling. he didn't greet them or acknowledge their arrival. andrew and peter took the two chairs facing bernie, mark was on a couch to the left of the desk. for a few minutes, they sat in intense silence. i don't know where to start he finally began. his voice caught in the throat and tears welled up. andrew felt a river of alarm rise. he glangsed at mark. he was studying bernie intensely. let's not do this at the main desk. let's move to the table in the corner. the four gathered around a small conference corner at the four end of the room with a wall to offer privacy. again, bernie started to talk and couldn't continue. dumbfounded, andrew watched the father struggle for words. i can't do this here, he said. andrew looked at his father feeling as though he entered the world. sur real. what could be so bad that he
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couldn't discuss it at the office? why don't we go to the apartment, andrew suggested. are we all going up there, mark asked in bernie cleared his throat. peter, you stay here, run the show, we'll go to the apartment. he nodded and left. the coat closet was outside the office. they got in the winter gear and he said to the secretary, have lee bring the car around. where the hell are you going? the market is open liking to bust her boss' chops. mine your own business, immediately silencing her. they all road the elevator down in silence. they waited for lee in the vast lobby of the building, watching the rain streak across the doors. there was no small talk. andrew tried to blend into the surroundings wishing he could be tell ported to get whatever was going to happen over with. the anticipation was inbearable of the the car pulled up front driven by clyde, not lee. they rode in silence.
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he's missy eyed and shaken, struggling to hold o together as though he already received the bad news. he stared out the window at the early christmas shoppers. clyde dropped them off on 64th street in front of the entrance of the apartment. the three road up to the 11th floor entrance, removed the wet shoes in the foyer obeying the shoe rule. they took care not to drip water on to the floor. ruth greeted them at the door. his face grim. she, too, had no idea why her husband rushed home in the middle of the day to talk to the family, but she suspected the news was bad connected to the mayhem on wall street. he called from the office saying i have something to tell you. i can't tell you on the phone. i'm coming home with the boys. she got off the phone, shaking, waiting for them in the kitchen. they sat in the living room, a
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room andrew never liked with dark green walls and a heavy desk. bernie sat by himself on a large sofa. ruth was on a club chair next to the couch. andrew and mark took a chair. they faced each other sitting a considerable distance apart. i don't know where to start, bernie began again. he started to solve. i'm broke. how is that possible, andrew asked? i don't understand. the money's gone. it's over. i don't understand, andrew repeated. how is that? we're having an okay year. what happened? is this the redemption? bernie said something more terrible. it's all been one big lie. it's a giant scheme, and it's been going on for years, and there's reseemingses, and i can't keep it going anymore. i can't do it. andrew stared at his father, his mind disconnected with thoughts and phrases trying to piece it together, but the sentences e van waited. he was frustrated.
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ruth lit a cigarette, hand shook. what's a scheme? it means the asset management business was a fake. i've been lying to all of you for years, lying to your mother, you, lying to the customer, lying to myself. i have an appointment on monday referring to the family lawyer, and i'm probably going to jail. he broke down then, really sobbing. andrew rose, crossed the room, and draped his arm around the father for a second, and at that, andrew cried too. he got up and return to the chair. he said, but there was all this money. where did it go? the money is gone. i've got $50 billion in my abilities. his voice trailed. $50 million? $50 billion. andrew glanced as his brother who had not said a word. face red, jaw clenched, a vain in the temple.
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how is this going to unfold, he asked? his mind raising, what was going to happen. i have $100 million in cash left. there's certain accounts to redeem, friends and family, a large redemption next week, and that's when it's unraveling. what are the people going to do, dad? what about west, he asked, referring to the widowed mother-in-law who invested with him? what about jen? will they get their money back? i'm doing my best. i have a list of people -- wait, andrew interrupted. how can you do that? they don't keep the money. they will, bernie explained, and he outlined other situations where firms failed and investors were made whole. he stopped him, sickened, not wanting to hear more. how long has it been going on? oh, god, it's been years. much was made, and truth is, no one knows. he started the firm in the 60s when computers were not in use. the records from that time are thin. even modern regulatory requirements don't require
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records beyond six years. he claims the scheme began in 1992 and any questionable behavior then was a gray area with trades to defray income tax costs, and there's evidence he executed trades into the 80s. whether the scheme started when he staid it did or much earlier, only bernie knows. what about me and my family, dad? what's going to happen to us? i've been doing the math. i've been looking through all the records, and at the end of the day, the amount of money i took in and paid out over a years is a watch. he stood up and yelled and stormed out of the room. i'm going with him. he ran after his brother. mark was in the foyer yarning his coat. i'm leaving. okay, let's go, andrew said. he followed his brother into the elevator and out into the fall drizzle. he stuck his head out the window. what am i doing? the old man is still upstairs.
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you're waiting for him. mark had already stepped off the curb and hailed a cab. andrew slid on to the seat next to the brother. the driver turned around. where to? just drive, andrew instructed. he inched down lexington avenue, and andrew felt grateful, buying him time to think. he turned to mark. way do we do? we need a lawyer, right now. how? what do we do? walk into the lobby and scream help? andrew asked referring to the white shoe firm famous in corporate law. no. we need a real lawyer, a criminal defense one. marty, he'll know what to do. mark's father-in-law, marty london, was a retired senior litigator who represented during the watergate trials and jackie kennedy. they were staying at the hotel while the apartment was renovated. mark leaned into the partition, take us to 49th street and 1st avenue. the cab turned left, and mark punched a number into the cell phone.
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stephanie, what are you doing now? you with susan? get her out of there. he listened, the face going red. make an excuse. just get her out of there. he hung up the phone. they rode the rest of the way in silence, each in their own world of fear. ruth sat at the kitchen smoking one cigarette after another. bernie returned to the office. there was no agonizing embraces. he told her that he had two more checks to deposit, planning to go to the office in the morning to paid the traders. she nodded numbly, yes, yes, okay. after he left, she sat there, a complete zombie, and eventually rose, made her way into the room to dress for the office christmas party scheduled for that night. for the occasion, she had a black prada blouse tailored like a man's shirt and silver detailing. her fingers trembling, she had the thought, i'll never wear this again. she paired it with a black skirt
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andal suede boots with a heel. she never liked her legs. the thought of not attended l party didn't cross ruth's mind. they were going. before he left, he said, we have to show up and act like everything's fine. yes, she nodded again numbly, yes, okay. it was noon when andrew and mark entered the suite at the tower, and andrew felt he was slogging through the day for a year. a pile of suitcases by the door, and marty greeted them. what happened? what's going on? he vehicle strode into the room. mark's turn to talk. my father just confessed to a huge crime and said the business is a scheme, the firm is insol vent with $50 billion missing. $50 million? no, $50 billion. oh, boy. i need to sit down. my whole retirement fund is with him. he recovered himself. that's not important. tell me everything he said.
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andrew and mark repeated everything they could remember about the conversation they had with their father. do you think he's sane? do you think he was telling you the truth? well, yeah, andrew said. he was not just rambling and having a psychotic break. he sank into the chair. this is incredible. okay. we need who? marty, he's the firm's senior litigator and the only guy you want in this situation. he has a ton of experience. he called the firm. get me him. after waiting on hold, marty hold him answer, and he launched into an abbreviated description. day's events. i've got my sewn and brother here, and they gave my this incredible story. i need to see you now. it's urgent. how quickly can you get here in he pressed for details. i'm in connecticut. i can't get there. give me more information. his father just confessed to a human crime, and we have to talk about it right away. okay, i can be there by 3 p.m..
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he turned to mark and andrew looking at him as their savior. he's coming with andrew, the firm's newest partner, one of the rising stars in the litigation area. the two of them are perfect. do what you have to do and meet here at 3 p.m.. they left the tower. they stood on the street feeling lost. they had two hours to kill. finally, mark said, i'm going home. i've got to talk to stephanie. all right, andrew said. i'm going back to the office. he walked back to the building, and as he passed through the trading rooms, he saw his colleagues on the trading side of the floor working the phones. some yelling, others joking around. on the market making side, traders work at the desk, frowning, absorbing numbers. he stared at the desks, entered his office, his days were spent at his desk on the trading floor, and his privet office was no a place to spent a lot of time. he put the coat on the door and took a call for the energy
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business. now, he sat and stared into space. peter popped his head in the door. are you okay? no, i'm not okay. yeah, i know. i know. this is awful. what are you doing? mark and i are meeting with an attorney at 3 p.m.. okay. peter slipped away. andrew sat staring at the pictures of the kids behind his desks and various awards and honors he received. drained, frightens, and exhausted, more than anything, he was trying to understand what had happened. $50 billion, the number didn't register. it was inconceivable. were it true, it would make the asset management business one of the largest head funds in the world. none of them were close to that size. he turned the days events over and over in his head, playing and replaying the conferencings. his phone rang. it was katharine, his fiance. do i get my hair done or not? andrew had no idea what she was talking about your hair? he struggled to remember, and
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texted her, for the party, are we going, oh, yes, yes, we're going, i think. i have to run. he walks out of the office without knowing the next time he'd run was six months later accompanied by the attorney and fbi. they arrived at 3 p.m. sharp. he was short and stout in the 50s with a side part and glasses. the other was tall, sleppedder, and young. the lawyers slugged their arms out of the coats, both wearing suits and ties. marty lone -- london recounted the story. the boys told me an incredible story it's a scheme to the tune of $50 billion. $50 million? b,, billion. was he sane? no one from family members to the top lawyers in the country could wrap their head around that figure. it would dwarf the scandal involving $11 billion, meaning
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madoff committed the biggest financial fraud in history. over the next hour, he asked andrew and mark to describe in depth who they were, the jobs at firm, roirp to their parents, their wives, and asked them repeatedly if they were involved in a fraud. we had no idea, none whatsoever, we were blind sided. we have to report this, and thyme not sure how. we have a new partner at the firm, i want to bring him in for his thoughts. he picked up the phone. the clock was ticking. it was five o'clock p.m., and soon the fcc offices would close. they needed someone on the phone, but it had to be the right person. he turned to andrew and mark, are you comfortable doing this? there was a clear sense that he was in charge. he knew the right thing to do, and he was not giving them any other option other than to do it. yes, let's do it, andrew said. let's do it, mark repeated. we're doing the right thing.
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mark nodded. reflecting on that moment today, andrew says i would love to say that mark and i were waving the flags of jtle in the air, but the bottom line is we were absolutely terrified. we knew what we were doing would send our father to jail, and the feeling was awful, absolutely awful. give me a minute, andrew said. he walked out of the living room and into the bedroom feeling the knees crumble. sinking to the ground, holding on to a radiator, he let out sobs that burned his throat, sounds so alien, he was not sure they came from him. he clenched his stomach trying not to vom it. he stood up on wobbly legs, cleared the throat, returned to the living room, and sat down. he sent katharine a text, we're not going tonight. make the call, he said. with instructions to share nothing with their wives, they left the hotel suite.
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they got into separate cabs, andrew headed to the apartment he moved into two days earlier. he walked in the front door, turned into the bedroom and laid on the bed. he was still wearing the coat, suit, and shoes. he laid there numb for four hours. i just turned my father in for fraud. he's going to jail. i don't know what's going to happen. my entire family is invested with him. every friend, the employees at the firm, everyone i know. who knows how many others. i just turned my father in for security fraud. he's going to go to jail. as he stared at the ceiling, he racked a brain for anything to see this coming. how could he have missed something this big? nothing came other than the image of his father rotting in jail. he had no idea how much time passed before katharine came into the room. she was an innocent woman with a beautiful daughter. he couldn't allow her to get
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sucked in. it was not fair to her. she waited. her huge blue eyes searching his, her last moment of not knowing. he couldn't bear the thought of living if she left, but couldn't ask her to stay. you need to decide whether or not you want to stay with me. he doesn't remember what he said after that. when andrew and katharine crawled under the covers at the conclusion of the day, she said something. listen, i'm not going anywhere. wake me up if you need me. i'll be here all night wrapping her arms around him. in that moment, he said, those words saved his life. he wouldn't have to face this alone. he said those same words back to her every night sense. weeks after they celebrated their 49th year of marriage, the coupling went to the christmas party in a daze, and she smiled, drank wine, and left. beyond that, she doesn't remember a thing. the evening was lost to trauma
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and terror with no interest of getting it back. the only memory she can't erase is the image of her son, mark, fleeing from the home, the mama's boy who called her every day from college, gave her three beautiful grandchildren with one on the way. it's the image of his back burned into her brain. she never saw him again. that's it. [applause] i'm happy to take questions if anybody has questions about absolutely anything. >> i'll just start can the obvious question. >> okay. >> has anyone given your book to bernie madoff? >> good question. bernie is serving 150 years in prison. andrew has vowed never to speak to his father again, and has no knowledge -- also ruth changed
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her number recently so bernie couldn't get in touch with her, but there's no knowledge, but we assume he will because he's been very involved in anything that comes out about him. he reads it, comments on it, so we'll see. >> i'm pursuing an interview with him actually, so we'll see. >> oh, okay. a new book. >> well, an article, a magazine article. >> okay. can you tell us any interesting things that happened as you promoted the book or people came up to you or anything like that? >> great question. basically, it has been a very interesting experience since the book came out. you know, i was not sure, obviously, this is an authorized biography. i would not put my name on the book if i didn't believe entirely in its contents, but it is a book that's sthettic to the
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relatives of bernie madoff, and begin to the extent of which people's lives were destroyed, you know, there's so much anger, so much hatred, so much sadness. there's just so much wrapped around this story that a lot of people have been unable to separate bernie's family from bernie himself, and i thought there would be probably a lot of outcry, and there has been on the internet. i have not personally been accosted or anything like that, but there's also been, you know, very interestingly, people who had minds changed. the thigh -- my book came out, 60 minutes did a piece, and a lot of people had their minds changed as a result of that 60 minutes piece, and andrew and katharine who started an emergency preparedness business called black umbrella got hundreds of letters from people saying that happened to me too on a smaller scale, but there's been a surprising kind of amount of that as well, and they have had literally, you
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know, from the general public at large from the media, there's been no support leading up to this because people assumed they were involved as i assumed until i spent significant time with them. ..
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