[applause] >> it is hardly a secret the terms of political discourse are not exactly models of precision. considering the way terms are used, it is next to impossible to try to give a meaningful answer to such questions as what is this -- socialism or capitalism or what's are back -- markets? that is even more true of the term anarchism as pointed out. it is a subject of varied use but also extreme of use
sometimes by bitter enemies unfortunately by people hold the of manner high. so much so as the variation that's it resisted a simple characterization the only way i can see to redress some questioned what is anarchism is to identify the being ideas that animate and at least major currents of the rich and complex and often contradictory traditions of the anarchist thought and action. of sensible approach can start with the remarks of to be the important manner of the intellectual i will quote rudolph rocker who
sought anarchism not a fixed sullivan closed social system with a fixed the answer to all questions of human life but rather as a definite trend and historic development of mankind which strives for the free unhindered have in the unfolding of the social forces of life. from the 1930's. these concepts are not original but they drive from the indictment and the early romantic period of rather similar words, one of the founders of classical liberalism among other achievements describes the leading principle of his thought as the absolute importance of human development of its diversity a phrase to hear is liberty
and then falls from that that concern among dash those that constrain such development are illegitimate unless of course, they can justify themselves. you can find a similar conception why they. for example, with adam smith and everyone has read the opening paragraph of where he extols the division of labor but not many people have gotten farther inside to read his but -- bitter condemnation and his insistence that with any civilized society the government has to intervene to prevent it because it will to strive personal integrity and human-rights will turn people into creatures stupid a and ignorant as a human can be. it is not too easy to find that package -- passage if
you look at the standard scholarly edition the bicentennial edition did a study them listed in the index but what of the most important passages of the book. , but in these terms but it is a tendency of human development looking a hierarchy authority, in the others that constrain human development then it seeks to subject them to a reasonable challenge. justify yourself and demonstrate that you are of legitimate and may be in special circumstances if you cannot meet that challenge challenge, which is the usual case, the structure should be dismantled. at&t rightly ads not just
dismantled by reconstructed from below. the expression during few my image and romantic era found dirt on the shoals of rising industrial capitalism but it is argued plausibly that they remain alive in the traditions and these range pretty widely from sell left bolshevik marxism and others including those the reached the peak of achievement in the revolutionary period in spain 1936 and to remember that despite substantial achievements sale of success
that was crushed by the combined forces of fascism and communism and democracy they agreed it had to be crushed that had to be crushed before they turned to their petty differences that we call the spanish civil war. office say intendancies reach further to worker controlled enterprises bringing up from the old rust belt in mexico reaching the greatest development of the vast country of spain partly a reflection of the achievements of the long and complex spanish tradition but partly out of christian and sources. also included in this
general tendency is the substantial cooperative movements that exists in many parts of the world fed is part of the feminist in human-rights activists some. this sounds like truisms so why should anyone defend those structures? no reason. i think that perception is correct i think it should be called a true wisdom but it does have merit the merit of being a true i'd like most political discourse. this belongs to an interesting category that are not only universal blood ee they are in fact, almost universally accepted and
almost universally rejected it practice and this is one of many. for example, the general principle we should apply to our souls the same standards we do to others as you would object or practice or more specific policy proposals like democracy promotion or the humanitarian intervention professed generally but practiced almost universally in this truism is thus save that we should challenge a course said the institution of all kinds and demand they justify themselves dismantle a and reconstruction if they do not. easy to say but not so easy to practice so proceeding
with thoughts anarchism seeks to free labor from the exploitation into free society from the political guardianship and by doing that opened the way to the alliance of groups of men and women based on labor and the plan of the administration of things in the interest of the community. he was an anarchist activist but close to call on the workers of a and organizations to create not only the idea is but the facts of the future itself within the current society the injunction going back the one traditional and our guest is no guide no master
a phrase that is the title of the collection of the anarchist classics and it is fair to understand the phrase no god from those terms i just quoted but to the ecclesiastical guardianship it is of no matter to a person in that leaves the door open to the repressive tradition of religious anarchism for example. but the phrase no master is different did refers not to the individual police but to raise social relation of subordination and dominance. with the relation that
anarchism if taken seriously seeks do dismantle and rebuild from below unless it can somehow meets the harsh virgin of establishing its legitimacy. but now we have departed from truisms to controversy in at this point it's a peculiar american brand of libertarianism the parts very sharply from the libertarian tradition is strongly advocates the subordination of working people to the masters of the economy and further to the restrictive discipline and destructive features of the markets these are topics worth pursuing in take them up later but put them aside here also recommending to
you the common-sense suggestions and of bringing together in some way be energies of the young libertarian the stand right as is sometimes done. for example, it is done in the work of theoretical and practical work of david ballard and and others. but anarchism is famously opposed to the state while at the same time with a planned administration and of things in to beyond that broader consideration of self-governing communities and workplaces but in the real world of today in the same dedicated to dinner guests were opposed to the state to protect people
society from the ravages of private capital so it takes a venerable anarchist journal light freedom going back for three to 86 long dash 1886 from supporters. if you open the pages much this is devoted toots' defending rights of people the environment and society were looking and state power like regulation or safety and health regulations there is no contradiction here as is sometimes thought people live they have suffered a hand in to work but not some world that we imagine and
all means available should be used to safeguard and benefit even if the long-term goal is to do play -- displaced these devices with preferable alternatives as is sometimes used in an image that comes from their brazilian workers movement they speak the image of widening the cage as a course in the institution that can be widened to buy a committed popular struggle happening over many years you can extend the image beyond think of the cage of coercive state institutions as a protection from the savage beast roaming outside namely that of a predatory state supported capitalistic
institutions dedicated to private gain gain, power, domination with the interest of the community it may be revered in rhetoric but in practice even in anglo-american law it is worth remembering the anarchist condemned the existing states not visions of the unrealized democratic dreams such as the government by eight of a and for the people. they bitterly opposed of what was called the red bureaucracy which he predicted 50 years in advance would be the most savage of human creation say and they also opposed the parliamentary system it instruments of class ruled the contemporary united
states which is not a democracy is very easy to you demonstrate has no influence over policy to as you move up the income and wealth scale you get more influence and people get what they want better well established by political science but familiar to everyone who looks at the way the world works aid to the democratic system would be different to have the character of the alliance of free groups of men and women based on cooperative labor in the interest of the community and that is not too remote from one version from the ideal so take for example, the leading
american is social philosopher of the 20th century, and john dewey concern was democracy with education but nobody took him to be an anarchist. pay attention to his ideas with his conception of democracy illegitimate structures of coercion must be dismantled and that includes a and i will quote him, domination by business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry reinforced by the press or press agents or other means of publicity and propaganda. he recognized power today resides in the control of means of production exchange, publicity, a transportation and communication and whoever owns the rules the life of the country even if democratic forms remain and
and tell these institutions are in the hands of the public it will be the shadow by big business on society of what we see around us but do we went beyond beyond control in a free and democratic society dewey road workers should be the masters of their own industrial fate not to will's rented by employers or directed by state authorities. that position goes right back to the leading ideas of classical liberalism articulated by smith and others and extended in the anarchist tradition and with education dewey said it is liberal and immoral to train
children to work not freely and intelligently but for the sake of the workers and to achieve test scores for example, in which case the activity is not free because it is not freely participated in and quickly forgotten as we all know from our experience. so he cahow proceeded to do conclude it should be changed and educational practice should be decided to encourage cooperative working and independence and creativity. the opposite of today this leads to a society based on workers' control of the institutions were linked to community control within the framework for e -- free
association along with many anarchist and others to are such as the politics along with the important work of theory and practice by the late milman id his associates and many others and increasing contributions of worker owned enterprises and cooperatives. not just talk but actually taking place but going back to the dewey was as american as apple pie. with american history and culture and in fact, all of
these ideas are very deeply rooted in the american tradition. in american history which has been suppressed but is very obvious when you look into it pursue these questions to enter into the important terrain of inspiring struggle with since the dawn of the industrial revolution mid-19th century the first serious scholarly works this study of the industrial worker 90 years ago for is still very much worth reading he reviews the hideous working conditions imposed for raleigh craftsman a and immigrants
as well as the factory girls brought from the farm in he mentions that but focuses attention on something else the way he calls the degradation suffered by the industrial worker which could not be cancelled even if there was material improvement and focuses on the radical capitalist revolution that economic affairs passes from the community as a whole to keeping a special class of masters of a group alien to the producers and where it shows convincingly for every protest against machine industry there could be found 100 protest against the new power of capitalist production and its
discipline where workers were struggling not just for bread but roses. player struggling for dignity and independence for their right says free men and women in their journals are interesting as the rich in and lively labour press our decisions from boston and factory girls from the farms in the journal's condemned to the blasting influence of principles of democratic so real that will not be overcome until they who worked in the mills owned them which is the slogan of the massive nights of labor and. then they will no longer the the humble subjects of the
absentee owner of the slaves in the strictest sense of the word tuille for the master and regain their status as free american citizens. of the capitalist revolution the institute had a crucial change from price to wage with a producer sold his product for a prize he retained his person but when he came to sell his labor he sold himself. i am quoting that is a big difference here losses dignity as a person as he became a slave when hundred 60 years ago and the group repeated the view that the daily wage was the equivalent to sail at long dash slavery they were not
warned that a day may come that wage slaves would forget what is due to manhood as the glory as forced on them by their necessity in and in opposition to feelings of independence and self respect that they hoped would be distant. these were popular notions of the mid-19th century and so popular it was a slogan of the republican party you can read them in the editorials of "the new york times." we can hope that day comes back but labor activist warned of the new spirit of that age gain wealth but for getting one's self. he ended sharp reaction
there were quite he nervous and active raising movements of working people and radical farmers' from texas spreading through it was agricultural country then bettis for the most significant democratic popular movements in american history dedicated to solidarity, a mutual aid aid, the battle crushed by force we have a very violent history it is far from over and despite setbacks or violent repression but there are apologists for the radical revolution of wage slavery they argue the worker should indeed glory in the us system of free contracts voluntarily
undertaken there was an answer to that 200 years ago by the great paul m. mask of glory after brutally attacked a peaceful gathering of tens of thousands of people from the protests of the state authorities calling for parliamentary reform so shelley wrote we know was slavery is to work and have such pay as it keeps from day to day in your lives as they used to dwell a home in the dollar will put all that others make of the are slavery travis with the
independent farmer was struggling against in the factory girls whose struggle for dignity in end independence and freedom might very well have known shelly's words observers noted they were highly literate with good libraries and acquainted with the standard works of the english literature and to be for a mechanism and wage slavery ended the days or at least curtail independence of high culture and security and before that a workshop a journeymen would hire boys to read to them while they worked this was a social business with many opportunities for discussion
or mutual improvement along with the factory girls in a bitter the condemned attacks on the culture the same is true in england where the condition was harsher a great book about this called the intellectual life of the british working class is the reading habits of mackenzie and he contrasts the passionate pursuit of knowledge by a proletarian didact of the british aristocracy. i am old enough to remember those residues that remain from the 30's that were deeply immersed in the high culture of the day may have
reseeded but i don't think it is lost. do we hear in american workers who were one bearish -- version of the elements but this has been radically different the most instructive expression the mainstream spectrum among people fdr kennedy liberals and a few representative quotes from the icon of the intellectual establishment of democratic theory. the public are ignorant and metal some outsiders to be put in their place decisions must be in the hands of the intelligent minority of responsible ben and we have to be protected from the herd.
it does have a function in the democratic society and they are to listen to their weight to responsible men apart from that to be spectators nonparticipants in that is for their own good did not succumb to be the judges of their own interests. sova attitudes and opinions have to be controlled for their own benefit too regimented their minds the way the army regiments the bodies with the institutions responsible for what they called the indoctrination of the young schools and universities and churches.
if we can do this we can get back to the good old days when truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of false street numbers and bankers the these are quotes from the icon's the trilateral commission and that largely staffed the carter administration the conflict between these conceptions of democracy dose far back to the year latest revolution to seventh century england there was a war raging supporters of the king a as supporters of parliament. but there was more.
said gentry of best quality were appalled by the rebel who did not want to be ruled by either taking or parliament like the spanish workers, and neither side but to be ruled with their literature by countrymen like ourselves. it will never be a good world while bites the in gentlemans are chosen for fear and oppress us but into not know their words. this 20th century england but the conflict far from ended from thomas jefferson he had serious concerns about the quality and the fate of the democratic
experiment it made a distinction between aristocrats and democrats the wrist recaps are those whose trust the people and wished you drop all powers from adam into the hands of a higher class those that identify with the people have confidence in them is a cherished and consider them the on this day and it safe although not the wisest of the interest. of modern progressive intellectuals those that seek to put the public in their place and afraid from dogmatism of the capacity of the a direct and meddlesome outsiders the views are very
polite to the hell did although there are in disputes namely who should play the guiding rule? what the liberal intellectuals call the policy oriented that we celebrate as the camelot who runs the progressive knowledge society or bankers or corporate executives and other versions are the central committee or "the guardian" council of clerics? all examples of the ecclesiastical in cuts guardianship that is seeking to dismantle to reconstruct from furlough -- below also with the feudalistic to a democratic social order with
community control to respect the dignity of the of person not a tool in the hands of others in terms of the libertarian tradition to have deeper roots that always burroughs quite close to the surface. think zero. [applause] >> for a discussion to lined up behind the microphone on either side and please try to keep it concise and as he do that a like to start if you could say something about the images about your
first encounters for people who have gotten excited suze occupy improvement i wonder what those images have been for you. >> i grew up in the thirties of the deep depression plenty of suffering there were images that stick in my mind. my parents were teachers we were not rich but had some money and in fact, fell whole family unemployed working class converged around our house we had at least something. but there were images of people coming to use the door to sell rags to get a piece of bread to survive i remember riding with my mother on a trolley cars to go past the textile plant in
philadelphia watching women on strike brutally beaten by security forces into my own extended family was mostly unemployed working class in very high culture as the new deal begin to have the impact to favor able to enjoy the shakespeare plays in the park toward the quartet's or the garment workers' union could get a couple weeks in the countryside and that was life many was communist party we cannot say anything nice as a rule but there was a lot of things but there were things that were right to like line is that over tv and asia it was always there
if people remember somebody knew how to organize a demonstration in going from civil rights to labor organizing to do something else with crazy international ideas but that was in the back of their minds but the destruction of the communist party was important to kill off the continuing element that kept wept traditions going that was all there but i learned about that by reading when i was a kid i went to visit my relatives as soon as i was old enough to get on the train to new york in stay
with my relatives but spent my time union square used to be where the offices were fair world lot of pamphlets that were eager to talk to a young kid in down below there was the small bookstores those who were quite eager to talk to have for original material of what i picked up as a young teenager the spanish
revolution i felt was inspiring which i think is why it elicited such a vicious response from every corner of power communist, a fascist liberal democracies of combined this was something they could not tolerate then they could have a fight later who picks up the spoils there were anarchists proposals i felt were not unreasonable disparaged of course, but if you when the civil war those that were murdered by the communists by a leading the thinker proposed in had
pointed out quite correctly that they would never with a conventional war because the committed to the war on the part of the population had seriously declined to after the revolution was crushed they lost what they had fought for he pointed out it of course, the fascist word directly supported by hitler and mussolini in the west was not opposed to to that. you may forget now but fascism had a pretty good in niche in the west in the late thirties and mussolini was that gentleman in hitler was regarded by the state department as a moderate holding off the forces of
left and right so we should not be too critical the united states had a council in berlin up intel pearl harbor some who was sending back dispatches he should not be too hard on the nazis but they are moderates but you don't read that in the biography his name is george kennan but that is not that untypical but there was a neutrality act that the united states was not supposed to allow support for either side of the civil war a and roosevelt was very bitter about any attempt by somebody to say to send a pistol he could not stop it by force but bitterly condemned it but the state department could not notice
what i was reading in though left-wing press conceded 20 years later that the united states had authorized the texaco oil company run by the outcry open and not see authorize them to have a contract to ship oil to the republic but they switched to the fascist forces which is so one thing that hitler air and missile levy could go provide. but he proposed that state itself the popular forces shed to fight a the guerrilla war that is actually where they were initiated under napoleon in did morocco who call for support for the liberation forces trying to free
themselves from french and braddish -- british shares spanish control. so his idea was to fight a revolutionary war to support them with the imperialists control he thought would be rhode the spanish just as the forces were fighting until they were crushed. if you read the scholarship that is dismissed as a romantic joke but i don't think it was. that was my initial exposure [laughter] >> teeeighteen this is an honor. you touched briefly you have
this shelly quotation in and talk about culture i was going to ask you to reflect of the contemporary stage of high culture and how important you think engagement with that literature and music orson of the is important to to have the vanguard of political thought if contemporary artist or audiences are rising to that challenge. >> people with power think so that is why it could not be put it in rockefeller center. go back 60 years in 1953 the interesting year for some of the the two major films came
out with the labor movement. wide which was a huge box office success of p.r. and advertising featuring marlon brando was a corrupt union leaders and how joe with his lunch box overcame though peter and throws him into the water. everybody cheers. number one. then there was salts of the earth a low-budget film which was about a victorious strike led by a hispanic woman. it is a great film but nobody ever heard of it. maybe a small art theater or downtown and the york but that was not the films that
would get the publicity. that runs consistently and when people in power believe something firmly that you should not have the revolutionary popular heart that people participate. added is the reason for destroying the of graffiti it is a great achievement popular art. it is part of the grotesque drug corel large part came from the fact the harlem renaissance were playing jazz and smoking marijuana so they became the way it is
pretty constant so it is important. >> what is preventing people from organizing themselves into worker controlled cooperatives? if not much thin to what it you attribute the lack of popularity and the related question would be what could union controlled tensions be doing if the problem is capital why aren't more its duties investing a the capital they have control over to support these alternatives? >> pensions are not in the hints of working people.
there in the hints of bureaucrats a and money managers they are bad about to hand over power to popular organizations. there are interesting initiatives the united steelworkers one of the more aggressive has recently made some tentative and arrangements with worker owned industrial banking and housing and school education is a cooperative to get somewhere and i mentioned he is discussed very well am participates in the spread of worker known to the enterprises id and northern ohio. the rust belt where fare relates to this id 1977 to
destroy in industrial production with the beginning of zedillo liberal assault u.s. steel had decided to close the main steel plant in new ince town ohio. it was a steel town like to try actually built by the working class is that they did not get the profit they appointed to keep it that they would not sell its they could close it down a and the union offered to buy it. they had community support even i think of a republican governor just let the workers by the plan and keep running it. u.s. steel did not want that
although that is pretty consistent even common here rhode eastern massachusetts when they decide to take over the enterprise that could be profitable but not be enough for the of multinational but when they tried to buy it they refuse to sell its they do not want to see the spread for obvious reasons i will come back to youngstown but it happened right here of a small but quite successful manufacturing plants to make specialized parts for aircraft doing pretty well
but the multinationals about what to bother so they would close it down the union tried to do buy it but the multinational refuse to sell there was not enough popular support to push it through if there was an occupied movement at that time i think that is something they might have pushed through. and the much larger scale a couple of years ago obama of virtue lead nationalize the auto industry. virtually although there was a couple of options said one was to restructure to use taxpayer funding to hand back to see original owners bankers and anc knows then have it continue to build
cars the and the option was to hand it over to the work force to have them build what is needed in the country for high-speed mass transportation in the united states is very backward you could take a high-speed train in china but to take one from boston to new york it is as low as it was 60 years ago. the country needs it in the former auto industry could have handed over the workforce to give support but that was not an option but suppose there had been a large scale occupied movement it was significant but i think that could have been pushed through but going back to youngstown the
case went to court to the workers lost and the steel mills were destroyed but dade did not give up. they begin to baker worker enterprise is they have been a gun to use spread to other areas but this is happening elsewhere also northern mexico they are quite it is not easy because the banks don't like to give capital and the government does not want to support them for class reasons but with sufficient support it can develop it is not easy it is hard work and the people who organized usually suffer but
that is typical of most everything with the civil-rights movement or practically any movement that has ever gotten anywhere people of french usually take it in the chance to be willing to into our for our long term gain is not easy. >> i am curious if you can address the role of surveillance technology or the militarization of police to move for word of radical thought today? >> two things to bear in mind the first is a phenomenon itself should not be surprising that the scale is. i had not expected that debt
for the phenomenon is normal and as american as apple pie to go back one century like the philippine war it was a vicious war the philippines killed a couple clinton thousand people of major movement didn't after the military victory it had to be suppressed in the huge pacification campaign was initiated using fat highest technology of the day for surveillance in breaking up the groups to build up hostility very sophisticated and quickly transferred home use by wilson in developed
further cents a with a lethal effect of the philippines as people more and the typhoon that killed tens of thousands that does not have been in functioning society is in the caribbean and a tropical storm goes through in haiti which is one of the major victims it is vicious right next door in cuba three people died. save storm it just depends on society for'' the philippines is a society we created and maintained the one part of southeast asia that has not taken part of the so-called miracle of the asian tigers. there is a good reason for that but you can be confident that the ministate
>> one of the goals is to develop fly-sized drones, tiny robots which can, you know, get on your -- on the ceiling of your living room and carry out constant surveillance, and drones tend to go from surveillance to leal capacities quickly. we can expect that pretty soon. these are things that are in development. any system of power is going to use them, and pretty strikingly, jihadis are going to use them. what we're doing right now is
creating perfect technology for terrorist attacks. it's not a secret. take a look at drone technology. right back to today, already, it's claimed that for $300 you can purchase a small drone online. now, that's improving very fast, and for terrorist activities, it's just perfect. now, if you want to get a picture of it, there is an article in this month's leading journal of foreign affairs in britain, cribbing how we are rapidly creating the technology to permit massive terrorist attacks on ourselves. that's also typical. power systems seek short term power and domination. they are not concerned with security. it's contrary to academic dogma,
easily show that they're interested in power, domination, the welfare of their primary domestic constituencies, which is wealth, concentrated wealth, and if there's a disaster in the long term, it's not their business. cow can show that, and it's obvious it environmental issues, the same with nuclear weapons, and the same now with drone technology. yeah, sure, this will go on unless we stop it. you can stop it too. it doesn't have to go on. >> can you offer a critique of startup culture and entrepreneurship which offers many of the characteristic -- seeming characteristics of autonomy, but isn't so? >> seeming characteristics. startup culture, you know, it's okay. people like their apps and so on. [laughter] it's basically bay based heavily own state subsidies. it's kind of a narrow form
entrepreneurship. take, for example, silicon valley culture. where -- way are they using? well, they use computers, the internet, electronics, so on, and so forth, and almost all development in the state sector, for decades before it's handed over to private power to -- for commercialization and application, so, yeah, there's initiative there. people are having fun doing maybe interesting things, but relying very heavily on the background state subsidy taking many forms. actually, everyone at mit ought to know it, paid our salaries for years, you know. [laughter] it's, you know, for decades, computers and the internet and the whole id culture were developed right here, similar places, and so on, and, finally,
after decades, it was handed over to bill gates and steve jobs, to market and commercialize and make profits and make little things that you carry around with you, but so it's a kind of a -- it has entrepreneurial aspects, but it's parasitic at the development. the really hard work, the hard research and development, the creative work is substantial in the state sector. it's not just subsidy, but many other devices of taxpayers' support for private enterprise. one of the main ones is procurement. for example, in the early 60s, ibm, through the 50 #s, had learned mostly in government laboratories and places like this, had learned to switch from punch cords to digital
computers, and they built the world's biggest computer in the early 60s, stretch computer, fastest exiewrp, but it was too expensive for business, and the government bought it. that's the purchaser of last resort, and i think it went to los alamos. that goes on all the time. it's a major subsidy to private enterprise, and there's many other ways. that's why private capital does not want markets. they want marketses for other people, but not for themselves. for themselves, they want a nanny state, powerful nanny state that will support them. what the significance of the entrepreneur culture is you can judge -- not to overwhelm there's thousands of new apps coming every day -- i think there's more important things. [laughter] yeah? >> oh, so i had a question about
how you reconcile the e mans story tradition of anachism around the ab straight idea of authority and power and coercion. it could be the government intervened on the south in the civil war. we know that, like, it was the civil war was a revolution, and against slavery, and the federal government intervened later. that could be argued in the form of authority because, yeah, so how do you actually navigate that with, say, for example, the marxist definition which is between labor and capital, for example. do you see that as something that is any different from or offers a different perspective? i think that that could account for the reason why, for example, there are things like capitals,
and argued that, you know, several ways that the state is intervening on my ability to pay my workers a low wage or whatnot. >> i'm not sure i understood exactly. >> the question is authority itself is an abstract term. authority is -- >> i don't think there's anything abstract about authority. we live with it all the time. that's true if you're a worker, namely a wage slave as work is understood. it's true if you're -- until very recently, for most women, terrorist been obvious, nothing abstract about it. the women didn't -- women didn't even have legal rights in the united states until recently. >> the question is, like, if there's -- do workers have the authority, for example, to take over -- >> do they have the authority? yeah, why not. >> yeah. authority to -- >> they built the plant, make the products, do the work. why should they be tools rented
by some bank or somewhere else. i mean, that's the way our institutional structure happens to be formulated, but doesn't mean it's legitimate. i mean, when you talk about authority or asking questions about legitimacy to people, have the right to run their own lives, or do they have to be sort of tools in the hands of foreign masters. well, you know, that's a question of legitimacy, not authority. you mentioned the civil war, and there's ample eve by now that was very significant slave initiatives in the civil war, and there's more to say about that, a lot more, and take the revolution to a large extent, there was a revolution carried out in order to maintain slavery. you look back at the history in
around 1770, in britain, the legal system was beginning to have a case where in 1772 slave owners from the united states brought slaves with them to england, and one had an effort wanted them back, my property, and it went to court and went to lord mansfield, a famous jurist who ruled slavery was so odious it's not tolerated on english soil. crucially, it could be tolerated in the colonies, but that's another story. [laughter] not on english soil. the united states was -- the founders of the country were almost all slave owners, and they could see the handwriting on the wall if the colonies
remained under british rule, laws applied here and they would lose their property, and that was surely a significant element in the revolution, and it runs right to the present, i mean, right to this moment, the civil war's still being fought, simply take a look at the electromaps, the map of the election and in 2012, red states and blue states. almost identical, identical to the civil war. the confederacy, now call themselves republicans, shifted names, and the rest, which was the north, a large part of the motivation behind the effort to shut down the government is just revenge. we want to shut down washington and win this war finally. the united states never developed class parties like labor parties. they didn't amount to much, but
they were something. the u.s. never had them. they always had sectional parties, and it's a reflection of the civil war which has never ended. it also has not ended in the prisons and elsewhere. it's a very deeply rooted thing in society and hard to exer bait. >> yeah? >> well, i hope y'all join me in thanking noam once more. [applause] >> thank you, all, so much for coming, there's booking vail in the back, and thank you, also, for the questions. [inaudible conversations]
>> thank you, thank you for that great introduction, and welcome, everyone, to this great book fair, now in its 30th year, i mean, let's hear it for caplin. [applause] goodwin and scott it's so wonderful to have you here, and welcome to miami, and this is our premier annual cultural event. great to have you here. you have written books about
presidential part of the progressive era, and it was really started by theodore roosevelt, known as "teddy," and how did he start the progressive era, and what propelled him to act, and what are his successes still with us today? >> well, i call him "teddy" even though hi didn't like to be called teddy, but he lost that battle with history. teddy roosevelt came into power in a time when the aspects of the industrial age had not been dealt with since the civil war. there was no real workman's compensation, women and children exploited in the factories, monopolies eating up small businesses, and the gap was widening, similar to situations today. [laughter] produced a similar kind of economic change. even though he was a conservative when he started in a certain sense and certainly a republican when he started, you
realize that the republican party would not be able to continue as a major force in the majority force unless it began to deal with these problems of the industrial age there is so even as governor he tried to introduce reform legislation anger in the political bosses who were tied in with the old order. so they decided there were dumped into the vice presidency where you would have no power and now be the end. of course mckinley is assassinated, and he becomes president. it is not really that he did it on his own. anderson of the only way that he could move is reluctant congress to take the legislation was necessary was to mobilize the country to push them from the outside in, so that is why he defines the word bully pulpit as the president's power to educate and morally move the country forward, but he needed help, and he had help from the press at that time. most remarkable set of relations with the press. they too were progressive. they too have their own agenda, as did the social summit groups, churches. it really was an uprising from the country at large to the
something had to happen, but he was at the helm, said his name will forever be identified with the progressive era. i taught a seminar on the in the progressive era four years ago and always wanted to live with them. finally after all these other characters i get a chance to be with his most colorful, exasperated, extraordinary figure. so sometimes i wonder what i am doing spending my life with dead presidents, but would not change it for anything in the world. we're going to get to you, let's continue on chronological order because this came into the picture. is said to include passages in your book as well. how have they become close? 400 letters between. how did they become close and added the rest happened? >> added not really know that much about taft. i needed to follow the progressive movement up to the time when his guy. and i knew, of course, that have succeeded steady and they had run against each other in 1912, you always go back, and i know
that scott does a, you want the primary sources, letters and diaries and private journals, the charges for an historian. when i found these 400 letters between the 2i realized they became friends in their early 30's. an odd couple. marching around everywhere during wrestling and boxing, weighing between 250 and 350 is not doing much wrestling and boxing, but they liked each other. almost attracted to research it brings them into his cabinet. becomes the most important person in his cabinet, even though all his life-just wanted to be a judge in never politician perry from a cabinet post his eyes this is the man of want to succeed me. he runs the campaign. he gives him advice at every moment. the only thing he did not give him advice on musses campaign sought him and teddy would have approved. on a raft with taft. yet on a raft with 340 pounds after would not be on a very long. anyway, then he is sure that he
will be the lead as a president. guess africa to give his face, caused back and he is told by his progress is attached as become too much in coziness with the old-guard republicans in the congress to train the progress of legacy. it really was not that because he did try to do what he thought he was doing, but he just did not have the skills of public leader. did not know how to deal with the press, give a speech. in such as the decides to run against taft. perot campaign in 1912. of course because there are two republicans running-when spivvy and then, of course, but the parties, when he loses, runs on the bonus third-party campaign opening the door for the democrats win. but what was so emotionally moving for me is the hard break when they broke with much greater than i realized because the french ships had been much stronger. i love writing about these emotional things. allowed to be much more than just destroyed, linear story.
>> well, scott berg, woodrow wilson camera into the picture. he was elected. he went back to progressivism. talk about that a little bit. >> she went back to progressivism daytime taking the foundation, roosevelt, not teddy, to woodrow wilson. but really it was built upon. and wilson wanted to commend it is kind of ironic because most people have an image of this very presbyterian minister son. in fact, he was extremely human. he was extremely emotional and very passionate they read what he wanted to do, above all, was to humanize the presidency. so where theodore roosevelt had created this relationship with the press, woodrow wilson really wanted to advance. but he did was start holding press conferences which a president had never done before. everything that he did was toward personalizing the white house. and toward that end wilson came
in with really the most aggressive progressive agenda that we had seen. and he brought it about largely through this process of humanization. and he did it by showing up at the congress. wilson had an extremely peculiar view of how the legislative branch and the executive branch should function. he thought being a political scientist at these two branches -- now get ready, you have to work with me on this, he thought they should cooperate. [applause] think of it. think of it. i mean, he fell literally they should cooperate the government. and so wilson did something presidents have not done since john adams in 1800. he showed up in the congress to conduct business. he brought back the president appearing to deliver the state
of the union address. woodrow wilson delivered 25 addresses to a joint sessions of the congress. and he actually showed up in a little room that sits in the congress which was designed for presidents to come and work with the congress. now, i think a lot of the presidents have failed to find this room. [laughter] i am not naming names. but i think they have failed to find it because it has a rather tricky name. is called, the president's room. [laughter] >> lbj found it. >> estimated. and really -- and he found it big time. and that is why so much legislation got past. these were guys -- and johnson was in many ways in the los onion tradition of getting in there, rolling up your sleeves, may be cracking a few legs and
arms and twisting them. and that is what wilson did. in so with that we immediately sought within the first few months of the wilson administration the lowering of tariffs, the interaction of the modern income tax which and a graduated scale so that the richer paid more. we saw the establishment of the federal reserve system which has been basically the basis of the american economy for the last century. he went into labor, eight hour work days to mull workman compensation and so forth. but the first ones you on the supreme court. all of these things but progressivism for woodrow wilson was about leveling the playing field. he was not anti wealth, not anti-war street, but he was antitrust. he was against unfair confrontation. in any where he side he tried to fight it. >> so you have both alluded to the fact that there are a lot of
parallels between today and those times. are we in another gilded age? >> well, i do think that one of the things that produced at great gap between the rich and poor at the turn of the 20th-century was, as i said, the whole economy and shifted to be used to be that if you were living in some country town, the richest person might be a doctor or lawyer in a house on the hill. then suddenly with these massive just swarming in the 1880's and 90's, big railroads fan in the country. oil industry coming, you have these millionaires side by side with the immigrants in attendance. the turn-of-the-century, the pace of life and sped up. because your head telegraphs, typing letters, local wars exploited in the tabloid press and people are saying that there was a lot of nervous disorder because the pace of life had suspect up. think about it today with the pace of life speeding up even more by all the images that we have now. the problem is, yes, we are in
some ways in another deal that age. but the progressive era, the mobilization of the country to handle these problems has not emerged. and so as a result -- and i am not even sure the bully pulpit had the power that it did in both wilson and teddy's time when they would give a speech it would become the common conversation in the country and be reported in full, even by the time that fdr when on his fireside chat, you could hear 80% of the people listening to his chat. you know, you could walk down the street on a hot chicago night and not miss a word of what you the same as ever loma sitting in the kitchen and listen to the radio. by the early television you would listen to the whole speech up to reagan really when there were three networks. now the media is divided the way that it was in the 19th century. in national newspapers came along in my time, the 20th-century, even am writing checks right now, 1913 and 20.
in national newspapers that emerged in the early 20th-century replacing partisan press. in the old days you would only read your newspaper. if you're republican away good democrat. the republican newspaper, lincoln gave a great speech can carry on the shoulders of his people. the democratic is every fell on the ground and they booed and hissed. and then we get away from them with national newspapers car radio, television. now here we are taught divided media. you may only watch your own favorite cable station, you're a part of the president's speech, the pawn and staring in town of 40 is finished command our attention span has diminished. in the guys that i wrote about, there were given two years. ray baker, william allen rights of white 50,000 word pieces month after month after month. people read them and talked about them. i'm just not sure that that -- that anyone will be given an amount of time by a newspaper or magazine today.
and the expense accounts and a camaraderie. in the attention span to talk about it. so i worry about where the country is going in terms of our influence on the government. complied is said there is no one left well less. sometimes i think that is true for us. where are we? we just complain about what is going on in washington. we have not figured out how to do something about the paralysis that is there. >> and i think the fragmentation in the media is only going to continue these people make up there on the media all the time. social media, blocking, and the factory media. i mean, that is happening all over the place. and how is president wilson treated by the media? >> u.s. treated pretty well, especially by the race standard bakers, many of them in debt working. >> i love baker. he is my favorite. >> he really spent his final
years not only working for wilson within writing nine volumes. he so adored him. one of the most glorious piece is about wilson was written by qaeda tarbell. in fact, it was so wonderful i find myself not quoting it because i thought it made me look too partisan in wilson's favor. but i think is quite true we have been suggesting about this great actualization of the media because what we have lost the, and you really articulated it. we just don't think as much anymore. we react from the get some much. that is why we flock to that cable station bespeaks what we think we think even though we have not body yet. but i think that is a big factor today. wilson had a very good relationship with the media up to and just into the first world
war which wilson ultimately brought us into. and at that point -- is because one of the great ironies in the story, the most progressive president that we had today, not even for getting tiara, but that this president became the most suppressive of the press, which he did during the war, revitalizing the sedition acts which really had been quiet certainly since the days of atoms and someone with lag in they were brought back. factum was news to settling in all the time saying and doing nothing that heated not to bury that is a good cover. >> it is interesting. people ask me, what would roosevelt had done in today's world. i think he would have loved it. his great strength was to reduce complex problems and to short and language. so this square deal. i mean, everything that scott
said that while some believe then, the fairness, not going after the rich unless they have accumulated their wealth and unfair means you're really not going after the poor unless they're not taking care of your opportunities. the rock on which the country was founded. in fact, not on his career deal with speak softly and carry a big stake. even gave maxwell house's slogan. it is said that he drank 40 cups of coffee a day. something has to explain the incredible energy of this character. >> that is true. he would have loved twitter because you could not shut him up. >> right. he would -- he loved being in the center of things. this is both the strength and weakness. his daughter said he wants to be the bride at the wedding in the course of the funeral and the baby at the baptism. >> and all of this, of course, may wilson crazy. he thought tiara was just a big blustering caricature of a man.
there he found an exclusive campus he. it he resented it as an undergraduate and came to resent it as a professor there. he then became president of the college. and it was at this time he decided now i have the ability to change what this college is. wilson's predecessor in the presidency of princeton was a man who used to brag he ran the finest country club in america. [laughter] he did. there was no question about it. it was an enclave for the sons of the very, very rich. wilson tried to tear that down. it was in doing that, he began writing about what he was doing and speaking about what he was doing. this is how the most immediate oric rise in american history occurred. people began to look at wilson, who used the princeton campus as a great metaphor for america.
he believed higher education should be the great catapult for people. anybody from any class in a country that has no classes but in such a country, anybody who is educate and works hard should be able to leapfrog. it should be able to go up a step a rung or two or the ladder. wilson became famous for this, so much so that some of the political bosses in the democratic party were attracted to him. thinking he was a perfect combination to be their puppet. namely he sounded very progressive and reformist, but also he was a professor he would be very weak. little did they know when he got elected governor of new jersey when he served for about 18 months, the first thing he did as governor was kick out the very machine that put him in office. [laughter] so everybody saw this was no weak college professor. >> well, let's turn to the women in the president's lives.
i'm always interested in the woman behind the man. i always wanted my husband to be like nancy reagan, for example, as an elected official. i'm interested in how these women helped these presidents. >> you know, what interested me there are actually three women i'm writing about. roosevelt and tell mely taft, and, ida. they each had choices to make. there were narrower choices for women than today. roosevelt came from a family where her father had been wealthy, lost his shipping business, and became an alcoholic. she lived near teddy when she was a young girl. they had to move to more modest homes. forever after she drew a productive curtain around herself. they loved each other. they were boyfriend and girlfriend through college. they had a fight in his soft more year in college. he fell madly in love with a
beautiful young girl from boston. he married alice to the devastation ofth edith. he thought he would never love again. the light had gone out of his life. he married her. it was a strong marriage. all she wanted from the marriage and her first ladyship was to give companionship and strength and a sanction ware to her ever-restless husband. she said when he became first lady she had no intention of being a public person. she wasn't going give her view for the politics. what only mattered is be in the newspaper twice. married and buried. nelly taft had ambition from the time she was an adolescence her sent her brothers to harvard and yale. not she. she decided to start teaching to her mother's dismay.
and she decided she might not marry. she meets young will and he adored her. it really respected her independence. and he made her his partner had his whole career. she's partly responsible for him choosing politics eventually instead of the judicial route he was on. she helped with his speeches and strategy. and became an extraordinary first lady in the few months she was there. activist concerned with working women. she brought the charities to washington. she opened the guest list to more people than before. created a public park with free concerts. and incredibly sadly for him. two months after his inauguration, she fell as they were on a presidential yat. collapsing had a devastating stroke. she recovered her power of walking but never to speak connective sentences again.
he spent her days to teach her phrases. and this is again, you never know how things alter. it absolutely contributed to his troubles as presidency. and then lastly, ida tar bell growing up in northwestern pennsylvania, watches the frustration of her mother when her own family industry is hurt because her father is an independent oil producer making more money than dreamed. she was a teacher. jd rockefeller comes in and undoes his business. the mother hoped to go on to higher education. has to worry about the family's economic. ida prays she will never take a husband. and she does not ever get married. becomes the most famous journalist of her are a. when she writes her standard oil expose they reported john d. rockefeller was willing to pay anyone to take her on trips around the world.
it's so interesting to think today however much trouble we have today the choices are broader than they were. it's interest for me to see. they made a choice that fit their own needs and desires. it's the way women were. they were indispensable to their husbands. those two first ladies in very different ways. it. >> and scott? he has a bunch of women. [laughter] >> i didn't mean it in that way. [laughter] >> no, you certainly did not. [laughter] now i feel as low we on queen for a day, that old show. you have to come up with the most pathetic and most romantic story. woodrow wilson had two wives. not at the same time. [laughter] but the first was a young woman he met in georgia when he was a struggling lawyer in atlanta. he was a minister's son. he met the minister's daughter
in a little town called rome, georgia. they fell instantly in love. and he was realizing he didn't really have a career as a lawyer. and so he took up academia at that point. the good news for me, the biographer, she and he began exchanging 3,000 of the most passionate love letters i have ever read. yes, i'm talking woodrow wilson. [laughter] they're almost hard to believe. they are emotional, they are sexual, they are revealing, they -- it's just -- yes, woodrow wilson. [laughter] it's true. it's true. and she gave as good as she got. and -- >> what does that mean? [laughter] >> just -- [laughter] let your conscious -- conscience be your guide. they married. she became a professor's wife, and a college president's wife, she poured a lot of tea.
and the interesting thing is she was a very good artist. she painted extremely well, should and could have had a career as an artist. gave it all up to be a proper wife as indeed, you know, the role of women was dictated back then. and she was the most supportive wife there could be all the way to the white house. and one year in to their living in the white house, ellen wilson died. the -- yes, the big awe. and the president was crushed. he could barely get out of bed. he being so religious did not talk about suicide, but he did say more than once he wished somebody would just shoot him. he couldn't deal with it. two things got him out of bed. the first was, the very week she died a war broke out in europe. and now rapping on the door
saying, mr. president, there's something happening and we need you here. the second thing that happened over the course of the next few months is, woodrow wilson had a cute meet the way in movies. he was introduced to a young attractive widow who lived in washington, d.c. over the course of the next year, the president went courting. he's having private dinners in the white house, always chap roaned and writing hundreds of the most passionate love letters you have ever read to this one. now the other letters did to ellen. you see that was puppy love. this is a mechanic? -- man in his late 50s having his last stab at romance. he wins her, marries her within a year, and now she became the most supportive presidential wife one could imagine. they never left each other's
side. it reached the point where wilson, who often used to walk to other departments of the government just to stop in and have meetings, mrs. wilson would invery belie go with him. she was trained in the memos he was writing. it was almost as though fate was dictating. what happened after the war after wilson came back with the league of nations peace treaty and went around the country to 29 cities to try to convince the american people that they should convince the republican senate to ratify this treaty, which the republicans did not want to do, in the middle of this tour, woodrow wilson collapsed. and he was rushed home to washington from the middle of the country and there a few days later woodrow wilson suffered a stroke. now here is where mrs. wilson comes in. she, and handful of doctors,
engaged in which i consider the greatest white house conspiracy in history. because three or four people decided they would never tell anybody the president had suffered a stroke. and so for the last year and a half of the wilson administration, for all intents and purposes, edith became the first female president of the united states. [laughter] yes, yes. [laughter] bring it on. she was making no decisions on her own, she insisted. she said she was merely a steward but nobody saw the president of the thousand of people who want to see him, nobody saw him. the handful only of that without passing through miss wilson. all the documents and things that required signatures, commissions, whatever memorandum. nothing appeared before the president of the united states' eyes until mrs. wilson decided
what and when the president would act upon it. so she became a pretty supportive wife. >> i guess so. if i can underscore something scott said which i said earlier but so clear when you talk about letters. i don't know what is going to happen 200 years from now when we don't have handwritten letters as historians to look back on. maybe e-mail will be saved. it's written stay staccato. when people had the only means of communicating through letters. when you find the letters, it's the treasure. there was a military aid named archie butler and in those days the military aid was with the president all the time. teddy loved him like another son. taft adored him. when the break occurred he wrote letters every day to his family which are absolute gold. and he talks the way we know how deep that was for especially for taft. he recounted what taft was feeling as teddy talking about.
calling him a fat head. and the relationship was so strong and finally he was supposed to take a trip in the spring of 1912, before the nomination thing began to heat up, and then at the last minute when teddy threw his hat in the ring, i had -- he decided i can't go. i have to stay with taft. he needs me. he didn't want me to know but he tells taft he canceled the shipping order. and he said you have to go. you'll be back. he goes to europe, he goes for about four weeks, and he comes back on the titanic and lost his life. taft was stricken yet again. everywhere he went he felt like he was missing this man. and this man, as the ship titanic was going down, was telling somebody who wrote a letter to taft that he the letters in storage and hoped maybe they would be remembered someday. they have been gold to biographers. >> you are right. >> and anyway.
>>. >> all i can say is keep track what you're writing to people. so the biographer who comes along 1200 years from now you'll have stuff. >> take a pen out every now and then. it's different. we have shared in this, the men we have written about -- and women too, for that matter, wrote so beautifully. and when you take the time to write, you compose a thought and this is a nice thing. you put it in lovely language, as was certainly the case with wilson and his wives. >> i'm going ask you one more question and then open it to the audience. if you would like to start coming up to the microphone, we'll hear from you as well. my final question is this: president obama is having such a difficult time right now. so what advice with your presidents give him? [laughter] >> you can go first. [laughter] >> president wilson would say,
get to the president's room! [laughter] go there, start a dialogue. now woodrow wilson had a contentious senate in the end. a contentious house of representatives as well. he didn't get everything he wanted. but here is what wilson engaged in. it was a sustained dialogue for eight years that was a lot of consternation. there was a lot of argument, there was a lot of disagreement, but there was an ongoing chat between these two houses -- these two branches of the american government. and i think that is something wilson believed in so strongly. the second thing, and it's related to it, and it's especially ironic because we do have such an image of such a stiff figure. the fact is wilson personalized the presidency. he was not afraid to go down to the congress. he did not just sit in the
imperial white house. again, very ivory tower-antiivory tower. he was willing to go there and willing to do anything to open the conversation. at one point he had a foreign relations committee of the united states senate come to meet in the white house. he said, let me open the house to you if that's what tick it is a too get something passed. let's do. he was always keeping the diagnose going. >> i agree with scott. in addition to going to the congress more, it's using the tool of the white house. those congressman want come there. i know, there are been difficulties. i know, the president innovated various republican members not willing to come and not wanting to be seen because the terrible riff. it looks like they're loyal to their base if seen with the president. there's something special coming to the white house. johnson used to have them for breakfast, lunch, dibber. he called them at night. he called at 2:00 a.m. and said
i hope you didn't wake you. he said no, i was lying here hoping my president would call. the whole political culture in washington changed. they used to stay around on weekends 50 years before they raced home to make the stupid funds -- campaign finance is the answer, actually. it's absolutely the poison in the system. they used to stay together. their wives knew each other. they drink together, they formed friendship across party lines. when johnson needed to get to dirkson to break the filibuster, they were friends. he could go to him. passenger's side through few friendships at any point. none of them or few have served in the war together. they knew what it was like to have a common mission. you have a common mission. they lost that sense of a common mission, which is our country. and something has to bring that
back. and if we can bring teddy and wilson and the lbj and the presidents in there to figure out both sides of the i'm, congress and the presidency, it's time that we are able to start dealing with our problems. [laughter] >> thank you. thank you very much. now it's your turn. yes, ma'am, please introduce yourself. >> my nam is janice, i las live in washington, d.c. i'm a founding member of the national museum of women's art. [inaudible] my question to mr. berg is, in the education that we had in our training, we were asked to read a book called "jailed for freedom." which was a series of essays written by the suffragists who were lawyers, physicians, judges, women who were fighting for the right to vote. and president wilson totally ignored them. and i wondered if you
encountered this -- >> i don't think it's exactly right. he totally ignored them. >> sorry. he was quite aware of what was going on. wilson -- [inaudible] wilson believed the women should have the vote. he believed there should not be a 19th amendment for many years. he came around on that. and he rather famously, in 1915 got on a train and went up to new mexico because -- new jersey because it was a states right thing and should happen by state-by-state. there were protests outside the white house. alice paul and her sister suffragists were being arrested, taken to jail. wilson said, let them go. don't put them in jail. just let them go. i know, the issue. i'm not prepared to for fight for a 19th amendment. the whole thing, alice paul could have walked out any time. she clearly wanted to stay. she was fighting for attention and making her point.
now, by 1917, wilson was bringing the country in to war, and at this time he had a major shift, and he had been playing to the more conservative wing of the suffragists for years, who believed in state-by-state adoption. beginning in 1917 he was coming around for two reasons. we were fighting in europe for peace and freedom there. he said, how can we not have half the women in this country voting? it seemed to be a huge mistake to him. the second thing he saw during the war, once we were in it, was the role women were playing in the role -- they were leaving the house for work. they were actually doing a lot of just good works for the war movement. so, wilson had an overnight change of heart, and actually began actively campaigning for
the 19th amendment. such that even -- by the time he came out for, again, called another session of congress, and told them it was a war measure that is how important it was. we had to have national suffrage, universal suffrage in the united states because of the war, and he thought it would be a good way to get everybody to rally behind it. and within a year it was a done deal, and even alice paul came around to thank woodrow wilson for it. so i would say he was late to the party, but once he got there he had the lamp shade on. [laughter] >> one next question. we are going to move on. >> no -- i'm sorry, madam, we're going the next question. thank you. >> good afternoon. what an honor to hear you be able to ask you a question. mr. berg, you alluded briefly to the answer of this regarding president wilson at princeton. but the three presidents, what was their relationship or perhaps complicated relationship
to status and class? we get a sense that tr was with the common man but not much of the common man. he was a harvard man. taft was a yale man. we know t. r. -- >> a princeton man. >> yeah. and we know t. r. was friends with jake brought him down to the lower east side where my great grand parents set upshot 100 years ago. on a specific ♪, did the immigrant lower classes, were they part of the america of these three presidents? what was the class issue? >> it's a great issue. i mean, i think what happened for roosevelt -- when he first went to harvard he thought he was -- he thought he should be dealing with the people of hiss -- his class. underline that attitude he came from a wealthy family, obviously in new york. but his father had been
interested in social justice. had become a philanthropist. it worked with young news boys and that instinct was somewhat in teddy. then the real place where he began to shift away from that harvard-class mentality was he became a state legislature right after congress. and at first he went and thought the irish guys guys with with the tobacco and their cigars were of a different class than the ones he wanted to. and he started becoming a histrionic rhetoric guy even in the legislature yelling and screaming about the political bosses. he was always against that. and at the certain point he realized he wasn't getting anything done. he wasn't reaching as cro to the other people. he said he realized he came aa cropper and had to learn how to deal with people of all classes. just as you said, jacob reese became his friend. took him to the tentment. originally he was against regulation of the tenement.
he saw it and changed his mind and early on for regulation. then these reporters, we he became police commissioner took him to where people were living in the middle of the night. what helped him he had so many different jobs. when he was in the rough riders he had a group of people with him. and he kept his relationship with these reporters much more involved in the knity gritty than he was. they were able to criticize him rather than become -- my favorite there was a guy mr. duelly a famous chicago bartender in a humorous column. he wrote a review of the rough riders book. and he put himself in the center of the action it was as he was the only person but he should have called it alone in cuba. what did teddy do? he regret to tell you my wife and entire family loved your review of the book. now you owe me one. i want to meet you. through the reporters, through
people like jacob and people involved in the settlement houses. he began to see the conditions of life and he later said when he gave his talks that my harvard buddies think my talks too folksy. they are homely. but i know i'm reaching people because i now know those people. and he took train trips months at the time going around the country talking to people in village stations. waiving to people in the trains, he would even stand up in the middle of lunch at one point he said he was waiving so much and the people seemed so indifferent. it turned out it was a herd of cows. i think that's what is -- [laughter] something had to jar him away from that background. just as fdr's polio transformed him. he was aware that fate dealt him an unkind hand. he reached out to other people whom had the same thing happen. >> wilson did not believe in a great class structure in this country. he was from a lower, lower
middle class. being a minister's son. what believed; however, was the educate class. it was the class that mattered for him. as i said before, this is a man who spent most of his life in career on a college campus either as a student, professor, or president. this is a man who believed that was the great level leer of all playing field in this country. and so, the interesting thing when wilson became a politician, and it was a really fascinating tool he used. as a politician, he never spoke down the audience. he never got folksy. he used rather elevated language. he spoke invery belie without any notes. he get out there and could deliver an hour, hour and a half speech with a card and five bullets on it and speak in perfect sentences, heightened
vocabulary. he could do. the fans loved it. they fund, they felt elevated by it. and wilson, you see, never looked down on them. that was a wonderful thing for them. it was a great tool he used. and as such, i think he was pretty effective in that regard. >> you know, lucky for rose -- roosevelt he spoke with notes. in 1912 when he was campaigning, he had the 50-page speech in his pocket when an assassin shot him in the chest. the bum let re-- bullet remained within him. he delivered got-hour speech. because the 50 pages of the speech in his pocket it went upward rather than probably killed him on the spot. so they each had their own way of talking. and living. >> i'm afraid we only have time for one more question. >> speeches can save lives. [laughter] >> for