with richard brookhiser, senior editor of "national review" at the new york historical society. everyone felt they knew her. and they did pretty much because she laid her life out for everybody to see. and she told us about what life was like in suburbia for women in the 1960s through the 1990s. and one of the wonderful things about her, you know, she wrote mainly humor, and it was schumer
that was accessible to everyone. because it was humor that happens to everyone's lives but they might not recognize it until they saw it written on the page or in a newspaper column. because funny things happen to us all the time, but we have to be out on the look out for them come and she was the one that focused our attention on the funny things that happen in the family, things that at the moment seem like craziness and driving you nuts, but when you look back at them you think that was really funny. so that's a real gift. that's a literary gift. >> the life and times of erma bombeck this weekend as a booktv and american history tv look at the history and literary life of dayton, ohio, today at noon on c-span2 and sunday on c-span3.
>> next on booktv, historian nicks myron magnet recounts thev, hisr personal and public lives ofbli america's founders through an examination of their homes. this is about one hour. >> are we all adjusted? >> a well-adjusted, rick. >> myron, you have written a wra great book your physically and also very rich in terms of its content and quite surprising. but let me start with the devil. question. we've had a revival going for 20 years. we've had big books on all thebg big guys. fe are getting books on lesser-known figures. why do we need another one? on [laughter] >> well, first of all as beautiful as you say.
you will see the 32 pages of very good color plays. but it seemed to me that one of the things people had looked at, that as carefully as possible that the founders is very ideas. they were brilliant, very thoughtful guys who have some of them very widely. some of them had a very wise experience. the founding came on as a worldview. i mean, if i wanted to tell this story as a biography. i want to ask the question not just what these guys do, but who are they, what do they think, what was driving them? i was impressed that they really were sorted three large themes
that they were concerned about. one was they had a thirst for liberty, the way that, you know, the way that people know concretely what a flake. the way the eastern europeans who had finally escaped from communism understood that liberty was. and that's because so many of them were descended from dissenting protestants. the pilgrims were for 150 years. there are presbyterians, baptists, quakers coming from europe. the protestants in europe were escaping persecution of the catholic church. is very much a living memory. they knew they had come here
seeking -- they work in a let go of it. then, you know, there's that tragic paradigm that you will now come watch as the america, they live to mid-slavery. >> that was everywhere. >> even jon jay had a couple of slaves as he was president of the society. so, -- >> how many people are doing something they're not doing anything about today? i just had to respond to that ripple of laughter. >> that even the slaveowners, as you well know, and you knew how
obscenely unjust that was, the smart ones, thomas jefferson said that an avenging god would take action and show the world does not govern by blind chance. in a passage that your writing will be another great book about lincoln right now. you just told me you were writing about the second and 90, just as lincoln vilified jefferson in the gettysburg address, talking about how all men were created equal. >> host: jefferson didn't often think about avenging gods or god at all.
just don't know, but if there were god, this is something he would be concerned about. that's for sure. so when now comes to be george the third, this 28-year-old martin has who has succeeded his grandfather, george the second for 30 odd years. he starts messing with his north american colonies in the way that, you know, the elder area, nobody messed with america. george washington in many other columnists looked out and talk, we know it's happening here. george washington said he wants to make a fast team in and check
slaves as the blacks or you rollover with such arbitrary sway. in george washington database and it took george washington a lifetime to understand the full implications of what he was saying and free zones place on his deathbed. so they made a revolution for liberty and i wanted to make clear just how from the very, very beginning, from the finger trails in 1735. new york were so much of our history happens. from there on out, the columnists are concerned about liberty. they had huge this country out of wilderness and they were going to run it themselves. >> tell us exactly who you're focusing on in this book.
>> guest: the reason for that is my wife barbara and i took a trip to virginia, just on a whim to see the founders houses. our advanced age you think we would dumbness times. we never had. it just knocked my socks off to go down there. you walk into those houses that like you're walking into the president's office. you feel that, you know, a place that monticello you feel you know the man who built it. wow, mike! is that it had to be somebody who had a house that open to the public because i wanted people
to have some sense that these were not mythical figures, but they were living human being as the review and "wall street journal" said, we had more, which they couldn't always a zero so i leconte lane. so that was kind of where it made the cut and the other great cut i made was i left out john adams because he's been written about so many times over the years. so i wrote about william livingston who was a signer of the constitution and important because random magazine here in new york in the 1750s, you know, john adams who i left out of my book said that the american revolution -- the real
american revolution have been 15 or 20 years before the shots rang out at lexington and concord. well, that's true. intellectuals remark. he said it happens in the hearts and minds of the americans. if you want to see how they changed their affection and their ideas, just look at the literature, the pamphlets are the servants even at the last 15 years or so. he didn't go far enough because the place where it really started was with living magazine in new york called the independent reflector. she wanted to model it on addison and steele spectator. >> host: >> is this a weekly, monthly quick >> he wrote with a couple of friends. he started making a fuss about
establishing and then turned into the geopolitical, global political theory in which he taught all of america the ideas of government i can then. the right of the people to resist. well, as jefferson summed it up so beautifully, >> there is going to be a tax that everybody had to pay. the mackie said, you know what, most of us in new york aren't anglicans. why should everybody be tax for the purposes of -- and furthermore, the flood into the idea of free thought and how there must be any orthodoxy.
he was like john stuart mill. he was like james madison and away in believing in james madison read when he was a student at princeton. so i stay with him. he is coming in now, the first great intellectual influence. this magazine, everybody read it. everybody got it, to describe to it. his fellow students at princeton were still reading it 20 centimeters later. so then i moved to the lisa strafford hall. it was the house. this house on a book cover. rick goes there. i mean, it is so beautiful.
in fact, 15 of the british artist taureans said this is so architecturally sophisticated is designed. but it wasn't. it was designed by virginia born william wilkins. nobody knows anything about it. >> maybe my judgment of the houses affected by the oddity of the inhabitants. >> is an extraordinary? you have these four brothers who were there. richard henry lee, francis lightfoot lee and are thoroughly and from sisters. and then, the next owner of the town was seriously, the dashing
commander in the revolutionary war who won the famous battle that's not jersey city. spend the character in its own right but the real estate speculator. >> real estate speculators. >> are real estate speculators come back. the herb robert e. lee. imagine that a man who tears apart and the ancestors made was born here. you'll see one of those cast-iron fryer packs in what used to be his nursery a couple
of cherubs cast into the back of it. .. letters that robert e. lee wrote to his wife saying i wish we could by stratford. he said it's the only place that he is confused with the local love. where we could go. i wonder if it's for sale. so stratford hall -- >> now, tell the story howy turn richard henry turned a disaster into, integrate account, his terrible accident. >> oh, that was a terrible
refrain. he was outshooting swans. s if you got to stratford, go to washington's birthplace which is itouekt four miles up the road,. hopes creek e america that the ss came to. when you work through the woods, you know, you see the deer scampering away the way pigeons get out of your way in the park. and the potomac at that point is about 7 miles wide. >> uh-huh. >> so it's just spectacularly beautiful. and the potomac forms into these little bays. and when we went there, there were thousands of geese and hundreds of swans. and overhead, if you can believe it, a bald eagle.
i mean, it was like it had been set up by hollywood. >> right. >> and when i set out to describe this, you know, i like to use adjectives, so i wrote that and overhead a fat, bald eagle, and i realized, wait, that doesn't sound right. [laughter] so he was out shooting swans, which i guess they ate just as queen elizabeth i used to eat them, and his gun blew up. the barrel of his gun blew up and blew the four fingers off his left hand. >> ooh. >> so, you know, i mean, so he had -- and this was the same year that his young wife died, leaving him with two baby sons. so he had a, he had a black silk glove made to cover his disfigurement. and he'd been a very, he'd had a lot of stage fright.
but he learned to become a great orator, and he was a tall, aristocratic virginian, very gaunt with hollow cheeks. he looked like you. [laughter] and so he learned, he learned to gesture with this black silk glove as he got off his creek quotations when he was serving at the continental congress of which he was finally president. and he got to be one of the great or ray to haves of -- orators of all time. you know, though, but on the topic of his stage fright, he gave his maiden speech in the virginia house of burgesses in 1759. so now we're talking 100 years, 100 years and more before the civil war. >> uh-huh. >> and he gets up, and what does
he say to his fellow slave owners? he says abolish slavery. he says it is, he says on prudential grounds it's not good for us to have other people do the work while we sit around. and furthermore, it's going to breed all kinds of strife in future. and furthermore, if we're christians, how can we think that our fellow creatures are not created in the image of god as well as ourselves? and entitled to liberty and freedom? so this is, you know, we have a complicated history here. one hundred years and more before the civil war here is one of the representatives of one of the great slave-owning plantations in virginia making statement. amazing, huh? >> uh-huh. >> then i have three paragraphs
on the great george washington. >> a chapter, surely. >> three chapters. it will feel like three paragraphs, it reads so beautifully. [laughter] and i fell in love with him. and i couldn't stop. you sit there reading his letters and speeches, 1200 pages -- >> did anything surprise you about him? >> yeah. um, i had thought that he was kind of like a high-toned ventriloquist dummy. that he was a very handsome man who looked great in a uniform. and that all these much smarter guys, like madison and hamilton, were pouring the ideas into his head. and, you know, and he'd get up up there in his uniform, and he'd say his lines.
and it's true, they did write his speeches, right? but the fact of the matter is when he was serving out there on the western frontier in the french and indian war in the 1760s and having to be, i mean, in effect the, you know, the government of this lawless territory with a savage indian enemy as he said and having to, having to requisition supplies at swordpoint from the very people whose interests he was trying to protect, already he was starting to think that we needed a strong central government to protect us when we had -- and we needed to be a unified country. so this is decades before the articles of confederation,
decades before the constitutional convention over which he presided. he'd had these ideas. and so what i came to see about him is that he was -- and, you know, you wrote a book about this too, a wonderful book about how george washington is like a ceo. he had the, he had the capacity to make a large strategy, and then he had the self-confidence to pick out brilliant young men to flush it out and get the details done. so he wanted, he wanted a strong central government. needs a constitution? let madison do it, he'll sit there quietly, right? but he knew that's what he wanted, and he knew that's what
madison intended to do. he knew very well that the might of a nation depends on its wealth. >> honors have to be paid. >> and he knew that england was so powerful because it was this fiscal military state that had a bank and a great system of finance. is he knew -- so he knew he wanted a diversified economy. and he didn't want just farming, he wanted to be a modern country. with every kind ofville activity there could -- industrial activity there could be. let madison do it, right? >> hamilton. >> let hamilton do it. when madison objected, of course, he thought long and hard about, well, was this really the right way to go. but in the end he said, yes, let's, let's absolutely do it. so that, that surprised me. it's not simply that he was a
handsome guy who looked good in a uniform, but he was a -- what i say about him in the back is that he was the visionary in chief. and i came to find that. >> all right. so after -- >> and then the case of choosing hamilton over madison's objections, he's going against what you would think were his proclivities. i mean, his virginian advisers, the people who were most like him, were saying, oh, this is wrong, this is a bad guy. but he goes with the new yorker, the immigrant -- >> he was a entrepreneur himself. i mean, he saw mount vernon as his business. he had, he had a -- everything was useful for him. so the potomac, yes, it's beautiful, but, you know, it's full of fish. so he built a fishing fleet. and he's exporting barrels of salted fish to the west indies.
he builds a distillery, and it soon turns into the biggest one in the united states, and it's turning out i can't remember how many gallons of rye and bourbon a year, if you're allowed to make bourbon in virginia. you know, he -- as the, as the virginia soil became exhausted, he experimented with i think it was manager like 60 different -- something like 60 different types of crops until he realized that wheat was the thing to grow. so he was not, you know, lazy aristocratic planter. he was, he was an entrepreneur, and he saw that hamilton -- this illegitimate west indian immigrant in new york on the make, real, genuine new yorker -- that hamilton was in certain ways, well, it's like
hamilton, this fatherless child, really was the true soul son of this childless founding father. and he saw that. >> uh-huh. okay. so we have washington and then hamilton -- >> and then we have -- well, before hamilton we have john jay. >> uh-huh. >> who -- >> now he's an interesting one because we all have copies of the federalist papers -- >> of which he wrote only -- >> he writes only five. but, so, you know, there he is forever with hamilton and madison. but we -- so we know the name, but he himself is a little pale. and i have to say that of all your portraits, maybe that -- his was the most interesting to me because of, well, partly because of what he was willing to do during the revolution.
>> oh. >> he had a lot of tough assignments, really tough stuff. tough stuff morally. >> yeah, he did. he ran a spy ring during the revolutionary war. and he, he came to believe that you couldn't be neutral in this revolution. you couldn't just sit back and say, okay, i'll just wait and see what happens. and if england wins, i'll be english, and if america wins, i'll be american. you had to choose. and so he said, look, if you're not going to choose to be an american, then you have to be disarmed and put out of the protection of the united states, or you have to be exiled. and he exiled, you know, drove some of his best friends into exile. there was, there was a kind
of -- it was a civil war with, you know -- war, you know? >> in new york state. >> and in new jersey to boot. so there were partisan gangs. there were the patriot skinners and the loyalist cowboy withs. and they were just gangs of thugs, is what they were. they were using the war as an excuse, but they were out there to, you know, steal as much as they could steal always saying, well, look, these people are rebels. so of course we're coming to confiscate for, you know, the king's own loyal subjects or vice versa. but they would kill people in doing this. >> uh-huh. >> and they did it to john jay's own father and brother and did not, thank god, kill them. but took everything. i mean, took everything except for the clothes on their back. so then there's john jay serving as the first chief justice of new york, and he's up there in
albany, and he says now i'm doing the worst part of my job. he said, trying loyalist traitors. and he had a, he had a gang of cowboys in front of him as he writes in this letter, and they had broken into this guy -- this patriot's farm when his son, a continental soldier, was home on leave visiting, killed both of them and then got caught by continental troops. and john jay sentenced the whole gang of them to hang. so he said this is very disagreeable work, but it has to be done. and, you know, and the reason you don't, you know least about john jay or did know before this is there really hasn't been a satisfactory biography of him. >> uh-huh. >> so there's one by his son
which is very good, but it's, it's kind of -- >> [inaudible] >> yeah. and, of course, it's very partial. but there are letters and, you know, there's all kinds of documents, and there's all kinds of official correspondence. >> you love his wife. >> i love his wife who's like, i mean, she's like a jane austen heroine. as i say in the book, with sense and sensibility to spare. she's so, she has such, oh, when they go -- when they get ship wrecked on their way to europe and end up in the west indies -- >> this is as a dip to mat -- >> -- as a diplomat, they're on their way to spain, and so they're cast up on i forget what island, santa domingo maybe, and she comments on how beautiful it is and what she likes is what human activity has done to it.
and how up to the very mountaintops they've planted coffee and sugarcane. and she writes her father, william livingston, the writer of that wonderful magazine in the 1750s, she writes her father there are two reice paragraphs -- precise paragraphs about how a sugar mill works. i mean, so she loved, she -- ah, she was fantastic. and when john jay was off making the jay treaty, she writes a letter to him and says, now, don't be mad at me, but, you know, we've been investing our money by lending it out. and so thousand all our -- now all our, everybody who knows us money has paid us back, and
nobody wants to borrow money just now. so there's all this bank stock going. and, you know, it seemed to me hike a really good investment, and she gives a little kind of investment report about, you know, a kind of analyst report on why this stock would be, would be good to buy. so she said i took the money, and i bought it. [laughter] and she said it's already gone up x percent. so she was fantastic. now, the ting about john jay -- the thing about john jay that is most striking is that although we remember him as our first chief justice, in fact, he is most important for having made the treaty that ended the revolutionary war. and what's so interesting about it is that the congress under the leadership of madison's party had given him instructions
to share everything with our french allies. and this treaty, after all, the negotiations all took place in paris, in france. well, john jay realizes that the french have their own ambitions in the new world and that, yeah, they're helping us, but not because they love us, because they have their own plan. >> it's not a nation of lafayettes. >> no, no, it's not. and so he completely disregards his instructions from congress, proceeds to deal quite separately with the english negotiators, and he says to them, you know what we have to do is negotiate a lasting peace because, well, we have to negotiate a lasting peace. this scares the daylights out of the english, out of the english negotiator. he thinks, a lasting peace? is that a coded word for how the
americans want to be the arbiter of the balance of power in europe? and he goes to franklin who's officially but not really taking any part in these negotiations and says what does a lasting peace mean? franklin tells him that story from roman history, which one i don't know, but he spins it out. and he says, so a lasting peace is a peace that is fear and just to both parties so they don't go to war again and, hence, it is lasting. oh, says oswald, the negotiator. fine, then i think i can do what you want done which is recognize american independence, something the french did not want to happen. and also -- >> they wanted a small america. >> they wanted america to be small, hemmed in by hostile powers on all sides, at odds
with britain, poor and dependent on france, right? well, that's not what happened, and the reason it didn't happen is because john jay, you know, with this stupendous geopolitical understanding and imagination and with this stupendous american initiative and entrepreneurship just said, wait a minute, you know? i know i'm here to serve my nation's interest, and i think i know what my nation's interest is. and i'm going to do it. so it was just miraculous, what he did. >> uh-huh, uh-huh. >> then comes hamilton, about whom you have written so eloquently. and you know that i've learned that you should tell the story of the founding through short biographies from you, because you've written a shelf of magnificent ones, and you've
been my kind of model all through this. >> well, you were my editor. >> yeah, but -- [laughter] >> i didn't have a hell of a lot to edit, you know? sometimes you'd get flawless copy, and that's what i got. and on hamilton, of course, you and i see it the same way. i mean, hamilton was the man who imagined an opportunity america. he wanted an economy which had, which had a niche for every skill, every talent, every ambition. and it's because he thought of economics as soul craft. yes, it would make people rich, and it would make the country rich, but how were you going to fulfill your own potential if you didn't have the opportunity to find something to do that would allow you to bring out
everything that was in you? so it was -- >> which he had had only by a combination of brilliance and luck. >> yeah. and, you know, and the luck, of course, was that he got a job as a clerk for bigman and krueger in the west indies. well, bigman and krueger is one of the great new york trading firms. >> uh-huh. >> so even when he was a teenager working as a lowly clerk in the west indies, he was already -- although he didn't know it yet -- connected to the great dynamo, you know, what was going to become the dynamo of the united states. but the economic dynamo that was the triangle trade which is what beekman and krueger were involved in. is he was, i mean, he was a year jus, he really was just a genius. and then i have chapters about the republicans as the progenitors of the democrats were called. one about jeff and his --
jefferson and his stupendous house. and if there's anybody who in this room who hasn't been to monticello, go. it's just, it's the greatest house in america. it's -- i can't tell you how beautiful. >> you write so movingly about the use of light. >> oh. here's this, it's got triple-hung windows, floor to ceiling window, you know, the kind you can open up and walk out onto the veranda, and it's got skylights, glass skylights with louvers. and it's got mirrors everywhere. and, you know, jefferson had his slaves level the top of the little mountain on which it's built with. so there's sunlight pouring into it from all these windows and skylights, and it's bouncing off all these mirrors. and it struck me that it was this perfect enlightenment icon,
and it seemed to be crying out, more light. and you don't realize that right at first. but i remember you said when you looked at the pictures in the book, you were struck by how beautiful the pictures of monticello were and that, you know, was it, where are they take -- were they taken on a particularly sunny day, you asked me? no, that's what the house is like. the house is enlightenment. and all its amazing rooms, the demi-octagons and, i mean, they all fit -- >> which eliminate corners, right? >> which eliminate dark corners. there were peculiarities about it. there's a room that was always called will madison's room because -- mr. madison's room because madison and his wife would come and visit. so, you know, jefferson liked these alcove beds. so here's an alcove bed, and i
always thought the madisons would come now when they had retired from the white house, and i thought which of the old couple slept on the inside? [laughter] and how did they -- anyway -- [laughter] it was, it was really a house built for a bachelor. and -- >> well, a widower. >> a widower whose wife died very young and who then most people believe, as i do, he then took her half sister, his slave sally hemings, as his concubine. and had children with her. so they had strange race relations on the 18th century plantation. >> and the slave corridors and passages don't partake of this light. >> oh, no, no. it's like there are these, you know, a regular 18th century
house has wings with the kitchens and the various service parts. but the wings are like separate pavilions, and there are arcades. well, mount vernon is a case. >> right. >> and so jefferson did this too, but he inverted them. so he's got his wigs, but they're -- wings, but they're underground. and what you've got are terraces that you can walk out on. and it just looks like you've got these beautiful promenades, but underneath -- >> all the work is being done. >> all the work is being done, and sally hemings has her room. oh, and the wine cellar, of course -- >> the only man in america who knows a good bottle of wine. >> and who is it, rick, you remember this, somebody wrote, you know, jefferson came to dinner last night and bored us all with his talk about what the best wine was. so sometimes i suppose you can
know too much. [laughter] then come two chapters on madison, one on madison the thinker and the brilliant, brilliant, brilliant creator of the constitution and the astonishing degree of political sophistication and historical understanding and knowledge of human nature. because these guys were not sentimental. he was making a government for real people as they really are and not for prodigies of virtue. >> not for angels. >> if men were angels, we would need no government, he said in federalist 51. right? but, you know, and then the last chapter is about madison's presidency which, which you and i disagree about. i love your madison book. i can't tell you how many hours of pleasure it gave me.
but i think that madison's presidency was a failure. i think that it was not -- >> i didn't think it was that good. >> i understand. but i thought it was that bad and that it wasn't necessary to fight the war of 1812, and it wasn't necessary to come so close to losing it as we actually did. >> we certainly came very close to that. well, men are curious, so i'm going to open the floor to questions now, and i want to instruct you all that if you want to ask a question, they've got standing mics in the aisle. before you ask your question, say your name and, please, only ask one question. and also, you know, don't give a speech with a rising inflection at the end. [laughter] make it a real question. and we have, there are two staff members on hand to help you with
these arrangements, so i'll start with this side. >> hi, my name is peter goodman. was the jefferson/hamilton antipath think based on philosophical -- [audio difficulty] >> it was philosophical for sure. although he never noticed that his agriculture was done for him the idea of a diversified economy and a bank and a funded national debt were just plain evil.
so that was philosophical difference one. philosophical difference two had to do with the french revolution, and jefferson -- who was minister to france when the revolution broke out, who edited the declaration of the rights of man and the citizen for his friend, lafayette -- absolutely believed the french revolution, and he said, you know, i look -- >> he never bailed out. >> he never bailed out. and so many friends of his were killed. and so many friends of ours, so many of our allies in the revolutionary war. he said, you know what? i just look at them as casualties of war. and if there were one adam and one eve left in every country and that a republican adam and eve, that would be fine with me. so, and whereas hamilton thought it was mere anarchy -- near anarchy is and that terror was terror. >> okay. next here. >> bob ulrich. a comment and a question.
>> question, please. >> okay. [laughter] the question is in studying the revolutionary war, it became clear to me that one of the biggest reasons for the start of the war was the way that the war, that the french and indian war ended. washington had done a lot of surveying as a young man out west. he knew the property. when the french and indian war ended, a lot of the officers were given major tracks instead of money. washington went around, bought up those properties. the proclamation of 863 made it illegal to develop it. my question is -- [laughter] did washington have a we could agenda in saying i want to be commander in chief? he could no longer use those lands, could he? >> well, i understand your point. but, no, that is not why he went to fight the revolution. what really, what the real result of the french and indian
war was as sensible geopoliticians saw at the time was that it ended french power in north america and, therefore, america had no these of british protection anymore. and, therefore, war with england, some people felt, was only a matter of time because why should we let anybody boss us around? be because we don't need 'em. >> thank you. >> i'm george shay, and i'm wondering why you couldn't bring in robert morris who was so wealthy and so important, and then he wound up in debtor's prison. >> well, i'm just fascinated but robert morris, and i really, really wanted to include him. but he did not leave much in the
way of writings behind him. there's -- >> that's the problem with sam adams. >> yeah. >> i mean, clearly a seminal, major figure -- >> yeah. >> but the papers are gone. >> -- are gone. and morris' accounts are gone. so here was this great finding -- >> along with all of his money. [laughter] and everybody else's money. >> and everybody else's. there was -- including $40,000 of lighthorse harry lee that he'd lent him. so -- >> i think the figure was he owed 20 times more than he had? >> and he had, and wasn't he just about the richest man in the colonies -- >> yeah, at his peak. >> at his peak. so i agree, he's a fascinating figure, and if you could suddenly go into one of these houses and find a dusty leather leather-bound trunk in the attic and open it up and there would
be morris' papers, that would be, oh, that would be wonderful. and i'd love to live to see it. >> my name is jim macken. you're, obviously, very impacted by the houses themselves of these great people. um, would you give us a reflection on the notion -- and it's almost that lockeian notion -- that property is the rightful creation or value of what you productively do, and did they understand that, do you think, in creating their houses? >> oh, yes. that's a very good question. and for washington, washington was always being condescended to in the french and end grab war -- indian war by british officers with royal commissions. he was just a colonial, you know, hayseed. and they never thought that he was worth anything. so he had this great issue with
trying to show that he was just as much a gentleman as they were. so mount vernon was the outward man testation -- manifestation in the beginning of his inward ambitions to be that kind of a gentleman. however, and this is a very important however, late in the war a british sloop of war anchored off mount vernon. and his cousin, lund, who was managing the estate in the his absence, the british sloop of war anchored, took a bunch of his silver, took a bunch of his slaves, and his cousin lund went onboard with a slave bearing a tray of refreshments. to say can i resupply you, can i help you out. but won't you, please, give me back my cousin's silverware and
slaves. washington writes to him and says you have to think of yourself as my representative, and i can't believe you did such a terrible thing. he said, you know, i fully expect that before this war is over i'm going to lose all my slaves, i'm going to lose all my houses, i'm going to lose everything that was there at mount vernon, and that's the price i'm willing to pay. well, so that is a noble man. >> and there's one fact that sticks in my mind about mount vernon was the english architect, i'm blanking on his name, who came to america late in the 18th century -- >> latrobe? >> benjamin latrobe. >> right. he writes this famous description of mount vernon. he describes it as a neat
country gentleman's house of about 500 pounds a year. >> yes. >> and, of course, this is at the same time that jane austen is writing the first draft of ride and prejudice and mr. darcy has, what, 5,000, and mr. bingly has 10,000. so, i mean, these houses are beautiful houses, and they're impressive. but compared to english standards of wealth and pomp and circumstance -- >> they're little. they're tiny. and alan greenberg, the really wonderful classical architect who's practicing now and building buildings as we speak wrote a book called "the architecture of democracy" about american architecture. and, and he's absolutely right. i mean, these guys were building houses for republican gentlemen, not grantees. and if you compare each mount vernon to -- even mount vernon to, you know, some english great
country house like zion house or houghton, it's tiny. it's really tiny. and if you go up -- i hope everybody will get on the train and go up to 141st street and look at hamilton's beautifully-restored house. but compared to, you know, compared to an english gentleman's house, that's a tradesman's villa. it's a teeny, teeny, teeny, little house. so these guys did have their ambitions, but they were not to be lords. >> that's right. any more questions? well, let's keep talking then. [laughter] you know, are you, are they going to let you into boston for sort of stopping your survey -- >> you know, i think what i'll tell them is i felt i had to wait for everybody to forget mccullough's book and forget the movie and that i intend to devote an entire book, in fact,
five volumes of it to john adams. i didn't think of that, rick, until you reminded me that, oh, my god, i was going to go to boston, and i didn't want write about any single -- i didn't write about any single adams. do you want to come with me? [laughter] >> well, and they, the houses that survive, i mean, i'll just say the last one, the most recent one in time was peacefield which was the one that john and abigail after they came back. and that stayed in the family until the 20th century. so -- and the adams, i don't think, ever threw anything away. so if you go to peacefield, it's like, it's like an attic of american stuff. and there's stuff that you've seen in textbooks and biographies, or whatever. >> yeah. >> oh, wait, that's there, and you turn a corner, and there's
that painting, and there's this and there's that. >> it's interesting, so many of these houses are houses that stayed in the family. so john jay's house was a really quite a simple villa like thousands and thousands of others -- >> and that's where? >> that's in katona. so just up the road in westchester. and -- but the jay family prospered, and they added on to the house. and, you know, the house is filled with generations worth of stuff. i mean, it's wonderful. and jay himself never threw anything away. so he has his hugh not grandfather's green card. [laughter] and you can see it. it's this parchment signed by royal governor don -- [inaudible] who became lord limerick allowing august jay to settle
and do business in the royal colony of new york. i mean, it's just -- and it's got a little docket on the back, my grandfather's permission to stay in america. in john jay's neat little handwriting. >> and just let's leave with this, this was probably the most moving thing to me in the whole book, was the letter that he writes hamilton's father-in-law -- >> oh, i can't repeat it, because i'll cry. [laughter] >> okay. all right. you'll have to buy the book to read it. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you all. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, mr. kaiser god myronnet. >> thank you so much. good evening, everyone. >> we would like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback,
twitter.com/booktv. >> as a moderate in the privacy debate and in the privacy world, i have come to a troubling conclusion. the data broker industry as it is today does not have constraints and does not have shame. it will sell any information about any person, regardless of sensitivity for 7.9 cents a name. which is the price of a list of rapes the first, which was recently sold. lists of rape sufferers, victims of domestic violence, police officers home addresses, people who suffer from genetic illnesses, complete with names, home addresses, ethnicity,
>> up next on booktv katrina alcorn ideas that while women are the main breadwinners and a majority of american families the u.s. workplace is largely hostile to working mothers. this is 45 minutes. [applause] >> thank you for that lovely introduction and thank you everyone for coming out on a school night. i know hi is to do that. whether you have kids or not we appreciate your coming. i want to thank kepler's for hosting this event and make a quick plug, if you have any change in your pocket tonight, by book, support your local independent bookstore. this is a great option but you don't have to buy my book. that is how these guys stayed in business, so thank you. what i thought i would do is
have three shark excerpt of like to read for you tonight. then i thought we could just have a little discussion and answer questions and sign books. has anyone actually read the book yet? oh! okay. some people have started it, some have finished it, some are still working on it so just to give you a little bit of context the format of the book is a bit unusual. my publisher told me the other day, a category stretcher or something so basically it is written primarily as a memoir and it is a personal story about my experience trying to everything i could possibly think of to balance a demanding career and motherhood and how i completely and utterly failed but that also try to make sense of that failure and put in a
bigger context and the idea for turning this into a book started when i started hearing stories from other women that were eerily similar to mine about burning out and i realized how maxed out we all are and i wanted to understand it in a bigger way. so it is primarily a memoir but in each chapter i try to include a little sidebar of research, and many essay where i take on something from that chapter and on will share one of those with you as well. where i would like to start is actually in the middle, to give you some context in the beginning of this book i had a baby girl and a stepdaughter who is a toddler, and i started a big management job at a consulting firm in san francisco. i left everything always doing, i was completely wrecked with guilt and really struggling
almost from the get go. when i took this job but over the years i actually figured it out. i actually took classes on anxiety management, read it in the book and these things did help me and i had another baby, so this part of the book takes place after all returned from maternity leave so i have a new baby and two older kids. i was working only a four day a week schedules, we had one child more than one i work five days. brian and i were both moving as fast as we could and yet certain tasks were still not getting done. jake was behind on his immunizations. i needed new glasses. all of us were overdue to a trip to the dentist. martha had a school play coming
up the same day as ruby's parent teacher conference. when were we supposed to make time for all this stuff, the stuff that was part of living and normal life but didn't seem to fit into our normal life. someone had to collect the piper work to refinance the mortgage when interest rates dropped. someone had to pick up the dry cleaning, get the oil changed, buy stamps, organize family photos, get our taxes ready, plant if they parties, rsvp for other kids birthday parties, by and wrap the party gifts, shop around for life, car and home insurance, stock the earthquake hit, a big brownies for martha's basketball team pablo, take rudy to her swim lessons, poison the ants, take a rain could tour return overdue library books, pictures movies, invest our retirement savings, chaperon rudy's field trip and pay the bills. after that the work obligations stepped outside of work hours.
out of town clients, industry conferences, gossiping networking events, launch parties some of which we hosted at the dog star office, then they might give the company and was working at. it was a bad form to miss them. for brian there was invoicing and accounting, negotiating contracts, learning new software programs and countless other business related tasks for which he didn't get paid. luckily we were consultants. it was our job to plan and execute difficult project. what we need is a good project plan, brian declared, confident that this would fix our problems so each sunday night after the kids went to bed ryan and i hunkered down at the kitchen table to create our plan for the week. we listed everything that needed to get done, decided which ones where top priority and made an
elaborate spreadsheet that divide each day of the coming week into his and her 30 minute increments. it specified studious detail every child's drop-off and pick-up, every grocery shopping trip, every week lead shore, included work meetings that were expected to start earlier and run late, business trips and professional networking events, included important school events like martha's science fair and preschoolers show. in an effort to stay healthy we scheduled time to work out and time to see friends. this wonder schedule even included time to create the next week's schedule, two people at one half hour time slot. it was color coded by category, work, kids, personal, took up half a refrigerator. looking at it fills me with an odd mixture of hope, i can do what all, and dread, not a
moment to spare. on paper there was time for everything as long as nothing went wrong. but of course, things did go wrong. the car got a flat. a friend called for a favor, the water heater and broke and flood the floor. when any of these things happened it was like the proverbial butterfly effect that caused the hurricane. one wrong move could set off a chain of events causing the whole schedule to collapse. the worst was when one of us got sick because chances were all of us would get sick which meant being stuck in the house for a week or more, missing work, missing school, missing sleep, getting bored off our not on scooby due cartoons. we did everything humanly possible to avoid this. we took daily multivitamins, brian began getting allergy
shots once a week. at the slightest hint of a coal-fired old dog herbal remedies to the kids like that than a show or homeopathic remedies that promise to boost their immune system. brian and i took the grown-up version of these magic elixir is. when entire shelf in the kitchen was devoted to packets of emergency, plastic tubes and airborne and things i could barely printout that i still can't pronouns. we avoided sugar because i read sugar compromises the immune system. we bought brown was, never white and a whole grain bread and pasta. i sprinkle yeast on the kids's yet enforce special treat let them lick the white, powdery material of this boone. we cancelled play dates if anyone's for had felt even
slightly warm and our friends did the same. every working parent we knew was terrified of germs. we watched our hands as though we had obsessive compulsive disorder and when we went out i carried lavenders scented antibacterial white skin mike harris. i eyed every doorknob and bannister with suspicion. i flushed public toilets with my foot. i was worse than howard hughes. and yet after jake started did care and i returned to work we got sick, and sec comments and sick again, chest colds, unexplained fevers that lasted five days, rashes that bloomed on the kids's bellies and under their arms and then faded away, head weiss which might only infest one of the kids but required us to treat everyone in the family and watch every towel, sheet and blankets in the
house. once, martha got a stomach flu in the middle of the night. i apologize ahead of time. she tried to get to the bathroom but didn't get farther than the top rung of her bunk bed where she vomited like a sprinkler head, somehow managing to hit all four walls of her bedroom. all four of them. it couldn't have been easy. last thing before bed she had eaten was an entire plate of strawberries. it looked as if a dying animal had run around the room bleeding on every surface. bronchitis, as infection, pink eye, walking pneumonia, asthma attacks, strep throat, whooping cough. whooping cough? the disease that was supposedly eradicated in the 1940s? yes. bose jake and brian got it. that one parent as a free house
call from two very concerned nurses from the centers for disease control. they sat down jake's day care for week. after he was well enough to go back he couldn't. in three months, brian and i missed ten days of work to stay home with sick kids. if the rest of the year turned out to be anything like those three months, we witness more than 40 days of work. how could this be? i have six paid sick days a year, generous considering half of american workers don't have any. but it wasn't close to covering all the days that one of our kids was sick. of course i could always use my vacation time but i needed that to recover random professional development days at school and holidays the only children and postal workers get. caesar chavez day, anyone? i asked the pediatrician for advice, she was in her 50s, early 60s and had seen it all.
i trusted her implicitly. why do we keep getting sick? asked during one of our many visits to check on a child's lingering off, what we doing wrong? this is normal, she said, as she tucked her stethoscope away in a pocket. children get on average age to 10 colds and fevers a year. 8 to 10 bonuses a year per child? in was absurd and yet consistent with everything we had experienced. when we got home i did the math. let's say on average your kid has to be home from school one day per wholeness. some illnesses don't require any missed days at school and others can knock your kid out for a week easy. that is nine days perfect kid year. let's say you have two kids and there are nine sick days overlapped by half. that means you have to take an
average of 13 to 14 days off a year to be home with a sick kid. some years will be better, others will be worse. of course that number does not include the days when you, the parent, are sick and no matter how many drinks you drink for breakfast if you are up all night with a sick kid you are bound to get whatever is keeping him awake. my rule was to never, ever take a sick day for myself unless i was throwing up. my frequent sniffles and coughs garnered sympathy from some of my co-workers and the stink i from others. why are you exposing meet your germs, they wanted to say? wanted to reply i can't afford to take a sick day. i have three kids. this was the silent conversation we carried out time and time again in my head. often when one of the kids was sick and brian was unavailable why work from home.
it was generous of stella to let me do this but let's face it, it sucks to feel conference calls on huge when you're feverish child is moaning on the couch, you feel you are neglecting your kid when she needs you most a you feel you are letting your co-workers down too. i am going to stop there. the sicknesses when done. other things happened. i would like to read one of these mini essays with the research and because we are in silicon valley i would like to read what about productivity. this is an issue in almost every industry but in particular in high-tech companies, financial firms, all across silicon valley, digital agencies, there is a real cult of sacrifice,
there is this real cultural expectations that goes beyond anything written in the employee handbook that you will work very long hours, and it is stupid because the research shows it is stupid and i will read you why. let's all work a 30 hour week. let me get a sip of water. let's all work a 30 hour week. i have noticed in morning work meetings my colleagues tend to be more attentive and get a lot done. as the day wears on our meetings become less and less productive. i read a story in salon by sarah robinson that describes this phenomenon, showcasing research proving the long hours kill
profits, productivity and employees. since your boss probably hasn't read the story, chances are you are still stuck like so many americans working 50 or more hours a week and since that leaves you very little time to read anything except this book i will share the highlights here. most people assume that if you increase your hours by, say, 50% you will get 50% more done. not true. study after study shows for industrial workers, productivity dramatically decreases after eight hours a day. knowledge workers, people like me and most of my friends have only six the hours of productivity a day. after that we are cooked noodles and. studies also show that when companies reduce workers' hours back down to 400 week their businesses become -- this is a quote -- significantly more productive and profitable.
sometimes there are short-term gains when people work 60 or 70 hours a week. however as the article points out the risk of burnout begins after one week and this is a quote from the article. without adequate rest, recreation, nutrition and time off to just be, people get doll and stupid. they can't focus. they spend more time answering e-mail and giving off than they do working. if they make mistakes that they never make, if they were arrested, and fixing those mistakes takes water because they are fried. some software teams descending to a negative progress mode where they are actually losing ground week after week because they are so mentally exhausted that they are making more errors than they can fix. despite 150 years of research proving that long hours is bad for everyone americans still work some of the longest hours
of any country in the industrialized world. and we know better? that is the end of the quote. this is a culture problem created by a bunch of geeky, anti-social a workaholic software programmers from silicon valley who were upheld for their passion and made not working on the weekends seem terribly old-fashioned but most of us whether we have children or not can't work this way. so negative productivity mode is the term you have to tell your boss when you explain why you are going home at 5:00. one of the reasons i wrote this book, and why i felt my story had something to contribute to this conversation about women and work is because i think that there is an inordinate amount of discussion put on women's personal choices. whenever the conversation comes
about having it all or leaning in or opting out or women in poverty even, it goes back to it is your choice to work or not work. and i think what we are missing and what the media is missing is that this is a public health issue. hopefully by the end of this book you have read enough research and enough stories to see that the u.s. has a terrible lack of support for working families who are at the bottom of the list of developed countries and we have a culture problem that goes beyond policy. but this isn't just making people unhappy, it is making a lot of us sick. i would like to read this last excerpt from late in the book, chapter 23 which starts when i stopped working. i wish i could tell you i quit my job, took a few weeks to
recuperate and emerge refreshed and ready to embrace a new chapter in my life. if i had quickly 7 months earlier that might have happened. maybe if i had hit the reset button than before our ghastly winter, before july and april, perhaps i just quietly stepped away from my career like so many other moms i knew. this is what happened instead. the first few days after i stopped working, i cried constantly. i woke up in the middle of the night shaking, heart pounding, unable to go back to sleep. i imagined myself as a car that had run out of gas. i just needed to refuel but the days turned into weeks. here come the ambulances for me. but the days turned into weeks
and i wasn't getting any better. i hadn't run out of gas. i had run out of oil. my internal machinery had ground against itself and fused. if you could have lifted my hood, akron, fix smoke would have billowed out. i continued to cry on the couch. i would move from the couch to my bed where i stared at the dark, purple leaves of the palm tree in the backyard. when the wind blew through the branches the underside of leaves looked silvery blue like the bloom of a reason. was entrancing like watching goldfish swimming in a bowl. always moving but never going anywhere. pry and had started a new project. every few hours he took a break from his work to come inside, stroke my hair and say reassuring things. you are home, everything is going to be okay, you just need a long rest he said over and over. she was remarkably upbeat
considering his wife had just lost her mind. the tensions that have steadily grown between us since i started back full time had evaporated. there was nothing to fight about anymore. was as if brian had been expecting this and now that i had finally collapsed and was a relief to him. now there was something he could do. for starters he could take care of the kids. cruel irony. i had yearned for years to have more time with my children. now that i finally had time, being around them was a torment. i felt as if might years would bleed from the shrieks and happy squeals. i loved them of course, i never stopped loving them and being their mother but all i wanted was to lie down alone in profound silence. i wanted one of those sensory deprivation tanks with no light and no sound, so quiet that
silence itself became a malaise. i would lie there until every thought stopped, until i was as relaxed as a boiled egg noodle comment and still i would not move. i would stay until i was good and board. i hadn't been bored in years. it sounded like such a luxury. i would go on line, my dark silent little tank, until the arid landscape of my bones grew moist, until it started to rain in the desert, until i felt the russell of wild life, until the birds began a new song, and to live felt completely whole and cumin and alive again. how long i wondered, how long would that take? i made an appointment with my psychiatrist if you days after i stopped working. i hadn't seen her in five years since ruby was a baby. this time, i wasn't going to sign up for any classes.
i longed to be fixed once and for all. i wanted her to pull off high-tech vacuum cleaner out from underneath her desk and suck the misery out of me. a misery removal machine. absent that i was pretty sure i want to drugs. she looked exactly the same as i remembered her, short, curly brown gray hair, no makeup, that asymmetrical gays. after quickly listing my symptoms like a truck stop waitress for citing the day's specials i got to the point. i am quitting my job, i said, i leaned back against the cool fabric of the couch, that is sort of. i want to leave of absence. i was planning to quit seven months ago but then the economy tanked so i stayed. i think i got really burned out. in narrowed her eyes, not an almost imperceptibly. yes, that is what it sounds
like. i shifted forward again. what is happening to me? am i having a nervous breakdown? i hadn't said that phrase nervous breakdown outloud before but as soon as i did it sounded perfectly right and strangely hopeful. cereus yet temporary, something i would get through, not something i had to live with. reflecting on it much later i could see it also implied catharsis, internal act of rebellion against the status quo like my his spirit was going on strike to protest the constant, mindless activity of my body. we wouldn't call it a breakdown, she said. that is not a medical term. what would you call it? she looked down at my file for several seconds, then back at me. you may have a depression disorder and an anxiety
disorder. often people who are depressed have anxiety but you may have both disorders. i have two disorders, i said? i didn't like the sound of this. i still don't. nervous breakdown may not be an accepted medical term but it need be describe an event. dr. light was just driving up anthology. she ran her index finger down a page of my file, looked up again. how do you feel about going on anti-depressants? now we were getting somewhere. she could call it whatever she liked as long as she made it go away. will they make me feel better? i asked. many people find and depressants are quite effective at relieving anxiety and depression. her tone reminded me of disclaimers you here at the end of drug commercials. individual results may vary. she hadn't really answered my question but then what did i expect her to say? yes? they will fix you right up?
i want to start you on a new drug, she continued, it is a powerful drug we used to treat those depression and anxiety. unfortunately it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to start working. four to six weeks? i slumped back against the couch. there are some potential side effects, she continued and began to list them. dry mouth, nausea, headaches, decrease sexual desire, night sweats, anxiety. anxiety? did she really just say that? it was like telling a drowning person to take one more big gulp of water. lie eyes filled with tears again. i don't know if i can do this. if i get any more anxious i will spontaneously combust. we can start you on a very low dose, she said, ignoring my hyperbole. apparently i was not her craziest patient. you can work up to the full
therapeutic dose slowly. that will minimize the side effects but you won't get the benefits until you reach the full therapeutic dose. each time she said the words full therapeutic dose she slowed down and enunciated each word with reverence which made me think of a catholic priest making the sign of the cross. i will write you a prescription, she swiveled back to her computer and started taking up the prescription as if the matter were settled. you can take it every four hours to minimize the anxiety symptoms, she said over her shoulder. once you have adjusted, we will mean you off of it. well, i thought, i got what i came for. i decided to trust dr. light. she had been right about the anxiety class, she obviously knew for what she was doing which made one of us. this afternoon i emptied my
delight paper bag of medication on the kitchen table as if i had been on record treating. i held up the two bottles to show brian. i have my uppers and downs, just like elvis, he observed. all you are missing is peanut butter and banana sandwich. with that i will stop. obviously i am fine now. i won't tell you what happened after that. you will have to read the book. now would be a good time to answer any questions that anyone may have. there is the mic in the back. if there are no questions -- >> how did your children -- >> do you want to do this?
thank you. >> i am curious how your children related to you during that period because that must've been scary or difficult -- how did you work through that part of it? >> how did my kids relate when i first stop working? and by the way i am working now. is not like i stopped forever. it is funny. the early days when i stopped working were total crisis mode. i wasn't functional, really. it is amazing how the village kind of appears sometimes when you needed. we didn't have any family around to help, but suddenly my aunt was flying out from the other side of the country and stayed with us for the first week, friends came out of the woodwork bringing meals, taking kids out on a weekend. i don't know that my kids notice the whole lot. i would like to think that that is a testament to how hard my
husband and i were both trying to kind of keep it all together for them and this is something that gets lost a lot is we are so busy working and raising families and taking care of other people land we don't realize how much it is hurting us to not be taking care of ourselves. >> a couple questions. one comment. i was a little surprise that this hasn't generated a business opportunity of an industry to take care of aarons. >> it has. there is a whole part in the book about that. >> okay. so if you have enough money you can hire somebody to fix your car for you and get laundry done. >> pick up your groceries, for your laundry, run your errands, by your mother's day cards for
your mother, it is amazing what you can pay for so that you can work more but a lot of people can't afford that. is not a solution for most of society. >> another question, sometimes people, maybe most people find themselves in a sort of rock and hard place. supposing you are the sole source of health care for your family and you were going nuts but your kids wouldn't get their shots if you couldn't work. >> that is an excellent point. i am not an advocate for women not working. i actually think when work works right, families tend in society to be more stable when both parents can were coursing parents because there are a lot of single-parent raising families and they are the sole support.
i also think we have to recognize we can't do everything without some kind of support. i think my story is one example of what happens, everyone has a different story but mine is one example of what happens when you try to do everything and don't have enough support. in my case when i was sleep deprived and coming back from maternity leave i needed to work less for a little while and wasn't an option. >> another question, third question is what do bosses think of all this? i work in the health care field and i can tell you my fellow physicians had very generous maternity leave but that is because we were extracting half of the wealth of society in order to finance it for ourselves but in your field maybe not possible to do that. >> what do the bosses think? there's a silver lining in here,
there's a win/win/win that i talk about in the book. one ray of hope for me is a program which is results only work environment, it is a management strategy that companies are using, what they say is this is especially pertinent to knowledge workers, for get about time as you know it, forget clocking in and clocking out. we are always available anyway su cares? forget showing up for meetings, meetings are optional. your sole job, employee, is we will hold you accountable to results, and what this does is it turns the paradigm around because it means employees who are really good at their jobs and effected and the efficient end up being rewarded for that and people who are just a buck in the chair but are there for 12 hours a day are no longer
rewarded just for showing up and companies become more profitable and there are all kinds of case studies around this. that is just one example but i think there is a lot to be gained for businesses figuring this out because the fact is we are not living the 1950s mall anymore. we can assume there is an adult at home to take care of all the things associated with running a household and we have to be comfortable's lives. we have to make room for people's lives and we will be productive workers if we figure out. >> how many bosses are -- >> i don't know how to answer that. i think people in management need to understand they are losing money by burning out workers. that can be a hard case to make but if you look at the research.
companies with more women in leadership, the companies that are able to retain women instead of pushing the not of jobs. and, and very unproductive people in the building. >> is there a movement underway? >> one thing i am doing with the book is describing to create the problem. and i am donating 10% of my other proceeds from the book to
momsrising.org. we have been very actively watching what they're doing, it lobbies for things like a maternity leave, we are the only developed country in the world that doesn't provide this, and americans don't have that the there looking athings like work culture change. that is just one example. thanks. >> thanks for talking to me. i was reading this section where you talk about women sharing what is going on and the inside, like their exteriors. i love that idea, and if you continue to do at at all.
you can talk about writing this book and what the process was like and how you put that into a very full life. >> let me remember two part of this question. inside and outside, i ask women, what is going on under the surface and they are women who on the surface look very together and professional and happy and have lots of friends and their kids are doing great but the idea came from me because a friend of mine who is very close, talking about other women at school. they had bosses, stagnating, and to control the insight to other people's out sides. the truth is we don't know what
is going on for other women. that is where the idea came from. it was very touching, the kinds of things face and. the other part about writing the book, that is fun to talk about. the book happened in stages. i stopped working, i said i quit my job but the truth was i went home sick and never went back. i couldn't work for a while. once i got off the couch and started eating again, wasn't crying every moment, i needed something to do, i felt so terrible. it is such -- i heard this from other women over and over so i know it is not just me. such a come down when you built your career, a capable person. the good side of that is if we
all had that experience to really grow and become deeper people. in my case there was a lot of soul-searching and i wrote the first draft of the memoir in four months. that is all i did besides taking care of my kids. and then i started working again and said the book aside and started blogging and it was through the blogging that i started hearing from women in every country, from indonesia, argentina, the u.k. canada, guatemala, all over the u.s. the midwest, everywhere, similar stories, every industry you could imagine. that is when i started researching the issue and carved this into the books that it really is now. >> did you have a question?
>> i walked in late. my question to you, what you have gone through, i am wondering, how did you gather the strength and courage to get back to work. what does that look like for you? >> how did i get the strength to go back to work. is like falling off a horse. the longer you don't get back on the horse you start to psych yourself out. i went from -- if this was the thing. i was good at my job. the work evaluations, pages and pages of how great i am, a great manager but when i stopped working it is like all fellow way. my confidence was shattered. my strategy for going back, i am self-employed now and have been since i started working again which was three years ago. my strategy in the beginning was
to pick the most boring projects i could find, the least glamorous and only part time. and i just eased myself back in that way. it wasn't fun work. it wasn't building my career but it was building my confidence and it was kind of amazing. it took a really long time, this whole process, i realized i had my groove back. >> in my case i feel like going the opposite direction. i have more confidence, it feels like this is the right thing and getting back -- >> you are not working. >> i'm in no hurry. it worries me -- amide taking it easy? something i am putting on and imagining? >> i think you need to listen to
yourself. so many people, lean into opt out. if you say this feels really good, sounds like you are doing the right thing. thank you. any other questions? a okay, thanks for having me, everyone. [applause] >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs, weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate, weeknights watch the public policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web site and you can join the conversation on social media
sites. >> you are watching booktv. newt gingrich argues we are at the dawn of an age of great breakthroughs in technology, medicine, transportation and other fields but warns this new age may not be reached if we allow the government and the gatekeepers to get in a way. this is an hour and 10 minutes. >> aquino's how to have an entrance. i want to apologize because we were on an airplane where we spent plenty of time and learned this morning the airplane wasn't going to leave. i do want to say a brief commercial for american airlines. it was not fair airplane, but instead of flying direct from washington they have a plane through dallas and they went overboard to get us here, make the connections. we had a barely legal connection
in dallas. they did everything they could to be helpful. our luggage didn't make the connection so it is on the way here now. then we had a few more complications. we apologize running late. for those of you in the reception, always enjoy having a chance to see and hope we can get a picture or say something out from later on. i don't think i realized it had been 12 times the we had been here. it is always meant a lot of me to come here. first presidential campaign i ever got involved in as a volunteer was the nixon lodge campaign in 1960 and for those who may sometimes despair of republicans in california i might point out in georgia in 1960 the number of people who were willing to publicly campaign for richard nixon or for any republican was a
remarkably small number. we had no state legislative offices outside the mountains and the seats we had in the mountains were a function of the civil war. you can understand my whole career has been a series of climbing mountains and that was one of the longest political nights of my life, listening as the democrats stole texas and illinois, remarkably close election. i always come out here with a lot of different emotions. talk about american exceptionalism, really intrigued -- i will talk a little bit about -- this is aimed at teaching 4 to 8-year-olds about american history, something which we tragically find more young people are not learning in school, as they need help learning it. i will talk briefly about
lincoln and the 150st anniversary, what may have been one of the most important speeches in american history and one of the most important speeches in american history, described a standard we should meet and talk about breakout which in some ways is the culmination of my 55 years going back to 1958. my dad was stationed in france, convinced me that somebody had to take responsibility from understanding what america had to do, and explain it to the american people to give you permission to do it and implement it if they gave you permission. it is a very important model and "breakout" is the most important book i have written because it says to adults and the children here is how we got to be an exceptional nation. i say to adults here is how we
can continue to be an exceptional nation. if you do think it is important i hope you will use facebook and twitter and e-mail addresses and what have you and try to spread the word. the more people telling each other, the better off they will be because the scale of this change i will describe can only come from the grass roots and never from sacramento, never from washington. it is impossible to ask bureaucrats and politicians and lobbyists to get together to voluntarily disarm and we won't do it. the only way to get change on that scale is to run over them by arousing the american people when they have no choice. and republican congressman fred upton had a terrific idea. [applause] >> we did a book and a movie
about ronald reagan. a great line where reagan says his job was to shows light to the american people so it would turn up the heat on congress. at -- "breakout" is in that tradition, we get enough americans to decide this is the right direction with able get their political figures to follow. it is a function of figuring out where it is going and try to get in it. as opposed to reading it. alice the elephant is a time traveling pachyderm who is not a republican pachyderm. he is a 4 to 8-year-old universal pachyderm at costco saturday signing books and if you had seen these little kids, somebody who plays at us, seen those little kids running up to as you would understand exactly why she invented this character but her goal has been first, to talk about all of american history and then to talk about the colonial period andean
yankee doodle dandy to talk about the american revolution and is already beginning to work on a book for next year which will be called from sea to shining sea, helping lewis and clark go to the pacific. her goal, this is by the way very hard, "breakout" is my 27th book, watching her right the yellow ceres, have to take facts, we want our history books to be factual, we have a very useful model. take a set of facts, 4 to 8-year-olds, when you have to describe them in rhyme cities easy for them to remember and with the help of her terrific artist, you have got to have the scene which explains what the
rhyme is describing. each of her page sections is the equivalent of one of my chapters. i didn't know this. it turned out to be really important but it is extraordinarily important that young americans learn why we are in fact an exceptional nation. [applause] >> it is interesting and very appropriate to talk about yankee doodle dandy for a second. the american revolution, describing the declaration of independence and what makes tomorrow's anniversary of lincoln's speech so special is it is at gettysburg in a two minutes speech, lincoln really
reunites the country with the declaration of independence. for most of our first hundred years or 80 years of history the constitution had been the dominant document, the document which framed our law and people looked at in terms of what does it mean to be an american and how to restructure this complex country? lincoln comes along, and lincoln says the constitution defines the structure of who we are but the declaration of independence describes the spirit of who we are. it is important in the current presidency, and president obama did not go -- because there's almost nothing in his current pattern which would be worthy of being near abraham lincoln.
[applause] >> i don't want to be partisan but i do think it is very important to look in context, lincoln was all about the rule of law. somebody who had grown up very poor who had only had a year-and-a-half of schooling, literally learned how to read by the light of a fireplace because his family couldn't afford candles and lincoln understood it is the rule of law which protect the weak. it is the rule of law which protects the average person. without the rule of law it is the predators, the vicious and a powerful. so he saw what we were fighting over, as the very essence of freedom. whether or not freedom would
survive. egos -- the war had gotten much longer, much bloodier, much more difficult than anybody expected. it was a 30 to 90 day war, people thought. and lincoln is having to explain to the north, why is it worth the struggle and pain? gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the war, three days, enormous number of casualties on both sides and lincoln is having to talk to be bland in virtually every village in america a family lost somebody. he is going to run for reelection. nobody had been reelected since andrew jackson. lincoln is going to run for reelection having failed to win the war. go back and read the gettysburg
address as a campaign document because he is having to reach out to people and say to them do not let your son or your cousin or your nephew have died in vain. don't flinch, don't back off because this is central to the future of the human race. it is an important thing. this is what candidly made the stunning -- dishonesty of president obama about yes, you can keep your policy with which we now know he said at least 39 times on video tape commack least 39 times. you can't have a government of the people, lincoln is clever with this. supposedly talking with great lincoln experts and i have written a novel on gettysburg, jackson got dressed up in an 1860s outfit, i was a
congressman, the congressman's wife, appeared at one of the others as a housewife whose house has become a hospital, she says some hostile things to the soldiers about having brought these 4 dying guys into her home but spent a lot of time looking at gettysburg and being in gettysburg. you have to understand that lincoln apparently said government of the people, by the people, for the people and to him it meant the very heart of american exceptionalism. that we are endow by our creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. that is why if you can't have an honest debate and honest conversation you can't have an executive officer who you can believe in you begin to
undermine the whole system. we were teetering right at the edge of a pattern of such an ending lawlessness, waving laws, waiving rules, picking winners and losers, fundamentally antithetical to the entire american experience. every american tomorrow taking a minute to read the gettysburg address, and hopefully that will lead them to go back and read the preamble to the declaration of independence, to be reminded what does it mean to be an american, and it is in that context that i set out to write "breakout" because it struck me we are mired down in sacramento, frankly most of the city and county governments, most of our school boards, and washington d.c. we are mired down in such
petty, destructive, negative politics, surrounded by campaigns of such an ending viciousness and dishonesty, the entire fabric of our system is at stake. we need to break out from this moment of american history. this is truly what makes this to me one of the most extraordinary periods in american history. everywhere you go, there are hard-working, intelligent people who were pioneers of the future, inventing things in energy, inventing things in transportation, inventing things in learning, inventing things in going into space, inventing things in beam dramatically more effective, and you go around and say show me the most interesting things that are happening right here in california.