tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 24, 2013 6:40pm-7:01pm EST
thing to do and to pull off anyway. i think roosevelt was perhaps expecting some minor attack even as they, december 1 and attack on thailand or wherever because he saw the troops mobilizing around taiwan. he couldn't have conceived of this attack on pearl harbor which really was a dramatic turn of events. and the japanese themselves for surprised by that tin so i think there was an underestimation of what he could do on both sides almost. that's my feeling about it and military leaders someone like -- when he looked at the plan in late october he said no way. we are not going to do it. it's too risky. we are not going going to win this war anyway so why risk so much in battleships?
>> is hard to underestimate the human capacity for self-delusion. for example there is a wonderful film made in japan in 1942 they came out in december 1942 commissioned by the japanese navy to celebrate pearl harbor. they re-created the attack so well, it was one of the first films where they use special effects so skillfully that they still sometimes use it in documentaries because there's very little actual documentary footage of it. it shows pilots and aircraft carriers on their way to pearl harbor and they listen to the american radio and they hear jazz music. somebody conduct in you dance. they all giggle and say what this is the americans, the
decadent weak-kneed americans. all i can do is dance and listen to this absurd sort of music. once they get a taste of the real japanese martial spirit they will cave in. it's a very common misperception of democracy held and not purchased by the japanese at the time but authoritarian regimes and there were more idiotic misperceptions too on both sides i think on the japanese side some people really believed americans shouldn't -- couldn't shoot straight because their noses were too big and they couldn't look past their noses. at the same time an american ideas what the japanese because of their oriental eyes couldn't shoot straight and so on. the stupidity of people is boundless. >> i'm sure japan 1941 was maybe not the topic of your breakfast conversation but you will
approaches. we have a tried and true method of civilizing boys for good sportsmanship, and moral guidance certainly from parents, most of all from parents but reinforcement from teachers. i just think we have kind of moved away from that. the second problem with boys and there are problems with girls too that i'm not talking about the boys, is that i believe now that boys have become second-class citizens in our schools and their problems are severely neglected. a young man today is far less likely to go to college than his sister. if you look at all ethnic and racial groups and socioeconomic groups and you will find that boys are behind their female counterparts. they are far less literate. the average 15-year-old toy has
the writing skills of a 13-year-old girl. he is reading about a year and a half behind her and most importantly boys like school a lot less than girls. they are more disengaged. now there may have been a time when this was the big problem. we had an economy where he could get a high school degree and go out there and work hard and make it into the middle class and some educators at the harvard school of education said a passport to the middle classes to be the high school diploma. not anymore. there is a new economy and the new passport in the middle class is education beyond high school. girls seem to be getting it and boys less and less. i feel that problem, i can't find major organizations or government groups. the department of education is still talking about the shortchanged girl because they were deeply i think influenced by the early research that said girls were shortchanged in the 1990s.
so they haven't adjusted or adapted to the "times." we have a white house counsel on women and girls concerned about the education of girls and girls don't fall behind and when it's boys almost every significant -- significantly behind girls. >> christina hoff sommers in the u.s. women earn 62% of associates degrees, 57% of bachelors degrees, 60% of masters degrees, 52% of doctorates college admissions officers. a half old concerned in and panicked over the dearth of male applicants. if male enrollment falls below 40% or below female students began to flee. officials at schools at or near the tipping point are helplessly watching as their campuses become like retirement with
women competing for a handful. >> their campuses that the admissions officers are looking at 2% female, 62%, it seems to get worse each year and yes they are obviously panicked. there was an administrator at the college of william and mary who said you know we have to do something about attracting more women. we are the college of william and mary, not the college of mary and mary. there is one educational statistician who said if current trends continue by the year 2068 the last mail will graduate from college. he was just being facetious but there is a grain of truth. it's quite a mystery why the girls would be so much more aware of the importance of education and girls with higher aspirations creates some people say oh no, this is only manifest
in the working class. it has passed classes to see the girls outperforming the boys. just this year there's a study showing among the highest performers the girls are not only getting far more a's and a pluses and take far more dance placement classes but they are more ambitious. a higher percentage of aspire to go to graduate school in law school. now again i celebrate what has happened with girls. it is inspiring and some of it may be because of the initiative of the shortchanged girl movement. i don't say everything we did is wrong. i just wish when they discovered that there were gender differences in education i wish it happened instead of becoming a girl partisan movement it would become a movement to improve the educational prospects of all children and help girls where they were behind and help voice where they were falling behind the girls.
that would have been yes more support for girls in math and science because they were not doing as well as boys at one time and we have managed to close that gap but now a in everything else reading, writing, school engagement just in general. classroom comportment. we have pretty good research that shows and i don't blame the teachers for this but teachers have a bias against unruly students. it's understandable that the students can be five or six years old so i don't know if it's something we want to blame the boys for or punish them for it. i think you want to find a way to make the classroom a happy place for them and room for their personalities and their high spiritedness. i just feel that we haven't done a good enough job of it. >> is there a shortage of male teachers and does this have an effect if there is? >> there were very few in
elementary school. we have slightly more in high school. this may be a slight exaggeration but one critic of the current school system said is that this schools are run by women for girls. again it's an overstatement but not by much. a lot of boys feel that way. one of the saddest comments i ever read was i think researchers interviewing boys about why you hate school and why did you drop out? one little boy said i just that nobody wanted me there. there are a lot of boys that field that way. it's heartbreaking. someone should make it clear to him that they wanted their. there so much going on at our schools even at the level of what is assigned that is girl friendly and not so friendly towards boys. a. >> joining us on book tv is kevin peraino who is the author
of "lincoln in the world" the making of a statesman and the dawn of american power. mr. peraino what is the tack you are taking with abraham lincoln? >> are 15,000 books about abraham lincoln but his foreign policy is almost never treated so my book is about lincoln and u.s. foreign policy. part of the reason that there hasn't been a book on his foreign policy in nearly 70 years kind of a holistic human narrative about it, that's before the lincoln papers were released in the library of congress in 1947. so there's a lot of water under the bridge since then but i think one of the reasons there hasn't been a book about lincoln lincoln's foreign policies he had a very strong incompetent secretary of state in william henry seward. he dedicated a lot to seward. he didn't do a lot in foreign affairs but the things he did do were really important. i sliced a little differently. i have taken a look at the things that lincoln do and foreign relations.
without saying he did everything or without saying everything right, he made some mistakes too >> was his foreign policy all tied in to the civil war? >> we treat the civil war period in this book but i also have a chapter early on about the mexican war. it was a freshman congressman in the house of representatives during the end of the mexican war in the 1840s. lincoln was supposed to the mexican war and one of his first speeches in the house of representatives was this very strident speech opposing the origins of the war and president hope. he became known for that speech and political opponents by the way use it against him. steven douglas used it in the late 18 50's when he was running against lincoln and it came up in the presidential campaign as well. >> during his presidency, what is an issue that he worked on or
had secretary of state seward work on that wasn't necessarily tied to his presidency? the civil war? >> was all tied to the civil war. the primary thing was keep in the european powers from recognizing the confederacy which could have changed the course of the war and could have changed the course of american history. that was the biggest thing that lincoln had to deal with a series of crises with britain, with france, with. the russians were friends of the time, friendly power but russian ships showed up in the middle of the atlantic and pacific coasts of that was an issue. he used the russian ships to kind of play off the french a little bit so there was a lot going on that i think people don't realize on the global stage. one of the things that really insures did me about this period was there are some similarities to our own times. the parallels aren't perfect. britain was the world's economic superpower at that time that
lincoln was living in an age of globalization, the dawn don of the telegraph and steamships and the boom in newspaper publishing so the world is shrinking kind of like our own world in an age of globalization. at the same time it was an age of nationalism. ottawa and bismarck prime minister in 1862 lord palmerston in britain says britain has no internal friends, only national interests on the one hand you have this national conflict going on against the backdrop of the shrinking world and to me there are a lot of similarities with their own times when it comes to that dynamic. >> kevin peraino did abraham lincoln ever leave u.s. soil during his presidency and did any world leaders come to visit him? >> he didn't leave u.s. soil during his presidency. he once went to the canadian side of niagara falls. that's the closest he ever got. he spoke no foreign languages and had no friends in europe. he studied a little bit of
german to charm voters in illinois but you are right he depended on his secretary of state in some sense. what he did have in foreign affairs which was useful was very good judgment. he had an amazing sense of patience. he used to compare his decision-making process to watching a pair ripening on the tree. he would wait and wait and make his decision. that kind patience and sense of timing of knowing when you can make a change to international power grid is a really important skill in international relations. >> what is your professional background? >> my background is in journalism. i was a foreign correspondent for many years in the middle east. i was based in jerusalem and i worked in fact that. i reported on the ground from places like syria and libya and yemen so i came to this from a foreign-policy side. i went through this period where i was very interested in traditions of american foreign-policy, trying to step
back and take a 30,000-foot view of foreign-policy and was kind of into this period. you have lincoln's minister to russia walking around st. petersburg with lowly knives dangling from his waistband getting into fistfights and charles francis adams in london the grandson of john adams lincoln's minister in london. so you have these amazing cast of characters and then you have lincoln who was always interesting. i think was an aspect of his presidency that he had been under cover. >> we have been talking with kevin peraino whose new book "lincoln in the world" the making of a statesman and the dawn of american power. you are watching booktv on c-span2. >> what we know of the founders of 30-second version is the guys that were against the constitution or the religious conservatives of the day, the anti-federalist who very much -- henry at the time wanted to have
religious tests for office and so forth. the founders were the cosmopolitans and yet less of them were bible believing christians. why did they take the approach they did? what are the ultimate come down where madison came down? they believed also no faith including their own was beyond faction. madison's prescription was essentially a multiplicity of sects. that is sects. >> there've been important developments in the law over the past couple of decades in terms of government funding and religious institutions. i would say that there were some real issues to work through and to figure out the rules that govern this area during the clinton years were in the early clinton years were different. they changed over time and some people think that was a good time and some people think that was a bad thing. there are some really important issues that people fight about