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tv   Book Discussion on 1932  CSPAN  December 26, 2015 9:00am-10:33am EST

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and at 11 p.m., winston groom discusses his latest book, "the generals: patton, macarthur, marshall and the winning of world world war ii." >> one of the first questions i'm usually asked is why did you choose these three men from the second world war, and my answer is that they embodied, i believe, super characteristics of courage, character and patriot im. ..
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>> this holiday weekend watch booktv on c-span2. gay [inaudible conversations] etna [inaudible conversations] >> good evening. and welcome to the mid manhattan branch of the public library, thank you for joining us this evening. tonight's program is jayhawk based on the author's recent book "1932: the rise of hitler and fdr--2 tales of politics, betrayal, and unlikely destiny".
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in 1932, two digression battered nations confronted their destiny, going to the polls to choose new leaders. america's presidential choices were gregarious aristocrat franklin roosevelt or tarnished wonder boy herbert hoover. germany suffered two rounds of bloody elections, and two presidential contests, not a reactionary hindenburg against rising radical hatemonger adolf hitler. as unstoppable politics and economic forces advanced on disoriented societies, merciless
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worldwide great depression bought opportunity for a transformation, perhaps hopeful, perhaps did the. through fd are's new deal and hit their's third reich, destiny and and revolted as it did. but revealing history may reveal within the outcomes were inevitable. before we begin the program, i have the usual requests. please sidon's your cellphones, pagers and any other noisy devices that might in corrupt the program. secondly, please do not take any pictures or make any recordings this evening unless you have received prior permission from the new york public library administration and we thank you for your courtesy and
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consideration. tonight's program is being filmed by c-span so please hold your questions until the end of the presentation. our speaker tonight is david -- david pietrusza, author of several board winning books including 1920, the year of six presidents, the lifetimes and murder of the criminal genius who fixed the 1919 world's seas. 1948:harry truman's improbable victory and 1960:lbj versus jfk versus nixon, the epic campaign that forced three presidents. he has appeared on good morning america, morning show, a voice of america, the history channel,
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espn, and c-span. welcome tonight's speaker, david pietrusza. [applause] >> thank you and thank you all for coming, glad to see such a nice crowd here. two excuses why a crowd doesn't show a. either the weather is too nice too bad so is right in the middle for all of you to find your way here tonight. last month i was up in hyde park at the fdr presidential library, i discovered i had forgotten all my notes at home. after i spoke, they said never bring your notes again. or maybe they said don't ever come again. i am not sure. i am still sorting that out but
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in any case since then i have gone completely weaned it and it is far more exciting for myself, and jackie mason, i don't know about you or you or me, it is so invigorating. this is why i was asked downstairs where the program started, how did you come to write this book? as was indicated, three previous books on presidential history, in 1948, 1960, have been on this path before and you keep on it but you have to come up with a twist at some point and we have these juxtapositions of jfk versus lbj, the six presidents involved in the 1920s, and we
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have this immense juxtaposition of historic figures on worldscale in 1932 where franklin delano roosevelt and adolf hitler run presidential election campaign. they take power in 1933. they died in weeks of each other, a few things unite them called world war 2. and look at the parallels, at the subtitle of the book has some meaning. a lot of subtitles, what changed everything forever. we deal with three things, politics, betrayal, and unlikely
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destiny and we deal with unlikely destiny first tonight, hitler is unlikely by any standard at all aside from public policy which we would not want to be implemented as initiating reform, he is essentially a high school dropout, denied entrance to art school, then he goes and essentially living in a homeless shelter, he is homeless on the street of indiana, bohemian of sorts, itinerant artist, ends world war 1, and and he shoots iron to the top rank of
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corporal, and the personal power, and it should be at been executed, hong, and and those elections, he is not able to propose whoever is running running at. he has all the avengers, that it does not have, and farmland and
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workers, vacations in europe, and the cousin of the president, the roosevelt, not sure whether he has the right stuff and not just republicans batting franklin roosevelt, whether he is white rate, whether he has intellectual capacity or billed to the president, lead america in this time of great crisis. walter lipman regarded him as a fellow with no particular qualification to be president, an amiable fellow at no great
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reason to be president. and bernard borough, finance year and philosopher, costing an amiable boy scout. someone who is assistant howell iii rising to the top in 1932 he is also you are not sure where he stands on the issue. the question of his political honesty, with the administration, remarkably free of that, but where does he stand? where does he stand on that issue is? one of the big issues of 1932 is prohibition. it is startling to read the
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accounts of the 1932 republican and democratic convention and see in the midst of this financial and world crisis, great depression, how much time is devoted to prohibition and halt the tool is devoted to the depression. franklin roosevelt is decidedly:on the issue, you are not quite sure where he stands. of the major democratic candidates, he may be the driest, he is late in the game in enunciating a position on the issue. he does not come out for full repeal of prohibition until early that year in a speech in buffalo, and here we are in new york city and wheat see in our
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current time and, mayor and governor of the same party, bill deblasio and andrew cuomo not necessarily getting along, john lindsay and nelson rockefeller comes to a clash and they come to a clash with franklin roosevelt dealing with the great democratic machine of will in new york city, and certainly crooked, franklin roosevelt starts his career as a reformer in the new york state senate but in 1914 he runs for the united states senate, put the bent opponent and franklin roosevelt gets his handed to him. after that he realizes don't fight tammany hall, loans city hall, from any direct confrontation with them but in
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the late 20s and early 30s there are three big investigations one after another. mayor james walker, what has franklin roosevelt done about it, common socialist leader, rabbi weiss, do something, crackdown, roosevelt knows tammany will control the 96 votes in the democratic national convention, does as little as pecan and only does it when he absolutely has to, can't be too favorable because outside of new york, the rest of the country, you act like him so he has the dam. there's a third issue in which he is shifty about it. he was a member of the wilson administration, was undersecretary of the navy
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during world war i end meant to favor the league of nationss. franklin roosevelt in january 1932 william randolph hearst gets on the radio on his radio station in los angeles and blasts everybody, just about everybody, roosevelt, one guy after another in national power, politics, and franklin roosevelt's chief political adviser says franklin, what do we do about this? franklin roosevelt gives the major policy address at a prestigious venue, albany county range of state in which he basically says 1920 we saw the lead of nations, time , it will not be a major
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issue, see you, woodrow. if you wonder what they can count on , as to what he can do to a bring forward a plan for dealing with the depression, back to germany, america has a presidential election every four years, germany is going to have a presidential election every seven years. it is in their constitution. in 1932 coming do again, the president of germany, paul von hindenburg, who had been a hero of german army in world war i and won election in 1925 with the support of the ultranationalists, not the nazis but the old kaiser 45.
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he is anti-democratic, autocratic, the president -- in 1929, a new command for reparationss and hindenburg's supports it, his old allies turn on him. by this time adolf hitler is gaining steam. a further parallel to determine the years between franklin roosevelt and adolf hitler >> host: 28 franklin roosevelt had been reelected governor of the state of new york in support of governor al smith, the president that year and it is so close that smith needs to get on the corner, you better count those votes correctly or they
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come after you. franklin roosevelt is either to a 1928, adolf hitler and the nazis when 12 of them out of 400 delegates. they are going nowhere fast at the ballot box but in 1930 there is a big change. follow 1929, in new york state franklin roosevelt wins reelection, the biggest votes of any state governor at that point, more than al smith. the next day people like will rogers right the democrats have chosen their nominee. that is franklin delano roosevelt. in germany in 1930 they have elections, hit their's not these, arise from the 12, delegates on the right job to
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107. they are the second-biggest party in merger many. the capacity they have for creating mischief now is intense so everything has changed. jennifer lawle back in 19 32 germany, nationalists -- he doesn't like democracies and people who posted in in 1925, the social democrats and the catholic parties were sort of a center-left party, they support him. everyone -- he is going to be the guy to stop hitler and the nazis. what happens is the germans vote in march of that year, it is a
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four man race essentially. there is hindenburg, adolf hitler who has become a german citizen by the fact the he has received a minor government appointment from a minor german state, by the republic ship. and he can't run, there is a in hindenburg 84 years old. there are communists and nationalists. the nazis think they are going to do pretty well. heinrich himmler gives instructions to his best s. men, don't get too -- in fact it is not close at all. in that four man race, by an eyelash and whether or not he
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will concede are other parties, and i am running again and taking this election to the german people. and people think fine, it all fit their is going to get crushed even worse in this runoff and that will show him. he is determined to run a new sort of campaign. it has been said that the nazis were a combination of the evil and supermodern and in this case determined to be supermodern. he has two weeks to run this election campaign and they can't run it, he can drop mass rallies, you have seen these reels but how many could he do in a short time? not too many. can he go on the radio?
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franklin roosevelt, the fireside chats, german radio is state-sponsored at that time, they keep not seas off the air and when they put not these on the air, the first guys that go on, he has got to do it in a different way and does it in a different way called hitler over to germany. he is going to fly to all the campaign stops. nowadays we say so? that is seven years after lindbergh and excites the german people. hitler over germany and sweden meanings, flying over germany and going to have power over germany. when the votes counted hindenburg's still wince but hitler has come a lot closer
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than anyone thought he was going to come and he has done it by taking votes from the extreme nationalists and communists as people go are we going to ever be able to stop him at the ballot box. this is getting worse by the month. in america franklin delano roosevelt is blessed by some pretty weak opposition. in the democratic party against herbert hoover. you can't beat somebody with nobody, and in 1932 these guys, one of the rivals to franklin roosevelt isil somebody, where nobody is today. they are pretty much safer it some guys, guys who really want
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power and position, and the fellows who are taking a chance on the run. they won't do that well. franklin roosevelt, we know hitler really wants power, franklin roosevelt really wants power too and has an organization with jim farley and eleanor roosevelt, he has a working semblance of a modern campaign. the rest of these guys like governor albert ricci of maryland, jeffersonian, and traditional -- he talks to a supporter and says i could be better known, i don't know any more ideas so he is limited.
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in oklahoma, the governor pretty much a whack job. he is ready to get into border wars with state of texas, who could take a guy named alfalfa bill seriously for president? just like franklin delano, governor of ohio and people like that. william randolph hearst is giving that speech in california when he is trashing every one, there is one guy who is the real american and his name is john mccarty, speaker of the house, garner who had never given any thought to anything in his life. he enters the race. another got in during the race is offered emanuel smith. got clobbered by herbert hoover
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in 1928, said, and thought that roosevelt would be a lightweight. and the power behind the wheel chair and the state of new york. frank, you, the governor, go to war springs, lehman will run the state. i help out, take a room at the clinton hotel, and the executive mansion. franklin roosevelt doesn't want it. he wants to be an old fan and that room given up by al smith, new york state city to fill the empire state building, and before that happens, two people he really wants roosevelt to keep on, bell moskowitz, very
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pioneering figure having a woman at the lever of power and politics, she was secretary chief of staff smith, smith really wants roosevelt to keep her on and franklin roosevelt does not want a smith person as his number 2 person. smith also wants his secretary of state to stay on under franklin roosevelt. franklin roosevelt wants no part went this person's name is robert moses. okay? eventually smith's danger, he feels the trade by franklin roosevelt, it bubbles up to where the 1932 where he is running for roosevelt and roosevelt get off to a real good start, winning the primaries, conventions early on in the year, a couple primaries in
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northern new england, people warn him don't run in massachusetts because massachusetts is full of irish catholic democrats. they don't love you yet. roosevelt has tremendous problems with the democrats at this point. but he ignores that. he has gotten a big head and gets that far handed to him, crushed in the massachusetts primary and loses in state conventions in connecticut and jersey and performs in pennsylvania, john gardner takes the vote in texas in the convention and in the last big primary comes up as it always does in california. and people put out a flier and says if you are dry for prohibition for garner, if you
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are wet, both for smith. if you do not know where you stand. evidently people knew where they stood, and john gardner gets all the votes from california. roosevelt however still has a majority of delegates, delegates at the convention in los angeles so why is he in trouble? democrats have a couple rules one of which is two thirds rule to keep the south happy for most of history, pretty well short of that, one ballot, two balladur three ballads, there's a thing called the unit will, and franklin roosevelt has five of them, gets all of them and roosevelt people switch and the same thing would happen in
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arkansas, and start falling off and baking california people, changed, you will end up with somebody really like. somebody else is begging him, his name is joe kennedy, he is on the phone to william randolph hearst, a fellow millionaire, film mogul, a mistress in the film industry like william randolph hearst and they had a lot in common and you give it to roosevelt. and goes to a real dark horse and a signing newton baker with secretary of war, and hurst likes a lot of people.
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is it albert ricci? you got to give it to roosevelt, give it roosevelt, the top of the ticket, for vice president you can name both halves of the ticket. roosevelt gets the nomination and there's another custom back then which people do not have, you are not tend to notice immediately. and from the party in the home tell. if you are cow from college, massachusetts, ohio, warren harding, and says surprise, the nomination every few weeks ago, and the nominee gives a speech. franklin roosevelt is not going to wait for that.
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like a officer of -- fate of hitler he gets an airplane, flies from albany to chicago, democratic national convention was. it takes seven hours to get from albany to chicago, three stops in buffalo, this excites people. a new deal in america. in america. germany, a lot of elections. it already had two presidential elections and they are just getting started. they got to have right stock elections and what happens is the nazis in july of that year
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move from 107 seats to 230. they are now the biggest party and herman during is president, speaker of the house, there's a phrase i love, an observer who is sitting in, calls him half clown, half institution, got that right. the nazis are moving up. and where is this going to end? it is a parliamentary democracy and the nazis are the biggest party so why not make it there chancellor? the answer is 1, he is hitler and even german 1932 on more than a bit wary of that.
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germany has been operating less and less like a representative republic for the last year or so. we complain in america about the two party system and there's a lot of reasons, no republican is happy, what happens to italy in his party, no democrat is totally happy with what happens in the democratic party but we work together, form coalitions and get things done. in germany everybody hates everybody. no one can get along with anyone. in that july 1932 election, 13 parties, 51 parties get votes and none of these parties along
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with each other, communists hate everyone, nationalists hate the not these, elements of the catholics hate other elements of the catholics, not these are forming coalitions, the middle-class parties have largely been evaporated since the great depression. is majority anymore, just can't do the math. how are things getting done? hindenburg will name of the chancellor and more than that what people do is the constitution of the republic says you can to two famous. article xlviii which says the president can issue orders which are degrees kind of like
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executive orders, he can do that, they can be overridden but there is an article 25 which says the president can dissolve and offer new elections anytime he wants. no reason needed, what everyones to do so it is sort of like you want to overturn executive order, feeling lucky, punk? they say frozen in place, you have a presidential dictatorship going on and had one chancellor after another. back to america, one thing that will help franklin roosevelt nail it down is trouble in the streets, some riots going on against demonstration,
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unemployment, communists, philadelphia, and people protesting the against foreclosures and the bonus march, tens of thousands of people coming in 2 washington demanding their bonus from world war i service, congress doesn't want to pass it, they go home, they adjourn, we might stay until 1945. it is sort of like a big occupy wall street. it was really very small. maybe 20,000 people not leaving washington. they are occupying government buildings to be built, new public office buildings creating
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jobs in the depression and they won't leaf, two of them are shot dead, shot dead by the police and that is when macarthur comes in and george patton, of the u.s. army, as john pennsylvania avenue during rush hour with gas masks on and they and that sticks and tanks rolling down the streets, and turns out the bonus marchers. the first couple days the press is not bad for hoover but the optics of shacks being burned out and people who serve the country, veterans being turned out at that point, basically cooked at that point. this is nothing compared to what is going on in the streets of germany where hitler's brown shirts, communists battling police, socialist prime and army, nationalists have their own paramilitary groups and the
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violence picks up and speak like getting scared of it and particularly violent incidents, and the storm trooper guys, in his house, his home, determined to kill him, cut him with knives, beat him with pool cues and do this all, they're convicted quickly of murder, five home but hitler says i will not turn buyback fund these fighters for freedom. a lot of germans go maybe this hitler is not the guy to bring us together, not the guy in national unity. maybe there's something wrong with him. november of 1932 the nazis lose 2 million votes in the elections, they are still the
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biggest party, there is finally there rise is going down. as the saying goes later on, maybe it there missed the bus. franklin roosevelt gets elected in america, pre easy against herbert hoover. in may germany that betrayal thing going on, made and broke one magenta lawyer after another, late 32, he doesn't want to become chancellor but prefers dealing in the shadows, he needs -- that is in to the end degree, and one of the guys he befriended became great friends with hindenburg, has an idea, he will get his revenge and is going to to do it by
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making debate all hitler chancellor of germany, pretty risky stuff. this isn't that risky because who is issuing all those decrees? who is dissolving the right style? who has got to power? not the chancellor. notice i haven't mentioned the chancellor's name until this point, was hindenburg. you can make it a chancellor. to answer to hindenburg who would create a new office of vice chancellor which would go to often --franz von poppen and not seasonally get eight cabinets and their minor posts. you have hitler boxed, what
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could go wrong. we have hired himmler, he is working for us. we know the end of that story. dictatorship is also in the air in america, believe it or not. also working for macarthur is a gun officer named dwight eisenhower, not exactly a firebrand, not exactly an extremist, mr. moderate, history knows him as. very middle-of-the-road kind of guy. he confides to his diary early 33. people call me dictator ike because i think that is necessary in this country. there is a film made by hearst called gabriel over the white house which franklin roosevelt punches up the script for and chose to congress. what is noteworthy? talks about a president of the united states becoming a dictator essentially. another studio puts out a film
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called miscellaneous speaks narrated by old thomas which is be sensually and infomercial for benito mussolini made for $100,000, you try making money on a film in 1932-33, not easy. people like smith, people who have been violently opposed to franklin roosevelt are even saying you got to take charge of this depression and rule by decree. to his credit franklin roosevelt does not do that, he is a different guy than adolf hitler, united states of america is a far different countries than germany. dorothy thompson went to interview adolf hitler and was expecting a pretty wicked sort of guy.
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and wrote a little man, little man, you will be chancellor of germany now, after hitler takes power, coming through the brandenburg arch with torch lights, arms in the nazi salute and search lights. and drums beating. and prewar germany, and thank you for listening. and when we cover a lot of things, lot of continents, left, lot of things, the gentleman from c-span will endure the
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microphone, and we have given a shot. >> can miscellanies see the same term? >> the question is did hitler, mussolini use the same term as hitler did get the answer is no. is black shirts and also shirts, there are a lot of shares going around at that point. there's a silver shares movement going on in america. and end next question. >> mary davis first claiming -- did he have an affair which jean
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harlow. >> question is about mistresses and william randolph hearst has a mistress and joseph kennedy has gloria swanson at the time. question over is there. we are going to move the questions around. >> gabriel -- over the white house. the president -- woodrow wilson giving orders, this is how i want -- dictatorial, the following year, 34, an answer to that, which also adds, a certain dictatorial trickery in a new way, the way they defeat the others. i want to know how popular was
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that, what effect did it have. any? >> the question is a reference to gabriel over the white house, how popular it was. but the other picture, goes beyond the scope of my book, the president vanishes. gabriel over the white house is quite popular and there was all so the film historian william iverson spoke of fascist films at this time which were vigilante films. more death wish than death wish where it was not just some guy on a subway but prosecuted, lining people up against the wall, gabriel over the white house has some really over the top scenes. my favorite is when the gangsters want to maintain
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prohibition, their interests on the white house and the machine gun. really crazy stuff. next question. >> wonderful presentation. what if any, did world war i, the defeat of the germans, world war i, psychologically, how much of an effected at have on hitler's success later? >> how big of an effect did germany's defeat in world war i have fun hitler? absolutely immense. one thing i don't get into except in the book except in a footnote is hit there ends the
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war in that mental wing of a hospital and it appears -- he was blinded in a poison gas attack and it appears when the onset of the belied this comes and where he was treated and who he was treated by, largely psychosomatic. he was hypnotized while he was being treated because the fellow knows -- to get him seeing again. germany is defeated, bereft of all hope, the nation can rise again. but you have to get your eyesight back. there has been an actual book written.
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the thing is hitler has no leadership skills, no one pays any attention to it until after that point when he goes to munich, a nazi or extreme, but before that, no one -- someone serve later in the bureaucracy and where asked later, was hit larry leader during the war and they would just laugh because it is a light switch with him, no one -- there is no other explanation for how this guy goes from zero to 60 in one second at one point in history and affects the entire german nation and flips everybody out, and was a great depression and everything else.
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>> with the holocaust what was it there's basic problem with jews? besides there are rumors that his grandmother or great-grandmother or something was jewish. >> the question is where does all the anti-semitism come from in hitler? the questions of whether it there has jewish ancestry and it is hard to place exactly where the anti-semitism starts. not many people knew him early on, results are contradictory, starts in his home town or
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starts in vienna or does it start when he is reading anti-semitic publications, he talks about in mine, if you can believe mein kmf it is his antipathy to the social democrats, there's a jewish name, there's a jewish name, something that is in the air in austria, vienna also has a high jewish population, maybe not in russia but it is like 7%, 8%, 9%, in berlin is 1% is not a very high. that is probably part of it, ancestry comes from his mother's personal lawyer, later became
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governor general of occupied poland reveal at nuremberg war claimed at nuremberg that hitler had ordered an investigation into his ancestry and found some evidence of that but the question is not whether hitler was jewish or not, the question, did he think he was jewish, is this a question of something that was a stain on his background, in any case hit the roosevelt had very tangled ancestries, a lot of relatives marion relatives so hitler screams at his blood relatives, people must never know where i came from. you can only guess in terms, it there comes from a much older
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father, much younger mother, he has an older stepbrother like roosevelt or half-brother and hitler has an affair later ron most people think with his half niece, she commit suicide, franklin roosevelt berries a relative of his, the real name of ellen or roosevelt is anna eleanor roosevelt roosevelt. and she's given away by her uncle theodore roosevelt. any other questions? >> reporter: how did hitler going to eugenics? >> what made it a go into eugenics? when you get into racial purity,
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it is the natural thing. in terms of pure eugenics' i think guys like himmler were more into it. he was more into racial breeding sort of thing but beyond that, is all part and parcel, he is also a foreigner in germany. he is an austrian, the odd man out and warships the austrian, german people and he feels the austrian germans are being let down by their leadership, even though his father has a job in the government, his father is a german and hitler sees german people of the empire being
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polluted by jews, particularly by slavs. there's a greater chance the hitler is parked check and he is part jewish simply because of the area in which he lives, a border area. if you get into these areas in eastern europe, everybody -- that is what woodrow wilson could not have self-determination of people. you can draw these borders. i suspect-he does not look guardian. he is not blonde, he might be blue eyed but doesn't look like rinehart. >> i read a fair bit about how
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the depression started out here. it really did start -- things began to fall apart in 1930, not long after the crash. how did it happen injure many? got worse than it was here. >> how did it start in germany? does it get worse and all that, it starts out worse, because germany -- occupied by france, hyperinflation in the middle of the decade. 1929 face start with 3 million common they start out with crummy circumstances and go 6 or 7 million unemployed in 1932-33. communists, the nazis have a certain stability in terms of membership. they told people, once you
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become a nazi you stay with the party. they hold their membership. the constant -- almost all their members are unemployed. there's a big economic problem there. i will cut things off now because of c-span, tried to hold the program within an hour, folks there. we don't want to wear out our welcome so thank you very much. [applause] >> now that we have cut it, if you want more questions i will take them. okay? let's get some new people. for you. >> president hindenburg. what was it that enabled him to rise from chancellor to the
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fuhrer within a year? >> two years. what happens is you use the word enable. there is -- somebody, probably even nazis set fire, burning it down on a dutch communist, blames -- gives the nazis and excuse to through the communists out and give them a working majority because they got nationalism on board now. they finally got a majority and passed an enabling act which basically says everything we do is legal. not good. the third thing is the night of the long knives, where hitler has run a balancing act with his party, got these extreme
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nationalists and then got the national socialists and then you've got the socialists, left wing guys and girls is very left wing actually. ..
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>> but in the meantime, von hindeng took an instant disliking to hitler. one, les the classic i'm -- there's the classic i'm the field marshal, he's the corporal. there's that check thing, okay? seriously. he doesn't like his policies, he doesn't like beating up on people, all right? he doesn't like a different sort of dictatorship. and also the first time they meet it's an hour meeting, and hitler talks for 45 minutes and just ticks him off. but hitler has grown. hitler grows on i hindenburg, ad then hindenburg dies. and when hindenburg dies, the constitution says the office of
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the presidency devolves on hitler. at one point the nazis were going to change that, as long as they didn't have the chancellorship. they were getting a little adept at politics, but then they didn't have to. so hitler has both offices, and then they pass another law because they have got the votes and says, okay, now it's fuhrer. and by that time he's also got the army on board, and they are pledging personal allegiance to him which had never occurred under the german army and even the kaisers before. so, yeah. >> just a brief question. >> [inaudible] >> yes. >> hi, thank you so much. just a brief question, was van poppen part of the military? >> no. well, van poppen -- mr. c-span
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guy, i promised that fella next, but then -- right there. but i'm going to answer that question now, but i just wanted you to know that -- yeah. von poppen was a minor sort of aristocrat. he was the military attache in the western hemisphere before and during world war i. so he had met macarthur in vera cruz, mexico. and then he's sent to washington. he does some interesting things in world war i which is to blow things up here. he was involved, if you ever heard of the black tom explosion, there was black tom island off the coast of germany, and it blows sky high with munitions, okay in and it just -- okay in and it just, it shutters the statue of liberty. it wrecks part of that. and they try to blow up the
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canal in canada, and eventually he is thrown -- he is expelled from the united states of america. he was not well thought of in germany. he was a member of the catholic party, but they would not let him even run for reichstag. they let him run for, like, some provincial thing, okay? i mean, it's like, it's like obama skipped the united states senate and became president from state senator, okay? so he skips out early, but he had been -- he was not a military guy. he was a very minor political guy with a very lightweight reputation. it's amazing that he survives. it's amazing he -- there's an arrest warrant out in canada more him when he's made chancellor of germany. and in america they say, the
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state department said this is incredible that they made this guy chancellor, because if he was sent to america as ambassador, we would refuse him entrance into the country. okay? but he gives a speech when hitler is starting to accumulate power and von poppen is still vice chancellor, he gives a speech at marburg really tearing the nazis a new one, okay? i mean, really, really telling it like it is, like this is really -- this is a dangerous group of people here. what have we done? and his speech writer is killed in that night of the long nights, and it's a miracle that von pop opinion was not kill -- von poppen was not killed. they say gering intervened for him. he was made ambassador to turkey, and he was tried at nuremberg and was acquitted. so he's just one lucky son of a
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gun. [laughter] yes, sir. >> oh, thank you very much for your very nice presentation. i just wonder in the reading the history, we know now, we all know that hitler is the devil, but at that time why he were being cherished by all the people in the history and the german history? and what kind of, you know, in his book and still the inference on some of the -- his influence on some of the young generations of the germans? this is first question. second is when he were put in office and he nearly created the development of industry and the basic reason for him and the party, you know, war and the launch of war, the second world war. what kind of -- [inaudible] between them? thank you.
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>> yeah. it's always a puzzle to me. when you spend a year and a half with hitler like i did -- [laughter] and roosevelt, you know, you start to puzzle these questions and questions you didn't even think about before. and one of them was really, okay, first off it's, like, how do i explain hitler? and then the question which kept nag at me was how do i explain the german people for turning to this guy? i mean, why? and part -- he's a man who's risen from the ranks. he's serious. that little throwway -- throwaway line where i said in the beginning where he wants it so bad and roosevelt wants it so bad, and so the guys well, like,
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okay, jeb bush is standing on stage now. half the time you say does guy want it? okay? and when people ask that question, they don't turn to them. so they want a guy, you know, i ran for office once, you know? and people, people want you to knock on their doorses. they want to know if you want it or not. okay? and whether they're going to vote for you. and i think they knew he wanted it and that he was serious in what he wanted to do. and i came across a newsreel afterwards where he's giving a talk. it looks like he's in a field. he's not in a big stadium. he's talking about how all these different parties are ruining germany and how he's going to get rid of all of them. and that's like, the good news, and the bad news is who he's going to replace them with, okay? but, so the people are sick of this gridlock, okay?
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but sometimes gridlock is better than headlock, you know? so so that's part of it. and another thing is the appeal of the nazis which i don't think people think about a lot, is how class-ridden and divided the society was. it's divided geographically, it's divided -- it's one of the few countries divided religiously in western europe, you know? you've got the catholics in the south, and the catholics never -- hitler is down there, but the catholics don't vote for him much. it's the people in the north, the protestants, who vote for him. so you've got that divide. you've had all these, you've had prussians versus bavarians versus these guys, versus that guys, and you've had nobility versus everybody else. but even in a factory you might
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get six different gradations of workmen, you know? people would have to bow and scrape in different ways, different person. and people were sick of that. and they wanted some sort of unifying thing which would destroy all these class distinctions. but they didn't want to destroy them in a marxist way. at least the nazis, okay? i mean, the communists did. the socialists wanted their own way. but this was their way to bring people together and erase these differences. but not in a marxist way. but also you get the, you get a lot of people who don't like democracy. if you have the majority of the people at the end of 1932 voting not just for a dictatorship, they're voting for totalitarians.
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they're, the combined vote of the communists and the nazis is a majority. a majority of the people in a democracy are voting to end the democracy. and then you add in the nationalists, and things fall apart. [laughter] you get even more people, you know? be you've probably got 60% of the people want nothing to do with this republic. and he's the guy who's going to end it, and a lot of the communists do sign on to later -- what was it they said about the brown shirts? they would say that the brown shirts were like a steak. they were brown on the outside but red on the inside. yeah. so anyone else? okay, you. in thank -- >> thank you. were the -- hello, hello. >> yes. >> were the nazis aware of the
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klan movement here in the united states? >> were the nazis aware of the klan movement? >> here in the -- >> yeah. i think to some extent. but, i mean, the klan sort of comes and goes pretty quick. by 1925 -- >> it never comes and goes. >> what? >> you said it comes and goes, but it never comes and goes. >> well, it peaks, it peaks within about five years. it's refounded in 1915. by 1920 it's still fairly small. they march down pennsylvania avenue in 1924 with about 40,000 guys, but then they get a a lot of scandals. and by 1929 they're pretty much washed up. >> allowed them to march here many new york city. >> oh, no.
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not mayor giuliani. the question is, did mayor giuliani allow the klan to march in new york city. there is -- they do march in new york city in the 1920s. there's a klan parade in queens in the late '20s, and it is a minor election issue with mayor walker complaining that mayor highland, mayor highland, you know, highland boulevard in staten island? that's mayor highland. he was a hearst guy. hearst put him in as mayor. you know, hearst had three papers in new york city, the journal, the american and the mirror back then. so, but they are aware also of henry ford. henry ford had written the protocol, well, he hadn't written, but he had the dearborn independent. and he put together or someone wrote for him a series of
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articles, very long series of articles about j well,ews. and this was published as, like, a paperback called "the international jew." and it sold a lot. and eventually, he was sued, ford was sued for libel by jewish individuals and had to apologize and eventually shut that down. but ford would have been more of, i think, of interest to the nazis than the klan. and the klan, the klan is compared to what the nazis had going was kind of, you know, small potatoes really. yeah, well, no. >> i wonder if -- you make reference in your book about parallels between this period and what's going on today in the
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u.s. and globally, or would -- >> i try to, i try to steer clear of that. >> uh-huh. >> you know, one of the things that people ask me, well, acquisition editors will ask you, well, what's the theme of your book? i try to stay clear of themes because if you do that, you're going to, you know, you're going to try and fit be all your facts into reinforcing that. and i'd rather just let thing sort of flow the way they do. if people see parallels, i mean, there are parallels between, you know, executive orders. and be careful. you may like the guy who's doing the executive order toes today, but maybe -- orders today, but maybe there'll be somebody else tomorrow, and you'll like them less. or maybe you won't like either. so, but that's, you know, that's the possibility. >> so many your writing you
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report and we decide. [laughter] >> i hope so. and, actually, a lot of people when they comment on my books will say he really pays it straight, and i'm very honored when people say that. i do know, there was one reviewer on amazon, and amazon reviewers can sometimes be like, wow, you know? and this guy writes he was, the author was really in the tank for this one guy, okay? i won't say which the guy was. and it's like, i burst out laughing because this guy caused me to change parties when i was a kid. [laughter] and i was being accused of being in the tank for him. and so but, but i also think that people, sometimes it can be a litmus test. if you read what i'm writing, you know, you'll say, ah, that supports what i'm thinking. and then maybe somebody else who
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is on the other side of the spectrum will say, oh, that's -- >> rorschach. >> yeah, rorschach. and i try to be, you know, an equal opportunity offender. so who is, somebody was just reading -- oh, yeah. someone called me and said he's reading the book, he's really enjoying it. okay. he says, wow, i never had much of an opinion of hoover, but he looks really terrible in your book. okay? so, you know, so hoover gets, you know, when hoover's wrong, he gets it. when fdr is shifty, he gets it, okay? you know, i try to call it as i see it. one person who i found -- this was interesting. it was like, so i've done four of these presidential yearbooks. and somebody shows up in a significant role in all four. and so, you know, that's a long
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period, that's 40 years. and you're at the top. who is that person? it's eleanor roosevelt. eleanor, of course, is married to fdr in 1920 when he's running for vice president. in '48 she's just become the ex-first lady, and she is not wild about harry. and her two sons really don't like him. and harry tells one of them off in los angeles to his face. and in 1960 she's not too crazy about jack kennedy either. i mean, kennedy will grow on her. but up to that point, she's, she loves adlai madly, remember that? but in 1920 i think she comes off fairly well in all those three books. but in 1928 i was surprised that she did not, she was acting very strangely, and she was very conflicted about franklin's run
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for the presidency. and the betrayal part of the book, she still feels betrayed by franklin's affair with her social secretary in 197-- 1917. she's emotionally damaged goods. and, of course, even before her marriage to franklin she comes from a really kind of gothic childhood. she's the real poor little rich girl where her father was an alcoholic, and her mother was beautiful. eleanor's mother was beautiful. and i think her beauty was sort of a reproach to eleanor, okay? her father was an absentee, a drug addict, a drunk. he dies falling out of the window of his mistress' house, okay? and who does she lovesome the father. who does she love? the father. the father but not the mother.
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and then she's sent away to europe. first, she's with her parents -- her grand parents, and her grandmother is like, eleanor, you can't read, can you? this is when she's 9. her education had been so bad. it's amazing that she comes, she catches up very quickly in school in europe. but she's hurt by that. she's hurt by franklin. and she's not crazy at all about him becoming president. in 1928 when he's elected governor, she says to "the new york post" -- yes, that new york post, but it's a different new york post. it's not that new york post, but it is a new york post. she says, what do i care? what do i care if franklin has been elected governor? so what? not with al smith being defeated. i don't care. so i get to live in the executive mansion. now, maybe people get misquoted
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by the new york post. [laughter] but if she did, if she did, she wrote the same damn thing in a private letter to eleanor morgenthau two weeks later. and her actions in 1932 are, she's not part of the campaign, she's missing at very key points -- read the book. and even threatening to run off. so at that point i'm almost like, you know, sympathetic to franklin in terms of their, her attitude. she doesn't want to ride down on the train with everyone to washington for the inauguration. she wants to ride separately in a car with her new friend, lorena hickok. and finally franklin goes, no! you're riding on the train! you know? this is the inauguration. so, and she goes off to kind of
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mourn just before the inauguration where she used to sit in a funk at rock creek park in front of the statue of grief, because that's where she went when she found out about the affair of franklin and her social secretary, lucy mercer rutherford. so she's very damaged goods and acting very not with it in '32. she barely, she barely shows up to vote election day, okay? she goes back to teach school the night before with lorena hickok in the car. it's icy, and franklin's worried. but she's got to go, you know, election day. she's got to teach some lousy course on the upper east side. franklin votes in the morning with i think his secretary, which is another story, and she doesn't -- and they're waiting
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and waiting. you know how it is, always when, you know, back when there were newspapers that people realize you'd always see the picture in the afternoon edition of the candidates showing up early in the morning so that their picture would be in the afternoon paper, right? so they always vote early. they vote around -- they have to wait until she gets back at noon for them to vote. and then when they get back to new york city to the townhouse, she goes off and sees her friends in greenwich village and barely shows up again. i mean, this is not what i would call supportive. she was, she must have been incredibly angry, and, you know, some people say, you know, i never saw them alone. they would always have a conversation with a third person in the room. so it's, you know, a lot of these political marriages are are political partnerships. i won't cite recent examples,
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but, you know, say the hardings. you know, after a while i'm sure they had some sort of an accommodation. there's a fellow in back of you. >> i heard that the reason hitler didn't get the majority of the popular vote was he won because, like, the liberal vote was divided up between a lot of parties. >> oh, yeah. well, you know, but -- >> all the right-wing vote was all sort of one man. >> the question is, does hitler get, like, the majority of the vote, or the vote all -- is the vote all split up. and he's getting the great bulk of the extreme right-wing vote. there are these nationalists who should get along more with hitler. in a way, they do. in 1929 when there's this new
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reparations program being thought up and the nationalists turn on hindenburg, they have a big referendum. and they're kind of stodgy, old kaiser-type monarchy guys. and they need some muscle on the street. so they recruit the nazis. but they break very quickly, and they do not reproach until early '33. there's really bad blood between 'em. but hitler does get a hell of a lot more votes than they do. even so it's 37%. but when you've got 30 -- it's like trump, okay? what's trump getting, 30%? well, you know, when you've got 14 other guys, 30% is a tremendous vote. against one other guy it's terrible. but, you know, 37% when you've got literally 50 other parties is mind-boggling.
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but he does not, you know, he doesn't get really a majority until everything is completely rigged. and the fact that they have to rig it tells you he wasn't too sure he'd get a majority. oh. right there. we get to you, everett? man in the blue shirt? we're talking about all these shirt people. >> franz von poppen, did he ever join the nazi party? >> i don't think von poppen did join the nazi party. there were guys high up who came from the respectable guys who signed on like him and schact. his middle name comes from the tact that he had some -- fact that he had some american background. he was the financial wizard. so there was a question where around here of how hitler got
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things going after taking power. and they come out of the depression very quickly, and schact is really a guy who puts things together for hitler economically. but eventually he ends up in, like, 1944 in a concentration camp. he's not killed. and he's acquitted at nuremberg too. he never joins the nazi party. von poppen is really too catholic to be a full-fledged nazi. but he's a game player and a manipulator in his own right. but he's more, he's more of an old-line, continental conservative really, than a nazi. >> were poppen and -- [inaudible] charged? >> i'm not sure if they were charged. there were four counts, and i don't know if they were charged
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with -- there was waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity and a couple others. waging an aggressive war might have been, you know, the catch-all for all of them. von poppen certainly could have been charged with that because he was -- except it wasn't a war. it sort of wasn't a war. he was in charge with taking over austria. he was the ambassador to austria when the nazis march in. hitler sent him to austria, wanted to sort of get him out of the way, but also because he was, you know, the token catholic guy as opposed to the anti-clerical guys like borman. he could send him to autrey are are -- austria, and they wouldn't get too nervous. but that's getting ahead of the scope of my book. do you want to thousand me out?
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-- throw me out? i'm asking the library lady. should i just let it go? five minutes, okay. oh, no, no. the lady in back. >> that gentleman raise the question say why hitler was so popular at that time, i think, it's the history repeats. mao was very popular. he was supported massively by the people, otherwise he would not, he could not rule the country for 30 years and kill so many intellectuals. and the people, i find a lot of politicians, they are not, not many of them have the spirit of service and the ability of service and also the integrity. they just utilize a kind of
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psychopath trait to play emotional games to get votes, and they are very charismatic, and they are good talkers. but they are not accountable for what they said or promised, so they get voted, and then a few decades, 20, 30 years was going by by these -- >> well, and one thing i hadn't really touched on in the talk is the power of propaganda which, you know, can work for any movement or spectrum of thought and certainly works for hitlers. when hitler's not talking about jews or syphilis or strange things like that in "mein kampf", he's talking a lot about prop began da. he gave it -- propaganda. he gave it a lot of thought early on. you know, he designs the uniforms and the standards and the flags and really thinks about it a lot, you know, that
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evil eye thing and one of his smarter although certainly most evil disciples is goebbels. so they leave nothing to chance in that regard, and until everything goes to hell for everybody, it works pretty well for them. well, thank you all for your interest. [applause] and i have some books there. it's normally $35. if you're interested, we can let them go for $30, and i'll be happy to autograph them. and before we totally get thrown out of the building. bye-bye. >> you're watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's a hook at what's on prime time tonight. we kick off the evening at seven eastern with a panel of political collars and commentators -- scholars and commentators looking at the campaign of the late william f. buckley. then at 8:45, historian the t.j.
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stiles talks about general custer. at ten darcy olson talks about the restrictions on using medical treatments deemed experimental or not available for terminally illdiseases. and tonight at 11, win symptom groom pro-- winston groom on "the generals." that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> host: professor menzie chinn, your book, "lost decades: the making of america's debt crisis and the long recovery." how big is the u.s. debt, and who owns it x what do we mean by "own"? >> guest: well, the u.s. debt is, like, $14 trillion, and it's member in terms of publicly-held debt about 70% of gdp. so that's giving you some perspece.


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