tv My Father and Atticus Finch CSPAN December 24, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
presidents.us mr. stevens worked for the white house from 1970 to 2002. where can people find the book? >> guest: well, we have it on our web site which is stewart stevens,, sr..com and we also have it at a couple of bookstores. we are working to get in into some more of bookstores. we go around to different places to sell her books. >> host: you can find it onll line as well. >> guest: yes sir command can find on line. >> host: thank you for your time and thank you for being with it to be today. thank you for having us into your home.
>> good afternoon. welcome to the southern festival of looks. my name is andy bennett and i'm your session hosts for the day. we are here to hear from sally palmer thomasson and joseph beck about there but that afterward they will be signing their books in the signing colonnade upstairs pretty good buy their books in the selling area the festival will receive a part of the proceeds. and remember while the festival does have some sources of income the main source of income are donations from you. i try to make it very easy for you to donate. you can donate on the festival web site, you can donate on the
facebook page or you can use the festival app or if you are old-fashioned you can do it in person at the central headquarters here. our first author who will be speaking is joseph madison back. he's an attorney and atlanta a harvard university grad. he focuses on intellectual property litigation. early copyright and on consumer products. he is also a mediator and the winner of too many awards for me to mention here. he also teaches at emory university school of law. mr. back will be speaking about his book, "my father and atticus finch. it's an excellent book and without further ado i will turn it over to mr. back. >> thank you and thank you for coming. how many of you have read "to
kill a mockingbird"? about what i thought, it's a phenomenal bestseller and i will tell you why i call my book "my father and atticus finch in a moment. i want to read from the preface because it gives me a chance to give you little background on the book and my family. my father did not settle for his words. his sister told me that and my mother did not visit rate. what does that mean i wonder does a child. only as an adult did i trace it to a time before my birth when as a young fight lawyer fees represented a black man charged with raping a white woman in southern alabama. mine just intensified as tom went on because this was my father. i became a lawyer and people kept saying his case could have inspired the celebrated novel
"to kill a mockingbird." every time i talk about the case people said that. for a while the thought that my father could have inspired such a great novel was enough for me. when harper lee and a lovely letter sent to me by her agent acknowledged the quote obvious parallels adding she could not but call my father's case and her work was fiction. i decided it was time for me to find out more for myself. my manuscript was accepted for publication of ms. lees first book "go set a watchman" which brought into question who was derailed atticus finch did they loved figure in to kill at mockingbird or the figure in "go set a watchman."
some said the atticus of mockingbird was fictional. it was a fictional book but there was no such thing as a southern white van that do that sort of thing and the racist watchman were the real southern white man. that's not true. my father never subscribed to racist materials, never went to a white citizens councils or clan meeting. he hated both of those organizations. he never called black people by the word and backward. he did in fact courageously defend a black man falsely charged with raping a white woman in troy alabama in 1938. if you miss the atticus of mockingbird and if you were sad that the atticus of watchman take a look at this. i'm going to skip through few
pages to give you a feel for the case. the judge called my father in enterprise alabama which is in south alabama away from dry, maybe half an hour today but that then if the road was wet it took half a day. he asked my father to take the case because lawyers in troy had conflicts as you can imagine. my father said of course he would take the case and he did. the judge said reid de troy messenger the newspaper and you'll find out what you need to know and i'm going to read a little from the paper which i got from acra to montgomery. the headline, neat -- killed a was in montgomery and the messenger explained. first sentence a wandering de grogh fortuneteller given the name of cw white was removed from the troy jail for state keeping following his attack on a local white girl.
it sounds like authority over according to the paper. kelby the messenger reported volunteered to a detailed confession of the attack and the confession was signed in the presence of numerous law enforcement leaders is. we position called to attend the girl later concurred and i'm quoting from the messenger than the growth had a cop which is dastardly purpose. well, he didn't do it and i will tell you y. i know that. my father met his client charles white and killed the prison. mr. white was from detroit and chicago and it was not like the tom robbins in your member from "to kill a mockingbird" who is very deferential and polite and some say it is sick but us. he had a different attitude and it showed up right away. i'm reading from what my father told me that the first meeting.
charles if he said it happened like she said why did you sign they confession. they said he don't know? they said they'd take me to troy that night. he said i'm dying on a rope and by promising they said i could stay in kilby. my father, who promised? mr. white, five white men sure deputies and three others. my father, if we succeed the state may try to seek the death penalty. if you get the confession and exchange for a promise of life imprisonment he can desperately death penalty. so we said are you all right with a life sentence and charles said i don't want to go to jail or something i didn't do. my father said if you plead you will at least be alive and charles said that's not how i want to live. it would make you eligible for
parole. i'm not entering a guilty plea that i want that suppression -- decision suppressed. i think you will be up to the judge whether suppressed to do something for me charles white interrupted. i was their first meeting. they came to be very fond of each other but the first meeting was a little harry. try at that time was infamous for having a statue of john wilkes-booth who murdered abraham lincoln, our president. my congressman and the great civil rights hero john lewis and his book wrote about troy where he was going a year and a half after the trial. congressman lewis recalled wondering if the little boy why his mother said he must be very careful not to get out of line with a white person. by the time he was ready for elementary school he could see for himself why she wanted him
because quote by then i had been to troy. on july 13 about a month after the arrest the troy messenger reported the nico -- nick rose they preferred to call him was brought to troy by a seven-member attachment from a patrol. they had additional officer stationed in troy. there was no display for power power -- propose violence. as a precaution charles white was taken back kilby by the patrolmen that night. judge parks was prudent to insist that charles would be escorted to montgomery and the highway patrol be present during jury selection. there was high talk in the crowd surrounding the courthouse when word got out that two neat rows have been called upon for jury
service. you remember the scottsboro trial earlier. for a capital case you had to have black people call, not mrs. lee served but called for service. a cheer went up when it was afforded that both makers have been struck by this date of alabama so they got an all-white jury. the judge ordered jurors together for the direction of special bailiff so as to avoid outside influence in other words threats. the profession turned out to be a wise one. earlier on the morning of july 14 charles white arrived in
troy escorted from montgomery's kilby prison. i'm reading for messenger. 14 members of the alabama highway patrol met outside by two more patrolmen for a total of 16. these patrolmen were surrounding the courthouse throughout the trial and i give judge parks credit for that. he insists him what he called perfect order. he threatened to have people arrested if there was a demonstration during the trial and there were angry reactions especially when charles white took the stand. i don't want to go over my time. the prosecutor of the alleged victim was almost 21. charles white was a middle-aged african-american man who weighed about 250 pounds.
he was a fortuneteller and he was also called the healer, person who could help people get well. he was known as a fortuneteller so elizabeth went to see him to get her fortune told. here is what she testified. i've got the transcript once i got interested after my correspondence with harper lee so i'm reading from her testimony. i'm not going to read all of it because despite what we have heard an election some of it is little graphic and you can read it in the book. after he got been telling my fortune he told me to come over to his side of the table where he was sitting there when i got over there he pulled up my dress and took some kind of sap and put it on me right down there. on my private parts. the prosecutor, did he do anything else do you that
tuesday? she testified, he told me to get on the bed he was going to fix me up and he told me come and i told him no he wasn't going to fix me up there in the bed and he got on top of me. he pulled out my clothing and pulled off part of my shorts. i cried but it didn't do any good. i could feel something stinging down there. stinging and burning feeling down there and asked him to get off me but he would not do it. the state asked the following question, did you see him remove his clothing? there was no ruling which meant they could go ahead. yes, i saw and i know what a man's private parts are that i saw him do something about that. he got it out and stuck it in mind. i couldn't tell how far because i was looking the other way. if you are trying a case you
don't want on cross-examination to have all that repeated because it may inflame perhaps the jury. on cross examining one of the three doctors who testified, the testimony they came out and i will read a little bit of that but i will not read some of it. dr. stewart at tulane medical school graduate. here's what he said under oath. i was called to her house and i went there and examined her on the bed. that is an important difference in this case and to kill and mockingbird. everything else aligned to pretty much the same. and "to kill a mockingbird" note doctor was called to examine her. if there had been one they would find she was not rates by tom robinson. the doctor did investigate elizabeth fleischer. with the help of her sisters would put her in a tub and upon
examining her private parts i found her -- it had not been broke in. that testimony was startling to an all-white jury in 1938 so i have heard and resulted in a conference with the judge who assumed this case is going to wind up in a hung jury and be retried. he called my father and the solicitor into his chambers and sent the jury out for a few minutes and try to work out a plea deal. charles white, bless his heart wasn't buying it. the judge was going to give him a sentence of life, a promise of a roll and my father tried to get him to accept it as he knew what an alabama jury was capable of doing and if you look at the statistics hundreds of black men
were executed for rape. i did some research with the southern poverty law center which is a friend of mind and a client in montgomery. there were over 400 black men executed for rape and only two white men. they were convicted of rape and murder. it's disproportionate and that is change. troy is a better place and it's a very nice town now and it has a good university there. that was a very different place. charles white testified and i've got a lot testimony in the book if you are interested. i'm just going to read you a little bit. my father had spoken in their tongue at the manner which is not preach this book in. he had been sternly warned by judge parks he better not object to questions.
charles white testimony perceived -- proceed without interruption. i will just tell you this. when he finished testifying he said that's all that happened down there. i never did lock the door i did not even put my hands on a white lady predicted and put her down on the bed. the lady treated me nice. she made no it dances at all. i treated her white. among the parallels besides the obvious ones is this. harper lee wrote and this is quoting from her book, something unspeakable occurred between tom robinson and may allah. and you may recall from the book
she kissed a black man ended south alabama that was unspeakable. i think something unspeakable occurred here but it was not rape and it was not even sex. to this day i don't really know exactly but i do know how it came out and my father stuck with his client all the way to sadly the electric chair. now if i can find it quickly i will read to you. i should have marked this. i will tell you from memory because i pretty much remember it. charles white was executed a few minutes after midnight in montgomery in june of 1939. for other black men were executed that same day. they went to the electric chair humbly begging for forgiveness.
charles white protested that the electrodes were too tight. the people who are about to kill him said don't you realize you are about to die? he said, of course. he said jesus will recognize an innocent man this day. those were his last words. so i hope you have some questions and if so i will be led to try to answer them. >> thank you very much mr. beck. a fascinating story. next we are going to hear from ms. sally thomason who has written a book called -- ms. palmer is from memphis, not
originally but at some point the family realized their mistake in moving to tennessee. >> not my whole family, just my husband. >> she has lived there for quite some time. she was a dean at rhodes college. she has also been a mountain climber, tennis player and a yoga practitioner. she earned her doctorate in human aging in her 60s. this is her third book so she is not a stranger to writing books and probably not a stranger to talking about them. so after ms. thomasson discusses her book we will take questions for the authors, okay? >> ms. thomas. >> thank you. i just want to say what a privilege it is to be here at the southern book festival and know that it is a wonderful gathering of a lot of talent and i'm just pleased to be on the
panel. how many of you have seen the movie so we? has anyone? you know it's the movie about chelsea sullenberger who was a u.s. airways pilot who shortly after he took off his plane in new york city lost power in both engines of the aircraft. and he didn't have enough altitude or time to return to the airport and in less than four minutes he guided and landed the plane on the hudson river on a frigid day in january in 2009 and saved 155 lives. now, why on a panel about civil rights in my talking about an unbelievable area not equal feet?
aeronautical feat. a couple weeks ago brett stevens wrote about taking his 11-year-old son to see the movie, saleh. while they were eating hamburgers afterwards spread son said you know dad, famous people depend on what other people think of them to be who they are so we just cared about whether he did everything right. that young lad clearly articulated a distinct difference between fame and heroism. sully was a superb pilot but his actions showed something more. his history demonstrates strong character anchored by a sense of honor and virtues that go with
it. chelsea sullenberger wasn't out for fame or to impress others. he acted not on what was popular or would enhance his reputation. he acted on the deeply held conviction of what he knew was right. even though he had never had an opportunity to practice or rehearse what became his incredibly courageous act. the lives of both foster back, joe's father, and as he tells it in his book my father -- "my father and atticus finch and betty bobo pearson is her story is told in "delta rainbow" in a different kind of situation but
they both displayed the same basic impulse. they acted on their own personal convictions for doing what was right what they have to do. they were not out for fame or fortune or how many tweets they might receive in a day. both betty and foster did what they believed was right in the situation where they found themselves. they displayed the kind of courage martin luther king jr. dreamed would come to pass some day when men and women would be judged not by the color of their skin but instead by their individual deeds and actions and the content of their character. "delta rainbow" is a book about a woman with remarkable courage
and conviction and a story about betty bobo pearson whose roots in the mississippi delta became one of the first and one of the most outspoken leaders of the civil rights movement in a the culturally and racially divided mississippi. i want to read to you a few paragraphs from the book to tell you how her conviction started. september 1955, it had been three weeks since the discovery of emmett tells horrifically mutilated body which had been beaten, shot in the head and sunk in the tallahatchie river a cotton gin band around his neck
with barb wire. when till's body was sent back to his mother in chicago she insisted on an open casket and a public funeral. mamie till bradley wanted the world to see what had happened to her young son. the world was aghast and in mississippi the initial shock and public war over the brutality of the murder is palpable. but that a person assigned one of the first families of the mississippi delta and it age 33 mistress of rainbow plantation for mouse out that sumner found one thing strange. after the first few days no one in town would talk about the murder of the upcoming trial. a curtain of silence fell. most everyone she knew felt resentful about the incredible amount of international attention and fin ticked if
spotlight on her little town and they undercurrent arose from the general sentiment that the whole procedure was untrue. it took place and the river between the two counties. bill pearson, betty's husband, uncle, was the editor of the sumner weekly and betty was so intrigued and aghast at what was going on she got a press pass to the trial for herself and a good friend, a good college friend named florence mars. she had never been or attended a trial. in 1955 the courtroom was an all-male domain as joe was saying. white women could vote but by
law they were not in jury duty. nowak served on juries but 4.3% of the population was registered to vote. as the two women were about to enter the backdoor of the courthouse the entrance for the press an old family friend and ex-sheriff of tallahatchie county stop them. he said that he shouldn't be going to do this, child. you will be hearing things that no white lady should hear. thanking him for his concern that he pushed open the door and entered the large imposing building which until that moment had been a mere backdrop to her life. walking into the tallahatchie county courthouse on that historic day in 1955, betty bobo pearson had her eyes busted
open. that he grew up in segregated society and understood how racist it was but her family, her friends, everyone she knew treated the chorus of decency and often through affection. theirs was the paternalistic racism of belief she felt was misguided but never violent, never fishes. her father would never harm much less kill. she knew her father her moral beacon in those areas. skin color did make a difference. now looking at the faces of the white people in the courtroom that he realized for the first time in her life how deep that their feelings were. she saw appeared hatred. ..
even if the jury had been impartial, she should have realized that the file increasingly resembled a twisted theater piece was almost impossible. on september 23 1955 after five fold days of testimony, a bevy of witnesses closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense attorneys and instruction from judge feingold, the all-white male jury in the tallahassee courthouse in mississippi deliberated just over an hour before quitting both defendants for the kidnapping and murder of emmett till, a 14-year-old boy from chicago. after the trial, the juror said well, it wouldn't have taken so long if we had stopped for a soda.the
verdict, that verdict, would shape the betty pearson's future. what she witnessed during the trial thrust her into a new and disturbing awareness that would eventually tear her away from her family, make her suspect in her community and a stranger fromthe man who had been the hero of her known world , her father. betty had filed her purpose and began to act during the two modulus 1960s era in the mississippi delta.she served on the mississippi council on human relations to promote dialogue between the races. she became a card-carrying member of the naacp in the early 1960s. she and her husband bill new well-designed housing at rainbow with electricity, plumbing and a space for
gardening beside each house. she took rainbow employees and registered to vote which is some very interesting stories but anyway, the petersons built a swimming pool at rainbow and gave swimming lessons to every negro child in the area in their swimming pool. she was on the mississippi advisory committee to the united states civil rights commission and after a visit to washington and the justice department tried to convince the local school board to adopt grad school programs to end integration to avoid massive abuses and she was director rejected outright. she taught literacy and life skills to the inmates of parchment prison. she was asked from the board and secretaries of mississippi habitat for
humanity. she was co-editor, excuse me, cochair of the emmitt till commission when it was formed and she became estranged from many of her longtime friends and it nearly broke her heart. the incident my husband likes to tell happened when betty was a senior at ole miss in 1942, which was during the war and there was an acceleration and she had written an essay for her philosophy class, her senior philosophy class., now, this is 1942. why should a school in mississippi be integrated? the professor who was from the north was so impressed, he called betty in and he said, can i submit it to the rosenthalcompetition ? which the winner will be awarded a full scholarship to columbia school or graduate school in new york city, columbia university and she
said sure and she didn't really think that much more about it. six weeks later, professor calder called her into his office and said betty, you have won the scholarship. you can go to columbia graduate school. she was ecstatic. she could hardly wait to get home to clarksdale to tell her parents and she ran into her daddy's insurance office and said daddy, guess what? i won a scholarship and she said no daughter of mine is going to new york city. well, she was devastated. they argued, they fought, she cried, she slammed doors but the family loyalty was really strong and she couldn't defy her father and turned down the scholarship. but she had to figure out some way to show her daddy
that she was a grown-up person and so she borrowed her mother's car and drove up to memphis and join the marines. the marine corps had just opened up their admissions for women thatyear so betty became a marine . after interviewing betty, her family and many friends and associates, though she is the one that got me into writing this book and i want to recognize that she is with us today but we sat down together and said what are her character traits that really, what are the character traits that really define betty because her story was so remarkable. and he sat down and made a list and i'm not going to read the whole list but the first one on the list was, you are here for a purpose.
now, there is a story behind that. back in 1923, lynn nora who was betty's mother and, i'm sorry, i'm jumping ahead. when betty was 18 months old, the family was returning from a brief vacation in florida. in a touring car and it was one of those touring cars where it had a top but everything was open and then they had last curtains that would roll down if you wanted to be protected. it was a lovely day and they had all the curtains rolled up and they were coming home and they got to pandora and it was late in the afternoon and there was a long freight train coming by and so they
had to stop and they were waiting and they were getting very anxious and very impatient they waited for the freight train and as they, i want to read a little. as the train passed and the last freight car finally passed and a crewman standing on the caboose's rear platform waited for lenora, that was betty's mother, to drive on cross. the they only got midway. a second train hidden from view by the passing train curve from the other stretched and crashed into the car on the passenger side. little betty, flew out onto the cow catcher attached to the front of theoncoming train . betty's grandmother severely injured, lay unconscious on the backseat. in the front seat, lenora, four months pregnant set
rigid, gripping the steering wheel. betty's grandfather killed instantly by the impact, lay dead on the street beside lenora. one of the young boys who witnessed the devastating crash saw a small body roll off the front of theengine into a ditch a few hundred yards away . she ran to pick up the crying toddler and carried her back to the lady in the drivers seat who screamed hysterically, my baby? where is my baby? lenora, betty and her grandfathers body were loaded on to the train and taken into clarksdale where betty's young father who was, had stayed home bringing the crops met them and then he got on the train and took his mother in to campbell's clinic in memphis and then that night, they realized
that betty was crying all night and they couldn't get her to be quiet so they took her, this is so interesting at the time, they took her to the dentist's office was which was the only x-ray machine in the city and took x-rays and found that her collarbone was broken so she went to campbell's where she stayed a month and her grandmother stayed three months and when her grandmother was in the hospital , she could not grasp that fincher, her husband was dead but when she came home to bobo she fell to pieces, other utterly alone. grieving for her husband, she begged eddie's parents to let the little girl come down and stay with her. eddie said, but downstairs it would be years before it left the grandmother's room and during those years, her grandmother put betty to bed every night and told her a story, often she spoke about the train wreck from which
betty was miraculously saved. after the bedtime story, her grandmother insisted to betty , listen to betty's prayers and told her every night betty, god reached down and plucked you from in front of that train because he has nothing very special he wants you to do with your life. and betty did do something very special and is still doing, she's 94 years old living in california in a retirement home and she's amazing. she has all her wits about her but in addition to betty's leadership, she and bill were founding members of the church in sumner mississippi and betty held positions of leadership through local, state and national churches. betty vogel pearson had an
insatiable desire of protecting things and making them right but what really was interesting is that's not all, she also loves to have a good time creating adventures, creating beauty. to quote carolyn webb, rainbow, the pearson's plantation was betty's little piece of paradise. it wasjust the way betty's heart is: always welcoming. her garden, her home , her dinner parties were magical. in writing dave's story i found her life to be like a multifaceted prism. a rainbow throwing light in many different directions. i dynamic leader, an amazing counselor, a fabulous host and a master gardener. she seemed to inherently know how to use her wits, charm,
intelligence, social position, connections and stubbornness to get what she wants and she too is a woman who in trouble is not afraid to confront her own demons. four years ago when jean fisher suggested i write the betty vogel pearson story, i asked who is betty pearson? i had never heard her name before. i soon learned that betty vogel pearson individual deeds and actions and the content of character were a very important part ofthe history of the civil rights movement . >> thank you. [applause] we have a little time for some questions if you have a question, would you please come up to the microphone stand and ask away
and meanwhile, i'm going to ask one while people are coming up. you alluded to some repercussions that miss pearson suffered for her activities including breaches with the family and so on. i was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little bit and mister beck, if your father, i was wondering if he suffered any repercussions either socially or to this practice for representing this gentleman. >> yes, they did suffer repercussions but one thing that betty was very fortunate in is that her husband, who had also been in theservice, he was a flyer during world war ii . so they both had lived out of
the south and had been exposed to other attitudes and other ideas. he was very supportive of her so if they were invited to a party or someplace, friends were just telling them, he would ask her well, do you want to go? she would say no, not really. he would say forget it. the thing about betty is that she did have, does have such a strong feeling for family and so she just quit talking about the race relations because they had one daughter and she wanted her daughter to know her grandparents and so they would see each other so it was just a very tense but workable situation.
they managed to live with, there are numerous incidences , a good friend of hers, oscar clark who was also a planter there in clarksville founded a bank in 1955, 56 and he wanted to open it up and give as many loans to the black people in the area and help bring them up and he founded the bank and he was president of the board and he then had gotten other planners and other people, leading citizens to be on the board of the bank. some of the leading citizens didn't like it so he was voted out of the presidency and betty was brokenhearted because her brother was one of the people that she found
out had voted against it and she couldn't understand because her brother and oscar had been best friends. it was a terrible breach in the family but eventually, betty, it took years but they made up but there were incidents. her good friend florence mars who attended the emmett till trial was been philadelphia and i'll tell you, she lost her business. philadelphia is where the young workers from the north came down and were murdered in philadelphia and their bodies were buried and the ku klux klan, it's all in the book but the ku klux klan denied it and a big search
was on and florence finally testified and helped the fbi find them but betty was involved inthat . >> taking a case like this is not what you call a great way to develop business but there were repercussions. initially people were willing to accept the fact that there had to be a lawyer for this man. but the fact that my father fought as hard as he did, the fact that he made the transcript for the appeal and supreme court with his own money which he had little love, this was during the depression and it finally began to wear on people. i was born in enterprise but we had to leave. now, growing up in montgomery , my father was drafted when he was 37 years old, i guess it was. he was blind in one eye.
he was swayed back and when he got out of world war ii and came back to enterprise, his law practice was gone. and he did what he could to make a living working for what is now for rucker and eventually got a job with the veterans administration in montgomery and that's where i grew up i want to just if i may , i'm going to talk myself to you, why i think it turned out the way it did. with his practice, i mean. southerners, first of all, there were good white people in thesouth, not just my father . and when i talked about gradations of prejudice, there were very poor people all over and there were cowards, people who tried to do the right thing but i think the fact that he lost this case when he was appointed would have been acceptable had he not continue to fight and here's what i wrote, it's just a
paragraph. loss, passed down memory of the lost cause for the white self took it far into the 20th century and as the years went by, the principal reason for the civil war, to preserveslavery , gradually became an unacceptable reason for the war and the loss of such a war all the more unacceptable. an acceptable reason for the war had to be found against the economic tourist knee route to ruthlessly impose through punitive tax became the region. loss of such a war by men who were gallantly outnumbered, the loss of an agrarian culture and predatory industrial agenda became accepted . among the better class, the idealized model for acceptance of loss was robert e lee's dignified surrender but most of them, born losers invested to remain losers throughout the short and
violent lives lost in this light was natural and because it wasunavoidable , it had to be accepted. foster back and lost. white men who would havetaken both law into their own hands the night of the crime , they would have imposed their own version of justice. we are now prepared to let foster back be, provided he was not stiffnecked. and accepted his loss. and so i think the fact that he continued to struggle with this case and the fight and not give up was what ended his law career and enterprise in montgomery. >> thank you very much, thank you to both of you. [applause] just a great session. remember you can purchase their books for sale at the sears area and he will be signing after this at the signing column and we are adjourned. >> here's a look at some of
the current best-selling books according to the conservative book club. topping the list is fox news host bill o'reilly and his story of martin to guard on japan's defeat in world war ii in killing the rising sun. megan kelly's memoir settle for more is followed by jp vance's reflection on growing up in and moving away from the appalachian region and hillbilly elegy. bill o'reilly appears again on the list with james patterson for their children's book, give peace a chance and heisman trophy winner timtebow recalls his collegiate and professional football career in his book shaken . our look at the best-selling
books according to the conservative book club continues with uss arizona survival donald stratton's first-hand account of the pearl harbor attack in all the gallant men. he recently spoke with mister stratton and you can watch the interview online at booktv.org. also on the list, rush limbaugh's young adult title rush revere and the presidency and brian jill need and don yeager's history of the barbary wars. thomas jefferson and the tripoli irony and wrapping up the conservative book club bestsellers is president-elect donald trumps the art of the deal, first published in 1987, plus a collection of the late william f buckley's essays by fox news chief washington correspondent james rosen. many of these authors have or will be appearing on book tv. watch them on our website, booktv.org. >> let's talk about news in the book. and it's not without controversy . there's probably controversy but it's fascinating. in the book we talk about
various character officials, naming general flynn who concluded in 2012 that the obama administration was seeking to suppress intelligence on islamic extremist threats in order to justify walking away from iraq, syria, afghanistan and other countries that had fallen apart while he was president. >> that's one of the central point that i talk about earlier. there is this feeling amongst them and flynn was the chief intelligence officer for joint special operations command in iran and afghanistan so he was close to the fight. he was up for several jobs. >> he's donald trump's senior national security advisor, alter ego if you will and he was at the defense intelligence agency, seeing intelligence about the growth of the threat from isis and
other groups, a lot of it coming from syria but other places as well. he showed me a chart in 2004, 2014. the number of islamic extremist groups had doubled when the time of the narrative was the threat has gone away, we can go back to a new normal and he saw that the intelligence went up the change of command, it got diluted and diluted until it got to david reed, a lot of the threat warnings were being sort of diluted out of the intelligence assessment. >> subsequently, we've now learned there's a general investigation where 50 analysts made the same complaint, that their alarmist intelligence analysis about the growth of isis somehow disappeared and in that case it was the view of central command where they pointed to. it's one of these things where when a narrative is coming out of the white house , obviously flynn is very upset about that. he thinks that's one of the reasons he didn't get to
service third-year. i just did a profile for him and in depth the magazine and he felt frustrated that what he thought was a growing threat was being basically perceived by the public as a dying breath and explained by the white house as sort of, we've won this and that cause a lot of tension. flynn represents not everyone in the intelligence community butflynn represented a core group who felt the enemy was not dead , that the enemy is all these groups flying a black banner whether it's al qaeda or isis or al qaeda in the arabian peninsula because they are all united by ideology. they have connection between their personnel but the threat was growing and he felt the white house was sort of not really explaining that threat to the public and was very frustrated. >> why do you think that?
>> because he was last in the intelligence strength and the intelligence he bought wasn't getting into the president's daily brief. the president's speeches were talking about basically this counterterrorism speech in may 2013 basically describing al qaeda is decimated, our troops arecoming home, we can rely on this drone program and america is safe and that's the new normal . and hefought back and he didn't believe that . >> and is he still fighting that fight to some extent? >> he still believe that and he's going to be a very senior person so yes, one of the things you will see from the company administration is they will both be talking about this threat as being bigger than al qaeda, it's an ideology and wherever it raises its head , it's going to float this black banner in the territory that we are probably going to fight that group.
it's virulently intolerant not only of other religions but also of different strains of islam like shiite is him . just like its predecessor al qaeda in iraq does. >> i think it was a different narrative coming out of the trunk land. >> what will that narrative be in terms of fighting here? >> i'm not going to want to speak for general flynn area the narrative is going to be, this war is not over. consequently, what you see on what president obama has done in the last year, he's talking about isis is the jv team of terrorism. he's not talking that way anymore. he's talking two years ago, he's now talking about a generational struggle. if anyone was reluctant to put that back in president obama but he did it because he realized what a threat isis was. he's frozen the troop withdrawals from afghanistan be