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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 15, 2017 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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if you do not like, beethoven's music is beautiful even if it is not your favorite. fathers do not know everything but when our children are old they look like we know everything and are amazed by every other, during this time we shape our children for later in life. if we live able lie. if we are honest they will be honest. wherever you are leave a place in better condition, public restroom is the major exception. your home, school, community and planet should be improved. leaving places better than you found them, there are those who think you are doing hartl wrong. life is not fair, nor was it ever meant to be. breaking the law is a sin but driving right at the speed limit is annoying, god will forgive you for speeding even if the police officer doesn't. apologize have an accountability group who can be honest with you and you with them who can push you to be better than you are and they go on from there. my last paragraph of the book
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to my children, i will try to read this without crying. these thoughts, words, recipes, to cherish. christy and i will die one day. we all will die. we do not know the future but i know these things are true and want my children to know they are true. i worry more than i should about my kids, my mind races to order stories, if it gets lost or snakebites, devlin going swimming, what if she falls in and around. i hope it is natural to be overprotective and over worried and overthink the dangers that lie ahead for our kids. i just want them to love god, love us and be kind, most of all your mother and i love you so much. we go into your room and watch you sleep. iq part of the fabric from your favorite stuffed animal in your travel bag, and rub it in my hands to remind me of you. i can listen to it and here you. i love you, your mother does
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too. when the day comes you can no longer see a face-to-face, we will be behind the veil of eternity watching and waiting to hold you once again. thank you. [applause] i'm happy to take any questions you have. they told me you have to go to this microphone if you have any questions would otherwise i have to talk another 20 minutes because we are live on c-span. i am capable of talking. what i write in the book that i fell into everything i have ever done, one of the jobs i hated, i would have been great at being a lawyer but there are these things called client and they are often terrible and have problems with easy solutions and refused to go with the easy solution because they would rather sue the person who made the mad but
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after that when i was at red state someone from msnbc called and asked if i could be on msnbc and i did and years later av who wanted me was at cnn, and asked if i wanted a job at cnn and after that the local radio program director called me and asked if i could fill in for a man on the radio the next day and i said sure, i have been on the radio before and they remembered me. when i got to the station the next morning it turns out the individual was arrested in a crack house. the day turned into a week and the weeks turned into three months, expired gift certificate in the steakhouse. when i was there, the radio people in atlanta, one of them
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read my website, and asked if i wanted a weekend show. i said no. i was doing cnn, never saw my family to begin with and asked if i could fill in for herman cain and i filled in for herman cain and at the end of the show a group of people in suits came into the room and i thought that was the second they were going to say i was never allowed in the building again and instead they said herman cain is going to run for president. we don't want you to have a weekend show. can you take his spot on the radio. i never had a job in radio before and they did not know that when they asked the question. they assumed i had been on radio more than the week i had been when they heard me. from 9 to midnight for three weeks until herman left and then 7:00 to 10:00 and 6:00 to 9:00, 5 to 7, the largest in
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the southeast, the most listened to radio show on any station regardless of format and spend two hours a day talking about whatever i want to talk about, having a wife and two kids at home. i stopped to check traffic, i have a captured audience, to figure out how to get home, not me, the traffic guy but i can talk about what i want to talk about and i found more than nobody wants to talk about. people are tired of the news of the day. we are not 9 months into this presidency and people are exhausted and doesn't matter what political party you are and people yelling at each other and the most inconsequential things on the planet are the most consequential things on the planet and getting online finding people who agree with them to get together and have
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cathartic experiences and community is collapsing around them. people losing their minds turning into the tv station where everybody agrees with us and coming out as a conservative in 2016, being a guest host for rush limbaugh saying i wasn't going to support the president and his election everyone was pretty sure it destroyed my career and it never dawned on me that i could lose my job and health insurance and kill my wife. her medicine is $20,000 a month. i looked and the alternative -- the affordable care act, it wouldn't be affordable for that medicine. if i lost my job we would been in a world of hurt. my ratings went up instead and part of it was i spent less time talking about the daily news because i didn't want to talk about it, didn't support
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to my listener supported who called my station demanding i be fired and spent more time talking about other news and when i would talk about the presidential race, spend time critically of my own side, particularly people of faith who put their faith in a politician instead of a savior in heaven and my disappointment with that and the ratings kept going up. a diverse audience over time. everybody thought i was destroying my career the show grew and i got a book out of it. >> i for a long time to ask people this question and one word of prep. you know the definition i am sure of profane.
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i personally think the price we have to pay for medicine, that was prompted by your $20,000 a month, is absolutely profane and knowing there is a just god in heaven somebody has got to answer for that i think. what do you think? >> i will be a lot of people answering for a lot of things on the last day. the importance is believing there's going to be that last day. somebody asked a while back if i really believe that? yes i do. not only do i believe it, it gives me comfort we may see no justice in this lifetime but we will see what it really is in the next lifetime. my wife -- is a miracle of modern medicine that genetic medicine could be developed for a particular form of cancer very few people have. i understand the cost of her medicine because few people
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have it. and jacked up the price, things like that, you wonder what is going on. all i can say to my kids in the book is don't believe the myth that people are really good at humanity is really good, we are a bunch of sinners. i tell people i'm a conservative because i'm a christian and i know everybody is a sinner and i want as few of them in charge of me as possible. the government and people in charge, i don't want my kids to have that to be so jaded nothing can matter. i was on city council for a term. when i took my radio job i had to resign 6 months early because i couldn't have a part-time elected official job and full-time radio job and it was the most miserable four
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years of my life, somebody's trash does not get collected you will get yelled at in the grocery store even if it wasn't your fault. the reason i ran for office was it dawned on me when i had to do, and 10 asian theme massage parlors were closed but every one of them was open and flies out the door and couldn't figure out what was going on. it a reference for human trafficking. i ran for office and was shocked, encouraged the police to do investigations and more than one of these places was shuttered for fronts for human trafficking. they find local landlords were politically connected and rent from them knowing they can provide them to stop the investigations, the only thing i read on and refuse to leave the radio show until we can pass ordinance and the thing we kept running into with people
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say why are you directing police from bad crimes to this? this is consenting adults? pay no attention to the human trafficking, doesn't really happen, they can't get proof. a conservative came up the greatest way to show these places down, the regulatory state. we went to the legitimate massage parlors and they all had lightbulbs and clean running water and people weren't allow to live in or over the shop so we passed a law that said if you have a massage parlor you have to have a log of your customers, lightbulbs in every room the work and not allowed to live there. and amazingly none of these places were open anymore because they didn't want to comply with basic regulations which you don't need to send police, just a business license inspectors, they love to shut people down and it worked. >> i don't want my child to experience the cynicism that is pervasive today that i
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experienced about politics but what would you suggest we do to move ourselves and posterity away from the cynicism that is pervasive in our political culture? >> it is not a political deck and it will sound like that. stop looking to a group of people in washington dc to provide your solutions. look to your local government and local community and local nonprofits and local churches and find solutions locally. it is a philosophical thing and some of you disagree but when we concentrate all our decisionmaking in one location, in addition to allowing us to become cynical when it doesn't go our way it makes every fight a hill to dine on because every fight is about that and the founders wisely said federalism is the solution, you should be able to live your life the way
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you live your life and people of like mind and move to another state if you find disagreement in that state instead of 1-size-fits-all everywhere big government and what i found, whether you are conservative or liberal you think washington matters most and it was never designed to be that way. by focusing on the problems and allowing it to become as powerful as it has we give up on our local community. the number of counties in this country that now have -- in my position a single person running for open seats on school boards or city council or county commissions is growing because people are not looking to their local county for their solution so why run for office? it is the one guy that covets power who runs as opposed to the local person who has a kid at a local public school who is
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a problem and wants the problem fixed, the local school board will fix that for you. re-engaging local communities around the dinner table, on the sidewalk, in city council, is so important as part of civic commitment. and looking at far off places, i really want -- i write about this. they are masters of their own destiny. no one will solve problems for them. i learned that with my wife's health situation and my health situation. it is us having to do that and people not coming to us. we have to engage, the lack of
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engagement breeds cynicism and engagements where we don't matter. we don't matter to washington because they know how to micro targeted if they get so many votes from certain people they can get elected. the individual doesn't matter. at the local level the individual matters and what you do whether you are from nashville or any other city in your local community matters. he will affect more people on a daily basis by going to local soup kitchen and helping them feed others then you will by picking up the phone and yelling at a college student in washington who works for your congressman and if we could get back to that taking care of each other locally instead of saying someone else will do it, i will stop, in seminary we spent three weeks in the sermon on the mount and what is jesus
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talking about? talking about the concept of the old testament that god takes care of his people and people are supposed to take care of each other and the rich person who has a lot is supposed to take care of the poor person, you can't compel them to go there supposed to because they are the president of the porcelain -- suddenly rich and the rich for us and find himself or the roles reversed and people take care of each other in their local community. cs lewis, convinced god did not intend us to care about disasters or the disaster in our backyard, his point was the rise of global news we care about something terrible that happened on the far side of the world the 100 years ago we were heard about a month from now. it gets us amped up. usa today story the other day, the supervolcano in yellowstone may explode earlier than expected and wipe out all life
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on earth. if you read it we are still 400,000 years away from when that is supposed to be but you had to read to the bottom of the story to find it out. we and ourselves up on these things and care about things and worry about things. if nothing else this past year taught me my favorite verse of the bible is why worry about tomorrow, it will take care of itself. focus on today. we need to do more of that, caring for people in our community and families and friends and not worrying about things that happened far off the we have no control and no power over and no one else does either. not to say we are not supposed to know about him or maybe we can find answers or supposed to send people to help the poor in other countries but it is to say there is a great failure in the christian church in america today where we send our kids to mexico to hammer nails and work on cans when we have homeless people down the street we ignore because we don't consider that a mission deal.
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it is a damning indictment on the american church that we have a lot of kids from inner cities with no fathers at home in crumbling public schools when you have great church facilities that are abandoned for 5 days, and give these kids a smaller education where the church is and open the facilities to these people but we lost our priorities, the american church lost its priorities. so many church leaders decided to get political and cast their lot saying cyrus the great was returning us to jerusalem and letting us rebuild the temple, the temple has artie been built and rose again 3 days later and ascended into heaven, don't know why we are looking for that. it pains me to see so many people looking for political solutions for spiritual problems so thank you very much on that note. i hope you will buy a copy of
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the book and read it and pass it on to your family. if nothing else i have my family gumbo recipe in there. the most controversial part of my book because it doesn't have worcestershire in it which i point out to southerners is a british product which they don't care to have pointed out. amazing how food can make people angry but around the dinner table, there are 33 recipes to accomplish that. thank you for having me today, thank you. [applause] >> thank you for being here and thank you for joining us. and have it signed. we will meet you at the war
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memorial plasma. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> this is booktv on c-span2 coverage of the southern festival of books at central library in downtown nashville. we are halfway through the first day of live coverage. in a few minutes we will be back with our discussion on westward expansion. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> here is a look at upcoming book fairs happening around the country. live from the southern festival of books with oscar talks from the city central library. the ninth annual boston book festival in louisiana book festival in baton rouge will happen the same day, october 28th. in early november live from two state capitals was at the texas book festival in austin and wisconsin book festival in madison. last month, live from miami-dade college in the book fair, featured authors include senator our franken, walter isaacson, nbc news and many more. and book fairs to watch previous festival coverage, booktv.org.
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>> let me talk about a couple examples. i mentioned materials, what is used in laboratories, cells that grow in plastic dishes and grow successfully in the first of these was featured, the story of henrietta lacks a wonderful book and also a tv movie that is just out and a woman diagnosed with cervical cancer at johns hopkins in 1951, isolated cervical cancer and turned it into the world's first set, tremendously useful line to be used in biomedical research around the world but this turned out to be cell lines, incredibly rapidly and if you make a small error, they
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are throughout all your cells and in the liver cell, ultimately realize these cells, huge problem for decades scientists recognized in the -- that these were taking over and a lot of concern about it and hand drinking and not much was done. starting 13 years ago, there were good tests that could rapidly identify whether these cells were hela cells or what scientists thought they were using but those tests did not take off or used as widely as they need to be. 450 other examples of cell lines that are misidentified in biomedical research lab and
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they have these tools to check them out but they'll cost money, so these things don't get used. these tests are not used as much as they ought to be so that is one source, bad cell lines and a second i mentioned is the methods that are picked up. scientists design experiments that don't have enough power, classic examples involve studies of lou gehrig's disease, they have led to a lot of drugs and all have been failures, the search for treatment for als. one of the problems, they don't think thoroughly about what they needed to do, how many mice they needed to use, to do an experiment you might take dozens of mice for your study group and dozens more for your control group, that could
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easily cost $100 and many academic scientists don't have that kind of money. i will do 10 mice and call my result a pilot study and they are constrained by resources but on the other hand there have been many occasions these things have been led to large-scale clinical trials and lead to results that have been very disappointing that look promising when you do it in a small number of mice and maybe spend tens of millions of dollars trying to expand and discover it doesn't work. one example of a methodological problem that gives a flavor for what can go wrong. i mentioned bad assumptions. and the assumption about mouse work is if you study something in my sent it works in mice you can cure cancer in mice and strokes but those findings don't translate to human beings, we are not just giant
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mice and mice are not tiny people. the assumption is they are mammals, we are mammals, they out to work and often times i don't have anything better. all i can do is use rodents and hope for the best and hope we should be more modest in our expectations what can come out of the studies and thinking about ways to make better use of animals, think more broadly how to extract meaning without assuming and crossing your fingers what works in mice will work for human beings so that is one thing as well. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> is a look at books being published this week. endurance details scott kelly and his record-setting year aboard the international space station. former fox news acre gretchen carlson shares the story of women impacted by sexual harassment in the workplace.
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political commentator keith olbermann offers his concerns about donald trump and in the second world war, military historian victor davis hanson recounts key battles of world war ii. also published this week chasing light is a behind-the-scenes look at michelle obama through the lens of former white house photographer amanda lucid on. and the quantum labyrinth, the relationship between physicists richard feynman and john wheeler and how they received quantum physics was award-winning author and playwright dan melson recounts how a member of the french resistance gave her life to save hundreds of jewish children from being sent to auschwitz in suzanne's children. new technologies and how they influence the world by scientist kelly weiner smith and cartoonist zach weiner smith. look for these titles in bookstores this coming weekend watch for many of these authors in the future on booktv on
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c-span2. >> as we know the difficult part in iraq and afghanistan was not taking the regime down but figuring out what happened afterwards. in the aftermath of iraq, chaos and a rise in insurgency fueled by saddam hussein's baath party. certain operations i brought in to do man hunting and find.m and his son. they track down both of them. he is captured by special operators and it was hoped initially the decapitation strike would put a lid on the insurgency, that would fall by now that saddam was gone but there were others who were ready and willing to take up the charge. we then find ourselves in a prolonged insurgency campaign.
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around this time we have general stanley mcchrystal coming in, task for 714 is the task force he sets up in iraq. at the time it was not particularly active and a lot of people thought elite forces should not be doing daily operations but should focus only on big targets. general stanley mcchrystal decides we can do that and he said that would not work. he looks for ways to ramp up operations and does so very effectively, there were 10 operations per month when he comes in 2004 and goes up to 302,000 -- in 2006. this makes possible by advances in communication technology and the fact the iraqis are using cell phones and computers without a lot of thought to the fact they are getting intercepted. quite impressive and a lot of
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people think at this scale we can destroy the insurgency. we also have on the other side, a term people get confused about. the operators who are not part of j sock, mainly special forces, navy seals at this time but they also decide they want to do this surgical strike precision raid, go out and hold down bad guys in the middle of the night and as we move away from their more traditional role of working with local forces, local populations and come under fire for taking them away from that, and what we of counterinsurgency typically working with local forces to secure the population is done mainly and we will see over
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time there is better collaboration between special operations and general-purpose forces. .. >> together in that what they did could be mutually reenforcing. and, you know, there's a myth in counterinsurgency that you don't actually need to kaptur-kill -- capture-kill the enmy, and i think that's false. but you had the special operators would do the capturing-killing of the leadership targets while the conventional forces would do more population security, they'd go in and stir up hornets' nests and reveal targets. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org.
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[inaudible conversations] >> and now we're back live in nashville. up next, authors roger hodge and daniel sharfstein discuss westward expansion. [inaudible conversations]
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>> welcome, everyone. we are happy to have you at the southern festival of books. my name is andy bennett, i'm the host for this session. the southern festival of books depends on many sources of funding including individual donations. so please consider any amount that you can, and you can donate by web site, by facebook or at the festival headquarters during the weekend. our authors will be signing their books at the signing tent on the war memorial plaza after the session. you can purchase their books at the par par nasa book area, and a portion will benefit the
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festival. our first speaker is daniel sharfstein, professor of law and history at vanderbilt. he has twice won the law school's outstanding professor award. he's a graduate of harvard and yale law school. and before law school, he was a journalist. he's also co-director of the george barrett social justice program at vanderbilt law school. professor sharfstein? >> hi, everybody. you can hear me in the back? great. it's wonderful to be here again at the southern festival of books, my hometown book festival, and a real honor to be introduced by judge bennett. in the decade plus that i've lived in nashville, i've presented here as an author, i've been a host, and most of all i've been a member of the
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audience. so i think sharing this panel with roger hodge gives me the best of all worlds. i just love the range of conversations that we have here at the festival, and i look forward to hearing from all of you. today i'll be talking about the nez perce war and how i came to write my book, "thunder in the mountains:" and what their conflict tells us about america after reconstruction and about our current moment. my book centers around a war that the u.s. fought in the summer of 1877 against a small group of nez perce indians who refused to move from their traditional land onto a reservation. the fighting began in the rolling prairies and deep canyons where oregon, washington and idaho meet.
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but then the nez perce families -- men, women, children, ultimately about 900 in all -- fled east through the mountains into montana. they moved along the continental divide. if you look on a map, it's kind of the ragged border between idaho and montana. and then they went down into wyoming, across the newly-created yellowstone national park where they took some of the first tourists there hostage. and then finally, they turned sharp north across montana's buffalo plains trying to reach sitting bull in canada where he had fled after custer's last stand the year before. for three and a half months and over some of the roughest mountain terrain in the country, the northern rockies, the nez perce families outran the army. but then in early october 1877,
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soldiers trapped them just 40 miles south of the border. the families were starving, they were freezing, and they were devastated by months of vicious battles. it wasn't a big war, but people have been writing about it almost constantly from the moment it happened. why is that? because in its aftermath the nez perce leader who surrendered, chief joseph, became a national celebrity the. he was hailed both as a military genius -- wrongly, it turned out, because other men were the war chiefs -- but also a man of extraordinary kindness and feeling. thousands of people visited him in exile. school children recited his words. people packed his speeches and then adapted them as poetry. joseph's pleas to restore his
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people to their land inspired generations of activists for civil and human rights. i've been interested in the nez perce war from the moment i could read words on a page. finish when i was 6 -- when i was 6 years old, my mother gave me a children's biography of chief joseph. it was part of the classic dell yearling biography series where they gave you a bit of everything; abe lincoln, george washington carver, helen keller. and i just never forgot those books. but what compelled me to write about chief joseph in the first place, to write "thunder in the mountains," actually wasn't joseph. it was the general who led the army forces against the nez perce, a man named oliver otis howard. howard was a maine yankee, west
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point graduate, someone with a truly terrific, rippling beard. [laughter] actually, one of the challenges of writing this was very quickly you run out of synonyms for bushy. [laughter] and much to the displeasure of his men, he was a teetotaling advantage list. he was -- evangelist. he was known as the christian general. during the civil war, he had commanded a union army brigade and became an ardent abolitionist who early on knew that he was fighting a war to destroy slavery. in june 1862 he lost his right arm above the elbow, and the nez perce would later call him cut arm. but he quickly recovered, and he wound up as one of william tecumseh sherman's commanders during the march to the sea and during the final push up through the carolinas. as the war was ending, howard
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was tapped to lead a bold experiment in governing. congress had created a new agency, the bureau of refugees, freed men and abandoned lands. the agency's job was to redistribute confiscated rebel property and help nearly four million people navigate the path from slavery to citizenship. the bureau built schools, they built hospitals, orphanages, asylums, they set up entire court systems. this was the first big federal social welfare agency in american history. truly a radical test of what a government could and should do for its people. and as head of the freedmen's bureau, howard was a crucial player in giving concrete meaning to the concepts of liberty and equality. these are concepts that the
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emancipation proclamation and the 13th and 14th amendments boldly proclaimed to be the twin pillars of our reborn american republic. when congress, in 1867, chartered a new university for african-americans in washington, d.c., it was a given that it would be named for howard, howard university. in southern history oliver otis howard is a hero. a flawed hero, to be sure. someone who embodied the limitations of the federal government's efforts to remake the rebel south. but still, a dedicated and true warrior for black equality. then as reconstruction was collapsing, howard was sent to oregon in 1874 to command army forces in the pacific northwest. so he's a hero in southern
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history, in african-american history, but in western history, in native american history general howard is a villain. you know, his decisions all but sparked the nez perce war. men following his orders wound up massacring women and children. so the nez perce war is not just the story of one civil rights hero, chief joseph. rather, it's the story of how howard -- himself a civil rights champion -- made vicious war on another civil rights champion and, in a way, it's a quintessential story of america after reconstruction. the decades between the end of the civil war and 1900 are a story of an extraordinary pivot in american values. in 1865 the u.s. was a beacon of liberty and equality to the world. but by 1900 all that political
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and policy-making energy was being redirected to a vast project of sifting and sorting. jim crow was the rule of the south, and really much of the rest of the country. every two or three days an african-american was lynched. at the border chinese imi-- immigrants were banned. 1900, the nation had become an imperial power with territories stretching from san juan to manila. a person with dark skin was as likely to be a colonial subject as a citizen. so from 1865 to 1900, from emancipation to empire, this is a quick and stunning turn in our sense of america and the purpose of our government. and it's a crucial moment for america. you know, it's when the foundation was laid for battles
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that we're still fighting over the contours of liberty and equality, the relationship between race and citizenship and over the proper size, scope and role of government. the story of this turn from emancipation to empire goes through the west. the last decades of the 19th century involved a massive exercise of government power to take land and wealth from one group and give it to another. the west was the staging ground for empire. it was where the logic and the politics, the division of what our government existed to do were worked out. and what's amazing is that so many of the people who had fought for emancipation wound up playing key roles in building the new regime. you know, i wanted to explore how real people saw and
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experienced this ethical transformation. oliver otis howard went west, 1874, nearly a broken man. he had been a lightning rod for years for opposition to reconstruction, constantly investigated for corruption, turned into a national joke. and as he traveled along the transcontinental railroad, he hoped that his time in the west would be his great second chance. you know, a big part of his job would involve forcing native americans onto reservations. for howard, reservation policies enacted kind of fantasy of reconstruction. you know, during reconstruction he really hadn't been able to give away 40 acres and a mule to african-americans even though he tried. but in the west, he could give away small plots of land, and he thought that this would be a pathway to full citizenship. you know, he had convinced himself that this was an
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extension and not a betrayal of reconstruction's values. you know, it was for him an enlightened way to protect indians from genocidal wars. but then he encountered joseph. now joseph, by the time he met howard in the spring of 1875 -- two years before the war -- joseph was a seasoned add slow candidate for his people -- advocate for his people. he was a young man in his early 30s, outranked by many other leaders who had long experience hunting buffalo and fighting rival nations to the east, you know, black feet, crow, lakota. but then ranchers started encroaching on joseph's ancestral land in oregon. they told joseph rightly that under an 1863 treaty the valley had been put into the public domain, and it had already been divided up into homesteads. but no one in the valley had
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been represented at the 1863 treaty council. leaders of other totally separate nez perce bands 100 miles away had ceded the land for them. so that presented jost -- joseph with a real challenge. and it's a story for our time. you know, when so many people today are wondering if there's anything they can do to change our nation's direction. so joseph had to figure out how to move the federal government, how to find and connect with american power, how to change official policy and convince people that the 1863 treaty didn't apply to his band. and that's a tall order especially when we consider that he's native american, and native americans really did not get much respect for claims that they made to land. and what's more, he was in an
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incredibly isolated mountain valley surround by towering peaks and canyons deeper than the grand canyon, really hard to get in or out. and he didn't speak english. he did his talking in nez perce and in chinook jargon, regional trade language. so what did joseph do? how did he get his words to swim upstream? joseph decided to plead his case to every federal official he could find; local indian agent, regional supervisor for indian affairs, a congressman home from recess. and he pressed his claim until those officials reported to washington that joseph was right. in the process joseph was discovering how the american republic worked after the civil war. it had many faces, many competing authorities.
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you know, power was split, and it remains split in countless ways. you know, among federal, state and local governments, among legislative, executive, judicial branches and among all kinds of overlapping agencies. what joseph found was a fluid core of american power. you know, nothing is ever quite resolved once and for all. it's never over. there's always someone else to turn to. and often per since in this process -- persistence in thises process could be leveraged into rights. you just have to keep fighting. and joseph saw this. he figured it out. and he had remarkable success in getting his people's land claims reopened again and again both before and after the war. in the course of his advocacy, joseph developed a set of arguments about liberty and equality that howard would have immediately recognized as, you know, ones that he had made
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about the freed people during reconstruction. but howard refused to be, to see joseph as someone who was participating in a new american process. instead he saw joseph as someone showing disrespect for his authority, you know, someone who could only be governed by brute force. in his drive for redemption, howard was single minded as he pursued the nez perce families through the northern rockies. but military victory didn't mean redemption for howard, and almost immediately he recognized this. you know, at the moment of josephs' surrender, it was -- joseph's surrender, it was almost as if howard realized that he was no longer the hero of his own story. that's a tough thing to recognize. ultimately, howard wound with up playing a key role in making a place for joseph in american culture. in the days and weeks that followed the war, howard and his
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aide-de-camp publicized joseph's surrender statement. and in the decades to come, howard just couldn't stop writing about joseph. you know, in the end it was joseph and not general howard who would be remembered as a great civil rights figure. and joseph's rhetoric is so poignant, so moving that it's easy to overlook that he wasn't simply making a plea for a full package of rights as an american, you know, what we might call citizenship. you know, more specifically he was trying to define citizenship for an age of big government. he was claiming the right to participate in the contentious struggles that are just baked into our modern way of governing. it's the right to speak to the state and to be heard. he represents a set of ideas, but just as importantly a set of methods that we need more than
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ever. i'm going to finish, i think, by just reading a little bit of, from the book and really in the book i tried to foreground the words and experiences of joseph and many other native american nez perce survivor ises of the war. survivors of the war. so it's joseph's surrender speech that made him a celebrity. first, i thought i'd read his surrender speech and then a little bit of a speech he gave in washington, d.c. a year and a half after the war. so here's the surrender statement. it's like the first thing that ever went viral. [laughter] tell general howard i know his heart. what he told me before, i have in my heart. i'm tired of fighting. our chiefs are killed, looking glass is dead --
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[inaudible] is dead, the old men are all dead. it's the young men who say yes or no. he who leads the young men is dead. it is cold and we have no blankets. the little children are freezing to death. my people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food, no one knows where they are. maybe freezing to death. i want time to look for my children and see how many of them i can find. maybe i shall find them among the dead. hear me, my chiefs, i am tired. my heart is sick and sad. from where the sun now stands, i will fight no more forever. but the thing is we have to remember joseph never stopped fighting. so here he is a year and a half later in washington d.c. more than 800 people bought
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tickets to see joseph, the main attraction alongside visiting choctaw, chickasaw, cherokee and creek chiefs. joseph spoke for more than an hour. to make his argument was to tell the history of his people among the whites. much of his talk he'd given countless times before the war. his tribe's long friendship with the united states, the injustice of of the treaty, the pledge he made his father never to abandon the valley. but it was the most recent chapters of his story that transformed him and his audience. according to one reporter, as his account of the war unfolded, his voice developed its flexibility, and joseph began gesturing and miming which for grace and appropriateness would have done credit to a frenchman. listeners gasped as he remembered the war, laughed when he described the raid on the army mule train in the meadows,
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wept as he told of the broken promises of the surrender. the audience then heard a message that had fallen out of favor with the end of reconstruction. an appeal for a new commitment to the basic values of liberty and equality. if the white man wants to live in peace with the indian, he can live in peace, joseph said. there need be no trouble. treat all men alike. give them all the same law. give them all an even chance to live and grow. he called for an equal citizenship defined by broad fundamental liberties. let me be a free man, he said. free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where i choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and i will obey every law or submit to the penalty. when he finished with the simple declaration, this is my story
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and here i am, the theater roared with emotion. thank you very much. [applause] >> roger hodge is a deputy editor for the intercept which is an internet news source. he's former editor of the oxford american and harper's magazine, and his writings are so numerous, i don't think i'll try and list any of them here. he's written a book that is, i think, part memoir, part reporting and part history. and so here's mr. hodge to talk about his book, "texas blood." >> thank you. it's really an honor to be up here with dan, and he is a real
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historian. i am a journalist, and that means i'm a dilettante historian. but i -- there is a lot of history in my book. there's a lot of -- and there's a lot of personal history, family history and a lot of traveling. so the book begins and ends on the devil's river in west texas where my family has ranched for generations. and when i was growing up, i worked on that ranch every weekend, spent all my summers out there working, and i had no idea how historic this place was. i just, it just -- i took everything for granted. i would find air arrowheads, and i would play cowboys and indians when i was very small, but i didn't have -- i didn't really understand how long people had lived in that landscape.
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and i didn't want really understand my -- i didn't really understand my own culture, i didn't understand the ranching culture. i took that for granted as well. i assumed that i would always be -- i would be a rancher. that was my destiny. there was no choice. that's what i wanted to be, and that was what -- that was it. there would always be sheep and goats in those hills. there would always be cattle in the bottomland, and that was the way it would be. but when my father figured out that that was what was in my mind, he had a talk with me. he explained that ranching was dying, that the way of life that i took for granted was going away, it was passing away, and i had to have some other way to make a living, that we would always hold on to the land, but the land was not going to be the way we -- really we weren't going to live off the land
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anymore. and so this was a trauma. [laughter] but eventually, i made my way to new york city, became a journalist, became a writer and editor, and if you know any writers, you know that this is, there's -- it's as if there's, something has to happen to you to make you, to do this. [laughter] because it's not easy, and it's -- and i sometimes think that it was the trauma of not, of noting able to have -- of not being able to have that life that sent me into writing. and i, as i was in exile as i always thought of it in new york, i thought continuously about my homeland -- home landscape and wanted the figure out a way to write about it. but i was busy, i was editing magazines, i was consumed with the news cycle. and in 2006 a novel came out
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called "no country for old men." and i had been -- cormack mccarthy had been one of my sort of spirit -- he consoled me in my exile because he was writing about my home. all those border novels happened right there in my home. and "no country for old men" came out, and that opening scene, most of you have probably seen the movie, the shootout, the drug deal gone bad, that was on my family's ranch. the geographical markers were unmistakeable. it was just west of lozier canyon. that meant it was just west of my family's eastern fence. and so i had to write about this. so i wrote about mccarthy, i wrote about all of his novels, and i wrote about his encounter with the borderlands, and that
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took me deeper into the borderlands themselves and the history and the landscape and the whole 14,000 years of human habitation in that place. but it took a while. and i realized -- what i had to figure out though was not, i wanted to understand this transformation that had overtaken this place that was so important to me, the transformation was not only the fact that the ranches were emptying and there was no livestock in the pastures and people were moving away and the land was being bought up by tobacco lawyers and oil tie -- tycoons and environmental organizations. i wanted to understand why that was happening, but i didn't, i didn't know enough about the history of the place. i didn't know what had brought my own family there, and i certainly didn't know what had brought the humanos or any of the other hundreds of named indian groups that were there when the spanish arrived. so first i went and searched my
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own family's history, which brought me to tennessee. i went to college in tennessee, but i didn't even know that my ancestors were from here. my great, great grandfather who brought the family to texas in 1854 was born in 1828 in new market, tennessee. and then that family, the wilson family, moved west as people were doing. they ended up in missouri which was the staging ground for western migration. and not just wen migration, but western conquest. and this is where all the trappers and the scalpers and the speculators, they were all fanning out going north to oregon or going into texas or going into the mountains. and so part of the book is trying to understand what's going on in missouri in the 1840s. and the 1850s. and there are all these clues.
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my -- perry's father, william wilson, was killed by a mop in 1841. -- by a mob in 1841. i could never figure out exactly what it was, whether he just got caught up in something, whether -- the mormon war was heating up, there was so much violence going on, and this was the border. you go southwest of what's now kansas city, and you were in indian country, you were on the border. we forget about the western border. so my ancestors, my great great grandfather, perry wilson -- grandparents -- came down the texas road in 1854. perry had already been to california a couple of times. he was a 49er and speculator himself. he went back, married his sweetheart and brought her down the texas road which was an ancient indian high. it was the osage trail and then a military road and eventually
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became known as the texas road. so many settlers were heading down that way. now, my people didn't leave anything in writing other than property records, so i went in search of witnesses, fellow travelers, people who trod those same paths and wrote about it. and fortunately, there are some wonderful, wonderful writers who went down that road. among them,, washington irving who, when he came back from europe, ran into henry ellsworth who was administering the indian removal act. "a tour on the prairie," was his book. frederick law olmstead went down into texas and wrote a wonderful book called "a journey through texas," or "a saddle trip on the western frontier." so part of the book is this layering of me following these
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paths and describing what i see and shifting into different them poral registers and -- temporal registers and describing what other people saw all in the service in one sense of trying to capture what was driving my ancestors forward and also to try to understand some larger questions about the texas, about texas in general, about the texas border, about the border. what is it, what is it about the border that makes it continually return to our national debate. what is it, why are we so obsessed with the border. this was one of my questions. so perry and wilmet went west after drifting cattle along the red river for a number of years. they packed up in 1856 and were headed to california.
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and we're pretty sure, i'm very sure that they went along the southern road, the mail route from san antonio to the rio grande, up the devil's river, over the pecos, across the trans-pecos to el paso and beyond. they could have gone over the -- [inaudible] but there are various property clues that lead us to believe that they went up the devil's river especially because in later years perry drifted cattle on the devil's river, living in camps. so i found as many witnesses as i could who made that same journey; the cattlemen and the journalists who rode on the butterfield stage. they were wonderful writers as well. they weren't pros like olmsted or i slipping, but they could capture detail, they could
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capture hardship. and it was a hard, hard road. days without water. and when water -- when they found water, it was contaminated with livestock and death and disease. but they still had to carry it, they had to load their barrels with that water and carry it with them. and along the way they had encounters with the native peoples that were still there. they'd mostly been exterminated by that point. those hundreds of groups with the wonderful mellifluous names. and if you ever listen to the audio book, you'll hear me trying to pronounce them. [laughter] i had a lot of practice before i recorded it. but they had mostly been exterminated or absorbed by another invader, the apaches. the human knows, for example --
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humanos, for example, who ranged all across texas, they had encounters with the french and the spanish, and one captain in particular, he shows up again and again in different parts of the state, in different parts of northern mexico. they ranged widely. they even, they encountered -- [inaudible] in the 1530s when he made his epic naked, barefoot journey across the continent. from being ship reck whered -- ship recked on the texas -- shipwrecked on the texas coast. so i delved into the history of those peoples through the spanish contact narratives, through the records of expeditions and into the ethnohistory of the comanches which is incredibly rich. we know a lot about the comanches now. as opposed to the mythology of the comanche which, i have to
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say, mccarthy's depiction to have comanches is sorely lacking. it's -- he treats them as hellhounds, as these infernal spirits. but they were incredibly complex and sophisticated society. i'd recommend the wonderful book "the comanche empire," if you haven't read it. so part of this ending counter with -- encounter with the native peoples gets you into the militarization of the border which is one of the things i was trying to understand about the contemporary border, is this buildup, this enormous footprint of law enforcement that has descended on my home. now the largest payroll in my hometown is law enforcement.
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it's just, you can't, you can't throw a stick without hitting a federal law enforcement officer. and what you figure out if you spend some time studying the history is that the militarization of the border is nothing new. that's how the border was settled. it was this line of forts that was there to protect travelers and the mails and slowly, very slowly, people started to try to live in these deserts. and a lot of innovations happened. a lot of military innovations happened along the border. the first deployment of a tank by the u.s. military was along the border. the first deployment of an airplane by the u.s. military was in the punitive expedition against poncho villa. and the expeditions continued. the first deployment of a
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predator drone surveil ising the united states -- surveilling the united states citizenry is happening, happened on the border. and these innovations continue. so it's part of my metaphor -- so the book is organized as a series of journeys. one of the journal knits that i undertook was not just following my ancestors, but also following some of the other people who made these journeys. so i loosely and metaphorically followed his path, but this time in my case in the company of the border patrol. i got myself an assignment with popular science to write about border security technology. finish and i covered most of the texas border with them. and i showed up in brownsville, and a guy, this very imposing guy wearing a tan jumper said,
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are you roger hodge? i've been waiting for you. it turned out he was the, he was a very high ranking guy in air marine operations. he wanted to show me their surveillance platform which is called the big pipe which is a way to integrate all the surveillance assets -- the drones and the airplanes and the cameras, the border cameras and even cameras in airports. any place that you have a surveillance camera that the federal government has access to can be brought together into this platform. so anybody who needs to see it anywhere can log in as long as they have credentials. and it struck me watching this, seeing this thing in action, seeing this machine in action on the border that we were watching, this is an experiment. the border has been a place of innovation, like i said, for a
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long time in terms of civilian policing. but this is place now where we're seeing something very new. and in the same way that deploying aircraft was very, very new and powerful for law enforcement -- for the military, deploying surveillance on that scale, he talked about total domain awareness which is pervasive and persistent surveillance. so, and as this gips to get -- one of the questions i asked, what is it about the border that keeps coming back to natural -- national consciousness, that keeps coming back into our national discussion. what is it that we're really afraid of on the border, that's the question. and what i've come to realize, i mean, i didn't want fully get this -- i didn't fully get this until trump was elected that it's the return of the repressed. it's the return of our political repressed. and the thing that we haven't really dealt with politically or
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socially in our country is the genocide is and conquest of north america, and that's why i'm so excite to be sitting, to be on this panel with dan. because those themes that he articulated are exactly what i am grappling with in this book. we're not really afraid, i don't think we're that a afraid of what's on the other side of the border. we're afraid of what's inside already, and that's why i think, ultimately, that trump's wall is not really about the border. and it's not really -- it doesn't even really matter whether it gets built. it's already here. it's not about keeping people out, it's about dividing the people that are already here. and i think the wall's already here. the wall runs through every single community in this country. and so that was, that's kind of the answer i end up with. that's not really in the book,
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that's kind of implied in the book. because i don't even mention trump's name in the book. anyway, this is a very personal book. it's a journey that i undertook to try and grapple with these themes, and i hope you enjoy reading it, if you do. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. i hope you can see the quality of the two authors we have here. we have a few minutes if any of you wish to ask questions. there's a microphone over on the side, and you are invited to go up and fire away with your questions. i'll start while some of you might be lining up. both of you, of course mr. hodge has a lengthy journalism
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background. professor, you have a shorter journalism background. how did your journalism backgrounds help or hinter you in your -- hinter you in your -- hinder you in your writing of your books? >> well, i'd say my journalism job hindered me because i was having to do it while i was -- [laughter] trying to write the book. it was a tremendous help for me because i really learned how to write on the job. and i had the opportunity to work with great, great writers and still do. and harper's, harper's was -- when i was editing harper's and coming up there, i was there for 14 years, i really began my journalism career there, i worked with some of the best writers in the world. and and either at the beginning as a fact-checker or later as an
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editor, and then i had the opportunity to write for the magazine. the first words i wrote in this book are, were published in harper's. so it was a tremendous advantage to have that experience. i don't think i could have written the book otherwise. >> so for me, i spent three years before law school working as a reporter in west africa and in southern california. i went from covering liberian peace talks to covering the city council meetings in monrovia, california. [laughter] and for me, it was an amazing experience. you know, writing about real people who you're going to have to see again, who can call you up and yell at you, i think, really makes you accountable and really makes you committed to getting the story right. i also think being a journalist,
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in a way it turned me into the historical equivalent of a method actor. i have to see the places where i, that i write about. so for this book i traveled the full length of the nez perce trail, about 1400 miles, i -- in a 4x4. and then i, so much of this was, so much of this war took place on a horse. nez perce people were horse-herding people. a huge amount of the war involved -- it wasn't just the 900 nez perce men, women and children who were pleaing the army, they took their herd with them. thousands of horses new the mountain -- through the mountains. and much of the army, it was a cavalry action.
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so is oliver otis howard, he had one arm, he rode a horse for 1400 miles with one a arm. so i think it was the journalist in me that compelled me to take riding lessons south of nashville. it's very humbling. all my life i'd been told i was allergic to horses, so went to the allergy clinic hoping they had a shot for me -- [laughter] and it would turn me into the marlboro man. [laughter] they told me i didn't need shots, i wasn't really allergic. it was just the dust from the horses that was irritating my eyes. so as long as i took claritin and wore the worst pair of goggles you've ever seen over my glasses, i could do that. and i learned how to ride a horse and then spent a week in the yellowstone back country tracing a part of the park where the nez perce families had crossed. and i think if i hadn't been a
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reporter, i wouldn't have done that. >> okay. we have, we have a question here. >> i can talk really loud. >> okay, i'll -- >> they really want you to go to the mic. >> yeah. >> this is for roger. can you just explain a little more your point at the very end about the repressed coming back? i'm really interested in that. i think i know what you're saying, but i want to make sure, just want a few more details. >> yeah. i mean, i think i was a little enigmatic there possibly. but i think one of the things that we haven't reckoned with in this country is the extent to which we committed a genocide. and we conquered this continent.
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and i believe -- i've come to believe that the reason we are so obsessed with the border is that we -- it's a stand-in. it's a stand-in for other things in our, in our history and in our politics. and it also has a lot to do with slavery and our, you know, these are the original sins of our founding. and as dan was saying earlier, by, you know, between 1865 and 1900 we had changed really the whole character of our approach to governor happens in. but before that -- governance. but before that as well, the whole question of race and
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citizenship was of absolute central importance. and so when you think about the history of the border and the history of immigration policy, i think you mentioned the chinese exclusion act. the border patrol was originally created to keep chinese out. not to keep mexicans out. they wanted mexicans to come and work. so i think that this is -- i mean, i could argue at great length, i think, and there's a lot of discussion of this in the book. but i do think that it doesn't make sense what we say about border, what politicians say about the border, people who have never really been there or have only been there once on a tour makes no sense. the problem they're trying to solve is has nothing to do with what they're talking about. >> it's what, to me it's not
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just about the border, it's what the historian barbara wellke calls about who belongs, who doesn't, you know, who has rights in our society, who has a stake and who isn't allowed. >> there's a thing, some sociologists talk about called social silence, the things that we refuse to talk about. and this is like the flip side. something that we talk about all the time. well, what is that telling us? because we're not, we're not really that worried about people coming in from mexico. and if we are, building a wall is certainly not the way to do it, because it's just a speed bump. >> well, i believe our time is just about up, so i wanted to say thank you for coming. i'm sorry, but thank you for coming, thanks to our great authors here. [applause] wonderful, wonderful presentations. [applause] please remember that they'll be
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signing at the signing tent on the war memorial plaza immediately after this, and you can buy their books up there too. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and you're watching booktv on c-span2, it's it's for serious readers. we are live today from the
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southern festival of books in nashville. we'll be back with more authors in just a few minutes. >> here's a look at some of the current best selling nonfiction books. topping the list is pastor john -- with his thoughts on making the christian community more incollusive in "a bigger table." followed by "we were eight years in power: an examination of race, the obama presidency and the election of donald trump" by national book award-winning author ta'nehisi coates. after this in "braving the wilderness," renee brown asks what it means to belong. fourth is hillary clinton with her thoughts on the 2016 presidential election followed by martha mcdowell's field guide to the landscapes that inspired the little house series in "the world of laura ing gals wilder." our look at the best selling nonfiction books continues with
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astrophysics for people in a hurry by neil degrasse tyson followed by petty, a recount of the life of the late rock musician tom petty by warren zanes. after that in "strong inside," andrew maraniss recalls the early years of the first african-american basketball player in the sec. patchett with her memoir, this is a story of a happy marriage. and wrapping up our look at bestsellers according to par nasties books in nashville is "unbelievable." some of these authors have or will be appearing on booktv, and you can watch them on our web site, booktv.org. >> so what can we learn when we look at these searches. so if you remember in the 2008 presidential election all the way back then, barack obama was elected president, he defeated
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john mccain, and there was a big question after this election did race matter in the voting. did people care that obama was black when deciding whether to vote for him. ands this is kind of a classic question that could be complicated by social desirability bias. if you ask americans, the overwhelming majority of americans --9 8 or 99% of americans -- say they don't care, they didn't care that obama was black in the election. and that was kind of why a lot of people assumed, concluded that we lived in a postracial society back in the day. there was this idea that, you know, voters voted for obama, and they said they didn't care that obama was black. so could you use google searches to potentially, because people are so honest, because people tell google things that they might not tell anybody else on socially unacceptable attitudes, could you use google searches to get the real answer of the effect that race may have played in people's voting decision.
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so what i did is i made a map of racist search volume on google. and this is the percent of google searches that include very, very charged racist word, i won't say it out loud, but you can kind of guess maybe what it is. and the first thing that struck me about this data, first, was how common the search was. so in the time period i was using, people are making these searches, these racist searches in about the same frequency as they were searching lakers and migraine and daily show and economist. so it wasn't by any stretch of the imagination a fringe search. these are mostly for jokes mocking african-americans. that's kind of a big theme of these searches. the other thing that struck me about this map is it looked very, very different from the map i would have expected of racism. so if you had asked me where racism was highest against african-americans in the united states, i would have guessed that racism is predominantly concentrated in the south.
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if you think of the country's history, the civil war, slavery, we think of racism as having a strong north/south divide. and definitely racism is highest -- some of the places it is highest are in the deep south, places like southern mississippi and southern louisiana. but you can also see in the map with darker red meaning a higher frequency of these searches that it's also higher in many places in the north; in western pennsylvania, eastern ohio, industrial michigan, upstate new york, rural illinois. i think the real divide this search data reveals is not north versus south, it's east versus west. you see that it's much, much higher east of the mississippi river and then kind of drops pretty substantially west of the mississippi river. so once i had this map, i wanted to see -- because people are so honest here, could you use this data to measure how much obama really lost in the 2008
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election. and, of course, you can't just compare racist searches to votes for obama. it might be that places that have high racist searches would have opposed any democratic candidate in 2008, so that wouldn't be really a fair comparison. so what i did is i compared obama's vote total to previous democratic candidates such as john kerry in the previous election who was a white candidate and was ranked similarly liberal. and what you see when you do that -- and you can read the paper, read it in the book -- is a very, very strong, significant relationship that places that had highest racist search volume, these places in appalachia or in industrial michigan, support obama much less than previous democratic candidates. and you can start controlling for anything you'd like. you can start controlling for education or demographics or political views or cultural views, and nothing changes the relationship that that was a big
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factor. and overall, i conclude that obama lost about four percentage points from racism which is much higher than you'd get from really any other, any other measure. and he got about one to two percentage points from increased african-american turnout. this paper kind of languished in the act academic word for a little bit, and then very recently when the trump phenomenon was starting, trump was saying a lot of racially-charged, making a lot of racially-charged comments, and people were questioning how is he doing so well even when he's saying these things you're not supposed to say is, and was racism driving some of his support. and nate cohen of "the new york times" asked me for the data on the racist search volume. he had data for support for trump in the republican primary, and he said of all the variables he could test, the single highest correlation he could
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find was the racist search volume for trump. this, of course, does not mean that everybody who supports trump is racist, but it does mean that some of his supporters were and that it did drive some of his progress in the, in the primary. .. starting now, arthur and
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biology professor david haskell provide a field guide to a dozen trees and their connection to the natural world. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. i'm your host in this session of the southern festival of books with 15. i have a couple housekeeping items. if you haven't silenced your cell phones please do so now. the session needs to end at 3:50 because we are reporting live on c-span. we will head to the plasma and the signing tent where you have an opportunity to meet david and have him sign your books. we cannot linger in this room because of the live broadcast.
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david haskell is university of biology professor receiving a phd in ecology and evolutionary biology from cornell university. his work integrates scientific, literary and contemplative studies of the natural world, his 2012 book the forest unseen was a finalist for the pulitzer prize and the wilson very science award. he is here today to share his newest work, "the songs of trees". please join me in welcoming david haskell. [applause] >> thank you for the kind introduction. the library here, the slide has gone away. library of the year, extraordinary space, beautiful space not just in its physical
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presence but the beauty of what the library provides and thank booktv for carrying a number of sessions life and sharing the exciting things happening with the rest of the world, those connected to c-span. i am going to share a few readings from "the songs of trees" and set up and explain what this book is about, how it came to be and as i go through i will be sharing excerpts from longer chapters and be delighted to take any questions or comments at the end and linger afterwords, i will be happy to sign or otherwise deface books in any way you would like or grab me in the hallway. so "the songs of trees" examines the lives of 12
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different trees around the world, trees on the face of it seemingly different places in the amazon rain forest, jerusalem and the west bank, manhattan, tennessee, fossil tree that has been dead 30 million years in the mountains of colorado and peachtree by practice show up to this tree again and again over many years and try to pay attention, listen to the tree, open my senses and through that engagement over many years interaction with each tree try to discern the stories present in the sounds and the texture of the tree and in my conversations people whose lives are bound up with the life of the tree and each story is very different in the amazon it is different from suwanee,
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tennessee or mountainside in japan and a horticultural collection in washington dc and yet under the surface there is commonality these trees have meaning in a certain set of relationships in the air and soil and people and those relationships take the form of different places. cell i try through the differences to see beyond into unifying questions, unifying this and one of those was we were always part of these stories even in places where we imagine ourselves not to belong. deep in the forest or where human presence seems very slight if there at all. we are wrapped up in those stories partly through deep connections back over thousands
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of years. and then through the vigorous flapping of our industrial lives, we have all sorts of things in the atmosphere, bringing new species to one place, the human presence even if we don't see a person in the forest, sometimes the influence seems beneficial, nurturing the diverse city and our presence can be pinching off or causing diminishment in the complexity of connections in the community so the unifying theme is we are part of these stories and what i tried to do is how the stories manifest. this is something that takes us all the way back to our origin as a species, as homo sapiens.
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if you gather people around the campfire, blood pressure drops, our stories turn from the realm of the every day to the realm of the imagination to the realm of the possible to the realm of the mythical, to the realm of people who are not present or processes are not evident on the surface. this can be replicated in the lab with the sound crackling in the campfire enough to reduce our blood pressure and change the texture of our minds. and really relationship with trees from the get go when the human species invented fire or brought fire under humanity's control. it was there all along through lightning and other sources of fire that didn't involve human hand. when we brought fire within the circle of human agency, human
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control that was the origin of human culture. human cultures not just the chitchat of every day but imagining the future, imagining relationships and that happened because we were in relationship with trees. beyond that what else is human culture? it is about music, we are in music city usa. at the airport you are reminded of this. what are we hearing with music, human creativity, stories that lead to different musical genres and where they might go in the future but also hearing vibrating, the ecological particularity of that species of wood so a song of the tree is a song we would here in country music are variations on the sounding board in the pno and one of the short chapters in the book i visited to someone who could listen with his fingers and understand this
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particular piece of wood is going to make a magnificent violin and this one isn't. these trees grew in a particular place, very fine grain and wasn't influenced by the wind and these other trees that grew on a different side so we are hearing the story of a particular tree even though it has been translated and transmuted in many ways through human art in beautiful ways, we are having a flow of ecology and 3 lives and human lives in music so connecting to more than other people's minds, we are connecting to the mind of the forest. what else is human culture? the book, the festival of the book. what is the book made from? sheets of cellulose.
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we did a come from? these days mostly from trees though there are other ways, linen and drag collecting and mashed up hemp and other forms of paper but mostly as we connect to another point of human consciousness across space and time when we pick up someone's book and read their words they may be dead for hundreds of years and on a different continent but their consciousness reunited comes into being in our heads. one of the more extraordinary inventions of life. life invented all kinds of things like coral reefs, trees, solar systems and books that connect the most mysterious parts, consciousness, subjective experience in a way that transcends what we traditionally understand as the limits of space and time and
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the relationship to trees. my arguments again and again through this book is these stories come from the present day and echo back through the centuries, the millennia, millions of years, to the deepest stories who we are as species and understanding who we might be moving forward because we live in a time of rapid environmental change, understanding the nature of these relationships. let me read from a chapter, the opening chapter is the amazon rain forest, a place of great sensory overload. anytime i went to eastern ecuador, my ears were filled with the sound i couldn't -- every minute was more than a lifetime and the smells walking forth from one meter to another, smells changing and
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the visual sense and so forth. a very rich place. that richness let me to a couple insights how the forest holds together and there are multiple realities. i will read and share some of that narrative and talk a little about the role of relationships in the life of trees. the sound of the western amazon seeks a strength that connects life wound so tight and packed so densely that the air runs with energy night and day amid this intensity, the nature of life's network reveal themselves in extreme ways. at first nature seems to be one of vigorous, even frightening conflict, war cries and lamentations ring loud, the role for humans walking in muddy trails. if you slip or need to steady
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your self those scraps, tree bark is an armory of spikes and needles and if it goes to us was stemmed bark awaiting and snakes, the will to live is less. your laceration moves faster in this soup of bacterial fungal support. one doesn't need to reach out to find danger or lean forward to pickup my notebook and the bulletin drops from the vegetation to the gap between my shirt collar and landing with a quiet -- purist entomologists who deliberately sample the pain, they ranked to the top of the global scale with a jab from a venomous, this is like a strike on a bell
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cast from the purest drop. clear, metallic, single tone. small arms fire, my left hand slammed away the attacker before dropping to the ground. the at scale pulled my index figure with its mandibles placing two grooves down. this pain was a shriek of fire, over minutes the sensation ran across the skin of my hand. a cacophony and panic. for the next hour my arm was incapacitated. my left pectoral muscle felt bruised and hours later the bite and sting were reduced to a hot wine let out of the hornet sting but not so
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deafening. this was my initiation into one reality of the forest. i sells none of the row's quote make indescribable innocence and beneficence in this network of relationships, the art and science of biological warfare reached high development in the amazon. the trees around me, the leaves on the trees around me suffer multiple lines of attack, bacteria and fungi, insects tender new shoots, one of the better studied species, the genus, half the weight of young poison, costly, defense of investment, they have slightly less poison but they have up to a third of their weight invested in chemical defense. deflection of the ubiquity of pathogens and insistent nips and tears that herbivores
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impose, 1 acre of forest may contain 60,000 species of insect, 1 billion individuals half of which do nothing but eat plants and breed. fungal and by serial diversity uncounted but likewise vast. all of this conflict, we seem to force life into an atomistic mode. individuals must fight victim versus enemy, an endless loop and strain of conflict. the struggle is indeed intense, but instead of separating life into atoms, individuals, the darwinian war has created a furnace that burned the way the individual, melting barriers and welding networks as strong as they are. one of the guiding themes through this book, an
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individual turns out to be an illusion, a tree seems to be such a magnificent example of individuality, especially if it is an oak tree of individuality and strength. where does that strength come from? a network of relationships. inside the lease, it can't defend itself from passages or drought. of relationships between the roots and fungal partners and communication with bacteria, that haloed route, if that communication is taken away, it is strong and magnificent but that life emerges from the relationship of a network of the creature and made from networks and that is true for us also as we learn about human
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microbiology. the little probiotic thing, four times the price, you can make it yourself at home. is the truth embedded in a lot of layers of commercial pr and advertising, our good health depends not just on human cells but the cells of all the other creatures that live within. skin creatures and bacteria that accompany us through our life including in the womb are essential to our physiological genetic functioning and even that place we imagine ourselves, our consciousness, subjective individual experience emerges from community too. if that changes the texture of your mind changes. you become happy or depressed or anxious so the quality of
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individuality, and thoughts in our head, imagine a bear, imagine an oak leaf, and acorn, all those images and sounds that flash to the interior of the subjective experience. they emerge not from one neuron from an acorn the lights up and says acorn but among nerve cells, from one to another, changing. it emerges as the property of a network emerging from relationship and emerging from relationship. i continue in the amazon, and ecology and culture of some of the people who know this forest the best. and hundreds if not thousands
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of years. the culture of human society real meals -- reveals the network. in the western amazon, much of this time as hunter gatherers and gardens, produced other taxonomy. they have multiple names described by many ecological relationships and uses in human culture rather than individual models. and they write when pressed, could not bring themselves to individual names, 3 species. without describing ecological context like composition of surrounding vegetation or their use in human culture. there is no equivalent of
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himalayan cave dwelling hermit in the cabin, quote, living by the labor of my hands alone. in north korean philosophy. individuality, autonomy and mastery are highly valued, in the context of relationship and community. any who take to the woods to live in self-reliance to write books about one square meter of forest are considered profoundly ill or angry, destined for death. individual names are a product of the group leaving one group for another entails the death of the old name. the acquisition of new personhood. to be lost in the forest, especially lost and alone at night is a fearful event, even
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those with deepest experience of the forest. when they do become lost they find a large savo tree, the same kind i studied in the amazon and turn it into something else, pounding on the roots of the tree vibrates the whole trunk, but animal -- pool to friends and family and try to reknit the bonds that keep life. the great height allows it to bellow in a way that shouting could never achieve. here in the pulsing air people will come. a particularly helpful symbol for lost children, families no where it grows. hunters and warriors use the tree to signal news of kills but no coincidence that it is the tree of life in their creation story. the tree is a hub, so many forest creatures and saved lives while maintaining
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reconnecting life-giving threats of relationships. this dissolution of individuality into relationship is how the savo and all its community survived the rigors of the forest where the art of war is so supremely well-developed. survival paradoxically involves surrender, giving up the self in a union with eyes. the society understands the nature of these relationships through the hard lessons learned by living in the amazon rain forest, very challenging environment for thousands of years at western scientists just starting to discern those patterns through a decade of research into the ecology and evolution of this forest. these relationships, what else is happening in this amazon forest? turns out it is the most diverse place we know of, you draw a map and it shines out.
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you draw a map of where petroleum reserves are, fossil fuels, right underneath the national park. so this is an old jurassic shoreline of fossil riches and ecuador of course would like to develop some of those resources to help their economy. there is an interesting and difficult convergence of values happening in the forest, people who lived there for many years, longer than most of us in western culture can imagine. a recent flowering compared to understanding the forest that are present in the amazon. western culture arrives and we are addicted to fossil fuels.
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oil prospecting is moving into these regions. it is two hours after sunset. we are so deep in the forest that the sky should be a dome of black and white just. people gathered here a day's travel by road and river. other than flashlights there is no electricity except a brief run at the generator. yet the sky is smeared by light from two horizons, gas flares and diesel fuel, electric lights and oil drilling, just over 5 km away, spilling into the black and dimming the stars. when the stir of leaves from the evening breeze are quiet, rumbles from generators wash through the trees and crowns. what is happening is resistance
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to uncontrolled development in this region is coming from the forest itself from ecological understanding of the forest it found its way to constitutional law. protesters march on the capital, nonprofits and academics release press releases, activists outrage crackled on the internet and foreigners opine about how ecuador should manage its affairs. what distinguishes the struggle from so many others is what lies at its heart, communities of people who are participants, and these communities comes a philosophy of living whose words rooted themselves in political discourse, thoughts from the forest have permeated the nationstate. here are some of those from
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activists today. trees have music in them. we learn more human songs them. people think we are crazy for saying trees thing but it is not us who are crazy but those people who belittle us. our politics is this, to show the trees and rivers have music, songs and life, the national parks into living forests where people belong. to delineate our lands with gardens filling with flowering musical trees, this is not empty land. we have known tree songs for a long time, living with millions, politics is this to show trees and rivers have music and life. the community invaded

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