Skip to main content

tv   Book TV visits Asheville NC  CSPAN  April 21, 2018 11:15am-1:01pm EDT

11:15 am
true crime journalist michelle mcnamara's first-hand account of research for the golden state killer was responsible for another murders in six sexual assault in california during the 1970s and 80s. and wrapping up our look at some of the books from the los angeles times nonfiction bestseller list is indicated , there account of her childhood in the idaho mountain in her first introduction to formal education at the age of 17. some of these authors have or will be. on book tv. after their programs air you can watch them on our website, >>. [music] >> welcome to asheville north carolina. located along the 's arena, it is the largest in western north carolina with a population of 89,000.
11:16 am
since the arrival of the railroad in 1880, asheville has been a popular destination for relaxation and for those needing to experience therapeutic qualities of the mountain air. >> milhouse is the largest private residence in the united states. it is considered an architectural masterpiece. it was designed by the architect richard morris hunt and in the 1890s and it contains a very eclectic collection of fine art and furnishings and today, i have people on your looking into the biltmore. >> fitzgerald came to the park in 1935, his first visit here. he had lost his lighting career by this point. he was really looking for a place to belong, a place to recover, a place to rest but he most importantly wanted to recover that music.
11:17 am
he needed something to write about. so when he came to the grove park in, he wanted to write about the people staying here and he penned several essays while he was here. we don't know which ones they work but we know this is the beginning of when he started to come back and he's starting to actively write my 36, spending hours in his room writing and getting his feedback in our ship. >> with the help of our spectrum cable partners, for the next two hours we will learn about the cities literary life and historyfrom local authors. we begin our special feature with author and asheville native thomas wolfe . >> behind me is the childhood home of thomas wolfe. go inside and learn how his time here in iron his first novel, lookhomeward angel . >> thomas clayton wolf who was born october 3, 1900 in asheville north carolina is today by many consideredto be north carolina's most famous
11:18 am
author . he's probably one of the most famous authors of the early part of themid-20th century . he published two novels and a book of short stories during his short life. we are sitting today in his home and thomas wolfe immortalized the house in his first book, look homeward, angel which was published in 1929. we are in a home where the author spent formative years of his life and then on the map with his writing and fiction. thomas wolfe was born october 3, 1900 and asheville. when he was born, there were some working thousand people living in the city, and it was in town that had gained notoriety as a recreational resort and a health resort.
11:19 am
they had come in 1880 and it's going to bring lots of people to asheville. thomas was born the youngest of eight children to william oliver wolf and his mother, julia elizabeth west off. they were both prominent citizens of asheville. his father, william oliver wolf, owned a stone shop. he was a carver of marble and had a monument in tombstone south on pack square in the central part of downtown asheville . his mother, a third-generation melting girl , born in 1860 and she was an enterprising young woman for her day, a businesswoman.>> she purchased the house in 1906, already a boardinghouse. she's aspiring to go into the boardinghouse business. the previous owner of the house had a family from
11:20 am
kentucky and the boardinghouse was called old kentucky home and you will see that we still have the old kentucky homesign on the porch today. it was a well-established boardinghouse . there may have been up to 19 borders living in the house when julia wolf purchased it. he's going to charge them a dollar a day to stay here and that's going to come with a breakfast and a supper meal as well and her husband her to go into the business. she's going to move into this house in august 1906 to operate the boardinghouse. when thomas was not quite 16 years old when his mother moved into this house and he's the baby of the family and lets the baby of the house come to her. he was very much presenting his experience here and you'll see that, in his
11:21 am
fiction in look homeward angel. his father called the house a murderous, bloodied barn. it's cold here, full of strangers and thomas wolfe much resented being separated from his father's home and his other siblings to live in a house where strangers were coming and going all the time. >> thomas wolfe called this house the house of death and tumult. and in look homeward angel, this illness is pretty significant demon theme in the book. ashevillewas a health resort, known as a place for people to come to recover from lung ailments . there were some 16 sanatoriums in asheville by the time world war i gets underway and were decades, people have come to asheville by train to find hospitals and where are you going to stay while you wait to get
11:22 am
into a hospital room? in one of the local boarding houses . and many of the boarding houses will advertise no sick people allowed. but thomas wolfe writes that if you had a little cash, they would find you a place to stay. the border experience in the house had multiple beds and metal beds, very common in lodging facilities and hospitals. the metal that is affordable, easy to move,easier to keep clean and cumbersome beds of the day . and when you're renting him julia wolf, you're basically renting a pillow and a piece of the sheet, sharing mattresses so common in our country so you could go down and wake up next to someone you've never seen here before. thomas wolfe described having to move from room to smaller room and he said he didn't
11:23 am
even have a blanket here, that he could call his own, that he wouldn't have to give up to a border when they arrived in the house. he resents having to do chores in the house, that he knows won't benefit him or the strangers that he's brought here to live with so julia is going to sacrifice her family and their privacy in order to operate this business. thomas walls father encouraged julia to go into this business , helped her get established in the house. he comes to resented very quickly. you've left my room and board to live with a bunch of strangers thomas walls father was a drinker so thomas wolfe writes about his father being an alcoholic and thomas's
11:24 am
father would have too much to drink and he would come staggering up to this house from the family home, cursing the borders and cursing julia having left the family home. you put the impression that his mother is so busy here running the boarding house that he no longer has time for thomas wolfe and that is part of the resentment that he holds against his family and his life here in the house. his lack of privacy here. and the social stigma of not letting in a traditional family home, he describes his father's home as a place of warmth and abundance and this house, the murderous bloodied barn. his father's home was just two blocks down the hill from here and his sister who had become the surrogate
11:25 am
housewife and the father's home always left the door open for him. and young thomas wolfe is always seeking down the whole back to his father's house and there will be his mother julie on the telephone pulling down there to send that boy back there is more to be done here. part of the story that he tells is his own autobiographical fiction.he spent a lot of time in the library and asheville downtown and the local library and telling his family that that little boy is reading more than any other child in western north carolina. he goes to the library every day after school and of course the librarian doesn't realize that he's avoiding coming back to this house every afternoon. but thomas's father's friends are saying look, that boy reads so much, he's certainly going to be a lawyer some day . so his father will invest in sending thomas to a private prep school. his father has a vision of the wolf name spreading east across the state and someday thomas will be the governor of north carolina.
11:26 am
so you can imagine that when he graduated from this university, north carolina capitol hill with a degree in english and came home and a set pop, i decided i'd like to write plays. and i'd like to go to harvard for a while, please. nobody in the wolf family understands that. there's no such thing as a writer from asheville north carolina and it certainly isn't real work writing and so thomas wolfe is in a quandary that he graduates and it's time for him to go to work. but his mother saw him in agony that summer and she said son, if it's that important to you, i'm going to let you try harder. he sent for a year and a julia wolf gave thomas the money at age 19. he boarded the train and went northalone for the first time in his life . >> this is the second story
11:27 am
of the old kentucky home and you'll find there are multiple bedrooms here. it certainly added through sleeping porches in the house in 1916. and she pushed the house out towards the side and towards the back to add multiple bedrooms. >> thomas wolfe wrote about a dark group upstairs at the front of this house with an ugly victorian bay window in it. >>. >> this is the room where thomas wolfe favorite brother ben died in october 1918. thomas wolfe had a special bond with his brother ben. ben was the one who effectively raised him he was eight years older. he would come in the morning and dress home for school , protection from belize and
11:28 am
he's so busy here, she doesn't know where, is for days on end and when she forgets, he doesn't eat and it's been who realizes and he will take, downtown to a diner, throw a piece of mincemeat pie and a cup of coffee and in look toward angel, thomas wolfe writes about benjamin dance. ben is better with his family and he tells tom that the walls never gave any of their children any opportunities in life and he tells tom that their parents will tell you they have no money, but then here he assures tom and he says look, they have plenty and he said if they're willing to give you an education, don't worry that the rest of us never got a chance. he said tom, get as much out of these people as you can. get your education and get away from this house as quickly as possible . and in october 1918, we see
11:29 am
that thomas wolfe has succeeded in getting away from this house and do stumbled to his family. he's at college, he's driving at chapel hill writing for the student magazine, joining fraternities and he gets a telegram to come home. ben has no money now. and he has no idea he's about to come back to this room and watch then died. and then had been attracted spanish influenza, a flu pandemic that swept the world and killed millions of people in a virus that doesn't just take the young and elderly, it takes guys like ben. he's 25 and thomas wolfe wrote he didn't understand. ben was the sort of guy who deserve the best in life and he was someone who had gotten up from it. but in death, it is the victorian tradition and wolfe will satirize it in look homeward angel. for wolfe, there they say no
11:30 am
spare no expense and they buy a funeral and thomas wolfe writes ben got more from his family in death than he had in his life . thomas wolfe's first book, look homeward angel was published in october 1929. not long before the stock market will crash and for a first-time author, it did very well. it probably sold about 15,000 copies in its first run and quickly went into a second run and then the second run doubled the sales of the first run of the book and pretty soon the publisher will allow the book to be printed in a modern library edition and as a result, never out-of-print in its entire history. look homeward angel will launch thomas wolfe onto the american literary scene.
11:31 am
although the house is called the old kentucky home, in look homeward angel thomas wolfe called the house dixieland and he calls the city of asheville altamont. his family, william oliver wolf becomes wo gant, the gant family. his mother becomes eliza gant in look homeward angel. the very back corner of the house is a special room. this is the room where thomas walls father lived for the last five years of his life. what when he's not living herewith julia , he's going to stay in his own house that he built with his own hands. he was nine years older than julia and by 1917 he's not well and thefamily moved him to this room for expert care and he lived here for the
11:32 am
last five years of his life . thomas wolfe was at harvard at this time and in 1922, he's going to get a telegram to hurry home and unfortunately, the train didn't bring him quickly enough. sadly, he got off the train down the mountain near the old fort to buy the morning paper at the station and he will read that his father had passed away at midnight for he could get back home. in his second book, of time in the river he wantedto write about the death of his father , but his editor max versions once him to focus only on scenes that are seen through the eyes of the main character in the book who in essence , eugene gant is thomas wolfe in the book and max perkins and thomas wolfe struggle over that second book.
11:33 am
he spent a whole year, steve perkins would take material out, ask thomaswolfe to write a couple sentences transitions between the cut part and the next part of the book and thomas wolfe would go home, write 10,000 more words and bring them in the next day and the scene about the death of his father , the stone man gant is a great example of that. it's seen through the eyes of tom's sister and it was so beautifully written that tom's editor gave up and said we will keep this in the book. eliza, and this is thomas's father speaking, he said at the out sound of that unaccustomed word, a name he had spoken only twice in 40 years, her white face and her warm brown eyes turned toward him with the quick and startled look of an animal. eliza, he said quietly. you have had a hard life with me. a hard time. i want to tell you that i'm sorry.
11:34 am
and before she could move from her white stillness of the shot surprise, he listed his great right hand and put it gently down across her own and for a moment she sat there, bolt upright, shaken, rosen with a look of terror in her eyes and suddenly, these few words of regret and affection did what all the violence, abuse, drunkenness and injury of 40 years and failed to do. she wrenched her hand free like a wounded creature.her face was suddenly contorted by the grotesque and pitiful grimace of sorrow that women have had in moments of grief since the beginning of time. look homeward angel is one of those rites of passage stories. i like to say it's a story about a young man who against great odds once to become an artist and in order to do that, he's got to escape his tumult to his family and this house and get an education.
11:35 am
and many of us have you motionless family lives and for a lot of people, can connect to thomasville when it was first published. but it's a very autobiographical fiction. and today, there's over 200 characters in the book that we can connect to people that thomas wolfe new as a boy. and he had a talent, much through his playwriting experience in picking out an awkward physical feature or a personality trait and amplifying it as he created his characters. tell some secrets which you shouldn't do in a small southern town and although the book sold very well in asheville , as people were reading the book they began to believe they were seeing themselves and their neighbors in it. people carried look homeward angel around and circled the fictional character names and
11:36 am
wrote who they thought the real person was in the margin next to it and thomas wolfe said he got death threats from his first book. he said one lady that he knew his entire life sent him a letter saying that while she was against lips law, if he were to come home she would not interfere as a drug is overgrown carcass across asheville's town square so thomas wolfe is not coming home again for almost 8 years riyadh and his family was caught by surprise. he had come home in september 1929. and his editor, maxwell perkins at scriveners and sons had told him he better alert his family to what was in the book. thomas wolfe didn't seemto have the courage to dothat. and when the book came out, his family was shocked. a little bit angered . the siblings were very upset . but his mother will finally say as long as he's a success
11:37 am
at something, we're going to stand behind them. >> we believe this is the last room that thomas wolfe will ever sleep in in this house, it was in may 1937 when look homeward angel was printed. thomas wolfe can't go home again. and it's going to be almost 8 years before he returns to the city of asheville. and when he does, he sneaks in on a bus at night in the dark . he's not sure what kind of reception he's going to get from the citizens of asheville. but he finds that he's welcome home with hospitality. because by 1937, thomas wolfe is a rock star. his second book and sold very, very well. he had many short stories and inbred in major american magazines and his books are in multiple languages overseas and so the people that were angry with thomas
11:38 am
wolfe in 1929, most of them are okay. now, there's people sitting downstairs in the parlor waiting their turn to speak with him, the phone is ringing off the hook in the house. and thomas wolfe learns that you can't go home again.the newspapers are out on the front porch and thomas wolfe wanted to get some writing done here but he finds that there's too many interruptions and he will have to escape his mother's home one last time. then he did return to the area in the summer of 1937, stayed in a cabin outside asheville and there again, he found that he got no peace. he said people would walk up the dirt road to the cabin and that they had lost their
11:39 am
dog and they happened to have a gallon of moonshine and a couple states with them and thomas wolfe was a very hospitable person and he would invite them in and the next thing he knew , he didn't get a days work on again. >> so thomas wolfe will go back to new york where he lived from 12 years of his adult life. he's working on a third novel and the long story short is he will exhaust himself trying to write a third book and he will never finish it. by the summer of 1938, he has a manuscript that 1.2 million words. he's written 10 novels already. but he scared to death how to carve one good one that will be better than the last that will get past the cruel critics of that time. >> and so he took a break from his manuscript, handed it to his editor, went west. researching for his third book. and he wound up with seattle in the summer of 1938, turning to pneumonia with a
11:40 am
cough so severe it broke open a tubercular lesion in his long and the bacteria entered his bloodstream and he died18 days short of his 30th birthday . leaving behind a giant manuscript which is editor will take and car in to three more books after his death. you can't go home again and the hills beyond. he had lived in this house for 39 years and until he passed away in 1945. when she passed away, thomas's surviving brothers and sisters will look for opportunities to see that the house becomes a memorial. and in 1949, with the help of the local chamber of commerce and thespecial committee, the house becomes a memorial in 1949 . this house is an opportunity
11:41 am
for us to not only tell about the life and the work of thomas wolfe, but also to capture a very special piece of asheville history, because thomas wolfe writing were based on so much facts, we see asheville during his childhood frozen in time, very much a special opportunity for ourvisitors to come here . >> the biltmore is 175,000 square feet with a total of 250 rooms. built in 1889 by george washington vanderbilt, it is the largest privately owned home in america. next we learn about the history of the home and take a tour of the inside. >>. >> biltmore house is the largest residence in the united states.
11:42 am
it is considered an architectural masterpiece. it was designed by the architect richard morris hunt in the 1890s. and it contains a very eclectic collection of fine art and furnishings. and today, the half-million people you will come and visit the biltmore. the owner was george washington vanderbilt.he first visited the area in 1888, by the winter of 1888. he came here with his mother and other family members and while he was here, after an extended visit he fell in love with the countryside, the mountains specifically. on one occasion, one day he took a horse ride and he rode all the way to the biltmore house site and at that point, that's when he decided he wanted to build his own country home here in the
11:43 am
asheville area. his house was constructed over a period of six years running in the late 1880s and finished in 1895. george vanderbilt envisions this as a getaway for his family and friends and open it to his guest on christmas eve of 1895. when the architect and george vanderbilt take started working together, they had a vision for a small house. something tucked away into the mountains and as they are their vision grew, the house literally grew. a travel in france and england, visiting brand chapters and great countries and they put components from each of those i got excited about the idea and the possibility and the vision for the house grew and grew and eventually grew into this, the largest home in america so the house on the exterior is very much an american expression of the french renaissance so it has these grand sweeping views of course, butframed by the architecture itself . and the steep roof lines and quite a bit of drama but most of the architecture is about
11:44 am
about this adoption of time so we are in the interim i'll let biltmore, the heart of the home. we come through these beautiful very large oak doors and your just struck by the size of the state and also the quality of the workmanship. there is beautiful marble limestone, the construction of the house is really exquisite. there is wood paneling throughout the house and beautiful metalwork and when you first come in the stores you are struck the quality of the workmanship and the scale of the house itself. the entry hall is the center of this home, flanked by the wintergarden which is a beautiful space that brings sunlight into the hall all year round and then all these spaces radiate a library which is one of our guest rooms, music rooms, the breakfast room , all sorts of things. when georgevanderbilt decided to build his home here in
11:45 am
western north carolina, he was intending to create a retreat , and oasis or himself and for his family and friends. the vanderbilts were kind of like the movie stars of today. they were frequently in the news. they were founded by the media. they were constantly being written about in a gossipy way and even internationally and george vanderbilt was a very private person. he wasn't intellectual and he didn't like being the center of attention so by cominghere to the mountains , he was able to create a very private , quiet, peaceful house and also an estate that is grounded in nature which was very important to him. when george vanderbilt first decided to go here in the asheville area he recognized having a large estate was important and he was going to have a privacy and to appreciate nature like he intended to so he hired a friend from new york city who was also his lawyer, and
11:46 am
charles mcnamee came down to north carolina and began acting as george vanderbilt agent and began purchasing many tracts of land to contribute to what would ultimately be biltmore estate. i don't know if george better know at the time that ultimately by the time of george vanderbilt's death he owned about 125,000 acres of land. the fact that george vanderbilt was building his home here in asheville became international news quickly. the good news for george better not however was that the state was so large and he was able to implement security so very few journalists made it to the building site. there were a few that were allowed by mister vanderbilt and they would publish information inspections of the land. even after the house opened. there were a few articles published describing the interior but george vanderbilt had a policy and his staff knew this policy which was that no journalist
11:47 am
when the camera was to be allowed inside biltmore house so there were no interior photographs that were published during george vanderbilt's lifetime. this was a room they would retire to after dinner. we have many oral histories of guests reading aloud to each other, that was one of the main entertainments of the time and really that as a gift for reading, this connects us to his face where the guest bedrooms are. there's all a secret carapace tucked into the wall where guests could select a volume, go back up to their room though it's reallywhere george wanted to share his interests with guests. george was a lover of course of our and particularly italian art and the ceiling painting in the library that the room was built around was originally in the palace in venice. it was taken downin the 19th century. into 13 panels . sold at auction, restored and then shipped to biltmore house and then applied to our ceiling here today.
11:48 am
and george vanderbilt was very interested in collecting books, so this space of course was created to showcase his collection. there are 10,300 books in the room surrounding us but that's less than half of his collection. we have more than 22,000 volumes that george vanderbilt collected in the collection today. george vanderbilt was a bachelor when he was in the biltmore house but that didn't last for long and 1898, he married edith dresser who was a young lady from a very prominent family from new york in newport rhode island. had an extensive honeymoon and came to the united states and george brought his bride to the more the first time in 1898. we've entered into the banquet hall. one thing difficult to convey is the sheer scale of the house itself. only in this room and they have a ceiling that soars almost 11 stories high.this is a space where the vanderbilts and their guests
11:49 am
dined every night and it was an incredibly formal affair. ladies would come down in their evening gowns, gentlemen would be dressed in white tie and this table would be set with china and all that was from their collection. the dinner was held every night at 8:00. guess would come down from their individual rooms dressed in their finest. it would have been welcomed into the room by the butler who would have been on duty much like you see on down to and added at the. very much the american version of downton abbey. they would have been seated at the table designed by the architect , ladies and gentlemen, lady. so seated sort of in the traditional french style. george vanderbilt and his wife would have sat opposite each other in the center of the table rather than at the head which we typically picture and the conversation would have revolved around
11:50 am
interests, interest in collecting so great but collectors and print collectors would have been here. many authors and they were talking about what they were reading and of course correspondence, they were talking about risk they had been to, cultural events they had attended and of course what they were reading. that was a mainstay of conversation here but also conservation. george vanderbilt was interested in the conservation of forestry and of land and he had many, many people interested in that field and it was a budding field and so at the sea of american forestry was actually biltmore, the first american forestry school was here and he welcomed many guests interested in the conservation movement . george vanderbilt had several homes besides biltmore. he had almond bell harbor maine, an apartment in paris and in the early 1900s he had
11:51 am
a home in washington dc. george better don't consider biltmore was his primary residence. he designed it to be a winter home when he made his first visit to asheville. it was in the winter and it was apparently a very mild winter he escaped the blizzard in new york and came south and fell in love with what was relatively in a very warm climate so the vanderbilts didn't typically spend all, winter and into spring biltmore and most often during the summer they would either be up in bell harbor maine in paris or in their mountain line on a mountaintop nearby. >> so we are in the music roomat biltmore house and in this space, the vanderbilts lived here through the 1900 and through the 20s , the space remained unfinished until about 1976. and i think one of the most interesting things about this is despite so many fascinating things happening during george edelstein, this room house one of the worst
11:52 am
great mysteries. not only did we not know why but in the 1940s, it served an important role in american history. just weeks after pearl harbor was bombed, the national gallery spent much of their art, many of america's finest treasures to biltmore house for safekeeping and it's interesting how it came about. the vanderbilt was friends with david finley. and he had visited biltmore in 1925 and learned about how the house was isolated and in this beautiful area and that was built to be fire safe and it registered to him and then during the 40s when much of europe was being hard and so much amazing art was being lost, he felt that the national gallery collection as well so he contacted mrs. vanderbilt and asked if he might send 72 pieces of art to biltmore house for safekeeping and they were loaded up in steel crates in
11:53 am
the middle of a snowstorm in the middle of the night and sat down to biltmore house by railroad and housed in this room and biltmore point was open as a museum as much as it is today and guess were walking through the space with curtains and steel fire doors doors in the arches and having no idea that great works by rembrandt, my romeo, all the great works in the national gallery were here, even the gilberts of george washington that we all know so well. and edith vanderbilt and their daughter did live at biltmore as their primary residence until the time of george vanderbilt in 1914. he died unexpectedly at the age of 51. edith and cornelia continue to live at biltmore the on the time and they spent most of their time from the time after george vanderbilt's death into the 20th at biltmore. and in 1924, delia vanderbilt got married and when she married, the house became hers. cornelia and her husband, an englishman named john francis amherst lived in morehouse
11:54 am
until the early 1930s. they actually decided to open the house to the public in march 1930 which was during the depression. they had been talking with the local chamber of commerce who were really struggling financially. the city was struggling financially and so local officials met with cornelia and john suckled and asked them if they would consider opening biltmore house to the public as a way of generating tourism income for the city. i just so happen that cornelia and john also needed income. there depression had hit them hard as well and they made a decision to open to the public in 1930. since no more open to the public in 1930, it has been a driving force in developing a tourism economy for western north carolina. the visitations of biltmore has grown over the years from just 10, 20 30,000 in the first year old 1.5 million visitors today area by choosing to build his country estate here and asheville
11:55 am
area, george vanderbilt did put asheville in the national spotlight. when visitors come to biltmore, i really want them to walk away with an understanding of george vanderbilt. i want them to understand biltmore as an oasis. vanderbilts were known for gracious hospitality and their family and friends when they would come to visit would have letters written back talking about what a wonderful experience it was to be at biltmore, kind of like a resort might be today and we want our guests today you feel that same level of gracious mentality when they got out on the land and height and fish and do all these other outdoor recreational activities vanderbilts did as well. >> the center for national north carolina learning more about the area's literary scene. next author denise hammondand her book about the biltmore estate . >> i start the last castle
11:56 am
with edith. it's incredibly important to me as a woman but also as a reader. i wanted to show that independent, very unique, very adventurous, i think, young women in the gilded age and what she was like before she became the mistress of biltmore house, before she became mrs. george vanderbilt. one of my favorite stories about her isthe first day she comes to the house . so they get engaged and they get married and they were married in paris and she still hasn't laid eyes on this place yet. >> i wish i had a tape recorder on her to just hear what came out of her mouth when she pulled up to that house. but i didn't reedit. >> the reception that was awaiting her when she came to
11:57 am
asheville, when she cameto biltmore house the first time , was incredible. i mean, just a giant floral arch of good luck for the newlyweds. music, albeit in police lying lighting the way, flowers. being thrown down upon them and strewn on the road in front of their carriage. leading up to the market house in the united states of america, something that looks like a french chcteau in many ways. welcomed the mistress of the house. so she is edith's dresser. so she was a direct descendent of peter stuyvesant was the last dutch governor of new york. so she is as new york as new york gets in many ways. she had an incredible family lineage.
11:58 am
and especially in those new york circles. she was also a defendant of the fish family which was also very prominent in new york circles. she did not however have the same kind of financial recourses that george did she endured great loss early on in her childhood , losing her parents and was essentially an orphan . maybe not in a kind of charles dickens idea of what an orphan look like but still, just an incredible amount of loss. the vanderbilts were just to put georgian perspective. george was theyoungest son of william henry vanderbilt , the son of aurelius, a.k.a. the, dorval vanderbilt. the commodore was the founder of the vanderbilt family fortune. william henry was the son to whom he left a vast majority of his wealth. william henry in turn, more
11:59 am
than double that moneyin a very short amount of time and george was william henry's youngest son. george need to work . and they, actually the other male, his olderbrothers went into the business, even some of his brothers in law went into the business which was shipping and railroads. george didn't have much of an interest in that. he was intelligent, well-educated, read in several languages, enjoy the arts, enjoyed philanthropy, enjoyed music, enjoy theater and enjoying travel . so the vanderbilts were a very large horse on the new york social scene at this point in time. so as i mentioned, george didn't need to work and george like traveling. he was very close with his mother and in 1888, he came down to asheville. now asheville, this is not unusual. asheville in this area i
12:00 pm
developed a reputation, it became almost like a little cottage industry for various medicalprofessionals . the mountain air was considered to be curative so if you breathe in the mountain air it might relieve symptoms related to tuberculosis or malaria so there were a lot of doctors who set up shop here .. >> .. and he was quite taken with a lot of what he saw here and shortly after that began buying up individual parcels and after he accumulated 2000 or so acres, this is from his dead letters office which is a big part of my book and a
12:01 pm
fascinating individual. he wanted olmstead to take a look at where he was thinking of building his country house and that is how it got started. then it became a very big country house. he was quite taken with the area and the decisive trip was the 88 trip he made with his mother. once olmstead said you haven't made a horrible mistake, the words are disaster here, you have to do a lot of rehabilitation but olmstead was quite familiar not just with the asheville area but beyond, he had traveled through here in the role of a journalist and had written about his travels. he knew the potential of this area from a biological standpoint, botanical standpoint, then they needed an architect, richard morris hunt, the most renowned architect
12:02 pm
working with various members of the vanderbilt family, worked on the vanderbilt family model in staten island so george had kind of this dream team in place. i can't imagine even today if you wanted to have a country estate, a better pairing than frederick olmstead, the father of landscape architecture and richard morris hunt, the first american ever to graduate in paris. the gilded age architect. the plan was finalized in 1889 and he kept on accumulating different parcels sometimes through the name of an agent, sometimes his own name and then they got cracking and it was not until the official opening for family and friends in 1895, the interior was not completely
12:03 pm
finished at that time but it was the official opening, we are talking close to 6 years of construction. the two genius men, frederick olmstead and richard morris hunt helping him make his dream a reality. george and edith got married in 1898 so he had already opened to his family and friends and he was getting ready to travel in the east and that is when they came together so the house was up in existence when she came onto the scene. in 1900, just shy of their two year anniversary cornelia is born, a daughter to george and edith. i love that they had her in asheville. she was born in the house, she could have been born in new york city or washington dc, she could have been born in
12:04 pm
newport, i think i think that that really cemented their relationship with this area. one of the things that really moved me about edith and impressed me about edith was how quickly she really got in touch with and became part of the larger community, the world beyond the gates, so to speak. you have a tiny little crossroads formerly known as best that became known as biltmore village right outside the gates of the estate. what had been temporary housing was there for folks working on building the estate was replaced with lovely little pebbled - structures, there
12:05 pm
were shops, housing, the surrounding areas, this is very rural. a lot of surrounding areas were quite poor and edith really took a very strong interest in the lives of people living outside the gates and i think this was i think this was one of the things she and george had in common, the desire, almost obligation to give back, because of the incredible privilege by which they had been raised. she was also known to go out and visit employees who were sick or pregnant spouses of employees and bring food, i find that incredibly
12:06 pm
impressive, that kind of personal attention, personal attention, that kind of personal attention, that kind of intimacy when we talk about philanthropy, when we talk about giving back, when we have been so blessed with so many things. i find that impressive in 2018, when i think about a woman raised in the 19th century, who is in the largest house in the united states of america, she is not sitting behind those dates writing checks and sending money off, she is hopping on a horse and meeting people and getting to know them and looking them in the eye and letting them know she cares, it is really amazing. she is amazing. they were legendary for these incredible holiday parties they would throw especially for their employees. she was meticulous, at the holiday parties, she would keep
12:07 pm
lists of everything she gave, different employees, children, she never wanted to repeat the same gift, one year to the next, she certainly had plenty of help, but this kind of personal touch, very personal attention to detail especially when it came to how other people were going to be cared for was quite impressive. >> what were some of the challenges edith had to deal with? >> the financial struggle that evolved were noted from various sources. i am sure that became a source of stress. if you look at some of the decisions he made that were publicized that there is evidence of, in the early 1900s regarding cutting back on
12:08 pm
certain projects at the house, and cutting back on spending at the house, certain rooms were never finished at the house, that to me is evidence of scaling back. there are letters from olmstead's son, if we had known the situation, george was in, and working with him on the house as well. we would have made very different decisions. these were comments made years later looking back in retrospect. a lot of people involved in the building of the house have different ideas what could have or should have spent years later looking back.
12:09 pm
but this was not unusual for people of this echelon of society. as the 20th century progressed, a lot of families that have these large houses were reevaluating how they could keep these estates running. there were financial crises including one in 1907, tax laws changed in the early 1900s, that affected people. you had all of these different factors not just the vanderbilt, not just george and edith vanderbilt but anyone who had these massive country estates, how they would be able to maintain that lifestyle and maintain the care, something that was over 100,000 acres in addition do this, to
12:10 pm
divest himself of some of his land. he had a lot of land, and was hoping to be able to sell it off in large chunks, important to them to try to keep the forest they rejuvenated to such an incredible degree to keep it together, not some about piecemeal, but that large sale came actually after georgia's death, edith sold off in the vicinity of 90,000 acres and
12:11 pm
that became the basis of a huge part of their legacy, i think. in a way, we talk about the legacy of the house itself but to me it is not so much what was built but what wasn't built, this incredible gift of a forest the health of which had been improved to an incredible degree and been sold, transferred to the federal government, a huge swath of it, kept together. if it had been sold off piecemeal developed into hotels or condos or new communities this could be a very different looking, very different looking area. we have lived here 12 years now and you have people coming from all over the place to watch the leaves change, to kayak on the river, to go mountain climbing and they would not be enjoying
12:12 pm
this area to the extent that they are had the investment in time, energy, money, expertise, been made and fostered by george van to build and eventually edith vanderbilt edith passed away in 1958. cornelia, their daughter, left the country spending less time at the house, beginning to spend less time at the house in 1932, pretty much fully gone by 1934. cornelia's ex-husband stayed at the house and eventually if you look at cornelia's sons who brought biltmore house to where it is today, primarily, her son william. it was this constant sort of
12:13 pm
challenge and the time george passed away up through when both of cornelia's sons had come to asheville, whether the state would be able to remain whole and remain in the family and quite remarkable that it has remained whole and has remained in the family. it is not a nonprofit. it is a privately held home. it is incredible what they have accomplished. so amazing biltmore house is still intact, so much of the land is still intact and a lot of credit for that goes to edith vanderbilt without question. >> c-span is in asheville to feature its literary history. up next we visit the growth park in to learn about f scott
12:14 pm
fitzgerald's time at the hotel. >> f scott fitzgerald came here in 1935, his first visit here, he came to your himself of his gin addiction. asheville was a very small town, manufacturing town. people came to asheville for recuperation. it began that reputation in 1900 and we had 900 in asheville, north carolina. this is a place of respite, recovery, a place you came to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and f scott fitzgerald did that. he came to asheville to recapture his muse, to get away, this was post writing gadsby so fitzgerald was a little passé, people passed them on the streets and didn't acknowledge them, didn't recognize him. f scott fitzgerald was tired.
12:15 pm
he was beaten up by his glamorous life, zelda had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, he was really confused. he lost his writing career by this deck a and was looking for a place to recover, to rest. he wanted to write again but needed something to write about so he came to the grove park in, to find stories and people who were staying here. >> here we are in the palm court, at the f scott fitzgerald room, 441, 443, 1935, 1936, one room for providing and one room for sleeping. come in, take a look around. it is not exactly as it was when after scott stayed here. it is similar to the way it was. wanted to honor our history of over 100 years but people come
12:16 pm
here specifically with the knowledge that f scott has been in this room and they want to experience it very much in the way he did or as close to it as possible. in 1935 he was quite a bit of trouble. he was here to cure himself of his gin addiction using the beer cure, he was drinking 56 little pony beers a day which is a case of beer. whether he is actually cured of that gin addiction is known only by him. in 35, he caused quite a stir. he had an affair while he was here. he chose these rooms not to overlook the mountains, which one would think he would want to look at beautiful mountains to be inspired but instead he chose two rooms that overlooked the courtyard. he could see young women coming in. he wanted to know the caliber of their luggage, how much luggage they were carrying and whether or not they were chaperoned.
12:17 pm
he did this to see who he could talk to and he was here to reclaim his muse so he wanted to make sure he was talking with individuals that could entertain him and provide him with stories. fitzgerald was a philanderer and made no excuses and was pretty open about it at the time. it is rumored that in 1935 he started an affair with a woman thinking when her husband arrived there would be a huge battle and they would fight and there would be something great to write about, and take him into a great story he would be able to share in an essay or short story so he started this affair. the husband arrives and is not concerned about what his wife is doing and she is enraged and there is no fight, he stands back to his room and discharges the pistol into the ceiling of the room, it is not his best work. he also fell in 1935.
12:18 pm
he fell in the pool and broke his collarbone but we haven't pretty good authority he fell going into the bathroom, missed that step and broke his collarbone because he was drinking 56 pony beers a day, he missed that step, caused so much trouble in 35, he wanted to return in 36, we only admitted him back to the property if he was chaperoned by a nurse in 1936 and came back, in 1936. wanted to keep her nearby and to have lunch in the plantation dining room and people would walk right past him and he was angry but also somewhat sad. to find himself, find that muse again and since he didn't find it in 35 he thought by coming
12:19 pm
to asheville, having the two together they could find that but it was a little far gone for him. and 36 he did stay with us again but spend more time writing. we saw him a lot less in 1936 because he was actually writing again. he had a secretary come with him, would type up the notes, he would make everything out on pads longhand and turn them over to her to type out so 36 was a better time for fitzgerald here. f scott fitzgerald was working on several essays, we do know the beginning of when he is starting to come back and starting to actively right by 36, spending hours in his room writing and getting his feedback under him. people often say that this is the time to have a come back, a
12:20 pm
literary comeback and we don't know for sure about the essays written here but we know he was actively writing and starting that is a process here. f scott fitzgerald left the grove park in in 1936, temperatures began to cool lady left, he was starting to write by this deck, reclaiming venues, accomplishing what he intended to do but did not return and four years later died of a heart attack in 1940. we believe the grove park in offered f scott fitzgerald what he was looking for, a place to rediscover himself was whether he cured himself of his gin addiction no one knows but him but we do know he was being much more productive, he found what he was looking for at the grove park in which was more of himself. >> author and poet carl sandberg won two pulitzer prizes including one for his
12:21 pm
biography of abraham lincoln in 1940. up next we visit his home in north carolina where he lived the last 22 years of his life and wrote a third of his life's work. >> i may sit for a few casual callers and tell them carelessly, offhandedly, this is where i dirty paper, the paternal hobo asks for a quiet room with birds that sit where he tells them. carl sandberg came to north carolina with his wife and children, arrived with boxcars full of books in 1945. they were there 60s living near lake michigan and the michigan winters were very cold, raising
12:22 pm
dairy goats on sand dunes. it really the force behind finding a warmer and gentler climate for them to spend their later years and a better climate for dairy goats. in 1940s he had just won a pulitzer prize for his abraham lincoln biography and there was a lot of interest in him with a variety of writing projects. they were little concerned about him that he was getting burnt out and wanted to refocus his attention and it was successful, paid off, and then he won another pulitzer prize for a selection of poetry of complete poems. sandberg had grown up in illinois in 1878 and was the product of an immigrant childhood, his parents were immigrants, the first born in america and he lived in this
12:23 pm
american melting pot, the industrial revolution was going to take place shortly and he met people from all over the country through his neighborhood and his childhood, a suburb of chicago. carl sandberg grew up learning about who made america, the working class that made him build america and when he started taking jobs they had to do with the newspaper starting as a newspaper delivery boy, so doing some odd jobs working for a mayor and himself being a journalist at the chicago daily news and his observations of america, the culture, and how it was becoming a great nation captured his attention and that became the focus of his early writing and carl sandberg's most famous poem was chicago and chicago talked honestly about what was happening in the
12:24 pm
industrial revolution, the city of the tall folders, talking about chicago being an amazing place in american history and industry and its development, good and bad and that set him on a map to become a world renowned or nationally renowned political sign. later sandberg, having met veterans who fought in the civil war, who had met abraham lincoln with illinois where abraham lincoln had a long political career, captivated by the story of abraham lincoln and he set out to write a children's book and later over 1 million word biography of abraham lincoln which gave them a pulitzer prize. the 5 miles southeast of asheville, the family moved in 1945 and came with mr. and mrs. sandberg, their 3 children and their two grandchildren, john,
12:25 pm
carl and paul are. the home was 6000 ft. and this is sandberg was able to use recycled material to line house with bookshelves that show his collection of 16,000 books. sandberg was hesitant to leave his home in michigan. mrs. sandberg had designed it, it perfectly fit his work schedule. there was a lovely room upstairs for him to work quietly for the rest of the house and not be disturbed by his wife or children in a dairy farm operation and he wanted to make sure his books and everything arrived to just as he had it in michigan, he was in the middle of a big project and he wanted to make sure all his materials arrived and that he could find them when the family arrived, so they sold every book off the shelf, put it in a marked crate, identified where it was in the new home in 20 arrived a month later after the books were
12:26 pm
loaded on the first train car, he was able to sit down in his study in the same location and then he felt settled and was pleased with his new home. carl sandberg's daily schedule, he never took a day off. even a holiday or family gathering or birthday celebration was not cause to stop writing. he was a dedicated and hard-working author, he wrote every day, talked about having written thousands of words with his lead pencil, being in his room upstairs or on the property, but he wrote every single day, millions of words in his written biography, that is the a
12:27 pm
third of his work from here including the volume that would become a surprise in 1951 as well as his own autobiography, all the young strangers, worked on the screenplay for the greatest story ever told. his first novel, remembrance rock which had been contracted by mgm to become a sweeping civil war saga movie. a handful of people did figure out this carl sandberg was the carl sandberg, but that connection, came through his wife, she began selling dairy goats and picking up on that at the local farmers market, people would come on property and always billed herself as mrs. carl sandberg but it wasn't until later they figured out this was the carl sandberg. one thing that changed that was the advent of television. edward murrow traveled across
12:28 pm
the country and the 60s to be on talk shows and early game shows and started to recognize his photo on tv and resemblance to their neighbor down the road and it became more apparent that is who he was. sandberg was famous by the 1960s. through connections with radio and television, he had a large fan base and some people traveled to this out-of-the-way place in western north carolina. thurgood marshall visited sandberg to talk with the great american poet and alfred siegler, the great american photographer. one of the more famous encounters sandberg had was a very young bob dylan. bob dylan just ate up everything at that time and he had some of sandberg's collection and as he was going
12:29 pm
through appellation at the time, in north carolina, was very close to where he and his band were driving through. and met carl sandberg for the first time. however, sandberg was in his late 80s, hadn't kept up with more modern music and popular culture and disappointed the young bob dylan greatly. he was very respectful and bob dylan had a polite conversation with him but was very disappointed the older sandberg didn't recognize him. the family from 1945 to 1967 when carl sandberg passed away. the name was passed in 1967, the department of interior came to visit mr. sandberg, the secretary of interior, the national park service was looking for a home of iconic americans particularly in the
12:30 pm
art field. sandberg being very well known at the time and having just passed seemed like a good fit. mrs. sandberg was open to this property and becoming part the. currently we are wrapping up a large preservation project starting in 2015 and 2018, the year of the park's 50th anniversary we are excited to begin refinishing the house but a visitor today will only see empty bookshelves and an empty floor. many were packed away and put into storage to accomplish necessary work, the build in
12:31 pm
1938 and in that time general deterioration and maintenance issues were developing but the floors were finished, the walls painted and the carpet runners replaced, we are excited that by fall of 2018, they will have been returned to the house. one unique thing about showcasing property where the original owners are intact is there is a lot of integrity to how the family lived. it is remarkable that mrs. sandberg understood her husband's legacy, wanted it to remain as intact as possible. >> we are the terrace overlooking the blue ridge mountains in downtown actual north carolina, learning more about the literary scene. up next we speak to denise kiernan on girls of atomic city. >> i was working on another
12:32 pm
book project for the smithsonian museum and i came across this old photo that had very young women sitting in front of giant machines, i had no idea what they were in the captions said these young women, many from rural areas of tennessee are enriching uranium for the world's first atomic bomb. many won't know their role in this project for years later and i thought that is really interesting. as i started to look at the viability of this the story became clear to me the predominant the of the manhattan project during world war ii was scientists in new mexico working on creation of the first nuclear weapon, the fact is this was a massive
12:33 pm
from the deck of view of people with all the answers, people holding all the cards, making the decisions, so many more lives and efforts to go into things and so i looked at that photo and thought i want to be able to tell the story of the manhattan project through the eyes of someone like one of these young women in front of one of these crazy machines. oak ridge is 25 miles outside of knoxville, tennessee, the administrative headquarters of the manhattan project which was the top secret government project during world war ii that resulted in the world's first nuclear weapon and resulted in the development of nuclear energy so that was the
12:34 pm
main purpose, although there were other things going on, the main purpose of oak ridge during world war ii was to provide fuel for the world's first atomic weapons. so you had a place like oak ridge and in washington, focused on plutonium, oak ridge was focused on enrichment of uranium, and both of those fights, sending their products, their fuel to los alamo's where the testing and development of the bomb itself was going on. oak ridge was the administrative headquarters of the manhattan project during world war ii and that was their main focus. there were a variety of ways they were recruited, it was very challenging at times because they couldn't say a lot about what the end goal of the project was. so one of the women i profiled in my book was recruited literally right out of the halls of her high school during
12:35 pm
her senior year. i interviewed other women who were recruited out of college and talked to a woman who was recruited out of a diner where she was working so they went all over the place looking for smart, capable young women who followed instructions very well, very capable of following instructions. they had to recruit a lot of men and construction wise turn over was a very big challenge. they did not want a lot of turnover because that slowed production, slowed the construction rate, they scoured everywhere, getting as many people as they can. from a military standpoint, certain soldiers who had a background in engineering or silence might be literally taken, to go overseas, they had a certain skill set and
12:36 pm
redirect oak ridge or another site. they were drilling down as much as they could but a couple women literally right out of high school. if you had a nobel prize-winning scientist, he might live in one of the two or three bedroom houses built depending on housing was assigned depending on how many children you had so they might actually have a lovely house, standalone house. 19, 20-year-old young woman who was recruited out of highschooler 22-year-old women recruited out of college would live in one of the dorms, there were dormitories and cafeterias and dances in many ways similar to college. she would have a roommate, pay rent for her dorm.
12:37 pm
if you were african-american you are living in the admin area. these were 16' x 16' plywood structures you might share with 3 or 4 other people. in the case of katie, the african-american woman i profile, oak ridge was completely segregated and facilities were segregated, the kind of jobs available were limited. she was not allowed to live with her husband, to bring her children with her, and when i interviewed her, what made you decide to do this? this is trying situation, the pay i was getting was more than double the best i had been offered in are in, alabama. for her and her husband, it was an economic motivation to endure what they were enduring in oak ridge. there was a real need for
12:38 pm
bodies fueling this, but confidence, absolute confidence went into organizing the manhattan project, referred to as compartment ability. you don't need to know anything more to perform your job, as you possibly can. has a different job that you do. you don't know what they know. and you don't know what this of the guy knows. you guys also know the minimum to perform your job and that is it. some of these women were operating electromagnetic, and various knobs and dials to keep a specific needle in a certain range, this is how they were
12:39 pm
trained. turn the knob this way, and call the supervisor. that was it. didn't know what the machines were sure. or the end product of it, they knew everything they needed to know to perform their pacific tasks and that was something throughout the manhattan project. most -- this series from person-to-person, there's a certain level of curiosity, and if you ask too many questions you lose your job so people don't get too curious that often. some people did, many people i interviewed saw people get physically taken out of work in the middle of the day with 0
12:40 pm
exploration, there was this idea that i'm not supposed to ask any questions so i won't ask any questions. there was also a fair amount of self-censorship, everybody was told this is how an important project from the war, they were not told what the project was but it was important to the war effort and important they didn't talk about what they did and if you ever talk to people who lived through world war ii, everybody knew somebody who was away fighting, most knew someone who had died. the idea, if they were told they were not supposed to talk about things because it was good for the war effort that was enough for a lot of people. that is what i mean when i talk
12:41 pm
about self-censorship. nobody wanted to be the person who inadvertently or accidentally caused a problem with the war effort, let out a piece of information even though they didn't know what it meant. no one wanted to be that person who caused a problem for what they were trying to accomplish. when the bomb, the first bomb detonated over hiroshima, japan, there was word in the newspaper, the press were allowed limited access to oak ridge, limited information. people who were working in oak ridge realize this whole place has something to do with this new weapon that has been developed. that doesn't mean everyone said here is the exact science behind what they are doing.
12:42 pm
remained secret. oak ridge today is still a part of the national nuclear security agency, the vast majority, the vast majority of our highly enriched uranium is stored in oak ridge. oak ridge national a part of it. that grew out of what happened in the 40s. people who read about atomic
12:43 pm
city, i would like them to connect with the feeling i had when i first became aware of these individuals and have the privilege of interviewing them which is when we look at significant moment in american history, in a narrow lens, a lot of people in this world made a lot of contributions on many levels to significant events and important for us to listen to all those, not just the loudest voices getting paid the most, it is american history, all-americans. everybody's contribution is valid, everyone's priorities are valid, everybody's role is valid, doesn't matter what your
12:44 pm
education was the with the color of your skin was, how much money you had, it was all valid. >> in asheville, north carolina, we took a driving tour of the city with asheville by foot walking towards owner kevin fraser. >> thanks for showing us around asheville. for someone who has never been to asheville, driving through downtown, give me a sense of the city. what should they know? >> the city is the only city in the western part of north carolina and as such it is an anchor for this part of the state. the city goes to the early frontier. go and i mean the early frontier vehicle. >> are we talking? >> 1700s blues not the cowboys and wagon trains frontier but early european settlers as the revolutionary war was coming to a close. pack square is the central square in the middle of town,
12:45 pm
from asheville, it is literally the founding spot of the city and geographic center of the city today. >> tell me a little more, that is city hall. >> built in the 1920s. when they were built the largest city hall and courthouse in the middle east. it was a boomtown in the 1920s, on its way to being one of the major cities and spending to make that happen. by the time the stock market crashed, asheville had amassed municipal debt of 7 $80 million in today's money but it was building for the future and preparing for what was to come. the people in the money coming into town, the mayor at that time planning for the future.
12:46 pm
when the economy bumped in asheville with so much money, asheville refused to declare bankruptcy and also decided to repay the bonuses. the only city in american history that did so. doesn't do so until 1976. on june 30th, the celebration that finished making payments but it froze asheville a little like a prehistoric insect in amber, even after world war ii, growing by leaps and bounds, asheville is struggling, doesn't have the money to invest in sidewalks, water systems and sewage systems and basic things. asheville only grew, there is appear go after world war ii that he received a population for a little bit. like it does all over the
12:47 pm
country, not unique to asheville. as quickly as asheville left -- misfortune from the great depression into our fortune, we have a historic fabric, let's don't tear it down. by the 1980s we see the emergence of asheville's renaissance. >> the interesting time capsule that is left in downtown. >> we were too broke to tear anything down. a one house town stopover point, folks moving livestock from appalachia to south carolina. after the civil war it becomes a tourist destination. >> is that still the biggest economic driver? >> medicine is the biggest economic driver. last year we -- 10.7 million people to asheville. 40 times the county population. the other cities got 90,000 folks, the county brings it
12:48 pm
52250 and metro is 450. >> i see a lot of independent shops, restaurants and hotels. what does asheville have today? >> it is a little bit of an old appalachian sensibility, live and let live. you stay out of my business and i will stay out of yours. >> i know how that goes. >> part of that means folks get along pretty well. we have trouble like everybody else does but it is a cool, casual vibe that folks just live in asheville. >> asheville has a great music scene. we have not reached the austin stage with bands in walmart and target. we are coming appear on the right, the great music venues.
12:49 pm
on any given night, 70 different live venues around town, on orchestras and everything in between. >> where should we go next? >> to biltmore village that the vanderbilts built at the entrance of their estate. this is the entrance to the estate. it was meant to be a grand entrance and peak your curiosity along the way. a 31/2 mile approach road. the road was considered one of frederick olmsted's masterpieces. it was pretty much over farmed, turned into an insurance and forest. >> i mentioned asheville to everybody responsive, you have
12:50 pm
to go to the biltmore. tell me about that. >> the youngest grandson, cornelius vanderbilt originated the vanderbilt family fortune, he came in 1888 with his mom who suffered malaria, had friends in the resort in asheville so came to asheville for yourself. that was the tourism base in the late 1800s. and so they were on horseback, they came to a beautiful vista, and would like to build the summer retreat, a little mistake. >> that little place the largest privately owned house in america. >> it is for a half acres of interior floor space, a house staff of 80 and another 400 to operate the state. >> where are we heading next? >> this is the start of liberal
12:51 pm
arts district, you can see artists and ceos popping up and tanneries and warehouses, that is our main river in bunkland county and not surprisingly the area where early industrial and major agricultural operations came about. this district, that is what it has been for years but for the past 20 years everything moved out, there began to be an effort to rethink the district and what it could look like and one of the key things west attorneys warehouse spaces integrate studio space is affordable for artists and today there's only 400 and this one district of town. a patent medicine in st. louis,
12:52 pm
he and his wife in asheville in 1898 with other folks, and building another factory here but realize the real money is hospitality. and decided to anchor the western slopes with a great view to the western wage -- range. the city grew up as well. >> something i found interesting is a great literary time. f scott fitzgerald stayed for two years. >> this was god's favorite spot to write. he would often come stay here when his wife zelda was in the healthcare unit. >> we are seeing signs for the blue ridge pkwy.. asheville is home to the parkway. does it begin here? >> it is almost in asheville, a
12:53 pm
great deal of politics the way the parkway was going to be and in the end, the north carolina politician worked it to be in north carolina. it is a works progress administration project during the roosevelt administration and in world war ii the depression and world war ii -- >> around asheville. >> what asheville sits in, there is no environment at all. >> at grove park, the blue ridge pkwy.. what would you like people to know about your city? >> asheville is still an old
12:54 pm
appalachian city. a city of innovation and arts, city that loves to welcome folks, there is a grittiness to it and at the same time a true element to it as well. >> thank you for showing us around your city. >> my pleasure. >> today, live coverage on book tv of the 22nd annual la times festival of books. starting today at 1:00 eastern with journalist jorge ramos and his book stranger, the challenge of a latino immigrant in a trump era.
12:55 pm
watch our weekend long coverage of the 22nd annual festival of books, live on moraitis's book tv. >> the main measures as a political scientist, who is the most influential justice, who writes the most majority opinions in significant cases? this is a political science measure making it to the front page of the new york times. it is a significant case. by that measure scalia was not the most influential justice, he was in one of the majorities, but he didn't write them. often they were written by others. >> he was quite senior for a
12:56 pm
long time so you would think he would get those opinions assigned to him except the chief justice, rehnquist or roberts, didn't think he would be able to hold onto 5. >> what he was trying to say or how he was trying to say it to let him get to 5. the other way to measure influence is looking at who is the swing justice, the one whose vote is the fifth vote. that ties into scalia didn't write a lot of opinions because in order to get o'connor or souter or kennedy on board you have to appeal to them and the lack of compromise he was not going to compromise what he thought was the right way to decide the case to get the fifth vote and he literally says that.
12:57 pm
under conventional measures, and the sheer force of his writing and methodology, the middle of the court, got people talking to and the constitution in a way they weren't before. you can't write a brief today trying construe what a statute means without going through the words of the statute, what the dictionary might say and legislative history and purpose and all that but a different way of talking about things, if you go to the eclectic way these things go courts would go on 5 or 10 pages about what a statute meant. he was influential but not the conventional way we talk about. >> you can watch this and other programs online on >> here's a look at some books being published this week.
12:58 pm
look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on booktv on
12:59 pm
c-span2. >> welcome to los angeles and the los angeles times festival of books held on the campus of the university of southern california. 150,000 people are expected over the next two days to attend hundreds of other programs being held. booktv on c-span2 will be live all weekend, our discussions and call in programs. today's lineup includes authors talking about the trump administration, labor and biographies and your chance to talk with a tech entrepreneur, tim o'reilly, and law professor adam waveland. our full schedule for the weekend is available and follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes photos and videos at booktv is our address, facebook, twitter and instagram. we are kicking off our coverage
1:00 pm
in la with jorge ramos whose most recent book is stranger, the challenge of a latino immigrant in the trump era. in your book you refer to yourself -- what you mean? >> designated a writer. .. >> yesterday i did a newscast in spanish. i realize that i'm going from one world to another and that's precisely how i feel, unfortunately, i'll never be


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on