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tv   Madeleine Albright Fascism  CSPAN  September 9, 2018 6:40pm-7:47pm EDT

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>> and now, madeleine albright discussing her book "fascism." got back [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> at afternoon. on behalf of the library of congress, it is my privilege to introduce one of the nation's leading philanthropists, a
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tireless advocate for reading and literacy and cochairman of the national book festival, david rubenstein. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. so, i will call you matalin. we were together in the white house for many years. you just came from the funeral service for senator mccain. could you talk about that in your relationship with him? >> first of all, and delighted to be here and to let it be with you. we have known each other for 30 years. before you were who you are. but it was really a very moving service because it had so many of the themes that senator mccain has really been identified with in terms of service to country both in a military way and also civilian
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and his time and attributes really spoke to that. it was incredibly well-planned but what was so fascinating was that obviously senator mccain planned all this, that he had asked president w. bush and president obama to be the speakers to people who defeated him and they made comments about the fact, isn't it interesting that they were asked and they talk about what that meant. it just is a very, very moving service in so many different ways than the music and everybody cried to danny boy when they sang it in many different things. my relationship to senator mccain was one that was based on not just our friendship, but our value system. he has been, first of all, i'm chairman of the board of the
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national democratic institute in his chair at national republican institute. what happened is this our organization started by ronald reagan in the early 80s. he had gone to speak in england a parliament and said democracies were not real good about explaining themselves and so they came back and started the endowments of democracy that these two organizations. the first time senator mccain and i did this together was in june of 1990. i was born in czechoslovakia and it was right after the velvet revolution and it was the first elections held and it was so much fun with the mainboard in terms of showing a great senator my hometown. paul simon sang and i took
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senator mccain on the tour of prague. basically we then discovered how much we both cared about supporting supporting democracies under totalitarianism and medicine that was earlier major source of working together. >> have you been surprised that the enormous outpouring of sorrow and his passing or you're not surprised at all. >> both frankly. knowing him and knowing what it will be played, i am not surprised. i am surprised how it is turned into some a much larger. i think that came through that what senator mccain was representing what many thought as the best of america, which is people that understand -- scott mac the importance of service,
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the importance of serving with honor from the importance of caring about what people think. the importance of our diversity and america's role in the world. all of those things have been reflected in his life, but also it was really strong obviously at the funeral, but i think it is larger than it. i expected a lot of honor to a senator with that kind of a record. this has not taken off in a much larger way. >> you've written a book about pins that you were when you were secretary of state. i notice you're wearing one now. what is that symbolize? >> this is obviously the american people and i wanted to wear something patriotic for the funeral. i debated about an anchor
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because of his navy service but then i decided it was larger than just his navy service. this is a most vibrant eagle. but what i have been doing and i decided not to do it today when i've been talking about my books, i've been wearing a pin and its mercury because i'm trying to deliver a message about fascism. today seemed more appropriate. >> let's talk about fascism. you've written a new book called madeleine albright. why did she decide to read a book about fascism? >> first of all, i think that i felt it is a term just being flung around without people understanding what it is. anybody would disagree with is a fascist. then, the teenage boy who's not allowed to drive a car called his father a fascist.
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i was trying to figure out how one sign something that is raising its head more and more internationally. in really trying to explain what fascism is. the reason that i wanted to ride it is frankly because of my own story. i was born in czechoslovakia in 1937 and as a result of agreements made in munich in 1938 with the germans and italians, the country i was wanted was sold down the river. in march 39, the marched in can fascism took over that country. my father was a chuckles about diplomat. i could see what fascism had done to europe but i wanted to write about it from a personal perspective as well as from a
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warning because there are things going on around the world where there were elements of fascism that i think people need to understand what it's about. and it's not just habitat to be thrown around here to >> let's go through this. in your book you talk about the person who first used the phrase fascism. not just mussolini. where did he get the phrase? what does that mean? >> first of all, i decided what i wanted to do about the book was to put it into historical context so people could really understand what it was about. it really came from a term at all mounds, which are kind of sticks and an ax that had been an emblem that the romans had used. and so, this group of people about mussolini ticket as their
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emblem of the toughness of going back to caesar. be back as you point out in your book, mussolini came around before hitler was a politician but not all that successful initially, had some problems. didn't come from a wealthy family particularly. how did he rise up to get to the point where he could rule steadily? did he win an election that got him to be the hub of italy? like what they go back on this. one of the things i wanted to look at was what is the environment that produces fascism and with outstanding blank the professor, which i yam, which the historical context is that there certainly have been a lot of disruptions in society. some in the late 19th century, early 20th century due to the industrial revolution and people being slaves in their jobs in
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kind of a sense of division in society, the house and have not with the rising of the of different countries. and then, world war i had a real input into all of that. in italy, particularly coming you know we all make fun of the italian, italian governments because they've had so many different prime ministers and party messes. they had it all along been throughout the early 20th century had a lot of different government. what happened was they had actually fought on the side of the allies during world war i, but it's not really benefited from it in any way in terms of having alliance is being treated with respect. and so, mussolini was someone who came from a poor family, with somebody that from everything i read more and more about actually very charismatic and charming, but he was an
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outsider. all of a sudden see in many ways suited to resolve the situation of all these divisions taking place in italy. in italy, he initially was elected and they are trying to figure out how to deal with their various social problems and he got a group of people around him that became more and more politicized and he identified with them as an outsider to go to bring some kind of order two things. this group of people surrounded him and he was as i said very charismatic. this is the part that blew my mind frankly. he came to power constitutionally. he felt the coalition government there were not working together well enough, that they needed to solve some of the problems coming out of world war i and he asked mussolini to take over the
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government. so he didn't seize power in a particular way, that he was so interesting because he did say he needed to drain the swamp in italian. she's the first one who said that. [laughter] >> he said it in italian. see also in a lot of the things i read he thought he had all the answers to everything that he was a staple genius. [laughter] [applause] >> okay. so what year did he actually take over? >> he took over in the early 30s. >> so when he was running the government for a while, did he do things that made him more popular than he had been before he took office? >> yes, he did. he really did help in terms of
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some of the stability that people felt was necessary in italy. he however, ultimately over dead and did not deliver and he was home. >> ultimately he was captured and what happened? >> he receives them and then they hung him. but the best quote in the whole book was for a mussolini. he said some in like a few plucky chicken one feather at a time, nobody notices. so when societies were a lot of plucking is going on, those are two years -- words that are hard to set quickly together. [laughter] there's often a notice of what is going on. >> ultimately he met his demise. let's talk about someone who came on a little bit later. how did that provides up to power?
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>> no, but what is interesting is hitler exceed mussolini and initially from my reading found that some things he had been doing. hitler was also a family that was kind of on the out side. perez who were kind of failed civil servants. he also was someone who seemed as if he could not get along, try to be in her contract. after world war i that was, quote, punished for good reason, but whatever site treaty and reparations are not treated with respect. there were a lot of problems with the germany itself. they also suffered very much from the depression they had set
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up a democratic republic, but they were not capable also dealing with the issues that were out there. something similar happened. there was a very reputable and well known german statesman, von hindenburg, who all of a sudden most of the coalition system wasn't working and he ultimately asked hitler to take over by the parliament there ultimately agreed to it. one of the great parts about writing a book in the research one has to do about it in learning a number of things about how mussolini and hitler came to power. just leave us the question if there was not a revolution. they were asked by the constitutional head of state, king emmanuel of von hindenburg to take over at a time when the government itself was not able to deal with the divisions in
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the dislocations in the anger about how people were treated after the end of world war i. >> and are emmanuel m. von hindenburg both underestimated mussolini and hitler to change the government and do things that were never anticipated. is that correct? >> absolutely. and being able to, they are obviously different and i think what mussolini was able to do was to kind of use drama in his capability and has charisma to motivate people to follow him. and hitler also used up again. there is a long history in terms of the kind of things he did. but hitler added one of element to this, which was finding a group of people that were scapegoats for all of this. how did all this happen in germany? whose fault was that?
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it is the fault of the transeven the anti-semitic part badly due to the holocaust, no one can be compared to hitler. hitler took some of the elements that mussolini had taken place and added the aspects to it that's not just fascists, but not see. >> one of the person you write about in your book called franco, who took over as the dictator. how did he come to power? >> spain also is having all kinds of economic issues and problems in agricultural issues and how they dealt with some of the colonies they had. he was a military person and he also was kind of asked to take over at a time that things were not working properly with the people. what was interesting and made it a little bit different was the whole spanish civil war in terms of being a theater where the
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communists, the left wing of the right wing tip place in franco is all bull on trent able to benefit from the dislocation that came from it. the thing these people have in common is they take advantage of an economic situation and that is disruptive, that create a group of haves versus the have-nots. >> after the war, world war ii was over, your father and your family go back to czechoslovakia and think you're going to live there now because hitler is gone. would have been a czechoslovakia after you got back? >> well, do things just to add a variety of complications to this, czechoslovakia was a country of founded after 1918. and as a result of world war i and the hungarian empire
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collapses in czechoslovakia was founded that way thanks to the checks pronounce it -- and the 14 points. it was a country based a national identity. i have to tell this because the first president that czechoslovakia was a man called thomas garret foster. he had married an american. her name is charlotte gary m. at the end of the 19th century, he took her maiden name as his middle name. not a lot of them do that. also, the check was about constitution was based on the american constitution with one major difference. ..
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it had a small german minority in the north. and they were trying to figure out how to deal with them when that minority was energiddize by a apostle or disciple of hitler's. so what happened was, that the, there were agreements made that the west could defend czechoslovakia if in fact the germans took over. the russians, or the soviet union, by the way czechoslovakia didn't have a problem with russians because not like poland where the borders were too close and what had happened that the russians had promised to come in and help czechoslovakia if it were invaded, if the french lived up to their obligations to do so. the french didn't. and so the russians had an excuse. during the war when the nazis
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had taken over and the government in exile was in london, the russians meanwhile and communists were the fighters in czechoslovakia. so after the war, and too complicated to discuss all of it, but what happened in the first czechoslovakia elections in 1946 the economists actually won. what happened, until february 1948, there was a coalition government and there were going to be new elections. the russians were trying to figure out how to take over all of eastern europe. they were going to do it by elections in czechoslovakia. they saw they were going to lose. so there was a coup. what happened my father came back to czechoslovakia after the war. he was made ambassador to yugoslavia. the little gill in the national costume gives flowers at the airport, that is what i did for a living. he was about to get a new
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assignment, he was a professional diplomat, to be czechoslovakia's representative to india over kashmir. he was looking forward to that when the communists took over. he didn't want to being r work for the economists. his best friend in belgrade were british and ambassadors. they had a coup. they will name a communist. nothing will get done. so why don't you report to us. my father agreed to do that. we came to the united states. as a result of that assignment my father defected and asked for political asylum? >> was it hard to get political asylum. were immigrants welcome then? >> yes they were. [applause] i have to say this. on a regular basis, he said, when we were in england during the war, by the way i was there all through the blitz and everything. my father said the british were very nice. they said we're so sorry your
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country has been taken over by a terrible dictator. you're welcome here. what can we do to help you and when are you going home? when we came to the united states, people said we're so sorry, your country has been taken over by a terrible system. you're welcome here. what can we do to help you. and when will you become a citizen. my father said that is what made america different from every other country. [applause] >> as a little girl i assume you spoke czech? i did. >> you still speak it? >> i still speak it. >> you have no non-american accent. how did you -- >> i grew up bilingual. i spoke czech and english. we want to yugoslavia where my father was ambassador. so i could understand serbian.
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my father didn't want me going to school with communists. so i got ahead of myself. in europe you can't go to the next level until you're a certain age. they decided to send me to switzerland to learn french. i went -- i didn't speak any french. they wouldn't feed me unless i asked in french. so i learned french. so then, we came to the united states on november 11th, 1948. we lived on long island. i went to school. it was, about to be thanks giving. i heard somebody we gather together, et cetera, asking for god's blessing. who is asking any was asking. and from then on i asked. >> got it. >> so i have an american accent. >> your father eventually moved to denver. he became a professor and at the university of denver. >> yeah. >> he had a prize student who was -- >> this story is so unbelievable. what happened was, my father did defect and he asked for
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political asylum. at that stage the rockefeller foundation was finding jobs for central european intellectuals. so they found him a job at the university of denver. we had no idea where denver was. my parents bought a car. we started driving across america. my mother said, they say denver is the mile-high city. we're not going up. so maybe we're going in the wrong direction. anyway we end up in denver. my father starts teaching at the university of denver. he became a pretty big deal. he wrote books, was a popular professor. he died in 1977. there were lots of flowers and tribute. among them a ceramic pot in the shape of a piano with leaves in it. i said to my mother, where did this come from? she said it was from her favorite -- his favorite
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student, condolezza rice. she had to take a international relations course for distribution or something. she took one from my father. he persuaded her to become an international relations major. she then went to notre dame. where she got her masters and working on her phd with my father when she died. this african-american music major from alabama, wrote her dissertation on the czechoslovakia military. when i was working for my long list of losing presidential candidates, i was working for michael dukakis and finding foreign policy advisors. i didn't know conde. but i know issue was a soviet expert, woman, taught on the west coast. i called her up. i was looking for experts. she said, madeleine, i don't know how to tell you this, but i'm a republican. conde, how could you be we have the same father. [laughter] this is a remarkable story this
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czechoslovakia diplomat basically trained two secretaries of state. >> whatever happened to her? >> we are very good friends. [laughter] >> go back to your life story. you go to wellesley, graduate. in those days when you graduated from wellesley, most women were not expected to be secretary of state i assume? right? probably not. what did you do? what was your career? >> let me say i clearly loved foreign policy. we never had any choice at our house talking about anything but history, did diplomatic historyr foreign policy i was going to be a journalist but the thing that happened, our graduation speaker was kneel mckel roy, the secretary of defense because his daughter was in our class. he gave a commencement speech, we all remember it slightly differently. is it basically was, your main duty was to get married and raise children, preferably sons.
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the fact we didn't walk out -- anyway i waited a really long time to get married, two days after graduation. i did want to be a journalist. i was one of the editors of my college paper. my husband while he was in the army in missouri i worked for a small paper in missouri. and then we go back to chicago where he already had a job. we're having dinner with his managing editor who looks at me, so what are you going to do, honey? i said i'm going to work for, to be a journalist. he said, i don't think so. you can't work on the same paper as your husband because of labor regulations. even though there were three other papers in chicago at the time, and you wouldn't want to compete with your husband, so go find something else to do. it was, you know 1960. i saluted and i found another job. i went to work for inencyclopedia britannica, for younger people in the audience is a book. >> wikipedia of its day.
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>> what they did was kind of fun, every year they would choose a set of articles to review and that year they were geographical locations. being a poli-sci major, they thought i could do illustrations for that. use to be in newspapers they had little space and factoids. i read inencyclopedia britannica. and i read little things. anyway, what happened, i was pregnant and we moved to long island. this is before sonograms and everything and i got very fat. the doctors consensus estimate saying you're fat, do something. i drank horrible diets and walked around long island a lot. i saw that somebody was going, they were offering a russian course at hofstra university. and i thought, this will never work because i have to have, my
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child will not be born yet. what happened was, i was having twins. they were born early. i had to leave them in the hospital in incubators. so i took russian. that is how i kind of got back into studying. >> you ultimately worked on capitol hill for senator muskie. >> i did. >> how did you happen to get that job? >> what happened was, i had, my, my whole life is a series of accidents that actually worked out. so, what happened was that i was asked to become chairman of the school here in, chairman of the board of a school here in washington and they put me in charge of annual giving. and the person that was my parent partner in this, knew that i raised a lot of money. he was from the state of marion. he was asked to put on the biggest fund-raising dinner ever in washington.
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it was really, really expensive. you will love this david. $125 a seat. [laughter]. he asked me to chair it, which i did. that is how i got to know ed muskie. i did fund-raising for ed muskie and. ultimately he asked me to come on his stuff. >> you worked on muskie's staff. you did that for a while. ultimately jimmy carter became president of the united states. and zbigniew brzezinski became ambassador. >> he was my professor. >> asked to you come on the white house staff and serve as the congressional liaison for the national security staff. >> yeah. >> why would the national security staff need a congressional liaison. >> it is all your fault. the thing that happened zbigniew
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brzezinski. he had been my. can you find me a place to live? i said, jeez, big, i thought you were calling me to offer a job. no, i'm calling to you ask you to find a place to live. which i did. two years later we had become really good friend. and he said, he asked me to come and do, be congressional relations person. so the thing that happened, i loved ed muskie and i loved everything about him but he wasn't very modern in his language or his comprehension of certain things. he said, i have this job offer. he said, madeleine, a woman can't do congressional relations, which i thought was very disappointing. anyway, i went to do congressional relations. and i do have to tell this story, muskie was clearly embarrassed. and, we then have a huge going away party he gives for me.
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and he said, i'm looking at my staff now and i see that i have a lot of women on my staff but madeleine was special because she was the first one to give sex to the office. i said, gender, gender. [laughter]. >> oh. >> but i do want to say what happened actually. >> okay. >> is that the nsc is not supposed to be, have a congressional relations person. as you know the white house has a whole congressional group to it. and one of the things that was going on, was, the whole issue about the panama canal. and also a middle east arms sale. and, brezezinski felt that some of the white house congressional people were not tuned enough into the national security aspects of it and so he asked me to come on and it was a fantastic job. i loved it and i sat in on every
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meeting that president carter had with members of congress and i really, i loved it and i knew, worked on all kinds of issues and i was known as somebody who knew less about more subjects than anybody else in the government, you know. so i loved it. >> in those days it was pretty well-known zbigniew brzezinski, national security advisor, secretary of state cy vance didn't get along in terms of their philosophy. vance resign ad of the failed hostage rescue effort. the next was ed muskie. your former boss as secretary of state. your current boss as national security advisor. maybe they didn't get along well. what was the job like then? >> i have to tell you it was very interesting, because i have stayed very, very good friends with muskie and was close to brezezinski. your boss is a showoff. so awful. every time we're in the oval
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office he tells president carter the name of every tribe in nigeria. he is a professor. that is what they do. then what happened was, brezezinski called me up, he said, your former boss is impossible in principals meetings. all he does is ask questions. he is a senator. that is what they do. but something that i could not get over was muskie finally called me, he said, i have had it. your boss acts as if he is more polish than i am. he is. he has two polish parents. he speaks polish. you do not. and i thought, i could never have dealt with a second term of this. [laughter]. >> you had those two bosses that didn't get along but a third person who was your boss. and at that point jimmy carter was seeking to get the nomination of the party again in 1980 and ed muskie as secretary of state flirting with the idea he would get the nomination. wasn't that kind of complicated? >> truth is ed muskie wasn't
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because you and the carter people were suspicious of that. the thing that was very interesting, i will never forget, i have to add one other part to this. my, i had decided that my job going to the white house, they had never taken muskie very seriously, when i went there initially. and i wanted everybody to know how, what a really loyal, good, democrat and head of the budget committee and the whole panama canal thing. i talked him up an awful lot. one time we needed to have a codel go to china. >> codel being congressional delegation. >> congressional delegation to go to china. frank moore was in charge of the whole congressional aspect and went along and brezezinski asked me to go along on the trip. it was great. frank got to know ed muskie. anyway we were given a going away, a birthday party for ed muskie. all of a sudden frank says,
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guess what? president carter is coming to this birthday party. i thought only of myself, which was, everybody in the muskie office thinks i went to the white house to be, have a really important job and president carter is going to come in and he won't recognize me. so anyway, he does come in. he does recognize me. that all went to my head. and so i said, mr. president, can i, can we have a picture of you and me and senator muskie? he said, sure. so we're standing there and president carter actually says to ed muskie, if madeleine loves me half as much she loves you, i'm glad she is working for me. then what happens is, when muskie announced as secretary of state, we're in the cabinet room and, i'm sitting in the back. president carter comes over to me, he says, are you pleased? i said very pleased. perhaps you don't remember where i came from? and he said of course i do. don't you remember the birthday party? but the bottom line was we were all in the cabinet room and ed
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muskie was in the press room already beginning to talk and you could see the carter people getting slightly nervous about that he had different skills. people think he was -- >> so we lost the election this 1980. you had to go back and get different living. you became a professor at georgetown. you got involved with a few campaigns that didn't make it. >> yeah. >> then bill clinton gets elected in 1992. were you close to bill clinton? >> the interesting part was i didn't know bill clinton until -- he was governor of arkansas, and he came up to boston to help prepare michael dukakis for the debates. we then sat around for a while and i discovered about his georgetown, he had been a georgetown student. i kind of got to know him. the only campaign i never worked in was bill clinton's because at that time i was also president, center for national policy which was was a 501(c)(3).
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chill clinton had his brain trust and i didn't -- what happened was, this is the story of life. one of my students, nancy soderberg, she put my name in with a bunch of names could be in the administration. i have the memo. he checked my name off. then sandy berger, who had been a very good friend asked me to run the transition for the clintons with the national security council. so that is the first clinton person to actually go back to the white house and then he asked me to be ambassador to the united nation. >> so you became the ambassador to the u.n. there had been a on who had that position before. >> jean kirkpatrick. >> jean kirkpatrick. no woman had ever been secretary of state. when clinton was reelected, warren christopher said i'm going to step down as secretary of state. so were you number one choice? were you number two choice?
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how did you get that position? >> well, first of all, one of the thing that does happen when you're ambassador at the u.n., i was a cabinet member as well as on the principles committee and i also was on tv. some and, and also, president clinton was fantastic in terms of meetings we had in the oval or the cabinet room and he was always interested what i was doing. all of sudden during, christopher had said he wasn't going to stay, the moment of the great mentioning went on and my name was on a list. and so all, somebody said, well, a woman couldn't be secretary of state because arabs wouldn't deal with a woman. but the arab ambassador to the u.n. kind of got together and said, well, we had no problems dealing with ambassador albright. we wouldn't have any problems dealing with secretary albright. that went away. then somebody at the white house, i never want to know who, yes, madeleine is on
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the list but she is second-tier. so i truly did not expect it. so what happens is, i'm up in new york on december 5th, i get a call from erskin bowles. >> who is chief of staff. >> chief of staff. if the president of the united states were to call you tomorrow would you take the call? [laughter]. >> you said at what time? >> they said if the president of the united states would ask you to be secretary of state would you say yes? so i obviously said yes. he said, well, go back to washington, the president will call you in the morning. so i was so freaked out that i asked elaine, my chief of staff to stay with me. then i forgot i was dealing with president clinton. that the phone call wouldn't come early. but i'm sitting there in my pink bathrobe, no phone call, no phone call. finally around 9:30, quarter of 10:00 the phone rings. it is the white house operator saying, hold for the president of the united states.
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they put on some horrible music. i was sure he changed his mind but he hadn't. >> so you got the job. >> so i became secretary of state. >> and as secretary of state for four years, what was the highlight in your view of what you did? >> well, first of all i loved job. i really every way, people i worked with, every part of it and i think the highlight was being able to make a difference in terms of how america used its power and one of the issues that we were very, very concerned with what was happening in the balkans. and the weirdest part of my life is that i actually, just to go back, my father had been ambassador there. i understand serbian. i had been around all these places and all of a sudden i'm dealing with the a part of the world that i really understood deeply. to tie it to what happened today, i just saw senator dole. he is also one of the people,
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and, at that stage, senator biden, that had really cared about what we were doing in the balkans. so when people asked me what i'm really proudest of, i thought it took us too long to do bosnia but i was secretary when kosovo happened and we were able to make a difference. and. i think being able to understand what the u.s. can do, in cooperation with others make as huge difference. >> right. >> why i'm so upset about the way that this, again, to go back to the funeral today, and i think i did, do have this in common with senator mccain, is understanding what this country is about and what our role in the world can and should be. and how, in partnership with others, american involvement can make a difference for most people in the world. [applause] >> so in your, in your book you
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talks about people, if not fascists or totalitarian leaders now. go through some of them that you dealt with. why don't we start with north korea. you were, i think the first u.s. secretary of state to go to north korea and you met with kim jong-il who was the father of kim jong-un and, what was that experience like? >> well, first of all let me say korean problem has been going on since the end of the world war ii. there is no peace treaty. after that war, i don't know, i think you've been to the demilitarized zone. it is the weirdest place in the world, 30th parallel dividing the two koreas. clinton administration, there were issues with korea from the beginning. they were signatories on the
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non-proliferation treaty. they threatened to pull out. we made a number of agreements. they didn't deliver up to parts of them, we didn't deliver some of the things we were supposed to quickly enough. in the summer of 2000 there began to be an interest -- president clinton gotten very interested what was going on. he asked former secretary of defense bill perry to do a total review of our north korea policy bill perry went there first, this is kind of fork in the road time. you can either negotiate, or we will use force against you. because they were threatening with their ballistic missile. they chose negotiating. so the number two guy, vice marshall cho came over. we went over to the oval office, just as what happened recently, vice marshall cho gave an invitation for president ton to come to north korea. president clinton said maybe at some point. this has to be prepared so i will send the secretary of state. they weren't real thrilled about
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that because we don't have an embassy there, i had no idea what was going to happen, but i ended up -- by the way we had a, our intelligence was very, very limited on north korea. we were told that kim jong-il was crazy and a pervert. he was not crazy. and so -- [laughter]. we were able to have. i didn't know what i was going to do there. all of sudden i get a message. you stay in a guest house that is completely -- they have cameras. they are listening to you. even if you type on a computer they can tell by the strokes what you're doing. so we're sitting there, and i get a message that i have to go pay my respects to his embalmed father. so i go and i do that. more complicated than meets the eye. if you bow too low you're criticized for being on.
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and if you don't bow enough. i am called to say this dear leader to would have a press conference with me. i'm standing next to him. i see we're the same height. i had on high heels and so did he. his hair was cookier than mine. the bottom line we actually managed to begin discussions about missile limits. what happened the election of 2000, and americans were confused about the election of 2000. certainly the north koreans were. and colin powell was prepared to continue what we were doing and he got, there was a headline in the post that said powell to continue clinton policies on north korea. he gets hauled into the oval and told no way. so we've had these ups and downs with them. and they're dangerous and by the way, according to my description of what fascism is, kim jong-un is a fascist. what he has done is use violence
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and force against his own people. he, has obviously disrespected laws or any freedom of the press so i'm very worried about where this is going. >> let's talk about somebody else you have dealt with, and you write about, which is putin. you think he will be there for life? >> well, he is planned it that way. i think that, the issue there is, that, and, again, if i, one of the things that i did in the 90s, when i was a professor, and it was the end of the cold war, i went and i did a survey across all of europe about how countries felt after that, including, russia, ukraine, lithuania. we had very details questionnaires but also focus groups. and something i will never forget was the focus group that we had outside of moscow and this man stands up, i'm so embarrassed. we used to be a superpower and
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now we're bangladesh with missiles. there was this kind of sense that they had lost their identity completely. during the clinton administration we really did try to figure out how to respect russia to bring them into the system a number of different ways but what happened is putin identified with that man who felt that russia had lost its stat does and all that and so despite the fact that their economy is not great he seems to be maintaining power by in fact raising this issue again of russia's greatness. so the thing that we can't forget is putin is a kgb agent. he has played a weak hand very, very well. what he is doing is systematically working to separate us from our allies, and part of the story then goes to something i was talking about in my book is, that the other example of somebody that is under his influence is orbon,
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the hungarian leader, who also has fascist tendencies and the pols. he is trying to separate us and you trying to undermine our democracy and separate us from our allies. >> do you have any doubt they interveered with our elections? >> i have no doubt about it. >> do you think they might be tempted to do it again? >> yes i do. why i think we need to be very clear how we deal with all of this. and, if i can say it this way, separate it as to whether president trump was elected or not. the bottom line the russians are doing something here to underminus. [applause] -- undermine us. >> before we get to the conclusion, erdogan of turkey, he has become what you might call a dictator, totalitarian dictator, i don't want to put word in your mouth but what do
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you think about him now? >> the other thing i think it is important to go back to look at the context of how these kinds of leaders become authoritarian and dictatorial. partially there are conditions in these countries that lead to divisions between the haves and the have-nots. you either have a leader who can find common ground or a leader who then exacerbates the divisions. now what was interesting about turkey, i have always kind of seen myself as a turkofile, a fascinating country located in a incredible place. i took my grandchildren there several years ago and my granddaughter who was nine at the time. he said i understand turkey completely. we spent the night in europe, had lunch in asia. that is definitely a very apartment description of turkey. what happened was the country was run by elitists and or had
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military coups. erdogan had actually the first time been elected fair and square because he broaden the constituency sew was dealing with a lot of people that had been left out. he delivered constituent services. i think something went to his head in taking over all power. he has now, i think, tendencies which are the kind that, chicken plucking, in terms of really identifying with one group, isolating himself and then. he also, the international aspect of what the turks are doing is very dangerous. >> so you also write about somebody who is not with us any longer chavez, but his successor is. how does venezuela stay afloat right now because there are some problems there? how come the government managed to stay in power and where does all that oil revenue go? >> i think one of the things again has to be looked at, back to conditions, when we were in
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office i would go to caracas very frequently. the place was run by a bunch of tired old men that had no relationship with the indigenous people or poor people. what happened was, you have chaz attempted a coup and charismatic figure, he came to the united states, when president clinton and i met with him, he seemed like somebody that cared about his people. he was going to use the oil revenue in order to create a poor peoples fund. something went to his head, he becomes this authoritarian dictator. i don't know what happened to the oil revenues. i think that they are, there is credible amount of corruption chavez, i think there was a lot of stealing. then maduro now -- watching the pictures now, in terms of the numbers of people emmy greating -- emigrating out into
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central america, it's a disaster, no question. >> we talk about many soft people might not be in your hall of fame for great leaders, who are the you say the people you dealt with as secretary of state, u.n. ambassador, or since then are the most impressive foreign policy leaders you every dealt with? >> well, i think that i have to say the germans have been very impressive political leaders. certainly cole, what was interesting, i met angela merkel when she had taken the party over and seemed very quiet and meek. all of sudden she is the chancellor. i think she is very impressive. i very much enjoyed -- the people that i worked with were a lot of foreign ministers and some of them were truly remarkable we, by the way, i invented something really modern when i was secretary of state was the international telephone conference call. and, so during the war in kosovo every single day i spoke so what is known as the quint, british,
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robin cook, the germans, fisher, the french, the italian and i spoke every single day. when we left office, all of us, what happened was, that i get a call from robin cook, who is also out of the government, just become head of the european socialists. he said, madeleine, they're saying terrible things about the u.s., do something. and then i got another phone call from another former foreign minister saying, you have to do something. and i didn't have any way of doing that. so i needed a group cover, under auspice of aspen, it is official name is the aspen ministers forum. it is unofficial name, it is madeleine and her exs. we have met 20 times. they are people that understood how the regional and multilateral system worked in partnership. and really we cared about what was going on in other parts of
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the world. and so those are some of the most impressive people i have ever met and, then there is some that really -- the president of the south korea was very impressive. >> you met with i wouldn't say impressive or non-impressive, what was your relation with arafat you? met arafat and negotiated with him. what was that like? >> i have to say if i were to look at it, anybody wants to go to camp david you would probably say yes. after two weeks in the rain with the israelis and palestinians i don't care if i ever go back. [laughter]. but i think that arafat was, i got to know him very well and i won't go through all the stories but basically he was somebody that always saw himself as a freedom fighter and not anybody that could -- he was feted all over the world. it was certainly more interesting than worrying about
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the sewer system in gaza and i think while we came very close at camp david to a decision i thought he was incapable of making the decision. >> okay. let's talk about your book in the time we have left. in the end of your book you're trying to draw these various strands together. the lessons that you want people to take away from these people that became fascists or authoritarian way was what? what is the danger you're worried about in your book? >> first of all, let me say, to just repeat, societies are divided, there is no question and now they are divided. by the way i was doing to write this book no matter who had gotten elected because i really did see there were divisions. some caused by technological revolution and people losing their jobs and a number of different aspects. what was needed was to figure out how the social contract really worked. you know, who did what and what
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their responsibilities of a government? what were the responsibilities of the citizens? and so i felt that what needed to be done is to explain how we try to find common ground and not divide up. so the thing that is common to the fascists or those that have, by the way, i don't call an awful lot of people fascist. i say they are authoritarian dictators with certain tendencies and the way to describe fascism, its not an ideology, it's a system for taking over. the simplest way to describe it when the leader decides to align himself with, it is a him always, with a -- [laughter] a tribal group, you know, really, this particular group, against the others. so that it is favoritism of one group and leaving out the others. then the thing that actually makes somebody a fascist is if
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you use violence against the people. it's a bully with an army. what are the things i'm looking at are the following or what are the steps that lead to this? one, majority rule without minority rights. that is what victor orban calls illiberal democracy. which is a real oxymoron. and so there is that. there is no respect for any institutions. there is no respect for the role of the media, which is required in a democracy. there is no sense about how the law works. [applause] and so, i am calling out what some of the tendencies are. i think it is very important and what feathers are being plucked. and so i am, some people say my book a alarmist. it is supposed to be alarmist. so one of the things i'm doing now, we have this thing we say see something, say something? i have added do something.
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and i think we have to call out what it is. [applause] >> so, let's talk about doing something. you are former secretary of state. what do you do now? do you teach? are you writing books, what are you doing at ndi? what are your main activities now? >> a little bit of -- people who think i'm crazy but the bottom line is, i do things that i think fit together. i do teach. i teach at georgetown. i say foreign policy trying to get some countries to do what you want. that is all it is. what are the tools? my course is called the national security tool box. i am chairman of the board of the national democratic institute. you can't impose democracy. you have to support it where you can. i do write books. i give speeches. i have a global consulting firm. and i try to kind of -- one thing leads to another. i do do a variety of task forces
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and i try very hard in everything i do to do bipartisan active. i have spent a lot of time with steve hadley doing a big study on the middle east. we are doing something now together at the u.s. institute of peace in terms of looking at extremism. so i try to one thing informs another but my to-do list and, i am doing more and more on my to-do list, one is, to make very clear about the importance of respect for our institutional system, and our constitution. [applause] to make clear that nobody is above the law. [applause] >> okay. >> that the press is essential, and then, i am saying that either people need to run for office or support those people who are.
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and then something that is actually really difficult, which is to talk with people that i disagree with. now i'm sorry to say to all of you that are washingtonnians, i listen to right-wing radio as i drive, do a lot of yelling and hand gestures. [laughter]. so it may not be safest to be around me but the bottom line is, i think we need to understand, i don't like the word tolerance. that means put up with. i think we need to respect the views of those that we disagree with and talk and try to figure out what is the best. [applause] >> yeah. >> and then every book or speech that i have ever read quotes robert frost and my favorite quote is, the older i get the younger are my teachers is what he said and i think we need to get the young people mobilized. those kids that marched after park land, so that is kind of my to-do list.
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to look at your career, what is the difference between the way men run countries and women run countries? >> well there are not a lot of women running other countries. the bottom line, i think men and women do have different approaches. i think in terms of, i think women are better at peripheral vision because we have to multitask. i think men think kind of more concentrated, deeper. these are generalizations. and i think that there is an attempt to kind of find some compromise. the compromise is not a four-letter word. but i honestly believe this, i don't think the world should be run only by women, if you think that, you have forgotten high school. i think that what is important is to get men and women working together and using the various skills that we have. >> so, of all the things you've done in your incredible career, what would you say most proud of
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your achievement having done? is it secretary of state, what you did as secretary of state, as a teacher what would you say you're most proud of having achieved? >> i have to say obviously my children and grand children. >> you have three daughter. >> i have three daughters and six grandchildren. i do think that, you know, we all kid about working hard is kind of a family trait. so i'm very proud of that. but i think that what i'm proudest of is that i'm a grateful american. i describe myself as a grateful american. and i am proud, when i'm able to kind of be able to work with others to show what america can and should do. what i regret most of all is that i never ran for office and so what i try to do is to motivate people to do that. i love politics. i love our system and i really do think that what i am best at at the moment is telling it like it is.
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i have had a very lucky life. i know you're not supposed to say that, but i have had a lucky life and coming to america is what made all the difference. i'm a refugee. one of the things that i really am proud of, i love to do, to give naturalization certificates at the ceremonies. [applause] >> thank you. >> the first time i did that was on july 4th, 2000, at monticello, thomas jefferson's job. i figured since i had his job i could do that. so i gave somebody a naturalization certificate, all of sudden, i heard the man say, i am a refugee i am a got my naturalization certificate from the secretary of state? i went up to him and said can you believe a refugee was secretary of state. that is what america is all about. [applause]
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>> so thank you very much. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. >> oggs. okay. well-done. >> okay. >> this yearbook tv marks our 20th year of bringing the country's top nonfiction authors and their latest books. find us every weekend on c-span2 or online at


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