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tv   Michelle Obamas Book Tour for Becoming  CSPAN  December 15, 2018 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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i'm still cooking. i don't think she really cooked much after that. >> you can watch this and any of our programs in their entirety at the author's name and search for at the top of the page. jodi go both appeared on booktv in-depth program this year. the programs are among the most watch book events in 2018. of the most watch book events as well as all booktv figures are available to be in their entirety. >> starting now on booktv, a look in to michelle obama book for new more coming. it has sold more than 3 million copies since it debuted in november. making it the best selling book of 2018. she's been telling about the country and we're going to show you some of those appearance now
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on booktv. we are going to start off this segment and june. the american library association annual meeting in new orleans. she previewed her book talked about her life there but the library of congress, doctor carla. >> the person you're talking to see. your. >> michelle le bon robinson obama. [cheering] she is a lawyer, and author and she is the wife of the 44th president of united states. barack obama. [cheering]
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throughout the initiatives, the first lady, she has become a role model for women and girls. and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education and international adolescent girls education. her much-anticipated more becoming will be published in the u.s. and canada on november 13, 2018. division of random house. it will be released on 24 and which is. considered one of the most popular first ladies -- [cheering] mrs. obama invites leaders into her world.
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the experiences that have shaped her from her childhood in the south side of chicago, to her years as an executive balancing of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world most famous address. warm, wise and revelatory. becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of full and substance. she has defied expectations and story inspires us to do the same. we are also fortunate to have library carla, posting the conversation with obama today. she was nominated to this division by president obama in february 2016 in her nomination was confirmed by the u.s. senate in july 2016.
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she was sworn in as a 14th librarian of congress in september 2016. librarian of congress, carla hayden and first lady, mrs. obama, come together not for an in-depth conversation around her for coming memoir, becoming. the experiences that have impacted her life, her family and her country. michelle obama. [cheering] [cheering and applauding] [cheering and applauding]
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>> a lot of librarians here. [laughter] you are looking good. hi, carla. >> high. >> how are you? >> i'm telling you. many throws but to be librarian sitting here with you is one of the most -- getting a little plump because i'm the interviewer. i have to do it. >> you have to remember our days back in there. i don't carla since i was a baby. a baby professional. you shouldn't be nevis. >> what a professional you are. because of the public library can back from pittsburgh and the library was part of your portfolio. >> yes, it was. >> it made a difference to have somebody that understood ivori ivories, that read and everything. government. [laughter] >> that was her.
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>> that wasn't she. [laughter] she was just making a point. that's all. >> i was coming in from academic teaching. >> we go way back. >> went back. what i mentioned is, a big part of your family. reading. >> oh, yes. absolutely. we are peters, the obama's. we started reading to the girls when they were babies, infants. as a little kid, i loved to read aloud. i was one of the kids who set up the stuffed animals and barbies and read to them. show them the pictures and go back. i loved the act of reading aloud. i had kids, they became like my real babies i could be too.
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i read to them all the time. i know every word of every doctor sues anything. still by heart. as the girls grew up, we continued to incorporate books as a form of family activity. as they got older, we started reading more complex books together. so barack and melia, all of the harry potter books aloud from cut front, from the front to the back. then she could see the movie after they read it. so that was there father daughter ritual. i stayed out of that because you want the father to have anything that they do, i don't know anything about harry potter because i wasn't even going to get involved in that. so that's their thing. when sasha got older, i read life of by with her. then we saw the movie. we were big, family eaters but
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we loved calvin and hobbes -- so yes, it was a part of the way we put our kids to sleep at night. i felt that music, reading culture was an important part of their development. from very early on. we are big readers. >> one of the images that i know that when you were in the white house, there would be holiday time, you would be going and they would go to the bookstore. >> yes. >> books as gifts. >> that's all barack does. that's the only place he knew how to as president. good golf get to the bookstore. i think those with a two things he could tell comparable doing outside of the white house. that was an annual ritual of heat in the girls to go to one of the bookstores for the
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holidays. in chicago, 57 bookstore, you know that. [cheering] that was our neighborhood store that we liked to go to. bookstores and libraries were a big part of our -- a big part of my life very early on. i remember my first experience going to the library. i was four. it was like the first official time i got an id. he felt like a big-time person getting something with your name on it. i remember going into the library in our neighborhood, three blocks from our house. my mom was a housewife at the time, that's where she would take us. how is my first major big girl thing i could do. get my library card and stand counter high, watching them put
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me into the official files. i felt important. i didn't know what to do with my library card because i have a wallet or a purse. [laughter] but i felt really special just to have it. we would go to the library. it was a community space. you know the library for us, for all of you, you see it's a major part of any community. that was the place for our family to go to get those early books, and jane books, you off into the children's corner where the colorful titles were. i thought one day i would graduate to going upstairs with the books were darker and the jackets were maroon or blue that was really serious books were, upstairs. did you ever get to go? >> oh yes. i got to wonder. i graduated. and the library became research papers, work. decimal systems. it became -- only here.
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[laughter] the decimal system. i love you all. [laughter] >> you continued, he went to school, all of that. then your life got even busier. how did you find time to read just for pleasure? we all want to know, did you get a chance to read anything for pleasure? >> yes. there were moments of escape. today however, i'm spending most of my time selfishly focus on my book. so that's what i'm reading. [laughter] it's almost ready. i've been immersed in that process so this year's been tougher for me because i'm trying to stay in my voice. but when i do have time, i have one of my chief of staff who by the way, she's more excited to be here that she was to meet
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bruce springsteen. [laughter] melissa is my book recommender. she loves you all. i may lose here, here in this convention center tonight. she might leave me. she's been the since the very beginning of the campaign. she is my guru. i usually read what melissa tells me i should read. she'll pass on, throw my books in my bag on a long trip. i've been -- i have a eclectic sort of reading, a list i've read commonwealth. i love a good story that takes me outside of myself i love everything that she had done. i accidentally. reporter: that. i read it maybe two years ago and then i was like, was on my shelf and i thought, have i read this? i started reading and i was thinking, i must be, i know
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what's going to happen. on the next page. this is how my life is. these past decades i would forget what i read, but i read and i realized by the third chapter, i had read it already. i finished it because -- >> you put it down? >> no. i love her story telling, her characters i just finished reading, a very powerful, the nightingale. ever that the other day. shut up for the nightingale. [cheering] i love all of her stuff. i love stories. i love to escape for a moment, i needed that escape over the past ten years. needed to get out of my own story. getting to somebody else's story for a minute. >> were you able to do that? >> yes.
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>> get lost in a book. >> i couldn't read in the white house. at times there was too much going on. we were running so fast that whenever i got a chance to sit down and pick up a book, i would get maybe essence and i would fall asleep. i was literally sitting down -- i don't know if i was napping or passed out, i couldn't tell the difference. i would wake up in would be an hour and i think, was a sleep? the white house felt. usually on a longer trip, i could get into a book. it was a hectic eight years. >> you said pick up a book. that implies physical book. >> i always -- i'm not an e-reader. i love to have a book in my hand. [cheering] even in my writing process, i like to hold it. i can't really edit things on
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the computer. i feel i have to write down my thoughts. i can jot down things on an iphone but that's hard. i have to feel it, i have to still be able to touch it. i am old. sorry. [laughter] we still have a lot of books in our house. my husband, he's an avid reader. he still loves book around, everywhere we've gone, boxes and boxes of books. i can get rid of. he will not allow me to do it. we are still a household that i. lots of books on shelves. >> you know as a library, i did research. i understand that there is a library you irked in the library finally? >> yes. i looked -- i worked in a book binder he. one summer. it was the summer right before i went to college at a friend's
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mother who worked there it was my first real job. before then, i did the neighborhood tops, babysitting -- i had a family next to us that they paid me to do anything for them. they visit, trained dog, to the penal. the smiths, i loved them. they got me through high school. then i graduated to a job downtown. it was downtown. a friend's mother worked there. my job -- and entailed doing one they'd -- one thing thousand times every day all day over and over again. i got to put the little metal thing in a hold and pass the cardboard over to the guy that would slam down. my job was to take the metal thing, put in the hole and pass it. i was good with doing that for the first day even. [laughter]
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i was aiming at finishing it. i thought there was an end to it. were thousands of them and i would prove to the bindery people i was so fast that i can complete it and done. i just realized, and several over. they just kept coming. the pieces of cardboard and the little things and it went on for weeks and weeks, doing the same thing and i just thought, my god. i am ready for college. [laughter] i can do this. it taught me great respect for the men and women who do that work. everyday. the thankless work that makes it possible for us to have books and folders and i learned a work ethic at the bindery. the dozens of people in that plaintiff who came there and they did the same job everyday for years and years and years. it reminded me of my father. the blue-collar workers who didn't look for passion in their jobs, they didn't have the
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luxury like we did to think about doing the things that we love. they had to do things a food on the table. that was my first experience, shoulder to shoulder with men and women who were making a living for their family. >> you mentioned your father so many times, about his worth a work ethic. it took for him to go to work and provide. >> my father, frazier, he was -- every value i have in may, came for my mother and father. watching them day today. as most people -- my father was blue-collar worker, worked the same job, his entire life. worked at the water filtration plant. my father had ms. he contracted it at the prime of his life. i never knew him to be able to walk without the assistance of a cane. my father got up everyday, a shift job.
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some days he was on days, some based on nights. somebody's evenings. his schedule changed. i remember him putting on his white t-shirt and blue button up uniform and getting his crutches and making his weight at the back door to the car to go to his job without complaint, without regret because he was proud that he had a job that allowed him to invest in his children. me and my brother. with that blue-collar salary, he put two of us through college. princeton at that. he made sure that -- [applause] we went to those schools long before they had financial assistance that put you completely through. we were still paying, my parents had to pay a portion of our tuition. he major our tuition was paid on time. we were ever going to be late
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not be able to register for our classes. who i am today is because of my parents. the hard work at the work ethic and you do what you are going to say you are going to do. trust is important, honor, honesty. i thought might be my father behave in that way every single day. with everyone, regardless of race or station in life. so that's why think about to write my book and how i carry myself in the world. i do and i think the word expect me to do. i hope to be a person for them. [applause] >> my mom is out there. >> issue here? >> yes. >> hi, mom.
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>> whenever anything happens, she says, mrs. robinson, she's my hope after your mom. your mom handled all of that. your mom was right there with you. >> well, grandma. we couldn't have made it through the white house without her. just having her -- she had been helping me long before coming to the white house because barack was always, he was the state senator in the u.s. senate. those were jobs that had him away from home, usually most of the week. i still had a full-time job. i was a professional with a big job of my own. we had two little kids. we had, we could afford help. we had a couple of great babysitters but the time i lost
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the one good babysitter, that crushed me like nothing else. when she said she had to leave because she couldn't, she needed to make more money. i thought i was losing him arm. brock was trying to console me and i said get out of here. i need her, i don't need you. [laughter] you do nothing for me. i remember that pain and i thought how can i go to work everyday and not know that my kids are good? there was somebody who loves them. not to get on a soapbox which is why affordable childcare is so important. [cheering] having access to that kind of security, for all the families out there who don't have a choice, they have to go to work. i know that the pain of what it feels like when you don't know your kids are good. good, not just being safe but a place where somebody loves them
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and is going to instill values in them and going to read to them and take them to the library and not going to pop them in front of the tv. i was about to quit working. i thought, can't do it. i can't keep up the balance. who stepped in, my mom. she was not yet retired but she would come over at the crack of dawn to allow me to go to the gym, she start getting the kids ready for school. she would wake them up, fixed breakfast, i come back and grab them. i'd take them to school, she would go to work. should get off, common pick them up, get them home, start dinner. by that time, i get home. we had a routine down. there's something about having your mom in that place where you know, she will kill someone for her grandchildren. [laughter] she was the grandmother at the pickup line, she was going to be the first one at the pickup line
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because she didn't want her grandbabies walking around wondering where their right was. she would get there in our before the cup to be the first car so she would see her babies and bring them here, said bring them here, you can't pay for that. we brought the energy with us to the white house. we needed it. the kind of no-nonsense, solid, take tell it like it is. unimpressed with everything. that is marion robinson. she did not want anyone doing her laundry at the white house. she could do her laundry just fine. [laughter] >> really? >> she was doing -- we had housekeepers and butlers and everything. she was like, don't touch and. i got it. [laughter] too old for that. she taught the girls to do their laundry. they had laundry duty with grandma.
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>> she helped them grounded. >> yes. she kept the whole white house grounded. everybody needs to go up to her room, the sacrament they be in there chitchatting with her. she was getting wisdom, telling their stories. she had a whole little counseling session up there in her sweet. she kept us humble and focused on what was in portland. she was my sounding board. anytime anything crazy happened over the course of the day, the first thing i would do, on the third floor above us, i would go there and sit on the couch. she have on an empty msnbc and she'd be trying not to talk about what was on the news until i let her know i was ready to talk about it. she would do what she waited to their in this in, go mmm.
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my mother was not going to solve your problems. for your. she was going to listen and she would say, what you think about that? would figure it out and by the time you leave, i feel great. so much of my ability to get the other again and again had to do with growing up to that counseling room and sitting and having her go, mmm, will be fine. go on back down there. aflac don't stop now. [laughter] >> you talk about that a lot. did she ever say you talked about that a lot? what are you going to do about it? >> no. my mother and i read about this, about how, my parents had a really advanced sense of
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parenting at a very early age. they taught us how to advocate for ourselves. very early. her expectation was, you know how to fix your problems. you know what to do. when you teach kids at an early age that they have a voice that's worth listening to, number one, their opinions actually matter and that's what they get day in and day out in the home at the dinner table, to adults listening intently and asking questions and encouraging kids to contribute, that was the household. those are our general tables. we came home from school the problem, you could air it. but you had to go back and solve it. at 40, 50 years old, my mother wasn't assuming at all that she needed to solve any problems that i had as for study, her expectations were, you will do this and you'll do it well because you know how to do this. there was never any need for to even pretend like she had to give me direction.
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she knew she still those values in me when i was 45 and seven. she had done the work. >> what a blessing. you mentioned that you almost thought about quitting because you did have and i don't know how many people realize high-powered position you had as a career woman. to balance that. >> before i was first lady? >> yes. >> i had a job before i was first lady everyone. [laughter] >> you had a power one. >> i had big jobs. i was smart, was continued to be, but i sometimes when i hear the question how did you know what to do as first lady? [laughter] well, i went to princeton, harvard law, was a lawyer worked in the city, worked with carla, working on library, i worked in planning and economic development.
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nonprofit organization. by president of hospital. i don't know. maybe it was osmosis. [laughter] i don't know. instinct. >> you knew some of those experiences. >> i didn't come to the position of first lady of going to sleep. that's what happens in society. you become a spouse all of a sudden. talk about this in the book of how i felt myself becoming a spouse. i went from being an executive to becoming a spouse. the first thing people would talk about was, what shoes is she wearing? it's like oh no, people. you're not focused in on my shoes, right? ...
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>> when i have one too? but that's something that i write about that's what you learn the balance and marriage that i tell young people this awe of the time particularly young women is that what i've learned is that you can have it all but you usually can't have it all at the same time. and that is a myth that even having the expectation of having it all is a setup for young people young couples, young men and women with children, the notion that you're not successful if you don't have it all well it's hard to balance it all. but i started to learn that life is long. and or there are tradeoffs that
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you make, and i think that the tradeoff of stepping off of my path until at least i found a child solution that worked for me which was my mom i entertained the notion of stepping off of my track because, i felt like i have these two kids, and that is i brought them here. so my first priority is to make sure that they are okay i can't save the world if my household isn't, isn't solid. [applause] so it shall but the other thing i learned at that point and time when i was ready to jump off of professional track, i started not caring what people thought about me professionally. [laughter] so i felt more freedom to ask for what i needed. so i wound up staying in my career because i had an opportunity to become the vice president of community affairs at the university of chicago,
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the president was looking for a new -- person to head that division and i had just had had sasha she was four months old and i was like not doing it. don't care. don't care about work. but one of my good friends said you should interview because this buy is really different i was like okay, i don't care. so i took, i was still breast-feeding so i had sasha in the crib i said we're going to an interview, baby we're going to go see this man who wants me to work for him but we don't care and he needs to see all of me have a baby and a husband -- who is a u.s. senator whatever he was doing at the time it's like -- you want to hire this? well let me tell you what it will take i'll need this much money i'll need flexibility i laid down demand that i knew were going to have him running in the other direction. [applause] because i really felt the freedom to be like well if you can do this, this, this, this for me then maybe i'll think
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about it. and he said yes. to all of the whole list. of all of thes i asked for i thought wow. i guess i have to try this now -- but what i learned there is that is women, as individuals you have to ask for what you need. and not assume that people -- are going to give you what you need and that taught me i can define the term was my professional life in a way that i didn't feel the freedom to do. so i thought if i'm going to do this i'm going to do it in a way that provides balance, and i, you know, i told folks there don't expect me at every meeting don't expect me to come to meetings when we're not doing anything because i'm going to -- the halloween. [laughter] and that's important and i'm doing my job and i'm doing it well but this meeting isn't necessary so i felt that freedom for first time in my professional life to ask for what i need knowing that i was
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worthy of it that i was valuable to them even in all of my complicatedness, i was still giving them values. but i had to learn to appreciate that value. before i could ask for what i needed and not be afraid. >> oh gosh yeah not be afraid at all that they might say no. >> easier said than done so you know, i understand it is -- not easy to tell somebody that you're worth a lot. especially for women. we have a hard time saying that about ourself it is that i know my worth. and i can put a monetary number on it too that there is a value to it. [applause] and that's -- that's those are kind of things that i'm exploring in the book as well and i'm not really trying to pump the book but these are -- >> speaking of for the last year i've been sort of reliving these things and figuring out what it taught me. so, i'm writing about all of that so if i'm --
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i sound a little like therapy here -- >> well you're in it. still in it and people you're having the time to be able to step back. because you mention going and going you didn't have really time to reflect as things were happening. >> no time to reflect in eight years we did so much so fast, and we also knew we didn't have the luxury to make mistakes. when you are the first -- [applause] yoim, i've lived my life as first only one at the table and barack and i knew very early we would be measured by a different yardstick making mistakes was not an option for us. not that we didn't make mistakes. but we had to be good no we had to be oustanding at a everything that we did and when you're operating at that level, and you're -- you're trying to live up to the -- you know, to the expectations of your ancestors of your father
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about when you're the first you're the one that is laying those -- laying the red carpet down for others to follow. so yeah, we were moving fast. we -- i was starting an initiative almost every year during the l 8 yores that i was there, and when i start an initiative, there was a lot of work that went into it before hand because coming to this work as a professional, i knew that strategic thinking about -- an initiative had to happen but background work had to be done we met when we started let's move before we even launched it. we spent a year meeting with every expert in the field. we had already developed partnerships before we had even announced it. we had focus groups. we were -- meeting with legislators and a policymakers. so that when we stepped out into the arena, we knew what the pitfall would be. we knew where partnerships
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needed to be and where holes were. that was work that we were doing at the same time that you're doing state visits and halloween parties and -- christmas decorations, and so -- you're like a swan with the paddling legs underneath that was -- eight years of that. so yeah, i realize there was time that something really major would happen at the beginning of the week. let's say you met the pope or something like that. >> say that -- [laughter] you know, this is the weird thing. that's kind of stuff we did i met the pope or hanging out with the queen. it is like okay -- that was my week. that's my life or are you kidding me? >> that was one week too could be many one week. you know, a state visit, a first trip to africa. that was my solo trip involved doing pushups with bishop desmond tutu literally i was like please get up.
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please -- please don't he's like no i'm going to do pushups you come michelle. come down. i looked around like something happened to him it's not me. [laughter] >> wow. >> so i was doing pushups with bishop tutu i give a speech to a -- a group of young african women leaders, i met nelson mandela -- we went on a safari. and i went to batswana you know that's like -- four days all of that kind of stuff would happen and like four days. and then you bo to the next week. and i could literally forget everything that just happened the week before because something like that would be happening in the next week. so to be able to remember it all -- to keep it all in your head -- i would find myself forgetting oh, yeah i've -- i went to prague i literally forgot that i've been to prague and i -- and i'm not, i mean, we have
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this conversation somebody said, what do you think of prague i said i've never been to prague and my chief of staff said yes you have no i've never been to prague ever -- she was is like yes -- and we went become and forth and it took a picture of me in prague going you're right -- i forgot all about that. i was there for two days. that's how -- that's what the pace is. you can forget big major thingses not because they weren't important but they get crowded out by next series of issues and demands i don't know what the question was how we got on this -- [applause] you forgot the question. >> i forgot the question. all right so when you think about all of that -- and then you have the two little ones -- >> say that again. >> the little ones. >> the kids. so you might have -- >> i forgot about them. so that balance when people are
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thinking about balance and how you do it, any advice for how people can -- try -- >> there's a lot of advice for balance my balance is crazy it's because you're the first lady. but you're also rying to go to the pot luck and soccer game and you know, i tell the story of how barack went to parent teacher conference he's got a big motorcade big, with a lot of stuff and men with guns, machine guns -- black -- you know, sniper gear, they follow him everywhere they're in trucks and they're leaning out -- looking at you like i will kill you. because that's their job. but when they're at fourth grade undergrad of the elementary school, even melia was like dad come on. so everybody was okay when dad didn't go sort of saying you
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don't have to come to the fall winter concert it's okay -- we'll take a picture -- [laughter] yeah. you can take a pass. [laughter] but i would be there, and mom would be there, and you're trying to be a normal parent in the midst of it you know when your kid is invited over for sleepover and you have to explain to them we'll need your social security number and there will be -- dogs sleeping at your house and they're going ask you if you have gum in dross and you have it tell them sorry mom but this is what it means to have sasha over but it is bing to be fine. >> they'll have fun. but kids have fun. they learn how to work past all of that. but you're balancing act of being a mother but being the first lady of the first daughters who had their own
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detail. all of the time so imagine trying to go to prom with eight men with guns and -- doing anything else that you're trying to do as a teenager with eight men with guns. barack and i were very happy about it. [laughter] we were very, but she had to like learn how to discipline them without -- letting them think that they're agents told on them right it shall so all parent you understand this so i had to lie about about where i got my information from. like how it i know that no parent was at that party? julia's mom called me and told me. not because i got a full report in detail it is like why are they so dumb not to know that -- how do you think i knew? they're kids that's our -- those are some of our parenting
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scenarios. so my goal is as a parent to try to make sure my kids had normalcy that's a different set of challenges for the average parent. but here's the thing that i learned, one of the things i learned living in the white house is that -- kids dent need that much you know, if they know you love them unconditionally you can live in the white house, you can live in a -- you know you can live in a little bitty apartment i grew up in. home is what you make of it. inside it is that interaction that you have every day. and -- it doesn't have to be perfect. it can be broken and funny and odd in many ways. and you know, all our oddness was a level of dysfunction that most families will never experience. but it was odd. and -- and kids are resilient they make it through which is why i think
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about all of the kids that don't make it through. because it takes a lot to break a kid. you know, it takes a lot but there's so many broken kids which reminds us how bad we're doing. because you've got to do really messed up stuff to kids to -- to send them off. they have to come from a brokenness that is so deep and off. and we have to see that in our children, and understand that when kids act out, there's a reason for it. there's -- there's no such thing as bad kids. kids aren't born bad you know? they are not. they are products of their situations so i've learned to give myself a break. because my kids are loved and they're going to be fine and we mess up a lot. we make a lot of wrong calls as parents. but you know, we -- we hold them to high standards as a people.
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you know, we don't measure them by things and grades. we measure them for how they interact in the world how do they treat their friends? how do they treat each other things like kindness and compassion, and empathy those are the things that we have tried to teach them over these years. and here's the thing, kids watch what you do not what you say. so the biggest thing that barack and i could ever do to be good parents to our kids is to be good people in the world for them to see every day. so -- and that's true whether you're the president and the first lady or maryann and frasier robinson those standards don't you know they don't know title they don't know income. that's just all that kids need. and we -- as you librarians know you're working in communities and you're seeing these kids come into your doors and they come
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with such promise and they they just want somebody to love them. you know? they just want someone to tell them that they're okay. and that's one of the things i've tried to do as first lady with kids with so much with kids -- because i always thought this is the interaction that could change a kid's life this one hug, this one you are worth it. you never know what can make a difference. [applause] that's right. >> yeah. all of this you're giving to the communities, you're giving to your children you're giving, but you've also i -- i've heard you say it that sometimes you have to put yourself first or not feel guilty about taking care of yourself. now how -- how do you do it that ?rchg yes, ladies.
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men too but let's talk to the ladies a little bit about this one because we do that. right? we put ourselves fourth on our priority list after a everybody else and then we're sort of, sometime not even on our own list at all it is so filled with so many obligations and the guilt that we have. and you know, this is nothing new but that oxygen mask metaphor is real if you can't save someone, if you are dying inside and that death can look like so many different things it can be our -- you know our sense of self-worth our own physical health. our mental well being, all of that is, we let that go and we don't nurture it as women we are not good to anybody else. and i, you know, that is something too that you have to practice and that's what i had to learn. i had to learn to learn that. because i didn't see that even in my mother.
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my mother was one of those who didn't do anything for herself. you know my mother dyed her hair until she turned it green it is green it's not working you don't know what you're doing. just go to the hairdresser and she was like it's fine. it's just green. >> i can relate to that. >> just green. i remember that. you know, it's like, you know, so it shall -- i grew up with women who didn't put themselves first. and i thought i want to show my girls something else. i want them to see that -- being a good woman out here in the world meanses that you're smart, you're educated, yes you are gentle and kind and loving. but you know, you can do some pushups. you know, you can -- you know, you're going to think about what you put into your body what you eat. you're going to take time out in yourself and invest in
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relationships with your friends i thought it was important for me had to my girls to see me having strong friendships with women in my life so i have a posse of overwhelm keep me sane. >> that's what i wanted to know about and posse started early in any life i always this a crew of women. crew of girls, i had my lunchtime girls that we went over and each other house at lunchtime and grade school and played jaxes complained about teacher and just -- analyzed things watched all of my children. then we got ourselves together and we were horrified and go back in and we could finish the day. that was my early group. but -- when i -- when my kids were young i had a really strong group of women still do these -- women are still a major part of my life. and i couldn't have gotten early years without them because we were at stages in our career some had husbands who traveled,
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but every saturday we would get together and we start ised when the babies were in those cradles set them down around each other in a circle to look at each other it shall [laughter] then we talked about everything are they walking with yet are they supposed to be all of those questions you have as a new mother. and you don't know whether you're doing anything right it was just nice to be around a group of women who knew just like you they didn't know anything either we were just messing up. and it was okay. but we became our -- most important confidants as mothers raiseing kids and all of these kids come up together are like cousins. and they're out in the world and they all done well which was another lesson that i learned you can participant all different kinds of ways there's no one right way to do it. again if there's love and consistency, with and a foundation and security they're
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going to be okay so we started learned to let ourselves off a the hook. you know, and then we started doing fun stuff together like we worked out together these same women i would did a boot camp with at david i want to thank these women who would come because i was trying to get everybody healthy so like once the season i bring them to camp david and we do like these intensive workouts. and i like eliminated wine and stuff like that until everybody said they weren't coming unless i put wine back on the the menu so i had to put wine back on there just to not lose my friends. but we workout three -- three times a day -- and a little navy cadet kids be like ma'am go lower on your pushup oh you're so cute -- don't call me ma'am. [laughter] so we were getting healthy together. and we started doing a little seminar we one of my favorite was ob so have sessions on menopause and then talk about
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other things that i can't talk about here. but -- but that group was, that was my crew. throughout the white house years and that was a part of that self-care that we all felt good about and we all got stronger over these eight years. we as women this group of women, we got physically and mentally stronger together in ways that -- i love my husband. you know, he is my best friend. but they're more fun sometimes. don't tell him. [laughter] he doesn't know that i have more fun with them sometimes. but they gave me the kind of -- the kind of fortification that i needed and i encourage young mothers to understand that you are, we were not meant to parent in isolation. and so many young parents because of -- you know circumstances maybe they were transferred they're living away from their homes saw
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this in military families. the young you know military mom would move away from her family she would have kids. she would be alone. and she would be wondering why is this so hard and i would say because you're not supposed to do this alone. children weren't meant to be raised in isolation. we need community. that it does take a village, and so i encourage young women to build their village if it is not at home with aunt, cousins and mom whenever you are build that village because that will be your salvation it keeps you sane, and it -- it just keeps you in balance in a way that i think we don't appreciate. >> and what about -- fun? >> fun? >> well i just told you a bunch of fun we had. >> the pushups -- >> the pushups are fun, karla you should -- should -- [laughter] so you wouldn't enjoy like working out with me? >> i keep score. [laughter] but -- >> that's what you tell karla
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doesn't workout because she thinks they are scores to keep track are of one pushup for me one for you. [laughter] well we had fun oh yeah we had fun we made sure we had fun, and we wanted the white house to be a place of fun. and particularly in tough times -- you know and we went through some tough times crisis, shootings, i mean, the amount of grief that we -- that -- that we had to i want to say we weren't carrying it but heavenned the country get through, you can't have all crisis you know the country needs a moment to feel like they can celebrate in some way shape or form even in the darkest times. so we had with halloween at white house and kids came and they mostly military kids and their families they would come around the south lawn and it was all decorated and house was
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orange, and everybody was in costume they got to trick or treat at the white house. we had any -- major state event that we it whether it was a state dinner or a rival, we found a way to incorporate kids in that. so we had a big act performing in the evening usually they would agree to do a separate performance or talk or workshop request young kids from -- we would fly them from all over the country so there would be kids getting different experiences so kids sat down and talked -- you know every major star that came to the white house. we did the -- had the whole cast of hamilton come back and perform and it was a very are full circle moment for me because we first met lynnman first cultural event was the spoken word event because spoken word rap for those of you
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who don't know -- [laughter] poetry, you know, sort of cool poetry, had never been done in the white house in the east room with george and martha standing there. and so we were going to do that as first event. so we were finding some of the hottest young voices, and we did a rope line and this young kid lin-manuel we were like what are you going to perform young man? and he said i'm goinged to a rap about alexander hamilton we were like -- [laughter] you know that's what you remember you're the president and first lady you cannot laugh in fact face of your guest and go what? are you kidding? and then he went on to perform the first number that -- that was the first number he had prepared and it was, obviously, amazing, and so afterwards we were like that's really good. and he said yes i'm going to do a whole broadway show on it and we were like -- [laughter]
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like good luck with that, kid. [laughter] and then it blew up. and we invited whole cast back and they performed first they did a whole day of work shop for kids all over country so they were doing lyric writing and you know, you name it they were in the red room writing and rapping in the blue room and they were dancing in the yellow oval, and you name it they were everywhere. and then they did the performance in the east room with all of these kids who had never gotten to see broadway performance but they knew the word. so we had fun. we had lots of fun and all of our fun always involved kids because kids are good. they just make everything better. we wanted to make sure that kids felt like this white house belonged to them. you know, that they felt like when they walked into it and kids of all backgrounds felt
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like this was a place that kids were supposed to be. not like tearing up the front gates but they were supposed to walk in those doors and experience everything that was going on in there. and that was i think, of all of the things that we did the work that we were able to do with young people, the most fulfilling hopefully most impactful work that we did in those eight years. and they thought like oh i'm rapping in the blue room. >> rapping in blue room we did a whole design workshop where kids were draping with designers and there were mannequins up in the -- so we did a whole workshop and anna wynner to put it together with top designers come it was sort of a way to give homage to all of the american designers who had worked with me but not to do it and make it about me so all a about kids so they came for a day with working with young designers around world making jewelry and different rooms. and they came together for a panel and they got to meet diane
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and all of these big names, came and they spent the day with these kids that was about them but it was also about fashion so those are the kind of ways we, i tried to think about, you know, linking stuff that people wrote about to something that was important. it was like okay you like my shoes but let's teach kids how to be designers how to -- what the craft means in america. [applause] that is not just about how you look but what you do and design. all of that was fun. fun, fun. kids left feeling like i've been to the white house. >> they felt like they were something special i'm in the white house doing this. ... so he had some young men that would come and come once a
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month. they were usually kids from the dc area. not the top kids but not the kids struggling but those kids that are in the middle where there probably isn't a lot of programming for them and they would be paired up with a high-powered woman in the strtionz. valerie jared was a mentor. chris comerferred was the first female executive chef at the white house. she was a mentor and they would meet with the kid all the time. they would come together once a month in the white house. it was interesting to see their transformation. they were shy, they couldn't look me in the eye, they were nervous. you're in the white house, you're meeting michelle obama and why were you picked. and you're wondering. we'd talk about everything and by the time they completed usually two years with us. by their graduation ceremony when their parents would come, there was a shift in who they
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thought they were. they felt comfortable in that space in that room with me. they knew that that deserved that for themselves. and as that process of giving them that exposure on a regular basis saying you are worthy. i don't care about your grades. who are you as a person, and are worth being talked to and listened to and for a while they owned the place. they didn't notice me. it was like oh, mom that's michelle obama, we're friends now, let me show you the blue room. my belief for them was if you can walk into the white house, and look me in the eye and introduce yourself, there is no room you can't go into after that. [applause] >> right before we started there was a high schooler and this was
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her first time, there she is, hi honey. >> of course we hope she'll be a librarian, any advice you'd give a high schooler, i don't know about college and what i want to do. >> how old are you? >> 17. >> well you're going to go to college, right? okay well thalts the first advice. because you need a college education in this day and age if you want to be competitive. right? but here's the thing. there is so many different ways to get an education. we live in the united states of america. and we have wonderful community colleges. we have four-year colleges. there are so many ways to do it. there's no one right way to do it, right? you don't have to go to some four year school and live in a dorm if that's not your thing. it's an excellent experience if you can do it but you have to get an education beyond high school.
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a high school diloamploma is not enough anymore, and we want you know to be the best you can be and be able to talk to your family, and wear nice shoes, and have power. having an education is the key to that. so did she say that's my advice. in a nutshell. [applause] >> now -- we don't have much time left but i have to ask you about the book. >> michelle: it's coming out in november. you guys ready? [applause] >> carla: you have to give us a few things so we can book talk it, that's what we do. >> michelle: i've given you a few tidbits but if i were to describe the book, it's a rehugization effort because for
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me a black woman from a working-class background to have the opportunity to tell her story is interestingly rare. i think that's why some people ask the question how did you become here am how did you go from here to there? it's like people think i'm a unicorn. like i don't exist. like people like me don't exist, and i know there are so many people in this country, in this world that feel like they don't exist because they're stories aren't told, or that think their stories all worthy of being told. in this country we've gotten to the point where we think there is only a handful of legitimate stories that make you a true american, and -- so if you don't fall into that narrow sort of line, it's like you don't
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belong. but we all belong but my book is just -- the ordinariness of a very extraordinary story. and i hope that by telling it, that it makes others not just black women, not just black people but other people, other women people who feel faceless, and invisible, and voiceless to feel the pride in their story in the way i feel about mine. the ordinariness of growing up as a working class kid with two parents that had values, they didn't have a lot of money. we grew up with music and art and love and that was just about it. we were encouraged to get an education. i am not a unicorn. there are millions of kids like me out there, and it's just a shame that sometimes people will see me and they will only see my color. and then they'll make certain judgments about that.
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and that's a dangerous for us to dehummize each other in that way. we are all just people. [applause] with stories to tell. and we're flawed and broken and there's no miracle in our stories we're living life trying to do good, and that's who thisments girl in "becoming" is. she's becoming a lot of things in life but the journey continues, and i hope it starts a conversation about voice and encourages so many other people because we need to know everyone's stories so that we don't forget the humanity in each other. what we've learned barack, and i over the course of the eight years in traveling around the country is that americans are good people. decent people. really, even if we don't agree on politics, and we have to remember that about ourselves
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and understand that that's true not just here in america but around the world. there are no devils out there. there are no people out there. there are people who do bad things but all of us are really just trying to figure out it and if we've done something horrible it's usually because we were broken in some way. if we understand each other's stories, and we share the stories maybe we can be more empathetic and inclusive. maybe we can be more forgiving, and be more open. so i hope that the book encourages some conversation around those kind of things. and then you'll hear about the china and my shoes. [laughter] and a couple of nice stories. bow and sunny making an appearance, they're still alive and doing well.
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[applause] >> carla: we have glad that you are michelle obama. and they are too. [applause] >> michelle: thank you all. thank you for everything you all do. keep doing the work in the community we need you. [applause] [applause] >> and that was michelle obama and dr. carla hayden the librarian of congress talking at the american library associate
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annual conference in june. michelle obama is on book tour for "becoming" her memoir which is the best-selling book of 2018. we'll show you several of her appearances we were only allowed to tape about 10 minutes per appearance. here she is on the book kick-off in chicago with the united center with oprah winfrey. >> she made us always feel like the white house was really our house. the people's house. she is your hometown girl from the south side of chicago. welcome michelle obama.
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>> okay everybody. at the united center. have a seat. we're home. feels good. i have to say -- every time i fly into the city because the city was a city of so many blessings to me i get a little lump, a little flip-flop so when you're flying in now, coming home -- after all this place has been and nurtured to you, what does that feel like? >> michelle: first i try to trace every inch when we're flying in i try to point out all the neighborhoods, i say that's midway, i see my high school, that's mom's house. i still call it the sears tower. i don't know what the name is now -- i try to trace the outlines of my city and find all the neighborhoods.
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that's what i'm doing, i do that every time. there's the lake, and do i see -- the planetarium, and there's my school, i think i can see everything. so yeah i'm tracing my life over that city, and it always feels good. it really does. >> i was coming in tonight because as i said -- i haven't been here since the oprah show ended. >> michelle: oprah was running from the cold. [laughter] >> but coming in and all the banners around the stadium for "becoming" people lined up to come in, i was thinking about your parents, your father in particular, no one could have ever imagined from 7436 south avenue that not in a million years it would be happening. and. >> michelle: and of course i missed all that because i come in the back way through the
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freight elevator by the garbage. that has been my life -- i'm going to try, can we go out the front door? [laughter] just so i can see my sign? and they're like ma'am, i'm sorry, get in the car. you know have to say that from the first page of this book until the last you did it. you brought it, you opened yourself up, you allowed us to see in, and let us experience the fullness of you in a way that i don't think anybody has ever done before particularly who's been in the white house. it's why i chose it as an oprah's book club -- [applause] >> michelle: thank you by the way. >> you didn't need it but okay. everybody's going to buy the book anyway so i understand.
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thank you. this is the truth though. any time you're looking at life from the outside in, it always looks like life is better over there, out there, up there, and you and your father used to do with the family what my father used to do drive around,. >> michelle: take that aspirational ride. >> particularly on sunday, looking at other rich people's houses. white people. yes. and the truth is it didn't get any bigger than the white house. but what you allowed us to see is that it isn't always as it seems and that the white house is really a paradox. i'd like for you to paint the picture for us of life inside. >> michelle: the white house? i describe it as living in the fanciest hotel, and you have
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your elevator that takes you up to your room and there's a lobby where all the action is going on. and that's the central floor. what you see on tv about the white house, the state floor that's not the private residents. that's where all the official stuff goes on, where the red room, and the blue room, and the green room and all the rooms are, the east room that's the ceremonial floor. but up the next floorplan there are two more floors that are the residence. those floors are private to the families that live there. and once you get in that elevator and you come up to that floor and the elevators open and there's usually on older black gentleman in the tuxedo who has worked at the white house for decades. >> is he standing there with a drink of refreshment? >> michelle: no, just with a lovely smile. although you could have him do
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that too. i never thought of that until now. >> at any time of the day or night could you say i'd like some refreshment. >> michelle: you know, you can but then you realize, but you realize you pay for it. so they tell you you can order anything, and they listen very carefully, and everyone listens to what the president says. and i told barack, don't say you want something because then we'll have thousands of it and we're paying for it. if he said he liked some rare fish he happened to say this is delicious, and then we get the bill at the end of the expwhungt it's like you flew that fish in from china? that's fish wasn't that good. [laughter] it's like don't say you like that fish. >> everybody's getting the book today so i can see the surprise on people's faces when you hear
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them say you have to pay for it. >> michelle: a lot of people think -- they say the taxpayers are paying for it, and the truth is yes, you don't pay rent, and you don't pay for staff but everything, every dish, they would count the number of peanuts that you'd eat and charge it back. >> no. >> michelle: you'd get a bill at the end. -- it's not a awww we do live in the white house. this is not a complaint, this is something people don't understand. you pay for your sharman, you pay for the food you eat. when you're thinking i'm going to take some and put it in the purse, it's like -- we got the bill. [laughter] but all the official events are paid for. there's a bijt for that but all of our private meals, entertaining, those things were paid for. but you know that's a minor part
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of the experience. but the house is beautiful, but it is staffed and there are people there constantly. there are chefs, and butlers, and the butlers when we first came in wore formal tuxedos at all times. black men serving people in full tuxedeose, who after president and after president. the butlers are amazing. the whole staff at the white house is amazing. and one of the first things we did is how do you try to make this normal for children? bosmabecause our girls were 7 a. they were young. we were figuring out how do we keep them grounded. and we thought they cannot.
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-- when we're having pancakes in the morning it's crazy to have someone gnat tuxedo coming, when you're having girls over in a sleepover and you bring in watee tuxedeose, take those off and wear polo shirts and slacks. but other than the white house does feel like a home. i always say that a house is a house. and what you bring to the home is what makes it at home. and how we lived in that home was what i remember most. and people asked me do i miss the white house? and it's like no, i don't miss the house because we took what was important in that house with us, and it is with us. it's family, and values, and the friendships, so the house is beautiful, and it's historic, and it was an honor to live there. but, the people in it make it
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what it is. >> and you're watching book tv on c-span 2. we're in the midst of showing you portions of michelle obama's book tower across the country. she told out capital arena in washington, d.c. twice. we want to show you those appearances now. [applause] >> wow. dc. on a sunday. [applause] >> here we are this is so exciting. we are in this town that has become your town. we are with all these amazing people. and the thing i think is so extraordinary is we keep discussing is we are hire to talk about a book. it's a book isn't that something. all of these people are here because you -- >> michelle: nobody's twerking, we are reading.
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[applause] we are all reading. >> and so no costumes, and no nothing. >> michelle: no costume changes. sorry. >> we've been talking about this and i've been thinking the extraordinary presidency comes to an end, and we'll talk about transitions and swerved in life but it's time to make another transition, and what you decide you want to do is write this book. why did you do that? >> michelle: well first of all it was an assignment because every first lady is supposed to write a book and i think they've done it for quite some time. it was one of those okay, i'm supposed to now write about this. and that's one thing. and the other thing is i've told young girls i've talked about, i thought about the book and thought how many times does a black woman get to tell her full story herself in a way that is going to be read potentially by
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millions of people. so i thought to myself let me tyke this seriously i want to make sure this isn't just a chronology of things that happened in the white house. because what i've learned over the years and from my parents is that to understand 1's life you have to understand the context of it. so for people to understand what i got from the eight years in the white house, they'd have to know all of my story. they'd have to understand the neighborhood that i grew grew up in, and the family that built me and the values we were raised on, and the challenges we faced, and i wanted the book to be very readable. i wanted it to feel like a story so that people of all backgrounds and young folks of all ages could sort of follow this journey of this little girl, michelle robinson who had very much an ordinary life but took many extraordinary turns.
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and as my brother said on the cliff, i wanted my story to be an example to many that we all deserve and are worthy of an amazing extraordinary life and the stories that we have all in us. those small memories are what make us who we are. it's not the eight years in the white house that define me. that just happened to be part of my journey. so much more of who i am comes in the first three sections of this book. i wanted the people to understand that. [applause] >> and so what you've given us is a story of this extraordinary girl in a way that all of us can read into the ordinary myth of living near your cousins and having dinner at a certain time, and having a relative who is a little bit cranky, but who is still a part of the fold. all of these particulars is something that give people an
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american coming of age story. and the fact that that is a black woman's coming of age story for everyone to identify with, is an extraordinary feat. i think you've written the work of american literature for which i thank you. >> michelle: that comes a lot from my friend who is a literary amazingness person in her own right. >> it is the truth. and so this story begins with my little invisible pretend best friend michelle robinson y wish we had known each other when we were five years old. >> it would have been wonderful because you were my favorite little girl. this girl is fierce, single-minded and she has a rich interior life. she lives in a close-knit family. and you live on -- in an iconic place, the south side of
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chicago. that's right. one of america's great metropolises,. >> michelle: when i think back on my life and the community i was raised in. the truth is when you read about my community it feels like a lot of communities in this country. it was a working-class neighborhood of some people who owned homes, and some who tint. it was racially diverse when we first moved in. as you can see from my kindergarten classroom pictures there were people from all kinds of last names. we were all sharing the space together and living in a very vibrant community. and i was in and out of the homes of all these kids. we grew up in a time where if you got into some trouble you could count on the neighbor lady to call up your mother or stopping by and telling on you. and you couldn't talk back to
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the neighbor lady. you had to listen to what other adults. you had to respect what other adults in your life had to say about you. we can get an amen on that, right? but it wasn't just the people that was the sights and sounds, and we had a park down the street that had a men's softball league that played nights in the summers and i remember falling asleep in the screened in porch because we didn't have air conditions and we slept on the porch and had great nights there. falling asleep to the sounds of people cheering on their teams. we had the liquor store on the corner that sold bread and penny candy. that's where your mother sent you to get newport cigarettes, and you could get a week's worth of candy for a quarter. i remember getting -- candy.
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only recently did i realized they were now or later. and the flavor was -- the flavors were colors. i want red. [laughter] and i think like a lot of people in the working class families we lived in a community of relatives. people didn't live on their own. you live would an elder. and every elder in our family had somebody who lives with them. we lived with a great aunt in a very small house but she owned the home and allowed my parents to live there with little rent because my parents moved to the neighborhoods and put us in better public schools around the corner was my maternal grandmother who lived with an aunt around the other corner was my maternal grandfather, they were divorced but they live
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around the corner from each other merchandise you learned that didn't talk. what we thought was light years away was my father's family. they lived basically like five minutes away but it felt like a big trip when we went over to dandy and grandma's because you had to get in the car to see them. i grew up with a community of cousins, and people who probably weren't your cousins but they were your cousins. the story never got really fully explained. [laughter] how is that an auntie? they're all your cousins. -- and music was a big part of my life i write about my father who was a lover of jazz, and if you grow up with a father -- that generation that's when you played records on the stereo and you had to sit there and listen
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to them, and learn how to put the needle on the record player without scratching it. because you'd get in trouble if you scratched up your father's record. and you had to listen to the whole umbrella. you couldn't pick up and put it in the middle on the song you liked. you had to start from the beginning, and wait until your song came on. and hope that you weren't in the bathroom when it came on. like that was my song. can we start it over? no have to wait till we get to the end. >> some of that music we listen to south side -- >> michelle: i loved all the men in my life and this is something i point out because when people talk about what makes a girl strong, and a lot of times you look to the mother, and my mother definitely did that. there were strong women in my family but i was surrounded by a lot of men who loved me and treated me well and respected
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me. i didn't know -- and i didn't realize until i got older how rare that is for a young woman to grow up safe and loved by the men in her life. and that's a sad statement for us as a society, as a world quite frankly, but i was one of the fortunate ones who grew up with both of her grandfathers men who adoard me and southside, i would spend whole saturdays with him. they were working-class folks who managed without a lot of money, without degrees and connections to provide us with a home full of stability, consistency, love, guidance, values, and what they remind me and should remind everybody is it doesn't take a lot of stuff to raise good kids. [laughter] you don't have to be titled to do the job of good parenting and my parents did that.
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my father was a stationary fire men his whole life. . . essay in the book that he believed the time was the gifts you gives others. he gave gave gave. he was that person that everybody was having around. they would come and bring the girlfriend so he could check them out. they ask him for advice and he was a visitor. he visited everybody. oftentimes he dragged me along with him on a saturday where would be sitting on some plastic sofa. [laughter] some lady's house with a cup of
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seven up and i would visit and visit and visit. my dad was a storyteller. he was courageous and he also had ms. it was only part of his story. probably something i didn't realize he struggled so mightily with as a young person because my father was somebody who wasn't going to complain. he wasn't going to seek professional help with his disease which was a frustration to all of us. he was going to get up and go to work and earn a salary and we were his world. he invested everything he had in us and any other kid that came his way, so i learned to be a storyteller. i learned to be a listener, i learned to be a giver from watching him. there was my mom, marian, who was at his describe her, she had
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a neutrality in her ability to parent. she taught us responsibility an early age. we were about seven or eight when she gave us a lot of clocks. she was like, you're going to wake yourself up. that's my mom, amazing adults, not babies. she taught us how to think for ourselves at an early age. i think the thing i want to share with people, i shared in the book that i want to say about my parents is that they value our voices from an early age. we were not shushed, we were allowed to speak our minds and asked questions. they encouraged our curiosity. they told us the truth and concept of people existence. there was the crazy uncle, the funny cousin, they would explain to us that history. we could understand why they landed where they were. i because of the two of them,
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and we as my brother said on the video, were successful because of these two hard-working, good valued folks. i wish my dad could be here to see all of this. >> how about, that. [applause] before michelle, there was great. your brother who you even shared a bedroom with, what was he like as a "big brother"? how did he add to this equation of the family? >> he was my protector. i joked when i was on some show this week, because i've been on a lot. i can't even remember which one. robin robinson. he's the favorite. that's okay, he's my mother's favorite. she wanted minute but he knows it, i know it. [laughter]
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i tell her all the time, would have to do? on the first lady. i live in the white house. [laughter] i'm taking her to china, i'm like, she's meeting the pope and thanksgiving is still -- when is craig coming? [laughter] i'm like, i don't know. i don't really care. the thing is, i adore him, too. i can't be too mad at him. here's the thing, to tell you about greg. he and my father treated me as an equal. that is so important for fathers to understand about girls, is having a strong girl isn't just about having a strong mother. it's about having men in their lives who love them and respect them so when -- [cheering] when my father taught my brother to do anything, boxing or learning how to a basketball
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running basis, i was right there with him. my brother encouraged it. he wasn't like, this is not for girls. he didn't deal with that stuff. having men in my life who love me from the start and then i had a whole community of men who loved me. i have my grandfathers in my uncles one of who is here, he know who he is. [cheering] i grew up with men who took care of me and looked out for me. so my bar was really high by the time i was getting out in the world. [applause] education was also important to your family. early on, about second grade, something happened that really changed your to directory. tell us about what was going on back in those early days. >> this is also a story, this
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gives you insight into who my mother is. we grew up in a neighborhood on the south side of chicago. south shore, in the house. [laughter] we are everywhere we come everywhere. when we moved into the neighborhood, it was a mixed neighborhood. next race neighborhood. it was working-class to middle-class. one of the reasons we moved there, to go to better schools, we lived with my aunt and she was a teacher. she was able to own her own home. she was married to my uncle, he was a border. they had a stable income and able to buy a house there. the neighborhood was mixed. that meant the schools were mixed. kindergarten and first grade, my class -- i put a picture in my book to show you the diversity that was there. but what was going on in the 70s, was what we called white
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plate. my white friends i had, i had 20 of them, they started disappearing before my eyes. i didn't realize until i grew up and learned about segregation and the whole issue of pushing, folks clean out of communities as black families moved in but the neighborhood was during, starting to change. we started to feel the effects, not in france leaving but the investment. the investment in the neighborhood and we felt in the schools so second grade comes around and it was the first time i was in a chaotic classroom. racers were flying and teachers want teaching and i knew this as a second grader. i would come home with my little lunch and baloney and you came home for lunch back then. i lived around the corner. we would watch the shows.
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[laughter] i had my bologna sandwich and i would complain. i'd be like, mom, you'll never believe it. we didn't even get homework. i was that kid. [laughter] we are not learning enough in this class. how we make it a great? i was worried. [laughter] >> what we your friends think? >> we had girls that came with us. we traveled, we were all complaining. this needs to change. [laughter] you complaining. my mom did the mom thing. mmm, mmm. we thought she was listening and humoring us but. but little did we know, she was back at the school and she was making moves and what happened was a few of us got tested out into the third grade. because of my mother in the other mothers but i tell this
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story because i knew even at that age that i wasn't being invested in. as a second grader. sometimes we like to pretend that kids don't know. when they are being shortchanged and being valued. i'm here to tell you, i knew that in second grade. as we look at inequality and things are right, kids know when they are not being valued. it makes them feel that way. [cheering] [applause] i was lucky to have gotten out of the classroom and into a better classroom but that wouldn't have happened if i didn't have a parent at home who was also one of my fiercest advocates and understood the difference between whining in real distress. [applause] >> that was the former first lady during her book tour appearances in washington d.c. the booktv covered several of
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these appearances but we were only allowed to take about ten minutes of each. she also stopped in philadelphia and here she is conversation with comedian and author, robinson. >> there's so much i want to talk to you about tonight. it's life-changing. i do feel that way. it's so incredible and smart and wonderful. there's a lot of stuff i want to cover. going to come out with a topic that is a little controversial. the way we like it. pie. stick with me. thanks giving was last week. i remembered for years ago, you are being interviewed by robin roberts and she asked you this question. let's take a look. >> mashed potatoes? >> oyster stuffing. >> let's -- can we freeze back
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on that? [laughter] that's not michelle. what the hell. every woman knows that look when it comes to that. what? [laughter] people looking at this, i can't believe you just said that. did you see feel betrayal when he picked pumpkin pie? >> that barack story wade punk and pie in the robinson household, we do sweep potato. [cheering] i didn't even know there was pumpkin pie until i left home. i didn't know what that was. the concept of pumping in a pie, no. sweet potato pie. i looked at him like, you know better than that. [laughter] >> let's dive in. i want to kick off with another
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extraordinary achievement in your life that seems to never stop. your book "becoming" sold 2 million copies in the first two weeks. [cheering] >> thank you. >> incredible. it's almost christmas. [laughter] >> it's amazing. thank you. >> maybe your bestsellers list, i'm also a writer and i made that list and i know the industry like publishing, it's so dominantly white, to have someone of your stature have this success. i think really needs a lot and speaks a lot to say, people want to hear stories from everyone. how you feel like the success of your book is going to impact the street and also, i think it's
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authors of color, the woman as well who want to get to the writing game. >> i think the success of the book speaks to what i've always known about this country. this country is open to so many people and so many ways, people are curious about other people story. it's what i expect when i first campaign for barack in iowa. the notion that this little girl from the south side of chicago, with the time, was dating michelle obama married to barack going to dive into the midwest and iowa, going door-to-door and people's homes and they were opening up their homes and welcoming me around their kitchen table and what connectedness was our story. it was our shared stories the stuff i put in this book. it wasn't what degree i had or school i went to, it wasn't what
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career i had. it was always our food like? was the kitchen table conversation like? or our neighborhoods like? despite, the smells, that's the commonality that we share across this country. it is not race, it is not gender, it's not religion, it's the stories that make us who we are. the fact that this is resonated with so many different people, just reinforces what i know is true about this country. so yes, i think it is a come but a bond us, to be stop being afraid of our stories. to know that there are so many ways to live a life that is up to us to share with one another and know we will be judged, not be judged are looked upon oddly. we have to dig deep and know our story and be ready to put them on the table. hopefully there is room for more. >> excellent.
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that is amazing. [applause] we all know you have the best first lady of all time. [cheering] i said it. we know you as a public figure, fashion icon, philanthropist, a lot of things that we know about. , to go back to the beginning. as you see this little girl, chicago and your journey to how you became a cocoa police he. >> uni to explain that. >> anybody watch game of thrones? >> i'm not a "game of thrones" person, don't stone me. i've been busy. [laughter] >> michelle is a white woman but you are a cocoa police he. the number one cocoa.
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you are like -- i can't curse here. [laughter] i don't want to get kicked off the stage. >> no, no. >> i want you to take this back to you growing up. your journey, was your childhood like in chicago? tell us about your parents and how they informed you. >> i grew up on the south side and we got southside is and the south side of chicago, my neighborhood is like so many neighbors, neighborhoods. we grew up in the 70s where there was mixed incomes and folks had jobs and they took care of their lawns and they planted flowers and kids went to school and they listened to adults so when somebody told you to get off the lawn and you didn't, they were going to tell your mother and your mother would curse not, they would beat your behind.
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[laughter] for not listening to this so-and-so. we rode our bikes. i had one of those banana bikes with the seats, mine was white and purple with a big handlebars. it was a big deal, not just learning how to write to wheeler but being allowed to ride around the block. that was a big deal. he had our corner store where you could get milk and bread, we also called it the liquor store. they sold liquor but there were people who went there for the but most people went there for wonder bread. that's where he mother would send you and you could get your penny candy. back then, i used to get for a quarter, a bag of candy including your nine leaders. [laughter] i don't know if you knew, it wasn't until i was like 30 that i realized it was called now or later's. [laughter] i thought it was one word.
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nile later's. [laughter] you see on the front porch with your friends and there was a parked on the street where there was a softball league i remember going to sleep to the sound of men cheering and playing sports but we were poor. we lived in a home above a great honor because that's how we grew up on the south side. everybody lived within a five-mile radius. i had cousins around the corner. everybody lived with an elder. my grandmother lived with and onto. my grandfather lived with uncle. we were all part of this big unit where you'd gather in one place and gathering place in my family was southside for those of you who have read the book, my maternal grandfather who was like the heart and soul of the family, a lover of jazz and i would spend saturdays with them
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and his dog because i still wanted a dog. my mother didn't let me have a dog. but he let me have his dog. >> even watching former first lady, michelle obama in philadelphia on her book tour for "becoming". her memoir has become the best-selling book of 2018. telling nearly 3 million copies. presidents and her, $60 million in advance for their memoirs. booktv covered five of her appearances. the next one is from brooklyn. [cheering] >> you are fired up in here. we are in bk. this is all happening. >> hello darling. thank you for being here. >> i'm so excited to be here. we are going to have another conversation. democrats talk.
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where i wanted to start us off, is thinking about this moment in your life. here we are, all of these people are in a stadium because of a book. [cheering] have to start us there. there are so many ways that you have shared your knowledge, your grace, your power, your inspiration with your individual communities starting with the people who love you up close. moving out and reading score circles to the whole word. you are up close, it's who you are up large. it's an extraordinary thing to say. what i think is amazing about this, after the white house years is you decided to write a real book. you decided not to write a book that certain first lady marks but rather a book -- >> i would to tell you all this is an important work of american torture.
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[cheering] literature. this is a girl to womanhood story. ultimately, a story that somebody helps us know ourselves better. why did you decide that you wanted to write this kind of book when you did? >> it was the only way i could write a book. for those of you haven't read the book, what you'll see that they started to telling the story, the least important part of the book was the eight years i was first lady. that was just a part of a bigger story. for people to understand how i got there, context was important in my life because i know it's important in everyone's life. the real me of our lives, and those moments that you see the first section in the second section. the stories about real life.
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the real stories. not your stats, not where you went to school how much money you make and what kind of accusation you have. one of the sights and smells of your life? who are the people that touched you? what relationships did you have with your father? what was your first right? what was your neighbor like? what does it feel like? over the sounds? that's what makes us we are. you understand michelle obama the first lady, unless you understand me, little michelle robinson who grew up on the south side in a working class community. public schools, who had her ups and downs. [applause] here's the thing that i want people to understand, it's like, people are really interested in that part of our story. i wrote this book hopefully as a way to let people know that we need this to happen to the
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stories that we have. not only to understand those stories, to understand the journeys we all went on to get to where we are now. we have to have the courage to show them. that's when you really know people. that's when you contact into their real effort. i hope by being vulnerable about all of my life, the highs and the lows, the embarrassments and challenges and struggles, people would understand who i am. there's no need to hide that stuff. that's what connects us. my hope is that will inspire everyone to tap into their own journeys of "becoming" and share those stories of one another. >> starting as you do, on the south side of chicago,. >> you say, southside.
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>> we can only say a few times because they are talking but the new york thing, too. >> i'm ready a neighborhood. >> i love so much why claim is that childhood best friend in my mind. little michelle robinson, an amazing little girl. as you describe her, and ordinary extraordinary little girl. like so many of us. so many things about your life, cousins and extended family, having those family members who are sometimes with their feelings or anger or outside next, still the fabric of the family. listening as you write, so beautifully, striving. that's all around you. talk about that in about that world. >> my neighborhood was like most
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neighborhoods. not just in cities but in rural communities. we grew up with families. everyone lived with an elder. other with my great aunt, had another on who lived with the grandmother, another couple of aunts who lived with my grandfather, we all lived in the same community. we grew up in a time when you respected your elders even in the neighborhood. we were playing around and ran over summaries, did somebody wrong, the neighbor would tell your mother you did something wrong you mother wasn't going to cursor out for telling you, she was going to beat your behind. [laughter] you are supposed to listen to neighbor lady ex. it was a community. my neighborhood south shore was a vibrant verse community, a working-class neighborhood where
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people and their homes. it was diverse until second grade. right before white plank setting. that's when they felt comfortable living with us in our neighborhood. people like ice moved in and they fled so you can see that in my pictures. in my early great in kindergarten, you can see there are kids of all backgrounds and we all played together. we were at each other's homes and little did i know, people were whispering in her ear, realtors saying, get out. this is turning into a ghetto. run. by the time i was in a thread, the neighborhood was all black. that sort of sociological phenomenon white flight has gone on in countries and communities all over the country. i stopped here because i want us to understand that in that time, people were afraid of us.
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just hold that thought. we're going through that right now. marie are telling ourselves being told that we need to be afraid of people who don't look like us. because the same language or somehow we are to be feared. there were white folks afraid of michelle and craig and mary and fraser and southside. i want us to hold onto that. that still goes on. i'm noticing that people look at the color of your skin they think assumptions about you are. they didn't know our values are kids striving to be good. our father was hard-working, they didn't care. were running from our race. we still do that. [cheering] i grew up in what was a vibrant community but it started to become more black. we can see the deterioration you
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could feel it. you could feel in the school system as people were taking money out of the schools. you could see it in the attitude of the schoolteachers toward us. i could see it as a young child. i was a kid who would come home from second grade, all disgusted at the fact that we were learning in second grade. [laughter] i would come home and take mom, we didn't get homework again. last night. [laughter] i don't know how we are going to be prepared for third grade. this is outrageous. [laughter] i was a kid. your mother wonderfully -- >> i was raising adults. >> she was raising adults. she taught us to express ourselves. speak our minds. do it politely. at the same time, she was the mother who, because my father worked so hard, allowed the mother to stay home from work. she was one of those in school schools -- handful of others.
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she was looking out for her kids and other kids. she went up to the school because she heard my cry. she took my complaints seriously. i say this to say that pants can be advocates to some very powerful ways to kids when they are young. >> that wraps up tvs of michelle obama's book tour of her memoir book tour "becoming". if you like this would like to see them again, go to booktv.o, watch them in their entirety. >> is your booktv marks our 20th year of bringing you the country's top nonfiction authors and their latest book. find us every weekend on c-span2 more online at >> next, citizens united
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president, david bossie and former campaign manager, cory lewandowski argued that bureaucrats are seeking to undermine the presidency of donald trump. the two are interviewed by investigative journalist, sharyl attkisson of "smear". afterwards is a weekly interview interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> thank you for turning us. i thought we'd begin with the short version, a synopsis if you will -- >> i got a chance to meet donald trump. i've known the president for quite some time. i got to meet the president because i was trying to raise money for children's hospital in washington d.c. when my son had one of his major surgeries.


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