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tv   Discussion with Rebecca Traister Celeste Ng  CSPAN  December 24, 2018 3:18pm-4:35pm EST

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company david remnick of the magazine when i said i want to give up our writing go to paris and other senior crazy, she said that sounds like a really good idea. you should try something larger. you could do that. so i love and adore her. what billy martin i'm always in awe of somebody -- there's very few people who can do that. she's uncanny judgment of talent and i love and adore her and hope even after my joke i can still count on her as a good friend. thank you so much for coming. it was a delight. >> be out there will be signing his book across the hall, across the elevator if you'd like to continue the conversation.
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>> in next, the final program from the miami book fair. [inaudible conversations] >> hello. hello, good evening. welcome to the 35th edition of the miami book fair. welcome. and welcome to the session. my name is patrick here to work here at the college and i have to say a word or two about the book fair. how many of you have been two previous sessions at a book fair today? we could probably do this together. sort of like the miranda rights. give me a hand. let's thank our premier sponsors, royal caribbean, north america, the bachelor foundation and the group foundation without which we would not be able to
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hold the fair. friends in miami book fair. we have many in the crowd? let's give him a big round of applause. [applause] please consider joining the friends of miami and be a friend of the book fair. i hope you're enjoying your day here in the friendly con winds of miami dade college. this is one of our eight campuses we serve the entire county. where 165,000 students and we welcome you to come and learn new things at miami-dade college. and with that, i am going to move to our podcast. we are hosting the slate podcast life here in miami and it will be host did by hannah rosen, an arena love and grace being cauterucci. founder of display when in session. noreen malone is the features editor at new york magazine and
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kristina cauterucci a staff writer as labor she covers gender politics and culture. a few three would come onstage. [applause] give a big miami welcome. [applause] >> thank you eyes so much for coming. so great to see such a big audience. we are going to do a little intro that will probably repeat the intro that was just done but because of the podcast, our listeners at home will be hearing the intro for the very first time. so hello and welcome to thursday, november 22nd. [applause]
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i'm kristina cauterucci come a staff writer at the site and host of the state podcast outward. he was me and beautiful miami florida recorded live at the miami book for is hanna rosin. we also have new york magazine noreen malone. >> hi, how are you. >> u.s. marines first time in miami. i'd love it. i want to stay a lot longer than i'm supposed to. actually if you like this chair is or what i would think of as miami furniture in my dream miami lanai or something like that. today we are going to start off talking about sheryl sandberg, not sure if you've heard of her. facebook's el and lean an author whose dubious political dealings were the subject of a "new york times" investigation that came out this week. then we are going to chat with the last ng.
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and et cetera going to talk about her book "little fires everywhere" among other things are finally welcoming her back a trace or to the microphone to talk about her new book, good and bad, and exploration of the righteous power of women finger. we're especially excited for a segment today where we are going to be taking is it sexist questions from the audience. so you will have the entire episode to think about is that you think may or may not be sexist. you come up to the microphone right in the middle and we will make a scientific judgment on whether they are or are not sexist. so be mulling that over as you're listening to something sexist happens to you during the show, please bring it to the microphone. should we get into it? we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. where in miami and what happens in miami's days in miami.
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>> i think you're kind of attempting it. you can also ask that if you like. so sheryl sandberg became a household name in 2013 with her empowerment feminism manifesto lean in. this week i'm not sure if you read the exposé on how this book is built with russian interference in u.s. elections, other political challenges and came out looking like something of a villainous mastermind profoundly unethical operation. she used a conservative research firm as george soros funded protesters and turned around is that those protesters were anti-semitic. she tried to minimize the extent to which russian operatives have used facebook to get this information in front of users and she worried that republicans would be angry at facebook if they revealed the many pages that russia had put out.
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so i want to know what you guys think about these revelations. but i would especially like to think about how we think of them in relation to lean in and positioned herself as a curse hater and the idea that businesses will be better if women occupy half. >> so as you're giving your introduction, and your use of the word villainize. >> is that sexist? >> maybe. yes, i'll answer the question i get to the segment if kristina was sexist and your introduction. but the thing that struck me as i was reading this entire "new york times" exposé, which you should read, what am i surprised and defends the prize, why? she runs coming up, one of the biggest countries in america. what she did was utterly standard capitalist. like take down your competitors, you know, in pretty insidious ways. you know, put profits before
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decency and civic duty. try to hide -- i shouldn't say hide. try to delay the exposing of things that were going to get her company in trouble. is this villainous or is this just something that capitalist, like something that capitalist does every day. so then the natural next question is, you know, is feminism of a certain kind of capitalism of a certain kind profitable or not. >> this is always based on her philosophy. trinity was never about structural changes for women. it was about basically how can you operate as men in the workplace here that's really what it was. she gave all these interviews where she said we could focus on the people who are holding us back, but what good would that do? it's more positive to focus on
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what we can do. >> always focused on was the positive stuff. take a seat at the table. the ethos around sheryl sandberg for so many years was like to go broke. her most people. from the very beginning there were people criticizing the capitalist feminist smashup seen is what we want from our feminist theorist telling us how to more effectively spend more of our allies that work. you know, from the very beginning, i'm not surprised at all. this is actually not so different from what she was saying in "lean in" and even before "lean in" came out, she had hired a fancy pr firm near google. she had actually like really ruffled a lot of feathers when she left google to come to facebook. she hired away executives in a way that was totally against the normal practices. she was ruthless from the very
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beginning. i think a lot of people were hungry for something that would give them an individual playbook for how to operate. that's what i've been thinking about is i've always thought on the sheryl sandberg fan. this has always rubbed me the wrong way. it seems fake. it seems like i don't want to be the executive of the company and there were certain things she was advocating that seemed so foreign to being a human being and operated in the workforce. and also just ignoring the fact that if you actually want more women to succeed you can't just tell them to do things like "lean in" and get up at 5:00 a.m. to check their e-mails. effective things holding them back, which involves some kind of cross class solidarity and it's not just wouldn't happen from the women with the upper echelon telling people what to do. >> to do a lot more women to have power?
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>> es. >> they would having more power looks like. women get to have more power but they behave absolutely like benevolent socialists. is that realistic? >> that is a great question. your initial question about till it is capitalist. the two things are not mutually exclusive and that potentially is the way capitalism operates makes it even more villainous and pervasive. i think i have written plenty of articles about people who want more women on corporate boards of the great things that happened in more good governance. less fraud. all the things you want an ethical company to do. but i'm starting to think that is not the argument we want to make because that's basically saying if it's true we should say it. but women have some innate quality that makes the more
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ethical leaders. when we turn around and have a sheryl sandberg it becomes what does this say about women's leadership? the fact that she made herself this icon of corporate feminism, gives the rest of us a little bit of disservice because we are forced to place or within the context of feminism or i don't she belonged in the first place. >> interesting come on though put herself there. maybe by many people in this audience and you're in the question-and-answer session is like an inspiration. i mean, i see people not even the audience. cheryl samberg was an inspiration. i remember i do a lot of home exchanges and i remember twice at home exchanges with my family and open the closet door of the women's house. home exchanges like you switch houses of people. >> you do that just for fun? >> es. in a different city.
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it's free and we get a car and everything. so, into closets of the women who have cut out "lean in" in the inspiration is there certainly is original to many women and so i don't know where that was going. it is self-help. self-help using the language of feminism. when most people go into the work place they're not thinking hot today can i make things structurally better for women. they're trying to get through the day and do better for yourself. you're trying on an individual level to mentor people in your office or just be quietly a good forest for women. you're probably not going to be able to solve feminism in your own office and certainly not across the country. "lean in" why not? if you're going to center
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capitalists in the office, you send your capital positioning yourself as we have seen her do. there's one interpretation of what she's done if you read the details of this article, which is protect the kind of profits of that company. is that how you should spend your capital or could you possibly spend your capital petitioning your boss to have slightly more generous -- i don't know, there's lots away. >> you could. that figure 33 years old want to get promoted at work and you become the person is complaining about women's benefits day in, day out. you might not get promoted. >> that's the structure and were the people that toppled not think kindly. >> train to explain the appeal of it, if you're operating the world, even if you care about the cause and think of it as a cause, it just might not be as applicable to your daily life is thinking about how mentorship happens in thinking about whether they been doing in this
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office that i am not doing. >> but then -- okay, so in the conclusion of this conversation, this feminism defined as individual self empowerment is a mistake. >> i think that's sort of like a category error. it's a movement of solidarity i think. so it is sort of difficult to say individual self empowerment is feminism. sure it can operate within feminism, but i don't think -- >> i think it matters which are being empowered to do. the title of her movement, "lean in," doesn't tell us what were supposed to be leaning into anything she has leaned into some really unsavory practices that are destabilizing democracy and, you know, bad for women in the end. and i think not that facebook would have been a feminist
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company had she acted differently, but i think there is a certain -- when you're talking about being covered in your own life and i think it an easy step to them like that trickle into how you're operating your. i'm also curious whether people who are fans of cheryl samberg who've cut out "lean in" and put it in their closet every morning will be inclined to defend her, will be disillusioned by these revelations. or whether she's just another leader of another company and not the way they do things. >> i think people will be disillusioned. >> some people might say this is what she do. like you guys are being naïve. she's one of the most powerful businesswomen after pretty much in america with a tremendous amount of power and what do we expect? just to turn us a little bit
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like icing that one possible interpretation of both "the new york times" article on this conversation is that it's a little bit sexist and we are putting women in a trap by being surprised, you know, when they have a tremendous amount of power and are put in a situation where they have to defend their company and they do just that. so there is always this pressure. the way that "the new york times" article unfolded, she was a mommy and he was a baby. she made all the decisions and she was all prepared. ask mommy the question. but that's not the way we rolled out the story. it was like whoa she's a woman and she has a certain ethical responsibility and so we kind of like, i don't know -- i don't and she has a specific ethical responsibility, but because she has this older other side of her personality how women should conduct themselves in the work place we are forced to interpret their actions is something
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weaker than what she did. which is ironic because her whole thing is just do what's right for you. she does have a lot to say about mentorship and women have created circles where they mentor each other. so i don't want to say it's just about her, but i think there's a bit of a blind spot in terms of -- a willful blind spot in how her actions affect other people. >> can i say a little about "lean in" circles? >> i really have not. >> how many people have been to a "lean in" circle? do not invoke any more. ask your male friends how they would go about asking for a raise. ask them how they would conduct themselves in a situation and i find that so much more helpful. if your eyes are open, they don't feel bad about this at all. if you're going to copy the men, actually copy the men.
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>> lord give me the confidence of a mediocre white men. i suggest that anyone do this. pick a literal person in your work place. i have someone in my work place. he doesn't know who he is. before i go to last for razor advocate for myself and him why, i think what would this do? he's got what i think of as a little unearned privilege. i become a little more confident when i think about that. i could also just asking. you're right. >> you're right. i do think that "the new york times" article was written a little bit this way, so not sure how much was the writer's decision and how much is the truth or how much is the way their sources interpret things. but you know are we treating her with a per-share basher treating her more harshly than mark
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zuckerberg because she's a woman. i feel a thinker within as i do with her. >> you to go to the article the person to be really mad at is joy kaplan was making a lot of decisions alongside cheryl sandberg. >> who hired him? didn't cheryl sandberg? so i think yes there probably is an element as sexism to the way zuckerberg is allowed to be a child at 34 and sandberg was hired at 38 to be the adult in the room. not much difference between those ages. but her job is to be the manager of the company. this does all fall under her purview. he didn't hire her because he knew she was bad at this stuff and she did what she was supposed to do pretty effectively. it seems like she was actually kind of checked out at certain points when she was providing another book. what she was supposed to do was to prevent this all happening. for a while she held it off and
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she went to congress. she wrote thank you notes for every congressman. she was very prepared. >> you consider that emotional labor? she sees that -- that is part of what makes her so good. there is no evidentiary supercharging -- charming the correct in the she approaches people. but that is her approach. >> and she travels with an entourage of 10 or 12 people the article says. one of them whispering in her ear. i think that's all the time we have for sheryl sandberg. i'm really curious to hear from our listeners if there's any people who are involved in "lean
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in" circles are fans of hers and what they think. if you're listening you have thoughts, e-mail us. next up, we are so excited to welcome celeste ng to the show, author of the 2014 novel everything i never told you. her second and most recent novel "little fires everywhere" came on in 2017. i recommended it on the show a few weeks back. it's a brilliant book. please welcome to the stage, celeste ng. [cheers and applause] thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me on. we read your book. i loved in particular the way you write about motherhood in the book. one of my favorite spot lines in the novel is the one about this young chinese immigrant who
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gives birth to a baby girl because she's living in poverty and oppressed in any number of fact there is she leaves the baby at the fire station, the likable traits to adopt a baby. she takes them to court. one of the thing i love best about the plot line is my sympathies were drawn in multiple directions in there didn't seem to be an easy answer to these questions. how do you think about this question and how do you hit the sympathies and those ways? >> that was really what i wanted. when i was writing the book, he was about five. he was really in the age but to the good guys are the bad guys are. it is important to talk to them about the idea that bad guys don't think they're the bad guys.
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and it means that he has to understand how others see in the world in order to understand why they would see these things. when i wrote this book, really didn't want there to be a villain. and i wanted to be complicated. i don't have answers to this but i want to make people think may be i wanted to be complicated. >> the other two moms i thought about a lot, everything in it plays. she's not the worst. like she has sort of cultivated curiosity against america and it does make her worse these days. you know, but she's not like a stepford wife character. she sort of likable and has wonderful children and all that. but there is as chaos and free spirit and free spirit pays the
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price in chaos mom, order mom pays the price and free spirit monck and pay the price. i thought a lot as a writer, you know, as a writer/mother come in each of those you think of them as all mothers are split between those two. so they were extreme in the book. >> one of the jobs of the writers to take a real-life situation entirely to 11 sodas geek. but i really think of them as being different sides of the same coin. people ask me which mother are you? and the answer is i'm really kind of both his ways. i am in order muppet myself. i write things in order. and i think that's the dichotomy
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especially if they become parents and how much do i break those rules are changed those rules are and the space that i'm expanding the space my children have. so for me, it's like a movie straight. if you follow it all the way around you, the other side. i heard from a lot of readers that they think billion richardson is kind of doing everything raunchy so rigid, but rigid in her own way. i mean, she kind of takes a hard line did not ever setting boundaries and not ever focusing on anything. >> sorry, for readers who have not read your book, can you give us a 22nd summary and then i'll ask you -- >> her older sister was in my class. we covered this well after. >> and then i wanted to ask you about the setting. you chose there because you're
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from there, her what she thought set up the political her identity themes. >> let me give you to send in some of the book. so the book takes place in shaker heights, ohio, which is a suburb of cleveland, where i grew up in many other people, but it's a pretty small town. it was a really great place to grow up. it's very progressive generally speaking. it's really focused a lot on racial diversity. one of the reasons my parents moved there. when i was in high school is almost 50/50 black-and-white and for comparison the town to the east was 93% white in 7% nonwhite and the town directly to the south was like 97% black. it was really unusual for that and we talked a lot about race. so one of the families in this
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town, the richard simmons at the heart of the book are the mothers the journalists we talked about. father is a lawyer that got four kids. a single mother and her teenage daughter come to town. mia warren and her daughter, pearl. they move around a lot. they're really sort of at odds with the community and the family and these two families get mixed up with each other and their split over and adoption battle. the asian american baby is being adopted by a white couple. these two moms find themselves on opposite sides and that's when all of these are secrets and conflicts are to come around. and so i was particularly interested in sorted the blind spot that you saw where we talked so much with her growing up about the value of diversity and what that could bring, but just talking about it is an imperfect thing obviously. >> yeah, so shaker heights makes
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a really conscious effort to talk about issues of race. it's something i didn't appreciate until after i moved away. i went to college and people said you had to race relations group at your high school? it was kind of like a cool club to join in some ways. he would meet every few weeks then go and talk to kids in elementary schools and you would say okay, like what is the stereotype? how did we form and pass them. we are talking about a lot of diversity. i didn't realize that was the case until i went away. they think like many people after i'd been away for 10 years i started to look back with a slightly different perspective. i could be all the things that were really good and i appreciated and then also sort of weird and quirky and i had not been normal until he went away. >> so by by setting the book in a town that's actually doing things well, relatively well
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being kind of conscious about race in teaching kids very different from his groundings, making another and yet the thing that goes wrong is racial tension. what is -- like what is the idea? >> why do that? >> it seems important. like we do talk a lot now. there is unconscious bias, like white privilege. they're sort of like the people with the good intentions are the people we shine the spotlight on. so i'm just curious what motivated you to set it there as opposed to one of the towns that didn't. >> how good intentions can take you and are a substitute results may be. shaker heights does a lot of talking about this, but it still has problems with race. even when i was there in the
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90s and i stayed until college, there was still a lot of discussion if you went into the cafeteria, you would see the tables have basically self segregated themselves. they would be tables largely white kids in largely black kids. same with classes. ap classes were largely way. if you went into sort of the college general classes, a lot of them were students of color. it was something that even with all of their efforts, there was still a divide. i wanted to kind of look at how even when you have the best intentions but sometimes not necessarily enough. >> i'm curious about the responses you got it back, especially people from your hometown. >> i was really nervous about it because i was supposed to go at the beginning of the tour and for scheduling reasons we got bumped to the end. the last stop on a book tour. every single stop before that, like every reading, so, what do people in shaker heights think
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about your book? the more they ask him of the more i thought about it. >> sorry for asking the question. >> the story has a happy ending and that i was supposed to go and give the reading and they actually had a lot of interest and we have 800 people, and so we moved it to the auditorium, the middle-school, my middle-school. it was very weird the last time i was there it was in the orchestra is standing in the aisle and i had to play a whole new world from aladdin. they had me in the green room backstage and they have the desks, the little chair in the desk attached to it and i had to sit there and i was again feeling like i was in middle-school. >> that's the subject of your next book. >> the trauma of middle-school and flex on you. some of which i remember it from
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being in middle-school. it was like throwing me into the deep end of my teenage years. but the people mostly had seen the book i think the way i wanted it to be seen, which was a loving portrait of the place i care about the really shape me, but that also is kind of honest about its blind spots is what you are saying. that even though we're trying come we don't always necessarily get it right because for human. and i think in a lot of ways that's a very shaker heights way of looking at things. we don't get it right, but we're going to keep trying. >> i know you're catholic, but the whole thing is so quaker. >> yeah, the shakers were a religious group. i went into this rabbit hole of research, which any writers will know if you spend a lot of time researching things with the very small part works its way into the final product. the shakers never actually lived
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in shaker heights. they didn't film the community because it's one of their main celibacy. so basically after a while they died out. and shaker heights was built on the land where they used to live. but there is a lot about the philosophy of the shakers, the religious group that explained a lot about shaker heights to me. that they really were idealists. they were in a lot of ways ahead of their time and basically communists. they believed in gender equality and at the same time there were also really kind of uptight for lack of a better word. that explains so much to me. it's very much how i think about shaker heights, to come a weird combination of those two things. >> i know a lot of clubs all over the world have read your book. i'm wondering what she think it is about your book that makes groups of people, often groups of women want to discuss it. like what makes the book interesting to book clubs?
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>> i think books that start conversations seem to be the main thing. it doesn't even have to be everybody in the book club loves it. i think there is something about a book asking questions that people answer in different ways and people sort of connect their own experiences and say okay i fell along with this character and can also say i hated that character. what makes a good book club book is not actually does anyone care about it or love it, but just that there's something about it that touches a nerve for them that for them that makes them want to go and talk about it with other people. i don't know what it is about my book. it may be one of the things that's looking not his sort of the very big question about what makes a good mother and really kind of electrified question and one that i'm not sure there is a good answer for but that we put a lot of weight on culturally.
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>> also like race, motherhood, community, class. >> also with the role of art is. >> there's so much in the book to think about. >> i know you're also a mother. were you working through some questions yourself as you are writing? >> i mean, yeah. that is sort of what happens in all of my work. it's not that i'm directly in any of it, but i have this questions about two mothers, one who's taking the more well trodden path. she works an office job and then there's this other mother who is kind of, she sort of sacrificing a lot for her art and she sacrificed in a lot of her child's future for her art. as a person in the arts, i sort of wonder am i doing the right thing? maybe i should stop going on book tour, coming to book festivals and i should the home making the cookies and making his lunch and enriching his afternoons after school. it's that kind of push and pull that i'm still working out at
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probably the next project will be working on now, too. >> outside your novel he waded into this such heated thing about asian women, white men, marriages. this is a story read a new york magazine. it's really interesting. can you talk a little bit about just all of it. >> i sort of chuckle when you said i waded into it because i felt like i was standing well inland in this very large wave came and splashed over me. you can even explain mass. i have learned that to my dismay there is a small but very vocal contingent of particularly asian men who are very angry at a lot of asian women, i'm sensibly because they are married to non-asian men. so i'm married to a white man. they periodically comment me on twitter or elsewhere and call me terrible names in comey race
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traitor and tell me that my son is going to grow up to become a shooter because he is going to be mentally imbalanced. and really horrible stuff. sporadically popped into my inbox from a website or a good messages on twitter. they just felt like e-mailing me that day. so this has happened for a long time. i was startled by this because i don't think of myself as asian man that i love dearly. but it is something that i hadn't expect it to deal with him fairly recently i got an e-mail that was kind of vicious about my son and i was frustrated and i put it on twitter because it seemed like the gold that was to make me be quiet and i didn't feel like being quiet about it anymore. a lot of asian women came to me and said actually we've been harassed in similar ways by the same people. and they said actually there is
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a similar dynamic that this happened in the black community and élan. i ended up writing this piece from new york magazine because it seemed like something nobody wanted to talk about. there was the shame of feeling like i must've did something wrong. i think that the roots of it really are misogynist rather than racial. it does seem to have this idea of these are women and you're taking them from us. and there's something that we owe them publish generally has to do with sex in our bodies and we owe it to them because interestingly they are totally fine with asian men dating women. they have a lot of really complicated theories about why that's okay, but it's not okay for asian women to date white men. you can fill in for yourself what this is. the article as well as me going into the recesses of some internet discussion site, which i don't recommend to anybody. but it was interesting to see that there were echoes in what a
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lot of these small subgroup of asian men are not like this at all, but that they are using language that echoes that of white supremacists. they're talking about racial superior d. they prefer to whitewashing your genes and eugenics. it was startling to me talking about the culture that worry now that seems to be in the water right now, that feeling -- i don't even know what to call it. >> yeah, genetic purity or white supremacists for the series that originate. fear of being a race. i keep coming back to back from charlotte bill. you will not replace us. >> it is a fear that they're going to be bred out of existence. i read an interesting article recently that a lot of it mounts
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very neatly into places where there is a huge exodus of women for economic reasons, but that now a lot of demand are outnumbered two to one are voting for the really far right part and i think that you can sort of separate the issue of gender. >> yeah. >> thank you so much for sharing. i think that's all the time we have. please read "little fires everywhere." and thank you so much for your time, celeste. great to talk to you. [applause] >> already, next up we have marines colleague, rebecca traister, writer at-large for new york magazine and contributing editor. she's the author of big girls
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don't cry and most recently come the good not come a book about the political and historical acts of women finger. we are so psyched to have run the show. please welcome him rebecca traister. [applause] >> thank you so much. i want to immediately get back into the previous two conversations. i want to talk about this. >> you could have been like voice of god on the microphone back there. so your book is about women finger. i've been feeling a little bit of that lately. they're reading your book it made me feel like i was a part of something. i have to say the anger that i've been feeling around brett kavanaugh and it comes in waves. some days i won't feel as angry about trump. some days i'll feel very angry. some days i'll be curious about me too, some days i'll be happy. for me it doesn't always feel powerful. it feels nauseating, paralyzing.
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sometimes it feels energizing and vital and it's not a fun feeling and you're telling us they can be this fertilizer the seeds of political and social change. so how have women taken that nauseating part. >> so, the book again doesn't necessarily -- my argument was inherently powerful and that you can immediately recognize your anger is the thing that's going to lead you to the forefront of the transformative social movement that will look back on as having altered the nation permanently. it's more like considering my gas in my book doesn't comment this exactly from a personal psychological respect was published a couple weeks before my and it's wonderful tackling the individual feeling of it, the nausea, the horror, the frustration.
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in part, that i think is tied up with the way that women's anger -- often anger at inequity and injustice. .. >> to have people listen to you and take it seriously and say why. then have that anger treated as
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diagnostic in the way we are more likely to treat the anger of white men right as politically diagnostic. in the midst of 2016 coverage that told us again and again correctly that the anger of working class white men in the midwest was something that politicians needed to take seriously. this is true. why? because it told us about the issues that needed to be addressed, unemployment, rampant drug addiction, lack of access to affordable healthcare, the drying up of certain professions, right, their anger was something that political campaigns and candidates had to have taken seriously, and if they didn't, it was a failure because it pointed us to the things that are broken. and that's right. but we don't take the anger of other kinds of people and treat it as instructive in that same way. and so if we're feeling some of that anger that we know is not going to earn us a story, you know, on the front of the paper that says why aren't we taking christina's anger seriously and pointing us toward all the things that are broken, that can make us -- that can be part of
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what feels corrosive and make us feel sick to our stomachs. >> yeah. >> do you feel like the anger around me too has not been taken seriously? >> no, i think it has been. i think one of the things that i'm sort of paying attention to is the fact that we are hearing women's anger differently for reasons that are complicated because a lot of it is the anger of white suburban women or white wealthy women, and that was something that's really important about how the hashtag me too movement erupted in the fall of last year is that it came from women who had risen to the top of a white patriarchal system. some of the women that initially told their stories about harvey weinstein having assaulted them. i was thinking about it when
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talking about cheryl sandberg is this notion of whether you tell women how to navigate patriarchy and get to the top of it. for those women who sort of win at white patriarchy, whether it's gwyneth paltrow, hilary clinton, christine blasey ford, part of what we have seen over the past few years is those women nonetheless being punished, oppressed, attacked or losing within that white patriarchy. >> that's so interesting, the thing you said totally crystallized about me is about how people take it seriously so they think they have to respond to it. i hear what you are saying about white women. but maybe it also has to do with the collective nature of it because it's a thing that happened during twitter and so there was a collective anger, and what happens to women is like what happened to women in sort of how everyone women feels like she has to, you know,
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figure out like mother issues herself in the workplace -- there's this way where every anger becomes individual and you are individually judged for anger but something about the movement's instant collective nature made it impossible not to respond to in some way. >> right. i think that's actually one of the useful things about expressing anger. so many of the social and individual personal messages that we're taught from the time we're children and outside of political context is to not express our anger. if we speak angrily and raising our voices, like, if you raise your voice, if you're aggressive, then people are going to hear you differently. you may not get that raise. if you're a woman of color and you get angry for being pulled over for nothing, you have every right to be angry, you take a terrible risk if you get mad at your arresting officer; right? there are very real penalties placed on women for expressing their anger. then there are small social ones like people are going to, you know -- they are not going to
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want to be around you. if christine blasey ford had raised her voice in anger, she probably would have been arrested, right? we can't envision a world where she could have responded -- but, in the instances where anger or resistance or dissent is expressed, it can be incredibly connective for people. one of the reasons that i think the expression of women's anger is discouraged, the expression of anger of marginalized people is because in addition anger being divisive and destructive, and it has those qualities, it can also be connected f. you raise your voice in anger -- if you raise your voice in anger, then you become audible to other women that might be angry about the same thing but have been thinking all this time they were alone angry themselves. i heard that process described over and over again -- i write about this in the book -- when i went to report last summer on the white suburban women in atlanta then organizing around a race. many of them had been in conservative communities where they had voted democratic for a long time and were angry about things but had kept it inside because they didn't want to be the skunk at the party. they didn't want to mess up the
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neighborhood dynamic. everybody was conservative. they didn't even put lawn signs out. and they felt that their politics were weird. they felt that their anger was out of place. they sort of directed it inward. and then after the election, they got so mad that they couldn't keep it in anymore and they kind of screamed or cried or whatever, and when they did, they realized that a woman two doors down was angry about the same thing, had been their neighbor for 30 years and they had never spoken about these things but then they started talking, and then like they went to a meeting and then they have devoted every minute of their spare time ever since working for stacey abrams. anger and the expression of it made them discernible to each other. anger can be connective in it makes you feel less alone and part of a collective. >> although -- as i was reading your book, i was thinking about what anger is authentic, how is it channelled, how does steve bannon use it. it was when there were unions
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collective anger coalesced and directed in a particular direction, that's not the white working class male anger now because there isn't any union through which you can sort of direct it and channel it up. it is very individualistic, but what i feel like men are really good at the theater of anger because when brett kavanaugh actually lost it, we were like whoa, dude, like -- >> we were -- and the same with lindsay graham, and when he supported to kavanaugh with anger, people who supported him were energized by that. >> his anger was the theatrical version of kavanaugh -- he was doing theater of anger which people are cool with men doing but brett kavanaugh was like -- [laughter] >> i think the force that intersects with these different kinds of anger and explains to some degree how they are useful is power. the power of a white working class organizing in a labor movement is an anger that is directed at the more powerful; right? it is about an expansion of
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opportunity and challenging a system that is depriving the people who are angry of something; right? but the anger of a white working class right now, again, a community that is economically in trouble, and i'm not denying -- but the actual direction of their anger isn't at the more powerful. it's not at the republicans. it's not at capitalism. it's at -- it's actually they are taking an anger of the powerful about their status that has been challenged. they perceive that their status has been challenged. you know -- >> i don't think they are doing anything. i'm just thinking about how their anger is manipulated. like their anger has been repackaged through info wars, right wing sites, steve bannon, that's totally patronizing what i'm saying but i think it is true that their anger has been packaged and put into a story which is sort of everywhere and picked up. it is not their own in some weird way. >> that's interesting. >>i think there are people who have bought perhaps a story fed
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to them by someone else, that an immigrant is taking their job, even though an immigrant hasn't taken their job, their job has been replaced to china, but i don't think that's a false narrative necessarily, otherwise, you know, these people are speaking with their votes and they are voting for people like ron desantis. >> has women's anger been packaged in that way? you could make an argument sort of -- women's anger on behalf of a white patriarchy, is absolutely -- pretty much the only kind of women's anger is -- now, we are in a period where we're celebrating, acknowledging, listening to women's anger differently, that's in part the thing that i'm writing the book about. that's the anger of maria gallagher in the elevator yelling at jeff flake was an anger that was received extremely warmly and powerfully. it went viral. it channelled something for women who were not in that elevator. it was the polar opposite of kind of the rhetorical range that was offered christine blasey ford. but historically the kind of
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women's anger that's been held up as a model has been anger that's been deployed on behalf of fundamentally conservative i would argue regressive politics on behalf of a white patriarchy. so that's the anger of right wing women. that's the anger of fox news anchors who, you know -- >> but is that anger or theater of anger >> that's the question. we are asked to -- i think sometimes right wing anger is real anger. -- genuinely angry at the disruptions to sort of social order that had been made by second wave feminism. she got an army of also i think authentically angry white women. i think that a lot of the white women who stood on the front lines and objected to the integration of schools were angry at the disruption of a social order. so i do think that some of that
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anger is real. do i think that sarah palin was -- i mean, remembering going to her rallies in 2008 and her talking about how obama was going to take the guns and we had to -- he's going to come into your house in the night and take your guns away. yeah, i think there was some -- was it anger? >> not fear, you don't think of that as fear m. >> i think it was playing on fear. but the way she was saying it is i'm a real american, and i'm going to make sure this doesn't happen. >> when you talk about the women who yelled at jeff flake in the elevator, i had a reaction watching that. that was like, you know, like, oh my gosh this is so uncomfortable for me to watch. i feel awkward. i feel all the ways that the patriarchy has told me to feel about women's anger. >> do you know what we're talking about by the way? okay cool. >> i'm so glad to see so many
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people nodding heads. the video went viral. >> do you think it was because they were in an elevator? >> part of it was he was so awkward. hearing one or two people yelling and sort of realizing that the subject of their anger is not walking away so they have to think of more things to yell. i felt so uncomfortable watching. i love the way you wrote in your book the anger of me too exploding in unpredictable ways and unpredictable directions that can feel unsafe as a woman who is invested in feminism for self-interest reasons and philosophical reasons, like, where is this going? are people being too angry? should we have put names on the list? is that sort of volatility and unpredictability part of the power? is that something that happens all of the time when people get angry? >> i make this argument in the book about how the challenged power is perceived as disruptive
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dangerous because it is. that power operating in one direction is just power. but if somebody's going from the bottom and challenging the top, that's when we get talked about as a mob, as a witch hunt. and i feel the same way that you -- >> can you explain that? sorry, i didn't understand that. >> yeah, so one of the things that i've sort of become obsessed with, thinking about how challenge works or violence works. i actually first started thinking about in 2015 when freddy gray was killed by police in baltimore. he was an african-american man who was taken on a rough ride in a police van and he later died from his injuries. and there were protests in response. and i at the time was writing a column and i was reading all this coverage, and all the coverage said the violence began when protesters threw rocks. and that was a big sort of
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revelation moment for me because it was the first time how i understood when violence -- this is distinct from anger but i think related -- that when violence happens in one direction, when it is the police who kill a black man in baltimore, it is so normalized actually. it is so part of how we understand power and power abuses to work, that it's not even discernible as the commencement of violence. it's the throwing of the stones by people whose only power is to throw stones in that scenario that is comprehensible as disorder and disruption, and that's how the violence commences. >> so you are saying we don't recognize structural -- things that happen within an accepted structure as violence, that we don't recognize structural violence or violence is that -- is that what you are saying? >> yeah, that we normalize all kinds of things that happen when they come from the top down, various forms of abuse, punishment. we don't sort of bat our eyes at
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them, or we might write critically about them in newspapers, but the ease of characterizing -- caricatureizing something as violent, chaotic, disruptive, there is another example very recent which is the way that the women screaming as they took the vote on brett kavanaugh was -- that was the mob, and we were all told that the backlash to that kind of -- it was a mob, and donald trump compared them to arsonists, and he wasn't alone. you know, i had all the references a few weeks ago right it happened. somebody on fox news called them screaming animals. it was a mob. and that was an instance in which this man who had been alleged to have committed a violent assault as a young man, but who also was going -- was being pushed through to sit on the court to have enormous power, the only power that women had in that moment. they were being voted over. they were losing. the only power they had was to
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yell. but the very act of yelling was framed by politicians and by many in the media as risky, disorder, chaotic, scary, and lots of people even in the left media were like oh my god this is going to create a backlash because these angry protesters are going to be viewed negatively and the right is going to benefit from it. there was a lot of commentary that suggested that that might happen because that was the disorder and that was very true of me too. so all of the abuse that was being objected to was something that had just happened normally for as long as there's been people in power. but when we started in radical ways to object to it, to yell about it, to put people's names on lists, it was dangerous because it was a reversal of how power supposed to work. and the people -- and it was. then it was a witch hunt. then it's every day of my life i get asked is me too gone too far? and poor matt damon. what has happened to matt damon because people were very
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critical of matt damon on the internet after he said some condescending things about the me too movement. and everywhere i go, truly -- i mean not everywhere, but many places i'm asked about the horrors experienced by matt damon. >> there goes my next question. [laughter] >> because the challenge is so -- like, when the people who are -- who have less power deploy it in dissent or resistance to the way a power structure typically works, it does create chaos. the answer to the question that you asked many minutes ago is i do think we need chaos. if you want to change the system, i actually do think -- and by many measures i feel like an incrementalist within an electoral system, i'm anxious things like revolution because i think the most vulnerable people are likely to suffer, but i also think that we need -- like, if we don't create chaos and
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disorder, then it means that the system staying intact, and it is the system that is built around all kinds of biases and inequities that many of us are octobering to -- many of us are objecting to. >> one of my favorite parts of your book is when you talk about the fear of backlash. you quote kaitlyn flanagan at one point -- she's in favor of the me too movement. she's very afraid of the scenario that anger will consume it. this doesn't follow directly from that, but you have a friend who called you up after some positive electoral results i think and says maybe we're the backlash. maybe what we're doing is the backlash against this culture. i kind of love just that reframing. it actually helped me think through this a lot. i have been too sitting on my hands waiting for it to come and thinking about it this way is really helpful for me. >> i think we often think of these things as distinct moments. i do this too. like during me too, i was just waiting for the moment that me
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too ended and the backlash started, like there was going to be a solid break. and the thing, one of the things in learning the history that i've been writing about in recent years is that it's always -- there's always forward motion and backward pressure all the times, and they are always working against each other. we sort of tell ourselves neat lies about distinct periods and distinct victories, when in fact the story of progress and alteration to this country's structure has been one that has been going on for two plus centuries, and we are still engaged in the very same fight, even if we don't want to fight for enfranchisement and equality and participation and representation, we are actually still engaged in these fights that have been going on for centuries, and we have -- these are pernicious lies we have told ourselves that those fights have been won. >> i think that's all the time we have. thank you very much. [applause] >> it was so great to have you on. >> thank you.
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[applause] >> i hope everyone is fired up now to talk about things that are and are not sexist. the mic is hot. ready for your questions. raise your hand if you have one, and if not -- oh, okay, great. otherwise i was going to come up with one. can this woman go first? i think a lot of times it is -- yeah, thank you. >> i have been coming to your book fair for so many years and i have never done this before. >> so glad you came up to the mic. [applause] >> i wanted to ask about nancy pelosi. just had over hundred women elected to congress, which is a great thing. and now many of them are opposing the election of nancy
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pelosi as speaker of the house, now that democrats have the majority again. is that sexist? >> you've asked us a really difficult question. i'm so happy we are going to go on the record about this. >> i think it is sexist because i think nancy pelosi is trapped in a weird like hall of mirrors. it is like she's got this imagery that she's like the ultimate -- like she's become this kind of easy punching bag. i never understand why anybody even knows nancy pelosi's name. why is somebody in like, you know -- like why is somebody in the middle of the country where she's so far away from them, she's become a symbol, largely because of fox news >> because she's the most powerful democratic woman now that hilary clinton is gone. >> she's a coastal elite, san francisco -- >> it is all imagery, though. it really has nothing to do with her. it is just like what she is a symbol of and what the right has made her a symbol of. and i think gender plays a big part of that.
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hillary is the queen scold mommy and she's the princess scold mommy. it is imagery. >> i think she's being most opposed from the right by a lot of men. a lot of the people who have actually gone on record to say we have this caucus of people who are trying to unseat nancy pelosi are men and they are coming at her from the right. there are also people coming at her from the left. her voting record is more progressive than average for democrats in congress. i think just the fact that she is in a visible position of power. she was the speaker of the house for a while. like, i don't think it is that weird. we know who mitch mcconnell is. we know who paul ryan is. >> but what if she were a man, let's do that thought experience. she's actually incredibly power, but if it were a guy from san francisco, who's in that position, like liberal, coastal elite, more liberal voting record than most people in congress, would it be any different? would the guy by as much of a
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punching bag? >> well, take away the coast and then you've got al franken; right? >> uh-huh. >> is he a punching bag on the right? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> so is it sexist? should we do a calculation or should we give a thumbs up, thumbs down? >> calculation. >> let me get out my calculator. >> or we can just give numbers. >> i'm going to say on a scale from 1 to 10, not sexist to sexist, it's a 6.7. [laughter] >> i'm going to say a 7. >> 7. >> you really screwed yourself on the math there. >> it's 6.9 sexist. there's your answer. thank you for a great question. there's someone else. [applause] >> hi. >> hi. so we recently had an election in florida. >> i hadn't heard about it. [laughter] >> and a big block of voting was
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women, but specifically white women. and i know trump got 53% of the white women vote. desantis got 6 points of the white women vote. and scott got 4 points of the white women vote. so my question is, and i don't know if this is necessarily on the topic of sexist. >> but is it racist? >> is the g.o.p. platform more geared towards specifically white women, and if not, is it a pr issue for the democrat platform? or is it like nancy pelosi being in power for particularly a long time where you are so far in where you are backing a villain not do to her own achievements but because she's been there for
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a while, but you also have people like cortez coming up where she's not even in congress yet. i would just in general terms, how is the democratic platform looking at this? or is the g.o.p. platform really the platform for women? >> are you asking whether the democratic party is not attracting enough white women? >> is it an advertisement issue? is it the platform itself? >> i think that it's more like the republican party is doing a really good job advertising itself to white people. and i think, you know, rebecca traister writes really about this in her book, i think. the very real sort of price that white women are willing to pay in order to retain -- to protect their white, you know, husbands and brothers and fathers and also themselves by voting for a party that is willing to stand up behind somebody like donald trump.
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>> i also heard about proximity association with white women and white men being that the white men as a power structure by sort of keeping that, they still get 70% of the success of the white men -- >> what is or isn't sexist here? >> if you wanted to from time to time this is it sexist question. the question would be is it sexist to judge white women for voting republican? we're not going to answer it. we answered in the show two weeks ago. it is complicated. we did a great breakdown of the women, working class women versus married women. that's the question. do we have incorrect expectations that we expect oh my god if you're a woman, you must be a democrat so we judge women or horrified when they vote republican, the reason they vote republican is because they are republicans. that to us is horrifying.
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>> maybe they are republican because they are white >> that's true too. >> thank you very much for the question. can we do one more? >> one more, last one. okay. hi. >> [inaudible]. >> is that sexist? i don't think so because i don't think white feminism is feminism. i don't think that the phrase white feminism applies to every white person who is a feminist. i think it applies to a specific brand of feminism that ignores the very real differences -- the different ways that women experience sexism based on their race. so i don't think it is sexist. >> yeah, i think that's right. >> that is a great question, though. thank you for asking. all right. that's the time for us. thank you guys so much for all the great [applause] . >> really interesting. we just have a couple minutes. we're going to do our
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recommendations now. >> okay. >> who wants to go first? >> i will go first. i'm going to recommend because i'm in florida, home coming, which is the amazon show posted on a pod cast. it has fabulous characters played by jewel julia -- julia roberts. one of the great characters in the show is florida which sneaks into the show which is like a bird will suddenly fly through a window. the main thing about florida is that florida looks like a government conspiracy or at least they can make florida look like a government conspiracy, like it is this weird fake place that the government built and you don't know where you are and you are in some anonymous office park or something. sorry if that's insulting. it is this weird air that rises up in the show which is incredibly effective and critical part of how that show works. >> sounds really good. >> first, i want to give a shoutout to our super fan jan. >> oh, yeah. >> jan is in the audience.
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thank you for coming. [applause] >> and then my recommendation is a new album called "interstate gospel". they are like a country super group. it's miranda lambert and this woman ashley monroe and a third woman i feel badly because i can't remember her name. she is a little less famous. it's just -- if you like casey musgraves, it is sort in that vein of country music. except casey musgraves feels a little at this point -- a little to me. they are really down home country. they are singing about their addictions. it is the country drama but through a 2018 lens. it is fun music. it is especially fun music to drive to. if you are driving somewhere to the holidays. >> i'm going to recommend an article from the november issue of smithsonian magazine.
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you can access it on-line. it's called becoming ann frank. you have read it? >> [inaudible]. >> oh, good, yeah. i highly recommend it. it is a really sort of challenging piece about how the diary of ann frank became sort of the holocaust narrative that everybody clung to, and why it was more appealing to the general public than tales of the holocaust from people who had written about the concentration camps. it was extremely challenging to me as a person who, you know, thinks a lot about anti-semitism these days. it seems to be there is a resurgence in the u.s. and around the world. the article did a really good job of complicating the forces that elevated her story above all others. i had never read something like that before, that was critical of that, and also of the organization that runs the ann frank house in denmark. so yeah, smithsonian magazine,
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becoming ann frank is the name of the article. that's all the time we have. i really want to thank you guys for coming. you have been such a great audience. >> yes, thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much to the miami book fair for having us. thank you for the time and amazing writing. thank you to our producer, our production assistant, our on site producer. thank you for listening. [applause] [inaudible conversation]
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you are watching book tv on c-span 2. every weekend we bring you author talks and interviews around the country. for a complete television schedule visit book >> now book tv's monthly indepth program with a best-selling author. his nofl novels include the book of fate, the inner circle and the escape artist which debuted at number one on the new york times best-seller list. he's also the author of the ordinary people change the world biography series for children and the forthcoming nonfiction title the first conspiracy, the secret plot to kill george washington. >> brad thor, over the course of 18 books, how many people have


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