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tv   Book TV Visits Pasadena CA  CSPAN  March 3, 2019 9:00am-10:31am EST

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>> a quick look now at the knights primetime lineup. -- tonight primetime lineup. ..
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with the preparation of the respective cable partners for the next 90 minutes we will explain the literary life in history of this california city. we begin our feature on pasadena and surrounding area with the huntington library. >> today we are at the huntington library. this is originally a ranch. and henry huntington discovered that, like the beautiful scenery the mountains to the north, mild climate. he bought a property here and began to improve it. that was in the early 20th century. henry huntington was a remarkable man. a great land developer, people to -- he built railway and a tramway. it was about more than that he did both. he would buy property in an outlying area.
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he would develop it and run the railway cars to get people there. and we'd always been interested in book collecting. but he bought in somewhat conventional ways. he bought sets of great authors then began to get going around 1911 with book collecting. he began to buy whole libraries. and he just begin to acquire in an astonishing way, building libraries in the same way that he built a city. this is the purpose built library that was constructed in 1919. which is the same year that the document which officially established the huntington as a public collection. there was the botanical garden, or collection, i think i can say truthfully, that for henry huntington, the library was the heart and soul what he really
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wanted to establish. the whole we are in, which is a routine exhibition called remarkable works. remarkable times. it is centered around a dozen major pieces from the collection. which are generally -- to give them a bit of a respite it gives you an idea of the breath of the collection which is quite deep. british history, american history, exploration, science, the american west. but i thought we would stop and look at a few things which i think are exciting and remarkable as objects as well as carriers of information. we are standing in front of one volume of the huntington gutenberg bible. the gutenberg bible is probably
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people come here and they know of anything and they going to make their way into this hall, it would be to see the gutenberg bible. they're not sure why they want to see it but they have heard about it. this would be certainly, for the huntington's this would be the jewel and the crown for the printed book collection. it's actually a two-volume work. it is the bible, in latin. and it is remarkable because it is the first substantial book in the west, printed with movable type. this was a way of demonstrating in a very big way, the ability to produce books in much more rapid succession and in a greater number of copies. this was really going to change the world. what you see is the 42 line bible. and the text you see, the words
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in black which are with parts that were printed with movable type. before this books were either made by hand or they were marks where the design was cut into a piece of wood and the surface of that would print. but to carve each and every letter with incredibly laborious those books tended to be more pictorial. then the text base. what gutenberg did was to find a way to carve one letter in metal and then to make copies of it by making, by pressing it into a copper sheet, pouring that into that and attached to a piece of metal. and then you can make multiples of the same letter. and then they could be set into a tray and then printed. it is still very laborious process compared to the modern way that books are produced. but it really was a revolution. we reckon that maybe they were hundred and 80 gutenberg bibles that were published. something i 48 of them still survive in the world.
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some of those are complete, some are not complete. some are only one of the two volumes. some were broken up and sold. the collectors still will have one leaf of the bible. this copy is very special. it is one of about a dozen which were printed on vellum which is animal skin. it would've been a very deluxe material which has a beautiful surface.the print looks even more crisp and beautiful on this. the declaration that you see in color was all applied by hand. but at this point there's something called lubrication. which is the addition of red highlights in the text to draw attention to the beginning of a line or instructions. but then there are these beautiful pictorial illuminated decorations and all of that would have been done by hand. here, there do with gold, they are quite elaborate. some of the different bibles we can see where we suspect it
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would be the same illuminators hand was at work. most of these i think were bought by individuals and given to institutions to churches, or to monasteries, to have. the binding here shows you it is incredibly heavy, sturdy productions. which is meant to be imposing, it is meant to be presentational. it is meant to be very grand. certainly caused a stir in the world and in greensburg name went far and wide because of it. one of the really great riches of the huntington library collection are collections of literature in english. in this case i think it's a great example of the things that you might find in literary archives and giving an idea of the breadth of those kinds of collections. in this case which is one of the wonderful collections of henry david thoreau, the author
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of walden pond. there are many scre materials, printed materials, there are photographs, and printed books which relate to. in this case, ralph emerson who is the mentor to thoreau. if they know any work of american literature, that they might remember it would be walden pond. and certainly is a book that is continued to designate for generation after generation. a book which talks about the experiment that thoreau took, went to massachusetts lived there for two years and he wished to live differently, he wished to go and live simply and to be at one with nature. he kept very careful diary. i think it could be a bit
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eccentric but he kept careful diaries about nature, what he was observing and his own thoughts about man's relationship to nature. he wrote a book in the course of that surgeon but he also wrote about the trip itself. and became walton's life in the woods. you can see here come a page from manuscript. huntington has seven of what i believe were about eight drafts that he did. they are single sheets and you can see the writing. he writes very quickly and then he corrects. to be treated in a different way. it's a wonderful opportunity for the visitors to get a little idea of what it is like to write a book and how one thought on a piece of paper. because there are seven drafts of this book it is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages. which allows us without it then
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endangering for short periods of time to bring up individual pages. and next to that manuscript here, you have another one that's a great treasure, the original printing for the first printed publication. and these are the copies that were thorough -- his own. and changes for the printer before they were done. so the largest literary archives in the huntington collection is the archive of jack london. the american author and traveler. we have something like 50,000 items in the jack london collection. at jack london, was probably the first writer one of the first writers to really become, to make a quick go of commercial printing and make himself wealthy through his writing. and popular rating. he see here some pages from the
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manuscript for his book, white fang. and again, you can look, you can see how he wrote. quickly getting his thoughts down. a scholar can look at this and get an idea of how he changed his mind, what he wished to empathize, how he wordsmith. there is a printed volume here of jack london which shows you the kind of binding that you would have had at the time of 20th century publishers pictorial binding, people really concentrate on these bindings but the show you how the book was meant to be mass-produced item but to appeal to a general reader. jaclyn was living with his wife in north san francisco. they were very worried about wildfire. which we know all too well here
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in california. it's a real danger. they decided and 95, 96 to take his precious manuscript, the original manuscript of his books and put them in a bank vault in san francisco. that would be fireproof. that would protect them. ironically this justice about the great san francisco earthquake which was followed by devastating fires. and the bank that was holding the manuscript burnt. cc -- you see the published version of it. but we are not able to study in the way scholar can look at the manuscript for white fang. we are not able to look back and see how that manuscript, how did he craft that text as he was writing it? because you can't read this
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block that is burned. but the fact is there really is a book still there. despite its devastating condition. many years, for nearly a century, people have had ideas, scholars have had ideas of how it could be taken apart, it can be photographed, perhaps information recovered from it. huntington has always resisted these calls because the idea was we wish to do nothing. that will damage the evidence that was there. and we've had an approach again in recent years, getting much closer to the idea of noninvasive ways of reading through here with special imaging equipment which will allow us to see and differentiate the text. if you think about an mri which takes images of your body many slices. we are really holding out hope that in knots -- not so very
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many years will have images available of the original manuscript. one of the fun things about this kind of an exhibition hall and see people who maybe are not interested in library collections, they are not prepared to get much out of this. then they come in and have a bit of recognition and then they begin to ask questions they have not thought to ask before. one of the cases would be william shakespeare the playwright. a popular film, a plan grade school, a phrase that is common, it comes from shakespeare, it continues to resonate certainly true english speaking culture. we don't have a record of shakespeare's plays in his own hand. so the authoritative text that we base, come from it are called the first -- which
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people would have heard of. in 1623 shortly after the shakespeare's death. and they were collected and put together. there consider the additions from which all others flow. so to see these, folio refers to the physical size of the paper in which it was printed. huntington has four first folios. and their other collections around the world. i think the shakespeare library in washington has over 81st folios. but it's a great chance to come and see something like that. that was collected shortly after shakespeare's death, what about what we published during his life? in the case here, you can see a 1599 edition of henry iv. there were several versions of
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many of these plays which appeared in a smaller format and print. scholars use these in order to reconstruct the plays and how they developed and decide which is the most indeed, truly the most authoritative portions, healthy developed or how they appeared on the stage. a chance to see shakespeare is so ubiquitous but how do we have the text that we have today? i think this perhaps, one of my favorite objects in the huntington library collection. in a things perhaps one of the most popular items we have as well. the ellis mere -- around 1400, the recording of a 14th-century text. which probably many people over him are having read this in high school. english or part of it. written in middle english. it was a dialect of english which became, really the root of modern english. and this book and the text that
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it records is ironically, it looks very imposing to us in some ways but actually it's a very popular text. and is a popular language and a popular telling of stories that would have appealed to people. you remember the canterbury tales is a story of a group of pilgrims making their way to canterbury. and they are entertaining each other with stories. this manuscript which is on vellum, it's a handmade item of course. as a manuscript, written by hand and decorated by hand. clearly, a very deluxe reproduction. the page that is open to today, and we change the pages here pretty frequently. set the book is not open too long in one position. and it is not damaged by the light. it's open here to the beginning of the partner's tail. and the partner was a religious official who would go and was
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an itinerant and would preach and sell indulgences for people. and his catchword over and over again in the tail is grave is the root of all evil. and then he proceeds to be gluttonous and to be extremely greedy himself. it's a wonderful lovely funny tale of chemistry in the worst of one's sins by living them and paying other people. the menu script is incredibly beautiful and as you see, the entire border was with this delicate, delicate illumination. and the characters for each of the tales, there's one of these figures riding on horseback, identifiable for people to see. it's a thrilling object and it evolves through a carrier of information. so this is the most complete,
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early text of the canterbury tales. and so this is important the text to self or scholars in trying to reconstruct the best and truest text for the 14th-century canterbury tales. so the huntington has about 750,000 visitors a year. they come here to enjoy the gardens and the art collections. and to the library as well. libraries like museums, are very people centric endeavors. the things that we do, if nothing matters, if nobody comes in reads, if nobody comes and looks, if nobody comes in ask questions, then we are not doing our jobs do our jobs well that means we collect things, we organize them, we describe them, we put that information out there so that people can discover them in lots of different ways and
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discover things in ways that we hadn't anticipated and we then provide an opportunity for them to see them, to use them, to query them, publish them, promote them, to read in creative ways in which we never anticipated. and that would take care of them and push them onto the next generation. >> next up a look at physicist albert einstein' time in pasadena. with a trip inside the einstein papers project. >> today were at the einstein papers project in pasadena at the california institute of technology. einstein came to caltech at the end of 1930. he had been invited by the president of california institute of technology to visit, almost when it was founded. cuts have become university
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around 1920, and robert milliken was one of the founders of caltech. he came from chicago, he knew einsteins personally and he wanted einstein to come to this newest dictation, to grace as an institution after einstein wrote the nobel prize in physics at the end of 1922. he arrived here just before new year's eve 1930 31. he was driven in a motorcade from long beach, to pasadena by the chairman of the board of trustees of caltech, arthur fleming. with whom he stayed for a few nights. and the first thing he did was watch the rose parade in pasadena on january 1, 1931. einstein was very famous by then. and he was followed by journalists every day, all day.
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he was appointed a visiting researcher at caltech. he didn't have to teach. he participated in seminars. he gave several lectures. and the lectures were not always publicized because they were afraid too many people would show up. he gave professional talks. einstein had already in the mid-1920s decided he would not give popular scientific lectures. it was too much work and it was too difficult. there were many colleagues at caltech whom einstein likes a lot, that he knew from the past. and he interacted with physics, astronomers, geologists and chemists at caltech. those were those best presented 80 years ago at caltech. then of course we do a lot more than that.
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the einstein papers project is very similar to let's say, the presidential papers project. the united states publishes the presidential papers of jefferson and franklin and all other presidents. it is a standard edition if you want. a standard edition of shakespeare, we try to find all documents pertaining to einsteins work and life. publish them in a diplomatic transcription were in the original meaning. we keep all documents if einstein made some mistakes, if einstein misspelled somebody's name, which he always did, it's very interesting. then we transcribed the way he wrote. we know now of approximately
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45,000 drafts, manuscripts, diaries, lecture notes, interviews, calculations and letters to einstein. what's unique about our work is that we placed einstein in this political world, the social world, the cultural world in which we live. and we present both sides of correspondence.both letters written to him and his reply. in that he became more and more famous, he initiated less and less correspondence but replied to the world. he was about 40 years old, einstein was well known to the physics community which was very small at the time. after he gets nobel prize and come to the united states, for
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the first time in the 1920s, he becomes very famous. people that want to use them for all sorts of actions, enterprises, meetings, conferences, lectures, visiting professorships and so on. and that's when his correspondence grows exponentially. we have very little correspondence about young einstein, he did not keep his manuscripts, he didn't keep his letters. we have a lot of correspondence for the older einstein. and his replies. so, these are our latest volumes that we published. here you see the german addition of the collective papers of albert einstein.
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published in the original language with a notation footnote to every document. we have a serious document for example, a statement the sixth session of the international committee for intellectual corporation. einstein was the great reporter of retaliation among enemy nations and scientists of former enemy nations after world war i. and he was appointed to the league of nations committee of intellectual corporation. that is when he also collaborated with milliken, who was a u.s. presented of. so we have serious items that deal with international cooperation and we have similar items like a verse from baker of east cake. the text is in german. and it was signed by albert
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einstein senior and junior. there are two upward einsteins. the one that we were talking about and his son. the verse in english reads, the two albert's, they out -- nothing more of it can be found with light heart we pay tribbett to our benefactor. that is the person who baked the cake. for them. we have these silly versus and here is a manuscript. of this little verse. here, you see the transformation and the kind of work that we do. we used to have zero copies of
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these things. now we have high-quality scans. this material is located at the albert einstein archives in jerusalem because einstein left all his paper to the hebrew university. so we work from the original like this. we transcribed it. and we explain it so we explain to the reader that this autographed document, signed, was written probably in berlin or between 23 july and 14 august were not absolutely sure. and we give some references. we explain words like yeast
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cake. this is not an easy word so we can explain what it means. them as if the cake was baked and -- the wife of herman or the sister. and then, we also translate into english, the same documents. you see there are footnote markers, these conform to the same footnote markers here. one, two, three, four, five. when these are online and almost all of their at this point, the user can toggle between the german addition in the english edition and click on the footnote and read the explanations. so all of this material is available for free without a pay wall. so this is a great achievement that i personally am very proud of. we've succeeded in making this available to anybody interested
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in einstein. a understanding if you want of einsteins work. and the popular understanding of einstein have both changed tremendously since the project began. really, upon einsteins death. the founder of this project was his secretary, helen. who collected all the materials, organize the materials, labeled the material and on the basis of her work, the first database was created in 1979, 1980. in princeton. the first electronic database of the einstein material. and since then, this database has ballooned like an expanding
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universe. and we always find new material. since the 1950s we have learned a lot and have changed our standard view of einstein. so the view of einstein sitting, working with pen and paper in isolation, may be competing, may be collaborating with one or two people. has changed drastically over the last 30 years or so since the einstein project. in the volumes that you see behind me. they have been published. he was certainly not an isolated genius. he was extremely grounded as a student, among students and professors, then later as a young researcher in his scientific community, as a professor, a member of the academy of sciences and so on. he was very active.
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he had a huge scientific correspondence in which he discussed not only his own work but other peoples work. he liked to help other people in their work. he also liked to help young people in their careers and development of their work. he was very interested in technology. in experiments, this is something that is new, that people didn't pay a lot of attention to. in the past. and remember, he died in 1955. it may seem very long ago to young people but is not that long ago for the figure. that means that assessing einsteins legacy will take a long time. what we are doing is making available this material for current and future generations of scholars who are interested in how scientific ideas develop. how they get accepted or
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rejected. did einstein care about or did he not care about experiments? this is something we've shown over the last decade or so that einstein care deeply about with his theory are confirmed experimentally. einstein science is very complicated and difficult. most people do not have a chance, an opportunity and even the skills certainly, in primary school or middle school or even high school to address einsteins work in a deep way. one thing that impresses me always is that einstein worked very very hard. the things don't come easily. he didn't have eureka moments. maybe one.
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when he imagined the gravity and -- or equivalent of the same. falling from a roof and flying up in a rocketship, one feels more or less the same. and one doesn't know which is which. and is gravity pulling me down? or is a motor pushing me up? this was one of the equivalent, this equivalent was described by einstein as one of his great moments of insight. we only have one other example where he says something personal or he says, my heart skipped a beat when the results came out correctly. but everything else was very
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hard work. as they say in german, fly by the seat of the pants. he sat and worked and he didn't achieve great success at the very early age. he wasn't off the scale in terms of abilities, he tried to hunt his abilities his whole life to learn new things, sometimes ignore things that he should have known. but yes, that's what is encouraging for us to know about him. that hard work and collaboration with people who know better mathematics, who know different aspects of physics. might be helpful that one does not have to go it alone and the inspiration doesn't bring great results. but hard work does.
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>> pasadena roman bookstore was founded in 1894. a staple of the cities literary life, current president and ceo, allison hill takes us a tour in the independent bookstore is willing but the history, operations and the bookstore business. >> i think i've always been in love with books. as far back as i can remember i feel like i was born with that gene.i think the moment i realized i had a problem was when i was four years old and i was shopping with my mom at roger wilco grocery store. and i asked her to buy me a copy of a book called my little pony. and she said no. and then driving home when she was in the rearview mirror she summing the backseat reading the book. so is my first shoplifting experience. but obviously a little bit of a slippery slope into a world of bookselling and eventually i found my way on this path. but at the time she made me go back and apologize to the manager and return the book. so specifically i fell in love
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with that book but i think of always been in love with books. today we are at romans bookstore in pasadena california. we are the main store on the main floor. of the not original building, the original building was down the street from here. this has been on since the 40s and 20 years ago we doubled the size. this is the largest romans bookstore in pasadena. the history of romans is this incredibly wonderful story. it's a love story. it starts in illinois with a man named adam -- born in illinois, he worked in the railroads they are and he had a book collection, lid reading, huge part of his life and he fell in love with a woman named esther. and sadly, this is where the story turned sad so, be forewarned. she contracted tuberculosis.
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they decided to move west to get to warmer weather. they did a grand journey to the west coast and ended up in pasadena california which is amazing to think back to that time because it is 1893 at this point. and there are 7000 people living in pasadena which is kind of amazing we think about pasadena rose bowl, it holds 90,000 people. so gives you an idea of scale. they arrive in pasadena and they start to life here and sadly, esther passes away. and he is at this pivotal point in his life where he has to make a decision. does he go back to illinois or stand pasadena? this point is not fallen in love with the city of pasadena and he sees as a terminus opportunity and decides to open a bookstore in the community. he sells his beloved book collection to raise the capitol to open the store. and that's how we got started. bromans is such a unique extra. part of it i think is the fact that we've been along so long. just that we been able to survive through difficult times tells you a lot about the store
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anything very much shape the culture of the store. and part of that is that your customers who were part of their, the history of their families, we have customers that shop with us who been shopping with us since they were five years old. i was told the story of one of our customers who is in her 90s now and she shucked her since she was five years old. i mean weighty of continuity like that in your life anymore? so to be part of the fabric of peoples lives in that way think is such a special thing and in many ways, makes the store really unique. one of the things that we offer here, we print wedding invitations in our pen and stationary department. we have brides who come in and redo their mothers invitations and their grandmothers invitations. so it's kind of incredible. to have the experience and have that continuity and have that longevity. it is a huge part i think of what makes vroman's unique.
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i think other things -- we are here on the second store in the event space. and we do about a thousand events a year. it is an incredibly robust event series. the events range from author signings to children's programming, writing workshops, craft events. all different things going here at the store in the space. the author events, there is a wide range of authors who have appeared here over the years and it is everyone from literary figures -- to governments and political officials, president bill clinton, president jimmy carter, hillary clinton, we've had laura bush. it's just a long list of wonderful writers. so contrary to what i think is
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popular belief about independent bookstores, we are experiencing a little bit of a renaissance right now. i think the general assumption would be in the space of amazon that independent bookstores would really be struggling and certainly, we have seen stores disappear and burns -- barnes and noble struggling. for us here at vroman's, i think there are many reasons. i think i have my own theories about peoples need for connection and community in a digital world. we all have lots of ways we interact with each other online, social media but there are opportunities to connect with like-minded people and environment you can share an experience. i think it is something independent bookstores particularly are offering people. i mean i think back to when i
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was a kid and in that small town, it was the church. right? i mean that is what people gathered. you were with people that share your values. that's where you connected and communicated. out in the world and now especially with organization and people moving into cities and not living in those environments, people are hungry for that. they are searching for to places like starbucks in coffee shops. but there is also something about books was very unique and special because if you interact with people in the bookstore you really get to know them. if you are next to someone and they choose a book that you read and you love, that is an icebreaker and an instant connection on a much deeper level than standing next to someone and ordering a latte at the same time. i think that's partly what we are experiencing. that's my theory that people are just needing that connection and independent bookstores to serve that purpose. this really part of the legacy that mr. vroman left us with. i think back to when he started the story and he was really thinking of how to create
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community, he was a philanthropist, he supported local charities, helped start the museum, help support the pasadena library. there is even way story where he loaned money to a competitor so they could start their own bookstore. i think it speaks to his understanding of how important community is and we continue that tradition today. so the different ways that we are supporting that sense of community are certainly our event series. it brings thousands and thousands of people together in the event space over the course of the year. we have a partnership with an independent coffee shop downstairs. so that's another place it becomes a gathering space where people come together and we get to have this great partnership with another great independent business. i think independent bookstores offer that kind of diversity and variety and experience that is so unique and entrenched in the community. i think about vroman's and it is a pasadena institution. it's not that the store could be in another city and it would
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be the same experience. because so much of what shapes us are the people who have shopped here for generations and the local author section and specifics to pasadena and our pride section and the things that we sell to support the rose parade and the rose bowl which is specific to our community. i mean i can go on and on. i think there's something really special about that. and that people really respond to it and want to be part of it. we are here in the kids section on the second floor. this is one of my favorite sections. i love this section. it is magical. you can see it is full of color and tons of books and my incredibly passionate and knowledgeable staff of children's booksellers have cards on everything telling about all of the books that they love that they have read. we've a storytime area, we have a fairy door. you might meet the ferry while you're here. there's a giant mural on one
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wall, kites hanging from the ceiling. it's just a colorful wonderland and instantly feels magical when you arrive in the space. i've so many kids tell me this is their favorite place. then i have so many adults i find wandering over here he tell me they were having a bad day and they just came here because it was a special treat to themselves to be back in this environment. i kind of love that about this space. i kind of have a dream job, it's pretty great. especially for a kid the group reading and had stacks of books everywhere. it was pretty fantastic for me to be here at all doing anything. my favorite part when i drill it down to the actual essence is just putting the right books in someone's hand and knowing that if you hand them the book at the right time, it can change your life. and that is a magical thing to get to be part of. and there are so many times where i help somebody find a book and in that exchange, they suddenly open up and it seems that they were just looking for a book but suddenly, you recognize there's a whole story
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behind what brought them in that day and why they're looking for that particular book. whether be something instructional, where they are trying to help someone and looking for a book in the psychology section and they are compelled to read it so they can be of service to someone in their life or the other end of the spectrum, several comes and asked for a book that will make them laugh. it seems like an easy request and then the end of sharing some experience they're going through they really do need to laugh. and they have come to you to be of help and not just giving them a book to read offering them solace and humor and something to get through their day. it's a really powerful thing. i call it -- a whole other level that you get to experience with people, very unique and one of the things that made me fall in love with bookselling. and being in a store like vroman's where i get to do so much of that. i think the other favorite part of my job is again, i am a reader.i read all the time so
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getting to be in a place where authors are showing up all the time, it's like meeting rock stars every day of my life. they are my rock stars! authors are my rock stars. to be able to have access to them and get to talk to them, my heroes, and be in a place where neck and just happened any normal day walking from my office to another part of the store. it is very special and something very meaningful to me. why should people shop and independent bookstores? you guys have got to spend the day here. i think you probably know the answer now. i think anyone that has been in a really great independent bookstore realizes the minute they walked through the door that it is something special. and realizes the error of their ways and they will never go back to online shopping. or that is the hope. but i think there is such a different experience being an independent bookstore.
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often people ask me how i compete with amazon. and i say that i don't. they're in a completely different game than we are. they are selling a commodity online at a discount. we are offering this incredibly rich, complex experience we people get to come together and discover books and talk about books with people who really love them. and to meet authors and they may have grown up reading their books and connect with other people and be in a space that's really special and it's been designed for discovery and escape and entertainment and where else are you going to find that in today's world? i think is such a special experience and people are missing out if they are shopping online. and by shopping independent bookstores you're giving so much back to the community indirectly by ensuring that these places stay in business and also ensuring that your dollars, your sales tax dollars are staying in the community. they are dollars are going to support local jobs and local vendors and all of those
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things. i think they are really special.i think everyone should be shopping independent stores. i think people who don't or just missing out. >> while in pasadena we spoke with author, chip jacobs about his book, smog town. the long burning history of pollution in los angeles. >> growing up in pasadena was great. it is a city known for beauty and for recreation. but we, during the summers especially, we would get pummeled by air pollution. in the 1970s, none of us kids realized our parents had been dealing with this for generations. we felt it all along. if you are outside for a couple of hours playing baseball. when you had asthma or not, your lungs got restricted. your eyes would tear up. you'll get bad headaches. armor this so clearly. you know playing baseball or skateboarding which is really popular. we'll come in and it wouldn't be because we fell, we were coming because we felt so
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ghastly. and my mom, a scientist we just ate a smog, go lie down. here's an aspirin and put a damp washcloth over your four head. which really didn't do anything for you at all.but this was something that was just part of our -- it was like the backdrop of our childhood. july 26, 1943 was l.a. 's pearl harbor. it was on that day broiling day in the middle of summer, the middle of world war ii, los angeles itself is doing well despite occasional fears that there's going to be some warfare. a thick smog came in. i don't know from what direction. but it got so viscous and acrid that police officers directed traffic disappeared. window washers vanished. it was the beginning of having smog related automobile
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accidents. it was so bad that mothers were dragging the children in department stores to keep them from coughing. sort of hysteria builds because we had ordinances and commissions and outcries. but this one was different. and it was the byproduct of having too many cars and too much combustion in a very high pressure weather system. it just perked of the area and state. and it was so bad that the politicians could not ignore. and said you know what, just give it time, the wind will blow, we will tweak a few smokestacks and things will be normal. this was a slap across the face. we were in the beginning of a crisis. there was a doctor, the man that probably saved southern california. whose work still echoes today across the third world and china, etc. because he found that air pollution was a result
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of egregious emissions coming out of the top of the smokestack. none of which we had in pasadena. it wasn't the result of sulfur coming out of some factory. air pollution was the result of having un-combusted materials coming out of the back of a tailpipe, hydrocarbons basically. that would react in some ways with nitrogen oxide to produce ozone and very dangerous chemicals. that were bad for human health, bad for plant life and everything. it was an incredibly unpopular message for them to say it was tailpipe exhaust with the famous california sun that drew so many on here. it's really a poison area. he started it off by drawing air into his basement lab, reducing to acid, running for the experiments, duplicate endings efforts, publicizing it
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and it blue minds. i mean he was in his own nonpartisan way, challenging the might of the automobile companies that were the darlings of america. gm, ford, chrysler. they were the emblems of american greatness across the world. and he was basically saying your cars are killing machines. the problem was, just because you know the answer doesn't mean that you can check the genie back in the bottle. it was impossible because even as we were learning, cars were poison machines, we were building new freeways. further and further. automobile showrooms were springing up. gas stations were just sprouting like weeds. and now you know they are not only selling gas but giving away free stuff. you know, so a freeway culture was building around los angeles which had been auto center
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building very wide boulevards, lowering traffic speeds, permanent department store signs offer the car driven lifestyle. you know they were asking us to repudiate the fundamentals that made southern california a lot different. it took a darn long time to get people to go you know what? maybe my choices are not so great. but they loved the mobility, they loved the cool vinyl seats and the stylish cars and hood know, we were living in a very car driven world when the car was making people sick. the beginning of our vanquishing of air pollution really started i would say, six or seven years after the
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landmark stories and other groups. even a car company begrudgingly admitting that tailpipe exhaust was a source of the problem. in 1960 this is the beginning of the california legislature. requiring cars to have retrofitting equipment. mufflers, filters, those types of things. the legislature got more and more involved. people were demanding, especially mothers, solutions and the big breakthrough came when california won the right to impose stricter tailpipe standards in the state than the rest of the country. detroit michigan, led by john
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dingell, did not like this idea. other states did not like this idea but we banded together with massachusetts, new york, robert kennedy was judgmental and giving advice. and we went with something called emissions waiver. which gave us this right, lyndon johnson also brought an antitrust case against the carmakers. for conspiring, deceiving and tricking. californians that believe they are working on the problem when really, they were just filibustering, delaying and tricking. and that kind of ended with a whimper. nixon settled the case. although it was under nixon that we had the first clean air act. so the waiver became part of the clean air act. but still in the 70s my lungs can attest growing up, we had a solution but it did not mean the remedy was at hand. because it just takes a lot for technology and public acceptance to get through the
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political ecosystem. the los angeles area still has the worst air pollution in the united states. it is greatly improved. partly because of the clean air act and there is an environmental ethic in the united states. it is still really bad air. it's not like china which loose three people a day. we still use thousands prematurely per year to air quality.california as a whole, wants to be green. didn't want air pollution, they want clean water, they want clean soil. though we have a very passive type of environmentalism. what i mean by that is we allow ourselves to be taxed. we allow ourselves to pay for clean-air initiatives, public transit, better roads, alternative energy. every time you fill up your tank, fill up your car at the gas station. every time you make a purchase or pay your property tax,
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you're getting hit there. that is really propelling environmental progress or keeping things status quo. there is not people you know, pouring vegetable oil under the previous although we have a lot of electric cars and hybrids here, it still is only two or three percent of the total driving population. people still mainly drive solo in their cars. we have the worst traffic in the united states too. anyway we have kind of relented technology and levees to you know, allow us to feel good about where we are environmentally. there's not people protesting. yes, we recycle. we kind of just been programmed and conditioned like a rat that this of the things that you want to do if you exist in california. but there is an independent streak that says two things you don't mess with in california.
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with the car or somebody's gun. i had to say. i don't know if we are so going crazy here but we start asking people not to drive, or to work at home, or to carpool, people feel like they're having their rights invaded. one of the more interesting stories of the la smog crisis is when they tried to get rid of the accurate incinerator where people would bring their dry trash. you think they're asking for peoples firstborn. there was a great resistance in doing it. we have in a way, a very un-reconcilable spirit of wanting our consumer rights. moving forward, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from the la experience in the smog. the first one is, apply science. use reason. impose logic.
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resist your first instinct to blame and judge and execute the first smokestack you don't like. or the first easy solution that somebody whispers in your head. ... could be having millions of cars. right on technology. without having a a consequence, was delusional and really dishonest and incredibly dangerous point that's what we found ourselves in the middle of
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the '50s, building freeways. we were green lighting bigger garages. we were promoting car giveaways, and even size was saying this is deleterious to the public health. we have to be very aware of the lifestyles we are encouraging people to accept if we don't know the consequences. so los angeles was built on the idea of suburban freewheeling lifestyles spread out. now we are going the opposite direction, colluding in pasadena. pasadena embraced the car like nobody's business. pasadena has felt so many stucco apartment buildings you can't see the mountains anymore. maybe that's just a march of progress and understanding, or it just shows we were shortsighted before when we were just loving anything you put a key into. we also have to realize, environmentalism, you know, is
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about relying on technology. it is about understanding every time you make a purchase, you are paying for the right to live in an area that is prone to terrible air pollution. i would say the last lessons are listen to your mother. when the mother gets upset and sees a child should be excelled in school that is distracted, is coughing, is lethargic, there's something going on, something wrong. there shouldn't be air pollution and the year 2018. one of the big lessons i would tell you, or one of the scary realities is that we are not making progress. the world would've expected or our grandparents would've wanted that we're still dealing with this. not only here but in other countries, in india and the middle east.
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it is a reminder the world hassle long darn way to go. >> while in pasadena we visited the california institute of technology to speak with author and professor michael alvarez about the impact of california's top two primary system. >> the top two primary system and for the first first time is being used statewide including in california's race for governor. >> lieutenant governor newsom holds a comfortable lead going into the june 5 primary. which on the california system will send the top two vote getters into novembers runoff regardless of party affiliation. >> the reformers really wanted to move california to a less partisan, less ideological, less polarized political process. california about ten, 15 years ago was having a lot of trouble. the economy was kind of in the
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rocks like ever else in the country. we were having, the legislature was having trouble getting a budget passed. there was a lot of polarization in our state legislator, in our state government up in second. the top two is one of the reforms that were pushed forward, that was pushed forward right around 2010, 2012 to try to move us to a less polarized political process. in 2012 california experiment with its first use what's called a top two primary and this book is really a study about the top two primary worked in the first election that was used in the state. in the united states we have incredibly decentralized electoral process. the constitution states to run only election. in many states and people go to vote they will vote in a party primary. you register as a democrat, register as republican, and you get to vote in that party primary. you get about that only has democratic names or only republican names on it. that's how most primaries have been conducted in the united
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states but of the state system to experiment with opening process of where partisanship isn't as much as a factor. california has been one of the states that's been experiment with these more nonpartisan types of primary processes where california voters can go on primary election day. they get about that as every candidate listed regardless of the candidates party. the matter how the voter is registered whether democrat or republican they get one vote to vote for one of those candidates. that's called the top two because then what happens is the top two vote getters move onto general election. it's a different kind of primary system that he think most people in the united states experience. we have it in california, washington state as well. this book again is just a study to see how that worked in the first election that was used in california in 2012. party polarization means the legislature oftentimes is trouble getting things done. especially when the legislature is relatively evenly divided
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between the two parties. in california that was manifesting itself because the legislature just wasn't getting things done. they were not passing budgets on-time. policy wasn't looking forward and expeditious way. the state seem to sort of be in an era of really partisan infighting, and things that happen in the way they should. the legislative efficiency falls apart. and so voters sense that their quotas can see where things might happen. you read about it in the newspaper and you see it happening. we of course see it happening in washington, d.c. today. again there was a sense in california we need to fix things, we needed to move forward to get to the place where we have a less polarized light to sit process. the beauty in california of our initiative and ballot referendum system where these reforms can be relatively easy, easily enacted must begin on the ballot because voters typically like political reform.
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what we did in the context of this study was recollected a relatively large survey where we interviewed over 5000 voters throughout the state in different legislative districts and asked them a lot of questions about what you think about the new primary? who did they vote for? and within sort certain go thrh and analyze that data to see what is voters reaction to it? do they like it? are the voting for candidates who are of the same party as them? are the crossing over and voted for candidates in the opposite party? if they are voting for candidates in the opposite party, why? that's the most important behavior we expect to see as result of the top to the republican voters can vote for democratic candidates or democratic voters can vote for republican candidates. understanding the motivations underlying that crossover voting behavior in the primary is critical for understanding how the top two is working. we find that is, in fact, what happened. voters do like to cross over and vote for candidates of the opposite party. what we find is they tend to do
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that because they really just like that candidate for some reason. they like that candidates policy position. they like that candidates ideology. they are crossing over and voting for these candidates for non-strategic reasons. the thing we wanted to really see is our voters crossing over to vote for candidates to try to monkey up the process, to sort of be tactical or malicious, to nominate a turkey from the opposite party to ensure that the parties candidate would win in the general election? it's always been one of the criticisms of primary systems like the blanket primary and will be fine in our survey anything most of the analyses of the top to have found is that there just isn't much of that kind of behavior. voters are crossing over and voting for candidates for really sincere reasons because they like this candidates. the top two gives voters an opportunity in the primary to support candidates of the
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opposite party who they really prefer to candidates of their own party. we think it is solely having some effect on political polarization. it's not a reform that's going to change the way the legislature does business overnight. no political reform would he can do that. what we've seen over time is that this sort of academic kind of analyses that we do of ideological or partisan polarization in the state legislature have all started to indicate at the margin our legislators have got a little bit less polarized in california. other studies have indicated our legislature, the getting along to live it better, being alone effective at what they do. we can see it because things like passing the budget, that's happening on time. we just don't see those kind of indicators especially at the gross level where their neck in the job done. they are getting the job done now. legislation is passing. it is being enacted. we are seeing governors like governor brown, a relatively moderate governor who was
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elected and reelected office. it's not just having an effect on polarization in the legislature. it's also affecting the statewide constitutional officers who worry are electing. apparently -- who we are electing. we are conducting a pretty significant follow-up study. the main difference is we have a lot more data. this is both good and bad. it's good in the sense we've essentially run the experiment of the top two many time so we are able to collect a lot more data. data that something us understand things we could look at in 2012 like one thing we can now look at is the rise of the so-called co-partisan general election. we didn't have many instances of those in 2012. we have a lot more of those now. these are situations and they occur in california with some degree of frequency now is a really interesting phenomena on academics perspective where we have two in the general election, to candidates of the same party. again, voters throughout much of
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the rest of the country that's an unusual thing. you don't think of having a state legislative race where use senate race or a governors election for its a democrat and a democrat or a republican and republican in the general election. back in 2012 we we had a couple of those. since we have data through 2018 we have a large number of those to really understand the phenomenon of the co-partisan general election. we also are able now to look more precisely at a lot of the legislative deals. this is something my co-authors happen looking quite a a bit outcome which is using data from the legislature operations can looking at roll call votes look at legislative outcomes. we've accumulated more information during this time sleep a lot more data to try to understand these nuances that we suspect the top two is introducing into the electoral system and the legislative process. we are big fans of how the top two has worked in california. what he seems to do is it gives
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voters more opportunities. it gives them more opportunities to vote for candidates in the primary election who they truly can support. party becomes less of a factor in the equation. whether the top two is within the mechanism that's going to eliminate or and partisan and ideological polarization say in washington, d.c. or another state legislators, probably not lie itself. it's part of a series of reforms in california has enacted that a moving our state towards a less partisan process. other states can adopt these reforms and it will help. whether it would help what's going on in washington, d.c. today, hard to say. i think it would not hurt, put it that way. that's the conclusion really of our book is the top two may be helping a little bit, released the data from 20 to indicate its moving is maybe a little bit but it doesn't hurt anything. it hasn't led voters have --
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doesn't seem to have negative consequences for voting rights. there's lots of negative consequences you could imagine it could have and our data indicate that any of those negative consequences ticket might have low bit of a positive effect and, therefore, we think it's a good thing for the state and it is something i think other states could think about adopting. >> part of the reason i ended up making the book was because when my husband and i first moved here in 1985 were able to learn a lot about the history and black history and i didn't think latinos have ever history here in pasadena. i started to meet elders that were living in the community, and i begin to learn that really was a rich history that was here. part of the reason i wanted to write the book is there's no, as we are through the city, there is nothing that shows we were
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ever hear. the history that is he really is the history that emanates from -- [inaudible] the people who were living there, the folks that were coming to this new area first had gone -- [inaudible] when you begin to start seeing the folks living there. living there for a long time, , century and some later they decide they're going to send these people up -- [inaudible] populate the area before these other people, and take away their land, right? when we're thinking about american history, we tend to think about it as lack white, western expansion paradigm. everybody is kind of come as history is being told, it's every thing is come from east coast over to here and it's as
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if the first natives can everybody who is here and just kind of doing nothing until you all come over. the reality is there's a lot that's going on among the things that happens is the u.s.-mexican war that takes place in 1848. so you have this sense of, they were our opponents during the war. they are the vanquished. so mexican and mexican history begins to vanish. it's not included. it's not seen as being as valuable, for example, as african-american history that is here in pasadena. >> with the help of our spectrum cable partners we are in pasadena, california exploring the local literary scene. up next we speak with calling
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done bates of prospect park books. >> today we are in my office which is in sort of a suburb of pasadena just about two blocks north of pasadena and this is her office, we've been about four years and there are five of us here on any given day working on producing books. >> what's the story of prospect park books? >> i come from, and my background i was a writer and interworking books and magazines and all kinds of publishing related things. 12 years ago i decided to publish one book called hometown pasadena which came out of living here and falling in love with the city, there being surprise i fell in love with the city. i was at one book. i was intending for this all happen. i did the one book and wasn't unexpected, it did a lot better than i thought it would. it was an unexpected success. then i thought i guess i do some more books and then just kept
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growing from there. >> what kind of books do you all publish? >> it's a mix, and eclectic mix for a small press of regional nonfiction, mystery fiction, general fiction, cookbooks. we do cookbooks from southern california authors, about one a year. some humor and get titles. general trade publishing but a pretty broad mix for a small practice. >> compared to larger publishing companies, what makes prospect park books unique. >> with a couple of things. one is from publisher is we can find the niche the big new york publishing companies can i do. we also can were close with our authors and is a very personal relationship, much more than a corporation would be. i think you just on the go with an author drop by with some jam she was bringing for a promotion were doing. that's pretty special we can have those things. and also in terms of what we publish, we will take some risk on some niches that the big guys
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won't do. because window, we also know california. part of it is i lived my whole life the near publishing companies don't know my back are the way i know my backyard so that was part of the motivation. >> book "hometown pasadena", what is it about? >> "hometown pasadena" is anything but the city, the city pasadena which i think, which i think i told you i fell in love with it and it was much richer than i thought it would be when i first moved here 27 years ago. and it felt all aspects of it. it's very feature magazine oriented. we have a lot of essays from notable writers, a lot of good writers in this community, but the culture, architecture, the city has got, is internationally famous for architecture. the architecture, the gardens, also famous for that. the culture, the literary scene, both past and present, the food.
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pasadena has, allegedly has come we did the best we could to verify this, more nonprofits per capita than any city in the united states. also has more restaurants per capita believe it or not in any city in the united states including new york city. for better or worse it is more private schools per capita than any city in the country. there was a very strong focus here on education, on culture, on the arts, the architecture and gardens. it's a committee that is in love with beauty i think. >> why do you think it's a form for local pasadena is to know that about themselves? >> i think they already know it. i think my little joke is it ever cited the addition of "hometown pasadena" capacity is in love with itself. i think people actually like thinking it's a best-kept secret. i also publish a novel that's a
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best-selling book of all times. she just perfectly celebrated and scared the pasadena thing which is my family has been a for generations, we do things a certain way, that we are happy in her little land here, you know, going over to los angeles is such a bother. i think there is a strong sense of culture come of community, people feel like they belong to. newcomers take a little time. that's the other issue is, and she makes on and her novel, halina pasadena, she a writer as new, and felt wait a minute,-boehner four generations i did it go to kindergarten with all these people, , selected in? it can take a long time. other parts of l.a. are famous for being much more transient
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but not so much pasadena. when they, they usually stay here. >> so are the any favorite examples of yours of the work that is in "hometown pasadena"? >> favorite examples from "hometown pasadena" and i don't like to pick out favorites but for this edition of the book which is completely different from the first 112 years ago, we had some fun -- first one, 12 euros ago. perfectly pasadena pasadenian and it is what kind of spoofed the archetype, archetypes here, the valley hunters are people who belong to the valley had club that founded the rose bowl parade. hollywood is, a lot of people who work in television film here, entertainment entry but they're the people who want to live over there and not be showing and flashy like those west ciders. we had a lot of fun. it's the neighborhood to live in, the car they drive, that kind of dog they have, where
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they get their coffee, that kind of thing. we have we got here first and the millennial, the brainiacs which is jpl and caltech crap. that was fun to do. the good duties, this community is very, very strong work to philanthropy. there's a lot of that here, a lot of churches, a lot of nonprofits. there's also very strong art community. i visit that is one thing that was new and fun about it. also i think, well, because were talked about literary, pasadena, i think with a section in here that i'm proud of about the literary history here that goes back a long time and it has our bookstores. we have exported bookstores. we've had many writers came out of year from 100 years ago. we added in this case, we had a
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wonderful writer who did a piece on octavia butler, so she wrote something about that for us. we have great collection of excerpts of writing about pasadena, and tributes to our libraries and bookstores that we have i think really world-class and that, certainly huntington library is as classy as a get. >> what is lit fast pasadena? >> it is a literary festival that started maybe about six ago, i remember exactly, and it is a weekend celebration of literary culture. it is here and pasadena but the content is not limited to pasadena. it's just too because this is a wonderful place for that, and it is a weekend in spring, in may. i am on the planning committee for that. we're having a meeting here at the office tonight, and it's over in the playhouse district centered around the pasadena
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playhouse and held in various venues in that area. it's a two-day celebration of the literary culture mostly in the los angeles area. it's set in pasadena and it's every kind of book and author from children's books the sci-fi to literary fiction, poets, poetry slams, panel on publishing. there's a children's book performances, all kinds of things. it's a lot of fun. every year is different and it's been getting better every as of this year will have a great lineup. it is a two-day celebration of the books here in pasadena. >> what is the mission or the goal of the lit fast? >> under the aegis of a nonprofit here in pasadena that a focus on education and the arts, and also sponsor of the famous parade, very fun.
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it's really to boost the community of the book and literacy here. there's big emphasis in lit fast as one young people and on teenagers in getting kitchen local schools to come to take part in readings. it's to boost literacy and celebrate the book, get people to read and write and also there's usually part of it is our writers work workshop. >> to give anything you like to add come in kind of stories you want to belong, any evidence of thought you wanted to explore? >> well, you know, one of the things, one of the reasons i did this book "hometown pasadena" it really is the core reason, is my husband and i moved your 27 years ago with a two-year-old child and child and another on the way, and we moved your because with some trepidation on my part. i grew up in l.a. i do notion of pasadena was sort of stuffy and boring, but we
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were able to get a nice house with a nice yard for kids and nice place to raise a family compared to where we were living before. i had this bias about them in the next two years just fell in love with her. it was much more diverse than i realized. there are a wide range of people interests, the art, the culture i just did not understand how much was here. so as i just fell in love with it and that's why the i get the book came from even a lot of people in los angeles right next-door don't know. >> thank you so much again. thanks for having me. >> of course. i appreciate it. >> twice a month c-span cities tours takes booktv and american history tv on the road to explore the literary life and history of the selected city. working with a cable partners we visit various literary and
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historic sites as we interview local historians, authors, and civic leaders. you can watch any of our past interviews and tours unlined by going to and selecting c-span cities tour from the series drop-down at the top of the page or by visiting you can also follow the tour on twitter or behind the scenes and video from our visits. the handle is @cspancities. >> every year booktv covers hundreds of author events and book festivals. here's a portion of a recent program. >> you think politics today is broken what you think politics today is broken, centered a? during debate in 1884 at a tear of measure the fails, one member of the democratic party stands up and excoriates a fellow democrat in such personal terms that defended in philo says mr.
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speaker, the members filing that the car without an speaker says to the honorable john from george is out of order and return systolic and said, i will not like you if you were a dog. four letters. we have time in 1889 -18 idea which not a single bill is passed in the house of representatives for nearly four investments because the democrats announced there will not answer the roll call and thereby denying house a quorum. so the business could be conducted. this is not were going to shut down the government unless you feel obamacare. this is we don't care what you want to do. nothing is going to pass because we will not answer the roll call. some of you may have heard me tell this story or thomas brackett reed the speaker of the house plants and what particular day to end this. he has sergeant of arms lock on sin front of door and unbeknownst to the house of representatives is burkett every door to the house floor on the outside. at the end of the vote somebody calls for a quorum call. they called a quorum. democrats don't answer. quorum does not exist and he
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says the church wrecks the court to show mr. joe's doughs, mr. smith present, calls of the name of every democrat on the floor and trucks the court to show the present and what happens? all hell breaks loose. they run for the doors. of course the sergeant at arms have blocked their arms. only one member house gets out. constantine august of rusk county texas beats the crap out of the sort of arms and uses his cowboy boots to kick out the slats of the door and make good of his askew. when deborah stands up and screens in anger, undercut and the constitution you have no right to get me present without my permission. he says to the gym, the chair is missing the fact as for tuna for months this is wrangled upon in the house and finally settled by the u.s. supreme court. in the meantime for four and half months no bill gets past. opening day of the debate another texan mexico division to the positive spirit of the times, william henry marcum
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6'" thought the entire civil war, stands up and point the finger and says that fellow democrats, if any member will order me to remove this dictator from this position of power upon the podium i will do do so by force forth with. he says, the honorable gentleman from texas is out of order. the next day martin shows up come takes out a 16-inch long but we nice, sits in front of speak of house and methodically sharpens it on his boot sold. i don't member of pelosi this in 2011. i just don't. we've been to before. we'll get out of it again. thank you. >> you can watch this in any of our programs in their entirety at type the author's name in the search bar at the top of the page. >> our first bigger is meredith broussard has a professor at nyu.


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