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tv   2019 Mississippi Book Festival  CSPAN  August 17, 2019 11:47am-2:04pm EDT

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>> the mississippi book festival takes place in and outside the state capital in jackson.right now we are looking at the blue maria booksellers tent at the outdoor festival. also known as the literary lawn party. this is live coverage. [inaudible background conversations] this is live coverage of the fifth annual mississippi book festival continuing now. next up is the author discussion on outlaws in american history.
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[inaudible background conversations] [inaudible speaking] the panel is titled american history, renegades and sponsored by the mississippi library commission. tracy carr, with the library commission, was in the room for the very first organizational meeting of the festival we couldn't do this without the mississippi library commission or libraries from all over the state so thank you very much for your support. we are in the room today courtesy of foreman watkins law firm, our gratitude to them. our panelists are tom craven, eric j dolman and peter houlihan. you can purchase copies of their books from vendors outside and you can find the times are authors will be signing in your program. we will hear from our panelists for about 40 minutes then open the floor to questions. please come to the podium in the center of the room to ask your questions.
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help me welcome our moderator for this panel, kitty blunt director of mississippi department of archives and history. [applause] >> thank you. i'm going to tell you about these guys and then we will start the conversation. tom craven was a reporter for the new york times and editor of weekly newspapers before turning to writing full-time. four of his books have been new york times bestsellers dodge city the heart of everything that is, healtheast typhoon and the last stand of fox company. while bill was published by st. martin's press february 2019 and this november harpercollins will release all blood runs red. in sag harbor new york. eric j dolan in the middle is the author of 13 books including leviathan, the history of whaling in america named one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the los angeles times in the boston
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globe the book also won the 2007 john lyman award for u.s. maritime history. his most recent book, before black slaves, was brilliant begin. the history of the american lighthouse. dolan lives in marblehead massachusetts with his family. and on the end peter houlihan is a freelance writer in his career as an emergency medical technician he's written a number of articles related to his profession including the impact of ptsd on first responders. he's written a number of book reviews for the hearst papers is a native of southern california he now lives in fairfield county connecticut in norco 80 is his first book. i'm going to ask each of you to say a few words about your book and give us an overview and then will come up with some questions. >> thank you for telling me. [laughter] >> can you hear me?
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you got that in at the right time. thank you. i will talk very briefly about my book while bill which is about while bill hitchcock. it was a book i had no intention of writing. it sort of snuck up on me. i had done a book that came out a couple years ago called dodge city about white hurt and matt masterson when they were young lawmen together in dodge city kansas and when the book came out it was successful and i've been working on a different book a world war ii story but my editor looking at the bottom line said is there another iconic western figure you can think of who may be deserves to have some treatment? i said the name that popped into my head was while bill because it was a name i think we all recognized while bill
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hitchcock. we all recognize that name but the only thing you might think about him was he was a gunfighter i said if that's all he was a gunfighter and not really that interested i said let me do some research. the book that came out of that portrays while bill hitchcock as a gunfighter, fervent abolitionist, spy behind confederate lines during the civil war, deputy u.s. marshall, marshal of hayes city in abilene kansas, he was a broadway performer star of the theater on broadway. and of course he was a gambler who finished up his career in deadwood south dakota. one other thing i will add on very briefly one of the joys of working on the book as i discovered he so often did associated with calamity jane. they were big love affair. some of you go back to the movie the planes. but the love of his life and the woman he eventually married and the woman agnes lake, one
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of the most remarkable women of the 1800s she was one of the major search. >> impresarios in the country. the rival of barnum and bailey and the ringling brothers and nobody knows who she is. she had an amazing career and she and hickok fell in love it took them a few years. it was one of the unexpected pleasures of the book to portray this remarkable person was literally lost in the midst of history. thank you. >> thank you.first i'd like to give a shout out to john evans of the myriad books because he's one of the reasons i'm here he read my book enjoyed it and asked the mississippi book festival if they'd invite me down so i like to thank him for doing that and i'd like to think the mississippi book festival for inviting me to come down and it got really h this morning i'm not used to it and from the north. i want to tell you a little bit about how this book began as well.usually i just go to libraries and read a bunch of books and i try to figure out something i'm interested in and then pitch it to my agent
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hopefully he's on board and pitch it to the publisher. but this book i did something quite different. i got my two teenage children in the room i had three or four ideas and started telling them what i wanted to write about and when i mentioned pirates, both of their eyes lit up and they said, dad that's it you have to write a book about pirates. i got very excited because although i've written plenty of books neither of my kids have read any of them. [laughter] i have to report since my daughter might see this my daughter just graduated from college and she actually read black lives blue waters she said she enjoyed it. my son a freshman in college has only agreed to read it perhaps by the time he's 50 years old. and one for two. but black lives blue waters about the pirates of the golden age. which stands in the late 1600s through about 1726 and there have been a lot of books about pirates and my book as to that literary leverage but with a slight twist. i focus on the pirates that either operated out of the
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american colonies or slandered ships along the american shore. really the book goes into sections before 1700 and after 1700. before 1700 pirates in the colonies were welcomed with open arms because here the colonies were on the edge of empire they were starved of currency they didn't like how england was treating them and pirates were coming from the caribbean and also from the red sea. they were going there and attacking muslim ships or muggle ships and bringing riches back to the colonies. governors were getting paid off to get the letters of mark to go off and when they came back to the colonies with their money they were reintegrated into those colonies. england shut down the piracy about 1700 then after the war the spanish succession which ended in 1713 pirates came roaring back and that's the type of piracy that most of you no doubt are familiar with.
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that's when blackbeard was upon the seas. i always find it funny that blackbeard is the most outsized part of the one most people have heard about but he was only a pirate for about a year and and a half he didn't have a particularly successful career and when he died they cut his head off and hung it on the bouts of this loop before the british navy lieutenant took it back to williamsburg. the book has a lot of hangings in it. it's got a lot of death and destruction. but it also really is a book about american history that just uses pirates as a backbone to tell that story. i had a lot of fun writing the book and researching it. >> we have a cowboys and we have pirates and i've got bank robbers so other than vampires you got for of the main stage of things that have remained in the fascination. my story is about a group of young men led by a born-again christian with strong and times
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beliefs who attempted to take over robbery of the security pacific bank in norco california outside los angeles on may 9, 1980 that turned into one of the most violent events in american law enforcement history. when it was over there was three dead and 15 wounded included should summon sheriff's deputies. there were 32 police cars either disabled or destroyed by gunfire or explosive devices being thrown by the bank robbers. a police helicopter that was shot down over san bernardino county. the scope of this is really what attracted me to it. i'm a native southern california and i grew up right near where this happened. the sheer scope of the event is really what drew me to it. these are five heavily armed young men. they are shooting civilian
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grade civilian version the military grade weapons they've made homemade fragmentation grenades that can launch out the barrels of their shotguns. as luck would have it and a lot of bad planning the minute they stepped outside of the bank they came head-to-head with the riverside county sheriff's deputy and it just erupted into a wildfire fight in a crowded southern california intersection on a friday afternoon in which over 100 rounds over 500 rounds were fired and then into a running gun battle through the suburban streets of riverside and san bernardino county onto a crowded interstate highway where they were throwing up fragmentation grenades shooting down the police helicopter and ended up 6500 feet up on a fire road clinging to a mountainside in the san gabriel mountains above los angeles. where the road is washed out and the four surviving bank
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robbers, i don't want to give too much of it away, ambushed the pursuing police. it was really the scope of this and i think a wider context that it fits into is the bank robbery epidemic that swept through los angeles area beginning write about 1980 and then extending into the middle of the 1990s, which is one of the backdrops on it. the impact for today have a lot to do with the way local police forces are armed and the way that they deal with posttraumatic stress disorder. >> great. this room is full. all of these people chose to come to this panel over many other panels including spring core justice so let me ask y'all, why do readers enjoy books about bad guys? violent stories? renegades?
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what you think the appeal is? pirates? i'm not casting aspersions. [laughter] >> for a very base perspective there is nothing more gripping or dramatic then to read about a horrific act. it just grabbed your attention. it's sort of like white people rubbernecking there on a highway and there's an accident? ... in many different forms going back as long as we recorded history and certainly before that. so maybe there is something very animalistic about it wanting to read about it. i also think there's an aspect in the sense that you can read about these acts and hope we none of you would want to
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perpetrate but you could put yourself in that perspective and think what it would've been like and maybe better them than me. you hear a lot of people getting killed or robbed or some the bad is happening and not happening to you. but there is no doubt that death, destruction, horrific acts of violence attract your attention like almost no other topic. [laughter] >> i also think when you take a hard look at someone who does something almost unimaginable, and my case these were five young men no criminal records who threw away their lives and the lives of a lot of other people. there's also the fascination with how someone gets to that point where they take a step like that or in the case with pirates or mythological figures like wild bill, i voiced thought
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there is a fascination with what other steps gets someone more like me or us or you to somebody who is doing something extraordinary and almost unimaginable. just to add, i think in the case of wild bill, is a romanticism about the lone gunman in the person living a life and most of the people living a life that we don't live. he was a unique figure the ever tight for mail was 55 height. >> and tall muscular lean, he had buckskin in the summer euro, he wore two guns, one each side he could chew accurately with either hand. and up until the day he died he was undefeated heavyweight
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gunfighter. he lived a life where he roamed all over the place and had different kind of adventures on the prairie and in the plains. for most of us we don't have that or have that life. and this feeling of i'm going to read the story and live this life for the next 360 days because i know when i put the book down i gotta mow the lawn. [laughter] i gotta get the laundry back. >> all three of you they were
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waiting two nights later and his father had taken them to the next station along the way. it was not surprised in the civil war broke out and he joined the union army and he saw the early battles of the war but he became a spy and he always had through his whole life coolness under pressure.
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in the one thing that made him effective, he had a belief that the bullet had not been manufactured that could kill him. so when confronted and gun battle he believed that he was going to persevere and he did. but in the civil war, he actually infiltrated senior office of staff to listening as if they're strategizing in the union lines. there is another aspect that made him a reggae gated at any point pray he could been unmasked and shot. once was found out and put to be shot dead at don he escaped back to the union line. there is a renegade aspect in doing a job most people cannot do effectively or did not want to because there would be no trial if you're found it be immediate death. >> i definitely think that
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running a haven for runaway slaves on the underground railroad is a different version of taking justice into your own hands. the fascinating connection, you all have any thoughts? >> there are two things, the era in which this took place had a big impact and as i mentioned the leader, the young man who put this big robbery together was a born-again christian with a very heavy and time belief and theology saved in the book of revelations and i'm certainly not suggesting that those lead to big robbery but in the case of george wayne smith he came out of orange county california where in the 1970s were there were ministries that were aggressively evangelical and youth ministries and the book of revelation rapture and in time theology.
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and he began to believe that that was going to happen soon. and when george looked out at the world and tried to match up current events with prophecies there was a lot to see in the 1970 not the least of which was a very real threat of nuclear obliteration. so george was really preparing to be able to survive events and he became heavily armed into a fortress along with his roommate and took part in the bank robbery. the other is that not too many people know that los angeles is a bank robbery capital of the world and for many years and decades it's only recently changed, one out of every four bank robberies in the united states takes place within the jurisdiction of the l.a. field office of the fbi.
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there are a number of reasons but the main one is freeways. you rob a bank next to the freeway and you jump on a freeway and five minutes later and the good old days of los angeles you are 5 miles away and probably cruising sidestreet of a different police jurisdiction. 1980 was the beginning of that and by 1990s there were 2600 bank robberies in that region, 14 a day at their height 28 and monday. so it is ferti ground for bank robberies and when people go looking for money, quick money in los angeles they usually look more so at banks than they do in other areas. ithose are two aspects of the ea in which it took place.
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>> one of the things that history taught me is that the root of a lot of action is money, lack of money, desire for money in the way that that plays out in black lives, blue waters prior to 1700 the american colonies was a very small place on the outskirts of empire, treated by the mother country who viewed it as a source of good and starved of currency and even back then in late 1600s there was the echoes of what would later become the pride during the american revolution, no taxation without representation, all that sort of stuff. a lot of resentment. even the piracy was against the law in the late 1600s the colonies decided that they would and could profit from it. when it was claimed down in 1700 it came back in the 17, and played a central role because
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1715 the american colonies were larger, more prosperous, merchants were more powerful group in england was treating them a little bit better and all of a sudden the pirates instead of going and attacking spanish in the caribbean or attacking muslim ships halfway around the world and bringing heathens money back to the colonies, the pirates of the 1715, 1720s, they were attacking english and colonial of course, merchant ships along the american coast. so now it was the colonies whose ox was being gored. so where they welcomed pirates before and wanted their money now it was ruining their own bottom line and they teamed up with the mother country and waged an all-out war against pirates that ultimately ended in 1726 with the last hanging of pirates and boston. so i really think it's critical.
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in almost every book i've written certainly money has been a key factor in determining people's motivations, why they did what they did and affect how things turned out. >> i want to talk about how it feels writing about characters, people really who you might not necessarily like, respect or identify with and i want to start, peter one of the strengths of your book is incredible complexity of the characters and all of them, the bank robbers are fascinating and complicated people and the police same way. and you go into their stories and it's really interesting. you said you are attracted because the scope of the story. did you know you are going to find these rich personal stories? >> no norco was a true hunt and
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i will say this, if it were just a bang bang shoot them up event which it was, one i probably would not -- it was one-dimensional gunslinger it would not have interested me that much. on a story like this to a certain extent there has to be a larger human element to it. but i was 17 years old when it happened and much older when i started to get into it and always fascinated of what i was able to reveal. in the way that it touched so many lives and it continues to ripple through the ages. the police officers involved all went on journeys "after words" in different ways as a result -- these are guys who had law-enforcement officers who had 1700 rounds of gunfire shot at
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them and some guys were hit 12, 14 times, 20, 40, 60 times to be under such heavy gunfire is terrifying and they all will admit it. they were still guarding the wild west and these deputies with the same thing that was a hundred years before. a sick shooter and winchester shotgun. there is a lot of story there. and certainly again when you look at anybody who eventually their lives lead to robbing a big and armed and prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way. that is fascinating and talk about people you don't necessarily like. you have to go into these things to be prepared to give people their humanity and not to come in with any agenda or preconceived notion or idea, i was in the prisons with two out of the three surviving a robbers and still doing life without
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parole in california prison systems and wrote back and forth with the others. we happen to a roadmap 10 miles away from each other in suburban l.a. and much of same neighborhoods so we had a lot of things to talk about other than bank robberies in the day they destroyed their lives and the lives of other people. but the human element in the unfolding of the story, one thing about writing a true event a true crime event, especially one that goes to trial there is a tremendous amount of documentation out there. everybody writes, all the police officers and law for small officers right and investigate an incident reports. on trial, they are brought to the day excruciating detail. so there is a wealth of things to go through, documents and to unpeeled not only the events but the people involved and then it's a matter of spending a lot
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of time with the people involved. >> how did you feel about wild bill at the end? >> you know, one of the questions that i almost always am asked when i talk about this book is who is my favorite pirate. i have to rephrase it, who's the most fascinating to me. because they all were pretty miserable people. i'd love to have a drink and probe them about their motivation and desires but they ly are not the kind of people that i tend to hang out with or like. and i'll tell you a story about one that is most fascinating and hope we don't take this into an insight of my subterranean personality. i love him because he was a psychopathic and despicable pirates of all his name was edward lowe, he relished torturing and killing his victims and one of his signature moves was to cut out people's lips and ears and roast them and
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force them to eat their own flesh before they ran them through a cutlass. pretty nasty guy. and it's fascinating if you look and disentangle the missed under myth from the man he's portrayed as a vicious pirate captain, we only have a record of him once doing anything violent to his victims and that was a whipping. and he thought most of the way by intimidation rather than violence. pirates are very good at maintaining their brand identity. evynce in a while it kills people to get them scared and most of the time people would surrender when they saw the pirates flag atop the ships. i don't have a problem writing about people i don't identify with especially if their story is fascinating and i did try to put myself in their position,
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people who are educated, did not have any other opportunities and if you look to piracy it was sort of like going to a casino. when you walk in i imagine almost everybody inks they're going to win. when you walk out a few hours later most have lost. it is the same with pirates. there was an element of humanity but when you really dig into their stories there were a bunch of miserable people. but they're fun to read about. [laughter] if you want to have a drink with a person who cuts people's lips off. [laughter] >> insight into your subterranean personalities exactly what were after. [laughter] >> i'm nothing in the closet i need to admit right now. >> with wild bill there was two things to enrich the story, one was, he became a character for me because both of my colleagues
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talk about context in the story. and when i was working on the book i realized that the story of wild bill is also a story of the american west starting to change and he was able to change with it. he was the lone gunman in the lawman after civil war who you defeat the bad guy shooting them. and that's how you clean up the town. for example by the time the gunfight in the corral in october of 1881, virgil was not the marshall, he was the chief of police and the head of the police department. he had everything in the microwave, and for a short period of time is changing and law enforcement had changed in haycock was not there for the end. he cannot keep up.
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that was almost like a tragic character. it was interesting what is going back to the genealogy that the family in england in the 1600s were farmers on land owned by shakespeare. in connection with a couple centuries later. so there was that part and i think the american west how it changed. you had the american west in the front tier was kansas and missouri in a lot of ways and after the civil war so much of what used to be called the great merck and desert open up. the west was changing very much and hickok was 70 was set in his ways and he did no how to be anybody else but himself. he was believing his own luncheon. he just had to look coldly at somebody and they said i give up.
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and there was a poignancy to it, i felt differently i expected him to be completely heroic figure and he was not. he is more complex than that and somebody -- rome was felt sorry for him use only 39 when he died so i never lived old enough to tell his own story. so, he had 39 years on earth and there was so much, almost like he probably would not have done well if you live longer. he would not have been comfortable or vulnerable in a world that was evolving around him. not that he wanted to die at 39 but this is almost like a justification to a life cut short that was going to be hard to live in 1880s, and 90s. >> eric i was interested in what
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you wrote about empowering pirates and other literary works in movies and popular culture. in your historian colleagues are bothered by that and bothered by the inaccuracies. in generalizations that you say i'm not particularly interested in and criticizing fictional account to piracy. they are fun and entertaining as they are meant to be. i think that's how most of us feel about the stories but when you write your own book you are more rigorous and separating fact from fiction. >> yes. i love the first two pirates of the caribbean movies and the rest they could have done without. i heard the doing another one. i love watching movies and reading books that are fictionalized accounts. but since this is a nonfiction book and i try to be as scrupulous as possible. i wanted to separate fact and
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fiction and that was one of the most interesting things about the book that i discovered along with many of you know pirates never bury the charger, they did not make people walk the plank, there plenty of easier ways to cope people back then. and pirates did have patches, i didn't find any that had wooden legs all the people at the time did have wooden legs, norah pirates the had a hook. but we ever mad romanticize pirs and johnny depp is a prime example. a lot of pirates did dress rather lavishly and that was impart their way of sticking their middle finger up to the standard of proper society at the time and when they took over a ship that had a lot of nice close or people that were being transported from the upper class they would force them to strip and take a close and if they were wearing nice rings or necklace they would take those as well.
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and dressed quite lavishly so mucsome of the myths are not my. it was fascinating to dissect from the historical record what is real and what is not. and from a writer's perspective center goal is ultimately to get readers and people that are interested in reading your book, it sometimes was tough to demolish those myths because myths become myths for that very reason. they are like the air warms the stick in your head and it feels comfortable and so amazing, it's such a great story it has to be true. and as a writer on one hand you want to improve them because the public wants to read them. so i got to include them by debugging them and i got the best of both worlds. >> in just a minute we will open it up for your questions and as you are coming up to the podium
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i will throw this at each one of you, what do you love to read and what do you hate to read? >> i love to read commentator books. >> of course we all do. [laughter] >> again, i'm a historian, people call me in a historian of an undergraduate masters and phd in biology. the last history class i took was a freshman in college in the last english was in high school. and given my editor puts it a lot of commas where should have them i wish i could go back and take another english class. every book i pick is on a topic except for one that i don't know much about. it's like getting a masters degree every two years and how to read so much about my topic i don't have a lot of time for pleasure reading and when i do have time i tend to read nonfiction or biographies. i wish i had more time to read fiction, i have not read much
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fiction. and, one of the byproducts certainly early on in my career a lot of my books taste placed in the 1700s, 1600, 1800 so i read a lot of books and letters from those arrows and when you read so much material written in a certain way you start to write a little bit like that. one of my earliest editors, she was a former editor into this copy editing now. she wrote me a note three or four books ago and said, i think you're in the wrong century. [laughter] you like a water words that are old-fashioned from the 1800s. but i did read their two books, i can't claim i read every single word but i found them fascinating because there's a kind of book that i enjoy reading about people and when i
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retire, if i ever do i hope to get the incredibly long list of books that it was meant to read. >> both of these guys do have a big body of work of stuff with mutual admiration. and is the stuff i like to read. i read a lot of fiction in my master's in fiction writing and i switched over to nonfiction, i like nonfiction writers the tell a story with the story arc and style that fiction writers are masters at. and that does not mean you skimp on research or details but you can keep the narrative flow of coherence and really shows the reader or as me as a reader a different world or the importance, the larger story
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behind the obvious story and whether it be cowboys, pirates or bank robbers and nathaniel does that very well, you guys doing really well. there is a number of people. i have kind of shifted a little bit to nonfiction although i have a huge admiration for fiction writers. and that is what i like to see in a nonfiction book. >> very quickly, i feel very fortunate when it comes to reading because most of the reading i do is connected to whatever project i am working on and thankfully the projects i work on i'm interested in so i enjoy the reading connected with that and i very rarely come across something that i say i can't wait till i'm finished with it. but the few times i had the time to read something that is not work related, i read thrillers.
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i read michael connelly, i read ian rankin, i enjoy reading. i enjoy the page turners. they are a lot of fun. and i used to read back in the day like the paperbacks of john d mcdonald. one of my favorite writers ever is raymond hanlon. so have fun when i'm reading the work in just as much or maybe a little more fun when i'm not reading for work. >> all three of you right like people who love to read and all three of these books are a lot of fun to read and can be called page turners. questions from the audience? i invite you to come up to the podium. >> this question is for
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mr. della went. i recently was reading some biography of ehrenberg and there was a big mystery which occurred when his daughter was traveling from south carolina to new york to visit him about a possible deficit through privacy. it was a fascinating thought that i've never heard of any recent research regarding the outcome that she sailed on. i was wondering, of course this is early 1800s not during the 1700s that you mention. i wondered if your research has shed any light on this mystery? >> unfortunately the answer is no because my book and in 1726 even though i'm aware of the stories, for the same reason that i not dive into the
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brothers who were privateers and smugglers in the 1800s, fascinating stories but i did read extensively on that and i heard about that so i cannot add anything to it. . . . there have been a lot of good books about that. writing about in the book about piracy in the 1800s my next book is on hurricanes. although my next book is 500 year history of hurricanes actually mentions the ã brothers fairly extensively for another reason. you'll have to read the book to find out why. [laughter] >> thank you.
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>> come on up. >> for each of the three authors the subjects of the books we been talking about today what do you think would be the best american movie that accurately portrays what you found in your research? >> stomped. the muppets treasure island. [laughter] the close second being the donees. captain blood is very good. i like the pirates of caribbean moving's but their little light on some of the real history. >> i'm not a huge movie guy but the closest thing that the bank robbery i write about harkens back to is the gangster arrow.
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where they go in with guns blazing or end up with guns blazing. anybody remember a name of a gangster movie? [laughter] >> unfortunately when it comes to cops and robbers shoot them ups and things like that most of them are terribly inaccurate and a little bit overblown and unrealistic. that's really the era in harkens back to the most. >> i think while bill is still waiting for a decent treatment. he's been portrayed a few times. there's a movie called wild bill that jeff bridges did in the 1990s to go back to gary cooper in 1936 with the plainsman. there is even a bizarre movie called the white buffalo in which charles bronson played while bill hickok. he security plays in the first season of deadwood the hbo series and he died after six episodes.spoiler alert.
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sorry. i would love somebody one day to try and tackle this complex character and the times that surround him. i can't recommend any particular picture that i thought captured hickok. >> i'm a little hard hearing so you may have already answered these questions. i like to ask mr. dolan who is his favorite which was his favorite pirate depiction in a movie? i also have a question for mr. kleiman after that. >> you are assuming and that question that i have watched the huge number of pirate movies which is not the case. but i really do enjoy the treasure island movie with little jackie cooper and who's the main actor? a great actor character actor of the day wallace berry. i really like that because
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wallace berry is long john silver. a little over the top he's got that glimpse in his eye when he's killing people stop is like a nice guy killing people. i just love the cinematography in the storyline takes you away. i don't know as much about the canon of pirate movies as i do about pirate books. >> elected depiction of the later movie i think about disney studios i can't think of the english actors name where he talked to master harkens robert i forget his last name. >> robert parker? >> there have been multiple treasure island movies and they are probably will be more. >> and mr. kleiman what is your favorite most accurate in your
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eyes western gunslinger movie you've ever seen? >> my favorite western is the searchers. however, i did find in looking at the hickok book i wanted to watch movies that were particularly about gunfighters. it's a very good grade report called the gunfighter in which he is trying to get out of the life and having tre doing that. but i would have to say the spot really rose for me for the movie sheen i think it's a wonderful story i think jack schaefer wrote a wonderful book and they turned it into a very, george stevens director very good story and you have the character played by alan led who has come to this farm work they live and the idea he's going to try to get out of the gunfighter life yet he is pulled back into it because of events around him. there is a poignancy to the character that i found identified with because of the
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poignancy of the hickok character. >> thank you. >> i know that hasn't been a movie about norco but i was reminded of a lot of books and reading norco the most obvious thing helter-skelter. you really write much about connections between those two stories but certainly there are. >> this kind of an underexplored, in my opinion, world of southern california crimes of which i think some of the creepy serial killers of the late 60s and early 70s but there really is a whole different i'm not sure i'm answering your question but there's a whole different vibe to police forces in southern california and there is certainly an attitude and they are a lot different than philadelphia and new york city police forces. also something a little bit slightly demented about the
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criminals involved even more so than in other places there is kind of this tie in the southern california culture that can drag out a lot of odd things that certainly did with manson and a number of others. >> and certainly the messy impulse. >> certainly that too. >> for peter on bank robberies commute got a more complete story of when you got the robbery and then the rubber is caught and goes to jail but i'm wondering about what he may have learned in your research about that or maybe successful from the robbers perfected and never went to jail. did you learn much about what percentage actually worked and what kind of insights did you draw from that? >> i do know about the world of los angeles bank robbery and i did spend some time speaking with william rader the head of the bank robbery task force or
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group at the fbi in that area. the vast majority of bank robbers are not pastors, one-on-one bank robbers, one bank robber, one teller, i got a gun give me all your money. he says the vast majority of them are robbing because they are addicted. addicted to drugs. they need money fast and feel like their back is against the wall. those guys get caught because they keep good doing it. it's an addiction in itself. it seems like easy money walking past the notebook out with $2500 $3000 but eventually your luck runs out. back in that period the fbi didn't even pay attention to you until you were up to six or seven bank robberies there were some that rob as many as 60 to 65 or 70 banks. mostly they get caught because they happen to come out when a police car is going by somebody hit silent alarm in the police cars nearby somebody drops down the license plate. the vast majority get caught. the other ones then you have your toddlers are very rare.
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but the takeover robberies are the ones that are extremely frightening and that's like mine where you get a group of people they run in t bank heavily armed and it's everybody get down on the floor now. those are very volatile situations. i think most bank bank robbers get caught. there's just too much that can go wrong. despite how easy it might seem. certainly bank employees i was a big teller in the 1980s and you are told to give them what they want and get them the hell out of the bank before somebody gets can appear to be and the freeways it can appear to be easy but in fact there are a lot of different ways to get caught in nowadays people get caught the number of bank robbers height in los angeles was 2600 now it runs about 250. at its technology, everybody's got a camera they can fill you
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they can take snapshots of you in the bank and immediately have it face recognition set to every cop in the area. there's not a great success rate for bank robbers because they repeat. >> thank you. >> sort of a two-part question. the idea of being a renegade is somewhat romanticized for the individuals you research do you find that they sought to be renegades or that they were sort of existing in a world that that was the life that felt appropriate for their current circumstances? the second half is committee think they would be proud of your legacy? how many parts of the golden age went into that willingly. a lot of them were privateers suddenly put out of their license piracy operations by the end of the war and they may not have been other opportunities for maritime employment and they decided, i got this skill set and might as well use it in real piracy.
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but there were quite a few pirates and the number increased over time who were forced to become pirates because they were taken during captures and the pirate needed to round up their crew or if there was a doctor on board or carpenter somebody with specialized skills you could be forced to become a pirate. as to the legacy, i think blackbeard would love it, during his era when he was around he sort of like a meteor. he was only around, we only know about him for about a year and and a half he didn't accumulate a huge amount of treasure, he did accumulate a huge number of pirates operating under him somewhere near 400 on five ships. if he could come back now and see all the movies that have been made about him and how many people know the name blackbeard and that he, not him, henry morgan has a type of long named after him, these pirates would love it. they become cultural icons. they were not cultural icons of their day.
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they were the true comedy crime people of the day. i think they would love it. >> with hickok two things happen one was of his own volition he left illinois to see what was going on on the frontier. the rest of the hickok family his siblings and parents extended family are all buried back in illinois they never left the farming community. he became a renegade in the sense that he just left everything behind. i'm going to see what's out there. but what wasn't his doing that made hickok so well-known today i think anyway. is that he had gotten a reputation as a gunfighter in indian fighter frontier scout and harper's new monthly magazine sent a report out in 1867 i think it was it said find somebody who symbolizes the new frontier and they asked around people so you got to talk to bill hickok. which he did. he embellishes article a bit
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but when it appeared in the magazine it caused a sensation because mostly red back east and they pretrade hickok as this heroic legend he was even 30 yet. that was the face of the frontier. another reporter for the new york newspaper interviewed him his peace came about the same time the reporter's name was henry stanley whose next report was to find doctor livingston in africa but he did the same thing so hickok became this legendary figure and at first it was kind of embarrassed by it but as the years went on he embraced it. when you can't beat them join them. you'd be in a saloon date asked to tell a story about something he did that he never did. but it was free drinks. i'll tell the story. i think because in his own lifetime he saw what it was like to be this legendary figure i think if he was came back today and saw the reputation he probably have the same room filled go with it attitude he had been quick to
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him two minutes, he asked really quick question that would require a really quick answer? >> to mr. dolan, due to the time period of the book you are writing between the age of piracy that you writing about how would you feel that what's your opinion on what other foreign countries foreign naval powers even though it's based on american colonies and the biggest players were the colonies and britain, how what is your personal opinion of how other big powers like portugal, france, spain, netherlands played in that time period. not relating to your book but the history is total. >> those international european powers were at a great disadvantage. all the golden silver emanating from central south america that
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is what kicked off a lot of the early piracy because all the other countries were jealous of spain's riches. they were sending a lot of ships down there to pillage some called privateers but really pirates like sir francis drake what happened later on is the government's were at a distinct disadvantage. think about how huge the ocean is. and how many warships do you have you can send out searching for pirates? even england the most powerful nation in the world at the time could only afford to dispatch five small men of war to patrol from maine to the caribbean. occasionally they did capture a pirate but it was a very difficult endeavor to try to stamp out piracy with military action although he was part of what ultimately brought this era of piracy to its knees. >> i want to thank all of you for being here today and please join me in taking our panel.
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[applause] [inaudible background conversations] that was a live conversation about outlaws in american history here at the mississippi book festival. you can see it was well attended with many of the audience participants going up to talk to the authors afterwards. [inaudible background
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conversations] starting shortly is a discussion on the civil war and the self. ãbcivil war and the south. as we take a look. [music]
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the next offer discussion live from the mississippi book festival begins shortly. while we wait want to show you a program from book tv archives about outlaws and law men in arizona during america's westward expansion. >> there is a glamour that's been attached to being an outlaw sort of the jesse james or billy the kid. they don't realize that these guys didn't have really a very good life. they were constantly on the move. there was always somebody pursuing them. later in the later days of history western history like during the time of butch cassidy and the sundance kid they had telephones them. law enforcement could call and say, these guys just robbed a bank now they are headed your way. one of the things that you never see in the movies or hear much about but it really drove the outlaws drove them out of
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business. arizona was kind of unique for outlaws in that because of the wild country especially down along the mexican border they could just break the law brenda crossed the line both there and here. and also in the rugged mountains of eastern arizona the white mountains in the blue river country and all that, that is still wild country to this day. you could hide in there and never be found. so as law and order came to places like texas and new mexico, colorado, montana there was one last refuge and that was here so well into the 20th century we were still dealing with outlaw gangs rustling caps, by the way we are still dealing with cattle rustling out here in these remote branches. people are still stealing cows. when i was writing about these outlaws and law men i wanted as much diversity as i could with law men i picked a sheriff who
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was a no-nonsense man and he was judge jury and executioner. he was one of the most famous law men in arizona a fellow named john slaughter from texas. he was down on the mexican border and it was no holds barred on either side with law men. they were fair game. he would just say, the guy had an accident coming in and didn't make it. then there was bucky o'neill who is one of my favorites. he was sheriff of yavapai county and was welcomed into office with the big train robbery up near flagstaff he had to go after him but he had this chivalrous and he was a chivalrous guy. he was a very likable guy just a good irishman and woman loved him, women just adored him and men admired him. and he chased the train robbers
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clear into utah and brought them back. when working with spain in 1898 he went out and recruited the troops and they elected him volunteers the arizona volunteers and teddy roosevelt's rough riders he was elected captain of the company a and then killed just before the charge up san juan hill. he died a warrior's death. [laughter] i think it's probably the way he would have wanted it but he was this knight in shining armor type sheriff and you also had to deal, you mentioned tombstone just now it made me think of curly bill brocious and the clintons clinton family and johnny ringgold and his wing hunt and a bunch of these guys they were wrestlers and they were stealing on both sides of the border but they were especially stealing along the mexican side because they were
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big herds of cattle down in chihuahua they would go down and wrestle these cows they would bring them back to the mining towns and the butchers in the town they were butcher shops they would buy these cows. he eliminated the middleman in a way affect one guy high-class didn't boasted he said the reason i made a profit in this business is i didn't have to buy the cows. the thing is, the merchants the people the common folk in the town butcher shops and things like that they like to get into the better price if they could buy a cow for a fraction of the cost to buy from a stranger. they can elect these guys they like to. they came to town they drank a lot and spent a lot and gamble a lot. they had a lot of money. cowboys don't usually have much money. when you are coming into town with a real pocket full role of money in your pocket and spending freely because there's more where that came from your
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pretty popular. billy the kid's name was early billy. it wasn't really bonnie it was henry mccartney. what would you call him hank the kid? or henry the kid. and then the famous wild bill hickok. the kansas woman whose name was james butler hickok. somebody called him wild bill one day and it stuck. there's a lot of these names but curly bill brocious, that's a good name, johnny ringo is the best of all. this brought fame even when they didn't deserve it. an author wrote a book about johnny ringgold called johnny ringgold the gunfighter who never was. i think he killed one guy really that we are sure of, the others maybe he did maybe he didn't but he decided to exterminate the guy and that i was washing his face and he had a towel over his face dried his face and ringgold shot him.
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that's his only real standup shootout. so a lot of these guys were pretty counterfeit. in the 1920s the journalist picked up on it because america had faded from reality in the midst and america wanted hero cowboys in the movies the movies that really inspired that. the first movie with a story the great train robbery in 1903 it was a train robbery. actually butch cassidy and the sundance kid were still robbing trains out west at the time this happened. as the movies got real popular in the 1920s it was really the superhero silver screen heroes, tom nixon and things like that. all the sudden people started thinking these movies are real. this is the way they really were. many people today all they knew about the west is what they see on a movie screen.
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so they equate everything to that end i have to explain, hollywood is trying to make money. hollywood is about profit. don't expect them to play it the way it really happened maybe. if you really want to know, read a book. the arizona rangers were organized in 1901 this is after about five or 10 years after they say the normal era of old west ended. we are now into the 20th century. the outlaw gangs we had gangs still operating in the rugged mountains of eastern arizona. they were brazen stealing towels in the middle of the day. in the middle of the day stealing cattle. that was when it really began to fade. in 1918 they were still having gunfights and some of these remote areas like the good oral mountains. you go into the glue of
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mountains north east of tucson you going there today and it still wild country. few people around. i think as long as you tell a good story and the west was a perfect place to tell a story, you can have contemporary issues and problems but you give it a western theme put it in monument valley or something like that and give heroes like clint eastwood or somebody like that give them a role or people really drawing cards kevin costner today. makes a good western. people like that they can get out there and make a good film they also have box office power. the stories are still there. >> you can watch this and other author interviews and literary tours from around the country by visiting tour. >> you are watching booktv on
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c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> we are live from the fifth annual mississippi book festival in ãbalso this weekend on our author interview program "after words", journalist natalie wexler argues that the american education system can be improved by making changes to elementary school curriculum. one america news networks liz wheeler offers her thoughts on how to debate the left. hillside colleges burke folsom discusses the rise of big business in america. and we visit bozeman montana to explore the city's literary sites. it's all airing this weekend on booktv.
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now we are back live from the grounds of the state capital in jackson for the mississippi book festival. it's fifth annual festival. the next author discussion will begin shortly it will be about the civil war and the south. this is live coverage on c-span2 booktv. [inaudible background conversations]
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good afternoon everyone. you'll find seats and we will get our panel going. good morning. welcome to the fifth annual mississippi book festival.
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i'm chris goodman with the mississippi department of archives and history if you've not done so please silence your cell phones. this panel on the u.s. civil war is sponsored by the mississippi humanities council and mississippi state university one of the book festivals board members from mississippi state john mars luck is on the panel. as francis coleman here? dean of libraries? another strong supporter. as is stuart rockwell, director of mississippi humanities council.i don't believe he's in the room but think them for their support and we are in the room today courtesy of forming walkmans walker. our panelists are jaclyn dowd hall commercial be harold, john mars luck and bend when you can purchase copies of their books outdoors and you can find the times they will be signing in your brochure. we will hear from our panelists for about 40 minutes then will open the floor for questions. please go to the podium and answer questions on the microphone at that time. help me welcome jim woodward, deputy state historic preservation officer for mississippi and the author of
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the civil war siege of jackson mississippi. [applause] >> thank you. welcome everyone. well today. i like to introduce our authors beginning to my immediate left doctor jekyll and del whole foods in oklahoma native she has an undergraduate degree from what is now rhodes college in memphis in both masters and phd from columbia university. among her many accomplishments use the founding director of the southern oral history program and the julio series pearl professor of history emeritus at the university of north carolina chapel hill she's the author of several books including "like a family: the making of the southern middle cotton world " and the topic of today's discussion sisters and rebels a struggle for the soul of america. next to her is shall be harold is a mississippi native and
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graduate of the university of southernmost is to be. with a masters degree in education. currently an instructor of mathematics which scares me to death. at pearl river community college in poplar vail her ongoing research on the role of women soldiers in the civil war has been widely published and utilized by the national park service and state historic sites. earlier this year her interest in the topic resulted in her first book "behind the rifle: women soldiers and civil war mississippi " published by university press of mississippi. next to her is doctor john mars lack, native of buffalo new york earned his phd from university of notre dame after serving in the military. he began a distinguished teaching career since 1973 has been on the faculty of mississippi state university where he is now the giles distinguished professor emeritus history.
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he is the author of 15 books but perhaps most significantly for today's discussion since 2008 he has served as executive director of ulysses s grant associations presidential library at mississippi state. doctor mars luck is co-author of "hold on with the bulldog group" the short study of ulysses s grant which will be discussed today. and finally, author and historian doctor ben nguyen as a native of florence mississippi after attending bill stops college as an undergraduate he earned an ma in history from mississippi college and a doctorate from the university of mississippi he currently serves as professor of history at the university of georgia, north georgia and gainesville. he is the author of four books including "in tune" ãb in the subject of today's
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discussion the man who punched jefferson davis the political life of henry stewart foot published by lsu press in 2018. i'm going to start with ben, if he doesn't mind too much. and as each of you to give a brief overview of your book and what we are talking about today. the book title the man who punched jefferson davis really titled man who punched fill in the blank. this guy punched a lot of guys during his career. for start and want to think the mississippi book festival for inviting me here today i want to thank c-span of course and i also want to, and a jackson native i want to give a shout out to st. andrew's episcopal school where i attended school from grade 1 to 12. in first grade they literally
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taught me to write in the most literal sense. the foundation of educational foundation we all got there was very important. i discovered henry foot when i was back in the dark ages i was doing my doctoral dissertation was init, mississippi unionists before the civil war people that didn't want to succeed they were more moderate at this part the secession issue. not particularly slavery issue but the succession issue specifically.i started researching those types of people and their politics and the sky foot is named kept popping up everywhere. he was a u.s. senator from mississippi from 1847 to 1851. which swallows the period where you had what some people call the first secession crisis a lot of issues dealing with
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slavery had come to ahead those low back and forth in washington very tense time in that era produced something called the compromise of 1850 which postponed the civil war for about a decade. he was all wrapped up in that. then he became governor of mississippi right after that. 1851 to 53. what was interesting about foot is he really went against the trend at the time the political trend most of the politicians were starting to become radical with regard to slavery and already talking about secession and so on and so forth. foot had great political risk was a prounion politician from mississippi during that period and he espouses that on the floor of the u.s. senate and one election defeated jefferson davis for governor on that platform. i thought it was a pretty interesting study looking for
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things about him. then i found out, i just made a short list of what he did, as a politician this guy was while he was all over the place. he would go from being this very refined very, great writer, statesmanlike persona. to this maniac. while hit during his political career he fought in six tools innumerable fistfights while he was on the floor the united states senate this is what he did there among other things, pulled the gun on thomas hart the fella another tensor from missouri on the floor of the senate, he pulled a knife on another senator on the floor of the u.s. senate got into a fist fight of a fellow senator for markets on the floor the united states senate got in a fight in the closed room with a guy
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named john see fremont who ended up being the first republican candidate for president. got in a fight with him they are not on the floor of the senate but in the city cloakroom. he threatened to hang john see hail another senator from tree then he got in a fist fight with jefferson davis. so i looked at all that and i said how can i not see what this guy was up to. he had this very volatile career born in 1806 and died in 1880. his public career spanned a very controversial period of time. he had this great feud with jefferson davis probably jefferson davis most outspoken critic most people have never heard of. he ended up getting elected to the federal congress something believed he did that just so he could stand up on the confederate floor of the confederate congress and talk about jefferson davis. that's all he did demanding investigations of jefferson davis. talking about jefferson davis
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what a coward he was and how he was growing up the whole war effort. over and over again. he was kind of this maniacal, could be this maniacal guy that led this colorful life to say the least. when he died all the obituaries of people who loved him bought into what he was doing or probably more people hated him because he tended to burn his bridges wherever he went. one other thing he did his a politician if all that wasn't enough he ran for office as a jacksonian democrat as a wig as a mainstream democrat as a union democrat, as a member of the know nothing party, as a confederate congressman, and finally ended up joining the republican party after the work. he did all of that as well. and he published ended up when he died he had published four
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books. he published his own personal history of the confederate war effort actually publish that ã ãhe also tried to broker a peace agreement with the lincoln administration 1965 he just left the confederate congress and decided to go try to do that he was never able to talk to lincoln he did get as far as seward and was arrested and thrown out of the country as a result. anyway. quite an interesting character and that's what drew me to him. >> this book as a title i'm holding it up for obvious reasons because i'm showing it the book hold on with the bulldog group a short history of ulysses s grant as an important the title is important to spend selected by
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mississippi state university this year to serve as its 2019 maroon edition. what happens each year the university gives to all incoming freshmen and transfer students a gratis copy of some particular book which is then used in a common reading project in class advance or on gatherings on campus etc. and the whole thing starts this coming thursday august 22 and humphrey coliseum where president mark keenum will be talking about this book and i might add this the 10th year this has been done. this year's book was actually inspired by the u.s. grant presidential library being housed in the mitchell memorial library on campus. since grant came to mississippi every phone call that comes
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from the media asked the same question. how is it possible that us grant could be in the heart of mississippi? when answering the question we normally tell a lie first. we quote lincoln's comment to grant during the virginia campaign remember grant and lee fought each other in virginia. lincoln wrote to grant and said "hold on with the bulldog grip". so we like to say that even lincoln knew. [laughter] we have a new mississippi state bulldog. to tell the truth actually what we do is then trying to tell the truth that in addition to grants historical connection to mississippi mississippi state made the best offer of a lot of different institutions around the country to provide institutional support for this grant presidential library.
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msu president mark tino came up with the idea for the book and when you look at the copy of the cover you notice the book has been written by a number of people, chief justice of rhode island retired frank williams. the thing we tried to do you can see it's a thin book. we wanted something thin so they might actually read it. but in any case readers will read this particular book and learn about grant the man and not just direct the mess.
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most significantly i think the connection between the grant family and the family of the first msu president. fortunately the university press of mississippi with the publisher of the book has made the book available purchase to the general public. and the story of grant and his fascinating connections favor abraham lincoln and this confederate general stephen d lee makes grant become even more well-known than he already
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is. so jim probably along with many of you will take comfort in the fact that my book contains no mathematics at all. even though i have a article coming out in january i do cite the law of science i do intermingle math and history in that article but not in my book. my book is behind the right for women soldiers and civil war in mississippi. first book dealing with women soldiers with the regional focus. there is now not a lot out there and my book is the first one to deal with regional focus with mississippi but even the focus of mississippi, i do branch out and talk about women soldiers who fought in gettysburg for example. talking about women soldiers who were confined in
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andersonville prison. it's not all about mississippi but of course that is my focus. it's a chronology of mississippi's involvement in the civil war as told through the stories of the women who fought there. which is still relatively new topic. there's not a whole lot out there but i did find women who fought in every battle in mississippi except for maybe two ãbtop women were allowed to serve and years ago they had to be sneaky about it. there was one woman claimed ignorance when she was caught she said nobody specified that women couldn't fight so there she was she was discovered and which condo she kind of told on herself because she was disguised as a man so she had to know she couldn't be there
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but she tried anyway. a lot of them had multiple feminine names and multiple mail aliases. i had to be a detective to find out all of this. something interesting to note is there were at least two williams whose brigades faced off against each other at champion hill which of course is a major battle of the vicksburg my mind i think probably should just let the women take care of it anyway. the war would have ended very quickly or still be going on today if they let the women fight. but that's basically it. there's still a lot i'm still researching and finding out new information every day. a lot of new information in my book. i hope you will enjoy it.
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>> thank you. [applause] >> thank you and i'm thrilled to be here. sisters and rebels follows three sisters who were born in the 1880s and 90s over the course of the 20th century. bad uses them and their circles of lovers colleagues and friends to lift up the struggle of white southerners to come to grips with the legacy of slavery secession and segregation. it's not about the civil war. the civil war casts a long shadow on the sisters lives just as it casts its shadow on the present day. for that reason i start the book not with the birth of the
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sisters but on their father's plantation where in georgia where he was raised until he marched off to fight in the wage of the war of 15. it compares the reality of his life with the stories he told his daughters. the key chapter of the book may be the key chapter of the book is about the late 19th century struggle of white southerners to win the battle for historical memory. that is to define how the country was going to remember slavery and the civil war. in the aftermath of the civil war. the struggle for what they called the movement. to commemorate what they called
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the lost cause. william logan, the father of these three sisters had been obscure private in the actual war that he made his name as a colonel in the united confederate veterans. he devoted his life to this project. most important for my story he also inculcated his three daughters with his devotion to the cause he trained them in what was then the male identified art oratory and deployed them around the south as girl orators and veterans reunions. needless to say, this upbringing had a profound
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impact on their lives. each of the sisters groveled with the legacy of that upbringing in a different way. elizabeth the oldest was pushed at the boundaries of womanhood in her own way but she did not stray very far from her father's teachings. but catherine and grace lived what i think were fascinating unconventional lives. and the key to that process of reinvention and self liberation was a confrontation with the question that lies at the heart of the debates that we are having today over the meaning of confederate monuments in the
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nature of the lost cause. i often think about wonder what catherine the youngest the moral compass of my book would say if she were alive today and participating in those debates. i thought i would end with just reading you one sentence of what she said about her own participation in not lost cause movement as a child. she says no lesson of our history was taught as earlier and none with greater urgency than the either or terms in which this was couched. soldiers might perish, slavery might and, mansions might crumble but as long as whites retained their dominance over
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blacks the self cause would not be lost. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] i would like to throw out a couple questions and i want to begin with a quote from your book actually. it is a wonderful quote from catherine one of the sisters where she said to her sorrow she had learned that when people read books very often they read what they wish to see not what the author means at all. read into it their feelings, their sentiments, their outlooks and they kind of leave the poor author out in the cold. i'd like to ask each of you and i will begin with you if that's all right, what did you wish to impart to the people who read your book if you could have a main theme and what do you hope they don't take away from the
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book? >> what a good question. can i just say quickly what she meant? >> absolutely. >> mainly what she meant is that she writes just as i write in some detl about the period before she was born about the antebellum period, she tried to write about them in that period in a way that really how she understood it when she was a child. and then she goes on to talk about how she came to understand it as she grew older. they were actually was very well received in the south as well as in the north but they are worth readers who thought she was a member of the light in magnolia school that she was an apologist for slavery and
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apologist for the south point of view and the civil war because she is trying to convey how she saw it as a child. as for me, there are so many, this is such a complicated book with so many different things and i guess i hope that caterers take away from the one hand really am interested in trying to understand these particular women and what motivated them and so on but even more important to me is to try to stand the times that they were a part of, the ãthey
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were apart and the generation that they were a part of. i hope readers don't we concentrating only on the personal stories. anyone else? i can tell you about this book we did hold on the great idea for this book came from the president mark keenum who is a big civil war book. he likes the civil war he likes to read about the school so he was very supportive of the grand presidential library meeting in mississippi state. but it seems to me that what we are trying to do in this book is maybe two things, to show grant as a person not as somebody on a statue or pedestal someplace but a real live breathing human being and
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we also would like the people who read the book to come to better understand and answer that question earlier, how is it possible that grant is in the heart of the old confederacy. in this book to really present the fact not to present the mythologies, not to try to do anything but simply present what the situation really was and what we are trying to do. and what we hope does not happen is we hope some of the myths about grant are not reinforced by something that we might have written in this particular book. just one example to show that grant was indeed a human being if you read his letters to his wife and his family he always
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seems to end the letters to his wife with something like love and kisses to the children and my beloved wife. that's not something you normally think grant doing and secondly, we hope that when people read this book you don't get the idea that some of the methodology that is associated with granted particularly in mississippi is not forth. >> i like people to take away from my book is an appreciation of the enormous amount of sacrifice involved with these women soldiers because as i mentioned a while ago, they had to be sneaky when they enlisted they had to assume a male identity so first they lost their names and in most cases they lost their names because these women when they died nobody knew who they truly
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were. they knew most cases what their mail alias was that nobody knew who they really were. there were bodies of female soldiers being exhumed years after the war that nobody knew who they were. so they lost today were they lost their identities and in some cases they lost their lives in very gruesome ways. talk about roman soldier from north carolina who was found after the battle of altoona and october 64 had her face beaten away. ... and i guess what i don't want people to take from the book is the fact they were not feminists. that is what why they enlisted. they were not activists, even
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though the future after the wore, such as elizabeth katy stanton, pointed to their successes and endeavors as evidence that the women could be successful outside the home. and could vote and could become productive members of society. so they're precursors of the women in the military today. 2015 that military roles were opened up to women, all military roles, but they were fighting and dying on battlefields 150 years ago. so, that's what i would like people to take away. >> thank you. >> one takeaway that some people might have for my book just the volatility of politics before the civil war. today what do you hear?
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more divided than ever been. right? everybody is divided. all these bad things are happening. well, i think we probably have been more divided in the past eras. or at lowest as divided as we might be today. on the floor of the u.s. senate you have henry foote pulling a gun on another u.s. senator. pulled a knife on another senator. they're on the floor of the u.s. senate. he hadn't gotten in these brawls rolling around on the floor of the u.s. senate. these guys back then, prior to the civil war, that era, they were a very violent crew or could be. foot wasn't the only one that acted out like that. but if foote were around today you'd see fill films -- talk
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about c-span, he could provide material for c-span forever and you would see it for the rest of your life. one take mayor from the book might be that just the divided -- the divisions within the politics the body politics back then. it was very serious, very violent, and not just the people in general but the representatives in congress were pretty rowdy group, and also i would say henry foote, if you read about his life, he has an alternate point of view with regard to the issue of secession. usually talk about mississippi and secession, there's a list of names of people behind that secession movement before the civil war. a lot of counties in mississippi named for those guys. and you don't really hear about the people that preached cooperation with the north, at
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least for a while. the people that weren't hot on the whole secession movement, and hopefully read about that, and understand that there were other people out there that had alternate views on this political issues. >> thank you. in writing history, particularly people who have done biographies. obviously you get very well adaytonned with the people -- acquainted with the people that are see subjects of the book and in your case you talked to two of the sisters john you may have note us grant. i'm not sure. but there are all -- as much research as we are able to do there's always things you don't ever know about a person, things
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that remain unknown, maybe unknowable. i was going to ask each of you if there's something -- shelby quite a number of thinks in your book. >> the whole book. >> but things that you would really like to know that you never were able to have been able to find out. start with you, shelby. how about that. >> how about every woman i wrote about. their names -- like i said, they gave up who they were to serve for their various causes and we don't know who they were, so i would like to know their real names and a lot of cases what happened to them after the war, because in a lot of the stories that i write about, we see them pop up, they were discovered, they were killed, whatever, and they just kind of fall off the face of the earth. their story just kind of ends. so i was fortunate, i was able to conclude some of the stories
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for some of the women, but a lot of them just simply end anonymously, and so hopefully there's some letters or diaries that remain undiscovered that maybe they'll come to lying and we can add more pieces to the puzzle, but just the nature of my research. these women didn't want to be discovered. didn't want their stories to be told so a lot of subterfuge involved so we may not mow who they were or where they came from and what happened to them and drives me crazy. >> mine is maybe more simple but more complicated than what you just said. what i want to do, when our time comes and i pass away, and i go up to the big history library up in the sky, i hope that what i
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can do is spend eternal sitting next to people that i've written about and just ask them one basic question, how close did i get it? because you -- one of the worries as in any biographyer has or any historian hoss is how do we in the -- imagine in your case, somebody came along and was going to write your biography and base it just on the letters you wrote to various people. does that really give you a complete insight, just the letters you wrote, nothing else. mostly we have. jackie has had the opportunity to speak to the people she has written about. most people don't do that. most people haven't had that -- don't have that luxury. so i'd like to know that. and also like to know -- speaking of grant, what did grant really think, because he is a very tough nut to crack to
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get inside his head. any person is hard to get inside his head. but you have a situation, for example, here, that where we have the grant family and the steven d. lee family, confederate-union, actually get to know each other and get to like each other. the keynote speaker for example at vicksburg when the stat tough steven. lee was raise he up, the keynote peeker what fred grant, grand's first born son, and then blew blueetley who was the child of steven d. lee, gave a lecture or talk about grant in what was considered grant's home town. and you wonder, how much of this is accurate, how much of this can you base -- so there's a lot of things we don't know, never know.
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>> i echo that. when i was doing research or henry foote, many times thought i wish i could talk to him for five minutes. and get the straight scoop, because henry foote, one problem, he did not leave any papers -- or not a lot of papers. but luckily he was so reviled by some people that other people wrote a lot about him. [laughter] >> and he is quoted in the newspapers, also luckily a blow hard who just would -- friend with all the reporters reportery quote quoted hem in the numbers all over the country. so there was more than enough to get a feel with -- about what he was all about. but you never really know reading just reading -- even reading the quotes in the paper. don't get the emotion he was putting into those -- may or may not have been putting into this quotes. reading something is never going to be as beneficial as talking
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to the person obviously face-to-face. i wish i could talk to this guy for a couple of minutes. that's what i'd take away from that. >> thank you. >> well, not knowing and the mystery of the human heart is at the center of this book, and one of thehis i tried to do in it and that i hope readers will notice and enjoy or appreciate is that i try to bring readers into my own detective journey, into my own effort to understand and to know and to be up front about what i cannot know. i did interview two of the sisters at the very, very beginning of -- when i was still a graduate student, and i had just moved to chapel hill to
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start this oral history program, and they were among the first two people that i interviewed, and the interviews were invaluable. came back to them over and over once i decided to write this book many years later, but one of the things that was fast fascinating about the interviews was all the things they didn't want to talk but. and when i began to do research on this book, i discovered that there were parts of their lives that they had just eliminated from the historical record by burning their papers, by laundering their papers, and by continuing to either refuse to talk, depending on the sister to talk but certain aspects of the
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past in an honest way. so, i tried to fill in those gaps by turning over every possible rock of evidence that i can, but in the end there's still certain mysteries that i can't know from the inside. just this is my fellow panelists said, i can now know a lot about what they did and what they wrote and who they were involved with and so on, but because i have so few personal letters in many cases, i'm trying to, like a fix writer, imagine my way into how they felt about these
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things. >> thank you. we'd like to invite any of you that might have questions for our panelists to come to the microphone at this time. ask them something. and if not, i'll continue to ask a few questions but feel free to come on up. i'd like to ask each of you if you could to -- in the subject area that you have written about, and i know you book is the best one in that area, but are there other books related to the topic you would recommend that people might explore? >> oh, yes.
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i actually -- i mean, first of all, i'd like for people to read katherines auto biography which i love, and think it's a classic. it was one of the -- the first really example of what has become an important genre of southern writing, and which white southerners tried to write about their own involvement in the south contractse system and how to the liberate. thises from the views they were taught as children. another auto biography i would rem is by virginia durr, called "outside the magic circle," some is -- she was a little younger but a contemporary of the women, and it gives a wonderful view of
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these antiracist, white southerners, that i'm trying to write about here. there's also a literature in women's history that is growing, that is -- one of the -- i was talking to a friend here about how -- it's so -- when 'er putting panels together, we have this civil war and then we have the civil rights movement, and there was a whole lot of history in between those two things, which is where my book falls, the period of -- the era of jim crow, the era of the cold war and mccarthyism, and this is also the era between the women's suffrage movement which we're celebrating the anniversary of this year, and the women's
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liberation moment of the '60s and '7s these women fall in between those two things, too, and they were -- wouldn't have called themselves feminists but they were feminists, certain strand. they represented a certain strand of feminism, a certain period of feminism that really complicated our understanding uf what feminism is. so, i won't try to name all of the books but it's a greg literature that i would -- a growing literature that i recommend keeping you eye out for. >> what's the name of katherine's auto biography. >> the making of a southerner. >> a couple of things. there's been a renaissance in grant studies in the last several years. we like to think it's band of john simon the former executive director of the grant
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association, and he published over the -- since 1967, 31 volumes of grant's writings, which were never available. we finished that situation out, and yet that only represents 20% of the material on grant and others that we have at mississippi state. but there was several really good backs. ron chernow who is more famous for this books and broadway play on hamilton, but his book is wonderful. ron white, the huntington library, has done a terrific job and i'm hoping don't leave anybody out. joan august at ucla has written a wonderful short book, it's just really very, very well-done, and chuck calhoun, who is retired from university
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in north carolina, did a back on grant's presidency, which revolutionizes again grant studies. would think, and we like to think, too, that what we have done at mississippi state is we have published a number of books on grant, including the first completely annotated memoirs of ulis sis s. grant. harvard university press published it for us and i might without -- i think i got an opening to the door here but we're also working on the memoirs the william t. sherman, too, so we'll get that done. so at southern illinois university press has started a series called "the world of ulis sis s. grant" and we have some major historians writing some excellent books on grant and what they're all basically saying is the old mythology
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doesn't hold water. it's not accurate. i tell people if you're going to read one book -- and i love all these books about the shortest one is the one by joan waugh and it's wonderful because she deals with memory, as jackie mentioned, and she also mentions about talks about his life. so it's really quite good. but you can't miss with john chernow, ron white or other ones. >> thank you. >> the seminal work on women's soldier of the self-wars is dean plantn and lauren cooks, they fought like demons, which came out in 2002, so over 15 years old. i've been able to update their research and i think in my book i actually include 20 brand new conditions that have never been published before. that's the seminal work as far as women soldiers in general. before that, in the 1990s,
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lauren cook published an " uncommon soldier" which was letters written by a woman in the 153rd infan tray, died of disease and she was -- rosetta is one of a handful of women who wrote letters during the war. didn't want they're stores to get out because if they i their stories got out they were shamed and ostracized and the families were shamed and ostracized. so very little out there and i had to rely on other people who have researched the topic had to rely on accounts from male soldiers and letters and diaries thank goodness so much material is being digitized now and we have a lot more at our fingertips, and as do other people in other areas. so those are the two main ones. i am working on another book on
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when soldiers in general -- which that's years down the road -- so not a whole lot out there but feel like demons is the work right now. >> for me there is no biography of henry foote in existence. a couple of articles written in the 1960s, and early 1970s issue chose him for a topic because nobody had wherein on him before and i was kind of spokeswoman kind of surprised but he was involved in so much politics leading up to the civil war and even after the civil war. about hit central rivalry his whole career, like i mentioned before, was jefferson davis was his chief rival and he was davis' most outspoken critic and hatreds between the two men, andrew jangson, john c. calhoun, lbj, robert kennedy if the
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hatred was strong and i might suggest if you want to --our, or five books on biographies of jefferson davis. if you want to read maybe some of those, and see how foote is treated by the individuals who wrote the davis biographies, and then contrast them -- and everyone get my book ask contrast them on the compare notes there. it is kind of interesting to see how foote is treat it about some of davis' biographyers. >> we had question and you left. if you'd like to come back we'll be glad to entertain it. . >> the gentleman before said you already answered his question. we're always taught to learn from history so we won't repeat it again.
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and so i was just wonder -- this is for anybody on the panel -- is there any one thing that you want us to pick up from your book that says, read this, learn from it and don't do it again. block anybody. >> i can speak to that. the two younger sisters that i write but, katherine and grace, lived through the mccarthy era, reacted to it in very different ways, but in both cases their lives were de dederailed the anticommunist his state ya of that -- hysteria and respeakings of that period. so i would say don't do that again. >> i agree. >> anyone else?
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>> everybody always said read your history so you won't repeat your mistakes but we keep releading them over and over again. that's my only comment. >> i'm not a fan of that period but die read a lot of nonfiction and read a lot of history, but i'm not very familiar with the civil war period, and maybe something called some kind of social memory or something like that. some of the psychologists of the modern era said that war was psychosis, and i'm thinking guess about the freudians, but -- never have been able to understand why the war went on so long. was it because the commanders of the president wanted unconditional surrender? because we were taught that the deal was over after vicksburg.
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then went on two years. >> who wants to jump into that? how long do we have? >> i think there are host of reasons the war continued, and a lot of it had to do, i think, with the willingness of these people to continue to fight. >> yes, sir. >> i have a statement and a question. the statement is for dr. mars electric. >> i know you're trying work at mississippi state to reconstruct the image of ulises grant and i
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want you to now my great grandfather on my father mother's side the family sure rein deaded to u.s. grant in versionburg and the lied i'll never take up arms goodbyes the union again and he proceeded to go to alabama and join up with a different outfit. that's my statement. >> i was going say one over the interesting things is that grant is the only commander on either side to have three armies completely surrender to him and many cases they would just go home. the vicksburg situation is particularly interesting. in fact joan august is working on a back right now dealing with this, trying to break that nut, what was it about grant he was able to get other armies to absolutely surrender and that's
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just -- just quit, and go away. so i don't know if that answers your question. >> as you suggest, he had a bull dog grip. >> that could be. the big thing but grant that most historians are looking at, if you look at the civil war as a whole, without getting into -- because my moderator will creque me, but if you look at the civil war as a whole, most of the generals came out of what we call the school of antoine -- that united states did as a general you maneuvered your troops so you had masses of your tripe against fractions of the enemy and grant came long, and lincoln did, too, and said, you know, the best thing we can do is end this war as quickly as possible, and the way we can end this war is by applying all of our numbers, all of our forces, all at the same time, rather
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than maneuvering, et cetera, because every time you maneuver this gives the other side a chance to maneuver, too, and pretty soon your troops and their troops are equal again, even though you have a larger number. >> of course, lee almost always outmaneuvered grant, as we know. that's my observation. but i'd like to ask dr. wynne a question. you mention something but secession and seem to make a dinks between the secessionist movement and the institution of slavery earlier in this session. can you clarify that or did i just -- >> they're always -- it's all intertwined. >> i'm sorry. >> all intertwined by -- the secession movement, the actual political act of. seceding, the southern states seceding in a political citizen. secession was the product of the fact that one section of the
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country had slavery and the other one didn't. so the southern states seceded to defend that institution but when i was talk about theirs a difference, talking about the actual political act of secession. does that make sense? >> i think so. >> and foote was both pro slavery and antisecession. >> extremely pro slavery. that's what made him such a strange character. he was a pro slavery ideology. >> this is what is so interesting, what makes the civil war so interesting is that you have a situation where there are people who say, no, we shouldn't have, we shouldn't break the country apart. this is a great democracy, et cetera. and then you have others who say, whatever we do, we got make sure that slavery is not disturbed and that is a
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fascinating thing to really try to get into people's heads, but you have, for example, out of the border states, they were more opposed to this political act of secession than they were about the whole questions of slavery. >> just a moment for questions. >> one more. >> a quick question for dr. marzalek. i went on to read his book on sherman and my daughter gave me a new cop of his memoirs and i've been reading those, and i notice early in his life, when he was in the mexican war, he can almost remember to the day when a certain conflict took place, certain campaign, and then goes all the way up to shilo and he's saying exactly what date so and so conflict arose. how could he remember that? did he take notes along the way? grant taking notes?
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it's a amazing. what did you discover after going through that and an know tating. there will some annotations where corrections were made by about one day. >> that is an excellent question because both grant and shermon -- the big problem with sherman is he never stops talking. he just guess on and on, mentions everybody who participated and this battle and that, et cetera, grant speaks more than the mythology is but also makes its possible to write -- to create a memoir has is cleaner and easier. one of the biggest problems with the grant memoirs had to do with mississippi. that dog gone river kept changing and cutting up these little towns that used to exist, and grant would talk in 1885 about some town in mississippi along the river.
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nobody in modern time would know what that is. we tried to make it more open to modern -- to modern -- give you another example of how things have changed in the study really of the civil war. one of the big issues that publishers deal with new is putting footnote at the back of the book. so you're reading here and have to flip here, and then you have to flip over. we insist that they be realfootnotes so you're reading look and you could drop down. that was -- that took some time to get that accomplished, but the two men, sherman and grant are completely different people, and what i like to point out is if they walked in here, those two guys who were reborn and walked in here two things would happen. sherman would start slapping people on the back, shaking hands, hey, charlie, how are you doing 'grant would find some
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corn the room and wouldn't have to talk to do many people but he did not like to talk but the thought a lot. good to see you again. >> you, too, jacksonian class. >> we have come to the end of our session. want to thank our panelist for being here. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> that was an author discussion on the civil bar and the south. we are live today from the fifth null mississippi book festival outside there having a hit rare lawn party. a half hour break until the next author program on race and civil rights begins. now in the meantime we're going to show you a couple of programs from the booktv


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