tv QA Patricia O Toole CSPAN June 3, 2018 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
book on woodrow wilson. then, former attorney general eric holder on redistricting. then, an interview with white house affairs director mark jude .- marc short ♪ "q&a," week on biographer patricia o'toole discusses her book "the moralist: woodrow wilson and the world he made." brian: patricia o'toole, your , theabout woodrow wilson review in the new york times leads with a paragraph, "instead of the moralist, woodrow wilson and the world he made, pata 'could have titled her book the hypocrite."
what was your reaction? patricia: i thought it was a bit harsh feared my book is critical -- a bit harsh. my book is critical of wilson, , i end with away lot of admiration for him. the help caucus he is a lot of it, that's what happens when you set yourself up as a moral kind of leader and when you depart from that, your open to charges of hypocrisy could she ran with that but i think it is a harsher take than mine. brian: how did he set himself up as a moralist? patricia: he used the word moral and morals all the time in public rhetoric. striking to me, at the time he became president of united states, it was proud of itself for finally being the richest nation in the world and most americans were thinking on those terms.
he thought the greatness of america was not in wealth but what he called its moral force, by which he meant democracy, which he saw as a superior form of government because it rested on the consent of the governed and the united states was the world's most successful democracy and we were there for a superior nation and democracy is a fundamentally moral idea. brian: when he ran in 1912 and took over in 1913, what was going on in the united states and the world? states,: in the united a growing in patients with plutocrats, kind of like the -- like the attacks we hear on the 1% right now. in with a reform agenda and managed to get it through quickly, created the federal trade commission, federal reserve board, and an antitrust law. that scope of important
legislation was unprecedented, no president had done it in such a quick amount of time before, lbj only fdr and surpassed appeared -- surpassed him. stackedelt the deck was against them and he said some of that straight. brian: he had to run against the president and a former president, theodore roosevelt and tapped -- taft? if it was onewon against one? patricia: i think so. 71% of people voted against taft feared -- taft. people who voted for roosevelt were voting for progressive ideals that were similar to wilson. even if wilson had received only of the of four
progressive votes, he would have been elected and eaten -- beaten taft. will -- woodrow wilson? patricia: i did a book about theodore roosevelt after he was president, there is a lot of world war i in it and i got fascinated about world war i. to write about wilson in world war i was a natural sequel appeared -- sequel. brian: the other books you read about woodrow wilson for research, what were they? patricia: i started with a major one, written by a person who knew him, a famous journalist of his time. wilson almostdrow unflagging really. -- unflaggingly. he's not entirely uncritical, but it is full of anecdotes of people around at the time.
i have read just about all of the books of john milton cooper. his wilson biography came out a few years intk o my w this book. 2009. 2006.ted back in i think his judgment is very sound on just about everything. he is a wonderful biographer, a wonderful historian, a wonderful political historian and diplomatic historian. i would do my take and then i would look and see what john cooper said about it. we are not always on the same page but i admire his scholarship. brian: what about berg? patricia: i read that, i think it was 2013. eatatmospheric, you cannot that book for atmospherics.
it paints a wonderful picture of the man in his time. he chose to focus on the religious side of wilson, he thinks wilson is the most religious president. bit toothat was a narrow a view. on that with him, that it is a whale of a book to read for anyone who wants an introduction to wilson. brian: when did you find yourself becoming critical of wilson? patricia: i had read a lot of history of this time while working on the roosevelt book, and wilson, growing up i had always admired his internationalism, i was born in 1946. the u.n. was chartered just before that and my parents thought there was going to be
peace in the world for all time. was a bignalism influence in my young education. when you get closer to wilson, i chose to focus on his morality because i thought that was central to his character and i don't think of myself so much as cy asdent of the presiden a student of character. if you are going to set yourself up as a moral leader, it is complicated. now, in thele know last years there has been a discussion of his racism, and students at princeton where he was the president a long time, want his name removed them various things at princeton and i think there got -- they got their way on some of the things.
it was over his segregation of the civil service, which have been integrated for quite some time with the blacks and whites working harmonisl subject inery touchy our time. it was not touching at the time he did this except among -- blacks objected, of course, and northern white progressives who had supported olson -- wilson were unhappy. he felt he had to do it to get southern votes for economic reform. understoodtherners the economic reform would expand federal authority and they saw as an incursion on states rights and segregationist laws. this was the deal they were willing to make. the most interesting to me, whenever wilson would discuss this with people in his office,
he could not think of a solution to it. i think he knew he did not have the moral high ground on this issue. it actually made him sick. he was a person who internalized a lot of stress from being president and he fell ill at crucial moments. issue, the first time there was a big showdown at his office, he went to bed for days. because he could not think how to solve the problem. a couple of years later, he met with a group of black leaders and told them, he did not think you could legislate changes in social attitudes. we have heard that many times since. he said he thought the situation in the south would not change until southern politicians needed black votes. that was quite prophetic. andight until we get lbj
the civil rights act we begin to see major change. brian: i have to tell you what i wrote down at the top when i started reading your book. how often did he take to his bed because of tension? it seems like i read it so often in here. give us some other examples where he would go for bed -- go to bed for days. patricia: it would be announced the president had the flu. other -- i should have done a count, i did not do account. seriouswas in a very situation, it was a common response. it doesn't happen every time. curiously, in the summer of 1915, right after the lusitania was sunk, he was madly in love with the woman who would become his second wife, and they were terrible things happening, american neutrality, people are
wondering how long can we keep this up in the face of these submarine attacks, and he is fine because he is swept up in love. it is not that he is not paying attention to what is happening in the world. it depends also on what is going on. the hardest decision he ever had to make was to take the united states into the war. often he made big decisions alone in his study. he liked to think things through, and he had a lot of criticism for not being very collaborative or seeking a lot of advice. in the situation, he had a lot of people comes to him, and most of them left accounts of their visit with him, so you get a close-up picture of their visit with him. he was stressed but very cool and deliver it. .- and deliberate
after he made the decision, he did not fall apart. brian: you brought up some video of malcolm gladwell, he made this speech and 2016 and it reflects what you just said. [video clip] john have a book on the post-world war i peace process riff on wilson, he of this rates him -- he e vicerates him. that he was bumbling. that is another reason to not call your school after him. he was terrible at international affairs. brian: is he right? patricia: i don't think so. wilson is justly criticized for his performance at the paris peace conference.
he was not able to get the french and british to back off some harsh demands. in a few ways, he was. they were all for -- europeans wa to try the kaiser and have a big trial. wilson thought that would make a martyr of the kaiser and it would be something for germans to rally around. i'm not sure that john turned out to be right. he is also critical of the lloyd george, even more than wilson in that book. he referred to wilson as something like he was the bamboozled presbyterian, and it bamboozlesible to un- him. one of wilson's great flaws in international affairs and dealing with republicans, he was not a good negotiator.
he did not like negotiation. --thought that it leader that a leader should figure out the right thing to do, the moral thing that would also serve the american people's more material interest in to fight for it. he thought if you negotiated, you would compromise and what you ended up with would be less version hehe pure came up on his own after looking at things from different angles. that hecould find wh you gave something up, youion could ask for something in return, that is the basic thing. his second secretary of state complained about this in his diary, that wilson did not understand the give and take of negotiations. but wilson went to the peace conference saying he did not want any material things for the united states. what he wanted was the league of
nations, he wanted world order to be based on an international organization of governments committed to peace, and not on the old great power alliances, if one country attacks another country in the alliance, everybody is immediately at war. that's what happened at the beginning of world war i. a worldwide conflagration almost from the start. he thought he had a better idea and that was the thing he went to fight for if he got it. -- four and he got it. the other things were secondary. i've read about the discussions between the big four. he does not fare as badly in the discussions as he fares in the hands of critics. he is knowledgeable and in there trying, but they are saying no to him all the time. he does not propose any bargains.
like, how about if you give up yes, you can afford to say to this over here? only in a couple of cases was he able to broker that. brian: let's catch up for those who have not paid attention to woodrow wilson. he was born where, how long did he live there, where did he moved to and what did he do in his life before he became president? patricia: he is a son of the south, born in stanton, virginia in 1856. to, his familyut moved to augusta, georgia and then they moved to columbia, south carolina and then his father took a post in wilmington, north carolina. at age 19, he went to princeton. that was his first time to live in the north. not take all of the southern out of him by any means but it made a nationalist out of him. nationalist in those days meant re-fightingo was not e
the civil war. he thought is over and we need to unify the country. he became an academic, taught at princeton, renoir and wesleyan -- bryn-mawr and wesleyan. resign he had to eventually from princeton. while he was thinking what to do next, he had a career on the side of his princeton activities as a writer and public lecturer. he was very popular, the greatest speaker of his time. he was a progressive. ,o the democrats looking ahead this is 1910 when they asked him to run for governor, looking they are1912, thinking, we can get him in as governor and if he does a good job, he will be a strong, clean-cut regressive --
clean-cut, progressive candidate in 1912. brian: how long was he governor of new jersey? .atricia: one term brian: how can he be called a progressive after his opinion toward african americans? patricia: he was a big free trader. at that time, the government raised most of its revenue through protective tariffs. that raise revenue and made a handful of people really rich. by modernizing the economy and getting rid of the protective tariff into switching revenue ,rom the tariff to income tax that leveled the playing field considerably, at least for white males. he was not so hot on women's issues, gender -- he was very slow to support a constitutional amendment for women's suffrage.
he believed that should happen state-by-state, and it was happening. i believe in 1912, there were 12 states where women voted. but it was happening very slowly. 1918 that heil became a supporter of a constitutional amendment and by then he up in the president for six years. very slow on that one. the racism, i think the most important thing to understand about it is that it is not just african-americans. it is the japanese who were living in california, a lot of an-asian presidents on the west -- prejudice on the west coast. i think of this as his first international crisis. california -- the califoia legislature wants to pass a law to prevent japanese farmers from owning land. they had learned to farm in very small spaces and work really
good at making the land productive and it irritated the other farmers in california. this law was very prejudicial against the japanese, icomes up, and wilson sent his first secretary of state out to california to deal with this. it gets resolved in terms of states rights, the state of california has the right to do this under our constitution. it caused a huge uproar in japan. people wanted japan to go to war against the united states over this indignity. prejudice comes up again at the paris peace conference, and the japanese wanted to introduce a clause affirming racial equality in the league of nations covenant and wilson will not hear of it. the europeans did not want it either because of their colonies. there were a lot of interventions in central america and the caribbean.
those are always against governments that are not run by whites. it is a pervasive mindset with him. brian: on the personal side, how often was he married and what were the circumstances patricia: he got married when he was young. he got engaged about the time he was starting graduate school. he was 26 at the time, gets married a couple of years later. ellen married 31 years to wilson, another seven or. a very happy -- another seve outherner. they were very happy. she got a fatal disease and died. it was one of the most touching moment of his life. world war i was just beginning in august of 1914 and there is a scene where he is at her bedside, and with one hand holding her hand and in the
other drafting a note to the belligerence and the war offering his services as a mediator. handle inite a lot to one moment. galt wasd wife, edith a widow who was 16 years younger than he was. and they in washington met in the spring of 1916, not quite a year after the first mrs. wilson died, and they got married at the end of 1915. brian: one of the things that interest me in your book was mary pat hobert. you say you found 200 letters. patricia: i did not found them, they had been collected by others over the years. brian: who what she? patricia: she was a divorcee.
when you first met her -- when he first met her, she was in the process of a separation from a guy who owned textile mills in new england. they met in bermuda, where she went for the winter, and when wilson was president of princeton, he took a winter vacation as well as a summer vacation, and the family led bermuda. , he wentent to bermuda mostly by himself and he met her there. she was quite a bit more interesting to talk to than the first mrs. wilson. she had a larger range of interests in the world. she also had the gift of making men feel like they were 10 feet tall, you know? i think he was attracted to that. i think every biographer wants to be the one who discovers that this is a full-fledged romantic
affair. , to my not prove that own satisfaction. i think it was an infatuation. afr his wife's eyes, that's -- after his wife dies, he is writing about his grief. -- youever was a move would think she would be his go to person after his wife dies and he is thinking about another relationship, but there have been so many rumors about a real romance between them that the people around him would not apparently, according to mrs. peck, would not hear of any kind of liaison. brian: are her letters all in one place? patricia: i think they are mostly at princeton. if you want to read them, they are in the papers of woodrow wilson, a 69 volume thing edited
by princeton university press. it is hard to find unless you can go to a big research library, but they are all there. brian: are they altogether? patricia: they are not all together, they are in chronological order. brian: from your experience, has anybody used the letters as much as you did? patricia: that is a good question and i don't know the answer. they certainly do not get ignored. i was interested in them for what they showed us, not about the relationship between him and her, but that was the place where he could pour out his grief in writing. he felt safe. -- a: you have a foot now footnote in the back, it is complicated. according to matthew, watson spoke with mary in 1923. when did wilson die?
patricia: 1923. brian: after he was shown the correspondence between her and wilson, which they tried unsuccessfully to publish, gdon did not use them but preserved them in his interview files. what could they not get published? patricia: people were scared of it. ofy invoked the principal the letters of someone are the property of that person. that has stood in the way of other attempts to do this. it was a famous aspect of the biography of salinger. someone wanted to publish the letters, this guy had collected them from hither and yon. it was very soon after wilson had died. i don't know how many publishers she showed it to. brothers harper and
was one of them, but it was turned down. it was thought i'm dignified -- it washt n dignified. even other was nothing inflammatory. brian: have you thought about putting out a little book of them? patricia: someone could probably do that, princeton could do that. that is probably the logical person to do it. brian: let me read some of this and you can explain it. he wrote to one of his friends, -- peck.k sometimes my whole life seems to be rooted in dreams. i do not want the root of it to dry up. what is he getting out there? patricia: i think he is looking back with fondness to his childhood. he may include his princeton
days, which were important to him and unfurling. he was very shy all his life, and he managed to be folded into a circle of friends in ceton and they were the only friend he had his whole life, very important to him. he felt challenged in a very byd way i princeton -- way princeton. he got to be in the oratory and debate societies and he did very well at those things. that was quite a happy time for him. hugeboy, there is a psychological literature about it, butand i have read i have the sense that it just reduced him to oedipal tangles that i did not feel like i could deal with on the strength of my own knowledge of the theory. some people have said his
stubbornness in later life was a reaction to his father's strictness, and they can point to a story where his father made him revise a little thing he wrote a bunch of times. divisions are that wilson resented this but he was a good boy and put up with it. you read every mention in his letters of his father, they are worshipful. he never had an unkind word about his father. a presbyterian minister. brian: this is a letter to mary. havebetween you and me, i not the least idea of the nominated because the outcome is in the hands of the professional case hardened politicians who serve only their own interests and know i will not serve them except as i might serve the
party in general. i am well and in the best of spirits. i have no deep stakes involved in this game. patricia: no, i don't. i think he was trying to talk himself and feeling that way so that if you lost he would still feel all right about it. i think he wanted to win. brian: he was governor of new jersey, but how did he even get to the point where they were thinking of nominating him? patricia: he was one of -- he did not do very well, primaries were a big deal for the first time in the election of 1912 and he did not do very well. they were going to favor sons in the reason -- in the region. there afterg in that any had a couple of very good handlers at the convention. his chief competitor by the time the convention opens is this bigger of the house, and he came
to the convention with more pre-decided delegate votes than wilson, but his handlers went to the delegations and is said who is your second choice if the voting goes in a different direction? wilson was everyone's second choice, so they just worked that thel they could get past other option. mary, when shem was granted a divorce, the new york tribune put the news on the front page and identified her as mrs.iend of governor and woodrow wilson." patricia: yes. it is interesting, it is kind of to the rumors without saying it. but she was a friend of both of them.
she had been invited by both of them to visit, the governor had a summer place at the shore in new jersey and she had visited them on a couple of occasions. brian: he is a democrat and you're right, " at the end of september, he learned republicans were whispering about his relationship with mary, and the account he sent her might be the most panics and jumbled letter he ever wrote. at one passage, he seemed to 'thison his thoughts -- might be an attempt to set gossip afloat, if nothing more, which would no matter how completely discredited later, abundantly suffice to ruin me utterly and all connected with me.'" , and he minded because the gossip was unfounded as far as we know. there was no sexual relationship between them or romance.
brian: why did people push on that at the time? patricia: they pushed on it pretty hard and theodore roelt derves credit for blowing it away. someone brought it up that th rumor had come up, and roosevelt burst out laughing because he thought of wilson as prim and prudish and he said something like, the idea of this man who looks like an apothecary clerk as a romeo is ridiculous. he was made aware of it because in the campaign wanted him to take the rumor and run with it and he would not do it. brian: by the way, after she endsdivorcing again -- she up divorcing again, and you write that he helps her financially when she had no money. patricia: they made a transaction. she owned a couple of mortgages that produced income and she
wanted to have the cash value of those assets rather than the income from them, soe ug themrom her. forink it was a transaction $15,000. brian: let's look at the atmosp in 1913. this is short on during the inauguration when he took the president. i just want to show the video. [video clip] newspapers gave room to his battle against corruption. wilson was nominated by the democratic presidential commission in 1912 and easily defeated a split republican ticket, the year that teddy roosevelt divided the republican vote by organizing the bull moose party. so, in that election, did he campaign nationwide? patricia: not really nationwide i think he went as far west as
illinois, maybe -- maybe. he did not travel in the south, because he assumed, the democrats were the biggest party by far, he assumed he would win. himselfntroducing through the governorship. i think he made 70 campaign speeches altogether. he did not understand what he had to do that, when you have to keep saying the same thing over and over again? i believe something like 100,000 people heard him speak wherever he was, basically in the northeast, to hear him speak. brian: you mentioned about the him, and wevering can move on to the war and the creation of the committee run by george creel. how friendly was wilson toward
the media in those days? patricia: he had a spiky relationship with them. he was often misquoted and that bothered him a lot. i think everneas but other people had a thicker skin about it or were willing to work more closely with reporters. there is a volume of papers given over to his press conferences. he is so not forthcoming. there was an incident where american troops landed in mexico and there were casualties, and there was a press conference and someone said, are we at war? answer was, i don't know, are we? it was that kind of thing. he was very tightlipped and not good at it. he was not good at the give-and-take of a press conference. he was better in a one-on-one interview. he would've done very well with you. [laughter] when did he say he wanted
to make the world safe for democracy the first time? speecha: in his 14 point in january 1980. -- 1918. no, i have that wrong, it was his were message in april of 1917. he did not say we must make the world safe for democracy, he said world must be made safe for democracy. brian: i know you spent a lot of time studying world war i. what started it? patricia: arms race, hyper nationalism and great power alliances, as we talked about before, if one country when income of the other side had to and before you know it the entire world is aflame. commercial rivalries are probably at the heart of it, but also empire building, which is
not unconnected to commercial rivalries. wilson would say a lack of democracy, as well. u havehe imperial, the german empire run by an autocrat , he wasrussian empire czar waspy when the kicked out and he had high hopes for democracy in russia. there were all of those states in the habsburg empire always at work, the balkan states wanting to be liberated. them theird to give wish and have more of the world be able to elect their own leaders. brian: when did the american people -- he won in 1912 and again in 1960. the war started -- patricia: april 1917.
in 1916, what ran did he tell the american people and what did they think of the future of america and of the war? campaign slogan was he kept us out of war. that was not his idea, but someone said at the democratic convention and it got a by his campaign people and repeated. he worried it would backfire, that he would not be able to keep the coury out of war. he said something like any german submarine can upset for peace at anyt our moment by making an attack on a ship or the united states in some way. hen the war breaks out, takes the country into war because he feels he has no choice anymore. germany is not keeping its promises not to be aggressive.
ono, the submarine attacks british shipping in the spring suggest -- 1917 suggests britain is about to lose. he is facing the possibility of a german conquest of europe, and the kaiser had expressed a wish to congress a world. -- to conquer the world. wilson felt he had to go to war. brian: if the americans had not gotten into the work, what would've happened? patricia: i think germany would have conquered europe and there would have been a second world war to undo that. it would not have been started by himmler, but by france and england. tler, but byy hi france and england. brian: how many americans
fought? patricia: on the ground in france, 2 million americans and 2 million more in training camps. faster thaned anyone thought it would. the joke was it was called the american expeditionary force, and the buttons on the uniform aef, and the british would say that means after everything is finished. war, it was a year before they were really fighting. force in there in spring of 1918, when all of the offenses except the first one again. they stopped fighting basically in the winter.
finally, there was enough back -- to beat back the germans. brian: when did it end and how long was it before the 2 million men came back to the united states? on thea: the 11th hour 11th day of the 11th month, november 11, 1818. the troops thought they would come home immediately, but the french insisted on an occupation of germany for some time. wason committed to that he drawing down troops quickly. i don't know when the last of them came home. probably they were mostly all home by the end of 1919, i would guess. brian: there were a series of presidents over the left several years that have talked about wilson when they give speeches, and his legacy.
here is fdr speaking right as the war started, the second world war, before december, april of 1941. [alause] , presbyterianet day,irst saw the light of one whose active life was dedicated to the cause of freedom, the conquest of fear and the liberation of the eternal spirit of man from every fear.dom imposed by in this valley of virginia, it will remind america that his wides of freedom were enough to support democracy in all the world. brian: that was actually may 4,
down in stanton, where they have the presidential library. what is your reaction? patricia: i had never seen that before. i know he made that visit. he was a committed internationalist, fdr. it is also important to know while wilson was president, fdr was the assistant secretary of the navy the whole time. he is watching president wilson closely and thinking about his own lyrical future, taking note of what is working and what is not. 1942, he gathers together some advisors and starts thinking about a successor to the league of nations. it basically went out of business after world war ii began, or it had never been ofling to enforce the terms
collective security. brian: we were never country involved -- patricia: right. the europeans, they could not believe a second world war would come because the first one hadb. , thetched the british notion of appeasement, give hitler one more thing and he will quit, because we cannot have another world war. fdr was a committed internationalist and some people thought he threw out everything wilson did and started over in designing the u.n. i look at it as the u.n. was wilson 2.0. fdr took what he felt was workable and saved it. there is a lot of language in the u.n. charter that come straight from the league of nations charter.
he also realized, and he had a lot of help thinking this through, which wilson did not. wilson basically wanted to think it through on his own. s circle thought the league of nations had been asked to shoulder too many responsibilities, and if you had a new internatnal organization, there should be other international organizations to take up some of these things. so they founded organizations alongside, things like the international monetary fund and the world bank. some of these are global organizations and some were regional. nato came out of this very soon after the war. that is the order we have been living with ever since. brian: here is lyndon johnson in 1966, and this mention of wilson. [video clip] in thisxercise of power
has meant for all of us in the united states not arrogance but agony. we have used our power not willingly and recklessly, ever, reluctantly and with restraint. brian: do you agree with that? patricia: no. as i was watching that, i was j was speaking lb about vietnam. brian: it was right in the middle of it. patricia: it sounds a good justification of vietnam, we did this because we had to do it. as we look back on it now, all of the things, all of the lies we were told and what was actually going on, it does not look like that was the case. brian: that was the dedication
of the woodrow wilson school of public international affairs. students write about pulling the name of it? patricia: that turned out to be the trickiest thing because it was the biggest mention of wilson, the school of international public affairs. his idea of having a world organization, and organization of world governments committed to peace and collaboration, that was a revolutionary idea. the fact that it did not work the first time and that it is still very hard, it is hard for the u.n. to get things right, people have a lot of complaints, but i think we are better off for having it then not. wilson's notion of internationalism, that it has to have a big place in the world, we see that with climate change. is going to happen whether we are in the accord or not.
you can withdraw from the accord that not from women change -- but not from point a change. he was right in thinking the fate of the world is of interest to every nation in the world. brian: here is richard nixon talking about wilson in 1969. [video clip] >> 50 years ago at this very desk, president woodrow wilson spoke words which caught the imagination of a war weary world. he said this is the war to end wars. his dream for peace after world war i was shattered when the heart -- on the hard realities of great power politics and wilson died a broken man. theght, i do not tell you war in vietnam is the war to end wars, i say this. i have initiated a plan that way end this war, and a
to bring us closer to the great goal that woodrow wilson and every american president in our history has been dedicated, the goal of a just and lasting peace. tricia: two footnotes, wilson did not make that speech in the oval office and that desk was not wilson's desk. brian: the resolute desk was not? patricia: no. the desk of business was pointed out to him before the speech but he went ahead anyway. that is just interesting. was inhe internationalist but in a more limited way. he wanted international things to be related to american interests much more. nelson -- wilson might have come to that if he had lived longer longer, hepower might have wanted to amend
american internationalism more. i am not sure, experience might have let him in that direction. thought that wilson had the right idea but overreached. and a lot of presidents after nixon had the same idea, you have to be -- a friend of mine who worked in the clinton administration told me they refrained from calling themselves liberal internationalists, which is what the wilsonian camp had come to, because they did not want to be associated with wilson's failures. and afterring vietnam vietnam, this idea of internationalism gets more thanined in terms of -- wilson thought.
he was grandly ambitious, he said the united states could not be a great nation unless its sense of duty and mission penetrated to the hearts of every nation in the world. that is a sweeping statement that you as a nation are going to be on the same wavelength and really thinking about what is best for every nation in the world. brian: you say in your book, and this will go by very fast, it is george w. bush. put this in the context. [video clip] >> the liberty we prize is not america's gift to the world, is god's gift to humanity. patricia: wilson never would have said that. buton was a religious man he never tried to impose his religious beliefs on the united states and that is george w. the using god to trump
founding fathers, and i don't think wilson would've done that. brian: if you saw wilson during his eight years as president, when he ever talk about god? patricia: he did it in a way a lot of presidents do, the sort of god bless america way, and god willing. but that was it. religion to him, it reminds me of jimmy kahler -- jimmy carter's faith. a sense of comfort in difficult circumstances, kind of an acre, -- an anchor. brian: when did you stop teaching at olympia? patricia: two years ago. i taught in the school of the arts, i taught nonfiction. brian: why did you quit? patricia: that is a long story. it was veryness, strange, for completely unrelated things were wiring
surgery in six months. there was a lot of lying around and think about the rest of life. it started when i was 68. i came to teaching late, and i had always liked writing more than teaching. i enjoyed teaching but the thing i really liked to do was write. my doctors were very optimistic but i thought, what if they are wrong? how i want to spend the rest of my days? i decided i wanted to spend them just writing and not the commendation of writing and teaching. brian: where did you go? moved from new york city to maine. i have friends at their and i loved it. -- friends up there and i loved it. brian: you have another book you are working on? patricia: not working on but i'm thinking of some things. brian: give us an idea? patricia: one of them is in the
era of 1880-1920 come up with is itbe my sweet spot, and involves theodore roosevelt, an aspect no one has wrote about before. that's all i can say about that. george -- quote lord lloyd george, prime minister of great britain, of saying this about woodrow wilson, open boat the extraordinary mixture of real greatness floated by much littleness. fair? patricia: i think it is fair. he could get hung up on little things. lloyd george liked him. various reports of his conversation during the peace conference. he complained about him sometimes, wilson would get on his high horse and deliver what lloyd george called sermonettes,
and he did not like being lectured. they did not think of themselves as immoral leaders. brian: here is a quote from your book, wilson had listened to lloyd george's plea and said, you make me sick. what was that about? patricia: that was -- there was another explanation. you make me sick. patricia: did he talk this way to other leaders? did he talk this way to other leaders? patricia: no, and i cannot remember why he was so angry in the moment. there was a crisis over italy, which had joined the war, it had been neutral and then it joined the war with the expectation of
getting quite a lot of territory on the other side. huge crisis and it might have been they were fighting about that. i am sorry i can't remember. brian:his is what book for you? patricia: five. brian: which of the others sold the best? patricia: probly the roosevelt book. brian: our guest has been patricia o'toole, the book is called "woodrow wilson and the world he made, the moralist." thank you for joining us. patricia: thank you. ♪ >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about th q&a.org visit us at programs are also available as c-span podcasts.
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