tv QA Harold Holzer and Amity Shlaes CSPAN May 5, 2019 7:59pm-8:55pm EDT
mr. scalise: at the risk of the five people watching. mr. hoyer: i yield back the balance of my time. mr. scalise: with, that i look forward to next week, hopefully -- with that, i look forward to next week, hopefully getting some of those things done. with that, i yield back the balance of my time >> coming up monday morning, we will preview the week ahead with melodies and stephen nelson of the washington examiner. then a discussion of infrastructure, priorities and funding with the american society. c-span'so watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. q&a is next and a discussion on c-span's look "the presidents" with contributors.
at nine :00, prime minister questions from the british house of commons. after that, theresa may appears before parliamentary committee on brexit. former attorney general alberto gonzales talks about the mueller report and it handling by william barr and the white house. ♪ ♪ why do wety shlaes, spend so much time in this country and on our network and in your life talking about presidents? amity: thank you, brian. i am glad to be with you and with harold. we talk about presidents because people understand people better than ideas, and we eventually went to get to ideas, but we get at those ideas through people, our presidents. brian: dr. holzer, as i'm wont
to call you, even though you are not a doctor. [laughter] harold: thank you for that mixed introduction. [laughter] thank you for having me on the show, and welcome to franklin roosevelt's home, from which we are broadcasting tonight. amity has it right. i also think we were blessed to have a first president who was a national hero before he became president, and was a touchstone and an icon, and created a presidency based both on personality and ideas, but in large measure personality. everyone since has been measured against george washington. we look for extraordinary guidance, leadership and inspiration from these so far men. brian: i want to ask amity, is there a house anywhere for
calvin coolidge? amity: there is a house for calvin coolidge in plymouth notch, vermont. near killington, near woodstock, vermont, if those are important points for you. the interesting thing about coolidge's house, he was sworn into the presidency there by his father, by virtue of his father being a notary public. it could not be more american than that. when president harding died, the president had to be sworn in, and they did it right there, by the lamp, with the family bible. a very compelling site. brian has been there. harold has probably been there we welcome all of you. brian: the fdr house. this is one of many places dedicated. what is this house? harold: we are in the carved-out basement, not original to the house, of the townhouse franklin built as at's mother
wedding present for franklin and eleanor roosevelt. both families moved in in 1908. fdr occupied, and his wife and their children occupied the east side of the house. fdr's mother stayed in the west side of the house, and immediately opened the walls so myat as eleanor said, mother-in-law was on the outside of the house for the next 25 years, sometimes at the least expected moments. ba this was fdr's political se, also the home at which he recovered from polio in 1921. fdr's mother wanted him to go to hyde park and sort of retire in luxury, or rustic luxury. here, insisted he stay
where he could get his bearings in society, government, politics. the house had two elevators, which made fdr mobile once he got into a wheelchair. here he ran his campaigns for governor of new york, and here conducted his campaign for the presidency in 1932. and most famously, this house was the transition headquarters between november 1932 and march monththe four interregnum that separated elections and inaugurations. theairs, in the library parameters of the new deal were forged, argued and created, including as i love to tell our audiences here, social security created in this very house. thank you. [laughter]
are you on social security? harold: barely, but yes. brian: i would not ask amity. [laughter] if calvin coolidge was here and you could talk with him, based on the books you wrote, the way you look at the world, what would you want to talk to him about? amity: well, he would want to talk to us about the national debt. what he would say, it may not now,as though it matters but it might one day, and what do you, plural, plan to do about that? feat was not grteat a war victory, but a fiscal victory. he actually managed to cut the debt by one third, and what is more, he managed to cut the government. so after 67 months in the presidency, the budget was lower than when he came in.
the audience always says, is that real, is that inflation? he actually cut the budget so that the number was lower, notwithstanding a very healthy population growth and economic growth. quite a feat to do that. ittimes, it may seem doesn't matter, but it does matter very much, particularly when our currency is challenged. we have a scholarship we give to honor calvin coolidge. this year we had 3400 candidates, and each wrote an essay about what calvin coolidge would do about the debt. the point being, the knowledge that they may perhaps shoulder some of the burden of the debt. brian: you have spent most of your life thinking, talking and writing about abraham lincoln. around, what would
you want to talk to him about? harold: first of all, i would forgive him the national debt that he racked up. had the first federal income tax, excluding state and local deductability, i might add. [laughter] i will reverse the question and take amity's approach. what would he want to talk about, if he spent a couple days looking through the headlines and going online, assuming he got into that. i think he would wonder why we have not settled some of the intractable divisiveness that he encountered and was forced to confront. hewould wonder why when believed he set the country on a path to racial reconciliation, how that transformed into sectional reconciliation as the priority. what went wrong there in terms
of speeding equal opportunity, one of the promises of the latter part of the civil war? i would ask him the questions, what's with you and your father, but that is just me trying to figure out what that relationship was all about. why did you build, pay for a gravestone for your valet, but did not listen to your stepmother's plea that you pay for a gravestone for your dad? there were deep-seated problems there that have never been explained. ask, what isld with you and emancipation? did you always plan somehow to be the liberation president? was it always in the back of idur mind, as someone who sa they were always antislavery, naturally anti-slavery? what was the real end game here, and did the ends justify the
means, i guess. brian: let me go back to the fdr house. i ask you both, how hard is it to maintain these institutions today? harold: we are very lucky at roosevelt house. when franklin roosevelt's mother died, he i think could not bring himself to return to this house. they were very, very close. fdr put the house up for sale. very close become tuesdao the students at hunter college. this house is part of hunter college, which is part of the city university system of new york. she hung out in the hunter library, brought hunter students here for lunch. so fdr put this house up for the staggering cost of $60,000. [laughter] eleanor prevailed upon hunter bid for theake a house.
fdr lowered the price to $50,000, for a double townhouse on the upper eastside of manhattan. it opened as a multifaith, interreligious, multiracial place for the female students of hunter to study, socialize and join clubs. it was that for many years, until the house began to run down, inevitably, because it was not well-maintained. and under our hunter college president, money was raised to rehabilitate the house, and now it functions as a policy center for undergraduates and a center for policy discussions like we are attempting to have tonight. brian: attempting? [laughter] theabout raising money in name of calvin coolidge? amity: it is very difficult, because president coolidge was ambivalent about taking government money, especially fed
eral money. you can read it right in his autobiography. so the question is, did he cut off his nose to spite his historical face? he didn't like the idea, when his friends got together, before the law that paid for the presidential libraries to be maintained. arron'se barron of b magazine and so on got money together. coolidge didn't know what to do with it. he was very grateful to his beautiful wife grace, for tolerating the presidency. she was a professional lady, an constructor of the deaf, and trained at the clark school in northampton, massachusetts. coolidge thought it might be vanity to have a presidential library with this money, so he gave the money from his friends
to the clark school for the deaf, so that his wife might and what she dreamed of, also he thought he might go. heart, and he wanted her to be professionally recognized, and the most important lady in the town, which she was. that benefited many generations of teachers and students at the school. is left plymouth, h birthplace in vermont, a little challenged. we have the calvin coolidge presidential foundation there. in my time as chairman, federal emphasized have not federal money, but have tried to raise money ourselves to honor the president's philosophy. we also now have coolidge house in washington. placehis expensive, but
is worth it. people come, and they can think differently about their subject, about a president they know something about. so for coolidge house in washington, which is by georgetown, we're currently having a graphic novelist draw coolidge's life so the children and adults who come to coolidge lifhouse can walk away with his life in mind, some knowledge of it. in vermont, our state, a wonderful partner, maintains the coolidge foundation objects and owns many of them. this summer, there is a show about calvin coolidge and grace coolidge's pets. numerous. there's an apocryphal statement that i will still attribute to him, you should not really be president if you don't understand about pets. pets are very important, including rebecca the raccoon,
who is featured in the show. brian: i want to diverge just for a moment, because i had the pleasure of interviewing both of these people on many occasions. remember anght event we had some time ago when i came in, and i want you to complete the story. this is painful for me to bring up, but i want to get it on the record. she came in to do the interview in a nice-looking red dress and said to me, this will be a very important interview, because my grandmother watches this program. then what happened? amity: then the tape did not tape. can, but put it in the it was blank. and brian and the poor young man, who was a new hire, i believe. brian: he is still here. amity: a tribute to mr. lamb, wh o passed over that.
i had to come back another day and tape the whole thing again. it was the book about the tax code, too. so exciting. [laughter] brian: in 30 years, it is the only time it has ever happened. it is painful to remember, but i wanted to put it on the record. and she had to come all the way back from new york down to washington. mr. holzer, i know there have been questions over the years you would blanche at. i remember one in particular. we were in fort wayne and i -- do you knowne where fort wayne, indiana is? you were unable to describe it. [laughter] to have the opportunity to take a shot at anything i asked in the past. harold: you said, we are here in fort wayne, where is fort wayne
indiana? i said, i don't know. you said, spoken like a true new yorker. [laughter] painful, painful. brian: you don't have to go beyond that. [laughter] harold: the first time we were on-air, 26 years ago. for some perverse reason, you asked me if my mother worked, she's aid no, housewife. i know, terrible thing to say. i had never been on c-span before. furious, lived to be almost 100 and never forgot i said that. but she liked you. [laughter] brian: that is the first time i ever heard that story. harold: one other story? brian: if you insist. harold: brian and i like to have dinner in washington, and brian
is one of the most i can recognize people in washington, d.c. the problem is that most people who recognize him think that he is john glenn or john mccain. [laughter] when people say, what you did for the space program. [laughter] the best of these happened at the mayflower hotel, after dinner. someone came up to brian, rushed to the lobby and said, oh, mr. lamb. this is good, she knows it is brian. i've always wanted to meet you. i can never go to sleep until i watch you on tv. [laughter] brian: to tell you how bad it is, since i have been in new york, i was walking down the street yesterday and a couple walked by me, and as they did the woman said, "that is john mccain!" [laughter] back to presidents.
you thiswant to ask question. if you had to pick between fdr and lincoln, what would you do? harold: who is writing the check? [laughter] obviously they belong in the top three. roosevelt dealt with two emergencies, in a state of diminished health, which i find extraordinary. lincoln destroyed his own health, working for four years on the existential crisis that challenged the country, and determined whether it would survive. so i would like to get them both in the room and talk to both, but i don't choose. i'm privileged to have created an association with lincoln, and to have this thrust on me unexpectedly four years ago and to get to work in this inspiring place. brian: in the book we were
fortunate enough to publish, there are 44 historians. that is the important work in the book, published by public affairs and peter osman's and years --ooks over the who have done our books over the years. 27 is calvin coolidge. he's at 27,hink instead of lincoln at 1, fdr 3? amity: thank you for asking that. of course, i think coolidge could be in the top five, and i would defend that. presidential rankings are a bit of a zero-sum game. if someone goes up, someone must go down. i would say, i think economics features here. if you think franklin roosevelt
was a wonderful economist, you think calvin coolidge was a poor economist. it's sort of like that. impossibleople, it's to be both a roosevelt person, a t.r. person or fdr person, and be a coolidge person. it is binary like that. every president has his charms. an economist at wake les, who lookedape at what economic historians and economists thought about presidents. he also looked at what they thought about economic events. and about half the economists thought roosevelt made things better in the great depression of the 1930's, and about half thought he made things worse, the new deal made things worse.
if you survey historians, most of them would say roosevelt made it better. so you have a culture in history which tends to the progressive, and historians have the pens, so that is the way it goes. notice grover cleveland did not do so well, and that's because history is moving leftward in our adulthood. why coolidges doesn't do so well. his econ is not known or understood. it doesn't fit in the modern framework, even that which professional economists have. but he's a good economist, and's prosperity was genuine. harold: can i comment? brian: no. [laughter] harold: i'm not going to challenge you. i'm just going to say, the one added element that distinguishes
lincoln, roosevelt and others in ranked by historians is camino kate ands of the -- communications ability. the thing about roosevelt if you go past the economy is the extraordinary ability to reassure people in the depths of the depression that government was working, or trying. even though the depression didn't technically end until world war ii production, the radio addresses, the first of which he gave in this very house the day after the 1932 election, fortified people. lincoln had extraordinary public letters that he wrote to individuals but make sure that they were published in newspapers. gave people a sense of where he was thinking, in an age when presidents did not make speeches or tweet or do any of those things. will tellty shlaes
you calvin coolidge started on radio and was very successful, but i will let her finish. amity: you know what? i wasn't answering the question. i don't rank communicator up there in my 10, but coolidge was a good communicator. how do we know that? as you know, president harding passed away, so the vice president, which was calvin coolidge, became president . but he had an election in 1924, had to run himself. that year, the progressives were doing very well, so there was a third party that ross perot-wise was dividing things. normally when that happens, in our experience the democrats win. that electionin because he was so popular an absolute majority, not a plurality.
veryat the democrats and a healthy progressive party. he was massively popular. the republican party had a heart attack when it realized he would not run in 1928. he could have. he was on the radio. what is missing and may yet be found, because so much is found nowadays, are recordings of coolidge on the radio. we don't seem to have those. we have the recordings of fdr, and that became national memory. that's not to say coolidge was a lovey-dovey person. he was famously spare and restrained. but he was a recognizable type, especially to midwesterners, actually, a farmer type. humored,to say, dry didn't say a lot, but much appreciated. i wouldn't say he was a poor communicator. he was a different kind of commu
nicator. i'm looking for those radio tapes, only. one, when lindbergh returned. coolidge loved aviation, particularly civil, because he thought it was a way to preclude war, to get the world together through airplanes. and the other is a brilliant tax speech which he made subsequent to the death of his son. brian: i want to dip into the os a" gordon wo well-known historia -- wood, a well-known historian from brown university. he said this, and i want you both to deal with this. "john adams was a realist. wered not believe all men created equal. didn't believe in american
exceptionalism." harold: he believed in english exceptionalism. that was one of the problems. i think he believed in a certain england,stem out of but i think he bought into the founding principles. with respect to gordon wood, it might be an oversimplification. amity: i am also a fan of john quincy adams. i wonder how he does here. the authorote from of a book on mckinley. "he was maybe one of the finest human beings who ever made it to the white house." harold: i'm very persuaded by a recent interview you did with richard norton smith, who was featured in the book, in which he made a very good case that mckinley deserves higher recognition. maybe thery popular,
war he led was a little bit contrived, but he was humane. he was lovely toward his wife, who was ill, which counts for something. that sounds right. amity: that is an excellent book. i recommend it. the question, one of the big questions is the tariff. the republicans are the tariff party, the democrats are the income tax party, even before the income tax. he says mckinley realized the uses of the tariff, but also the limits and damage of it, and he modernized as a man and president, before he was office and in office, he was the first modern president. it is a beautiful portrait, that book. brian: in the profile of james who diedone-termer
three months after his presidency. "iquotes from the diary, am the hardest working man in america, and if i did not have a cabinet, i know i could run america without them." abraham lincoln loathed polk.knox adventurer,e was an a warmonger, who lied about the causes of the mexican-american war and took too much power upon himself in a noncrisis moment. rates below the fold? brian: i will get there. amity: there is something about
that statement that gets at the presidency. does the president run everything or does he preside? some might remember the saturday night live parody of president carper being -- president carter being called up by a lady at the post office. machine inarter, my the post office doesn't work, and president carter says, i was just working to my cabinet this morning about the problems of your machine. if you push this button and reset, the machine will work great, missus jones in the post office in kansas or somewhere. thethat, how much does president run everything is always the question. what i like about coolidge, i will say, he delegated ferociously. he really didn't like the tax
policy that andrew mellon planned, because he thought it might raise too much money, and then congress would have money and the government would grow. andrew miller, the treasury secretary, told him it was a good tax policy for economic he said ok. that model is very rare nowadays, the refraining president. asold: in the lincoln era, strongly as he led the government, as identified as he became as the spokesperson for the effort to quell the rebellion and reunite the country, the cabinet was almost like the israeli cabinet is now. if lincoln had a policy decision like the emancipation proclamation, he would submit it to the cabinet. in the case of the first emancipation proclamation,, the
cabinet except for one member said this was not the right move in july of 1862, and lincoln acquiesced, tabled it. it got past the questions because he had fewer cabinet meetings. cabinets and delegation were serious business until the very modern presidency. brian: in our book, "the president's," david stewart has a chapter on andrew johnson. but i want to go to another book he wrote, to use this statistic that i think is fascinating. the summer of 1787, a book about the constitutional convention. he has a tremendous number of numbers in there that may or may not interest you to define our country. to start with, and i'm sure both men --know this, in 1974
the appointed men, 55 rhode up, 39 signed, island didn't participate. what does that say, if anything, of how we started? what would happen today if the same call went out and people were asked to participate? harold: i mean, it is tough to get around in those days. i think those numbers are pretty good considering the transportation, the unpleasantness of hanging out in philadelphia in the summer and all of that. caution in the book, and indeed when we do the survey, judging presidents by the standards of their own time. five 1787 to 1789 standards getting -- by 1787 to 1789
standards getting that kind of quorum is impressive. amity: considering the absence of air conditioning, claritin, antibiotics. harold: and they kept the windows closed. amity: nowadays everyone would be there every day, and he would be or she would be on her phone. [laughter] so it is a different kind of presence we have now. ease getting there, trouble paying attention and really being there. mindfulness. brian: more statistics from david stewart's book. 29 of these people wore uniforms in the revolutionary war. 13 involved in, trade business, 12 owned plantations with slaves, and 24 owned considerable amounts of debt. how does that reflect what you
think we are today? harold: model of america in 1787. the numbers sound right. i didn't know about the people with debt. that's interesting. starting off owing money, which the country did. brian: over here. yes, sir? washington and lincoln always come up number one and number two. i went to elementary school and walking, there was washington and there was lincoln. will that continue? times -- [inaudible] do you think they will continue to be held in high esteem? harold: as long as i am a voter, i will try. [laughter] i think the pressure is clearly
on the founding generation, the southern presidents. washington i think is only going to be sui generis, considered apart because he created the presidency, because he gave it up after two terms and refused -king ine the quasi america and set the precedent of peaceful transition. but for sure jefferson, madison are sinking, the slaveholders who seem unconscionable or hypocritical. jackson's racism toward people of color and native peoples is coming under new scrutiny. that is healthy. lincoln said things as you point out in the debates, said things in his presidency, when he was trying to assure himself that white public opinion would accept the emancipation proclamation, he renewed his
calls for voluntary colonization to africa and the caribbean. again, it is context. in lincoln's last speech, he said i think the time has come to extend the right to vote to the colored man, especially the very intelligent and those who fought in the army. so by 2019 standards, it sounds by 1865ns testing, but standards, lincoln is making a statement that was so shocking to one member of the audience, john wilkes booth, that he vowed on the spot to kill him rather than accept racial equality. brian: you have a question? >> i have been watching c-span for 35 years. i love all the programming. i can't help but ask, if you were to continue to update the
book, as we go further in history, where would president same fit in with these leadership qualities? thee would he fit in, in top five, the bottom five, in the ranking? [laughter] you haveirst of all, to let him finish. presidents are not judged in midstream in the historian survey. so he is ineligible and we are unprepared to answer. time will tell. communication, i would rate him as one of the greatest communicators in the presidency. whatever the policies are. he knows how to do scrums with reporters. ratings factor. you never know. this: let me ask amity, is
the most divided the country has ever been? amity: the civil war was the most divided this country has ever been. i think in our adulthood, in my adulthood, it's the most divided school has ever been. what happens to kids in school, what they learn in school, they very much disagree. i think maybe in the 1960's there was a vision about civil about in -- divisions civil rights in schools, or divisions about saluting the flag in school. but now there are divisions about politics in school that are unusual for my adulthood and, i yours. brian: next question? >> i would like to know how you came to calvin coolidge as a topic for your book and the foundation? amity: thank you for that question. i wrote a history of the 1930's,
the new deal, the depression. showesults of my analysis d that something broke in the 1930's. something good was broken, and it didn't really get fixed. the things that were good that broke, that was the 1920's. so i worked backwards. icoolidge is kind of the prequel to "forgotten man." the policies of coolidge were very valuable. government smaller, lower taxes. coolidge cut the marginal tax rate to 25% from a very high figure. we have not done that since president reagan, who admired president coolidge. but it was particularly his model of a restrained presidency, a non-egotistical presidency that drew me as well. i will say, because some of this
is personal, i you devote several yearsf to writing about someone, you need to have a reason. i had a boss named robert leroy bartley at the wall street journal who coolidge resembled, i will put it that way. [laughter] of thisincarnation taciturn, but very thoughtful editor bob bartley. kneww coolidge before i him, through someone much younger. and i would guess that the midwestern agricultural tight. coolidge was from vermont, but vermont was the midwest. which is to say, the man of few words and many thoughts. brian: questions? the gentleman over here? presentation.his whether legacy could be one of the 10 criteria, the
overall impact of the president on the future? notwithstanding the lofty rhetoric and initial legislative success, left a legacy of racism. his inability to get the league disaster passed, the of versailler. versailles. --old: i think that the leg legacy question is dealt with in the various categories. a perfect moment to talk about lincoln. house, who lived in this
franklin roosevelt, left to work for woodrow wilson as assistant secretary, f. eleanor became a red cross nurse. deeply admired wilson and deeply admired theodore roosevelt, as opposite as they were in their approach to the presidency and ability to communicate. roosevelt did find great things about wilson, found him deeply inspiring. i absolutely agree about the racism. and his relations with the press. deeply troubling, deeply ingrained. he was a southern man, and remembered hearing his parents talking about lincoln's election . it was deeply ingrained. he was the last civil war
southerner to occupy the white house. legacy?mity, amity: legacy shifts. someone might be in normal sleep popular when they leave office, and 10 years later we say who was that? who was eisenhower, until we got a, few good biographies? i want to mention evan thomas's book. legacy is implicit in the other weightings. brian: question? president,unexpected harry truman. [inaudible] aity: currently i am writing
book with an unexpected hero, a flawed hero. united autor, the workers. not much is known. we used to hear in the news, every single night. great society,in what happened to organized labor, which was 25% of our workforce? i am interested in truman, but because he objected the taft-hartley act, which weakened another act. taft-hartley, but i saw how he agonized over it, and have great respect for the prolabor view, too, the union
view. as part of united states history, as part of who we are. i like truman better than i should, for his earnest, serious, i'm cynical attitude toward the presidency -- unc ynical attitude toward the presidency. how an anti-semitic guy pulled the lever on establishing statehood for is real. i would turn one thing about truman on its ear. abraham lincoln's greatest encouraging andrew johnson as his second vice president. he should have thought more closely about the issue of succession and legacy. he chose the only southern senator who did not defect to
the confederacy, even though he was a democrat and not a republican, and even though he was deeply racist. i don't think he spent any time talking to him. magically, roosevelt chose harry truman. that,w his hand was on because he made the selection. i don't know why he saw possibility in truman. he certainly knew of his own frailty, and he didn't expect to live through his third term, certainly didn't expect to survive his fourth, and thought he would resign if the war ended. he wanted to see allied victory through. it's a remarkable thing that he whond this amazing man seemed greater than the sum of his parts. brian: we have about eight minutes left. a couple questions in the back. yes, sir? >> i wonder if you could comment
on the suggestion that those who --hasize [inaudible] insofar as that masking, subterfuge impacts ratings. thinking particularly of dwight eisenhower. now apparently we see he was much smarter than a lot of people thought he was. fog, but operate in a nonetheless know where they are going. amity: it sounds a little sinister, the way you put it. but a good leader may want to so others may play their roles. that happens frequently in the
presidency, that the president is behind it all. lyndon johnsonon because of the great society book. he is a president who does not hide his leadership very well. [laughter] harold: i first became interested in government when kennedy ran for president. to an 11-year-old, eisenhower seemed a doddering person who was no longer a strong leader. but 75 years ago, this june largest led the military operation in the history of the world, at d-day. i think historians love him because he said to beware of the military-industrial complex. that is the most reputation enhancing factor about eisenhower. point, said at one disingenuously i think, i do not
claim to have controlled events, events have plainly controlled me. he said that as a way of garnering support for emancipation as a policy that was sort of an add-on to the original rationale for prosecuting the civil war, simply to restore the union. said earlier, james buchanan has been listed as the worst president in history in almost all surveys for a long time. robert strauss, the gentleman mic here, i want to get a over here so we can ask how offended he is by the fact james b cannon always comes in last -- james buchanan always comes in last. >> offended? no. everyone has to give an elevator i went to my agent,
and he said, half of america things barack obama is the worst thinkent, half of them george w. bush is the worst president, but neither of them started the civil war. it seemed at every turn, every fork in the road, he took the wrong one. an amazing proclivity for making bad decisions. thewhat he was also was most experienced guy to run for president. he had been in the state legislature, member of congress in both houses, ambassador to russia, ambassador to england, secretary of state. that isld you get a guy qualified for everything? he was a disaster. brian: thanks for coming tonight. we have time for at least one
more question. this gentleman on the aisle? >> good evening. inn'tvery surprised jfk was was in the top 10. he inspired me, lots of people, but he was president for a thousand days. what did he accomplish, to make him one of the greatest? political scientist survey that just came out has him at 16, so who knows where this will all wind up. harold: the impact of john kennedy was generational. of television, which eisenhower had not been, truman had not been. like fdr, like lincoln, like trump, he was a master of communicating directly with the people. he inspired people to public
service. the two elements i think that enhance his reputation are communication ability, the wit and warmth and humor, self-deprecating also, and of course the tragedy of his passing. presidents who die in office, who are taken from us violently, hold a special place in the national memory. not only for what they accomplished. wasy: i would just add, he a president of the center. jfk was not a socialist. parties.d by both there's a wonderful book called "jfk a conservative, con policies.iis exo so he fit right down the center for many americans, like a bowling ball. [laughter]
brian: final question. you mentioned your book on lbj and the great society. when is that on the market? amity: november. brian: mr. holzer, your next book? 54? harold: 55. amity: 10 times as many books. harold: i'm not at prolific as you make me out to be. my next book is "president of the press: from the founding fathers to fake news." it explores all the presidents and their evolving and contentious relationships with journalists. brian: when does that come out? harold: next spring. ourn: i want to thank guests this evening, for providing us the opportunity to be here, and to our audience for
joining us and asking such good questions. amity shlaes, thank you very much. and that is it. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] programs are available on our website, or as a podcast at www.c-span.org. ♪ ♪ next sunday on "q&a" david "aanis discusses his book, good american family, the red scare and my father." >> in the coming weeks the t u