tv QA David Maraniss CSPAN May 12, 2019 7:59pm-9:01pm EDT
and see where it takes us. and by the way, ultimately, i think where will take us is to replacing donald in 2020 which is what we need to do. >> here is a look at monday on the c-span networks. a discussion on the pending court cases around the country concerning opioid use. democratic presidential candidate and former vice president joe biden campaigns in new hampshire. a discussion of the process for decommissioning nuclear power plants in the united states. on c-span2, a look at the recently published two-volume history on the u.s. army in the iraq war. the secretaries of the army and air force outline their priorities for those military branches and the senate gambles and at 3:00 p.m. eastern to continue work on judicial nominations. a look at what's chip c-span.
author david maraniss. after that, senator cory booker liconia, new hampshire. [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] ♪ when lamb: david maraniss, did you decide to name your book a good american family, the red scare and my father? it wasn't the first title of the book. i was calling it which is in room 740," the courtroom in detroit where conducted hearings in 1952
on communism in the detroit area. realized that as i was writing -- i mean, that was early on in the process. knew that i wanted to bring a lot of people into that room. father, and my family, but the chairman of the f.b.i. e, and the informant, and so that was the exus of the piece but in the end it really was more, you know, it's not a memoir in a sense. that but it's more i came but i knew once across the quote from charles otter, a congressman from michigan, who expressed surprise that someone from a good could be a ily member of the communist party at it.point, i said that's family was a y
good american family in every possible way so i wanted that juxtaposition to define the book. brian lamb: i want to put up on the screen your mother and and tell us when that picture was taken. when you look at them what do you think about? david maraniss: that was taken in 1944. leave.er was on army. in the it was during world war ii. my ink about how beautiful mother was, first of all, but my dad was ow, already going through a tough time, but he didn't show it much. i mean, he had been a radical at michigan.sity of the u.s. army had already -- the ntelligence division of the u.s. army had already investigated him because he was -- he wanted to be an officer. officer,it to become an and right after this, he went
camp leave, virginia, to command an all black unit, salvage and repair unit, so i'm this ng about, you know, is the early part of their lives before they had the four kids, and they were idealistic, i say.d brian lamb: when did you discover that both your mother before one point were at communists? david maraniss: it was always in lives but und of our never in the forefront because he was called before the i was 2. when i wasn't conscious. by the time, i would say, i was of aware of the world around me, we had moved to madison. 7 years old. i certainly had memories before that but nothing really sticking about our family unit. reinvented lready
himself. he had moved on. so had my mother. wasn't talk about in our family so it was in the background. ccasionally, he might say something that alluded to that era but never in any specifics. to interview him maybe 30 years ago about parts f it and he really sort of avoided it. so it wasn't -- and then i more but ink about it i knew i wasn't going to write about it until they were gone. then, as i reported the book, i think i say in the early spentf the book that i've my career studying strangers until they become familiar to who nd here were people were very familiar to me and i was worried that they would become more strangers and i went deeper and deeper into their lives. most people, you know, what they about their families is sort of the family stories and mythology, but they don't have a biographer going deep into studying what happened and here own doing it with my
family. so i learned more and more about their involvement in the people.st party as young as i reported this book. brian lamb: what would have been the years that they were communists? i would aniss: well, say my mother was a member of the young communist league as a at the university of michigan. y father was not but he was definitely a leftist. after he came back rom the war, i would say from 1946 to 1952. brian lamb: you say you're not in your book what they ever saw in the soviet union. be?d maraniss: how can you brian lamb: did they like the idea of the soviet union and why? david maraniss: my father at one stubborn in was his ignorance. i think they liked the idea.tarian
my father in particular, and my mother to some extent, was what he saw as the economic inequalities that grew that were more obvious during the great depression when capitalism tion of was being questioned more strongly because of what had appened with the collapse of that system. and i think the stubbornness and ignorance was not seeing the paranoia and murderous history soviet union until later. brian lamb: he was a newspaperman. did he lose his first job and why? on d maraniss: he was fired those y 29, 1952, during hearings when an f.b.i. grandmotherlled the spy, spaldwin, was called to testify. she had been a member of the communist party. f.b.i. nformant for the
from 1943 to 1952. when she came in from the cold. in the party knew her. she testified. she named names. hearings was hose really to investigate the united autoworkers and the communists in the union, but there were a other people who were collateral damage, you might say, and my father was one of those. brian lamb: house american activities committee, 1938, 1975.hed in david maraniss: yeah, it was history.merican one of the central questions of unamerican? what is what does it mean to be an american? that committee in 1952 was a georgian, john who had voted against every civil rights bill that came through congress, and of the ku n a member klux klan. he had some other dark parts of his past. father, who had been
the commander of an all black unit in world war ii unamerican. brian lamb: where is he from? david maraniss: he's from northern georgia. then p on a farm, and became a lawyer in canton, eorgia, and was, briefly, worked the north georgia circuit a lawyer, and was then got elected to congress from that congressional district up there. brian lamb: you highlight a fellow named tavener? david maraniss: frank was really an interesting guy. committee counsel for the house unamerican activities 1952.tee in he had been on the counsel when r during the period the more famous investigation of hollywood was conducted. e came from woodstock, virginia, out in the shenandoah
valley. product of the bird machine out there, and, after world war ii, he served as the acting general ounsel for the u.s. mission at the tokyo war crimes tribunal. sort of trying the japanese who were responsible for the atrocities. brian lamb: what's interesting, we're going through the idea of having a counsel interview from the committee, and in this case, he was counsel, father -- d your david maraniss: he did all the questioning. he committee members would participate as well, but most of the tough questioning was done committee counsel. that was the way it worked. brian lamb: fifth amendment. fifth araniss: the amendment is the right -- you invoke the fifth amendment to testify against yourself. the written into
constitution of the united states. know, and yet, used ically, people have the fifth amendment or they have defined it by saying, that means guilty. the point is not whether you're guilty or innocent, it's whether right not to be browbeaten into confessing. rian lamb: how often did your father use that? david maraniss: i didn't count the number of times, but -- not all of the questions, but he certainly used not only testify, against himself, but to name any other names or testify against as he was , interrogated. brian lamb: so when you started project, where did you go to find the things that you needed to write this book? david maraniss: well, i went so many places, but one of the first places i went it was archives, right down the street. there were le
terrific. ll of the house unamerican activities committee records are open now. congressional committee, archivest helped me to find what i needed. in one of those officials was something on my father. before that, because it was a hadic hearing in detroit, i long known about the transcript. in the transcript my father statement i would like to read. does e chairman, wooshgsd not allow him to read the statement. he might have -- he probably him read it if my father had confessed to his sins sought absolution and named names but he didn't. and so therefore he was not to read that statement. so i thought, you know, where is that statement? love to see it.
what did he say? moment that i found it in his file, was one of the most -- it was the most powerful moment of my experience eporting this book and it just washed over me, for the first i was, in my mid-60s. his was a central part of my family's sort of back story. myself --ally allowed allowed is the wrong word, i focused before that oment on what my father had endured. and seeing that statement, and part of it, which starts by saying statement -- a capital s jumps a half space. and people who remember the era f typewriters remember that
keys would stick and sometimes they would move up a half space, that moment of seeing it that brought it real to me. knew my dad. i had seen him hunt and peck as years and years. he typed really hard and keys would stick. it.that was that was me sort of finally putting myself in my father's at that moment. brian lamb: specifically, and 288 where you ge print this statement, specifically, where did you find take you long did it to find it? david maraniss: i wish i could cite the exact box number and number. book, but it was in the files of the -- detroit at up in ional archives, their research room, and it was right there. the national archives in detroit? david maraniss: downtown, archives., d.c.,
it has all the congressional of the nd it was one first things i found among all of the documents that i this.ered doing brian lamb: so he was 34 years old. david maraniss: right. testified: the day he and went in to read the statement and the chairman said no. no.id maraniss: brian lamb: where was the family? how big was the family at that time, and did he have a job? david maraniss: he had just been earlier, from the detroit times, a hearst where he in detroit was the lead re-write man. would take all the feeds from reporters and put it into and write the stories. have a job.dn't 2 1/2.ily was, i was jeannie, was 5,,
and jim was almost 7. my older brother. my mother. so it was family of five at that point. in we were living in detroit a flat, in detroit. i don't remember it. i say w, the first thing in this book is i have no memory of that day. rian lamb: does brother jim remember it? david maraniss: he does, very much. first of all, jim, my older brother, both my brother and sister are two of the smartest eople i have ever known in my life. jim has not a photographic memory ut a very sharp of certain things. he can recite any poem that he's read that sort of stuff. but he was traumatized by this period. i.ch more so than i mean, he and jeannie, my school, and so the five years that followed this event, they were bouncing one school to another as my
father was trying to find -- get life bag together. he even, jim remembers, remembers going to the eadquarters of the communist party -- the newspaper, where my father was also working as an editor, the michigan herald and the michigan worker, he remembers some of that. much more so than i do. one scene also where he emembers, after -- immediately after my father was called to testify, there were stories in and one ofers there, his friend's mothers said jim is dead as a communist. that, lamb: back off of find and how did he himself in the united states military and what year did he go in? communist then? rightmaraniss: he went in
after pearl harbor. he enlisted. e wasn't a member of the communist party. e was definitely a leftist, i would say. y mother's brother, robert cummings, was a member of the party.ist but, you know, so he wanted to ight against hitler and mussolini and join the war effort. you know, one of the wonderful illuminating parts f my book, in terms of understanding my dad, were that he wrote all these letters home during that whole 1945.d from 1941 to hundreds of letters. and, you know, of course, they romance and ical other things in them, but they in also very illuminating
terms of the way he viewed the world and particularly once he able to show what his eadership skills were as a commander of that all black unit. you see in those letters, and i you also see in the many essays we'll we'll get to the editorials he wrote, at the michigan daily as a student, i think you see his of america throughout that period. his beliefs not in destroying america but in making it better. brian lamb: what would it have to be a communist 1939 versus a communist in 1952? avid maraniss: that's an excellent question and i think it meant different things. 1939, there were -- there was already vast evidence of the soviet union. but there were a lot of factors involved. one was the spanish civil war, also talk about,
ended, where the united states and france and neutral, and were it was really the -- the ommunist party was part of the effort to defeat franco and itler and mussolini in spain, and this important precursor to world war ii. so there was that. war was also during the itself, the soviet union and the allies.states were fighting against hitler, and so that was a different period as well. by 1952, the cold war was, you into the colddeep war. there was also a war going on in korea against the communists here, and so, it was a different matter. of i think that the members the communist party and the united states, the membership ad shrunk considerably from
1952.to many leftists had turned away from the party by then so my arents, there are people who continued after that. my parents did not. longer than i would have thought. brian lamb: you mentioned harles potter, who is a republican. david maraniss: yes. brian lamb: member of the -- committee, in most of those years, the committee was run by democrats, although a couple of republicans.were what is his story because you write him up? david maraniss: yeah, i found potter to be a very study.sting he was a classic mainstream michigan.er from not the upper peninsula but the of michigan. hunt off to fight in world war ii. through the officer battle of the bulge, and then kolmar pocket, where he was
and ended up ed, losing both of his legs and one testicles, and heroically rying to stop a pocket of germans there and stepped on a landmine. came back, like so their home s, to states and towns, and got nvolved in politics, as one of hose young veterans. those young veterans. he was elected to congress, put on the house unamerican activities committee. lot like richard nixon or a of those other young veteran congressmen. name ort of made their fighting communism. they were staunch anti-communists. during the period of 1952, when in hearings were held detroit, he was starting to run for the senate. potter?amb:
david maraniss: potter was, yes, i'm sorry. end of elected at the that year. served one term. put onthe senate, he was the subcommittee with joe mccarthy. where he started to see sort of the different manipulations d of mccarthy and the complexity of a lot of the issues that that, to him, had seemed pretty black and white. so, jump forward to the 1960s, e wrote a book called "days of shame." where he acknowledged a lot of he mistakes that the republicans made during that period. allowing mccarthy to go as far did.e even writes a section where he defends the fifth amendment and it was used as a of saying people were guilty. right.n important
so, you know, i'm not going -- only time i'll jump ask me aboutet you it again. margarete republicans, smith and several other republicans, including president saw the excesses on, and they oing stopped it. a ys of shame," will republican 10 years from now write a republican like that? brian lamb: when you look back believe joe mccarthy was 48 when he died. david maraniss: yeah. buried -- david maraniss: in appleton, wisconsin. he died right before our family saved when we got to wisconsin. brian lamb: i want to show you ome video of harry truman speaking, it's only 20 seconds and get to another issue that in your book.o here's harry truman in 1950. >> i'm going to tell you how fight ot going the
communism. we're not going to transform our f.b.i. into a gusstapo secret police. that's what some people would like to do. not going to try to control what our people read, say, and think. 1950.lamb: that was you sent me to this. 9835.xecutive order from march 21, 1947. president and he issues this executive order. where as, it is of vital importance that persons employed federal service be of complete and unswerving loyalty and i'll ted states, jump down to part one. there shah be a loyalty nvestigation of every person entering the city civilian employment of any department or agency of the executive branch of the federal government. it goes on and on. but what was this about, put his in context -- david maraniss: it wasn't just the federal government. there were loyalty oaths going the he way down through
state governments, the board of in states teachers were ordered to sign loyalty refused and f them fired. but it was the intense hysteria, you might say, at least fear of war, and of an internal threat to the united states, just washed over this country in that period. and harry truman and the democrats were caught in a place basically had been ways g with it in various ever since, which is the conundrum, how do you uphold the civil liberties, which are at the heart of the american not be y, and yet accused of being soft on whatever. communism, or the enemies within and without, and so on. period,know, during that
i hadn't seen that statement before, thanks for showing it, went e that and he also the other way. they were trying to find their way through this difficult period. brian lamb: i want to ask you, further on in this executive of his his is one points, what would happen with this today? each department and agency shall appoint one or more loyalty boards. not less than f three representatives of the department of agency concerned, hearing urpose of loyalty cases arising within such department or agency david maraniss: that's chilling, isn't it? specially when you think about how that could be -- how not misused during that period, and there is -- there of that, that aren't even in the book, like the
avender scare, where they went after gay and lesbian people in hat same period, in the same ways, in the federal government. what?y to and to whom? who defines it? can be, know, how that you know, how it was defined them in terms of loyalty to versus the soviet union? is it re, you know, loyalty in your mind and in your loyalty in your actions? which are two very different the ways that was misused and could be misused in present is chilling. jenny amb: reaction of and jim, your brother and ister, when they knew you were doing this and what you found? david maraniss: it was an interesting and important process. so for the whole period that my
parents were alive, i was not write this book, and it was not something my father or really talked about much. nd when i really started to become obsessed with it and i sister and to my brother, jenny was supportive from the beginning. might have had qualms about what i would find but she -- she's not the type of person, just very supportive of me always. little more complicated. think in part because he was conscious during this period more his felt it was story than mine. i was just 2. what did i know? think he underestimated perhaps my research capacity to -- you can say, what can you really know about what my parents were thinking? read 200 letters from my father and 200 editorials and
essays and stories that he wrote for the michigan daily you start to get a pretty good sense of what he was thinking. course, becausef no biographer ever knows the another thoughts of human being, i mean, you don't know what i'm thinking at this oment, you know, nor die know what you're thinking, because there is a contradictory that flow through period. in any case, jim was pretty he didn't ll now say try to talk me out of it but i felt like he was trying to talk me out of it. brian lamb: where are those two today? david maraniss: jim, he lives in massachusetts. he was a professor for decades at amherst university. professor of spanish, including the spanish civil war. literature, a calderon specialist. retired.ust my sister lives in pittsburgh. he was the chief research carnegie melon
university. rian lamb: we need to talk about that war. bob cummings. david maraniss: bob cummings. mother's oldest brother. at the as radicalized university of michigan. he graduated in of his friends, and another, left michigan, went to new york, got on a boat, took the boat across france, took a train across rance, to the spanish border, pyrenees to the fight against franco in the spanish civil war. motivating what was him? david maraniss: ideology, politics. of fascism. most of the americans and
canadiens who went over there 2/3 of them had the young ation with communist league. so you can say, you know, that financially what -- they didn't make money off of this, of course, but that's how there.ot but what was driving them was a in a better egalitarian world and a hatred of fascism. brian lamb: what happened to him after that? david maraniss: he was there until the americans were sent home, a little bit ended with franco loyalists, the republicans. to ann arbor.ck the third member of that group, franco's captured by troops and executed. and if you don't mind, when my and i were in spain, one of
was, it powerful moments knew where he was captured and where he and some soldiers were held, in the cathedral in the and to go town, there, into that church, you these 70 plus years and, it still felt like a of death. it was a very moving experience and to trace his route all the way through spain. he came home, he was hailed at the university of michigan. he and elman, for surviving the war and what they had done. people came to an event at the michigan union. his little sister, mary my mother, was there.
michigan for the daily, elliott, covered the event and that's where my parents met. brian lamb: that day? david maraniss: yes. brian lamb: let's go back to go back to aph just briefly that photograph just briefly to look at your mother and father. i want to ask you, both of them had the philosophy of the communist party at that time. where did they get it from? n other words, what were their parents like? and is that where the atmosphere they grew up in? david maraniss: you know, my was a member of the uncommoniun league.nist it's a little narrow about their philosophy enough. there was ying but more -- brian lamb: i'm more interested in where their philosophy came from. david maraniss: i would say to some extent my mother was influenced by her older brother, already active in michigan, and then went off to
fight in the spanish civil war. he get it? where did david maraniss: good question. from the times partly. and andparents, my mother, bob cummings father, andrew born on the , was northwestern in kansas. went through the whole struggle of the depression as a young engineer, bounced from to get city, trying work. he started sort of, you might a modestly country club republican and was not an fdr zed but became supporter during the new deal of that. ut i would say where my mother and my uncle got it was from the times. you can compare somewhat 1939 to d from 1934 to
the period from 1964 to 1969. a lot of young people were being radicalized by the events of that era. not everybody, obviously. both then and in the 1960s, there were more young epublicans than there were radicals. but it was a radicalization process of a lot of people. do this b: if we can quickly, i just want for context urposes, at one point in the book you say seven moves, forekids and the blacklist. david maraniss: yeah. brian lamb: where were the seven moves? avid maraniss: well, from the time he was fired in detroit, ur first move was to coney island, brooklyn, where my grandparents, my father's lived., we lived in a small apartment on -- near satisfy gate in coney island but not in seagate, which was a little more
exclusive. hen we moved back to -- we moved back to ann arbor and my mother's parents briefly. then we moved to cleveland, briefly had a job with with the cleveland plain dealer until the publisher of what had found out happened in detroit. readily father acknowledged. he was fired from the plain dealer. we moved back to detroit. he worked outside of the a few er industry for years selling party favors for a organizational place. we moved twice in detroit. then, in 1956, he was hired to an editor at the local ddition of labors daily in bentondorf, iowa. the typographical union was on in the area, and my father got back into newspapers
there. a little over or madison,nd then got to madison capital times hired him in 1957. mccarthy just dived. -- died. milwaukee braves were on their way to winning the word series. seemed good. brian lamb: the consequences of that hearing, did they find him be in contempt or what happened as a result of those hearings? david maraniss: no. people over the course of the years who did not amendment.ifth but took the first amendment, cited their first amendment cited for they were contempt. you can't cite someone for contempt for taking the fifth amendment. that's a constitutional right. if you try hat, but to claim the first amendment, you're not covered. ranging from arthur
miller, who we haven't talked bout, the great playright, who coincidentally, went to abraham lincoln high school in brooklyn before my father, then went to he university of michigan before my father, was a friend and auncle, bob cummings, very close friend of ralph -- the other spanish civil war was killed during the spanish civil war, years arthur miller -- he was called before, because he pass, and he st didn't take the fifth amendment -- he didn't answer, he was asked the question and the subject turned he never that but answered it. he wouldn't name names. himself only talk about and he was excited for contempt. the hollywood ten back in 1947, did not take the fifth amendment but stood up and said freedom of right, speech, and they were all cited imprisoned. and brian lamb: your father's
lawyer, george crockett. david maraniss: yeah. brian lamb: congressman. david maraniss: i didn't know any of that until i started researching this book. became a ckett later congressman from detroit. integrated lawan firm in detroit before there really anywhere else. not a was a leftist but communist ever. in he believed deeply protecting the rights of controversial minority groups you know, if d, they go after -- the same rights to members of the communist party as have been denied to african-americans. connection between the two. statement called freedom is everybody's business, sort of was his strong manifesto defense of why he was he nding communists even if didn't agree with them because
e saw the same dangers that anyone else.nst brian lamb: the former mayor. david maraniss: you could write a whole book about him. i didn't make him a major character. same called before those hearings in 1952 as my father. had the same lawyer, crockett, coleman young turned those hearings on end. he was not a member of the party.ist he was friendly with a lot of ommunists, and part of the radical movement earlier in the united autoworkers, but when him, they really didn't know how to deal with somebody who was not afraid of that.ike and so both chairman wood and avivener, tel av had southern both accents and sensibilities, both
ame out of racist backgrounds so when they said or tried to say negro, which is what blacks them, whether consciously or subconsciously, negra.ld come out coleman young went nuts against that and said, you know, that's you pronounce it. and then , not negra, from then on, sort of developed and more control over the questioning, so that he wasn't taking anything from them about, you know, any of those issues. it meant tonow what be an american, when he and african-americans were second class citizens, denied the right to vote. he talked about his experiences world war ii when he was kicked out of an officer's club even though he was an officer black. he was he really sort of made a them.ul argument against and when it was over, he said,
told this to studs who interviewed him, walking through detroit it was like joe louis coming home from a fight. barbershops, walking down the everybody was padding me on the back, saying, you stood up to those southern racists. brian lamb: here he is, just a talking second clip about john wood and others. trouble to look at the record of all the persons on the committee. none of them had anything to be proud of. chairman, who was from georgia. checked him out, and his about 80% nsisted of 5% of the yet only blacks voted in his election so i decided the best way, either run from these guys and you
cringe, or you attack. brian lamb: that was 1988. what's happened, do you think, this day? to about voting in places like georgia? mean, maraniss: well, i it's different, it's a different context but there are still in states all on over this country now. one thing that i have never quite, i mean, i understand it politics.f power but in terms of reverence for democracy, why does this country, that upholds itself as throughoutof liberty the world, end up with a repress the democratic process. t's getting close in some states. brian lamb: i want to put on our screen some people that you in the book. dise.s martin
tell us about him. david maraniss: he was the first committee from texas. blatant racist. i don't want to say too much more. earliest members of that dominatedwere, it was by southern racists. brian lamb: let's look at john rankin. david maraniss: from mississippi, similar. he was even more blatant, you know, in the congressional record, you can see him calling kites and blacks ni -- brian lamb: did you know anything about this before you got into the research? david maraniss: i knew vaguely about sort of that history, but it.idn't really know brian lamb: jay parnell thomas. avid maraniss: he was a epublican chairman of the committee, who was the chairman of the committee during the 10 hearings. upholding what it means to be an
american and calling these screenwriters and others unamerican, and shortly after of some as convicted embezzling, in his new jersey congressional office. ended up in the same prison as lardner, one of the 10.ywood brian lamb: woody i he's a major character, figure in this book. chairman, in 1952, --gressman from north jersey north georgia, who, after world briefly joined the ku klux klan, and in another that i only came across doing the research, although a wonderful book at the lynching of leo frank by my oney.d steve leo frank was an atlanta ran a pencil that factory, and he was accused of
13-year-old girl in factory.l it was by all records, accounts, a frame up. innocent. but he was convicted, and then the governor of georgia, after a of pressure, a lot of coverage of it in "the new york elsewhere, this is death e commuted the sentence, and the people of marietta, georgia, leader of georgia, took it upon hemselves to break him out of prison and lynch him. the leader of that effort was a morris, ge, named newt who is chief disciple, drove the car that carried his body after the lynching was john wood, future chairman of the house on unamerican activities committee. brian lamb: your parents lived
for how long? david maraniss: my father lived to age 86. 2004.ed in my mother lived to age 84. she died in 2006. a year and a half after he was gone. brian lamb: and what was their say, 20 in the last, years? david maraniss: well, i think lives from 1957 on, when e got to merchandise son, was, i don't want to be simplistic, but it was the life of a good family.n they were wonderful parents. our house was full of music and and friendship. they were open to the world. as i write in the book, my ather, by the time i was conscious, taught me to not fall for any rigid ideology, to be to humans of all sorts, to message, not the person. or whatever.acism
and he was -- he succeeded as a ournalist in madison, eventually became editor of the capital times, progressive paper in that city. went back to school, the phi beta kappa at i university of wisconsin and became a book editor to. my father retired at age 65. to teach would go on literacy to immigrants and poor eople and they moved to milwaukee from madison. of half id sort jokingly he didn't want to wake and re-edit the newspaper, after he retired, so bit away. little i would go visit them in milwaukee and there would be a stack of 20 books on the couch my father had checked out of the library that he was reading. nine grandchildren along with their kids, and that was their life. good american family life.
out lamb: we have a book called the presidents. did ur interview that we years ago in your book, on bill it ton, it's in there, but was before he became president. how does it stand up, in your opinion to this day? well, i think threads of that book hold up. nd i would say, there were two central themes of the book. ne was that with bill clinton, you can't separate the good from the bad. hey are all part of the same human being. and the same sort of motivations that drive him in a better sense drive him into difficulty as well. complicated in that sense, and exaggeration of all of us. worst.es often for the
better.s for the loss her thread is that, and recovery. when he's down, he would find his way up. his he was up he would find way down. cycle again and again. think when i talked to you in probably 1995, he was before da ica monica lewinsky. see that time and again all the way through his presidency presidency. i think in the current era of 2018-2019 of the me, too, movement, there is somewhat of a reassessment of his behavior towards women, and i 2018-2019 of the me, think that's totally justified and the clinton.heel of bill brian lamb: did you a book on barack obama. end, did the text on that at what point in his life?
david maraniss: that was even -- book on clinton, i'm fascinated by the formations, what shapes them, they are.re the way and i go back to look at that. ended bill clinton, it the day he announced for president, if little rock, arkansas, in 1991. obama, i didn't even get close to that. hope to write a second volume, out after his book comes and after there are archives at his presidential library. book was really an attempt to do two things. world that study the shaped him and how he reshaped himself. how he found his way. that book ends the day he drives off to harvard to go to law school. see his political future forming. brian lamb: i want to show you of an earlier interview. by you, this is a moment,
we'll see if you can get some response. let's watch this and it will all make sense to you. tweet. is a >> right. maraniss.avid -- david i know you've seen this. we'll put it on the screen. brian lamb: what's that about? >> i do not know. uknow david? >> i have never met or spoken with david maraniss. zero. no interaction whatsoever. to me, this is a sort of, you people getting they on twitter at someone don't know. the brian lamb: he wrote a book a barack obama, and that was tweet that you sent out. can you help us. david maraniss: somewhat. i said it, i'm only said it once, i'm not going to say
again.words i will say i have respect for david, what he does. behaved as a y he researcher or writer. whole year my competing against reporters at "wall w york times," street journal," the los angeles times, and even doing books that other writers are doing, and never before had i encountered way ne who went out of his to tell sources not to talk to me because i wouldn't get it would.nd only he he did that time and again. undercutting not just me but david -- who was of obamang a biography at the same time. it was mind boggling. but nly did he do it then then in his own book he goes on criticize myself again. for what reason? it, i s -- i just found mean, i used those words, i
don't regret them. he says we never uncountered each other, no, but certainly encountered him through the source i was dealing with who would call me up or just said his guy this about you. i never had that before, and that's what happened. rian lamb: what would be your approach if you went back and wrote another book on barack obama? david maraniss: well, i mean, what would be my approach. what aspect of his life would you like to write about specifically? mean, i raniss: well, i think i would take it from where he left off. just rst book, it was not about barack obama. father, his his mother, hawaii, kenya, indonesia. satisfied with all of that. but to take it from that point through the illinois with legise looking esidency, and
t both the choices and compromises, and path he had to follow to get all the way to the residency, would be my next book. usaid that the possibility when you started, title of this book, of a good american room at uld have been 740. david maraniss: judgment at 740. brian lamb: is room 740 still there? i've been in : that room at building. moved to a new building. so that room is not there any longer. had any b: have you reaction from your siblings about this book yet? david maraniss: my brother, who had questions about it, he's positive. he's read it several times. nd they are both rooting for me. you know, a lot of my -- there too, usins in the book, who were very important.
cummings' daughters, other cousins. i sent to it all of them and this is coming, you know. this is a family history that hadn't been told before. it was also important for adison to know this story, madison, wisconsin, with my father was well known. most of the people didn't know story.rt of his we'll see what happens, reception so far has been really warm. at the mb: let's look cover of the book and i want you picture washere the taken. i assume that -- david maraniss: isn't it interesting to see in a house in background. when i first saw it, i thought, is that a fonny photo? studying the rted statue of liberty photos from that era. that house is further back than but it is on the island visiting the statue of liberty shortly after we left was it, after my father called before the committee.
know, my parents, my dad with his arm around jim, my older brother. guy in the shorts linking into the sun, goofily, and then jenny and my mother, liberty, life of savor there. picture that we've always had. it was like waiting for this book. brian lamb: other than the document you found, and we've only got 30 seconds, at the what was the other big find for you? father's aniss: my f.b.i. records. ncluding the military intelligence report write discovered that one of my colleagues at the "washington had been investigated -- i ean, interviewed by the military intelligence and asked whether my father should be a -- an officer in the military he now says it was the
shame of his life but he said negative things about my dad. of the book, ale good american family, the red care and my father, and our author has been david maraniss. >> all q&a programs are veil on podcast at or as a c-span.org. next sunday on q&a historian mccullah discusses his book, pioneers, the historic tory of the settlers who brought the american ideal west. that's q&a next sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific time on c-span. c-span's newest book, the
presidents, noted historians america's best and worst chief executives. rovides insight into the lives of the 44 american presidents. true stories gathered by nterviews with noted presidential historians. events that ife shaped our leaders, the challenges they faced and the they left line. order your copy today. it's now available as a hard cover or >> "washington journal c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, we will preview the week ahead in washington with anita kumar and .loomberg politics editor and a discussion of the constitutional battle between congress and the white house over the mueller report. jeffrey rosen of the national
constitution center will be with us. he sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. >> next, prime minister theresa may takes questions from the members of the house of commons. after that, senator cory booker of new jersey meets with voters in new hampshire. at 11:00 p.m., another chance to see q&a with david maraniss. now, british prime minister theresa may takes questions on national health service funding, brexit, lending for schools and programs to assist working families. this is 45 minutes. rd in that regard. >> questions to the prime minister. janet devi. >> question number one, mister speaker.