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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 27, 2009 8:00am-9:00am EST

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>> next, from the seattle asian art museum, hannah pakula presents a biography of the wife of the former taiwanese president. she was a prominent voice for nationalist china and served as her husband's translator and secretary. this event is 45 minutes. ..
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>> a brilliant book about the roosevelt white house. we've been having one of our usual dinner conversations without our work. i.e., neither of us listening to gleek carefully to what the other one was saying. when alan told me about the time during world war ii when trantwo's thing at the white house, although there were phones and call bells in her room, when she wanted something, she would always go to her door, opened it, clap your hands loudly like this, and expect the servants to appear here this was
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the way they called the coolies in shanghai, but you can just imagine how this went over in the ultra- democratic roosevelt white house. why, i wondered, would such a highly intelligent woman looking for american money to arm her country do anything so counterproductive. i was going to find out. first thing i discovered in writing about madame chang is that it required a full new approach to research. famous westerners often make provision for the reputation they leave behind them. and european royals know that they have to pay for their perks, their limos, their planes, their ceremonial carriages, jewels, palaces and privileges. because of this they are very careful to leave diaries and
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letters, paper trails to their lives and their accomplishments. all of which are then carefully coordinated and captain archives after they are gone. chinese luminaries, on the other hand, seem to feel no obligation to talk or write about themselves. as a matter of fact, they seem to say as little as possible. i suspect that it may be considered bad taste, although no one has ever really confirmed this one. madame chang herself refused to see me, and had obviously instructed her family to follow her good example. but i was told that the odd relative might be willing to speak with me after her death, which came in 2003, at the age of 106. the niece and nephew who were
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kind enough to talk to me were extremely nice, utterly discreet, and appropriately non-informative. [laughter] >> it was another complication in writing about madame chang, question of language. i've never try to learn the language of the subjects of my books. i figure, you could spend seven or eight years learning a language, or writing a book, but not both. particularly not at my age. happily, both marie of romania and germany were born in england, and god bless, they wrote their diaries and letters in their mother tongue. as to madame chang, a great deal of what i needed was also in english. and when it came to material in chinese archive, i was fortunate enough to find a graduate student through the friend of a
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friend, a young woman who lived in shanghai and did not automatically spout party dogma. without her, i could not have written this book. you will probably notice if you look at the back pages of the last empress, that i ended up consulting quite a number of archives in order to write it. by far, the best source for information, however, was the hoover institute at stanford university. my personal favorite is that most right wing governments leave their archives to hoover. my experience with hoover goes back to my first book, the last romantic, a biography of queen marie of romania. this was a long time ago. alan and i were living in southern california. he was directing all the presidents men, and i went up north to see the sun of the
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romanian prime minister who was working at hoover at the time. at that point in my life, i had written nothing more than book reviews and pieces on bluejeans and shopping bags. so i was amazed of the cordial reception i got. all, mrs. pakula, we are so happy to have you here. we apologize for not giving you the first class tour, but governor reagan is here today. now you know how long ago it was. here, let a show you the diaries. why were they treating me so well? i worked there for about a week or two. got ready to leave. as i was walking out, the powers to be stopped me. mrs. pakula, mrs. pakula, it's been such great pleasure having you here. do you think you could get woodward and bernstein's papers for us? [laughter]
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>> the list of archives credited in the back of my book on madam as she was called is ridiculously long. letters to the library of congress, the national archives, the fbi, cia, need no explanation. but what i discovered early on was how many universities around the united states had material on madame chang. it took a while before i realized that there were dozens of what are called china hand, diplomats and journalists who, for various reasons, specialized in china, and to all left their papers to their home university. my favorite was the diplomat from cornell, a fascinating guy who worked at least part-time for the intelligence service. and do it left a couple of
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pictures along with his extensive note. and one of them, madam was standing next to a doorway, carefully -- carefully posed in the old hollywood style, you remember the knee bent. the diplomat had put a note on the photo for his editor. .com he said, crop the ankles. [laughter] >> madame chang was, in fact, famous for her legs, which were lovely. in the last empress i could not resist telling the story of the cairo conference, at which she was the only woman present with roosevelt, churchill, and her husband. not only did she take over the translation and the conversations when chang was to speak but knowing how later can
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articulate he was, madame who had worn a long dress sat there crossing, i'm crossing, and re- crossing her legs are while he was speaking. in order to get the gentleman's attention off of him and on to something more amusing. it is also said that there were some young british diplomats in the back. i guess i should add here that my late husband once commented that i always write my books about women who are smarter than her husband. [laughter] >> madame was, in fact, extremely bright, educated in america she knew just what would appeal to the senators and representatives she spoke to. and how to get what she wanted for china without seeming to
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try. warned about her charm before she came to washington, president roosevelt had determined not to be damped by her. that was one of his very favorite words. and he had arranged to have her set at some distance on him during conferences. he took great pleasure in teasing his wife, eleanor, who, when she first met madame in the hospital in new york, had told him how foldable and sweet she seemed. later, eleanor changed her mind. she talks very well about democracy, eleanor would say, but she doesn't know how to live it. this may be a good place to fill you in on the other members her siblings. the two elders were girls, one who had a head for business and a passion for money.
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and the family beauty and idealist who married the george washington of china. and when she died a few years later, became a communist. after them, came the eldest brother known as tv. a brilliant economist and then mailing. there were two younger brothers, but they did not figure heavily into the chinese power structure. certainly, the most famous was mailing, who became china's face of the world during the middle of the 20 century. she was as well known as she was, representing not only her husband, but her country. drove her older brother absolutely crazy. the brother thought that he should be running china. and if china had not been at war
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at the time and need a military time at the helm, he may well have been right. tv did not get along with chiang. dtd get along with his other brother in law, the husband of his sister. a gentleman named h. h. couldn't. the very first thing i was told about h. h., was that he was the 75th lineal descendent of confucius. like any normal stupid american, i burst out laughing. until i was informed in all seriousness that they do keep track of these things in china. a sweet man, he was rather more impressive than his reign, but his highly ambitious wife, the eldest of the siblings, pushed
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and prodded until she got him up to the position of minister of finance, displacing her brother, the economist. anxious to be loved, h. h. happily supplied with all the money he wanted for his army. there have been two major books written about madame chiang when i started mine. one was by emily hahn, an extraordinary writer and journalist who publish something like, excuse me, 50 books and wrote innumerable articles for "the new yorker." the story goes that han had gone to china where, like a lot of other people, she became addicted to opium. john gunther, a friend of hers, and author of the inside books, i don't know if anybody
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remembers inside asia, inside europe, inside were ever. anyway, suggested that hahn write a book about madame and her two sisters, a book which he thought would earn her enough money to pay for a cure. she did. and the result was published in 1942, was an admiring portrayal, which emphasize their virtues and glossed over any faults. something we might call a bureaucracy. the second book was published on 40 years later it in the 1980s it was called the soong dynasty, and was written by sterling seagrave, who hated madam and her family, and went to great length to blame them for most of the evils in china. unfortunately for me as a researcher, his claims of dirty
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dealing were not always backed up by nodes or prove. the soong dynasty was a huge success when it appeared, and i was a bit worried about my own reaction to it, which was dubious. i fell the truth about madame chiang lay somewhere in between hahn's rosy scenario and seagraves angry suppositions. shortly after i finished reading the seagrave book, i went to a meeting in washington, d.c., of the last graduating class of the american high school in shanghai. since the men and women whom i met there had graduated from high school before world war ii, i felt for the first time in many years like a nod and who in the room. in any case, the graduates couldn't have been nicer to me.
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asked if i had read the seagrave's book, and then warned me, not to believe everything he said. having come to this conclusion on my own, i was disgustingly proud of myself. parley research aside, what i hope to do in this book was find out who madame chiang kai-shek know it as an angel by some and a dragon lady by others, really was. the historical information was fairly easy to dig out. but the motivations behind her accomplishments and her mistakes was not. the only guide i found to madame's personal life is in the archives of wellesley college, which she attended for four years, and i attended for only two. these are letters between the young woman, known before her
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marriage as mailing soon, since the chinese traditionally put their last names first as i'm sure you know. and her best friend, a girl named emma mills, whom she met at wellesley and continue to have an on and off relationship with for the rest of their lives. i'd heard about one of him as relatives, a writer named thomas belong, early on in my research i invited him to lunch, during which i told him about my project, which he seemed to approve, informing me that as bills aired, he had a treasure trove of letters between mei-ling and in the. at the end of the meal i asked him what am i see the letter o no, he said. you can't see them. i'm planning to write my own book. [laughter]
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>> his book entitled madame chiang kai-shek and emma mills was published in 2007, but fortunately for me, a few years after our lunch, wellesley organized an exhibit of the correspondence just given them by mr. delong and the arts is there made it available to me. another book about madame had peered a year before the lawns, entitled madame chiang kai-shek, china's first later to was written by a journalist named laura tyson lee, who reported information and was a wonderful source for the material on madame available in libraries and archives around the world. bod i strongly disagree with lee's conclusion that madame chiang showed serious signs of manic depression and/or
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substance abuse. that left me with a problem of explaining her constant preoccupation with illness. well, for starters, it seems to have been a family trait, which affected both of her sisters. at first, i thought that since the chinese and usually say they are sick to avoid refusing an invitation, they regarded direct as bad manners that illness was just an excuse to get out of doing things she didn't want to do. that wasn't it. some of you may have heard the story of how madame chiang slept only on silk sheets, which had to be changed every time she got into bed. it's the most often repeated story about her, and one in which she really gets a bum rap. at least three of her siblings,
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apparently suffered from a congenital rash which transcen. whatever it was it seems to have resembled a particularly nasty form of hives. mei-ling was constantly seeking medical help for it. the other complaint about breaking out in a terrible rash, following a long session under strong light. and the brother was sometimes called, behind his back i assume, the frog your whether it was an early onset of the family skin disease, it first appeared when mei-ling was only five. at a time she married chiang at the age of 30, she was a confirmed hypochondriac. if there was a virus going around, others might sneeze, complain, or even take to their beds for a day or two.
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but mei-ling managed to suffer for weeks and might even end up in the hospital. some of her illnesses were real, like the eg rash and the inevitable flu bugs. but many were imaginary. like the fever which she never had. but wrote about to claire booth is, or an imaginary miscarriage following an imaginary pregnancy that she reported to her husband. or my very favorite of all, something she called the interviews will's. -- enter measles. [laughter] >> "the last empress" took me some eight years to write, only a year longer than my previous books. and turned into a fascinating adventure. i had grown used to living in the past, but this was a lead not only in time, but in
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culture. i had to learn to write about people with an entirely different epic from the west. for example, most of us face our honor in telling the truth about our actions. but what is important in chinese tradition is face, the way things appear to others. not necessarily the way they actually are. chiang kai-shek based his entire success on this faith. if someone in his government did something wrong, the seriousness of this and lay not in how many people died, the chinese always said the one thing they had plenty of was people. or how much territory or money was lost. but in how the error appeared to
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the rest of the world. and if god forbid, mistake reflected badly on chiang or damaged his image, the man responsible was as good as dead. chiang was, in fact, a typical warlord, certainly not a man i or any woman i know would want to live with. he'd relied on what he had studied in school, and he felt no need to extend or increase his knowledge. he prided himself on rising and retiring early. never touch liquor, wine or cigarettes, and eating cheaply and quickly. is only indulgence was sex pic as a young man, he had patronized the brothels of shanghai, and acquired a well-earned reputation for dissipation. i have to assume that in this,
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as any other part of his life, chiang followed the confucian belief that less intelligent women make better partners than bright and educated ones. i must also add here that not only confucius own merits, but those of his son and grandson ended in divorce. she was not only highly intelligent, but educated in one of the best schools in the united states, where she had received academic honors. very early on in her marriage, she wrote her friend emma that she quote, did not think that marriage should be raised or absorb one's individuality. i believe i stand for something, and i intend to keep my identity.
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naturally, my husband does not agree with me. not surprisingly, this discussion ended up in an argument, which wound up with mei-ling walking at. madame chiang certainly did manage to maintain their individuality, a fact which earned her furious criticism from the ultraconservative members of her husbands authority. at the same time, however, this sense of self serve her brilliantly in the united states, where she became an iconic figure while charming the members of congress into giving china huge sums of money, and armament, even the most jaundiced observer, not to say the biographer, has to admire her guts and determination as she set out time and time again to a firm chinas status in the world.
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i for one game through this experience full of admiration for her intense loyalty to her country. if not always for the decision she made in her personal life. it has occurred to me on and off during the past eight years, that a writer who doesn't revel in libraries, dusty archives, periods of solitude, in list three writings, is not likely to enjoy writing biographies. but then as one of my friends says, and has stopped lying about her age that she now just lies about how long it takes her to write one of these books. thank you. [laughter] [applause] >> questions? anyone?
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[inaudible] >> she didn't, no, not at all. she was supporting chiang at all times. i don't want to ruin the book but there's a wonderful scene in which, after chiang dies, by all goes into his room and will not see anybody for a day and plays music. and it's quite a tribute from one leader to another. but she had nothing to do with mao. >> one other question. was she a passionate about art? and i know they took the collection, they took quite a
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bit from the national palace museum that's there. >> well, fortunately they did because it would have been there during the cultural revolution, and it would have been destroyed. that's one of the best ideas they ever had. a buried it during world war ii. and then they took it to taipei. and fortunately, it's still there. she decided to start painting when she was -- when they were exiled in taiwan. and because she lived in a bubble, everyone told her she was one of the greatest painters in the world. [laughter] >> and she was a nice painter, but obviously not one of the great painters of the world. but she really loved it, and somebody commented that when she was painting, she just didn't think about all of the problems of china and it -- she was a
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nice painter. i've seen a number of the things, and people who know a lot more than i do have seen it and think they are quite nice. but they are imitative. >> did i miss that in your talk where madame chiang studied in the united states? >> if she studied at wellesley. yeah, i think i said it but i may have swallowed the word. i do that sometimes. the gentleman there. >> so, one of the big issues, of course, for chiang kai-shek was how much is going to focus on fighting japan, how much is going to focus on fighting the
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communists. do you know if she had any influence in those kinds of decisions? >> i think madame chiang was probably, and i say it in the book, very good at compartmentalizing her mind. chiang said he wanted the money, he wanted the armaments to fight world war ii. but of course, he was really stacking them up to fight the congress, and he did not use much of what was given him. and a lot of it -- that are just terrible stories about chinese soldiers out fighting without sufficient equipment, and huge warehouses, hundreds of feet long, filled with random armaments. i think she just chose not to pay any attention to that. i don't know what else she could have done. i don't think she could have
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changed the way he felt about it. yes? >> you mentioned how she spent much of her life, her young life in america studying how and also she was a methodist i guess. and then in your book you talk about how when she went back to china, she started studying chinese. so i wonder if you could maybe psychoanalyze her a little bit more. how much, what she bicultural in terms of -- >> i think she was. i think she was very bicultural. i think that's a wonderful way of putting it. she was american when she was here, and when she went back to china, she insisted upon studying all the things that she had not gotten during her school years. and i think she was very chinese when she was there. and i think he was very fortunate to have a life who
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could go back and forth between two cultures and represent him, because she was basically his representative. and china's. does that help at all? probably not. yes? >> did you sense any similarity between your experience at wellesley and hers? very different in time and all that kind of thing, but such different people, the rest of the. did you sense any similarity at all in your experience is? >> no. she chose wellesley. i was sent to wellesley. [laughter] >> yes? >> what was the relationship with her sisters after 1949?
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>> run that by again. >> persister. >> -- her sister. >> the family really divided into halves, the one half, each one had a younger brother in there have, but the two were on one side and tv and the one sister were on the other. he worried about her all lot when the japanese bombed pearl harbor and then bombed hong kong, etc., etc. he must have written mei-ling two or three times, that i found, saying he she all right? how is she going to get out? you've got to get her out of there, you know. he was very fond of her. in spite of the fact that you
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she didn't actually -- she became a communist. she asked to go into the party early on, and i don't know whether it was mao who said no, you will do more good for us if you stay outside the party. and it wasn't until she was on her deathbed that they took her into the party so that they did say after she was gone that she was a communist, a member of the party. but she was sympathetic with all those years. >> was any relationship between the two sisters? >> they all got together during the war. but aside from that, no. i mean, during the war they put aside their differences and they gave speeches, all three sisters, and they did everything they could, but neither before
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nor after. no, they didn't even go to each other's funerals, which is rather odd. yes? >> i just want to know, in what way mothered chiang had influenced her husband's political view, or whether she is just merely supporting one of his political positions. >> she once said that she practically killed him, and maybe she had moved him 1%. he was a very -- he had made up his mind, and she knew what he knew. and even she, who was the greatest influence on him, could barely move him.
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yes, the lady -- >> thank you. i'm just wondering, through your research, about her culture and all the years you spent on it, how that impacted your worldview or chore values, or personally. because it's a big chunk of life. >> enormously. enormously. i went to china with my late husband not too long after the cultural revolution, and i was with -- we were with a chinese friend, and we met all of her relatives who were artists and, you know, actors, writers. and i was amazed at the cheer of these people who had been
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shoveling the newer during the cultural revolution, and it was my first inkling of chinese philosophy that says what is down here is going to go up, and what is up here is going to come down. and obviously, that is the kind of thing i suspect anyway. but i don't know. that you can only have come if you'd had a really long lives society. i learned so much doing this. it was a great treat for me. anyone else? yes. >> to talk about what her life is like during his old age when she is over here in the u.s. and also the political, transition a political system in taiwan, how she feels about the whole thing, because it is
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totally different world. >> she moved into an apartment in 10 gracie square in new york which is a very grand building. and she managed to be sick a good deal of the time. she had 24 servants. i assumed they were in relays of eight each. she went back to taiwan once or twice. wants to say goodbye to a favorite niece who was dying of cancer. but she went back when she first went back, she went back thinking she could change chink will. she could change the fact that chiang kai-shek's son had said he and rush and his outlook was very different from hers. and she would thinking perhaps she could revive a nationalist
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movement, which of course was impossible. but she continued to believe what she believed, and she would occasionally issue a bulletin from the united states saying xyz, but it made no difference. she had long lost any power, which you have to feel sad after so many. >> will your book be published in china, translated? >> that already bought it, which may be almost pass out when they told me this. [laughter] >> they are even paying me money. now my assumption is that they will change certain things. i don't think -- it will be very interesting to see what they do
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with it. anything else? gai'm sorry. i nodded in the same direction. >> who bought it, taiwan? the book. >> mainland china. that's why i assume certain things are going to be changed. yes? >> was she ever reconciled to the events in china, the development into modern capitalism in china? >> absolutely not, never. no. not so far as one can -- no, no. know, and she -- she considered it a slap in the face when the timing is government was recognized by the un, and when
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nixon went over. did you have a question in the back there? i guess not. >> what about the family now in the u.s., what are they up to? >> i don't really know. i met one young woman who runs some wonderful chinese restaurant in new york. i don't really know. of course, she never had children. and i've only met one or two of his relatives. >> i'm not sure if you said during your talk emma did you go to china while you are writing the book? >> yes. >> and so did you have the opportunity to speak with just common people to get their vie views? >> i don't speak chinese.
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>> i meant with interpreters. >> no, i went over as a normal tourist, and in order to get into certain places that i wanted to see, i pretended that i was really crazy about the communist sister. >> i am just curious. i lived in china for two years, and even close friends that i have there, i could never get them to talk to me about the people you are talking about, about anyone on any level, other than -- eight and even though i had relationships from living there i was just curious if you were averages in a quiet conversation with someone? >> no. >> and they open up or said anything at all. >> no. you make me feel better, because i had the same problem, of course. yes? >> so in the letters that you read later between madame and
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her friend, was she candid than about her marriage, and was she more intimate in those letters and perhaps she was -- >> she was candid about her boyfriend. this was before she married chiang, there were a series of young men and she was very candid about -- she was candid about the men. she was -- i mean, as much as a girl of those days would have been. she was candid about how frustrated she was, because they simply expected her to make a good marriage. she was not allowed to marry a foreigner. of course, her mother was from the mandarin class and would never have allowed it. and she -- she was frustrated because she really wanted to do something. and of course, marriage to chiang and able her to do a great deal. but up until then she was pretty
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frustrated. >> she was educated in china and back here. >> i'm sure, i'm not hearing you. [inaudible] >> she was brought up in a strict methodist home. they were not allowed to dance. it was a very strict -- her mother was really strict methodist. so it had a huge impact on her. [inaudible] >> they did convert. there are some theories about why, political theories. my personal belief is he converted, but his real -- he
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really still believed in the confucian values. [inaudible] >> big, big methodist. sure. of course. of course. i guess that's it. thank you. [applause] >> michael jason overstreet, is there a media bias against barack obama? >> i would say it's not born necessarily from the media, but i think that there's a perception out there that the information start somewhere, and we're led to believe it is the
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media that is generating it. so i don't know if it's the media per se, i think -- my book says that because -- that's the only place we can get our information from it must be. and so i think the answer, you know, very long answer is yes, i believe that there is a media assault on obama. now i would say this, or the 71 days my book covers from the democratic convention to election day, i felt that there was endless information that was just out there that was completely unacceptable. for him being possibly domestic terrorist to -- i do want to get into quoting individual people from various networks, but there was information allowed to float out there. and i absolutely think it did some damage. i think he won despite that, but had he not maybe the book would be even bigger. i think there is still -- history will show there were a lot of things said during those 71 days that barack obama had to
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overcome. >> what's an example of those things? >> i think, i think one of the examples is -- i'm a big fan of chris matthews. i like chris matthews. one particular day i was watching, and he mentioned the word immigrant and obama in the same sense that a story about an immigrant that i think the person on the panel said no, obama was born in hawaii. he said no this is a story about an immigrant or he is not an immigrant. a casual viewer may take that information and say, i'm not going to vote for obama, he's an immigrant. that's just lazy journalism. i think the question -- i think the idea, the concept of immigrant just floated out there. granted, most of us knew he wasn't but i just don't dig was a story about an immigrant. hawaii is a state. where did the word immigrant come from? and fiber, his father wasn't even an immigrant it he was an exchange student that he wasn't an immigrant. so it's the words that are used
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back in form to be the assault, you know. it's not in your face like fox news. that's an assault. that sing in your face barack obama is this, this and this. it's the casual subtle thing like maybe showing a republican ad that shows obama with a photo of children behind him about a sex and, some concept that went on behind the election and then cnn actually ran that ad, the republican party had a right to put a. i don't think a cnn or the other networks had a right that it's not responsible journalism. that had to me showed obama looking like a pedophile. he standing there like this, their children behind them and its barack obama wants to teach children about sex education. well, fine. show that. if you're the republican party, but cnn, msnbc, fox, no.
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don't show that. i think that was very damaging. >> mr. overstreet, you self publish this book. >> i had to self publish it because the idea came to me from watching gore debate george bush actually, previously. and i watched the debate and i would think george bush, really didn't do that you go or won that debate. he was very informative. so at the end of the debate i would wait for the postdebate coverage and sure enough they would say things like george bush was really funny. he did a good job on that debate. and i'm looking, going, did they just watch the same -- the media is telling people that you and i get calls of people saying i don't know, it looks like george bush won that debate. they're getting the information from the media. i got that idea then. but then once i saw obama at a convention give his speech back in 2004 i just thought, if you got a chance to run, i was to have the media try to parse what he says. the book just wrote itself.
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i mean, from the first democratic convention on. the first chapter in the book is called these people. because every network, i just kept hearing that theme, these people. so i said to myself it would be interesting to say if the republican convention they said who are these people, john ensign mccain, these people. and i never heard that. and i heard it from judy woodruff say that. i love judy woodruff but i heard her use the words of these people. for african-americans, i myself am biracial, my father is black and my mother is white. i consider myself a black man, but to hear that word, just these people, i don't want to hear the. it definitely was a passionate project of mine. and so when i woke up one morning, of the democratic convention i said that's the first day i will write and i will write for 71 days but i kind of hope my day hostage and each chapter in the book is a
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day and have a different theme. a lot of people were remember, you know, the lipstick on a pig is a theme for the day. and so it's a very fascinating, interesting project or if i hadn't self publish it i don't think i could've gotten it out in time. most publishers want me to wait for a least three months. >> explain the self-publishing process for as. >> for me, it was -- i do think it's an easy process at first, because i went through book search which they were very good. they allowed me to really kind of be creative and then i would send off to them e-mail, via e-mail, etc. and then they would get back to me with information. back in the process went back and forth after i finish the book on election day. and then after that i was able to go through an editing process with my editor. we went to an editing process for about another month. and so all in all i was able to get the book out by late january, early february online
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at and slowly, there's just been this growing momentum for the book and people are very interested in the book. is in some local bookstores in l.a., but the more i hear people at the festival here, the more i realize this is a hot button issue. people really remember the specific case but i remember that. i remember that. i remember that. it's a history book and it's fantastic, because you're so now people look back until you know what, maybe i shouldn't have said that. maybe tom brokaw shouldn't have said that. no one has ever taken on the media as far as i'm concerned that i'm not a member of the media, and if i were foreseen and i doubt i would have worked for cnn. i wrote about everyone from the l.a. times writing an article that said headline that said stars flock to see sarah palin. of course i open up the l.a. times, and i say the stars went to see sarah palin. there was jon voight and three others that i do know. three people in l.a. times article and the headline is stars flock to see sarah palin.
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wing's three people a flock? that's misleading. that's the stuff i write about. i don't -- sean hannity is not a hard target. let's be honest that i would love to go on his show and talk to him, so that was my self publishing process. i would say if there's anyone out there who wants to self publish, just be ready to do a lot of work. the amount of editing, you can find any mistakes in my book, please let me know. but it was probably six or seven and getting process that i would encourage anyone out there that they're passionate about just go for it. don't like. >> you've got a booth here at the l.a. times festival. you have to put this together. a cost of a bitter, chevy put into it? >> all in all, it's probably been a couple, two or 3000 to get to this point. i would say that it's -- if i
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had to do it over again i would do it exactly the same way. i think i would prefer to self publish this book. i refer to myself as a political activist, self-publishing is part of the self-publishing activist that i would encourage those out there if you're passionate about it, you've got to go for yourself that you can't wait. >> want to put like this in your view? >> i think it's someone who stays involved, on top of daily events. i have 20 people at a time coming up to my booth and i talk loud enough for the people around me to hear, to bring them in and they can disagree. that's fine. there's a book out called a slobbering love affair. i read the book. is a good book. it's about two or three chapters of my book that it's about that big. my book is this big. so you have to tell the whole store did i talk about how the media love the bomb one day and the next day, no. you have to tell both sides. i would tell them there's much more to tell them just the more
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the media love him. the american people loved him so much. i think barack obama would argue that they're certain members of the media that love him. i don't agree with that. >> what do you do when you're not publishing books to? i write screenplays that i live here in los angeles. micro friend, kathy, as someone who's very supportive of everything i want to do, and she's been someone who is really pushed me forward. i would say part of the self-publishing process is having someone to support you in terms of the emotionally and push and keep you going. that's a very important thing, and so, between my writing screenplays and now doing a book and hopefully doing a lot of talking about my book, i'm very passionate about this book. that's my life. and i love it. >> and some is interested in pushing under purchasing your book, what can they get it? >> right now at it's doing really well.
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the local bookstore here in l.a. that i love, diesel it's called, a bookstore, is a great distorted its probably going to be in books who. nationally, i haven't been able to get it in but i think that's going to change. >> michael jason overstreet, "71 days: the media assault on obama," a self published book. >> we're here with garrett peck, the author of "the prohibition hangover: alcohol in america frm demon rum to cult cabernet." what was the prohibition and when did it take place because the prohibition was a constitutional amendment that took place, that took effect in 19 and lasted almost 14 years until 1933. the country realized that prohibition didn't work out too well because we had banned the manufacture sale and transportation of alcohol, which of course generator hms amount of lawbreaking and ended up once the great depression to place the country realized, you know
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what, this has become such a big issue and we need the jobs back. so we ended up repeating prohibition. >> can you talk about how we got to prohibition in the political and defined that led to this constitutional amendments because there was a century long social reform movement called the temperance movement which was designed to get our country, not just sober up a stay altogether. they use the excuse of world war i to change the constitution. of course, the brewers at the time were germans. so that whole lobby was so marginalized and at that point, the national rifle association of its day took the occasion of the war and got the constitution change. i don't think the country realized what had happened or what the consequences would be. but the result was prohibition. >> what was the fallout of prohibition, businesswise, socially? >> it's kind of the theme of the
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book that we have a hangover from prohibition it so. the book looks at what happened in the last 76 years since prohibition ended. is one chapter deals with prohibition and the rest of the book looks at what our our social attitudes about alcohol today, the social stigma against uncle has largely were all there is still exist in a few places especially in the deep south and in some places of the midwest. why we have such a stigma against our children drinking algol. it is a big national debate going on right now. i have a whole chapter dealing with the drinking age. and at the same time we look at how alcohol has become the major craft movement. it goes along with the whole julia child food movement. we like beer and wine that comes from the vineyards and bourbon that is made in small batches and so on. americans are really change attitude about alcohol and shift it over and something that like to get drunk on to something more we now appreciate.
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>> looking at the social aspect of a call in america, was it a moral choice at the beginning and now we're moving away from that? >> sorry, i guess can you rephrase that? >> sure. at the beginning, when we look at the beginning of the movement we see this as a moral crusade, if you will. are we becoming, is it still a moral choice to drink or not to take? >> i think most americans today, by the way tutors of adults drink alcohol today, alcohol as long since lost the sin, we don't call it the demon rum anymore. so the sense of alcohol being wrong is largely faded away from american society. most of us drink now, and most of us don't want to be told anymore like you shouldn't drink, it's wrong. that was the genesis moment of my book where i thought i'd go to write about this, within how


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