>> host: two questions, did you read david plus "audacity to win"? >> guest: i have it on my stack. but no, i haven't. >> host: what about bill christoph? nathan was a marine lieutenant was called and i met his parents and brother the final week at white house. convention on tuesday, the last week of august, 2007. and it was sort of an emotional thing for me because it would be the last time i was on air force one. it would be the last time i would be the senior aide to the president on a trip, certain responsibilities you have and that kind of deal. and i was going home. i spent part of my childhood in nevada. and i knew that the president would give a speech to the
american legion. i knew afterwards we would have to go meet with over a dozen families who had lost someone in iraq or afghanistan. the president did this almost every week from november of 2001 on. and this particular instance it was the first time he had been to northern nevada with time to spare since he had become president, since the balloon went up in afghanistan. cynthia become president, since the balloon went up in a stand. and so, after the speech, he went back behind the curtain and met with meech family individually. and when we walked into the room i stood in the corner to take notes. and christine kristof began to speak and she was really one of the more remarkable people i've ever met. she was calm and cool and focused and very, very, very fluent and really remarkable person. she talked about the love that she had for her two sons. she talked about the contact or she would have with her son when he would, for combat patrol and
they would e-mail each other and talk to each other over the laptop. she talked about the stakes in the global war on terror and the kind of did she hope to see if she was allowed to have grandchildren. she talked about her pride in her younger son who is going to go into, to march 2008. amalie finished in about 20 minutes or so the president said is there anything i can do for you? and the kristof had not said an entire word and said yes mr. president, there's something you can do for me. i'm an orthopedic surgeon and a pretty good run and when my son goes into combat in march i would like to be the united tates navy medical research reserve providing health care to the marines, but they will let me because i'm 61 years old good as you give me an age waiver? part of my last week at the white house was spent reading this paper were checking out his paperwork and the president handed him the paperwork. outside the oval office and after he finished a meeting on other subjects i checked with
him to make sure he got the paper can it's about to be a quick answer. i said not quick enough for me i'm leaving tomorrow at three clock. and get it to joe hagan, my colleague. and sure enough they gave him an age waiver and he passed basic training at the age of 61, was commissioned in november and december of 2007 is a lieutenant commander in the hazy. he sent me last april photographs from his surgery room and surgery suite in baghdad with a little bit of complaint that he was doing too many sports injuries have really felt he would be better used if you were in afghanistan. and pictures of him in front of his commanding officer that in imply over on the milk run of the supply run to and bar so you can have lunch with the sun who was then serving. and a couple weeks ago he deployed to afghanistan. >> host: carl rove, "courage
the prohibition hangout for alcohol in america from daemon runs to cult cabernet, garrett peck began giving temperance tours of historic sites in washingtonthev joined mr. pak tn how the temperance movement led to prohibition in 1920 and why prohibition was repealed in 1933. >> first of all, less prohibition and why did we get it? >> it was started generous 16, 1921 c-18 to them it was ratified, but it was actually part of a century long movement to ban alcohol in this country. that movement was called the temperance movement. the idea behind the initially meant to moderate one's drinking, but by the 18 twenties the movement decided that people had to abstain completely from alcohol. this was led by the him but jellicle churches and they believed that alcohol was simple, was withdrawing and they called it demon rum.
the associated alcohol with the double and therefore everybody had to start drinking altogether. their idea was to clean up in sober up american society and eventually end up with a decent middle-class largely white faced protestant american society. and ultimately, they got their way and prohibition which was the constitutional 18th amendment to ban alcohol in america and that went into effect in 1920. prohibition itself only lasted less than 14 years because of extreme civil disobedience, the law of the land and a lot of violence here from organized crime. and i think extreme indifference here from the american public care. they didn't really realize what they had gotten into your hereby sign-up for prohibition. they produce something useful to have a decided quickly infect a country has always been a drinking nation. so a lot of ways the temperance movement was naïve to believe
people with simply obey the law and not drink. >> in her book you seem to indicate that world war i had something to do with it. >> it did come again. it's how the got the 18th enent rough congress. and the asl or anti-saloon league has long been forgotten about because they only existed. they use the occasion of world war i when the united states declared war on germany in 1917 the longest ethnic group in the country at that time were germans and guess who also were the brewers, the germans, right? so yeah, you had a whole ethnic group who was basically pushed aside and suddenly there was this huge anti-german hysteria in the united states and drinking beer which is what americans drink at that point from it looked really unpatriotic good to the asl at that point proposed the 18th amendment and the filter congress. they thought we needed this for the war and end the went on to
the united states about people really think about it very much. was voted on a very, very quickly and all but two of the states ratified the 18th amendment. those states for rhode island and connecticut. both states had very heavy catholic population who realize prohibition was really targeted at them because the temperance movement had a very strong nativist protestant sentiments behind it. >> are next up year is this striking brick church, the calvary baptist church. >> the church itself was designed by adolph coors starting in the period of the civil war all the way to the late 1880's. he was a german immigrant and he was known as the red architect. he was both for the red polychrome is seen on the church opera credited and all of his buildings for that bright red, including eastern market which is probably his acts known in d.c. the other reason he was known as the red architect because it was good friends with karl marx, the guy who wrote the manifesto.
he was hired in 1966 to build this church. the researchers built here for years before during the civil war and it burned down and then the church then hired him to build this new church. and this is a very, very edge of town at the time and now it's a novel straight downtown washington d.c. this is in chinatown. we're at calvary baptist church because of a really important event that happened in the temperance movement. it happened in 1985 and now is that the anti-saloon league had its first national convention here in this building. the anti-slim leg was only formed two years earlier by a congregational minister known as howard russell out of ohio and he recruited a college senior named wayne wheeler. wheeler became the nfl's general counsel and he was, i like to call him the karl rove of his day. he is the guy who invented pressure politics, so have the asl is going to squeeze these different politicians to vote
drive as opposed to voting why. so they match your in this building in 1985 and began to craft a national strategy about how the asl was going to turn the country dry. one of the things they decided they were going to do was to go after the state's first. and by the states they got the states to allow local option laws. once it was a local option all in place the church allies in the asl and these are evangelical protestants could use their influence and force the counties to go drive and hence you see that a specially crafted deep south still to this day in parts of the midwest to you still see a lot of dry counties that's because of the strong emphasis and the strong influence i should say of the southern baptist convention. once enough states had voted to put some kind of dry log in place, that would then force the congressman from that state to boatwright, even if they were wiped in their personal lives the senators and congressmen
would have to vote drive. so by 1915 in the majority of the state had some kind of prohibition are the other books here in washington d.c. we prohibition in 1917 even before we got to world war i the city was already sensibly drive. never actually was, but legally was dry. so the idea of what changed the constitution to ban alcohol and that didn't seem so far-fetched and the majority of states were dry or had dry lot in the book and therefore it seems to be the will of the country that we should dry up the country entirely. and again some of the asl used the occasion of world war i, once the germans declared war on germany and the germans were the biggest ethnic minority in the country and also the brewers were pushed aside that led them to the 18th asl to propose the 18th amendment. some of the interesting things here about the temperance movement itself, it was really an evangelical white artists and
movements. this is a faith-based initiative to get the country to dry up great and this is part of the time in the 1890's known as the progressive era that society can be reformed and actually a lot of good stuff came out of this area. women got to vote, we got our food laws, we got the income tax i don't know if that's a good thing or not. will have to decide her own. but we also got prohibition and that actually backfire tremendously against the temperance movement itself. this was nearly three decade long period where we thought we can actually have a social bleep your society and this is for the benefit of all americans to clean things up. at the same time of course because it was so protestant that, they really violated a lot of the rights of ethnic minorities. and i remember starting with the irish in the 1840's there was this great wave of catholics who came into this country and have the germans who came in this country are catholic and many of e italian coming here and the huge wave of from eastern europe
and the people acted differently and they brought their drinking habits with them and in a lot of cases that violated what the temperance movement thought what it meant to be a good american. in this country here we don't drink, wearing middle class proper, decent people and you catholics, unique to behave. so in a lot of cases your temperance was really the temperance movement was really targeted at the catholics to try to reform their ways. prohibition actually went into effect a year after the 18th amendment was passed and so that went into effect january 16, 1920, some 90 years ago. on the eve of prohibition, all the drives in the country were a bit sullen good one last chance to go out and alcohol. data norfolk, virginia, there was a mock funeral for john barleycorn led by a man named billy sunday. he was an evangelist and former baseball star and at his mock funerals he preached the eulogy. and in his eulogy he said, could
i., john, you were god's worst enemy and the double's best friend. farewell, i hate you with the perfect hate and by the grace of god i love to meet you. [inaudible] >> and of course, prohibition when to affect the next morning but things turn out quite differently than the temperance movement had expected trade >> john barleycorn, what's that? tonight that was an old nickname for alcohol also known as demon rum. >> so when you're doing your tourwhen you're done with a calvary baptist church, what is next? the mac would jump on the subway and go to kalorama worst of the woodrow wilson house and he was the president when prohibition went into effect in 1920.
>> military or did you magazine editor roy morris recalls samuel clemens transformation from an unemployed riverboat pilot in mississippi to a celebrated writer, mark twain. from book passage bookstore in corte madera california, this is 35 minutes. >> thank you all for coming tonight, especially since the weather is so beautiful that i
wouldn't blame anybody for staying outside as long as possible. thanks to karen westen book passage for having me tonight. it's a real honor to be here. as karen said, my book covers the six-year period when sam clemens really became mark twain, when he headed west in the years during and immediately after the civil war. and he first discovered his true calling as a writer and the famous pen name under which he would write. it's particularly a thrill to be here hearing from cisco here and from cisco and the san francisco area where twain spent many years as a newspaper reporter, apprentice both union and self-described dodger of landlords. he always loved san francisco. although, he did say or supposed us that, no one can ever track it down at the coldest winter i ever spent was a summer in san
francisco. we all have a mental image of mark twain as a no man and a white suit smoking a cigar and looking wise. in his early years however he was more of a redheaded wiseguy and a real-life tom sawyer who was always heading into trouble and talking or walking his way out of it. he was always on the verge of writing out for somewhere and by the time he finally stopped lighting out in the spring of 1910, yet visited five continents, gone gun around the world several times and personally crossed the atlantic ocean 25 times. travel he said was liberalizing. whenever you write a book, the first thing people want to know is why. i choose to interpret that as me why did you write this particular bug, not why did you write this particular book. in this case, it is really a combination of things. as a civil war historian and old english major, i like to combine
writers in history when i can. i've written books on amber's ears who also lived in different cisco for many years as a newspaper reporter, who was a union army veteran and probably saw more military service and any writer in american history. and i would've book on walt whitman who volunteered in the hospitals in washington d.c. during the civil war. both of them saw a good deal more of the war than mark twain who by his own at mission was not equipped with the thoughtful business. when the war began in 1861, twain was living in new orleans working as a riverboat pilot on the mississippi river. not wanting to be drafted in either the union or confederate navy, twain left his job in new orleans and went to see with his
sister, camille, in st. louis. a few weeks later he went back to his hometown of hannibal, missouri, where he was sometime talked into joining a new group of confederate military guerrillas known as the american rangers. the rangers weren't exactly the crack outfit. they spent most of their time arguing about strategy, falling off their horses and constantly retreating from what they imagined where hordes of union soldiers. one preacher asked him to shut his own horse one night for not giving the proper password. [laughter] another guy carried off by a watchdog in the entire group managed to fall down the hillside one night into a creek and sam clemens sprained his ankle when he jumped out of a burning barn that he set on fire in the first place by smoking in bed. in fact, the rangers did so much marching and counter marching that when a farmer in the area
said if they're bound to win the war off by themselves, because no government can ban the cost and expense of the shoe whether it would take to follow them around. twain agreed in by the time he left the rangers themselves he said he already knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. twain left american rangers after about three weeks without bothering to formally resign and went back to st. louis and head out in his sisters house for a few weeks. but before their older brother showed up with a surprising news that he had been named secretary to the governor of nevada territory. he even had a formal piece of paper signed by abraham lincoln himself to show it. be an oregon appellee had come he was dead broke and mark twain, sam clemens, offered to pay both their waste to nevada
before they would take them along. so in july 1961 they both went out for the territory and for the next 21 days the companion in the concord stagecoach by lena posner draskovic tucson and nevada. the stagecoach stopped every 50 miles or so to take on other travelers or to let them meet. and one station, twain ran into a real-life gunslinger named jack waved is a great name for a gunslinger who worship wish what was stated in when he wasn't busy wrapped in a and he carried her that a victim's advocate a charm. 's leg was about to take the last half of coffee. he politely appellate and i politely declined weird i was afraid he had killed anybody that morning and might be needing the diversion.
twain survived the confrontation, but slade was munched a couple years later by montana vigilantes for disturbing the peace which compared to a lack of standards in the west must've been a pretty big disturbance. [laughter] the brothers stopped off in salt lake city where oregon was supposed to meets with nick and young. sam came along for the visit. virginia was 17 wives themselves advised mark twain to stop at a dozen. [laughter] take my word for it, said young, ten or 11 wife is all you need. twain agreed, mormon women, he said, were so pathetically homely that the manzanares one of them has done an active christian charity, which entitles him to the kindly a plausible mankind. [laughter] the brothers finally arrived in
carson city, nevada, which was near the epicenter of the fabulous comstock lead which was the biggest silver strike in american history. while oregon went to work for the government, twain decided he had nothing better to do and decided he better to come in millionaire. he thought the silver mining involves more more or less rocking out in the silver would be premiered on the rocks and you just walk over and pick it up. he found out was actually a lot of hard work to gain and blasting and i was not something he was cut out to do. he decided it would be better to let other people do the hard work and he would just sell the stock it still didn't work although he estimated later that she had become a millionaire for about ten days before he neglected to do enough work on his own claim to establish legal ownership of it. his luck finally changed when he
was offered a job as a newspaper reporter on the virginia city territorial enterprise. virginia city was the next town up from carson city. your wiki he said if i could change the last. the enterprise was the liveliest newspaper between the lewis answer but cisco. the twain ferrite and besides assorted miners, prospect or is, stock swimmers and other desert rat. the town with him to a full contingent of called hurdy-gurdy girls and an entire regiment of gun -underscore and by such names as sugar foot might, ottmar j., eldorado johnny and six fingered pete. twain spent the next two years reporting and sometimes inventing the news. he thoroughly enjoyed himself. he usually at other peoples expense. but his habit of creative reporting finally got him into trouble one day when a rival newspaper editor challenged him to a duel.
train is usually preferred to avoid conflict. he didn't have fine-tuned fighting tool just than i-india been drunk when he wrote the offending story. instead of fighting the dual gila virginia city and came to san francisco where much against his desires he found and took a job on the other side of the newspaper, the morning call. san francisco has even more vocal characters and virginia city, including such famous residents of the great unknown and elegantly dressed old gentleman who paraded on montgomery street every day in silence, nursing a broken heart. a function of a sort of one-man stock exchange. washington the second strolled around town and the powdered wig in full colonial finery. without a doubt, the biggest
character and as emperor norton the first, the self-described emperor of the united states. norton walked around in full military uniform with a sword and a sash and issued daily orders, abolishing the presidency and demanding that the army clear the halls of congress. may so crazy after all. [laughter] began a daily earthquake almanac, sample entry november 2, spasmodic exhilarating earthquakes accompanied by occasional showers of rain and churches and things. [laughter] c-span distaste tripping from courthouse to police station to one of six local theaters where he would catch just enough of the performers to write a brief review of the action. it was he said fearful soulless drudgery and awful slavery for a lazy man.
i know lazier now than i was 40 years ago, twain wrote later, but that's because you cannot get beyond possibility. twain quit his job at the call, went to work -- went to visit a few of his friends on hill which was a rundown minute and 50 miles east in calgary county. they're here to story about a champion jumping frog that had been secretly filled with upshot to win a bet. i can write this way like i told her, twain said, that story would jump around the world. and he was right. as a subsequent version of the story, jim smiley and his jumping frog later renamed the celebrated jumping frog of calcareous county was picked up all over the east and twain like lord byron woke up one morning to find himself famous. being mark twain he still didn't have any money, so he went to
hawaii for several before he turned serious thinkers see. this was more like it. during his visit he became one of the first mainlanders to try the native sport of surfing, but it didn't go too well. the board he said struck the shore and three quarters of the second without any cargo. i started about the same time with a couple barrels of water in it. he spent the rest of his time closely observing the native hula dancers through the sake of research said. he visited the site of captain cook's death at the hands of an enraged islanders in 1779, justifiable homicide and hiked across an active volcano were twain said that the smell of sulfur was strong, but not unpleasant for a sinner. [laughter] turned to san francisco dead
broke as usual and wondering what to do next. someone suggested he run a theater and good luck sure in his recent trip. he could actually charge people to hear him talk, which was something he had in doing virtually for free nonstop all his life. agreed and on august 2, 19th 6 he made his performing debut at in san francisco. doors open at 7:00 in a famous ad. the trouble will begin at 8:00. at the appointed hour, twain strolled casually onstage with his hands stuffed in his pockets, wandered around vaguely for several moments and then appeared to notice the audience for the first time. he peered out of at the crowd of the mixture of surprise coming irritation, then announced an exaggerated mystery draw. ladies and gentlemen, i had the pleasure of introducing to you
mr. clements, the german and his numerous accomplishments and high moral character were only surpassed by his natural modesty and sweetness of disposition. i refer in general terms to myself. the topic of his lecture he announced proudly with our fellow savages of the sandwich islands. there have been about 400,000 residents of the islands when captain cook discovered them, but the wife and said twain brought in very complicated diseases and education and civilization and consequently the population began to drop off with commendable activity. one as a whole were very hospitable, that twain. at the feast you want raw fish, coconuts, baked dogs and cats. they're particularly fond of dogs that twain, but that was alright. it's only our cherished american sausage with the mystery
removed. as for the rumor that hawaiians were cannibals, twain and adamantly denied it. although he offered to demonstrate the practice if anyone in the audience will buy me an infant. he left the stage 90 minute leaders to a standing ovation. he had discovered a new calling. in october 1866, i broke out as a lecturer, twain bragg and from that day to this i've always been able to get my living without doing any work. two months later he left san francisco for new york city, six years into a trip yet expected to last three months. in many ways, these were the most important years of his life. it come west to samuel clemens out of work mississippi riverboat pilots, army deserter. he was returning east of mark twain renowned journalist travel and stage performer.
he later wrote about his western experiences in a book called roughing it, which offered a somewhat sanitized account of his adventures and misadventures in the wild and unruly west. in roughing it as huckleberry finn would say in another book a few years later, mark twain told the truth mainly with some stretchers thrown in for good measure. that ain't no matter says the easy-going hike. i've never seen anybody but lie one time or another. after all, it went with the territory. thank you very much. [applause] >> anybody have any questions? i'll be glad to try to answer them. >> he made up a bunch of very funny names. adding a mac he was trying to figure out what to call himself
before he became mark twain. some of them were hugely funny. >> writes, i wish i had the book in front of me. >> and he also used words like its graduate and so forth. are these real words or did he just made this stuff up? the >> i think of the real world. i can say myself for sure. the four he became mark twain, which he claimed was a name that he took from another old mississippi riverboat pilot named sellers, colonel sellers, but no one could ever find any evidence that sellers have actually used that name before. mark twain himself was a river seine which means two fathoms deep, which i've i think about 12 feet, which is the death and which ago can pass them water. but his friends in nevada said
that actually mark twain was what he has to say when he would walk into a bar. he would then mark twain, which meant that down two marks for two drinks. which either one with twain is a likely scenario. but if i can find those names, - i know one was w. dressed as lab i got to know my own book. one was josh, i know that. one was the dog bedeviled citizen, which i think came from the fact that his brother orion got into trouble for complaining about dogs back in hannibal barking too much and sam got really mad about that unchallenged -- he challenged
another editor to a duel back in its early days, but that editor pretty much ignored him because i think he was about 14 at the time. twain who always held a grudge later wrote an article about the other editors name i believe was apparently, who decided to commit suicide one night i walking into the mississippi river because it'd broken heart and got about halfway out and decided he changed his mind and went back. and twain wrote a really scathing comment scathing account of that misadventure and essentially said that it was a shame that he had broken everybody else's heart by not going through with it. i can't -- i can't find the others. obviously pen names are pretty big back then anyways. his best run in the territorial
enterprise was a writer named william wright, who went by the pen name of d&d quill. and william wright also i think that twain have to define -- fine art. he mentioned the book in which he said an inventor in death valley had invented a sort of a temporary mobile air-conditioning unit that he wore on his back. and according to the story about d&d club, a malfunction and he froze to death in the middle of death valley. [laughter] now twain got in trouble because he wrote a hoax in which he claimed that a well-known citizen in the city of virginia had gone crazy and killed his
family and massacre them and written into town with his wife scalp and cut his own throat and it was a terrible story about somebody pointed out, you know, this guy still walking around town today. so twain wrote a follow-up story, which said in total, i take it all back. [laughter] yeah? [inaudible] >> what happened to mark twain siblings? his older brother, orion, went from one failure to another and mark supported him financially. orion became a lawyer for a while, a preacher for a while, a land speculator. unfortunately the entire commons family have the same gift for money, which was a negative gift. they lost it isn't is a mistake got it. twain married a very wealthy young woman firm palmyra, new
york and inherited a small fortune from her father and manage to run through that in a few years investing in a printing press that never worked and if i recall, he started a publishing company, which also went under. and he had to go around the world on a speaking tour to reclaim to pay off his debts. and so, none of them had a way with money. his sister, pamala, if i recall, her husband in st. louis lost all his money also. so they were pretty depending on mark twain for money. his favorite brother, henry, who was closest in age to him was actually killed in a riverboat explosion just south of memphis
in 1858 when he was beating her 19 years old. and in fact i was just in memphis last week and were talking about it. twain always blamed himself for getting his brother a job on the riverboat. and always felt badly about it. in fact, in his book, connect team yankee king arthur's court that he wrote the date of his execution in dr. the annivry of henry clemens that's in 1958. yes, ma'am? [inaudible] >> okay, considering mark twain's role as a lecturer and rock on tour historical color, who is the mark twain today? >> who is the mark twain of today? that's a good question.
i was just talking earlier. there was a writer -- i don't know if you remember a southern writer named louis grizzard who wrote several books back in the 80's. he actually died fairly done. unfortunately, i interviewed him when i was a newspaper reporter and i guess the way mark twain probably was, he was just effortlessly funny individual. and if you he had lived, p. very well have gone in and have considered that. i know louis grizzard had said allegedly that the coldest winter ever spent was the summer in san francisco. louis grizzard was talking about going to chicago and working up there for a while. and he said that chicago had two seasons, winter in the fourth of july. [laughter] so -- so he was very funny
fellow. yes, ma'am? >> so different wrote, but in huck finn, he writes about jim, this place. and when he's writing, it seems like he's really an equal rights guy. and i'm wondering if you had any comments about that being that he left -- he didn't want to be aboard and he didn't come again no -- >> yes, twain was i think considered pretty much added this time in terms of racial relations. one of his real mentors was an old slave who grew up with his family on his family farm, his uncle's farm actually, uncle daniel. as we learned about of his story telling techniques he said from
that. or some reason, somebody asked me about this the other night. twain was that really ahead of the curve when it came to native americans. he has some pretty scathing things to say about some of the indians that he ran across on his trip california. but i know that personally he paid for several african-american students to go to college. so in that sense, he was ahead of his time i think. yes, sir? >> he mentions that twain let one claims slip through his fingers in virginia city to the other speculative endeavors when he was in the mining country? >> yeah, he bought up a bunch of claims. that was sort of what they did. more people went around buying claims are selling what they called beads, shares and feet of minds than actually work the
mines. in fact, the original discoverers of the comstock labor cheated out of their money by henry comstock, who claimed that they are mining property adjoint is but a few feet so that he was her. they lost their money. he lost his money too, comstock and later ended up killing himself. smoother with a lot of swindling going on as there always is when you have gold rushes in silver rushes. yes, ma'am? >> i was wondering if in your research you found any name that either contradict good for expanded on anything he wrote about in roughing it? >> that's a good question
because as i sing in the book, with mark twain he never let the facts get in the way of a good story. and in roughing it, which he wrote not long after he got married to a very proper young lady from new york state named olivia lampton. he's left out most of the things about his hanging out in bars and -- she went to the association of hurdy-gurdy girls grade he apparently was fairly straightlaced when it came to that. now when it came to the drinking and gambling and stock swindling, he was right in there with the best of them. but he kind of left that out of his. so i tried to go back where he could and doublecheck other people who were there at the time to see if he was as huckleberry finn was telling a
stretcher. and more often than not, he was, but there was enough truth in it that it wasn't a total loss. he was a fiction writer and evenness nonfiction is sort of fiction. that he was sort of his own best carried her. and in the beginning of roughing it, he gives the impression that even says his older brother got this job and he envied him because he had never been anywhere himself, never seen anything. and by that time, sam clemens authority been on its own for about ten to 12 years of the printer and a journalist and of course a mississippi riverboat pilot. so he would exaggerate, that it was always in the sense of making himself a common character. one of the things -- someone is always asking me what was surprising about twain.
one of the things that surprised me was that he had absolutely no sense of humor about himself. he loved playing jokes on other people, but when he went back to virginia city after his first speaking to her and after he had gotten some fame, his old friends decided to turn the tables on him and they disguise themselves as wrote road agents and held them up one night and took all his money and his gold watch. and left him in his underwear standing and literally drives gold in the next night when they had a party and gave money and his gold watch back to him he got so mad went all the way back to san francisco. so we had no sense of humor, except where other people were involved, which i think you could probably say for a lot of comedians and humorous. yes, sir?
>> i was trying to think of someone in the 20th century who might've been a mark twain and will rogers came to mind, that he was probably the closest in his humor and in his writings. >> writes, i think you're totally right. will rogers, of course, like mark twain was a midwesterner and accountable westerner as well. and they were similar i think. i'm trying to remember the quote -- i can't remember it exactly, but i know that mark twain said that the united states had no native criminal class except for congress. [laughter] and they know that i remember that will rogers said that he didn't belong to an organized political party, he was a democrat. [laughter]
>> we are at the conservative political action conference talking with david the truth about his new book homicide count on the mac. tell us about the boat. >> with the book is about our most violent you associate very quotable and what he did was to compress the wisdom of conservatism in the americanism into a few well-chosen words, primarily talking about something which is significant to this day, the importance of low marginal tax rates were created investment, for creating
prosperity, for making the american system work for the average american because when he was in vermont, he saw how his father would go around to collect tax money from people. he realistic and for ordinary people by the sweat of their brow and it should be collected wisely and no more than was absolutely necessary. taxation he said in excess of what was absolutely necessary was passed. >> how long did it take you to essentially gather all of this was done? >> g., it was not a full-time project. it was something i did in my spare time, collected over the years, read through all of his speeches. oddly enough his collections, we would be surprised by this, but people would buy collection of his speeches and in the 1920's they were listed one after another. they were very popular. so do the research was fairly easy and then assembling them and publishing them in this book come about also adding introductory essays like why calvin coolidge, the people would be mystified by this topic
and talk in a biographical issue. and then there were a lot of anecdotes about ten which were pretty much amusing which people always like to tell so we threw that in and also there's the tendency is there was a natural address, have faith in massachusetts. so people could get a full flavor of what the coolidge intellect and powers of persuasion would like. because he does all the way from alterman, to mayor, to state representative, governor, vice president, president. he held more elective offices than anyone else in american history. he worked the way up the run which is the way you're supposed to do at any never do it. >> you seem to have a lot of passion about the subject. is there another project on the ricin for you? >> well, i'm working on a book about the 1948 presidential election. i've done 1920 and 1960 previously. 1948 is that the publisher right now. true men, dewey, wallace in strom thurmond. the most people will say that
the true men to reelection, but i think it's really a tool of long-standing between the wallace, henry wallace reporting from the truman wing of the democratic dirty and about america in the cold war, about domestic communism, about foreign policy abroad. and that's also the gear were civil rights movement really get the big boost. truman is fighting against wallace. he's got to get the black vote in the peace south recoiling from third-party and breaking the democratic hardy, so there's an awful lot happening that year. >> is coolidge or favor president or politician to write about? >> well, to write about, certainly. but also in a big fan of ronald reagan and kind of grew up loving him from 1964 on and was there all the way, his inauguration, his funeral, when
it launches campaign at liberty island to new jersey. and by god, i love that man. >> so is there a reagan book on the ricin? >> so many people as done it, so many people with greater qualifications. the field is pretty crowded, but it would be very enjoyable because along the way i've written about a lot of scoundrels and i would like to write about a man i admire a great deal. >> what are you reading these days? >> well, actually what i tend to read are not books about history, books about the 1920's and 1930's show business and entertainment because after a while you just allow the research he is your reading parts of books, you're reading newspaper articles, your reading microfilm and so for fun, you kind of turn it off and you go back and you are writing -- you're reading a biography of moss hart or dw griffith or the silent films. and i find that fascinating.
i don't know if there's a book there, that maybe. you never know, you never know. >> thank you very much for your time. we appreciate it. >> we are at this year's cpac conference talking with matt spalding, the author of "we still hold these truths." can you tell me what was the most enjoyable part of writing this book? >> the best thing i liked about it is i love history and this book largely told stories about how the american founders up with her experience, both before, during and immediately after the american revolution
and thought through it in a way that presented these principles, the core principles that they put into the documents of american founding, quality, consent, natural rights, religious liturgy, property, rule of law, constitutionalism. how do they come up with these ideas in what he did it mean for them is impractical matter for trying to run a revolution? and putting that in a story form to tell how it all came together as opposed to an abstract discussion board kind of the narrative of american constitutionalism. it's a great story. >> what is it that's been rediscovered you say in the title rediscovering our principles? >> i think the point is many of the ideas of american history we kind of know in the back of our minds. we've forgotten some things about it. but what i mean by rediscovered is to rediscover how these principles, these ideas, these concepts are actually the core of what we are as a nation and how it defines us. and it's not merely historical stuff.
it's not merely about, you know, guys and wigs and three cornered hats. that's very nice, but these are actually the last questions of what america means today. much of american history on the left and right and in between is really a long debate, an ongoing debate about what those things mean today. and the american founders were very cognizant of that as well. and they made certain claims about that. and for discussion today in her choice really as a society in terms of where we are going and where were headed right now there's a lot of discussion about what the future looks like. my way of saying is this is a choice about different notions of what these principles mean today. and so, i spent a lot of time talking about what the founders thought about what progressivism and modern liberalism, how would friends the same principles and what we might understand about how this discussion is playing out in american politics over the course of the 20th century. >> what inspired you to take this on?
>> the practical answer that is that there wasn't really one book that did this. there were a lot of wonderful books that talk about particular concept, perhaps academic or historical point of view, biographies. but there wasn't a good one book and i work in public policy at the heritage foundation are tax a lot of members of congress and other public figures. i travel a lot and there is no one book i can point people to that really laid out the story in this form and did it and i finally was convinced us to write it myself. >> would you say that it's sort of like a manifesto or does it differ from that? >> it differs. we think of a manifesto you think of something that starts today, here's what we stand for today and what were going to do. this is a different boat. what i started to do here was to peg the founders principles and the declaration of the constitution from their perspective, to try to understand what they understood and take that as our perspective and then step back and look at the debate today in light of
that. from that, you get a good sense of where we are relative to those principles, which they thought were self-evident and permanent. the mac does the book contained any criticism of the principles themselves or the formulation of the comp duchenne? >> it raises some very important questions, which were false. i mean, the most important, the mysterious want to think there is this question of human slavery and its violation of the principle quality. so i do address those things. my idea is to address these very clearly, and all. but to honestly think of a thought or what were very difficult problems and they understood them is difficult problems. and when you think through that from the point of view of the problem, they get what they accomplished in light of the economy really learned how these principles operate as a practical matter. in that sense your rediscover them. not that these are easy things. not that they apply directly.
it's hard, but it makes you think about what these principles, which had to do with the key questions of humanity, what are we relative to each other? what is the role of government? what does it mean to have religious government? these are the rules on tribe sessions we face today. and theater this generation which of these things through are very hard and very deeply and wrote about them and put them into this document is a great opportunity to think about the menu and might of our own circumstances. >> for some of the authors at heritage? blackwell heritage covers almost any public policy question you can possibly imagine. they do most of their time on policy ranging from health care to national security policy. in terms of this kind of work, i am probably the only person there, which is great for me, and i love to be in that policy. but what we found is the policy work we do at the foundation, which are current debates about