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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 2, 2010 10:40pm-11:00pm EDT

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would get in trouble with his own department's with the people he would arrest every day that he was overwhelming the system because he was just a cowboy. he could not go well without back up. he is the one that arrested leary that he was in prison and is keeping. also led d.a. agent that captured him also the d.a. agent will be at my next reading. [laughter] yesterday i got a call if they are delighted with the book. i tried to write in such a way to show how crazy this was. on the individuals that talk to me were amazed at how little they knew what was going on. >>
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[inaudible] what about the black panthers? with the revolutionary kind of group buydown get back from this group? what was the connection? >> they were just middlemen. >> the black panthers involvement springing leary from prison after receiving money from the brotherhood of the eternal love and passing it to the weatherman. why would it the allegedly peace and freedom loving team up with the black panthers? one of the brothers said they were in the revolution and so were we but we were achieving it through love, not violence. so we raise the money to do it a lot of it came from the hash sales in the illegal
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activity but blending california we have these posters that had free leary abducted by government agencies and send money to this address and people were round back then. with the hey everybody dropout and people think that is willy-nilly but before he went to afghanistan to read about it diplomatic immunity you that is when he was espousing revolutionary rhetoric but it turns out he was sequestered and he was not allowed to have access to recreational drugs so he was not right in the head because as soon as he got away from the panthers he disowned them. there was one guy who founded he was in algeria and smuggled some stuff into him and made his day but by that time he was completely
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full of himself and his ego had taken over. and he was on a completely different path. not the same guy. >> the peruvian growers? >> great. one of the people i interviewed actually told me an amusing anecdote about this sort of second stringer brothers, a lot of these smuggling adventures were doubling as a surfing safari so that is how they made the colombian in peruvian connection by surfing in places like in northern peru and that is how they discovered cocaine but they go to shrink and find out there is some nice strain of marijuana there and all of villagers want in return is levi jeans so they sent word
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back to the kids in the canyon that weren't there helpers every salvation army, k-mart by at all of the it in new and used levi's they could find to shoreline cut in return. [laughter] that is the story how that came about and now we about the was also waiting for the presence they were also the first to make that famous. [applause] thank you very much.
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>> host: jason vuic what attracted you to the yugo? >> it is not was my goal was always interested as a kid where it entered the american consciousness the dictator of yugoslavia died of remember that. any then the basketball player game and maybe monica
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solace but americans did not know much about yugoslavia except for the yugo the most recognizable objects for artifacts was the car but i wanted to know why that was. i was tired of the wars on conflict and violence and fail stays here is incredible books the but i just wanted to write something quite sure with a more popular appeal and that story is more deeper than i thought other than just a production model. >> host: when was the yugo produced and why? >> it is a fee got hybrid of the two models 127 and 128 the body design from the '70s but licensed as bated technology 280 company was never meant to be exported did it in nine states or to
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develop to first world countries but simply a basic transportation communist car at a basic price. utilizes the car from fiat began production in 1988 came in 1985 and at that time it was probably 15 years out of date the date it came to america. >> host: who had the bright idea to imports these? [laughter] >> guest: a man named to bricklin he was an entrepreneur he has been called the cereal and turner a phenomenal ability to bring products to market that nobody can believe they will never do literally love the chase. never trying to con anyone but make their next venture work.
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he's so about 150,000 and moved on to a car from canada it was a total disaster and great but port on the follow-through but kind of like teflon don and moved into the next project i want to insist that yugo was another project it was another venture and a long line that still goes on to this day to bring over chinese cars. he is still alive. and i will have to say that he sold out for about $5 million as much as three tease about the car he was very successful. >> host: how many household? >> guest: this is what amazing they sold 150,000
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cars in the seven years, the fastest selling first year european import more than mercedes. why? what i want to know is of americans bought 150,000, which is a lot but over the same point* we bought 70 million why is the yugo most universally known, scorned come when they have never saw of one or have a driven one? that is the numbers. the numbers are so tiny, minuscule numbers what is the last thing reason? >> host: what is behind it? [laughter] >> guest: a couple of things. one was the media. malcolm is a story when he brought the car over to the communist card to the reagan america.
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noose of compact car the average was 9,000. that is new already but using the media to the advantage and before anybody had ever seen or driven a car recede $20 million free publicity it led off all three nightly news programs, cnn virtually every magazine before it hit the market. it would is a sri lanka maniac and sold 150,000 cars on the number one and people were ordering them sight unseen and line from the ocean 10 deep. it was a fad but like all fabs, what goes up may -- must come down.
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people then consumer reports is still ipod -- powerful publication this is what you read before you bought the product but it was very powerful january 1986 they wrote to on the last line i am paraphrasing that it was better to buy a new used car than 82 the best of hundreds of newspaper articles with every paper in the country say yugo panned by consumer reports. it came down like the eight ball. >> host: how many are still on the road? >> guest: i estimated 1,000 i have had to revise that it is about 200 we have had been on programs talking
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to people and we research high and low and could hardly find any. it is remarkable. we found them in delaware we found another one we had to toe with -- it. the basic technology was not a bad. the people who own them swear by them but you have to be able to fix a car and tinker with a car and overall the car was not put together very well. nothing was catastrophically wrong there is a small one in the beginning, a recall but it was not manufactured well in a communist country. >> host: tell us about the factory. >> guest: it is fastening -- fascinating. from the 1850's, a very old
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dated technology very crowded, poor lighting, the people who actually when there to do a report on east jarret -- eastern manufacturing and said russia would have a field day. somebody said there was the mural by dave teeming with workers to work hard and earning a paycheck but they smoke on the assembly line, quality control was four. dirty floors then stepped into the car. oftentimes one of the men i interviewed they saw fenders and door panels coming off and then put on with the dents in them. poor quality control that due to the car from the beginning in the factory itself was bombed by nato in 1990 the company that was
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making our remnants. it was not that big of a deal but nato's chosen as a target. nato bombed yugo. [laughter] >> host: does it still exist? bernanke's bricker was purchased by fiat. i hope it works there trying to have a production facility for southeastern europe in serbia and it is just a system that was in place and fiat is transforming the factory today. lot of east european manufacturers that were terrible in the cold war are good today. i am pulling for people from those who have a huge downturn. >> did they have a car manufacturing background at all? >> guest: not really there is a few other places that
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assemble cars but 95% of the cars came from other places. cars are very expensive. then what do you pay? hard currency that you don't have. it is a difficult problem for developing countries especially communist countries that import the technology you cannot afford you have to go get it technology which fiat was willing hoping they would buy the parts with the contract this is not the newest technology but old technology. >> host: was there a pr factor? was there any government subsidy? >> having died in 1980, in 1985 there was say pr factor
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it was an ally that had broken away from the soviet union in 1948 so we tried as a government left and right to sue for yugoslavia at all times with money and low interest loans and you name it to help products come from yugoslavia the american government did not pay for the yugo but our ambassador drove around belgrade in a yellow yugo with the american flag trying to promote the car so we really did support the yugo. we gave it a lot of moral support and cheerleading. >> host: did it sell anywhere else in europe? >> england in small numbers and the brits said it was the best east european car so far. of the soviet bloc countries
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was the best of all of the cars compared especially greece and belgium in gave the license to the four-door car which is being both. >> the company no longer exist? >> it has changed its name. there is no more 82 but was produced remember 2008 the 28 year production run -- run which is longer than a ford model t. >> host: why is it called the worst car in history? >> want to know that car that sold a tiny percentage why americans insist calling it the worst car in history that is how they know the darfur are absolutely. in 2000 on card shark they voted it the worst part of the millennium.
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it is on the cover of a book called crap cars and every top-10 or top five list every rare i want to know why that is. i describe it in the book. >> host: the author is teach rolf. the car is the teetwo and the book is called "the yugo: the rise and fall of the worst car in history" >> this is such a treat for me because david and i are old friends when we worked at "the washington post" you always know when you rite aid delicious piece because he would send little boats i remember that years later.
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this book was so wonderful to dive into. most people in this room had read much about barack obama and in every chapter you wrote to new things about him but also learned much about this country. when i first talked to about this it was not clear so tommy a little bit about the process and how you came to write this. what is the bookie plan to write? >> the last ambitious book and maybe more focused on race and less autobiographical date it became clear with research but i fully expect 20 years from now or however many years from now some new robert caro will come along and light day six volume


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