tv Book TV CSPAN November 14, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
the first has to do with trotsky's affair with freda. most of you have heard about this and if you haven't made use of a movie. i think it was 2004, freda, which dwell on this. the myth that dysart is not that the affair took place, because of course it did and i describe the circumstances in my book. in fact, the myth is that freda's husband, diego rivera, later found out and this led him to break off his relationship with trotsky. that's a myth. that's the first one. the second myth has to do with a certain ice pick, and i should say spoiler alert, trotsky doesn't do well at the end of
this book. the book focuses, as mcginn said on the last years of trotsky's life in mexico. so 1937 to 1940. with flashbacks to pivotal moments in his earlier career, his young revolutionary great reader of the revolution of 1918, creator and a leader of the red army and then of course of inquest rifle of stalin. but let's start with diego. it was thanks to diego rivera, the great mural painter, that trotsky landed in mexico. stalin had rounded trotsky in the battle to succeed lenin who died in 1924 and then sent trotsky into exile. they actually first went to turkey. from there, from turkey trotsky eventually moved to france in 1933, then to norway in 1935,
until the political pressure on the norwegian government forced it to expel trotsky. now what do we mean by political pressure? the first of the famous moscow show trials took place in august of 1936, leading bolshevik or i should say leading communists who were put on trial for the most fantastic crimes, including assassination of stalin himself, attempted assassination any way, espionage and so on. trotsky was portrayed as the mastermind of a group of spies, wreckers and saboteurs directing their operations from abroad. that trial, the trial of 1956, was the first of three such trials, each one involving major
political figures, each time with trotsky serving as the chief defendant. so, with norway wanting to get rid of trotsky, the only country in the world that would take him was mexico, thanks to its radical president, who thought it was the right thing to do. but also crucially, thanks to the intercession of diego rivera, who called himself a trotskyist and was headed by the mexican communists. the decision by mexico to grant asylum was controversial within mexico, but nonetheless it happened, and trotsky and his wife, natalia, a rise in january, 1937.
diego and freda allow trotsky and natalia to reside in the oven suburb outside mexico city, now of course it has been incorporated into the city. rivera was a vital source of funds for trotsky in the first two years, selling off his paintings, and at one point even mortgaging his house nearby in order to help raise money for trotsky for two things: one to support the household, just putting food on the table; but also, and of increasing importance, money for trotsky's protection, to pay for guards, to pay for weapons and so on. diego and freed the were at trotsky's side during the dewey commission hearings held up the blue house in the spring of 1937. the dewey commission being of the independent inquiry into the
veracity of the moscow trials led by the american philosopher and public intellectual, john dewey. the dewey commission eventually by the end of 1937 issued a verdict of not guilty. in other words, that the outrageous charges against trotsky in moscow had not been proved. it was after the departure of the dewey commission in the spring of 1937 that trotsky and freda began their affair. freda's extramarital liaison were several, i wrote numerous and then i crossed that earlier and i put several because i should point out they were nowhere near the number of her husband who was a champion philander. trotsky's relations with freda became known -- and i talk about this at some length in the book. there's a separate chapter devoted to what about trotsky
facing old age, having this chapter title the man of october. trotsky -- trotsky's affair with freda becomes known to natalia, and for a while, in that summer of 1957, this threatens the trotsky's marriage. they had a short separation that summer, exchanging letters back and forth, some with shockingly explicit sexual language on trotsky's part. this is all true. i'm not trying to sell books. some very, as my father in all put it, some very naughty pages. trotsky dividing advancing old age, all the interestingly trotsky feels he's getting old, he's 57, and in this day and age we look back 57 doesn't seem that old, certainly not from up here it doesn't look that old. 57. but he's called an old man by
his acolytes, and he very much as feeling that way at this time, beginning in the late 1930's. it was during the separation trotsky was staying at a hacienda about eight and our drive, it was during this operation that trotsky and freda decided to call a halt. pretty certain about this. now there is absolutely no evidence that diego found out about any of this, either at the time or later on when the friendship between trotsky and diego began to disintegrate. had rivera discovered that trotsky was having an affair with his wife, trotsky, the great russian revolutionary, trotsky, diego rivera's hero, the man he had arranged safe haven for in mexico, diego might have ended trotsky's life before stalin's assassin had had a chance to do so.
diego was famously jealous of freda, just jealous generally come always threatening people with a gun in his hand. sali speculate here that had he found out we would have heard some fireworks. trotsky would have heard some fireworks. for now, friendship between trotsky and diego remains strong. it was diego who broke the news to trotsky in february of 1938 that trotsky's older son, the nickname for the lev like lev trotsky, had died in a paris clinic after an operation to remove his appendix. we will probably never know whether foul play was involved in the part of the soviet secret police, the nkpd. most books and of course they knocked him off, not clear. but what is clear is trotsky had to assume that this was the
case. trotsky's other children were by now all dead or had disappeared. a daughter, zena -- no, nina died of natural causes of tuberculosis in the 1920's. another daughter, zena, died of suicide in berlin in 1933, and younger son sirgay was arrested and with the trotsky's did not know is he was shot while trotsky was in mexico and still alive. other family members of the trotsky's had to endure a similar fate, as did most of trotsky's followers. it is, after all, is the period of the great terror. trotsky's paris organization had been penetrated by the nkvd. in fact, his closest to the
kurson's closest confidant was a nkvd agent, so it is conceivable that his son's death was in fact murder. beginning especially 1938, trotsky now had to worry about the speech nkvd's presence in mexico. and the reason for this is that the spanish civil war was under way, had been since the summer of 1936. in spain in those two years had become a recruiting ground for the nkbd, and the forces rolled to victory mexico becomes a haven for refugees from the war, defenders of the republic to be sure, but they include agents or if not agents, certainly stalinist sympathizers. diego's help in building up the defenses of the blue house and high during guards at this time
becomes critically important. those guards were mostly young americans from new york, and i mean new york city. but also from minneapolis, where the trotskyist had put down roots among the teamster organizations. it was the only place in the country where the trotskyists had a following among what trotsky called the proletarian. some of those teamsters' came to serve as guards and some less successfully than others. the teamsters it turns out were not all come out to be guards of trotsky or anybody else. despite diego's generosity at this time, the shortage of funds in the trotsky household, just to run the household but also for his protection, is really quite shocking. one of the things i discovered in researching the book there are always running out of money. biggar the fund runs out of
money. they are asking natalia for funds, please don't tell trotsky and back and forth and all around. all so you sort of get what you pay for. what you see is the poor quality of some of the guards, and that's quite scandalous as well. you can barely believe reading the documents or reading the book that this is the best the great trotsky could attract or the most money that he could attract. trotsky himself is constantly complaining about the folly of his guards, and because of this, by 1939 he is really resisting being guarded, very important part of the story. to support himself, and the household, trotsky is writing as he has done through the 1930's, the period with his exile he established his reputation in the west freely with his epic
history of the russian revolution and his memoirs, my life, both published in the early 1930's. now, in 1938 out of desperation, trotsky agrees to write a biography of stalin. the publishers harper, the predecessor of my publisher, harpercollins. trotsky find this very distasteful. he drags his feet about taking it on, but ultimately decides that he has to do it. because he needs to protect himself from trotsky's assassins so we had a situation where trotsky is writing a biography of the man who is trying to have him killed. very interesting. trotsky gets off to a fast start with the biography in 1938. but the work becomes bogged down, not surprisingly, when trotsky reaches the part of the story where stalin and trotsky
face-off in soviet russia after 1917. he just can't write those chapters. he gets serious writers block, and also his health begins to fail. the return of a mysterious illness that plead chemical co moments in the struggle for power in the 1920's, lethargy, high blood pressure, extremely high blood pressure, loss of a double appetite, not the fever. the fever that characterized the illness in the 1920's does not return. this entire situation, the pressure for funds, the health concerns, publisher and literary agent on his back, that's the worst of it, becomes actually worse in the fall of 1938 when the friendship between trotsky and diego begins to fracture. now this has nothing to do with
freda, who is away in new york and then in paris exhibiting her work. this is the time freda really comes into her own as an artist. she had been in her husband's shadow and later by the way she would credit trotsky's presence in mexico for having her career take off, inspiration to paint and so on. so freda is away, so what explains the brank? the friendship between trotsky and diego seems from the beginning destined to go sour. you have on the one hand trotsky, rigid, angular, and on the other, diego, reckless, right, a gargantuan, the long and and the elephant. diego beat irregularly, dressed carelessly, seldom arrived on time for anything. trotsky, meanwhile, is a
stickler for neatness, regimen and two ka routine. both men had tremendous work ethics, but diego's self discipline was restricted almost entirely to his painting and with a brush in hand he tended to lose track of nearly everything else. on the day of the dead, november 2nd, today, 1938, diego walked into trotsky's study at the blue house and presented him with a sugar school, not an unusual thing to do on the day of the debt. the sugar skulls had the name stalin spelled out across the forehead. trotsky was not amused and as soon as diego left the house, he ordered his assistant to have the offending object destroyed. a year ago, i speculate come trotsky might have let that go, but at this point he had really become sort of fed up. it all was unraveling. the split came that winter when
diego went off the rail politically in advance of mexico's presidential elections. they want to place until 1940 but there is a long run up. he cannot run again and so there is a struggle for power. diego was not a trotskyist it opens turns out and even his marxism. diego was a free spirit, if anything he was a populist. given diego's very public political freelancing, trotsky called it zigzagging, trotsky felt he had no choice but to move out of the blue house and a new vila was found a few blocks away and trotsky moved in in may, 1939. trotsky and diego would never meet again. at this point in the surface, another of the big three mexican
muralists enter the story. trotsky had had a brief and very stimulating meeting with the other mexican muralist, jose clemente. he had met in guadalajara summer of 1938 and the encounter i discussed in the book quite magical, only a few hours, but trotsky was instantly in love and is infatuated with him. it was the late starter of the three great muralists partly because he was heavily into the communist politics. he to get very seriously. he wasn't a dilettante like diego. roscoe wanted nothing to do with only communist politics but anybody is politics by the 1930's. in fact, he was diego's and mss. the 2004 film is quite accurate.
the long winding story he goes off to fight in spain. that we should already tell you a lot about his commitment. it is said, it is hard to determine for sure, but it's said that he commanded a brigade and then a division of the republican army in spain and he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and was in spain he was lightly recruited by the nkvd. after the return to mexico, he began work on one of his most important minerals. it is in the stairwell of the mexican electricians' union. still there. i went to see it when i was researching the book. it's a fantastic thing. a portrait of the bourgeoisie, it is quite a violent and epic. really one of the masterpieces of the 1930's mural art.
so this was a major activity, however, he was also involved in a different kind of activity on the side. this one sponsored by the nkvd. he was enlisted to lead a raid on trotsky's home. this took place in the hours before dawn, which is about 4 a.m., on may 24, 1940. 20 minn interest in police and military uniforms, armed with machine guns, zecaros had on the uniform of an army maj. how did they get in? wasn't trotsky balart? one of the american guards from new york had been recruited by the nkvd. he opened the gate. once in place inside the
courtyard, the commandos, the intruders set themselves up outside of trotsky's bedroom and with trotsky's regards pinned down in their quarters by machine-gun fire these intruders on lee stenberg ghosh of machine gunfire into the trotsky's padron from three different directions. rooms on either side and the outside window. they also carried with them three homemade bombs, only one of which went off in a room adjacent to the bedroom. clearly they were trying to set the place on fire. they left after 15 minutes be leaving the had done the job trotsky must be dead. in fact the kitfield. trotsky and natalia were not hurt. they ducked down in a corner of the room and survived. trotsky's comrades called this the marrec ulysses cape and that's the title of the prologue to the book as i began with this attack, a dramatic effect on
may 24th, 1940. now comes the frantic preparations for the next attack, and the anticipation is that there will be with bombs. the velo must be transformed into a fortress. towards must be constructed atop of the high walls. a double loranne doors must replace the wooden entrance to the garage, steel shutters must cover the windows, bomb proof wire netting must be raised and barbwire barriers must be moved into position. but even as the was fortifications began to rise up, the nkvd had decided to resort to its fallback plan. the assignment of liquidating trotsky, and the orders come directly from the kremlin from
stalin. that assignment would be interested to a loan operative who had managed to penetrate trotsky's inner circle. he was ramon mccotter a spaniard recruited by the nkvd in spain during the spanish civil war. in paris, in the summer of 1938, disguised as a belgian student using the alias jacques he seduced the sister of one of trotsky's former secretaries, former assistants. she was a brooklyn trotskyist visiting paris. mcartor and arrived in new york in the fall of 1939. now using the name of frank jackson, a canadian businessmen. it was his new identity.
sylvia knew about this as a front and decided to go along with it for her own reasons. she had no idea what he was up to and had no idea that he belonged to the nkvd. he maneuvered sylvia down to mexico city, and he used her to insulate himself into trotsky's household. he claimed to be a heavy financial supporter of the french trotskyists in paris. and of course by the summer of 1940, there's no way to verify this, right, there's no way to contact the french trotskyists because they are on the run from the invading germans. the outbreak of the world war, which really starts or is made possible by the nazi soviet pact of august, 1939, struck a big blow against trotsky and his followers in new york city.
new york city being at this time the center of the international trotskyists movement. it certainly wasn't paris at this point. although i say the center of the movement, and this is something else that is quite shocking, the total number of trotskyists in the u.s. was probably never more than 2,000 paid members. when the war broke out, trotsky insisted that his followers support the soviet union. despite the fact that the stalin regime had wiped out his family and his comrades, and of course was trying to have trotsky killed, trotsky tried to justify the soviet occupation of eastern poland as a result of the nazi soviet pact. the baltics, the invasion of finland in the winter war of 1939 to 40 which gave the red army a bloody nose, so to speak. trotsky said we may not like
get, but the red army is, in fact, spreading socialism to these lands. the fact is, in the soviet union we have a workers' state. it's a degenerated worker state, trotsky called it, but nonetheless, the state -- there is state ownership of the means of production, and so the occupied territories are getting socialism at the end of a day in and sit speak, with the red army bringing it in from the soviet union. this is very curious because at this very time, trotsky was saying workers' state, generated workers' state, but at the same time trotsky was very openly calling the stalinist regime totalitarian. and what's the other totalitarian regime? nazi germany. so for his followers in new york, primarily now, and there is a lot of confusion, they just can't follow the old man, not all of them on this line, and
trotsky is insistent and this is taking up all his time. the biography of stalin, that's on hold. the world and what position to take on the soviet union and on the invasion of finland and so on, that really is center stage now. the debates, among the american trotskyists, leads to a split. the party is small enough, but there is a sort of rule of the parties on the left, that if they are really small they ought to split and become smaller. and this is what happens now. there is a majority. those of you who know your russian history read bolshevik into this because that is how trotsky oftentimes referred to the two groups. the majority, capital m, supporting trotsky, olu really shibley at times, especially after finland which begins in
december, 1939, and which leads to the expulsion of the soviet union from the league of nations. the minority, capital m, want to condemn the soviet military aggression out right and denied that the u.s.s.r. was the workers' state of any kind, and they were very angry with not only trotsky's position but the way that he argued it, basically comparing the minority to the old mensheviks, calling them petty complainers and when they got mad about that, calling them enraged, which really got them mad. sylvia adderall, the brooklyn trotskyites was the cat's paw industry took the side of the minority. and when she got to mexico city she was invited to debate, come
to his house and debate with trotsky and the guards and trotsky's study. this is where ramon saul his opening. he posed as a supporter of trotsky and the majority. he knew very little about politics. he was very awkward about it and should have been clear and it was clear to everyone around trotsky but nonetheless they went along with it. but carter wrote a draft defending the majority position and he had it ready in august, 1940 and asked trotsky to read that. he maneuvered just two of them in the late afternoon of august 20 as the guards were busy installing and a siren that had just been received from the comrades in los angeles. mcartor, who trotsky assumed was
a canadian businessman by the name of frank jackson, someone who sympathized with the cause and was a potential source of much-needed funds, copper entered his study with him at about 5:40 that afternoon of august 20 if carrying his trenchcoat. inside the coat was a dagger, handgun and a pickax, not an ice pick, a pickax. one end was pointed like an ice pick, the other was flat and wide. the handle about a foot long had been cut down for concealment. trotsky and his assassin all alone, and the rest is up to you. thank you. [applause] >> if you have questions if he would step up to the microphone
right over here, and we have a question. >> long walk for a question but it's worth it. i'm curious about stalin's role as a young man and financing -- can you hear this? it doesn't sound of this though it's on. >> we can all hear you. >> i'm curious about stalin's role as a young man in georgia engaged in all his criminal activities with oilfields and robbing banks and this and that if he was financing trotsky's exile or existence prior to the russian revolution, whether stalin financed trotsky's existence prior to the russian revolution? >> yeah, i've written biographies that trotsky had
financed linen prior to the revolution, and i wondered if his -- the money that he was generating for his nefarious activities when it's also supporting trotsky. >> interesting question and much written about it recently there's a book, a biography called young stalin that talks about this still controversy whether it is overdone, stalin's roland increase before the war robbing banks in order to support bolshevik operations come in a great operations without sort of waiting into that quagmire i can just tell you that trotsky wasn't a bolshevik until 1917, so not even indirectly what he funded by that. in fact, let me just say trotsky was an early acolyte of lenin,
but when the party, the russian social democratic labor party split, and to bolshevik and menshevik at the congress, the second congress of that party in 1903, trotsky and up on the side of the mensheviks. now if he were here, he would immediately he broke with the mensheviks. trotsky, talk about free spirits, trotsky was a kind of free lancer as well and a serious way. but the fact is that for all those years, from 1903 right up to 1917 trotsky was one of lennon's's most vocal critics and all of those criticisms have come back to haunt trotsky after lynn-dyson 1924 and stalin and the others around stalin on to make sure that trotsky doesn't seat linen they use those
quotes. so in a way trotsky joins the party in 1917. he realizes that is the only show in town. he's the great orator of the russian revolution and in fact the mastermind of the october to to talk, if you will, but so he becomes a very important bolshevik, but trotsky remains an outsider within the party, and he had enough in his background coming enough political baggage, so that his menshevik some was always being dragged out against him and he would always say i didn't belong to the mensheviks but either way it was antibolshevism. other questions? >> anybody? here we go. we have one here and if he would use the microphone. we have a gentleman coming around here.
you may want to just wait a moment. here we go. >> just sort of continuing with the struggle between stalin and trotsky and the development from the time of the russian civil war and onward but i haven't read the book sufficiently yet or much of trotsky's riding. by the end of his life or when he was in exile in mexico for these years -- this microphone needs -- what opinion, if any, had trotsky come to regarding his defeat in the internal struggle? how did he explain it to himself and what lessons did he draw from that? >> how did trotsky explain his defeat to trotsky? how does he rationalize it? this is an essential part of my book.
what really bothered trotsky is that there is nobody trotsky defeated him. trotsky was a blur of 1917 during the revolution. he wasn't one of the stars of the bolshevik party. and yet stall when a pretty evenhandedly defeated trotsky in the 1920's and we talked about the trotsky through coastal in conflict. stalin went down very quickly in part because trotsky was a poor politician. stalin was a very able politician, and also the past which i told you about and other political ideological issues were brought in. those are the two big ones but for trotsky, the idea that stalin, the peasant eastern by defeated the great trotsky, one of the great leaders of the
revolution really the obviously bugged him, and the way that he explained that was by saying that stalin was really nobody still but he represented a barack corsi that have essentially taken over the soviet organisms, sort of captured at. a bureaucratic stratum is sent last that have really hijacked the revolution. it was still a workers' state, but this bureaucratic clash with a parasitic entity that had to be removed. so for trotsky he wasn't defeated by a person. he always hated the question how did you lose power? heeded the question and was asked all the time. he would meet somebody on the street randomly and there is a scene i describe in turkey somebody says mike ghosh tikrit trotsky and he shakes hands how did you lose power? he hated it.
like, you know, how did you lose your wallet? and he basically had to stop and say -- and he would talk to your er off that it wasn't about trotsky the individual, it was about the impersonal forces of history, much easier to deal with it personally if you describe that way. question, right here. >> just on a sarcastic note, you have the russian revolution and then you have the battle between stalin and trotsky. stalin takes power and kills millions and millions of people. was all of this worth the revolution? why not just stick with the russian aristocracy? why did russia go through this,
and then typical of history that this type of thing happens. >> that's one of those big questions. actually teaching a course in the stanford history department modern russia right now, and this is sort of like the theme of the course and would take a long time to answer your question the fact is trotsky always said everything was worth it through the october revolution and a few years beyond and all you have to do is else that appear acidic regime and he would have the restoration of democracy of workers democracy and of the true source of soviet democracy. in fact trotsky's problem is that he will send a proponent of democracy while he was in the soviet leadership. only when he was being defeated did he recognize the virtues of
the inner party democracy and he wasn't talking about democracy beyond that. and in fact, if you look at the first trials, these aren't the show trials but of course beginning in 1928, 29, 40. a lot of people don't know about these, this show trials are the major bolshevik leaders but engineers of specialists in various fields of the mensheviks in 1931 and for those trials, trotsky is living abroad. he's in turkey and supporting what stalin is doing in fact criticizing stalin for not going far enough. later he would apologize for this. but trotsky had a credibility problem when it came to being a, quote on quote, a democrat, and that sort of part of the larger question you're asking which is more of a rhetorical question but would take a long time to answer. >> other questions?
yes, sir. >> has the opening up that the soviet archives after the fall of the soviet union added additional information on your story? if not, would be the primary source particularly for the mexican side -- specter a good. the question is whether the opening up of the archives, the former soviet archives influenced my book, and i will open it up generally and talk about other scholarship. the short version is that when the soviet union collapses, and boris yeltsin becomes president, there is a period not to go back and say that yeltsin years were idyllic but there was a period when we had, and i mean western
researchers asthma well as russian, have a lot of access to soviet archives including some nkvd, kgb archives. that access really has come to an end since the ascendancy of putin. but i have benefited greatly from the access that was given in let's say the first eight years of the 1990's for the first eight years after the fall of the soviet union because what happened is when you didn't have western scholars going into the nkvd, kgb archives, which really remain mostly closed during this period, you had russian scholars and others, in fact russian agencies, the russian successor to the kgb itself, publishing books of documents. and here i had a great material come out about the plot to
assassinate trotsky, the earlier attempt and the whole network the nkvd put together, how much money they spend on it right up until when i was finishing the book there was the biography that came out i just caught in time to be able to use it, a biography of one of the key members of the hit squad that went after the organized the commando raid. wonderful informative biography based on again, those documents. so we can't get in, especially now in the last decade. but others did. and i believe, if you believe the review is that my account of the trotsky murders is the most complete that we have so far, and it's helped in part because i found some great materials here at the hoover institution archives where i did a lot of my research, also at the harvard archives where trotsky's papers are. i use the exile papers,
interesting point. trotsky's papers have been there for a very long time. in fact, he sold his papers to harvard just before he died. and in the morning he was struck, august 20, he received a telegram saying his papers arrived safely at harvard. $6,000 is what harvard paid, all of $6,000, quite amazing. so, but the exiled peepers, which means everything from 1929 when trotsky was exiled from the soviet union all the way up until his death, those were not open to scholars until 1980. and because of that, well, not all scholars. cizik who wrote the trilogy the profit arm, the profit unarmed, the profit out cast had access that you had to trust him, and he wasn't great for the sources, not always. and when it came to the affair with frida he looked the other
way. he couldn't believe it was happening. sort of flustered. you can't blame him. he was riding in the 1950's. so, but the biography had some access to this, but the spate of biographies of trotsky that came out in the 1970's, no one had archives to the exile papers, and so people then kind of lose interest in trotsky, and then when they have regained interest in trotsky, and it really starts with dmitri, a former soviet army general who writes these great biographies in the 1990's and has access to the archives, when those come out everyone is focused not on harvard, they are focused on what you're asking about. we want to get into the archives and see what's there. so in fact what i found as i began to research the book is there is a lot of great stuff at harvard, and then here hoover inherited the papers of the socialist workers party that was
trotsky's party in america, and you'd be surprised if as hoover has the reputation for being a conservative think tank, but there are many people on the left who will give their papers to the hoover archives because they know they will be taken well taken care of and researchers will have access to them. great stuff, the biographers, the bodyguards, the teamsters, so i was able to use those. and so all of that taken together i pulled together the story of the murder in a way that it hadn't been done before. one more question. yes. one more question. come on up. okay. i will be repeat it. >> [inaudible] both are used. i decided i think largely for the estimate purpose is to avoid
trotskyite which sounds like pest control, i don't know, but trotskyists was used and i decided to go all the way through except where i try to people and i said trotskyite sounds more neutral than trotskyists so i decided to go with that. >> [inaudible] >> no, the word is as old, well, the russian revolution may be but really when trotsky is in exile, there's an american trotskyite party, trotskyists party, you see both, but trotskyite brakes on the year to me so i decided not to use that. folks, thanks for coming out. i will see you all again. [applause] >> bertrand patenaude is a research fellow at the hoover
harold is the author of the art and politics of science. welcome to the program.ou tell us how did you come up with the title of that book? >> i knew that it was simply given a scientific title but nob be very attractive and its artic features and strongly linked to politics. my own life has been engaged not only in science but in the arts and the politics of doing
science, so what's interesting to most people about what i do is the way in which science is conducted and the way in which the political process influence science. i thought the public would enjoy reading about it. >> you went to airburst cow describe their transference from english major to scientist. >> is a complicated thing but i was originally going to be a doctor, went to college and fell in love with literature, started graduate school and became disenchanted with fact, went back to medical school and at the age of 28 was compelled by the vietnam war to provide government service which i did at the national institutes of health where i learned that researches even more exciting than medicine. then devoted my life to sign seven mack. >> what will fans of science learn about politics from reading your book and welfare is a politics learn about science? >> question. people who simply admire the
scientific process will begin to realize how important and interesting and difficult the interface between science and the public cares and pays for it and congress that oversees a candy. those interested in politics will see a political action does influence the scientific process. science depends on wealthy people to a certain extent but depends much more heavily on the way the government supports and pays for science and as a political process we have to encounter directly whether stem cells research or thinking about how to improve the nation's health or simply providing funds for scientists of the nih and the national science foundation to do their work. >> you're book is laid out in four parts, becoming a scientist, doing science, political science, and continuing controversy is. why did you lay it out that way? >> the things people would care
about, why are you a scientist, and, in fact, what i'm pointing out in that section is you don't have to thank you are a scientist from the third grade. you can have -- america is forgetting and allows a prolonged adolescence. i think people need to understand you pick a town in scientists in your late 20s. i wanted to devote to, how much to say about the science i have done, technically complicated and i didn't want to insult the audience by watering it down but i wanted to take a tried and follow it to looking at one aspect of my career that was frankly important because it led to a nobel prize and the discovery of genes and pouring in cancer. i wanted in that section to trace of both my own activities as a scientist and link fact to a very important social problem mainly can serve. then because in a sense there
was a chronology to this i did most of my scientific work and not all before i became a government leader, i wanted to talk about being the director of nih, running a large agency, to do science with public money and explain what the complex are between society and science and how they get resolved. in the last section of the reason i moved those out was i wanted to spend time talking about how we publish our work, how the stem cell controversy arose, how we are approaching the development of science have better health and poor countries, and those became sector as essays that address in greater depth i could have done in the narrative, issues that all scientists must think about. >> your mom had breast cancer and i want you to tell how that influenced you as a researcher and scientist. >> certainly was an influence. i was at the nih working on the
genetics of bacteria. i learned that model organisms like bacteria can to just about him in disease but also as a doctor and a son with a mother battling this is the use i wanted to feel it was somewhat more connected to the problem. i don't think that was the only reason, not that they chose to do work about cancer, but i saw an opportunity in my thinking about cancer as a problem mainly we didn't understand how a normal cell became a cancer cell and there were a couple new tools having to do with how we measure dna and rna, some with viruses that cause cancer in animals that led me to believe this huge medical problem that affected my family would be amenable to some solutions by taking advantage of these opportunities to do interesting science. >> this is based on lectures you
gave in 2004 at the new york public library. tell us about those and how did they morph into the book? >> that's a fun question. a famous biographer friend of mine asked me to give those lectures and i didn't read the fine printing. the norton elections, then i saw norton sponsoring the letter signed a contract with me and i had to turn them into a book and i thought we published the electors but if anyone finds out when they tried to turn them into a book three don't make a book so i then labored away. i was fairly busy running memorials cancer center in but i found the time after four years to take the lectures as a starting point and write a whole lot more, go into up about issues i found interesting. the process was good, it was just hard at times but i am very glad now that i was given the contract which i signed without
fully appreciating the implications iraq the book is called the art and politics of science, thd thank you. >> thank you. im of globalization. i was born at the time when large numbers of african countries had just gotten their independence, getting their independence or were independent for a while. and that in the field in africa and later i found out there would be crimes that took over power very quickly, and people
-- i don't want to use the word class, but let's say groups of people were either prosecuting or they were prosecuting others and this is referred to in power started to move around in the countries of origin and went elsewhere and was easy to do to get i was born into globalization without even realizing that was in a global was in world. when i hear people use the word multi-cultural i think of my school in nairobi where we came from different cultures and world in search of better life and economic progress, but the vehicle but to move from country to country from language to language from hemisphere to hemisphere seemed so much easier and we to get more for granted
and my grandmother's generation, and then i had come of age in the information age so how could modernization that i think generations like my mother and my grandmother somehow got a taste of. i'm not just a child of globalization by also a child that is intellectually comes of age after 1989, after the fall of the soviet union. >> why was that the case? how did that impact your life directly? >> it impacts it better with cases that there is a case of civilizations and a clash between the west and islam in the sense i was born into the civilization as defined by and
live and breathe at and was committed to it and leal and believed in it and lasted and came to the west and did the same thing. briefed it, made friends, meet my future here and was able as an individual to compare not just the geographical incidence and value systems and can be appreciated over the other and i made a choice. i think that makes it -- if you are looking to what is it that informs alladi interpret events today that we are living in the everyday life that informs i think more than anything else. the fact that i've been exposed to the thinking in both worlds and i feel a will to compare,
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