tv Book TV CSPAN November 21, 2010 10:30am-6:30pm EST
>> host: i can agree that this is a must read. agenting white the racial slur, the curious racial slur. i've enjoyed this. >> guest: thank you so much. >> welcome back to book tv of the 27th annual miami book fair. here's our schedule for the day. coming up first we are joined by haitian born author and circle award winner edwidge danticat. she spoke at the fair yesterday and joins us this morning to take your calls about "create dangerously" and in a half hour you'll talk with ben mezrich, a
book about the founding of facebook, called the "the accidental billionaires," and then an haven't with ron ron chernow. his latest book is about george washington. following that in about one hour and 45 minutes or so we will be joined by war correspondent david axe, his book "war is boring," chronicals his wars in somalia and other countries. david axe works in iraq and afghanistan. we then return for a talk by simon winchester who published a book about the thraptic ocean -- atlantic ocean. he was on our program in 2004 and in 1998 to discuss the professor and the madman about
the oxford english dictionary. after that, we'll interview authors about the book "sea gull one," an organization founded and efforts to save people fleeing cuba on rafts. after that meggan mccain will speak about her book, "dirty, sexy politics," and after that nonfiction for children entitled "heros for my son." then bill press, doug shaun all taking part in that discussion and appeared on booktv in the past. after that is eliza here to take your calls on christianity and
islam. after that, another opportunity for you to call in. charles will be here about "robert morris." the final event from the conference center is from jon than franzen, "freedom." that book made the news this summer while president obama bought it on summer vacation. if you are in the area, it's sunny and 80 degrees as you know. come see us. the c-span bus is here. come say hi, and if you're not in the area, you can follow our updates on twitter.com/booktv. well, we're pleased to now be joined by edwidge danticat whose most recent book is "create dangerously". what was the situation that made you blurt out god bless haiti
too? >> well, i find myself blurting that out often, but the original situation was after the earthquake, i went to haiti, and i was coming back from a release organization that kind enough to have me on their plane, and on the return, you know, unexpectedly a lot of the workers were relieved to go back home. >> the american workers. >> yes, after doing heroic work in haiti and the flight attenadapt was cheering them on and she has blurted out god bless america, and i blurted out god bless haiti and the man behind me said god bless both america and haiti which is how it should be.
>> what sparked you? >> it was my first time back since the earthquake, and it's been very emotional for me as it has been for the relief workers, i'm sure, who have spent all these days there, more than i had and able to do more than i was able to do. we, in my family had two loved ones, and we were still, you know, had no idea where other relatives were, and there was still uncertainty about so many friends. it was -- it just seemed one way to, you know, everyone had ran outburst, and that was -- when we were out of tears you prayed and cried, and it was one of those many moments. >> where did you come up with the name, "create dangerously"? >> i was asked two years ago to do a lecture and i --
it could be any subject, and i wanted to talk about the notion of art, how people come to their art, and how especially in the very difficult circumstances. in haiti, we are artists, writers, painters, musicians have over the years create the extraordinary art under very difficult circumstances in spite of difficult circumstances, and that's something i wanted to look closely on. i worked with a writer who was called the artist of his time, which was translated create dangerously and i borrowed to title to talk about haitian artists and others who created dangerously over the years, who have made art under difficult circumstances in spite of hoer hoers. >> edwidge danticat is our guest. the numbers are on the screen if you want to call in. if you live in the east and
criminal time sewns, 585-3886239 mountain and time pacific time zones. why do you start with that in the book? >> the book starts with an execution, the last state sponsored execution in haiti of two young men. they had been -- they came from a city in haiti that we call the city of poets because so many poets come from there, and some of their relatives were poets, and they were revolutionaries. they had moved from haiti to the united states, and went back and tried to -- i think the execution and their children was forced to be there mandated by government workers to be there and one of the school children is one of our iconic photo journalists who was
there at that moment and decided through these images decided to become a photo journalist. i wanted to chase that story. i mean, it's one story of how something very tragic that was meant to have for other purposes, was able to inspire this brilliant person to sell our stories and tell our stories of tragedy through his images. >> you talk about your family not being able to talk about the time when he was the dictator in haiti, about neighbors disappearing, and not being able to talk about that and expressing yourself through art. >> well, i think part of a great interesting thing about creating in sense of these artists is silence and whether it's my family, another family, family's who had to burn their books, and other at different times, there was a silence around it, and art, you know, is in his own
essay is a revolt against violence, and it links us to the past and historical tragedies. even some of the horrors that we're seeing today there's been so many occasions and so many moments where you would imagine that the people of haiti, the artists of haiti would be silenced, but they found other ways around it and there were writers in the dictatorship because they couldn't produce their own plays, rewrote greek plays. he rewrote and staged it at a time when parents and loved ones couldn't pick up their children's bodies from the street. you can have this experience of morning your loss, and he expresses himself because it's
about the greeks and creating interest for the artists and song writers and photographer became because they had to shield and give their art. how is that connected to the present? it's inspiring. it's inspiring to me and others of us who have been able to have more liberties in our creations, but it inspires us to be braver in the things we're doing and in the things we're creating and not only politically braver, but bolder in the works that we're doing creatively. >> who did the art work on the cover of the book? >> this artwork was done by my friend, an artist from haiti, and the designers at princeton university press saw her drawing in the "new york times," and that's one of the great things about this earthquake in how it was presented.
if there's any silver lining in any situation, this is one small one that writers and painters in haiti were able to directly speak to the world, so they were having a story in the "new york times" and the folks saw it not knowing that we knew each other and they asked if i want to use this for the cover of the book? i said i know the artist, and we were able to use it and it came out beautifully. there are other things i kept seeing on my first trips to haiti. people drew images of the earthquakes on their tents, and this captures a bit of the spirit of that, of hope, you know, rising out of the chaos. >> edwidge danticat is our guest. first call for her is from south carolina. go ahead with your question. >> caller: thank you for taking
my call. >> guest: thank you for calling. >> caller: okay. i want to put one question to you. i -- [inaudible] what are you doing to help the people in haiti and participating politically? you can take your country and other people's -- [inaudible] >> guest: okay. well, i mean, you're expressing something that a lot of people have expressed. there's a lot -- there are a lot of people who have over the years even before the earthquake been doing a great deal in our country. they don't get a lot of press attention, but their home associations, they go back to the places where they come from, build school, grass roots, work
with organizations, so it's not this type of, you know, only outsiders helping. perhaps the outsiders get more attention than the other people, but people have not only tried to politically participate, but individually participate, and i believe that the people who are working before the earthquake like a lot of us who were doing what we could, i mean, actual things with schools and hospitals, that continues, and that will always continue, so we have been -- we have been working, perhaps not as much in the spotlight, but the haitians for those of us here are involved and love our country. >> next call coming from chicago. chicago, you're on the air. go ahead. >> caller: yes, hi. it's such a pleasure to talk to you. i've read one of your books. i have a two-part question. one, how did you escape the grinding poverty of haiti?
secondly, how is it possible that most haitians can run and ruin the country? thank you very much. >> well, i was born in a very modest family in haiti. i grew up in an area which over the years had grown gradually poorer. i belong to the majority of the people in that sense that, you know, economically. my parents worked very hard, and tried their best to create a future for us in haiti. they migrated, and i had a very, even within haiti, a strong family support like a lot of people. that's how a lot a people survive within haiti. the previous caller talked about relying on the outside, and most haitians rely heavily on one another. that's how i was able to
survive. wealth in haiti is con sen freighted -- concentrated in a small percentage of the population, and it's not always trickled down. we have a great disperty and slowly, you know, i hope that -- we saw some positive signs after the earthquake, some realization that we will thrive or die together, but it hasn't gone as far as, you know, in a very desperate situation. >> edwidge danticat, what's the current political situation? >> in a week or so there's an election that's expected to happen. there's been recently some demonstrations because of the
cholera epidemic which is the hot spot issue in a more recent, after the earthquake, and then you had the threat of the storms, and now this cholera epidemic. i think, you know, people have the perfection has been -- perception has been that people have been misguided or misled, but greatly, there's a level of frustration in the population. you have a million and a half people living in tents for nearly a year now. we've asked so much of them to be resilient, and so now they have the cholera, and i don't think -- you have some -- you have frustrations, and the elections, you know, will they be fair? a lot of people are the people in the tents? do they have the id cards required to vote in all of these are questions in the air as we approach these elections with the cholera epidemic and with
who to elect and waiting for some kind of turn. >> is this a presidential election? >> it's a presidential election, but it's also a parliamental election. they will be electing not gist the president, but also parliament and deputies, and really a whole new governmental structure. >> host: who is the current president? >> the current president is not running for reelection. haiti you can only have a single term. there's no consecutive terms. you can come back as this current president did before. he's not running, but he has a man that he is supporting that is sort of his party who has the most visible face in the campaign. >> and who are you supporting here in miami? >> in the election? >> yes.
>> i'm supported the people. >> what does that mean? >> i -- because i live here, i don't have a vote, but i think it's not up to me. i think it's up to the people to who in haiti who will have to live with the consequences to choose their own leader, and it's going to be a very difficult task, and ultimately, a lot of people are not, a lot of people felt excluded from the elections because their party, for example, was not allowed to participate, so ultimately, we have to let the people who will lead, live with the consequences to their leader. >> we are here in miami at the miami book fair international talking with edwidge danticat. next call from new jersey. good morning. >> caller: good morning.
it's an honor to speak to you. i would like to ask you, i think most people in america, especially most caucasian people, have absolutely no idea of the history of american exploy cation in -- exploitation in haiti. can you please just educate the country a little bit? give us a net shelf how america has supported the most exploiltive vicious regimes and that haiti is not just a mistake, it's not just accident that the state haiti is in, but it has to do with american's foreign policy over the year. can you just flush that out a bit? >> well, i think we can start backwards. most recently, for example, you know, president clinton who is the special force in haiti by his own admission admitted that he in order to save the right
industry in arkansas, basically destroyed the industry in haiti which was sort of the last stronghold of home production and in the valley where the cholera epidemic begins is a blood bath in haiti and president clinton, he himself, said that their intervention destroyed the industry in haiti. right before that, the fda, the food and drug administration, said that the haitians had swine fever and flooded the entire poll pewlation of pigs in haiti. pigs were how people sent their kids to school. that was like a savings bank. those are just two recent examples that are world documented that people admitted openly there's no secrets about that. when you talk about this often
times people are thinking you're a con conspiracy nut. these are clear policy things. there's been clear occupation in 1934 that left the u.s. army, that backed a lot of, you know, divided dictatorship for example. it's been a very messy history, and people often, you know, they think like the first man said, why can't you all get your act together without knowing this history? now going to the beginning of the history in 2004 when haiti became independent, thomas jefferson is completely isolated as the first republic in the hemisphere and haiti was completely isolated because they were slaves in the united states, and haiti was a nation that had just been liberated by slaves. from that moment to the occupation over the years, not that we don't have in haiti our own to blame for the mismanagement of the
country, but this history, there's truth to that in question of proximity. >> you write flying out of haiti one time you were looking at the u.s. coast guard ships off the coast r and they they were there to prevent haitians from getting to the shores of the states. the disperty policy that cuba has, is that a sticking point for haitians? >> well, here we are in miami and miami or florida probably has one the largest population of haitian imgrants, and probably also, you know, one of the largest population of cuban imgrants. this has been poig inapt, and as you know, have had a very personal experience of having my 81-year-old uncle who came from haiti -- >> uncle joseph.
>> uncle joseph who at 81 years old had a visa and instead he had been had lost everything in haiti from violence there and was arrested at 81 years old, had his medications taken away and died in the custody. that would have never happened to a cuban immigrant. there's a great disperty on how haitian imgrants are treated. it's glaringly obvious here especially. >> was there any resolution to the ins case with your uncle joseph? any apology? >> no apology, no resolution. if any after my uncle died that way, there were other families who lost family members in kiss -- custody. it's important to have some kind of immigration we form in this
country because you have so many people here in limbo, but you have all these laws for different groups of people, and there was no resolution. if any, it continues to happen that other family members lose their loved ones in immigration custody. >> next call for edwidge danticat, author of "create dangerously" froms from connecticut. go ahead, connecticut. connecticut, are you with us? i apologize. new jersey, go ahead, please. >> hello? >> caller: it's my pleasure to talk to you. i thank you for your insight and knowledge. i have a complicated question. i'm a black person born in the unite, and i can't figure out why people have respect for
haiti and ability -- [inaudible] having said that, can you talk about the role of haiti and what influence they will? thank you very much. >> well, i think we've had, you know, the history of foreign corporations. you've had the most glaring ones of the sweat shop. haiti, since the era, the 70s, the assembly line of the world, and it's more important than ever the question you raised in light of how haiti will be rebuilt if you will, build society built on the modelings of corporate exploy cations and now everyone is lining themselveses up to benefit from the misery of haitian people
without a lot of benefits to them. i think that's something that groups like the haiti grass roots organization and other watch groups are keeping and should be keeping an eye on and are keeping an eye on how the corporates be firm and people remain in the misery they are in. we see haiti is a time space for disaster capitalism that leaves people exactly where they were when these companies came in. >> los angeles, you are on tv with edwidge danticat. go ahead. >> caller: hi, i'm interested on something you touched on a few minutes ago, and i was amazed in the 1980s, i read about this in some of the more progressive threats, but nothing in the mainstream, about haitian refugees from the 80s, ronald
reagan using rudy who was in his foreign department at that point would stop a lot of the haitian refugees from coming to america and many were sent back to their probably death because they were facing the treachery. has that policy changed that much in the last 25 years, and why do you think rudy if he did it against jews and anyone else, they say, oh, you're a terrible racist, but because it's haitians, nobody seems to care in america, and why do people -- why does the media let people like reagan and rude -- rudy get away with this? >> well, you know, in the haitian community in new york especially, that's something that's very imprinted in our
memories because he was, i think, the attorney general at that time when we had a first wave of people incarcerated which was a deplorable facility, and people used to say things like, you know, it's like a roach hotel, you get in and don't get out. all of that was done under the rudy and he was one of the people who formed this whole policy, refused to see that haitians, even under the dictatorship, were part of a political refugees at that point, so we have not forgotten that contribution by him. it's part of the law, really, of -- and it was copied and probably was deemed rep kateed right now
in florida, but he was the architect of that policy. >> next call for edwidge danticat, we got five minutes left with our guess. from connecticut. you're on the air, go ahead with your question. connecticut? all right. we're going to skip past connecticut, take that one down, and go to midland, texas. midland, texas, you are on the air. texas, are you with us? hello? all right. you know what? until we get that phone situation straightened out, we'll hold off on calls. let's see if we can get that straighten back out in washington. edwidge danticat, what's your response to the u.s. response to the haitian earthquake last january? >> well, you had dr. paul here yesterday, and he, you know, was
saying we've had something like half of u.s. households giving to that. that was an extraordinary response from individuals who opened their hearts, and a lot as i mentioned so many volunteers, so much warmth, and president obama who was responsive initially the, the first lady was responsive in the first stage was encouraging.
>> what have you done to help people? >> so the clinton-bush money that went into haiti, are you seeing that anywhere? >> money, and i think people should ask for accountability. >> and you and i were talking yesterday of the set. you said that there is a book fair every year in haiti. tell me about that. >> s. there is a wonderful book fair. i hope he will come. it is in haiti. happens sometimes at the end of may, sometimes at the beginning
of june. it is extraordinary. especially in a place like haiti. people don't think we have any joint were not always the culture. is a book fair where thousand thousands of people come to be the lineup for the writers. all of the writers come. it is really a hopeful thing. they have an extraordinary one after the earthquake. i hope you will come. >> will you be there? >> i will. >> any american writers? >> we have one who writes about haiti. russell banks. we have had the right is like that come to haiti. they have come to another book fair. the main one, you know, waiting for you. >> that you finished at 16. what is next? >> this has been -- i call it my
long hiatus from fiction. >> edwidge danticat. her most recent book, and "create dangerously: the immigrant artist at work." she is also the author of brother undying, another nonfiction work. always a pleasure to see you. thank you for being on book tv. >> thank you for having me. >> just the beginning of our live coverage all day here from miami at the miami book fair international. in about a half-hour or so ron chernow will be presenting a lecture on his newest book, washington -- "washington: a life." he will be doing that at the chapman auditorium. coming up next a chance to talk with ben mezrich. his most recent book, "the accidental billionaires." you might have heard of the movie based on this book. we will be right back with ben mezrich.
>> you are watching book tv on c-span2, 48 hours of nonfiction books beginning every saturday at 8:00 a.m. here is our prime time lineup for tonight. beginning at 7:00 p.m. david horowitz argues that america's colleges and universities are more interested in promoting leftist ideologies than teaching students and allowing a forum for a voice. he presents his academic bill of rights and his arguments against the current state of american higher education in his book reforming our universities. then at 815 michael hirsch, newsweek's national economic correspondent talks about the obama administration handling of the current financial crisis and the fiscal and regulatory environment in the decade's leading up to the crisis. following that 2010 national book award nominee john tower, author of cultures of four. examines four events in u.s. history.
the attack on world hopper, the bombing of hiroshima, the 911th attacks, and the invasion of iraq. he discusses his book with the institute for policy studies. we wrap up our prime-time schedule with garland tucker the third to recount the 1924 presidential alexian between john davis and calvin coolidge. in his book the high tide of american conservatism, mr. tucker reports that it was the only time that both parties fielded conservative candidates. >> david lynch, when the the luck of the irish ran at? >> about two years ago in the midst of the global financial crisis which really exposed failings of an irish economic and social model that has brought great changes ireland over a quarter century. my story starts in 1984 when ireland was poor, stagnant,
troubled, and the country over the next ten or 15 years rose to be the richest in europe. a cultural vibrancy that it never had before. peace for the first time in generations. and then as many fatalistic average man would expect, things went badly off the rails. the country ended up in a housing and could double. even larger than the one we had here in the united states. now facing some very difficult choices. >> how did ireland rise in the 80's and 90's? >> well, they followed a multi par strategy. they got the public finances straighten out which allow interest rates to come down. they attracted a lot of investment from the u.s. to be companies like intel, city group common gateway, microsoft kamal pouring into the country. they negotiated agreements. tried apartheid in agreements.
investments. devalue the currency in '86. again in '92. all ended up with a miracle that was dubbed the guilty tiger. after years of no growth at all ireland was a real backwater, all of the third world country in europe in the 1980's. in the mid-90s the economy kick over and started growing and eight, nine, 10% a year, year after year to the point where by the year 2004 the first time in modern history the irish on a per-capita basis were richer than their former colonial masters in britain. >> where does your book in? >> my book is about four or five months ago. it comes full circle from the battle base through the best times island ever had into this disaster. it brings the story right up today primarily with the
nationalization of this rogue bank that was responsible for much of the bill that the average taxpayers are not getting stuck with. it ends on a fairly hopeful note that the irish having demonstrated a fair bit of resiliency over the centuries will find a way out of this terrible spot therein. >> when the luck of the irish ran out, the world's most resilient country to be external to rise again. author david lynch. >> and we are back live in miami at the miami book fair international at the campus of miami-dade college just north of downtown miami. we are pleased to be joined by ben mezrich, the author of aptitude. how did you find this story? >> i get an e-mail out of the blue at 2:00 a.m. on fed yuri 2008.
was a harvard kid he said my best friend co-founded facebook and no one has ever heard of them. went out for a drink. it was this kid no one had ever heard of. co-founded the company. he had done a kick out. he was very angry. he felt betrayed. he wanted to tell his story and that's where it all started. >> who is he? >> well, two sophomores at harvard committee, gawky, socially inept kid to could not meet women. kind of on the outside. they met in an underground jewish fraternity. mark came up with the idea of face book and went to his best friend and said if you put up a thousand dollars yielded 30% of the company. that's essentially where it started. these are the two guys who were there in the beginning. as a lot more to this story than that. it's pretty intense and dramatic. >> what happened? >> it started as a college prank. it was late one night. mark was drinking.
the had been on a bad date. he acted to all the computers and full of pictures of every gothic campus. he made a wet so we could vote on who the hottest growth was. this leaked out predict that 20,000 hits. the crest of a computer servers. mark, scott .. of college. instead he went his friend and said but their own pictures of. that was the birth of facebook. there was a lot more to it. there were these other characters. the good-looking, cool guys, the studs on campus had been working on their own web site which was kind of a dating site. they had hired mark to do their website. parker blew them off and launched facebook. they planned it was theirs and ended up suing. the drama, these two best friends. two separate lawsuits. a whole lot of fun. >> this all came to you. >> this started with edoardo.
i had a book called bring down the house above the mit bike tech team they had seen a movie. they thought i would be the right back to tell the story. i'm not a dark rider he tells the start stories. they wanted me to tell it because it was about a brilliant kids. eduardo was very angry. he wanted someone to tell the story. it grew from there. i began finding the elements, talking to everyone i could talk to. >> when and why did eduardo? by the way, the numbers are on the screen in case you want to dial in and talk with ben mezrich about "the accidental billionaires." when and why did edoardo and mark fall out? >> it happened pretty fast. they started the company together. they were college kids. halfway into the college year, basically a semester later facebook started to explode. mark moves off to california.
edoardo stays behind. pivots in new york for the summer. when markets california he meets a guy named john parker. he is like the rock star. he is a cool kid. he co-founded master. he co-founded. he's a crazy kid. he found mark. mark analyze them. they didn't need edoardo. edoardo freetown and froze the bank account. they get rid of them. >> what is it doing today? >> cut off all contact with me. in the midst of writing my book my book proposal leaked out on the internet. everybody freaked out. edoardo was in the midst of a legal battle. mark settles with eduardo. it's unknown but the number is supposedly a round of billion dollars. these kids are 19 and 20 years of the time. edoardo told me he could never speak to me again. cut off all contact. i don't really know where he is. i've heard rumors that he's in
singapore, taiwan. he is an amazing guy. i'm sure he's doing something in business. he got what he wanted. he's been reinstated as co-founder of facebook. he did did what he wanted out of beating me, but i have lost all contact with them. >> the twin paths. >> there are growing in the london olympics, training with it right now. i believe they are in new york. i saw them at the premiere for the movie. there are nice guys. when you meet them you think they're going to be the bad guys. they even said to me, you look at us and think we're going to be chasing the carotid kid wearing skeleton outfits, but they're actually really nice guys. >> to they did any settlement? >> they received $65 million. >> each? >> together. they're trying to throw that out. they feel like they deserve everything. they are very upset. they feel like the idea was stolen from them.
>> did mark talk with you? >> he refused. i've never met mark. he has called me the jackie collins of silicon valley. he says it's all lies. he refuses to read it, so i don't know how leno's it's all lies. i've heard he saw the movie, but i have no way of knowing. i've never talked to mark. >> as anyone sued you? >> no. you know, it's a true story. it's not a negative story. everyone makes it out to be this negative attack. he is the genius behind facebook. i always said that all along. he has just done some things that upset a lot of people. there's nothing in this book that's not true. as much as everyone wants to saved you can't actually find anything that's factually incorrect. i think that is an interesting time. no. nothing like that. >> what have we learned about his personality? in this book you say that he cut off some relationships because it was all about facebook. >> he was determined.
he believes in facebook and almost a religious way committee believes everyone in the world should have facebook. you know, he's socially awkward and very inept in person. i don't know if you met him. she can have a normal conversation. he's just an odd guy. he is truly a genius. he's very good with computers. he's got that hole hacker personality. >> rated he dropped? >> in new york and upstate new york. his father was a dentist. his mother was a psychologist. went to prep school, exeter pretty was an outsider. >> ben mezrich is our guest. the accidental billionaire. first call, larchmont new york. please ahead with your question. >> i was wondering if you could elaborate. you mentioned that his record was involved with some alternative jewish history group or something at harvard. can you tell us a little bit about that? and also, do you know anything
about his politics? has he ever expressed any political views? can you tell us about that ball? >> all right. we got the point. >> he and edoardo met in an underground him her jewish fraternity. that is where they met. he was not -- they're not religious. as more like a social club. everyone is jewish, but it's really reform. i would just say he's sort of a regular kid who grew up. he's jewish, but not, you know, religious. >> not necessarily practicing. >> practicing as much as most reformed jews practice. the holiday juice. >> what about his politics? >> i don't know particularly much about that. i wrote about that founding year, that first year.
i believe that he is -- he tries to keep his politics out of facebook. really believe that. they see facebook as a world changing thing, way to open everything out. they do believe in knocking down barriers. in terms of using it as a political tool, they want the users to use it. they like the idea of people getting together to make changes, but i don't think mark himself is attempting to perpetuate changed. >> do you facebook? >> i do. my wife got me on. about a month before and matt edoardo my wife was an avid user. i do use it. finally enough we have a page for the book. there's a lot the happens. i do use it. it's fun. >> next call. >> did morning. i do have a facebook account. full disclosure. i am also saw the movie.
i was interested in the character. mark went out to california to hang out with, the napster guy. in the film he was really kind of the splintered between him and eduardo. you know, kind of a strange character. i was curious about the influence of this of the gentleman whose name i can't remember. >> all right. ben mezrich. >> thank you. question. he is the ultimate hacker, the ultimate battle. he get kicked out of the previous company. he ended up getting take-out of facebook or having to leave facebook after getting caught at a party with cocaine. sean is a great guy. sean is this absolute genius. one of the smartest people i've ever met. naturally believe he is a
genius. i do think the movie makes him out to be more of a villain than my book. he is not a villain. is just one of these guys that sees right to the core of something. he said just call it facebook. an elected the company he said you don't need edoardo. wasn't this nasty thing. we have to get rid of him it was an order is not here. everything is here in california. why'd you have this guy who is a cfo of your company is not here? he couldn't understand. he is the one guy in the whole story he was interested in turning this into a billion dollar business. mark doesn't care about money. edoardo wanted to prove something. sean potted as a billion dollar company. to his credit without sean it would not have become a billion dollar company. he's a wild man. he is that character. he seems to have a lot of sex,
>> you know, their is a lot. i don't know about drugs, but definitely he's one of those guys who's just out there. he's a true genius. he's just a real trouble. he's one of those people that would make a great movie in himself. >> is involved in facebook today? >> i think he's on the border something pretty on 7% of the company. hill be a billionaire because of. he's part of a company called the founders fund. he lives in new york and california. still very good friends with mark, i understand. i don't think he's talking to me anymore either. at think he's an amazing person. >> well, book tv is talking with ben mezrich. you're on the air. go ahead. >> yes. a cool guy. i wanted to find out, you participate or have hand in making the movie the social network and all? at like to get a copy of your book signed by you.
member is 310999 to 985. >> no. until you what. you've got a web site. >> i have a web site. e-mail me air. i can sign books for people. on the movie. what happened was the brilliant screenwriter, he wrote the west wing. he found my book proposal and came to boston. we sat in a hotel room. i handed him the book as i was doing it. i was very involved. absolutely genius. so i've been a part of the movie from the beginning. an unbelievable producer. i hope they all win oscars. it's just been awesome. >> how accurate in your view is the movie to the book? >> very close. a close adaptation. read a few articles here and
there. if you read the book every chapter in the book is in the movie. what aaron did very brilliantly was then also at the corcoran st. you go back and forth from the chapters of the book into the courtroom where the kids are arguing. you have it in their own words. is it accurate? these were the on words. they said in a courtroom and talk about everything. you have marked talking about what he did as he did it. it's actually pretty amazing. >> hermosa beach, california. good morning. >> good morning. i was wondering how the founder of facebook would handle jimmy camels national friend to a where people were lining up on hollywood boulevard to a friend people. he just kind of putted out how useless this book really is to a lot of us. i don't get it. i know a lot of people that don't. i think it has to do with your
age. >> well, it's very interesting. there is this massive backlash. a lot of people in the media. why are we all on facebook? it's a waste of time. yet a million people are joining every week. more and more people are joining. the reality is it's a big part of everyone's lives. there is a generational thing. right now the largest growing numbers are in 35 and over. it's becoming this thing. i talked to adults. a lot of them say it so i can spy on my kids. every once kids are on it. you want to know what they're doing. the reality is it's here to stay. it's going to become more and more a part of our lives. there's always a movement. 30,000 people leave and then a million people joined. the reality is whatever you want to say you're do, it's growing in massive numbers. there we will come a point when pretty much everyone is on to
be. >> ben mezrich, do you still follow this putt policies? >> i do. i'm an author. i go from story to story. my thing is a love to tell these dramatic stories about young kids doing wild things. i'm not one of these journalists uses their and studies after the fact. i pay attention simply because i have been talking about it for the past year, but i like it more as entertainment. it's very entertaining. i find it fun. i find it enjoyable as long as you use it correctly. it's dangerous if he put too much of permission on it. you're being foolish. but if you just use it to talk to frenzy haven't seen in a while or keep in touch with gen ants and uncles it's a wonderful thing. >> when do you think it's going public? >> that's a good question. i don't think mark wants to go public. the people behind this book,
these guys want to go public. it's going to be worth $60 billion. i really do. i don't think it will be this your next year, but there's a lot of pressure to go public. it will happen. >> orlando. you're on. accidental billionaires'. >> yes. and calling from orlando. i wanted to ask you, what similarities to uc between mark and the founder of apple? >> a great question. as a lot of similarities between sector bird and bill gates and steve jobs. his personality is very similar. he's got that awkward sense of his personality. the difficulty talking socially. he is going to give away a lot of money. he will do a lot of philanthropy
which is wonderful. he just doesn't care about money. does that the of megalomania, they need to have everyone on. is everyone to be using apple products. i think there is a similarity and vision about making the world simpler. i do think there is more of a belief and openness and privacy. but i think there are a lot of similarities. if you need to be a certain type of person to succeed have to be willing to cut people out. you have to have that and you. at think that's where it comes from. >> this is live coverage from the miami doctor international on the campus of miami-dade college. talking with ben mezrich, the author of the accident to billionaires'. a new movie about the social network based on this book. it is a little windy here. so if bcs blowing away just stick with this. somerset new jersey.
>> yes. i was interested to know if you have any idea why mark chose to give $100 million to his school that was great and surprising? >> well, he gave a hundred million dollars to the newark school system, which is a wonderful thing. whenever you decide to do something like that it's wonderful. i don't sit back and try to figure out why he does what it does. at think he gave it away, he wanted to help kids out. was what it was. he did because he felt it was something he wanted to do. good for him. i hope he gives it all 08. >> seattle. seattle. >> can you hear me? >> history for listening. >> of a like to ask you. you keep saying the five you mention this guy is a genius. i'm not saying they're not smart, but when something like facebook, when somebody have done something like it
eventually? is an inevitable in the history of the computer medium that obviously social that works like this would develop? again, if you look at the page, it's a simple thing. wouldn't somebody have come up with something very similar the probably would have taken off? >> may ask you, are you involved in the tech world that all? >> no. >> abcaeight. thanks. >> it's a great question. my space, for a start. there have been many social networks. it said the mobile last. the gene is is the site was so simple and so perfect and a lot of ways. it did have the mistakes. they lived and moved with society. it is only done bigger and bigger. it started off exclusive. it rolled out college to
college. did a lot of brilliant things that allowed it to rhesus level. he was in the first offensive ly will be the last. you're correct in not it's not a free-for-all. it's not a problematic thing. it's not twitter, which i love and enjoy. the point is it's actually usable and it does what it's supposed to do. his genius is not necessarily in that it's like something we've never seen before. is that it's the perfect version of what we've seen. >> is it changing the world? >> yes. when i was in college if he wanted to meet a girl you had to go up and meter. nowadays he just go look in your parents' brands and find someone and say hi. it is changed everything we do. our social life and how we date, we fall in love, how we break up. >> what is the quality the
story? >> gonna lot of attention. did not make it into the movie. when mark and edoardo, when the idea starts to take off and all these people come to harvard to try and get these guys to sell the company, somebody took them on a yacht and fed them koala. it was an exotic -- essentially attempting to woo them. there was a scene which, a lot of attention and australia. >> pembroke pines florida, you're on. please go ahead. >> hello. i'm just curious about sean and where he fits into all of this. he was actually the first person that i saw, you know, on tv. from what i understand that did not see the movie, but one of my good friends did. she talks about sean parker. i hadn't even heard of him. i was just curious where he fits
into all this. >> this is why he should love me. napster was founded by two shots. sean fanning was the interval one. they founded together. but then sean parker is the one who went on to become the first president of facebook. he did co-founded. they were both high school dropouts. it is an amazing story in itself. sean was the man died. so parker is the character that ends up in this story because he goes on. they're both hacker kids who didn't change the record industry. >> nobody is talking to you from this document. >> well, the twins love me still. i don't really have a relationship with them. edoardo is not talking to me. tucker bird never talked to me. parker, every now and then we run into each other, but i love sean. hopefully at some point will talk again.
you know, with the mit kids i still go to vegas. these guys, it did workout. >> do you really? >> not every weekend. i do often. >> of the spotted? >> they can't play blackjack. none of us can. >> if i sit down and the budget table and that more than $50 a kick kick down. never was really nice about it now. they just go on a spying by check. >> ben mezrich is a nonfiction author. to number one best sellers and to number one movies. >> the bill for number one for two weeks in a row. i think this movie is reaching around 200 million international. >> all right, fort lauderdale. go ahead. >> i did not read your book, unfortunately. i did see the movie. i'm curious about the girl. he had a broken up with the she broke up with an.
throughout the whole movie there was this girl. at the end he was trying to get back together. was that part of the book? is that true? >> yes and no. the way the movie was framed, in the opening he gets dumped by a girl and then he goes home and does this prank. we do have his blog from that day. he did get dumped by a girl. he calls her a bitch to start of the story. that's all in marks on words. we do know there was a girl. know her name. we know she had a bad date, drinks and beer is a monster it. she is kind of a theme throughout the movie. my book, she's in the opening of the booked. the old not in the end. a little bit different. there was a girl that it started with.
that is real. >> we have been talking with ben mezrich, "the accidental billionaires." thank you for being on book tv. >> thank you very much. >> ron chernow is just being introduced in the chapman auditorium. here he is talking about george washington. >> washington was dignified, stoic, heroic, and fiercely devoted to do the. also a slave owner. an unyielding taskmaster, someone vein and a failure of business. unlike his peers jefferson, madison, hamill's command adams were all college graduates washington had only the equivalent of a seventh grade education. ron chernow was born in brooklyn, and he is an honors graduate of both yale and cambridge. he is considered to be one of the most distinguished commentators on politics, business, finance in america today. the st. louis post-dispatch has
hail him as one of the most preeminent biographers of his generation. the new york times calls him an elegant architect of monumental histories as we have seen in decades. in 2000 for his biography of alexander hamilton won the inaugural george washington book prize for early american history . he brings political perspective to the politics of today. listen to his words. president washington, vice-president of bama enters the office hoping for reasonable and sensible discourse, hoping to enjoy a time of non partisan politics. the two-party system emerges rather rapidly from his own cabinet. hamilton and jefferson had at different wings. for two years there seems to be a political honeymoon for washington to to his stature. was the attacks start in the
opposition in our ferocious and relentless. washington is actually accused of being a british double agent all along during the revolutionary war. sound familiar? ladies and gentlemen, let's hear more about george washington from his biographer. please join me in welcoming mr. ron chernow. [applauding] >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. it's always a thrill to be here at the miami book fair degree chino, and fed yuri 1789, two months before george washington was sworn in as the first president he received a fascinating letter from europe from his friend reporting for the first time on the sudden madness of king george the third
to be it morris said that in the king's delirious state he had conceived himself to be no less a personage than george washington washing at the head of the continental army to be then morris added proceeds asleep he have apparently done something or other mystics most terribly in his stomach. indeed, washington had. now, who was this commoner who was such a legend in his own time? he actually managed to invade the feverish dream worlds of the deranged royal george. well, first cru interested in this question when i was writing my hamilton biography. i was reading a series of letters that hamilton wrote after he had a quarrel late in the war that led to hamilton quitting washington staff. in these letters hamilton described a working for washington and said that washington was moody, mirabal,
and temperamental, even something of a powder keg boss. he informed his father-in-law with more than a touch of youthful bravado. he said the great man and i have come to an open rupture. he shall for once repents his of humor. i can remember sitting there stunned. did he mean to imply that the san the father of our country was this so keep calm volatile boss. well, needless to say this was far from the whole truth. i hope in this book that i developed lavish and sufficient praise to washington's courage, fortitude, patriotism, integrity, and a thousand other wonderful traits. this is not a debunking book. in fact, my book is an effort to try to recreate the charisma and the magnetism that so excited washington's contemporaries that have gotten lost somehow in
translation to posterity. having said that was hamilton did paned very perceptive reports. his comments began to open a window into george washington's emotion, all of these strong and powerful emotions swirling around inside. needless to say emotions that he kept in check with formidable self control. when i came to learn was that george washington was not this kind of were the figure to be bland, before honest a bit boring his taken up residence in the american imagination. revolutionaries are not made of such tame stuff. i began to wonder, even though there have been so many books about washington, whether george washington is simply the most familiar figure in american history, the man whose portrait we carry in our wallet was perhaps the bottom the least familiar figure. i thought that, perhaps, there were other significant
dimensions of his personality that would enable me to bring him to a vivid and three-dimensional life that would make him immediate and comprehensible to people. i am here this morning to report after six years of very intensive work on this book that i found a george washington who is passionate, complex, sensitive, a man of many moods, often strong and very opinions, fears, hard, driving perfectionist. ec, what has happened in the course of american history is that in our very laudable desire to venerate the father of the country we have sanded down the rough edges of his personality. we have turned him into this and possibly stiff and lifeless figure it very much like the stand. this arm rigidly thrust out.
it stands to reason that figure could never have defeated the british empire, the mightiest military could never have presided over the constitutional convention, could never have forced the office of the presidency to be quite obviously the man who was able to do all of those things must have been the force of nature. he kept that force carefully under wraps. now, in order to fashion of fresh portrait of washington the poor biographer has to begin by taking up a sharp machete and hacking his way through a very dense jungle of myths and misconceptions. i have discovered that even very well educated americans, their minds are so cluttered with all of these tales. let me retire some of the most egregious errors. now, you've already heard the
cherry tree story. pure invention, invented shortly after his death by an itinerant book peddlers. washington dined. there was a tremendous hunger for personal stories that would humanize him. our friend priced into that vacuum armed with all of these fictitious tales. the cherry tree story has been unfortunate for many reasons. one and most obviously, it's been used to terrorize american schoolchildren for 200 years. it has also created, as we shall see, a very misleading image of george washington as this cold and freeze character when he was anything but. another common myth as we have already heard, the wooden teeth. obviously digestive enzymes with robert wood in the mouth. george washington started losing his teeth in his 20's.
by the time he became president he had only one tooth left in his mouth. very brave and lowly lower left bicuspid. he had a very full set of upper and lower dentures' made. a little round hole where the bicuspid was. they were painful to examine it. i can only imagine how painful they were to wear. they would have been scraping incessantly against his ron dellums. they were made from elephant or walrus ivory and were inserted with human teeth. we now know that in 1784 he bought nine teeth from slaves, possibly his own. this sounds ghoulish. in the 18th century it was routine for people to advertise that they were buying teeth. often the have said white teeth for white people.
washington was doing something weirdly egalitarian if, indeed, he had nine teeth from his own slaves. of course what happened over time is the ivory aids and crack and stained and developed a grimy look. it looked like wood. the most significant thing that i discovered about the dentures bama they were connected in the back by curved metal springs. so the only way that washington could have held them in his mouth was by keeping his lips firmly compressed. what this meant was that every time he opened his mouth to speak it would relax the pressure on the springs and there was always the possibility that the teeth with com flight out of his mouth. >> the devil are not as president washington gave a suspiciously large number of speeches that were only one, to come or three paragraphs in length. now, devil are not as president a common myth that i find almost universal. george washington wore a wig. how did he get that very strange
and distinctive hair do? he flushed out the hair. i don't know how we get them to stand out. he then sprinkled powder, grayish powder. he looked closely. wearing a black velvet suit. you would see a fine creche dust on his shoulders. the powder and sprinkled down on to his shoulders. and then most significantly he took the remaining hairs which he threw straight back over his neck and tied in a black satin bow. that style which we would call a ponytail in the 18th century was called the q. even though washington's hair style looks to us very point and genteel, in the 18th century it was considered manley and military. so anyone seeing him walk down the street would have said there is a general.
finally everyone repeats that he was six ft. three. i discovered as i looked into this that it all rested on a single piece of evidence which was after washington died and he was measured for his casket he measured six with three and a half. that would seem to settle the controversy. wrong. i want you to do an experiment in you go home. lie down in bed on the back. just relax. what you'll see is that your feet will fall forward to the ghettos will point out toward. of remorse or to set in it would add about three and a half inches to your high. i collected in the course of doing the book about 40 quotations from contemporary letters and diaries of people who commented on his hike to bit about 35 of them pest and guessed correctly that he was 6 feet tall. then came the real clincher.
before the revolutionary war washington, like most region in ordered his clothing from london. every six months he sat down and gave his london tailor a very precise description of his physique and described himself as a man who was exactly 6 feet tall. we all know that the one person you can lie to about your height unless you want to end up looking like a laughing stock is a tailor. i think that we can consider the case closed. george washington was 6 feet tall which is relatively tall for that time. we tend to associate him with the revolutionary war, but he spends five and a half years fighting in the french and indian war. washington was really so precocious he was kind of a prodigy. by the age of 23 he was a colonel. he was put in charge of all of the military forces in virginia. virginia was both the most
populous and powerful state in the union. his perseverance, bravery were already the stuff of legend, but i must warn you when you start reading the book that young washington is not yet the wise paragon of later years. he's crass, dogged, even pushy in his pursuit of money, status, and power. washington first rebels against the british not for idealistic reasons, but for personal reasons. the british deny him the royal commission in the army that he covets. the british sell him shoddy overpriced goods from london. the british band settlement west of the allegheny mountains at a time when washington is amassing a real estate there. the british are bad for business. the british are bad for your career. in those early sections you don't feel the year and the company of historic greatness even though there are already a lot of admirable traits that
flush out. now, the bane of washington's early years was not royal george, but someone infinitely more formidable, his mother. she was, to speak frankly, a very different woman. self-centered. she took no apparent pride or pleasure in her son's career. we have no comments about her praising the commander in chief or if she was even still alive when he became president. we have no evidence that she intended the winning. we have no evidence that she never visited them at mount vernon, although she lived in fredericksburg which is not very far away. historic rumor has even type tier as a possible story during the war. george's father died when he was 11.
mary felt that george should be taking care of her rather than pursuing his career. even when he's in his 20's out on the western frontier he receives a letter from his mother saying that she urgently needs a new dutch servant and some butter, as if he's supposed to drop all of his regiment of these and go fetch his poor mother some butter. wade in the revolutionary war much more bizarrely washington receives a letter from the speaker of the virginia assembly says commander general, something has been going on here in the virginia state capitol that no one has had the courage to tell you about to begin mother has been here for a couple of months. she has applied for special petition for emergency relief claiming poverty and hinting at abandonment by you know who, the commander in chief. washington was a very dutiful son who brought his mother a
beautiful house in fredericksburg and a for a lot of money. that was his reward. i speculate that the first grade general the george washington ever had to do battle with was his mother. now very difficult to deal with. a father who died when he was 11. it's no wonder that he doesn't start out as a saint. but then what happens? it's fascinating. in the mid-70s 60's with the stamp act and the townshend duties and the boston tea party and the intolerable acts washington begins to realize that all of his personal grievances simply reflect a larger political problem. the deck has been stacked against the colonists. and then suddenly and brother gloriously all of his feelings about the british are elevated into these universal principles of freedom and liberty and justice. so miraculous to behold. he begins to find his political
voice. that political voice is very strong and very militant. if ever there was a man who was a noble by circumstances, if ever there was a man who was fired up by a just and righteous cause that man was george washington who, as he shall see, the transitions in no way that has few, if any parallels in american history. all of us, if we know any events in the revolutionary war know washington crossing the delaware at valley forge. those events are a little bit misleading. washington deserves full credit. i have given the book that washington was at best a middling general. he lost more battles than the one. but i also argue that you can judge this man by the usual score card of battles lost and won. this is a rare case in history. what he's doing between battles is arguably more important than what he does.
he single-handedly holds this ragged army together for eight and a half years in the face of constant shortages of many, money, clothing, muskets, gunpowder. only george washington has the strength of character, the clarity of vision and the tenacity of purpose to maintain because. you know, we all know about the bleak winter at valley forge. as you'll see, there were many other winters that were just as bleak. nobody would have had the courage and stamina to of fold this army together. holding the army together meant holding because together, and holding the american nation together. if you don't think there is at least a grain of truth to the great man or please read this book and read me a letter and tell me who could have stepped into his shoes in this battle.
there were other generals from a strategic standpoint to were his equal, but there jockeying for power, sidetracked by petty disputes. george washington had and inspired simplicity. if you gave him a goal to pursue he would harness all of the energy and fortitude. he had of focus and discipline and drive that would truly unique. now, whenever his shortcomings as a politician, washington was a genius. whatever shortcomings as a general, washington as a politician was a genius. unanimously elected commander in chief by the kind of congress. he was unanimously elected president of the constitutional convention. he was unanimously elected president to the united states by the electoral college. obviously that will never happen again. mind you, he does all of these
things without the benefit of a single focus group or pollster or political action committee. he is just responding to his own instincts. because he never seemed to be grasping for power people with that much more eager to give it to him. he clambered to come out of retirement, the more reluctant he was, the more people wanted him. now washington's presence in philadelphia in 1787 was absolutely vital. the constitutional convention was held behind closed doors. it's washington's position that reassures the skittish public outside the doors that no sinister cobol is being hatched inside. of course it is washington's presence, the assumption that washington will be the first president that ambles the delegates to create a cup powerful office at a time after the revolutionary war when there was a quite understandable fear
of excessive executive power. if you look at the constitution article one of the constitution by design is about congress. the people felt that was the people's branch of government. that should be preeminent. article two, the presidency is by design short and vague and general. washington spent more than eight years dealing with an internally squabbling congress and realized that no legislature could provide a coherent and consistent. it is washington who realizes it is going to be the executive branch, particularly the presidency that will spearhead domestic and foreign policy. we are still living with washington's legacy today. we assume as a matter of course that the president will define the political agenda.
you know, there is no mention of the constitution, a cabinet. washington creates the first cabinet. there were only three members. it was alexander hamilton, secretary of treasury, henry knox, secretary of war, and thomas jefferson, secretary of state. everyone in the room can agree pound for pound the best cabinet we will ever have by far. he assembles the american all-star team. like all great executives washington was not afraid to hire people who were smarter than he was, although he was very smart. he felt fully confident to be able to control these had strong prima donnas. i know we are all kind of gazing back nostalgically. at think it is right to do so in terms of the brilliance and the area addition and integrity of these people, but it was a nasty political time. i did a piece for the "wall
street journal" last summer on the founders. for instance, john adams, benjamin franklin, his entire life has been one continued insult to decency and good manners. franklin said of atoms, he is always an autumn honest man, sometimes a wise man, but sometimes absolutely out of his senses. this is kid stuff compared to adams and hamilton. adams called hamilton the bastard brand of scotch peddler. he said the hamilton had a super abundance of secretions which he could not find boards enough to draw off. it doesn't get any stronger than that. hamilton gave as good as he got. he rejoined, i shall send the lead to say that john adams is as wicked as he is mad. the only one who really rises above all of this partisan
name-calling and mudslinging is george washington. at the beginning of his term he has a political honeymoon for your two. then the two-party system springs up and the opposition party attacks in relentless the cover everything from plotting to restore a monarchy as your earlier, he was accused of having been a british double agent for the entire duration of the revolutionary war. you would think that some of these charges today made in the press are preposterous. i was particularly struck. there were many things that surprised me. one was hell ambivalent washington felt about his own fame. wherever he went he was lionized. he was not a glad handing backslapping personality. he was not a good extemporaneous speaker. wherever he went he had to give a few well chosen words. you can see when he was president he made a tour of all of the states. they would send a delegation of
dignitaries to meet him on the outskirts of town. he would always arrive an hour or two earlier in order to bypass them. .. >> there were 62 handsome and well-dressed ladies of the town there. [laughter] then the next night, he'd write, i was in hartford, there was a tinner in be my honor. there were -- dinner in my honor. he was traveling with a tiny entourage. i guarantee you the person who was doing the nightly head count
of the ladies was the father of our country. [laughter] now, even in the privacy of his home he becomes a form of public property, a real prisoner of his celebrity. he's warned after the war that he should get a special expense account to entertain people. he doesn't listen. and hundreds, finally thousands of people descend on mount vernon, washington is is this impeccably polite man, he sees them all, he houses them all. the saddest line in his voluminous correspondence, june 30, 1785 he writes this sad line in his diary. quote: dined with only mrs. washington which i believe is the first instance of it since my return from the war. he had been back from the war for a year and a half, it's the first time he had dined alone with martha, and he had been away for eight and a half years during the war, only went back to mount vernon once for three days. i said george washington was not
this cold and priggish character of the cherry tree story. nathaniel hawthorne once mocked him saying he was surely built with his clothes on and made a stately bow at his first appearance to the world. there was nothing puritanical about washington, and i'm not saying anything about his relationship with sally fairfax. washington had a friend who remarried at the age of 47. washington considered 47 a comically advanced age to marriage, and he wrote the following letter to a mutual friend. quote: i'm glad to hear that my old acquaintance, colonel ward, is yet under the influence of vigorous passions. the he then went on to suppose that ward had reviewed his strength, his arms and ammunition before he got involved in action. [laughter]
wait, it goes on. let me advise him to make the first onset upon his fair lady with vigor, that the impression may be deep if it cannot be lasting or frequently renewed. [laughter] it's not a line that i'm suggesting for inclusion in the school textbooks, but it does give us a different take on george washington. [laughter] the marriage to martha, i didn't get the feeling it was the lustiest marriage of all time, but it was a very warm, productive and happy one. she gave him financial security. she had been the richest widow in virginia. she gave him emotional support. washington was rather repressed and needed an emotional confidant. she was immensely skillful, and washington was a corning y'all host but a rather detached sort. so she gave washington the warm, stable home life that i think he needed to accomplish these monumental tasks. and i try in the book to give a complete portrait of this marriage because the two of them
made indescribable sacrifices for the country. it's always mentioned in passing that martha visited george in winter quarters during the war. in fact, it turns out she spent a full half of the winter with him and typically lasted five or six months. now, also, to flesh out this private man behind the public facade, i devote a lot of time to george washington as slave holder. earlier generations seem to think it a trivial or inconsequential fact that he owned 300 human beings. washington was deeply conflicted over the whole issue. he opposed slavery in theory, but he was never able to make an issue of it in public. even in the founding, slavery was the most divisive issue, and
washington knew that this was a subject that he broached at his peril. i wanted to write a book in which washington's slaves are not simply faceless names mentioned in passing, but to the extent that the documentary allows it really emerge as full-blooded has has human bein. i talk about billy lee who was a great hunter and rider and rack contour and who accompanied washington every single day during the revolutionary war and was actually very proud of it, liked to reminisce about the battles. i talk about martha's favorite slave, she was a young seam stress who finally escaped to freedom in the new hampshire in later years, and most of all the flamboyant hercules who was the master chef at the presidential household in philadelphia who also slipped off to freedom in the waning days of washington's
second term. slaves constructed every inch of mount vernon, they formed the basis of washington's fortune, and i thought they deserved to have a central place in if his saga. you know, what i love about george washington, this is not the story of a perfect man. there are plenty of defects as a slave holder and as a businessman, but this was a man who was capable of constant growth and constant self-criticism. he's born in the 1730s into a world in virginia where slavery is both common place and unquestioned, and his last and i think most visionary act in his will, he frees the slaves. i just want to, you know, close before the q&a with one fascinating story. there were, as i said, about 300 slaves at mount vernon. 125 of the slaves were under the direct legal control of george washington. the other approximately 175 slaves were so-called dower
slaves brought to the marriage by martha and legally pledged to her children and grandchildren. so it happens in his will washington says that the slaves should be freed, those 125 slaves he controlled should be freed after martha dies. and washington had thought this through in immense detail. he provided funds to train and educated young slaves who would suddenly be free, he created a fund in order to take care of any freed slaves who were too old or infirm to work. he thought this through, he just overlooked one big, glaring thing which was that the moment that he died, his will was published, everyone knew the terms of the will, and every slave at mount vernon knew whether he or she was one of washington's slaves or one of the dower slaves. and what it meant was every time 125 slavessed at martha washington, they said the second that lady is dead, i'm a free
person. martha was so unnerved by this situation and really felt that her life was in danger that she consulted washington's never few and he said, you're right to be afraid, and can he said just go ahead and free those slaves now which is exactly what she did which was a very smart thing to do. so a year after george washington died but a year before martha died, those slaves were free. okay, i'm just touching the surface of a very rich and eventful history. no speech on washington should last as long as the revolutionary war, and i'm sure you are all brimming with questions, so i thank you for coming, and i'm happy to answer questions. [laughter] [applause] thank you.
i think people have questions. there's a microphone to, please, just line up. >> mr. in washington's later years did you run across any of his feelings on how the results of the revolution turned out? did he have any misgivings? >> dud he try to ex-- did he try to extend the franchise? no, that was not notable. you know, what he did do, we know that at the constitutional convention that the one point that washington proposed -- because he was kind of a, you know, neutral arbiter above the fray -- the one point that he proposed and did pass was that there should be one congressman for every 30,000 people instead of 40,000. he felt then the house would be more numerous and, hence, more response responsive to the
people. but washington shared, you know, a certain federalist elitism that the people should, you know, elect the most intelligence and prosperous members of the community who would then look out for their, for their interest. there are many different places where washington says that there must have been a special providence not only overseeing the revolutionary war, but the constitutional convention and even his presidency that things turned out so well. >> excuse me. would you care to comment on george washington's religious feelings, and while doing that can you either confirm or dispel the myth of the prayer that was supposedly done during the valley forge winter? the young private comes upon
washington on his horse, and washington's kneeling and praying -- >> are yes. you have all probably seen the pictures of washington praying on his knees and that, unfortunately, was another one of the inventions of the person who invented the cherry tree story. it's an implausible story not because of washington's religiousty, but washington was very private in his devotions, would never have -- you know, rather ostentatiously, in public, possibly in full view of his soldiers been praying in that fashion. in terms of washington's religious view, this, of course, has been a hot controversy about this. washington before the war was an anglican which meant that after the war he was an episcopalian. washington, there were a number of things about washington's christian beliefs and practices that were atypical. he always talked about providence or the supreme author of our being. he only referred to jesus by
name two or three times in his entire career. he would, at church he would pray standing instead of kneeling, genre constituting the -- refuting the mason weeks story. he never took communion which martha did regularly. very significantly, he did not call for a minister on his death bed which, again, martha did. i had the feeling that washington was deeply religious. there is not a battle in the revolutionary war that washington does not, you know, claim that divine providence had been looking out for the country, and is o his pay -- so his papers are saturated with references to a providence that is closely following american events and seem to be watching over the fortunes of the country. but it's very hard from a kind of denominational, a theological
point of view to pin down with precision exactly what his religious views were. >> thank you. >> in alexander hamilton you went to an extent with the marquee delafayette's relationship with mr. hamilton. how did washington take the french outlook and help in the war to the extent there was any, and how did, how did he accept foreign support during the revolution -- >> how did he accept foreign support, you know, with difficulty. all these french officers who came over during the revolutionary war, many of them came over for very self-interested reasons, you know, they wanted to earn battlefield glory, and can they felt they would then go back to france and get a promotion. and a lot of them couldn't even speak english. and so washington really felt that it was, you know, the bane
of his life as commander in chief that he's had to placate all of these french officers who came over. in fact, the story with lafayette is very interesting because lafayette comes over at the age of 19. he quips a ship with -- equips a ship with provisions and munitions. he goes to philadelphia armed with a letter from benjamin franklin and franklin writes to the continental congress, you know, please, peat the young marquee very well because he's very well connected at versailles, and he could be pretty create useful. -- politically useful. the congress, without consulting washington, makes lafayette a major general, this 19-year-old kid who's just arrived, makes him a major general which is the highest rank below commander in chief. but they did it as an honorary title. lafayette then goes and meets george washington. washington writes a priceless
letter to the congress saying i don't think that the young marquee understands that the title is is merely hon risk. he's kind of -- honor risk, he's kind of looking for a regiment to command. amazingly enough, lafayette becomes such a resourceful and really fearless general that he becomes one of the major generals in the continental army. and one thick -- thing that i found, you know, the historic study of lafayette being kind of a surrogate son of washington turns out to be true. washington, being a very formal man, did not like to be touched. and we have eyewitness accounts that when lafayette would see washington, he would, quote, throw his arms around him and kiss his face ear to ear. [laughter] only a young frenchman could have gotten away with that with
washington. >> i was wondering why martha made george washington a rich widow. i'm sure she had many suiters and that she would have men wanting her just for her money. >> i don't think it was surprising that she wants to marry washington at all. you have to remember, i said he'd been in the french and indian war for five years, he had been the commander of all the military forces in virginia when he was 23. he then meets -- i think he was 29 at the time. he was a military hero in virginia, and he was famous for his bravery. he was starting out, he seemed to be, you know, prosperous and successful young planter, and then he became a member of the virginia house of burgesses for 20 years. he was very closely connected with the fairfax family, his brother had married ann fairfax whose father was the agent for something called the northern
neck proprietary that control five million acres in virginia. it's the fairfax family that's the most powerful, richest family in virginia, and george washington is their young protege. and washington was very, you know, tall and strapping. you know, we tend to think of him from the gilbert stewart pictures as very kind of stiff and rigid and craggy. jefferson said he was the greatest horseman of his day, he was legendary as a dancer, he was a great hunter. he was a very, you know, very social and very, you know, genial personality. and so i find it completely understandable that she would have been attracted to him. and he was -- and she had two children, and he seemed very eager to have children. >> no cherry tree, huh?
>> no cherry tree, sorry. >> oh, my gosh. [laughter] i want to thank you so much for coming. this is wonderful. >> thank you all for coming. i really appreciate it. thank you to the fair. >> there will be autographing of books on the other side of the elevator. our next author, simon winchester, will be starting at 12:30. if you have tickets for that, stay. thank you again. [inaudible conversations] >> and this is booktv's continual live coverage of the 27th annual miami book fair international. you can see the street scene here on the campus of miami-dade
college. just north of downtown miami as we continue our live coverage. coming up next, as was just announced, simon winchester will be the next historian presenting in the chapman auditorium. but between these programs we're pleased to be joined by david axe here on our set outside the chapman auditorium. his graphic book, "war is boring." now, david axe has covered several different wars and, in fact, he was a freelancer who worked for c-span in the iraq and afghanistan. david axe, where else have you worked? >> guest: lebanon, chad, east timor, off the somali coast chasing pirates, i might be forgetting a few -- nicaragua. here and there. >> host: that doesn't sound boring. >> guest: right. the title's meant to be somewhat ironic but not entirely. war, the modern experience of
war, low intensity warfare is a lot of sitting around. it's 99% waiting and tedium and bore dumb punctuated by 1% of sheer terror. i think that describes the experience of the typical soldier, but it's the same for reporters, too, between the red tape and the logistic and the distances you have to travel, the logistics of being a reporter, arranging interviews and negotiating languages and cultural differences. you spend a lot of time weeding and maneuvering for the golden nuggets of excitement or the tiny little gems of a good story. >> host: and this is done much like, as a comic book -- >> guest: right. >> host: in a sense, a nonfiction comic book, and you write, i love how war made you appreciate the little things. you said coming home was like popping ec that si. what do you mean by that? >> guest: i've actually never
done ecstasy, but i imagine it feels ecstatic. you spend time roaming around a place like somalia or chad, and it puts into perspective, i don't know, what we have here in the united states and what we call problems. so one reason i enjoy my job as a freelance war correspondent, or enjoy's not the right word, one of the reasons i find it fulfilling is it contextualizes the rest of my life. and i've come away from my work as appreciating being an american more than before i did this kind of thing. >> host: when you read your book, it doesn't sound like you could stay in the states very long before you had to go back. >> guest: well, that's the irony. when you need that contrast between home life and life in some conflict zone in order to appreciate the home life, and you have to keep going back to the conflict zone in order to keep that and to maintain that contrast so that you can, i
don't know, that's the only way i can find peace and satisfaction was to move between these two extremes. the one made the other make sense. >> host: david axe, what work did you do for c-span? this. >> guest: i shot video and have done voiceover and studio interviews from and about the iraq war and the afghanistan war, piracy, the conflict in central africa or conflicts in central africa, and that might be all. i think so, yeah. >> host: ptsd? this. >> guest: myself? not formally diagnosed. i had a rather hairy experience in chad in the summer of 2008 and came home feeling not quite like myself. and managed to, you know, through the help of family and good friends and a lot of beer managed to right myself, i guess. i don't think that the trauma i've experienced compares to
what an american soldier who spends 15 months on deployment in afghanistan or iraq, my experiences don't compare to that, but sure, sure, i've had some stress. >> host: we're going to put the numbers up on the screen in case you would like to talk with david axe about how journalists cover war and how it effected them. these are pictures here, these are drawings of when david axe went home to detroit. and what i noted on these is that you slept in quite late every morning, and you didn't look like you were terribly thrilled about anything. >> guest: you mentioned ptsd. probably the worst i've had was in 2008. prior to that i was in somalia in late 2007 and also a very difficult place to work. and came away from that, i don't know, with a rather bleak outlook and crashed, i guess you could say. i needed, i needed some time. and i took that by moving back
home, you know? a 30-year-old man moving back home with mom and dad, and i did nothing for as long as i could stand it. and i think had i not done that, things would have been a lot worse. so, yeah, i slept in. played video games. [laughter] >> host: what were some of the worst experiences you had? this. >> guest: i was briefly kidnapped twice in chad. actually not covered in the book. hinted at at the very end of the book. in somalia i spent some time in the after guy ya refugee camp with, among -- surrounded by one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, made friends with somali reporters some of whom have since been seriously hurt or killed. that has been very trying. iraq and afghanistan there is always those bursts of extreme violence that rattle you. i think in the balance, though, somalia and chad have been my,
the most difficult places to cover. personally and professionally. >> host: how did you get started in this line of work? >> guest: in 2004 and 2005 i was, i was a full-time political reporter in columbia, south carolina, for the local free times newspaper. and if war is boring, then peace is way worse. and it was driving me nuts sitting in on county council meetings and things like ordinances. so i had an opportunity to embed with the national guard in early 2005, took it, realized not only could i enjoy it, but i could do it. so i quit my job and began freelancing from conflict zones full time. >> host: 202 is the area code, 585-3885 in the east and central time zones, 585-3886 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. where was the last place you've been? >> guest: i just got back from congo, and the artist on "war is
boring," matt, he and i are going to collaborate on an entire graphic novel -- >> host: novel? >> guest: right. well, it's nonfiction, a nonfiction comic book about congress go. >> host: why? >> guest: congo's probably the worst war that most americans don't know anything about. no one is exactly sure about the numbers, but in the past 15 years at least 700,000 people have died in several overlapping conflicts. it's a gigantic country, lots of problems, and a country that really matters to the developed world. leaving aside humanitarian issues which, of course, matter on their own, congo's the source of horse -- most of the earth's rare minerals. without congo, we wouldn't have this high-tech society that we have. so conflict in congo should matter a lot more to americans than it does. we want to draw some attention to that. >> host: in iraq and in
afghanistan, were you embedded with the military? what was your experience working with the military? >> >> guest: i've had really good experiences, i've had really bad experiences. the u.s. military is a vast organization, and everything sort of turns over every three years so it's a different cast of characters. once i inadvertently reported on a secret technology in iraq and was detained and then booted out of the country by a very irate u.s. army. that was probably the low point, but there have been high points as well. i've witnessed incredible bravery and sacrifice even on my behalf by soldiers in iraq and afghanistan. >> host: how did you find that secret technology? the u.s. army, and i was working as a freelancer for wired at the time. i said to this lieutenant, what's that? and he said, oh, that's a blah, blah, blah, and i said, oh, that's interesting, tell me more. so i was taking notes on this bit of technology, lo and
behold, it was classified. i didn't think that, apparently the lieutenant didn't know that and, yeah, it got bad real fast. [laughter] >> host: david axe is our guest, "war is boring" is the book. fredericks burg, virginia, you're on the air. please go ahead. >> caller: hi, mr. axe. you commented on it -- >> host: fredericks berg, you with us? >> caller: yes, i'm here, can you hear me? >> host: yes, go ahead. >> caller: i wish you could expand a little bit, i've always been interested in how the unique military cultures of the marines, the army, and the special operating forces, what differences you may have seen in the fact that there's three branches that are doing this kind of work. >> guest: i don't really have special forces, but i have worked with the marines and the army, the air force and the navy and even the coast guard. i guess it's cliche, but honestly working with the marines is the best experience. there's a kind of culture of
accountability and sacrifice in the marine corps that, while present in the other branches, is amplified in the marines. i guess they're able to hone that in a better way than with a vast organization like the u.s. army. so the marines have always taken really, really good care of me, and i'm grateful for that. >> host: emporia, virginia, you're on with david axe. >> caller: good afternoon. my question was, basically, being a war correspondent do you have to go through any specialized training at all to be in conflict zones? >> guest: no, i didn't. in the beginning of the iraq war, the pentagon rounded up some reporters and put them through a reporters' boot camp in anticipation of the invasion and having embedded reporters. but once the embed program had sort of found its footing -- because i didn't embed for the first time until early 2005 -- by then they weren't doing those boot camps. and i found that the military was, by that point, experienced
enough in handling reporters that they were able to just accommodate me in the conflict zone and point out what i should and shouldn't do without putting me through a formal training program. >> host: who was or who is ahmed zia in afghanistan? >> guest: he's one of my fixers. as a reporter working in a conflict zone, you utterly rely on your local fixers to drive you around, to keep you safe, to interpret, and he was one of my better afghan fixers. there are good ones and there are bad ones. the bad ones will squeeze you for cash, the good ones will save your life. >> host: how do you find them? >> guest: networking. i find other reporters who have done similar work and get referrals and check out these people, cross-reference and then cross my fingers. >> host: you start to tell a rather homophobic joke with ahmed. >> guest: well, that's afghan culture for you. [laughter] >> host: you write that you came back from afghanistan with, basically, a low-grade anger. why?
>> guest: i came back from afghanistan the first time in the summer of 2007, so by then i'd been covering primarily american-led wars for nearly three years. and it was frustrating to come home to a society that didn't seem to realize it was at war. certainly, soldiers and airmen and marines, sailers deployed overseas, they know they're at war. reporters who cover the conflict, we know we're at war. our elected leaders probably sense that we're at war. but it's easy to get the feeling when you're just walking around small town america or in many detroit or d.c., wherever, a lot of americas don't seem affected by these conflicts. i'm not sure who's to blame for that, but it's not healthy. >> host: "war is boring," is the book. cold spring, texas, please go ahead. >> caller: yes. i personally experienced post traumatic stress syndrome after
i think my brain has adapted to doing this kind of work. i don't suffer those kinds of things anymore. >> host: you know, they have some really good pastas in mogadishu been the expression on your parents face is rather priceless provided you include that? >> guest: i came home from somalia in late 2007 and crashed moved in with my parents. i think they at first struggle to understand what it was i was dealing with. the memories, the experiences, the disillusionment being broke and feeling under appreciated. just the sheer psychological effects of covering more. there were a few, i think, tends dinners as they tried to tease out of me what was troubling me. and it was not always pretty. >> here it is.
"war is boring" by david axe. new american library is the publisher. a birdie you go next? >> guest: i have not decided yet. every time i come home from a war zone i announce that i've retired. i'm in retirement. give me about six weeks and all the emerging plan the next thing. >> host: david axe, thank you for being on book tv preferred going to take you to the next event, simon winchester is just being introduced. his most recent book is on the atlantic ocean. we will be back after this. >> lovely to be back on the atlantic ocean. i had just been -- the book was launched in australia and the zeeland which seems most eccentric to me. for the last ten days of been on the west coast. and now back at the see that i claim to know a tiny bit about. when i had the idea of writing a book about the of lentic ocean it was necessarily is somewhat daunting task. how do you read a book about such a vast entity? 303 million square miles.
the initial thought i had was that i would write it as a biography. indeed that was the working title of the book. the reason for that is that the atlantic clearly had a definable moment of birth to between know when it started to be. that was about 090 million years ago. back then there was just one consonants in the world called pangaea surrounded by an enormous sea. essentially fractured and have. this he pulled into the middle. that was the beginning of the atlantic ocean. it did not assume its current configuration until 50 million years ago. that's when he was born. also has a pretty well definable moment of death. that is about a hundred and 70 million years from now.
basically what geological future rests lightly based on the university of texas, what they think will happen is that cape horn will start moving east along the bottom of the atlantic and continue south to south africa, move along the bottom of the indian ocean, reach australia and then set in australia spinning in the direction and then will move northward until it collides with singapore. a very weird construct, but basically when cape horn collides with singapore the atlantic will cease to be. but that will be in about a hundred and 70 million years. no need to worry about it. this concept of geological time, not everyone gets it. i was talking to a group of, i guess you can describe them as ladies who lunch in kansas city a few years ago.
i was talking to them about these yellowstone volcanic complex and how that is inevitably going to erupt together. when it does in this series of eruptions that will last for several hundred years, all the north and west and american cities, san francisco, portland, seattle, vancouver, calgary will be covered by hundreds of feet of volcanic dust. essentially the northwestern united states and western canada will be test. everyone -- don't worry about it. talking about geological time. maybe 250,000 years when all humankind will be extinct. the sigh of relief except for an extremely angry lady in the front row. stood up and waved her program. what is it? even americans will be extinct? [laughter] i had to say, yes, they will be. i'm going to become an american in january.
i'm going to be extinct. [applauding] thank you. if you have me. but the importance, this biography has a birth and death. the crucial part is the middle, the 200,000 or so years in which human kind occupies midlantic. how did you organize that? one day i was flying across the ocean. regarding it as most people do, a pond, an interminable plotting distance. you look at the little map in front of you. you're always just between greenland and newfoundland. when is this awful boring mass of water going to be over? well, to pass the time i brought with me a book of poetry by the former british foreign secretary, a chap called david allen. it was all the poems that he loved organized according to the seven ages of man from shakespeare. in an instant it gave me the structure for the book. all the world is a stage and all the men and women merely
players. act and sentences. one man in his time plays many parts. the number of acts being seven ages. the seven ages, if you remember, is the infant, the school board. then he goes on. we have infants, schoolchild, lover, soldier, justice, of men, and return to childhood. each one of those categories suddenly seemed to me would be amenable to corralling all the information i was gathering about the ocean. was a logical sense. for instance, in this older -- soldier chapter i could put things relating to work from the vikings to the romans. the big galion battles. in slavery and piracy and so forth. the lover chapter would be about poetry and architecture and music and how that developed in and around the atlantic.
so mercifully shakespeare who had never been to the is lentic ocean or sale on a ship gave them the way that he continues to do. spur to the rising of another book. thus far the critics seem to have been kind. this morning miami "herald," a very nice review and i'm grateful for it. no one thus far has said how on earth did you use shakespeare as a model for renting the atlantic? it was a bit of a gamble. what i thought i would do with my relatively limited time. the american publishers say, your a bridge. you don't celebrate this giving. you can now go and continue your book tour in a place where they don't celebrated, canada. while you're all happily eating turkeys all be in st. john's, newfoundland. raise a glass to me if you how. i thought what i do is just choose all those in just two stories from this great odds and
ends about the of lentic, one utterly trivial and an important and one surprising and quite important to give you an idea of the range of things that this great addition is. this expansive distance that grows slowly beneath the spirited is, in fact, a place of marvel and fascination. so the first story comes from the far northern atlantic. a group of islands which the brits like to get to because it's cold and rainy and windy and foggy. there is the faroe islands. about 62 degrees north between shetland and iceland. eighteen islands there. they all belong to denmark. they are populated essentially with 550,000 people. they can be said to be vikings. the last stronghold of the vikings and the language they speak is linguistically of
viking time. well, you will know the historical reputation. hard wired to sack and pillage and do all sorts of violent things. the frustrating thing for them now in this little part of the atlantic ocean is the faroe islands are at war with nobody. so the viking men, big, strapping chance. no one to fight. and so there is a super abundance of testosterone. they clearly need to purge themselves of the. they do so in this rather peculiar way which i'll attempt to describe. topographic leave the islands and as i mentioned, 18 of them and made of layers of battles. they are tilted over to the east sets that on the western side of all of these 18 islands there are very, very steep and sheer and high cliffs, some of the highest in the world.
in fact, some of them are 2,000 feet high. and in from the summit plessey slopes rundown. in a bill of about 30 degrees that leads off on to the eastern side. so the cliffs of the key to this story. the islands that i went to when i first saw this ritual was an island, the westernmost. there is 80,000-foot cliff, absolutely scheerer, cascading water falling. a dangerous place. but dotted all over it are tiny little patches of grass, not much bigger than that table. bright green grass. a decrease from the horizontal. and their each spring yam faroese man and young strong viking men come to the base of the cliffs in little boats. his intention is to get on to the cliff.
in normal circumstances that would be a foolhardy thing to do. they've been doing this for generations. there are ropes suspended. they come down to each talent. become all the way down to the seaside. a chap maneuvers his boat to the bottom of one of the spirit you can imagine the water going up and down. the bottom of the cliff this slimy with seaweed and eelgrass. a very forbidding place. these chaps are quite experienced. they judge the moment and the gap between the boat and the cliff. then at a prearranged a moment he jumps. he gets on to the bottom of the cliff, grabs the rope. with luck and a fair windy is secure. bill be wet and bruised, but he's there and secure. so he claims on and makes sure he is secure. he reaches down behind him into the will of the boat and reaches from it. the bottom of the boat has
dozens and dozens of babies sheep, little lambs. he arranges this around his neck and put his paws or what they call hooves in his shirt and arranges that under his collar so that the lamb is sort of secure. it is not the length of fallout. whereupon he starts climbing pretty climbs steadily and slowly up 200 feet, 400 feet, way up into the clouds. their way, way up there. he gets to one of these a arranged pieces of grass. now the grass is in reached with the guano of the bird that is most common. but the bird that is most common is the puffin. as i'm sure some of you know very well puffin one no is extremely rich in nitrates. this means that the grass that grows on these cliffs is very, very lush and wonderfully nutritious.
the only problem is it's almost totally vertical. for not talking about a meadow. anyway, he reaches the point where there is one of these vertiginous the steep tax is a very rich, green grass. this point he stops and secures himself. he takes the lam from his shoulders and plants it on the grass. i don't know if they experience terror. he looks down and sees 800 feet below him this see heating and crashing. he realizes pretty swiftly that the way he can avoid falling off is to her arrange his four legs in a certain manner. this he does. it takes about five minutes to do so. he is arranging his legs and achieving some degree of stability. the man has his hands on the outside. his other is clean on to the rope. encouraging and saying good things. finally after four or five minutes of encouragement he
thinks he's in a sufficiently stable position. he removes his hand. he says are you going to be okay? and then sort of puts a little who felt. very gingerly he removes his hand. the land remains for he is. everything's okay. he goes back. so if you go to the islands in the summer you will see the cliffs and the little green patches of grass. in the middle of nearly all of them a tiny little white dot. if you look to you will see it is a lamb. well, the nuance of the story comes in october or november in the autumn time when a chat comes back to his pre assigned rope and shimmies epic to a patch of grass.
instead of there being a land there there is now an enormous sheep. this thing has no room to exercise. it has been clinging for dear life and wolfing down this extremely rich grass and has become enormously fat. well, i would love to tell you that this gentleman is a compassionate man, but this is not the case. he is a viking. instead of putting his hand on the outside he puts it on the inside between the mountainside. with a quick and well practiced jerk backwards egos and the lamb tumbles through space. in several seconds he splashes with an enormous splashed into the ocean. the man goes down the rope and pulls it out. obviously not terribly well after this experience. place them in the boat and returns with a butcher and have what they say is indisputably
the tastiest and most luscious and tender lamb anywhere in the world. so absolutely no point to it. that's it. [applauding] with the other story does have a point to it. this is something maybe some of you know. something had discovered while i was researching the atlantic. it's 100% true. i find it completely fascinating. a little bit of background. this is also in the north atlantic. somewhat further south. there were these battles in both the first and second world wars that were known generically as the battles of the lentic. they were fought -- there were what were known as tonnage wars. u-boats' would attempt to interdict and sink eastbound cargo ships that were bringing from you people and canada food and supplies that we and a beleaguered britain needed during the war.
there was a technical difference between the two. in the second world war the german technology allowed them to fire their torpedoes while they were submerged which made them particularly dangerous. in the first or for most of the first predicted not do this and had to fire their torpedoes from the surface they would look through their periscopes, said the ship, rise to the surface, a medic and fire the torpedoes. well, this made the ships vulnerable to gunfire from the royal navy escort ships, the frigates and destroyers. and in the early years of the war our gunners were sufficiently good. we would hit and sank these u-boat's. that situation began to change in the summer of 1916. it did so for a very simple reason. the royal navy was running out of the propellant used to fire and naval shell from a six or seven or 8-inch gun.
we were running out because we had not gotten the key chemical component, which is a chemical called acetone which most ladies will know as no polish remover. up to this point britain produced its own acetone and bought from germany. there were unlikely to sell as acetone. well, that is the background you should know. the story is that every tuesday in manchester in northern england the guardian, the paper i used to work for, a man called cp scott, a legendary editor that came up with the phrase that is the mantra of all responsible journalists, comment is free, but facts are sacred. he would have lunch every tuesday with someone he found interesting. the person on this particular -- early august 1916, the chappie had lunch with was the professor
of biology at the university of manchester who was a white russian. he had lunch. was serious. talking about all sorts of things. toward the end he became very excited and said, incidentally, i have invented a new technique for producing a very large quantities of acetone. scott had no interest and had never heard the word before. no interest in it. he was courteous pretty fired away this-affirmation. and then the next tuesday he happens to be in london where he was having lunch with the -- with david lloyd george was the minister of munitions in the british war cabinet. he went on and on about the desperate state of things and how we could not fire our guns because we did not have any cordite because we have run short of acetone. this was the second time in the week he had heard this word.
the light went on. he said i met this funny little chap last week declined to be able to produce acetone and large quantities. he came alive. is it true? did he appear to be a crackpot? no. he seemed very nice. well, we better have him down to london. he was brought down an interview determine that he was not in that case. it said this said, well, what do you need? he said, well, i need two things. i need a large factory with something like a vats are still sore hopper's. they said, well, we think we can help you there. the nicholsons' jenn factory in east london has just gone bankrupt. he said that would be magic. that's just what i need. well, i need something with a large amount of cellulose. something like maze. that keeps coming over from america and canada and keeps getting torpedoed by the germans.
we are short of that. that's the problem were trying to solve. he said what about chesnutt's? well, as some of you may know in the autumn time in britain there is a game played by children called conquers. you pick up from the ground fallen water chestnut. barring from your mother he bore a hole in it and tied a string. other nasty little boys with similarly equipped with try to break your wrist. the rules are very arcane and complicated. every summer -- every autumn of british children are hard wired to collect chesnutt's. we need chesnutt's. the word went out to the youth of britain in the autumn of 1916. collect chesnutt's, but don't play the games. given to your mother's. so their mothers or these chestnuts. on orders from the ministry of
for the canter villages and towns all over england and collected them, but ben zacks. the former jenn factory, using his magic has promised to a trickle. a torrent of pure acetone poured out. it was put in and loaded onto trains and taken down with the royal naval ordnance factory was turned into cordite, loaded onto ships. the guns started firing. by the late autumn the whole calculus began to change in britain's favor. submarine started to sink, and we can rightly say at the end of winter in february, march april 1917 that far from losing the battle of the atlantic burden was wooden winning. so come april and may the government feeling somewhat snug
said you know, the person that was the key to all of this was this strange gentleman up in manchester, a professor. we ought to take note of this and give him some sort of present. not very imaginative. they say and i did. we'll give him a knighthood. we will make him sir. as a rather nice ring to it. so the only problem was that he was in british. he was a white russian immigrant. they defeated the foreign secretary and the british government who was called arthur to make the offer. so down comes to london. he sat in the great ambassadorial waiting room. he was swept off. he sat down. i'm really pleased to say that on behalf of his majesty's government would like to make you the offer of knighthood. the king will might you.
you can be called sir. he said, that's awfully nice of you. i think you, and i'm glad to have helped, but i don't want a knighthood. i don't want any award. as you know, secretary of the english legal scientists. what i would like is a formal declaration from the british government that you would look with favor upon the establishment of a homeland for the jewish people in palestine. he says that sounds like something we could probably talk about. dural throughout the summer they discuss this very complex issue. was formally decided on the 17th of november 1917. the declaration was written with a former copy sent to the president of the world federation. a copy out of gratitude to the man who began the process, the head of the english league. his majesty's government looks with favor upon the establishment of a homeland for the jewish people in palestine. of course that is the bedrock
document which saw 31 years later the creation of the state of israel. israel opposes its technical existence to chemistry, a quirk of chemistry for want of acetone and the north atlantic ocean. [applauding] so my point is then as it were from soup to nuts, from sheep to israel the atlantic ocean has got it all. i would be delighted to answer any questions you may have. thank you very much for coming along. [applauding] [applauding] >> i believe -- yes, their is a microphone over there.
>> thank you. first of all, i have read each of your books and listened to them on tape. i'm hoping that this one will also be narrated. >> it is. >> looking forward to that. it really test dorsals. i wondered if you travel around the globe, we all live these mundane lives day to day. you pick up on such extraordinary stories. i'm wondering what first propelled you in that direction to move from the natural sciences over to one of our greatest popular historians? >> a nice question. thank you. i think i got -- my initial thought was a wanted to be a sailor. as a schoolboy my image of myself -- i'm now 66 years old. wearing crisp widely laundered shorts and be an admiral in the royal navy commanding an aircraft carrier and putting down small wars in
the corners of our empire. however, that was not to be. we don't have an empire anymore. the main reason was that i -- the naval college in britain is called dartmouth. i went there for the exams and happily passed them. for various medical examinations. everything went swimmingly until what turned out to be the last day. they gave me a bidding bring back binder with a series of colored circles in which were dots. they said what number do you see? as it 47. the doctor said i beg your pardon? what do you see in the next page? twenty-seven. he slammed the book with this horrible finality and said he may not know this, but you are colorblind. her majesty takes a rather dim view of people that are red green color blind and can't tell left from right at sea driving her very expensive for ships around the world. you better go and do something else.
there's a book which some of you may have read, called the making of the atomic bomb. it appears the short honest of footnote today me think as you're thinking, what, that's the most incredible story. i found out the people who run the institution, it all checks out. i think it's remarkable, and that you didn't know about it. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you much, ma'am. >> i've read most of your books, and i just read the most recent one and it's exceedingly good if not your best yet. i was wondering if you could share a brief story and questions to you in terms of textbook in america as far as children learning about the discovery of north america, and whether you foresee any changes in the textbooks because it's practicing and preaching of
christopher columbus. >> thank you for that, but i curse you in a way for asking. i'm sure i'll never get reservations in italian restaurants in this country again. [laughter] what i'm trying to do in the book in a kind way is to dethrown christopher columbus in that he was the first. we don't tend to honor the way who was the first and that person did 491 years before christopher columbus, the son of the eric the red and landed here and in 1960 they discovered the settlement they built. it was no settlement built by columbus. he just got to the island, but there's an exquisite settlement looked after well at a place called lander me does, and --
lands meadows, and when you get there, it's an extraordinary place. it's a foothold on the country who received all the benefit of european immigration. in this settlement, there's evidence that they kept cattle, there's iron wear they made and used and all cutlery and vegetables gardens, but best of all, i think, is that they had time there to both conceive and bear a child, a first european child ever to be born in north america, and they named him which we know now, the most delightful name called snorey. i just love that. [laughter] it's a name i want to give my dog because that's all she does. [laughter] anyway, snorey and his family
were defeated by the weather and had come essentially to the wrong place and the wind and rain and gail and ice, they thought, why don't we have that in norway and do that with our friends instead of living in a mud hut. they only stayed here until 1010 and went back, and the difference is that 490 years later when columbus and his gang came to a place was more benign and things would grow and people stayed. climate defeated them, but they were the first, and every 12th of october when people celebrate columbus day and in city of district of columbia and columbus, ohio, and people tepid to grind their teeth. there's shocked people who are closing their shots in honor of
the man, but i would like to see a great deal more honor and indeed in textbooks. the children know who leaf ericson is. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am a very, very huge fan of all of your works. my first book was begin to me my by mother and i read it in two days, and it's an amazing story. what my question is, do you go through historical text or what have you and find interesting stories not fully explored or do you just say, oh, this might be interesting to write about. do you have a file cabinet saying this is what the next book will be about? >> sort of. i mean, to give you an example, one from the past and done from the future, the professor in the
madmen was a well known story to the small community of lexicographers, and i came along it with a book called chasing the sun, and there's a tiny footnote that said readers of this book, will, of course, be familiar with the story of wc miner, the deer ranged american murder, and i was reading it in the bath at the time, and i sat up in the bath and said, i just don't believe this. has there ever been a book written about it? it was a moment that completely changed my life, and so i will remember it for the rest of my days. it was 7:15 in the morning in new york where i was having my bat and 12:15 in oxford where i knew one lexicographer, a woman called elizabeth noels.
the phone was by the bath and i picked it up and i remembered her number. if i had not, my life would have been different. i dialed it, and it didn't answer, and i was about to hang up when she answered participanting -- panting. she said i'm going to lunch, who are you? i said i'm simon winchester. have you heard of a chap called wc miner? she said you're in luck because i know more about him more than anybody in creation because i wrote a paper on him ten years ago that was published in wisconsin. she said, if you do me the honor of getting out of the bath, i'll fax it to you. in the bibb yog my, there was no mention of a book, so i thought i can write a book. that's the moment.
if i could briefly for the gentleman behind you from the future, i'm embarking on a book about america now, and one of the figures is a chap called clarence king, first director of the united states geological survey, and he organized an expedition called the 40th parallel survey which he and a bunch of geologists walked in a straight line for six years due east to cheyenne seeing what america is made of. there will be a chapter on this survey. clarence king was a white, yale educated geologist, but he also had a fondnd for black ladies, and he created an alternative personality for himself, james todd, who is a light skinned poolman porter, and using that persona, met and married a black
woman and had five children, so that's the kind of -- you read the papers, the geological papers thinking -- i'm just going to do a book about clarence king, and then what? [laughter] that's the kind of thing that seems to happen. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> i just wanted to say i enjoyed the back, and i guess you kind of answered the question, but do you intend to do a sequel called the pacific? >> no. i've already written a book about the pacific that you would not have read because it died an early death. everybody said the pacific is the ocean of the future. you have to write a book about it. i drank that, and spent two years traveling everywhere from
alaska to autotrail ya, and it was -- australia, and it was fun to do, but it was a failure. one of my books about america actually about the midwest sold 12 copies. [laughter] it wasn't a big of a disaster as that, but it was not particularly badly written, but while the pacific is the ocean of the future, what is isn't is the ocean of the past as far as human kind is concerned because yes, you had magellan and captain cook and the poll notion navigation, but you had the mediterranean and as i would argue the atlantic is modern sea civilization, so no, no sequel.
[laughter] >> there was another book written about cod fish to the development of western civilization. do you have any good fish stories in your book? >> i have a lot about fish in chapter six and the overfishing. in cod we trust used to be the moe toe. -- moto. they used to say that there was so many cod that you could walk from iceland to newfoundland on the backs of these fish. if you saw a movie of captain's courageous, the kipling story, the number offish was unbelievable, and they are all gone. that's because of the decisions taken by the canadian government, a politically inspired stupid expedient decision taken in the 1990s that
destroyed one of the greatest fisheries in the world. i imagine in the next six days i'll have argumentative government officials, but there's no doubt about it, they ruined one of the great cod fisheries in the world, and yet at the other end of the atlantic, there's an extremely unattractive fish called the tooth fish, the ugh list thing, but you eat because it's called chillian sea bass. it's neither chilian or a bass. it has connection with the sea though. [laughter] that was in danger, but it is no more because we've learned our lesson, and now i think we're running our fisheries in a sensible fashion, but the tragedy of newfoundland cod, to the gentleman that asked, yes, there are fish stories, some good and others not so good. i gather we don't have much longer, but go ahead. >> there was no definitive book
on the gulf of mexico. with your qualifications in geology, would you consider a book on the gulf of mexico? >> it's a nice thought and technically according to the people who determine where the oceans begin and end, the gulf of mexico is a part of the atlantic ocean, and so the deepwater horizon accident is an atlantic accident, so i write about that in this book and make a point of including places like the north sea and the river play and the gulf of guinea that we think are not part of the atlantic, but the gulf is. i don't know if i could write a separate book on it, but i think i've done a fairly good service to the ocean in this book. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you for coming back and making this year's christmas
list, house gift list, a fore gone conclusion, don't tell if you know anybody i know. i want to say that mr. wynn chester is autographing books on the other side of the elevator, so please go there and line up. he does have a plane to catch, so there will be no personalization. if you are staying for meghan mccain, you can move up and in and all of that, and we're going to have a stage change. >> thank you very much. thank you. [applause] >> and you've been watching simon winchester here live from
the miami book fair international. happenman auditorium at miami decade college. next is meghan mccain on date of "dirty sexy politics," the name of her book. you can see the street scene here at the book fair and booktv is now joined by two authors. the book, "sea gull one: two brothers to the rescue." lily prellezo with jose. who is this book? >> it's a book that rescued the cuban rafters escaping communist cuba in the 1990s. >> why did it have to be formed? >> well, when government doesn't provide or suffice, then -- and you have a community
oriented necessity, you have to take action on your own, and this is something that is called -- i organized a group of pilots to work in the straits of florida and fly missions in tandem to locate the rafters coming out from cuba seeking freedom in the united states and fleeing the disaster of that island. >> what was the government policy that said brothers to the rescue in motion? >> well, the government -- there was no really government policy that set them in motion. what happened that called motion? >> well, it was all result of cuba's failed policies probably and people left by any means they could possibly come up with, and there was all of sudden a surge of rafters leaving cuba, and one day, one young rafter, 15 years old, the coast guard filmed the rescue
and died in the arms of the agent, and it was seen on the news and said we have to do something about this and that's how brothers to the rescue got started. >> when government doesn't suffice with what they provide, it's the coast guard that was extremely helpful to us and without them, we couldn't do our job. to find the rafters, that was our job and community's interest, and we implemented brothers to the rescue to provide for that need. >> how did you train the pilots, where did you find them, and what is sea gull one? >> okay. seagull one is my sign as a pilot. i was seagull one making the radio calls to the other pilots in the formations that we flew to locate the rafters. the other pilots were from 19 nationalities who joined us in their interest to help others and it was a matter of helping
brothers, and some came to gain hours as pilots, but believe me after you flew one or two missions there, you were hooked with the idea of saving lives or you simply left. we have three brothers from argentina, the original brothers to rescue, and alberto and -- they were the first pilots to all organize the group and locate the other pilots like themselves where young men were part of the community and were pilots already, so we recruited pilots and recruit observers in the rear seats of the plane and carried members of the press, and there was no mission we didn't carry a member of the press with us because we wanted
to document what was happening there to, you know, make everything what was happening in cuba and the reasons they were leaving the island so no better way to say that than the image of a rafter, of o person floating in the middle of nowhere in an intertube. that's what we were doing. >> lily prellezo, what about the clinton administration? did they not assist? >> brothers to the rescue never asked the u.s. government for help monetary or otherwise. of course the u.s. coast guard was instrumental because they lifted people out of the raft and saved their lives, but the clinton administration, what happened after the exodus of 1994 was that the policy changed, and the dry foot came about, and then it was no longer viable to be rescuing or flying mission to rescue people just returned to guantanamo or
returned to cuba. >> wet foot, dry foot policy? >> if a cube ban were leaving cuba and touched dry land, he could be processed for immigration. if they were intercepted at sea, they were returned to guantanamo. >> i want to say in the clinton administration was instrumental in terminating and three of our airplanes and i was flying one flew in a search and rescue mission and make cuba came after us and shot down two planes and i survived the third plane. the clinton administration was aware that the attack from cuba was going to take place. all they did was document the attack, and what they could have done which was giving us a word
of or a notice that this was impending to us. all they did was document it, and no only that they interrupted regular procedure of the defenses of the aircraft from homestead air base would take off to interpret cuba, and that was automatic standard operating procedure was interrupted and it had to have been from the white house. they were told to stand down battle stations at the precise moments that brothers of rescue needed to prevent the shootdown, so i am pointing me castle at castle for the shootdown, the natural enemy, and the clinton administration for aiding and abetting the shootdown of the brothers to the rescue plane. > were you in cuban air space? >> international air space, and no matter where we would have
been, there's no reason for a mink airplane to go out there. civilian aircraft with civilian pilots when they have been notified we had a search and rescue mission and contacted by radio. they know what we are doing there. we had been doing it for years, and they chose to kill a at that time, and the u.s. government having previous knowledge did nothing to prevent it. >> now, there was a flight over cuba; is that correct? >> there has been -- we took flights over cuba on three or four occasions in the past. one time the previous year, i flew over havana and there was a demonstration for the cuban people, but that day, nothing, and we were forced or would have dropped leaflets there from
international air space to cuba. this may be hard to come prehepped to someone who is not a pilot, but when the air is in favorable conditions, you can put leaflets on the other side of cuba from international air space. >> how did you find this story, lily prellezo? >> well, the story was always there. it's how the story found me is how it happened. a mu chiewl friend introduced me to jose, and he wanted someone to write the story, but never felt comfortable with anyone, so i feel honored i was chosen to write the story and i interviewed a hundred people to tell what it was like to be a brother or sister to the rescue. >> how many people were lost in this rescue operation? >> you mean? >> brothers to the rescue? >> four people were murdered
when the planes were shot down. four men lost their lives. >> how many rafters do you estimate that you helped? >> by 1994, we had already rescued 4200 rafters running our missions, and then after that, we rescued 30-some thousand more by assisting the coast guard when the 1994 exodus from cuba came about. in our own efforts, 4200 saved by the efforts of brothers to the rescue. >> were they returned to cuba? >> those 4200 no, and the 30,000 we assisted later, most of them weren't, and from then on the policy changed to the wet foot dry foot policy, and the government started sending them
back to cuba and renamed them migrants. they were refugees actually because the conditions in cuba made them refugees. it was handled with is a map ticks as -- sigh systematics as usually and they went back which was sad because the united states was involved in as many circumstances that made it necessary for those people to come back to come to the united states on 1962 i think it was or 63, the president then proclaimed the lull -- i'm forgetting, but it made it possible for the cubans to stay here and the law was not repealed or anything. it was just a mandate where the clinton administration to return
them which has made so far the return of the cuban refugees possible back to the island, and -- >> now, tell us your history. when were you born in cuba, how did you get to the states #, and what's been your involvement in fighting the cube ban government? >> i was born in cuba, and as a young man, i was recruited by the cia, if you may, because we were working at the time with the internal organization in cuba called the mr, and cia promised to us that they were going to give us all the help we needed to change the government of cuba to a demographic government. those were only words. that ended up and known later as bay of pigs. >> you were involved with that?
>> yeah. i was sent back into cuba as a radio operator to send back information. in other words, intelligence to the u.s. on what was going on before the invasion, and everything they promised and said was going to be done on our behalf was simply betrayed. that included the invasion. >> now, what did your family do in cuba prior to your coming over to the states? >> my father used to work for a company, sugar sales, they were a u.s. company in cuba that, you know, was in the sugar industry. the ironny was fidel castro coming to power was something that we didn't like, like at all. >> lily prellezo, tell us your background. >> i was born in cuba and came to the united states when i was 4 years old. my father was involved in the
counterrevolution, so my older brothers and sisters had already come here, but my mother wanted me and my little sister out and put us on a plane by ourselves. i was 4 and she was 2. >> is that peter pan? >> no before that. that was 1960 but it was urgent that she had to put us on a plane, of course, it's only a 90 minute flight, but you know. when's the next time you saw your mother? >> i think a few months after that. >> she managed to get over? >> yeah, they came back and forth my father and her. >> how strong is the cuban community now in southern florida? is it still loyal to the overthrow or have enough generations succeeded that it's less? >> it's less hard line in let's go to invade them. perhaps that sentiment is that
strong, but there are people who would rather go and just, you know, invade physically, but i think there are more people open to speaking, opening relations, perhaps lifting the embargo. i know there's a lot of people that feel that way because they feel the only way to change things is to change it from within, and you can't if they don't have any information from outside, and that's the most important thing is to get information from the rest of the world inside of cuba. >> part of what bricks rescue, and that what made us a tart was to promote single disobedience to promote nonviolent approach and reclaim human and civil rights of the cuban people. we started sending literature to the island and slogans like i am the change and that meant you
assumed respondent for your circumstances, and if you want to change, we have to have it ourselves and not expect the u.s. to do it for us, and other messages like establishing our relationship to one another look the one that says let congress know brothers to not break that communication in cuba that the government had a footing to them to call each other and to us that was a bad word. we wanted to call each other brothers, and in the mission of brothers to the rescue, i say the second object after the saving of lives was the first. in reaching the cuban communities with a message of we care about you. there is such thing as human solidarity. we are willing to risk our lives to save yours, and we will be there for you to assist you in the land that you decide to not
take in anymore and come to the u.s. by whatever means. >> now, in the book, "seagull one," you identify the god mother. >> yes, i interviewed the congresswoman who is close friends with jose. she was there to take their needs to a higher place in the government. that's what god parents do. they know someone to get something for you that you can't get yourself, and she worked tire leslie for brothers to the rescue. >> she got the coast guard to come to our call. >> fidel castro has stepped down, and has policy changed? is there more trade and travel between cuba? could you go back or lily, could you go back? >> i don't think i could go back
to cuba. i think they would shoot me on site. they missed the first time, but i don't know that they would the second time. i don't think there's been changed or fidel castro as seized to be the ultimate voice on the io land and his brother consults with him and managing on a higher level the country for his brother, but nevertheless, it's still his brother. >> i would love to go back and have a book signing there. i would love to get this story inside of cuba. it would be great. >> some are going back and forth. can you fly from miami? >> yes, you can. i don't have family there, and i would love the see the country where i was born because i don't remember anything and just the natural beauty there, i would love to see that, but i wouldn't feel comfortable at this time to go to cuba. >> we have been talking with l
lily prellezo and jose, the mog true store -- amazing true story of rescue to the -- brothers to the rescue. >> thank you. >> several other events are coming up en, and in just a minute meghan mccain is in the chapman auditorium talking about her book, "dirty sexy politics" that came out last august and then it's jon press and doug presenting on their political books. it's a political panel, and we're covering that as well and "freedom" will be talked about and call in opportunities for you. the 10th parallel, and as well as a new book out on robert morris, the financier of the american revolution. now we're going to go back to the chapman auditorium waiting
for meghan mccain to get started, and weem go live to chapman. >> i didn't hear my alarm this morning, and it occurred to me a half hour late that it was my alarm. we are really pleased to have you here, and to have our next guest. she's adorable. oh, i know you're not supposed to say that, but she is cute, and so is the gentleman introducing her too. very quickly next year's dates are the 30th-20th of november -- 13-20th, oh, please, thank you. if you have a schedule, refer to it, the new printed schedule
because there were over the period of days some changes. i don't think we have anything else. let's get this program started. it is my pleasure to introduce giovani, the cutest reporter at cbs4. [laughter] [applause] >> i don't know about that though. but i think you guys really want to hear from meghan mccain, so let's get this started. meghan, come on through. [applause] hi, everybody. thank you so much for coming out this afternoon to watch me and giovani talk about my book. >> yeah, we're going to have fun with this. let's talk about your favorite florida memories and now back in mime. what do you remember? >> i love florida. i love being in miami.
some of my most favorite memories were campaigning here. i'm staying at the biltmoore. if you read my book, i almost overdosed and some great memories too and i love it here and it's nice to be in warm weather with good food. >> i don't know if you have seen the cover, but a lot of people think this is a photo shopped photo. it is not. this is 5 real elephant. >> yeah, that's a real photo shoot. this elephant is famous and it's been in music videos, and on the cover of vanity. her name was -- i forgot her name now, ty, but it took all day. >> you know, when you first open the book, the first thing you
talk about is freedom. it's a big thing for you. what does freedom mean to you? why is it the first thing you talk about here? >> i know how many of you read the book, but the first line in is it freedom is addictive, and the book was, for me, a coming of age story, and i grew up reading primary colors and fear of loathing on the campaign trail, and i was inspired by those books, and i just wanted to write my sort of coming of age story. i was 22 when i joined my father's campaign and 24 when it ended which is a pinnacle time for any young person. it was such a labor of love, and anna, a good friend here from the campaign, and it was just such a labor of love, and people that have responded to it seem to be people like me that feel disenchapterred by the political -- disenchanted by the political
schedule in general. it's refreshing to see 20-somethings that relate to this and coming of age stories. i'm happy anybody is reading it honestly. >> you talk about feeling like an outcast in this campaign. why? >> well, i was thrown off, so that's a pretty good message by anyone that i wasn't liked. during the primary process, i had a really amazing time and that's when i first started blogging for my father, and then after he became the nominee and john payton -- search andsarah palin was with him and i was addressed for not talking the right way, and i came through self-loathing and what's wrong with me and why do i talk and act like this. after the election, i realized that there's nothing wrong with me.
there's nothing wrong with anybody else, and all these pundits and experts seem to think that young people need to change and be a mold to be in a political process will be the end of any young person being involved in politics, especially republican politics. me for personally, that was inspiring. it took time and reflection to write about it. >> you mentioned sarah palin, and you are trying to see who is going to be the running mate. you're going through the folks who are possible contenders. when you found out it was sai rafters, what did you think? >> i started country -- crying. [laughter] it's not a prelude in the book, but the first real chapter, i didn't know who she was like everybody else, and i started googling, and there was flashes on the news and saying her name
wrong, and there's no way to describe it. i had no idea who she was and on the bus to the event meeting her, i was told she had a bunch of children, and that i was going to have to figure it out and help them and i'm good at rolling with it, and then i did, and it unfolded is the way it unfolded for everybody else. i didn't have inside information and found out an hour and a half before i went on stage. i cried because i didn't know who she is. i had never met her or known anything about her. at the time there was little to find out about her on the internet. there was no information which i thought she was bad. >> one of the things you decided to start through this whole thing was that blog, the mccain blog. tell me about that.
i wanted to, but i'm not a pundit, or i wasn't at the time, eni had little -- and i had little experience and i went to columbia which is a liberal college, and that was the red scarlett for me because i went there. it ended up being my baby, this blog, and it was very scfl with young people, and it was liberating and i may joke about the experience, but it was the most amazing experience of my life which is why i was inspired to write about it. >> you talk a lot about mistakes. what is a mistake that you learned from the most? >> i talk about in the book also i made too many things about me. it wasn't about me, and that's age and reflection. i was still young when i joined. i don't think it's about the person, but the idea, the party,
the politician, getting over the facts that people didn't like me, like, it wasn't about me. if i could go back in time, i would do things different and be less bratty to the secret service. >> you talk a lot about atracking young voters. that's something important to you. how did you do that? i know the mccain blog was one way, but what else? >> they sent me to campaign at colleges, but i was more effective post election because i felt like i no longer had to answer to people anymore or answer to my father's staff or advisers, and the great ironny now is a lot of these people can't get job of their owns, and i have no problem working right now, and i think it's very ironic. i don't think people who claim to be experts necessarily are. i did not read going rogue, but
i know she felt she was molded and not allowed to be herself. i think women in politics are asked to be put in a mold and small box to fit in which is why i think sarah had a hard time as well. >> what are some secrets about the campaign trail? >> secrets? well, there's lots of secrets. i don't know. i put a lot of it in the book. >> you talk about drunkenness with some reporters and things like that. >> yeah, i think the nature of the campaign is what people would be surprised at. you get on a bus every day and journalists are with you and you say at the same hotels and there's a reason why people get married post elections generalist and staffers and a lot of hankie panky on the plane, but not with me though, but it's like being on tour with a band. i have a friend who is a musician was touring at the same time with his album.
the trips merit each other. it's more fun than people give it credit for. i creed "game -- i read game change, and the book missed the fun aspects of it. you're going on tour to trining to change -- try to change the world, and i thought mark made it depressing and sad and even for the obama campaign which i know they had a good time as well. i have pictures of me and a few journalists doing care i don't care key in iowa. >> one of your recent articles was about you being, yes, i am a true republican. >> yes. >> tell me a little bit about that because obviously there's some issues you don't agree with with the republican party. >> i was challenged to take a purity test which you -- anyone can do it online to see if you are a republican, and i passed which a lot of people
were mad about that i passed, but i think we live in a weird time where i know that i get harassed on a daily basis for not being pure enough and people are ask why i don't become a democrat, but i believe in the ideas of the republican party, but i believe in gay marriage. there's a sex tape and did a lot of allegedly scandalous thing, but people come to her defense because she's against gay marriage, but me because i'm for it and go to google if you want to see a bunch of stuff written about me, but i think it's sad you are harassed now if you exit the mold a little bit. >> do you think there's something wrong with the republican party today? >> i worry about the tea party influence. i worry that it's too extreme. i understand why tea partyers are angry and i understand why
and i myself am frustrated, but i don't think it's organized well and there's no cohesive message, and without that, you can't win. with my father's campaign, there wasn't one message to hope and change. i think once we get that and instead of saying we hate obama and the spending, that's not a message. there needs to be an inspare ration until message of some kind, so yes, i do worry. >> your very hon -- you're very honest. what is the message you want people to get from the book, the one most important message? >> when i was growing up and on my father's campaign, i went through self-loathing and depression and i thought something was wrong with me. i thought i did not fit in. i can't have a career in politics or in republican politics, and again, i came to a point where my readers were at home saying i feel the exact
same way. i'm a young woman. i don't completely tell the party line, but i want to be involved. i tell people out there, especially young people, you're not alone out there. i feel the exact same way. my father is a famous politician, and i've been in politics however long you want to go back. my mother was pregnant with me at the 84 convention. you're not alone. i think we can come together and work together, the older and younger generation in the republican party. i'm still a believer and will fight the fight until i die. i love it. it's what i do. that's my message. >> all right. i guess a lot of you have some questions, so why don't we start getting questions from the audience for meghan. >> anything you want. i'll answer almost anything. >> well, i enjoy the part about the politics, but what about the
dirty sexy side? [laughter] >> you know, people are sort of like, i was asked this question or "good morning, america" i was sell bat because i'm not attracted to politics -- men in politics. it was more about the journalists sleeping about each other and the staffers and sex and politics go hand in hand like anything else. >> why the title? >> i loved -- actually i was at a party with some of my girlfriends explaning the experience. it was fun and crazy and fun and dirty and sexy. my friend was drunk and said i liked the dirty and sexy. that's where it came from. >> is that really the most interesting thing going on? we're hear for you meghan.
real world miami? i'm a child of pop culture honey, i recognize you. >> i'm trying to be nice. i'm a democrat here. >> you should be happy i recognized you. you look fantastic. >> so do you. [laughter] >> one of your cast members is now a congressman. sorry. >> are you going to let -- [laughter] >> sorry, go ahead. sorry. >> my question, i'm curious, and if you could please just talk a little bit about when you were asked to leave mccain's campaign? >> sure. >> how you reck fied the relationship with him as a politician and a father. >> this is something i still deal with today, dan, from real world miami. [laughter] i was thrown off and i went to
an image consul at that particular time in l.a. -- consultant who helped me and i was still swearing a lot and it was a high tense situation, and i wasn't -- i say my job was to stand still and look pretty. that's it. i didn't talk to my father about it because he was running for president. i talked to my mother about it and the choice was go home or campaign by yourself. i didn't want to go home, so i campaigned with my friends and ended up having the most amazing time of the entire campaign because it gave me a tour bus by myself and we toured and went into towns and like want to see a presidential campaign bus, come on. it was really fun. it ended up being like we made our own fun. it became sort of a weird story, rumors that went on and rumors about why i was thrown off. some of them were that they wanted to highlight bristol
being the pro-life daughter, and i was the opposite of that. i don't have anger about it now because it was my experience, but people bring it up about don't ask don't tell now with me and my father personally and politically. i grew up in a very open household, always talking and open dialogue. my parents know the daughter they raised, and i say, if you didn't want me to be like this, you shouldn't have sent me to the things like debate camp if you didn't want me this way. they love me and support me. i think my father wishes sometimes i was a teacher, but he still loves me, and i have to separate the political and perm, otherwise i won't have a relationship with my parents. it's that simple. i have to separate. i'm going home for thanksgiving tomorrow and i'm not going to be talking about don't ask don't tell. it's a choice i have to make that i can fight with my parents or have a relationship with them and do my own thing.
>> did you ever say anything when you were -- did you have a conversation about that? >> you know, he thought that i was being a problem as well. it was more that -- i think looking back now, i think you have to play the game right. i think you sort of have to, you know, not kiss but, but i my blog, and i'm important and whatever, but he said, you know, all the advisers have agreed that you're becoming a problem. you have to leave. i did, and i was never really invited back, so it's part of my story so -- i didn't mean to embarrass you, i just grew up watching tv, so -- yes, sir? >> hi, i'd like to know what you think about your change on father's viewpoint on immigration policy. >> what?
his immigration policy. >> it just changed to drastically. >> we are talking about arizona's infamous and that tore yows -- i'm sorry? he was asking about my father's immigration policy that got a lot of publicity this summer. i was against it. i think it was a very poorly written bill. i think you can't pull people over for being his panic. i group up in arizona, a border state and hispanic culture is a large part of arizona, and it was overblown by the media. i think it's very poorly written. i don't think it's going to go through, and i think, you know, i come from a family of imgrants only two generations ago and immigration is a large participant of being an american. i worry at the time when we make calls on who comes to the country. i love this country. being an american is still as
ronald reagan a shining beacon on a hill for people from other countries. i was against it and it's unfortunate it got the negative publicity that it did because i have friends who are small business owners in arizona who took major economic hits because of it. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> hello. >> hi. >> i'm old enough to remember your father as a pow and coming back to the states and running for u.s. senate, and i've always thought those would be his legacies, and now i fear that sai rafters palin -- sarah palin will be his legacy. what are your thoughts? >> no matter where i go in my life now, the dentist, the blackjack dealer, i want to hear about sarah palin.
people are curious. her reality show is incredibly popular and her daughter is on dancing with the stars. they have safe rated the media. this is everyone wanting her. there's a need people need to feel. i say she's a drug that the media needs a hit from. this is not my doing. i'm not particularly interested anymore. whether or not she's my father's legacy, we need to be concerned about america's legacy. i think she is running for president right now. i'm personally about belief. i've been in politics long enough to know she's running. america needs to decide and republicans need to decide where we are going from here. i think my father is a rock star, and i think god forbid the day he's no longer here, i think his legacy will stand on his own. [applause] >> thafor coming. you have been delightful.
it's terrific. what books and magazines do you read? it's a trick question. [laughter] >> you know, it's amazing i get asked this question all the time. it's like somehow i would not know the answer to that or something. people just ask women this questionment first of all, i read blogs every morning. plight koa or -- "politico" or perez hilton sometimes. i read usa today,ed new yorker, people and us weekly. i can't deny that. i read everything. i read conservative blogs, some liberal blogs, if you consider the huffington post a liberal blog, but i like to get it all in. >> just one more comment. i think you're terrific. you go on shows that don't agree
with you. >> thank you. you know, i take a lot of heat for going on especially rachel madow. and people go crazy that i'm going on her show and people can't seem to handle it, and i think if we only go on fox as republicans, if this is -- i worry more so, and i have a column coming out about this is we live in society where republicans only go on fox. think about palin running for president only just doing interviews on fox. this can in fact happen. all she has to do is twitter and facebook her message and do an interview. i worry about this. i worry about this time. i worry about what's happening. for me, i love going on shows on fox and msnbc, i like some shows on cnn. you good to me, i'm good to
you. you give me a chance to speak, you're cool. you harass me, i'll never go on your show again. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> great job. two-part question. can you briefly define the principles and values that make you a republican and the principles and values that would not make you republican or even a democrat? >> gay marriage is a big one that makes me a democrat even though i don't know what democrats are doing for the gay marriage or gay rights movement at all right now. until i see president obama seeing more moves, it's hip critical to say democrats are making a gray rights movement. i'm pro-life. i think the government should stay out of our lives as much as possible. those are the three main principles, and i'm pro-life, progay marriage republican. people don't reconcile that with who i am, but it's what i believe.
i grew up christian, and it's what i continue to believe. people have a really hard time with the fact that i'm also probirth control and against abstinence and social issues come into play and strong national defense, and i continue to support the wars in afghanistan and iraq. i think that's the problem where people lose me when people very strict conservative republicans, but i am who i am, and i meet a lot of people with the same beliefs, and i'd rather be out and honest with what i believe rather than go on tv and fake it. ..
that. >> well, it sounds like you were never a fan, ma'am. sounds like you were never a fan. i don't think my father has walked away from his principals. i think the media changed. i think we live in different times when he ran 2000. i don't have a hard time reconciling who my father is. he doesn't have a problem recognizing who i am. he's my father. i don't go home and talk about politics like him. someone going on in the news, i've written a column, then it will come up. normally it's stop swearing on tv, meghan. i can't live like that, hating my father, being angry at some of the political decisions they made. the citizens of arizona just re-elected him to the senate.
obviously he's doing something popular. at the end of the day, my father, senator graham and senator lieberman inspire me. if my father let me come on both of his campaigns when i was 14. i don't have a hard time reconciling. if you've lost faith, i'm sorry you feel that way. i haven't. >> was it hard to tell your father i don't agree with you, was that hard? >> no, i haven't agreed with him since i was like 10. they don't like me talking about sex. that seems to be the big -- either of my parents like that. but i starting speaking at colleges years ago. i think it's natural for college students to ask. there's very little i won't talk about. meghan, please, please, we raised you christian.
yes? >> as a young political person, what is your strategy for helping to prevent that sarah palin does not become our next president? >> um, well, again complicated question. i keep says that for the moment if i had to choose someone the second i would be on team romney. not like he's without his complicationing and skeletons of the past. we need, my person opinion, i think the republican party needs someone that can go up against him in the election. sarah palin is one of the most polarizing people, not just in the country, but in the world. i go to school, sometimes people worship at the alter sarah palin. how can you doubt anything she says? she's made it clear she doesn't like me. she doesn't like my book. i worry more so mediawise. i think the media can make this woman president.
until people stop reporting on every tweet, facebook update, you can't turn on the news entertainment wise or on the news today without seeing something. tlc, "dancing with the stars," i'm not interested. but the media is obsessed with her. as the media becomes more and more obsessed, she's seen by middle america. when i see a woman attacked, i want to come to her defense. they have making her stronger and her empire of followers that much more intense. so i actually believe it's possible for her to become the nominee. i've been doing this a long time. i can see it happening. the only thing that may prevent is the voteers in never and iowa. maybe she won't.
>> hopefully you can work a campaign. >> thank you. >> i think you should have been in "dancing with the stars" instead. >> not a chance. hell would freeze over. >> i want to say i read your book cover to cover. it was fabulous. >> thank you. >> as a fellow young republican and moderate republican, what do you think ways that aren't polarizing, get out, get loud, it is always the loudest group that gets put in the media. we have a voice too. we are ignored. we are polarized with the purity test. people want us out of the party. if we are pushed out of the party, who's going to vote? >> i always say to people, start online. it's the biggest audience, and it's been effective. facebook, twitter, myspace, joining their web site.
virally is where i tell people to start. i think unfortunately, the hard part is i have the platform. i'm under no dilutions. i'm john mccain's daughter. that's originally why people put me on television. hopefully now i have something to say and that's why. i think it's sad the media doesn't cover it. they are not interested. the most extreme are the most interesting. again, i blame the media for all of this by far. it worries me. because i just don't think an average person can get on television saying i think we should work together. i'm republican and i'm not extreme. i really want a large tent party. so i would tell you to go online, find a candidate, support them, i will continue to work, i'm getting already really excited for the next general election. i'll work my ass off on a campaign. i'm going to choose a candidate hopefully sooner than later. and every way that i possibly can, to try to help make sure
that election we don't completely lose all 20 somethings from the republican party. >> thank you. >> thank you. thanks for buying my book. glad you liked it. >> hi. thank you for being here. >> hi, how are you? >> i heard you twice say you are pro-life. i also heard you say you want the government to get the hell out of our lives. i'm wondering how you reconcile those two ideas. >> i personally pro-life is what i believe in my faith. i don't want to preach to other people. i don't want to police your body. i'm probirth control, i'm against abstinence-only education. i think abortion should be illegal. i'm not opposed to repealing it. i grew up christian. it's my personal belief. again, i don't want to police your body. everyone is entitled to their
opinion. i feel one way, i have no idea how you feel, ma'am. the pro-choice movement is another. i saw this movie a few years ago called "if these walls could talk." it changed my question of abortion clinics. it's unbelievably tragic. it's about an abortion doctor that gets shot. i'm pro-life in life in general. i don't want any hate, hate crimes, or anything like that going on. it's for me personally what works. god and i came to an understanding of each other a long time ago. i have conflicts with my faith, and i also believe in gay marriage. i don't think being gay is a sin. i don't have all of the answers, i'm trying to work it out. >> you are pro-choice for other woman. it's up to each woman? >> i think woman should have the choice. for me, in my life, i'm pro-life. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. [applause] [applause]
>> i'm sorry. i arrived late, i don't know if you covered it, what do you think of our soon to be "hutch money did i spend for it" governor as a republican? >> oh. you guyed elected him. [laughter] >> i don't really have anything to say. i was a fan of charlie crist in the election. obviously, i support marco rubio. i'm sorry, i didn't cover florida politics as closely as i should have. i was working on my father's campaign. >> i wonder what your opinion is about the young vote not coming out in these midterm elections
as compared to the huge outturning that occurred in the general election? why weren't they there? >> i don't think these midterm elections were sexy. i think the general election, obama made it sexy to get out and vote. it was all about hope and change. when you don't have inspiring candidates, my generation won't necessarily vote. i voted in every election since i was 18. bristol palin didn't vote and said proudly on the television show. i think that's strange. i think it should be a law that you have to vote. a lot of woman did a lot of things that make sure i have the right to vote. anybody that doesn't vote, i think it's un-american, i don't understand it. >> what are some of the things you say to young people to say hey, go out and vote? >> i don't think you can sit
around and complain unless you are voting, unless you exercise your rights. >> do that through twitter, facebook, platforms? >> i don't think you can complain unless you are voting. i would be hue mailuated to -- humiliated to admit i didn't vote. last term's general election was sexy. i think like australia, it should be illegal not to vote. but that probably won't get passed. [laughter] >> yes, sir. >> i'm interested in your experience during the 2000, and how that was different from the 2008 experience that you had. >> i was 14 on my father's first campaign. so obviously it was a little different. and obviously it only lasted during the primaries. my father lost to president bush. i have fantastic memories of that time. going to town halls with my
father, watching him in new hampshire, playing in the snow, it's where it all started. it's where i started loving politics and understanding it. it's when i first started realizing the people as a child henry kissinger, i figured out who he was. i thought he was a scary old guy. then i learned he was a prominent fixture of american history. it started when i was 14. i don't have any real memories of south carolina. people ask me that as well. i think my parents were awesome at keeping me very sheltered. but beautiful memories. it's where it all started. and i wanted some day, you know, get a house in new hampshire. because i have such an affinity for the state and the people and the nation status. it's actually why -- that's my argument for why palin won't
become president. new hampshire, you have to earn the vote. people go to town hall to pick the candidates. they take the right seriously. it where i learned to love voting. it where i understand where learn the political process. i understand the electoral process. it's rare. it started at a young age. beautiful memories. >> thank you. >> thank you. i was very lucky as a child. >> i think we were curious to know what your own aspirations might be and in what way would you like to be able to bring your legacy to flourish? >> i do not want to run for office. i don't think i could get elected. i talk too much. i'm too honest. i will tell my life story to cab drivers, anything that you want to know. i'm a really open book. i twitter all the time. i'm not private, not very private. i don't think a woman like me could get elected. i'm 26. i really want to work.
i'm excited for the next campaign and election. i've already had people interested in me working. which is unbelievably flattering. i want to go out and do it all over again with somebody else. i want to get a republican elected. i want to kick obama's ass next election. i will do anything to get there. i think i would like to be a strategist. it's a male dominated interest, i think a young woman's perspective would be helpful. there are some candidates that won't want me near them, there's a few off of the record that have expressed interest. that's what i would like to do. thank you. >> good afternoon, i seem to hear you say the tea party movement is something that you are kind of like not really taking into account. but quite frankly, it was the tea party movement, the grassroots that motivated me to get out and do things. if i felt like the republican party has abandoned it's people.
>> you hmm. -- uh-huh. >> what is the world is the republican party standing for? >> well, i think, i would never dismiss the tea party movement. no matter how you feel about it, it's a complete force to be reckoned with. i expected joe miller, but i did not expect nancy pelosi to still be in office. if we were going to take over -- lisa murkowski is the first candidate to win as a write in over 50 years. it is over hyped. if it were really that big, jon stewart and stephen colbert were able to triple the tea party numbers at this rally, it says something. i would never belittle the tea party. i understand why people are angry. spending is out of control.
obama has done little to nothing. i'm just as scared as everybody else about a lot of things going on. i think it's poorly organized. i don't understand the message. if sarah palin is the leader, i'm not getting behind it. >> well, i don't consider sarah palin the leader. but i think that -- >> do you have have? with all respect do you know who the leader is? >> no. that's because it is grassroots. basically the whole things seems to be get the -- you know, go back to the constitution, stop trampling the constitution, stop spending so much money that no one can repay. >> listen, i'm as frustrated as you are. i completely agree. >> i just feel like the republican party better start listening to what some of the people are saying. you know, there is a message. and the republican party has the ability to put that forward. >> i think what's going to happen, i honestly think the potential to happen that we are going to throw everybody out.
i don't think it's just going to be republicans. i think we're going to get to a place. then politics will really be fascinates when complete antigovernment candidates are running the government. i am so excited to see what rand paul does. i cannot wait. i'm glad that he got elected. i want to see the libertarianism, if he does a good job, there's your leader. >> okay. thank you so very much. before we end, i want to bring this to a very different light. and say those of you who are sitting in the front, they can see the shoes. geo has the latest greatest sneakers. i pray for meghan mccain in the high heels. >> thanks. they are jessica simpson. >> they are wonderful. they have been wonderful. >> thank you for coming out.
thank you. [applause] [applause] >> she will be autographing her book over on the other side of the elevator. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> that was meghan mccain talking about her book "dirty, sexy politics." north of downtown miami as book tv continues it's live coverage of the 27th annual miami bookfair international. we continue our live coverage tonight. next panel up in about 15 or 20 minutes or so. john avlon, bill press will be coming on the stage. at chapman, we'll be bringing it to you live. here on the booktv set, we are
joined by author brad meltzer. who is known for his thrillers and fiction. he has written a nonfiction for children, "heros for my son" it is called. brad meltzer, why a nonfiction? >> well, the truth was -- is, it's for my son. eight years ago, on the night my son was born, i said i'm going to write a book that lasts his whole life. i was coming back from the hospital. it's that great moment when you can dream anything for your child. he can be the president, nice person, generous person, all realism, i'm going to write a book that lasts my whole life. i came home and started writing rules for him to live by. there you go. pictures of it. what i wanted was, i'm going to write rules down. love god. two, be nice to the fat kid in class. things i thought were important for him to know. the truth was i knew nothing
about being a father. so a friend of mine told me the amazing story about the wright brothers. every time they'd go out, they'd bring enough materials for multiple crashes. they knew they'd fail. they would crash and rebuild. i said i love that story. i want my son and daughter to know that story. if they have a dream and they work hard, that's the book i'm going to write. not a book of rules, but a book of hero. heros for my son is rosa parks, mr. rogers, to jim henson. >> where's barbara john? >> that was a teenager. it has someone like martin luther king jr., but also regular people. barbara johns was a high school
student and civil rights activist. barbara johns at a time when in 1951, basically saw a school bus ride by her and her school bus was broken down. there was another one that was full of the white kids going to the good school. they had no books, no materials, horrible school. she organized a walk out. we are going to protest it. forget about it. she's one of the unknown people. her test case as they walked out was one the cases used in brown v. board of education. where did it come from? a teenager. a teenager is one of the people responsible for it. so the book is filled with, a guy named frank shankwits. he found out about a boy with leukemia that also wanted to be a police officer. he had a motorcycle made. he find out the boy with leukemia goes into a coma.
he goes to the hospital room. as the boy is unconscious, he says, i want to put motorcycle wings on him. he pins the motorcycle wings, at which point, true story, the boy wakes up and smiles. the boy eventually goes back into a coma, eventually dies. on the way home, frank looks at his buddy, you know, we made that kid really happy for just one day. we should do that for other kids. that's how the make a wish foundation was born. i want my son to know that stories. that's what heros for my son. celebrating the people that can take one dream and change the entire world. >> we've only got a few minutes with brad meltzer. we'd like to hear your heros. numbers are on the screen. go ahead and start calling in
now. who's on the cover here? >> you know, it's funny. everyone think it's my son. i have two sons. my publisher wanted me to pick between my kids. i'm not stupid. it's my good friends rusty and elizabeth's son. the last hero, is my favorite hero. my mother. she died two years ago from breast cancer. before she died, my publisher was shutting down. i didn't know if anyone would take care of my contracts. i called my mom and i said, mom, i'm so nervous about this. she said i'd love you if you were a garbage man. she's not taking a crack. my uncle was a garbage man. i say that soaking in her
strength. for anyone out there, the last two pages are blank. your heros are here, and your heros stories are here. you take this book, and give it this holiday season and put their picture. write one sentence about your father, grandfather, military member, what they mean to you, that would be the most beautiful page. i wanted my book to be something that you can give to anyone at any age. >> you've included two contemporary u.s. presidents in the book. who are they? >> the book has no politics. nobody is in it for political reasons. i did george w. bush and barack obama. bush is in there because of the amazing story when he was flying. he was one the youngest pilots in world war ii. his plane was going down. two men on the plane with him. as the plane crashes, and it's crashing into the ocean, he maneuvers the plane so they can get out before he can.
uses the moment of selflessness. he lets them out first. peaks out, he's crashing, some -- vomiting, crying, terrified. he told me he still thinks of the guy. he became the president of the united states and never told anyone that story, never ran for it, never self-promoting. i want my son to that have humility. barack obama, not because of any political reason. no one knows where he's going to be in the end. what he represents, whatever your politics are, is one of the greatest ideals in all of america. that's that anyone can be president. i want my son to know that anyone can be president. i want my daughter to know that anyone can be president. they were both put in there. >> how did you get to know george h.w. bush? >> i write thrillers. i talk to imaginary people.
i got a fan letter written by george h.w. bush. i don't care what your politics are, you are the former president, you write me a letter, i'll send you a free book. >> brad meltzer is our guest. first call. maryland, go ahead, please. >> caller: yes, brad, i wanted to thank you for creating such a wonderful book. i think it's extremely important that people really understand that, you know, the heros are not just the people that are famous. but i like that you did put in people who are not famous. and kids would have an opportunity, not only your son, but anyone who's giving this gift to their family to let them know that ordinary people not only can do extraordinary things, but also be truly extraordinary. by pursuing their goals, dreams, going after it, trying to make a difference. i want to thank you for this. that's something that i share with my family. >> thank you. >> host: who's your hero?
>> caller: my hero is my mother. she was an african-american woman from the south, had a nice education, and vice president of institutional trading is what my brother, and i have my masters. >> guest: and that's exactly right. you know, the thing is that we all know and say our heros are george washington, martin luther king jr. or eleanor roosevelt and these amazing people. the real heros are the heros that we live with every day. that's vital. i should tell you do you want to talk about the hero who i spent my time with, my son, my oldest son jonas. this is the moment that i gave him the book. i've waited eight years. it's called "heros for my son" i'm telling my son. he doesn't care about eleanor roosevelt or rosa parks.
he's looking through the athletes. he finds roberto clemente. you know what being a famous athlete, nothing. it doesn't make you a better person, nicer, you know what selling a lot of books and being on the best seller list, nothing. doesn't make me smarter. it means people read the books. roberto clemente is in there not because he was a baseball player, because there was a earthquake in nicaragua. he sends three planes for help. they were stolen. he was so determined to make sure the plane gets there, the fourth one, he gets on the plane. it crashes in the ocean. killing everyone on board. he's not a hero because he died. he's a hero because he got on
board. i'm waiting for my son to say i'm the greatest hero. he said, dad, i'm sad. my book has backfired in my face. he comes racing into the room on his own, he grabs the book and says, dad, who are we reading tonight? i said what about roberto? he said i like him. i said why? because he gave his life for people. we complain about there's no good heros, we focus on athletes and celebrities. we have a say in who our kids emulate. >> host: florida, you have 15 seconds. >> caller: thank you very much. my hero is a man named miriam frye. he was a man from a white
protestant family. he saved some people from the nazis in europe. he saved so many using them to get passports and visas to get out of france and into spain and eventually to the united states and save them. and save their bodies intellectual work for the western world. that is a hero of mine. > host: thank you. thank you, caller. >> guest: great hero. in fact, we put in the book, my favorite person is meet geese. i had anne frank. she's the woman that save and hid anne frank's family from the nazis. they come rushing in and raid her house. at that moment, she could say i didn't know they were up there. she never apologized. what she instead does, she tries
to bribe the nazis. don't take these people away. they tear up her place, the one thing they discard is the one red book, anne frank's diary. she's the woman that history doesn't know about. she's the one that saved the diary, she preserved it. when otto frank said my daughter is dead, she never read the book. handed it to her father, this is her daughter's legacy to you. that's the reason that we have anne frank's diary. because miep gies saved it. >> host: quick, how much political research goes into the thrillers? >> guest: listen, i wish we didn't live in a world where we don't get our news from comedians, and we get jokes. i realized over the year, people like to get the real facts out of my books.
i take that seriously. i take that trust seriously. it takes me at least six months before i can start writing a thriller. if i'm going to show you the secret tunnels, i'm going to research. i can write whatever i want. but i'm going to get it right. >> host: how much have you sold? >> guest: this one? 10 copies to my family. the publisher says we have copies in print. the only one that matters, is my family. my mom, god bless her, i went to borders headquarters. they said guess where your books sell more than anyone else? i don't know. new york city. 8 million new yorkers. i said washington, d.c., i write thrillers about washington. no, the number one place was florida borders one mile from the furniture store where my mother used to work. my mother single-handedly beat 8
worldwide consulting firm. he worked on numerous democratic campaigns for both bill and hillary clinton as well as all over the country for governor devan bie and senator hopeful jeff green. his work on overnight polling is cited as a contribution to bill clinton's reelection bit and worked in the middle east and counterintuitively, he's an analyst on fox news. without furtheryr
>> it's a book that's about the rise of extremism. we've seen in the opening of the obama years, and it's an attempt to remind us we've faced forces of extremism before, and they are not isolated to one political party or another, and neither has a monopoly and virtue or device, and we forget that in our overheated intense deablghts these -- debates that people use fear to pump up. i am getting more concerned as an independent, and we need to push back on these who are hi
jacking our debate and our country. i'll tell you about what's a wing nut. what's a wing nut? well, a wing nut is someone on the far right or left ring of the political spectrum. the professional partisans, professional polarizers, the paranoids, the people who are trying to divide rather than unit us. one telltale sign of a wing nut, and i see bill nodding there, they confuse pay -- patriotism with partnership. they have little to do with each other. we are in a time of cycle of insightment in our politics where the extremes echo and encirnlg each other, and they use hate and fear to drum up ratings, that used to be a few years ago that political leaders gave talking points to talk
radio. they use the same form mullah, conflict, tension, fear, and resentment every day to drum up listeners in narrow audiences, and political leaders are starting to echo that plan. it is empowering, the most unhinged among us, the fringe is blurring at the base, and because of the cycle of insightment, it's not isolated necessarily to one side, but we've seen a particular amount 6 ugliness against president obama, and it's pompt to pull back and realize though that before there was obama syndrome on the right, there was bush syndrome on the left. there's characteristics calling him a terrorist, comparing him to hitler. the problem is and whenever i interview people for the book, people protesting holding signs comparing obama to hitler, i always say, ha are you saying or thinking about this?
they say something like, well, they started it. [laughter] they compared president bush to hitler, and nobody complained, so i just figured @ fair game, and that's the problem. you know, john stuart in his rally to restore sanity one of his suggested signs is i disagree with you, but i'm pretty sure you're not hitler. [laughter] that's good advice for us all now. if you have a problem with a president of your party being compared to hitler, that's a problem. the hyperpar sanship is hurting our country and stopping debate and stopping us from being able to unit. we are increaseingly segregating ourselves in media season summing. that, itself is danger and says
everyone is entitled to facts and people approach politics as war. conversation reaping out across the aisle is condemned as if the parties were the most important thing in politics, and they are not. this book is an attempt to look at the way that the extremes are increasingly dominating our debate and political parties to remind us we've seen these forces before and confronted them. i was trying to update the classic of paranoid style in politics so show we've faced the forces before and demagogues do well in economic downturns and in the 190 -- 1930s, but we don't appreciate how much of the stuff you hear on the far right talk is just recycling stuff from 50 years ago, and now it's advanced by candidates in some cases, but we haven't had enough of what we had at that time with william f.
buckly stood up to the administration and claims dwight d. eisenhower was a soviet agent. that's my favorite. i'm sorry you think he's a spy, and then you're not welcome in our con conservative movement. he stood up. the problem is we don't see that today. i think because our political leaders are afraid. they recognize or fear that the fringe is blurring with the base e and if they stand up, they alienate their base and lose a primary. there's political resumés that add credibility to that fear, so what we need to do to restore some balance with backbone to our politics is stand up to the extremes on both sides. i really believe that's the only way that we will stop the cycle of insightment we're in before it getting ugh leer. that's not to clack that at any --
claim at any given time there's quality of extreme, but if you buy into the idea that only one party is to blame, you compound the problem, and that's what i'm concerned about. i care less about the parties, and more about the country. it's an attitude that's unfashionable these days. i mean, this is a rebellious project because the media and political system a set up to reward hyperpartisans who factor in the lowest common deno , ma'am tear. it's about pushing back, trying to restore a sense of common sense to our politics, and to play offense from the center for the first time in a long time, to not just feed this beast that is distorting our politics and dividing our nation. i think we can do it. i know that, you know, we are facing groups of extremes that we face every once in awhile and militia group on the far right theses days and they are
comparatively small, but it's worth paying attention to. if we do that though, play offense for the center and return and be honest brokers again in the media and hit left or right as the cause, and an event my compel, i think we can restore that trust and the parties can govern and not attack each other. to do it, we need ton individual lant and stand up to the extremes and call them out and not be lulled into a sense that being a good partisan makes you a good patriot because it's the opposite i believe. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon, well, i'm convinced, john. i agree. i'll stop being reasonable on the left when those people on the right stop being so
reasonable. [laughter] [applause] good to see you today. we're here to talk about books, but look, also, we are living and talking about the issue of the day, # 10 i cannot -- so i cannot help myself. i have a brief comment first on the biggest story of the day. when i pick up the "miami he recalled" and it says that the pope says it's okay to use condoms. [laughter] especially, he says, when male prostitutes use them. i grew up a catholic, i was an an altar boy, and i never thought i would see the day when the pope tells catholics to take their queues on sexuality from
male prostitutes. [laughter] [applause] i can only call that progress i guess. [laughter] great to be back at this book fair and great to see so many of you who love books, writers, love reading, thank you for being here for all of us who make it. [applause] so, my book is about toxic talk really about right wing talk and it's great radio which is so powerful today and most of us don't realize there's more people who listen to talk radio than reed the newspaper. maybe that doesn't surprise you. there's more people to listen to talk radio every day than all the three cable networks combined. it is the most powerful communication in our country today. it's so right wing and it is so ugly most of the time which is
what i talk about in the book. remember, i see a lot of gray hairs in the audience like me, remember back to "saturday night live" and they did the little thing on the takeoff on the today show, and when dan famously says, jean, you ignorant slut, and she says, you arrogant ass, and we thought that would never end up like that. but today that's mild on what we hear on talk radio. first of all, the imbalance. talk radio is great. it's where people express their opinion and hear other americans express their opinion. the problem is, from my take, is it doesn't really reflect the american public because it is 90% issue there are nine hours of conservative talk in this country for every hour of
progressive talk. we are not a 90% right wing nation. we're -- doug can you tell, it's 50/50 or 50/45 nation. there's 2,000 news talk stations in the country, and 1940 of them are all right wing all the time 24/7 and 60 progressive radio stations, none in this market i must add, they pulled the plug and made that another sports station. i'm on every 60 station in the country that i can get, but there's not enough platforms for progressives and centrist voices that don't really exist on talk radio anymore. it's not because liberals can't talk. god knows, we can talk. [laughter] it's not because we can't make money and get ratings. look at portland, oregon,
chicago, st. paul, new york, where progressive radio is on the air, making money, getting good ratings and sometimes beat rush head-to-head. the real problem is ownership. most of the stations are owned by conservative and controlled companies that started back in the days of richard nixon. they were smart and did nothing illegal. they bought radio stations, hired their talent, trained them, and today they dominate the air waves, and the fcc does nothing about it. it's not just that it's radio is so one-sided, the problem i see is when you listen to it, the content is so ugly, so partisan, so personal, and so disgusting, look, let me back up just a minute. a couple observations here. number one, it's -- i don't have anything against political date. just the opposite. i made a good living on my life
with cross fire, the spin room, radio and television, i love political debate. pat bucannon, i've been up against the best, and i enjoy it and the more hard hitting, the beller. i'm not saying we have to be pansies or be nice to each other not not mix it up, but i'm not perfect. i'll tell you that before doug does. i go over the line. [laughter] remember scott mccellan? remember him? president bush's press secretary at one time. okay, i called him a -- well, he's not, but i just love saying that on cnn, and i should not have done it. the point is you may hear that on the left that you hear all
the time on the right and neil borts in florida says don't blame bush for cay katrina or the governor, # but the worthless parasites who live there who didn't have enough sense to wipe themselves let alone get out of the way when the levies broke. that's the kind of talk i'm talking about. i'm talking about rush limbaugh, you can disagree with president obama. you don't have to call him an ignorant jackass or if barak obama was not black, he'd be nothing more than a tour guide in honolulu today. you can disagree with the policies. you don't have to go that far. it doesn't serve the country well when you go that far. it's not only disgusting to listen to, it can be, not always, but it can be
dangerous. glenn beck identified a group in the san fransisco area called the tides foundation and called them the most dangerous element in america today out with george's money to undermind this country and bring the country down. about a couple months later, the police stopped a guy weaving in and out of traffic and had three guns in his car on the way to san fransisco to wipe out the leadership of the tides foundation baa glenn beck identified them as evil. toxic talk can lead to toxic actions. it's not good when that happens. as a solution, look, i'm not about to censor anybody. people have a right to make a fool of themselves as much as they want. god knows i do regularly. i do think there should be balance in the air waves, on the
air waves and that every market in the country people who don't necessarily agree with rush limbaugh or glenn beck should have a station they agree or disagree with. i would like to see the fcc to just enforcing the current law which is that if you have a license to operate the public airways, you have to operate in the public interest. what a novel concept. [laughter] [applause] i say, you're not operating in the public interest when you are all right or left wing. thank you, and you know, one final point is that where all of this is coming from, right, the right wing talk radio hosts are fueling the tea party and the tea party is fueling politics today, and nobody could defend the tea party today except doug s --
shone. [applause] >> well, it is left to me to tell you what my dear friend, bill press, and my equally dear friend, john avlon, didn't tell you. i say this in both mock and real seriousness because there is another perspective. my own world view is close to john's who used to be close to bill's, but that was awhile ago when we had dark hair, and now i have less hair, and he has white hair. that being said, i have a couple of points. i read a book about the tea party movement. it was not and is not a defense to the tea party movement. it was designed to be an -- explanation of why 40% of the american people identified with the tea party and 36% identified with the major parties. two years ago at this time there
was not a tea party. what is it about american politics that allows a movement to grow that arguably elected 50 or 60 members of the house, two or three members of the u.s. senate, and has affectively a veto power over one the major political parties. how did this happen? john, i think you chose the wrong bill buckley with all do republic. the quote that was described was he would rather been governed by the first, i think 100 names in the massachusetts phone book than the harvard faculty. the reason i elude to that is because that's striving the tea party. there's a sense that politicians of both parties, and in this sense, john is absolutely right, both parties are missing the boat. it's not only extremism and
extreme rhetoric, but it's the failure to solve problems, and if you look at the tea party and analyze what they stand for, it's really not so much what jon was talking about and there's leaders who reflect the sentiments of so-called wing nuts, but bottom line the tea party in vast, vast numbers and bulk of the leadership, will people with real concerns with the way government operates with federal spending and the dysfunction of washington and the absence of a balanced budget and a growing debt, and if you talk to them, they will tell you they got angry under george bush, and angrier still under president obama with the health care bill driving that sentiment. you obviously have a senator here and marco rubio but for the sentiments and tea party would be but an as risk on the
political spectrum and in the country. i think it's important to recognize that political issues surface because of real concerns. now, my friend, bill press, doesn't like the fact there is talk radio and presumably would not like the fact that i work for fox news, but the reason why these stations have done and networks have done as well as they have because people listen. rest assured the businessmen running them are not ideologs first and foremost, but businessmen. it's not a 55-45 nation, but a country in the exit polls thamps 42 conservative and 40 liberal. them just the facts. i'm somebody who thinks like john avlon and worked for many democrats and mayor bloomberg in new york city, and i'm not necessarily comforted by that,
but i don't deny the reality of what's happened. in is a center right country, and if you put the moderates in with the conservatives that something that unfortunately happened in this election more or less, it's probably not a 90/10 country, but closer to an 80/20 country and that overstated things, but not by much. now, john is absolutely right to say the lack of civility in our discourse is a huge, huge problem. the problem is what people want to hear, and bill, is a master at it, is they want to hear the over-the-top rhetoric that overpolarrizes and excises and in my judgment destroys the context for civility and discussion. john is right when it's done on the left and right, we are all lossers as americans.
in real life, bill press is a thoughtful and rational reasonable person -- [laughter] who is a terrific entertainer, and i'm talking the veil off, but saying the problem in america today is to get ratings, to get attention, to sell books. you really have a tough time being thoughtful and sentiments cerebral. now, the problems we face as americans is it's one thing to face in the roller derby when you have a balanced bument and you are not at war, but given the nature of the problems that we face, if the republican leadership in the white house engage in a kind of rhetoric we've seen recently with witch mcconnell saying my highest goal is to make president obama a one term president, and president obama who i think tried to moderate his rhetoric, but spoke of his o pents in the
campaign as enemies saying we have to have hand had to have had -- hand-to-hand combat. we will not solve problems and have another election in 2012 seeking to complicate the issues of 2010 campaign. the losers will be all of us. if you look at where our economy is and where we are as a nation, you know, we are at 9.5% unemployment. you add in discouraged workers, underemployed people, and you're closer to 16-20% of americans facing some degree of economic dislocation. if you look at targeted audiences like african-american youth, you got 40% unemployment. it doesn't matter your philosophy or approach is, those numbers in my judgment are intolerable. my conclusion about all of this is to try to demonize people
whether it be the tea party, people on the far left, whatever, is really, really more than just bad politics. it is destructive of our broader, national interest. we all enjoy the sport of politics. i enjoy going on fox news and talking about the issues, but i try to tell things as i see them. to be straight, bill and john are the two smartest people you're going to get, and rather have me go on defending things that bill press finds intolerable, and john avlon finds barely palatable, i will mercifully stop and take your questions. thank you. [applause] ..
>> i wonder why it is that we talk of they doing something, and then at the same time we talk of less government doing something. it sounds to me like -- not a paradox, but a contradiction. i don't understand that. i wish you would explain that to me. >> barre last question. i encourage the -- john and bill to join in.
i use the word they because i'm not part of the tea party. my book was not a defense of the tea party, but the fact that i didn't use the word we. i think certainly i feel like if we use the word we have not they as a country we would all do better as a people. i take your point, and would echo it. >> you know, i think the us against them analysis apart its excesses of these the a big part of the problem. we are dividing ourselves the recently as a matter of political strategy. there is a divide and conquer strategy that has been embraced by activists and ideologues that seeks to divide to conquer. it does not think so much about unifying the country as a goal. they want low turnout high-intensity elections. they know that they can when. there is something deeply disturbing about that. it is a good linguistic cats. even on the tea party, certainly i say this many times.
the two-party and not all. it is a good example of how we are having fundamentally dishonest debates. i think it's the party is composed of two main streams, a very principled fiscal conservative protest movement that was created in the mid bailout backlash against big government and big business concerned about the generational debt and then over the course of the summer of 2009 especially east odyssey obama derangement syndrome. folks that have, angry views of the president that departed from reality and turned him into a demonized figure. democrats on ly see the obama derangement syndrome. conservatives on the see the principle of fiscal conservatism the reality is and what we need to get back to is be honest enough to say there are elements of both in there. so we can do that we are going to keep having these fractured distorted the base that end up
in that as against an analysis. >> i disagree with both of my colleagues on this issue. first of all, to me this smacks of moral equivalency, which i despise. i like the phrase we and they. i'm a member of the professional left, and i think we are right and their wrong. i may not be right. i may not be right, but that's what i think. let me tell you what drove me crazy. i went down to the jon stewart rally. i went to the plan back rally. i went to the johnston rally. at the end he gives this whole thing. he says this video. the car is merging into the tunnel. he said now, look at this. this is america. we're so polite. i go and then you go. and that's what politics is. i was screaming, no, it's not. i mean, i like being polite. i try to be civil, but there is a difference between the two parties, and i think there's a
difference between the tea party and the republican party and the democratic party. i think the tea party is dead wrong on a lot of issues. it when they say they are against government spending and i say well, where the hell were you when we went to war in iraq against the country that didn't attack his first? [applauding] so i exist submit i think there are legitimate differences. we can disagree and not pretend we are all in the same boat. >> broadcasting has been my passion. my cousin. a little senate transistor under my pillow. >> i have to say, i did not understand. >> i'm sorry. i said broadcasting. >> slowed down. >> by the way, broadcasting has been a passion of mine since i was a little boy listening to my a.m. radio under my pillow as a child in new york city.
i'm in a blizzard just like you guys. i agree with you that the language is not the issue. the second election in this country between adams and jefferson if you want to see he'd political rhetoric. in my view the issue is money. all one need do really in terms of looking at how talk radio grew to what it is now is look at the deregulation of the broadcasting industry back in 94 -- 96. the same holds true with the financial crisis in the deregulation of the financial industry during the same time after the '94 election. and so it's all about the money. [applauding] >> certainly, i mean, there has been a lot of conversation about the united decision. the one thing i will say about money and politics, whether you
believe that money is speech are not. i keep waiting a year molotov back, and it doesn't. look. certainly i think a lot more money. 2008 in the rearview mirror of history may look like a very civil election because there were not a lot of 527 and spending. people were nervous about litigation. and keep in mind that the current decision opened the floodgates not only on corporate money but union money. with that said if you think things are ugly and uncivil now, just wait. we have problems coming down the pike. let me take issue with the premise of the question and perhaps gill's point as well. when david axelrod said the issue is the corporate money for foreign money, he didn't have
any evidence. beyond not having any evidence he didn't have anyone who much cared of the then some professional liberals. i say that not because there's anything wrong with being a professional level. i guess i'm sort of a professional moderate, but the average voter's attitude is, what are you going to do to change my life? maybe its bid for you, but it's run for us. and so john avalon is basically right. unless we can focus on common problems and provide some effort to create collegiality, agreement, or at the very least, a consensus i can assure you the net losers will be the broad mass of the american people even though those of us to make our living talking become enraged. >> let me just say on the money issue, first of all, i always tell my democratic friends when they stop whining choose to go raise your own money and spend your own money. outspend these other guys. that's just a temporary solution, but as long as the game is the way it is you have
to play it the way it is. at the same time i have to tell you i think the amount of money -- and we see more and more, especially more and more wealthy people spending their own money to buy elective office. it was john in new jersey. let me tell you, you would not have rick scott as your governor if he didn't spend $73 million. [applauding] meg whitman spent hundred and 43 million lost. >> i would like to ask any and all of you to explore a little deeper with the use of social media in the next number of years. i'm specifically bringing this up because to those that were not here for the last talk i believe she represents a 20 something very astute political figure in this country. if i'm quoting her correctly
when asked why the turnout was poor in the midterm elections she said they weren't sexy enough. when asked what her source was for various pieces of news she listed 17 various blocks that she reads every day. when someone approached the microphone she said, oh, my god, you're so and so from the miami reality show. i thought she was going to jump off the stage, breaker ankle due to the justice and some shoes she was wearing and ask for his autograph. i really wanted to be the one interviewing her. we would have had a heyday. i'm sorry. it's very important. she does represent -- i was very impressed. she presented herself beautifully. very, very important to me. i looked at her as a twentysomething individual and i look at the sources.
eugene robinson this week, there are facts and there are false facts to the number of twentysomething thirtysomething that are getting their source for information through facebook. housetop. you catch the draft. between now and the next election how do we help the media did in to some of the incredible issues that face this country rather than the celebrity, crazy, whatever that is being covered by the news today. forgive me for being so long. >> i'll address the social media part of that question. there is a good and bad aspects of it. a tidal wave change. you might as well make change your ally because it's a lousy enemy. the good news about social media, i think, is it gives us the ability to aggregate people who have. right now pauline parker -- party politics plays. they can get away with it. it can mobilize the clubhouse model. played by industrial age rules. it has not woken up to
information age reality. for a rising generation of us which of the most applause -- multiplicity of choice if politics is the last place we are told we need to be content with a choice between brand a and brent peek. for many of us who are independent, the youngest segment is independent, by far. many of us are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. neither party reaches out to us, because they can't. we are desegregated spirit we don't like joining things. we don't want to surrender our individuality or diversity of beliefs to walk in lockstep with one party or the other. social media creates the ability to unify and organized a group like never before. that is helpful to boc group's coming up. no labels will be one of us. there are a lot of groups that can do that. we can push back on the power brokers and party bosses using
social media in a way that's better than ever before. the downside is we are getting our news in increasingly actualized ways. essentially everything is and a man. they can isolate themselves and get only news that confirms their own political prejudice or bias. that divides us even further and create a dynamic of group polarization. that can be very destructive and is one of the reason what politics is looking more and more like a call to. there is that self reenforcing at a chamber atmosphere which is really popularized. people are only getting their news sources from narrow radiological corners. >> you know, i think the question is a very good one. there wouldn't be at tea party if there was not the internet causes some media, blogs, and the like. indeed ascot and i were writing the book we were able to trace the development of different individual t parties through
precisely what you described. there would not have been in a bombing campaign in the fund-raising that was done but for social media and the like. the hugely important point that your making that, frankly, none of us made and we should have is that young people today are more likely to get their news online from blocks or snippets of newspaper articles than they are for newspapers. you know, the model that i suspect we all follow, i say we meeting the audience and panel, three or four newspapers in the morning. try to get through part of them. finished at night and end up with a vague sense if we did not do a. whereas the people who work for me to look in newspapers, believe they're relics. go on line mostly of round logs, net sites and sesame deicide and that's how they communicate. that's how you organize
politically. to not understand that is to really mess of fundamental truth and core element in american politics. >> on dangerous territory when you ask this panel to get deeper. [applauding] [laughter] we all agreed not to. but i think all of us recognize that we are all in the middle of this. the social media is changing our lives in many, many ways, especially the media. none of us really understand how. for all just trying to keep up with. you can now be on radio or television. i have a website. i have a block. at tweeted from the white house. i do all that kind. most jenn people today never pick up a newspaper. would know where to find one. they get to the sites. you have to be there. you have to be there.
the problem is -- both john and doug eluded to this, the quality control is really lacking. stuff can get started and it spread ended a life of its own. the network news and really it's the kick the tires there's nothing there. so we are all dealing with this phenomenon that is very real and very powerful. >> i work for the daily beast. it's a great web site. our editor in chief has taken over newsweek. that is a remarkable thing. and so there is a lot of hopeful aspects of all of this. minute by minute, but it's exciting and dynamic. >> i couldn't keep up with what megan mentioned, i'm sure. in my own light i can remember doug killing in and starting with a stack of papers and going through the papers to look for things i want to talk about. well, first of all, i get to the studio at 5:00 in the morning. there aren't any papers delivered by that time.
i wouldn't any help. i go to dredge. a good to politico. the daily caller. a liggett ms nbc, fox. it's all online. that's where we are. >> everyone in this room knows about the crazy election we just had. there was one same thing that came out of that election. that was amendment five and sex. [applauding] and for those of you don't live in florida that was called fair district. we got almost one-and-a-half million petitions to get it on the ballot. we get more than 60 percent of the floridians who voted to say that now our congressional districts and legislative districts cannot be drawn based on voter registration data. we have to keep canter's together and use natural boundaries to draw these districts. it just seems to be a movement. john, you are probably the one
person that can really push this. if we can get rid of rent districts include districts than safe districts that congressmen and senators and state legislators are going to have to run on the issues. we also get rid of closed primaries. >> yes. >> but nothing is going to change as long as there is this crazy gerrymandering. we saw it in palm beach county. god knows where this guy came from. but we need people like you to talk about fair districts. >> we need people like you to care. this is a citizens' revolution. you really want to change politics? redistricting, reform, and open primaries. it is hugely important. our political system has been a raid by partisans who want low turnout, safe districts. what you guys did in florida and what happened in california, their is a section in the conclusion of the book called how to take america back.
it explicitly redistricting reform and open primaries. you know, just look at how the incentive system has been changed through this system that has been put in place. you get low turnout and closed partisan primaries. 10 percent turnout. by percent is the majority. it's a paradise for actresses and ideologues and makes the politicians spend all their time playing to the base. in is the only election they have to worry about. ended up hurting the republican party because they would have picked up at sea with my castle. redistricting reform is so essential to be open primaries and redistricting is the most potent, powerful citizen tool we have to reduce the polarization and extremism in our politics. this needs to move beyond florida and california. it is the most important thing. >> a man.
>> let me make one other point to have are rare and i'm sure temporary moment of complete agreement. >> i just raised my mind. >> so, get. i'm glad. and now we will tell you about something that people in my position rarely do. a failing of mine. it is called the political effects. i tried to save what john avalon said so eloquently who know what, nobody cares. maybe it wasn't a good book. maybe i let the readers down or and let the publishing world down. and be happy to acknowledge that. but the reason why a point to my own failings is because what john said about open priories and redistricting reform is absolutely right.
i tried to do my bit for the cause. i failed. to the extent you're able to do with the last questioner so eloquently spoke of and compellingly accomplished and the we will have a better country, better politics and be able to do with each of the three of us want to, solve all problems. >> a man. >> i wanted to ask you in the extremist rhetoric square you think it will play in terms of the problem i have with whether it's news commentary or campaign ads. actor the back taking people. the more moderate dialogue if people had the truth and how you feel we can fix the problem. >> you know, in florida the st. petersburg police fact, it is a great site and service.
that is exactly what we need more of. the problem with the rise in partisan media is that everything is put through a filter. therefore facts are selectively pick and it leaves most people confused because their getting opposite visions of american just depending on what their new sources. so what we really need is more news sources to be independent and push back against this tide of partisan news to be the honest brokers again at a site like pulling the fact which actually does the analysis of what is a lie and what's true. that is what we need more of. we need to insist on it pretty have to vote with your wallet. reward the sights and new stations that are actually trying to be independent, trying to be fair and balanced. not just saying they are, but are willing to of punch both sides. that is one of the only ways.
>> i have to tell you, i'd like facts. i think every political debate should start out with facts. then you can draw your own conclusion. i can see how different people can come to their conclusions about what should be done will what the solution is to that problem. when you at least start with -- and there are a basic set of facts on any given problem. you don't get very far when you start out by saying the obama health care bill contains death panels. it doesn't. never did and never will. yet we heard it until the very end. sarah palin is probably still saying it. you don't get very far when saying that the stimulus bill or the recovery bill did not create one single new job. i don't know how many did, but that certainly is just not true. john dean still says it today. i'm sure doug can give you
plenty of examples of people on the lefty will say things which are patently untrue. that's where we are. it's called gridlock. a lot of it is simply because people just refused to lay out the facts. there are we put the deficit. now on how we solve it. at least start with the basic fact. we'd be a lot better off if we can do that. >> thank you for your talk. basically i think all of you have described the problem. i don't think i really heard proposed solutions. a little bit, but i don't think anybody really has been down to the very basic problem. i don't know what it is, but i think people like you should believe. >> i do.
i will urge you to go back to, i guess, the fourth -- i think it was the fourth of november. if you have the time and inclination to do so, the "wall street journal" were asset what i thought president obama should do. what i said is we need a fiscally conservative pro-growth agenda that seeks to unite america on a set of stimuli to encourage entrepreneurial ship and private sector job creation, on merit based education system, an effort to break dependence on foreign oil, cut the -- make modest but real cuts in the defense budget as a means of trying to put together a plan to begin the process of doing what bill said he haltingly wanted to do, which is to balance the budget which is an absolutely critical necessity if we are going to go forward as a nation which is going to require tough decisions about entitlement given the attacks that came as
john suggested. the two ballot -- balanced budget committees. i think there are clear ideas out there. i put them forward. john has. bill has in his own way. rest assured they are there, but for panel discussions people like to hear more about priests and condoms than they do about payroll tax and holidays. >> well. >> they do. >> i just might point out it's not the "wall street journal" i have a problem with. it's the "washington post" a few days later where you and pat cadel wrote the best thing for this country would be for barack obama to declare that he is a 1-term president and not seek reelection. at think that is the dumbest thing that i have ever read in 30 years of covering politics. >> i read. you can defend it. >> and asking you to summarize
my argument. all defended. >> as i recall the argument it was that this is the way to get things done. suddenly barack obama system not going to run for reelection. give him a french kiss. there will live happily ever after. >> you know, doug, barack obama said i'm not running for reelection. why should we deal with you? and will be the worst thing we could do. >> i agree with you, actually. the point of the piece was to suggest that if the president returned to the values of the 2008 -- of the 2008 campaign where he emphasized bringing red and blue together, put aside the extreme rhetoric. you may not like the argument, but screaming down doesn't really add to the stability.
it doesn't. the side of a microphone today. for example, the largest point that bill refused to articulate tells you how well abhorrent he finds what john avalon talks about every day. rationality. >> no, no. common sense. >> that he tried to briefly answer your question. here's the dirty little secret. the american people are not deeply divided. the extremes and the elites and the activists are deeply divided, but the vast majority of the american people aren't. culture or issues that are intensely designed as issues put forth to divide people. on an issue like worship which is deeply, sincerely divided, the vast majority of the american people actually agree.
user problem. if you look at the issues are facing as a country, the american people want that divided. at think the president could work with the gop. bleeding. but you have to generally reach out, not a total of by partisanship, but the substance. what if the president took immigration reform. immigration reform gets demagogue every election cycle and then nobody deals with that. what if president obama to president bush's immigration plan and dusted off from the border security and say, here, do you like this? just fooling with the american people? >> is going to take a look at energy. the american people, health care reform. the debate and health care reform always began with we did -- agree on everything. then it immediately became about socialism. to find common ground and then
build on it. on the issue of deficits and debt the president to lead by pulling and nixon in china. he has talked about his willingness. we all know that is their only way. he have a bipartisan panel that just came back with recommendations. on day one it got attacked and destroyed from the far left and far right who both said it was the l.a. these people would rather demagogue to death and deal with it. they are who we should be furious that. those folks are just them in america. >> i feel pelter response. just on one issue, which is immigration. first of all facts. facts. the fact is there are like -- i don't want to give a number, but far, far, far fewer people coming across the border than there were two, three, four years ago. more borders secure and there have been ever.
the fact is we have made a lot of progress. the of the fact is the president has put forth the very same plan that george bush had on immigration which at the time i said and still say today the bush plan was a good plan. obama has put it forward. why hasn't it moved? the very same republicans who supported when it was george bush's plan, john mccain, lindsay graeme and others now say we're against it because it's a bama is planned. that's the problem. we are not being honest about our support. people say it's about ideas. they're so principled. but frequently they will support based on the party's the president belongs to. as not being serious. it's stopping as from solving problems. the back to what the other lady said. redistricting reform and open primaries are good place to start. >> who's next? >> we have time for one more.
>> i have a quick comment. for mr. sean to suggest that there is this moral equivalence and there is this back and forth. democrats doing the same spirit is totally not true. what i see going on is that the tea party, yeah, it sounds real nice. there's they're real extreme part of the tea party and then there's kind of the common american tea party people. if that's true then why are the tea party candidates so radically extreme? if the tea party candidates represent this, you know, broadsword of consensus of americans with these values about smaller government stuff and that's a legitimate, you know, ideologies then why are these candidates so completely extreme? and just want to say one thing real quick. >> come on. >> i wanted to hear dug answer
that. >> again, when you have a social movement that is leaderless that encompasses up to 40 percent of the american people, frequently those to step forward are people who wouldn't pass a litmus test for rationality. even john avalon. >> how about 70? >> maybe that, too. the fcc wants to regulate speech in fairness. i understand that. because we're in a democracy and because broad ideas percolate there are people who come forward to don't pass the smell test. it's very good for america. people like sharon and bill and christina o'donnell did not win the election. i will tell you, if you have a large percentage of the electorate responding as people have to the two-party, far more important than there are a few candidates who are arguably outside the mainstream and not acceptable to people in this room, the fact that we have a
real problem in our politics. but the questioner had an important point. a lot of the tea party supporters are genuinely attracted by libertarian rhetoric and the real concern about fiscal responsibility. concerned about a generation of that and what it means to have this to be the american people are smart. you can't be the world's sole superpower. it's worth pointing out there was a fundamental fault line, a contradiction between many of the candidates put forth who are not libertarian in the least, but, in fact, hard core social conservative activists. most of those folks lost. you have to rise to the payless standard on abortion, not being pro-life but opposed even in the case of rape and incest. most of those candidates lost, but i can't think of anything less libertarian than that. or the fact that a couple of candidates all were saying the same stuff as michele bachman about separation of church and
state. it wasn't in the constitution. look at the tea party caucus. the most serious fiscal conservatives in congress aren't part of that caucus. instead it's michele bock and in the 12 co-sponsors of the birth the bill. people who are seriously devoted really need to look deeply and recognize that there is a fall line and a fundamental contradiction that they need to deal with because it's going to erupt. [applauding] >> good point. i just want to say, i've been around this all one time in many different angles. i worked in the legislature, jerry brown, a state party chair. i've run campaigns. press secretary. i was a candidate in california. radio and tv. i really love this political system. friends on both sides of the party. i believe in it. i believe this the way we as citizens involved in get things done. as an american and someone who
loves the political system i am worried about the tea party movement. i don't like it and i think it represents the dumbing down of america. and i hear somebody stand out -- and i hear somebody stand up at town hall meeting and say here's what i think about health care keeping government out of my medicare. >> i think, wait a minute. can't we do any better than this? i don't disagree with what you said, it's good for america. i think it's bad for america that they even got as far as they did. encino, the issue that i would take with you is when you self appointed critic on the left beside his time and he's not dumb, with all due respect that isn't how things work and it shouldn't be how things be.
>> well, you can defend kristine a doll. >> defending fairness in the process rather than your omniscience. we don't want to demonize people we disagree with. >> correct. at the we said that earlier. >> at think we did. this seems to be general agreement on that. i want to check right now. >> the christina donald tang was really special. no, i'm a californian, but i grew up in delaware. [applauding] all of that stuff about masturbation and all that, i learned to masturbate in delaware. >> it begins with condoms and ends with masturbation. such is the nature of american dialogue. >> she didn't get my vote. >> that's clear.
>> look at the clock to see if we have time. >> the tea party. >> c-span. where is brian lamb? >> five minutes. go keep this going. >> well, two things. i take pride in the fact that we are a nation that is a diverse culturally, politically, and in every way. i think that is wonderful. i grew up in a cable television age along with the new york times and "wall street journal" and all that. yes. corrupt also. some of the early, you know, brilliant articles. >> question. >> question is first of all, the biggest -- my biggest complaint or my biggest not the --
question. >> is, and as to this, why do we -- why do we call -- think of the tea party as an organization that has any fundamental belief or issues? as far as i can tell that to party is just a radical group of people who are very, very unhappy and range from moderate. >> we get the question. simple answer, bill and john should speak to it. they have three or four core principles they articulated. large numbers of people responded to reducing the debt or reducing spending or returning to what they call core principles. that's what politics is about. >> the idea, we don't want to just use the us against them and all of a sudden see these fellow americans as aliens. they're not. we may disagree with them, but this is part of the problem
pretty gone to a point where someone is liberal or conservative party party or entity party we start to question the patriotism and their americanism. that is dangerous. don't fall into it. the bigger. the better. >> try not to. >> my radical point of view is there is no such a thing. twenty-four different organizations around the country to identify themselves with something called the tea party. >> were going to keep it moving. >> my question is for mr. avalon. how do you explain individualist's to start out on one extreme and then turned out changing to the other side? >> it depends on which way they go. [applauding] >> if they go from right to left. >> i'm sorry. >> the extreme right in the 90's and extreme left. i was wondering what your take
is. i was trying to think of someone who does the opposite. >> there are plenty. i mean, i think that we want to encourage political evolution. the really core addicts that we need to remember that we are forgetting is that in a place where everybody thinks like no one is thinking very much. we want to doubt in our own infallibility and question their compatriots and think and analyze and evolve. that is a good, healthy sign of an individual. great. more the merrier. >> why do we need the party system at all? is deteriorated into government. why not have primaries that are not partisan and have two candidates with the highest number of votes have a runoff in the general election? >> two-party runoff. california just voted for that.
past the primary vote in every county except orange county and san francisco county, which i thought was funny. >> first of all, quickly, we started out with the number one vote-getter being the president and the number to the vice president. that's how we ended up with george washington and thomas jefferson and john adams. the founding fathers had enough sense to realize that was not working and it changed. i thought where we were going was i really believe as a solid democrat that the best thing we could do would be get a viable third or fourth party and really shaken up. really shake it up. give people a choice. >> in a rare moment of agreement having worked for a third-party, advocated a third-party candidate in 2008 and written a book about it, i can tell you i could not agree with him more.
>> independence of the largest and fastest-growing segment. the democrats or republicans. we forget that. the key is the source of the problem. so deeper than that. don't buy into this idea. parties are essentially opportunistic organizations designed to achieve power. washington, the only city in the country with the single most important thing about you is what political party he belongs to. most americans don't have a political litmus test. that's one of the reasons why washington is so screwed up. >> so why not have a drop at the end? it doesn't have to be president and vice-president predicting be a president with someone of his own party running against -- >> national fair vote. >> well, i would put none of the above. the problem with that is it would always ran. it would.
>> how can you talk about the t party and the motivations behind the two-party and not talk about race? i mean, it's like the 2,000-pound elephant in the room. >> sure. >> going to a two-party affair. race is one of the main factors. also, you keep citing examples. you're assuming that the electorate is 2012 is going to be the same small electric as 2010. let me tell you something. if the tea party at all carries out their program and the democrats respond by doing some of the things that people thought about busted four and release fought for progressive change you will see a much better turnout. you know, what lost the election was not that people change their mind. it was the democrats did not vote. if you look at it, that's the case here in florida and the case across the country. if the democratic base comes out
there will win. again, how you cannot talk about race in know, having written a book about the two-party having no connection to the two-party obviously scott and i were happy to write about race if race was an issue. we know, you can yell about a, but if you can present some evidence of mainstream tea party people making racial or engaging in racial epitaphs, it just doesn't happen to. >> john lewis is a patriotic american. if he had evidence it would have come forward. there hasn't been any evidence to support what john lewis said. he's a man of enormous patriotism and courage and enormous heroism. other than saying that on one
day unnamed people who he could not point to, you know, engaged in some vile behavior. there has been no evidence. that being said, to brandon organization as racist just because you feel strongly about the organization is really pretty sad in my judgment. [applauding] >> okay. i will tell you based on my own experience. i've been to several rallies. i did not see a lot of dark skin at any of those tea party rallies. glen beck rally and several in the washington d.c. area. i don't play the race card. i do have to say that when you look at the issues that the tea party raises and if it was government spending, the president before barack obama who until that time rolled up the biggest budget deficits ever and presided over the largest expansion of federal government since lbj and taken this into
two wars hemet even the wealthiest people a $2 trillion tax cut over ten years. you can go on and on with the issues. the only difference between that president where you didn't hear people from this crowd and the current president is that barack obama is the first black american president. i think that has something to do with it. something to do with it. that's all insane. race has been of fundamental fault line in our politics forever. you can't discount and its impact. america has come a long way since the simple stupid bird or racism. attempts to throw the race card in every debate in the subject meeting our conversation parity have to deal with the role of race. i have a chapter brad talk about the rise of white minority politics. i do not think it is simple braces and all. i think that some folks do express anxiety about the demographic changes in our
country that president obama is a symbol of to some extent. but let me just -- the gentleman who asked that question, wearing a george bush t-shirt that says i screw america. so that's important to know. i do think that this election, you know, is not about -- you've already seen some democrats. the problem is we weren't enough. the far left thinks he's a corporate sellout. you can't be both. if democrats got in trouble by misinterpreting the 2008 election as an ideological mandate, it was not. voters were -- the independent voters were consistent-2018% for republicans this time around. we want checks and balances. let me tell you. republicans misinterpret this election they're going to find out they have another think coming. >> let me make one final
comment. i think everybody will at least consider, if not embrace. a bill of the best of the american people. a gracious and did people that they elected barack obama. it is a sign of the openness and willingness to consider alternatives to the established political order. people would react against that on policy grounds, many in ways involving a level of activism that is reflected in my book is not a sign of racism but a sign of the diversity of the american people facing issues as they take them and making judgments however difficult or acceptable they may be to this audience. i would thank you for your kindness, thank you for your attention and tell you it's been a great discussion. thank you. >> thank you. [speaking in native tongue]
[applauding] [applauding] >> and that was john karl marlantes, bill press, and doug stone talking about their book live on book tv from the miami book fair international in downtown miami. we continue our live coverage here from the campus of miami-dade college. now joining us on our colin said is delighted griswald. his book is intense parallels. >> the linebackers of gratitude.
7,000 miles north. i spent the last seven years traveling between the equator in this particular fall line. i always remember. platitude. so traveling within this bandwidth, 9,000 miles from west africa through southeast asia licking and what happens, christianity and islam actually meet. this single fact that i really began with. four out of five of the world's over 1 billion moslems do not live in the middle east. they are africans and asians. they live within the state. this is where basically the southern edge of the world's muslims be nearly half of the world's 2 billion christians who live in africa and southeast asia. some people refer to this area as the global pelt. a new moniker. and so here most of the people of faith in the world live and
meet each other. i wanted to see what actually happens on the ground when christianity and islam practically meet. >> seven years. >> seven years. >> y? >> i can't think of a more important question. certainly as a reporter, so much about this overblown and oversimplified narrative. i wanted to see what actually happened in floods, droughts, fights over land, oil, water, and even in indonesia, crops of chocolate. and the global price of chocolate spiked the principal ingredient in chocolate is grown in eastern indonesia. christians and muslims began to fight over that very valuable land. so i wanted to see what actually happens when resource conflicts are mixed. it isn't that religion can be explained away by a political economy. it isn't always a question of have and have not. so essentially i wanted to look,
try to restore the reality of this beyond this monolithic oversimplified clash which is simply not the truth on the ground. >> why is the price of a religious issue? >> that is a good question. the price of kick out is a dividing issue. so because -- essentially what has happened in eastern indonesia which is really interesting in terms. dates back hundreds of years. some of these confrontations and the history of coexistence are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. what happened in eastern indonesia primarily, the spice trade, the trade was brought. christian and muslim traders and missionaries to the same beaches and island's imports. this is where the trade went brought them. so in the eastern part of the archipelago islam arrived first
drought indonesia more than 24,000 islands. and so the muslims were traitors. there were sailors. is on really rang the coast, especially in the eastern part of the archipelago. when the portuguese and dutch arrived what happened really in the 16th century is that the dutch targeted and led populations where islam had not reached yet. all of these islands. as the people who live inland that a port. pork is forbidden by muslims. and so the dutch used the five dutch missionaries used to then naturally pre-existing trends and practices of the people to graft christiane the on to local conditions. so how does it come to bear on this? the muslims in the eastern part of indonesia tend to be wealthier. they have these global trade
links. they are on the coast. the christians to live and learn to do not have these. the airport. and so what's happened is the muslims have bought up all lot of the island. the christians live inland and upon these ridges. muslims about a lot of the land. the christians are in essentially sharecroppers. like any sharecropper that process can make people absolutely outraged, especially when they see the plates of roof. christiansen been forced to sell off their land in that area over the past decade. that has made people super angry. >> eliza griswald. are there any generalizations that you can make a bet your travels and the people you've met? >> well, probably the largest surprise for me is that we talk a lot about the clashes between religion. the most important religious confrontations of our time are not between christianity and
islam. they are inside of christianity and islam. they are the confrontations between christians and christians to muslims and muslims over who is a true believer and he's not. you has the right to speak for god and he doesn't. we certainly see that here in america when people will take -- for example, we see that between liberals and conservatives. people like rev. frank and graeme, a half billion dollar evangelical empire him. bois whether it barack obama is a true christian are not. that is about this confrontation inside of christianity. within islam it's even more important to understand that there is no such thing as islam. there are thousands of the sectarian division between sounion shiites. it's also a question between liberals and conservatives over is going to control what is law means and the 21st century in
practical terms whether it's bailing or practices for women's rights or economic policies. these are complications within their religion. they are the most important confrontations of our time. >> what is your relationship? >> i'm glad to say it's a very friendly one. i have a great deal of respect for him. he is also good fun. we traveled together in 2003 had to saddam. when he was going for the first time in history to me with a man he had called just as evil as saddam hussein. when that is still sudan's president today. one he stands indicted by the international criminal court for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity for what happened in our four. in 2003 door for was just really a whisper. at that time think lee gramm was very much in the public eye because he had called islam a wicked and evil religion.
the north of sudan is primarily muslim. so there was a lot of outcry against his arrival. what i found out, he was going to me with this one enemy. asked if i could go a long pit of his working for vanity fair. he said yes. the technique. we went and sat in the marble palace, it was like watching. it was fascinating. these men he's tried to convert the other. that wasn't terribly successful. then graeme made reference to a hospital that he ran until very recently that the south sudan's largest hospital. and president bush years government and army has twice bombed this hospital. that is how the 40 years of civil war has played out. especially bashir, he has really
bombed hospitals. gramm has seen that up front which is what really shaped his opinions about as long. so he said, mr. president, i have a hospital in the south. he said the one and only sentence he added in english during the whole time. he turned to his aid. isn't that the hospital we bond? and graeme leaned forward and said twice come into mist. with that most of us were ushered out into the driveway. what happened next was even more fascinating. gramm told me later that he remembered that in the pocket of his blue blazer he had a george he leaned forward and took the pen from his pocket and give it to him and said, mr. president, i understand you'll be speaking to my president later today, why don't you tell him.
>> hello, i appreciate the author for enriching so many different dimensions. the talk that the world has become a world village. i have a couple of questions in regards to what kind of economic hold she sees in the book or she exposes in the book. not only in regards to petroleum, but i think it's very acute she points out a lot of the economy comes down from the hemisphere. it's related to others. my question, i guess, is do you know of any companies that are doing business currently that profit from that economy? that is it. thank you. >> a lot of the local businesses in indonesia do have local elements and they have
international elements. cocoa was just one of the smaller resources and the crops that i was looking at in the course of seven years. much more relevant on the world today would oil. sedan, today, is a huge oil supplier. not to the united states. one thing i was seeing quite a bit of in africa was chinese oil development. you know what, i was also seeing malaysian oil development in an oil feel called haglet, which we are going to be hearing more about. southern sudan, which has had a world with northern sudan, southern sudan on january 9, 2011, very soon, is going to be voting for it's right to it's
own independence. now 80% of sudan's oil is in the south of the country. there's only one way that oil leaves the country, through the north. through a pipeline, the pipeline is heavily protected by chinese oil interest. it used to be a u.s. company which has divested because of so much political power. i had the very curious conversation with some of the former farmers, sudanese farmers solved off of their land by oil interest; right? they are now essentially fisherman, they fish in puddles. i had a group of men say to me, why can't you bring back chevron. we much perform chevron and western oil interest to chinese ones. at least they try to get to know us. that is to say in what looks
like economic policies, we need to say out of particular areas is frequently on the ground much more complicated than it looks at a distance. >> host: good morning, you are on with eliza griswold. >> caller: hi, i wanted to thank the lady between the statement and the christians and muslims, is really between their own kind, muslims against muslims and christians against christians. that's a profound insight that's not recognized. i'd also like to ask her if she knows of any third party that's interested in conflicts between christians and muslims and if she could expound on that. i'd appreciate it. thank you. >> guest: like a third party, like a political party or? >> host: i think he meant generically. anything that you recognize as a third party, corporation, or whatever. >> guest: sure. i will be totally frank. i'm the daughter of a priest. so i grew up watching a lot of
interface dialogue that frankly put me to sleep. piscapalian priest. they can have children. i grew up where questions of faith were barely questions. what does it mean with christians, muslims, jews, buddhist, hindus sit down and try to find common ground. there was a lot of hot air. there are so many places where i've seen substantive interface work. really being done by people themselves. they don't need a third party. in fact, sometimes they are better served without one. so in nigeria, for example, there's a pastor and hamad. they both believe the other one is going to hell. >> host: james and ashofa.
>> guest: yes. james has one arm. the other arm was lopped off in fighting. these guys have done the most successful interface work that i've seen. it's essentially community and organizing 101. they don't deal with garbage collection, but it's like that. one the things they fight about in northern nigeria is firewood. so they get -- essentially they get a buy in from christian and muslim women, because the women are much more likely to be amendable. they say, hey, you guys, it cost $360 to get enough wood to burn, you know, to make your food in a single year. this stove cost $100. we can't buy it for you. how are you going to figure out to buy it? it's bringing in a secular element. really a third element, rather than a third party is maybe the
best way to say it. i think in most situations, people are better off building peace on their own. >> host: dispatching on the fault line between christianity and islam. next call comes from maine. >> caller: yes, good morning. i'm curious whether the author has an idea of -- from the places that she's traveled how the two different religions discussed, how they might or might not be reacting to the controversy of the islamic center proposed for manhattan? >> host: thank you, caller. >> guest: that gets to a super important point. global realities can lead to death in many, many places that i traveled along the 10th parallel. in particular, the danish
cartoon riot left more people dead in nigeria than in any other country. >> host: why? >> guest: for one, we are looking at weak states, really failed states that are weak at best. so local identities tend to be based not around -- if you ask someone who are you, the answer is i'm a nigerian. i'm a christian. i'm a muslim. why? because being a christian or muslim is what guarantees that you get electricity, fresh water, a good road. whether there is no functioning government, people turn to other factors in order to safeguard those most basic human rights. along the 10th parallel, people turn to religions quite a lot. actually, what happens, is i have to say i forget the question -- >> host: it was about the muslim center in new york. it was a good answer. >> guest: essentially what happens is pastor james said
something to me which i repeat all the time. when the west needs us, africa and asia catch the cold. so when something, again, the u.s. invasion of afghanistan, the lunatic holding up the koran and saying he was going to burn it. you know, these images rocket around the world. people do die. people die in kabul. they die in nigeria. so in terms of the ground zero question, because it has not turned explicitly violent here, i have not seen that leading to a lot of violence elsewhere along the 10th parallel. that said, these two sides shape each other. radicals on one side mouth off and they create an equal and opposite reaction on the other side. and that is what is so enably polarizing. this is a true believer. i'm a true exclusive believer.
that creates piss yours on the same side. >> host: how much fall the law? >> guest: the northern third follows islamic law. that has proven very little. essentially the call to return to islamic law is so frequently in this area of the world about rejecting corruption. rejecting what's seen as a failed democracy which is failed by the west. we don't think of that. well, it's about the voodoo, the criminal code that says lop off lands, stone people to death. in fact, not. the first religious edict that we have about stoning nonbelievers comes from the book
of dude onmy, yeah, it comes from one of the older scriptures. not from islam. and curiously enough, one the most interesting places i've seen it practices and in the book is what happened in indonesia after the tsunami. where in the providence, the people decided to adopt sharia. they tell about going out with the virtue squad. it was like taliban meets cops essentially. >> host: next call for eliza griswold comes from orlando. go ahead, orlando. >> caller: yes, thank you for your work. my question is do you belief the differences in religion are really a cover for -- ground for political power?
thank you. >> guest: you know, the answer to that is a complicated one. a lot of the work that i have done and that is essential, we understand, i never found myself in a place where i could explain away somebody's belief in god. really the job of the book was to bring back people's stories. there was no objective truth to saying this is just about politics. or this is -- there were certainly situations in which you could see people's political interests and what was playing out on the ground and how they used religion. i would say that would be one time out of ten. nine times out of ten, there was a faith factor, there was a fault line there that had to be with people's beliefs about god. a lot of the book is restoring just as people told me themselves. >> host: eliza, how did you start the book called "the 10th parallel." >> guest: with difficulty. i became a freelance journalist
in 2000. my first story was about not -- was about crime, woman who are killed against their honor. usually around sex, raped, adultery, this was right before 9/11. i ended up in new york on 9/11 like so many young reporters. two weeks later i was in pakistan with the dust from the world trade centers on my shoes. i was wearing -- i was one of them who had the same experience. most of us really haven't looked back. and so i came of age at a particular time where religion was -- trying to understand religion was very much, there was a market for it, essentially. and so i to be honest as my wonderful editor and paul eli who really decided they could take on the project and allow me
a very long leash that make take several years longer than anticipated, which, in fact, it did. >> host: next call from the guest comes from east hampton, new york. good afternoon, to you. >> caller: hi. i have a book fair question. i've been following her for years. it's extraordinary work. it's very deep, highly symbolic, conceptual, intellectual, moving, and you don't expect that sort of things from journalist. i'm wondering maybe part of the question is the answered in her own biography, whether being the daughter of a priest sort of predisposed her from literary life. moving from literature to journalism provided an opportunity to get into prose. the great poetry book that has
come out as the return to origin. that's sort of the first part of the question. if there's a distinctly literary background that might be related to religious life and poetry. secondly, people who see what you see around the world, tremendous pain and injustice, depravity, most of them, i think, need some sort of vent for that. does your poetry operate as a vent or therapeutic for you? i wonder whether human beings can absorb the kind of things you that see and seem to come back and have a tremendous balance and so on and so forth. >> host: thank you, caller. eliza? >> guest: thank you very much. mostly i write poetry about what i don't understand. that's really it. if that is while i'm reporting a story and i see something or
meet somebody and i can't figure it out on the page in prose, that stuff goes to poetry. for me there is something. that is to be honest, that's my -- that's my religion in a certain way. there's a theologian who writes about something called the safe word, the horizontal, and the vertical world, the sacred and the sector meet. when i can feel that heat, that usually becomes a poem. and i do have a new book of poems that will be out no time soon, but i'm working on it right now. >> host: so he obviously bought "wild awake field." >> guest: that was. and i do hope he bought it. some of the answers, i hope, biographically, "10th parallel" is not a first person narrative.
it's a story about africans and asians. one thing i've learned, in this kind of work there's no such thing as objectivity. the best i could do is continue to own by own subjecttivity. poetry allows somebody ton honest about the lens they are looking through. >> host: where did you go to college? >> guest: i went to princeton university. >> host: why? >> guest: at the time, the writing department was strong and i grew up in philadelphia. which isn't so far. weirdly enough, i missed the light. there's a kind of light in delaware, new jersey, philadelphia, that is not anywhere else. yes, we will leave it there. >> host: next call. who's book is "the 10th parallel: dispatches from the fault line christianity and islam." good afternoon. >> caller: hello. i'm on the air? >> host: you are, sir. >> caller: hello, i didn't
hear you mention, ms. griswold, the fault line within the islamic world on the ethnic basis. you mentioned the majority of muslims are not arabs, in sudan, the fault line between the darfur muslims and the central government which is arab. and the fact that the nonmuslims of the south have for many years emphasized the darfur issues, like the newba, and the other smaller muslim northerners together form a majority of black africans. which together muslim nonarabs with nonmuslim southerners form a huge 2/3 of the majority. and that the darfur issue is essentially racial because the muslim nonarabs of the darfur are being marginalized much like the southerners which is what a
man who just died was kind of like the hero of the whole black majority movement. they considered it a partide, and it was very similar in the whole killing of the blacks -- >> host: caller, we got the point. let's get an answer from miss griswold. >> guest: okay. great point. the larger thing to understand, again, we're talking about sudan, africa's largest country, this is how all of the sudan's wars relate. whether it's darfur, south, east, even the northerners, the newbeians. the central small political, very powerful regime fights against it's own peripheries whether they are against any terms they maybe. in the south traditionally, they have used islam. sudan waged the bloodiest world
between christians and muslims alike. you are right, darfur is muslim/muslim. these are the kind of nuances which are essential to understand to try to decode some of this. christian/muslim all the time. no, it's not the. it's the fault lines within that are truly the most important to watch. >> host: we haven't talked about ethiopia. >> guest: ethiopia, okay. i didn't go to ethiopia until very late in the reporting. and before i went the prophet muhammad was preaching to his own people in mecca, they kicked him out. they didn't want to hear the message of one single god. he fled with most of his followers 210 miles away to
what's now known as medina, the city of the prophet. he send a dozen followers to africa. why? that was the king of ethiopia. his own daughter was one of these 12; right? so they go to the court of christian king. and this is one of the earliest cases of political asylum that we have in history. they say to the king, they tell the king the story to try to safeguard their passage. they tell them the story of the virgin mary, giving wirth to -- giving birth to the baby jesus, which is in the koran. it was not the capitol at the time. i was there a few months ago. the followers of the first
ascendants are still there. the story of coexistence of christianity and islam is long and powerful. not in we believe the same thing, but understanding how the two religions have shaped each other since they began. ! -- >> host: tallahassee, good afternoon. >> caller: this is mario from tallahassee. can you hear me? >> host: we are listening, mario. >> caller: i wanted to ask about the conflict between the muslim and -- well, it's the muslims and the christians under the occupation of israel. it's a brutal occupation. >> host: eliza griswold, does the middle east play out on the "10th parallel." >> guest: it does in the same global reality. in the same way the u.s. invasion of afghanistan, in the
same way of burning the koran, yes, globalization brings this issue to bear. very much so. i mention the town where the pastor lived, it's called crocodile. the river runs down the middle. one side has christian neighborhoods, the other islam, christian are baghdad, the islam is called television. they asked me if they misunderstood tel aviv, i don't think so. does israel palestine play out there. in those names alone, you can see the christian community in nigeria very strongly identified with the israelis. of course, you are going to see much of that within the muslim context too. sometimes it's an excuse. osama bin laden we know came to
the israel/palestine late. 1998. it wasn't an issue for him before that. in the same way, sometimes israel/palestine can be a political football for those trying to garner their local interest. >> host: blond american woman along "the 10th parallel." >> guest: it was -- dirty secret, it's easier to be a woman than a man. most violence is random. if somebody comes up to your car with their ak-47 and they look in, there's a woman, you get 15 seconds of grace period. a little bit of shock goes a long way. that doesn't mean that many of my female colleagues haven't been mistreated. kidnapping a woman is expensive, it's religious suspect, you need a woman to watch her, a separate
space. so in those small ways, which are really the most important, i was given some safety. >> host: did somebody walk up to your car with an ak-47? >> guest: there was an episode -- yes. automatic fire in somalia. there was an episode that i was attached by something called the nigerian taliban. i don't write about it in the book, because the book is not about like hot zones, rah, rah, it's about africans and asia. but there's plenty of that if somebody wants to read. i was in some very bad shelling in somalia. when we hear this, somalia, for example, is the most dangerous place on earth for journalist. the reality is that's statistic means local journalist. everywhere i went, i worked with local people. and it's those people who end up
paying the price should i do something wrong. >> host: what's the take away on this book? what do you want people to take away? >> i really want people to take away the ideas that this is the clash within that we have to pay attention to. i want them to take a little hot air out of this overly simplified narrative. because it does no one any good. that kind of marshal rhetoric can actually lead to people dying. >> host: eliza griswold. "10th parallel." first time guest on book tv. thank you for being here. >> guest: thank you for having me. >> host: another call in. then jonathan franzen will be presenting his book "freedom." the one that president obama read this summer on vacation. up next, we are going to learn about robert morris. >> you are watching booktv.
our essential quality is our goodness. our behavior does not always bear out that essential quality. but it is my belief and my father's belief that our essential quality is goodness. and everything else in aberration. and we relate stories from both of our lives, both of us are clergy. both of us are priest and pastors, my father same shared the truth and reconciliation commission has been in all kinds of places where we has seen all kinds of grief and horror. i have been the same kinds of grief and horror, but on a more domestic scale in my role as the pastor. so i have a very clear sense of the pain that we can inflict on one another as human beings. but i also know that that is not the essence of our being.
and that we respond with horror to what is horrific because horror is not the essence of our being. >> are you also a resident of south africa? >> i'm not. i'm a resident of alexandria, virginia. >> how long have you lived in the states? >> more than 20 years, accept that i'm only 23. >> do you miss home? >> yes. i do. i miss home a lot. but in my role as the executive director of the tutu institute to prepare and pilgrimage, i get to go home taking groups with my on pilgrimage. >> mfho tutu and the co-author desmond tutu.
and our live coverage from the miami book fair international, on the campus of miami dade college. we are pleased to introduce you now to charles rappleye, and his book. mr. rappleye, who was robert morris? >> guest: he was the first of the revolution. they didn't have a treasury secretary, he was the treasury secretary. but they also didn't have a head of the civil government. there was the congress, but no president. in fact, morris was the first chief executive, civil executive. george washington was in the field, morris on the civil side, and when washington needed help, it was morris that he turned to. >> host: how was he the financier of the war? >> guest: for one thing, that was his title. the finances of the congress were in a disastrous situation.
and there was a devaluation, 40-1 of the continental dollar. it continued to sink. there was no backing for it. there was no reason for anybody to take it. nobody was taking it. the revolution was going bankrupt. and it looked like we weren't going to be able to finish what we had started. the congress turned to robert morris. he was the most successful and most influential merchant in philadelphia and america. they said get us out of here. what do we do? and he did. he stepped in with his personal finances to back the play, to keep's washington's army in the field, to support the finances of the government. on the strength of his personal credit, he issued his own notes. they were called morris notes,
because the notes of the government were not good. he was able to finance through his own capacity that waif. he also managed the funds that were coming in at that point from france. france was our ally in the war and financial sponsor and handled their money when it got over here. >> host: where did his money come from? by the way, numbers are up on the screen if you'd like to talk with our author, charles rappleye. robert morris is the topic and the american revolution. mr. rappleye has covered several topics in that area. where did his money come from? >> guest: morris made his money in international trade. he was a flour myrrh shan't. -- merchant. all across america. >> host: a little bit of wind.
he came over, morris was an immigrant. he was in america as a tobacco factory. he sent for morris and rob. within a couple of years, robert's father had died. >> host: and so mr. morris came over to u.s. which colony was he he -- which colony was he from at the time? >> guest: he was born in and grew up in liverpool. and his father brought him out here and sent him over to the counting house in philadelphia. so he's in philadelphia, pennsylvania, which was the largest support in the colonies.
he was the apprentice to the form charles willing and son. around the time that charles morris' son died, charles willing, he died. his son took over the firm. they came very close. within a period of five years, morris had risen from being an apprentice, which is a lowly spot in the firm, to being a partner with thomas willing. it was known as willing and morris. they came dominant in the flour trade. that was the mainstay of american trade at that time. flour from pennsylvania, come through philadelphia, and feed the hungry in europe and all around the caribbean. >> host: what were his years of living? >> guest: 1743 to 1806.
>> host: so was he not in philly at the same time ben franklin was there? was he younger? >> guest: he came of age in philly in ben franklin's philadelphia. franklin left philadelphia around 1765. he sent to the court of england to buy a faction in pennsylvania politics. politics in pennsylvania were very contentious. the faction that franklin was aligned in wanted to get rid of the penns who were the inheritors from william penn of the governorship of the colony, called a separate royal governor. because they felt they could have more influence with the royal governor than with the penns. which is ironic, because there was franklin on the eve of the american revolution, trying to
make nice with king george. almost found himself on the wrong side of the revolution, because when the hot heads in america were protesting the stamp act, ben franklin was trying to steer the stamp act so that his friends could get the revenue from that tax. so franklin and morris knew of each other. but it was not until the revolution actually -- the eve of the revolution when franklin came back from england that he and morris first started working together. and they met each other -- when franklin came back, he was sort of the favorite son. all of philadelphia rallies to him. he immediately was drafted into what was called the pennsylvania committee of safety. which was in the process in 1774 and 1775 of arming the colony in the event that there's actually going to be a break with britain. so you had -- you had these
committees of safety in each of the colonies going out and getting arms, and more importantly, gun powder of which there was virtually none in america. and they couldn't make it and they had to have it if they were going to fight this war. they set up secret committees. they were called secret committees to establish a secret arms trade to bring the ammunitions and the gun powder to the rebel army that was just informing in the fields. franklin and morris collaborated on the secret committee in pennsylvania, and then they got folded into congress and became a committee of congress that was also running this secret arms trade to supply the rebels in the american revolution. >> host: he's not that well known today. is that a fair statement? >> guest: morris is not well
known today. which is a story in itself. kind of fascinating. it's remarkable to think that, in fact, morris was the most powerful, most influential, and the richest person in america at the time. and it's not like he sat in his house with all of his money. he was very active. member of the continental congress, leader of the pennsylvania delegation, superintendent of finance when push came to shove, they brought him into run the finances of the government. member of the constitutional convention, first senator. morris was a major figure. but morris was rich. and being rich never conported with the idea that the americans had of the revolutionary. they were more inclined to be interested in sam adams and paul revere. although he was well to do.
but i'm getting a lot of clicking in here. i'm sorry. >> host: yes, you know what, i'm getting a little. you can take that out if it's bothering you and distracting you. >> guest: and there's a phone going off. morris was so -- not only was he rich, but he was the high stakes gambler which tends to be a good way to get rich if it works, it's also the way to lose everything. there was a land after the american revolution. a lot of the main -- the leading patriots in the revolution understand that after the war, after their success, there was going to be a lot of people coming over from europe wanting to settle in the colonies, the former colonies. they saw all of the promise of the american future. and they were sure that all of europe would share their
enthusiasm. morris plunged deep in the land market. he ended up buying $6 -- 6 million acres of land. he got a little ahead of the market and got caught with it. he went bankrupt. he spent his last three years in debtors prison, the last three years towards the end of his life. that doesn't fit with the midas touch and the guy who kept the american revolution afloat. it all combines to he's not the guy that americans like to think about when they think about the founding. and he dropped -- in the early years of the american historiography, for probably the first 100 years, morris was considered one the very primary figures. starting around the turn of the century, there was a new movement in american -- the
american history cannon, challenging the accepted notions of the revolution, suggesting that, in fact, it was a war that was fought primarily to line the pockets of the members of the continental congress and the constitutional convention. it was all in charles bierd the economic roots of the constitution. something along those lines. anyway, morris began his decline then. people were very comfortable to pass him by. when you follow the story, you see it's the center of saying from the very beginning of the war, he's the guy who went and got the gun powder, that's pretty elemental. right through to the constitutional convention where he was the person that introduced washington on the floor and led him to the chair. morris was at the center of it.
>> host: charles rappleye is our guest. we are going to put the phone numbers up. >> host: if you'd like to discuss the american revolution, robert morris, or the era, call in. >> caller: yes, that's the question. i'll take the answer off of the air. if you were to compare today with the yesterday, what were you compare it with? >> guest: i suppose bernanke. he was head of the central bank. in fact, morris founded the first bank in the united states. he founded it as a means for
financing, the revolution, and to revive the american economy. during the revolution, as i think i said earlier, the continental dollar lost all of it's value, was worthless, and had to be a new medium of exchange. morris stepped in and did two things. for the government, he established -- he started to fund it on his own credit. these things called morris notes that he issued to pay the bills of the government. that were in his name, they were to the credit of the united states. it was up to the united states to pay it back. they had no money. morris was floating his government on his own personal credit. the other thing that he did was start the first bank in america. prior to the revolution, banks were illegal under the british rules of trade. everything was run through the bank of england. there were no banks in america. that was still a foreign idea.
they hadn't tried it here. morris saw a bank as two things. one was to pool the capital in america, and get it into play. the pool of capital that people could draw for the commercial projects. the other idea the bank notes would start to circulate and hold value on their own. you didn't have to prop it up through a law that says this is legal tender. this is worth so much. it was all based on the faith and credit in the private institution of what was called the bank of north america. he was the founder of the bank. he used those two names, his own personal credit and the credit of the new institution, the bank, to revive the american economy and to start establishing the foundation from which we can start to pay back the loan that is the french were sending over to finance the war. >> host: next call for charles
rappleye, "charles morris: author of the american revolution." please go ahead with your question. >> caller: yeah, i had heard the whale industry out of new england played a big part in financing the american revolution. i was wondering what charles could tell me about that? >> host: caller, i'm sorry, i missed the first part. what was your question? >> caller: okay. i heard the whaling industry out of new england had played -- >> host: whaling industry. thank you, sir. we'll get an answer for you. >> guest: well, i'm not sure what the question quite was. the whaling industry was out of nantucket. >> host: he talked about it financing the american revolution. was there some of that you found
in your research? >> guest: no. nantucket were collaborators. they were not interested in joining the revolution. and they were treated as the enemy. they actually went into france. it's a strange and interest story. but it doesn't -- the whale oil did not finance the revolution. >> host: california, good afternoon, you are on. please go ahead. >> caller: hi, i have two points. one point that actually to make. i'm glad to see that john adams has been resurrected as a founding father and was an instrument in the war and subsequent thereto. i certainly hope that mr. morris, you know, make it is to the first grade, so to speak. the second question is can you
tell me something -- did he have anything to do with hamilton? were they colleagues? did they know one another? you know, maybe you can give me a little background on that. >> guest: sure. let me -- i'm not sure what to say about adams, except that morris should be part of the process and the character and the drama. morris and hamilton had an interesting connection. hamilton was in the field with washington when morris was in congress trying to win powers of taxation for the congress. this is his idea of how they were going to raise the money to pay back the loans from france. there was no revenue. and they had to develop some source of revenue. so paying for this war that they were fighting.
hamilton, while he was in the field with washington, was literally sitting around a campfire studying economic theory and writing letters to people in the congress about what needed to be done. one of his correspondence was morris. hamilton was an advocate for the bank, advocate for tax powers for congress, he was an advocate for what was then morris' funding program. he then joined the congress in 1781, he quit washington's staff, he had a falling out with washington. more personal, not policy. they remained allies, washington and hamilton. hamilton game to the first term of the member of congress. he fell in with morris' faction. and then later after the constitutional convention, when they did fund the federal government and started the federal government, morris was a
senator in the first federal congress when hamilton was brought in as the treasury secretary. hamilton had a whole slew of bills, a funding program that was very much along the lines of the original morris funding program. morris became his -- basically his field marshal in the senate. morris pushed the program through in the senate, and that was where hamilton got the funding program. hamilton is known as the founder of the first national bank. it's technically true. the bank that morris founded before that was explicitly not a government institution, not a bank. partly because of the government had no credit at that point in time. morris founded the bank in order to establish a medium of exchange that had some foundation, other than the government. when hamilton came in, he established the bank of the
quasi national institution. the first president in the bank of the united states was formally the president of the bank of north america, which morris had started and was morris' business partner thomas willing. so they have a very strong connection. morris and hamilton, mostly in terms of ideas. they were not friendly. they knew each other. it was a distant connection. they didn't always trust each other. >> we are live in miami at the miami book fair international with charles rappleye. this is his newest book, robert morris, the financier of the american revolution. the next call, richmond, virginia, you are on the air. good afternoon. >> caller: hi, how are you doing? >> host: good. >> caller: okay. i saw your book in costco. i thought who is robert morris. i'm in richmond, virginia.
now i'm getting deep into all of our founding fathers andering. i -- and fathers and everything. i wonder how he related to jefferson, madison, and some of the other fellows. did he sign the constitution, leaders in that, how does this fit together? >> guest: first off, yes, he signed the constitution. i think i mentioned before he was a member of the constitutional convention. he was somebody of the host delegate. he was the leader of the pennsylvania delegation, and, of course, the convention was held in philadelphia. it was morris who rang the first gavel, who nominated washington as the care of the convention, and then when washington was elected chair of the convention, morris escorted him to the day in which he provided. morris and virginian is another story and an interesting one. the virginians were themselves,
divided. there was a sort of radical faction in virginia which concluded richard henry lee, the lee brothers, patrick henry, a few other characters like that. and then there were the more moderate factions, the madison later came into the picture there. and george washington was sort of somewhere in better. morris forms a very strong connection with some of the virginians with washington. and with madison. madison like hamilton was one of the young members of congress in 1781 who rallied to morris in support of a strong central government, and support in tax power for the central government, and they were defeated at this point in time. and they were dispersed, they left the congress, it was not
until 1787 and the constitutional convention that they group became back to the board. morris was very much a part of that. morris was always bitter enemies with the leads of the virginia, richard henry, and arthur lee. they were critics of morris in his funding program, they were critics of morris as a person. they were skeptics of anybody involved in a trade. as richard henry lee put it, the spirit of trade is the spirit of ab wrist. they assumed if you were involved in the business of making money, you must be -- there must be something morally wrong with you. they were constantly scrutinizing morris' action and transactions, alleging he was profiteering off of the war. morris did profit substantially during the war, but not all of the war. that's a distinction that i make
in the book. there are some people who say the myth is that morris financed the revolution. the reality is the revolution financed robert morris. i can see that in the book, in fact, morris did everything to keep that revolution afloat. >> guest: next call, north carolina. please go ahead. >> caller: yes, my question, i think you partly answered it, i was wondering if morris was taken out of the picture when they started to change american history of sort of a progressive movement to get rid of people that were working with money and using money as part -- and big business. now you say he was what sounds like a capitalist at some point. why were they -- really did they try to get rid of them as part of our history is my question. i'll let you answer. i'll get off of the air. thank you. >> besides the fact that you talked about his money and his
debtor's prison service, any other reasons that robert morris just kind of faded out of our psyche? >> guest: well, i think there's the whole thing of the progressive. as the caller said, the progressive movement in american history which was to talk about the people's revolution and to sort of move away from the idea that there were some key actors and some -- that the leaders really had a big part of shaping what happened. there was also a constituency or a theory, a new way of looking at it, it said that these people had usurped the revolution, this democratic revolution, and by means of the constitution, had taken it away from the people and put it in the hands of what was really an aligarchy. there was some close studies done of the financial interest
of the founders, breaking down the financial interest to every member of the constitutional convention. and which largely put the rest to the idea that it was all about profit and all about self-interest. those kind of ideas die slowly. and morris -- let's see. we'll see if he enjoys the resurgence. this is the first biography of morris published in 1903. >> host:1903. >> guest: that was the last biography of morris. >> host: we are getting a call. go ahead, please. >> caller: hi, did mr. morris have anything to do with the whiskey tax? did he help george washington on crushing the whiskey rebellion, since it led to the stronger central government? >> host: whiskey tax, thank you, caller. charles rappleye, what about
whiskey tax, did robert morris have anything to do with that and leading to a stronger central government? >> guest: whiskey tax was part of the hamilton when he was director of treasury past the initial grants of authority that were given in the first continental congress to, i mean in the first federal congress to charge duties on imports and that kind of thing. the whiskey tax was very unpopular. this came after morris' involvement with government. hasn't happened. >> host: next call. tucson, arizona. here's the cover of the book. please go ahead. discipline -- >> caller: hi, how are you? i was wondering if you could speak about morris' relationship with sullivan? >> guest: sure, himes sullivan
was an intriguing person in the revolution. a hungarian jew that traveled through new york before he ended up on the american revolution. he was drawn to the american cause, imprisoned by the british, escaped, made his way to philadelphia, and very soon one reputation as a fair dealer in the -- on the docks down by the -- down on the philadelphia water front. and became the leading bond broker in town.
>> he staked his fortune on the outcome of the revolution. solomon lost the sum of that in the revolution and went broke from the revolution and there soon after, but he's one of the true heros of the revolution and is associated with the office of finance. >> what was his role in the constitution, the constitution's induction? >> well, the long answer and short answer. the short answer is he was there at the constitution. he was the host of the convention, but the host of wash.
washington spent those four mops in residence at marshall's house in philadelphia. this was part of a growing bond between morris and washington that lasted all their days, and in a larger sense, there was two factions in the congress, and the congress divided early on between the hot-headed radicals you might say, the one's who were the driving force behind the independence, and the more moderate, pragmatic members who came into government and shoulders a lot of the burden of the revolution who were not as ideological, and these differences in the split of the political division in congress found expression in a number of ways. the ideologs didn't like to have power resting in one person's hand. so all the business of congress was done by committees. that never worked very well, and
by 1780 they pretty much abandoned it which is when the congress decided to bring in morris as the financier and livington and the civilian style of the army that washington brought into the field. these divisions came in 1781-73 when morris was trying to obtain tax authority for the federal government. he was denied and he and his faction basically lost that battle and hamilton left the congress and madison lost as well, but stayed in the congress. morris left the congress. they were on the outs, and they had lost to, really the equivalent of the tea water -- party today. they tried that formula for the first four years after the revolution, and found it was
leading them into chaos, political chaos, economic depression. it was called the critical period by the historians who wrote about it late in the 19th century, and it was at that point that the people in the former colonies, the leadership of the former colonies turned back to the original faction of the nationalists which was washington, which was morris, hamilton, and madison. they stood by and allowed them to call the constitutional convention which is really one of the ironnies that you run into with the tea party today talking about how their all about the constitution. in fact, the constitution was the triumph of the state parties, the party who said we need a strong central government, central taxing authority, and we need this
government to be able to arbitrate between the states and deal as a sole entity with foreign powers. that's what the constitution was all about, and morris was essential to that faction. >> new york city, you're on, please go ahead with your question. >> caller: yes, hello. i wonder do you believe at all that the jeswits had anything to do with the american revolution. >> caller, why do you ask that question? >> i read the secret teachings of all the ages and he talks about a secret organization that was reshaped by a secret few, finance and revolution for a particular purpose basically. >> all right. the american revolution, financing of the american revolution. >> frankly, that's a new one on me, and i can tell you robert
morris was sort of -- he was not a mason either, so both of those can be put aside. it's not a secret or a mystery how all of this happened, and it's all there in some length in the robert morris, financier of american revolution. >> now, what about research? how do you begin researching someone from 1903, what was your best reference? >> well, this is a big book. it is a big book, and part of the reason -- maybe part of the reason that morris has not been written about up until now because his papers were not collected until the 07s. -- 70s. they were lost for a long period of time and turned up somewhere in europe around the turn of the last century, and in the late 60s and through the 70 #s, there
was a major project to collect and publish the papers of robert morris. these are his business and government papers that spanned the period of his tenure as superinten daunt of finance -- superintendent that passes four years, but this comprises four volumings. there's his personal papers that reside in libraries around the country. i happen to live in los angeles, and i was able to do a lot of work at the huntington library in san marine -- marino and i was able to travel to massachusetts, new york, philadelphia, the historical
societies there, the at-home collections there, and read deeply, although i have to admit, i was not able to read everything. there's a lot there. >> charles rappleye, his latest book published by simon and skhuster. >> on a windy miami day. >> right. final event of the day jonathan talking about his book, "freedom. >> i thank a special person in this community, and -- yes -- [applause] i want to bring him in here so he can feel the love. he doesn't have to say anything, but i want him to feel the love
of all of you. [cheers and applause] [applause] and, of course, we would like to thank our sponsors here as well, all the great people who helped put this on, and one of the sponsors this week made this cup. [laughter] i wrote it because i'd afraid i'd forget someone i know very, very well, dennis skhoel, the vice president of arts for the knights fan cation and an art force in our community, please welcome dennis. [applause]
>> oh, wow. before i introduce our author tonight. i want to take a minute to acknowledge what a world class event this has become for our community. let's face it. [applause] also, you know, we thank mitchell and they have been an amazing group for us, the board of trues sees for the -- trustees of the museum, and all the book fair volunteers. they have done a great job this week. please. [applause] recently, jon than was asked what is ten rules important for aspiring writers. i picked five. the reader is a friend, not an
adversary or a spectator. when information becomes free and universally acceptable, the research for the novel is valued along with it. i think we could argue about that one later on maybe. [laughter] you see more sitting still than you do chasing after. you have to love before you can be relentless. my personal favorite, it's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection -- on the walk over i asked him, how did he have the discipline to turn off his internet connection? he said, simple. first, you take out the wireless card, then you take an ether net
cord and stick it in the curat and get a saw and cut it off at the end of the cord. no chatting. it took him seven years to write the corrections, and nine years to write freedom. that's a lot of time offline. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome johnthan frances. [applause] >> hi. this is a large bright room. [laughter] obviously, i have access to internet, just not at the office. [laughter] unless i bring my blackberry along, which i do on days when i'm not intending to get anything done. [laughter]
thank you all for coming, and it's nice to be back here at the book fair. it is -- there's a special buzz to this thing. i'm kind of at a loss to explain it, but there's so much energy in the air here, and it's a really neat event, so it's good to be here. i've been asked to read to you, and i'm told we actually have a real 45 minutes opposed to the 45 minutes with 10 minutes cut out in the beginning of it. i'll read awhile, and then i'll take audience questions if there are any, which i hope there are. i also should warn you that i have new glasses. [laughter] they seem like, i'm not sure they are any good for most things, but they are good for making it almost impossible to look up and then find the correct focal point when i look
back down. [laughter] i actually brought my old glasses along, but left them in the hotel. [laughter] so, forfive me if i'm -- forgive me if i'm guessing at certain words. my new novel, "freedom" didn't really take me nine years to write, but one year, and seven years to get to that point. it's a hard book to read from because the chapters are long and there's no easy break points, and i don't want a book that breaks down into little, you know, not that interchangeable, but separately enjoyly bites. i want it to kind of make you keep reading, that kind of thing, so i'm going to read -- i'm just going to tradeoff in the middle of the section when i felt i've read enough. [laughter]
you'll be left with that it goes on in a similar bane, but it gets more uncomfortable about the character i'll be reading about. his parents are really at the very center of the book, but he's a central character too, and this takes place quite far before the main action of the book. i'm not giving much away by reading it, and you just need to know that he grew up in st. paul with very lovely parents who he decided he couldn't bear to live with at 16, and moved in with his girlfriend who lived next door. [laughter] now, he's gone off to college in virginia. it's really warm. [laughter]
[laughter] the chapter is called womanland, excuse me, the name of the chapter is womanland. growing up in st. paul, he received assurances his life would be a lucky one, like a great open field run, the sense of cutting and weaving at full speed through a defense that moved in slow motion, the entire field of play as all visible and graspable as a rookie game the way every facet of his life felt for the first 18 years. the world had given to him, and he was fine with taking. he arrived as a first year student with the ideal clothes and haircut and he was paired with a perfect roommate from nova. college looked like an extension of the world he had always known it, only better.
he was so convinced of this, took so much for granted, than on 9/11 he left his roommate to monitor the burning towers to two to his lecture. once he found the hall empty, he understood a serious glitch occurred. in the days after 9/11, everything was extremely stupid to him. it was stupid that a vigil of concern was held and that the boys honk a banner of support from their house and it was stupid that the fblght game against penn state was canceled and so many kids left grounds to be with their family and it was stupid that everyone there said grounds instead of campus. they had endless stupid arguments with the conservative
kids like anyone cared. a big fuss was made about the students who lost family friends in the attacks as if the other kind of horrible deaths occurring in the world mattered less, and there was stupid applause when a van full of upper classmen went to new york to help do the job. he wanted normal life to return as fast as possible. he felt he bumped his diskman against the law into a track he didn't recognize or like or be able to stop playing. he was so lonely and hungry for familiar things that he gave connie permission to take a bus to visit him, there by undoing a month of spade work to prepare her for their breakup. he stress the the importance of not getting together for nine months to test their feelings
for each other. the idea was to develop independent selfs and see if they were still a good match. this was no more a test than a high school chemistry experiment. she stayed in minnesota and he pursued a business career and met girls who were more advanced, exotic, and connected or so he imagined. she spent the entire weekend camped out on his bed with her overnight bag on the floor and zipping herself back inside them to minimize her foot -- footprints. she poured over the faces over his facebook, and laughed at the ones without expressions or unfortunate names. by his reliable count, they had sex eight times in 40 hours stoning themselves on the bug
she brought along and when it was time to bring her back, he loaded new songs on her mp, player. he felt responsible for her and needed to break up with her anyway, and couldn't think how. at the bus station he brought up her education that she promised to pursue, but somehow without explanation, had nod. you need to start classes in january and transfer to the u next year. okay, she said. you're really smart, you can't keep being a waitress. okay. she looked away at the line forming by her bus. i'll do it for you. not for me, for you like she promised. she shook her head. you just want me to forget about you. not true, not true at all, although it was fairly true. i'll go to school, but it won't make me forget about you, nothing will.
right, but we still need to find out who we are and do some growing. i already know who i am. maybe you're wrong, maybe -- no, she said. i'm not wrong. i only want to be with you, that's all i want in my life. you're the best person in the world. you can do anything you want, and i'll be there for you. you'll have companies, and i can work for you or you can work for president, and i'll work your campaign and do anything else won't do. if you want children, i'll raise them for you. he was aware of needing his wits about him to reply to this, but he was still somewhat stoned. [laughter] here's the thing i want you to do. get a college education, like, for example, he unwisely added, if you are going to work for me, you need to know a lot of different stuff. that's why i said i'd go to school for you, weren't you listening? he was seeing that prices were
not always evident at first glance, but the ballooning interest charges on his high school pleasures might still lie ahead of him. we better get in line. okay. we should go a week without calling. we need to be more disciplined. okay, she said. she walked towards the bus station. he followed with her bag and didn't have to worry about her making a scene. she was never an investor on sidewalk hand holding, never a clinger, a reproacher. she saved her arter for when they were alone. when the bus doors opened she stabbed him with a burning look. there was no waiting or making kissing faces. she put her earphones in her ears and slouched out of sight. connie o beadily did not call him and as the national fever