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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 1, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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megacorporations and what is wrong with american security what you're booking such a valuable contribution at the same time letting we'll you a debt of gratitude. >> guest: as eisenhower was if you're going to deal with the military industrial complex you need a citizen it was it is a challenge because people are distracted by their own economic problems. but i think if we can break through this time of the budget deficit and rearrange government spending i think it might be a way to win some of these battles even giving them the influence but it's going to take a major public education. >> host: and the kind of light of day as your careful history of the lockheed business from the stunt pilots and five dollar
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writes for the thrill seekers to the megacorporations and it's causing us to think about'> wanting to fight regular war with nuclear weapons and causing us to invade iraq and causing us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons that don't work and that the country doesn't need. that's why people need to read your book to understand how that works. ..
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>> guest: it doesn't look like me anyway. >> host: was a kid? is who i don't know. some urchins from some strange place. it does like me. it could be me. but he looks to -- i never had their feet. my mother always made sure that we had shoes. other kids went around barefoot, but we didn't. we were too snobbish. >> host: when he saw this book come you didn't know this picture, working around -- >> guest: i had no idea at all. my wife said it's wrong to put some unknown kid. he wanted to put me on.
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and people like it in general. it gives the flavor of the book. a kid on the street. >> host: wendy to get the first itu wanted to do something like this? >> guest: write this book? first of all it wanted to be a writer. anybody who comes to no circumstances doesn't want to write about it. you are ashamed of it. you don't have any self-sustaining. so i somehow began to gain some approval or acceptance for my students who are friends of mine and talk about growing up. i was enough of that i thought was amusing. some of the stories i told her so absurd. they laugh and say you should write this. i've been hearing it for years.
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what are you going to write about? finagling twitty poe? no more insistent than the brain read the book. i tried all the years. over the version in 1969 called delivery and laying, but it was -- i was imitating everybody and evelyn waugh or. imagining me writing like evelyn were. none of the word until eventually i found my own way. >> host: where is the high school you talking? >> guest: new york, east 15th street. but that wasn't the only one a tie. it was three different high schools. one in staten island and the civil part of the east side. fashion industry on west 24th street. >> host: company years? >> guest: well, i was a substitute teacher. >> host: we need you first and
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input words down on paper? >> guest: it goes way back to my twenties when i started jotting in the notebooks, things that i and others had come missing from the neighbors. there's a lot of funny stuff despite the poverty. we had a lot of eccentrics wandering around who if they were here would be locked up today, yesterday. but they were cared to resolve the place. >> host: who is this? >> guest: that is my mother in the middle. that's when my brother mike got married. he's the one to my mother's right. mike malik e. and myself am a mother. i was mike's wedding about 32 or 33 years ago. his first wedding. >> host: where are your brothers today? one is in new york as an actor. he is writing a book.
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and i'll see -- mike runs a bar and restaurant in san francisco. and now went into bar business. people used to say, when you going to the bar business. i said with my brothers become teachers. we have great hopes for him because he's the only ones with any kind of education. he went to secondary school and we all thought he was growing up to be a statue went colombia briefly. and we thought he'd become a lawyer or something like that. but instead he opened a mexican restaurant. the only irish mini government to open a mexican restaurant. it's gone now. it was very popular on the upper west side. >> host: with this? >> guest: that is a mother. >> host: when this is taken? it says on the back 1979. >> guest: some bar. we would take her out occasionally. she loved going out. she enjoyed the good time.
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you can see she was a large woman. of course it was because she was sedentary. but she loves parties. >> host: how many children did she have? >> guest: seven. >> host: how many are alive today? >> guest: three. she had six children in five and a half years. those are including twins. and three of them died in that five and a half years. margaret and the twin. she did not die in brooklyn. the twins died in ireland. they died is probably bronchial pneumonia, something preventable. and that's what the death of the little girl i think drove my father crazy. he was mad about her. and i know that. i remember the kind of attention he would pay her, which he didn't pay us. he was very good to us. he was a kind gentleman when he was sober. but my mirth or to any deep
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depression. note the death of the little girl drove them into a depression and drove onto the bottle come you can imagine what it was like when the twins died in ireland. >> host: what year did the twin study? >> guest: margaret died in 1934 and the twins died in 1935. oliver died in may of 35 and eugene in november 35. and in the meantime, my mother got pregnant the month oliver died. >> host: where do you fit in the family? >> guest: i am the oldest. >> host: who is this? >> guest: that's my father. i don't know who's holding there. >> host: fiona. >> guest: yeah, yeah, that's nokia's granddaughter. that was taken just before he died anything. he lost all of his hair. and he had an indefensible. you would need subtitles to hear. he made his way during the war
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and knocked around there and got into trouble. he went back to his father's farm with my grandmother was. >> host: when was the last time you saw him? >> guest: in his coffin in 1985. before that in 1971 when it was erupting. >> host: what was her relationship with him at the end? >> guest: it was inconsequential. i never saw him. if i did see him -- it was very hard to get into an intellect conversation with him. if i were to look at this from the outside, i would've said to myself, why didn't she go back and talk to him? but i think i had a feeling that there was no point was that he wouldn't come through. he was so put in every way. he would say how was your mother? howitzer brother? and then he would look out the window and drink his tea.
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there was no getting through to him. >> host: were you ever close to him? >> guest: i was never close. >> host: there was a time when he just in-hospital? >> guest: when i have a typhoid fever. this is a characteristic, not a flamboyant phrase. we don't go around saying i love you. the word love with something that was reserved for god, bbs, when you talk to bbs. but not for personal relationships. i used to think when people said i love you that was for something on the screen. we never heard it. i never heard a mother saying i love you. and my brother malik he once had an experience. he was nine. i think this may have changed because he was in the kitchen. he was nine years old. he was overwhelmed.
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he said to my mother, ma'am, i love you. and she looked at him. and then, later on he was there at the kitchen and her friend comes and from next door and my mother said rady, dg heritage is said to me? he told me he loved me and the two of them had a good laugh. and malloch e. sink to the floor. so you have to be careful. >> host: what is this? >> guest: that is the great paris took my mother's ashes to be sprinkled. it's an old medieval abbey. she died in new york. we had her cremated and took her back there. she is to say it want to be buried with my own people and margaret. i said, she was the brightest woman. police said you know the cost of transporting your body to
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ireland? so we cremated her and took her back after five or six days a grief in celebration. december at 81. >> host: that is the king of ashes that we were sprinkling. it was a very strange occasion because malik he was there and their wives were there. any group of friends. we'd all -- what i remember mostly was awkwardness. and usually were not caught shy for words. i think malik and i felt a little bit awkward because we simply didn't know what to do. usually you have a priest. there was a pause. we sprinkled the ash is. i just started saying hail mary, full of grace and with it. because that's the national shrine now. we had to turn them over to
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date. >> host: same day? >> guest: that is me and my daughter, maggie. and sheila brown. she is a friend both mine. they on a kind of a castle. >> host: let me ask it differently. how does it feel to be so public with your life? >> guest: i haven't have time to reflect. i've seen -- i know people who are public. i used to hang around people in new york who are public for years and years and years. and it's a them come and go and i'd be on the peripheral of the crowd. and i was what they call an america only teacher. there were writers and poets. i'm only a teacher. i was always on the periphery.
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and my father was an out later. now, people look at me. they look at me. it's like wealth olefins book, invisible man. but people don't see you. i wrote a book. i taught for 27 years and nobody paid me attention. then i wrote a book about slum life and i'm an expert on everything. >> host: we got all this from a young man within your family. just o'connor. >> host: who is the? >> guest: that's my brother. he's the third in line to the fortune and he's the one in san francisco. he's out there with his wife and his four kids. and connor is a cop in new york, who has become a family video man. and he's very enthusiastic over capturing the history of the family. he's done a video. >> host: we know.
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[laughter] gasket you know everything. >> host: were going to show that a little later on. >> guest: you have the good family. >> host: this is the brothers. >> guest: this is last year. this is at the grand pacino restaurant in new york when my book was launched. again, alfie, mike, malloch e. and myself. same lineup from the wedding picture or two years e4. there is one of those rare occasions i think we were all together. because usually when we got together, there were fireworks. all grievances. but the book seems to have a lot of that stuff, with the result that we all went to limerick in october for the launching of the book in ireland. it was the first time we've been entirely together for over 40 years because mike mike is out
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in san francisco. even though three of us live in new york, sometimes we don't see each other for long periods of time. >> host: we have another one here seem group, but somebody new. >> guest: island, my wife. that was us a chechen limerick. that's when the four of us got together. alan was getting -- alan was getting the two other of my fond childhood. >> host: windage of the alan? >> guest: 1994. >> host: first, second? >> guest: third. i am finally and blissfully california. >> host: where did you meet alan? >> guest: and the lions had power. it was arranged. he wasn't one of these things where i wandered in off the street. she at a friend, deborah was going with the kite who is a friend of mine. and the range day.
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it was a matchmaking and it worked. although, allen with a little wary of me considering my history and i don't blame your. >> host: what's your history? >> guest: i've been married twice before and i've been a wanderer. >> host: how many kids do you have? >> guest: one, from the first marriage. maggie from santa cruz. >> host: how does this all work out in the catholic church? >> guest: i don't care. i'm not going to get excommunicated because i was not made within the church. what you do doesn't matter. it simply committing the sin of adultery. so i haven't tried to transgress in holy matcher money. if i got married in the church they would take it seriously. i am excommunicated for something in the 1930s -- and my 30s. i went to trinity college in dublin, which was forbidden by the archbishop john charles
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mccoy. any catholic who went to trinity college was excommunicated automatically. that's good lifting though. >> host: why was that the case? >> guest: he was a tyrant. he was regarded as a mast of pragmatism and eat the assam and freemasonry. but i went anyway for her phd. >> host: what you think of roman catholicism in general? >> guest: i have no time for it. i am no individual priests and nuns who were doing literally god's work, but the church has to catch up. with what? i don't know. but it's dying. there was one model statistic last year and limerick, i, that they beatified the founder of the christian brothers, edmund rice as the pope. the last year, one person during the christian brothers as
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compared with 10 years ago. so that's a dying quarter, teaching order. that shows you how few people want to go to church anymore. my father wanted me to be an altar boy and made me learn the latin, and maybe learn the responses. dean is a mast backward and forward. the priest part and the boy's father. so we trained me and i memorized radiantly leaned on the floor. and he takes me around the corner to st. joseph's church and the fact is there to take care of the church elected me and said we don't have room for him. my history is having doors shut in my face, never wide-open. there was the door shut against me anymore. on the good things happening to me. >> host: why do you think this book has been on the bestseller
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list forever, has been on top, which after it first hit the bestseller list? >> guest: it's a mystery to me. today read in "the new yorker" review of a book. that's a genre slightly to be feared because they can try out some very reviews. it was an enthusiastic review by admin named neal asher said. and i thought i'd get a mixed review from it because they're not known for their enthusiasm. >> host: so the new york review of time magazine, "newsweek" and the "los angeles times." i thought it was kind of a simple narrative in the tradition of what they call the shanna quay, the old storyteller. it amazes me what the review was cited in the book.
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it's a double layer is the island and finding what they consciously clever writer i was. the prime minister of ireland, which is all right because one time on the last day of the world, were richer like to be? in the south of ireland. why because the irish are always behind the times. >> host: where was he born? >> guest: new york. posta were you born? >> guest: brooklyn. i'm not sure if i was born in brooklyn or manhattan. she wish i had away from that. because i was conceived beyond the sheet. so i was the cause of sin. frankie was the cause of
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marriage. it was a shotgun wedding and that was what appeared five months after the wedding. >> host: did that bother when you found out? >> guest: it did because one of my friends told me i was a and there was no way of getting around it. he said i was doomed in the same could not be bashed away. so i'm excommunicated and i'm doomed because i'm a bastard. >> host: we are parents catholic when they died? >> guest: my mother would give lip service and she believed in it, but she didn't go. i think she had confessions before she died. he mumbled something. to think, is less rigid than it used to be. you can go into the church and make a general confession and just say i confess. but in my time coming but to go in detail your sense, which kept us all in a state of terror. because another lesson as i'm
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constantly fighting irresistible and that's the impurity. and that was the big boys, one of the big things that limerick. i was in a constant state of impurity and terror of the priest. >> host: it was a .1 tie with the priest believed i was in a proper state and told me to get up to this confession box and don't come back until you're truly sorry. and i walked over there. i felt doomed. as i'm hit by a truck now, that day. eternity, inflamed. >> host: have you talked when he presents the book came out? >> guest: i have a special fire will now. i have all kinds of files from the mayor. there's one called negative stuff. and i have a special file for priests and nuns. and they'll like it. that's the mayor of limerick. when i went back to limerick
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last year, ali received with open arms. it was like they were so proud of me. >> host: received with open arms? >> guest: yeah, 600 people invited me out for a pint. but this time when i went back, there was change. >> host: in july? for what reason? >> guest: for the launch of the paperback and another tour of ireland. by now they've read the book and there were some book of critics. >> host: like do they confront you? >> guest: the same books i received with wild acclaim last october. there was another line for signing books. a woman at the head of the? said you're a disgrace. the things he said about the boys. >> guest: i said, when did i say that? >> guest: they hustled her off.
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another woman behind me said you've got to be at the hastert. so this grim looking character comes up and takes a picture. it's a picture of the school, the class picture from the book. puts it on the table and says do you know what that is? >> guest: i said yes, but the class picture. he says where am i in that picture? he says you don't know how grand we are coming back from america. now he says, you're a disgrace to ireland. you've besmirched affair name and you've destroyed your mother's good name and here's what i think of your book and he tore to pieces, paperback. that's the link that limerick. >> host: where you lived? >> guest: in the 1940s, lee 30s or 40s. >> host: what is up for someone who's never seen the book? was that they actually get? what is the timeframe?
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>> guest: it starts i suppose with my mother and the 1929 to 1949, the last 20 years. so i was born in 1930 in new york and to ireland in 1934. i looked again in 1949. so it's mainly the story of me and my family from our arrival in ireland to 1949. >> host: another book? >> guest: gas. i didn't know i'd be writing another book. i wanted to write "angela's ashes." i want to write another book so i can show the effects of poverty, the emotional effects on the human being. it happens to me be an expert on me. because of my teaching career in new york because of me dealing
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with all kinds of kids, divorce, i want to show the psychological damage done to a young man by the poverty and varied clinical church and the crazy nationalists on the girl subjected to, where he was pouring more money into preserving the irish in the slums of ireland. >> host: how many people live in ireland? >> guest: overall, 4.5 million. >> host: how many counties had he been in? >> guest: i've been in all of them. i've been in all of them. i was going to exclude dairy. >> host: what is the irish team? >> guest: the irish they now? >> host: as referred to in your book. how do you refer to at the irish thing is. >> guest: at that kind of trinity of nationalism and our
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catholicism and immigration. these are the characteristics of each nation having certain characteristics. another characteristic of the irish, which i thought was disappearing was the drink. that's how it's referred to. when i was there last week, i noticed it. it's still there swilling because it's unbelievable. i don't know what they get the money. it's a booming economy. but they always seem to have the money for the drink. destroyed so many people come in so many families. >> host: do you drink? >> guest: yes, moderately. >> host: how voucher brothers? >> guest: they don't drink anymore. they all had problems. they went into the guard and they were thrown as customers. >> host: why is it the end of the drink?
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>> guest: i tried to figure it out. there is nothing else. in a country that was completely uncluttered. compare the irish with which culture down there and italy, architecture and music and whine. we didn't have that. we had a kind of grimace in the northern country. there was plenty of poetry, song, love of the landscape of nature and of women. but in recent times, after the family had something of the irish soul. >> host: you have an audio book. you read it yourself. four and a half hours long. why did you read it yourself? >> guest: i didn't want any effect if broadway actor feeling about it. broadway actors always pause
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into meaningful pauses. i just wanted to do it myself because i think i could invest it with what i wanted to have. it wasn't easy. >> host: where did you do it? >> guest: they have their own recording facility. >> host: how long does it take you? >> guest: a week. >> host: that's not as bad. how did you do the audio? >> guest: they put me in a room and they sat there in a bed what they gave me to read. there are parts that i'd like to go back and put in. but there's also an abridged version coming out from recorded books. >> host: ggg that? >> guest: no, i did it long after this. >> host: how long did that take you? >> guest: a month. that was hard because they were very precise.
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i think they can hear your hair growing, those technicians. despite his intake of breath that may interfere with the work i have to go back into again. but it's very efficient now. i just do it right away. >> host: want to run a two minute 32nd clip of the audio, listen to it, and ask you what this is all about. >> guest: okay. >> two days later, jack returns from his cigarette hunt. it's the middle of the night, but the he gets malloch ene out of the bag. he has the sole drink on him. he is a standard attention in the kitchen. we are soldiers. he tells us we must promise to die for ireland. we will, dad, we will. altogether we sing kevin barry. on mount joy, one monday morning, high upon the gallows tree. kevin barry gave his young life
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for the cause of liberty. just the light of 18 summers, sure there's no one can deny. as he marched to death a foreign name, how he held his head up high. there's a knock at the door. mr. maca dorey. valid key for god sake is 3:00 in the morning. you have the whole house up singing. i'm only teaching the boys to die for ireland. you can teach them to die for ireland the daytime, mala key. i know, mala key, but there's only children, babies. you go to bed now like a decent man. what am i to do a bit? her little face is their day and night. her curly black hair and her lovely blue eyes. then what will i do? was at the hunger that killed
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her? of course not. your missus was nursing her. god took her. he has his reasons. one more song than before we we go to bed. goodnight i'm a mala key. come on boys, spain. because he loved the motherland. because he loved the green. he goes to meet a martyr state was proud and joyous mien. true to the last or church of the last, he treads the upward way. john macauley goes to die on the bridge at two today. you'll die for ireland, won't you boys? we will, dad. and we'll all meet your little sister and have been, we, boys? we will, dad. >> host: what is that all about?
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>> guest: that takes place in brooklyn after my sister died. she was 21 days old when she died. and he went demented. and it was a habit of his to get us up because he was a frustrated patriot. i think he would've been very happy if he had brought the english and been caught and hanged. he would've died singing. but this was his way of continuing the excitement i suppose he felt when he was fighting in the troubles in ireland. he would drag us out of bed the middle of the night and make us think all of these songs. and my mother was appalled. everybody was appalled. but we enjoyed it because we would sing and we get out of bed in the middle of the night. we would sing this is with -- a connection with the father. any excuse to make a connection with him was wonderful.
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>> host: how many years actually did he live? >> guest: 85. >> host: was there every time you knew that he didn't drink? >> guest: i think it the end he stopped in the last few years. anymore. he drank his tea. >> host: how long was he on the dole? >> guest: the dole as unemployment and he was always on the dole. you get about 19 shillings, which was about $3 a week in american terms. and it was not enough to keep the family going. >> host: how did he get the door money and then spend it on drink without your mother getting their hands on the money? >> guest: of the men would go down to what they called the labor exchange to get their money. unlike america, if you go on unemployment, you only have to send in a statement once a week. but you had to appear every morning in limerick in case they
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might be working. and he would sign. this was to make sure that you wanted work. so if you get your money out thursday. all the men would go down. it was a good day. you would see women clustered at both ends of this. it was an open-ended lane, women waiting to head them off before they went to the pub's. and my father was very, very conscious of his dignity, but he did what another tear it all. he wanted to go to the labor exchange to get his money and then go home, which he did often. but often he went to the pub's. and he would just drink the whole thing. some of other threatened him. she said she was going to go down to the labor exchange and get the money from demand, the clerk, which she did and he was shamed forever because the woman came in to the labor exchange and took the man's dole.
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that's not what a woman is supposed to do. well, she wanted you make sure her children were fed. that's not what a woman is supposed to do. and he lost his dignity. >> host: when did he leave his family? >> guest: 41. the end of 1941. >> host: were to geico? >> guest: england. he went to work in factories in england. >> host: did you ever send me back? >> guest: once or twice. it was never enough, maybe a maybe somebody persuaded him to send moneycannot do justice to start. >> host: which remember the worst was in your early life? over the light? >> guest: waiting for the telegram boy. the telegram boys who used to deliver telegrams to the families, whose fathers were in england. as to the family would get their telegram. solid, steady men spend their money home to england. we would wait albeit saturday.
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with hope and hope it all. you could hear the angry until 6:00 in the morning and 6:00 in the evening. but you knew,, in the evening and the telephone had to be delivered. they would face another week of starvation practically. >> host: what to do if you like be hungry? >> guest: you are never satisfied. you never had the full feeling. and we always -- used to make up such fantasies. there was a bush that was a green leaf that was inevitable. we used to call that bread and cheese and we would eat these leaves and these little berries and imagine they were bread and cheese. then i thought some time, someday i'm going to have a big bread and cheese sandwich. that was my dream. at one time a mother did get some money. she got a job as a charwoman. she got a potato and a bit of
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corned beef and jelly and custard and we have a sunny sunday. she said were not going to need all this today. we'll save some for tomorrow. there were four potatoes there she put it in the windowsill. she had a little cart. so i came home on monday from school. there was nobody in the house. i would let us that only one potato. i couldn't stop eating. i ate the four potatoes and all of the trillion custard. and boy did she kill me. she knocked me around the place that night and my brother hated me. it was the biggest crime is ever committed. >> host: did you ever cheese sandwich? >> guest: i did. i finally had the experience of being full when i came to the state, going to harvard when i got a job. >> host: what was that?
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>> guest: that was when you put nickels and to take up the four little compartments. i stuck myself. but i experienced headed when i was drafted into the army and sent to germany, where he was stationed and went to the quartermaster cooking school. [laughter] g.i. joe. >> host: what you're? >> guest: that was 19th at one. >> host: where did you spend your military? he goes, bricks and that the variance outs. at a great time. >> host: you came to the united states permanently in what you're? >> guest: 49. >> host: how did you get here? >> guest: well, that's another story. i worked in the post office delivering telegrams. the network in the meantime i
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got the job at it was a loan shark. >> host: what was her name? >> guest: she needed some money. i was delivering her a telegram. i said i can read and write. she said half the people can read and write. can you write a letter? she hired me to write threat and letters to dilatory customers. i would threaten if they didn't pay up. i would threaten with all kinds of things. i let my imagination run wild and is very successful. she paid me 3 cents for each letter and expensive was successful. >> host: how much is that in today's terms? >> guest: irish money was much where powerful than it is now. it would be about maybe 30 cents for each letter and then 90 cents if it was successful.
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>> host: you told a story about your brother would hear from her friend, i got the start and letters. >> host: they all said it was a horrible thing. who would write a like this to their own people? a person like that should have their fingernails pulled out. and i'm the one -- i was listening to all of this. i felt awful that i had to rate the site and letters. but it felt so powerful at the same time that my letters were so effective. i need the money and then it was putting away in the post office savings come even to the extent she would give me money for stands to mail those funders and i would keep the money for the stamps and six letters under doors. the office is going to the post office for my fear to america. >> host: way before he came to america he slipped up somewhere took a little money to new? >> guest: well, she died. she used to send me to the pub. when i came back she was dead in the chair. so she had money upstairs in the
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trunk under the bed along with a letter that she kept. her purse had dropped to the floor. but i laughed because i was terrified. still the main thing in my life was to get to america and i think i would've dropped somebody's grave because i had to get out of ireland. >> host: did you report the fact she was dead? >> guest: now, he's to go out the backdoor and nobody knew who i was. so i got the fair to america. >> host: how much was that? >> guest: it was 59 pounds altogether to come to america. i also work for newsagents and part of our job. we had to go through the magazines and make sure it's something had escaped the census and government were responsible for offensive material.
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there is a blended weekly who had a page. on the call came from dublin. did you send out the weekly? >> guest: yeah, it's about birth control. we had them running all over the city, facing running, walking in any event, to rush it. >> host: another picture here. the brothers are in that picture, one is missing. >> host: >> guest: gas, mike is missing. i want to show some video. conor mccourt, a policeman in new york city new york city andy scott is documentary. what did he start it? >> guest: i think -- he and i were talking over jericho about this family stuff. i was interested in getting a whole composite picture. he came to ireland in may 1996. i was there with my wife alan. we were on combination of promoting the book
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prepublication. so conor came over with a new video camera. he'd been toiling away ever send in getting better and better. >> host: he is a cop that rides a bike around? >> guest: gap, he rides the bike. he is the tear of the upper westside drug dealers. the dominicans don't know he is fluent in spanish. they say the drugstore in the garbage can, he knows what they're talking about. he goes and grabs the drugs and grabs them. he's very colorful, very affect a cop. >> host: we have a vhs copy of some of the things you've done. we're going to run three minutes and 19 seconds of it. that will obviously have a chance to meet your brothers. >> host: >> it was a very short time really. i remember my father thickly and
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then it came time. but the summers i wish shining. we were always play in the street that they are come with all these games in the streets and stuff. and everybody was sending out of everybody else's house is. we all knew each other. in fact, this but i have a pair was caught on me and she dropped a rock on my head. and she lived next-door to us, but she threw a rock over the wall and guess who's on the other side of the wall? me. but the thing about it is kids there i was up past their bed time. it is a very difficult place. and like i said, i was a member it was always format here. there was one case. it seemed to me anywhere.
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[inaudible] >> there was probably about 1939, 40 i suppose when i remember reading about the beginning of world war ii. they were saying what a long hot summer -- warm summer it was all over europe. and it seemed to be that way then. >> she was a sweet singer, a good speaker. she had uncommonly good speech and she was a reader, which is an affliction we all caught, and addiction, affliction, whatever you call it. we all ended up at the same thing. she was, as i said from outside from one grade. i remember she didn't have an easy life. i know that. the show is -- she was a great woman for a party, certainly in her latter years. i was born at home.
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as far as i know, that the family history. it was a troubling time. we didn't have a great deal. [inaudible] >> the saddest memory as the twins. the death of the twins, eugene and all other. they were very charming yours. i remember them while. the finality of it at that time they would always tell us they were happy and need god to have
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been and they were playing with the angels mbb chief says and all that. and we would say why can't they postcode and order mike, malachy and connor. how old are they? >> guest: i'm 66, malachy 65, mike is 60 and alfie is 56. >> host: does anybody not like the fact you did this but? >> guest: in the family? no, unless they are talking behind my back. but they've all embraced enthusiastically. >> host: did it affect their lives? >> guest: it did. no malachy is writing about. he was approached to write a book and he is doing it on his experiences in new york. it affected our lives because it brought us all together and then the next generation of kids, they know more about where we came from. because we talked intimately
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down the years. we didn't burden them with the whining. but now they can read it. i think they're very proud that the tribe has some prominence now. >> host: what is the second book going to be and what will come out? >> guest: i think it will come out in the spring of 99. i'm trying to get to it. and it's about my life in new york. but mainly what i discovered, what i learned as a teacher. i stood in front of those classes for over 27 years, talking and learning mostly. i used to say to them since i was in high school, september in january when we get the new president. by the end of this term, there's one person person in this class will have learned the most and that's me because i want to learn. and i would learn something from each time. for instance, we did hamlet.
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each year he do it it keeps revealing itself. and they -- and by my admission to them that i was almost illiterate and then i read as much as they did. they had the idea if you read, the teacher with no what it means. the teacher doesn't know. you can only guess. they topped the teacher. i said no we don't know. the poet himself sometimes as possible about what he is writing. so i think it helped them. there's no end. no conclusion. no awkward answer. were on the same boat. >> host: what was the racial mixup of your class? >> guest: initially, syverson was jewish, bright kids on the upper west side.
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and then slowly it was an asian and kirsch and if you want to call it the chinese and a lot of korean kid and the few more exotic seeks and pakistanis coming. but all -- not like the new york high school, which is largely african-american and hispanic. because stuyvesant high school is especially cool. you should take an examination to get in. 700 offerings to get every year and 14 dozen kids take the exam. so you have the cream of the crop. in one week it was easy to teach, but another way you had to stay in your toes. the responses things, giving those kids busy work. they know. they knew. they could see right through you. so i was forced, willy-nilly to be honest about it. and i think that's the main thing i gained out of it. to be honest with the kids.
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in the previous schools we had a mixture of chinese, dominica. there i learned, i think, to speak clearly, to radically, does you had to reach such a wide variety of kids. >> host: did any of your students know these stories? >> guest: a few of them. >> host: did you tell them in class? >> guest: i rented to them all of the place. washington, san francisco. one in san francisco with 16 showed up at a reading. and i think -- i always have this uneasy feeling when i was a teacher, when a supposedly teaching writing. i had this uneasy feeling that they were sitting there, or teaching us how to write. why don't you write? they would say mr. mccourt, you should write a book. could write a good book.
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but now i've written a book. >> host: where did you read the book physically? >> guest: bustling pennsylvania. >> host: why they are? >> guest: because alan and i rented a house there and then we got married on the banks of the delaware and we decided this was where we wanted to be. >> host: do you live there now? >> guest: no, i live in new york. but we lose no opportunity to go to the delaware river. >> host: what time of day do you write? >> guest: in the morning, like my father. i have a lot of early morning habits. start? >> guest: 7:00, 8:00. i make coffee. everybody should have me for it has been if they want coffee in the morning. >> host: : do you write on any given morning? >> guest: sometimes i want to put a pin through my brain because it's so typical. but on certain good days, i would write nine or 10 pages. >> host: to give up after a
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certain amount of time? >> guest: know if >> guest: know if it's coming i stay with it. i'm not like anthony trollope used to write 3000 words every single morning before he got on a horse and inspected post officers. i couldn't do that. i didn't have a set amount. >> host: what you write on? >> guest: have an armchair and a board and i put him on the arms of the chair and put a notebook and i write in pen. i read the text on the right and put notes on the left page as i go along and they type into the computer. >> host: when was the last word written for this book? >> guest: last word was what the day before the manuscript was due. >> host: what day was the? >> guest: the manuscript was due on november 30. i know it took a certain dates. november 30, 1995. that's the birthday of my idol, jonathan swift. the night before i called alan
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at work. he said when you come home i'm not going to rate the westward until you come home. and she came home and i had the notebook and i wrote the last word and then we had champagne and then i delivered the manuscript. >> host: are you now financially man? >> guest: yeah. >> host: what you think of that? >> guest: they won't tell me to write the next book. [laughter] i had to do this. why do we burden ourselves like that? i could sit back now for the rest of my life in faraway places when i have to read the book. >> host: who is this? >> guest: that's my -- i had a house in brooklyn. that's my daughter, maggie, when she was three years old. >> host: what is she like? >> guest: she's great. she's 26 and have a little girl pictures in santa cruz.
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maggie is gone to school. malachy and myself. at the grave. >> host: why are you there? >> guest: we did a show of a couple of bikers about growing up in ireland and eventually limerick or america rather. we did eventually go at the hawks world theater in 1985. me in the army. for kicks, new jersey with my old girlfriend, emily and mayonnaise and a mother. >> host: when you see this picture we showed earlier, any anger last? >> guest: know. i just feel sorry for his wasted life, my father's wasted life. if it wasn't for the drink he would've been a perfect father. >> host: what was the best thing about him? >> guest: what he had an
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aside, the stories, the legends. he's sensitive to irish history. his yearning, his yearning to have -- he was a part of the struggle. >> host: who named the book? >> guest: i did. i intended to go out the way up to her death in 1981, when she was cremated in which it ashes back. and i thought i was going to go that far, but might editors said they took it out to the age of 19. she said that's good. born in america come you got to ireland in the returned and the odyssey is complete. >> host: have you gotten over the irish tradition of not telling people you love them? >> guest: yeah. >> host: are your brothers the same way? >> guest: brothers are the same way. we're pretty profligate with our emotions. >> host: here's the cover of the book with a picture of not frank mccourt.
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"angela's ashes" is the title of the book and we thank you very much for joining us. >> guest: thank you. >> "angela's ashes" was published by touchstone an imprint of simon & schuster. more information visit simon for more information about the authors and books featured on encore book notes, visit us online at a recently renovated website, click on booktv series and find encore book notes. >> we are here at the national press club talking with christy miller about her new book, alan and eat it. tommy what inspired you to write about president both of wise? >> guest: i've been writing about women in politics for the last 25 years. these two women were very instrumental in the success of the bush administration each in a completely different way. alan wilson, a childhood sweetheart, kind of got into the


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