tv Book TV CSPAN January 29, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
in saudi arabia as it turns to iran and i would fuse together the crazies in south asia with the crises in the middle east so that, you know, shiite iran, sunni arabs, israel, fuse together in a webwork of crazies with muslim pakistan and largely hindu india. so that's one outcome. you would have, you know, iran is building a big port near to the interest of the persian gulf. india is pay in afghanistan to build roads linking it with iran so that afghanistan will be less dependent on pakistan and more dependent on iran. india wants to buy more and more hydrocarbons from ibm. in yet is trying to use iran as a hedge against pakistan.
>> north area is evolving increasingly into a standard issue military regime. the party itself is becoming weaker and weaker and the military is becoming the only institutional element that can unite a country that is heavily mountainous with a very bad roads. about one-third of the population are suffering from malnutrition. china is of two minds in this. on the one hand china would eventually like to see a more low-calorie gorbachev ian styled ober buffer state.
china is afraid of pushing this too far because it fears the collapse of north korea, because the bulk of north korea's population and industry is in the northern part of north korea. were you to have a collapse of the state you could have millions of north korean refugees flooding across the river into chinese manchuria and southbound. china is very much afraid of that. so why would it want a regime that is more tolerable, more like china and south than the current kind of stalling monstrosity eden? at the same time china is very fearful of a collapse. since china is up holding the status quo in north korea, but my opinion is that a regime like this is ultimately not viable in the world we live in today.
were the north korean regime to unravel suddenly him he could have the mother of all humanitarian interventions because on one day the north korean people would be the semi starving north korean people with a population comparable to that of a rock. the responsibility of the north korean regime and the next day it could be the responsibility of the international community which in effect means the responsibility of the u.s. military, the chinese people's liberation army, the south korean military. and if there is one thing the united states needs strong bilateral military to military relations with china for it is to discuss, you know, modalities this is not likely to happen because china is afraid. first of all, we leak like cs.
if ford ever came out that china was talking with us about the possible collapse of the north to reinstate it would create tremendous problems for beijing. >> yes. >> sir, lt. cmdr. i wonder if you could comment further on the relationship between china and india. you mentioned that there is no conflict between the two nations. however, their is a currently unresolved border dispute. >> the border dispute, northeastern india, the border with china. you know, with part of the dynamic that caused the war between china and india in 1962, that is 48 years ago. but i think it is still an issue
of contention. i think it is being managed. again, china and india are very careful to keep their competition or their rivalry, if you will vote, and manageable proportions. no side wants to miscalculate to cause a shooting war. >> okay. last question. >> during the cold war russia had a dynamic driven public by communism. you don't mention china in the context with communism. is there a dynamic apart from its willingness to find raw materials? does it have, perhaps, an ambition similar to the russians? the rest of the world. is that that?
>> the chinese regime is nominally communist, but it is functionally very vigorously capitalist. it does not really have a motivating ideology. i think of two things when i think of china in this regard. one is that china's current borders more or less mirror stand at the apex of its imperial ambitions. in other words, present borders in compton -- encompass most of the previous chinese empires. mongolia, which is independent committees to be part of the manchu qing dynasty. some other areas that were part of previous dynasties are not part of china, but more or less china is as big as it has ever been and more secure on land than it has ever been. that gives china the luxury to get to see. at the same time that china
still has in its relatively recent. the terrible experience of having their territory violated by western nations through the trees system, the extraterritoriality system. it chinese cities were, in fact, controlled by western nationsbank. japanese had taken the peninsula, made a puppet state in manchuria. the russians controlled the rail link across manchuria. such china is very nervous about sovereignty. at the same time its map is very, very big. so what this adds up to me is in china is motivated to kind of built out its sovereignty, not necessarily in an imperial listed way, but it sees that up
to the first island chain. that first island chain is there to grow islands, japan, have island of the korean peninsula. did this is more or less china's rival sphere of influence given china's size and where it -- you know, and its history. that is where we will come into some conflict. you know, to us inside the first island chain is almost all international waterways. well, thank you very much. [applauding] >> for more information about robert kaplan and to read his stories visit the atlantic and searches name. >> you are watching book tv on
c-span2. here is our prime time lineup for tonight. chris hedges argues that the liberal class has been corrupted by what he terms the corporate state. at 8:30 p.m. driven west about andrew jackson and the trail of tears by a.j. langer good. at 10:00 after words with peter bergman, author of the longest war. >> we are here at the national press club talking about lights out. can you tell us what some of these solutions are to our energy crisis that detail in the book? >> i will. i watched what is in the work and what i felt was not working. we get a real energy challenge facing america going forward. first we need to increase dramatically the nuclear energy role. right now it is 20 percent of our power, and i think it should be 30% by 2013. we also need to increase the
role of renewable energy here in the united states. right now it is wind, solar, biomass, geothermal links. only about 2 percent of our energy. we really need them to be much much higher. the need to support that effort. i am a conservative, so i believe in conservation. one of the things we also need to do is find ways to improve our energy efficiency so that we don't demand as much growth in energy has right now is projected to be the case. >> what should he do about the arguments to keep costs down in terms of incorporating other energy sources? >> well, that is certainly a challenge. i think most of these are costs which we should be willing to bear. i think, first of all, the private sector should and can and will play an active role in applying these forms of energy. i think there is a role for the federal government to encourage them as well.
i think over the last couple of years we have seen some progress along these lines, but it will take a lot more at least given what looks like the demand not only in the united states but the rest of the world. if we don't do it we will see prices for energy skyrocket. we are going to see america at the mercy of producing countries who are exporting to us our energy. that could put us in a politically difficult position. and of course if we don't address these issues we will have growing environmental changes. it tries to show a pass with ford to address all of those. it will take will and tough decisions. who have been unwilling to make those tough decisions. >> do you tackle how to change, i guess, public perspective and their perception of what we should do and being more cooperative? >> well, it is a good point.
one of the real impediments to what we need to do in energy is what they call the not in my backyard syndrome. you know, the one thing i found as energy secretary, it did not matter what type of energy projects you were talking about were edgy infrastructure deployment. there was tremendous resistance because people did not want it anywhere near them. they wanted lots of energy, cheap energy, but they did not want anybody to either make it or use it around them. you just can't do that. at the end of the day as a country we have to the grownups about this and say, yes, it would be terrific if we could have all the energy facilities somewhere else, but we need them to be deployed on a broad basis. i do address that in the book. i don't profess to have a solution to convincing americans that they ought to do this, but the more we explained not
allowing projects to go forward they will see the benefit ultimately is to our country. >> and have you found that resistance falls more along party lines? is that something that is more a mess? >> the not in my backyard resistance is universal. knows no party or regional or other kinds of boundaries. it is, you know, growing in recent years. that is not surprising because the country has done larger, the population increased. that means we need more power. we also as a people, and in the history of mankind, almost every new major innovation tends to be dependent on a new supplies of energy. we all marveled at the high-tech revolution of the 1990's and sends, but that revolution is largely driven by electricity. the electricity to manufacture the chips and components, computers, electricity needed to
operate laptops and pcs. that is the challenge because that has meant that we needed to wrap up the amount of energy available which in turn has meant more transmission lines and more public resistance. >> thank you very much for your time. i appreciated. >> visit book tv to watch any of the programs you see here on line. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting a format. book tv streams live on line for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. book tv. >> coming up next on this year's texas book festival in austin author se grand talks about his
book empire of the summer moon. the rise and fall of the comanches, the most powerful indian tribe in american history. this program is 45 minutes. >> once again my name is brian sweeney. and that editor of texas monthly magazine. it is always a real treat to be invited to work at the book festival. i believe my first one was in 97 when i was a volunteer helping people getting to where they're going. it has been really great for me to have a chance to sit apostates with authors like sam gwynne. sam gwynne has written what i think is the best book of the year that i have read. this is called "empire of the summer moon." unbelievable epic history and incredible narrative storytelling. congratulations for having read. a fantastic book. but in addition to the fact that
i admire sand so much i have to say i am so excited to be with them today because he is one of my very good friends. and i was starting at texas monthly and knew even less about editing stories than i do today we went to lunch together and i worked on the peace and did not feel great about, but was okay with. sam and i went to lunch. i had never met him before. the southwest bureau chief for time magazine. he was hired as an executive editor and is now the senior writer for the dallas morning news and my neck of the woods. we started talking about this story. every moment that i thought that i had taken a misstep in that piece as an editor he was able to identify on his own. yet he was able to do it in a a wonderfully supportive and constructive way. i did not feel bad about not having done it as well as i would have liked to. at think that relationship was able to develop over the years. i am very happy to be here today. some wanted to say that in my
mind this book has been such a runaway hit in terms of the book industry but also culturally. five months on the new york times best-seller list. >> four plus anyway. >> the comanches and the story of quanah parker and indians in texas is just such a great story generally, one that we all grow up hearing. we see it on movies and television and read books about it. every book has an occasion. what was it for you to write this particular history at this particular time to back. >> a good question. about 12 years ago i read a wonderful book by walter prescott webb called the great flame. inside this book -- about the great plains, it was really about taxes. inside this book there was a chapter or even as subchapter about the comanche's that put forth this premise that there is an enormous force sitting in the middle of the continent that determines how everything happened.
i'm a yankee. when the second. i might know up the golan or of the audubon, but i did not know from comanche's. the only thing -- something in john wayne movies. code for uh-oh or we are in trouble now. you know, that was pretty much what it was. that is what set off my interest. i returned back and did all the normal things. but beyond that it was really about, i think, a yankees love affair with the state of texas. and i was. chief a travel all over the state. i travel all over the state. but i heard comanche stories. we all look forward to getting assignments where you had to get to amarillo or lubbock. it was true.
>> a bit of just understanding what the plans were and what the plans indian was. to me it was all. and a lot of that comes through the book. oh, while. the yankees learning some stuff. and i think that informed a lot of the book because none of this is normal to me. while. >> let me touch on that a little bit in terms of what is he learned that we did not know popularly about the comanche's. one of the things that struck me is the way that you are able to frame the way the comanches existed. i have this sentence from the book. this surprised me because i never thought of it in such an ordered and structured way. by 1750 colonial times and back east the comanches had carved out a militarily and diplomatically unified nation with remarkably precise boundaries that were patrolled and ruthlessly enforced. how is that possible? what was the comanches nation
doing that there were actually boundaries that not only of the tribes respected, but the spanish clearly respected. that goes counter to what i would have thought. >> basically it 250,000 square mile piece of land. it was a piece of land they fought over for 150 years of sustained combat against everybody basically driving everyone before them. but what it was was a militarily dominant power from the wind river mountains of wyoming with had been insignificant power. they swept south. the reason for that 250,000 square mile empire, although it does not look a bit like the european empire, they challenged for the richest buffalo plains in the country. that is what it was. if you were the strongest tribe, what would you want? the richest buffalo plains. amarillo. that is where it was. the southern plains.
the lords of the southern plains. well, that is what it was. that fateful day in 1836 they touch that empire. it did not look like the roman empire. these were nomadic peoples. you could not see them. he could not find them. he could not get to a village and burn it down. >> they tested in such a way so that they were miles and miles away from support. they were out there literally on their own having no idea what would certainly be fall them. >> exactly. >> i want to talk about that. that aspect of the book informs the way that you have done this structurally. the way that you have crafted the book from beginning to end. alternate chapters in terms of the grand sweep and very specific story about the parkers. particularly sent the and. wanted to ask you two things historically. i remember in the office however many years ago you were talking that he would write this book.
i get very excited about it. we talked about certain specific things that i knew a little bit about. i was amazed at what you had already uncovered. i want to throw out today says insignificant. sort of book and dates in terms of what the comanche were able to do. the apex of their power as it related to dealing with the spanish. then when we see it begin to wane as they fight with mackenzie and his troops as they take off. one is march of 1758, the massacre at san saba. one is october 1871 where mackenzie begins to push west. it becomes the most feared indian fighter from the comanche standpoint. can you talk a little bit about those two days? what mackenzie was able to accomplish and how they inform our understanding. >> yes. what he is talking about is a way in 1758. it was kind of a funny story
because literally funny. what happened, the apaches had gone to the spanish in san antonio and said we have really rethought the way that we think about this. we want to be civilized and come into the mission and the christian. all those rates, we don't really mean that. the spanish get excited. the apaches said, you know where we want the mission is this place called sense about. this is our homeland. anyway, this is our homeland. we need you to build the presidio, which is the fourth and mission that went with it. this is out in san said the country. outside. yes. so anyway, what happens is the spanish get very excited about this. they build these things in the middle of nowhere. what it turned out was that the apaches have lured them directly into the comanche land. the whole point was to set up a
buffer to in effect set there to enemies at each other to go fighting. the apaches never showed up, but what this showed -- the spanish are out there in the presidio. but it shows a lot about what i think it was like in those days. the spanish had enormous trouble. basically they just bottled them up in this empire that was empty of all meeting. it was a remarkable show of power. the reprisal for that. the comanches swooped down on the mission presidio and kill everybody. it's one of those raids. the reprisal raid that the spanish mount 600 people, marched north to wear the present town of randall is an absolutely get destroyed are beaten. they turned tail and ran. the high water mark a spanish power in america. the other thing you asked about was 1871. 1871 was the year but that these
graeme warriors who had destroyed the american. these guys for a nasty piece of work when it came to battle. i'm talking about grant and sherman and sheridan. they had unleashed more cards than the world had ever seen with more weaponry. they finally decided in 1871, that is why i stuck my book in that year. okay. that is enough. this boundary and frontier has been frozen for 40 years. no other indian tribe never held it for more than a couple of years. take a line between here and fort worth and that is where the frontiers at. you think of it. in other words, they just said enough is enough. 4,000 of these guys out there. we have 51,000 casualties at gettysburg alone. the final will, the will to go get them was the beginning of the end of the comanches. that was coupled with the slaughter of the buffalo where the tech the commissary and food
away. 1871. and the guy that they sent was this guy named randall mackenzie. so many people that no one has ever heard of. the great indian fighter. mackenzie was grant's favorite officer in the civil war. and so you have these grim kind of warriors unleashing their guy against cornell parker and the fall of 18701. it's one of those great moments where it is almost the beginning of the end of the indian wars, the will to destroy them. it also in retrospect shows you just how powerful the plains indians were. >> the scope of time that they were able to exert that kind of influence for so long and so dominating. >> right. and i think one of the things where a lot of people have asked me about this. you know, did i set about in my book to write a kind of
revisionist history of the experience of native americans in north america. the reason for the question, well, this idea may be driven by wounded knee and movies from the 60's that indians were victims. indeed they were. they were all victims eventually have a great steamroller, american steamroller that came west. there was also power, and i think that what surprises some people about the book is just how powerful they were. somebody suggested there were more like a nation state like germany or prussia. in many ways they were. it is a kind of different way to look at indians. they lost eventually. they were enormously powerful and they determine if you look at comanche's, all these questions that you could ask about the center of the american continent. he was this about the spanish in their drive north? who was it that stopped the
french in their drive westward? it was the comanches. as fear of comanches that led to one of the parts of really like. it was fear of comanches that led the mexicans to let texans and in the first place as a buffer. basically offering the texans up as meat. well, this kind of backfired a little bit. here we are. but it was comanche's with the annotation of the six shooter and the five shooter. the invention of the rangers. the static, the fact that the frontier existed for 40 years in a single place. he just keep going. i guess to some level it is about power. you had mentioned. i would be curious to ask how many of you are familiar with randall mackenzie? that is a good show of hands. a good line in the book which i'm paraphrasing. george armstrong custer became
famous in defeat. mackenzie ended up obscure in victory. that is why the book and is pretty great. you have the tunnel down just a little bit to know that. the taco little bit about that notion. at think that is one of the things that came through reading the book for me. it has been much discussed. what can you tell us about the daily live if you were a comanche? what is the daily life like? what did you figure out about the social and governmental entities that control what they did and why they did it? i think your conclusions are, perhaps a little bit different from what we would have thought about. >> to me it was the ultimate dream of americans in some ways. they had this incredibly flat society. yes, there was a war chief and the civil chief pit at any given day someone could organize the war party. there were no police societies or warrior societies are priest
casts or clan. there was nothing. it was this stripped-down war machine. they fought, hunted buffalo, nobody could ride with them. you had this incredibly elemental world where if you were a comanche mail you were free to do whatever you wanted. there were no restrictions. now, the comanche's did have a culture. there was not the sophisticated word to use, but other tribes wove baskets or build houses or had elaborate part. comanche's had none of that. they love to have fun and gamble and wager. the left to do many things, but i saw them as this absolutely stripped down spartan kind of war machine that everybody was scared of but that in fact offered unbelievable freedom. it was to me the freedom that graced writers and poets have always talked about, the great spacial freedom of the west, but it was also a freedom from
institutions. he came west and got away from all of those institutions back there in boston that maybe you didn't like. you know, i think that on some level the comanche's structured the way that they were. other tribes were weigh more hierarchical. if you look at the iroquois, extremely sophisticated social order. it was a way that kind of this great glorious wild freedom of spatially in terms of being on the planes but also culturally in terms of he did not have church and state. i found that an interesting part. >> the dark side to that, that sort of hyper militaristic culture was clearly what happened on the battlefield. i wonder if he might talk a little bit. what was it, what was it about their cultural or their society that caused them to prosecute wars and the way that they did?
how instrumental that is to the comanche history, but maybe talk a little bit about that and what you're conditions were. >> waiting was what they always did. now, let's go back into the 15 and 1400's. waiting is what everybody did. rates and you take somebody's whatever, dodge or women or buffalo or whenever he had. there was killing and rating. this was done forever. what happened to the comanche was sometime in the 17th century they got ahold of the horse. it transformed them in no way that nobody had ever been transformed before. and so what you had is suddenly everyone is rating of the time. okay. now one tribe and out ride. it is like attacking some sherman tanks. you are able to ride a horse, attack mountains. nobody really did this decide the comanche's.
suddenly you have this complete transformation of the world that was really before the horse. they raided each other all the time and torture each other all the time. before the horse everything was -- and after the horse did did the same thing. the difference was the balance of power shifted. and i don't know if i answer your question, but. >> essentially being kicked around the starkly. it know, picked on by other tribes and harassed and threatened. the horse was to them what of the technological inventions would have been to society's ladder on. completely transforming who they were. >> compared it to steam. it changed things. so you have to see. once empowered with the horse, if you can -- particularly big
buffalo. but if you can now price people that really changes to you are. if what you are about, suddenly you are just the guber raider. the ones that were good at it, we all know them. cheyenne comanches. that half of patchy. those are the guys that were get the horse. >> go for about ten more minutes and then we will open it up to questions which we enjoy. if you have a question and you begin to make your way up to the microphone. i want to ask two things, content and then one last question about kraft rejected is interesting to anyone who has ever wanted to write a book and has no idea how to proceed. wind, the way that the structure this book, as i mentioned earlier, in alternating chapters you do the big grand history. use him and on one starting with what happened at parker's court
and then take it all the way through with quanah parker. what did you find? that is clearly one of the classic texas stories. a big story at the time. published a paper reports about what happened. tell us a little bit about cynthia and and quanah. >> i can mars those two questions together. i guess the structure. basically this was a story. you know, when you are writing a book it helps if you have something that nobody has ever heard of. cynthia ann parker and the whole story of quanah parker and the story of the comanches has been lost. i think people are all know this story. my daughter does. she guessed it was like high-school. so i think there was a bit of forgetting history. a bit of that. there was an opportunity to do the story. the other side of it, and this gets to your questionnaire structure, what i wanted to do,
i wanted -- what i have been talking about mainly is the rise and fall of the comanches, the big picture rise and fall from their obscure routes and wyoming to the peak of their power to their fall and 8075. that is a great, epic, a big story. what is cool is inside the story there was this wonderful little human narrative of the parker family. this is an editor. one of the finest editors on the planet earth who somehow miraculously creates all of my best stories. i don't know. so and affect the structure of the book, and the trick of the book, brian and i, this is what we have done for you. we talk structure. writer and editor. this should go first. that should go third.
whatever. the secret of the book, if you will, and the brilliant discovery that one point was that i really needed to offset the big rise and fall with a little story. you get the big rise and fall. it begins back when all the amino acids are floating around in the universe. it does for word. this allows there to be a story of this little nine year-old girl he get kidnapped in 1836 by the comanche's. it set in motion these intrepid -- incredible offense. she became famous three times. the third time she was famous when so lost charles goodnight recapture at peace river in 1860. the fourth time as the mother of quanah parker. you have this amazing story that rolls forward. still that is not the end of the story. second act on the reservation where he becomes the wealthiest and most influential.
you have these. to me that is what the appeal was. you could do both of these stories and have them run together. that is the way the book works. >> the intersection is really great. you sit down with the book. you stuck to get through it. you're trying to figure out why it's here. when you realize what it is it is a wonderful moment in the book, how the stories being told. one last question and then we will open the floor to you. i am curious, you have been a writer for time magazine weekly. you have been a writer from the magazine. you are now a senior writer for the dallas morning news turning out pieces of the finances and also a profile of josh hamilton. wonderful range. he wrote the book previously, though it was a while ago. how did you begin the process of figuring all of this out? sort of in a nutshell. what was it about your reporting
method not being a professor of history, someone who made his living doing this, how did you figure it out? >> that's a very good question. and it is one that has been asked all the way along. it started out with who is going to hire me or give me an advance on a book? i am not a historian. i had to go the extra mile and prove that i was. in a lot of ways i found that i am a reporter. that is to i am and what i do. i found that my reporting skills work to do history. there was one little thing that i did that i don't think i should even say. historians might laugh me out of the room. one of the things i've realized in doing this book was that i had to -- i could not be one of these guys that went out and beavered away for three years and then came back with this much stuff and all across indexed. sit down. okay. here we go. once upon a time.
let's see. 1872. i realize that because of what i do texas monthly, my stories are not fiction. [laughter] so what i did, in effect, i read a lot of books for background. but then have reported the state chapter by chapter. i read about chapter two, wrote it. as i found things that were for later and put them away. it was never locked between researching. as leslie done at the university of texas, a little bit in oklahoma and the panhandle. just doing that. but i really found to my surprise that when i went into the archives at the university of texas where i spent months and months the reporting skills that i have a stalled just being a reporter are the same. i take in some ways book writing is just really, really slow
reporting. >> this has been great. has been a real treat. you have a gentleman who wants to ask a question. we will start with him. if you have questions it would be better if you came up to the microphone. the last thing i will say is immediately after this session sam will be at the book signing. if you have a copy -- and if you have not read it yet hopefully this discussion has shown this is a fantastic book. i hope that you will read it if you have not. >> great book. i really enjoyed it. my question has to do with the comanche's behavior if they were captured by someone who was inclined to torture them like they seemed to torture people. did they have some kind of code of behavior, and formal, of course, that they would have been raised from use in how to respond to being tortured? >> not that i know. the only thing i know is there was kind of a weird golden rule
that applied. it applied all over america. a comanche mail taken in battle by a crow or use or something, if he was alive he would automatically be tortured to death. it would be quick if it did not have much time and it would be slowed if there was not. that happens to everybody. there was no exception. what astonished the white people -- i don't think there was a code, but as tossed white people, indians would fight to their last breath. every single one of them. the white man eventually learned why because if you get captured alive it was really not pleasant. there is thought that even though this wasn't written broadly about, rangers, for example, always saved one bullet in the chamber. it was the same. there was just a version of the indians idea, you did not want to be taken. i think torture is one of the
things that i devote kind of a big piece of a chapter two, the idea that something we all have to come to terms with when we look at the indians. although, i swear i just read a memoir of the war in the pacific, stuff that the japanese did would have been fully in line with what the koreans did. obviously singling out japanese, but things that are going on in africa today are just as bad or worse. anyway, yes. man. >> how would i know? but. >> and comanche woman. >> this was one of the things that i try to do in talking about cynthia. they did all of the work. they did not have much status,
but they did all the work. it was astonishing what they did do. they also fought, but you know, the progress -- process of tanning buffalo hides is through work. they did this all day long. these were nomadic tribes that lived all the time. they were the ones entirely in charge of the logistics of the move. it was clear. you hunt, fight. there was nothing else. the women did absolutely everything. a kind of a brutal -- approval life for a woman without the freedom that the men had. it was -- you know, and i think cynthia and live that life. when she came back she kept trying to escape. as hard as it may have been it was still her world. a hard world for women.
>> fiction. i am thinking of a good one called buffalo soldier. i have nothing to base on how accurate. we talk about spiritual life and how important hunting. >> i'm sorry. you talking about a specific book? >> buffalo soldier. >> i have not read that. >> what motivated the comanche warrior spiritually and why it was so important to hunt and to capture people and to torture. >> it was -- the society -- the comanche society evolved particularly during the years of the apache conquest when they nearly annihilated the apache. they have evolved into a tribe or status relied on military success. that, i think, changed everything.
so you have to look at them. you can look at the spartans the same way. there was nothing but military success. religiously they had a very simple version of religion. magic all-around. magic lives in beavers and wills, trees. the idea was to harness it. whenever you could do to harness it. it was not a complex as other indian tribes in north and south america had. it was pretty simple. it did not necessarily informed that much their warring habits. i mean, there was on the other hand there great weakness as warriors. you kill its chief and the medicine is gone. there was a lot of that. they were easy to spook. but i think that in some ways you have to see them as a stripped-down war machine where all of their status in the world dependent on victory in battle. it got to the point where i think it even got a little out of hand with that is all they
wanted anymore. >> i really enjoyed your book. basically spent 20 years of my life as a girl scout. my question is, how is it that quanah parker, after all the things she did come able to turn that around and completely become part of the design. my did he maintain what he had? >> the one thing that he had -- and by the way, "the world's greatest museum s. if you have not been there, panda plans historical museum. incredible. anyway, where was i? quanah parker. quanah parker has something that most indians did not have in the reservation.
did not have much of the 20th century. that was optimism. he was an optimistic fellow. very gregarious and social and convincing. it's interesting. if you look at the skills needed in comanche society, basically your power as chief. your ability to go record a war party. you go around. aboard party. if the chief was not convincing than he could not do it, maybe get three people. quanah parker was really good at it. quanah parker was the guy. he was a talker. he was optimistic, out there, gregarious, social, positive, a recruiter. the things that made him a great chief in some ways carry over. now, it did not carry over to other people who were good at being a chief. there was something about him, and i don't know where it came from. he had an optimism and a hope and a feeling that things are going to get better.
and he get to the reservation he was like everybody else, waiting in line for rations, living in a tepee with nothing. yes, he thought things were going to get better. one of the reasons i love quanah parker is he is a great american hero, but he shared but i think to me is probably the single most defining american trait, and that is just sheer optimism. the belief that it is going to work and you're going to get better and kids will have it better than you do and that he will do better this year than you did next year. he believed that through. he donated a school at some point and became the first chairman of the school board because he was going to build the school board. it is interesting to note that to run a vote was much more famous. a drunken old curmudgeon. they knew each other. they lived a few miles away. geronimo is buried on kwon of road. >> outstanding book. my wife picked it out for a
trip. we went up to white deer texas. we were in your territory while listening to it, the unabridged version. i particularly liked -- but that you were very balanced in your approach to both of white man and the indian. but when i got back i started reading some refuse, most of them were good. there were a lot of reviews that kind of ticked you to task kilobit. i think it was from the indian standpoint. maybe you were a little more harsh on the indians then you should have been. i thought it was balanced, but how do you respond to that? >> there has been a little bit of that, but i expected more blow back then i got to tell you the truth. i did not -- i had lunch with the turkish filmmaker talking about his friends. they don't like necessarily my portrait of the brutality. i could have gone much farther.
on the other hand believe that the portrait of the overall was there. i mean, if you of how to do this was really not to take any political agenda at all. the white men were less cool. just a reporter. i just gather my reporting. reporting showed that they were unbelievable atrocities. that is just the way it was. i had a little bit, but not much. i was expecting much more. i would have heard by now. >> cynthia parker is probably the most famous indian captive, especially in texas. she certainly was not the only one. was he different than all the others? >> i'm trying to think of that famous one.
anyway, she was very unusual in history. she is not the only one who would not come back or who fully assimilated and crossed the line. there are a few other examples in history, but it was pretty unusual. the white woman could tease the savagery of a civilization. it was shocking. they could not believe that you could possibly be so fully assimilated as she was to forget her own language cannot take all of the comanche ways to resolve. and so i think it is -- in her hair as she was considered to be absolutely unusual and extraordinary. there were many captives, most were returned relatively quickly. most of the adult men who returned were considered damaged goods and had trouble with their
point. there were no buffalo there. there were no buffalo by mississippi. all they wanted was that. an interesting idea. they never did understand property. to some extent some indians still have trouble with private property. >> we have the five minute signal. maybe we will to another question. please go ahead. >> i was curious. it was a great book and i really appreciated. i learned a lot. what about palo duro canyon and how did that and form their society and talk a little bit about how that was the way you describe it, a fortress, an undiscovered place that white man did not know about. >> if any of you have seen it, 100 miles long and the second-biggest canyon. it became toward the end of the comanche arabs kind of ground zero. it has always been a winter camp, but it was just this
unbelievably gorgeous river cut stream cut canyon cut place where you could hide. ultimately the red river war was fought a good deal in and out of palo duro canyon because it was such a great place to hide. but i think it -- they were nomads. so hysterically they would in depth in the canyon for winter camp often. i just think it became part of their society. one of the most interesting moments. i describe this in my book bag. you have to lead us out to go on the reservation. this is in the reservation. you have to lead us out. we would like to go on a buffalo hunt. he lobbies. they finally let him go. the testing at this point. they go out. but they are shocked and astonished as they find no buffalo. but this point most of the buffalo have been killed. well, they get to the canyon.
low and behold they find out that a white guy and said. a guy named charles goodnight now owns the place. so they right then. he guess what do you mean you on the place? it's one of those conversations. you mean you on this? with his own mean. down in one sense? did god give it to you? to me that was a great moment when you saw how fast to change. is only a few years. you had barbwire. the panhandle. streaming through western oklahoma. i guess one more. you get the last shot. >> you talk a lot about the dogs that accompany the comanche. were you describing a particular breed? rhythm leslie wolfe or what? >> it was a good question. i assume there were walls asia. i don't know.
my favorite dog moment, there were two moments. at the battle the dogs fought to defend. there were all killed. the other one was, there was a moment when this is really the battle of like a canyon. the blue cuts at chase the indians up over the state planes. they are up there and there is this pursuit going on. the indians are going away. so close behind that the indians are kind of checking things fast. one of the things were dogs. some of them were poppies. you had this strange moment where the soldiers were riding into a blue number with puppies. just one of those weird moments. i don't know that much, but the dogs were ubiquitous. always. in fact, the way before the horse. a dog was but carried all their belongings. so anyway beckham are we done?
to you want to squeeze one more in? one more. >> i found that a failing in the book being where are the maps? all over the book. >> other people have noted that. tooley noted. at think it could have used more maps. the second edition. yes. granted. i would like to thank you all for being here. [applauding] at the book signing to and immediately after this. >> this talk was part of the 2010 texas book festival. to find out more this it texas book festival bought org. >> we are here at the national press club talking with offer ted about his new book a secret gift. can you tell us what the secret gift is?
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