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tv   Book TV In Depth  CSPAN  November 7, 2011 12:00am-3:00am EST

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enduring observations was the south in this time was in the grip of a kind of cultural poverty, and frederick olmstead ascribed the poverty to the fact that people lived at such great remove one from another that no kind of cultural commerce was possible. plantation owners lived far apart, and frederick olmstead noticed they just didn't get together and share ideas and share information, and so the park system, what this was meant to do was to allow people to ente together .. different neighborhoods within a city and mix in a democratic experiment. i'll close by saying it's wonderful to be here in washington where an example of frederick olmstead's landscape is so very true to how he originally designed it, and the wonderful thing is here in the 21st century, you can find his work still in tact and find his
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vivid democratic spirit so very alive. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> peaceful abolition of slavery affecting frederick olmstead in his persuasion of england of joining the south in the civil war? >> let's see, the basis of abolitionism is greasing. he was a gradualist, another qualification of getting the timesb. >> people who believe to slavery wasou wrong but they
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thought you could not impose its views on another region and also a complicated institution that needed time to be unwound. for that reason and that they thought because he was a rabid abolitionist here is a person to step down as he traveled to the south but as read that 482 dispatches you see the amazing transformation and 470 who becomes an abolitionist slightly because of what he would this. one thing that happened whenari he was traveling people jealously guarded from him is the actual punishment of slaves that was very guilty for this out. he would travel but nobody would punish a slave in front of h him but if theyorri proceeded to whip a slave it
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was horrifying experience. he did not stop the overseer but he bush's forced back into the gully but the horse flared nostrils and took the natural reaction of the morissette this is morally wrong of slavery so that was won the event that causednt. hindu deepen his abolitionist sentiment. thank you so much clap
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>> host: ben mezrich where did you find this story the accidental millionaires? >> iran them e-mail a harvard student and he said my best friend co-founded facebook and nobody has ever heard of him. i had heard of facebook. this was made the egg get some mixed up but 2008? right before 21 came out. the move the 21.
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my eight wife had forced me to be on it soared new what it was but not something to look at parties i was not invited to so i went out for a drink with the diary and he was angry, are really angry. and bell little drunk and wanted to tell me his story. >> host: why did he send an e-mail to you? >> i am the go to guide for every college kid who does something ridiculous are crazy i guess they have a big college audience and these kids want to tell their story. i have become that guide when somebody knocks off lottery scam they called me. i get 30 or 40 of these per week this was just one of them usually they are lame but this was one that caught my eye. >> host: you went and had drinks with eduardo.
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>> guest: and his buddy will to was a senior and he tells me the story. i knew nothing about how facebook was founded and house me how he and his best friend mehta with the jewish fraternity mark sector. and they were urged pizza not a good meeting girls in eduardo wanted to be a member of one of the final club's one of the old world all male institutions like skull and bones and he wanted to be of member in mark did not have a shot but eduardo got into one and mark went on a really bad date when he got home he hacked into the computer sample the pictures of every girl and made a website called hot or not and it was called face smashed and pick the hottest girl.
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it was a prank and it leaked out and everybody crashed a the computer sir. it was notorious and a that was the beginning of facebook. that is with he caught the attention of the twins in. they are right out of the hollywood playbook when i met them they are 6-foot 5-inch olympic twin rowers the cool kids on campus i remember me than for the first time they look the same and you think we must be the bad guys because of this was that 80's movie we would be dressed up in skillet 10 costumes chasing the kid around the gym and when the movie came out of course, a social network i got a call out of the blue
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from the original karate kid that he loved that line was in vogue. after this prank they tried to hire him as they're geek because they were working on their own web site called the harvard connection which was it dating site for women been to me to harvard women they needed the computer programmer and needed mart. he just wanted to hang out because they were cool kids on campus but he did not think much of their idea and that is how he came up with the idea of facebook and went to his friend aborted you put up the money you will be cfo and have 30% of the company it was to college kids then a markka roach facebook and creative from there. >> host: ben mezrich to the time of the millhouse to
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the publication how much time passed? >> guest: it got crazy i hung out with them and it was a six month process of interviewing bet i wrote the proposal of 14 stage proposal to you -- ben mezrich at this point* the why did is a little short to thing 20 pages is what i try to do but sometimes the story can be told quickly and i think it was a simple thing. i wrote the proposal and i remembered telling kevin spacey about it and does anybody really want to make up movie about facebook? that was my mom's impression but i was not writing the book debt digests the
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proposal but though proposal leaked out to the internet. >> host: how did that happen? >> guest: a good question. it went out to publishers though one of those who did not get it or somebody at the publishing house or a scout. i don't know. the first time i had seen a book proposal in its entirety printed on the web. it was photocopied. first of all, eduardo was not supposed to be talking to me. he freaked out. i got a restraining order from his lawyer saying ben mezrich is no longer allowed to contact me but facebook quickly settled and i heard a gain of 5% that he had to sign a contract never to speak to ben mezrich again. i'd never would either. [laughter] but at the same time balance
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work and saw what i was doing and immediately he wanted to write this which is incredible for a movie which is a great phone call to get as an author. i had not written the book yet. it all have been did one day then i quickly worked on the book and finished it up. was talking to marks people for six months i spend one year to get him to talk to me. wanted to sit down with him that he did not want to. that was fair. i have never met him i do know this ceo and a number of people there but march and i have never met. he did not like me when the book came out. the company called me bet jackie collins of silicon valley. which is great. she sells a lot of books. that is great. this is not the story he
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ever -- never would have wanted to tell. this would not contain eduardo or not talk about the winkelvoss twins and he created facebook he is the genius behind it and i understand why he would not want to talk to an author he could not control. i am not that kind of a journalist to tell me how he once the book written. i was already talking to people he did not want to be a part of the story. i think that is why. it would have been great to get his screen debut but there were thousands of pages of court documents documents, dozens of people to talk to and i managed to get to just about everybody. it was something i could build around. >> host: that was the
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person to be the second was from the book "bringing down the house." >> guest: that was the big one for me. my first nonfiction. >> host: where do find the story? >> guest: it makes me sound somebody that doesn't do anything but i was hanging and out the bar. i was writing fiction, as some of them were good. but they were medical thrillers, is fiction, pop fiction come i wrote a book for the exiles television show and a booktv, a television movie with antonio cymbalta, jr. and robert wagner. it is on the sci-fi channel at 2:00 in the morning. it is pretty funny but i was doing that kind of a thing. i was hanging out with these guys from m.i.t. favored kiki math guys mostly asian but looked like everybody
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else except they had tens of money in hundred dollar bills. we hung out at a bar in boston that is a dive bar and you never see $100 bills in boston. it is weird. in new york, in las vegas they come out of the atm machines buy you just don't see them and boston not so i could not figure out how they had so much money. in the book called him kevin lewis because he did not want to be known as the black jack guy than the movie came out then he did want to be known so his real name is jeff. i asked him why he had so much money and he invited me to his house and in his laundry was $250,000 in stacks of one hundreds. >> host: totally random? >> guest: i was friends with him but did not know he had all of this money and i
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thought he was a drug dealer. and he said you have to come to las vegas with me. i was at a time in my wife and i could do that so they flew to vegas and pretended they did not know each other. >> host: were you in on it? >> guest: the first time just to see a inaction, it is on the strip all of las vegas behind you, a swimming pool, we did not what -- know what to do with a butler all the kids pull out money from under their clothes and pilot on the table with $1 billion in cash i did not know everybody had it on them with $1 million in cash. journalist is a strong word for me. i was a writer at the time writing pop fiction. when i saw this they said we are the m.i.t. blackjack team i knew i wanted that to
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be my next book. i want to write this and he wanted me to. the others did not because they we're doing this for a living making a fortune and made $6 million with card counting but i convince them to let me do it. i would travel back and forth i learned how to do what although i am terrible. >> host: $1 million piled up on the table? >> guest: we are the m.i.t. but techtium and described to me what they had done. i had heard of something but i thought it was a class where you learn to play blackjack or something with this has been going on for about 25 years. each group of students after they were finished would train the next group. this has been going on in four decades since the early '70s. i was blown away.
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that was it. i was writing pop fiction and this was a true story better than what i came up with on my own. >> host: what was illegal about this? >> guest: there is nothing illegal about card counting but the casinos frowned upon it. when you play blackjack it is different and roulette because blackjack has a memory. that means every card that comes out of the deck is no longer in the deck so the odds change has you play. you could spin read 25 times in the road but that does not change your chances even though the casino thinks it does. it is meaningless but black jack if all of the tense and kings and checks came now they are not in there anymore it is harder to get black jack. so they just watch the cards
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come out when all the lowered cards have come out that means more of the higher cards are in the deck that means you will get blackjack often and said dealer will bust more often and that is when you want to raise your bad. sitting there watching the cards and you see a lot of low cards come out to raise the that. but the casino does not want you to do that people don't like to use their brain vujacic game of lock you lose and you leave the card counters can win and on the average they can win 2% per hand which ends up to be a lot of money. but they get caught because the casino can see them raising and lowering their bet sell it spreads out 10 kids and one is dead at each table and he keeps track of the cards and the cards get good he singles and the player who acts like a high roller.
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they try to looks the part to as they can and always pretend dain to drink because you have to be don't give you are the high roller at $10,000 a hand when it is bad they get the signals of the big money is only that and then you can make a lot of money from the casino plan to view they do see a big player doing $10,000 here or there been no raising or lowering so it is hard for them to see. that is what the team did and they made millions. >> host: are they banned at casinos at this point*? >> guest: eventually the casino of figures out he wins in different places and they follow him a private eye follows them back to boston and found out he went to m.i.t. that and got ahold of all of the books and took the photos with a facial recognition software then
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you would come up on a computer screen individually they figured out the team. they will kick you out. they are not allowed to hurt you. in the movie he puts rings on his fingers. that doesn't happen anymore. they throw you out they can for whatever they want. nevada is very pro gaming so the m.i.t. team eventually became dinosaurs that means you are too recognizable. they can play craps a broker but not blackjack. >> host: would those young men? >> guest: they're almost my age. the main character started an internet company and sold it to yahoo! then wrote a book and he has done very well now running and other
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business with a couple of other kids. another roach for it yet -- television show and somebody else ended up on wall street the girl is a big-time lawyer in boston. they're all smart people. favor using math to win. for them it was like of math problem of the class room. >> host: in the book "bringing down the house" there were a couple of articles that came out including this one from "new york" magazine, will charges of inaccuracies bring down "bringing down the house"? >> guest: that answer is no. i have been a controversial author ever since my first nonfiction book. a lot of people don't like the way i write nonfiction. i righted as the three other. a method writer, i become a
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part of it then i write it like a thriller not like a documentary or out of the encyclopedia. what happens is the book comes out and there are old world journalist who don't like to see the creativity i put into my nonfiction. i feel strongly everything is true. bringing down the house was researched heavily all the stories very accurate but now to look for something because of dialogue and i interview the people to know what they spoke about i don't know their exact words. they talk about what they talk about it but put it into human words and of course, it is not tape-recorded or direct word for word so it is easy to say this isn't true. it is true but it is just words that were not
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necessarily said but that is what they talked about. facebook is it true or not true? it is very true and the social network is extremely accurate. there were things that allosaur candid that was dramatic to build a story but you cannot point to much that is not true. we have a lot of documentation and thousands of pages but ever since james fry, a lot of journalists are looking for scandal to make a big name for themselves to call out and author. i put it right in the authors nose in the beginning of the book i tell you exactly what i am going to do so many reviews are a review of my author no to. they don't review the book.
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the near times janet has a huge problem with me it does not like hell i write nonfiction. i find it comical i read them with enjoyment because she has so much hatred for me but it? me up. my readers understand what they're getting into. it is the true story is a thriller that happens to be true as long as imf front this undersigned-- understandable but there are plenty of nonfiction books written where a mean character dies 500 years ago. there is the interviews there the author house to put himself into it and you make your best guess but that does not change the fact it is not fiction. >> host: welcome to booktv this is our "in-depth" program the monthly author interview with one of their and their body of work. this month we have ben mezrich author of six
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nonfiction books. beginning 2002 with "bringing down the house", "ugly americans", et "busting vegas" "rigged" coming the accidental billionaires' coming and his most recent thomas sex on the moon. this is your opportunity to talk with ben mezrich. i want to ask you about the process of ternate a book into a movie. have you been actively involved in those two movies? >> guest: i am actively involved but i have no
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power. i handle it as much as i can but it is two very different movies. "21" was a very fine retelling of "bringing down the house" and kevin spacey was my first person in hollywood to become my brothers and they brought it to sunday and then the social that work i have been with sony both times with a great experience but not think they are marvell. i have been lucky and they have allowed me to be a part of it from the very beginning. i met them out of the blue and had written an article of the m.i.t. kids and wire magazine with of random fall call that dana said kevin spacey blended to talk to me.
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i hung up and called my mom and said kevin spacey is trying to call me and she said it was a prank call. i google dain and and it turns out he was his assistant at the time but he says you want to make a movie out of this. said it was rejected by everybody except mgm which was one of the casinos that we were hitting the that ended up becoming a sign a pitcher but i get involved as the person who writes the screenplay will show it to me to comment but once it is inaction it is the director's movie i'd like to be on said to hang out and meats but it is more if there is a question not with any control. i heard somebody say not at the bottom but under the
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totem poll. the author does not have a lot of power but you do get to make suggestions and have fun with it. i was lucky they're both filmed in boston so i could spend a lot of time on this that. >> host: where did you grow up? >> guest: princeton new jersey. my dad is a doctor now but a scientist working at d'arcy a they moved from brooklyn to new jersey to work and so why grew up in princeton which was a great place i wanted to be a writer since i was 12. my parents were great. i had a lot of television. charles in charge and saved by the bell. my favorite shows. [laughter]
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my parents sent a rule we had to read two books for week before we can watch tv so i became a speed reader very quickly my dad accepted any kind of book fantasy, science fiction it did not matter as long as you were reading two books a week. i read everything. i wrote to my first book when i was 12. sat down with a typewriter and wrote 2150 page science fiction novel which i then sent to publishers and was rejected and i got letters that said how old are you? [laughter] my family is very much oriented around bucks and my dad is into technology and was a scientist and inventor and electrical engineer then became a medical doctor and when back-to-school and his four days and was chairman of radiology and he is a
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radiologist to change balance which is a great lesson to realize you can do anything and my mom went back to law school. she is not practicing right now but she has done a lot with it but you can do what you want to do. that is the lesson that there is no dead-end did you are writing medical thrillers you find a true story there is no limitation but the love of books came from at and i read everything. dozens of books by the weekend i do try to read everything it comes out and i had to find my voice but i did not know what kind. >> host: you went to princeton? >> guest: i went to harvard. my older brother went to penn but i loved growing up
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in france and we would try to sneak into the parties but i wanted to go to harvard. i loved it. it was a great experience. >> host: were you there at the same time? >> guest: i wish i was that young and smart as succor bird but that was fun about facebook and millionaires' i always wanted to write about harvard it was nice to exploit m.i.t. it was nice about harvard. i wanted to be a member and was not the person who could not i knew about that we're to social setting but is a little bizarre there is still the aristocracy that you don't see. people who are incredibly wealthy whose families go there 300 years and lifted a different world but yet a guy like mark zuckerberg can go there to change the world without having that background.
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i loved it and had a great time to write about is something i always wanted to do. >> host: ben mezrich is our guest now it is your turn. we will look at other books but we will start with columbia maryland please start again. >> caller: i want to ask about his relationship now with the winkelvoss twins. >> host: did you see the movie? >> caller: i have not done either by have watched the accounts but i heard they were appealing their case. i had wondered also about the status of the appeal because apparently there was new evidence. >> guest: it is a great question. i love the term to call them
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winkelvii they feel very strongly mark zuckerberg stole their idea that is how they felt the first minute and still no. "this is it" the day originally except did the agreement worth $65 million which today it is around 100 million with stock and settlement but they feel that was not fair and facebook owe them a lot more. the last time i heard it was 650 million. from my point* of view $65 billion is a lot of money. i know sit in judgment of there was idea but facebook was marks company he created the company in the winkelvoss had a website with interesting components whine is that you had to have the harvard e-mail account to joint when
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facebook launched you also had to have the exclusive email to join then it spread from their school to school and that was the crux of the argument there has been a lot of emails published since then that mark supposedly wrote when he was that age that are pretty damning and not in the initial case and that is the reason. i am not a lawyer i don't know what is going on for girl the thing about the winkelvoss twins you want to hate them because you look at them and they exemplify everything we are brought up to hate him in america at incredibly good-looking, in to athletic and ultimately the coolest guys getting all the girls and a geeky guy like me says they used to put me in lockers and high-school but at the same time they are very likable i have spent time with them and they are nice and fun
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and smart and even the jocks are making websites in their dorm room. fifth they just do not want to give up and really believes believe they are in the right and you have to take your and hat off to someone who believes that firmly for what they have done but i don't know what is correct i feel like 65 million is a lot of money but i don't know. >> host: are you still in contact with the winkelvii? >> guest: twitter. every now and then i will see them in new york or boston. they are rowers i think they will grow in the olympics i believe they are still training. they rode together it is amazing. they are identical twin growers. i don't hang out with them every day or see them often but every now and then we run into each other.
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i don't know the current state of their appeal. one was dropped and fund was moved but the legal thing is mind boggling. so much goes on in so much money but with facebook a 100 billion-dollar company? i am more curious about eduardo he is probably worth $7 billion and i have not spoke to him wants about the restraining order he should send me a gift basket with a billion dollars in side. he is very nice and nine ef. i last heard he was then singapore and also he was partying in the south of france spending $50,000 per night i don't know if that is true but i do know he likes to go out and has done very well. he is a great guy a worth billions of dollars. what you do?
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>> host: and sex and drugs and rock-and-roll and models. >> guest: first of all, doesn't need explanation? iowans wanted to write books that are not real i am geeky an erotic and afraid of everything i describe myself as the mixture of thomson and woody allen. i want to be like contretemps sen but i am much more like woody allen. when i go into the stories allows me to live the life that i don't live. said to hang out with sean parker from the facebook story. one of the coolest guys out there who was a genius running around like go rock star i could follow him around for a month. how do be too that? "bringing down the house"
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going to vegas every weekend running away from the private eye in real life i am terrified of everything but then you become a part of it with duffel bags full of money i went to the airport with quarter of a billion dollars it is the intense adrenaline rush about the same time i could jump back out to my normal life there is a lot of saks but when i look for a story of house to have the elements sex, money, high stakes, a young person and thomas march, i don't want to write about crime. i don't want to hang out with criminals. i have written one book that was a crime but it was about a genius to seven who plus is bad robert? >> guest: it is a book called "sex on the moon" the brilliant kid had a tough background grew up in a fundamentalist marvell and family kicked out of his
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house and 18 for having premarital sex. went to university deciding he wants to be an astronaut changed his life steady and got into the program at the johnson space center which is on your way to become an astronaut but then he fell in love with a 19 year-old and to impress her he broke into a lab to that this deal on the rock pro it is a piece from every move landing in history. he had sex with his girlfriend then tries to sell them over the internet. >> host: he had known her about a month? >> guest: he was an intern at an asset you just look at that to say that is so stupid yet it is cool. but he went to jail for almost a decade. then i get a phone call.
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this happened in 1999. i got the call out of the blue from his friends to say you have to hear this story. i did the internet search there is only one article and nothing had been written about it and nasa did not want anybody to know it wasn't covered of crime. he spent almost one decades in jail and had just gotten out on probation i had never met anyone who was in jail at all but alone seven and a half years. he was the nicest guy, good looking, a smart, i jock, a brilliant, getting his ph.d. after prison after doing something so stupid out of love or whatever and that is my book to seven he tried to sell them on the internet.
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>> guest: $100,000 but they were worth millions of dollars. they're only got 10 from the move by a hand. they cannot be replaced there is only 800 pounds in existence and he tried to sell a bunch of it and got caught. >> host: said next call comes from bill born florida >> caller: thank you very much for your great nonfiction books i have read all of them including "sex on the moon" which i just finished. what a story you come away thinking what was the thinking? but my question is on "busting vegas" how the world's casinos are following the hustlers the you mentioned is that face recognition software used worldwide?
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do they communicate with all of the casinos worldwide does las vegas communicate with monte carlo? thanks again for your books and two c-span's. >> guest: i appreciate that. thank you so much. i am glad you read "busting vegas" it was the m.i.t. team has 18 casinos all over the world. most use facial recognition software. how could that is is still up for debate. the in -- casinos say in this incredibly accurate. but also private investigators work with most major casinos work with one or two firms to handle gaming so there is communication. monte carlo and the london casino certainly communicate with those in las vegas
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through the private investigators chasing the same people. it is wild. college kids math geeks the you could see spending millions of dollars to catch them to keep them from gambling. overseas it is more dangerous because those are russian mobs and at mob run so when kids go overseas it is very dangerous. in my book there is a lot of stories to be a drug out from gunpoint, roebuck, you have to be much more careful overseas. but they do communicate through the private eyes and you are well known very quickly and there was the black book one agency that had it to put every unwanted% in the black book and it was shared by all casinos but right after 9/11 they added the terrorist and
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osama bin not in the m.i.t. was at the top so it shows you what they were thinking of the most feared people were the m.i.t. kids. >> host: what is that roberts doing now? >> guest: you read the book to say what was he thinking? my dad read the book and he hated him when he read the book he trampled on something it was incredible incredible, the whole moon landing and he tramples on science to steal these rocks but then it when my dad met him he said he is a nice guy. he is sweet to do something stupid and he knows that but at the same time it is like every college kid pulling a major plank and did not think ahead. he even had been james bond song playing in his head but
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then he paid the price. i believe the just left getting his ph.d. and looking for work. he still wants to go to space-bar there is a lot of private companies. he was launching a weather balloon and doing different things. he came to boston for my book launch party and it was great to see him. he is still adjusting to being out of prison. that is a long time in federal prison. >> host: booktv on c-span2. ben mezrich is our guest. kansas city, missouri. >> caller: i want to ask about "busting vegas." a friend of mine is a good blackjack player says the scheme that they had is totally impossible now.
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what do you have to say about that? >> guest: the main scheme is called cutting the way that it works after the dealer deals the cards, they take the deck before they shuffle it day rolled the ad tech into a blind then they offer the cut card to all of the players. if you are sitting here you can usually see the bottom card. if uc and ase that happens wants a choice in our that is significant. you take the cut card. >> host: how many dax? >> guest: six techs. you put into the red deck then the dealer takes the fun of the deck moving it to the back. so you cut too exactly 100 cards from the bottom. that sounds hard produce at
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at home and practiced three hours a day for one month you could do almost every time. the dealer moves the front to the back and the 101st card is that case because they always waste a card. face is 101 is a you could count down to 101 days lines up you bet $10,000 then that increases your chances enormously. the reason it is difficult to do now most casinos now use a plastic card at the bottom of the deck that makes it hard to see but a lot of dealers are sloppy ended you play at 2:00 in the morning you will see the bottom card and i recommend if it works just try to see it and i that wants in awhile and you will.
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it was not like it used to be it was just covered by his hand and you could see through his fingers. it is more difficult. that is part of the game. every time somebody writes a book the casinos read it and they make adjustments. but you also notice the made adjustment they have not made is making automatic shufflers. it would be impossible to count cards but they don't do that because most players don't want to play there son to get rid of the few million you lose to new card counters you would lose many millions to make an automatic but it does get more difficult and "busting vegas" i don't believe what he did woodwork as well now because you do get caught quick tour. it is a crazy system. the casino see a bad team a lot of money so they used to
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the pretend characters like a rock star walking with her entourage negative or like they were suicidal to throw their money on the table there was a lot of acting involved. but it is much harder to do today. >> host: denver colorado. good afternoon. >> caller: i have a frank question. thank you for being so open about how you write nonfiction to make it into a fun story. i just published my first nine-- shin narrative and the day said it reads like a suspense novel and we probably shouldn't but we got to that and i cannot tell you how good i feel after i listened to explain that. it is fantastic.
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i am starting to get a movie and tv offers and my agent said it is a great opportunity but we will turn them down because your book has not sold enough copies so when you say to go into it and how do i go about deciding or do i have any control what happens after they take it? >> host: what is a synopsis of your book? >> guest: an accident investigator for airplanes to an assembly who flies near the every day i am scared to read your book. [laughter] it is a great question and congratulations. the majority of the time i hear writers to have been unable to sell. it is so hard it is a tough
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business and just getting tougher. said thing about tv and movie it is a miracle any movie is made. that is what i have seen by have been very fortunate. it takes a spectacular amount of luck for everything to come together. when you get an offer the most important thing i believe are the people who make you the offer. if it is about the money they go for the biggest money take it and don't think about it again. but if you really want to see the project get made it is about the people and sell it to those who are actually interested to make it more have made movies or tv before to have the right take. the thing about control is the book is yours the movie is their's. you can have been plucked but it you think this is how
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has to be, it probably will not be made. they want to make it they are in business and they want coming it is their movie. if this is a memoir it is different because it is your life. you do have to have marseille but i don't know what your age a means you have not sold enough books i feel if you get an offer offer, you say you have the six month or one-year option ended you cannot make in that time the rights will revert back to me. you continue to sell books adjusted increases the chances maybe your agent is thinking he will get more money if you sell more books which is entirely possible but usually a someone is exciting about your project to make a movie i would say let them. that is just my opinion but
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i have been very lucky and fortunate. book to movie business is completely insane. i sold the rights to all books multiple times. "ugly americans" has been through three studios. >> host: are you paid each time? >> guest: you get an option or a percentage you get some money up front first is a large payday on the first day of production you are paid. it varies depending on the book just like any type of market. if nobody did you get whenever they offer the option many as upfront say have been that station amount of time if that ends with no movie they pay for another option period or they give it back. when they giving back you can sell it again so "ugly americans" in "rigged" have just come back. we tried to make the movie with screenplays and very
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close with "ugly americans" but we just could not get it together. now the rights revert back to me i will attempt to resell them. i always wanted to make "ugly americans" in "rigged" i just have to find the right people. >> host: that is normal? >> guest: more normal the majority of books don't sell. if they sell but they don't earn out to but i have been fortunate i sold all of my books and to options have been made which is unbelievable tata. >> host: in. >> guest: the same producers from the social network and that the guy who wrote and directed friends with benefits i believe he
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is writing and now and hopefully will direct it. high hopes i think "sex on the moon" will be a movie. >> host: speaking of "ugly americans" who is john malcolm? >> guest: "ugly americans" a true story taking place in japan and about a guy who i called john malcolm who was a day athlete he was my brother's roommates and very good football player was not big enough to go pro. physically not large enough for broke when he graduated from princeton he got a phone call from an along who said had you ever been to japan? come work for me. he pak said dufflebag and leaves the jersey and ends up working was the 26th
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year-old trader who bankrupted the "barron's" bank in england by betting the entire assets of the japanese stock market right before the earthquake. he had bankrupting the bank and went on the run and i believe he wrote a letter saying i am sorry and his desk doran and took off and was caught in thailand and his assistant was putting the trades through so he became the cowboy and everybody wanted to hire him. he had been handling billion-dollar trades and everybody thought he had of magic touch. he became one of the biggest traders in tokyo. that was one of the favorite books that i wrote but it became like the ax pat book
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and i go to asia and every trader has a copy of it on their desk and i love that but it is a crazy story taking the underground sex world of japan that is incredibly perverse there are places called sexual harassment clubs it even vibrates like the subway car in their plan been riding the subway you can go up and molest them. has anybody talked about a soap world? there is a different floor with different women and as you pay more you go to higher floors and you get the idea. this is where the bankers to their business. it is a crazy world because these are american kids growing up in the very judeo-christian and culture where the norms are different but in japan this
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sex is considered a bodily function in just something that happens when men go on business trips their wives will pack condoms in case they need to do something. it is changing now but that is our it was. he meets a japanese gangster and has to leave japan very quickly after making the $500 million trade. >> host: is he's still in bermuda? >> guest: that part was not sure i had to change or he is. when i wrote to the bookie did not want anybody to know who he was but then people started to figure out. >> host: but you used peabody. >> guest: i was not as careful as i should have been but i was pushed by people to put in the facts but then you have to be very careful because if people
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don't want to know where they are it is hard to tell a story to make accurate but protect the people. when i wrote the book one chapter takes place in hong kong there was a hong kong businessman the main character called and said you have to get rid of the chapter because he is notorious for killing journalist. that chapter is gone. [laughter] but a book like that i tried to disguise him. he is a billionaire by now but it is not bermuda but he is still out there and he is still trading. >> host: need ben mezrich is our guest this month. . .
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where he said the one that seems incredibly accurate and everything seemed except he didn't ask someone to punch him in the face he said if you to
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understand these were dhaka is that we're a sood every day in college and he was incredibly dismissive and that he is he's brilliant but he's arrogant and dismissive and he thought what are these kids walking into my office for this is not my problem, deal with it to ourselves and that is what he told them he did throw them out of the office and that is word for word as i could do it many years later without having a tape recorder but it was very accurate and they captured it perfectly. he really looked like larry summers to me. >> carolyn, to enter california. good morning. >> good morning. how are you? i just a quick question. i was wondering if he was interested in a true story that's extremely intriguing that involves a great amount of willful, things that go on that
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people are not aware of, and i am looking for the right writer and i know this fillmore look could be completed and smashed out of a story i would like to offer the welford humanitarian projects and help people all over the world and i'm looking for the right representative. >> host: we got the idea. are you going to tell us what the story is? >> caller: well it is a little danger involved, it's about an individual who controls the largest oil resource in the world and what happened to that individual because they don't have an army to protect them. >> host: is a true story? >> caller: its a true story. the cases in the international criminal court, the netherlands. >> caller: all right. so ben mezrick, you say you get these e-mails. >> guest: that sanskrit actually. they go to ben@benmezrick is my
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e-mail or benmezrick on order and you can tweet my info. that is what on the service sounds very interesting for me to go forward with it she would have to have a personal in for me because i'm not one that's going to show up and knock on the door. i have to have the story, and would have to have the elements but i'm looking for. when it's already in the paper that means there's another journalist running around it. and also not a gun for hire. so for me i have to want to write it as my book. but it is intriguing. i would love to see an e-mail from her. i could if you have a handle on it. i did write a book about oil did was more in the new york market exchange and to buy. it's intriguing but i start and stop stories all the time so i will get dozens of these and looking to them and it's not
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really right for me or it's going to take too much time or it's going to be too dangerous. i don't like to put myself in real danger so i wouldn't write a story where i had to go somewhere dangerous or get involved in mob people wargo -- i've got in those e-mails, too from people who have done horrible things were -- everybody e-mails me. it's like when eliot spitzer went down the madam was e-mail in me. i explained to my wife had to hang out with eight madam a year. and charlie sheen but again i don't think my wife would let me. everyone does contact me at some point. i like the stories of the beat because no one has heard of them. >> host: six on the moon is a trial. he got arrested in orlando, a big trial -- >> guest: the close a major highway and they covered it up. i'm not going to say nasa i don't know how nasa covered up the they were in paris by this
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guy and they were -- he was one of their own. big trial, yet was it public or not i don't know how public it was the 26 oral try all i would assume it would have to have been there were reporters there. it was written about so little and they didn't really -- it never exploded. there was a wonderful time about it which was like a four page article and that was it, and that was years ago. so -- >> host: did nasa cooperative? >> guest: no, nasa wasn't thrilled i was reading this book and told people not to speak to me which makes people want to talk to me. i actually got axle who was the belgium mineral collector -- he had never been held in his life. he corrects rocks and he needs every monday night with a bunch of 50 or 60-years-old guys in an abandoned mccaul and the trade rocks and he gets an e-mail out of the blue do you want to buy a moon rock from the u.s. so
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immediately he's excited but then he starts to think something is fishy and he decides something is going on and he e-mails the fbi in the united states and says he might be interested in this and the fbi creates this whole case using axle as their main source to real wonderful guy, i spent a lot of time talking to him that nasa were feeding things to him they wanted me to know. i decide i want to go to nasa to see what it's like. they said no one is allowed to talk to me so i went on their website, or whatever it was and i signed up for a level line tour which is a high-security tour. the only live like to people do it today. i figured they would cross check my name but it's a government bureaucracy. we know how that works. i show up at nasa and the next thing i know i'm in cite nasa and then thad roberts starts taxing me like a kid there is a door at the back of the cafeteria. so i was walking around being the ultimate guided tour by the
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guy that rob nasa so i got a lot of great information than i was able to get the court documents. i have a little group who helped me. i have a lawyer who's kind of like one of those guys who can do anything and he's got privatize who could go to tampa and get me the court records. >> host: but those would be public anyway. >> guest: i got the fbi files. they took a year for them to send them to me. i was amazed they said that all. it was thousands of pages and literally, so i knew everything that he had been saying was true. i knew i could pack everything up. i had what is in his pockets when he was arrested. the fbi -- uzi how hard they work when you get one of those files they go into it. they had research on the moon rocks for 200 pages, just to know what a moon rock is. so you do get all the information that we. but coming yet. >> host: this is booktv's in that program. 202 is the area code to talk to
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author ben mezrich 32,027,370,002 mountain and pacific time since and you can send us an e-mail, or is our address. patrick till conn kuran book tv. >> caller: hello, how are you. the question for you when you are in author and then you beco a screenwriter, too, what is the difference aside from the obvious having the consolidated into the two-hour movie format and also it seems to me like whenever you watch a movie after you've read a book like 99% of the time you can always say that there was something left out. i just went to the moon i just saw a movie in theaters and i read the book, not yours by the way, but i was amazed important things get left out of a screenplay that were in the book and i understand you can't fit it all and. can you talk about that?
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>> guest: sure to read i not a successful screenwriter yet revived on one or two screenplays. i did one adaptation of the the americans that didn't get made. so when i saw my books they usually bring in somebody else that does it and it's a process. screen plays a very different animal than a book to read all of the interior sort of dialogue and all of the motivation and that stuff gets left out and they have to write it very succinctly, jerry action driven and often movies are not as good as the books. i've been very lucky. social network was a phenomenal movie. you know, they have to pick and choose. you can't put everything in the book on the screen. it's a shorter format and also it's not always all relevant. but life seen movies before where they left something out, and then i've seen movies i feel they put too much and. it's all the strength of the screen writer and as someone that a daffs their own work i think the hard thing is cutting
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things. most writers make the mistake of putting in too much. you want the screenplay to run quickly and the fast and exciting and not spend a lot of time sitting around talking and in books you can get away with that but my books are written like screenplays. they get attacked for that as well. i am always thinking of the movie when i write. i visualize every scene. i imagine justin timberlake running around doing it all and that's how i sit down and write so when i write it is as if i'm writing a movie in a book form but they are different. people who write screenplays don't usually write books. >> host: michael tweets mr. mezrich would artur upcoming projects and story lines? >> guest: that's a good question. he is in boston, dwight? >> host: he's an incredible fashion designer who works in boston. he wants me to tell secrets about -- i am working on a
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project but i'm not yet at liberty to say what it's about. it might be a female named character which would be new for me. i've never written a female main characters of if i write that book next the will be it plame not sure. i haven't decided what my next book is to refine also working on a couple television shows. i have a scripted show that i'm working on and then i have a show, a reality check documentary showed i go inside stories every week, which i have been working on you know how there's always macho guys on tv, the opposite of that. so all of those man versus wild i'm the one who doesn't succeed against the one. like inside the stories every week and try to tell the story. all the stuff people pitch to me essentially and i become a part of its and you can see the story but then i get right out. i don't know what specifically
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my next book is. i have an idea but i haven't fully decided yet. >> host: blood stick tweets. are you familiar with carson block, muddy waters and the china media experts from? >> guest: note. [laughter] that sounds interesting though. i have actually been pitched a bunch of china stories. first of all there is so much corruption it's dangerous spending in the amount of time following people making -- people are making fortunes in china right now doing crazy things. but it's a little bit dangerous for me to do one of those stories. i don't know specifically what story he's talking about the there have been some good ones. >> host: are you familiar with richard's worked in relationship to the moon? >> guest: you know it's familiar to me but i don't know. if you give me more light know what you're talking about. >> host: that's all we've got.
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mario in miami. you are on booktv with ben mezrich. >> caller: when you mention the real approach meant [inaudible] >> guest: good question. a lot of people want to know -- a lot of people come to me with their story they want money i think. i have two types of people, people who want money or have so much money they don't want money they just want their story told, which is often more fun, but it depends on the situation. i'm not really trying to write biographies of people. i really want to write my books that are about true stories that happen so it's a little bit different. i have in the past the main character for bringing down the house for instance was the first nonfiction book i gave 10% of pretty much everything and then the movie was separate.
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they can become consultants on the film. it depends on the movie situation. some of the books don't get anything, obviously the facebook they are richer than i will ever be for the rest of my life. it's just different for every situation. i -- my goal is to write the story and not have the problem when you are paying the character is that you can become beholden to them in a way. it's a weird partnership when you write a story about someone because they are not going to like everything you write in the book. some of the things they are going to dislike because when you're telling a true story they have to tell all of the elements of the story so you really want to have some independence. you want to be able to write the story as it happened and not necessarily as the one you to write the story. and so it isn't a pay for higher situation where someone says i1 you to write my stories, write my story and then know that's not what happened. this is an incredible story and then i want to write it and then we would have to work something
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out. if someone gets paid, is because they are enabling the research. they are consulting on the fact and they come sold on the film and if they are consulting and helping with the film, danjac, hollywood wants to buy life rights when it makes a story because they want a story to be accurate, and -- i believe hollywood studio much prefer someone who gives them and sells their life rights and get them involved the point where it's accurate. but isn't like running around the set trying to control everything. so the goal of course is a partnership in which i can write the book however the book has to be. if a movie is made to be involved in some way to consoles on the film but it's a good question. it's different for every project. usually a main character -- of the book becomes a success the you're going to get a lot out of it that has nothing to do with the payment i'm going to give them. they can become famous first of all. they can use that in any way they want. the people from the facebook book i believe profited very
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well from it. i believe everyone involved did well including mark zuckerberg. i think the accidental billionaires' were very good for mark zuckerberg and facebook i don't believe he would be on the cover of "time" magazine without accidental billionaires' i don't think the company would be withheld $100 billion i believe it was a big part of making their image cool. markets we cooler in the movie than he was before the movie and everyone knows him and they know him in a way that they would never have known him and i think that is a big positive. >> host: how were you able to use a picture of mark zuckerberg on the front of your books >> guest: you have to ask the publisher. i believe it is a photograph of a public figure. i have seen a lot of obama's books. there are different rules and i am not a lawyer but as long as you -- it's true you can't, you're not libeling anybody. as for photos i think it is a public figure, i honestly have no idea how that works. i don't know about deval.
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>> host: do you think you'll get the chance to chat with him? >> guest: when i met carl sandburg, she came up to me and she said you know, they didn't like the book when it came out committee disagreed with it, they said it's not true, however now everyone is cool with me and would be fun i can to facebook and talked and she said it to one school with me now. i think i was enemy number one. there's probably a ben mezrich dartboard in there but everything has worked out and the company is doing great and eventually it will be worth trillions of dollars and she has done an amazing stuff over there. i feel she is really an incredible person. so i have no ill will towards them and i don't think they have any towards me. >> host: robert. ben come in the digital age do you feel that managing your online presence, twitter, etc. come often crowds out serious writing? >> guest: first of all i don't consider myself a serious writer but that is a really good question. all of this online stuff coming
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you know, it's probably just a fad. as much as i hate the idea of the kindle lilos the kindle so it is tricky as an author and i know that is not exactly what you're talking about i do have twitter and facebook. am i web presence has been important to my career and i've gotten my books through it, but you're right you can spend a whole lot of time playing around with that stuff and what does it all really do? is it really doing anything? the content is what matters. so the people who write books, i think what you write in the book is the most important step and then getting on rider and facebook and all that stuff is less important, what a lot of companies now are driving into it saying this is the most important thing from it was the standpoint all that matters is you tweet. i like to tweet. maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. c-span is all over twitter,
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right? is it good, is it that? nobody knows. this advertising work on the internet? nobody really knows. they can pretend it does. facebook makes lots of money but i've never clicked on an ad their camano. has anybody click on an ad? i guess somebody is because they are making lots of money. i don't get it. the ads. i try to ignore them and that is the same with the rest of the internet. abs come up all over the place and we ignore them yet people are making money. the internet is crazy let's admit it right out front of the company is worth $100 billion that doesn't make anything, but it's still cool and then, you know, groupon, really? but how many billions of dollars is that worth and then you look at twitter and i think it's fun. i don't understand how they make money. do they make money? and why. yet why am i not a billionaire? that's what i want to know. i agree with your question. i think all the stuff on line is kind of crazy but at the same time i think that future is going that way, not away from it and people say i'm not into
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deutsch witter or facebook marked of sticking your head in the sand because that is the future. >> host: richard and connecticut thanks for holding. kuran with author ben mezrich. >> caller: thank you for the most fascinating interview. i have really enjoyed it. ever since the first mathematical study came out pointing out the probability involving black convertible can have seen the movie and the issue have never understood given that the casinos are highly regulated industry, why looking in the state of nevada why the state of nevada allows you to see those and throw out people who are breaking no law and doing nothing wrong except causing the casino to make less money? thank you. >> caller: the great question
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and good for you fighting a good fight. the casinos owned nevada. it is to simply answer to that question and not necessarily in a bad week. i love casinos when i go to vegas and the straw polls and sweets but nevado knows where it makes its money and it isn't from a bunch of mit kids it is a bunch of billion dollar casinos. atlantic city is a little different. they are not allowed to take the card counters out. they actually have to deal to you and so they do is they will shuffle every hand of the know you are a card counter because new jersey isn't owned by the casinos and they lost the battle and are not allowed to keep you out for the card counting book in las vegas they are allowed. so, nevada it is a one industry town in a lot of ways although it is becoming -- they are all tied to the casinos and you know what? i get it. if i owned a casino i wouldn't want a bunch of card counters there either.
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the way that the casinos say it's is when you go to a movie you have to pay for the entertainment, the price of the ticket is your payment. when you go to the casino you have an expected loss. the average expected loss i don't know what it is today but when i did the book it was $400 in the weekend so every person that walks and a casino is expected to lose $400. that is your price of admission. if you are a card counter you are not paying the price of admission. he snuck into the movie theater basically and are not paying. when you look into that it is kind of an ugly thought because what they're saying is everyone gets of the plan is a loser. they don't publicize that and say you were going to lose $400 but that is their expected return for each person that comes in the casino so that is their reasoning behind it. and then nevada supports them on that and it's different in different places. >> host: ury gillmor? >> guest: i love to play poker. i used to play blackjack but after being with the team first
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of all if i bet big guy would get kicked out because i -- i know what it takes to win and so plaguing black jack isn't much fun for me because i know if i really want to play blackjack i should relearn how to card account and practice and play otherwise it's just lock and i would rather play poker but i do have that gambling gene or whatever it is, you know, if i'm in a casino i want to play something. i shifted over to poker because it is more social and fun and i have a group involved so like 30 guys that played a weekly game and some of them are mit and played in the world series so they are good poker players. my wife is one of the best she wins almost every other week and i like to gamble. i have that whenever that is. >> host: but you play on tv as well. >> guest: i hosted the world series of black jack. haven't played yet, would like hosted the show aired a few
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seasons for the game show network i don't know if it is on any more but i did one season at the hilton for two weeks. it was a long two weeks basically you don't want to be there for more than two nights. price the deal of time there with you like to in tv and enjoy television. i think it's fun. the best in gig there is devotee was just one of these fun things i did. >> host: fort pierce florida you are on what ben mezrich. >> caller: im understand your right controversy and stories and i was wondering what you're take would be having the story submitted about fighting the good fight, the story about living against the odds and if that isn't something would be interested in taking on you might know in hollywood who would be willing to have a story like that to them.
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>> guest: in always interested in seeing the stories. it would have to have the elements of looking for, so if there's not vitriol, sex, money, it's probably not for me. there are great stories out there about fighting the good fight but don't have those elements but can still get made but they wouldn't necessarily be something i would write. i go to dinner all the time and people would say i've got a great story for you and then have you read my book? it's a great story but it's not for me and that happens to me a lot. but, you know, here's the thing. if you have a great story you can find a way to tell it. e-mail someone like me. hollywood is tricky because they just don't -- there's no open door to submit something to hollywood and the publishing is semi similar unless you have the manuscript and submit to agents and find a way but if you have a
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great story idea, right now the best bet is to use the internet and find people who have done similar things and then declaring them one page e-mails and stuff like that. i would always see more of something like that. the odds that it's for me, you know what i'm looking for, so i'm not trying to save the world. i'm not trying to just sort of telling a story because it's a story. it has to have the elements are looking for. >> host: if someone wants to read articles you've written? >> guest: i signed magazine's hard. i may long for a kind of guy like reading an article i wrote an article for the boston, a magazine which is a magazine in boston. i've done a few things. i used to write for stuff magazine the men's magazine before it disappeared. who else to live right for? i don't write that many articles. i've done stuff before for different magazines when i get asked to do it and i will is a
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bitter and miserable and i spend the two weeks until the deadline cursing myself for having said guess because i just don't like to work. i don't like to write an article because it takes so much of your time and then in the and you don't have a book. it goes out and people read it and goes away so there's something about the book i'm willing to suffer through. i find writing very awful and miserable torture. >> host: where do you write? in your home? >> guest: we have an apartment upstairs and downstairs i have my office and was originally my apartment until i met my wife and she moved in and we had to get a bigger apartment and the office has always stayed the same. i've been in the apartment and wrote my books since 1996. i've paid rent so long i should own a building but i don't. i am a renter. i've always rented and then i was really smart and then really down some intelligence level goes with the economy because right now it's still pretty smart to rent years ago i was the them by renting.
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>> host: who is asher? >> guest: he is my son, 19 months old. why did he write me an e-mail? he's also a dedicated my book to him. he is, hopefully by the time he's old enough to read it will all be like downloaded directly to your brain but we will see what he ends up doing but it's great. it's like changing. having a cade is like -- there is meaning in everything. >> host: roger in gainesville ohio. you are on book tv with author ben mezrich. >> caller: i hadn't heard of mr. mezrich so i looked him up on the internet. >> guest: that's scary when you look me on the internet i don't know what you find. [laughter] one rather obvious one of the ugly american was about a guy
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that used the stock market to meet a lot of money to occupy wall street that's what is going on right now is the great recession as on the international golden section theory. how much of that is true and related to your book? >> guest: i get so many pitches about evil conspiracy wall street conspiracies. i get ten of those a week. i wish i found a really good one but i haven't found a true one yet. i sure feel the full life written about have been people who have gained the system like this or have figured out a way to make money off of a kind of corrupt system i think that is what ugly americans is. it's reg is different parts of a car like that. certainly bringing down the house and a lot of ways there is a system in place but there's a
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way to make money off of it. you know, i'm not a big political guy, and i'm not that knowledgeable in the world of occupy wall street. a lot of stuff happened. there is no question that a lot of she been spent on, and i had been pitched some stories. i wish i had found a really solid one. i know michael lewis kind of goes in there and he kind of owns the beat a little bit. he's phenomenal. >> host: did you ever hear from any bernie madoff people? >> guest: i'm trying to remember if i did. if i did it was people that got screwed by him. people lost their money to bernie madoff. if he called me i would have written his book as hateful as he is and what he did i would love to get inside his head. but there were two books that came out and they seemed pretty interesting. i haven't read them yet. it's a tricky with a story like that. you don't want to go into those
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deaths too much. i may very upbeat writer and i like a college kid who finds the scheme and makes the millions and everyone kind of love him for it. i don't want a guy that screws everyone and makes a million dollars and there's plenty of people doing that i think. >> host: early on in the program, you said that you were kind of the go to guy for college kids. is it because of bringing down the house? >> guest: and 21. the movie everyone's all before they went to vegas and i go on plans to las vegas every time and they are reading bringing down the house which is just wonderful. that's where it started and then social network and all the internet people came to me to read every internet company and said you have to write this story or that story and i had wished i got this steve jobs story. i think that is an amazing book and an amazing story, but yeah i am that guide. >> host: reading ugly americans and riggins, these are a lot of americans to make a lot of money building nothing,
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adding value to nothing. is that a true statement? >> guest: i don't necessarily see that as a wall negative to read you could say the same about anything. facebook it built something great but the same time it's kind of nothing, too. if it didn't exist it didn't exist before and we will all find. it's not building a building or making food. it's creating entertainment or whatever you want to call let so it is a guy that figures out there is a mistake going on the stock market is getting changed and if you know ahead of time was about to happen you can make a fortune off it so it's not creating anything except his own company wealth and that is what wall street is essentially is a lot of it is gambling but there's nothing necessarily wrong with gambling. it is an american institution. if you think about it is with the country is built on. everything we have done is to
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gamble. there's nothing inherently wrong with gambling. that's my opinion. if you are sick and have a gambling problem, that's a problem, but the idea of making money because you are smart isn't a bad thing. it's a good thing if you can make wealth because you're smart as if you're smart enough to realize nobody realizes that this company is better over here so i'm going to realize it first that is not a bad thing, right? what's bad is when you take a vantage of someone else to make money or when you screw somebody else to take their money. but taking money off a system that is an effective four has problems with the i don't see that as inherently bad. >> host: we are going to take this call from space in georgia. you are on the air. >> caller: yes, earlier you mentioned that you view yourself as a cross between hunter s. thompson and will be alan peery dalia so with the nature of woody allen, what films
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influenced you because i am assuming -- second, quickly you mentioned in one of your films the judeo-christian nature of the united states i was just curious if you don't mind a personal question your background as far as religion or spirituality. >> guest: good question, yes. well, i'm jewish, my background is jewish. i'm not religious per say. i'm sort of -- i guess i would call myself spiritualize don't know if i would call myself spiritual. i like the idea of it i just haven't thought deeply about it. i don't know, i found that people do that later in her life. >> host: how old are you? >> guest: i am a 42. maybe i and later in life. unhappy, does that matter? i'm a happy person. you know, i grew up jewish.
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woody allen movies, i love them all. the whole idea of the one geeky little guy that is facing the world of the big guys i don't know that speaks to me to read i was very small and high school, i think 90 pounds, 112 as a college senior. never in my life has anyone thrown the ball to me that i either caught or hit a reef i'm not an athletic person. i've been frightened of guys over 6 feet tall and, you know, manhattan, annie hall, bananas, all of those movies were great. but yeah, you know, my parents are from brooklyn. i'm from new jersey but the area all the will of boston, boston is my home, and being in boston it allows me to hit the new york
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sports team which it's a pride of boston to be able to haitians those teams. i don't know what it is about that. i guess i want to be thompson the time woody allen. >> host: this is book tv in that program, the monthly program with one author in his or her body of work. ben mezrich is the guest this month and our live program will continue in just a moment. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ roi ♪ will roi ♪ ♪ >> i wonder if you can talk
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about the technique new employee as a writer. you're controversy a technique that sells books like controversy. how do you imply that and i have to say on "the new york times" review that cannot yesterday she hated you, okay, he said it. [laughter] that's part of it. tell me why -- >> it's been like this my entire career. i'm a cinematic figure and this is the kind of stuff i like to read and it's a form of journalism i guess i get all of the information, i interviewed just got everybody, get thousands of pages of court documents, all cspi stuff and then i sit down and i tell the story in a very visual way and there are going to be journalists who do not like. janet is one of those will but i don't necessarily right for who janet, i write for me and the kind of people that like this again to the reality is it is a true story is true as anything
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else on the nonfiction list to. nobody knows anything about cleopatra and you see above our kofi of abraham lincoln and obama's has invented characters it's a process. you have to take the facts and write in a certain way. i choose to write in a cinematic way. for in instance i will interview a conversation that took place ten years ago between these people and i know what was said but i don't know the exact words so one journalist might say they talked about moon rocks but to me that is a week way of telling the scene. i know they talked about moon rocks and i know what they did with them so i describe what they did with the moon rocks and there are some journalists who love it and some who don't and there will be a controversy forever in terms of certain
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journalists will never like it with a social network and accidental billionaires' mark zuckerberg came out and said it's not true then he called me the jackie collins of silicon valley. [laughter] which is great but he never pointed out to anything that isn't true. he never said this isn't true and this isn't true, he just said he didn't read the book and i don't know where you go with that. laughter, but the reality is this a very true story. he meant to have sex on moon rocks because he wanted it to be on the moon. janet mazel and had a problem with that saying he just put them under the mattress but that's not true. he did this on purpose and so i use the facts but i tell it in my style. some people like it and some people don't. >> host: ben mezrich, you mentioned as one of your favorite authors ernest
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hemingway the sun also rises. why? >> i would read the sun also rises every month the first five or six years i would read it and go to europe and i would try to do a drinking tour of paris and drink every where they rank to the to drink in the sun also rises which i do not recommend to anybody because he might die. but i think that book is perfect its sparse yet in a single sentence a can tell you anything you need to know about the character. i loved that book. >> host: we also asked everyone of our authors who comes on the program who their favorite characters are and their greatest influences and the ben mezrich launch of his father, mother, wife and kids, when he melted to us and we left it like that. this is jim morrison.
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>> guest: i went through eight doors face. i just lost the name of the big jar jim morrison biography i can't remember what it was, but something about the doors and the way he started against spiritual in a way fascinated me and then the train wreck that became his life i've i thought the movie was an incredible piece of work. iris fascinated by that music and used to play crystal ship over and over again when i was a struggling writer. i write in the dark with music on. in what it's some seen i will have doors music blasting. i will go through different phases because we are a big the doors phase. >> host: who is john martin? >> guest: game of thrones is
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amazing. i don't dare refuse of the hbo series byman book for now and i think there are five and that there's going to be seven. it's like a soprano taking place in lord of the rings. that's how i would describe it. i read somewhere that they called a garbage and i couldn't believe that. i think that he's missing something deep because it is the best i've read in a long time. i like the look of the rings and taha bet and that sort of thing. i am pretty cheeky but i would still believed recommend it. >> host: toussuire to review would like to talk to ben mezrich for this month in-depth 737 aaa 01. 737-0002 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones and we will put up with the e-mail and trotter address. mezrich is the author of six nonfiction books. bringing down the house came down in 2002 followed by the
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accidental billionaires' which you may know came out in to those of mine. his most recent? >> guest: there's dhaka it used to be a physical exchange you would stand in the pit and all the tickets flying and we've seen it on like the moving etch creating places, where you are standing matters. it's about three listed in the changing ekstrand and there was one guy there is a trader but he was a very small to score close to just hold him in the pit said he didn't get trashed by the
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others. he gone to oppressiveness school in brooklyn. they inherit a spot on the trading floor and its trade it is very insane. they don't have a lot of education, it is very much gambling, it's about the market and this guy that had a foot in two worlds, the hartford school and brooklyn goes to work and setting up an exchange in dubai that minutes so he set up the exchange in dubai and it was kind of the story but it's a fascinating story about how oil gets treated. some of that is different now. the electronic has taken over so it isn't what it used to be but it's still a crazy world the way it works.
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>> host: what have you learned about economics? >> guest: that the casinos are the symbols wohlstetter and there's no difference between a card counter and someone who does well on wall street. that's what you believe. i think it's all kind of gambling but that isn't necessarily bad either. there can be good gambling and that gambling. there are good guys and bad guys that make money on wall street, good guys and bad guys that make money off we'll or make money because there's something wrong with the system and make money by making the system long and those are very different things, you know what i'm saying so there can be a hedge fund trader dillinger white collar crime and screwing everyone but there's another trader pointing out that a company is flying and is a bad company and bets against it. those are very different things. the guy that brings down that company is a good buy even though he makes money off it and
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the other is the bad guy and that is a think what is left of this conversation because you read a lot of articles about the bad guy but not about the good guys and there are good guys on wall street and in always oil >> host: helm much time as one of your books take to conceive? >> guest: it can be a quick process. it depends on the project. firstly research it and i'm ms said writer. i drive inside the story, a part of the team as much as they will let me come i want to go to nasa and pretend i'm the guy that robert nasa so i spend about three months researching and it's really in that research and then i read it in about three months, it's a very fast process. i finished the draft it's like a marathon will, i write a day and
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night, fall apart physically, i will eat the same meal every meal there was one point in time i had a turkey sandwich three times a day for four months. it's that kind of thing my whole life is consumed in the book and then my hand in the book and then the editing it depends on the teacher there have been faster once to the accident a billionaire it leaks out on the web. i have to write a book, so i wrote that book pretty quick the and i sat in the hotel room and handed him the chapters and he went through and wrote the screenplay with so i had intended him the book yet. of secrecy experience and he wrote that screen played in five weeks and was a brilliant. i think it's one of the best ever written and he won the oscar which he deserves but the book was written and then the screenplay after one after
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another that is the luckiest to happen. i don't know there has been a book to movie tester. >> guest: what was the turkey sandwich book. since i've been with my wife she's not allowed me to be the animal used to become which is a good things are true to be more of a normal human being when i'm writing a book now. although she was with me for a lot of the fiction so she saw me at my worst and that was when i was writing a book and movie. >> host: tom is in new york city were you seem like an extremely busy guy so i want to call to put you on the spot and ask if i can come work for you. [laughter]
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i don't know when you would do what i have a kind of strange style. i've often seen other creatures that have people that work for them and i'm so jealous but then i think what would this person do because when i knew in my stories are a really good inside and often would be hard for someone else to do that or to find a way inside. >> host: what did you into doing what you're but let vegas? >> guest: we sent him in and out to get hamburgers. litwak to have some work for me and just haven't figured it out yet what that person would to. people who want to break into reading, the best way to do it is to write. the thing that the business it's always that great project and that's how you get in you write one story that blows everybody's mind and apart from that there
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is no way to break in who nowadays reworking for someone i don't know where that goes. >> host: have to start to the next project, the process of writing the book? >> guest: there's a few radios and researching that maybe the next book which have done a fair amount of research. there's a couple others i've done a little bit less for that could be the next book. i haven't focused on when that decision is made a dramatic point in my career right now want to have the book deal set up before a live in the crosshatching a kid and everything. i work, a research, there is 1i think will be the next one. >> host: is a book money different than hollywood money? >> guest: it's different for different people when sure.
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i don't know. there's so many types of deals it's different if every book and the economy changes. i don't know the numbers book money has been better than movie money with their had good been good. none of us are mark ms. looker bergen. i've been fortunate to have books that have done well and then movies that have been made but when i started out i was 26 roi. this is the part of conversation by the ask my parents not to watch i sold a bunch of books and tv some and made a lot of
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money and nearly a million dollars in debt, so argeo would -- i don't have any major vices, don't drink, don't do drugs, and yet i ended up a million dollars in debt, $75,000 on credit card debt. leota taxes about half a million to close 700,000, had bills the -- there was like an irs agent who knew me by name which is not a good thing. there's a point they are not a good you have to give something. those people who get paid a lot of money. i would wake up on wednesday and i would say lundgren to go to the airport and he is deeply colored by a first-class ticket to somewhere like paris that i would book a hotel room for two weeks a major sweet pea reduced
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to go to paris and i would book of the plaza for three weeks and i would stay there and i would have friends and then i would go to l.a. and i lifted the standard and that the end of the year i realized when they pay you with books they don't take taxes out sit at the end of the year you just spend all your money and you don't have any to pay your taxes so i learned a very good thing when i was in my mid-20s i'm smarter now and have people who know what they're doing to take care of my business but i've lived the ups and downs. if satellites being turned off and i couldn't pay the t-bill or the phone bill and i was eating a peanut butter and jelly everyday and when i get the kids from bringing down the house i had a stack of applications under my bed and i had filled them all out because there was a huge debt. i had no money coming in. i owed money to everybody and my books were bombing. my fiction bombed. i don't think, you know, one of
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the viewers has read any of my fiction, right? it's just fire was highly paid but the books were not selling. and that's not a sustainable writing career. and then i met the mit kids and was like changing. as one of those moments this is a great story. i read that book in six weeks in las vegas. i wrote in a different hotel rooms, and sold it and have never looked back. and so, i was at that point i was a the bottom of the bottom. >> host: this is the first time your parents have heard the story? >> guest: i don't know if they've heard the details. it's not a bad story. it came out of good ending and i learned a lot of the valuable lessons and the other thing is i don't know that i would have been the guy to write bringing down the house. i used to go to las vegas and i would say to the blackjack table and be up $25,000 or up $25 i didn't have it so being in debt to casinos, $50,000 or whatever. you learn how to play blackjack and how this works.
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she's gonna -- is living in vegas i knew that world. i had been in the suites at the hotel and i knew how high rollers were treated so i was able to read that story. i interested stock markets and things like that because i gambled on them. understood most of the world will before and now i'm a much smaller and column. you don't have to live like that. on a different the people i write about because i'm one of them to read when i rode with these bankers and this is a will lift you know about the ex pat banking world with its crazy. these are american kids and british kids basically in their 20s who get paid lavish amounts of money to go to hong kong or tokyo and the land there and it's a free-for-all.
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they are treated like rock stars because they are white, because they are american not as much now as it was in the 90's but they would be dating ten girls who all knew about each other but didn't care because the culture is different. the would-be dwinell light to these bizarre clubs and going to work the next day joking while they made millions and if this crazy kind of rock and rule world to research ugly americans and body picked this up the main character of a flaw in the limo from new york because he didn't want any of the limos in tokyo and we went straight to an eminem concert and everyone thought we were eminem as everyone was trying to turn the car over to really didn't see the hotel room the first 48 hours than you get to the hotel room and there's nobody to be the kind of return i want to be without understanding how to live like that. so i think that that's where i learned a lot and i learned, you know, i learned a lot and then i
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fixed all locally. i was very lucky. i'm not recommending this path to anybody to always pay your taxes and the credit cards are bad news. i would use one credit card to pay the next and then a credit card to pay my rent and the little checks they give you which you should never use because they charge like 2000000000% interest. i was using those to pay other people and i learned you have to be much more careful with yourself and when you finally figure out a system that works, you know, you start acting like an adult. >> host: elaina from cleveland we have about one hour left with our guest, ben mezrich. be my guest. >> caller: i was just on my way out to the library, and hearing your interview, have you ever read a book and filled it
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hasn't been research into the full list and you could do better? >> guest: that's a good question. usually what happens with me as i read a book and i wish that they had come to me instead diverted themselves. ..
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