tv Book TV CSPAN August 29, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
larger than fedex and ups which i think a lot of people don't realize. to free much for coming. appreciate it. [applause] >> historian hugh howard recounts the war of 1812 from the viewpoint of president james madison and first lady dolley madison. the author examines the decision to declare the war and the succeeding battle on land and sea has america fought the second work from britain. this is just under an hour. >> hello book friends and welcome. thanks so much for coming on this fine evening. as many of you know in our 40 years of business at the book what we are proud of our staff takes section we hope will gain
more attention from our comments. in fact we will often ask each other what are you reading and when told, we will ask staff pick? mabey word mali didn't hold up our yes. even though hugh howard and i are friends and have found more than a few years to get over the years and have written chair left side by side while skiing it doesn't follow however that i would staff pick his excellent new book. i did it because it is in fact an excellent. more on that in a moment. he got his book working in new york for various publishing houses for over ten years as an architectural historian he wrote articles for "the new york times" which became the basis for his first boat the preservation of progress. over the ensuing years he's written over a dozen books on american architecture, art and history. happily for us que and his wife betsy moved up to columbia
county in 1981 where he remodeled an old colonial in his terrific book house dreams. since then among his other projects he's turned his eye to thomas jefferson and his role as an architect and an inspiration to other early american architects in his book dr. campbell and mr. jefferson and the painters chair he brought to life the founding fathers of american painting and the elusive george washington. more recently along with his longtime collaborator photographer robert strauss he wrote of the houses of the founding fathers in the book of the same name. he and roger are at it again in the sequel of sorts to be called houses of the president's. i envy his research trips and should ask him some time about his visit to bill clinton's blease put a bedroom. he turned his attention to the war of 1812 with his new book mr. and mrs. madison's war
americas first couple in the second war for independence published by bloomsbury in the history book club selection of the month. most of us i suspect that a sort of school remembrance of the war f-18 paul, francis scott key and saving good george washington portrait and that's about. but of course it was a much more complicated affair on numerous fronts in the time of considerable political division. we wanted nothing to do with that war and what a fascinating and diverse cast of characters. chief among them was the diminutive and a brilliant james madison and his vivacious wife dolly. arguably the were america's first power couple. no doubt obama could learn much from james and dolley. perhaps they already have to read it as a pivotal moment in the nation's history as america besieged on all sides and sought
to maintain its independence from forces seemingly huge to repel, but they did. it is a concept that we feel the independent bookstores left standing fully appreciate. thanks to c-span, booktv who are here this evening recording the remarks be sure to check out the schedule to find out when this event will be held and telecast. he will be offering some remarks after which will take some questions and of course we will happily sign copies of this book. also copies of the book will be available on the web site, books aloft.com. i assume all cell phones are off, and if and when you have questions, please, just remember to read a moment and someone will be bringing in microphone to you if you do. evelyn and by and the entire store of the bookloft are pleased to welcome our friend and neighbor and fellow bookie,
hugh howard. hugh? [applause] >> good evening. i'm pleased to have marked and alec and all the other folks here the book loft because independent stores are becoming more and more important to think and for those of us who enjoy the process as well as reading and writing them for whatever the merits our lead in special places to welcome us tonight.
why a book of the war of 1812 partly the answer is because i can read a calendar. this is 2012, and it's the bicentennial of the war of 1812. the anniversaries i found that have a kind of doppler effect if you will there's a loud sound and everything happens that fadeaway. i was hoping i could catch that moment to judge from the folks it's working a tiny bit. another reason for the book about 1812 is my curiosity and i think other people because as eric said it is a war that tends to blur and i think if you ask any casual student of history about the evolution for the civil war and the conflicts of
the 20th century you probably get a pretty good answer, for example if you ask of the revolution we have the declaration of independence that shattered around the world, the battle of yorktown, george washington, valley forge, all kind of great things and stories that we all know, and they come pretty easily to mind. but with the war of 1812, it is a rather different matter and i have asked this question repeatedly over the past few years, and though the war had some great stories, for the most part it is kind of a no-man's land when it comes to our memories, so i wanted to do something about that. the third reason for doing this book is that deciding what to write isn't always the most obvious thing some of them cannot and some of them don't i do some homework usually with
the original sources. i want to find something that hasn't been said much by other people, and i want to find something that is based upon the participants were back in time and experienced, and when i have a little bit of a handle on the subject i put a few words on paper and after a while there is always a moment when i drift off and move to another subject for i know i want to read this book. i know it's right for me. when mr. and mrs. madison's war happened when this came to me more or less in a moment. picture the president or king of the ruin of two of his nation's most iconic buildings. they were in the act of international terrorism.
a war declaration is in the year one based on intelligence. there's a promise as well as an easily accomplished victory. unfortunately, the conflict will turn into a long slog that divides the country enters the treasury and leaves none of the partners feeling triumphant. considering the president is james madison, the building of the capitol and the president's house in the year of 1814. history's echoes interesting. sometimes it can be awfully contemporary. back to 1812, the more i learned, the more intriguing and confusing is the subject it was something of a misnomer india was declared in june of 1812 but was in the balance of 1812 and
1813 it was a 32 month war. for another example, the biggest single military victory after it was signed it was with instant e-mail headlines and so to get the news belgium to the united states the had to climb on a vote new york, a carriage, take that and another carriage and another carriage after that all the way to washington, d.c. that took approximately seven weeks during which time the british attacked andrew jackson and his men at new orleans and just plain demolished the british war
a couple thousand british soldiers were killed. so, it's hardly surprising people don't remember this war given the sequence of events is just too damn confusing. by the way, the treaty that ended the war resolved nothing because the stated reasons for going to the war were left entirely on the treaty that we have andrew jackson. that's john quincy adams by the way standing at the center in the short. the treaty can be summed up in the latin phrase that quincy adams used which is status quo antebellum, the way things were before the war. note territory change, very little changed in fact in some ways, psychologically and politically in particular the
war was something of a watershed and while this may not have proved a memorable war i would like to make the case of was nonetheless a very important war in shaping the american character to prevent more contemporary terms we were getting bullied and we stood up for ourselves. was david and goliath i suppose, and although we didn't lock our opponent to the ground, the world's expectations and our own self-confidence as a nation were altered as a result of the war. i think it might be useful to explain to mr. and mrs. madison in the title it is a function of chronology that when the war began it was the declaration that began it, so he got the blame, and eventually it was.
in new england as was alluded to, no one really wanted to go to war. it would interfere with trade, and the politicians in the east as the region was known were mostly merchants and so a new england pamphleteer quickly dubbed the conflict mr. madison's war said with disgust although he was small, sickly and intellectual by nature, his voice sounded a fragile calm he was always dressed in black but the name of the war stock to that war. the first to make a living off the books washington irving described madison as a withered little appleton. he had come to think that going to the war was necessary. then thomas jefferson's secretary of state for two terms
and he'd seen a dozen years of outrage at the hands of the british and the risk of sounding i'm teaching to the test. he had four or less reasons for going to the war. first media remember that word from u.s. history. the british in the midst of a long war with the french had a nasty habit of helping themselves to sailors off the decks of american ships. more than 5,000 american soldiers were impressed in this way in the years before the war to read it hadn't limited themselves to sailors either the date taken ships, more than a thousand ships confiscating without compensating owners.
the third reason for the war is evidence that the british employ legions to spy on us. they didn't like it then and we don't like it now. it was alleged that the restoring of the indians, they were of course called that name that terminated americans didn't come to the current use until the 1960's just renewed by the savages on the northwest territory. he blamed the english for causing trouble and certainly for some degree it was true. with the support of the new fashion and congress mostly westerners called for talks devotee rational for the war. the people around madison can be
an easy matter in fact his mentor, jefferson predicted it would be a matter of marching. it was unfortunately that. it didn't play all the way at all. i must talk about mrs. madison. when i decided to write this book i wanted to tell that from a human perspective and the would be mr. madison's book but also mrs. madison all of which meant i got to spend a couple of years hanging out with dalia and todd and madison, and she was great. this is she, painted by gilbert stuart in 1804. she is pretty young in this picture, i think 26. and if you will excuse the anachronism, she was a bit of a
baby and afraid of what they call. but let's look at her. she is directed at and so she. when she met james in 1794, she was recently widowed and he was 43, a world renowned political philosopher and the principal author of the constitution and he still lived with his parents. [laughter] she was 17 years younger and stood taller, black hair with striking good looks that quite literally turned heads on the street but as a teen, he might say they were ready for primetime. in this picture perhaps you can send her personality and i can see why washington having disturbed husband as a with a double schoenfeld mrs. madison more to his taste. he knew her as lady president of
first term lady didn't come into use until 1848 when at mrs. madison's funeral they referred to her as first lady. that is the first and it had never been used so it was actually planned to this woman. she made no attempt in the eyes of her admirers she was perfect. as urging said in 1811, mrs. madison is a fine dean who has a smile and pleasant word for everybody. when the secretary of state and a jefferson's the fed fenestration, dolly was the hostess. jefferson you recall is a little wary and she was on her way to becoming the central figure in washington society of will she took on full-time when her husband took the oath of office on march 4th and 89.
she wasn't the sort no home spun for her and one of serve on the eve of her husband's swearing-in she looked like a queen and had adopted a fashion of representative minister but silk fabrics about her head. james to admit to having slept poorly looked pale and exhausted and bali affable to everyone presided happily. what turkoman this is madison did more than look great. for 16 years, she ruled benevolently over washington society, welcoming the political friend and foe alike to her evenings. so many came to her so-called drawing rooms but during madison's presidency, they were known as squeezes. she was well known and probably more widely loved and admired than her husband. in fact, charles of south
carolina the man that james madison defeated in 1808 was here to remark after the votes had been counted i was beaten by mr. and mrs. madison. i might have had a better chance if i had faced him alone. taken together, i decided that james and dolley madison provided different perspectives and could provide a unique means of telling the story, the war of 1812, mr. and mrs. madison's war. now come to tell the story of the war of 1812 in detail would take hours rather than minutes that we have here. but i would be remiss if i didn't tell the couple of war stories. the conflict did produce legends that are essential to the american mythology even if not everyone necessarily associates these stories with a war. for example, in the early weeks of the war, 18 lb. british cannell seemed to bounce off of all of the uss constitution, the
ship built right here in the state in the early days i'm guessing more than a few people have flocked its decks. august 19th come 1812, the constitution wanted decisive victory when the ship reduced the hms it perfect unmanageable racked they also won its name that today. it should of course was made of iron. there was a great day for the u.s. navy history but i am going to read you another story of american sailors right from the pages of my book. they will allow under easy sale in the midday sun. on the trinkle sea the hms
shannon fled the uss chesapeake but this was a pursuit in the name only as the captain's reach understanding of the ships would square off in a fair fight with a 7 miles separating the ships. the americans fired a gun, british captain philip broke showing slowing the progress they are closing fast on the shannon. the ship's steward in the wind to maintain the opponent came down upon the quarter at the speed of six or seven knots. it was an enormous one as they had passed under the stern of the british frigate and opened fire but the american captain chose not to attempt the
maneuver and the gentleman honored the ships would fight on an equal terms. this is to be an artillery duel at close range with the ships sailing side by side, separated by a mere 50 yards. there were 20 miles east and the chesapeake range capano shannon, ten minutes before 6 o'clock. the american captain even as she slowed the ship entered the firing range and ordered his crews to shoot when they were on the second part of the chesapeake. gunn 14 was the first to fire and a second was heard from the british frigate before on the chesapeake were applied. in six minutes the ships exchanged broadside and heard about the deafening boom of the cannon was a crackle from the
muskets. the cannon fire and low and blasted into the decks and the halls of both ships. don't try to this matter, order the quarters in the main deck quarter deccan to quarterdeck come kill the men and the ship is yours. on both many men fell a rifleman high in the rigging shot the helmsman of the chesapeake at the same fate. the lieutenant and explosion to midshipmen were carried out right another had his leg blown off. that sustained at least a million casualties, a third of them dead. aboard the shannon more than 50 men were wounded. clearly visible from the tops, captain lawrence and his uniform made a pretty tar get.
he issued orders refusing to be carried below to read as the canister and solid shops the raid that vex the chesapeakes momentum carried her beyond where the guns would bear on the shannon. there were shattered by cannon shot. she fell off her course and into the path of the shannon was allowed to continue. the british were quicker. as the ships collided the captain himself stepped from the railing of the ship on to the deck of the chesapeake. before lens could order a counter attack another struck him this one ripping into his groin. he staggered and fell calling to his men fire away. several sailors that the british commander with force.
the chaplain discharged his pistol but missed the british captain. they struck him in the face and he avoided the pike for the second assailant but two other attacks drove him to the deck one clubbing him with a muskett and the other a section of the school bearing a portion of his brain. a marine came to his aid and bayoneted the attacker and another british trip down his head with a handkerchief. he was in and out of consciousness as his men overwhelmed the americans in a matter of minutes. another wave a british marine can abroad the american ship and drove the chesapeakes remaining men below deck and secured the hatches. captain lawrence had been carried below. despite the wounds he still issued commands. don't show render the ship, she ordered. the ships' surgeons can to him he sent them away to attend to
the wounded man who would arrive before him. i can wait my turn, she insisted. but upon hearing the quiet of his own ships and guns he issued more orders order them to fight faster and to fight until she sinks. even with another woman officer. and his head bleeding profusely the news he brought didn't seem possible. they had carried her, he reported. but lawrence remained assisted. don't give up the ship, she ordered again, don't give up the ship. his exhortations were great. a british lieutenant whose countrymen in the deck had already halted on the chesapeake and hoisted the british flag in its place. he would live three days before he died of his wounds. a few doubts were expressed as to the wisdom and fight of seeking out broke and fighting the shannon that day.
they were soon offered by the likes of the secretary of state, james grow in washington and in the society of cincinnati and new york. but the most prophetic was broken in baltimore maybe inspiring words of the illustrious lawrence don't give up the ship, be the eventual model of america to get in fact laurence's friend soon rose on his ship in the waters of lake erie. the u.s. as lawrence and after the late captain lawrence and the instance had been sewn up with his famous phrase which subsequently became the battle of the u.s. navy. don't give up the ship. the harvick law had begun an american hero.
joe eastman are figuring out how to do that for many decades to come but in my mind is why i can envision a movie trailer how hollywood does to sell an upcoming movie and the highlights of have to include the battle of baltimore, the crucial conflict for the citizens of the city resisted both the land and sea force, the lombard and of the navy was observed by merrill lynch. he recorded what he saw in title that its first publication of the defense of fort mchenry, but someone else soon put it to music and renamed the star spangled banner. we would have to see hazard perry with the smoke of the
battle of lake erie still in the air, joining a note to the secretary of the war in pencil on a used envelope that he pulled from his pocket. .. >> only mr. madison and his cabinet do not return. instead, retreating soldiers stream through the town. so i suppose we're going to have a pov here of dolly looking down
from the high window in the nation's largest house, spyglass to her eye. for days she's been packing james' papers along with her red velvet curtains, waiting and wondering, until a messenger arrives with word from james. it's a freed slave named james smith who brings the word that they must flee. but she can't, at least until she deals with george. because, you see, although she can hear the boom of cannon from her rooms in the president's house, as the white house was then known, she refuses to leave until she has arranged for the safe departure of the life-sized portrait of george washington hanging in her dining room. ever politically-savvy, dolly recognizes it would be a prize for the invaders. in fact, she says later, if it were to fall into the hands of the enemy, its capture would allow them to make a great finish. two servants are set to the task
of freeing the portrait. it's taller than any person and nearly an arm span in width. and with mrs. madison's permission, they hack away at the decorative frame with a hatchet. once the frame is reduced to little more than kindling, the canvas is lowered to the floor. only then can we cut to the carriage on the street scape and watch mrs. madison depart, having entrusted the painting to two friends who put it in safety in a rural barn in maryland. would make a great scene in a film. if i were planning a movie, i'd want to condition say in the copy that in 21st century terms, dolly was a little bit hot, james was a little bitnerty, that andrew jackson became a rock star with his big win in new orleans. but more seriously, we must crap l with the -- grapple with the substance of the war.
as americans, we put a premium on winning which may help explain why the war of 1812 became the forgotten war. it's an unusual case from which no clear winner emerged. in fact, when i recently read about johnson talking to henry cabot lodge and saying i'm not going to go down in history as the first american history to lose a war, i mumbled under my breath, hold the phone. that ship sailed. because be hadn't james madison already lost a war, at least sort of? which prompted me to think a little bit about winners and losers and to ask the question, so who won the war of 1812 anyway? odd though it may seem, one candidate is canada. let me explain. [laughter] in a dumbheaded misreading of
what their neighbors were thinking, many americans in the months before the war talked themselves into thinking that the canadians would welcome an invading american force with open arms, and it wasn't only jefferson. henry clay assured president madison that the militia of kentucky are alone competent to place canada at your feet. quite incorrect, as it happened. when it came to the american invasion, the canadians did not welcome invaders from the south as liberators. in a three-pronged invasion of canada proved an abject failure. in all 1812, a north western army of the united states surrendered in detroit. it was a debacle n. october in the same year, niagara was captured on canadian soil. in november, the assault on montreal ended in a retreat in a terrifying exchange of friendly fire between american forces. in short, the british forces and
canada more than held their own throughout the war. o perhaps it can be said that in a supporting role the canadians were, indeed, victorious. a group who certainly didn't win were the american indians. with settlers encroaching upon their lands, many indigenous tribes side with the the british before the war began. then senator andrew jackson believed that native americans had been excited to war by the secret agents of great britain. with the ongoing fear among westerners of what a reporter called the scalping knife, the indians found themselves doing battle with the likes of governor william henry harrison in the northwest territory, he of tippy canoe fame, and later brigadier general andrew jackson after he took charge of the forces in the south.
the charismatic tecumseh, the wellington of the indians as he was called by one british officer, fell at the battle of tams. in fort mihms which would later become abby a band of -- [inaudible] horseshoe bend. one result of jackson's victory was that the creeks very forced to cede some 20 million acres for white settlement. the american indian was the biggest loser by a country mile. proved tock a prelude for many others in the decade to come. another loser was the federalist party. to president madison, the federal party of the late alexander hamilton and george washington were the disloyal opposition. first, they voted as a bloc 39-0
against the war declaration in june 1812. does that sound familiar, by the way? i think the republicans in our own congress employ a strategy of unanimous opposition rather often. in truth, mitch mcconnell really had nothing on joe josiah quincy, however, 1812. anyway, the federalists opposed war funding in congress. in their own region their opposition extended to such gestures as continuing to trade with the enemy and the refusal by the governor of massachusetts to commit his militia men to the war effort outside of the boundaries of massachusetts. as madison's confidant, richard rush, observed massachusetts and half of new england, i fear, is rotten. and in a final and ultimately suicidal act, the body of new england federalists assembled in hartford behind closed doors for what came to be called the hartford convention. its states purpose was to move
toward a radical reform of the national compact but, in fact, it was an open secret that they were advocating withdrawal from the union. or even an alliance with britain. now, the convention didn't succeed on agreeing to any kind of radical action. the resolutions they produced were really just politics. however, the taint would poison their party, and by the time of the next presidential election in 1816, the federalist party had ceased to wield any political power in washington. the electoral count was 183 for james monroe and 34 for federalist rufus king in new york. for a generation the nation would, in effect, have but one party in the wake of the democratic republicans. so the federalist party died during the war of 1812 of a self-inflicted wound. now, how about his britainic
majesty and mr. madison? might either of their countries be called victorious? well, the much-vaunted royal navy was shown to be vulnerable. in the six ship-to-ship confrontations that began the war, the tiny american navy won five, ending the illusion that his majesty's navy was invulnerable. on the other hand o, we didn't do a very good job of protecting our capitol, witness the burning of the nation's public buildings by a british force of a few hundred men. which in short or form is to say that some wars are won, others lost, but still others -- like the war of 1812 -- merely end when the combatants, both bloody and bowed, pack up and go home. that's kind of what happened at the end of the war of 1812. yet given how the goals of o our
most recent wars have devolved, the focus has become less on winning and more on going home, it seems. maybe we should make a particular attempt toll look again at the -- to look again at the war of 1812 and the forgetfulness it seems to have engendered. as an aside, it's not incidental that i dedicated this book to presidents then and now, bemused by unwinnable wars. all that said, there were outcomes -- one might say gains -- that served american interests. with the return of peace in europe, impressment ceased. with the signing of the treaty of ge network t, trade was restored a. westward boom was soon underway in the united states with soaring land values, rapid population growth and the appearance of substantial new towns. there was a new unity symbolized by james and dolly madison. there's james himself.
they left washington riding a tide of popularity in april of 1817, and madison's successor, james monroe -- upon taking office that year -- embarked on tours of the north and south that one boston newspaper called the era of good feeling. the fighting had been launched out of the expression as henry clay expressed it that war was as necessary to america as a duel is to a young officer to prevent his being bullied and elbowed in society. and while the american belligerence had clearly not vanquished their foe, the war of 181 did buoy the nation's confidence. according to one observer, a french ambassador, the war has given the americans what they so essentially lacked; a national character founded on a glory common to all. in the ensuing decades with policies such as the monroe
doctrine, the united states would begin to demonstrate its newfound confidence and a belief that the united states had an essential role to play in the larger world. that, i think, is the most significant legacy of mr. and mrs. madison's war. thank you for listening. [applause] if we have any questions, and we have a microphone that i think needs to be delivered to the questioner. and it's on its way. bear with us just a second. please. >> very interesting. you called this, you call this mr. and mrs. madison's war. to what extent do you think it was madison's initiative to go to war? there's a premise to my question. that war was fought 25 years after the constitution, it was the last big event done by the
constitutional generation before folks who weren't there at the founding took over. and it was the first and last time congress actually followed the rules. [laughter] and congress debated and declared war before we got started fighting it. but you say you think it was, nonetheless, madison's initiative? >> well, i think that he certainly rode a wave of fairly widespread public opinion, that is to say if you got out of the north, out of the east, so-called as they liked to term it at that point, you certainly found lots and lots and lots of folks who thought it was necessary to go to war to sort of save face, to do this. and there was support in the congress. there was a great shift with the election in 1810 where many of the war hawks came to power. i think that was certainly part of it. in many no sense was -- in no sense was it his idea.
the notion of war had come up before. in 1807 the same chesapeake was attacked quite unexpectedly by a british ship. and at that time there were many calls for going to war. so the idea was in the air, and it was around, and there was no seemingly easy solution. um, and the british didn't seem to be very interested in negotiating terms. so it wasn't clearly his idea, but it was -- he was the one who finally decided it was a necessity, he was the one who dictated the document that was delivered to congress and subsequently was turned into, was ratified as declaration of war. is than an answer to your question? any more questions? >> to what extent do you think america lucked out by having napoleon rampaging in europe at
the same time as the war of 1812 was going on? >> interesting question. i think that that certainly was, at the beginning of the war i think that was major issue. however, napoleon abdicated in april of 1814, and all the unpleasantness, the worst of the unpleasantness on the land war in america came thereafter because so many troops, so many of the duke of wellington's trained men arrived here and marched on washington and did the damage that they did. and, of course, were subsequently turned back at baltimore. but i think that it's pretty hard to separate both the causes of the war and the events of the war from what was happening in europe because one of the principle reasons that depressment was taking place is that the british were out of sailors of their own. so they needed more men, and they had to get their men
wherever they could because they'd been at war almost 20 years by this point with the french. so i think the simple answer is that, um, it's impossible to separate the french wars from this war and they're integrated in a very complicated way. i'm not sure that's a good answer, but there it is. question? >> hi. for people who are interested mostly in the naval aspect of it, the fact that adams had started building a navy which jefferson did not particularly support but during the war he did write to adams how proud he was of their navy grsh -- >> right -- >> there is a theory that wellington was convinced they could never really win, and that
led to them being willing to make the peace. would you have a comment on that thesis? >> i don't think there's much question -- well, actually, i know there's a letter, um, that wellington wrote. because i think he was, after wellington forces prevailed and napoleon was beaten, wellington was minister to france. and i know there's a letter he wrote back to london when his advice was solicited as to what should be done to america, and he said -- i'm, obviously, paraphrasing here -- more or less it would be silly to pursue this war because you're not going to win. this also came in the wake of the battle of platts burg, this came in the wake of the battle of baltimore both of which were significant american victories. so i think those are more likely to be, to have impacted his decision, to have led to his
recommendation or disrecommendation, if you will, to prosecute the war further than -- [inaudible] i think those are -- but there's no question that wellington's opinion carried a lot of weight and that it was solicited and that the peace, the negotiation in gent, the character of that negotiation shifted at more or less the same time. so i don't think there's any question that wellington had an impact on the thinking in london. >> curious if you can tell us a little bit about the romantic myth that i learned about in school about the alliance between andrew jackson and lafayette and his pirates in the battle of new orleans. what's through and what's mythologized? >> i think it's a very
interesting story, and i'm sure that there are those who know a lot more about it than i do. but what i do know is that early in jackson's time in louisiana he wanted nothing whatsoever to do with the pirates. and he had some rather unpleasant terms that he used to describe them. however, jackson was nothing if not pragmatic. and the pirates brought a number of different skills and also an intimate knowledge of a very complicated, watery terrain. and i think that for reasons of strategy, for reasons of personnel, for the simple reason he wanted to prevail, he made a bargain with the pirates. i don't think he was ever happy about it. maybe he was happy about it after they acquitted themselves extremely well at the battle of new orleans, but i think that andrew jackson did not hold them in high regard but found them a
pragmatic solution to a problem that he had; not enough men, not enough intelligence, not enough skills. and they brought those things to him. i see a question here. >> so dolly madison -- [laughter] so the way you describe her, she sounds as if, you know, she might have been the first of the modern first ladies. and i'm just curious about what you would say about, you know, our potential first ladies right now. who do you think is the most like dolly? [laughter] >> interesting. >> courtly whatever it was you said before. >> i don't think there's any question that she is the model for the -- activist is not the word, participatory first lady as opposed to -- an example. in her time when she was a young woman, and this is adams --
abigail was the first lady, and martha washington was the first lady. she knew all of those people, of course, she was awaited with them -- acquainted with them. at their weekly events, they sat at a dais, and people had to come up and very politely bow and scrape, effectively, in order to get the attention of the first lady. when dolly set up her squeezes, she mixed, she mingled, she shook hands. i don't know if she kissed cheeks or not, but she was definitely a very accessible, friendly, warm person who among other things welcomed both sides of the political, you know, all sides of the political spectrum to her squeezes. which, clearly, was a force for political good. it would be a very nice thing if we could do a little bit more of that today. and i'm not placing any blame on michelle obama because we have such a polarized situation in
washington. now, who would be the best at this? i guess i don't know enough about the first ladies although, you know, one has to admire a variety of things about any number of them. i guess i don't know enough about contemporary first ladies to offer you a good answer. [laughter] i see another question in the back. >> i just wonder if you sent a copy of the book to the president and mrs. obama yet? [laughter] >> good idea. i don't think we have. but we should do that. >> i'll take care of that. [laughter] >> okay. any others? ah. we've got one more up here. please. >> i have a loud voice, do i really need to use the
microphone? >> it's for the benefit of c-span. >> you mentioned how you did some of your early research, but go back a step before that. how did you even pick the subject to do research on? >> well, it was partly a consequence of looking at the calendar and saying, hmm, 2012, 1812, and there may be an opportunity to get some attention to this subject. and can also my previous books, the last book i wrote with was about george washington. the one prior to that was about thomas jefferson. so there's a kind of logic to writing about the federal era. i know quite a bit about the federal era having done that, so i was sort of in this general vicinity. and the chronology fit. and i did also know a little bit about dolly madison which also attracted me to the subject because it makes it a little bit more interesting. you know, traditional history in the past has been all about sort of great white guys making, doing all these things, and now
we can talk about spouses, we can talk about children, we can talk about slaves, we can talk about art, we can talk about architecture. and i think that taking this sort of more broad-based approach i thought maybe could make the history a little bit more interesting. so that was what i hoped to bring to it. >> well, you did. >> thank you. well -- oh, another question. >> of all the public, the public buildings in washington were burned except for the old brick building at 8th and high which was inhabited by the u.s. marines. and the commandant at the time, rumor has it that the royal marines spared it from burning out of respect for our ma reens, but nobody knows -- marines but nobody knows the absolute truth. can you shed any light on that? >> you know, i'm wondering if we're talking about one building that was spared was the patent office. and the reason it was spared was
the head of the patent office who was william thornton, who was an architect of note among other things, he executed the first design for the capitol, he literally stood in front of the building and said you can't do this. billion dollar a crime against humanity because -- this would be a crime against humanity because it's not a political place. but i've never heard the story about the marine building, so i'm afraid i can't throw any light on that. well, thank you all for coming. it's been a lovely night, and i appreciate your time and listening and good evening to you. [applause] >> spend the weekend in ohio's state capital, columbus, as booktv, american history tv and c-span's local content vehicles look behind the scenes at the history and literary life of ohio's largest city on
booktv on c-span2, browse the rare books collection at ohio state university. >> ulysses was originally published between march 1918 and december 1920, and an american periodical called the little review, and we have copies of all those as well. the reason i brought these out today is not so much to show you this first edition, but to show you a later edition of ulysses that is extremely well. in 1921, the american government declared it obscene and pornographic, and the book was banned. people still wanted to read it, however, and we actually have a copy of one of the pirated editions. and if you notice the spines, we have "alice in wonderland" and "the little minister." >> throughout the weekend and saturday at noon eastern, literary life in columbus, ohio, with booktv and c-span's local content vehicles on c-span2. >> coming up today on c-span2's
booktv, next, a look at book publishing and censorship in iran. that'll be followed by a discussion on u.s. presidents and where they stand in the minds of historians in the american public. and after that university of virginia professor risa goluboff on her book, "the lost promise of civil rights," with a look at the history of civil rights law in the u.s. >> crown publishing is a division of random house publishing, and joining us now is their director of publicity, campbell wardon. mr. wardon, what new books do you have coming out? >> we've got some very exciting books this fall. we've got rod stewart's memoir which is a highly anticipated celebrity book this fall. we've got the first book from the george w. bush institute which is the policy think tank of the presidential library, and we've got greg gutfeld's memoir, the series of hilarious and
controversial rants. greg is a rising star at the fox news channel. and we've got a really big one from jonathan kozel at the end of august, "fire in the ashes." don't miss that one. >> so you're publishing both the bush institute and jonathan kozel? >> that's correct. we do both sides of the aisle. we publish barack obama, we publish george w. bush. we publish a bit of everything for everyone. >> so what's the policy book that's coming out from the bush institution, bush institute, and who wrote it? >> it's, essentially, a series of essays from well known economists, nobel prize winners about how we can achieve 4% growth. it's, essentially, a blueprint for our economy. president bush himself has written a forward to this book. he's very, very excited and eager for this book to get out, so look for this one. it's the first book from the bush institute, so there's going to be a lot of noise this summer about it. >> so it's coming out before the election? >> before the election, yes.
so that 4% solution can be thrust into the dialogue this fall. >> and i wanted to ask you about one other thing that crown is doing, it was just in politico that crown is doing more politically-oriented, instant e-books. >> we've got to feed the instant appetite of political junkies. and instant e-books is way for us to feed that appetite instantly. we've got a really great slate of political writers that can write a few chapters very, very quickly about current events, and we can get that out instantly for 99 cents or 2.99. we just had one from real clear politics came out about how romney secured the nomination and what the obama campaign are using to test to run against romney. that's 2.99. within a small time frame, and it feeds that insatiable appetite of political junkies. >> campbell wardon, crown publishing, thank you for the update. >> thank you. >>
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