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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 4, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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way fore ordained and might very easily have gone the other way. >> host: what was the trust factor, how much did churchill and roosevelt trust stalin? >> guest: less than it seemed because they were all making an illusion, a suggestion to stalin that they were all on the same side as they at least were formally. but, you know, you're dealing with roosevelt and churchill. do these strike you as innocent, trusting people? these are very suspicious, tough politicians who assume that even their allies are going to betray them, their political allies. so i can't imagine that was suddenly suspended with, at that moment for an angelic view of stalin. >> host: terry in greg, colorado, you're on with michael beschloss. >> caller: thank you very much. i have a question, mr. beschloss, about a battle in the pacific war during world war ii. it's a very significant battle that's not often mentioned, but it was the battle that made the
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guadalcanal effort such a slog for the or marine corps. and as i understand it, it was the information and the story about the battle was suppressed for many, many years. and i was just wondering if you would have knowledge about how far up the line that whole effort to suppress the story went. did it come, did it come from the top, would you say. >> >> guest: i don't know enough, and i would like to know. i will look into it, thank you. >> host: well, albert looking ahead to your next book, why not include jefferson and the war of 1805 in your book on wartime presidents? >> guest: i think that one will find that if you're dealing with the war of 1812, the name of thomas jefferson does not go unmentioned. thank you, sir. >> host: and our last call for you comes from woodland park, colorado. bob, please, go ahead with your question or comment for historian michael beschloss. >> guest: yes, professor
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beschloss, i've read several of your book, and i find them not only very informative, but also very intertaping, and that's not -- entertaining, and that's not an easy thing to accomplish. so you're to be congratulated on that. my question concerns the dred scott decision. i know that it drove a great deal of radical politicallism caused in the country. my question to you is, do you believe that the decision -- which i've read -- was constitutionally correct? and that's what i need to know. thank you, sir. >> guest: well, to the ec tent that it was a majority vote -- extent that it was a majority vote of the supreme court, i guess it was. it was a horrible decision. and just because the supreme court finds a verdict does not mean that we in retrospect have to say that this was the word of god. it sure wasn't. and fortunately, belatedly, the supreme court made up for that. >> host: michael beschloss, your next book is on and coming out when? be. >> guest: it's on presidents in wartime, should be in about two years or so.
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>> host: and the lbj tapes trilogy, the third in the trilogy, when is that? >> guest: i'm hoping that will be done in the next two or three years. >> host: and do you work on them simultaneously? >> guest: yeah, they're different. to go between fort sumter and lbj, two different parts of the brain. >> host: for the last three hours, we've been talking with historian michael beschloss. very quickly, here are a list of his books. kennedy and roosevelt: the uneasy alliance. may day can, eisenhower, khrushchev and the u-2 affair. 1960 and 1963 came out in '91. the conquerors, roosevelt, truman and the destruction of hitler's germany came out in 2002. presidential courage: brave leaders and how they changed america, 1789-1989, came out in 2007. and some of his other co-written and edited books include "at the
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highest level: the inside story of the end of the cold war." and then the two johnson books, and finally his most recent, jacqueline kennedy: historic conversations on life with jfk, interviews with arthur m.
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kenya to the presence she was wondering how they had affected her, and the column mentioned there was very little scientific research that could talk about the way that the drugs had affected children's development as they were growing up and so that got me curious. i myself had been taking medication since i was a teenager, and i think their must
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be huge numbers of people in my position and i would be curious to hear their stories and get their take on how it has turned out for them. next historian h.w. brands talks about aaron burr, the former vice president for thomas jefferson aaron burr is most remembered for the deadly dull with former treasury secretary alexander hamilton in 1804. in his recent book, "the heartbreak of aaron burr," mr. brann this presents a different side of aaron burr for letters of his burr and his daughter. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you for having me back. i'm delighted to speak here. i always like to speak in washington, where the audiences are well informed and engaged.
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having just finished teaching this semester for the year at the university of texas, i'm always delighted to speak to an audience of people who don't have to be here. there will be no test. [laughter] i say this sincerely. i'm flattered you took your time and evening to come and listen to me. i think that my students by and large are interested in the subject, but i know perfectly well that if they didn't have tests, if they didn't have papers, if they weren't all accountable most of the seats would be empty. you didn't have to be here but you did come, and i find that to be very flattering. i could i suppose give you a test at the end. [laughter] the title of my top which i forgot until jamie mentioned that is the hon known as aaron burr and i'm going to tell you about aaron burr and why i wrote him a book about aaron burr. the title was called "the heartbreak of aaron burr." i will tell you about the heartbreak of aaron burr, but i can't tell the whole story without giving away the ending. and i don't want to give away the ending because i will tell you why. it's not that i just when you to
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buy the book and read the book and hang around until the end but it has to do with the reason i wrote the book in the first place, and this goes back to my experience of writing. my experience of reading. and in particular, my experience of listening to a question my mother has been putting to me for the last 23 or 24 years. and the question i will get to in a moment, but it goes to the heart of why people write and why people read. i teach history at the university of texas coming and i teach writing to graduate students to graduate students are also just completed a couple days ago come from history. they come from communications, journalism, they come from the english department, they come
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from a fine arts. their students and apprenticed writers and they are working on developing the aircraft and skill and art in various genres, some of them that historians are going to write nonfiction. the journalists are going to write nonfiction of a different view but i also have novelists, i have poets and playwrights and screenwriters and they are trying to accomplish something else, except one of the things we talked about is what is we are all trying to accomplish and this gets to the question of why people write and read. i put the question to you. you are all readers i would assume. you wouldn't come to an event like this if you are not readers. why do you read? take that question and hold on
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to it because there will be a question and answer tied at the end, and typically the questions come from the audience and the answers are supposed to come from the speaker but we could turn that around. so if you care to volunteer why you read later i would be happy to hear what it is. but i will tell you what kind of reactions i've gotten over the years so i pose this question to various audiences including my students come and in putting my mother, again, whom i will get to. and i will ask i have time waiting for the lecture and i was talking to my mom who lives in oregon. i'm pleased to say she's doing very well. she's 86-years-old. thank you. i will tell her that you applauded. [laughter] is the applause for the fact she reached 86, that she's in good health and is interested in my writing? okay. all of the above. anyway. about 15 years ago i was teaching an undergraduate history seminar.
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it was for seniors. history majors. it turned out the 15 students in the class oral history majors but half of the more english majors as well, and it just so happened that that is the way that if allowed. the students were reading various great works of history. but the particular genre i chose for that semester was great biographies including all the biographies. and so they read selections from boswell's the five life of johnson, and the autobiography of benjamin franklin and the confessions of st. augustine and julius caesar's commentaries on the war. one work that particularly caught their attention was the autobiography of ben vanutta chalini.
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how many of you have read it? it's fantastic. the thing that makes it so interesting is that it is a work of supreme egotism. he is convinced that he was the greatest artist that god ever put on the earth, and it comes through on every page. but he tells the story you are willing to go along with it. so i have the students read a selection where he is creating one of his master works and he becomes very frustrated with the technicians. he has cast the original mogul and now it is just up left to the technicians to melt the bronze and briton. and it's a statue as hercules with the head of medusa in his
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hand and it's real complicated because they would have to go from the heel all the way to the tip of the army and then through the snake coils and head and everything. but he tells a wonderful story about how he is on his -- he is sick -- he's on his deathbed with the technicians aren't getting it right so he has to come out of his death bed. they can't melt the metal hot enough, so they throw in all the fire what they've got and in the furniture and they start tearing the paneling off-the-wall and throw that in. and he's developing this fever raging wildfire is burning and he pours it in. they put it in and he collapses on the floor. and he wakes up only four days later not knowing if he is dead or alive. and so, he realizes he is alive and it occurs to him actually how did come out, and they knock the mold off and it turns out that there is a brilliant masterpiece. the end of the story is that no one could have done it but me.
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the students, they don't know quite what to make of this. so, i ask the students any time there is a work that is presented to you as being true, you have to ask yourself whether it is in something you read or something that you encounter in daily life for some political speech that a candidate gives, do you believe him? you don't have to take things at face value. do you believe this story? and i ask them how would you corroborate a story like this or any story? and i mentioned to the students that for any time you encounter anything coming you need to ask is it true, and this is especially true of these days when my student get so much of their information of the internet. it has always been an issue when you take a look out of the library. just because it is in the book, do you believe it? i will tell you that one of the
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lessons my students learn, and this is a very good lesson for them, it is after a while most of them coming to my class and they've got their teacher. i'm the teacher for the semester. but eventually some of them catch on the that i have written some books. and it's an interesting lesson for them to realize that the person who's standing in front of them -- because most of them haven't confronted and author before, and rac stuff and then i'm the guy that wrote the stuff in the book and they recognize that while i'm talking -- i mean i try to get it as accurate as i can, but ordinary people, you try to get things right but some of the stuff you get wrong. they realize it is an ordinary person that wrote this book. i will tell you that some of them are mildly impressed when they discover that i've written a book or one book or another. but what really gets them the street credibility is when they see me on tv.
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because then all of a sudden he is somebody. anyway, so the students agree that this was a fascinating story. and great story, a great drama, all of this. and it occurred to me at that point to ask a question that it had never occurred to me to ask before, because i thought i knew the answer. i said suppose you had read this story. suppose i have erased the name of the author. supposed i haven't told you that this was a true story for fictional account. whether this was something that actually happened, or something that somebody just made up. you didn't notice. you just read the story coming and you all agreed great story. now, suppose after having read the story i presented you with one additional piece of information. and the additional piece of federation was you know what,
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that great story you've read is actually happened to me it's a true story. what would that do to your evaluation of the story? what to make it a better story? no different. well, i was flabbergasted by the response. i was flabbergasted by the response because i didn't give the third alternative, which hadn't even occurred to me to ask them coming into the third alternative is it makes it a worse story to know that it was true. now i guess i hadn't really confronted the degree to which i am sort of a nonfiction kind of person. but it simply seems to me if it's a great story based on a true story that seems to be a marketing pitch. the marketing department thinks that makes it better, because they certainly advertise it.
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well, in this group when i asked the question how many of you think that would make a better story, about half of the students raised their hand. and i was surprised that only half. and then i think was seven out of the 15. and then of the other 8i think five of them said no difference, a good story is a good story. but then three of them were the ones that really amazed me by saying it made it worse. and i was trying to figure out why in the world come hell in the world could be worse. and i thought about this for a long time. and i will tell you the answer that i came up with pity because the answer that i came up with is related to the question that my mother has been posing to me for all these years. i mentioned that i teach writing, and one of the things that i can tell my students, my apprentice writers is above all
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writing is an act of communication. and if you are going to communicate effectively with your readers, you have to have some idea of who your readers are. but expectations they have, what knowledge they bring to the subject. unless you have a reader in mind, you cannot hope to convey what ever you are trying to convey effectively. so every reader -- excuse me, every writer has to have a model leader. the reader in the back of your mind that sits on your shoulder, the reader that you are imagining is going to read your stuff. so you will know is this too much information, is this too little information coming is the reading level about right? it's quite a difference if you are writing for young adults or mature adults anyway. so, for years and years i had the very good fortune to have the best possible model readers,
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namely my father. when i see the best possible model reader the first couple books i wrote for written for the purposes of getting a job at the university come and then getting tenure. so the audience was the academic community, the specialist who wanted to know this was cutting edge in the particular discipline that i was writing. but after i had accomplished that, i decided i wanted to reach out to a larger audience. an audience very much i suppose like you. people who were not probably specialists in history. people who have a general interest in the world who come with some experience, who come with some background in reading but want to know more about their world. my father fits this category very well. he was a self-employed businessman. he had run a business for his entire working life, but then he retired and in his retirement he started reading more than he had.
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while he was working he rarely read books. he read "the wall street journal," "fortune magazine," he read business stuff. he read on your age. i grew up reading iron age. an interesting magazine. i don't even know if it still exists. anyway, in his retirement, he wanted to read -- he liked to read history and biography. he liked to read the kind of books i was writing. he read every book i wrote, and i know this because he would offer his critique of my books, and he was pretty candid. when he liked something he would say i think you did a good job on that one. when he didn't like it he would say not your best. i learned my father's standard from watching him eat meals that my mother would cook for him. [laughter] a traditional relationship. my mother cooked -- my father died four years ago. for the entire six years of
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their marriage, my mother would cook breakfast for my father and dinner for my father. she refused to cook lunch for my father. he was expected to be out working and find his own lunch. i married your father for better or worse, but not for lunch. [laughter] anyway, i would just add up on my father's death my mother announced that she was retiring from cooking. and she has not cooked ever since. she is out. anyway, but my father would read my books, excuse me, and with -- he showed me how to deal with the meals he wasn't particularly fond of. he was very diplomatic about this. if my mother made something he liked he would say there was great, wonderful. if she cooked something -- she tried something new but it didn't work out so well. he just wouldn't say anything. and my mother understood from that. okay. no comment means don't do it again. and it worked out very well.
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anyway, my father was more forthcoming with me. he would tell me the first three chapters were okay but the ball down after that. okay, great. my father read every book. my mother tried to read each book that i wrote. she says that she finished two of them. one was on benjamin franklin. the other one she said she finished was on the california gold rush. now, i'm not really sure she finished those. but as a dutiful son farby it for me to cast aspersions on the integrity of my mother. she says she did. okay, she did. but it was very clear that getting through the work of nonfiction was a test for my mother. she read out of a sense of duty to me. every time after i wrote a book and she either -- well, she used to say she headed by her bedside
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and she would pick it up and read a few pages and fall asleep. well, anyway. after each such experience and for giving up trying to finish it, she would say bill, what are you going to write a novel? and i tried to explain, i like good stories, like history because i think that good history stories of our -- well, there's stuff that happens in history that you just couldn't make up. and her reaction to that made me realize that was the point. the point of the novel is quite different in one basic way of. i'm going to contend that in an even more basic way it is quite different from the writing of history. and this gets at -- because i would ask my mom what is it about novels you like that makes them preferable to history?
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and she said well, one of the things i like is that i get inside of the head of the characters in away that i don't when i read works of history. and i had to grant that that is generally true because if you would adhere to the typical standards of history where we don't get to make this up, we cannot into the thoughts, motives, ideas to our characters unless somehow we can get them to say it, unless they write it down. so, we cannot just out of the blue say that on the morning of july 4th, 1863, abraham lincoln wrote that in a fighting mood -- fine mood. when you write novels of course
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that's exactly what you do. but i said mom, i have been working my way around that problem by writing biographies. because with biographies they are all about character. and i do get inside the heads of my subjects because they do tell me what they are thinking. they write letters, the right of diaries and so on. she said okay, yeah. but there's something else i like about novels, and that is there's a romantic interest in the novels. we can find out about the love lives of our characters. and i said yeah, that's true, to with certain works of nonfiction and with certain biographies you get right to the heart of the matter. welcome a not entirely. because once again we are
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constrained by what our characters say and what they write down. here is where the path starts to part because -- and i would ask you do you write down your deepest thoughts and your candid emotions? some of you do. but i would bet that most of you don't. and even those of you that do, you probably don't do it in a form that is great survive a hundred years so that historians coming along can have access to it. so it is indeed true that it's hard to write about the love lives of their characters in a nonfiction without injecting ourselves and to the imagination and the way that history writers don't get to. i will say that i tried to do this in a -- the last biography that i wrote which was about franklin and eleanor roosevelt, and in fact a very large part of the story is about the
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relationship between the two. a complicated relationship, a relationship that involved all sorts of things besides, and in addition to love, one that is fascinating and one, again, i don't think you could make this up. this gets to the heart of the difference between novels and nonfiction. and here i will throw in the category of movies. feature movies that are not documentary's. and that is precisely this: will whole idea of an awful is to pull the world together in the world that makes sense, in a way that has a particular story form. novels are not just any old thing written down on the page. novels have characters. they typically have a protagonist. models have conflict. there is usually an ascending
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part of the conflict, and here's the critical thing, novels like most movies have a resolution of the conflict. at the end of the book and at the end of the two hours of the movie, you know how it turned out. now, nearly everybody that reads novels recognizes that that's not exactly the way the world is. the world is not quite so toy. the world as much messier than that. and i'm going to prison the not to you and you can agree with it or disagree with it. and if you disagree with it is vehemently please say so the time of questions and we will talk about it some more. but i would suggest that people who -- i'm going to get pretty inflammatory in a moment -- the people who prefer novels to history or people who like their stories tidied up. they like their stories to come
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to some kind of conclusion. it doesn't have to be a happy ending, but it has to be unending. whereas history doesn't really have an end. real life doesn't have conclusions. we strive for closure but most of the time we don't get it. life goes on, and you go to the next thing. well, that is a part of what my mother admitted to. but i said mom, how about historical novels. the novels the are connected. she liked those okay. but she said the best novels like are the ones that just don't have any connection to reality at all. i scratched my head over that until she said i get enough reality in my daily life. there is a whole reason i read books and i go to movies to turn off the real world for a while and go into some place that's not at all connected to the real
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world and was this the new me realize what the students in my seminar were talking about. ..
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i've been listening to my mother all the years saying bill, when are you going to write a novel? i wanted to please my mom, athlete one. she will not live forever. i actually tried to write. i finished a couple of novels. they're sitting in my drawer at home. i haven't done anything with them yet but meanwhile i thought, you know, there's got to be a way to borrow some of what makes novels attractive to readers and apply it to real historical tales. and so the book i'm supposed to be here promoting "the heartbreak of aaron burr" is the second installment of what is projected to be a series i'm writing. the series is published by random house and called american portraits. the first book came out a little over a year ago. the first was called the murder of jim fisk for the
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love of josie mansfield. it was a story about a guilded age love triangle gone badly wrong. that was the first installment. the second installment is "the heartbreak of aaron burr". if you choose to buy the book, you will see it has the appearance of a novel. for example, there is no table of contents. there is no author's preface. there is no index. the chapters don't have chapter names. just one, two, three, four and so on. however, i mean you might think, in fact, if you, if you hadn't come tonight and you picked this book up unsuspecting i would be delighted if you read at least the first part of it, thinking it was indeed a novel. because if that was the case then presumably you could have been drawn into this world that you thought i had created but in fact it's the
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world that really exists. and so i wanted to use some of the techniques of novel writing but i don't use the techniques of making up dialogue. every bit of dialogue in there was really spoken or written by the characters. now, you can't do this about every character. what you need is the raw materials of history and in this case i was fortunate, well, one of the reasons i chose this topic, by the existence of correspondence, letters, between aaron burr and his very remarkable daughter who he called theo. and these letters began when theo was a young girl. they continued until, i don't know if i should tell but the heart-breaking end. i will not tell you exactly what happened. eventually the correspondence was broken off by her death.
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anyway, i had a chance to use this correspondence. it is some of the most candid correspondence in all the years i've been working on and writing history. so it does allow me to accomplish that one aspect of what my mom was looking for in novels, namely, get inside the heads and the hearts of the characters. there's another reason that i chose to write on this subject and same reason i chose to write on the murder of jim fisk for the love of josi mansfield. that is this. my field of history writing is american history and those of us who write american history face a daunting challenge in one regard particularly and that is, it's really hard to write about women in american history. in the following sense. it's hard to write about women who play a large role in public life because the nature of american public life has been, until fairly
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recently, that women did not play a large role. i have been writing a ceres of biographies, full-blown biographies, started with benjamin franklin. the next installment coming out will be ulysses grant published in the fall. taking the american history from the 18th century to the 20th century. the last installment will be a biography of ronald reagan. everyone of the subjects is male and the reason for this is the books are conceived as a history of the united states sort of as told through biographies and i was looking for a woman subject for one of these and in fact i found one but my publisher wouldn't let me do it. can you guess what woman i was looking for and found? eleanor roosevelt. i mean, just the fact that it's a very short list of women who played a large role in american public life on whom i can hang a tale of four or five decades of
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american history. women have had of course their roles in private life but it is in the nature of private life it usually doesn't survive in the historical record. why did people start saving the letters of eleanor roosevelt? because she was important. do your correspondence save your letters that you write to them and then do they deposit them in the local historical society? well, maybe, and if they do you will become, can i use my words adviseably, here, you will become literally immortal. you will become immortal in letters because future historians will find those letters. they will say ah, that is what life was like at the beginning of the 21st century. but anyway, i wanted to write about women. after all women have been half the population and women have been a very large part of what happened even if it was hard to find them in the public record. so, i decided that i could
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get at the story of women by not looking at the big issues of public life but looking at some of the smaller issues and so this is when i ran across the subject of my murder of jim fisk for the love of josie mansfield. josie mansfield was a woman who had no particular talents, other than her, well, one could say her beauty although i'm going to tell you the problem i had with this. jsoie clearly was very attractive to the men who knew her and men lost their senses when they got around joe'scy mansfield. like one murdering another for the love of josie mansfield. so i wrote this book, this earlier book about josie man field. it is really about josie. less about jim fisk
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because it is a history book my publisher want ad photograph of josie mansfield. this is book about a femme-fatale so let's see it. i didn't want to use the photograph and i didn't want to use the photograph because of two reasons. one is, if you look at the photograph of josie, it's pretty, the camera does not capture that essence that drove men crazy. you look at her and say, really? the other thing is, that novels don't have photographs. of novels don't have illustrations of the main characters. the whole point of writing is to create a word picture. and so if i wrote a description of josie, and then had a photograph of josie, either the writing would be, it would either be wrong or would be redundant. either way it would lose its force but my editor insisted
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and so there's a picture of josie. anyhow, josie was one story. theo burr was another. and i knew the end 66 end of theo burr. she disappeared at sea, when 1812 turned into 1813. she got on a packet boat, a coastal ship from south carolina heading to new york. where her father was waiting for her. her father had not seen her for years. her father was living under an assumed name in new york, aaron burr. theo was coming to see him. and the ship disappeared. nothing was ever heard of or found of the ship or of theo. and to this day no one knows what happened. it is assumed the ship went down in a storm but nobody knows. in fact, fairly recently, within the last couple of years somebody wrote a novel based on the idea that theo
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had survived and wound up on an island somewhere. anyway, this was my entry writing about aaron burr. the heart of the story, in fact, once again the title of the book was going to be, my proposed title, my thinking the whole time was, the disappearance of theodosia burr. that is intriguing. people don't disappear. but my publisher thought aaron burr had nor cachet. it was a name people knew. so it became the "the heartbreak of aaron burr". story of aaron burr, who is considered one of the great scoundrels and villains of american history. i always thought the villains, scoundrels are far more interesting than the heroes.
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i thought anybody despised by alexander hamilton, john adams, thomas jefferson, james madison, had to be somebody that had something going for her. i thought i would try to tell the story, but i would tell the story through the relationship between aaron burr and his daughter because the story of aaron burr is fairly well-known and i wasn't going to include any revelations on what exactly was burr up to when he traveled out to the west? was he engaged in what thomas jefferson announced to the world, even before an indilt came down -- indictment came down was treason? was he trying to destroy the united states? well, i'm going to tell you that you will not find a definitive answer to that question in my book because like so many important questions in history it has no definitive answer. i'm pretty sure that aaron
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burr himself didn't know exactly what was intended. now here i'm going to, i'm going to cite a distinction, remember several years ago, when donald rumsfeld was often lampooned, certainly criticized, for drawing distinction what he was talking about there, the known knowns and the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns and all of this? and jon stewart and the late night, jay leno, they got a lot of mileage. they thought this was great fun because this is obfuscation in the extreme. in fact i thought this was one of those instances where i thought rumsfeld had it exactly right. those people in the intelligence business, and i have this from some authorities in the authorities business, william casey, used to distinguish between secrets and mysteries and in the intelligence business, both of these are of interest if they involve something that
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your enemy or somebody else is going to do but there's a fundamental difference between secrets and mysteries. secrets have a concrete existence. a secret is, how many missile launchers did the soviet union have in 1985? the cia spent a lot of time, effort and money trying to figure out what the answer to that question was but it had an answer. but then a mystery is, will israel bomb iran next week? well that doesn't have an answer, not at this point in time because it hasn't happened. and likewise, what was aaron burr going to do in the west? that falls in the category of a mystery. i'm quite sure he himself didn't know but what took him out to the west? well briefly i will tell you his story how he got there. aaron burr was a soldier and officer in the continental
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army. he was a capable enough officer. he was also a lawyer, a very gifted lawyer. he was a man who, against the expectations of his friends, fell in love with a woman named theodosia, who was the widow of a british officer. now the officer had died in the west indies years earlier and he fell in love with theodosia and married her. there was an odd aspect to this, and the oddness lay in the fact that theo, theodosia was 10 years older than aaron burr. i should mention aaron burr was quite a dashing and relatively young man. handsome, charming. theodosia was 10 years older than he was. she was neither beautiful nor rich but he fell in love
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with her and they married one asks across the centuries what did he sigh theodosia? he married her quite clearly out of love but love for what? but love for, her mind. love for her character. and they had a child, a daughter whom they named, he insisted it be named after his wife, theodosia. aaron burr was decade, centuries ahead of his time in believing that women were fully the intellectual equal of men and that it was only their lack of education that prevented them from attaining the intellectual accomplishments of men. so he decided that his daughter, theo, was going to have the best education that his money could buy. the education was conducted
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by tutors that were brought in. it was conducted by him in letters when he was home. he would quiz theo. they would talk about subjects of public affairs, of history, of literature, of the classics of the whole thing. and theo became his close friend, became something of his educational project. became his protege and to read the letters is to see a father spending a great deal of time and effort on the education of his child. and watching her mature, watching her grow. watching her achieve the intellectual accomplishments he was sure she could achieve. theodosia the mother, contracted canser is and died. after a painful illness when
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young theo was 11 years old. she became the first lady of the household. burr had a mansion in manhattan. richmond hill was its name. and she, even when burr was not around, she would host elaborate dinner parties for diplomats, for the business community of new york, for distinguished visitors, for indian chiefs who happened to be in town and everyone was quite amazed and wuffli impressed wuffli possessed by the self-possession and maturity of this 14-year-old girl. anyway, burr meanwhile begins his career in politics and he delivers new york state for the republican party. this is the jeffersonian republican party, in the election of 1800. he is on the ticket and jefferson is on the ticket. you know the story of, well, contested, yes, election. it was contested by accident because burr and jefferson tied. they, this was under the original constitution where each of the electors got two
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votes. and it was at this point that some of the innuendoes began to swirl around burr. it was almost certainly due to the mischief of the federalists who realized they had lost the presidency but they thought maybe somehow they could weaken their political foes. i would remind you all that this was in an age when political parties per se were still considered illegitimate. the founders wanted no part of political parties. the founders thought in a republic as opposed to a monarchy, in a republic, loyal, patriotic citizens would always put the interests of the country ahead of the interest of party and they thought that parties would be the downfall of the republic but parties emerged despite the best efforts of the founders. maybe, no, despite the dissatisfaction of
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george washington who never admitted that he had any party affiliation but alexander hamilton and thomas jefferson formed their own parties very quickly. and, well, anyway, jefferson did win the election of 1800 with burr as his vice president. but jefferson, jefferson, a wonderful individual, who could say the most philosophically high minded things, and then do the most pragmaticly low-minded things, jefferson was as dismissive of legitimacy of parties as anyone, and he was also the first and one of the most effective political bosses in american history. and he decided that burr had to be pushed aside. that the presidency the next time around after jefferson left office would go to another virginian, james madison. so burr got pushed to the side. meanwhile alexander hamilton had been pushed to the side because he had fallen out with the mainstream of the federalists. so both of these men were in a position where their
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prospects were not quite living up to their ambitions and so they got afoul of each other because hamilton said some very nasty things about burr in one of the political campaigns and burr asked him to retract, at least, either to acknowledge or corroborate or to retract and hamilton got stiff-necked about this. he said, no, no, you have no business asking me this sort of thing. one thing led to another and to that fatal dual in new jersey in 1804. now, hamilton was killed. burr was, burr was not disgraced by the dual per se. it was really the machinations of thomas jefferson that made very clear that burr had no political future. so burr decided, what's he going to do? he is an ambitious man and he did what generations and generations of ambitious young men have been doing
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and that was, he went to the west. what was he going to do in the west? ah, this is the question. well, it almost certainly included, either inciting or exploiting a war between the united states and spain. spain was then in control of florida and then in control of mexico, and spain was bottling up the united states from territorial expansion which burr, like most everybody else in the united states including thomas jefferson, believed was inevitable and a good thing. i live in texas. i wasn't born in texas. i grew up on the west coast but i've been living in texas since the 1980s. i can tell what you burr was accused of doing was one of the founding fathers of texas, sam houston, actually did 30 years later, namely,
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go off into mexican territory, by then it was mexican rather than spanish territory, and foment a war and seize part of this foreign territory for the united states. this is what made andrew jackson famous in the wake of the war of 1812. he, without authorization, rode into spanish florida and drove the spanish away. burr lived long enough to appreciate the irony of this. burr didn't get accolades for what jackson and houston did. burr instead got an indictment for treason. and the treason trial forms a large portion of my book. why do i spend time on the treason trial? in part because it allows me to bootleg some of the big stories of history into this little story. and also because in writing this book after writing that book about the murder of jim fisk, for the love of josie mansfield, at the heart of which are three murder trials, i realized what dick
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wolf discovered years ago. dick wolf is the inventor of the franchise of "law & order." or whoever created the original perry mason show. trials are naturals for telling stories. whether it is in novel form as john grisham or in, movie form, or in nonfiction. why are novels, excuse me, why are trials such an attractive form for the reader? i'm not sure for the reader. i will tell you why they're an attractive form for the author because in the first place trials have dialogue and this is something that you don't find a lot of in nonfiction. this is one of the appeals of novels. people talk to each other back and forth. it is rare that you find a work of nonfiction where you get much in the way of dialogue, unless it is writing about a trial. because in a trial you get dialogue. furthermore, unlike the
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ordinary conversation of you and me where you wander around the topic and do this and that and start all over and this, in conversation the dialogue always has a point and there's a built-in conflict. there's a protagonist and an antagonist and there's a resolution. there's either a conviction or an acquittal. so a large part of my story is this treason trial and i get to weave in not only aaron burr but thomas jefferson, who was, had taken up the role of prosecutor in chief and he put the full weight of the federal government into the prosecution of aaron burr. but he was frustrated by burr who defended himself, he had very distinguished help. he was also assisted by the judge in the trial. and the judge happened to be that other friend of thomas
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jefferson, john marshall. the days when the supreme court judges were also circuit court judges. marshall sat for the circuit court in richmond. the treason burr was alleged to have committed occurred in kentucky which was, excuse me, when kentucky was still, no, i'm sorry, in west virginia, when west virgina was still part of virginia. so it was john marshall who presided over the trial and who was not going to let thomas jefferson get away with any sloppy prosecution for treason. and in fact the burr trial became very important in american jurisprudence because under the constitution treason is very narrowly defined. it consists of waging war against the united states or, abetting those countries at war with the united states, and, it has to be witnessed
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by two eyewitnesss. well, the prosecution couldn't get the eyewitnesses because the stuff that burr was said to have done actually happened when burr was far away. and secondly, there was no war. and marshall ruled on this, and he instructed the jury you have to acquit. well, anyway, the rest of the story, i can't tell the rest of the story, because i want you to read the book. in fact i'm going to stop there and ask, see if you have questions and if, by the way you have any answers to the questions i have i will be happy to listen to those. if you have any questions, raise your hand. since we have a c-span group in the back i will repeat the questions for the audience. yes, sir? >> [inaudible]. >> okay. the question is, since i said i had a hard time -- coming up with women, how about the sufficient sufficient a jets.
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-- suffragets i write the books for purposely of expanding knowledge of history and i write books that i hope people will buy and, and you could name, susan b. anthony, elizabeth katie stanton, i can tell you i have run names like that by my publisher and i get a yawn because compared, you know, there is quite a huge market for lincoln. a small market for the sufragette. a colleague of mind was trying to come up with subject of third book. got faculty tenure at one of the college ins in philadelphia area. he wanted to write for a broader audience. his field is militariry history. he was trying to come up with some general he could write about and his area was world war ii. so he presented oh, joseph
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still well. editor he was talking with not that many people snow stillwell. he mentioned a couple of second rank generals. sort of at a loss, his field was in particular the pacific field of the war. he couldn't think of anything else. he kind of threw up his hand and said in a tone, a throwaway line he said, well, i mean i guess i could write you know, another biography of douglas macarthur. but there have been a dozen biographies of douglas macarthur. the editor said, yeah. because people are interested in douglas macarthur. so, i suppose if i were sufficiently imaginetive. if i had sufficient resources relatively obscure woman or man for that matter and make that person famous,
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maybe. i will say it's a tough sell especially in this market. other questions. yes, ma'am, in the middle. >> [inaudible] >> a very good question. how is it the letters were saved? before i answer that question i'm going to give you sort of a broader reflection. this actually gets to the question asked here how about the sur -- suffragettes? it is almost a truism about history it is possible to write about extraordinary people or extraordinary times or precisely. you can write about extraordinary people in ordinary times . .
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why? because it was sufficiently extraordinary that people wrote down what they were thinking and feeling. soldiers went off to war. for very many of them in both the union and confederate armeys think had not been away from home before. they wanted to share that for folks at home so they kept a diary or journal. i wrote a book about the california gold rush. there is no lack of information about ordinary people went off to california. why? because they knew it was once in a lifetime thing. in those days before cell phones with cameras how did people record the adventures they encountered, things they saw in a new place? they wrote them down. nowadays i don't know what will happen. people aren't saving photos i guess from their cell
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phones and everything else. that is different matter. we could talk about e-mails and what that means for future historians. but anyway, so, but, for, some reason, a great many of the letters between aaron burr and his daughter theo were saved. clearly not all of them because there are gaps in the correspondence. it is hard to construct why some of the letters were saved and some were not. i cite a letter aaron burr thought it might be his last letter to theo. it was the night before the dual with alexander hamilton. he knew he might not survive the next day. he wrote a letter to theo what she should do with his letters and papers. this is one of the reasons for negative opinions developed over time over
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aaron burr, he said burn the letters especially ones bound up in this red ribbon. he survived but the letters didn't. and whether theo did away with them. whether they were lost at sea withee yo, i don't know. but there is one interesting aspect about all this and that is, that relationships like burr's withee yo are a did theo, are a rich source for historians but only when the individuals in the relationship are far apart. i bet many of you in this read david mccullough's biography of john adams. you know that mccullough's secret weapon in that book was abigail adams. in fact i was at a conference or meeting or something where somebody asked david mccullough. now that you written about john adams, are you going to write about abigail adams? he said i already did.
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that is what i did with eleanor roosevelt and franklin roosevelt. the only franklin roosevelt in the title but really a dual biography about the two. the curious thing about that particular book, the best parts about the book, the parts that particularly reveal a relationship, wonderful relationship, provocative relationship between john and abigail adams they occur when they're far apart. it is a wonderful love story. it is a wonderful story of a marriage but it only works because they were apart for a very large part of the marriage. when they were together they simply spoke and what they said to each other over the dinner table at night no one knows. so that's the case where, it is true with my book. i don't make a big deal of it in the book. i have to pass over those sections where they're not writing to each other but, i can't offer a good explanation as to why some letters survived and others didn't. . .
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or not a story. so, where does this fit in? >> to the question is how does the nature of story and tell stories are told and what has related to the american politics in particular how american
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presidents have cast their time as part of the story how does that fit in with my story? it's a wonderful question, and you gave me an opportunity to tip my hand about a project that i've been working on for years, and it's based on the title of this book. it's going to be a book one day. i can't tell you which day, because i don't know. the title of the book is going to be the best story wins. and adel whole point of the book is that we as humans are -- well, i guess i will say we are suckers for stories. there's something in the wiring of our brain. maybe it's hard wiring and soft wiring but we respond to stories. what are stories? i will put it this way. they are
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and so, you know if the message is hope, if the slogan is yes, we can, that's very attractive, specially given the context of 2008. and it less also, will, being a candidate is different from being the president. it is one of the reason many obama's liberal supporters have been quite disappointed because he didn't live up to well, the projections they put on him. a lot of it has to do with the fundamental distinction between being a candidate and being an office holder. when you're a candidate, yes, we can. boy that's a powerful and appropriate phrase. but when you're president, the operative phrase is much more often, no you can't. because presidents have to decide. candidates don't have to decide. they can promise the world. but once you get in office you have to say one thing or another.
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anyway. yes, ma'am? >> i want to answer your question about why i read. >> please do. okay. >> history. i get into the stores like it's a novel, and i've been there, hollering at like, that cavalry guy that sent the vermont person during the third, third day of gettysburg -- >> picket's charge?. >> yeah. but the horse thing after picket's charge. >> okay. >> so you need a sister. i will be your sister. i will jump into this book and punch that guy in the nose. >> interesting. i'm not sure that i can do justice to that by repeating the question, but the essence of the statement was, that she reads history because she likes to get involved.
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she likes to get in the middle of the story. i will tell you as a professional historian i try to avoid that but i don't always succeed. when i wrote about benjamin franklin i try to keep a distance, i made a real point and i do succeed in this by passing judgment on my characters. i tell my readers in my book about franklin roosevelt. i tell you he is a great president, but great in the specific sense of having a great effect on the world around him. i won't tell you whether i think he is a good president or a bad president. i won't tell you whether i think the new deal was a good deal or a bad deal. i leave that for readers to decide. i lay out the reaction and justification for it and leave the readers to draw their own conclusions. i don't think all historians do it this way. most successful don't do it this way. i asked david mccullough, would he write about somebody he doesn't like or write? he said, why would i do that. a lot of people go to
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histories or biographyes to be able to cheer somebody. it is a lot easier, the rule of thumb, that broadway musical, work. if people come out of the theater whistling, then it worked. well, sort of the same way. for some reason i don't like to do that. i want readers to form their own opinions. i wrote this book on franklin roosevelt, called, traitor to his class. i polled audience, do you think that title is thumbs up or thumbs down. traitor is a bad word but not a traitor to his country. it is traitor to his class. i try to keep my distance. every so often i can't. in the last years of benjamin franklin's life. he was coming back from paris. he was in paris for nine years. he was coming home because he was sick and wanted to die in america. he had been estranged from his son william by the revolutionary war. his grandson, william's son, wanted to get the two men, temple was the grandson's
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name, wanted to get his father william and grandson benjamin back together. surreptitiously, william temple arranged a meeting in southhampton, england. the ship would stop in southhampton and head off for america. it was going to be the last chance for benjamin franklin to sigh william franklin who was living in exile as a tory during the revolutionary war. temple brought the two of them together. at the critical moment, william, the son, but at the time he is 57 years old, full-grown man he has decided that his father will not live forever, not much longer and so, william holds out his hand to make amend with his fatr, benjamin. and i'm sitting there writing this part of the story and trying to keep my distance but trying to imagine what's going through benjamin franklin's head?
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i have three children. and i can not anything that, any of those children would do, that would cause me to permanently write them out of my life, especially, even if they had done something, and then afterwards said, oh, let's have bygones be bygones. i wanted, found myself without wanting to, rooting for ben franklin doing the right thing. most of the time he did the right thing. when william was holding out his hand i wanted to reach across the centuries and take benjamin franklin, take his hand, damn it, take it! but he didn't. but he didn't. he went back to america and he never forgave his son for, well, doing what his conscience told him to do, to side with his king. and there, i had a
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particular reason, part of it was the father in me saying, come on, your son is holding out his hand to you. but i will confess that there was another part of it. and that is, that, it was one of the very few acts of franklin's life that i couldn't explain because he was on the whole, a very reasonable person. and he had fallen out with many in england during the revolutionary war but one by one he had made up with them. and, i could not figure out what was going through franklin's head and through his heart at the time. and now we historians, at least the more modest of us, we don't claim to have all the answers but this was a big part of franklin's emotional life and i realized that i don't know why he did this very
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important thing and it's toward the end of the book. and i thought, i don't know, maybe snowed me all along. maybe there is this dark franklin character that i'm just not getting. so i had to quickly write the end of that scene and get to the end of the book. i still don't know the answer to it. but yeah, other questions. yes, sir? yes. >> former student of history i think -- >> former student? are there such things? >> [inaudible]. >> there you go. >> your students i think must be very lucky. you told us a lot about what burr did and most of us are used to thinking of burr as a villain. without giving away all of your book what do you think was in his heart? >> i think that burr was ambitious. i know that burr was ambitious. i think that he saw that the path to political
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achievement was closed in the east because both of the major parties were dead-set against him. and so he wanted to go west. he recognized something that we have forgotten and that that is before the age of steamboats, and the age of railroads once you got west of the appalachian mountains, gravity pulled you to the west. there was very little that said, a continental republic could survive. and it's worth knowing that they're remembering that there was no particular reason to think that the continental republic should survive. just a few years before, five years before thomas jefferson himself had been an author of the kentucky resolutions that in essence laid the groundwork for nullification and secession. so if you believe in self-government , especially when the american republic was no more than a
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generation old, it was entirely consistent with that view that if the people of kentucky, and louisiana, and tennessee decided that their political interests, their self-interests, were better served by independence from america, from the united states, then by sticking with the united states, that that was exactly the lodgic of, well, the declaration of independence. and so to think in terms of separating the west it would be a voluntary separation. one of the reasons that burr went to the west was to sound people out. andrew jackson, first of all celebrated the fact that he had killed alexander hamilton. everybody in the west thought burr was a great man. and when burr talked about, it is hard to know exactly what he said, but when he talked about a possible independent future for the west, it was entirely consistent with american
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philosophy of politics, including that of thomas jefferson but even more importantly it was the almost inevitable outcome of geography because once you have crossed the mountains, the rivers all ran downstream and the rivers were the essence of commerce. they were the avenues of transport. and, you know, jefferson himself sometimes wondered whether louisiana's fate was with the united states. so burr was simply, i don't know, if he was articulating or was simply letting people articulate what they thought their future might be because if you lived in new orleans in 1805, it took forever to get to washington, or new york, and you could well ask yourselves, how can those people in the east govern us? that was part of what he was up to. would he have waged war against the united states? i doubt it certainly. he only had 50 guys.
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and so, he didn't have a army he could wage a war with. he did hope that a war would break out between spain and the united states. so did andrew jackson. so did james wilkinson, by the way who really was the trader in this story. wilkinson for decades was on the payroll of the spanish government unbeknownst to his superiors in the u.s. army and the u.s. government. anyway, so burr's logic strikes us, perhaps, assuming that he did what he was alleged to have done, to have plotted this scheme to separate what is, well, the mississippi valley or texas and beyond from the rest of the united states. but it hardly seemed, it hardly seemed a heinous crime to most of those people living in the west at the time. i will simply add that there are plenty of people living in the states of the former confederacy today who think, you know, the confederacy
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lost the argument on the battlefield. the argument that states have a right to chart their own futures. anyway, so, that's what i can make of it. how are we doing? >> i think time is up. >> yes, yes, i can't let you get out of here with at least the possibility of buying a book. thank you very much. you've been a wonderful audience. >> the way i got the idea i actually read a column in the "new york times" that was sort of a case study of a young woman who spent almost 20 years taking anti-depressants. she was wondering how they had affected her. and the column mentioned that there was very little research, scientific research that could talk about the way that these
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drugs had affected children's development as they're growing up. and so that got me curious. i figured the studies don't exist but i myself had been taking medication since i was a teenager and i figured there must be huge numbers of people in my position and i would be really curious to hear their stories and get their take on how it has turned out for them.
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♪ . >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> the white house is a bully pulpit and you ought to take advantage of it. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. >> i think i just have little antennas that went up and told me when somebody had their own agenda. >> so much influence in that office. it would be just a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve as a window on the past to what was going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief confidant. she is really only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the women who
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were first ladies a lot of them were writers, journalists. they wrote books. >> they are in many cases quite frankly more interesting as human beings than their husbands. if only because they are not first and foremost defined, consequently limited by political ambition. >> dolly was both socially adept and politically savvy. >> dolly madison loved every minute of it. mrs. monroe hated it. absolutely hated it. >> he warned her husband, you can't rule without including what women want and what women have to contribute. >> during the statement you are a little breathless and it was too much looking down and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change of pace. >> yes, ma'am. >> probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies. they never showed a marriage. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said, i myself, never made any
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decisions. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. now, you stop and think about how much power that is, it's a lot of power. >> prior to the battle of against cancer, is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and to flourish as a result. i don't know how many presidents realistically have that kind of impact on the way we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds i am constantly reminded about all of the people who have lived there before and particularly all of the women. >> first lady, influence and
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image, a new series on c-span, produced in cooperation with the white house's historical association. coming in february 2013. >> you know, for as important as this project has become to my life, i can scarcely remember the first time i learned about this historic congressional race between two future presidents in 1789 but what i do remember is reading about it in a book and it was treated with the typical one or two sentences that you would see about this congressional race and i thought to myself. way to bury the lead. all of sudden we're in this race between two future presidents, james madison, james monroe. they're debating the most important issues we've ever talked about as a country. whether we should have a bill of rights. what kind of union we should have. all of sudden you're on the next page and they're in the first congress. i said way to bury the lead. i decided i would read everything i could about the
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1789 election. what i found, no one ever written anything about it before i decided i would tell this story. the book founding rivals, coopens at the inauguration of george washington. what many people don't know is that when he took the oath of office two of the 13 states were outside the union. north carolina, and rhode island did not ratify the constitution because of their concern that it was missing a bill of rights, a guaranty of fundamental liberties. this was common for the antifederalists throughout the continent. the common demom -- denominator among the antifederalists which james monroe was one. they opposed constitution. many came at it from different angles. many genuinely believed you could not have a union that covered all the diverse states. they believed in independent states or perhaps regional confederacies but they didn't think any government could ever be suitable to this entire con nint. james monroe represented the majority of antifederalist opinion in his objection to
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the constitution was centered around it is missing a bill of rights. while washington took the oath of office, two states, new york, and virginia, were agitating for a new constitutional convention. in the words of james madison and george washington, they were terrified at this prospect. they believe it would be infiltrated by enemies of the new government and the constitution would be scrapped and done away with and our union would be fractured, never ever to come together again. >> we're asking middle and high school students to send a message to the president as part of this year's c-span student documentary competition n a short video students will answer the question, what's the most important issue the president should consider in 2013. for a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000 and there is the $50,000 in total prizes available. c-span's studentcam video competition is open to
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students grades six through 12. for complete details and rules go online to studen next on "book tv" -- on "book tv". a member of the white house staff. the author used correspondence, and legal documents and journal entries rarely seen before to report on mr. jennings life as a slave in the white house and his relationship to the first family. this is 50 minutes. >> welcome to the library of congress. the center is the reading promotion arm of the library of congress. . .
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governments that we work with to promote books and reading. we are a major component in the national book festival, and i hope many of you know about the national book festival and have attended in the past. i can tell you that this year's festival will be on the national mall from september 22nd to the 23rd. we are delighted to be able to
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have expanded the national book festival in the last year, and that's going to continue. there are four seats up front of you would like to come out there's plenty of room. today we are featuring another kind of way that we promote books and reading. we love to give the talks at the library of congress to make a couple of points that a lot of the research at the library of congress and many other libraries result in a book in the printed word. we are pleased to feature authors and their books that have a special relationship with the library of congress. in this case, as you will learn, much of the work for beth taylor's book was done here of the library. we also help sponsor project books, books that come out of long-term library of congress' efforts. so we are very pleased to have
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you here. there is a really listing of future talks. every one of our talks is supported -- almost every one of our talks are supported by the custodial divisions of the library of congress, and in this case we are grateful to the manuscript division for being our co-sponsor. today's new time talk will be filmed by both c-span and by the library of congress. more than 200 of our talks are available on the library of congress saw' website, so in a sense you could get a snapshot of current literature and writing in the united states, not only through the books and beyond talks on our web site, but through national book festival programming. and since the book festival was created in 2001, we have accumulated more than 730
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minutes or 45 minute talks from different writers, so i hope you take a vintage of that. it is a snapshot of the importance of the american writing that's growing each year and now lo and behold we were going to go into our second decade of national book festival and books of the beyond talks. because today's talk is being filmed, on the urge you to turn off all things electronic. we will have -- once our speaker is introduced, and you'll hear from her, and there are more seats up front, please, if you want to come up. then there will be a session, about a 20 minute session of questions and answers and then there will be a book signing. so books are for sale at the special library of congress discount in the back of the room. and you also can pick up a schedule for future talks ahead. in the question and answer
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period, we will be filming that part of it for c-span as well, and i'm going to ask people to come up to the microphone, but i also want to tell you that by asking questions and participating, you're also giving the library of congress' permission and c-span permission to use your image in your wonderful questions as part of our programming while you wait for the wonderful answers from our speaker. to introduce beth i'm introduced to -- pleas to introduce dewey miller who has since 2000 when then the specialist in the early american history manuscript division, and i also want to add that shortly after usually joined the staff, she spoke in her books and beyond series about her new book, "abandoned founding san new york city." you can see that you have authors and readers coming at you from all angles when you
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come to the books and beyond talk. i would like now to turn this over to julie miller. let's give her a hand. julie? [applause] >> thank you. i paid him to say that. our speaker today, beth taylor, has a doctorate from the university of california berkeley. she's been the director of interpretation at monticello, thomas jefferson's house, the director of education not want to clear, and a fellow at the virginia foundation for the humanities. now she's the author of this book, "a slave in the white house" paul jennings and the madisons and i might add that she's also appeared on the daily show, which some of you may be interested in seeing. i meant beth when she can to do research at the manuscript division of the library and in the reading room, beth did something important. she realized the collections of leading colonial national figures contained papers and information about people who
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were not those people but other people, the people who surrounded them coming and very often those people were slaves. that inflation takes the form of mentions and letters, journals and four records. but sometimes the letters written by the slaves themselves and this was the case of paul jennings, the letters that beth found in the dolley madison papers. often documents -- it's interesting to realize documents like these survive very often really because they were just swept up into the papers of the prominent people. people who were recognized for being prominent. and in some cases we can assume that these records are the only written records of these lives. so they are really very valuable things that we more or less incidentally have in the manuscript division. beth's accomplishment in this book is that she was able to excavate the story of paul jennings and now i'm very proud to introduce beth taylor.
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[applause] >> i thank john and to leave for having me today and all of you for turning out. suckers paul jennings and the madisons was a great labor of love. i spent three years researching the book and a year of writing it. i have a fondness fer good narrative nonfiction, and a lot of times if i read journalistic pieces come on in july when they begin with an extended anecdotal lead, so i adopted that approach in my book, and each chapter starts with what we might call eight vignette and i really labored over the details. if i give the weather it is documented. if i say james madison speefive overcoat was all of, i have an eyewitness, and so on. so, i thought i might do today
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is interspersed my comments with reading excerpts from some of these vignettes. they all place jennings at or near a doorway or some kind of an opening. in one case it is the hatch of a ship. and in this first one, it is an open grave. on or about 28 feb 1801, not till you're the madison plantation in orange county, virginia, the old master died in doubles as of february. on their way to the burial in the family graveyard the house servants passed by the sleeves graveyard where they expected to be buried monday. it was cold and they walked on passing between the fellow tobacco fields to the east and the original homestead tothe west the madison family graveyard was located in the backyard of the first homesite. the main dwelling long burned to
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the ground and supplanted by the georgian mansion once they had started their fear of a mile and a formal procession. once the household was circle around the open grave, the house servants raised expected always to the new master of montpelier, james madison, jr., standing next to his mother. there was this day at montpelier another mother and some present. the mother's name is unknown. the name of the toddler at her skirt was paul jennings. she perhaps help the little boy's hand holding not to transmit her anxiety over what might happen next. for the death of a master was always a time of tension for his enslaved people. they would have little control over decisions about their futures including the fate of their nearest family members. well, james madison junior became the fourth president of the united states. paul jennings journey from slavery to freedom would play
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out in the highest circles of ideas and power. the white house, james madison's study coming and in freedom, she would author as decreed by the white house historical cessation the first white house memoir, and its text is included as an appendix in "a slave in the white house." it was my familiarity with this memoir that first drew me to jennings story. it is titled "a colored non-answer reminiscence of james madison," and as that implies it is more about the so-called great man than it is about the author himself. but my interest was seen jennings. i set out to discover elements of his biography, uncover the circumstances behind the publication of the memoir in
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1865 and track down and interview living direct descendants. paul was only ten when he came to washington 1809, the first year of the madison administration. he was chosen from among 100 not appear slaves -- montpelier slaves to be part of two or three white house domestic staff. he found washington to be dreary as indeed it was, not only because he was likely homesick, but because this was a planned city, and at that time existed very much more on paper than it did on the ground. but i think that soon enough paul realized he was at the start of a great adventure. he would be a fat man in the president's house for eight years and would come of age in
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washington, age ten to age 18 and in the process, he would be an important witness to history in the making. 31 may come 1809 for the first of dolley madison's white house drawing rooms. it was a rainy wednesday. paul jennings and his foot man like we had the initial duty of meeting the guests of the north entrance with an umbrella. there was no particles and for protection from the elements. tonight was the first of what would become speenineteen's legendary drawing rooms with the presidential mansion of everyone who's properly introduced. more gentleman families attended this premiere night, as would be expected in the town with many government many of residents without their families. had more of the ladies in
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present, dolly would have stood apart not because she was seated on the platform as martha of washington had been at hurt partly receptions, but because of the charming intertwining of her personalities and dress. jennings himself describes some of her ensembles. fabrics of purple velvet and white satin always with turbans of the finest materials and trim to match. president madison, happy to leave the limelight to his wife, was a tired as usual in the old style. bridges and pattern here. paul had no way of knowing that he would one day serve as madison's valet and be responsible for his clothes and his cue. as the guests mingle a among the rooms, servants threaded through it trays of refreshments, wine, punch, coffee cup light cream -- eis crème etc. young jennings may have been among the servers that first night, but more likely was a runner acting on those two words commands to replenish this from
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the pantry or tote that up from the cellars. it was both frightening and accelerating experience. the carriage, music, mirrors and chandeliers, the sophisticated and political conversation. paul the observer, paul the listener received an eyeful and earful this evening. as i began my research, on i prepared a word document headed what was paul jennings like? and i added to it as i went along. two characteristics among others became clear. he was a good listener, and he was a good networker. two traits that serve anyone who's interested in getting ahead. i interpret jennings life as a deliberate and courageous and successful pursuit of the right
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to rise, which really is the most american of promises, isn't that? jennings, after his eight years in washington, thought about running away instead of returning to the plantation with the madisons. the evidence for this is a letter in madison papers written by jefferson's nephew warning him that there was such river, and i visualize his last window of opportunity to act. thinking about not only whether he had the nerve to chance and illegal run and to be caught and punished and realizing also that virginia plantation was his home, too. could he leave the scene of his
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boyhood, the home of his mother never to return? it's not as if he could have said if i don't get back this christmas, i will be sure to do that next christmas? this would be forever. what we know is in the event, jennings did indeed return to virginia, and he was promoted if you will to the position of james madison's personal attendant or body servant. and as such, as the constant search and in madison study, she was present as madison received the queue of notables in that room from thomas jefferson to andrew jackson, henry clay, daniel webster, and very young men learning that madison's neice wrote that the site for freedom was enamored with
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freedom peak. you bet. they would rhapsodize about spending one evening listening to the father of the constitution hold forth. jennings, like part of the wallpaper, was present for hundreds of such discourses. and in the book i discovered the thesis that jennings was able to observe the theoretical underpinnings that would support his in a hearing for freedom and allow him to identify as a natural right of man for future use by the widow speenineteen. paul jennings had returned to lafayette square for the first time in 20 years. james madison died the previous
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summer and the mistress decided she would make use of her city house in washington and ascent jennings i had to ready the dwelling. it was still for the wary but in anticipation of the new administration, already the town of millions was gathering along with that of spring's first fog. it reminded a jennings of james madison inauguration 28 years earlier. jennings took stock of a altar of lafayette square. a block from the madison house, the restored white house sported both of the north and south front behalf of the buildings charred and weaken the exterior walls had been rebuilt, and in the course of which they dug out the dinner display jennings prepared the day they torched the mansion in august 18. the george washington portrait had long ago been retrieved from the maryland farm house where it had safely rested after the fiery and returned to the white
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house. as for jennings himself, his young manhood was behind him and he was still a slave loveless a father and husband and took advantage of opportunities as they took up. jennings rise would always require of remitting existence against illegal, socially and psychological impediments the contrast was her son was striking. hopelessly alcoholic with neither occupation your spouse seemed to lack purpose altogether. of course one could say pain to get advantage of his situation, too. he certainly had taken advantage of his mother is that father time and again, slowly draining their finances and good will. wellcome has you know, every presidential family needs an embarrassing manuel, and in this case it was dolly's son from her first marriage, and he dutifully filled out the role for me in
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the ark of my story as loyal to pol jennings. here he had never yet and it in life and squandered everyone. jennings had no at vantage in life, and yet even while still a slave managed to carve a life of meaning for himself. now, when a james madison died, a jennings was disappointed to learn that he had not been freed as he had reason to expect. he was then given to understand that madison had made an agreement with his widow that she would free all of the montpelier slaves. well, that certainly wasn't going to happen, she and her son began selling them all the way weigel her 1841 will she did have a term that would free jennings at her death. the only slave so treated but he
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wasn't so sure about that as time went by. he got on her bad side. now, he's back in washington, but his wife and his children are owned by another master in virginia, a neighbor of madison 's. not only had he not live with them until now, visiting only on the one traditional day off each week from sunday. but now he was altogether geographically separated from them. dolly at this time was hiring him out to president james polk commesso jennings had a second of white house experience beginning in 1845. at this point, the president and his mistress had given him permission to go back to virginia for a visit with his family. but he had stayed longer than dolly approved of coming and she
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wrote to her son and said that paul will lose the best place in his mistress convenient resources. well, i want to stop with that story for a second because i want to tell you about my research at the library of congress and how it was here i got my first hint as to paul's family, and i think it is an interesting episode because it illustrates undertaking historical research in this day and age and a likely path. it often starts as it did for this particular aspect with google books, and google books, you never know what you're going to get because you put in different combinations of
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keywords, and you see what comes up. i thought certainly i tried this many times before. i discovered that your in the manuscript division of the library of congress was a 29 page manuscript titled paul jennings and his times. i was so excited at this point i was devotee of education at montpelier but thought when saturday comes i will be going to washington. let me call ahead and make sure they really do have this item and can share it with me on saturday. so i called up and someone in the manuscript division, and i must say everyone who works here is always assisted me with great thoroughness and kindness and i really appreciate that and such was the case with this gentleman on the phone who said well, he looked about and he went away and he said let me look a little
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bit more. if you have another minute to hang on the phone? i said i will be happy to hang on the phone and have you read me all 29 pages of the manuscript. anyway, so she said yes in the we have it coming and i went up and then on saturday and the fellow that was working in the manuscript division i showed him different from google books and he was surprised to see what had been digitized was the actual handbook of manuscript in the library of congress. he pulled out his copy and it was like the bible from beneath his desk and he did this play certain aspect of claiming this as the document. don't tell me how anybody can get his hands on this from google books. but anyway, once he brought for the manuscript, i was just
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beside myself because right inside the first page, i learned like five new facts about paul jennings biography. this is when i first learned he had a wife named fannie gordon. i also learned for the first time about daniel murray, the first african-american assistant library of congress. he had been preparing a monumental but never published biographical encyclopedia of the colored race prominent african-americans of to his time. he included paul jennings among them, because he was familiar with his having offered at a colored man is reminiscent of james madison. and in 1901, she had interviewed paul jennings only surviving child at that point. franklin jennings. and he had put together some
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notes. so i got to see both on the microfilm some of the notes that he had put together as well as this opening page of this manuscript. paul jennings and his times. what was interesting, and what is kind of part and parcel of the research so often is that according to marie, franklin had said that his mother was the ladies made to the sister of the general eventually president zachary taylor. i knew that wasn't possible, because i was familiar with the taylor family, no relation, of orange county virginia, and i knew that saturday taylor was born in that area. but that his immediate family had quickly moved on to kentucky. so, that timing just wouldn't
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work out. but what they gave me was the hint that there was some mistress in the taylor family, and indeed it was, and later i was able to verify that, you know, six ways to sunday for the orange county courthouse records and through other records at the national archives and so one. but that was really the one among many exciting days i spent at the library of congress. now, the rest of the story then. so, paul jennings needs his freedom now. you see, what actually happened about this time is that his wife died. so now his children back and all range are motherless, the youngest just 2-years-old. this is when he went to senator daniel webster for help. remember i said he was a good networker and you know what helps to have acquaintances in high places even if a slave.
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webster came to jennings rescue and he advanced his purchase price, and he wasn't a rich man. he struck a deal whereby jennings would work in his householder and pay the purchase price back at the rate of $8 a month. so, finally at the age of 48, she became a free man. and here is one thing he got involved with that very first full year of freedom. might come saturday, 15th of april 1848 a landing near the seventh street washington city. it was a moonless night, and that was an advantage for the activity was highly illegal. paul jennings played a role in the operations that led to this action and his thought to have been the black man silently observing the scene in the shadows noticed by ship captain
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daniel draton. ..
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>> she would send her at a prearranged time under the roof of fetching water, but ellen got wind of the maneuver and escaped into the bustle of the city. as i say, it impresses me that jennings would risk his hard one status as a free man by helping others try to achieve that same condition. this was not to be -- jennings was one of the last operatives who worked with white northern abolitionists to plot this escape attempt out. it was parred of the underground railroad and turn out to be largest in american history. the pearl left the harbor, but met with light winds that slowed it down, got to the chesapeake, and then the winds were too
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heavy to enter the bay, and still, they might have made it to freedom in the north, but for a turncoat in the black community back in washington who informed on them, that got the owners on their tail sooner instead of later, they caught up with them, and hauled the pearl back to washington. those slaves aboard faced the fate they most dreaded, which was sail to the deep south and permanent separation from home and family. now, another thing that paul jennings did soon after he achieved his frame was -- freedom was march down to the photographer's studio and sit for his picture. here he is on the cover, and let me tell you how i discovered this image. it is the only known likeness of any montpelier slave.
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i worked to seek out jennings' direct descendents, and i had tips to the living direct descendent of two of the living children, but none of the son franklin. when i finally cracked that line, that led me to silva jennings. she was 90 years old when i met her, and she was the keeper of the jennings' family oral traditions, and on her living room wall was a likeness of paul jennings. she lived another year and a half after i met her, and though she had physical mallties when i first met her, she was sharp as a tack, and the memories she learned from her family, many of the family stories that go back to slavery days, and she very
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much enriched my story and also my own personal experience. by the way, she shared many family photographs with me and a slave in the white house has over 20 photographs and maps and other graphics, but there were many more not in the book, and i hope that you will check out the paul jennings website where many of them have been posted at back to the likeness, it didn't take me too long to compare it with the statue of james madison that is here in the madison building of the library of congress, and that, of course, is because madison, even as you see jennings here holds a book in his right hand so james madison was always the statesman with a book under one arm, and it's clear that jennings was proud of the literacy that he is
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posing with the prop of his choice, a book. well, here's the last excerpt that i'll read. 31 october 1854, 18th streets, northwest washington. they appreciated their new home, a small house on a small piece of ground, but of great significance to them. carpenter john james owned lot 23 and square 107 and having divided the land into three parcels, he built three wood frame houses facing l street. each had 13.4 inches and ran to 115 feet back to a di diagonal alley. jennings purchased the most eastern house for $1,000. he saved $400 of the purchase price, a substantial down payment. a month after the sale, husband
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and wife had been at the washington clerk's office where each signed a document borrowing the $600 balance. that is paul signed,çó desdemon, his second wife, applied her mark acknowledging the same as the husband saying if the payments were not made, the property would be forfeited. there was monthly payments of $100 plus interest. the down payment was not easy nor would the monthly payments. wash was one of the most expensive cities in the world. they earned $18 annually and hard pressed to support familyings. jennings' salary was $400. the debt would be satisfied in may 1856, and paul jennings, a man legally held the property for 48 years would on his piece of land and modest house free and clear for himself and heirs
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forever. there was just a scattering of houses in the area. the city's established finer residences ran from capitol hill to the white house and a small section north and west from there. though it was only a few blocks further on, paul and their neighborhood was in the midst of marsh an cow pasture, countryside where rabbits could be shot and blackberries and huckleberries grew in season. you probably know that spot. if you're book lovers, you'll remember that's where, until not too long ago, there was a borders books, and i would go there and go sit in the calf day, get a coffee and i think, i could be sitting in his kitchen table right now. well, what's interesting, too, is that many of the places where jennings either lived and/or work are still in washington. the winder building and the pa
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patton office building, the dolly madison house, the octagon, the first of the temporary white houses after the white house burned, and, of course, the white house itself. before i get to questions and answers, i want to make a couple comments on paul jennings' legacy. james madison wrote of liberty and learning, leaning on each other for their mutual and surest support. like madison, jennings applied his learning in the service of liberty. he secured his freedom and his family's future as an activist, he forged passes and free papers for slaves, was an operative in a major attempted slave escape,
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and he raised funds for slaves in in peril thus helping to purchase them from their masters. his is a unique story, but also it's important to appreciate that at the same time he's representative of many, many african-americans of his time whose stories may never be known, but who, like him, overcame a barrage of obstacles in pursuit of the right to rise. i will close by referring back to the library of congress and the great good that they do here in preserving the written word. you know, when jennings authored that first white house memoir, it was a private printing. i don't believe there were more
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than 150-200 copies, and so really, it's quite remarkable that it survived at all and wasn't all together just obscured # and lost over the years. in part, we do have daniel murray to thank for that because that assistant library, and congress helped put together an exposition in 1900, the works of negro authors, and that included paul jennings. you know, this is in contrast to let's say solomon's 12 years of slaves. there were 8,000 copies printed and sold in just the first month when it came out in 1853, and many thousands and thousands to follow. i'm grateful to daniel murray and to the library of congress that jennings' memoir is still with us i thank you for your
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prereceiverring our -- preserving our heritage of the word, and i thank you, all, for your kind attention. [applause] >> well, we are grateful to beth, not only for the research that went into this story, but also highlighting a little bit of the library of congress' own history and story, and as part of the american story. we're not done yet. we have a question and answer period to go. i did not mention deliberately that this discussion also can continue on facebook, center for the book has a facebook page to learn about past talks and contribute your own remarks to ongoing discussions that we're gout to start now. i'd like to ask for those of you
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who have questions for beth to please come to the microphone in the middle and ask your question. i also will be able to assure you that we have until one o'clock until the signing starts. let's start with one more round of applause to our excellent speaker today. [applause] and will someone take the first step? [laughter] well, if not, i will ask the first question, and then i expect others to come up and follow. i have an easy question. what was it like to be on the john stewart show? [laughter] what kind of preparation did you do mentally before you took that first step? thank you. >> well, you know, it's funny because my -- the publicist landed this gig, and i didn't
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know it until one evening when i got back to my house in virginia having been up here in washington picking up my son who is a college stay student at amn university bringing him back for the christmas holidays. when i got back, there were 20 phone calls, e-mails, where are you, you are on the john stewart show, we need to book your trip. my son at 21 is a prime fan. i sat him down, and i said i know you are not going to believe this, but i'm going to be a guest on the john stewart show. because it was his christmas vacation, he coached me asking me questions and as if i was on the show for that period of two weeks, and i tried to get a grip on my nevers, which i finally did just the afternoon of that taping that evening. that when i did go over to the studio, that meant that the
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experience could be follow-up for me -- could be fun f me, as indeed, it was. it was just one of the most privileged and enjoyable experiences i've ever had, and, of course, john is my new best friend because i do feel like i have him to thank for the vigorous book sales. [laughter] >> hello, there. i was just wondering if you actually got a sense of his personality, paul jennings' personality, and if it was what you expected when you set out on the journey of the book? was what sense i got of paul jennings' personality, and, yes, i did get a good sense i feel as time went by. i feel there were a couple of sides to him. he was an intelligent, courteous, well-bred. these are all descriptions that would come up.
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he played the violin. he liked to read. he was steady and precise. he was patriotic. he had another side where that he was especially able to express in freedom, and i feel like he was a man about town in washington. he married three times. the last time at age 70. silva jennings, his great granddaughter, says franklin describedded him as a jim dandy. [laughter] in other words, he thought he was hot stuff at times. [laughter] he said if he had extra money, he would buy fine skin shoes for example. i think of him coming here in 1809 as a 10-year-old boy and living and dying in washington dying at the age of 75. yip just take one thing like the u.s. capital, and imagine how he
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saw it evolve over the years, remodeled, burned by the british, and thoan timely during the civil war, coming to its prominence as it looks today. although, he never did see the washington monument completed. that rose to one-third of its planned height, and then for 25 years remained a stub. he never saw that in its final form. [laughter] >> i was about to ask how long it took him to save up for his freedom and how long did he get a chance to enjoy that freedom? >> well, let me say a little more about his life in freedom. now, remember, daniel webster advanced his purchase price, and so it would have taken him close to a couple years to pay that back at the rate of $8 a month, and he continued to work for webster for four years, but
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decided he wanted another kind of job. remember i said he was a good networker, and so what he did was get a letter of recommendation from daniel webster. i found the original in the papers of alford chapman. who is that? he's from orange county, and he's a cousin. he was a cousin of madisons, but living in washington at this time working as a clerk in the department of the interior. next thing you know, jennings gets a job in the department of the interior. it's easy for me to imagine him taking this letter of recommendation that webster wrote for him, and its paul jennings' name on the injell lope, and then -- envelope, and then handing it over to the department. he had a steady, but low-level government job. this is about the most -- these
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were coveted among free black men, and about the highest a black man at that time hoped to aspire to in terms of the livelihood. he was in the deattention office in the department of the interior for at least 15 years. >> hello, what a fascinating project. i was wondering what compelled you to want to tell the story and bring it forth? >> well, first of all, i should say i worked at month peelier for a come -- month -- for a number of years, and i saw a story of the african-american heritage. wherever slavery existed, of course, it's important to tell the story, but at the two presidential plantations, it's all the more poignant and important to do so. i had that ongoing interest, and
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then paul jennings became the focus of my study because of this memoir. i thought, you know, my question -- it's a precious document, and it's quite interesting, and, yet, when you finish it, you feel like saying what about you, paul jennings? i wish you included more about yourself. the visitors who came to month -- montpelier were interested too. at first i thought, well, i'll bring that out, the remanents themselves, and do a bigraphical essay with them perhaps, and then i got more ambitious from there until it turned into a full length book. >> you mentioned he died at 75. where is he buried?
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in washington or -- >> i'll tell you the story. he's buried in harmony cemetery, which is southeast, and -- and that was okay except that as the years went by, that pure -- burial ground became overrun with weeds and then the metro encroached on it. as you know, they were dug up and put in maryland. except, and i don't know if there's other instances, but jennings' remains never made the trip. paul jennings great granddaughter remembered her causen, pauline, crying, they've lost grandpa paul, they lost grandpa paul. we know initially he was buried
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in harmony cemetery, just where his remains are at this moment are unknown. [inaudible conversations] >> when i first met beth, she was still at monticello and recalled the story to me a bit ago, i have not seen her for a bit of years, knew she was working on the book, and she came wandering down the halls an hour before the talk, and i knew it was beth because she was carrying an important bag to the center for the book. it was the old center of the book bag i gave her how many years ago? >> oh, about 12 years ago. >> 12 years ago. i said, a, that must be beth, i have to check it out, and then i saw the condition of the bag, and i thought, well, that speaks
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well for the durability and quality of the products here at center of the book. in addition to thanking her and telling you we'd like you to line up here for the book signing and have a line come along that wall, i'd like to present beth with -- [laughter] a brand new bag -- [laughter] it's in great shape, never been used. i will not take this one back, though. >> sentimental value. >> sentimental value, but join me one more time in thanking beth for a wonderful talk. >> thank you, john, i appreciate that. [applause]
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>> guest: the reason i got the idea actually is i read a column in the "new york times" that was sort of a case study of a young woman who had spent almost 20 # years taking antidepressants, and she was wondering how they affected her.
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the column mentioned little scientific research that could talk about the way that these drugs had affected children's development as they were growing up, and so that got my curious. i figured the studies don't exist, but i, myself, had been taking medications since i was a teenager, and i figured there must be huge numbers of people in my position, and i would be really ciewfer yows to hear their stories and get their take on it how it turned out for them. >> watch the interview on her book "dossed: the medication generation grows up" tonight at 8 eastern here on c-span2. >> so, as you can see, this is a very short introduction to a very big subject, the u.s. supreme court. it's not the kind of book that an author's going to do a reading from. it's not a dramatic novel, but it's a dramatic story, actually, when you step back and think about the supreme court over the
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centuries. i know many of you probably are here because the supreme court today, this very day or next week, three days of the health care case being argued. the court is more visible in american life than its been for quite some time, and i'll be happy to chat about that and answer your questions, but i want to talk a little and just kind of frame the story of the supreme court. in writing this book, what i try to do was put myself in the position of i'm assuming many of you or myself before i had the chance to attend yale law school and spend the next 30 years writing about the supreme court on a daily basis for the "new york times," and that is to say someone interested in public affairs, the civic life of the country, but is not an expert on this particular topic so what would a person like that, a
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person, as i was, and maybe some of you are, need to know to really get a personally satisfying handle on the court so with that as a kind of framework, what i propose to do is really make a series of observations that i'll elaborate on, and then turn it over for what i expected will be a fruitful and fun conversation among us. so when you step back and think about the court, one thing that jumped out at me was i was organizing the material to write this book is the extent to which the supreme court is really the author of its own story. it was not given very much to work with. i mean, i said i was not going to read, but i'll read. the first sentence of article iii of the constitution that says "the judicial power of the united states should be invested
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in one supreme court and such inferior courts as the congress may from time to time dane and establish." that's kind it. it talks about the jurisdiction of the court and so on, but many, many unanswered questions including, for instance, there's no mention of the chief justice in article 3. we only infer there's supposed to be a chief justice because he's given, in article 2, the presidential article, the right to preside over -- not the right, the duty to preside over the impreachment trial of the senate for the president of the united states. remember william renquist did that in the bill clinton impeachment trial, and when he was later asked what it had amounted to, he said "i did nothing in particular, and i did it very well."
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the duties of the chief justice are undefined, and much about the supreme court initially was undefined. it really had to create itself, and it's done so not in a straight line progression, but it's done so through its cases, the cases that in the early years it had been put aside because it had little discretion over what to hear, and the cases these days, that it chooses to decide. even that was a choice by the supreme court. you know, most appellate courts today in this country, they have to take what comes, and so they act sort of as courts of review, courts of correction, and that was the supreme court's initial fate or so it seemed so william
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howard taft, the capstone after his presidency was becoming chief justice of the united states, and he sized this up, and he taut the court would greatly benefit from the ability to write its own ticket, create its own docket, not have to take every case that came along so under his leadership, his urging, congress passed in 1929 what's known as the judges' bill because all the judges of the country got bind this -- behind this effort and gave the court for the first time discretion over its dockets, and so that's the place with are today. we have a supreme court that is capable of and sets its own agenda, and in doing that, that sets the agenda for the country. you can watch this and other programs online at >> recounting 15 months engaged
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in historical war reenactments throughout the united states from the bookville raid to an imagine stalingrad in colorado. it's about 50 minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you, connie, and thank you to moe mans, my favorite bookstore in the world, seriously. my wife and i live in burbank, and we weekend in pasadena. you can find me in the history section camped out there if you're here on the weekends, and there's a strange person lurking around, that's b probably me because i'm completely obsessed with this bookstore, and i love it and support what romans does. i had to look up "gimlet" in the kicks -- dictionary when i got that review. i thought it was a drink or something. i think it's sharp. it's like middle english or something. i don't know. >> [inaudible] >> it was a nice review. tell that about the guy who blogged about me recently
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calling me an idiot. anyway, that's a whole other story. [laughter] thank you, all, very much for coming out. this is a real pleasure to speak in front of a crowd of readers and a crowd of roman supporters. i'd like to tell you a little bit about how the book started, how i got the idea to do this, and the real origin of the book was when i was in college, and i spent my junior year abroad. i had gotten the acting bug, and i really wanted to be, like, the next kenneth brana, and i went to london, studied shakespeare, and i fell head over heels in love with shakespeare, and when i came back i thought i can do this. i can make a living -- i felt more alive when i was speaking his language than when i did anything else in my life. i thought, what a great way to make a living, be a shaix --
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shakespearean actor. i got cast as romeo in "romeo and juliette." i got there, was in my cod piece and uniform, and then i got there and found it was shrunk into a half hour. it was the greatest hits of romeo and juliette. it was not like the wonderful year experienced in london. what you do is inhabit a character, talk to people, and act. i didn't know i was getting into any of this, but i was. i was always amazed and intrigued by seeing people show up to the fair dressed as
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elizabethans. there were ladies in dresses and knights in shining armour. i thought, why are they doing that? i'm paid $150 a week to dress up as an e liz -- elizabethan, and i thought, what is it about dressing up as a historical character that appeals to people? that stayed with me. i always wondered what was the attraction and why specifically are people attracted to a certain moment in time? they were not dressing up as romans. they were not dressing up as french and indian war reenactors, but elizabethans. what is it about a moment in time that attracts us? why are some people attracted to a moment in time? i think i'm one of the few people in the united states who say i grew up in a log cabin, which is true. i grew up in a log cabin built in 1740, and i grew up next to amish people.
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i'm one of the few people who can say that. i never really thought anything of this. this was just my normal life. i'm growing up in the house with crooked floor boards and dead mice, and it smells at times and it's mildewing and the people down the street have no electricity. this was the 19 # 70s or 1980s. i didn't think anything of it. it was my life. i wanted to get away from that life, go to the big city, be an actor. i wanted to see tall buildings and glass skyscrapers and have an exciting life. i did that. i went to new york. then i moved to los angeles in 2003. one of the things about moving to l.a. from the east coast when you are 30 years old is that all of the sudden, you feel very divorced from this east coast sort of traditional upbringing. that happened to me when i came out here. i was living in a part of the city that felt very new. you know, dated back really to the 1950s, and i felt very
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detached all of the sudden. that thing i took for granted growing up in a log cabin, living next to amish people, ect., ect., and all the sudden, i needed that in my life. one day, i was in the shower, loofaing, and my wife bursts into the bathroom, just out of nowhere says, if you could go back to college now and major in any subject, what would it be? i said, well, that's a good question. what would i do? i burst out history. even as i said it, i didn't quite put all the pieces together. i didn't quite understand what it was, but i felt with was missing in my life that i needed to learn about the past, that this would somehow make me a better person and citizen. not that long afterwards, we went down to old fort mcarthur. i don't know if anybody here has been there, but it's an old
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fort, and in early july, actually, just last weekend, two weekends ago, rather, they hold what's called a timeline event. that's where reenactors from all time periods show up, encamp at the old fort, set up tents, show weapons, dress in uniforms, and they talk about their particular moment in time. my wife and i went to this. i was just amazed because i didn't know that the reenactment hobby was so broad. i didn't realize that people, you know, dressed up as romans at that time or that there were kettles -- kelts or vikings or these time periods. when i was there, i noticed that there was one particular group that was not there, and so when i went home, i started googling in bed with the laptop propped
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on my knees, and i typed nazi reenactments, and the search came up with three results. people do this. it's on the interpret. they share the hardship with the world. after a little bit more searching, i discovered this website. it was called this was the website for an upcoming reenactment. it was a fascinating website. i mean, they had all the rules. they had photos. i couldn't tell if the photos were real or staged. they were that good. i sent them an e-mail. i said, hey, i live in los angeles, i'm a writer guy, can i come play along. they said, sure. so that's the first chapter. it's called "sleepless in stalingrad" because i was sleepless the entire time.
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now, i don't know if you've been to the plains of colorado. there's nothing there. i saw a tree and a bird. it's very flat. it's very cold. i was there in october. if you know anything about the battle, it was one of the most horrific battles of all time, between 1 million and 2 people died over seven months. stalin threw he could at the germans. it was awful, people freezing to death and body parts clinging to metal. it was terrible. these guys thought, oh, fun weekend. we did a forced march. i was dressed as a german. my last anytime is schroeder, interesting point. i saw a swastika on my pocket.
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interesting. i had never been through basic training, never served in the military. i, at the time, weighed 20 pounds more than i weigh now. i was not in shape to do this. i had no idea what i was getting myself into. we made it about six miles. the plan was that we were going to stop and spend the night in this shuttered one room schoolhouse that was a top a high plain, and the temperature was dropping fast. the night before, it dropped to 20 degrees, and we didn't have sleeping bags because we were being authentic. [laughter] i hadn't slept, a mixture of being in the presence of 70-90 snoring and parting men, and the frigid temperatures, i didn't sleep a wink. i, at this point in the story, i have not slept in 36 hours. [laughter] the sun has set.
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i'm lying in the middle of this one-room schoolhouse next up to a swept up pile of rat droppings, and i missed my wife. i think at the time i decided i would never complain about another thing as long as i live. i think i held to that pretty much since then because nothing could be worse than this. [laughter] what happens is that i'm lying there and all of the sudden a rancher comes home, and he has no idea that this is happening on his or near his property. comes home on a friday night, you know, in his truck, sees nazis hanging out in the schoolhouse, digging ditches, building bonfires. he has questions. [laughter] a voice in the darkness wrenched me back to the present. i wondered if i had fallen asleep, if i was summoned for guard duty. then some shadowing figure
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shined a flashlight in my face. let's go, guys, he said. no. what's going on, i asked, rising slowly. there's a guy outside claiming he has the lease on the schoolhouse and his pissed. a hand full of soldiers gathered tarps, shovels, canteens, rifles, and headed outside. a pickup truck idled in the middle of the road not far from the schoolhouse. high beams illuminated the dirt from here to eternity. moving supplies, filled in the craters dug for shelter. steam from the field kitchen wofted into the air in thick plumes. i sniffed around for information, but it washearted to gather. apparently the organizers had gotten approval from a local land owner to hold the event there, but not all the neighbors knew about it. when an uninformed cattle
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rancher drove by and saw 90nazis setting up camp and not to mention the tanks and horses, he freaked. now, the event's organizers were trying to calm him down so things wouldn't really get out of hand. i dumped all of my supplies next to a ditch that guys were filling in and asked what was up, if they heard updates, but they hadn't. one of them, a tall doe-eyed guy shrugged his shoulders and says this happens with this hobby. his thick lipped friend was livid. people usually look at us and think, that's cool, but this guy? he gestured at the parked pickup. why does he have to ruin everything? the truth came out why the rancher was irked. he didn't have a lease on the schoolhouse, but a vietnam vet with three bullet holes in the chest to prove it and didn't think this reenactment was cool
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at all. just educate people instead, he said from the safety of the truck. the air was tense, and i put the odds he was carrying a gun at 100% and the chance the ammunition like ours at approximately 0%. for all the sophisticated weaponry brought to the grown up version of coy boy and indians, this was the first real danger faced all day. while i was eavesdropping, one of the nazis got up in his grill, not helping matters. soon, two other trucks, friends of the rancher, arrived and parked 50 feet away at the nearby cross roads. with headlights shining and motors idling, it was a passive aggressive posture that bellowed, don't mess with colorado. one fair haired hitler youth, no more than 20 muttered, leave it to a dumb red neck to ruin it for everybody. [laughter] the rumor mill churned. the event was going to be
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canceled. we'd have to move for the night, ect., ect., and it didn't take long from mori real among the troops to dissen grate. i heard a guy talking about the long walks. some were now considering throwing in the towel. too much walking, not enough shooting one said. when i heard them utter the word "motel," i pounced on him. please, take me with you. what squad you in, he asked? i said, i couldn't remember its name. in a panic, i blurted out "california," and that's not a squad name they replied. please, i beg you, i can't feel my toes anymore. another hour, and i feared i would be the last german casualty on the eastern front. one of the guys who quit hitched a ride back to base camp. now he was returning in the pickup truck to pick up the
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rest. oh, all right, one said, taking pity on me. meet me at the crossroads in 15 minutes. okay, great, yes, thank you so much, thank you so much. [laughter] my cheeks were so cold, i could barely form the words. oh, boy, here's the cops, a guy said. i turned to see a squad car pull up, siren and lights off. the rancher had dialed 9-1-1 #. [laughter] the car stopped in front of the schoolhouse, grill to grill with the pickup, headlights beaming bright. a bald man and a beige gadget got out. a gold star pinned in the chest. he started chewing the fat with one of the nazis, but i couldn't hear what they were saying. they chatted for awhile as if what happened was a minor infraction like riding a bike on a sidewalk. it looked like things would be resolved. it looked like the reenactment would continue. then, in the distance, we all heard a low rumble.
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it sounded like one of those apocalyptic noises. loud, really loud. quickly getting really louder. the men immediately recognized what it was. their looks of horror telegraphed their disbelief. it was the russians. [laughter] they were launching a surprise attack. [laughter] nobody had told them there was a timeout on the field. [laughter] like lightning, two russian ba-64's light armored vehicles charged over a small hill, pedal to the medal. before anyone had a chance to flag them down, they opened fire on the slack jaws. bursts of flames spit out of narrow splits like a motor rised four wheeled dragon. the concussion was deafening, the trail of dust so great it nearly obscured the vehicle
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behind it firing as well. [laughter] the driver of the first vehicle never saw the flailing germans. he just spent all rounds and tore off into the darkness of the high desert. [laughter] a crowd of panicked germans ran to the second vehicle waving arms whistling and yelling "stop, stop firing, cut it out, knock it off! vehicle two sped ahead spitting out flaming until it halted after it almost ran over a desperate reand actor. the sky lit up with blue and red lights. the cop turned the patrol lights on and eyes bugging out of hides head. [laughter] that scared the shit out of me, he said. the hand in the car reaching for who knows what. [laughter] i don't carry blanks. [laughter] once the dust settled and everyone's hearts resumed normal rhythm, the cop turned back to the nazi-talking to.
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did they have m-4s then he asked? he looked at him in disbelief and replied world world war ii. i didn't stick around long enough to see how things ended. the truck with texas tags arrived at the designated corner, and i hoped in with a half dozen reenactment vets who couldn't take how hard core it really was. we sped away, hunching over to avoid the arctic wind. i prayed none of the remaining would shoot us in the back like we were warned, but no bullets ever came. the mood in the truck was grim. a heavy set guy sitting with the back against the cab muttered i was looking forward to this for five months, made sure everything was authentic, for this? nobody bothered to respond.
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so that is -- [applause] thank you. feel free to applaud. [applause] after that, i went to florida, and i reenacted the civil war because it was warmer. [laughter] i wish i had better motivation. actually, i do, but i thought maybe this would be a good time -- i do plan to read a little bit more, and i know i do have limited time, and "the dark knight" opens tonight, and i know you want to get to that. does anybody have questions now about the book, those who read it, reenactments or why i'm crazy? any questions about that? yes, in the front row. >> [inaudible] >> what did i learn about myself? is it on? >> what did you learn about yourself, charlie. >> okay. what did i learn about myself?
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okay. that's a great question. i'll say this is that one of the things i learned by the end of it is civic pride frankly. by doing this, i realized a couple things. i'm not a soldier at all, and i'm 40 years old and i'm passed that stage, thank goodness, but i was working on an op-ed recently about war and about soldiers and about the draft, and it's more serious than this book, and i recognized i am none of those thing, and i'd be a terrible -- i wouldn't -- i would not be an asset, but a liability to troops in battle. [laughter] seriously. like, i met a vet recently, and i said, hey, how -- have you changed at all since the war, you know, and he, said, yeah, i wish we didn't have the draft because those guys were useless. he was saying, like, it was an
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interesting -- we hear about the draft as being something the civilians don't want, but the military doesn't want it too, and, you know, this is an interesting debate going on right now, and i thought that was interesting that he said that because i thought of him, like how i would be. i would, i mean i hate to say this, but i don't know if i could live, frankly, by doing this. by being a soldier. i don't think i have the fortitude for it. also, i'll address the other point, other answer to my question -- if i can read another part? >> [inaudible] >> what i learned about history is a pride where i lived and that it's so important when you're studying history to care very deeply about the place where you live because we all live here. we're all citizens of los angeles, and the more we know about the place we live, the more we respect it, the better care we take of it so those are some things i learned a lot
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more, but those are two things that just really stood out to me because that was the military and civilian thing. the book is not just about military reenactment. i wanted to cover the hobby from 360 degrees so i just didn't embed with people who were battling. i did civilian reenactments because it's important to include those into it. i didn't really -- i focused mostly on hobbyists, people are not getting paid. they are volunteering. these are not people hired by parks. they are not historical interpreters. those are different. there are those paid to do it, but insetted to focus on people investing their time and energy into this hobby. any other questions? yes? >> what made you think of
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putting these reenactments into a book? >> opposed to something else or -- i have no talent for those things, and i struggle to collaborate with others. those are collaborative mediums. the idea of making a film or documentary film or a television show or doing it in that form, whatever, it's so daunting to me. i mean, this was daunting enough, but it was just me and the paper. to have a crew and that organizational skills that you need to pull off something like that is beyond my capability i m afraid. i liked being an actor, being collaborative, but it was not nearly the responsibility that the producers and the directors and those people brought to it. in terms of a narrative scrim, i wanted to do it, you know, it has to be real for me. it has to be a portrait of real people doing it, and so i just felt the book was the best
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medium for that. i saw another hand, yes. >> what did you find was the most common, like, motivation for the actual reenactors because yours was curiosity to start with. what was theirs? why did they do it? >> great question and hard to answer. i would say the one thing that pretty much everybody said that they all have in common, despite their political differences, and there are right winged people doing this and very left winged people doing this, people attracted to ancient rome to the vietnam war. they all believe in the second amendment. [laughter] that's, you know, that was interesting. i liked hearing the arguments on the left and right as the second amendment rights, but they were all pretty much believers. whether they were firing a weapon or not, they all pretty much stood by that, and in terms
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of motivation, i mean, so many different reasons why. heritage. i embedded with a guy named rick fox, was a bassist of a heavy metal hair band called wasp, and he dressed up as one from poe land in the 17th century. here's polish. this was a way of honoring poland in a good, honest way. they were not dumb polish jokes you hear, but really astoundingly flamboyantly dressed calvary men from the 17th century. other people getting away from modern life was another big reason. fascination with the military. different time periods attract different people. typically, if people are reenacting a strong military, they are inclined that way, and they are often vets, reservists,
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or soldiers themselves. fascination with rome, germans, strongest army in world war ii, you know, and other, you know -- the civil war i should say is the most popular. it's hard to estimate the numbers, but about 50,000 people reenagent the civil war, and certainly, people in the south do it for different reasons than people in the north or out here if the west. it's a really hard answer to, you know, it's hard to shrink that down. yes, connie? >> was a particular group more fanatical than the rest, or was any more committed and intense about doing the reenactments? >> yeah, basically, what you have, at least in the united states, is you have a couple ways in which things are reenacted. there are private events, and
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there are public events, okay? typically, the public events are ones that have happened on american soil, and those reenactments actually happen at the battle sites themselves. for example, i did the french and indian war at old fort niagara in upstate new york. on the other hand, i did a rowman reenactment, and rome didn't happen here. it's kind of happening now, but it didn't happen here, and so those, quote, "foreign," if you can call them that, those happen typically on private property because there is no site to hold that on. those reenactments tend to be, i found, the more, quote, "fanatical," in that there's no audience, and so you are not just the participant, but you are also the audience member, and so the way in which it's structured is very much for you
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to get an experience of being there. reand actors call that the period rush. it was the "i was there moment," and i really got hit with a rock from whatever or an arrow or, you know, somebody hit me or whatever, you know, an i felt like i was in 1066, you know, and that happened to me, mostly in those situations because there were not people out there dressed up like us today remining me of where i was, and, really, it doesn't take long, i have to say. i was talking to somebody last week about the stanford experiment where they had guards and prisoners, and, i believe, correct me if i'm wrong, happened with the stanford students, and, you know, intellectual, bright, young, affluent kids or privileged kids go to stanford, very smart, and
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within three days, the guards were beating the crap out of the prisoners. i mean, like, they were, like, that would never happen. why would that happen? you put them in the situation, and it happens. the longer you are immersed in the worlds, the easier it is to kind of forget like where you are, and that definitely happened to me on a number of occasions so those events were the ones where, i, you know, i used the word "fanatical" because it was, like, no, we're eating only the food they ate. rome, by the way, best thing to reenact if you like food. the mediterranean food has not changed. [laughter] grapes, wine, perfect. better than a heart attack. [laughter] someone else had a question over here. >> what did you find to be the easiest aspect of writing the book, and what were the most difficult aspects of writing the book? >> nothing easy about writing the book. nobody teaches you how to write an 87,438 word book.
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the longest thing i ever wrote was 2,000 words so, you know, it's funny, i think -- i'm hoping it's excerpted in a magazine, and i've been working on excerpts for this chapter, and i was like, i get to rewrite the book. you say, oh, that needs to be cut, who wrote that? you know, in terms -- one of the things -- it was of a learning process for me.. ..
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i didn't have a lot else what to compare to, so as i was learning i would start coming stuff from earlier chapters and is trying to fit that in later and i'd like to see anybody here that is a writer or tried to write. still to this day i look at writing find this in place to go every morning at 8 a.m. to write and i was like that's ridiculous. i wrote this book in like everywhere. pizza joints, on my lunch break, public transportation, numerous hotels in las vegas, don't ask. i was out there on work and was
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like close the blinds in las vegas. i find writing to be really, really hard, and i hope that anyone here that is a writer i hope that you do, too. i find it to be really difficult. when the book came out or when we had finished draft i read it all out loud and that really helped me. any place that velt clunky because i write it out loud because i wanted it to be compatible as the review said. any other questions? yes, ma'am. can you call my editor clacks she asked if i have an audio version. unfortunately the data will be
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interesting for you to read it. >> i think i would enjoy it in an honorable form. >> yes, thank you. thank you. anybody else every, raise your hand. any other questions. yes, david. you want to -- did they have denise krepp selwa? >> that's a great question. >> thank you very much. i will say this, the roman re-enactment that i did in this tiny little town population 385 is like arkansas they've built a 26,000 square foot replica on server report with the towers and emote and it's like this will compound and there's a house on the health its mind blowing that they took the scenario very seriously. so, i will say this if there
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wasn't a dialogue but there was an alpine to what happened and i wrote in the book i have no idea will was going on. it's like there was speaking have flattened -- latin. i can't even understand it in a standard american accent. but, so no. they had a very clear devised scenario much more so i think then some of the other events. this one felt very scripted, heavily scripted. they are the moments people would come and they were like for joining us. i have killed the celt. there was one moment, actually funny moment where i was by the tense, and i was like the sample i was trying to tie my symbol
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together and i was by myself and i was in the middle of the fort and there was nobody around and this guy came up and was like a kcal by present you with this clothing. there's nobody around. they don't even know that i am in here. scripted in some regards but i don't know if they had rehearsed it. so i was blown away. it's like i'm an actor, i did it for an audience, and if they become the audience themselves, and that was like the one where i put that together the the was the objective coming umar the participant and the audience member at the same time. we are now faced with friends he was like i killed that were kelt.
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i was like you did. [laughter] i saw one other hand glove. yes. >> can you talk at all about some of the interpersonal politics or the politics between the groups? that's something we talked about that fascinates me. >> sure. this is a roman by the way. and a professor. that is a great question. a lot of the group's do have very differing opinions because this is a hobby. nobody is getting paid. everybody is doing it voluntarily coming and there are a lot of time commitments coming and you sort of need like a theater company. you need a benevolent dictator. really to kind of say look, they are probably 25 legions or so inside the united states. and they are regional so you are a part of your local region what
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say coming and what you have there are people who want to do it for different reasons. they are finding out different things and correcting each other, and so there is -- there can be this very contentious and i was on a few boards and i would see them going back and forth, just call each other out on stuff, and i think it's probably good to have that sort of dialogue. it can probably erode some of the groups, but just because you are into this and he is into this doesn't mean that you are all going to agree on how it should be interpreted or what the objective of the group is. one of the fascinating things a little slide to about rome he is the roman group that i work with your, the intellectuals, professors, another member as a coin dealer, one of the renowned queen dealers in the world, in the south the legion, one of the
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legion's they're very biblically oriented, they will perform like sort of passion plays in local churches. so depending what region you are in also you find people are attracted to a particular moment in time for different reasons. so, you find out here i didn't find the religious aspect but certainly in the south there was that aspect from rome in particular. any other questions? yes? >> or any other countries during this? >> definitely here up. i would say it is sort of the west -- it is a western phenomenon. the only effort by found of any and other eastern country and in the re-enactment is japan. to leave your and military power, or you were and empirical power, global power of one plan
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or another roar of leased a regional power, war doesn't have the connotations that it might have in the countries that have been defeated and so you don't find in the countries that have banff's the victim's with a keen interest in hiring it as a hobby. >> of a western phenomenon in england it's popular that the deeper history than we have the american civil war and enacting is very popular in england. i think it is actually the most popular reenactment believe it or not. yes? >> are there any recent war like afghanistan being enacted? >> no. there are people who are collecting of.
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u.s. re-enactment and history for the lack of a better phrase show and tell from the people put out uniforms and weapons and collect because the interest is in the uniform from 2000 ford and that's not the uniform anymore the camouflage has changed or what have you. the most recent war that has any numbers is vietnam and i did reenact that which was the most disturbing reenactment. i did that on private property in the middle of virginia, and that was -- there was stuff that happened there that was quite disturbing. for me. >> why don't i read -- of course. so, by the end of the book to answer the question again one of
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things i learned a civic pride and ask me will you become a reactor is it something you are going to stick with and so i didn't really think that what. i was fascinated by the alladi and i had a great time doing it, but i didn't really think that i would continue at the restaurant to ask myself what would i do? what were the choices that i did meet and in some regards this is my chance to sort of editorialize, and i hope that this last chapter sort of three deals not only my sense of humor but also my civic pride and i wanted to do something with the place i live and that is difficult to los angeles because the history isn't that long and it's not all that a parent. we have paved over the history. i decided that i was going to do something, and that was to walk
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between the los angeles missions dressed as a spanish writer. i wanted to do something the was civilian and something that would ambushes street where you dress up and go out in public. what is he doing? and look and give you a double take and then wandered. this is what was happening right here to enter years ago. the first order of business there were down between the missions and they called at el camino ralph were the king's highway. i would love to follow the footsteps but unfortunately today in many parts it is a 101 freeway. seeing as how it would result in certain deaths i did what any educated man of the day would do. i let natwest route my journey.
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one day i open my laptop and insert the addresses and a trace the 26-point file as it zigzags from san gabriel through the familiar terrain. the neighborhoods and communities of san marino, south pasadena, glendale, burbank, sun valley and pacoima eyes and into the cluster of lead in the roots, residential and commercial districts, the freeway overpasses, the airports, schools and recreational centers, the busy six lane boulevards and the streets of affluent suburbs. to my surprise i saw that it passed within 300 fight to become feet. for seven years i lived right in the middle of history and i didn't know it. once i determined my course i started planning of the logistics which were impossible to replicate in the 21st century when they walked in the native territory they accompanied the
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men carried their food and supplies. i decided to compare the two and in list friends that wouldn't mind carrying a backpack filled with water, food and fly years that i passed out along the way. i decided each shift into a 5-mile stretch roughly one-fifth of the total journey. my wife volunteered to be the first one and i was excited for her to join me. it was the first re-enactment she had seen me deutsch and after a year of leaving town of time and space i was happy to share some of my experience with her. during those months later at a number of books on a mission that was surprised to find one of my favorite factoids while reading a children's book. apparently at one point rats had infiltrated this and handle from greenery. to get rid of them they borrowed half from san gabriel. i decided to incorporate the episode and to my walk as a sort of objective for my character.
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you know, just in case somebody asked me what i was up to. the day after i read as we headed to toys r us where i bought a small stuffed black-and-white cat. this is the most important step if you don't look good in authentic year than what is the point. a hard core reactor would have found the sheep, spawned the will and i opted for a more efficient approach. i ordered my brown habit from an online costume store about to have a good time in this. even the most imperfect sold can achieve the look of spiritual profession with this costume. i have it came with a cross and a silly way. but i figured if i was going to cut corners on my door i had to have on the here so i decided to shave it into my very own a friars chaka if you well with it sounded like a good idea at this
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time with. the night before the law chronicle for the elderly january i went back to the salon where i had gotten my hair cut. in the intervening 15 months the price had risen from $7 to eight and loretta who styled maidu no longer worked there. to give my hairdresser a visual idea of what i want i printed a few pages of hair cuts from the internet. after waiting nervously for five minutes i was approached by a woman with shoulder length hair. are you ready, she asked in an accent? i stood up and looked her in the eye. yes, i think. are you? i handed her the images fearing she would think i was a planned and a hidden camera show but to my surprise she didn't flinch in fact she studied them quickly like the coke consulting a recipe. i'm walking between the missions. i said nervously but she didn't respond. she just continued to consider
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the strange hair. you see, i don't really want to do this. i'm writing a book and it's going to be the last chapter and what is funny is i like my hair far too much to shave it off. she lifted her eyes towards me and kept her head down. a great painter looking at a canvas putative finally she spoke, whispered a really. okay, she said. i used to work at a salon in hollywood. people want strange hair but i think you must wear a hat. [laughter] i pulled one out of my back pocket. already thought of that. it's hard to believe the medieval practice was only abolished in 1973 by pope paul paul vi until only a fringe of hair remained that was meant to resemble the crown of thorns and a designated amount of been received into the clerical order. it wasn't as many people
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summarized a hideous bald spot made famous by a to be fryer from sherwood forest. while the hair cuts had a short time to style i took the better part of an hour. by the time she finished i looked like a cross between st. francis and jim carrey in dumb and dumber. clumps of hair slicked down the front of the cave in a cool breeze shoulder buy nearly expertise expressed. i found courage to look in the mirror. wow, i said. shocked to scream or cry. the 11 years of pre-shut down the drain. i'm sure none of the instructors of the cosmetology school of roster of the fashion and yet despite this the in her first effort it was flawless, scarily flawless. she was my st. paul mitchell. i handed her the mirror and she looked at me very sincerely and said now would be a good time for the hat. i ended up paying double for the hard work and sleep outside into
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the dark alley way that leads to the apartment. when i reached the door i slid the key slowly so when he wouldn't hear me. once inside i left the baseball cap on, kicked off my shoes in this neck to the bathroom so i could wash off the ag here but halfway she spotted me. let's see, she said. just a minute i have to take a quick shot when i said first - into the shower shutting the door. i took off my clothes and lather up my temple with shaving cream to tidy up the remaining stubble. a darling, i want to see, when the cry from the other side of the door. not now. i make it. we are married, she said and flung open the door. no, she said seeking might be white scheldt. nope. i could have closed the door but i figured she needed to see me in all of my nastiness so she could start acclimating. i need to tie the of the temple i said dragging a razor and on the side of my head. a theory that stubbly. darling, she said darling, she said tiering that. no, no.
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it's okay. i said. it will grow back. no, no, no, she said. the only time i had seen her like this was the time that i ron ackley told her one day our cats would die. i'm saying it's inevitable that one day they won't be here. at that moment every hiccup of intelligence lost and a shower of gold tear from her and nothing i said would stop them. now what was happening again. i feel cold, she said grubbing her stomach. i'm shivering in my tummy. i feel like i'm on the edge of a cliff. hey, i said approaching with outstretched arms. will only be for a day but by that time i utter those words she bolted out of the bathroom. a couple months earlier she had approved of my idea and had known for a while i was going to get my hair cut, so i couldn't understand why she was somewhat said. i turned around to resume shaving but when i looked in the mirror i didn't recognize the person staring back at me. he was naked in a ring of
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parents are called his head, shaving cream smeared around his ears. i raised my head and he raised his. i slid the razor down my face and so did he. but the guy in the mirror looked like a crazy person. [laughter] i flashed back to the time at old fort niagara when john said to be a reactor the first thing you ought to do is admit to yourself that you are a little crazy. i had officially arrived. thank you've very much. [applause]
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the way that i got the idea was i recall a man in the new york time the was a sort of case study of a young woman who had spent almost ten years digging into the present and she was wondering how they had affected her. in the column mentioned that there was very little scientific research that could talk about the way that these drugs have affected children's development
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as they were growing up. so that got me curious to read the studies don't exist but i myself had been taking medication since i was a teenager. and i figured there must be a huge numbers of people in my position and i would be curious to hear their story and get their take on how it's turned out for them.
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fifth off is really a the 18th-century the journalism start off in this country in 1704 as a very puny an unimpressive kind of enterprise, the very first newspapers were very small, have circulations in the dozens and in the low hundreds, and they were intimidated by the other institutions in that society, especially church and state and compared to them, these newspapers were not at all important and very much under the thumbs. what you see over the next couple of decades is a process by which the newspapers become increasingly political in much the focus on coming and they get to be bold for the reasons i going to in the book is that by
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the 76 keys and certainly by the 17 seventies, they are in full throat expressing themselves and all kind of political issues of the day on independence from britain or reconciliation with other countries on what if we break what kind of a government should we have? all these huge questions and the press becomes quite polemical during this period. it's often the product people are reading are often produced anonymously or some ominously people who don't want to be known as political partisans comment that is the nature of the press of the founders were familiar with. that press was very local, small scale, most of those newspapers had very little what we would think of as the original
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reporting, nonfiction material that the staff had generated that wasn't really in the cards so as we see the return to the more polemical style today in journalism, it's not something that is unanticipated or doesn't fit into this constitutional scheme. who invented reporters? we tend to think as reporters and journalists as seven months -- sen them is what they did -- synonnums. benjamin day created the first copies sold for a penny a day. going on the market trying to reach the broad possible audience, and to do that, she wanted to fill up with a
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surprising and amazing things everyday. five years, news from the police stations, docking of the ships, anything like that that he could find and he wore himself out trying to fill the paper said he hired the first full-time reporter, the man who named george who regrettably was an obscure figure in american journalism history but i will try to do something about that. >> when did journalism become a business? that is the period that you are describing the colonial period doesn't sound like it was -- how sorted this support itself? >> most of the papers were created by people that were in another trade that is they were printers and to keep print shop busy brought their customers to the shop so the kissell stationery on the side or sell
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them a book while they were in their three they hit upon the idea of a newspaper as the perfect device. it expires every weekend everyday once it is picked up and so, most of those first enterprises were a side line of someone who you would think of as a job printer, open to printing all kinds of stuff from anybody who had business and then it is another that revolutionary period certainly deily federal period where you see the sideline this appears that the newspaper itself becomes the focus. the daily paper in the country is founded in 1783 and once the city gets to be a certain density there is enough commerce and population in the early part of the 19th century they get going and take off in the 1830's >> that's when it's fair to say
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for the first time journalism is a business. it's good by then. >> what are you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> i've got that going right now, and i have on the stand next to my bed paul krugman's latest book from the summer because i really do want to end of this depression now. i received as a deft i remembered nothing and i plan to read that. i liked happy endings and she was good for hagee and decide on to finish that. and robert's new book on lbj. i've read several lbj autobiographies and fascinated with him and sort of --
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book tv has been traveling the country speaking with professors and authors as part of the college series. this month we visited colombia is university and sat down with nelson to talk about her book body and soul the black panther party and the fight against medical discrimination. it's about 15 minutes. columbia university author of body and soul. why was the black panther party founded originally? >> the black panther party founded originally because the dissatisfaction with the economic issues in the united states were. what's interesting about the black panther party and other founding period is that they are found it right after some of the greatest successes of the civil rights movement, so the
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legislation that brings the voting rights act and civil rights act so i think with 40 years of vision and we can see part of the panthers were doing is responding to what was left undone by the is important civil rights movements. is to make in their view what was left undone? >> people are still hungry. people still lacked basic with a sunburst of human rights, food, clothing and also health care, just basic fundamental things that people lacked in american society particularly for african-americans. >> who were the founders? >> bobby seale, who are interesting because they're interesting historical figures and magnets from the south, so the black panthers' story is partly a great migration story so their families come from texas and louisiana to oakland and find themselves in the center of history half a decade
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later. >> your book focuses on the medical care for coming and you write that the black panther party they were the heirs to the mostly on chartered tradition of the african-american health politics >> we haven't looked closely enough the fact that the civil rights tradition, even if we just think about the 20th century because it was always a medical traditions of things that we understand, the forms of discrimination, jim crow and the racial segregation that we understand was a part of the elite by a sentry african-american life also included health care. if we go back across the 20th century to the organizations and the initiatives that we think of as being important for the civil rights tradition, in this health care is always there so one way of thinking about the black panther party is to present this genealogy of people like marcus garvey who had econ to become
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nurses and people like the student from violating coordinating committee which people know about but also had medical arms that tended to activists in the civil rights movement eventually the local communities. so, we need to understand the black panthers turned to health care. there was something that was a strategic and internal to what they were dealing with in the late 1960's and the early 1970's but also as part of a larger tradition and a black activism responding to medical discrimination. >> so, what transpired with the black panther party and medical care? >> lots of interesting things. the head by the late 1960's and network of health clinics. was mandated in the party by a the 1970's that every chapter of the party if you were going to be a black panther chapter and by 1968, 69 your screen in a pullover because the panthers had captured the attention of the whole generation of disaffected young people. so by that time if you were going to start a chapter of you
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had to have a health care clinic putting it within the clinics, the of the largest basic preventive care. it was often referrals to care for people who had more serious issues coming and they often that i think things like genetic screening. sedated genetic counseling and screening for sickle cell anemia. well before it was a national issue or before we were talking about the sickle cell anemia as we are today there were often involves an early attempt to challenge so she'll biology seven or linking the bodies to issues like violence and other kinds of fuel problems. >> where did they get the funding for these clinics? >> the funding came from all sorts of places. they were very -- server strategic and in the reading of the funding. so, for example in winston-salem north carolina they ran the service and a part of the funding came from the diocese of north carolina.
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they also solicited donations from medical supply companies comfortable. there were donations from the doctors that i interviewed who worked with the black panther party and would get donations from hospitals or the medical center's where they were residents and the like and they just really pulled it together. they were really dependent on a local collaborations' including a particular collaboration with other health care activists and doctors and nurses, technologies and health professions that shared the black panther party perspective and the desire for social change. >> who were some of them that work on these health clinics? >> one interesting physician i spoke to was harry cooper a psychologist. he had to establish what was called the free peoples medical clinic and los angeles in south central los angeles was located on central avenue command was founded in 1969, december of 1969, and he was at the time may
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president, psychiatry president so he would help the panthers to start that clinic and he would actually want to be involved with other paynter activities over the course of his career. there was also an interesting position that never joined the party was the personal physician and he was the personal physician to angela davis when she was in the county jail. he also saw george jackson said he is very much involved in the party and never joined the party. and this is the time that he was in oakland and was an intern at oakland hospital. and he helped the party to start of strategizing of getting the sickle cell anemia program recognized, and the southwest he helped the party goer not to the chapters telling and educating their rank-and-file members of the party of the sickle cell anemia. as the mexican professor nelson, why are you writing about this now? it is a debate that we just had in this country?
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>> certainly in conversation and i draw this connection in the book. i think a part of that is interesting is that 45 years after the black panther party was founded, we still had some of the issues that we are talking about are the issues that have sort of been the return of the press that have come back in public discourse with regard to win the affordable care act. swiss health care wright, who should pay for it, sure everybody have a baseline level of health care and these were the issues that 45 years ago the panthers for talking about. but then they seemed far more radical effect. they may seem radical still right now, but it is interesting that they have sort of shifted into the mainstream this course in that particular sort of way. i think also i am writing of this now because i was initially interested in writing about the hiv/aids epidemic in the black communities, and the difficult to are the struggle of black communities face in combating the epidemic in the early 1980's when it emerged given the sort
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of history and trajectory of the civil-rights struggle and the success of the civil-rights movement. they've been effective in organizing and mobilizing them on the various sorts of issues particularly in the late 20th century. and so i wonder where did all of that energy in those institutions and those networks go and by the time we got to the 1980's. so that is where i began. and i think like many historical or sociological projects, you find yourself going back ten years or so before. the other chapters from there. >> what is the legacy of some of the free clinics? to they still exist? >> they don't exist at the pander clinics but they are to legacies that are worth noting. one is that some of my research was done at the university of washington and the special collections because there was a very successful black panther chapter in seattle for many years, and part of doing my
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research and historical research was also introduced but i also bought from the neighborhood and tried to get a sense of where the clinic headquarters located and these were the headquarters and these sorts of things. it was 44 years after one for the essence of it myself felt like and walking around seattle i was -- i discovered the family medical center, which is now an ngo. it is a nonprofit medical center in seattle that is named for the former member of the black panther party. and so, you know, one of the questions i get asked about the book is why didn't we know anything about the black panther activism, and one of the curious things in the seattle case is here you have a clinic that is named for the former black panther. if you look into the clinic and there is a photograph of her and there is a plaque that says this clinic is working in the tradition of the black panther party and the very much
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recognizes the contributions of the black panther party in the fight against medical this commission and the struggle to expand health care access. supply next exists today. it's a sliding scale clinic that results people and the city of seattle. another legacy a more bittersweet legacy is the formation of the common ground health collective which exists now as an ngo in louisiana. and in 2005, after the hurricane katrina on august of 2005, as you will recall, there was the health care infrastructure collapse of new orleans. some, many people were left saturday in the places like the charity hospitals. a lot of the first responders, doctors and nurses were allowed to leave the city and the serve of catastrophic situations. and some you have not only the total infrastructure of new orleans collapsing the the health care infrastructure more particularly. and then in a few days of her to discover can katrina sort of watching through new orleans the
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common ground collective the start providing very basic preliminary health care services for the people of reman the city and one of these three people is a gentleman that was a member of the black panther party of new orleans. when you talk about the grout clinic with these two other people, the doctors and activists, he said very freely about the reason that he felt like he could do this, that he could pull this off in the face of all of this catastrophe is that they had done similar work in the black panther party to be this, we have to understand for the block pander party activism. >> is very distressed in the african-american community towards health care? i hate to say health care what i'm thinking specifically of the tuskegee syphilis experiment. as a mature. absolutely. it's an important question
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because the 48 anniversary of tuskegee is actually this july. so, yes, there's a distrust. we see the distrust and the public of literature and still the accounts and these sorts of things and historical literature you see the distrust goes way back across the 20th century, and the black panther party was partly responding to that. they wanted in their clinics to have doctors that were approachable and accountable that would agree to communicate in certain ways with their patients and to treat them with respect and with appropriate care. support for the black panther party was doing was dealing with the issue of this trust by changing the dynamic of the patient dr. mcinturff action. that is one way by making the patient still in power when they encountered as opposed to always stealing and kind of subjugated by the encounter. but one of the interesting things about the black panther party with regard to tuskegee is the health care work begins before tuskegee is revealed in
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"the new york times" and july of 1972. so, i think thinking about this one of the things we might want to think about the black panther party is this sort of sets the stage in the terms of the debate around issues of race and health and mistrust and what can be done with them and it was that conversation or that setting the tuskegee revelations for the winter comes of the black panther party has three or four years before they were revealed and had already been talking heavily about health care issues and issues of race and health and mistrust. estimate was that like? >> i did. the anniversary was interesting because people come from all over the country. a different fractions of the party people but maybe get 50 or 20 years ago wouldn't be speaking to each other because the had different ideas of the party work should have been. they come from all over the country and sometimes all over the world, and they tell their stories did they tell what is
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more and useful for the book was with the called the chapter histories of people the remaining members of the truckers would come and talk about the work that they did and they would create a sort of collective account. memory if you deal with any historical it's very piecemeal and what was interesting about the chapter history is that one person would say i remember this and they would stand corrected or the sort of things. and, you know, there are also lots of young people. there was always like myself and there were also just young people there were interesting and activist of interest in the legacy of the party, so it is a very a eclectic dynamic and interesting setting. islamic hewey newton and bobby are still alive. >> shelia newton is deceased. she was killed by believe in the late 1980's. he is still speaking about the black panther party work on a regular basis. >> why did the party the standard?
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>> several reasons. there was the fbi counterintelligence program which was actually quite successful doing a few things, installing the agent provocateurs that created some of the discord that exists now in the party between different factions. people were actually buying and part of what i write about in the book is the health programs there is a way the health programs respond to the fact members of the party were buying in conflict with the police and state authorities. politics just change so the party ends on the early 1980's and the world changed between 68 and 80. activists -- it's easier when
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you are 18 or 20 you don't have a mortgage or children, but the stakes can be often a lot lower for being an activist and the stakes of being an activist or high so part of it was aging and the national cycle of the organizations as well. >> coming up on the 50th anniversary of the black panther party is there another book from you? >> there isn't another book on the party but i continue to write about african-americans engagement with issues of health and science. >> alandra nelson that teaches sociology here at columbia university this is her book body and soul of the black panther party in the fight against medical discrimination published by the university of minnesota.
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the way that i got the idea is i read a column in "the new york times" was a sort of case study of a young woman that had spent almost 20 years taking anti-depressant, and she was wondering how they had affected her. the head of scientific research that could talk about the way that the drug is affected children development. that got me curious. the studies don't exist but i myself have been taking medication since i was a teenager. there must be huge numbers of people in my possession to hear the stories and get their take on what has turned out for them
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blank >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> we ought to take advantage of it.
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>> when semidey had their own agenda. >> it's a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve on a window as the path to what was going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief confidante any way the only one of the world's can trust. islamic many of the women that for first lady's. estimate they were human beings and the husbands if only because they are not first and foremost to find the women by political ambition. >> catv to she was both at bat and politically savvy. >> she loved every minute of it. this is monroe hated it, absolutely. >> she horned her husband you can't do it without including
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what women want and what women have to contribute. >> during the statement you were a little breathless with too much looking down, and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change of pace. islamic it's probably the most tragic of all of the first lady's petraeus connect she wrote in her memoir of i myself never made any decisions. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. stop and think about how much power that is. that is a lot of power. >> part of the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. estimate she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and flourish
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as a result. i don't know how many presidents realistically have that kind of impact on the way that we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds, i am constantly reminded about all of the people that have lived there before, and particularly all of the women. >> first lady's influence and image, a new series on c-span, produced in cooperation the white house historical coming in >>bruary, 2013. >> when we talk about theat founding fathers, what is the year that we are talking about ? and the events that we areut talking about? >> we are talking about theoluto american revolution command of the riding of the constitution.e those are the two key events, mj and everybody who played a major
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role can plan to be a founding father they had careers beforeer the revolution and the younger ones had a career that went on quite a few years after the sng signing of the constitution. ofe but that is what we are talkingd ab yout. >> who are some of the older ones franklin, the oldest, born in 1706. he knows cotton mather and the died in 1790. he signs both the declaration of independence and the constitution. the last to die was james madison. he is born in 1751, and then he do is in 1836. 85 years old. so, he has seen the fight over missouri being admitted to the union. he sees nullification crisis but he is the last one.
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aaron byrd. but that's the other side. the dark side. >> host: in 2006, you wrote wow what would the founders do," wwfd, and in that book you write: the founders invite our questions now because they invited discussion when they lived. they were dry in public speeches and in journalism. >> guest: that's right. they set up a republic and they're very proud of doing that, and this is unique -- virtually unique in the world. there were -- holland had been kind of a republic but that was going down the tubes so this was a unique form of government, and compared to all the competitors, month no, okays and whatnot, it's open. it's based on popular rule and, yes, of course, the franchise
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was restricted but still there is a franchise. so, voters, the electorate, has to be appealed to, has to be brought long and instructed, and they do this constantly. a lot of them are journalists. they write for the newspapers. some of them are professional journalists, alexander hamilton founds a newspaper that is still going on, the new york post. he founded it. was the first publisher. benjamin franklin was a great publisher, sam adam was a publisher. it's hard to think of founders who didn't write journalism. george washington didn't. but that is very rare. even someone like james madison who didn't like or was great at it, he screwed himself up and wrote 29 federalist papers which
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were op-ed pieces in newspapers. so these guys, these men, know that they have to put themselves out there for the american public, which is their con constitute tune si. >> host: no it alls. >> guest: well, know it alls. they were well educated. it's a little country. the colleges we have -- he have a handful of colleges. they're tiny. harvard or kings college, which becomes columbia, or yale or princeton, they have a few dozen students. unlike the thousands that they have today. but most of these men were college graduates. those who weren't made sure they read all their lives. they felt they had to be up on
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both the news of the day and the political theory of the day. they all knew their -- if you listen to their debates you would have thought that moscue the celebrate. and the knew their english history, their recent english history and they're ancient history. the history of the classical world. the history of rome and greece. the didn't always admire what they read. in hamilton and the federalist papers he says the history of the little greek city states is disgusting because they all -- they go through cycles of tyranny and chaos and whatnot and that's what he hopes america can avoid. but that's a negative example. so you have to know the negative examples as well. >> host: you say -- tell me if i'm paraphrasing this wong -- our founding fathers were less
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well-traveled, perhaps even less sophisticated, than high school seniors today or veterans from iraq and afghanistan. >> guest: well, sure. it's harder to get around the world. and a crossing of the atlantic ocean takes 20 davis -- days if you're lucky. it can take 80 days of you fall in iceberg and storms. john adams crosses the atlantic and the ship is struck by lightning and everybody has to pump until they make landful. the passengers have to take turns because the ship is filling with heart. so it is hard, it is hard to get around. it's hard to get around the united states. to go from new york city to albany, new york, if you took a hours, that would take you three
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days, on our own horse or a coach. if you took a boat up the hudson, that would take three days if the wind was right. if the wind was bad it could take you a couple -- ten days to get from new york city to albany. and now on a train it's like, what, few hours. so, yes, there are restrictions that come from not being able to get around. but the flip linda platt
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next, peter piot who's been on the front line in the fight against aids talks about his career. he is the executive director of the joint united nations program on hiv/aids and the author of no time to lose a life in pursuit of deadly viruses. he was interviewed at an event hosted by the council on foreign relations in new york city. this is an hour. ..
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>> where did all this gull come from? >> i'm actually pretty timid and shy person. >> oh, yeah right. [laughter] >> somebody from the flappedder -- philander where my mom said speaking is silver and silence is gold. first of all, i had an incredible urge for discovery from when i was a child and when i was a teenager, i worked for a travel agency, and went one month to morocco and another month to turkey at a time there was no tourism infrastructure. at 10, i had a goal in life which was to get out of here, get out of the village, which was a kind of conservative
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phlegmish village, but there was the curiosity for things which was to dispair of my mother and whole family because when i was like this, i always asked why. drove everybody nuts, you know, that was the kind of kid that i was, and not to annoy people, but i really wanted to know. i also had not much respect for hire hierarchy and authority. so, yeah, that's why i said, yeah, let's go for it, and let's do it, and it's not because, you know, i'm 27. also, later on, most people who are more seniority and experienced, they actually were not so jumping up and down to fly to zahir. >> they knew what a hell hole it would be. you didn't. [laughter] >> yeah, yeah, i guess so. >> but coming away from the way you described the episode, there's four things that, i think, are the key experiences
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or realizations, the ah-ha moments for you in 1976 episode because this strange test tube and this 27-year-old flying to africa for the first time is, as it turns out, the epidemic, and the four things. we, first, you experience africa and fall in love with africa. >> right. >> secondly, you discover internationalism and all the difficulties of coordinating and working to the with scientists and all sorts of other foams from around the world. you discover the relationship between global equity and disease that if people are so poor, they don't have sterile syringes, there's spread of disease. then you discovered do gooders can't be so bad, but better they not be there in the first place. let's take these apart.
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why? what was it that this young 27-year-old fell in love with? >> well, it was -- i think it was the warmth of people, you know, the human side, the creativity. i can want hide also the music, but the fact that i thought there was, on the one hand, so much to do, incredible needs, which are still there, and the will to improve it, and so i saw opportunities which i think are very under estimated today in africa. when you look at just growth of gdp today in the world, the highest rates today are no longer in asia, but they are in africa. i'm not saying africa's made it. we see natural resources that are there.
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i mean, i didn't know all of these things in these days, but it was a combination of the gut feeling and the warmth of people, you know, the human side, but also the sense -- i got also very upset and angry because of the inequalities and of the, you know, zihir was ruled, and there was a group of people stealing the country to death, literally, and on the other hand, you know, young people, a great university, and, you know, but nobody was paid. there was no -- even no electricity, and so people were denieded some basic opportunities, but it's -- i can't explain it why. i was bitten by the virus of africa. >> there's a lot of dancing in the book if you have not read it. [laughter] there's many times when peter is so ecstatic he breaks out dancing all over the place. >> yeah. >> now, this also was your first
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experience working with american sign ties, and the americans came in saying we're in charge. >> yeah. >> particularly carl johnson from the cdc. >> yes. >> and you found african colleagues to collaborate with and fellow belgiums, came a little bit later after you had been there awhile. tell me what you learned in 1976 that guided you forward about international cooperation. >> yeah. when i discovered that where i came from, the means we had both financially and technically, were far inferior to what was, you know, available here in the u.s., and whereas i resented that, indeed, you know, we had isolated the virus for the first timing and the folks from cdc came and said we're taking over. i resented that. that's absolutely true. then i saw i could learn so much, and joel brennan who really initiated me into the
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field of epidemiology, and i'm really still grateful for him, and it was not only the u.s., but it was like in some of the jobs, there's a frenchman and a south african and a brit and a belgium and an american, and then some congoes in a plan. the power of coming up with different perspectives i found so fantastic. i was very impressed by the technical superiority of our american colleagues. while i was there, i said, you know, i want to go to america and learn and just to see that. next time we find a new virus and so on, you know, i can be in charge also. it was not only for myers, but just to be, you know, to share this, and rather than to stay in america, i came back to belgium, and, okay, here we went. >> the sad thing you discovered
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after seeing patients bleed out, the horrors, it's a very terrible disease, an an awful way for anyone to suffer before dying. particularly sad thing for you as a kid who grew up in a belgium at a time when french speakers were the dominant, you know, power structure of belgium, and the flemmish were held down. you get out to a remote village in zahir and discover the probability of it all rested with fellow flemmish catholic missionaries. tell me what they meant to you. what did you discover? >> on the one hand, i was full of admiration to the women. the sisters there were dealing with the school, and the fathers were into other activities, and
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they were hard working, dedicated, but they were running a hospital, and there was not one person who had a formal training in nursing or in medicine, and 110 beds, and so one of the things i learned is that it's not enough to wanting to do good. you also need basic competences. you need to, you know, you need basic expertise, otherwise you wouldn't give injections to everyone who comes to the hospital and to the outpatient department when you only have three or four syringes and a few more needles. that was one thing. on the other hand, i also discovered it was like the time had stood still so these were nuns who left belgium years before, and they were still thinking of their motherland as if time stood still in belgium also which you find often with
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expatriots, and they have an idea of the country of origin that doesn't correspond anymore with how it evolved, and so that was also -- it remind me of my grandmother, you know, you -- my ancestors. that was something i had not expected. eating, like, winter stews on the equator, you know, where it's very hot, but not very adapted. >> even today, you are in touch with one of the preciouses, -- one of the priests, yeah? he's still there? >> yeah, on the congo river. the river is 20 kilometers wide, just incredible, and he's there, but now in contact with him by e-mail, and when i talk about this, the students stare at me as if i'm coming from the stone age that there's not even cell
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phones. didn't exist, satellite phones, no fax, no internet, no facebook, no ect., ect., so community cation was slow to say the least, but now i'm still in touch with him, and he's really, oh, has started a secondary school. there's the hospital in some sort, and in congo, outside the missions, often nothing else is functional. that was also the reality. >> i mean, to flash forward a little, the last time anybody took account that i saw in the post-2000 era, 60,000ngos related to aids in africa alone have been created. when you think back to those missionaries who thought they were doing the right thing, but, goodness, if you don't know how to use syringes properly and basics in sterile and hygiene,
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perhaps it's better you were not there in the first place. what lesson do you see looking forward to this explosion of ngos that can be informed by that experience? >> well, the good news is in a global health time in which didn't even exist until 12 or 30 years ago, i tried to figure out when it did appear for the first time, but global health was created by the aids movement in a sense, so the incredible interest and money and so on, that's the great news, but on the downside, often, it's not always going with the most professional approach, and so the key is to combine enthusiasm, the dedication, the commitment with know-how and with strong evidence and basic practices, and that's not always there. that's one of the reasons i was so interested to move, even if i
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said never again in academia. i left it and said never again in the u.n., and now here i am, and because we want to train the next generation of leaders in global healthing and that's the best institution to do that. >> in 1979, you participated in an autopsy on a belgium sailor, and you say in the book, i was not smart enough to see it was a new syndrome, but i knew we'd never seen anything like it before, and it was? >> aids. >> what was so striking about it that you knew just looking at this body before you it was a new disease? >> yeah, it was someone who was a fisherman on one of the big lakes in congo, and the person died with what's called deseminated a-typical
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microbacterial infection. we know tuberculosis causes tb and them there's the environment am -- a bacteria that doesn't cause any problems, and some of us here are covered with it, but when you are immune deefficient, it can kill you. we had never seen that. just caught in the, you know, there were microbacteria to see under the microscope, very strainings. we started seeing then others, with other weird infections. it's the same way aids described for the first time in this country with other infections. >> you decide that sexually transmitted diseases are acutely important, and it's so interesting that you adopt that as one of your major interests when, you know, almost anybody else would say, oh, sexually
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transmitted diseases, yuck, and there's all these little, you know, cultural -- and you come to the united states, get a bunch of training in that area, particularly from king holmes at the university of washington who is still there in seattle and still a real leader in stds, and then you go back to in 1983 with some of the same people in the 1976 epidemic with, and massive colonial hospitals, and you say in the book -- you wrote in your diary, incredible, a cay tas cae for africa. this is what i want to work on. it will change everything. what was so incredible? what would change everything?
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what were you looking at? >> one of my observations is that dictators really seem to love their mother, and they name all kinds of thing after their mother. [laughter] but, no, i had been there in 1976, gone through the files and some, and here i enter the words of internal medicine, men, women, and young men and women, these days, of my age, and dying. all kinds of these infections and we had like 100 cases coming from south africa, and that's why i went there, and it was so overwhelming because i knew that was not there before, and also dr. peter, the head of the internal medicine there, had,
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you know, put aside 50 files of patients who died already in the previous month or so, and this was the extent of it. the fact that it was, like, slightly more women than men, which was very unusual. let's not forget in 1983, what was the dogma? this is a gay thing. i never understood why a virus cared about the sexual orientation of its host, you know, because for a virus, the purpose for a virus to perpetuate life is jump from one cell to another. that's what sex is about. i saw that i can't believe that it's heterosexual. that's one thing i said. there's far more hetero sexual sex in the world than the same, and i thought this is going to
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be a catastrophe, and unfortunately, i was right. >> then you and others set up aids project there, and the first time we met was 1985, and it was the first international aids conference in atlanta, georgia. >> right. >> which fit almost in one room, in this room. >> yeah. >> hard to believe because the upcoming aids meeting will have 25,000 people, and first of all, i don't think wow could have possibly imagined, i know i couldn't in 1985 at that meeting, we were on the front end of something that would still be around in 2012, something that now sickened 24 million human beings, and in 2012, there's 35 million people alive with this disease on every continent on earth. couldn't have imagined that. >> no. >> what i remember most about that meeting is there was a
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moment when this very tall white guy was translating for a much shorter fellow, and there's a cluster of us standing around you, and a ""wall street journal" reporter who was absolutely sure that hiv was a gay disease wouldn't accept the notion of general heterosexual transmission said to the doctor isn't it true that africans have sex with monkeys. i remember this guy trembling with rage. your face changed colors, and, yet, you knew you had to translate. what was the response? >> yeah. i was the tall white guy. well, first he pretended he didn't understand english giving him time to think.
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he said, well something i'm not aware we do this. television -- it was calm, but i heard things here with dogs. >> if you any about it, and i do want do bring michelle in in a moment here, but to flash forward and frame that period because your title is no time to lose, and all through the book, you express the sense of urgency. >> yeah. >> to respond and regret that the response wasn't faster, and if you look back to that critical period in the 1980s and 1990s before we had effective treatment in 1996, we had many moments when interventions were blocked because of the human rights issues so that we never could tackle hiv the way we did
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syphilis or gonorrhea, and the rationale for not doing so was, well, there's treatments for syphilis and gonorrhea, but there's no treatment for hiv so if you identify someone as hiv positive, they will lead a life the discrimination. when you look back, do you feel there are tools of public health that we failed to embrace powerfully enough, putting aside political leaders, but within the public health arena, are there things you look back and feel you should have done this other thing before we had medicine? >> well, we definitely lost a lot of time, wasted time by not recognizing. in every country when you think how president rage p -- reagan or prime minister hatcher could not pronounce the word "aids" until the very end, and
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in psychoanalysis that means something, so the fact that the lack of willingness to deal with the issue also in public health circumstances, first dealing with aids because it was, you know, first it was in the category of sexually transmitted diseases and all of that which is -- oh, you stay away from this. not like that. then, also, later on, when it came to treatment, and i know we were going to talk about that later, but it was the public health community, and some of which was the biggest problem. they had all of these reasons why it's not possible. i think there were also some absurd activists demands of truth, like, i was shocked in atlanta there was the whole campaign, no test is best. i remember that was the -- which i didn't fully understand. on the one hand it's true because of the discrimination and the stigma that all they could offer was kind of negative
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death sentence because this was no treatment, and then this discrimination, would lose your job, your insurance, and so on, but i think that retrospecktively, indeed, we should have had a far more adult conversation about what can be done. you can't see public health in isolation from what's going on in society. >> but we had a case example of tremendous victory, and that didn't catch on or go viral so to speak as we say today, and that was thailand. i mean, if you look at the late 1980s, the asian development bank predicted thailand would collapse under the pressure of aids. the 17-year-olds recruits in the military ran as high as 3% hiv positive at the age of 17, and when they were 22 in the military, the rate was way beyond that, and it looked catastrophic, and they had no tools except condoms. >> yep. >> they brought it completely under control.
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>> i don't know -- >> why didn't that become the model for the world? why was -- why do we all look at thailand as if it was an isolated case? >> no, i think that's a good example of why did it work in thailand because of strong leadership and not worrying too much about public opinion and said, you know, 100% condom promotion. it was enforced in a way, you know, with not only public health people, but went to see brothers and so op. it was, of course, to preserve the sex industry, worth billions of dollars, but it's something there was no willingness to do. even today, do you see an ad for condoms on prime time on tv in this country? >> on mtv we do. >> okay, good. [laughter] but it is this double standard about sexuality and sex, and,
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yeah, not wanting to deal with the issue. >> even today the example does not resinate. >> yeah, but thailand is also -- they are not dealing with gay men or injecting drug use for years, an they don't want to go for needle exchange so it's -- but they were very, very effective, particularly when the office of the prime minister, and in now a condom is the ultimate success in branding when your name becomes the thing, you know? yeah. >> well, i can't move on without giving you opportunity to hit two of your most remarkable encounters. first, an office that, if i remember right, was mahogany linedded, everything about it seemed you went to oxford, and there's a gentleman sipping expensive scotch and smoking a
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pipe. >> okay. >> and he's telling you great paranoid conspiracy theories, and you can want wake him up. -- cannot wake him up. who is that gentleman? >> there was also a fireplace for the complete picture. [laughter] yeah, after a very late night and conversation, he told, peter, don't you know, this is a conspiracy of the western pharmaceutical companies to poisen us africans? it was as though it's been a mystery why such an intelligent person, who's done a lot of good things, a strategic thinker, could believe such a thing. fortunately -- and that's cost about 300,000 lives according to a stoid from harvard because that delayed the introduction of therapy of prevention of
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mother-to-child transmission in the country, and maybe also in neighboring countries, although, his colleagues, maybe they were sometimes listening politely, but they didn't follow him, fortunately, and, now, today south africa has the largest hiv treatment program in the world, and things have changed, really, the day that he was actually fired as president. it's a tragedy. it must be, yeah, i don't know what it is. i really don't know. >> well, in a very different mood, you're with someone who over -- seems like two days of rum, if i follow the description, but an ample quantity of alcohol consumed to discuss mandatory quarantine of hiv positive people in cuba, and
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this would be with fidel castro. >> right. yes, i went to cuba already in the early days for several reasons. one, there was compulsory quarantine because in cue -- cuba, most of the cubans with hiv were former soldiers, the military fighting in africa and came back infected with hiv and were locked up basically, and in a conversation with fidel castro, human rights is not something that is very discussable, and so we talked about it, basically, that's it's not effective, that it doesn't work, and, today, what happens in cuba is that when you are found to be hiv positive, you got to follow a six month course as, i don't know, a few years ago, still the case, but to prepare you for life with hiv, the drugs that are there, and then many people become hiv
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educated. since every's a state employee, basically, doesn't matter what you do so -- but, yeah, it was -- i came there, and first time i met fidel was in the middle of some kind of a tornado, and he was talking about how many leaders -- yeah yeah -- how many leaders per square meter and so op, and he's a man of figures, and then after i said, i came here to talk about aids. i feel i have to express solidarity of the people affected by the floods in cuba, and, oh, yes, he said, and then he started talking about how many cases in jay jamaica, how y there, how many there, and so, anyway, sometimes he knew the figures better than i do because despite being a professor, i have a hard time remembering these figures, and so then he
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said, okay, let's have a drink in my office. we went to the office. i asked him for water because i said i just arrived from europe, jet lagged, and i said i need to make sure i do my best here, and he said, no, no, you don't drink water. what else? mojito, okay, jour in cuba. long story short, we ended up, as he does sometimes, and he called in half of the government and the vice president of the -- and we had dinner talking about all kinds of things including the decline of capitalism. >> oh, it'll be dead any second. [laughter] >> that was last century, still hasn't happened. >> i'd like michelle to join us. ..
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so, tell you the story of the chameleon. of what did you want to tell, what was the hawken million? >> what was the story? >> i think as i studied the
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study from [inaudible] asked them to observe and asked them what did you know? in general we would say that is changing color that is most important. the most important one is they taught you that if you listen for the life it is always working without moving ahead. so, it is very important to other objectives in the very clear amendment. the second lesson is that is good but if you don't have a good defending of the amendment in the media you will never move
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the objective, you try to never make the people always your target because one day they will not miss you, so it's important to really give some time and space for people to give you what they know so you can learn to come and fourth is that to be present step by step one second before that you will never change this space in life is very important if not you can do all of that and miss the objective major western donor or
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donor agency or a rifle that should not have been a rival the agency representative from within the u.n. system was sabotaging what you were trying to do. >> certainly from an number of agencies i would say that he was an executive editor and an exception but you did have a hard time at the interview. [laughter] see shed the cassette she crossed off the list. [laughter]
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[inaudible] >> we need a microphone. [laughter] >> my recommendation [inaudible] by this time i had given up so then i crossed him off but i didn't come in and of course the rest is history. >> but it's true you see the several levels particularly middle level management way that people like in half unicef told me if you ever come to do everything that you can to undermine you and to make sure this doesn't happen. there were then the director-general and basically in a one-year time it would be to say we would just kill it.
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it is ridiculous to even talk about. one other thing about it i thought my god, is this possible. but to go beyond personality, there is indeed an issue of the system which is very rich in terms of its diversity and different agencies working for money, so there is a lot of turf, you know that going on. and i don't think that coordination is actually the solution. but i must also say that it is the most advanced, best instigated and nothing comes close as far as i can see. >> so it is all one big happy family now? >> what is very difficult is what he's talking about.
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we have a conflict sometimes and that people have to fight for the agenda if they are to make sure that they are relevant so they make their own coordination of something very difficult. what i was seeing now is that we managed to be a little bit beyond the agenda to decide the cost cutting interest and now the area is making us moving collectively together. for example what is so important to save people from saving the lives of people means what? to bring people of the center. if we bring together the center and we are not talking about unicef and others, we start of looking at how we can act together. at the beginning it was not possible because we were coming from the who and not
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understanding why this organization had been created and the organization was fighting to create their own agency. >> a turf battle. >> the system is doing its best on the concrete outcome then it can have moved mountains. it is often the case particularly here in new york and then time for everybody so that is i think my conclusion in your body language tells me that you agree. [laughter] >> today at this moment that she 20 leaders are probably drinking tequila at los compost and they have probably had a day of accomplishing very little, and
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also at the summit in rio they are probably drinking rum helpless 20 and there is very little optimism for that meeting. here in a moment where everything seems to put it on the hero crisis the amount of money on the table keeps shrinking. the sense of generosity is shrinking, and we have seen since 2008 in the financial crisis ever greater dependencies on one source, the united states government, which is now i think that 60% of support for international hiv efforts. what does this mean for you in terms of trying to coordinate a cool response? >> the world is changing and i believe that triet ten years ago when we were talking about the development goal that was nowhere. we are not talking about growth
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at the age of six or 7%. even higher growth rate in 15% it's just 11%. we mention the chain in brazil and the key players in the new global governance system, so for me what is important today is what we are trying to push to bring the debate around the responsibility saying that we cannot use the office of the development paradigm, so what we are trying to push is harder bargain sharing bringing different players we have been able to work with the chinese and the chinese now are paying for them on the response which is very important. we've been working with india and they decided to be for all of the response from this year
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so we have seen $1.5 billion, so we are seeing what is coming in this response in different ways and we need to push back. we need to make sure that of course it will be social justice opportunities because we will not be able to make it and let someone there in terms of a 72,000-dollar. how that can happen in my office if we know that we of people waiting for treatment we need this innovation. we need to make change. i am also seeing that new movement coming which is important and built. i know peter very well. he was my boss and mentor and one of the best that we have come in and he has also this
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shall the for what he has been able to do for the world, because today if we stay there millions of lives. i want to see that. we are looking for her results. today we have almost 7 million people. people move from millions to billions in terms of the organization's for the solidarity from the collective solidarity from indispensable to save lives of people and building on that -- >> thanks so much, michel but when you look at the index of this book is only people, and okay maybe i was for the defense
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anything there was a growing on anything in the world what i wanted to show is this is a movement and there were so many people contributing and all equally important, but what's important though is that making sure it is not the same movement would sometimes it looks like to all directions with the politics and the signs and the programs on the ground are in harmony or supporting each other and that is going to be very important. now, it's not normal that the global funds programs in argentina and mexico and chile and china and so on. and that was actually basically denying the money to the countries that are in the greatest need. there are countries in zambia.
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according to the projections by 2031. de treat people. >> there is no way honor thought that can be done without international help every country has a budget, so in case of a shared solidarity but also for the smarter use of our resources. >> let me ask you both the same question. >> we are about to have the international aids conference in the united states for the first time since 1990 in washington, d.c.. next month when we are in the
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most hotly contested presidential election that we have seen and i don't know how long of the summit most experts say you can't call who would be the next president of the united states. when the last time the aids community convened in washington, d.c., a publicly denounce the vice president george bush during the ronald reagan presidency and injured him so much that when he took over as president he said i don't want to hear about this aids stock. get out of the room. if there is one message that the american people take from this upcoming conference if and we have the ability to wave a magic wand and make it happen as opposed to many other scenarios and what may happen, what with that message be? >> coming from washington comes in francisco, i want just to say
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that it would be a missed opportunity. there's an individual collective effort for the life of millions of people, and that is not pleasing. it's this of course party effort because we have a sense of urgency brought by president bush has been completely changing all of our other response, and then we've president obama brought by the the date of the shared responsive of the these looking at the sustainability ownership or just not a movement which we need to share and i hope this message will be able to be conveyed because the american people, individuals need to hear
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that the of the saving the lives of millions of people and we are making the effort to share the burden now and that should be the message. >> for along the same lines i would say they have saved millions of lives and have also i think improved the american image of ogletree large extent. decrease in that effort now is not only going to cost millions of lives, but also i think it would be stupid from the perspective of the force. let's see how our friends -- the biggest problem may be the the conference with the house to the american aids activists go?
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that i think is the biggest challenge to the estimate that is a good note to take questions from the audience. i would ask that you would raise your hand and wait until the microphone reaches you and please be sure to identify yourself and give us a question. i see one right down here. >> thank for the look. it is definitely going to inspire the next generation. and following that, my first question is what advice do you have for the next generatioof global public health leaders and in the second question is out one point in the but i think it is towards the end when you are leaving, you have something like a moment where you think i could have done more or it could have
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done things differently. the question is if you could go back and redo the last ten or 15 years, would you do differently? if anything? >> the first advice is that the world is becoming a really global place, so there is a big future i think and working in global health. don't sign your career in detail because he will miss the great opportunities. this is my old boy scout be prepared. invest in your skills and if you can seize the several committees, there are many open doors that are there but people don't go through them.
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septics some risks. i think probably they would politicize faster in the sense but when i started it was quite naive and i would say that thinking of we have the evidence and the facts and so on this is when to change everything. of course this was not the case. so, i should have broader dillinger to that kind of debate political agenda. that is probably the biggest. i think's it's also slow on the one hand i have no patience for things and on the other hand you have to go for certain things. i don't know.
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working with some fantastic people in the cdc and elsewhere who are fighting this battle we get the sense that we are at a turning point i it's not quite a to the point but the success, the concept of a generation from the use of prt for the viral suppression and below the viral load are you getting a clear sense of the signs of encouragement and the fact the end point if you will this is a critical time to ensure that momentum is not lost. what could help drive that momentum for word alternatively what could riss get.
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getting to zero is my vision. it's a very new affection and assimilation. of course it means nothing, but it is a vision for making the society more included, taking the decision to say we do not discriminate people based on race or based on the sexual orientation or based on their social studies we can get it. then it seems when we decided to push for the sanctions i think by 2015 supporting me very strongly by 2015 we don't need to have babies born with hiv from where we will get that. today we are seeing that sharing
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this with you but from lafayette to this year decreased by 100,000. 100,000 is the number of babies that were born of hiv compared to this year. we are seeing also an increase in the number of peoples and treatment. we are seeing a new momentum that if we put people on the treatment we can reduce by 96% the number. so, for me i am seeing hope. i want to push for the idea of getting to zero. that will be multiples but we can be there if we work together in the different constituencies, and for me it is time to bring this approach and will be a
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missed opportunity if we did not do that. >> i agree with the vision to speed and accepting anything less. but i also think we need to be prepared for decades of investments and of continuing, starting with people who are now one antiretroviral therapy. your hope that that will last and would be effective for decades with normal life expectancy, so we need to be prepared for that. that is -- and i think we are not prepared for it. >> we are seeing a rising tide of drug resistance. >> the pipeline of drugs is drying up and the generic manufacturers are pulling out because the prices have become so low that if they don't make a profit and a moving to drugs with disease with units that can be sold, and also in terms of prevention. so, i think that we need to have
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an ambitious vision that also we need to be prepared for this long term. but i agree there is kind of a momentum where we see the return of the investment of the past decade basically because these things don't happen overnight. >> i think we agree with peter. we need to be able to manage the response of the perspective of the long term. but what we need now is to change completely our way to deal with innovation. in the type of innovation that we have today we will not be able to scale up and it's impossible for me to know that he will go to the 15, 20 million people in africa if they are marching everywhere if you need to. so the simplification like i said in my letter to the partner
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it will simplify one pill a day to look apparel is helping us to work together to look at how we work together to simplify. >> that is not possible. today let me give you one example just to make sure that we are waiting for the treatment shaping the treatment will cost at $700 million. and more so they are not working in the difficult. i was in australia and milbourne in testing these today and malawi with 1 dollar they can take the blood and tell you 350 or below 350. so for me i am looking for this
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type of innovation. it can shift to what can be done in lieu of educated people, and then the important interface to the service provider community but if we do not have a shift in the innovation -- >> i should clarify for the audience that they sell the human immune system, so it is very specifically targeted by the hiv virus. as the account goes down, you are clearly heading towards a far sicker stage of the disease. i think that we have time for a least one more question. i think i saw the family care international back there. >> i am from family care international. and i wanted to ask if you could comment specifically on what you see as the priorities and the chance to leave the possibilities in sub-saharan
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africa which is the region where the problem of the treaty is of course the most severe in terms of populations and in terms of looking at it from the perspective of this long term potential what is the most strategic approach in terms of dealing with hiv/aids as less of a vertical issue and integrity that with the provision of basic health services and reproductive maternal and new birchfield service is looking at the issue coming down or to seize them as diprete strategy for dealing with this in africa we managed to [inaudible]
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to to get out of isolation and think it is not possible anymore to deal with aids in the corner. we need to look at what is the perception we have a concept in hiv one as women, women. so that the women can get out and have information on their reproductive health so we can have a nice young girls that are not unnecessarily pregnant and going forth. that is for me one priority if we want to be able to do with this epidemic for the mainstream
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society if so they are not. the have access to the services. it is still sex education, universal sex education to make sure that young people for skilled so they can negotiate, and i would go for those three as a major, major challenge. of course it means to be there but that for me is the social change which we need to address. >> peter, the final word. >> i think also that there are many. so it's going to be important that we customize what we do to each site. that is something that is a big


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