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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 24, 2012 6:45am-7:15am EST

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>> it's very ironic. it works both ways. because once you add this intelligence analysis to present service, you make intelligence very -- let me see, intelligence is not just pre-inform. it's also to predict and not create a presidential reliance
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on intelligence services. so before oss was created, for example, fdr had so many challenge toward him every day from different interpretations of the same intelligence object. so the president had to make his own position as to what is the best way. so analysis took place in the white house in the president mind. he made the decision. now, with oss, with the analysis in it, national leaders, everybody had to listen to the briefer an appraiser would would tell them this is exactly what happened, this is exactly what happened. so the president became kind of lazy making his own decisions. that was very dangerous because you created this intelligence of monopoly. and keep in mind oss was the principal centralizing intelligence agency.
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we always tried to centralized bureaucracy. the things that happened after pearl harbor exactly same thing happened after 9/11. monopoly of access to the president, and that is good because it has one voice, but sometimes world affairs were not really measurable exactly. so you have interpretations of information. with a centralized system, you do not have that normally. not actually creates artisanship with an intelligence community. and sometimes becomes very, very harmful to our national security. you can see that after 9/11. people go over the same facts. that i think is the biggest flaw of the oss legacy, which has nothing to do with oss itself, have something to do with the nature of intelligence.
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>> maochun yu, you are a professor of history here at the u.s. naval academy. this is his book, "oss in china prelude to cold war." professor, where are you from originally? >> i originally came from china. the city was the wartime capital of china. that's for all the major players in the book stay, and so since my childhood, i was intrigued by a lot of things. the oss was the wartime intelligence office. the reason why i couldn't write a book like this was because a late 1980s, bill casey who was the president of ronald reagan's cia director, he was also a history buff, decided to want to open up all the oss operation files. no one in the world had done it.
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you open up your own intelligence days of the entire operation file. that's amazing. so now it's at the national archives in college park, maryland. it's a gigantic record file. it has about 8000 feet of files. so i delved into this and i found some of the fascinating stuff. so i decided to write the book, and the book was first published in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the cia. so it sold relatively well, and then 9/11 happened, and interesting intelligence organization, but then people were overwhelmingly interested, here now, and more internal affairs stuff. so a few years later, this one,
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this topic became sort of, of interest to a lot of people again. and the u.s. institute, press, we printed the paperback of the. the original one was published by yale university press. >> maochun yu, how many american personnel were in china during world war ii? >> comparatively speaking, very few, but the preeminence of china given by the american politicians, by the american society, was proportional to any other area, your. that's because americans have this emotional ties to china, missionaries and college professors, adventurers. they all go to china. so there's this china special relationship thing. there's also the rhetorical
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requirement for putting china at a higher place because, after all, in -- if china ever collapsed and america would have a major problem dealing with that. so u.s. policy has always been during world war ii to keep china as one of the big four. so elevated the place. in reality because of logistical problems, because of strategic priority, as i say europe first, china second, it was pretty low. one very good indicator was our -- [inaudible] you. over 60% is commonwealth countries. somewhere among 25 went to soviet union. during the entire war, less than 2% went to china. so you see, china was very
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important, but in terms of material support was very small. that was very ironic. has lot to do with rivalry, policy, priorities, logistical difficulties. but overall it's national policy, very important. the time he of course doesn't work the chinese way because americans don't decide to go back to asia. >> how many chinese died during world war ii? >> the numbers vary. the most accepted number during the seven years, eight years of war, remember world war ii lasted a lot longer in china, was 15 million. >> 15 million? >> 50 million. >> that's on par or close to what the soviet union lost? >> soviet union lost more. anymore concentrated way because
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stalin -- german policy and eastern front, the other area. >> japan lost -- >> most of these 50 million casualties were civilians in china. so that's the accepted number. >> maochun yu, professor, what do you teach your at the naval academy speak with i teach mostly military history, world war ii, and modern china, east asia overall. we have every strict -- it's fascinating. i've been here 18 years. it's been a blast spent and here's the book, "oss in china: prelude to cold war." this is booktv on c-span2. >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv?
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send us an e-mail at booktv at or tweet us at >> live is stephen carter and he is the author, among many other books of this one, his most recent, "the impeachment of abraham lincoln: a novel." professor carter, they are to premise in here that i want to get to that are historically inaccurate. number one, abraham lincoln survived the assassination of him, and abraham lincoln is impeached. where did you come up with this? >> i start by making clear that in spite of the title, i am a lincoln fan. this is not an argument on behalf of lincoln's impeachment. it's not a brief -- it's just a novel and for me as a fan and someone interested in history, what if lincoln had survived and
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what if, in my telling as political enemies, he had many including in his own party which would tend to forget, political enemies as late as 1865 were looking for way to get them out of the way. what if you tried to do it the impeachment process. >> but again, where did you come up with the idea? when did it occur to you that this might be a fun thing to do? >> i don't know when it decided to turn the novel. i remember when i was back in college, chatting with one of my professors after class one day, about what if lincoln had survived over the years a lot of people have spent years about that. you find that in some history books as well. but i in the story where the assassination is failed, i can tell you when it came to me. once again to be i knew i had to put everything aside and write it. >> you're a law professor correct? so the courtroom drama part, did that come easy to?
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>> i don't know, for me no novel is really easy to write but it is true, this would fit into some of my interests as a scholar. i write about presidential power. i write about war. i've written a lot about lincoln over the years, and so taking that come those ideas, put them into fiction but if you think about it, lincoln did do things during the civil war that raise interesting questions. lincoln did suspend habeas corpus. in some cases subject to the military court-martial. my notion was what if a different process used for political reasons, nevertheless got us into the war as a way of trying to get them out of the way. >> how much political pressure was abraham lincoln under in early 1865? >> lincoln was the most talented politician i believe whoever
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inhabited the -- not the oval office. there was a one, but the presidential office at the time. he had to balance these competing factions of his own party. he had to run the civil war while trying to maintain his own presidency. all through the presidency there were other members of his own party, they were better men than he was. better morally and in other ways, and they also hold the job instead so that as late as march 1865 lincoln's political foes were still trying to figure out if there was some way to reduce his power, to take charge, some a take charge of the administration because they view to lincoln as a man who shouldn't be wielding the power that he was. >> one other thing i want to get out before you leave us. who is his attorney? who defend him? >> you know, there are a lot of novels about lincoln at almost all of them are told to the point of view of some insider, some in the white house, someone with power. i want to tell my story through the eyes of an outsider so my
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protagonists was a young black woman named abigail, 21, a recent college graduate. she wants to be a lawyer and this is at a time when there were six or seven black lawyers in america, no female lawyers in america at all. but this is her ambition and wanting to be a lawyer, she ends up with a job as a very minor clerk at the law from the law from that ends up defending lincoln in the novel. i wanted to give an outsider's perspective to look at lincoln through the eyes of someone who is black and yet some of those outside power and fighting to get him. >> historically accurate, six or seven black lawyers in america in 1865? >> historically accurate. we don't know the exact number. no female lawyers. there were no full members of the bar. i want to be careful, until the late 1870s. there were a couple of did some legal duties, but the small number of black lawyers, at the time it wasn't that much money to be made as a lawyer.
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it's not like lawyer for making lots and lots of money but to wear black numbers rising. one of the most admired profession, one of the most profitable ones in the 1860s was being a pharmacist. being a pharmacist was much more lucrative than being a doctor for example, and the black -- a handful of black pharmacist. >> this is your most recent book their county books have you written? how many are fiction, how many nonfiction? >> i think i've published eight or nine nonfiction books. this is my fifth novel. i just like writing. >> are you teaching this semester? >> i'm still a full-time law professor. i started writing the novel mostly which is sold pretty well, people have asked me whether going to stop teaching law. i love being a law professor. i think of being a law professor be my job. writing novels is kind of a hobby. something i do to get a break from the other things that i do. and as long as people keep reading them i will keep doing that. >> when you wrote your first novel, white?
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what got you over that first top? >> i always had characters floating around in my head whose stories i wanted to tell so they were clawing out in there to let them know. and even today when i write a novel, before have a plot outline, i always have characters in mind, peoples whose the story i'd like to do. usually people who showed up in some earlier novel of mine as a minor character. it's funny because my novels almost all our thrillers our mistress. i guess i keep putting people in these out situations and trying to get them out. >> we're not going to give away the ending of this. we will make people read it, but given the title, "the impeachment of abraham lincoln," it's safe to say he was impeached by the house of representatives. >> that's great to as important as supposed most agreement, the house impeaches was like an indictment, the first half of the book involves the impeachment. the second half of the trial


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