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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 5, 2013 9:00am-10:00am EST

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of how -- the work of a great many other historians. what it happened in the 1960s with the counterculture, was that coming in, a whole new generation of young historian had come up, and they were in essence reevaluating all aspects of our past. ..
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this evening we have c-span here. is the microphone working back there? we have just one microphone here to ask questions. cell if you need access to this microphone, if you are sitting over there you can go back there. i want to welcome lilly ledbetter who has come this evening to talk about his new book "grace and grit". this is the first time lilly ledbetter has been to politics and prose. he is from montana which is why think he has written many books. including the song of the dodo which expects a medal for natural history writing. he holds honorary degrees from colorado college in montana
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state university where he serves as prof. of western american studies. he has won the national magazine award three times for articles in a wide variety of magazines including esquire, the advantage and rolling stone. the third of these awards was for a national geographic storing called when stock went wrong. national geographic now, david quammen has the title contributing editor which gives him -- requires him to write three article year i think, three article year for national geographic. he describes his feet as sealed, biology and evolutionary biology, theoretical ecology and
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conservation. after this evening, i hope you will have as much appreciation for his physical strength and stamina as you have for his writing talent. in his field research he tracks indiana jones style through jungles and rain forests that most of us would never want to set foot in. tonight you are going to learn a new word, at least i learned that new word. zoonos zoonosis, infectious diseases that originate in animals and spread to humans. for those of you who read the hot zone, which was 20 years ago, you had a very early exposure to this frightening scenario that david quammen has elaborated on a great deal in his new book "spillover: animal
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infections and the next human pandemic" 10. publishers weekly gave "spillover" a star review and said, quote, this is a frightening but critically important book for anyone interested in learning about the prospect of the world's next major and point. so here is david quammen to talk about his book. [applause] >> thank you, nice to be here. as barbara meade said i haven't been here before. i don't publish books that often. it takes me six or eight years to get one of these things done. i am going to talk informally for 20 or 25 minutes. is that what you said? about the book. the subject, and to some extent
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the writing of the book and you know this drill better than i do, we will hear from you and have some conversation. as barbara meade explained this is a book about scary new emerging diseases and where they emerge from and where they emerge from generally is wildlife, other species, nonhuman animals and in particular nonhuman animals other than domesticated animals. if you have been falling certain stories in the news over the last few months, you know that one point of entry into this subject is the daily newspaper itself. you have probably heard about hunter of riders killing three people who visited yosemite this
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summer. eagle in texas dying of wepeop nile fever since july. the democratic republic of congo has an ebola outbreak that has killed 3 dozen people and it is still going on. there was another ebola outbreak across the border in you gone the unrelated to the spillover that caused the outbreak in democratic republic of congo. these things are happening. it is like a drum beat of disease outbreaks and small crises. there's another on the arabian peninsula. there's a virus that emerged that closely resembles the sars virus, belongs to the same
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family. the corona family. the sars virus that scared disease experts in 2003, this new sars like virus out of the arabian peninsula has only killed one person, put another man in the hospital in britain, scientists are watching it carefully. they know the next big one could look something like that. there is a drumbeat of these things. these have two things in common. they all come out of wildlife, from nonhuman animals, they're all caused by viruses. the scientist had a fancy name on it, and animal infections
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that pass into humans zoonoses. a virus could be other forms of infectious bug or bacteria, or protozoan, a creature that causes malaria, could be fungus, could be a worm, could be met cow disease. usually is a virus more than any thing. a pass from animals into a human and don't always cause diseases. sometimes they become harmless passengers in humans. there's a virus i talk about in the book and couldn't resist because it got such a wonderfully gruesome name. you have to find a light side of this subject, where you can find it. with all due respect to the
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people who suffered, a people who died, there were a lot of deaths in this book. is strictly nonfiction. a lot of deaths. i respect that. but still i didn't want this book to be a painful, gruesome duty, just an important scary book. i also want it to be a pleasurable reading experience, a page turner. i want it to have moments of suspense, mystery and discovery, moments of heroism by some of these scientists who are studying this sort of thing and even moments of humor. it is not a very funny book but i hope it might be the funniest book about ebola you ever read. so the -- as i said, some of these bugs when they pass into humans are harmless but often
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they are not. if the zoonosis passes into humans and causes mayhem there we call it zoonosis disease and 60% of infectious diseases of humans are zoonosis diseases and everything else is from somewhere. the others are of zoonotic origin in a broader sense. measles is only a disease of humans but probably came from a render test from of animals in africa but it has been in humans long enough that it has evolve and become adapted specifically to humans so it is different enough from render pests to be considered and functions as a uniquely human virus. the 60% that are considered zoonotic are passing back and
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forth or passing from animals to humans on either a continuing basis or of done that very recently. that includes things like ebola, marburg, all of the influenzas, west nile virus, huntera viruses, hiv. i talked at some length in a book about the ecological origins of the aids pandemic. we now know the pandemic strain of hiv passed from a single chimpanzee to lacing will human in a fairly small corner of southeastern cameron in central africa. we know that because some wonderful scientists worked on
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the genetic and molecular style of genetics of the viruses who are precursors to hiv and viruses in chimps and monkeys and genetic diversity of hiv 1 group am which is the pandemic strain of hiv and these scientists have managed to locate spillover event with a high degree of confidence. there's always a certain provision allenby in science the with a high degree of confidence they locators in southeastern cameron one chimpanzee, won him and who presumably killed the chimpanzee and cut himself on the hand, got blood to blood contact when butchering the champ for food. in the early part of the 20th century, sometime around or before 1908. michael wore the and beatrice hahn are the scientists who with their colleagues have done that
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work. there are these diseases. a spillover. they are zoonotic. one other slightly technical term by want to familiarize you with, reservoir host. the reservoir host is the kind of animal in which the bug, virus or whatever it is lives in chemically, permanently, in conspicuously, without causing disease, without causing mayhem in that particular creature. why does it live there? why does it live and on descriptively? probably because it is been in that species for millions of years and accommodation has evolved. a virus in its reservoir host replicates but it doesn't replicate cataclysmic we. it tends to replicate slowly and doesn't generally cause
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symptoms. it is invisible. it hides in its reservoir host and something happens, humans kill and eat that reservoir host, humans coming contact with it somehow. i will tell a couple stories how this can happen. reservoir host shed the virus and the virus gets into humans and becomes zoonotic. one of the things the scientists do as they study this field and as they focus on these different diseases one of the very first thing they have to do is identify the reservoir host. in new disease kills over in malaysia, is killing pigs, than it is killing pig farmers and signatures and pour sellers. where did it come from? they isolated a virus and human victims and in the pigs, the same virus in the human victims and the pigs. this is a true case is that happened in 1998.
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they named it after a village in malaysia. then they went for the reservoir host, they found in large fruit bats, the kind that are called flying foxes in asia. how did the spillover occur? disease detectives finally tracked it through the root of most likely spillover and here is what happened. people were cutting down forests in peninsular malaysia for development for agriculture, for the timber itself, cutting down that forced, destroyed fruit bat habitats. the fruit bats were displayed, had to look for food, nectar, somewhere else and started going closer to a human settlements. if there were orchard's they were attracted to the orchards. fruit trees planted by humans lose some of the fruit trees planted by humans were on pig
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farms. it was the second stream of income for pig farmers who reni's factory scale pig farms in northern and central peninsular malaysia. some of these farmers even planted making dough trees and another kind of fruit tree called the water apple very close to their open air pigsties and even shading their pigsties. the batch come to the fruit trees planted over the pigsties, eat the fruit, to the mainland water avalanche drop it into the pig sty and drop their feces and urine and their virus into the pigsty. the pigs pick it up and get sick and the pigs are very infectious respiratory disease, the pigs are coughing and barking and passing this virus from one to the other. the pigs are mostly not dying. it is not killing that many pigs but it becomes a horrendous
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agricultural problem. then it starts getting into humans and kills 109 people, causes the government of malaysia to call preventive lien 1.1 million kids, requires the killing of all the pigs that came from infected farmers. some of these farms people were so scared by this disease that they were abandoning their own farms, running away from their own pig farmers. at one point pigs were running loose through the villages, in some cases abandoned villages in peninsular malaysia like a nightmare scenario but really happened, like something out of early core mac mccarty, infectious pigs running wild through the countryside coughing virus and one fellow called it the one mile barking cough because you could hear these sick pigs coming and you knew your pig farm would be next. real story.
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meepa encephalitis is the disease in humans. this is what disease scientists do. they try to solve the ecology and evolutionary biology of these diseases. where does the virus live? what is the reservoir host? how do humans coming contact with the virus, what a doing? in many cases it is that ecological disruption that causes the contact, causes the spillover and gets into sometimes an intermediate animal, pigs, the case in australia where a virus comes into courses, pigs or horses are referred to as the amplifier host. the virus reproduces abundantly in them, they shed lots of virus and it gets into people. the viruses in australia called and drug --hendra after a suburban in brisbane, 1994, in
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one stable in that suburb horses suddenly started to die. did they get some poisonous feet? veterinarian, or strainer and stable hand tried to save lorises. the stable foreman got sick and went home. he thought he had a bad flu. the trainer got sick, went to the hospital. the veterinarian never got sick. the trainer died. the isolated virus from him, from his organs and the horsees they found a new virus and aimed it -- named it hendra. where did this come from? a fellow who was the chief detective on this case doing his ph.d. on it, was a veterinarian doing a ph.d. in ecology sample all sorts of animals, kangaroos,
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wombats, rats, mice and insects, he didn't find the virus. finally sample fruit bats and found the virus that matched what killed the horses and the trainer and gave it the name hendra virus. hasn't killed very many people and doesn't pass from human to human, but it is a knock on the door, a reminder to us of where these things come from, how they emerge, wide a spillover. the fact that they are not all independent cases, but part of a pattern and that pattern reflects things that we humans are doing on the planet, and then they get into humans. in some cases they cause a local outbreak which is easily controlled or comes to an end on its own and other cases they
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cause widespread suffering and death. hiv being the case in point there. i might stop there and see if people have questions. there are a lot of other points i can touch on but let me hear from you all and see what you would like to hear about. >> i have a toasty warm memory of swimming at bozeman hot springs and i'd bet you have been there too. >> it is still there. >> great place. the other is a question about viruses. i imagine it is a small number but does anyone know what percentage of viruses are pathogen like the ones you mentioned? >> nobody knows how many virus is there are.
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we hear talk about it will some estimating, living species are on planet earth. no one knows how many species of vertebrates and invertebrates animal and plants and fungi there are with any precision to make estimates ranging from eight million to thirty million to 1 hundred million species but then when you add virus is and bacteria, nobody knows. the percentage of viruss that the damage of animals that are pathogenic to humans may well be a small percentage but the ones that are the exception to that are consequential. thanks for your question. >> i enjoyed your book song of the dove very much and used it when i was a student in a class on biology. i have a question about the study of the genealogy of these
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diseases. i was curious, using the human genome from the deep pass where there's evidence of stuff that killed a lot of people, cause a bottleneck in the human population but is now totally harmless because all the survivors have reproduced down the generations and that is all that is left. looking back in time for all pantex and to trace the it disease that way. >> i have not seen much on that. certainly one of the things that is very interesting to me is racing in the human genome something they call endogenous retroviruses which are -- each idea the retrovirus, particular arenavirus, they insert themselves permanently in the human genome and we don't know exactly, in some kisses they have functions or what used to be called junk dna but they are
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there and there are records in the human genome of past infections and they can be recognized as belonging to this virus family or that virus family. that is one thing that is there. in terms of the darwinian relationship between the infections of the deep past and the human genome as it has survived, a very interesting. i can't point you toward any particular work i have come across. it has probably been done, it would have to be speculative to a certain degree. i am sorry, i really can't tell you much more than that. >> i have a question. so far we have heard you speak about different diseases that cause death. usually in the examples you gave us, dozens or hundreds or thousands, but the reactions --
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seemed the local government was overreacting when it was trying to solve the situation and solve the problems just recently. in texas there was a west nile virus detected and they started spraying the swampy areas with airplanes. my question is are we doing more harm when we try to solve these issues where hundreds are dying or there are other diseases that kill millions and millions and we are not doing much and these are such exotic diseases when we hear about them we get into shock and the reaction seems to be too much and may be harming the population. >> i hear you asking two questions. are we doing some things that cause more harm than good and also are we sort of taking these things out of proportion to the
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damage that they do. let me answer the second one first. i asked the same thing of a fellow who studies the meepa virus that i mentioned. it also occurred in bangladesh and has a different story in bangladesh because it is a muslim country and there are not big pork funds. it doesn't pass through pigs as amplifiers in bangladesh. it is transmitted into rod date palms that people drink and because of the way it is tapped, drink from the pots and leave their waste in pots. i talked to a fellow named steve loopy from the cdc and asked him the same thing. there are hundreds of thousands of children dying of bacterial diarrhea and bacterial pneumonia
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in bangladesh. he was based in a cholera hospital. these kinds of diseases have been murdered in bangladesh for centuries. i asked him why bother with meepa which killed a few dozen people each year when you have all these other diseases and he told me that this is such a nasty disease with such potential that we can't ignore it simply because it is now small. it could be large. it is important to take these other diseases, these old-fashioned garden variety diseases like cholera, very important to taken seriously but very important also to be vigilant about these new emerging diseases because after all in 1981 we had a disease emerge called aids and it was one of these. the influenzas e emerge new each year and influenzas are capable of killing millions of people.
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that is the response i have heard from experts why it took small boutique diseases like hendra and meepa seriously. you never know when one will be the next big one. in terms of the things we do to try to stop, contain or prevent the spillovers, ino try to stop, contain or prevent the spillovers, in some cases yes, we probably do more harm than good. spraying for insects depending on what their spraying with would be an immediate candidate you want to think about. because we have done so much, so much fuel damage over the decades trying to spray insects out of existence and it just doesn't work. there are cases when governments have taken very rigorous action and it has been very important and beneficial. when sars emerged from southern china and got to hong kong, it was a very nasty virus passed
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from the respiratory route, killed 10% of the people infected, spread quickly from hong kong to toronto, beijing, hanoi and single for, in fact did -- singapore--killed nast%. i heard somebody in one of the book reviews i got somebody was saying why does he take sars seriously? it burned out. sars did not burn out. sars was stopped by very good early diagnostic scientific work in the field and a laboratory and firm public health measures, containment, isolation of caseaa the right personal protection to the health care workers so that it didn't go further. one of the things i wonder about when i think about sars is it that disease had emerged from a
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different place than southern lahina and hong kong and gone different cities than toronto, mike history have been different, those are command and control cities with a lot of strong or pvernment, a lot of gd public health, affluent facilitieand a if that disease emerged in a province of the democratic reptrolic of the laondo, i love the condo, odt has a lot of disadvantages. how factory farming, huge
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operations in malaysia are part of what makes this problem more urgent and more dangerous, part of what makes us, the human population and our extension a force of very dry tinder waiting for a spark. i mentioned the case in malaysia. the fact that the pigs were kept in huge outdoor compounds and arranged in a particular way with fruit trees, part of what resulted in that spillover. the other thing was a huge aggregations of wildlife also represent populations in which a bug can evolve. the more abundantly virus replicates the more it is likely to mutate and if it is an art and a virus instead of double
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helix, its mutation rate will be very high and generahigh and ge genetic variability, they evolve more quickly than other pathogens. if you let them build up huge populations so that there are many posts that are infected and each host contains many, many virus particles, then you provide abundant opportunity for evolution to function and for some particular strain to come out that is both really transmissible among humans and that represents a danger so the mass production of livestock -- that is only one aspect. there are other aspect i am less aware of, part of what makes us particularly jeopardized by the
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situation. >> in your experience following scientists to these areas where there is a high rate of crossover, spillover of exotic diseases, to what extent have you noticed efforts to educate the local human population on how to modify their lifestyle so it is better to avoid those crossovers? >> there are certainly efforts. in bangladesh they're trying to educate people not to drink raw date palm sap that could contain meepa virus. if you tool it you can kill the virus that people like to drink at fried, a seasonal treat. there are things like that. around the world. in southern china they crack down on the big west markets, at
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least above ground. they have gone underground, the black market. the big wet markets where all kinds of wildlife parcel live for food, there's a faction in southern china, they call it wild flavor, bogue for eating wild life not because people need the protein for subsistence but because they have some money and this is considered a robust food and one other thing on that in terms of education, local people, i mentioned the original spillover, the pandemic strain of hiv occurred in cameron, i went there to retrace the route that it took from southeastern cameron down a river system that took a long be sayinga river to the condo and the city's of leopoldville, the city that
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became conchavez, started to have a higher rate of transmission. sexual -- sexual mores were different and the population more concentrated and other factors are described in my chapter on hiv and it began to crackle and when from there to haiti and to the world. i went to southeastern cameron to see what i could learn about human relations of chimpanzees there now where people are still killing and eating chimpanzee is and therefore exposing themselves to other spillovers, simian virus that became hiv. that is true. i heard from a confidential source about practice of a tribal initiation practice which
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involves some rituals that include the eating of chimpanzee arms. people were still exposing themselves to the viruses chimpanzee scary. in 1 office in the southeastern corner eyesight poster, an aids awareness poster getting back to your question, in french, the colonial language most people speak, a poster in french trying to educate people about the dangers of aids, what they call the red diarrhea and what the poster said was not practice safe sex and use condoms and don't exchange needles. what the poster sate in southeastern cameron is don't eat the achespes .
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>> thank you for being here. with the transportation system supply chain within 24 hours as you know viruses can be around the globe and one of the most underfunded public programs is public health. this is something a massive amount of money has been drawn out of over the last 50 years. are there any best practices you have seen in various countries you travel to about how to build up the public health systems so they can more easily identify these pathogens, viruses and respond to it for something that is always reactive? >> thank you for your question. there are some very interesting initiatives of vigilance that are going on and you may have heard of some of these. one that comes to mind is the
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global viral forecasting initiative founded by a fellow named nathan wolfe, a young disease scientists based at stanford. he worked in cameron for years doing field work on transmission of viruses by way of bush meet from african wildlife into hunters and the people, their families. nathan has worked on this a long time and as a big grant from google and has expanded this operation into a global durrell forecasting initiative called the global viral and one of the things, one sample of the kind of work being done out there is he and his people send little kids out with the people, usually men who do the bush meat hunting from the villagees in central africa, filter papers, simple filter papers of the kind
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used for medical purposes and not that different from what you filter your coffee with. and ziploc bags. they pay the hunters to collect samples for them. a daughter of blood on filter paper placed in a ziploc bag now can be used as a sample from which in the laboratory a week or two weeks or months later you can extract enough dna or rna to identify virus. used to have to capture an animal, take a blood sample and rush it to the u.s.. liquid nitrogen would freeze it. they are at room temperature and do not have to be kept cool. this can be done, they used pcr
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technology and other fancy laboratory things to extract not live virus. you can't extract live virus from a sample like that. you can extract dna and rna to identify what is there so that is what nathan wilson and other people doing, the idea being to spot the next big one at a very early phase, but for decades past, before we realize that hiv was in the human population, to try to catch the next big one. >> how do these deadly animal viruses tend to evolve? do you think they will continue to evolve at the rate they have done in our recent experience of monitoring and trying to control them? >> two things can happen if you are a virus. picture yourself a virus living
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in a monkey in central africa. humans are coming in and tearing down your habitat, tearing down a monkey's habitat, killing the monkey for food, building villages, settlements, timber camps so the rise ins, the prospect of that particular virus are shrinking and shrinking and shrinking. at the point where the monkey approach is the brink of extinction two things can happen to the virus. it can go extinct or make a leap to another host. viruses the test purposes, they don't make choices. evolution is not really logical anyway. things just happen and they have consequences. if the monkey is killed and there is no spillover the virus goes extinct probably with the monkey but if the virus get into a human by chance, by
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opportunity and finds itself able to replicate in the human and adapt to the human by mutating and undergoing natural selection so is better and better adapted to the human and force to replicate in the human and transmitted to the next human that virus is one that has passed from species of host with shrinking prospects to an species of host that is the most abundant species of large vertebrate animal that ever existed on this planet. >> thousands or even millions of these viruses that have the potential to then evolve into and be into a dangerous killing virus? and be transmitted? >> the safest answer is yes presumably. we are just scratching into that area. some of these scientists i talk
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to say we don't know how many species there are in the tropical forest. we know there are millions. we can safely assume that each has a unique virus, at least one. >> we ran out of questions and ran out of time. >> thank you very much. thank you for your questions. thank you. >> is there a nonfiction author of books you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at or four us at >> if i have my case coming up, would really lay the lot down what is going on in this country. people have been giving me for a long time, i wish i wasn't on trial. this case is coming up. i did like to ask america was going on. >> his family goes all the way
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back to when he settled in rhode island, worked his way up, first doing low-level kinds of crime but eventually became the crime boss of new england. with his headquarters on federal hill in providence, rhode island. sometimes people think mob guys are those kind of guys, not true at all. they are people who are incredibly intelligent, they have pull some scams on wall street that would make bernie madoff look like a piker but of course they have traditional kinds of organized-crime which were shaking down people, extortion, they viewed it as just protecting their business from other guys who might try to shake you down and murder for hire etc.. their repertoires grew and grew as a result of trying to protect their turf and their way of doing things. >> more for road ivan state
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capital as booktv, american history tv and c-span local content vehicles look behind the scenes at the history of literary life of providence today at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday at 5:00 on american history tv on c-span3. >> from the jefferson library of monticello, historian henry -- henry wiencek talks about thomas jefferson's relationship to slavery. jefferson sought financial gain through the ownership and labor of his slaves but america's third president called silent profits. the dr. utilize recent archaeological findings at jefferson's estate, monticello and jefferson's papers in his research. this is just over an hour. >> our guest speaker this afternoon is henry wiencek who will be talking about his book
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"master of the mountain: thomas jefferson and his slaves". it is a subject the thomas jefferson foundation has been a pioneer in researching and presenting thanks largely to the work of senator stenson who collected essays published earlier this year by the university of virginia press. entitled labor for my happiness:slavery at thomas jefferson at monticello. regarded an authority on the subject. the book was released to coincide with an exhibit on slavery at monticello in the smithsonian national museum of african-american history which is co curated by the staff of the thomas jefferson foundation. 70 of the defendants commemorated attended the opening night. after 50 years of archaeological and historical research the
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thomas jefferson foundation is now in the next phase of interpretation and restoration projects funded by the national endowment for the humanities and by private support. the project is called the landscape of slavery, marjorie row and monticello which includes the creation of many exhibits, smart phones, a website and computer animation. the people held in slavery at monticello, images of seven men and women survive, but all of the names are preserved. nevertheless for many years the human dimension was missing from these careful accounts. in 1993, historians at monticello started an oral history project called getting words to fill in the missing human dimensions.
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next february, monticello, participation from morgan and the university of virginia will be hosting a conference entitled telling the history of slavery, scholarship museum interpretation and the public. these activities represent why monticello is regarded as the best documented, best preserved, best studied plantation in north america. furthermore, by presenting a history of enslaved people as individuals with particular stories, monticello hopes to demonize an institution that is presented in abstraction without details of individuals and families. for those of you interested in more information we encourage you to look at our web site,
9:49 am, which includes video of current descendants talking about their own lives and their relationship to monticello. it is thanks to the remarkable resources of thomas jefferson foundation devotes to research that -- henry wiencek in the jefferson library which is celebrating its tenth anniversary as the only library dedicated to one of the founding fathers. henry is an independent scholar and is also locally known to many of us here in the audience, who writes about the south and whose last book was on george washington's slavery, entitled an imperfect god which was published in 2003. at the end of his talk he will be taking questions and will be available to sign copies of his
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book in the gallery. please join me in welcoming henry wiencek. [applause] >> thank you. i very much appreciate your remarks. is a homecoming for me because i spent many months out stairs and down the hall when i had a fellowship here to begin my research on the book. i am grateful to and rue for the aid he has lent me over the years and also to a former executive director, dan jordan, and leslie bowman, current executive director of monticello, for their support in the past and in the present. this is a magnificent resource and monticello is perhaps the leading public history site for the study of slavery in the united states.
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the study of that subject is really very difficult for a number of reasons. one is it is hard to find documents and the other is the psychological impediments that we americans have in that as described by my old neighbor, who happens to be the father of my editor, he said americans buy our own traditions are the most innocent people on earth. we never do anything wrong as a people and the country still is difficult to learn from the past because there was never any right and wrong. we always come out innocent. when one encounters a phenomenon such as slavery which seems so-called legal we have to find some way of dealing with it and we usually rapid in the word paradox, which is we suspend all judgment and say we just can't figure out the people of that
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time. i had spent -- i mentioned i was spending many months upstairs poring over the documents and published and unpublished about the slaves at monticello and jefferson's relationship with them and getting more and more confused. one of the best known slaves memoirs he had was written by a blacksmith isaac granger. i studied him in great detail and in a couple cases he mentions that jefferson was a good master in that jefferson's son-in-law who ran things around here when and jefferson was a way, colonel randolph was in charge of the overseer's as an executive overseer, colonel randolph was a very good master but in going through the records i found that turn or randolph once when he was strapped for cash took isaac's daughter maria and sold her to an overseer who
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took the young girl away to kentucky and she was never seen again. isaac didn't mention that in his memoir. i really don't know why. maybe he told his white interviewer and the interviewer didn't want to write it down. maybe isaac didn't want to say anything that would hurt the feelings of a white man. maybe it hadn't left an impression on him. we just don't know but it is not there and it leads one to realize that there is a loss in these accounts that we really don't know and the psychological, possible psychological distortions under slavery are something we are still wrestling with. another person's memoirs i spent a lot of time with where peter faucet. he left two memoirs, he gave newspaper interviews in the 1900 -- 1800s rather. he was born here and was one of
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the slaves who was auctioned in the auction of mr. jefferson's slaves after jefferson's death. his father, joseph foster, the chief blacksmith at monticello and his mother, edith, was mr. jefferson's coke. this was a very high status family. i had been spending a lot of time reading his memoirs and trying to glean as much information as i could from them and it was one hot afternoon that i decided to get out of this place and go to the mountain and wander around as i often did looking at the house and mingling with the tourists, trying to get a sense of the place all over again because place is very important to my writing. as it turned out, the tour guide was just beginning a talk about peter fawcett and she began telling the story about how he was sold at auction at age 11 and was sold to someone who
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promised peter's father that he would release him in a few years is joseph raised enough money because joseph was one of the few slaves, and jefferson's will and joseph worked very hard to raise the money to buy his son back from his master but the master broke the deal, broke his promise and peter was condemned to slavery, when a friend described as he would sneak out and hide in a distant cabin and hired by the members of the dying fire and taught himself to read and write and in sodium learned how to write emancipation documents. at that point in the story suddenly a thunderstorm blew into the monticello mountain top and the guys looked around and said if anybody is scared of the storm you leave and run to the old tunnel beneath the house but having heard the beginning of
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peter fawcett's narrative nobody left. so she went on to say he produced fake emancipation documents that allowed his sister and others to escape virginia and he decided to write a fake emancipation paper for himself so he ran away but was caught, brought back to charlottesville and tried again. he said i was determined to get free or die in the attempt so he ran away again, was caught and this time his own decided to dispose of him, to turn him over to the ridge and traders where he was bought in handcuffs and as he recounted for the second time in my life i was put on the auction block and sold like a horse. when his friends in charlottesville they found out, they raised the money and sent him to ohio as a free man where he became a minister, a businessman and a smuggler of
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fugitives in the underground and in his old age he had one wish left which was to come back to monticello which lived in his memory as an earthly paradise so he came back here and walked to the top of the mountain where we the group of tourists were standing. to me that story have always been one of the triumph of the human spirit over difficulties but i heard a different element to it that day, that afternoon when the tour guide mentioned from the time he was sold at age even peter fawcett remained a slave another 24 years and when the visitors hole -- heard that they gas. they couldn't get over it because they had just learned about the courage and character and achievements of this man and couldn't believe such a person would be held in slavery. it for at their sense of justice. i had to wonder, that was something i had never thought of before. i had read that story but i had never heard it and it was only
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when outsiders not as soaked in monticello war as i was heard it, the basic human element came out and i began to wonder why didn't jefferson see these people as fleets human. that was one of the major contradictions that propelled my research. what i discovered was jefferson appears to be a man of contradictions but when you do something rather simple which is put him on a timeline and examine all his savings and actions in an excellent chronological order, sir in patterns emerge and things simultaneously get a little more complicated but a lot simpler. we are actually dealing with two jeffersons. there was the young jefferson who was the fiery radical emancipation best and there was the older jefferson who embrace slavery. the young jefferson oddly enough has not been studied all that
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much. as a newly minted member of the house of burgesses he made a proposal to emancipate slaves in virginia. he made it on the sly shielding his identity using a relative to submit the bill which is a good thing because his relative was denounced as an enemy of the country and the bill was summarily dismissed but then later under his own name as the revolution approached jefferson floated a more explicit plan that actually might have changed the course of our history. if only the country would stop the slave trade, jefferson wrote, it could proceed, quote, to the enfranchisement of the slaves the we have, meaning that they would become citizens. he wrote this in a document called called the summary view of the rights of british america, which he submitted to a committee in the house of burgesses and it was summarily rejected. that led to his being chosen to write the declaration of independence where he denounced


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