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tv   The Real NCIS  CSPAN  August 12, 2013 8:30pm-11:01pm EDT

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herald-tribune." i tend to believe that the times is not for sale but the speculation that it could be or should be is kind of of logical the last fewks. so i guess he thought the statement with silence speculation but being an old-time journalists you know that actually could be a way -- we could riff off bad and turn it into a new speculation. >> host: finally gentleman for a last question, does this portend anything for the future of journalism and the news industry in general? edmund lee? >> guest: it's hard to say. with newspapers in general journalism itself is changing. it's manifesting itself in different ways these days whether to blog or twitter and
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the intersection between video and newspapers these days so it's hard to say where it's headed. i think we are in a stage where it still being figured out and with just bezos buying the "post" that is one stark example of one possible future for newspapers and everyone is doing their own version of it in terms of how they feel they will be able to grow their business for the future. ..
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they were able to support having certain number of journalists out on the street. as those companies have slunk, the number of journalists have gone away. the chicago "times" fired everlast one of the photographers. and including pulitzer prize winner. because they couldn't afford to keep them anymore. so we are now at the point where the old owners, many of the old owners of newspapers are leaving, and new people are coming in from warren buffett to john henry to the guy who owns the orange county register. these new blooded in industry are successful people. they are going revisit the business model, and the journalism they can afford to produce or not afford to produce
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remains to be seen. at the end of the day, we're going have to start asking ourselves. we used to know who owned the news. it used to be big publying and broadcasting company. we don't know who is going to own the news. until we know who owns the news we don't know what kind of journalism we'll get. >> host: thank you for being on ""the communicators." >> guest: sure. up next former las vegas mayor oscar goodman on the auto biography.
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speaking in strisk today attorney general holder said rational disparity in the justice system are, quote, shame ful. here is a look. they are far to come. it's time to ask tough questions about how he can strengthen our communities, how question support young people. how we can address the fact that young black and latino men are disproportionately likely to become involved in the criminal justice system as victims as well as perpetrators. we also must conflict the reality that once they are in that system, people of color.
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one deeply troubling report indicates in recent years black male offenders have seven-day forecast sentences nearly 20% longer than those imposed on white male convicted of similar crime. it's not just unacceptable. it is shameful. it is -- [applause] it is unworthy of our great country. it is unworthy of our great legal tradition. in response, i have today directed a group of u.s. attorneys to exam sentencing disparity and develop recommendations on how we can address them. in this area, and in many others, in larges and small, we as a country must resolve to do better. the president said it's time to take a pragmatic approach. that's why i'm proud to announce today the justice department will take a series of significant actions to
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recalibrate america's federal criminal justice system. we will start by fundamentally rethinking that the notion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes. [applause] this is regardless of the -- in a particular case reduce the discretion available to prosecutors, judges, and juries. because they oftentimes generate unfairly long sentences. they breed disrespect for the system. when applied indiscriminately they do not apply public safety. let be honest, some of the enforcement priority we set have had a destabilizing effect on particular communities. largely poor and of color. and applied inappropriately they are ultimately counter
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productive. this is why i have to today mandated a modification of the justice department charging policy and certain low-level nonviolent drug offenders who have ties to large scale gang or cartel will not -- [applause] they now will be charged with offenses for which accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpin by serving the most severe penalty for drug traffickers we can better promote public safety, deterrence, and making the expenditure smarter and more productive. we have seen the approach has bipartisan support. it m cos from a senator of
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senators. they introduced what i think is promising legislation aimed at giving federal judge more discretion in applying mandatory minimums. before serving three term of mayor of las vegas. he recently sat down with booktv to discuss his auto biography "being oscar: from mob lawyer to mayor of las vegas." mayor goodman, when did you come to las vegas? why? >> we came her in 1964. i went to a wonderful liberal arts college in the outskirt of philadelphia. i of lot every day of college. when i went to law school at the university of pennsylvania, it was a time when the civil rights movement was active. however, the students there were interested in going with the law firm and corporate law and the like.
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it was boring know death. i had just gotten married. i thought i wasn't supporting my wife. one day i decided to walk down city hall. walk to the da office and say, do you have a job? is there a clerkship available in i was lucky because they ushered to arlen specter's office. he was coming off a win of conviction of the first teamster official in the cite. we spoke and said i would love to hire you. i got $1 an hour. i worked a 40-hour week. i think i'm the only person that went to eye lie veg law school. they took under $300 ,000 from the mattress and took to las vegas to launder it at the crap table. arlen assigned me to get the testimony before the trial was going start on a motion to suppress, and at the end of the meeting, it was a cold, dreary, horrible night. the wind was going right through the city hall of philadelphia they said what are you doing here? i said where else is there? very proverbial.
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they said las vegas, i went home that night and said, how would you like that go to the land of milk and honey. israel. she said i'm not going to she said las vegas. we came here. we arrived with $87 had great educations. but the american dream. there was a character by the name of joba raysic. there was a cloud over his head. it would rain. with me i had the sunshine on me. i have been very, very lucky. >> what kind of law can you practice when you got here? >> anything that paid me. whoever walked in to my office, if they wanted bankruptcy, collection, divorce, whatever they wanted. i would take care of them. and try to make them very happy. i was happy. oh. look at this! we must be in las vegas. [laughter] thank you. this is the real mccoy too.
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believe me. it's not water. water is for washing. this is -- may i toast you? >> please go ahead. >> thank you. i have a watch given to me by the convention authority that has all five on it. >> it's 5:00 somewhere. >> given the fact you had a martini delivered here while we speak. this is probably a first a drink has been delivered during an interview, mayor goodman. >> that's great. >> i want to go back to the subtitle of the book, from mob lawyer to las vegas. how did you become a mob lawyer? >> it's interesting you don't start as a mob lawyer. there was a -- las vegas was referred to as an open city. in other words, the five mafia family didn't have a stronghold on any particular casino here. it was open for anybody to take
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a little piece of it. and i came out here with the expectations of not even practicing criminal law. as a matter of fact, i went to the d. a's office as a clerk here doing civil work. one day, a fellow came to me for bankruptcy, and i took care of him. we had met and haves card dealer. in those days the town was friendly leer. you could talk to a card dealer and not concern yourself with suggestions that perhaps you take advantage of the house and that kind of thing. one day he said he would like a bankruptcy. i same come on down. i had an officer in flowershop. and roses watched up through the door. i think i charged him $250 including the cost. he was happy. i was happy. a couple of weeks later, a phone call comets to -- comes to the pit of the hotel where he was dealing the cards, and the person on the end of the phone said who is the best criminal lawyer in las vegas?
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nobody in las vegas -- it's no different now than then knows how to say i don't know. instead of saying i don't know he said who is the best criminal lawyer in las vegas? and the fellow i did the bankruptcy for said call oscar. that's the way it started. because the fellow who made the phone call was a reputed mobster from the northeast, who was involved with pornography and the like. his brother had a problem here. he hadn't seen his brother in twenty years. i get a phone call from somebody in las vegas, come by such and such a place and we're going hire you on a case. you better win it. he was scared to death. and being the brave person i am, i said to my wife, how would you like to take a ride? we went to an exclusive neighborhood and i knocked on the door and the fellow said here is a three dimes. i didn't know what a dime is. he said you better win the case. i went around the corner, i opened up the envelope i saw
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20-$100. i never saw thatch money. i got lucky. it was a case i couldn't win. i would lose it 999 times. i tried on valentine's day two years after got my license in the federal court house. didn't know how to pick a jury. i was so nervous i parked it on the step of the court house. it's now a mob museum we have a plaque where he barked it. >> meaning threw up. >> right. i believe the jury felt so sorry for me they brought back a not guilty. the brother was so happy that he hired the best criminal lawyer in las vegas who tried his first federal case for him. and that from that point on he would refer to me folks around the cub. and my meyer lane sky was one of his friends and bookmakers all over the country were his friends. i got a phone call one day about
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the first wiretap case under the bill which was taking place in florida. miami. miami international airport had the phones surveyed with wiretap and they were taking video. the fellow providing the sports information to the bookmakers down there was a bartender in las vegas. and they had him hire me, and i went down to miami to try the case. i got lucky again. i got him severed out of the case. and everybody else was found guilty. the word went around the country, oscar goodman won the first wiretap case. had nothing do with the wiretap or anything. and my cliend wasn't mentioned for the first two week of trial. they never tried him again. from that point on, it was a foot in the door. every single mob case in the country i had at least one client and on december the 12th of 1970, i was hired
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basically on a case that wiretapped a place in 26 different cities. i was hired in 19 of the 26 cities because of the reputation i was developing. once again, i got lucky. i was able to have ascertain and i couldn't have ever done this if i had one case. i one case after another piled up on the floor. the client said the signature they have -- attorney general of the united, they were in different handwriting. so i investigated it. i took john mitchell, who was then the united states attorney's deposition. he arrogantly said yes, we did something that was sort of inappropriate here. it shouldn't involve the dismissal of the case. i got all nineteen dismissed as a result of that. once again, the reputation kept on growing. the legend kept growing. i don't say it arrogantly
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because it was all luck. >> i'll let you sip your drink. i didn't want do you have to just hold that. >> you talk about your lawyer career repeated mobster. you use the word mob. are you troubled by that word? why dow -- do you always repute it? >> because i'll never forget the judge in san diego who was presiding over a case i was representing a reputed mobster by the name of chris petty down there. and chris had a career in san diego, and everybody was referring him to a reputed the mobster. i thought that was his name. reputed mobster. i said, you have to understand, your honor, the reason we use reputed because he's not a mobster until convicted of being a mobster. he's reputed because the reputation that basically the media and law enforcement has given him. that's the reason i use the word reputed.
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if somebody is convicted, they rei koa violation or a mob-related crime i think it's fair to call them a mobster. i never objected being a mobster attorney. i took it as a badge of honor. they could hire anybody in the world avoid anybody in the world. they chose me. i worked proudly. >> does the government play by the rules? >> no. i hate to interrupt you. that gets my dander up. no. they may today. i haven't actively practiced in the last thirteen years because i was the mayor. when i was practicing particularly during in the '70s and '80s they played bit ends justified the means. they didn't care that much whether my client did what it was they were on trial for what he was in the courtroom for. they felt my clients so were bad they committed heinous crime if they could get them, and that is not supposed to work that way either. you don't get somebody in a trial. if they could get them, then
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that was their job. they could anything to get my clients. i rarely put a client on the witness stand. i rarely let them be subjected to cross examination. many of my clients, to be quite frank, weren't smart. i thought i could do a better job in arguing to the jury. i really believed that. allowing them to be questioned by the bright prosecutor. the end of the story was these people who were prosecuting them, the law enforcement agents had to be my target. because i wasn't putting my client on to deny the charges. i tried the government. and invash belie i caught them in a lie. i caught them in a violation of the constitution of the united states. people say oscar won the case on the technicality. i don't think the fourth amendment is technicality. i think it's the embodiment of one of the great laws that the country has where the government can't get involved illegal
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search and seizure. can't go to somebody's home and violate their personal liberties without having a warrant issued by the marshall judge. i won my cases, the cases i won because -- based of the on attack on the government and voracity. my favorite story in the book is one people don't talk about. the one about backer. he was a reputed heroin dealer. >> african-american. >> african-american. a caricature of the old african-american -- the way people i guess the way paula deen would have characterized an african-american in her prior life. he shuffled, he mumbled, and but he was a smart guy. he was a nice guy. i think he was probably dealing in serious amount of heroin. and a law enforcement god word he was going to be involved in a heroin transaction, at all
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places as arkansas. they staked out the airport and saw him drive up in the cadillac. they arrested somebody coming from san diego who was going to make the delivery of drugs to him. and he didn't know that. he is waiting outside the airport. and four police officers, crackers, red necks, all big fat guys, and they were going testify, i invoked the exclusionary rule which says that if you're not testifying, you have to leave the courtroom so you won't hear what the other person testifying do. the first cracker gets on the stand. state police, i swear to tell the truth, nothing but the truth, so help me god. he said, well, we saw the guy sitting there on the curb in the cadillac, and i went up to him and said, sir, well, right off the bat nobody ever called many sir. so i knew it was the beginning of some kind of concoction.
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he said, sir, was his testimony. would you mind if you lowered your window. and got out of your car. he said, certainly no problem. i know, many wouldn't listen to a -- police officer. would you be kind enough to hand us the key out of the ignition. many said certainly. i know, that never would have happened. and he said, sir, please open up the trunk. nobody ever said please to many either. they said many opened the up the trunk and found a bag in the trunk and said, sir would you be kind enough to open the bag. they said many opened it and found $260 ,000. well, many starts getting a little hot, he said, you know, mr. goodman. he said they're lying. i said manny, i'm going have three more cops. three more white cops come here and testify about the same incident. so let me take care of it. you sit there quietly because
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they are lying mr. goodman. the next cop comes on. swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. so help me god. same testimony. demand glove. they're lying, mr. goodman. next cop. redder neck than the guy before. same testimony and he said, and he opened it up and he was polite and they're lying mr. goodman. i said manny, the judge you're a black guy, manny. they think you're a heroin dealer. okay. nobody is going believe you over four white cops. they're lying, mr. goodman. the next cop. the last one i had to see up there, i swear to tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth. same testimony. they're lying. you know, the people on the band will be able to tell you that. i said what are you talking about, manny. you know, the van they pick pilot and flight attendant up.
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you saw a van there in he said yeah, they were right there. i'm sure they saw everything that happened. i said you have to be kidding. i said to the judge, your honor, i can have a day where i can find some very important evidence to produce for you? so he said, what do you want a day for? i he gave me a half day. he didn't think i was going to be able to do anything but speak to my client i'm sure he didn't particularly like. manny was a likable guy if you got know him. the public doesn't generally like heroin dealers. but i think they don't like lying cops even more. so i go back to my office, and i knew when the flight was coming in. and was able to ascertain what airline it was on. and i had one of the fellows in the office call up and found the name for the pilot. he was in san francisco. i got on the phone and said, sir, i'm oscar goodman. i represent a fellow who was arrested at the airport in
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arkansas. he said, man, he said that was like miami vice. i said what do you mean? he said there was a black guy in the car, the four white cops came up. they pull him out of the car and pushed his face down the curb, they put cuffs behind the back. they put a gun to the head and took the key out of the i ignition and went to the truck. i said will you testify to that? he said sure. i said you come down here and make sure so you a nice room. if you want to brain friend, i'll make sure everything will be taken care of. be at my office tomorrow morning at 7:00. he came down, and we put him on the stand. and you know what the stupid prosecutor said? he said, oh, there's goodman's supporting perjury there. the judge looked at him with disdain he threw the case out and said it was absolutely a constitutional violation, and manny said thank you.
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and you know what? the heart breaking part about the story that's why i like my book. i told it the way it is. the lying cops, and the prosecutor who put them on knowing they were lying because nobody remembers things exactly like the next person, none of them were ever prosecuted for perjury. they're able to do it some other guy who doesn't have a good lawyer like i was. >> and you're watching booktv on c-span2. we are talking with oscar good man. who are "lefty" rosenthal? >> if you saw the movie "casino" i start with robert de niro. >> by the way, why is it you were in the movie? >> because rosin that was one of the consult assistant for the film, and knick, who wrote the book, and martin said who should play the lawyer? rosin that said let my lawyer do
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it. little did he know i can't memorize a thing. they hired me to play myself, and it was great. every time you watch "casino" i make 13 cents. it supplemented my income over the years. >> how much have you made off the movie? >> i make about -- believe it or not i think i get $7,000. it's not bad. buy a couple of drinks. >> so who are "lefties" aren that? >> you didn't call him "lefty" to the face. it was frank. he was the front man for the chorption which owned very bright guy. he developed the recent sports book today. before he came along there were holes in the wall like you would imagine in a movie in the 1930 peanut has the ideas of
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grandeur. and really changed the business. he was -- tony was a childhood associate ofss rosin that and according to law enforcement he was sent by the chicago mob to look over the interest in las vegas. and according to law enforcement, tony killed 26 people, murdered them. and i was also chastised by fbi agents and local police who said your client killed 26 people, how can you sleep at night? i said how come you are dumb? you haven't been to be put him in jail if he killed 26 people. you more on. never got a satisfactory answer. tony did the thing here. unfortunately he was killed if a buried in a cornfield in indiana. >> were you his lawyer? >> i was his lawyer for many years. and never spent one day in jail over the fifteen years i represented him. there was one -- trying a cans representing the
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bosses in kansas city. he was arrested for murder and didn't want any other attorney to representative him. he waited until i got back. >> is there a such a thing as a mafia. >> there was a time i would have sworn there was. i don't say it -- i had the head of the fbi tell me there wasn't. if you can't believe them, who can you believe? kidding. nay said it was a greatest lie i ever told. the lie of the century that there is no mafia. where i really found out about what i was doing because i was representing competing families. i had no idea of the structure until i began to listen to a wiretaps and read the search warrants and see the movie "casino." if i really knew what i was doing i would have charged more. i would have owned island caribbean and private plane and unlimited supply of bombay sapphire won't --
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without being the. i was representing vitamin any -- vinny "the animal" you wouldn't call him that to the face. he was in boston, and the pat yak crime family. i got a phone call one day from the prosecutor and he said you are through oscar, i said what does that mean? he said you'll never be to be there's no mafia. i used to make the ceremony the rats informants would testify to they met in a room and put a gun on the table and pulled out a knife and they took a card of the saint and put on the card and you light the card and you say that if your brother is an informant, you'll kill your brother. and if your mother is on the sick bed and the boss calls, you'll leave your mother. i would laugh at that. i thought it was ludicrous. well, i get a phone call from
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the prosecutor on the case and he says we have recorded surreptitiously, a mafia induction ceremony at 93 gill street in bedford, massa where your client is on the tape. well, i wasn't going say you didn't record it i had to hear it. i heard there was a ceremony and put a gun on the table, they brought a knife out and prick the finger. they lit the card and the whole works. i said, you know, this is really remarkable that the testimony that i heard all of these years, chi used to laugh at apparently has validity to it. so we're trying a motion to suppress in the case this is a case where they are sending the fbi agent to prison for ten years or more in boston and catching the fbi in all sort of lies. that's a different story. i'm sitting down because i get the feeling that the case is ever going resolved and he had three murder charges against
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him. i could wrap it up if i were able to resolve it before the trial began. and they were -- the agents were lying on the stand. but i couldn't prove it at the time as far as taking testimony from the informant and the like. i sat down with him and his other person. he was a college graduate. i believe boston college. we were sitting down and i said, you know, fellows, i said i can, i the case. i can beat the murders. i don't have a problem. i can beat the extortion. i can beat the book and the robbery. i can beat the kidnapping. i can beat all of those. where i have a problem, though, is on the stinkin' tape of the ma mafia induction ceremony. i don't have the problem with the pricking of the finger and
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burning of the cards. people used to that. if and your brother is a rat your going to kill him. that's jew day owe christian. i said but i do have a problem with say you leave your mother on her death bed if you get summonedded. he said jr, next time we'll leave the line out. >> what was las vegas like when you first moved here? what was it like. >> the corporation take it over and being subjected as see and gaming control super vision. as well as attrition through fbi surveillance and wiretap and the like. there's no mob here. there's no mob in the traditional sense of mafia.
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they have no bearing whatsoever. when i got here in 1964, my wife and i were driving from the east coast and came to the top of the hill and overlooked the entire valley. there were a couple of sprinkles light in the desert. i don't believe there was a building taller than two stories high. a tumble we'd came rolling in -- i hadn't seen a tumbleweed outside the cowboy movie. i didn't think they existed. she said where have you brought me? and i brought her to the rights place. it was a different kind of town. it was a friendly town. 70,000 people. now we have 2 million. 70,000 part-time lived here. we will our social life resolved around a shopping center on saturday and sunday. people went to a place called las vegas village. you saw the alleged mobsters, you saw the politicians and sometimes they may have been the same. you saw the lawyer, the doctor, the rabbis, priests. everybody shopped there.
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it was a very close community. it was different doing business in those days. maybe it's the same every place where the handshake was all you had to do. if you put something in writing it was a rarity. it would cause a lawsuit to try to break the term of the writing. and you gave a person your word, and it was mauler. it was nicer. now it's, you know, a closet moe poll tan city. a city with a lot of action. and the bottom line is different when it was. we would go a casino and go to a lounge and see franky lane, they didn't charge us. they would bring us -- i think i started to really drink. they bring us a free drink. hors d'oeuvre. they wanted us to gamble. that's what las vegas was about. gambling. with the outset of gambling being common place, basically around the world, people don't come to to gamble as much of the
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other things the town reshaped officer to offer. we have the best restaurants in the world. wonderful retail shopping. if you wanted to by somebody a gift you went to jc and target. it was great. if you wanted to see a show, of some intelligent you flew to san francisco. now we have a wonderful performing arts center and the finest retail shopping in the world. i don't think there's a to be we don't -- shop we don't have here. there are two different world. which someone best? ic they were trade-off. as i say the best of everything, and available to we who live here as well as our visitors. in the old days we didn't have that. but in the old days there was something nice about relationship between people that people are too busy to today. >> you write sin city. i'll take it.
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built by the mob? yeah, so what. >> so what. what difference does it snake the mobsters, it's interesting, there were two different kind of mobsters. there were mobsters who were designated mobsters by law enforcement in the media. fellows like -- who came out from i believe cleveland. part of the purple gang, murder incorporated. who came from texas and supposedly involved in murders down there. there were those kinds of mobsters designated by the press and law enforcement who became our founding fathers. these who were the fellows who gave the money to build the beautiful catholic churches we had and the synagogue. they were our philanthropists. they were responsible for shaping las vegas to a legitimate city. and they get member of the year award from the various civic
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organization and deserved it because they left whatever issue behind. there was another kind of mobster that people didn't know about. they were disclosed in the wiretap. these were fellow if you knew them, they were the most legitimate business vies -- guys in the world. they ran the casino. they were 100%. paid the taxes, the whole works. then we found out in listening to the tapes and seeing the going through the trial they weren't what they peered to be. they were hidden owners. working for hayden owners which was illegal of the casino. and, you know, they didn't hurt anybody. one thing i will say, in all the years i lived here. i have never heard of the house cheating a player. plenty of players try to cheat the house. i have never heard one instance where they were cheated. i think that was their code. but basically that was the difference between the old days and the new theys.
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>> i'm a gambler, you write, i have been all my life. i'll bet on anything, baseball, football, basketball. two cook roaches having a race. i like the action. >> it's the truth. as a trial lawyer, i don't think i guess if i were a brain surgeon or smart enough to do that. something of great dexterity and intelligent. i probably would have been tired at night. basically trying the cases, the adrenaline was always in me. i always thought about them 2-hours a day. i took my work seriously. i have always taken my work seriously. i don't take myself seriously. i take my work seriously. i would find when i left the court house, and after i studied for the next day's proceedings became nervous. i didn't have action. the court house provided me with
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the action. i started to bet then. there's not a day that goes by they strong to bet on something. if you would like to know my baseball -- i would be happy to share it. my favorite is cincinnati. if you want to see they follow me they are, -- welcome do it. [laughter] another quote from "being oscar: from mob lawyer to mayor of las vegas." i'm a drinker and again the first time that a guest ordered a drink during a booktv interview. i'll tell everyone not call me after 5:00 when i finish working, i enjoy a mar tee know or two. you can call me on the phone and i'll be lucid. there's a good chance i won't remember our conversation. >> i think that's a definition of a real drunk. there's a little bit of truth to that. my day never ended at 5:00, of course. but i -- after awhile i would take my pen and a pee of paper -- piece of paper and jot down the conversation. when called i would answer. they would never know i was
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drinking. my mind worked that way. i was able to be clear about what i was saying. the next day if you ask mely received a phone card i would have a hard time remembering. i have a hard time remembering whether or not i ate din are whether or not i liked it. it all came together. write about this in the book as well. when i first decided to run -- >> for mayor. >> there was a debate that was going take place which is a very affluent area all of the people who live there are voters. they care about the community. they follow politics, and it was going to be a tough audience for me because they would expect something of substance? i hearde my primary opponent was going to send in a -- to bait me and get my hot. i have a temper.
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i got a phone call that evening before the debate from my son ross who had been in the marine corps. he was stationed in cherry point, he called me and said who is it going? he said i'm a little concerned. the debate tonight. i think they are going to get me hot and start with the drinking. he said, dad, you have them do a preeveryonive strike. i had no idea what do you mean? it's you have to take the sting out of it before you sting you. it make some sense to me. i get up, a fellow who comes up who i knew. he was a newspaper reporter at this time working as an investigators for the public defenders office. i said, hi, al. he said mr. goodman, i knew there was a trouble there instead of calling me oscar. he said when is the last time you have been to city hall? i never have been to city hall. i don't think it was a
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prerequisite to be mayor. it's probably a good thing not to be there. i looked at him and said, i'll answer your question -- he turned around and started walking away from me. i said wait a second, buddy. you asked me a question, you look me in the face while i'm going answer the question. well, the audience goes -- you're not supposed to talk to somebody like that when you are running for office. you're supposed to kiss their rear. i said you come up here. it i'll tell you something. i have never been to city hall. i'll tell you something else. i'm a drunk. and i drink to excess. i drink two bottles of begin a night. don't worry about that. i'm gambler. ly gamble on anything that moves. you name the price. i'm ready to book it. all right. or bet it. didn't matter to me. when i said that, there was nothing else bad to say about me. i'm not a philander. i don't cheat on my wife. i don't abuse women.
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i'm a pretty nice guy, actually. they had nothing bad to say about me. i went through the entire election process without anybody being to be say that i didn't say about myself. i creamed them. then the next time, because of the way i did business, i got 86% of the vote. and the next time i got 84% of the vote. i'm still looking for the 16 fortunate -- % who didn't vote for me. [laughter] where were you successful as mayor? >> i think i was the mayor the same way a lawyer. jurors are the smartest animals there are. you get 12 people, or in florida you have six. depending where you are. twelve people who don't know each other. they are different walk of life who take an oath they're going to try to be fair and impartial and return a verdict according to the law. and they get so involved in trying to do the right thing.
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at the personal sacrifice, they put themselves in jeopardy as far as their health is concerned, as far as their emotions are concerned. i have taken their job very seriously. i think -- my favorite book growing up was "catcher in the rye." holden was one of the hero. not because of the way he lived but he believed not being a phoney. i used it in the practice and the way i live my life. one thing they is say is i'm not a phoney. a lot of people may not like me. i'll be looking for them. i knew jurors would be able to see through a lie, through deception, through ?b trying to pull the wool over their eyes. i look them in the eye, one by one and told them the way i proceed the issues to be. i say, i never profess my
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client's innocence because that's not what it was about. the prosecution did not prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. that's what it was about. i was able to argue that with great sincerity, and great truthfulness. so basically i took that to the mayor's office with me. i would have my coffee with the mayor. and ma tee knee with the mayor. i would have the news conferences. where i stood naked basically in the media. it was unabridge. it was live. they could ask me whatever they wanted. they could take whatever shot. i told them the way i saw it. now, every once awhile i said things that would alarm people. i was talking to a class -- they loved this one. i love reading to kids. my wife will kill me for that. i love reading to children. she said kids are goats. i love reading to chirp. my favorite is "the three little
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pigs; the real story." i get through reading we loved if. i looked at my watch and had a little bit of time. i said do you have any questions? one fellow in the back of the room raises his hand and said what is the one thing you would want, mr. mayor, if you were on a december the island in the middle of the ocean? and i guess they would have liked me to have said the bible, but i said a boat -- bottle of gin. well. a mall stromb was created. i got back to my office, it was though i committed a crime against society. everybody was calling how can the mayor -- listen to this, how can the mayor tell children to drink gin, how can the mayor say he's on a december the island with two show girls and children should drink gin the story kept getting bigger. i told them to drop dead. i said, you know, i'm the george washington of mayors. i wasn't going a phony.
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he didn't like the answer he shouldn't have asked the question. if people don't like the book they can write their own stupid book. the other one, i believe in at satire. i was the -- i loved the irish famine story of jonathan swift wrote about eating the baby. of course, no one wassed a vote caption eating baby. but he was trying to get a message across that he was very interested in bought fying our very cold concrete roads around here. and i put enough pressure on people that they finally did it. and one day i get a phone call that my beautiful desert -- which has been made out of stone was defaced. i said if we catch that punk, i'm going take his thumb and cut it off on television. well, everybody said how can the mayor say he's going cut off a thumb?
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these are punks. there's no pa artist. it's the gang bangers costing millions of dollars. i got people to pay attention to gray graffiti. finally they caught the kid. i wasn't going chop his thumb off on tv. i did want to put anymore a -- what do you call them? you put a person's head through it and the arms? a stockade. i wanted to put him in a stock down on the street and have everybody paint him. i thought it would be a good one. the judge who sentenced him part of the someone he had to come to my office to apologize. well, i have a machete. somebody gave me as a gift. i took the machete out of the case and put it on the desk. the kid came up i don't know whether he's stuttering. i don't know. some people can't help it. and he did not come in as
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stutterer. he will never gray -- graffiti anything again. of the meds age and the way i delivered it. it's the way i did business as mayor of las vegas. i did it my way. >> oscar goodman served as mayor of las vegas from 1999 to 2012. >> a long time. >> who is the current mayor? >> i made american history. i'm proud of myself. i'm the only mayor in the history of the united states of america, country they love, who swore in his spouse to succeed him. she's a better mayor than i am. >> and from the book, "being oscar: from mob lawyer to mayor of las vegas." let me be clear about something now. there's no truth to the rumor that every morning my wife gets up, come around to my side of the bed and begin applauding to get me going. i'm self-motivated even without hear. i hear the applause in my head. >> they may be the only lie i told of the entire book.
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carline would wake up every morning and get me started with the applause. i have not been as gracious to her as she was to me. we have a love affair. we have been married 51 years and nothing but respect for one another. and she's very wise. she's very smart lady. she said that marriage is a 50/50. it's 100/100. people can learn from the lesson. as long as you respect people one another and we have four great kids. four wonderful children. and it's a great ride. it has been. >> oscar goodman. she asked for three things. what were they? have you fulfilled them? >> it's a horrible thing when you can't keep your word. one, when i first started to -- when we came out here, she's a new york city girl, and for some reason she wanted a horse. so i bought her a horse. i bought her a horse that had
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won a race. moonlight his name was. great horse. a real 17-hands high. it's a real animal. it's a good horse. she road the horse around the desert. i fulfilled wish number one. wish number two, when i started to make money, she said i would love if you can buy me a her say does. i bought her a mercedes. i kept that promise. wish number three. i am the worst. i have done everything within my power. i called out the militia. i made promises to god if they would just give me this one wish. she wants to courtesy to the queen. i tried to get the queen to see her every time we go to london on behalf of the convention authority. for some reason haven't been to be make the connect. could have got ton see the pope. she wants to courtesy to the queen. hopefully since it's on the bucket list, and i do love her
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more than life i.t., hopefully i'll get her before the queen before i hang it up. >> her grandson likes to visit las vegas, as we know. >> as a matter of fact i think carolene said if she could courtesy to the queen, she would make sure that the prince on his next visit will have as many young lady as the prince desires. [laughter] >> oscar goodman, what is your relationship with the majority leader of the senator? >> harry and myself started off together practicing law, basically. as a matter of fact they said he was going to have best civil lawyer i was going the best criminal lawyer. that's what the local judge said. and we had a very cordial relationship might even say friendly relationship. then when i began to represent the clients i did, who were all candidates for what you call the black book or a list of excluded persons. they're not allowed to go to casino or on the property. if they have toethey can't even use the restroom in a
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casino, and i thought that was terribly unconstitutional because the the cry criteria for getting in wasn't preed candidated on a nexus with a gambling violence. it could be on reputation. i thought that was very un-american. i would litigate it time and time again for the people you mentioned early early. "lefty," tony, these people i would i represented one after another trying to keep them out of the list of excluded persons. it they wanted to take their child to a boxing match here. they couldn't. even though it had nothing to do with the casino. if they wanted to eat dinner they couldn't. i thought it was wrong from a community that makes a livering from -- living from the casino. harry was the chairman of the gaming commission. you might recall in "casino" de niro is calling him every name
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if the book. there's a lot offed a mouse. there was no love affair between reid and myself. we had asked him for some continue iewnses based on personal issues. he wouldn't give them. we were playing hardball. we fell out of love. it was not a good relationship. when i was elected to mayor, he threw a party in washington to introduce the mayor to the other people in the senate. and it was a cordial relationship. he's basically been very supportive of many things we tried to do. right now he'll call asking about the health and well being. we tell stories. his officer was a beautiful office looking over washington, d.c. i let by gones be bigones most of the time. but it's a better relationship today. we consider each other friends. >> what are your politics? >> well, i started off coming out here as a republican. then dick bryan, who -- he was a partner of mine in the
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law office. left that part out when he was running for office. she was afraid with the association with the mob. we were kidding about that this morning. he was running for state assembly. that was the first race. the only election that meant anything as far as party was democratic primary. so my wife and myself switched from republican to democrat so we could support him. after i became the mayor, i really thought that it should be a position that you don't ask whether your one of your constituents is an r or d. we became nonpartisans. which was not a party. we're not affiliated with any party. and that's why we stand today. it's a -- it's a good feeling. they can treat everybody on the merit you don't have to worry about the politic. i think that is what is wrong with the country. there's too much politics and too much nonsense. people began saying they're an r and going vote that line or d
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and vote that line. then it turned to a personal animosity, and i think that is what we see back in washington, d.c. i don't think they like each other. i adopt think the republican like the democrat. it's not question of disagreement with the policy. i don't think they like each other. the country can't run like that. they better straighten up the act. >> you have a quote in "being oscar: from mob lawyer to mayor of las vegas." where there's a fee, there's a remedy. >> well, it's a pretty good quote, isn't it? that was the moto of my office. i love our city attorney, but when you deal with bureaucrats, and you ask them when you can do something. you shouldn't ask do it. if you ask they always say no. you come to my office, and, you know, you say, oscar, just been charged with a very serious offense, and i want to pay you to get me off. i said, what is the offense? you tell me about it.
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usually you don't know what you're legally responsible for. and i said, it's going cost you $100,000. and they say well, can you win it? i said no. why should they pay me $100,000? but i charge them $100,000, i have to bleed them my heart or i'm defrauding them i can win the case. i have no problem charge that kind of fee. that's what i meant. >> you have a quote and a chapter in the book, i don't represent rats. >> i hate rats. not so much because of the rat, and that's an informant. because over the years, there's a reason they became rats. in the old days, when i represented somebody who was supposed to be mafia boss or chief, they would take care of one of their underlings.
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a guy gets arrested, you send a lawyer to see him. you go to his wife and say don't worry about your family. i'm going take care of you. and there's the 0 silence, the loyalty they pledge themselves to when they took their oath. it made a little bit of sense. the modern day, that's why i think the mob fell apart. the modern day mafia, mobster didn't get treated that way. they were arrested, they went to jail, they're waiting for the lawyer. no lawyer is coming. they call up, no lawyer sent. they hire a lawyer. nobody is paying for them. i'm not saying it's right what happened in the old day. i'm saying that's the difference. the wife and the children aren't visited. they are given no assurances. then the fbi was pretty smart. they made up story and said, you know, they overheard a
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conversation where the chief mobster is going put a contract on you. because you are going to testify against him and have you killed. well, hearing that, there's no reason for them to be loyal and to uphold the oath they took in the old days. that's changed. ..
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>> to me that is unconscionable. the system should not permit that but they do that with impunity that is where i don't like the system and i would never represent these people because i don't believe after a while they do tell the truth the case i had the guy said all he heard from the prosecutor and the fbi is we want to believe we have to get him so i will tell them what ever they want that he murdered somebody then he did not and i told them that and he did and they never told the judge that the prosecutor kept that out of his file after 17 years for a better -- murder he did not commit the judge said
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outrageous. do know what happened to you the prosecutor was holding exculpatory evidence? nothing. still walking around without any kind of penalty. i don't mean to yell at you. i am drinking too much. you can never drink too much. >> host: when you were mayor of you have a search contract or a rule for the movie companies. >> guest:, i love playing myself in the movie casino imagines course ccs the director and sharon stone stone, we had them both to our home and robert deniro and joe pass she in becoming their friend. my mother came -- the movie kiss my mother called me a good thing i am a lawyer cousin would get any other
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part so i had to figure out a way to get myself back into the movie so with dawned on me to -- in order to make a movie in las vegas to have to get a permit to do you do that from? city hall who was in charge of city hall? the mayor. every and for mayor and went to the permits department i said i have a directive that if anybody is going to make a movie in las vegas they have to give me a part she said you can do that i said nike in. and i am the mayor. two weeks go by guess who as donny jackie chan. he comes in with his director friend and said i cannot believe what i just heard. that order for us to make rush hour part to you have dabber permit? i said absolutely you said you have to be kidding it was a great part we did in the desert. but since then it imploded
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and it was an asian type of casino with chris tucker i ended up on the cutting room floor. i got on the phone. i said to ann, do you know, who i am? do you know, who i represented? you will never ever make rush hour par-3 in this city as long as i am mayor so the next one ocean's eleven, cutting room floor so i went to the city arch -- city attorney they say have a part and i end up on the cutting room floor i want the your tight contract alleges see if the air -- and i am in the movie he said you cannot i said i can i amanda -- i am the mayor
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the next movie agents played they said it was an exotic thriller and it turns out it is an erotic thriller and i ended that movie. [laughter] >> host: with that here is the cover of the book. being oscar from mob lawyer to mayor of las vegas. oscar goodman is the author. this is booktv on c-span2.
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>> i think mtv was incredibly powerful because they realize they could tap into a generation of future voters. also this was a time when you are in your teens and the late teens and early 20s when you the most passionate about things in your life turning that into politics would be an incredible force. regardless of a agree or disagree with the politics of the people who served over me as my bosses at like the fact they wanted to engage people and they wanted people to express and learn about their own political feelings and everyone's survivor jump in and it would get bloody and mix it up but i always thought what -- that was for the benefit of all because when you challenge what you believe in what you believe
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that it makes you a better person not just politically but all around and she spoke of freedom festive loss vegas >> we need fresh solutions and empowering survivors. a as a so-called war on drugs enters the fifth decade, we need to ask him if it has been truly effective to build on the administration's efforts led by the national drug control
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policy to usher in a new approach with the at unnecessarily large prison population we need to insure that incarceration is used to punish, a teacher and rehabilitate but not to warehousing and forget. today a vicious cycle of criminality and incarceration and grabs to many in weakens to many communities. in many aspects of the criminal justice system and may exacerbate the problems rather than alleviate. it is clear that to many americans go to to many prisons for far too long and for no good reason. [applause] it is clear at a very basic level the twentieth century solutions are not adequate
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to overcome the 21st century challenges. >> thank you for the great turnout. i am excited to be here today with anchee min. i read her first book back in 1995 shortly after it came now and i assume some of you have read it it is the first installment about growing up during the cultural revolution in china and it took her up intel the time when she landed, i can do not hear me? can somebody regulate this microphone for us please?
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can you hear me now? her second book that has just come now called "the cooked seed" and it starts when she landed in the o'hare 1984. just in case you think success has changed anchee min, she is traveling with a backpack. [laughter] she loves everything she has and i asked her in the greenroom earlier today i said is that everything you have? she said we learn to in china to pass quickly and pack everything that we have. >> guest: we were told the americans would take over china and invade china so we must run to defend ourselves. anytime.
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>> so some things never change no matter how americanized you may be. wider use start about your arrival in chicago. what was that like to lay and in this cold, a strange place? >> guest: my life ended in china. a long story to make it short i was in a labor camp. is not unusual. if you know, anything about chinese history of the modern cultural revolution, now use the red guard to get rid of his political rival and then as he got settled. >> host: she needed to get rid of them so he said the university the best one is in the countryside so half were ordered there and i was
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one of them after a few years in the labor camp mine was on the east china sea there were than the labor camps there about 100,000 youth aged 17 through 25 that is basically how we were contained was one slogan called to kill the he and that shot the monkeys and to speed it up by come to the point late 1975 we did not know that mao was dying and that the next ruler of china would be coming and she needs to make a campaign movie to pave the way the her ideal woman she
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looked every where and i was picked from the cotton fields and shipped with a tractor back to the film studio to we screen tested. i personally had no say in it. like everybody else it was just because i had the right face. disappointing is a.? [laughter] >> host: you don't like the term recruited? what is your objection to that were? >> guest: i did not have been the acting. i saw all these beautiful
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women is some of them know how to act and they were eliminated because somebody who knows acting had cultural background in the family. so that is considered politically not reliable and its neighbor looking for a piece of white paper so i was told how to act in front of the camera. >> host: cater you give us a little red addition? >> guest: teach me how to drink water correctly. so i was given a cup ready set action i would start to you drink and he would say stop. your little pinky. the correct way is to go but with one breast then wipe it off with my sleeve.
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i just remember. all i could think is i did not want to go into labor camp because i had a back injury. that shows. and later the footage was sent to to the madam in she said it was awful and we would cause to learn technique cannot be poisoned by its contents and then the moment we saw the two movies in her film room and we all got poison to mentally. one was jane eyre. [laughter] madame mao herself and there was a madwoman in the back
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everything matches and then in the us -- the second was "the sound of music" and madam mao had kids and of course, they took the same stories that influenced american girls. >> later it is in my book book, the madam mao was evil and responsible for murdering so many chinese people but in the meantime her fantasy. september 9, 1976, october 8 madam mao was overthrown then two months later i was denounced in the next eight years i was punished guilty by association. and i had no way out. if i had remained in china i
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would be dead today. >> host: at what point did you determine you wanted to become to the united states? and they should you had grown up learning to hate a and fear? >> guest: i have shadows on my long and on my liver in order to work in tibet and my life was ending. it was then my old friend friend, in trading she was told not to be my friend then she went to america. we were best friends she was going up to be the superstar of china than i was a witch and she was in the movie the last emperor in she felt safe enough to contact me and she wrote a letter and i
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learned her life in america i was surprised she was not treated as a princess. when she was in china. but in america you have to work for your tuition so the light bulb went off and i said could i be one of those students? i don't speak english but would be willing to work hard. i am from a labor camp. she applied everywhere in the united states to help me but nobody would accept me then she said, you have any talent? i said counting -- painting mao murals because at that time lucky enough shanghai had an exhibition called french impressionism. i went there and i thought the fight could not copy michelangelo i could copy
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vincent van gogh. [laughter] so i went back and painted my mother said she saw a death and that this so i applied to the school of the art in chicago and they thought i had potential. >> host: you basically lied about yuri english? or misrepresented? >> guest: i could not fill out the application form. i did not have an english name. so in the neighborhood was a wise man and he said kidd yourself the american angel who. site printed that out into many years later when my daughter was 11 years old i gave her the application form as a gift don't ever forget where mom came from and to my daughter looked at the name anchee min and angel and she said mont? that is not angel that his
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ankle. [laughter] and then i looked i did not know how to sellout male or female sex i did not know which one to circle. it was impossible to go on so i took it to a friend and with english language skills it was for or average or good or excellent of course, a but excellent. [laughter] so with that i came to america and got stopped right at customs that o'hare >> no. transition and seattle before o'hare. >> host: let's fast-forward. you get to chicago and the school of the artistic to your in this is not good enough to have to take class's but eventually begin to establish yourself. tell us about your early
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life for where you lived or what you had to struggle with. >> guest: i lived everywhere. somewhere downtown. first, i was facing deportation i broke down to with tell that to his later that the macy's store in america please i beg you for the chance i had the fortune not to die in the china and the translator wetback there is a clause that says if the university is getting sufficient the names said to the university of illinois for intensive language for six months. then i have to master english to make it back to the art institute if not the
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school is responsible for my education then deportation i bet you would master chineses six months if you were in my shoes. [laughter] so i learned english by watching "sesame street" and public radio and newspaper. and the most difficult thing i have to pretend all these years that i rescued my family in china but yesterday i was passing the downtown post office and i remember my first photo i was taking and i asked a stranger if you take a picture of me and the flag. he said why you want the flag? we have the beautiful buildings i said i wanted the american flag. >> host: when you first got here your life was difficult for you had
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difficult jobs that did not pay you very much. >> guest: but i had a different mind set i thought i had a right to choose life. it is up to me for the first time. to answer your question question, whicker park, then logan square, urban park i had a job as a delivery person downtown to walk everywhere and with every chinese restaurant to rebar my legs could carry me then downtown salvador outside of chinatown then bridgeport so my happiest place was 4311 south halsted i had a little storage room with my personal space although the
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wall was not closed the diarrhea and another night it would come through the room but i was happy. >> host: when you complained that is a white he said it is cheaper. [laughter] >> guest: but my health broke down i passed out at st. joseph's hospital and the doctor told me you have anybody to take you there? i said i can walk there she said he will collapse any time so they thought i had a disease so too tall men came and escorted me to the isolation room and put me in the white tube because i was coughing blood nothing. it was just depression.
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so they sent me to see a psychiatrist at the school of the art institute. [laughter] and i thought it was a good opportunity to learn english [laughter] it was disappointing because a psychologist would not talk to me and would not speak my english. >> host: dick cheney's see psychiatrists? with that idea new to you? >> guest: right. how can a person be depressed when she is not feeling depressed? >> host: all lots of what you talk about our defense in this book i would say two-thirds of your book is life in chicago before you gained success moving to california. when we talked on the phone the other day, talk about how difficult it was to right the second it -- the
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second part of your portion of your memoir. talk about the difficulties of telling this part of your life story. >> after 20 years making a living as an author on the best sellers list i would say that right next to jake a rolling at the british book awards i started to relays -- realize my life i can make it is just how i approach it right now i know zero the right way to write the book but the point is to have the courage? my daughter said if you want to leave me anything, leave me your story but not the sugar coated or air pressure
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version. and that was the key. i read a lot of in a grim stories told by this second generations told by the mothers and they left out and i know exactly why. >> host: because they did not want their children to know? >> guest: the dark side. >> host: can you talk a little bit about the dark side that you had to plunge into in order to tell the true story? >> guest: for example, the lack of money and the loneliness. that drove me to leave it -- live in the cheapest place a chicago then subject myself to a vulnerable situation where i was raped theater
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day -- the other day on book tour in san diego a woman said the same thing happened to me. i was raped and i did not report to. and i felt what people would not do when they are in despair with that crushing loneliness and the helplessness and hopelessness would drive people to madness with rape rape, of pregnancy, strangling, the things but on the other hand, i had problems with my siblings white you have to reveal this to the world? >> host: did they say that to you afterwards? >> guest: i involved in them. i will not sugarcoat. i may say something that would have a negative effect
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on my family but i don't feel that i owe my life but i owe that to america and to my daughter. >> host: and honest story. >> guest: i love america and chicago so much. it is the right thing to do. also another thing to talk about, my christmas and thanksgiving for three years i did not have the money and lived mostly afraid i may not get my visa back if i ever visited a home. i was year alone by myself i could go to my friends and be with the chinese community but i would never learn english the way i do now. i must deny myself that.
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suffer a christmas and thanksgiving i was alone. my gift to myself was a pornography tape. [laughter] is it so i had a relationship with the tapes for so many years. it was by accident i stumbled into the shop. >> host: the same tape over and over? >> guest: it is called sex education. [laughter] eventually the store owner said why do you buy it? i want to sell it to you for $25 you can have it for you are the only one renting it any way. i bought it $20 and i thought it would be my companion for the rest of my life. [laughter] >> host: does english come
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naturally now or is it so difficult? >> guest: still difficult. my daughter came up to my cabin and teenagers, you know, she would leave then come back and say the same sentence? the same page? >> host: when you write write, you write in chinese? >> guest: i compose in chinese with plot and details and everywhere. i just have a notion of notes and it is all in chinese. but right and execute is in english. >> host: one of the of the things that you mention to be an immigrant is to be with the people you love for those you left behind.
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you left your family. your mother died. this happens late in your book but it is very emotional that she dies and is so far away. what did that change for you? mentally? >> guest: i think she became a part of the driving force because i never realized that my relationship with my daughter and tell my mother passed away i feel that 10 years or 20 years as an immigrant that china was so far away i could not attend her illness. later on when i became wealthy enough to visit her she was already with alzheimer's and i could not keeping get there when she was dying some a father called. every immigrant fears that's
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4:00 in the morning call in you know, something is not right. he called me in a fake voice your mother is in permanent sleep for bryce said goddamnit why can't you just say she is dead? everything is permitted to sleep. something changed my eight militias to but my daughter is difficult because in the beginning she did not understand me and born in chicago. a child of an immigrant a new immigrant she had to help i wanted to take her to disneyland for her birthday but i took her to home depot. her gift was a lesson on how to use the power saw and a book called plumbing one, two, three. that was her life intel she
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became a teenager and broke down and out she rebelled. she did not want to talk about i said i will talk about it because i know my philosophy to have the american dream by hard-working is backfiring because she sees the opposite she said it is not the end of the world to be poured. okay? i see jamaicas kids are having fun if they have the american dream where you come to america for and her kids are happy in their own rooms and tbn games and skateboards and stuffed animals i want what they have someone to live this life working with you with no weekends or no summer just to carry concrete banks
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in and at -- in and out to help you hold the drywall to mix the cement when i come home even a bottle of shampoo cannot get rid of the stink in my hair. i don't think i asked to much so she broke down crying but that was a tough moment. >> host: home depot figures fairly regularly in your book. [laughter] >> i almost live there. [laughter] and learning to repair things or take care of things just basic work is a real theme of the book and then the conflict you describe between the life that you lead and the skills he were forced to learn and, and the life of their daughter, though lives of far more privileged children
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that continues to be a conflict for you. somewhen describe you as the original tiger mother. >> guest: my daughter would tell you that one of the vietnam's debt, u.s. marine an english teacher of 30 years is the tiger dad. he said you tell your mother she is an immigrant she has no idea what dave american school once a you can get away with it. you try me. [laughter] don't worry about me going crazy because i will be there. [laughter] i think the fact. he is the tiger father but for me i think okay home depot but subconsciously i think this is what she needs my daughter's friends moms
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call me dysfunctional the idea see anything wrong to prepare. if i am a tiger mother it is on 1.i will not let you get away with feeling sorry for yourself because you will help your mommy pay back america. i would never have given the opportunity america gave me the opportunity. she is at stanford right now. being somebody or nobody's daughter that you have to pay back. i could see her being helpful with her skills, plumbing, she can go serve where people needed
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her. that was my dream of little bit to imposing, i accept that. i it met. >> host: you said the other day you go back to china regularly. and you were worried that this generation of chinese kids is going in the direction of the privileged spoiled american. >> guest: i went to china and my friends to their birthday and whenever celebration the priority the highest place is mcdonald's and kentucky fried chicken. didn't want to go to a chinese restaurant or the pizza place everything america now they ask for money to go to america so right now china just since -- and spent the family fortune to send their kids
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it is the number one choice for families for their children. >> guest: just this week with the increasing distrust between the americans and chinese just the last couple of years that people are more distrustful debut perceive that? >> i am not surprised. i've looked at my daughter textbookish in china was not taught. the china that i know and how crazy. china is the rivalry made no point to teach our children about china? that does not make any sense to me what don't they understand?
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and like it is to me black-and-white of 80% of china is gray. that is why i go because in the meantime it is unwilling to reveal the dark side of. the chinese people telling me to hide it. and i will modify and not to americanize. and the honesty and to be flawless and then if you
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look your scarlett o'hara with "gone with the wind", the hero, and that is part of what the chinese don't understand about america. often america don't understand the chinese do not have access to the of literature it could never make it in the market. not one. because china, the authors authors, the censorship even in my memoirs, how many times qc the protagonist project himself as a villain?
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so part of my chicago story is to show that. >> host: you say in chinese literature the protagonist would never be flawed? >> guest: it is automatic. because you don't examine yourself or dissect yourself or to the autopsy as honestly as america would do. for example, i was damned when i was a new immigrant i was a greedy. i was part of faults. i needed the money. it is like with the aid that is not cracked but it stinks. >> host: through your whole life through all of your work, a constant striving to somehow be
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more, not just have more but the more secure so now you living in beautiful northern california, you have a solid second marriage, your daughter is a stanford, what do you strive for now? a. >> guest: to feel secure. i and insecure with my riding is because i am kind of retarded. lack of talent. i think everything i do, you see, my talent is the knowledge of the lack of talent because i know the bar is there how high i want to jump in and know if i make an effort but i am not equipped or bored with that talent so i go back to chinese every day and i read
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one chinese book a day my best days writing english and felton was raking chinese because in the commercial market i appointed to entertain but i wanted you to walk away with knowledge of china because i felt china has been misrepresented and it is ridiculous for americans to get the wrong message. especially with my stories but do i want to to throw one more rock into the well when china is already at the bottom to mislead the public further? i choose not to. if my book does not sell or give you the satisfaction in
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totally then it is by choice. my editor and i have struggled because the publisher for red azalea did not think america would embrace that story that madam mao was on trial sentenced to death after 38 years of marriage still consider the george washington of china and still condemned a video where she was given a portrayal of herself in chinese she shouted. [speaking chinese] it is the perfect self portrait, that was precisely her role because within a
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new emperor of china she was a backyard concubine it had to fight her way back so that was her life and it was a beautiful story but in 1991 she would hang herself in the jail using the socks she tied them together she tied them to the bet frame and throw herself over what kind of determination to die? where were her thoughts? who was it? so the book is written and my current editor had the guts to take it because at
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the time:mifflin was making money with llord of the rings and they thought they could invest it in their own work and took a chance on me and immediately it was a best seller because of chinese history. and also my other book i am with a blue very day to a chance on me because they had money with harry potter. [laughter] and i really appreciate the american critics the quality of the people that they sent to me. my first experience like madam mao a journalist was sent to me and he asked me the first question he opened his mouth, like to discuss with you on the topic of the
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three villagers who instigated the cultural revolution. i said where did you go to school he said, via. what was your major? he said cultural revolution. >> host: we have four minutes to take a couple of questions. >> my first view into china was a fictional account about an american in china and is amazed at how exotic it is but would characterize
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the protagonist with the labor and how harsh it was. what was your reaction? >> i was brought to denounce in 1972 right before nixon's visit because we were children. i remember i was given to red flowers and when his car passes i was at the corner and first of all, it came. [laughter] but i did not know she was scheduled to come with nixon but at the last minute was reduced the fee set up by a madam mao and then i said i never knew this name but she
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insulted the chinese peasants. so i remember my a denunciation of the author but not until the red azalea of book tour that back to los angeles said first read the good earth and i spoke to her because i had never received any author including weight favorite chinese authors include the presence with such affection and the accuracy coming and the life, she is the only one. i know she had a debate with the chinese professor from the deere times after she got the nobel prize. and they said white can she
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portrayed the chinese why would she choose the ugly side and she said i am so glad you pointed out i am part of the 95 percent of the chinese population. i say the same thing the chinese people who are you? are you mao daughter? you are so plain. you are so average. so i give them pearl buck's answer i am as average as 90 percent of the population. thank you. [applause] >> host: we are out of time. i enjoyed this book. we are really at a time. >> i have a question. i am chinese. i came here and i was
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working for a newspaper before and two years ago i change jobs working for the american company. and just two years ago when american end co-worker thought this book for me to encourage me to learn english. it is an honor to be here so my question is my english is still struggling for me. how did you practice your english and what makes you more encouragement to learning english? >> to survive. you have to be desperate. you are already in america. let me tell you. it is much easier than me. [laughter] >> thank you. because i am working 12 years in that community as a
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reporter. >> the most difficult thing for you is to stay away from the chinese community. that is why i deny myself for so many years because i knew that i would never be independent spirit that is what i want to. thank you so much. [applause] >> the great chicago and immigrant story. thank you. [applause] one
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>> mtv was incredibly powerful because they realized they could tap into a generation of these voters and this is a time in your late teens and early 20s the most passionate about things in your life and did you realize you could turn that to politics it would be an incredible force. regardless if i agree or disagree of those who served over be as my boss like the fact they wanted to engage people and express and learn about their own political meanings and feelings end of every once in awhile i would jump in to get it bloody but i thought it was for the benefit of all.
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and make sure a better person for it. all around. >> host: since this book was published for fear of flying at least 20 million copies sold worldwide. the author joins us now on the tv. this book has been described as pornography or the ministry is hardy you treated? >> the woman tried to find herself and to what has interested me very much
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about this book is all over the world, in languages as the personhood as the chinese people identify with it. in the beginning, with in more than man but now men as well. and they don't think it is a particularly raunchy book although 40 years ago it had the reputation. in 40 years it has never been out of print all over the world, new additions keep appearing and i think the reason is not because of the sex but the extremely relatable that people see themselves and i very proud to have written it. >> host: what sparked you writing this book? >> guest: i cannot tell you for garroted and rewrote it from my 20s from a man's printed in a woman's point
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of view and i finally found the voice which was a new york wisecracking which is partly meet and then your kid on the couch, a wisecracking fall of yiddish and full of humor and i think that description still holds. henry miller predicted it would make literary history and change the way books were written and actually he is right. women write differently and man right to freely because of fear of flying. and it has turned into a phenomenon that was not about sex but liberating a new voice. and i think that is why the of book has had staying power. some people have compared it
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to the catcher in the rye. it has been compared to everything. >> host: who is the main character and what are her travels? >> guest: the main character is isadora wing who has been married five years to a psychoanalyst and goes to a conference and is bored with her husband and she runs off with another shrink going from the frying pan into the fire so to speak. the book is her journey with this psychoanalyst which is a journey to the present and also into her own past. during this journey, she finds out about herself and so does "the reader". >> host: you wrote this dan rigo to this in your 20s you were writing this in the late '60s and early '70s?
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was there a feminist thing paul? >> every book that i write as feminists because women need more change that we have yet achieved we have come halfway to the female revolution that we are not all the way there yet. we are no longer, we don't have parity with pay, we don't yet have enough women in the board room. we are not yet liberated totally in the bedroom. that either are equal so we still have a lot of work to do. . .
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so that's a good thing, i think. when a book is both so much feeling you are on to something. >> you started off as a poet. >> i started out as a poet. who notices my early book won
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all kinds of prizes that were also won by sieve civil, but my novels have overshadowed my poems. which is really not surprising. i still consider myself a poet that fell in to the habit of writing. >> do you write poetry today? >> always. i think it may well be the best thing i do. >> your other novels overshadowed by ""fear of flying""? >> in ways. i have published eight novels so far. including three wonderful historical novels. one set in ancient greece. one set in 18th century england. one set in shakespeare's. i don't resent that.
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i mean, very few writers are famous for more than one book. charlotte bronte is only known for jane eyre. david corps field -- copperfield "great expectations" overshadow his other books. it's rare that a writer is known for more than one book. of course i wish people would read my poetry and novel. i think i have made a journey and am a better writer today. but it's rare for writer to be known for all of her work. >> were you fearful when this book came out? were you looking forward to it? absolutely terrified. i wrote with the wind at my back. full of fear. i thought i would be hanged.
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in some ways i have been. i truly didn't know what the result would be. i wasn't sure it would sell at all, let alone 27 million. which is a current number. i had no idea it would be in chinese and russian and serbian, who knew. so it has been an amazing ride. it has taken me that book "fear of flying" has taken me around the world with people in all languages saying i identify. >> what do men say about the book? >> many different things. some men say it helped me to understand women. some men say it's made me a sex object. one of the her -- hero is an asian-american doctor.
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everybody thought we were nerds. you made us sex objects. so i get a large variety of responses. >> erin reiney some have called it pornography and criticized fear of "fear of flying." >> many great feminists were great lovers. george sands was a great lover. charlotte bronte's jane eyre ended up happily married. i may have one of the first feminists to say that you can have equality and love men. my own life proved it. i have been married four times. i have been married to my present husband 25 years. i believe you can be a lover and a feminist. my life proves this. >> would you compare in any way
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"fear of flying" to betty fer dan "feminist mystique"? >> not really. hearse -- hers is a non-fiction. mine is fiction. there is one similarity, we are writing about female restlessness and a feeling that we have not yet achieved equality. we still want it but our revolution is not there. yet. >> we recently interviewed debra, president of barnyard college who has written "wonder women: sex, power, and quest for perfection." >> she writes about "fear of flying." >> shooting on to best seller list and staying out there throughout '74 and '75. part of the appeal might have
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been about sex. before that nobody had written so vividly about things. -- about sex, et. cetera. but then struck a chord is what she said. this is the president of the barnyard college. >> my college where i established the erica jong writing fellowship, which i support. i began the program for young women writers, every year i donate to it to give foip to women who want to be writers, or editors and publishers. >> when you took "fear of flying," when you shopped around in new york, how did you do it? >> i never shopped it around. i had a poetry publisher which was then called -- [inaudible] and they published two involve july of my poetry and loved book
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and took it. i had a wonderful editor there who was quite revolutionary, who really got that new things were happening for women, and the book expressed these things. and he wanted the book and very excited about it. he was not sure it would sell. he had a hunch it might. another editor came on board and bought the paperback rights. in those days, were divided. she was a very powerful woman in paperbook publishing, and she made hope send out 200 more gallies, which she paid for. she was so convinced that the book would strike a chord. so these two editors, one a man, one a woman, really made the book. one was at holt as never been out of print. the other one was new american
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library, now penguin, they both believed tremendously in the book. and i don't think any of that would have happened quote the second wave of the women's movement. without betty ferdan. which i ignited a fire of curiosity about women. what codo we think? what do we want? what do we want in bed? what do we want at work? what do we want as mothers? all of that was in the air in part because of betty's book. and i think that debra understands the way all of those things played in to each other. >> i have to go back to the fact your original editor was a man. >> absolutely. a very smart man. he was paul billow's editor and ross' editor. he got that i was doing
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something akin to what phillip was doing, and what paul was doing. he got it. >> erica jong, did bookstores refuse it at first? >> they didn't refuse it. television networks wouldn't take ads. the first typesetter didn't want to set type. bookstores were happy and sold a lot. >> did it immediately become a best seller? >> they had never enough copy in hard cover. it would go on the bottom of the best seller list and go out of stock. then it would go back on number nine or ten then never enough copies. but then it came out of paperback and sold 3 million copies in the first month. it just kept going. as i said it's never been out of print. >> your literary papers are at colombia. >> that is right. >> what does mean? >> that means that students
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graduate students who want to see all the rough drafts of "fear of flying" and my poetry, and my other novels can study them in the rare book room at colombia. i have allowed even undergraduates to study them, which is rare. i have allowed them to be open to all student. >> people can see the rough drafts, can see your -- >> right. >> and can anybody or people at colombia? >> people have to get permission from the rare book people at columbia and prove they are a serious student like with any archive. >> you write in longhand or by type bringer. are you losing your rough draft because of computers? >> i save them to send to columbia. but i -- we write so many times that i have so many drafts.
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the current novel i'm finishing, has so many drafts. i save them all. i mean, i rewrite on the computer. but i often write first drafts on yellow legal pads as i always did. because i feel freer writing by longhand. i don't feel as comfortable with a computer. if i write a book review, if i write a short piece, i may write on the computer so i keep the note, you know, i can keep in my mind the length. because there's a limit. but when i'm writing a novel or poem, i often write longhand. >> this is forty years since "fear of flying" came out. will people be reading it forty years from now? >> that i can't tell you. i don't know, i hope so. i can tell you that many of the people who have received this copy and reread the book have told me that it's still very timely. and current and very readable.
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so i hope we'll find a whole new generation of readers with this edition. >> erica jong, author of "fear of flying" and other novels. poetry 40th anniversary edition coming out in october. this is booktv on c-span2. more booktv in prime time tomorrow night on c-span2. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> sarah help him throughout the political career. when he was writing speeches she would get the opinion.
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and daily read the newspaper and underline pass aks she found important for him to read. she was a regular fixture in the gallery in congress. typically congress would enact a memorial to the outgoing speaker of the house. when james left congress run for governor of tennessee, the congress was so widely divided they refused to do that. it's interesting in the newspaper that a number of politicians wrote poem in honor of sara at the time she left. instead one of them was united states supreme court justice who wrote a poem lamenting the loss of sara to washington society. l radio talk show host recently took question from booktv viewers about the book "dear father dear son" about his relationship with his father. this is an hour. our
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>> joining us on the booktv set larry elder. most recent book "dear father dr dear son: two lives, eight hours." who was raldolf elder? >> my father. ph you heard the term tiger mommy dad was a junk yard dad. my d my dad was one of the marine. he was the first black marine. marines, and ai knew my dad was a marini and because mean, brutal people. my brothers and i could not stand my father. i mean, we couldn't stand the s.o.b.. we thought of him as cold, as uncare, as unloving, unlovable, and whenever he came into the house, it always changed the atmosphere in the home. when i was 15 years old, my father and i had a furious fight. we didn't speak to each other for ten years. so the book is all about the conversation my dad had when i
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was 25 years old a conversation that i thought was going to last ten minutes, it ended up lasting eight hours. and he morphed into this kind, caring, sensitive man that i completely misunderstood my whole life. so the book really is a 247-page apology to the man. >> host: in here you write that your dad felt during that conversation that he hadn't done anything wrong in your childhood. >> guest: he hadn't. what i planned on doing when i was flying into l.a. to meet with him was to be very calm and talk about all the things that he'd ever done to me and my brothers that i thought were abusive, mean-spirited, what i thought were bad things for a parent. and so i promised myself i was going to be calm, i sat down, and i unloaded on his put for 20 minutes. and this and this very angry. my father sat there, and he said very quietly, i was afraid of my daddy too. my father never mentioned his father. there was kind of a no-fly zone over talking about my dad's
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life. and in this conversation i found out that my father did not know the name of his biological father, he never met his biological father. i didn't know that until this conversation. it turns out my father had an abusive relationship with his mother. his mother and he quarreled. my dad came home from school one day 13 years old, had a fight with the mother's then-boyfriend, another man, not elder. the mother sided with the boyfriend, throws my father out of the house. athens, georgia, just a few years before the beginning of the great depression, 13 years old, and he never returned home. and the on the front porch of the home his real mother yelled at him and said you'll be home, either that or you'll be in the penitentiary, or you'll be in prison, in the cemetery or in prison, is what she told him. and my father went next door and then to another door to another house to get a job. and so my father literally went door to door to find some sort of job. he ended up becoming a pullman
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porter for the trains, and my father visited california at the time. and he thought kind of he'd make a mental note of it, maybe he'd come back to california. so he comes out of the service, he goes to chattanooga, tennessee, he walks to an unemployment office. the woman tells him he has to go back out and go through the colored only door. he says, this is bs, they don't have colored doors in california, i'm going to get a job as a cook. he goes restaurant to restaurant, and they say, i'm sorry, sir, you have no references which is their way of saying in california, we don't hire black people. when he was in chattanooga, they told him we flat out don't hire n-words. he walks through a door, asks for a job, he says what time do you close? 8:30, 5, my dad sat there the next day 59 8:30 til 5. lady calls him up and says, sir,
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i've got a job. my dad says what is it? she says it's a job cleaning toilets. my dad worked at that job for ten years, took a second job for ten years also as a janitor, cooked for a family on the weekend, went tonight school to get his ged that he never got. i never saw a human being work that hard. so you add his work ethic, how much time he spent working, how little sleep he had, plus he comes home and is greeted by three rambunctious boys, okay, he wasn't ward cleaver, i give him a mulligan. my dad hit me with a belt. when i was having a book tour with somebody, i mentioned it, and the interviewer says, he didn't hit you with the telephone cord? and that was in the next chapter. this is how people disciplined people in those days, especially if you were from the south, especially if you came from a background where you had a mean-spirited dad, quote, in your own life. the man that my dad is named
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after, elder, was abusive, he was an alcoholic who physically beat him and his mother. again, all of this my dad spills out in this eight hour conversation. and i realize that my daddied the best he could by his definition. his way of punishing me was kinder, gentler and more sensitive than the way he was punished. my dad felt i put a roof over your held, clothing on your back, what's the problem? he never had that. i wanted ward cleaver. my dad was not ward cleaver. i give him a mulligan. >> host: your dad also said to you that he was of there for you. >> guest: and that's the other -- >> host: he stay with the his mother. >> and that's the other point. here i am thinking that my daddied not love me. he got up every day, he came home, he wasn't abusive, he and my mom resolved things in an intelligent way. why i thought he didn't love me is beyond me, and one of the reasons i wrote the book is to tell people, many of whom who have had bad experiences with their own dads, often there's no
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manual. these people is have no better experience, they did the best they could. they did their job, they were the role model. and as long as the old man is above the ground, you can still reach out and perhaps repair the relationship, which is what i did. there's one other wrinkle in the book. i was living in cleveland, i met my uncle. my uncle happened to be a man who lived with my dad before my dad met my mother, none of which i knew. so imagine growing up with a man who had no friends. it was never for my dad, it was always for my mom, and fast forward to meeting a man who knew my dad before he met my mother? he said, i lived with him, i know him better than you do. either he's changed, which i doubt, or you've misjudged him. so that is what gave me the incentive to sit down with him. i can't say i had this epiphany and i figured there was going to be a wonderful rapprochement
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with my dad, but i figured i'd tell him off, and at least we would understand respective positions. but it was luck. so i want people to know don't rely on some chance end counter. if he's still around, maybe just you completely misread the old man? and until you resolve your relationship with your father, there's going to be something that will be missing. i felt kinder, happier, lighter when i reconciled with my father. it made everything better x there's always going to be an itch that needs to be scratched if you don't resolve that. >> host: our guest, larry elder. radio talk show host, columnist. the firms are up on the -- the numbers are up on the screen. we're talking about his most recent book which is a memoir. mr. elder writes a lot about politics as people who follow him know. if you'd like to dial in and talk about that as well, 202-585-3885 in the east and central time zones, 585-3886 if you're in the mountain or
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pacific time zone where we are right now on the campus of usc. mr. elder, chapter two, if "norl was hate." my hatred for my father was not the kind where you get a spanking, seethe for a bit and things go pack to number -- go back the number because you realize he punishes you because he loves you. norm was intimidation. normal was tense. normal was wondering if you would say something that could set him off. normal was hate. >> yeah. when people look at me and i'm smiling, they often wonder why is it that i'm so sort of nonchalant about it. i'm writing that from the perspective of a child, andering seems romantic, everything seems awful, everything seems brutal. the fact of the matter is once you have perspective and realize that my dad was doing the best that he could, i thought his punishments were excessive, and
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i think another parenting model would have been more appropriate for me, but within the bounds of acceptability, it certainly was. my father, as i said before, was ill-tempered in part because he was so tired all the time. imagine averaging four and a half to five hours a sleep a day for probably two or three decades. that's what the guy was like. and then you walk into the house and have three rambunctious kids. my brothers and i would have our toys on the carpet when our dad would walk in in the middle of the floor. he would kick them so hard, the toys would often break. i thought that was insanity. and one time when i got older, i mentioned this to my mother. i said, why didn't you say something about that? she said, he didn't kick my stuff. and it turns out my mother had a pair of shoes before we came along, my brothers and i came along, and my dad came home and kicked her shoes so hard they flew and kicked the wall. she said, you do that again, i'm gone. and he never did it again to her, but he would kick our
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stuff. >> your dad was a republican. >> guest: he was a republican. my father always felt that the democratic party offered you something for nothing. my mother was a democrat. and so at the table the two of them would have these battle, and i would go back and forth. and i sided with my mom when i was younger, but when i got older and older, i thought my dad made more sense. he had a few simple rules. hard work wins, you get out of life what you put into it, and no matter how hard you work, bad things are going to happen, and how you respond will tell us whether we raised a man. i would always say, not too much pressure, dad. >> host: larry erld, you recently wrote a column about african-americans and fatherhood saying that patrick moynihan back in the '60s said there was a national tragedy because 25% of african-american children were born in unwed households. >> guest: right. >> host: today that number is 75%. >> guest: yeah. i was a freshman in college in 1970, and daniel patrick moynihan called the negro
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family: a case for national action. and at the time, 25% of kids were born outside of wedlock. and moynihan said this was horrific, this is a neutron bomb dropped on the community, and if something isn't done, this could be horrific. it could lead to greater dependency on welfare, crime. over 70% of black kids are born outside of wedlock, so more white kids are born outside of wedlock than the number that triggered this alarming book. i believe that the direct link between not having a father in the house and all sorts of social problems up to and including murder. i was on the pearce be morgan show a little while ago, and i told him the face of gun violence in america as horrific as sandy hook was is not some suburban kid, it's a brown or black kid in the ghetto. if you look at chicago, chicago's on track for two sandy hooks per month. usually against another black person.
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yet chicago is about a third, a third and a third black, white and hispanic. why would so many murders come from the black community? the answer is so many kids come from parents without fathers. you look at violation, we're talking about gang-related kids, usually young kids. there was a documentary that my dad and i discussed in the book called resurrection, and it was about truth pack shakur. tupac shakur. and he said white people may like hearing me say this, but i know for a fact if i'd had a father in my life, i would have had discipline and confidence. and he went on to talk about the fact that he joined a gang because he didn't have a father, he wanted structure, he wanted protection. and he went on to say in a way maybe a conservative right-winger might say that it is important for a boy to have a father in his life. a boy needs a father. tupac shakur said this. there's also a pole that the l.a. times took in the mid '80s where they asked poor people and non-poor people the following question: do you believe young, poor women often
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have children to gain additional welfare benefits? most nonpoor people said no. but when poor people were asked the same question, 64% of poor people said, yes. so what i'm saying is we are financially incentivizing women into engaging in behavior that's counterproductive, and we're allowing the man to abandon his financial and moral responsibility by allowing the woman to marry the government. these are policies that we have done, both parties, with the best of intentionses. and i think they are a net negative on our society. and so we're blaming high capacity magazines, we're blaming racism, all sorts of things when, in fact, we need to look in the mirror and recognize we have advocated policies that have been antithetical to the formation of a nuclear-intact family. >> host: larry elder, where can people hear your show? >> guest: i can be heard on kabc here in l.a.
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my twitter handle is @larryelder. i'm on facebook. >> host: do people go online to listen to you in. >> guest: yes. >> host: you had a national show. >> guest: you can hear my show in bangladesh. i get phone calls sometimes from abbottabad -- not really. [laughter] you can hear my show anywhere. >> host: one of your previous books, "what's race got to do with it," we talked earlier in this program with eric deggans whose newest book is called "race baiter." he got that name because bill o'reilly called him a race baiter saying he wrote about race. there's a victim of -- a culture of victimology among some african-americans. what are your thoughts? >> guest: i have a word i coined, and it means somebody who blames others for his or her flight. i don't believe rh is -- racism is a major problem in america anymore. i subscribe to what i call the elvis factor. 10 percent of the american
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people believe elvis is still alive. so you start with 10%. 10 president of the american people have to be written off. is there racism? of course, but is there the kind that can stop any person who has gotten an education and has some dedication and is willing to work hard and has a little bit of luck in no. america is the greatest country in all of human history. that's why most of the world's seven billion people want to come here. >> host: recent column, then we're going to go to calls, rgiii gets uncle tom treatment. what is this column about? >> guest: it's about a sports caster on espn who criticized rg iii who talked about the fact that the criticism was that rg iii may be a cornball brother. and the reason he is as far as this guy's concerned is because he might be a republican. so becoming republican is a four-letter word for a lot of people. rg iii came from a nuclear-intact family. he doesn't think of himself as a
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victim. he doesn't think of himself as a trailblazer as far as his race is concerned. he's trying to be the best rg iii he could possibly be, and for a lot of people that means he's a sellout and an uncle tom. it's outrageous. he's a starts guy, for -- sports guy, for crying out loud. wins and losses ought to be the way we evaluate rg iii. >> host: was your book tough to write? >> guest: people have asked me that, and i suppose it might have been, but that was -- i was 25 years old when we reconciled, and i wrote the book a couple years ago. so i've had plenty of time, my dad and i have had 35 years to work op our relationship, and arguably we were closer than my mother and i are. my mother and i are very close. so it wasn't difficult at all. it was, again, a 247-page apology to the man. i was anxious to get it out before he died, and i was able to do


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