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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 22, 2013 12:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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>> and welcome to day two of the 13th annual national book festival. six hours of live coverage on booktv on c-span 2. a. scott berg, -- the full schedule of author events, collins and abuse is available on our follow us on twitter and facebook to get schedules throughout the day. it just did that come up with the prizewinner, a. scott berg has come out with a new biography of woodrow wilson and kicks off today's events at the national book festival on the mall in washington d.c. you are watching live coverage
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on booktv on c-span 2. >> good afternoon. i am so glad to see all of you here on this beautiful day to join a national book festival. mine is in a community affairs at wells fargo for the mid-atlantic region. and so want to be here representing wells fargo is both an avid reader myself. i really don't remember a time in my life when i wasn't an avid reader. i just loved reading. i grew up in a very small town in north carolina and had the benefit of the library account be an adjacent to backyard. but at the library of congress obviously, but it's a wonderful asset to the community. around the corner to parents to pick out books and am feeling very, very grown up when i got to go by myself to check out books myself. i've attended here today come
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you must all know books can take you to foreign lands and give you a different perspective about your neighborhood. they can introduce you to people that came generations before and connect people in real time. my favorite incident happened to me when i was nine years old. it was the first day of fifth grade and i was sitting at my desk reading before classes begin. in a student came into the cost of holding her mother's hand. when she saw me reading, she turned to her mom and said look mom, she reads the same kind of book society of. that new girl quickly became my best friend, was the mission of honor my wedding and we shared many, many books are the fifth grade. i wells fargo we're also going to have that same love of reading. one way we try to inspire that love is to reading first, an interactive is a program designed to support early childhood literacy and increase company volunteerism. through reading first wells fargo team members have fretted donated within 1 million books
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that are pre-kindergarten through second grade age and we read them aloud and donate them to cluster libraries. although we are not teaching to become aware simply reading aloud and sharing our enthusiasm, we do feel that modeling that is teaching children to love reading. in addition to our reading first program, we gave away 1500 books to children not shared at this very national book festival. we are doing so again this year, so thank you to visit the letter read aloud tent behind me. much of our corporate philanthropy is also focused on organization to advance education, particularly the most challenged neighborhoods. as a part of wells fargo philanthropy can't pry to share that in 2012 invested over 315 million in 19,500 nonprofits across the country. we recognize the importance of supporting organizations that will build healthier lives, strengthen local communities encroach hamas leaders. that's why we're here today.
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tina mack for allowing us to be part of the special celebration this year. we are honored to be here to take part in festivities. and now i want to introduce a special guest who's asked me not to share his name. without further ado, i am following instructions and simply pointing. i would like him to join the stage. thank you so much for having us. [applause] >> thank you very much. welcome to the opening event of the second day of the 2013 national book festival at its absolute incandescent perfect first day of autumn. if you were here for the end of the program yesterday, you know what a contrast with this. my name is jonathan yardley, book critic for the "washington post." [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. the "washington post" has been a charter sponsor of the national book festival since the festival's inception 13 years
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ago and plays an active and enthusiastic role in many aspects of the festival's planning and promotion. i'm instructed to remind you this presentation is being taped and you should stay off of the risers located in the back of the pavilion. at the national book festival in 2001, the final event of what was then a one-day festival was a presentation by scott curt in the madison building about his extraordinary biography of charles lindbergh. scott is back with us today and it is both a pleasure and honor to introduce him for the second time at this festival. i've known scott for 35 years. he came to miami where i was then living in 1978, promoting his wonderful biography of maxwell perkins. i adjust the year before published one of max perkins
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authors and so scott and i struck up a friendship that is persistent, although i must say a great physical distance ever since. you know scott is the author of maxwell perkins, is the author of lindbergh, as the author of a wonderful memoir of katharine hepburn. and now this fine biography of woodrow wilson of which are listed only scott almost alone among presidential biographers understand the president as a human being as well as a policymaker in this place great emphasis on the personal and private life with him in his personal private life is extremely interesting and important. scott. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much for being at this afternoon. thank you, jonathan. a wonderful introduction that means all the more to me coming from the man i consider the greatest literary critic in this
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country. so you are lucky people living in this city i would say. [applause] so, enough about him. [laughter] let's talk about me and woodrow wilson. i'm up to you this much on a personal level about me. i have been interested in woodrow wilson since i was 15 years old when i read a book about him and became so entranced by really have been reading ever sense and in fact went off to his alma mater, prince and university in large measure because woodrow wilson had gone there. for the last 13 years, i have been writing this biography of wilson and i thought before i talked a little about wilson i should tell you to mend principles that have guided me in the writing of the book, which jonathan has actually alluded to already. so that i give you two planks in my platform here.
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the first is that i know i'm in the most contentious city in the world, so hold your tomatoes until the end and we'll see if i prove that point. i believe woodrow wilson was the most influential president of the 20th century. here we are more than 100 years later and they live in a world largely of woodrow wilson's creation. the second point i would like to make is i don't think there has been a more dramatic personal life that has unfolded in the white house that woodrow wilson. as jonathan suggested, what i have tried very much to do in this book is to integrate those two things because i think they belong to each other. i think woodrow wilson's personal life to some extent
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must, have to and it does perform his professional life. in the case for the president of the united states, his professional life profoundly affects the country and indeed the world. and i think woodrow wilson was the first president to affect the world so profoundly. so let me run by you a few superlatives since time is limited, since i've got a big because i was to be very big life. i give you some of woodrow wilson's greatest hits i think. i thought if i turned a couple of superlatives because i really like superlatives, it might give you some greater sense of woodrow wilson or at the very least it will give you some takeaways here this afternoon. the first thing that you must remember and again disintegrates personal life but what happens later professionally. woodrow wilson was the first southerner elected president of
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the united states the civil war. most people don't think of woodrow wilson as a southerner, but it was indeed born in 1856 in virginia. his very first memory his father was a presbyterian minister in virginia and then they moved into three more states of what became the confederate states of america. but during that period when the wilson's was living in augusta, georgia, thomas woodrow wilson, young tommy is woodrow wilson was done as a boy, his first memory was when he was almost four years old and the election of 1860 had just taken place and the little boy remembered hearing, like you just got elected. there's going to be a war. and wilson carried that with him all his life. he carried with it memories of the war as well. growing up in augusta, he was spared seeing a lot of the day
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today horrors of the war, but anyone who grew up in the south briley experienced the devastation. wilson grew up then after the civil war, they moved to south carolina. he saw the girlie charge cities. he really took this memory of devastation with him. this is going to have a deep effect later in wilson's wife because wilson is going to be called upon to decide whether this country would go into the great world war and wilson of course resisted that war for years and then finally jumped in. the reason for the great resistance was he remembered these boyhood images. he remembered the vstation of the word he used over and over again of what had happened to the south. as a result of just
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parenthetically is interesting to remember, woodrow wilson is the only american president who ever grew up in a country that had lost a war. and that was the confederate state. and so he carried all of that emotional baggage, too. a lot of that really changed with the southwest and two southerners were peered wilson said time and again during his life, there is one place in this country, in this world, that nobody needs to explain to me. and that is the south. it was another place. there was another country. and so wilson's election you see was a great reintegration if you will of the country, of the south. woodrow wilson -- here's another one for you, another superlative. woodrow wilson was the most educated president we've ever had. hesitate to say the most
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intellectual. i'm not going to forget thomas jefferson standing here in washington d.c., but i will tell you, woodrow wilson attended what was then the college of new jersey and princeton. he graduated in 1879. he had political trends already. his great aspiration was to become as i discovered going through his papers because he had once made a little business card, homemade business card that said thomas woodrow wilson, senator from virginia. and that was the dream then. the way to achieve that was to become a lawyer because most presidents began their professional lives as lawyers. also as you notice, senator from virginia because virginia had that more men to the right has been anybody in history. so wilson went to the university of virginia law school and there
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he studied law, but really didn't like the study of it so much. after a year or two, he moved down to atlanta, opened a law office. he was really a terrible lawyer. in his year or two down there, he obtained no clients. he's up spending the afternoons reading. he read a lot of history. he read a lot of what was actually becoming a new discipline in this country. and that was something called political science. so he read a lot about politics government, economic, history and how they were all melded into this new thing called political science. after wilson realized he was not making a living as an attorney in atlanta, he decided he was going to go to graduate school. one very good thing came out of his atlanta gears and that was he had one big piece of business
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as a lawyer. and that was something that his family had brought to him. there was some piece of property that needed some contracts, some legal work. so wilson went to rome, georgia, where he was tying up these loose ends and where he, a presbyterian minister's son that a woman named element action committee was a presbyterian minister's daughter and the two of them fell in love and had a real old-fashioned 19th century courtship. a little more extensive than most because wilson, although he was desperate to marry her and her realized he didn't have the resources to do it just yet. so they had an engagement that went on for several years, during which time they exchanged thousands of love letters. now let me restate this. they exchanged thousands of love
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letters. i mean, this is one of the most romantic correspondences that has ever been put down on paper. i am not forgetting the items here. i'm not forgetting the brownings. this is really very occasionally you sort of think many of you out here can at least picture woodrow wilson, the grand tour, presbyterian minister sought by the long faced woodrow. but the fact of the matter is he was this incredibly passionate, intensely emotional man and all of this comes out in these letters. and again, this becomes very interesting knowing that we are now in retrospect that we are going to get a president who was this emotional, who feels things this deeply, who was so unabashed that he can put any thought, any feeling down on paper. he knows how to articulate his
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inner self. this is quite rare among presidents i think. so anyway, will send upon getting engaged is up to johns hopkins university where he becomes what will be the first president to have a phd. he said it would oppose science as i suggested. before he had even received a degree, realized that in order to marry alan coming is going to have to make a living so he chose academia. he thought politics was an unfair playing field. he felt he had no chance not having any money, not having family background, that he could never get ahead. you could get a foothold in politics and so he began to support his family by becoming a college professor first step remark college the very day they opened the school. he was in the first cohort of
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professors when bryn mawr college opened its doors to just women. he was not very happy they are teaching just women. even unhappier with mrs. wilson. they soon married, for the obvious reason i think. but also, she thought they were not quite worthy of her has been. he got another pair, this time teaching history and political science at wesley college in middletown, connecticut. after another few years he got the call he'd been secretly hoping for the wizard going to have a political career that was a job offer from princeton. wilson returned to his alma mater where he took the school by storm, rather as he had as an undergraduate, but this time he became the most dynamic present, not obey on this campus, but in this small town and increasingly
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in the stated new jersey. as he increasingly becomes a public figure, an intellectual, someone who writes books and letters and he is traveling all the country. so he has becoming a rather famous thinker in the country and that's quite something because in 1902, he proved himself so indispensable after 12 years on the princeton campus that they made him president of the college. now this was a real shock to this little campus, quite beautiful campus whose president before wilson described it as the greatest country club in all of america and wilson really wanted to change that and make and wilson almost overnight began to reform what was then called penn state university. introducing numerous educational
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reforms, both then not only changed education at princeton. he affected higher education in this country and indeed as you attended a column or if you know somebody who went to college in which he majored in something of which there was a sequence of courses in which he possibly had two lectures on a class each week, may be an honor code thrown in there. that is the woodrow wilson model. sunday created himself and basically that began to spread across the country. now, here is a new one for you. woodrow wilson became, or i should say, woodrow wilson have the most meteoric rise in american history. it's a big one. but i understand here's how. in 1910, woodrow wilson was the president of a small men's
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college in new jersey. and by that i mean it was a small men's college, not if mom and's college. [laughter] although james madison did go to princeton. [laughter] 1771. so it cuts both ways for him. here is the important thing. october 1810, woodrow wilson is still the president of the school the middle of new jersey. okay, a small college. now if you can believe this, new jersey was the most corrupt state in the union in 1910, which had the most corrupt political machine in the union, the democratic regime i should mention. they thought we need a puppet. but it's a squeaky cleanest puppet in the state. who can break at? why don't we go to that squeaky clean professor, the president
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of princeton. that's good woodrow wilson come to wilson come to see if he has political aspirations little did they know yes indeed he agreed to run on behalf of the machine. what they didn't realize is the first and woodrow wilson would do after getting elected in a landslide is kick out the machine. i mean, he literally physically shut the doors, banned the machines from showing up in the government building. and over the next 18 months, woodrow wilson introduced the most progressive agenda of any state in the union and got it passed. and this was quite stunning because my god, this college professor has very sharp political elbows. and it was quite something. i'm not everybody in the country is turning to new jersey and they are thinking, who is this guy? and indeed in 1912, william
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jennings bryan having been littered with democratic party, having lost three national elections, the party was now in search of a new phase, a new image. who better than this very progressive, very erudite, very proper squeaky clean governor of new jersey. and so, remember the most meteoric rise in american history? october of 1910, woodrow wilson gets president of a little college. november of 1912, woodrow wilson is elected president of the united states. the 28th president. now this is where the roller coaster ride really begins. woodrow wilson comes in within the first two years. and let's stretch it and let's call it his first term event. but within the first two years, woodrow wilson passed the most progressive agenda of the country had ever seen full text
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period that said. he immediately redid the economy of this country by lowering tariffs in a big way. this doesn't sound very every last today, but it was in favor of a graduated income tax, which he thought was a fair way to go, which he thought was a way that would again level the playing field for most americans. he then created, presenteda macabre pass something called the federal reserve system, which today remains of course the bedrock of our economy. the eight hour workday, worker's compensation. but the first jewish on the supreme court. every week, every month there were some new idea or wilson would say, some new ideal that was going to be passed, something that he was going to
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present. this is the almost magical thing that wilson did in the first few years in the first term of office. that is, he not only be defined the possibilities of a president, the executive powers that a president could have they could be the presidency of the least a fine office in the constitution and therefore you think it was the president can basically do anything he wants until someone tells him he can't. that's the congress or the supreme court. that's the first thing he did. he went and out though the sharp elbows, but i'm swinging. the second day and this may be the most important thing that has resonance to this week. and that is wilson redefined the
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president of the united states and iraq with the congress. wilson had this crazy belief that the executive branch and the legislative branch should cooperate. and i mean that quite literally. he meant to branches should cooperate the government. and that he thought meant that the white house, the presidency must be personalized. it must be humanized. it meant that he should make appearances. not just in public, but in the congress. and so, wilson did something extraordinary that even members of his own party resisted. and that was he just began shelling out. he realized that a president had basically not set foot in the congress since john adams left in early 1801. nobody -- even now we have this
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great institution every year at the state of the union address where we have a big ceremony, all that. i did not exist for 112 years, until woodrow wilson decided, i will come forth and i will present the state of the union and what i foresee the state of the union is being. and he did that every year, such that it became a washington institution of course. more than that, wilson had this very progressive agenda. he thought in order to pass that, in order to emphasize its importance, i want to say to the congress homeport natives and i will do it by voting with my feet. it's a wilson, get this, wilson called 25 joint sessions of congress during his two terms. this is once every few months both in would show up, gave a speech, see this tariff address
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is extremely important. we've got to get a tariff bill moved. this labor bill, whatever it was, wilson would show up and gave a talk and 90 with the period that would be fine. it was extraordinary. then he did something even more extraordinary. wilson would show up the next day and he would sit in a little room in the capitol, a road that has basically been nine years since woodrow wilson as it had been unused before woodrow wilson. the room has a very complicated game. it is called the president's room. and it is an idea george washington had for the building of a capital and that there should be the small room and it is possibly the most beautiful room in the capitol. small, high ceiling, has a desk and a couple of settees and a few comfortable chairs.
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the purpose of this room must have an auxiliary office in which the president of the united states could come whenever he wanted and just sit there to discuss the laws he wanted enacted. in wilson did. he would come back sometimes four or five times a day, said at the desk, grab senators when i walked up the senate floor, sit them down, have discussions. he would run a little classroom sometimes. the professor never leaving him use the this part of his personal life now influencing his professional life. and he got these things past. and so we now have you see, a new mode of governance. now, he did keep a set of world war i for a couple of years. he famously banned -- the war broke out in the summer of 1914. he kept this up until 1917.
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he ran for reelection in 1916 on the slogan he kept us out of war, but rather famously on april 2nd, nate 17, wilson gave his speech to a joint session of congress. and here's what he said to them. there is one line in this one speech. it may be the most important foreign-policy speech ever given. our foreign policy to this day, to this week, to president obama talking a week ago about our role in syria are not powerful in syria, whether there should be a moral component to american foreign policy. all of this stuff, all of these questions. is america the policeman of the world? that all goes back as indeed does every major policy decision come is certainly one involving an american incursion i'll spare in the world all goes back to one line, the world must be made
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safe for democracy. .. suddenly we're going doorbell. week, a country, with him in the army the size of that of portugal was now going to send 2 million men overseas. and i'm not talking about a little crossing here, we're
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talking about the lack to goshen. indeed, america went to war, and as a result of the war, america emerged as the first great modern superpower. indeed, a military industrial complex for the first time. wilson's main reason -- there were all sorts of things and are chapters in the book on this, but mills is neck and -- wilson's main reason i believe that he sent us into this war was that he believed we could be part of the piece, that we could even dictate peace. he came up with 14 points that would describe points that would describe -- 14 points that would describe those peace. end at one was a legal nations command international parliament in which countries to gather together, sit at the same table. solace like an arthurian dream.
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and there at that table they could diplomatically iron out differences before they exploded into worse. it was idealistic. it was this a very noble motion. but to wilson it was politics. it was the real deal for him. there was no reason not to. there was no reason it could not happen. there was one reason, however, that it didn't, one prairie reason. even though woodrow wilson went over to paris to negotiate a piece and was gone for six months -- let me rephrase that. woodrow wilson was gone for six months. the president of the united states left from december in 1918 until july of 1919. he came home from one quick trip in between, and that's it. but he came on with the treaty that was not perfect. he knew its flaws, and he knew
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one thing above all, incorporated is lead of nations. he thought that would enable them to iron out any other flaws in the street. now, here is a hitch. a constitutional scholar and, as all of you know, no matter what the president wants to put in the treaty, that's fine, but the senate has to ratify it. and he returned to an extremely hostile and, increasingly republican senate bill and they wanted no part of it. i found doing my research, the paper said suggested -- there were some scrips like republican governors meeting while wilson was a way. and they were determined not to accept anything of that will send him home with. indeed, that proved to be the case. i don't want us to diminish a genuine believe that a lot had that this was not a good treaty, that it was not a good idea to
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have illegal nation's because though the of nations also have attached to it this notion of collective security, that if there was a violation against one nation, all of us would chip in and fight. well, that is something we still argue about to this day whenever we mobilized. and sibila who so wilson realize he was getting nowhere with the senate, i think, embarked on the greatest political mission that any president has ever undergone here was a president his attitude is going to take his cause, this idea of elite divinations and bring it to the people. you is going to jessica meant the product. he launched a 25 city tour. this was really did first time a
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president toured the country, sullivan self, but not for personal aggrandizement. this was somebody who sacrifices life literally was to set the people i an idea that ms. will send this corrected me on an ideal. that is what he believed in. that is what you ought to the country of buy and to. as his rather famous now and something i really tracking great detail and a vote of was in collapsed in the middle of that tour. the rest embalm days they suffered a stroke in now begins with of what i call the greatest disparity see a conspiracy and white house history because the second mrs. wilson -- the first one having died after one year in office and truly breaking the president's heart commis really suffered a major depression got out of bed to fight the war and
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win the piece and all that visit 1919, 1919, the second to mrs. wilson had a handful of doctors that conspired to keep from the united states, to keep from the world the fact that the president of the estate's has suffered a stroke. for the last year-and-a-half of the second term ritually notice of the president of the estates. indeed every document that enter the white house and the presidential approval, every decision, every person it might be granted an audience had to pass through mrs. joseph who had been a young, attractive widow here in town his family rented to restore.
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no political experience, very low education. arguably she began the first real president of the net is states. she was civilly acting at least as this chief of staff, but i would say as a very fortified chief of staff status. wilson left the white house with the exception of those assess netted. he is suffering really the most just painfully tragic final three years is becoming the only president to remain in washington d.c. after his white house years. areas of being an almost magical, its operational and it to woodrow wilson's life which is in its final years living up on as st. each afternoon he
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would take a drive with his wife and a chauffeur, of course. there would be a handful of people out on the streets just to see him. more and more people would come to the house, a kind of pilgrimage to this shrine. sometimes 100, sometimes 200. and veterans, 10,000 people. next year there were 20,000 people. people would come from all over the world now just to see woodrow wilson. ceviches since the we're not pud to sit still and no. we are put it into act. and he gave every ounce of his being to make that come true.
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thank you very much. [applause] >> you mentioned that wilson towards to circumvent congress to establish the league of nations. i want to ask you if his 14 points and away he went around the 14 points was equally knowing how they felt about it and they're feeling and what they stated was give wilson his 14th point and we can get
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anything we want with the initial 13 points. wilson basically sacrificed the 13. in order to gain his 14th. >> a very valid question. tear he did not sacrifice. suddenly the essence of the other 13 points are incorporated or was there in corporate and the treaty. there are a few that are not and there are a few botches, a few last-minute compromises that wilson made. there is no question about it. was it quixotic? yes, i think in retrospect, perhaps. the time everything seems quite believable. i think he thought of this to be manageable. it has been asserted in recent years that, perhaps, wilson was duped by lloyd george.
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he really did not know the extent of the lion's den that he was walking into. they have really believe that. you will see in the book there are a lot of instances where he is perfectly aware of what they're doing. here was a big problem that he encountered. he went over there and they're sitting at the table were 24 nations. those two nations, each of them had a very specific agenda to gain more territory and more treasure. wilson then arrived, did not have those things. he was not there to build an empire. he was there with one this super on national goal, and that was basically to get the league. and so as a result of that, that may have been the most quixotic think. some may say in retrospect the dumbest thing. he really did not go in with the bag. tht digh not
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operate that way. but in the end, and i really parse the 14th point. the very least you will see the spirit of them. i would say nine out of the 14 points, the essence of them is really -- i will be real fascinated. it is a fair question. certainly a fair question which will probably be debated forever. >> what do you think of the autobiography of thomas marshall who was wilson's vice president? >> this is a fascinating question. thomas r. marshall who was from indiana, i great, great, favorite sun of indiana in fact, just before we get that, in answer the question about the autobiography. he read his autobiography woodrow wilson's name only here's a handful of times which is kind of interesting for the vice-president. the same time he is seldom even
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in the white house during the wilson years. and the rumor is -- and now well-known dine out on the -- and now i'm just bragging. i knew the last ten years of life, i used to go up to hurt and massachusetts avenue. something more important. i loved woodrow wilson. she just blows them. and she ridiculed me for two hours. in early 80's at that point. and i was just kind of this mouse in the cat's paws. but she claimed it so assertively. she claimed that when they finally did break it to the
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vice-president weeks later that the president has suffered a stroke, vice president marshall fainted. george nodded makes the point that he was probably ill-equipped. this goes back to why i call it a conspiracy because who is to say this man would not have become harry truman? who is to say the vice president might not have risen to something that no one knew he could rise to. this was a decision are rarely made by mrs. wilson and the doctors. as a result in large measure of that we have a 25th amendment which details presidential disability. >> as you pointed out in the beginning, wilson was the first southerner to become president in the civil war. a product not only of the south, but the deep self during an era
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when the klan is in its ascendancy, redeemer politics is widespread across the south. would you say a few words about how race and racism affected wilson? >> i will say a few words and i am glad the u.s. that because this is, you know, not all pretty. this is the and prettiest and the sedition act. wilson, this great progressive was extremely regressive. it must not be forgotten. woodrow wilson did introduce jim crow to this city. says sam chang segregation, even the community. this goes back to the personal side, someone who grew up in a
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deep southern society, during the war, prewar. this is what he understood. all that being said, he was a racist, his writings, his thinking, no matter what time or context, it is racist plot. that being said, i don't think he was of virulent racist. i don't think that he hated african-americans. he only had hatred for a few individuals. israel hearing about regulation, and l.a. enough for you to decide whether you agree not. all the evidence pro and con. but he really did believe the country simply was not ready. and he said more than once, it will take a generation to before this country can deal with that problem which would put use some more in the mid-1950s which may
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be exactly on woodrow wilson's calendar. that being said, if you slow the process because he segregative the city, because desegregated government offices, probably a good bet, and i would say he simply did not want a revolution that did occur in the 50's and 60's to occur on his watch. i will throw in one more political point. that is and here we must ended, and it was at this point that wilson realized to a advances' very progressive new freedom and agenda he needed the complete backing of the democratic party which included that a vast block of one-third of the senate and congress which were southern democrats, and he basically remained true to them, to the southern cause, and got his new freedom which ultimately was passed on the back of the african-americans in this country.
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thank you very much. [applause] >> and your watching live coverage of the national book festival. thirteenth annual national book festival. pulitzer prize winning author talking about his most recent book wilson, president wilson. you will be joining us here right next to the tent where he was speaking in just about two minutes are so to take your calls. numbers are up on the screen if you would like to the island. he had been listening or have a question, 202-585-3890. 585-3891 for the mountain and pacific time zone. this is the 14th annual national book festival, for
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seldon 2001. we are here on the mall between the capitol and the washington monument. this is but tv's 15th year on the air as well. we will begin taking your calls. he will ask him the questions. we want to start with ron in washington. >> thank you for taking my calls. would like to ask, in his biography he fights as an important work and an influence on him, entitled. i'm wondering the professional historians almost universally have criticized the book as being grilled with inaccuracies. my second question as, in light of john milton and his recent biography, why would a reader want to biographies and see the professional.
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>> host: the second person you're talking about, what was the name again? >> caller: john milton cooper, a professional historian, a leading expert on slauson. >> host: spell that last name. a little distorted we will ask when he gets settled. we're going to take another call from steven in princeton new jersey, former home of woodrow wilson. so the three hello. how are you? >> host: good. >> caller: of curious. would like to ask if mrs. wilson spoke about her husband's ellis and all of the activities therein. and as she lived for many years after president wilson's death. my second question is roughly the same as my first which is, did vice president marshall, what does he think of what president wilson and the cover-up and his later years. >> host: thank you so much.
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thank you for being with us. while we were ready for you to get ready we took a couple of calls. the second was from steven in princeton, new jersey. you wanted to know a little bit more about edith and whether she in her later years talked about woodrow wilson's ellis and that time when she, as you say, essentially, was running the country. >> basically she talked about her illness privately. she maintained a fairly private life. a society woman here in town, democrats happy to draw her out. and i would just add it is a great moment in history. in 1961 when jfk was inaugurated president there on the reviewing stand sitting in the third row was this little old lady and no one knew who she was, and it was mrs. woodrow wilson. so among her friends, she talked about it. generally she talked not about her role but about how horrible
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it was for woodrow wilson having to go around the country and sell when he physically really was not able to do that. really she was most, henry cabot lodge, the leader of the republican opposition and forever blamed him for having to wage that fight as he did. >> host: another question, vice-president marshall and what he thought about that, ever talked about the stroke. >> marshall basically remained silent on the subject, not only of the stroke, but of woodrow wilson. as i just mentioned in my talk, marshall wrote this memoir that is hundreds of pages long. barely a character. you have to go looking for woodrow wilson, the president of the united states. >> host: the other call was from one in washington. he said that you reference eugene smith's book in your book
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, wilson. he says, do you know that that was riddled with inaccuracies? >> guest: well, it is riddled with inaccuracies, but it also really captures the spirit of what was going on. at 15i certainly did not know it was riddled with accuracies. to be told, read my books i basically do not rely on anything but primary sources. so in his book was out there as a reference, but there is something that i felt then and still feel really capturing the spirit of this man enough to make a 15-year-old field that is a life worth living more about. >> host: is the question was about john wilson cooper. >> guest: he has been rick -- written many books on wilson.
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again, i only use primary sources. above all, i did not once the be influenced in any way by his book. i already had in my mind the opening and closing of my book. seoul as duck with what i think is a really dramatic close. >> host: here's the cover of the book. the next call is from michael right here in d.c. >> caller: answer my question and not sick enough here. as a black american muslim my interests intersect, one dealing with the segregation and the
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rise and fall of that particular time of the ottoman empire and the influences at that time and the islamic world, has that also affected the world power, the back up at the time? >> guest: he was a most devout christian. he was not a big crusader against muslims, but that being said, this is a man who read his bible every night, who got on his knees to pray twice a day, who said grace before every meal. christianity, also being the son and grandson a presbyterian ministers, christianity was a huge part of his life. now, the african-american situation, it is better defined.
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and never come across anything just to tell you, in which i read in the muslim sentiment on woodrow wilson. that being said, i seldom read any anti negro as it was called in or anti-black, anti african-american sentiment on woodrow wilson's part either. if you look at woodrow wilson 100 years later, there is no question that this was a racist and the white house. back in 1913 he was something of a centrist. this was a time in which klansman proudly sat on the supreme court, the as this congress. woodrow wilson was basically attack on both sides. he was attacked by the southerners saying don't do too much for the black man. why are you even appointing him to positions of authority he. and he was being attacked largely by northern liberals saying why are you doing enough for these human beings who are
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citizens? i think the greatest of african-americans by woodrow wilson came after world war one, actually. it is interesting. was reading in time magazine few weeks ago in honor of martin luther king. remember, there was something about harry belafonte talking about the black soldiers coming back from war lords to and how they felt this was going to be a real moment for them to change their status, having given there lives, shed their blood, this would be a moment for them to be recognized as full of americans. well, that same sentiment was impressed after world war one where a lot of american soldiers, black american soldiers went off to war, some dyed, fought hard, but basically just discussed worker rather. they returned thinking this would be the great moment of integration in america, and it was not. and this coupled with the other
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oppressions going on in the country with the alien and sedition acts being re-enacted, all of that going on is, perhaps , the worst single year for race relations in the united states. the red summer. it was so much bloodshed. >> host: next call from in montana. good morning. >> guest: hi, good morning. i'm calling from montana. i have a question when he went on his tour around the country to sell the league of nations, did he come to montana? >> guest: yes, he did, indeed. when they put the tool together they very deliberately selected the western states because not
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only did woodrow wilson do well there, i did well there for reason. that was were the most progressive thought was coming from. the old-fashioned thinking really came from largely the same bankers which diffused throughout the east. but wilson brought by going out west he would be talking about people who have that american spirit, thinking there is something better al west. and, indeed, wilson was very successful on the store. with each city found increasing support. i really believe that before he collapsed he really was turning the hearts and minds of the united states. navy and just be an idealist, but i believe a lot of set boats would have changed he had just
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weeks later. don't think there was any conception there. and if you examine that, as i show in the book there was a gradual movement toward american involvement in the first world war. he resisted as long as he could. the germans were torpedoing ships. there were then announcing it would go after neutral ships. americans would no longer say, we will try diplomatic means, memorandums and so forth. each one would be ignored. and finally even more than national honor was a stake here. something really has to be done. that was the moment wilson decided that we have to go to war. and, of course, we learned about the zimmermann telegram through which we learned that germany was conspiring with mexico to a invade the united states to get
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their territory back which is the moment that wilson began to seriously think about mobilizing the nation mentally, emotionally , and even in terms of honor. a few weeks after it was time. sometimes there was no way back. >> host: john from california, on the air. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. [inaudible question] trying to take away our takeover
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of the conservative movement. was it along those lines? >> guest: what you suggested is largely accurate. there's a lot of truth to that. the underlying thing, again, it is something have tried to do in the book, showed how his years in his personal life and prior to the white house some influence of what he did in the white house, and you will see that wilson, you know when he was a college students and he was a college professor in college presidents, their real concern having been a relatively poor minister son was to level the playing field economically and socially so that when he gets into the white house the real through line of new freedom is very progressive. it's about introducing measures, not just to tear down big business. not what woodrow wilson really added. what he really wanted to do, every american and the corporate
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-- opportunity to get ahead. indeed, after the war as inevitably happens in many countries after warburg, sometimes they're is a desire for a change. and in this case they get a very drastic change. they got warren harding. they got a conservative. they got the very republican agenda that tried to undo most of woodrow wilson's thinking and his agenda. >> host: scott berg, a friend of mine is reading wilson and says with in the first into 15 pages she had already basically learned that woodrow wilson was a sex addict. is that accurate? >> guest: i would not say was a sex addict. he was a healthy american boy. but he was passionate, and he was not afraid to articulate that passion. he loved women. he remained true to his wives and i hasten to add his first wife died in the white house
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command and he remarried within a year, was married to a second live. he had three daughters. most of his friends were, in fact, women. he loved talking to them, playing. he grew up with a doting mother and two older sisters. so that was the audience. he was always used to playing. >> host: the next call comes from davis and maryland. good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. i am reading the book and i just finished reading the part about 1911, woodrow wilson, new jersey. out of boston. it put him in office. and the legislature went along with all of his initiatives. i am curious what he would be able to do, strictly to the force a character based on false influence and money? just coming over, or other other things to work? >> host: although bit -- >> guest: i heard nothing.
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>> host: talking about after woodrow wilson got elected governor in 1911, how was he able to affect and get his agenda and place so thoroughly? was of the force of his personality? >> quite remarkable. it really boils down to a couple of things. what is the woodrow wilson really was the greatest orator of events, an incredible speech maker. somebody you have so much knowledge walking into the room because he was so well-educated, and he also had this very strong moral sense. he always knew what direction he was going. and so that really informed every speech that he ever gave. i should also add, wilson was the last president's and i know how many governors of new jersey. he was only their year-and-a-half. he rode every one of his speeches.
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and even that one, he really gave most of his speeches off the cuff. woodrow wilson would walk into the new jersey state legislature or when he was on the campaign toward he would have a piece of paper with five bullet points, and he could go an hour and give the most beautiful speech, grammatically perfect tommy's paragraph following the one before it making perfect sense. he believed it. he always has some historical example talking to the new jersey legislature. he treated them like college students and there were ready after years of corruption to have this really clean strong "wonderful. and the people of new jersey it
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were most interested in wonder wilson. >> host: did you feel more affectionate? >> guest: in some ways. i discovered the deep well of emotions in this man. you cannot read his love letters , you cannot read the speech he gave. delivered off the cuff again, he delivered at the american cemetery in paris just before the treaty was finished talking about how he took responsibility personal responsibility for every death there.
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so in that sense i came to appreciate him even more. on the other hand, i really came to dislike him in ways i had not expected. certainly the issuance of suppression of speech. and above all, this beloved lead that he gave his life for in many ways he shot himself in the foot because he was so uncompromising, so unyielding, had he given in an cheapo we could have taken a mile, but he would not give anything. so he really did. >> host: mary jo, please start with your question or comment. >> caller: i was wondering what role played in the conspiracy. was a completely incapacitated or how much it the function? >> host: thank you. she wants to know if woodrow wilson played a role in what she
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called the conspiracy. >> guest: he really did not. he was so incapacitated. you really have no say in it. what happened was this, the doctors came to mrs. wilson and said, your husband is in a very fragile condition. he lost his left side, retain his power of speech and ability to reason. so he was incredibly weak physically. now, the conspiracy came about because the doctor said, you have got to keep all stress away from the president. in the stress could really cause his death. mrs. wilson said, that is what the president's job is, nothing but stressed. basically his job is to get rid of the stress for the rest of the nation. and one of the doctor said, in fact, the wilsons were the closest marriage that ever existed in the white house.
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mrs. wilson very often went to meetings with the president. he was briefing here for years and all the memorandum. the doctor said, you know what is going on. why don't you just start to make the decisions. and that is all she did. she really had nothing to do with that decision other than being an invalid. >> host: during the first lady program every monday night commend this week it happens to be a win and edith wilson. who wins? >> guest: well, ellen is one of the great prognostic years for such a short time. it moved into the white house in 1913. she died in december 1914. so people know very little about her, she was fascinating. wilson and trust of her entirely, even back to their
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school days, a college professor and he was always there to edit his articles, speeches, and he have implicit faith in her judgment. and often came up with some wonderful suggestions for his work. she was also a very good artist. she was a painter, and the paintings were quite wonderful. she really could have had a career. she gave up his career when she mary wilson. although, when there were in the white house she set up a studio on the third floor so that she could continue to do a little painting in her time. she was also a great gardener and decided when they moved she wanted the kind of rose garden. they kept that. >> host: well, the program airs tomorrow night live on c-span. that might be on monday night.
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next call on woodrow wilson. how were you? >> caller: i have a question for you. it seems like all the questions they have come about, about history and what happened back in the old days. my question is a very modern question about woodrow wilson and i don't know if you are aware of it. hopefully you are. you are not hopefully will have an opinion. fifty years ago i went to woodrow wilson high school in portsmouth, virginia. for the first 60 years of the school it was an all white school. since that time it has become 80 percent black. and i believe that 26 woodrow wilson high schools and the united states that there were all named back in the late twenties -- late teens or early 20's. and most of them were inner-city schools that were predominantly black. then there is a well-heeled,
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well-financed internet campaign to get to appeal. you act like you know what i'm talking about. to get all of these i schools names changed because here all these black kids going to predominantly black schools named after racist president, and i just bought -- >> host: we have to get a response. >> guest: an interesting question and certainly a great irony, no doubt about it. i am not sure i would go that far. i think i might use the notion of woodrow wilson as a kind of teaching moment. in fact, woodrow wilson did introduce segregation. he did have these racist feelings. that being said, basically believe in the law of the land which was separate but equal. the believe very strongly in education, especially for african-americans which was extremely important. he really did want full
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opportunity. he thought that immigration was not the answer at that time. so they changed the name. i personally don't think so. i think this should make a point of teaching who he was and what he stood for. what was behind that and indeed how education which was really his great passion in life, can make a whole difference in life and in the lives of the students who are there now. maybe those students can do -- i'm showing you. you're wrong. he should not have segregated. here we are today. i don't think it is quite the same as waving the confederate flag. you know what, those are decisions that those communities will have to make for themselves >> host: book tv is on location on the mall, washington d.c., the topic 13 national book
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festival. we are joined by the author of the new book, will send. he has won a pulitzer prize for his book. the next offer him comes from greg in salt lake city. hi. >> caller: hello. >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: i was wondering about wilson versus harding and coolidge, in contrast. >> guest: one of the very first things that the party administration did was to try to go back to some of the excessive things in place when woodrow wilson came into office. kind of misunderstood. when woodrow wilson came into office, this is where the bulk of revenue was raised to run the government's. wilson believe there was a great inequity there a lot of ways. a tariff on sugar. everybody who uses sugar was
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with everybody and in essence had to pay a kind of quiet tax on sugar or cotton. and wilson felt there was an inequity in that a rich man could afford that without having to think about it, but the poor man necessarily cannot. and so that is why he brought in the income-tax and reworked it. it was a graduated income-tax which suggests a redistricting of wealth. and again, this fits in with woodrow wilson slow-motion of leveling the playing field whenever possible. he felt it was a truly fair way. at the same time, this is a great new inhibition of the federal government in people's lives, and not something which a lot of people strongly objected to this day. so in the harding administration came and, income tax rates went down, tariff rates went up, and
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we really went into this great republican era from 1921 until 1933 when franklin roosevelt takes office. the think the democrats of the they will tell you, in large measure of this led to the great depression, to the great crash. >> host: elizabeth posada facebook page, if you would please discuss president wilson reading habit, especially his love of history. >> guest: well, it's true. i mean, here is our most educated president, our only president with a ph.d., a man who wrote a dozen books, a scholar of the american constitution. when it came time to a free reading he sent off to the library of congress a list of books which was a mystery. and this is a menu found the burdens of office so taxing
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summit so vexatious that in his spare time he wanted nothing to do with government politics. he played more golf the day president of the united states. he read light reading. again, he loved the game of it, the puzzle of mystery. and that was his free reading joyce. he also loved entertainment, going to vaudeville shows, the movies. he and a projector in the white house, the first president to watch motion pictures and the white house. he would go and watch movies once a week and find himself reading movie magazines. >> host: next call, who to go ahead with your question.
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i just want to say i enjoyed the talk you gave. i wish you would have expanded more in regards to race. i felt like you did that at the end. but here's my question. qualified to go to princeton. woodrow wilson said that if the president's oppressed and black people would not go here. would like to hear your comment on that. >> guest: he did grow up in princeton new jersey. but over his years as the president, occasionally had one case heavily, a young black man
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applied to the college. he made it clear that he was not welcome. less about his personal presence and his understanding of the south. the entire student body of precedent was not going to settle for that. there would come and to lecture, african americans. and there would just leave. wilson fear something worse than that would happen. he really feels what would happen to any black students who might have matriculated to princeton.
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indeed he did not put it to the test as he did not put integration in washington the test which may be a real check mark against an. but he did not allow society to try. but he said understand the south and thought that the south could not accept it at that time it is amazing than writing about a president who died almost 100 years ago, and get new papers are surfacing. indeed, within the last decade while i was working on this book one of wilson's last grandchildren died. and in going through his house as family found truckloads of letters from the man's mother, that is woodrow wilson's daughter. ending going to those papers
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there were thousands of personal letters wilson's daughter to her husband, back-and-forth to father, to our children, friends, and all of these things really provided great personal detail because, again, what i try to do with the book is fleshed out woodrow wilson. and then almost at the same time woodrow wilson's closest friend and doctor, his last. ending going through his house the found job was the paper's kept meticulous accounts and wrote letters to his wife revealing some of the secret -- its small but nonetheless the operation put. >> guest: the family knew was a work on the book and entrusted
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to me. and actually only to me. no one has been through all of these papers. >> host: wilson was the name of the book. thank you for being on book tv on the national book club. thirteenth annual national book festival you're on the mall. you're in the area, nancy is. come on down and pick up an ice bag. we will be here all afternoon during author events in the history and biography tent. coming up is a book on the korean war. you will hear from rick atkinson a little bit later. the full schedule is available. you will get schedule updates all day long as well as on twitter. so coming up next, another opportunity. this is called enemies within the man inside the new york police department's secret spying unit.
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after we showed you a little bit of tape we will come back and he will take your calls. as a mention, this is the 13th annual national book festival. we want to show you some tape from the first in 2001. >> how did you get involved? >> well, this is something that i got the invitation in the mail . it was exciting to be part of the first time that this has been undertaken. i just think laura bush says it all home run with this. it is amazing to see the enthusiasm busy just don't quite know what is going to happen. it has been a pleasure to be a part of it. >> you arrived and washington, and what did they have you do? >> noon on friday. we got settled and went to the dinner last night, the library of congress. then went to the white house for breakfast this morning which was a lot of fun.
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it. >> ever been to the white house before? >> i had been there briefly in may when i was on a book tour in the heart of the city. first met laura bush then briefly. >> how did you learn that president bush was reading your book? >> someone else read the story and called me up and said -- i said, oh, boy, that's great. i think him for giving me a plug. >> this is the book. it is called the tragedy of the wells ship ethic. >> it is the real story that inspired moby dick. there will ship from nantucket that was rand by whale in the middle of the pacific in 1820. where moby dick emmons is where this story begins. abandon ship, took to the whaleboat. instead of sailing to the aisles of the west because there are fried of cannibals they set out on an impossible voyage across
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america 3,000 miles away. the terrible irony of the story is after months as the there were reduced to eating the bodies of their debt shipmates. sale of all that distance. >> that anyone written a book to read this before? >> there was a book written in 1980. approached this topic from the perspective of the first made. and says the book was published the journal of thomas nickerson was discovered as late as 1980. for me, that provided all in perspective because he was a cabin board when the essex went out. he added many details from the point of view that was not present. >> let me show our viewers the pictures. here is mr. nickerson. >> about the time that he was
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working on his narrative. so he still has a boyish look about him. >> over here is owen chase. >> at the height of his wailing career. a very charismatic, handsome man, are driving. and it would be one of the most successful waving captains of the island and never knew. >> what did it mean? >> well, it meant that you had all of the right stuff. it was the apex of many ways dream if you were a young boy. and so these guys were revered. >> we're going to take some phone calls. hello. >> hello. of want to say that i really enjoyed that book. you do a phenomenal job describing the life style. as a young grow growing up in that area, and of and native american background, i heard quite a bit about it as a child.
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you really have captured the essence of it because these were very young, young boys that were going out there on the ships. and it was -- there is a rich history there. i would highly recommend it to anyone, even people that are not familiar with sailing. pick that booked up. you get a good grasp of history of america, and especially if you have that native american background, it is a wonderful book. i cannot say enough about it. i am a voracious reader, and that book, the booklet charlie breeds, and i cannot think of abettors approach of to add to it. congratulate you. i would hope that you not follow up with something more because really that is a priceless story. >> well, thank you so much. that means a lot to me. wailing, i think, many people don't appreciate what a melting pot it was before there was all of that immigration that made
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america a melting pot. .. the author of "enemies within." mr. apuzzo, what does the n.y.p.d. intel?
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>> guest: it's like nothing else that exists. after 9/11, ray kelley at the new police commissioner at the n.y.p.d. decided he couldn't rely on the federal government to keep the city safe anymore. he made it his own intelligence division. so it's not anybody's mother died. he went and recorded a guide by the by the name of delhi kellen and david coward was the former deputy director of operations for the n.y.p.d. basically he was the nation's top spy and it just come out of a movie. he'd been in retirement. he got recruited out of retirement to start something new out of the n.y.p.d. why are we taking somebody from the cia, which is trying to subvert lots and operate with the constitution doesn't apply at putting them in hiding municipal police department, which is the only function of upholding the law. this is really radical moment in
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american policing what they said we are not going to focus on solving crime are making cases. we are just going to be here to gather intelligence, to be a mini cia kind of thing. it was this incredible decision that we'd never understood the significance for many years. the what they did if they took a look at all the nine about then hijackers portfolios, their files and networked for commonalities and things that would say how'd we noticed us along the way, maybe we could have done something. so they created a team of plainclothes detectives from a south asian arab descent and sent them out into the neighborhoods come into muslim neighborhood, basically eased up and write what they heard and where were egyptian coffee shops where what barack is get their hair cut? where do people of palestinian
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descent, where did they watch soccer? what they did was created this giant ethnic map of the city that was the foundation of what has been a 10 year extremely secret program the n.y.p.d. has been running. >> host: has this program been successful overdue not terrorism? >> guest: our book looks at the most significant terrorist plot that al qaeda unleashed on new york city since 9/11. this is a plot that one of bin laden's top deputies had been set in motion, a plot to bomb the new york city subways in 2009. what we found and what the book shows in the form of a thriller really is the n.y.p.d. has a million opportunities. the secret program 7 million opportunities to catch his friends. at every turn when it matters most, these programs fail. >> host: who was najibullah salé? after he is the central
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intelligence of this book. zazi was a westernized kid. he supported the invasion of afghanistan after 9/11. but like a lot of kids who kind of fall off -- ball out of the system, drop out of high school, kind of became disenchanted, became a little bit angry, then turned to the internet and became a radicalized by preachers like anwar al-awlaki. what happened was he became convinced that lake the russians before i submit the united states have become occupiers innovators in afghanistan he and two friends decided they were going to go and fight with the taliban. they said were going to go fight with the taliban. so what do they do? they brought plane tickets to pakistan to figure we can get across the border, maybe we can hook up with the taliban. one of the co-conspirators -- we
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are going to be taliban generals. they make it to the frontier of northern pakistan and they just sort of stumbled their way down and turned around looking for the taliban. who finds them that al qaeda and their tax through this network of secret little operations in pakistan and our book shows how these guys stumble into the clutches of al qaeda and end up getting trained for a suicide mission by one of osama bin laden's top deputies and they are trained. they are activated. they are taught to make an extremely devastating bomb and a return to the united states. they build a bomb on what our book shows as it is a 48 hour race into new york city in 2009 to prevent this bombing. >> host: was the n.y.p.d. -- by the way, we are going to put the numbers on the screen if you'd like to participate in a
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conversation with matt apuzzo, and investigative correspondent "the associated press" and a co-author of this book, "enemies within." (202)585-3890. if you live in east and central time zone. (202)585-3891 and the mountain pacific aired mr. apuzzo, was the cia or fbi aware of najibullah zazi prior? >> guest: no, the intelligence of the n.y.p.d. had these huge programs designed to catch somebody like zazi. that infiltrated zazi's mosque and turned it into a cooperator. they had infiltrated one of his co-conspirators student groups. they had built files on all the restaurants in his neighborhood. they had been even to the ymca down the street wire zazi lived. he is well intended to catch somebody like this before they became a terrorist and they failed at every turn. meanwhile, this machine is generating huge amounts of
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information on innocent people appear to people talking on a coffee shop about what they thought about president bush's state of the union address. people are barbershop or address in traditional muslim attire that goes in a police file. where people watch soccer, where people watch cricket you end up with a huge amount of data. what we show if there is a process in place that did work and hopefully relieve americans with a sense, you know, of hope that a lot of what felt on 9/11 did work to catch zazi in the end. we obviously no subways don't blow out. but we were lucky because we got to talk to a lot of the cia, fbi and n.y.p.d. guys who were on the ground working around-the-clock to make this
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case. >> host: so there was a lot of coordination between those three agencies? >> guest: right. so this all began and the only reason i subways don't blow up is that zazi is trying to perfect the second component of his bomb and e-mailed one of his contacts in pakistan. basically an al qaeda e-mail address, a yahoo! account. as it happened about 18 months earlier, the british government had taken down a terrorist cell in the u.k. and they had found a yahoo! address and they passed it to the nsa, which went and started monitoring the e-mail address. as soon as the e-mail came in from the united states, to that address, the nsa passed it to both n.y.p.d. and officials in colorado. i have been in rapid succession. i think that is a good take away
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for coming in now, for cooperation post-9/11, the real good cooperation does work. frankly, the traditional police tax six to work for america and work for the fbi for so many decades that have kind of come under scrutiny and maybe people think don't work to fight terrorism like lady maranda lights are questioning them over a long period of time, watching and waiting. those kinds of things in the end, does work. and you know, we didn't need secret presents. we didn't need waterboarding. we didn't need guantánamo bay. collaboration and smart policing work to keep america safe. >> host: how are you able to get access to these records? >> guest: adam goldman, my co-author and i reported for "the associated press." for about 18 months through 2011 to early 2013, we were reporting
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on the n.y.p.d. for "the associated press" and through our report on that dozens of people in the n.y.p.d. who are willing to share their stories with us and provide us with documents that really spelled out a great deal how this intelligence division has grown in size and ronin intrusiveness and almost intimacy in terms of what they are going to collect on american citizens in secret with no review. so we had help from a lot of people in law enforcement. adam and i covert counterterrorism and national security for the ap comest a lot of people who helped crack the zazi case for people who we knew professionally because they covered the zazi case in real-time. >> host: first call for matt apuzzo comes from colchester, vermont. hi, melissa. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> host: good, please go ahead. >> caller: i was wondering
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what was your background in college that kutcher into investigative writing? is so unusual. >> host: she wants to know your background in college. >> guest: i what happens if your premed student and get peace inorganic chemistry. i am not a career path if anyone has attempted to follow. i went to a great -- a wonderful liberal arts school in maine called colby college. i was a biology major. i did not go to medical school. i worked at the local paper in waterville, morning sentinel, chesler basic reporting out there. i went to a small newspaper in massachusetts for a few years and worked my way through the ap. it was on-the-job learning. i did not go to school for this. >> host: is david cohen still involved in as this program grown over the 13 years?
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>> guest: shura, david cohen, the former cia deputy director is still on the job at the n.y.p.d. through the years, dave has actually helped cotton the cia to send him active-duty cia officers to new york to help them build these programs. the architect of what is known as the democrat fixed and come at the unit that eavesdrops in neighborhoods. that architect was an active-duty cia officer named larry sanchez. again, another unprecedented move. the cia is not supposed to be collecting or directing collection inside the united states. the lines have blurred after 9/11. after we started reporting on this in 2011, then cia director david petraeus decided it didn't look good to have the cia guy acted duty, sitting inside the municipal police department so they pulled them home and say
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now, if the cia and n.y.p.d. want to collaborate, they have to go through official channels. there can't be this sort of murky area. >> host: elisabeth for ari posts on our twitter feed, what do you think about the case against bruce ivan, which are reported non. first of all, who is bruce ivan's? >> guest: bruce ivan is the scientist who was about to be charged in the 2011 anthrax killing, but took his own life before him. you know, i think the fbi feel they had their man and certainly in a lot of the reason they feel like they had their man is because there is no better explanation. certainly the evidence against them is circumstantial, but there's a lot of circumstantial evidence against him. you know, i do think the best arguments that they don't have the right man is that for many years they thought they had the right man before and this guy
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named steven hatfield who ended up being completely innocent. had steven hatfield taken his own life, they would've been done done here and what a way. unfortunately, for everybody, dr. ivan took his own life. he obviously had problems in the case never went to trial. it wasn't one of my takeaways. would've been good for everybody had the case gone to trial we would've seen the evidence and get closure. there are going to be people who never believed that ivins was the anthrax killer. >> host: next call for matt apuzzo, co-author of "enemies within" comes from john and an aqua. you are on booktv. >> caller: yes, good afternoon. to what extent the public records law at the new york state public records laws planned two-year reporting on the book? >> guest: no nowhere whatsoever because the n.y.p.d. basically ignores open records on a regular basis.
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the new york public advocate scored the n.y.p.d. is terrible for public records. you can get a police report as a reporter for the n.y.p.d. he can't get a mug shot, 9-1-1 call. they have a pressroom at the n.y.p.d. called the shack and they all have phones on the desk. if the n.y.p.d. wants to feature information they all rank. they summarize the report for you. does they decide that are newsworthy. is this incredible media machine that they run their, which makes it extremely hard to question what you're getting because you can't get public records. the n.y.p.d. created out of thin air something called n.y.p.d. secrets. it looks like they classified it. it's a secret on it. but as a force of law of somebody writing no gross allow other treehouse. we are spies. when he do think that's an
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n.y.p.d. secret. it doesn't mean anything, but they won't give you the documents. there's no law saying they won't do that, but they just stated. >> host: matt apuzzo, how are they able to get away with not releasing 9-1-1 calls? >> guest: nobody questions that my guests. you know, it takes money, time to fight back. the n.y.p.d. is smart. most journalists in new york city, their job is to cover the day today and and a disincentive by since people to make waves when you rely on the n.y.p.d. officially for almost everything you do every day. >> host: brandon, new york city. good afternoon. >> host: you just mention money. i am wondering how is this funded. >> host: great question. >> guest: great question. the n.y.p.d. is 30 million to
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$40 million a year. were talking about 300 billion, $400 million. most of that comes in the city council, which has never held a hearing into what the intelligence division does. we actually had no idea about the files they were building on people. these programs, the surveillance programs -- some of the money comes from the white house through the assorted stir anti-drug grant. that helped pay for the cars in the computer. a lot of the money comes from the department of homeland security and the justice department, which again made me we have no ability to know what's going on. no ability to question arafat ever have actually operate and whether they are too intrusive. >> host: matt apuzzo economy talked about our conversation. are those still going on? is there any kind of paranoia among some of the mosques in new york city?
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>> guest: they are still going on. one of the most creative things the n.y.p.d. did was they would send in formats into mosques. if you are investigating someone inside the mosque any synonym for a minute to keep tabs on them come you can only keep in your files with the person you are investigating set. but what the n.y.p.d. did with the crew created this investigatory were basically they said if a group of people are plotting terrorism and we can investigate them as a group, basically a way to investigate the terrorist. they actually applied it to at least a dozen mosques. now anybody who shows up at the mosque and the subject of the investigation. 100,000 people might set a place and st. peter's and collect license plates of everybody who shows up. they have secret recording devices. at the mosque is the enterprise, the terrorists and enterprise, than anybody who there is fair
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game. the stretch on for years and years. of course there's never been a terrorism case made against demos, but it's a great way to keep your intelligence pipeline coming and. >> host: have these cities developed in intel unit? >> guest: the idea of intelligence led policing is sort of in the vanguard right now. this idea of who want to deploy assets based on what the intelligence is telling us. nobody estimate the way the n.y.p.d. has done it. that may just be because the n.y.p.d. is twice the size of the fbi. there's no police department who has the manpower, 35,000 people to create this kind of unit. they have the political will to do it. kerry sanchez, the sky from the cia testified before congress, nascar the n.y.p.d. does counterterrorism. one of the things he said to
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congress, we believe you can no longer look at activities that would traditionally be protected by the first and fourth amendments. we no longer look at them as protected by the first amendment. we have to look at them through the lens has been potential precursors to terror with them. nobody stopped to say, wait a minute, the n.y.p.d. is in the constitution. congress said thank you. there is a fundamental shift in american policing that new yorkers have given them the political cover. pray kelley remains very popular. so they have the political cover to do it. >> host: we have been talking with matt apuzzo come closer prizewinner for investigative reporting. here is his book cowritten with adam goldman, "enemies within: inside the nypd's secret spying unit and bin laden final plot against america." you are watching booktv on c-span 2, live from the national book festival at the mall in washington d.c. this is the 13th annual.
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and this is booktv 13th year on the air. thank you for being with us those years. it's got several hours worth of author events live from the book festival this afternoon. coming up next in history biography 10 is sheila miyoshi. here is her book, "brothers at war" about the korean war. she will be talking about her book life and after that will join us for another call-in opportunity. life to the history and biography tent for sheila miyoshi yager. you are watching booktv on c-span 2. >> welcome. on behalf of the library of congress, welcome to the 2013 national book festival. we hope you are having a wonderful day celebrating the joy of reading here on the national mall. before we begin, i want to inform you that the pavilion presentations are being filmed for the library of congress' website and for their archives.
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please be mindful of this is to ensure the presentation. in addition to my please do not set on the camera risers located on the back of the pavilion. thank you. my name is mary beth wise and i work for the library of congress national library service for the blind and physically handicapped. we administer audio and braille books to individuals throughout the country as a u.s. citizen living abroad. i am very proud to introduce sheila miyoshi yager who earned her phd in anthropology from the university of chicago. she is an associate professor and director east asian studies at oberlin college. she has written extensively on modern content for a korean politics and history and is the author of several books on korea and east asia, including the politics of identity, history, nationalism and the prospect for
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peace in post-cold war east asia. narratives in nation building an efficient, a genealogy of patriotism ruptured histories, war or the post cold war in asia. her new book, "brother at war: the unending conflict in korea" is the military, political and cultural history of the war seen as spamming in 1945 to the present and its global impact told from the north and south korean and chinese news. please join me in welcoming, sheila miyoshi yager. [applause] >> well, thank you very much for that warm introduction. thank you ladies and gentlemen for this wonderful crowd, which
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is a tribute to this festival. so it is my first experience here and a true pleasure to be here. my book is called "brother at war: the unending conflict in korea," which was published in july of this year in which many of you may note is the 60th anniversary of the korean war armistice. and that date is significant because even though the fighting in korea stopped in 1953, the war continued. no peace treaty was ever signed at the conclusion of the fighting. said the korean war is in effect a war without end. that anyone in washington predicting some 60 years ago that u.s. troops, president truman sent to korea in july 1950 would still be there in september 2013 would have been laughed out of town.
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truman himself dismissed the idea as entirely preposterous and set the korean police action that was called back then was supposed to be a very brief affair. most people thought it would be over in a matter of weeks. once the north koreans realized that they were fighting americans and not south koreans, so everyone said, they would run back north for the 38th parallel. this did not happen of course. more than six decades later, the korean peninsula has remained roughly divided by the conflict has begun. the dnc that separates north and south korea is the most heavily fortified border in the world. 2 million soldiers face each other along for two and a half wide mile strip of land on the 1551 demilitarize sound. president clinton once called the dmz quote the scariest place on earth.
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so how did we get to this point? since the late 19th century come in the korean peninsula has been the point of confrontation amongst the great powers. first china, japan, russia and the united states accession exerted some form of control over the korean peninsula. the end of the second world war however left only two great powers by an over korea, the united states and the soviet union, which divided the korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. by then korean people have divided themselves into parties under the tutelage and with the support of these two patrons. two antagonistic regimes were born. communists in the north and conservatives in the south company each of his dreams for unifying the korean peninsula under their rules that any means of achieving this on their own. now it's commonly believed that
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the korean war started on june 25th 1950. this is actually not quite true because even before kim il-sung launched his invasion of south korea with stalin backing, koreans have been fighting a bloody civil war for nearly two years. the division of the peninsula at the 38th parallel rise to structured polity whose contents are exacerbated by regional, religious christian versus communists and class divisions. between 1948 in 1950 come in nearly 100,000 people perished during those bloody conflicts. many of them innocent civilians caught up in the fighting as leftist guerrillas in the south tried to topple the south korean regime headed by statement read. the sudden leftists are supported by the communists in the north and when it became clear that the spring of 1950,
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however the south korean regime could not be toppled from within, kim millstone approached stalin. he wanted the soviet tatars support to invade south korea in order to unify the peninsula under his rule. the attack will be swift in the war will be over in three days can assure the soviet dictator. stalin's motivation for backing kannel songs and vision plans are unclear, but what is certain is neither him or stalin believed the united states would interpret in korea. but of course i'll stalin and kim were sort of a mistaken. when north korean forces clashed 38th parallel south in june 25th, may 250, the u.s. under u.n. mandate to intervene and this is because truman immediately sought stalin's hand and a north korean invasion. kim's quest to unify the peninsula under his own control
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was now viewed in the context of the cold war. within days of the north korean invasion, americans involvement in the water had made korean civil war global. july 1950, truman ordered american troops to south korea in order to stop the north korean onslaught. it may not tober and 1950, when the tide of the war had changed in september, china entered the war. by the end of 1950, 10 nations had ground combat troops to join the americans in the koreans. never before in modern history has so many nation committed themselves to a common political and military endeavor as they did during the korean war. the flow of campaigns and battles in the late 1980s to 19 for the one under constant
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reorganization much a complex mix-and-match maladies come which pose formidable challenges. language barriers were once a challenge. greek, turkish, thai, french, spanish, dutch. the number of other dialects were the times he used for the combat units. other language barriers were never completely overcome, english was the lingua franca of the burden of translation was left to you unit that provided english-speaking personnel to translate materials, operations and orders, to tie instructions into their language. feeding the troops provided another significant challenge. the turks were muslims than they were for big to eat pork. the greeks could not eat corn, carrots or asparagus that required olive oil for cooking. indians are mostly vegetarians. the filipinos required additional rice while the vegan,
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french and dutch consumed greater quantities of bread and potatoes than the american day. clothing also produced a share of difficulties. the thai, filipino and greek soldiers requires mauler clothing, but the most critical area, weapons and ammunition was not a major problem however because as most u.n. troops, except for the commonwealth unit were given american arms. but the greatest challenge of the coalition was integrating the korean war into the u.s. army. by the summer of 1951, over 200,000 south korean soldiers and neighbors became part of the economy. calling the eighth army u.s. army was a significant misnomer by the summer of 1951. more appropriately be u.n. army in korea since less than half of the million man were actually
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americans. for most countries that sent military forces to korea, it was the first time in their history to participate in it were not for comcast, occupation or defense by territory, rather the were missing as the non-united nations and the concept of collective security was supposed to uphold. but idealistic ideology did not mask the brutality of the fighting. because the civil war in korea never really ended, but simply merged with what we now know was the korean war, so violence of the fighting took the level of viciousness that was different i think in any other war americans have thus far experience. one of the worst atrocities occurred in the outskirts of the city of tejon. the official u.s. history of the war described what happened as one of the greatest mass
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killings of the entire korean war, estimating that 5,007,000 civilians were slaughtered by the north korean people's army. many witnesses later described the horror they saw a man to the city. a former south korean guard recalls i answered the present and bought them out to discover the corpses. they were black and covered with flies. i was speeches. i couldn't believe how cool it is civilians were killed. i mobilized 300 to 400 people to clear up the bodies. it took me three days to do it. at first i thought of them individually, but there were so many bodies be buried them in groups and larger holes. i don't have an exact count, but it was between 400 to 500 people. the discovery of mass murder solidified in the minds of americans and others that they were doing with a quote, unquote
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a natural enemy, one who had no regard for human life. but it turned out that the south koreans could be just as brutal. right before tejon south of the communists in july 1950, south korean forces were faced with a dilemma of what to do with the thousands of suspect he communists they have imprisoned before the invasion began. they were in prison for petty crimes, then the rest have been in the city before the communists took it over. all the prisoners were executed due to fear they met later showing up with them korean army. when south korean soldier later brought about the incident. i don't regret the killing of communists who were convicted and sentenced to death, but the others i wonder what kind of people that our nation who allowed them to be executed as well. when the city was retaken by u.n. forces are not tober 1950, the terms of the earlier massacre perpetrated by south korean forces were conflated with the vic and so the later
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north korean killings. buried beneath the story of the north korean massacre quite literally as it turns out was the forgotten story of the south korean carnage. the tides of cruelty continued with the tides of four s. north and south koreans try to outdo each other in eliminating suspected collaborators from the other side. the american people were appalled. by the time the war upon the 30th parallel of 1951 when armistice began, the majority of americans had turned firmly against a lawyer. now it's important to keep in mind that although we now see the korean war as a victory, mostly because we know a south korea became the wilson know what north korea became the would have the korean war veterans memorial in d.c. to commemorate that it very, the
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korean war was actually an extremely unpopular war by the time the fighting ended in 1953. certainly no one could've ever imagined imagined that south korea could go on to become the economic, political and cultural powerhouse that it is today and the sacrifices made on behalf of this beleaguered nation would have paid off so handsomely. while there were no organized protests against the korean war like they were against the war in vietnam, was extremely unpopular nonetheless. so how did americans and their anger and frustration? one way was to openly question the legitimacy of the war itself donna cooper of memphis, tennessee, for example returned a purple heart awarded to her fallen son, paul cooper writing to president truman in october october 1951, quote, to me my son is a symbol of the 109,009
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would've been sacrificed in this needless slaughter of so-called police action that has not and could never be satisfied to really explain to americans. washington d.c. took even more drastic action. he refused to accept the awarded medal of honor and silver star on behalf of his two sons, robert and sharon could retrospectively who died within days of each other because he said truman was unworthy to confirm the nation's highest award for valor on his son or any other american son. from these germanic actions come stories all published in the national local newspapers at the time get the sense of just how sad that the americans were with the war. it was also the main reason why truman decided not to seek a
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second term. truman's approval rating sank to a mere 22% in february 1952 as an eisenhower's client-side vic to reelection was largely due because he promised to end the fighting in korea, which he did. eisenhower once said he considered the armistice to be one of the greatest accomplishments of his presidency. yet although he stopped the killing, he did not in the war. this is because the armistice did not resolve the fundamental problem that had precipitated kim il-sung's invasion of south korea. the nation remained divided here to this day, no peace treaty has been signed between the belligerents to bring the war to an end. but followed instead was a long and simmering confrontation between north korea and south korea that took the form of a contest in legitimacy, a
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brothers for between two impossible regimes, each holding half of the peninsula and each claiming to be simply korea. which korea would become the legitimate korea? as surprising as it might sound today, the answer at first appear to be the north. it has been able to rapidly rebuilt after the war with the generous help of its communist backers and bigger industries and better rested people aware that her. its gross domestic per capita was twice that of the south. in fact, north korea attract so much money as a socialist state in the 19th 60s that many wealthy korean families living in japan decided to return to the socialist fatherland. nevertheless there were signs the north defendants he could not be maintained. by the late 1960s, production
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rates begin to slow from the field by eternal deficient is that the stalinist system. the number of incidences of lung dmc also underwent a dramatic as kim il-sung realize the window for reese achieving reunification was rapidly closing. instead of the soviet union or china for that matter supported another war on the korean peninsula, they were very careful to keep kim il-sung in check. soviet leader with an impression i was not about to repeat stalin's mistake. by the 1970s it was clear which korea came out on top. thanks i urge you exported strategy of south korea's president but the heat, the soft economy began to rapidly take off. it was called the big push. one story goes that he heard there was a global lender for ocean going tankers.
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he semitone xiang, the founder and told him to start building ships. he landed to contracts for 260,000 oil tankers by offering cheaper prices and quicker delivery than his competitors. sean didn't seem too concerned by the fact that south korea had no shipyards to build the ship. he simply saw this problem by showing the two workers to barclays bank in london, which lent him enough capital to build up, but no korea knew how to do this. again, chong was undeterred. he sent 16 engineers to scotland to learn how. both ships are finished and delivered before the deadline and underclass and today, south korea is the largest shipbuilding nation in the world. when the industrial giants of the 20th century wind up
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comment andrew carnegie, henry ford, kyl coto, a korean captain of industry will be among them. by the 1990s, it was clear which korea had won the war, but the contrast between the two states could not have been starker. one was a regional power, prosperous, democratic with a growing international reputation. in 1998 seoul olympics vividly showcased to billions around the world that south korea was no longer the poverty-stricken ward in the past, but a vibrant, rich and modern society. the other korea had becoming a dependent nation wracked by poverty, isolation and repression. the demise of the soviet union in 1991, russia and china said the amendment of the friendship system and demand for high currency for exporters resulted in a steep decline in the north korean economy.
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a series of flags in north korea's agricultural says added to kill young's misfortune. the result was a famine on a massive scale in which an estimated 2 million of his people perished from starvation. the contest for korean legitimacy was over. the south had won the war. there was only one nation on earth that does not see it that way and today the reversal on the fortune of the two countries, south korea's prosperity, democracy and cultural power seat next to the calamity of the kim dynasty's unrealized utopia on what explains the theory of north korea's predicament and its extraordinary refusal to open up to the rest of the world. to enact vital reforms that might improve the lives of its
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citizens would also mean exposing them to what happened to their brothers just south of the dmz. the more north koreans know about the south, the less likely they are to put up with conditions of poverty and repression at home. and this is what the north korean regime fears most. south of the border, however, the end of which it is contest has had different effects. often manifest in a surprising lack of concern about the north's dangerous sounding poster. the streets and alleys among them, south korea's premier shopping districts bustled with carefree shoppers at a pyongyang threatened to launch a nuclear strike against sold this past march. the seeming indifference between pyongyang's threat extends to south korea's interest in
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reunification. in the 1990s, more than 80% of south koreans believed that unification was a vital national goal. today, just one in five south korean teenagers believe unification is imperative. a fraction of those who believe this and their parents and grandparents generations. the north of them was 23 million people, still under threat of starvation and imprisonment, ruled by a totalitarian regime that has threatened to become a rogue nuclear power. since north korean leaders know that the major security threat to their hold on power is internal, not external. it is the uncensored flow of information directly to the north korean will, which they fear most. so how will the korean war finally and critics i think the answer will largely depend on
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whether pyongyang slaters had swallowed their pride, admit defeat and embark on a path of incremental reforms, carefully but tristan shielded by china. this'll be the real task to the kim kim jong l. regime and the final resolution of the long damaging and game of the korean war. in the meantime, however, we must never forget that the remaining vague terms of the korean war are the north korean people who continue to suffer in silence to this day. it is they who bore the brunt of the unresolved conflict, starved and ignored these past 60 years. for the rest of the world has moved on from the water, celebrating our triumph with the morals and attributes. it is the north korean people who continue to endure the
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unendurable. i'd like to end this with a short poem, a senior north korean profit in a commercial who descended to the south in 2004. the poem is called the executioner. whenever people are gathered, their gunshot to be heard. today is the crowd looks on, a man is executed. you are not to feel any sympathy. even when he said, you must kill him again. the speaker's words were interrupted. bang, bang, bang. the rest of the messages delivered. the crowd is silent. his crime to steal a bag of rice, his sentence 90 bullets and it's hard. his occupation, firmer.
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thank you. i'd be happy to take any questions. [applause] >> professor yeager, i'm going to ask you a question. in the early 1950s not only was the united states out war with the koreans, but the french down the road were at war with the vietnamese. now, atchison, truman threw a lot of money, a lot of supplies, a lot of guns to that effort. why was that we did not cite vietnam or the world, but we went into korea? pretend you're in the white house at deciding what strategy to take. >> why we the united states decided to stay korea?
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was basically because the north koreans invaded south korea on june 25th, 1950. it was at that point after the north korean invasion we were fighting north koreans. password reset that they began to supply the french into china. the two events actually are connect to it. >> when eisenhower came, he did provide continuous arms and people into vietnam. it was like the two sister was going on. >> it's kind of interesting because the korean war ended in 53. and then there was this great battle jammed into a 1954 when the french were going to lose into china, right? it was at that point when the french basically asked the americans, are you going to help us? eisenhower quite wisely said no. they were not going to help the
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french and they were going to allow the north vietnamese to take over. the reason for that was because they just ended the korean war is extremely unpopular and he did not believe the american people would support another war in asia. interestingly, 10 years later when johnson was faced with a similar problem, whether or not to interview in vietnam, the korean war took on a different view. by 1965, the korean war was seen as a big jury that we had after outdraw soft i stopped communism in asia and it was the korean war analogy that largely formed johnson's decision to send troops in march 1965. do not thank you. >> thank you. >> first, i did spend military
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time in korea. now this is 50 years ago, not 60. and i have always been interested in the view from your side as to what you think the chinese goal is. at this point in time, obvious at the north koreans there's don't develop a nuclear. they're still developing rocket. they still have a very, very soft economic base. my view is if you take away the chinese support, it will collapse. what is in that? >> well, very simply the chinese want stability in the data's quote. if they do not support the north korean regime, basically all have 23 million starving people planning their borders. so it is two thirds and if she can do need to keep the status quo in north korea, simply to maintain stability and peace.
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i should say also the united states, south korea, russia, all the regional powers that won a significant regime collapsed because it would be too destabilizing for the region. simply put, that's the reason china continues to support north korea. >> it's a strange way to maintain stability. >> it's worked for the last 60 or so. >> if you caught a stable. >> that's true. >> yes, thank you. >> i have two questions. first come you said earlier in the immediate aftermath of the korean war in the late 50s and 60s, north korea actually looks like it would be the more successful of the two koreas, that was built more to receiving the repair damage of the war more thoroughly than the south had. my first question is to what extent do you think that was
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actually just propaganda? it was very common for the communist countries during the cold war to do pillage style propaganda and only show the world that is fixed up and repaired and not let them see the other 90% of the country. to what extent was it true? >> that's an interesting question. they actually did that and in the 1950s stop keeping economic records. so we do know it was a lot better off than it is for example today. north korea was viewed as a model of socialist states. it can be this fantasy wide a lot of korean families in japan, for example, decided to come to north korea because they thought is the land of opportunity. so there is hard evidence that the north koreans were actually economically ahead of the south until the mid-1960s.
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>> i have a second question. you also talk about the recent survey of south korean teenagers, where they said they really didn't care about reunification. to what extent do you think attitudes of that generation might change as they get older? >> you mean how the younger generation might later think about unification? >> yes, as they get older. >> the younger generation or interest in reunification cover which means they continue the korean peninsula. i don't think there is the well anymore of the south korean people to sacrifice for unification. >> okay, thanks. >> thanks. >> thank you. as you know, south korea has a one-man precedent for the first time in its history and of course she has a legacy and that her father held several before her. i wonder if you have any
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impressions are incisor thoughts about whether having a woman in that kind of leadership role makes any difference horace at the same thing, different day. and being a woman and the conservative society. >> the current president probably could not have been president without her father, who is the person i talked about. so more than being a woman, she is the legacy of past you need. so i'm not quite sure that it actually changes much the perception. it is her link relates to the former president to really lay the groundwork for south korea's americo that gave her the platform to become president. yeah. >> thank you. i've been reading some of the stories from those that escaped
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north korea. horrifying stories but don't think the very social, personal relationships are basically at the clue of a society have been destroyed and have a whole generation without that framework. i'm just curious on your thoughts, is that anywhere you out about, discuss and consideration if there's any chance that north korea workers every unification, what that would mean. you have such different cultures now it sounds like with than without the ties that time people together. >> a lot of people say north korea and south korea are so not only economically different, but culturally, socially, they're basically just nations, that unification is to happen would be tremendously difficult to overcome that. and the longer the division
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continues, the harder it is to ever bring it back together. a lot of people say because of the two cultures into society, and the prospect of unification becomes dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. >> in your referendum to the eisenhower presidency and then jumping to the johnson presidency, where the seeds of vietnam planted during the eisenhower and kennedy administrations? >> well, context of the cold war, yes it definitely works. i mean, when we decided to get involved in korea in 19 d., we started to fund the french, right? so our involvement became that
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much more involved in that. so of course there was a correlation between our involvement in korea as well as vietnam because we are fighting a communist enemy. >> hi, good afternoon. i enjoyed your speech. is there any information that the north korean people are getting or is it a total news blackout? what does the west do about getting information to plant some seeds about what is going on in the rest of the world? >> well, there is indication that for example in pyongyang, which is the capital of north korea, there is information that comes obviously through china. it's not clear about the rest of the country how important they are. but pyongyang is the kind of
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showcase city. only 15% of what they called the core class that was being the beat of the leave pyongyang. so they are the most reliable political class. so i%so they are the most reliae political class. so information does float slightly into pyongyang, but whether it reaches the other 85% of the people is not cleaner, has not. >> are the chinese interest it in moderating the north korean government? >> yes, of course. it is for china's benefit they did doesn't want to continue to support north korea definitely. so it does not north korea to confirm incrementally without destabilizing the regime so much that it would collapse. china right now is investing a huge amount of money resources and training to develop north korean industries. for example in the far northeast
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areas. it's a kind of controlled incremental investment. it doesn't want north korea, but it's still one summer at warm so i can incrementally reform itself. >> thank you very much. >> hi, thank you. your talk is very interesting. ..
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the division. not talking about later. >> to victory in conflict. >> the question is, how the north koreans been treated to that economy after the migration? >> right. >> many of the great industrialists law, one of the examples, the north koreans,
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many north korean industrialists were actually from north korea. turned out one of the great generals the lead to success in the korean war was also from our career. so many of them and treated highly to suffer in society. >> the second part of that is, with that aging heritage, the younger generation might not have the link to north area, the -- >> right. it is precisely because there is no lincoln no real memory. we grew up with the division. but i don't think that -- my personal opinion, partly unification will not happen. i now think that it will. i now think that the south korean people, the and regeneration are interested enough for them to make any kind of sacrifices. % year much.
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>> thank you. >> i can only take one more question. okay. two more questions. abcaeight. >> i wonder if you care to share anything or if you could share prior to kimmel says innovation and korea. >> i don't -- what led up to the invasion. obviously he felt confident enough to be a will to win the war. right after the division, 1945, north korea, the russians came in. there were very quickly able to create a stable regime.
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the south koreans they created instability. so when he saw the situation, he actually believed when he invaded the south that the south korean people were going to welcome his trips as liberators. he believes that there were going to rise up and overthrow the regime. there was a perception that he was the illegitimate. that was really what the war was about. and the invasion was not really an invasion of deliberation. the liberation of the south.
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>> there was a great debate in america about who lost china. after that debate to a cold no administration, republican or democrat could be seen as soft on communist, we perceived as a communist oppression. that led in my opinion directly to the vietnamese war combat that must have a part in correa. >> the background, 1949, this tcp took over. there was a debate within the american foreign policy community whether not they should embrace communist china or distance themselves. that debate ceased.
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1972. so not only did the korean war create up permanent division of the korean peninsula, it created a permanent conflict, but a 20-year conflict which in the united states and china. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> and you have been listening to a professor at overland college. the name of her book, brothers of war, the unending conflict in korea. she will be joining us here at the national book festival in just a minute to take calls. after talk the numbers are on the screen. go ahead and ireland, and we are
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live on the mall at the national book festival, 2013. you can see people picking up their book bags outside the c-span front. a big crowds out here even though a lot is going on in washington. the first was in 2001. we're halfway between the capitol and the washington monument. hundred opposite down here. but 200,000 people are expected that here. the crowds of come back out again today. yesterday, we get caught in a little bit of rain. we have several other events coming up in the history and biography.
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longtime washington journalist. she will also be hearing from rick atkinson he finished his trilogy on low or one in europe, world war ii in europe, and he will be speaking there and taking your calls as well. three more call-in opportunities . here is a buck. brothers of war, the unending conflict in korea. she is coming up in just a minute. after that we will talk with a professor of catholicism. he has written a new book called the evangelical catholicism. talk to them about that. and rick atkinson will be joining us. a short interview. will it in court tell that. if you want to call and go ahead and thailand. we will begin with david in
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rochester and york. what is your question? >> my question is, if she could compare how of the ho chi minh ran the country. unifying the country, wanted to be the fathers of their nation. when a similar? did they have different ways of doing things? thank you. >> this one from gabrielle in corpus christi, texas. hello. gabrielle, are you with us? >> caller: yes, i am. >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: okay. i just want to thank the professor for her contribution to world piece. by shedding light on what is happening in korea is helping to move the country out of darkness.
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my question is out like to comment on the prison and labor camps in north korea. there was a national interview on television, a couple of months and more ago of a young fellow that escaped from one of the prisoner labor camps. he was hungry all the time and all he wanted was a full meal. he turned his mother and sister into the prison authorities begins there were planning to escape. they were murdered. at the time he -- it was just a matter of course, but then after word, you know, he moved from insanity of the prisoner labor camps to the reality of the world. when the anchor person
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interviewed him bsn, have you ever heard the word love? you know what love means? his answer was no. >> host: thank you. that was a book written by blaine harden pier speech to escape from camp 14. i believe he is in the states. i know he was in south korea for a while. and then he came to the states. i think in los angeles. they're different leaders. how much the man was a national leader that really came came up through the court of the vietnamese people.
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korea was liberated. 1945. and he actually he was not a very loving leader, extremely young, and pliable. we basically do list of wanted to do. so son of a career really began as kind of a puppet regime. >> host: a puppet regime today speech you know, not at all. one of the interesting things is that he became extremely lucid. >> guest: extremely capable.
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>> host: a lot to get your title, brothers of war, when the korean war started, or family split up? this award here in the u.s.? >> guest: yes. even today there are many families that still have not had any contact. but the title is really about the central conflict of the korean war. it is really a conflict of north and south korea and who is the legitimate career? it became globalized in the korean war and the cold war, but the central conflict is really between the north and south. that continues to this day. >> host: on a scale of one to ten, is the danger level today? ten being the worst? >> guest: another korean war
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happening? i don't think we will see one. because the north korean leaders know that once they start, and the process they can do an incredible amount of damage. not very far from the dmz. but that would be the end of their regime. i don't think there would ever started. of course, the chinese, continue to support the north korean regime. their basic lotus operandi is stability. there would never allow the north koreans to do some like that. >> host: fred in concord, california. hello. >> caller: hello. >> host: please go ahead. >> caller: south korea appears to be a powerful nation, and we see. cars all over northern
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california. a sign of their wealth and power. my question is this. why does the united states have to maintain such a large military presence in south korea? why is in south korea it will to defend itself? >> host: thank you. >> guest: that is a very good question. the reason is because the americans -- it is not just about the korean peninsula. is about american presence in korea is about the stability of the region. without the american presence there it is not just about self. defending themselves against the north. there's the question about whether or not russians might also exert some kind of control or influence. so there would have a destabilizing effect on japan. they might feel the leaving of
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american troops from south korea , they would have to develop their own defense capability. so the american presence really is not just about defending. it is about maintaining stability within the region. >> host: montgomery, alabama. what is your question? >> caller: yes. you were saying in your talk to you did not think that the north and south would ever unified. my question is, what is the endgame for north korea? what will happen, i don't know, 50 years from now? will the country disintegrate? will the people rise up? will it still be the same as that is "? what do you see as the end game for north korea? >> guest: in my epilogue in my book i talk about what i csi the korean war might end. my view is that north korea is already an economics of light of
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china. i think the slowly but jury will become in a sense economically as jordan did china and that there will be a permanent division of the korean peninsula as a result of that economic recession and that it will be china that sort of dragged north korea's slowly unt 21st century. i believe that is a really good question. would like to take it. the difference between china and korea is that china never had the existence of a prosperous chinese other. taiwan never pose an existential threat to china, whereas in
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north korea, south korea poses an existential threat. the fact that it means that the regime could be effective. so because of that threat from the south, the more north korean know about south korea, the more destabilizing it is for the north korean regime. >> host: next call comes from bruce. good afternoon. you're on book tv. >> caller: thank you. my question is more about the influence around asia. the cultural influence within asia seems more an individual project or an individual
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creation, is it more of an influence of the united states third career? >> guest: i think it actually is a carry and creation. i mean, obviously everyone has their own version of rock-and-roll. i think that kerrey is viewed -- it is a uniquely korean form that is identified only with correa. >> host: have you had the opportunity to travel? >> guest: a lot of people of ask me that question. i have not been prevented, but the problem for me is that it is a showcase. i would only be allowed to see particular places. also the fees that i would pay go directly to the north korean
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government. it is an indirect support of the north korean regime that i don't want to give a penny to. >> host: the next call from mark in st. louis. you're on tv. >> caller: there is a history professor from the university of chicago. i read his book. >> guest: cummings. >> caller: that is correct. and from what i've read, his view is that the war is a civil war between south and north korea based on the reaction of koreans to the occupation of world war ii and that the south koreans collaborative much more with the leaders and the north koreans fought. so i guess what i would like to
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know is how your view compares with this? >> he wrote a seminal work in the 1980's, of the origins of the korean war. and i did not dispute the fact. the title of my book, brothers of fort, the idea that the korean war really is a civil war . what i do different, no credit to the fact that north korea was actually created by the soviets. and that the korean war was not civil. stalin gave the go-ahead. there was a civil war, but it was also an international war. it points to his lead.
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>> host: now that we are on the regime of the grandson what do we know? what have we discovered? >> guest: we know that it is stable. he is fully in control. he has consolidated his power. we also know that he will not change. there was a lot of hope that he would come in and do something very different. but it does not look like that is the case. that is interesting. he has taken up a lot of the persona of his grandfather. this nostalgic return when north korea was new. >> host: by their elements
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that benefit to the greater world you? >> guest: i'm sure there are. how do you -- i mean, they're stuck between iraq and are placed. how do you inform yourself but not collapse? how do you allow economic changes to happen without it being served a stabilizing that they no longer exist? that is the play. >> host: on the border with china and modern technology. >> guest: able to do that. there is some trade. but it is very supervised by the government. the border area. it supervised.
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so it is not like free trade. >> host: does the u.s. have intelligence sources in north career? >> guest: ambassador lilley one said that north korea is the greatest failure of american intelligence. and it is anyone's guess. >> host: next call from charles in georgia. good afternoon. book tv on c-span2. we're talking about u.s. and korea. >> caller: i would like to ask the professor would hurt views are on the world economic stage.
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very progressive from the standpoint of industrial might. north korea is lagging somewhat behind. i would like to get their perceptions. >> host: more about the economics. south korea, north korea had developed a way that they have. sorry if i am paraphrasing. >> guest: the north koreans adopted a stalinist system that basically looked at economics differently than the south. the south adopted an economic expert system. >> host: technically.
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>> guest: yes. north and south korea or the united states. >> host: why the 38 per low? >> guest: very interesting question. right after the second world war stalin was descending south. and truman was married that the troops would overcome. so the americans looked at where the red army could stop. the future of the u.s. army. under kennedy and johnson, national geographic map and saw that the 38 parallel was just north of seoul.
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so they ask, will you stop? and they did not think that he would. but he did. he did stop. so a completely arbitrary decision on the behalf of two american officials who decided that the 38 parallel would be the place where they would divide with the understanding, of course, that later on they would come together. >> host: brothers of war is the name of the book, the unending conflict in korea. the next call for her cause from eric in westchester, pennsylvania. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for your scholarship. i think we are indebted to people like you because when we read or listen to media because of what happened outside, it can
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discern the politics. it helps. the question is how much animosity is left? >> guest: korea and japan, there is lot of unresolved conflict. the book itself is not really talk about that particular issue . there is a great deal of unresolved conflict. >> caller: camp, brooklyn, new york. hello. >> caller: just curious why you think that china does not encourage development similar to what they have done in their own country to break out of what has really been of 40-year model for
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them and how they treat north korea? speech to white is china not -- >> host: why doesn't check incurs 03 to become part of the world? >> guest: it has tried to. i mean, is investing a great deal in north korea. again, it goes back to the question of stability. it does not what the three to develop separately that it opens up to the world that it would create instability. >> host: could china force number three? >> guest: if china decides tomorrow that it no longer wants to send food or oral into north korea, north korea would collapse within a matter of the week. a week. begins and ends with china. so even though it has this huge power, the chinese now also that
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the viability of the north korean regime depends upon north korea asserting its own kind of independence. it knows that the north korean people do not want it to be or seem to be subservient. and that is why. the nuclear test which greatly irritated china. it also knows that it is the ability of north korea, not a lackey. >> host: when we see these joint economic projects are they showcases are actually economic revival? >> guest: they are economically viable, but it is
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not the south korean businesses on their own. the government-funded effort. and they actually are. the government backs them, these private south korean businesses are short. then make things a nut. but it is really more about trying to get north korea into -- to open up. and that really has not happened. very limited. >> host: these pictures. >> guest: this is a south korean moving up to the dmz. ..
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>> caller: dennis rodman and the around hem globe trottedders. do you think that's just a side show, or do you think any communication is worthwhile? >> guest: i think any communication is actually worth while with north korea. but showcase diplomacy, it also serves the propaganda of the north koreans. they love officials, especially ex-presidents, coming to north
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korea, because it shows that north korea is an important country, and that's what they really want to show to their people. so on the one hand i believe it is good, but on the on the other hand, it also reinforces the legitimacy of the north korean regime to its people. >> host: patty, st. josephs, missouri, hi, we're talking about the book "brothers at war" about the korean conflict. >> caller: hello. with regard to the idea that there's been no formal end to the war, only an end to the hostilities, was there on any party's behalf an actual declaration of war? i know the united states did not declare war, but was there a formal declaration by other parties and against whom? >> guest: no, there was no formal declaration. it was a u.n.-sanked war, and no one actually ever declared war. china also didn't declare war,
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and that's precisely why they called their army not just the people's liberation army, but the people's volunteers. and they did that on purpose because they didn't want to have a direct conflict with the united states which would then precipitate the soviet union getting involved. >> host: next call comes from mark in smirnoff, delaware. mark, please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: hi, sheila. you were talking about the americans had supported the french in 1950 in indochina. do you cover anything in the book about the domino effect and, you know, the spread of communism? >> guest: yes, i do. i think that after the korean conflict and, of course, eisenhower what's really -- and these, i mean, that's one of the reasons why we got involved in vietnam in '65 was this idea that one country would fall and then the other country would fall without looking at the particular circumstances.
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and the idea that somehow korea was like vietnam. but, of course, it was very different from vietnam empirically. the two countries were divided, one wassing with invaded by -- was being invaded by a communist country. but, of course, korea was very different from vietnam because in vietnam there was no one side of the invasion. it was an insurgency within the south. so by looking at it in terms of the korean war analogy, it sort of painted our view of other conflicts in asia. >> host: we've been talking with sheila miyoshi jager about the book "brothers at war: the unending conflict in korea." this is live coverage. thank you, professor. >> guest: thank you very much. >> host: coming up in just a minute, we've got another call-in opportunity for you. george weigel's book,
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"evangelical catholicism. deep reform in the 21st century church." he'll be joining us here on our set on the mall. this is the 13th annual national book festival. began in 2001, and it was founded by laura bush. here is laura bush in 2001. >> first lady laura bush, is this day what you expected? >> guest: it is. i'm so thrilled and excited to be here, and i want to thank c-span for covering the national book festival. we have a beautiful sunny day, and i hope the camera shows behind me how huge the clouds are. i'm so excited about that. >> host: now, we've talked a lot over the last several days that this idea came from the texas book festival, but where did that idea come from? >> guest: well, it actually came from the kentucky book festival. [laughter] an el el paso writer came to me right after my husband was elected and said he had been to a book festival in kentucky, and he knew that texans were so proud of our stories that he
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thought texans could put on a big, great festival. so we researched a hot of festivals, a lot of the people who worked on theness book festival went to the tennessee festival, for instance, and we saw what they were like, and then we started ours. >> host: and texas, i think, this year is the third weekend in november, will you be back for that? >> guest: i'll be back for it, and i'm looking forward to it. one thing i like about this festival, the national book festival and the texas book festival, is that they're right here in the capital. we're right now on the steps of the library of congress with the united states capitol behind us, and i love the whole idea and the symbolism of books and the ideas in books with our national government and our democracy, because the ideas in books are really what are so important to our democracy. >> host: last night at the gala you quoted dora wealthy. why? >> guest: well, i love that quote about her mother took her to the library and told the librarian, introduced her to the
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librarian and said she's 9 years old, and she has my permission to check out any book on these shelves. and so then eudora wrote this in her biography that she went to the library as often as she could, she rode home on her bicycle with her books in her bicycle basket, and then she read. and she said she knew that was bliss. >> host: was that similar to your experience? >> guest: absolutely. i love to read, and i went to the library in midland, texas, when i was little. it was in the basement of the midland county courthouse, and to have the library be in the center of town in the courthouse that is the center square of my town showed me how important reading and libraries were to everyone in the town in midland. >> host: and that was laura bush from 2001, and on your screen now live pictures of the 2013 national book festival on the mall in washington d.c. you can see the c-span bus,
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people picking up some book bags a. good crowd down here today, and joining us on our set is george weigel who is the author of in this book -- he's the author of several books, but this is his most recent, "evangelical catholicism." mr. weigel, what is evangelical catholicism? >> guest: it's a catholicism that's being born in the 21st century out of the 125-year reform history -- reform period in the history of the church. it was given, i think, a definitive form by pope john paul ii and pope benedict vxi. in pope francis you're seeing an expression of this new missionary thrust in the church, a church that no longer can count on the culture to make its proposal for it. it has to make its proposal on its own. >> host: what does that mean? >> guest: it means that the culture in which i grew up 55 years ago in baltimore helped
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transmit the thing. that is not the case anymore. you can't walk through any mall in suburban and not have -- washington and not have christian convictions assaulted. so the church has had to rediscover what its essence always has been. it's a missionary enterprise. and that mission begins inside the church with the further conversion of the people of the church, and it extends outside the church, as pope benedict vxi put it, by offering people the possibility of a friendship with jesus christ. >> host: but where does the word -- somebody thinks of evangelical, they think of -- >> guest: protestant. >> host: they think of protestant, but they also think of maybe a little more fervent. >> guest: yeah. well, there's nothing wrong with fervor. the word evangelical, obviously, comes from the word for gospel. but talk about gospel-fettered catholicism is really to talk about catholicism.
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the popes of the past 35 years have used the term the new e advantagization, a new rediscovery of the church's missionary energy in the church's third millennia. i thought it would make a bit more sense and, frankly, be a bit more provocative rather than use the phrase the catholicism of the new e advantage lization, just say evangelical catholicism. that gets people's attention. >> host: george weigel, what do you think of pope francis so far? >> guest: i had the pleasure of meeting then-cardinal in buenos aires months ago. in the past six months, it's about what i expected. a genuine man of god, a real christian disciple. he has a marvelous ability to touch the hearts of the people who see him and hear him.
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and i think he's given a positive thrust to the truce of catholic faith of which he is the custodian. i was interested when i was in buenos aires with him in may of 2012 to hear him say how little he liked to go to rome. so now he's living there. this is a man who's got a new job and took it as a sacrifice. but he's also a man of real christian confidence and joy, and i think that's coming through. >> host: in your view, has the church concentrated too much on gay marriage, abortion, some of the social issues that have been brought up? >> guest: i think these are terribly important issues. what we perhaps need to learn to do better is to articulate the yes to human dignity as we understand it through the gospel , to right relationships
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among human beings as we understand through the gospel for moral reasons, to articulate the yes before we say the no that we sometimes have to say. and i think that's what this pope is calling us to. the other interesting phrase, it seemed to me, in that interview that was released is when he referred to the church as a field hospital after -- so as i put in an article that i wrote about this on national review online, i think it's still up there, you don't have to ask yourself what's the battlefield. and i think he thinks the battlefield is western culture, that there are an awful lot of walking wounded in the western world, people who have been betrayed by false promises of happiness. they may be somewhat 'em bittered. who are carrying burdens of guilt that they don't know how to deal with.
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and if the church can offer the mercy of god, friendship with jesus christ, to those walking wounded, it's going to be doing exactly what it ought to be doing. >> host: 202 is the area code, 585-3890 if you'd like to participate in our conversation in the eastern and central time zone, 202-585-3891 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. george weigel, you've studied and written about the catholic church for a long, long time. in all these interviews and articles about pope francis, it always comes up that he's trying to, quote-unquote, cut through the bureaucracy, change the bureaucracy. is there a big bureaucracy in rome, and has it become tilted? >> guest: it's remarkably small, actually. i think people have these da vinci code images of this vast, pentagon-like structure. 3,000 people work at the
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vatican. about 40 of them actually have something to do with what we would call policy in government. so many that sense it's -- in that sense, it's not too big. what it is, is disorganized, it reflects a certain cultural bias given where it is. nothing gets done in a hurry. the communications are not adequate to the 21st century. and this pope was elected in part to straighten that out, and i think he's going to do that. when i mentioned a moment ago that he said he didn't really like to go to rome when he was the archbishop, i think what he meant was that it's just awfully difficult to deal with. and it shouldn't be that way. this should be a lean, mean, effective communications-savvy operation. and if over the next five or six years ec begin to gradually --
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he can begin to gradually nudge the apparatus in that direction, an apparatus in which i have to say there are some very, talented people working whose efforts are often frustrated by the culture in which they work, then the pope will have done exactly what he was elected to do. >> host: mike from florida, good afternoon. you're on the air with george weigel, author of this book, "evangelical catholicism." please go ahead. >> caller: i grew up a catholic, and years ago you knew the, he came to your house. today it seems they're more interested in protocol, all sorts of stuff exempt the parishioner and in jesus' teachings. i mean, if you look at when the nuns taught me and they were
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great for discipline, but they also told me what love was. today i don't see any of that. i see a lot of anger and hate, and we're kind of -- what kind of uniform i've got on or you've got to dress -- it's not the same. and i think jesus was a working guy, not a cardinal or something. >> host: thank you, sir. george wieg with l? >> guest: i'm not sure what the question was -- >> host: i think it was just comments. >> guest: yeah. i think if our friend would get out and see the lives of catholic parishes in his neighborhood today, he will find priests, religious sisters and now lay people be large numbers take -- in large numbers taking responsibility for the life of the church. the catholic church of the united states -- which as we all know has had all sorts of problems in recent years -- is nonetheless the most vital and vibrant catholicism in the developed world.
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and that is very good news, i think, for the future. >> host: next call is from -- [inaudible] dennis, you're on booktv. >> guest: mr. weigel, glad to see you on c-span today. by the way, you were on a radio show that i d aag but i don't eo remember that. what i'm about to say i hope it doesn't conflict with what pope francis has said, but number one, i think we all kind of know that the way catholics have the ability to determine the outcome of political elections in the united states of america, and it's my understanding that not only does the pope or the catholic church have the right, but also the obligation to speak out regarding matters of a moral nature that are in play politically. and when we do have issues in play, things like the homosexual agenda or abortion and so on, i am just wondering if you feel like the church is speaking out
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vigorously enough in the united states of america. >> guest: i think everyone knows what the catholic church's position is on all of these hot button issues. i'm afraid a lot of the people in the church have not quite gotten the message. and that's what the pope is asking us in part to reflect upon, why haven't they gotten the message? that getting it in terms of the moral life only comes from a long process of conversion, so we have to begin the new e advantagization within the church itself. let me say one other thing about voting and religious conviction in the united states. the single best predicter of voting behavior, and i believe it's now the last six presidential elections, it may be the last eight, is how often are you in a religious service? those who are in religious services once a week, catholic, protestant, jewish, muslim,
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whatever, tend to skew to one end of the political spectrum, namely republican. those who are rarely or if ever in religious services tend to steer towards the democratic end of spectrum. and hen the slide is -- and then the slide is consistent in between. that's a fascinating portrait, i think, of the relationship not simply of religious conviction, but of religious practice and civic life in the united states. >> host: what is the ethics and public policy center? >> guest: ethics and public policy center has been washington's religion and society think tank for the past 35 years. i had the honor to be its president from 1989 til 1996 when i had this crazy idea that i should write the biography of john paul ii. and couldn't run a think tank and do that at the same time, so i transitioned into a senior fellow status at the center. we are catholics, protestants and jews, we address the full range of public policy issues
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from out of judeo-christian ethics and classic american constitutionalism. >> host: did you have a chance to meet john paul ii? >> guest: about three dozen times. [laughter] >> host: we were together many, many, many occasions. my two-volume biography of john paul ii was not an authorized biography in the sense it was vetted. the pope never saw -- he certainly never saw the second book because it was published five years after he died. first time he saw "witness to hope" was when i handed it to him in 999. but he agreed to cooperate. we had an enormously frank conversation about his life. there was no question i put to him that he didn't answer. and, indeed, in some instances he would push me into probing facets of his life and his experience like his work with young college students, for example. that i just wouldn't have thought of. so it was a full and frank
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discussion, as they say in diplomacy. >> host: george weigel, how much of the current catholic church and the political debate within the catholic church is a result of the second vatican council? >> guest: a lot of it is, it was the most important event in the history of the catholic church since the reformation. obviously, that's going to have a ripple effect. i think we're only now beginning to settle down into the catholicism that the council called us to be. because catholicism rediscovered the centrality of christ in the church. and the catholicism in which every baptized catholic understands that he or she enters mission territory every day. we're all baptized to be missionaries. it's a great gift of faith we've been given.
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it's something we have an obligation to share, to propose, to offer to others. >> host: next call for george weigel comes from kathy in pleasantville, new jersey. hi, kathy. >> caller: hello. thank you, mr. weigel, for your appearance there today, and i appreciate all the work you've done for the catholic church. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i have two comments, and i want you to comment on two facts concerning pope john paul, if you would. when pope john paul was a young man, i read that he -- the government often attacked the clergy for any reason, calling them pedophiles for the simplest reasons. so pope john paul was very, very aware of that unfair comment about them. so i would, i wouldty that would have flavored -- i would think that would have flavored his feelings about the attack on the clergy and his time on earth here. and also don't you think that
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the accusations had to be, had to be investigated thoroughly by the bishops? a lot of people accuse pope john paul of not reacting fast enough, but that wasn't the routine. it had to go through the bishops s and it had to be -- and it could take years. what is your comment on those things? just thank you, kathy. >> caller: thanks for the question. there is no question as i show in the second volume of my biography of john paul ii, the end and the beginning, that charges of sexual impropriety were used on a regular basis by communist secret intelligence services throughout the warsaw pact countries as a way to attack the church. and it may be that john paul ii's familiarity with that act tick was one factor -- tactic was one factor in what some regard as slow response from the vatican in 2002 to the scandals here in the united states. i think the real problem was a bad information flow from the
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vatican embassy here in washington to rome. when john paul ii understood the magnitude of these problems, he addressed it vigorously, and he called the bishops who in cases had not been as aggressive as they ought to have been in resolving these cases to do precisely that. the catholic church today is probably the safest environment for young people in the united states. it was a horrible cleansing experience, but that cleansing operation has been done, and the church is better for it. >> host: george weigel, the next call for him comes from barbara in henderson, kentucky. hi, barbara, this is booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hi. >> host: we're listening. please go ahead. >> caller: okay. i'm calling in, i have a concern. i've been a catholic all my life, and i respect the
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catholics, but with i feel like we're doing so much changing and that i came from the old school, and i feel like that we've turned liberal. it's like if we were right in the first place, why do we have to do all these changing? you know, we need to show good examples spiritually and morally. and when we start changing, then we're, you know, what are we learning from all this? >> guest: the doctrine of the catholic church doesn't change. it's settled matter. the forms in which the church expresses its position particularly in its prayer life and what we call the liturgy has changed over time and dramatically over the last 50 years. i think we're now into a settling-in period. i wouldn't look for a whole lot of dramatic liturgical change in the future. but the church has to change in
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its modes of proclaiming the gospel, in its way of approaching people, in its ways of offering the possibility of friendship with jesus christ because cultures change and history changes. and we can't expect that the catholicism of the mid 950s, which seemed so stable and unchangeable, was going to do 50 years later. that's just not the way the world works, and frankly, not the way the holy spirit works in the church. >> host: barbara was concerned about the church being more liberal than it used to be. is that -- do you agree with that? >> guest: i think church has understood that rules will only make sense in the context of conversion. if the church is simply understood as saying, no, no, no, no, no, and yes, yes, yes, yes, yes that gives rise to what
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we have to say no to is not understood, the no isn't going to be heard. conversion first, moral reformation throughout our life. catholicism is not really about left and right, liberal and conservative. it's about true and false. it's about right and wrong. it's about what's noble and what's based in human life, what's compassionate and what's cruel. those are the relevant categories. >> host: next call for you comes from michael in cincinnati. michael in cincinnati, we're talking with george weigel whose most recent book is called "evangelical catholicism." >> caller: i'm also through with your book, i think it's a remarkably inciteful and coherent treatise. i wanted to ask you about another author who had a great deal to say about vatican ii, and he was very influential, father malachi martin. perhaps you could contrast your vision of things with what he
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espoused in his books? >> caller: well, we're getting dangerously close to violating -- and here i will knock off a latin quote on booktv -- [speaking in native tongue] >> speak no ill of the dead. malachi martin is long passed from the scene. his books struck me as sometimes being a bit hard to tell where the border between fact and fiction was. he was a great irish storyteller. perhaps there was a bit of cultural background to that permeable border between fact and fiction. i think malachi's was the possibility of a quite darker theory. i think evangelical catholicism is, i hope, a rallying call for vitality and vibrancy in the church. not sure quite how he would have heard that. >> host: next call is another michael, this one from colorado
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springs. michael? we're going to move on to joseph in rockville, maryland. hi, joseph. >> caller: yes, hello, this is joseph, and i'm formerly of rockville, i live in western maryland now. and my question is why do people tend to see the flaws in their enemies or those that they oppose and not focus instead on their own problems or their own issues? for example, there's a phrase in the bible talking about seeing the bee in other people's eyes or not seeing the splinter in my eye, i think i got it wrong -- >> host: joseph, why are you bringing that question up on this call-in program? what's your point? >> caller: the point that i'm trying to make is i notice in human behavior that people so often see the flaws in their enemy.
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we attack communists for doing this, that and the other as the gentleman did just a few minutes ago. and we don't see, we don't see why that horrible system of communism came about as a response to the excesses of corruption in the other, in the capitalist system here. >> host: okay, thank you, joseph. i think we got the point. george weigel, anything there you want to address. >> guest: you know, two weeks ago i had the honor of visiting a place i had wanted to visit for 35 years, central lithuania. it's called the hill of crosses. it was, throughout the entire communist period, lithuania's occupation by the soviet union, a place of pilgrimage where people would erect big crosses, little crosses as an expression of their religious belief, as an expression of hope for political freedom. every time the crosses would go
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up, they'd be knocked down. every time they were knocked down, they'd be put up again. it was a marvelous example of the human spirit refusing to be crushed by political -- [inaudible] i had done some work here in washington 30 years ago trying to be of some help to persecuted catholics and other religious believers in lithuania, and when i went there to that country for the first time two years -- two weeks ago, i just had to go to the hill of crosses. and it's absolutely spectacular. even under concerns of freedom, that symbol remains present as an aspiration to decency. not as a cry for freedom any longer, but as an expression of an aspiration to live freedom nobly. so i think that's worth thinking about each as we ponder the -- even as we ponder the splinters in our own eye or the boulders
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in our own eye or the logs in our own eye. >> host: we have a few minutes left with our guest, george weigel, who has written several books. in fact, he's been on booktv's "in depth" program talking about his body of work. his most recent, "evangelical catholicism: deep reform in the 21st century church." the next call for him is ruth in pennsylvania. >> caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. i was wondering mr. weigel's opinion on the role of women in the church and women becoming priests. >> host: what's your opinion, ruth? >> caller: oh, i think, i think i'd like the church to open up to women becoming priests and having a stronger role in the church. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: women are, obviously, one-half of the catholic church, perhaps more than one-half of the catholic church. when i was growing up in baltimore in the 50 and '60s, i think it was fair to say that women, meaning religious sisters, really ran the church.
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they ran the schools, they ran the hospitals, they ran the social service agencies, and many of them continue to do that heroic work. catholic church has a very distinctive view of what a priest is. a priest embodies in a unique way, in an iconic, graphic way the priesthood of jesus christ. that's why the catholic church has said it doesn't have the authority to call women to holy orders. pope francis has recently said this is not a power question. we have to find a way to incorporate gifted women of whom there are tens of millions in the catholic church into all of the things that the church does, especially this new evangelical mission tear -- missionary -- [inaudible] that's the future of the catholic church. riding a desk in rome is not the most important way to be a
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catholic or riding a desk in an american diocese, bringing people to conversion, to healing, offering the compassion of christ, that is far more important than who's running what on a flow chart. >> host: is there a danger to the catholic church de-emphasizing some of the social issues that have been discussed in the last -- >> guest: i don't think so. i mean, these issues so engage all americans, particularly in our context, where there's still an open debate. i mean, europe is europe, and things are a bit different there. in the united states, these are not settled questions, they're certainly not catholic questions only. my protestant and jewish colleagues at the ethics policy center think they're deeply constitutional questions. so the questions aren't going away, and i doubt that the catholic voice is going away either. >> host: a few minutes left. rose in florida, you're on booktv. >> caller: hi. i would like to question mr. weigel on what he said
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previously about the church must take a stand on abortion. he said, ultimately, it has to be yes or no. when it is by understanding that jesus came not to condemn, and i feel that there is a schism there between jesus' comments about not condemning and the very rather tyrannical stance that the church takes on abortion. and i wonder if you could comment on that. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: thanks for the call. the catholic church is about protecting, lifting up the dignity of every human being in any condition of life and at any stage of life.
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the church believes, with medical science, that human life begins at conception and continues until natural death, that that human life has an inalienable dig dignity and vale that ought to be recognized in law. in addition to trying to bring those truths which are public reason truths, not disat this pointively catholic views, to the attention of the public, let's also remember that the catholic church in the united states serves tens of thousands of women caught in the dilemma of unwanted and unplanned pregnancy every year. there are crisis pregnancy centers operated by, compassionately-operated by catholic people within, you know, a five-mile radius of where we're standing here on the mall. so the church is not only about saying no to the taking of innocent human life at any stage of life and in any condition of life, it's about saying yes to
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service to women in crisis which is the positive side of the pro-life movement that, unfortunately, gets very little attention. >> host: last call for our guest, george weigel, comes from rhonda in min yapless. hi, rhonda. >> caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. my question is what do you think pope benedict vxi's contribution was to catholicism. >> guest: i think he completed the urn from what i call in the church from the counterrevelation to the church of van gellization. benedict said in the certificate phase of his term that the first characteristic of van yenningism -- evangelicalism which identified in the book. i think jost ratzinger understood that the church
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cannot be a kept institution anymore, either kept by legal establishment or kept by cultural habit. it just isn't going to happen. so the church has to get back into the proposal business, back into the missionary business, and that's exactly what the last three popes have done. >> host: here's the cover of the book, "evangelical catholicism: deep reform in the 21st century church." george weigel is the author, and this is booktv on c-span c-span2. well, our coverage, our live coverage of the 2013 national book festival continues. in just a minute in the history and biography tent, evan thomas -- longtime washington journalist -- will be talking about his most recent book, "ike's bluff." and after that rick atkinson, who just recently completed his trilogy on world war ii in europe, will be in that tent as well. rick atkinson will then be joining us to take your calls as our final call-in program of the day. so we've got a couple more hours
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of live coverage. follow us on face brooke, simply like us, and you'll get the updates. or you can follow us on twitter, @booktv is our twitter handle. the full schedule of today's events are available on the web at everything you've seen today at the national book festival will reair at one a.m. this morning, one a.m. eastern time in the overnight hours. so in just a minute evan thomas will be introduced in the history and biography tent talking about "ike's bluff." we will be live with that. after that rick atkinson will be in the tent. this is booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. and welcome to the national book festival. i'm dan balz with the washington
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post. i cover national politics at the post. [applause] thank you. "the washington post" is a proud cosponsor of this event. we have been a charter sponsor since the beginning. it's been a fantastic partnership. we hope it will continue on well into the future, and as any be author can tell you, this is a wonderful audience. it's fantastic to see book readers and book lovers, so thank you for coming. one piece of housekeeping for those of you who have not heard this, i want to inform you that the pavilion's presentations are being filmed for the library of congress web site and for their archives. please be mindful that as you enjoy the presentation, do not sit on the camera risers in the back and pay anticipation, obviously, to everything -- pay attention, obviously, to everything that's going on around you. all right, now we've done that. for the next 45 minutes you all are in for a real treat. evan thomas is one of our
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country's most accomplished journalists. a former washington bureau chief and assistant managing editor at "newsweek," and he is also one of the nation's most accomplished authors. for decades he has done something which i think is rather amazing, he has lived in the moment, describing events in realtime with vivid prose while excavating the past and bringing it to life with depth and lucidity in a whole series of books. as an author, he has written a series of best-selling books including biographies of robert kennedy, edward bennett williams and john paul jones. he's written about the cia, the war in the pacific and the spanish-american war. he will talk today about his most recent book, "ike's bluff: president eisenhower's secret battle to save the world." the it is the story of how eisenhower kept the peace during a perilous time of the cold war. janet mass land of "the new york times" called it, quote, a bustling, anecdotal book with a
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high concept premise. that is the signature of evan's works. he currently teaches writing at princeton as the ferris professor of journalism. he comets as a mainstay on television at "inside washington," and having dealt with dwight eisenhower, he's already at work on a new biography of richard nixon. he will be signing books immediately after his presentation. please give him a warm welcome. [applause] >> what a pleasure and an honor it is to be here at this book it's value and to be introduced by the number one political correspondent in america. [applause] no exaggeration there. in fact, you should buy his book about the 2012 campaign. okay. dwight eisenhower.
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six weeks after eisenhower became president, stalin died. ike called together all his top advisers and intelligence officials and said, what's the plan? the answer was, there is no plan. ike blew up, not for the first or last time, and said how could it be be that the head of the receive set union -- soviet union dies, and we have no idea what to do or to think about it? it was criminal, said the president. the truth was that the united states and the other western nations had very little idea of what was going on in the soviet union behind the iron curtain. two years later at the first summit meeting of the cold war era in geneva in july 1955, the united states the still did not know who was running the soviet union. the soviets sent four leaders -- one a tall man in a white suit with a white goatee who looked a lot like colonel sanders of
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kentucky fried chicken, was nominally in charge but clearly a figurehead. ike hoped that the real guy in charge a was general zukov, the head of the red army who had been ike's come raid in arm d comrade in arms defeating the nazis this world war ii and who hated war almost as much as ike did. eisenhower sent his son john out to do a little spying in cocktails. zukov seems subdued and shaken and would only whisper, things are not as they seem. president eisenhower did not find out who was really in charge until the fifth day of the conference when ike proposed what he called his open skies plan. the big fear in those early days of the nuclear age was a surprise attack. so ike proposed each country allowed the other country's reconnaissance planes to fly overhead.
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the soviet delegation initially seemed to like the idea, but at a reception afterwards, a short round man came straight for president eisenhower saying nyet. it was general khrushchev, the true power in the kremlin. open skies, said kruschev, was just a chance to peer into russian bedrooms. in his diary of geneva,hand mcmillan wrote, choose chof is a mystery. how can this fat, vulgar man with his pig eyes really be the head of all these millions of people of this country. carouse chof seemed to be equal parts bluster and insecurity. to his son sergei, he worried that he was not properly dressed for dinner at the summit and that the plane he flew in on to geneva was too small, smaller than the planes of western
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leaders. and yet he liked to brag and threaten. he boasted the russian factories were cracking out rockets like sausages, and he liked to scare bourgeois capitalists, them rollly saying -- memorably saying, we will bury you. the flash point was we berlin, e former german capital which was 100 miles inside communist east germany but was still a free city protected by the western powers. in november 1958, kruschev delivered an ultimatum: the west had to be out of berlin in six months or else. this was a crisis, the greatest crisis yet of the cold war. in the united states there was a strong reaction in the press and congress and in much of the eisenhower administration. we need to prepare for war, it was said, to beef up our troop strength and get ready to defy the red army to show our resolve. meeting privately with his
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advisers and congressional leaders, president eisenhower said we aren't going to do that. indeed, he said, we are cutting our forces in germany by 50,000 men. his advisers and the congressmen were bewildered. cut our troop strength? won't that show weakness? ike was all alone on this, and as the story leaked out, he was hivly -- heavily criticized in the press. but he seemed utterly unfazed. eisenhower had a great capacity to take responsibility. you may have seen a famous photograph taken of ike on the eve of d-day in june, 1944. general eisenhower, the supreme allied commander, is in his normal uniform, and he's talking to a bunch of paratroopers who are all geared up, their faces blackened, ready to jump behind german lines in france. ike had come to see these men because he had been told they were not likely to come back.
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the airborne assault at d-day was reckoned to lose 70% of its men. ike wanted to look these men in the eye before with sending them to their fates. in his jacket pocket, he had a written note that if the landing failed, the responsibility was his alone. eisenhower was a very confident man. he had a huge ego, but he had a good kind of confidence that you don't always see today, the confidence to be humble. he did not need to be smartest guy in the room. indeed, on occasion he was willing to act dumb if it suited his purposes. as president in march of 1955, he was about to go into a press conference during a crisis with red china, and his aides were warning him to be careful about this or that hot button issue. oh, don't worry, said ike, i'll just confuse them. and he did. [laughter] ike often had bad syntax, but e noticed that his private letters and memos were clear as a bell.
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ike was smiling and genial but also tough. his vice president, richard nixon, once wrote that ike was, quote, a more complex and devious man than people realize. i mean devious in the best sense of the word, added nixon. [laughter] i was talking to eisenhower's son john about apparent even balance between sunny, genial ike and the cold-blooded ike. john eisenhower smiled for a moment, then said: make that 75% cold-blooded. when ike was elected president, the military -- the top brass -- was hopeful that the new president, a former army chief of staff, could be counted on to spend more on weapons in the military. in fact, ike reduced military spending. he was always wary of the military hyping the threat to justify more money. he was skeptical, skeptical of pentagon estimates that the soviet army could overrun europe
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in just two weeks. on one of these estimates he wrote in the margin, i don't believe it. hell, it took us two months just to take sicily. when the spending requests came in, ike would say i know those boys down at the pentagon. ike believed that real national security came from a sound economy. as president, he was a deficit hawk who controlled government spending and taxes. his famous speech warning against the military industrial complex came at the end of his presidency, but he had, in fact, been working at it all along, mostly behind the scenes. heaven help us, he liked to say, when we get a president who knows less about the military than i do. his approach to the military was not just about strengthening the economy or saving money. in the berlin crisis of 1958-'59 and the in the crisis in vietnam in 953-'54, over the hermosa straits in 1955, during the suez
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crisis in 1956, eisenhower was playing a bigger game for higher stakes. as a west point cadet and a young army officer, ike had been a great poker player. indeed, he was so good that he had to give the game up. he was taking too much money away from his fellow officers, and it was hurting his career. he switched to bridge at which he was also formidable. but he never forgot how to bluff. my book is, essentially, about the way ike bluffed with nuclear weapons. as only a real warrior can, ike hated war. curiously, the great war hero had never actually been in combat himself. in world war i he had been stateside training troops, to his great cha britain, and by the time world war ii, he was too valuable, knew too much to risk getting killed or captured. but he knew war. he went to a lot of battlefields, and he saw the carnage. after the war he flew in a small
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plane from berlin to moscow over to ukraine, following the path of first the german, then the russian armies where he saw not a single building left standing. he went to the concentration camps along with the tough-talking general patton who threw up when he saw what they found there. ike was changed when he came home, his wife mamie said. he was not particularly religious, but he was more spir be chul. ike wanted to to be religious. he insisted on starting cabinet meetings with a prayer, but sometimes he would just plunge be right in until his more pious secretary of state, john foster fullless, nudged him -- dulles, nudged him. jesus christ, we forgot the prayer, ike would exclaim. [laughter] ike's experience with war, with sending thousands of young men to their deaths and ordering the fire bombing of cities made him want to avoid any war. of there was a lot of talk in his time and since of fighting
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limitedded wars -- limbed wars, of gradual response, of surgical response. ike wasn't having any of that that. he was an all-or-nothing man. his central insight from reading history of war and his own experience is that war is a mutating monster, that small, short wars have a way of turning into big, long wars and that politicians and statesmen who think they can control war are kidding themselves. at the same time, ike was no pacifist. he believed that soviet communism was expansionist, and it was easy to see why just by looking at the map, and that you had to stand up to communists. but the way to do that was not by fighting smaller, limited brush fire wars, but by threatening to go all the way by what they called massive retaliation, all or nothing, shoot the works. this is what ike insisted on in berlin. with the national security
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council, he expressly used a poker analogy. the notetaker recorded the president saying, quote: in order to avoid beginning with the white ships and working up to the blue, we should place them on notice -- they were the soviets finish that our whole stack is in play. he meant no slow escalation from white chips, conventional forces, to blue chips, nuclear bombs. rather, the russians, quote: will have started the war, we will finish it, that is a all the policy i have. said the president, i got it, this is not going to be some nice, sweet world war ii kind of war. eisenhower had great human skills. he usually refused to use the phone because he liked to meet with people face to face. with kruschev, he knew he had to meet him to take his measure, to make kruschev his partner in
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avoiding world war. the issue ike wrote in a very smart letter to a friend in 1956. quote: as not merely man against man or nation against nation, it is man against war: in the summer of 1959, ike invited kruschev to the united states. he took kruschev on a helicopter flight over the washington suburbs to see all the new houses and cars. kruschev pretended to see only the rush hour traffic jams, but he asked if he could buy three helicopters and a boeing 707. [laughter] kruschev was denied a trip to disneyland, but he did get to meet nelson rockefeller, and he was especially pleased to meet marilyn monroe. ike invited kruschev to camp david. what is this camp david, kruschev asked. he was suspicious, wondering if the americans meant to somehow kidnap him. at camp david kruschev ranted and threatened the tanks would roll in berlin.
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ike's top aide wrote "impasse" on a piece of paper. but ike took a map and had an idea. ike's gettysburg farm was close by. he called his daughter-in-law, barbara, and told her to have her kids all spruced up and on the porch of the farmhouse in 30 minutes. he brought kruschev to meet them. ike knew that kruschev was not suicidal. indeed, kruschev was a survivor. he had survived hitler and stalin. the kremlin leaders, ike said, were not early christian martyrs. they wanted to live too. kruschev was charmed and warmed by ike's grandchildren. he, too, had grandchildren. the next day, kruschev lifted his ultimatum on berlin, the crisis passed. of course, it was not the end of the cold war or the end of crises. eisenhower was a great leader, a great president, i think, but he was not perfect. he made mistakes.
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one of them was trusting the the cia too much. in may 1960 on the eve of a summit can conference in paris that ike hoped would be the beginning of true detente with the soviet union, the cia supply plane, the u2, was shot town over russia. the cia had suppressed a story showing that soviet aircraft missiles could climb high enough and ledlike to believe that the pilot would never be captured, that he would die when the plane broke up or kill himself with a suicide pill. the russians captured the pilot, francis gary powers, and kruschev gloated and ranted about american spies. that was the end of the summit conference. eisenhower was very depressioned. i want to resign, he said to his faithful assistant, ann whitman, after his cover story was blown. ike bounced back, he always did.
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but in truth after nearly eight years of constant tension, he was exhausted. ike threatened to use nuclear weapons in various crises, but he never told anyone whether he would actually use them. he could not, of course, or his threat would no longer be credible. talk about the loneliness of command. of course, ike knew all about that. from the north african campaign in 1943 to d-day to the conquest of germany and the liberation of europe, ike smoked four packs a day as a general. he quit cold turkey in 1949. i gave myself an order to quit, he said. ike had a major heart attack in 1955, an ensal operation in 1956, small stroke in 1957. his doctors worried about his high measure, and they were always ordering him to worry less. just what do they think this job
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is, he said. he tried to relax by playing golf can. he played 800 times as president, 200 times at augusta in georgia. but golf was maybe the wrong game for a perfectionist. ike could be pretty grim on the course, and he understand through his sand wedge at his doctor, howard snyder when snyder tried to make him feel better after must having a shot out of a bunker. ike had a huge temper which he kept hidden from the public, but not from his aides. ike's mother was a fundamentalist christian. he who conquerth his own soul is greater than he who taketh the city, she told the future conqueror. my mother taught me to hold my temper, ike told his aides. i thought to myself, what a poor job she had done, recalled one aide. he had trouble sleeping, and towards the end he was taking
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too many sleeping pills and maybe an extra drink or two. ike was worn out by the end, and he looked it. the kennedy people made the most of the contrast; ike the old golf-playing grandfather, a little out of it, caretaker, versus jfk, young, handsome, vigorous, a new generation. the image stuck. .. ike made in that way.
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he was a proud man, but he was also modest. when he was asked how he wanted to be memorialized, he answered, just don't let them put me on a horse. [laughter] but he was proud that in his time america was strong and at peace. by god, he once said, it did not just happen. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> you brought out there really strong points of eisenhower, and i was a great admirer of his, but there was one incident. he had a friend who he may supreme court chief justice. and win brown versus people was there, he went on record for insulting his decision and would never. was that a play that he was doing?
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what was going on in his mind? >> eisenhower's record on civil rights is controversial. it was a perception, even in his own staff he was also slow. he did say not publicly that he regretted appointing warren. and so this remains to this day as somewhat of a controversy, but eisenhower, as i mentioned, operated by a hidden and. he had to watch not just what he said, but what he did. eisenhower, as president, desegregated the armed forces. harry truman gave the order, with a guy who made it happen was eisenhower. desegregated washington d.c. he appointed federal judges to desegregated the south. he introduced the civil rights act of 1957. and when a southern governor
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defied, eisenhower did not get around. he sent the 101st airborne. more active on civil-rights and i think we realized today. he was not a bomb thrower. he was a low-key guy. you prefer to operate behind the scene, but he did act and bring the country down a road that it had to go. >> thank you for a great book. have you worked at all with eisenhower memorial? they have a lot of anecdotal. >> obviously there is a big controversy over the memorial. i do not know what i think about it. i would probably build -- i would probably put him on of course, just like he did not want to be. you know, a great architect who had a vision. this is going to be hashed out over time. i am sorry that it is taking so long, causing bad blood.
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i think eisenhower deserves a memorial for all of the reasons i just gave. i think in time -- and this is washington, things take time, and time he will get is a memorial. >> have you interviewed very many people? of history for your book? >> john eisenhower was incredibly helpful. the sole surviving son of dwight eisenhower, his first son died when he was a baby. and john -- well, can you imagine being the son of general dwight eisenhower? he begins his memoir with the sentence, i think was born standing at attention. [laughter] and his father was loving but a remote and demanding, always criticizing. a word you don't hear much anymore. as i mentioned in my speech, eisenhower said talking about the genial light verses the cold-blooded act, it was john he said make that 75 percent
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cold-blooded, but the great thing was that john on like a lot was really to think about his father, considered to be as objective as a sun gideon spend hours with me trying to figure out his dad. i am eternally grateful. very unusual to find the son who is quite so open and reflective about his father. >> thank you. >> certainly. >> from what i have read there is paradox about eisenhower. maybe you could answer it. as you point out in your book, while he was president he was very cautious and prudent. but then when he left the presidency, the advice that he gave to john kennedy and lyndon johnson was a lot more aggressive. >> the question, was the more aggressive in his advice to a johnson and kennedy to make maybe a little bit.
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i study that. how you reconcile the two? if you look closely at the record what he was really saying to kennedy and johnson was, his basic theme. you're going to do is go all the way. he said vietnam, if you're going to go into vietnam declare war. mine the harbors, invade. don't do it halfway. he believed that the politicians almost by definition believe in compromise, have measures, gradual escalation. he thought that was the wrong way to go. and privately he said that several times to lyndon johnson. johnson used in, johnson was a great political manipulator, of course, trotting eisenhower out knowing that former president eisenhower was going to support the president, support the office. so eisenhower backed johnson all the way. privately lbj was hearing a different signal from eisenhower if you're going to do this and he was explicit about it, go all the way or don't do it. which is what in eisenhower's
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time he did not. he always had this theory, you will be serious about your threats and if you're going to do it, do it. >> out you explain when he handed the baton over to a kennedy and told him that allows was the biggest danger in the world? >> but if you really look at that conversation, kennedy and eisenhower made in the white house. there are various memos of understanding. the one you. two is written by kennedy's own people. they wanted to get eisenhower on record saying, use force. but if you look at the eisenhower memorandum of understanding, it is much more elliptical, and what he is releasing his you have to play poker using that old poker analogy couple of the russians. that is how this thing is going, and you have to be able to threaten and a serious way but not going. >> thank you. >> one of the crisis with the soviets was the invasion of hungary. can you describe what eisenhower
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did behind the scenes and whether he was happy with how it turned out or whether he should have done it differently? >> eisenhower was cursed by to simultaneous crises in october october 1956. the very same time the soviet union was invading hungry, putting down a revolution actually, a real revolution, and at the same time and great britain and france and israel were invading egypt hoping to recapture the sinai peninsula and the suez canal which would be a disaster for egypt. eisenhower had to deal with both of those it wants. on hungary, he knew that there was no way in hell we were going to go into hungary. it is landlocked. we had no courses. we could not get there. would have been a joke. we basically did nothing. that was painful, certainly painful as hell for the hungarians who believed with some evidence that the c.i.a. had encouraged them to revolt. their still arguing about this
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today, how much encouragement the cia gave the hungarians, some encouragement. that was a terrible blow. eisenhower was an extreme realists and pragmatists and understood ground forces in the invasion. however he is stopping great britain and france and israel because he was fearful that a middle east war is war and to get out of control. the russians are going to intervene and you'll have a world war. quietly sending a signal that the united states would start a run. and when the british, asking for oil.
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it could boil in his own oil. that was that. that was the end of the invasion. he was able to do that and be fairly ruthless about it. >> change gears a little bit. we were caught in the throes of mccarthyism. in addition marshall, he received no support from eisenhower. >> it makes eisenhower supporters cringe. and that is, and the
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presidential campaign, 1952, october 1952 a couple of weeks before the election eisenhower is campaigning and was constant. you remember john mccarthy. consulting things about general marshall. saying that he was a trader. eisenhower rights into a speech in defense of general marshall who after all had promoted eisenhower and discovered eisenhower. right before he is supposed to give the speech eisenhower takes that paragraph out of the speech. they don't want to offend mccarthy. wisconsin is deemed to be a critical state in the election. a sad moment of political expediency for dwight eisenhower as i said, his own staff was
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upset about this. again, you have to take a long view. his view on mccarthy was this, he would say, not going to get into a passing contest with a skunk. not pointing it down in the gutter with that guy. if i take him on directly it's going to cause a huge fight in the republican party between the moderate wing -- in those days the republican party actually had of moderate rain. and it will cause of this internal dissension and will distract from what we're trying to do. but, he said, mccarthy will hang himself. mccarthy did hang himself. it took 15 months. and in those 15 months he continued to do damage. continue to make unwarranted claims. he continued to hurt people who were innocent. eisenhower was a deeply patient man, one of his qualities, born at war and being a supreme allied commander was to be patient and sure enough, mccarthy made the mistake of
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attacking the u.s. army. eisenhower was waiting for him and by a series of behind-the-scenes maneuvers denied mccarthy various control invoking executive privilege for the first time and allowed and created a situation in which mccarthy hang himself, self-destructive the mccarthy hearings in 1954. eisenhower came to a cabinet meeting and said, have you heard the latest? mccarthyism. he was right. >> i came in late, so no need repeating if you have covered this. did the mutual assured destruction policy letter on? >> yes, mutually assured discredit -- mutually assured destruction is the principle by which each side has the other -- the site as the other has the force to destroy them. that was slowly evolving. they did not call it that, but they were working toward that.
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to have the power to destroy the soviet union and to make sure the soviet union need that. the soviet union was building its own force and getting toward the day that there would be mutually assured destruction. in eisenhower's time really the american said the vantage. some of you may remember the missile that -- gap. the politics of that era -- i should say irresponsible press of that era created this mess that the soviets were ahead. you all remember sputnik. 1956. the russians launched a first satellite. no, my god. the russians have bigger rockets. they can destroy us. eisenhower in his typical low-key, cool wait with this bubble along because he knew we were actually way ahead. missiles are more accurate, more deadly, building them faster, and most importantly, we were putting missiles on submarines
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that were intolerable. so polaris submarine was coming along and creating a force that was invincible. the russians did eventually by the 1960's build a similar force which is what gave us. he was a stop on the road, but he was not quite there yet. >> thank you so much for your talk. i think maybe you just answered my question which was, was ipod in? was he ready to go to nuclear -- and for that matter, the stalemate in career, nobody hardly was dying. >> was like bluffing? scholars have spent a long time on the answer to this. the amazing thing, this is how i got to write this book. i was having lunch with somebody who said, you know, i never told
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his closest assistants, the general good patch whether he would use nuclear weapons are not. really? think of that. you never tell even your closest national security adviser whether you're going to use these things. think about the loneliness of command. think of that. i was reading a book, national security adviser to john f. kennedy about nuclear strategy. and in 1961 young jfk has just been elected president talking about some missile gap and threatening actually to use nuclear weapons and a limited way. berlin erupted into another crisis. and young president kennedy does not know what to do. brings in the old secretary of state, and they think that he will say come on, don't be a wimp. lean on the russians. how you know when to use nuclear weapons. if i were you, mr. president, i
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would think for a long time and i would never tell anyone. think about this. tell no one this of the president of the united states at that time was never to reveal when you're going to actually use these weapons. yet to block than threaten. you could never tell anybody whether you actually would use them and under what circumstances. that is really what he did, a bit of an education for john f. kennedy. >> so we don't know. >> so we don't know. let me just finish that thought. i think actually possibly in 1953 when we had an absolute dominant, restarted the korean war, i think the evidence suggests that eisenhower would have been willing to use nuclear weapons at that time. it is a guess combat that is the closest that i can get. >> my question actually does not
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apply. i don't think. i am curious about the relationship, professional and otherwise. >> eisenhower when he was a colonel was chief of staff to the great general macarthur. and he learned what not to do by steady macarthur. what did he mean by that? obviously macarthur was a military genius. he was very proud. he took credit for everything himself that he possibly could. eisenhower study that and when the exact opposite way. eisenhower gave credit to others he was low-key. he was congenial and smiling. eisenhower once said, i got a head by concealing my ambition and my intelligence and my intelligence, the opposite of
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the great macarthur. macarthur was condescending, calling in the best part he is ever had. so there was no love there. when macarthur was sacked by harry truman for is disobedience in the korean war i quietly said yes. [laughter] >> thank you. in 1953 the role of cna and the overthrow. is that true? if yes, how much is it described? >> among eisenhower's mistakes were giving the cia too much authority to conduct covert operations including the overthrow of governments. iran in 1953 and guatemalans the next year 1954. now, at the time, it is important to look at things not as they appear now but as they appear at the time. it was a little more
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understandable. eisenhower as a military man was desirous of not using conventional forces because he knew that in battle what can go wrong will go wrong. he did not have the politicians do some quick surgical strike, limited action. the war will be over quickly. he knew the war has a way of getting out of control. he was desirous of not using conventional forces. he could not really use nuclear force. he sure as hell did not want a nuclear war. the hope in the 1950's was that the cia could run sheet, secret deniable operations against communist expansionism. they, in fact, did this successfully.
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first in iran and then guatemalans, overthrowing the ardennes regime, deemed to be left leading. at the time they gave out secret metals. look like a great idea. now we know that it led to decades of this rule in guatemala. and it produced what we have today. still blaming the cia for every plot and threatening to install the shop. you know that whole tortured history. in retrospect these covert operations were a mistake. in the context of the time there were at least understandable. >> it seems like a team of eisenhower's life as been confronting superpowers. in light of that record, the failure of the covert operations you just described, what relevance, his way of thinking,
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this foreign-policy as in dealing with the instability caused a list terrorist groups. >> of fascinating question. you are dealing with stateless groups. my guess is that his bias would be against mission creep would be limited involvement. he would not want to do that. you would have been hesitant to get involved in libya, syria, you name it. now, at the same time i think he would have been willing to use massive force if it was actually necessary. for instance, if they get a nuclear weapon and clearly are getting one i have one. i think as an hour from we would have been willing to run the strike to take at the iranian bomb.
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only after the most active diplomacy and covert action. the nsa and the cia would be working overtime. they're working with mossad, even killing iranian scientists. the but they put into the iranian official. i am sure, reasonably sure that our intelligence community is doing all sorts of clever stuff against the iranian bomb project right now. eisenhower wanted do that. he would be concerned that it it backfired you would be anxious about it, but being president is anxiety making and a terrible responsibility. obviously you have to feel for president obama or a chief
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executive who confronts these incredibly difficult problems that have no easy or clear solution. >> good afternoon, sir. i was doing some research on president eisenhower. and research on his mother. i saw her, and i read other things about him. and there are a lot of rumors that he was next and that he was passing. i found that interesting. how do you think he would deal with that rumor? >> eyes now live in a different age. you have to respond. all of these consultants. you can't let another minute pass without going on tv in responding. there was no mention that. there was no cnn. it was easier to just shut up and say nothing. eisenhower was very patient, as
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i said. did not need to show off. he had this kind of quiet confidence. eisenhower had nothing to prove. he had been allied commander and conquered europe. so eisenhower, my guess is -- well, i don't have to guess because he said nothing about it. he could say nothing. in a modern environment where this is letting of the internet may be you would have to say something. i am short he avoided dignifying that rumor with an answer because i'm quite sure it is not true. so he would not wish to keep it going. >> i think that worked in his case. >> it did. >> you can say nothing, it is a good thing to do. the modern age. thank you very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> host: and you are watching live coverage of the national book festival 2013. we are live on the national mall we have got a couple of more hours worth of coverage. coming up next in the tent is rick atkinson. he has written a world war ii trilogy which he has just completed. he will be discussing world war two. he is a pulitzer prize-winning author as well. he will be joining us in about ten minutes or so, doing his talk in a tent and enduring a call-in. the bus is part down here on the mall. on the bus with us right now is novelist joyce carol oates. here is her most recent book,
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the kurds. we don't often have novelists on book tv, on c-span. but this is historical, and a sense. >> oh, yes. >> how so? >> guest: i did a lot of research. the u.s. 1905 or six. president of princeton university. >> host: what was it like at that time? >> guest: kind of an allegorical representation of white christian american general's. an exemplary. >> host: a cameo in your book. >> guest: he is the essential character. he confronts a demon. he is tempted. i should not say what happens. he became this quite lovely in
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the novel. he does represent many of the shortcomings that people of this time it was a sexist -- he was anointed by god. it's not uncommon for some people to feel politicians and leaders. obviously secco pathological. >> host: tell us about the accursed. >> guest: well, in the novel really means the white underclass christian people who looked literally the other way when the complex plan was out there, but people were being lynched and harassed and tortured and murdered. the white leaders like woodrow wilson and many others just would not say anything.
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there would not come out courageously. it would not do anything. it was basically see no evil hear no evil say now we will. so a curse on the white race. >> host: upton sinclair. >> guest: he represents our younger generation. an interest in equality among the races. sexes. that was also about when an acquiring the vote. >> host: and jack london and grover cleveland. >> guest: but he is a friend of upton sinclair. >> host: where do you get your ideas? >> guest: my idea for that novel was because i came to live in princeton.
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i perceived a portrait of a person much different from the recede notion of woodrow wilson, this novel person. many flaws. i saw this self righteousness, his condescension toward negros. he called black people negros in toward women, it really needed to be examined. >> host: any idea how many books yourself? >> guest: no. >> host: awards? >> guest: no, i don't count them. what is your writing process? i tried to write very early in the morning. i basically love to write. to me it is exciting. it's really exciting to right. i feel that i am organizing thoughts that may be incoherent and chaotic and i like to create dramatic scenes. ..
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now i have much more people talking, much more dialogue. they had idiomatic monologue, people talking. i try to about the voices of people rather than my own voice. >> host: writes longhand computer? >> guest: i started my hand and then i go to the computer and organize.
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computers perfect for organizing and moving chapters and paragraphs about, positioning and repositioning. >> host: do you save your drafts? >> guest: i think many of my drafts. archives are at the university there may have, besides agreeing came in without this paper. >> host: why are your archives that syracuse when you teach at -- >> guest: steric services. >> guest: i'm teaching at this very minute. i'll be teaching in a couple days. >> host: what are you teaching? >> guest: i'm teaching two students were at ice for theses. >> host: do you pick your students? >> guest: to some extent i pick them. they apply to the program and then i choose my thesis student.
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>> host: on the first day of, and joyce carol oates' class, what do you assign? >> guest: we make over great detail a short story, a classic story. we may go over a hemingway's array, line at mine, almost by word, two pages long and we go over it carefully because i wanted to see how it's written. the very best processor written in poetry. so the other day, a couple weeks ago we did a ray carter story and they spent about an hour on the story. so that was the first class. >> host: do you enjoy teaching? >> guest: very much. well, the students are very interesting and often it gene and original. i love going up or hemingway or faulkner shr call. i love going out for a really good prose, because as i said is something that poetry.
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with a number of sensitive you keep old to go through those and see how well it's written, it's a great pleasure. >> host: is writing hard work? >> guest: writing can sometimes be hard work or can sometimes be fluent. it started keeping to his head another composure is revise a little more. it's maybe a must to be see if it comes in your head and you don't have to revise. i'd like to have the first draft and then i revise it. that's my happiest situation. >> host: if someone were to pick up one of your books say which one of your books should every what would you say? >> guest: that's completely on who you are. i have managed novels with marilyn monroe must be 800 pages long. the zombie is only about 140 pages. so if you like short work, then
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i have a novel called the love story and not very sure. >> host: joyce carol oates. here is her most recent book, "the accursed." this is booktv on c-span 2. one more event in the history of biography tent. this is rick atkinson. he has finished "the guns at last light," third in his trilogy of world war ii. he's going to be talking about his book in a minute and then he will join us for another call-in program, another opportunity for you to talk to them. the live coverage of the national book festival in c-span. >> hello. i am erring coltart, senior vice president and regional director bulger and marketing at wells fargo. this marks our third year participating in the national book festival is a charter sponsor. [applause] >> thank you.
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over the course of the last two days, we estimate that we've given away 3000 ponies, taken thousands of pictures of people i wells fargo stagecoach, milked hundreds of postcards and we've engaged the community and social media conversations about books and reading. to say we're happy to be here is really an understatement. we love being here. wells fargo has the richest area of the golf met with early childhood education and literacy. take for example the program reading first. through this program, we read aloud to children and then give them books. that's the highlight of what we've done here over the course of the last two days with the help of our wells fargo team members and volunteers, we have given 10,000 books.
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[applause] thank you. while we are not teaching children how to read, we are teaching children how to learn to love to read, something i'm sure all of you can appreciate. for more than 160 years, wells fargo has been working with our customers and communities to help them succeed financially. being part of the library of congress national book festival is just one of many ways we bring that vision to life. thank you. please join me in welcoming, marty baron, executive editor at the "washington post." [applause] >> thank you, lori. i too impaired to mention the "washington post" has been a charter sponsor the national book festival for 13 years since its inception.
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[applause] and i want to make special mention of course that the library of congress were putting on such a wonderful event. i'm also obligated to mention that this event is being filmed a c-span. so by getting up and asking a question to me you giving permission to disappear on c-span. please, if you have a question, please use a microphone. now to our author and our speaker, rick atkinson. rick served as reporter foreign correspondent and senior editor of the "washington post" for 25 years. it's my personal misfortune that i arrived too late to post to work within. he's rather regarded as one of the most distinguished journalists of our time. his talent as a writer and reporter and his unparalleled expertise in literary affairs were a gift to the post into her readers. get with this latest book, rick
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reminds us again is discontinuing different form, as an historian. "the guns at last light: the war in western europe 1944-1945" is the final installment in his trilogy about world war ii. he dedicated nearly 15 years of his life to these three remarkable volumes. los angeles times has called the "liberation trilogy" a masterpiece of deep reporting and rich storytelling. "the new york times" review calls it at that again this finale a tapestry of richness and complexity. the "washington post" reviewer described the process achingly sublime. now it's 877 pages, but the reviewer noted while saying this is a very long book, this one seemed too short. in a recent interview with the national world war ii museum, rick remarked on the necessity of remembering and telling the story of this sort, what he
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called the greatest self-inflicted catastrophe in human history. 60 million dead, one life snuffed out every three seconds for six years. rick added of more than 60 million american veterans of world war ii, if you than 2 million remain alive. when i contemplate what is lost as culturally as they slip into the shadows at the rate of 800 a day, foremost perhaps is the ability to bear witness, to tell the story firsthand, to attest to the authenticity and authority why they fought suffered and died. further stories told and retold, countless others will now go untold. so is the primary storytellers die off, it's important for survivors, for us to sustain the story to keep it a vivid narrative that lives and breathes rather than some being rapidly receding into the past with every diminishing power to stir us.
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rick atkinson has done more than almost anyone to sustain the story, to give a continued life. for that, we can all be grateful. i am proud to introduce rick atkinson. [applause] >> well, thank you, marty. i also regret that we didn't overlap. thanks so much for coming this afternoon to this fantastic conclave of readers and writers. i apologize to those of you sitting here expecting to see my friend evan thomas. that was the last hour. i really apologize to those who expect to see my friend khalid husseini that is in a different tent. i'd also like to thank the library of congress and the "washington post." the other corporate sponsors for
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making this one of the great annual event in our town. it is not this time, it not that town. it's a hard time they live in the district of columbia are not. [applause] from the national book festival shows you can still be civil and thoughtful and thought in washington d.c. said jack london said a writer i'd not wait for inspiration to knock the door, but instead go looking for up at the club. 15 years ago i took what i found, what inspired me was the second world war. the war lasted 3174 days and i began with the greatest greatest catastrophe in human history. as marty said, 60 million dead. that's 27,600 dead every day or 1150 dead an hour.
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if you're a german boy born between 1915 in 1924, the odds are one in three bye-bye 1945 you would be dead. 14% of the soviet population of 190 million perished during the water. 60 million dead in six years is a death every three seconds. one, two, three. one, two, three. that's world war ii. the writer kingsley and mouse once said that he only wanted to read books that begin, a shot rang out. the way i've approached the second world war is to look on it as a trilogy, with three panels that mutually reinforce one another and i'm not still many, many more shots ring out. i begin with the american water
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were the war really begins in northern africa with the invasion by british and american troops in november 1942 and then we moved in second panel, the second panel, my second volume, north across the mediterranean but reddish american troops for the invasion of sicily. in july of 1943 unanswered mainland italy places like salerno, the repeater river, and see how, the vulture now rather than onto the liberation of rome on june 4, knight and 44. well, this third volume, the final panel opens on may 5th team, 1944 at st. paul school on hammersmith road in london. and they are on may 15th, eisenhower, patton, omar
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bradley, winston churchill, king george the sixth and several dozen of the most senior commanders have gathered to review for it last time the plan called overlord, which is the invasion of france, which is to take place in three weeks. they met in an auditorium at st. paul's called the model room and the general said that girls were bundled up in their overcoats because even that was the middle of night, it was cold as a meat locker and they sat on hold with benches normally reserved for schoolboys. the poet john milton among other english luminaries had gone to st. paul. on the florida cop put it this auditorium was an enormous paris relief map of the normandy coast, where the rivers and teeth into the atlantic and a british brigadier and no skid stotts shuffled around on this
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hop is a discussed the individual locales and what would be coming in three weeks, the most famous battlefield in the world. the beaches, for example. utah, on a hot, gold, juno, sword and towns no one had heard of it soon would become infamous. towns like saint lo and sure board and just on the edge of the map their spirits. and for the next 12 to yours, detail unspooled that these places than others, the less, paris, but her can for us. nine aikin arnon. the battle of the bulge, the encirclement of the rower and final drive to pick every day on may 8, 1945. as in the first two volumes and would periodically shift from a
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tactical thought fulvio to a higher ed ruby can see operational and strategically with going on. much of chapter 10, for example assenting altec, where we are red from church of roosevelt stalin and their senior commanders. we also peek in on the other side of the hill to see what the germans are doing. i us a recount of some of southern france in august 1944 as well as the subsequent drop of around river valley by french and american troops and the per show matches to capture strasbourg and to reach the rhine in november 1944 at, 4 months before the armies that are coming from normandy arrive on the rhine. it's an important part of the liberation of europe from a part many of americans know very little about the carrot terser
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fantastic. alexander patch and the army commander a general named john who is beyond. u.s. described by one of his admiral of actions and a lot would often appear in the middle of the night were his soldiers are sleeping and would roar row, we cannot not. but if he done for france? he's that kind of guy. as you may suspect, the liberation of europe is not a non-scuppers subject. was 60,000 hardcover world war ii titles. how do you tell that story said that you and you and you feel that you are hearing it again as that for the first time. part of that is voice of course and narrative coherence. but a good part of it must be archival spade work. when it comes to world war ii,
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and archive rat like me can look large. the u.s. army records alone for the second world war with 17,000 tons. like all great events in american history, world war ii is bottomless. there are wonderful things still to discover. so for example, i found that the national archives in college park about 15 miles from here, a document that revealed thinking about, how are you going to get onto the beaches at the normandie if you know the beaches are going to be heavily defended. how are you going to get ashore by air, by parachute or bake later. someone or posed how about taking a time out under the english channel? and so there was a study done at
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the officers who reported back to the handset can do this. it will take 15,000 miners a year to excavate 50,000 tons of spoil, but we can do that. but they couldn't finance, what they could never forget out is when the first minor popped out an entire german seventh army was waiting. there was a whole collection of these problems and they had their own acronym. can't wait, problems of the invasion of northwest europe. there was anxiety, for example, the german airplanes wood fired over it lind and drop rats and dust with the bonnet plate and a bounty offered on rat carcass is to test for plague. they would think that the germans of fly over london and drop some thing called radioactive agents on london and there were geiger counters hidden all around the city to test for radio tv.
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the ally since the l.a. start out 160,000 tons of chemical weapons in england and the mediterranean in case the were turned chemical. that's about 160 times more than the syrians are suspect it to harbor at this point. my son also at the national archives, to plans for chemical warfare in normandie. both of them had been approved by eisenhower. the first is predicated on caring about french civilian casualties. the second plant, not so much. in fact, there would've been tens of thousands of french civilian casualties of the war become a chemical war. u.s. army drafty standards during the second world war are progressively lowered for the drafting of what were known as physically imperfect men.
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so for example, when the draft began in earnest in 1942, you had to have at least 12 of your natural 32 teeth in order to be drafted. by 1944, how many teeth does you have to have to be drafted? zero. and that is because the army in the navy had drafted one third of all the dead to sin america and collectively they extracted 16 million teeth and build 68 million more than made two and a half million sets of dentures, all to allow those draftees to be able to masticate the army ration. i know it sounds like an obscene act, but that was the standard. in 1944. in newest correctable to 2040 in one eye. the vision standards have eroded so badly that deal bromide the army did examine how just
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counted them had come churros if you are blinded in one eye, just in one manner and if you're messing those external yours. you could be drafted if you're messing night, or three fingers on one hand, and reading your trigger finger. when the draft began they kept many soldiers out of the army but that restriction to a certain restricted in the army soon drafted in 1944, 12,080 patients a month, most of them syphilitic. how could they do that? penicillin. an extraordinary discovery of a burger scientist in the 1920 is had been converted into an extraordinary industrial project by the american and the british said that a substance that had been made originally by that graham was soon named by the
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kilogram and eventually by the time. why these extreme measures to fill the ranks? it was because of the crying need for soldiers, especially infantrymen and especially riflemen. even a country of 130 million, we were running out. the grits did run out. the war remains brutal and voracious to the very and. in april 1945, the last four months of the war in europe, almost 11 dozen american soldiers were killed in action in europe. that's nearly as many as died in june 1944, the month of the invasion. it was awful virtually to the last gunshot. so desperate was the american army for infantrymen that the high command taken action that had been absolute unthinkable just a few months before.
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they allow black soldiers to volunteer for duty as infantrymen in weight unit. 53 platoons of colored infantry were integrated into above an otherwise all-white divisions. many of those african-american soldiers surrender sergeant stripe they had earned as cooks and drivers and laborers for the privilege of being rifled. very many other surprises and discoveries in mississauga. i found that the franklin roosevelt library in hyde park, new york, for example a detailed account written by the atlanta funeral home director who had prepared franklin roosevelt body for burial and the president died at warm springs georgia on april 12, 1945. the document is as powerful in his minivan as it is clinical. after several hours spent injecting six bottles of
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embalming fluid into the president's veins and arteries, this partition summer arthur prettyman, the president's balloting handed him a call and then had called the president's hair just told. john updike once said that world war ii was the 20th century's central myth. he called it a tale of stories. angles are infinite and his central figures never fail to amaze us with their size, and astra talladega. theatrical day our. i believe the narrative historians tru calling is to bring back the dead. i try to do that not only with the outside familiar with the eisenhower's patents of the war, but also others who are thus familiar a generous ted roosevelt junior emotion triscuit junior.
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even amid the clash of army groups, my eyes always drawn to the particulars mall tragedy that eliminates the larger catastrophe. so for example, i tell the story of the death of the son of general alexander patch, a young captain named mac patch. i tell it through the letters that general patch and his wife exchange to each other. and they're unspeakably heartbreaking. young captain patch has been wounded in normandie. he's recuperating under his father's command in southern france. his mother writes to general patch, baking her husband not to let him go back into combat teams and. he goes back into combat in october 1944 and is killed almost immediately. general patch rights to his ways in me says i cannot and must not
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allow myself to dwell upon our irreparable loss. as i write, the tears are falling from my eyes, prominence decrees that we must obey. how many families in the second world war had similar sentiments i tell the story of the suicide her admiral don p. noonan, who had commanded the naval forces landing at utah beach on june 6, 1944 and shortly before the invasion of southern france, where he was also to have a large responsibility, blew his brains out in the cabinet's flagship in harbor. the stress and unhinged him and the suicide note that he left for his wife and four children is really devastating. part of a read, what am i doing to you my wife in your children? i am sick, so sick.
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i mentioned that the united states had a population during world war ii of about 130 million. what the 16,150,566 into uniform during the war. of those, there were about 1.5 million veterans still alive, my father among them. they are leaving us at the rate of more than 40,000 a month. it's almost 1500 a day now. the number of surviving american veterans of world war ii will slip the low 1 million just about this time next year and in 2024, the number of survivors will drop below 100,000 in 2036, the last year for which government demographers has made calculations, the number of survivors of the most distraught of war in human history and the
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united states will drop below 400, less than half the size of an infantry battalion. this country suffered less than any other major belligerent. we emerged from the war with iran is still based not only in tact, but driving. we emerged from the war with two thirds of the world's gold supplier, with clinical energy is a great sense of optimism and hope in the future. but about 400,000 americans died during the war. 291,000 were killed in action and of those killed in action, all south of those occurred in europe in that last year. in 1947, the next of kin of all americans who had died and whose bodies had been recovered overseas, and i was nearly everyone who went died in the pacific or atlantic theaters. those next of kin were given a
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one-time opportunity to choose whether or not to bring their dead sons, and they were mostly sons, to bring them home or to live in. overseas in one of about two dozen american battles on the case. about 40% chose to leave their boys overseas and about 60% brought them home. across the united states government, $564.50 per explanation regardless of the ultimate disposition of the body, something only a rich victorious nation could afford. every grave was opened by hand and the remains of every dead soldier dusted with an embalming compound of for not hide, aluminum chloride and plaster of paris. they were then plays in a metal casket with a side hello.
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labor strikes in the united states had caused a shortage of cat visio and there is also a shortage of life embalmers. the debt accumulated in warehouses at cardiff ensure board and elsewhere. finally, the ss joseph viacom might come in the first to 21 go ships from europe and the pacific sailed with more than 5000 soldiers in her hold it on october 27, 1947, the connolly birth in new york and stevedores whinge the caskets are a hold of specially designed slayings to buy two mps dead and those of father he can make great diaspora across the republic for burial in their hometown cemeteries and national
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cemeteries. that's how the dead came home. but what about their belongings? what about things they carried? even before the debt came home, these things had been coming home at a large warehouse in hardesty avenue and can see. the u.s. army affects bureau had begun as a modest quartermaster and a price is only a half-dozen employees in february 1942. that expanded to more than a dozen workers. by august 1945, bearing handling 6000 shipments a month, each leg with the effects of american dead from six continents. hour after hour, day after day, shipping containers were
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unloaded from the rail freight cars that pulled up to the siting next to that warehouse in hardesty avenue. they were pulled onto the receiving document hoisted by elevators to the depth of his 10th floor in here and spent years old who the crates to extract, ammunition, perhaps amorous letters from a girlfriend you did want a grieving widow to be -- to see. workers use grinding stones in dentist drills to remove corrosion and blood stains from what kerry and other end. bloggers this took pains to scrub blood stains out of the uniforms and the containers worked their way by assembly line down to the seventh floor and finally a detailed inventory of the effects for spin to a container and less stack in a
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storage bin and all the while a large adjacent room banks of typists are banging out letters. 70,000 mothers, and the gist of those letters was this, dear sir, dear madam, we have your dad son stuffed. where should we send it? over the years, the affects bureau found many thing, tapestries, enemy swords, a german machine gun and italian accordion, tobacco sack full of diamond, shrunken head. a month now since the diaries also collect it in kansas city with a small notebook that belonged to lieutenant herschel g horton, 29, from aurora, illinois.
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shot in the right leg and hip in a firefight with the japanese on new guinea, where it had dragged himself out of the fire zone and into the crash be another several days it took for him to die, he wrote his final letter home to his family. and to begin, my tears sleep father, mother and sister, i lay here in this terrible place, wondering now why god has forsaken me, but why he is making me suffer. the first duty is to read them her. i can think of no better way to close out the national book festival. and to quote from our current party or it natasha fresh way, she answered palm pilgrimage a
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visit to pittsburgh with these lines. in my tree and come up the of history lies down beside me, rolls over, it pains me beneath a heavy iron. my ambition with this trilogy has been for you, too, to feel that heavy iron. to fill the palpable presence of those who suffered much and in some cases gave every day for a period thank you so much for being here. i look for your questions and comments. thank you so much. thank you. [applause] server. >> yes, i am particularly interested in the battle of the
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bulge, where it seems that american command -- american commanders according to hodges seem to really fall down in the performance of their job, were even omar bradley is kind of denying that the line has broken and their german troops pouring through in the army is coming through. i'm always fascinated as to why these commanders are made plays, particularly court may hodges who wasn't suited for the command of the first place for the first time he and considering the ramifications of what occurred subsequently. how did he survive cliques and did we learn anything from the situations were his teams like everything devolved upon the chief of staff and not the actual commander? monday brought in field marshal macomber, processing. >> were going to make him read the book. briefly because the battle of the bulge was the largest battle
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fought in american history that takes a long time to go through it in detail. in answer to your questioning began december 16, 1944. it took the americans to fall almost on the americans raised in the belgian ardennes that extend down into luxembourg almost entirely by surprise. it was an enormous intelligence failure. if intelligence failure ranking up there with pearl harbor and 9/11. because there was great surprise and because the germans had attacked a part of the ardennes swear we were particularly lately defended, there was great confusion. in fact, courtney hodges, lieutenant general who is the commander of the u.s. first army had what appears to be a nervous break down of sort at a very inopportune moment. he closed the door of his office spot and put his head down on
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the desk and basically for 24 hours his chief of staff ran first army at a time when it appeared as though the germans might overrun first army. there was concern hodgins was not up to it. field marshal montgomery, although this is not a suspect or was given the responsibility of taking over hodges first army and a big portion of the american forces. and montgomery went and looked hodges directly in the eye and came to the solution that in fact he had righted the ship somehow, that whatever affliction had cost him to put his head down seem to have passed. he wrote to eisenhower, who is the supreme commander in europe as it is not the man i would've chosen, but i think were going to be okay and i will keep a close eye on him. hodges actually recovered sufficiently to finish the war out. there were a number of instances
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where commanders, not just at the battle of the bulge battle of the bulge just simply didn't measure up and they were believed. first army and particularly ironically very precipitous and relieving commanders and replacing them. and hodges casey got a second chance. thank you. >> first of all, thank you for your trilogy and you're very powerful, thoughtful presentation today. >> thank you, sir. >> my question is someday surveyed until this last question. i want to get your take on eisenhower as commander-in-chief. we know that he had no battlefield experience. and your first book, you mention how lousier generalship was an african campaign to the extent that eisenhower himself was surprised he was relieved. then in your last book, you
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mentioned again eisenhauer stationed himself in positions way behind the front, unaware of what was going on at it day by day business. you also mention that eisenhower was not aware of montgomery's failure in the opening of the attempt to open supportive and dark, which was so important. >> german to talk about eisenhower? all right, eisenhauer someone i've lived with every day very intimately for 15 years. my estimation is solely grown. i think some of you may have heard of and talk about them as president. he goes to the presidency basically by virtue of what he goes through the second world war. it's true he shows up in gibraltar, command name his first command, having never
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heard a shot fired in anger. he never committed even a platoon of the first world war and that he's a theater commander. he's got the entire allied force in the mediterranean. eisenhower has a number of things going for it. he's learned as he goes as do most of this american commanders. he's had a very big rain. he's extremely articulate. churchill and us something about worth the point says the chief of the imperial general staff, i'm not sure i trust agent wrote whose this glib. so he can speak and write very precisely. there's rarely any ambiguity about what it is that eisenhower once you do if you're a subordinate of his. instead of basic humanity to him that appeals not only to his immediate support is, but all through the rain. the average private, although he may not know eisenhower from pat, to bradley, might not know him to cease and has the sense
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that eisenhower cares about him personally in there's something to that. eisenhower was able to convey that he knows the way home and that's the soldiers really care about in hee hee will do his best to be sure that you do not risk your life and if it costs in medicine soldiers also care about. so eisenhower has his credibility i think to project confidence. and to project a sense he is then command of this enormous, sprawling, multinational team called the allied coalition. he's an extraordinary guy. i think very, very highly of him. >> thank you so much for your trilogy. it's really superb. i'm doing a lot of world war ii oral history interviews establish and not proper world war ii history archive to encourage people to do an interview. i was just wondering, have you
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ever consulted coming in now, any oral history in your work and if not, what are some of the thoughts he might have had to utilize them? >> i use oral histories a lot, but he is almost no contemporary oral history made you almost none myself. the reason for this is my father is 89 years old, enlisted in the army 1943. i would not rely on what he told me happens to years ago any more than i would rely on what somebody told me they thought had happened a century ago. the contemporaneous record, including oral history is so extreme hairy, the army sent some very good historians, including people like martin blume and send, who became one
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of the finest world war ii historians after the war was a sergeant in world war ii out to interview soldiers virtually if they are coming off of the battlefield. sometimes it was within hours, frequently within days or weeks. these extraordinary transcripts of those oral histories are in the national archives. there's hundreds and hundreds have been, from all major actions, particularly late in the war. so there's that. and then there are many, many other contemporaneous archival records of one sort or another that allow you not to rely on 70-year-old memories. as much as i admire what you and others do now, sometimes you try to tease out that little and joked that he would never get anywhere else by some guy telling you in 2013, even though it may have happened in 1843. i'd rather go back to 1943
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myself. >> yes, i read extensively about world wars one and two and thank you for greatly enriching the library. it always astonishes me our capacity to do harm to ourselves. my wife always wonders why i immerse myself in this ongoing horror story. my question is, you spend a lot of time reading about what we do to each other in a graphic way. i'm curious how that affects you, how that changes your view of humanity. >> that's a tough question. i've been living with the greatest catastrophe in human history for 15 years. i live with young men dying young every day. i know it affects me. it breaks my heart. every day it breaks my heart.
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i tried to use it as a propulsion system. i tried to use this calamity, both individually and globally as a means of harnessing the energies and talents as a writer in order to convey 70 years later what it was like, what it costs, what it meant. click courtney hodges, every once in a while i want to close the door of my head down on the desk, but we soldier on, don't we? so i do believe there's actually a name that god the vista really and emotionally. but i try to use it effectively to my own purposes. at that time for two more questions than told. the maxtor. >> yes, hi. i'm currently in the midst of
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another war trilogy, show he put civil war narrative. if i were to take on your trilogy, what would i find that was similar and what would i find that was different? >> thank you. and mind you would find such a. [laughter] but, i love shall be further. i go back in reread a lot because i very consciously try to emulate some of what shelby foote does. but there's three dozen pages on the civil war and there's not a single foot no. you cannot get away with that today. now, i am not impugning the scholarship at all. he did the work. what i find in him that speaks to me personally and that affects the way i wrote this trilogy is i think something we were talking about a minute ago. you're looking for the emotional center of this.
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you are looking for residences that speak to us through the decades. you're looking to find the same day that speaks to us about war that we find exclusivity. shelby foote is i think extraordinary have been able to find not only a delicate story and to take a very complex yarn and make it coherent, but in ways they really resonate. you read that book with your eyes and with your brain, do you feel those three books in your heart. and so i think that it's probably something i try to emulate from an, plus fitness pierced and i, ma'am. >> following up on footnotes, could you address what is the process that you follow to undertake some another scope? you just dive into the 17 tens of the archives?
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how do you keep track of what you are finding in the archives and have you committed on paper? >> this crowd really wants to hear about my process i'm sure. 17,000 tons. well, i'll be very sustained. i don't just dive in. that would be a prescription for wandering into the woods and never wondering now. my process is to set a date certain when i will stop researching. and i can fix that date because the contract tells me with a manuscript is due. and i can count backwards and they know roughly how long it will take me to write and i know roughly how long it will take me to outline the research i've gotten that leaves me with x amount of months to do the research and then i try to be smart about where and doing the research. so when my case, i spent a lot of time at the national
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archives, library of congress and carl, pennsylvania, which is a fabulous archive. a key with the british national archive is and probably a couple dozen other places. and then you've got to do with the secondary material. i mention the 60,000 votes. you feel obliged to release waved a hand over a good portion of the end in many cases to get down into them because there's fabulous works there. i put it all and every piece of information that i come up with goes into a word file. the word files are kept in my own filing system. i deal with the documents when it comes time to write and then i write and extrude or the detailed outline. i use outlining software, which is the greatest invention since the pile. and i build an outline and yelling for this third and final
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volume is about 700,000 words long. it's more than twice as long as the book sells. but it acts not only as a roadmap to tell me where in going when i sit down to write, but also tells the world information has come aware different files it is. so then i'm ready to write and i said don have a better old newspaper of manic type really fast. i write about a thousand words a day. morsels newspaperman, that's about equivalent to typical day stories that any reporter can knock out. 270,000 word book for this third and final volume is. i tell myself it's only 270 day stories. that is less than a year of writing. so that's how i do it. instead the afternoons -- i write until my brain turns to mush around noon. i spent the afternoon at 18 and
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reading back through what i have read them but in the morning and preparing for the next these writing, which consists of taking a segment to the outline and further refining it and agreed upon last time after dinner and that's it. i put it away and i usually don't miss it but again until we are the final editing of the book in the next thing you know you've got a book. that's it, we're out of time. thank you so much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you've been listening to rick atkinson of the "washington post." he just finished up his trilogy
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on world war ii this past may, "the guns at last light" was the third of the trilogy. you can see the numbers on the screen. if you would like to talk to mr. atkinson committal be joining us in about two minutes. 202-58-5389 s-sierra through the eastern central time zone. 585-3891 for those near the mountain mountain pacific time zones. if you can get through the phone line, you can send a tweet@tb sr twitter handle on make a comment on this will be the final event from this year's national book festival in washington d.c. this is the 13th annual began in 2001 every year since that first year when it's on the capitol grounds and were pleased to see work able to cover both this life and everything you see today if you've been watching
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all day we'll all be here this evening at 1:00 a.m. eastern time in the overnight. you go to see the whole thing. go ahead and dial in for rick atkinson. i'll be over here in just a minute. in the meantime, were going to take a call from fred in plymouth, pennsylvania. what's your question for rick atkinson? >> caller: more of an assessment. my feeling is the great tragedy of world war ii was the entire camp pain, huge loss of life. i was wondering and the way he conducted the campaign and that's basically it. i read the last book, the third book. >> he spends quite a bit of time at the italian campaign.
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once mr. atkinson gets over here, we'll ask him about that. next caller's gala in san antonio. heiko mckale. >> caller: the question is why didn't hitler crossed the channel into in good? if he had done so, with the english have used gas? >> host: okay, we'll ask him that question as well. (202)585-3890 in eastern central time zone. 585-3891 for those of you in the mountain pacific time zones. we are joined now by rick atkinson and the history and biography tent. thank you for being with us. fred and in pennsylvania called just a minute ago and he wondered about the italian campaign. he thought that was the biggest disaster of the war and specifically about mark clark, general clark and i told him in the day of battle he spent quite a bit of time on mark clark.
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so if you would cover recount the italians. >> guest: i think i'm probably more generous than both. a pretty capable battlefield. 23 amounts than -- killed in world war ii and not every commander is cut out to take out these casualties and be able to sustain the kind of emotional weight that brings. and clark can do it. you can't blame clark for being in italy. he's there because he's told to be there. teatime campaign makes some sense if you want air bases in southern italy. once you get those, which we do in the early fall of 1944 makes a lot of sense as you slug your way up the apennine mountains, although they too may of of 1945. it will be argued about as long as people are reading about world war ii.
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>> another colonist was from galen san antonio. why didn't hitler crossed the english channel when he had the opportunity? or if he did have the opportunity and if so would be a finished up england? >> guest: well, he wanted to. he had drawn careful plans for the invasion of england. one thing in particular stopped him and that was he never had air superiority and he knew it up and a schama was not very wide but if you do not control the year, if in fact those bursts that buyers have prevailed in the battle written in 1940 have free access to your invasion coming by to see that it will end in disaster. you've got to have air protection to the amphibious operation. hitler did that in stop him from launching operation sea lion. the second part of the question -- if they manage to get across the english channel, you have to believe that things would've gone very badly. by the british isles are pretty
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big. 800 miles from south to north than it would've been a compiler campaign of some sort certainly. but it's hard to imagine that the british would have been able to prevailed had he gotten his forces across the english channel. costar rick atkinson, total deaths? >> guest: about 60 million. >> host: total cost? >> guest: cosh, the united states allowed, if you calculate in $2012, it's about 4 trillion. to the entire world i don't know that anyone would know. >> host: next call comes from her up in weatherford, texas. her become a year-end tv on c-span 2 with author rick atkinson. >> caller: yes, i just finished reading the books back to back to back and a little postscript on dinner with my
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father. my father fought in world war ii and battle of the bulge and he received a bronze star botkin and a purple heart in the battle of the bulge. you know, our father's generation, the greatest generation and i did that with my father who you are talking about the draft. my father was the youngest of 15 and went to work, was drafted into the army at 18, was blinded in one eye. went to world war ii, sent his paycheck home to his mother supported the family. my mother waited five years to marry him and i understand why now. he was able at 60% or 70% disability, walk with a slight limp, which you would not notice that his whole life would never
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even get a handicapped parking sticker. he came back from that war -- i always saw my father cry three times in his life. right before he died. my mother said this during the gulf war they are sitting there watching on tv. she looked over at him and tears were coming down his cheeks. i know now from reading the books where he went back to his life without war experience. i just want you to know that your book is absolutely on the mark with so many things. i've read several books, but i kind of looked upon yours. i will admit this. i have a question. do you deal with the european war? i'm about to get into the japanese side, which i don't know much about.
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do you have any suggestions for the reading on that? i'll let you go. thank you. >> host: at >> guest: thank you for your question and your comment about your father, an extraordinary man. there's a lot of stuff out there about the civic work. by father frank has written a trilogy now about the war in the pacific. max hastings bracewell about specific. if you look on my website, liberation, you will see that there's a short essay on suggested readings and nursing readings they are about the global war beyond the war in europe. >> host: rick atkinson, we spent three hours at the uma for in-depth program when "the guns at last light" came out. i has to then, are your account on a specific trilogy? >> guest: peter, i'm not.
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i decided some time ago that i wasn't going to do. 15 years was long enough on world war ii. so i've begun working on a another trilogy on the american revolution. it's captured my imagination since i was a boy as it has for many of us. i've been added in earnest for probably three months and i've got a long way to go. it's a whole different set of archives among other things, different sensory needless to say. but idc resonance at the beginning of this army that i write about in world war ii. i see parallels between washington and eisenhower had a very surprising to me somehow. they have more in common then they don't have in common. so that's what i'm doing. another long project that will take a probably four or five years to do the first.
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>> caller: hi, good afternoon. thank you for taking my call. you already answered one of the questions i had just now, so i will substitute another. how did you go about deciding what to leave out? and is there some pain you've left out that she now would've put in and did roosevelt -- teachers showed ever finally determine or realize that there is nothing soft about the underbelly of europe and the mediterranean? >> guest: well, to answer that last question first, churchill never acknowledged that the italian campaign in his approach to kind of defeat germany by coming to the mediterranean was fundamentally bankrupt by the time to britannica to 1944, 1945. he was not the sort of guide to make apologies and he believed what he believed.
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so we find churchill in late 1944, still arguing for the mediterranean strategy. he tries to persuade first eisenhower, then roosevelt to abandon the nation of southern france, which is going to take place on august 15th. the troops are in the ships and churchill is still hammering away at this. he wants a landing to go through the head of the adriatic and go through topographical feature known as the ljubljana gap, kind of a backdoor to vienna. eisenhower said i'm not going to go through any gap they can't pronounce. so churchill never acknowledged that this was not the proper course. do i regret leaving things out and how do i decide what to leave out? welcome in deciding what the fattest part of the narrative of art, so much is deciding which of the van. on a subject as enormous as world war ii, many, many volumes have been written about it and
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will be written about it. trying to find the sweet spot of the narrative account of an individual episode, trying to find the emotional sweet spot, trying to find the sweet spot of individual earners is all part of what writers try to do. you know, sure there are things i wish there's room even in a very big book to have been able to prevent, but nothing i lose sleep about. >> host: here is the last volume in "liberation trilogy." "the guns at last light: the war in western europe 1944-1945" and georges collated from norwalk, ohio. george, you're on with rick atkinson. are you with us? >> caller: yes. i'm calling to find out what carl truman was the first soldier --
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>> host: georgia, i apologize. i didn't catch what she said. >> caller: i heard carl truman. we are going to move on to a net in hayward, california. and that, after you. >> caller: good afternoon. mr. atkinson, as i just heard recently a short 12 lock and i started with the first look, an army at dawn. i just want to say how much i appreciate what a great writer you are to succeed we can clearly get the overall picture and then with carrot there and personalities, the drama of the situation. >> guest: thanks very much. i appreciate that. >> host: is that it? no questions? >> guest: on her face but
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page, michael posts i would like to hear mr. atkinson's take on the broad front versus single sold press debate. does he think that eisenhower spread for a strategy with the most expedient way for a single bolt dressed of the possibility of shortening the war but they did to this comment is eisenhower make a mistake in not trying to take berlin. ask others a lot there. i'll try to be sustained. that issue is hotly debated at the time. it was hotly debated in the years after the war. eisenhower believed that come may not the german rate in a two-fisted fashion where you had major thrust here mmh interest here is the best way to keep the germans off balance and to keep them moving, that they would have to shift their forces back and forth and that this would cause them to use fuel. this is the achilles' heel of
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the third right and running at a feel eisenhower knew this. what am i believed putting basically all your forces in one powerful thrust through northern europe into northern germany was a more sensible way to do it. they argued about interminably for months. eisenhower having the privilege of being the supreme commander has the last word in his strategic, his operational approach is the way in fact were played out. my feeling is that eisenhower was correct. there was enough evidence to suggest it had montgomery single dressed then followed some of the could possibly have blunted that single thrust, that spearhead. it could have attacked it from the flanks. it could have been problematic if you didn't have the other pfister clench with.
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related to that very briefly berlin, eisenhower decided in march 1945 after four months saying we're going to go to berlin that that is the objective of the allied armies coming from the west. he changed his mind and the reason he changed his mind was because the russians had 2 million soldiers poised outside of berlin. they had been on the order river in january 1945, only 40 miles from berlin. he knew what was going to be a bloody undertaking to capture berlin as in fact it was and he came to the conclusion that it made more sense to angle his forces further south and to cut in half to prevent the germans from rant porcine the alps and have a what was done as a national redoubt, the guerrilla warfare campaign operating from the alps.
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my feeling as though it's except for the right decision, that they would not eat the russians there. it would have been pointless. he's wrong about the intelligence was erroneous. germans didn't have the capacity to mount the guerrilla warfare campaign, but in fact eisenhower did the right thing. >> host: was there ever a time truly, rick atkinson comment that the germans could have won this war? >> guest: i think you can argue that after they've invaded the soviet union in june 1941, that the handwriting is on the wall. there's a lot of blood thingies to be shed before you can say that convincingly and it's certainly true to germans initially are very successful in the soviet union. but he's fighting a two front war against a very powerful adversaries. my feeling is after 1943, the
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wars last for germany. there's many german generals who recognize that also. hitler is not the kind of guy to acknowledge that he's lost a world war, so it's going to drag on until 1945. >> host: michael in seattle, thanks for holding. you are on with rick atkinson. >> caller: thank you very much. your books are terrific, mr. atkinson. my father was a manic with a wife and child who volunteered in december 1941. he was a front-line medic. i would like your comments about the medical care that our soldier sees in europe. what was that like? you know, what could be done? what were we not able to do? and you know, where do they take them to after they moved away
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from the frontline? thank you again for your time. your books are terrific. >> guest: the medics arrive is a very important part of the war. a lot of american veterans are alive today because of maddux and american veterans of world war ii who survived the war and what not to have lives after world war ii because of medics who were very much come as your father was, in the line of fire. medics are out there crawling around, protect it by an armband with a red cross on it. the medical of search at the united states particularly in the second world war is pretty extraordinary. they discovered a lot of things that help save lives. they were discoveries like penicillin they were absolutely indispensable at preventing carnage from being even worse. there were many men who lived because of penicillin and the ability to convert the discovery by british scientists and
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industrial strength operation whether it's penicillin available ultimately for discovery of things like the importance of plasma and whole blood and how you would mix them together. these are battlefield lessons learned, learned the hard way frequently that are absolutely indispensable. ask your question of what happened to a soldier when he was wounded, there is a whole system of aid stations and hospitals depending how badly he was built, dependent on the position of the lines and so on. but essentially the effort was to stabilize them. hasn't changed much these days seven years later. stabilize them. you've got the golden hour if you get the bleeding stopped and keep them from going into shock. you can do other things that prevent the downward spiral that these two death and then you get them back to the first level of care, where there are physicians and can do more emergency help
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and get them into a bigger hospital. so it was an extraordinary part of the logistical effort of the water and the medics are very much at the point of the spear. >> host: : from sylvester, georgia. you were on booktv. >> caller: i'm looking forward to reading your books, mr. atkinson. i had a quick question. i read in a previous book by another author that roosevelt and churchill worried that stalin would take the soviet union out of work before concluded in europe and sign a separate peace treaty with germany, like they did during the bolshevik revolution. but that mattered on the western rented the outcome of the war? >> guest: yes, there was anxiety about that and there's one reason why roosevelt was so eager to get the american army into the war in 1942, even if it ain't going to a place that seemed as improbable as north
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africa. roosevelt knew that if you could keep the soviets bleeding for the allied cause that that was damaged last bleeding that the american soldiers had to do. there's a certain cynicism to it, but his real politics and it was a clear eyed view by president roosevelt that the soviets were the most important component in the alliance generally in defeating the germans. the soviets did most of the dying. they did most of the killing in the soviets were absolutely indispensable. it's hard to imagine the british and the americans winning the war without soviet participation. so there were great efforts taken to ensure that stalin did not do what he had done previously and that was to make a separate piece of serb hitler, which was the invasion of the soviet union in june of 1941. there is precedence for that kind of soviet decision-making.
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so roosevelt was always very, very attentive to soviet demands. he had long correspondence with stalin. he recognized on the same mass murder among other things, but he also recognized that as he put it in times of trouble is permissible to cross a page. so i think his handling of the soviet union, his and churchill's together was a pretty true diplomacy. >> host: 69 total does world war ii. how many of them soviet? >> guest: about 26 million. >> host: next call, jim and sunset louisiana talking with author rick atkinson about his "liberation trilogy" on world war ii. >> caller: mr. atkinson, wonderful, wonderful presentation. i loved it. i was born in paris, france in 1945.
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my dad was an american g.i. in my mother was french. she told me stories about the german occupation and the liberation as it came in. she was telling me the worst part for her has been put in a position of being ready to come to america. she said something about ships that was just swimming full of pregnant women from all parts of europe coming over. did you do any research or run across anything in your work searches for this type of thing? she said it was very [cheers and applause] for her. >> guest: the short answer is no, i didn't spend much time looking at the postwar aspects of it, including the travels of war brides from making 50,000 of them in england with a lot of little anglo-americans duet
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windborne out of unions between american soldiers and british girls. so i don't know much about that. i do know that there was great concern the first of all the british government was concerned. i'm talking about the race now, not the french were concerned that there were so many british women who are impregnated by american soldiers that there was a sort of quasi-treaty signed and english laws, were invoked and it was a support skill set up and the soldier had to agree to pay a think it was a pound a month and took little anglo-americans was 14 years old. but the french, there is an interesting issue, particularly in urban v. come with american
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soldiers behaving badly about frenchwomen and the french were so concerned. this includes general de gaulle and genera show in some way to fight in italy and was essentially chief of staff of the french military, that they wrote several very tart letters to president eisenhower, telling him that frenchwomen could not one of their in normandy at night without being accompanied by french men because they are being accosted by american soldiers in some cases by american soldiers. eisenhower took it seriously. he hanged several perpetrators and crack down hard on it because he recognized among other things that this is bad behavior in this undercuts everything you've been trying to do in terms of trying to present yourself as liberators. so i know more about that aspect of the relationship with the french women in particular than
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i do about the postwar aspects of it. i read about it actually. >> host: just a few minutes left. on indianapolis. go ahead with your questions and comments. call code just picked up your book. i'm looking forward to it. most of my readers in the last 40 years has been on. the marlboro to the point about which of course would include the american revolution that you're just not getting into. most of your reporting -- your writing has been in the modern era of warfare, where you are not going to go back injury. for the experience of the panel is totally different. you can expect disney casualties in one day as he would for example the french army must mourn one day than the american army lost in the entire campaign. do you think you have to do some adjustment interview it yanked the battle? >> guest: is a good question and i can't answer it yet, but i'm thinking about it i'm
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thinking about precisely that. i do think there is some adjustment necessary, but i also think war is or the mothers and george washington's army in 1776 the weather isn't sent dwight eisenhower's army in 1944 or whether he's an army in afghanistan. today there are certain salient in certain eternal verities of soldiering life. certainly haven't just seen to my research for the american revolution. i'm adjusting to all different sorts of things. artillery doesn't play a very large role unlike 20th century war. their small battles for the most part. although ultimately with 25,000 americans killed in action in the american revolution, second only to the civil war in terms of the number of americans killed in action proportionate to our population of about 3 million in the american
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revolution. so that's a good question and i'm thinking about it. i appreciate it. >> host: boy in portland oregon, good afternoon. >> caller: yes, there's been a lot written on an enigma and magic. the only thing i found was the paragraph that says neither the germans by the japanese were able to make meaningful headway towards solutions of the sigma machine. can you tell me anything about the machine? i never heard about it before. >> guest: i can't tell you much about it because i'm not a signals historian. you know, the germans kept changing their code. they practiced reasonably good operational security. they were aware that code breaking had come a long ways.
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they were not aware it had come as far as it had with the abilities of the british in particular and the amazing effort going on a blog flu park, north of london to crack the german codes, to intercept radio transmissions, to take those codes using the enigma machines that coded and ultimately for the british, decoded those messages. and to keep all of that secret. that secret of all chair, as it was called kummer remained secret until 1974. it is considered the deepest secret of the world -- of the war. so consequently, the germans had no idea that their mail was being read essentially. it was a great advantage is you can imagine for the western allies. you know, when it came out in 1974, historians said gosh, we
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have to rewrite the history of the war. this is such a big deal. it turns out now, you find very few and is for it had either a tactical impact on the war. it allowed the americans and british to have a larger strategic sense what was happening about the germans. they didn't do this after the attack of the bulge in december 1944 because they did not transmit those orders and that communication via radio. so it's a very interesting part of the war. >> host: danny and rainbow, texas. we have one minute left. >> caller: yes, i was interested he said the northern part of the italian campaign is more or less useless and that's pretty much my father's contribution as many of us said. >> guest: i didn't say useless. i didn't say that, dna. >> caller: well come he said it was a very small value anyway. >> guest: i didn't say that
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either. it was a cul-de-sac of sort. you know, the intent in continuing the campaign in italy is to tie up as many german divisions as possible in italy said they could not oppose the forces landing in italy. there were 24 divisions in italy, otherwise a good possibility that many of those if not all those would've been in normandy on june 6, 1944. so i would never say that it was useless. i would say that was heartbreaking. there's no doubt about that. >> host: rick atkinson, you begin army had done before the war. how big was the u.s. army in the 1940? >> guest: the u.s. army had about 190,000 in 1938, 39. it was a puny little thing, poorly outfitted. by 1945, how big is the army? the army of honesty .3 million. there were 16 million in uniform
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in a country of 130 million. you can see at 344 fold increase in the size of our army in five years. >> host: rick atkinson is the author of "liberation trilogy." liberation here's the latest that just came out in may. "the guns at last light: the war in western europe 1944-1945". rick atkinson as always, we appreciate your time on booktv. you have been watching booktv on c-span 2 and that is going to wrap up our coverage from this year's national book festival. two days of live coverage down here at the mall. if you missed anything today, it will re-air tonight at 1:00 a.m. you can always watch booktv programs at there is a search function in the upper left-hand corner. just type in the author's name and you'll be able to watch it online at your leisure. in fact, rick atkinson spent three hours with us and make a
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mess you can watch all three hours of the same depth with us. follow us on facebook, or on twitter@booktv is our handle. we will see you later. >> john hope franklin discusses book from slavery to freedom, a history of african-americans. the book was than its eighth edition originally published in 1947. this is about an hour. ..


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