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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 23, 2013 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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the completion of this vision she had for roses blooming at the white house. >> meet the first and second wife of president woodrow wilson tonight live at nine eastern on c-span and c-span3. also on c-span radio and >> now on booktv, robert wilson recounts the life of civil war era photographer mathew brady. the author reports that the civil war, the first work to provide a photographic history, was thoroughly covered by brady and his team of photographers, who took over 10,000 photos. this is a little under one hour. >> thank you, bradley. it's a great honor to be in this bookstore, the city of institutions. this is one of the great ones. and it's so wonderful to see it thriving under bradley, and i
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hope will continue to drive for many years to come your i just want to say, give a nod to one person in the audience, my great friend, pat ferguson who wrote a wonderful book about washington during the civil war called freedom rising. it's a book i really relied on in writing this book. if you don't know the book, you should. so i hope it's for sale here somewhere. [laughter] it occurred to me to write about mathew brady about eight years ago as i was finishing the book about clarence king. after the civil war, king led one of the great scientific surveys of the west, and wo onee people he asked to accompany him was timothy o. sullivan who was on, who is becoming one of the really important american photographers. this was the first time photography had been used this
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way as part of a scientific expedition. sullivan was a protége of mathew brady. they probably met on staten island where brady had a home in the 1850s, and and while he was running a studio he had on lower broadway in manhattan, and timothy o. sullivan grew up there. as i read about o. sullivan i realize there really was not a first rate book about mathew brady which really astonished me given his importance. i think all of us to care at all about history know the name of mathew brady. and increasingly in the last couple of years have become aware of his old grass as we've gone through the 150th anniversary of the civil war.
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the year since i first started thinking about doing this have been a lesson really how little i knew about brady when i started out. and then how little i knew was accurate even after i spent about a year reading about him, doing research to write the proposal for the book. it should have struck me given the industry of scholars and journalists like myself, bradley, that if there wasn't a good book about mathew brady, there might be a reason. [laughter] the truth is that there are two good reasons. one is that for a man who is in the public eye for half a century whose name became a brand both for portrait photography and civil war photography, who hung around with the journalist of the day and was a coin with most of the people who mattered in his time, who was dedicated to making
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photography and media the rate court in for history. he left a very lightly mark creel. he did not keep a journal or write a memoir he wrote only a handful of letters and spoke about, of career in detail to a few journalists and friends only late in life when the natural tendency of many people, certainly myself, is to embroider the past. this is reason one for why such a central cultural figure of this time had no good biography. reason to is that in the years since his death this has led some writers to go beyond his own embroidery to pure speculation and even fabrication. so the challenge is both to dig deeper and be even more skeptical about would've been written about him. one of the things i thought i knew about brady that were brought, the first was almost
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anyone who knows anything about brady thinks they know about him, which is that he was not just a civil war photographer but that he was in some sense the civil war photographer. but he himself took all of those photographs we have become so firmly with in the last two years. is true we see a number of the same photographs again and again. this one, for instance, called three confederate prisoners has just become a u.s. postage stamp. there are people from roanoke who actually present to the postal service one of these guys what a relative of theirs, because this print had hung in their parlor for 80 years or something him and i think i'm not quite as gullible as the postal service in that regard. but anyway, they were invited to the ceremony when the stamp was
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-- so it's theoretically possible one man could have screwed around and made many of the photographs we do no that are familiar, especially because there were no photographs of all of the wars signal events ranging from the first battle of bull run to lee's surrender to grant at appomattox. in fact, there really were no photographs at all of the battles. brady did go to bull run where he may have well been the first man in history to attempt to take photographs under fire. but none of the photographs he took or tried to take survived that day. they were probably just related in the chaotic, to put it mildly, retreat of the union army on the afternoon of july 21. he did have his or rogue image -- or rogue image of himself made the next day.
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i said something like, did he know what he's doing when he went to war? if so, why did he dress like a french landscape painter? [laughter] he has a desk coat which acts of journalists often more when they were covering the war. but he's got to watch bob and across time and the hat. anyway, so this was a photograph meant to say he was there. and he did manage to convince a number of publications in the weeks after the first battle of bull run that he had made photographs and, but they were wrong in saying that. none do exist. after bull run where he may have
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well been screwed by his proximity of life and musician, he stayed miles away from any of the battlefield until about 150 years and one month ago when he traveled to gettysburg about one week to 10 days after the fighting had stopped. then there's another lapse of almost a year and killed soon after cold harbor and the beginnings of the stalemate at petersburg when he went back in the field. he kind of went out towards antietam about a month after the battle there, but never really got within miles of it. and then that's really it, as far as his physical appearance anywhere near a civil war battlefield. he was in richmond the day that robert e. lee came back from appomattox. he kind of wandered back.
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it took them four or five days to get back, and -- thank you -- and this is a photograph he took. brady often had good luck in getting places laid -- [laughter] his rival had gone to richmond, as many photographers had, right after the south abandoned it and set it afire. the pictures were so stunning, and everybody had been focused on richmond since the beginning of the war anyway. so consequently they all went and took these pictures of these burnt out buildings and nobody went to appomattox. so there are no pictures from appomattox at all. but anyway, lee had known lee from the mexican war and lee had
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been a superintendent at west point and there's been a tradition at west point, cadets to come down and be photographed and bridges -- bradys studio in new york. he had a connection, a further connection from washington to put him in touch with mrs. lee, and lee whose son said there was nothing he liked less than having his picture taken, comes back from the war, you could imagine how weary he must have been, and how disheartened, and he agreed to be photographed the next day bright and early on easter sunday. well, the day he agreed it was the day that lincoln died. and i think there must have been some connection that he felt -- i become he'd been telling soldiers he had been coming up to his mincing, go back to the farm, rebuild your lives, don't rabble rouse. and i think he felt this may have been opportunity for him to
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show, you know, with this great personal dignity, a man who i think is kind of visibly morphing into civilian in this picture. he's not really in full uniform. if you see the pictures of him from appomattox, he has this a red sash. not the pictures, but the paintings that were done later. a ceremonial sword. here he kind of has street shoes on. seems to be looking like the guy who, for who the war is over. anyway, this is one of bradys. still, as many as 10,000 civil war photographs are attributed to brady or his studio. how can that be? here's where things get a bit complicated. brady began his career as a
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photographer in the care type area -- era, only five years after the process had been introduced in paris. a busy portrait gallery as bradys and became required a number of people to make a photograph, to make a customer happy if the customer wanted to walk away with a finnish photograph. the metal plates on which they appeared had to be buffed and treated. and after the plate was expose the image had to be fixed, washed in a gold solution, maybe and colored and framed in a leather case. different people perform each of these tasks, and later bradys studio had as many as 25 employees. the person who took the photograph was generally not brady himself but was called an operator, the man who operated the camera. brady own and ran the business,
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hired the workers, made all the technical choices, often greeted his sitters, especially the famous ones, and escorted them to a position in front of the camera, putting them at the ease and setting up the photo. he was all but like bradley i think, actually. [laughter] earlier industry he decided he wanted to specialize in images of well-known people, so we also spent a lot of time in pursuit of them. the type cellmate in his gallery, he called it a gallery because he would display all these pictures of famous people in the reception room. they were known as brady images. so his name again his brain. he was often called brady's broadway. and his product, the photographs made by his workers, were known by his name. in a business context this is pretty easy to understand i think. henry ford didn't assemble cars
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and self and yet all the cars were called ford's. but in a photography context where we think of a photographers being the person behind the camera, this is less easy to understand and is led to charges that brady took credit in a deceptive way for work that his employees performed. by the time the civil war began brady had been operating galleries in new york and later in washington for 17 years. is gold had become within his first figures to take photographs of every important american, and almost everyone seemed to pose for his camera. he had kept up with the rapid changes i in in technology and d even innovated a few. and was now taking studio portraits beautifully printed on paper, often in large sizes. and also mass-produce card sized photographs are still grass or what we would call 3-d photos. probably the most important photograph radio farda, which i don't have for you because you
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all know so well, was the one of lincoln on the day of his famous cooper union speech in new york. the speech which made him a viable presidential candidate. lincoln was, if you will recall, was the beardless lincoln, kind of a three quarters picture. he is wearing the suit that he brought with him on the train and which is remarkably wrinkl wrinkled. and his caller didn't quite fit and brady said later, he pulled it up to hide his long neck. but anyway, brady, the in which was widely reproduced. throughout the year of the campaign. it was used on buttons. it was an illustrated papers, and when brady saw lincoln again after the election and before the inauguration, lincoln
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supposedly said, brady and the cooper institute made me president. brady seems to be the only source for this quotation. [laughter] so make of it what you will. but it's clear that that image was helpful. after secession and fort sumter fell in early 1861, volunteer state militia units from the north came flooding into washington to protect the capital from what was expected to be an imminent attack by the rebels. as these soldiers and officers camped around the city, they often went to the brady's studio to have a portrait made to be mailed back on. brady began to send his operators into the field to take what amounted to studio portraits out of doors. part of bradys had to do this since the civil war was a big subject, that history would want to know about, and the continuation of it of his intern taking pictures of famous americans.
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but these images also have commercial value as card and stenographic prints. so brady had several teams out taking pictures before the war began. after bull run, his practice continued and some of his men who became famous in their own rights, is washington gallery operator at the time was alexander gardner, and timothy o'sullivan, and others, also began to work for the u.s. army, photographing and helping the engineers find appropriate spots for camps, hospitals, bridges and what we would call infrastructure. as they serve the army they continued in ready simply sending him war for the grass for his growing collection. if i could just take an opportunity to pick a bone with one more review. there's a review in "the wall street journal" that felt that there was this incredible conflict of interest of the bradys people were working for the army while working for him, but brady was a journalist but
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he was a businessman. i really don't see the source of conflict, so please don't read that review. [laughter] after the rebels abandoned anastas in the spring of 1862 brady sent his men out to take photographs of the famous fight from the first battle and one of those men, james gibson, accompanied mcclellan's army, soon accompanied mcclellan's army on the peninsula campaign what he took a number of the first really similar photographs of the war. so brady sold copies of these pictures that is meant to but he also copied and added his collection photographs that others had taken, some of which you appropriate with permission and some of which he did not, or he did appropriate but without permission. copying photos to which it no legitimate claim is not a practice i have any wish to defend, but in fairness it was commonly done. by any means available then, brady again related images from the civil war, and the
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prominence of many of them is not known and probably never will be. no doubt his competitors were often less happy about this than we are today. they were squabbles over who owned or who had taken what. it because brady kept his collection together and even managed to sell a large part of it to the government, we have him to thank for that. so brady was not the photographer of the civil war. i mentioned either of the misconceptions about him even after i had read a fair amount. one or out of some the things i've been talking about and did not come from writers desperate to make a good story out of the materials of bradys life, but from scholars and curators of photography been about as much as you do now, but brady rarely operated the camera itself, that he got credit for work done by others and that he accumulated photographs that were in no sense is.
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plus there have been a story in a journal in the early 1850s about his eyesight being too bad for him to operate a camera. and there was bradys suspicious entrepreneurial zeal, a little too close recover to that of the neighbor across broadway he had in his first studio, p.t. barnum. if brady was a huckster, and he was no artist. and so they are grew up in the 20th century a counter narrative about him that he really was not a photographer at all. this is pretty silly i think that its effects linger to this day, the vast collections of these characters are reluctant to attribute photographs that are clearly is 200 sometimes won't even attribute into his studio. what i would like to do just briefly is hint at the case i make in the book that brady was not only a photographer at a conscious artist, a person who did not just take pictures or oversee the taking of them, but
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he often had a real idea behind what he was doing. in the first decade of photography, one of the things that intrigue people about it was a like a completely mechanical art form. they were referred to as something things because the images appeared not by the hand of an artist but by the work of light passing through the mechanism of the camera. in a world increasingly under the sway of science, photography was first objective meeting of art. and the person operating the camera was not an artist them but as i said, an operator. brady's first connection to the world outside world upstate new york where he spent his childhood was a charismatic young painter named william page. he was a protége of samuel morse who we think of as the inventor of the telegraph but who was, in fact, a well-known portrait painter himself.
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moors had been in paris and had begun experiments with the camera and the process very soon after it had been announced. whether or not brady learned that from morris as he sometimes claimed, he was certainly at least on the french of artistic circles in new york soon after photography arrived in america. one of his few letters, is addressed to sammy morris on the subject of photography as an art. the search of portraits he began to take a badly owed a debt to portrait painting and the backdrop, lighting. and by the late 1850s britto specializing in what he called brady embryo, large-size portrait prints on paper. they were quite beautiful. he also had photographs blown up and then painted by oil painte
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painters. and there's images of things that brady had painted and put in his studio for many, many years and he ended up selling them to congress where they hang today i believe. they are at least in the collection of the senate but it turned out brady didn't wait on them anymore at the time he sold them to the senate, but more power to him for that. [laughter] three photographs the bridge took 100 years ago at gettysburg, speak explicitly i think to the question of whether the photography is simply a mechanical process or whether it implies the presence of a conscious artist. between indeed in an agency city where alexander gardner was still working for brady, taking images of the dead, the famous death of antietam that brady
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exhibited in his broadway gallery under that name, between indeed in and gettysburg in july 1863, gartner had left a break and set up his own studio and taken most of bradys best photographers with them, including timothy o'sullivan. so gartner was now reduced competitor. he got to gettysburg first, two days after the battle ended, he arrived the afternoon of july 5. and brady, gardner took timothy o'sullivan and james gibson who taken the great photographs on the peninsula. the three approach from the south under asimov was famously known now as the rose farm where the dead had not yet been buried. asgard and gibson went, three begin taking photographs of unvaried dad confessed to veterans that only about 48 hours on the battlefield and that time taking a 60 images, three-fourths of which were of
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dead bodies or above aspects of the horrors of war. brady didn't come for about a week after that, and he and his men didn't start taking photographs until july 15. by then almost all of the bodies had been buried and the most visible signs of battle had been cleaned up. the battlefield was morphing back into the rural scene it had been only two weeks before. because his men and congressman cross tabs, brady new gardner had beaten into the story, so what was he to do? press wasn't even a question for brady. the two men had very different sensibilities t the gardeners ws more journalistic and bradys, although he was a professional businessman with a keen sense of the commercial was as i said more artistic. brady himself was not drawn to images of the dead, but other sorts of images that showed the price of were. if you go back to the three confederate -- this is a picture
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brady took at gettysburg. you know, here are supposedly defeated confederate soldiers about to be sent off to prison camp come and who knows what, probably nothing good. but look at our road facing. i mean, brady, you know, brady saw their pride and saw the quality -- in fact i have got -- i'm sorry it's so small. they used a stereographic print. anyway, i kind of feel like they must be spies or scouts or something. i just don't look like defeated soldiers. so that was more bradys sensibility. the most remarkable thing brady did a different take his is a photographs which he himself
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appears to images in which the viewers literally looking over his shoulder as he now contemplates and a peaceful scene where the battle had raged. this is -- i'm sorry, brady is so small in this one, too. i admire politics and prose for not allowing officials. where going low-tech year. this is brady, and this is what i'm calling the classic scene. his men took about 36 36 photographs in all and brady's appears in at least six of them. these photographs are far less dramatic than gardeners, but argument but they're more interesting is photographs in that are clear preference today for the drama of the gardeners photos was not matched by the
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people of the time they were taken. there are three images that are very similar to this end they all have to do at least in the captions with the death of general john f. reynolds who was thought by many to be the best soldier, the best general the north had. he was a pennsylvanian, nt, according to the great new book out about gettysburg, he really helped precipitate the battle because he didn't want the southerners sort of roaming around the pennsylvania countryside. reynolds was indeed, was killed in these woods on the first day of the battle. and the caption for this one actually says that. there's another famous picture of brady you may have seen standing before a split rail fence. there's a pot and is looking out
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in the field and it's called the wheatfield, in which general reynolds fell, and, of course, he fell in the woods and not the wheatfield. so tried to explain that. but he similarly is positioned in that photograph were he is looking over his back at the scene, a very beautiful scene. then there's a third one, similarly composed where they're looking through a field at a barn where reynolds was supposedly taken to die. reynolds died instantly and he was actually taken somewhere else. but anyway, you know, the fog of war. to me, these three photographs introduced in an explicit way of human consciousness of the violence that played out in these woods and fields. we see one of two people in each of them contemplating the placid landscape, and we know wasn't must -- what must be on their
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mind. all photos imply the presence of the human viewer, of course, the person who points the camera. but more directly perhaps than had been done in this medium, brady is often one might be called first person photography, a statement that the photo is not just an objective rendering of a scene, a work of the son, but if you created an affect by an individual consciousness. for me, the three reynolds photographs qualifies as works of art as they had a clear idea behind them and are executed in a way that enhances that idea. you will have to buy the book to see the others. over go on a website up into the national archives or library of congress are a year later brady was back in the field systematically taking photographs of all the major commanders in grand union army at the potomac. soon after the disgraceful slaughter of the battle of pearl
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harbor. the only battles for which grant expressed regret for the useless waste of life. the army soon moved to the outskirts of petersburg where brady and his men followed and what he took one of my favorites of all these photographs. on june 211864 -- june 21, 1864, he posed the commander in and his staff. that's potter and the middle. right in the middle of the photograph. and his staff is right around him. the photograph is artfully
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composed and is very much one of brady's studio photographs taken out of doors. even the flap of the tent at the left side of the image suggests the drapery of the state. potters men are arranged around them roughly by heidegger each of them wearing a hat turned towards the boss while potter is hapless and steering directly into the lens in the exact middle of the composition. if brady had stopped there it would be a very satisfying photograph, but now they have started putting itself in photographs he couldn't stop. this time we see his face. you can see brady off to the right leaning up against a tree. he has posed himself as what he was, not the subject of the photograph but as presiding intelligence. his gauge not at the lens but by -- but dissecting the line. one of his operators very likely
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stood beside the camera and drew out a wooden panel covering the class negative remitting the exposure. but an intriguing possibility exists that brady is operating the camera himself. in his right hand he holds something. i don't know, this is so small. you can see there's a little something running down his hand, and then there seems to be something kind of running back towards the camera. his foot is moving? is probably tapping his toe. could that be a device and is that a wire or two running down his right leg connecting to the camera moving a lens cover or primitive sort of shutter? probably not, according to experts on cameras of the time. but even if brady holds only a switch is broken off a tree, who
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could do this image without knowing that its author was not the son, but a person, the well tailored artists standing to the right of the frame, hand on hip. the last image i want to she was also taken after 18 safety forum, it is similar to the potter photograph and other union general and the staff is the subject. in the middle of the photograph is ambrose burnside who has his leg crossed. this is his ecstatic he's the guy that potter was under. what's interesting about this image, of course is the ghostly presence of, you guessed it, brady himself in a jaunty hat. although he is not moving but simply out of focus, it's included in arranging the man
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for the composition and was returning to the camera when his operator exposed the plate. i was looking at it closely today and some of the people in the image aren't quite ready for the picture to be taken, it seems like. in a way it's funny, of course, it's a screw up but it does take to brady's role in a photograph when he was present. and for me it's something else. this image of mathew brady both there and not there because even after the years i have spent with him, he remains for me a ghostly presence, an important figure of his time but someone will never know or hold. thank you. [applause] >> so if you have questions, come to the mic right there. >> mathew brady, what is his middle names because i think it's just an initial. and there's some question is how
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mathew isl. he was chilling as him be brady. -- generally known as m. b. brady. it seems if they've got the wrong brady would have corrected it. i'm going with one t. >> how long do they have to stay still for? >> it depended a lot on commune, the light that was available, that kind of atmosphere. early on with daguerreotype it could be coming to, many, many seconds, maybe a minute or there's a beautiful, beautiful photograph of henry james as a little boy with his father,
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very, very touching. the father is sitting in the chair and young henry is kind of, i think he has an arm on her shoulder but at least it's touching them. there's also, it's summer in which the great photograph of lincoln, really the most personal and away photograph of lincoln with his son, had, with the lincoln sitting in a chair holding a book and tad is is dressed like his father is dressed like a spot in the lawsuit but tad is kind of touching his father's suit. that was done partly because they had to steady themselves because the time was so long. they have to be very stupid henry james writes of having been photographed that day in brady's studio, and said it was just excruciating. they would have kind of advice behind his back and w there were all sorts of -- many of these pictures, famous picture of grant leaning up against a pine tree. they were always find ways to sort of steady themselves.
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>> could you mentioned about the photographs that were kind of fake, like dead people that were not dead, sharpshooters who were not sharpshooters? union officers who turned out to be brady's assistance, that kind of stuff? >> well, according to the great expert on civil war photography, especially photography of gettysburg, there really was only one photograph where a body was moved come and that's the famous death of a rebel sharpshooter. the rifle that was put in the photograph was not a sharpshooters rifle, so that's one problem with the photograph. and then i think he was the one who noticed that there were also photographs of this dead soldier further down the hillside, and he realized that his body had been carried in a blanket which appears -- there are two photographs of him where these rocks have been, and it may well
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have been -- do you think it was a sharpshooters the way it was set up? small rocks piled up between big boulders. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. anyway, that was the one example of a body being moved. now, brady and the gettysburg did have one of his men kind of lie down in a field but he had his legs drawn up and his arms kind of out. the caption was something about a dead soldier at gettysburg, which was shameful and wrong. it didn't seem so unpersuasive. and then a lot of photographers went to gettysburg in the weeks after the battle, staged pictures of living people as dead soldiers. there are very few times when the dead were photographed
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during the civil war. you feel like it happened every battle but i think maybe seven times. there are many images sometimes, like fort mahone in petersburg. you see the dead confederate soldiers in the trenches. they don't have shoes. it's the end of the war. they have nothing. but it was rarer than you think. >> you mentioned that he was in business 17 years before the civil war. could you mention where he photographed from, other than new york city? >> yeah. he had several businesses in new york city. he kept kind of moving up broadway as he became more successful, and as broadway kind of became -- moved uptown. so he had several studios in new york. he tried to open a studio in
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washington in 1848, about 1848 or 49. it was off of pennsylvania avenue and it didn't last very long. he had a dispute with the landlord and there was so much competition. but interestingly, right sort of where the museum is right now, right in their, was kind of a photographers road even then. then brady came back and opened a studio in 1858 between sixth and seventh street. the building is still there. it's one of the few buildings on pennsylvania avenue that is still around. he had the upper three floors of the building, and interestingly enough, when he left it in, i think 1881 or so, those floors were empty for 100 years, shows you how vibrant lower pennsylvania avenue was at that time. >> could you talk to us about
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colonial negatives of? >> wow. this is the question i was really hoping not to be asked. i mean, one of the things that's interesting about it is, reading about them, taking pictures and -- at antietam and how hard it was to do, it was a gummy substance they put on glass to prepare the plates. but one quality it had was it was very attracted of lives. so these guys, when i guess gibson was developing these images at antietam and was under some sort of a tent off the back of the wagon, nina, not only was it hot and had to worry about sweating onto the plates, but he had flies everywhere. i could probably, you know,
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jabber on a little bit about that but i'm not a great expert on the technical aspect of that. thank you. >> i'm just wondering what it says about brady that reynolds was able to take away so many of his operators, as you say. photographers. sorry, not rentals, gartner. could take away so many people. >> is very interesting. i mean -- i'll try to be brief. gardner ran the washington studio and the people who are working in overcoming the civil war were working out of there. so he was the guy they were working with and he was the photographer himself in a more, more of the sense that we think of one today and brady was. brady would kind of drop in and
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out from new york. gardner was also sort of a socialist from scotland, and i think it was a feeling he was probably more willing when he started his studio to give more credit to the other photographers. there didn't seem to be any real animosity between them after this happened. there probably wasn't a lot of love lost. it's interesting, because the story always goes that brady didn't give it to his photographers so that all went off with gartner. gardner and his sketchbook of the civil war used many photographs that were brady's eye the fact that he owned the studio at the time. he gave no credit whatsoever to brady. he was very careful to give credit to kids in an gardner and his brother and all these people. so if you like a significant that gardner went out of his way not to do that.
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so there's probably some that fit but i think a lot has been made about that's probably not too. but anyway, they did go. speed and my follow-up is me being an opportunist. you are here, it's a question about clarence king. >> okay. >> and the story that an fate with me, the secret life of clarence king and his secret life in brooklyn or what ever, it's i think the book more recently than yours -- >> yes. >> is a true? you have comments on its? >> there's a book called passing strange. when i was working on clarence king i got a message from the -- i'm blanking -- great library in -- the huntington saying someone else's working o on clarence ki, what you like to be introduced? i said sure but it turned out it was this pretty famous scholar
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of photography, and we kind of did this little dance, and it turned out i was early interest in the first part of king's life when he was doing things. and she was very focused on, team had -- team had a black wife. he was a friend of henry adams, in and around down in d.c. and he fell in love with this black woman and he set up in a house in brooklyn and didn't know any of his friends about her. and didn't really behave very well torture. i was sort of not as interested in that part of his life. i was more interested, and she was more interested in the other so they can fit together in a way, the two books. i mean, there's no doubt that he had his wife. he didn't treat her very well. he didn't provide for her and her children. they had children. john hay and his heirs left,
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gave them money for some years after king died. and she later sued to say that there's been a big chunk of money that they never gave her. but, you know, being a black woman in new york at the time, she didn't really make a lot of headway with that. >> a couple of things and then a question. somebody asked about how long it takes to take pictures. if you hold up that robert e. lee picture, you will notice between his legs there's a stand and he had to lean against that in order to be in place. if you put that up again you can see between his legs there's a black thing right -- doesn't look like it's part of -- the studio on seventh street, the civil war photographers mentioned they toured the studio
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and the to or has the 45 degreee window in order to get the light in. the women's black association of -- >> the national association of negro women. >> they said the rams were abandoned for a while and we took over. just the other yea day we went o the roof and without all these trying rocks, these wooden drying racks where mathew brady had dried his plates stacked how long ago did they say that? >> that was like 10 years ago. they had no idea what they were. is also buried at congressional cemetery. question now, when he went on the field, he said he a 25 people in the studio. how many did he bring with them on to her, i just? >> it seems like he probably had a couple of people with him when he went, at least at one point he said he had two wagons so they have had two or three people. timothy o'sullivan later seems to imply that it was there and
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said we would've taken pictures, but a shell hit our equipment. but generally, they seem to go out in pairs. one guy would be kind of the league and the other guy would be, you know, handle the equipment and then they would switch at times. i went to see, i went up to see the rooms where brady's studio had been for all those years, and there was no evidence whatsoever except that window in the back. i compare the window to george washington's ax where somebody replaced the handle and somebody replaced the head, but it's still george washington's. [laughter] so that it still mathew brady's window. you can see it if you go up kind of one \street/{-|}street above, i can't remember the cross street now, but you can definitely see it there. the woman who took me around said they found all this stuff but and i said well, where is
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it? well, we don't know. i don't know, i'm not sure i believe it. but it's a nice story anyway. >> i was wondering about the popularity of the civil war photography at the time, and then years afterwards or so. >> one aspect of this and the kind of interests me a lot is a question of how, what kind of impact these photographs of the dead have to. because when brady had to shoot in new york, "new york times" wrote a very moving story about how, if brady did not put the debt on our doorsteps he had something like it. there doesn't seem to be a lot of -- there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that they sold very well. apparently -- i'm not a collector, but apparently there
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are not a lot of those images around. there were never any other famous shows. even the antietam photographs i just assume that they must have been shown in the washington gallery. gardner took them. it was gardner running the gallery. there's nothing in any of the papers about them. they just didn't make the kind of impact. you know, apparently the picture of robert anderson, the man who had been at fort sumter, sold thousands and thousands of images. you know, the wargame just as the sort of crazed happened where people were keeping cards, card sized images of members of
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the family, but then they would sell them in the big books and they're all these empty spaces so then they wanted to start collecting images of generals and people like that. so those of sold very well, too. the business end of taking photographs of soldiers was a robust one. they would take these -- 10 guys were very cheap to make and very durable. there was one report they were up to 300 photographers following the army of the potomac at the very steins taking these pictures of soldiers and it would be bags, there'll be these mail bag full of 10 types. these young men would have their pictures taken and sent them home and two weeks later they would spend another dollar and which are their beards had grown. so there was a good business in that. that's responsive to your
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question. >> we seen that one more person. >> the pressure is on. he mentioned how little information was available about brady on the outside and also what was there wasn't necessarily accurate or reliable. reporting and research process on this how you worked around some of those issues? >> you know, this is sort of just like tell you about my life for the last seven years basically. you know, it's interesting to me, i mean, i'm not a trans-historian but i feel that what was interesting to me was get at a point where i knew the material well enough, i felt like i knew brady enough that i could make decisions. as a magazine editor we have pieces fact checked for our
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magazine, and the number of times, you know, there are a lot of different facts that are conflicting. we had to kind of decide what's going to be the fact. i feel like history is full of those sorts of decisions, and so it's a process of certainly comparing accounts, you know, getting all the hard facts i could, but oftentimes it was a matter of instinct, of -- one of my friends read the book and said you always went for the simplest explanation, which is a good way to go. but it was, you know, that was the challenge, really. so have a read and see how i did. [applause] >> booktv is on facebook.
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like us to interact with booktv guests and viewers. watch videos and get up-to-date information on events. >> about every four years some foreign global power has tried to come in and dominate the afghan scene and control it and use it for its own purposes. >> there have been periods of afghan history when the rulers of afghanistan have taken advantage of the geographical position of afghanistan to play a sort of neutrality card using the favoritism towards one global power, playing that against the possibility of leaning towards the other global power to keep both of them somewhat at bay. this has been a diplomatic strategy of successful afghan rulers whenever you have any. and the cold war, for example, was a notable period, both ussr
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and the united states or interest in afghanistan. they both were competing to enlarge their influence in the country, and somehow because of the counterbalancing of those two forces, there was a period when afghans were sort of in control of their own destiny. and during that period, you saw modernization and change in afghanistan that was more rapid and more sort of dramatic and you've seen anywhere, you know, in this country. that period ended when the pendulum of trying to swing back and forth between the inner of afghanistan the outer world, and start to swing so fast and so far that it finally crashed and the country succumb to do a coup but a small commerce group which then quickly was followed up by the soviet invasion. and i would contend that from that day to this we are still in the aftermath and the
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aftereffects of the soviet invasion. the soviets invasion pretty much destroyed the fabric of the country. you know, the 6 million refugees that drove out of the country, the destruction of villages, the tearing apart of the tribal structures and the creation of a state of war in which the old traditional afghan system for generating leadership gave way to a new system, which is in that state of chaos, if you have a gun and you're good with it, you're probably going to end up being an important guy. so that brought into being a whole other class of afghan leaders who are commanders, now they call them warlords. and that answered -- entered the fray. when the soviets left, those guys all started fighting each other and they tour the cities apart. and in the wake of that came the taliban. so now we are in the country,
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and i think we have come in with something of the same idea that the soviets had, which was this is a primitive country in a lot of trouble, and if we can restore everything and produce material benefits for the people, they will be grateful and they will have come over to our side. and there's more to it than that, however. i mean, afghans are very interested in material benefits like anyone is, but there is a question of the reconstruction of the afghan institutions, the society, the soul, the family structure, and the reconciliation of all these contending factors on the afghan scene. is taliban and this is is not completely separate from the contentions within afghan society over, and identity of afghanistan. >> you can watch this and other programs on line at >> since 1998, c-span2's booktv
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has shown over 40,000 hours of programming with top nonfiction authors, including bob woodward. >> we're going to do the book after he died, but he preempted and i was were five quite honestly, and then i was delighted. >> i always felt that people are willing more alike than they are different, and so the artist in the rose to that occasion, that if i can create something that is so moving and that permits the kind of distance that he sometimes needs from what is painful, then people understand. and understanding is basically what is fundamental. >> the point is that what is given to that effect, none of the other facts are considered and this is regarded as one of the half-dozen cases where the theory entails the use of military force was legitimate. >> we are the only national
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