extremely influential to me for obvious reasons was my father. i was also very close to my dad. he was a sports writer for the des moines register and although a minor league city, one of his treats was 40 years they sent him to the world series. .. san francisco or new york or los angeles, wherever he happened to go.
so i got the impression they're going to the world series was the single most exciting thing that any human being could do. i've always ate to go to the world serve. of all the things i wanted to do, going to the world series was the most important thing to me. i never got to go. i had all these other wonderful experiences. i was sent to the olympics in 2000, and they went to the soccer world cup in korea and japan and lots of other important global sporting events. i was delighted to go to. but the one thing that bothered me was the world series. it so happens that almost exactly 10 years ago, 2003 season was coming to an end, a very good friend of mine, a guy named keith blackmore was a sports editor called me up at home. i was living in england. he said, have you been following what's going on in baseball? i said, have i ever? because what was happening as the 2003 season was coming to close was that the two teams
that have the most momentum going into the playoffs period with the chicago cubs and boston red sox. i know the red sox have had a lot of success in recent years but at this time they still have not won a world series since 1918. the cubs, less than, still haven't. still haven't. [laughter] since 1908. so they have like 108 years of collective failure between them. [laughter] it looked as if they were the two teams that were likely to get into the world series. if that happened you could imagine it would be most exciting world series in modern times. one team or other would have to break this drought. and the joy in the winning city would be indescribable. so my friend from the london times who really understood baseball said to me, we've been talking at here at the office and we are think if it has happened to be and the red sox this year, would you cover it? we think it would take an american to explain to a british readership the improbable glory of this particular period of two
teams. would you be willing to go? i've been dreaming of this for my whole life. i'll go for free. you don't have to pay me. [laughter] get me tickets to the ballpark and a hotel in egypt and i'll take care of all threats. in fact, why don't we do it now? i cannot let you change your mind about this. i'm going to get a pen and record this in ink with you on the other end of the phone and she will confirm you are never ever, ever going to renege on this because you would break my heart. do you understand? absolutely. i came back to the phone and opened it to the right page and i made a noise and i can't believe that i can go to the world series this year because it so happens that my daughter is getting married that week. [laughter] and he was quiet for a long time and he said, look, bill, your daughter may get married again. [laughter]
so i didn't get to go to the world series. the cubs and the red sox didn't get into it but he sent me the next year in 2004 when the red sox did break the curse of the bambino. it was the most joyous event in my whole life. outside of children and all the other things that i -- [laughter] and actually it's pretty close to childbirth it was really fantastic. and on that note of happiness, i'm happy to throw the floor open to questions if anyone has any. do they have to come up here? [applause] oh, thank you. >> thank you for writing the book. [inaudible] >> i didn't meet any interesting scientists. [laughter]
really. the whole idea wanted to the book was is going to -- that i was going to go and spent a lot of time with scientists watching them work. that was my initial thought. and so i went out with a few, and i realize very quickly that scientists are really very boring when they are working. they are. almost without exception. a few kind of archaeologists and people go out in the field and do interesting things. a typical scientist said at a computer screen all day silently tapping keys and that kind of thing. and doing discord. i couldn't stand and keep asking the question, what are you doing? what does that equation mean? and anyway, it wouldn't be interesting. it wouldn't translate to anything interesting. i realized quite early on i would have to approach the book and a different way. the whole idea of the book i should perhaps explain i was always terrible in science in school. and yet i thought ought to be some level at which i couldn't engage with science and
scientists. and i was fascinated to know, not just what we know but how do we know what we know. i think that's particularly interesting. how do we know how hot it is on the surface of the sun of whether continents were 350 million years ago. i think it's amazing scientists can figure those things out. my thinking was to go and look over their shoulders while they work. but when they figure them out it's not interesting at all. they are just doing very kind of accountancy like work. wanted to do was read a lot and going to give scientist scientia special when they were not working and they could tell me what it was that there were doing and explain to me why it was that they were interested in their particular field and what it was that fascinated, what drew them to that arcane area. i was a great interest in the. like what made you decide to spend your whole life looking at likins, or your whole life looking at some cluster of stars
in the corner of the universe. they were really ready to lie to do somebody really be genuinely interested. it was a happy expense but had to approach the book in a completely different way from the way i had expected to. >> when you start to hike the ap, was your intent to go the whole way? my youngest son high-tech, and before he went up, a neighbor gave him the book, "a walk in the woods" and he said mom, this is very enjoyable. but he didn't finish. why did you give me this book at? he hiked all the way. >> good for him. that's amazing. >> i wonder if you intended to finish. >> absolutely sincerely intended to finish. we realized pretty early on that we weren't going to make it. [laughter] no. now i can remember very clearly when it was dawning on us that
this is just way beyond us. and the fact is that that's a moment it comes to 90% of people who set off on appalachian trail intend to hike and to end. 90% of them don't make it. most of them get a little further than we did before the realized what utter failures they are. [laughter] so for several days, and i didn't will on in the book, but for several days i was quite gloomy and despondent about this because i thought you know, i have to hike it. i promised publishers that i would deliver a book. in interviews i announced i'm going to be hiking the appalachian trail. so i sort of had publicly committed to doing it. i had a book contract in my back pocket as it were, and so my sense, my personal sense of it was really profound, believe me. and yet, i also realized simultaneously with all of that, i'm not going to do it. i can't do it. it's not the physical side of it, which is hard enough, but
it's really the mental side of it and the idea, can you do this? can you be separated from your family for five months? can you put up with this endless repetition and the kind of just roughing it, going night after night without showers and hot meals and all those types of things. it's really hard. it takes a lot. your son, i'm full of admiration for him and anybody who does the appalachian trail from end to end. whether they wanted all in one stretch or in section hikes. it's an incredible achievement. you can't imagine how far 2200 miles is until you try to walk 2200 miles. [laughter] it was a rilke's appointment to me that i didn't do it, but i'm agonizing over this. what we decided jointly, we are still enjoying walking. we're never going to do the whole thing but we are enjoying it. we don't want to quit. we'll just do what we want to be. we will do the parts we enjoy. if we're doing it hard and for
whatever reason that we don't like it, if we think we have more fun in the smoky mountains or something, we will go on ahead and move elsewhere. we had a fantastic experience as a result. at the point i tried to make in the book was that it's the greatest thing in the world the you can walk the appalachian trail from end to end, but it's also a great thing just to walk it, as much as you can, as much as you want. this is a terrible notion in the trail walking community that is either an all or nothing thing. and i think that's really wrong. if you can do it all, fantastic. if you can't do it all you should still do what you feel like doing. we had a wonderful summer. i can't remember what the mileage was, 800 something. the equivalent of new york to chicago and that seems like a pretty good hike to me. [laughter] i never really apologized to anybody for failing.
i really feel that people who do you feel -- who fail at it shouldn't feel like a failure. you can still succeed and all other kinds of levels. another point i always make in these situations is that you are so lucky in this country, so lucky to have something like the eastern woods. all of you here, it's just north of the city it begins. you can go out there and just experienced a little bit of it. you really onto. even if you're not a great hike or you ought to go out there. the thing that is amazing about the woods along the appalachian trail is it's just like time travel. you are going into a landscape that is completely divorced from modern life very often. you are so far out that often you can't see any signs of modern civilization at all. you're in an assignment that would've been completely familiar to daniel boone or davy crockett or george washington or anybody from the 18th century. early 19th century. that's quite an amazing thing. there's not many landscapes like
that left in the world and you have a right on your doorstep. so it's something that should be valued and it should be utilized. but purely to the extent you are comfortable doing that. [inaudible] [laughter] [inaudible] how did you develop the understanding? >> okay, what i did and wanted him with all my books, and i mean, it's important to distinguish between the and
realist or is is that i'm a reporter. that's all it ever see myself doing. so what i'm doing in my books is i'm saying, seriously, i'm saying, here's what, you know, people have said. so when i was like by the way people talk in 18th century, i'm essentially relying information. this isn't stuff i found out myself. this is the primary line with the scholars, various historians and academics and people like that. this is what they have found. so really i'm doing the same thing i would do if i was doing a newspaper or magazine article. i'm finding out what others have done. what the real brains in the world have done and relying in a way i hope will be acceptable to people. so the answer is, they couldn't call me an authority on things like that because i'm not an authority on things like that. the people they had to call in are the people they do call in or the people of exciting as my sources. sorry to disappoint you at that level.
[laughter] >> the way you wrote it -- [inaudible] spin that was just me fooling you. no. yeah, i mean, you do. i do get acquainted with the topic but not at the level i'm really in a position -- i do always try to hard -- i do really hard to try to make it clear where my sources are coming from. if i don't stated explicitly in the text itself but always try to provide copious footnotes at the end so you can see the sources. for the very reason that almost all these statements are not qualified to make that judgment. all unqualified to be is to say this is what an academic at ucla or a respected historian at princetoprinceto n has said, that kind of thing. thank you. >> first, i would like to thank you for your writings. i've spent many hours reading
and laughing hysterically, especially -- i would like to know and i think we'd all like to know if steven katz is really real? [laughter] spent if he is, if he is, are you still friends speak with yes. he's a real. is the most terrific guy in the world. his name is not steven katz. i gave him kind of the dignity of a pseudonym to hide behind if he wanted to. he has outed himself but if you hunt around on the internet you can find i think a "des moines register" interview he did some years ago. he has publicly confirmed his existence a case not some figment that he came up with for purposes of amusement. it's a person that i probably not more indebted to any human being other than my wife and i am getting. because he was there purely
voluntarily. he went out with me and we had a really, really tough time, particularly at the beginning. not only was it staggeringly hard for us. we were to the out of shape, and hadn't really prepared ourselves for the trail mentally. but also we were really unlucky with the weather when we did it. spring came very late that year. it was really cold. it rained and we were soaked to the skin a lot of the time. it was pretty wretched and got caught in a terrible blizzard. things were not going well at all. and he said to me, at any point, look, i can't -- i'm sorry but i can't do this anymore. this is crazy. i'm really sorry but i've got to go. i'm leaving a. i wouldn't have blamed him at all. couldn't have blamed him at all. but he did neither. is to buy me the whole time. he stay there as a loyal, fast sprinter i am hugely indebted to him. and then when i wrote the book, you know, i portrayed him as this sort of large, difficult,
challenging, lumbering buffoon. because that's what he is. [laughter] i'm joking. he's not. but he was very challenging on the trail and he would be the first to admit that. i had to use them for comic effect. sometimes annualized you really, really desperately need to rely on a funny human beings nature, and katz is one of those. he has remained a good friend. he hasn't held it against me. he was happy to be the butt of a lot of jokes. and you know, these extreme the good-natured about it. i didn't events like this in des moines what he is present and afterwards he assigned a more books than i have. [laughter] so he is a fantastic human being and i can't comment in a, begin to express how much in his that i am. but he was a real hard work out there, too. he really was. everything i write in the book
is absolutely true, believe me. but it was a challenge for both of us. >> about the me over there. sorry. [inaudible] [inaudible] [laughter] >> thank you. [applause] [inaudible] i just want to take a moment and thank you for the hours of enjoyment. >> oh, thank you. [applause] i'm very grateful to you.
that's very kind to our there anymore in the balcony? [laughter] i'm aware that the time is marching on. i don't know what time have to be out there, but perhaps just a couple more questions because it's already five after eight. [inaudible] >> well, i've never wanted to be -- i've never wanted to do one kind of book. i ended up for some years writing a lot of trouble books because i get pigeonholed into that. the books were successful, especially in britain and in the
commonwealth. and so i've strong encouraged to keep doing them and i realized i didn't want to spend a whole lot doing the same kind of book. i think it really is, it's a matter of diminishing returns if you stick with the same kind of book and doing it over and over again but i wanted to different kinds of books. and my publisher was reluctant at the beginning to allow me to try other things. i thought i was crazy when i said i wanted to do a book about science. i was really lucky that that did well. it was pretty well received and it sold well. so that encouraged them to allow me to do other things. now i've gone so far that they can't stop. [laughter] but i do think in a lot of ways they would be happier if i just went and did the same kind of book all the time, indifferent to the kind of books were i go out and get drunk or frightened or right comical episodes about it. i do love to write those kinds of books. i want to keep doing that kind of thing, but i would also like to do things that are slightly more serious that involve
research and trying to gather information. and trying to tell, i find a lot of pleasure in taking things generally perceived as kind of dull and see if you can't make it interesting. perhaps one more on this site. >> i really want to second with a gentleman and the balcony said about the amount of joy that comes through in your book. you talk about running two kinds of books i think your voice is an author o of the joy in some kind of exuberance comes in both of those when i read. i'm wondering in terms of your voice as an author, arthur other journalists or writers that you think have influenced you in that way or you look at inspiration speak with yes, there's lots. there's lots. my dad had a lot of books and they were almost look of the month club hardbacks that he had committed mostly in the '40s and 50s. by the time i got to be about 13 or 14, i can member going into our living room and there were two big bookcases that were
filled with all these hardback books. i knew nothing at all about any of the books, almost none of them did i know anything about. i've been pulling them down at random have no idea what is going to find. that was the most wonderful experience, because it was totally discovered. i had no idea who would house was and i saw my dad had eight or 10 of his of books. this guy is so funny. he's wonderful, all these novels and everything. i really, really love those. besides been through a lot of essays by robert benchley who was almost completely forgotten about hysterically funny essayist who wrote a lot of stuff in "the new yorker" in the '20s and afterwards. and i think my very favorite of all the people i admired the most was -- [inaudible] i think largely forgotten by very, very funny but kind of adequately funding. in terms of making me want to write words that would make people laugh, those are the guys
who did it for me. there were lots and lots of other books by of the people that just sort of opened my eyes to the kind of joy of reading and the idea of what books can take you to places that you wouldn't know otherwise. and that was true of almost all the books my dad had. most was fiction and nonfiction. it was a very challenging but it was ideal for a 13, 14, 15 year old. that kind of sucked into the world of reading and writing, and made me really absolutely made me want to become a writer for, you know, professionally when i grew up. so now that i've just and planted lots of other writers the names in your heads, i said -- i should suggest you buy all those books after you have bought my first. [laughter] on that note let me just say thank you very, very much from -- for making me feel so welcome
here tonight. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays between live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events and had weakened the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with booktv guests and viewers to watch it is and get up-to-date information on events. facebook.com/booktv. >> on our recent visit to helena, booktv -- the lewis and clark companion.
>> i would say that some of the biggest misconceptions about the lewis and clark expedition are that it was just a lark or a big family and intricate part of that is because they had a talk with them. they had an african-american slave with him and they also had a young indian woman. and so that kind of makes you feel like this is just a big large family but actually it was a military expedition. it was sent by thomas jefferson to survey what was outside of what was then the trendy. so they started at st. louis and they went all the way to oregon which at the time was the louisiana purchase basically. the louisiana purchase pretty much stopped where they started getting into the mountains, and that's when they started meeting with tribes that they really didn't know were out the. so they were doing a survey for jefferson, what their mission was.
it would've been 1803-1806 were the years they did the expedition. there were many years in preparation for it, but we go 1803-1826 the use of the expedition. jefferson picked meriwether lewis because he was his private secretary when he was president. lewis at captain clark because they work together during the whiskey rebellion and they become friends and i believe the line that lewis is when he chose clark was i would prefer no one else other than you to cocaptain this expedition with me. although clark never did get the rank of captain at that time, he was always called captain. and lewis insisted he get the same thing when they got back. so in lewis' mind he was a copartner. there was no distinction in rank. their first months, they were trying to make sure that the group they got together, the 30 or so men would be able to be up to the task. so they were really trying to enforce military order to teach
them what they needed to know to get the boat going up the river. they also wanted to make sure that there were no gentleman sons. they wanted him to be fit, single, young man, good hunters. there were some, let's just say, some indiscretions at the beginning. so would involve getting into the whiskey that they -- a broad whiskey with him as part of the rations of the day but at that time the military officers would give little symbol false or as they call them jewels of whiskey to the men. so there was a big storage cake of whiskey and some of the men got into that and that would cause disruption in the ranks. and so they were disciplined them. one of the ways they were disciplined them was have the men to a court-martial and the men would decide who is guilty. so that was another way of getting the men altogether as a unit and saying we will enforce
discipline. one of the things they did was called the gauntlet where they would have the men lined up on either side, have the men shirtless rundown and these men would be whipping them with rods from the rifle or sticks as they went by. another way was lashes well laid on, as they say. but because lewis and clark had firm disciplinary action to kind of counteract that, that was all settled. by the time it took off from st. louis, things were in working order and everybody respected both captains. so the experience in montana was, it was either feast or famine. when they were on the planes and they were around all the bison, they would eat up to nine pounds of meat a day. a lot of people think, those guys must have been huge in that amount of meat but they were burning it off so fast that i think it looked more like runners. their bodies would have been pretty thin. but their experience in montana, and they started getting towards the mountains, towards this
area, and hitting the announcement okay, it's not going to be a as easy as editing even though they were pulling up river, they realized now we've got to transport all the stuff over the mountains in order to find the northwest passage. which people say they never really did find the northwest passage, but they did find the drainage of the columbia and are able to get on the columbia and then proceed onto the ocean. this particular area where we are right now, the gates of the mountains, windless codger it must've been late in the evening because they couldn't and he said everything were a dark and gloomy aspect. it might've been that if it just rained and so the rocks behind it would've looked a lot darker and they were looking for a place to set up camp, but they couldn't really find sufficient grounds space for all the men to set up their tents. they finally, we believe, got on an island that's right in the mouth of the canyon and that's where they're able to stop for the night. we always joke, he came to the
gates of the mountains and it was dark and gloomy aspect, but if you are here today, look, it's a beautiful place and it's gorgeous. once again, they realized there goes all the games. were not going to find nine pounds of meat a day and would have to rely on are indeed friends, our native american friends to help us find the need and find the trail. and that was what both tribes were very incidental and helping them. they met sacajawea in present-day north dakota at a place called the knife river villages which is were they adopted tribes live. and she had been kidnapped from her birth tribe and brought to the villages where she was either traded or bob by a french driver -- bought. she was married to a french travel when lewis and clark came through, and since they were
looking for translators and people to interpret, they looked at him and looked at her as also equals being their interpreters as they traveled up the river. she would have been -- she delivered her son, i think was ever 11th, 1805, and i think he was like three month old when they started out and she carried him on her back the whole way. a lot of people especially comes to having this young native american indian woman with him are unfamiliar with the fact, a lot of times in american history things get condensed down. people are racing she's the one who pointed the way. she brought these white guys. what happened was she was actually along for the journey. and just by her sheer presence the other indian tribes would see her and the baby and they woulreceive the dog and they wod say this is really not a war party. these people are doing something
else. they are not come here to start fights. just by her physical presence she was kind of a token of peace. and then there was a place over by bozeman which identified a path that her people used. she was able to say this is the way we went. captain clark called for my pilot at that point. so there are instances where she recognized landforms and was able to say to the captains, i'm recognizing this. we're in the land of my homeland. i like to say that her intelligence and her worthiness to the expedition was based on the fact that she paid close attention when you're sitting around a campfire with her people and to be talking about we're going to go to where the bison are now and we go by this route that goes by a big rock that looks like a beaver's head. she could have really been almost a cartographer in her own right just because she remembered the stories and
people would travel easily dependent on if it was very taking time or time to go hunt bison. so they moved around according to whether food source would be. and they when she got -- they stay put. they were farmers. and the women raise the cry. she knew a lot about plants from them. that's, her worthiness i think is a lot more complicated than people think. misconceptions around the lewis and clark are that they were friendly the whole time, that they always got along, that they were brothers in arms and they're always united. i think that there were times when lewis really tested the friendship of clark because he was in the moody one. clark was more the glue that held the expedition together. oftentimes lewis would be on the short gathering specimens are walking with his dog and hunting, wes clark is with the men on the boat with the day-to-day orders and keeping
them in proper form. these guys are really working hard, and also sacajawea was working hard. they were trying to move all this equipment, all these votes, basically the whole enlightenment of -- up the river to find the northwest passage. they were trying to do a job that one of the most brilliant leaders in our history have given them, had handpicked basically these people to do it. so they really did not want to let anybody down. i think that added to their cohesiveness. there was maybe one guy who left the expedition. he went awol. but the rest of them, they were relying on each other and they really believed that if the remained a core you know, that they would come home find an they would get that land grant and it would be able to tell all these great stories. the important role that lewis and clark played in u.s. history is taking met and they told
jefferson what was out of. they were the surveyors. they were the ones who took the notes, they gathered the specimens, that tried to keep a list of the languages, the vocabularies of the native americans. they really were scientists, citizen scientist sent out to just get a count of everything that they sell. somethings like i said, the bison, you couldn't even count there were so many of them, but they want to come back and give their journals as a report to jefferson so that he could say, here's what we are going to encounter as our generations fill up the canvas, as he would say. here's what's out there, this amazing wealth of resource. they were the ones that brought it back. they brought the report back that told jefferson yes, that purchase was worth it. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to helena, montana, and the many other cities visited by our local content vehicles, noted
c-span.org/localcontent. >> next, kelly happe on booktv. she talks about her book "the material gene: gender, race, and heredity after the human genome project" after the human genome project in which she discusses the culture and social impacts of genomics. she spoke at the 2013 southern festival of books held annually in nashville, tennessee. this is about one hour. >> my name is trying to. i'm a professor of anthropology at vanderbilt university, and i'm very pleased to introduce to you today professor kelly happe was a professor in the department of communication studies and also in the institute for women's studies at the university of georgia. she has a ph.d and read it with an emphasis in media and cultural studies. from the university of pittsburg.
her areas of interest are contemporary rhetorical theory, cultural studies, feminist studies, social theory and rhetoric of science. today shall be discussing her book here which is "the material gene: gender, race, and heredity after the human genome project." her book explores the cultural and social dimensions of our understanding of genomics. i would like to thank the warren center for the humanities at vanderbilt university and the center for medicin medicine, hed society for sponsoring this session. and without further ado let's welcome kelly happe to talk about her book. [applause] >> thank you so much for being here today. it's an honor to be part of such a wonderful event, and thank you c-span for choosing this session to broadcast. i've been invited here today to talk about it recently published book, "the material gene." the book examines the science of genomics which i defined broadly
as the investigation of the role of heredity and help from the perspective of the humanities. my interest in science began interesting enough when i was pursuing my masters degree in communication studies at baylor university. one of my professors at the time, dr. edwards, had a background in science and one of our seminars mentioned thomas kunz 1962 landmark book the structure of scientific revolutions. in the book, he argues that scientific change unfolds in anything but an orderly self-evident r-value freeway. rather, when paradigms or theoretical worldviews shift as when the rise in quantum physics partially displaced for telling physics it is because a critical mass of scientists in the power through persuasive -- tactics to put in practice a different are competing paradigm.
or worldview of the material world, a paradigm in which they're intellectually, emotionally, even aesthetically invested. kunz the book was a revelation but it opened up to me an entirely new object of study, something i realized then that any scientific body of knowledge is one among a variety of alternatives available to us when modeling, explaining in a dripping the physical and biological world. moreover, within any given scientific field is in the process by which one the reasons from evidence to conclusion is social, as this process is guided by social conventions, particular to the scientific field in question. and carried out according to agreed upon yet the changing social conventions, so, too, must we think of scientists themselves as a body which is to say in cultivated persons
working in institutions, all of which are part of larger social and economic systems. in my own work i look at the language scientist used to describe the research and other scientists, and to some extent to larger more public audiences in order to trace this connection between social values and the process by which scientific knowledge is made. my book specifically was written with the aim of correcting for what i saw as many conceptual historical blind spots in both public and technical discourses about genomics. blind spots that i think could be corrected for by any of genomics as one narrative of the body among many, as a field of knowledge thoroughly social in nature, and as organized around the concept that has been socially and culturally failing us for a large stretch of u.s. history, and that concept being heredity. my talk today is organized around three broad arguments or
themes of the book. first, we need to question the popular narrative of genomics as bearing no traces of its past. now, being concerned solely with advances in medicine and public health. put another way, this is a lesson i learnt from reading thomas kunz book, as was other science studies scholars, that we need to question a certain logic of progress. second, that we need to rethink the very abstract way we tend to talk about genes but my own book, by shifting away from talk of code and information to actual people, persons and their bodies. third, and finally, i argued in the book that we need to correct for the limited frame through which medical ethics can and has addressed the integration of genomics into medicine and public health. so first, what is this connection between eugenics and genomics? as many of you probably know the
eugenics movement in the united states marks the intersection of racism and nativism with the notion of biology as a salvation in the late 19th and early 20th century. key to this was the rediscovered upgrader then tells no -- mindel's work introduced to the nation the notion of recessive traits around reproduction because even if he didn't exhibit certain pathological behaviors you could be carrying recessive genes that you could be passing on unwittingly to your children. during the progressive era, positive eugenics held an effort should be held to propagating desired traits in the 1920s negative eugenics gained in federal traction leading to the passage of reactionary sterilization and immigration laws. for the most part the dominant relationship between eugenics and contemporary genomics is that the former can be neatly circumscribed within a particular historical era, that
of the. roughly between 1900-1930, and that any residual effects of its legacy can be attributed to a few individual scientists who continue to search for the biological inferiority of women, blacks and other minority groups, or even to no that expected parents who want quote unquote designer children. i depart from this ideal by casting eugenics as an early example of heredity capacity to shift public debate away from material and social inequities to the pathologies of particular bodies. during the progressive era, the scientific worldview of eugenics cast of biological science of salvation from the extreme poverty, civil unrest and overall exploitation associate with internationalization. the major consequences of the industrial revolution so the narrative with were really the product of unfit reading. a particular significance was the fact that middle-class consumers of eugenics discourse
could, like their middle-class counterparts in the sciences, espouse a worldview that identified them need with upper-class nor with workers or if poor immigrants but instead, genetic engineering whether positive or negative eugenics could produce better behaved leaders and followers alike. free from party affiliation ideology. although the critique of unfettered capitalism was a defining feature of eugenics of discourse can eugenics nevertheless recuperated the fundamental values of the free market. by shifting attention away from redistribution resources to the technological interventions of science. the eugenics period the market early example while simultaneously taking part in a worldview stripped of any historical sensibility are explicit conscious politics. the case of public health address in depth in chapter five
of my book best example bu of ts kind of shifting focus away from social structures to inherited susceptibility in a contemporary context. got to ask them if i do we need to begin with the current environmental regulatory context. the role of synthetic chemicals industrial manufacturing and agriculture has increased significantly since world war ii and with this increase came the need to test the toxicity. however, most chemicals are not tested for safety before they go into the market in the united states. this is in stark contrast to the situation in the european union which is much more likely to declare safety testing for commercialization. it is within this context that genomics is becoming increasingly important in influencing the thinking of environmental sciences, agency directors and other thought leaders in the field of environmental and public health policy. broadly speaking, a turn to genomics has been monitored largely by the observation that
even under similar environmental conditions some people get sick when others do not. so the thinking is that some people are simply genetically susceptible to the toxins they confront and that they're exposed to in their environment. this is sometimes called the gene environment model of disease which in theory is a good thing, but in practice it seems as though it is almost always genes that are privileged whether explanatory power and the sabbath and a couple ways that i talk about. first is that genomics introduces a different spatial dimension to risk. moving from environmental context of the body to the body itself. it also introduces secondly a different temporal dimension into force of the genetic test contesting someone's -- someone for -- directing attention away from a person's history or future of exposures. the spatial and temporal dimensions of environmental genomics together cast mutations
as privileged site of knowledge, casting doubt on the necessity of understanding the histories of embodied experience of the natural and social environment, or the need to focus on the public exposure regardless of whether or not the exact real-time biological effects can be ascertained. environmental genomics assumes that pollution is an inevitable feature of modern life, a naturalized feature that has no history, no politics, no thinkable solutions. indeed, it ceases to be thought of as pollution at all but instead inherited genetic mutation becomes the polluting agents. this means that only genetically susceptible people in theory can and should be protected, that genetic mutations are the only source of meaningful actionable knowledge and that it is the individual ultimately takes personal responsibility for his or her own health. and, finally, that regulation in
its current form is inefficient at best and counterproductive at worst. an example in the case of breast cancer, environmental models investigate different types of exposure in different parts of the country and investigate different routes of exposures. one possible connection that keeps emerging is the link between what are called organochlorine chemicals and breast cancer risk. these chemicals include the now banned pesticide ddt. this kind of model directs our attention to the history, a little economy and social nature of exposures, and argument thinks about ways to prevent future exposures from occurring. by comparison, the growing field of repaired gene research, which is the investigation of the genetic mechanism whereby the body can repair environmentally induced damage, shifts attention to women's bodies, themselves
hierarchically ordered into different sorts of risk category. the actual exposures seemed much less important than how the body processes them. and this to my mind is a significant we making a public health practice. exposures themselves now on the meaningful in light of the various susceptibilities genotypes into which women are placed, the rationale for managing exposures is based on whether and to what extent genetically susceptible interests are part of the population to be protected. this shift in perspective opens up the consideration what ought to be settled debate about environmental regulations. so, for example, in the 2005 study on lead in children, the authors describe how public health technologies can be combined with what they say is knowledge of race-based genetic
variants to target certain areas for screening. this study essentially reopened the debate as to whether lead testing and abatement should be standard public health practice for all children in all areas of the country. this thing is what i see as a legacy of eugenics that were in contempt genomics, especially the developing field of environmental genomics. shift and attention away from the world in which people live, a world that can be changed for the benefit of all, to the bodies of individuals, bodies marked with inborn traits. and this brings me to the second brought purpose of the book which is to rethink the very abstract way we tend to talk about genes. indeed, as my example of lead and gene environment interaction shows, it is important to note that while genomics attention to the individual is important, because it signals what might be
called a personalized, privatize approach to the regulation of hazardous materials, this doesn't capture the entire picture. public health, after all, is cast to protecting groups of people, populations of people. but population in genomics often end up meaning race, or ethnicity or now those me with the human genome project may recall that francis collins when they announced the completion of the human genome project said with much fanfare and president clinton very were on 99%, 99.9% the same. but that 0.1% variation is what has actually garnered the interest of researchers after the human genome project. so the example of the so-called bracket genes is really a lesser do this. we all inherit the so-called bracket genes. most of us inherit to working
copies, also known as -- of both gene for a small percentage of us do not. for those who do not there is cancer increases. if a woman inherits only one good working copy, if that one working copy stops functioning properly, cancer develops. since researchers and medical practitioners began testing for mutation in the mid 1990s, many if not hundreds have been documented a lot of times specific to one family. but soon after gene testing started researchers found a mutation among women who are not related. they were, however, -- that's what i call the population turn in bracco research. shortly after this academic and women became a group of interest and for two reasons. first was the argument that well, because asia african
ancestors, theoretically possible that we might find one of these brca negations that is common to this group of women and this would justify targeted screening of them. second, there's growing interest by epidemiologist and health disparities and the discipline black and white women and breast cancer incidence and mortality. why would geneticists think that change would explain these disparities? they believe they can sense an early age diagnosis is a marker of hereditary disposition. now, since epidemiologist have argued a black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, the question that arises, might this statistical curiosity be explained by way of genes? nevertheless despite the role of ancestry what emerges is the language of race, the persistent
understanding of race as both continent of origin and a group of persons for whom certain biological identifiers are present an exclusive to all members. this language of race, even when the word race isn't used, racialized is black women who have are thought to have mutations in brca genes which is to say in verse the cost of a biologically definable group. this unintentional racial station happens in a couple of ways that talk about, and this is what i call tumors as the new material of race. brca research has not it resulted in the identification and mutation that would justify targeting african-american women are genetics this is a really testing. nevertheless, researchers have discovered a novel way of rethinking this, and that is through the similarity of breast cancer itself in
african-american and west african women. breast cancer, in other words, has become an observable phenotype of an underlying suspecting, suspected genotype. breast tumors as an expression of underlying genetic makeup is possible because of the sheer difference that justifies a hypothesis to help discourage the phenomena. that is to say, the way in which black and white u.s. women differ is the same way in which black and white women in africa differ. namely, in the age in which they are typically diagnosed, the type of breast cancer they are diagnosed with. the studies that compare u.s. women of african descent and african women abroad allow for the possibility then that african and african-american women are biologically definable populations, even if actual genes aren't genetic mutations are identified. the consequence of this
comparison is that by grouping africans and african-americans together in order to understand black why the differences, geneticists are by default privileging the african ancestry of black women. now, better illustrate a plight is unique and significant development, consider for the purposes of comparison the way in which researchers talk about cancer susceptibility in white women. now, according to the epidemiological data cited by brca researchers, compared to black women white women in the united states are more likely to get breast cancer except for women under the age of 30, are less likely to die from breast cancer, and are more likely to be diagnosed with less aggressive, more treatable tumors. arguably, this type of epidemiological profile would suggest that ancestry might explain these breast cancers, in this case european breast cancer but white women are not described in this manner to my knowledge the words white and pink asian have never appeared
in a brca research article as there's been no attempt to explain white or caucasian breast cancer. no studies exist the racially great white women in the united states and white women in europe. rather, we have studies on population-based mutations linking women within or a cross particular nationstate. the second and related way in which brca research racialized blacblack woman is in a way thae phenomena of genetics diversity is marshaled in this particular research area. this of course is a paradox because there are two notable ways in which genetic diversity has been used to reject the notion of race. first is the well-known claim that most genetic diversity is found within traditional racial groupings, not between them. second is the publicity surrounding human genome project that i already talked about,
that we're all basically genetically the same. now, the range of all the diverse brca variants as well as the novelty has not disproved anachronistic meanings of race, so much has provided new evidence for it. as the data about brca diversity has speculated, the language of the unique and distinct genetic profile of black u.s. women has characterized this research. so, for example, researchers used words such as there's a diverse spectrum of trying to mutations that are unique to blacks of african descent, or there's a spectrum of mutations in the brca genes with absurd and african-americans that is vastly different than what we observed in individuals of european descent. want to talk about distinct mutations in variations, not reported in caucasians. diversity than, genetic diversity, is a phenomena that
historically suggests the impossibility of race, yet in contemporary context seem to call it for. in terms of medicine confusing race and ancestry could be potentially devastating for practice to some scholars have criticized racial profiling patients on the ground that it privileges african ancestry at the expense of more medically sound, comprehensive assessmen assessments. but it's also important to consider that in a larger social context in which scientists and the lay public alike us to believe in a biological basis for race, even if implicitly, that the use of the words like unique and distinct matter as they validate popular and scientific assumptions of biological difference. racial categorizations is not the same as racism but racial categorization never happens without also producing racial
to compensate for the limited freedoms of medical ethics, address the integration in the medicine of public health. before women submit to genetic tests, have genetic counseling, before she's given a test to determine whether she is a candidate for it, and what the test is going to mean. available to a woman who tested positive for a genetic mutation or some other gene. the decisionmaking is limited by the nature of the information. who told us she is a risk for cancer. and something can be overcome is an inevitable feature of risk.
and social knowledge. even larger and more profound conceptual questions, how the meaning of healthy and diseased undergone fundamental transformation with the advent of genetic testing, what does it mean to ask congress? is risk the disease? consider for a moment, the problem with this scenario, the ads in a genetic testing women elected have their breasts removed and this is more radical than women with breast cancer. and addressing ovarian cancer, worked through something that has to be understood on the conceptual transformation. and also how we think about risk, cultural values and
gender. and preventive bracketing, and considerable news coverage this past summer with angelina jolie went public with the fact she had undergone a double mastectomy after testing positive, and she was considering and planning on ovaries removed as well because the bracket genes and ovarian cancer. and increases risk of ovarian cancer and this isn't talked about as much in public. ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest gynecological cancers and because it is so deadly women thought to be at risk elected to have their ovaries removed before we had a genetic
test for genes. although well-designed studies, and these studies, the risk for ovarian cancer is reduced, and what these offered was a shift in language from cautious suggestion to emphatic urging or to put another way shift from probability. and prior to the genetic revolution, thought to have a 50% chance of getting a disease. the mutation carrier lives with risk as high as 60% or as low as 10%. and the new asian carrier is a
given. and the recommendations or guidelines that i studied. and it carries risks normally associated with major surgery. it doesn't completely eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer, counterintuitive, some women are diagnosed after words, closely linked to ovarian cancer. and third, surgically induced menopause is related to increased risk for other diseases like heart disease. beginning in 2005 there has been a debate within the gynecological community about the increased risk, performing the surgery is on women. these risks can be compensated
for by taking hormone replacement therapy. the relationship between hormone replacement therapy and heart disease is spotty and known to increase breast cancer risk. this was something she cannot take lightly. it is not the case the health benefits of intact ovaries are completely ignored by researchers nevertheless the treatment decision calculus' presented in studies, and the benefits of cancer. the short and long-term side effects take on relative unimportance. and reducing cancer risk seemingly at any cost. win cancer research dismiss the importance of the ovaries they presume ovaries enable procreation but nothing else beneficial more productive, ovaries are dispensable for
those who need or want them for purposes, symbolic reduction of ovaries to their reproductive function. the symbolic reduction means the one exception for not undergoing it is biological mother hood. for women at risk for ovarian cancer the politics of reproduction in a language of prevention, in perpetuity. recommendations of this surgery advised that it occurred after childbearing is complete. this mother exception satisfies ethical principles medical technologies respect in their interests. motherhood appears to be the only exception to the norm. there seems to be no other acceptable reason for postponing or avoiding altogether. the language of timing moreover determines whether a woman can
in fact exercise the motherhood as as an exceptional state by employing conventional accepted gender norms. if the one contemplates postponing beyond the age of 35, position will consult medical literature that has already determined such a risk to be unacceptable. early motherhood is necessary in order to reap the benefits of prophylactic surgery. there are many reasons to delayed childbearing, including but not limited to pursuing education, financial security, with her or not this making, has psychological costs described by the book backlash. and certain diagnosis of a certain deadly disease. it can be understood without
placing it in a larger historical context so what i did was i decided to read and construct my own historical narrative of the ovary. of fascinating history in terms of its symbolic importance and how it was tied up with the development of gynecology and surgery, surgical practicing in the united states. early practitioners of over removal in the nineteenth century drew connections between women's reproductive organs and their nature and secure for gynecology in a lofty debate for gender roles. the term normal of was clint, to treat disorders not affecting the ovaries directly. the surgery is popular in the united states and europe, fort conditions including but by no means limited to minstrel
madness, hysterical vomiting, and for some surgeons all are linked to the ovaries. 4 normal -- one manifestation of the general belief that reproductive organs were central not only to a woman's identity but her physical and mental health broadly defined, importantly viewed as security and stability of the nation. eventually normal -- was discredited but ovarian cancer prevention provided a new rationale for the procedure, this turn of the events to the 1930s. today approximately 300,000 surgeries are performed in the united states alone each year and most of these are reducing risk for ovarian cancer, hence
the debate fairly recently in the last ten years or so of whether the removal of healthy organs that this type of rate is justified or needs to be rethought. but not being debated for 5 is women at genetic risk. a new category of exception and rationale for this procedure. everything i said has to be further qualified taking into account the racially stratified society in which women live. one is struck by the apparent contradiction between privileging of young motherhood in cancer prevention language on the one hand and a pat apologizing of the same and indeed of motherhood in general for african-american women within a larger culture. early 20th century disease, like women's organs was possible because of the belief the exercise of their rights compromise reproductive capacity
and pose a threat to the social order. in contrast in the case of black women it was such threats that had been a presumed hypersexual out of your fertility. what ever the relationship to this differential cultural imperative to reproduce the importance of fertility has never been in doubt. as scholars dorothy roberts and ricky sallinger have documented policymakers and public intellectuals of all political persuasions have all too often directed their ire towards black women rather than institutional racism when trying to explain phenomena such as poverty and crime. what result in a differential practices for hysterectomy and sterilization along the axis of race. in the history of sterilization there is this out, i don't know if it is act anymore given the
recent evidence of illegal sterilization in california prisons. so when the ovaries of black women symbolize reproductive capacity they are targeted for removal. when they impose threats to life they are no longer seen as object of radical intervention. in the case of ovarian cancer, gynecological cancer in general, differences between black and white women and mortality are explained by the fact that african-american women are more likely than white women to be diagnosed at an advanced age of the disease and less likely to get radical treatments. this for me basically leaves more questions than it answers but it seems as genetics madison unfolds especially regarding women and raise it is unclear how genetic testing will translate into beneficial health
affirming for african-american women. it might be the case that they are part of the -- or the way racism plays out in medicine are going to avoid the problems associated with prophylactic -- so to briefly conclude, what my book has sought to demonstrate his ideologies of race, gender and heredity inevitably find their way into thinking and research practices of scientists and physicians in the field of genetics, embedded assumptions about race, gender, heredity play a role in the language researchers use about what we normally considered to be just the factual nature of the biological body, how we come to understand concepts such as health and disease and recommendations on treatment and prevention in medical and public health context. second, because of the historical role of the language of heredity in our culture we must also consider the influence
contemporary janelle max has on public discussion of gender, race and health. as the environmental breast cancer movement struggles to bring awareness to the lengths the physicist's environment and disease and environmental justice movement continues its fight to bring awareness to the connection between pollution and health disparities, mixing slow violence, it matters for genentech's research, and the implicit suggestion that women and african-americans succumb to disease it is because of biological difference. thank you very much. [applause] >> kelly happe will be signing books at the signing plaza and outside after this session and we will take any questions.
and please also remember when you have a question go to the microphone in the back of the room. >> thank you. that was a wonderful paper, very dense. i was really interested in the partner -- i was interested in your whole paper but my question is about the part of your paper where you talked about the way that there are different stories told about african-american women who have the gene and caucasian or white women, but you started that story by talking about the prevalence among a ashkenazy women. i wonder if you can talk about whether ancestry is the main troop in that story because of
ashkenazy women are now considered to be white and they weren't in no early 20th century. there is a wonderfully complicated story i would love to hear you stretch out a little bit. >> it was discussed in terms of ancestry, and interestingly enough, women of different ethnic groups test positive for these costs canady nutations which allowed researchers construct an interesting women all over the world which is to say thinking about them in terms of population, the unacknowledged of canady
ancestry. [inaudible] >> mutations were initially described by doing an analysis leftover and that caused a lot of confusion because when those results were published it was reported and understood to be evidence that jewish women were at greater risk for breast cancer. that is not what we are saying. we are saying this particular mutation we are seeing statistically significant number of tissue samples. later we would do research connecting mutations to actual breast cancer risk. jewish religion has long be a list of a risk factor -- factor
for breast cancer. early risk literature and breast cancer, religion, particular in the jewish religion is a risk factor so initially when the braque the research started it was seen as evidence for that. the language wasn't quite pull language of ancestry as much ethnicity. a lot of confusion in the early years of braque a research. more questions? >> this sounds like another variation of blaming the victim
and so it is the victim's fault, you don't have to do much about it. i wonder if you could talk about this for mohels policy perspective, right now what is going on in terms of health policy in this issue. >> what i was initially concerned was -- has been the status, environmental health policy, public health policy, and my early research in breast cancer was looking at activism around the environment particularly in the new york area. that early research was there is a lot of activism around why is it so many women are being diagnosed with breast cancer? it is not explained. if you take all the risk factors we know about it doesn't explain relief even half of the breast
cancer cases so there's a lot of activism around the country especially in new york trying to draw connections between lived environment and breast cancer rate and that led to a lot of research in this area. part of the difficulty is we tend to not want to update environmental regulations in order to make environment safer and approach breast cancer as a public health issue as opposed to medical issue about a woman, individual risk that she lives with and negotiates in conversation with her physician and so there's public health policy and the debate seems to be whether or not breast cancer is a public health issue or what
we mean by that so there are great organizations doing good work around this area like breast cancer action in san francisco and breast cancer funds, really trying to deradicalize it in some ways, thinking of it as a problem with the history of the use of toxic chemicals in industry and agriculture. >> thank you. i want to introduce an idea i heard that another panel yesterday. yesterday we heard alexander stern talk about the history of genetic counseling as a field and you mentioned the role or the place for genetic counseling with somebody to be tested with one of the breast cancer teams and the wonder if you could tell
us all little more about that part of your research, the language of genetic john bling. particularly because what we learned yesterday was the rush to commercialize car test kits. >> director consumer genetic testing seems to be an industry in flux. we never had comprehensive genetic counseling, >> one of the reasons it was problematic that genetic testing
was talked about in a way it was this summer with publicity around angelina jolie because she was situated herself as a role model, emphatically urging women to get this test even though they are not likely to get the genetic counseling they need in order to decide whether to undergo the tests or not. there is a sense that this information is knowledge and am powering. but this confuseds, doesn't really speak to how difficulties, the decision how to interpret the information and whether to act on it can be and this is one of the reasons i bring up the test tells you in terms of percentage of what risk
you have, maybe 2%, maybe 70% and you have to weigh that against surgery and boveri removal and the risk of heart disease. in this end, it is what one's that tells us to do. if you are more afraid of cancer and heart disease that may be a cultural social phenomenon but a very real one. even in the best scenario of genetic counseling, genetic counselor would never be able to completely overcome the problems of how in the world a woman is supposed to decide what sort of risks to live with. doesn't seem to me particularly am powering at all. the other thing that was misleading about the way
angelina jolie was talking about this was the -- i eliminated the risk for cancer and i can tell my children i will never get cancer and i don't know how anyone could say that and so you don't get that kind of certainty even if you elective have these preventive surgery's. there's a lot of debate in the year 90s whether to commercialize the test. early researchers just wanted to keep the testing within research settings but they were not able to control that. now that the patent has been lost it is a lot cheaper now and might very well become more common. >> last question. >> thank you so much for the stock. i was wondering if you could say
a few words about what sorts of conversations you have had with clinician's or policymakers in terms of talking about ideas of bias, how you bring the language in to those conversations. >> that is difficult to save the least. i haven't had any of those conversations as i would have liked. most of my conversations have been with scientists at the national human genome research institute and morris brody thinks that this is a problem
with how information gets translated in public health settings and so that is where ethics come back into play. one of the things that i try to do in my own work is think about even at the level of basic research, basic ideas from the general culture work their way into the knowledge claims researchers make. i tried the best i can to draw attention to researchers about the way in which they can never isolate the lab and keep it completely free in the culture. i think that once you get into a clinical setting it becomes more difficult to introduce these sorts of questions because -- it
gives lectures on medical ethics to students at the university of georgia, and there you have a woman in your office and demanded a genetic test, they want to know what do i do? and so people much better trained, how you would bring in questions of social justice and economics into these kinds of settings. i am not sure that clinicians want to hear what i have to say but i am ok with that. i think one of the benefits of being in a position looking at this from the perspective, i can look at the big picture and keep certain questions on the table. i can and retain whether or not
we should have genetic testing, not just how you administer a genetic test. to some extent because i come at this from the perspective of humanities, unable to ask questions that social scientists and epidemiologists ask as well. and so we will see. the book has been out since may so we will see what kind of reception it gets. i wrote it in a way that would be accessible and invite discussion for clinicians and policymakers but importantly i look for a more general public audience who might be confronted with these technologies or even just needs to understand and situate general makes engine genomics medicine for a larger
♪ >> welcome to helena, montana on booktv, known for its rich mining history, helena is the seat of lewis and clark county located at the foothills of the montana rockies. with the help of our charter communications partners, for the next 90 minutes we explore the history of the region with local authors beginning with richard manning on the history of agriculture and its effect on society. >> agriculture was a double's bargain. we began by domesticating wheat it. we always talk about it but the fact is we domesticated us in some ways and gave up the freedom to wonder and hunt and gather as we had done for 50,000 years. that may be better or worse than agriculture in some ways and we cannot give that is a value judgment but evolution made us
to be that way and we surrounded the conditions we have all surrendered. people still argue a lot about how agriculture happened. the classic story is we ran out of game, became over populated. there were too many people. was the only way to feed ourselves a one guy will come back and said i will invent agriculture. that is one story. another is disturbances by living together, the disturbance in the soil, people contacting the soil, walking around villages, we'd started growing and we started eating those. but it happened and it happened in five different places on the planet at least independently so in some ways it was inevitable because it happened independently in so many ways but once that happened and people started reading greens, became highly independent on
that grain and highly dependent on city living. and we got domesticated like our livestock. domestication incurred 5 different places on the planet and each of those had a different crop. that was the basis of that. in the middle east was wheat. we domesticated week from wild grass that grew there, predecessor in an area that is now iraq oddly enough's. in asia there were two separate domestications of rice and rice became the foundation and the analog for wheat, it served domestically in the middle east for some deal. there was a separate domestication of rice in africa that we know about in the new world in north america and south america, corn and squash and beans were domesticated in north america and south america two groups, potatoes essentially. those are the main line crops, five crops account for 73% of human nutrition today.
the affect of agriculture on people was much like domestication of other animals. we started moving a lot less because we were sedentary. we live in cities. we were able to store grain and because we could store grain that was well because there was well, there was poverty, there was hierarchy, there were leaders, there were people in control which we never experienced before, institutions like churches and government which never existed before and those things served to organize society and regiments society in ways that we could continue to produce our food. the main thrust of agriculture in the environment was there from the beginning. we tend to think of agriculture today as industrial agriculture and somehow that is different than what we have been doing for 10,000 years but the principle is exactly the same. we are not doing all that much different.
the plants we do we are biological freaks. and you will grasses which are very rare in nature, nature preachers perennials and because they are and you wills they are there for a special purpose, to colonize areas after a fire, after a flood, after a real disaster occurred. something that resets the biological clock to zero. what we do when we do agriculture is mimic that disaster. we create disaster. that disaster is what allows those annuals to grow. so we reduce the biological clock again to zero and requires energy and fertilizer and a number of other things to sustain that disaster year after year. that is farming. the change we call industrial agriculture really occurred beginning in 1940, 1930, began
in the united states and there was almost an intensification, not more than almost, a serious intensification of what had gone on before. a number of things made it possible. the biggest of those, very simple, short plants. breeders were able to make we especially but also rice to grow much shorter so it invests more energy into seat. at the same time hit would have sustained heavy doses of chemical fertilizers. those two things together caused really where what we call the green revolution around the rest of the world. it was a green revolution, very much a revolution in agriculture but we can read that revolution by what is required which was a very rapidly intensification of the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. both of those and also irrigation water.
these things came together to very much intensify the impact of agriculture on the environment. one of the results of the green revolution also is the economy of scale so it became more efficient to grow on large scale, smart fought dubdadash small farms went away. typically a farm in the midwest would be a couple hundred acres in montana, 500, 600. that is more than double now. a typical farm in montana is 3,000 acres. three thousand acres generally employed one person. one person raise a crop of wheat
from it. us income is based on the subsidy system that has been since world war ii. it was designed with the best of intentions by a very progressive government that wanted to make farming less financially hard on the people who did it. the subsidy system has grown to the point that corporations take advantage of it and live off of that subsidy more than anything else. we can say how profitable farming the land is. we can say all profitable farming the government is. in montana for instance to use one example one county was profiled, an entire county of farmers.
every farmer was accepting subsidies. the average subsidy payments was $30,000 a year. that was the profits of the farm. politically the agriculture industry has a very interesting problem especially with declining number of people on the land. we are seeing farmers at 1% of the american population, how can they be politically significant at only 1%? the answer is the lobby is good at multiplying the couple of effects. one of those is the warm spot in our heart we have for farmers. there's a great myth at the foundation of the country that farmers are good people. i am not disputing that at all and that plays out for a lot. even more so in years past, agriculture is big business and it is not just about farmers but
fertilizer salesman, processors, the food industry, about making tractors, all those things come together in a much larger business and an alliance with those other businesses farmers multiplied their power and become very powerful. all of that has to do with the industrial side of agriculture so those who are trying to escape the industrial system don't have that because they don't have industrial allies, the industrialized system has momentum of its own. the political power of farming has to do with public knowledge and what goes on with the system itself and the knowledge of the raw politics of farming are pretty scans. people don't understand exactly how the food is produced. they would be outraged more than
they already are. what they do understand is the quality of their food. during the last 10 or 15 years since i have been covering this issue and thinking about this issue there has been a groundswell of public awareness under the quality of food. that is really a good thing. a selfish thing in some ways that that is fine because people begin their awareness of what they eat every day and at some point the industrial agriculture food they are buying at the supermarket is harming them is not very good. is not pleasant to eat and food is supposed to be pleasure. brian distending that and beginning the process and understanding health and how our health is affected by food, what is more important than our food? people are becoming aware and attaching to these other issues and demanding something better from the agricultural system. i used to talk about change in the agricultural movement and or
15 years ago as a hypothetical. this could happen and things like farmers markets in every town or beef available in the supermarket. ten years ago, that is not long ago those things were a dream and the industrialized people were saying no, the american consumer will never accept this. the american consumer has. and go to the farmers' market in our town. it happens in big cities like new york, san francisco, los angeles, it happens in little towns like helena, montana. we have farmers markets. that is a really healthy step. we have many networks springing up of farms to consumers, direct marketing going on. i can by half a beef of here in helena, montana. n and he shows me the exact
conditions that created that meat. that is important to me. that wasn't possible ten years ago. agriculture took notice of the change that happened in ten years and the biggest response has been to call what it. we have green labeling and green marketing going on. this is a natural product and so forth and stretching the bounds of your imagination, but nevertheless, that is a backhanded compliment in some ways. the industry recognize the real power from change. it is pretty easy to expose that stuff at the same time and say here is the real deal where you ought to be going. that strategy is pre easy to
defeat. behind-the-scenes industrial agriculture, so price to preserve the status quo still argues if we have to raise wheat and taken all to sugar and in the end that is a powerful force, the addictive power of sugar. when people read my book i hope they understand the complexity of this as a problem. we are almost evolve to to be absolutist about food and understand food in a very narrow perspective. i don't like this, i like this. food fetishes abound. we are fetishistic about food. i hope that is not what they do. i hope people respond and say this is interesting, but still at the same time understand the broader implications and also understand that food is wrapped up in our humanity, who we are and how we commune with each other in many ways. i hate to see people give that
up and to be so moralistic about food that they fail to understand that this is how we come together and this is how we enjoy life with food and with a few minor investments we can enjoy life again with our food. >> u.s. army veteran david abrams recalled his experiences in iraq as a military journalist during booktv's recent trip to helena, montana. described his time in baghdad in 2005. >> a soldier, fobbit spends his time at the operating base and these are our installations in iraq and afghanistan and the term "fobbit," they don't like to go outside their shire. they are kind of cowardly and afraid of going into the big world.
likewise a soldier who is the fobbit kind of busies himself with paperwork to avoid the hazards of danger outside the wire. lot of people when they think of combat or when they think of war think of your average combat armed soldiers who is out there firing a weapon, a rifle, mortar or whenever, basic field artillery. that is the stereotypical image people bring to mind. they don't think of somebody sitting at a desk or somebody working in a dining facility or somebody working in a motor pool working on an engine but all of those parts go into the hole. so that is one of the reasons i decided to write about the fobbit experience. this sort of if you were to take
your average office cubicle, your average office cubicle out of any corporate america office and put it into a war zone that is what i tried to recreate. my military background is i joined the army, active duty in 1988 as a journalist and spent my entire time in the army working in public affairs, i worked with the me and various audiences, the internal audience, soldiers and communities. i went to baghdad in 2005 with the third infantry division out of georgia and i spent about a year there in country. when i first landed in iraq it was hot and kind of beige color like most soldiers would see. the most interesting thing i saw when i got to baghdad, a soldier took me to the place where i would be working and i expected,
not that i would be working under a hail of bullets or anything like that but i expected more spartan conditions. he took me into the office and it turned out to be just fought maze of cubicles, air-conditioning, fresen lighting, somebody grinding beams to the side, people passing around, working on power point presentations. that was an eye opener for me. when i got there that was going to be my battlefield for the next year. in early 2005 the iraqi people were holding their first elections not under saddam hussein. we had removed him from power and they were having their first elections to vote on their constitution. later in the year they actually elected their first president. so there's a lot of change, a lot of turmoil, lot of unrest. people didn't know what to expect from the future and we were right there in the middle
of it. my job with the third infantry division. was i was a public affairs and ceo for the third infantry division which meant i worked with the media. i sent out press releases, spent most of the day typing press releases answering calls from the media, from good folks like you and nbc news and the new york times. i was the to the alarm spokesperson when i was there so i was helping to tell the army's story to the folks back here. the kind of information and media was looking for was to confirm any information about the incidents that went down. if there was a roadside bomb that went off and there were casualties, they wanted to know how many and the circumstances and who was killed, things like that. and just wanted to, they wanted to know the latest news on some of our various projects we were
doing like the sewer or the water or electricity, all those projects we were working on the media was hungry to know those stories as well. there were a couple situations where i couldn't give the full story to the media and if so, that was strictly in the name of operational security. for instance one time we had a helicopter make a hard landing. it didn't crash, didn't fall flaming from the sky that may hard landing and so we weren't able to tell the media much about at the time because obviously we didn't want the enemy to know our weakness and we didn't want them to know where it was so we had to be kind of cagey about information about that at times. i was able to leave the base but really didn't wheelbase. i only left camp liberty once. that was a week after i arrived.
we doing what we would call a dog and pony show. that means like a big ceremony, a lot of pond and circumstance, okay. so we're doing one of those kind of media events at saddam hussein's old military parade ground and i was a sent out to set up a cordon for the media. i arrived on a blackhawk helicopter, landed, set up the chairs, we had the ceremony, it took less than 15 minutes. there were no bombs or mortars that came in and we packed up, folded up the chairs and i left on the black hawk helicopter, all was said and done in five hours and that is the last i saw of the real baghdad. the rest of the time i spent -- i lived in a little bit of a cocoon, and information cocoon, but i was also at the same time
kind of at the heart of the information hub because i worked in the task force headquarters so we have a lot of information flowing in at various levels of classification, classified top-secret and so on so i was right there. i got a lot of information. i didn't know what was going on outside the wire as we call it, but i never experienced what it was like to be out there on the streets patrolling day in and day out like a lot of my colleagues did. i was sheltered within my the 0 air-conditioned cubicle. my relationship with other soldiers i think was good but at the same time i was a fobbit and i was living the comfortable life and when you see these combat soldiers come into the chow hall and they have got guts and the blood and lead and they have been through some really
bad times out there in the last couple of hours and you have been sitting in your air-conditioned cubicle leading a candy bar or whenever there's obviously going to be a little bit of a disconnect between those two tribes if you will so yes i think overall we all did our jobs and we got along. i left baghdad in december of 2005 so when it came time for me to write the book i had a choice. i could do a memoir which a lot of people have done and done very well, or i could go with my gut instinct and turn up the juice, make a little bit larger than life, make a lot larger than life and turn it into a novel. when i went over there i would probably be writing about the war but i didn't know what would come of it. it could be a short story. could be a play, could be a poem for a novel and certainly when i
started writing "fobbit" i didn't know it would be a comic novel. i was getting out some things that i experienced and along the way gradually the humor worked its way in. i had a choice. i could stick with the facts can do would be kind of a boring book, who wants to read about a guy sitting at his desk typing at a computer 14 hours a day and not doing much else, or i could make it a little bit more exciting than double more comical and a little more tragic because when i'm writing fiction allows me to really go outside myself, and it allows me to have more freedom to tell the story that i really want to tell. >> on our recent visit to helena booktv talk with stephanie
ambrose tubbs described lewis and clark's expedition through montana. turbo is "the lewis and clark companion: an encyclopedic guide to the voyage of discovery". >> i would say some of the biggest misconception about the lewis and clark expedition i that was just a lark or a big family camping trip. part of that is because they had a dog with them, an african-american slave with a man they also had a young indian woman and that makes you feel like this is just a big large family but it was a military expedition and it was sent by thomas jefferson to survey outside of what was then the united states of a started at st. louis and went to astoria, ore. which at that time was the louisiana purchase and the louisiana purchase pretty much stopped where they started getting into the mountains and that is when they started meeting with tribes they didn't know were out there so they were
doing a survey for jefferson, with their mission was. would have been gino 3-1806 were the years they did the expedition. there were many years in preparation for it but we call late in a 3-1806 the years of the expedition. jefferson picked meriwether lewis because he was his private secretary when he was president and lewis picked captain clark because they had worked together during the whiskey rebellion and had become friends and i believe the line that lewis used when he chose clark was i would prefer no one else other than you to cocaptain this expedition with me and also clark never did get the rank of captain at that time he was always called capt. and lewis insisted he get the same pay when they got back so in lewis's mind he was the co partner. there was no distinction in rank. their first months they were trying to make sure the group they got together, of 30 or so men would be able to be a task.
they were trying to enforce military order, to teach them what they needed to know to get going up the river, they wanted to make sure there were no gentleman's sons, they wanted them to be fit, single, young men, good hunters, there were some indiscretions in the beginning. some involve getting into the whiskey. they brought whiskey with them as part of the rations of the day. it that time military officers would give whittle thimblefuls, they would call and gills of whiskey to the men. so there was a big storage cake of whiskey and some of the men got into that and that would cause disruption in the ranks. and they would discipline the man's one of the ways that would discipline them was have the men to a court martial and the men would decide who was guilty so that was another way of getting
the men together is a unit and saying we will enforce discipline and one of the things they did was called the gauntlet where they would have the men line up on either side, have men shirtless run down and these men would be whipping them with rods from their rifle or stick. and others were well weight on. but because lewis and clark had firm disciplinary action to counteract that, that was all settled. by the time they took off from st. louis things were in working order and everybody respected both captains. in montana it was feast or famine. when they were on the plains around the bison they would be nine lbs. of meat day. a lot of people think those guys must have been huge eating that amount of meat that they were burning off so fast i think they looked more like runners. their bodies would have been
pretty thin but their experience in montana started getting towards the mountains, towards this ariane and that meant it is not going to be as easy as it had been even though they were pulling up river. they have to transport all the stuff out of the mountains in order to find that northwest passage. .. an island it is gh