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tv   2013 Miami Book Fair  CSPAN  November 23, 2013 10:00am-6:01pm EST

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it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2013 book fair international. we are grateful for the support of american airlines and geico and many other generous supporters. i would like to acknowledge the friends of the book fair and i see so many of you in the audience. [applause] ..
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>> today we know that these three writers are gifts to the english language. this morning, the first author that i will be introducing non-other than dave barry. let's give him a round of applause before he comes out.
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[applause] >> we all know that you cannot do justice to his talents and there he is. [applause] >> you just can't do justice by reading has lengthy biography or saying that his new work, "insane city", his first adult novel in more than a decade. he is an individual for over 25 years have appeared in 25 newspapers, winner of the pulitzer prize and it's pretty cool. like every other kid in the 305, i grew up relishing reading him and today we are hearing from a hometown favorite in dave barry. in our next author is roy blount. come on out and let's give him a round of applause.
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[applause] >> a master of language and the humorist to boot. he has authored 22 books in a wide range from robert ely to the pittsburgh steelers if you are an npr nerd, and you may also know him as a regular panelist on wait, wait don't tell me. [laughter] and is a contributing editor of atlantic monthly. today he comes to us with his newest work, "alphabetter juice" or "the joy of text." the book for anyone who loves to get physical with words. let's give him another round of applause. [applause] and finally our last author is brad meltzer. and he is a hometown hero who has made a career out of helping all the trim others see the hero
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within them. he brings us work based upon the popular history channel show in his latest book is the "history decoded: the 10 greatest conspiracies of all time" ended his knew his work, he asks questions in what is going on in area 51 and did john wilkes booth really get away? brad meltzer is the number one best-selling author of the inner circle, as well as a slew of other best-selling books. i would be remiss to say that he and his wife are the leaders who founded and brought this to miami. his latest book just may build bestsellers list and without further ado, i want to have that although biology would never reveal it, he is also my bigger brother. >> same haircut. [laughter] >> over to you gentlemen now.
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>> i am brad's father. [laughter] >> go ahead. >> go for it. >> make you all, ladies and gentlemen. >> so your last name means arabic for sword. so when you go by something like sword, anyway, it's wonderful. thank you all for coming out on saturday morning to the miami book fair, which is the best one in the united states. [applause] and i just want to know one thing. when i am in a band called the rock bottom remainders. and we have formally disbanded, but we're still going to play because it turns out it doesn't matter. [laughter] the we will be playing at 6:00 o'clock today and the whole band will be talking and a lot
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of people probably never heard us perform. anyway, we are going to be playing and i won't be there because he doesn't have a lot of talent. [laughter] so i will talk a little bit about my book and it is a novel called "insane city." miami is called the insane city. it's about thing about miami -- and carl pointed this out, that you really can't make anything up about miami that is weirder than miami itself turns out to be. my book is about a wedding that goes wrong. a couple comes here for a destination wedding and the groom lines up with refugees living in his room suite at the hotel and that is and even the
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beginning of his real problem. he loses his wedding ring to an orangutan named trevor. that probably sounds like a far-fetched tuition. but considering a couple of things that actually happened in miami. first, i will go back a couple of years and hopefully to illustrate my point. if you're writing about the city come he can't get weirder than the city itself. but the first one goes back again and try to picture someone writing a novel in this happened in homestead when the chief of police was a guy named kurt iv and has chief of police, he was asked to speak at the inaugural meeting of his citizens crimewatch group and it was a pleasant evening and so they held a meeting on the patio at someone's house. as the chief of police, he explained how the crimewatch is supposed to work and it was pretty well right up to the
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point where he is a almost it on the head by 75-pound bale of cocaine falling from the sky. and that actually did happen. a smugglers plane was coming from the bahamas and was intercepted that was going to force them down and so the smugglers are leaving before they were forced down in naples and they threw out 20 bales of cocaine and did like a treasure hunt the next a pair day. but my point is if you wrote a novel, and you see a chief of police almost hit, the critics would say, come on. the other one is more recent. one of my favorite things to happen in our neck of the woods happened in february, the python challenge. it made national news and for those of you here in florida, we
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have a problem with pythons in south florida. they are not supposed to be here, they're supposed to be in burma. [laughter] whatever that is. and they were brought here as pets and why anyone would want to have one of these widgets to be 20 feet long and is carnivorous, i just don't know. the people brought a lot of them here and at some point, they ran out of crack. and it's like, okay, so they let the pythons go for escape and they turned out to really like south florida and, like the people from new york. it is like to hear it come in their comfortable here. and they reproduce like crazy. they use no form of protection. and they have no natural enemies
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all. nothing can really kill them and they are now in the hundreds of thousands and so the state of florida, our state motto. you cannot spell it without duh. so they came up with this idea. [laughter] the python challenge. which again made national news for me basically invited anyone to come down from anyone who wanted to come down and kill her pythons. although we did make them pay a 25-dollar fee and that rules out your lightweights. and you have to take a short
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online course and i hope the website is still up. and you can ask anybody who has ever made a living killing dangerous game. a short online courses what they will tell you how they were to do that. [laughter] cited and take the course, but i did read what they said. and they said that harry's was to kill the python. i thought you just whacked it and nazi like that was the legacy this way. but that was not the correct way to do it. you're supposed to do it humanely. [laughter] and the key is you have to destroy the brain because if you don't, you just cut off his head, according to the python challenge, they keep on thinking. maybe along the lines of holy [bleep], where is the rest of my
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body. [laughter] >> 1700 people paid $25 to participate in the python challenge. we had hundreds of thousands out there and this went on through the entire month of february and the total number of pythons killed was 68. i am not a biologist, but i'm willing to bet that at some point during the month of february, a mother python laid some eggs and probably a lot more than 68. so the pythons one. they beat us. we if we are going to win, we are going to have to challenge them like humanities. no, come on. although i did have a plan for saving the manatees. nobody picked up on it. the problem we have is that they are not the brightest and they are not the nuclear physicist of
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animals. voters keep running into them. because it's kind of like how we drive on the highway. everyone drives a special way according to their country of origin. [laughter] and so for decades not, they have been trying to get them to slow down and stop hitting amenities and i came up with an idea. let's speed the manatees up if you can't get the votes to slow them down. let's put motors on the manatees. get it up to 50 or 60 miles an hour and then we will see who wins. [laughter] so the big worry that i have, i'm sure you have as well, is what happens if the pythons get hold of the cocaine. and my point is that this is the world's easiest city to write
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novels in and that is why i live here. and why ended up writing about florida, which is this insane city, to wrap around to the beginning. so i'm going to now introduced to you roy blount. [applause] >> thank you, dave. i'm not from miami. so we had just little snakes in massachusetts and are not fun at all. but i've written two books now about the words called "alphabetter juice" and "the joy of text." i was reading a textbook of linguistics and the connection
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between words and meaning as arbitrary. which doesn't make any sense to me. that would mean that splurge and spit could mean the same thing. and i think that words have a lot to do -- not all, but the best words have to do with this. giving an example, how they move through your body. it has rss [bleep], so that is because there was a python body behind him. and so, okay. so it came from from the latin
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word to urinate. that is the literary latin word in the street latin use a different form, which is how we got our work. the etymologist went on to say that obviously this captures the sound and i said, this is my kind of work. first welcome all the best words come from the street and then they also sound like this. but then it hit me that this doesn't sound like that. it actually starts out and then it becomes a very bodily world. but that is technically more fun
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to read about than to talk about. so going off into the stories about writing that i have done. i wrote a story with wilt chamberlain who has been gone for quite a few years now, but he was a huge man and he was going to announce his retirement from basketball and i was standing next to him in the elevator once and he said something and i turned to answer him i was looking right at his elbow and there was as much room above is below. he was great to work with. i don't want to shatter any illusions here, but not every athlete is all that literate. [laughter] >> someone was interviewing key roads and said how many books have you read in your life. and he said he gave it considerable thought and said that i've never read a book.
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and so the guy said, you've written two. [laughter] but i guess even count those. okay, so he was well spoken and it was just my job to write down what he said so look good on paper. and we got along just fine. he was a great basketball player and he wrote a memoir in which he claimed to have slept with 20,000 women and he said, we are doing the math here. [laughter] and he said, yes, there was one big birthday party.
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[laughter] at any rate, he lived in this house in bel air had feelings about the height of these which was commensurate with his stature. he also had an armed element of the quarter, which was wolf muscles, you know the fur from eight wolf muscles so together and he had this carpeting and upholstery and it was striking to be surrounded by so many wolf muscles and he was surrounded by friends. he had done a story before and he thought that they had misrepresented him in the
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headline. so he had to approve every word in the story and his friend was there to protect him and they were as big as he was, but they were big enough to be his friend and they were just kind of standing around like this is if i was going to attack them at any moment. so went fine and the main headline came in and said my impact will be everlasting, which he had said was a word and he proved it at the time. then, however, the subhead came through in these days it's all mojo machines. we didn't have laptops, you'd you would see this and copied into this thing and it would gradually reduce it to another and at the end was a tight copy.
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so i pulled the subhead out of the machine and i was afraid we were going to have a problem because it's a dominant force in basketball announces his retirement and i handed it to him to read and he took it and said that a dominant force. and i said, well, i think the operative donna and force here. and his friends started saying, oh, man, and i said that i can see that this is not going to fit. as i can just place it right
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there. so i called back to sports illustrated in new york and unfortunately the editor had left the office and then we had this great miraculous telephone operator back then you could find anyone anywhere and she found -- i was afraid she was going to find him at a chinese restaurant and every fourth drink was free. so i didn't pay to have a drink if you really think about it. this editor was in about a six or seven. we have dysentery is individual who had a phone, and it rang and
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she picked it up and if everyone in the building ring the receiver, i would have separated surgery. so he never did that again. but she found it and he had had several drinks and she said i don't know, i just don't know. people were yelling and the chinese waiter would break in and say, what do you want. [laughter] and i would say that i was here with well and we were always friends and it was just like. [laughter] and the wolf muscles.
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i was sitting on his couch and i could feel this sort of bristling up underneath. so i said i need to hand the phone off to you. i've never been made about this or that necessarily. but to my astonishment, i saw him mollified and he said who the hell is mariel. [laughter] [applause] [laughter] [applause] >> what i love about miami is that only miami thinks that what goes great with these wilt chamberlain stories and killing animals in florida is dead presidents. that seems like the logical next
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step for us and i will tell you that i grew up here in south florida and i went to the highland oaks middle school and take you to the one person for the pity clap. go panthers. [laughter] you know, in 11th grade, my teacher wheels and a tv card with the tv on and when you're in 11th grade, you know what that means, it means you're seeing a movie that day and that's the best day of school, free movie, no learning, movie. which puts him in front of us, instead of the educational film, she puts on a jfk conspiracy film. it was in a kooky ones that is 500 people doing this or that there is one that says the driver of the lemieux turned around and shot him. seems like it was really going to faster we would miss him but she pulls this out and it really does ask the hard questions and
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how does jack ruby get past all the police officers were there guarding this man and what is lee harvey oswald doing for two years unaccounted for. my parents were like pete rose. they had those reading habits. my mom read the inquirer and the star and those were the books in my house. because that's where the real news came from. one of his favorite movies was all the presidents men and lisa watch it over and over and he didn't care about nixon anything else. he loved dustin hoffman and robert redford. the watching this jfk movie when i was in 11th grade in florida was just one of those movies that blake kicked into the foundation of my brain. nixon was big, but this was bigger and how do you pull off killing a president? was my love of history that was really in that moment.
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two years later and became a history major in college. i thought english is pretty useless, but history is really useless as a degree. but there's nothing -- there's nothing that could be more useless. so i went right for that. [laughter] and what happened is i've been very lucky. over the years. when you write books like i do, no one gets crazier than me, no one gets sent more proof that abraham lincoln has given me. it's like me and jesse ventura. when you find something crazy come you don't send it to the white house can from he said it to me or jesse ventura and here is george washington's cousin had. who would want this? [laughter] and this is true. john wilkes booth, years ago, his family famously shoot abraham lincoln, who dies in a barn 12 days later.
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every history book will tell you that he dies and then i get a phone call and minutes from the lawyer that represents john wilkes booth in the family also tell you a story and the story is that their relatives never died upon that day he actually lived and he escaped he took on a new identity and he's not the one buried in the a coffin. you won't hear the story. so yes, i want to hear that story. right? i mean, i'm busy dealing with abraham lincoln's gayness. i'd love to hear the story. [applause] >> it's an amazing story, one of the best is a lot of parts of the family insists that he -- that he escaped and one of the aliases he took on was john wilkes. now if your name is john wilkes booth and your alias is john b.
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wilks, you're the worst alias maker of all time. there is one point where the american public is paying real money they mummified the body, it said. people go to the carnival and pay money to see this mummified body of him. it is said mummy and john wilkes booth and the play, i love this. so i have been lucky enough to see these stories and investigative stories and what we did was we did this book, "history decoded: the 10 greatest conspiracies of all time." i need a volunteer from the audience. does anyone have a copy? this is a test for you. this is a test to see your love for me. the best part is my relatives are in this audience and their they're like, please don't call me. [laughter] sumac not one copy. okay. i'll take a copy of "history
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decoded: the 10 greatest conspiracies of all time" and okay, bring it on. and so this is my wife, everyone. [laughter] so this is where i get a volunteer from an audience. so we know that people like pete rose love to read and we also know people like him exist. what we did with the book is open us up in every chapter has a little secret compartment and you get to pull out the documents this is actually the letter he left behind after he killed abraham lincoln and that's no joke. every document is different and you can pull it out yourself. what i love about that is you get to see the evidence. i was in the treasure vault a couple of years ago and for me
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that's like the playboy mansion. i love that and that's where i go and they have these documents of an oath of allegiance that people use to sign. into this state you must in the military, we make you raise your hand and take an oath of allegiance thing that you won't kill us and we are unreasonable like that. this oath that they had signed by a guy named benedict donald and that's awesome. thing is that he's like a curse word today. but in in this moment when a handy this document, i can picture him with a pen in his hand signing this and they had a number. i think number five was benedict arnold. it wasn't just some boring thing in a the history book, but you have this document and out comes alive. and that's what we really wanted to do in the book.
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so of course we put in the good crazy stuff in wiki the actual document that the government used to asked to fill out if you saw a ufo. if you think you're doing useful stuff now -- i mean there is a whole department trying to figure out what the question should be in the pulpit document that says if the fo has blinking lights, check yes or no. i mean, god bless america. there is a whole department saying, good question. i like the blinking lights and now you're working. and of course we count them down and insisted it anniversary and we all know, if you don't have a heart heartbeat, you miss the footage yesterday that it was the 50th anniversary of the death of jfk and that's the greatest conspiracy of all time. this book is dedicated to my history teacher ellen sherman.
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when she showed me when i was in 11th grade and i'm still just with that. when you look at the story, i went across the country and every question is like some guy who blinked a lot and was like i want to ask you about this and you know this and then i get to dallas and it takes me to dallas, texas. the motherland of the crazy. and i will tell you was the only place where the first question was not jfk. because if i wanted to know about lincoln's money. so when you look at him, we all know that it is a great conspiracy. one of the greatest of all time and we all know that when you look at it and you plant the seed of doubt in someone's head, it's almost impossible to onerous. you look at the warren commission 50 years ago and they looked at this and said that lee harvey oswald acted alone. in a decade later, the house
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house committee looks at the evidence and say that that's wrong and we didn't find three shots were fired, we found four. so i went there for the first time, which is was a fantastic trip, take your kids. the best part is i get there and of course i'm taking pictures and making a funny face and having fun. and then a minute later i'm walking and there's a family there with her cute little twin girls and if you can picture them same smile. of course -- i love judging other people. in the play, you people are taking pictures at a murder scene. i go there and it's believed to be where that fourth shot was fired not because anyone saw
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something and there was a footprint. because there was an audio tape in the sky, these two men are experts and you get the drift. no one in virginia gets that joke. in virginia, they're like, i don't get it. i don't get it at all. and they say that it's a gunshot. and no one knows that three years later, 10 of the top experts in the country who do audio forensics come in and save these say that these guys were wrong, they were completely wrong. they say it was a motorcycle backfiring, okay, but the amazing part of it is that whatever they think was fired was actually a minute after jfk was killed and so his limo was
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all the way unweighted hospital. so once that seed of doubt is planted, that is a farce that is the grassy knoll. and there are great stories about him and of course, you do have to ask the hard questions and you do want to know where oswald was when he was in russia and what he was doing her and one of the things we put in the book is when you get to the chapter, you actually get the state department saying that when he renounced his u.s. citizenship. and he basically said that i'm a marine i don't want to be an american anyone am going to russia. can see this guy is dangerous and you have to look at him and we look at the date and you pull out of the book, you'll see that it's dated halloween of 1959 and four years before he shot jfk and they were watching him.
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and that is when history is most amazing three. so when you look at the story, we all focus on the death in these things and this is so interesting. they snuck in and got him in the only reason that he was able to kill him is because in that moment he says he's cold and before he's about to leave, he said he is cold and need needs a sweater and now it takes them like 10 minutes to get a sweater and he is particular about the size or color. and he gets a sweater and he waits for it and not slightly gets shot. so the amazing moment of history and those moments are fantastic to find and to look at.
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i think the real question is, and we look at so much information out there, we have so much misinformation. he did a great disservice to this country when in his movie he purposely mixed fact and fiction so completely and he says -- he calls this a tarmac. in the play, i've been watching a movie and saying, this is real. and they said that no one has been able to re-create that shot. and i thought, well, if no one is able to re-create it, logic tells me that there must have been another shooter and no one has been able to do that. and so cbs news had 11 different sharpshooters make that certainly we all watched that
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movie and yesterday they were showing it again and they think that is the real story of jfk and honestly it's not. and i think it is important for us to reclaim our history and i love that. and you thought you're just going to learn something at the book fair, but here it is. in the 60s, they thought it was at the height of the cold war. in the 70s, we thought it was her own government that killed him and then in the 80s, the prosecutions go forward and who killed jfk? the mob, the mock layout. decade by decade, it's whoever america's most afraid of is that moment in time and that is the
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real legacy of jfk. here's the president who took hopes to the greatest heights and then in his death reveals our greatest fears. it's a reflection of what we are afraid of and you have proof and who did a? our own government did it to us. if you open up the newspaper, i don't need to explain to why america you why america is suddenly so afraid of our own government and why we must trust ourselves. you show me a conspiracy and i will show you who you are and i will show you what you're afraid of. and that is what all conspiracies are, they are a mirror reflection of our fears and the moment with that said, i know that there will be questions or you can please ask them. [applause] >> we have about 10 minutes were some questions. so let's get some good ones
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here. >> you can yell them out, or there is a microphone right here. >> my husband and i came in from texas for this book fair. and i'm one of them. i would like to say something about the python story, which i think is fascinating. they invite people to come shoot it in with the python i can imagine texans coming in to want to be part of this shooting or however they kill the python because i see it as boots and belts and wallets because they sell this kind of stuff and it's a comment and not so much a
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question. >> i certainly hope not. [laughter] you're welcome to come down and shooter pythons. we could just drive on in and run into your borders. [laughter] >> which i rented buildings out here or anything. >> the problem with them is if you run into them, they are huge. >> we are not afraid of your borders. [laughter] >> they are tearing up farmland and they are dangerous if you run into them on the highway. >> send a python. [laughter] >> they are dangerous if you run into them in a dark alley as well. >> james ford had this come out a few years ago as well but it was probably the only conspiracy book that has an intersection between thomas martin and the writings of jfk.
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so i am curious as to what your opinion of the book is and whether you notice anything or any issues and where you basically stand. >> i believe this question is for dave. >> there's nothing i love more than commenting on books i haven't read. so the best part is it after the book "history decoded: the 10 greatest conspiracies of all time", all it shows me is how many jfk books i haven't read and i do think that there are great books out there and i figure there's a lot of theories out there as well and i'm sure this author is a genius and a nice person. >> are you the author? >> okay. [laughter] >> him isolated, yes. okay, i love his next book. what is it coming out and they are like, we know he is due. and we got it. so the one thing that i always challenge anyone to do is
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actually, there is this thing that i personally like, which is called facts and evidence and i'm picky like that. i was just in dallas and i've never actually seen the book of order was. there's too exes on the ground and they actually just took him away and we decided that this would be a good week to be paved the road. the play, okay, no people were tripping over this all the time. but when you see this book depository, the guy says, you know, this is what it doesn't explain. why did he not make this shot when jfk was coming at him instead of from behind. straight down. and that is like asking why do
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you like chocolate were then been a lot. but until i got there that you realize that it is like shooting ducks in a gallery. it's a long shot with nothing to protect them on either side and that is a simple shot. as to why he didn't take it, i think what a lot of people tend to do is say, what about this and not and i can say that what about the fact that obj was suddenly the president. that is a good question. show me the proof. because i think it's easy to ask questions. i think the real answer is why no one knows is because a man named jack ruby. he took away the one person who could ever tell us that someone came today and said that i worked with oswald and i was the guy who helped him, none of us would believe him, i wouldn't believe him.
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we just wouldn't, that's not what our appetite is and this is a story that is about america and what we believe in the death of the american dream and what we lost. and i think that sadly is going to be a lot more books written and i don't think any of them are going to have all the facts unless that's a heck of a book. >> okay. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank all of you for being here today. authors will be signing the books at the bottom of the stairs. >> one other last thing. i could just say thank you to our host. he is the executive of city or miami. please check it out, it's one of the best organizations, putting kids in the neediest public schools to serve as mentors. and i think you for being a part of that. >> i want to thank the authors for being with us today and i
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know that everyone was laughing tremendously. our next event is also a ticketed event and we do have to ask everyone to leave and then come back. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching live coverage of the 30th annual miami book fair near miami miami dade college. booktv has been on the air for 15 years and we have covered this event every year and we
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have a full afternoon and evening of events. you'll hear from doris kearns goodwin along with scott bird, who is the author of a new autobiography on woodrow wilson. two authors that you'll be hearing from and we have several call and opportunities as well. peter baker is a chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and we have some of the common opportunities that you have this afternoon as well. and coming up in 15 minutes, lawrence welk will be in chapman hall where you just saw dave barry and roy blount. he is talking about his book, it's about scientology and hollywood and he will be speaking and we will be showing that live and that he will be joining us for a call-in segment as well. we on the campus of the college and the seasick c-span bus is
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here. so as you can see coming can come on down and grab yourself a bag and you can also follow us and get schedule updates all day long at facebook and twitter apple tv and by the way, the full schedule is also available at her website, so as i mentioned earlier, this is the 15th year that but tv has been on the air and we have been showing you some of our past programs and we want to show you some of our past programming from miami, there is a little bit of that before the next author presents. >> i think all of us hunger for washington to deal with this. and for the news media as well to bring you a straightforward account and hold people to account and so in talking about
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back, trying to trace back how did we get to this place and there was, and my own career in journalism, i have covered energy in the first energy crisis when jimmy carter was president. when he had just come a couple of years earlier and i was recruited to cover maryland because they figured anyone who have covered the big democratic machine led by a controversial and colorful man had learned enough about corrupt politics to cover this story. this includes a federal court case involving mail fraud conviction was later overturned, but the trial on charges of the governor of maryland and involved two that i try to sell
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a race track with some illegal actions in the interim and it is very colorful and eventually the network noticed me and hired me to be doing the general assignment. a method known as covered energy and so i volunteered for energy and the next thing i knew this is what happened. and so i write about how i ended up becoming an unlikely expert on nuclear power. before the first week of the crisis, nobody sent me this. i was the energy correspondent and by the end of the first week bureau chief was sending correspondence and every 24 hours because no one knew how much low-level radiation was bare. and i hadn't been measured. the role of a the woman in this business at a time, i was told
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there is no room for brought in broadcasting. [laughter] and that's the way it was. and so i volunteered to get an entry level job and though i have been hired for that. and i was working for $50 a week trying to run coffee to the anchorman and then there were demonstrations and we were in the middle of the antiwar movement and mlk was assassinated him and bobby kennedy and other cities were rocking. there is a lot to cover. it was such a fascinating time
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to be a reporter. i was recruited to come for a local cbs station and there i was on the governor of maryland and eventually was hired by the network. then what ensued has been a fascinating number of experiences and i was the most junior correspondent recruited to help out holidays and weekends covering president carter and that meant going to georgia for thanksgiving and christmas. well, i don't know how many of you have been there. [laughter] and may i suggest that rosalind carter.
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and it's up the road and we basically would go in the company, we went to the house at 530 on christmas morning to begin opening the presents and then begin going to the house. rosalynn's mom, and they open their presence there. and it was not the greatest assignment correspondent ever had, but there were some benefits. we got to go to sunday school. then communicate back to all of your colleagues. and the network may have been television and eventually after covering energy, five days into that assignment, 3-mile island happen, i walked into the bureau of the chief's office and said that just occurred to me that i've been waiting to go and i'm
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in charge of the coverage and you haven't sent me, he sent all the men and he said that well, you are of childbearing age and i didn't want to risk sending you into that zone. and i found myself saying, has it occurred to you that men are as vulnerable to radiation as women in their ovaries? and i was on a plane the next morning. >> that was andrea mitchell from 2005 at the miami book fair international. on your screen, that's a live picture of chapman hall of miami dade college on the north side of downtown miami. and in a few minutes, lawrence wright, the looming tower of al qaeda, his most recent book will
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be discussed at 11:00 a.m. eastern time today. so in about five minutes or so. in his book was a finalist which was just awarded this past wednesday night and the winner was george packer and he will be talking about coverage tomorrow in miami. so showing you a little bit more, as we wait for him to get started. here's another look at a booktv shoot here in miami. >> tell us where you see the culture going. in terms of this, are we creating a culture of readers or nonreaders? where are we right now? >> is endorsing that is happening right now is that we are creating a culture where people don't listen to the other
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side and there's a quote in "the new york times" and i had to do with reality is fine and blind and he believed in the whatever you believe in one way or the other or whatever you believe about entitlements or global warming. but you are incapable of seeing the other side at all and you take that to congress and both sides that there and just, they won't ban or see other the other side's point of view and nothing happens. and the anger that comes out of that. a lot of people are just so angry because they just have this, this is what i think, there's no other way. >> i think that reading,
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especially reading about other people's lives creates a sense of tolerance. >> us away. that's the great thing about it right now, more than any other medium that we have. television is getting better, movies, it's a lot of the same hollywood stuff and the cops are bad and that we could see as good in this and that. and it is books are the one place where there is such a variety. instead, you can see the other points of view and there are other ways of looking at the world, what is really going on and it's a terrific book about afghanistan called the forever war and you read that book and you really get it. or at least you get a really good point of view on what is going on, i think. >> you are right. and i couldn't agree with you
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more and i also think that what is happening in terms of getting that selection, most people don't realize there are so many books printed each year and you need guides to find those books and i'm curious to know what you think, the library and bookstore and how that plays into that and how it is evolving as well. >> i mean, clearly it is evolving and it's a done deal. it's happening. but i think the really horrifying thing right now is it's happened so fast and nobody has taken responsibility for it or for how do we make that transition in a sensible way. how do we continue to get the kind of advice that we can get in bookstores and libraries and how do we keep that alive.
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and i'm doing an essay right now, which has to do with who is going to save our books and our libraries and who will be responsible for finding the authors who are creating this great set of american books of the last hundred years or so. and then it lists about 50 books. though who'll do that. is amazon when they do not? anime, who is doing not? and it's the same thing for the internet. ..
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and i think i would love to see the president, first lady, whatever, i'm like that the first lady is reminding us that it is good to exercise and not overeat which is a huge issue. what i would like to see more in washington is who is protecting books? in europe they do protect books, they protect bookstores and libraries and that is good. in germany in particular. germany, the netherlands, scandinavia, they protect it, that is the basis of the culture and i don't know that that is
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happening here and i am not sure where it is going to happen. >> we are back live in miami for the 30th anniversary of the miami book fair. this is the 30th year this book fair has been dead since booktv has covered it. in a few minutes, lawrence wright, cuba surprise winner, his most recent book "going clear: scientology, hollywood, and the prison of belief," he will be talking about that. that event is due to begin any minute now. we have a full afternoon of coverage, several call in opportunities, you we will talk to peter baker of the new york times, chief white house correspondent for the newspaper. his book is days of fire:bush and cheney in the white house and you will also talk to sheri fink, "5 days at memorial: life
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and death in a storm-ravaged hospital" about memorial hospital in new orleans after katrina. lawrence wright will be speaking in an amended. program is now beginning. >> our sponsors, american airlines, and many other sponsors. you see the list of sponsors on the programs for the book fair. we would also like to acknowledge friends of the book fair. some of you're here and want to thank you for your continued support. at the end of the session we will have time for questions and answers and the authors will be autographing books as well. as a former teacher this is the point where i click into teacher mode and remind everyone to turn off their cellphone. before you turned off, turn them off i am asking you to show your
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support for the book fair by messaging by texting a friend, text the letters and b f i and the amount you want to donate to number 41444, then press enter. it is that simple and you will receive follow-up reminders. please consider donating $30 in honor of the 30th anniversary of the miami book fair international. it is my pleasure to introduce jim ballsbell, the caribbean business manager for the associated press, he will be introducing our author. [applause] >> good morning. i am the florida chief of bureau for the ap. it is my great pleasure to
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introduce pulitzer prize-winning author, screen writer, playwright and staff writer for the new yorker, lawrence wright. he will be interviewed today by investigative reporter and editor joseph childs of the tampa bay times. childs has written about scientology which is the subject of lawrence wright's latest book, "going clear: scientology, hollywood, and the prison of belief". this week lawrence wright's book was named national book award finalist. yesterday it was named -- that is all right. applause is good. it was named one of the ten books of 2013, the ten books of 2013 by the washington post. lawrence wright's investigation draws from more than 200 interviews with current and former scientology us. in a review earlier this year in the new york times he called scientology probably the most
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stigmatized religion in america. based in austin, texas, lawrence wright has written six other books, the looming tower of al qaeda and the road to 9/11 won a pulitzer prize for general nonfiction in 2007. please join me in a miami welcome for lawrence wright and joe child's. [applause] >> good morning. let's begin with a word in the title of the book. "going clear: scientology, hollywood, and the prison of belief". scientology devotes a lot of organizational energy to tap into the celebrity culture that is so prominent in the united
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states today. talk to us about that. talk to us about what you found and why you devoted so much attention to that aspect of the book. >> scientology was created as a religion. it was used celebrities. when it was set up it was established in los angeles in 1954 and there was a reason for that. l. ron hubbard, the founder of scientology, realized americans really do worship one thing for sure and that is celebrity. where is the capital of celebrities? hollywood. scientology has become one of the major landlords in hollywood. early on, they set out to recruit celebrities. there was a church publication put out shortly after the founding of the church with a roster of perspective celebrities that included people like bob hope, walt disney, marlene dietrich, howard hughes,
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the most famous people in the world. those are the kinds of people they sought to use as pitch men for their new religion. celebrities did come to the church. they built a celebrity center. celebrities would feel at home. in some of the early people that came into the church, rock hudson passed through, apparently he got very upset when he was in the middle of an auditing session and needed to put some more money in the parking meter and they wouldn't let him out of the room. he stormed out and never came back. gloria swanson, sort of the faded movie star of silent movies, later people like leonard cohen and even elvis presley made a stop. he didn't stay in the church but his widow and daughter are still
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prominent members. the idea was celebrities are useful. they become megaphones for advertising the church and its benefit and if you look at the people who have been their spokespeople, like john travolta and tom cruise, each of these guys was at one time the number one movie star in the world and that is a very powerful blower to young people who have gone to hollywood and are solicited by the church to come to the celebrity center to see how to get an agent or get ahead as of business. if they looked at who is in the church they think maybe i could be as well. >> let's hear you talk specifically about tom cruise. he has emerged in the last 10 or
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15 years as one of the essentials pillars of scientology. to the point where scientology as an organization, its reputation influences tom cruise's reputation and vice versa. tom cruise's reputation influences and defects scientology. how powerful is he in scientology? what roles does he play for the church? >> tom cruise has been the visible face of scientology for decades now. there is no more famous or influential scientology asked in the church since l. ron hubbard created it. since the beginning, the church wanted some exemplary figure that could stand for the church. they didn't get bob hope, they didn't get walt disney but they did get tom cruise, and they
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really got him. he is the very devoted member of the church. the leader of the church now says everybody -- every minute, forget what the figure was, 5,000 people are awakened to the idea of scientology because of tom cruise. there is no way of knowing how to evaluate such a statement but no question people know about scientology because of tom cruise. when he uses celebrity megaphone, you are tied to their behavior and sometimes it is not always an advantage for the organization that is represented by celebrity but of all the celebrities in scientology, no one is a greater moral responsibility for demanding change inside the church and the
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abuses taking place at the upper level of the clergy than tom cruise. no one has benefited materially more than he has. inside the church, there is clarity called the sea organization. people who have signed contracts for a billion years of service. they are paid $50 a week. many of them joined as children. really, as children. really young children. and their whole lives are devoted to serving this organization, unbelievably long workweeks and no money, and great privation and the number of them have done work for tom cruise. they build a anger for his
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airplane, all limousine, took the body of a limousine and handcrafted everything in it. they fix up his houses and polished his lightbulbs and he derives all of this benefit in a way that no other member does and he is the very close friend of the leader. all the physical abuse your paper has chronicled and i talked to a number of people as well who told me they have been physically beaten by the leader of the church and the number of people who have been confined in these punishment camps. i think the church is headed for and accounting but it won't happen unless people like tom cruise who have the standing the church demanded. >> keeping this team going you use in the title the words
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prison of believe. let's get you talking about the controls that scientology exerts over its members, its claridge land its parishioners -- clergy and its parishioners. >> it is almost like two different churches in some ways. there are public people, people that go into the church of scientology and the truth is they might go in and get something out of it and they leave. they may be followed by telephone calls and mailers for the rest of their lives but they can walk away from the church. there is another level of membership which is the celebrities who are public members but it is not as easy for them because they are often asked to be the public face of the church and make declarations and come for instance to florida
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and testify about the drugs and drug use and so on. it is not so easy to walk away. inside the church is this clergies that i spoke of. we don't know how many people are in it. when i was doing my research at one point they told me it was 5,000, 6,000, got up to 10,000. have you ever gotten an estimate on how many members there are? >> 6,000. >> that is what they say. take their word for it. inside the sea org, people who go in as children, they have very little education, they have little money because their resources are essentially $50 a
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week, they are cut off from their family unless their family or members of the church -- are members of the church, they may not have a driver's licenses or passports and many of them are stationed in but sea org headquarters here in southern california, surrounded by razor wire, motion detectors and guards, supposedly to keep people from breaking into the compound but it also effectively keeps the people that are there confined to. around different places in the world, scientology has up presence, there are what are called rehabilitation project forces, re-education camps for people that have strayed in their thinking toward their
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behavior who are in the sea org and at the sea org headquarters, at one point there were two double wide trailers married to get it to make an office suite and in 2006, david muscovitcz, he confined his top-level people in the church so they would go through this self criticism, chinese communist behavior. ended is not like for a weekend the nominal leader of the church, elderly man who has been there for seven years. they sleep on sleeping bags, eating swap out of buckets and get out once had a for a shower and there is a lot of physical
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abuse that takes place. a lot of emotional abuse as well and it was in your paper the first time you wrote about polk musical chairs episode which to me crystallizes the prison of believe better than any thing i know. david miscarriage --miscavitch came in with the jukebox and said does anybody know what musical chairs means? in scientology that is the term that has to do with sheet changes of the post, and that is what they thought he was talking about. it is also a game so he had to explain how to put a circle of chairs and people walk around and there is one chair fewer
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than the number of people are there are so people-for the chairs and a person who is standing is out of the game and he said the last person who gets to sit down can stand. everyone else will be kicked out of the sea org. if your wife is not in the sea org you are going to be divorced or sent to some remote sea org location and he even had airline tickets printed up in the scientology travel office where these are from locations, trailers brought in. this game went on for hours. as the number of shares diminished fights broke out, clothes were torn, chairs were broken, people were fighting to stay. that is the fascinating part of
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this. he was offering them freedom and they were willing to fight each other for the opportunity to stay in confinement, sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag and eating it swapped out of a bucket. that defines the prison of belief. >> let's get you talking about how outside agencies, law enforcement agencies are shielded from penetrating scientology and penetrating these abuses. so much of what you heard so far is written in scientology scripture. l. ron hubbard wrote millions of words as scientology scripture. >> he has the guinness book of world records, i have to take my hat off, more than a thousand
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titles. >> but when someone, some member of both religious order expresses a desire to leave they can be put on punishment detail, work detail and be examined one on one for hours at a time. had is a religious practice in scientology. when someone says i don't want to endorse this and scale the fence and a runaway, going after that person and bringing them back is a religious practice. >> speak now to how that is defensible from a legal standpoint. >> when i started my investigation i ran into an fbi investigation that was going on simultaneously and my sources were talking to the fbi. i got them to tell me what they
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were telling the fbi. the fbi was mainly looking at this base i was talking about, on the basis of human trafficing, people being confined against their will, human trafficking is normally something they use, they were thinking the church was vulnerable on this. they apparently got the tail numbers on one of tom cruise's airplanes in case he decided to help david miscavige make a run for it. like that is the greatest polk j. moment you could have. the fbi flank after this little trick plane. members of a former executive who escaped from scientology
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said if you were to break into the hole and kill the door, they would say it is all sunshine and sea shells. we are happy here. we are here of our own accord. that story i told you exemplifies that but the fbi was still investigating up until that suit in colorado, two former members of the sea org had sued the church alleging physical abuse. mark headley had been beaten by the leader of the church. his wife claimed she had been forced to have an abortion. they worked years and years to have children when they went in. they had many, they had been confined, they both had to escape. a judge ruled that all of these
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were religious practices and there was little law enforcement could do, the fbi gave up on their identification. what were they to do? that is one of the reasons i hold people like tom cruise accountable because we are in an odd spot. joe and i can write about it. we can't prosecute it. we can just bring public attention to what is happening, going on. the law enforcement agencies are stymied and the irs which is another agency that could make a difference is cowed. there is very little, very few avenues for actual reform inside the church except those celebrity megaphones turnaround and face the other direction. >> let's shift gears and talk
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about not the religious order, not the people who signed the billion year contract and also live -- say no they are going into an isolated setting. let's talk about the people who are in civilian life, people who lived down the street from me, from you perhaps and so-called parishioners. could they read your book? if not, why not? when a video of this presentation is posted on the internet could they go to their computer and see this video? if not, why not? >> if you use the verb could, if they could, if they would they won't. scientology has to me like a flock of birds. there's a group mind.
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it is fascinating and a little frightening to watch how uniform they are in their reactions. even people who are not under the threat of confinement. i have spoken on a number of occasions about scientology and been on a number of radio shows and so on. i only had one scientology sexually call in and no scientology several identified, no current practicing member of the church, a group like of this and if there is someone here who would like to do that i would be happy to talk to you about it. one person wrote a complaint to my editor and i send her a note saying have you read the book? no. would you like to? no. i said i would be grateful if you would quit making
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accusations about a book you haven't read and please let me send it to you. know. finally she continued to engage me because there was something going on with her obviously. a lot of people who were in scientology are in the turbulent frame of mind because there is so much agitation happening inside the church. she finally did say she would send the book but it would have to be in a brown envelope so her husband would no. years ago the church put out coffered dvds, cds to their members that would patrol the internet and make sure it blocked anything that would be derogatory towards the church so they wouldn't have to hear it.
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in scientology terms, this is all just bad information. it will do you know spiritual goods so don't listen to it and for the most part it has been my experience that scientology this take that very seriously. they don't want to hear anything bad about scientology so they close their eyes, their mind and their years. >> the person to whom you may have sensed that book, if you did, his or her spouse would have us spiritual duty to record at person if they saw them reading the book. >> and there are consequences. even for members who are not in the sea org. if that happens you go in for extra auditing, suggest that you take these courses that are very expensive and it runs up a real
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tab and also it is expensive but what is more threatening is the possible loss of friends, family members and members of your community that you depend upon and will turn against you if you are seen or thought to be reading material that is bad for your spiritual health. >> now we will switch a big gear and get you talking about the creator of scientology, l. ron hubbard. this great book achieved on many levels, one of the great accomplishments is the depth of information about l. ron hubbard. i have read a lot of stuff about l. ron hubbard. i read some much about him in larry's book. it seems to me you clearly set out to do a biography on l. ron hubbard and you achieved that. what drove you to drill down
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into him. why did you think that was so important and what were some of the oh wow moments you had? >> i have a theory as a writer. in order to tell a story about a very esoteric, complicated world you need what i call a donkey and that sounds like a disparaging term but a donkey is a very useful beast of burden and he can take you, the reader, into a world you have never been in and carry on his back a lot of information. if you have a fascinating dante, of a reader will take that ride so i had two main donkeys in my book. one was paul had a gust. academy award winning director who dropped out of scientology after 34 years, who could tell me about the world of
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scientology in modern times and the other was l. ron hubbard 11. one of the most intriguing people of never had the opportunity to write about a huge he really did live a fascinating life but he felt a the need to make it more fascinating than it actually was and he created legends about himself that already basis of the dianetics which was his self-help therapy that he created and later the church of scientology. the most glaring one of these is the legend that after world war ii he was blinded and crippled
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and confined in a naval hospital in the bay area in california and medicine couldn't help him. he developed techniques he later called dianetics that healed himself. when scientology scheme to the new yorker, tommy davis and chief spokesperson and forced scientology lawyers a long with 47 volumes of binders with material to respond to 968 fact checking query's, it was quite a day but at some point tommy davis, the spokesperson, said if it is true fact at the 11 lied about his condition, that he was
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blinded and crippled, then dianetics is based on a lie and scientology is based on a live. our eyebrows all went because this is the checkable fact. we had freedom of information request, military records in st. louis and we sent and in turn to get 900 pages they had on his military record, and he had arthritis in his hip. wasn't exactly blinded and crippled but you could see where he was going with that. i don't know that he was ever healed of those injuries.
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but they're stuck with the statements he made about himself. the most polarizing individual, and people think he is either the greatest thing they have ever seen or the creepiest and there are some political figures that reminds me of. but hubbard had a compelling manner for a lot of people and he would spin these stories about his past lives in a very humorous manner, in a seeming erudite manner, nobody ever seem to ask where these stories came from. to one incidents where i had -- they said the response was let's not get into that. >> current scientology leader
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david miscavige was involved twenty-seventh years, but he was an enigma to many. there has been controversy surrounding the church in recent years, a lot of this controversy that surrounds him personally. you devote a lot of energy to reporting on him. was that a design as well. >> david miscavige is the brigham young of scientology. and many new religions are created but they don't survive after the death of the charismatic leader because there is no person to follow up.
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and he saved it from the mistakes hubbard made. hubbard decided not to pay his taxes. by 1993 the church code $1 billion which at the time it did not have. now it does. at the time it only at $125 million, it was facing an existential moment. david miscavige decided we have to get our tax exemptions. how do they go about it. they launched 2400 lawsuits against the irs and individual agents. private detectives follow agents around and go to conferences where they trail people and find out who is sleeping around or drinking too much and publish articles in their magazines about this and past them out on
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the steps of even even constitution avenue, headquarters of the irs. they intimidated the irs. whatever the merits of their case, those were the fact that surrounded they're getting a tax exemption. i just said they owed $1 billion. the irs, not only find them $12 million but for gave the billion dollars, they gave the authority to decide on their own which parts of the church are tax-exempt. they even made l. ron hubbard's novels scriptures so they are tax-exempt. it was such a thorough victory it is hard to imagine. bear in mind the irs is not the best equipped agency to determine what is the religion and what is a calls but they are
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the only agency that have that authority and once the irs made that finding, the vast protection of the first amendment guarantee religion surrounded the church of scientology as it does all established religions and protect it from many of the legal recourse is we would ordinarily turn to. >> one more question and we will see what questions you all have. on alaska's question that is on the minds of some people here. this book is not a flattering portrayal of scientology or l. ron hubbard. he is revered within the church. so after the publication of this book how has it been for you? >> you know. you have been through the same thing. a lot of legal threats.
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but no actual follow-up on that. they did publish one of their freedom magazines, the new yorker story that preceded the book came out on our anniversary issue and every year in february, valentine's day, new yorker has -- its original cover, old man in the top hat and monocle looking at a butterfly and the name is used this chilly, that is the name of the character. that was the issue of the paul had this profile, freedom magazine is the main scientology magazine, that had a cartoon that was me with maggots coming
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out. even took shots at the fact checkers which annoyed me a lot. fact checkers at the new yorker are really good. one checker was on the article for six months full time. we had six check including the head of the checking department going through this stuff. there is a way of writing about a litigious and vindictive organization very carefully. that is how you go about it. i will say they stopped my publication in britain. in britain they had different logs with defamation and threatened to sue my publisher and backed down. penn international, the writers' organization advising me to come
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to england and talk to the house of lords because they were rewriting defamation laws and they have done so and i am hopeful that we will be able to publish in england. it was a consideration, the editor of the new yorker will before paul had this dropped out of the church. and in time magazine, in 1991, scientology sued time magazine. it was the most expensive suits that time magazine ever defended. it took ten years. i didn't want to put my magazine through that. i didn't want to spend ten years making depositions. if you think there is the
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chilling the fact there is the chilling effect. i think now more people are writing about scientology. i want to commend you and your paper for all the work you have done, that has opened up the possibility of seeing inside the church in a way that has never been as visible before. >> when he says there is a chilling effect this is the guy who wrote about al qaeda. >> if al qaeda ever got lawyers it would be a dangerous organization. >> do we have some questions from the group here please? [applause] >> i would like to ask you what do you think the secrets are? that tom cruise got, very little
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has been said about it and how do you feel for the future? is there any danger in scientology? >> i am not an expert on that. tom in a recent deposition said scientology was an issue in his divorce. big surprise. my experience, this has been unusual for me as a reporter. it is hard to get to people but i have never been involved in a story with so many people want to talk to have signed nondisclosure agreements. they are incredibly punitive so that if somebody who is close to tom cruise for instance were to tell her story, she would be millions of dollars would be facing her. i am not saying that is the truth with his former wives that
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they have all been very quiet and people around tom cruise and people close to scientology often sign such agreements. >> this is a pretty basic question. i would like for you to tell me about their belief system. they are called a church. do they believe in god? do they believe in jesus? do they read the bible? are they l. ron hubbard worshipers who just read his books? do they have agreed? the ten commandments? where does scientology coming? >> those are not naive questions. it is interesting because on the one hand the church bills itself as a religion. on the other hand it bills itself as science. that is where scientology comes in. a technologies that this is not really a belief system, this is
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a step-by-step guaranteed to succeed ladder to spiritual enlightenment. l. ron hubbard 11 had a perfect understanding of the human mind. if you just follow these steps, you will achieve a kind of enlightenment. god doesn't play a big role in scientology. there is a place for him. there are eight dynamics. i won't go into too much of the terminology but at the peak, it is not a clearly filled out place, scientology will tell you you can believe, you can be a southern baptist or jehovah's witness and still be a science colleges but in practice that doesn't seem to be the case. people are urged away from their belief systems in order to be fully subscribers to scientology. >> you touched on the entertainers, you read a lot
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about that in the tabloids and newspapers. i was wondering about their counterparts in the political scheme of things in the national and state levels, how much influence do they have, like the attorney general, one time did bring up with. they were a cult or not and they were -- decided that they were not a cult and it would be tax-free. can you touch on that? >> especially celebrity members of the church are brought in to testify as they did here in florida. if i remember correctly it had to do with especially children that they wanted to prevent teachers from telling parents their children might be
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autistic. it would possibly entail a jail sentence for the teacher. kirstie alley and some other science colleges came to testify in front of the florida legislature. science college this like john travolta testified in germany about the oppression of scientology. in particular john travolta had a meeting with bill clinton and this took place at the time john travolta was playing bill clinton in primary colors and clinton told him i had a roommate who was a scientology stand he was a really good guy. at that point, the state department had written letters
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to the foreign government chastising them for oppressing the church of scientology. they did have an effect. >> we are out of time. i know. this is the worst job. i do apologize. [applause] >> lawrence wright will be autographing his book and the green autograph area is below the escalator. the next event, we need a few minutes to prepare the room. thank you for being here and thank you for your support of the miami book fair international. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> you are watching live coverage of the 30th annual on the campus of miami dade college on the north side of downtown miami. this is booktv's fifteenth year covering this festival and as you can see the c-span buses available, if you want to stop down you can pick up a book bag when you are here as well. throughout the day we have water events, you saw lawrence wright. we will do what they're called
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ins. sheri fink is the author of "5 days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital". what is the timeline of your book? >> i am talking about five days in 2005 when the levees failed in new orleans after hurricane katrina and water drowned one of america's most beloved cities and looking specifically over what happened at those days in one of the hospitals that was surrounded by water. >> what is memorial hospital? >> memorial medical center was one of those longstanding community hospitals that had been built in 1926 and was the place people went for storms. staff would go there even if they didn't have to work. they brought along their pets sometimes. if you are going to work a hurricane you need somewhere for the pets, they brought family members and even checked an extra patient in who might not be safe at home. this was a place everybody thought was safe in a storm.
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>> they would ride out hurricanes like the 1965 hurricane. >> yes. what happened was this at several vulnerabilities that i learned many american hospitals do in flood zones and one of the was elements of the electrical power system were below flood level so when the water started approaching the hospital they knew they had to evacuate, city power was gone. they were relying on backup generators and they knew within hours how power would fail. when helicopters started landing on the roof to take people there were 250 patients, thousand people, doctors, nurses, staff, family members including rescue first when you know you have hours left of power so that was the first dilemma. it started getting hot inside the hospital. another vulnerability, american hospitals have, i am sorry to say is they are not required for
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their backup power systems to be able to keep the air-conditioning or the heating depending on where you are functioning so even before all power was lost it was august, it was new orleans, hotter than is in miami and it started getting very hot in that hospital making it difficult for the patients and the people working there. >> where is memorial in new orleans? >> it is up town in new orleans but it is two feet below sea level. it is like a bowl and it dips below sea level likable. many of the hospitals were in a similar situation. >> what is memorial's reputation? >> the reputation was excellent. this was a place where people were proud to work. the giants of medicine in new orleans have walked the halls. people were proud to work. it was a place where ratner said would work and have a child and the child would grow up and work
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in the same unit. there were multi generational families who worked at the top of those. the real family, the real community and well regarded. has been a baptist hospital originally known as southern baptist and with these changes in medicine we saw in the 90s and 2,000s was bought by a for profit company. >> is memorial opened today? >> it is under new ownership and back with the baptist name. >> the same building? >> the same building. i was just there the other day, they opened the neonatal i see you where people go to have their babies, many people were born at baptist hospital. they made improvements in their electrical system that unfortunately hospitals in my city where i live now, new york, do not have to make these improvements until 2013 because we discovered with hurricane sandy we have the same vulnerabilities in new york and
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many places are in flood prone areas that do not have their power systems protected but this hospital now does so they felt secure enough to bring the baby's back but eight years later it is a very long time for this rebuilding to occur. >> walk us through the five days. what is the date we are talking about and what happened on the first day? >> basically the first day everybody arrived, the next morning of the storm hit, very severe storm, it was scary but when you talk to people that is not what they remember. they remember that there is a which is the day near this hospital water started coming up. the fourth day all power was lost. it became very critical. you can imagine in an american hospital, doctors and nurses rely on power to do just about everything weather running at iv that used to be run by gravity, now there are electrical pumps,
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to the medical records systems which are now digital. that doesn't work when the power fails. think about ventilators. people who rely on machines to help them brief. those failed. doctors had decided to get the neonatal off of little babies and intensive care unit patients but they also designated a group of patients to go last. the sickest patients with do not resuscitate orders. we learned in america that may not be the best way to do tree osh, to figure out how , to fi the resources people need and a do not resuscitate order doesn't necessarily mean somebody can't benefit from care, doctors had to make the decision on the fly,
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they were hot and scared so these patients, it was decided they would go last and imagine they moved the patients out of their room into staging areas thinking helicopters would be coming but at some point, everybody was up on their rooftops. many people did not evacuate the city. remember the images of people waving anything they could to get helicopters to rescue them. the pilots had to decide do i rescue someone off of law rooftop who might not have water? do i go to this hospital where presumably they have supplies which they did, helicopters dropped off madison they needed. they have water, they have food. sometimes the helicopters came very slowly and these patients grew sicker and sicker and some staff grew very afraid. >> sheri fink, thousand people in the hospital when katrina hit. how many people were evacuated?
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>> what happened was through incredible work, creative thinking, literally doctors and staff members who went out and knew there were boats on trailers in the neighborhood and when water rose, they hot wired one of them, brought it back to the hospital and started getting able-bodied people out because dry ground was only eight blocks away. they could float them there, that would be a way to rescue them. they got people out that way, they got pets out that way and they started euthanizing pets because they felt we can't put them on a helicopter, trying to take patients and family members out but it turns out through creative thinking they were able to expand those resources and bring boats to the hospital. one of the big lessons of "5 days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital" is you and me, any of us can be in a disaster where official help doesn't come quickly enough and it is through creative thinking that prepares you so you and me
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care for ourselves, family members, our community. we saw it in the philippines, the help comes a little too late. there's a family member of a patient too who outside of new orleans, to the checkpoints which were closed, back to the border of the city, found some guys with swamp posts and directed them to the hospital, not only heard -- and her husband's mother, but many people at the hospital. so overall there was an incredible effort that kitchen with helicopters, no air traffic control, risking their lives to land on this helipad that hadn't been used in years. what was found after were 45 bodies at the top, 40 patients who died of those 45 during or after the disaster and that is when this question began why did so many patients died at this hospital that at many hospitals in a similar situation. ..
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>> who started that circulating questing? by the way, if you would like to participate in our conversation with sheri fink, who is the author of "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", she is a pulitzer prize winner, please dial the numbers on our screen. we are talking about hurricane katrina and the medical ethics. sheri fink is a medical doctor.
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(202)585-3890 for eastern and central time zones and (202)585-3891 is the mountain and pacific phone number. you can also send us a tweet. >> there is great dissension over this, there were people who felt like this was the right thing to do and some of them bravely spoke to me and i say bravely because ultimately there were arrests involved because of this. so there were people who thought that we should give these patients some medicine and help them to their death, it essentially. one of the doctors i spoke with said that he was so frightened that he called his wife and said i don't think i'm going to see you again, he thought he had to get out of that hospital and what would happen to the
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patients. >> which doctors this? >> he was -- he passed away recently, but he was a critical care doctor at memorial. >> he was there for the five days? >> he certainly was. and he felt it was the right thing to do but there were others who didn't. >> can you say that the doctors at memorial were euthanizing patients? >> well, the book, "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", takes you into debt by euthanasia they hasten the death by euthanasia or medicines, order can be called death by murder. he arrested several because a year-long investigation took place and some of the staff who felt like, according to medical ethics and the laws of the land,
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according to the will of the family members who are present in some cases, that we don't do this. that there is a tradition in medicine the goes back to the time of hippocrates the doctors should not be in the role of hastening death and that is something that our medical codes in the united states are very against and they say they are not allowed. there are few places where euthanasia is allowed, but only with the consensus and under strict rules towards the end of life if a patient wishes such a thing. >> who is the next doctor? >> she is one of the doctors who is ahead in neck surgeon and she gave some of the medicines to patients and i should say investigation showed that 20 patients received combination of morphine and a powerful sedative, one or the other or both and died that thursday,
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september 1. many physicians and nurses, several were involved in this and she was one of them, there were two nurses that were also arrested, the three of them were arrested and accused by the attorney general of second-degree murder in the deaths of several patients. and they were arrested because the prosecutors had the most evidence when it came to them and there were witnesses who had seen them and who had spoken with them about giving these medicines are among the doctors we spoke with me openly about what they did, while she spoke with me, would not address the issues around those deaths, not surprisingly, if you are arrested and accused of murder obviously. family members, all of those lawsuits are settled or dismissed now, but i think that on the advice of her attorney, she is not really address the
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issues at the core and say only that she was innocent and not guilty of murder. >> is she still practicing medicine? >> yes. >> where is that? >> louisiana state university, she was promoted after these events because because while the evidence was there, although these deaths were hasten, the drugs were given. what the motivation was was really what the case was hinged upon. and however if it was given for comfort, that is something that we do allow in the united states, certainly, to treat patients for comfort towards the end of their lives. but the experts were called in to look at these cases were pretty convinced, there is one
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who dissented, that just the pattern of so many deaths in such a short period of time led them to believe that this was more than just an effort to provide comfort. but there was great sympathy for these health professionals in louisiana because of the larger context that the decisions were made in. and failures to respond quickly enough on a governmental level, so given that context, they felt that how can these arrests, with all of that failing around them. >> sheri fink, when the news reports come out about what may have occurred at memorial? >> very early on there were doctors and nurses who really disagreed and who had been involved in the discussions over hastening death, euthanasia, putting people out of their misery, whatever order you want to use on a company felt that this was wrong and that the patients were not suffering
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where this was called for even for comfort medicines. one doctor said to me that our job is not to bring about death and he really dissented in some of them spoke with the media. so very early on there were intimations of what might have occurred. but of course, no real evidence and a lot of people tended to dismiss those stories as sensationalistic and not really believe what happens. and i felt like i had worked in disaster and conflict zones myself as an aid worker and my first book was about a hospital under siege for three years during the bosnian genocide. that number had actually heard of a situation getting so desperate that doctors and nurses really thought that -- some of them thought this might be the best option. and i felt it was urgent for our country to know the true story and that that was the best way to honor the sacrifices of the people who worked so hard in this situation and the lives of the people that have passed
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away. for us to face this head on and not walk away from it and to look at these events. whatever the motivation and the feelings of the people who did this. obviously thinking that it was the best thing to do. we need to learn from this and go forward. we don't want to see this type of thing happen again. so there's all sorts of vulnerabilities in the country, organizations getting better prepared with leadership and communication and individuals having our own things. the first half of the book is by an hour by hour rechristen what happened and we have, unlike these doctors and nurses were stuck in a situation, we have the luxury of thinking about it before it ever happens and what we would want to do in a crisis like this.
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>> you have a picture here of memorial hospital under water. please call on in. the phone numbers on your screen, divided by region if you are interested in participating. but it was this taken? >> that was taken on the fifth day. there was an effort to evacuate the hospital just as those injections were taking place in this is one headed toward for the hospital. that's the main hospital. and this is the garage ramp and patients again, creative thinking is what saved lives here. they save so many lives and they pushed the patients until the mob that down ramp of this circle parking garage and then
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carried none of these rickety metal steps to the top of that here birdsall every patient, when the power fails you have no elevators, just imagine. >> you can see the water on the streets below. still how isolated were the people at memorial on day four and a five? >> they were isolated. you know, this is the hospital that is two city blocks long like many of our hospitals. there just wasn't a pattern of regular meetings that people felt like communication was good in the hospital. so there were a few people who had radios and who were in touch with the rescuers and the coast guard left the radio there. so rumors just flew. and i was writing the book, as i thought about it, i thought about the call-in radio show that was happening and people
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were calling in and reporting what was happening and there were people at the hospital with battery-powered radios listening and there were rumors of sharks and hotel swimming pools and that zombies are taking over new orleans, really, does is what people were saying. a lot of the cell phones weren't working, and the phones cut out, they didn't have satellite phones working. and so you asked where they cut off and it felt very cut off. >> was the temperature in the hospital? >> people estimated it at a hundred degrees. the local weather stations not keeping records at that time. but i got weather records and i i would say it was released in the '90s in the area around the hospital and inside it became human. if you've ever been in the hospital, modern hospitals are kind of sealed shut and when the
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power goes down from which it sometimes does, if you have no air-conditioning, the walls start to sweat. it becomes slippery on the floor and it becomes very humid and hot and difficult to work in people's energy was sapped. >> did they have water? >> they did have water, not running water. but they have ample supplies of water. but some people fear that it would run out and they were afraid of that. >> sheri fink, you are a medical doctor as well. and have you thought about putting yourself into place for those five days at memorial? >> i have worked in disaster zones as a volunteer with some of the nongovernmental organizations. and that is really what made me interested in looking at this story. i certainly was not there when this happened and that is why it took me six years to gather documentation and to really try to piece together moment by moment what happened.
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but what i have is empathy for people working under situations of great stress and just what lack of sleep can do to you, what it can do to you when you hear gunshots going off and bombs exploding. and so i think that that gave me some sympathy for the conditions >> were these patients euthanized in your opinion? >> i think it is completely clear that data cannot be argued that 20 patients were found with these drugs in our bodies and it was well documented by the hospital and when they died and where they died and they receive these medicines on thursday, september 1, and they died within a short period of time. as for the intentionality of each person that did this act, that is sort of up to each person to say.
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two doctors said that we did it intentionally hasten the death of the patients and others that i was trying to give comfort. and so i think that when you read the book, i wanted to show the different perspectives. i didn't want to insert myself in their and the whole question of the legal aspect was how do we adjudicate these potentially criminal acts in the context of this disaster. >> sheri fink is our guest, author of "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital" and she's a medical doctor. we have is about the from a call from isabella in florida. >> caller: hello,. >> we are listening. >> caller: okay.
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>> i'm going to have to move on, i'm sorry. we are going to move on, and we are going to go to our caller from portland, oregon. we are listening, please make your comment for sheri fink. >> caller: hello, i was reading about this during the time of "the new york times" writeup on it. i don't know if you were the author of that piece in "the new york times" or not. but it seemed like there was a lot of [inaudible] and there was one woman director of the hospital who is making these decisions and i guess another part of it is that there really was no smoking gun in the sense that you said those two doctors came out and said yes, we did this. but they argue that no one ever said let's kill these people and so therefore people just kind of got off, and they use that as
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the defense of not being clear, but many people said that they knew that that's what they were going to do, yet no one actually said those words out loud to all of the individual doctors. so was wondering if you could comment on that and if you were involved with "the new york times" writeup in the degree to which the hospital staff was told that. and just as a commentary, i feel more sympathy for the patients. i know you are trying to stress the fact that these doctors were under immense pressure but i'm sorry, i have more sympathy for the patients. they are there for their care and regardless of the stress and how it is that they were thinking, their job is to save lives and it just shows you how it was during hurricane katrina that so many people shirk their duties and responsibilities and
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police and hospital people, that they ended up killing people as opposed to trying to care for the citizens and residents. >> thank you. >> the book raises this question is a time of crisis a time when we allow our moral our moral values to five hours at a time when we really need to hold even more closely to our root moral values and that is one of the questions that the book raises. and i think that many people were very disturbed because i should say it wasn't just patients who are teetering at the end of life who receive these drugs, in fact, one case in particular, and that ever everett was a 61-year-old woman partially paralyzed, but he was hodgins and he had expressed a desire to be rescued and he didn't sell breakfast that
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morning and told his nurses that are we ready to rock 'n roll. he said one specific nurse, don't let them leave me behind, don't let them leave me behind. and she was devastated because because he was one of the patients who received these drugs and he was 380 pounds in the hospital without elevators functioning and according to people who participated in the discussion about him, they felt that -- that they were so out of hope that they felt that they couldn't carry him down the staircase. and i feel that we really need to think about this because obesity is an issue in our country. this came up at bellevue last year as well. the last person rescued when the waters came up on the east river in new york city, a big public hospital, 20 some stories high, is a 500-pound man and they didn't give up hope. they kept carrying the fuel of two backup generators after the
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fuel pumps failed in the basement. and then until they could get elevator running and getting him out safely. so a lot of people feel the way that you do and it is one of those reasons why we really need to look at these issues. and as to this, i think that if you read the book "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", i interviewed everyone i could, where did you hear about this idea, where did that person here from that person and etc. and you can kind of see how that initial idea was introduced in a context at first euthanizing pets and perhaps offhand comments about we are putting the patients in making the pets comfortable, when we do more for the patients. the patients were getting comfort medicines all on. they were giving them doses of what they needed for pain and four for distress as well. so the question of how does that idea percolate through the
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medical staff, embraced by some, rejected by others, it's all in the book, and yes, i did write "the new york times" article that you mentioned and early version of this story, which i felt even in 13,000 words could not tell the whole story and that is why i took another three years and wrote "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital." >> what did you when your poll surprise for? remapped for the magazine that this caller was referring to that was published in 2009. >> we have chuck from arnold, maryland. >> hello, doctor sheri fink. i have a question for you. i organized a group under fbi volunteer program called [inaudible] where we looked at long-term disasters and we have a group of doctors, including folks in the
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military and looking at the health care infrastructure nationwide. i'm wondering if you would be interested in participating with critical infrastructure and how to do it and what we might do to improve it for things like this. and i didn't know there was an interesting might have been a way to contact you to participate in that. >> thank you. i urge anyone who wants to get in touch, you can go to my website which is sheri and i am also on twitter and i have my facebook page and there is a contact form on the website as well. and i think that i'm really glad to hear that and i have heard that before. since the book has been published for some really fantastic initiatives of people
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really realizing that we have seen so many disasters and vulnerabilities in different parts of the country and it is really a wonderful thing when various organizations and individuals get involved in looking at these preparedness issues and there are certain things that could be implemented >> who started the investigation into memorial hospital? >> it was started by the medicaid fraud control unit and it turns out that these units are in every state, it is a body that is sort of a combination of federal monies as well as state resources. >> just. >> it was housed in the state capital and they typically investigate medicaid fraud, so this might be anything from abuse of elderly people in a
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nursing home to financial shenanigans going on and help facility that receives medicaid money which is most of them and they looked at best. the second half of "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", you meet those young and passionate individuals. when these allegations are accusations came out, there was a code of silence and people were afraid, knowing that the investigation was going on. so they faced a tough battle piecing together what happened. the bodies sat in an unrefrigerated condition for a long time, so even if you do toxicology test on them, they could detect the amount of drugs, but -- i'm sorry they could detect presence of certain drugs but the amounts are very
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difficult to detect. so it's the whole second half of the book is how they piece together these conditions and after a year of investigating is when the arrests took place. >> the next call comes from walter in new haven connecticut. you are on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hello, yes, i would like to comment on the military situation and i suppose they can only say that they can actually save and i suppose it is taken out of their hands and they do what they can. and i'm wondering if medical training, so the determination is sort of taken away from them.
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so maybe the expectation of this and watching what you can expect and what it can actually do and who they can actually save as opposed to what they think they can do. >> thank you for asking that question. i looked at the history and what we are talking about here is triaged, which comes from a french word, it referred to the sorting of coffee beans and that was exactly as you said, the original conception if you have a battlefield situation with people injured and who do you save first say verse than his concept was we save the most grievously injured without regard to race or distinction and its egalitarian, as the french would refer to it. and then some years later there was this concept added which
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would imply this much but this group of patients might go last. and perhaps their care would wire too many resources if you say that person, you might lose to other people, or perhaps you don't even have the resources to save them. and interestingly, when we look at the triaged protocol, say that her e-mail and units in america use today, i was surprised to learn that there are roughly nine well-recognized systems in the u.s. for it and they don't operate that category. and for us while we are not always good at predicting which of the patients will have no chance of survival and which will have a chance if we rescue them first. there has not been a lot of research on triage and i would urge anyone watching today and
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if you know a young person who is going up and wanting to research something important in the medical field, we don't even know how these different methods of triaged might impact the overall population and really it is about this normally, we try to do our best with each individual patient and we treat them according to the cute their situation is. we are flipping two or more populations on this kind of based approach. the number of lives saved, quality years of life, should age play a role, should we try to aim for justice and should we do it randomly, these are things that are debated and i think that we in america need to think about this in this particular story is one example and we face these types of situations across the health care system when you think about who gets resources and doesn't.
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or when we prepare for a pandemic, there are discussions starting to go on that would help medical professionals make these decisions and to guide them. these guidelines are being made, for the most part, by small groups of health professionals and they may have very different values on the larger public and i would urge anyone who is interested in us, to please get involved and take a look at your health department website in your state and see what is going on in terms of development of these guidelines. >> the next call comes from jana and wholesome, montana. please go ahead with your question. >> thank you. hello, sheri fink. i'm just curious how many people [inaudible] thank you. >> why is that important to you?
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and i think she hung up. >> okay, i'm glad to have a chance to answer this because in the book i didn't really make it clear that i felt that the race of the person was not -- i felt it wasn't necessary to always mention that. so some people have assumed that this was perhaps euthanasia of all african-american people because there was this doctor who he spoke about who had said something when i interviewed him, having to do with race and having to do with historical situations and we withdraw in our own communities and we feel comfortable with the people we are closest to them perhaps those potential fissures in society can open if we're not careful and if we allow ourselves to fear this, for
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example. but as best as i can tell of the 20 patients that received those drugs, about half and half african-american and caucasian or white or whatever words we want to do is to denote those races. we don't know what the denominator was in terms of the overall racial breakdown of those over there. but i can certainly say that it was not all one race or another who received those drugs and who died and they were a very low socioeconomic status as well. >> to the families get involved in these patients? >> they did. i think some people assume that this was a merciful act of the families would be glad if they think you are putting my loved one out of their misery in this awful situation when they had maybe not a great chance to survive. part of the problem was the staff didn't even know where they were sending people to and
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whether the next place would have the kind of care that people would need. the family members were not asked what they wanted and several were made to leave their loved ones to get on votes and evacuate themselves. i would say almost every single one feels that this was wrong except for maybe one exception, if the loved one even if they hadn't wanted to live, they still had value and that effort should have been made to rescue them. and i think it's fascinating in the epilogue that takes you all the way up and it came out this fall and it takes you right up to hurricane sandy and some of the more recent disasters. we found that one of the big challenges is that even short of euthanasia, this a time of
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crisis and often family members are not involved in the larger public is not involved. you say how can we possibly do that. but there is an example before hurricane sandy was approaching, and connecticut there is a hospice there. and they realized that they would have do it evacuate in short order and they assumed that they would move the most fragile and sickest is that patients first. then they went and they spoke with the families and they asked the families and they found something but the staff did not anticipate, which is that the family members closest to death wanted to go last and they wanted every chance for their
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loved one to be a part of that. so i think we can sometimes find things and it's crucial, really. >> the next call comes from sheila and louisiana. where's your location? >> caller: [inaudible] >> we are having trouble hearing. >> i'm south of monroe, louisiana. hello? >> please go ahead, we are listening. >> caller: hello, i like your book. and i think that these doctors have a tough call. before hurricane katrina hit, because of new orleans, what happened there and we never
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heard anything about that. i have researched this many times. >> she was talking about a leper colony near new orleans and she wanted to know what happened to that. >> i am not familiar, but thank you for the question. >> how much did hurricane katrina cost the health care systems? >> not only were these doctors and nurses brought before a grand jury, which i should say they did not indict, but there were many lawsuits against the corporation itself for what one lawyer described as a new theory of liability and failure to prepare for potential and possible disaster and they knew that hurricanes could hit new orleans and that there could be flooding in the new that there was a vulnerability in many
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hospitals. so the hospitals have been sued by the people who were in them, not only people who died, but those who suffered during the days of heat and fear and it was an particular suit and certified as a class action on behalf of basically everyone in the hospital. because of workers compensation, they couldn't be part of the suit as workers, but just as it reached a stage of jury selection, the corporation and the plaintiff settled for $25 billion without any sort of admission of any sort of responsibility. so that was just divided of this year and people just received it this year and everyone i've talked to is pretty much unhappy with the amount that they received. people feel that at least one daughter one patient who had received this, sort of let her own lawsuit and she settled this
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year she says she just fell at the amount wasn't enough to make the corporation think harder about disaster preparedness and making these investments and you have to wonder in this is a critical infrastructure. we want them not to be places of danger for the patients and i'm. all of us may need them ourselves if there is a hurricane or an attack of some type. we need that to be able to continue to function. thinking about that is big questions for our country.
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>> hello, i really love this book and i think it's amazing and i just wanted to ask questions. number one was the issue of abandonment. i know that the defense counsel for these doctors, they are using an argument in a disaster situation with american law and state law doesn't apply anymore than i thought that was very deserving and i just wanted to get your thoughts on those things. >> sure. i think that american law still applies and honestly it was difficult in a situation that juries do have discretion and they are able to, in this case,
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it became a question of whether that jury really heard all the evidence or whether they didn't hear all of the evidence for this. >> we both apologized, to nicole in brooklyn. >> so who designed this? >> i think it's brilliant. and that is exactly the effect that is being done. >> we have tried to fix it.
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>> the author of the book, thank you for being on booktv here in miami. this is live coverage of the 30th annual miami book fair. the 50 year on the air coming up, several more author events today. the next one you will see is at chapman hall with doris kearns goodwin. they will be on a panel for 45 minutes or so, the first, peter baker is a chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and bush and cheney at the white house, he is coming up in just a few minutes. but first, we want to surpass coverage. he came out with this book.
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>> i laid out a doctrine that said that protect the country, we have to be on the offense and we had to deal with threats before they fully materialize and that's one of the lessons of the attack of september 11 and this includes the ideology of the innocent. but i felt that it was important to deal with because the biggest danger facing america is weapons of mass destruction and in the hands of a surrogate that has chosen this. one thing is clear in this book are not is that i tried to make diplomacy work and there is an exhaustive attempt convince them, we meant what we said
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whether we should have gone to the security council and i walked through the debate. your position, as you say, is legally he was in violation of previous problems the. >> yes, what is interesting is i wanted there to be a coalition of these confrontations and it's not just the united states that was demanding this or allowing the inspectors in but a lot of nations. but they cannot add without a u.n. security council resolution and a woman to build a coalition and we agreed to pass a unanimous resolution.
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on one hand we have a military track trying to send signals that there will be consequences. and in terms of weapons of mass destruction but i think people forget is that congress passed a resolution calling for the regime change. and after september 11, congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of force to protect the american people and when people begin to then change their mind, which sometimes happens in politics. but it can happen if you're the commander in chief and you can be playing politics with the security of the united states and with those who wear our
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uniform. >> anyway, it is a painful experience and i'm certainly not attributing it when their child is sent into combat. but it's a difficult position and no president should ever think about this without considering the consequences. >> he has gotten a lot of military members that have fallen and you have written about this. can you tell them about that? >> yes, it rings a bell a lot. because i want the american people to understand incredible strength of this.
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and i talk about this, being high level with the children and how courageous they were and i didn't want them to see weepy commander. i wanted them to hear the words that your father is a real person. and then she said he did his job and now you do yours. so there's a lot of people with strength of character that come out. and people should support them.
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[applause] >> under saying that those as part of its. >> we became fast friends and admire him a lot. i admire him because he's a courageous person when he gives you his words, he keeps it. laura and i spent a lot of time with him and made a lot of friends along the way in the international arena but i would say we ended up with a very fast friendship and i found it to be unusual to look beyond the
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horizon and i thought tony blair could do that in a way that was very strategic in thought. and tony have that. >> we had one and she was breaking into my position and this is fair and swift and the death penalty saves lives and she didn't agree. >> he were reelected with a majority for the first time in 16 years and you went in on the social security issue first and only later in 2006 push forward
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for changes in our immigration laws. those are not successful endeavors. what have you learned from that? >> i had to do over again, i'd probably say the immigration plan first. but i didn't. congress didn't want to reform social security. so there is an issue, i feel, in all due respect, where congress is more reactive than proactive on the issue. and nevertheless they push hard on the issue because i think it's essential that we performed social security. i made it clear that i didn't go to washington to play small ball. and i went there to deal with problems and not shy away from them.
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and it is wildly praised, nevertheless the issue got away and it became something that is very difficult and somebody was nervous about it and i can understand why people are. and automatically with labeling us and i have no regrets and trying those issues. and in both cases i was unsuccessful. >> you have a chapter on iraq, which goes into 2003 and a little bit in 2004. and then you have a chapter leader in the book on the search where you talk about how spring of 2006 he came to believe that our strategy in iraq was failing
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needed to make changes in that. and that resulted in this strategy which i think is generally agreed to have been successful and how did you turn the government -- why did you change your mind on that. >> i changed my mind because i felt that we were beginning to lose in the loss in iraq would be a major blow to the security of the united states and it would've meant that the sacrifices that have gone on prior to that moment would've been in vain and send shockwaves through the middle east and i've always believed in the universality of freedom that exists in everyone's soul and if we could get the right strategy to bring security into place, people would be given a chance in the politics were first and
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we were very successful in us constitution where democracy can take hold. and i have decided that it would've been catastrophic as far as i would have concerned. >> and that was president george w. bush from 2010 here and there's a live picture c-span bus that is here and we will be live all afternoon with author events and collins. go to and get a full schedule and joining us now is peter baker, author of this new book, bush and cheney in the white house and what did you
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learn? >> i think he was willing to be a part of this, he didn't talk about it to the same degree, he talks about how katrina was handled and he still obviously believes in the iraq war, and he talks about how he feels in particular and i thought it was a very interesting memoir as presidential books go. >> what about the number of dick cheney? >> i think that he expresses regret, but he opens up about his attitude and his point of view, like you could get a better look and he is kind of a cipher. they don't understand him because he is not as public as bush has been over the years and i think how he saw the world and why he was pushing 40 and.
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>> were you able to interview both principles? >> yes, he was very helpful and very willing to talk and president bush chose not to talk to me for the book. there were about 275 people that were important in the bush years including david petraeus and a lot of others in the vast majority of the record, which makes this such a valuable document of history. >> has dick cheney been consistent in this position since 2000? >> he has been. for the most part. focused on the idea that 9/11 represents only a tip of the iceberg. he advocated policies that others may not have made and he believed it was necessary in defense of the country and he remained fixed on it. president bush always believed
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in the defense of the country but began to see these other trade-offs pursued a different direction like more diplomacy and things that are so controversial. even eight democrat, he basically does much of the terrorism programs. >> that terrorism program was also part of this, was in an? >> yes, he was resistant to some of the changes. he thought that they were too far in giving in to the class. making compromises on military conditions and he began living a lot of prisoners outside of guantánamo in his time and so these are changes that he finds
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alarming and five and the second term. we get into more details later. >> out of the relationship of all the weed eaters that they were in office? >> is a dynamic and fascinating story and i think people thought it was a static picture and a cartoonish idea. as you saw in that clip that we played, he's a smart guy, he made his own decisions, certainly he was the most influential vice vice president that we have an overtime in overtime and should be able to move apart, cheney doesn't find that a good idea and so by the end they are on opposite sides in this includes syria, russia, gay rights, auto bailout, donald rumsfeld, and then they had this
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sort of fight as well. >> this is our guest for "the new york times", here is his book, days of fire. (202)585-3890. you can also send a comment to twitter and you can make a comment on her facebook and the harriet miers story that you tell, walk us through that. >> it's very interesting. >> but he understood what he wanted to do in this includes
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judicial activism and he interviewed a lot of candidates. especially throughout all the candidates, he chooses his own white house counsel. and he knew his heart and he thought everyone else would appreciate her the way that he did and it was a miscalculation and it will be a tough sell. this was done anyway. and she is savaged by fellow conservatives that don't see her as a representative of what they were looking for injustice and more importantly behind-the-scenes, i think that what we didn't see at the time was what really did her in which
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was white house preparations for hearings on the hill. and they discovered that she doesn't understand the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause and she really understands the issues of this under the fifth amendment. and it was something that she spent a lot of time on but the lawyers came away shocked and she was upset and went to bush's inner circle and said you cannot let her go up there, and push him around to the idea that it was unfair to her either and she would be under a devastating moment for her. >> a new account in her book, that there is a fire that president bush had asked dick cheney to lead a task force.
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>> yes. and he was a judge that was well-known among conservatives particularly in on the extent of asking goliad, who was dick cheney's favorite justice, but bush chose this in part because he had been through a rough time and he thought kerry myers might be an easy sell on capitol hill. harry reid was a democratic leader and said he loved harriet miers. >> he probably would've lost to some republicans, when he? >> at. one of them said next time you're going to have to say something and another one was just how did i do and she said
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that you flunked and senator specter a subset of some of her comments that he sent a questionnaire back and made her redo it like a high school student. so she had a rough time trying to persuade republicans at that point. >> at the end of the eight years, what was the relationship >> it was proper, but by the end, they disagreed on so many things. and it becomes a proxy about the partnership and especially for one last validation for what they had had and he was not willing to give it to him. and not telling the truth according to prosecutors about how he learned about the cia
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affiliation. he was criminalizing and this is a stain on the reputation and you have to do something about it. and it was very skeptical and he thought that it was special favors of people who had access asking for the special favors and he was inclined to do it. they come back and say that we think the jury had every reason to find what i found. so did untrendy decide and we are leaving him as a good man wounded in the field of this.
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>> good afternoon. >> afternoon. they give are taking my call. my question is a question. and that is the conflict between them on so many issues in terms of final decision-making. pc that is good or bad? >> that is a really interesting question in the it didn't help the policies they were pursuing and this is one of the things that history will be debating this for a long time. ..
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what the rest of the world considers right, and are we ever going to get prosecutions for these crimes by cheney? >> well, you know, these are issues we are still debating today obviously. president obama not only kept that program going, he has expanded and believes that it is a useful tool of national security, and he believes it is legal. you know, there is obviously talk about, some people who would like to find prosecution on some of these issues because, as you say, the interrogations' are what people call torture. president obama decided that he
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was not going to do that. he allowed a real investigation of some of the cia officers. that's a place and then was closed without any additional prosecutions. so i think at the moment there is no -- it does not seem to be a vehicle at the moment that is moving in that direction are trying to investigate those issues, but president obama did sign an order banning what -- the techniques that were included in some of the programs the vice-president cheney and president bush had authorized. >> since the end of the bush administration, how many times have the chaneys and the bushes -- >> not very many. two publications together. president bush broke ground on his library. then again when it opened just this last april. besides that they had, i think, a private dinner at one point, but otherwise it don't really get to and talked. it is not friendly. i asked president cheney about
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this during one of our interviews. look, we were never buddies. it was a professional relationship. we did not socialize. it was a professional relationship. ♪ what a lot connolly's a rice? what role does she play? >> now that is a very different relationship. her relationship as personal as well as professional. she had dinner at the mansion with the present in the first lady hillary she went to camp david for social occasions on the weekend. she worked with the president and talks more to the present. the second term elevation to secretary of state dementia not only add that personal relationship, but she also had a professional and policy mandate from the president to begin pushing the administration and someone different directions. look, in the first term we a broken china. because of september 11th they
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had to take decisive action, the notice time to rebuild relationships and make a different change in the second term. and she put it, she ended up fighting with president cheney. you would have liked to continue breaking china. >> days of fire is the buck. next call, you want to call and, you can dial land. 585-3891 if she lived in the mountain and pacific time zone. dick cheney help you change your mind? >> now, he really is not. very consistent and very strong and firm in his views on these things. i asked him about this. he is not offer very many regrets, if any. he thinks that they -- the policies that he has advocated were proven right because the country was not attacked again by the time they left office.
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and it's interesting. he does not trade in trade offs or if it then that. he does not play the game and some others do saying, look, here is how we way these things. this is how we go. a clear choice. >> from the months after september 11th pushing forward with a mission that ultimately considered. >> yeah. obviously they saw the next up in the war on terrible everywhen they have to understand the atmosphere in which they make this decision. a moment of great uncertainty and fear, appetite for action as one senior official put it to me, i so people today, the reason is because we need to kick somebody's austere. afghanistan was too easy. what he meant is that there was
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such a fever in the country at that time to do something after such a terrible ordeal and vice-president cheney thought there were threats that were worse than 19 guys with box cutters. seri does come in fact, urged the president to go and. the president does go along with it not because he was convinced but he actually was inclined to do that anyway. obviously we saw what happened. a war for which there are not fully prepared and goes in a direction that they did not expect and cost him politically for the rest of his presidency. ♪ turning to a cheney after september, he tried to enlist his vice-president to help respond to katrina. this time. >> she did. asked to head a task force that would take care of reconstruction and so forth. thought it was a paper tiger and he would not have any genuine authority to do anything. that is worthless if you can actually do anything. he turned and down and said no. one point he said he would go on
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one trip as a fact-finding mission, but that would be it. i think that is one of the month that they begin to sort of diverge. and number of moments like that that add up to a larger disconnect between the two. >> what was the relationship between staff? >> well, at times it was quite factious. they obviously like each other, work together well, but there was a sense of different genes that times. the staff on e-mails, the security council did not notice coming to them. there was a sense that the staff had these at least into renown things. the counsel's office, david addington, vice presidents, very strong-willed council seem to really be a dominant figure. so at times it was quite dense. >> heritage foundation which has
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been one of the leading organizations on the government shut down and challenging president obama's health care program. and he is, i think, a leading figure in his efforts. he can't practice law because he did not get the pardon. he had not said in a loss street journal. recently. but he has kept a low profile. >> you cover the white house. you talk about this in your book. >> they all did. it is inevitable. you're surrounded by men with guns, living in this forgers. you have a big boom. everywhere you go is scripted down to the exact moments. it is such an isolating experience. all of them, i think, feel it. ito then tries to come back in his own way through french ships and other means.
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president obama just to keep a blackberry. hopefully it is guarded against encryption, against surveillance, but he tried to keep in touch that way. each president finds a way to try sent break out of that bubble, but it is our challenge, i think. >> the next call comes from merrill then detroit, michigan. peter becker the new york times. >> yes, mr. baker. >> hello. >> the question i would like to ask, is there a published comments of the soldiers from the war? is there a published. [indiscernible] of the disabled veterans from the war? is there a public accounting of the unpaid dollars of cost to the united states from the war? has that been published?
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>> thank you. >> well, certainly there is certainly, you know, the names of of the casualties are back on line, published, certainly there have been studies about what caused the country financially. the wars. so i think that information is certainly out there. part of any calculation of americans as stories that they will make about the cost and value. >> if we talk to dick cheney today about the iraqi war, will we say? >> i think he would feel that is the right decision. saddam hussein was a threat. even though the weapons or not there, he argues that he has the capacity to store weapons programs again. as sanctioned regime at the time. this was still the right decision. now, i think if he had it over
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again to do there might be some different methods. he would have, perhaps, changed course earlier on, but very strong proponent of what they did and does not express second guesses. >> donald rumsfeld. >> i asked him, do you think that the president would have gone in have been known there were no weapons? and he says, no, he thinks it was the right thing to do. but he obviously presided over several years of a strategy that did not work ultimately. and he felt that it was mishandled partly because the chain of command was not properly dyspeptic -- respected. he did not like that gerry bremer was reporting to the president instead of him. it was a disconnect that hurt the effort the first year after the war. he had his own critiques of what went wrong. i think he still stands behind the decision to go and. >> president bush likewise. certainly in public and even in
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private. second thoughts about going in. even though some of his aides have said that they think he probably would not have gone and at the known that there are no weapons. president bush does not say that. what he does say is you cannot have do averse. but he would have done it differently in terms of the number of troops sent in. earlier. obviously he does say that they did not handle the way that it was done as well as they should have. >> you are talking to dick cheney you are talking to me the president told one republican senator. when dick cheney is talking it is me talking. >> very early on he empowers them. having his influence is because george bush gives in this influence to me in power some. in cheney to is pushing in a direction that bush is inclined to go anyway. is only later that he begins to start whistling elisabeth the notion that cheney is in charge. by the 2004 re-elect he offers a drop off the ticket.
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and bush thinks about it. he gives it a few weeks and comes up with the name of someone who might take his place . and on other reasons he says he is thinking of doing it is because it will show who is really in charge. you begin to see, he has begun to resent the notion that somehow he, the president, is now really in charge of his own administration. >> nextel sherry in dayton beach -- daytona beach florida. >> hi. november 2001 bush overturned the 1978 presidential records act. he signed an executive order permanently flaunting from the public of presidential documents and tapes going back to the reagan ministration. many in congress called this measure for secrecy unconstitutional. my question is, after bush left office, are those presidential records now available to the public?
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>> that is a very good question. i will not be able to give you a precise answer because i am not as of today on where that stands i no there are amendments and changes. i know that starting in january of this coming year president bush's library, george w. bush library will begin accepting free of the commission requests for documents from his administration. we will be interesting to see how people begin to explore the wreckage from his administration i think you're right, kept out of the public eye. he thinks it is deemed classified, but it will be interesting for researchers in large part because the first one where e-mail was genuinely used in a significant way, 200 million e-mails were collected and kept and stored. a fascinating record. if we had tapes under the jfk and lbj and nixon administration, e-mails will be the real treasure trove for future researchers. >> why? >> well, i think bush insulted
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us and the males, but you get a much more real time look at what they were talking about with each other. people are very -- less circumspect e-mails. they ought to be kept her history. so hopefully we will get better sense of who makes what decision when, how they will be, the factors will be going into it, the debates going on. and i think that the research will be a fascinating opportunity. >> when president bush made the executive order decision, then the other former presidents support him? >> my memory of this is sketchy, so i want to be careful. it is not quite as sweeping as we describe it and we still do the papers. think it provides a longer lead time and more discretion for the president to keep them out of the public view. i just don't know that. ♪ you are on with peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the new york times.
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>> can you hear me? can you hear me? >> we are listening. >> you know what, we are going to move on to lynyrd in boca raton, florida. leonard, please go ahead with your question comment. listening. >> pointed, the republican governor. helms was then head of the -- he will never get a hearing. the constitution. i can't believe that they offered for the congress, promulgated and said that the senate will make its own rules that should supersede the
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constitution. each one of the senators sworn to uphold the constitution. yet they violate the constitution by not giving earing to people who are nominated for judgeships. and it seems to me, you know, when we have this bottleneck and wrote a letter to the president and said you have to bring a certified action against the head of the congress to bring forth some legislation because he is holding it up in violation of the constitution. i get no response. i notice afterwards that they have now reduced majority of 51 over 49. i really would have liked that discussion on whether or not the rules of the senate supersede the constitution or comply with the constitution. >> right. it is a good question. the rules of the senate don't
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supercede the constitution but the constitution is ultimately they about what it is the senate can and cannot do. it does not say how they should provide that and vice. that is how the senate sets its own rules within the parameters of the constitution but it does not actually say anything about hearings and what process the senate must go through to consider or not consider as the case may be, nominations. you're right that the rules changed this week. harry reid pushed through a new measure that will eliminate filibuster possibilities for most presidential nominations. instead of being 50 votes, 51, and we will see how that plays out. democrats were on the opposite side of that issue just a few years ago when president bush was frustrated that there were filibustering his nominees and republicans were the ones who first talked about the nuclear option. did not go forward. that will apply to both parties
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depending upon who in the white house. >> in fact, harry reid was on our program a couple of years ago. ted crews sent out and little clip of that program. saying that he would never hold a nuclear option. >> what is good for you is bad for me. becomes opposite when the majority switches. harry reid and the democrats were vigorously against this nuclear option and thought that it would inhibit their ability to block what they thought were bad a promise from president bush. republicans now are trying to block what they think of that a promise by president obama and it is time to turn the tables. it is done to the point where both parties have made it so difficult for whoever is in the white house support appointments and that the frustration level has risen and it will be interesting weather it changes the dynamic and not. ♪ how long have you covered the white house? >> says 1996 except for four years when you went overseas. and then i came back to go back to the white house when we
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returned in 2004. >> is there a difference between the different licenses that we have covered? any of them more accessible than the others? >> i think that there is more consistency in the white house regardless of political party that we think, both in terms of the policy option, foreign policy, and even the way they deal with the press. the real political parties in the white house briefing room by the white house and the press, not republican and democrat. all feel the same way. not fair to them that we simply love conflict in scandal and we are not treating them with the seriousness and fairness that they deserve. i have heard that 33 white house is. you know, what has really changed is the nature of the media itself. i started in 1996, i wrote a story, maybe too at the end of the day. that was it. in of course we pile weather
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stories, blocks, tweets, do a lot more tv and radio, bought gas and so on. ever moving, ever shifting media environment. sped up and makes it harder, i think, to do longer and more thoughtful journalism. * a try very hard to preserve despite the exhilaration. ♪ and now at politico. a longtime editor. >> exactly. political magazine launched last week. it's worth looking at. >> the cover story was a big piece. >> it was call rocking the cabinet. terrific piece. >> important are not important. >> how essentially the white house focuses power in this particular administration and is also reflected the previous ones. , think it is. every white house wants to stay in control and cabinets increase in net like that as equal matters of policy but not
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necessarily essential to the administration. >> how would you compare it? >> a very good question. when i interviewed by nine before it became vice president he was talking about how he was not going to. the first vice-president ever to come into office saying he would not be as influential as his predecessor. he viewed cheney as a bad model. a good partner to obama, but not pulling the strength in his view. he is a strong partner for president obama, but there are often issues that he has long down on. not on the same side on the afghan surge in the raid into pakistan. and he did -- he took on big projects like the iraqi withdrawal and the stimulus package. he was charged with gun control while they did some executive action. so i think it has been a mixed bag here. >> the next comes from gasol in boca raton right here in
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florida. go ahead. >> i have a question in my mind with regard to whether or not dick cheney specifically what he and president bush's real opinion on torture was. for instance, i am curious as to whether or not either a both of them thought that water boarding was torture. i know that they had some legal opinions from what i considered to be rather extreme sources, but did they -- did they participate in encouraging those legal opinions? and i am curious about what their thought pattern was with regard to torture in general and specifically whether or not water boarding was really torture. >> well, that is a great question. both of them if there were on this to date swim say they don't think the water boarding his
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torture. they, as you say, rely on legal opinions. that has been disputed. president bush clearly felt some discomfort in the sense that there was no water boarding. that was the end of waterborne in the administration. as vice-president cheney about this issue limited interview for this book. and i said, you know, explain to me how this works. the view is very much the ticking time bomb view. an existential threat. if you really think they're people out there trying to do grievous time to the country that was even worse than the 3,000 died, then water boarding, you know, three guys who were water board, it seems like a small price to pay. and ashton, the next question, okay. if you believe that and that is a logic, is there any part of you that felt queasy about it? because i think a lot of these things are tough. a lot of the decisions that the president's advisers may have
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trade-offs. simi 30, 6040. very rarely 100. he had no qualms about it whatsoever. he feels certain in his budget you about it and has not had second thoughts that he is willing to share. >> next call, richard and winter harbor, maine. hello. >> yes. i was wondering whether peter baker was familiar with the book called extreme prejudice by susan and now. she, in fact, was sent over there by the cia as a peacemaker prior to the invasion. when she comes back to try to tell her story she was gagged, was able to speak to small groups all-around, but this is an important thought. i know basically what i would call a coffee historian. he is really going out of milan
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to be reading this book, but i would like to know whether he has read the act and wants to make any comment about susan landau, extreme prejudice. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks for the question. appreciated. have not read the book, but it sounds worth reading, for sure. i don't know that i am reading in the buck. he read about 200 different books. some members of the administration and some critical of the administration. so my view was, many different voices, and different points of view possible to try to come up with the best possible history that we could write. >> is there a tendency to on-time -- sometimes to pull punches? >> a great question. obviously that is an issue that you have to grapple with and find the right balance. richard this, they are often -- they don't give us all that much
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to begin with. at all feel like we lose anything. rival we think and report and stick to the fact based analysis. it would be fine if they punish you as a result, so be it. the truth is as long as your fair and accurate, as long as you are, you know, providing their point of view as well as any other country points of view i think the professionals understand that. those who don't probably were not going to help us anyway. >> clair in boynton beach florida, the last call for peter baker the new york times. >> mr. baker, i am very interested in your findings about the role of colin powell in the lead up to the iraqi war. i always felt he was very reluctant to go before -- i believe he testified about the weapons of mass destruction, at
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such a. my feeling was that if he had resigned in protest as to what they were doing in that the debt situation things may have been different. >> that's a good question and an important one. in fact, his deputy secretary of state at one point did, we reveal in the book, urge : bell to resign thinking that -- the argument being that the white house is using dollars a cover for policies that otherwise would not get as much public support. secretary paul did not see it that way. he did not resign, obviously. he spent a lifetime in the military and believe in being a good soldier. the truth is, he was reluctant about the iraqi war but never actually said no. he went to the president, brought along was that he had written out a long legal battle of the different possible consequences of work, things that he thought the president ought to consider before going to war. he called it the break even on
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it, and effect. all different possible negative effects, but when push came to shove and the president came and said it, okay, i'm going to go for it. are you with me. he said, i am with you and the stick with him. he never did our lycee, we should not a war and certainly as you say, resigned in protest. would that have made a difference, possibly, but he did not feel that that was something you wanted or should do at the time. >> the relationship today have the bushes and the pols. >> you know, i don't really think that they speak a lot. i think that they are altogether in april -- april. president bush said nice things about vice president cheney. but cheney was in the audience with the cabinet and the kid. on stage and had a speaking role. yellen to library, videos narrated.
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portrait of the first lady and pictures of the daughters. and even a statue of the dogs. there really is a not very much in there. he did not like the idea that he was running things other people think that. he was the decider. >> we have been talking with peter becker, chief white house correspondent of the new york times, also the author of this new book days a fire, bush and cheney in the white house. you are watching book tv on c-span2. now, we are live in miami at the 30th annual miami but fair. book tv has been on the air. we have been covering the miami but fair, at least parts of it. a couple hundred thousand people attend this every year. weaker too long up and that
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chapman halt room of miami-dade college with this festival is always thought. can see the room is getting full . she will be there in just a moment. brenda new bio on woodrow wilson. william howard taft. the golden age of journalism. beginning in just a minute. after that we will be back here on our set in miami for call-in program. susan herman, president of the aclu. there knew book is called taking liberties, the lawn chair. the erosion of american democracy. those of the next two events that are coming up this afternoon. live from miami. this is book tv and c-span2. we will take you now to chapman hall for the beginning of doris kerns goodwin and scott berg.
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but we are delighted to welcome you here this afternoon, but to hit 30 of miami book fair international.
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we also want to a knowledge. i see quite a few of you year. we thank you for your support. the end of this session you will have time for questions and answers with the authors and autographing session as well in the green area to the far right of the elevators. i will ask if you could please silencer from. we would very much appreciate if you would silencer found. for those of you coming in, please answer quickly and file. we will be starting the program right now. so i would like to ask dr. alan fein to come forward. once she is done we will hear from arlen hell who will introduce our speakers. please join me in welcoming.
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>> on behalf of myself and my family here today my sister jill, my nephew, and my partner, i would like to welcome you to the annual literary event sponsored by the lilly in fine memorial literature endowment. the intent of the endowment is author of presentation on the works of literary quality. its goal is to enhance love of literature to the widest audience possible in our generation and for generations to come. three are especially grateful to the devoted friends and students of lillian phineus so generously and treated to the endowment. many of you are here today to pay tribute.
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year is a little bit of background. she was born in milton, massachusetts, a small town about an hour from boston. in the 1930's she came to new york city to get hurt in a in education at columbia's teachers college. then, along with my father, benjamin fein, former education editor of the new york times and their four daughters, then moved to long island in the early 1950's. in 1971 my parents came to live in key biscayne. she shares her passion for literature with students. she taught at miami-dade college
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and at the institute for retired professionals before graduating. introduce students to writers of different nationalities and ethnic groups. she opened the door for many. that is why every year we continue to celebrate her spirit and to keep her memory alive. a group ever students even from the study group that gathers tubes discuss literature my mother would have been delighted by such a selection of two pulitzer prize-winning buyer first.
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down from an oral or two. receiving his pulitzer biography of charles lindbergh. he has also written biographies of max perkins and goldman. we will hear about this latest, well-documented subject, president wilson and the relevance for today's economic and foreign-policy berg cites his famous statements, the world must be made safe for democracy. a scott berg enhanced -- his book is enhanced by the access to new material. only recently uncovered. wilson's private letters to his physician and letters belonging to his daughter could was latest
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biography, the bully pulpit, theodore roosevelt, william howard taft and the golden age of journalism depicting the complex french of these two men and the competition and their fight for the presidency which weakened the progressive republican party. above all good when observed how roosevelt was the first modern president to have a close relationship with the press. goodwin has also made the profiles of presidents, live in her many compelling biographies of the kennedys, lyndon johnson, and, of course, lincoln's team of rivals which was the basis for steven spielberg's home of lincoln. condition two are biographies goodwin wrote a memoir called
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wait until next year revealing what it was like to grow up in the 1950's in her home town of rockville center. we are thrilled with this personal connection. she went to the same high school as my sisters and nine. my sister joe was a classmate. i had the same excellent history teaches as she did. the story of her coming of age, her love of baseball that she shared with her father, her close relationships with friends and neighbors also chronicling significant historical events of the fifties. she interviewed both lillian and zero. my mother and sister to document the role that my father benjamin find played in reporting the
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integration of central high in the rock, ark. she notes on a state -- daily articles became sources of discussion in her history class. so beautifully included our family in her book. we are extremely happy to come full circle by granting heard the lillian fine memorial literature endowment award. we are privileged today to welcome these eminent biographers. >> please give her another round
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of applause. celebrating 30 years. thirty years of the miami but fair international. >> it is nice. i am closer. we are about to introduce americans treasure biographers. ladies and gentlemen, good one, and the best audience here, raise your hands. let me see it. >> she was the first female journalist in a locker rooms of the boston red sox. you can applaud a little bit louder for that. but we want to take a journey to a part of america's history and
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a turn-of-the-century, 1901 to 1921. please join us on this journey. already introduced the illustrious history. you will hear little bit more in a little bit. please make sure that you get a coffee -- a copy of her book. the second biographer, another native of new england. a's got bird. please give demand. [applause] >> i must say now an honorary texan and colonel in virginia. she will tell you a little bit more about that. he is going to talk to you about the 27 presidents -- 28 president from woodrow wilson. please welcome.
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to moderate the discussion, one of our own. sixteen years she served as a miami-dade county commissioner. suez hired to found the good governor's initiative, and she is educating and training the next generation of talented and perfect elected officials. can you believe that? the hon. case sorensen. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for that great introduction. welcome, everyone. now in its 30th year. i mean, let's hear it. mitchell kaplan. doris goodwin and scabbard. it's so wonderful to have you
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here. welcome to miami. our premier annual cultural event. is good to have the year. in most of the bucks about presidential. and really, it was started by the roosevelt because he is known as teddy. and so how did he start the progressive era jack what propelled him to act? and what were his successes that are still with us today? >> i may, indeed, : teddy. he did not like to be called teddy. he lost that battle with history. teddy roosevelt came into power at a time when the aspects of the industrial age have not been dealt with. there was no compensation. women and children were exported in the factories. huge monopolies. the gap between rich and the poor and grown wider. sounding somewhat familiar to situations today. the digital revolution may have produced a similar kind of
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economic change. even though he was a conservative when he started in a certain sense and certainly a republican when he started, you realize that the republican party would not be able to continue as a major force in the majority force unless it began to deal with these problems of the industrial age there is so even as governor he tried to introduce reform legislation anger in the political bosses who were tied in with the old order. so they decided there were dumped into the vice presidency where you would have no power and now be the end. of course mckinley is assassinated, and he becomes president. it is not really that he did it on his own. anderson of the only way that he could move is reluctant congress to take the legislation was necessary was to mobilize the country to push them from the outside in, so that is why he defines the word bully pulpit as the president's power to educate and morally move the country forward, but he needed help, and he had help from the press at that time. most remarkable set of relations with the press.
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they too were progressive. they too have their own agenda, as did the social summit groups, churches. it really was an uprising from the country at large to the something had to happen, but he was at the helm, said his name will forever be identified with the progressive era. i taught a seminar on the in the progressive era four years ago and always wanted to live with them. finally after all these other characters i get a chance to be with his most colorful, exasperated, extraordinary figure. so sometimes i wonder what i am doing spending my life with dead presidents, but would not change it for anything in the world. we're going to get to you, let's continue on chronological order because this came into the picture. is said to include passages in your book as well. how have they become close? 400 letters between. how did they become close and added the rest happened? >> added not really know that much about taft. i needed to follow the progressive movement up to the time when his guy. and i knew, of course, that have
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succeeded steady and they had run against each other in 1912, you always go back, and i know that scott does a, you want the primary sources, letters and diaries and private journals, the charges for an historian. when i found these 400 letters between the 2i realized they became friends in their early 30's. an odd couple. marching around everywhere during wrestling and boxing, weighing between 250 and 350 is not doing much wrestling and boxing, but they liked each other. almost attracted to research it brings them into his cabinet. becomes the most important person in his cabinet, even though all his life-just wanted to be a judge in never politician perry from a cabinet post his eyes this is the man of want to succeed me. he runs the campaign. he gives him advice at every moment. the only thing he did not give him advice on musses campaign sought him and teddy would have approved. on a raft with taft.
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yet on a raft with 340 pounds after would not be on a very long. anyway, then he is sure that he will be the lead as a president. guess africa to give his face, caused back and he is told by his progress is attached as become too much in coziness with the old-guard republicans in the congress to train the progress of legacy. it really was not that because he did try to do what he thought he was doing, but he just did not have the skills of public leader. did not know how to deal with the press, give a speech. in such as the decides to run against taft. perot campaign in 1912. of course because there are two republicans running-when spivvy and then, of course, but the parties, when he loses, runs on the bonus third-party campaign opening the door for the democrats win. but what was so emotionally moving for me is the hard break when they broke with much greater than i realized because the french ships had been much stronger.
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i love writing about these emotional things. allowed to be much more than just destroyed, linear story. >> well, scott berg, woodrow wilson camera into the picture. he was elected. he went back to progressivism. talk about that a little bit. >> she went back to progressivism daytime taking the foundation, roosevelt, not teddy, to woodrow wilson. but really it was built upon. and wilson wanted to commend it is kind of ironic because most people have an image of this very presbyterian minister son. in fact, he was extremely human. he was extremely emotional and very passionate they read what he wanted to do, above all, was to humanize the presidency. so where theodore roosevelt had created this relationship with the press, woodrow wilson really wanted to advance. but he did was start holding press conferences which a president had never done before.
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everything that he did was toward personalizing the white house. and toward that end wilson came in with really the most aggressive progressive agenda that we had seen. and he brought it about largely through this process of humanization. and he did it by showing up at the congress. wilson had an extremely peculiar view of how the legislative branch and the executive branch should function. he thought being a political scientist at these two branches -- now get ready, you have to work with me on this, he thought they should cooperate. [applause] think of it. think of it. i mean, he fell literally they should cooperate the government. and so wilson did something presidents have not done since john adams in 1800.
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he showed up in the congress to conduct business. he brought back the president appearing to deliver the state of the union address. woodrow wilson delivered 25 addresses to a joint sessions of the congress. and he actually showed up in a little room that sits in the congress which was designed for presidents to come and work with the congress. now, i think a lot of the presidents have failed to find this room. [laughter] i am not naming names. but i think they have failed to find it because it has a rather tricky name. is called, the president's room. [laughter] >> lbj found it. >> estimated. and really -- and he found it big time. and that is why so much legislation got past. these were guys -- and johnson
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was in many ways in the los onion tradition of getting in there, rolling up your sleeves, may be cracking a few legs and arms and twisting them. and that is what wilson did. in so with that we immediately sought within the first few months of the wilson administration the lowering of tariffs, the interaction of the modern income tax which and a graduated scale so that the richer paid more. we saw the establishment of the federal reserve system which has been basically the basis of the american economy for the last century. he went into labor, eight hour work days to mull workman compensation and so forth. but the first ones you on the supreme court. all of these things but progressivism for woodrow wilson was about leveling the playing field. he was not anti wealth, not anti-war street, but he was antitrust. he was against unfair confrontation.
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in any where he side he tried to fight it. >> so you have both alluded to the fact that there are a lot of parallels between today and those times. are we in another gilded age? >> well, i do think that one of the things that produced at great gap between the rich and poor at the turn of the 20th-century was, as i said, the whole economy and shifted to be used to be that if you were living in some country town, the richest person might be a doctor or lawyer in a house on the hill. then suddenly with these massive just swarming in the 1880's and 90's, big railroads fan in the country. oil industry coming, you have these millionaires side by side with the immigrants in attendance. the turn-of-the-century, the pace of life and sped up. because your head telegraphs, typing letters, local wars exploited in the tabloid press and people are saying that there was a lot of nervous disorder because the pace of life had
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suspect up. think about it today with the pace of life speeding up even more by all the images that we have now. the problem is, yes, we are in some ways in another deal that age. but the progressive era, the mobilization of the country to handle these problems has not emerged. and so as a result -- and i am not even sure the bully pulpit had the power that it did in both wilson and teddy's time when they would give a speech it would become the common conversation in the country and be reported in full, even by the time that fdr when on his fireside chat, you could hear 80% of the people listening to his chat. you know, you could walk down the street on a hot chicago night and not miss a word of what you the same as ever loma sitting in the kitchen and listen to the radio. by the early television you would listen to the whole speech up to reagan really when there were three networks. now the media is divided the way that it was in the 19th century. in national newspapers came along in my time, the
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20th-century, even am writing checks right now, 1913 and 20. in national newspapers that emerged in the early 20th-century replacing partisan press. in the old days you would only read your newspaper. if you're republican away good democrat. the republican newspaper, lincoln gave a great speech can carry on the shoulders of his people. the democratic is every fell on the ground and they booed and hissed. and then we get away from them with national newspapers car radio, television. now here we are taught divided media. you may only watch your own favorite cable station, you're a part of the president's speech, the pawn and staring in town of 40 is finished command our attention span has diminished. in the guys that i wrote about, there were given two years. ray baker, william allen rights of white 50,000 word pieces month after month after month. people read them and talked about them.
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i'm just not sure that that -- that anyone will be given an amount of time by a newspaper or magazine today. and the expense accounts and a camaraderie. in the attention span to talk about it. so i worry about where the country is going in terms of our influence on the government. complied is said there is no one left well less. sometimes i think that is true for us. where are we? we just complain about what is going on in washington. we have not figured out how to do something about the paralysis that is there. >> and i think the fragmentation in the media is only going to continue these people make up there on the media all the time. social media, blocking, and the factory media. i mean, that is happening all over the place. and how is president wilson treated by the media? >> u.s. treated pretty well, especially by the race standard bakers, many of them in debt
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working. >> i love baker. he is my favorite. >> he really spent his final years not only working for wilson within writing nine volumes. he so adored him. one of the most glorious piece is about wilson was written by qaeda tarbell. in fact, it was so wonderful i find myself not quoting it because i thought it made me look too partisan in wilson's favor. but i think is quite true we have been suggesting about this great actualization of the media because what we have lost the, and you really articulated it. we just don't think as much anymore. we react from the get some much. that is why we flock to that cable station bespeaks what we think we think even though we have not body yet. but i think that is a big factor today.
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wilson had a very good relationship with the media up to and just into the first world war which wilson ultimately brought us into. and at that point -- is because one of the great ironies in the story, the most progressive president that we had today, not even for getting tiara, but that this president became the most suppressive of the press, which he did during the war, revitalizing the sedition acts which really had been quiet certainly since the days of atoms and someone with lag in they were brought back. factum was news to settling in all the time saying and doing nothing that heated not to bury that is a good cover. >> it is interesting. people ask me, what would roosevelt had done in today's world. i think he would have loved it.
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his great strength was to reduce complex problems and to short and language. so this square deal. i mean, everything that scott said that while some believe then, the fairness, not going after the rich unless they have accumulated their wealth and unfair means you're really not going after the poor unless they're not taking care of your opportunities. the rock on which the country was founded. in fact, not on his career deal with speak softly and carry a big stake. even gave maxwell house's slogan. it is said that he drank 40 cups of coffee a day. something has to explain the incredible energy of this character. >> that is true. he would have loved twitter because you could not shut him up. >> right. he would -- he loved being in the center of things. this is both the strength and weakness. his daughter said he wants to be the bride at the wedding in the course of the funeral and the baby at the baptism. >> and all of this, of course,
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may wilson crazy. he thought tiara was just a big blustering caricature of a man. and, in fact, somebody once pointed out so many of the same principles that you believe in. what you attack him every day? and roosevelt said to my think that's true. i guess wilson is just a weaker version of me. ..
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there he found an exclusive campus he. it he resented it as an undergraduate and came to resent it as a professor there. he then became president of the college. and it was at this time he decided now i have the ability to change what this college is. wilson's predecessor in the presidency of princeton was a man who used to brag he ran the finest country club in america. [laughter] he did. there was no question about it. it was an enclave for the sons of the very, very rich. wilson tried to tear that down. it was in doing that, he began writing about what he was doing and speaking about what he was doing. this is how the most immediate oric rise in american history occurred. people began to look at wilson,
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who used the princeton campus as a great metaphor for america. he believed higher education should be the great catapult for people. anybody from any class in a country that has no classes but in such a country, anybody who is educate and works hard should be able to leapfrog. it should be able to go up a step a rung or two or the ladder. wilson became famous for this, so much so that some of the political bosses in the democratic party were attracted to him. thinking he was a perfect combination to be their puppet. namely he sounded very progressive and reformist, but also he was a professor he would be very weak. little did they know when he got elected governor of new jersey when he served for about 18 months, the first thing he did as governor was kick out the very machine that put him in office. [laughter] so everybody saw this was no
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weak college professor. >> well, let's turn to the women in the president's lives. i'm always interested in the woman behind the man. i always wanted my husband to be like nancy reagan, for example, as an elected official. i'm interested in how these women helped these presidents. >> you know, what interested me there are actually three women i'm writing about. roosevelt and tell mely taft, and, ida. they each had choices to make. there were narrower choices for women than today. roosevelt came from a family where her father had been wealthy, lost his shipping business, and became an alcoholic. she lived near teddy when she was a young girl. they had to move to more modest homes. forever after she drew a productive curtain around herself. they loved each other.
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they were boyfriend and girlfriend through college. they had a fight in his soft more year in college. he fell madly in love with a beautiful young girl from boston. he married alice to the devastation ofth edith. he thought he would never love again. the light had gone out of his life. he married her. it was a strong marriage. all she wanted from the marriage and her first ladyship was to give companionship and strength and a sanction ware to her ever-restless husband. she said when he became first lady she had no intention of being a public person. she wasn't going give her view for the politics. what only mattered is be in the newspaper twice. married and buried. nelly taft had ambition from the time she was an adolescence her
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sent her brothers to harvard and yale. not she. she decided to start teaching to her mother's dismay. and she decided she might not marry. she meets young will and he adored her. it really respected her independence. and he made her his partner had his whole career. she's partly responsible for him choosing politics eventually instead of the judicial route he was on. she helped with his speeches and strategy. and became an extraordinary first lady in the few months she was there. activist concerned with working women. she brought the charities to washington. she opened the guest list to more people than before. created a public park with free concerts. and incredibly sadly for him. two months after his inauguration, she fell as they were on a presidential yat.
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collapsing had a devastating stroke. she recovered her power of walking but never to speak connective sentences again. he spent her days to teach her phrases. and this is again, you never know how things alter. it absolutely contributed to his troubles as presidency. and then lastly, ida tar bell growing up in northwestern pennsylvania, watches the frustration of her mother when her own family industry is hurt because her father is an independent oil producer making more money than dreamed. she was a teacher. jd rockefeller comes in and undoes his business. the mother hoped to go on to higher education. has to worry about the family's economic. ida prays she will never take a husband. and she does not ever get married. becomes the most famous journalist of her are a. when she writes her standard oil expose they reported john d.
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rockefeller was willing to pay anyone to take her on trips around the world. it's so interesting to think today however much trouble we have today the choices are broader than they were. it's interest for me to see. they made a choice that fit their own needs and desires. it's the way women were. they were indispensable to their husbands. those two first ladies in very different ways. it. >> and scott? he has a bunch of women. [laughter] >> i didn't mean it in that way. [laughter] >> no, you certainly did not. [laughter] now i feel as low we on queen for a day, that old show. you have to come up with the most pathetic and most romantic story. woodrow wilson had two wives. not at the same time. [laughter] but the first was a young woman he met in georgia when he was a
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struggling lawyer in atlanta. he was a minister's son. he met the minister's daughter in a little town called rome, georgia. they fell instantly in love. and he was realizing he didn't really have a career as a lawyer. and so he took up academia at that point. the good news for me, the biographer, she and he began exchanging 3,000 of the most passionate love letters i have ever read. yes, i'm talking woodrow wilson. [laughter] they're almost hard to believe. they are emotional, they are sexual, they are revealing, they -- it's just -- yes, woodrow wilson. [laughter] it's true. it's true. and she gave as good as she got. and -- >> what does that mean? [laughter] >> just -- [laughter] let your conscious -- conscience be your guide.
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they married. she became a professor's wife, and a college president's wife, she poured a lot of tea. and the interesting thing is she was a very good artist. she painted extremely well, should and could have had a career as an artist. gave it all up to be a proper wife as indeed, you know, the role of women was dictated back then. and she was the most supportive wife there could be all the way to the white house. and one year in to their living in the white house, ellen wilson died. the -- yes, the big awe. and the president was crushed. he could barely get out of bed. he being so religious did not talk about suicide, but he did say more than once he wished somebody would just shoot him. he couldn't deal with it. two things got him out of bed. the first was, the very week she
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died a war broke out in europe. and now rapping on the door saying, mr. president, there's something happening and we need you here. the second thing that happened over the course of the next few months is, woodrow wilson had a cute meet the way in movies. he was introduced to a young attractive widow who lived in washington, d.c. over the course of the next year, the president went courting. he's having private dinners in the white house, always chap roaned and writing hundreds of the most passionate love letters you have ever read to this one. now the other letters did to ellen. you see that was puppy love. this is a mechanic? -- man in his late 50s having his last stab at romance. he wins her, marries her within a year, and now she became the
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most supportive presidential wife one could imagine. they never left each other's side. it reached the point where wilson, who often used to walk to other departments of the government just to stop in and have meetings, mrs. wilson would invery belie go with him. she was trained in the memos he was writing. it was almost as though fate was dictating. what happened after the war after wilson came back with the league of nations peace treaty and went around the country to 29 cities to try to convince the american people that they should convince the republican senate to ratify this treaty, which the republicans did not want to do, in the middle of this tour, woodrow wilson collapsed. and he was rushed home to washington from the middle of the country and there a few days later woodrow wilson suffered a
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stroke. now here is where mrs. wilson comes in. she, and handful of doctors, engaged in which i consider the greatest white house conspiracy in history. because three or four people decided they would never tell anybody the president had suffered a stroke. and so for the last year and a half of the wilson administration, for all intents and purposes, edith became the first female president of the united states. [laughter] yes, yes. [laughter] bring it on. she was making no decisions on her own, she insisted. she said she was merely a steward but nobody saw the president of the thousand of people who want to see him, nobody saw him. the handful only of that without passing through miss wilson. all the documents and things that required signatures,
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commissions, whatever memorandum. nothing appeared before the president of the united states' eyes until mrs. wilson decided what and when the president would act upon it. so she became a pretty supportive wife. >> i guess so. if i can underscore something scott said which i said earlier but so clear when you talk about letters. i don't know what is going to happen 200 years from now when we don't have handwritten letters as historians to look back on. maybe e-mail will be saved. it's written stay staccato. when people had the only means of communicating through letters. when you find the letters, it's the treasure. there was a military aid named archie butler and in those days the military aid was with the president all the time. teddy loved him like another son. taft adored him. when the break occurred he wrote letters every day to his family which are absolute gold. and he talks the way we know how
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deep that was for especially for taft. he recounted what taft was feeling as teddy talking about. calling him a fat head. and the relationship was so strong and finally he was supposed to take a trip in the spring of 1912, before the nomination thing began to heat up, and then at the last minute when teddy threw his hat in the ring, i had -- he decided i can't go. i have to stay with taft. he needs me. he didn't want me to know but he tells taft he canceled the shipping order. and he said you have to go. you'll be back. he goes to europe, he goes for about four weeks, and he comes back on the titanic and lost his life. taft was stricken yet again. everywhere he went he felt like he was missing this man. and this man, as the ship titanic was going down, was telling somebody who wrote a letter to taft that he the letters in storage and hoped
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maybe they would be remembered someday. they have been gold to biographers. >> you are right. >> and anyway. >>. >> all i can say is keep track what you're writing to people. so the biographer who comes along 1200 years from now you'll have stuff. >> take a pen out every now and then. it's different. we have shared in this, the men we have written about -- and women too, for that matter, wrote so beautifully. and when you take the time to write, you compose a thought and this is a nice thing. you put it in lovely language, as was certainly the case with wilson and his wives. >> i'm going ask you one more question and then open it to the audience. if you would like to start coming up to the microphone, we'll hear from you as well. my final question is this: president obama is having such a difficult time right now. so what advice with your presidents give him? [laughter] >> you can go first.
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[laughter] >> president wilson would say, get to the president's room! [laughter] go there, start a dialogue. now woodrow wilson had a contentious senate in the end. a contentious house of representatives as well. he didn't get everything he wanted. but here is what wilson engaged in. it was a sustained dialogue for eight years that was a lot of consternation. there was a lot of argument, there was a lot of disagreement, but there was an ongoing chat between these two houses -- these two branches of the american government. and i think that is something wilson believed in so strongly. the second thing, and it's related to it, and it's especially ironic because we do have such an image of such a stiff figure. the fact is wilson personalized
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the presidency. he was not afraid to go down to the congress. he did not just sit in the imperial white house. again, very ivory tower-antiivory tower. he was willing to go there and willing to do anything to open the conversation. at one point he had a foreign relations committee of the united states senate come to meet in the white house. he said, let me open the house to you if that's what tick it is a too get something passed. let's do. he was always keeping the diagnose going. >> i agree with scott. in addition to going to the congress more, it's using the tool of the white house. those congressman want come there. i know, there are been difficulties. i know, the president innovated various republican members not willing to come and not wanting to be seen because the terrible riff. it looks like they're loyal to their base if seen with the president. there's something special coming to the white house.
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johnson used to have them for breakfast, lunch, dibber. he called them at night. he called at 2:00 a.m. and said i hope you didn't wake you. he said no, i was lying here hoping my president would call. the whole political culture in washington changed. they used to stay around on weekends 50 years before they raced home to make the stupid funds -- campaign finance is the answer, actually. it's absolutely the poison in the system. they used to stay together. their wives knew each other. they drink together, they formed friendship across party lines. when johnson needed to get to dirkson to break the filibuster, they were friends. he could go to him. passenger's side through few friendships at any point. none of them or few have served in the war together. they knew what it was like to
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have a common mission. you have a common mission. they lost that sense of a common mission, which is our country. and something has to bring that back. and if we can bring teddy and wilson and the lbj and the presidents in there to figure out both sides of the i'm, congress and the presidency, it's time that we are able to start dealing with our problems. [laughter] >> thank you. thank you very much. now it's your turn. yes, ma'am, please introduce yourself. >> my nam is janice, i las live in washington, d.c. i'm a founding member of the national museum of women's art. [inaudible] my question to mr. berg is, in the education that we had in our training, we were asked to read a book called "jailed for freedom." which was a series of essays written by the suffragists who were lawyers, physicians, judges, women who were fighting
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for the right to vote. and president wilson totally ignored them. and i wondered if you encountered this -- >> i don't think it's exactly right. he totally ignored them. >> sorry. he was quite aware of what was going on. wilson -- [inaudible] wilson believed the women should have the vote. he believed there should not be a 19th amendment for many years. he came around on that. and he rather famously, in 1915 got on a train and went up to new mexico because -- new jersey because it was a states right thing and should happen by state-by-state. there were protests outside the white house. alice paul and her sister suffragists were being arrested, taken to jail. wilson said, let them go. don't put them in jail. just let them go. i know, the issue. i'm not prepared to for fight for a 19th amendment. the whole thing, alice paul
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could have walked out any time. she clearly wanted to stay. she was fighting for attention and making her point. now, by 1917, wilson was bringing the country in to war, and at this time he had a major shift, and he had been playing to the more conservative wing of the suffragists for years, who believed in state-by-state adoption. beginning in 1917 he was coming around for two reasons. we were fighting in europe for peace and freedom there. he said, how can we not have half the women in this country voting? it seemed to be a huge mistake to him. the second thing he saw during the war, once we were in it, was the role women were playing in the role -- they were leaving the house for work. they were actually doing a lot of just good works for the war movement.
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so, wilson had an overnight change of heart, and actually began actively campaigning for the 19th amendment. such that even -- by the time he came out for, again, called another session of congress, and told them it was a war measure that is how important it was. we had to have national suffrage, universal suffrage in the united states because of the war, and he thought it would be a good way to get everybody to rally behind it. and within a year it was a done deal, and even alice paul came around to thank woodrow wilson for it. so i would say he was late to the party, but once he got there he had the lamp shade on. [laughter] >> one next question. we are going to move on. >> no -- i'm sorry, madam, we're going the next question. thank you. >> good afternoon. what an honor to hear you be able to ask you a question. mr. berg, you alluded briefly to
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the answer of this regarding president wilson at princeton. but the three presidents, what was their relationship or perhaps complicated relationship to status and class? we get a sense that tr was with the common man but not much of the common man. he was a harvard man. taft was a yale man. we know t. r. -- >> a princeton man. >> yeah. and we know t. r. was friends with jake brought him down to the lower east side where my great grand parents set upshot 100 years ago. on a specific ♪, did the immigrant lower classes, were they part of the america of these three presidents? what was the class issue? >> it's a great issue. i mean, i think what happened for roosevelt -- when he first went to harvard he thought he was -- he thought he should be dealing with the people of hiss --
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his class. underline that attitude he came from a wealthy family, obviously in new york. but his father had been interested in social justice. had become a philanthropist. it worked with young news boys and that instinct was somewhat in teddy. then the real place where he began to shift away from that harvard-class mentality was he became a state legislature right after congress. and at first he went and thought the irish guys guys with with the tobacco and their cigars were of a different class than the ones he wanted to. and he started becoming a histrionic rhetoric guy even in the legislature yelling and screaming about the political bosses. he was always against that. and at the certain point he realized he wasn't getting anything done. he wasn't reaching as cro to the other people. he said he realized he came aa cropper and had to learn how to deal with people of all classes. just as you said, jacob reese became his friend. took him to the tentment.
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originally he was against regulation of the tenement. he saw it and changed his mind and early on for regulation. then these reporters, we he became police commissioner took him to where people were living in the middle of the night. what helped him he had so many different jobs. when he was in the rough riders he had a group of people with him. and he kept his relationship with these reporters much more involved in the knity gritty than he was. they were able to criticize him rather than become -- my favorite there was a guy mr. duelly a famous chicago bartender in a humorous column. he wrote a review of the rough riders book. and he put himself in the center of the action it was as he was the only person but he should have called it alone in cuba. what did teddy do? he regret to tell you my wife
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and entire family loved your review of the book. now you owe me one. i want to meet you. through the reporters, through people like jacob and people involved in the settlement houses. he began to see the conditions of life and he later said when he gave his talks that my harvard buddies think my talks too folksy. they are homely. but i know i'm reaching people because i now know those people. and he took train trips months at the time going around the country talking to people in village stations. waiving to people in the trains, he would even stand up in the middle of lunch at one point he said he was waiving so much and the people seemed so indifferent. it turned out it was a herd of cows. i think that's what is -- [laughter] something had to jar him away from that background. just as fdr's polio transformed him. he was aware that fate dealt him an unkind hand. he reached out to other people
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whom had the same thing happen. >> wilson did not believe in a great class structure in this country. he was from a lower, lower middle class. being a minister's son. what believed; however, was the educate class. it was the class that mattered for him. as i said before, this is a man who spent most of his life in career on a college campus either as a student, professor, or president. this is a man who believed that was the great level leer of all playing field in this country. and so, the interesting thing when wilson became a politician, and it was a really fascinating tool he used. as a politician, he never spoke down the audience. he never got folksy. he used rather elevated language. he spoke invery belie without any notes. he get out there and could deliver an hour, hour and a half speech with a card and five bullets on it and speak in
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perfect sentences, heightened vocabulary. he could do. the fans loved it. they fund, they felt elevated by it. and wilson, you see, never looked down on them. that was a wonderful thing for them. it was a great tool he used. and as such, i think he was pretty effective in that regard. >> you know, lucky for rose -- roosevelt he spoke with notes. in 1912 when he was campaigning, he had the 50-page speech in his pocket when an assassin shot him in the chest. the bum let re-- bullet remained within him. he delivered got-hour speech. because the 50 pages of the speech in his pocket it went upward rather than probably killed him on the spot. so they each had their own way of talking. and living. >> i'm afraid we only have time
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for one more question. >> speeches can save lives. [laughter] >> for mr. berg, about wilson about the league of nations, the thought is -- i've heard he was so intransient. not willing to accept some of the reservations that some of the senators wanted. i'm wondered if you can reflect on that. for miss goodwin. thank you. i'm reading it now and it's incredible. >> thank you. >> i was wondering -- it's such a big question that choose whatever part you like. either comparison between tr and fdr, similarlities, disalready similarities. reflections give that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of killing of kennedy. how in the world do we get to campaign finance reform? , ii mean, everyone is so disheartened about the road where we are. what do you see in the future? >> thank you --
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thatch. i don't think it was in my job discrepancies to answer that question. i heard something about the league of nations in there somewhere. [laughter] which wilson wanted to have pass so we might have fought the war to end all wars. and wilson was intransigent. i think for a couple of reasons, one of which he was a stubborn guy as a rule. when he was over in paris, and he was there for six months, the president of the united states left the country for six months to negotiate in treaty. during that time, especially toward the end month five and six saying agree, i have a country to get home too. he began to make some comprises. one or two big ones in the end. he came back, and i think when he found this senate that was going to be completely unwilling to accept the treaty with its league, that is the moment, i think, the curtain came down for
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wilson and he said i'm not giving away another thing. and indeed this congressional battle went on for weeks which is what prompted his tour of the country. even after his stroke, after he had come home. the battle went on in the senate. and wilson even though comprises were presented would not buy them. at the very end his rival in the senate, the dean of the republican party and the head of the foreign relations committee came in with the 11th-hour comprise which was a few sentences and largely sin tactical. and wilson simply would not buy it. so i feel -- he's the stuff of greek tragedy. this is man who didn't shoot himself in the foot. he truly stabbed himent -- himself in the heart. >> and i think what that raises is when we live with these people for so long, you really do end up caring about them so when they disappoint you, when they do things that you wish
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that they hadn't done, obviously i adored roosevelt and eleanor, and yet wishing roosevelt hope -- opened the door for jewish refugee and not incarcerated the japanese-americans. he was allied leader that ended the threat of hitler. the greatest threat to western civilization. any kids used to hear me franklin be nicer. she loves you. eleanor forget that affair that happened so long ago. and similarly with roosevelt i have such respect for his domestic policy and just his persona, his views on war, i have no respect for. he would say the victory of war were greater thant victory of peace at any moment. he had the are manhattannization of war. i have a son who graduated from harvard college in june of '01 was going to go to law school.
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september 11th happened. he volunteered for the army next day and later got a bronze star and went back to afghanistan. but importantingly for this substitution, he had written his thesis at harvard on roosevelt and loved him. after he came back from combat he said he could never u understand having been in combat how anybody could are -- but that's part of the glory of being a biographer. all human beings have their strength and weaknesses. it's up to us to really not forget the parts that is weak and bring it up. but at the same time, i could never choose somebody ultimately to write about that i didn't want to be with. i loved with them so long. i could never write about hitler or stalin. luckily i have found people i overwhelm overwhelmingly feel affection for.
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>> the last word hold on. we have been given a ten minute reprieve. >> those who wanted to ask questions can come back. i want to give those chances to people in line first. enabling i'm the executive producer of "forgotten hollywood." what an inspiration you both are to all authors in the room and to everybody at the fair. [applause] just a very simple question. can you both speak to the importance of eugene in the election of 1912? regarding wilson, taft, and roosevelt? ? thank you. >> go ahead. >> well, -- 900,000 votes. >> he if mighty well. he was extremely important. i think he was more than just
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paprika in the big stew of that election. which was a really fascinating -- you know, there was an election really of ideas. and there was so much progressivism in the air. it becomes extremely important in wilson's life later on. he's one of the people who will be arrested under the wilson law, the alien and is and sedition laws. he was delivering the speech said i know i'm going to be arrested for this. and now i'll tell you. i have gone through the feature -- speech he gave. i keep looking for the sedition. i can't find it. he was basically telling the people some workers that this was a capitalist war, and that they did not have to be cannoned toker in it. and for that, he was arrested. he was put in jail, he was found guilty and went to the supreme court. they came down against him 9-0.
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he was in prison. it will tell you a lot about wilson. the war is now over. wilson has had a stroke. in he's in the white house he's about to leave the white house. people in his government, his attorney general who basically had put him in jail came to him and said, mr. president, debs is an old man now. he's sick and served his time. the war is over. he's clearly not a danger any longer. here is the pardon all written. all you have to do is put your signature on it. and where the signature would go wilson wrote "denied ." you didn't cross wilson more than once. it was simply because wilson felt one we had gone to war that sort of speech telling people not to go to war that was sedition to him. and he said long i'm in charge of two million people risking their lives, i cannot let
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anybody speak out against them. and so that is why he was just intransigent on the subject. >> partly of the question nobody is perfect. no president is perfect. i written a book -- [inaudible] and it deals with eastern progressives and their religious -- [inaudible] you mentioned tr and the rough rider that could easy by will called teddy roosevelt and the buffalo soldiers as many as -- [inaudible] and wilson -- my gosh he said -- >> he had a symbolic gesture he invited booker t. washington to dinner and it produced outrage in the south and other part of the country there was equality
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of a social relationship that he backed down, i think, he -- but he also held imperialist attitudes. racist attitudes. these people are unfortunately men of their generation. his record on race there was a riot in brownsville and a group of blacks arrested because they couldn't figure out who started it. it was wrong, he was wrong. and these are those moments you're absolutely right, when all you can say is that you have to remember the context in which they're leading. even lincoln, you know, in the 1850s was against, obviously, against intermarriage. against blacks sitting on juries. hef for the black law. you say how could lincoln have done this? the important thing is he grew from the attitudes and eventually allowed the blacks to come in. they were so important as soldiers in the army it changed the whole course of the war in many ways and issued the
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emancipation proclamation. there's no answering for them except to pave the context in which they are ruling and see if they are way behind the context or in the middle of it or sometimes if you're lucky, the person you're dealing with is ahead of that. >> jo ann. >> i have a question. -- [inaudible] this is such a magnificent high-level conversation. i want to go a moment of history and passion in a different level. and that is, what did it feel to be like in fenway park -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> i tell you, having been a passionate baseball fan all my life and having only experienced one vict i are with the brooklyn dodgers in 195, -- [applause] then obviously i chose another team after the dodgers abandoned and wednesday to california. i went to harvard and choose almost like falling in love again with the boston red sox and he all the years and lost
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and lower house and almost win. finally in you're and '07. we have the season tickets to the game. so we were at every game, and every playoff. every division. and to be in our town and see them winning and share it with boston, i mean, that's what is so great about baseball. somebody asked me what would you have done if the dodgers had been against the red sox. how would you have dealt with the divided loyalty. i thought about it and my answer was the dodgers were my first love. my father growing up in brooklyn taught me to keep score. that's where my love of history began. when i was able to record for him the history of that afternoon's brooklyn dodger game going over every play. he made he tell i was telling a fabulous love. i had a first love of a boyfriend before i married my husband. but the boston red sox have been my sustaining love for almost 40 years. and my husband i've been married
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for 38 years. the boston red sox would be my love now. [laughter] [applause] we have time for one more now. >> on that note, i got to tell you some quick thoughts. i didn't know you were having coauthor -- i brought one gift to you. is that baseball, my love for you through your writing and all you have done, and i always feel you're the tim rustin of the "today" show. you couldn't give me a better compliment. i love him so much. >> a couple of weeks ago you were to be speak to us in a way we could understand. i love your energy. on baseball, my wife and i's first date was to a cleveland indians game, which is the boston red sox farm club in the '60s and '70s. >> i know. >> our first date was an indian games. lennie parker pitched a perfect game. >> and you are still married. >> oh. yes. >> hooray. >> we have a great thing every
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summer and it's called admitted night sun baseball game. it starts at 10:30 at night. my gift to you is to -- [laughter] -- and so -- >> it's beautiful, thank you. couch. an invitation to you if you would like to come a mid night sun baseball game. june 21st, every year. >> i see. summer -- >> we can get you up there it would be so great. >> thank you, thank you. >> and i will happily wear it! [applause] >> okay, any closing comments from our historians? scott?? any last words. >> what a pleasure it was to have this conversation. [laughter] [applause] [laughter] >> thank you. [applause] [laughter] [applause] >> okay, thank you, both, for being with us. it's been a wonderful, wonderful conversation. great moment in miami.
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[applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] live coverage from miami book fair international continues. doris kearns goodwin talking with the audience there. and author of wilson talking about the last turn of the century together. by the way, everything you're seeing today on booktv's coverage of miami will reair tonight beginning at midnight. a couple of more hours of coverage today, and we're going to do a couple of call-in programs next. after that, the next event in
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chatman hall we'll be covering. written about bunker hill. and brenda, "ecstatic nation: confidence, comprise, -- thawl be talking about the development of the united. joining us now on the set is susan. day job president of the aclu. she's the author of this book "taking liberty." susan herman, where do we stand with -- when it comes to patriot act today? >> guest: the status of the patriot act is something i think a lot of people don't understand. because when it was enacted five weeks after 9/11, in october of 2001, congress hasn't had any hearings. they didn't get any idea what was going wrong. they had ideas about what tools to -- [inaudible] so the patriot act, ever since
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2000 has been -- [inaudible] given the government all the dragnet tools to do surveillance and all these things. i found when george w. bush left the white house people asiewmented the patriot act had gone away. people were telling me what does the aclu have to do now? couldn't grow out of business and saying mission accomplished? the patriot act is very much with us. the current events i actually one thing i hope we can talk about. i think there might be some prospect for change. >> where? >> guest: one thing that happened. i started writing this weak in the -- book in the middle of barack obama's first term. at that time, people didn't understand that obama continued bush's policy. the surveillance and everything we were doing domestically. and so linda greenhouse referred my book to the wake-up call. people didn't wake up that much. people were not looking to re-examine the decisions that
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had been made in the fall of 2001 about what our antiterrorism strategies should be. so what i would say is there was a snooze alarm. and the wake-up call came with snowden. when he started releasing documents about what actually is going on behind the curtain and what kind of surveillance there is, i think people did start to pay more attention. i think for good reason. and so, well, i'll tell you i think it matters more than ever people be aware of what is going on and what is happening politically. there's pending in congress right now a bill both a u.s. aid freedom pact. i wonder how many of your viewers know the u.s. aid pact rate act was an ak anymore. if you visualize the letter stand for the name of the bill. which is uniting and strengthening america by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism. that's the name of the act. somebody -- [inaudible] so the u.s. aid freedom act all
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capital letters is something of a -- [inaudible] dragger of that tight. uniting and strengthening america by, you know, having freedom from electronic eves -- eavesdropping. this is something that is pending in congress. it now has over 100 sponsors in the house. i don't remember in the senate. it's the first time that congress has been looking seriously at the idea of rollingback some of the patriot act surveillance provision. >> host: does the aca lo support the u.s. freedom act? >> >> guest: we do. i think one thing that it does is it addresses one of the things we have learned from the snowden documents. the government is doing both collections about information, about the telephone calls that every american. who we call, what numbers we call, what numbers we get called from. the duration of our calls, how often we call, what time of day it is. and so this is just on all americans are collecting all of
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this information. and to me, the problem here is that what we're doing and i think a lot of people assume we need to give up our liberties in order to be safe. thing are more calls here and fewer benefits than people realize. one of the cost of this phone collection i think it's exactly the kind of massive surveillance that the people who wrote our institution particularly the fourth amendment were trying to prevent. so the fourth amendment is the part of the bill of the rights that protect us against unreasonable search and seizure. we could be secure in our persons, houses, and parents. the reason our founding father wrote this in the bill of right they didn't like the idea that the king's agent might be able to search what they were doing and look in their homes to see if they had sexual sedition locateture. -- literature. the concept there's an important value that the individual should have privacy and that the
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government not just be able to find out everything you are doing. everything though the fbi think they knew at the time the risk was maybe somebody was committing a exriem in the home. maybe the government wouldn't be able to find out. because they weren't allowed to walk to the home at will. they had to go through a court and process. to me what the patriot act enable -- enacted with the dragnet. it's one reason it's supporting having some limit on the government. no reason to suspect that the person has done anything wrong. >> host: what is the status of the fisa court? is it still active? >> guest: it's very active. so that's one of the things that happens. in the fall of 2001, what the congress did in order to be allow the government more surveillance power they built on a couple of areas there wasn't that much fourth amendment protection. the fisa court, the foreign
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intelligence surveillance court had been established as part of a comprise in the late '70s when people were very upset about nixon spying on political enemy. there was a church committee, frank church ran the important committee where they did a complete exploration of the american history about intelligence area. and they decided it was not permissible for the government to spy on americans without going through the court. but it was all right to spy on the soviet embassy to see what they were up to. it was the cold war. the idea that mens get constitutional protections foreigners don't. the 2001 legislation, and some legislation we've had since then basically said that even though if the government is targeting somebody who is a foreigner. and it's one end of a cfghts, they can pick up whatever the americans are saying at the other end. one thing that the fisa court authorized is in addition to what has been called the meta
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data. the telephone numbers you call or which you get called not the content. the government can pick up the content of american's e-mails, telephone calls, skype, whatever. within the foreign intelligence surveillance act as long as there's a foreigner someplace. that was another of the revelation of the snowden documents. but the fisa court has more to do with americans than you might think. >> host: since 2001, has the patriot act, the fisa surveillance, increased or decreased? >> guest: yeah. it's a great question. i think it's actually been increased. when president obama was a candidate, when he was running for office, he said no more national security that spy on americans. but now that he's president i think he sees the power differently. and he felt if he can be trusted with the dragnet powers. it sounds as if the fisa court allowed actually is an expansion and there's more and more material being collected in bulk
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and that what is being collected under the foreign intelligence surveillance act even though on americans has also increased. i think there's a possibility for another increase. for awhile until 2011, the government was also collecting e-mail addresses, internet dresses that we visit, the fisa court authorized that. and the government actually stopped collecting all of that information in 2011. but they could do it again because they're authorized to do that. this is tremendously broad power. >> and we're talking with susan herman. this is her book. 202-585-3890. time zones dial in if you like to have a discussion about what we're talking about here freedom and surveillance, et, et. cetera. surveillanceyou served as
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president of the american civil liberty union. she's a professor of law at brooklyn law school as well. edward snowden in that parlor game hero or goat? >> guest: my usual response, peter, when people want to talk about snowden. my first response is to say instead of talking about the messager, should we talk about the problem? and i think snowden has done us a great favor. he said the reason he wanted to start releasing some of the documents so the american people could make the decision about whether they think we have gone too far. or whether they are too many costs? i think that's in fact discussion we're now having. i think his strategy worked. the american people are being informed. because one of the things we learn is not even just that the government was spying in ways i was already describing in my book, but that we had in the fisa court we had secret law. there was law that the court was
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making that the american people couldn't find out what the law was. to me, it really went too far. >> host: is there anything in the patriot act you agree with? >> guest: there was a lot. there was a collection of amendments to hundreds of previous laws. one of my favorite part of the patriot act which was wonderful at the time. it was a sense of congress resolution. saying we don't want to use 9/11 as an occasion to start discriminating against muslims. up fortunately that was easier to say than to actually effect. >> host: you say sketchy foray in to history suggests that a bipartisan commission may have the best chance of rising above the politics ha hamstring all branches of government and inspiring reflection and perhaps change. >> guest: right. i think what we could use at this point in time is something more like a church committee. i was mentioning before the u.s.a. aid freedom act which is a small fix for some of the things that are wrong with this
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collection it just goes too far. my book also talked about all sort of other kinds of laws nut to place on -- accept, october, of 2001. and these are expanded criminal laws that, you know, examples i give i chose stores about a person prosecuted farred crime for posting links to controversial speech on a website. a woman who was prosecuted for supporting a foreign terrorist organization, this was an iranian woman imprisoned in iraq for supporting the pro democracy group opposing the laws there now. when she finally got out of prison and got political asylum in the united states we prosecuted her for supporting the same pro democracy group. there are laws that people adopt know enough about. we don't need snowden to tell us those laws. i think if they don't know about abuse nothing happened. i think to have a -- the reason snowden paper give us the occasion to really look back
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overall at what we have done. i can understand the fall of 2001 we had laws that went too far. because at the time it was premature to figure out what the ante-dote should be when we hadn't yet analyzed the problem. we didn't have the 9/11 commission. we didn't understand what happened had on 9/11. if congress overdo it, i think they did. there was too many -- some of what they allowed is counter productive. but i thought that, you know, ten, 2012 years after that it should be possible to have a better conversation and the better informed the public is, the better the conversation. where congress is just beginning to look at the tip of it. i think it helps. >> host: is susan herman is our guest. cary in connecticut.. >> caller: i have to say that as much as i agree with the thing your organization does, okay. i also believe when it comes to christian rights, for example
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-- [inaudible] religious symbols, prayer in the schools, where are you there? that's number one. number two, i believe the patriot act -- [inaudible] and because, remember, the -- [inaudible] even though they weren't the radicals they were the ones that caused 9/11. so we are going to scrutinize those people. -- [inaudible] that's all i wanted to say. you have a great holiday season. bye, bye. >> guest: okay. thank you, carrie. two quick answers. on your point about the christians if you go we have an entire page about christians. we are in favor of the freedom of religion which is something we support. i think the more information you get the more you find out there are -- [inaudible] myths out there about the aclu
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-- my book is about people not only terrorists not only about them but us. now peter was asking before about the impact of some of these surveillance provisions and so forth. i was talking about how it gives us less privacy under the fourth amendment. it's not just the fourth amendment. it's also, you know, you talk about freedom of religion. that's about the first amendment. and my concern is that we're losing a lot of first amendment rights in term of freedom of speech, association, and of religion. so the freedom of religion if the government went after muslim charities right after 9/11. there were a lot of charities shut don -- down or doing badly. even though there was no evidence doing anything wrong. this that harms the first amendment. a study publish a week ago -- they did a survey of their members, the journalists and
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writers members of it. and what they found was that one in six of the people they surveyed said they centered them and no longer writing, speaking, or publishing researching certain subjects because they i were afraid they might attract the government's attention. they censored themselves. an additional one in six said they thought about censoring themselves. we're worried the people are going to call the aclu the government has a record of the phone number and who they called. and i just think it changes who we are as a society. ..
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it just seems to me, is it just too much of a conflict of interest for them to be overseeing rests? >> i think that we got a point. is this something that the aclu is concerned with, and of the gay concerned with this and that is mostly political question. and that is the checks and and
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we also have congress and the courts. and i think that this has resulted in in the failure of checks and balances said september 11. the president, if he is asking us to trust him with all the dragnets, congress will prove with this, although we may be able to in the courts have not been involved. one of the things i talk about in my book is about this that the courts have been avoiding common questions that have been raised. the aclu has been challenging them, their legality, constitutionality, and what the courts say about the supreme court confirmed last year. they said that they will not consider you to have standing unless you can prove that you are subject to secret surveillance. episodically a catch-22.
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they don't play when they are spying on you. and they will have to be proving that spirits of the problem is that we have the constitutional check in all three have been an echo chamber and we assume and i think that that is really unfounded. >> we have richard the main and taking liberties in the name of the book. >> hello, thank you for taking my call. speaking of being censored. i wonder if you're familiar of the book called extreme prejudice. >> richard boucher a little bit earlier, he asked the same question. >> have you heard of a susan
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landau? >> no. >> at the second time he's called without question. to were going to let him go. next caller. >> caller: hello, i'm concerned about the national defense authorization act you think the representatives would be out on vacation, the president in the and the house and the senate all signed in and would you please comment? >> yes, we were concerned about some of the things about that as well, and one of the things that they did was they authorized future president as well to detain people who are considered enemy combatants, including americans without adequate due process and i think that was a real problem that a lot of this law has never seriously been looked at. and there have been some money
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off reauthorization come up with a serious look at i think it needs and what you are suggesting is that other laws are coming into this area without really enough public attention and scrutiny and thought and do the people think that we have gone too far? >> has this happened a couple of times in our history similar to what the patriot act is like? >> there have been other times they have been similar. one of the things that i would talk about is around president nixon. and is it okay for the government to be spying on the american people. this includes history of the nsa and so forth and he said with the edwards noted documents every day is christmas in because he is learning about what we are doing now. so he has looked to telecommunications and so forth just turn over information.
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so we do have a history of spying, but this has gotten worse because the idea if it builds on this theory that the supreme court hacks. you don't have anything with a third party. so you shouldn't have told your banker your financial information and therefore the government can demand the information in the supreme court decided that this was fine, but think about how much more private information you and your viewers are sharing with third parties and what does your internet service provider know about you. everything is on the cloud and that means that if you take this seriously, even though the permission that we gave the government earlier, taking that 25, it's the same thing they did before the implications are greater. because we are talking about the government been being able to
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find out about their entire lives and we talk about how the patriot act inverts the conditions of democracy and the whole idea is that we are supposed to have a private enclave to think and exercise and decide who speak what in the government is supposed to be transparent to us that we know what they are doing. so what we are living with is that the government is having increasing secrecy and what we are doing is becoming increasingly transparent for the government. it also cuts off the avenues of repair. so you probably remember the librarians and the government cannot find out this. that is not american democracy.
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so i talk about the library and in the internet service provider to fight back and he was not allowed and he and librarians were not allowed to testify before the congress. this is further than we have gone before allowing them to use powers in this includes the great poet and playwright. i heard him speak a few weeks ago and he said that people thought it couldn't happen and he had come here as a messenger to say be careful what powers you give the government. he was responding to this and a lot of people were to say why should i care what the government goes about me if i'm not doing anything wrong and that would be with disbelief and derision. and i think that there are a lot of reasons that our freedom of
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speech goes down. >> do you censor yourself these days? electronically or in any form? >> i really try not to. the pan american center says that one in six have been censoring themselves and one additional one in six said that they seriously thought about censoring themselves, people who wanted to write about the middle east are now not doing it. and there was one person interested in writing about this, and i think that civil libertarians are unusually stubborn and unusually stubborn. every time an american has to think twice, before telling their doctor that they have a drug problem within the are googling the world nuclear, we are changing who we are as a
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society. >> anthony, you are the next caller with susan herman, the author of the book "taking liberties" and the president of the aclu. >> caller: yes, ma'am. i want to say that i was involved in a criminal case and my phone was tapped in the prosecution got that information. how they got that information, but they used that in court. my private phone calls with my attorney. would you comment on that on how far reaches? >> how often you get calls like this? >> well, we get calls a lot, people have a lot of concern about what the government is doing. i want to relate to what anthony was just saying. about the collection of data. because the government lawyer in this case says you don't get to challenge them, but they say it
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is okay because the government will tell them how they have been spying on what anthony is just describing the many found out it wasn't true. so the department of justice recently changed this they were collecting evidence and then they were not telling the defendants in criminal cases how they obtained the evidence. so it's another big thing as well. >> were you surprised by the edwards noted documents after the bush administration's? >> we already knew how brought these powers were. we already knew that there was a curtain they didn't know what was going on behind the curtain.
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>> i was just saying that i told you so. >> has there ever been a history when this hasn't been the case? >> i would go back to the beginning with the columnist that were thinking about having an american revolution and they were afraid that this would be the case. where people would have some privacy where the government can do everything. i've been talking about the rights that are at stake in the surveillance programs and another kind of story that i tell we are doing what we need to do and we don't need to give up liberty to be safe. they expect that it's going to be someone else and i see one of the callers who have suggested.
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the number of people are those who suffered from not and there is an american citizen as well. and this includes the surveillance happening under the foreign surveillance intelligence act even though he is an american. there is a man who lived and worked brooklyn and he was stopped in the subway system 21 times before he got upset and said this is supposed to be random stops. why do they keep picking on me. a statistician calculated that the odds of his having them stopped to him that many times and was one in 165 million. so you ask about history. and we also have a kind of -- some chapters in our history where we decide to go for the
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dragnets in the lockup of the japanese-americans during world war ii because we couldn't figure out disloyal people were. we need to learn the instance of the founding of the aclu and the attorney general was rounding up people and deporting them because they were foreign and they looked sly and crafty. so i think we should've learned that you have to watch this and what you give the american government and its not a way to keep our constitution. >> we have ed from spring hill, florida. >> hello. >> did you write the book? >> yes, that's interesting. people sometimes say, why did barack obama change his position. and i think that it changed he didn't trust george w. bush and
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i think when he became president, he felt differently about it and he trusted himself to use it wisely. or the president, i might not want to. but we don't have a chance of changing this as president, i don't know that we will ever have a chance. one thing he does say i don't care what people regional library, i only want to go after terrorists and nobody can really prove the abuses of his power. and number two i think that history shows us that there will be of use. and we have some of this noted documents. in this includes this as well.
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so i would like to think that i could remember the it is important to the that the constitution and i understand the difficult position. >> the next call for susan herman. margaret from florida, hello, and go ahead with your question or comment. >> hello. >> i'm so glad to hear you on this program and i am such a supportive. for the last 50 years i have watched and listened, but since 9/11 and the patriot act, i have just seen the country changing, and i see it changing and making the individuals less secure. because who can possibly go against the powers of the government and we saw this in germany and we saw this happen
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and you have this and that end with any other country we would be horrified. so thank goodness for your work and bless you. >> thank you. i very much appreciate your comment. we are trying very hard to keep our rights and democracy. one reason i'm optimistic that we are beginning to get a lot of pushback, particularly germany, as you mentioned, because they know that someone of the things that people are realizing is that the americans have had this over the internet. and one reason it's been so easy
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is the fiber optic cables and they are turning over information voluntarily or allowing the government to have a lot of access. it was just at a meeting of the white house were there a lot of people from the telecommunications industry who told the president that if we don't have better data protection, we will lose money because people are going to stop trusting the american companies and europeans will create their own ella communications companies and not come through unless they start pushing back and refusing to turn over this and they estimate that i just read as it can cost american businesses $21 billion per year. when you add that to the decimation of our rights and democracy.
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i keep coming back to that and that's the subtitle of my book. if we allow these things to go unchecked, there will be a next chapter and the next chapter and we could turn into the country of chile. >> you talk about some other countries. but it has been coming out in the press that this information, we spy on ourselves. >> we are guilty of spying a lot of other countries and people have also been saying this as well, but they may be doing the same thing. as well as those saying what have we unleashed here. this is something of an
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anti-american reaction. because of the american companies that have really been cooperating with the government and allowing it to happen. challenging the restrictions may want to be able to tell their customers that is the marketplace speaking but the people around the world. >> about people from the other side? >> this includes what we can take the information we can do via the information. >> i do think that we should have more restrictions. this includes europe and canada and for years, we are talking about the bottom line and it's been a big problem with multinational corporations and they are required to give this information to government the government and in europe are not allowed here. so to pavlov's dog situation
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we've been registering for a long time having these data privacy protection laws that would be more consistent with the countries that we consider his peers we do. even if they have this information, it is different for this. >> last call for susan herman. kennesaw, georgia. please go ahead. >> caller: hello, i am a supporter and contributor to your organization and i think you on the front lines of a battle to preserve our liberty. bringing up the point, that is just that people who claim that they don't find the nsa spying because they have nothing to hide in fear areas and that is
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70% is being done by private corporations that allen hamilton is owned by cargo, which is really a centerpiece that runs this country in the bushes were part of it and so on. the point is that you'll just have to trust the government, you have to trust the corporations that are implicated oftentimes in polluting the water and the air and so on and so forth. >> okay, i think we got the point. thank you for calling. >> thank you. we have to be concerned about
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this as well. government doing that in through law so the companies that have this information don't just hand it over at will. the other thing is the role of the individual. so the rule is to dissent is patriotic to talk back to the government and say why are you doing this and this is going too far and i think what we are also discovering is the corporations are going to listen and google is taking a different approach now than they were 10 years ago. >> the book is called "taking liberties." the erosion of american democracy. susan herman is president of the aclu and the author of the book and she has been our guest. thank you for joining us. a couple more hours of coverage from the miami book fair international and this is live
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on c-span. coming up, you're going to have a chance to talk with lawrence wright. his most recent book is about scientology and hollywood. he is also the author of the looming tower from several years ago and he was a finalist for the national book awards this year for this will go in clear and we will have a chance to talk to him in just a moment. and then the development of the nation. about half a half an hour or so. two well-known historians will be here as well and we will be able to chat with them and talk about their books and now will be live on c-span2 on booktv. but first we want to show you a little bit from wednesday night. george packer on the national book award and i'm going to show you a little bit of his acceptance speech and then we will have a chance to talk with lawrence right here in miami.
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here he is. [inaudible conversations] >> hello, i spent an hour with brian lamb on our progr> hello,h brian lamb on our program, our "q&a" program. >> just come and that is right. >> you will be live this weekend. the you're one of the finalists in the nonfiction category and is this the first time you have been nominated? >> yes, it has been tremendous and an honor. we all listen to each other from the four categories in the quality was just incredibly high and everyone had about three or four minutes. so we didn't have much time to
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get across the field and it was impressive and i felt honored to be in that company. >> which story did you tell? >> i read a passage that dean price was thinking about, the landscape of his landscape and what has happened to it recently. and he is listening to these trucks go by and he has some of them are full of chickens that are headed to the slaughterhouses which happens in the dead of night. and he begins to think about where these chickens go and the bojangles where he owns a restaurant and it's an elaborate and kind of dark picture of an economy of imported oil and people getting poorer in his
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part of the country. >> do you see what is going on in the country today economically as different from other transformations that we have had in our nation? the analogy would be to the early 19 hundreds when we had vast inequality of wealth and we had a handful of individuals at the top consolidating and then we had a lot of new immigrants who were struggling to survive. fifty years of what i call the roosevelt republicans among which middle-class people beginning to get ahead started to come undone in the late 70s and now we are back to something like that vast inequality of the earlier 20th century without some of the protections so it is
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a repetition butterfields neil and a vision of transformation that led to the new deal back then now everyone feels sort of isolated in their own troubles in trying to line solutions for themselves. and there is a national movement and that is what makes this a more troubling time. >> three out of the five nonfiction finalists. >> i think david is feeling very happy tonight and feeling incredibly impartial. and that is a tribute to what he has done with the magazine and what kind of talent there is across the board, not just the three of us, but really across the board. [inaudible conversations] >> the national book award for nonfiction, i regret now?
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>> we have eric sundquist who is winner of the james russell lowell prize from the modern language association and the award from phi beta kappa were the best looking humanity and the academic book award. this is a professor of humanities at johns hopkins university and it gives me great pleasure to introduce him. >> good evening and thank you. it is a great pleasure to be here.
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and let me thank the national book foundation for the privilege of judging this year's nominations in the category of nonfiction. and perhaps against beek for saying that in a lifetime of reading i have not had a more gratifying prizing and educational experience and we've had the pleasure of reviewing hundreds of books, 500 plus to be specific across a wide range of genres and topics. everywhere, and encountering contemporary american writing at its very best. i'm sure all of us at one point or another look back with envy at the 20 are. 1960s through the 1980s won multiple awards recognizing as many as eight different categories of nonfiction were presented. for us, however, all of those categories were crowded into one and as much as we would have loved to present many awards, we have first to know many of us
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down to a long list of 10 men down to these five finalists. the book of ages, the life and opinions of james franklin published. [applause] [applause] hitler's theories, german women in the killing field by fields by wendy lauer published by harcourt books. and the unwinding, by george packer. and the internal enemy, slavery and warner in virginia, 1772 to 1832 by alan taylor.
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published by david norton and company. and going clear, scientology and the prison of belief by lawrence wright. this goes to george packer. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> this is an incredible honor and anyone who was at last
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night's reading knows that all of the nominees in this category is the great works. and i feel very lucky to be given this award. and thank you to my friends and the rest. you still do it the old-fashioned way, which is still the best way. [applause] >> thank you to the wylie agency for crucial intelligence and thank you to daniel zaleski and david remnick and others for giving me just the right balance of freedom and editorial trilliums.
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writers both understand as well and my children, charlie and julia, you did make it a lot more fun. thank you for sharing my life and my work and i can't imagine either one without you. and finally, i want to thank dean price and timmy thomas and jeff congleton and other americans who gave me the great guest of allowing in their lives so that i could illuminate some of what has gone wrong in america over the past generation. and in their own lines, some of what has gone right. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> to george packer will be here at the miami book fair tomorrow and you'll you will be able to see an event with him and the entire national book awards and we should show portion of it right there that will re-air at 8:00 p.m. eastern on booktv. and joining us now on our site here is one of the finalists of the national book award, and that is lawrence wright. his most recent book is going clear, scientology and hollywood in the prison of bullies and you might know him as an author of the looming tower. the phrase going clear. where does it come from and what does it mean? >> well, l. ron hubbard invented the concept of dianetics and his concept was either two sides of
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your brain and one was the analytical side, perfectly reasonable, it's like a perfect computer, nothing wrong with it and remembers everything and can compute perfectly. and the other side is a reactive side that is full of fears and neuroses and the kinds of things that damage your life and if you can purge the emotional power, then your analytical brain will take over and you will be clear and more intelligent then you will be able to not get ill, your whole life will be a lot better and you'll be super human and a superior race of a beating and it's like camp, once you get to be clear, you go up to the spiritual level. >> 's luis l. ron hubbard and where did he come up with this?
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>> well, is one of the most interesting people that i've ever had the chance to write about and he was born in nebraska in 1911 and raised in the west and his father was a naval officer. and he really did have an interesting life and he had a tendency to try to make it more interesting than it was. he wrote for the magazines in the '30s and 40s when they paid a penny per word and the legend is that he wrote 100,000 words a month. so he wrote so quickly that he perspired and what roland paper into his typewriter and type and without a story and i have to
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say that this man does have the guinness book of world records title for the number of books published, more than a thousand. but he invented this and then he went broke after making millions of dollars. and he came up with an idea that religion is where the money is and he invented the church of scientology and it really was -- to give him credit than he deserves, one of the very few religions that it survived intact. >> why did he go broke after inventing dianetics and where does that come from? >> well, he didn't really have control over it. it was a self-help type therapy thing and the idea was you and your friend or your spouse can
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help each other in this set the standard at a time when the whole category was created. and he really formed a and he was a "new york times" bestseller for weeks and weeks and millions of copies as well. he also realized after he lost control of the organizations that he never really had a way of keeping the organization intact. and anyone can pick up this book is part of it and become an auditor, a therapist and to help them for themselves and not left a huge opening for professional organization that was never
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there. but it came out on the same time as a hula hoop and was about as popular as the dianetics all over america and other countries as well and it is hard to put it in context, but it was part of the community of sciences and they were absolutely puzzled as well. this is, to them, a psychological heads or tails of how this phenomenon came about and what it was based upon. >> was the public person and promoting this? >> yes, he created scientology have a lot more control over the organization. and he would bring people into train and he gave those courses as well.
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he had a lot of legal pressure, he was driven out of england and so he decided to take it to the high seas which is one place where he would be safe. so it would be a decade that he was there. >> is it a philosophy like other major religions? >> there is a place for god in a higher power. but it's not clearly defined. in scientology he speaks of these dynamics and there is a group in nature and so on and it is sort of a vacant throne in scientology. and it is a little bit difficult because they don't want to think
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of themselves specifically as a religion except for tax purposes. that is critical that they bill themselves as a technology and it's not a belief system so much as a technology. step-by-step can build yourself up to achieving spiritual enlightenment. >> is it as far as the rs is concerned? >> guesstimate assistant interesting story. and for some reason he decided not to tax on the church of scientology. and they didn't have a billion dollars and so it was an existential moment for the church. they had to get a tax exemption. and was a leader then and they
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filed 2400 losses against individual agents and detectives to follow them around and irs agents to go out and find who is sleeping around and drinking too much and they would write articles about them and they would, you know, it was very upsetting to the irs. but whatever the merits of the case was that they presented, the facts were that they had agencies and eventually they forgave this and they found a $12 million and allow them to decide for themselves and even the novels of ron hubbard are all considered scripture and tax exempt. so the irs completely caved on
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this. >> going clear is the title of the book. if you would like to participate in a conversation, please call. if you live in the east and central time zones. those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones, send a comment via twitter at the tv, and that is our twitter handle. was it at all appealing to you at the concept of scientology after spending this time researching it? >> i have written about a lot of things. i suppose i have an interest in religious beliefs. and if you don't find that come you can make up your own as l. ron hubbard dead. but yes, i think what people get
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out of it, they offer courses and if you were to walk into your local church and say that you're curious to know what they do here, they would say what is ruining your life and keeping you from progressing morally and spiritually and romantically and we can help you. we have a menu of courses and people do get lots of help. he took a communications course and he's not a scientologist, but he credits it and there's a lot of story like that. then there is the therapy and it is done with what is called an
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eager than there used to be some soup cans with a meter connected dialectical liars and has a current that measures your galvanic responses. one totable lie detector. and it's like being in a therapy session with a lie detector, which changes the relationship and people find a lot of that and they sometimes have mystical experiences. many have it reported to me that since having an out of body experience, it validates it was a true memory and that's very powerful. because of you have this thing saying that this is true, that means that you have life that
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that really is a family go from one life to another and that's the central message of scientology. >> is difficult in your view? >> i don't call it a cult. there's only one organization makes a distinction that is the irs and everything else is just opinion. the irs decided it was going to record an with the same protections than any other established religion in this country has. and this includes legal inquiries that otherwise might be undertaken. >> why hollywood? >> he knew that there was one thing that americans really worship and that seems to be celebrities. in the capital of celebrity is hollywood. so he set up his church and created this and began
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cultivating entertainers and movie stars and young people that would beam going into this business. and all the time, they sent out a roster of scientologist and the late bob hope and walt disney and they wanted them in the church. and just like sports stars were on wheaties cereal boxes. they wanted people to advertise the benefits of scientology may have eventually got that. >> gloria swanson, the faded star of silent movies and some others, like elvis presley walked into the church weekly, his widow and daughter are still from the church and prominent members and members of the
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grateful dead and leonard cohen, a lot of people went in early on. and it wasn't until john travolta came along that they snag someone that was a visible, you know, the biggest star in the world at the time. and then tom cruise who is certainly the most famous scientologist since l. ron hubbard himself. >> is a wealthy organization? >> estimate they have a great deal of this and it would be difficult for the catholic church to cough up a billion dollars in cash right now. who's membership and they are hemorrhaging members.
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and i think that they are really suffering as long as they have we have a billion dollars to sit upon. >> do think it is one secret from the catholic church? >> is more interesting to compare with the mormons. and they were the most stigmatized religion in the country and there is never -- there's never been a more persecuted set of people than the mormons and they were chased out of one set over the other. and they had a lot of hatred directed at the mormons that was unbelievable and the leader was assassinated and eventually it
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was something called the utah war, general custer was sent there to try to deal with this and eventually the leader of the church had a revelation that we no longer wanted to be a theocracy and we wanted to be a part of united states and we no longer want to be polygamists. and that's not even an issue. this includes how this organization was. it is one of the fastest going religions seen as an american religion. and i don't know if that will happen in scientology. >> lawrence wright is our guest
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the book is "going clear." we have a call from west virginia. >> caller: hello. earlier today he spoke in a presentation with some members and suggested that quite a few of us that have talked about this, primarily tom cruise. and perhaps they could bring this to bear on the hierarchy. but i'm wondering of the approval of these leaders to maintain their high profiles in hollywood. and what does not harm their careers? >> thank you, that's a really good question.
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i want to mention this and these are people that have joined the church and become a part of the clergy and oftentimes as very young children and people. and a sinus for a billion years of service with the idea that life is infinite and so it's not too much to ask. they are paid $50 per week and there is a core benefit of this labor on a number of occasions. they handcrafted a limousine for him and it is the most prized possession. nobody in the church is given
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the kind of treatment that tom cruise is given. and i am sure that he knows about the abuses that have taken place inside the higher reaches of the church and its cadres. at least 12 people have told me personally that they have been beaten by the leader of the church and they are confined and for years at a time. and the leader of the church as a mormon, by the way, and he has been in this double wide trailer that they have on the headquarters for seven years. so it's not just a weekend stay. and these are serious abuses and i think scientology has to face this what is going on.
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it is a religion in the courts have held that these are religious practices and there's nothing they can do. there are only two avenues, one is the irs and i don't think that they want to go back to this. the other is some of the celebrity superstars that have been advertising the benefits could turn the microphone around and demand does and no one more so than tom cruise who has benefited inside the church. >> yes, the two-time academy
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award winner. and tommy davis was the head spokesperson. and he was going through scientology. on a sunday afternoon at 3:00 o'clock he became and that he would agree. you agree to fact checking questions. an archer, tommy davis' mother, and some other prominent members of the church. and tommy agreed to answer these questions in our first round and there was this and tommy davis
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and his wife came to the new york offices along with these two respond to these questions. i was in heaven. this was, to me, my editor threw me aside and said you know what you've got. and in that sense i was given a lot of operations and then they turn off the spigot and is continued to send backchecking theories and they were very reluctant. but they did respond somewhat. >> his book is "going clear."
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we have about a minute left with another color. go ahead, david. >> thank you. do you know the book in the name of science, which criticized dianetics in the 1960s. and then the quote that sunlight is the best disinfectant. what are your thoughts? >> i used to be a subscriber and it's really helpful. some like being the best disinfectant, it seems to be the only way to deal with this
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organization. i ran into an fbi investigation and they were talking to some of the same people and i found out what they were telling the fbi and the fbi was preparing to free all of these people at the headquarters and then a judge in colorado ruled about this, but these are religious practices of the judge was involved in. so they dropped the investigation and the government can't do anything. the only thing that can be done is let people know what is actually happening inside this church. >> good afternoon. sheila? @> caller: hello, i am still >> caller: hello, i am still here. >> hello, this is sheila,.
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>> caller: there is a location called gilman springs i don't know if this is the organization that you are talking about. but it does seem that people drive by there and they have cameras and they turn the sprinklers on for people to stop by and they don't like people poking in and it's almost like a compound. >> what you are talking about is actually the international headquarters near hemet in southern california. formally an old spot.
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.. that's the way i interpreted it. i think it's a really wonderful and amazing representation of
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his influence. >> host: janet in quincy, illinois, i think we have time to get you in. >> caller: thank you. my husband knew him. they worked together in 1958 the glacier park, montana. >> guest: you worked with whom? >> host: janet? janet, i apologize. i'm going interrupt you. janet, i didn't understand who your understand worked with? >> caller: they were working in glacier park in a lodge in 1958. >> host: who? >> caller: hebert. >> guest: okay. >> host: janet, very quickly, go ahead. >> caller: anyway. we wanted to know. you had earlier talked about him being in this compound. has anybody seen him? is he okay? that's my question.
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>> guest: yes. he came out recently for a funeral of a family member, and apparently talked to his brother. but then his brother told people about what hebert said. i think they cut off communication. but, you know, he's alive and he's healthy, apparently. but he has -- >> host: is he being held prisoner? >> guest: you know, it's hard to say because if you went in -- this is what top-level executives told me. they told the fbi if you were to open the door and say you're free, they would say we're here of our own will. there was a night where david came down with a jam box and played musical chairs, and the idea was the last person sitting can stay. everybody else you're thrown out. you are out of here. husbands and wives are going to
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be divorced. he had airline tickets printed and u-haul trailer. he was offering them freedom essentially. they were fighting each other, tearing clothes, breaking chairs in order to stay. in my opinion, there is nothing more exsemifie the hold of scientology has. >> host: the church is headquartered here in florida; correct? >> guest: there's the spiritual headquarter is in clear water. >> host: and david, what can you tell us about him? does he go out in public? he active in the local community? >> guest: well, he divides his time between the headquarter in california and also in l.a. and then in the clear water. he essentially is closeted in the church confine for the most part.
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he's not public. he doesn't, you know, you -- i don't recall seeing him in public in a long time. he's certainly not giving interviews, i can tell you that. and he's not responded to my requests on multiple occasions. so scientology has a huge presence in clear water. a vast number of properties and they have tried to make that community feel a little more at ease with their presence, but it's been difficult because at one point, for instance, they tried to frame the mayor with a false hit-and-run and at one point they did the same thing with him trying to pretended he had an affair with somebody. it was, you know, they have not made themselves welcome there. >> host: lawrence wright. "going clear: scientology."
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here is the cfer of -- cover of the book. thank you for joining us in miami. >> guest: thank you. >> host: it's always a pleasure. the next panel coming up live from the miami book fair. one on the dwo. -- development of america. two historians will be up here. nathaniel philbrick and brenda wineapple. "ecstatic nation: confidence, crisis, and compromise, 18-48-1877" this is live coverage on booktv as we take you back to chatman auditorium. [inaudible conversations] ♪
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♪ >> good afternoon. hello, everybody. welcome to the 30th miami book fair international and our presentation this afternoon. we're very grateful. i'm diane king. i work here at the school of engineering and technology, and i'm pleased to welcome all of you. and also, to express gratitude for the support of hoh american airlines, and many other generous sponsors. and also, our friends at the book fair, thank you for your support and for being here. at the end of the session, we'll have time for questions and answers. and the authors will be autographing books as well out here on the floor. you can purchase books and have them autographs. at this point, i would normally ask you to turn off your cell phones. right now i'm going ask you to please take them out and to help us keep the fair going for the
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next 30 years, we're asking for you to text your support to the miami book fair international. and the way you do that is to text to 41444. and text "mbfi "miami book fair international and the amount you would like to donate. then we'll follow up with you. in this way, we can assure that the book fair will go on for another 30 years. it's now my pleasure to introduce to you mr. david lyons who will be -- introdewsing our guest authors and producers. thank you. [applause] good afternoon. i'm sure you have a number of welcomes to the book fair. i'm going give you anyway.
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we are glad you are here. this is a discussion about two of the most significant periods in american history. the revolutionary war era before america's birth as a nation, and the runup and the aftermath of the civil war. when america experience near-death as a nation. in bunker "bunker hill: a city, a siege, a revolution" nathaniel talks about boston. and the bloodiest battle of the revolution, and the point of no return for the rebellious column nists. he's a native boston and trained journalist. he is recognized authority on the history of man tuck et. he told an interviewer i don't think it's possible to have the death of the island's rich history. he has previous books that include "may flower." the finalist for the pulitzer prize for history. "in the heart of the sea" he won
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the national book award for fiction. "revenge of the whale." one of the hornbook aware. -- award. he holds a bachelor in english from brown. independent book sellers association. perhaps his passion for the subject can be demonstrated from the july 21st block postin connecticut when he attended the launching of the newly restored charles w. morgan's america's only survivorring 19th century whale ship. the picture he posted was quote taken at the moment of impact as a kristining bottle containing water from all of the seas. next i would like to introduce
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brenda wine apple. a non-fiction writer. a "new york times" reviewer in august noted that brenda takes the reader on a different road traveled by many other histories of the sifm war. the growing gulf between north and south. and suddenly a multicar pileup the civil war. but instead of that usual ride wrote the reviewer she takes us on a different ride. the monaco grand grand pri x. it's history in real time. the fisa the friendship of emily
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dickinson and thomas wentworth. "haw thorn." she's a regular contributor to "the new york times" book review and the nation and editor of the selective poetry. in 2009 she received a push cart prize, a glueingen heim fellowship, and two national endowment for the humanities. last year elected a fellow of the american academy of arts and sciences. a former director of the leon center for biography at the graduate school in new york. she teaches in the msa program at the new school university in columbia university school of the art and taught cor are a lawrence college in new york. where she was washington irving
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professor. please welcome brenda wineapple and nathaniel philbrick. [applause] >> on my way over here, nathaniel, i talked about how both of these subjects are, you know, obviously the most, you know, among the notable eras of american history. how could we characterize, you know, a comparatively between your book and brenda's when it comes to, you know, intensity and relevance, you know, where both in the revolution and with the civil war there wasn't very much of a clear future in any era. >> yeah. well, i was thinking about this question, actually, when i heard about the great opportunity to be paired with brenda. and my "bunker hill" begins and
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ends with john quincy adams, it begins with him at 7 years old, standing on a hill with his mother then in her early 30s on june 17, 1775 watching the battle of bunker hill from a hill about 12 miles away, and later in his life he would record in his journal it was an experience -- an unforgettable experience. both of them were weeping as they watched the british navy unleash cannon ball on the patriots gathered on bunker hill. what hit him the most was learning a few dais later that their family doctor, dr. joseph warren, had been killed at the battle of "bunker hill" during the last british charge. it was devastating for john quincy, whose father was not spending more and more time
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away. he was then at the second continental congress 300 miles away in philadelphia, and it was the death of joseph warren that he -- that moved him so deeply for the rest of his life, he would refrain from attending celebrations the battle of bunker hill in charleston. and so my book begins with that, and joseph warren is a major character one i think a lot of us don't know a lot about. we think of the other adams, the john quincy's dad and samueled adams but the bookends with john quincy adams 68 years later on june 17, 1940 -- 1840 the bunker hill monument has been built on bunker him. once again, he refused to attend. yet, he watches yet once again
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from the family home where he sees the smoke of a cannon go off and it reminds him of that time. at this time in his life, john quincy adams, a president, is now a lowly u.s. congressman who has taken up the fight against slavery. what he realizes is the work that his doctor -- dr. joseph warren and his father worked so hard for is not over. we segue to brenda. >> it's interesting. first of all, it's a pleasure to be here. thank you for the introduction. it's great to be here with nathaniel philbrick and feeling a baton has been passed and the baton passed from bunker hill -- and it's not necessarily a name he's not necessarily a name we con jour with him. you think of i don't know washington and jefferson and
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madison and later, of course, lincoln, and even later than that grant and going forward. john quincy adams was not really known for his presidency. he was more known for what happens as nathaniel says for his post presidency when he actually goes to the house of representatives. he's known as a man refusal and that word is interesting to me because one of the very last words that he uttered was no. a word of refusal. my particular book starts with the death of john quincy adams standing up and saying no. and the particular issue that was a vote on whether or not to give more medals to mexican war veteran. john quincy adams had been opposed to the war. he was opposed to decorating generals who fought in what he felt was a greedy re blank not
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look good for the country. here a man who served his country well both as president and then in the house of representatives uttering no and ending his life at that particular moment. for me, that was a water shed moment. not just because of the mexican war, which is ends in 1848. because john quincy adams was the descendent of john adams and founding fathers. we enter a different world now. we are not in the revolutionary era. we can't look back in the same way we are look forward. what we have to look forward to is a series of refusal for good and ill that come to be known as the period before, during, and after the civil war.
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so it's very interesting. kind of continuity in that particular way. that we see history as also being embodied by humans who have such a direct and powerful response to it. >> -- and the other genre contribute in a way toward your decision to -- >> right. absolutely. haw thorn, i'm interested in the fact that nathaniel haw thorn, a man who died during the civil war in 1864 was also a man -- we often associate with salem in the early witchcraft trials with really, you know, 17th century america not 19th century america. her he was a man who met lincoln. he called him one of the homeliest men he ever met, as a matter of fact. and if that wasn't enough, one
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of his dearest friends was a president of the united states not one of the ones we conjure one, as i mentioned before, but franklin pierce. we think of the writer, the recluse, salem, hester print and scarlet letter. we don't think of politics. he was involves in politics, actually. it was a very political time. whittier just to finish off. he was at quaker poet from montana. we are both from montana. i grew up in massachusetts where whittier was from. i had whittier rammed down my throat and didn't like him much. when the library of america called me to do the book on whittier, i thought, all right. i reread him and he was marvelous. i was too young for him. besides being a good poet. he was a wonderful man in many ways and was a long time abolitionist. he was more than antislavery. he wanted slavery enended.
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he didn't the president in a gradual way. i was interested in literary figures whom we know as literary fill your and their history. >> we come to history from a similar literary place. my graduate degree is in american literature, and i live on man tuck et largely because i like mobby dick. [laughter] and he does. >> i wrote a little book about that. and -- >> i'm a fan. and -- like wise. continuing and i was actually named for nathaniel haw thorn. wasn't it said that his biography of franklin piers was the greatest work of fiction he had ever written. >> yeah, it was said that. and he dedicated. when he dedicated a book to franklin piers. raffle -- ralph waldo emmerson took it
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out. he wrote a poem called "the exile" which describes how thomas macy, who was the founding english settler of nann tuck et -- just down the street from where we live is the house where supposedly he wrote "the exile ." >> that's interesting. nantucket has a long standing quaker community. and frederick douglas before well known lived on nantucket and the american antislavery meetings were held there. i never -- i don't remember. i wasn't there. but i feel like i remember he
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spoke in nantucket. >> right. we're proud on nantucket that frederick douglass the first time he spoke before a white audience was in nantucket. his wonderful book, the narrative of his life, ends with that scene. on nantucket, we take great pride. >> and credit. >> right. >> yeah. >> looking at some of the figures who are known to people as established players, when the revolution finished and the civil war, you know, was completed, george washington, for example, 1775 seemed to be somewhat of an outlier as a future player of -- can u yo go in to that? >> yeah. it was fascinating. when i came up with the idea of this book, one of my concerns, oh, washington, you know, he's the walking marvel man. and what is he going to really, you know, be a buzz kill once he
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arrives on the scene after the battle of bunker hill. anything but. it's just fascinating to see washington. a man from virginia, arriving in new england, a couple of weeks after the battle of bunker hill where -- and this is a new england army. these are people whose idea of diversity is, okay, i'm from massachusetts. i'm willing to serve in an army with someone from new hampshire. [laughter] to have this -- plantation owner arrive and he realizes, you know, this is an army that because they have grown up with the new england town meeting, which is, you know, a wonderful form of government in which basically people argue until finally they come to a decision. the soldiers in this army when given an order would say, fine, that's -- we understand that's what you want us to do. we'll discuss it before we agree to do that. and this drove washington
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crazy. because he arrived with the misplaced hope he was going whip the people to a professional army, and it was -- god bless him, he stuck with it. it was not pretty. but with washington, you see the beginning where this very ingrown group of new englanders begin of think of themselves not just from massachusetts or new hampshire, but begin to realize, wow, you know, we have to think of ourselves as americans. >> and i guess a similar question for a period you cover 1848 to 1877. there were individuals who were kind of out of place, you know, going in -- >> right. >>well, you know, those figures insight, the opposite in some ways of washington, the man of marvel. what are you going with him you come out as a rider? i had lincoln, which is the opposite in the sense he's not a man of marvel.
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he's headliner in movies. it wasn't the case -- my book was finished. but he certainly was before -- he's known, he's quoted, beloved, and i thought to myself he can't possibly be as good as people make him out to be. i asked the discovery for the book -- there were many for me, one of the discoveries lincoln is bottomless and brilliant, as much a figure of history as a figure of literature because he's a wonderful stylist, and in many ways i think we wouldn't remember certain things in the way we do if it hadn't been for his great literary achievements. at the same time, there were those outlyers, as you're calling them, people who have been forgotten from history in a sense, writers like lydia maria child who was abolitionist for a long time.
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when i grew up in massachusetts she was known for poem. "over the hill and through the woods to grandmother's house we go." sort of thanksgiving poem, something like that. which was fore said. i wanted to run away from that as possible. i find out not only was she an active abolitionist, but she fought for women's rights, and indian rights. but she actually wanted to go down to harpers ferry to virginia in 1859, and take care of nurse john brown, in fact, and john brown, i think, wisely told her not to come. but what she did was engage in a series of public letters with the wife of the governor of virginia, and they were published, and it was -- these were letters about slavery. they were talking about what john brown had done in virginia
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and, you know, the woman in the south was saying, you know, how -- you don't care about your workers in the north, but you care about southerners and what, you know, -- aren't you a mother. she wasn't. don't you care about children and lydia maria child say yes, i care about children but we don't sell our children. it went back and forth in this particular way. you find these are people, in some sense, have been lost or sidelined and they're so very, very important. they were so famous in their own day. which is fascinating too. >> umm, the news has obviously been -- the 50th anniversary and the discussion that look back to the kennedy assassination. in 1865, after abraham lincoln was killed, who was it that took us forth in the wake of the
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assassination to essentially bring forth social policies that take up to the end point of the book 1877. >> well, one couldn't have avoided -- probably didn't want to, the last week of commemorative programs about assassination of john f kennedy, and some of you have probably heard or have read robert's most recent work on johnson, and one of the things he talks about i find very interesting is the transition of power from, of course, kennedy to johnson and the fact that was such a seamless transition, because you have this horrible event and suddenly -- and the government doesn't crumble. and of course, when that's going on, i, who lived in the 19th century, think about the lincoln assassination and the transition at that particular time to
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another johnson -- andrew johnson from tennessee, who is put on lincoln's ticket in 1864 election. i don't think anyone would have thought or maybe they did -- lincoln was always thinking morbid thoughts understandably, but andrew johnson would be president. there was a great deal of talk he was drunk at the inauguration. so there was a transition, which was right after -- days after, it's hard to imagine days after the war. there were some people in the south and west who were fighting. they didn't want to stop fighting. andrew johnson is the new president. ..
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>> reemerge in a new way and washington was an incredible leader because he had the unusual ability to realize i have to change course here. i think lincoln could work with that and had a pragmatic sense that this is the right thing. but to achieve it we will have to make it work. and that is so unusual. that you combine a real ideal t
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idealistic vision and how we use that to make a higher good happen. and those kinds of leaders are so rare. and i think one of the amazing things about american history is they seem to appear when we need them. >> hopefully. one can only hope. but daniel, the wonderful word he uses is useful and that is impr improve and bunker hill and revolutionary era wasn't stable. you don't know what is going to hap pen next. especially during the time of the war, no matter the war, you don't know how it will turn out and you are suddenly left with a whole different political
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climate perhaps. i was thinking about sherman taking atlantic and in some sense that -- atlanta -- that secured the lincoln's election. and we can go forward and not u negotiate the piece. >> i have a question and i know my books are about iconic things whether it is the mayflower or bunker hill we know how it will work out. but when i am writing the book and in there and a chapter where everything is up for grabs, in that space i am feeling like what is going to happen next. do you get that kind of sense of, you know, i am in there and this could go anywhere? >> yes. first of all that is a great feeling i have when i read your
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books and mean it because in the sense we know how things come out and hwho won this war and that war and that washington becomes president. so the trick in writing history and write it like you don't know it. and when you are on the ground and that is what i mean about living in the 19th century. i think it is because we tonight think of outcome. we think of process and how tee get to that outcome. so i am fascinated and i sit and i read the congressional globe which is like theater. it is like reading plays because this is thadious here and it ha been clean upped but there were no tape recorders there. and you feel people are thinking on their feet and you forget
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about the outcome and you are involved in the way people see events in realtime. >> that is completely it. as a writer i was trained as a journalist and what i am finding is for me in journalism we come up with a sense of how life is lived in the presence and my relationship with the past follows that. i'm trying to figure out what happened as best as i can. and given the fact that sources are, you know, not always there and there is also questions of evidence and all of those things, but that is what you are trying to do: get a sense of what it was like when all of this was happening and peel back the sense of destined people and realize it could have gone
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another way. with each book, i don't come away with this is how we should go in the future, we are as confused as they were then. but the question is what you do when you are in the middle of it. >> and you start to ask difference questions. for example, about a war, for me it was -- i could tell you what happened at bull run, but i am not a military historian and it doesn't move me. but it occurred to me how do people know what happened at various places and who are the journalist on the ground. how did they get stories? how did that dispatch them? were they captured? you know? there were a lot of questions. was the coverage of the south the same as the north. so when you start asking those
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questions and motive questions you find pathways into the past and as i said you begin and certainly see this and you begin to live there with him >> and so often, we are both writing about well-known topics. what amazes me is how little i know about every topic i begin with. in fact, each book, out of my ignoran ignorance, i want to figure out what happened. you find that testimony and for example on bunker hill, i was describing the day after lexington and concord and everything is going great the patriots, but in the town of boston, everyone is terrified and some people cannot walk literally because of fear. i found the journal of a woman who was there at the time and that was her situation. she and her female friend were
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terrified and wanted to get away from the british soldiers. her husband took her out and put her in a carriage and off they go. but you been to realize the emotions people were feeling comes as a revelation. it isn't just connecting the dates. you realize the human cost in terms of lives and how traumatic. you look at john quincy adams where he sees the battle at b g bunker. >> we have approached and come upon question time from the audience. if you have any questions go to the microphone.
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>> we should be astatic to have you here. and across the street we have another author who is brilliant and anyone from the sunshine state should be reading this book. in reading your books, i think there is one constant theme that struck me and that is racism and how deeply rooted it in. for example, in the mayflower and how quickly our forefathers turned against the native americans. i thought it was interesting to see the number of families that owned slaves in boston. i think you to do a great job
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tracing racism and i think your book will be recognized as a landmark in history because you provide continuity between many things and you did a brilliant job putting it together. it is not only race, but it is the threat of the vote. of extended the right to vote to non-whites and to women. my question is this: do you have any thoughts in terms of what are the root causes of that r racism? and the theme is alive in what we are finding in many states, including ohio in trying to restrict that right to vote. thank you. >> i think you can generate it
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to intolerance. the pilgrims came to worship as they wanted and wanted to make sure everybody else did. they were bumping heads with the native americans who kept them from dying that first winter. and with bunker hill, you have to look at where america becomes america. it is washington realizing that on november 5, 1775 all of the officers want to celebrate something called poke night. it is an anti-catholic demonstration and in boston the north and south end had carts with the devil and the pope on the other one. and you would steal carts and
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beat up as many other officers. and washington writes a resolution that says are you kidding? here we are in the midst of this war. we want catholic-france to come in on our side and you have the audacity to pull something like this. and he is saying it is old prejudices that will not work. and slavery is the ultimate one. and american is a process of grinding those down hopefully until we look at each other as human beings >> and creating america is a process of making a nation as natha nathaniel says. you see it in the 19th century and it is more complicated with
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who is a citizen and when you emancipate the black population in the south, how do you make them citizens? what are the qualifications and if they are extended to black men, what about black awoman -- women -- and white women. i have understand the racism is a sense of a fear of the others. and you see that in nativism. you have the know-nothings and they were based on nativism. and they were anti-catholic
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party in that sense. so we hope these prejudices are grou grou ground down but the idea of voting rights is something we have been discussing for a long time. and it is being reconsidered and refigured and you see that in the context after the civil war between when black men are pitted against black women and white women about who gets to vote. it is interesting and creepy in a sense that you see the same kind of, you know, faction when clinton was pitted against obama. formula displeased with both of them wanted to see them as adv r
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advasaries. it is part of our legacy, but any place is being reinvestigated as well. sorry to go on. thank you. >> could you discuss the role or lack there of among political opponents among compromise and how it relates today to political fraction. >> i think you should answer that. >> crisis and compromise is a subtitle of my book. we heard about these compromises but the word was being banded about. and you have people shouting in the senate or house of
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representatives i will not compromise or william lloyd saying no compromise with slave holders. and the whole issue was con tended in the same tense it is today. because you could argue someone like garrison is taking a morale position. and what about positions that are not absolute? when are you pragmatic? that is when lincoln comes in. he was willing to compromise and that is why people thought he was slow with regard to
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emancipation but he was working slowly so you could get a real lasting piece and abolish slavery. so it is sometimes pragmatic, sometimes work, sometimes necessary and sometimes so floridflac flac flacid and meaningless. so when you have a contested election, and we have an interesting moment in history where the poplar vote wasn't won but many people in the south were not allowed to vote. so the compromise was to get him into office as long as he pulled out the troops. so we are debating the issues today. and there are no easy answers for them. >> you mentioned lincoln's
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bottomlessness and i was wondering if you could say little more about that in terms of the evolution on his views of slavery. and given the comment all times are messy when you look at them in the present, what kind of perspective does that give both of you in terms of so many people feeling we have a dysfunctional government and how do we go forward with the perspective you have from generations that looked hopeless as well, what does the future look like? >> i am amazed at the dysfunctionali dysfunctional times we think
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are resolute knowing where they want to do. but congress didn't know what to do. do we make an army? we don't trust armies but we need them. my only take away and it is dangerous to make close parliament -- parallels -- with the past because the whole sense of reality was different. but you have to be humble about the president and not think there is anything who has it figured out. in terms of leaders, you need to find the people who can do the juggling act of pragmatically achieving things that are for a greater good. it is not, you know, it can't be this standoff i am right/you are
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wrong. it has to be let's begin a conversation and resolve it as the main aim. and that is the one thing i saw with this revolution. they had to resolve it because they were in the midst of a war and it is a wonderful -- what it does is create and requires people to come up with something oth otherwise it is over. and that is why our two books exist. >> the only thing i would add back to lincoln in that context is one thing he represents and is able to do: he is able to empathize and even hawthorn who wasn't a republican at all found in his brief meeting with lincoln a man of real kindness
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and people said that often. what that mean was he was able to empathize with people from different walks of life, color and circumstances and be able to see their point of view. and i think that was in large to him and the country. and i think we write history and think about it and we don't have predictions and what is significant is the ability people could -- the better people, the interest in people, the people who made the changes are people who have a capacity to change their minds. and i think one of things that people say about going back to lincoln because you asked about him, was the capacity to grow. and grow means changing your minds and revisiting the points
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you had earlier and being able to see that perhaps they were time bound or bound by where you were, but you are willing to say i will move in a different direction. and i think that is what we need always. >> well, that ends our time with nathaniel philbrick and brenda wineapple. thank you very much and best wishes to both of you. >> books are available outside for purchasing and across the hall to sign your books. thank you for coming. >> and you are watching live coverage of the 30th annual of