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tv   Booknotes  CSPAN  November 23, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm EST

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>> i have always been a great liberal, but i am also very realistic that most of the arab world are not friends of the israeli people and not all have blinders on of that kind of sanctification of the palestinians. but just from a realistic point of view, i don't understand for the last 20 years, and it's been harder for me to defend sometimes the actions of israel to my jewish or non-jewish friends. i don't understand with a few exceptions. ..
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>> understand, what is the question? so let me answer. it's a very simple answer. first of all of course as you can understand i want us to reach an agreement but i think we have to reach out in a sensible realistic way. one of the problems is that the piece thinking and peace concept
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will not renew in 20 years. this is what i think we need fresh thinking. you will not trite to -- a 25-year-old chevy. so i think it's time to thank fresh and to describe it in just a sentence. when israelis open their hearts and decided to go to peace in 1993 the result was a waive of terror and buses exploding in central jerusalem. when israelis took a giant step forward and the peace agreement in 2000 the result was the worst suicide bombing terror offensive ever. when the israelis opened their hearts the third time and we withdrew from the gaza strip and the result was rockets coming in life in southern jerusalem must awful. it is understandable why
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middle-of-the-road realistic well-meaning israelis are afraid their fears are somewhat justified. yet i say let's not surrender to fear but let's think and bring out the new creative idea of how we move forward and learn from the lessons of the past and do not underestimate or do not ignore the fact that there are legitimate fears on the other side within israel. [applause] i would just add one thing to that which is also the creation of the wall that has had this effect of removing any sense of urgency to make a deal. i think with a heightened sense of security inside of israel that day of reckoning of the palestinian question can be put off seemingly forever.
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>> that is part part of it but that came after the trauma. to this day we did it not acknowledge these traumas in their paralyzing israeli public opinion so we have to address them. by the way i think the war was part of the solution but that's another discussion. >> i hope you don't mind if i asked scott a question. i wanted to ask you if you couldn't recall and summarize, i think it's a bit of a funny story of what lawrence had to do to actually conscript or sign-up you had to get a uniform and do a wild move. i remember faintly but maybe you can reveal that story because i think it's pretty funny. >> it's a great story. when the war started in august of 1914 lawrence, he has been a great deal of time at the archaeological site and was in northern london and there was such a rush of people to enlist
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that the british government raised its height standards. lawrence is only 5 feet 4 inches and i believe there is a height of 5 feet 6 inches so he could not enlist and what happened was he got a job working for the mapping department of the british military headquarters in london. he was then that job for about six weeks and a british general who was about to go off to the western front to belgium wanted to look at the up-to-date battlefield maps of the sector he was going to be going to and walking in this room he was so offended that he was going to be reefed by this five-foot four-inch civilian. he said i want to be briefed by an officer. there were no officers left. everyone had been sent to the front so lawrence was hustled off to the army-navy store to
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get a second lieutenant's uniform and they made him a second lieutenant. that is how lawrence became a british officer. [laughter] >> you are going to be the last question. the rumor is that he was maybe the only person ever. >> that's right. it was not a rumor. actually happened. it was right at the end of the war. the world was two weeks away from finishing. lawrence has helped in damascus and the tovar 1919 and he rushed back to london to start putting putting -- trying to put his influence into the post-war division of the region and on the morning of october 30 he was summons to buckingham palace and he thought he was going there to brief the king on these deliberations,
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these geopolitical to liberations. the king and the queen, queen mary walked in and there was a raised platform. lawrence realized he was about to be knighted and two things unusual about this, over the previous four years of the war there were some an invest teachers and metals. investors were always done en masse at this point so private that searcher was almost unheard of and queen mary had heard about lawrence's exploits in arabia so she made an exception to come. lord chamberlain is sitting there with his pillow with all these metal sonic and the king turns to lawrence and says i have some gifts for you and he goes to put the first metal on lawrence and lawrence refuses to be knighted. the british monarchy is all about protocol. there is protocol for absolutely everything but there was no
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protocol for someone refusing knighted to the king's face. it never happened before. apparently the king just stood there awkwardly for a minute and put the metal back down on lord chamberlain's pillow and lawrence turned and walked out. [laughter] >> why did he do it? i think he did it because he knew that the trail was coming. what really motivated lawrence and what he really risked his life over and over again was in trying to, to try to uphold the promises the british government had made to britain and i think by the end of the war it was very clear that they were going to be sold out and the betrayal of the british and french was a forgone conclusion. >> my question is for ari. this may sound like a simple question and maybe it is. i'm not so sure if it is though. you mentioned in israel what
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israel should be doing to reach out to the diaspora to and americans so forth. my question is the inverse. what should americans ,-com,-com ma jewish in america who love israel but don't blindly love israel but still love israel, what should we be doing to further the dialogue for the situation as you see it? what is our role in this? >> i have an unusual answer for journalists. i think pretty much you are doing what you should. i think in this sense american jewry is doing what it should in supporting israel and maintaining itself. where i'm actually worried and this is unusual for an israeli to say. i'm more worried about your own
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communities and therefore my vision is -- i want to come to israel to bring israel there. each one if you like science, if you like politics, whatever part of israel you can relate to work with it in a whatever we decide that i think it is our role really and i will give an example. i am really troubled by the lack of affordable jewish education in this country. i think this is the heart, if there is a future in the jewish community. i don't expect israel to send shekels to fund jewish-american schools but for instance if we would have some sort of jewish peace corps that is going around and sending our youngsters to
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help with the jewish schools or jewish summer camps and a million ideas. my fear is of internal jewish isolations. i don't want your community to turn its back on israel and they don't want israel to turn its back on you. i want you to do whatever. do your thing. whatever part of israel you have a right to work with but i want israel to work with you. i think the problem there is that we have to do as much deeper. i see it is my role and is my hope this book is to launch a new, -- conversation about israel but when i go back there it's my duty to try to launch a new diaspora of discussion within israel. this is the last question and i would end with the following. i prescribe what i so much believe in which is the energy
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of a retaliated society in every respect that our role in their mission is to take a vitality and move it to the political sphere so we will have a much more effective government, much more effective policy. it's not enough that there is great individuals and a great society and great startup companies. we have to take that vitality, transform our system and our state and reach out to you people so we can have a meaningful dialogue because we really need it and it can actually be a real celebration. thank you. [applause] >> scott anderson and ari thank you very much. >> we do have books available for sale outside and authors will be available across the hall to sign them for you. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> as we wrap up our coverage here on day one of the miami book fair international and want to let you know about tomorrow. we are we are live all day again tomorrow beginning at 10:30 a.m. eastern time. some of the others you will hear from kate helprin and george packer who won the national book award jeremy scahill bill ayers represented debbie wasserman schultz and chris athey -- chris matthews are some of the authors and you can find the entire schedule a so we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. everything you have seen today will re-air beginning at midnight eastern time. thanks for being with us. now booktv continues.
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so the first of all increasingly women's identities are tied to their work in a way which me might not like and we may find disturbing and unnatural but it is in fact true. when i look at some one like mercer mayor who was recently chosen to be the ceo of yahoo! when she was visibly pregnant and then was asked you now how much maternity leave do you want to take and she said basically none. the fact that such women exist, it's not the way i would do it. i took plenty of maternity leave i feel like that is a growing -- that is the kind of woman that there can be space for in the fact that there are some stay at home dad's who are set happy stay-at-home dads and they don't all entirely live in portland oregon, that's okay too.
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[applause] >> thank you so much for that very kind introduction. it's a pleasure to be here. robert e. lee surrendered is for most americans a familiar tablet. the two men met in the house of will mclean and a modest hamlet of appomattox courthouse. the war of fine dress uniform and embodied the proud gentility of the cells planter elite. grant represented the hardscrabble farmers and wage
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earners. after awkwardly exchanging some pleasantries about their service in the mexican war the two men agreed to the surrender terms that ended the civil war. grant's terms set free promise that they would never again take up arms against the united states. grant's magnanimity and this hour and stoic resignation defeat not only be united the north and south to prepare the way for america's emergence as a world power. this is an edifying story, comforting when they cast the surrender of the moment feeling that transcended politics. today i will tell you an altogether different appomattox story and suggest that what happened here on april 9, 1865 is even more significant and fascinating than we have realized. the surrender was an inherently political moment that would set the terms of an unfolding debate about the meaning of the war. lee and grant leaders both knew this so each man move moved to stake out a position.
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for lead the surrender a negotiation which he said honorable terms in the piece was contention on the north's good behavior. the union victory in glee's eyes was one of might overwrite. and grants you the surrender was in essence a negotiation. he could be merciful precisely because was rendered utterly powerless and discredited. grant's terms were designed to affect the federal submission and atonement. for grant the union victory was one of right over wrong in the piece was contention on on the south good behavior. these competing visions would exert a profound influence over post-war politics eniac grant and lee did not craft the surrender terms in isolation for is the appomattox drama unfolded their countrymen and women invested the surrender with their own agendas and aspirations and dreams and the streams dreams included the dream of freedom itself or in the eyes of african-american soldiers and former slaves more than the union had been vindicated that april day.
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lee's surrender was for them a freedom day the promise of emancipation was finally fulfilled. i will propose three distinct understandings of the surrender as a moment of frustration. this is the confederate interpretation. it took shape within the contending armies on april 91865 and i will suggest the debates over the appomattox terms reveal not only the depth of the bitterness between the victors but also deep divisions within the society north and south. we will begin with the confederate interpretation. on april 8, 1865 lead penned a letter to grand response to grant suggestion the confederate cause was hopeless and the time it comes to capitulate. lee wrote quote to be frank i do not think emergency has arisen the surrender of this army is the restoration of peace the sole object of all desire whether to know your proposals will lead to that end. it stores your proposal and the
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restricted piece that should be pleased to meet you. in using the word restoration twice we began to elaborate his vision of an honorable peace. what did he mean by restoration? it was of course the favorite theme of the northern piece democrats who deployed the lincoln administration's conduct of the war particular the advent of emancipatemancipat ion and sought to return the union to the way it was which was their 64 campaign slogan. we had hoped in vain battlefield victories what's bring the north to the negotiating table but lee's understanding of frustration was rooted in his family culture and then in that of his native virginia. like many other virginians of his generation lee was steeped in nostalgia for the days of the republic when the other states almost took it for granted that virginia would be their leader and when virginians felt the proprietary cry to the union. for furley an honorable peace would restore to the south of
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prosperity. he associated with the days of an imagined past it before the nation drifted away from the principles of the virginia founders. from april 1865 on restoration with the least political key word and we'd see a crop up again and again in this post-war correspondents. for example six months after the surrender he wrote to his friend matthew fontaine maury as long as as virtuous dominant interpublic so long as the happiness of the people is pure mate and merciful god save us from destruction restores to the bright hopes and prospects of the past. lee's hopes for restorations were premised not only a nostalgia but on the case that this army was blameless. he elaborated that on april 10 in his farewell address drafted by charles marshall that began after four years of arduous service mark van surpassed
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fortitude the army of northern virginia has been compelled to yield overwhelming numbers and resources to confederate church remains steadfast in the last to continue and could draw satisfaction even in this bitter hour from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed. lee's address took on an iconic iconic -- had profound emotional resonance to his starving and exhausted troops. the yankee army seemed endless and encompassing. lee's farewell address had layers of meaning and deep tangled roots. for white southerners the reference overwhelming numbers and resources was a code. in context of proslavery ideology in the confederate create numbers conjured up a northern army of mercenaries and hireling seduced into service and having no real stake in the fight. resources conjured up images of factories and cities in which an exploited underclass turned out the material for at the behest of rapacious capitalists. secessionists have seen the burgeoning wealth and the population of the north as an
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indictment of northern society of this social instability and obsession with the bottom line. addresses referenced the answer past courage and fortitude of the confederate troops who is part and parcel of that same indictment of the north defenders of the southern way of life made a statement of the claim that southern men accustomed to mastery and rural place were made of sterner staff in northern slaves. lee was well aware of this ideological fret and implying the union troops had not been equaled for the confederate ones the central attributes of manhood his farewell address made a political statement. by denying the legitimacy of the north's military victory confederates could tonight the north the right to impose its political will on the defeated cell. here at appomattox lead moved on the second front to cast an surrender terms for the best possible light hoping their paroles could confirm his men immunity from her prices and hence the victorious federals lee requested a grant at their
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april 10 meeting on horseback that each individual confederate be issued a printed certificate signed by a union officer as proof the soldier came under the settlement of april 9. grant readily assented to lee's request. in keeping with the language of the terms of parole certificate certificate.shift the soldier usurps the laws were he recited he would not be disturbed. union men imagine the certificates would remind confederates of the obligations intended upon the status of prisoners of war that the confederates emphasize the will not be disturbed claws and there lies their their paroles representative promised the honorable men would not be treated dishonorably. in the confederate interpretation is rendered terms imposed conditions on the north and in april 29, 1865 interview with the new york herald lee warned of arbitrary revengeful policies were adopted by the republican administration southerners would consider the surrender terms breached and would renew the fight. 10 months later testifying
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before congressional committee investigating the waives of anti-black violence in the south we defend the lenient policies of andrew johnson which brought ex-confederates back to power and cautioned the north must be restrained and conservative in its reproach further union for that was the best way for northerners to regain the good opinion of the south. the main point here is this. lee has a reputation in modern day for having counseled resignation in defeat. but for confederates in the post where period lee is not a symbol of submission. instead he was assembled of unbowed pride and measured defiance. confederate civilians imagine the very surrender seem as an enactment of lee's superiority to grant very for revealing a fanciful report on the conference circulated through confederate newspapers in late april of 1865. a report in which lee offers grant his sword but grant refuses to take it.
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according to the newspaper account grant turned to lion says quote generally keep that sort. you have not been whips that overpowered and i cannot receive it as a token of surrender from so great a man. of course grant never said anything such thing but the reports incredible to confederates because it confirmed that might override interpretation. confederate diarists grow to the theme that union officers cheerfully as he left mclean he left to clean house and rank-and-file yankees stared -- dared utter a single defeatist word. when yankees the victors so reticent holmes explained. quote beard the lion in chains. the confederates invoke the overwhelming numbers of resources interpretation of their defeat in the sentiments of the farewell address that invoke the appomattox terms and particularly the will not be disturbed claws as a shield of social change in the weapon in
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the looming battle over black civil rights. republican efforts to get the free people a measure of equality opportunity and protection were met by a confederate protest that such a radical agenda was at the trail of the appomattox terms, that the prospect of black citizenship is one virginia newspaper put a quote disturbs us unquote. in short confederates believed that we have drawn a line in the sand at appomattox. the north carolina poet barry baird park put it most succinct way. urging southerners to model their behavior on that of lee she was in the summer of 1866 that lee had quote not stoop to his randomly proud head one hairs revved since he surrendered to grant. confederates would observe their parole terms but more than that she insisted an honorable enemy should not desire. it is idle she wrote to attempt to force the confederates to say they were wrong. from the start this view of
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things was resoundingly rejected by grant and his inner circle and the vast majority of union soldiers and civilians. it was precisely an admission of wrongdoing in a change of heart but grant saw from his defeated foes. lee's rhetoric of restoration help of charm to the union general in the grant in expressing his support for lincoln in 1864 election has explicitly rejected the equation for peace with frustration and turning back the clock. associate such language with inspectors can't put it at the restoration to the south slaves already freed. grant also rejected the notion that he had in any sense negotiated with the appomattox. in grant you he had all the cards on april 9, 1865. grant that the meaning of the surrender terms to be unmistakable. he wrote quote i never claimed that parole gave these prisoners in a political rights whatsoever. i thought that was a matter entirely congress in which i had no control. that simply is generally chief commanding army i had a right to
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stipulate the surrender in the terms which protected confederates lives. these terms rested on military populations grant fell certain on april 9, 1865 that shouldn't surrender the rebel armies in the field and as graham put it thus be bushwhacking a continuation four. in the union interpretation grants terms of not set lease men's free. their freedom was entirely contingent on their good behavior. the surrender was for grant an indication on many levels. restoration is lee's key word of indication. he was keenly aware of the fact that over the course of the war many northerners in the union army and government press had government press that it should be to to the formidable the almost superhuman qualities as grant put it in his memoirs. grant knew all along that the rebel chief was mortal and the surrender vindicated that knowledge. moreover grant had long been stung by the charge leveled at the antiwar press in the north
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that grant was a merciless butcher. grant felt on despise content for the antiwar. with the defeat and grants show leniency the mantle would fall from grant's shoulders at last. more than anything the surrender in grants eyes was the triumph of a just cause namely the cost of the union. the union's triumph vindicated the principle of rule by the majority. the founders believed in a perpetual union the capacity of citizen soldiers represent democracy to outfight the conscripts of an autocratic society. the downfall of the confederacy and burden the south in the nation to slavery and institution of born to all civilized people not right up under it as graham put it. the mass of white southerners with the distance off from their subservience to the slaveholding classes is how grants. inslee need surrender terms he
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hoped would hasten the political conversion of the defeated confederates to accretive democratics government and freedom. granted not believe granted not gleefully and is meant to be blameless. he describes secession is a sin in a crime that he believed too as he put up for every sin there must be a chance that atonement and his mercy was designed to the fact that atonement. granted no concession to in his magnanimous terms. his generosity he believed was the generosity of a conqueror whose victor was in total. grant to the surrender is a triumph of writer baran proved just as resident ended during among northerners is lee's lee's interpretation did amongst white southerners. among those northerners who embrace grants policy of magnanimity were abolitionists radical republicans. part of the argument of my book is americans across the political spectrum embraced magnanimity that invested in different kinds of meanings. it was charged at the time by confederates and that radicals
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abolitionist radical republicans were intent on vengeance against a stout but the historical record suggests otherwise. nice of evolution such as the influential editor horace greeley magnanimity was the means to achieve the sake of purpose namely the ascent of the south to emancipation. northerners saw grant's magnanimity in other words as an emblem of their moral authority that proved a solution based on free labor was a higher and more humane type than that he sums levy. greeley continued i want as many rebels as possible to live to see the south transformed by the influence of free labor. this was greeley's view. what fate for the likes of lee than to bear witness of the unfolding social revolution. in essence northerners embrace grants terms and said to the south we do not want to put further punishment. we want wanted to change in confederates responded the demand for change with the form of punishment. this contest over the surrender's meaning did not simply pit itself against the
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north buried in the confederacy against the union. instead pitted those who favored a thorough social transformation of the south against those who rejected such a transformation so here we have the thing that divisions within each society. the north self-styled conservatives appease democrats were loads for their political rivals and they hated republican party of lincoln. to treat the surrender is the of the stomach is rallied behind the confederate interpretation of appomattox. in their valor and martial scuba newspaper the new york rob insisted southerners were equal to the north. the confederacy was subdued by overwhelming numbers. here is lee's interpretation lock stock and barrel but the south too was divided. wades southern union is a minority that oppose confederacy during the war rally behind grants interpretation and reveled in the fact that the noble granted it's army that the surrender was a vindication for
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white southern union is. americans asserted more fervently the the surrender marked a new era for african-americans. for them the union victory vindicated the cost of black freedom and racial justice. at appomattox laxer than liberators and liberated. in the last clash of granted lee at the end of the desperate chase across the virginia countryside from petersburg to appomattox lee's army tried on the morning of april 9 to break free of the federal track only to find its last escape route locked by black soldiers six regiments of the united states troops is one of the waiting in the wings. when they heard of these capitulation to black troops exultation no -- knew no bounds. they shouted danced and sang and embrace each other with joy. the black regiments at appomattox numbering 2000 men and all were microcosm of black life in america. the included ex-slaves trained at kentucky's camp nelson and free blacks trained it
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philadelphia's william penn and included men who had become race leaders in the post-war era such as the renowned historian george washington williams and baftas editor william j. simmons who was the journalist inventor tuned none other than i did the wheels. the federal army initially turned away black volunteers claiming african-american men did not possess the attributes of courage of black troops kept faith that the war was their golden moment. when you see to regiments finally got the chance to fight the proofing metal in dozens of engagements indeed the u.s. regiments at appomattox have seen considerable action. eight usc tiefer example survived a bloody initiation to combat in a florida joined in the dining -- grinding warfare in virginian man the trenches through petersburg entering the city in triumph when it fell on april 2. african-american soldiers were keenly aware that even after
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giving the proof of their courage their there marched the quality could he turn back so long as powerful confederate armies were still in the field. the confederate government viewed all black union soldiers as rebellious slaves. black soldiers were were too that many white northerners viewed their enlistment as a social experiment testing the capacity of blacks for citizenship and some of those white northerners expected the experiment within and fail. failed. not surprisingly given this context black soldiers quickly seized on the critical role in lee's surrender is a vindication. as william of coffin of the 20th regiment u.s. e.t. but it in a letter quote leave the soldiers have fairly won the rights by loyalty and bravery. thomas morris chester correspondent reveled in the fact the u.s. e.t. regimens participate in the vigorous campaign that gave police forces as trophies to the union army as he put it. many of these men's white officers and comrades in arms share the conviction of the u.s.
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e.t.'s role in the last battle had been decisive. sheridan's capital recounted quote the morning of the night came. the cover he was being pushed back rapidly to the station. the boys were following. over the hill a dark column was coming down the road at quicktime. what a relief from the suspense for the race of those men so long as they brought relief to us. we saw courage and determination in their cold black faces. moreover african-american church understood themselves to be an army of liberation who is to feed with the nail in the coffin of slavery itself. slaves sought appomattox is a freedom day. for many it was the very moment of emancipation and moment de facto emancipation the lincoln's proclamation had long since been passed. virginia slaves for the first year the tidings of the surrender and to fathom the
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significance of the event. none other than booker t. washington and his classic autobiography remembers how when the were closed the day of freedom came to southwestern virginia. a union officers belated greeting of the emancipation proclamation in the april surrender that brought the long-awaited moment of deliverance. interviews conducted in the 20 century with african-americans who had been slaves in virginia that got such published reminiscences. then he very remembered that slaves in virginia burst into spontaneous song when they learned that we escape raise the white light for that moment as she put it than you that they were free. as news of the surrender traveled to the south slaves far away from the events of appomattox experience grants final triumph as the end of their enslavement. for example james johnson sc lamented after recently against freedom proclamation in 1863 the status quo of slavery kept on as it had.
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it was only one general lee surrendered he observed that we learned we were free. for some former slaves the date of lee's surrender structure their sense of time and history. elijah washington told the rincher your comment abuse of these conducted by the federal writers project for new deal deal agency 1930s elijah washington told her interviewer the first thing i remember was living with my mother six miles from scots crossing about the year 1866. we know the surrender was in 1865. as appomattox persisted in the memory of many ex-slaves who is an enduring presence on the commemorative calendar of the free a free people. surrender des festivities began as early as 1866. blacks in mecklenburg county on the north carolina border, rated april 9 because of the side if we had never been beaten the emancipation pop omission would have been to no avail.
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african-american soldiers pivotal role as agents of liberation would long remain appointed cried within the black communities. george washington williams himself a veteran of the appomattox campaign noted in his landmark history of the black race in america that at appomattox in the last hour of the slaveholders of billing the brilliant lighting of black troops had insured salvation of the union. the fact that african-american soldiers defeated we led to symbolic meaning to surrender for lien is army typified in the eyes of u.s. e.t. the slaveholding elite and its racial superiority. according to thomas morris chester the confederconfeder ate capitulation was especially sweet because it was a rebuke to the first families of virginia after the surrender. in short, men such as williams and chester made and sustained the bold claim that in defeating lee's army african-american troops dealt a death blow to all the armies stood for including
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so labored so. they insisted not only did the union armies victory emanate from its virtue but also black troops in particular exemplified that virtue. most important african-american soldiers interpretations of the surrender described as civil rights surrender. emphasizing the promise of appomattox. black veterans depicted the free people and black soldiers as agents of national healing so williams 1880s history of the black troops and the war at the rebellion praised black soldiers for their quiet humility. he wrote, after the confederate army had been paroled the troops cheerfully and cordially divided their rations and welcome them on the march back to petersburg. this week gospel of forgiveness was expressed in the soldiers who freely mingled with the -- it was a spectacle of
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magnanimity never before witnessed. as williams sought african-american magnanimity at appomattox was the exercise of moral authority a conscious effort as purposeful as grants active, and c. to break the cycle of violence slaveholders had perpetuated. in the air after this render each of the three interpretations i've outlined the emphasis on restoration on vindication and liberation that of flames and others came to incorporate an argument about the lost promise of appomattox. adherents of each interpretation argued their political opponents have betrayed the chu spirit of grant's magnanimity and everyone embraces magnanimity but invest it with different meetings. black suffrage and political representation contravened the parole terms of southerners would not be disturbed. for grant and his followers andrew johnson was a free trader
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for capitulating to lease idea that the peace must ring restoration of power to elite southerners. confronted with what he called the foolhardiness of the too many johnson the lines of the southern people to their own interests grant had adapted. he would write in his memoirs quote h.res. i worked up to the point where he favored franchise and for african-americans. this was the only way to dispel the confederates pretension that they would control the nation and grant title to do so. grant was deeply disappointed by lee's refusal to give the pictures there do. in a may 1866 newspaper interview grant took lead to task saying lee was behaving badly. setting an example of forced acquiescence so pernicious in its effects as to hardly be realized. grant presented lee for denigrating the union victory is a mere show of force and for encouraging confederates to resist change in the name of
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frustration. grant learned in that year after appomattox he would need to enter the political arena to finish the work he began on april 9, 1865. in the eyes of african-americans whites on both sides not only those who rejected black citizenship outweigh but also those who during the long retreat from reconstruction to give up the fight for it. although these people left a moment of promise at the appomattox state unfulfilled. however compelling and comforting image as a gentleman's agreement maybe it doesn't begin to capture this complex legacy of appomattox. deep into the 19th century appomattox was part of the politics of race and reunion and that is why it's important that people come here and walk the national park and visit this museum and try to understand its artifacts so we can recover and appreciate what this moment meant in that turbulent era of the end of the civil war.
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thank you. [applause] >> do you have time for questions? >> i'm happy to take any questions people have. i knew i could count on you. >> a lot of people say everything changed within days after the assassination. in your view what changed and what didn't change? >> is a great question and anyone who knows civil war literature knows the assassination looking at books on shelves in libraries and bookstores, the assassination eclipses the surrender. there are scores of looks on the assassination very few surprisingly few on the surrender. there has been an assumption that is gone along with this notion of the assassination
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eclipses the surrender that at that moment that drown out of the impulse towards magnanimity. i found something quite different. northerners are embedded by the assassination and b2 c. calls for preventions against those who perpetrated it but we see a kind of call and response. we see some northerners say we have been too lenient trade lincolnwood b.a. too lenient and grant was too lenient and now johnson they believed would be the enforcer of retribution and vengeance. johnson is the right man to correct our course that we see just as many people saying upholding the notion of magnanimity and upholding the idea that magnanimity confers moral authority on the north as an emblem of its moral superiority. we see just as many northerns sticking with the hour debt
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let's not make martyrs of these people. lincoln wanted the peace characterized by lenient and reunion. the best way to honor lincoln's memory is to uphold the spirit of this magnanimity. i find those interpretive lines holds. there is a sort of moment of uncertainty but to a surprising degree they hold. the other thing i found is that we know john wilkes-booth is in the audience when lincoln gets his last famous speech in which he gestures he might stop black suffrage and modern-day scholars tend to save booth at this moment said this is a lashing out against the possibility of flexible rights in all of that is true but americans at the time as they received the news of lincoln's assassination didn't know about the details of this plot. but they assumed was that the assassination was a response to the surrender, the move had been
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infuriated by the self defeat and he was lashing out against lincoln in the fruits of his victory. what happened here at appomattox is the context for the assassination in the guise of almost all northerners. we have lost sight of that, the conduction between the sender and the assassination. they believe booth was trying to undo the union victory at that moment created any other questions. >> can i put you on the spot? appomattox is a nation were united. would you want to revise that in some way? >> something that would fit on a low board. i think again the myth of a gentleman's agreement between grant and lee is a compelling one and it's not one that doesn't have merit. these two men, it was a great achievement for these two men to end the war. i would like to say
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parenthetically sometimes people these days we'll talk about a long civil war. it effectively appomattox ends the civil war and stops the massive lead letting of these two huge armies. what happens after appomattox is not confederate independence. they die here at appomattox i think it is effectively end of the civil war and a great achievement for them to end the war. this notion of a narrative about a gentleman's agreement, it exists from the very start and even some of these editors like greeley who are arguing about the terms, there's there is an air of self congratulation. america has ended ended ended its civil war and a way that no country has ever done before. the gentleman's agreement is rooted in a -- how remarkable we are able to end their war without massive reprisals. across the spectrum that impulse
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for self congratulation is present even the old in the next breath will argue with the terms really meant. my argument here is nothing that will fit clearly on a book billboard. i don't think one has to throw out the billboard so much as remember that the surrender was controversial. how could it not the? 700,000 men had lost their lives the road to true reconciliation was a very difficult one. i think to appreciate the meaning of the surrender for those who looked at this time you have to remember that they looked to lee and grant the two most prestigious men in the country aside in lincoln and after lincoln dies the two most as tedious men. southerners and northerners look to these men to represent the representative causes. they didn't expect these men to be lambs in defeat. they saw them as lions and
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assumed that was what they could continue to be. lee and grant our enemies. how could it get otherwise? it doesn't detract from their achievement of having brought the war to a close but reminds us that these terms down to the cause we don't want to to be disturbed and if you disturb us, these terms were controversial. sometimes when people try to debunk a myth they are telling you something you thought was important is not as important. it's even more important for what sets the terms for an open debate. >> the commentary before the war and even after the war, is this a common american practice? if you have a cornerstone event and political factions began to claim pieces of it and they get
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their own. we lose the essence towards momentum. >> i think that's right and for me the most surprising discovery of all was what relish the anti-republican democrats, just adopted the confederate perspective. it just shows you how the instant impulse to politicize this. my argument in a sense is there is never moment which northerners en masse celebrate grants victory and never moment when confederates were southerners en masse celebrate lee's defeat. this has to do in part with the press. what my book traces is i follow the campaign the meeting on horseback promulgation of the fair will adjust the then i show what happens when the news hits the wires and lands in northern cities and communities and lands in southern cities and the
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impulse to spin the news. it's instantaneous for political rivals to try to use it to political advantage. it happens instantly and shows any society, not -- the divisions of any society. >> you are saying the great camaraderie between the confederate troops and the union troops and everyone sitting together and having meals and eating and sitting with each other. >> out was a quote from a post-war -- by washington williams in the context was african-americans cling to the fact that it's a moment when they are in the thick or circle in which they are dispensing magnanimity in
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the context for that is a very long-standing charge that goes back as far as we can trace debates about slavery. if you have emancipation you will have race war and chaos and rep result and for williams to highlight a think his account is somewhat wishful but it served the political purpose for them to highlight the possibility of racial reconciliation and to say at appomattox could symbolize racial conciliate -- reconciliation if there's a union victory there will be social chaos and there's going to be race war and so on. williams wanted to a lie himself with the forces of progress and civilization and to emphasize the enemy of african-americans at that moment was to do that and to offer a counternarrative to this utopian discourse about what would happen if you had freedom and victory.
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[inaudible] >> there were six regiments. [inaudible] >> that's right. >> do you recall if any casualties were suffered? >> i don't have the figure and really this was a moment in which essentially the way it is described by sheraton and others is that lee's men thought they achieved a breakthrough moment by scattering the calgary but they realized the hopes for a breakthrough failed and so it's the presence of the african-american troops and the side of reinforcements that causes white flakes to start going out. indeed it would be an epigram in post-war discourse that black troops fired the last shots at lee's army and that is technically not true but again
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it served a purpose and it served a purpose to say we are within the victor circle and we help to heal this army that symbolized everything that symbolized the regime of slavery in the planter elite. again to get back to john's question part of what i am arguing is what literally happened here is vaccinating and i tried to talk about the campaign in detail but i also argue appomattox is a much richer symbol than we have realized. it wasn't just a symbol of victory and defeat but a symbol of indication and restoration and liberation on all those many levels. >> do you recall if the regiments worked with the government's? be it was the 116th, the 27th, the 145th. it's all in the book.
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>> the eighth, the 41st in the 45th. >> there was one on the waiting list and one of the more interesting discoveries for me is how many of the men were in those armies that were secured. they later became prominent race leaders and referred back. george washington williams is perhaps the most important african-american intellectual of this post were period and he was there. he considered it very important and is a key moment in his life as did others who would become prominent political leaders. that is a story and in a way this is what brought me to the project. i've been interested in lee and grant for a long time but i was asked several years ago to give a talk in philadelphia on the
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emancipation moment in texas where union forces arrive and announce the texas slaves they are free which is something i knew little about. i kept running across references to appomattox as the freedom day for african-americans references that date into the 19th dirtiest. the symbolic importance of this place for african-americans persist a long time. sometimes in the form of epigrams. it's covering the sort of spectrum of african-american military service and eventually displace by the world wars and so on but it really lingers as a moment of symbolic importance and goes beyond really things like casualties. [inaudible] >> thank you very much. my pleasure. [applause]
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[inaudible] [laughter] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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