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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 28, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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have and i think that president johnson left an important legacy for the country. >> my panel in general, i would like to know more about the cents about the magic bullet. >> i am not an expert on any aspect of that. >> okay. there is no magic bullet. >> that's a fine question. >> what i did try to tell you in the first segment and it came as a surprise to all of us and we finally realize that it had been part of the evidence. i am a lawyer and some people say they that there were too many lawyers on the one
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commission and most of the staff or lawyers. but the point is that lawyers need evidence in order to shake their thinking and reach conclusions and there were only two bullets that seemingly hit anyone in the car and so the trajectory was carefully measured in one way by the one commission and the select committee of the house adapted a much more creative way of figuring out the trajectory in 1978 and they also pinpointed the southeastern corner of the depository and this was a trajectory that was down. so we did the main collaboration with the secret service and the cia collaborating and you could see that positions of the bodies were such that a shot going downward had hit something in the car and it was a simpleminded question that we kept asking until finally the possible answer was a single bullet to the damage and we have
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experts in the u.s. army who could conduct experiments, excuse the impact using the animal flesh, which directory it had on the president, what it would have when it exited the president's body. and this includes this had to go somewhere. so that is why based upon the positions of positions of the body from the come the wounds, the evidence, all of them confirm the existence of a single bullet. so it is my view and i stand here representing the staff come out alive and deceased, numbers of the commission, and there was no other fair-minded and rational explanation except this single bullet theory. >> thank you.
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>> hello. i suspect i'm in the minority in saying that i was born after kennedy was assassinated. [laughter] so i'm interested in knowing what the gentleman on the panel -- what your thoughts are and what you would say to those of us that really only know about the kennedy assassinations assassination is what we learned in school and all have been -- we have seen oliver stone's version and we really don't know exactly what the feelings were from people at the time that were there and i know my husband in his 50s seems to have a strong opinion about a conspiracy my mother-in-law who is in her 80s and was in dallas and standing at the motorcade insisted upon the one commission -- that they are correct. so i'm interested in knowing what you would say to people of the younger generation that we have all been told by her elders that it was absolutely a conspiracy or a single gunman. i'm so interested in knowing your thoughts on that. >> i must tell you that i have
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spent far too much time plus 49 years with these conspiracy theories. we have had to run down his new theory that came along and i had to go do it. one man said he was in san francisco and i remember a woman in mexico claimed that he was found in a cancun hotel. and so that wasn't too bad as i got to go to cancun. [laughter] and i found that the hotel had been built until 1969. [laughter] ffi people confessed to me that they did it over the years. and anyone who quotes jfk, stone's movie, as being close to factual is a fool. [applause]
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believe me, jim garrison was much more of a criminal than he was a prosecutor. and there are two witnesses who you do not hear mentioned and one of them was a guy that just came out of baton rouge and he was given sodium pentothal twice and failed three polygraphs and they still put him on the stand. he told them about meeting with oswald and various things in the new york city and who when he was on the stand i thought he was it. well-dressed. he told about the meetings and then the defense got him. they said are you the gentlemen that has sued the new york city police department? he said indeed i am. what for? he said they have been following me around and ruined by sex life
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for 17 years. that wasn't the best. then he said are you the gentlemen that finger prints his daughter when they visit. and he said i am. they disguise themselves. peechl people use people higs prus proor h >> we have time for two more questioners. i heard we referred to as the elder generation. >> you mentioned reconstruction
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of oswald taking the shot. i have motnoticed the easy shot would be him coming down the street. was there talk about why he avoided the easy shot and opted for the elder one? >> that is a good question. i was at the window for the first time. and i think it is probably that when the presidential vehicle was coming up houston street, that his view may have been blocked by the people in the front see. he was trying to get the shot at the president, but that is in part of the response to the people alleging that the real goal or objective was to shoot conelally and there is no evidee
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of that. oswald wasn't happy with the undesirable discharge. his honorable was changed upon the deflection. he decided after coming back to the united states, they would re-change the discharge to an honorable one. but the point is the secretary of navy isn't the one who shutdown the discharge and couldn't fix it at all. beyond that, i think there is nothing more we can say about it. and beyond that, i think there's nothing more that we can say about >> thank you for coming.
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last year at the charlie rose show held in dallas, robert f. kennedy was sure there was a connection to the baton rouge mob. was there a chance he would connections to that mob and would that have empath -- impacted his choice? -- >> there is allegations of that. this is one of his children who had a difficult life. and he has come out saying his father didn't accept the conclusion of the warren commission. i pet met with the general and discussed the taking of
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testimony by his sister-in-law and i talked about the lack of knowledge that would influence the commission's investigation. kennedy was travelling in poland and under pressure from european offices, he responded in august of 1964 saying he was convinced it was the act of a loaner and no conspiracy. i know people close to him believed then, and some now, there was a conspiracy. most have not read the warren commission report. i served on robert kennedy's delegation and supported him for
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the presidency. i don't think i would be on the slate if i had not performed by duty on a warren commission in a way he found acceptable. the attorney general told his staff they were glad i served. i have my bias but i don't assign value to people that want to say for publicity purposes that bob kennedy didn't believe in the conclusion of the report. >> i think that wraps it up. thank you very much for coming. [ applause ] >> here is a look at books that are being published this week: the origin of progressive and
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conservative politics in the "the great debate". "the new democrats and the return to power" by al from. and john dodson provides an account of the government-back planned to track the mexican cartel. in the "the unarmed truth. "and we have "america's great game" and in "gold" matthew hart
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chronicles the gold rush. every weekend since 1998, booktv has brought you the top non-fiction authors. >> women's identity is tied up. when i look at the ceo of yahoo and why was pregnant and asked how much maternamaternaaternals wants and she said none. that is the kind of woman there can be space for. and some stay-at-home dads are happy and they don't all live in
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portland, oregon and that is okay, too. >> throughout the fall we are marking 15 years of booktv on c-span2. >> booktv continues with malcolm gladwell and talked about the under dog and why they survive as long as they do. this is about an hour and ten minutes. do. this includes the long-running conflict in ireland and other >> so i brought some of my friends and colleagues hear to say malcolm gladwel. one of them i happened the ticket to him and he said that guy with the crazy hair? well, he is known for a lot more than that. despite having written a book
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called "blank. the power of thinking without thinking" i think one of the beauties of his work is he makes you think. it uncovers truth hidden in strange data. as a marketer and philosophy major, things that are strange and uncovering hidden truths are really something dear to my heart and another reason i like him. uncovered, it is something dear to my heart than his academic research and critical analysis and fascinating style provides astonishing insight about our world and our place in it. his best-selling books travel science, reason and include the tipping point outliers," blink"
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and "what the dog said" how many of you have read one of his book? a lot of you. that is why he is the number one seller in the business section on amazon and 19th overall in history on amazon's website. [ applause ] >> his new book is called david and goliath. he challenges notions of
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obstacles and setbacks. his singer gift is animating the experiencing of his subjects says the seattle times. he has an uncanny ability to simplify without being simplistic. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming malcolm gladwell. [ applause ] ma >> thank you. it is a real pleasure to be here. i think this is my third time at the free library and it only gets better. i am on the middle of my book tour and it occurred me the first stop on the tour was the
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92nd y in new york. and then i went to los angeles and did an evening at a synagog synagogue. and then i went to san francisco and did the jcc. and then the washington i did the synagogue at six and i. i think you can see where i am going at this. this explains why i managed to come tonight. it is the one night of the week i am free to talk to non-jewish audiences. very glad that worked out. you know, i am not going to talk about my book or tell you a story from my book because i figure most of you will buy the book. i thought i would talk about a story that is related very
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directly in one of the big scenes of the book. and one of them is why do underdogs fight. who do people who are out-gunned and outmanned and overmatched continue to keep on fighting against much larger and stronger opponents? what fuels that kind of resistance? rmatched continue to ke and so i thought what i would do is tell a story about someone who i think reflects on this question in an important way. it is about albert smith who was one of the most important figures in the suffer jet mo movement. there is very little in her life that would suggest to a life of radicalism. he is the most unlikely radical
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imagi imaginable. i think we will get insight in the crucial question of why people chose to battle giants. she has three name. alba bellmont is the same he sho dies and. and albert smith was the name she was born with. she grow up in mobile, alabama and her family moved to new york city after that. she was a piece of work from a young age. he was domineering, dictorial, bossy, bad-tempered, a handful. he picked fights and from the youngest age she was this little
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fire plug with a face that a friend of hers trying to be nice said resembled a pekingese but i think it would be more accurate to say she looked a lot like a pit bull. she was, you know, you have a sense of what she is look. she is an indominable people that walks into the a room and takes it over. she decides the only way she is going to make her mark on the world is if she has access to money. she doesn't have any herself. and she settles on a young man named willy vanderbilt who was a charming handsome playboy and happened to be the grand of one of the richest man in the world.
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she has a daughter. then she sets out to be the greatest consumption. she buys 800 acres on long island and then buys the block at the corner of 52nd and 5th. and builds a french style building and that cost a couple thousands in today's money. i will read you from an account that has been written about her real estate.
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here is the description of the house. everything was everywhere. walls of red stamp leather. and walls with red velvet embroided and mother of pearl and grass. laid with wood and renaissance, french, and victorian touches. then she decides she wants a c yacht. not just any one, though. then she decides she wants a country cottage and builds one in new port road -- rhode --
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island. she had to build a new port first to handle the white italian marble she imported for the facade. they have the country cottage, yacht and then the attention turns to her daughter. her daughter is painfully shy. she is required to only speak french to her parents. she must recite on friday nights a poem in germany in front of her mother. she has to wear a corset all of the time. if she made the slightest mistake in public she would be
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ridicul ridiculed. and as she enters adolescence, she gets the idea tee she wants to marry her daughter off to an english aristorcrat. it was fashion for the wealthy daughters to be married off to sons of english men. they had a name called cash for class. but her daughter decides she only wants the best for her daughter and her eye falls on charles richard john spencer chur churchill. the ancestor of princess di, and winston churchill.
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and he owned the largest buildings in the world and made alba's chateau look ike a bun l bungalo. there is two problems with this idea: sunny isn't in fact sunny. she is a miserable sod. sunny's second wife used to sleep with a revolver in case her husband should come to her in the middle of the night. the second problem is that she is madly in love with someone else known as wintery.
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a fabulous new york family, great athlete, dashing man. and on her 18th birthday she gets a single rose in the mail and knows it is from him. and she goes for a bike ride with wintery and her mother comes along as the chaparone. they look at each other and speed up ahead. as they turn the corner, wintery turns and proposes to her and says absolutely. alba tries to catch up. and looks at her daughter and wintery and realizes what happened. she took the daughter to paris
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and wintery send letter after letter and each one is int intercepted. and he goes on the boat to reach here and she takes his daughter to new york and locks her up. she tries again and he can't get there. finally, she marches down the staircase to her mother's b bedroom complete with angels holding shields. she turns to her mother and says i am in love with the man, and i have a right to marry the man i
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chose. and her mother says bleabsolut not. and she looked at her mother with difiance and turns into the a rage. she starts to cream -- scream at her daughter -- and the daughter takes in it and realizes there is no way she can defy her mother. she has to give up on the man she loves. so on november 6th, 1985 saw the grandest wedding in their history. the daughter of one of the richest man in the country marries one of the grandest in
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england. she hires 80 decoratordecorator. the mom is wearing a blue russian dress and every reporter in the country is there taking photograph. the crowds are held back by police officers. and alba stand at the front of the church. and she waits. first five minutes. then ten minutes. then 15 minute. she doesn't show up. why not? she is at home weeping into the arms of her father. finally she pulled herself together and all of the mades --
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maids -- clean her up. she is married and announced husband and wife. and alba takes the daughters to the room. and he gets money upfront and money for the rest of his life. he gets into a carriage and sunny turns to her and says i think you should know i don't love you and i will never love you. your responsibility is to fix up the castle and bear me an ererr. the carriage is coming down the hill and this is the mother's greatest day, the fulfillment of
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all of her dreams. or so she thinks because thinks are going to be getting comp complicat complicated. i think you can see why i think she is an unlikely radical. it isn't the case that wealthy people with lots of homes and fancy clothes turn into the radicals. it would be like the kardashian siblings joining the occupy movement. what caused this? let's step back and think about the question of why it is people chose to rebel against authority. there is a number of answers to that. one of the leading theories have been a simple one: people chose to break the law or rebel against authority or disobey had
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the cost of disobediance are lower. we fight back if it makes sense. and that seems like common sense. a famous example is in 1970 the police in montr went on strike. they descended into the bedlam because the cost was 0. people were robbing banks and gun battles in the streets. this is canada. i didn't know people had guns in canada. there are all kinds of cases where this theory doesn't explain our behavior. so a simple one would be look at
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people whether the decision people make to pay their taxes. that is the most common example of law-abiding behavior anyone in the developed world has to go through. there is a huge difference in how honest people are on tax day. in greece and italy, cheating on tax day is rampant. where whereas, there is little cheating on taxes in this country. americans we are more honest on tax day than anyone else in the world. if the theory works it would suggest the penalties for cheating on your taxes must be greater here than in greece or italy. the cost of breaking the law must be greater if we are so
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well-behaved on tax day. that isn't the case. the penalties are lower here than anywhere else. we don't have penalties. the irs will tell you to pay them and pay a small penalty. they rarely put anyone in jail. and the audit rates are a fraction. you will probably not get caught if you cheat on your taxes. i don't mean to take that to heart. but the fact is taxpaying behavior in this country doesn't ally with the theory. here is another example. deteranrence theory should see
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crime decline if they are punished. california, 20 years ago, california had the most dramatic increase in the severity of criminal penalties we have seen anywhere in the western world. the three strikes law. what happened after they did that? crime should have declined in california after the law was passed if the deterrence theory worked. it changed in all of the cities even those that didn't change laws. and we have discovered no one can figure out what happened in california. some say it went done a little. some say nothing. some say crime is higher than it
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would have been had the law not been passed. in response to the problems, a bunch of people come forward and said you know what? the real issue isn't the cost and benefits of breaking the law. it is really how laws are enacted. a group of scholars said what matters is whether people perceive the laws that govern them to be legilegitimate. and we mean people will obey the law when they feel they are treated with respect and if they speak up they will be heard. do they have a right to speak up and will someone listen. people will perceive the law to be legit when they feel it is fair. and they will obey the law when
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they feel like it is consistent. will it change tomorrow? right? with these examples in mind, think back to the puzzle of why americans pay taxes. not because they are huge penalties associated with cheating. but because we believe the american system is legitimate. if you stand up and complain will you be heard? of course you will be heard. there is an entire party devoted to listen to people grumbling about taxes. is it tax system fair? it isn't perfect, but it is pretty fair. there is not a whole different set of rules, except if you are a hedge fund guy but that is a separate matter. the amount of unfair ness in ou system is less than across the
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world. and we are consistent. we make changes in the tax code after a lot of discussion. we know what is happening. there is not some kind of strange, unknowable system. compare that the greece. they fail on all three counts. you cannot speak up in that system. it is corrupt. people are cutting special deals, it changes one year from the next and treats one class different from the other. if our system looked like greece wield not pay the taxes either. and maybe if you lock up everyone in socieight, like california did, maybe people think the system is not legit. they ended up with seven times
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as many people in prison as canada or western europe. that is an astonishing number. do you think the people from those communities that saw an entire cohert of black pmen picked up and shifted to prison thought it was a system they could be here? they thought it the same set of rules governing their community? do you think they saw it consistent and trust-worthy? of course not. what happens in situations where people perceive the system as not being legit? they get angry and feel like they don't need to serve the
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law. the condition you are under a system that is untrustworthy. and alba lived in a society that didn't treat her with being l i legit. we have this rich women running around and it seems like there would be no complaint in the world. but she lived in a narrow and oppressive world. women were expected to keep their mouths shut. they were not allowed to vote, no jobs or go to college. they could not participate in any meaningful way. they were told to take care of the children and servants and put on dinner parties.
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the men could do whatever they wanted. college, jobs, run for public office. man could divorce a woman by alleging they were not faithful. and woman has to prove the not being faithful and abuse. they would get on the jp morgan yacht and fill it with women. and they had mistress in town. but the women had to stay home and keep up respectable experiences. and willy vanderbilt was no exception. he was a spoiled playboy and inherited this fortune. and he had one affair after
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another e another openly. alba was required to keep her mouth shut and be the hostess. he she was unhappy and described the years as leading up to her daughter's husband as the worst of her life. she felt trapped and dissatisfied. and she met a man and fell in love with him but she can not a an affair with him. there is no way she could do what all of the men were doing. and she finally in an attempt to save her marriage turns to willy and says can we take a family vacation and they go to paris. but it is disaster. willy starts an affair with her
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best friend and a high class prostitute and runs around paris with these two women completely humiliating her. she kicks him out and says that is it. everyone in her life says you cannot do that. the lawyer with whom she tries to file divorce papers against says i will not do it for you. you would be ridiculous. all of the friends are up in arms. the tabloids can you imagine. they descend on her. we have the wealth iest couple n america having a falling out. and she is coming out of the church where she has been attending her entire adult live. and her friend turned their back
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on her. she feels like she has no choice. later in her life, she writes this incredible passage about what it was like to be a woman in that era. she said it was considered religious, dignified and correct for the wife to withdraw into the shadows why the husband paid the family respect to the sun s spp -- sunshine. -- we have this brilliant woman and in today's world she would be running for public office. but everyone one of those avenues is denied to her. and what is the only think she can do? build houses. right on the grandest most
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ambitious scale. she has no other outlets. she is frustrated. the society she lives in won't give her a chance to do anything meaningful. her daughter maybe in love with wintery should be remembered as being 33 at the time that she was 18. he was this handsome man from a family that was described by one of the tabloids of that era best known for wearing expensive clothing. ho hooe -- she sees another version
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of her own youth-less husband. -- someone who is going to condemn her daughter to a live of mystery. the duke offers being miserable put in another country. a place where she is called a duchess and can stand up and be listened to. and have a place in the public affairs of that world. and live in a society that is free from the kind of dread ful constraints of new york city high society. that sounds like a cynical calculation. because she was in love with wintery. and we think that love ought to be the bases for marriage. but a hundred years ago in the society alba was a part of,
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lover was an impossible luxury. her daughter was her hope and she wasn't going to let her squander her life in the same way she felt or own life had been squander. so in that moment when they are pulling away and the tear comes to alba's eye. this isn't a tear of joy. it is a tragic moment for her. a woman who had to alienate her daughter to sabe save her. this woman watched the community turn against her because she stood up to a jerk she was
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living with. she doesn't turn back or backdown and why not? she doesn't perceive the authorities that shun her. they have not treated her fairly. the law that governs her isn't trustworthy. she is supposed to stay at home and be quite while her husband runs around with a french prostitute. that moment when she is in a position of hell and undergoing the moment that all radicals undergo. she is angry. one of the things i try to figure out and answer in the book is why it is that people in positions of power fail to understand the significance of anger. why don't we under just what a
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powerful emotion it is for people who appear to be on the outside and appear to have no obvious resources to hold in their hearts. i have a chapter in the book about the troubles in northern ireland. i went and spent a good summer in bell fast. not something i would recommend anything doing. but i went to a meeting held in a catholic neighborhood and it was to remember the murphy massacre when british troops opened fire on a group of catholic civilians. and no one thinks about the massacre in england. they have moved on. they are not dwelling on it. they are worried about other things. if you stood in that auditorium
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as i did, with as many people as this, as they were talking about events that happened three decades ago, you would have the thought the shooting happened yesterday. the emotions were that raw. people were collapsing in tears and crying out in grief. and being pulled screaming from the room. it made me realize that long after we have forgotten the consequences of our actions, the people that have been abused continue to nurse their rage in their heart's. it made me think about what people think in iraq and pakistan and afghanistan. we will move on from the conflicts and we will forget about them and think it is all done and dusted. but that is a mistake. if the people who we were
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fighting against didn't perceive our authority as legit they will have anger in their hearts for generations and we will bear the consequences of that. and that is the situation with alba. no one understood the consequences of her anger. no one understand what it was like to have a ticking time bomb. the consequences would be grave. in the grait greatest irony, the person who sets off the ticking time bomb is her daughter. in the years after her marriage to sunny, she bears him two sons who were an ere and a spare.
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she leaves him then and she is respected by her peers in english society and handles herself with grace. and london's society gets behind her. and she becomes an advocate for genuine social justice and change in victorian england. show returned to new york and gives a famous speech toward of the ladies of new york. and what she has discovered in her time in england is that england is a place different from america england was a place where woman could sand out and
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play a real role in the society. and what she does in the speech is to chastise them and say you are wasist was wassermaasting y. you are a disgrace. and sitting in the front row of the audience is alva. and you can imagine how she feels. 15 years ago she sent her daughter off in tears. taking her away from the only man she had loved because she felt that was the only way to save her. her daughter is back in new york. her daughter has been saved. and they have a talk afterwards and the daughter turns to her mother and says in spite of
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everything i am glad i married an english man. it was like a weight had been lifted off her back and all of the guilt is absolved. the mother accepts an invitation on the suffer jet movement. and women couldn't get vote. they had been denied the most basic of human rights. in that period in america,ome only four american states: wyoming, idaho, and colorado. but the nationwide movement was stalled. it was going nowhere. she realizes this is the only way to bring legitimacy for
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women. only by voting can we give women the voice. she looked at the state of the movement and realizes it is in disarray. they have no drive, strategy, energy, resources or money. all of the those are things alba has in space. she barges in and takes over just like everything else she has done. the head quarters was in warren, ohio. she says are you kidding me and and moves it into the a building in new york. and says my country cottage is our convention head quarters. and they have the meetings of
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the national suffer jet movement amidst the house while the neighbors look on with outrage. when a group of female immigrant garment works go on protest in condition of the appalling conditions they work in. alba is at the front of the march and when they get arrested and are being held in downtown new york city who stand in the courtroom all night long eye-balling the judge until he let's them free. alba does. and who stood up and said wait the black women belong in this mix. they are women just like us. they belong with us.
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and when the movement was perceived as moving too quickly. many stood up and said we will start antagonizing men if we continue to be this aggressive. and she said men don't worry about antagonizing others why should we. and then the world war i started and some women said this isn't a time to picket. and she said over my dead body. this is exactly the time we should be pushing for the radical reform. what happened to alba? well, you can imagine. she was denounced and seen as a domineering woman who barged in
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the an organization and led it on a radical path. the other thing that happened on august 18th, 1820 the 19th amendment was passed giving women the right to to vote for the first time in american history. and the lesson of the victory is as pertiannaepertinent today as now. and that is if you deny people they will come back and defeat you. alba dies in the spring of 1933 from a stroke and her funeral is at the same church where her daughter was married so many years ago. ... avenue, the same church where her daughter was married
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some years ago. everyone shows up. limousines lined the streets. and the crowds throng with police and others. and at her service, the crowd sings three hands. and the first is a hymn by harriet beecher stowe. and the third is one composed by atest of aherself,whch th the greaseball tributes to this remarkable end. the remarkable and extraordinary woman in the hymn is about how when they get to heaven, how she will begin. if st. peter stands in judgment of her and at weekends with no waiting at the gates of
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paradise. no tribunal of men to judge and the watchers of the teller who claim they daughter of the king. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> we have some time for questions. i forgot how they work. i can repeat the questions. not odd. [inaudible question] >> where in the world deseeded gratis illegitimacy right now? >> and so many places large and small. in any country when you look at the way that women are treated in many parts of the middle east and the way they are treated in
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this country, treating illegal immigrants and other groups and, you know, i could go on and on. we don't even have to look on a global level that we could go into this and see how individuals are treated by their superiors and i think that this is a lesson for all of us to be fair and impartial and insistent and it is the obligation of those in power just because you have all of the resources. it doesn't mean just because you have the resources that you can behave as you wish. right with power comes responsibility. and we need to be reminded of that every day because every day we forgot it. >> thank you. next question? >> i'm sounding like i am --
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like i'm a warhorse or something. but you know, i don't mean to sound grim and for bidding. [inaudible question] >> in this country, equality is growing at a rapid rate and we have recently had a demonstration that most of us do not think about. we also don't feel that the government representatives are very consistent in representing us and all of us are speaking towards legitimacy theory that we have this. is that what you see? >> i have to say -- you know, i guess i will answer that if you read historical accounts of the last time in american history where we have equality as good as we have now, and she was a
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big part of it. what is amazing to learn is how close the country came to massive social unrest. but we came this close to having a breakdown in the and we have forgotten that now. so it is a hairless -- a very perilous position to have this gap between the rich and poor and it's not sustainable and we were saved less time by a courageous man named fdr. and this includes having a fresh
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start on the system. >> okay, go ahead. [inaudible question] >> i feel that we can hear you. >> we have given you a voice. >> you are well-known for weaving together disparate facts and theories and excluding your research for your books. so what is your daily info feed in your sources and what you read or listen to and what is your world like? >> i feel that i'm giving away trade secrets at this point. shania -- just like colonel sanders. telling you about the herbs and spices. and you know nothing exciting happens, there's a lot of aimless drifting around this. there's a lot of time spent wandering through libraries
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hoping to stumble on something amazing. which is what libraries are all about. i'm a self-professed library nerd. [applause] and what we don't know is which of our stories are interesting. because we have no perspective on. we have no nice perspective on what is going on in one of the things that you learn to do if you are a journalist is to to probe and ask questions until you stumble upon what is interesting. i might give you an example of this. so my father waited until i
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could give you an example. this is proof of the proposition. people don't know what the interesting stories are. [laughter] >> the first exhibit. it's quite a long string of have to bear with me. my father met my mother in 1958. mildly radical. after that time, they moved back to jamaica and he was teaching and he needs to get access to a lot of people for his research he writes at georgia tech. he says can i use your library. and he said yes. then the permission was granted and georgia tech is sent into a
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panic because it's 1951. and georgia tech is a segregated institution and they realize they have just granted permission to use their library to someone who teaches at the university and jamaica. and this starts as frantic attempt by the administration and i felt like we could tell from the name. you can go on the internet and so they start calling him, sending letters, saying his and jamaica. for such a panic sets in. it's crazy, my father is set to leave for this honesty. and they track him down, catching cause of my father has his voice set to go and this is
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professor smith and i have an awkward question and it's like, okay, file and then. [laughter] and my father says, why yes. and the others like, oh, goodness. at which point my father was like, the full dimensions of us are resonating and dimensions unfold and he puts a giant photograph to eight to the visiting professor in all of the woman marries her at the table so we way wait to see these individuals and midway through dinner he pulled a picture my mother and says, and they watch them. and that's an interesting story.
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i knew my father before he told me that story. and it never occurred to me that saddam and ask them questions about this. it must've been kind of interesting. we just don't understand how great they are. one of the simple things of all has just been to keep asking questions until you get to this kind of stories. so sure. that is the way it should be. ..
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it takes the kind of bringomek about some kind of change like this.s it's always amazing about all or thee stories. why are we only now on the cusp of getting maybe a female president. the tide slowly turning on legalization of gay marriage. it's like -- it seems like we have these kind of moral insights, but the gap between the insight and the practical demonstration of that insight
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can be decades, and i guess the task is to try to shrink that gap. it still amazes me. you look at the list of major western -- not western -- major countries in the world, we're one of the few now that has never had a female head of state. kind of astonishing. even countries that you wouldn't have thought would have beaten us to the punch. >> you've already accomplished such a impressive body of work. i'm curious if there's one particular work that you're most proud of but also one that you might have structured differently or needs to be updated. >> are you asking me if i have regrets? a few.
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i'm not going to sing for you, if that's what you're thinking. you thought i was headed in that direction. yeah, i mean, i'm somebody who regrets virtually everything i've ever done, so it's not surprising that i should have regrets about my writing. i think that -- i haven't read "tipping point" since i wrote it, and now i'm scared to. it was written in 1998, so let's all think back to what our lives were like in 1998, and ask yourselves if we were suddenly trend back in time, would we feel comfortable with our choices at that moment? would you be happy with the way your hair looked in 1998? or the clothes you wore? or the color of the furniture in
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your living room? there's so many things about 1998 that are deeply embarrassing to me in let -- retrospect, and i'm sure if i were to re-read "tipping point" i'd wince in pain. what am i most proud of? the things you're proudest of are the things -- all human beings are proudest of the things that other people are not proud of. right? or don't like. you always are drawn to the thing -- that question invites you to say, everyone in the world hated this, didn't understand the true genius. so this is true. i have done things that were universally hated that i have quietly loved. so that's probably -- and always little limericks you wrote in -- someone's birthday party that fell flat when you delivered
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them, but you actually thought they were kind of sly and ingenious. it's that kind of thing i feel most proud of. but i'm sure that by the time i'm an old man i will just look back on my efforts and hang my head. i'm sure that's inevitable. in the front row. [inaudible question] >> you talked about the legacy of emmerment. how do we as a country reconcile with those who we may have angered over the years the international community. >> the question is, if you create anger, leave a residue of anger and illegitimacy, how do you go about correcting that?
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i tell a story in my book, i'm finally mentioning my book -- at hour and 15 minutes into his book talk, gladwell mentions he has written a book. i i tell a story in "david and goliath" about a woman called joanne javy, the head of the housing police in new york city, who asks that -- whose job it is to police the housing projects of new york. the worst parts of the city. and asked that exact question -- she gets the job and says police are not considered legitimate in the poorest neighborhoods in new york, with good reason. not because the police force have misbehaved, but because, look, it's really hard if you live in a community where the cops are omni present. all you do is see them
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interacting in a fraught, emotionally and physically fraught way, with all the young men in your neighborhood. it's hard to think about that as legitimate, and when the statistic -- i cannot get out of my mind is if you look at young -- percentage of a black' men born in the 1970s who did not graduate from college, a high school dropout. black high school dropout men born in the 1970s. 69% of them have spent some time behind bars. if you're from one of the neighborhoods, there's no way you perceive the law as legitimate. so that's what she said to herself. i am now in charge of those neighborhoods. they don't see me as legitimate. what do i do? what she did was to embark on a policy of trying to win back their trust. and it was extraordinary. the results were incredible. it took a lot of hard work. and it involved her behaving in ways that police officers do not
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normally behave. she basically had to go to the families of juvenile delinquents and make friends, knock on the door, introduce herself. she started by bringing them turkeys on thanksgiving, and just said, i know you don't trust us, but all i wanted to say is i'm here. i know your kid is a delinquent. cops are always coming around and harassing you guys. i'm their say i'm on your side. here's a turkey. that's how it started. she gradually won over the trust of the families and the crime rate began to fall because people realized the law could be on their side. it took years. she hired police officers who cared before the kids, and who were good at that thing where you knock on the dispore they open the door and say f.u., and have to be the kind of person that would say, no, i'd like to talk to you and get to know you. so, it's -- there's no grand way
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of doing it. it can only be done in a kind of person-to-person, painstaking way. she had put her story in -- i think such a powerful lesson about -- and her accomplishments are so -- you look at the decline in crime in those neighborhoods. mind-boggling. le >> i thought so many of the stories in your book were so moving and so inspirational, but there was one chapter about martin luther king, that i really had trouble with, because it seemed to me, although i know that all of us respond to what we see on the -- tv, et cetera, and what we have been taught to believe happened. i was so surprised at the way -- >> don't give away the surprise. it has a surprise ending. you can't give it away. spoiler alert.
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>> well, let me say, i was very surprised at what you drew out of martin luther king's experience, and i found it very upsetting. >> it's supposed to be upsetting. i'm not -- i don't disagree with your reaction. i'm not going to give away the ending but just say that i tell a story about the civil rights movement in birmingham? how did they win? and the answer is they made a trick, trick that made people very uncomfortable at the time, that led to widespread criticism along the way of martin luther king, and continues to make people uncomfortable today. you and me. i can't even -- i will cornifies find that a little bit -- [inaudible]
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>> the trick is openly admitted to by bryan walker, king's number two canner so the man who played the trick, after it succeeded, was very frank about what he did. he did many, many interviews in which he described bree sizely how hey -- precisely how the pulled the wool over the eyes of the press. it's not a -- it's not a secret or a kind of speculative conclusion. it's what this guy, this remarkable guy, wyatt walker, brilliant guy, stayed in the shadows, and who was the author of this kind of -- those of you who read the book, i'd be very curious to know your response.
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i don't disagree with your reaction. i think it's weird. what they did. it's weird to think about what they did in the context of -- i can't keep talking about this and not tell you so i'm going to stop. i am with you, and i'm -- i appreciate that response. >> one last question. >> how do i choose? in the back. the person most vociferously -- yes, the glasses, blonde hear, and -- blonde hair and green. >> well, as perhaps the only ju -- jew attending on a friday night -- how much to due think religious upbringing plays into this? i say every reformed conservative jew is brought up
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to challenge god, do everything, challenge authority, versus my catholic friends who were accepting of authority, and i'm wondering, you haven't mentioned the religious factor yet, and i'm wondering if it's significant at all. >> the last third of my book is all about religious faith. the last two chapters in particular, and the civil rights chapter is about the consequences -- in part the consequences of deep religious commitment, what that gives you, and the last two chapters are about extraordinary things that faith makes possible. and i think it's -- i end it on that note because i came to understand and appreciate in writing the book, that the most significant weapon in the arsenal of underdogs are the --
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lovely phrase -- the weapons of the spirit. the power you get from your belief in god. and at the end of the day, nothing can beat that. i tell a story bat -- about a william who on the strength of her faith forgives the murderer of heir daughter. the last story in the book is about a village in the mountains of france, a protestant village, that openly takes in jews during the second world war in complete defiance of the nazis. and there's no mystery why. two sets of people who have no external material advantage. they have no formal power. they had no money. they had nothing. but what they have is something in their hearts that says, i am empowered by god to do the right thing. and that's enough. and it's very both uplifting and
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also kind of -- i was very -- writing this book moved me in a way that writing my previous books did not for that very fact. just by the end i was -- to sit in the backyard of a woman's -- a little bungalow in winnipeg and talk to a woman whose daughter was murdered brutally by a sexual predator, and who stood up on the day that her tortured daughter's body was found, stood up in front of a press conference of 100 people, you know, waving microphones in her face and said, without even knowing who the murderer was, whoever he is, i am on the path to forgiving him. that was -- to hear her say that, just the more -- it
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floored me then and floors me still, and you cannot but have awe for the power of that kind of thing. if you hear it first hand. thank you all. [applause]
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we were lucky we had help from many, many women current and former from the n.y.p.d., fbi, cia, and other three-letter agencies. >> the new york police department the only local police department within an intelligence unit? >> it's not the only one with an intelligence unit. it's the on one gone this far in trying to map the human terrain
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of the city. sort of gain sentiment and make notes and files about what people of think about the state of the union address and drones and think about foreign policy. try to sort of do this predictive analysis, which, you know, we all intuitively want our government to stop terrorist attacks before they happen, you know, not just be responsive. but i think you see is the n.y.p.d. is kind of on the leading edge and going even further than what the federal government would be allowed to do under federal law. >> "enemies within." how do you feel? safe, secure, violated? >> i feel like we are still not exactly sure what we're fighting again, which is crazy after 12 years. we have a sort of idea we're at war with terrorism, which is the tactic, sort of like being at war with fistfighting.
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t -- america is not prepared to win the war on fistfighting, and frankly, you're never going to win a war against terrorism. until we know what we are fighting and what ideals are important to america to uphold, i think we're going have a lot of swishy debates like the ones right now with the that's and surveillance programs. >> the associated press washington officer. his colleague is now with the "washington post." you also won a pulitzer. what for? .. >> now wan book tv deborah solomon recounts the life of norman rockwell known for his
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portraits and "saturday evening post." she examines his professional life and personal life which were marked by bouts of depression. the talk on the norman rockwell museum in stockbridge massachusetts is about an hour. [applause] >> thank you for that fabulously gracious introduction and >> i can believe the archive has been digitized and now that i am done a. [laughter] what was that all about? with all those papers and ard ton pages. i'm glad to know that other people can now do it in ten minutes.
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i came to this book from the historical background and i studied history at cornell and attended college in the 70's at a time when abstract expressionism was seen as the high point as the great savior because it was said he shifted that capital. they have a mystical flying through the sky shifting the capitol. and the studied rockwell and i didn't really think about rockwell until other people started thinking about him first such as robert rosenblum who organized the show at the guggenheim museum in 2001. and i was immediately taken by the work.
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partly because i had been tired of spending my intellectual life at greenwich village in the 50's. i felt like i can't think again about that. his word struck me as really interesting. so i sort of took it started when i did a piece for "the new york times" magazine about rockwell and the people and i received a call on a monday morning out of the blue. there was interesting. why don't you write a biography. and you are probably joking. from the next 14 years of my life. but i just loved working on this. it's been a labor of love. i just had the best time because the more i learned about
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rockwell the more mysterious than he became and my wonderful editor is here as is my best friend and my husband and they know how much i have really been completely consumed by the mystery of norman rockwell. he didn't present himself as a mystery man. he was a very home front philosopher type of personality, and everywhere i looked anything i looked at lead to something that required it seemed like endless investigation and all kind of truths and there were truths about him and about american culture. i do want to say in terms of the criticism that he's received over the years a kind of study
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of that to figure out when exactly did he become the antichrist symbol of what modern art was reacting against and i think it started the first review was in the 50's and i think the expressionism and that whole culture of spontaneity and improvisation that was beneath did create a lot of misunderstanding about the work and that of all and people assumed that didn't have the same emotion.
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i was telling stephanie that i have so many good dissertation topics and there were just so many riddles. i think in the 50's realism was discounted and not only the word of rockwell but edward hopper all over new york now and it's very gratifying to me because there's a wonderful show and every time i turnaround there's another hopper show and i think that he has emerged to the level. he's kind of scene as an irrefutable american master and genius and i hope that will bring him into the up stroke. some people might say who cares.
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he had all of america behind him. but to me it's important because i feel like as an art critic i want people to look with their eyes and not fall prey to dogma. but i see as the kind of tendency to over classified 20th century art. so i was going to say that the criticism came from critics, two kinds of critics. that was one category and the other was a lot of bitter criticism came from people who hated the saturday evening post, liberal writers particularly who identified rockwell with the vision of the saturday evening post and one thing that i learned in researching the book is that it's a very odious
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publication. the heated fdr and the new deal and spent a lot trying to dismantle. rockwell hadn't been in common with that. he didn't share the magazine or oppose it early on. he really wasn't thinking about politics until later in his life. but i think that in many ways it became associated with the post and the republican politics and what people's publishing salles as kind of the office of life magazine. the whole kind of liberal. the post in philadelphia was very conservative politically. and it didn't help his reputation that he was associated with the post all those years. so therefore things that were advocating a kind of life and was not advocating that all.
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i was going to say the criticism came not from artists because i found over the years it has been one of the gratifying things is that artists loved talking about his work. i don't think that i've met one artist who has asked me why are you doing this. all of my friends give me shit all the time -- [laughter] and i'm not trying to convert anybody. everyone has their own feel. but artists really love rockwell and understand what he was about and have seen his mastery and understand that the work was the creation of an emotional necessity. he wasn't doing this to earn a paycheck. he lost money because he still wanted to to do them and wanted to make more money from
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advertising. but, so in the book i mentioned wonderful anecdotes which owned two of them. he owned a portrait of jackie kennedy and a painting which i think it's hilarious because they were famous people. but they understood what rockwell was about and they also understood realism and that there is tremendous emotion involved in the act of looking. and i really don't think that any artist looked harder than rockwell to be at his work is all about the act of looking. i often got disgusted with him because verbally he wasn't very forthcoming. every date that he gives is long
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and now you can check things online because you can look at the census records. any time i checked it was wrong and when i realized i look i stopped criticizing for that because as a biographer you don't want to be the party cooper. you can't keep doing that again and again. you can do it once or twice. but he loved telling and using stories and i don't -- on for the right conversation. i think that he -- his work didn't lie. it was incredibly moving in the deep. so, there's something in this book that i think -- i don't know if anyone will even notice
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it. i will say critically as he wrote a famous essay it became kind of emblematic of the disregard for the mainstream culture and in researching this i read the papers and he had originally written the piece for the saturday evening post they killed it. they killed the peace because at that time -- this gets complicated but at the time he was a staff writer at the new yorker and he criticized the
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magazine and the editor said you have to include the new yorker if you are going to criticize all these magazines. he said i'm just not. so they have a lot of letters coming back-and-forth because everybody knows about this. it's just ridiculous. so at that point he wanted to be paid and they said no so there is a big fight over that. then he goes back and rewrites the peace and sells it to the partisan review and puts in a lengthy attack on norman rockwell. that is such a conflict of interest. even if his opinion wasn't shaped it was still not a very good opinion. it was an opinion based very
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much on classification and categorization which was a big activity. they always had to draw the line dwight mcdonald added the middle category and they were just big on shoving everybody into categories. and to me it was common sense. even in modernist couldn't possibly believe that for the abstract painting in the world was better than every norman rockwell. this that made sense? and there was a reflection of category making in the 20th century and that was in rebellion against right now the postmodernism which isn't any kind of a renaissance necessarily but it does
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represent the effort to reverse the categorization as a fixed past to read and i really hope that this moment that you see as a kind of good rockwell moment will be the moment that endorse. there is a tremendous appreciation because of your efforts. i don't know what would happen to the work for the paper to read the papers would be impossible to fund because he himself was not a big self are tighter -- archive. how would we see this were complex here we've really come in and formed an opinion and it's important that this museum
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was here because he wasn't giving space and other museums so it's not like others. he has a fabulous painting study for freedom speech that's really gorgeous. i told the story how they acquired it. everytime i see the director i said when you are hanging out i'm going to make a video by what i have to go through but i feel like that will change to read it is as we all know towards the realist painting and i see him as a great realist. he thought of himself as an illustrator coming and he was
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but a much and illustrator. a lot of them split themselves and to and said everybody did that. they did their commercial work and then the did paintings that they wanted to sell at galleries and making restitution. he didn't do that and that is one of the very fascinating questions surrounding his career. my own feeling is that he really believed in the illustration and wanted to live up to it what he saw as a very extraordinary american tradition. there are so many questions. should i open it up to the audience? i know that i could talk
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forever. that is what you all came here to know. [laughter] he was very big on male bonding and he was a physically thin person who loved being around other men especially rugged men. and i found that problematic. he never had a female assistant he had six male students looks very nervous over there. one day she wrote they had written to him and said can you
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write a recommendation? this woman has applied to the school. do you think that she should come here? do you think that she has any talent? she said i'm sorry but i cannot write that letter and especially sorry to say that because she is my goddaughter. i looked at that woman who was the daughter of edmund i tried to find her and she had by the but i checked and she did get into yale. some people say you didn't know her that well. he doesn't want to write a recommendation. that can be spanned in any way. to me it was more and he was so
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sensitive and caring and why is that? this portrayal tends to be pretty good because i would argue that these women strike me the guy with the black eye but memorable women tend to be female aggressors and that was for him that was the vision that he needed to connect with. i found him to be a sympathetic man who felt like he had no skin and was very unsupportive. i think that he probably felt like because he was so small no
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one looked at him and his childhood and he wanted people to look at him. he was a bit of an exhibition last. he really did look at people. i felt like all of that was in the work and it was beautifully observed. even though they don't always like him as a percent to beat a person my respect has flown for him exponentially while working on this book. [applause] >> thank you. i've covered the culture in new york and first of all there are
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times like this but everybody's so gracious. what about my book? everybody really supports the spirit of rockwell and is welcoming to people who come in with their own insight. i've never seen anybody get along so well with so many different people. >> i would note that the museum wouldn't open their new american weighing presenting the pantheon of american art without barring a very important work for us because i felt the story -- >> that was a very interesting question. one question we need to consider is because the paintings are here where they would be otherwise from now since they were not being collected by
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museums the question is he does go in stature how can we seem to integrate them into the collections thwacks you all know about the museum founded in arkansas and she purchased the and i think that this i like the idea of rockwell being shown with thomas and historians of the 1930's. i think that is where he belongs and he can hold his own but it's also painting it here. what do you do? people don't have access to them. >> the good news is they are not all here. we do have these largest and most significant collections of his work but the many important private collections come onto the market as we know is about to happen and it is my hope that more museums do add rockwell to their collection and that
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meanwhile on this museum to align our collection there is freedom going to the art of chicago for the important exhibition on art and art and appetite and looking at cultural traditions and food but also the collection is frequently requested for loans around the country we've looked at more than 125 museums in this nation with our illustrations and exhibitions. now we are going to take questions but one more thing to ask of you. we are going to pass microphone's around and you can see this talk is being filmed and is going to be broadcast on c-span so if you stand to ask a question that will also be part of the conversation and broadcast and please so that everyone can hear your question
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and in this october issue which i assume many of you have red i'm guessing that many of you have not yet had a chance to read the book because it hasn't been available until tonight unless you are a member of the press or a friend of deborah which i did on my summer vacation. but please, ask your questions. you have seen some news articles about it. you probably read the smithsonian article and this is your question to hear the interpretations first hand. >> thank you. >> i am a member of the press. >> why don't you get your -- >> i am a member of the press so
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i did get an advanced copy about two weeks through and i'm trying to get absorbing and eliminating particularly the way that you present him in the context of the later world. but as you said yourself there are many questions and mr. visa out him and i see that in the book that you pose various questions and draw conclusions, which i'm feeling are your own but supportive. >> and i am wondering how much supposition you yourself had to create in writing this book and how much were you able to verify? >> i think there is very little speculation in the book. i did a lot of work digging through archives.
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i gathered as many letters as i could and i also was able with a huge resources to go through the newspapers which are now online although they were not when i started this again i did that going to the library and then from arlington, but you gather as much basic information as you can be and doing a biography, and i tried not to -- what do you find speculative? because i kind of laid out the evidence out there to the for instance there might be some controversy over the question -- >> is that what you are handing out? >> [inaudible] triet frame of mind -- >> the studio system the next
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morning that he commented how the system was in his pajamas. i think people tend to stampede the word gay wherever they see sexual ambivalence putative he was very conflicted in his sexual life as well as other aspects. i say that not to raise myself only that. it's firmly grounded in research it something strikes you as my old, tell me -- wild, tell me. >> i wanted your take on how much speculation you had to engage in to solve some of these mysteries.
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.. i've led never done that because. [laughter] i think it is motivated to do that but i was very fascinated with the relationship between ericsson and rockwell and i would research the hell out of that and i hope i
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captured something there. also researching rockwell's relationship including the first one billy payne who died tragically at the age of 15. rockwell used him almost exclusively for his early work. i wanted to know whatappe happened i got every scrap of information that i could a and it was disturbing that -- but i just concluded a boy died and did his autobiography rockwell was a little dismisses the of the whole thing but also i saw the most beautiful painting that ray and in the post andf his 16th birthday afternde his death the most tenderlife eulogy and never seen. billy is writing on the train with his dogs and is
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seeking the dog because the basket has said tag and it lists the name of the boarding house. greeting the of knowing comments in the autobiography but it seemsphy to contemplate the deaths of this boy. , but to compare that with the painting made me think that you just cannot pay attention to his comments. of lot of them obfuscate and i never felt his comments were that close to him. >> a literary critic dash cindy


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