tv Book TV CSPAN December 28, 2013 3:20pm-3:31pm EST
the moment when i realized how extraordinarily special my mother was. we take the people we love often for granted. they're in our life, and we sometimes don't really know how important they are to us. the most special moment of all during the nomination process was that a friend broke my rule. i wasn't letting friends show me any of the press about me or the nomination process. but one of my closest friends said, sonia, you have to watch this. and i watched my brother being interviewed on television, and he was describing me, and he started to cry. and in that moment like never before, i knew how deeply my brother loved me.
most of us don't get a chance to see that or feel it except in moments of tragedy, illness or death. i got to feel it this many a joyful -- in a joyful moment. that may have been the greatest gift. >> justice sotomayor, thank you for a beautiful evening. here is a gift from us from the progressive forum. [applause] >> thank you so much. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title this the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for
48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction weeks and authors. booktv.org. >> okay. can you tell me what, essentially, what part you played in -- [inaudible] >> i played no part. i was an observer. i've been traveling and writing in india with cathy in south asia, southeast asia, for 18, 20 years and spent time as a foreign correspondent for the guardian and then for the times newspaper, and now we write books, and we make documentary films in that part of the world, and we've been pass -- we'd been passing by two days before the attack happened in 2008 when the whole city was, basically, held hostage by ten gunmen. of and unlike 9/11 where lots of great books were promulgated like looming tower, mumbai didn't really have a book that really summed up the terror, and
cathy and i were determined to do justice to what happened in 2008 and put together what we hoped was a tribute to the heroes of of mumbai and an explanation for why that kind -- what that kind of terror really means. >> we came back a long time after and talked to the hotel, and we went to pakistan and spoke to the families of the attackers and also to agencies there and spoke to the organization that planned the attack. so, and the idea of kind of coming up with the story is you wait for the dust to settle and then get more information. we really wanted to get the book -- or. [inaudible] the reason for it, what they were trying to achieve and also to get the human stories of
those who had been caught up in it. >> so what were some of the key findings? >> key findings were that like many recent terrorist attacks like 9/11 and 7/7 in the u.k., that there were lots of missed opportunities to intervene before the attack happened. lots of warnings it was going to happen. the hotel was warned on several occasions that they had been targeted and there was an islamic group in pakistan that was coming over with the intention of holding the hotel and ore key locations in mumbai. the lis in mumbai -- police tried to improve security measures, but the hotel wasn't into it for various reasons. and also the intelligence agencies in india, they kind of brushed it under the carpet and said, oh, it'll never happen, it's too crazy an idea. multiple attackers launching themselves from a dinghy, it's too crazy. and sadly, they were wrong.
it did happen. >> um, did you come to any conclusions about, um, preventative measures or anything that could help, i guess, determine ahead of time if something's going to happen? >> it's very hard to do that kind of crystal ball gazing. i think the one thing you can be certain is the reason that we're paragraphly interested in. i mean -- marley interested in. there's a hot border between india and pakistan and, of course, with afghanistan with the u.s. forces withdrawing, there's a power vacuum there. so our interest still lies in those fault lines in the region. but one thing about this book, it's also about extraordinary human stories, and, you know, for us having worked in the region for 18, 20 years, we're interested not in objectifying any characters, but actually culling real stories from the inside. so all of these people, 90% of them are pakistani and indian contributors who we hope that we've drawn real lives that really reflect how they live and
what they did. and they overcame extreme danger and extreme fear, many of them poorly-paid lows for grand hotels like the five-star luxury establishment, and if it hadn't been for them, it would have been an absolute massacre. the hum blest people overcame. >> was there anything -- [inaudible] kashmir that played part? >> it kind of is a base. we do a lot of work in kashmir. we began there at the height of the insurgency. and from the endless dispute over the contested -- [inaudible] provides very often the -- [inaudible] so, for example -- [inaudible] they were conceived of and funded by the pack stabny -- pakistani intelligence service in the early 1990s specifically to make indian kashmirlys bleed, and their idea
was to trigger a war in kashmir. and they then subsequently after 9/11 an element within the group wanted to broaden out to be more like an al-qaeda outfit attacking pro-western jews. >> grab the headlines. because kashmiris, everybody in south asia -- [inaudible] outside of south asia no within really cares, and it's a big dispute within the organization that planned this operation that they had to -- [inaudible] al-qaeda was getting all the headlines and they'd lost out. so that was a big reason behind why this happened and why it was executed. >> nearly everything. and it's one of the most poorly reported stories in the west. it's quite shocking. and, you know, when you come back to it, the continuing grinding human rights abuses which completely outstrip those of pinochet in chile would astound people. i mean, there are more people, there are three times the number
of disappeareds in kashmir than ever disappeared in chile. i mean, you're talking upwards of 8-10,000 people who have vanished in the custody of the security services. a field was recently dug up in which there was 2,500 corpses. and, you know, you kind of feel that that look of familiarity is -- [inaudible] it's part of what lies behind attacks like these. so that's something that we have tried to write about from within the indian establishment and from the perspective of islamist groups who we've made contact with in pakistan and in kashmir. >> so what originally sparked your interest in this area of the world? >> oh, wow. >> [inaudible] there for 25 years. >> 20 years. >> 20 years. we were based out there because of the times and the guardian and just love it out there. there's so much happening in both cups, act stand and india. we -- pakistan and india.
we love working there equally and just want to continue working out there. >> yeah. i mean, asia is, you know, particularly like india, it's recreating itself every day. they have thousands of years of history that go way before stories like "partition." but there's a tremendous feeling of energy there this terms of new -- [inaudible] tear ruing some stunning, stunning -- they're producing some stunning new writers, stunning film makers, cartoonists and artists and you really get that feeling of drive. there's no complacency. sometimes i go back to london or france where we were working for a while, and the complacency is just staggering. people assume stuff will come to them, and in india they're making opportunities in everything. and i think it's a tremendous privilege to be able to report, travel freely and make films in that culture in pakistan and across south asia. it's been 20 years of repeated sort of present-giving to us.
so i'm really glad we've had the opportunity to do it. hope we continue to anyhow. >> have you lined up your next project yet? >> yes. >> yes. [laughter] >> it's a secret. >> we cannot tell you. >> it's in the same part of the world. >> we've got to make a film -- [inaudible] >> [inaudible] >> yeah. but we'll return to the same area with a similar scene of people. as cathy said, we are very influenced by a polish journalist, and at a time when poland had no money at all, he came by bus canour view is to come by bus, you know? we want to be last, and we want to come by bus, and then we're going to stay until the end. that's always been our view with a story. we don't come quickly, and we don't leave quickly. i think it's worth always giving the last interview and going the last kilometer. so that has been our philosophy. >> thank you very much.
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