tv Book Discussion on The Happiest Life CSPAN February 9, 2014 2:45pm-3:46pm EST
the various references to sykes-pecot reminds me that oxford -- and i speak with some experience in these matters -- oxford classics professors don't do good maps. and we live with the consequences of all that today. but i wanted to ask you about one country that hasn't come up and perhaps some related countries in that part of the world which is saudi arabia. it seems as though saudi arabia hasn't even fallen asleep, let alone awakened yet. [laughter] and they do, none the less, have a considerable capability for mischief, fueling the sectarian conflict in syria. they're not responsible alone for that, but they're certainly instrumental. and with the possibility of any moderating influence of the united states which now is on
the verge of energy independence, what's going to happen to saudi arabia and what sort of impact are they going to have on the rest of the arab world? >> saudi arabia has made it clear that in general with the exception of syria they are against what is going on in the arab world. they don't see this as a historical transformational process. they see this as an arab inferno, a revolutionary process that is going to really ruin the arab world, etc. and they see the world, i think, in terms of two prisms, if you will; a sunni-shiite prism and a status quo change prism. and these are not always, you know, converging. and so in most of the arab
world, they see it in terms of status quo versus change, and they have attempted to do so, to slow down the process if not reverse it altogether through basically financial means. they've done so in their own country, they've done so in the gulf, they're doing so with egypt where basically, now, they've poured billions with of dollars not towards necessarily productive projects, but towards budget support which, in my view, this is, this will have a limit. they cannot keep on doing this forever. and in the case of of syria, they see this through a sunni-shiite divide. they're worried about an iraqi government which, in their view, is controlled by the shia in the north. they're worried about iran, of course, in the east. and they see now, you know, they
see the preservation of thes assad regime -- the assad regime as completing that, you know, encirclement of saudi arabia and the region. if my open view -- in my own view, the saudis don't yet have a coherent policy or a vision of the future. in other words, they force the assad regime to leave as many others are, including myself, but they have no vision of how to, you know, build an alternative. they do not want, you know, egypt to fall in the hands of the islamists, but they also don't have the vision of, you know, how the region is going to look like. ironically, the reformist element in saudi arabia,
ironically, today is led by the king who is at least 90 years old. and, you know, once that era is over, i think that you will see, you know, some tensions rising in saudi arabia because of these issues. unemployment among the youth in sabia is huge. it's -- saudi arabia is huge. so with all the money the saudis have, they still have to deal with serious problems. >> well, marwan, once again, i have to thank you for being so thoughtful, so insightful, and always wonderful to have you here. [applause] congratulations. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> is there a nonfiction be author or book you'd like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at email@example.com or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> next on booktv, hugh hewitt talks about the elements that go into obtaining happiness. this is about an hour. >> thank you, jonathan, quite a lot, actually. it is always great to be back at the nixon library, especially on the eve of the 101st anniversary of former or president nixon's
birth, especially to celebrate with friends of the library who come often. as many of you know, in late 1988 the phone rang. i was working for president reagan in his administration, and on the other end was former president nixon asking me to come back to your baa linda to oversee the construction of this library for a couple of years. so i was very, very pleased to do so. it is a shining jewel, and anyone who is watching on c-span across the united states who has never been to the nixon library, you ought to come here. it's an extraordinary celebration of the american presidency, but also of an extraordinary life that began in this very small house that frank nixon built from a kit and continued through a life measured in decades of achievement, not hours of achievement, but a truly significant life. i also am happy always to hear that julie and david are up to
things. david gave me my first job for which i am intensely grateful. i graduated from harvard in 1978 and had no job and no plans and nothing to do, and i ended up becoming an editorial assistant and a researcher for david on his first book with, eisenhower at war, before i went to work for former president nixon over at san clemente as an editorial assistant. but that is not my favorite book by david, and if you leave the library tonight, i would strongly recommend to you that you pick up "going home to glory" which is his memoir of living with his grandfather when ike retired. and it's really special. it's special from the very first part where he describes how ike and mamie left the white house in the company of one longtime staff sergeant, one secret service car in front of them. they drove up to gettysburg. the secret service guys honked,
waved, turned around and left, and ike and mamie went into the house and went about their life. that was 1961. what a change, right? what a change. but it also talks about how kennedy would call ike in the cuban missile crisis and how ike would be a stern grandfather at some points with his son -- grandson david. it's just a magnificent book, and they are happy people. and when i wrote the happiest life, it was very easy to include in there stories about julie and david and story ises about president nixon, because they were crucial figures in my life which has been a very happy life, and this room has been especially a happy room for me. my daughter was married in this room. so i've actually danced in this room. so it's a very happy room for me to be at the east room. and i'm so glad to be here and to recall its opening when we had 40,000 people and five presidents and unhappy times when we buried the former first lady and the former president here.
so it's always moving to come back here and to talk about a new book. and i've done it many, many times, and it's always a pleasure to see some of my friends like carol and dee dee and bruce and other people who come pretty much to every event that i do, and i appreciate it very much. i began last night's radio show with a good friend, robert c. o'brien. he's the managing partner of the los angeles office of the national law firm aaron fox. and he's formerly a delegate to the u.n. and formerly a state department official in afghanistan running their justice program there, and he was on to talk with me about not the law -- though he's an extraordinarily gifted litigator -- but to talk with me about robert gates' memoir because it spoke to the era in which robert o'brien was part of the team of the national security apparatus of the w. administration. i wished i had had my wits about me, because o'brien is all -- he's two things as well as a great litigator, he's a
trademark lawyer, and he's a fashion lawyer. and if i had had my wits about me, i would have asked do you think i can trademark happiness? that would be a good thing. and if i could get a happiness brand -- they represent all the big fashion brands and all that. if i could just have the happiness brand, i would like that. the only problem with it is as i went about writing "the happiest life," i discovered very quickly there are thousands of books about happiness. thousands of books about happiness. pretty much everyones has written about it -- everyone has written about it from aristotle to dennis prager. [laughter] and my book deals a lot and steals a lot from all of those who have written about it before, but in particular from aristotle, from dennis and from arthur brooks. arthur brooks is the president of the american enterprise institute. and arthur wrote a book on the road to freedom a couple of years ago, and he gave a lecture on happiness that greatly
influenced me. i attended it with one of my two wonderful sons. and he turned to me, a 21-year-old, and said that's the best thing i've ever heard. i told arthur that, he lit up. it was a lecture on happiness and about what you'll end up evaluating your life by. and that actually inspired me to start writing this, and i started with dennis prager's book, "happiness is a serious problem." dennis wrote that book 15 years ago, it's still in print. so my goal is to get prager and brooks and myself out on a happiness tour and to see if we can't bring a little joy as opposed to political grimness. i also was move today write this book, which is not a political book. i've written 15 books, a dozen of which have been on politics, two on my christian faith and one on happiness. i may rest a while. 2012 was a grim result for me -- perhaps for many of you. i was deeply invested emotionally and professionally in the success of the romney
campaign. i thought it was important for the country, and it was a blow that he didn't win. i think it would have been better for the country had he won. and as a result, i didn't want to write about politics last year, and i try and write a book pretty much every other year at least, and i was due to write one. so i thought about what would i do. and the topic happiness i heard arthur speak about, and then i thought to myself i have been in broadcast since 1989. i started for kfi on the radio in 1989 on 640. we have someone nodding, you're too young to have remembered me. i'm 57, so i got in broadcast at 33. and i had a blast on the weekends, and then i moved to los angeles' pbs affiliate for a dozen years doing the nightly news and public affairs show -- life and times, -- which was on three nights a week. pat morris and reuben martinez and produced by the wonderful martin burns who died this past year. just extraordinary, great fun.
and then i went on syndicated radio thanks to the great good graces of salem communications and the owners, ed and stu, who gave me the opportunity to do what i love doing every day, which is three hours of radio. so i've been interviewing people since 1989. and i began to do the math. be you do three hours after radio a day five days a week, that's 75 segments a week, and if you only interview people in half of those, pretty quickly over 25,000 interviews not counting callers. so in the book i make the obviously true claim that i've interviewed more than 10,000 people. and then i made a long list to have most interesting happy people that i had met, and i reverse engineered what i knew about them to characteristics and discipline about happiness. ask then i wrote them -- and then i wrote them down in the context in which they occurred, and out of that came the happiest life. jonathan was very kind to mention at the beginning of this that it has been very widely and
well received by an extraordinary array of people. archbishop of philadelphia, very important person in my life and i admire him greatly, gave it a glowing review. but so did jonathan alter who is a bloomberg column exist a very fine popular historian. but we don't agree on much. in fact, we agree on nothing. jon's always wrong. but he's a terrific guest on the radio, and he wrote of the book on the back: in these polarized times, it's a blessing to find someone like hugh hewitt who reaches across the chasm of ugliness with wisdom and good cheer. maybe i do, maybe i don't, but i'm glad to have him write that. i got to thinking, why are so many people so nice about this book? and, indeed, in my launch this past week i was in new york during the blizzard, and i had a variety of settings. larry kudlow on cnbs, i was on
the "fox & friends" morning show. great reception this. i went over and did morning joe. joe was gone and somy ca berzin si sky did it, and she likes it. i'm astonished that left, right, center, young and old like "the happiest life." so i began to consider that, in fact, every single one of us every single day think about our happiness, or we think about the happiness of those that we are close to. and that anything that promises to and then delivers some keys to happiness whether it's poorly written or well written will, in fact, find an audience because we're all constantly thinking about it. how obvious is that? we're talking today -- i don't know when c-span will show this, but we're talking today is the day of longest press conference ever. it was crust christie -- chris christie press conference today, and at one point during the press conference i researched how long the movie "the longest
day "ran for. [laughter] and "the longest day" ran for 178 minutes, and governor christie came up short of two hours, so he didn't match "the longest day" with the longest press conference, but it was a fascinating display of emotion. he was authentic, transparent and sincere, powerfully different from what we've grown used to. ..christy scandal.
with it in a candidate way is the best way to do it. he was betrayed. and someone he loved and trusted undid everything. everything bears on hapiness. whether it is a spilled cup of coffee on your lap and you are extremly unhappy and perhaps vocal about it to serious stuff: the betrayal of a marriage, death of a child or loved one, crime of violence. or i just returned from south america and took a toured of the deeply impovirshed slums.
through. that ain't me. i am tiger and i am happy to be tiger. if you have lost happiness you can regain it. my friend arthur brooks identified in this lecture that impacted be and my son the four context in which you will measure happiness: friends, family, faith and success. if you have 2-4 you will have a happy death. earned success is one in which author is famous every day and
it has nothing to do with money. it is that you can earn for yourself. it can be the best violinist or teacher or social worker. it is the best whatever. the best camera man for c-span. if you have earned your success at doing that, you are going to be happy. but the end game results were measurements. when i reversed engineered these interviews, i came up with seven gifts. and if you are giving away some of them you are going to be happy. generosity is the precursor. the chairman of the orange
county department ulogy i spoke outlet and tried to explain this to brian lamb, who maybe the country's greatest interviewer. i was explaining to tom fuentes, unless lived in the county, you didn't know he was out every night helping every candidate and finding jobs for people. and wasn't collecting music items or planning for a food bank in orange county. he was extroidinarily generous.
if i reverse engineered all of the other gifts, you would have nothing. it is that way. if you have them all, about you don't give them away, you are a miser of your gifts. they are generous, encouragement, energy, good humor and thaenthusiasm. i slide by and miss one of them usually. but let me illustrate each of
them. energy: if you have ever listened to my radio show and you can find out where it is heard. it is an am 590 the answer or 1170 the answer. it is word from hawaii to alaska to down south. i have fun with my producer or my not-producer duane patterson. my trademark is if i had a producer. duane and adam are the hardest working people in radio and i am certain because i interviewed mark stein and i am certain duane is transcribing. he does the rundown, the after
show and then he posts them electronically and then post the transcript and he has been doing this since january 10th of 2000. adam is a slacker. he works just as hard but started later. and we have a group of people supported by a hundred general managers and program directors. and they have built this amazing radio empire. our sales and industry staff and a whole bunch of people in dallas selling the store oh so advertisers realize the best place to sell anything on the
world the radio. energy is the predicate of everything happening. if you don't get up and go to work or get up and try. and that is learned behavior. head looling is the winningest coach in swim -- water polo program -- it was just to get his boy's feet on the floor at 5:30 a.m. if you did hat and developed that habit you would be successful in life. i think it is generally true as well. that is about enthusiasm and that is the second quality. i root for the cleveland brown,
i have to be. i have never been to one game. i give the tickets to my brother. i have two wonderful brother and a great set of in-laws on both sides. but i have never been back because we have been so awful since 1999. but i think we are turning it around. browns' fans are the most excited except for indians and cavaliers. we live in a tune -- tunnel -- and sports teaches us to be happy. sports' fans who win are the most lite up people.
freddy came to my house and he was on the radio the next day and said don't let anybody tell you it is just a game. it hurts when you lose that way. you transfer it to every areas of life and it makes everything better. encouragement is my favor chapter because every person watching and every person here will encounter dozens of people and each one they can encourage. it is gift we have an unlimited amount. there is no limit to the amount courage weave give. i have been encouraged professionally by two people who were not of my network.
screen and the dick vandyke show. and when they put out things on the radio they were being on. so i have interviewed carol burrnett and others. i found it fascinating they each took an exceptional amount of time that told them when it was when they were young help them. by name, club and by date. they remember who it is that gave them their break. i think that is terrific. i learned america's greatest
playwrig playwrig playrighter. -- play writer -- and reached out to a man in his first year since graduation. he doesn't have to help anybody. but it shows the older giving to the young and being happy to do so. the fourth gift is empathy. hardest gift of all because you have to share a similar suffering. not sympathetic. i was empthetic in new york and that is shared suffering even though separated in time. it is an enormous gift if you share a similar burden. i wrote in my book that the worst burden to bear is loosing
a child. it hasn't happened to me. but a rabbi i interviewed gave me the single best advice: show up and shut up. when someone is suffering, you show up and shut up. you don't tell them you know how they are feeling, because you don't. even though you went through a experience. you don't tell them your story of suffering. you don't tell them anything. you show up, and shut up and display emathy of the hardest gift. it is the hardest and rarest one. the three g's are easy. good humor. bennett, galger and others are gunny guys. but dennis is a stitch.
i got to roast him in this room and he hasn't been the same. he has given up smoking and always gives me his cigars now. he is a fountain of good humor and always happy. it is very annoying. the other four of us get off in a gripe festival and dennis is happy. we have been on a small plane in the middle of a winter and five of us are afraid of our live and dennis is wandering around looking for the dinner platter. he does this happiness hour on the show and works hard to be
happy. graciousness i write the most unexpectedly gracious person is george w.bush. he is the most welcoming, gracious individual. and in politics in an era defined by brick throwing, he is a tough campaigner, but he was never outside of that context other than a gentlemen and a man of manners toward political opposition, especially those in this party. they were the first family of graciousness and modeled that. gratitude is the last one i want to talk about.
and parents and spouse and friends, they are easy to be grateful to. we ought to take a moment to think about that. nixon helped me a lot. and i got a job at the department of justice after getting jobs from coming out of law school. i came out here and the gene -- geniuses here -- who put me on the radio. make a list of everyone you ought to send thank you note to.
and perhaps doing that because i think it will empower you from anything bad happening down the road. you mean know for every injury down to you, hundreds of people have been generous for you. i finish talk about the context we can practice these. the first is with your spouse. i have been married 31 years. she is a christmas tree and the most wonderful, encouraging woman. it had to be generations of luck to get this luck. the number one job of a spouse is to get their spouse to heaven and having them happy along the
way and she is great for that. great parents. i realize many people don't realize graall dealt with the d of cards with two parents. and that is sad. and on the chapter on teachers -- how many are teachers? thank you for what you do. 90% of you can remember 90% thof teachers that taught you between k-8. after high school and girls are involved, it is fuzzy. that talks about the genuine influence and some of you can name the most important and high school college teachers you had. this book prompted me to go back and find the teachers that stood out to me.
there were four crucial teachers. i was able to talk with me and exchange messages with a fourth. and i had a conversation about why do teachers teach. it ain't for the money. teachers teach for the reason they have this influence on people and get to give their gifts. i used to go teach for a retired ap teacher named ms. malcolm. she is a liberal! what a wonderful teacher, though. she would bring in all of the conservatives and liberals and kids loved it and all of the people passed their ap test. she was a model for gratitude. everything was about love of
civic experience and involvement. i wrote a chapter on family members and my publisher liked it the most. you all have a family gpa. you thought you were done with gpa's. how did you figure your family gpa? immediate relatives listed. mother, dad, brother, sister, in-laws and nieces and nephews. and grade your relationship with each of them. a-f. you know the f's. they are the easy one. most of the time it is 2.0. good to see you at thanksgiving.
some are you cannot wait to see them. i am so blessed on my in-laws on brother's wives and children's but my wife's siblings and their children and mother-in-law and father-in-law were great. you can give a lot of gifts trying to make the d's up to c's. and you have to get rid of the f's. the key is not allowing toxic people to be in your life. two other factors, and i am close to wrapping up, and a friend told me if you don't mention "the happiest life" seven times no one will remember the title.
frank lun said that. he was a smart man. but two more categories: your colleagues at work. i have great law partners. gary, tim, and liz -- i love them. they are great lawyers and i enjoy working with them. but that is all of the employees everywhere and they are all witnesses at your judgment according to c.s.lewis. every person you work is showing up on your judgment day if you believe that. so that is crucial to having a good relationship. how many of you go to the same church weekly? how many don't? my advice is if you are unhappy,
find any church, and go every week. it is the greatest single channel of happy you can plan in life. everybody is an expert on hap happiness and everyone could disagree. if you have watched house of cards, it is highly regarded that spacy is an accurate protrail of the accurate life in washington, d.c. if you read bob gates memomior,
it is burden with regret. you have to ask why people stay in politics if is so happy. it is because they are called to duty and even which it causes you to believe miserable it is still a choice. i want to close with the president of a famous college and i have gotten to know many great presidents of college in the last 25 years. go to chapman's university to
see one of those great presidents. dr. cory here, i cannot remember this last name, that is what happens when you are 57. berry cory. thank you. he is changing bio into a lighthouse institution just like colorado christian has been turned into a lighthouse institution. it is hard to be a college president. but larry arm is amazing because he is driving his students back into the western civilization world. he is on every week. we spent five weeks on aorosti l
aorostit aorostitle's principals and how the greeks wanted to be happy. they didn't have the revelation and know of israel's god and peace. but they knew it meant right living with nature. this isn't hard to do, but possible to perfect. it isn't hard to practice, but you will never shoot below par every single day. hitch, and i love christopher hitchenson. there are some guest who define my show. michael kelly, the late michael kelly defined. mark stein. i have had reoccurring guest.
but hitch defined my show for years. hitch was a remarkable man and happy most of the time. but after i interviewed him for the last time, three hours on his book "hitch 22. "i didn't get to talk to him. and hitch's brother was a believer and i pray he found out the times he was the happiness was when he was chosing the divine. i am going to be happy signing your books but really i will be happy if in the months after reading this, you adopt some of the practices and they improve
your context so you are a happy person. a book is informative, but if it changes your practice, that will make be happy. thanks for coming out. we will take questions. [ applause ] >> the staff of the nixon library is here. who has a comment? >> thank you for coming out. you know, not necessarily more of a question, but up until now, i am going to read your book hopefully, but i have been very cynical. these are rough times. and you wake up every day and you read the books and it gets rougher. and you don't know the way out. so thank you for putting a book like this out. >> thank you.
that makes me night. and thank you for reminding me, i was going to ask you, i forgot to mentions, friends i have been lucky in friends, that is my 7th category. john phillips started it out. and i have a lot of friends and i can tell you a number of people who are my friends over the years. i have been lucky in friends. bill is my closest friends and he sadly worked for the "la times" over the years. i was going to ask you if you are cynical, do you have very close friends? are they cynical? yes!
i was out with bud the contractor and he is the most upbeat guy in the world. so whenever i get cynical about politics, i find an encouragement machine or a non-cynical people because if all you do is read news and listen to fox news you can slit wrist. >> hello, i have listened to the show for 18 years. >> i started in 2000. >> happiness took a turn last week. and i am thinking the aclu is
representing people, but where is the money coming from in the case? are they paid when they file a suit on a constitutional issue? >> attorney fees are available at a number of issues depending on the statue and form they are sought. the aclu does receive attorney fees, but they receive donations as well. the alliance defending freedom is the aclu of believers and they have been fighting that case for years. chapman has been fighting that for years. get involved and let me tell you on march 25th of this year, in the hobby lobby case, and the woods case, they are the most important religious freedom cases of the last 30 years that
will redefine free exercise and maybe the establishment clause in the united states. if you are playing people, pray for the success -- praying -- if you are contributing people, you can contribute. the war on faith is advanced. the cross was a bad one. but if we lose hobby lobby and the woods deal that is a bad thing. and i don't think how we will get it back >> i am happy my nature. >> good! >> but your first happiness was generosity and this young beautiful woman in front of me, i had to give her my book because of what you said. >> that is perfect. >> great talk. i enjoyed it a lot >> i would be happier if you
just bought another one. >> mr. hewitt, i happen to watch the c-span where you were interviewed. that is how i knew about you. and i have caught your radio show since last week. and i really enjoyed your radio shows and that is how i knew about tonight. i came here and listened to you and you make me feel happy. thank you very much. i just want to say that. >> thank you. that allows us to do a shameless plug for brian lamb and c-span. i made the argument that i don't know if brian lamb has won the medal he deserves but we would not have the authors and
interviews. i was nervous a few times in my life. i was nervous on steven cobert. julie andrews. and brian lamb because he is the best interviewer and he is terrific. >> i am also a cleveland brown fan. and their gpa is an f. is it time to let them go? >> absolutely not. i went to over home browns game from 1965-1974 and i have had the season tickets since. i honestly, really, think we have turned the corner. five probowlers and ten picks in the draft and we will get a
great quarterback and the best corner back in the league with john hayden. it is important you put all of the money you have on the browns winning the super bowl next year >> thank you for a nice talk. enjoyed it. i would put myself in the happy category. i was wondering based on the research and work you put in in writing your book. have you discovered traits as to why some people can easily be happy in life and people who go through life not being happy? >> well, i am going to give you my completely honest answer but preference it by saying this isn't impedement to changing.
but i think unhappy parents produce unhappy children. the author of t tthe "homecoming" where he came from an orphanage. he is a happy person. if you have a negative, terrible family it is hard to get started on the road. i don't think it is impossible because i have met people who have recovered from other things and terrible things. i write about aa in the "the happiest life" in how they have redeemed so many lives. i have had a great number of people go to sponsors who guided
them. if you have happy parents, there is a chance you are going to be happy. parents have to remember, the kids are watching every day. yes, ma'am. >> i appreciate you educating us for the people to vote for and contribute to in other states >> who have i been pushing the most? >> tom cotton. >> i am a usc fan. >> i was goes to get through the whole thing without bringing up usc. >> my question is why is there such terrible reception on this station? whether i am in los angeles or
wherever i am, here is this fabulous program and i cannot hear anything especially when you get off on lake forest. day or night, on the radio in the car, i am going crazy >> i answer this question all over the county. no matter how strong the signal, or the station, it depends on when you leave the signal. it is directional and a day timer. so the moment the sun goes down, they have to turn down the power. so every night you are going on listening and there are bands that come on that are not governored by the fcc steps on our signal. we cannot invade mexico over my
station so that is the problem. >> one of the things no one mentioned that they love the most about you is your laugh. here is my question: i love the republican party. it is in my blood. give me a snappy answers to say to republicans with they say they are unhappy with the republican party because they are always fighting with each other. >> it is hard to argue with the true. the snappy answer is wouldn't winning be more fun? it is counter productive and i am trying to negotiate a truce between two great conservatives during the show and afterwards they are at odds with sword
drawn. ronald regan, i did a broadcast from the regan ranch on the 25th anniversary of the tear down this wall speech and it was a wonderful place. regan was always happy and believed in the 11th commandment and i wish we could reinstall that. >> do you have a theory on how some children in the holocaust didn't have parents or happy surroundings to say the least came out with no bitterness and a happy disposition? i know some of them. >> great story. i didn't tell it in my book. when i go to las vegas i play seven card draw... badly. i play the low-stakes table.
sitting there one night late across the street from ceasars is the pink hotel. the flamingo. i go over and i am playing it. seven people at the table and there is a dealer. in rolls a guy in the wheelchair who was 60-70. he pulled in and said great day, isn't it? and i said why would you say that? he rolled up his sleeves, showed a camp number, and said every day is a great day because i am alive. i thought that was unfair. you are folding on full houses kings over three.
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