tv Panel Discussion on American History CSPAN June 15, 2015 7:00am-8:02am EDT
>> so, my question i have a question for you. this world war ii internment of japanese americans, 120,000 people, two-thirds of them citizens mostly from california, sent mostly the owens valley if you go to mammoth, you drive past the site. these were people who were not charged with any crime, much less found guilty. nevertheless they were imprisoned for four years of world war ii. when i teach about it. they ask how could this have happened, and what was it like for the japanese-americans who lived in manzanar for three or four years. this is what your book is about. >> well, how it happened is that it has happened again and again through american history starting with obviously the native americans the for
tories, who didn't support the revolution sided with the british, were killed or driven off their lands, and on and on through american hoyt, as each immigrant group was kind of pulled into the country for labor, the chinese to build the railroads, the eastern europeans for the steel industry. northern europeans for farming. and we knew all along there was great deal of hatred, prejudice that they weren't like us, until they were us. and all of the people in this room come from those people. so, it is happening again and again, and i ten to write books -- a second question -- how was it? how would you like living in a horse stable in santa anita for months and then being transferred into tar paper
shacks without plumbing, without heat without cooking facilities. in the most warren parts of america where the ten relocation centers were places no one ever lived before or ever would again. tulie lake in california, is a lava bed. manzanar was built on the dried-up remains of owen valley -- of owens lake. one of the kids from l.a. who went -- found out she was coming to tulie lake, packed -- they were allow ode to bring only what they could carry, which usually meant two suitcases. but she packed a bathing suit because she was going to tulie lake without knowing there had not been water in the lake for 500 years. as i said, i guess i write books
in batches. i wrote a trilogy of presidential biographies, of kennedy, nixon, and reagan and the last book i did before this was about the berlin air lift. and i wrote that book because of abu ghraib. these were the better angels of our nature at that time, as lincoln said and i wrote the book because i did not feel that the america i grew up in and the america i'm hopelessly in love with, was the same as abu ghraib. then as things escalated that was the angel side -- i wanted to keep islams out of -- i wanted to write about the dark history of america which was
dramatized in these so-called relocation camps or pioneer colonies. and the beginning of the book really is about the toxic mix of fear racism, greed, and fear, racism greed, put out because the californians, led by the attorney general of the state, man named earl warren, wanted the land, the fishing boats -- at that time japanese accounted for 40% of the agriculture in the state of california. of course when they were sent to the camps their bank accounts were frozen. so that they then lost all their land to foreclosure. to their caucasian neighbors. which is what in many ways it's
all about. the first driver was the press including the newspaper that paid the rent for this room to say nothing of the hearst papers both here in l.a. and san francisco, who felt, although they got the line from earl warren that a jap is a jap and you can't trust them you can't tell them apart, and we've got to lock them up. the villains -- this not a book about japanese, it's a book about americans on both sides of the barbed wire. as john mentioned, two-thirds of the people incarcerated -- they were not interned. that's a legal term meaning you're an alien. two-thirds of them were american insides, born in the u.s.a. their parents could not -- no oriental could become a citizen
of the united states between -- after the oriental exclusion act of 1924, until the japanese were allowed to apply for naturalization in 1952. after they had spent the better part or some of them -- of their lives in prisons. so that on the one side of the fence, the villains are people we revere, from the outroar, the fear that the press -- much of it made up -- the battle of los angeles was one of the famous battles of world war ii. you may remember when after 12 hours of firing shells, we still missed the enemy, which was a navy weather balloon. so that people were terrified. the press was feeding that. politicians, as always, would follow the press, and among the people who come out as villains in the book, are franklin
roosevelt, who signed the order putting the japanese into these camps, and a strain -- strange fellow, roosevelt, a hero but believer in thing like eugenics and felt that the japanese were 2,000 years behind caucasians. we learn that wasn't true. 2,000 years behind because of the shape of their skull. so he wanted to institute a national program to change the shape of their skulls over 2,000 years so they wouldn't be so aggressive. germans, he wanted them all castrated. earl warren was the attorney general of california, and he was the one who sold the idea of putting the people into prison to the press. he made up maps showing how
close japanese americans lived to military bases, to airfields, to forts to fuel depots to power lines without mentioning, of course, they had been there for 50 years. before the bases were built or the power lines were sent. and earl warren's theory, which he articulated many times in the press and in -- before congress was that the fact that there was never a single act of japanese sabotage in world war ii, that was proof that they were planning a big one and it would all be directed from tokyo. roger baldwin, the founder of the aclu forbid -- aclu attorneys -- he was a friend of roosevelts -- forbid any aclu attorneys to file suits which
mentioned race as being a factor. in all of this. of course race was the factor to many people. after all, we were fighting germany and italy at the same time and if we do the same thing to them as we did to the 120,000 japanese on the west coast, we would have had to build prison comps for 50 million people -- prison camps for 50 million people, including many of us in this room. but baldwin would not let the aclu attorneys mention race and the young ones the real civil libertarians, quit and the aclu almost collapsed over that. walter lippmann then the greatest columnist in the country, best known columnist, most intellectual columnist in the best papers met with earl warren for a long lunch and then repeated almost word for
word in two columns warren's arguments why the japanese should be put in concentration camps. two days after the column. roosevelt signed and gave him real cover with liberals -- roosevelt signed executive order 9066 which put the japanese behind -- japanese-americans behind bashed wire. edward r. murrow, from the state of washington, gave a series of speeches arguing that when the west coast was bombed by the japanese, if you looked up a lot of them would be wearing university of washington sweat shirts or wearing university of washington rings. and finally, the cartoonist, the most liberal newspaper in the country, p.m. in new york, did a series of cartoons the most famous of which showed
buck-toothed japanese coming down the whole coast and picking up dynamite and saying with telescopes looking for orders from tokyo. his name was dr. seuss. >> dr. seuss. wow. >> i'll just finish the one thing. the living considers were horrible by any standards. they were worse than prisoner of war camps oregon -- camps, on the other hand, the americans deal with problems we, by moving on, and we did move on, and there's no doubt in my mind that brown v. topeka which was written by the same earl warren desegregating public facilities in the south, was a direct
effect redemption, of the incarceration. in his oral history berkeley does gigantic oral histories of california governors. in the sixth day of questioning amelia frye, the woman doing the questioning, at berkeley, finally said to warren, after talking about all his triumphs and i want to talk now about 19 -- what happenin' 1942. warren broke into tears walked out of the room and never came back. >> richard reeves. [applause] >> we'll have a lance to come back to this in the question period. i would have thought it was impossible at this point to come up with a new store about abraham lincoln and the civil war. but scott martelle has succeeded. the author of four other books,
including blood, passion, the ludlow massacre and class war in the northwestern west himself new book is "the mad man and the assistant: the strange life of the as sane of abraham lincoln. welcome back scatter martelle last tuesday was the 1 other anniversary of the anation of abraham lincoln. everybody know who killed him what john wilkes booth but the man who killed john wilkes booth would be the ultimate footnote to ahead. if a grad student told me they watched to write a ph.d dissertation in history on your subject, your topic week have said it's impossible help was famous for ten minutes, not even 15 minutes, maybe -- it would be nice to know about him but you'll never be able to get enough material. but you have done it. you have filed this guy's life
is immensely revealing about a lot of things in the american history, starting with the civil war and religion in the 19th 19th century, politics in the 19th century. but we didn't know any of that. you didn't know how it would be possible to write this when you started it. what made you think there was a whole book that could be written about korbet and how were you able to get enough material on this obscure guy to write this excellent book? >> i didn't really know i could at first. i just finished my previous book, which was about a guy who went to find john paul jones' body in paris, missing for 100 years, beginning with the french revolution, and i was looking for another idealism had a couple of dry holes and my editor at the chicago retrue press send me an e-mail and asked if i ever had or boston korbet. he castrated himself and killed john wilkes booth.
if anything know anything about him, that's the only thing they know, he castrated him. so i thought i'm a journalist i can run with that. the rest doesn't matter. right? but it wasn't quite that easy. it took a lot of digging around. before we knew we had enough material for a book. i had a year to do this book, quick turn-around. so i researched, 40 years in the daily journal and i discovered that in 1878, he had done a homestead in kansas. he moved to kansas well after the war and while he was out -- he was porn in london, moved to new york, raised in new york city so he was a city kid and went to kansas to be a farmer and that worked out about as well as you expect it would. and he had spent nearly five months in the andersonville
prison camp. that is an absolutely horror of a place and ruined his health. he decided to apply for a government pension military pension, and to do that you have to file all these affidavits and get people to write affidavits about what you were like when you were healthy, which is before the war. about the nature of the injuries and what his physical life was like now. so that was a treasure trove of material. the pension bureau record inside the national archives. and spoiler alert. co-core bette disappeared from an insane asylum and a man claiming to be boston corbett saying get me declared uninsane, and the guy who was appointed guardian of his estate, realized
this wasn't the real boston corbett so he began filing complaints and the government began investigating the guy and the big investigation came up who is the real boston corbett and the lawyer traveled to new jersey at one point to talk to people who knew corbett in the early part of his life and so the treasure trove of material from that stuff. and as corbett's guardian he had all of corbett's letters. so there's self hundred letters people had written to corbett. he had the pension file affidavits the investigator stuff. i knew him when he was in new york and healthy and 20. little stories, and his ten minutes of fame was actually more like three hours. he was an early celebrity. so you read the newspapers from that era and there are stories all over the country about boston corbett, most wrong. so people were tracking him during that time. as that happened, there were these interesting memoirs and recollections, people who had been at andersonville with him.
so as the historian that -- once you find where that little thread is to pull, i was amazed how much material was out there to get on him. except for his early life. i sort of struck out london years. >> you told "the los angeles times" in an interview you found yourself sympathetic to boston corbett. i wonder why that was and whether you thought that is important to making the book a success? >> if you go online and look at boston corbett you see the guy was a crazy religious zealot. i mentioned the self-castration. he -- his wife died when he was young help was stilt a healthy young male. all in the book. but he had a sexual young man's libido and was a street creature and his libido kept getting in the way of his pros the tieding so hi took a pair of
scissors one day -- >> we are on live tv here family hour. >> not looking for a demonstration. >> and even worse is dinnertime on the east coast. sorry about that. but after doing this, corbett went out to dinner and then went to a prayer meeting and then he came home and decided he ought to see a doctor and spent a month in a hospital in boston. and that is the ludicrous extreme because of his religious faith, and i'm not a person of faith but i began to build sympathy for him. he genuinely thought if he lived every minute of every hour of every day of every week of his life he could lead the perfect christian existence and he was living in new york, working as a finisher making no money and he was an alcoholic after his wife died. so we find drunks in the streets, pick them up, bring them back to his room, and dry them out, clean them up, get them sober, get them a job push
them out, go find another one, and he lived his life like that you. have to admire somebody with that kind of devotion to not saying i'm other christian but to actually living that day-to-day. liked the guy. >> thank you scott mar tele. [applause] >> edward larson is win of the pulitzer prize in history for this book summer for the goads. the scopes trial and america's continuing debate over science and religion. he is university professor of hit -- history at pepperdine and received the richard russell teaching award from the university of georgia himself new book which we are talking about today is "the return of george washington, 1783 to 1789." please welcome to the l.a. festival of books, ed larson.
>> scott wrote a book about a person nobody knows anything out. i looked in amazon, how many books with the name of george washington in the title, 65,261. you have written one more. you are brave man, and we salute you for that. most historians would regard this as impossible finding something new to say about george washington but you have citiedded magnificently in this book, as the constitution, not a small thing yet somehow neglected by 55,261 other historians. how did you come up with this, and what exactly is new in your book? >> well, thank you. i'm glad you agree there's
something new there what i do with my books the book you mentioned, the one that won the pulitzer prize, the scopes trial, fit that standard. what i do is i try to take a subject that people know a lot about, or at least think they know a lot about. this widely known, and find gaps in the historical research. so with the scopes book, for example, as much as we all knew it from the wonderful play and great movie, "inherit the wind" and from reading" only yesterday." a classic book of the 1930s, no historianed a ever written a book about the scopes trial. so i was able to brick historical message to and it up pack it as an historian would and two of my biggest fans became bob lee and jerry lawrence, who wrote "inherit the wind." he said we were really talk about mccarthyism and we used that vehicle. so i followed that up with a book on the galapagos island.
but i dealt -- not focused on darwin's work there but all the other scientific work done, and a lot of it i researched wright in this building because this is named for allen hancock and allen hancock, and the early usc was the main funder along with stanford, of research in the galapagos island and allen hancock would take his ship there every year, and so i got to read about that and learn all about that. and then similarly with the 1800 book the 1800 election book, because no one ever unpacked the 1800 election book as a current event, such as making of the president in 1960, and doing it that way rather than in a broad scope. looking for gaps in the literature in the historical literature was -- and that's how i came to the washington book. i never thought i'd write a book
about george washington but what it was for years i taught american history at university of georgia for years, some when you teach american history as the survey card, you spend a couple days on the american revolution and it's all about george washington and then you spend a couple days talking about the cob -- confederation period and the country was going to hell in a hand basket. the british had not evacuated the forts in the west and the frontiers people were making deals with the spanish to flip that way, and how vermont was conspiring with the british to leave america and join the -- join british canada, and of course, the rebellion, which frightened washington greatly in massachusetts, and the radical printing of paper money in rhode island and georgia, where there was chaos and then see the native americans armed by the british and spanish retaking
most of georgia. literally the country was physicalling apart and each of the states were sovereign unto themselves because we were under articles of cob federation -- confederation which gave no power to central government. they can't raise taxes they couldn't have an army. they can't effectively run the country, and each state was competing against the other states to a -- aggrandize itself and causing the collapse of its whole and a great sense among europeans they were just going to re-annex the colonies. we talk about that, and then of course we go to the constitution and the presidency, and it's all about washington again. but in that middle two days when you're talking about the confederation you hear nothing about george washington. he disappeared. they say he went home to his -- mt. vernon and was a farmer again. even if you read biographies of washington, even great ones even the multivolume ones, when
they get to this period, they say he went home to mt. vernon. they talk about him as a farmer. there's something to say about him as a farmer. ... nine years without pay or leave leading the american army during the revolution the person who sent soldiers to their death, if he was very close to his officers many of them died, a person who does all this is sacrificed everything for the cause of independence of america, and also was motivated more than by power, more than by money, motivated by a desire tovated bydesi leavere a legacy. and his legacy was as he always called it, a government of thea
people where there was no republicanf government. rld. they were all monarchies or some sort of dictatorship and he h wanted to create a government of the people. he saw it all collapsing. he wouldn't care. you just sit out in mount vernon and do nothing. so i went back fortunate to get a fellowship from mount vernon who visited all the people visiting mount vernon to find out what he was during that period. i was a little like the famous book about eisenhower. he didn't want to put it forward because it would look like he would create the job of running the country, job he retired from. he really did want to be president, but he wanted -- he believed he was the product of the enlightenment. he believed in individual liberty. he believed in private property
and the sovereignty of america and he was engaged from the day he went back to the day he came back and was inaugurated. he was engaged before he went back with a circular letter to the state, which is the most widely known document at the time and fighting for a more perfect union. a consolidated government, a national government or of the software. so what i was able to follow with meetings happening of mount vernon, he would have done the people coming to mount erdmann. james madison spent the months before going to philadelphia going to mount vernon. george washington was involved in every meeting before the plane was created during the constitutional convention working with madison about working with morris, working with the others, he was orchestrating the creation of a
constitution during the ratification process. he was involved in that at every stage. so that sort of story hasn't been unpacked before. that is the story i thought when our constitution and government is challenged, he had strong polls that he was also working with all different people so he knew how to compromise. he was a retail as well as the wholesale politician. he had a goal and he produced -- i will just close i saved one comment. often people describe james madison as the architect of the constitution. that could well be true. he drafted large portions with governor morris and james wilson. as james madison the architect of the const duchenne i say george washington was a general contractor. if any of you out to house does the look more like a contractor having in mind who gets it done
a maoist george washington's role in it was a delight and privilege into me more than i expect it when i jumped into this project. i did ultimately to a boat. i thought it would lead to an article. but it's an exciting story and gave me a new vision of a sort of a later george washington was. [applause] >> edward larson. >> there is a dark side to the constitutional convention. of course that is slavery. washington of course was a slave owner. the word slavery famously does not appear in the constitution, but it is present in three different places, the three fifths clause about how slaves to be a representation in the house, the fugitive slave clause in the original constitution and there is a provision the slave trade could be respect you for a period of years.
so watching tim is a key figure in the final form of the the constitution. what was his role in the debate over slavery at the constitutional convention and in those final compromises? >> he was very much part of the compromises annihilate those out of the boat. people forget the electoral college would forget that for slavery. the people who decide to come to duchenne they wanted to have everyone vote here the southern states knew that half the people were slaves out voted by the north. the electoral college was a way to get the state disproportionate representation in choosing a president i worked with a series of presidents leading up to the civil war. washington was a part of all of them. he was troubled by slavery which makes him different in a
way that jefferson and madison. he ended up freeing his slaves. his final decision to say this is the one we use any tears that want to give that frees the slaves. he's been pushed during the revolution. he was very close during the revolution. i was very close, very loyal. with a man who had very close friends that hamilton lafayette, all took a very strong position against slavery and pleaded with them during the revolution to free slaves as a symbol to everyone now said he agonized over that decision. realize how important it was and keeping the union together in the event becoming a main concern. benjamin franklin to his credit takes a much bigger lead in trying to oppose lavery.
he goes on with the constitution and its justification and he met often with washing them and may have involved somewhat. franklin who is the creator of the society of america said if we don't see the union there never will be slavery in the south because patrick henry was trying to leave the south in two the consideration in washington may have been involved somewhat but certainly wasn't often working out compromises because he believed the south would never stand without the compromises. >> thank you. at larson. the >> we have a chance for the panelist to talk to each other ask questions for each other. would anyone like to converse? did you get the sense washington's approach to slavery was based in his personal morality or because he stood to gain, he lost his three laborer.
>> washington had inherited a variety of slaves working on mount vernon. most of the slaves came through and married very well. >> we all did. he thought he would have to work for a living and by his brother's death he ended up inheriting land but then there is the richest widow in the state who brought many, many slaves with her. he couldn't create those ways anyway but deeper down secret is kept slaves and made them employees of some sort. he cut it for that out individually. in a larger sense he was in a slave state in many southern states oddly enough the only reason south carolina fought in the war it was protecting liberty to own slaves. he knew he was dealing with the
citizen that pull together and deep down he believed the whole system as it was at that time would collapse without it and takes time to make changes. he ended doing that and it's better than nothing. it is a far cry from what we should expect from him and a far cry from what we had with hamilton and franklin over we had with hancock or others who actually did the sacrifice and did not slaves. >> moving on the question, to today, how christian were his buddies on how christian was the const to duchenne? >> george washington stopped attending church during the revolutionary war. he would go when he was president, but always made a
point of leaving before communion. the minister was the great airship of philadelphia police george washington did not believe in the christian revelation. before the revolution he had a large plantation and he was on the vestry and a large plantation. from everything i've been able to read, george washington like most of the other founding fathers was some sort of a unitarian. he had a profound sense of providence and the profound sense of providence and belief in god was critical to his whole world view. u.s. many theists are not sick. he profoundly believed in providence would probably put them somewhere in the category of a unitarian. that would be true of jefferson probably more unitarian. same with franklin at the end.
they come out somewhere because if you want to get a christian during this period, you would look at witherspoon or john jay. >> i was fascinated by both of your books. i have long been fascinated by your work by the whole japanese internment. i thought about how warring could have gone through this. do you think at the time believed what it was too ignorant do you think at the time he was angling because this is a great step to higher office and ends up becoming the most popular governor in history. >> i think that he acted not as a believer, but as a politician. this is what the public wanted. people were afraid and he rode the back of the history to the
governorship against culvert olson who had been asked that were less vigorous in condemning japanese americans. i want to mention one thing about the world intern med. if you deal with people who live in this world. internment is something done. enemy aliens interned during wartime. so while the word internment has lived on is what happened with the japanese, for most of them they were not aliens. they recently jailed. not interned. they have no rights no charges, no nothing. >> i have another question. .com and you say in your book he was a celebrity after he killed john wilkes booth. we are very familiar with the term celebrity in our society.
it must've been something different in 1865. >> not really. we think of celebrities in terms of social media twitter him old world knows that happens. we are at the early stages of that because the telegraph party existed. the research was fascinating. he was killed within a day or two all of you can go online the library of congress and do this chronicling america site just skimming from the early days. he threw in the years 1860 and plug in boston corp. its name in january 19th of february nothing marcia and come the end of april his salary the country. anybody with any access who
lived in a settled village area with the local paper and telegraph he was within 48 hours of the time he killed moose. obviously torn times. to the north he was a hero. to the south he killed a hero. 30 was getting hate spiders. i'm not a psychologist, but he had paranoia perhaps bipolar. definitely a fear of organizations. the brothers were out of the secret societies coming to get them. he carried a gun everywhere. he shut down the court proceeding. every time this happened and zips around the country. people are following what was happening and they went crazy in
1887 and started all over again and it disappeared from the insane asylum a year later. >> just say a word about what might've been the cause of his mental illness, his paranoia. >> hard to diagnose 150 years on but not as a hatter. he was a silk hat and assured by trade. they used that to comprise so who knows how much of that he inhaled. >> so mad as a hatter refers to the mercury poisoning of an occupational hazard of being a hat maker. and boston corbett was not as a hatter. >> while we're at it i would ask all of us how has the
internet changed your work and how is it affect in history? >> my first visit about 1913-14. there were two investigations. i had to live several hundred dollars to copies of those things nine years ago. you can go to google books and look at it for free. that has been a huge change to me anyway. >> i agree it's made a major change, a fundamental change. it started of course with printing press and added with the telegraph and telephone, but with the internet, it is almost like the world is connect did. so even though my topics tend to
be back with there wasn't internet than i used archives in papers and letters and ulcers affect tv there's so much in the internet and you can call in an expert. i will e-mail you the expert on this particular issue that i'm dealing with when i am unpacking slavery. i'll go to the expert during the revolutionary. her of dealing with ratification. i can go right to pauline at m.i.t. and asked him a question. i sort of get the comparison is like the world is becoming one great ape brained and we can interact in ways -- we can collect -- it does collect the information. you're able to access so much more. i would have a long time getting through the library because i'm dealing with books out of
copyright, so they are copied in there and i can pull them up right away. the consent ideas out and get feedback right away. that sort of networking is empowering just a working history. imagine in physics or engineering or other areas and it's able to speed out so tremendously our acquisition and development of knowledge to me as an historian who looks back it is almost frightening it must be working in poetry literature, and i think it is just an exciting time to be alive. >> it is below mind approach. when you google journalists you may not necessarily get the full answer. the danger of online research is to go to archives. the online stuff tells you where
they are but you have to go and do the work. the danger of the internet is stopping google. >> richard, what about you? >> i will give it in and it showed. on the day at "the new york times" put its entire archive online i stayed up until 3:00 in the morning. i was writing a book on a physicist, the great british businesses. the new zealand -- member of the british empire was very famous in his time. i don't know if he know if he's as famous as boston was. i sat there using his name from 1861 every time ernest rutherford was mentioned in "the new york times," read it job
offers. i finally went to bed sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 at night. my wife said what have you been doing? i just did five months work. >> we have a few minutes for questions. it is for questions. that is an interrogatory statement rather than a declarative statement. we have microphones. you have the microphone back there? is there a question or over there? who has their hand up? here is one. >> just following up on the question about the internet. your book wouldn't have been possible if you hadn't taken the fellowship of mount vernon to be fair with the original document. that is a disconnect, right?
>> absolutely. you cannot trust wikipedia for facts. but it can be tremendously helpful starting point. if you can send a check in on the internet and i internet and it disagrees come you've got to go a little closer. doing the source to work all three of us do we need to do interviews. we need to do the hard step of going in archives. what the internet can do with some of those documents, an increasing number are available on the internet. second you can directly contract contact other experts on the idea of sending a letter or making a phone call. you don't have a clear record talking on the phone. it has those advantages. i would not hurt -- i never used a quote from somebody else's boat. so if i read about another
historian and they take a quote, i have to go back to the original source because i can't trust exactly how they quoted it. it's not a pejorative to them. they may have cut it out in some way. i always have to go back to the original sources but the internet can help you find the sources can't actually access some of them and can be drawn on as a political resource. it has speeded up how quickly i can do a book that i think is credible history. take the time cut in half. >> one thing about richard's project. if you're in just an experience of the people imprisoned, there are a few memoirs, they miss memoirs, but the great majority of the people are not found in print archives. out of the newspapers and for that you have to go someplace like the japanese museum where
there is lots of handwritten diary entries and handmade photographs. >> there is also what was a history of white people who served in combat, the adult japanese rarely ever talk about what it had been, especially to their own children and grandchildren. ironically, it was the black civil rights movement which mobilized young japanese-americans to begin to ask their parents what did you do during the war daddy? at that point most of the work began -- most of the literature began at that point and it was interestingly it was largely memoir and there was largely done for young adults, including the most famous return which is
required reading for students in california so that also when the japanese with getting their sense of pride and self-esteem and decided they would tell their stories. a marvelous organization called bend show.org which was founded by japanese intellectuals and teachers and has done thousands of oral histories on videotape of those people and index them and that is the kind of resource that didn't exist before the internet and didn't exist before young people begin to say what happened. >> another question. right here.
>> richard, i do question about attitude of the rest of the country towards the japanese and towards the hole in terms. i grew up in a neighborhood in the southside of chicago chicago with all japanese-americans. i found out later they were all for they were off the man's an hour and came to chicago to work. what was the general tenor of the rest? >> obviously was a west coast story. if you could find a job in another part of the country, you could move to that part in chicago, minneapolis and indianapolis were the three cities that most of the young japanese. they were young. nurses secretaries accountants. however among the people i interviewed was the wife of a
couple who moved to indianapolis. he was a certified public accountant and she worked as a kind of chief clerk in an organizatorganizat ion. they lived in indianapolis for 25 years and she told me not a single person i talked to their friends were caucasian have heard of the internment. and of course if they did here the government maintained tight control and they kind of made in look like grossing her because they would censor all the pictures and words that came out. the most frustrating people, the great photographer and dorothea lange, another great photographer has two things frustrating them. the japanese always wanted to put their best face forward. the address. they would smile and the
government censor the pictures to make sure the pictures that showed certain parts of actual life did not appear during the war. they didn't know this was happening. >> i'm glad you mentioned minneapolis. they invited st. thomas, all us. they didn't allow them. a lot of the japanese started as transfer students >> at this institution they were arkansas.
.. [inaudible] >> there probably was one attempted escape in all of, all of the 10 camps. and he got to the railroad he was in wyoming, got to the railroad terminal and suddenly realize that he was not going to be safe outside, and returned afterwards. people, the soldiers who were guarding them, the first thing the evacuees were told that
they're being put in these camps to protect them against the white population. as they reached the camps finally they realized the machine guns were not pointed out. they were pointed in. at tanks outside were not pointed out. they were pointed in. but there was no real they were in places where they couldn't -- manzanar is in between two towns, lone pines and independence in california. i would guess combined population of those two towns about 800 people. so there was no way to escape. and even when the government just before they open the camp gave japanese permission to leave the western states, and if they could get past california, actually get past the sierras they could live as japanese did in new york or chicago as free
people. in each case they were met at the ports of call met at the borders of colorado arizona, of idaho by armed vigilante mobs which drove them back. no one would sell them food. no one would sell them water. and they had to return to california and the camps. they hadn't been in the camps yet, but there were no escapes and there were perhaps three dozen shootings. the most famous of which was because a man who happened to be deaf, japanese men, was walking by the barbed wire inside. the guard was yelling at him to stop. he was too close, and then he didn't respond to the guard shot him, kill him. the guard was court-martialed and found guilty and penalized 1 dollar for illegal use of
government property. in other words double the cost a dollar. >> i'm afraid our time is up there, to think richard reeves, scott martelle and ed larson for it -- [applause] >> [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on twitter and facebook, and we want to hear from you. tweet us twitter.com/booktv, or post a comment on our facebook page facebook.com/of tv. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> this last weekend i just
finished the book about churchill and roosevelt during world war ii, the exact title is -- forged in war by warren kimble. and i found it very fascinating because most of the books i read our history and even though i was a teenager during world war ii, you kind of living again but to get into real detail when you read something like about roosevelt and churchill. you know, you think you know both of them because they are outstanding people, but you really don't know much about their details and ticket to read it. and i want to say to you that i started now on a book called "heart," and it's by dick cheney and dr. ryan are the doctor who has been dick cheney's heart
doctor for well i suppose about 25 or 30 years and was involved with his heart transplant. and so in this book you'll learn about dr. reiner as an outstanding heart specialist and also about dr. reiner taking care of dick cheney with several heart attacks over a period up until now and he's still living, but you hear how he reacts to his health which also relived the time i served with him in the congress as a congressman, secretary of defense and a ceo of a major corporation. and then lastly being vice president of the united states. >> booktv wants to know what you are reading this summer. tweet us at booktv or you can post it on our facebook page
facebook.com/booktv. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 at the top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv television for serious readers. .. >> this week on "the communicators," we talk with members of congress and entrepreneurs about the problems facing technology companies, especially in the area of patents. we also look at some of the new
technologies these companies are developing. this is at a tech fair called ces on the hill. >> host: austin meyer, with a company named laminar research, what is it? >> guest: the company i formed created a flight simulator that lets pilots practice flying on the computer, they can then fly the real airplane more safely. it also lets aerospace companies test out new aircraft designs on the computer so they can see how those airplanes will fly before they cut aluminum and carbon fiber, and the test pilots will be more prepared because they'll have practiced on the simulator first. >> host: what interest would congress have is or what interest do you have in congress? >> guest: i'm being sued by a patent holder for selling my app. about three and a half years ago, i got a call from a lawyer in texas saying he offered to defend me in the patent-killing lawsuit i'd