tv Michael Medved The American Miracle CSPAN October 15, 2017 9:15am-9:31am EDT
>> here's a look at upcoming book fairs and festivals around the country. we are live from the southern festival of books in nashville with talks from the city's central library. later in the month, the boston book festival and louisiana festival in baton rouge will happen on the same day, october 28. we will be live from to state capitals, look for us at the texas book festival in austin and the wisconsin book festival in madison and later we will be live from miami-dade college for the miami book fair. authors will include alfred can, best-selling for walter isaacson, nbc news katie couric and many more.
for information about upcoming book fairs and festivals and to watch previous festival coverage, click the book fairs tab on our website, booktv.org. >> you are watching book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. we are at the paris hotel for freedom fest libertarian convention where we are interviewing authors speaking here. up next with us, michael medved. here's his most recent book, "the american miracle: divine providence in the rise of the republic". mister medved, what was your goal with this book? >> my goal was to answer a fundamental question that i think has profound consequence to all our politics and all our culture and the way americans feel about our country. the question is how did america rise to world dominance? it would have been unpredictable from the perspective of the 1600s before america had even begun to be settled.north america was largely wilderness, likely settled. there was a disparate number of native american cultures.
and all of a sudden you had in historical times the world dominance in terms of military power, economic power and culture is here in north america. often today he politically correct answer is america rose to world power because you america are uniquely guilty. we're guilty of exploiting slave labor, trading genocide against native americans, despoiling the environment, oppressing people, engaging in imperialism abroad. you'll hear that in many universities but that is not what every significant american leader has believed. those leaders believed that the rise of the united states occurred through divine providence because the dispensation by a higher power to use this country to
uplift the whole world. that was the belief of jefferson who was religiously unconventional to say the least . of lincoln, who was also religiously unconventional through franklin roosevelt. i would argue and i do argue in the book that that is a far more reasonable belief than any alternative. the reason for that is people may say that america benefited from a series of happy accidents but a pattern of happy accidents is still a pattern. it's evidence not of random evolution, but of design. of a pattern, of a purpose. i think that is a sense that americans should regain. >> of your book your rights, looking for indications of faith or providence in the broad sweep of history, there's scant connection to assert for the divine countenance. >> yes, in other words one of the things people say is that they will take a look at some
of the stories, there was recently one where there was a stain in a car window and it looked a little bit like the virgin mary. okay, fine. that's fine but that's actually trying to look at some little thing as an indication of something big. what i do in the american miracle, what i do in my book is to look at big things that are evidence of an even bigger thing. the point is not that america has been uniquely good, that we are uniquely deserving of some kind of divine reward. it's what lincoln said, the last three chapters in the book are about lincoln and his spiritual struggle with what he was meant to do. and lincoln used the term repeatedly at least 12 times in private correspondence, and public statements that he saw himself as the instrument
of a higher power. not as the author of a design . but as an instrument of that design. that i think has been consistently the american idea. that great song written in 1893 by a lady who came to the kathy lee bates who came to the top of pike's peak and looked out, she says america, god shed his grace on the. one of the characteristics of grace is its undeserved. it is as robert frost said in his inaugural poem, a gift outright. it's a gift that's given and it's a gift that's given that america can serve a higher purpose. that seems undeniable. i'll give you one example. napoleon bonaparte, one of the great converts in human
history, someone known for seizing territory, what is it that led him to the consternation of most of his advisers including his own two brothers who tried to stop him, to give away a sickly for peanuts and area five times the size of transit itself, the louisiana purchase? we have 15 states carved out of that. double the size of the country. when jefferson brought that deal home, a deal he didn't look for and he wasn't expecting, it was napoleon giving it to the country, or issue gates said there is an air of enchantment to it. and alexander hamilton who was jefferson's great rival, just shortly before he was at school, hamilton wrote that clearly this is a sign of divine providence. there's no other explanation. he gives credit to god then to thomas jefferson but still, the story depends upon
about 15 different things happening in a peculiar way and then the result is this. one of those things that happened was the only time in all human history, in the 5000 years where we have historical records, only once has there been a slave rebellion that was successful, in haiti. what i talk about in the book is the way that slave rebellion forced bonaparte's hand. and led to this huge tract of land being essentially given to the united states. >> are there any temporary examples of divine providence as you call it? >> there are, not in this book but in the book i'm working on right now. this is a book that's the first part of a two-part series. >> and this covers american
miracles. >> between 1620 and the arrival of the pilgrims. and the end of the civil war and lincoln's assassination. if you want to look at a contemporary event that are extraordinary to the country and i think you can look back now and see it, the end of the cold war. and america's victory in the cold war which became clear and apparent in 1989. >> depended on two old men in 1981, both of whom took bullets that came in both cases with in a quarter of an inch of clearly telling him and should have. ronald reagan who he would have bled to death if his
insurance agent had followed what the president wanted. you wanted to go back to the white house and he said you have to go right to the white house, he said the hospital and he was very close to death. if reagan dies and 81, john paul ii, the roman catholic died in 1981, if those bullets go a little further this way or that way, it's very likely that the cold war does not end the same way that it did, the infinite blessing of humanity. i still have distant relatives in russia and as bad as things may be in russia right now, this is not the old soviet union. when you look at the axis of poland, and ukraine and the czech republic and slovakia, they're all aligned with the west. these are miracles, you may be old enough to remember but 30 years ago, if you were
exempting this to someone that this was likely, they say you were not. >> poland is going to be part of nato, are you kidding me? in any event, this is a very big development in all of human history. what other one. >> and again, this goes back to the book. i was teaching with this yesterday at freedom fest. with someone who was here and who's a mexican national, and there was this incredible aspect to the end of the mexican war. is there was a very big push in washington dc by the public administration and by democrats in congress. for what was called the all mexico movement. we won the war, occupying mexico, there were a group of
largely southerners wanted to annex all of mexico and create 15 minutes safe. >> because they to the south, even though mexico itself was very anti-slavery. >> in any event, president paul said first in the state department, his name was nicholas tripp who was jefferson's last private secretary, married jefferson's granddaughter. in any event, nicholas is negotiating with mexico. and he does not see a race to see anti-slavery, the idea of the united states taking over all of mexico. he's trying to negotiate and get a deal. tires in. >> says you are no longer representing the united states, no more negotiation. >> speaks to his mexican counterpart and says sure, we like you. >> he continues to negotiate, pope sends a new message. and it says i am sending troops, they will arrest you, we will bring you back in chains. >> chris treats right on
negotiating. february 2, he signed the treaty of guadalupe. which purchases on something first he's concerned about. which was in california is ceded to the united states, we took over in california. okay, here's the deal. when he heard about this is going to rip up thetreaty, not pay any attention, it's unofficial . the same week that he finished the treaty, there is a goal outside of sacramento, he had no way of knowing. >> and so when the treaty arrives, it's a masterstroke, people are applauding, he's gotten all his goals and that changed america because it was the gold reserves that came out of the california gold rush that fueled this enormous expansion of the american economy.
they had the greatest gold reserves in the world, thank you nicholas perez and thank you providence. >> in his book michael medved quotes walter mcdougall saying the usa is the central event of the past 400 years. the book is called "the american miracle: divine providence in the rise of the republic" and michael medved is the author and we are book tv on location at the freedom fest in las vegas. >> here's a look at authors recently featured on book tvs afterwords. former radio host and msnbc contributor charles sykes provided his thoughts on the conservative movement in america, investigative
journalist mark levine reported on the mental health industry, the new york magnetite magazine contributor susie hampton reflected on her travels abroad and weighed in on america's global standing. in the coming weeks, federal judge john newman will reflect on his career as a prosecutor and now as a federal appellate judge. >> for face nation ever bought cheap will examine the role of the media and this weekend on afterwards craig shirley will discuss the life of newt gingrich. >> in the bush white house, they did everything they can to stop them being elected. they said supported ed madigan. who was from illinois, a moderate and established republican and he urged and if eaten by one vote and the bush white house is apoplectic about this because he is not going to carry water for the bush white house and gingrich is very much his own man. >> talked about gingrich and butch, fried chicken versus filet and non-. explain that. >> bush is the cultural difference between the two, gingrich was not from georgia but he assimilated into georgia.
i've been down there campaigning with him, i've seen him and how easily he moves in that culture. so and bush was just of a different era and a different culture. it's just, i think culture trumps everything. from ideology, party, everything. everything is about where you come from or what you represent and what environment you live in. >> this airs on book tv every saturday at 10 pm and sunday at 9 pm and pacific. >> -- good evening everyone
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