tv In Depth David Ignatius CSPAN August 25, 2018 12:06am-1:04am EDT
miracle of new orleans, the battle that shaped america's destiny. watch live on c-span twos book tv next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> up next is the first hour of the fiction addition of in-depth with david ignatius. his written many novels including agents of innocence, blood money, body of lies in the quantum spy. >> david, what is the premise of the quantum spy? >> guest: that the united states is locked in a new project in race to bill technology that is world changing and that is a quantum computer. our principal rival in that race
is china. but i posted as far as the facts. the quantum spy is a novel that imagines characters involved in intelligence battle to see who can steal the other secrets about this world changing technology, is principally the story of my hero he's a cia officer asked to penetrate this chinese intelligence service and learns things about himself and the cia and how the world works that shake them up to his foundation. we also see how the chinese intelligence service not so familiar, we all feel we have been in moscow center with carla, russian spy world is very familiar to us, the chinese not so much. the pleasures for me and writing
takes us into the world of the mystery of state security. it's the principle antagonist of this book for the cia. >> how much of it is true or real? i always say in the preface is to my books that they exist in an imaginable world they tell people if you take any book i write think it's a recipe for how to bake a cake, you will end up with a mud pie. it has all sorts of things thrown in. i tried to do research for every novel. the quantum spy is my tenth novel. i researched it for many months. i went to the computer laboratories were there being experimented with an where one is being built. i travel to every place in the
book i studied the chinese intelligence service in different ways. my answer would be, it's a novel characters don't exist in real life but it is drawn from real life. it is as real as i can make it be is still be a work of fiction. >> one of the complexes about science and if it should be open and share. and you wrote that science has no-fly. >> science should not have flights. the problem when you have this superpowerful technology, the reason it's so important is because if you build a quantum computer it can shred any system. it would essentially render all of your adversaries most secrets euro. it has that real purpose in the
world. >> when it comes to quantum computing, is it the future? >> quantum computing is coming at us fast. in my book i describe the technology that is a kind of quantum computing. they say it is actually quantum kneeling. i won't bore your details with the details. it assembles -- the standard computer is bits that are either on or off. quantum computers are made up of qubits. they are zero and one at the same time. they have an ambiguous state and that means is you assemble these qubits and entangle them to use
the phrase technologist use, you begin to build a computer and because it goes in every direction simultaneously it is more powerful than any supercomputer ever built. it would take thousands of years even for the most powerful that could be done in a few seconds just because of the power. so, whoever gets that technology is going to have an instrument that will be potentially world changing and could change our world in other ways. discovering drugs or new materials. even that involves lots of consultation simulation, the computers will be able to do an entirely different way. used to be said that this was 20 years out of possible. then people said maybe ten years out.
the most recent estimates i heard was maybe five years. there is a company based in vancouver that has built this quantum kneeler that has assembled 2000 qubits thinking you powerful calculations in some areas. talk to people who do technology they get excited. you asked earlier about classification. a lot of computer research is open. our it companies change the world, they have proprietary limits on technology but it was not classified. with something that has so many military applications, there has been for 20 years and effort to take some of the most sensitive
technologies involved and do some of that research with classification. right first found out about it was disclosure of the nsa's secret black budget. there is a big chunk of funding for quantum computing. there is a battle going on between scientists who want the most "possible where we share information and ideas and we have graduate students from wherever, we don't worry about control of information. others say this is too valuable to our country that you not have brought germans into los alamos. they argue that we need controls. >> host: that's one of the
themes. >> harris chain, our hero grew up in flagstaff, arizona as he says at one point, i bleed red white and blue. served in the army in iraq, recruited into the cia. it feels entirely american. it never occurred to him that his ethnic background will be subject to manipulation. he finds that both for the chinese and for some americans who doubt him because his ancestry, it ends up being central and deeply upsetting and
coming to realize that people see the way that he doesn't see himself. by the end of the book and what readers describe he is quantum spy. >> has that been true in the intelligence community since the 40s, or whenever that someone's nationality or heritage affect how they are viewed? >> i think the intelligence community has been eager to use the richness of our national fabric to draw people who speak languages and have cultural skills, often some of the case officers who work and have russian or ukrainian or eastern european backgrounds often in the middle east people who speak -- they were drawn into that part of the operation.
the danger is when people feel they are just been seen in stereotypical ways he's good at this but not that. there's been a similar problem with gender, women for decades felt that although they were given responsible roles they were given a heart of what the cia does. they felt limited, their careers were stunted. that's another theme, a woman who felt she was in a sense robs of the success and experience she may have had because of her gender. she ended up having a deep rage about that.
>> with a novel like this, do start with a conclusion and work backwards? >> you start i think with the idea, the thing that you want to play with. i was always looking for something that i love as a journalist i love to report him find information. then i saw that the chinese were our principal rival. it wasn't until i could see the characters in space. and i literally started writing this book on this long playwriting. suddenly, and understood where the ball would start rolling in this tale. it was started in a hotel room in singapore. it's taking this themes in the
understanding and the places those characters are going to inhabit. then, to be honest the essential thing in writing this book is rewriting. get a first draft in which you have done your first rough sketch, then you need to go and ruthlessly and looks at what works and doesn't. the characters were fully developed and the ones that just don't work. sunni people to be honest with you and say, david this just is not there yet. you have to go back and do it again. that person for me principally was my wife. you can see the husband slaving away.
she would read it carefully and say, i just don't think it's this characters fully believable. so you go back and rewrite it. hopefully you get another honest evaluation. even the very best writers are capable of writing stuff that is not very good, not real. we need people who tell us that it's not their area. it's not there yet. i've learned over time not good enough. >> kate sturm, mike flanagan, what are those names projecting? >> they are projecting a diverse agency. a diverse agency is one.
in terms of a variable. one thing that has changed was thought to be an ivy league playground. it was thought that basically yell was the feeder school to the cia. it's more diverse. people from every educational background looking for the unconventional interest in black grounds. think there is a blue-collar side of the cia and white colored collared side. it's important part of the cia. you may run the airplanes and shut out the shooters to guard
the case officers to do this on glamorous stuff that you have to get done. the new mother blue-collar workers. they often have a chip on their shoulder. >> host: with those characters, they seem to have unlimited safehouses, unlimited money and resources. is that based on real life? >> i think the cia doesn't suffer for resources. it suffer sometimes for ideas. it suffers for our difficulty is a country in clandestine ways. americans are not great at keeping secrets or telling lies. there's a natural straightforwardness to the american character.
it was strongest in the cold war years it had the wind at its back. everybody around the world wanted to be america's friend. so are enormously powerful economy is the engine of prosperity. i once joked that in beirut it was hard to find a person that was not a cia contactor did not want to be seen as one because i'm a friend of america. today, they're more reluctant to be seen as friends of america. can get you killed today rather than help make a fortune. so when we had the wind at our back we are now going into a headwind. it's harder to find people to take those risks and when we do
find them were not always as good as we should be in protecting the secrets were sharing with the u.s. government. this is my tenth novel. my first one was published more than 30 years ago. over that time what i seen and has lost its way little bit. his struggles most of all with the way the world has changed where america was superpowerful and wanted to be her friend ness we see looking around the world, were not superpowerful. everybody doesn't want to be our friend. >> what i have noticed is is not necessarily a clear-cut good guy bad guy scenario. >> i think as we said they are painted in shades of gray and moral ambiguities tell us the work that is about.
it's the basic ambience of -- in my books, those who are most ruthless ruthless the clandestine operations of the agency and the quantum spy who is a tough character, if it's simple ask the state department to do it. if you want something complicated and morally complex we are the right people. operators like john blondel come i hope the reader will see us competent professionals. but they're all questions you ask about corners cut in here's chain asked more deeply about his colleagues.
he wonders if they are ruthless to the point of shattering the reason he got into the cia in the first place. >> your first book, 1987 came out, agents of innocence. takes place in beirut. you wrote it was obvious the only way i could share this world the fact was through fiction. what were you referring to? >> i had written for the wall street journal it was published in february of 1933. that front-page story said that the united states had recruited the leading terrace adversar asa
asset. this person had been enormously helpful saving thousands of american lives. it was fascinated in 1979 by israel which regarded them, with good reason as a terrorist. as someone who had taken israeli lives. the talk about the gray zone, this case had it. >> two months after i publish the article, the cia officer's name is robert ames, great american hero it was published two years ago called the good spy. he came to beirut and came to visit station it happen that i had a meeting with the military that same day. i left the embassy about 1230. just after 1:00 o'clock on that
day in april 1983, the biggest car bomb that anybody had seen in beirut exploded at the door of the embassy i had heard this shattering explosion. iran down the hill. i saw the embassy shattered, described as the flesh of the building have been ripped away and saw the insides. the hero had been killed along with every member cia station was in beirut that day. they were all at lunch and happen to be near where the highest impact of the ball. in the aftermath, the arabs who had been working with the u.s. on this long case, remember our
thoughts, chief of intelligence had been in constant contact with the cia. the people who had been involved in it knew about it and needed to talk about it and grieve over the loss of this man. because i have been working on a story for two years, i was the only american a live, journalist in beirut who they felt they could talk to us. so just things that a journalist should in here. i began to accumulate a richness of information about the basic outlines i had already written. i thought what on earth are you going to do with it. the answer in the end was you have to write a novel. i had no idea how to write a
novel. i was a journalist for 80 years, so i sat down and wrote first draft and second draft. sent it off to ten publishers and was turned down by everyone. and finally, the publisher said, we will publish age of innocence on condition that you give us a nonfiction book. didn't really want the novel that much but to get the nonfiction book they thought they should write they were willing to buy the novel. that's how age of innocence was published. it was, layton said at the time essentially a true story from page one until the end. the people most involved in this work in israel, all released new immediately knew what it was
about so, the book began to get real with readers who knew it. that a big can i tease people at the cia to say to give it out to young recruits to explain this is what the business is about. i've had a dozen cia officers come up to me and said cannot tell you who i am, but i want to tell my mom and dad what i said. it has the virtue. it is just the basics of what an intelligence officer does told through the story of a great case that they were ever in. it was a real professional in the train morally the fact that
this plo guy was there. that got me started. . . myself how to write a novel. all those rejection slips that i got, i began to learn the craft of writing fiction and it's played off of my journalism ever since, over 30 years the things that interest me and i learned about have such so much more than i'd like to say as a spy novelist, to really unpack the ideas, the places, the issues. i say at the end of this book i started 30 years ago when age of innocence was published. but i had to choose whether to be a journalist and i'm glad that i didn't. and i mean that, i'm glad i didn't. >> can we draw any straight lines from your washington
post national security column to your novel? >>. >> you can certainly draw a straight line in terms of the subject matter. >> my column, i've written a lot about iran in my column. in iran in 2006, 2018. after the 2006 visit, i was fascinated by the uranian room that's becoming an issue of intent . and i thought this is the perfect setting for a novelist and i wrote a novel called the increments which kept in real life. but an imaginary iranian nuclear scientist and every one of the cia calls a virtual walking. on its website, the cia says if you have something to tell us, just do it and they get a lot of people coming in from defense and a lot of people coming in from iran that's
how that novel began. it ends up describing the assault on the iranian supply chain. that is eerily like what we've learned to call, that's one where just making some lucky guesses i ended up being trained, it was more factional than i realized at the time. that's an example where readers read my columns when i was there. what they didn't know is i was taking every piece of kind of pocket litter i can find, every map, every guidebook. every restaurant i knew and strolling them all away and bring you back home. and but fictional. the iran that would be in that time. >>. >> host: david ignatius, has
anyone ever felt outed by a character in one of your books. >> people, somebody joked to me the other day, a former intelligence officer had said on the real harry pappas. he was this character in the book i just described. and i didn't fear anger. i heard him talking about it as if it was a bit of a bragging rights. my first novel, age of innocence were about things that were so sensitive that when it was published, i just didn't know what the consequences would be. i've never done this before. i knew how raw it was, i just made a decision to write it as i can and i didn't know what people thought but initially there was shock. over the years i sometimes
write that about the cia, that might be difficult to tell but i had written, made people's hair stand on end. but i never had anybody, i tried to be careful about not taking any characters per se an outing that person keeping their identities far secret and they are at riskevery day . >> you've got a former cia director who blurred your book at the bank of fear which came out in 1995, how did you get that? >> over the years these books have been read by a lot of cia officers. my new book has blurbs from three former directors. i've been shameless in asking
people, no matter who they are, tv journalists , you name it for blurbs, readers know , all these quotes on the back page from books that you buy, us writers work so hard to get and it can be embarrassing on the tour, to not to us electronically. would you read my book, just say something nice about it. i made a rule years ago because i suffered some difficulty when i started at pretty much anybody who asked me to write a blurb for a book, if they say there's a reason to read it, i'll say yes just hoping that if somebody else started who said i had when i was a young writer, these little blurbs
including former cia directors. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to book tv on c-span2 and this is the kickoff edition of our special fiction edition year of in depth. david ignatius is our guest this first month and all year long, we will be having fiction writers on the in-depth program to talk about their books. for david ignatius, the numbers are two 02748 200. 748-8201, if you live in the mountain and pacific time zone you might want to participate this afternoon, you can also participate via social media. that includes facebook, twitter, instagram and email. just remember at book tv is our handle and our email address is book tv at c-span.org. david ignatius is awashington post columnist on national security issues and the author of these 10 books . agents of innocence came out in 19 87, the bank of fear in
1995, a firing offense in 1997, the sun king came out in 1999 and then perhaps you saw the movie body of lies is a book that came out in 2007. the increment in 2009, blood money, 2011. "the director" in 2014 and "the quantum spy" just came out in the last couple of months. davidignatius, your books have moved from beirut to iran, iraq, washington . how do you keep up with all the threats the us sees and now we are in china? >> i wanted to write about china very deliberately in terms of national security, in terms of the world and also opportunity and trends. china needs to be at the top
of people's list. china has announced the first set of its president xi jinping that it plans to dominate the heights of technology by 2030 . and through 2050 and they been very specific and they task their intelligence service to go out and gather information to be brought and deal in secret that will help reinforce that position. they're building new weapons systems . but the challenge is far less military power. so china has set a course that people worry is going to bring it to us to a collision, a military conflict and not something that's inevitable but i do think that the times for readers to get inside chinese ambitions in terms of being a world power, to get into our intelligence service.
that was again part of the book but you're quite right, we do try to look at the things that make sense and see the next big threat. my last book was about how the russians were manipulating the libertarian underground, the world of wikileaks. when that book was written, we are now in the midst of a huge molar investigation but if you go back and read the director you will find some useful guidance to where we are now. i hope that people will stay still say about the bonds fly as we get more focused in china, they will see in this book the characters, the settings that help you understand what's coming at us. that will want a lot of whati write in my books is about opening the world i'm reporting as a columnist .
giving out these nuggets in a much bigger way that you can think about the issues. >> host: the cloak and dagger aspects of these books, are they true? does this stuff happen? >> guest: from my first novel it was the process of recruitment. the way in which i get someone willing to share secrets with the united states. >> how i play on that person and the needs of the vulnerabilities. and draw that person into a secret relationship. obviously, one reason this interests me and also one reason i think i'm able to write about it is convincingly is that it's so much like being a journalist. what i do as a journalist every day is go out and talk to people. they may not want, if they
want to talk to the washington post columnist but over time gain their trust and maybe they begin to tell me things i think are important for my readers. think about how to protect them so that they don't suffer for having to share that information. >> so that part of the intelligence which has nothing to do with the shoot them up, james bond aston martin crazy technology, it's a simple part of identifying the target and thinking how you make an approach to that target. having an initial contact and slowly reeling back in. >> that potential source, that interest me. that process is essential, i guess the other thing that's in every one of my books is in some ways the suggestion the united states doesn't know enough about the parts
of the world where we get so deeply involved to take the risks that we do.the theme of agencies, that's is my first novel in some ways that's all the way through this book. just don't know enough to take risks, that our country has gotten in a series of wars from the time i've been a journalist, one after another in the middle east. by thinking, i wish they knew what the characters in my novels know about how often we are flying blind. >>. >> host: and in fact you write i believe this is from the quantum spot but you're writing about an agent who is so game for anything, a sentiment not readily heard. >> guest: the cia has gotten more risk adverse over the decades that i writing about it, this idea of the cia as a
rogue elephant doing whatever it wants. but i think that ended with the investigations in the 1970s, it certainly ended with the investigations that followed the torture, the cia likes to call it harsh interrogation but that followed 9/11. i think the cia now knows that they can be legally vulnerable. >> they often take out legal insurance to protect themselves against the possibility that they need counsel and inevitably, that makes people careful about operations. >> this is a kin to a culture that you never want to be that person says mister president, that's not such a good idea, you say yes sir. >> and so that's the culture. there is now a, let's talk to
the lawyers before we sign off on the operation. lawyers are a big part of tia operations now. >> that's an interesting issue for the currentdirector . mike pompeo said several times he'd like to see the agency be more aggressive, take more risks, get secrets from north korea or china or russia that we need to know what when you take more risks, thedanger of getting caught increases . the term of art at the cia increases and the lawyers are always going to be there to say it's not a good idea and the congressional committees which now play such an important role overseeing intelligence also , they may go along in the beginning but then the agency and its officers often see. >> the importance to the intelligence community of the church hearings of the 1970s and of 9/11.
>> guest: the church hearings really set the basic limit that they, you didn't have intelligence committees doing regular oversight for those hearings. they exposed the secrets the cia had sought the hardest to protect. the crown jewels, they were known as area they kept looking and the public was shocked by some of what they discovered. i look back and to be honest, it's amazing how little of the really nasty stuff the cia did back then was discovered. the occasional assassination plots, but you can list them all on one hand. mostly they were unsuccessful.
they come up with crazy ideas but generally they were carried out. today we live in a world where also our special operations command routinely engage in targeted killing of our adversaries. before, that simply wasn't done. in a world in which it's at least considered practically every day of the week so the established rules, the established oversight set a new framework and we now live in that and that's better for our concern . >> 9/11 for a time from an intelligence collecting agencies to essentially a covert action agency. the cia, they had a plan for what to do after the twin towers. and george tenet, if you read
the histories was very clear, president bush was ready to go and that they were, they wereon the ground in afghanistan within a week . and they took down the taliban in afghanistan with a brilliant influx of americans working with their assets and with projects and others in afghanistan. they left osama bin laden's slip away, the second secretary of defense pleaded with his colleagues to authorize greater use of force to prevent bin laden from getting into the mountains. in all matters was counting on, but he was right about that. >> but secretary rumsfeld wouldn't sign off. but the 911. made our terrorism center of the cia's mission. made increasingly use of drones. of high tech spray of taking people out.
the instrument of choice was, they began running a drone program . soon these resources were targeted. executing and after 9/11, the cia was told by the president of the white house, the nation is a threat. there is the use of biological weapons, chemical weapons. the whole population could be at risk. you need to know,you need to find out what they're going to do as the cia crossed the line . in retrospect we all feel it was the big lines across. in terms of how it was interrogated, i will go through all the details but it does shock the conscience to see what our intelligence officers did in those interrogation rooms.and i think there is nobody at the
cia would like to get back into that business, nobody. and it led to such public criticism. the cia in the end depended on the public. when we see our soldiers in the ballgame, we love our military. they also take similar risks but they don't get applause. quite the opposite. they don't like that and they like to have a base of support so that's one reason they would be so wary about that being asked. go into the interrogation business, you can't make that. that's an agency that would like to go back to its basic mission of collecting intelligence to less of the secret war, counterterrorism and all the related missions that years after 9/11 has the
potential for the country in terms of the cia act that in terms of the agency or morale, its mission, that was not a good mission. >>. >> host: 10 years ago body of lies came out and a netbook you write quote, this was the real card america had in the intelligence team. without its money, certainly not its human intelligence but it's ability to overhear almost every conversation or any conversation in the world. >> guest: the fusion of our surveillance resources, the essays, the big years in the sky, our ability to get into the fiber-optic communicationscables , every internet message and phone call. that is a weapon no other country had and obviously
it's very powerful. if you look at all the way back to 9/11, in the fight against isys, americans don't tend to take much notice but the islamic state rose or swept across iraq and syria in 2014. three years later, it has almost no territory. tens of thousands of people and that has been not much written about the best been a war in our special operations and powered by this claim that anytime you have any digital pin , there's somebody who's threatened an american, threatened, electronically is visible, it's likely that person soon will be targeted. this is been a much more ruthless and effective thing than people realize. and i think much more
journalism needs to be done about how this is conducted, whatthe human costs were . there has not been enough reporting on this. >> host: julian assange, edward snowden, how are they viewed in theintelligence community ? >> guest: i compare the cia director working in a hostile community, i think edward snowden who was under the protection of the russians is seen as someone who has turned over some of the most sensitive secrets in the way that they can be used by the russians. or china, whether that was intentional . i think there's a pretty hard-nosed view among intelligence professionals
about certainly when there's been a suggestion that there might be some sort of plea bargain for edwardsnowden , my sense is people in the intelligence community have loudly said that they want to be sure this is not an easy negotiation. that they explain precisely what he did and the simple answer is there's not a lot of sympathy for him. >> host: or the hospital. >> in every one of my novels, it's a big question. and every one of my novels there's a characternamed tom. my first novel frank kaufman , there's a station chief who was foiled against the hero in the book. he was modeled after the real-life robert innes. >> and hoffman was just an
outrageous foulmouthed cranky funny guy. not a person we meet in real life and i just found the character so engaging that i can't adding him or a member of his family, son, his cousin in every book. there's somebody. >> a lot of spy novelists have the same protagonist in every book. harry bosch and michael connelly novels, i just never wanted to do that. i like to start fresh with each book with a new set of characters.or issues that interest me, i hate when anyone does that but i did decide that i keep this continuity through hoffman in
this book. although she isn'timmediately obvious , again, i hope people when i look at my work over the years will see maybe in these hoffman characters cdr of the cia's experience and changes the ways it's seen. i'd love people to someday be able to look at this body of work and say infection, here's fairly realistic fiction, a chronicle of the life and times of our intelligence agency. what changed and what worked and what didn't. again, every book, waste one basic theme is we don't know what we're doing. >> host: the other way to interpret the hoffman legacy through your books is the cia is a little hidebound, maybe a little colloquial.
>> guest: the hoffman's are always acting at themargins. they are loudmouths, showoffs . they are schemers, they are often the people who say this cia bureaucracy is ridiculous and we are going to do things through the back door because the front door is not going to work so yes, they are iconoclasts. >> host: speaking of the bureaucracy, that's another theme in your book is the difficulty or the politics of negotiating the intelligence community bureaucracy. >> i think that's absolutely right. the bureaucracy gets thicker or more viscous in each book. so once upon a time, the first novel, frank hoffman, the station chief just
ordered something and it would happen. >> across the line, you didn't care. that was through interestingly about the real-life operations in which that novel is based.>> across a lot of lines making people say the right things. >> as the legal controls, the congressional oversight increased, so has the bureaucracy. >> you thought about the bureaucratic reorganization which may be worked even more confusingly than it was before. >> i'm not sure it's put entirely to bed. so the people spend an awful lot of time going to meetings and a lot of time writing memos, i've been in on that one. in that sense, it's sort of the opposite of what you
think of in a james bond novel where he's a super cool guy in a tuxedo who goes out and shoot people. james bond would spend an awful lot of time writing memos from his file to the real world. >> what is cooperation level between michigan five, michigan six, the cia, the cia. >> cooperation with foreign intelligence services, liaison partners as the cia likes to call them is and has been since the beginning excellent. it's really the cia's biggest asset is its really only powerful global source of information with all these technical sources. its selection and analysis, is able to shift with his partner that they couldn't
get anywhere else. every day, there's some foreign intelligence service that comes to visit from langley. but especially thecia to tell information . and that tends to people you wouldn't think, russians, there's a lot more intelligence sharing about issues that people what to say publicly. so i think that's a big asset, the fact that the us has a lot of friends around the world and they still impact the agency.they share information. in terms of internal sharing, our domestic agents, there still is an awful lot of silos out there that we have 17 different intelligence agencies. these still are analysts who are doing the analysis today. they emerge and if this is a company and they had 17 different sets of accounting,
going over this potentially the same paperwork, you'd say that's not's. i don't want to spend five minutes in this. there's been an effort to remove this but everybody insists, my information, my sources, nobody can knowabout this . it's all controlled by the originators, the buzzword that goes and even now, after more than a decade of talking about breaking down the stovepipes, they are still there. >> host: dan coats job. >> guest: dan coats job is to oversee this sprawling and one problem is that it'stoo big . the cia is too big. this is a situation where les would be more.
a smaller, more genuinely clandestine intelligence service that gets the targets that really matter. i just think that it's sprawl and i'm not even including the consultants multiplied by the tens of thousands. it's vast and it feeds and information system that nobody can digest. we generate far more information than anybody could analyze. maybe computers will be able to do the analysis for us and i hope so but over time, that's one other observation that i make. it's just too darn big. we spent plenty of money, sometimes we are just luck
gish jen, you wrote in 2009 that quote john updike chose me as his successor. i i never got to ask him why. >> guest: i know. >> host: successor to what? >> guest: what happened was it was a magazine in london and they were doing this millennials special. it was the turn of the century and so they asked all these people who they felt were