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tv   Douglas Waller Lincolns Spies  CSPAN  September 23, 2019 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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the former correspondent for newsweek rent times. he has authored six books on the military. the critically exclaimed. james mcpherson.
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in the eastern theater. it is my honor to be here today. it's a pleasure to welcome back someone who spent countless hours if not months researching in our vast holdings especially when it culminates with such a good narrative as this one. the big bibliography and note section. our testament to their research. you will find numerous citations. i'm slightly biased so that favorite part of the book is found in the acknowledgment. the narrative opened with chapters each to his for union agents.
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with the final chapter culminating culminated in the post- ward experience. before we hear from mister moeller. i would like to let you know about another program coming out next week up next week on tuesday august 13 at noon they will present a lecture. in the post- 911 world. in which he will discuss. they transformed into a war fighting intelligent service to help her vent future terrorist attacks. please visit our website at archive .-dot golf. without further ado ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming douglas waller to the stage.
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thinks trevor. just one thing i want to mention. he is one of the franchise players. he and his team spent countless hours with me helping me out. i don't think he could get from one part of the building without me tackling him at one point. and beating him for information. i spent a number of years at the archives researching my last four books. guided me through world war i records. tim manager and his team over at the national archives. helped me out immensely with world war ii records.
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they were extremely helpful over there. he is retired from the civil war. i have to admit right at the beginning and a little intimidated here. i am not a civil war historian. i covered the cia for a number of years. they were a major intelligence figure during world war ii. the other one was on four key lieutenants. for my next war and buck. i book. i decided to switch morris.
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with for union four union spies during the civil war. i'm really glad i made the switch. when we think of the civil war. we have the in union. with matthew brady photographs. it always put me to sleep. and when they were on the battlefield. where thousands died in mass assaults. and that all happened but what also happened was a revolution and war fighting technology. the world had never seen. that could deliver more accurate and deadly fire.
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with the rapid communications. this was a war that also sought change in how armies maneuvered against each other. they are packed tightly together. terry leaders on both sides. they quickly discovered that with all of these new weapons in the new tactics they needed. where the enemy lurked ahead of them. he wanted to know before he started the battle. the position of the enemy. where was he out there. a very important piece of information. the number of hostile troops they face.
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number three the generals and command on the other side. a good many of these northern southern generals have been a classmates at west point. the fourth thing that jackson wanted to know was the location of the headquarters of enemy commander. they certainly increase the odds for success. and they could stave off defeat. a revolution was occurring in military intelligence. and how they spied on each other. as i think doug more deeply. there was the traditional work we have seen in previous wars.
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in the federal war this job was made easier because they spoke the same language and they knew the other side's culture. like what they did in world war ii. the civil war spies have an easier time blended in. the new warmaking technologies also ushered in new types of spies. it became important in this war. today it's called spy jargon. it was reading the enemies of messages that were tapped out on morris code. each side suspected the other was constantly tapping into what it was transmitted. they were using fairly
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primitive codes. photography was a useful spy to all. they joined the union army to take the future battlefields. we sought aerial reconnaissance often used in this war. particularly on the union side. they were sent high into the air. and those poor air not would also get sick up there. with the little baskets swing around. during the civil war that was considered a pretty high-tech endeavor. or right tapping out the messages in morse code on the line.
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a philadelphia inventor. even proposed what it would be cost and ariel drennan --dash mega drone. a battery operated camera attached under a small balloon would be set up with the camel -- the camera. who could deliver an electrical charge. he couldn't see how the balloon could keep the camera stable enough to take a clear photo. which was probably the case. i decided to focus on three men and one woman who spied for the union. i did so for several reasons. two of my spies were heroes in this war.
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i have a pretty good mix of characters here to deal with. then a much more intelligent gathering. that the better count. in the upper left up there. gifted with unusual powers of observation. as a young man he trained to be a cougar.
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but he ended up spending more time as a labor agitator falling under the spell of scottish resolution areas. he immigrated to america with his young wife and ended up eventually in chicago. he hated slavery. he became a fanatical abolitionist. he considered himself an atheist as well. as a detective he honed a 6 cents to anticipate activity. he was stubbornly resistance. he could be a tiresome friend. he was a tyrant at home. completely dominating his wife. he named their three children without even consulting car.
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he have dark brooding eyes. set deeply under a wide brow with a heavy beard that covered his face. he was usually humorless like he looks right up there. he was a master publicist. and shameless about your brushing his image. in february 1861. on the eve of the civil war he have become somewhat famous as a private eye. they launched what amounted to a colbert operation. the detective who happened to be investigating an uncovered evidence that they wanted to assassinate the new president elect at a stopover in baltimore in order to keep him from being and not graded in washington.
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the next spy is lafayette baker. he was a handsome man. and piercing gray eyes that were almost hypnotic. he was 5 feet 10 inches tall. he was agile almost cat like in his quick movement. always seeming less -- seemingly restless. he didn't swear or drink alcohol. he was obsessed with roman history. he was this unsavory detective who helped great francis he was prone to lie about himself and he have the heart of a sneak thief. born in 1825 his lineage
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chased back. he was a stern puritan. he announced god. and ran away from his michigan home in his late teens. for the next ten years he drifted from job to job. often having to flee the city with a gunfight. he finally ended up in san francisco by the mid- 1850s. joining a committee that rounded up suspected kernels. in lynch the ones they thought deserved the death penalty. they rode into washington hoping to lead a good pain job with the union army. he was outraged. baker had no spy training beyond what he might have picked up as asante visual
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any. he managed to talk to the union army into giving him a job as a secret service agent. scott whose nickname have no spies to speak up. he'd have anything to lose. our next spy is george sharp. he is down with the bottom left over there. they consider him a natural military leader. he have a magnetic personality that made men want to follow him. you can see he have a balding had and sad eyes and a dripping mustache that gave him more to look at. sharp was a learned man. he routinely read it to his men. and they never objected to those recitals. sharp was born in kingston new
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york a small town on the hudson river the son of a wealthy merchant. he received the finest education you could have at that time. he attended elite academies as a youngster. he graduated from rutgers university with honors. before setting up his practice as an attorney. he spent four years in europe studying french and working as a secretary to the u.s. legation in vienna and rome. when war broke out he first commanded a company of federal militia men from the kingston area and later he led a voluntary infant regiment. the most important job he would have as the union army. now to our fourth secret agent.
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in a very different setting. elizabeth's father was a wealthy richmond. her mother was a highly educated socialite who stocked the library. with almost 600 bucks. elizabeth who developed an early empathy. was sent to relatives in philadelphia to be educated. a governess there lectured her on the abolition of slavery. she returned to richmond and when her father died she spent much of her inheritance which was about $350,000 in today's money helping family slaves flee north. also bought other slaves on the market black to set them free. she had been quite beautiful in her youth.
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she was in her 40s. an unmarried and she was considered by richmond society to be an old maid. she loved her state. she always spoke of virginians in a soft southern accent. although that love would be tested sorely in the years to come. she wore her dark blond hair and tight curls. she have a thin nervous looking face. it bore into anyone facing the stair. she was almost always with the black silk dress as you see her there. she was clever to the point of almost unearthly brilliance of friend said and she was decidedly feisty. she could be scalding and her contempt for people.
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elizabeth acknowledged that it made her life intensely sad and earnest as she put it. yet when she thought it would help have her way. she could be gentle and flattering. she knew how to cultivate powerful men to get what she wanted. when the union prisoners started pulling into richmond. it became make shift jails. they convinced them to let them have it meals and books. they were wounded or ill. soon it made her a pariah in her city. neighbors shunned her. richmond newspapers published dark warnings. she should be showing compassion. they called the white caps sent her a menacing note threatening to burn down her mansion this was a union who cannot be intimidated.
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there is a fifth important character in a story about lincoln spy. and that that's abraham lincoln himself. honest abe was the image has political campaign created. he was one of the least experienced men ever to assume the presidency but when it came to the dark arts of intrigue. during that brief brush. lincoln actually spent several weeks in a unit called the independent spy company. he often wrote newspaper columns under aliases. he bought a german language newspaper. and during his race for the presidency he was a careful
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reader and about you. lincoln ordered general scott to deliver daily intelligence reports on the enemy and had freelancers all over the country send him information is at the sympathizer. he prodded the military commanders to accept new war fighting in no qualms about launching risky operations. to undermine the border states. they have joined the confederacy. and to keep the ones that remained under his control. in lincoln could be ruthless when he felt he have to be. allowing the arbitrary arrest of thousands. and shutting newspapers. clearly this was a president who knew how to keep a secret. i and knew have to operate in secret. so what did the spies do in
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this war. he became the spite master the charismatic young napoleon. with the awful rebellion to a speedy end. but this young napoleon had a huge ego. he turned out to be better at organizing than he did at fighting with it. he brought about 20 employees to washington from the attractive agency. he recruited more agents from the army and other sources. he was operating on six thousand 500-dollar budget. it's a lot of money back then. he used the cover name ej allen and all of his communications.
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he refused to develop those. he used women to infiltrate the social schedules. he sent mcclellan lengthy intelligence reports. and he succeeded in breaking up the confederate espionage. but he ended up being a failure as a military intelligence officer. they have no military training or the experience they needed to collect and evaluate. they were basically imagers at war. his detectives were accustomed to slowly working cases until they have enough evidence to arrest the suspect. but military intelligence had to remove far more quickly than that particularly in a wartime situation. he told him what the general
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wanted to hear now what his boss needed to hear. that is a big difference. and a big deal. spy masters had to be unbiased. they have to be scrupulous. and had to be willing to develop uncomfortable truths to their leaders. and he failed to do this. he was convinced the rubble army always outnumbered him. he became practically delusional about it any peppered him with memos demanding more truth. instead of setting his boss straight. he fed him wildly and accurate intelligence reports. but these higher numbers of the enemy were exactly what he wanted to hear.
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and even if he had reported more accurate confederate numbers that were lower he would likely ignore them. he was a timid commander. afraid of winning on the battlefield for the intelligence reports only made him more timid. he even spied on lincoln for political intelligence. he thought it might be useful for his general. he soon realized that his young napoleon had a chronic case. after the blood he in tedium battle. he resigned as a intelligence chief natural next spy. think of him as kind of like lincoln's j edgar hoover.
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he did not had much interaction with lincoln. they often bragged that he and lincoln were tight. he ended up working as a secret agent. he became lincoln security. i grew eventually to some full-time detectives. the simple crime back then was considered a national security threat so secret service organizations often spent more time chasing smugglers. then they did on cloak and dagger wars. he set up the headquarters in and an old two-story
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building. i was kinda cool. it was somebody who was shrewd, courageous and cannot be bribed. men many of them skilled with knives and pistols. hardly lived up to that standard. they break up rubble courier. it would indicate she concealed them from the south to the top of the corset.
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but soon reports and complaints begin accumulating. they became notorious they were jailing them two weeks. they also wondered how baker on a salary. seen at first class hotels. a lot of cash in the pocket. he did so by abusing his expense account. and by finding ways to shake the money tree on many of the waves. for example blockade runners who have been caught. if they paid the detectives
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one of the bribes. the biggest intelligence failure came at the assassination of abraham lincoln. guarding the president of the united states was not specifically baker's responsibility uncovering threats certainly was. there was no hassle agent and washington that he or his men did not know about. but that was clearly not the case. they frequently gathered with the gang. just nine blocks from baker's headquarters. they redeemed themselves when his detectives accompanied captured and killed booth. with the other men on the raid. arse third spy there. when he took command of the army. he summoned him to the
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headquarters. the new york officer was fluent in french. sharp did it quickly. it would create a bland cover name. he was well versed in the military and what kind of information the army needed. he knew nothing about spine and he took this job. in some of the correspondence he began to use the code name. in many of the informants never knew that they were working for the espionage agency. many of them infiltrated into an enemy territory carrying
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thousands of dollars of confederate dollars for bribes. he set up a large letter opening operation has meant captured bags full of confederate mail. they read the content of sharps officers. rigged a kite. the operation actually proved very successful. also wasn't shy using torture. sometimes they were tied by their thumbs. which they found particularly painful when it was applied for long times. more important. they called all source development. the reports from the spy the
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reports from that the rebel deserters and privileges. the dispatch from that. the officers then sorted. all this flood of information. the alts they produce the leather bound 14 page booklets. with accurate information. on the divisions.
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the estimate on the number of men. with the federal consists security agents. they were turning on average of three intelligence reports per week. they covered a wide range of suspects --dash make subjects. the troop movements between the commit confederate cackle. they also sent them additional with the richmond newspapers.
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it's kind of a nice touch. the churchill mentioned church help me in chin became the inspiring space station. they identified them as a member. that was kind of interesting. others were african-american servants. they also included a cloak in the general's office who provided her with strength reports on rebel units. she have a mole in the engineering department is sent
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blueprints around richmond and petersburg. the intelligent summaries for grant and the other union generals. they rarely mention the in luke by the name. she often went by the code name babcock. she was referred to as a lady in richmond. at night in her mansion she placed sensitive papers at the bedside table to destroy them if they quickly had to. or to hide them as in other places. documents there could be stored in the iron fireplace that reached a part of the way up to the mantle. two bronze lions with secret clients with secret cavities in them they were ideal hiding places. they have several ways to write messages. in send the letters through the regular mail and it was allowed to pass through the
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north and south. between the line. she would dip her pen into a bottle of clear liquid and write out an invisible ink the real message that she wanted to deliver. on the other end would apply a mild heat to the paper. other times she did not use the mail system and have the couriers deliver the intelligence reports. the union officers provided which is really just a small piece of paper they kept that key folded up tightly. and tucked into her watch case. they often tore her encrypted notes into several pieces and sent each piece.
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her family servants who acted as couriers sometimes scraped out egg shells. were among paper patterns. the family have a vegetable farm near the county line. that farm became the first of five stops on the winding road. they could drop off messages for the yankees and pick up instructions on the intelligence they needed. george sharp would later boast. this was an espionage tramp.
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[applause]. if you have a question you need to go to one of these microphones here. could you tell us a little bit about pauline cushman. i notice noticed you could've notice you kind of left her out of this group. >> she was a female actress who used to get information from the confederates and then union trip. there were women spine for the confederates. they ran the union and confederate spy ring. all of the spies in the confederate side who of more
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propaganda value. it's really the primary workforce. >> what is the structure that will take down the higher balloon. actually nothing did. as the balloon rose of a monk that trees. from the tree levels until the time i got to about 500 feet. it was very risky getting up there that high. they will blow the balloon in the wrong direction. very often the rope slipped out.
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what kind of synergy did mr. lincoln extract from this group did they meet with him one-on-one. a good question. it was different situations for each one. they have somewhat of an acquaintance there. when the president was informing his information. and talk about forming a secret service. they sent a letter directly and said he would offer his
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volunteers help. and lincoln had no secret service to speak up. he never came to a decision. after that he would occasionally visit the white house basically to pump information out of lincoln and other white house aides. basically spying on him. they wanted to scope out lincoln. interestingly lincoln knew what he was up to. and knew he was there to spy on him. it was pretty unwitting. they ask him a lot of questions. they convey specific messages. it was speed up and get moving. lafayette baker.
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there were several levels. blacks in the district of columbia work treated unfairly. other than that he have very little dealings with lincoln. and i even know if lincoln knew. i don't know how much attention he paid to baker. the intelligence report. many of them that we went to. they got forwarded to washington very often. they ended up at the war department. lincoln would interrogate officers visiting washington just to get his sense of what conditions were like out there.
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you know whether he knew family are not. he may have been made aware of a lady enrichment. grant of course knew exactly what he was up to. and greatly appreciated it. he visited her after the war. and when they moved into richmond. he ordered a contingent to guard it so it would not be burned down. they were ridiculously impressive. it seems a little odd that someone who is already identified as the bad guy would do so much. and get away with it. if there was anything else you could share about that dynamic. she is still there after the war. did you follow them. or anything after the war.
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i would have to imagine some of this would come out and the natives would be additionally restless. on the first question. it was amazing that she got away with this. the confederate agents would just barge into her mansion. to see what was going on. neighbors who had become estranged from. wood reported that there were strange men coming in and out of the mansion. at one point they met her on the street. i have some important information that needs to go to washington. they immediately said it is there. i am a loyal lady of the south. at one point there was an investigation by the general's office of the in lieu
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neighbors ratted on her. and even the sister-in-law who was a rabid sensation us. testified against her. she was saved by southern sexism back then. they concluded that this lady spoke a little too freely about sentiments. but don't they all talk that way and all too much. she can possibly that hit her. and even throughout the investigation when they finally concluded that she was harmless she was still supplying information to happen happen that awful lot to spies in countries during
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world war ii. the spies become by their own society. she kept secret her intelligence work for as long as she could. but there were newspaper stories in the north about her health and that made her deeply unpopular. grant appointed her to be postmaster of richmond. after grant left the presidency. and in the end she died nearly broke they would run by the mansion and taunt her. when she died i think it was
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1900 she was buried in the cemetery. many of whom were relatives. they put it on the plot cemetery. it sounds like a great movie. it really is. >> and the other gentlemen as will spies. did they have a code. with what they have to do. and did they have backup people who would take over for them if they were caught. i imagine they were quite valuable assets and obviously there has to be a plan in
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place. the short answer is no. and pinkerton had some huge errors. they had one of the agents to richmond it was a very versatile and creative espy. it was a one time too many. have been in too much and has covered --dash my cover started wearing. he caught rheumatic fever. he was incapacitated enrichment. pinker meant made a hit huge mistake. he set up brett to richmond to find out what have happened to webster and get his intelligence back. price lewis have been involved in counter espionage.
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which is a cardinal mistake for a spymaster. and price lewis correctly pointed these out. i've arrested a lot of people in washington who have been deported or sent south to richmond. surely one of them would see me enrichment and i would get caught there. >> sure enough when he went to richmond to try to find out what have happened with committee --dash mike timothy webster he was arrested. he stayed in a prison for a good amount of time. nearly until the end of the war. it's a huge intelligence failure.
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very interested in mister sharp you mentioned about sending flyers over enemy lines. i believe this was also used during world war ii. he set the template for cia operations. you see this even today. a lot of the sources and methods they use. you can see the agency develop a much more sophisticated level. it explains why there are cia analytical reports. for lessons learned. and sharp was well aware of the value of deserters.
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and they closed in on petersburg and richmond. the lines were very close together. there were several enlisting african-americans by soldiers in the confederate army. to convince these other ones. constantly thinking about psychological operations while ahead of his time. they were ignored by george
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meade he have a very hostile relationship with sharp. they don't like what the spymaster's bring to them and they can be tension in that relationship. thank you very much. it was a great time here this morning. here is a look at some books that are being published this week. they determine whether it when should lock forgive. and how to start revolution.
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bill o'reilly looks at the life and career of president trump in the united states of trump. they profile vice president mike pence. also been published this week. jack goldsmith. they were caught the life of the stepfather and jimmy hoffa in his book in half a hoffa shadow. the former secret service agent argues that the more investigation was a failed attempt to end the trump presidency. james is i'm in a former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york provides an analysis of the legal history. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week watch for many of the authors in the near future on book tv recently they discuss
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differences within the republican party and shared his thoughts on how they affected the 2016 election. here is a portion of that talk. >> donald trump did not materialize out of thin air. we are living in a news environment that is moving so quickly that it is difficult to take a step back and take a deep breath and contextualize everything that is happening and why it is happening. and trace the roots. there is an argument to be made that and in talking about the modern republican party trace the roots back 50 or 60 years. the reason i chose to start the book in 2008 was because i believe you have this really phenomenal conversion of events with the selection of sarah palin. with the governing class in the base of the party on the
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inks that was out there before below the surface that not many people saw. and of course you have that financial collapse that fall. with the bailout of the banks and a lot of americans feel that washington and wall street was pain -- was playing with one set of rules in the american people the other. you have such socioeconomic disruption and dislocation. millions of manufacturing jobs disappearing overnight. that transition sweeping the country. you have an incoming democratic president in super majority in congress that go about executing a decidedly progressive agenda that certain elements in the countries were just not ready for. and when you layer the cultural and socioeconomic on
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top of the political this was building into a powder keg. it became clear in the early years certainly and as it moved forward that this was building towards something. i think all of us who were covering politics during this time the 2010 campaign. and obviously in the 14 the 14 campaign as well. we all have the sense that it was coming for the party. this wave was building and we weren't sure who was going to write it. and obviously president trump ended up writing it and it's important for us to reckon with his forces. the presidency is a transient office. donald trump will come and go. those forces at work will be here long after he is gone.
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and that's a conversation we only to be all need to be having about how we deal with them. search for tim alberta or the title of this book american carnage using the box at the top of the page. see mecca look at some of the events that book tv will be covering this week. on monday we will be at the gerald ford presidential museum. philosophy professor michael lynch will examine how the internet has changed people's attitude toward the truth. and thursday look for us in cleveland at the 84th annual wolf book awards that recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. tagus at book tv on twitter, twitter, facebook or
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instagram. book tv is television for serious readers all weekend every weekend. join us again next saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. eastern for the best in nonfiction books. >> every year or so. .. .. the rate of cord cutting and moved to over-the-top video just starting to accelerate. interestingly we published a couple of weeks back a note that said we might see decelerat


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