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tv   What Are You Reading with Rep. Tom Cole R-OK  CSPAN  October 11, 2020 9:05am-9:21am EDT

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been alone in sort of carrying that forward and setting that ideal in front of us, i realized that they were indeed an intellectual and political vanguard, showing this country to its best, very best ideals . >> find the best of this program on our website, book search for martha jones or the title of her bookvanguard . every year book tv asks members of congress about the books they're reading . >> joining us now on book tv is representative tom cole, a republican from oklahoma. congressman cole, we've asked you this question before. you've always had a large readinglist . what's on your current reading list ?
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>> i just finished the splendid and the vial by erik larson. wonderful account of churchill and his family really in the worst year of the war, the year right after the prime minister made camp in 1940, the day of the german invasion of low country of france and basically what it was like to stand alone against nazi germany until in june 1941 the russians are in the war and then obviously by december 41 the united states is in the war but it's an extraordinary book. it's a wonderful read about a guy i consider literally the greatest person of the 20th century and the supreme ordeal of a long and brilliant career. and i've also been reading, i just picked up a great historian by the name of jean edward smith. my other four. i read his biographies of grant and eisenhower.
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by far the best eisenhower biography ever written and there's been some good ones but he died in 2019. so i'm right now just got into what may have been his best book was on fdr, one something called the parchment prize which american 's dorians to zest the best book of beer. one of those books had been sitting on my bookshelf and i just had not gotten to it . it's six or 700 page read but we lost smith about a year ago,september actually so almost precisely a year ago . i happened to just think about that and pulled out the book and then ordered his last book which i have not read yet on the liberation of paris which was published in 2019. so i've been doing that. earlier this summer, i got on by accident of binge of
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biographies of ambassadors and eric larson also wrote a great biography of a guy named william dodd was the american ambassador in germany in the 1930s and his family which was quite an eclectic and eccentric group and their experience of being a nazi, in nazi germany as hitler was consolidating power and the first evidence of what was going to be truly a dark period in world history was becoming evident. and then i read at the same time a book by a guy named luke paper called in the cauldron which is theamerican , a tale of the american ambassador in tokyo, a guy named joseph through for about 10 years , i think from 1931 to 41 so all of his ultimately fruitless efforts to head off war between the
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united states and japan and then of course what it was like being in japan during the grip of a fascist and military regime that was guiding the country really to a rack and ruin . so i've got one last thing, one of my favorite political scientist of all time and i usually read historians but this guy is a different kind of political scientist in my view. richard fellow who just died this year but was very famous for writing histories on congress or studies of congress from the district level up rather than from the washington level . he would travel into the district to various congressman and senators or two states of senators obviously and i read a couple of his books but i just happened to read his obit i had read enough of this guy and i've read a couple of his books, the challenge of
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congressional representation which i think was his last book published in 2013 and then an earlier book called congressional traffic but it's just a granular view of congress. i know a lot of the members he writes about in these things and it's just fascinating and it's a reminder of how often, what somebody does in washington is really a reflection of who they represent, what their interests are, what their understanding of the world is and we kind of lose that dimension sometimes when we study politicians. we forget they have another part of them which is not in washington dc which actually shapes what they do in washington dc so a lot of reading thissummer . >> congressman, there seems to be team on theme among the history books that you're reading and that's world war ii.
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>> it just happened to be there. no deliberate anybody else i'm always fascinated by it and there have been other books too. calling callaway's book the indian world of george washington, that's fascinated me as well but there's no question world war ii is the seminal conflict and shaper of the 20th century and really the post world war ii era. obviously you have to understand a war leading into it what came out of it to understand the time in which we live. and really the rise of the united states as a great power before the second world war but it became the superpowerafter that . understanding the cauldron that the country went through and how it changed who we are , how we think, how we act globally i think is really kind of an indispensable grounding that you have to if you want to be effective in the current time.
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>> is eric larson one of those writers or his story that if he writes a book, you read it ? >> yes. he's an absolutely superb writer and visited. sometimes it's almost like reading a novel. the descriptions and yet it's all footnoted, but he had a real talent. and again, seizing on something that to look at it more closely, we've had a lot of really fine biographies of winston churchill. robert andrea's most recent one is probably the best on this idea of let's take out a year, there's another book i have on my bookshelf, i can't remember the author's name now but it's on churchill in the 1920s. single pivotal year when he was working as colonial
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secretary and helped reshape the middle east in ways that echo right down the bitter boundaries ofcountries . so i like what he does, i like how he writes and he's always worth reading whatever the topic is. >> the new york times correspondent carl holtz came out with a book about congress year or two back . when a book comes out about congress youalmost automatically pick it up ? >> i do, especially if it's by an author i know well. i think he's one of the smartest reporters out there . confirmation bias which is sort of on the supreme court wars that we've seen in recent years is a brilliant look and from what i understand some of the struggles and struggles that shaped capitol hill, there's not any better that guy than carl holtz read i also just finished carl's book, it's
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not congress per se because he's a white house correspondent and of course now for abc news but a front row in the trump trunk show is an interesting read and i know carl, i've been interviewed by him, then on his podcast once or twice so somebody like that writes a book that i think is knowledgeable and professional, you do want to hear what they have to say because again, they're talking to a lot of people who in many cases you can't talk to or don't have the occasion to talk to and they bring a lot of insights to the political field and into congress. >> how much sharing of book ideas do you do ? >> quite a bit. i did a sort of favored book-of-the-month that we publish regularly on our website and we have a lot of inquiriesabout that . i threw a party for republican appropriators every year at christmas.
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it's a really nice affair and usually dinner at the willard but they always give a christmas present and it's almost always a book and quite often in a conversation with somebody, i know they've got a particular interest or what have you, i'll send them a book. i remember years ago adam kinsinger from illinois was a young member, one of our brightest guys in congress and i was a young veteran and was elected to the class of 2010 and his hair back then was very short. almost like a crew cut. he's still in the reserves, still flies and he reminded me of a picture i've seen of donald rumsfeld at about the same age. square jaw, good-looking guy and so i just bought rumsfeld's autobiography and sent it over to him and i said you're from illinois,
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he's from illinois. you've got a crew cut, he's got a crew cut. you guys should get to know one another so occasionally i'll send a book to somebody does it struck me as something that might interest him and particularly adam is one of our really thoughtful thinkers in congress on both sides of the aisle on national security issues and military matters. he's deployed to combat zones so he's a guy that knows what he's talking about. i thought he would be interested in a guy like rumsfeld who had also served and had been bulky the youngest and holders secretary of defense is in the american history. >> i don't know if you saw this mister rumsfeld wrote his most recent book on his years at the ford white house . >> i have to get that. i finished chris whipple's book the gatekeepers on the chiefs of staff. of the white house and of course he figures very prominently so i'll be interested in having a more thorough view. i actually have a picture of
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ford that keeps rows, i campaigned with him on a number of occasions and i was a big admirer ofhis . i think it's lou cannon biography of him by time and chance on gerald ford so it will be interesting to get rumsfeld close-up look at president ford. >> tom cole, republican of oklahoma, thank you for joining us on book tv . >> thanks for having me. >> watch this and all of our what are you reading interviews at using the search bar at the top of the page. tonight at 9 pm eastern on "after words" former cia director john brennan speaks about his life and career in his book undaunted: my fight against america's enemies at home and abroad. he's innervated by new york times national security reporter julian barnes.
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>> some people have said you've gone too far especially for someone who's held a traditionally nonpartisan post like the ia director area have you ever felt like you've gone too far ? >> it's not just a question of policy, we have policy differences with from in terms of what they've done or the iran nuclearagreements or paris accord . i wouldn't be speaking out so vociferously if it was just policy differences. it is his dishonesty. it is hispolitical corruption . it is his abuse of the office of the presidency. >> watch book tv this weekend on c-span2. here's a look at publishing industry news. britain's annual literary award the booker prize has announced they will delay their award ceremony by two days from november 17 to the 19th in order not to conflict with the release of former
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president barack obama's memoir. the booker prize traditionally takes place in october but will not occur the day after the announcement of america's book prize the national book award . kevin young has been named the new director of the system of smithsonian's institute of national american history. he's beendirector of the schomburg center for research in black culture . part of the new york publishing public library system the past four years. in other news a federal judge ruled the department has shown sufficient evidence that former national security advisor john bolton wrote nondisclosure agreements with the publication of his recent memoir of his time in the trump white house. mister bolton's lawyers had sought dismissal of the case which meant may now lead to a trial and also in the news bookscan reports print book scales sales rose over 10 percent for the week ending september 26. although nonfiction sales saw another week of positive gains and were led by bob woodward latest book on president trump and two books
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that have been overdue for 40 years have been returned to a british library. the books were sent through the mail and included a note of apology. at today's rates if late fees have been applied they would have totaled $10,000. book tv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news. watch all our past programs anytime at >> we have been engaging policymakers, influencers, entrepreneurs and activists and scientists in broad respectful candid conversations about everything climate, food, energy, water, technology, housing area we had huge success bringing together people who think they are on opposite sides of issues and they sit down and have a candid conversation often find common ground and a basis for real solutions.


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