tv Kerri Arsenault Mill Town CSPAN October 18, 2020 6:50am-7:54am EDT
[bleep] . >> kerri, tell us about the bleach room at the mill. >> i've never been there. my grandfather worked there but what happens in the bleach room is where the magic happens. it's where the pulp turns white. and to do that, at the beginning our paper mill opened in 1901 and up until 1997 a process was basically the same. two bleach paper they would use elemental chlorine to bleach it and what happened in the combustion process of that had this byproduct, it's a family of dioxins. and fat dioxins are one of the most dangerous toxins known to humankind.
there the thing that is used in agent orange. equally as nefarious. and that bleach room up until 1997 the use elemental chlorine and created those dioxins all over across the us and the world and the mills had to change their bleaching process and they changed it to elemental chlorine free bleaching, which is not chlorine free, it's just elemental chlorine free, a trick of language so that created remarkably less dioxin but it still creates dioxins. >> and when your grandfather and your grandfathers, as far as i can tell all through the mills operation they would only put the old guys to work in the bleach room.
>> this is what i was told, yes. >> and either you or your father thought for a long time it was because you needed the most experienced people to work in the bleach room but actually that wasn't why theyput the older guys in the bleach room . >> that was.bernard, she worked in human resources there at the time . she said i figured it out. she said they were closing in on retirement so that when they were tired, they only would have so many years left and most of them would get sick after working there. they would have thesetensions in their retirement and they would die and that's what happened to my grandfather . she said he figured it out but as i look back that thing was in the records.
>> in other words the bleach room was so poisonous and so hazardous that basically those men were cannon fodder. >> yes, they were treated like garbage. they were recycling units for the industry. they were treated like that. >> if you think about a case, no management new what they were doing. they were putting the oldguys in the bleach room . i've got to believe -- well, we'll get into that later. flash forward to 2012 and were coming out of the great recession of 2008 2009 and the kennebunk journal which is a newspaper in maine has a story and the headline is some label toxins spike as
positive. pulp and paper industry says increase is a good sign. state officials not alarmed. in other words, the fact that toxins, toxics are going up, that'sa great sign . it means the economy is coming back and probably people are going to get sick and die. >> you look back and it's generating stuff. >> it reminds me of the response either tacit or overt of a lot of affect elected officials with cousins and the lieutenant governor here in texas dan patrick said well, we should all go back to work, especially the older people and if we get sick and die there's no great loss. we were going to die anyway soon so basically it's that
human beings are cannon fodder for capitalism. and one of the mysteries of the books is why do people go along with this? that and very shake in this book, that was the mercury poisoning hatters would get in danbury connecticut from working with hats. and deadly conditions and people would knowingly take those jobs and go in and work those jobs knowing it was going to kill them and in fact the new jersey bureau of statistics and labor said in one of their reports this brought surprise is that men can be induced to work at all in such ãdeath producing
enclosures, that men of such ordinary intelligence could be indifferent to theordinary laws of health . your book does a deep dive into this question and this mystery. you do quote study about organizational science in the workplace both in the us and in europe. talk about that a little bit. >> so this was the actual silence, like why didn't anybody say anything? why didn't i say anything?i was 45 before i started thinking about this seriously so i went to look at the actual science and the study said 80 percent of people that worked in the workplace no matter what it was. the paper mill or an office or whatever, 80 percent of the people if they saw something wrong at work they would not sayanything . this was repeated in europe
and it was actually a mystery to the researchers to because they were like when the silence happens theycouldn't figure out why it kept happening . it just kept repeating itself over and over. but we started looking at the silence and then i thought studies can only tell you so much . i'm going to go back home repeatedly and try to understand and at the same time try to understand if there's complicity in it too. why at are there these jokes aboutit, cancer valley, hot, why didn't i take that seriously ? there's this whole beam over the book that it's so complex, people do it every day. we make compromises about everything and i think people in the statecame to think this was a choice .
i had a lot of people ask me over the years working on this why didn't they just leave or go get a job someplace else . it's so complex. first of all this is where the three generations of my family worked and it's connected deeply to their identity. it's funny people don't think about amill paper maker as an identity but think about it as a lobster man, a fisherman or fireman . it's the same thing. people get wrapped into their identity. secondly if you grow up worked there, yourfather worked there and you get the site education in anisolated town . there are zero jobs . you went to school or worked in the hospital, the only thing you could do was work in the mill. and you know, i think i also talked aboutthis in that same chapter 2 .it was a great
job. you made a lot of money there. you did well for isolated, higher education you did really well . me and my siblings, it sent all four of us to college . that was on my father to do that and clothe us and feed us and have a decent job . there's a lot of reasons and my mother repeatedly would say that . you had a greatlife . so it's complicated when people say was it worth it? i've had people say was it worth it? my father died in the middle of me writing this book, gets cancer and dies. that's not a giveaway or anything but would it be worth it for himto die? i don't know if that's answerable . i try to think of it as didhe
have a choice to ? it's on us as the more privileged class to say did he have achoice but he didn't really have a choice, there was an inevitability to it, a hobson's choice as i talk about . there's some myth, maybe it's true but hobson had these. [inaudible] that horse would get worn out andfinally he said you have to choose this course at the beginning of the row . because if you, you would have to take that or leave it and it's kind of like a take it or leave it and that's our job is take it or leave it . leaving it was really hard. you had the money and your family lived there, your ancestorsare buried there, whatever . some people just stay because of love which he says that in the book. i think that's a very
powerful thing.>> i think one of the great strengths of this book is it's kind of like our town. the thornton wilder classic in that you get so many voices and so many stories in this book. i mean, you go around and you talk to people and you must be a very good interviewer. i know you, your engaging and your sweet and you listen, but you get great stuff from these people and so that alone would have been an oral history of this milltown would have been a fine book. that's only one aspect of your book but i think it's a strong aspect and again, you're trying to get to the bottom of why would you stay in cancer valley? why would a family choose?
let's bring in another aspect of that and that is the acadian community and the fact that your of acadian ancestry and that particular cohort of people with went through so much hardship, so much dispersion starting in the 1750s that, do you think that had something to do with the stubbornness or the determination of your family and otherfamilies to stay in mexico ? >> yes, first to say there's a certain connectedness, but it was more like trying to fit these people, i don't know if that's the way to say it but you just had to be there and there are a lot of
people, at least people i knew, every main character in the book was somebody i knew so i wasn't trying for some objective thing, i wanted to understand and if i understood them i would understand me and i think that was very similar to the acadian situation. we never learned anything, more than half of our town was acadian or franco-americandissent . everybody. you never learned about it so 45 years old i found this accidental error in the administrator of my grandfather who was a naturalized citizen inamerica , he wasn't born here so i also wanted to find out about these people to and understand not only who they were what brought them to maine and what are the links of the past, how does that pass connected to present day
, in my present-day life or to the present-day life of the family or of the town and i do think there are, i mean there are nascent studies about like this study in the dutch 1940s famine that they remained silent and in fact the silence began and it caused health effects to people that suffered under this famine so they're trying to look at how trauma can actually affect it. but i don't know. i feel like there's something to that and then i was talking to joan burnett, i don't know if she's on this call but she's a wonderful resource for me . she's really knowledgeable about acadian history but she's talking about the emotional transfer and i thought what does that mean, i love that term but she said you knew your great-grandmother and i did. i remember there's a story in the book that she tells me and i knew her and she was
born in 1886 and she knew her great-grandmother who was born in 1865 or something, maybe even earlier but that's like almost 200 years of emotional transfer. does that make sense? >> 1765. >> sorry, right, that would make sense. so it's almost 200 years which almost brings us back to the ethnic cleansing of acadians, back to the 1765 cleansing so that trauma is not really that distant if you look at it that way. i knew mygreat-grandmother and she knew her great-grandmother and those stories trickle-down . i don't mean stories literally stories but the emotional center can travel through and i guess i felt that in my family. there was a very strong
feeling but i just didn't understand what it meant. where they were from or what this was all about and i didn't understand the acadian history and what they went through until i started working on this book. >> talk about your family a little bit and you talked broadly in your family, [overlapping conversation] >> i'm a lot like my grandmother. >> one day she's sitting there and a bunch of your grandkidsare around . this is a quote, i'm quoting from the book . she says to you, i love you all very much but if i had it all to do over again, none of you would be here she said as a virginia slim seesawedon her lip .
that's information, emotional information. of course she loves youbut she had a hard life . >> she went through the depression and world war ii. here's the same woman who taught me how to swim by pushing me off thewar. that's how it was in our family , literally and metaphorically, just pushing you out there and saying go, don't drown. >> there are as i've said in the beginning there is wonderful writing in this book. it's wonderfully written throughout but if i can, i want to read a fairly long paragraph aboutyour mother . and talk about you know, tough women. it's about both yourparents but she has a starring role in this . my parents shaped their own well-worn paths.
while my father walked back and forth across a footbridge to and from work my mother loved laundry upand down the stairs day after day , one skinny arm cradling the laundry basket, her free hand cradling packet featuring a graphic with a screech and laugh, this screen door would spring shut up after she elbowed open. she would dump clean laundry on the kitchen table and pass each article of clothing three times, pull them into sharp wedges of fabric and stack them like the reams of white paper my father brought home from the mill. when the screen door wore out mother replaced it with a new one that came with a squeaky spring . she left it effective and announcing herself into infinity was only my father to hear. his hearing long told by the humble paper machines was the perfect match to her perpetual clamor. my mother, she let her vantage expire before finishing it and send me to
fetch her a new pack from the corner store. i'll time you, she'd say now go and off i went . shedidn't need to tell me twice . that's damn good writing right there. it's a lovely passage. >> it says a lot about her. she was an elderly person and she still is. she's out at all the main bookstores making sure they have my book in stock . >> good for her. she comes across very vividly as a very strong person. you talk about sacrifices in the book and these are, it's a term of art. designated areas in the us that are next to, close by , environmentally dangerous facilities. and people live in these
zones, sacrifice zones . so just aside from the health effect, when you know you live in a sacrifice zone, when you know that you are cannon fodder, it's got to be number one a source of shame. and then you know, the defensive reaction to that would be pride. would be this kind ofstubborn , i live here. i'm that tough. this is my community, this is my identity . talk about that a little bit area. >> that's a really goodpoint . i think that pride is one thing, laughter is another thing. a lot of humor in this town. >> a gallows humor, trench warfare humor. >> that's me. and i don't know.
it's interesting because i was on an event the other day and my cousinwas there . somebody said that, somebody asked him aboutthat . why did you not question it and it's sort of just this unasked question and unanswered thing. you just do it. you show up and at some point yes, a new. there were some people that have a lot of cancer there, we have to do something but these studies would come out indefinite or the government would be like the toxic spike is good or whatever it was. i think i say this in the book, there's a slow turnstile of resignation. it was stuff like after a while you're just like okay, this is what it is. it's like the dioxin right now, why are you talking
about dioxin ? dead, everybody thinks it's going and that's the cause it was carefullyand quietly put on the shelf , that's why and these sacrifice zones, some people were kind of shouting about it and there's certain stuff in our town and there's things people do and you try but you identify it and i say this too. i barely had time for it andi worked on it for 20 years . and the things i encountered were just mercury rained on my head and i got boxes even in texas, 80 pounds of documents the last day i was there. my book was due the next day and it's like i have to look through this so how does an ordinary person living in the sacrifice zone have the capacity, the time, the energy especially if you're trying to feed your kids or
maybe even just go to work and there's no boxes of transportation and maybe you don't have a car and you have to walk so what job can you get where you can walk towork ? i could go on and on, there are 4 to 5 kids in myhome in this town are food insecure . so who has time to worry about that? especially when you'regetting a good paycheck . >> one of the great lines of your book is who has the time to fight a mega corporation and you're making minimum wage? and even if you are making minimum wage. >> i should say there are people living therebesides mill workers . >> in an industrial capital of society, or postindustrial
everything is so big and so complex . you know, where can individuals go for protection , authority for expertise? the only institution that would have the resources for that is the government so you spent lots and lots of time with the governments regulations and then looking at what the mill discharge with reference to those regulations and ultimately you come to the realization the mill usually follows the regulation. the rob is what is in the regulation and how did it get there and who determined the way it got written? that's really where the smoking gun is. >> exactly. and to try to even understand these regulations that we saw
is impossible . even you're a lawyer, i worked asa paralegal . it's impossible. it's just part of the same, it's all a better appropriation whose living upstream and whose living downstream, if your downstream your susceptible and the people that are making the regulations they're all living upstream. >> yeah, another great line. which ties into this. and i'm quoting, while studies or governments often determine risks for everyone, it should probably be up to the person facing the risk to determine its level of acceptability. >> i was just going to say, right on. >> this old term body burden, isn't that in the samesection
? body burden is what the government tells us, body burden, it's toxic but these eye exams, maybe mercury a little bit, maybe asbestos that my father got sick from asbestos but there is no studies on this thing, where do these toxins leave your body so your body burden is the burden you bear because our government leaders and science won't bear it. body burden is literallythat . it's this terrible term. i can't believe it exists but there it is and where bearing all these toxins. even in the book why father gets, he gets lung cancer and esophageal cancer in 2013 and he has to get oxygen and he gets his oxygen measured and
i feel like it's so threatening, just another kind of fear that again now he's living with this fear, i was terrified of being there like it's going to blow up but they would measure it and feed him oxygen and i thought our river, they would feed oxygen to make it healthy and measure the oxygen in the water and there's more on that but body burden, yeah. body burden or environmental burden is there in line, it's not corporate and the people that are carrying this burden,maybe they are but they're not carrying this burden asmuch as those people living in those zones , their disenfranchised people . alot of them are working-class, there always more susceptible to injustices . and it's i think the thing
that's most insidious is that it's a very slow attritional disaster. not a catastrophe which people get getting out there slow and equally, if not what we think of as a disaster. it's not even love canal, it's not that level of whatever. >> it's structural violence, violence is being done to human bodies and in these communitiesespecially . i want to read, i just have a list of some of my favorite lines here and i mean, okay. so you're writing about is it hortense who? >> it's all mixed family, this is my actual grandmother
. >> hortense was a chain-smoking sardonic woman with a face like a dormant volcano. this was her husband frank. he was affectionate in his toothless smile. the way an octopus was, embracing his grandchildren with a manic repulsive grip. here's one that all new englanders and especially boston red sox fans will appreciate. -- [inaudible] for the home run he hit that knocked the red sox out, itwas a one-game playoff . >> that's how i met him, it was notlong after that maybe 1980 was the first time i was in new york city . [inaudible] >> right after your dad died,
he's talking about the family. grief sits on our shoulders like anervous cat . and then during the union strike at the mill, this cafc vibrated with thebroody rumble of the unemployed . and then in the hair salon, a sign pasted up on the mirror with a cone that says this is a comb, not a magic one . >> that could have been the subtitle of the book . >> you lived in tarasoff for a while and until you are talking about oilrefinery there . and you have a sentence that reads over the tiled rooftop of the candy colored buildings, the oil refineries tax float off gases inspired fiery spasms in competition with the equatorial sunset and then here's one of your relatives. you'd make an appearance at the dinner table every night
but even then he seemed to be elsewhere, a blank square in a game ofscrabble and here's yourmother, she's on a roll . her words like a blender on high with the cover off . >> that's about most women in my family. >> we might get a littlebit political here . scary. one of the other alternative subtitles i had proposed for this book was, let's see, where did i write that down? the subtitle of the book is reckoning with what remains . it could just as easily be this growing over of the working class who followed all the rulesand did everything they were supposed to . and so you're writing about how so many of your friends found the trump election in
2016 to be this great surprise and amystery , but you, the only surprise you experienced was yoursurprised at their surprise .and your writing that trunk and you're writing about 40 years of broken promises and broken policies by both, across the politicalspectrum . and here you write trump however saw the working class . and even if he too was riding in a limo or using a goldleaf toilet, even if in the end he didn't provide what we needed , at least he stopped, opened his door and said hello. trump lies all the time. but in 2016, you had one powerful truth in that campaign. he keptsaying the system is
rigged .that's a powerful truth and it rang true to a lot of people in the country. so the story of your family, your parents is the story of the workingclass . people who did everything right, followed all the rules,worked hard. who were thrifty . they took care of their family, their community and then they get to the end of their lives and their like a tetherball read their right back wherethey started . so talk about those broken promises, those broken policies and you know, why people do what they dowhen it comes to politics . >> i should say i adapted some of that into an essay, my 86th job.
outlining 86 jobs that i've had . but i mean, it started, i could say it started years ago but i think it even may have started when themill opened . i was trying to look at the american dream, was that a myth? because i think you say this in your book and i was reading it tonight. but it wasn't necessarily that people were doing better because they were in the working class, but it was a structure. everybody was doing better. everybody was doing better at that time. so it wasn't just becausethey were hard-working . okay, so they're all doing better but at the same time they're getting poisoned, that's one thing and there's all this other stuff accumulates again. it just accumulates the status of dioxin in ourbodies .
i think i started maybe inthe 70s when i was born ,milton friedman , free markets going to sort itself out and reagan's policies and there was a strike in our town, a really horrible strike in our town that tore our town apart and really left wall mill workers not thinking their company was loyal to them anymore andthey weren't so there were things like that happened . the recession after recession and we always said that i don't know if it's true but i'm not an economist but it seems like it always hit our town first and less last and sometimes pieces of it still lingered. so we're going to the 70s and 80s with reagan hiring all the air traffic controllers and guys like what's his name general lester.
jack welch. so just nobody cared anymore. it's just about the bottom line and mill workers felt that very acutely. it started with the strike but then their loyalty started to waver to and also i should say our mill was owned by a man and then his son and his son and a chemical company, a corporation and a conglomerate and now it's owned by a chinese company and its are actually in the art of american manufacturing to . it just got so dispersed that like you were talkingabout early , the power, people running theindustry art in the town . so there, they don't even know what'sgoing on in this town . at least in, nobody ever did live in the town but at least he was there once ina while . so we keep going through the
90s, you've got the berlin wall coming down in our town was like who cares, it was such a bad recession. i graduated from college right in the middle of it and it was really bad. i tried to get a job there, i didn't even know where towork . and it just kept getting worse and worse and then my mother went back to work because my father's income, the income wasn't enough and it just kept getting worse and people that work at the mill didn't have the pension he was going to get, it just kept getting thinner and thinner and then walmart moved in and all the small businesses goaway . it was just again, this slow disaster of maybe not slow in geological time but slow over the last hundred years so that when trump shows up and i should say this to, there's a piece published in the
paris youth daily that talks about how we found trump. when i went to new yorkcity , in the time 78 was it when you went, you . 82. so i was there aroundthat same time . the first place we went was trump tower. there was thisthing, we admire that kind of wealth . we didn't admire lawyers and doctors for a lot of complicated reasons and trump then, we had that attraction to that tough talking moneymaking thing so when the 2016 election came up he was this master of sort of, i can't say he's a master of anything. you can say it.
>> he's a master of fantasy. >> it's so weird, i didn't read ben's book until i was done with mine, this book that were talking a little bit and there's so many parallels in our book that scared me and my husband said you need to call himright away and tell him you didn't copy those lines in your book . but this drive towards 2016 election, it got there and it wasn't, he gave them some glimmer of hope and our town was the biggest obama voters in the state and then in 2016 they were the biggest trump voters because they were just , it wasn't against obama or anything . it was just we need something, anythingso we're desperate . and that's what they chose. they chose this guy who they thought was going to do something. they didn't care what actually area just something.
theywere tired of the slow additional violence against them . >> i could go on but i won't. >> i think toward the end of the book and it may be getting to the point where we stop and take questions, but i really want to get this in. towards the end of the book there's this lovely summing up of what you've done with thebook . and i'm not sure you consciously intended it that way but this is whatyou did with the book . i can find no smoking gun, no magic bullet, no conspiracy,crowd of currency who quit the mill or the federal government. the truth it seems is not about hard evidence in your hands . it's about examining and poking at long-held beliefs
and the portals of history and pushing back on them. like my ancestors pushed back the acadian tides with the palms of their hands . that's a lovely passage. it's also, that's why we write. that's why we go after books like this. that's why we read books like this. the truth is complex. human experience is complex. and i think it's only books like this that take deep dives into experience where we can get close to thetruth . and often, it is not satisfying in the way that a neat ending will be. but i think there is consolation and a lot of satisfaction in having a story authenticallytold . that reflects the truth of the experience and that's what this book is.so hats
off to you. it's a lovely book. >> the comments on that i think closure would be a complete lie. there's always small towns, there is no karen brockovich. there's no, yeah. it would be a lie and it would be untruthful because everybody would think everything's okay and it's not . definitely not. >> i'm interrupting to ask a question from the audience. thank you both very much for the discussion, i'm going to ask two questions on behalf of some of our participants. the first one said hi kerry, i read excerpts from your book which is incredible by the way and i would recommend harry's refuge which explores
environmental issues from the local level and resonates towards thewider world . did you have did tempest williams have anyimpact on your writing ? >> know, i'm. [inaudible] i haven't read any of theenvironmental literature people would think i would have read . i just started to read it and the only thing i did read was rachel carson's silentsprings obviously . he talks a lot about what you said earlier about inaction is just as dangerous as the wrong action . how the little things count. all these little tiny dangerous small things. that was more influential but it's environmental literature in those.
>> absolutely, thank you. >> i should say the structure of the bookreally came from the material itself , came from the material like i said came everywhere, was coming at me in milk crates and moldy boxes and people just like mailing the random things so that's why the structure of the book is not such a normal structure because the material has a lot of tributaries. >> and another question from matt who grew up in bethpage longisland . the home of drummond aerospace before northrop grumman camealong . i remember writing up on a mountain, literally. you think every factory town
has this same past. >> yes, i do because a lot of these toxins are bioaccumulative. everybody on this call has been in them right now. there are bioaccumulative and they the further down the foodchain they go the stronger they become . so i do not think that is in their past it all and it's interesting because the economic developer of this town , they did a profile of him and they asked him what he thought about my book. this is before it came out and he said kerri's book is about the past and i don't think he knows anything about the way toxinswork , the body burden of carrying them. >> couple others, if we could
have any lingering questions but. >> one thing i meant to ask kerry was what's the response been to the book in your hometown ? >> one of the most odd spots, a couple is mostly uplift and support but people have said to me i feel so seen and that was great for me to hear, just even saying it. not that i'm seeing them but other people are seeing them . you read about these people and oh my god. that's so interesting and really, that's not interesting, i grew up there but it was interesting to people . they feel seen and also the other thing people are saying to me is it's about time somebody wrote this story . so i have got nothing but support so far although the
book just cameout, we will see . nobody in this book is a hero and nobody's a bad guy area and even the mill. it's a lot more complex than binary, good and bad, truth and untruth. it's complicated. people's lives and i think the only binary really is life-and-death in this period of the need to constantly make regulations that choose death over life, that's the only binary with a hard and fast one or the other, there is no gray areathere. you die or you live .it's a nice way to end thisthing . >> i know almost everybody on this call which is amazing. >> and honest and refreshing look at issues buried in our past but that's not how that
whole experience works and i think it's unfortunately timely always and i deeply sad because i want to say thank you to both you and ben for an enlightening conversation this evening and as i said in the chat and i will say again you can of course support kerri and her important work by buying the book from daylight, order it online orcome into our stores to get .we are really deeply grateful for the type of people that it takes to do this kind of light shining work and it's a rare pleasure to host this evening. >> we didn't read any of ben's book and i encourage you all. i'm going to readsomething, everybody stick around . anybody was left angle on because if you've not read this book i'm going to give you some great readings with ben and then you can all go
home and still have dinner. he talked about ted cruz in iowa. it's one of my favoritethings . the cruz happy face was like a person grimace, he put his lips over his front teeth while the rest of his mouth retracts to show layers of teeth and so it goes of the action plan,:-), stern, smiley and it's the meticulous operation you find in a box of cracker jacks and reflects cruz's features into something close to handsomeness and even held at touch of old-time hollywood ã to a borderline effeminate prettiness. there's a lot to happen to cruise showing up in makeup under those high-tech studio
lights, in person there's a show on the restiveness to him, a blurring of definition in his face and of the little mob of his chin angling like a quail egg. even the skin and indentations of slump how he feels when he's not buttoned up ina jacket . that's the best description of anything i've ever heard. thank you for all sitting around . please buy this book because it's so relevant to this election. it was written in the last election but you could just replace it with dates and it would bethe same thing . i think. >> thank you for writing your book and jackie, thank you for hosting. everybody buy abook from green light , it's a wonderful store. >> if not hours, somebody else's . >> thank you again carrie and
then for a delightful discussion to the two of you and also such joy in shining each other's work. it's really a wonderful wayto end the evening . on some bleak topics. >> i'm smiling the whole time, i don't know what's wrong with me . >> you so much everyone. >> talk to you soon dan. goodbye, thank you. >> here are some of the best telling nonfiction books according to the new york times. topping the list is mariah carey's autobiography, pulitzer prize winning journalist bob woodward's examination of present trumps national and foreign policy decisions. after that pulitzer prize winning author isabel wilkerson explores what she calls a hidden caste system in the united states and then in humpty dumpty wanted the crowd, actor john lithgow
provides a look at president trump through satirical first and wrapping up our look at some of the best-selling nonfiction books according to the new york times is killing crazy horse, former fox news host bill o'reilly and author martin do guards history of the conflicts between native american tribes and the united states government. most of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch them online at book tv.org . >> during a virtual event hosted by the commonwealth club susan eisenhower discusses the life and leadership of her grandfather dwight eisenhower . here's aportion . >> eisenhower's very conscious of what it would be to be a diminished president. we have to remember president wilson was almost a scandal that people in the country didn't know how well that president was so i was determined not to find himself in that situation for the good of the country and after he had three illnesses during his presidency and after each one of them he would give himself a very arduous test like a round the world trip or a trip to europe th