tv Michelle Duster Ida B. the Queen CSPAN December 20, 2021 6:59pm-8:02pm EST
>> hello everyone and welcome to today's virtual commonwealth club humanities form program. my day name commonwealth club board member and your moderator. as a club continues to host virtual events we are grateful for the continued support of our members and donors. we hope you will also consider making a donation online or text donate 2-415-329-4231. the club also thanks the osha foundation foror supporting today's good look event. : : : brooklyn and george hammond for helping to organize today's event. just a reminder that if you have a question for our guest today, please put it in th >> is a pleasure to welcome up
author of "ida b. the queen", the extraordinary life and liberty of due wells and michelle duster, his great-granddaughter of ida b wells and has edited or contributed to 16 books for bote adults and children and as an advocate to highlight women and african-americans, michelle has worked on several public history projects to remain monuments and historical markers in the united states and michelle duster has received several awards including the 2019, high generational award, illinois human rights commission and the 2019, martin luther king jr., social justice award from the college and michelle duster, what, and let me start off with a couple of quotes in the book. so first michelle duster, thank you for being here and how are
you throughout this pandemic. >> this is the turn to you for having me. i am feeling good, living in chicago and we just i had a nice little snow storm. this is a good time to have a conversation, we are snowed in so let me first congratulations on the book so let's start off with a couple of quotes in the book. i believe she is considered by all of the intelligence officers is one of the most biggest negro advocates and here is a second quote, you have done your people and mine a service which can either be weighed or measured so this was your great grandmother i to be wells and discernment and first description on the fbi file the second description is from a
frederick douglass and so michelle which was she a dangerous agitator or brave woman. >> i actually think my great great grandmother ida b. wells, was both read it depends on what perspective you're coming from, one of my oldest and i wanted to show "ida b. the queen" and have the book she did was on the coloring in the atrocities and it tells the narratives and status quo of the time about what it was going on regarding when she was with the black community so from the perspective of the government, she was in agitator but she also was a brave woman in order to do that so she was both. >> was she agitating for freedom and equality right. sue met right, a dangerous negro
agitator consider because she was influencing people in the bucket community to stand up for themselves and so when you have a system that has a vested invested interest in people, and literally somebody to have people stand up for themselves and not acceptlv second-class citizenship handed to boycott and migrate pretty in the black resistance and she was considering a leader in its dangerous. >> given the system which she was operating it is dangerous, was it hard to get this from fbi. >> it was not that hard at this point, i was able to access that
online and having to go physically there would have been very hard during the pandemic. >> i found your book to be unusual and explorative, such as your standard biography with a storyline and it was with ida b. wells' birth in mississippi and back in 1931 and instead, you take the reader on a tour of our life by showing it how she influenced your life and your belief is an author has to use her voice for the protection and advancement of justice and equality and how her work continues to affect people long after her passable start with you, the book you write about how much you and your grandmother so in what ways are you to alike.
>> and so was my grandmother's mother and i never got a chance to meet her because she died 32 years before i was born so i learned from her for my grandmother and i spent a lot of time with her and through research because luckily, my great-grandmother was well made it easier for some people to access information about her. and she left a trope of writing and publications and she also wrote and kept a journal and so i came inside into some of her is better than public writings. so my search i found it that i did have similarities to her which were interesting considering i never met her.
>> is similar in that you are both writers, this is apparently your calling asre well and are there other writers and family or is it just ida b. wells - do you read. >> is pretty much ida b. wells, and then i have a one other cousin whose interest in writing. the next generation after me so a total of 20 great-grandchildren. so i stand out to the other interests pretty. >> you could describe her, was she tall or short person it is kind of give us policing the photographs that shot. can you give us a little bit more quickie details. >> , great-grandmother ida b. wells, was actually petite and i
included that information in ida b. wells when i described her encounter in the "ida b. the queen", when she was getting off of the train. it is important to note that she was not specifically a small person, she was only 5 feet tall. she was around 5 feet tall, especially when she was younger, she was quite petite and i know how much she waited plan guessing maybe 1120 pounds so she was a 20 woman which makes it even more significant as far as health she was. >> there already several biographies about your great-grandmother and it her autobiography so what is different about "ida b. the queen", you've already published
two books about her and why does want and what makes this book different. >> i told little bit of information about my own journey because i have been talking about ida b. wells for me while and i do questions about what was it like it tomorrow up of the great granddaughter of ida b.ug wells pretty and peek into the experiences of growing up with a historic figure and an ancestor and i also wanted to tell people are helping people understand how my great-grandmother to the 400 a year experience of african-americans in this country. she lived in a specific time where a lot of things happen before her and now after her and all connected and how the
president is impacted by the past. too much you tell us more about you, maybe give us a few highlights of your journey. >> about my life, yes, i was born and raised in the south side of chicago with at the time and still now actually is predominantly black neighborhood, it was not when i first moveds. in. only in america when it came to the city and so i grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood. p and so i was little older when i integrated to the school and went to college so my journey, i was very interested in how african-americans were portrayed in the mediaes specifically and bother to me that maybe people
who look to mind and like me and lived it like i did on television and it really struck me when i got to college how many misconceptions people had about people who grewha up on te south side of chicago. and help me understand the power of the media and images. >> you have family photographs, his paperclip seat on the clippings and you have this wonderful unique color portrait of the civil rights pioneers from the past and present and was the artisan how did you decide to include this artwork. >> the artist is monica and i will spell her last name, aha and oem you, on instagram and on social media and she is an
amazing artist and a very specific style and seemed appropriate for this type of book to bring to life a lot of these historical figures who many people are familiar with their names and their images you know, very common images but showing them in a different way kind of added to how this book could be framed in a different ways for selling our history. >> is there anyway you could put up this book are the idea of the artwork and found the artwork just wonderful and different as you said. and who are we looking at here >> marshall and last name.
i don't know, williams? i think people may want to look thisit up, aha and ome you predict. >> is stillll trying to wrap my head around how a woman might be, the elders of eight children that because the head of the household, the age of 16, goes to college and had already influence with presidents and constant fbi surveillance and married and had three children with chicago's first female probation officer, a schoolteacher and newspaper and profession and she wrote an autobiography in game one of o this country's greatest investigative genesis, and is exhausting just listing all ofal these accomplishments so where
did she give her strength from, did she have a mentor anybody to guide her. >> later in her life, a big influence on her, she many when she was in her mid- 20s and he saw power in her and encouraged here and actually provided opportunities for her and so is a great influence on her and actually introduced her to her husband, my great-grandfather so whatever influence he was, he also had a lot of colleagues, he worked with many influential people. and walker and interactions and the who's who of the late 19th century and early at 20th century. it's amazing that all these
people are sort of working together but it makes sense because they were all working for the same goal for the african-americans they had conferences and conventions during a time so they did interact with each other quite a bit. >> you mentioned mostly men who she interacted with because that is because the man were the ones who put themselves in a position of leadership but there were women in addition and you mentioned may be some and i'm sorry but didn't catch it, do you remember any other women that were either her colleagues or helpd guide her. >> when i was doing my biography, and i was doing some research, she mentioned it both cofounders of the naacp and they were both cofounders of the national first edition of the
colored women's club and also addresses mary and then she had also a friendship with anthony and then in chicago, also with another trinity and also she did interact in a slightly different to what underway, fighting for women's rights and there was a fight for racial equality. >> i have an interest int things legal so when you described ida b. wells or battles, i was intrigued so that in at the end of 22, she decides to take on the powerful chesapeake ohio and southwestern railroad so can you give us the back story. what is the back story to lead up to this time when she would see the railroad. >> semite great-grandmother, ida b. wells, she was teaching and
living in memphis and she was teachingg with scott, about 14 miles m away. she had to take the train. in 1881, to see the segregation and the power of transportation it is my great-grandmother the good work as though she would just ignore it. then she wouldad be in the ladis car lady and eventually in 1883, they asked her to go to the colored car and she refused. and she was turned off the train in a very very violent way. three men though the train conductor and two others came to remove her physically and she
actually get one of them men because she was fighting. one of the things she wrote about in her general was how heart-wrenching, how she felt about as a moment, then the people in the train saw her when she was removed from the train train. and she noticed the black children were noticing that the white children are welcome to on the train so she felt that as a professional woman, that she should be treated with a level of respect and the idea that the cars were equal but they were not equal and people - and that's why she sued the
railroad. >> what are the colored cars you know, what conditions were like in a colored cars. >> the cars that were designated for the colored is, first of all where, not just the ladies car, and second of all white men could come and go as they pleased. a lot of them she describes they were drunk and people also smoked in the colored car i had was near the train so we see movies of the old trains where they had the smoke coming out, mosocial financial training woud go through the windows. she found that to be intolerable so that was absolutely unequal
>> at this time she was 22 years old and i earlier the age of 16, she ends up having to take care of everybody pretty can you briefly tell us what happened to her parents. >> 1978, both of ida b. wells' parents died from the yellow fever and within one day of a center that time, ida b. wells was 16 years old and ultimately ended up taking care of her five remaining siblings because one of her siblings died along with her parents and another had died earlier so there were six of them remaining in the age of 16, despite the fact that several of her father's friends volunteered to take some of the children and take care of them, they were going to divide out on her own, she defied all of the and said she could take care of the
children on her own predict. >> that's just amazing and you rode the book she did for a couple of years engineer burnout as well as get back into the lawsuit so this was such a great story so after she hired this was black and he ends up betraying her to mollify the railroad. so she turned another lawyer who was white as of christmas eve, was no 1884, she plans and she gets $500 in damages. and that some back then was equal to a years of our teacher salary, but today it would be closer to $20000 but it was short lived without victory so what happened. >> the southwestern railroad obviously made a decision if they cannot let a black woman
when in a lawsuit against the because it would senate precedents for other people to see them as if they were going to fight too the analogous this and killed the case all of the way to the supreme court. so 1987, which was three years later, the case was overturned in the verdict was overturned and she was never awarded the money and in fact, she had a pay court costs which added up to $200, that is almost part of her salary. if that was a double loss or triple is because a really disillusioned her when it came to how african-americans did not have justice in the court system. >> this story enrages me and it also just gives me thinking
about our system is used so much to oppress people of color and those who have very little any of the system has been used to actually give us the rights we are entitled to. it's been kind of a schizophrenic thing with our legal system and apparently you're right that ida b. wells took the sauce really really hard on page 43 new book, include a passage on her journal about her courtroom experience and it is a wonderful passage and i'm wondering if the baby read the last 89 lines of it so we get a sense about how she wrote about it and how she felt. >> my great-grandmother wrote, it is possible to gather in my arms and fly away for them, god is there no peace, no justice in
this land for us pretty the battle has always felt hot, the battles of the week and a present him to my aid at this moment it and teach me what to do so i am sorely very disappointed and show us the way and now that the children of israel how you lead them out of bondage into the promised land. and i wanted to included some of my great-grandmother's original writings and "ida b. the queen", so people could share her voice and also the insight into her emotional state. i thought it was important for people to see the whole picture of who she was and not just her accomplishments pretty she. she was hurt and disappointed
and what i noticed is that she drew on her religious faith. >> as i sit here, still do not understand how someone his parents die in a rather nice and when she is 16, she steps and and takes the family and then she's a teacher and she is 22, and she doing all that and she files a lawsuit and she wins and loses then has to pay out of her own pocket and it's an incredible story and that alone should give people reason to go get this book and read this book. it's amazing silicide what journals and diaries. i don't know whether to call it a diary or journal or with the difference of them so you tell me what words you use but where is hers now.
>> my great great grandmother donated all of the ida b. wells papers were to the university of chicago archives of but it's also been published by another who has information about what i did was talking about but i personally before rams publisher bucket, i have a copy of ida's diary pretty was interesting to me to see her handwriting and one of the things that i want to mention is my look at her diary is that even though all the margins, she would like to write like a a normal paragraph then e would go up along the side of the margins and right in between the lines and it was very interesting to see the originals of the nayarit.
diary. the diary is over a hundred pages. she started in 1985, through page 87, two years and well that is the only journal that we have any unfortunately, she well there for a couple of incidences that my grandmother told me about that work mysterious fires and always wondered what that was about. it's possible she had other journals that just did not survive. >> do you keep a journal or a diary a. >> yes, i do even one with key so yes.
>> and do you keep paper journals and a diary. >> i still do, i collect my thoughts about things and is a way for me to process what my life is. >> do you think the diary writing is a lost order to use the coming back. >> based on what i've seen, or there are journals galore, people must be writing that is such a private thing would it is hard to know exactly how many people are engaging in it but people must be doing it because when you go there before, you can see. >> a lot of talk more about this, the journals. so what you say to young people
in the middle people, do you encourage people to do it and why should we do it. >> i think it's important for people to have a space where they have time with themselves to document when they are feeling and what they are feeling and what they're going through and what their experiences are in one of the things that my great-grandmother journal which was interesting to me was almost like critiques, she was in the theater quite often and she would rights her thoughts about the play about what books hee read was a way fr her to process what she was experiencing and for me to read it, it gave me a sense of pushing a passion for and what
her social life was like in the things that she did in her free time and how she reacted to them. >> i encourage people listening to use the chat room there was a question that just came in, you mentioned that cj whoppers a moment that your great grandmother new and can you talk anymore about the relationship. .. and she and my great-grandmother have slightly different hat, but where they came together was within the fight for justice. cj walker was a philanthropist, so she supported financially some of the initiatives that my great-grandmother was involved in. and their lives their lives converged after world war i when there is
effort to have a peace conference. they were both selected as delegates to go to the piece a conference or talk on a world stage about everything that happened during world war i. which is why they're included in the fbi assessment are why she should have been denied a passport. >> that is crazy. >> to write on page seven in your book, as a black woman she had to fight two battles, racism and sexism and she did sois tirelessly. so, one such battle involved struggle to be included in the suffrage movement to give women the right to vote. the leaders of the suffrage movement were white women. the story of how she
outsmarted them at the national march 1 suffrage is such a good story. can you briefly tell us what she did? >> my great-grandmother was>> involved in political organizations. she founded the suffrage clause and was elected to represent them as a parade in washington d.c. once there the black women were asked to march in the back of the parade. and ultimately my great-grandmother inserted herself front and center of the delegation during the march, when the march started they could not find her. she walked alongside the crowd and jumped out of the crowd and inserted herself front and center with the illinois delegation. >> all 5 feet of her, right?
[laughter] >> all 5 feet of her. >> that's awesome just awesome. we have another question for those who are attending. is there a play or book your great mother grandmother liked in particular? >> a lot that are considered classics for us right now like charles dickens and she mentioned more writers than actual names of books. those are some of the one she read. she mentioned how she read the bible multiple times. when they were growing up that was the only books i could read on sundays. >> host: i love the story how ida b stood up to the secret service over all things and buttons.
i was in memorial martyred negro soldiers december 11 covid 1917. so without talking about the fascinating and heartbreaking back story about the buttons, he described that in the book and i encourage everybody to read about it. it is really remarkable. what can you tell us generally about her interaction with secretwi service agent that demanded she's topped or subversive distribution of these buttons? [laughter] that just makes me laugh. >> tell us about it. >> like you said they were buttons that she was distributing in honor of wsoldiers who work camp logan in houston. she was so outraged the united states government would kill its own soldiers. >> tells little bit about that. give us a more back story on that.
>> was outside of houston late fight for freedom and democracy wearing a united states uniform they were harassed and humiliated. to a point where they had to defend themselves. as a result of them defending themselves they were hanged. my great-grandmother thought that was absolute outrage. the soldiers needed to be memorialized in the government needed to be criticized. but that she come up with the idea for the buttons? >> yes it was very clear that she and my great-grandfather both felt absolutely needed to
be memorialized. they first attempted to have a memorial service called church leaders to find a space and no one was willing to do that. she decided to pass the buttons outpl so they would know what happened and she could recoup some the cost of printing the buttons. >> secret serviceha agent show up the front door, right? tell us about her interaction with them and how they showed out. >> to shut up as a fellowship leak which is the rooming house and location where she gave people job training. that is her work where they showed up. they basically confronted her and asked about these buttons and she gladly handed it to them and they told her she was
criticizing the government will be charged with treason. and she was like go ahead i dare you. she famously made a statement about how she would rather go downma in history as the lone negra who had enough courage to speak up against the government then to keep her mouthai shut. she made it clear to them i will probably go to jail i believe in this so much it's worth going to prison for. the way she described in the book she was not intimidated by them. at this point she's in her late 50s. that look at her and said this woman because she said they never bothered her again. >> they backed off. >> but they did go to the
printer of the button and make sure he did not make any more buttons. >> got it, they shut it down going to the back door basically. >> of god. >> i to be reputation never be tarnished. why is she so concerned that a black woman experienced. mostly black people and they're mostly men but there were women who were lynched. there is a social atmosphere your life can be taken at any
time. and women regardless of race getting to be gentle and ladylike in order to gain respect she had to be vigilant and how she looked. she confronted a minister who she heard was disparaging her and directly toap make sure he apologize not only to her face but to the public about what he had implied about her. because she could be in great danger for her profession she had to have a separate look.
>> her work as an investigative journalist really put ida b on a map. she became a pioneer in what became journalism. people associate with lynchings in any capacity even when policing discs interested in their cases. she would not rest until the truth were made public. there is an event that triggered her purse was crusade. what was that event? >> in 1892 to three of great-grandmother's friends wereed lynched. they were proprietors, business men owned a grocery store. that is what turned my
great-grandmother's disability, lynching is not about punishment for a crime, at the time black men were violating white women. and she writes in her autobiography how she realized lynching was being used as a tool terrorism to terrorize the black community and to uphold racial hierarchy. and it was a way to get rid of the leaders of the black community. she put two and two together and decided she wanted the whole world to know what was really going on. because unfortunately some people were believing that false narrative. >> she didn't just write about
the lynching she raise public awareness by traveling across the country. she went to england, she gave speeches about them. even when she faced that she have anyone to confide then when things got terrified for her? >> that is actually unclear too me. i ripped her autobiography and she doesn't really talk much about would have been her confidant are how she continued to go forward. i can surmise a lot of it was her face. people were telling her to not do this to stop doing it in
the she's working on behalf of the black community she kept on going look at the way some people look at it today when something personal happens when something personal happens and you know what the situation is and you cannot get justice through the court i'm going to change this and i think that is what happened with my great-grandmother. it's personal to her and she wanted vengeance. >> given how busy she was, she traveled, she did her writing, she did newspaper work, investigative work, networking.
she married barney. can you talk about what their relationship was like? and also who was burnett what kind of person was he? >> was my great-grandfather so i come from both. [laughter] ten years older than her and he was a step and establish attorney. vaalso own a newspaper the conservatory newspaper. also a civil rights activist in his own way. so they got a really good match because his personality was more laid-back and was confrontational so we really complemented each other.
>> she does not marry though, how old was she when she married mr. barney? >> she was 33 years old which is considered really ancient or somebody born in 1862. correction does not have any children up until then showed three children she had children in her 40s? >> my grandmother was born when i was a 42. that is highly unusual back in the day. >> she was an older mother
shoot he was ten years older is 52 and she was born. >> how did that all work what was the household bike? >> doing all the stuff he was a lawyer she's having kids and now she's 40. how did raising children work in thatng household? >> i had the good thing about the time there is around the corner from my great-grandmother's lives. my grandmother they went to school in the neighborhood. it was the neighborhood they grew up in.
everything was in walking distance. homeless community among the people who live in the neighborhood so there is a lot of help. >> interesting, i just don't see how it got done. a couple of questions coming in from the folks attending the program here. when you look at your great grandmother's diaries is there anything in there that surprised you that shocked you? >> when i was doing research there is anything that somewhat shocked me as it made me laugh. some of her descriptions of the people that she interacted with were hilarious. those were her inner thoughts.
what are some people he really did not care for. where she would describe them was simply funny to me. i tried to remember. [laughter] just the way she would describe their physical appearance was funny. >> did she want our diet that is it. >> she kept a journal from 1885 -- 1887 pray there's nothing written after that. so part of me thanks she was intentional about keeping that journal available because she had plenty of time to destroy it between 1887.
i get the pression she was okay with people having access to it. >> are there any memories that your grandmother has conveyed to you about ida b? is there anything that she specifically remembered? >> the way my grandmother grandmother her was her actual work. we grew up one of the founders of the naacp. my grandmother would tell us your grandmother, your great grandmother was always willing to fight for what she believed in. you need to speak up for yourself. it was more in the frame of
value, education was strongly emphasized in our family. nobody can take it away from you. here is a comment and a question from someone. many white people say they know black history because they know martin luther king jr., rosa parks and even the name ida b wells. what lesson applies to us firing journalists today what can i learn from your great-grandmother? >> one of the things about my great-grandmotherhe that is inspiring to me is how business savvy she was. in addition to being a journalist she insisted on being a co-owner of a newspaper which gave her control. that is important when it comes to telling our stories for a lot of situations having
ownership gives an opportunity to shape the information that you feel is important. if the only publishing outright you have more control of the messages in that information. that has been something as a guiding force for me for when it comes to having input and how african-american stories are told. >> i want to go back to your great grandfather for a moment. i am intrigued by him because he is married to this woman who is a force of nature. she is out there getting all of the attention. and some relationships, maybe most will be threatened by that they're not going to like that, somehow it relationships don't work. what was said about him? he apparently was not threatened by the fact she was out there doing all of this
stuff. can you talk a little bit more about that and how that relationship was able to work? it's. >> and based on the research i did in talking with my grandmother she was attracted to her encourage her speak up and to fight. there are cases that happened i might great-grandfather we used to do something about that.
to speak up and fight for this person to be behind-the-scenes with the public person the moment the governor for instance there are several on that was the dynamic this is highly unusual to see that kind of thing happening. i think it is the first year ever. we had the pandemic, the rise of racism, the devastated economy, the assault on democracy. all that being said one good thing that came out of 2020, one of the good things there were a few, was the posthumous
pulitzer plights peschel citation just upon your great-grandmother almost 90 years after death. talk to us about that experience and what that has meant to you. but that's meant to you and your family. >> guest: well, my great-grandmother received recognition in today's world for what she contributed to journalism for me it shows how timeless and how important documentation is her writing was extremely descriptive.
help violent and lawless situation was. >> what books you have in your f now? what do we have to look forward to? >> i am working on a couple of children's books. to introduce two may be little kids so we can see for themselves in these stories. >> are they going to bite your great-grandmother or some other subjects? many other african trailblazers. will be a well rounded representation of the history. >> i'm going to go back to this book ida b the queen.
we have another question coming in a note that woodrow wilson high school in portland is being renamed for ida b wells. tell us about that i had no idea. >> that is such poetic justice might great-grandmother had more than one challenge with woodrow wilson she visited him in the white house may get a request he stopped segregating the federal government. for school that's named after him to be changed to her name i think it is a wonderful
thing. >> must talk to people a little more about woodrow wilson one of the most racist president we've ever had. talk more about him and his attitude was segregation of black people in general. >> the situation with the soldiers in 1917 happened under woodrow wilson. so, to me that says a lot. the soldiers there were to fight for freedom one of the most racist films ever made was screened at woodrow wilson's white house. those are two examples to get a window into his mentality.
>> let's wonderful school is now going to be known as ida b rose high school. and getting his name off. we are out at the end of our conversation. this has been terrific i love meeting you although it's by zoom. in all the folks watching have met you in this fashion. you are doing a terrific service for everyone in doing the writing that you do. i have one final question for you. that is this, what was your great-grandmother say to those ofom us of all races as we celebrate black history month in 2021? >> i think my great-grandmother would say to believe in yourself, all this country has to offer
her life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness to all of us and to not be afraid to speak up for yourself. >> thanks to michelle duster i to be the queen the extraordinary life, the legacy of ida b wells. we encourage you all, by the book. purchaset michelle's new book at your local bookstore. if you like to watch more virtual programs of support the commonwealth club efforts please visit www.dot commonwealth club.org. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> weekend on cspan2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday documents america story and on sundays, but tv brings you books and authors. funding comes from these
television companies and more. >> the world changes in an instant. meeting, is ready, internet tracking source and we never slowed down. schools and businesses might virtual week powered a new reality. >> media, along with these television companies support cspan2 as a public service. >> book tv on cspan2's leading authors discussing their latest nonfiction books. 8:30 5:00 p.m. eastern help woke media's underlining democracy this week the opinion editor argues journalism has become a profession for out of touch with mainstream america.
sir stockman talks about her book american made, what happens to people when work disappears which examines u.s. companies moving overseas she's interviewed by alyssa executive editor of the economic project watch a book tv every sunday on cspan2. on your program mount guide or online anytime booktv.org. >> good evening and welcome i am cnn correspondent holly and tonight i'm honored to be the host of this very special book fest in your living room. we have here in atlanta and the national literary consortium, welcome. we are in for such a fascinating evening tonight. this international best-selling author walter isaacson. you're going to talk about his latest book, the code breaker if