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tv   Author Discussion on American History  CSPAN  October 11, 2022 7:18pm-8:21pm EDT

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for over midterm election coverage on demand, cspan your unfiltered view of politics. >> mississippi department of archived history, and titled uniquely american history in one way or another,th these three books nearly every state in the union as well as her neighbors in new york, and in the south. hear from each of our authors of the storytelling spoke, and then i'll ask you a few questions for opening questions to you all and please member the since we are on c-span, the viewers won't be able to hear your questions unless you go to the microphone and ask if there and so all comments and questions, take it to the podium. jeff quinn has one from the southwest united states and bonnie and clyde, charles
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manchin and jim jonesas and he lives in fort worth texas, as a member of texas literally enter literary hall of fame in such sellingin books as go down together, last gunfight, the road to jonestown, and waco, and today tell us about his new book, and the texas rangers, an american invasion, and brian kastner as an officer who received a bronze star for his service in the iraq war and his family live in buffalo new york and he is the author of the books the long walk in, and all of the ways we kill and co-author of the 2017, the road ahead in journalism and essays appeared and esquire, wire, and new york times and washington post, panic in other issues and he will talk to us about his freedom book. [inaudible]. and disaster in the klondike.
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andd at a long time staff write, written for vanityy fair, new york life and many other publications and rinker buck's has won the award national journalism writing award, the society of the professional journalists, delta causing award and rinker buck's best selling author - and he was in tennessee to be with us today to talk about his book, life in the mississippi, and i think american adventure although, regret to inform you if you did not survive this schools there traveling down the mississippi river at least that's what everyone says. [inaudible]. >> in the last couple of books so tell you about the oregon
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trail the wagon and i ride the trail. [inaudible]. so this book all of the way from pittsburgh to new orleans to see the conditions not reenacting see the conditions as they came down that original frontier path. how they saw the country from the water in all of these river states, people are careful about the rivers they've lost family norms of the river may have brothers and nephews who work river tugboats pushing them and there are accidents and there are deaths so they have seen - and whatever may be.
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[laughter] >> what some of them are just terrible, nursing this group, when you get the boat stuck in the water pool, you pass out because you go around and roundh and you pass out and they will capsize in the voting you will be dragged along the bottom of the river and you better prepare your family for this because you will come back and you won't even have your underwear on. [applause] >> andt so, that was a big thig that we talk about, a lot of fear.. in southern ohio and louisiana in illinois, and the deep south as you can get really and they
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come over to get water. [inaudible]. >> and we would talk for a while and a right. [inaudible]. and the look on these guys faces you know, and coming to the river and just go ahead you know the reason he felt we needed weapons was the kids from cincinnati in different places that they would come out from the c inner cities and coming ot of the ghettos and kill you and burn your boat and nothing could be further from the truth. one hundred wonderful inner-city
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kids, and african-american kids from that part of town this been a lot of time in the river to catch fish and they would sell it on the highway that was close by and then they would make dinner together. one can symbol kind of heat do you have. [inaudible]. we try to have a pretty hot down here we don't have any we don't need any heaters and get some say man, 50 miles down the river, you have a different type of the country come storming out
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of the swamp. [laughter] [laughter] you guys andl kill burn about. [inaudible]. and back in tennessee, and pennsylvania berlin, new orleans to rediscover. of american history but it was actually probably the most influential. which was narrow between the ivrevolution in the civil war wn millions of tons of cargo interamerican traveled of the river and really created the first frontier. in constant fear and affairs of people on the river had for us. and they would say you're going to die so anything else was fear is really what the book is about when and how to get down the
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river get about everything like that. [inaudible]. >> i did write the book about taking a canoe trip on the tennessee river parts of canada goes into the arctic ocean and i got and i was told . [inaudible]. something that we were talking about before we got out here was kind of history and history was taught in school notk taught in school. and that's what drew me to the story about the oil rush. but is not the story that i knew and so i started was a started to research at about that this
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was really was one of those you can't make up wanted to write a book about it is a little bit of background temper you as well. the story of the 1893, and at the time was the worst depression of the united states had ever suffered through an some of the things went wrong will sound familiar. it was means of communication, kind of like the .com bubble, for overbuilt into many telegraphs and arisen businesses startil to fail because of jobs and can't pay their mortgages, mortgages go underwater housing values dropping banks why the business. one thing after another rent on top of all of those normal economic shifts, you had an
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additional one which is a big fight of the gold, gold and silver to the dollars be backed by gold by silver and this was william jennings start of populism and also some stuff like that without economics professor if i wouldn't do it i would bore you to death so i will just say that the way money work was for goldbach dollars with more than silverback dollars and so rich people got the goldbach doug gardner videos on silverback so in this long depression, in 1997, you have headlines at the same time if people aren't striking coal miners are getting into fights with police and young men cummings on the streets nobody can pay for the mortgage in the newspapers like the solution to
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every problem, that is gold has been discovered in the klondike, not only was a summer school, was like $70 million in plain sight 20 easter eggs on the ground. that's what the newspaper said just go up there anybody there is find all of this cold and so, the starts the stampede of 1897 and was very different than the california gold rush. california gold rush and early 40s, everybody just kind of wanted to move to california, is it place to be and lots of reasons and in san francisco to start a farm to do lots of other things whenever getting gold out of the ground, they would sprayed with these big houses and it would melt down and printed out in a good p.m. in the california gold rush was 40 cents in the pan. ... $4, and it
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could be $40 or $400. there was just an incredible amount of gold. nobody wanted to move to alaska in, the yukon to, you know start a farm or anything like that. they just went for the gold and it was really packed in between when gold was discovered with between. 1896 and not to give away the end of the book, but there's a cataclysm that end there is a klondike gold rush in 1899. it is like a thousand days. the whole story happens withinth that time. so about 100,000 people went on the gold rush. to put that in perspective that is about the combined population of losti angeles and seattle at the time. it's a huge number of people. i think the thing that made me once i started to read a little bit about it and made me want to write it as if i have learned anything about the klondike it was like smiling prospectors with long beards and dancing
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girls that are happy. just this bonanza and everybody got rich and everything else. and that is not what happened at all of course. wonder thousand people went up, about 30 -- 40000 made it to dawson city. which means 60 or 70000 did not make it. and a lot of them turned around, sure. but thousands and thousands of them died. we have no idea how many died. just add up the number of people in shipwrecks that were reported in the papers, you get over 10,000 pretty quickly. it is a horrific a bloodbath in a way. and that is what i think the way i wanted to write this story and what i saw it may be different than at historian. it wasas a disaster movie. people died in shipwrecks and
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famine. murder and scurvy, and there was an expedition out of brooklyn where they all bore identical costumes andyo sombreros. which you will hear about in a minute perhaps. they wore sombreros and 19 of them went in only four of them live through it. they died one by one on a glacier. they decided to cross considered in that normal route they tried to cross the glacier. but seeing it as a disaster movie and trying to tell that is a narrative, is really what drew me to the story. you know come as far as how to tell it not everyone saw the whole gold rush. and so i try to pull out of got about 12 main characters are. i know it isn't ensemble cast. it's the prospector in the head
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of the northwest mounted police. the gambler and the newspaperman put some these people you have heard of like jack london, jack london was a nobody. he worked in a pickle factory where he made 10 cents putting pickles and a jar. he was desperate to get out of it. so he went up as a very young man on the stampede. it's mostly people you've never heard of and iha really benefitd from the fact there's been a lot of scholarship in the last 50 years a lot of the smaller stores have come out and i was able to combine them. so, hopefully something we can talk more about here but the thing that links the work i have done i was in the military, wrote a number of books about afghanistan and iraq. i wrote about this canoe trip to the arctic. the thing that connects the work for me as i had this allergy to
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glorification. to just getting the version of the story. my book is about iraq and afghanistan there is no glorification to those for sure. and so i wanted to write the raw story that i could. speaking of which i ask for another one of these. >> is kind of hard when you go third. the first i talked about the going to come and kill you and burn your boat. the second guy bloodbath on the glacier. [laughter] 's sleep i wrote the child friendly book. [applause] [laughter] this is my 25th book. i come from texas and in texas we say if you can't write good we write a lot. that is would have always tried to do. i write about american history
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and i try to write about subjects where i can learn a lot. i cannot think of anything worse than writing a book where you think you already know everything and all you're doing is trying to prove you are right and anybody who disagrees is wrong. so i always try to pick subjects i know very little about. and since i know very little about a lot of things i will write the other 25 books performed on at least. but the info inspiration warn the border came because i realized i have lived in texas most of my adult life. and all of the sudden we are talking about border walls and floods of immigrants, invasions of things. i realized i did not know the history of the u.s. mexican border. and i thought it would be useful for me maybe to try to find out what that history was and get it in the c book so if anyone else was interested they could learn
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it too. there is an editor at simon & schuster who always says if you are going to write a book, make sure it is got, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. if you can get those three things, people will read your book. i thought this might be a challenge with the subject. [laughter] but there is. general pershing is trying to court lieutenant patton's sister. and he makes patent be the chaperone on their car dates around beautiful el paso. yes, that is a romance is going to work. drugs and rock 'n' roll in the samete place, poncho villa of te east is wrote a song called buccal garage. which all of us can sort of home. [laughter] but we dous not know -- but most of us the real version which is
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about the cockroach and eating marijuana. i was surprised. [laughter] but i was surprised by a lot of things in this book. and again i hope we talk about how in our books we try to talk about the portions of history that aren't common knowledge. try to push back a little bit further. i started to write this book because i wondered about an invasion by hordes of dangerous mexicans. and iui found out the first time the united states decided to build a wall along the border to keep up the mexicans listen 1903. and then it was announced again in 19 oh nine were going to build the border wall. that in 1910 we said we mean at this time. we are going to fill that border wall. and they tried. and it did not work. people would go over it, or
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under it and in a lot of places these soil could not take the weight of the wall. the wall would just crumble. after 1910 it was pretty much decided that idea is not going to work. and all the sudden it's a big campaign issue. and i wondered how come in this big 2016 campaign nobody is saying didn't we try this? wasn't it three times already? and here's what i think happened but i don't think that government was trying to fool americans. wanted to check and find out whether or not someone had tried this before. a little element of history but is there if you want to look. they found a lot of other things sometimes reflected badly on the american government. a lot of people died on the
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border who did not have too. you had to countries and to governments that distrust each other did not talk to each other much. finally, we get in 1916 poncho f villa. about 400 of his followers crossing the border and attacking an american town in new mexico. columbus, new mexico. their purpose was to enrage the american military and have the army chased them back into mexico. because they be so appalled at the gringos they would not trus anyone who is coming to invade them again.en did you know that in 1914 the action went into mexico and captured the city of veracruz and held it for months? we went in and took it because we thought the mexican government was getting arms it should not get from germany. all of these things.
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and when i turn my book into my publisher i got a lot of are you sure all this happened? [laughter] well, yes. i am so thrilled today to be up here with these gentlemen who do the same thing. it is exciting to be able to talk to m some people who might really want to know history, the facts, not the alternative facts. this is an odd time in america to be writing nonfiction. but i will tell you this, the one lesson i am learn from all my books about writing about american history is the problems that claimants today, that the processes have been problems that have been going on for centuries. everything from gun control, to texas, the proper limited role of government, refugees coming
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in to take american jobs. this is all happened before. and if there is one lesson in history that all of us write about, is if we do not faceg problems and tried to swallow g than any commonsense way with everybody working together, we are going to keep on facing them.d that is why this is important and it's important people read them so think all of you two. [inaudible] talk about interesting areas of history that have been overlooked. for you it comes early in the book and you are just amazed at the significance of a flat boat era and how it little discussed it is in history books. >> yes. >> was 60 years before covered
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wagons crossing the dusty plains of the ohio river basin and the mississippi river that created modern america. the economy and the multicultural entity that we became through masses of immigrants coming down the river. they also filed the economic depression. i believe there were several but the panic of 1837. though, the book -- what happens is you study history and its influence by a few professors trickles down to middle school and whatnot. it started right at the beginning. all of the revolutionary founders washington and jefferson particularly. even benjamin franklin were heavily invested in western
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lands. they wanted all of that land west of the appellations. because in america at that time wealth was in your landholdings. george washington died the wealthiest man in america, 8000. instead we get this skipped neil's silver dollar across the ocean or something. and so we don't really discuss the actual history that happens, we teach the myth. so yes they're very, very effective in backing the revolution and giving a justification with the high sounding ideals of the declaration of independence of the constitution. but in fact they were investors, they were businessmen who wanted as much of the western lands as they could get. and they start going through all the rest of american history and examining from that perspective.
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so i guess i answered your question. >> yes. we skip back down to jeff, i was amazed, i was embarrassed of how little of contemporary mexican history i knew. i thought i had a fair grounding in it but it turns out in a pre-columbian stuff is what i knew a lot moret about. talk about the nature of theki borders early on. you talk about the investors who want to expand westward. it was the u.s. citizens who drove a lot of the instability there. the mexican government formed a democracy18 in 1821. and because of mexico and t america were approximately the
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same size, the mexican government hoped there would be some guidance from america, how do we bring democracy to such a large sprawling area? but america did not send ambassadors to mexico for another four years because they did not think the country was probably going to last. and it in 1825 the first american investors showed up in mexico, they brought a request from the president to please sell us all of you are leon that is west and northwest into our country. mexico extended all the way into wyoming at this time. the mexican government had formed a foreign bureau to advise the president of mexico. and that bureau reported to the mexican president that america intends to overrun us. within 75 years, almost two
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thirds of what was mexico now becomes part of the united states. the mexican citizens who are living in what is now america are told now you have to pay taxes to the u.s. government. if you cannot pay them in time you're off your leyland. in a series of land courts were formed in the united states because investors would claimve they had the title to this land that mexican families and what is now america might have lived on for generations. things obviously did not improve much from there. by the time we have poncho vias in all of the mexico 95% of the arable land f for farming, or fr mining, or for fishing is owned by either the rich mexican
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families or american investors. once working the land of make 80% of the mexicanio population. in all of mexico this 80% of the people own 2% of the land. things were going to combust and they did eventually. and the funny thing is, when i wrote this book i was worried i would see the american government doing terrible things and i do not want to see that. and the american government did do some terrible things. the good notion negotiators agreed america would pay $15 million for those little portions of arizona and new mexico. everybody shook hands on it. then it went to the senate to be ratified in the u.s. senate just said no were only going to give
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them $10 million but they may not like it they have to do anyway. it's also true mexican militants had a plan to cross the border and take over much of the land that have been part of mexico. and every white man in america 16 or over would be murdered. it tried to do it and the mexican government was actually supporting a lot of this. there was a bad intention on both sides. and this has gone on all of these years. what happened, just as you are talking about the mississippi these things take shape and they
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form. and maybe it happened 100 years ago, 150 years ago but it still resonates, it still affects us today. we are all part of our history as much as we are in the present. amount is white books like these guys right is so important. it's a pleasure being on the panel withh them. we can't just say were going to look at history and the stuff we like will be true. and the things we wish hadn't happened, didn't happen. becausee otherwise we are going to keep on fighting these same problems it's going to keep frustrating everybody and we are going to get madder and madder. long speech, sorry. [laughter] ask you talked about the thousands of deaths in addition to all the human death there was
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a slaughter. you tied the need to try to better themselves directly to the failure of the gilded age and excesses of that time. [inaudible] the influence of front tier is like a true economic thing also as a philosophical thing. and how america saw itself. the klondike gold rush happen 30 years after the civil war. and of course a lot of the violence in the westward movement post civil war had to do civil war veterans as a veteran myself i guess you start to see some the posttraumatic
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stress went to not have. a name for it at the time. this has a huge influence on it. i mention that because a lot of people that went to alaska, at the time saw it as the end of that frontier push. one of the characters in my book, sophie smith was it gangster, a car cheat, cetera et cetera bopped around the american west when it kicked out of town for scamming people move onto thehe next one. he moved to alaska because he called the last west. the last place without a telegraph line. the last place without a railroad. to be a culmination of a lot of things these gentlemen are talking about. another one of the characters in the book colonel samuel steele is the commander of the northwest mounted police, they
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were not the mounties that we think of now, smelling people in a red jackets or whatever. they are like calvary. and they were fighting indigenous people across canada. he gets sent there to do two things. one is to stop the san peters from killing themselves and save them from themselves. but the other thing speaking of the mexican border was to establish the canadian border between alaskaca and canada because it had been surveyed but it was not guarded. candidate and trust the united states is not going to try to claim more territory. and so sam steele ends up putting machine guns on the border it basically keep the gangsters on the american side and only let the perspective prospectors are the people coming into dawson city through if they had enough food.
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i'm not sure i'm answering your question exactly. the economic aspect of this is the overall cost to pretty much the cost of one last tidbit to wrap up on that, there are two paths out of alaska into the yukon. one was the past which was the traditional walking route used by indigenous people for thousands of years. the other one was a trail thatit white people thought would be much faster. they called it the white pass. it was going to be where a railroad was supposed to go. everyone had heard the road is going to be there so it must be much easier. they got horses -- they did not how to hitch horses. and these were city folks people are not leaving their homestead in nebraska with lots of
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frontier skills and moving to alaska. they were leaving new york, and chicago, and seattle, they wore leather slip on shoes and suits and road and trolley cars. a lot of them had electricity. they were a lot of people like us. they get up to alaska, do you know how to hitch a saddle on a horse? do you know how to put a load on? do you know how toth row a boatf you had to question if that's what they had to do to go down the river. they did not know how to to do any of these things. because they do not know how to treat horses the white pass ends up being the dead horse pass because tens of thousands of animals die is they are essentially whipped the pass. a horse was $10 -- $15 -- $20 to the bottom and 10 cents at the top of europe purchase when they're obsolete worthless. they killed them at the top and piled the bodies.
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declan and himself as one of that writes about that. this is the cost of doing business. i guess that's the theme you are hearing. >> in t addition to the good sod history and all of that the books are sort of page turner stupid they're interesting, exciting, and fun reads. you had a big old boat built and you climbed on it and he went down into the mississippi river. i had no idea the size of the flat boats. tell us a little bit about the flat boats. then tell us how that compared to the tugs and barges? >> the whole principal the flat boats is the whole is exactly flat all the wayay across the displacement of the water across a broader area.
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until they can carry one time per linear foot. my butt was 42 feet by 14 feet. fully loaded compared to 1010. my job on the river was avoiding the very large tugboats pushing as many as 45 barges at once. i cannot even calculate. each barge can carry 115 tons. you had to get used to the idea you absently cannot occupy his space. and you have to reassure him with the way your bow is painted or if he calls you on the radio was the big challenge.
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especially from someone whose only voting experience up to that point was i canoed across the lake once. [laughter] was a big challenge on the trip. that was the fun of it that's why it is a page turner. every 50 miles or so. you're going to come up you're not in can have your underwear on. it becomes the suspense of kent somebody and experience but interesting in acquiring whatever front till skills to get to the bottom of the river is going to make it. folks in like manner and we talked about earlier, picture of strapping healthy folks in a beautiful sunny spots, swirling
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around. boy that was not at all is like in the klondike. in the permafrost there melted down through. tell us att little bit about the folks who had no idea what they're getting into when it was really like. >> before started to do the i did go to alaska. i hiked the trail. and if you can hype a jet hike the trail you need a permit. half the park is in the united states happens in caps on the best. [background noises] i've ever done. do it in the summer and up the and it is lovely. [laughter]ce a stopped a couple of in alaska, a few places to get taught how to pan for gold. which was great because then i could like run homer run back to the hotel and write down exactly what it felt like and just give those experiences you how it
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works. mining, they are not digging. it is permafrost. so what they are doing this once they found a creek a pan and they get 10 cents or 20 cents of gold to the bottom of their pan then that work begins and they have to get down to bedrock. they're all these terms b is from the casinos like hayes street and paydirt that come from the klondike goldso rush. so you cannot dig in permafrost. it is frozen buck. you cannot dynamited it just seizes up. you cannot put a spade in it.e so what they would do is every night they would build a fire and they would burn their way down. it in the morning they would get in there with the slush while it was still 33 degrees, dig it out, put it in a bucket, winch it out, dump it in what they call the dump. and then build a fire again and do that all winter.
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so at the end of winter you would end up with a hole that goes down to bedrock. and then they would try to find the pastry. you end up with these galleries on your knees. they kind of burn their way through. you were underneath the permafrost there. a streak there'd be $200 a pan. but 5 feet over there's 10 cents aa pan. they are hunting the streak everywhere they go. and the spring you would have cleaned up. the creek was finally flowing. and know that the creek is flowing your mind is flooded because water is pouring into b everywhere that you had burned all winter. and you are running this gravel through this loose and pulling the gold out. and after cleanup is when you finally know if you spentno all winter burning for nothing or if you spent the winter and got
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$100,000 and you're going to go back to seattle and be one of these klondike kings that made it rich. not to give away the end of the book, but out of those 100,000 people that went on the trip, it will not surprise you that only about 1% of them got rich. and so that whole 99% -- 1% now it's re-created in the klondike. because very few of those claims action had that kind of pay streak. >> jeff, the last of the maneuvering you do about takes place in such interesting times in many ways. during the punitive expedition it is the last time buffalo soldiers are engaged. but there are also mounted
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cavalry on big trucks, cars and airplanes used ass recon. one of the reasons the world should be grateful to mexico and even to poncho via is on the punitive expedition this is where america finally gets its army in shape to be able to go fight in world war i. the punitive expedition itself is given conflicting orders from his bosses in washington. he sold you've got to go into mexico you've got to capture via an you have got to punish his followers. and you have to make sure he's never able to do anything likeha this again. but on the other hand don't do anything that will upset the mexican people. [laughter] version goes after him in
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mexico. in the united states kind of naïvely believed that the mexicans will be just as angry as the americans were. they would soon turn him over to the americans. ndwhile in fact, the mexicans wi very proud and they were not about to give these invading gringos any help in findingng h. the pershing for the first time in our american military in modern military history, yes he's got horses and mules. he also has trucks. he also has canon. and he's got a fleet of eight airplanes that do not have guns mounted on them yet. they're not actually going to be able to fight but they can fly over these miles and miles ofd rough desert and mountains and maybe spot him. general patton he was a lieutenant at the time, b how cn we ever think of paden anything but a general. he would the first to say that.
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led the first mechanized army attack iny american history when he and some soldiers and jeeps ran down shot it out with them, killed three and just to make the point to the mexican villages that hey we can do this forever if we need to they strap the dead bodies on the hoods of their jeeps. just like you would do a dead deer and drove them to these little villages so america's mites could be seen. by the time the expedition is over pershing is based on three sites east, west, south with the mexican who are prepared to attack at any moment. war with mexico seem so imminent american warships are ringing the mexican coast.
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mexico says if pershing moves in any direction but north back into the states they are going to attack. the world came very close to a second war. the germans encouraging this to happen said the infamous zimmerman telegraph to mexico sing if you will join us to fight the americans, you will have the right to win back the territory that they took from you way back in the u.s. mexican war. i only did that not happen, thank god, but pershing use this time when he could not move his troops anywhere else. to train them. they had really had no training in marching, and marksmanship, anything like this. and pershing grilled them over and over. so in the punitive expedition waswi withdrawn and we entered world will roam in germany almost right away, pershing commands the allied troops.
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the first american troops too effectively be able to go over too europe and fight are the soldiers from the punitive expedition. in that very clear way this was a great moment for the american military. everything changed and yet everything is still the same. isn't it odd how history seems to work that way? [laughter] >> we have about ten minutes for questions from the audience. if anyone has any you can make your way t over there to the podium. i will note something that occurred to me as i was listening to you all talk and looking around this beautiful space, the state capitol waste constructed between the time. when the klondike and the persian expedition. this is built in 1903.
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we really are in a space that relates to those stories. [inaudible]] [laughter] >> we are going to leave, we're going to go home and our families and would you say to us, what was theik mississippi book festival like? but we want to do as he want to say right on c-span, we got the best questions from that audience. so no pressure but the world is watching. [laughter] somebody ask a question. [inaudible] boxers no pressure. everyone was enjoying my talk,
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any work in people literally said no. [laughter] thede question was dealing with the idea of a manifest destiny like going out west the idea of that religious idea how did that play into the klondike as well as going down the mississippi? >> i think on the klondike there was a sense of it being like the last opportunity. either people had missed out somehow before and missed out on a manifest destiny and this is their last chance. our people who had been successful want to to reclaim lost glory. he does not go to the klondike he has a y plug to nome, alaskan the goldrush next year.
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but even wyatt earp going to alaska at this time. i don't know, it was such -- there is a poet called the poet of the seers who is very famously like decided he was going to be the symbol. like he was the symbol of the literary west he was going to go to alaska too. hlike you say it's a bit of a religious thing. he ends up he cannot makes it he loses afoot to frostbite and goes home. though it was this lastgasp in some ways that epitomizeat everything from taking the land from the indigenous people that were there to boomtown that did not boom in over a decade or something. they truly boomed in a month. dawson city customer 5000 to 40000 in just a couple months there. all those themes packed into
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one. and it truly was the lastgasp because the klondike ends this is when mckinley is shot, he is assassinated by teddy roosevelt becomes president and that very quickly life goes on. as the great white fleet. is the new century. dawson city, they are still mining and tourists show up in 1900 -- 1901. it's also turning into a tourist trap come and see the famous klondike gold rush. it's like a caricature of itself by the end. it's like the conglomeration of all of those absurdities into one last chance. >> and of course the mexican expansion by the united states. that is really work manifest destiny was first discussed and editorially supported by most the big newspapers. this is what god intends it should bring its democracy in
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his form of government to the entire american continent. and one new york city major uspaper and talking about manift destiny said that because of manifest destiny, mexico must learn to love its rob assures. so your question really nails it. it is a good one. owing for the mississippi book festival. [laughter] >> i've a question,or sorry. i did not mean to interrupt you. i was going to say it with this i am more interested in what you're saying as well as like do you have any accounts, you to buy all of youry books. give accounts of missionaries going along with these people m and what was their experiences with that?
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he was a complete failure as a minister. he doesn't like doing his sermon he shows up at the church. he would read his sermon for the week he would just read from a list of everybody who died in massachusetts that week. in 1850 at the age of 35 hinges set decided to reinvent himself as a missionary on the front tier which is the mississippi river at that point. he was just as much a failure as a missionary and there are a loc of people to minister too. he was just not that good of a minister but he found himself. he found his voice as a writer.
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he wrote several best-selling books, wrote a biography. wrote a biography of davy crockett. generate a huge amount of interest in other peoples following going down the river. a lot of other missionary efforts there individuals in those it was a bible salesman. i quote in my book rene of the book. before they sunk actually they managed to give away or sell something like 15000 copies of the bible. with every step in the expansion of america there has beeno missionaries because they wanted to convert the tribes or
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whatever. missionary groups one of the points i found on the oregon trail a lot of church groups bowl baptist church would cross together. one of my favorite diary entries on the oregon trail was this presbyterian group was going across. they found what they thought was reallyal good to plumb islands. things going to be good group of presbyterians came in in their wagon. [laughter] it was a missionary function to all the expansion of the frontier at every level. and so yes.
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>> i will give one quick answer. there was -- the missionary was only a life in the klondike later. but there was a catholic priest, father judge was up there beforehand and would minister to the white prospectors that had been up there. a very thin man who looked far older than he was. he was younger but looked much older pretty end up running the hospital or organized a hospital in dawson city but refused to provide any care or allow the nuns to come up to provide the care. assembly lace for sick people go. there's a terrible consumption outbreak people would go to the hospital, die in the hospital a bed open somebody else would come in and then die.
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it with a rotation. so father judge on his deathbed said that day was going to be the best day of his life. and when the nuns finally did arrive later they discovered the hospital -- they discovered it was $40000 in debt it a boomtown fold of gold. it was only later chris actual religious work done. >> thank you. i think we have time for one more question. >> i will try my hardest to be quick. thank you very much for your talk about the klondike. that is certainly answered a lot of things. we had common history of my family i'm originally from little rock. but my grandmother was a product of two a widower and a widow. she had two half-brothers.
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one was a doctor. he was the first captain of the arkansas football team at the university of arkansas in early 1890s. anyway he was a doctor. and his brother was a lawyer. both the little rock. they both decided to go to the klondike. was a lawyer, edgar, came back. his body came back and he is buried but we never knew what happened to his brother. they also had an uncle who went to the california gold rush before them. how do i do research without caspending my life? the family really will not talk about this. i guess that's why my family is so small.
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very optimistic. what is the source for tracking down people without spending weeks or months to wonder if there are family members may be somewhere? what's that's an interesting question which gets up the heart of it. which is why don't we know how many people died in the goldrush? it is because of so many examples like this. the library of congress is incredible and how they have digitized local newspapers from all over the country from as far back in that time but i've spent many, many hours reading the local paper from ohio or whereve' trying to track down who died, but until there is a historian that does that in 1897, 1898, reads all those habitués will say things like six at dayton boys drowned today and all their bodies came back. unless somebody goes and reads every newspaper, every family is
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going to have the problems that you're talking about. we are not when have a general understanding. it's proof there's always more work to be done when it comes to history but. >> there is no special okay. >> it is astounding bring. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you all for being here, for this panel. all three authors will be signing at the tent at 3:00 p.m. you copies of the books there. thanks to our sponsors. thanks to all of you may thank them for this program. [applause] >> on wednday british prime minister liz trust to ask questions of economic and foreign-policy issues facing the uk through the first prime minister in the death of the greenberg life coach in the house of commons meets at 7:00 a.m.
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