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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  October 19, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." jeff: in a first for africa, september 1, kenya's supreme court annulled the presidential election. the court ruled the election was riven with fraud and illegalities. a new election has been scheduled for october 26. earlier today, a senior member of kenya's electoral commission fled to the u.s. due to a death threat. the chairman of the commission conceded he could not guarantee
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the election would be fair. joining me now is a senior advisor and former director of the united nations news and media division. welcome. explain to me how does he feels about the possibility of a new election? is he agreeing to that? salim: no. he said he would only participate in the election if some changes were made. >> what would satisfy him and you? >> it is him and the kenyan people. this election was riven with fraud and illegalities.
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so much so, the supreme court, which no one expected, overturned it. they annulled it. he says kenyans want a fair election. they don't want anything more than that. the commission should follow the guidelines of the supreme court. you talk about this moment, it has electrified africa when the supreme court did this. here is hope for a continent struggling for democracy. it has been going backwards in kenya. >> some say they have gone forward because this was the first electronic voting. you believe it was not done in the right way? >> the evidence of it is massive. why did a very conservative say that if you
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lost this election again -- remember, the last previous two elections were both rigged. in 2007, mass violence broke out and took the personal involvement of condoleezza rice who traveled to kenya to make sure the presidency was co-shared. this is a history we have of election fraud, but this time it was greater. >> explain to me the importance of kenya to the united states and the united states to kenya. salim: kenya is one of the closest allies of the united states without question. the largest u.s. embassy and -- in africa. it is fight tilted to u.s.
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interests because it is key in the economic and security framework. in somalia, we have al-shabab terrorism. both its economic potential and democratic society, and for the region as a whole, if kenya goes, so goes the region. that region has had seven wars and millions of deaths, somalia, ethiopia, sudan. kenya is the one stable place. that is why the u.s. takes so much interest. this time around, unlike in 2008 when we had violence, the u.s. is giving everything to the envoys in nairobi.
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this is why he was in london last week, addressed them, and that had an impact, engagement from the u.s. >> do you feel like you are getting that engagement? >> i think are getting more engagements than his trip to the u.k., but what will trigger greater engagement right now is the last 24 hours. as you said, the commissioner who runs the elections himself said forget about that lady. he himself said, "i can no longer guarantee a free and fair election. my staff doesn't listen to me," and yet he is saying this is how astonishing kenya can be. >> explain what he wants to see specifically to agree to an election? salim: he wants an election that
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is not rigged. >> what has to be done? salim: it is an electronic election, and there is a server, all the votes cast are copied onto forms which are scanned and placed into a server. at each voting station, the forms are signed by all the parties, and that server contains the history of the election. we want access of independent people to the server. in the election of august 8, the supreme court demanded they open that server to scrutiny. do know the electoral commission refused a supreme court order. >> the charge from supporters is
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you will not support any of -- any election you won't win. salim: every side has its propaganda, and in fact, the "new york times" in fact, the "new york times" itself after the election was over wrote a scathing editorial against him. they would june that editorial -- withdrew that editorial when the supreme court ruled. we have a situation where kenyans who live in fear in terms of speaking out openly or making decisions are taking up the cry for freedom and the rule of law, and yet we are not getting the support from the u.s. and the u.k. >> is there room for compromise anywhere here? salim: there is always room for compromise.
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but no compromise in terms of not adhering to what the supreme court ordered -- we want a fair election. we cannot have the situation when it is a little more fair than last time, which was not fair at all. >> the vote was 54% to 45%. have you done polling. how much support do you have? salim: we believe we have much more support. i want you to look at what happened before the election to show you why this election was rigged. elections are routinely rigged. this time around, the rigging went further. they tortured and killed a week before the election the key official in charge of making it happen correctly and protecting the vote. he was killed. this has never happened in kenya
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before. there is so much evidence. why this determination? it's because they knew they did not have the support. >> are you concerned you are inciting more violence or danger by not agreeing to an election? salim: that is what some of our critics say. the person or group that is inciting is the government. when the supreme court made that decision, president kenyatta accepted it. then he went on the warpath and began abusing the justices saying they conducted a coup d'etat against him. overruledfor justices millions of kenyans?
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he said he would fix them once he was back in office. it is his incitement that led to mobs surrounding the supreme court of kenya and the chief justice called the chief of police for help, and the guy refused. this is on the record. the chief justice asked for help and the chief of police said no. >> what is the relationship between kenyatta and odinga. salim: they have been political rivals. the rivalry came to the fore in the 2013 election. the u.s. at that time took a clear position that they would
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not be comfortable with those two running kenya, so that was a very rough election and the two had to win it by whatever means, so they rigged it. since then, they had a reasonable relationship as far as politics goes, so there is no personal animosity at issue here. the issue is so clear. the rule of law is rapidly unraveling. when the chief justices are prepared to die for their views, death threats, and if this election is held, there will be violence. she said there will be five -- violence if this election is held.
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>> there has already been violence before the election? salim: it is nothing compared to what could happen. the violence has been held. every single person who has been killed has been unharmed and and killed by the police. >> do you believe that mr. odinga is in mortal danger? salim: i did not sleep last night because he went to visit his very close ally and friend, and an important financier prefer the party come at his home because the home, the police had invaded and prevented people from leaving. this was a court order. he went to that house. when the perspective president, potential precedent, of the country is held against his will, this is a banana republic. so we are in a very bad style.
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raila has been proved right. he has said you are not taking steps to make it free and fair. and now the chairman of the commission himself is saying i cannot guarantee a free and fair election. he is saying, my own staff don't listen to me. because they have all been bribed or intimidated by the government. >> do you believe this is a tipping point for kenya? salim: this will definitely be a tipping point for kenya if they proceed with the election in the situation where everybody is acknowledging that it cannot be free and fair. >> if they proceed on october 26 despite what you are saying, if raila odinga is not endorsing that in any way, you don't
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believe the potential for violence and danger is there regardless? salim: the most important thing is this, you cannot expect the democracy that we are to be to -- to ask somebody to please participate in an election that will be more rigged than the last one. they introduce new laws which will make it harder. >> what will you do if they hold the election and kenyatta declares himself the winner? salim: we will protest. it is our right to protest. you cannot allow a dictatorship to ingrain itself. i cannot see how the international community -- you know what happened with the observers. the minute they came out, even before the elections were declared, mr. kerry took a very hard line. he said some amazing things,
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including that people would vote who were dead, and yet i saw no dead people voting. can a secretary of state speak like that, that dead people will vote? it is a terrible situation. now we have the potential of fixing it, of being democratic, of restoring rule of law, which is rapidly unraveling. >> who can fix this? salim: only kenyans can fix it, but they need the help of the united states and u.k. there is a long history of the u.s. intervening when there is a crisis. this time it is very low level. the u.s. embassy is doing it all. we need a higher level engagement to ensure the government will agree to holding a free and fair election. under the law, we need 90 days. in those 90 days, the changes
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can be made. the commissioner resigned said the changes can be made, but as things stand now, they cannot. ♪ ♪
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jeff: mike wallace has a new book. the second volume is called
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"greater gotham: a history of new york city from 1898 to 1919." two decades in the making, the book traces new york's transformation into one of the world's greatest cities. mike wallace joins me from chicago. i am pleased to have him on this program. professor, the first book covered 375 years. this one is only 20. why were 1898-1919 so important? mike: this is when new york became the recognizably modern city we are familiar with now, and merged with brooklyn and the outer boroughs to 1919, when it was an established megalopolis.
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the amount of material available to reckon with in doing this 20 year period was enormous. it is now possible to do relatively easy research online because so many books have been digitized. the choice of 1919 as an end point when new york becomes a co-rival to london for the status of financial capital of the world. jeff: were these years the most important generation in the city's history? mike: it is hard to pin down importance because it is a moving target. you would have to go back to the 1820's and the 1830's and the digging of the erie canal. it was critical because it established new york.
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once that ground was connected, capital and labor and ideas flowed in, commodities flowed in, and cotton, wheat and so forth went across the atlantic. once that link was established, it would run differently in different periods, but the establishment was the most important. jeff: talk to me about 1898 when all the boroughs came together. mike: correct. to understand what happened at the political level, you have to understand the economic level. the country as usual and the city were going through a boom-bust cycle, boom-bust-war and it happens over and over again and continues to happen. the book starts when the city was coming out of the great depression as it was called in
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1890's and j.p. morgan and john rockefeller decided free enterprise capitalism model was for the birds. if you had competition between firms, lower prices and lower profits. lower profits, you scrimp on labor, then unions would form. if you are pressed the unions, which there was a lot of in the 1890's, then you develop social resistance to capitalism. this was madness as far as they were concerned. their solution was to engineer the first grade movement in history and thousands of small companies vanished into hundreds of corporations like u.s. steel. this was not being robber barons, although they did well, but it was a progressive move.
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it was going to eliminate competition and allow for long-term planning and smoothing out the business cycle and cutting labor in for a share. the idea that consolidation was good was the model they applied to the political sphere. they thought the notion of new york and brooklyn and all the little provincial, little political jurisdictions, was nuts. they should be looking after common problems, solving problems collectively, taking care of the port, expanding connections to the continent and europe, so they engineered the same kind of colossal merger and the political sphere they had in the economic sphere. jeff: when you say greater gotham, what does that mean? mike: i know it sounds chauvinistic, but in reality, when the merger occurred, people
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refer to it as greater new york. it did not occur to people to call it a greater queens. it had semi-official status for some time, then faded away. jeff: what was it about the first couple of the decades of the 1900s that surprised you most and might surprise those who read this? mike: there are two dimensions to this period. one is the effort to make consolidation real. it was on paper, it yes, but was it a reality? this involved digging the subway systems, digging tunnels to connect and build penn station facilities, skyscrapers erupting out of bed rock. there is an enormous amount
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being done, and that is relatively easy to narrate. it was not terribly surprising. what was more interesting was the social struggles. you could get the idea that new york after all of this reconstruction worked, from the presentation of efficiency, private profitability, that was the case. how about issues of social justice? how about issues of daily life? how does this affect ordinary citizens in the city? and that led on examination to a sense that this was a breakthrough period in several respects, issues of race, gender, class, relations with the rest of the world, particularly europe, they were dramatic transformations
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either accomplished in some senses or clearly set in motion. while the big episodes in each of those was relatively clear in advance, preliminary overview research, each one came up in interesting or heroic or dramatic stories, so you can pick anyone. given where we are at today, all ,f those are sort of coequal but you look at today for instance, it has long been the state of affairs that immigrants when they arrived in new york in enormous numbers established enclaves. an irish enclave, a german enclave, kerry has big enough to sustain
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native-language populations. they had newspapers, their own languages, music. this was long considered to be divisive and hard to imagine, the city coming around us. what happened in this period was revaluation of diversity, what we would call multinational or multicultural. they used the word cosmopolitan. you had guidebooks for instant say you must visit the jewish quarter or italian quarter, arguing that new york was more cosmopolitan than rome had been. this was an advantage. some people took that farther. john dewey and other philosophers argued that what
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had emerged without being planned on the american strand was a new kind of social ecology, where people from vastly different backgrounds who had not only lived next to one another, but more or less get along, or even better than that, out of the clash and connections between these great enclaves came new possibilities that had not been dreamed of before. so these people argued that any attempt to suppress difference, any attempt to impose as there were americanizers who argued for suppressing this and making everybody american, melt down and be anglo protestants, the people behind this movement. some went so far in this period
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to develop the eugenic theory that it was biology and not culture, therefore the answer was to end some cases destroy -- in some cases destroy fertilization possibilities of those people could not be produced more to come up with an immigration system that eliminated the wrong kind of people from coming. jeff: how much of your work is research versus the writing? mike: when we worked on the first volume, the rules of the game and said wait only for secondary sources. if we started doing research, trips to the library, digging in microfilm readers. it meant time.
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any one of those areas were mined by people who do research, so we waited for the research to be done then incorporated it into the larger narrative. what changed since that first go around was the internet. i used to spend hours, days, months, years, decades in the allen room, the new york public library's gift to fighters purchased on this massive treasure trove. then google and others sweep through not only new york, but the whole country and digitize everything in sight, particularly old, obscure things not protected by copyright that not that many people were interested in, but i was devoted to. this meant a whole new range of temptations which were hard to
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avoid. for instance, one of the great inventions of this period was by irving bush, something called bush terminal which had factories and rail lines all combined so you did not have to take things from one side of the city to the other. they were all assembled in the same place. i wondered what it was bush was thinking about when he was working on this. in the old days, i would have had to go to the library and a days worth of reading, now i go click and the autobiography is on my screen, so is the "new york times" digitized index. to an amazing degree, there can be differences of opinion about something as when a building opened, and while any newspaper has a frame of reference and ideological perspectives, in fact they sent a reporter on the day that it opened, so we knew
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when it happened. so that is something that has slowed up the process, but gave it added depth because you see things when you are reading a newspaper or magazines, unanticipated bits of color or interesting characters. it gives solidity to the mise en scene. jeff: the research is easier, but you can tell in the first book and this one it is important to you to craft a story that moves, even though both books are more than 1000 pages, it is important to you to craft something engaging. mike: yes. this too has a long pedigree. in the late 1970's and early
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1980's, i got interested in how history is presented to audiences. the first is called disney world. there are narrative assumptions buried in the exhibits. i did one on colonial williamsburg, which presented itself as a place where -- jefferson traveled there. now how about the 50% that were slaves? why are they not visible in colonial williamsburg? i worked with museums a lot -- did a film, and engaged in the process of making history accessible to general audiences, and how could i not try to do the same thing in my own writing? history is written by academics
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in channels, economic historians, political historians, architectural historians. this is perfectly understandable and reasonable. you develop a collective sensibility that trades information and criticizes and develops. it is a useful organization. in real life, it does not happen like that. real life happens all at once. the people who do this the best of the novelists. my wife is one of mexico's foremost writers and i appreciate the way she and others are able to encapsulate an era in all its dimensions simultaneously to the people in particular, the actors, the carriers of the larger forces in play. so partly because i was heartened by the reception of gotham, and clearly people liked
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these stories. they did not mind the length as much as i thought they would, so i gambled in this volume on more of the same thing, but always keeping in mind that this has to be accessible. it has to be enjoyed. the best word anybody says about anything i have written is i enjoyed it. jeff: that they enjoyed it first? mike: precisely, absolutely right. if you are reading something because you think it is good for you or somebody recommended it and it is torturous to get through, how can you enjoy it? if something is clear enough that it helps to explain something, something you wondered about, it empowers you and you can understand better how things actually work. if you don't know that and you
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float on the surface of things and think today can be the first day of the rest of your life, on the one hand it is an admirable degree of optimism, but if you don't understand the present is constantly constituated, then you float on the surface of things and are vulnerable to cons. history is empowering. if it is empowering and it is explanatory and is written halfway decently, what is not to like? jeff: you say you engage in radical history. what do you mean by that? mike: a radical is a fuzzy word, perhaps not as fuzzy as liberal and conservative. these terms have mutated and reversed, so one has to be
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cautious here. radical means getting to the root of things. to some degree when we embarked on this project, it was easier to see history that left out blacks, women, the working class, and foreign affairs, was doing something wrong, and this was the mainstream proposition, so we were the radical upstarts determines to be, and for the most part we were, highly professional. in fact, many people in this cohort of mine have gone on to the presidential historical organizations, prize-winning, etc., etc. so to the degree that we overturned the old established
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narrative and constructed a new one, which is endlessly still evolving, radical seemed like a word that would describe the process. ♪ ♪
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jeff: where was new york city in 1919? mike: new york city in 1919 was a battleground, a long, complex
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story. there was a struggle in the country of about whether or not once war broke out in 1914 whether the u.s. should get involved, and overwhelmingly the country said no. it is one reason wilson held back, and he had his own reservations about it too. in new york things were at their most ferocious in terms of differences of opinion because they duplicated the lines of the internal division that had put different groups at loggerhead one with the other, so the anglo protestants wanted to get in the war, making loans, purchasing weapons and equipment to send across the atlantic. the german-americans were not
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interested in going to war with germany. the irish of new york loathed the british empire. in no way were they interested in lining up with them. the jews were not happy, so that adds up to the majority of the population who are opposed to get into the war. as events played out and their war came closer and closer to home, we went to war. it is beyond us here, but i think i tried to lay out the nature of the process in the book. this did two things. one it put the state at the service of those interested in pro-allied stuff and defined now diversity itself as being
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o, treason, yes, and using the state to suppress immigrant groups it thought were on the wrong side. and during the war they make overtures to the women's movement, involve the progressive movement looking for regulation of wages and hours, made approaches to the labor movement. you make deals in order to get the war done, then the war is done and the government steps back and says in essence, ok capital, ok labor, ok feminist, let the games begin. there are struggles. there are hundreds of strikes in new york city, overwhelmingly just for better wages and working conditions and union recognition, but the opponents in the capitalist world said
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this is the beginning of the bolshevik revolution, which is just one item in this mix, so there are a series of struggles heightened by inept anarchists trying to set off little bombs that gave the attorney general of the day an excuse to suppress dissent, so it was a wild and woolly period. at the same time, it was momentous in another way, the financing of the war. at the beginning of the war in 1914, the united states and new york city most of all, was an industrial superpower. new york was the biggest
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manufacturing city in the country, but it was a third world country in terms of finances. the accounting was roughly we european investors $4 billion back when a billion was a billion. the english and the french sell off their stocks and drained their gold supplies, and at the end of the war new york and the country in general is a creditor operation, roughly $4 billion now. the complete tide has been shifted, and this puts new york city in a position to do an end run around the british empire and european empires to provide capital in latin america, loans, business guidance in asia and africa, to contest the european global domination of the
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economy, which it sets out to do immediately. this has been talked about for a great deal. is this it? we have been waiting two decades at least for new york to enter the list to challenge london for supremacy, and this could be the moment. it was almost the moment. britain still have the empire, the navy, and it is not until 1945 at the end of the second war that the supremacy of the city is unchallenged and with the arrival of the united nations, symbolically the capital of the world. jeff: how much has the essential character of new york changed? do you think it is dramatically different now than it was 100 years ago? mike: well, i like quoting, although my memory is not good enough to quote for you exactly, there was a book that was done
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called the psychology of urban america or something like that, looking at characteristics of culture and life in different cities, and it quoted a new york subway rider when ask why they put up with being crammed like sardines into the new subway cars, and the guy said, "because we are saving seven minutes on the trip from 137th st down to the battery." he said, this is what new yorkers are all about. they would be perfectly willing to be crammed into a tube and shot through a tunnel if they could cut off 10 minutes from the passage from one part of the town to the other. this relentless focus on speed and circulation is audibly
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recognizable to this day. there are other things of that sort. somebody said that if you are comparing the photo generative culture that the previous period was an era of gas light, and this era is the era of electric bulbs, this is the period when times square emerges and what had been a dim, dark, dangerous part of town is now brilliantly floodlight and the great electric signs going up. coney island, the park has a million lightbulbs in it. so speed, intensity, competitiveness, ambition, the
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new york of this period unlike the previous volume is distinctly recognizable. jeff: professor, who did you learn from? mike: i read on a need to read basis when i am working on a book, so it could be an article, dissertation, scholarly book. there is an endless torrent of things come out. it is impossible to keep up with it, but i try. as i say, when tempted off the straight and narrow, archival documents, newspapers, magazines, not letters. i hold the line had private ,- at private correspondence except maybe teddy roosevelt. when i am not doing that, i read detective stories, mystery stories, usually ones with a
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strong sense of place, and i don't have time to keep up with the literary world. if i am in a period, i read edith wharton because she is a brilliant and radical illuminator of culture and life of the various classes and cities. there aren't enough hours in the day. jeff: yes, indeed. you mentioned teddy roosevelt. obviously a monumental figure in the history of new york. where does he rank in terms of the importance of characters during this time period? mike: roosevelt is all over everything, but in different ways. the image has long outlived its sell by date as teddy as a trust buster is not without merit. he did believe that the new corporate world was in general a
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good thing, but for all the reasons that morgan promoted it, but the accumulation of power they had, particularly the power they had to alter campaign elections -- rockefeller and morgan alone defeated william jennings bryan by contributing more money between the two of them than the rest of the small depositors around the country, and yet when it came time to get reelected in 1904, he went to wall street. he promised that he was going to be respectful of the corporate privilege and corporate structure unless they did something bad. that was going to be up to him to decide. and afterwards he basically use
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the rockefeller operations as a ripping boy. he could deal with morgan. the other hand, something that is only a new york story, teddy was an aristocrat. he and his family goes way back and many different strands and types of money led to him. he was a polished figure. when he was at harvard he said i am the fourth highest gentleman of the student body, and he said, and private correspondence, he said these big, rich people are really boring. all they think about is money, and it is true. i would rather meet with an explorer of the north pole or photographer or a novelist or something like that. so teddy was an extremely complicated character, and i tried to demonstrate the way his
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differences come out of his experience in the new york city scene. jeff: we are up to 1919, what is next? mike: you put it tactfully. some people say it is only 20 years to write this, what does it mean? it is not as bad as it looks, although it is problematic. when gotham is done and i was working on the next volume, the original intention was to go down to the end of the second world war, 1945, the conclusion is the united nations comes to town.
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i worked and i worked and a worked and i worked and it became clear when we had a sitdown with the university of oxford press people that the page count was looming in the vicinity of 3000-odd pages. this clearly exceeded the limits of binding and reader attention. that means a lot of what is volume three hazard even -- has already been written. i jumped to the end and did a lot of work on the second world war period because it is intrinsically fascinating mostly because it had never been done. there were thousands of dissertations written on pieces of it, but nothing that gathered together and synthesized things, nothing that grappled with the war itself as a phenomenon. that is all done. in fact, it is too long. the short answer is there will be a volume three, and there
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could be more, but it won't take 20 years. jeff: that is fascinating. so, volume three is coming soon? mike: the press is calling the two books, volume two part one and volume two part two. i said, this will not do. for a title, you're getting ahead of me here. in odd moments of tallying with possibilities, but i was thinking "gotham, boom, bust, war." it is the same cycle that runs through all the previous ones. it is alld downs,
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structural reality. this one was the boom coming out of the 1890's until the panic of 1907, which led to an up-and-down recession for the next several years, homelessness, unemployment, militancy, until 1914 revives the economy and sent it into hyperdrive. that is a possibility, but hopefully i will think of something shorter. ♪ who knew that phones would start doing everything?
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the president is defending his 's response to's hurricane maria in puerto rico, which he says deserves a perfect 10 rating. he met with a puerto rican governor. respondedyou immediately, sir." hitting back against critics who said he was insensitive to the widow of a soldier killed in niger. florida democratic congresswoman frederica wilson has


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