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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 6, 2009 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT

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languid. she called them the bulwarks of slavery. because the churches -- the institutional churches were proslavery. nonetheless, she was extremely religious and she knew the bible inside and out. and that was really her guide. that was how she determined her discipleship. and as i say in my book, she basically espoused a kind of christian communism which she got from the new testament. the idea that worldly goods are not important. the significance of communal living, the importance of charity which is another way of love. the teachings of jesus. jesus for sojourner truth was revolutionary. and he espoused the idea that you cannot love god unless you love the world. and that was her perspective. and she would often recite jesus' words, love is thou me,
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feed my sheep. and the world where the sheep of jesus. and so that was her perspective and i think it is something that we've lost sight of as we remember sojourner truth. in this very religious way in which americans define themselves, her attitude was that the sacred is very much a part of the secular. >> thank you. i want to shift gears and move ahead in time and look at trm howard for a second. what struck me most in reading this book is the implicit challenge it poses for much of civil rights historiography with, i think, a few exceptions, you know, by and large, dr. howard's efforts in mississippi are simply not part of the commonly understood narrative of civil rights. and yet he was very much at the
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center of a movement before the movement that we remember. how would you explain howard's invisibility given his importance? >> i can try to take a crack at that. he was a renaissance man. so howard -- howard had excelled as a civil rights leader but then he moved on to other things. he was a man would get bored and try something new. and there was an article in "ebony" magazine in 1969 about dr. howard's safari room which is pictures of all the animals he killed on his safaris in africa and they tried to ask him about civil rights and he said, you know, that was -- that was part of his life and everything but he didn't dwell on it. and that's part of it. the kind of leader that howard was also became out of fashion by the 1960s and the 1970s. i mean, here's a guy who made a lot of money. he had no problem with making money. he was not afraid to dispel --
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to display his wealth. he was often seen riding the latest cadillac through the mississippi delta and a lot of people kind of admired him for that. here's a self-confident guy. he went up to people like center bilbo, right, and he'd ask senator bilbo for help getting a black veterans hospital in mount bayou and bilbo was charmed by this guy. he was out of fashion in a certain sense that kind of civil rights leader who provided -- >> excuse me for interrupting. one thing that we didn't have the cameras in mississippi that we had in selma so the world didn't see the beatings and hangings that went on in mississippi. plus the fact that for dr. howard, he cared more for helping people so even though he
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was a surgeon, we say unorthodox, i think, in so many ways he would -- while the people were in the hospital he would give them seeds so they could plant crops. and he would give them soda and ginger ale after surgery and for him being a seventh day adinvento adinventory -- adventist and he's sort of pushed to the side in a way and that is because we don't have the cameras. we just did not have the cameras in mississippi. >> one of the things that struck me reading this book is that it doesn't put howard on a
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pedastil. he was a very flawed figure. one could say all the characters we write about had flaws. but howard had particular ones and you don't shy away from addressing them. and i'm wondering to what extent if any -- i certainly don't know the answer to the question his personal idiosyncrasies affected the way civil rights historians have chosen to remember or not remember him. >> i think that's absolutely correct. we have evidence in the book that certain people stepped away from him because of some of the things he did. like thurgood marshall. we have pictures where thurgood is in a parade with dr. howard and he's waving to the people in mississippi so they look like they are the best of friends but much later, thurgood said some things about dr. howard to sort
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of take the light away from him. also, dr. howard came up on the wrong side of some issues, like drinking alcohol. he took -- in one of his great speeches talked about, you know, staying away from drinking alcohol and how bad it is for the body. well, so often people enjoyed liquor. and that's the last thing they wanted to hear about. [laughter] >> and he had some -- the question how is it that we didn't shy away from some of those negative aspects, one reason is because we're academics. we sell the truth and the whole truth and however the chips fall, that's the way they lie. he was a brave man. he held the secrets of wealthy whites. and he was a figure that did a lot for the people of that time. when we went into mississippi
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doing research on something else, people were asking us about this great man. and we looked at each other and to think wait a minute, nobody has ever heard of this dr. howard. the more we looked into court records, the more we read into papers like the jet, ebony, chicago defender we saw this wonderful man that came to the top. he was topping out on the list when martin luther king was not even being mentioned. and we thought, wait a minute, there's more to this story than meets the eye. >> he was literally topping out. chicago defender 1956 had an annual honor roll for blacks that had done the most to advance black progress and dr. howard was number one on that honor roll. >> we've got a few minutes left. we can turn over the microphone to members of the audience. please come forward and take the mic. and if you could keep your comments brief so that we have time to get at least a few comments and answers in. >> well, first, sojourner truth,
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did her understanding of jesus make her a pacifist antiwar, resist the draft, no taxes for war? >> sojourner truth was a pacifist up until the civil war. actually, if i could date when she decided that war was going to be necessary, it was with harper's ferry in john brown and after that, she realized that the only way african-americans were going to get their freedom was through war and so she supported the civil war. >> all right. was it sexism or racism that kept her out of the inauguration. you said frederick douglass went to the inauguration and she didn't. >> frederick douglass got in through the intercession of a congressman.
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and sojourner truth went with the officer she was working with in arlington heights. and so they went in -- or tried to get in on two different occasions and douglass made a fuss and the congressman saw him and went over and prevailed upon the guards and lincoln, by the way, to let him in. with sojourner and the officer, he said if she can't go in, i can't go in. and so he turned on his heels with her and left. so it was racism because apparently the rule was that no people of color were ever to be allowed at washington receptions. so dougass got in because he was confrontational and there was someone in the inauguration reception and saw him and
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recognized him and prevailed upon lincoln. >> was her first language dutch? >> yes. >> she had a belief to celebrate a particular day of the week as a holy day was, quite frankly, nonsense. that everyday ought to be a holy day. and that there was no reason to have sunday, a day in which people would set aside. and it's a long story about this. but that's basically how it began. >> please come to the microphone. >> i just wondered as scholars how important the region addition to the chicago public defender papers going over to
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the chicago public library will be in your research? duknow about that? >> i didn't know about that. i don't know if i'm going to continue on topics related to the defender or not. but, yeah, it would be. the defender -- at the time we had it didn't -- didn't even have the index yet so we worked on this project for like 11 years, 12 years and so we went through every issue which in a way was better than relying on the index because we saw a lot of things that we would -- >> check it out. it's supposed to be a magnificent trove all the way going to the public defenders. >> down at the carter g. woodson branch of library. >> what relationship did he have with dr. king and secondly, during his years of chicago what was a couple of things he was able to accomplish but i plan to get your book. but i'm just curious.
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>> linda could take the second part. relationship with martin luther king, well, martin luther king was his host when he spoke on november 27th in montgomery on the emmett till case. then a relatively unknown figure outside of montgomery. as i said rosa parks was in the audience. the king papers don't have much at all really before the montgomery bus boycott. there's very little in there. i know they were friends. i know that king would often tell people well, how's -- well, how is dr. howard doing? and dr. howard was certainly supportive of king. but i don't think it was -- there wasn't a close political relationship that i can see really, you know, 56, 57, 58. i mean, howard was more involved in local activities in chicago by that point. >> and shortly, the work he did
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in chicago, coming to chicago, most of it had to do with the medical center even though he dabbled a little bit in politics. he went back to his first love and that was healing the sick. and so his center was a beautiful center. he would help people like angela davis and some of the others on the walls so people came in they felt better because they would see people that they read about. and then he proceeded to help them. so most of his work in chicago had to do with the south side and medicine and one last thing in that his house is still here. still in the city. in his basement, we've seen it, it covers about a block. it's a beautiful home on the south side. thank you. [inaudible] >> i have to say in 45 short minutes, it is impossible to do justice to the rich subjects in
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these very elegant and impressive biographies. all i can do at the end of our time now is to recommend that you locate those books and read them. i want to express my thanks to professors margaret washington, david and linda beito for joining us this afternoon. and thank you to our audience for joining us as well. [applause] >> thank you for attending today's discussion and for supporting the "chicago tribune"'s commitment to literacy. a book-signing will take place in the arts room. as you exit this room to your left, it is the first room on your left. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> margaret washington, linda beito and david beito appearing at the 2009 chicago tribune printers row lit fest. book tv continues live coverage from the university center in chicago after this short break. ♪ >> this summer book tv is asking, what are you reading? >> well, i have several books that i am reading and intend to
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read over the next several weeks. right now i'm just about completed "with wings of eagles" by michael korda which is a battle of britain of both sides of the english channel. the raf on one hand and the german lutsa on the other. it's a well researched book. i have in front of me the american lion which is a book about the life of andrew jackson, particularly during the time of his white house days by john mecham. tom ricks, i guess, i have to say he's my favorite author who wrote "fiasco" has a new book titled "the gamble" which is general petraeus's efforts in iraq between 2006 and 2008. and several others here, "fox in
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the der" which is the story of the german african corps. three victories and the defeat that is the rise and the fall of the first british empire. the defeat being the american revolution and one that i just completed, malcolm gladwe'll book the "outliers" and why some people are successful and why some who are large iq's are moderately successful. i find it to be quite revealing and it explains a lot of people's history as to how well they can do and as well as they will do. but i'm always reading several books. mostly history. a great deal of military history. that's what i do. i'm chairman of the arms services committee and i think it's important that people involved with the military understand history, where we've
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been 'cause it helps us determine where we're going. >> to see more summer reading lists and other program information, visit our website at >> da capo is one of the imprints of the perseus books group and melissa warren is a vice president. what are some of the your books coming out. >> we have a wonderful biography of james monroe harlow james unger and is called the last founding father because he truly was one of the last founding fathers of our nation. >> why another bio on james monroe. >> this is more complete. new information has been found through old archives and letters and records and, you know, we're finding that there's still a lot of patriotic interest out there so we would to be able to
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continue to feed that market. >> what else do you have coming out? >> we have a wonderful biography of amelia earhart coming out. there's a movie with hillary swank and richard gere that's going to be coming out this fall. we'll be bringing the book out to coincide with that. >> how old is the book? >> it's several years old. it's at least a decade. but we're giving it a new cover and rolling it back out there with an update. >> who's dominique la-pierre. >> dominique is a very well-known author who has a author of new york bestsellers behind him and his book is the rainbow in the night. it covers the whole apartheid period and all the turmoil that that country went through to become the nation that it is today. >> what kind of books do you look for at da capo? one have >> one of our missions the books fit in our core areas where we know we're going to be able to find successful readers. it's a lot of military history for us. general history.
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a little politics and a little pop culture, music history. >> well, speaking of pop culture what is this book? >> this is a book on sonic youth called goodbye 20th century. it's very favorably in hardcover and we brought back the hard cover. >> it's about the band and the whole grunge music movement. >> melissa warren is vice president of da capo press. >> the organization of american historians are meeting in seattle this year and several publishers attend and put their wares on sale. and one of those attending is yale university press and there are four new titles that yale university press has out and chris rogers is the executive editor. what would you like to tell us about the conservatives? >> the conservatives is one of the first histories of all conservatives from the founding fathers right up through the bush administration.
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and it, you know, covers really the ideas and personalities that have evolved and how much it's changed over time and really almost come full circle to the colonial period in a very almost symmetrical sense. so each century reall had a different notion of what the conservative ideology was. and i think the beauty of the book is the sort of balanced nonideological objective historical view of the conservatives through time over three centuries. >> who's patrick allen. >> he's a historian. he's from australia. he is a full professor at emory university. and this is his -- one of his areas of specialization.
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>> now, mr. rogers, who are the first two gentlemen featured on the conservative's cover? >> thank you for asking. that's a very good question as john f. kennedy would say. next question. >> well, let's move on to the myth of american exceptionalism. >> okay. that is a fine book by godry hodson a british scholar who has specialized american history throughout his career. he is most famous for his book on 20th century america. that is a beautiful study of the '60s. this is sort of his love letter to america. he's almost like alistar cook in his long association of the development of america in the 20th century and what he's
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arguing here is that america is well loved for its exceptional qualities throughout the world and always has been. and that we have always lived our political lives internationally as an exceptional nation both morally and politically. and he is troubled that we have sort of taken the notion of exceptionalism in recent years and turned it into a rationale for a preemptive strike in iraq, for example. and he expresses worry that we have maybe overstepped the bounds -- the boundaries of what we can and cannot do in the world under the banner of exceptionalism. >> is that one of the reasons kind of for the artistic fade in exceptionalism? >> that's correct. exactly right. >> two other titles we want to quickly ask but. number one peter's war.
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>> peter's war is one of the more delightfully written books. and it's joyce malcolm who is a terrific historian. she's at george mason university law school. and there is -- this reads like a novel. there are no footnotes. it's compelling story of a 12-year-old boy who's a slave in concord, massachusetts, literally on the eve of the british coming through. the night of paul revere's ride. >> and it's nonfiction? >> it's nonfiction and it's based on archival research. and it follows peter's story. he escapes on the eve of the revolution. and he joins the continental army, not the british army. most blacks who did escape joined the british army because the british were known for
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abolitionism and they were antislavery. and it parallels another slave who escapes around the same time in the same geographic area who joins the british, and that slave ends up back as a slave after the war and peter doesn't. so he fights in the war. he's almost like a zellig, woody allen's zellig. he is at some of the main events at the revolution, the major battles and it has a happy ending. he does become a freed black in new england at the end of the war. >> and finally comanche's empire. >> this is the book i'm most proud of and the press is most proud of. the author received his degree from the university of helsinki and did an asounding study of the comanche from 1700 to 1850
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so it's got 150 years' time frame where the comanche completely dominated the southwest. and what comes through is their intelligence, their decentralized political organization, their escape from disease because they were nomanic. they would enslave whoever captured but if you wanted to be a comanche they would have groups. they were the first understand the horse and its importance in the western economy and the buffalo so they were very well armed, very well funded and very smart. and so they outdueled their rival tribes, the apache especially, and they absolutely ruled the spanish and anglos who came in and tried to take over and then finally the american government in 1857 send all the troops you can there and let's get the comanche problem settled
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and they basically took care of the comanche but for 150 years they ruled. >> you're listening to chris rogers, executive editor of yale university press talking about some of the new titles. >> our coverage of the "chicago tribune" printers row lit fest continues with jeff coen, and jason kersten on the art of making money. the story of a master counterfeiter. >> you have no idea -- [inaudible] [inaudible] >> they are doing seven of these events and keep watching c-span books and you'll -- >> eventually. >> it's live now. >> it's live now? [laughter] >> we're live now?
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[laughter] >> hurry home, everybody. hurry home. [laughter] >> we don't care if you're here. go watch it at home. so that's even worse. now seriously behave yourselves. >> you should have blacked it out. >> i'll have these two fine men hold up their books like they do on letterman. >> are you doing the opening monologue. >> i might, yeah. i'm more like ed mcmahon. >> welcome to the 25th annual 2009 "chicago tribune" printers row list. we would like to give a thanks to our partners just a few notes before we begin out of today's program out of courtesy turn off your cell phone. flash photography will not be permitted. it will be broadcast live on c-span's book tv.
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if there's time at the end for a question and answer session with the author we ask you to use the microphone located at the center of the room so that the home viewing audience can hear your question. if you'd like to watch this program again, note that coverage will be re-aired saturday evening beginning at 10:00 pm central standard time. please welcome our moderator rick kogan of the "chicago tribune." >> hi there. [applause] >> look at these clapping trying to curry favor with me. jeff, i want to start with you. in that you didn't really go searching for this book. this book kind of found you, did it not? >> yeah, i think that's safe to say. i'm a reporter for the tribune and i covered this trial in 2007. ..


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