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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 13, 2009 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT

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infrastructure that was built in the country and the sort of thing that we should be doing again. and interesting to me that there's significant effort to re-create -- to create and to build and rebuild american infrastructure and that the erie canal was cited. it almost seems as though a lot of the citation for the erie canal is somewhat blind. there are not very many similarities between how new york city based on new york state built the erie canal and how the federal government now might support infrastructure projects. however, there is one very important similarity, or one way in which the erie canal i think can help inform the debate about whether the federal government should be creating a national
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infrastructure bank to fund infrastructure objects. . . .
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>> there is really no good route and he wound up, jesse hawley is his name, another connecticut native who tried to find his fortune in the west, winds up in debtor's prison, under a pseudonym writes the argument -- newspaper essays, arguing for and proposing and arguing for a canal across new york state directly to lake erie and it was actually his idea but dewitt clinton picks up the idea, three years later, and he is the guy that makes the erie canal happen and if you know anything about dewitt clinton he is a long time new york city mayor, new york state lawmaker, a congressman, a -- one of the canal commissioners, eventually and a long time new york governor, and he's a new york city civic
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benefactor and social reformer and nearly president in 1812, but for the then swing state of pennsylvania, but, clinton, has to be credited for seeing the wisdom of the erie idea. and then attaching himself, very early to the effort and he becomes its chief promoter and clinton was a popular leader, screw pewlessly hone lessllessly honest but a careless and often reviled politician but left astounding public attacks roll off his back and is this single individual who guides erie's legislative approval and financing and popular support. if clinton had taken any of the many outrageous assaults, against him, or succumbed to self-doubt, arguably you might say that we could be living in a nation that peters out somewhere
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east of the mississippi. because we might not have gotten to the west by the erie canal and interest in minimum call to the continental nation, spanish from the north, and russian influence from the northwest might not have given us the country we have now and i would say for those who talk now, about creating a national infrastructure bank, then cite the erie canal as the first piece of infrastructure we made, it's important for those people involved in the bank to own it. if that is what is wanted, support it, and develop arguments against anybody who would argue against it. and then go ahead and do it with the same sort of dedication dewitt clinton put into the erie canal. i think that is all i'll say for prepared remarks, and now i
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think if anybody would like to ask questions, go ahead. [applause]. >> does anyone have a question? >> yes, do you think the proposed bank is a good idea. >> i think it is probably an essential -- i'm not an expert in this area, but you have noticed -- knotsed the development of the idea but i think it is essential, american infrastructure is falling apart and we haven't built much basically since this 1950, and, another similarity, between the erie canal and what we have now is that the canal was built during a -- the country's first great depression. now, canal -- the canal project started in 1817 but in 1819 before much of it had been built, we had the panic of 1819.
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caused in large part, by flawed banking policies and that depression lasted into the middle 1820s, the precise period of the building of the canal and what that depression did, actually, was allow for contracts on the erie canal to be taken at much lower prices, essentially construction costs down, and, it gave work to what were suddenly many unemployed people. and so i think that if we do wind up creating a national infrastructure bank, we certainly seem to be heading in a similar economic direction, right now. and, it might be a good time to create such a bank, and have the -- in this case, federal government provide work to many people who may be losing their jobs. >> who is next? >> in the back.
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>> excuse me. do i in for correctly that the original sponsors were more politicians than businessmen? >> that is died would say the original idea came from this failed first western -- first grain merchants of western new york and he failed because he just had no way to get his grain from western new york back east. that was in 1807. in 1808, a couple of new york state senators get legislation passed to at least get they first survey done of a possible route and that happens, and both of those legislators are legislators, they are also -- happen to be western new york pioneers, so it is certainly in their interest. but they also, i think had a broader interest, because they saw the great, greater possibilities of laying a canal
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through upstate new york, accessing their lands, of course, but, also, being able, then, to contact or make -- take advantage of all that the interior of the continent had to offer. why don't you wait for the microphone? >> if someone were to transport i guess by steam one's barges from new york or philadelphia to albany, and in the to traverse the canal by -- with mules, does the canal company provide the mules or what do i not understand about that. >> you mean the workings, how the canal actually worked? well, yes. if one were to deliver one's
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barges to the canal, and by steam, and, the owner of the barges didn't have mules -- >> they did. i mean, the barges that operated on the canal, essentially the system was a barge and a mule and it was the mule that pulled the barge along the canal. maybe i'm not understanding your question. >> the barges started in new york. >> suppose they started in new york and philadelphia and were towed by steam, up to albany. >> right. >> and were left there, would be left there, and how did they traverse the canal to -- buffalo, for example. >> most goods would not come up the hudson river in barges, they got to the hudson river. >> initially, in sailing ships but ultimately in increasingly larger steam boats, a steamboat
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having been invented in 1807 and the canal completed in 1825. so it was a separate's men, goods went from new york city up the hudson to albany and then, they were trans-shipped to canal barges. did i answer your question? no, tell me. i'm not sure i did. >> [inaudible]. >> okay. >> [inaudible]. >> mules were owned by the canal companies and you had barges that took goods and you had also barges that took passengers, but in all cases, pulled by -- actually originally by horses, for the first couple of years and then it was discovered that mules are actually -- pull harder and longer and with -- in a more docile manner.
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anyone else? >> how many companies were this? how many canal companies were there? >> well, there were a bunch. initially, there were a couple of guys whose names escape me now, who started the first passenger canal boats, and were actually intended to be monopolists. they were -- their advising line was, one line, on the canal. and that -- so again, even in, you know, the 1820s we have business interests that are not necessarily in line with the public interests. but eventually -- actually fairly quickly a number of competitors emerged, and it -- travel on the canal was very competitive, not particularly expensive, but, enough that
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people who ran barges made a lot of the money, even after they paid significant tolls, which is what wound up making the canals such a profitable venture for the state. >> hold on one second. >> did the railroads but the canal out of business? i would think -- >> that is a very interesting question, what happened was, i think if the canal had not been built from 1870 to 1825, railroads start coming in, in the 18 0s an initially they can't really -- railroads cannot really transport very much and they are not really a competitor for barges, or heavily loaded barges for a couple of more decades, but it is a curious thing, once the canal was built and opened, that became the route west and when -- my office is in a neighborhood that has --
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in a neighborhood that -- a neighborhood that has lots of little places to eat and i wind up having lunch or getting my lunch all the time from the same dill in the bottom of the building. and i can go to like 8 different places to get lunch but i always go to the same place and i think a lot of that sort of human instinct is what happened with this canal, once it opened, and the way west was from albany to buffalo, that is how people went. and so when this first railroads were build in new york state, this first rail line was laid parallel tottery canal and later the first interstate west through new york was laid next to the railroad and, it wasn't until, really after the civil war, that the amount of freight carried by railroads exceeded the amount of freight carried by the erie canal and other canals. >> i have sort of a follow-up question, to that, actually, which is, are there any bits of
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the erie canal that are operational today, for commerce, other than just historical reasons. >> right. the -- i think i mentioned, the current canal is the third version, you know, this first canal was 40 feet by wide by 40 feet deep and an enlarged in the 18 0s to the 1860s and 1905 to 1917 the current canal was built, for motorized barges and mules go away and now motorized barges and the current canal is essentially much straighter and much broader than the original canal and there is -- i have been on the canal and there is now, probably not for several decades, has there been much commercial activity on the canal, almost entirely pleasure boaters. and there was a brief resurgence this past summer, when gas wept up to -- oil prices spiked and
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shippers, briefly apparently shifted to erie canal barges which are much cheaper than trucks on the interstate. at least when gas is over $4 a gallon. but, that quickly went back to the situation we have now which is mostly just pleasure boaters on the erie canal. okay. anyone else? all right, thanks very much for coming and hope you enjoy the book. [applause]. >> gerard capo is the author of water for gotham and his write appeared in several publications including "the new york times" and "the new yorker," and the new york journal of american history, for more information visit his web site at pers yous booksgroup.c/dacapo.
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>> children's author emma walton hamill, what this is e could to writing a children's book? >> gosh, i would say respecting children as readers and not talking down to them. if anything, it is all basically about trusting their judgment and their intelligence and hopefully speaking to what interests them and what they are passionate about. >> what are children interested in. >> just about everything that adults are interested in. for the most part. their world, around them and growing up, and learning new things, music, arts. sports, you name it all the same things we're interested in. >> how many children's books have you written. >> i have written well, just now, about to release the 17th children's book. that i actually co-write, with my mother. believe believe it or not. >> what is it like working with your mother as a coauthor.
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>> it is a great pleasure and we weren't sure it would be a pleasure to begin begin with, we are opinionated ladies and we thought, mother, daughter working together, it could be tricky but happily played to each other's strengths and have a great time working together and it turned out well. >> and your mother is julie andrews, what part of the book do you write. >> part of the... >> what part of the book do you write. >> emma this is structure and i think -- tell me if i'm wrong i'm more the flights of fancy and i do the, certainly the image making, the openings, the closings and emma, the -- >> the picture. >> i do the big picture and emma says, now we must have a finish, this is the end of the first act and makes me focus on the shape of the book. but, the actual sort of images and things, are probably my strength and emma's is the
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structure as much as anything and we seem to complement each other, at least i think we do, wonderfully. >> i do, too. >> why did you start writing children's books. >> i started as a complete surprise. i started as -- it was in answer to a game that i was playing with my children, and i had to pay a forfeit, i was the first to lose the game and i said, oh, what will my forfeit be and my eldest daughter, jennifer, said, write a story, write us a story, because i used to love to scribble and write things. and i really honestly thought, that is going to be simple, i can just write a small thing like an aesop's fable or something very short and i thought, no, this is my step-daughter and it might be a wonderful way to help us bond, and i came up with a little idea, and kind of kept fleshing it out and the next thing i knew there was a book and if it hadn't been for blake, my husband, blake edwards, i don't think i would ever have finished
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it. i want have confidence, i didn't know what i was doing and he kept saying it doesn't matter, it is a sweet idea, keep the pamgs coming -- >> and have been looked since. >> and that was 40 years ago, and i have been writing ever since. >> how many children's books that you authored. >> emma, we have 17 together and -- >> and you have done four on your own. >> four on my own, plus a memoir. and so... we go back and forth, really. and we have more coming, so... >> now, emma walton hamilton, do you live close to each other, e-mail each other? >> yes, well, we -- unfortunately we live most of the year on opposite coasts, and we always work best when we're together and love to be together whenever we can be but we have become very reliant on modern technology, and we use web cam for a lot of our work sessions. we log on together, at the same time and d -- >> and it is killing, poor mum has to get up three hours
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earlier than she does, in l.a., she'll say, mom, 10:00 is halfway through my morning, can you get up at 7:00 and i'm saying, well, i think i can... you know. >> does very well. >> and i do my best and i'm not as literate on my computer as she is, but i do my best. >> is there a certain lengths of children -- a children's book should be. >> say that sgheen a certain length. >> it depends hope to age of the child. >> what age do you write for. >> all ages. >> we write for all ages, with tremendous audacity. >> true. >> we write picture books, we might young adult novels and chapter books and middle grade readers, and, our latest is an anthology for all ages. poetry anthology, called the julie andrews collection of poems, songs and lullabies. >> and this is actually quite thick. so -- >> very thick. >> it is the first book with our lovely new plusher, little brown, part of the group, and,
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they actually came to us and said, would you consider doing an anthology, for us, and we said. >> had so much fun we're doing another one after this. >> yes, we are and it was enormous fun to compile and we obviously, it is our favorite poems well, have been fond of them all our lives, my father instilled in me a love of poetry and hopefully i instilled in my kids and we read to each other and give poems as gifts to each other, all our lives we have done that and suddenly here we are asked to put down our favorites and the first choices which were about 20 were really easy and then after that, we had the most wonderful journey/disaster, finding what we really loved and challenged -- >> digging back into our memories and family anthologies and -- >> and we, came down to 9 operated themes and before each theme, there is a pies that we wrote, explaining why we love the theme, and say it is
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optimism or the countryside or nature. >> and why each choice of a poem or song lyric within the theme resonates for us, what memory it associates with. >> and we have always, as a family, exchanged poems for fun and for -- as gifts at birthdays and special days and holidays and so on and we sort of challenged each other to write a poem and we bucked up our courage and added a few more and there ari a few of ours in there. >> you have emma walton hamilton, some of your children, grandchildren, are they your focus group for children's books. >> absolutely. >> they absolutely have been. actually you were when i was writing on my own. and then all the grandchildren are tremendous help. >> not only our focus group, they help us know what is working and not working of course but they also provide a tremendous source of ideas for us and many of our books were inspired by -- >> often as. >> for example, the dumpty the
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dump truck series, this first series we collaborateded on was inspired by my son, sam, who is a passionate truck lover. and would only read books about trucks and we were having trouble that had more than the nonfiction, the bulldozer goes crunch kind of books and we wrote that series for him and we're working on a new series now with little girls in mind inspired by my daughter, so... >> and, ms. andrews you have also written a memoir. >> yes. >> the first step of your life, basically. >> well, yes. it goes up to my coming out to the west coast, of america, for the very first time, and, my first movie, but, it is about the first third of my life, you know, and it was -- took a long time to do. i would never have done it if she hadn't been so generous with her time to push me and make me do it and help me with it and so on. >> is there's a second, second
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third coming up. >> a lot of people are asking that. to be really honest with you, i don't know at this point. it took -- a long, long time to write this first part, so maybe one day. >> emma walton hamilton what is your favorite children's book, that you have written. >> that i have written or read. >> either one. >> you know, well, the book that was for me, the formidable book was norton justers the phantom tollbooth. that was my favorite, go back to book on rainy days and go forth and people often ask us, which is our favorite though books we have written and it is hard to sans, like saying which is your favorite chocolate in a box of chocolates or which is your favorite child because you love them all for different reasons but i would say, i'm particularly proud and excited about the one we have just finished, the poetry anthology which is a real labor of love and so beautifully produced for us by little brown.
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>> mrut brought us an enormous amount of pleasure to put it together. i love the music and the poetry and find a lot of the songs i have been associated with or even songs i love, and haven't actually sung have sometimes the most beautiful lyrics and i auz usually choose songs for lyrics first and foremost and then, the melody, if -- if it's a beautiful melody, everything comes together and so, i have always felt that lyrics to songs are sometimes poems in themselves, so i have included a lot in the book and i'm hoping children will discover for themselves or adults, wow, that is a beautiful poem, who wrote it and realize that it is a song. and -- >> and want to listen to the music. >> and want to go and listen to the music. >> as mothers, finally, is it important to teach young children to read or be exposed to read. >> we're passionate advocates of literacy and for literacy, we do
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everything we can in that respect. >> and i would say, that it is not so much incumbent upon parents to teach their children to read, they may well learn that at school, what is incumbent upon us to teach them to love reading. and to read to them and with them as often as possible and that way they will likely grow up to be lifelong readers themselves. >> i have to boast a little bit, she's written the most wonderful book and self-published it, called raising book worms and it is about that, raising children to love and find the joy in reading and keep it constant. as school years go by and how difficult it becomes when assignments are handed to you and sometimes are very boring, how do you keep a child's love of reading alive, and sparkling and her book is just wonderful. >> thanks, mom. >> people interested in finding that book, or other children's books, they've written and the newest one, where can they go. >> thank you for asking, they can go to our web site,
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for any of the books in the collection an also, this is site for the reading book. >> emma walton hamilton and her mother, julie andrews, thank you. >> thank you, peter. >> thank you very much. >> this summer back tv is asking, what are you reading. >> aim the reliable source columnist for the "washington post" and looking forward to my summer reading list, a lot of people think summer is the time for light reading and as far as i'm concerned it is time to read this buy, heavy books and last year i tackled the found head over my summer vacation, and this year, i am looking forward to finishing anna karenina and i tried to read it 15 years ago and couldn't do it. and, i came up with a new translation which i started on vacation in february, and chipping away at a, but i'm about halfway through and
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probably on vacation will be able to finish most of it. all of -- olive kitteridge, and my book club picked that one and i'm going to finally read "manhunt", the lincoln history, by james swanson which has been out for a few years now and couple other things, either the story of edgar sawtelle which everyone in my family read an raised about or america, america by ethan canin and i hope to finally tackle two twilight" by stephanie meyer and i loved the movie and even says the books are even better.


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