tv [untitled] CSPAN June 27, 2009 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
we will find out that if humanity is a failed experiment or not. take your life back some of you cannot go back that far but go back 1978 that is when i made "blue highways" and think of the problems of 1978 and what we're talking about now, what were we not talking about in 1978 we're talking about now? you get an indicator of which way this human experiment is going. you get a little gps pointing out where you were and where you are and it seems really need to consider that question will we find out in this century we are as a species a failed experiment? we all know what we hope the answer will be. i want to read you something and then we will go to q and a
this is not from the but to people talking. there's a section in the utah persian of "roads to quoz" that q calls, oral history of the american west because everything in it i heard or was told to me, west of the 100th meridian i was of the notion wouldn't it be wonderful if shakespeare kept a notebook and would write down things that he heard or emilie donte writing things down? . .
wonderful you are and how humorous you are. i see one hand there. if you can get to the mic if you can. >> i am just curious, what is the most startling instinct thing that you encountered in your travels? >> the most startling food? i will paraphrase the question for the tv. what is the most startling food i have encountered in my travels? a hard question but let me tell you the most recent startling food i encountered. this was and north carolina, near the davidson, kudner davidson north carolina in cornelius north carolina. we went into al-khalifa, one of those family cafes. it was across the parking lot from a susie place so i was asking the waitress if she likes sushi. she said i'm not that stupid. she said, i said then tell me about an item on the menu called
liver mush. she said that is good. you won't eat sushi but you like liver mush? bring us an order of liver mush. we tasted liver mush for the next day. [laughter] what else? somebody help me out here. yes. do we have aic down here? >> anything i say i can't blame on the hampshire because that is quorum from. i want to say that i very much appreciate your people stories. my background is in journalism and people's stories are white bring people to reading and the value that i find in your books is indeed those stories, and a place in which those people, from which those people are
speaking. it helps to define who they are and what their marcelle camille is. than that certainly enhances that story, but it is the people's stories themselves, the names, the faces you create by their words, and as far as your images of new hampshire, you have got it almost right. and i very much appreciate that, because the image of midwesterners and new hampshirans aren't all that great. but, the story that i read while awaiting this visit, thank you. this story of mr. hunter and his, and his maple sugaring family, and how he speaks of the land and the importance of the land and the generations of his family, right on, right on. thank you.
thank you very much. >> could this soundman pick that up because i won't be able to repeat that. the essence was that you will be a native of new hampshire, fine the stories i told to be accurate. >> yes. >> i will tell you one additional story in addition to his story in new hampshire, those of you who read "blue highways" and i will make this quick. there's a woman whom i met in 1978 on the "blue highways" trip and she was a delightful historian and she appears in the book with a photograph. she introduced me to more people in the village. when the book came out, "blue highways," four years later people started coming up to her door and knocking on her porch. i didn't mean to do that to her. it never crossed my mind that more than three or 400 people might read this book so that was a surprise, but the upshot was that she recently had an operation for cancer of some
sort and she was in recovery doing well, but her mental spirits were down. she was at the time '82 or '83 and she was thinking, who needs this old lady in a more it has been ill? but you found people coming up to her front door knocking on it. suddenly she realized, maybe i have left a legacy behind. i am putting words into her mouth, but maybe i have left a legacy. [inaudible] >> no, the publisher really doesn't but sometimes readers will. but i wouldn't presume to write about another country at length. i'm just not qualified. i struggle enough to write about my own country and try to get it accurate and with mexico especially. my spanish is wretched, so it would be inaccurate. i would not try it.
canada. are you canadian? no, one more question she says. i wouldn't presume to write about candidate either. the canadians get annoyed enough with us without having an american get presumptions and try to start telling them about canada. that would be disastrous i think. one more. >> i am from new hampshire as well. i am hershel fur. but,. >> one quick question. >> a quick question. you used a-- in "blue highways." what do you use today to do your stories? >> i don't want to give the-- but we are four-cylinder people. [laughter] there was one earlier. somebody do this. >> your "blue highways" book is one of the most pleasurable books i have ever read, and i go
journeying through a lot of authors of which have forgotten their names, however, i have never forgotten your name. if you don't mind my asking, what is the origination of your name? >> it is partly explained in the third chapter of "blue highways." [inaudible] i have probably forgot myself. in a nutshell, my background is english, irish and osage. my father in the 1930's wanted to honor the osage side of our background. we did not know what the last full-blooded osage name was. we do know he was born in july. keep in mind until 1924 the american indians were not citizens so there was a lot of slapping anglo names on to indians, and he would hide the indian name or just would not
recorded. so, we don't know but because he was born into like my father took as a way of reminding himself about that, and used primarily in boyscouts as he was a boy scout for years. he was manatt heat, july is heat. my older brother came along and he wanted to use the name to silkiest little heat months ago i came along six years later. i ask my dad once were that there would have been a third child, what would he or she be? he said least, little. [laughter] keep that one in mind. you have been a fine audience. here you are. thanks very much. i guess we are going to be over here. [applause] >> william least heat-moon's books includes "blue highways," "river horse" and "columbus in the americas." is articles have appeared in time, as choir, national geographic and other magazines.
the seattle public library hosted this event. for more information about the library and future events visit spl.org. >> this summer booktv is asking, what are you reading? >> bob schieffer, whether you reading this summer? >> well, i just finished a book called big rich which is about the great oil fortunes that were made in taxes and it is by a writer named brian burrough, a writer for "vanity fair." is an absolutely terrific book. the best book i have read this summer and one of the best books i have read in i don't know when is a book called the held by katheryn stockish. and, it is the story of two black made and a young white woman, who lived in jackson mississippi in 1963. and it tells you more about the relations between blacks and
whites come with what was going on in the south, the year that james meredith was enrolled at the university of mississippi, the first big story that i covered. this is a wonderful book, and i just recommended. >> to see more summer reading lists and other program information visit our web site at booktv.org. >> here is elected some upcoming book fairs and festivals over the next few months.
>> da capo press is one of the imprints of the perseus books group and lisl born is the vice president at da capo press. ms. warren, what are some of the titles coming out from your in print? >> we have a wonderful biography of james monroe coming out by a writer, carlo james under and it is called the last founding father because he truly was one of the last founding fathers of our nation. >> why another bioon james monroe? >> this is more complete than many of the others, new information has been counter old archives and letters and records, and you know we are finding that there is still a lot of patriotic interest out there so we want to be able to continue to feed that market.
>> what else you have coming out? >> we have a wonderful biography demilley ehrhardt. actually there is something of a movie tie-in with hillary's lincoln richard year that will be coming out this fall and we will be bringing the book out to coincide with that. >> how old is the book? >> i would say it least a decade, but we are giving it in the cover and burling it back out there. >> phyllis dominic lapierre? >> dominic lapierre is a well-known author it has a history of "new york times" of best sellers by minded and the book we are doing this fall is called the rainbow in the night, about south africa. covers the hole at apartheid period and all the turmoil that country went through. >> what kind of books the laforet da capo? >> we have publish non-fiction primarily. one of our missions is to make sure they books fit into our core areas where we know we are going to be able to find success for readers. it is a lot of military history for us, a general history, a little politics, a little current events and a lot of pop culture to mix it up a little
bit, music history. >> speaking of pop culture what is this book? >> this is a book called goodbye 20 a century ago it has been favorably reviewed in hardcover and which is part of the paperback edition. it is about the band and the whole grunge music movement. the. >> allyssa born is vice president of da capo press. >> sunday on c-span's to's booktv, former reagan advisers marden and and les anderson on why the president believed destroying nuclear weapons would bring an end to the soviet union. on after words nicholas schmidle talks about his two years in pakistan. he sits down with "new york post" columnist ralph peters and next weekend for the holiday three days of booktv starting friday morning at 8:00 including historian and author john ferling lied sunday from george washington mount vernon estate on in depth. the entire schedule is on line with great new features including streaming video and
easy to search the archives. booktv.org. >> martin enn ilyse anderson used formerly classified documents to contend that ronald reagan believed the destruction of nuclear weapons was tantamount in achieving his goal to bring an end to the soviet union. the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley california hosted this event. it is 25 minutes. >> hello. i was just thinking it has now been about 34 years since we first met ronald reagan, and we always liked it when we first met him and we still like him. and, as is and said we worked with him for quite a long time. in 1988 i wrote one book explaining what reagan was like and i thought i really knew
about him. but when people left come a lot ofeople talk to me about he was kind of silly and did not know what he was doing. all kinds of things. they call them names. the thing that i could not understand is telling god's name did he get all of that work done? how was he able to do it? and, that idea held up with a lot of people. for example, who was actually doing his work? he was pulling the strings? and, starting six or seven years ago, we began to understand who was pulling the strings. and the person was ronald reagan's-- what he is writing and we discovered that he could write, and from 1975 to 1979, he wrote i think it was 660 odd
essays. he did the research. he did the writing on it. he knew everything about it. then later on we got curious and started to looking at a lot of letters, and indeed he did. we ended up, we found 1,000 letters that he had written everything from people who called then to people in the soviet union and so forth. by the way, in the last few years we have been collecting more letters and know their close to 10,000 letters. every night before he went to bed used to write as to what was happening during the day. and, those documents are incredibly important because they really tell you exactly what he was doing and what other people did and so on.
so come and now what we have is a situation where we have got people who hit suddenly realized he can write, he can do all kinds of things with the pencil and he likes letters and you like to write letters. ncnally writes in his diary. the one thing that was really fascinating was, who was pulling his strings? so, one of the things that resulted-- excuse me, i have got a bad cold. anyway, a few years ago i was on the defense policy board, and for that reason i have top-secret clearance. i talked to some of the people around here and it took me over a year, but i finally got clearance to come in and take a look at what was reagan doing. and, that was very interesting. so far i know no one else has
had access to the classified documents, except they have the doesn't archivists. there are millions and millions of papers and one of the nicest things they did was they helped me, they knew what i was looking four, and they picked up the good ones that i was very interested in. there's enough in their if someone writes another 15 are 20 books. it will take it well. when i started doing this, one of the things that i was, that struck me was when we opened up these documents, it looked like most of the meetings, somebody had been set up as the person who was supposed to read and then a write-down what never was said, so while this was going on, and the reagan was the chairman. there were probably ten to 15
people. when they were doing all of these things were top-secret, he was writing down what every single person said. what judge clark had said, all of those people and what reagan said. so what i have tried to do and this is to go in and find what reagan did. the reason why i feel strongly about this is that if you talk a lot about what people will tell you, i think there are probably around 300 books redmont reagan and they all have a different view of reagan and why he is doing something so the only way to find out what he is doing is to get-- that is where you find out what happens. and, what we are doing, we end up pulling out i think it was 87 of these classified documents that showed what he was doing and what was happening.
and, i think we can say no, i think we have the first letter number one up here and we will show you. there is. there is. that is the first classified documents. that is the first side that shows the varies people around the president, the vice president and so forth. and, as i was reading through this i opened up the second page, and as you go halfway down, it shows that reagan is doing and he is telling these people casey is very important. and he tells people what is going to happen and then he suddenly says but i will make all the decisions. and when he said, i will make all the decisions, it went on for the entire eight years.
he was writing his own lines. he made all the decisions. he listened to these people and went back and forth. lot of people argue with him, did not like him, all different kinds of things. he never wavered. he knew exactly what he was going to do and he stayed with it. he would listen to these experts and he had some of the best experts in the world. he would listen to them. some he would go with those on the left side, sometimes on the right side but he always ended up on his side. what we have discovered in this material as we go on is that a lot of things that happened, reagan was for. he put them all together. and, i think as this goes round and other people see them, rarely did anyone realize what he was doing. and, some of the most amazing things that he did, let's say
it's what he did with geneva and so on. and, the basic problem now is that how do you deal with a country with huge amounts of new york weapons that want to kill you? and he worked on it for seven years, and he did something which everyone thought was impossible. he got them to pull down, and the cold war was over. he finished it up in 1988, and i think the reason why he hasn't gotten as much attraction as most people, they couldn't believe it. hoan hurts zewdie do it, because it seems so simple lendee easy but it wasn't. it was extremely difficult and that is what is in this book. an explanation of how he did it come who he talked to and when he talked to them. i am going to turn it over to
annelise to talk more about this and then we will answer any questions you want to give us. >> well, i think what we see as we read various documents, there were 355 meetings of the national security council during his administration that reagan chaired, and they are almost 200 of them have minutes taken by a scribe that tells with everybody said, and martin requested declassifications and got the classified. about 85, 87 of those minutes. they are a great resource on what reagan was actually saying. there are a lot of other stories in those minutes as well. what other people are saying. but what he has to say is very
important. and, you can see that he is his own strategist and that he is following this over a long period of time, but i wanted to go back and read you something that he said in 1963. this document happens to be in the hoover institution archives and was quoted in an earlier book. and it is also quoted in this book, hurts annelise-- "reagan's secret war." he says in 1963 in a speech, the only sure way to avoid for is to surrender without fighting. the other way is based on the belief that in an all-out race, our system is stronger and eventually the enemy gives up the race as a hopeless cause. then ennoble nation, believing in peace, extends the hand of friendship and says, there is
room in the world for both of us. now, i think that in 1963 is what happened and what he accomplished. he had the vision of how the world might be. way back, before he even ran for governor or president. so, i think that is an interesting thing to understand, that he was his own strategist. these documents are then truly a great resource in addition to his letters and his speeches and his own diary. and, as we put them together in this book, we have realized that he is the only person who knows, not only what he is saying to the public which not everybody is hearing. 85% of its communications are outside of his formal press
conferences by the no's what he is writing. he knows what he is saying in meetings that are classified, that people can't talk about, and he knows what he is riding in letters to the soviets, so he has got this whole picture. nobody working for him and no member of the public, no member of the press has the total picture that he has. he worked for a long time on achieving his goals in these meetings-- another thing that comes out in these meetings is that he tolerates, it in fact in encourages and once a wide range of different views. he never shoots the messenger. he knows that people are going to disagree. he welcomes it. sometimes people say, you know, you have got so much disagreement, he watched the fire distaffer the other. he doesn't do it. he keeps these people who have
diversity is, they disagree with each other. he encourages them to express themselves. he often holds back in expressing its own deal until they have had an opportunity, so that everybody has heard and then makes the decision. sometimes ride in the meeting, sometimes he makes a decision later on. and then he writes in his diary, i am going to go with george on this one or i'm going to go with shultz, weinberger or so-and-so has a good idea. he also talked to richard nixon. ..