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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 27, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EST

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those who are going to be most effective that this are people who are going to have a strong spiritual center, and what has impressed me as i look at the conservative movement growing in the past generation or two is the success of let us say the evangelicals and creating a kind of alternative universe as someone has called that a parallel universe, that was the phrase, of institutions, of ways of transmitting their values, their faith to the next generation as well as to those of the next generation horizontally. ..
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>> many different faith communities that kn in part that is a manifestation of that. that is something that i think of importance for the health of the society for
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those that call themselves conservatives to be encouraged and i hope that perhaps addresses some concerns there are any number of websites i do not want to get into minutia who is doing what or what denomination or fielder faith but the general impulse is critical to the restoration and reformation and renewal of our civilization which conservatism is all about. >> could you track with be just a moment the slaves in massachusetts in the 1787 edition for their freedom and the natural rights they did not think there's anything abstract about that notion. lincoln saw it and it is
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confirmed they understand this better they grasp the principles and there is a search for support for the pro-life position. issues are there. political issues, things that we're legislating matters of right and wrong and just and unjust. it would seem it would be to help people to understand what's and it is more or less central? meritor abortion? one issue among others? can you give a coherent account of this arrangement and why those lives lost to abortion or any less or those suffered are any less important than the losing of a home or losing a good job? >> that somebody we both know says we have to bring in the young because the
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most of the young are in favor of the same-sex marriage. of the same person would not say most young are in favor of nationalized medicine so let's go along with it. you take the location to try and teach them what is important part of the issues will always be there. the raw materials will be there the people can decide but no its golan and his and isn't the direct question philosophical that those who can summon the incite to explain what in fact, two people have to care about as central? >> that is probably primarily a task for people outside of the political sphere narrow the conceived in the sense that there is not that many people in the hot current politics down the verbal sophistication to
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address that. lincoln was upset -- exceptional. [laughter] >> what is the nature of the location? >> that is something you have two instructive rising generation of political activists. truly. i will not quote the person by name but somebody told me one of the problems the right to life committee has with the formal advocates of the opposition on capitol hill as then that they walk the walk but they do not talk the talk. why not? partly because they're uncomfortable a by nature as a political pacifists' both the bloomington '04 of confronting moral issues those are issues of definition and a division and if you are in politics you try to have the votes and not drive them away. of becomes difficult in a
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pure political realm for people who were trained to make those kinds of arguments you have made. that is the case for the philosophers have to get them to think along those terms. >> [inaudible] >> day i agree part of that is very important. that is why i said we need as conservatives, to find a language that will convey the e eternal meeting. i don't think we can simply expect the average political activist thinking in terms of folk getting and public policy to have that language without some instruction and data in structuring can come from many forms but the house to precede the political all the we can hope for the exception of a
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reagan has you say. >> we'll take the privilege of asking the last question. , george, would you agree with me that edmund burke would regard to obama the same way he did the french revolution? [laughter] that it was a radical restructuring of society that should be opposed most firmly? [inaudible] ladies and gentlemen, please join me in giving day it wonderful world of applause to our speakers teeseventeen [applause] [applause]
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>> we're here with christie nablus, the editor and author of a new book sisters of four. who are the sisters? >> they are two direct the sisters better 18 and 21 years old and part of the war. they are filled with hope for what the americans can do because they suffer for of labour code yield less -- older sister goes to work for the americas and falls in love with a contractor and the younger sister gets her degree at the baghdad university which becomes harder as americans lose control and a radical islamist gained control. >> when did you meet them? >> early 2003. >> you talk to the sisters and the two other women. who are they? >> one is a u.s. reservist soldier parker she
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eventually becomes in charge of the biggest initiative to bring americans versions of women's rights to the middle east. the other is a palestinian american activist and working for women for women international in iraq trying to help iraqi women fell the grass roots effort. >> you follow them throughout the ground from your stay? >> was there from may 2003 through 2005. >> what changes they use the? to agree with from a country that was thrilled at the thought of usair overthrowing saddam hussein and the potential to rebuild the country, to really a realization that the u.s. quite did not know what it was doing or prepared for the problems that it faced. six entry was spinning slowly add of control precut became it was a very safe
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place in the beginning but very dangerous place by the end. >> the women come from different backgrounds. how did they see a change as how they were treated as women. >> they have a lot of freedom center sadam hussain but they lost them immediately with the war. there was security and under house arrest for a long time. it got worse unfortunately that it led to the arrival of radical islam with a very conservative version how women should live many influenced by iran. iraqi women found themselves unable to leave the house or possibly living at -- losing their rights to the constitution, government, di vorce or inheritance or family loss of a became desperate for the future and what it might told them they never thought they would end up like that because they have a lot of rights under
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sadam hussain. >> you reported in the middle east for many years. have you seen a change value have been treated on the ground since september 11th? >> i think most arabs were welcoming to americans despite the media portrays them as being anti-american. but the west like iraq and afghanistan have made a lot of people feel that all americans are against the morals and islam as a religion. i have had to counter that and address that in reaching them. >> is it difficult to do that as a journalist? >> it is. there's a lot of suspicion in the middle east many think we are spies our work for the cia and do not appreciate the wall that exist between the media and the government and they do not believe we are neutral
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observers. 1/2 to counter that before i talk to them. >> the author of sisters and more. thank you so much. >> thank you for coming. one of the first questions i am usually asked why i decided to ride a book about madam chang kai-shek it was about the loyal said daughter and to granddaughter of queen victoria why would any writer in her right mind
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jump from europe to asia from transparent western ladies to mysterious chinese? the explanation goes back to my life with my late husband who was working on a screenplay of doris kerns quote could win no ordinary time separate a book about the roosevelt white house. we have had one of the usual dinner conversations about our work. neither of us listening particularly carefully to what the other was saying. [laughter] and allen told me during world war ii when madame chang was staying at the white house although there were phones and call bills in her room, when she wanted something, she would always go to her door, open it and clapper rounds -- clapped
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her hands loudly and expect servants to appear. this is the way they call them in shanghai but you can imagine how this went over in the old showed democratic rose about white house. why with such a high and the intelligent woman looking for american money to arm her country do anything so counterproductive? i was going to find out. the first thing i discovered writing about madame chang is that it required a whole new approach to research. westerners make provision for the reputation they leave behind. and european royals know that they have to pay for their perks, the limos, planes, a ceremonial carriage, palaces and privileges.
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because of this they are very careful to these diaries and letters, paper trails to their lives and their accomplishments, all of which are carefully coordinated and kept in archives after they are gone. the chinese luminaries on the other hand, seem to feel no obligation to talk or write about themselves. as a matter of fact, they seem to say as little as possible. i suspect it may be considered bad taste of but no one has ever confirm to this for me. madame chang herself refuse to see me and obviously instructed her family to follow her good example but i was told the odd relative might be willing to speak with me after her death which came in 2003 at the age of 106.
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fined niece and nephew who were kind enough to talk to me were extremely nice. utterly discreet, and appropriately non informative. [laughter] there was another complication in writing about madame chang, the question of language for i have never tried to learn the language of the subjects of my books. i figure you could spend seven or eight years learning a language or writing a book but not both. particularly not at my age. happily, both marie and the empress victoria of germany were born in england and god bless them, they wrote their diaries and letters of the mother tongue. s four madame chiang a great deal was an english and when it came to the chinese are keizai was fortunate enough
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to find a graduate student through a friend of a friendly young woman who lived and shanghai and did not automatically spout party dogma. with our hurt her, i could not have written this book. looking at the back pages of "the last empress" and of consulting quite a number of archives i sought out the best food source reformation was the hoover institute at stanford university. my personal theory is that most right wing governments leave the archives to hoover perk up my experience with hoover goes back to my first book, the last romantics, a biography of queen marie of romania. this was a long time ago. allen and i were living in southern california and he was directing the
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president's men and i went up north to see the son of the romanian prime minister who was working at hoover at the time. at that point* in my life i had written nothing more than book reviews and pieces on blue jeans and shopping bags. i was amazed at the cordial reception that i got. ms. pakula we're so happy to have you hear. we apologize for not giving you the first class to were. by president reagan is here today. why are they treating me so well? i was there for about one recur too and i got ready to leave progress i was walking out the powers stopped me. ms. pakula, a ms. pakula is such a great pleasure to have you hear. do you think you can get were glared and bernstein
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papers for us? [laughter] the list archives credited in the back of my book on madam is ridiculously long. the national archives the fbi and cia need no explanation but what i discovered early on was how many universities around the united states have material on madame chang. it took awhile before realize there were dozens of water called china hands, diplomats and journalists who for various reasons, specialized in china and all left their papers to their home universities. my favorite was a diplomat from cornell parkway fascinating guy who worked at least part time for the
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intelligence service and he left a couple of pictures along with his extensive no. in one of them madam was standing next to a doorway carefully posed in the old hollywood style with then he bent. the diplomat put a note on the photo for his editor do not crop that a coal. -- angola she was in fact, famous for her legs which were lovely. in "the last empress" i cannot resist telling the story of the cairo conference of which she was the only woman president -- present with roosevelt and her husband chang kai-shek natalee did to take over the
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conversations but knowing how ltd. and an articulate u.s. madam and who wore along chinese stress sat there crossing and uncrossing and recross sing her legs while he was speaking. and in order to get the gentleman's attention off of him and onto something far more amusing. [laughter] it is also said there were some young british diplomats in the back who were watching. i guess i should add that my late husband once commented that i always read my books about women who are smarter than their husbands. [laughter] madam was in fact, extremely bright, educated in america she knew just what would appeal to the senators and representatives she spoke to and how to get what she
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wanted for china without seeming to try. warned about her charm before she came to washington, president roosevelt had determined not to be vamped by her. that was one of his favorite words. he arranged to have her sit at some distance from hand during conferences and took great pleasure to teases wife eleanor who win she first met madame in a hospital in new york, had told him how vulnerable and sweet she seemed. later eleanor changed her mind. she talked a very well about democracy, eleanor would say, but she does not know how to live it. this may be a good place to fill you in on the other members of the family family, mainly siblings. the two eldest were girls
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one had a head for business and a passion for money. and the family beauty was an idealist who married the george washington of china. when he died a few years later, he became a communist. after that was the eldest brother, a brilliant economist and then too younger brothers but they did not figure heavily in the chinese power structure. of the most famous was me laying which was china's face to the world during the middle of the 20th century but she was as well known as she was natalie representing her husband her husband. tv thought he not chang
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kai-shek should be running china and thought if they deny anita military man at the helm he might have been right. he did not get along with chang he had reformed chinese banking and resented the vast sums of money that chang spent on the army and nor did he get a vote along with his other brother-in-law the husband of his sister. said very first thing i was told is that he was a 75th lineal descendant of confucius. like any normal stupid american i burst out laughing and tell i was informed in all seriousness that they do keep track of these things in china. a sweet man his breeding was more impressive than his
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brain but his highly ambitious wife pushed and prodded and until she got him up to the position of minister as of finance. anxious to be loved he happily supplied chang kai-shek with all of the money that he wanted for his army. there were two major books ringgit -- written about madame chang when i started my. one was by a an extraordinary writer and journalist who published something like 50 bucks and wrote to innumerable articles for "the new yorker." the story goes that she had gone to china where like a lot of other people became addicted to opium. john gunther, a friend of hers and author of the
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inside books if you remember those books suggested that hawn write a book the book the that would earn her a enough money and she didn't and it was admiring portrayal but the second big book of the family was published 40 years later in the 1980's. it was called the dynasty and written by a one who hated madam and went to blame her for most of the evils in china but
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unfortunately for me as a researcher, the claims of dirty dealings were not always back out. the song dynasty was a huge success when it appeared that i felt the truth about madame chang it laid somewhere in between the eight presuppositions. shortly after reading the book i went to a meeting in washington d.c. of the last graduating class of american high-school in shanghai purposes the men and women met there i graduated before world war ii i fell for the first time in many years like again on to new in the room and in any case the
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graduates could not have been any nazer brass of i have read the book and then warned me not to believe everything he said. having come to this conclusion on my own i was discussing we proud of myself parker early research aside to help to do in this book was find out who chang known as an angel by some and as the dragon lady by others really was. the historical information was fairly easy to dig out. but the motivation behind her accomplishments and mistakes was not. the only guy i found to menem's personal life is in the archives of wellesley college which she attended for four years and i attended for only two. these are letters between
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the young women known before her marriage as sung and her best friend, a girl named minnesota bills to she continue to have the on and off relationship with for the rest of their lives, i have heard about one of them does relatives come at a rate tier named thomas early in my research and i invited him to lunch. during which i told him about my project of which he seemed to approve it for me as mills air he had a treasure trove of letters between the two. at the end of the meal i asked him when i might see the letters? no. and you cannot see them i am planning to write my own
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book. [laughter] his book entitled madam chang kai-shek and ms. imm bills was published in 2007 but fortunately for me come by a few years after our lunch, will loosely organized and exhibits of the correspondence just given to them in the archivist there made it available to be. and another book had appeared when year before entitled madame chang kai-shek tae nazi eternal first lady written by a journalist who reported from asia and was a wonderful source for the material on madam, available and libraries and archives around the world. but i strongly disagree with the conclusion that madame
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chang showed serious signs of manic depression and/or substance abuse. that left me with the problem of explaining her constant preoccupation with illness. for starters, it seems to be a family trait that affected both of her sisters precut first i thought since the chinese usually say they are sick to avoid refusing invitation they regarded a direct know as bad manners, all this was just an excuse to get out of things for things she did not want to do. that was not it. you may have heard the story how madame chang slept only on silk sheets which had to be changed every time she got into bed. it is the most often repeated story about her and the one she gets a bum rap. at least three of the sung
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siblings apparently suffered from a congenital rash which heard doctors diagnosed as narrowed dermatitis. whatever it was, this seems to have resembled a particularly nasty form of hives her cote sung was secretly -- constantly seeking medical help and she complains about breaking out in a terrible rash of a daylong session under strong lights and the brother was called the fraud behind his back. whether it was the early onset of the disease if first appeared when she was only five. by the time she married chang at the age of 30 she was a confirmed taebo can track. if there was a virus going around others might
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completed even take to their beds for a day or two but sung managed to suffer for weeks or and up in the hospital. some of her illnesses were real like the itchy rash and the inevitable superbug of many were imaginary like the fever which he never had but a road about or an imaginary miscarriage following an imaginary pregnancy that she reported to her husband. are my very favorite of all, something she calls the inner measles. [laughter] i like it to. the last impress took me eight years to write. we one-year longer than my previous book. i turned it into a fascinating adventure. i a grow used to living in
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the past but this was in the not only in time but of culture. i had to learn to read about people with an entirely different ethic from the west. for example, most of us base our honor on telling the truth about the actions. but what is important with chinese tradition is faith in the way things appear to others, not necessarily the way they actually are. chang kai-shek based his entire perception of success on this concept of eighth. if somebody in his government did something wrong, the seriousness of the san lay not in how many people died, the chinese always said the one thing they have plenty of was people. or pool much territory or money was lost, but how the
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error appeared to the rest of the world. and if god forbid, a mistake reflected badly on chang or his image unmanned responsible was as good as dead chang was a typical were lowered certainly not and man or any woman i know would want to live with. he relied on what he studied in school and felt no need to expand increase his knowledge record he prided himself on rising and retiring early, never touching liquor or wine or cigarettes and ed cheaply and quickly. his only indulgence was sick. is a young man he patronize the prof fault -- brothel and earned a well earned
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reputation but i have to assume as in the other parts of his life he followed the confucian belief that less intelligent women and made better partners and bright and educated one's. i must also add that not only confucius' own marriage but those of his son and grandson ended in divorce. that did not fit into the confucian description of a good life. and she was not only hy-vee intelligent but educated in one of the best schools in the united states where she had received academic honors. very early on in her marriage she wrote her friend "did not think that marriage should be raised or absorb one's individuality. i believe i stand for
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something and i intend to keep my identity parker naturally my husband does not agree with me. not surprisingly this discussion into the pin and argument with her walking out. madam did seem to retain her is individuality a fact that earned her furious criticism for the ultraconservative members of her husband's party pretty up the same time however, the sense of self servitor brilliantly in the united states where she became the iconic figure while charming members of congress to give china a huge sums of money and armaments. even the most jaundiced observer has to admire her guts and determination as she sat out time and time
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again to affirm china's status in the world. i for one came through this experience falafel of admiration for her intense loyalty to her country. if not always for the decisions that she made in her personal life it has occurred to me on and off during the past eight years a writer who doesn't ruffle and libraries with periods of solitude and endless rewriting is not likely to enjoy writing a biography but then as my friend says, hannah pakula has stopped lying about her age now she does lies about how long it takes her to write one of these books. thank you. [applause]
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questions? >> talking just a little bit about madame and how she had the relationship between chang kai-shek and mal? >> not all. she was supporting chang at all times. there is a wonderful scene in which a after chang dies comment now goes into his room and will not see anybody for a day and plays music. it is quite a tribute from one leader to another but she had nothing to do with mao. >> when she passionate about art? i know they took the
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collection, quite a bit to the national palace museum that is there. >> fortunately they did because it would happen there during the cultural revolution and it would have been destroyed. they buried it during world war ii and then they took it to do taipei and fortunately it is still there. she decided to start painting when they were exiled and time on. because she lived in a bubble of replace said she was one of the greatest painters in the world. she was a nice painter but obviously not one of the great painters. [laughter] but she really loved it and somebody commented that when she was painting, she just did not think about all of
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the problems of china. she was a nice painter perhaps the number of them in people who know a lot more than i do not think they are quite nice. but they are imitated. >> did imus that been your talked about where she studied in the united states? >> she stood at wellesley. i think i said it but i may have swallowed the word. i do that sometimes. >> one of the big issues of course, for chang kai-shek
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issue ridges focus on fighting the communist. did she have any influence in those kinds of decisions? >> i think madame chang was probably, as i say in the book, very good at compartmentalizing her mind. chang said he wanted the money, armaments to fight to roll toward two but he was stacking them up and he does not use much of what is given him and there are just terrible stories about chinese filters out without sufficient equipment and filling with brand new armaments and i think she just chose not to pay any
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attention to that. i don't know what else she could have done. i don't think she could change the way he felt about it. >> you mentioned have she spent much of her young life in america and also was a messenger but in your book she started to study chinese. can you psychoanalyze her a little more quirks when she buy cultural? >> i think she was very buy cultural. that is a wonderful way to put it. she was american when she was here and when she went back to china she insisted on studying all the things and she had not gotten during her school years and i think she was very trainees when she was there. and i think he was very
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fortunate to have a wife who could go back and forth between two cultures and represent him because she was basically his representitive in china. does that help battle? probably not. >> do you sense any similarity between your experience at wellesley and hers? it is very different in time but such different people, did you sense any similarity at all in your experience? >> no. she chose well as lay and i was sent to closely. [laughter] -- wellesley college. >> what is the relationship with her sisters.
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>> run that by a 10? >> -- again? the family divided into two halves. each half, each one had a younger brother but the older two were on one side and the younger two were on the other side. he worried about her a lot when the japanese bombed pearl harbor than bond hong kong, etc., etc.. you must have written heard two or three times that i have found the saying is she all right? how will she get out? you have got to get her out of there. he was very fond of her.
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despite the fact but actually, she became a communist record she asked to go into the party yearly on -- early on and i don't know who said it but they said no. you will do more good for us if you're outside the party and not until up on her deathbed that they took her into the parties said they could say after she was gone that she was a member of the communist party but she was sympathetic with them all of those years. >> what about the relationship between the two sisters? >> they all got together during the war but aside from that, no. during the war, they put aside their differences and gave speeches and it did everything they could.
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but not before or after. no. they did not even go to each other's funerals is the. >> i just one juno and a lot away madame chang has influenced husband could this point* if you his political the position or whether she is merely supporting whenever political positions she has a. >> she practically killed him and maybe she moved him 1%. he was determinedetermine d and made up his mind and he knew what he knew and even she, the greatest influence on him could barely move
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him. >> i am just wondering if through your research of our culture and all the years that you spend, how does that impact your world view or your values? because it is a big chunk of life. >> enormously. i went to china with my late husband, not too long after the cultural revolution. we were with a chinese friend and we meant all of her relatives who are artists and that actors and writers.
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i was amazed at the cheer of these people that were shoveling manure during the cultural revolution and my first inkling of chinese philosophy that says what is down here will go up and what is up here will come down. and obviously that is the kind of fame with -- thing i suspect you can only have if you really have a long lived society. i've learned so much doing this, but it was a great treat for me. >> you want to talk about what her life is like when she was here in the u.s. and also the political transition and how she feels about the whole thing?
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it is a totally different world. >> yes. she moved into an apartment in new york which is a very grand building and it agreed to be sick most of the time. she had 24 servants procure i assume they were in relays. [laughter] but she went back to tie 11 sir twice in once to say goodbye to a favorite niece dying of cancer but she went back first coming thinking she could change but chang kai-shek stayed in russia and his outlook was very different from hers. she went thinking perhaps
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she could revive a nationalist movement which of course, was impossible. but she continued to believe what she believed in and put it to come from the united states and say x y and z made no difference if she had long lost any power. >> we have already bought it which almost made me pass up. they even gave me money. [laughter] my assumption is they will change certain things.
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it will be very interesting to see what they do with it. anything else? i'm sorry. >> mainland china? yes. >> did she ever reconcile to the events in china? >> absolutely not. club for. >> no. she considered it a slap in
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the face when the communists government was recognized by the u.n. and when nixon went over. >> did you have a question? >> what about the chang kai-shek family in the u.s.? whether they up two? >> i don't know. by a of course, she never had children and i have only met wonder two of his relatives. >> but when you went to china were you retain the book and did you have eight opportunity to get comments of people's views? through interpreters?
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>> no. no. i went over as a normal tourist and in order to give in to certain places that i wanted to see, i pretended that i was crazy about the sister. [laughter] >> i was curious because i lived in china two years but i could never get them to talk to me about the way you talk about mao on any level other than and i had relationships as people living there but just to have a conversation with someone they would not say anything. >> no. you make me feel better. [laughter] because i have the same problem. >> in the letter said you
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read later between madame and her friend, when she candid about her marriage and bushy more intimate in those letters and perhaps? >> she was candid about her boyfriend's before she married chang and there was a series and she was candid about the men. i remain as much as eight curl would have been and how frustrated she was because she was expected to make a good marriage and not allowed to marry a foreigner. her mother never would have allowed it. she was frustrated because she really wanted to do something and of course, marriage to chang enabled her to do a great deal but up until then, she
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was pretty frustrated. >> >> i am sorry i am not hearing you. >> [inaudible] >> she was brought up and the strict methodist home and not allowed to dance, it was very strict, her mother was a strict methodist. it had a huge effect on her. >> host: she did confer and there were many why and some were political. my personal belief is he converted but yes.
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they were a big methodist. of course. i guess that is it. thank you. [applause]
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>> it is now my pleasure to introduce tonight's guest. james brown plays father john wasn't corvine in the battle of iwo jima and one of the six men raising the flag when the famous photo was taken to if you're a 23rd, 1945. corpsmen bradley won a navy cross for his heroism on iwo jima and his son james who will be with us hear tonight learned about his father's heroism and wrote the best-selling book flag of our fathers that was made into a movie by clint eastwood. he also wrote a book titled flyways about marine pilots shot down during world war ii and he is here tonight to talk but his newest
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book, the imperial cruise about president teddy roosevelt's diplomatic mission to send his secretary of four common william taft to the pacific to negotiate agreements for the united states and the diplomatic missions failed from san francisco july 5, 1905 and the book describes in some detail that it was so revealing and i would say disturbing. the book has been labeled by "the new york times" as one of the 10 best of 2009. roi no he will enjoy a his talk tonight and reading his book can he will be available after the program. please join me in welcoming mr. james bradley. [applause]


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