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tv   Book TV Encore Booknotes  CSPAN  April 2, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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meeting. >> we look forward to talking to you after the status meeting. : to make it work accessible to
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everybody. so, i think it remains to be seen what congress in fact will do. >> sarah is the news editor for publishers marketplace. we will talk with her again after the april 25th hearing. thank you. >> thank you so much for having me. next, texas governor rick perry talks about the power of the federal government and offers that many of the problems currently being managed by washington would be better handled by individual states. governor kerry presents his argument at the heritage foundation in washington, d.c.. cspan: jim perry, where did you get the title for your book, "a bohemian brigade"? >>guest: well, that's because the civil war correspondents named themselves--called themselves the bohemian brigade. surrounded by professional soldiers and it's a little mischievous and they thought of themselves as a bohemian brigade
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that's the natural title for it. c-span: what is the congress? >> guest: there is a group of europeans the team to cover the war and to reporters and then a lot of professional soldiers, but when they travel around in a group just like the people i'm talking about here and they call themselves the jolie congress. one, the times of london, the illustrated london news and four or five soldiers and whoever here to observe the war. cspan: i noticed periodically there is jim perry in this book. a little aside, in your practice using with the arrival of celebrity journalists, and to the king on television we have a new class of highly paid reporters who think of themselves as the peers of the people they interview in talk about. >> guest: my point in this book -- this all began here. it began in the civil war for two basic reasons.
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one was the telegraph of course. this was the first instant news war in history and that was -- the problem is like the internet today when you think about it. they could file and immediately take the other was of course speed. to get on a train and go back to your own office pretty quickly and final that way if you couldn't get on and the army wasn't too keen on making it easily available to reserve for themselves as much as possible. c-span: five cappoli denied making mistakes for all to see i've done my own fair share of pontificating. i belong to the press corps and may have been rallied once
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before. >> guest: i said that just to cover myself. i'm afraid so, probably and spend your 30 years with jack and bob novak and people like that occasionally, you know, nothing serious though. they are all hard-working. cspan: how many years did you work for "the wall street journal"? >> guest: i work with the national observer and remember the weekly publication and when it went under and when it was closed down in
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there aren't very many getting the civil war and walter cronkite. c-span: when did you retire from the journal? >> guest: 97. i'd still do some work occasionally for the journal. c-span: is their anybody in this book -- you have lots of reporters to talk about in the civil war. do you think it's kind of like jim perry? >> guest: i like to think that. yes, there's 1i like to think of, is charles and he was an amazing man. he worked at the treasury department and his desk was cleared he was allowed to take the field as a war correspondent for the new york tribune and he was very good, he was the best feature writer in the civil war, i think. i'm the only one who's ever written a book about the
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correspondence who's been a reporter himself so i think i get a better feel for who these people are. i know these characters. they are familiar to me. cspan: where did you get the idea to the book? i did it on an earlier book on military history and i kept bumping into war correspondence in that, richard harding davis and others and the more i thought about it the more i thought i'd like to do a book like and then it haunted me, it all began with -- the modern journalist as we know today began here in the civil war, mostly with the north, though there were southern war correspondence as well but we don't know much about them. cspan: what did general sherman think of -- >> guest: german hated this del quentin to the correspondence and actually court-martialed one of them and what is today you can -- in all history it's the greatest challenge to freedom of the press i suppose particularly as far as war correspondent would go that ever happened tried him. cspan: tells about general sherman to start with. >> guest: well, one of the
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worst things the press does is pylon. it is a bad one. the reporters getting together, getting up and piling on and they did this with sherman, and they said he was in san. there was a piece that ran in the cincinnati commercial, general william t. sherman, it said in a headline and went on to say that he was a little bit crazy. he did have a history of serious breakdowns and he was having one at this point with -- they finally piled on him then, he went home, spent some time recuperating and restored himself and performed very well at the number of battles, but then -- then there was a battle at the chickasaw bluff or chickasaw day or up of vicksburg and it wasn't his fault it turned into something of a disaster. but they all -- a couple of reporters particularly, one of my favorites is frank wilky and
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this guy, knox. you could tell they are colluding because the stories are similar. the start by saying that sherman and his officers have been rifling in their mail come in and they had. german's chief of staff and then they go on to say that if sherman and his people spend more time fighting the confederates and less time trying to make life miserable for journalists, he might have won that battle, and it went on and on and on and that, then they finally concluded he was insane. they said he was in same again. and it's no wonder at this point that sherman, who is not very pleased with them to begin with begins to think i'm not going to be able to -- i can't put up with this anymore. i'm not going to be able to do it. so he actually had poor knox of
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rested and scared the poor man to death. he wrote a letter at one point and groveled to sherman saying sorry about it and he didn't talk to the right people, and he went ahead, full address officers and complete uniform some sports and sashes, the general in command, and he was mostly found not guilty of the charges and sherman was absolutely incensed, absolutely incensed. he wrote a wonderful letter which i can find here in imminent expressing his distaste for this business, and he wrote one to knox, who had asked to be reinstated and he said, come with us with a muskett,, with us and join us in combat, come with us anywhere but as a newspaper reporter, never. and it's still one of the most stunning letters from a general to a reporter i've ever seen. cspan: you had an interesting
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statistic in the book that the north had 15,000 miles of telegraph -- >> guest: yeah. cspan: and the south had 1,000. >> guest: right. they didn't have very much, but they did attend -- thus other newspapers did tend in the latter part of the war to be an undercover press association which would surprise them with a very small amount of cable and telegraph news every day, maybe less than 1,000 words, which some of these northern reporters would take that long to write their leaves probably. cspan: did you tell the number of reporters there were? >> guest: . >> guest: i didn't know just what a reporter was. there was some regiments that have an officer, somebody with them sending material home in the newspaper and historians rely on those a lot. but i suppose for the north if he wanted to -- there will over 200, surely. maybe 50 to 75. cspan: again, perrty al asad,
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the story was serious about the news and was one of the first editors to recognize the importance of the telegraph and read the story is a was to be the man who told his supporters in the famous line it could apply to any number of cable news shows today, quote, telegraph all the news you can get and when there is no news sent rumors. >> guest: said rumors and they did a lot of that. they did a lot of that and the competition was ferocious. you can't remember how many newspapers there were. new york had 18 daily newspapers at this time, you know, and four or five of them were seriously covered the war, mainly the new york tribune, james bennett new york herald and had some serious correspondents in the field and there were -- they were so eager
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to get information the telegraph made it so easy to do and you can look right at the beginning of the war i have here for run a great union defeat and here's the headline in the new york herald the great battle union victory it says captor of the bull runs batteries -- the rebels routed and driven back to manhattan. that is what happened in the morning. but they filed so quickly that they didn't get what happened later in the day. the washington journal in this battle near manassas junction, the enemy forced to retire, three masked batteries taken, desperate conflict by telegraph. the secretly funneled prematurely, they filed so early that they couldn't handle it. cspan: how long would take -- let's say that "the new york times" or the herald or one of the papers would publish an article was written near a
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battle. how long would it take for the general on the scene to get the report back? >> guest: i would very i think. some of them probably wouldn't see the newspaper report until a couple of days later probably. but they read the papers. they were very serious about reading them. particularly they were very concerned about their own reputation and there were also concerned about the papers providing information the would be useful to the other side of course. cspan: another perrty site here, "george welford townsend was the only war correspondent who seemed to understand there was money to be made on the circuit, a source of an astonishing amount of cash for a number of modern day celebrity journalists ." is there too much celebrity journalism today? >> guest: i think so, sure. i mean, it's inevitable, i suppose, in this day and age, but yeah, i -- i think that the good reporters in this book --
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and i single out two of them principally, the charles carlton coffin in the wallsten warning journal and white wall read of the cincinnati gazette -- they were hard working, went about their business and without any concern for being celebrities although he essentially ran for vice president and became quite a celebrity himself but as a politician, not as a journalist. now he was a celebrity. you know, he was. he was known all over america, nobody in america didn't know who horace greeley was. cspan: who was he? >> guest: he was the editor and publisher of the new york tribune, an erratic strange character who was more interested in ideas than news but his neighbor was almost comparable to the national newspaper executive didn't circulate in the south where his
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views were on a savory anathema but he was a very go west young man and brigety knows it. and then james gordon bennett was pretty well known. he was i think probably the greatest genius we've had in american journalism. he founded with the modern newspaper is, warts and all, lots in his case. but he was very interested in covering the news and had no interest in anything else. he wanted, unlike horace greeley. and the other -- the other major publisher and proprietor was henry jay raymond of "the new york times," a more sedate figure although there were some unusual things about him as well, but those three hate each other, the despised one another and were highly competitive. cspan: what were the net for to begin with, and how old were they when they first got into journalism? >> guest: well, then it was the oldest, he came from scotland where he had pretty good -- he was probably the best educated of all of the great proprietors. he trained as a catholic priest
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in scotland, came over here and -- was well into his middle age of the time that the civil war. greeley was moving along in the years, too. raymond was much younger, and they're interesting character, a wonderful characters. i love characters and eccentrics and the civil war mike is just filled with them and -- cspan: that the comment on a celebrity journalists, george welford towns and was the only war correspondent who seem to understand there was money to be made on the lecture circuit. who was he? >> guest: he was a young boy from delaware who got in the business, did some reporting for the new york herald early on, and thought he'd go to england, go over to england and lecture around -- you know, he put up posters and how you're a lecture hall and did so, and made quite a bit of money on it. people in england were quite interested in hearing his accounts of the civil war. you can see his work today if you go out to antietam, the
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south mountain where in his later years he built a monument to the bohemian brigade. they have a picture of it at the end of the book. and it stands there today. cspan: did you go out to see the monument? >> guest: i took the picture. cspan: you did? >> guest: right. c-span: how many journalists are celebrated here? >> guest: probably 75. it's an ugly thing. it's gotten beaten track. every now and then tourists will show up and wonder what in the world is this? is the only monument that there is. the bohemian brigade. >> guest: i've written about what others had written about. you have to give credits. it written a book worth reports on the civil war mike and he had written a book its huge, huge book. 800, 900 pages. it's just lists in the encyclopedic, every reporter virtually is involved in the
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civil war act and he spent his lifetime virtually and tracking all this down, so we have to rely on that. but then finally you have to get to the memoir first of all. they did double a lot. they loved to talk about each other, even in their stories. and in their memoirs, and there are a lot -- a lot of them wrote memoirs after the war and then of course, you go down to the library of congress into the newspaper room there and start cranking your way through the microfilm and reading what they wrote. cspan: how many newspapers can you find the library of congress on -- >> guest: all of the ones that i'm concerned with here or there, some on microfilm and some still -- the boston journal, for example, is still bound copies of a huge big books, you know, you have to take a couple of days for them to dig those out of the tiles and -- and then you have to take notes on them. on the microfilm you can push a button and it will take a picture coming you know, it will reproduce what you're looking
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at. cspan: and how many battlefields to go to? >> guest: i've been to a lot of these battle fields. i'm an old history of coming and i've been to most of the civil war battlefields. i did go to antietam and gettysburg and of course i went down to all the ones around richmond, a good bit of this war was bought -- right near us. >> cspan: was there a difference between how war was covered in the east and the way it was covered in the west? >> guest: yeah i think the western reporters, the western reporters were more true bohemians; they were more mischievous, they had more fun, i think. and they were -- they were more robes out there perhaps than there were in the east although they were everywhere. but yeah, the soldiers themselves have often been said were different. the western army was more relaxed, bigger, stronger and the journalists were the same
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committee took -- they thought of themselves as easterners or westerners. cspan: how old were most journalists? >> guest: most of them were quite young and most of them went to college and they tended to go to the small liberal arts colleges like trinity and miami out of ohio and in hurst, places like that, union, only one of them i can find went to an ivy league school and a very good one and george moly struck the first race against harvard in the lake and he went on to harvard law school as well and was quite a distinguished academic background. but they shouldn't the troup -- am i fever reporter his name was henry who was kissed by lincoln as his most famous and he was on the 18 when he went off to cover the war and that was after serving with the regiment when he was wounded fredericksburg,
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so he had an amazing career. >> cspan: were the years of vise war? >> guest: 1850 to 1854. cspan: was the relationship you decided you ought to be a reporter what could you do? weare could you go? >> guest: it wasn't very hard because they were desperate to find anyone in the field but you have to get in touch with the managing editors and the papers and say that you're interested in doing this and it would be helpful course of you have a journalistic background. but they would -- there was lots of criticism particularly the new york herald for sending these useless, hard-drinking characters out into the field who did no good to anybody. so, you know, that was it, that was raffish crowd. cspan: what was your relationship like to the generals -- i mean, you know, let's say i was working for the new york herald and i wanted to go cover antietam -- >> guest: right. cspan: could i just go there?
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>> guest: no, no, no. most of the coverage was directed out of the office is in washington and where they would have come just like to become the butt of a bureau chief, and they would be assigned -- they would be assigned very particularly to cover a corpse or regiment or armies and a day, you know, there's quite a bit -- cspan: did you sleep with the troops? >> guest: welcome they tried -- the smart ones tried to stay near the generals tend because they could sort of what was happening from that vantage point than they could out in -- out somewhere else with the troops so the -- so they did tend to hang around -- you can see that makes sense of course. cspan: who was the gentleman by the name of raymond? >> guest: henry jay raymond of "the new york times" founded "the new york times," the founder of -- of "the new york times," and a very good journalist. cspan: how old is he mr.? >> guest: he's pretty on i would guess. in his 30s probably. cspan: where did he start? >> guest: he started working -- he started working for --
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let's see, he started working with greeley, and interesting -- an interesting man. he's the most interesting thing about him is he died of a very young age -- he's only in his 30's and he'd been out with some people and he -- and he stopped on his way home to visit his mistress and he had a stroke i guess, and the -- some people never -- to this day never have not known be dumped him on his own doorstep where he was found later that night by one of his daughters and died shortly thereafter. very sad. cspan: and he started "the new york times" in what year, and what kind of a paper was it then? >> guest: i mengin -- i can't remember now. it's in there. he started before the civil war and he had a good bit of money unlike some of these others -- he started out with a fair amount of cash and so it was a good start. >> what kind of paper is it in the beginning?
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>> guest: it started off pretty much because he had the cash on hand to do it, he started out as a -- it is a serious newspaper and widely recognized as such. it's unusual in that day and age especially it started out just on a prayer and a wish no money to start. cspan: as the gentleman here? >> guest: benet, cross site, not like very many people but tough, tough journalist and publisher who realized news was the important thing and the telegraph was the way to get it passed and that's what he did. cspan: how big were the papers in those days? how many pages? >> guest: the little boston morning journal for instance was only about four pages long, and some of -- some of these
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regional papers, but the big new york papers would run 12 come 14 come 16 come 20 pages sometimes. lots of ads of course. cspan: what did the journalists make in those days? >> guest: not very much. of course that was of course the cause of some of them out west, particularly some of them began to speculate in cotton and meek -- make money outside on the side and then of course, they wrote books and a -- they have other sources of income, and afterwards, but there wasn't a whole lot of money. frank wilkie was the most mischievous of all these correspondents, and worked for the chicago times, and the -- a lot of these publishers self styled themselves as colonel, he worked for a colonel and they were so cheap, this was when they worked after -- the pencils would wear down on the number five pencils and this body invented palms that he would attach to the stubbs he could keep using it after it was
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almost worn out and so it -- we didn't make a huge bunches of money when we were working for a publisher like that i don't believe cspan: in those days have a correspondent to notes? >> guest: in a notebook with a pencil. cspan: what was the size of the notebook? >> guest: the normal size we would use today. there's a picture in there of -- somewhere in there there is a picture of a coffin with his notebook and i mean, not a picture of a drawing of -- the newspaper is an interesting thing. the photography had been invented, newspapers could not have the technology to print photographs. so there are no photographs in any of the newspapers of this of war, just drawings that they used and that's all they could use. cspan: that there were photographs, as you say, back then. where were they published? >> guest: well, they would be books, you could publish them in books i suppose and then they could have, you know, they would have shows in which they would
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display their photographs, but you couldn't get it on the press. you couldn't -- the process of printing the same photograph over and over again overnight in thousands of copies wasn't -- wasn't possible. cspan: who is henry vilard? >> guest: a very distinguished guy. if you have ever been to the restaurant in new york even to his home, the famous restaurant of new york, le cirque 2000. he was a german boy, came over here is a very a man, 17, 18-years-old, spoke only german, not a single word of english. he was taken by german communities in new york city, milwaukee, cincinnati otherwise. he became fluent in english and began writing for american newspapers coming and he was -- vilard laws the peace correspondent for benet at the herald at the start of the war. covered the election, lincoln's
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election and became very distinguished but he did become mixed up in the sherman episode in which his role is not -- he was chiefly responsible for that headline in the cincinnati commercial but sherman was insane. he's the one that had pleaded with the publisher of that paper to say so and i don't think there was a great moment for him. cspan: to go back to thomas knox, did he go to jail? >> guest: no, no he didn't. cspan: he never went -- to anybody go to jail, the reporter in the whole war? >> guest: actually go to jail? no, i can't think of any that actually spend as much time behind bars. they tried to do the same thing -- the confederates tried to do the same thing to a reporter for the memphis paper which i think is -- the appeal was a great newspaper and covered the whole civil war even though we was driven out of memphis it became known as the moving appeal because it went to mississippi, then georgia and then alabama. they kept publishing it and
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braxton bragg, a confederate general, had him arrested for the same sort of thing. it said his paper hired a lawyer and fought the case and tried to rule that the army acted improperly. and he was released. the herald did nothing to help knox. they left him hanging there at the trial and no effort was made to support him to provide him with a lawyer or anything. cspan: did you find any time when you are reading back in those -- at that time period, that people were concerned at all about the first amendment, like you hear so much about today? >> guest: not a whole lot except the great instance which wheat just said -- and the southern justice, the courts in the south upheld this reporter on the memphis appeal and -- cspan: that was the only place that you found it? >> guest: right. it wasn't -- there were terrible things they did. miti to reporters, too.
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cspan: general need. >> guest: general meade, the victory at gettysburg, despise reporters and had an even bigger temper than sherman probably. the philadelphia inquirer had a reporter named edward crasey and he tried to do a report between grand and mead and he was in charge of everything and meade was in the army of the potomac and how this relationship worked and she did that and did very professionally, but then he went on to say that there was a time after -- the wilderness, after the battle of the wilderness, when meade wanted to do what all the other generals had done which is retired, retreat, and grant -- he said grant intervened and said no, we will not -- we will go on. never again are we going to go back, and this saved the army from -- but meade saw that as a
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reflection upon his courage and his -- got furious and crasey was arrested and put back with lemuel and ridden around the camp with a big sign on his back saying level of the press and it's just disgraceful performance and some of the journalists became very upset by this and meade for weeks and months thereafter was never mentioned in the papers. they boycotted him. the simply wiped him out because they were so furious at this. cspan: what part of the united states are you from originally? >> guest: upstate new york. cspan: was the town? >> guest: elmira. i was born there; a group in philadelphia actually but was born in elmira. cspan: can you remember when you first got interested in this business? >> guest: well, my stepbrother was a writer, william h. white,
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the fellow who wrote "the organization man," and he came out of the war, came out of the marines and went to the "fortune magazine" and i actually did a little research for him on his book and then when i was in the marines i worked below that magazine, and 18-year-old pfc and then when i went to college i went to college in hartford, trinity college in hartford, and became a stringer to the customer for the hartford current and worked on the college paper and then took a job at the hartford times. they offered me $45, and the hartford current offered me $35 so i went for the big money at that time. and so it actually -- my stepbrother really was the durell in all this and -- cspan: if someone's never heard the name william h. whyte, tell us more about him. >> guest: cspan: how was he really did to you? >> guest: my stepbrother. cspan: but in what way? >> guest: well, my mother and his father were married, both second marriages for both come and i was the product of my
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mother's first marriage and he was the product of -- cspan: said he is younger than you? >> guest: older. he's dead now. he died a year or so ago. cspan: when did he write "the organization man"? >> guest: beckham 56 may be somewhere along there. cspan: what impact did it have on -- >> guest: it was a huge best seller of course and i was extremely impressed. i had been working for the newspaper for six years or so and he was the best reporter one thing i ever knew and worked immensely hard worker. cspan: but the book -- what was the promise of the book? >> guest: it was an analysis of the corporate executives, beyond corporate executives and how they had -- how they had -- no longer they were interested in entrepreneurial endeavors and had become creatures of the organization, the sociological study with some huge amount of reporting a net. cspan: and what did he do most of his life in? what kind of -- >> guest: welcome heat -- he went on to urban studies after that and became really quite
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famous for studying street life in big cities, tokyo, new york, everywhere. cspan: how did you find your way to "the wall street journal"? >> guest: well, i was working in philadelphia. i was working for the philadelphia bulletin, and i'd always wanted to come to washington and the -- and the dow jones started up the national observer and i became a stringer for them, and then they asked me if i'd like a job, so i -- so i came down here to del quentin here in 62 to washington and 62 and have been here ever since. cspan: and when did you enjoy yourself the most come as a photojournalist -- political journalist? >> guest: i had a sort of play recess for -- in london for three years and six months at one time and to and have the next, and that was wonderful fun. i just loved that. cspan: how do you like writing books? >> guest: i love it. wonderful. cspan: which book is this? >> guest: well, this is the fifth book of my name, but i actually -- i was the ghost writer of a couple of books, one
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of which i'm not supposed to mention, but -- you know -- cspan: what kind of book was it? >> guest: it was a book about world war ii, you still see it once in awhile. your life written mostly political books, a political writer. cspan: you say that there was only one black war correspondent in the civil war. >> guest: yes, very interesting man, thomas jester of the philadelphia press. there's a wonderful scene -- a wonderful scene at the end of the war when he -- he came from harrisburg, pennsylvania, and he was hired by what -- by the philadelphia press, which was not a very good newspaper. but he -- he is one of the most -- one of the most dramatic stories i think. richmond had just fallen, and chester -- his in richmond. and he -- the story is datelined all of congress richmond, april 4 from 1865. seated in the speaker's chair,
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so long dedicated to treason but in the future to be consecrated to loyalty, i ceased to get a rapid sketch of the incidents which have occurred since my last dispatch. here's the servile war's on a black reporter seated in the speaker's chair of the confederate congress. cspan: and richmond? >> guest: in richmond. and at this point, in comes a young confederate officer, sees him seated in the chair and to other reporters have observed this, one of them being my favorite reporter, coffin, and he says come out of there, you black cuss. he calmly surveyed the intruder and went on with his writing. later the guy approach to come chester got up, gave him one quick punch to the nose, called him back down on the floor and continued his story. that's -- isn't it amazing? cspan: were there any women
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reporters? >> guest: no, none in the field, no. cspan: were there any women reporters in the country than? >> guest: well, there were women reporters i think working in washington, short, but no battlefield -- no linen battlefield correspondence. cspan: you mentioned that earlier that henry wang got a kiss from the president of the united states. what were the circumstances? >> guest: grant in his last campaign just simply disappeared with his army and they were desperate in washington at the white house and the department to know where he was and wing, an extraordinary courage and the difficulty road from the army and through the back country. just difficult people all kinds, confederate patrols. managed to get its way through all the way and approached washington, found a union -- finally found the union outpost, and he wanted to follow a story
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about telegraph, and they wouldn't let him. it was an army telegraph. and finally, they heard in washington that he was, there was a reporter here at this army stationed and he knew where grant was. and so dana ordered him to be arrested and that isn't what he wanted to hear. so he finally said he was going to cut a deal that if he was allowed to send 150 words or 200 words, whatever it was, he would to his own paper, he would come to washington and report on what he knew. and lincoln heard about it. and lincoln heard about it and finally said none of this arresting him, we will send a train down. they couldn't -- you could. you send a train and a tender and a few soldiers to read this and a train and picked him up and brought him back to the white house. at this time he's just a -- he's
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just covered with dirt and grime. and he noticed someone -- lincoln's whole cabinet is sitting there and he walks in the room and he knows most of these people, but he is just disreputable appearance that they don't recognize that he finally tells the story. when it's all over, he says i have a message from general grant for you. before he left, grant had taken them as light and he said if you actually get through and you see lincoln tell him this time there's to be no turning back. and so the two of them are together. i mean, wing's is a very short guy and lincoln is this extraordinarily tall man. and he tells this story to lincoln. he says general grant wants me to tell you this time there's no turning back. and lincoln was -- so overwhelmed by this that he kisses wing on the forehead. and then even -- even more dramatic, he had to leave his horse in some -- amol leal
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sorted near the woods. and he said -- mr. president, i worry about just being a horse. tell me about jeff says president lincoln. when guinness as we have to do something about this. so the next day he sent the train down there with some soldiers and they pick up jess and there she is grieving and they bring him back to washington. and some of the other reporters were so impressed they collected a little fund and brought the horse for him. cspan: in my lifetime in this town there was a congressman of dan reid. >> guest: same family. whitlaw reid, what role did he
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play? >> guest: is started with the cincinnati paper and he left a great monumental account of shiloh which was quite -- which was quite controversial because he was a wonderful reporter. i think he's the second this reporter with coffin but he was grumpy. she had -- and the first day was a bit of a disaster -- for the union army. and when he wrote this huge 12,000 word story, he just kept going over and over again, saying how the it been surprised and -- the bense price and the shouldn't have been by the confederate attack. and they had been. but -- you know, grand -- they didn't want to admit that. and they seemed very upset by that. so the story became quite controversial. he did that -- he did that constantly. even at that very end, the fall
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of richmond, he's still grumbling about things aren't the way they ought to be, and they should do this better, you know. cspan: could you go to the south if you were in northern reporter and -- >> guest: no. cspan: you couldn't get into the ranks down there at all? >> guest: no, no, no, no. reporters in the civil war were not considered to be neutral settle, and we have in the chapter on the book about the two northern reporters captured to run past pittsburgh and had a terrible time, spent two years and this is brown and richardson and brown and in that in one of the worst presence, sells very north carolina, and things were just falling because the conditions were so bad. they were treated just like captured soldiers. i mean, they were not considered
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to be combatants at all. so they he's kicked the to reporters and made their way north, over 300 miles it took him. and they finally -- cspan: 20 -- 203 koza 340 miles in 27 days. how did finally get back? >> guest: sometimes they were on horseback, sometimes they were on foot. they were helped occasionally by loyal union supporters that they had encountered. but it was an extraordinary experience for both. and they both wrote books immediately, of course. so things haven't changed entirely. cspan: ai -- by the way, i have another cspan: as i found in this book. this is right around jess reid's, and i will read what you say it's a little unfair to blame the worst sins of the press on the public. even so, since simply substituted a gossip and the responsible website on the internet for the civil war telegraph, and it becomes
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shockingly clear how little reporting the news has changed in the 140 years. >> guest: i think that's true. a lot of stuff went on the telegraph that shouldn't come and a lot of it totally unreliable. there is -- one of my favorite -- my favorite in the whole book -- it was a battle called pea ridge in arkansas and there were only two reporters there. it's an important battle because it pretty much reserved misery for the union cause. a great union victory. and these two reporters get on their horses, go to hundred miles to where they can file their stories. and knox files a very short piece, just 200, 300 words with a map. and it turns out that the day before, to of reporters had holed up in a hotel room and made up the story of the battle -- the two of them -- and one of them ran for, most of the whole
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page, and they'd never been there. they hadn't seen the battle model. but they -- they heard enough, and they had a few reports on the bedle. degette -- the talked to some people who knew the the geography of where -- where it was. and it was they put it all together. the times of london called the greatest battlefield story of the war and they hadn't seen nothing. they hadn't seen a shot fired at all. cspan: physically, you talked about having it had and a number five pencil. is that the way most of the notes were taken? i must have been -- the one who said the fight must have been immensely skilled because a lot of this writing must have been very difficult to decipher. cspan: or their typewriters? >> guest: no, no. they wrote in pencil and -- and they delivered it that way. cspan: and so if you were in the field and you were going to send it back to new york on the
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telegraph -- >> guest: he would write -- cspan: morse code, yeah. >> guest: i think a lot more legibly than they do today i suspect. they almost have to. cspan: to define a notebook stuff away? >> guest: never saw a notebook. cspan: did that surprise you? >> guest: not particularly. no, no diaries either. it was really disappointing. none of them get a -- a day to day diary that was of any use. cspan: use if you couldn't find much from the south adel. >> guest: well because so many of the cities were overrun by the union armies and the papers disappeared in their bonds, and it is to say that day by day a lot of them just don't exist besides which reporters unlike the more the reporters were talking about, they didn't write about each other very much or hardly at all. and only one actually wrote a memoir and there's nothing in that of any interest and -- cspan: and dedication here -- for the women who keep an eye on mechem at hagee and greta and cathy. who are they? >> guest: well, peggy is my
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wife and greta and kathy are my daughters. cspan: either of your daughter's in this book? -- business? >> guest: no, neither of them. cspan: what about your wife? >> guest: no, she's not. kathy -- she does fused glass in terms of arts and crafts. greta of all things is a project manager for a construction company. cspan: where? >> guest: here in washington. cspan: in town. if you go back to what happened to the civil war might and the telegraph and even your friend dan rather endorses this by saying the book tells the story of the sometimes painful birth of the modern war correspondent. how much is the same from seóul war reporting and how much has changed? >> guest: what's really changed of course and began we have to really go back a little bit. the first correspondent was a guy named george kendal for the new orleans picayune who covered the war with mexico and did a
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really good job. he was a fine reporter and he became quite well known -- amine, president poult rely on his reports coming and then we go to russell -- william howard russell, the most famous war correspondent of all, who became famous for covering the war in the crimea. where he exposed the competency of the british army in equipping and giving medical but twice and led to the toppling of the lord aberdeen's government. and he came over here -- i open the book with his visit to the united states, the beginning of the war. and -- he was a celebrity. i mean, he was truly a celebrity journalist. there he is with his dog at the feet writing. and if revenue him. and the american people -- people in the united states, the particularly people who read the newspapers, were extremely, extremely excited the fact he was being sent by the most famous newspaper in a bottle, the times of london come here to cover the war.
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but he was -- his piece on the bull run which he never got to in the battle he just sort of retreat is patronizing. he would patronize americans saying how bad the troops were and how bad the army's war. the regular army could be easily defeated by the indian native tribes, tribal soldiers coming and so the -- of peabody got so mad at him, that he finally had to leave. so that brings us up to the -- of course, when we get all these people trying to be billy brussels on the -- on the northern side, that they had a good bit -- a bit of independence and what they wrote. i mean, they could get their stuff in the paper. if you talk to anybody that's covered the persian gulf or somalia or grumet grenada or things like that, they can't get to the war. i mean, censorship and it's so difficult today. cspan: could they -- >> guest: once they get there, with land satellite, their whole
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ability to cut a satellite, of course they can send things from anywhere. but the problem today is getting there in the first place, allowing the army to take you to the battle. this of course was fought on home soil, native soil, which makes a huge difference. cspan: what impact do you think the reporting have on the war? >> guest: visible war? >> guest: cspan: seóul war. >> guest: tremendous impact. peacekeepers were read by dozens of -- handed are bound and, you know, this was the bloody -- this was the bloodiest war we ever fought, and you know, in terms of casualties. i mean, the one thing that makes -- the reporting so important too is that the army is both sides did not report casualties. they didn't give out lists of who was killed and who was wounded. so that was done by the reporters. the reporters collected the casualty list and published them. so people would read them, particularly reporters covering their own unit whatever it might
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be, because he would tell them who had been killed and who had been wounded. cspan: who is cadwallader? >> guest: he is the most controversial figure probably in the book. he became a recluse to ulysses grant and he wrote his memoirs well after the war come and described them in this vendor that grant had gone on in a boat going of the yazoo river that he wrote that he was there and saw it and that she was the one who tried to -- to save grand from disgrace on that night. he finally got him off the boat and back to his -- back to his headquarters and -- cspan: this is yes you, mississippi. >> guest: yeah. and there are historians to this day who still differ on whether that's an accurate account or not. some claim he wasn't even on the boat, he made this all up. take the other side. i believe the story second,
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basically accurate, that he was there. he did see all this. the fact that he was very close to grant and the cadwalader's dippers and converse there is a letter from grant that says that cadwalader, he saw more of him during the war and the other reporters put together, that he had written accurate factual material and with all the reporters had on the same there wouldn't have any problem with the press coverage of the war. at his best friend was the colonel who was the chief of staff and the fact that actually they shared a house together after the war cadwalader's named his son roland's for grand's chief of staff. it seems inconceivable to me that he would -- that he would have made the story of out of it because either its liking entirely it is true or it is and and it's my feeling that it's
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basically true. but historians do differ on that. cspan: you have this small item in there that his memoirs were edited, not until 1955, by ben thomas. >> guest: well, that's right, they were not published until -- cspan: a lot of people's favorite, one volume biography of abraham lincoln. how did that -- >> guest: he agrees with this. shelby foote agrees with this account of it. , it depends if you are really big brand partisan -- and a great admirer of grant -- you tend to come down on the side that cadwalader is making this up. if you are being a little more rational about think like there must be something to it. at any rate i put it in there with a caveat there are those who say that this is not -- this is not the way that it happened.
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cspan: your site bruce in the book and shelby foote and then thomas and some others. >> guest: james mcpherson. cspan: james mcpherson -- >> guest: and the lloyd lewis great biography of sherman which was the biggest eye opener to me. a wonderful book. cspan: who do you tend to think as the best work on this of war of all? >> guest: i'm still a bruce catton man. if your sympathies are with the north come to this to you can't really approach totally objectively. your sympathies tend to be with a more to kind of tend to be a catton man and if your sympathies tend to be with the south you tend to be a shall be foote man. i think i rely more on catton than anyone. they're all good. cspan: you point out there are 850,000 troops in the south, and 2 million in the north. >> guest: there were under arms at one time or another. cspan: what difference did that make no more racket so? >> guest: the north because of its -- its immense reserves of
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manpower and industrial might of course it was overwhelming to read and eventually, you know, it's always said that the north had no good generals. but in the west, the did have good generals. i mean, you think of grant and sherman and chariton and admiral foote and people like that. i mean, when they finally come in kunkel -- they were fine. cspan: did you find wing next book in this book? >> guest: no, not in this book. no, no. i'm not going to do the civil war mcginn. cspan: what's next? >> guest: i might trade at all of history. what i really have always been a big fan of the american revolution command which is the second bloodiest war we ever fought in terms of the men under arms. and i'd like to do a -- the last camp -- i think i might like to do a book on the last campaign that led to cornwallis' surrender at yorktown. we will see. i'm not sure about that. cspan: did you find out anything new about gettysburg?
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>> guest: i only found that the correspondents who wrote a wonderful things at kitty i mean, i just love that coffin -- coffin was a religious man, deeply religious who didn't smoke or drink. and he wrote -- he wrote a piece that echoes lincoln's gettysburg address. it's the most amazing thing. "the invasion of the north was over, the power of the southern confederacy broken. there at the sunset and or i could discern the future. no longer an overcast sky but we're on cloud of starlight, a country to redeem, saved from about ties, consecrated a new to the coming ages. all honor to the gerlach living, all glory to the gallant dead. they have not fought in vain." it goes on to read it has a ring to the gettysburg address to it. not as good but -- cspan: if you have your choice would you rather have been a correspondent then or now? >> guest: i think i might have been correspondent when i was a correspondent. i'm not sure i'd want to be one now has political writer
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because, you know, it's changed so much. but during those years, i did -- i think i'd just assume have done it then as any other time. cspan: what do you dislike the most about now? >> guest: well, i just -- i dislike -- the sort of anger. there's a lot of anger out there and mean -- we talk about piling on. in this book there's a lot of piling on that goes on, and there's a lot of bad editing were no editing that goes so because of just the way that business has expanded. and with the internet and all this -- all of these ways that news gets reported today. we had more to results back then, just like the bohemian brigade did. and i think we felt better about. it was all in our own hands. cspan: would -- was discovered your idea? >> guest: no, it's not. the picture of the bottom shows
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the headquarters of the new york herald in the field. but they did that. the town of the picture above, which is i think an artillery unit in the civil war. but i like it. i think it's fine. cspan: our guest is jim perry, many years "the wall street journal" and author of the bohemian brigade. thank you. >> guest: thank you. >> the website features over 800 notable nonfiction authors interviewed about their books. there you can view all the programs, transcripts and use the searchable database and find links to the authors blogs, website, facebook pages and feeds. with a brand new look and feel and a great way to watch and enjoy the authors and their books. what i would like to talk about this afternoon as walter says doherty briefly, is a catastrophe, a catastrophe in which 14 million people, chiefly the children and women were
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killed over the space of just 12 years but will regimes. the total figure of 14 million that in itself i think astonishing. it is also a number which tells us something free special look to regimes. we now know or have a pretty good certainty about the total number of people killed by the two regimes. it was about 17 million. of the 17 million, about 14 million were killed in a place i am calling the blood of land. that is to say not so much russia, not so much germany but


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