tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN August 15, 2011 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT
be addressed because it is doing great damage to our economy. >> host: what do you think about kill switch legislation or the concept of kill switch? >> guest: there is no such thing and i don't believe -- i don't ever want to see the government had that kind of power to have a kill switch. what i do want to see again is closer collaboration, cooperation between governments and private sector. the president's proposal would help to achieve that by allowing for greater information sharing so that what the government is seeing in terms of viruses and attacks that are out there, that we kutcher that with the private sector so they know what signatures to look for but then the private sector can share with the government on what they are seeing and how we can work more collaboratively to protect our citizens. >> guest: do you think that is mrs. need incentives to do so, because they are afraid of sharing information with the government because they are not sure how the government is going
to use that information if they could possibly hurt their business later on down the line. we talked to congressman thornberry and he was saying that he preferred incentives over top-down regulation. do you agree? >> guest: i think it has to be a combination of the two. certainly we have to have better and stronger regulation was just incentives won't accomplish what we need to accomplish. but where we can collaborate and encourage incentives we should certainly do that. >> guest: another problem that you have identified is a shortage of trained professionals, who can deal with this ever evolving and growing threat of cyberattacks. how big of a problem is this going to be for us later on down the line? >> guest: i am so glad the race that point because that is another area that has to be addressed. we don't have enough people with the right skills and talents to go into the cybersecurity field right now. the director of the clandestine information technology office
had said going back a couple of years ago that we only have about 1000 people in the country that can compete at a world-class level in the area of cybersecurity and what we really need is somewhere between 20 and 30,000. so there is clearly in need. i'm trying to address that. in particular we just had a study done at the pentagon to identify the skills that we need and the career path for those people that would go into that field but also we created the cybersecurity challenge of the high school level and we are collaborating with with the sans institute in creating that program in several different states now. it encourages young people to think about a security field and cybersecurity. we have looked at the different challenges and a program that lasted a couple of months but is not only about taking something that is a hobby and using it for fun or for school work but harnesses these talents and
skills that may lead to a successful career for our students. >> host: congressman langevin jennifer raised with congressman thornberry the issue of the budget. with everything going on in washington right now with the cuts being made in the budget omb estimates about $12 billion to spend is spent government lied on cybersecurity prevention efforts. do you see this as a problem in the future, getting enough money to protect from cybersecurity and treasons, tax ephedra? >> as we know in tight budget times we have to be smart about where we spend our dollars and that is why that strong collaboration and coordination is so important. i believe if we had a director in the white house security office that is that -- senate confirmed that has budget authority we can compel compliance across the range of agencies and government to make sure that they are doing what they need to do and cybersecurity whether they are duplicating efforts or putting
in place hardware that is duplicative or isn't the best that we could get. the best bang for buck. right now we don't have that. we do have very good court nader at the white house and i give him high marks for the things that he is accomplished with the limited authority that he has. most of it has been kind of encouraging and he is encouraging collaboration across the department in cyberagencies, but he doesn't really have the authority for the sake of going to omb in saying this agency isn't doing all it needs to do in cyberand we need to take measures to make sure that they are held accountable. >> host: jennifer martinez? >> guest: also i would ask congressman thornberry about the house gop freshman. they been very outspoken about how they are against anything that is going to increase spending and you were saying the budget is going to impact the type of legislation moving through the house. you see this as a possible issue
that they will have to tackle later on down the line? >> clearly, if we don't address threats to our own cybernetworkr even encouraging collaboration with the private sector, that we are being penny-wise and pound-foolish because the damage that can be done and that already is being done in terms the amount of data sets we are seeing is costing us dearly right now and so it is much more effective to do those upfront things that we need to do now to make sure we have a robust cyberdefense on our networks, our cybernetworks and then obviously things we are seeing happening right now that are costing us at a very dear level. >> guest: what you think of the pentagon's newly released cyberstrategy? >> guest: i was at the pentagon for the rollout of the cybersecurity strategy and i want to thank the secretary lynn for his work and leadership on
this and a variety of other key players at the pentagon. they all had a hand in putting forth that strategy. it was definitely a good movement in the right direction. what i was concerned about is that it didn't identify, didn't go far enough on red lines of what we consider to be an attack and what our response would be. the pentagon response that they want ambiguity right now and keeps the bad guys guessing if you would. but, because the thread is so serious and the damage could be so catastrophic, i think it is clear that we need to do more in identifying what we see is a cyberattack and the enemy and adversaries know what our response would be. >> host: finally congressman langevin, how do you thread the needle legislatively when it comes to keeping up with technology, protecting privacy
and addressing some of the concerns that groups such as the u.s. a. >> guest: again that is where collaboration comes into play. this really has to be a public-private partnership and privacy of the civil liberties concerns have to be at the forefront our conversations about i think the privacy of each community part of developing the criticism or problems is. the cybersecurity issue is it is difficult stay one step ahead of the bad guys but collaboration. >> host: congressman langguth
granddaughter material that is general they begin that i know many of you have already seen. there will is a tremendous amount you see press and with all of us who love the role that mark twain is played in american half a million copies of that autobiography list where it, 15, 19 weeks, a i am really delighted that we have robert
mark twain says, and he said i but rather i only know two things hasn't been in, i don't mark twain that because it was a complement that didn't raise expectations put that into the autobiography because payne didn't know that so, but may balance it with a little story sentences that are in the autobiography. account of how mark twain escaped a dual that he has actually instigated in virginia city. he had he of course didn't know anything about how to shoot a
pistol so we wanted to get out. he managed to get out of it i have never had anything to do with dual sense. i. and i know they a man should challenge me now, forgive only by the hand that lead into a this at the start. mark twain was a very a general rule if you ask an editor to talk, the real problem is to get him i bring. i call this the anti-'s own
advice. he was preparing to go on riley and he was afraid half of the program and therefore cut into mark twain's time and make the audience impatient and wish they would all go home. so he he says, i will talk until then mr. riley will talk until are going to you until you are tired and i promise that when this thing will be very hard to persuade me, mark twain tried for more than 30 years that is a long time even for easily spend
four, five, six, seven, eight years on in this matter is that he knew very early on how we will see in the background here basically pieces of manuscript that belongs am just going to put these so. she had a conversation with him in which to talk about his autobiography which he intends to ride is fully and behind, i.e. posthumous. his wife laughingly said, she objectionable passages. no he said very.
it is to appear as it is written with the whole tale i should take out passages from it and publish as the atlantic and elsewhere, but i shall not limit myself as to space and at whatever age i am writing about, even if i am an aunt and and an idea comes to me about myself when i'm 40, she'll still amazes me when i've reread that paragraph to see just how clearly mark twain knew roughly and isolated chapters written by him between 1870 and 1904. a period of 35 years. we see him in those drafts and chapter struggling that is to
that you and i would pretty for an autobiography. mark twain was struggling to any case, these beginnings, these drafts that we have but did, very typical. but, in 1904, shortly before his wife's death in florencea way to compose not dictation of was to have the right way to, wander at your free talk only about the at
the moment its interest threatens to pale and turn your talk about the new has intruded itself into that is exactly what to -- stenographer for two, three sometimes four hours in the morning would type immediately and give them to clemons who actually delayed reading wanting to wait and this process of dictation continued without with some interruptions the 1906 and then with less intensity in 1908 and on 24 december of 190 died in the
bathtub and he sat down and wrote a memorial to her which he identified as the end of less than four months, having contributed to this autobiography some 650 in the utterly confident defiance of the usual limits on as he had imagined in 18. this is where and there he is where also a lot of an unusual history, at least for those of us who are involved in the scholarly edition of mark twain which has been going on since 1967.
i "new york times" list will be the 20th week on the list week he and as susan said there are 500,000 copies, not necessarily sold give that is compared with in our experience and expect to sell this is a new in -- i don't want to get there yet. all -- and only if you are and they have been there really since mark twain put them in
sense? one can find something that hasn't will try to make that clear are the mark twain papers? why do? i will try to answer those questions but before he do that i have to do a little bit more this book has already been awarded the prize is it is interesting that we have never won the award was given for the number of copies sold. i can't said in to start a new hobby. he was photographs and so forth
and so on munsey collected. i thought you want to see it. he cuts it all of the handwriting on there is mark twain's. mr. edison's complement if he has any love left over generally selects mark twain. and mark twain said, i think the worldhere is another complement that 08 speech i given you cases handwriting isn't clear montana
someone from illinois sent this to him. she was gazing thoughtfully at a photograph of mark twain on we have a jesus like that at home, only ours has more did she mean by more those of you who have forgotten what jesus a copy of one of the family bibles. mark twain his he all of this is just a way of saying that mark twain had in what he an audience that didn't was it like you and me, a literate and intelligent and going to lectures simply bought his books on.
submerged fame he called it or when they are sitting story is told he and stevenson agree that this kind of thing, the kind of thing that have never met and are unlikely of all the kinds of things the best, think something heavy first volume of the autobiography. i think that audiences we have never seen it any case. now we didn't original estimate on my part was that would be
five times the press is now on 100,000 copies what the photograph should be on the front one of people from the press saying that they wanted something he really eye catching, table at you thought that was so we thought it would table at costco. those are brand-new copies and is something we havecertain things to sell this book that we wouldn't ordinarily, atlantic,
"harper's" and are called first serial rights. these are basically small chunks all they needed to be unpublished that was easy and of course i should say from this light. disapproval, and i promised advertisement for this talk to at least address what keillor had to say. actually i have are practiced do you has to say about keillor. that is a little easier to follow here is a powerful argument for little further down, think twice about donating your papers to famous the i he
doesn't like the autobiography. it is. he is in countering an addition without really balloting that. one thing i wanted to say is good advice not to give your papers a seller of five sold 100 years gottlieb at "the new yorker" simply had no patience with what they regard for that reason they simply misread the first half are most willfully
that is so because the volume has to begin with 1870 in 19 really you get in this volume only three months of the january of 1906. they will go one for another three years. so it is a little harsh it seems to me to judge mark twain's autobiography i do think "the new york times" which published i've never seen them review a book on the me read you what is terrific company, plain and simple. he knew everyone went everywhere and seem to be interested in everything and capable of this
is not strictly speaking many fragments. the system twain talks about what he is interested until he is no longer interested in it and then he over your life. this is a book for dipping twain might put it until interest. it feels like a form of time travel. one moment you were on horseback in from saddle boils with a cigar in your mouth and the next moment you are meetings called in a private joke of weathering heights. we can hardly and comments on those negative reviews new york books. day, that is he, comments on both of them and comes down on the side of "the new york times"
knew that he was quite confident he couldn't publish in his lifetime. he didn't dare to publish and putting them in what he called his large box of posthumous stuff where he says he has stacks of literary remains. so in the papers are roughly 700 manuscripts, some of them finished from some of them on the finished and most of them brief in fact many of them quite interesting and quite good not because they were bad but because of the circumstances and that is actually the core of the papers but it isn't something that i can explain here so i'm going to try another tactic for talking about what's in the papers because in addition to all of the literary manuscripts there's all kinds of stuff and
this is a little overwhelming it's meant to be. 10,000 letters, 700 manuscript, margin, this is a book like that he makes in the earliest known document. 50 notebooks, checks, bills, clippings, proved, photographs and on and on and on. those are things daughter not literary manuscripts really or they are not the main court of the papers, but they are in my you an understanding of how we grasp mark twain in lieu of the fact that he left all of this kind. it's unusual for a writer to be willing to leave all of his unpublished manuscript sent drafts and notes not to mention
the notes about how much beer he drank and so forth and so on, unusual for an author who in my opinion is unique in the 19th century to leave all the evidence behind. mark twain said he could imagine being dead. most people think of looking down from somewhere or up somewhere seeing you for instance reading the autobiography but he said that's not how i imagined it. i will try about 2 billion years before i'm bored and i'm pretty sure i will like it when i die. so he is quite willing for deutsch to see this and he may be uneasy here and there but it is for the world to see this and i think there's a parallel between that kind of bravery if you will and the publication of the autobiography. i'm going to going to review details while i have the time of
things and there's a you get a sense of what the papers hold. this is the earliest known image taken when he was dragon writing as a printer becoming a lot a printer's devil but a printer, you can see that he's holding a printer stick with of the word sand fight in deciding him. basically this is an exercise for the types that it would do to learn how to set up advertisements for the newspaper. the interesting thing about this is that it's literally the least thing that we think he put his hand through to read was in the papers to the beginning of 1910 but on discovered until 1984. that's an aspect of the papers which i describe remarkable we are still finding things we didn't know we had. this is a late photograph
returning from bermuda. here's another photograph. this has been described as a practical joke. it's not a practical joke. mark twain had commissioned his protege to do a bust of him and that was eventually photographed and put in huckleberry finn. and then the sculptor will tell you that if he wanted to get the next right you have to see the shoulders so he goes to charles oh my ear and art photographer which means he photographed news and has the specter to consider the sculptor can make that bust. mark twain thought it was funny, too said he kept it and it was the only unique photograph of him anywhere. this is an example of what we have. [laughter] it requires no explanation.
here's another one. talking about somebody who went out with him and describing this photograph share is the real old plymouth church self compliances the of 40 years ago. it's the way god looks when he has had a successful season. [laughter] >> now this is an exception of a notebook, the very early notebooks this comes from a note he kept when he was learning to be a pilot. the blue heading means from the new orleans delta to the head of the island 6263 and these are his notes about what the passage of the river and what problems he encountered. he hadn't yet published this. here's another notebook i just isolated this phrase for you a quarter treynor mark twain he's really just reporting the death of the water and he means to and
a quarter or 2,001 to read back here is interesting why would we bother about his hair? this is what we call the well tested a sample of him. if plan to open the intel of your list troubleshooter for help. i don't think so. all the help i can get. isabel is attending a haircutting in new hampshire where he is almost 70. in 1905 she describes it in great detail. here's another thing that was found in the bible were. i don't know if you can see the hair down here this is the same clip just flipped over. the clipping has been folded the bottom to hold on to the hair.
this is not a poem written by mark twain, it is actually taken from the magazine but this says appear for margaret and it is a supposition this was jean's way of memorializing her 9-year-old daughter who died, something fairly common in those days but that is just a guess until you can do something with the evidence you have so if you look at the mitochondrial dna in this one and this one if they have the same her dna and then they have the same mother so we know a little bit more about how mark twain's sister was born. this is just two pages from the manuscript board. mark twain is imagining himself over in germany and he's missing american food and so this is
only two pages of a four page list and i think that he goes out and publishes this in the last chapter but the wonderful thing about the manuscript like this is that you can see him coming back to it and changing it and underlining things that he has forgotten and the whole content in a way that shows this is of great interest to him. we also have lots of letters. this is what i call the most important matter mark twain wrote latin from san francisco in october of 1865. he's down and out so to speak. he is without a job with or just recently taken a job, he's out of money and drinking too much and he writes the older brother and sister-in-law and says he only had to ambitions in life. one was to become a pilot and
the other and minister of the gospel. i accomplished the one, he said, and field the other because i couldn't provide myself unnecessary stock and trade, i eat, religion. i've given up forever. i never had a call in that direction and my aspirations with the presumption but i have had a call to literature of the low order. it's nothing to be proud of but it is my strongest suit then he goes on to resolve to make something of the talent although to a lower level of literature. the only thing i want to point out about this is he knows full well this is an important letter you better show this for if we strike a balance i don't want any literary remains, and unpublished records of mark twain published after. fortunately he didn't burnett.
that is a remarkable statement for someone who hasn't yet published a book. [laughter] mark twain didn't lack confidence. here's another letter from the connecticut yankees going through the present to read the truth. he says yesterday's, that's the publisher wrote the printer's proofreader was improving my punch region for me and i said orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray. [laughter] to give you a sample of what roughly 11,000 letters i thought i would just take a small category answering the letters were from answering or not answering this is one in support of an orphanage to which the best success and a long career of usefulness but words are empty. these are would show the spirit therefore i'm going to be one of a thousand citizens who agrees
to this enterprise. [laughter] then he goes on and gives a double room signature. he knows what they will do with it. and they will get that $200 contribution. when he didn't, he often wrote what he would have said on the envelope read this is a good a symbol of the sharpness matched up with his very tender heart. the idiot seemed to be thick. once, god knows declined. for an autograph, excuse. from someone who wants to destroy the death penalty with an eye to his own future.
[laughter] from an unknown eddy yet this is the worst piece of all. from that same boston. [laughter] from some unknown person who probably has brains and modesty about equal proportions. i could go on which almost infinitely the examples like this all through the papers. this is a letter that is part of another aspect of his request for the autographs. he eventually figures out a way to answer the request to grant the request but have a little fun in the process. this is an answer to a letter who's actually an employee of the dayton ohio asylum for the insane it could be an administrator and he probably wrote his letter using the
stationary tipped off to where he's coming from. this is what he tells the sky. certainly i will review an autographed letter for your collection and what is more but please do not tell the officers of the asylum that i said such a thing i believe that your wicked glee, but there. [laughter] that is proportions of the letter to me are quite rational and i am satisfied that if you will put under the mildly judicious treatment he would get over it, that of course my signature, whole theory behind this is that when he gets this letter and read he may change his mind about shoving it to his friends. there are dozens of such letters. here's 1i didn't put into this life and you have to listen carefully to this. a long time answering the letter but then you must remember it is an equally long time since i
received. [laughter] so that makes us even and nobody to blame on either side. after collecting to would like to know i read a tight second audience and usually takes about ten seconds to get that. here's another to the anguish writer he was so impatient for the reply that he enclosed a piece of paper and a stamp with his original letter and mark twain answered the door and stand received. [laughter] please send envelope. [laughter] one other point before i go on and actually get to the autobiography, cancellations, and unlike you and me, he would probably never send a letter
through the mail that had such a cancellation in it. you and i might be a little embarrassed but he was not but he knew that cancellation could be read. here is our attempt to read it, perhaps the kind of chasing figure. it took us about six months to pass it around the office giving people a shot at it and you can see we are still having trouble with the second line here. we can't really do that competently because the way you read such a thing is peaking out the defenders and the ascenders and in this case with an eye this is not a consonant, but the help you narrow down what is likely to be under and for the whole stretch you have only one defender, no dots on the i, so it took awhile to get at this. i'm under a and he stops and
starts over and a suspicion comes over me. but leo either 25 or $50. it was in this way. now how do we know that this could be read? this is from a piece that he writes to his fiancee who is trying to persuade him to become a christian and she is very wary about the letters that she's received and noticed one of them and is torn out of the whole section of the page what was that confession? it was a confession i had destroyed two lecturer and we are now at this point i can't again you would say that i was a lovesick 88. down here now between ourselves,
i am. i could not be so reckless as to write to the above. if you have any curiosity in your composition, if you were curious enough to kind of private under the cancellation and figure out what i said then i would but of course we can tell now it was written precisely to uncover it and he knows that she will do that and then this down here in brackets, this is when she just discovered what he has said. how do we know that that actually worked? we know because he invented a way to prevent those cancellations from being read. he goes in and he crosses and abs of vendors and descenders and in general misleads you so badly that unless you know that that's going on you simply cannot read the cancellation. we do know that is what is calling on here that's the way to stretch it out and you find
when you didn't need to write and that basically there is her to try to read it. we are pretty sure she couldn't. it took us awhile. it just to show you kind of kid pitchers aren't work for 40 years. this is something that not everybody understands or who knows very lucky simply to understand it and that is something that i think citizen when we can't work on the biography through which i am actually going to get. right now with 20 minutes to go. as i see it though actually two kinds of stories in this, the story of mark twain who tried and tried and tried in doing the autobiography and another story which is how the editors themselves wrestle with the documents left behind and figure out what no one had known before no one had known he finished his
autobiography what he knew exactly what he wanted in it and exactly what he did not want in it so that is the sense which i had in mind when i talked about an autobiography. 5,000 pages in the mark twain papers but unless you don't know how to understand the species you won't find his autobiography you will find what others have found a and mistaken for the autobiography. why did mark twain want it suppressed or not published in its entirety? i don't think this is a very complicated question he wants the freedom to compose as he wants to without the fear of hurting of your buddies felis not just people who were alive but they're descendants. 100 years said this shows you that on occasion 500 years is
necessary. this could be typed out as 200406. that just serves a long time it doesn't show that he expects that much time to go by and it also tells you a little bit about what his internal use what he expected to happen if these things were published. he says the things of which i'm about to say will be commonplace is a time of defense whereas if in the hour day they could inflict pain upon my friends and acquaintances and thousands of strangers, the desire to hurt and get me ostracized and cut off from all human fellowship and the ostracism is the main thing. i am a human, and nothing can persuade me to do any bad deed or a good one that would bring that punishment upon me. that's not this widely recognized but yet there is another a motive, and that is selling the book.
this is a page that is about to go to the north american review in which mark twain published a very small selection of the autobiography in 1906 and 1907 edited down so there was nothing offensive but then it shows he's addressing the editor and says let's proceed every installment with that in which he says the autobiography will not be issued in book form so you basically have 25 separate reminders that this autobiography is not written here in the north american review and you can't get it until mark twain dies. that is what we call a marketing plan. [laughter] now, people ask me why wasn't it published before? of course the answer is that it has been partly published before and badly. this is mark twain's official biographer and the publisher of the autobiography of 1924.
this is his successor who publishes his selection in 1940. this is a man named charles who isn't one of the literary editors but basically got access to the biography after he had come to berkeley. i have given you three pictures of him to show you the effect of an editing mark twain. [laughter] but to be fair, i included this, too. [laughter] that shows you the effect of editing since 1967. and that shows who is the guilty parties are at this time. i am really just a kind of supervisor. i don't do any editing. i'm the kind of leader in the corner who criticizes what they do. i'm not welcome to most of the time. now i do want to talk a little bit about why those additions
are not satisfactory. paine felt absolutely free to write on the of original documents. you can see all of these pencil markings are by what pain. in fact she actually hands them to the printer and numbers them as part of the printers copy and when the printer is on with them, what does he do? he puts them on a spindle. that is what this is all about. i mengin it is not just to kind of beat up on him but because it does lead to the fact that there are tignes that should have been in the autobiography that oregon that are lost, and one of the things they manage to solve that problem as well. now you can see on here that he has decided she doesn't like what is being said here we'd love with the bill but for you. this is a discussion of a man named newton who is a healer and
was called in when olivia was paralyzed for a number of years couldn't stand or walk after a fall doctors really did no good at all. they were finally persuaded to hire this guy a and mark twain says newton made some passages about her head with his hands and he put an arm behind and said now lives in a. he doesn't like that. it's too pagan. so he opened the windows and to divert a short prayer and when he repeats with his hands of the head he crosses it out. that is the way that it has been published in pain and nighter.
here's how devoto tree to these things. he disapproved of the punctuation and took out hundreds of comments when he published. hulett publishes a very small selection of it and as you see fervently free to write on the manuscript instructions to his typist. and in this case he's crossed out the comments. you can see of course mark twain is over here and here so one of the basic problems in dealing with this manuscript is to figure out which ones are authors. how do we know that those comments are devoto's? if you take away that he's done this and compare to the way that he publishes it you can see that the deval disappeared. so here we have mark twain writing. it's one of the great achievements of the editors but the figure out how to
distinguish between all of the markets on this document. sure is just a simple the example that has maybe five different handwritings. all of the pencil markings,, as, here is one payne. they also have the type sadr. this is him numbering the printer copy and adding to read this actually somewhere we don't know. and here is mark twain, not for mc? >> that means not ford ss2 was thinking about serializing it. he even thinks of collecting some of the things the stenographer gets down wrong for instance in effect nonexistent and infeasible and clearly that is not what he said. he crosses a doubt and inserts in visible and then decides that that is not needed either
because if it is nonexistent of course it is invisible. so the challenge here in this plurality is to figure out exactly what mark twain wanted and what the others turned to leave out the desires of the other markers. another challenge that is hard to explain but i think we are contemplating is that in many of these deily dictations, one, two, 34, sometimes slightly less, sometimes just to typed copies of the same dictation. notte carvin but these are taipings of the dictation and this is the front page of may 21st you can see it looks roughly the same throughout and as you can see here this on this
page 726 the next is 883 and the next is for and the next one is 1115. that is a big mystery. why are the differences so prominent? what does it in play but the manuscript? does it imply that he's moving this passage around and therefore he gets different when he wants it in different places? i don't think so. we didn't think so. eventually we could say at least it wasn't this. this is the normal way. that isn't what has happened here. this is something like what happened. it was eventually figure out by identifying this is a characteristics of the different types groups that there was one central typescript that from the original stenographer who and that at some point they have it read tight in what we call ts2 and what we call again impleader
ts4. .. >> this is an early attempt to diagram the situation, the relationship between these various texts. i can't understand it myself. in is actually the relationship that we figured out that is permanent and occupies all of the folders, describes all of the folders. here's the original. here's ts2 and 4 # made tbr it,
and ts3 is an extract. that's the page four example. now, this is the real key. how do we figure this out? mark twain wrote out a serious of holograph pages he clearly intended to begin the autobiography. in this case, you can see the number title page one. he numbers this early attempt two. this is a preface to something he's done in the past that he says is a failure, an example of the old, old unfixable method of autobiography. i'm just giving it here so you can see what i went through to get to this final solution. here's page three. here's insert the 34 old typewritten pages. that would be great if you knew what they were, wouldn't it? [laughter] we didn't know what they were. in fact, they don't exist. turns out they have been lost
only it survive the things they were made from and a couple type strips that were made of it. you can see here the next page is not four, but 45 because it follows 44 pages. twain, who doesn't understand it calls it nine. don't ask me why. [laughter] this is to proceed some of the examples of dictation he'd done in 1904. it goes like that. this is the text that he's referring to that he wants to begin it with. it's a wonderful, wonderful text despite the fact he says it's not so good. this is his description in june of 190 # 6 when those -- 1906 when the pages are being written. this is his reading it on the pore -- porch. he read the autobiography beginning written many years ago
in about 1879. 74 typewritten pages telling of boyhood days on the farm. it's beautiful. he was deeply moved as he read on and on. mark twain knows full well this is a moving and wonderful passage. then, as i said, by the 10th and says here, okay, that's the end of that, this is where the dictions follow. it's the first time in history that the right plan was hit upon for an autobiography. to make a long story shorter than it should be, that's what explains these bumps up here. these things were put in place after type ts1 was made. it was before ts2 and ts4 were made. there he is in bed again. now, i got roughly seven minutes. it's a little bit incoherent to
do it this way, but i will anyway. that's grover cleveland. there's wonderful passes about grover cleveland that i think i owe it to mark twain to read simply because that gives a better idea of the autobiography than i can on my own. mark twain did not know cleveland when they were told they were residents in buffalo. this is an account of how they first met. during the time we were in buffalo, as mark twain was in buffalo in 70-71. mr. cleveland was sheriff, but i never met his acquaint tans. i was not even aware of his existence. 14 years later, he was the greatest man in the state. i was not living in the state at the time. [laughter] six seconds, that's pretty good. i was not living in the state at
the time. i lost my place, sorry. at the time, i was on the public highway and in a company with another bandit, george w. cable. we were robbing the public with our works and during the course of time, we went to albany to pay republics to the governor. cable and i went to the capitol building and stated our ere -- errand. i saw mr. cleveland for the first time. we stood chatting. i was born lazy and turned the table into a seat. the governor said, mr. clemons, i was a fellow citizens of yours a good while ago, and during those months you burst into a mighty fame after a long deserved proper obscurity. [laughter] i was nobody, and you wouldn't notice me or have anything to do
with me. now that i'm somebody, you changed your style and you have come here to be socialble. how do you describe that conduct? this is the president-elect, remember? you were nothing but a sheriff. i was in society. i couldn't afford to associate with sheriffs. you're a governor now on the way to the presidency. this is a great difference, and it makes you worthwhile. [laughter] there appeared to be about 16 doors to that spacious room. from each door a young man now emerged and the 16 lined up and moved forward and stood in front of the governor with an aspect of respectful expectancy in their attitude. nobody spoke for a moment, and the governor said, you're dismissed, gentlemen. your services are not required. mr. clemons is sitting on the bells. [laughter]
>> perhaps you can see here payne is crossing out what i am about to read you. he didn't like the explicitness of it. this is what twain says. we can pull it out of ts4 because of the way payne publishes it. there was a cluster of 16 # bell buttons on the corner of the table. my proportions were just right to enable me to cover the hole of that nest, and that's how i came to hatch out those 16 clerks. [laughter] you'll get to see what he actually wrote for the first time. one more passage. try to squeeze this in -- if it rings, i'll stop. that's francis clara cleveland. she got married in the white house to president cleveland in 1884. she's the first person to be married in the white house. she is, as you can see, is
beautiful and young and she was a great asset to the cleveland administration because she was willing to go out and be a sort of jackie kennedy to the world. one more thing. anybody know what arctics are? you wear your arctics, what do you do? yes, no shoes or at least boots. in washington, there's not too much pavement in washington, especially during the winter time in case you needed to know that. i was born heedless and therefore unconsciously committing breaches of the minor propriorities bringing upon my hue humiliations that should have humiliated me, but didn't because i didn't know anything happened. [laughter] the humiliations fell to her poor child to did earn or deserve them. she said i was the most difficult child she had. she was sensitive about me and stressed her to see me doing
heedless things. she was watchful and alert to protect me from transgressions i've been speaking of. leaving hartford for the white house, she said i have written a small warning and put it in the pocket of your dress vest. when you are dressing to go to the officer's reception of the white house, you will put your fingers in your vest pockets according to your custom, and you'll find the note. read it carefully, do as it tells you. i cannot be with you, and i delegate my duties to this little note. if i give you a warning by word much mouth now, it passes from your head and will be forgotten in a few minutes. it was president cleveland's first term. i had never seen his wife, the young, the beautiful, warm hearted and fascinating. as i was finished dressing to go to the white house, i found that note which i had long ago forgotten. it was a grave note, a serious
little note like the writer, but it made me laugh. her gravity has produced that effect upon me where the expert humor rows joke would have failed for i do not laugh easily. should i finish? >> yes. >> when i reached the white house shaking hands with the president, he started to say something and interrupted him and said if you excuse me, i'll come back in a moment, but now i have an important matter to attend to at once. i turn to mrs. cleveland, the young, the beautiful, the fascinating. [laughter] i gave her my card. on the back of which i wrote, he didn't. he didn't. i asked her to sign her name below those words. she said, he didn't? he didn't what? i said, never mind, we can't stop to discuss this now. it's urgent. please sign your name. i handed her a pen. she said i can't commit myself
that way. what is it that he didn't? i said, time is flying, flying, flying, take me out of my disdescries and sign your -- disstress and sign your name to it. it's all right. she hesitatingly tooked pen and said i will sign it, i will take the risk, but you must tell me all about it after so you can be arrested before you get out of the house in case there's anything criminal about this. she signed, and i hand the her the note that was brief, simple, and to the point. it said, don't wear your arctics in the white house. [laughter] it made her shout, and she communicated the messager and sent that card in the mail on the way to mrs. clemons. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause]
>> if we can gather the blue cards, your questions. white cards. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> and i don't know when this microphone is going to go on. >> up to them, isn't it? >> it's not working? it is working. oh, it's working for you. oh, and i made the mistake of taking off my other microphone.
>> where is it? >> it's in my bag. hold on one second. [inaudible conversations] >> turn it on, yeah. want me to hold it? >> well, i have to hold two microphones. >> let me hold the black thing. >> i'll put this one on. >> okay. >> okay. okay, well, as we're gathering up the questions, i have a question -- i hadn't realized that mark twain was interested in establishing a new narrative around autobiography, and i'd like to -- i mean, i'd like to
ask -- i know the editors made millions of decisions, and so how did they find themselves guiding that pathway of establishing a new narrative? >> well, once you figure out what the relationship between those various type scripts is, you have a standard way of treating them. the one that's derived from the notes has the most authority. anything that the others have are different and are either mistakes from the typist or changes by mark twain, so you would adopt those, put them into the beginning text, and you eventually have a text that is exactly what he wanted at least in so far as those documents can tell you. now, there are aspects to the manuscripts that are so large and unfinished it was not ready for the printer. he'll say things like here up
cert the -- insert the celebration of my 75th birthday. that's a kind of pages of harper's about 28 pages like this. there's no way physically you can put it in. the most we can do is to insert a link to it on the electronic site. i should have said all of this is available on marktwainproject.org, free of charge. you don't have to buy it, and that has some advantages over the print. as far as shaping what he does, we're not trying to shape it, but follow what the evidence shows. what those early manuscripts pages showed us were all the preliminary dimensions. we labeled it as preliminary. they don't belong in the autobiography. they are trentoned them as if they were all part of the autobiography, but they are fragments and mark twain didn't
want them included, even though payne, who should have known better, did include them. that's the first time we knew he excluded it, he knew how it should begin and follow and you're off and running. you just had to follow the chronology of the dictations. does that answer your question? >> it started to. these are all good questions. one of the questions the audience asked is how did the prior authors, payne and the other, get a hold of his autobiography prior to being donated to uc berkeley, and how did they get past, you know, his wish of 100 years after his death? >> last thing first. if you read the newspapers, you think mark twain had written this 100 year embargo into his will. he did not. it's not that firm a prohibition. it's actually more there to protect him as he's composing it
so he didn't imagine anyone alive will hear what he's going to say. he knows he'll be dead and can't control when anybody publishes it. now, to the first part, payne and devoto were the first literary editors of the estate. twain appointed payne and the rights to do the autobiography. payne rules over the papers along with clara, the only surviving daughter until he dies in 1937. he's such a, you know, he's such an exclusionist that devoto is ticked off because he's trying to write a book about twain, and he can't get access to the papers, but payne dies, and devoto, squeaky wheel, is appointed successor. they held direct access to the mark twain papers that are still outside the university of california. we're talking about 1937, 1940, 41, 42, and 43.
now, how did they get to do what they wanted to do? who was the stop them? in fact, it's not really that unusual for editors of commercial books to do what they think will sell. that's what devoto is doing when he's crossing out the commas. he thinks that interferes with the sales of harper's edition of it. i don't know if i answered that whole question. did i? if i didn't, please speak up again. yeah? >> what percentage of the autobiography, not including uc berkeley's editor's editions is the original dictation that he started in 1906? >> what percentage of it? almost the entire thing. it's almost 100% of the finished autobiography. there's manuscripts pieces in it that he takes and inserts, like the dual we referred to, and he
inserts it as part of the dictation. i don't know if that answers the question, but basically thee autobiography, the one he wanted published, is almost entirely dictation. >> okay. is there any proof that he said the coldest winter i ever spent was a summer in san fransisco? [laughter] >> as far as i know, there's no proof. [laughter] what we do know is he quotes an 18th century actor saying that about paris. now, one can see why that might have gotten picked up and changed and turned into san fransisco. i mean, every year cities like vancouver and seattle write me and asking if he said it about seattle. i'm thinking of renting it to them for $75 a day. [laughter] the fact is i can't prove a negative, but we've looked for this and looked for it and looked for it. we never found any evidence that
he said it. >> did mark twain ever live in san fransisco? >> oh, yes. mark twain lived in san fransisco. he had to leave virginia city because of that dual, dualing was outlawed. he would have been imprisoned if caught. they come to san fransisco, takes a job on the san fransisco morning call as a reporter, local reporter. this is in may of 1864. he hates local reporting, so he resigns about the same time that george barns is ready to fire him. he then stays in san fransisco really without serious employment. he's writing things for the california, but that's not very much money. he's living off the income or the value of some mining stocks he's managed to get hold of, but gradually towards the end of 65, those stocks disappear, and he has to get a job, so he writes his old boss on the virginia
city territory enterprise, says let me write a letter, a daily letter from san fransisco to the enterprise and joe says, sure, do it. so mark twain writes a 2,000-word letter six days a week for about five months, and it's some of the best letters he's ever wrote, and we have about maybe 20% of them. we look for them every day. usually go up into your attic and see if you have old newspapers. [laughter] most of the things survive are not enterprise clippings or issues, but are contemporary newspapers that reprinted it at the time because he was a good copy, and he was free. that's how those texts survive. >> the person who asked the san fransisco question also wants to know if you know the neighbor that he lived in and if he ever met robert lewis stevenson. >> to me, the neighborhood has
changed and doesn't really look like the neighborhood. he's mentioned month come ri street. -- montgomery street. you can about guess where he was. he was found of stevenson, didn't know him for long, but basically he and mark twain would come up with this idea, the submerged audience, and mark twain talks about discussing this in washington square in new york. he was out there taking the sun because he was tuberculosis, and he liked the son. he didn't have a long correspondence with him unfortunately. >> robert, can you talk about "submerged audience" because that's an interesting concept. >> you can read it for yourself, just don't rely on my summary, but the section on stevenson is at the beginning of the final forum, but basically stevenson
proposes it and talks about this person, davis, who has plushed all kinds of practice call books, how to do this, the piano playing, practical books which he discovered sell in enormous quantities. he discovered this from a book seller. he never heard of the guy or read anything by him. the editors figured it's not davis, but a gimme named dick who writes practical books that sold in the millions, okay? the idea is that this is someone who is unknown to the sort of normal world if you will, the popular world that you and i live in, but he's known to those readers, they are submerged, below the surface. my friend regarded them as the real audience. he was right. they are buying the book. does that help? >> yeah, very, definitely. what was the extent of twain's formal education?
>> mark twain left school at the age of 12 when his father died. he was trained really in the country common school, that is to say all grades in one room. you can guess at the age of 12 what grade he was in, but it's not that formal. he's one the true greats of the world. i mean, he has no formal training let alone harvard and yale, but if you study him, you find out he's read everything. he's read and read and read. principally nonfiction, but just widely. looking at the early letters, there's references to all kinds of literary themes, shakes speer and that --
shakespeare and that kind of stuff, but it's his appetite for lifelong literary texts. >> two more quick questions. >> okay. >> why was uc berkeley chosen to receive the papers? >> why was it chosen? i didn't explain this well. glad they asked that. mark twain wrote his will in such a way, his descendants which turned out to be just one daughter, could not even give the papers to anybody except through their own will. this was designed to protect them from men. it didn't work. she married a second husband named sam who basically ripped her off of about $5 million, but it kept the papers together. he would have loved to sell them off piece by piece, but he couldn't. the legal situation wasn't right for that, so when they were out
here, i mean, i rushed over that. they go from payne to devoto who took them to harvard, resigns, and dick takes them to the huntington. he's a big tall courtly texas who knew how to deal with clara and was a genius at that. he asked can i take the papers with me to berkeley? she says sure. before the papers arrive, he writes her and says i really think you should change your will so that instead of going to yale, which is where they were intended to go, they go to berkeley. you can see what he was worryied about that if she died, the papers would be out from under him and his biography based on those papers would be coming to a halt. she writes him back and says i'll send you the form next week. that's why.
now, don't get me wrong, the papers are not the region's property until she dies in 1962, and there's a huge effort to get them back. the people were wise enough to resist those. he was somewhat of a snake, a gambler. we know, fringe, that he offered letters that were in the family, love letters, about 715 letters between olivia and clemons over the years, he offered them up for $50,000. he said, no, that's too much. this is 1952. however, he comes back in about three weeks and says, well, you can have them for $10,000, but i need the money by sunday. they go over and open up the bank of america and get him his $10,000. we know he did that kind of thing with other things held by
clara, sold them out into the world. >> interesting. >> uh-huh. >> well, peter fraser remay understand me there's a -- reminds me there's a mark twain lunch club that's been meeting for quite some time twice a year, and they are individuals that funded the mark twain project, and the whole endeavor. can you talk a bit more about the funding? >> yes, the funding is always a problem as you might imagine. this is not funded directly by the university, but funded since inception by grants from national endowment for the humanities. they have been absolutely loyal to us. i think we must be the longest running project they've ever had to pay for. beginning in 1980 they said, well, we're going to shift to gift and matching grants. you have to raise a dollar in order for us to give you a
dollar. all the grants since 1980 have been 50/50 that way, and it's my job to find people who are willing to give that kind of money on the basis of what we do and what they hope we'll do. we've been successful reppedly, but it's not a challenge that winds up and goes away. it's always going to be there. >> the world is better. [laughter] for all of this, and robert, thank you for joining us. everybody, thank you. [applause] >> he also looks as how race, political, and social factors influenced the novel. this is about an hour and 20 minutes.
>> welcome to the harriet beecher stowe cementer, and we're delighted you are here to introduce david runnels and his new book in her 200th birthday year. the center here uses stowe's story to inspire social change. we are not just about the past issues of the 19th century, but we take the issues, look at them in the present, and try to inspire people to be good citizens today and participate in solving today's problems so that we can all continue to work towards fulfilling the promise of america. that's our mission. harriet beecher stowe is best known for "uncle tom's cabin"
and the book will be officially released on june 14th, 2011, her 200th birthday, but tonight here as we are in mid may, you can buy at the stowe center tonight, your own copies of david's book, and you will be able to get the book signed, of course, and the price tonight is a special price just for tonight, so when you go to your bookstore on june 14th, you should just get the book tonight. [laughter] we had the opportunity to start to get to know david, trying to figure this out, 18 months or a couple years ago because a book like this has a very long lead time, and an author works very hard on all of the background, all of the research before that writing starts, so we began to have conversations with him and as he was also talking with
historians about harriet beecher stowe. we had delighted to meet him in person tonight. this is exciting. there's a human being behind that voice on the telephone. he received his ba from am been hurst and taught american studies at the university and new york university, and rutgers. in 1989, he moved to the city university of new york, and he is now distinguished professor of english and american studies at the ph.d. program in english graduate center. he's a widely published author, and his books have been recognized with awards including the ambassador book award. he was also the finalist for the national book critics circle award. he was the editor for six books, and is the author of waking the giant, america in the age of
jackson. don brown, abolitionist, the man who killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights. john brown, also a connecticut, and stowe is a connecticutian. you are seeing overlaps here. author of walt whitman's america, a cultural biography, a book with the straightforward title, "walt whitman," and he's the author of beneath the american renaissance, imagination in the age of emerson and melville, and i certainly found that "s" word submersive came up quite a bit in uncle tom's cabin. the faith friction, when you see these lists of books, you begin to understand how much he -- how much he may have run into stowe and uncle tom's cabin in other other books. his latest book is mightier than
the sward, uncle tom's cabin and the battle for america which i mentioned is released by norton on june 14th, stowe's 200th birthday. also released that day is a new modern version of the splendid edition of uncle tom's cabin, and absolutely gorgeous document that you have to wait until then to get, so please join me in welcoming david to the harriet beecher stowe center. [applause] david? >> thanks very much, katharine. i'll comment for 15-20 minutes introducing my book, and then we'll have a friendly dialogue, and hopefully open it up for q&a from the add yuns. it's -- audience. it's great to be here at the
historic stowe center, the home where she spent the last few decades of her life right nearby to mark twain. such an incredibly rich environment here, and i've done research here, and i truly appreciate everything that the stowe center has done, and this is such a great year to come to the stowe center in hartford. the 200th anniversary of the birth of harriet beecher stowe who created such an uproar that lincoln reportedly called her the little lady who made this great war. possibly that statement, i happen to think it's true from the research i've done, but a lot of people were saying very, very similar things about that novel other than abe lincoln.
it's the ideal moment, and it's the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the civil war, so it's the ideal time to reconsider stowe and her role in igniting the civil war and changing world history up to modern times. although the book is associated in people's minds with the civil war, some historians said it only had a minimal influence on the politics behind the war, but this view had tremendous public opinion in america which was regarded as stronger than the government, an idea lincoln echoed when he declared our government rests on public opinion. whoever can change public opinion, can change the government. lincoln was recognizing what some historians today have forgotten. culture and politics are often
treated nowadays as separate doe mains. over here we can read book after book on lincoln, his team of rivals, politics blind the civil war, or civil war battles, civil war generals, civil war soldiers, and then over here we read books on literary works, on cars, on music, and all those -- on theater, on culture, and then there's some books that have a few chapters on the politics and a few chapters over here on the culture, but we have to realize that culture and politics always interpenetrate, and too many historians overlook that. i think too many on both sides of the divide, the culture historians and the political
historians, neglect that. when we look at history, we realize how vividly culture and politics are not separate. they interpenetrate, and very often it's the cultural outsiders, the outliers who lead the way and then politics follow. sometimes the outsiders are forces for destruction. the recent example is al-qaeda, a tiny cultural group, splinter group, that has guided much of western politics for the last decade. right now, the jury is still out about the ultimate political outcome of another strong culture force, the social networking behind the arab spring. sometimes cultural outsiders can have identifiably good results.
one thing, for example, gandhi, martin luter king, or others like him that led to political change that can be called positive. on the positive side, few cultural phenomenas have suede public opinion as powerfully as the novel "uncle tom's cabin" which was central to making america a better nation. harriet beecher stowe was an unlikely fermenter of politically and social change, dreamy eyeded, she was a harried housewife with a brute of children. she had various obscure illnesses worsened by her hypochondria. she was married to a brilliant, but imprak table husband, but
driven by her passionate hatred of slavery, she wrote "uncle tom's cabin" which when it appeared in 1852 broke sales records and became an international sensation. the boston thee dore parker said it sited more attention than the invention of printing. the author henry james noted it was for an immense number of people much less a book than a state of vision, of feeling and consciousness in which they didn't take or read or appraise at the time, but they walked and talked and laughed and cried. my new book, mightier than the sword: uncle tom's cabin and
battle for america, which will be published on the 200th birthday, and advanced copies available here, came from an idea that i had to write a biography of a book. now, i previously wrote biographies of cultural outliers like john brown, walt whitman, and books about melville and poe and hawthorne and so forth, but i wanted to tell the story about uncle tom's cabin, its place in history and what came together in a place in time that brought her to write it. my book serves with unprecedented popularity is explained by the fact it observed images from virtually every realm of culture. religion, reform, anti-slavery, sensational adventure fiction,
among others and brought all of these elements together in in meme memorable characters and two compelling plot lines. the northern one about the thrilling escape of the fugitive slaves eliza and her husband with their son, harry, and the other one of tracing the inception of the enslaved uncle tom from his family when he was sold into the deep south. we still learned a lot about popular culture when she was a magazine writer in the 1840s, and in a novel, she channeled all of these popular images and more that she picked up as an apprentice writer and turned into a deeply human narrative that still moves us today, and
it's a narrative with a crystal clear message. slavery was evil. so were the political and economic institutions that supported it. uncle tom's cabin shaped the political debates over slavery in ways that have not been recognized. there's a dramatic picture of the horrors of slavery intensified the public's sentiment behind the rise of lincoln and the republicans because it made abolitionism which previously was an unpopular splintered movement divided among many different forms of anti-slavery, most of them unpopular. it made it suddenly attractive to millions of people who formally had been in different to slavery or cared little about it. at the same time, the novel
caused a surge of proslavery sentiment in the south. after all, why did the south have to defend slavery and twelve american presidents owned slaves including jefferson, washington, and many others. most of the supreme court justices and so why defend slavery because it was part of the system? but suddenly, uncle tom's cabin comes along, and suddenly there's a surge of pro-slavery documents, and it increases ideology in the south that slavery is a divine, wonderful, good institution that brings ignorant barbarians from africa and exposes them to the blessings of western civilization, so uncle tom's cabin dramatically increased the tensions that led to the civil war. by the eve of the war, one
southerner of the day declared uncle tom's cabin gave birth to a horror against slavery in the northern mind which all the politicians never could have created and has done more than all else to raise the north and south against each other. in my book, it traces the details of that and also how the novel continues to stir up controversy even through reconstruction an world beyond into the 20th century. it's influence was amplified by popular plays and a host of merchandise including puzzles and games and this and that and everything. now, whether it's play or novel, uncle tom's cabin was important as the agent of emancipation. it gave impetus abroad to russia, china, brazil, and
cuba. in america, the novel remained particularly inspiring to african-americans. the ex-slave, frederick douglass, for example, maintainedded no one had done more for the progress of black people in america than harriet beecher stowe. how could uncle tom's cabin become a catalyst for civil rights? after all, that's not how most people today see the novel. through title character, uncle tom has become a by word for a spineless sell out, someone who betrays his own race. we tend to think of the novel as an old-fashioned sentimental affair that features the death of an enslaved black man and is blond angelic child friend,
little eva, but this negative view of the novel is egregiously inaccurate and does a gross injustice to uncle tom's cabin. uncle tom in the novel is actually a muscular dignified man in his 40s who is notable precisely because he does not betray his race. one reason he passes up a chance to escape from his kentucky plantation is that he doesn't want to put his fellow slaves in danger, and later on, he endures a brutal whipping which leads to his death because he refuses to tell his master where two enslaved black women are hiding. as for little eva, she bravely accepts her coming death, and she says she would gladly give up her life if that would lead to the emancipation of the millions of americans enslaved
black people. together, tom and eva form an interracial bond that offers lessons even today about tolerance and decency. unfortunately, these worthy themes were lost in some of the stage versions of uncle tom's cabin. stowe's novel yielded some of the longest playing plays in history. the play appeared in 1852 and countless others followed, and by 1890s, there were hundreds of acting troupes fanned out across north america putting on uncle tom's cabin and many companies toured internationally as far away as india, australia, china, and as you remember from the
"king and i" siam. the play was seen by more people who read the book, although the book itself remained extremely popular, and in 1905, "new york times" said the two most popular books in america are the bible and uncle tom's cabin, and it it kept up a very, very steady presence. the play was seen regularly until about the 1950s and then spore ratically after that and it was recently a wonderful stages by alex rogue last fall at the metropolitan playhouse in the village. now, in many of those earlier plays, uncle tom was falsely protected as a stooped obedient old fool. that's partly where the uncle
tom's stereotype came from. eva's death in those plays was frequently a scene in which the actress was roped in piano wire with a back up against angels and billowing clouds. one might think that's spectacle we defang the revolutionary themes and turn uncle tom's cabin into a laughable piece of harmless entertainment, but actually this didn't happen. after all, the play is always about race relations and the wickedness of slavery and so this theme had riled up many southerners before the war, and then after the war during the long period of jim crow, that period of legalized segregation
that lasted from the 1880s right until the early 1950s, many white supremists during that era found uncle tom's cabin really, really threatening, a very, very dangerous novel. another author saw an uncle tom play, and he went. he was so infuriated by what he saw as its endorsement of black power. he wrote bitterly of harriet beecher stowe, what little yankee woman wrote a book, the single act of that woman's will caused the war, killed a million men, decemberlated, ruined the south, and changed the history of the whole world. he responded to stowe by writing best sellers which he appropriated character names and
completely reversed them to create a pro-southern anti-black statement, and one of these novels that he wrote called "the clansmen" became the source of the birth of a nation which was masterfully made in the sense that it was -- it completely redefined what hollywood is all about because it created the vocabulary and grammar of modern movies, but at the same time, it was theme adherent and caused the group of the ku klux klan, who are the heros the movie, and stamped the race relations for generations during the jim crow era and picturing as blacks as
beasts who preyed on white women. even as these reactions were gaining a very wide audience during the jim crow era, uncle tom's cabin itself and the spinoff helped keep alive those real messages. there were nine sympathetic silent films based on stowe's novel which was also disseminated in many other ways in popular culture. she was defended by langston hughs and wdubois who said she had was a moral american and we black and white long for the freedom that exists today in the united states of america.
over time, stowe's vision gained attention in america. during the civil rights movement despite the condemnation of being called an uncle tom, those who acted in the true spirit of stowe's firm principled nonviolent uncle tom, people like martin luther king, rosa parks, and many who participated in the peaceful sit-ins and marchs proved to be the most successful in the end of bringing about positive change. there's an author that had so great an impact as harriet beecher stowe seems unlikely, if not impossible, especially for a time when women had no political voice. of course; they couldn't vote, and even when she toured, she didn't speak.
you were not allowed to speak if you were a "proper woman". it was during a time women had no voice, and with an indignation that sidney smith said in the four corners of the globe, who reads an american book or goes to an american play? he said that in 1820 and soon learned who was to be read most of all -- harriet beecher stowe. stowe herself had an explanation of her impact. she said god wrote uncle tom's cabin. [laughter] it always helps to have a devine friend. [laughter] after the novel was a best seller, and her brother, edward, warned her not to become vain about the popularity, she told her friend, dear edward, he need not be troubled. he doesn't know i didn't write
that book. [laughter] her friend explained, what? you did not write uncle tom? she replied no, i only put down what i saw. it all came before me in visions, one after another, and i put them down into words. now, her claims about the divine authorship of uncle tom's cabin satisfied her own pious yearnings, but it raises questions about the actual background and the repercussions of her landmark novel. the issues at the heart of uncle tom's cabin such as race and religion, it's a very religion book, gender law, morality, democracy are just as vital today as they were in harriet beecher stowe's time.
those interested in these issues were frankly just anybody who enjoys a terrific story that tugs at the heart strings. i've been teaching the novel for years, but even jaded old me when i was reading it for my class last time, i actually started countrying. -- crying. i said now wait a minute, i'm a teacher, i'm not supposed to cry. anyway, anybody who wants to be emotionally moved read or reread uncle tom's cabin. there's many wonderful editions and the norton edition. it's great to have joan here by the way. the edition that katharine mentioned was called the
splendid editions because there's 117 illustration illustrations and what's really neat about these is that they are not caricature representations. some of the later editions that came out, particularly during the jim crow era are stereostipcall of their representation of many of the characters, and i guarantee you what's great about the splendid edition, is we hoped to have it here today, but the printer just messed up at the last minute. they will be here very, very soon. you know, he really captured the essence. it was truly a first edition and a splendid edition with 117, and it's even more too because he really captured the essence of
the story, and i see my other book, my other new book, mightier than the sword, uncle tom's cabin, and the battle for america as really a come companion volume to the novel, and i think that if you read both books in this 200th anniversary year, you'll learn a lot about america and joan has referred to uncle tom's cabin as problems our national epic, and you will see why the novel stands out as one of the most influential cultural forces for good in american history. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, david.
great to hear you talk about this new book and to get a sense of your perspective on it all, but -- and you said at the beginning of your talk that you started out to write a biography of a book. >> yeah. >> are you satisfied? do you feel luke you accomplished what you set out to do? >> yeah, i really feel that way because what happened is that -- because i've written biographies before of walt whitman and john brown, i kind of new the technique of writing biographies, and it really starts with people. ..
behind the book, and what she was doing and what she was writing and experiencing and how everything filtered through her and threw her family she was from an important family but the most important to raleigh in 19th century america the most popular preacher in america is the suffrage is a leading education reformer, so to me it was so important to locate the book within that context. because above all, uncle tom's
cabin is a human book in the most profound sense and it really raises issues of interpersonal relationships. it's a book about relationships between people, between white people, between white people and black people, and it's just a totally emotional book and she herself produced it from a human standpoint. so to me the biography of the book is very much a part of the biography of harriet beecher stowe. >> you have to tell us which part made you cry. >> well, i hate to admit it. it's very corny, but the death of little eva. and what was funny it's like an
architect this little child and you could name and number of similar deaths. i think the reason it struck me this time is it is sentimental and i was saying this is a really fundamental thing and yet her attitude as she had purchased she's confident of going into the afterlife but then she makes it very clear that she would die if enslaved black people could be free she would willingly donley and would love that and to me that was extremely moving. and i don't know why it just struck me. i won't say i might cry the next time i read the book nor have i mrs. early cried in previous
times. about the books since i think 1981 and there was no reason i should cry that time because it was during the summertime and i was actually sitting on the beach it was the weekend, gorgeous day but suddenly he was crying. that's amazing. and i should another tear over the death of uncle tom. and again, i'm not quite sure why but i think part of the reason is i was writing my book and parts of the inspiration of the book was the death of a beloved charlie who died of cholera in 1849 and the way she described to this in her letters it's just incredibly moving. i had just been writing about that and connecting it to uncle tom, and i think it was really
part of the process of writing the book and reading the novel at the same time. for me, and that is what got my gut come and i think when she said that -- to make it up to uncle tom's cabin and you think about the death of a child, a beloved child who is so young and for some reason even though she had a number of other children, it was a very special child to her and i understood what and enslaved woman can feel when her child was torn away from her as often happened. of the emotionality of it i
think looking back, that clouds might response. >> she's good at that emotional stuff. >> she is. not many people -- this is not a hallmark card -- i'm not defending hallmark cards because i get them all the time -- but it's not cliche in my view it's really not. if you have an awful eight is a real emotion and it's not lacking, so that was my response. >> how did you take a book with such powerful emotion which has been called sentimental as if that were a bad thing how is an awful with such a motion and the
sentiment how did it change american attitude, that is a big wheat. >> i think that it's not a leap because there are so many great novels written during that era, moby dick, but they delight me on a different kind of level and moved me very much. i think they make me think intellectually and philosophically and so forth. people need, the populists need a motion to sueded, and there is an ad agency it's not called jwt john walter thompson that came in the 1930's and said we have to appropriate the methods of
uncle tom's cabin to sell our products. why? why? because we have to sweeten the emotions and you can even see on tv try even though they don't succeed for you and me but they try to sway the emotion in some way. with br emotional to be sentimental or something like that, and she had every kind of emotion she was the first novelist to bring together both the more sentimental and emotions would be adventure what we would call action-adventure, the thrills come and she was the first novelist to successfully bring those two things together which is why her novel was so popular for so long and still
resonates today. >> what do you think is different in your book from all of the other reams and reams of literature about stowe and uncle tom's cabin? >> i see what i did in my book -- when i do my research, critics for its simple, say i find a book on walt whitman something brand new and hundreds of books on walt whitman and so part of the vehicle for people are saying the same thing on this but the way i do research is i try to read everything and more than that the early newspapers she went in 1952 but
somewhere before that in the popular newspapers and i went back and i took the time to read them and i said my goodness gracious these are the building blocks of uncle tom's cabin so that when the futures late fall of 1850 which was the first was attacked and she becomes totally enraged the way that she thought all of these have been in her mind because she had been writing about them the kind of came together and i am really the first scholar to go back and pieced together all of those different strands that kind of lead into uncle tom's cabin. and i'm also the first to show the immediate impact and the political speeches and debates and for slavery and antislavery debate and really it exacerbates
the tension in a very specific way and examine the complicated and interesting afterlife uncle tom's cabin. how did kunkel, become a bad guy? bad guy in the sense who is not tall in the novel but how did they stay alive as an energizing force of the progressive reform overtime and i mentioned langston hughes and w.e.b. du bois and in a way uncle tom's cabin modern times he actually
appreciated uncle tom's cabin in a way that many other of the 1960's and 70's did not and he uses a lot of the same devices which itself creates a change in the popular culture. >> one of the things that struck me in the introduction about your work about this book was how you demonstrate in a number of ways so what do term stowe's subversive techniques and how also that permeates through the popular culture and the afterlife of ogle, in a subversive way. can you talk about that for the audience? >> well when we read the novel today perhaps we don't feel the
subversiveness as much as if we lived back in the 1850's but when it was first published it created incredible outrage in the south. there's a political cartoon of introduced in my book a picture of hell and what that is is the america that will be created by a uncle tom's cabin. from the southern point of view and it shows a black person and in the middle live shows uncle tom's cabin with a book entitled i love black people. it shows a picture of a bonfire with a double string uncle tom's cabin into a bonfire. it was considered a hellish person in the south. very dangerous, very subversive,
and i mentioned thomas dixon who comes along in the 20th century and several other people, even in the -- the was during a jim crow saying this is the worst book ever written. the most dangerous diversion. a horrible mistake. horrible, horrible terrible mistake that changed history, why? because destroy it the south and it elevated people to positions they shouldn't be in society. there was when african-americans assumed political offices in the states during the radical reconstruction and so these people in the early 20th century looked back on the horrible
period from their point of view and they attributed this to uncle tom's cabin. and that's why he writes his racist bestsellers and that's why and his father was a confederate general the first of the nation which portrays black people very high repelling as beasts attacking white people and you needed the culmination of the key kkk rushing to the rescue to save these white people in a cabin surrounded by black people invading it and it becomes the most popular film of the silent era and goes on to earn over $50 million which back
then was a tremendous amount of money and it really influences a lot of people. that's why it was considered subversive. this began to talk about subversives in the sense of the technique that she stimulates readers enthusiastic approval vlore braking. i like that one. and to talk about how stowe uses some of the scenes in uncle tom's cabin in the book and also a leader in the movie for the material that pushes against the accepted attitudes of the day. you talk about tom and eva of course but you also talk about sam and andy chasing after she's getting ready to cross the ice and kind of buffoons and then took top character of course you talk about how those -- the way that we've read those is not how the mid-19th century people
would have. >> shea-porter list characters that even to this day some people misinterpret. michaud was by a northern white people many of them resist with black interfaces and pretend to be african-americans but they were buffoons. generally it was a racist phenomenon that very, very popular. she put into the novel the characters of sam and andy who looked like the show characters and yet, these are enslaved black people engaged in perversive behavior. sam ann d-nd teamed up with a
woman to try to frustrate slave catchers trying to capture fugitive slaves. they use the techniques for the subversive to try to break the law. the slave law demanded they had to be recaptured some sam and andy kendal plight clowns they are not. they are using the techniques to subvert all of the land which is the fugitive slave law book. and again, she kind of pommels around and we laugh at her and all of that and yet, when we
think about what she says, where were you born she says i was never born. who are your parents? i never had parents. and then she says her what things are like mosquito bites. but when we think about that we realize how horrible that is. like many she doesn't know where she came from. she doesn't know who your parents are. she's being whisked to the extent she doesn't feel that anymore so using these techniques to subvert them in this sense and to communicate a very serious message. >> as i was going through your book i started making a list of all the things that came up in
the impact of uncle tom's cabin, and i have three pages. i was noting as i went through. some things like the first american novel translated to chinese that they needed to the modern technology to date to become the biggest bestseller of the 19th century the transportation distribution and machinery systems that initiated a new era of cheap literature. the plea of course in britain to visit britain there were ten versions of uncle tom's cabin on stage in london on the day she landed. imagine that. so, i think it is a fascinating summary and i don't mean to simplify the summary of the impact of that book and so many ways.
>> yes. >> i love so many novels, i love them all but i can't think of another one that has the impact of on will tom's cabin. where does one begin? it's not translated into the seven new languages and every year even now they keep coming out and it's just an incredible international phenomenon. again, where do you begin? verse was banned in russia because it was considered subversive novel, but then it was the favorite novel and directly influenced in 1861 and
it will leave behind the russian revolution those on of the influences on the russian revolution. anyway, the play when kind is everywhere. in america there were so many different versions. it was played in chicago, and instead of the bible it was being read on state so it became an infinitely kind of play there was even roman catholic version of the play even though harriet beecher stowe happened to be a protestant she was a protestant, but in the catholic version and italy first was abandoned italy because of the protestant novel.
they did a little bit of tinkering and then there was one approved of by the pope about the consumption. [laughter] so that is a novel and by uncle tom's candy and five restaurant items and a little bit of the case of the impact. >> there's a subway station in berlin called uncle tom's cabin, today. so, david, what do your contemporary students think of this book, teaching it since 1981? >> you know, very, very funny. i don't know if it's true with joan and the of their professors in the audience, but i think partly it is because of feminist
scholars, women scholars but in the last 30 years there's been an increase in the novel, there really has been, and we no longer have to read the so-called dead white male. you can still read them and appreciate them and love them but you can also read. beecher stowe and displayed narrative and appreciate them and so for my students and maybe partly in my own guidance in general really, really love the unlawful, and i increasingly really love them all full. i learned yet when i first read it and i am trying to think of when i first read it i think was back in college, i'm not going to say when it was, it was a
while ago i found it a little bit old-fashioned but that's the way that it was back then it was taught in a certain derogatory way and once they gather reaction to it but now my students really enjoy it unlawful, they love it. like many of the 19th century novels it's a little bit on the long side but i swear if you read it and don't just read it once, kind of put aside your first reaction and come back to it again and hopefully read my books and i to give you understand the whole picture it will help to even make it more
moving. >> now we would like to give you an opportunity to ask a few questions. i have the microphone you will be using and we are using a microphone of course because c-span is teething tonight for a later broadcast. i do want to let you will know that we are going to be -- the center is free releasing uncle tom's cabin chapter by chapter as it came out as a publication and the national era originally and then starts on june 5th, 150 years after the actual day so check the web site for that information coming and you can participate june 14th and 15th with a 24 our reading of uncle tom's cabin. so sign up from 3 a.m. it's taken but 3:10 is not. [laughter] so now, who would like to ask a question or make a comment? charles?
>> david, the caricature or the use of uncle tom as a phrase for someone that was not like the character in the book, what was the force that kind of brought that about in the kind of when did that happen since the publication of the book? >> the - usage of ogle tom barrows sensibly during the jim crow era and is largely because the representative presentations and many of them it was a feeble old man who hops on stage and says yes mr. and that sort of thing in the whipping of uncle tom in some production performs a really violent act and this is a time when hundreds and
sometimes thousands of people would show up to see an african-american person blanched in the south and so a kind of vicarious pleasure in seeing uncle tom even though he was portrayed as old and frail, and also there are rows the new negro movement and an angrier kind of militant for african-american writing with richard wright who wrote the children in the 1930's and there was a kind of backlash against the consumption there was a misconception of uncle tom, there was a backlash against that the there was a darker view and an angry view along the
militants and the we that african-americans should rebel against culture and they rejected them the non-violent view that have always been associated with uncle tom's cabin. and james baldwin comes along in 1849 and a really misrepresents the novel. he calls uncle tom a dirty batt mosul to read every novel he calls it including the real subversive dangerous nature and turns it into a kind of sentimental thing that denies humanity when it is the opposite to read it doesn't deny that humanity at all and it affirms the humanity. that view was very angry at james because of that.