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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 6, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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so buddy used that to kind of engineer a coup. but he took over the city council in the l.a. times into town and did a feature about him he said that in general population the instance of felons is something like one in 10,000. in the province city council it's one in eight. the genius was that he can connect with people. tom, charisma, walk into a room in if there were 100 people there in 99 left him, he would go to the one that hated them and tried when that person over and invariably he could. they said that he would get to the opening of an envelope. he would show up in any event. i remember being a reporter at the providence journal not covering monday at the time, but another reporters kirk out in the summer, and reversing iraq's the backyard drinking beer. he shows up at the party. and it was just a politician making a token appearance.
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he was there for hours, one of the last person to leave. so that kind of charm, he was a champion of the city of providence. the city was as downtrodden. he would, you know, go on national tv, go on the don imus show when it was really popular. they figured, we have always said corruption. it predates buddy. it will post a him, but at least he made us feel good about ourselves. at least the, you know, helped the province back on the map. that's what people left in. >> for more reformation on book tv recent visit to providence tomorrow diamond and the many other cities visited by local content vehicles go to / local content. >> next, the history of scandals surrounding the intimate lives of u.s. presidents since 1789. this is a little under an hour.
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[applause] >> okay. can everyone hear me okay? all right. i'm robert watson. first off, welcome. side of the third and final presidential debate this past october 22nd. a quick note on some of those awards that i have one, the topic i will be discussing the state -- today is not the topic at stake. just a point of clarification. we are here to talk about my new book, k-9. and what i was trying to get at with the book was this, rather than just tell stories about presidential misbehavior, the book is not just about who did it, who didn't do it or with whom. i'm trying to find a new lens, if you well, new way of studying presidential character. for example, about 12 years ago i wrote a book on the first
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ladies, and i thought it would be important to understand the presidents from the different angles, that is, when i study a person that did in the best. so, for example, what possibly could i, as a historian, contribute to the body of knowledge of lincoln and george washington. pretty much everything that could be written about those two probably has been written. the greatest historians has been years poring through the letters and the evidence to produce this book on lincoln or this book in the hundreds of books on washington. some might thought was, eureka. why not look at the person that the best among the first lady. because historians have largely ignored the role of the first lady, as they have largely ignored the role of mistresses and shipping the man. a lot of my colleagues tend to be older man, educated in a certain way that did not study such matters. most historians were not educated in matters of a heart or the hearth. therefore they ignore that. it is on cannon's crowds of
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kings. so by studying the first lady, for example, the first thing thomas jefferson did after spending 17 days cooped up in eight lost outside of philadelphia writing the declaration of independence, the first thing he does go shopping. he went shopping for martha, his wife. mr. she was preggers. she had had a miscarriage. he mr., and he bought her some clothes. then he begged off from serving for the rest of the summer so that he could go home to monticello to be with his wife. every winter of the revolutionary war, right there in campus is george washington suffering through the freezing weather at valley forge was martha washington with her white on it right there in camp. so by studying the first ladies, we get new insights, i think, the presidents and other things. also, washington's closest adviser was alexander hamilton. and one of the chapters in the book talks about hamiltons
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history of womanizing. for example, bill clinton was not the first, and bill clinton was not the worst when it came to his behavior and high office. there is a long, long history of it. spitzer, a schwarzenegger, john edwards, these guys demint david patraeus, they have nothing on alexander hamilton. will we find is if you read, for example, letters written by martha washington during this winter camps, she was tough, like a soldier. she did not complain about the weather, the market -- harsh conditions, but she did complain. there was a tomcat when winter that was this be having with the lady cats, and it was noisy, noisy, noisy, and it kept her awake at night. so the tomcat and alexander hamilton because of all the and girls. i also did a book a few years ago, life and the white house, and it was about the president's at ease. what to the eat? what hobbies to they have? what are their fears and hopes and what they like as fathers
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and husbands to mecca the kids turn out. another way of addressing presidential character providing us with another lens. for example, we are still trying to figure out dick nixon. well, for example, i looked and said, nixon, in his free time, likes to boulogne and sometimes wore a black suit to do it. that begins to explain things. he does this. so i guess all books in the being trilogies. so affairs of state, i try to take a different perspective on our presidents. for example, we all know about george washington. we studied washington. what brilliance. we studied his courage, dashing crossing of the delaware on christmas night which saved the revolution, but who would toward -- who were george rushed to the store fronts when he was a kid? and you find that the teenage washington, more than one occasion, basically goes back
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home in tears because he was turned down and puts pen to paper and writes roses are red, violets are blue to the palms. he once wrote that cupid start has been shot through my heart when it yet another girl turned and down. this is a different look to washington. you know, during my degrees and doctoral studies, professors did not tell me about washington's teenage friend. so it is kind of fun. i think it provides us with an important lens, new way of understanding the president's. we all know that our country's leaders have oftentimes been shaped by the end of a woman, often the mother, wife. i'm here to tell you, sometimes that of misters as well. it's in the news today as we take this program, the general david patraeus is still dominating the headlines with his alleged affair and is this behavior. related to the book, what my first thought was when this happens to patraeus and when it came out.
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during world war ii, general eisenhower was having a long-term affair with an attractive young british driver named case summers be. you know, what general hires a young female model to be his aide and if you will. a major middle letter. now, imagine if eisenhower's affair with case summers became known during world war ii and, as happened with patraeus, if we got rid of him before d-day? during the great depression. franklin roosevelt was having affairs. franklin roosevelt had two very long-term affairs. one with margaret, his personal aide and secretary and cook and dresser and vinedresser, apparently. what if we found out about fdr's this behavior. what if we threw fdr out of office and demanded his resignation as the economy was recovering?
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all the way back to the french and indian war of very young george washington was riding very romantic letters to a woman who was not mrs. washington. her name was salutary bear facts to my very attractive, older, sophisticated never. what if washington's letters have become public during the french and indian war or the revolutionary war? much as the traces e-mails became public. what if we get rid of george washington? so girlfriend is not the worst. patraeus is not the first and not the worst. been there, done that. there's a long history of it. in fact and it pains me to say that even abraham lincoln visited a prostitute. i know. citizens so. it happened. the details on the sketchy. there is a lot of -- there aren't a lot of letters written about this, but here's what we can piece together. lincoln's best friend was joshua stevens. and he was, perhaps, as dashing
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in this handsome and best of my guess, "and "lucky with the link -- ladies as lincoln was only an awkward and unlucky and romance. and he felt sorry. he invited him to work at his general store. he did not have up place to stay so he stayed as -- upstairs of the general store. during their he was amusing the services of a professional woman. you imagine lankan of stairs with a pillow over his head trying to mind is so -- on business . and he basically says, i have to have a woman. it has been too long. here is what appears to happen. only abraham lincoln would do this. he asks him for a letter of introduction. a professional woman, and i don't mean agriculture as the oldest profession.
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an occupation that predated record to viral culture. will we have pieced together is lincoln visited a prostitute and had maybe $3 within, which was a lot of money cannot eliot spitzer money, but a pretty fair amount of money. the prostitute apparently charges lincoln five bucks, which was an enormous amount of money. so lincoln says to workman, have to tell you to my cannot afford it. i only have three. she knows steve, so there's a possibility that he can bear when he gets the money. he doesn't have it. what we know is because linking get embarrassed or his honor at the best offense, but when she said to lincoln, you can pay me later or maybe as was announced, he ran out the door. so they say when you visit a prostitute there should always be a happy ending, this is not for personal experience, by the way, but in this case it was not a happy ending. even abraham lincoln. what i thought i would do for
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the main body of my remarks today is tell you just a couple of my favorite stories, not just about mistresses and history, but more importantly about present a character. don't worry, there are some juicy stories involved. one of them involves our 22nd and 24th president, grover cleveland. now, when grover cleveland was a young man, there was a controversy because cleveland father the child out of wedlock. the woman named maria hellbent from pennsylvania, and she might have been a prostitute. at the least, she was very casual about her relationships. now, cleveland was a bachelor. of course emmy's running in the 80's and again in the 1890's to miss a probably a child of wedlock was seen as a bit to do. and it was such a big to do for other reasons. one was that the republican opponents of cleveland that were backing james g. breen, the republican nominee, and a group
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of very righteous preachers started a campaign that no woman in the country is safe. lock your doors. it's like a minnow, dracula is here or something. cleveland is prowling the streets debauching young women. really an aggressive campaign attacking cleveland. it became a huge story because they would not let it go. the one of the things that saves cleveland is it turns out that james g. blaine likely have more affairs in cleveland and his wife miraculously gave birth about six months after they have married. so he was keeping all of this condemnation on cleveland, and the one thing we dislike more than a politician that makes a mistake is a hypocritical politicians. so it blue black -- blue back and helped him. the other thing that made this a bit of a scandal was this. the republicans, again, were pushing this issue, and they would have a little, kind of aging though, little song, all the line that they would do.
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they would say, mom, mom, where's my paw? cleveland finally wins the presidency, the democrats complete that little song i sing , going to the white house, ha ha. but what made it a scandal was this. grover cleveland's best friend and law partner was a guy named oscar folsom. cleveland was born in new jersey and spend most of his career in buffalo. he had become the mayor and governor of new york, but a very successful lawyer. he and oscar were law partners. and they practice lot together. they went out together. they would go out drinking and eating together. it appears that they also enjoy the services of maria together. so when she gets pregnant, she has a son. nighter oscar or grover knew his father was. maria complicates things by
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naming the child oster cleveland now, oscar fulsome had been married and had a daughter. cleveland was a bachelor. cleveland kind of a sector responsibility to pay for the child to go to an orphanage, but here is where the other part of the scandal comes in. oscar folsom buys a few years later in a carriage accident writing -- driving his carriage. he's thrown from it. parent braces neck. he leaves a widow and this young girl. grover's cleveland makes an enormous amount of money as his law partner and cleveland kind of takes care of the widow and the general. he pays for them to assess the map and a nice home from his best friend and former law partner and becomes the godfather, if you will, to the little girl. there very close. she calls him on oakley's. that should be part of the hint. he calls for frankie. the pace to send a college. the day and age when women were not really educated.
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what happens is as francis's growing up, cleveland's relationship with changes, changes from occleve, the godfather, to a romantic interest. he was descending a letters, poems and sensor roses. and is the full court press on courting her. he proposes marriage. he's a sitting best the president of enough to be her father or grandfather. her godfather. she's 21 years old, same age as monica something or other that what once -- once went to the white house, and he proposes marriage. well, what mrs. folsom the widow does, she thinks that her daughter needs time. she takes her daughter on a tour to my ship and they go and they tore europe. give her time to contemplate whether she is ready to marry a sitting president. what happens is, cleveland mrs. his love interest come so he writes about the love letters. he sends an agent of his on a
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boat out to intercept frances folsom headed to europe. they deliver all these letters. what happens is the love letters become public. they become public. now, some people are fascinated with cleveland's to you know, romance, but cleveland this kind of off the hook because in his love letters to francis, probably like a lot of you, it is not a lawyer francis, a closer nicknames in terms of endearment, often comic abcaeight, never. so many people in the press think that cleveland is trying to court the way of who is only a few years his junior. they don't realize it's francis. what happens is, people are getting smart to this, so as france's comes back from her european tour, the widow goes to the harbor, the port new york, but cleveland to differences, kind of like a swashbuckling movie. she climbs on the side of the
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ship. she gets on the presidents of, and she, unbeknownst to the press to my goes back to the white house. the paparazzi, before things change, and before -- the paparazzi is a new york waiting to descend on her. the widow gets out. the paparazzi, and in a secret ceremony at the white house to mike in mary's 21-year-old goddaughter francis. it's a huge scandal. can you imagine what the public wises up to this. a however, the sandal is a short-term scandal. the reason why is, frances folsom cleveland turns out to be one of the most beloved and capable firstlings of history. jackie kennedy was only 31 when she became first lady, but she was only the third youngest. francis is much younger, 21. france's become sort of a fashion will model, much like jackie kennedy was. everything france's poor women wanted to wear. her hair cut from every woman needed a haircut.
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there would say the first lady cleveland. her clothing, everyone had to have the clothing. she became one of the most beloved, probably the most popular woman in the country all across the country people living daughters france's demand sons francis. so she was a great first lady. pfeiffer story that they were once waiting outside. the london francis spent a lot of his presidency not in the white house, but in a private home, little bit of privacy. wages -- waiting for cleveland and france's twin going of camino, picnic or ever. cleveland is out there talking to the press. francis does not show up. the first lady as a show up. cleveland is getting irritated. he says to all right. there is no story, there is no picnic, there is nothing in the go storming into the house. the press did not least because they knew cleveland and france's spirit of tyumen's later franciscans out of the front door and grover cleveland, her lap dog, follows route the front door and kind of sheepishly
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waves. all dolled up and ready to go, and she was not the story. campaign literature back in the 1880's and 90's even have to be the ones like this on a ribbon next to france's. ever using the first city to promote his campaign in the 1890's, so she became one of a great first ladies. another interesting scandal of history involves one of the most wild and interesting presence in that is andrew jackson. andrew jackson. now, jackson's wife, her name was rachael thompson. and when rachael donaldson was a young girl, a teenager, her father, a colonel, settled what we now know today as knocks well, national, a sell tennessee. and colonel nelson took a group of white settlers and the literally hacked territory out of the woods and fought indians and all that sort of stuff. and in the settlement rachael, his daughter, sort of became the debutante and if you will, the daughter of the most prominent and in the tennessee region. well, from rachael, it's a bit
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controversial because she does with a proper brought out to do. she, against a parents' wishes runs away and there's an older man who is a ne'er-do-well. his name is louis route are. it appears that he may have been visibly abusive with her. dispenses money. you know, is one thing after another, but he accuses her of all sorts of things. at the least mentally very abusive. so this is a big scandal. then she does with a proper grow back then ought not to do a second time. she leaves some. she leaves him and goes back home. well, a couple things happen. woman legally could not divorce. so she has to ask for the divorce. also, while she's back home, her father and some of her brothers and a lot of the men in these settlements are killed during an indian raid. you can imagine when rachel's mother and herself living in hostile territory by you know, among. well, it appears their riches mother, much like many mothers,
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was playing matchmaker. and they opened up their large home for borders to come and stay. and one of the borders that came and stayed was a six-foot 2- circuit court judge, robert indian fighter, piercing blue eyes and a heck of a temper, and the jackson. and the two of them fallen off. so their rights to loosen the grants rachael the divorce. so jackson and rachael mary. and in the history of white house weddings, it is one of the better ones. there's some strange and of marriages. roosevelts, clinton's. this is truly one of the better marriages. here's the problem. after getting married this find out that louis was such a ne'er-do-well that even though he said he regrets the divorce in every round to the granting. lady bigamist.
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she was the most scandalous woman in tennessee. so you all-pro we know that andrew jackson. the answer to the question, why was because of high political principle. or because of what they said about his wife. a hair trigger temper he would fight anyone. and there was a second with you. in case he chickened out. someone officiating. there would lineup. account in the distance. such a hot had it when he sees
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these two men he demand satisfaction. he shot in the shoulder. so this is the kind of hot as he is in defending his wife sought. about. he's with a fellow named dickenson is apparently quite a shot. imagine the county fair. so jackson has to deal with the sky. this is natural selection. you don't will martin. and what jackson those he sheets jackson. it so close as art that he cannot have the bullet removed. jackson wheels backer but doesn't go down. as of fall down.
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jackson turns his hand away and is filling a plot. now it's his turn to shoot. steven spielberg could not scripted a better movie. he winds up to shoot back and his opponent runs. they have to grab him and dragging back to . and shares pants for full of something. so as jackson pulls his pistol and as he goes to shoot, his pistol misfires. imagine the suspense. he gets the second pistol and kills opponent. then without letting go and falling he goes back to his carriage. according to paper counts he says something to the effect of by gotten even if he had shot me straight in the brain aware of with the guild and. unit, and he goes off in the carriage. you think the public loved that guy? and income and as presidential timber right there. he does all this because of rachel's honor. in 1824 jackson beats john quincy adams in the election.
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he was the popular vote, but the electoral college flips and he loses the popular vote. i'm sleeping in palm the -- on speaking in palm beach county, so you all know a lot about these scenarios. he comes back in four years in 1828 and beats john quincy adams. in 1828, is merely the second nastiest election american history. of course, this current one being the nastiest. all the negative ads in such. there is no love lost between jackson and john quincy adams. jackson's supporters don't call john quincy adams are excellently -- your excellency. they call him their fraudulent seat. so it's this huge scandal. to the point where rachael becomes increasingly religious with every passing year. health diminishes to the point where now all these scandals about her are really affecting
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her mental-health and a physical off. she is hoping and praying that jackson doesn't win, the she does not to go to the white house so that her scandal becomes a national story and not just -- she's helping, writing letters. as a water has been to win, does one go there. i'll say, be careful what you wish for. right after jackson was the election, before the inauguration and 1829, she dies a broken heart. jackson says my opponents, they tried the killer. she's buried on christmas eve in the gown is going to where to the inaugural. jackson goes to the inauguration , and there sell to pay. says that my wife, this angel who would ever given my enemies. the scandal continues on the white house. he needs of first lady because
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of norms at the time. they preside over social events, sitting, entertainment and someone. doesn't have any children. he's looking for presiding first lady, hostess. around the same time as best friend and policy ten tennessee politician, he appoints the secretary of war. today we call the secretary of defense. under harry truman after world war two which is the title. so appointee for secretary of war. welcome here's the scandal. there was a young girl in washington d.c. the cult of the opaque, peggy o'neill. enter father owned a tavern. this tavern is kind of a tavern / boarding house where jackson and other politicians , they would board there. in truth it was kind of a tavern
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/ boarding house last brothel. and little peg, the daughter, was sort of this -- the most popular attraction at the boarding house. you can't picture her like mae west coming down the steps was a blowout. she would sing and perform. she was known to some, the politicians lapsed, known as the politicians' pet. but she was this sort of a dashing figure, this is figured, kind of have princess diana, have midwest if you can imagine such a hybrid. so that's her. peggy o'neill. she runs away against a father's wishes and mary's a man in the navy named timber like. well he's a c for years she gives birth to their first child. he's a c for another couple of years. it's a huge scandal. he dies a seat. he may have jumped overboard and committed suicide. scandal after scandal. get this. well, he appoints even as secretary of war.
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>> did you webster had a popular toast he would give washington to say here is to the next cabinet may all be bachelor's or widowers. [laughter] while doing this for months and months almost every member opposed peggy. all of them except for one. eventually jackson fires the whole cabinet and reorganizes. ultimately after two terms jackson was so popular he could have won a third term.
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he was beloved by the people despite the scandal or because of it. jackson could run for another term but opponents had spent years bad mouthing peggy or his wife said now it is personal. so he reaches out to one member of the inner circle about the only member who did not say bad things about peggy to get that person to read in his place. martin van buren. the little magician otherwise is irrelevant. he is hand-picked pass on his legacy. he is the only ally of jackson. why is been during the only cabinet meeting meetings? he was a widower.
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[laughter] little peg having a court in the white house impacted the outcome of the election. bazaar. here is the punch line. secretary of ford dies and did well so she does well as the extravaganza with no. whittle peg goes to the parties but little peg shocks of the betty she is a grandmother now and mary's a man decades younker they and her. the italian ballet dancer. [laughter] he is a ballet teacher for her granddaughter.
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she was the first krueger. madonna and share have nothing on her. one day she wakes up and he is gone and he went back to her house and cleans her out. takes her granddaughter in now she's is destitute. little peg is a widow living in poverty and when she dies she is buried in the upper cemetery the tissue was the wife of eaton. the obituary said while the women of washington may have hated her while she was alive she is now their neighbor forever. [laughter]
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one more story than the questions. george washington. arguably one of the greatest americans ever. who else could have taken a rag tag band of for educated farmers and defeat the world's greatest military? not madison or jefferson but only washington. but somehow to suggest washington was not us self-made man would diminish him. every great men are with men made men or state medicaid men at the washington could have been all the above. when he was a young man he had a goal teeeight gentlemen officer in the military. while his father augustine
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did okay he was the firstborn son of a second marriage. when he died he left everything to his sons of the first marriage and had this horrible second marriage. on seinfeld the mother i always thought that would be the mother. george grows up without his father were the benefits of a powerful father says he is educated and longs to be a great man on the world stage. he tries to court the older and wealthy women. shows up in the tide water region basically knocking on the door with dave
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broken-down you'll and you can imagine slamming a the door in his face and would write poetry about this. he has a plan to marry the older wealthy woman. he met sally fairfax the story is split over the legitimacy. i believe they did fell -- feel strongly for one another. and sally was older than george perhaps the most beautiful woman of the area talkative wise, funny, a beautiful voice. george is a big ambitious teenager milking cows. you can imagine he is a
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surveyor for sally's great husband you can see she is leading court to but she becomes his mentor and invites him to some of the party's basically sitting underside and introduces george of social discourse how to curtsy and act and to with your mouth shut. here is how to stand. she introduces into the connections he would need to be the george washington that history remembers. some of the first great acts of your resume with the horse shot out he suggest in letters he wanted to look good in her eyes.
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but he becomes says george of history and now is in his 20s. still not a gentleman but a mixed record on the battlefield a colonial officer. and he passes by a fellow named chamberlain who is an attorney. we don't have letters exactly but here is out the story would be told. george is traveling and in a hurry to get to williamsburg. and stops to rest of the horses and chamberlain says
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walt you join me for dinner? but george says know i have to get to williamsburg. he says it is a shame because joining me is none other than the wealthiest widow and all of virginia i know is if it is stitching or love of first sight but he changes his mind to stay for dinner and meets martha. the letters between george and martha don't exist but according to her grandson george dies 1799 but martha lives o 80 note to but these letters disappeared but martha never goes back to their bedroom and stays in a small part -- private room and would tell stories to
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her grandson. george and martha met in goes back to a mansion one of the four mansions. and miso colonial governor but shortly thereafter there is a letter written from george to a robert kerrey requesting inning keyed to ring. he moved with lightning speed. martha was a big catch that would put george on the social, financial and political stage and gave him the connections he would need and would learn from sally to be the georgia of history. she lost her husband into you children died in infancy, she manages the massive plantation and raising children by herself. here is the tall heroics
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strapping strong young man. it was a perfect marriage and i suppose had he not stopped although i believe he was one of the greatest americans ever to live he would not be georgia dollhouse with that i will take your questions. [applause] >> speenine. >> historians read the letters do george and martha calling the tomcat hamilton from abraham lincoln and his love life but today we don't write letters we have
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twitter less than 140 characters. we text somebody and you do not even use follows. the concern is in the future we're liable to lose the new ones the great source is if it was senate wives then you go to the white house will you tell your friends what was served at dinner what michele obama war? what was a senator really like what obamacare said to you and how the spoon managed to fall into your jacket? today we pick up the cell
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phone and we have lost that were weak text that we do not describe the ambience or the music field to say cool or jerk and will bayous vowels. 200 years ago we would composed several lengthy letters that provided a context. we know what the weather was on certain days of george's life because he took notes of the of whether. we know how many heads of cattle he slaughtered because he wrote it down. the internet provides a great way for us to do research about traveling around the world. it provides a way to connect people but also with new technology we could lose a lot. historians will have a rough time. but today we are extra cognizant of the impact of the damning letter. they were historic for some
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extent. later in life toward washington tried to collect and edit his earlier letters he was up for speller. he tried to collect letters to rewrite them to look better. jefferson would right within i to history and put himself in a favorable light before history so it would think he was on the right side of history. it is tough to do. with a just blowing smoke? just like you say you look really good. you don't tell them they looked horrible and 30 years older. congratulations on the new job. tonight think it will be a great struggle.
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>> congratulations on the book. it is wonderful. like sitting in my room to hear you speak. >> is the first of the parts or a series can you tell about plans for the second book? >> this covers presidential affairs, mr. says, let -- love lives through 1900 talk about scandal and politics you have to go to multiple editions and multiple volumes. it is a quick 500 pages but there was so much there the book would have been this big. it is also about love lives
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and a true love and how that inspired others. the next couple years i will do another edition starting with teddy roosevelt and go forward harding and will send. [laughter] bright eisenhower in franklin roosevelt the worst dog in history john kennedy followed closely with lyndon johnson. this may have to be stretched out three or four. [laughter] perhaps a series will send my kid to college. >> doing your research had discovered similar stories about the private lives of the justices of the supreme court? are they above reproach? >> what you find is throughout history the drama
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, the plot, the actors change. presidents were struggling with issues of privacy. john quincy adams' wife the only one to be born abroad was a very private woman and they fought to a lot. she blamed her husband for problems with the children one of the kids may have committed suicide and she blamed him. supreme court justice wrestled with great decisions. joy do what is right or popular? sometimes they did or not. plessey verses ferguson also like citizens united. members of congress, conflicts of
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interest. lobbyist. the new spielberg movie link and it is spot on accurate shows lincoln bribing an unsavory members of congress to get votes but he was willing to twist arms and do business to get the 13th amendment passed. who would not stoop to end the horrible abomination? you find the same drama, stories, struggles, a first family's had to raise children. is difficult to raise kids kids, hold the job, and be merry, balance your life, imagine doing it in the white house. that is difficult today but even early families
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struggling as well. >> did george and martha have children on their own? >> no. martha had four kids with her first husband. she was a teenager when she married him he was 20 years her senior. after a few years his father or martha's husband and two kids are dead and now running today a fortune 500 firm. but the two children that survived, one daughter suffered with epilepsy. at age 17 she falls over at the dinner table and dies of an epileptic see sure.
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marcel was never the same after that. then they have one son and never does well but georgia drops the sun and here he leads the revolution but martha lost four out of five kids so will not let him go into war just like mrs. lincoln will not the proper. -- robert but then with yorktown he can be an aid to help with correspondence he contracts camp fever and dies and leaves behind four young children martha and george adopt the youngest to. >> one comment. is interesting comment in "the new york times" about mitterand and the mistress
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and the mistress daughter is a writer and at his funeral they were next to each other and was interesting comment how the french treat these relationships. >> early in the book i say is this unique to america that the public is fascinated? there are reasons to be angry with bill clinton and not be angry over monaco lewinsky but fantastic things are happening because the president received consensual favors a news flash. read the book. in france the joke was they would not be elected leader who did not have multiple mistress's.
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[laughter] americans have more of a prudent view than those around the world but i offer some comparison it happens all over the world but in the united states we're more infatuated with the royal fa with?ight not to be reality tv? i don't know. france has had a number of leaders with multiple mistresses who have shown up at state events and funerals. >> have you noticed any relation with performance in the bedroom? >> that is kind of cute.
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have never been asked that before. i was not in the bedroom. i did try to read the letters but i would say, i am not condoning this. it is an advocacy or how to but insight into the character. but i suspect everyone in this room or who reads the book would rather have eisenhower with a mistress they and running world war ii than the in competent general loyal to his wife prepare betty would take fdr over millard b. fillmore. folks would suggest bill clinton's record is superior to jimmy carter and i would
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take georgia on the battlefield writing letters to sally fairfax. but we have seen great leaders may be some have not measured up with morality but other hand we have seen great leaders. when president i am certain there was no affairs is harry truman. there is a great line where he goes to europe like so many prominent leaders that aids basically say what do like? redhead? bonds? he says son, i am married to the woman i ever kissed. i will run you out of my army. don't you dare.
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so nobody around him ever did. there were good loving marriages. he exchanged some letters in the book but one example from exchanging these letters truman pours his heart out. you are more beautiful today than when we met to invent remember the little girl in church. he walks into the living room and she is sitting there with the box of love letters then throws them into the fireplace. he said think of history and she said i am. [laughter] >> in the movie lincoln was
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mary todd lincoln portrayed correctly? i think yes. flirtatious, loved politics politics, a witty, a controversial but also chronically depressed depressed, timing and stand loses almost all male relatives during though war. she lost her mother and the north does not trust her and the south does not trust her. she loses three at a four sons and her husband is killed next to her. she was high maintenance the movie depicted that that they had a strange marriage like they had been married and it could not live with each other or without each other. they were political
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confidante he called her mother sometimes molly but she would offer it advice but then she would embarrass him in public. i and robert watson in the book is "affairs of state" thank you for your attention at. [applause]
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