tv Book TV After Words CSPAN April 14, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
central bank, japanese and successors. let's talk about the three men on the cover of the book. first, ben bernanke. what are people know about ben bernanke? >> guest: it's an interesting story. in some ways is an accidental fed chairman. here he is one of the most consequential central banks in history and no doubt one of the most important leaders and he will get more historical treatments. you and i both wrote a first draft of that. but in many ways is surprising what led him to the chairmanship. he entered government for the first time in 2002, thinking the short-term pain. he got a call to become a federal reserve governor, one of seven after 9/11 the spirit of
patriotism that have been passed over to become the provost of princeton and he said yes and came for a short tour in washington. he was a real leader in the federal reserve. president bush appointed and to his white house chief of commerce to a nice 11 level of coincidence here, when it came time to replace alan greenspan, george w. bush was not at his strongest point. the iraq war was a mess. his popularity was low. so bernanke was a safe choice. if it wasn't for those things combining its possible and likely someone else would've been chairman of this happening. >> host: he ironically are fortunate as a scholar of the great depression, which seemed like an irrelevant to the scholarship, but turned out to come in handy.
>> guest: he was appointed the bush or those in the white house blamed this decision. bernanke scholarship and experience with crises but the great depression, none of that came up at all, which is a coincidence. >> host: how do you think you change over the five or six years? he's quiet, cerebral. he seems to derive little joy if any from the showmanship of washington, whether it's flashy parties, the idea of calling and schmoozing with politicians. none of that appeal to him one day. he's been a force job, but it must rather be at washington national games by himself or with his wife at a georgetown dinner party with politicians. >> host: you describe how public speaking with his strong
suit and he did something about that. >> guest: you still here aquiver as always when he's nervous. he worked at the speaking coach to present a more forceful demeanor in congressional hearing, but when a smart savvy, early on he seemed to not understand the cynicism with which a senator or congressman would yell at him in a congressional hearing and he was same confused. i thought hey have a good conversation with him. it's a routine criticism of washington. he's become a much more savvy person about that. >> host: what grade do you think you would give him? >> guest: he gets a name. there's plenty of mistakes we can point to and made a ben bernanke of the u.s. federal reserve. the layman ratherspare as
exhibit i and all the bad things just not something to be proud of. there's a number of times and they move slowly to understand by monetary policy was not having the effect they hoped. again and again, what chairman bert mackie showed was the willingness to look at the world, understand what is it working and why and he is everything in his power as a persuader, economist at tinker to try and get the u.s. economy to a better place. >> host: western to jean-claude touché. how is he different from bernanke? >> guest: he is a different animal. he's a frenchman born in 1942. he's a lifelong public servant. he went to the french school for bureaucrats, worked in the french treasury come immediately to the french central bank and was a real up and comer and
1870s and 80s before becoming a central banker where he helped manage this transition to the euro. this has been about creating in spain a united europe has its own currency. that's his life project. he is in many ways the veteran crises later. he was called the paris club, working outside of latin america and other emerging markets in the late 80s early 90s. it's in his bones. he's a negotiator, an arm twister can get a deal done when it needs to be done. ben bernanke are ervin king is a
skillful maneuvering operator. >> host: bernanke cut interest rates aggressively at the beginning about transit dollars of bonds. the european central bank has been less aggressive. t. think that's a different view? >> guest: does much deeper. part of his framework under which it is created has been around since 1998. the theory is european countries don't have a strong tradition of stable money. countries like france and italy and spain and germany, which has very much a tradition is the 20th of stable money and mobilization. there is a desire to bring the german central bank so a lot of
the ways it is that is a single mandate to maintain under 2%. >> host: the fed has to worry about unemployment and inflation. >> guest: they also aim. even though there's people of all nationalities work in iraq, it's the german approach we need to focus on, stable crises. everything else will take care of itself. >> host: is kind of desire he raised industries? >> guest: in the summer of 2008, right before the entire world collapsed and again in the spring and summer 2011, which is just as we entered the european crisis company or did fall into
recession and making to the braves. >> host: what grade do you think of your? >> guest: he was unable to do some of his successor has been able to do. i'll bring him down to the sea because on the one hand he was able to corral some things uncomfortable for that organization. in may 2010, wanted to bond markets to relieve the pressure on portugal, ireland to prate areas, to steer away from the abyss. it succeeded to a degree, but the problem it was haphazard and not part of an overarching plan and was not able to corral european leaders to take their
steps said there was a simultaneous unity arising along with monetary support. >> host: and italian central banker, how do you think he's handled things differently? >> guest: it's been a diplomatic patch. and really a year or year and half in office he started november 2011. what he's been able to do is deal with the crisis he inherited 2011 and cut interest rates to do with the recession and reduce the downturn in europe and started it backstab to the long-term financing operation is at the first and will do is flood money to the banking system to keep this crisis from spreading from country to country.
as things got rough in summer 20 toffees that forget these kind of half-baked half measures to inject money into the bond markets. were going to do whatever it takes. we will do whatever it takes to ensure fiscal backstab to keep europe from collapsing. he then managed to make that happen. he's played his cards at the future for europe is being written or we don't know how you're polak, but it's in much better shape. >> guest: he somewheres doleful politician. what he has in common is a willingness to look at the world as it is, look at the economics and train pushes committee, pushes organization incurs the needs to be done and not be
restrained by a sense of morality and what ought to be done for constraints driven by the tradition of that organization. husk of marvin king is a smaller economy, but one with a lot of prominence and a lot of history, largely invented by the british. how do you think he handled the crisis? >> guest: as you say it's the smallest economy of the three. it has an outside importance because of london, but he has i am totally wonderful person to talk to you. he is a charmer. he throws nice dinners at his club, injurious for its been socializing with intellectuals and artists. he manages to clash with almost everyone he seems to deal with,
whether the bank of england for british politics. he's very self-confident. he thinks he's right. it takes a great deal to persuade him he's wrong. his view of how the world should work as theoretical as the model of how you have to make decisions. here's two reasons i don't and history will his tenure terribly well. he very much is part of a shift away from the business of financial stability before the crisis. there's a time and they became insides and essentially bank regulation have been shunted off to the fsa. the bank of england by people who have worked inside during this time it is a great way to go to bank regulation and supervision. but it turns out all those
things about how is working or not working with import. that's one reason his track record is not agree. the other is he very much as an advocate of taking a turn for fiscal austerity and 2010. his time politicians raise that come against the borders of what's influencing policy to match saving it to cut our deficit right now. if we don't, that things could have been. we've been seeing for years of stagnant growth in britain and the fiscal austerity as part of the reason. >> host: his great? just got a c. people feel better about for nokia i though he's unpopular in many corners of the united states because u.s. economy has done okay. were not in recession any
longer. the british economy is in the tank. how much do you think these guys get more blame or credit than they deserve? >> guest: is important to remember a central banker tools and limited. so writers like a, it is important what they do and they do shoot the chorus of the world. that's sad at the end of the day they have finite powers they can use. they say we can put more money into the economy on ice. it's a lot are complicated not. they can try to influence things in other ways, but to think everything that's gone wrong is there followed a strong. alan greenspan got too much credit for the great moderation,
the strong growth we had in the 2000. it is easy to blame the federal reserve before the crisis for what we see now is overstating things as well. >> guest: both of us have read and it noshed ahmadinejad book where he know how the story ended. it ended miserably. when you look at the interaction between bernanke, mervyn king and jean-claude touché, how is it different than the 20th? >> guest: that's the overarching story and trying to tell. very 70, eight years ago, they were divided by a lot of things. nationalistic ms. stress. they were divided by not having a common understanding of how the economy works.
they were defined by a devotion that lasted longer than trying to keep was started as a decline in the united states and different european banks in 1930. that turned into the great depression that lead to double-digit unemployment and world war ii. does the time a moscow court nation in common result devastating results. that experienced the opposite this time around. these are guys who have a mutual respect for each other. to meet six times a year in, switzerland. a cylindrical building and it's almost a respite here to talk about big economic ideas and
they come in and talk about but they are seen and trained to be an understand how the world is evolving. in the evenings they have a very nice dinner on the top floor overlooking switzerland and germany and france. excellent wine cellar. they drink red wine, eat good food. things do not leak out at that dinner despite what the publications are trying to learn. there's a sense of common purpose that they are in this together. what you and i both know it at first on large-scale and fall of two guys and a. european banks have lots of obligations and dollars, but the european central bank kanka $10.
so this is a big problem and could have caused the world financial system to come unglued. the federal reserve said let's do this. huckabee dollars. you give me a rose that you can win those dollars to your banks in europe on your own terms. but i had to 90 days, we swap back and no harm, no foul. there's an interest rate. so it is the way the federal reserve became under a blast result. not just the ecb. the swiss national bank -- that's partly a reflection of the service they shared. >> host: is not only that way. when the fed was lending money to the discount window in the
thing that evolved into this facility turns out we now know european banks requiring direct from the factory u.s. offices. it strikes me as exactly the opposite when each of them is falling apart and this time they're pulling together. >> host: i'll be honest i did not fully understand at the time. i kind of got my head around this in december 2007, which seemed like an eternity ago. we now know because this information has come out through foia requests in lawsuits and the dodd-frank said overwhelmingly that money ended up being hundreds and hundreds of billion dollars by two european banks, not to bank cds. this would have been politically explosive. it's very much the case the federal reserve was bailing out the banks through the crisis.
>> host: you cover a lot of history. he got back to the 16th century. how unusual is the past five years? just got this unusual, but in most of the things that happened, you can see some echo of the past. there's no exact parallel, but the federal reserve and most of the central banks have been dealing with what you do when you have weak economic growth, the chief cut interest rates to zero? >> guest: that's not a new question. the bank of japan to steal in the 15 years ago. ben bernanke was opining on what they had to do. lessons of the past in the not-too-distant past could have bearing. it has its origins were the most
famous early example was 1866. the bank in that failed at lehman brothers. walter thatcher was a great editor who wrote about this. the bank of england might freely at a penalty rate. these are all close is a piece. the central bankers are steep and history. bernanke made a career of it. as he did not have a great awareness of the history of the registry policies, the great depression what happens. >> host: is interesting to see her interest rate from us five years and you have this great quote in the book where he asked, does the normal economic laws work at zero orzo like
physics when you get to zero gravity or zero degrees kelvin that the world text differently? what you think about that? >> guest: at increasingly points to alan blinder having on a point, which is the fed got to see her interest rates in december 2008. they've been trying all kinds of things to stimulate growth. qe2 panicky retreat, they've done all kinds of creative things. they are all experimenting and nothing seems to click. there's something about once you get into the old term, but you're pushing against a strain, trying to push money into the economy and the economy hasn't taken the money is the challenge under the western central banks are doing right now. >> host: i think i miss that
ben bernanke did a good job of steering us away from the abyss of depression in the 2008, 2009. lately i have less enthusiasm for buying these bombs and more talk, more e-mails about the risks. is this going to create inflation? aren't they making it easy to run deficits? is this the same mistake as before? are they running roast? >> guest: they're definitely running rest. when they first started doing quantitative easy, using it to buy bonds and pumping money into the economy. they've been doing it to finish it does make him a starter 2009. could this lead to inflation?
absolutely? asset bubbles in a river that endanger financial stability down the road? that's why we the committee that meets eight times a year to assess the costs and benefits of policies. unpersuaded right now does not materializing. they need to be vigilant, but i understand it's difficult for sailors trying to rely and getting 0% on their bank accounts, but if that's what it takes to get the economy going, inflation has stayed quite contained. for nokia or his successor, whether he retires or steps down 10 months from now will be job number one. >> host: do you think in general the european economy in
ours rely too much on the central bank said not enough another weapon to economic policy? >> guest: absolutely. i'm the last two years has been amazing to which the central bank said that the only game in town to whitehill scum of the world economy. they've been doing different forms of e-zine. did not find doing that. they would love to see a world in which fiscal authorities company to the economy that can be the ones to apply the brakes if we get into a dangerous situation. central bankers don't want about irk because there is want to do a lot of stuff. they tend to be sober crushes people. the fact is they've been the ones with the authority, the power to get something done with the rest of the government are
running a committee of 19 or 21 people. rock kind of serious economists tried to make the best decisions. >> host: you talk in the book about japan japan has changed quite a bit. they don't figure much during the crisis, but there's been a change, a pretty sharp change in policy. >> guest: the quick history as the bubble popped in the night to 90s that had low-level deflation ever since then. it's basically been a gloomy story for the last 15, 20 years. it's interesting. seems like the new japanese government is trying to test theories the other banks in the west have been dabbling in as well. kenny central banks say were
determined to create inflation and reverses the matter what it takes. printing money, buying thomson assets and the government authorities spending money and will do that until we get to a normal level of economic growth. they are running some risks. thermoset 200% debt to gdp. worry about 90 or 100. could this lead to some explosion of inflation? is that the risk. they hope this will get their economy on track. postscript the newscentral bank, correct a is been very bernanke s. >> guest: it's a bold approach, a bold gambit. one of the arguments to defend measures so far as you don't want to become japan.
if you allow this to set and you can admit been a vicious spiral. it's better to be aggressive on the front and then stop that from happening than waiting until the point japan is in now. >> host: one day -- when they are the other economy sister exchange rates. via thanks to the way science talk about a currency were. how does the currency plan to all of these politics? >> guest: the way most of the modern banks think about it as currencies are important, but one of many channels through which policies affect the domestic economy. if we were sitting around the fad of the bank of england, if you can interest rates or tumor quantitative easing, one of the many channels is how that will
affect the dollar or the tom and how much the reduction is going to affect exploits in the price of imports. that can help create jobs. everything you import, whether it's oil, petroleum products contributes towards inflation. there's many ways and the currency is only one of them. it's also interest rates and mortgage rates and stock market and other assets. it affects expectations of future inflation. to reduce monetary policy to currency policy is that a mistake and think ben bernanke strain to depreciate the dollar as its primary goal is just not -- >> host: they put in a guy who's going to pump up the money to buy in japan and the yen
falls. >> guest: i would argue dishonestly trying to get their inflation through normal range, it's easier to justify. so that everybody remembers is the policy of the 1930s were currency depreciation for match with trade restrictions and train to say very going to make exports competitive, we will prevent you from bringing goods in. if that were to materialize, that would be more dangerous. >> host: what if other central banks banks in the world print money, push interest rates down, nobody wants to put their money in the government banker bonds. the fireman prices have gone up. who knows whatever bizarre securities are being bid up.
do you think there's any risk bearing on it eventually but intentionally creating the next bubble? >> guest: absolutely. i'm more sympathetic and the number of people who generally advocate using that the interest rate policies before the crisis played a role in crete in the world. even going back further to the 1990s in the late 1998, it's not just 2003, 2004, 2005. at the longer arcos pumping money and whenever there's the slightest hint of something wrong contributed to a sense of complacency that let us in this crisis. i'm pretty receptive and sympathetic. we heard an interesting
articulation that governor jerry stein is a really thoughtful examination of how, for example for junk bonds that policies may be propping up prices that could lead to dangerous bubbles. that said, the counter argument would be, so what do you do? should the fed raised interest rates with the economist because it is to worry about if bond prices are too high? it's a tough set of issues. pacific bell occupied the years ahead. >> host: they are largely independent of politicians. they don't have a lot of actual control over them. you can't vote them out of office. one of them has been impeached, although i don't know if that's the case. it seems horribly anti-democratic and they
sometimes hurt their legitimacy. in europe, the only thing it seems to function as the pcb. they seem to be the only gripes in the room. there seems to be a lot of suspicion by the public in part because they're not elected. is it a good idea to have an independent? is there anything they can do to be more accountable? it is fundamentally anti-democratic. tesco absolutely. it's troubling. if are going trust people with their ability to guide our economy, to deploy trillions and trillions of dollars. that doesn't work so well with central banks. the authority of political
authorities directly in a day to day sort of way to do that in the long run. the bernanke from the right and conservatives so contemplation over the longer arc of history, most of the criticism has been they have money to say they should cut interest rates and allow more inflation. i think we'll get back to that one day again. it's against democratic principle, but it seems to be the best option. a decent nickel librium now that they elect presidents and prime ministers to select the central bank chairman's. that person has a fixed term. they aren't answerable and a day-to-day way to this
authorities, but their mission, their charges political authority. the federal reserve has a dual mandate signed by the president 30 years ago had the federal reserve maintains the maximum employment. ecb has since charged that a european authorities. the bank of england has a three minute from bank of england. there is a charge they are to fulfill and being answerable day today heists write a letter, explaining when they missed a 2% inflation target they charged them with, explaining why they missed it and while it do better next time. ben bernanke twice nearby statue goes before capitol hill asking questions and how are you doing and why aren't you doing this picture supposed to?
there's more accountability now and then 3040 years ago. is struggling, but i'm not sure there's better options. >> host: talk about how you get reporting? today want to ask you are they trying to hide behind the curtains? >> guest: they are secretive group as a whole. don't notice there's relatively few on the record, direct quotations are attributions. those who do talk in interviews the people who lead me to use information, i could not identify what organization they work for. they are more transparent in decades past and it's very much not a situation where they're comfortable in the spotlight and
explaining what they do. we would be in a better world if all of the central bankers would retain the desk as things on the record and explain what happened with names attached. a tragedy the best i can to piece together the story and central bankers themselves, whether it's finding ministries, political authorities to triangulate them piece together how were made and how they progressed. >> host: is there a difference between how willing they are up be? >> guest: there and a bunch of different countries. you can understand this. the greeks have a different view of the world, whether their central bankers are financed ministers. but now, it's hard to generalize
, especially while being protective of my sources and not the train who talked to me and who didn't. but it's a challenging world to cover when you're trying to piece things together that are secretive. so let's look at the central banks, japanese, british, european and u.s. what are the biggest decisions to make over the next year or two. >> guest: and a narrow sense they buy $85 billion. eventually they will stop those purchases. after that the raise interest rates. the question seems to be the timing of that and how much do you read that financial imbalance asset bubbles? should they wait until unemployment is down to 7.5%?
today wait until that day comes to tighten monetary policy? or do they want to move preemptively to stop the bubbles in the financial wrote? that would be one of the big debates. right now the tireless tourney. you can at some point backup in raise interest rates. >> host: mark kearney from canada, was his biggest? >> guest: so marvin king's term as chairman dirty. mark kearney takes over july 1 and comes in with big expectations. he's a real star in the world central banking who understands financial policies and economics. the big challenge is the question for the british and has
the fundamental structure approach they been taking, is that correct? the bank of england is a creature of mervyn king. during that time, a lot of how they operate, their entire framework has been an intellectual imprint of this one man. how much they wish to change that? is a 2% inflation target dimension or should they have flexibility to step forward next week haitians that growth will be stronger in the future. this'll be an interesting set of challenges from our kearney who is a smart guy. how does he remake the bank of england? >> guest: is extraordinary to prepare for nurturing your bank.
>> guest: as a surprise and it happened, but reflective of how hard a job it is to fill. >> host: his wife is british, so maybe that helps. in europe you have her druggie trying to hold the euro together. what do you think is big news will have to be? >> guest: the ratings revolved with the banking crisis in the very recent past makes a little more nervous about how they wish to what degree they've built around the yours on and their sense of determination and holding it together. is that while secure enough to stand up to whatever panics are crazies come around.
whether it's governments we have horrible, horrible situations. 25%, 30% unemployment increase in spain. is there the political will to remain in the euro? job isn't over. >> guest: is a big challenge. he's promised to buy a lot of bonds. countries like spain and italy and it's gotten away with making a promise in july. at some point, he may be tested. remember that promise it made? are going to submit this condition for now i need the money. the other as you know is the central bank in europe is taking over regulation.
>> guest: that's one of the realities of how to come out of the crisis. not just the ecb, but all the banks. their job is simultaneously to get it right in terms of how much interest rate should be. it is to oversee the banking system narrowly, but also broadly to steer the entire global financial system towards a more sustainable durable model of how things were to create the crisis over and over. >> host: we talked about the bank of japan little bit. we have to see whether the new governor can pull this off. >> guest: again, 02 negative 1% for the better part of 20, 25 years. that's nearly seeking to reverse and that is deep-seated and the
safety of the japanese people. there's a declining working age population. there's been an interesting debate the last couple of years. can i central bank always create inflation? one argument is of course. if i can print dollars by definition hike another helicopter drop money and prices are below where they would be inflation. the counter argument is the central banks can't do that. they can't just throw money out the window. to eliminate them what they can buy. they have to buy financial assets. it might not push money into the economy and create inflation. this is a test of the argument. >> host: these different
situations before the censure beings, but the one thing in common is trying to do something to look at political system to do some thing different. in europe to get their act together and in japan involves changes to fiscal policy in the air of coors i'm not about congress' near-term deficit reduction later. it would be interesting to see if carney is supportive of fiscal austerity. having learnt anything about the ability of central banks to make politicians do things? >> guest: where there is a direct channel to have a lot of power. in europe, august of 2011 spain and italy were under pressure.
we're going to reopen our purchase program but here's a letter six explaining exactly what you do. it was clear it was a quid pro quo. if you raise your taxes they say and change these regulations and fix your economy and the space, will keep the pressure off by buying bonds in the markets. if you backslide, we'll see. the spanish did what they were told in the ecb remains supportive. the italian ketchup in it backtracking cannot do that and suddenly there yields this page in bonds for telephone markets. that's a very direct case for central bankers who are to teaming to democratically elect did what you need to do.
cannot that's a good model we should wish for. i don't think we want ben bernanke to do this that and the other tape or punish you by selling a bonds. but it's what can happen. >> host: we talked about the transition in japan and the u.k. europe demand for the crisis are replaced. it's a question about ben bernanke at the end of january january 2014 will want or will be reappointed for another term. what is your betting on that? >> guest: i think it's quite unlikely. his friends say he's more now. i think he is ready to write a book of his own. if you hook it a bigger advance. >> host: i think you're right. >> guest: he's ready to step down. the president thinks him to
stay. >> host: did he think would be on the short list of successors? >> guest: the names that have to be considered front-runners, the vice chairman of the fed, and a fed governor. barack obama appointed once to the vice chairmanship. she clearly is a favorite you have to take seriously. larry summers is a farmer treasury secretary, accomplished economist so confirmation might be a little trickier. you wonder if this hardcharging style he has, how well it would work. roger ferguson under alan greenspan had ties to the financial world, that is a very credible possible candidate. people mention tim geithner.
he sat on the record he doesn't want the job. he's had an intense several years and is ready to make money. he could never say never, but i'm skeptical it will be geithner. the more dark forces that sauropods at the end job. >> host: to think policy will change or not? >> guest: not immediately. one thing is we'll focus on the chairman and clearly the first among equals in the room. but it is a committee that makes these decisions. and i'm not going to turn on a dime. what they have created in the last several months as a framework for their policies.
they say will keep in place until unemployment had 7.5% inflation is about 2.5%. that is their policy. we'll keep buying them until the labor market is improving. for a new chairman to come in and 2014 and reverse that, he or she will have a lot of persuading to do. first of all, not sure any of the candidates obama is likely to appoint you want to reverse it. even if the new chairman dave, they would have a lot to do internally to get the committee to do place. >> host: do you think central banks have been changed forever? >> guest: there's no way around it. there's no going back, no reversing. 2007 feels like an eternity ago. they could never again say the ecb will not buy government
the conservative political action conference in washington d.c. tell us about lincoln's first tenure as a politician from illinois. >> so much has been written about presiding over the civil war, but this is the missing piece. this is his only experience. his one term as a member of congress. many big issues going on. the country is doing with the mexican-american war, confronting slavery and all this land. is it greek, slave, both? as a formative experience for he comes out as a single issue politician concerning slavery. >> host: how well this link? >> guest: he was totally unknown. he could have been anonymous. one of many new faces join the congress. >> host: used in the whig
correct? >> guest: that's correct. >> host: talk about his legislative initiatives. >> guest: because we initiate the game he had issues. he worked on trying to build infrastructure in america. roads, bridges, canals. he was a member who worked hard to expand mail delivery. he ended up helping pass an initiative is a member of congress. someone who worked hard, also played a role on national issues a month of her supporters zack retailer for president. he and alexander stephens who later became vice president of the confederacy. >> host: was like in safari and national politics? guest was heavily democratic
state. if you're ambitious company were going to be governor are elected senator. this one's faith is your only hope. so he loses, is able to come back four years later gets all this incredible ex areas. the first and only president lincoln gets to watch before he becomes president himself. >> host: what was the political landscape lake? >> guest: no one would ever believe this, but is intensely paralyzed. the big issues dividing people. people legitimately wonder whether their cover was up to the task. it is very much like his environment. in fact, lincoln was a member of the first congress that had a vote on whether to shut down the government. the slavery issue of it getting tied into it and voted to shut
down rather than expand slavery. >> host: was a considered successful? >> guest: i think he was summoned to pay close attention to the concerns of constituents in illinois and played a major hand in national issues in 1848 or his work on postal initiative. abraham lincoln was good congress. >> host: was the goddess of his aspirations during the time? >> guest: now. they thought he was a smart guy, hysterical calmness skills very much on display as a member of congress. you have almost every member of congress who looks in the mirror and sees a future president. the first chapter of my book is called the most ambitious man in the world because that is how voll partners describe him. as for colleagues, i don't know
>> and now, stephanie mccurry sat down to discuss her book, "confederate reckoning" which looks at the south of the civil war and the affluent southern women of faith out of the worst outcome. it is a little under a half-hour. >> host: "confederate reckoning: power and politics in the civil war south" is the name of the book. the author is history professor,
stephanie mccurry at the university of pennsylvania. first of all, professor mccurry, what is this painting on the front of your book? >> guest: this is a civil war painting of a battleship going down, confederate flag going down in flames. it's not a military history, but it toasty with the books about. >> host: professor mccurry costar by the democrats except without. >> guest: that's a crucial question because they went to war, try to make this new nation. they started with roughly 10 million people compared to the 22, said i was already a tough road. the military fact that his inasmuch pay attention to associate his 4 million of the 10 million were black and enslaved. when it came time to mobilize workon monday denied access to to 10 million people. they had access to the white
population of 6 million, many of whom were underage. the demographics are attached to start with. >> host: how many white males at that point? obviously that was the base. >> guest: i tried to figure out how many member voting age. the link was tight in the 19th century and i figure there's about 1.5 voting age nine. military starts out smaller than that. at the end of the word is 15 to 55. >> host: what advantage going into the civil war, besides cotton, we've heard about that for years as one of the advantages. what were the advantages for the south? ..