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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 5, 2013 9:00am-10:01am EDT

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situation today for a super comes along. we can pick up karl rove or george soros, whichever side of the aisle you want to skewer. the average member in order to counter that these $3 million, which is $10,000 a day. they take their staffer, go across the street of federal time and get on telephone to the dccc or the under cc and they do that. that doesn't mean we've got that members. i promise you many members of congress would like this to change, too. many members do not find it delightful to raise this money. ..
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intervention and the public needed intervention. beautiful place can make it even better. so i address a lot of issues in the book and i hope it's not just look that at one issue or attacking one person. i'm not a better person. i spend time with my granddaughter. i get to go to india, as i told you. i get to do radio. a lot of great people like tom harkin and people to the right or left or the middle they get their voice out there and they tell people a story of what's going on in their government. the journalistic side of this is critical. so i'm happy.
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i'm not a person that is unhappy and angry and i want to give everybody. but there's some things i have to tell. i couldn't leave it out. it's going to cost some hurt i understand it. as my grandmother always said, this too shall pass. she just didn't come it would take this damn long. i want to thank everyone for coming. [applause] >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events. defense. every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules out of website and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> from politics and prose in washington, d.c., marie arana is next on booktv. the former editor of chief of the "washington post" book world recalls the life of simon
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bolivar, the venezuelan general dubbed the george washington of south america, liberated six countries in south america from spanish rule. this is a little under one hour. >> so many friends in the audience. i'm just going to pretend that i am sitting by my fireplace at home with john, and talking a little bit about this book. it's such a pleasure to work on, and people find that hard to believe because it's not an easy thing, writing a biography of a very famous leader, on which everybody has an opinion, on whom so much has been written already. it is true that there are 3683 books in the library of congress on simon bolivar. i would say 90% of those are in spanish, so i am lucky there.
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but this is an extraordinary life and a life that was lived in the largest sense, i mean, the campus is huge, stretches through most of south america. -- canvas is huge. a life lived a large as well. simon bolivar was very dramatic and commanding personality. he was called iron by a soldier because he wrote 75,000 miles to liberate the six countries who liberated. really an extraordinary physical trait if nothing else. but he also was a man of the enlightenment, someone who had been inspired, at the youngest age by reading voltaire and montesquieu and john locke, and
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came out of that experience actually probably at about 20, 21 with a very passionate sense of his country, the colonial yoke that it suffered from at least he felt it suffered. and he was all for liberty and freedom, greatly admired in the united states, greatly admired in many respects. napoleon, although there were aspects of his, of the empire, the napoleonic empire that he did not admire. but this was a man also of flesh and blood. he was a great womanizer. he had 35 mistresses, 37 i guess it was, 37 mistresses that we can count. after his wife who was greatly beloved to him died, he was 19
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when she died and he went on to pledge that he would never marry again, but that doesn't mean he wasn't going to have a good time, and he did. he was a great dancer, love the music. it is said that he did his best thinking really on the dance floor. whereas others needed to be away from the hubbub of life in order to get things thought through, he felt that a ballroom with lots of pretty women and lots of polkas and dancing was just the perfect place to think through the things he encountered. and he would go back in the middle of a dance all sort of happy and elated and sweating in the middle of it, go back to a tobacco addict date three letters at a time to three
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different secretaries, and then go back to the ballroom again and think some more on his feet, literally. i am often asked why did you choose to write about simon bolivar, and i to say that in my whole career as a writer, i've had a long career as an editor for a long time, but as a writer my whole career i would say is being to try to explain latin america, and latin americans, to north americans and english speakers. it's not an easy task because there are great, great differences and great divides of personalities, parts between north americans and south americans. every single book that i have written has been another brick, i always say, in the edifice of trying to explain who we are and
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how different we may think from north americans. of course, you may say as a bicultural person, i see many i know out there who are bicultural, you know you're thinking with two heads and dealing with too hard when you're living between two cultures. and wanted to get a sense of that other site, the latin american side which is so different. and its history is a different, the north american english readers. and brad is right, that i had always been captivated of the trial. i was not a very well behaved child, and i was very often dragged by my collar to fit in my grandparents living room, which was dark and airless, and sort of filled with frightening busts and porcelains and things like that, and old musky work.
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i was forced to sit there to contemplate my badness, and it was, i remember it on being on a hard stool although my godmother who is now 83, bless her heart, told me it was hardly a hard stool. it was a big, soft, fleshy cushioned chair. i'm not sure about memories there, but it felt like a hard chair. and i was made to look at the portraits that surrounded me. one portrait to my right was -- sorry, the portrait to my left was -- my great-great-grandfather and he thought in the battle for he was a spanish brigadier general and he was the first spaniard to charge and he was the first spaniard to fall and he was
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killed with a sword to his heart right away at the very beginning of the battle. he was on the left. on the right was a portrait of a very blonde, wistful, beautiful young woman, and she was the daughter, but she had never met him. she was born a few weeks after that sword pierced his heart. and across from me was the rebel general that she eventually married at the age of 16, and the rebel general, he fought, he charged down the hill in that battle, and with bolivar's forces managed to free a roux -- peru, and ended by the way with the peruvian freedom, indeed all
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of spanish rule in latin america. so i always felt, even though i was sitting there, being punished for being bad, you know, rebellion was really great. throw over the older guys, throw over the young. so i was fascinating with bolivar ever since. but bolivar is a really powering figure and wanted to give you a sense of that. by sort of reading some of what i've written about who he is. by the time he, exactly 200 years ago in 1813, by the time he began his admiral campaign, in which he was not known at all, he was beginning to be known in south america, but by the end of it, i the end of 1813, he was known in really
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around the world. in washington john quincy adams and james monroe agonized over whether their fledgling nation founded on discipline of liberty and freedom should support his struggle for independence. in london, veterans of england's war of napoleon, must be irish, signed on to fight for bolivar's cause. initially, the poet lord byron, named his boat after bolivar and deemed -- dreamed of integrating with his daughter. but there would be five more years of bloodshed before fame was struck from latin american -- i'm psycho 14 years because a 14 year war. i'm just reading in the middle of it, the five years. there were 14 years of war and the great bloodshed before spain was thrust from latin american shores. at the end of that savage war, one man would be credited for
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single-handedly conceiving, organizing and leading the liberation of six nations pick a population one and half times that of north america, a landmass the size -- the size of modern europe. the odds against which he thought, a formidable, establish world power, vast areas of untracked wilderness, the splintered loyalties of many races, would've proved a daunting for the ablest of generals with strong armies at his command. but bolivar had never been a soldier. he had no formal military training. yet, with little more than will and a genius for leadership, he freed much of spanish america and laid out his dream for unified continent. despite all this, he was a highly imperfect man. he could be a impulsive, headstrong, filled with contradictions. he spoke eloquently about justice, but he wasn't always able to meet it out in a chaos of revolution.
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his romantic life had a way of spilling into the public realm. he had trouble accepting criticism and had no patience for disagreements. he was singularly incapable of losing a game of cards. it is hardly surprising that, over the years, latin americans have learned to accept human imperfections in their leaders. boulevard opting out. now, as bolivar's fame grew, he was compared to george washington. he was called the george washington of south america and there were good reasons why. both of them came from wealthy and influential families. oath were ardent defenders of freedom. both were heroic in war, but apprehensive about marshaling the peace. and both resisted efforts to make them kings.
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both claim to want to return to private lives, but they were dragged into, to the public sphere of shaping governments. and both were at used, as you all know, of undue ambition. they are, really, the similarities between george washington and simon bolivar and. bolivar's military action lasted twice as long as washington. the territory covered with seven times as large and spend an astonishing geographic diversity, from crocodile infested jungles to the snowcapped ridges of the andes. moreover, unlike washington's were, bolivar's could not have been won without the aid of black and indian troops. his success in rallying all the races to the patriot cause became a turning point in the war for independence. it is fair to say that he thought both a revolution and a civil war.
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but perhaps what really distinguishes both men, both simon bolivar and george washington, can be seen most of all in their written work. washington words were measured, august, dignified, the product of a cautious and deliberate mind. bolivar's speeches and correspondence, on the other hand, remind me much more of thomas jefferson. they were fiery and passionate and elegant, and beautifully wrought. they represent some the greatest writing in latin america. although much was produced in haste, on the battlefields and on the run, the prose is at once lyrical and stately, clever but historically grounded, electric yet deeply wise. it is no exaggeration to say that bolivar's revolution changed the spanish language, for his words marked the dawn of a new literary page.
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the old, dusty castilian at this time, with its ornate flourishes and cumbersome locutions, in his remarkable voice and then became another language entirely. urgent, vibrant, and young. so you see, this was a man who represented for me, if i wanted to build this edifice of explanation of who latin americans are, bolivar was really it because he represented the history that really defined the continent of south america. the revolution that he thought was so different, so, in such contrast to the revolution. he had to employ -- when he started and it was a white man's were essentially because he was a very rich man. he came from probably the
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richest family in venezuela, and one of the richest families in all of latin america, he was a very, very wealthy man. his parents had, his family had been in venezuela for, at that point, 200 years. or more. and they had a committed wealth of cocoa, plantations, compromise. they owned properties in caracas alone. it was a tremendous -- tremendously rich family. and it began as a kind of aristocratic discontent with the colonial power that spanish, the spanish held in south america. and people don't really realize this, but spain was very, very assertive in making sure that its colonies had no contact with
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each other. they were like spokes of the wheel. you could not travel from colony, from one area of latin america to another. you could not do commerce. you were prevented as a colony of spain from doing any many manufacturing at all to you were prevented from owning a mind. you were prevented from any kind of commerce whatsoever. and it was punishable by execution. so you see, the whole business, you can imagine, being together a revolution in a place that is so isolated of its colonial power, ma was a very difficult thing. and this is what bolivar came up against. and it wasn't automatic that
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countries would liberate them even though they wanted to be liberated. it wasn't automatic that the races would all play a part in it. in fact, the races kept shifting. in the beginning, the blacks on him so much of the revolution depended were aligned themselves with the spain because they knew what that meant. they didn't know what the revolution would bring. but feelings that they already knew, the evil that existed in the colonial system, they could deal with that but they didn't know what was coming with these white aristocrats of latin america. and so they were very hesitant. it wasn't until simon bolivar, who had been exiled for the second time, or when it was the second time because the revolution was failing, the
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republic, each republic that was set up, first by -- who himself is a tremendously marvelous romantic story, fell apart. the second republic fell apart, and he found himself, bolivar, in haiti, welcomed by alexander. now, if you know the history of haiti, what has happened in haiti was they had a very bloody revolution in which all the whites were either sent running for killed, slaughtered en masse. and alexander said the bolivar, you will never win this day. you are going to act now for the republic. i will help you. i will give you ships. i will introduce you to all of the english commercial
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establishments and then who can help you. but you must promise me one thing, and that is your next time out, this was already 1815, your next timeout, the moment you hit the shore in venezuela and haiti, you must liberate the slaves, you must in slavery. and bolivar had thought about this for a long time, because, in fact, was probably a greater moral instinct than the american founders, jefferson and washington, he couldn't imagine that there could be, that you could fight for liberty, that you could fight for freedom with slaves. he had already figured that out. he knew that he was going to have to reach out and get the
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indigenous and, at that point, 300 years into the colonial history there was a huge mulatto and mosquito population, along with the blacks and indians, great slave trade from atlantic slave taken a new he was going to have to engage those, many races in order to win the revolution and to really get it going. it wasn't easy, you could imagine. there were lots of suspicions. there were lots of, at the time, every general wanted his own country, really. we are very difficult to fight, but there was a point at which, and it was a very daring point and i'll tell you about it in a minute, at which the whole tide
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of history changed. and that was that he engaged, managed to engage enough of those who lived in caracas and out in the plains, the horsemen, who were able at least to give him the impetus or the courage to think differently about how the revolution could be fought. and yet the very daring thought, this is in the middle of 1819 when already much blood has been spilled, and the revolution grows so bloody that half the population of venezuela had been killed in the process. some towns have been completely wiped off the map.
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he had the thought, well, maybe i will seek to -- by crossing the andes and going to new granada, which is now columbia. it was a ridiculous thought. it was rainy season. they were on the planes, looking at the andes. the planes are parched in the summertime, and absolutely flooded in the rainy season. hole rivers become seize. the plains become lakes, great lakes, and no one would've suspected that anybody would be so foolish as to take an army with cattle and women and the soldiers through this flooded plains, and then over the
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snowcapped mountains of the andes, which everybody knows, you are taking an army over tea et cetera 18,000 feet high. it was a revolutionary thought, to make up on, and nobody would suspect that he would attempted. why would you go to another country when you haven't won liberation for your own? he kept it a secret. soldiers did not know where they're going. they just knew they were waiting for the water, that they were, sometimes having to carry the women on their backs. the cattle were expiring one after the other, and he got to the bottom, sort of the range that divides the venezuelan part from the new granada in part,
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and he finally explained what he wanted to do. the soldiers were for it. he took battalion, several, an army of 2500 people with women, with, some of the officers had their wives, and with cattle and horses and whatnot, and with his printing press because he carried his printing press everywhere he went. he really did feel that words were the greatest weapon. and he pulled it off. he went through the highest point where the spanish had no garrisons, and he went over that and he came down the other side in tatters, you could imagine. there were so many who died, about a third of the british expeditionary force died in the process. all of the cattle work on.
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many of the horses did not make it, but the number of people who came down the other side of the mountain were terrified of spenders and there were enough to actually send -- running. he ran. he put on a hat, he put on a poncho and he left a million pesos on his desk and he ran for cover. they were detonating can you can imagine, detonating all the ammunition so he wouldn't get at it. so bolivar wouldn't get at it. and he rode into the capital all by himself. and there are wonderful descriptions of that ride, which is the way i start the book. it's a marvelous story. i say, it's full of romance. i can talk about his mistress,
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his favorite mistress, about whom much is known but not enough is written. she was a great beauty, fierce, have as we say in spanish -- [speaking spanish] , which is she said whatever she wanted to say. she was very direct. she had opinions. she spoke up, she dress like a man. she was like nothing bolivar's generals have ever seen. some despised her, but she was at three times in his life the person who saved him from assassination. the stores are dramatic. they are absolutely hard to believe that something like this could happen.
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completely cinematic really story of bolivar is sick in the palace, and men while a is called. -- man what is called. everyone around them is sick as well. the most unguarded moment bolivar should experience in his whole career. she says i am too sick and he sends another messenger and says you have to come. i'm feeling terrible, i need your help. and she puts on her galoshes and goes and gets to the palace and he is sitting in a tab trying to cool his favor because he is so ill. and she comes in and she reached to him and eventually he gets up, goes to bed, falls into a great sleep. she does as well.
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and suddenly she awakens with the barking of dogs. and it is a hold organized, 150 people who have converged on the palace to kill bolivar. at this point she is quite famous, quite powerful. some of his generals, and certainly his vice president, very suspicious of this power. and he says, what do we do? and she said, and she doesn't have a pair of boots. the boots have gone out for clean. he has a sword, he has a pistol, and he says, i would just go open the door. and she says someone is banging at the door. and she said no, no, no. get dressed. he gets dressed. she said, put on my galoshes and jump through the window. he puts on his mistress' galoshes, jumps through the window.
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he had just had to a friend a couple days before, that would be a great getaway. as it happens there are no guards outside who is able to jump. manuela saenz goes to the door, swings it open, there she is, the general on the other side, actually several soldiers on the other side, describe her as this beautiful sort of apparition with a sword in her hand, and a hand on the hip and saying, what do you want? and, of course, the story goes on from there. i'll let you read it for yourself. it's quiet, it's quite a musing at every level. so you can see my excitement as someone thinking, how do you explain the latin american personality, the latin american character the north american reader? you explain it by showing how different the conus system was, how much history, and in this
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case the six republics that emerged after the revolution. and you discover by this sort of insane kind of, the palace life that bolivar lives. and how it changed from country to country from venezuela to new granada to ecuador, liberating panama on the way, down to peru which was the hardest of all, the hardest nut to crack. i hope you enjoy reading it. i want to hear your questions, and this, i hope you have many questions for me because this is always for me my favorite part. thank you. [applause] >> yes? >> that was a great, that was a great statement, thank you very much. i came out here to buy the book,
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number one, because i read five or six fabulous reviews of it. i didn't realize you had an in house reviewer, don, over there. he writes, i read him every weekend but this is a per. i can't wait to look at the book. i've also lived half my life in south america. knew a lot about bolivar, including the wonderful stuff in colombia and the battle. we hear a lot, and it takes me, someone who loves this hemisphere, to hear about the late departed, president of -- to badly government and wonderful people in a wonderful country. to what extent, bolivar said a long time in venezuela, to what extent hugo chavez distorting
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history and doing the usual crap that he did for 42 years, or is there a serious historical responsible basis for using bolivar as part of the venezuelan package? >> thank you for that question. it's a very good question. there is very little, i speak about this and the epilogue of the book, there's really very little to compare with hugo chavez and simon bolivar, except for the thing that everybody since bolivar died, and he died absolutely destitute, penniless. he had given up all his riches. and hugo chavez by the way died a very rich man, opposite experiences there. but, but bolivar was -- how -- heat, let me put it in the most concrete ways.
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bolivar knew that he was a liberal. he knew that he was a man of the enlightenment, and he was cast by his enemies as being anti-liberal. it's a mistake. he was not anti-liberal. he was the most liberal enlightenment leader in the western hemisphere. but through the years after he died, and he died completely rejected by his own homeland, and on the way to exile, it didn't take 10, 15 years before he was brought back as a great hero. his greatest general, i should say is closest get a, daniel o'leary, said of him, irish, whom bolivar love, said of him, there's something about bolivar, it's the magic of his prestige.
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well, there were at least two presidents before hugo chavez who did exactly what hugo chavez did, take bolivar's legacy and use it as their own. it's amazing to see, people on the right to use them. people on the left use him. for hugo chavez, who i think bolivar would've been horrified to see how his name had been used, but it's been used many times before. he was, he is constantly being brought up by leaders throughout latin america to argue different points, which is why people are very, very confused about just to bolivar was, and just what he believed in. what hugo chavez and simon
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bolivar do have in common is this. bolivar dreamed of unifying all of latin america. he wanted a unified america because he felt it would be stronger, more influential, a greater shelby say counterpoint to the united states, which was going very strong. hugo chavez, too, has a dream, and he had the ball at aryan nation now, which are ecuador and as we know bolivia and cuba. they all call themselves the ball at aryan nation's which have very little to do with bolivar reasons. so thank you for the question. >> a two-part question. as a bicultural person, one, could you enumerate several other, what you would consider
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to be gross misconceptions about bolivar on the part of north americans, how we misperceived his legacy and how we misperceived him? and secondly, any truth to the story i've heard with george washington's herr? >> yes. let me start with that first. george washington park custard, who is the grandson, or grand, what was he, grandnephew really of washington, said, wanted to send a medallion with a clipping of george washington's herr inside the bolivar because he felt that george washington
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himself would have wanted to be associated with simon bolivar sniggered annulus lafayette actually who said to custis, of all the people, of all the people in the world that george washington most admired, it was simon bolivar. and lock it said that himself. and so the medallion was sent down. it was for bolivar the absolute pinnacle of achievement. he admired washington. he admired jefferson. he admired north america, the north american founders, although he knew that his task was very different and that he could not emulate them. but he treasured this medallion for all times. and actually it's still in venezuela. it's very much on display, and you can go down to caracas and you can see it. the question about
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biculturalism, the question is misconceptions. you know, as bolivar, his whole life was lived with people having misconceptions about him. when he was fighting for the liberation of peru, when he was winding his way back to his homeland, there were rumors that he wanted to make himself king. and these were rumors that were put forward by his enemies, but for by his friends, put forward by everybody. and it was a way of tarnishing his name. he was the first of its thing from wanting to become king. in fact, when bolivar met the other liberated coming from south and the net, the one thing that really, really turned bolivar against martín was that saint martine believe that south america should have a king. that paris should have a king and actually sent people out to
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europe to find a king to come and role in the roof and bolivar said no, i'm sorry, we've sacrificed a lot of lives to get rid of the king. so there are misconceptions there as well. they were used against him even by south americans. so i'm not surprised there are misconceptions about him from north americans. thank you for the question. >> well, like yourself, i grew up your but i am from guatemala. and i have to confess i know very little about tragic and i'm looking forward to reading. but as the son of a wealthy family, was he educated in spain? this? >> it's a great story. >> because i have to believe if he was educated abroad and coming from a wealthy family most of it somewhat learned something about history and, of course, because he is traversing
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the andes is similar to hannibal's going over the alps to sack rome. >> except hannibal prepared for two years and bolivar just did it. thank you. the thing that's amazing about bolivar's education, he was inordinately erudite man. he could speak, you know, language. if you read rousseau in french, he read cicerone in latin. he was educated, because we went to spain as a very young man he was sent over at the age of 16. why? because his mother's family, he was a complete often, his mother was dead, his father was dead and he was sent over by his family to see if he could persuade spain to actually give him a baroness seat or, you
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know, some noble position. and he ended up under the tutelage of wonderful venezuelan who had lived in spain for a long time, who brought him into he had never had a son. bolivar was an orphaned he brought him in, taught him everything. everything. had to skimming come and bolivar ended up really astonished by his own interest in history and literature and music, and he was trained in everything from personal library, and also from the tutors, simply the people who came in. he was really, as i say, a person who changed the latin america language because he had listened to the europeans
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philosophers at the time. he had read deeply. he appreciated good prose. he was a deeply educated man. >> why did bolivar refuse to work with us and martine? >> 's and martine also cross the andes, yes. and sammartino something similar to bolivar also which was that he, too, wanted to unite america. what happened in the process was and martine was very sick in the process. at the time he reached the route he was already very much of an opium addict. he had terrible arthritic hip in a soldier since he was 12. he a terrible arthritis
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overview. he was carried over the andes, but they actually sat down and met for the first time and san martin was trying to say come help me with peru, and bolivar was not convinced that he wanted to help this man. the meeting was very awkward. the meeting is very famous. nobody was in the room to record it, but as years went on there is enough that was written about it by both sides that we know pretty much what went on. but san martin wanted bolivar to come, and even said i will serve under you. and bolivar knew that that was exactly what he didn't want because the person is i under yu will have a greater prestige than the person who is actually rolling. so he said no, that's impossible. and when san martin, well, bolivar writes that any other.
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he said, san martin wanted to serve under me, and i knew that that would be a mistake because he would have the moral advantage of having surrendered himself to me. so bolivar refused really to help them very much. he said i will send you a few battalions, but san martin at that point laughed knowing that -- left knowing that in order for peru to be free, for bolivar to come actually bring his liberating army, he would have to make himself scarce, which is exactly what he did to the left in the middle of the night, took about and waited a little while and then eventually went down to argentina and then went into exile in france. but it's one of the great moments in history when you have two liberators sitting in the same room and really buying for authority. -- vying for authority.
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>> what happened to slavery in the six republics? did they take the haitian advice and end slavery? >> immediately. although it was, a lot of it was immediate in words and not an actual act your it was very, very hard for some people to let go of the slaves, but just imagine the revolution, when the slaves have been freed, they had been told that if they join the army they will gain their freedom immediately. it's so interesting to me that so few latin americans that i've come across this don't realize that it was really the black forces and the indian forces that want our revolution down there. and i've had a great poet say to me, how can you teach such rubbish? it was all the white aristocrats who were dating, but no, it was italian after battalion of blacks and indians who actually won the freedom against spain.
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and bolivar was very aware of that. >> was there any chance of uniting south america? >> he tried, in 1926 he held what is that called the precursor to the oes which was the call, conference of all these republics. he called it the pan american union, and he had written a whole, a whole sort of vision for this greater america. and people didn't come. they stalled. people died on the way. there were too many animosities. first he didn't want to invite the united states, and his vice president invited the united states. there was a kind of, it became as you said, that's when he said we have this revolution has clout, the sea, because he
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couldn't really move what he really wanted to move which was the unification of all of latin america. thank you. >> very brief. i just would like to add a footnote to your answer about the education of bolivar. by including -- spent one of his early tutors, yes. and he was tutored, yes, by a number of people in venezuela. one of the great literary figures of latin america, and he happened to be not too much older than bolivar and he was brought in as a tutor. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. thank you for that. >> you mentioned one gentleman who i was interesting to me and that is all there. would you mind, talk a little bit about the person, who he was and what influence he had on
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bolivar? and then if i could push you a little, the second question that it might give you an idea for your next group, this lady, is there any correspondence between her and say, madame lynch was also irish in paraguay? in the broader framework in which you obvious write and operate, i -- operation, okay. the emergence of the female a 19th century latin america as a political leader or as influence on the male leaders. >> thank you. first, daniel o'leary, wendy napoleonic wars are trying to close and you had, really got a militarized your. you have a lot of soldiers who came back to england and ireland
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and had no means of income. and it was these people who were recruited, and some of them came, you know, they named whatever, the recruitment was really very loose, was done by someone we didn't know much about soldiering, venezuelan diplomatic who sat in london and was just recruiting like mad. and so people would come and say yes, i was a colonel, lieutenant colonel, and the fact they were a scrub. but they would come over and they were outfitted in these majestic uniforms. they were touted all over london and they were given big champagne goodbyes. and off it would come to this absolutely wild revolution where, you know, the soldiers were barefoot and they were fighting with spears and sticks. they were ludicrous. parading around in these fancy
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european -- if they could barely lumber along with all the heavy equipment that they were carrying. daniel o'leary was one of them. but, and he was very, very young, and bolivar identified him very early, and made him a general very quickly. and daniel leary was really not only one of his best generals but one of his closest friends with whom bolivar confided. bolivar really liked having, i don't know where it came from, i can't explain it, but he liked having english and irish assistance and generals around him. his little tight for other people who were his secretary and his assistants were almost entirely english and irish. and he liked that. i mean, he had spent time in london and he appreciated, i think, their experience in
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europe in the napoleonic wars. and he elevated them. and daniel o'leary, certainly rewarded him by collecting all of his letters. if you go, 32 volumes of letters and correspondence and speeches, it was daniel o'leary who did it all, who collected it all. point a gift back to simon bolivar. anybody else? yes. >> [inaudible] >> what i was doing? general sort of extra press behavior, don. i was a pretty cheeky kid. i fancy myself, you know, a tomboy and i, i didn't have -- [speaking spanish] , which means no hair on my
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tongue. i would say things i shouldn't. they made me the sort of grim little woman you see up here today. [laughter] thank you. >> one more question about the irish if i may. one about slightly different aspect of what you talked about. could you comment on what was going on in chile and the role of the irishman one-tenth and his role in the latin american revolution? >> of course, barnardo higgins was the illegitimate son of the viceroy higgins of chile, was one of san martin's most closest collaborative. and history is fantastic. somebody should write that in sort of a romantic fashion. higgins corresponded with bolivar. they didn't really have too much
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in common, but i think bolivar new that he owed people like san martin and all higgins that part, that liberation, that part of the continent. and was very respected very, very much. >> final question if i may. the united states had a number of agents in latin america while this is going on and there was correspondence between those agents and our secretary of state and our president. could you comment on the extent to which that correspondence contributed to misconceptions on the part of north american? >> absolutely. bolivar was in the middle of a very rough campaign. he was not only, i mean, he was if i may say, suffering from amber rudd, come carbuncles, from any number of things while he was doing the 75,000 miles on horseback. and into this moment when he is
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trying to tame the plains, and the plains of venezuela, the tremendous force, huge expeditionary force under the spaniards who were fighting to keep their grip on the colony, in calm the american agents, and one of whom most famous who was a reporter who came down and sort of freelancing information back to the president and his cabinet. and he was not treated very well. you just imagine, this is someone coming with a scrub in bed in the middle of a revolution. not treated very well. the reports that he sent back to
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washington were scathing come out for the skating. this little upstart, as you know, man with napoleonic admissions. and you can say anything worse to an american met a man with napoleonic and visions -- ambitions. it was through this kind of reporting that bolivar began to have a very, very negative reputation in the united states. also remember that in the united states slavery was the biggest commerce of foot. we are talking about 1815 and forward. slavery was one of the, gordon wood's discarded very, very well and his empire of liberty, it was our gnp of your. it was, slavery was huge commerce. the worst thing that washington could imagine, i'm talking about washington has become a city, capital, could imagine, was actually supporting anybody who
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youth, who had liberated slaves and was using them to fight a revolution. so it was very, the reputation began to get worse and worse because every, thus led i think, against bolivar come including the fact a lot of people were dying in this revolution, this bloody revolution didn't speak well for the whole enterprise. thank you. [applause] >> visit to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also shoot anything you see a easily by clicking sure on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. look tv streams live online for 40 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors.
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