tv Book Discussion on The Quartet CSPAN September 2, 2015 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
lawsuits about the illegal tapping and the court, the supreme court, the law is starting to change. hoover has been running this whole empire all these years. i think i'm going to get out of this business because we are all going to get caught read what that meant is that since the fbi wouldn't do any more nixon went in the house and he created the plumbers as an in-house operation. and that all sounds terribly sinister but the one thing about the plumbers is the day were clumsy. they were bad at it. ..
very tender and moving from the early years. both of them started drinking too much. they really stop talking to each other and a guy named frank gannon who wrote nixon's memoirs and was around then set it down or they would not talk about the main thing. they would talk about anything but the main thing but at night they would pass a note to each
other and leave notes like that of tolstoy. always avoiding the main topic to try to be polite with each other as their world collapsed. when nixon decided to resign he didn't tell pat. he told rosemary woods the secretary to tell pat. that's how distant he was at the end and of course he got the famous getting on his knees with kissinger and asking kissinger to pray with him on the last night. that's a true story. kissinger came back to his office. he was still kind of undone by this and started telling about this on the phone ring and it was richard nixon on the phone asking kissinger not to tell anybody because he was so embarrassed. kissinger put his aid on an extension and it was in the "washington post" in two days. nixon when he left office almost
died of phlebitis. a nurse was literally slapping is facing wake-up richard, wake up that he came back and he came back. he would have these dinners for all the journalists. he would have dinners and michael kremer of the times came to his townhouse and was glad to be asked with chinese dinner and all that and had to make a phonecall so used nixon's study and he found nixon had not only without his talking points for the dinner but his small talk as well, the bad jokes, the whole thing. he was always prepared and nixon did repair his marriage. he did. when pat died there are photographs of nixon and he is undone. he is not just crying he is sobbing and falling. he is inconsolable. he may have had in halderman's
words a weird marriage. she stood with him and she backed them up and you really missed her when she died and within a couple of years he himself was dead. nixon could never admit really that he did wrong. he sort of did with david frost and nixon said i gave him the sword and they stuck it in an he said of course i would have done the same but he never admitted he had done anything immoral. and one thing about nixon was he had this kind of lack of self-awareness. not until the very end of his presidency literally his last words as he is about, talking with staff at the white house about to get on a helicopter to fly into exile he says to his staff always remember others may hate you but those that hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself.
too late. [laughter] did that just occurred to him? that's the whole story right there in one sentence. thus the whole story of nixon's self-destruction and demise. the night before that nixon was talking to us other than law eddie cox and the books are in the library and nixon said this is just a tube play out. this caught my attention and i looked at nixon school papers which are preserved in the nixon library to see if nixon himself had written a paper on julius seas are buddy totally lift -- missed the boat. it was all lost on him. interestingly nixon's brother ed grandma millhouse had warned them. she was a quaker and she said us is going to get into trouble.
it was a lesson lost on nixon. he just couldn't get it. it's like next and had a sense of destiny. he thought it was destined to be a great man and even though he was shy and lonely he was going to be that great man. leonard garment was a lawyer in new york, somewhat of an odd couple. leonard garment was a new york jazz position a jewish guy who put for the kennedys and yet he and nixon were good pals. they went down to florida together to give a speech and they were supposed to spend the night in a new housing development and nixon had political instincts. the owners of this new development for were going to use nixon sum up to promote their development and he was
going to be using some uncomfortable voice. they got in their limousine and drove 40 miles to the house of an old nixon patriot of big money guy. they got to nixon's fancy estate in florida. it was all holed up and it was dark. there were dates in a wall around it so nixon said okay leonard over the wall we go. they threw the briefcases or climbed over the wall and went to the pool house and found a couple of beds and nixon was a chronic insomniac, the guy just never slept, started talking to garment about his hopes and fears and it was like summer camp. nixon went on and on about his parents and their desire to accomplish things in the world than being gauged in the world then he said if he didn't do this, if he didn't get back into public life somewhere between
being vice president losing the governor's race in 62 and is didn't get back into public life he would be mentally gone and two years he just had to be in public life. he said i will do anything to get back to public life. except see a shrink. of course he was seeing a shrink he didn't see them often but he did see a shrink. it's typical of nixon's contradictions. i kept asking next the question how self-aware was nixon. do you think nixon was self-aware and most people said no. every once in a while he took a little peek at himself. i asked jim schlessinger who had been the cia director and schlessinger said no and schlessinger looked out the window and said who is? it's a fair question
particularly for famous powerful men. if you think about yourself too much it's hard to get out of bed and save the world if you are worrying about who you are really. so that blind or what those blinkers on his characteristic of powerful men but nixon had it worse than most and yet, and yet i can prove this but i'm convinced the nixon at some level knew that he was locked into this terrible struggle. think of those writing those notes later tonight about wanting to be a better person wanting to be joyful. he couldn't pull it off but he wanted to be that person i knew he was locked in a struggle with darkness. he lost that struggle but it's a great tragedy and a great story and one of the great stories of our time and you can read it. thank you. [applause] happy to take questions.
>> i'm a veteran and i lost four people in nam after he was elected at the end the last four under johnson. do you think he really did his best to get us out of vietnam and an orderly fashion or did they drag it out for re-election sake? >> this is a very fair question and a huge scholarly debate. there is a theory and there's a lot of evidence to prove that nixon and kissinger were cynical. it goes like this, that if we pull out our free pull out too fast saigon will fall. we will be blamed for it and i want when the 1972 election and there is evidence that they talk that way but there's also a lot of evidence running the other way that nixon would get mad and
he would urge the military to try harder and he would have these spasms of violence, the bombing of 1972. he did a little of that in 1969 the christmas bombings of the evidences contradict you about whether he wanted to win or not. takes larger question, why did we get the hello out in 1969? at the same deal in 1973 that we could have gotten in 1969. i don't actually buy that. nixon was hung up on this idea of giving president chu of vietnam some breathing room. if you pull out right away the north vietnamese were in negotiations. chu has got to go and only in the fall of 72 after he bombed them heavily and bonds the harbors saying chu and stay. it may be cynical but they figure it would fall eventually anyway.
nixon wanted to win some breathing room for the soviet meets government. he did and it was only 22 months before they fell. war was bitter and academics are going to fight over this for a long time because the evidence is contradictory. bobby kennedy said i will just get out of vietnam. i don't think he would have been i don't think he could have. you have 550,000 men there come a don't just get on a plane and fly home so there are a lot of arguments on this whole subject that i don't think nixon was out out -- i think the war was that it was a hello of a problem. when i read about it i struggled in my own mind to think how could this have been different and how could they have done it smarter and better? cambodia was a mistake but it was a hello of a problem.
he inherited a war with half a million men but the fierce enemy who weren't going to give up no matter what and uncertain ally. ask president obama about how hard it is to deal with an uncertain ally. >> acuvue the charges by hitchens that henry and next included when peace talks were about to happen in 68 with johnson and they colluded? >> it's a little complicated so bear with me for one second. in 1968 nixon is running against humphrey and do not sober of 1968 president johnson decides to go for peace talks in paris and there's a lot of evidence that nixon played foul here that he had an emissary the so-called dragon lady to go to the south
vietnamese and say don't take this, wait until i get elected and you will get a better deal out of me. johnson national security agency fbi were listening on the phone and can't nixon planning. private citizens are supposed to make foreign policy but beyond that johnson said look this is treason. johnson did not expose nixon for a couple of reasons. one is he didn't want to expose his wiretaps but also there will wasn't that visual nonaggression pact between i won't leakey your dirt if you don't like mine. both sides collect dirt on each other but mutually-assured destruction. that's one reason why but the counterargument was chu didn't
need any persuading. he wasn't going to go to paris anyway. he knew it was better to wait for nixon so that is the nixon defense. it's not a great defense but it didn't make any difference because chu wasn't going to go to paris anyway. >> thank you for coming. quick question you talk a lot about nixon and kissinger and i'm curious whether anti-semitism and give her fine throughout his life in a particular incident or events that caused that and also did you find any issues when he spoke to goal the meir and things of that issue? >> nixing gets on this thing about the number of jewish and the bureau of labor statistics and it's just awful. that's not the only time. nixon had a knee-jerk anti-semitism not typical of his
generation or of other presidents. roosevelt and truman use bad words but his was worse. always with nixon was complicated he goes nixon loved gold the meir and she loved him. in 1973 kissinger and nixon are playing at a little bit queue. the nixon administration wants egypt to make some gains against israel because they think it will be a better piece that will come out of it but actually the war goes badly for israel in the first few days. nixon realizes that bureaucratic state and defense are dragging their feet and nixon says send every plane. i would don't want to hear this. we are going to save israel and they do and they were cheering in the streets as those american planes flew in with those
supplies. i was nixon overcoming his bureaucracy including kissinger who was resisting this. nixon was a hero to goal the meir. it's hard to reconcile these things. he was liberal on a lot of issues. president eisenhower's point man , he was actually friendly with martin with a cane when the democrats were ignoring you have to see through that filter but i think nixon himself , these little things. at a time of terrible racism he insists on taking up lack member of his fraternity at whittier. everyone else was against it.
nixon spoke out against it. he was a quaker. it's hard to fit these pieces together. that is what made nixon so fun to write about. it ain't simple. >> latino population shift between nixon and eisenhower? >> talk about complicated. [laughter] president eisenhower or appreciated what a good vice president nixon was a nixon was a good vice president. he was responsible. when eisenhower had his heart attack he step down in a very measured way but eisenhower didn't like nixon. eisenhower's son john told me when i wrote about eisenhower he said my father gave himself in order to like nixon. [laughter] the famous checkers speech comes about because candidate dwight
general eisenhower's wanting to dump nixon from the ticket over a fake scandal. nixon has to go on national tv to save himself. extremely lonely and eisenhower traced to dump him again in 1976. nixon is up in the hospital was psychosomatic illness over this ended in a press conference dwight eisenhower is asked by a reporter tell us something that vice president nixon did to help your administration and eisenhower answered if you give me a week i will think of something. and yet, and yet nixon's daughter married ike's grandson. nixon gave ike's eulogy and it was a very tender eulogy, you know.
another character of the time that has been caricatured as alexander hague. what is your view on him and hasn't changed much when you do the research? >> he is a tricky guy. his own aid chuck wardell said to me that hague is pathologically ambitious. he was a brave soldier but a great political soldier more than anything else. he was constantly being vaulted over the other generals and he played a lot of double games. he was kissinger's chief aide but would sell out kissinger when he was with nixon and sell out next and when he was with kissinger. he could play all sides of the street. there was some question about whether hague was really loyal to nixon preview may recall when when -- and ehrlichman were fired in 1973 hague comes as the chief of staff and for the last 15 months there some evidence of hague being not entirely loyal
to nixon in this period. i don't really know the extent of it because i think hague was playing a lot of games, keeping his options open but hague is a guy you would like to work or you but he was brilliant, smart, tough, great at shelving the paper which you wouldn't trust. [inaudible] >> the issue was how was nixon behaving before and there was a whole theory, not sure it's true but there's a body of evidence that suggests that. >> thank you for coming. would you be willing to speak a little bit about nixon's campaign contributions and then particular allegations about his involvement with. >> i know there's a theory about
that on not an expert on this is all but i don't think there's any proof of it. however nixon sold chips for $250,000 a pop. he's not a worse present to sell ambassadorship but he did in the more grotesque fashion that i was taught in to a guy named john rose who was working on the committee to reelect the president and he recalled a phonecall from stevie whitney who is a rich playboy he wanted to find ambassadorship to spain and pete flanagan was on the phone saying i don't think so, barbados maybe. [laughter] >> would the top place about nixon's southern strategy and is still effective? >> the key thing, southern strategy as you know, we forget this but the south, the american
south was solidly radack for the democratic party up until the 60s and then split and it became republican. that was partly because the democrats endorse civil rights and lbj civil rights acts. think about this for a second. i'm here to talk about nixon not lbj but how great it was for democrats to give away their natural base to the south for a principle at nixon played on this of course because he wanted to call the south and he used a lot of language. with nixon it was always important and john mitchell who was attorney general said watch what we do, not what we say because while nixon was doing all of this rhetoric was quietly desegregating public schools in the south. in 1970 the public schools in the south were still segregated incredibly. only about 10% of black kids went to integrated schools when nixon came into office or
because of what nixon did within a couple of years 80% were. he totally transform that and it was classic nixon the way they did that. he said i want to do this under the radar screen that they committed these committees in each state of everything from black militants they brought these committees up to washington. george shultz ran all of this. nixon was good at hiring people. george shultz was a nixon hired they would bring these guys in. they would take them to the state department and give them a good meal and come in and say we are going to enforce the law which was to segregation and the nixon took some of them into the oval office and he would say this is the oval office, the swear the tough decisions get made. now you have to make your decision. every single one of those state commissions said okay agreed to disaggregate. the numbers don't lie.
the schools, almost all desegregated in that period three the president paid no attention to them. they were paying attention to the rhetoric and the southern strategy and the rhetoric could be pretty bad. they weren't watching what nixon was actually doing. classic nixon watch what we do and not what we say. some strategies obviously work for the republican party but nixon, not excusing him, nixon knew how to play on fear. that was one thing that nixon was really good at was playing on people's fears. their hope sometimes but their fears and he did that in the southern strategy. excuse me, there is a mic here. >> following up i have heard it said, i agree looking back at a lot of the domestic policy was rather enlightened but i have heard it said that nixon didn't give a dam about domestic policy
, only foreign policy and whatever was accomplished was by some of his staff some of who were quite illustrious. today he said that, don't give a dam about domestic policy and what they are doing in peoria but he didn't mean it. he hired as his chief to mystic adviser daniel patrick moynihan aide kennedy democrat who came up with a radical idea for reforming welfare. he was about 20 years at. didn't pass but nixon took it ready for. he was guaranteed minimum income. it would get rid of all the bureaucrats and nixon hated bureaucrats but it was a radical idea and i was actually a pretty good idea. nixon was very engaged with it. nixon's record makes him look like what we today would call a liberal. he created the epa. why did he create the epa? parter was political expediency.
senator muskie, ed muskie of maine was a big environment list and it looked like muskie was going to be the democratic candidate in 1972 so nixon who loved to -- outflank them messed with muskie by proposing and adopting governmental protection agency. it worked. was nixon sincere about that? kind of. you know he did care about conservation. he gave mixed signals on it but he said if i could choose between business and the environment i'm going to choose business. he would say those kinds of things that he would tell his young aide who is making these rules, he would say when we make these rules don't talk to that of the commerce department. you just do it and i will take care of stand. typical nixon pitting one made against another doing it by
secrecy but actually doing a lot and nixon's record on environment not just the epa was pretty good. now typically nixon refused to invite muskie to the signing ceremony and inactive typical pettiness that the record stands for itself. they did a lot on the environment. they created osha and expanded social security from the elderly to the disabled and they spent way more on the art than his predecessor. get rid of the draft, introduced a national health care plan that teddy kennedy stopped on his deathbed regretted having stopped. he said i'm sorry we stop nixon
in my life. i am not an expert. actually i found it very un-american because he was very cynical about it. everything that he did i've never seen in politics. at that time he was the most cynical man i've ever seen. he was conducting the hearings. he didn't allow any defense or rebuttal of any kind. he had such control environment are looking at this at the same time. he was cynical although not as cynical as he appears to be.
he was a show off and that was defense. he was a shy guy putting up this kind of awkward defensive setting and he sounded insincere but look nixon was genuine about his patriotism and public service. one of the ironies is that mixing through watergate did a lot to diminish the public's faith in government service. this would break his heart because nixon believed in service in serving the country. and yet he did a lot and that is one of the strategies. thank you. >> can you discuss the impact on
the court i recently heard a speaker at the historical society and a paper saying that at one point, they were going to nominate one of the first women members of chivas' as candidate and that it was all political expediency. >> they were serious about wanting a woman on the court. but they did have - there was a candidate, the male-dominated wretch rose you could imagine what the committee was like in 1970. nixon backed off fairly quickly but it's significant that he ran up the flagpole and thought about it and he joked when they said no. he said that there would be hell to pay. and he was quite about that.
nixon was ahead of his time on the women's rights generally. he set out and got a very - he set out to hire good women in their early days and they did more. it he was ahead of the curve on that. he was difficult to pretty good father and very close to his daughter's hoover tender within. now, you know, i don't want to go too far down the road because of this richard nixon, but you do have to take the whole man and there were pieces of him to did try to do the right thing on
this. >> as far as whether there was any reliable information about being involved in corruption i thought some of the more recently released tapes there was a clear indication that the conversations were between nixon and perhaps his lawyer when he was president about the release of jimmy from jail and it was a way are in effect they got money for political use with an agreement that he wouldn't be able to run for the position of the union. >> that would be one instance. nixon took money as all presidents do particularly in a
time for questionable things. lyndon johnson did that, bobby kennedy wasn't above doing this kind of thing so it is shady and reprehensible but it wasn't unique to. >> my question is about the reproach that with china. i haven't read the book yet, i will admit that. the review in "the wall street journal" said you tended to minimize the reproach went. my understanding is the reproach went was conducted. because of the soviets feared
that the chinese could open up once every 500 miles on a 20,000 front the two countries share a. i would like for you to comment on your views on the doctrine. >> nixon did this under the radar for a long time. there was a private conversation we need to include china. nobody paid any attention to it. he had a number of motives. you can't forever excluded the
chinese. >> they were anxious about the chinese and the chinese were anxious and mixing loved love this pudding one side against the other and he played that and kissinger deserve credit. >> this was the linkage they were going to link all these things together ultimately to get the lead on the north vietnamese government that the main patrons lean on them to take a deal with a.
i will make this last question. i'm interested about the timing and doing the biography is a. why is this a good time for the nixon biography and is there sort of an optical time? >> it's always a good time. [laughter] [applause] i made a good run at it. there was an incredible amount of the question. almost all of the tapes have been released. he knew it was on the tapes and he spent millions of dollars trying to stop them from being
released. almost all of them took 700 hours including a lot of the classified stuff. almost all of the documents are. so in terms of documents you can't really get into his head between. the record is rich enough but there will be new interpretations. >> thank you. [applause] copies are for sale please form a line to the right of the table and hold up your chairs
>> i think that we need a different model of legal education and we include one-year programs for people doing routine work and two-year programs people want to do something specialized in the third year in three full years for people who want to, but it's crazy to train in the same way somebody is doing routine divorces in a small town in the midwest and somebody that is doing mergers and acquisitions on wall street. there is a one's eyes its all model that is extremely expensive.
>> all over the color plateau and especially here in mesa county outside of grand junction we are surrounded by morrison rock and we find a lot of dinosaur bones and fossils and that's really in for a long time at the other thing that we also find is a mineral rock that contains three different elements. it contains radium which is radioactive and was used to help solve and fight cancer and also is used to strengthen steel so in the buildup to world war ii because of extreme value it also contains uranium and as we know it is the run of the best sources for atomic power and atomic weapons.
>> in the agricultural development of the agricultural development for the water legislation. >> he fought the battle to reserve water for the western colorado by making sure we got our fair share. how did he do that? beginning in his state career state career and then moving onto his federal heat climbed up the ladder and was able to exercise i think more power then you might normally have a. certainly in the united states congress when he was able to make sure colorado and western colorado would be treated fairly in any divisions of water to get his first major success was the passage of the colorado river storage project in 1956.
>> newly independent states decided to accept a centralized government following the war for independence. his book is the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783, 1789. he spoke with biographer stacy schiff. >> we are so pleased to welcome the acclaimed author and historian who recently charged his position as before professor mount holyoke college where he taught courses in american history since 1972. they've also published over ten books including the book on thomas jefferson. it won the national book award as well as the founding brothers
which won a pivot surprised. most recently he wrote the second american revolution which you will hear about tonight. our moderator for the evening received a pivot surprised for her book. the most recent book cleopatra was one of the new york's times books of 2012 as well as number one national bestseller. it's working on a new book regarding 1692 salem and we are looking forward to having her return next winter so that one person if you are here, sign up for the brochure to become a
member and you will get old that wonderful news. i want to ask that you please turn off your cell phones and any electronic devices and note. please turn me in welcoming the wonderful guest tonight. thank you. [applause] >> i think we should go on the road with this. you've reminded us here at continental army waged a war for independence not for unions. only in 1787 do we become one
nation indivisible. we see the postindependence pre- nationhood movement. they are still working together and you talk about the brilliant rescue from the core ideas of the american revolution. >> if you think about the argument of the colonists made to justify independence the resolution of independence for tonight robert can really until the last second of these these colonies are and have every right to be independent states. that was the resolution for
independence. we do not rebel against britain as a nation. we rebel as a series of independent states if you think about the arguments since 1765 to 1775 there's not arguments for a nation that commits for the sovereignty. the parliament can't rule for us to sovereign units so that the most famous in american history as the first clause four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth a new nation. >> as you put it in the book that was a purposeful propagandizing. it was in 1863 he could justify the civil war because if he is
wrong and unfortunately he is wrong, the confederacy has a legitimate argument that it's right to secede because they secede as sovereign states. they don't have the moral argument on this but they have a constitutional argument. we can forgive them for revising history since it's a bad idea that the union won the civil war by making the point that in 1776 and then again in 81 when the treaty comes to 83. all the forces are centrifugal so that history is moving
towards the creation of a kind of european north america. america is about to become a subversion of the eu. >> whose greece? georgia. >> each of them for his own reasons is urging the reinterpretation of the american revolution. >> you have to change according to the real ideological rationale. it's far away from you and therefore doesn't represent your interest. for the tea party that's where
it is. >> we've been members of the tea party and it is the notion. it doesn't represent me at patrick henry is going to say if there is a tax proposed in the virginia delegates vote against it and passes we are being taxed without our consent because the average american lives up to his and her life dies ended dies in a 20-mile radius. they don't think and they don't communicate with each other and they don't think nationally. they think locally as the political institutions reflect
that and therefore in order for you to create the nation state nationstate with the republican government you're going to have to change the definition of what the representation mean. and it's great to have to be larger. they just think it's represented by one representative in the house which they did in 1788 that's not really representation. and so someone like ted cruz thinks yes i get this and any cluster of the political power in a faraway place is almost inherently tyrannical. >> it is well reasoned paranoia. >> it is heralded as truth and patriotism. >> let me go back because you mentioned the word republic.
the words are public and democracy have different meanings at this juncture. >> we don't become a democracy. >> democracy is an epitaph that means demagoguery behavior. we have yet to see the creation of the comment. the constitution is a pre- democratic document. it sounded on a popular basis than the popular opinion has to be filtered through several leaders of the liberation because that is the difference between democracy and the public there's a lot of democracy in
their. >> the public is different from the people. it is the long-term interest of the people which at any given time the majority of people don't understand. the public interest in 2001 was let's not get involved in a land war in the middle east because that isn't going to work. it's like attacking mexico after the attack on pearl harbor but we are going to do it because it is so necessary to satisfy the public opinion. and so founding generation is a pre- democratic generation and not with jefferson called a.
it is a public not a democracy and a have to get over the assumption that the democracy is always right because it easily isn't. >> which is what they clearly realized some of them because they've been reading through the books and other think that it is instinctive but i want to go to the title for one second because we are talking about this fabulous. you mentioned they would have quibbled.
IN COLLECTIONSCSPAN2 Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on