tv 2015 Paolucci Book Award CSPAN October 25, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
>> hopefully you are also a wise group as well. we are all in for a treat this evening with our speaker the turnout is a testimony of what obviously is the speaker and a testament to our patrons the paolucci who gave us this idea of the dual book award to celebrate the best and highest quality conservative book of conservative thought to elevate the debate is in
order to continue that tradition that they started. i know they would be very happy this evening because of the long association with william f. buckley, jr. who was the first vice president but also very involved with "national review" and the conservative party of new york. also the paolucci were involved with very -- for many decades. we're also happy to have to or three longtime friends of the paolucci's here. two of whom are of the book selection committee onetime york state senator and his wife in the long time secretary of the york state's and executive
director with a council of national literature. i encourage you to take a couple of minutes into the program that goes into detail about the accomplishments of the paolucci's and their needs we are honored to have a member of the paolucci family with us tonight. it is also a testament of the turnout of all the hard work of the team of the primary people to organize everything and as i mentioned a testament to the book there will be time for the author, a richard brookhiser design and it is inappropriate book there has been so many books written
on lincoln with this focus is on the idea that animated the founders and the founding documents in particular pain and jefferson and sometimes like to refer to the work and sometimes'' the famous lyceums speech that he wright and a very early age in springfield illinois. and that focuses on the fact of the founders have passed away. and they are no more.
they call them the pillars of a temple of liberty they have gone away and that really is what isi is all about a new generation of men and women of constitutional principles and free enterprise system and an appreciation for all that has been passed along through western civilization also i want to give special thanks to our speaker this evening we are very lucky to have him as the editor-in-chief of isi books in addition he is also vice
president so what that means is the overseas modern age and the skull of the journal to be focused on the undergraduate students and all the other publications we have produced with an amazing amount of work with less than three full-time people. jed had remarkable editing career and at the random house crown forum to have quite the illustrious editing career.
in people like these accomplished authors that they say give my regards to jet he is the finest senator i have ever worked with. now to introduce this evening's speaker. [applause] >> thanks for being here tonight. i of the vice president of publication for isi i am delighted to be introducing richard brookhiser. over two decades he has established itself as a leading all other with this book yesterday his intention to abraham lincoln. with the distinguished panel of judges with those
excellent finalists some of those are here with us this evening. i think they were drawn first of all, to use of buy rating bed his scholarly work. the paolucci's would acquire the aspects of richard brookhiser. they also appreciated the fact he has written a serious book but intended to re-read not step on a shelf to gather dust. as an eminent scholar the republican intellectuals in the best of terms. but what the judges may have most admired was his masterful exploration of ideas specifically of the american founders around abraham lincoln. we all know politicians
routinely elicit the founders of their causes. that was true in lincoln's day as much as our own. but how often do they really engage what the founders wrote? rick makes the point it is too easy for the founders to be a face on a stamp or on the monuments it is admirable but empty. in this book and in his other book he does a great job to show us what the founders really did. perhaps more important, he reminds us they are not near rolex of bygone eras. of founders rick shows, how we get grappled with the
thought of the founders throughout their life and applied their wisdom. this is the wisdom isi passes on. for the next generation. we don't want this wisdom to be tossed into the dust of history. there is so light and his book that jumped out of me. he writes this is the introduction. >> this is trading, trading of thinking and feeling and acting and goes on to say if we study how lincoln engaged with the founders we can learn how to a engaged with them ourselves. at isi we will say there are few more important items this is why we're very excited richard brookhiser
is honored with a the paolucci book award. richard brookhiser. [applause] >> thinks warhol of you for coming out. i of a specially honored as the first president of isi to be your and then became my editor bill was always very generous to other writers especially to young writers he enjoyed praising them and when others recognize them. he would have been 90 years old next month and he would be very happy to see his colleagues recognized by isi.
abraham lincoln was engaged as a founding father of his life his most famous expression is a of a "gettysburg address" where he says our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty. november 18632 1/2 years into the war but three years before that, february 18, at cooper union address in new york city was the kickoff to his first presidential campaign. a 90 minute speech half of that was devoted to those who signed the constitution and what they thought about the power to regulate slavery and the territories. he said the so that it began it is an evil not to be extended but as think as they fought to gore speak as
they spoke. before that six years before in his spurious speech from the long this speech he would never again, over three hours with up the theme for the rest of his career, a republican throated is soiled in the trail of dust let us be purified to turn and wash it white in the spirit of the revolution. tonight i want to talk about the three founding fathers who i think for most important to lincoln for the washington, thomas paine, thomas jefferson. i also want to talk about first his actual father thomas lincoln, one reason that lincoln studied the founding fathers so heavily was the dissatisfaction with his own father.
and then as the war went on he found himself turning to another father when those were no longer be enough. thomas lincoln born in virginia, taken to kentucky as a child review was married and raised his family and abraham was born 89. in 1817 thomas lincoln took his family to indiana abraham was nine years old and when he was 21 then moved again to eleanor where thomas lincoln lived for the rest of his life for all of his adult life he was a carpenter. there was a fashion in the middle of the 20th century toots' treat him as white trash although they did not use that phrase but some
contemporaries did. we now recognize that thomas lincoln never went broke, he served on several juries and also the trustee of a baptist church where the lincoln family worshipped. he sent his two children children, sarah and abraham to school to get an education in a one-room schoolhouse almost flyby night if there was someone in the neighborhood with an education the people would engage him to teach their children. abraham went to a few days in kentucky but all told he spent one year in school but he learned to read and write and do common mathematics.
is a the skills thomas wanted his son to have. his first wife died when they lived in indiana. thomas waited for one year then went back to kentucky looked up an old friend sarah johnson who was the widow and said your husband died my wife has died i need a family that needs to be raised will you marry me. she said she would put she had some debt and he paid the debt then they set off to indiana. so thomas lincoln was a responsible man and father. but he and his son never saw eye-to-eye or go along. one source of friction was work with abraham was an adolescent he would hire him go to work for the neighbors
for the offenses or the rails and all the wages that abraham berndt thomas would pocket and it was a common practice in those days. abraham always hated this adult ticket is principal to see some of his hatred of slavery coming from his own experience. of course, when he turned 21 he would be free of this relationship that doesn't happen to a slave who is a slave for life. nevertheless lincoln had an experience of working and having money go to someone else. another way there were not like is that thomas lincoln
wanted his children to be educated but he's our reading and writing as skills that someone ought to have but for abraham reading and writing was a different world was a portal to his old thoughts and the thoughts of other people in this is something thomas lincoln never understand. but his stepmother did. and we know from an interview she gave after her husband and son were dead, she remembered how abraham was curious if adults came to the lincoln house talked about something he did not understand it after they had gone he would say but was that about? and repeated his own words and tell he understood if you read something he would
write it down then try to rewrite it into his own words he would write on a piece of wood and charcoal when he filled the board he would write it again. this stepmothers solve all of this and watched it and encouraged it. with his father did not. lincoln mentioned his father in the campaign autobiography to save my father never learned more the what he needed to wright his own name. there is so much contempt but he said bull going weather is so much contempt and that word. i learned more than that but you didn't so this was another source of friction that but there were some things that abraham got from his father and that was
physical strength. 5-foot 10 inches and abraham was 6-foot 4 inches their verbal powerful -- they were both powerful and moving to a new place you have to put - - for herself in the physical contest in both thomas and his son went through the challenges pass them of physical strength was important. also was the temperance in early america was a nation of alcoholics period the statistics have much they drink it was astonishing. but thomas lincoln did not drink and neither did his son. but the most important thing he inherited was the ability to tell stories and we know this from his cousins on his
mother's side they spent years living with the lincolns and one of them said he was not as good of a storyteller the other said thomas was better and we know how good talk -- abraham was he would pay people to distract people to make up point. this is must of energy picked up the scale. thomas lincoln died 1851 abraham named a horse after him and his horse and after he was president he visited his father's grave and said i have to put is still on that but he never did. that is the summary of his relationship with his biological father. and we don't get everything
rewind or need from our parents will never get everything we have to get it from substance. for a unman -- a young man. the substitute was the founding fathers degeneration that wrote the constitution. any of these men were still alive when we did was of boy jefferson had one more month to serve as president when abraham was born dead madison after he left james monroe the last founding president this takes lincoln through his teenage years. by the time he is in his 20s the last of the founding fathers had died. never came to kentucky or indiana or eleanor and he never went to the east coast so he was to meet that it
would have to be through the books. the first when he encountered george washington it was a life of general george washington to be ordained episcopal clergyman but his career was printing and selling books. washington died in 1799 think the the life of washington would be a best seller. identified himself as the director of the parish the jeannette washington wants a road to a letter. that was the sole basis of his connection in the before lincoln was born this is the
book lincoln would have read certainly by the time he was an indian not probably just a little boy in kentucky. we know he read it because he said so himself on his way to his first inauguration in those days there was a gap from the of election and the inauguration weber inaugurated in march so he leaves in february to take the train through the states of the northeast on his way to washington. the country is falling apart south carolina taxes will leave by the time he arrives in washington that he passes through continued jersey giving a speech to the legislature february 21st the city for washington's birthday.
as he speaks to the new jersey state senate he recalls the book he read in his youth and says of all the battles the one that impressed me most was the battle of trenton and mentions specifically the hardship of the soldiers to cross the delaware if you read the account this is what he spent ages tear described in detail but lincoln goes on. ploy though i was those men must a struggle for something important even more important that would be important to all men at all times. that was liberty. this is exactly what he said
because after he described washington crossing the delaware and is several miles before they get to tranten introduces that allegorical figure as the spirit of liberty and said she has been driven from europe the new world is her last refuge for enemies have followed her. who will defend her? only this man the of ragged men. to struggle for the state of liberty in the world and the words for the battle washington says to his troops all i ask is what you're about to fight for. and lincoln remembers what they have fought for and
what he will struggle for when he gets to washington. the second father to make an impression as thomas paine. he is somewhat of an odd man. he never holds public office officially but a great journalist of the american revolution he writes common sense urging independence six months before congress declares then on the eve of the battle of trenton he writes the first essay called the american crisis my other career is journalism besides biography. i think it is the greatest
plagiarism ever done in journalism but after the war he wrote another book that almost destroyed his reputation in america called the age of reason and it was a ferocious attack on organized religion. paid was never in neediest he said i believe in one god and no more of the u.n. on to say all religions were set up to terrify and enslave mankind in the age of reason but most of it is directed at christianity. and paine goes through the bible to take the most literal reading to highlight everything that is contradictory or nonsensical.
theologians have been examining these texts for centuries but paine does not care. he reads the bible as if he is the first person ever and he will take it as a liberal document. by the time he encounters paine he is out from under his father's shadow in thinks it is great. the bible doesn't make sense i don't have to worry about it he wrote this in his early 20s he had a series of jobs before he settled on politics as the postmaster end in those days there were work of the post office in the frontier people would pick up their letters or sit around and talk.
so lincoln does this explains the apparent what that shows the ordinary a legitimate child the bible is full of contradictions in the order of the store asked to see the pamphlet and he put it into the stove. the reason he did that is he was already interested in politics and he knew that you don't go far in politics if you write a pamphlet about jesus so despaired animator embarrassment. he did change later but when he took from paid was never abandoned because paine showed him how to make serious points using humor no one had to show him how to be funny he had heard
that from his father he knew how to tell stories but how old you use huber one dash schumer? this literal approach was a huge. when democrats would accuse them, why else would you have any concern? it was a common charge of democrats and lincoln response over and over was just because i don't have a black woman as the slave does not mean i have to have her as a wife. in the form of a joke it takes a very noxious argument to say i uninterested. but the joke also plans a
serious lot because if you leave the of black woman alone you letter be free. the founder that he ted engages with as thomas jefferson. as a complicated man he has a long career, he changes angesind on a number of his mind on a number of issues, he loses his heart on a number of issues i think his mind is a room with doors that lead into each other but jefferson was a young jefferson at 33 years old here wrote the declaration of independence the first self evident truth
is that all men are created equal and we again will make this a a a touchstone of his politics for the rest of his life. ended 1859 celebrating jefferson's birthday he can go but he sends him a message and helps -- in hopes it is reprinted he said the beliefs are the definitions and actions of a free society to say all of virtus jefferson to go into a revolutionary document. so here he makes it a battle of trenton fighting for
something that is internally important and that the most famous indication will be the "gettysburg address" because fourscore and seven years ago it is 1776 so lincoln identifies the declaration at the beginning of the american experience. there is a lot of death in lincoln's life his mother died that night his sister died reduced 20. the first sui hart died in early 20s. people knew him at the time
said he was downcast and one said they had to hide the razor's. he served in the black hawk indian war in northwestern illinois. he didn't see any action but he sought a group of men that were just scalped on top of every head blood was a rare also his own grandfather was killed by an indian and was named abraham lincoln and indian shot him our lincoln did this because thomas lincoln was there and was about to run off when thomas's brother shot the indian. there was a lot of mortality from diseases but the civil
war was not a normal experience. it would be something else. ended touched we again personally. one of the first actions they telling sudra of virginia almost across from washington d.c. across the potomac the union troops was lean-tos law student and alumni when he winds up the stairs to tear down the rebel better he will shot by the odor of the hotel the wishes with us to shot and killed him. and other illinois friend was killed he was a
political crony in lincoln neighborhood of his sons after him a move to oregon became the senator but when lincoln went to his funeral you describe to be cry like dead child. of the other was lloyd f. mccullough bitterly of the board he asked the president told to get to the regiment he was 50 years old he lost an arm and the far of the accident for the year ended '04 of the birthdays of dkb lieutenant-colonel it was killed december 18.
so he wrote the eloquent letter about grief to think she would only be happy later sometimes they often word look at military hospitals and visit soldiers would time he was accompanied by a reporter brooks he was the odd man back then and move to california. and because of this connection he had good access to lincoln. so there in the military hospital they are going down the line of beds together and charitable woman was distributed the tracks one looks at what was dropped on the bed then he drops back
down to say she is just trying to be helpful the man says she is put me on the path of said and death. that is the forum of a joke of course, the joke is on the soldier. but the commander-in-chief got his legs shot off. what of the beliefs thinking it was predestination. did although lincoln left the church he had a logical mind and felt every cause has its own because. he thought they proceeded
their own lives and a catch phrase the mother was born before the man before you were ever born every thank you to has been determined by the previous transaction if you follow these back a half to lead to guide remember paine is not an atheist he always believed in god but with his logical why he had to conclude the slaughter of the suffering of the civil war was willed by god and the final result of this matter in 1865 the second inaugural address.
he said read them might discourage of war may pass away. and tell all above wealth of 250 years until every drop of blood should be paine by another drum will of the sword from 3,000 years ago the judgment of the lord is righteous and true. i kayhan to write about that the first thing that struck me is the quotation of the 19th assault. -- sold and bought the bible was full of holes if not to find a consolation but an explanation and. the other striking baying of this passage is the map and
arithmetic of gettysburg address was fourscore and seven but here it is 250 years the first american colony was jamestown to have slaves so in that second inaugural that is the beginning of the american story in the paine for it with this war. but that is not the end of the speech. lear is one more paragraph. with malice toward none and charity for all lettuce tried to finish the work we are in to bind the nation to
we have q&a now i will repeat your question so there are no microphones to speak into. >> how would we destruction have gone if he had lived? >> obviously his second term with a better herculean the first term was pretty stressful the second term was on the way. he would have to deal with one-third of the country up in arms against the rest of
the country but he also has to deal with 4,000,003 men women and children by the time he was murdered -- rooted is already passed congress to going to the states for ratification and was ratified by december so it was coming. so this is a whole different terrain also he is tired after four years of stress and there is no constitutional amendment but that to term pattern is already established and that really set to be the only presidents to be reelected
that didn't leave after a second term. on either hand rigo he was a good politician he is wise and funny and in excellent politician. one said a few thoughts he was a simple man you would wake up with your back in the ditch. he was very good at keeping the republican party together. there were radicals who thought he didn't go fast enough the other study with two fast he was very good to place himself in the center to keep everybody in the town all the time he was also good to use those democrats and occasionally
they would align with him. it is not a good time for the democratic party actually but there were some good patriotic democrats. and in the south those that would reveres him there are a significant number in the first place we tend to forget the loss caused but there were southerners in every state but there were units in the union's every seceded state during the civil war. people from eastern tennessee and west virginia
to become the independence day. lloyd dash state with the core of republican support there were people who thought he is our best hope. and he will treat us best when extension of that is when he was murdered there is still an army under general johnson in the carolinas and sherman goes to meet johnston the inputs into the room and how that was the greatest possible calamity. there were southerners who were applauding so it is not
with people and john wilkes booth would damage that. >> he says he is reading bad and of course, it is a great story. but it is still a relative. of the founders were thinking and acting about those issues and they still matter to us. also like lincoln to say we will not have a fight to there is slavery but what
washington was my first biographical subject with the historical revolution to be very directly tied to the french revolution and then they would spread through a the colonize parts of the world. it is to centuries plus of revolutions and i don't say that of chiding because it is a terrible situation but nevertheless of promises
broken so many do turnout to be greedy and here in washington all he did was everything he has to do. but he did that. as commander in chief in 1775 bin dai 7099, 24 years and for most of those he was commander in chief for president that is 16.5 years no president can touch that. with washington and lincoln is like a maverick it depends how to make it.