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tv   BOOK TV  CSPAN  November 6, 2016 9:31am-10:57am EST

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state of arizona. it's also the area that housed the largest number of people of color. by that i mean the largest population of african-americans, chinese-americans and mexican americans . >> first to speak with author richard shelton about his time as a volunteer in the arizona state prison system . >> i started in 1974 area i had received from a man on death row a letter requesting that i read, i had published several books before and i had read one and he requested that i read his poetry and critique it. i recognized the name from the letter that he was a notorious murderer on death row. my interest was pete ofcourse . it was for all the wrong reasons.
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koreans, i wanted to meet a monster and so he invited me up to death row, to prison 70 miles from here north. i was an immigrant in prison and i've never certainly been in death row. and it was eerie but there was a long division down the center of this long room and it had wire above the and then there was a counter and there was a little plug about an inch deep that you could slip paper through. and there were guards every so often. i couldn't figure out the reasoning for the guards, why there were so many. i figured it out, because when they brought him and he was so notorious, he was a mass murderer and the guard came and described him. and the whole time i was there, he became very angry.
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on some subsequent visit he said the guard had stepped on his foot and he was very angry about that. we worked in the visitation area of death row which was rather difficult. he would slide his note through the grace to me and i would slide it back to him and that's where we work. and he wanted then for me to be and another inmate wanted me to start a workshop, writing workshop so there was a lot of interest. the first time i walked in, the first workshop, my assistant, who is alsonow a very famous writer . there was three people in the room and, oh, what am i going to do? that was fortunate. all of you who write fiction,
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go with mister cobb into the next room and you have your workshop there and i will keep the poet. i had to get the members down somehow so we fitted about 50-50 and theway it works is they write , i bring in examples of good writing and in that facility i could bring in books. i can'tbring in books anymore . but i would get them to read with me and they would write during the week, then they would read what they had written. during the workshop and everybody would critique it. they would just say, i like it all up that line and so forth and i would critique it . and then they would take it back and work on it. and they would bring it back and read it again and so on. and during all those years,
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my wife was a superb typist and so i would, when it got to the point where i thought it waspublishable, they were writing longhand, i would bring it out and she would type it up . and then they send it off for publication. i provide them with the addresses of magazines and stuff. and a good many of them published and it was a life-changing experience for them to see their name on a piece of work in a magazine. >> i went to prison in 1987. that's where i met mister shelton who was in aunit in tucson . south of tucson called santa rita. and he was teaching a writing workshop there. >> he was chosen teacher of
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the year. he's a biologist, taught biology. and he ran away with a 50-year-old student and when asked why, he said stupidity. which is probably about as accurate as you could get quite i was writing at the time area i was interested in learning more about it. i always wanted to be a writer and so i came into his workshop with some published work, i shared it with the group area most of the guys applauded, they thought it was great area mister shelton who was like, shaking his head area you told these stories about how critical i am. one student turned in his poem and i read it and i said well, it's a terrible waste of good punctuation. and things like that, really cool things.
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>> and richard shelton just kept pushing me. just like, you know, there's more than just writing about people's profiles. there's, you need to reach deeper. he kept pushing me. and so i started making these connections between the wildlife i was seeing andwhat was going on with me and also with the other men on the yard , men that would make certain ground squirrels and make this connection with the animal that, i think a place where it's actually pretty brutal. the prison yard is like a microcosm of the world. but the writing workshop was a release from all that. you would probably understand
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that in the prison, we make , inmates make distinctions about things like the nature of the crime, thecolor of your skin ,, mostly the color of yourskin . which is this crazy racism that goes on. but in the workshops, that all fell away. we can critique each other in a circle and examine each other's writing and it didn't matter what color you were or what your crime was. what was important was the writing. and so it was like a way to get off the prison yard. it was a way to get away from all that craziness that went on outside the classroom. >> i've been in some danger but not really. i think it's exaggerated . i tell the story, i was a prison guard area i told the story of guards at florence
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were cowboy hats, levi's and cowboy boots. i had crossed through the yard about a block long full of milling men during the time they were out. and the guards were up on the walls, about 30 feet high and they all had, many of them were old. many were retired deputy sheriffs area and i thought, once a fight breaks out, they are going to start shooting. i'm just as apt to get shot as anybody so i was wearing cowboy hats, cowboy boots and that and i would stand out. they would know that was not an inmate. so then one night i was coming in just dust and they had a kiosk up on the wall, it was apparent that and they could look down into. you seem those things in the
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corners of the wall and well, i'm coming in with the cowboy hat and it was dusk. there was a point at which there was an iron gate, always locked and i stand in front of it with an armed guard for a key. that's the way it was done. they would let down from the kiosk and they would have a big old key there. i would look at it in the gate and opened the gate, it was very heavy iron gate and i would go through and then i would push the key back through the hole and into the basket made to pick it up. that night i got there and the guard came down but it didn't have to be a guard. they had a white powder. and this is how the guards supplemented the bad salaries. by dealing heroine.
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so it scared me to death so when i saw that and knew what it was, i thought i am in danger now. they are up there with both guns and i have just discovered enough that it will get them. there was nothing i could do. i didn't have a key and i thought if i turned and ran, they will get me in the back . and the best thing i could do is just nothing, just play stupid which wasn't hard for me. and so i just stood there and soon they realized their error and they pulled it back and back then they had a key. i said, let me get in any way or are they going to let me out? i did my workshop and on the way out, a member of the guy is walking with me, they didn't know why but they walked with me and we were laughing and hollering and i was acting like an idiot to impress the guards and so
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that i wouldn't know what that was. then after i got out i had to cross the parking lot and the lights were reallybright . but i never told anybody. at the time. i never told anybody until 25 years later. and so they let me, you know, they let me go. they figured i was stupid, i didn't know what it was and i was really impressed with my stupidity in every way i could. , i was scared then. there were other times. i was scared during the riot but not much because they took good care of me, the inmates took good care of me. well, i didn't know. i guess they were expecting it and i wasn't and we were all sitting around this long table in the room with the windows and the doors with
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those bars that you, we had one door with a bar and i heard so many times a car backfiring. actually it was a gun, probably, they make their own guns. that's where they work but they can also make their own guns. they're called guns. they're not very accurate. they don't have much range. anyway, i heard that noise and suddenly all the guards, all i could hear was the banning of chairs on the concrete floors as they stood up and two of them went to the doors and held up that bar and the others came and gathered around me. and people, we heard noises, gunshots, we heard carrying on and sirens and something hit the door, it was a gas
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canister, teargas and we could smell the teargas but several times people tried getting the door. they were pounding on the door. evidently the riots moved through the prison through the northwest to the southeast and it ultimately passed by. they tried to get in and the guys in the workshop didn't want them to know that i was in there because i could have been held hostage so they protected me. and eventually, it was over and there were two men killed. two inmates, and eventually the guards came and pounded on the door and identified themselves and i went out and they took me out and the men went this way and i went that way and i didn't even ask.
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>> prison is a breeding ground for crime. and that's a sure way to get somebody to commit a crime. and that prisons should be at its best and opportunity for people to turn themselves around. and there are ways to encourage that, there are ways to make it happen. the arts are one of those ways. i think a lot of people think they are no good. and that isn't necessarily true. nor does it mean they will always be good. i think that sometimes, each of us is the worst person to judge himself but you need
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judgment from outside. i guess maybe there are some people, some inmates who are misunderstood just as there are people on the outside who are misunderstood but i think most of their legal activities, whatever they were are not based on the fact that they are good, they are based on the fact that there's some other need and when i ask men that were in the workshop, i asked them one time to list for me the causes of crime. they list mostly social features, poverty, the prevalence of drugs, bad parentage, on and on and these were social issues. and then i said, there's one more. nobody could guess what it
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was. and one person said stupidity and here is a man whose brilliant, well educated , successful who says that he spent 12 years inprison because of stupidity .and that was misunderstood. there was some blockade in him that he got, when he grew old and the man with whom i first did prison, the mass murderer changed enormously when he turned about 40. they had all fell away and he became normal, he could love, he could feel pain and other people's pain. he had been a psychopath. but he ceased to be.
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he stopped fooling people. he confessed to all his crimes. which there were even some may have improved. he began to care for people. and unfortunately, he became a whole human being, he was murdered. i don't know. i guess i react to the term misunderstood. i guess we are all misunderstood. i mean, i think you can erase poverty with bad parentage, particularly if you write a minority person, a male minority person. the chances of your going to prison are very great. and i don't think it means that you are more evil than the next person. i think it means that your spirit got beat up somehow. and that you did things that
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you wouldn't have done otherwise. there's lots of books have been written about it but i think, myself in the yard shows the sort of relationship with inmates that you don't find in most other books. >> c-span is in tucson to learn about the city's literary culture. next next, we speak with lydia otero on her book "la calle" which looks at the effects of urban renewal on downtown tucson. >> the title of my book is "la calle" because i remember this neighborhood in a particular place. i write about urban renewal and the 80 acres close to downtown that was destroyed. the area that was destroyed,
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i refer to as la calle because it was the social part of poor mexican-americans, that's where they patronized small retail, service shops, restaurants and they had their own entertainment center. the city destroyed 80 acres. this was the most tensely populated area in the city of tucson and in the state of arizona. it's also the area that housed the largest number of people of color. by that i mean the largest population of african-americans, chinese-americans and mexican americans . so there's a racial agenda going on in this spot. of course, mexican-americans form the largest population and they have set up this community that moved in the southward direction from downtown and had established what i call their own spatial reality where in order to get to live and celebrate their
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culture and the amongst others like themselves. that's what i remember as a child. of course, later when i'm looking at the documents it was hard to recognize because , to remember that because i got to remember it because most planning documents produced by the city of tucson didn't really talk about the people. they didn't talk about the institute that i was trying to get to because it's this whole impersonal perspective. they had an agenda they wanted to implement urban renewal and wanted to get that done and in the documents, you your reasons about why this is such a good project, that some of these houses are dilapidated. that some of these houses are so-called slums. so they are putting out a different perspective. i had to go beyond the documents and in to these
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people and interview people who lived there or had something to say about the whole program to inform me. i can depend on memory only so much that i can't use that as a source of information. but i can depend on memory to tell me that history and these documents, something is wrong, something is off. it wasn't the way that we were told or that they are trying to tell us that this is the way it was and if it was,, if there were outside backing, if there were people with those constants, then wasn't the city's responsibility or community located right next to downtown to provide services? it's almost like the city essentially deprived area of service in order to justify its demolition. >> this is an example of
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housing. you can tell that people live close together and this is representative of most of the types of architecture that dominated in la calle. you see one of the places where people would sit and call to their neighbors and you can see they are in close proximity but you see the archetypes are distinctly sonoran, it looks very different. all these homes are built out of adobe and adobe in the 1960s was stigmatized area in fact, when planners first went adobe, they meant mexicans. this area has changed, it's been gentrified. it has new owners and now adobe in 2016 is full. people like to live in adobe houses or are looking to live in these types of houses and the first square footage, these homes are the most expensive real estate in tucson. more expensive then the foothills.
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but those are the changes that have happened in the last 50 years and the differences that people have regarding ingredients or materials such as adobe which now is held in high regard and found as being sustainable. >> most people in that area were renters area only 20 percent of people who lived in that area and that includes businesses actually owned their own homes. this can have dire effects in this election in 1966 because in arizona at that time in 1966 , before these bond elections which urban renewal was a bond election, people in boston said yes, sir no. for these type of elections, only real property owners could vote. and thus you had the majority of residents in la calle who
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were able to vote in this initiative. and you had people outside the community, the neighborhood fighting the state, telling people who couldnot vote . that's a great injustice and that statute has been changed but still that time, what resulted was only four percent of the population voted for urban renewal. it was four percent that made a huge decision of leveling close to 80 acres downtown. >> we are on the side of the tucson convention center. this is the large performance space you are looking at. today is our holiday, it's labor day. so it's a weekend, it's a time when i remember there being a lot of people, a lot of activity and you can see this is what resulted. it's almost like they intentionally designed to be inhospitable, to be
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unfriendly. if youwalk this complex, you will find a single drinking fountain in the area . so it's not an exaggeration to say that this was designed to remove people but it was also designed to keep people away. today we have more urban planning, they're trying to do something to modify this area and make it more inviting. in march, i was part of a group that brought a performance here along with laura live theater, we set up audio stories and used this landscape as stages and we, 4000 people were attracted to our stories because we retold the history of urban renewal from the perspective of people who lived in it and who lived through it and on this site so it was an exciting project and it was an exciting time. >> residents learn about it and this is their newspaper.
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and through the radio and there is not this huge resistance that we classify as traditional resistance. they didn't protest. i know that as a child, a number of my father reading the newspaper and being angry and slamming it down but he didn't go out and join the protest. there wasn't an organized protest and that was a problem for me as i researched this because where was the resistance? luckily, i did find a group of women, mostly women called block placido community. they put up these tables on the downtown street corners, gathered signatures for their petition to try to at least save what they considered and what was the most important location which was locked placido which was the main public square and the social
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center for mexican americans. so the reason that yes, all this is going down. we understand that we have to tear this down. they turned out to be the most vocal advocates for preserving certain areas and they also are the biggest foes that raise issues around urban renewal and start questioning it so i'm lucky to have found those documents. i'm very lucky that the documents, the historical preservation was meant because most people don't consider mexican americans and mexican-american women to be historical preservationists but here they are, writing letters to dc. they are trying to find ways to preserve this special area. of course, in the end, they don't succeed. >>
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a this was especially shopping center. it was designed to replace the original, the communispace. as you can tell that has chain-link fence around it and is scheduled to demolish any day. it will be replaced with some housing units, and it will be interesting to see what results but as you can, the verdict is in. this especially shopping center failed, failed miserably. never attracted very much attention, never attracted shoppers and never worked the
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way designers and planners envision it to do. it never works the way designers and planners had sent who's going to work. so it looks dead right now but it looked dead mostly even before the chain-link fence went up. so the city planners and promoters think they can just tear it down and build something new that's going to take, it's going to function, that's going to draw people. so they destroyed most of that except for the little kiosk or does he do. they think that will attract tourist. and make it look what they think is going to attract tourists. so you get, you build this full mexican plaza but you don't, you remove the mexicans are it fails miserably. this great plan that was supposed to solve the city's ills.
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actually caused downtown to go into a big downturn. it caused downtown to actually decline. so you had a dead downtown into some. the last 10 years it's gaining energy and it is being redeveloped. you have different constituencies that are developers and towards promoters are trying to attract, but there's a certain kind of energy that is taking hold now downtown. i'm hoping people that read this book will learn about history, the complicated nature of it, that sometimes we think of arizona in recent times and it's been in the news for the last 10 years. the attack on studies of the local school district and we think this is new.
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but you have to conceptualize this because there've been many periods of anti-mexican sentiment in arizona. this is just what people think is new but urban renewal is an example of old anti-mexican american sentiments grounded in fear. the same thing that we are experiencing now in 2016. a lot of that rhetoric has been used in previous decades. and so urban renewal is a sample of that, of making unwise planning decisions, targeting a group of people unjustly, and there's lessons learned. i think that i'm not the one that is into lessons, but i do think that as we, as a city, are trying to redevelop the downtown
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area, that we can maybe look to the past and see what ingredients worked in the past. maybe pick up on them. maybe what i just described in terms of walkability, sustainability, those ideas will be implement into this new version of downtown, this 21st century downtown. >> i'm standing in front of the space museum component the largest aerospace museums in the country with a collection of close to 300 aircraft. it was you interviewed leo barron on his book "patton at the battle of the bulge." >> the battle of the bulge was usually important in one or two. it was really hitler's last gasp on the western front. it was his last chance in trying to change the course of the war. by that point of the war, he was
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on the defense on all fronts. the russians were knocking on the door to germany. the americans and the brits were coming up from italy and the south and, of course, the americans and the british and the french were coming in from the west through france and belgium in the low countries. and so hitler was look at the strategic situation and he realized that he had to somehow change the equation. and being the gambler that it was he decided to go and launch this huge counteroffensive thinking that the allies would not expect it. to a certain degree was right. the allies did not expect it and that was why he did it. he launched a huge counteroffensive. he was able to achieve an operational level of surprise, and its overall goal was to get to the city of antwerp which was the major port. the allies got most of their supplies through the port of antwerp. is plan was if you could capture that port it would upset the ally timetable, basically push back the allied invasion of germany from the west for months
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maybe even a year. during that time what he was hoping for was while the western allies were reorganizing themselves, he didn't swing his attention towards the russians coming in from the east. that's what the battle of the bulge was so important. it was his last chance to change the course of the war. >> the events leading up, i think where to start back all the way to june 6, 1944. at that point prior to june 6, we really only had two major fronts, the russians coming in from eastern europe and then you had the americans and the british coming up through italy. as you know was a lot of ground the russians had to take to get to basically the heart of germany. so the allied commanders mainly in the west, eisenhower, churchill, roosevelt said the easiest way to get to germany is through northwest france.
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if you look at the map it's the shortest distance. so the allies decided to land in oh, my on june 6, 1944. on june 6 they land for about a month, a little over a month or so if the germans are able to keep the allies kind of lodged up there in northwest europe. but then toward the end of july, the beginning of august the allied forces breakthrough. operation cobra, it becomes a race all the way back to the german border with the allies more or less and patton leading the way, baby huge name for himself pushing the germans all the way back for the most part to the german border. the line stabilize in september of 1944. the allies had outrun their supplies lines basically. they were literally running out of gas and that's why the port of antwerp was so important. a need to open that port so they would have shorter supply lines. patent was pretty famous by that point.
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kind of going back in his history, originally a way to view my adventure west point graduate from west point, was one of the few think commanders in the first world war and then you between the wars he slowly moved up in the rank structure. so by the time world war ii kicked off, when the japanese bombed pearl harbor he had already made a name for himself as being a good guy winking understanding tank warfare and armor warfare. the germans thought the americans were going to land at a place called out of calais. and he was to take command of first u.s. army group at all part of this deception in fact he wasn't landing at that point. when he finally got to the continent after the allied landings in june 60 was as the command of years third army which basically came into being on august 1, 1944.
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he took off like a rocket. after the allies broke through, the german chordata enormity, he basically just raced across france, so much so that the germans could be completely kept the germans off balance. raced across france into the wasn't for the fact he ran out of gas, which is literally what happened, he probably would've race all the way to berlin. he was moving that fast and he got the germans completely off-balance. when you read the german plans for the offensive in 1944, patton was very much on the mind because they are like okay, this great plan, but what is patton pointed you ask the guy that was in charge of the army, seventh army, general brandenburger, it was his job to contain patton. he was like you were not getting enough stuff to be able to contain this guy.
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we already know this guy really is probably one of the most allies of general weaver the most. you were not getting the a lot to stop this guy. he was already kind of like in their minds. he was living rent free in their heads. when the offensive kicked off on december 16, 1944, he was to the south of the german offensive. it wasn't in his area of operations initially, but because the germans did penetrate the allied lines, the plan was they were going to have patton drive his army from the south, north and basically cut the bulge in half at the base of the bulge. ice asked them, you are facing east, you've got all these men, cuba, several core, several divisions, we are talking well over 100,000 men, all right, we need you to turn them 90 degrees and head north.
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which would've been difficult for most generals, and it was even more difficult because it was on-the-fly. it was a a lot of prior planning and the weather was terrible. you of bad roads, heavy snow. pattopatton of course told eiser i can do it, i can do it in 48 hours. i can get my army turned around in 48 hours, and a lot of the guys in the room come in the meeting room, one of them said don't be silly, george. george being patton's first thing. there so we can do this. he said i'm going to turn the army arrested 40 hours, head north. and i'm kind of focus on the town because at this point the 101st airborne division, they were going to be surrounded. they all recognized that bastogne was the key. it was a major road network. in order for the germans to succeed in making their advance all the way to the river and onto antwerp, a need that bastogne.
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because it was terrible terrain, everything had to be on roads. so anyplace where you had town that had a lot of roads became very important. to try to get it historical comparison, it was a lot like gettysburg. gettysburg having all these roads emanating from the. bastogne had the same level of importance. so patents focus became you going to turn your army around and we want you to basically get to the bastogne and really the one at first which we will send in their to defend the city. so that's how patton became involved. he literally turned his army 90 degrees, headed north. true to his word he kicked off his counter attack in 48 hours. he reaches bastogne, breaks and on december choice six, 1944 which is kind of seen as the turning point in the battle of the bulge. because that pretty much starts to cut into the german forces. there's a lot of hard fighting
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for at least another three or four weeks. and then after that, patton says i've not done this, we have reestablished, gotten back to the german border. in march he bounces the rhine. that was the term used. by march of 1945, the allies had reached the rhine river which was a pretty significant obstacle. huge river, very wide, fast current. it's kind of seen as, for the germans it can seem like as their last line of defense in the west. and so they knew that they were going to fight hard for it. and so does all these preparations to basically get across the rhine. montgomery had operation varsity going which was his operation in the with 21st british army group. a lot of preparation. and then all of a sudden the
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germans forget to blow one of the bridges. i'm kind of simple find it. and ninth armored division gets across the rhine. it was a movie about it. patton sees what's going on. this wasn't part of his forces but patton is like the germans are on the back for because of this. he literally just one day said we're going to cross the rhine. he gets across the rhine relatively easy in the southern part of germany. and then, of course, once you're across the rhine it's a race across germany. that's basically what he's doing in april and, of course, in the beginning of may of 1945. once the allies get across the right actually only a question of time at that point. if you look at the history of the u.s. army and obviously it's a very long and illustrious history, the worst month of casualties, hands down, was basically the period of december and january of 1944-1945.
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the american army suffered in just northwest of 144,000 casualties. that's not all dead but a lot of that is killed in action, a lot of it is wanted, a lot of it is missing in action so yes, there is all kinds of fighting going on. you are talking literally about an 80-mile front worth of combat. it's not something rico like a civil war battlefield where you can pretty much walk the whole battlefield on foot in one day. you wouldn't be able to do that with a world war ii battlefield. it would take several days if you're walking and several hours if you were driving. it was a month-long. generally seem to going from december 162 mid-january. sojourn not talking about one or two days. when you look at her of civil war battles, gettysburg, three days. d-day, june 6, 1 day. even though there was lots that happen after june 6. pearl harbor, one day, december 7.
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it doesn't lend itself to a very small compact book so typically you do see books on the battle of the bulge, it's like 600 pages. that's something you can't pick up and some good reads about the battle of the bulge. that's a large come into huge thing to swallow all in one weekend. whereas like a said you're a civil war battles, one day, two days. i think from the perspective it kind of intimidates any potential reader. it's a huge battle, such a massive scope it's hard to take it all in in one book. i think that's why maybe it's not have it about as other battles. when i do talk to the veterans come and interview the veterans, i found that in some cases being able to say hey, i am a veteran as well, it does kind of grease the wheels little bit and gets
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them to open up a little more. more. you have had to go to connect with on a couple levels. it's funny, like when i would talk to these veterans, you had it worse to you in the desert. are you kidding me? you guys are fighting in the german army or for my third book of you guys are fighting the chinese army. awful temperatures. i had it easy. they were always very humble. great stories i think having a perspective a kind of gave me a little bit of an end saying i get some of this. just great talking to these veterans. some of them just incredible stores, just an amazing story. like i said the most humble man with a be a world war ii veteran, a korean war veteran, can't say enough about them and i always, people think it's hyperbole. they really were, what they did was amazing to i have no problem calling them the greatest generation. spent booktv is in tucson, arizona, to learn more about his literary culture.
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up next we take a ride with ken lamberton as he tells us about his 52 city tour around his home state of arizona. >> tucson gets about 11, 12 inches a year of rainfall. so it's not that common. and it's a by mobile data. in wintertime will be these long drawnout storms from the pacific to come down. in the summertime we get these wonderful monsoons that come up from mexico, from the gulf of mexico and the sea of cortez and they bring these big violent storms with the thunderheads, the thunderstorms, the lightning and maybe drop an interview in just an hour. and that's when the flooding really happens. it's wonderful. and when you live in arizona you don't run and hide from this kind of weather. we like to get out in it.
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it's a desert but it's one of the greenest of deserts. i came in when i was nine. my mom brought us out here, all five of us. i'm the oldest of five, and pretty much immediately fell in love with the desert. i mean, this was the mid '60s and we lived on the north side of town. and i was free to just, you know,, go all the wanted. take my bike, i'd be gone all day just exploring washers, the drainages, exploring the deserts, learning about the desert, figure out what all these strange animals and birds were. i guess it was probably, moving here was where i began to be a naturalist. the press have been wanting me to do a guidebook for arizona,
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and they had an idea that it should be like 52 weekends, 52 destinations, something that somebody could use to go to a place at any particular time of the year. i have not written a guidebook before, and i thought well, i wasn't too excited about the idea actually, but then i had this idea. it was coming upon the centennial 2012 was our 100 year anniversary for statehood. and i thought why not turn into like more of an adventure? can actually see arizona, or how much of arizona can i do in one year in this until year, the idea was 52 destinations and go somewhere different every week. and that appealed to me more. make it a fun project, you know?
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find out what it is about arizona. why do we eat, how do we identify ourselves as arizonans? what is it about this place that makes this arizonans? and just go to these destinations around arizona and talk to people about this place we live, this great place we live the. >> we are standing on the place of tucson's birth. this is procedure, reconstructed presidio in downtown tucson. presidio st. augustine, and this is where on august 20, 1775, that this irish mercenary moved the spanish fork, the presidio to tucson. and this is what we claim is our
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birthplace and birth date, august 20, 1775. what, 230 years ago. wasn't sure that i could actually accomplish something's different for an entire year every week. and i live in bisbee so i started with bisbee and just moved on from there. i went from bisbee, then to douglas and the wonderful gadsden hotel. stayed there. i think it was friday the 13th actually, and it's haunted like just about every hotel in arizona is haunted. my wife kind of joked about later on in private. she said these hotels are all haunted. and they are all historic. i think all that means is the plumbing is really bad. so she was done with historic hotels. she wants something a little more modern. she's featured in the book quite a bit. i bounce a lot of things off of her because we are opposite in a
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lot of ways. so i just went off from bisbee to douglas and tombstone of course there i met a wonderful historian who took me around the town and talk to me about wyatt earp and who wyatt earp really was. he called him a gambler and a pimp, wonderful, wonderful guy. dressed up in all this, you know, the typical period. clothing, that andy had this wide brim hat that he wore anti-kind of put down hollywood for changing a lot of things. you know, the hat brim he talked about, that's all rolled up, was a hollywood construction. because the directors wanted
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more light on the actor's faces so they rolled the brims up and he said they never would'v woule done anything like that. the idea was to find out what is arizona? what is it about? i learned some amazing things, especially about this part of arizona, the southern portion, what we call baja arizona. a friend of mine, our arizona poet laureate says that it's not our borders that separate us. our borders are where we are joined. and so much of who we are in arizona is our connection to the countries and the peoples and cultures surrounding us. the famous al charro in tucson.
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this is the oldest mexican restaurant in the u.s. and this is where i came for the famous chimichanga. i think, the story behind it, this alleged story, in 2012 when is researching "chasing arizona," the legislature was actually trying to decide whether they should have a state food as a symbol. one of our state symbols. and l. charro at another mexican restaurant in phoenix but it should be the chimichanga people that a story about the chimichanga. old kind of similar. monica flynn who was the founder of el charro said she intended it here. she said she was rolling up burroughs one day and one fell into the hot oil and she sounded something like chimichanga.
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and that's the story anyway. it was probably more of a swear word i think but it came out like chimichanga. translated to mean thingamajig for something like that. so anyway, these are the kind of stories that went along with el charro. they both wanted to make the chimichanga the statehood of arizona. so of course i came here. i had to have the chimichanga. i had come to the place where it was supposedly invented. and i did. the chimichanga led today's crazy idea of chasing all the symbols in arizona. arizona has 12 symbols. they were suggesting a chimichanga. we have 12 symbols, the state flower then we have the state tree, state fraud.
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we have a state netware which is the ball low tide. i have a ball will die with me. i should be wearing that. state neckware. what is the habitat of this? i found out in my journeys in my searching that there's this place in wickenburg, and there's this guy their that claims that he invented it, the ball low tide. that one day he was out riding his horse and that blew off and he couldn't retrieve his that he managed to get that man and he threw the hatband over his neck and people like the look so he said i can do something with that. and he created the arizona
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simple necktie, the bolo tie. it's a neat with saint arizonans, you know, we have this really cool thing that was created right in our state and this is something about who we are. will i have driven to a lot of these towns before, like kingman. never really bothered to stop except maybe for gas. and i found out when i get to kingman there was a wrong distillery, and arizona wrong distillery. that was interesting to me. how they make a run in arizona? where did he get the molasses? and i talked to the owners and they gave me a tour of the place and it was like state-of-the-art there goes like being on a science-fiction that. will i learned about ron making in arizona, and that they're doing a really amazing job with the.
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to the point where they're winning awards time with places like bacardi. arizona wrong distillery time their rum making with bacardi. places like i have never been to the can you. i found the guy was a native american man, navajos willing to take me in his jeep through the canyon. wonderful, wonderful story she told. i had never been to for coors arizona. we drove up there and i mean, i learned that for coors arizona is actually not geographical for coors. they missed it by about something like 2000 feet or something. -- four corners. it was just a wonderful
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adventure and it evolved into lots of storytelling, stories people would tell me and then my own research and stories i find out about places around arizona. i think it's more about our connection, who we are as arizona's. it's not like, we are not, we are not like what the media portrays. we are a diverse, multicultural people who are just kind of thrown together in an extraordinary environment. it's nothing, its not like you go out in the desert and you find headless people. this is what everybody hears
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about. this is an amazing place and it's a rich culture. i want people to come out here and experience it and see. it's not like what a lot of media portray. >> c-span is in the desert city of tucson, arizona, to learn more about a sled racing. the next we speak with author professor samara klar honor book about independent voters. independent voters are important in some ways and seemingly fairly inconsequential in other ways. turns out independent voters by and large to support one of the two major parties. about 93% of independents will tell pollsters when asked that they do prefer either the democrats or the republicans and they tend to vote very consistently for those parties. so independence who leaned towards the democrats almost always vote for the democrats, and independents going towards republicans almost always vote for the republicans. it would look a we look at the g
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perspective at first it seems as though independence are not that important. after what political scientists have thought about them for several decades now, but my co-author and i decided to take another look at independents and start to look at how the act would comes to politics, whether they're engaged in politics. what we found is that independents are much less likely to participate in certain political activities. for example, putting up a yard sign or wearing a sticker or even telling your friends who you're going to vote for independents want to appear independent so they don't do those kinds of things. when it comes actually a tuesday in the class of activities they are really important because they're not participate in those kinds of things. we've seen independents steadily increased the past half-century. right now both pew and gallup our single independents and ever have before so we are at an all-time high. we have more americans identify as independents than either of the other two parties. it is the most common most frequent identification in polls. about 40% of americans say they
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are independent and then, of course, the remaining 60% is split about evenly between democrats and republicans. why this has been happening over time is a lot of theories as to what has caused the increase but the one thing we focused on is the role of negativity and politics. as we see in politics become more negative in the united states, the social desirability against democrats and republicans is increasing. then wanted to be associate with fighting and bickering. there's a big misconception among media that independent voters are swing voters. they are not. independent voters are not, not even ideological moderate but many are very conservative or very liberal or so it's not necessarily true that independents are the voting bloc is up for grabs. the question that motivate this book was why would someone say their independent when, in fact, they're actually voting for a party?
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that's what drove us to start this research into first place. what we've done is there's this social desirability bias against partisan. there's almost a consensus among the american public that independents are just more appealing than democrats or republicans. we did over a dozen experiments in national surveys. with than people think independents are more physically attractive, more trustworthy, more likable. they generally prefer deliver at independents can to work with independents. if you try to make the best impression on other people, the best way is to say you are an independent. even among strong republicans and strong democrats, people really do it prefer the party, they would that independents are more the aspirational ideal. people really do talk about this sort of higher ground. they will say i'm above all the fighting, above all the bickering. i don't want to support the lesser or two evils. people does independents as the
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more noble choice among these kind of negative, the negative stereotypes we have with the democrats or republicans. we asked people as independents what message would you give to the president, and they want compromise big of a people to work together. they want bipartisanship. that's what they say. we also tested whether that's actually true with a series of experiments in which we asked both democrats and republicans and independents how they would react if their own representative compromise their own values for the sake of bipartisanship. we find in all groups would be very upset if that happened to even for independents of the word compromise for them than skimming the of the party is compromised. they don't think optimize the something their own party should be done. one of the biggest mysteries right now is there are some independents from the independent label is seen as so socially desirable, why do not
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have a successful third party? i think that probably the biggest reason for that, there some structure reasons having do with the democratic national committee and the republican national committee i do have a lot of power in american politics, but americans are very tied to the party label. independents, although they may not vote, they may not identify with a particular party, has been their lives fighting for the same part over and over again. it's hard to break away. americans rely heavily on electability. one of the biggest challenges a candidate like gary johnson has defaced is this the electability factor. can he win? people to want to feel like they're throwing their vote away on a candidate who's not going to win. that was bernie sanders because fertile as well and the thing for the largest part he managed to overcome it. that's always going to keep a third party candidate out of the race. i think the rise of donald trump and the success of bernie
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sanders is largely a function of the appeal of independents. bernie sanders is an independent. he is officially an independent. donald trump really has no real connection to either of the two parties. his past is connected to democrats and republicans. i think both of those candidates really about americans to support a candidate that was not squarely in either party. so donald trump i think can think independents largely for his rise because it was seen as nonpartisan in a lot of ways. barack obama really enjoyed the same benefit. he cast his campaign. mccain and sarah palin tried to do the same thing saying they were old, maverick a lot of candidates have seen the benefit of identifying as independent or at least try to convey his independent message. now that donald trump is a republican candidate, there's nothing you can do about it now,
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he has lost that abu. i think the most important application of the book is about this dissatisfaction with parties is consequential. what it means is more and more americans are going to withdraw from participating in politics and that's going to leave our political system in the hands of a very few number of people who might be able more extreme than the average. so as democrats and republicans become less socially desirable, more americans are going to assist with the themselves and will not talk about politics at work and not try to convince their friends to vote for a particular candidate. those lower levels of engagement are problematic because it leads candidates selection and democracy itself enhance of those who don't necessarily represent the rest of us. >> c-span is in tucson to learn more about the city literary scene. up next we speak with author thomas sheraton who goes in
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depth about the events that shaped the grand canyon state. >> there are a number of misconceptions about arizona and its history, and one of them is that all the mexicans here are immigrants from mexico. but like the out of town -- we didn't cross the border. the border crossed us. long before arizona ever became a part of the united states, it was a part of first spanish and then later mexican sonora. so tucson was really the northernmost community in the province and later the state of sonora. the our mexican families here who have been here seven, eight generations. including some that will with the original group of soldiers who came up here and 1776 and
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actually founded the community of tucson. the u.s. has been, has always been a very racialized society. back east we tend to think of black-white relations, but as this area became a part of the united states after the mexican war and then with the gadsden purchase in 1854, all of a sudden the little white americans had to deal with mexican people. in many, well, the mexicans can they didn't consider the mexicans to be white so they thought that they were inferior to them. they didn't quite know where to place them in the kind of racial hierarchy that existed in the country at that time. they were not slaves your they
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were not african or african-american, but they definitely were not white. sometimes they were referred to, for example, as a race of mongrels, this sort of mixture between native people and europeans like the seniors. -- spaniards. almost from the very beginning there were these patterns where the anglo newcomers trying to dominate the mexicans who are already living here. it wasn't quite as bad as it was in parts of california and texas. primarily because from the 1850s until the 1880s, there were not a lot of anglo settlers here. arizona was considered this kind of dry, desolate apache infested hellhole on the way to california.
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so a lot, a lot of people were not attracted to settle here. in fact, for about a 20 year period, most of the anglo newcomers were adult males. very few anglo women came in. and so many of those males married mexican women and into mexican families. and also started businesses either with mexicans who have been here for a long time or also with mexican entrepreneurs who are moving into the area from sonora or chihuahua. so for about a 20 year period there was this kind of our racial, bilingual society where anyone sends mexicans a simulated the anglos, rather than vice versa. but all that changed very quickly once the southern pacific railroad came in.
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all of a sudden you could bring in outside goods. more settlers arrived to ranch for mine. more anglo women arrived, and so tucson very quickly became a segregated community with mexican families being pushed out of the old presidio downtown area by anglo businessman. and they moved either south or west, and then as more anglo settlers moved in, they moved north and east. so this de facto ethnic racial segregation really took hold here. even though mexicans remained a majority of tucson's population until 1910, it's as if they had disappeared from the face of the earth in the newspapers
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beginning in the 1870s. no coverage of mexican businessmen, no coverage of mexican artists. the only thing you might get was to mexicans got into a knife fight on saturday night. and that really persisted, well, it still persists in many respects. it's interesting, i wrote history of arizona, that the first edition came out in 1995. the second edition came out in 2012, you know, in honor of the centennial of arizona statehood. and what i saw then was, when arizona became a state, there was this widespread anti-mexican movement. interestingly enough, back then
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again from the left rather than the right, and it was anglo, anglo-irish miners, union organizers who wanted to keep mexicans out of the mines because those with the best paying jobs. and they tried to get these anti-mexican measures in the u.s. constitution, in the arizona constitution, and later when those were either turned down, they tried to pass similar measures in the legislature. and then when i went back to revise my history, i realized that we were living through a similar period of anti-mexican sentiment, only this time it was coming more from the right, beginning in the late 1980s with the english only movement, a series of laws designed to make english the official
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language of arizona and mandate, the only english word be spoken in government agencies and public facilities. and then with explosive surge in immigration, mexican immigration in the 1990s and early 2010 -- 2000s, this anti-mexican, and the immigrant hysteria, rows and rows and rows come and we got bills like s.b. 1070 which garnered national attention. which tried to force municipal police departments to request immigration papers every time they stopped a mexican looking person for a traffic violation or whatever, and we were going through another time.
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of anti-mexican legal education that was pretty successful in the sense that many of those anti-mexican measures were passed into law. i think that anti-mexican sentiment was really fueled by anglo newcomers to arizona who had, many of them retired who've moved into the state in the 1980s, 1990s, who have no understanding of arizona history, no understanding of arizona and mexico's deep ties with one another, ties of commerce, ties of family, ties of culture, ties of history.
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and look at all mexican people, including u.s. citizens as these kind of brown immigrant hordes from the south who are threatening u.s. sovereignty. i think which was a complete misreading of arizona history, and who we are in arizona. when arizona was making that transition from being a frontier to being a part of the united states, in agriculture, on the railroads, even in the logging industry, the majority of the workers are mexican and mexican-americans. and that's true for all of the western united states. the western u.s. would not have been dealt with that mexican labor. so i would like them to get a
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deeper, richer sense of the role that mexican people have played in history of the state and in the history of the country. >> c-span is in tucson, arizona, to learn about its history and literary culture. while they we took a driving tour with "tucson weekly" is mari herreras to learn more about the city's unique herita heritage. >> are you ready to take a ride around tucson? >> i am. >> so tucson, arizona, and so have never been to tucson, what is sort of the quintessential thing about the city people should know? >> well, we are no longer cowboys and indians kind of city, that's for sure. if people are thinking about
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john wayne and western movies, that's something that they need to put out undermined. we are close to the border and so border politics is only important to a lot of people in tucson. we have a state that is very conservative politically, but tucson that takes pride in being the button pusher city, the city gets a little more progressive than phoenix. one of the great things we had for ages, if they go through and come up congress wrote here, is that we've always had a really burgeoning music scene. we've always had a great music scene since the '80s when i was going to school. the rialto right here, this is a very important part of that music scene. rialto is constantly listed as
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one of the best music venues in the country. congress also has a lot of national acts but also a long -- strong place for local performances. >> let's head south. talk about being close to the border. of mexican heritage is like. one of those is food. >> i think we're talking earlier about the whole heritage. this isn't just about mexican food for us. it also goes back to the fact that we have been an inhabited pueblo, an inhabited area for going back several thousand years. >> you recently were given that distinction. what is it again? >> world heritage site for food heritage. not just mexican food which
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really in the scheme of things as opinion that long. is also about our connection with our tribes. we have to tribes here. both are important parts of our community. they really have persevered in part of the place we will be heading to is the nation where the reservation is. there's a co-op farm in the district. bakewell heritage crops and different kinds of wheat and grains and melons that have only had a history of growing here in the desert. >> see how beautiful? it's called the white dove.
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>> it's a beautiful. even as far away, you see the landscape. you have the greenery, the trees, the desert. stunning. how long has this been your? >> 1600. >> this holds a special place for the tri. it is on tribal land. >> this has always been part of the culture here and the community here, it's an important part of the community. it's an important part of the catholic community of tucson as well. and that's also an important part for people who just love our tradition at our history and our culture. this is definitely one of the special places. beyond history, we have a great
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uncle who was part of come he and his brother were part of a group that were trying to figure out how to maintain the stucco and the integrity of the outside of the building when they were doing a remodel. this remodel has been going on different steps for many years. it ended up being prickly pear juice was the added ingredient. they put a call out the it was one of the things. prickly pear juice. this was built by the indians. there was only the priest and the indians. you look on the walls, it's hysterical. there are supposedly women but they tend to look like priests,
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frankly. there's some interesting details that are kind of fun to look. >> stunning, and amazing that the craftsmanship so many years ago is a testament akin to the heritage of tucson. >> before all of these people, there was this. >> incredible. we've talked about that mexican heritage, the native heritage. this gorgeous mission to what's next? >> let's go up to place that's really special to me. it has the longest ongoing continuous research in the country. wrote back to the early 1900s. i think 903. ecology, environmental research, desert ecology. it's the one of the oldest ongoing saguaro research that's
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done. it's a location close to an urban area which is also becoming increasingly important. how is our ecology in urban environment? and how have things, how are these tomorrow's doing the past 100 years speak with why is it so important for the death of research to a courier? >> we talk about our love for this area and how we want this place to be loved and protected. the environment is really important to us. we know that with climate change things are changing. there's no doubt saguaros, some areas, the jude lacava more careful because their health is in peril. it's more important than ever that the research after.
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it's also important for its connection to the community, for people to understand the research is happening, for people to understand. that means our backdoor ecology, are sitting ecology, environment is just as important as anyplace else. >> when i tune into it on the weekends, usually at his authors sharing their new releases. spent watching the nonfiction authors on booktv is the best television for serious readers. on c-span that have a longer conversation and delve into their subjects. >> booktv weekends. they bring you offer after offer after offer that's not like the work of a sitting people. >> i love booktv and i'm a c-span fan. >> at that time the british empire was huge. ruled 415 million people,


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