tv After Words with Suzy Hansen CSPAN September 23, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
sherman alexi about his relationship with his mother, you don't have to say you love me. then robert wright argues that buddhism holds the key to enduring happiness in "why buddhism is true followed by how not to be wrong about how mathematics can be applied in day-to-day life. wrapping up the look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to portland oregon's books is the genius of birds. some of these authors have or will be appearing on book tv. you watch them on the website, booktv.org. >> next, on afterwards new york times magazine contributor susie hansen reflects on her travels abroad and looks at the world powers and influence.
>> hello. we are talking today to susie hansen, author of notes on a foreign country. american and post- american world. she's a contributing writer at the new york times magazine and is currently living in istanbul. in trying to describe this book to other people i tried by myself stumbling because i think it's many books in one. it's a book about you going abroad and american in 2007 learning about the muslim world in turkey and the surrounding region. it's a book about that region, but also a book that's relevant
today as we see things over the summer with charlottesville and things in our own country with the election of donald trump. it's a book about what is america and what is it mean to be an american. can you talk about how would you describe what this book is? >> guest: the fact that it seems like there's many books in one is the genesis of the book. i moved to turkey with the idea that i was going to become a real foreign correspondent is going to read about foreign countries. i had never been anywhere and i had never been to turkey. i had lived in london for maybe three months. was a very traumatic experience for his learning new things. during the first year to i was talking to friends of mine, particularly to friends of mine who lived in london.
one was british and one is indian. is telling them about what i was learning in turkey. after about a year so i said i think i'm going to write a book about turkey they said we think your book is about america because what they have been hearing her powerfully maybe the my observations about turkey were how america books from abroad, what i was learning about american history and how turks viewed americans. all of this was coming as a revelation to me. at first i was horrified that they thought my book about a foreign country was going to be a book about myself. it's what you're not supposed to do. but as turkey became more complicated and i became more aware of my weaknesses and my blind spots, i didn't really feel comfortable writing a book
about turkey as much. i thought what i could write about his experience of seeing your country from afar and that might be a more powerful story alcatel. >> have to say that in tackling a lot of the book is very much about your time as a foreign correspondent in turkey you start out the book with the scene on going where there is a horrible disaster a few years back. in the minors asking you, why did you wait until this horrible tragedy for you to come and find us. and i think you paint a broader picture about what is happening in turkey. can you talk about that? >> guest: that was an interesting case.
what i was thinking when one miner asked me that this was a minor who had survived the fire was that he reminded me that a lot of foreign journalists in the early years of akp, i arrived in 2007 we have been very much focused on this debate between islam and secularism. we haven't been paying enough about economic policies and how he is changing the country. so a lot of what went wrong with a drastic neoliberalism that he was implementing at the time. it had little regard for safety reels in the minors themselves. what i wanted to say to the minor was why did it take me so long, because i was caught up in other things. i was not able to see these weaknesses and perhaps because at the time he was pretrade as
pro-business and that something familiar to me. i was not aware that my affection or comfortability comfort with capitalism went that deep and it would lead me to have such binds about a foreign leader. >> what you're saying about it being very pro-business because certainly that's how he was pretrade particularly in the western media when he first came to power in 2003, it was about economic policy and catapulting turkey out of this third world backwater. despite the fact that he is very much a very pious conservative muslim and in the book you start a and there's ambivalence to your family but you going to
muslim majority country because of what we experienced here on 9/11 and the pushback that you got from people and why would you go live in that part of the world. you even talk about this assumption you have about muslims. >> guest: yes. i think it is really surprising to me that i felt this way. i think a lot of this book is stopping and noticing your reflexes and your earlier prejudices which i try to break down over the book. i think when my father for example expressed his concern about me moving to a muslim country, my response was actually, you know they restrain islam there. i thought of my self as a liberal and leftist in but there is some part of me obviously if i would have spoken that way that mean that i was also afraid of it.
it needed to be restrained wishes ridiculous but i did at the time. i think september 11 deeply shook people in ways that we have not fully grappled with. >> i think sina pro-business, pro- progressive leader in a muslim majority country with something we all found. >> he was also using the rhetoric we were very familiar with. the rhetoric of freedom, is just that he was using the words that made us feel good about him in the beginning especially. and a lot of people as well. i think what bothers me is that we fell forward on some level. i think a lot of people were looking very carefully, there are so excited about the moderate islamists.
>> i want to read a little excerpt and talk to about this, he goes to the heart of how this is many books in one. it's not just a book about your experiences, it's very much about america today. you write about how america's policies and you believe that america was inherently good. i thought america was at the end of some spectrum of civilization and everyone else was trying to catch up. in a sense, my learning process was threefold. i was learn about america country come about america's role in the world and understanding my own psychology and prejudices. the things that made it so hard in the first place american exceptionalism generally define the united states it demanded that all americans believed they
too were born superior to others. >> guest: yes,. >> steve: can you talk about this epiphany that you have in turkey. you go with this sense that i'm going to report in a in the sense that here in the west we have all of the answers and what i'm extrapolating from this and correct me if i'm wrong, is that you started to question, are we actually write, is america this exceptional nation and who are we as a country. >> there's definitely that question of are we exceptional also the question of why have i never thought this was a form of propaganda, where was this concept coming from and what was the job he was doing from individual americans. one thing i was realizing that
took a long time is that the very language we use only talk about foreign countries has been determined for us a long time ago. we tend to look at countries in the east as where they catching up with us or where they behind us. that prevents you from being able to see the country on its own terms. within who they are within the context. this is going back to the passage you read, your understanding the history for the first time and why you are not able to things this complex way before. it was very difficult to keep out. >> steve: in terms of understanding the complexity not only in turkey but in the united states, you reference james
baldwin in this book and you talk about how one of the reasons you chose to go to turkey on a grant that you wanted 2007 was because james baldwin was a black man in the 60s and he said he felt more comfortable in turkey. >> he said these are very racist times, watch this document and i believe it was a pbs documentary and it was my first images of him in this great footage of him and he expressed that he felt more comfortable there and this made no sense to me. he was my favorite writer. everybody has that writer that just changes your brain a little
bit and he was that person for me. he explained to me what it meant to be a white american, i was maybe 23 years old when i thought about it. when i saw he had been in a simple and live there, it the city was stuck in my brain, i wanted to see what he had seen and why this place made him feel good and the fact that i was surprised that a sample would make you feel that way what is that say about me what he found was he was so helpful because he had explained in detail the relationship between black and white americans. have begun to suggest that he was seeing how the americans
were taking that violent relationship and possibly casting it out onto the rest of the world. and this was not resolved, her relationship in which white people were not aware of or do not take responsibility for. he was watching turkey which was one of our early satellites after world war ii and he was feeling nervous. he was actually scared to watch to see americans on their soil and he told called turkey ping-pong ball between the soviet union and america. even though he had nothing to do with turkey at first i could kinda use him as a guide to help me understand what i was learning. >> steve: i want to continue in that thread of using other countries as a satellite.
you do focus in on greece, iran, afghanistan, pakistan in this book, you do very much from the lens of what is america's relationship to these countries i what is happening. in a way, one not only gets a sense of what the foreign-policy has been with the respective countries but you also gain more insight about u.s. american living abroad. >> i felt strongly about this is a thought it was going to be so personal and the reason because the only person psychology i can analyze and rip apart is my own. i felt i had to use myself as a guide. at the same time, i wanted to give the reader something, i wanted them to learn the way i had. i had this extraordinary experience. i got to will move abroad, and
one is scholarship, that many people get to do that. in the process of writing the book i read more about the history of the countries. i wanted to share that with the reader. i did remember these powerful moments. they're just moments. it doesn't even have to be a long seen her many hours, maybe just a moment or something hits you like in cairo where he realizes place has been broken by something. i am related to that because americans relationship was really a damaging one. and that feeling of responsibility or connection, this unique experience when you're there and see in it
yourself and learning about it for the first time. as you are realizing you're having some powerful emotions and thinking my gosh i hope, whole life without realizing i'm having a relationship with millions of people. but they know the relationship very well, egyptians snow americans well, greek snow americans well. americans don't know anything about them. this suddenly strikes you as a very serious and graph situation. >> you start to reassess not only america, but who you are as an american and i think it's important that i want to spend time on that because you make that distinction about american
foreign policy he say there's this american ideal about the idea of freedom in a place america can come to. then there's the actual american policy and what we've done in the world. i think you start to say that their america is not one-dimensional and not one-dimensional, there's many sides to it. you start abroad and start to see what those sites are. >> yes, we talked about that there are two americas basically again the foreigners are where both of them, but for most of us were just enamored with our domestic narrative and detached from the four narrative. what i found was that i began to wonder that if domestic
narrative is one that we are free what does the four narrative have to do with who we are? i began to wonder if the way we been detached from that narrative of violence had made a slack a certain kind empathy and i think when you think about these things you cannot just say the country or point fingers at those people over there think about yourself, do u.s. and individual are you comfortable with violence and death? because america's history is unique in this way in terms of being part of the empire that they do not feel like they have individually anything to do with. it's not just about things like
empathy but to get your self-esteem on some level from the fact that your country was the most powerful country on the planet? do you feel like on some level you have good intentions? think this is a common thing that americans believe about foreign-policy, they might make mistakes but the intentions are good because were america, i don't see how this couldn't trickle down into how people see about themselves. >> in terms of the empathy and questioning not only about what it means to be an american but our policies, there's a scene in the book where you come back to the united states and get sick, you get pneumonia and everybody says to you, thank god this happened while you are in
america, can you talk about that? >> guest: that was incredible. i had pneumonia and i was so sick i did not know what was wrong with me. eventually kind friend took me to the hospital that was the closest ones where we live. i was passing out, is very real. and afterwards when i tell people this happened they said think i'd you are in in turkey. and of course the hospital i went to was so awful, they couldn't diagnose me, it was not clean, i have tremendous respect for the doctors who eventually figured out what was wrong with me but it was a terrible experience. the turkish hospital i would've went to would've been much nicer. my friend's mother would've brought me food.
the idea that americans really think that the rest of the world is not in some way modern are not better than them, that will come as a shock to them when they go to a place like istanbul or someplace else. >> steve: it's not even that it's modern comments that may be our system isn't the best and we should try to improve it. >> guest: were talking about the health care system, but this is what i mean about reflexes. so much of the book is about examining those moments. most of the people who said these things are very critical of the healthcare system in america, all of these debates and still there instinct was this must be better healthcare than in turkey, thank god you're in america, that was extraordinary. many have read that chapter in a and it's a very common thing to think.
>> steve: there's a lot in the book that looks at what's been happening with growing populism in places like turkey and the rise of how the president of turkey he's become an authoritarian on jailing journalists, we constantly hear about was see what's happening in russia and things happening in hungary and poland, and the philippines and a phenomenon happening around the world. certainly here in this country there's a sense of growing populism and growing anger to the establishment by the people that have been left behind, how do you feel those things are all connected? >> guest: one of the interesting things about writing the book is
that in using myself and biography i want to show that i kinda came from both sides of the spectrum in the sense that i grew up in a conservative place of the typical small american town where many people would have boat voted for trump but then i went to this -- meets liberal college and then spent my 20s in the new york media. from abroad i felt like the two groups were suffering from the same crisis. i think that has a lot to do with this assumption about our place in the world, our exceptionalism and power. and my feelings from afar. but watching the rise of trump
and listening to people who i know voted for him is that a lot of this has to do with an international issue, it's not just domestic. in america's case is this feeling that we are losing ground, were losing power and therefore that threatens individual identities. i'm primarily that's the white american. in some ways might be were served white men because so much of going back to so much of that identity is based on the fact that we are powerful, that is the most important good essentially. after september 11 and the financial crisis and these voters who are in fact races, the election of barack obama and someone like donald trump can just come in and easily exploit what i think just waiting to be exploited. one of the things i talk about
in the book that i had not realized that american patriotism was nationalism until a to turkey and was about turkish nationalism. this is one of those things i was very surprised about in retrospect. was one of the most interesting things about the history and country but i was at some level looking down on it. then i had one of those powerful days where i realize that american patriotism and turkish patriotism were similar and i was quite blind to where i was coming from. >> did that then change your view and turkish nationalism? >> i think yes, first it reminded me that i am someone
even though i did not think i was, who can look down on foreign countries and this is where think national identity is nash very important. we don't think of it is looking down but we do, it's like these poor people who haven't quite gotten to where we are, but because we believe they can do it in this american cheerleader way we can help them along we don't think of it being as ugly and pernicious, so yes, remind me to just be very sympathetic at all times that everything i've seen and to be careful. and also as we discussed at one point think i has realize that
so much has changed since i moved to turkey's ten years ago and now i'm realizing that there's something about that strong identity that turks have their somewhat special. it might help them whether a lot of storms were seen in the world, technology, globalization, it's a sense of knowing who you are. >> steve: i like the threat of being more confident about yourself because i think what i have certainly seen in my studies in my time going to turkey that turks have changed. i was a child going to turkey in the 70s and 80s and i remember the only thing they wanted to do was leave. they would say you're so lucky you live in america. now, turks i know who live here
going back and had been going back for a long time. there such tremendous opportunity and entrepreneurs there now on there's a sense that there's a social mobility and you can build a business and you can essentially make it in these places. i think this goes along with what you're saying that they have started to become more confident and believe in themselves and not depend on uncle sam and the handouts that you have with the united states. so in many ways and i would love to hear what your thoughts are, is what were seen particularly with what's happening in america or america's foreign policy, reaction to that growing confidence that were seen.
>> guest: will people see america on the decline and it has an effect on their own self perception. >> steve: i'm not sure a lot of people in this country even nor turkey is. let alone understand that turks have become more confident. i think there is a sense that turks don't need america anymo anymore. >> guest: i think a lot of countries don't need america anymore. think this goes back to iraq and afghanistan. i think those are the big catastrophes. approved there certain things we simply cannot to that we make a tremendous mess out of that. i think a lot innocence was less than. you can always for its head. we can ever -- i'm complacent
about it, as we can see with trump you can hear his rhetoric to that belief that we will never let anything happen to us and we'll just go in and take care of that place are from that place, i think this is an old assumption that we have the right to do that, they will be better off than what they have now. i think that's a very deep one. think some of the more embarrassing admissions of my book was this moment when i first arrived and i was looking at the seaside and how wealthy it was and how beautiful and how prosperous it was. and i was surprised. again, this is cut reaction, but i think there is some part me invested in believing that a
question like turkey was behind us. think those are really dangerous reflexes. nonetheless i would not have admitted at the time with my education or my sense of -- but i think to go through this process of admitted these things so we can get rid of them once and for all. >> it's interesting that you bring up looking at the wealthy houses and beautiful seaside's you also have an epiphany about westerners and their reaction to the stan bill. like look at all this wealth and the great restaurants and bars, and then injections are people from the middle east to come and what they actually talk about is, look at how great their subway system is. >> i think this is what makes
turkey an interesting case study in terms of the relationship with the united states. other countries suffered much more at the hands of this relationship or in terms of all of their imperial relationships and they have this feeling that a certain kind of autonomy was stolen from them. and turks are proud think they're the only ones to negotiate the rights for the air force base, they're the only ones to say that they had equal control as the americans did. it's a different case, it's not as obvious what happened between the turkey in the u.s.
that's what makes us not very aware of the fact that turkey have been affected by its relationship with the u.s., it's not vietnam or egypt, it's not iraq, but it's a complicated nuanced one, it didn't rob turks of their time your sovereignty but it affected them and it scare people in the 60s that this relationship could become stronger and stronger and i think that's why turks rebelled in the 60s and 70s so strongly against it. >> i think what were seen in the united states with protest think there's a huge polarization in the country politically, but i also think there is also very much in washington too, irrespective of who is occupying the white house, i think there's ambivalence i think that was true under president obama which
what is america's role in the world because now you have a strong china, strong india, strong nations like turkey that we previously relied on an were economically backward it and we could tell what to do but we can't do that anymore. they don't use anymore. places in latin america and africa, think it's very true. you start to see this unraveling of american foreign policy on a government policy level. and very much set aside was happening in the country but on a foreign policy level i think the united states is lost. what you think? >> and then think about what that means to individuals. who are we if we are not that country, who are we if china is
that powerful or as powerful as us. that's earthshaking to us, it requires a complete reconsideration of our identity and sense of self. that could be a wonderful thing. her saying essentially were unhappy unless are running everything. and if we have power over other people or people defer to us, even though we take that for granted i don't think people are conscious of the fact that they feel that way. i think we really need to talk about what it means for the future, i think that fear jove a lot of the election and the confusion going on right now the states. >> steve: i want to read a bit from the book that touches on this point.
you're right, we cannot go abroad as americans in the 21st century not realize the main thing that has been terrorizing us for less 14 years as our own ignorance. our blindness and subsequent discovery of all the people on whom the empire that was not empire was constructed without our concern. that touches on what you just said, and in the epilogue you reflect on where do we go from here, where do we go from here? >> guest: what i'm drying on is an illusion to september 11. i think that just did completely break a lot of people, understandably. a lot of it was this bewilderment and fear of what else happened in the 20th century. we learned this is not something
new. and of course it wasn't new. but if you remember that time everyone was scrambling to read books about the taliban and al qaeda and afghanistan and it's really painful to realize that none of us know what happened in the 20th century, really know, i don't think we know really well, it's not taught in schools so things keep coming as a surprise this is fine as long as things were going great, but now it's chattering to us. i don't think we know where we can ago because it's an unprecedented time. i think were confused, hope that we can see it is a good thing because you have to go through these internal conflicts to come out the other side. if we kept us going even if
hillary clinton have become president, i think we would ended up in the same place anyway. we're still not examining who we are really, what happened, where history is and we haven't also renegotiated our relationship with the rest of the world in a way that might be positive. >> steve: you touch on this on the epilogue where you talk about the myth of america and the rhetoric that we've all consumed. any right that is very much about white america and it's interesting how you start out the book and talk about james baldwin in his escape to sample in here were seen a lot of concern about what direction is america going to i guess it be
interesting to hear your point of view in terms of what happened to the definition, were also going to be americans but how do we move forward and embrace this concept of black lives matter in the different aspects and incorporate the different, at least what i have it as the daughter of an immigrant because i feel like i have a different narrative than a white american. >> guest: a very good friend of mine who grew up in l.a. she grew up in a diverse neighborhood and she said you know, it's different for us, think we are more connected to foreign countries by understand you grew up in a very white town, ultimately the power in the country has always been
focused and entrenched in the hands of white americans, it is white people even with this narrative of ellis island and the melting pot, they still see themselves as the true leaders of the country, i think. i think it's something they don't want to admit because they are it immigrants, but they are still benefiting from the power of this country or they have historically that they have not quite examined or dealt with, the african-american population of course it is beyond that. i think the onus is on them and throughout the book i kept repeating white american. while i wanted to speak to
everybody, i think we have to understand that white americans have a different responsibility. >> the other thing that's interesting is is not just about white americans, it's about the ruling class. one of the things that you found in turkey was a most people who are familiar with the turkey world we call the white turks and they have been for a long time than the ruling class. early on you talk about one of the friends you make is occurred and you learn about the oppression that this minority group has had in the hands of the ruling elites. it's very much a can to the struggle of african-americans in the united states. >> guest: at the same time people are saying white turks will be more westernized and more like you.
but, at first i was reconsidering this preconceived notion of what that community would be like. but we became very critical of them as if not i'm not a member of the same class. but i think they are uniquely blind and uniquely vicious and turkish history. it's that thing of being careful of its an observer. you have to be conscious of what's going on. as journalist were bringing a lot to the table. i think this is an interesting thing i was trying to explore about objectivity in journalism. americans also have very american minds.
and that automatically takes away from the power project to get busy. this is something that took me a while to sort out. >> steve: one of the things you talk about the american mind, i think it's very much with the rise of isis and extremism, were seen terrorism has dominated our headlines here. here is about muslims and islam and often when we you see terrorist incidents they blamed the religion to a certain extent. one of the things you write about in the book is how in turkey you would watch women who are pious muslims and cover their hair, but this was odd when it wasn't allowed to cover public buildings they would have to take their headscarves off in
your comment was, as if i would willingly deposit a piece of my clothing to a police officer, where's the freedom and that and you reflect on a very thoughtfully about what does it mean to be a muslim in the world, not just the west and what is it that we are getting rights or wrong? >> again, it shows something i think westerners don't do very often, you can hear it in general politicians, just seeing that muslim girl who is going to school as someone just like you, i think we tend to have a hard time putting her heart set on train ourselves and foreigners
place. i had a bulgarian friend say to me, americans are uniquely bad at having subjectivity of other people. i think that's because the world is so foreign and confusing to us. i think we can contribute a lot of misconceptions to television, but we can also maybe look at how deep this has gone, we are a christian nation, i don't think we tend to think of ourselves this way. but it's deep in the history and rhetoric of the country. americans have always been very scared of them critical of muslims, so this racism has always existed. were also missionary nation. i have a passage about missionaries going to syria and
trying to convert people to christianity. we have deep-seated prejudices against is on. roll most uniquely incapable of understanding muslims. i think it was quite a lot of work but it doesn't seem immediately obvious for some reason it will always be represented as this very dramatic thing. also there's an interesting way of looking at it and i talk about isis at one point. briefly and how terrified of course we all word muslims were of the videos and beheadings, but it never occurred to us that our contractors in afghanistan or iraq water and wearing
wraparound sunglasses that they may have a period in the same terrifying way. we look at isis is so completely from another planet. were not really talk about the collective violence that the world has been witnessing and how a group like isis may have come out of that to some degree, not to disregard local causes of course. but i think it would help us if we are able to relate more. >> steve: these are completely different from the people in the ground in afghanistan is not
only a cultural divide there's a religious divide, a linguistic divide. there's another interesting quote in the book and i think this says a lot. you write, the americans wholeheartedly believe they can make anyone into an american. >> that's not my opinion, that's actually think coming from a book about cold war modernizers and intellectuals who actually were the ones who lay down the blueprint for the way america would deal with rest of the world after world war ii. i think the distinction the writer was making his what's the difference? the difference was, the americans knew how to not seem like the brits. racism was out of style.
the british empire was going down india and pakistan were declaring their own independen independence, there is movements all over the world and of course they did not want to be colonists, but this is an interesting thing about historians. they actually take americans at their word that they really do have good intentions. but americans really just wholeheartedly believed that being an american was the best thing you could be and anyone could be and we will help you along. the brits may have thought -- but you always be beneath us. if you're constantly defining a person is beneath you if they catch up how do you stay on top? they don't actually want everybody to catch up, they want to keep people in this position of maybe you will meet your
benchmarks and your numbers this year i'm be a little bit more like america, but not quite. >> i think you've gotten push back about what you just said particularly from people who believe that you're being anti- american and you're being too cruel about american and american history, certainly there's bad but there's a lot of good, my reading on this book is that there's a lot of painful truths but it looks like you're trying to set a new narrative, how would you respond to the people who call you anti- american? >> this is something i debated for a long time was whether to say in the introduction that this is going to be a book that criticizes. i will not remind you of the good things america has done at every turn.
my editor did not want me to do that because the overall feeling and spirit of the book is to admit that we have enormous myths to puncture. we have a lot of prejudices to examine. and we are very good have reminding everybody of the good things we have done. it's the negative events in history, it's the darker side of everything that we resist. in fact, that voice that says what about the good things we did that makes us not really truly take the crimes of the last 60 years very seriously. what i mean, his deep emotional seriousness. a way in which eventually people will see the pain of others as their own, because this is a
kind of empire, whatever it was we are all a part of the same place in a way. and we should feel that way. the fact of the matter is most americans besides on september 11 have never had to deal with the fear of violence that the world has had to. it's an incredible imbalance. i can remember turkish people saying to me when i first moved there and i was surprised by this, well, if you can just randomly iraq why wouldn't turkey be next and i can see americans thinking, that's silly, we had reasons, but they are not thinking about what it's like to live in a neighbor of a country that was invaded for no reason. nobody takes the time to do that. i did not want to remind readers
of all the good things because i think the history is so surprising in history and wonderful on its own. the thing is not much of the history is very good, i think that segments etiquette were fairly complete. >> a lot of things have changed in turkey over the past year there is a referendum in april which change the constitution and essentially put more power in the hands of the president and you mentioned him several times, a lot of people very concerned about what's happening in turkey, certainly with terrorist bombings and isis, the restarting of the war with the
kurdish minority and people are arguing same the worst is yet to come, will you can's tenure to be based on a stamp? >> i think i will always have a relationship with the country, for now yes, i live there have no other home. i love living there and i've always been happy living there. it's not as happy now not for me, for turks and turkish friends and it's sad to watch what's happening, but it will always be a place i think i became myself there. it will always be a place that refuge a place of refuge for me. it's interesting when people asked me about why stay in a place that's unstable, in turkey will always feel like a place of calm, a enough.
so even if some point i have to leave for other reasons i hope to always have a home there. >> and as we are wrapping up, and american abroad, this is something that -- coined talk about the rice china and india, he says doesn't mean america is out, just means that other countries are much more powerf powerful, what does it mean for you to be an american abroad in a post- american world? >> i think it's an education. just a constant education. i do not see the country the same way anymore. but in many ways i feel like it's been on a journey of trying to understand and trying to figure out what the american
identity really is, don't really know. i don't really have answers here. but, i think living abroad i feel a part of of that world than the american one in some ways. it's strange to me to mention coming back to the u.s. and being cut off from the rest of the world what i have learned so much and i have gained so much. >> great. thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. [inaudible] >> if you'd like to view ever afterwards programs online go to our website at booktv.org. all previous afterwards episodes will be available.
>> does anybody else have an experience you want to share? tyrone asked about his medication again the conversation turned to drugs and alcohol when tyrone instead begins talking about smoking a blunt. everyone except the wildflower patient has something to say about drugs. they say something minor is mandy sure,. >> i don't mean to take up everyone's valuable time in the group, no i don't deserve it thank you for letting me speak. there's said you're fine, just talk. thank you. it's just that i struggle with alcohol for so long, almost 40 years now and i've been sober since getting locked up i hope so maybe i can stay clean when i get out. he seems to be comfortable now and continues talking. he seemed talked about being
whipped as a 7-year-old one morning, he drank one of the glasses of leftover orange juice not realizing it was mixed with fica. what is hung over father found out he whipped manny. but manny said it didn't hurt as much that time because he was tipsy from the alcohol. from then on he drank as much as he could get his hands on. . .