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tv   2017 Biographers International Organization Editorial Excellence Award  CSPAN  February 20, 2018 11:27pm-1:04am EST

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>> encouraging people to take their seat. good evening, everyone. i am the new executive director celebrating its tenth year now
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and i want to advertise the alliance with the bio. courtesy of the president bio we are going to be cosponsoring their conference will also be happening here. for the new indigo fellowship there fellowships given out every single year.
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i'm thrilled to this event and owner bob and i introduced now go swift will take it from here. those of you who don't know it stands for the biographer's international organization and i want to think before we such a good friend and those whom i've mastered now for being so helpful and also cathy curtis is amazing and put this whole event together. but she already has so much to do because she is so amazing.
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it is as well as the biographers are masters of the field and we are excited to inaugurate a new fellowship that allows people to apply and travel if they win the fellowships traveled to have the funds to go to the places their subjects lived so they could get a more visceral feel that that is important. then we honored nancy siegel.
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we also have many others, annual reward for the contribution to the arts and crafts biography. we give the award to the new biographer for the first proposal and we consider that very important because that is the kind of thing that gets people going. i have the pleasure of introducing tonight one of the more distinguished biographers, annette gordon reed, the professors of americaprofessor l history at the professor then harvard and she has so many awards i cannot mention them all that she has the national humanities medal, the national book award, the pulitzer prize, the members of the american academy of arts and sciences and also have a guggenheim fellowship and macarthur fellowship.
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essentially the epiphany of a distinguished biographer and here tonight because bob wise old edited two of the books. she's also written about andrew johnson. she's done a lot. i've learned i go on too long an introduction so it speaks to the quality of bob wilde. and please join us. [applause] >> this is wonderful to be here and to be able to introduce my editor and friend, the person who deserves every accolade that can be given him. i met him in a '90s when he
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was given a copy of the manuscript of the first book i've ever written that for four months to think of a publisher or anything but i thought surely someone will publish this. bob read it and liked it but i ended up going with the university press of virginia because it was a new book about jefferson and i was saying controversial things i thought they were actually handled in a way that would make the historical community accepting of it because these were their fears and so forth and he was very generous about that and agreed that was the best thing to do. he was patient and we became friends after he became the editor of my other book about jefferson, the hemmings is at monticello the american family. it was a wonderful. the work of legendary whe legene reports about legendary when i see reports about nyc that word on his name and it makes sense because everybody i know that those of his work talks about him as the editors editor and
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the writer's editor and he was definitely that. taking a large view of the project, very low key about things he didn't accept in his suggestions. a person who loves history and we both fell in love with the great historian and he introduced me and leaves t we uo up to visit him and take him to dinner and so forth and it's been a wonderful experience. it's not just like having an editor and a professional relationship. he has been a dear friend of mine and has taken an interest in me in so many ways and championed the end was my greatest cheerleader and publicist. i am thrilled to be able to be here tonight because he's going to talk about a subject dear to my heart that can mean a lot of different things and i'm anxious to hear what he has to say about
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it because nobody is better from understanding the structure, the style and the demand of this particular art form and he was enormously helpful. [applause] first of all, i feel genuinely humbled by this baton but i have been handed and iranian editor, it is a burden i've never taken lightly in my life. i'm so honored first of the editorial excellence award committee particularly cathy curtis and will swift have chosen me for this award and i would think annette gordon reed for her affectionate
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introduction. i am grateful to drake mcfeely, the chairman for having placed this dark horse bet on me all these years and more recently, the new president who both of whom are here who possess as a combination of creativity, compassion and belief in goodness that is unheard of in this area and also to all of my wonderful colleagues. i don't know what i would do without you because they are all my family. but more significantly, i feel a mortgage t to all the writers ie worked with those in this room and out there who have succeeded through their work in reclaiming the truth and in reading into a large part the world we know so i'm very humbled by this.
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i was asked to write a speech which i titled biography as reclamation and it might surprise you a little because they are all different meanings of biography. why did you become an editor. this is a question i frequently get asked. the honest answer is i don't know but i can assure you with the utmost certainty i never thought of becoming a book editor that is until i was 22 and just signed my first job as a social studies teacher. and i was thinking i might go to law school. as a high school student, i had imagined myself as a history teacher giving back to others but a few exceptional
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instructors instilled in me. after all, the numbers and figures came easily to me i don't know why that's so much so i would commit the batting battg averages in the statistics of every single major league player to memory each sunday morning oblivious to the fact that no one in my house and you'll see why yo could imagine or care abt the record-setting average or that they lead with a batting average but was shockingly low. that will simplify house was prepared for. perhaps going to college, the handiest course i ever took one bad night students with gone down mike drano was one of diplomatic history that was presided over by hans kamsky, a
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professor that had notes that required us to memorize the dates of every single european battle, peace treaty at the conference between 1815 and 1945. you have to know for example between the ottoman empire. this semester class was a member of the challenge of minimizing baseball stats and i encountered in the big three conferences. and guess i can still do them in order. no doubt you'r you are scratchir
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head at such ephemera but nothing prepared me so well to edited manuscript van in the ironclad dates so much so that once when i saw a manuscript that said alexander the second was assassinated in st. petersburg i said no it is 1881. but it became evident that was too nice and too short of slight to survive high school teaching. i couldn't control it class or break up fights with teenage girls or withstand a litany of indignities of those that asked me if i were still a virgin.
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[laughter] [laughter] so i left it with nothing to do, i was glued to television as they emerged. in the seventh inning that i remembered i was so ecstatic. immediately i was enthralled in the challenges as i was with the breathtaking strikeouts even though i'd been an editor of my high school newspaper coming up
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with police corruption that landed me momentarily as a reprimand in the town jail i never considered and decades ago i regarded it as one that requires you to land a job and in an explicable way they emboldened me so much so that when i'm mentioned the notion of pursuing a career they volunteered the names of the agents and then i was off for an entry level position and my one pair of good black shoes to meet
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with what seemed like a parade of personnel people. you typed 86 words a minute to explain to the resources while an editor dawn di put in the history said i didn't see the type to fetch coffee or make lunch reservations. some elusive and the prospect slaughter resume for getting this job that i would do for anything to get in the door showing up without an appointment but with three crossword puzzles i just constructed to convince them to issue. finally i was overjoyed she was
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about to offer me a job that i parlayed the news of that to an interview with a distinguished nonfiction senior editor if they want to think they would have to did resulting as an editorial assistant during the gloomiest times. i'm thinking of writing this talk that the information of a calling came at a much younger age to shape my editorial consciousness.
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by 5-foot 5-foot father bundled in hiinto his overcoat was plowg but the driveway and created deep sigh of drifts along the walls and i was suddenly free. i worked my way into a frenzy to liberate every single branch but no matter how far i ventured, no matter how frantically i raced about i was unable to return
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even after it glistened once again in the morning sunshine and had been cleared to the front stairway i was struggling so much that my father had to say it's time to come in. it is odd of course how seemingly mundane but if you look for other instances, it's probably my mother and her abiding concern. in november 1962 i recalled her lamenting the death of her idol
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and in her accent he makes no one could tell she read as a part of the first obituary mrs. roosevelt spoke with a distinctive falsetto indigenous to the coastline and as the nation's brought warmth, sincerity and patience to every corner of the land. having just turned 11 to watch as my mom said history was being made. this was not an inauguration. it was to open up the building and my mother's fascination had
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far less to do to civil-rights pioneers. it certainly posed no threat despite that demanded my attention. my mother was born the day before the archduke was assassinated. they were married four days before the attack. i used to joke she died the day before world war iii. they had different ways of dealing with history.
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they are germane to the biography today. my swedish raised mother with her fiery hair and fierce curiosity she claimed among other things that it was drawn to the family history. she already soaked up everything about her family. the assimilated land to a german family that had become the leading supplier in the world. but her fascination also extended to my dads family who were more religious.
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there was no such thing as a family secret. it was the terms of endearment iand how she plotted to trick te parents unaware of their interest into sponsoring a swedish work visa for her husband whom they would initially loads and regard as a green horn. i became familiar with the individual biographies of every aunt and uncle on her side. their younger sister was the
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first in the generation to go to college and today there is a isr named in her honor. no story was too painful for both called upon to draw the vivid portrait of an increasingly assimilated family soon through mixed marriages that have submerged jewish roots. not only in the recollection of stories of others to suppress that in their determination to document the story of the wireless. i can recall my father beat red with anger fleeing the kitchen dinner table one evening on this
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basis, 1938 and he refused to leave his hometown in southern germany without his parents. six months earlier they had to convince him to depart on his own perhaps reassuring him that they themselves applied for a british visa that had not yet arrived. no one could have predicted that summer morning and the toxic atmosphere would finally explode in november.
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and the savage violence but depend upon the small city forced to leave her familiar apartment my grandmother stuck her head in the oven on that christmas day unaware that the two exit visas were already winging their way from england. by the time my mother had finished the story with my grandfather having left a small suitcase in april of 39 to be with his daughter my father had already called down a whiskey or two and walked himself behind his office door. the nonconfrontational manner active to repress such painful memories he chose never to speak about those preferring to recount his army buddies in new
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guinea and never a denial that could be punctured at the dinner table. if you are interested i it is worth asking then what they had as an adolescent. i know she liked biography and was likened to sally hemmings story from the book that she read as a young adolescent. for me it was more than my beloved rasul biographies. this might surprise you that his works of fiction. it was the social realism and
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that awakened my interest in the class and poverty which i devoured after ninth grade and then read a second time memorizing the passages as i followed the family on its epic track to california. we had seen a wreck this morning, though cream color, steering wheel went white friend left him like a frog on a hook. one of them cut down the never
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seen such a mess. they are looking at that kid, dog almighty. it taught me about literature and how to redeem and illumina illuminate. who can forget the biblical transcendence offering a bare breast to prevent him from dying of starvation. i was thinking of the panelists gathered tonight with whom i've had the privilege to work with for 19 years. by the way i have to say the
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first book was & martin's. i have not so far yet referred to their biographies for how they fared in these ways such of the ways i've discussed. having never written a biography on crafting such a word while this craft is devoted i should state some of them would recognize themselves even the most practiced biographer is bound to help false start is intimidating to re-create another person's life in your own work and all too common is when the biographer relies too heavily on research oversaturation of quotes and letters that hijack the biography into becoming a bloodless document. i found one false start to amass the confidence needed to sever
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that on th under local court ano produce the narrative that doesn't mimic subjects language. this fueled my interest in the biography that only later on did i come to focus in on the pernicious influence of race in society and how it is retracted in american history for if you care to examine what's behind the dog whistle that saturate the media today, i am convinced that race more than economics, class, culture, gender or geography comes together to define who we are as evidenced by the most recent presidential election. as a child growing up but just get the edges i was hardly aware
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of these forces that dehumanize one another and perpetuate a hierarchy as old as the american south. with my father's acquiescence, the initial i was taught to religious and ethnic terriers remain insurmountable. walking is a teenager i remember passing those at the club greatly do not question the fact that jews were not allowed it then or that section had been to use a polite curb restricted for decades.
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>> or rate that was formal, the case. it helps us understand your man's racial divide that still divides us today. and editing marks i became aware of the challenges faced by a biography. the need to look at whole chapter life stories. gordon had to look at the nitrogens in paris switch rather than have the whole chapter out of online about one girl to be inoculated in a foreign country or this asserting that a man of jefferson honors could not
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possibly have entertained a relationship with the slave girl but how could they ignore telltale fact that jefferson and hemming name their six children after his business associates something that they would not want to do it was regarded as hundreds of thousands of americans black-and-white as the paramount that so many of power first african-americans had neither developed to conceal david to lewis himself. these demonstrate that race animates the most important events post civil war 19th century 20th century american
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political history. as the philosopher tells us in his forthcoming book the lives that bind, the very concept of race is a construct that did not even exist until the 1700 when the natural inferiority complex arose to justify their treatment and enslavement in the first place yet it's not as binary as black-and-white as money might think. this poses an extract glenn approach me a decade ago and said i considered setting up a book of charlie chin by -- a chinese-american since this is going in to history they can
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assist of posting the photographic work with internment camp i was intrigued especially since they wanted the postmodern life from real lice honolulu street detective to arise in the public gun should his pitch in english was seized upon by asian american activist in the 70s. working on charlie chan i wear this turn southern slave holders will publish next april self-examination among asian americans as embodied in histories rank is far more fraud
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they believed that the the road to simulation to manson accommodation to a hierarchical order of bigotry that has shaped their journey. the lord messy case in 1931 in which five asian americans were arrested and falsely tried for rape resulting into sensational trials and one brutal murder that dominated the news and 31. it remains unknown to 99% of the population. the very way in which asian american history continues to be on appreciated people matriculate to the paradox that
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informs our understanding. as dominant an issue of race becomes the fractured age of obama and trump it would be folly to suggest i do only biographies and those not examining race cannot have similar import. while the biography appears to be a study of this previously neglected american novelist the book on a number of occasions a feminist biography which through the lens of jackson and her relationship of her husband she examines the subjugation of women, the definition of their value of their silencing of the little met by the literary a mainstream culture.
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even perpetuated by ruth jackson's book. and thinking of the book and i did not adhere they write about this world of the 1950s were it was considered almost entirely normal it's a culture with which we are suddenly confronting now and is so evident during that time people could think it was quite wrong but the thing that makes it shakespearean this that she loved her husband opposed to her mother her husband love to work more than every other person. a biography is not easy. it creates puzzles and paradoxes which the biographer has to deal
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with that stanley loved his wife's work. but franklin's book showed me that jackson's work came ten years before betty and she was writing about housewives and how they were not treated seriously. in that way jackson was visionary. and that i thought i more than just shirley jackson know what linda gordon writes about russia thinks. she is facing hurdles of women artists as early as 1920s the portrait of the legendary biographer. this is of another bias a few weeks ago when i read the piece called too many colleges bump
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trump 101. many colleges have shown to a political conservative students and professors who up and feel marginalized. suggest that this was an unwillingness to embrace the student on the professor i created this bubble in which no one could possibly believe donald trump could become president. it was not uncommon for publishing personalities to raise their eyebrows in question my motives and willing to work with scholars across all political spectrums. there is an expectation that i was a liberal must never sign up
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whose political. steve you are. there thing since 2007 the start when i signed up global history i recognized a writing style and often contrarian way of interpreting. those have been instructed by previous editors who want to capture the red meat of the audience that he cannot include footnotes and heads right shoulder books they wanted to include footnotes and expand on intellectual warfare. the police believe that you need to treat people with respect and their own sovereign ability to
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roll wisely. we are both determined to create a book of historical residence. i decided to send out the other is the fire freedom they redeem very strongly the road not taken the forthcoming biography is the who could have prevented americans humiliating to block lesbian on. ten years after they first contacted everyone gathered here would agree that unprecedented political era with the foundations of our american democracy could be imperiled. you no longer do i get comments from fellow colleagues and agents. one said she does not read conservative books. the former editorial page was
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counsel generals and their advisors have now heard his alert together like weeds against the forces he feels has hijacked the republican party. he would tell you his views had not changed at all. in going public and venting his innermost fears he sacrificed real financial support at the same time he is amassed twitter followers. his helped us forge a new consensus mistake designer against tyrants and for some liberals to view honorable law-abiding conservatives at a new might and as an acceptance from a mainstream media. if were to preserve the democratic ideals it's a new consensus like this would that brings us together here today.
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better previous adversaries to acknowledge our mutual precepts of liberty and democracy. has also evoked by david lewis increasingly germane the improbable wendell wilkie. his forthcoming biography of the 1940 republican presidential candidate and indiana businessman turned politician whose vision of a better bipartisan world was so bored with premature death at the age of 52 and 1944. if were to consider the role which emphasize it almost
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single-handedly tricke to endley this but one conclusion. the biography has the potential, like a novel to seize the imagination and revive and reclaim. so much of this becomes a beacon in a burden for the biographer who is a demonstrate time and again remains shackled to the truth prevented from inventing a new character is surely the happy and the just to please the readers. tonight i don't have to worry about such things. but on saturday it's back to my park bench annette gordon-reed would meet me to go over my essay for their i know so many bushes ladin was snow browser ever listing lead to be free of
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nature's burden while the roar of snowblowers in the distance. thank you. [applause] >> is my pleasure and honor to give bob the fourth annual editorial excellence award. [applause] >> i'm very honored. >> thank you all for coming.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i apologize for the music that's coming. i did not know what is happening down there. there he writes me to remind the panelists to speak directly into the microphone. this is a great room but a very tall ceiling so we need you to be directly into the microphone. thank you. >> as you can imagine i'm honored to be here the presence of so many great people.
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five instructed me to tell the panelist not to talk about -- and i did that. but that will not stop me. i'm not a consistency rule abiding person. connecting with bob was a major gift in decades of writing books i really work for an editor who edited perhaps at the diner, i hope not. editing is a major intellectual project. as you've heard he was also a writer. he not only has the ability to see the overall structure and arc of the narrative also shows authors how to dramatize it. he also contributes ideas for an amazing start of knowledge not confined to european diplomatic
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history. knowledge cultural, political and social i was regretful that i do not cite him in my footnotes. is the source of numerous examples, analogies and insights that made the work more powerf powerful. he will mark up a manuscript sentence by sentence, example by example a most the time i agree with him. the agreement comes because he listens to what a writer is doing, where they want to end up and how they propose to get there. he can do this because he
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somehow magically can turn a 24 hour day into a 30 hour days. being a workaholic is the least of his vocations. i'm sure writers know that being a great editor is a great character. they do not need to be the smartest person in the room. they must trust but argue with the writer must be able to work in host of different genres. muscular gifts that are now lies publicly acknowledged forms enthusiasm sprigs for capacitive joy. reading a promising manuscript is an intense pleasure for him. it's a pleasure in seeing the possibility of what might become of that manuscript.
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i want to thank him for what he has contributed for bringing me a lot of other wonderful things. if you don't mind i will introduce the panelist. is there a set order in which you will? i'll introduce in alphabetical order. >> max was born in moscow but raised in los angeles. military story. a senior fellow national security studies at the council of foreign relations. on the author of a forthcoming book, the road not taken edward in the american tragedy in vietnam. ruth franklin is a book critic, biographer and former editor.
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her biography shirley jackson about a haunted life when the book critics circle award for biography was made into "time" magazine and taught nonfiction book. i will not list all of the awards. there's a very distinguished publications. however profession o was the author charlie chan. the best-known subject of all the biographies that we have talked about today. books were interesting. he is the editor of the big red book of modern chinese literature. published by norton in his new
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book, inseparable the original siamese twins will be on april. david lewis is a professor at nyu. he is twice the winner of the pulitzer prize for biography for both parts. the first author to win pulitzer prizes for two successive volumes of the same subject. people may not know that his first book, prisoners of was about -- affair. eleven books later his biography of wendell wilkie was published but is contemplating the 12th book, a family history of slavery.
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[inaudible] >> i'm intimidated by the prospect of talking about biography with all of you in the room. i've been called upon in the new york yankees sitting around on football at the boston patriots in the audience. i would feel safe playing with them in their current status. instead of doing that i'm going to ignore the injunction and
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talk about robert lyle. bob wilde earlier in the last few days. let me quote you feel the description. he sought authors were not just safe but who spoke in a new voice about the values of the first world war. he did more than reflect the standards of his age. he told writers still differ to my judgment. i would be ashamed if it were possible to meet you for a writer that speaks only for himself. he could speak the language of writers better than any publisher he would ever meet. he was always tactful. i pulled the faster because this is not about bob wilde but the
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man who inspired him to become an editor. to not realize he had been inspired by maxwell until he said that just now. as i was reading the façade alike in many ways a description of bob is not going around in a fedora. when the essential attributes of the good editor which max exemplifies i see bob as well. spell one of the greatest privileges of my life and more years to come. we have more books in the pipeline to be associated with bob. he has elevated my writing because he has had faith in me as a writer. that's from somebody of bob's vast experience means a lot.
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he does things the best of his writers. then he have the aspiration to be better and he tells me constantly that i should scale the heights that many of you have achieved. that's both daunting and inspirational. but the care and attention that he gives many scripts is almost a lost art when longform writing it's going to be 280 characters on twitter, minus the old one. bob is a throwback in the best way because like max he believes of the power of literature.
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he was in the ability to inform the world and enlighten the world through the writers. he sees that is a mission of enhancing the profits of the publisher. i think he does see a higher calling there. you can see it in the way he goes about carefully edited scripts. so many other publishers and editors have decided it's not worthwhile to do that. bob doesn't care if it makes sense. he thinks this is the morally correct thing to do. he puts the care and attention into the comments. the only thing i would say is it's hard to reach your handwriting. so we have his colleagues like larry to constantly call up and
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say what is sa? i often think ben that's good and he is adding to the manuscript and making me sound wiser than i am. the references are not actually my doing. no huge opera fan. she's a relationship group because my girlfriend who is that inserted this references into my back that she constantly tells me that i have to see the opera because if i'm on the sub page 211 is faster this commonality of interest for which i'm grateful.
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bob was the toughest reader i ever have in the one i want to please the most. i'm in the state of anxiety because i have a book coming out in a couple of months. my state of anxiety is higher when i chew the manuscript about when i turned to hear what he says. i await the phone calls with dread and a certain amount of fear and hope that he will give me the wild stamp of approval. yours delivers his verdict with the same tact that max is known for.
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last year when he called me up we had a nice conversation. then he drops into the conversation, by the way did she realize the manuscript was 400,000 words long. and i said no, i didn't. at that point he suggested maybe it should not be that long. it would be a book over thousand pages that people would not be interested in reading. but a spur to reduce the length was the stimulant to synthesize and condense and draw out the essential narrative line without getting lost in details. in general to keep it short or don't write so much.
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i could ramble on and on and speak a good deal longer about bob's many other stellar qualities. i feel the blue pencil will come out in the comments will be next will tell me do you really want to give the 400,000 speech and i guess i don't. [applause] >> all go next. so his story about my first encounter with bob. i have bob talked about me know i can tell it from my side of the desk.
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i will say how many to preserve the identities of the innocent, i would say a young editor that i had started writing book reviews and i was just on the graduate school and anxious and insecure that i didn't feel like i can write about anything other than the subjects i had studied which was german polish literature. so this limited my subject matter. it was one of the only places where it was an editor interested in publishing reviews of german and polish novels and so that's how i gravitated to one of bob's books, small novel by the german writer who i had not heard of before and you have
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been either but he turned out to be one of bob's projects. i picked up the book and read and became interested in who he was. i started looking into his history and publications and found out he is at the center of a controversy over a holocaust memo that he served as a ghostwriter for. just after world war ii ended. later you got a disgrace when it came out the people said he had appropriated the survivor story as his own. i started looking into it. what came out was a long piece that surfer my first book. it was about the tension between memoir and fiction and holocaust writing.
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i argued that anything wrong. but he did was make fiction out of someone's memoir that was the plagiarizing. is the time when eight or 9000 borrowing pieces could be published in a mainstream magazine. landers said you'll hear from them. and the phone ring may be the day the magazine appeared there was bob wilde on the phone. he said i can't believe you wrote this review of my book. my said who is this? it became clear it was. bob told me about himself what struck me the most is that it
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didn't matter to bob that this wasn't the review of his book, it was mostly about something totally different. what was important was that it was a selling review, no review was ever going to get a book on many bestseller list anywhere. that's not what it was about the review struck this book and the writer seriously. that is one of bob's creative values of one of the things he holds most important. i was struck in the speech about he talked about the dual values to rescue and nurture.
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i can't think of another editor who abuses words about his writers and subjects. so many of the books are writers in which limited his own personal mission to rescue from obscurity and have reputation. gain, police said satisfied with the translation. i just say how truly privileged and fortunate i feel to have had my subject included in which he mated his mission to rescue and nurture.
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they are a great debt to bob and his work. i am humbled to be in this company. [applause] >> the anecdotal stories that i would start with something else. recently i give a talk based on my book and send the police lo love. is pretty high class. so i talk about them in like to the book is a game on the ic. at the end of my lecture
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somebody came up to me because i was displaying these on the side of the woman asked me, is your book political? certainly usual mode i said chinese in this book is actually a radical. whatever that means. i think the rescued nurture if i can summarize in one sentence what bob taught me as an editor and friend and teacher is to teach me about america. given so far it's been a bigger part of my life in the united states and in china.
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out went to college in china they came here when i was 22 and i'm now 48. so i spend a longer time here. then i taught at harvard and landed in california. i always thought i knew enough about america. not until i started writing the charlie chan book and realize the complexity is the race issue and how complicated because it's never black-and-white. at that time everything was black and white. i fell into the vacuum in some ways.
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in terms of knowledge and the recognition i had pitfalls in the blind spot was recently he was absolutely great in terms of rescued me from some of the pitfalls that my path holes line ahead. he knows everything about history as of the in-depth knowledge is a literary scholar but also a poet. it taught me how to flinch from a position as a scholar to a
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narrative. so beneficial writer friend of mine asked me with this look of this segment to plan to write fiction? compare the fiction biography but i always believe that his famous coral and fiction and what he calls the deadly space between documentary and bob taught me a great deal about the path between narrative and the research. so anyway, thank you for making it possible for me. [applause]
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>> i share everything that is being said, we've only done two books together but it seems to me feels very much like them anymore because we've known each other well before he became one of your fortunate clients. i thought since i knew we would all say what we said that we are terribly and dented for bob for his corrections and suggestions are manuscript and his range of knowledge is start on cultural
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is really a gift of his personality is rather hard to sustain. at the same time it's priceless no about what i would do is re read, wrote it seems on the 24th of october 2010, a first book together was monster. it was god's crucible. islam and the making of europe. none of us was confident to edit or write such a book but i felt
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it had to be done. i had gone to morocco turned a small book on the invitation of the iberian peninsula. i arrived on the day of 9/11. my grand editor said don't : this book as to be larger. so my became the editor of that book. it did fairly well and translated into spanish and portuguese. in korean.
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we're hoping it would be translated into turkish just so happen that i happen to be in turkey only had good reason to believe the book was about to be released. so i write to bob and to carl, my now deceased literary agent of the time comes four days after the most quirky afternoons i've had since college days. ruth and i are back from a long weekend returning from dubai. after breakfast i headed from our quaint hotel on quest for publication director of a publishing house. it was on the opposite side of the golden -- a telephone call from the hotel ascertain the
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director would return the call later that day would pay came to his office. in spirit of the visit i decided to find my way to him. i headed into one of the ancient arterial stopping every 100 meters or so and as for directions. offer directions with servitude. after seven affirmations my adjust was another 200 meters. i suspected number 14 defy discovery. especially after locating to number 16 and 12 only to be told
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with much shoulder shrugging that it was an entirely different place. later at that moment said to be in new york at the book awards. it announced plateau i wanted i straddled young men and women seated here and there the professor david lewis funded farming congenial. a great flurry the director's name called out simultaneously
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and to lead into a long office that overhaul. it was a compact young man it was pitch was lighted cigarette. yes, of course. he meant to phone me. displeasure was almost inexpressible. it was not every day that appeared surprise winner from the united states came here. certainly not one his book was one-of-a-kind, book upon which the director would state his reputation as a publisher of ideas of great significance. did find a cigarette and i said has miguel seem to be on
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spilling this explanation of something to be shared and earnest confidence. i know this that i might require a best friend. he said that it was too bad about the censorship of my wonderful book. it really should be published. things were difficult in turkey. their peoples whose views had to be taken into consideration. people who are concerned. i look for more precise explanation, where their local academics from a scholarship of god's crucible faulty? oh no, said he. they found that the book was
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knocked that it's the book scholarship. they found it was unreasonable to say some of these things but the profits life it was not taught in turkey that mohammed slaughtered the jews. and we do not know that he tried to fight in the battle of the camel. readers would be upset to see these developments even though your book reveals its historically true. by now the director had long walks wrapped around his finger as he protesters his aberration of god's crucible. there's a book he finished translating was all too troubling. by the way, what i said come along for dinner were a community owner helix at my
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direction as they spoke of turkish. the owner would appear at dinner. nothing ventured i thought. but ruth was just leaving the meeting on culture. explain the situation as best as i then comprehended it. we looked at the fair quantity of immense friday of splendid prosperous white fish, and sardines. i decided to advocate the cause of god's crucible not as its author so much but as a card-carrying member of the republic of letters and ideas.
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express the fear that the lack of intellectual courage went to the heart of his lungs 21st century incapacity that the refusal some still possessed flu like it could only further marginalize muslim especially the arabs and turks in the great contest of ideas. he worried that the bullying religious authorities placed him in a terrible bind. i replied on the fourth glass of white wine that he must celebrate by honoring his professor. he nearly wept. i spoke the truth it still publishing with a business like any other. maybe i would agree on the lines are assenting to soothing and
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translation of sharp edges. this is even too much for miguel who only class earlier regretted that this is lighting is simple turkish unworthy of a great power in order that would realize his prize-winning ambitions. was late in the day, time to meet ruth the fine modern art museum established five minutes earlier. i found a more suitable venue for dinner. we three life together walking along the owner had not shown. when we reach their ruth was waiting, delighted with the
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venue. we had cordial introductions. as we parted miguel class my hand intensely. looked into my eyes and said, mr. david, you are right. we must learn to live with truce in turkey. your book will be published on monday, give you my word. carl and bob, we shall see. we are now reissuing god's crucible. but i think the situation could be worse cut back. >> there's a couple of questions who would like task the first
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one? >> i have a question david, it you raise an interesting issue about translation. i had some of my biographies translated into foreign languages. years later a counter native speaker, and i tell you in addition who claimed that he could read english and italian and it was atrocious. their hope paragraphs mistranslated. negatives and deposited. widened the publishers to just
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publish and take out what's offensive and you would not have known. [inaudible] >> when i was in spain at a conference someone asked to have my signature on the spanish edition and i happen to see the table of contents in the last chapter transformed the word internationalism. >> other questions or comments? [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> we first started ready when you expect the editor to do for you? >> i say this from mistakes, -- it seems obvious really. i think one would hope that the editor would his editing would result in a bestseller. >> i asked because people were describing bob is different from other editors. so what you think other editors were not doing.
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i've had to editors on both her hands on. for betty owners that they are not with it and not doing anything. is it what you expected? [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> something i learned is that you can read history in a way that was different from fiction. i don't mean that in the sense of not being accurate.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> i thought that somehow ruth -- is the difficulty they have to write the truth. you just cannot and that characters but you also have to animate them until the stories and write each one like us short story. i detested shirley jackson's mother. she's one of the most low some undercutting undercutting -- ever. we would trade questions and
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have fun. otherwise stanley looks good because he loved her writing. i do not think editors are properly taught. . . no one is trained to be an editor except the editor themselves and also most editors need a piece of the light and
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you cannot in this environment of printed e-mails a day expect to do any editing. it is a craft of sacrifice so you can't do it on that budget. which universe in college should come to writer school. everyone teaches you how to be a fiction writer and who can teach you how to be an editor. >> and is there anything you can say about modern america and we have too many writers and too few editors. >> congratulations to bob. thank you all very much. [applause] >> we look forward to your editing and teaching school, bob bob. [laughter] [inaudible conversations]
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>> with congress in recess this week we bring you booktv all this week in prime-time here on c-span2. coming up and look at the book publishing industry. we will start with a tour of regnery publishing. >> a distinguishing characteristic that regnery has always been famously


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