tv After Words Sarah Milov The Cigarette CSPAN December 8, 2019 12:03pm-1:04pm EST
[indiscernible] >> join us every third weekend of the month on booktv and american history tv as the c-span city store exposed the american story. watch videos from the cities that we visited since 2011. go to www.c-span.org/city tour. >> up next on booktv "after words". university of virginia history professor sarah milav discusses the political history of tobacco in america. she's interviewed by former fda commissioner, david kessler. all "after words" programs are also available aspodcasts . >> congratulations.
>> thank you. >> your book is a major accomplishment. it is a significant scholarly work. i think it's fair to say you moved the seal. >> that's a tremendous thing to hear coming from you david, thank you so much. >> how does it feel? >> like a big relief. it's been 10 years in the work to make this book so it feels like a relief and it's just a pleasure to talk about it. talk about it with you and tons of other interesting people. >> three major writers spent their careers studying writing about tobacco and the cigarette. richard kruger, when the pulitzer prize for ashes to ashes. >> amazing book. really a page turner. >> alan brandt, the great
medical scientific historian on the cigarette century. and robert - - at stanford about the deception of the industry. any trepidation when you started? you have three giant books out there. and you took a risk. >> i really feel as though with those free books, ashes to ashes, cigarette century and robert proctor is whole corpus of work.the biggest of which is called golden holocaust. i really feel as though i was standing on the shoulders of giants. through their fantastic works. my work is tremendously indebted to them. but what i was thinking about
writing about tobacco, i wasn't approaching at the same ways they were. they were very much coming at the story of tobacco from the angle of industry. when i began this project in a much more humble state as a lowly graduate student. i began from thinking about agriculture and farmers. which is probably not surprising to say. there are three humongous tones about tobacco agriculture. i saw these big works as reason for my little opening into the field to write about it in a different way. and then of course the book and the project changed quite a bit in the past 10 years from when i began this. >> let's start with the basic question. how does professor sarah milav view the cigarette? >> we are turning back to those three works you mentioned.
turning to how we think about the cigarettes in popular culture and political life. very much tend to associate the product, rightly so, with the deception of the major tobacco firms. it has a cinematic quality to it. the executives of tobacco met in the plaza hotel in a chilly december night in 1953. they hatched a plan to basically engage in what became a half century long conspiracy to manufacture doubt as a way to evade regulation. this is a tremendously important story and one that i think has continued to be - - to other strategies of corporate deception. if you take a wider angle to view. what begins to come in focus is
the presence of the cigarette in american life is not simply produced by the industry itself. if you begin with from seated to smoke, the federal government specifically has had a really big hand in a betting the cigarette century to use alan grant phrase. what undermined the presence of the cigarette in american life was not the fact that the feds finally got hit in 1964 or the 1990s. it was the efforts of activists in the 60s and 70s to dislodge the hold of tobacco in american life and they couldn't do it by operating at the federal level. they had to look to the local and state governments to do so. if you think about the cigarette over the span of the 20th century, you see a product and a behavior pattern that was
made by federal action and that was unmade by a social movement that basically created a new character in america. the character of the non-smoker. >> we will spend a lot of time unpacking that. let's just start. how does professor sarah milav, how do you do history? >> i love this question. i think what you're trained to do in graduate school is for you as much as possible that's been written. the first couple of years of graduate school are to poke holes in every book you read. think about what's missing or what kind of analysis did they put forth. that paper over and hide.
the whole point of asking these questions and being hard on these important, fabulous tones is so that the graduate student basically figures out what their own boys can be. with their own contribution to novel research can be. and so, when i was reading in graduate school, i actually wasn't steeped in the tobacco debate at all. i was very interested in an entirely different question. about the persistence of regionalism and regional economies and the fronts. at the beginning of my time in graduate school, there was a lively debate amongst historians of the south and conservatism. over the question, is the south still a unique region? this was - - didn't make sense
to focus on the south as a region that was different from the - - belt. a lot of historians looked at the suburbs of charlotte and phoenix and los angeles. they said the pattern, political patterns happening here look the same. maybe the south isn't really the central point. visual distinctiveness is not what's really operative anymore. so in my reading and quest for novelty, i was interested in the persistence of southern agriculture. and the persistence of an agricultural economy even in the region that began to look more like other parts of the united states.
so i was kind of pushing back against this idea that the south was just like the rest of the united states by saying, if you focus on the way the money is made in the south. the political economy, you might start to see continuity in between regional distinction in the 19 and early 20th century. >> i saw there was a fellowship you had around 2010. a virginia historical society. you were at the university of virginia, the cigarette - - you are not from the south. you lived like florida,
massachusetts. there is something geographically about virginia and the land, the cigarette, - - >> yeah. going back into my own reading and history, i thought some of the literature on southern distinctiveness maybe gave a short tryst to the persistence to basically agricultural myth. that the presence of undeveloped land in the south had a cultural hold on people. and plan, also an important feature of southern agricultural economy. so it was very much a quest to understand the meaning of land
in a post-world war ii south that gave rise to this project. because i was thinking, what are the two crops that are most grown in the south. it seemed to me that tobacco was a much more interesting commodity to focus on in the 20th century. >> i can trace your interests back. you're in north carolina. take me back to the early interests. >> so funny you mention that. when i was beginning this
project, i had decided i'm going to try to understand how tobacco farmers related to big tobacco. that was my original question. to do that, i knew i needed to look in archives across north carolina and i selected north carolina as this case study because north carolina was and is the leading producer of a particular kind of tobacco that is a primary constituent and american-style cigarettes. so i knew i needed to set up camp, do research at unc, duke, north carolina state, he is - - but it would be very helpful and i would recommend this to any young historian whose thinking about beginning a book project to find a local source that's a bit of a history buff.
he had produced a self published book. people who produce self published book are usually very happy to talk about their research. so i emailed him out of the blue and said i'm a graduate student. i'd love to talk about your work in tobacco and he was happy to meet with me. he gave me a lot of information i otherwise wouldn't have known or where to look. had it not been for meeting him. >> it was in agriculture, in the south. where did it start.
where did it come from? >> it did not come from smoking. the beginning of the book is really about tobacco before you get into this cigarette. was it always a political historian? >> in the late 19th and early 20th century. there was a tremendous tension between the big tobacco of the era which was known as the tobacco trust. what duke did beginning in the
1890s was he basically bought up any type of tobacco concern around. because the american tobacco company had monopoly power. it could dictate prices for what tobacco farmers, for what they group. there was tension, violence and anger on the part of tobacco farmers toward this big monopoly. >> who is the tobacco farmer. >> for the late 19th and early
part of the 20th century pretended to be, they grew on a small scale and in part that was to to the fact of the crops tremendous labor requirements. planning for the subsequent season have to begin before the current season was harvested. there are different stratagems within tobacco farming you had landowners who may work the phones themselves with family labor. or they may have hired tenants or sharecroppers and there's a rachel dimension to this. sharecroppers were more frequently african-american. sharecroppers sometimes never saw cash in the course of what they did. they had to buy from the store where there debts were tallied
against what they brought in from the previous season so it was a perpetual cycle of indebtedness. even for the top of this class system amongst tobacco farmers. they were so much weaker relative to something like the duke tobacco trust. you see even amongst elite farmers, anger at the big tobacco of its day. what motivated me toward thinking about tobacco and the latter part of the 20th century. what happened to that antagonism within the industry once tobacco and cigarettes begin to be threatened from the health perspective. to that outside threat cement
and alliance for farmers and industry? that was the quest i was on. >> and this movement from this angry opposition - - did it occur? to a large extent, it did occur. but not because tobacco farmers thought the cigarette manufacturers with their friends. what happened that changed everything in american agriculture. in american agriculture at large. the new deal was tremendously consequential. but tobacco, because it instituted a very rigid and very controlled system of
regulations on the land. this unrelated crop. more than any other crops grown, tobacco farmers had very strict production control. and tobacco was written, farm laws were not written with the main part of the farm bill. there were always written separately with their own legislation. what the new deal did was basically institute a system, think of it as supply management. that we are going to make sure that mr. tobacco farmer, which by the way, you can not declare yourself a tobacco farmer. you have to have a license to grow. an allotment, exactly. he cannot produce more than
xml. this is going to be revised based on yearly projections for what the manufacturers need. in exchange, we will provide with a minimum price. so what this did was it basically enabled the agricultural sector to be preferred from what you can think of as the bullying of the tobacco industry. >>. [indiscernible] >> the major difference was much more rigid. there was not the first within the agricultural all to go way over one year and in under plant the next year for you and you simply were not allowed to market over your allotment.
>> you talk about the phrase, iron triangle. what is that? >> and iron triangle is an old political science term that basically refers to alliance, or a dynamic between a subcommittee in congress that oversees a regulatory agency and private industry. the tobacco subcommittee, the usda and tobacco farmers, organized tobacco farmers. the tobacco farm organization for the cigarette, for much of the story i tell is the north carolina farm bureau. >> so give me a sense of this iron triangle. the 50s or so. what's the dynamics? >> the basic story was, what's
going on in terms of tobacco farming after world war ii. is that tobacco farmers are very empowered by congress and encouraged by the usda to basically write to their own laws. so what do i mean by that? after a war. any producing group is anxious about readjusting production to peace time. you're not can have the same revved up industry that you would have during war. there's a special reason to think about that. because the armed services were important purveyors of cigarettes. after the first world war, farmers were not aroused by the new deal. they experienced a real
depression for a lot of the 1920s. during the second world war, tobacco farmers we have now become more organized by their interaction with the federal government and it's literally organizing groups of farmers into committees so they plan how much tobacco they will produce in subsequent years. these easily tobacco farmers are coming together in various places across north carolina and they are saying, what are we going to do about the postwar readjustment? we can't let what happened after the first world war happen again after the second world war. so what did tobacco farmers have now that they didn't have after world war i? what they have now is proximity to government. to the levers of power.
they have a whole bureaucracy that's interested in their well-being in a way they had not been before. >> because of boats? because of money? >> - - votes. >> the new deal did inaugurate a way of doing government that gave power and benefits to privileged groups. you can do this to a lesser extent but also to organize labor. - - [indiscernible]. you can have more smooth functioning of the economy overall. but the second reason tobacco becomes strangely important. had to do with the power really of southern democrats.
like who was important in the new deal coalition? who is the glue that holds the northeastern form groups industry groups together with southern farmers. it's southern democrats. surveys outsized power in terms of the democratic party. >> it's the farmers who had the power or the corporations? but tobacco corporations. >> the corporations had power this whole time. what's new is the interests of the federal government in shoring up farmers as well. introducing policy that ensures farmers have a standard of living that they had not been
assured before. >> you talk about the federal government having interest. is that because the companies had interest? is that because the tobacco farmers had power and they stimulated the interest of the government? >> i think there's a political calculation on the part of southern democrats. they've got these constituents that are important. many more constituents that are farmers and they had constituents that were tobacco executives. >> so this is about votes. >> in part it's about votes but in part about an economic theory on how to empower different in the modern economy. if you had an in balance between the agricultural sector and the industrial sector and the consumer sector. that might lead to another depression.
so it was important for the federal government to basically sure up these different groups of americans and make sure there was economic harmony. >> let me give a simplistic assertion. tobacco really was never good for the farmers. it was good for the big corporations. >> well, it's hard for me to wrap my mind around that with what i know about the experience of tobacco farming in the 20th century. because of federal policy that was directing money toward farmers. farming became a lot better. was it perhaps, many people at
the same time to your point, left the farm when they could. but the experience of farming post-1930s was much better than it had been, pre-1930s. and tobacco farmers did, relative to corporations, to big tobacco, they capture a larger share of the price of a cigarette than they did before the 1930s and after the end of the federal tobacco program in 2004. >> and something happened in the 1950s called science. health. leading up to the 1964 surgeon general's report. so these farmers get caught completely off guard. >> so, because of federal policy. it has encouraged the organization of some easily tobacco farmers. the industry season-opening to
make an alliance with tobacco farmers during the 1950s through arguably, the present day. and so, at that cinematic meeting in the new york plaza hotel in 1953, it's not just the tobacco corporate executives. not just of the executive of philip morris, there are representatives of tobacco and are agricultural groups as well. as part of the organization - - they organized an agricultural offshoot of the big tobacco conspiracy. organized a group called the tobacco growers information committee in the early 1950s. that's intended to basically
translate industry propaganda for an agricultural audience with the idea that farmers who are this constituency be loved by politicians. important to politicians, because they are more numerous than people that work for big corporations. that farmers may be in fact, a very down-home ally for the big tobacco companies as they try to make arguments against regulation on the basis of health. >> by the 1950s and 60s, you have what? 2-3 regimes circling from government. department of agricultural congressional appropriations committee supporting the
industry.wanting to help the farmer. >> and organizing farmers to go testify in congress against people in public health. part of it is using farmers who are organized to basically be the mouthpiece of industry. because they are more credible or more likable. down-home than a suit from phillip morris. you see farmers going to testify against proposed cigarette regulations in the 60s for example. >> and who was using them? >> what do you mean? >> was at the philip morris's of the world? >> the industry was happy to have this alliance but farmers too were not just pawns in this game. they believed that regulation
on health grounds would be bad for them. they had seen that their prosperity had been linked to obviously the rise of the cigarette in a really direct away. also, many people may not realize that prior to really world war ii, prior to the late 1930s, the main way people consumed tobacco was not even in a cigarette. the rise of the cigarette directly track the rise of prosperity for farmers. it was due to demand but also due to government intervention. so they were invested in people continuing to smoke. >> any disconnect in their heads? did they want their kids to smoke? let's tobacco farmers smoked more than other people. >> to this day, you see greater
rates of tobacco use in tobacco growing regions. so i think, probably by the 80s, they didn't want their kids to smoke. >> and in 64, you have the surgeon general. you also chronicle, the book shifts a little. you have the rise of the public interest movement. >> yes. so the surgeon general's report comes out in 1964. it's basically the first time the federal government says, you know, smoking causes cancer and heart disease. for many americans, this is a huge event. it's splashed across the front pages of newspapers across the country. but had been in the works for a couple years. in 1962, the royal college of physicians, the uk's equivalent to the surgeon general comes out with this report.
with their report saying much the same thing. so the question for congress and for regulators too, becomes what will we do with this information? the report basically said that government needed to do something with haste on the issue. and so, the ftc says, all right, we will use of the federal trade commission, as an opportunity to enhance the power of our agency to regulate on this most important - - it's an opportunity for them to approach regulation in a new way.to approach regulation in a more muscular kind of way than they had before. >> this wasn't about public health for them? >> of course it was ultimately but basically the surgeon general's report gave them cover and an impetus to do
something that regulars on the committee had said they wanted to do before. so it was absolutely about public health for the ftc but this was an opportunity to say, we are crafting these regulations which we will propose on warning labels in response to this report in the name of public health. >> as you chronicle, the hill didn't like that. >> it turns out that southern democrats continue to be very powerful in mid-1960s washington. so in response to more strongly worded warning labels proposed by the ftc, congress steps in and do what becomes characteristic of congress acting at the behest of the tobacco industry. and they offer up a watered-down warning label and
they basically say, ftc, you can't regulate on this for a few more years. >> for the big tobacco. >> absolutely. yes. >> big tobacco pulling the strings. >> yes. >> the book takes us to a whole different level about this time. because you start telling the story of the - - from salem, new jersey. >> part of what's at play with the warning label issue is the paradigm of consent. if we put a warning label on a pack of cigarettes, it is the smokers choice to do what he or she will with that information. now, by the late 1960s, early 1970s, a number of americans are beginning to think that
this consent paradigm makes no sense. not for the reasons that become nonsensical later, the addiction issue. but the paradigm of consent makes no sense because most americans, and this is true even at america's smoky is to. never experienced smoking as smokers. they experienced it as non-smokers. it becomes critical in the 1970s. the invention of the idea, the creation of the idea of non-smokers rights. >> you go back to the early 1900s. doctor charles - - in the new york subways.there was an op-ed in the new york times that opposed any restrictions on smoking back at the turn of the prior century. people were comfortable, the
times says, that people smoke in subway cars. non-smokers rights, what was different in the 1970s and early 1900s? >> the idea of a movement for smoking restriction had an antecedent in the early 20th century. it might surprise people to know that a handful of states banned the sale of cigarettes in the early 20th century. it was basically a kind of cigarette version of prohibition. >> but you didn't have the modern cigarette. people fold their own cigarettes. you have the inverse in the early 1900s. smokers were fighting for their rights to smoke because most people didn't smoke at the turn of the previous century. >> most people did not smoke at
the turn of the previous century. the people that did smoke at the turn of the 20th century tended to be immigrants. they tended to live in cities. tended to be young men. they tended to be for traders juvenile delinquents. smoking in the early 1900s was considered something almost un-american. it was a vice of the foreign-born. so the antismoking movement of the first two decades of the 20th century kind of road a wave - - broder - - of nativism. >> go back to 1970, donna shim. tell me about her case. >> johnna schempp double ã donna schempp was this
fascinating woman. she was a customer service representative working for new jersey bell. she had a terrible tobacco allergy. and where she worked in new jersey, more than half of her coworkers smoked which is a more smoking environment than most people. at this time, only about 40 percent of the american population smoked. so she was exposed to smoke on a daily basis. she had complained to her supervisors and have not gotten very far. she would pop a pill because she would throw up. and she began to wear a gas mask to work. which, to me - - >> at the telephone company. >> she had to lower it is not removed completely when she spoke with people on the phone or when people came into the
office. she was a member of the - - of america and she went to her union steward. she said can you help me? throughout the meeting, he is smoking. she went to the company doctor and the company doctor said this is ridiculous. you are ill. you need to stay home until the company works out and arrangements. >> she thinks she will be home for a couple days until they
rejigger the office to accommodate her. days turned into months. which in her mind, there must have been our alarm bells going off. what is going on? are they firing me? why are they so devoted to this smoking office. while she's at home, she's basically on a sabbatical. as an academic, i understand. she actually gets work done and she basically immerses herself in burgeoning worlds of anti-tobacco activism. she makes contact with - - which was the legal arm. she contacts a local social movement. so she basically learns she's in uncharted territory. there are no states to say anything of federal laws that govern the presence or absence or regulation of smoking at
work. she basically realizes that the only way this will get resolved is to pursue legal action. so she decides she's going to sue her employer. that's also a daunting thing to consider. she's in uncharted territory here. >> did - - have an unsafe workplace? where did that legal theory come from? >> i think that's a well-established common-law idea about the responsibility of an employer to an employee. smoking constituted an unsafe workplace for donna schempp. >> legal innovation. judicial activism.
>> legal innovation married to a judges understanding of science and the need of the worker. so donna schempp takes on this almost celebrity dimension. it's 1975. this is going to sue her employer. she doesn't know where to turn. back before the days of wikipedia, she did with any motivated informed citizen would do. to ask, who should i talk to if i want to talk to somebody about this? this is what historians called contingency. if this one little thing have been different, maybe history as a whole. it just so happened that a law
professor by the name of alfred bloom rosen was on faculty. and he had spent the previous decade serving in the equal opportunity commission which is the federal agency created to enforce the civil rights act at work. so he had thought a lot about the responsibility of employers to not discriminate based on various axes. he was eager to take up her case pro bono. and he was a teaching tool for his students. to me that's just amazing because bloom rosen was the kind of figure that thought a lot about the relationship between agencies and lawyers. >> he was the legal architect?
>> for the schempp case, he was crucial in preparing the initial documents. >> you were enormously interested in her. >> she did so much work on her own. i was thinking about what it would take to beat her in this work environment that is a hostile work environment. she is throwing up from smoke and people are smoking in her face. her employer doesn't want her there. while she's at home, she also drafts a very expensive suggestion for corporate policy she delivers. a line ends up inconsequential in her case.
if you can have a non-smoking section for the operators at the switchboard, you clearly have the power to tell employees not to smoke in certain areas. >> she died early this year. did you interview her? >> i wanted to talk to her and i reached out but i did not hear back. she was pretty aged. >> she left her papers at the university of california. were they helpful? >> tremendously. yes, so i'm glad you noticed i seemed captivated by her. because i really was. in the course of this document she's written, she also pioneer is what becomes an important argument to the rest of the 70s and 80s. where she says smokers are expensive employees.
they take breaks. they destroy equipment. they are sick more often. and later he becomes taken up as banning tobacco at work. although this was not the point the judge ruled in her flavor picked up on. it becomes an important argument she makes later on as she continues anti-tobacco advocacy. >> she won her case but there was limited precedent. other jurisdictions - - >> did not side with non-smoking employees. >> did that make a difference? the law, the case. >> that's such a good question. there are other cases where
employees are basically making similar types of claims. and they don't succeed. what i think made the difference overall to the anti-tobacco movement as it proceeded through the next decades. - - her consultancy basically made the case to businesses that it would be good for your bottom line to protect non-smokers at work. her argument was basically twofold. one, smokers were expensive employees and hey, look at my case. you are creating potential
liabilities. her case was rather unique. the idea that this is an inexpensive way to potentially save money for employers, ends up being very attractive to businesses that take up smoking restrictions with increasing speed in the 1980s. >> my sense is you circle - - the book is about rights. rights of the smoker. rights of the non-smoker. rights to make a living. these are political rights. legal rights. how do you think about it? >> i think about rights talk as being increasingly salient for non-smokers in the post 1960s era. it's a way of communicating their claims that really have not existed prior to the 1960s.
and i think that for non-smokers, this rights talk is really coming from resources. one is the influence of course of the civil rights movement. in their literature and in speeches made by organizers, they sometimes stretch the analogy between claiming non-smokers rights and participating an african-american freedom movement with a stretch of the star but they say things along the lines of is there differences between asking for the right to sit at a lunch counter and the right to sit at a lunch counter and enjoy one's lunch? very different between what we are asking for and what
african-americans were demanding in the 1950s and 60s. they borrowed the moral has of the civil rights movement. >> the second stream of thought i think is shaping the talk of non-smokers is with the feminist movement. specifically the idea of consciousness-raising. for non-smoker advocates, one thing they have to do is make it safe to say, i'm a non-smoker and i think how i want to be in this space should determine what the space is like. they want to make non-smokers realize that they share a common experience together. of being oppressed if you will. so there's some borrowing of the idea of feminist consciousness-raising. that by sharing a private
indignity with other women, that you can make that into a public claim. and the final strand is the environmental movement. of the late 1960s and early 70s. >> does the book have a hypothesis? do you start with a thesis? >> no. i just ordered with the question. which was what happened to the antagonism between tobacco farmers and the tobacco industry as both became threatened by knowledge that smoking caused cancer. >> i've heard you say the following. what ultimately reduced
tobacco's grip on american society was not the discovery that smoking causes cancer and the surgeon general's warning to that effect. it was the invention by activists of non-smokers rights. the idea that people who do not smoke were entitled and able to achieve an polluted air in shared public spaces. >> i stand by it. >> can i push back a little? i see the history of tobacco as one of - - [indiscernible]. there was a lot of progress on secondhand smoke. we finally were able to get on planes. and not breathe polluted air. but there was quote, the
industry used this word. accommodation was made. that's what they wanted to talk about. but the issue had somewhat plateaued. they were a little bit at a loss. when we started looking at different question about whether nicotine was a drug. we focused on was the industry manipulating nicotine. then we focused on kids. so i see these as chapters. you see this as a key determinant. >> i agree that there's chapters. i think what my book suggests is an important chapter that we've overlooked was the rise of a true social movement around the idea of non-smokers.
and that chapter perhaps enabled the subsequent chapters. >> absolutely. that brings very true. if you're right that my rights as a non-smoker, that doesn't - - well on the vaping issue. the vaping industry says there isn't secondhand consequences. but that's not the end of the same kind of tool that's available. >> the vaping issue is different than the tobacco industry.
to return to the idea of tobacco unfolding in chapters. we are at a chapter when we can look back over the whole of the past 100 years and ask what do we know? one thing we know is we shouldn't take the tobacco industry at its word and we should not assume that just because we don't have proof of the harmful consequences. deep proof of the epidemiological consequences of vaping, that there wouldn't be. ... so, activists can try to implement laws at the local level or the state level and those have had tremendous success in the history of the cigarette by changing attitudes
towards the presence of the tobacco smoke? host: how did the cover come about? guest: the cover is the property of harvard university. host: talk about the tobacco as a model for taking on big part of challenges. climate change? guest: i do see lessons that maybe i am just an optimist, but not that many people read about tobacco and feel optimistic, but a key take away of this book is that the federal government for a lot of the 20th century has been organized around the interest of industry and producers and you can see that with climate change, tobacco. to you may see that with guns as well, but laws aren't just made by the federal government and so one lesson of anti-
tobacco activists as the power of local laws to change the way people experience their day to day lives, so by achieving victories at the local level in the 80s and 90s, you know anti- tobacco eric-- activists made more non- smokers for the kind of future they wanted and i think there are lessons in for climate change activists that may be frustrated at federal inaction. host: guns? guest: they are, also. one trademark of the anti- tobacco movement was a visual, thank you for not smoking. i have noticed in more places i've been to signs that say, no guns on these premises. i wonder if that visual vernacular raising that awareness of absence of guns in a place to make people more aware of
their stance on an issue. host: i went to think doctor cynthia gwen who is associate editor of the journal of american history for helping me prepare for today's interview. i have one last question. do you love doing history? guest: absolutely. i have my dream job. i love researching and most days i also love writing. >> you did it very very well. guest: thank you. host: congratulations, major, major scholarly achievement. guest: thank you so much. wonderful conversation. host: thank you for being here. >> this program is available as a podcast. all afterwards programs can be viewed on our website at the tv.org. >> you are watching book tv starting in a minute andrea chamblee, widow
of sports reporter john mcnamara who was killed in a massive shooting last year will talk about her late husband's life and posthumously published book on the history of basketball in the nation's capital and later john hopkins university stewart schrader will discuss how policing in the us has been transformed by what the government has learned from its support of efforts since the cold war. at 3:00 p.m. eastern, andrew pollack, father of the student killed in the shooting at marjorie stoneman high school in parkland, florida, will offer his thoughts on school safety and guns. check your program guide for more information. spiegelman's get started >> we are lucky to have the mayor here and he will start us off with a few words. thank you. >> welcome, everyone. [applause].