tv Summer Series Books by First Ladies CSPAN September 3, 2020 7:59pm-12:20am EDT
. . . . >> host: we are focusing on books written by former first ladies. the first first lady to venture into publishing was known one who recalls her time in the white house 1914 and since then ten other first ladies have published memoirs. we will focus tonight on five women who have served in that position in the last 50 years. first up, rosalynn carter who served as first lady from 1977-1981 and she is the author of five books. in 1984 her best-selling memoir,
first lady from plains, was released. missus carter's subsequent books have focused on caregiving and mental health care. this is a subject she is championed throughout her life. now from 2010 here is rosalynn carter talking about her book, within our reach: ending the mental health crisis. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. [applause] >> i am really pleased to be here tonight and pleased to see so many people interested in my book. i have been on a book tour this week and i started on monday and i get the same two questions every time so i thought i would tell you what they were. the first one is how did you get involved in mental health? the second one is, why did you write the book? i will tell you why i got
involved in mental health. i was campaigning for jimmy carter, you can't hear me? i was campaigning -- that does make a difference. i'm telling you how i got involved with mental health issues. i was campaigning for jimmy when he ran for governor the first time and lost the first time. we got in late and are leading democratic candidate dropped out and that was a big segregationist and this was 66, a long time ago. i'm pretty ancient. [laughter] so, nobody would run against him and he was very positive so jimmy said we can't let him have it. we did not have long to campaign but i got in the car and drove from one town to the next and passed out brochures and went on to the next town. a very disorganized campaign but 1963 the community of mental
health act was passed and they were beginning to move people out of our central state hospital, a big institution, overcrowded, terrible conditions into the community but there was no community health centers yet. so i had so many people ask me what would your husband do if a loved one in central state is elected governor and so people kept saying that and when we were standing at the gate of a factory in atlanta, georgia at 4:30 a.m. for a shift change that was a good place to be because a whole bunch of people coming in and allots coming out and passing out brochures and this woman came out and she was small, elderly, head you could tell she was weary working all night and i said i hope when you get home you can get some sleep and she said i hope so too
because what we have a mental ill daughter and we struggle to pay for her care and my husband stays at night while they work and i stayed with her in the daytime while he works. that haunted me. what was she going to find when she got home and what would we do whether or not the son or daughter and she did not say which was awake when she got home and i was thinking about whether she got to sleep or not so at that time same day i was riding around and came to a town and it was a disorganized campaign. i stayed and got in the back of the room and he did not know i was there and it was close to the election and i got in the back of the room and he was shaking hands and i don't know
about where you stand on receiving lines but it is part of my life. you would be talking to somebody like this and reach for the next hand and he held my hand and when i got in front he said what are you doing here? [laughter] i said i want to know what you do with mental illness and he said we've got to have the best program in the country and i will put you in charge of it. [laughter] but he did not put me in charge of it because i did not know anything about it but then we were governor four years later and i think he was only about not even a month before he established and the governor commissioned to help the emotionally ill and mentioned emotionally handicapped and i worked on that for four years. we put community health centers and 123 communities but they were not comprehensive and some of them, most of them or maybe not most of them but some of them were offices in the center
of town where people could go to find out where to get help. but i was really proud of it when i left georgia but then when i campaigned and because i had in my bio that i was interested with work on mental health issues everywhere i went in the country and i campaigned all year and everywhere i went [inaudible] if it was good they wanted to show it off and there were very few if it was bad they wanted me to help them when jimmy was president. i developed this real response ability because back then people were putting them in institutions and nobody wanted to talk about it or even talk about mental illness. when jimmy was governor, well, someone heard me at that meeting that night and i always say that
all of the advocates and atlanta descended on me, all five of them. [laughter] and that was five people and then when jimmy was governor i would have a meeting and it was a long time before we could get many people to calm and we never did really get advocacy but my five advocates were always there and for a good while just a few southern employees because my husband was governor and no one wanted to talk about the issue. it's been a very long time since i got involved in the presidents commission and i have now have a really, really good program at the institute in atlanta. it's about two and half drive south but we spend one week a month that we schedule a year ahead of time to be at the carter center and then we travel with our projects and i don't get there as much as i would like to but anyway, that is how
i got involved. the mental health act of 1980 passed, we worked hard to get past in october 1980 and -- [applause] >> and my mental health, whole legislation was abandoned and we had even passed legislation and funded it and it was not perfect but made a considerable difference and it was one of the biggest disappointments of my life. that's how i got started and the other question was why did you write the book? when you heard how i got started in the situation and living out of the institutions with nowhere to go now i have worked all this time and i think with helping them with mental illness because
i heard don't want talking and it goes in cycles and someone is disinterested and then do pretty good and then maybe the next president doesn't care about it so nothing happens and you're just along for a while. we had great funding for research and then it drifted a while and then the first president bush came into office it was yet a decade of the brain and he really added to the research but to date we have learned so much and we have from research and new treatments and new medications and people can recover and the reason i wrote this book is because we stand 120 year billion dollars on healthcare and that doesn't count for supportive housing and
supportive employment but downright mental health care and millions are still suffering. i am so frustrated about it and i am angry about it because to know that people can recover and not have a system that works hurts me so i wrote the book because i want people to know what i knows right we can get over the stigma which holds back everything we try to do and go on to do what is good and right for people with mental illnesses. my book focuses on four major things, recovery and today as i just said, people it distresses me because people can recover from mental illnesses and our mental health system is beginning to happen and we will have to shift away from controlling mental illness and i have so many people and one
young man was an artist and dreamed about being a great artist and a teenager and i think he was in college and he developed and talk to the doctor and thought he would be [inaudible] and the doctor said you will never do that but that's what happened and so we now are having to shift from the negative part two people's strength, enforcing their strength so they can recover and that is why our mental health system has to do. recovery is one and one in four adults in this country developed a mental illness every year, one in five children develop a mental illness every year.
mental illness does not terminate. it happens to everybody. it happens to people on the street and happens to poor and rich and homeless, employed, unemployed and it happens to ceos on happens to anybody. it is everywhere. stigma is so distressing to me. it holds back funding for programs that people don't feel like mental illness can be in politicians and the policymakers who people like me who really try have a hard time convincing our officials to really work for mental health issues. i think and i hope that will
change since we got the bill and healthcare benefits reform bill and as mental health and substance abuse disorder in the basic health package and that's exciting because they have pre-existing conditions and it has great priority for training mental health professionals. in 2003, 2002 president bush had another mental health commission that reported in 2002 and do you know that when i looked at the recommendations they were the same one almost all of them that i didn't 1978. it just, it just distresses when you look back and say what it is and the report of that commission was that the system
in the united states is in shambles and there is no way to fix it. we need to start over. with these two new bills now and with the network program that is developing consumers have originated and done the research and there is a woman named judy chamberlain who in 1978 wrote a book called own our own. that was the subtitle with about consumers helping others. then she started meeting and had a bad experience with that mental health system so she started getting together groups who had been struggling with mental illness and how they could help each other and it grew into a movement and one of my friends who was on mental health task force was one of her
early people drawn in and she started the first consumer program in the state government in alabama and my other friend from georgia and lived with bipolar and is in recovery with one of the others and he started the first consumer program in the government in georgia and he also then started working or the consumer network they started meeting and they started bringing in people that they knew were living with mental illness and talking to them and mental ill people need respect and they need housing and they need a job and so the consumer network helps them with those things. when people recover. some recover and not even taking
medication anymore and some take medication and therapy but they recover and live good lives in the community, raising their families, working in young people going to school who have been living even with the major illnesses people can recover. in georgia, can you hear me in the back? now, in georgia the one who started the consumer network in the government and the government was able to get medicaid for the consumers that were counseling their peers and in georgia we have 500. , i guess 500 mental health specialists, certified mental health specialists. they go from communities and just meet people and a lot of
people now come to see them but they go into the communities and if they see someone homeless suffering from or living with mental illness they just fold them in and it's been a wonderful and now they're spreading it all across the country. i think it is in 40 states but there is one in maryland because i know somebody i had a book signing and someone from the consumer network had me sign a book to my consumer network friends and so i knew it was in maryland now and other places where it is what i mean, others but it is growing and the reason i'm optimistic about the future is because with what we know about medication from research, medications and treatments and from the consumers being able to help people recover i think the movement is too strong now. i just don't think they can set us back and particularly the
government and the new healthcare bill and the new parity bill and i've thought that if insurance covered mental illnesses it would be all right to have it. [laughter] it would legitimize them. i have high hopes it will be a good future. the other thing is prevented. we are now learning so much about prevention and so much about building resilience in children and we have learned that mental illness sometimes develops or mental illness is developmental and i think 50% of all mental illnesses are diagnosed in children by age 14, 75% by age 24. we also learn that for any parents here with babies and we need parenting classes because
when babies are growing, children are growing they need deep attention and people need to watch their babies to see how they, to see how they, how they nurture with their parents develops. they need to watch the age-appropriate milestones like whether they crawl at the time or walk at the time and they need even when they are starting in nursery school to see how they react with their peers. we need to get this word out because now we have, now we know that if you detect the illness early and intervene
interventions at work that mitigate from developing sometimes they can prevent it from developing into a major mental illness, always mitigation, not make it as bad. so those are the things of my book and i'm pleased that you all came out and i am so excited that you are interested in mental health. you can help because go to your policymakers and let them know how important this is and you can go, they always need volunteers. the things that people who are adjusted and care about those with mental illness can really contribute and i'm just pleased to be here and i think i will be signing books for you. [applause]
>> host: every saturday evening the summer book tv is taking the opportunity to open up our archives and binge watch with a well-known author. tonight our focus is a little bit different we are looking at books written by former first lady. up next is a former first lady barbara bush. she served as first lady from 1989-1993 and was the author of five books including two memoirs and she was very well known for her children's book about her dog, millie. her two memoirs were published in 1994 in 2003. here is the latest barbara bush discussing the second one, reflections at the texas book festival in austin. >> i loved my writing my memoirs and was urged to write and it was still there. i met my good friend mary higgins clark wants at a book thing and told her that she suggested that i write a novel
and she said it would be very, very easy. she recommended i do what she did. pick a plot, know the ending and then work back. mary told me that when her characters talked to her she won't let them say something or not let them say something she knows that she is on the right track. it is if they tell her i wouldn't do that or i wouldn't say that. it certainly sounded easy so i set forth to write a mystery novel and made up but i thought was a rather interesting plot that centered around two female roommates, a flight attendant and a secret service agent. he never stayed in long tong long enough to meet any intelligible men and they decided to get in touch with an escort bro, a dating service. all the men one woman dated ended up dead. like mary i knew the killer and i worked my way back and i had one huge problem.
my characters never said one word to me. i spent hours waiting. nothing. besides that my conversations were deadly stiff, awkward and really boring. i decided to leave the imagination for the real writers and to stick to what i knew and after all, life had not stopped after the white house. the last ten years have been filled with travel and new experiences, making new friends, working on causes that we care strongly about and the usual ups and downs of a large, close family. some very exciting moments. i bet you did not note that outlaw biker magazine declared me first lady of the century. this, of course, accompanied by a picture of my head superimposed on a curvaceous
body draped over a harley davidson bike. [laughter] biker babe of the century i think was one headline. it was quite an honor and certainly worthy of another book and yes, there were two sons and one who became governor and one that went on to be president. there really were some things i could write about. as for research i did not have to do any and try to remember when and who said what to whom i did not have to worry about that either. i have been a devoted diary keeper for years so all i had to do was take my diary already on my computer, turn it into some kind of readable prose, take out an opinion or two may be, not all but some and some things are left best unpublished. i was toiling away early in the morning with my laptop in fed
while george broke the news while i wrote he cursed. somehow it all works and already people are asking me if there were yet again be another sql and at age 78 i rather suspect not. but, who knows? life did not stop after the white house and it doesn't stop either as you approach 80 years of age and beyond. especially if you are married to george bush. after all this is the man who swears he's parachuting one more time on his 80th birthday and he jumped on his 75th birthday and he loved it. incidentally he raised $10 million for md m and houston's grade cancer and research hospital. on the 13th of june this is the day after the gala to celebrate his 80th he will
make his left jump and friends around the country are raising $30 million to be shared by md anderson, the points of life foundation and the george bush presidential library foundation. this will not only be his last jump but this, he swears, will be the last time we will ever ask anyone for money. i could clap for that. he has just announced that he will jump with george and so far he's lined up our texas university grandchild jeb junior and he is fun to jump with. anyway, i have to share one little story that happened this past september and during a trip to russia george and i were invited to spend a day with president putin at his dacha along the black sea and so the russian equivalent of camp
david. when we arrived my george was wearing a suit and tie while putin met us at a more informal close at the airport. we were very flattered that he came to the airport to meet us and while we were driving back to the guesthouse some 20 minutes away he suggested that he would drop us off at the guesthouse, we would freshen up and he and missus putin would walk to meet us and we would walk to meet them. so george, they would have a press conference right after that. george rushed in, changed into very casual clothes and he wanted to be like putin. whether you believe sweatpants and a polo shirt? that is all he had. we walked up the hill to meet the putin's and they were walking down and it soon became obvious that president putin also changed his clothes. and into a suit and tie.
anyway, i found myself writing in my diary that night and this should go in the next book. i do know that writing this book reminded me of a couple of things i've always known, one is you really shouldn't take yourself or life too seriously. i would like to read a very short passage from the book to prove my point. a regret, not my only regret but one regret is that i did not keep all the pictures i have gotten from the barbara bush look-alikes. i get at least four letters a month and have for years from ladies who have been told they look exactly like me. i am so common looking that when i spoke to the junior league in toledo, ohio in october they had to barbara bush look-alikes and they can be five to or up to six to and wait 120 and i would like that to 220 or they can be 55-95
years of age and they all have one thing in common, white hair. i have finally learned to say i wish i did look as pretty as you and in most cases it is true. as you can imagine the mayor brings all sorts of funny surprises and one year shortly after getting the commencement address at texas a&m university i received a letter from a lady who thought i might be amused by something that happened after my talk. she had taken her granddaughter with her to the graduation and when she returned the little girl to her mother the child ran into the house yelling mom, you will never guess what i did and i heard the mother of the president of the united states and i heard norge washington's mother. [laughter]
i might have been more amused if i didn't sort of look like george washington. [laughter] now, another letter that truly thrilled me and amused my family came from a dear little girl who said something like dear missus bush, great news. i have named my heifer after you ass this nice child often sent me updates on barbara bush, the heifer. she competed in the livestock show one year and came in eighth and i was sorry for my little friend but i was slightly relieved as i am not sure i could've stood the headlines, barbara bush wins fat stock show. [laughter] which brings me to the thing i
was reminded of while writing this book. you cannot survive life without a sense of humor, otherwise you will never recover from all the ups and downs and disappointments and wrong turns in one of the reasons i married george bush was that he made me laugh. this was written after the death of our beloved dog, millie, you know the one who wrote the best-selling book about life in the white house and donated all the proceeds to literacy. millie's book made over $1 million with my foundation. george used to stay you worked all your life and finally you obtain the highest job in our country and maybe the world and your dog makes more money than you do. [laughter] we were very sad when millie died but thankfully some of the reactions to millie's death made us smile.
i wrote my book, the outpouring of letters, faxes, flowers and telephone calls about millie was unbelievable. people wrote things like i love her and i will always remember her or i am having a mass said for her companied by a mass card. at a first congregational church in kennebunkport they played for her on the sunday after her death and one lady wrote that she knew the pain we were suffering and you see, my husband died last year. [laughter] that made george very nervous. the barbara bush foundation for family literacy got a $500 contribution in memory of millie and was really sweet and people wrote letters about their dogs death, sent pictures of their dog or cat either living or dead and millie would not have liked the latter one bit.
my good friend mildred after who we named after whom millie was named had reporters called and george's chief of staff was interviewed by people magazine and both ladies said that the interviewers said they knew millie had written a book and had given her proceeds to charity but they wanted to know the personal side of millie and what she had done lately. millie was a dog. thank god for a sense of humor. however, the most important thing i was reminded of is that i am the luckiest woman in the world and i have a husband whom i adore, children that bring us great joy, friends that mean a tremendous amount to us and we live in the great state of texas was as part of the freest nation in history and the history of the world. [applause]
does not get much better than that and now that i've attended this wonderful festival life truly is a joy which brings me to one of my favorite topics which is literacy and that even after all these years it is still near and dear to my heart. i still believe that if more people could read, write and comprehend we could solve so many of our problems. i think we have made great progress but there is still much more work to be done. this summer i read something that made me very sad. in a recent survey only 50% of adults said they had read books since they finished school and only half of those people by more than two books a year. they certainly would not fit in with this crowd, would they? that is very scary i think.
it is also sad. i can't imagine life without books and reading. i feel like benjamin franklin who when asked what condition of man deserves the most petty replied a lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read. i am sure there is or i'm not sure this event anywhere that is working harder to fix this problem than the texas book festival founded in 1995 by then texas first lady laura bush. laura's mother is here incidentally and i am so glad to see her. right there. [applause] i must say jenna welch is a great example for all mothers, fathers, caretakers, grandparents, she read to laura every single day and that is
why, one of the many reasons, that we have this great gentle quiet, strong first lady. as many of you know the proceeds go to public libraries across texas and in just seven years you have raised more than 1 million -- 1,000,043 -- whatever it is. why didn't they write that out for me, they know i am not good at that. [laughter] 1,000,474 libraries and i'm told the typical grant is $500 for books and reading programs and in many cases that doubles the budget for the book purchases for these libraries and that is a terrific gift. the great news now is that laura bush moved to washington when she moved there she took this right idea with her and in
september with the help in conjunction with the library of congress they held their third national book festival on the mall which has attracted thousands of people each year. just this year i am sure i do not read about it but i know it happened and i wish i had read about it but 75000 people came out on the mall to celebrate the book thanks to our texas laura bush. that is a great wonderful thing. [applause] incidentally this is free and it is open to the public. laura and i joined forces on another literacy when the barbara bush foundation for family literacy established the first lady's family literacy for
texas. laura is still the chair. since its beginning eight years ago we have given away nearly $2 million to 80 texas family literacy programs. i can't help but think thanks to these and other efforts that your efforts and the efforts of all the wonderful literacy volunteers across our state and that someday people everywhere in texas would be able to count books as their treasured friends and companions and i want to congratulate you all for what you are doing and thrilled that i finally got the bid although i've got to write another book to get it but god bless you, god bless texas and that's it. [applause]
[applause] >> there is some time left for questions if everyone has it but remember i'm so old i don't here if i don't like the question. [laughter] any questions? you are pointing at someone. yell heard if you've got a question use have to stand up and yell. [inaudible question] >> are you kidding? the question is you heard is will i jump with him? no, i will be there to catch him. [applause]
yes, ma'am. >> i did not have a question but i did read your first book and i loved it and i'm a teacher and my high school students love it. i wear one red and one blue. >> thank you. [inaudible question] >> do i still give my son advice? george bush claims that he doesn't but that i feel free to. i do feel free to because neither one of them take it. [laughter] i have to tell you that all our children are very, very nice at making me very nervous because they are seeing how we feel and colleen and that sort of thing
and one day mark called and he said mom i just talked to george and he said you took a long walk and i thought he was going to say good girl, mom but i think we are protective of us now and i don't give much advice. yes, ma'am. [inaudible question] [applause] >> that's very nice. thank you. i will think jennifer youtube. [inaudible question] [applause] >> yes. [inaudible question]
>> you really have to read my book but let's say i tried not to give names in the book but we did have one time george and i were sitting on the deck of our house in kennebunkport and we had this little vote called the main coaster, little rubber vote and the children are allowed to use. george loves it when he sees the girls and boys go rushing out to the vote. one day one of the grandsons who had a house guest was racing around the point and we were sitting on the deck having lunch and george said and it was dan jenkins wife and his wife june the sportswriter and said that was the biggest treat my life to see those children use the main coaster and it's so wonderful and then the vote way, way out
stopped and george hopefully said oh gosh, i may have to go rescue them. he was dying to go out in his vote, i guess. in any case, he got his binoculars out in the little grandson got up and went to the back of the tiny vote, urinated over the side. [laughter] then the vote took off again. [laughter] i don't think the little kid ever knew but we have him under our binoculars. [laughter] the last book i read was sent to be called, i am madame x, which is about a woman john singer sargent painted and i have seen this john singer sargent painting from boston i thought it was a beautiful painting and by the time i got to the book i
did not think it was so beautiful. i really didn't. i just didn't, i thought the arm was weird. but i enjoyed the book. i'm looking for a good book. i read to relax and i worry about my children all the time, particularly our mutual children because i worry about the world and i don't think any president had a worse time to be president and lincoln had a brother fighting against brother which was a terrible time but there was something about an unknown enemy which is what we are going through now. i think that is very hard. we were a much more but i think we should so i tried to read novels or something that would make me not remember or think about the problem.
>> who is your favorite author? >> lots of them. truthfully, i love jane austen and i'm listening to a book on tape about the times the life of jane austen and i love [inaudible] but there are quite a few that every book they write i read. i love elizabeth george. i love david baldacci. i love james patterson's books, not quite so much the scary ones but the one who wrote that was like a letter to, oh, i forgotten but anyway. when you get to my age you don't remember the names but i do love his books. there's just a lot and there are some i have to automatically read, mary higgins clark and there's some i have to read the minute they come out. i'm a danger in a bookstore. yes.
[inaudible question] >> read my book ass -- [laughter] [inaudible question] >> i wonder why. yes, i have played golf and george bush left me a college station where he is rushing down to go to the golf and if locke will have it i may make a little tour out there myself. yes. [inaudible question] >> well, it depends on the age of course but when i go to schools i usually read the young children and i love a book called amazing grace but the trouble is when you go to read to children if it is a book you love they have read it 400 times and so you have to try to find a book that is new and that has
some kind of messaging. i love make way for ducklings and sends that book is 60 years old and is had a very good message i think and tells you the policeman are there to make life easier and compassionate and caring and i like that. i think children should be taught to respect people who are in public service, who are firemen, policemen, senators, congressmen and i believe that serving is a noble occupation so i like make way for ducklings and it is so old maybe they haven't read it. [inaudible question] >> harry potter. let me tell you about harry potter. i used to go to schools and speak to fifth-graders and i would say how many of you like to read, not many know how but how many like to read and most
of the girls raised their hands and very few boys. after harry potter came into our lives i would ask how many of you read a book lately and every hand went up. every boy they would yell out i read it five times or their father and mother would tell me i was at the store 2:00 a.m. this morning when they could buy it and i myself tried to read harry potter and i read the first one and i did not like alice in wonderland so i am ashamed to tell you i'm not that kind of reader but am i grateful to ms. rawlings or whatever her name is because she is opened reading to, not only girls but boys. i really do not like myself. [inaudible question] >> what was the question about my son?
>> yes, that's very easy because i can recommend books he can read. he is more into things that his father is now into jon meacham's book about winston and roosevelt and those are all very good books and or interesting to george w where there is just a lot of great books that have come out about statesmen lately not just john adams but there is a lot of them and george reads those. [inaudible question] >> that's nice. >> people always said he will not live in texas and i said of course we will announce our home. we love texas so that is very
nice and we loved midland very much when we lived there too. very much. [applause] [inaudible question] >> i'm 78, almost 79 and it depends on what age i guess and, you know, when you have four boys and a husband running for office and i'm just not as good a memory as i should be on that. i spent most my life, sports illustrated books about athletes and then god willing they finally got a girl. [laughter] yes, sir. right here. and then you next. >> in your opinion what is your favorite book that you wrote?
>> my favorite book i wrote? i only have four choices so of course my favorite book is reflections. [laughter] thank you for asking. i think millie's book certainly was great because it told people about the white house. now, you. [inaudible question] >> well, i do have a speechwriter. she takes it from my materials because every day i go out unbelievable happens to me. i mean, truthfully. i managed to trip over the funniest things. i do have a speechwriter. she says we make a great team and she writes an ie race. [laughter]
spirit could you tell us about the night of the election in your household what went on with your son elected president? >> and then was on elected? well, i could hardly tell the scribe because you're probably on either side but i'm sure other people have written about this but it was a very moving night and you know, we were at a dinner in the family had barely gotten there when florida was called on the gore side which was really wrong because they had not closed their poles. that sort of set the tide -- title wave across because we had to win florida we went back to
the governors mansion and it moved me a lot because our two oldest sons were really very affectionate, emotional, jenna was there, laura george end job and a lot of staff in and out, my george of course and the two men sat and looked at precinct by precinct as it came in and it became clear that florida was going to be jabs or george's and it turned out to be george's. you know, i don't know if you noticed that but in the democratic primary in 2002 i guess what precincts had troubles with chad's again? the ones the democrats ran. same ones that had a problem with deb and george and gore so
since i'm outspoken and frank and what's the other word? tarts. i feel perfectly free to say there is no question in my mind that george one florida. [applause] i don't think i've put this in my book but in my heart when the democrat national committee chairman and you can throw stuff at me if you want to announce in 2002 they had one goal and that was to be jeb bush. i think deb one by 14%. [applause] i am not supposed to be political but i want you to know what i think. yes. >> how do you feel about
[inaudible] >> i don't like that if they are revisionists but i am worried very much about the internet because i can put something on the internet and act like it is the truth and people will then go in there as research and for instance there was a big article about me recently in the newsweek because they had bought the right to do that from my book publisher and i spent a lovely date with a really nice girl and about the fourth page of my book i think was my mother's name and she has my mother or her mother, mildred pierce. my mother's name was pauline robertson peers. mildred pierce was joan crawford in the movie. that is sloppy and worried about sloppy and worried about things on internet that aren't true.
we all go to the internet to find the truth and now i am feeling about that because i don't think they are necessarily true. i think we got to be very careful that our editors really do do the research. mildred pierce, didn't she use close hangers on her children, wire ones or something or maybe that was joan crawford? but i will say goodbye and see my husband and thank you very much. i really appreciate you having me. [applause] [applause] >> that concludes this morning session.
thank you missus bush. thank you everyone and this is the texas book festival, go enjoy. >> host: you are watching book to be on c-span2 and we are spending the evening with former first lady who are also authors. up next is hillary clinton. she was first lady from 1993 1993-2001. she is the author of eight books, several of them best sellers, not only to to write his first lady but wrote when she was senator from new york, secretary of state and as a presidential candidate. here she is when she was first lady in 1996 on c-span's book notes program talking about her best-selling book it takes a village. >> hillary rodham clinton author of it takes a village, what did your mother teach you about raising children? >> she was such a good example. my mother as i write in the book did not have a traditional
upbringing and she was born to a 15 -year-old mother and 17 -year-old father in their marriage did not last and she was sent off to live with a grandparent and that was very harsh atmosphere but somehow through her own personal will and strength and because of others along the way teachers and relatives and when she was 14 she went to work in another woman's house taking care of that woman's children and that woman served as an example of a mother and she summed it all up and was loving, attentive, caring and had a great start in life. >> what about your dad? >> my dad had a different kind of upbringing based on immigrant families with both parents coming to this country as young children and they were very intent upon working hard. his father went to work when he was 11 and his mother was a
strong-willed woman but i've learned his mother, my formidable grandmother who died when i was quite young insisted on using her maiden name as well, haner james rado and i was surprised to learn that back at the turn-of-the-century that someone who stood up for herself and made her views known. my father had a great upbringing and went to school at penn state where he played football and i think for him having a family and being permitted to taking care of them coming out of the world war ii depression generation which is what he thought he should do and he did well. >> were you born in illinois? spirit i was born in chicago. that's my parents were living. >> how long did you live in park ridge? >> we moved there when i was four and my parents moved to arkansas to be with us after my father had his first stroke back
that didn't talk about and wasn't into reading books very much, unlike my mother. so i think he was much harder on my brothers because he didn't know what to do with me. both my parents were so encouraging of me, telling me i could do whatever i want. there were never distinctions made between boys and girls. my father -- iran with the boy is just as everybody else did. but i think he was a much more demanding father for my brothers. c-span: how did you raise chelsea different than you were raised? >> guest: i struggled to raise her in the same way despite the different circumstances. we had a very middle-class normal upbringing. we were lucky to live in a suburb of great schools and was a safe neighborhood certainly my
husband being governor and now the president it makes it quite different but i struggle all the time to make her life as normal and i fell back on my upbringi upbringing. >> there's a part in the book where you say you broke down in tears for what reason? >> guest: riding around with the governor's mansion they wanted to ride their bikes down to the library and i got tears in my eyes because every day in the summertime i would ride my bike to the library to go to the pool, to play with my friends and my mother would say be home in time for dinner. i have to put liberals.
the downtown area of little rock arkansas isn't as safe as it should be or as it used to be and that made me very sad. it was one of the moments they gave me a great deal of regret that we hadn't taken care of our society in a way that would enable my daughter to be as free as i was. c-span: chelsea is brought up here a lot and i don't think you want to protect her. did you have to make a decision in the book was that hard to do? >> guest: this pic is kind of a hybrid of this and a memoir by any means but it does rely on my personal experience both as a mother and a daughter and as well as my work as an advocate and experts but by no trying to get their information out to the public so i made the decision i did have to include her but i didn't want her to feel i was
reaching giving her an uncomfortable moment as a teenager. >> guest: it's been a challenge and something i spend more time on than anything else. i had great conversation about raising children in the public eye and i read a lot of the press coverage of children who were in the white house and that led both of them to make some decisions about how we both talk about her in public. i am very grateful it was so positive we received get hurt as much space and privacy as we could. >> host: c-span: like you think they do? >> guest: a lot of people around our age raising children and the press, i believe they know what they go through
because if you are a journalist on television or who is well known because of what you write, that gives you a taste of how your children can be drawn into your own career and certainly much more dramatic where we live, but i think we have a certain sympathy and empathy. >> host: you also tell us in the book about how you and the president when he was governor warned her about the awful things that were going to be said or him at the time. [laughter] >> guest: c-span: and she got upset. had she been upset lately? >> guest: we looked at this so long she gets a little frustrated and concerned and as would be natural. but starting when she was about six and i tell him the book i realized that given that her dad had been in politics since she was born she had been oblivious to it. she didn't follow the news but
now that she was reading and in school, that was going to be different. so we talked about it and thought we should try to prepare. children deserve to have as much information as they are ready to receive it at the age they are so after dinner we told her your dad is going to be running for the governor and people would say mean things about each other and they didn't want her to be surprised and sometimes they told stories about each other and she was very upset at first. but we have continued to work with her and we are always asking if she has any questions. it's never easy and it's always painful. it's hard not only on my daughter but my mother and other people who care about us and we do our best to reassure them and let them know. >> host: c-span: how often do you get
that done? on? >> guest: every time we were in town and it usually dinner. we sit around and talk about what families talk about. what's going on, how school was, where we might go if we could get a few days off. we tried so hard to do that and it's something that we tried and will keep it as long as we can. c-span: you have a chapter on watching -- and. >> guest: when i think about the difference in the way that life was back in the 50s the table of people for the great nostalgia today, the single biggest difference is the role of television in our lives and it's not only the content but also the process, the amount of hours that so many children spend, what if they them away
from doing and the instant gratification that it provides. i say in the book that when you have a two or a three year old all of a sudden be able to control a remote control device and never having to work and play the way that we did or the kind of frustrating experiences you go through when you are a young child to sit there and possibly be entertained, it changes the beach with her and learn. >> host: c-span: 80% of americans responding said they believe tv is harmful to society. do you think that's true? >> guest: i think most people believe it's true. i try in the book to get some suggestions about what parents can do and what communities can do so that we take back the authority in our own homes and popular culture it represents.
c-span: why do you think it is helpful? >> guest: there've been a number of studies they haven't gotten as much publicity as i would like. they summarize a lot of what we know about the effectiveness of television and we know that it has desensitized children to violence. now clearly if you come from an unstructured family with a lot of problems to start with, you will be more effective than somebody that comes from a more stable environment, but all children are defective and it's not just boys where there's been an increase committed girls as well. we know that the consumer culture and the kind of manipulation of children that is done even in their own television shows particularly on commercial television has had an impact. to compare watching public broadcasting and the educational programs that appeared with children who watch only commercial broadcasting. children that watch educational
programming are better prepared for academic challenges. there are many ways that we never contacted kids. tying in mac ie restricted the amount and kind of devotion chelsea watched as a child and even now we check up from time to time. >> guest: we were careful about what she watched and how much. we didn't just let her plop down in front of the television set. we tried to keep her active doing other things and now kind of checking in on what she's watching but mostly by talking with her. what does she think about certain programs and evaluate them. in the book i talk about how important it is for parents to be active viewers of their children. we are all going to watch television. but we try to talk about what television is, how it's very plausible in so many respects.
you don't solve human problems in 27 minutes plus commercials. you try to give the capacity to separate what they see on television from what they hope they would see in real life. c-span: why do you think people in the business of have e this, why do you think they sell this? >> guest: and you drive by an accident on the road, we are all proper necking and have people telling us move on, don't block traffic. and we have something compelled to look at it's time for all of us to say we have to exercise responsibility at least let's be honest and admit we have
effective help children think of themselves into view society. that isn't debatable anymore but then programmers can mcmorris principal positions. the president is having a meeting with the major programmers to talk about what can be done on a voluntary basis. the chip in the communications will need a rating system but they are beginning to move in the right direction to reassert this responsibility. if a stranger came into your home and began telling stories about the same kind of characters and events and words and pictures, you would throw them out. >> guest: we let television get away with so much more and when you think about the language and be constant violence i don't think we wouldn't put it in person we would walk away from it or throw somebody out at our house.
c-span: there is this picture in the back of this? >> guest: the white house -- this is the day that we had a big bird and the sesame street characters because there's a study i talk about in public that was done at the university of kansas looking at the effect of public broadcasting and the kids were all there and we had a great time. c-span: when did you first say to yourself i'm going to write a book? >> guest: i thought about it for a long time but i took it seriously when the publisher came to see the publisher and president at the trade edition and the editor published my mother-in-law's book which is a marvelous book. becky had been the editor and
they showed up and said have you thought about writing a book and i said i thought about it but it's not anything they've taken seriously. we began to talk a year ago in january. c-span: how did you go about its? >> guest: it for something i thought would be easier than it turned out to be. the original plan was for me to sit down and talk and have the conversations to transcribe and then to have some research done and help editing the transcriptions physically. i found out that did not work for me. i'm someone that has to sit down and think hard about what i have to say. it takes me many drafts. i had to do it in longhand because my computer skills were not up to the task that i had undertaken, so it took about a year to do. c-span: there are 18 chapters and at the beginning of each chapter, you have a quote. all the way from lady byrd
johnson to let's see, booker t. washington. some of them are still alive and how did you go about choosing these pics? >> guest: i started with a collection of quotes that i had for a long time. i sit around reading these books for hours on end looking for the right quotes that i wanted to give it. the quote at the beginning of no family is an island is one of the most natural things but look what they can do whe and they sk together. i love that quote. the book came out in january when we were in the 96th
c-span: to get the sense that you go alternately between children and politics. >> guest: it's filled with a lot of views about how children and political positions intersect because i do think that all of us in whatever realm we are and have the responsibility for children and not just electoral politics and how we organize ourselves in the neighborhoods and communities. it's sort of a handy to carry around. i learned a lot about publishing. the number of pages in the book meant that if i added one more page, they would have had to add i think 16 more pages because of the way the books are put together. so it was perfect for what i wanted to convey. c-span: what did you get in? >> guest: i had so many more
examples. my editor was helping me get it down to a manageable size. it could have been longer if i had my way. c-span: flight no index? >> guest: it wasn't meant as a textbook. it was meant as more of a meditation if you will it would have been held up even longer if. the deadline for virtually sent. c-span: as units been written many times criticism of giving credit to the person that helped you on that if there was one person in the back you say they are so numerous i will not even attempt to acknowledge them for fear i might be someone out. what do you think of the criticism, and does someone human being deserve credit for having done a lot of the work on this? >> guest: i had so much hope directly on hand.
i had friends that read every word. i was nowhere near done. i was afraid i would leave somebody out. it wasn't only the direct help the indirect help and those that talk to me on the telephone and i have yet to meet. others that influenced me for more than 20 years. i thought it was the best way to basically think everybody. c-span: what do you thin would e criticism of the person that was paid to spend time and didn't get credit? >> guest: i think her for what she did for me. she worked for a number of months and i was grateful. c-span: in the book on page 148, you have a brian. i was standing as quiet as i could become a a great big ugly
man came up and tied his horse to me and then you go on to this couple of sentences. during the first year in the white house my father died, our good friend killed himself by my mother-in-law left her family and my husband and i were attacked daily by children trying to score political points. going back to this as i was standing in the street as quiet as could be a man came up and tied his horse to me. >> guest: that was in one of the nursery rhyme books and she had a wonderful book that was the prominent one on the cover. it served as a way of explaining to the child and later myself how things happen in life and you cannot always predict what is going to happen. what should have been the most wonderful year of our lives wits my husband being inaugurated president had a little sorrow
attached to that and that is the way that life is. c-span: what was the impact of your father's death? >> guest: rather dramatic and significant. we were certainly exhausted from the campaign and didn't take any time off and went right into the president's preparations for the transition into the inaugural. all of a sudden, my father was struck by a fatal stroke and we were in the hospital with him for two weeks before he died. it was so much. when i look back on it now and the entire time. have during the campaign and then that first year of 93, there was a lot of that happened. starting that year off is the wonder of the inauguration and a few years later my father's
death, it was difficult. >> host: what did you do with the impact on someone like chelsea, do you deal with that direct the? >> guest: she came with me for the first week we took her out of school. my brothers were there most of the time as well. my mother was there every hour, so she was a part of that and i thought that was important for her to be with us as a family institute of her grandfather who never regained consciousness adequately enough to recognize any of us into the first day or two didn't even think we were there but they were there together and i thought that was important. >> host: you said my father distrusted both big business and big government. that sounds like some of the running for politics today. >> guest: that is the way my father felt a hand with the way he talked about both government and business that there needed
to be restring from both. you can't vot can put either gor business have too much control or it will be left unchecked. did your mother and father think alike politically? >> guest: my father was raised republican very strongly so. my mother was always more democratic leaning. my father was very concerned more of the fac with the fact ty husband was a democrat then that he was from the south of the southern baptist or anything else. but he also changed his views as he got older and began to moderate them somewhat and if thesupported my husband wholeheartedly. c-span: what is the first physical thing in your life? >> guest: it goes so far back.
my father would talk about politics and about what was going on. we followed the news and read the newspaper and have discussions. it goes way back. the first thing i did actively on a national level is a 1964 and my father was a staunch republican support of barry goldwater so i participated for the first time at that level. c-span: what was next? >> guest: they take that back, first was a presidential election in 1960 between nixon and kennedy. my mother never said she voted for president kennedy but i have a sneaky suspicion she didn't tell my father that. we were constantly talking about politics and my family. what is next is probably going to college and becoming involved
in politics and started out as a young republican and then i began to read for you to study more and decided i had to spend some time thinking about my own political beliefs, so i withdrew at that time. i accident happened in your involvement. was there a moment. that meant i had to go and study these positions and learn things from a different point of view not just wit what my father sair my community believed.
and that opened me up to looking at things from a different point of view and i think that i always had this mixture of politics. people would try to pigeonhole me as they do everybody in public life and faith we know she is a fill in the blank but it's always more complicated. he said in a document martin luther king once. >> guest: i think i was 14 or 15. c-span: what do you remember? >> guest: it was my youth minister talking about the challenges that are presented to a christian. he took a group of stone to chicago and then we waited until everybody else. we had a chance to shake his
hand. i remember the dignity that he had, and i remember particularly how he was taking his religion and try to make it a political process which i thought was very interesting. c-span: your first national figure. >> guest: barry goldwater was the first figure that i meant. c-span: what do you remember about that? >> guest: such an energetic person. we got a chance to shake his hand. c-span: do you have a model of how you treat other people with
because of their point of view and that is pretty much the model i tried to tell. c-span: i don't know whether you can do this or not but you mentioned you were on the board and the children's defense board. what are the different atmospheres walking into those two different situations? >> guest: they were more alike than other situations. what's if i can describe it. i was on for 20 years and got to work right out of law school.
the atmosphere of the debate and concern and intend to. c-span: how big was the port? >> guest: 58 people. there was an atmosphere people wanted to be involved and care about the issues. they wanted to know what other people think. they said they want to hear from the directors what's going on to ask what we saw happening in the world. he also was a strong charismatic leader. he always wanted to know how to do things better and in a funny way there are some similarities
between them. both extraordinary institutions that in their own ways are unique. they might say what would this entrepreneur have in common with this child advocate and i saw them as tremendous examples of what you can do if you set your mind to it. >> guest: the ceo made three times a factory worker earned in the wage. did that bother you? >> guest: it bothers me a lot. fear is in our country and it's not just political leaders is much more of an affect they have
to be more willing to identify a. in the factory and service industries they've seen their wages and benefits basically stagnate. i don't think that's good for the economy. put aside all of the ethical henry ford paid the workers $5 an hour because he knew that it was a smart business. we've reached the point they
need to understand what is good for henry ford at the beginning of the century is good for them and we have to share bits of our productivity increases and ability to compete in the economy more fairly not just those ajustthose at the top of s organization. c-span: how long were you on that? >> guest: five or six years. c-span: it's been the most radically disruptive force in american life in the last generation. >> guest: i believe that. if you look at the argument that we had in our political life we have. the government against everything else. i don't think the government has had as big an impact as commercial television is about t decisions made in the marketplace about how you're going to pay and compensate people about the downsizing corporations and making workers
more insecure. there's got to be healthy tension between the society and that the market is the driving force behind our prosperity, freedom and so many respects to make our lives our own one of the things sam walton believed in, and part of the reason is that the workers at wal-mart were able to share in the process and the executives when i was on the board were very careful to keep their perks down and kind of officers they had. i thought that was a good example. c-span: is a few voices
arguing for more government, skepticism towards government, personal response ability from citizens. americans do not favor the dismantling of government. i could go on, but how far should the government go? >> guest: there is no way they can raise kids. they can do things that help support the parents raising kids and can also be the safety net for whatever combination of reasons are not being adequately cared for by their own. so, for example the congress set the minimum wage. it isn't high enough and cannot support a family on what is paid in the wage. they also have the responsibility to ensure older people and younger people get the health care they need and that is why we shouldn't be
thinking about dismantling medicare and medicaid looking for ways to make it more efficient and effective. so there is examples of where the government does is a big impact and it's not just on the poor and vulnerable. the government also determines what kind of atmosphere my child is going to live in and i mean that literally. as the water going to be clean, there's a tremendous progress it's the only institution capable of reining in of business this that can stop at this and that is the kind of thing that they have a roll in. if. i'd like to do what i did for 25
years part time which is to be a voice for children and give it in a way that tries to bring people together. if. for the opportunity to get beyond partisan arguments and ideologies for a long time i've been advocated that it would be more difficult when you have children. ithat isn't a conservative or liberal republican or democratic issue. what can we do to slow it down or if it is going to occur that is the kind of discussion i would like to have a role.
c-span: how do you change the divorce law? >> guest: it's making it a little harder, a little longer. the perhaps to understand more clearly why using children as pawns and debates over property is terrible for kids to raise their children even after divorce. c-span: you talk about the french and germans. >> guest: and other cultures as well. i am a fan and i know that they are going to be rethinking about how that in the conversations
they are not talking about cutting back on the support for families to the extent they are talking about doing some other things that's because they see raising children is a social obligation even though they have the primary responsibility so it's the kind of policies. the healthcare policies. the visiting nurses program in england when people come into the home to try to make sure the parents know what they are doi doing. everybody from princess diana down to a single teenage mother. the entire society has a stake in making sure that they do as good a job as they can. >> host: c-span: we talked about this in law school did you struggle
much before? >> guest: no, i didn't. i struggled just a little bit before, but i never had the opportunity to travel much. i think that ther it would be ul here in our own country. i know americans often believe we don't have much to learn from other cultures, but i would like to see that change to evaluate what other cultures have done and look at the results. we have such a high level of force and violence within the home and outside of the home. clearly there are some things we could be doing better and some lesson we could learn. c-span: what do you mean? >> guest: 20th century that open space and a molecule for us. we now know a lot more about biology and in particular i'm concerned we apply the lessons
we learned to raising children. i have a whole chapter in about lessons of molecular biology. i would like to see an end. we come equipped with our own background but how that is played doesn't orchestrate the kind of things that happen so if we try to take the lessons and apply them in parenting and education, we could do a lot better job in how we treat children and how to train children from the beginning of their lives. c-span: do you ever get tired of doing that? >> guest: talking about it, no, i get a little frustrated because it is such a disconnect between what we do in our own homes as well as our public debates. c-span: do you get tired when
somebody comes in and says to you you have another three interviews to do on this book and then you say i can't do this any more? >> guest: i do raise my voice sometimes, but i don't get tired about that. c-span: in the book, you name a lot of people and companies and one person you name it daniel baumann. do you ever worry that you are endorsing something that might come back and get you in the face? >> guest: by a researcher worked very hard to make sure nothing would come back and bite me. i tried to learn as much as i could. i read the book and i thought that it was a brilliant book and that it would make a great contribution to what they knew. i was afraid it wouldn' would me bestseller list which is one of the reasons i talked about it because i wanted people to read it. so i'm sure that there are ways you can criticize anything but i try to use examples that have
really stood up to scrutiny. c-span: what do you find when you are in public gets the most response? >> guest: a lot of people on the frontlines, pediatricians and nurses and others are pleased that i'm talking about issues they talk about and giving them some validation for the things they try to do every day. so particularly parents who share my concern that as a society we are not doing what we they should for children. so they are very open to what works and they want to know about the research. that's still something a lot of people don't know. it's one of the best investments you can make. so the responses depending upon the audience. c-span: has your mom breaded?
>> guest: yes. her favorite chapter is about religion. she really liked that one. c-span: by? >> guest: i think because i asked her what she thought was the essence of religious teaching and she said a sense of the good and she believes that if more people but because of the way they were raised and because of the messages had some sense of themselves as good and some value as well as respecting other people there wouldn't be a policy or government policy or something. c-span: what about all the stories i remember one that we talked about on the show one day she'll are the clintons than $54,000 of taxpayer money to fly someone to do her part. what is your answer to that? >> guest: may regret it and wish it didn't happen. the secret service made a strong recommendation for security
reasons i had to fly a military plane. mrs. bush had to on many occasions and i wish our society wasn't like that. i would love to go and get on an airplane and talk to people and find out what's going on. occasionally i can get a train ride because they can take over the whole car of the train i'm on. i wish we didn't have to worry about security so much. c-span: we were not subjected to second guessin guessing intom about the motives and actions of every leader and institution. in the institution. you are talking about the past. >> guest: of growing up in a 1950s and even the early 1960s. we could look at president eisenhower there are some scandals that would come and go, but it wasn't a steady diet of second guessing.
he could make his statements and we could judge for ourselves and that is what you do on c-span. for 20 minutes of analysis by other people, i think that as many political scientists are now pointing out, particularly thomas patterson in his book out of order, what we have done to ourselves, by the way we cover leaders and it's been a great disservice to democracy. i am all for absolute freedom of the press people getting in there and waiting around to find out what they think is important. i just think that sometimes we are out of balance about what is important, and it's very difficult to expect people to cherish a democracy where they are the primary decision-makers when day in and day out they are told that it doesn't work and that the people they vote for and see on television have x. y. and z. problem. by any standards, american
politics if you go back and look to the generations or the millennia you have to be skeptical and ask questions. if you do it to the exclusion of engaging in the people running for office and openoffice and if you are constantly denigrating people, i don't think that it's good for the long-term prospects of our democracy. c-span: a lot of people say that we harshly became cynical after vietnam and then after watergate and they were right in the middle of that. >> guest: there was good reason for being cynical. i alsbut i also think you can'tp fighting the last war. everything is not the vietnam war were watergate. maybe it just takes a while for people to catch up with what is currently going on. but many changes were made.
c-span: i can ask you this because it's public but how old were you when you were on the watergate committee? >> guest: i was probably 26 or 27. c-span: graduated from yale law school. >> guest: along with a gift for other graduates recommended for the job. we worked 18, 20 hours a day. c-span: to do the work for? >> guest: john doerr and the other senior attorneys on the staff. c-span: but do you remember about that? >> guest: i remember how respectful and careful the investigation was. he madthey made absolutely clear nobody can have any preconceived notions, no one wants to draw anwas to draw anyconclusion, nok to the press. he got very upset with me one day because i went as the junior lawyer on a matter to a hearing and at the end of it, some
reporter came up to me and asked the question which i didn't answer the fact i was asked of september because he thought we needed to be as loose from the political give and take in the press commentary as possible, and i think that's how it was done. and i'm very, you know, i'm very regretful that others didn't think that i followed that kind of thoughtful, nonpartisan, above the fray sort of approach. c-span: so you think it's a different atmosphere today. >> guest: i think it's very different today. c-span: in what way? >> guest: the stakes have been raised on the partisanship. there are so many people who shoot before they aim. they don't get the facts. they are quick to make outrageous statements about other people. i think the press feels that have such a vested interest in trying to stay ahead of whatever it is going on so when they get out their nobody can say that there was a high curved even though a week or two later it turned out not to be very
important for all. so the nature of press coverage across the increasing mean-spiritedness of the partisanship. i understand why it occurred. it's been a mutual relationship. it's not one side or the other's fault. the decibel level has been raised on both sides. i just don't think that it's good for the country that people scream at each other and accuse each other of things. c-span: is any of it a result of people that were republicans back then and wanted to get back not personally involved, but wanted to get the kind of pledge from the other side? >> guest: some are quoted saying that is part of it which again is unfortunate. but isn't the way that a great nation should conduct its affairs. c-span: back to a more mundane issues.
the national obsession with food and/or guilt over it. why did you write about this? >> guest: in much of my advocacy work in the past, i focused on hungry children and the need to keep programs like wic and supplementing their programs like that. but our biggest problem with our children now even though we still have hungry children, one in 12, the bigger problem is obesity among children and that a combination of eating too much, exercising too little. again television as part of the reason for that and the fear of letting children go out to play its part of the reason and fact they don't have physical education in school everyday and many states any longer. so, i thought i would write abouthat i would writeabout thai know from my own experience and from my own battles with food the way that i was raised, we
had an enormous amount of food. great big helpings of potatoes and bread. but they were more active as children. we were out there playing all the time on our bikes, playing softball in the street. so, kids today don't have those opportunities. c-span: what do you do today about exercise clicks we don't see the president running anymore. >> guest: he doesn't run as often but he has been working out and as the weather gets better he will get back to running again. chelsea is very good. she's very active physically. i come and go. i have some months i'm quite good and others i'm not. there's things like the weather is either too hot or too cold, so i will get better now this spring. c-span: what are your techniques when you travel and how do you prevent gaining weight from eating bad food? >> guest: try to stay away from it which is difficult. part of my problem, and i suppose it is for many people
today, when you travel a lot and work long hours, you get exhausted. food is like fueling the comfort if it is around i very well may they get. c-span: it isn't in the book although you have eluded to the discussion about health care. i have some people over the weekend stay you know, mrs. clinton has been successful in the healthcare issue without succeeding getting a law passed and you have seen the stories and heard this. do you think that is true? >> guest: what we were trying to do in healthcare in part wasn't understood as neither unfettered competition, nor government takeover of health care. it was as the president described a third way into different approach and managed competition. i think we do have some positive results because of the competition. and we have seen a. we have seen some hard decisions
being made about the services that could or should be offered. there is a dark side to that. we have more people without insurance at 43 million. they are at risk because they are uninsured and we have also seen the results of competition without any regulations the focus on competition i believe that unchecked competition in healthcare is and will lead to further results that will affect all of us. c-span: if you were sitting in my chair, what questions would you ask that have not been asked, anything you want someone to ask?
>> guest: what i hope happens because of this book. i wrote it because i really wanted to get these ideas out and to get them shared. it has been well received and i'm grateful people have been buying it, but i would like it to be part of a broader conversation about what we do for kids and i would like it to be something people talk about, not public necessarily the bookt the ideas that are part of this conversation about what people can do in their own homes and neighborhoods and churches and everywhere else. i really wish the messages of the book is that it isn't just prevents that have responsibility for children come it's all of us and my daughter's life will be affected by countless people she will never meet who will make decisions about our economy come out of the safety of our food, about all kinds of things that will determine how she lives and the future. c-span: when does she go to college? >> guest: brian. [laughter]
this is a sore subject. people have asked me how the last couple of months been hard for you and i said the hardest was going to college. to face up to the fact she will be gone in a year so that isn't very pleasant. c-span: has she made a choice? >> guest: no. c-span: does she have any idea what she wants to be? >> guest: for a long time. she thought she wanted to be a doctor and a pediatrician. maybe a pediatrician with a specialty in gerontology. [laughter] c-span: take care of her mother. [laughter] the book is "it takes a village," and the author is hilary rodham clinton. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you, brian.
[inaudible conversations] booktv is opening up our archives anarchiveyour bench wan author. our focus tonight is a little bit different. we are focusing on the former first ladies were also offers. up next is laura bush. first lady from the 2001 to 2009. she's a former librarian, and giving her time in the white house, she advocated for literacy and cofounded the national book festival, which is observing its 20th anniversary this fall. now from 2010, she discusses her memoir, spoken from the heart.
>> good afternoon everyone. when the undersecretary for history, art and culture and the smithsonian institution. it's my pleasure to welcome all of you individually is a nice crowd here tonight. for this program this evening with a former first lady of the united states laura bush on the occasion of the publication of her memoir, "laura bush spoken from the heart," was called a deeply felt keenly observed account adding mrs. bush in her hometown with enormous detail, lyricist anand feeling. tonight mrs. bush will be interviewed by cokie roberts and we are all delighted to welcome her back to the smithsonian event. copies of mrs. bush's book, which she has already signed, are available in the lobby. because of her schedule, there
will not be any personalization of the books after the program. before we begin, i would like to remind all of you to have your cell phone or electronic devices silenced and i better do that with vinyl so. [laughter] additionally, no photographs are allowed during the program from cell phone cameras or any other camera. we appreciate your cooperation on both of these items. as i mentioned, we are pleased to have her here in conversation with mrs. bush. cokie roberts is a senior news analyst for npr news, where she was the congressional correspondent for more than ten years. additionally, she's a political commentator for abc news, the winner of countless awards for more than 40 years in broadcasting. she's been inducted into the broadcasting and cable hall of fame and the american women in radio and television cited her as one of the 50 greatest women in broadcast history.
the author of several books including we are our mothers daughters and accounts of the women's roles and relationships throughout american history and is certainly an appropriate topic for tonight's program and i can say how proud i am to have worked for some with her mom who's here today with us. lindsay is a member of congress, distinguished member, member of the smithsonian board of regents and a promoter and supporter of america's cultural heritage both in new orleans and louisiana and indeed across the nation. [applause] involved in key issues involving
education, health care and human rights. she hosted a global conference on the need of one of th women e newly opened george w. bush institute in dallas where she directs her global and women's initiative project. mrs. bush early career as a teacher and librarian and particularly partial to that because my own wife is a teacher, her early career as a teacher and librarian has helped shape her lifelong interest in literacy and education. during her tenure in the white house she focused on early childhood development and enthusiastic proponent of teacher recruitment programs such as teach for america, the teacher project. as first lady first lady, mrs. d launch the popular library of congress first national book festival 2001 which continues every year and attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the mall every september. in 2006, she took her passion global hosting leaders from the
nearly 40 nations for a special summit to address the worldwide literacy crisis where nearly three quarters of a billion adults cannot read. currently the honorary ambassador for the un literary decade and in 2005, she made a historical trip to afghanistan visiting the newly opened women's teachers training institute in kabul that she helped to establish. ..
>> and then taking friends on low-key trips to the national museum of national history ended museum in new york. and he - - he graciously loaned the white house copy of the gettysburg address and loan that to the smithsonian for the opening of the american history museum so millions of americans could have access to the wonderful document now serving on the board of national african-american history and culture scheduled to open 2015 ms. cokie roberts and laura bus bush.
there to help us answer those letters for everything you did for the years we lived there i am thrilled to be back and to see all of you. you may not know that i actually lived in washington twice before george and i moved in the white house. we lived in 1997 and my first day in washington was during the summer of 1969 when one of my friends from southern baptist university headed east see what life outside texas would be like she got a job at the garfinkel's department
store setting up with the congressman for my home district and represented at midland texas district is in for as long as it has been a district, almost 35 years. he invited me for an interview and looked over my resume and then asked if i could type or take shorthand. [laughter] i said no. [laughter] i had taken a quick course of typing in summer school in high school but i hadn't paid attention. the congressman then asked if he thought my if i thought my father would consider sending me to secretarial school. [laughter] i thought about what my father
just spent to send me to smu and i said no again. in the congressman gently suggested that without being able to type or take shorthand i wasn't qualified for a position in his office. had a then a typist however in the summer of 1969 i might very well have become a congressional staffer in washington. instead i returned to texas into public school teaching and was very happy. had a state in washington i might never have met george w. bush. so in retrospect i'm grateful i was turned down by capitol hill. [laughter] [applause] would like to take just a few moments to share with you how george and i met in midland texas and how both without
realizing it begin our journey to washington dc. for at least a year my friend jane's husband joey had been telling me he wanted me to introduce me to one of his friends jan lived with me in houston after spending a few years in san francisco jan angela we came home. joey working in his dad's oil business and his childhood friend george bush was working as the oil land man scouring records from and that could be leased for drilling wells. he talked up george every time i stop by to visit. i was in no rush i had a vague memory of him from the seventh grade almost 20 years before. [laughter] i knew his dad ran for senate
and lost in 70 when i first moved to houston and i assumed he would be very interested in politics while i was not. with the spent and exhausted world i put on the blues undressed and over in the corner even the roof was cedar shake and the cicadas were droning and it was the study were of air-conditioners it was not an elaborate party just the four of us sitting out back eating hamburgers we laughed and talked until nearly midnight the next day
the phone rang george said let's go play miniature golf so we did with jan and joey as our chaperones the miniature golf courses that going tall and graceful and we played golf under the stars and laughed again. then it went back to austin and george was visiting on the weekends. sometimes he would come over on a friday night but he came every weekend except for the very end of august when he left for maine to see his family. barb bush love to tell the story he spent exactly one day in kennebunkport that summer. when she called my apartment some guy answered and race for the plane and flew right back
down. [laughter] i returned to the library and worked all through september. by the end of the month george had asked me to marry him. we had been dating only six or seven weeks but our childhoods overlapped so completely and our worlds were so intertwined it was if we had known each other our whole lives. i love how he made me laugh and his steadfast i knew in my heart he was the one i looked at him and said yes. that sunday night he headed to speak to my parents and one week later early sunday morning george and i drove to houston to meet his parents he introduced me with the news that we were getting married. [laughter] after lunch george's dad pulled out the pocket calendar to look over each weekend that
fall. in a few minutes we picked a wedding date november 5t november 5th, 19771 day after my birthday and one day before of the anniversary of that awful accident three weeks away. no time even to order printed wedding invitations. my mother wrote and addressed all invitations by hand. far more nervous than the bride or groom were jan and joey they dated for years before they got married neither dreamed their invitation to dinner would lead us to the altar in three months. [laughter] perhaps it wouldn't have if joey introduced us when we were growing up or when we lived on the opposite sides of the château in houston or any other moment prior to that
night. at that particular moment on that warm summer night both of us were hoping to find someone. we were not looking for someone to date but to share a life for the rest of our lives. we both wanted children. we were ready to build a future. those are the facts of our lives when we went to dinner that night it was the right timing for both of us. of course not everyone in midland agreed. was i was packing to leave austin reagan and billy were selling their house. one week before the wedding a mother came to see their house she was thinking of buying it for her daughter she didn't recognize reagan that she said we will be in midland next weekend we are going to laura and george's wedding without a second of hesitation this woman said yes can you imagine
the most eligible bachelor in midland marrying the old maid of midland. [laughter] reagan was speechless. but i thought it was funny. after all i am four months less two days younger than george they loaded up my things after the last box was stowed my cat and i began the drive that i never imagined making back to live in midland. right out of side of san angelo trees were lining the edge of the road. on the verge of november at the frost already settled in the leaves had fallen and blown awa away. trunks and branches stood dark and empty against the sky. now suddenly a great mask of winged birds lifted up pulsing
in swirly i watched in silence as they beat their way south and then glanced back at the tree that had extended its branches for rest and refuge it was like a beautiful wedding gift on the long ride towards home. we were married on a saturday morning at the first methodist church. the church i had gone to all my childhood where i was baptized as a baby, learn to sing in the choir where my mother still went every sunday. methodist weddings were brief. no bridesmaids to add minutes walking down the aisle it was perfect for the old maid and the eligible bachelor. [laughter] the rehearsal dinner held the
night before in the ballroom in the basement of the hotel laura and george hosted it and that menu was chicken and rice. and dinner was served my mother blanched our wedding reception was a post- ceremony luncheon at the racquet club the next day mother and the caterer has settled on chicken and rice. [laughter] they never thought to compare menus. the next morning the mother called the caterer at the crack of dawn to see if something could be changed pasta? anything that the meal was in motion so our guest a chicken and rice all over again. [laughter] the morning after my 31st birthday come i stepped into the chapel on my father's arm and george was waiting for me.
was or somebody who style you had in mind? >> nobody specific but i did want it to be a literary memoir. i did - - i do love to read especially literature. there wasn't a specific style but for instance when the birds lifted off the tree. >> and you do it. and with a short sentence structure. >> i do like plane and straight writing. that is what appeals to me the kind that is stray and spare and maybe that is the effect of growing up a place that was so basic talking about it
struck me that these girlfriends from your childhood had remained close friends and how important has that been? >> all friends were a very big support in politics reagan was in the second grade with george i met her in fourth grade her mother married seven times but only to three different men. [laughter] but because of that she moved from school to school.
she went to school with george and then transferred over that you have a long history of friendship. and all those introduces one - - us and those that hike with at the national park. we still see those same friends and george loves to tell the story the first time they came up and he took them to the oval office they would say we can't believe were here and then they would look at him. [laughter] >> with a long history of friendship they knew us their whole lives they were our
friends long before politics and they are still our friends. >> and the philosophy was life is one big date. >> and when you're married you have to date the man you are married to you referenced the horrible accident and you have written about that in the book. >> i had to. obviously the largest tragedy by far in my life and in the life with mike douglas is but
mike was a friend of all of us. and was one of my best friends it was just a terrible tragedy and by not chance of coincidence he was coming on the other road i didn't know i had his car my friend that was with me in the car was not thrown she could get out that i had a broken ankle but i didn't know it for a few days. but i could walk. another car came up and he went over to the person lying
on the ground who was mike but we didn't know that at the time. my friend said i think that's his father. i said no that couldn't be his father because that is mr. douglas. that then when we were taken to the hospital we were in a room with a cloth draped separating us we weren't really injuried - - injured and then i could hear ms. douglas crying on the other side of the curtain. and then when i got home they told me it was michael but i had already figured it out. it was a huge tragedy and a life lesson that a very hard lesson to learn that i learned early that you cause things to
happen if you can take it back you would but there's nothing you could do about it you just have to accept it with whatever grac grace. >> you haven't talked about it before now. >> i have. but in the 2000 race it came out in the newspapers i was asked about it several times. i just reread an article oprah did right after we moved to the white house she asked me and it was in that article. and to get letters from family members from those involved in a car accident with the death and from teachers or parents and aunts and uncles asking me to write words of encouragement.
so i did and i would always suggest they would get counseling talk to counselor but i didn't do that. nobody suggested at the time. but that's just something you swallowed. >> but the whole town new. >> of course the whole town new. >> did that help when you met george bush because he knew? >> but we did talk about it. i wanted him to know. i never knew he would run for office but he wanted to know in case that would some way affect his political run and it was very important about me. >> if they said that about
someone they just met. >> that was reckless. [laughter] but barbara and george were thrilled i think they were glad he found somebody and were hoping for grandchildren. i was 31 the night before we got married. they were happy then we had had the same background we just grew up the blocks from each other but he went to sam houston and i went to the other elementary and we lived in the same complex without running into each other. there weren't any surprises really from either one of us. >>.
>>. >> it was fun and was running for the congressman seat the one i interviewed with. [laughter] >> and he taught us where to sit at the capital. >> he was retiring 1978. that's he was only band held by him as long as it was a district and then with the panhandle of texas it was a big district and lubbock was
the big town and odessa the two oil towns arrest was rural farming. and then you always said the speeches were terrific but you decided to give a little critique. >> when george was running for congress his mother gave me advice. don't criticize george's speeches. she criticize her george and weeks later he came home with letters that it was the best speech he had given. [laughter] >> and driving home from lovick george said tell me the
truth how is my speech? i said it wasn't very good and he drove into the garage wall. [laughter] >> there known to take criticism while. [laughter] before we jump into the political life let's go back to your childhood. your father coming home from the war with pictures of concentration camps. >> my dad's company than 104th infantry, the timberwolves liberated one of the concentration camps and those that were on world war ii
there were about 5000 dead when they liberated them and the american troops put their faces in their hands and wept. we had these photographs and it really talk about it that my mother told me one story that he was impressed with he remembered and army nurse standing with a shovel handing it to one of the germans that was still there and said dig. he said no i'm an officer. she took the shovel and hit him across the bottom and said
dig. and he did. of course he was digging graves. dig trenches. then many years later when i was in prague for a nato meeting i was seated by a holocaust survivor and i told her my dad company liberated north thousand he said he was in a concentration camp i said my dad never talked about it and he said i don't tell my children about it either. that he just thought it was too terrible to tell that you just couldn't admit to your own children that mankind can be that cool on - - cruel but we always kept the pictures. >> what was your reaction hearing about holocaust deniers? >> that's terrible to hear about. and crazy it just so happened
>>cspan. >> did you always know you had those letters textbook i never read them. and i started to work on the book i went to midland and drove around to look at all the house houses. i go often because my mother lives there but i don't always drive around looking at the houses my daddy built for the houses we lived in every time he opened a new addition he would build a new house for us. we lived in several and drove by the house that we had barbara and jenna but then i read the letters i always knew mother had daddy's letters and they were his love letters. they were newly married and he was shipped overseas. i was so she didn't want me to read them that they were
personal. i read some of them. they were private and personal i did feel a little bit like a voyeur. [laughter] >> in your mother last three other babies which was a great tragedy when you are pregnant with barbara and jenna you were frightened. >> yes she lost three babies after me. the second is my first memory looking through the glass at the nursery and i don't remember seeing a baby. and thinking that's where my baby was. i was very aware the big disappointment of their life they couldn't keep those three
other babies and only have an only child not just one but for children. i was sad about it. i wanted a brother or sister. >>host: there is a picture of you. >> this is where we let them have the cake and then they bite into it. then we remove the cake they would lick the coffee table. [laughter] all the sugar for their first birthday. [laughter] but you had to go to dallas. >> i struggled to get pregnant
and then i was so thrilled when i had the sonogram to find out there were two because i was hoping my children would have a sister or brother and they could have each other. but it was a high risk pregnancy. i was over 35 and there were twins. so i got preeclampsia toxemia towards the end. and i was sent to dallas with the intensive care nursery where they thought the babies would need the intensive care nursery. which they didn't really. but i worried also because of mothers losses. >> but then involved in the 80
campaign and then suddenly he is vice president and talk about celebrity by association. now you were somebody in midland. [laughter] so i would be working out in the yard thank you very much and i would see cars drive-by very slowly they had their friends in from out of town. >> but then you moved up here. >> we moved in 1987 to work on mr. bush's campaign after the price of oil had fallen. so much again.
midland was a boom and bust town so when oil was high everybody was high oil and then when it slowed down then midland would go through best and that there was one shortly so he could sell the oil company and the word work on mr. bush's campaign. that was fun and the first time in the ten years we were married i was really with his mother a lot. every other time i know she was highly stressed in the line when things get tense grabbed the bottle of the
aspirin take two and keep away from children. [laughter] >> but when we lived appear that year they were running for president that they made a rule we had hamburger lunch they did that every sunday i got to know barbara for the first time and also she had five children. i expected her to welcome me with open arms like she did with george because he was her only other one but then we got to know each other and love each other. she loves to read and that year we would get up on a saturday morning and read a review of the art show here in the smithsonian.
and then the vice president's wife so we get in 30 minutes early by ourselves. we were adults. and babysat for barbara and jenna and am so grateful i had that chance to live in the same town it made a huge difference in our relationship. >> by the end of the race one - - presidency you are seeing things and reading things that were not true such a mischaracterization. and then your husband runs for governor. [laughter] we stress politics would be in your life?
>> we ran the one race for congress. politics is a family business. you know this. when have a family member then everyone is in it together. and then to be there we rode in the car together every day i had a good time. if you run and you win that's great if you lose life goes on. it's not the end of your life if you lose a political race. i knew that. when he wanted to run for governor after that congressional race do think he will run again? i would joe can say maybe when we are 50.
and we were close to 50. [laughter] but that was my hesitation when he wanted to run for president. governor is a big job that the media and the scrutiny and criticism nowhere near when you run for president. >> and you knew that. most people are taken by surprise so the fact you were involved in the campaign. >> that's right. we knew it watching mr. bush especially 1982 but also the 1988 campaign as well. after elected governor your father got sick and your mother was the role of caretaker. and wondering how you reacted
to that. >> my father got alzheimer's and slowly it progressed and got worse and worse he never got so bad he didn't know me. >> but he didn't know george bush. >> that's right after george was elected governor but before the inauguration we spent that thanksgiving with them. daddy said who is that over there? i said that's my husband george bush he said you mary george bush? [laughter] he said i think i'll ask him for a loan. [laughter] and he laughed spent the first lady started a few things in
texas that you can bring it to us here with the book festival. >> i started the texas book festival now in its 15th or 16th year hugely successful very popular with authors who love to be invited to austin it is held inside the texas capitol building the only way we could do that because george was governor and the speaker of the house was the group that oversees the capital building they don't let anyone else meet and i understand that but they have allowed us to have the festival in the capital so one weekend per year it's turned over to literature i think that's great so the readings are on the senate floor and house floor and auditorium so there are a lot of sizes of venues if they are
in a big crowd to be in the committee room it's very successful then we sell the books outside because you can't sell things on the grounds. we made into a fundraiser for texas public libraries. we have given grants to every single texas public library. [applause] and immediately wanted to get that going at the national book festival and you are very involved and early childhood
education. so at the capital on september 11 ready to testify before the senate education committee and tell us what happened. >> i didn't have the tv on that morning. i was very nervous this was september of the first year of his presidency. so than a secret service agent says the plane has just flown into the world trade center. i was getting in the car with my chief of staff and we had no idea what would transpire
when we went to the capital we assumed it was a weird accident a terrible accident. but on the way to the capital we get our message about the second plane so then we know it's a terrorist attack but i go on to go to senator kennedy's office and then he starts to give me a tour of his and that jack had written to their mother and rich and that teddy was getting fat. and he was still amused after all the years. but the whole time he kept up smalltalk i thought about it over and over and wondered if that was a defense mechanism
he had so many shocks to start to talk about what this meant and then to keep everything in this pleasant smalltalk way. and he played al gore for the debate. >> the son of a senator. [laughter] so jed joined us and we would just look at each other looking at senator kennedy's shoulder we were sick i
thought he looks sick we just couldn't imagine that it was a blessing to keep up the smalltalk. and then to process what it meant and then the three of us spoke to the press we were postponing the briefing. already we knew we wouldn't cancel it but be postponed. as we are leaving the briefing "usa today" asked me what do we say to the children? so what do we say to the children? and i said then assure the children they are safe and
turn off the television and don't let him watch over and over those buildings falling. that gave me the direction the letters that i wrote to high school students and then at a time like this and you've been there three times and 70 countries. and you are still working on that issue. >> and as everyone's eyes turned toward afghanistan the women of the united states were so shocked we couldn't
believe it and imagine a government that would forbid girls from being educated. and immediately we heard from women who wanted to do something one woman that i know at the president of the university said she would lie in bed at night and say what can i do cracks of others from universities in can you give afghan women for scholarships but she did and still has students to this day in a number of universities. and that is because of the different ways american women
thought and then they can enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy. >> and right after the invasion that they had gone to the microphone to use the radio address to defend the women of afghanistan and say women's rights or humans rights. and then lady bird johnson said i have a platform and i will use it. >> that is what she said and she did use her podium she really did. speaking of her i always
admired her so much because she was a texas first lady. [laughter] but the whole use with the daffodils still in washington for all of those on the side of the road in texas that i just saw last week but toward the and of her life her mother was going to make one more trip to washington and knew that it would be her last trip and wondered if she can bring her to the white house.
by then she had a stroke and no longer spoke but she still had the wonderful twinkle in her eye. so she had she would see a painting when we went to look at president johnson's portrait she put her arms out and then to walk on the white house grounds with her. and that her portrait is over the fireplace and she wears a yellow gown. when we redid the room we adjusted the paint color to match the color of the gown.
>> i was at the university of texas in graduate school his body lay in state they shook everyone's hand and i stood in line never imagining i would meet them again. >> it's time to go to questions. doing all the work with africa and a passionate advocate and then with the overthrow of the regime not exactly sitting in quarantine. [applause]
and i know that you are very gracious in this answer always why people did not understand how forceful you have been is a first lady and to put you in a sweet little wife category. [laughter] >> that happens to everyone. and with the environmental movement. thought of as a lovely little lady that likes flowers. and it's a shame it is so flat and one-dimensional there's so
much more complex and interesting and certainly barbara bush is seen as a nice grandmother. but is so strong-willed but i just wonder with that i pressed bias that people didn't like your husband? >> that part for sure. >> let me see if i can read these. was a good opportunity to talk about the institute.
>> george and i are building the bush library museum which was a policy institute no longer into politics focused on the four areas we spent the most time on which our human freedom, education and opportunity and new minister of women's affairs came from afghanistan with the ambassador to afghanistan and fulbright scholars another f great - - afghan women running
projects in the new woman who is the bulgarian came to be very active in literacy. and to be focused on the receiver afghan women i hope the united states will stand with afghanistan it's especially for the women there with the parliamentarians right before george and i left. one said this is our only chance. and we would do what we can to
support those of afghanistan. >> did you ever cook when you are in the white house? >> no. [laughter] >> i have and cook for 15 years now a wonderful chef at the white house i love to read cookbooks and i love to eat but i'm not a very good cook. >> if you could take one nonpersonal i am from the white house back to texas what would you have wanted it to be? >> so many beautiful paintings white house has a magnificent art collection i don't even know which one i would pick so
many beautiful paintings white house has a magnificent art collection i don't even know which one i would pick one - - bought some african-american art. >> the most expensive jacob lawrence painting acquisition the white house ever made. not by far the most expensive item they are but george washington would be considered priceless but it's builders and men of all races building together . . . . walter reed ane
medical center where the patients are in san antonio often. whenever we could. and then we met of course with the families at all different times i remember especially the 2004 campaign we go to big event and after them we would go backstage or other rooms and meet with the families that have fallen from that part of the country we were.
but athat is a grief that is vey difficult to share and what i always saw is how the people that died, the families we met with after the attack and then the families of the fallen after that, how they wanted you to know about their loved one they lost and what they really wanted to do is tell us stories. in fact one sister of someone that died in iraq had written the story and there was something so moving about every one of those visits and about how precious our country is that we are fortunate to have men and women who volunteer to serve like the united states military do. [applause]
what advice did you give your daughters? look for somebody just like that. i think people do that a little bit. a correspondent on the today show and she's doing great and still teaching just one day a week as a reading intervention specialist in baltimore and barbara cofounded a nonprofit called global health core and if you are interested you can look on the web.
right now she has photos on the ground in rwanda, tanzania commanded the united states in newark and it's sort of that idethe ideabehind teach for amet this is too recruit those to work in health clinics and they are doing things like setting up the supply chains. one of them did work for the gap and he ran the supply chain for the ordering supply chains are now he's setting up their supply chain for antiretrovirals so the people in the clinics that go can keep up with their medications. i'm very proud of both of them and they are doing great they are doing very well, too. in fact at this very moment, in dallas in a backyard they are with george hosting the party.
georgia's assistant met barbara bush's assistant last summer in maine and they are getting married. [applause] so tonight we are all posting the bar so a lot of friends are there in the background. fly back home, fly back on saturday night for the wedding and then fly all the way back until the summer what do you enjoy doing now that you did not do in the white house and also
you write it so beautifully. talk us through to the last paragraph. >> we went through these on the ranchland a bloom of prickly pear, the heat of summer when the air shimmers eightfold crisp morning colors and when that might can hear the howls of the coyotes and prairie winds. hardly enough time to reflect on eight years let alone a lifetime. on one of the main streets today the news is disseminated but each morning when i watched them left up over the eastern hills cutting through the tree line and the gentle prairie grass and
the two young shade trees the white house staff gave to us, i'm reminded oiam reminded of te found in the days coming. george will soon open his presidential library in southern methodist university in dallas. the george w. bush institute is already functioning, and as a part of that, i'm perceiving many of the causes that were especially dear to me in the white house. i'm eager to continue to advocate for women's rights and women's health. through a special women's initiative i've begun working on new ways to help the women of afghanistan and the middle east and to promote education and literacy for the millions to whom alphabets or industry and basic edition is a complex puzzle. through the institute, we will help to promote basic human freedom for these women and their families. but as much as i treasure my public life, i also treasure the quiet of my private life.
sometime during that first spring and summer back in texas, i began to feel the buoyancy of my own newfound freedom. after nearly eight years of hypervigilance, of watching for the next danger or tragedy that might be coming, i can at last exhale. i can simply be. when i raised my eyes to this ty commits to see the drift of the clouds, the brightness of the blue or the moon and the ever-shifting arrangement of the stars. look up, laura, i can still hear my mother say with a hint of all and wonder, and i do. [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you all so much. you are watching book tv on
c-span2. tonight we are looking at books written by former first ladies. up next is michelle obama. she was first lady from 2009 to 2017 and her memoir "becoming" was the best-selling book of 2018 and still remains on the bestseller list today. according to the book's publisher, random house, is 10 million copies worldwide during its first 6-cent sales. the book was released in november of 2018, but it was in june of that year that she previewed the book they talk with carla hayden, the librarian of congress. this is from the american library association meeting in new orleans. >> now the person you all can -- [cheering] a shell robinson obama --
michelle robinson obama. [applause] [cheering] she is a lawyer, and autho an ad the life of the 44th president of the united states, barack obama. throughout initiatives as the first lady, she's become a role model and the advocate for healthy families, servicemembers and their families, higher education and international adolescent girls education. her much anticipated memoir, "becoming," will be published in the u.s. and canada number 13th,
2018. it will be released simultaneously in 24 languages. >> this is obama invite invite e readers into her world chronicling the experiences that have shaped her from her childhood on the south side of chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work. becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance into inspires us to do
the same. by president barack obama in february of 2016 and her nomination was confirmed by the u.s. senate in july, 2016. she was sworn in as the 14th library of congress in september, 2016. librarian of congress, carla hayden, at first lady, mrs. obama come together now for an in-depth conversation around her forthcoming memoir, "becoming," as the experiences that have impacted her life, her family coming into the country. michelle obama.
baby, a bb professional. sbaby professional. so you shouldn't be nervous. >> with a professional you were though, the chicago public library, came back from pittsburgh and the library was part of your portfolio. it made such a difference to have somebody that understood libraries, that red and everything, and government like that. [applause] [cheering] >> that was her. that was in the shade, not at all. she was just making a point. that's all. >> i was coming in from an academic teaching -- >> so we go way back. >> way back. but i mention in you like to read, it's been a big part of your family, reading. >> absolutely. we are readers, the obama was.
we started reading to the girls when they were babies, infants, because as a little kid, i loved to read out loud. i was one of those kids who would set up the stuffed animals and the barbies and read to them and show them the pictures and then go back. i love the act of reading aloud so when i had kids they became like my real babies i could read to, so i read them all the time. i know every word of every dr. seuss anything still by heart. as the girls grew up, we continued to incorporate the books as a form of family activities so as they got older we started reading more complex books together. they read all of the harry potter books out loud from front to cover, from the front to the
back and then she could see the movie after they read it so that was their father daughter ritual. and i stayed out of that because you know you want the father to have a thing that they do. i don't do anything about kerry potter because i wasn't even going to get involved in that. so, that is their thing. so, when sasha got older, i read life of pi with her and then we saw the movie. we were big comic family readers, so we loved calvin and hobbes. [applause] we were a big calvin and hobbes family. so yeah, reading was part of the way we put our kids to sleep every night. i felt that music reading culture was an important part of their development from very early on. >> one of the images i know when you were in the white house and
there would be a holiday time, you would be going an if they wd be going to the bookstore and getting books as gifts. >> that is all he does. that's the only place he knew how to do while president. he could go off and get to the bookstore. those were the two things he felt comfortable doing outside of the white house, but that was an annual ritual of he and the girls to go to one of the bookstores for the holidays. in chicago, the 57th street bookstore -- you know that bookstore, that was our neighborhood store that we like to go to. so yes, bookstores and libraries of course were a big part of our life, a big part of my life very early on, to back. i remember my first experience with them to the library. i was 4-years-old and it was like the first official time i got an ied.
you know you feel like a big-time person getting something with your name on it. it was three blocks from our house and my mom who was a housewife at the time, that's where she would take us and that was sort of my first major thing i could do was get my library card and watch them put me into the finals. i felt important. i didn't know what to do with my library card because i didn't have a wallet or purse, but i felt special just to have it. we would go to the library. it was a community space. for all of you yo either see its a major part of any community and that was the place for our family to go to get those early books. babar the elephant. you go off into the children's corner where the colorful titles
were. i felt on the undergraduate to go upstairs where the books were darker and the jackets were maroon or blue. that's where the serious books were is upstairs. his upstairs. >> did you ever get to go? >> oh yeah. i graduated. but then the library became work, research papers, the dewey decimal system. [cheering] >> only here at the library -- [laughter] we get a shout out for the dewey decimal system. only here. i love you all, i do. [laughter] so you continued, they went to school, graduate school, all of that and then your life got been busier. how did you find time to read for pleasure and you know we all want to know did you get a chance to read anything for pleasure? >> guest: there were moments of escape. today however, i'm spending most
of my time selfishly focused on ibook so that's what i'm reading and it's almost ready. it's coming. i've been immersed in that process, so this year has been a little tougher for me because i'm trying to stay in my voice but when i do have time, i have my chief of staff who, by the way, is more excited to be here than she was to meet bruce springsteen. melissa is my book recommender. she loves you all and i may lose her here and this convention center tonight. she might leave me. she has been here from the very beginning of the campaign. but she is my book guru and i usually read whatever melissa tells me i should read. so she will throw some books in my bag on a long trip. what have i been reading lately, a very eclectic sort of reading
list. i've read commonwealth. i love a good story that takes me outside of myself. i love everything that leedy smith has done. i actually accidentally reread that. i read it maybe two years ago and then it was on my shelf and i thought have a read of this and i thought i must have esp or something because i know what's going to happen on the next page. these past decades i would forget what i've read that i was realized by the first chapter that i ha have read it already t i finished it. >> i was interested to put it down. i love her storytelling and characters. just finished reading exit last which was very powerful. the nightingale i read just the other day.
i love stories. i love to escape for a moment. i needed to escape over the past ten years i needed to get out of my own story and into somebody else's for a minute. >> and were you able to do that? >> yes. i couldn't read in the white house at times there was just too much going on and they were running so fast whenever i got the chance to sit down and pick up a book i would guess maybe us and thereby would fall asleep. literally sitting on -- i don't know if i was napping or passed out. i couldn't help a difference. i would wake up and it would be an hour and i thought -- that's how the white house years felt. usually on a longer trip i get
into the book but it was a hectic eight years. >> now use it to pick up a book, so that employs the physical book. >> i am not in the reader. i like to have a book in my hand. [applause] even in my writing process, i like to hold it. i can't really edit thing on the computer while. i feel like i have to write down my thoughts. i can jot things down on an iphone, but that's hard. i have to feel it and still be able to touch it. i am old. sorry. [laughter] we still have a lot of books in our house. my husband as you know is an avid reader and still loves books around. everywhere we go, boxes and boxes of books i can't get rid of. he will not allow me to do it.
we are still in a household that has books on shelves. lots of books on shelves. >> you know as a librarian i did some research, and i understand there's a library, you actually worked in a library bindery. >> yes one summer i did. it was the summer right before i went to college i had a friend's mother that worked there and it was my first real job. before then i did the neighborhood jobs, babysitting. i had a family next to us they paid me to do everything for them. they got me through high school but then i graduated to a job downtown and a friend's mother worked there and my job entailed doing one thing a thousand times
every day all day over and over again so i got to put the little metal thing in a hole and then pass the cardboard over to the guy that would slam it down so my job was to take the metal thing, put it in the hole and pass it and i was good at doing that for the first day. [laughter] i thought you know, i was aiming at finishing it. i thought there would be an end to it, like thousands of them and i would prove that i was so fast i could complete it and be done and i realized it's never over. they just kept coming, the little pieces of cardboard and beth went on for weeks and we doing the same thing. and i just thought i'm ready for college. i can do this. but it taught me great respect for the men and women who do that work every day, that
thankless work that makes it possible for us to have books and for jurors. i learned a work ethic. dozens of people in the plant came there and did the same job every day for years and years and years. it reminded me of my father, those blue-collar workers who depend look for passion in their job, they didn't have the luxury like we did think about doing the things we love. they had to do things that put food on the table and that was my first experience, shoulder to shoulder with men and women making a living for their families. >> host: you mentioned your father and what it took for him to go to work and provide things. >> guest: my father, fraser robinson. every value that i have in came
from my mother and father and watching them day-to-day. as most people know, my father was a blue-collar worker, worked the same job his entire life, worked out the water filtration plant. and my father had ms and contract did it at the prime of his life. i never knew him to be able to walk without the assistance of a cane. but my father called up every day. it was a shift job. some days he was on days, some days he was on evenings. so his schedule changed. i remember him putting on his white t-shirt and his blue button up uniform and getting his crutches making his way out the back door to go to the car to go to his job without complaint or regret because he was proud he had a job that allowed him to invest in his children, me and my brother. with that salary he put two of us through college, at princeton
at that and he made sure -- we went to those schools long before they had, you know, financial assistance that you completely through. we were still paying. our parents had to pay a portion of our commission and he made sure that it was paid on time. we never were going to be late or not able to register for our classes. so, who i am today is so much because of my parents and that hard work ethic and the values of your word is your bond you doing you say you are going to do. trust is important, honor, honesty. i saw my father behave in that way every single day with everyone regardless of race or station in life so that is who i think about when i write my book
and how i carry myself in the world. i do but i think he would expect me to do. i hope to be that person for them. [applause] >> is your mom here? >> she is here. whenever anything happens, she says mrs. robinson. she's modeled after your mom and how your mom handled all of that. your mom was right there with you. >> grandmother, we couldn't have made it through the white house without her. just having her, she had been helping me long before coming to the white house because barack he was a state senator in the
u.s. senate and those were jobs that have him away from home usually mos boast of the week ai still had a full-time job. at any point in time i was a professional with a big job of my own and we had two little kids. we could afford health and we had a couple of great babysitters, but the time i lost about one good babysitter, it crushed me like nothing else. when she said she had to leave because she needed to make more money i thought i was losing an arm. he was trying to console me and i was like just get out of here. you are of no help to me. i need her, not you. [laughter] but i remember that pain and i thought how can i go to work every day and not know that my kids are good, but there's somebody that loves them, not to
get on a soapbox which is why affordable child care is so important because so many -- [applause] having access to that kind of security for all of the families out there that do not have a choice, they have to go to work, i know what it feels like when you don't know your kids are good and not just safe but in a place where somebody loves them and is going to instill values in them and take them to the library and not just plop down in front of the tv. so i was about to quit working and i thought i just can't do that, i can't keep up about once and who stepped in both my mom who was not yet retired that she would come over at the crack of dawn to allow me to go to the gym, start getting the kids ready, fix breakfast, i would come back, take them to school, she would go to work, she did
pick them up, get them home customer to dinner, by that time i would get home, we had a routine down and there's just something about having your mom in that place where you know she will kill someone for her grandchildren. [laughter] she was the grandmother at the pickup line. she was going to be the first one after pickup line because she didn't want her grandbabies walking around wondering where their ride was so she could get there for the pickup to be the first car so she could see them to bring them here. you can't pay for that so we brought that energy with us to the white house and we needed it, that kind of no-nonsense tell it like it is, i'm impressed with everything kind of personality that is marian robinson. she didn't want anybody doing her laundry at the white house, she could do her laundry just
fine. she was notoriously doing -- we have housekeepers and buffers and everything and she was like don't touch my underwear, i've got it, too old for that. [laughter] and she taught the girls to do their laundry so they have laundry duty with grandma. she helped keep them grounded. >> she kept the whole white house ground grounded. they would just be in there chatting with her, getting some wisdom, telling their story. she had a whole counseling session. she focused on what was important and she was my
sounding board. anytime anything crazy happened over the course of the day the first thing i would do i would go and sit on her couch, she would have on msnbc or something trying not to talk about what was on the news so i let her in know i was ready to talk about it and she would do what she always did, just to sit there and listen and go mm mm-hmm mm, and then left. she would listen and see what you think about that and then you would figure it out and think so much of my inability to get out there again and again had to do with coming up to that little counseling room and sitting and having her go mm-hmm, you will be fine just go back down. [laughter] can't stop now.
>> did she ever tell you you know you've talked about that a lot, what are you going to do. >> know, my mother -- and i write about this, how i -- my parents had an advanced sense of parenting at an early age, we were taught how to advocate for ourselves very early. super expectation was you know how to fix your problems, you know what to do. when you teach kids at an early age that they have a voice worth listening to, number one, and that their opinions matter and that's what they get day in and day out, to adults listening intently and asking questions and encouraging kids to contribute, so when you came home from school with a problem,
you could area that you had to go back and solve it. so at 40, 50-years-old, my mother wasn't assuming at all that she needed to solve any problems. her expectations were you will do this and you will do this well because you know how to do this. so there was never any need for her to pretend she had to give yodirection. she knew she had installed those values in when i was four and five and seven, said she had done the work. >> host: and you mentioned you almost thought about quitting because you did have, and i don't know how many people realize what high-power positions you had as a career woman to balance that. >> before h it was first lady? >> yeah. >> i had a job before i was first lady, everyone. [laughter] i had a big jobs.
i am smart, wise, continue to be. that's why sometimes when i get the question how do you know what to do as first lady it's like well, okay, i went to princeton, harvard law, i was a lawyer, worked in the city, worked with carla working o on library collaborative planning and economic development, ran a nonprofit organization, was vice president of the hospital. i don't know, maybe it was osmosis. i don't know. [applause] >> you are able to use some of those experiences. >> i didn't come to the position of first lady as a blank slate and that sort of what happens in society, you become a spouse all of a sudden. and i felt -- and i talk about this in the book -- how i felt myself becoming a spouse. i went from being an executive to becoming a spouse. one of the first things people would talk about his work shoes
ishoes isshe wearing and it's l, no, people, you are not focusing on my shoes. i'm standing in front of a military family. we are doing important things. so yes, there were moments in my profession because the burden of child-rearing fell on me as a woman. there was a part of my trajectory as my husband's dissent i both faster and loude, there was the challenge of how to buy make sure my kids are saying and i have a career. but yes that started very early. those doubts and questions of how do you balance it all and is it fair that we are on his rocket ship ride when i have one, to bac too mac but that's something i write about and you learn to balance out in marriage and i tell people all the time particularly young women but i
have learned is you can have it all the usually can't have it all at the same time and that is in his that even having the expectation of having it all is a set of for young people, young couples, young men and women with children, the notion that you are not successful if you don't have it all. it's hard to balance it all. but i started to learn that life is long and there are trade-offs that you make and i think that the trade-off of stepping off of my past until at least i found a childcare solution that worked for me which was my mom, i entertained the notion because i felt like i have these two kids and i brought them here, so my first priority is to make sure that they are okay. i cannot say the word out of cannot save the world if my household is in solid.
[applause] but the other thing i learned at that point in time when i was ready to jump off the professional track, i started not caring what people thought about me professionally, so i felt more freedom to ask for what i needed, so i wound up staying in my career because i had an opportunity to become the vice president of community affairs at the university of chicago. the president was looking for a new person to head the division and i have just had sasha. she was four months old and i was like not doing it, don't care, don't care about work. one of my good friends that you should interview because this guy is really different. i was like okay, i don't care. so i took -- i was still breast-feeding so i had sasha in the crib and i said we are going to an interview, baby. we are going to see a man that wants me to work for him but we
don't care. he saw all of me, i had a baby, husband as a senator or whatever he was doing at the time. you want to hire this? i will need this much money, stability, i laid down a whole list of demands that i knew would have him running in the other direction. [applause] because i felt the freedom to be like if you can do this, this and this for me than maybe i will think about it and he said yes to the whole list of everything i asked for and i thought i guess i have to try this now. but what i learned is women as individuals you have to ask for what you need and not assume people are going to give you what you need. and that taught me that i can define the terms of my professional life in a way that i didn't feel the freedom to do
so i thought if i'm going to do this i'm going to do it in a way that provides balance. i told folks don't expect me at every meeting. i'm going and that's important. i'm giving my job and i'm doing it well but this meeting isn't necessary. i felt that freedom for the first time in my professional life to ask for what i need knowing that i was worthy of it, but i was valuable to them even in all of my complicated this, i was still giving them value but i had to learn to appreciate that value before i could ask for what i needed. >> and not be afraid. >> it's easier said than done. i understand it is in easy to tell somebody that you are worth a lot especially for women. we have a hard time saying that
about ourselves, but i know my worth and i can put a monetary number on it. but there is a value to it. [applause] those are the kind of things i'm exploring in the book. it's what i've been thinking about for the last year sort of rebidding these things figuring out what it's taught me so i am writing about all the. if i sound a little therapy here, i'm still in it. >> and having the time to be able to step back because you mentioned going and going. you didn't have much time to reflect. >> we did so much so fast and we also knew we didn't have the luxury to make mistakes. when you are the first -- [applause] i lived my life as the first,
the only one o at the table ande knew very early that we would be measured by a different yardstick. making mistakes wasn't an option for us not that we didn't make mistakes but we had to be good, we had to be outstanding at everything we did. when you are operating at a level and trying to live up to the expectations of your ancestors and your father when you are the first, you are the one wavin playing the red carpen for others to follow so yes we were moving fast. i was starting an initiative almost every year and when i started an initiative there was a lot of work that went into it before hand because coming to this work as a professional i knew that the strategic thinking had to happen.
the background work had to be done. we met when we started before we even launched it we spent a year meeting with every expert on the field. we already developed partnerships before we had announced it. we had focus groups. have focus groups. we were meeting with legislators and policymakers so when we stepped out into the arena, we knew what the pitfalls would be. we knew where the partnerships needed to be and where the holes were. that was work we were giving it the same time that we are doing the state visits and how we parties and christmas decoration and so, you're like a spawn with the paddling legs underneath. it was eight years of that. so i realized there was time something major would have been at the beginning of the week. let's say you met the pope or something like that.
this is the weird thing. it's the kind of stuff we did. met the pope or hanging out with the queen. okay that was my week. it could be in one week. a state visit. my first trip to africa, there was my solo trip that involved doing push-ups with bishop desmond tutu, literally. i was like please, get up. [laughter] he was like no, i'm going to do push-ups. come down here. i looked around like if something happens to him, it's not me. [laughter] subduing push-ups with bishop desmond tutu. i gave a speech to a group of young african women leaders. i met nelson mandela. we went on a safari. that's like just four days of
that kind of stuff would happen. then you go to the next week and i could really forget everything that happened the week before because something like that would be happening in the next week said to be able to remember it all and keep it all in your head, i would find myself forgetting. i literally would forget. we have this conversation somebody said what do you think of prague and i said i've never been there and my chief of staff said yes you have invited was like no i've never been to prague, ever. we went back and forth and it took a picture of the in prague doing you are right. i was there for two days. that is what the pace is not
because they are important but they get crowded out by the next series of issues and demand so i don't know what the question was or how we got onto this. [laughter] when you think about all of that and then you have the two little ones is that the balance when people are thinking about balance and how you do it, any advice on how people can try to -- spinnaker there is a lot of advice for balance. because you are the first lady but also trying to go to the potluck and a soccer game. i told a story how he went to the parent and teacher conferences that he has a big motorcade. it's a part of stuff.
they are looking out what i will tell you because that is their job. but when they are asked fourth grade on the roof of the elementary school, even melia was like come on. everybody was okay when dad did and go like you don't have to come to the fall winter concert. it's okay. you can take a pass. but i would be there and you are trying to be a parent in the midst of it when invited for a sleepover and thesleep over andr social security number and there will be dogs sweeping your house and they're going to ask if you have drugs and you have to tell
them sorry, but this is what it means to have sasha over but it's going to be fine. [laughter] they learn how to work past all of that. but you are balancing. at least i was balancing on just the act of being a mother but the first lady of the first doctors that have their own detail all the time and doing anything else. we were very happy about it. we had to learn to discipline them without letting them think that their aging told on them.
like how did i know that no parent was at that party? julia's mom called and told me, not because i got a full report in detail, like why are they so dumb not to know. that's some of our parenting scenarios. my goal as a parent was to make sure that my kids had normalcy. that is a different set of challenges for the average parent. but here is the thing i learned, one of the things i learned living in the white house kids don't need that much. if they know you love them unconditionally you can live in the white house, you can live in a little apartment i grew up in.
home is what you make of it. it doesn't have to be perfect. it can be broken and funny and odd many ways and our oddness was a level of dysfunction most families will never experience but it was awed and the kids are resilient. they make it through which is why i think about all the kids that don't make it through because if they a lot to break a kid. there are so many broken kids that reminds us of how bad we are doing. you've got to do messed up stuff to send them off. they have to come from a broken mess that is so deep and off and we have to see that in our children and understand when kids act out there is a reason
for it. there is no such thing as bad kid. kids are not born bad. [applause] they are products of their situation. so, i have learned to give myself a break because my kids are loved and they wil able be . we mess up a lot, but we hold them to high standards as people. we don't measure them by things in grades but how they interact in the world, how do they treat their friends and each other, things like kindness and compassion and empathy. those are things that w the thie have tried to teach them over the years and here's the thing. kids watch what you do, not what you say so the biggest thing we could ever do to be good parents to our kids is to be good people
in the world for them to see every day. [applause] and that is true whether you are the president and first lady or marianne and fraser robinson. those standards do not know title or income. that is just all that kids need. they just want somebody to love them and tell them that they are okay and that is one of the things i've tried to do. because i always thought this is the interaction that could change a kids life. this one hug or you are worth it. you never know what can make a difference. [applause]
all of this you are giving to the community is, getting to your children, but you also, i heard you say sometimes you have to put yourself first or not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. hispanic yes, ladies give you could -- yes, ladies. we do that. we put ourselves forth on the priority list after everybody else and then sometimes we are not even on our own list at all it is just filled with so many obligations and the guilt that we have. this is nothing new, but that oxygen mask metaphor is real. if you can't save someone if you are dying inside and that can
look like so many different things. it can be our sense of self-worth. our own physical health. our mental well-being. all of that if we let that go and we don't nurture it as women, we are not good to anybody else. that is something you have to practice and i had to learn that because i didn't see that even in my mother. my mother was one of those who didn't do anything for herself. my mother by her own hair until she turned green it's like it's not working you don't know what you are doing. just go to the hairdresser and she's like it's fine it's just green. [laughter] >> i can relate to that. >> i remember that. so i grew up with women who didn't put themselves first and i thought i want to show my
girls something else. i want them to see that being a good woman out here in the world means you are smart, you are educated, gentle and kind and loving that you can do some push-ups. you are going to think about what you put into your body, what you eat, you're going to take time out for your self ended jus testing your relations with your friends. i thought it was important for my girls to see me have strong friendships with women in my life so i have a posse of women who keep me sane. [applause] if started early in my life. i always had a crew of women. i had my lunchtime girls we went over to each other's house at lunch time and played jacks and complained about a teacher and analyze things and watched all
my children an that we got ourselves together and we would go back in and finish the day. [laughter] that was my early group. but when my kids were young i had a really strong group of women and still do, they are still a major part of my life and i could have gotten through those years without them because we were all a in various stagesf our professional career. some of us were married, some were single parents, some have husbands who traveled, but every saturday we would get together and we started when babies were in the cradles we would sit them down in a circle so they could look at each other. and then we talked about everything. are they walking yet, all those question you have as a new mother and you don't know if you are doing everything right. it's nice to be around a group of women who like you they didn't know anything either. we were all messing up and it was okay.
but we became ever most important confidants as mothers raising kids and all these kids have come up together are like cousins out in the world and they've all done well is another lesson i've learned you can parent in all kinds of ways through snow one way to do it. if there is love and consistency and a foundation and security, they are going to be okay so we learn to let ourselves off the hook and then we started doing fun stuff together. the same way then i would do a boot camp with i want to thank these women who would come because i was trying to get everybody healthy so like once a season i would bring them to camp david and we would do these intensive workouts and i like eliminated wine and stuff like that so once everybody said they were not coming they put it back on the menu.
but we would work out like three times a day and if the cadets would be like go lowe rollover r push-up and you would be like don't call me ma'am. [laughter] so we were getting healthy together and we started giving little seminars. one of my friends was an ob/gyn so as we got older we did have sessions on applause and talk about other things i can't talk about here, but that group, that was my crew throughout the white house years and that was a part of this health care that we all felt good about and got stronger over these eight years. as women, we got physically and mentally stronger together in ways that -- i love my husband, you know, is my best friend, but they are more fun sometimes.
[laughter] .. >> maybe they were transferred are living away from their homes with a young military mom living away she's alone with kids wondering why is this so hard? because you're not supposed to do this alone. children weren't meant to be raised in isolation. it does take a village i encourage young women to build a village where ever you are build that village because that will be your salvation it
keeps you sane and in balance in a way that i think we don't appreciat appreciate. >> what about fund? >> i just told you about a bunch of fun that we had. push-ups are fun, carla. >> okay. [laughter] >> you don't enjoy working out? >> i will keep score. you can tell she doesn't work out she thinks that you keep score. one for me and one push-up for you. >> yes we made sure we had fun. he wanted it to be a place of fun. particularly in tough times. he went through crisis and shootings and the amount of grief that we didn't carry
that had to help the country get through, you can't have all crisis the country needs to feel they can celebrate so we had halloween at the white house mostly military families on the south line the house was orange everybody in costume and they could trick-or-treat at the white house. any major state event whether a dinner or arrival we incorporated kids. we had a big act performing in the evening usually they would agree to do a separate performance or a workshop with the kids we fly the men from all over the country so kids getting different experiences
so they would sit down and say every major star that came to the white house we had the whole cast of hamilton come back and perform. it was a full circle moment for me because we first met lynn manwell at the very first culturally that we had at the white house was the spoken word event rap if you don't know. [laughter] cool poetry. what had never been done and that we and - - in the white house in the eastern with george and martha standing there. we were finding the hottest young voices and this young kid we said well you perform young man? he said i'm in a do a rap about alexander hamilton we were like.
[laughter] that's when you remember you are the president and first lady you cannot laugh in the face of your guest and say what? are you kidding? and then he went on to perform the first number that he had prepared and obviously it was amazing so afterwards we were like that's really good. he said yes i to do a whole broadway show on it and we were like ha ha good luck with that kid and then it blew up so we invited the whole cast back and they performed first they did a whole day of workshops for kids all over the country lyric writing, you name it the red room and dancing in the yellow room and
they were everywhere than they did the performance in the east room with all these kids who never got to see the performance but they are they the words. we had lots of fun and it always involved kids because kids are good to make everything better and we wanted to make sure that kids felt this white house belong to them they felt when they walked into it kids of all backgrounds felt this was a place kids were supposed to be an walk-in those doors and experience everything that was going on in there. of all the things that we did the work we could do it young people is the phone most fulfilling that we did in those eight years. >> i'm wrapping in the blue room. >> we did a whole design
workshop they had designers and manikins we had some of the top designers come it was a way to all the designers that worked with me but not about me. so they all came for a day making jewelry and they came together for a panel they could meet diane von furstenberg and all these big names and they spent the day with the kids it was about them and fashioned so that's how i tried to think about linking the stuff that people wrote about you like my shoes so let's teach kids how to be designers and what this means in america is not just about how you look but what we do.
[applause] all of that was fun. said that kids felt like they were something special. i'm in the white house we had mentor program we didn't publicize but every year i worked with a group of 20 girls from the area because mentoring has been a big part of my life and barack as well he had some young men that would come once a month usually kids from the dc area not struggling not the top kids in the middle where there's not a lot of programming and they were. up with a high-powered woman in the administration valerie jarrett, the first female executive chef was bush appointed she was a mentor they would meet with the kids that come together once a month in the white house it
was interesting to see the transformation have first they were shy and could not look me in the eye and were nervous because it is nerve-racking. you are meeting michelle obama. why were you picked? that we spent time talking eating popcorn and by that time they completed two years with us with a graduation ceremony there was a shift and who they thought they were. they felt comfortable in that space in that room with me. they knew they deserved that for themselves and that process to give them that exposure on a regular basis you are worthy. who are you as a person?
after a while they own the place they didn't even notice me. oh yeah that is michelle obama. let me show you the blue room. they had a confidence my belief for them is if you can walk into the white house and look me in the eye and introduce yourself there is no room you cannot go in after that. >> right before we started there was a high schooler here there she is the first time. >> of course we hope she will be a librarian. [laughter] but any advice you might get of a high schooler? i don't know about college. >> how old are you? >> 17. >> you will go to college right? >> that's the first device. go to college because you need
a college education to be competitive when here's the thing there so many ways to get a college one - - in education we have community college colleges, four-year colleges, there are so many ways to do it there's no one right way you don't have to go to a four-year school and live in a dorm it's an excellent experience if you can do it but you have to get an education beyond high school. a high school diploma is not enough. we want you to be the very best you can be to wear nice shoes and have power have the education is key. >> that's my advice in a nutshell. [applause] >> i have to ask about the
book. it's coming out in november we need to book talk it. >> i've given you some tidbits but to describe the book, it's a re- humanization effort because for me, a black woman from a working-class background to have the opportunity to tell her story is interestingly rare. that's why some people asked the question how did you go from here to there? like people think i am a unicorn. like i don't exist people like me don't exist. i know there are so many
people in this country and in this world and then there is a handful of legitimate stories that make you a true american. if you don't fall into that narrow line it's like you don't belong that we all belong my book is the ordinariness of a and extraordinary story and i hope that by telling it it makes others not just black women and people other women and people who feel invisible and voiceless to feel pride in their story growing up as a working-class kid with two
parents with values growing up with music and arts and love i am not a unicorn there are millions of kids like me out there. and it's just a shame that people will see me and only see my color and make certain judgments about that. that's dangerous we are all just people with stories to tell and we are flawed and broken we just live life trying to do good that's a this little girl in becoming is but the journey continues and i hope it starts a
conversation and it encourages so many people so we don't forget the humanity and each other what we have learned americans are good people even if we don't agree on politics when we have to remember that about ourselves there are no devils out there or people out there good people do bad things but all of us are trying to figure it out and if we've done something horrible that's because we were broken and if we understand each other's stories maybe we can be more empathetic and inclusive and forgiving and
open. i hope the book encourages conversation around those kind of things and then you hear about the china and my shoes and some stories. the dogs make an appearance they are still alive and doing well by the way. [applause] >> we are glad that you are michelle obama. [cheers and applause] >> thank you keep doing the work out in the community. [applause]
>> welcome to another summer evening with our binge watch a series we're looking at books written by former first ladies. the first to venture into publishing was nellie taft who recalls her memoir recollections in four years. ten other first ladies have published memoir since. we will focus tonight on five who served in that position in the last 50 years. roslyn carter 77 through 1981 and the author of five books and