tv The Presidency CSPAN December 26, 2016 9:20am-10:16am EST
and john glenn. this week in prime time on c-span. we continue with another session from the 40th anniversary of the harry s truman scholarship symposium. madeline a madeline albright speaks with historian michael beschloss. we begin with remarks from harry truman's grandfather. the newest member of the truman foundation board of trustees, no stranger to the foundation, clifton truman daniel is the oldest grandson of president harry truman, the honorary chairman of the board of the truman library institute, the nonprofit partner to the truman presidential library in
independence missouri. he is the nauthor of growing up my grandfather and dear harry, love bess, bess truman's l letteres from 1919 to 1993. he is the head of the board that has been vacant since his mother retired from our board. clinton, thank you for joining our board and thank you for being here today. clifton daniel truman. >> thank you, andy. thank you, ladies and gentlemen, truman scholars. i'm honored to be here and to be on the board. i am a little bit stunned, 19
years old, the first truman scholars. i was with my mother in independence, missouri, when the first truman scholarships were awarded in 1977. i was in college. i was sort of in awe of being in that group as my mother told me i should be. actually, the way she put it was, clifton, all of these young people are doing a lot better in college than you are. i will share a couple pieces. it's interesting some of the things the panel has been talking about. the panels have been fantastic. this is a great way to spend the afternoon. a couple things we have been talking about my grandfather's leadership style and his outlook on life. things i found out when i was very young. early in my life grandpa came to stay near us in new york city and visit us. he got up at the crack of drawn, went for a quick walk, grabbed as many newspapers as he could
finld, walked over to our apartment, throuew it on the flr and waited for somebody to in wake up. my brother and i thought we would tiptoe past him to get to the television set. he caught us and said, where are you going? i said, watch bugs bunny. he said, you don't want to do that. i thought, yes, i do. he said, i have a better idea. he walked between us, reached on the ton shelf, took down a book and brought it out, come here and sit down. you did not argue with harry truman. we sat down. he opened the book and started to read. my mother came down a few minutes later and stopped cold. she had never seen anything like this in her life, we weren't moving and grandpa was reading to us from a book that didn't have one picture in it. she said, what are you reading to those kids? he showed her the book. it was if history of the
palpanisian war, 6:00 in the morning to a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. so education m, which you all know. he was a terrible babysitter. i had one of those hobby horses that you could ride and kill yourself on one of those things. springs at the knees. my mother was always telling me, you are going to kill yourself. she wasn't around. grandpa was there. i rode it hard, i tipped it over. it landed with a crash. my grandmother heard the crash. she came running out of the kitchen to pick me up. she almost had me when the voice across the room said, stop right there, don't touch him. she stopped. i looked up to see who had ruined this for me. grandpa was glaring at me over the top of the paper. i had burst into the tears, of course. he said, you, quit crying. you are not hurt. get that thing up, get on it and start riding again. i did. i shut up and got the horse up. lastly, my parents, he expected
a stiff spine from his children. my parents did not tell me my grandfather had been president of the united states. i found out in school. i went to first grade and the teacher said, wasn't your grandfather president of the united states. i said, i don't know. i'll go home and ask. i did. my mother told this story on me for years, well into my 40s. i went home. i dropped my book bag at the door and walked up to my mother and put my hands on my hips and i said, mom, did you know? to which she said yes. just remember something. any little boy's grandfather can be president, don't let it go to your head. it did not. so, education, stiff spine, humility, the three hallmarks that my grandfather taught me before i was 7 years old.
these were, you keep things in perspective. you work your hardest. you get educated. if something goes wrong, you don't go crying to your grandma. it is my measure now to introduce our next panel, because i think we have -- these are two folks who really care about this country, care about american history and care not only about the past but about where this country is headed. michael beschloss is a nationally known presidential historian, the author of nine books, include the conquer errors, roosevelt, truman and the destruction of hilller's germany, one of several "new york times" best sellers. he is an expert on presidential leadership. michael and i have met. michael went to school with my younger brother, william. i will tell you just as an aside, michael, one good way to get people to read your books is to sign them to them. thank you very much. the congress was a great book. madeline albright needs no introduction and what an honor
it is for me to serve on the truman foundation with her. secretary albright embodies the best this country has to offer. she is an immigrant and who has done so much for her adopted country just as immigrants have all over the united states. she served as the 64th secretary of state in 2012. she was awarded the presidential medal of free todom, the countr highest medal of honor. my grandfather would be so pleased she runs the foundation that bears his name. let me turn it over to secretary albright. thank you very much. >> can everyone hear all right? if you can't hear, you can't reply. i think we are in good shape. this is the room where president kennedy had his press conferences, isn't it? >> i guess. >> i think so.
this room is filled with all sorts of history. >> i am going to interrupt right away. because hearing about your books and being a diplomatic historian, you may not remember this but you just graduated from college and you came to see me. >> i was worried she was going to mention this. >> you graduated and came to citi me and i said what are you going to do? i said a diplomatic historian. it certainly turned out to be true. you really have done amazing work in terms of writing about our history and presidents. i'm very glad you decided to do that. >> thank you. i'm awfully glad you decided to go with diplomacy and government and compile a record that is important in the history of this country and people in my line of work will be writing about for a very long time. p if if i could say one word, i love the fact that we are here and
love what you are all doing. one of the things i love about president truman, if you go back to the founders, one of their most basic beliefs was that they were trying to construct a country in which you could become president or secretary of state no matter what your background was. they would love that harry truman, who came from humble beginnings, was able to become president and one of the great presidents in american history. he always had this hugely strong feeling about education and it came from a lot of things. not least, i think, from his own life. this was this brilliant young man, loved reading history, used to say, i think he said, i think cliff will confirm this. i read every book in the independence, missouri public library, which was not an immense public library. i think he really did. he couldn't play contact sports. his parents said, we are too poor.
we can't pay to replace your glasses if they are broken. he said, i became this wonderful read are of history. his favorite history book was an incorrect title of "great men and famous women." the sub sitetitle was from nebuchadnezzar to sarah burn hart. it covered a wide swath of human experience. this is someone who should have gone to college, graduate school, deeply wanted to, couldn't do it because of his family's economic circumstances. if there is one thing i think he felt strongly was when he became president, he wanted to help others. one of the ways he did that was to strengthen the community college system. all i'm telling you is that there would be no one who would love to be here more today than harry s. truman and with that said, let me begin with a question for secretary albright.
you all know her background. what difference did it make in your own life that harry truman was president rather than someone else? >> the truth is, it made all the difference. i am so excited to be a part of this whole operation. when i was asked to become president of the truman foundation, i thought, perfect, i can't think of anything better than putting together truman and education and having that opportunity. we came to the united states in 1948, as i said. he was the first president. i really came from a family that loved foreign policy and institutions and am very grateful to the united states in every single way. we had spent the war in england. my father was a check cosdiplom. his last assignment was to go to the united nations representing
czechoslavicia. i grew up thinking about foreign policy. i think my lone star has always been, when america is involved, good things happen. when american is not there, bad things happen. as a czech, munich was dispositive. the united states was not at munich. the british and french made an agreement with jaegermans and italians over the head of cze czechslovakia. given be agreements made during the war, the iron curtain came down and the country that i was born in was behind the iron curtain. so for me, when the u.s. did something, it really made a difference. harry truman did something. that was the part that was so important in terms of stating
what america's position was going to be and whether it had to do with the point four or truman doctrine or nato, everything that would indicate america would be playing a leading role and being out there and doing something. in that regard. the other part i have thought about is institutionally everything that we were talking about public service. i do teach. talking about the national security act, it was basically designed because of the way roosevelt made decisions. it was a punishment by the bureaucracy. >> tell a little bit about how roosevelt made decisions. >> he made decisions by pitting his people against each other and not getting a sense of where they were coming from. the bureaucracy was fed up with it. so forestall's revenge set up the national security. so what happened was that harry truman was the first one that had to operate under the national security act.
he felt with the fact of how decisions came to him. he was xleer thclear that the s of state would be the leading member of the cabinet and there would be a defense department and the cia. >> not just navy and army intelligence. >> and really unify things. that is the system ha has evolved, that is in operation now. the other part that i have to say is that he and dean atchison set up the system we have been operating under. discussions earlier about the plan, clearly, what is america's responsibility? nato, i'm wearing my article 5 pin. >> hope everyone can see in the back. >> and really how that works. then, also, strengthening the united nations, a lot of the activities, the response to the
korean war, uniting for peace. i won't go through all that. most of the things that i learned in college and then operated under whether in or outside the government were set up at that particular time. there is nobody that i think i can honestly say has mhad a bigger influence that secretary truman. >> who was the secretary of state that got the idea to name this building after harry truman. >> i really thought we fleneedeo do that for all the obvious reasons. the delegation was a great help and we had the most amazing ceremony here in order to commemorate it. i am very proud. if i may say so, when the next people came in, they wanted to erase everything. we had granite. we had the name in granite.
>> plus, don't you love the idea that harry truman and dean atchison have their name ns a big way on this building? >> very much so. >> the other thing, we are talking about this a little bit earlier. there was a dinner you were not nice enough to ask me to come and talk at that benjamin franklin might think the evening of the naming. the idea was to have a den we are a menu that had been served in the white house in what, about 1947. horrifically, historically correct. the only down side was, "a" if you did not like jell-o molds with strange things floating in them, you were probably out of luck. anyone that had a sodium problem was probably carried out of there after the dinner. >> it was the typical american dinner, jell-o, triscuits. people wondered why we were doing that. it wasn't just elegant. >> it was elegant in 1947. >> we had the truman piano.
a lot of different things that really signified the whole era. i am so proud that i was able to be in office at the time that we were able to do that. there is nothing more symbolic in terms of america's role in the world than having harry truman's name on this building. >> totally appropriate. >> you were talking a little bit about the difference it made that harry truman was president, rather than someone else in the late 1940s. i'm not too wild to counter the factual history. that having been said, i have often thought about what life might have been like for the united states and the world had franklin roosevelt in 1944 not decided to replace henry wallace as his vice-president in which case the president of this country in the late 1940s would not have been harry truman and would have been henry wallace. i have got some views on that. you want to start what life might have been like. >> i just think that from everything that i have read
about wallace, we had a completely different view of the way things should be, what america's role was, generally an aspect of who the american people were and kind of a lack of that. i think that -- i taught a lot about the role of individuals in history. it really p to have had henry wallace in office would have changed the whole direction of american policy from '45 on and whatever influence he might have had before that in a variety of ways. it certainly goes to the point of what america's role should be and what our responsibilities are and how we see ourselves in relationship to the rest of the world. totally different. i think the surprise for people, not the people here but how harry truman turned out to be who he was. what is it that made him do the
things he did. one of the big issues, obviously, was the recognition of israel that we hear about often. then, generally, his approach to what needed to be done in the balkans. >> wallace wouldn't have seen it as president truman would have. i don't want to begin to think what life might have been like. it is fascinating. in april of 1945, when harry trueman became president, a lot of americans were horrified, because franklin roosevelt was a great man. many of them new little or in some cases nothing about this recent senator from missouri.
it speaks well to franklin roosevelt in the fall of 1944 or summer of 1944, he realized that wallace was not up to being second in the line of succession during this next term. harry truman was. the down side, famously was that roosevelt, although it was late in the war and wisabelle had vey advanced cardiovascular disease and had plenty of reason to expect he would not likely live out that term from 1945 to 1949 had something like only about two meeting with his vice-president, harry truman, of any seriousness during the short time that truman was vice-president. the result was when roosevelt died on the 12th of april, harry truman was left to try to figure out what roosevelt had in mind just before the end of the war
in europe. a few months before the end of the war in japan. you have this surreal saying of truman in the white house wearing a green eye shade. he actually called in for all the documents the last few months that franklin roosevelt had been dealing with that he could read and somehow figure out what was on roosevelt's mind. he was reading the minutes of the conference trying to figure out what was on road velt's mind. roosevelt had not told him. the most famous part of this was the fact that roosevelt had not told him about the presence of the atomic bomb and what a difference that would make, not only in the course of winding down world war ii and winning.
also, the post war world. >> how people viewed the vice presidency. clearly, i this i that what happened in the roosevelt truman transition was something that taught other presidents later. >> how not to do it. >> i can tell you from my own experience that vice-president mon dale became a complete partner and certainly it was true with clinton gore. i think and now we were talking about joe biden. i do think that there was a recognition that you couldn't kind of leave the vice-president in the dark on a number of issues and we are just lucky that truman had that natural instinct and the street smashing smarts that people were talking about and an understanding of the american system in terms of knowing how to work with. . can't say he had a great congress to work with. there were lessons that came out
of not having had meetings with the vice-president. >> that's exactly right. he sort of practiced what he preached by choosing as his vice-president the senate majority leader alvin barkley of kentucky. i always look at the truman case as one case where history sort of works the way it is supposed to when harry truman went back to missouri, maybe cliff will correct me, i think his gallup pole rating was something like 23%, i remember when i was a young historian, by which time truman was much betster thought of, i was curious why, when i looked at the internal numbers and people were impatient with the korean war, there was petty corruption in the entourage. a lot of people said, we don't like truman, because he doesn't remind us of franklin roosevelt, who was our idea of a president. i'm afraid it is an story too
good not to tell. it was a story in 1952, truman was asked by a reporter and this was published. one of the members of the staff went to her grandmother and said, can you get the boss to speak more elegantly and supposedly, she said, you have no idea how long it took for me to get him to use the word manure. whether or not the story is true, i do not vouch for it, it does sort of make a point. when we americans look at presidents in our own time, we are often times obsessed with trivia. that's one reason why they look so much different 30 or 40 years later. if you are looking at a president who is sitting in the white house, you are thinking of the day to day and things that may seem obsess civively import
at the moment may seem trivial. tell me if this sounds right. from my point of view, this worked with president truman. all these things that caused many americans in '52 and '53 not to realize that he was a great man, here we are 63 years later and we much better understand and appreciate, because they are so rare, the qualities of leadership. the great common sense and modesty. huge powers of judgment and also the policies work. if we were here in 1953, if we were talking about what president truman had done, we would have said he had done eight degrees in turkey and the marshall plan in nato and we hope that those things will help america prevail in the cold war but we can't be sure. you advance the clock to 2016. we are looking back on those with total hindsight and the
luxury of knowing how all this turned out. with total retrospect, we say, harry truman was a great man for all sorts of reasons. one of them was he is the guy ta devised the policy that allowed about 12 cold war presidents to contain the soviet union with the hope that ultimately it would collapse and we would live in a different world. with that knowledge, if nothing else, we know this was a very great leader. >> no question. what i think that was interesting, and i remember this, there was a sense that roosevelt had been this high and mighty figure. literally, what happened, because truman had to live in blair house, because they were redoing the white house, which was falling apart, there were pictures of him kind of being an ordinary person, walking around and i think the things that made him so terrific in retrospect was his humility and his humanity and his modesty.
at the time, people couldn't figure out why a president wasn't grander in some particular way. he did use kind of language. so there was. >> which by current standards would be very tame. >> yes. >> i think what i find most interesting having been to independence, to his house, he was modest. m. >>. >> he went back home where he had come from. it was not a common day experience. just in the way, if i might say, i think part of the thing about him in reading more about him m and david mccullough has obviously been terrific in terms of that. basically, he was a president who listened to his advisers. >> beginning with the guy that this room was named after. >> absolutely. >> i think that relationship is something that really needs to be looked at in terms of a relationship between a secretary of state and a president and their closeness and they were so totally different. i will never forget.
i didn't meet harry truman. i did meet dean atchison. he came to wellsly to speak when i was there. i noticed he had on patent pumps with his tuxedo. who would do that, i thought? he had gone to gratten. >> and he wasn't running for office. >> i do think they were very different types of people. it is evident from their correspondence that they really did click. that's very much worth examining. >> they really appreciated each other, which i'm sorry to say is not entirely true of president truman's opinion of many of the diplomates that worked in this building. >> that is true. >> whom we refer to as the striped pants boys. atchison always asked him not to do that but with no success. there was this one passage in truman's diary where he talks of meeting an american diplomate, i think, who served in egypt or something. he said, the guy, my language,
not his, he said, the guy talked in this accent that suggested maybe he was actually born in england and went to oxford and war these strange clothes, jewelry and so forth, which suggested that this was a great ar ris toe krat. president truman asked this american diplomate, where did you grow up? the guy said topeka, kansas. >> i do think one of the things that has to be talked about, specially with this audience, is that harry truman really did believe in public service. >> yes. >> and in a variety of ways, the people that he did respect were those that were involved in public service. that's why i think the truman foundation, the whole aspect and the truman scholars are a perfect way to honor the president who believed, who had all the qualities we talked about terms of humility, common sense, street smarts, but who
understood the bess wat way to e this country was through public service. that is something we need to remember as we honor him here. >> he would often talk about the fact and lament the fact that then come even more nowadays, but apel would attack someone who would run for office as a politician and would say things to get elected and so forth. and he would say the opposite, especially people who were public servants who had gotten elected. their lives have been exposed in public view and had to live their lives a certain way. they had to take into the -- take into account the people that had elected them. he felt that they were a category that was exalted. i think his respect for other people's opinions and his capability to listen and make up his mind. he had some really hard decisions. we were talking about hiroshima and nagasaki and obviously that
was a very difficult decision. it did save people's lives and it is a time we need to remember how hard those civilian -- decisions where. he was very much criticized for firing macarthur. michael: i think you all heard from bill brands earlier who has written a wonderful book on the firing of macarthur. a very big deal at that time for them to take deposition. i admire harry truman for being a normal human being, having a way of operating, then having the common sense in humility yet at the same time being able to make really tough decisions. that is the mark of a great president. i agree, and he had to make more than most. i will say two
more things. two things i think if you're looking for leadership, the truman lesson suggests -- one is he was, to my mind, more religious than people knew at the time. he read the bible a lot. the other thing, just to bring it back, was his family. it grouted him and gave him a sense of not only modesty, -- grounded him and give him a sense of not only modesty, by letting to be a real person in these eight years of modern history that were almost unbelievable. >> i'm glad we were able to honor him and the truman scholars. it is the best way to honor harry s. truman michael:
we have to disagree on something but we have not done it yet. [laughter] i think we are going to the audience. if anyone has questions, comments, questions. i think there are two microphones here. i think that was how it was done in president kennedy's time. >> my name is becky. one of the things i think about is the rapid advance of technology and what that means for us as public servants in trying to still serve the public even though the world tends to advance at a rapid rate. my question is, is it still possible to serve the public through incremental change, or are we kind of in an environment now we have to take revolutionary steps and drastic measures to serve the public? >> that is a very thoughtful question. we have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what
technology has done to the system that i grew up with, which is the one we talked about that harry truman started. in so many ways, what has happened is that technology has outrun social policy. the problems that we are finding in dealing with it in our own institutional system at the moment is that we are trying to catch up with it, and therefore, very hard. it has affected everything, frankly. the rapidity sitting in this building -- when i was here, believe and not, we had wang computers, and that was advanced. the rapidity of the information coming in terms of verifying it, i have one rule when i was secretary -- the first information you get is always wrong. people are now forced to make decisions based
on the rapidity of the information coming in. the institutional system in the world is not set up. so, i'm chairman of the board of the national democratic institute and we are looking at the role of technology generally abroad. what has happened is it has disaggregated people's voices so that political parties in other countries and even here cannot respond rapidly enough. a line that i stole when i was in silicon valley, somebody said people are talking to their governments on 21st-century technology. the government hears them on 20th century technology and are providing 19th-century responses. there is no faith in institutions. therefore, what you have asked is the question of the day in terms of how you move rapidly enough to get policy to catch up to the relationship between the people and the government makes more sense than it does at the moment. what we are seeing in europe and here is that disconnected terms of people not having faith in the institutions
>> totally. the other part of this is with properly laud president truman for the decisions he made, he did not have to make them in three seconds. when he heard the north koreans had invaded in june of 1950, he did not immediately have to say on twitter when he was going to do. president kennedy in 1961 when the berlin wall went up, he had a week before reporters asked him what he would do about it. the cuban missile crisis, kennedy had a week to decide how to deal with missiles in cuba. had he had to do so within an hour, he am certainly would have bombed cuba and we could've had a nuclear war. could have cost tens of millions of lives. top of everything madeleine said, you can have the wisest president and wisest secretary of state, but decisions made in two seconds under this kind of pressure will never be as good as decisions that are more
deliberate. >> thank you. >> hi, truman scholar from ohio. >> you are the truman centennial. >> i wonder if you could talk a little bit about truman and hoover. >> anger or herbert -- edgar or herbert? >> edgar. he faced a republican majority that was hell-bent on a reform commission. he saw it out hoover that and became the over commission and created a general services commission and other things. he once called hoover, he is to the right of king louis the xiv. hoover campaigned aggressively for dewey. i guess there was the practical aspect
that hoover was president, he would do the right thing. do you have any other insights? >> franklin roosevelt has at least alluded, after defeating who were my landslide in 1932, hoover never crossed the front door of the white house the next 12 years. roosevelt did not speak to him. especially after hoover in 1940 got very isolationist and nasty about fdr's foreign policy. harry truman did not just policy. one of the first things he did, he invited over to the white house and essentially said you have been treated wrongly and i want did to restore you, bring you back to the american family. he called on hoover to make a study of the food problem in europe, which was grave and the wake of
world war ii. also, as you said, hoover organized for him two conditions on government reorganization which, to some extent, led to the national security act that secretary albright is talking about. as charitable as president truman was he was also a great politician because he knew that hoover was still a large figure on the american stage. he knew he would need bipartisan cooperation, especially on foreign policy in 1947. like an excellent politician, which i say is a great complement, because he had made nice to hoover in 1947, hoover was in a position to help him create that bipartisan foreign-policy where it truman had not treated him so
nicely, hoover might have been part of the opposition and made more difficult. >> a truman scholar in 1990 from the great state of new york. thank you for being chair of our board and sharing your time with us now. you had referenced truman's decision to recognize israel. i believe it was in the building you first learned of your jewish heritage as well. one of your things i remember is the role at the jacobs played in truman's decision. was a friend of his from regiment d in kansas city was jewish and came from -- came to him at the end and said would you please? from a personal as well as historical perspective, the power of relationships looking back at your own history and family lineage, what you have taken
from it since. >> i do think personal relationships make a big difference. it is interesting in re-reading, especially when there are more and more questions about issues and a number of issues, who was four and was against and watching a variety of -- the fact that it was a recognition that president truman basically made by himself. his group around him thought i was a mistake for any number of different reasons. but i do think that what one gets is the feeling -- when you are in office, trying to figure out what are the influences come up what the you bring to the table? you do not really know until you -- i had a very -- first of all i did not know about my jewish background until i got here. often people said, did you
behave the way you did vis-a-vis the balkans because you knew about the genocide? i certainly knew about the holocaust, i just did not know it applied to my family. the bottom line is my feeling about why we had to do something about it came mostly from my father, who, in fact, had been a diplomat who understood -- this goes back to the fact -- i have to say i find it very hard to blame roosevelt for anything, if i may tell you the truth, but i do think the way that was a blind spot about what was happening in europe is really a very, very bad thing in terms of american history. and so, one could say that we did not know what was going on during world war ii. in retrospect, i would not say that, but we did know everything that was going on in the balkans. that affected me in terms of decisions that were made. it had nothing to do with
what i found out about my background, but terms of knowing that you know that certain people are being raped were ethnically cleansed for not anything they did, but their background am a that had a huge impact on me. the most impact on me in my life was my father and mother. >> thank you. >> hi. i between 16 scholar from georgia. taking both for taking the time to speak to us this afternoon. -- i am the 2016 scholar from georgia. how has your conception of female leadership changed throughout your career? what do you think gender parity looks like in the year 2016 and what should we aspire to in the future? secretary albright: i went to a girls high school and a woman's college, in fact the same one as the next president of the united states. [applause]
>> obviously, donald trump did not go there. [laughter] >> i grew up in kind of a weight that it did not occur to me that women could not be leaders. that part. what did surprise me as i developed my career over a very long time is that women had to prove that they could actually do anything. i was going to be a journalist, that was my plan in life. i went to get my first job and my husband -- we were having dinner with him and he said, what are you going to do, honey? i said, were in a newspaper. he said, i do not think so. find another life. i did and it turned out ok. [laughter] >> when my name came up to be secretary of state, it was said
that a woman cannot be secretary of state because arab leaders would not deal with a woman. they said they had no problem dealing with me as ambassador, and i did become secretary of state. but the bottom line is i think that women, we are not using, not only our half of the population, but throughout the world -- why we do not want to have women more involved in terms of economic and political empowerment? we know that societies are better off if women are politically and economically empowered. i do think that there continues to be questions as to whether women can do things. i hate to say this, whether is plenty of world -- plenty of room in the world for mediocre man, and no room in the world for mediocre women. women have to work twice as hard. [ applause ] >> i do not think the world
would be better off if it was completely run by women. if you think that you do not remember high school. you have to have a good coed leadership. >> depends on the high school you went to. >> thank you. >> hi, i am molly rocket and i am the 2014 scholar from connecticut. madam secretary, my question was for approximate your role of shepherding new classes of truman scholars. as someone who has seen many classes, i wondered, more recently, what is one thing among the new classes that has inspired you recently or given you hints as to the future of public service that you have seen among some of the newer truman scholars? >> i do think -- let me say there was a certain phase with people wondered what public service was. when we were talking among trustees of the foundation, in terms of what public service was the basic part of what the scholars program was set up to do, and it was nice to make money but the
bottom line was that public service was the purpose of it. i think what we're seeing more and more are scholars and applicants who understand that public service is very broad and there are a number of ways to give back. and that there is great recompense about how you feel about himself -- yourself. i was fascinated by the previous panel in terms of talking about how to solve problems for people. i think we see that more and more in the applicants, people that want to go out and not only -- and take great advantage of the scholarship program itself, but the internships later. in developing careers that are
broad-based enough in order to give back. i think there is a new enthusiasm for public service. and a recognition of what the truman scholars can do. i am very encouraged by it, i think it is great. again, without consulting some of the earlier people, there really is kind of a sense of giving back, and i think that is the basis -- there are so many different ways to do it. >> haj you. >> hi, i am one of the 2013 scholars from louisiana. i have a question on behalf of my peers in the room. we are a generation coming of age in a really violent, turmoil time, both socially and politically. while we do want to work in public service and we want to fight for peace and rights, many of us are also members of groups who are targeted every day, even in our homes. what advice you have for us as we begin our public service careers for working in a
world that has such chaos and stagnancy at the same time? secretary albright: i someways it goes back to the first question in terms of everything being different, and he goes back to your question about what is it -- i grew up as a refugee in a very distorted world, there is no question about that. i came into a country that had a system that recognized things where in fact there was some way to figure out what the institutional structures were. i think we all have a responsibility to help develop the system that does not do you are talking about. i think it is a very complex time. i am often asked if i am an optimist or a pessimist. i'm on optimist but
i'm worried a lot. we need to get institutional structures that are not violent, with your help, not in terms of people who screwed up imposing things on you, but try to figure out a way to the way the what i think is a disconnected and disjointed and gridlocked -- when you have a great senator like senator cruz talk about how hard it is to get things done, we need to figure out what it is we want and make clear we are the responsible people in terms of saying what we expect in our leadership. that is why i think the selection is so important. the bottom line is it has to be done with your cooperation, not against you or against any ideas that you all have. >> one other element i think harkens back to the truman time harry truman had extremely strong views on just about every issue under the sun. the disagreements with republicans. yet he had members of congress who he could call on a 1947 when the red army was starting through europe, 1950 when they
need to unite to fight a war in korea -- i think one thing he would be absolutely horrified by is if he came back to die -- today and saw the degree in which the two sides barely even speak in congress. and i think that is part of the problem too. >> i am very excited to see you here. i am a 1982 truman scholar, also from missouri. i am happy to hear you saying that the arab world, that you would be accepted no problem in dealing with a woman because it clearly states in the carron --
in the kuran, and i would like to quote it. -- my question is, what is the vision? how do you see the foundation 40 years fro to quote it. -- my question is, what is the vision? how do you see the foundation 40 years fro question is, what is the vision? how do you see the foundation 40 years fwh? how do you see the foundation 40 years fse0 years from now? do you see it in the container that we live in? will it be the same container or do you see it being in a larger container? in the context of innovation, doing other public service activities other than just sponsoring scholars to educational endeavors, etc. >> i probably will not be here in 40 years, i can predict that.
but i think that what has to happen -- and we have to have more of these discussions -- in terms of something i said earlier about the breadth of public service. also, the things that trouble me at the moment is that as people seek their own identity -- and identity is very important -- that in some places it is reflected in hating the other people. i think that is what the earlier question about violence -- in addition to other aspects that we need to figure out how to have the truman
scholars be an academy of respecting others, of understanding what other religions and ethnic backgrounds and positions and life in a variety of aspects that makes our to set -- our societies in servicing is the diversity. -- societies interesting is the diversity. one has to realize what the duties of a 21st century citizen is and how we help to create those citizens through education and mission in a number of different ways. the hard part is doing that while we are trying to create a different system. it is like fixing an airplane that is already flying. i think it is a good question and it is something we ought to be talking about with the trustees. >> thank you all very much.
[ applause ] >> thank you all. >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our event. we would like to thank you for coming. at this time we would ask all reception participants to please exit the auditorium to the right hand door and follow the escorts to the right hand door and follow them to the reception. if you re receive any other color of pin, please depart. you're watching american history tv on holidays too. follow us on twitter. like us on facebook and find our programs and schedule on website c-span.org/history. next on american history tv, historian andrew roberts talks about the sensitive side of the former prime minister winston churchil