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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 28, 2009 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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people. so my book, it's not a new york-washington book per se on t.r. some of the states i focus on are washington state, oregon, hawaii, alaska, florida, mississippi, louisiana, oklahoma, virginia. i took the battle to a lot of these places and hopefully giving a new generation of environmental heroes to look at. the beauty of the oregon coast. it was a real battle out there to save it. or the islands off of san francisco. these are all t.r. last one. roosevelt in hawaii -- if you grab a map -- viewers look at a map in hawaii. you see the hawaiian islands. look to the west of hawaii heading towards midway. roosevelt saved all of that for bird sanctuaries. not just that, he's threatened war with japan when japan, for
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example, would try to kill birds on that island. he'd threaten war with japan. an alaska chain where he saved seal herds, roosevelt heard that a group of japanese seal hunters went on american, a pell go, rocks, and killed american seals, and he would not -- he was gears up for war if need be with japan over seals. so we're not using a title for this book "the wilderness warrior" -- this wasn't just a policy. it's not like doing conservation on richard nixon or something. this was a whole other thing. you can't understand the essence of theodore roosevelt if you don't understand his relationship with darwin, with the big game and forestry of america. >> who introduced roosevelt to darwin? >> that's a good question. roosevelt's father was an early reader of darwin. t.r. -- we don't know the exact moment he discovered darwin, but we do know when he was 14 years
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old and 15, he was over in egypt and he writes about darwin. in fact, brian, there is in my book -- he draws out how we evolved from the stork i just told you about the stork. roosevelt has himself involving -- evolving from a stork. he shows his brother evolving from apes. darwin's "origins of species" came out in 1958. by the time theodore roosevelt goes to harvard and majoring that naturalist studies, darwin was the rage. and it was a revolution. people talk about something being markist idiolog, people became darwin idiologs. he's the central figure in roosevelt's intellectual life. what some people don't like about roosevelt's foreign
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policy, the survival of the fittest, the biggest navy, we are going to be the biggest power in the world, that's one side of it. he also erroneously ventured into social darwinism quite a bit. on the other flip side of it, domestically, he was spot-on right on his understanding of natural resource management and thousand make sure you save species, entire environments intact. he was a great lover of the prairie. people don't realize theodore roosevelt felt most at home on a horse in kansas and nebraska than at sea. he would get terribly seasick. he was our first president to go abroad as president. he went to panama and puerto rico. you know what he's writing about when he goes down there? birds. he's taking notes, field notes of the wildlife of panama. and he saved forests in puerto rico, in the philippines. here's his imperialism. i'm for the spanish american war, i'm president now. we control these properties.
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he had a huge concern of protecting ecosystems and species in those places we acquired. it's fascinating. >> by the way, why the gloves? why the white gloves? >> they make you wear them here. they do at a lot of archival places. this is from 1902 and this document i'm holding, you could call it if you wanted essentially the birth of u.s. fish & wildlife right here in that little map. because that's what made roosevelt start it all with the wildlife protection. >> has that ever been seen outside of here? >> you have to ask mark here. i don't know. i think probably online or something with the pelican island site. c-span should go to pelican island sometime, because u.s. fish & wildlife has built this incredible boardwalk down there with each refuge gets like a plank and goes out with this incredible view. so if you're doing family vacations over the summer to florida, take the time to go to pelican island to this center there, because it's really worth it for kids. you're guaranteed to see a rare
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patch of wild florida. where are where -- >> where is it in florida? >> when i would stay there, i would stay in between st. augustine, if you like, and palm beach, on that atlantic coast. but also, ding darling, who roosevelt adopted for preservation. roosevelt also created the national forest in florida that links the atlantic to the gulf. if you look on map, you'll see the big green swatch of national forests. that's a heavy manatee area that he preserved also. >> i've been interviewing you for 15 years at a minimum. how do you remember all this? >> i love history. you know that, brian, about me. i just love it. i have a good memory, i guess, for things -- i have a
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micromemory. when i get into something. >> photographic memory? >> i don't know if it's that. but my enthusiasm is so high that when i find do you means, i'm very excited about it and i'm able to incorporate all that. i like being -- this really opened my eyes. i had been going before i wrote this book to these parks. though i wasn't thinking about the back story of how we got the system. we're always looking for good news in america. i'll give you a good news story. look at our incredible park system we've got in this country of wildlife refuges. we get that right. now we have an obligation to maintain it properly. >> i know you remember this, because i talked to you many times. how do you, when you're doing your research, keep track it it all in? what's your system? >> i was once told, abandon chronology at your own pearl. i realized that events happen day by day. there is no -- so you get in a
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danger if you start switching around dates. i fry too stay chronological because t.r. lived his life chronologically. i would get the dates that he saved, which i would put as the appendix. the date he declared something, i have that date. now i've got t.r.'s biography, the dates of all these places. i make sure they intersect properly. i say, well, i know -- you know enough about politics. you don't create an everglades naxal park or grand canyon if there wasn't some fight or something. who was the champion that got the winning result? who was our great grand canyon champion? who was the champion of yosemite, etc. i try to bring them into the story. i'm dealing with two time lines and then a cast of characters. >> where do you put it? on cards? >> sheets of paper. notebook after notebook. not cards. yellow legal pads.
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spiral note books. i put boxes by states for this book. i also wanted a diversity so i want a devil's tower in wisconsin. i had a devil's tower box. well, he went to the big horns out in montana and wisconsin when he was a young man -- and wyoming when he was a young man, so i think in terms of -- maybe more than most humans, i think in terms of geographical place, i'm terribly influenced by my environment where i'm at. the places i went to are the ones i wanted to write about. i want everything i can get. the painted desert or on the petrified forest. roosevelt saved the petrified forest national park in arizona. >> so you're finished with your manuscript. how do you ensure it's accurate? >> hard. it's always the thing you worry about the most. i get ill that if you're going to have a mistake in your book, and you're bound to, somebody
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will e-mail you or write you a letter, usually nice, and you say i'm going correct it in the next edition. but addition that willly, like in this manuscript, i sent chapters to all the people in the parks that helped me. >> mark madison -- >> i sent him the entire manuscript here because he's dealing with all the u.s. fish & wildlife. i would send individual -- paul down in florida, who used to run pelican island, who now runs ding darwin. if he didn't have an answer to something, he had two guys looking through it. if i went to, you know -- you get the idea. donald worster, who wrote the recent biography on john muir, wrote the reclamation project. roosevelt made a great mistake in the dams, trying to bring electricity to west. it's controversial. it's a big part of my book. donald worster is our national expert on the aired west.
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i would sent him my questions. everybody i sent a chapter to found something wrong. sometimes four or five -- usually in this case, i didn't get anything big wrong. it's a word change. i say, you know, the winds blew from the southeast and it can't be the southeast. it's the northeast. that microthing. and particularly, i'm a bird lover and amateur. i would send it to auto bonn society to make sure i'm not misidentifying a bird species. they're very particular people. >> you have your hands on first edition books written by theodore roosevelt. how much do you trust those? and did he write them himself? >> oh, he wrote like -- one of the things people ask me, how do you write so much? you did this and you're teaching. i'm nothing compared to theodore roosevelt. this guy was doing five times more while he was running the country. he was writing books at a regular interval.
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this book here is his letters to his children. and it's a wonderful book because he would write them a lot -- like, look. here's the letter to his children just on the love of flowers. t.r. on flowers. later in his life towards the end of his life, he became a wild flower expert. look at this one. i'm just randomly opening this. puerto rican scenery. i just told you when he went down there, he's not writing home. he's writing all about the -- there are vines with masses of purple and pink and white flowers. he goes on and obviously >> have you read all these books? >> yes. >> how many books did he write? >> it depends. there are so many edited versions of it. he would write an article and they would call it a book. there's massive volumes. he wrote what i would call roosevelt books, over 30 that are his own titles. really some people say over 50. if he would give a speech, people would make it into a
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book. he didn't make the book "letters to my children." it's roosevelt's writing, but it was done later. >> i read this somewhere, i might have even asked you about this years ago, but can it be true that he read a book a day? >> yes. >> how could you? how could you be the president of the united states, write books, go all over the world all the time, fight the world, and all the problems he had, big the big antitruster, and read a book a day? >> he was a phenom. his mind went at such a rapid pace. i noticed that people that read a lot read quicker because he knew how to read. he read all the classics. even when he was in the woods, he'd bring pig skin editions and he would with bring his favorite classics. he would read and memorize them. it informs everything he did. for reading, what was unique about him is he focused on naval history, military history, and wildlife conservation and forestry. >> how much of the navy experience did he have?
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>> well, he wrote -- his first book he wrote at harvard is called "the summer birds of the adirondacks." he wrote about birds in new york. his second big book became "the naval war of 1812 ," which made him the top naval strategist. he became an assistant secretary of the navy. so he would juggle navy with this sort of western hunting -- like this boone and crock et club with the buffalo on the top. roosevelt knew everything. what i'd like people to understand is that as president, roosevelt didn't just know about gray wolves or cougars. he was the world's authority on them. and in a science way. george byrd grenl, an undersung hero of america, co-founded the boone and crockett club with roosevelt. it was specifically formed in the late 1880's out of new york to save the big game of america, to save buffalo, antelope, deer,
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caribou from being exterminated. they would commission articles and roosevelt would write them -- see, this one's on elk. these are great old books that roosevelt got very involved in bringing out these boone and crockett club books. it was about gentleman hunters. they were working to save animals to shoot animals. people have problems with that some today. but it was the hunters of america that really form the early conservation movement. it was done by field and forest magazine, and what became "field and stream" magazine, but all those sporting journals that started putting that you've got to have bag limits, you've got to put a fish back if it has eggs, you've got to not shoot a doe. we take this for granted now. but roosevelt was -- and george byrd grenel, at a ohio
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university, he proofread my chapters on grenel, because he's the other important figure in my book. grenel was the american authority on game. >> last couple questions. who pays for all your travel, all these sites, and all this research done? is that part of what the publisher promises you? >> yeah, they give you an advance and then i squander it on my travel, so i make no money, therefore i have to stay as a professor. this book on theodore roosevelt was very expensive for me. >> do you have any idea what it cost you? >> i don't. i don't -- i fly economy. i rent the cheapest car i can and i stay at the modest inn when i go to these places. but nevertheless, since i've been really doing it since the 1990's, it adds up to the point where you're wondering from a lifestyle point of view, it probably doesn't add up to do a book of this nature.
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but once you do a big serious, heavyly footnoted researched book like this, my next book i can do something at home without so much travel. >> last question, how did you know that it was over? this book was finished. what was the last moment? >> i ended this book -- i wrote the chapters already on his ex-presidency, but i didn't want to bring the focus away to africa and brazil because my book sub titles about america, and t.r. is america. i end the book in march of 1909 when he's leaving the white house so the reader can see, here's what this man accomplished on behalf of america from 1901 to 1909. so i micro-do his whole life and begin the book in 1909. my next volume is on on how roosevelt influenced a young generation, including young franklin roosevelt who got interested in conservation and was trying to be like teddy
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roosevelt. so f.d.r. and eleanor roosevelt got very involved. so i'm doing another volume. i'm planning on going from -- this book begins in 1858, t.r.'s birth in new york, and i'm going to wednesday the era of global warming, the time we have right now. march us through in a multiple volume history. >> thank you, professor brinkley. >> brian, thank you.
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>> from a hustry standpoint, where did you find the different art facts that you have and the materials you had? did you bring them somewhere else? >> that's a really good question. most of the materials we have have come off refuges or fish hatcheries. actually, from the field. almost everything in our archive is donated by former employees or by field office. so these historic things that douglas brinkley has written about, they were at garages, basements, attics. they were suffering from all sorts of environmental deterioration. once we filled up an archive, we did it in about 10 years. researchers could use them so we could teach with them. >> rachel carson is our most famous employee. when rachel carson retired from the fish & wildlife service, much of her papers and materials went into the incinerator. and we will never let that happen again. >> who put them in the
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incinerator? >> they just saw no value in it back then. >> put rachel carson in historic perspective. >> it's very easy. you just talked to douglas brinkley. easily theodore roosevelt is our starting point for the american conservation movement. rachel carson plays the same role with what we call the american environmental movement. which has different concerns than roosevelt had. a little more wholistic concerns. beginning concerns about toxins and pollutants. getting concerns about endangered species, even things that might have been pests or predators. she's a touch point beginning in 1962 with silent spring for the environmental movement. that's where that begins. really 1901 with theodore roosevelt's presidency is where the conservation movement begins. >> you told me earlier that you have a son named theodore. any relationship to theodore roosevelt? >> yeah. it's no coincidence. my 4-year-old's name is theodore. and he's named partially in honor of theodore roosevelt,
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because theodore roosevelt has so many admirablalties. he loved nature. i hope my theodore loves nature. he had exuberant energy. definitely my 4-year-old exhibits that. he made a difference. everybody hopes that. >> steve chase, one of the things i picked up from being here is you have a facility with rooms to rent. i mean, a facility that people can come in and put on a conference and all that. how does that relate to the outside world kane just the average company or organization rent it? >> well, the important thing to remember about this place is, it's a center for conservation leadership. and that doesn't only mean the federal government. that means everybody voved in conservation, whether it be the feds, state government, non-government groups, or corporations. and we think the only way to address or conservation challenges in the future is through partnerships across all those sectors. so the nctc is open for people to come here from any sector to
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talk about conservation and to try to figure out solutions to the challenges that we face. >> but you can't just walk in the front door. >> no. not open to the public. but anyone that's interested in coming out and doing some research in our archive, we're happy to have you out. >> you say anyone. do you have to have credentials to be a researcher? >> the archive is open to the american public. but most people that come, because it's a serious archive, are researchers. a lot of graduate students. a lot of film makers. a lot of historical outlets on cable and so on have used us. we've worked with the smithsonian. we've even worked with walt disney world, of all places. we serve a broad cross section of the public. >> fit this in to the american government structure. how does -- who's the boss of the boss of the boss of this kind of place? >> well, we work for the u.s. department of the interior. so overall, it's the secretary of the interior, and above that, it's the president of the united states. so we work for whatever
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administration is currently there. >> what's the budget for an operation like this for a year? >> our budget is a little more than $23 million a year. and that gives us almost 600 events of the year and more than 15,000 people coming through our programs. >> and in history, how much are we spending on this kind of effort compared to, say, what it was 50 years ago? >> i don't think we're spending much money at all on history 50 years ago. in fact, i'm the first historian we've had for the fish & wildlife service and i was hired 10 years ago. basically 12 years ago, we didn't have an archive, a historian. we didn't have a history program. in the last 12 years, we've created a history program. we still run really tight. we don't spend a lot of money purchasing art art -- art facts or anything. we manage a couple personnel and that's it. >> both of you could have
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everything you wanted to make all this better. what would you ask for? >> you go first. >> what i would ask for would be for the public -- the general public in the u.s. to all know who the fish & wildlife service is. we have really dedicated folks that do great work for critters and for the american people and a lot of people don't even know we exist. >> how many different places are there around the united states that come under this umbrella? >> we have about 800 field stations, and we manage 15150 million acres. >> mark madison, what would you wish for? >> two things. i wish everybody would think about the environment when they study history because it transforms things, from the dust bole to d.d.t. i wish everyone would go out and enjoy the refuge. people enjoying themselves in nature in place like this. that's really where our future lay. >> gentleman, thank you. >> thank you.
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>> next week on "q&a," author walter kirn. his book is a mem water of his time at princeton in the 1980's. "q&a," sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up next, british prime minister gordon brown talk about the fate of hostages in iraq and an upcoming house inquiry on the
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iraq war. then a look at highlights from the newly elected house ceremony . then a documentary on free speech. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," a political round table with faiz shakeer and kyle trykstad. then peter brookes of the heritage foundation. a little later, a role the census plays in redrawing districts with gerald herbert. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> how is c-span funded? >> publicly funded. >> donations maybe? i have no idea. >> government? >> c-span gets its funding through taxes. >> federal funding? >> sort of a public funding thing.
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>> maybe. i don't know. >> how is c-span funded? 30 years ago, america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. a private business initiative. no government mandate. no government money. >> the prime minister has been caught absolutely red-handed. he made a statement to the house about capital expenditure growing every year, and the fact is it is being cut. if he believed in transparency and honesty and truth in public life, he would get up at that dispatch box and say, i'm sorry, i've got it wrong, i gave the wrong figures, here are the right ones. now do it. >> now from london, prime minister's questions, from the british house of commons. this week, john burkor presided over his first house time. he's the first jewish speaker to be elected to the house of commons.
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later, british prime minister gordon brown answered questions on a house inquiry into the iraq war. and on the government spending plans. >> patrick hall. >> question number one, mr. speaker. and may i welcome you to your first prime minister's questions. as speaker of the house. >> mr. speaker, i'm sure the whole house will wish to join me in sending our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the guard killed in afghanistan last week. he died serving our country and the people of afghanistan. his death reminds us how difficult it is for men serving in afghanistan at the moment. he and others who have lost their lives shall never be forgotten. i'm also sure the house will wish to end


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