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>> host: but line saying in general as most of these instances in the shootings and the rivalries among the job use in the poor black communities. >> guest: they certainly do. particularly when the markets are new. that happened with crack cocaine over the turf. >> host: new markets. that settles down. you don't see this sort of thing anymore. you certainly don't see this sort of thing anymore. but, i think that is a minor sort of issue. i certainly don't want to downplay the fact that people were killed and that's not -- obviously that is awful. but i think that that has been the sole point or one of the major points driving what we do with drug policy. and i think it is shortsighted and of limited. that is all i am saying. >> host: the book is called a high price a journey of self discovery that challenges everything that you know about drugs in society. our guest has been dr. carl
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hart. i want to remind you he is not only in author 46 he's an associate professor in psychology and psychiatry at columbia university and a member of the national advisory council on drug abuse and a board member of the college on the problems of drug dependency and has done 22 years of research and d nero psycho pharmacology. carl hart come it has been a pleasure to learn about you. this is a biography as well as a book about drugs, society and race. congratulations on your book. >> that was "after words," book tv signature program and which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on book tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday at 12 a.m. on monday.
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you can also watch "after words" on line. go to and click on "after words" in the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> now on book tv, richard beaman examines the landscape of the united states between the meeting of the continental congress on september 5th, 1774 and the choice for independence from britain in july of 1776. this is a little over an hour. >> it is such a pleasure to be here tonight. good evening, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming to the i can't think of an event that i would rather be moderating more on my first day on the job as the new president and ceo of the national constitution center than this wonderful discussion of the superb new book. rick as you know has been such a stalwart of the constitution center. he's provided intellectual
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historical guidance it he gave me so much good advice and friendship as i began the prospect in this place and i am just thrilled to be here with him. he embodies the best of the national constitution center mission is, which is to provide a platform for the bipartisan debate and a conversation about the constitutional issues. the great strength of the book is that there is no ideology. it's told in a narrative way and he brings to life the constitutional debates that animated the early republic of he does it by sharing the the personalities and the temperance of the founding fathers and he stresses the role of leadership and also contingency. one thing that emerges from the book is that it could have come out differently. it didn't have to be this week. the fact that we have the separation of independence, which he described so well and ultimately the constitution had
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to do with the leadership and the traces of particular people at a particular time. so we are going to have a lot of these debates over the coming months and years. .. he was such a stalwart of the
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philadelphia delegation, he does not appear in signers hall as i saw when i went this afternoon and saw ben franklin and governor morris but no john dickinson. in your rivetting telling, dickinson's choice, his moral dilemma, his pate team, leadership was essential to the constitutional story. tell me about john dickinson. >> i'm happy to begin. how many of you ever heard of john dickinson? okay. we have philadelphians. if i went to any other city or any other state in the united states would be a couple of people raising their hands. before i talk about johning dickinson, this is -- john dickinson, this is supposed to be a critical serious mind to discuss this book and not a love-fest. i really must say as someone who has devoted more than 10 years of his life to the constitution
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center, before it opened in july of 2003, i am just so delighted that jeff rosen is coming in as our ceo. we have a constitutional scholar of the first rate but are also has a passion for reaching out to the public. all of our discussions with jeff about the prospect of leading or at least leaving for most of the time the really easy life of academm and run a place like this was just so inspiring to all of us who spoke with him. we've really got some terrific times ahead for the constitution center. thank you. [applause] >> very happy about that. >> so john dickinson, who john adams who i really want to say quite a lot about tonight, john
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dickinson called him that tiddling little genius. he was john adams chief adversary between the 22 months between september of 74 and july of 76. dickinson was when the book begins, the book initially begins with th boston tea party because that was really the kind of an event that really ticked the british off and convinced them they had to do something to put these americans down but main focus of the book is the 20 two months which the continental congress met. at the time the continental congress met john dickinson was probably the most respected political writer and thinker in america. his letters from a farmer in pennsylvania really spelled out the american constitutional position and their denial of the right of the british parliament
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to tax them. he was in every respect, john adams polar opposite. he was thin, rather reserved and in manner but, and a man of great caution both in his thought and speech. and the really important and decisive and difficult moment in john dickinson's life did come on july 1st, and july 2nd of 1776 in which going against the sentiments of most of his colleagues in the continental congress he spoke lengthy and passionately against independence. for a variety of reasons. one, that i do think he was a devout believer in the quote, true principles of the english constitution and wasn't ready to cast it overboard quite yet but the other reason was that he
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wasn't all sure that americans were sufficiently prepared to win a war against the british. they hadn't forged an alliance with french or the spanish yet. and so earning the antipathy of a good many of his fellow delegates, dickinson voted against independence. but two weeks later, he was leading a battalion of pennsylvania soldiers in battle against the british to fight for the patriot way. so dickinson for me is a really, a model of principled opposition but ultimately coming together for the common good. he ultimately although he really was not willing to sacrifice his principles to vote in favor of independence he supported it very much. and in 1787 in fact did serve as delaware's representative to the
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constitutional convention. he was not present on september 17th to seen it because he was ill back in delaware but his name's on the constitution. >> well, that's a rivetting story and actually before i go any further i've been reliably informed you do quite memorable impersonation of john dickinson? >> i do. >> can you share it with us? >> i'm sorry, jeff, i can't because i'm not in costume. i just retired from penn. until recently i had a modest research budget at university of pennsylvania part of which i used to get costumes to dress as figures of american history. i dressed in full buck skin to do a davey crockett imitation. i'm sorry, not imitation. impersonation in the american
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history survey course. until nine 11, i was able to walk across campus carrying a rifle. they stopped me from doing that. >> supreme court held that is your constitutional right. >> and i, actually one of my fais thomas payne. i dressed kind of as a philadelphia yaw artisan. one of my favorites at the constitution censor is john dickinson. and to be john dickinson i have to be more reserved than is my formal personality. i also do jonathan edwards, sinners in the hands of an angry god. you're all going straight to hello out there. make no mistake bit. >> that one must be fun. well, dickinson as you tell the story although he voted against independence, never out of a sense of patriotism withdrew behind the bar so his vote did not count in the final tally about independence.
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could that kind of civic-mindedness and devotion to country exist nowadays? is there analog in modern politics to that sort of decision? >> not too many, that's for sure lessons of political leadership in our day. there are a lot of lessons i learned. i believe the most important of all is humility. and dickinson, generally believed in his principles. i wasn't ready to sacrifice them by voting in favor of independence when he had so fervently opposed it. he knew the people of pennsylvania favored independence. and he was the decisive voice in the pennsylvania delegation. so, by drawing himself behind the bar, that is, if you walk into the assembly room of
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independence hall today, you will see that bar that, keeps visitors from walking into where the founding fathers were doing their deliberations. he, left, that part of, you know, the main part of the assembly room and withdrew himself behind the bar along with his colleague robert morris, giving a bare majority of pennsylvania delegates the ability to vote in favor of is and to make this the unanimous declaration of the united states of america. i really do think that that, that humility, and that understanding, ultimately for the needs to come together a something a good many of our congressman, not to mention our supreme court justices could benefit from. >> i know your next book, has the working title, the founding fathers are spinning in their graves.
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and, you're interested in questions about channeling or translating their principles into the modern era. what is different now aways that allowed a john dickinson then to make this principled decision for his own sake and at the same time, to, put the interests of the, the state first and foremost and make it harder for politicians to break party lines today? >> well i think there's, a long list. one is, delegates to the continental congress and constitutional convention deliberated in secret. nothing that we could do today. imagine one of these bodies convening today and every day the delegates walked out and the cnn, fox news, msnbc microphone in their faces and i think what that causes today is delegates to take hard positions that are even hardened by their public
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defense of them in front of the media. whereas back in the 18th century these folks were deliberating in secret. they didn't have their egos as much on the line. but most important of all, i will say, i'm sorry, this is a digression, but, i gave this speech that i give on the founding fathers, 1787, lessons in political leadership, i've given it all over the country but the most kind of anxious moment i had when i gave it to the 100 chiefs of staff of the 100 united states senators in which basically the speech is how rotten their bosses are compared to the founding fathers of of 1787. it was actually at a very, very ebullient dinner party with lots of good food and wine but i looked out at them and i said, you know one of the problems is
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you're not drinking enough. honestly, it really was the daily conviviality of these men, particularly the delegates to the continental congress of '74 to '76. this gathering was in john adams words, a faring of strangers. at one point he said, the dozen ambassadors of the dozen most belligerent powers in europe have more in common than do the delegates to this continental congress and that's their situation as they came together in september of '74. but day after day after day, after their deliberations, first in carpets hall and then in the pennsylvania statehouse, they go to the city tavern and eat and drink, and get to know one another. with a few exceptions, john adams never really respected john dickinson.
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with a few exceptions, they really did come, even when they disagreed on important issues, to have some respect for their colleagues. i'm old enough to remember a time in washington when everett dirksen and lyndon johnson might disagree on the senate floor but they would get together in the evening and work out a deal or tip o'neill or ronald reagan, even. so there is, there is something i think could do something about that, not have these folks fly home every thursday afternoon and raise money for their next election campaign. >> and provide that the senate compulsory alcohol. >> that's right. that's right. [laughter] >> this is actual an important principle of supreme court leadership as well. my favorite story, if you allow me about chief justice john marshall, sounds like he did the exact same thing. he persuaded his colleagues to live together in the same boaring house. they would discuss supreme court
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cases over a hogs head of marshal favorite drink which was madera, and all the justices would get buzzed and all the cases were unanimous. [laughter] then of course there was the favorite moment justices only vote to drink madera when it rained, he said, our jurisdiction is so broad it must be raining somewhere. this conviviality, and madeira principle is so vital. as we show so vividly in the book not all the main players are convivial. john adams was disliked as we learn from 1776, my favorite musical. you give lots of examples of this. his ideas and emotions were always on display. he was a compulsive correspondent. he left these vivid accounts. tell us about john adams. >> i really should be grateful to john adams because it is john adams consistent violation of
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the rule of secrecy in his letters home to abby gail that let us know as much as we do what was going on in the continental congress. they really were bound by the rule of secrecy but john adams never obeyed it. so that's helpful. and it is also the case his emotional commitment to independence much earlier on than most of the delegates drove all of that forward but believe me there were times when his fellow delegates just wanted to wring his neck because he really could be obnoxious in his passionate advocacy of his own points of view. and i will say, you know, because john, two of our founding fathers, thomas jefferson and john adams, have these dozens and dozens and dozens of volumes of correspondence. so we know what they thought about everything. in john adams's case we know what he thought about everyone.
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if he didn't like you he would let abigail know about it. therefore we historians know about it. this book is not an anti-david mccull lock book. i loved the hbo series on john adams but i really did feel it was looking at john adams through the eyes of john adams. [laughter] >> his favorite point of view. >> yes, that's right. so, and in particular since adams and dickinson were always -- adams was always beating on dickinson, dickinson was too frail really to beat up on adams, that some of this book is to give the sort of quieter personalities like dickinson some of their due. >> patrick henry, the fiery virginia orator, considered america's connection with dissolve and colonies in a.
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when reading patrick henry, now adays would he be tea party or occupy wall street? >> so glad you asked me because i forgot to do something about, i do like to imagine which politicians today, these folks in '74 to '76 would be most like. and i just got to go back to john adams. barney frank. [laughter] barney frank. intelligent, passionate, aabrasive. john adams i don't think was gay but, other than that, i mean i really think that john adams was the barney frank is the john adams of our 21st century congress. i think that patrick henry is rand paul. i think truly the tea party would love patrick henry.
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he, in opening days of the first continental congress he made this speech arguing for proportional representation in the congress which on which he was defeated saying, we're not just virginians or new yorkers, we're all-americans. and that gives an impression of henry as a continental-minded politician but what he was mainly concerned about was protecting the interests of the most populist colony in america, theon virginia. all of his career, his primary devotion was to defending the interests, first of his colony and then of his sovereign commonwealth of virginia. so i think he and rand paul would get along pretty well. i really do think of all the 18th century politicians the one consistently through his career who is most consistently supporting of tea party ideals is patrick henry.
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>> what distinguishes temper mentally, dickinson, henry dickinson the compromiser, at least a person who is willing to set aside idealogical purity in the service of legitimacy and henry, i guess you call him the ideologue who just won't compromise at all? >> but also, henry the virginian as opposed to dickinson ultimately just a pennsylvanian but the american and that i think is the other, another important part of this story that i'm trying to tell. these folks, not only came together as a gathering of strangers, but, as representatives, as delegates, from their individual colonial ledge you'res. and they were very much bound to do what their legislatures told them to do. so for example, the new york delegates to the continental congress were not able to vote
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in favor of independence until five days after the declaration was adopted, july 9th, because the new york legislature had not given them permission to do so but over the course of those 22 months i really do believe that most of these delegates began to think like americans. so although the continental congress is a congress, it's an extra legal body. it has absolutely no legal constitutional legitimacy but over time they really do, and by the way, they first called themselves a general congress, whatever that meant. except, by the way, a congress, the term congress itself, i'm sorry, but we're at the constitution center so i got to get into some of these sort of, you know, nitpicky constitutional issues. a congress by definition was a body of delegates representing
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individual sovereign states. it was not like our federal congress today which represents we the people. it really was representing the various colonial legislatures but over time, so it was called a general congress, a collection of delegates from these individual colonies. then they started calling it a small c continental congress. and then by independence they were calling it a capital c, continental congress. they really evolved into being america's first national congress, speaking for the people of the united states. the first time the words really officially were used of course being in the final paragraph of the declaration of independence. >> so the rivetting narrative here is that independence was not inevitable. you reject that conventional view. >> yeah. >> and that it came about because of particular people and
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particular events. what were some of the tipping points in the war? >> again i'm going to go back to john adams. on july third, he wrote two letters to abigail on july 3rd the day after the vote in favor of independence. one of his letters is quite famous quote question he predicts that july 2nd will forever be celebrated as america's great anniversary festival, missing it by two days. but he also said to abigail, that heaven has dictated these two countries will be sundried forever, implying kind of a divine, you know, inevitability. and certainly american politicians from that time forward on july 4th in their speeches often speak about the inevitability of american independence. i mean most of us, i will
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contest, although my academic colleagues would chastise me for this, i am an american exceptionallist. i do believe our history is a very, is a unique one and that it is a history marked by unusual amounts of freedom and unusual amounts of opportunity. but in the mid 11th century, americans didn't feel that way. they loved their king. they loved their identity as subjects of the british king. they, they had framed portraits of king george ii in their dining rooms. and sew this remarkable development between 176 when the conflict with british first begins in 1776 by which ultimately thomas jefferson is calling george iii a devil and a tyrant is really an audacious move forward. >> you so vividly show how these
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americans who were so devoted to king george changed their mind. i love this detail. you talk about benjamin rush, great philadelphia physician. goes to the london and house of lords and sees king george's thrown. he wants to sit on that. i felt as if i were walking on sacred ground. in act of uncommon boldness he asked his guide to sit on the thrown the guide initially told him was out of the question. such was intensity of rush's appeal the guide reluctantly agreed to allow him to do so. take that, tsa security. [laughter] when rush first sat down on the thrown he is overwhelmed with feeling, a crowd of ideas. this is a golden period of the worldly man's wishes. his passions conceive. his hopes aspire nothing beyond the thrown and goes to the house of commons and feels only anger this is the body that passed the detested stamp act. that vividly shows how people thought of themselves as mon
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artists. >> a conflict of identity. rush is in england at a time when the constitutional conflict between the colonies and the british parliament in particular is heating up. and so he's very angry at parliament. but when he goes into the house of lords and sits on the thrown and is so overcome with emotion i think that really, it is really such a wonderful example of the process that americans would have to go through and, in the coming years. so, it was not an easy decision to make that break. >> could it have gone the other way? was there one or two moments if they came out differently might have meant there was no independence? >> well, hey, people in canada did it. people of british west indid is did it. people of australia did it much, much later. so it wasn't the only solution. it is the case that you really do have a steady escalation of
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the conflict. when those three groups of 50, quote, mohawk indians, tossed the 92,000-pound of tea into boston harbor, the british parliament had pretty much had it with those new england fanatics. they passed the coercive acts. that really does up the ante. that is what precipitates the calling of the continental congress. then, of course, april 19th, 1775 is not a trivial date. once, once americans are engaged in military conflict with british, then, reconciliation certainly becomes more difficult. but what really is so striking is that right up until, certainly january of '76 most americans are doing everything they can to find that path toward reconciliation.
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now, and they have already reached the constitutional jumping point. i think they reached the constitutional jumping point by october of 1774 when they were denying all parliamentary authority. it was really a psychological leap. that was a difficult one. >> let's talk about jefferson and the role of the decks la race in making that leap permanent. -- declaration. you have a rivetting chapter on the drafting of the declaration. what were differences between jefferson's declaration, the first draft and what you ultimately call america's declaration? >> jefferson is a relative newcomer to continental politics. he is not elected to the continental congress in 1774. i think he finished something like 10th or 11th in the voting in the house of burgesses. he is not a back bencher but not one of the top figures.
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over the course of the next year, through his writing he does get a wider reputation as a very smart guy and as somebody who is beginning to articulate a new conception of america's relationship with their quote, mother country, a relationship actually not all that different from the one that was initially worked out between canada and the british sovereigns. so i comes to the congress in may of 1775. he had been in mon at that cello more than six months before that time -- monticello. he is the delegate's vote to elect the committee that will draft the declaration of independence. jefferson receives the largest number of votes which is interesting because he was really, hadn't said almost anything in the continental congress before that time.
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i think because people had understanding of his literary gifts. there is back and forth conversation between john adams and jefferson says to adams you do it. adams says no, you do it, back and forth, back and forth. jefferson in a letter later says, excuse me, bull pucky. i was the one, i was chairman ever the committee and i was going to draft it and i drafted it. >> that is my favorite song in the show. mr. adams, i say you should write it. thanks a lot. you're destroying our dreams. >> i love "1776." it is wonderful. >> yes it is. >> certainly if you ask jefferson how that conversation went. there was no conversation. and he went, you know, just a couple of blocks from here, to do that drafting. his first draft of the
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declaration draws very heavily on the virginia constitution. in fact jefferson seriously considered not coming to philadelphia but going to williamsburg in may of 1776 because they were drafting their own constitution. jefferson was a virginian as well as an american at that time but he drafts, an elegant first draft of the constitution. it is altered slightly in the a few days time as benjamin franklin, william livingston, john adams, and roger sherman make a few changes in the document. >> you give us the very first draft of jefferson's preamble in which he wrote, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and independent. that from that equal creation, they derive rights inherent and inalienable among which are the preservation of life and liberty
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and the pursuit of happiness. and you of course suggest that the more famous final version was a bit more elegant. this is question i always had which bears deeply on the relation between jefferson's declaration and the constitution. what is the significance of the difference between jefferson's language, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and in his draft and final declaration and the fifth amendment of constitution, that no person will be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law? what is the difference between property? >> john locke's phrase in the treatise on government was life, liberty and property. and jefferson was certainly drawing heavily on that intellectual tradition but the phrase, p you are suit of happiness, i -- pursuit of happiness i do believe was deliberate. the declaration of independence is a revolutionary document. it's a document designed to
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inspire the american people. it is, as i think a very distinguished lawyer in our audience tonight is frequently said and i frequently stolen this line from him, the preamble to the declaration of independence reads like pure poetry. the u.s. constitution reads like a prenuptial agreement. [laughter] it is purely, it is purely a legal text. and, and so, the fifth amendment, i mean not only bottomed did i of the constitution but he is going to write that down. >> no, no. >> it is a good line but, let's try our preamble. we the people of the united states in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquilty, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. that is not bad. >> jeff, you read the rest of the constitution. >> that is the danger invited me
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to. i would be happy to -- >> i agree with you. i'm sorry, i will have to go off message. one of the things i frequently say in arguing that the founding fathers of 1787 did indeed come together to greet a government with energy, with power to do those things letsed in the preamble is those words preamble. what i like to say if you ask the tea party what the constitution means, they will cite the second amendment, right to bear arms, 10th amendment, reserving all powers to the states and first five words of the first amendment, congress shall make no laws. i say no. what the founding fathers were about is articulated in the preamble but i got to say governor morris who wrote that preamble, not everybody in that convention would have agreed with his vision of the government. >> we do have a sense though
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from jefferson's natural laws background he and his fellow founders believe these rights came not from the government but from god even if jefferson was a deist. he still thought these were natural rights and the bill of rights may have declared these fundamental rights but didn't create them. in that sense say a little more about the relationship between the declaration and the constitution. >> well, first of all, let me say something about the role of god in all this. the deity is evoked a couple of times in the declaration of independence although as the first greatest drawing of the declaration of independence, carl becker said, thomas jefferson defied nature and -- dee dee afied nature and naturalized god. i think jefferson did not believe in an active hand in god. one of the interesting things is
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in the final passages of the declaration were, the divinity is a evoke ad couple of times, those were added by the congress in their editing of his draft. it is actually interesting, in the big changes in the declaration occur not when jefferson meets with his committee of five but when they deliver to congress, they delivered the declaration of june 28th but mainly debated and edited the declaration on july 3rd and july 4th. congress makes some serious edits to the declaration. jefferson had in the list of specific grievances this very long, really long-winded denunciation of the slave trade and of the institution of slavery. and if you read that, it doesn't sound anything like the rest of the declaration. there is a lot of passion in it
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but there's also a lot of kind of excess verbiage. he is struggling i think in his own mind with his own issue on the subject of slavery. and then there's also in the closing paragraphs of the declaration, this bitter denunciation of the british people, not just the king, but the british people. and the members of congress say, wait a minute, we're all british. you know, we were. so cool that. so if you look at jefferson's draft, there are all these lines through the last paragraph, although they did add god a couple of times in that last paragraph. so i know i didn't answer your question, jeff, about the relationship there. >> we'll talk about it after, after the show. a lot of great questions which i want to give you to you in a second. we're in philadelphia. we can't close without a discussion of philarsthiiz and r
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framer on signers hall because his hands are shinier and everyone else's and everyone rubs the hands of benjamin franklin. >> the spectacles have been stolen dozens of times as well. >> some historians question his role saying he was on both sides of the conflict with great britain. what was his role bringing america to independence? >> couple quick things. first of all i'm a fourth generation calfornian but i lived in philadelphia for 45 years. but my first three books were on virginia. so when i first moved here i thought of franklin as kind of a caricature. this roly poly guy. lots of funny jokes and things but not a serious person. but over the course of my 45 years here i really have come to believe that franklin was the best and wisest of our founding fathers. his role in independence is
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really fascinating. from 1757 to march of 1775 he spent all but about two years living in london and loving living in london and loving living and hobnobbing with british aristocrats and british politicians. you know, the second amendment, that right to bear arms does give one permission to shoot anybody's whose cell phone goes off but that is all right. [laughter] sorry. sorry. i won't say who's cell phone went off. [laughing] i'm sorry. >> [inaudible] >> but, so, in the wake of th boston tea party when parliament is getting really annoyed with the americans, franklin is called into what is called the cockpit which is one of the anterooms of the british
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parliament and given this very public dressing down by lord wetter burn and literally called a trader. and franklin is a proud man. and i really believed that was the moment in which franklin, who was always playing the role of diplomat, trying to find, you know, the basis for accommodation and reconciliation between the british and the americans, that franklin became an american. two months later he sailed home, to america among other things on the voyage home, they cut this, mid tore, tim bartlett, cut this from the book but i'm going to tell you about it, because he is such a great man! >> you gotten over it though. [laughter] >> he sees the gulf stream and they're sailing along the gulf stream and taking all of these elaborate notes on the gulf stream which he later publishes. the man's intellectual curiosity
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knew know end. he did play a conciliatory role in the continental congress. he was one of those who brought those delegates together. he's not, he was never a great speech-maker but talk about, you know, the power of madeira, and the power of the delegates getting together in his dining room over good food and drink, that's some of franklin's greatness. so, yes, in his wit and sense of humor were very, very important but that sense of humility combined with, intense intelligence really did make him an indispensable figure in all of this. >> beautiful. we'll have to have some free madeira for all future evening functions of the national constitution censor. [applause] the people have spoken. but even without that stimulant we have a ceres of excellent audience questions and i will read them to you now. would willingness to allow
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representation for american colonies have reconciled the colonies to remain under british rule? how is it a possibility historically? >> great question. in fact in the 45 years i talk my course on the american revolution and the subject of representation comes up certainly as early as 1765 i say to my students, okay, let's put this movement toward revolution to a halt. let's resolve the issue of giving americans adequate representation in the british parliament. and in 45 years students have never come up with a solution for providing americans with adequate representation. so, and indeed, one person who ultimately becomes a tory and much despised in america and particularly in philadelphia, joseph galloway, on
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september 28, 1774, presents his plan of union in which a grand council will be created, a council consisting of elected representatives from the american colonies on the one hand. but also elected delegates from parliament. and on any issue affecting the colonies, this grand council would meet and try to come to an agreement upon them. sound good so far. really sounds like a method of giving americans adequate representation on any piece of brittish legislation affecting them. but galloway's plan of union and king george iii insistence was ultimately the king and parliament would have a veto power over any piece of legislation or any agreement reached in this grand council. ultimately it's a question of sovereignty. who is ultimately bottoms?
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and the british were not willing to make american representatives coequal. i mean the other possibility is let's give each colony five representatives in parliament. but you know with a parliament of 400 members, on any issue, the americans are going to get outvoted. so, i think it was, an irreconcilable issue which is why not only the americans ultimately revolted but why every revolution for self-determination has tended to be successful. >> in essence it wasn't king george's fault? >> nobody has come up with an answer to that. you know, king george iii is not going to, he is probably not going to win any, you know, i.q. awards. [laughter] but he's not dumb and he is very, very conscientious, maybe too conscientious actually. maybe would be a little better
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if he let things slide. but, no, this was, he was not the devil and the tyrant americans defined him as in 1776. >> since september 2000 one we've been in a defacto state of war. without boundaries, space or time, permitting the executive to take in his singular opinion, all appropriate actions which has included taking lives. when, when u.s. citizens and incarcerated people indefinitely without trials. what would the founders say? >> [inaudible] >> oh, boy, yeah. i want to say two things. we moved to the constitution again but i'm always happy to do that. i want to say two things. we have not, congress has not exercised its power to declare war since world war ii. and i think that's a failure of congress and ultimately of a
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failure we the people to insist congress step forward and exercise that right. so, ultimately i do think we the people, are the ones who rein in actions that some might regard as unconstitutional. i happen to believe that the war on terror can potentially be one of the greatest threats to american civil liberties that we face in, at least since the civil war when abraham lincoln suspended habeas corpus. and again i think the way to put an end to that is for we the people to reach some kind of consensus on how we achieve what tom payne who once again, not gotten his due in philadelphia. what tom payne said was, we're the ultimate aims of government,
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freedom, and security. in finding that proper balance. >> i mean i can't resist a follow-up because it is such an important question. these questions what would the founders thought about drones, obviously have a counter hypothetical. >> yeah. >> feature. there was that great moment in the supreme court oral argument about videogames where justice scalia was asking all questions about the original understanding of the framing. justice alito impatiently, said, what justice scalia said what the framers would have thought about videogames? justice scalia said, no, i want to know what the framers thought about free speech. nevertheless i get a sense from your book not all framers would have agreed. you suggested patrick henry, the rand paul of his day, would have filibustered against drones but with dickinson or john rutledge supported them? >> you know, as jeff and i were talking, my next book has a working title as the founding
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fathers are spinning in their graves. which is a kind of reflection on the relationship between the values and views of our 18th century founders and issues that we face in the 21st century. i think, i'm sorry there are some issues where they would just faint dead away. you put an ak47 in front of james madison and -- >> [inaudible] >> actually i think james, james madison was kind of a nerd. i think he would have fainted dead away. now patrick henry might have been more excited about that. i don't know. but, it seems to me that the evolution of technology is, it is something that the founding fathers would have to think long and hard about. they certainly did not believe
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in granting full civil liberties to loyalists during the american revolution. they didn't mind popping out from behind trees and boulders to shoot their british soldier enemies. >> nor did many, led by president adams, prosecute their critics in addition. where as madison and of course jefferson objected strongly. i get the sense in this book there was not unanimity of views on this issue? >> i am certainly not an originalist in my view of how the constitution should be interpreted. and it's not because i don't respect the views and values of our founding fathers. but the diversity of opinion among them on these fundamental issues of relationship between the federal government and the state government. separation of powers, were so diverse, that i think it would
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be arrogant of us to believe that we have some insight into how they would have viewed some of the very complicated issues that we face today. >> all right. here's another good one. who would be today's ben franklin? >> wow! somebody give me some help here! seriously. give me a nomination. >> we heard ted kennedy. >> no. >> i don't think we have a consensus on that one. couple more. >> [inaudible] >> that is what i would have said. bill clinton. >> a lot of -- >> boo! >> a lot of people will say boo. let's face it. he is a guy who works toward getting things done, getting things accomplished.
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he has a good sense of humor. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> there are extracurricular romantic lives. i'm sorry, my favorite moment between john adams and benjamin franklin is, they're serving in france together negotiating the treaty of peace and adams, a new englander, is up every morning at dawn, getting ready to go to work to protect the right of new england to, you know, fish in those atlantic fisheries off the coast of newfoundland and franklin is out late drinking and partying with all of these lovely french women and john adams goes into franklin's bedroom at about 11:00 in the morning and franklin is naked in the bathtub, surrounded by beautiful women who were giving him a shampoo. he is drinking a glass of
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champagne. and adams goes home and just writes this diatribe about what a lazy bum franklin is. but of course, franklin knew how to negotiate. with the french in ways that adams did not. so, you know, let me just, i need to make a confession. i just written this book and mid tore knows i was una lot of pressure in the final month to get this book finished. and this is the first time i've ever been in front of a group talking about what's in the book. and so this morning i said to myself, what's in this book? so i was trying to think about things to talk about. but i did have this idea of, comparing the signers of the declaration of independence with our politicians today and, so i made this list but i love the barney frank-john adams one. then i thought about benjamin
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franklin and it took me a long time but i think it is bill clinton. bill clinton has lost a lot of weight but got to think back to the bill clinton a few years ago. i think that he has that, sort of personality that, that was aimed at getting things done. >> great. >> not to mention the extracurricular love life. >> what part did the debt of the planters class owed to the british concerns play in their political decisions to vote for independence? did i read that correctly? >> well, it actually, americans were not in debt to the british in 1776. the british government was in big-time debt to all the countries all over the world because of the cost of winning the french and indian war basically. the cost of taking all of this
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territory in british north america away from france and spain. and the british in 1763, the british parliament says, hey, this land is in america but we're paying the bills for this. it's team for the americans to pay their fair share of the freight. so the whole british change in policy, the abandonment of salutary neglect and the desire to tax americans to at least make them pay a share of the costs of the british empire is what really sets this conflict in motion. i think it was not just, it wasn't the southern planters debt. it was the the fact that the british just didn't think that the americans had been doing all that they could to support their empire. they were all part of the empire. and of course the real villains in the british point of view were not southern planters but
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those new england smugglers. john hancock, people like that. >> what's the most sure pries thing in researching our lives that you did not appreciate in writing this book? >> that is a good question. >> sure is. i think that, i'm sorry but we are at the constitution center. i really did not appreciate how much the continental congress evolved from this extra-legal body with no legitimacy whatsoever to a congress that could, by 1776, speak in the name of the american people. i have always believed, since the first discussions about the constitution center began were
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begun by a gentleman sitting in the front row here, ted wolf, about 1985 or 1986, that the story of the american revolution and the creation of the american nation under the constitution were all the same story. they were so intricately bound together. and i came to realize that even more in the course of writing this book. this gathering of strangers in september of '74, who by july of 1776 really are beginning to think of themselves as americans take 11 more years to make that big next step but, i think really these 22 months were tremendously important in doing that. >> there's nothing in patrick henry, independence park
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bookstore, a, i was told, we only carry materials on the founding fathers. check in virginia. do you consider factory henry one of the founders and why? >> jeff, my second book, the only time i was a finalist for the national book award was a biography of patrick henry. it is so long out of print that, oh, patrick henry is, very definitely part of the american founding tradition, particularly after the founding fathers of 1787 leave the constitutional convention in philadelphia. . .
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if patrick henry is the 18th century tea party year, he has every bit as much right to express his values on how american independence should be fulfilled as any of the other american founders so i do believe that he believes it is his proper place. not in signer's hall though. [laughter] >> which ones were their views? >> which of the founding fathers
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were freeholders? >> they were all free holders in the technical sense of the word which is they own the property. they were -- they were all mostly wealthy white men. but there were a couple of exceptions. >> who is the poorest founder? >> i think that roger sherman of connecticut. interestingly the two founding fathers who were born relatively poor benjamin franklin who makes it close to the top, but roger sherman who is by the way one of only five signers of the declaration of independence who also signed the united states constitution. most americans today as know really do merge the documents together. 71% of americans in one survey believe the phrase all men are
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created equal is in the constitution and not in the declaration of independence. we need to help them get that straight. and indeed, only five of the 56 signers of the declaration of independence also sign the united states constitution. roger sherman of connecticut was one of those. he was born really utterly impoverished and he worked his way up to modest wealth by true public service like being the inspector of pennies and that, hartford connecticut, serving in paying salaried government jobs. but he never had the kind of independent wealth most of the framers did. >> the last question is this, how does the constitution promote and maintain peace? >> again, tom kean in common sense said a couple of things.
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first, he said that a government and its best state is a necessary evil and it's worth an intolerable one, which i think sort of defiance the tension that we have today in the debate about the role of government. but then just a paragraph leader he said the jobs of government for protecting and promoting freedom but also promoting security. and promoting security and promoting peace or sometimes, not always the same thing to do it >> that is a tough one. >> this book has been a model for the kind of engaged constitutional conversation that we are going to be having at the center every week and every month. thank you so much for this.
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thank you for writing this wonderful book and ladies and gentlemen, please [inaudible] [applause] >> for more information visit the author's website,
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what are you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> i have a lot of history and biography that i am reading. the book that i am reading currently and about halfway through is called indispensable, and it is a book by a professor [inaudible] it is an excellent book on the different styles and basically has a leadership filtration pherae where there are filtered well-known politicians and then there are others that are obscure but come through who are unpredictable as a result because they are not as well known. lincoln was such a leader and under the one-term, congress was an obscure figure from illinois. so when he got the white house, he was unpredictable. and yet proved to be one of the best leaders in the history of
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the united states. that is not always the case pitted but it's a fascinating theory where he applies his fury to a number of leaders like jefferson and wilson and winston churchill. so it is a great read. so the ones i recently read, thomas is a great writer and biographer. his fury in the bucket is that he wasn't as appreciative as he should have been and that though he might have been a bungler and not in charge of a secretly he was quite shrewd. i have to admit having read the whole book and being open to that theory that actually he doesn't mean to but he kind of proves the opposite. this book pretty much tells you that eisenhower was often a sick man, very serious illness, heart disease come and was often very
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disengaged from his own cabinet and delegated a lot like his foreign policy to john foster dulles, the secretary of state. so it is an interesting book but i actually think that he disapproves his own thesis which is kind of fun when you think about it. another book because i actually served in the senate in the years, many of the years covered in the last great senate which he talks about a number of senators which he thinks is a golden age in the senate in the 60's and the 70's. the characters like ted kennedy and howard baker and jacob javits and robert byrd who got things done and who reached across the aisle and were willing to break with their own party orthodoxy. a kind of been noting that we don't do that anymore very much. any documents, how much dhaka done in that spirit of collaboration and compromise.
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8381 is a book by charles and it is a fascinating account of history and which the notions of the christian orthodoxy and heresy were imposed not by the churchgoers but by the leaders of the state, where the state to deplete intervened in convening the council's and insisted on the orthodoxy and from that followed the concept of what constituted heresy it was and three e. 81 who insisted on that and it changed the course of history and not always for the best. it kind of silenced the defense and squelched the sort of intellectual ferment of the church about the competing furies of theology and led to
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the prosecution of people who deviated from orthodoxy over the centuries. so it is a fascinating account of early history and the consequences that flowed from the actions and can constantinople. thomas has written a wonderful new book called the general. he is the author of one of the best volumes on the invasion of iraq called fiasco and what went wrong. a brilliant book. this one is a historical book about sort of how the generals were promoted and demoted from world war ii to the present. his thesis is essentially the george c. marshall that serve as the army chief of staff and the joint chief of staff under fdr in world war ii removed many
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generals from the battlefield if they were not up to the job. he insisted on performance. he would find something else and give them a second chance. but with impunity, he removed people until he found the right person for the right job. what he talked about is the fact that that culture of accountability and responsibility has very much been diluted in the subsequent period such that by vietnam the performance seemed to be very small criterium and came to the appraisal of the generals. there were very few consequences for poor performance in the outcomes. he highlights general westmorland who was in charge of the vietnam war effort for a long period of time as a quintessential example of that and he argues that right at the present day the same is true and that it's very attorney as to the performance of the military and has implications in terms of
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u.s. defense and national security policy. a controversial look and one that is felt provoking and worth reading. a book that i recently read is a book called the conservative constitution by an attorney that practices before the supreme court. in this book he documents the conservative assault on many facets of american life from education to civil rights to personal liberties to corporate law and his fury is that this is a concerted theological assault on liberty and constitutional principles, and i ron equine many of the folks on the conservative side look at the constitution and say we believe in the constitution. he actually makes the opposite argument that they are in danger
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in the constitutional liberties. and many of the precepts that we care very much about in the country. it's a thought provoking and a very good book. finally, two books i haven't read yet but i am very excited about. one is the guns last flight. it's the third book in the trilogy on the world and world war ii and the involvement and rick atkinson and the "washington post." the brilliant luminescent writer. the first two volumes were extraordinary. the first one was a book on the north african campaign and the american involvement and the second was the campaign right up until 1945 very brutal part of the war. the third volume is the chronicle of the invasion from normandy and the d-day to the liberation of berlin in 1945. so that is next on my list to
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read. and the founding rivals this is a book about the rivalry between madison and monroe. it is a little-known piece of virginia history. but actually madison and monroe branigin teacher for the united states congress and the district had been carved to favor james monroe. madison decided to contest it and in the upset he beat monroe who of course was a friend of his and stayed a friend and succeeded him as president. so, this is quite an interesting book. and it contends because madison won that election got the bill of rights. otherwise maybe we wouldn't have gotten it because madison was a great champion. so there are a lot of consequences. it is not a well-known piece of virginia history but it's a critical piece of the virginia history and it's a book i looked very much forward to reading this summer. >> let us know what you are
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reading this summer. tweet on booktv, posted on our facebook page or e-mail us. booktv in london continues with justin webb come the author of three nonfiction books the most recent titled "cheers, america: how an englishman learned to love america" he's also a former television journalist for the bbc where he served several years as the washington bureau chief. his current position is host of bbc today radio program. >> "cheers, america" is the name of the book, "cheers, america: how an englishman learned to love america." justin webb as the author. when were you in the states and why? >> i was sent to the united states in 2002 to lead to be honest, at the time it sort of felt like one. i didn't know anything about the united states. i was based in brussels as a bbc correspondent and i got


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