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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 4, 2013 4:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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that short, and there were still people that wanted to do to him what he had done to others. by the time he came back in 1868, he's becoming a national figure. and then, of course, he never comes back after 1868, but he's embraced, he's now the great american writer. oh, he's one of us. people forgot his sins, his many, many sins because they were so proud that he had spent time here, and i think probably what was the critical publication that changed it was "roughing it." ..
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special envoy is that franklin roosevelt, who was immobilized and was unable to travel except in extraordinary circumstances, how she used those ways to sidestep and build a relationship and what position the united states for a policy
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that he sought to pursue taking america into the second world war. and as michael explained, that changed the course of history as we know in very dramatic ways and in particular the role of america in very dramatic ways. and so the story is a fascinating one of itself. it's told beautifully by michael in a way that takes you into the rooms where the decisions were being made and the conversations were being had that shaped the course of history. but it also has i think important lessons about statecraft, about the way in which presidents of with great difficulty nevertheless can turn the american state and new and
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profoundly important directions. therefore it has relevance for today as well. michael was the director of the institute for international policy in sydney australia where he does a great job of leading that institution, which has become under his leadership the premier think tank on international policy and australia. as i said, she was formerly year as a senior fellow in the foreign policy program. he previously directed the global issues program at the institute and before that was the adviser to paul when he was the prime minister of australia. his previous book was a
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memorable one as well. it was a book on the greatest modern speeches in australian history published by random house in 2005. to discuss michael's book any conversation with the author, we are delighted to welcome back to the podium ted campbell. he is currently the ceo of the asian group and co-chairman of the board of the think-tank which he founded at the center for new american security. but he is probably better known to all of you has the just retired assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs, a position he held for the first four years of the obama administration.
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he was critically important and played a pivotal role if i can use that word in the development of president obama's strategy of putting the united states towards asia, and in that context of will be particularly interesting to learn from kurt about the lessons that can be drawn from his rendezvous with destiny. in that position, he received the distinguished service award. i point that out because of a too received the award and i saw how difficult it is to achieve it. [laughter] i got it for the negotiations
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and nobody can possibly remember the headline negotiations, but i do think everybody will remember the role that kurt campbell played in the shaping of american strategy towards asia. so it is with great distinction that he received the award to the as i said, he was the founder, cofounder for the new american security a great new think tank that is doing a terrific and influential work on national security policy and defense policy here in in washington. before that, he was the senior vice president and director of international security and the henry kissinger chair at csis, the center for strategic and international studies and he's also held positions at the kennedy school and he was director of the center for science of international affairs at the university. so a distinguished pedigree
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before he served in the government. without further ado unwelcome michael to fullilove for his "rendezvous with destiny." [applause] thank you for the introduction. i'm proud to be yet broken this which i am extremely fond. as martin said i came to brookings to watch president obama when the democratic nomination and then win the presidency and i've been very proud for my time in the association with the institution since then as an on a resident fellow and it's a great to see a number of colleagues in the room thank you very much for joining and to those that have come from outside of brookings showing great fortitude in doing that. i know you are mainly here to see kurt, but thank you any way. i'm delighted to be on the stage
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with the two friends and colleagues of mine. martin is a member of the australian diaspora and american citizen and a high u.s. of koschel that he is still claimed by us. kurt is a much admired in my part of the world. of course we recognize very much and appreciate what of rebalanced and the region goes back many years in deed. martin and kurdish are connected with the institute. martin is one of my board members and kurt will be joining us likely this year as our inaugural distinguished fellow. i am honored very much by his invitation and by kurt's agreement to participate. importantly both martin and kirker are members of the lobby. i know there are many lobbies in washington. but let me tell you nothing is an insidious and seductive as
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the australian lobby. we are dedicated to manipulating influential people inside the beltway to the point where they acquired an interesting cricket and sense of humor and an approach to life. we are very, very dangerous. ladies and gentlemen, books should be written about the australian lobby. i'm also pleased to say that the leader of the lobby is in the audience. thank you very much, reva. in the last couple of years i had a break from my duties at the australian alladi to write this book "rendezvous with destiny" and i wanted to write about this topic for three reasons. the first is i believe that fdr was the greatest statesman of the 20th century. he saved american democracy from the great depression and led the allies to victory over the dictators and he won four consecutive presidential
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elections and he did all of this with a broken body. he was also a seductive and effervescent figure. churchill said that meeting him for the first time was like opening your first bottle of champagne. when you spent years writing a book about someone it matters because you are with them for breakfast, lunch and dinner so that is not a significant factor in my choice. secondly i wanted to write about this topic because i thought the period said i write about which is the two years between the outbreak of the european war on september 39 and american entry to the war on december 1941 with the attack at pearl harbor was the turning point of the 20th century. in the two years, the disposition of the forces in the world changed and by the end of this period the coalition that
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would inevitably ultimately defeated the dictators that is the united states, the soviet union and british empire the coalition is in place. it's during these two years that america is transformed from a nervous isolationist middle power into a global leader. and of course america emerges from the war that it enters after pearl harbor has the most powerful country in the world. in a sense this to your period is the start of the american country of which we are still living. third and finally, i wanted to write the kind of history that i like to read which is not just about an impersonal forces but about individuals with great ability and strength and enormous fragility is and colorful weaknesses. and i was particularly interested in how they interacted with those bigger
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forces. when the war broke out in september, 1939, americans were very anxious to isolate themselves from the conflict. in fact only one of 40 americans say a declaration of war against hitler when germany invaded poland the american interests and european interests. they wanted to help the democracies in the fight against the dictatorship but he was hindered by the congressional and public opposition. roosevelt's extraordinary achievement was to navigate this constraint and moved a divided and a hesitant america towards an ever greater involvement in the war. within two years, american had rearmed and every mobilized. in britain they were waging an undeclared war against germany in the atlantic committed by the
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time of pearl harbor in december of 1941, america's course was fit for global leadership. in those two years in other words, america turned. but how did it turn so quickly? how did fdr have to come such a fight india devotee of britain and the soviet union to withstand the force of the access? how could result of tame the intelligence that he craved and take the measure of structural and stalin when he was trapped in a wheelchair in washington? fdr had enormous mistrust for the department martin and kurt worked for and the state department. in fact after pearl harbor roosevelt was said to have joked that my state department is neutral in this war and i hope it remains that way. most u.s. diplomats as cookie pushers and conservatives in striped pants. the ambassador reports he received from joe kennedy and
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others were invariably defeated in time. so, instead he turned to the five associates only one of whom had any background in international affairs and send them on special missions to europe. first off the mark was a chilly patrician described by "time" magazine as a casting director's dream of a diplomat. he was eventually real credit out of the state department on the president's train which is probably inadvisable even today. but he said wells around europe in the spring of the 1940's and the so-called great army of europe had a meeting with mussolini and hitler and berlin and the third republican paris and chamberlain government. at this point roosevelt was looking for ways to help the british and french.
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but by the late summer of 1940 a couple of months later the world had changed utterly. the empire remains standing and who knew for how long. now wild bill donovan the republican war hero and adventurer and future spymaster of course the founder if you go out to langley you will see a statue of him in the foyer. now donna van visited that the president's behest to determine whether it could hold out against the nazis and donovan's report helped convince fdr that this was a country worth backing. a few months after the november of 1940, roosevelt won an unprecedented third term as president and the policy taught him further yet he three lifeline to britain in the form and dispatched three men to help secure it.
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the first was presidential confidant harry hopkins, the social worker some of the maker from sioux city iowa that became the center of the new deal that went to have dinner with fdr on the night that hitler invited them and roosevelt invited them to stay the night and he ended up living in the white house for most of the next three and a half years and roosevelt sent hopkins to explain to churchill. he thought that opposites attract and this was the perfect person to explain this incredible program to churchill. one of my favorite stories once -- and i might read it from the book is that churchill's immediately saw the importance to the british life and so she took him up and down the length of the british isles to impress him with the british spirit but he was quite laconic and careful
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until finally he had a private dinner and they got one of the speeches and asked hopkins to say a few words and hopkins was a very drawn and she said mr. chairman, i am not making speeches over here, i am reporting what i see to mr. franklin delano roosevelt, my president, a great man, very great man. here he paused and looked straight down at churchill. they shall be my people and then he lowered his voice and said very quietly even to the end. so hopkins was the first of these enclaves. the second was an ambitious and
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some railroader and banker charged with delivering the aid to london and she also found time while he was in london to romance winston churchill's's daughter-in-law pamela churchill years later you will know they had a very extensive and romantic career throughout the 20th century. she later married and transformed herself into pamela, social art fund raising clean and mentor to president clinton who appointed her as the ambassador to france and pamela died at a great age swimming laps of the hotel in paris which is personally the way i want to go myself when my time comes. it was the hotel in paris when he was on emissions of one of the great things writing history like this is you find the circles that close. roosevelt even put to work his charismatic opponent in the 1940
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presidential election wendell willkie the indiana dynamo. a great forgotten figure actually of the 20th century and of the republican party. a great internationalist at the time the republican leaders were isolationist and whose visit to london and dublin was a relations triumph lifting the british morale and aging the republican party away from isolationism. the mission should roosevelt's great genius for turning other people to his purposes. he didn't want to be seen as roosevelt's of envoy commission wanted to be seen as maintaining his political possibilities for the next presidential election but roosevelt was clever for him and didn't invite him to the white house before he went to london and when he was talking he pulled out a sheet of white house stationery and wrote this letter and he asked him to deliver it to churchill and it
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went like this, dear churchill, wendell willkie will give you this. she is helping to keep politics out of here. i think this applies to your people as it does to us. so long our ship of state and union great humanity with all of its feeders with all of the hopes of future years it is hanging breathless on the fate as ever doors franklin roosevelt so paul wilky was transformed from a substantial national political figure into an errand boy that a man who had beat him and of course he latched on to this letter in the speeches in the united states and of the letter itself that roosevelt had a metaphor for the relationship. and then finally in the summer of 1941, hitler let it fly and ordered the invasion of russia and again it was the failed
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harry hopkins who dominated the proceedings returning to britain to confer with churchill and making the journey to moscow to meet with joseph stalin. the mission beaned him the confidence to gamble on the soviet union against the advice of most of his counselors. he provided a character reference for russia just as bill donovan earlier provided one for britain. in 1941 and august roosevelt and churchill met for the first time as leaders of the atlantic conference, the extraordinary meeting at which the modern american relationship was initiated and planned for the soviet union were decided and this represented the consummation of a long-distance relationship that had been sustained for the labors of the special envoy especially harry hopkins who was president at the climax. at the december 1941 the japanese attacked pearl harbor,
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america declared war on japan and hitler declared war on america and finally america was in the war and fdr was a war president. fdr i think in a real sense people often say that the japanese took america into the war and of course that is true but in the true sense in the deep more important since i think fdr and his representatives have taken america into the war and by defeating domestic isolationism and later foreign enemies they also took america into the world. i might end with one final story which goes to the question of alliances. shortly after pearl harbor, churchill program roosevelt he wanted to come to washington to confer with america which was now former lady ally to britain. these were much less formal days and so roosevelt and most of the
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entourage and the white house itself were knocking around in the residence with eleanor and her friends and frankland's assistance and harry hopkins who was living in the corridor and one day roosevelt had something to tell churchill so she wheeled himself into churchill's's bedroom at the white house and he was horrified to find churchill had set up or cause to have set up a bath tub in the middle of the bedroom and as some of you know he had an unusual personal habits. he was horrified to find churchill's sitting in the bathtub having a bath because it was mid morning. roosevelt was prudish about these kind of things. he was horrified and he started to wheel himself felt but churchill's supposedly rose up like a sea monster from to a bathtub and she stood before franklin naked, plump, a pink and dripping and unashamed
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churchill declared the prime minister of great britain has nothing to conceal from the president of the united states. [laughter] i believe in alliances and special relations but any alliance can be too close and i think that is too close. the [applause] >> [inaudible conversations]
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thank you. the most terrific. i thought you were going to conclude by saying if the alliance can expand that experience they can solve anything. please. >> thank you. it's a reminder delete a reminder how important books are coming and i want to pay homage to the master ambassador the head of the secret society and martin for the invitation. i want to begin by saying that everything about this book has just really paced the office and a very fundamental level and i will begin about three months ago i had been talking to michael about this book for a couple of years.
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why don't you write about something you know more about that is closer to home like funding -- dingos come it is a big topic. a couple months ago the said of why don't you be prepared to discuss this book and i remember thinking when somebody comes up on australia i get a call. is their anyone else in washington i do other countries as well. >> okay, i will do it. so they sent the book to me triet and i love books. i read a lot of them when i was at the think tank's i supported the program and was pretty proud of the books that can out of those efforts. and so i take a look at every aspect of it.
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immediately i didn't like this book because of how much was great about. i loved the cover and if you ever have a chance to take a look at the blur of this they are unbelievable. many of these people are dead. [laughter] he has a great one from stalin. they're some of the best imaginable. so, about two months ago i set it aside for a while and said i am actually going to have to read this. and - started reading it and at the very outset of the book it grabs you because it is a depiction of the moments in which basically the war begins in europe, and it shows you quite literally roosevelt on his steel caught with all of the things around him, newspapers and bottles of aspirin and the
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like. from that point oncoming you are completely hooked. if you look at any bibliography of or historiography of the united states you will find the period in time that received the most attention. one obviously is the civil war volumes about lincoln and the role of the generals and seconded is the period during the second world war and the period immediately thereafter. what was astonishing to me when i saw this book and i talked up the proposition, i would have felt that there would be a number of treatments about those lieutenants around the president in 1939 and 1940 that helped basically developed the international consensus and the decision to go to war. but surprisingly there is no such effort. so, what michael has found in this remarkable literature of
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the second world war is a wonderful story that has not yet been told. what i loved about it is anyone that has read evan thomas and walter isaacson, this in many respects is a companion piece. it is the prequel of the group of men that designed the institutions and the free-market the post world war two world. but in many respects it is more interesting. in that respect, it is similar to the wonderful trilogy about the american military during the second world war. so an army at the dawn which is about the u.s. military before these giants become giants, eisenhower and marshall, the our young men making enormous mistakes early in the battlefield this is a comparable story in the united states on certain venturing out on the playing field. what i love about it and i want
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to see quite directly i love this book and i try to read about a book or two a week this is the best book i've read and probably two or three years. it's that good coming in debt relief hisses me off. [laughter] you didn't write it? >> i didn't write it for support it. i just have a typical washington response at every possible level. [laughter] what i really didn't like about is how important it was for me to read this having just left the state department. but let me tell you why. because what is great about this book is it captors at the outset she describes how historians and others talk about roosevelt and as a heavily forested interior. he is an almost impossible man to get to know.
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so what michael has done is not try to focus too much on the unknown roosevelt. he truly is fundamental to fundamentally unknown. there is a depiction of him flying over this thing saying i know you, this kind of idea of how difficult he was to penetrate. what you see him through is the lines of this incredibly dynamic men. all as powerful as you can imagine what you're earning to be a part of the action triet i ron ackley . despite the remarkable success they all wanted to be part of the action. they were all insecure. they all desperately wanted to be respected and to do a good job and their advice mattered to roosevelt. this is the domain of diplomacy. that's how it feels. you are out there walking on the
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ice and always wondering how is this playing back home. our your initiatives respected, you know, what are people thinking clacks this is how they felt on these incredibly perilous journeys. the ones in britain are better known than the earlier ones. i think the treatment of the initial interactions with stalin are fascinating and they are primarily from english sources but they are as good as i have seen. and what i like is the way that they have been woven together to paint a tapestry of not only these men basically educating roosevelt, what you are also left with the impression as you read the book that there is a sense very early that roosevelt actually knew where he wanted to go and that in many respects
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they were acting on basically a presumption from roosevelt that this is what she wanted to see happen and that frankly he was testing his proposition as opposed to being informed by the findings on the ground to its magnificent to see churchill so manipulated the interlocutors in a way that the only nation probably more effective his starkly at the strategic manipulation than australia may be great britain. clearly they have surpassed that as of late. the climate is better, etc.. so, that's what i loved about the book. there's also the sense that it lurks beneath the surface just the frustration of government. so, what is very clear is that this isn't a period particular a story in the war department and the state department there was a
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lot of sense of being beleaguered of people working around them and the overwhelming response allottees in the sense that roosevelt was and sharing things, wasn't trustful of the bureaucracy and wanted to run things basically out of the white house. now we've never experienced anything like that and our government. so it is a fascinating read in that respect and i will say that you can see -- you know coming even entering this period where they are basically operating outside of the state department system, using the military channels of communication to send secret messages back to roosevelt, thus easing quality of the next generation of leaders who are determined once the if emerged from the second world war to put in place
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mechanisms that will never allow a president like roosevelt to move around them. so there is a fascinating little aside about how many of the early decisions were taken much of consultation of the war department in particular. and although there is only one brief reference in the book to forestall, we know that in many respects the modern architect of the national security state are the apparatus that came into being in the so-called 1947 national security act. he was the person that probably had the deepest misgivings and bitterness towards roosevelt and was most frustrated by fees' completely what he viewed to be in letcher completely without record notes and decisions that were taken during critical periods in the war. he believed some of the decisions if they had been
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better orchestrated they would have led to more capability in great britain and stalin's russia at the time and in a way that would have affected the battlefield much more so than the back of the envelope decisions that roosevelt and his team made. it was forced when he of originally wrote the national security act. he made it very clear that what he was seeking to do is create a structure that would allow never someone like roosevelt to make decisions without consulting the government. so it was the air force, department of defense, but most importantly it was the creation of the national security council. the purpose behind that was threefold. first, he wanted a formal mechanism in which if there were a crisis the president would be forced to bring the members of the national security council
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together so that decisions would be made by the senior people in the that there would be not the ability of the roosevelt to go out and make decisions on his own so that is the central piece of legislation. he also believed number two there should be a series of documents the with an innate strategic decisions about alliances and military power come subsequently the use of nuclear weapons. there was the national security process in which in 68 was one of the key documents and as an afterthought, his allies said look, to do the first one, it is clear that the president is going to need a small staff. so what he decided is the need to be a retired colonel, lieutenant colonel and two or three people there would be staffed in some basement that would assist calling the meetings and making people come to the table but what force the president to take the advice of the secretary of defense.
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the great irony is if you look historically almost every serious counsel knows peter which no real decisions were taken but great steps to try to to try to make it seem to the participant their views were being valued by the president. second, the document process has been important in fighting the government. but in the third and the great irony is the creation of the staff. in many respects it has given the president the opportunity to develop policies independent of the agencies that his allies tried to basically qingdao the president with respect to decision making. in closing, this book will give you a sense of a different
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period of enormous possibility in which the american role and the use of representatives when they landed in their respective countries they were treated with a difference and the sense of expectation that is rarely present in american diplomacy. and it's hard not to read this book without experiencing a little bit of longing of the period gone by. and i will just close with the finger was fascinating, he does make a couple of observations in the book that i never thought of. if you consider every locus of diplomacy that roosevelt undertook come it was all of the meetings of the senior players were in europe. there was no comparable set of engagements with any leaders. in fact all of the subsequent
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high level engagements on the marshall mission in the 1940's and others have been basically after the end of the second world war. and one is left with, you know, the wonder of what it would be like to have a person with frankly some qualities of a man that is difficult to fully understand and comprehend what a lot of trust like roosevelt and his genius but it might have meant for certain types of diplomatic engagement in asia if that had transpired. anyway, just in closing by this book and give it to friends, read it quietly and see that you didn't come up with the idea that you didn't write this book to be a little bit ashamed that an australian route it. it's better that the right of some exotic spider when you get
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bit by use will look and dikes. but be grateful that the book has been written. [laughter] [applause] thank you. that's terrific. first, just a question about the five convoys related to something that kurt said to be if you can single one of them out, it was basically building the relationship with the president on who was dependent for their success. >> that relationship i think it's i know the answer in the book but take us through these big personalities. >> hopkins is the hero not because the extraordinary missions but because with his failing health, he not only
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builds this internet relationship with roosevelt, but very tight relationships with churchill and stalin. one of his contemporaries said he was right in the middle of the big a triangular relationship between the allies that when the war and one of his contemporaries said that each trusted hopkins more than they trusted each other and i think that was right in terms of the relationship with roosevelt -- >> how did he build that trust? >> he had a direct informality. i think there was something about the romanticism that appeared to churchill and something about his frankness and directness that was for the personality of stalin and when it came to roosevelt she worked their relationship and had almost an extra sensory understanding of his mood and he
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knew when to flatter and when not to but he also had an iconic approach to life and as i said in the dhaka his informality was like a gust of air-conditioning and roosevelt lacked that and i have to say one of the highlights of the process was a couple of weeks ago when i was speaking at a bookstore in sydney and i gave the talk and then i had a book signing and the lady came up and said thank you for the book. i would love you to sign this because harry hopkins was my grandfather. he was interested with all that's. we can never get rid of him.
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they came to the book's launch so she was of the hero. >> the term emotional intelligence was not invented during this time but what is striking about hopkins is he is a man that understands the game and this back to the master of player but his greatest gift is disguising that so he can almost always come across as a sickly humble midwesterners. but he understood roosevelt's knew better than the others so i think that intimacy gave him from the devotee over a longer period of time. i think the question, martin, is in a different period, the advice or the role was more significant. there were complaints of whether one of the gemmer series -- donelson's role is important for a brief period of time as was
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wendell willkie would over a sustained period, it was hopkins but as the book also makes it clear these four men that were desperate for the approval and the engagement of roosevelt. there was a quality of, you know, almost a transactional quality. he wasn't emotionally engaged with any of these men i don't think. >> he was a ruthless person and he was to describe people and one of them was hopkins. and towards the end he had a few falling out and one of them was to you want to move out of the white house because he didn't want to have a cocktail party every day that led to a lot of
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problems because roosevelt lacked these and roosevelt argued on the one hand and hopkins never said goodbye to fdr and always regretted it and he got the news fdr got at the clinic where he was back for his illness. his nurse had no idea and she couldn't afford out why he was getting condolence calls from joseph stalin and winston churchill. if you look at the way he took the nation to the war which is the heart and compare it for us in modern history, current history for example contrasted with the way george w. bush took this nation to the war.
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>> if president bush took america to war quite quickly and didn't nurture a bipartisan consensus in some ways he used it around for the hid. ki wasn't able to persuade other countries, many other countries with the exception of britain and a few others that it was worth fighting and so america more or less went in to hit by himself. the book tells the story of an incredible effort over the course of two years to build a domestic consensus in favor of internationalism and ultimately intervention and he was prepared to use other countries as proxy's by allowing the brits and the french.
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he was prepared to take this kind and roosevelt was criticized almost as much he felt he was going too fast. he felt he was going too slowly. he did it carefully and slowly. that is the reaction to the events and get. when you step back and look at the whole run there is a direction as kurt says he knew where he wanted to end up but he wanted to do it in a way that took the country with him so the country didn't enter the war divided ready. >> parole harbor came at the end of that process and 9/11 came at the beginning. pearl harbor totally destroyed the isolation and some -- isolation all some. but by then he has already authorized over the two years
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through a deluge of speeches and messages and board casts and decisions and special missions. >> the interesting thing -- >> please comment on that. but also tell us a little bit about the challenge of of shifting american foreign policy are there comparisons with of the way that roosevelt and obama is trying with your help to shift american policy? >> the one thing i would say is i think there is a, first of all there is occasionally the sense that if we could only go back in which there is a greater sense of national unity, what is striking about the book is that it is hard to remember probably the most bitter feeling of any
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president in the last 100 years defective towards roosevelt deeply held in contempt by republicans and even many in the democratic party more generally. he didn't win over the entire republican party, but the key small coalition of republican elites largely in the east and he was effective in doing that. i think what happened after pearl harbor was and the demolition of the isolationist but the opposition took a different form. people don't remember the congressional elections in 1942 roosevelt in the administration were on the deep defensive and he took many criticisms for the conduct of the war and almost
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lost the support to undertake what he was seeking to do right in the most perilous point in 1942. and i think immediately after the war a similar dynameter emerge in the republican party and the coding that truman and others and vanderbilt and thus were that at the water's edge. so i don't believe that it is as simple as once local one whole part of the party or the political establishment was transformed. their opposition just went into a different form of more generally and frankly it just improved roosevelt's hand who was a master strategist and tactician both. something that i think he has forgotten when we looked back on him more generally. on the idea of rebalancing if you think about it in the historical terms what generally happens at the end of the war in the united states with it is the
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second world war or the korean war for the cold war, there is a desire of americans to want to come home, to want to focus on the domestic pursuits and i would argue that we are right on the cusp of a substantial debate in the united states about coming home and about spending more time at home. you see that without elite levels a wonderful book by richard called foreign policy begins at home, which has been purposefully misconstrued as the treaties on disengagement. it's really much more about certain types of domestic investment. also what we are seeing in the american body of politics if you are an internationalist on the democratic side, you always could count on the republican party to be your base to form some sort of an alliance on the military spending and support. but what is happening now is the consensus that is in the republican party on the strong
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national security apparatus that has essentially been the basis of the foreign policy commitment of the last 70 years that is coming apart. no one talks about it very much, that it is actually a very worrisome trend that it isn't clear how far that goes. so the first thing that you struggle with is the desire to come home to that i think that with the press and the others have got to do is basically rather than come home, read channel and redirect the focus and the onus of american policy more towards asia. but the pressure will be to come home and the second one is in the overactive part of dhaka father of three in which michael, talking about leaving the mafia and he says they keep holding me back then.
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it's going to be very hard to leave the middle east. we would never leave in a way that, you know, we have strategic responsibilities and we will be deeply engaged but we have been hyper engaged for a decade and syria, egypt, iran, iraq, afghanistan. these are going to demand of the remarkable component of our time to be successful in asia it's going to require us to do much more over a sustained period of time. for example we spend more money in one day or two days in afghanistan than we do on our entire foreign policy budget in asia. any sense of this dramatic move that the early stages of what this primary than the diplomatic
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set of initiatives that will have to be built on over time i think it is hard and probably at the core of this is not just money but people. we had a very able people in our government most of whom in the current environment of spent the last ten or 15 years to identify ten or 15 foreign policy players and intelligence guys and everything there is to know about building post conflict reconstruction efforts in afghanistan. there are not a comparable group of people than you would turn to if you wanted to really think and talk about asia. >> and the are preoccupied with a particular part of the middle east now, and so it comes back to the special envoys. since they spend the amount of
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time that was necessary -- >> he believes that. secretary carey has made a very profound and deep personal commitment to the middle east peace process and is both the strategist and the daily employment her of activities. it's a very hard thing to do that job and to be secretary of state and time will tell. >> the question is should the president appoint a special envoy for asia? >> i thought you were going to ask the other question should be given special envoy for the middle east. there is the question about the principles of versus the special envoys when the president first came in the secretary said clinton appointed a lot of special envoys with frankly mixed results. i think that ultimately what
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really matters to the region -- and they will know it when they see it is the engagement per say, these are presidential initiatives, and the senior people in the cabinet secretary of state and secretary treasury, secretary defense and the are the key lieutenants under them and frankly, the region has changed now. in the past they would be prepared to sit quietly and take it. they would build on the war that's already been established i think that we will hear from asia that they are dissatisfied. we have some time, and i'm confident the president and his team understands but we are going to have to step it up. >> when you look at the special envoys of the obama administration and compare them to the envoys of franklin roosevelt, what -- what
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comparisons contrast? >> it's hard to compare because -- i mean, these special envoys are not as special as they used to be. in the days that i'm writing about they were not incumbent by bureaucracy. they had personal relationships with the president to veto. often he wasn't even involved in the reports. there were traveling without an entourage. they were coming by themselves to the war zones. so it is a very different thing. i think the special on voice in the contemporary thing can be effected but i think you need to be disciplined about the way you use them. i don't think, for example, president clinton was disciplined. i think that the special envoys were having so many of them, something like 50 standing around one colin ten left the white house to bring all sorts of things. that can be effective but you have to be disciplined, and you have to use them on an important
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issue so that you don't -- are not constantly turning the secretary of state's head and this is where i would agree. a special envoy on the line would be in my opinion a good idea because i applaud him for his effort. .. we're seeing secretary kerry we're seeing a more middle east
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than ahappen. what is it about? to me in a sense, to cut to the chase, i remember one of quentin's special famous envoy said it's not an answer it's an instrument. the key is what is the policy? i think that's the important thing. i think obama -- i think obama needs to double down on the rebalance and he needs to focus on that. if that means getting kerry on board a little bit more in our part of the world, i think that's what he should do. >> spoken like a true industrial -- australian. >> let's go to questions. please identify yourself. standing up doesn't get you noticed. we'll come to you later. [laughter] >> my name is stephen. historical questions. the first on the -- indian that churchill denied that the bathtub incident ever
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happened. my question is was any conscious rivalry between the five? >> first of all, on the bathtub story i have a couple of primary sources. [laughter] it's such a good story that it surely can't be true. i really searched hard for the primary sources to justify putting in the book. i could not write a book on this period and not tell that story. in terms of a rivalry between them, not really in the sense they were sort of doing different things. willkie saw it asking with with rose roosevelt. he felt ill-used by roosevelt. he used willkie and spend him on special missions when he wanted him and dismissed him. when he wanted the endorsement he would offer --
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and willkie died in 1944 quite a bit a bitter man. bitter at roosevelt and churchill. i don't think he saw himself on the same level. he became wrapped up in the own misadventure because of incident i described. many were angry at the special mission. used that to destroy him and to the point about roosevelt's -- he let him go in the end. it was interesting, roosevelt, william, who was another bright figure. he was most responsible for bringing down wells. he was ambassador in france. he was outraged that wells was sent on the mission. and roosevelt was determined -- he never forgave him. he was determined to get him. roosevelt was a -- [inaudible] in the sense he didn't like telling people to the face what he thought of them. he never really said that to his
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face, and he came to roosevelt and said i'm going run for mayor of philadelphia because he was from a prominent phil phil -- philadelphia family. he said sure. then he sent a message to the philadelphia political cut his throat. he got his own back. to your point, i wouldn't say they were a great deal of rivalry. equally i wouldn't say they worked as a team. they weren't all sort of pulling in harness in the same direction. it's just when i looked at it in receipt -- retrospect he was using them. he used very different way. he used hopkins to commune with the latest. he used willkie to send sill idol iblg messages to the british and the republican
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party. he used him as a fix it man. he wanted someone to get the trains running and the ships sailing to make sure that the aid was delivered of the aid they needed. roosevelt had a genius for using people, and that had both, you know, -- and that was one of his great strength as president. for the people who were being used, i think ultimately many of them in the end felt used by him. >> and it's sad. there's a lot of what is striking about the book. it's like the brief high point for the men. the last scene of many of them are sadness or regret. i was struck. it's a really good question. the way i thought about it was there's very little lateral thinking about the guys. they are fundamental preoccupied with their relationship with roosevelt and the mission at hand. not what the others are doing. >> the exception to that story, to the exception about the point
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with the saddening was -- it was the beginning of this story where he was one of the dominant figure of post war diplomacy. in ways he came harry hopkins in my opinion hopkins was the greaterman. harry found the least likable. at least to this point in his career. i interviewed hole brooke and it was a property they he was a wonderful man to work for and wonderful toward young people, and so on. that's not the impression -- that's not that i'm writing about. it was determined, ambitious, was prepared to push anyone out of the way including ambassador who was a wonderful figure who was the actual ambassador in london for most of the period. he was more than happy to go around him and even to humiliate
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him in order to preserve his relationship with fdr. >> yes. please. >> bruce. brookings retired. i would like to just the australian lobby. having spent a wonderful semester at [inaudible] >> welcome. >> forgive a -- [inaudible] martin, i will get to a question. i just completed a biography of our colleague link gourden. i'm struggling with the tight. i think kurt can help me, "wise men's wiseman ." he didn't get with him until '46. we go through the various things you are talking about, and he helped run the plan. he can see the plan and the organizational focus. and was with him in paris and
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made it work and came back to the white house and interestingly he was brought back to the white house by truman to be sort of the national security adviser, the first, and fight against nfc '68. true march thought it was extraf i can't and too much money and whatnot. korea changed that. let me get to my question. it's the one kurt vowed about the system. during the war and the post war period you have people like gourden come in and serve as the wise man to these wisemen and, you know, the dollar a year people, and industrialist, academics whatnot. you can't do that not. we really lost. what have we lost is it better to have the systemization approach? or is the world war ii post war in and outers? just to prime you a little bit
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when lynch turned his attention to latin america, when he became in -- he and jfk sort of made resill policy and cut out the state department and didn't work out too well. and the state was trying to hold gourden back, and gourden was pushing toward getting tough with brazil. is our -- are we -- we're soft maybe it's an academic question. can't go back to the era. not having the ability to bring talent in and out of the government ready -- readily because the conflict of interest and other problems. what is the net balance on that question? >>. >> well, i'll say to the question to the australian seems odd. we look at your system as being much more flexible than our system in bringing talent in.
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someone like kurt can come in as a policy entrepreneur, play a critical role and one important part of grand strategy and can leave. government can continue to play a role from the sideline. perhaps we hope come back in the future. that sort of thing is -- you know, that's very hard to get in the british system or the australian system or most systems. so i think in a sense, the american system is probably as far out toward that direction as you can go these days. because it's so complicated and complex and the structures, the issues are so terribly difficult and complicated that although this was a wonderful period, and like kurt, i would have loved to have been of these wise men or the wiseman to one of these wise man. i don't think you can go back to that. i think -- in fact, i think, you know, there's even they are downsides of having as much as an in and out system as you have now in
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term of losing talent from time to time and using constitutional memory. >> just to -- first of all, i'd heard a little bit about the book you're writing. the tight i like is "wisestman; and put after that "that will cause people to think oh and relate it 0 the advice to the wiseman. i think that's a -- [inaudible] with destiny, please. [laughter] i think it's very hard not read the book. it seems -- the period seems just endlessly romantic and sexy and cool. and it's just so different than the forums we have to fill out at now. so -- so it's just -- we're not going to go back to that kind of era. there are things that are lost and thing that are gained. ultimate, i believe that government and the opportunity to serve will continue to
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attract people to serve for a period of time in their lives. and the hope will be, frankly, more than anything else what is really lo in the very bitter period is the ability to get people confirmed. i think it does discourage people who ultimately would like to serve but they worry about what would happen if they are dragged through what is really an unrelenting process. >> right down the back. >> jim. retired foreign service officer. you were talk abouting pearl harbor marginalizing the isolationist. how did fdr and the fabulous team deal with aggressive tough isolation? the people in the "chicago tribune," for example. and sneaky irishman from boston, joseph kennedy.
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>> well, he dealt with kennedy by marginalizing him and going around him. he didn't tell -- he didn't officially -- actually no one -- the president didn't officially tell kennedy that donnavan was on the way. kennedy was outraged to hear that donnavan was there. he said what do they want me here for? what am i doing? pouring tea. and so roosevelt played his very delicate dance with kennedy. he didn't like kennedy. roosevelt's appointment of kennedy was an unaccountable diplomatic appointment. of it madness. it was a dreadful decision. to have this eyelationallist in the incredibly important post. so what did roosevelt do? he played him, basically. and kept him sufficiently on the line that kennedy didn't come out vociferously again him.
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he went around wherever he could. when kennedy complained about being marginalized fdr nodded. it had nothing do with me. it was secretary fox. >> totally true. >> that's the way fdr did it with him. with the isolationists what roosevelt did is -- the policy in the book is one of consistently getting tougher and tougher as events get -- as the cob digs -- conditions in europe get worse and worse. roosevelt uses these event to dramatize and keep pushing the isolationists back and back and back. first of all, after the fall of france he comes up with a destroyer basis deal he sends the -- destroyers over and has a public debate then. after he wins in november in 1940 he comes up with the idea. and to your question how does he codo it? how does he put the argument
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over them? he does it with this roosevelt ingenuous for public relations. he said you may want no give the aid to the ally. we'll lend it. nobody want a used shell or tank or bullet. roosevelt comes up with the metaphor and said it's your neighbor's house was on fire, you wouldn't try to sell him the garden hose to put out the fire. you would give it to you. he would return it in good order. it makes no sense. [laughter] lending a stretch of garden hose to your neighbor is nothing like an unprecedented transfer of arms with billions and billions of dollars and not even vaguely comparable. roosevelt with the cigarette -- the constant argument. he put it out there and he made americans have a debate throughout the country on every
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video station and the latest page of every newspaper. they had an argument whether -- the argument at stake was this were we prepared to aid the ally even at the risk of war? and ultimately americans decided to. in this period you see the public opinion shift where they are prepared to do it at the risk of war. >> the other thing, what is lost in some of this sort of gaza history we're talking about the roman is the brutal internal fighting that roosevelt is subjected to. so immediately after pearl harbor, his critics launch on something we would understand and recognize very clearly today. major, you know, congressional reviews and other reviews robert's mission about how did the united states find i.t. where -- we were surprised in pearl harbor. and who on roosevelt's staff has to be blamed? right. so in roosevelt spends part of
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his time managing the war, figuring out where to go. part of his time maneuvering to protect his key players. for a period of time, the republicans decide that look we're going get marshall. who they recognize plays this critical role for roosevelt and roosevelt designs this entire kind of, you know, kind of defense in, you know, over a -- put people out in front so that commanders of the navy out in hawaii become expendable. right. he basically establishes all of these different things in order to keep the isolationists and the republicans critics at bay. that duos on entirely through 18942 and '42. this is a remembered as a period
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of remarkable national unity. it's actually not the case. >> thank you for a terrific presentation. i look forward to reading the book. i would like to ask for your insight a bit more, please in the hopkins-stalin relationship. hopkins might have had a certain view of stalin. my understanding of stalin's view of hopkinss was that he represented a corrupt capitalist system. he had very little personal feelings for hopkins or, by the way, anyone else. hopkins might have presented a rosie vision of stalin. what do you think it might have colored roosevelt's view of stalin and made the subsequent negotiations in world war ii. that was more difficult.
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it was the not question of the post ward period. it was whether the soviet union would withstand the attack access at that point. the consensus in washington was that the red army would fall to before between one and three months. that's what hopkinss was testing. wasn't a big question can we be allies? will they survive. should we aid them or are we throwing good after bad? and he journeyed to moscow and made a decision based on very few facts, and, by the way, stalin was that trying to manipulate him the whole time. stalin made sure that even though the government was in disarray, and recently returned
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and there was -- he himself was in turmoil internal turmoil. it was calm, he was silent and did in command. he did everything he could give hopkinss that impression. does that mean he was hoodwinked? i think so. he made the right judgment which was that stalin was so fourous. it was so much so that the red army would hold out until the winter closed in had in. that's really the question. hopkinss made that judgment. and i think, you know, in receipt to spect it was correct. that's not say roosevelt's judgment about stalin were correct. i think that at time he got it right. it gives you a sense of hopkins' play awfulness -- playfulness.
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he went to london where he saw churchill. and marble assigned a young american flier from the midwest to accompany hopkins on the trip. and to train up the russians on the aircraft b40 the american were going to give them. and so this young flier met hopkins at the strain station and went on a special train without going scotland. then they would board a flying boat, -- a catalina, the british call them -- to fly around to get to moscow. quite a dangerous trick. in the train on the way to scotland, this young flier was a tee tolar. and hopkins was of not. he was a playboy and a big drinker. he loved nightclubs and having fun. and the steward offered them a drink. hopkins took an old fashioned
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and whatever. and he said not for me. it he was not impressed. on the third time hopkins said, you know, whether you drink or not. will you quit looking so superior and said with a laugh. they get up to scotland. they get on the flying boat, they might it -- make it all and they insist on putting a massive ban quit on the after deck of his yacht. and it's one of these four-hour affairs with vodka, caviar, and cold fish fish and bread. i found the old video of this young flier as an old man telling the story. and he said i was hiding in the corner the whole time and hoping, you know, they're making toast to churchill and stalin. to the sea gull and he thought i think i'm get wage with this. a soviet general came up to hopkins with a vodka and said i
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want to political propose a toast from the young america who has come from home to protect the mother land. the they said i knew my time would come. i to stood up and filled my glass with vodka an knocked it back. it was the first time he ever drank alcohol. it hit him like a sledge hammer. he regathered his senses. after a minute or two he came out from under the napkin. who cousin he see looking at him with a smile from as cross the table in harry hopkins and harry said that shows a definitely lack of character. [laughter] not a lack of character in this book. and i hope you will read it. buy it and read it. give to your friends too. as i'm going do this weekend.
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thank you both very much. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] is there a non-fiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at or tweet us at next we take you on a tour of the carson city library where librarian shows us their nevada historically -- history collection. >> my name is susan. we're in the nevada collection of the carson city library in carson city, nevada. the nevada collection consistencies of books on all topics having to do with nevada. these here in the locked cases are one copy of everything that we have. and here on the table where some of the books i've pulled from our collection having to do with nevada history, carson city
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history, and some and of the state. this one here is one that i'm sure was donated to the library at some point. it talks about the tunnel. and it is breedings of congressional hearings when he asked the federal government to help fund this tunnel that would run from the load in virginia city down to the carson river valley. he indicates that there were four main reasons why the tunnel would be important and elaborate about it. and then the rest of the book consistencies of all the hearings that were held regarding getting this tunnel built. it helped provide ventilation through the mines, drainage for the mines, fresh air for the mines, and it was -- you can still to this day go and see where the tunnel exit is in
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the carson river valley. this book here is an old copy of it was a history of the load. and mr. dequill was originally from iowa. he came out west as a miner in the 1850s and found his way to virginia city. there he really took up his passion as a writer. worked for the territorial enterprise, the newspaper that mark twain worked for. and became the editor of the paper, eventually. he and mark twain were friends. at one point mark twain wrote to an editor on the east coast suggesting that dan might be a
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good person to way history of the come stock load inspect is the product. our local newspaper has produced a couple of books that are pictorial history of carson city. they represents the history of our town in pictures. one interesting piece might be this page here that represents the stewart indian colony school and the students from the early 19us. the native american children in carson city attended this school where they learned trades, and got their education. i pulled this book out just because not many people probably on the east coast know about the burning man experience. we have a large quiet desert in
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nevada, it's out east of reno. it's called the black rock desert. every september there's a huge happening there where people gather on the playa and essentially camp out for a week and have an event called burning man. people build giant structure, they dress up in costume, they ride bicycles to get around, and at the end of the week, they burn this giant stretcher that is called "the man." they burn him down. it's very strange event that happens every year out there. this is definitely a collection for the public. it's available any time that
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we're open. the books in the locked cases are not checked out. it ensures there's one copy of everything we have available for anyone who would like to look at it. .. here is a short clip from the president's


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