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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 30, 2014 11:48pm-2:01am EDT

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legal in illinois? >> i don't know illiterate tax but if a child is an orphan that finds a home than that is no longer homeless or a child, at this was us. i cannot take you a note from carol if you could help clear the aisles so they could get through it would
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be appreciated.
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respect joining us now. they familiar face in
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david's mr. sides you ride a lot about different topics. how do you pick that? >> historical a dd. it is all about american history but i n dunn was rolled for to do end his head and and now spread
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first mohammad did you find this? in insert in his esurient of the hon innovative in then they did down. >> i found this story but to
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but this it perfectly is speenine who was george washington? vedette commander in san new the young naval the officer very ambitious who had then
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the in the day with his self could have another explanation but we went seven days to convince the playboy in the bush -- publisher of the greatest trivium per barrel said new york herald later becomes james the decision was not there, have refunded some dimly. of it has been enormous success. so they decided to fund it for the officers of the u.s. navy. to one of the first official attends on the north pole. we are talking about the early days.
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that never fail to the north pole the adn is you will meet this one that everybody seems to believe ben. and if you could just get to it is smooth sailing. that is what this expedition is what we will find. >> maybe my visit on hashimites basis but not 1880. >> people of were just obsess with the idea of a few places never touched by a man. one of the people like'' in the book talks about how a man will become obsessed with the id as an addict he
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cannot get to. now we know there is not much up there just then shifting eyes and slaughter us civilization and the polls the idea of that there was a lot of mythology that drove people crazy. >> what was it like? >> that was emerging from that to the imprint dawn the world with the european powers was all they expiration at that point such to undertake the navy
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has to be involved to shell what happens from the arctic the gatt treaty and cannibalism and scurvy and this expedition was very well organized no cannibalism or newton a. however the navy was in its infancy and weak and poor. so as to find someone to pay for it the hybrid paid for by a newspaper publisher publisher, now that is unorthodox. >> was a bill specifically? >> it was actually a british
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boat but gordon bennett bought a that was bad luck like pandora's box to shift into the arctic at was declared the official gave the boat as it was massively reinforced the soviets' new that they would get through it a couple weeks or months until they reach the polar sea then of course, they had no idea what would happen it would not be a few months but two years of absolute crushing pressure so even though it was reinforced banks to the bottom of the arctic ocean leaving them
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out on the ice cap. >> how well known is this story? >> front-page news with household names and not just the vessel itself others resent north to find it with more calamity because this is in that time period. then after the survivors came home their journals of the commander is the best selling book subjects to the congressional hearing.
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because there was subsequent expeditions. >> it comes out in august. >> i don't ever talk about my new stuff i of superstitious side feel that it will not happen if i do. hopefully to were three new year's. >> care is the cover. august 2014 publication date to. . .tional book festival. started by first lady laura bush in 2001. we've got a full they of autho authors. you can find the full schedule at, and we will be
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sending out schedule updates all day long on twitter, as well as posting on a facebook page, joining us here n our joining us here on our said outside the history and biography room at the convention center is jennifer gavin who is the project manager for the national book festival an employee of the library of congress. ms. gavin we are in a new location this year. why aren't we down at the mall? >> guest: peter the national park sue -- services are working on the grass down there because that's something they have been asked to make nicer and they have indeed been a nice job job with apportionment of arctic completed. the part that was luck that we have camped out on the past is under construction this year and we looked at trying to go on to their new grass with new rules last year late in the year and the cost of that at least an
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immediate estimates we had seemed prohibitive so we have to make some decisions around january but where would be heading this year's book that's why we decided moving indoors to see what fun we could have with that. >> host: tell us we are here at the national convention center in downtown washington in case you're in the area want to stop by but how many others are going to be here and how many people do expect? >> guest: we have 110 others others. we are expecting a decent crowd considering it's labor day weekend in a new location and the new date so tens of thousands of people attend this as they always do. we have a great deal of new material to offer people this year because the space we have available to us we have three new pavilions science, picture books and cullari arts. culinary arts. we will have five cooking demonstrations with by different shifts. we will have evening activities for the first time. hours are from 10:00 to 10:00 so there may be people within earshot of those who change their day plans and come on
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down. we are going to have a session called great movies where others will talk about other books were made into movies and what they thought about it and a graphic novel supersession with five very stellar graphic novelists for tonight. that starts at about 6:00. we are also going to have a poetry slam at 6:00 and a session with three dialogues about three stellar major literary figures in mexico who are celebrating their centennial this year. >> host: well booktv well booktv will be live beginning right now until 7:00 p.m. eastern time tonight. we are in the history and biography group and some of the authors we see their doors kearns goodwin kai bird talking about his book "the good spy" and in a minute or so to political writers are going to be talking about the book that they came out with, "hrc" about hillary clinton. he didn't get the attention that
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her autobiography did when it came out but i think you will be interested in hearing what these two others from political and that he'll have to say. we will be going live to that in just a minute. if you are in the area and want to come down and pick up a booktv bookbag you can see it's lime green this year. a lot of people have collected these over the 14 years we have been covering the national book festival and the sears bag is limegreen so come on down. we are up on the third floor is where said is that their activities on every floor and there's a convention floor as well? >> guest: that's true. the whole building is tied up with the national book festival. we have other pavilions in the front portion of the building and activities people remember for children like let's read americana trade show floor. >> host: come on down and say hi or join us here for our coverage all day long. we are going to take you to the history and biography pavilion now which is right over here and
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amie parnes and jonathan allen are going to be talking about their book "hrc" state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton. some of the upcoming events after this author presentation included an interview with cokie roberts kai bird "the good spy" will be talking about his book and the granddaughter of nikita khrushchev will be talking about her book. her name is nina khrushchev and she is the lost khrushchev. that's the name of her book. this is live coverage on booktv on c-span2. now if you don't feel like watching history and biography today you can turn to c-span. we are covering the science pavilion all day long on c-span as well. so you have two channels from the national book festival this year. thanks for joining us. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> good morning. it's great to see you all this morning. we are very very excited to be here at the national book festival. my name is mike riser and i head the community relations for wells fargo. i'm very proud to say this is our fourth consecutive year for sponsoring this wonderful event. [applause] thank you.
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letters and education are very important for wells fargo. in fact in 1997 we found it an initiative called reading first. in that we are pleased that our company go to classrooms, they take a book and they read to the class and they leave it behind to help supply the school library library. in just the 17 years that we have been doing that we have donated 1 million books to 35,000 elementary schools impacting 700,000 students. we do that with the diversity lens and we have a panel that looks at the books because we want to make sure they resonate with every child in every community. some are in english, some are in spanish but it's a very diverse group of books. we are quite proud of that program.
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the other thing that's very important to us as one of the largest banks in the world is financial literacy. we know that it's very important for people in our community to be able to navigate the world and any basic understanding of budgeting and how to get ahead and it's very important for them and it's important to our economy. one of the main tools we have for that is something called hands-on banking. it's a free on line service. it's not branded wells fargo so anyone can go on and use it. we have a tailored to children, folks in the military, small business people and they can go in and really learn the jargon and learn the basics so they can financially be successful in the world. all of these things are only successful because of the 265,000 team members we have across the country who give of their time and talent to many non-profits. last year wells fargo employees
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gave over 1.5 million hours of volunteer time to non-profits and i'm proud to say is a company we donated over $275 million to 20,000 non-profits including the national book festival. we are connected in our communities and it helps us to empower and connect with our communities. we are very proud to be here today. we are extremely excited about the day and particularly about the session and to get us going i want to turn it over to marty baron the executive editor of the "washington post." marty. [applause] >> good morning everyone. the first thing i need to do, i was instructed to make an announcement and that is that we want to make sure that you have your cell phones off so that we
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don't have any unusual disruptions for this program. we appreciate that. and c-span is filming this as well by the way. i'm proud to say that the post has been a charter sponsor of the national book festival since its inception in 2001. we are enormously proud of our support of this great event. we are proud of the commission and we are proud to be associated with the library of congress which is the keeper of what it rightly calls the world's most comprehensive record of human creativity and knowledge. the library of congress however is more than a collector of treasured works. at this festival it seeks to nurture and celebrate remarkable achievements of our time and here in this pavilion today the champions history and biography. now that can be no better way to launch this program than by introducing the authors of an
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examination of a central political figure of our time, hillary clinton. she could be our next president were clinton campaign could flop. it did happen once before and it is out of the ashes of that previous campaigns that too skilled political reporters jonathan allen and amie parnes picked up hillary clinton story. these are the source of storytellers you want, experience, sourced, a student. jonathan is the former white house bureau chief for politico and currently washington bureau chief for "bloomberg news." amie is white house correspondent for the hill. their book, "hrc" state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton, is the story of her phoenix like rebirth. out of the ashes of her stunning defeat of the 2008 democratic primary, some embers of ambition still burned. who would have guessed? and as you might have surmised
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what the clintons there were some scores to settle too. meantime her younger rival had a job to offer her and it's possible that her performance in that job as secretary of state will make or break the campaign. the "washington post" revealed "hrc" called it deeply reported and a revealing window into the layers of intrigue that develop when a celebrity politician who is married to another celebrity politician loses to yet another celebrity politician and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her. in reporting this story jonathan and amie gained extraordinary access to the typically guarded hillary clinton. they were given an in-depth interview with her and they interviewed 200 others, confidants, colleagues, critics and outright enemies. it is my pleasure to seek the floor now to jonathan and amie and let them tell you what they
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learned about a woman who has been at the center of american political life for well more than two decades. thank you. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. >> i would like to say thank you to the national book festival and wells fargo for the kind introduction. as the son of a former professor i would like to thank our interpreter. [applause] so hillary clinton became very boring and interesting today's people over the last four, six, eight, 10, 20 years. >> he's getting. >> kidding about that.
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it seems like every time i look up my iphone there's a new story about hillary clinton often devoid of news and i think we are going to have to gaze to that. but i suggest and submit humbly that if you read the book you can stop paying attention to the news reports about here for -- her for a year or year and a half and picked up when you get into the primary season and maybe even the general election season. >> i think we both came into this with certain goals. i think my personal goal was i wanted to find out how this woman who was defeated by this guy who came out of nowhere, how she came back and how she was able to go work for him because that to me, even as i was covering this campaign i just thought how could you do this? how could you just lose this incredible bruising primary and then go on and work for this guy and be a team player? that timmy was inspiring as a
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human being and i just wanted to know more about that storyline. >> you know another driving factor for us was we looked at the time time period and hillary clinton was at the state department where she was covered by diplomatic reporters, foreign-policy reporters. not really political reporters and if this is a very political family with a real interest in potentially running for president so we wanted to look back at that time period and try to put in the context of what if she actually is running for president 2016. when we decided to do this in the summer of 202012 but think a lot of people thought she was going to do that in certainly not as many people as currently do. we felt was important to look at the story to look at the decision she made the decision-making process she had been the people who are around her. all these things become important for particularly for those of us who live in washington than we understand how the process works and why
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those elements are important and why the people around you are important and why do we make decisions are important and how the sometimes lead to the policy. we have talked about there was an important tale to tell. i will let amie talk about what we think is the fun part which the campaign politics and what we were trying to get at with that. >> well i think we wanted to as john said she is a very political figure even when she tried to remain out of politics so i think we looked at this as this is a woman who could run for president. we ice thawed as we were writing this book that she is running for and the theory became more and more true to us as we were reporting the book. we interview 200 people for this book. some people as marty said were fierce enemies. some are loyalists and we try to tell an accurate picture and portray an accurate picture of where she was at this point in time.
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>> i would add to that a couple of things. one is the way that we approach this once we have done a lot of interviews was this is somebody who has been running for president for a very long time and the question isn't whether she runs for president in 2016 but whether she stops running for president 2016. we don't see a period in the last six years where she was not laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign are at least doing the things you would do. 16,000 thank you notes were up to her supporters of the 2008 selection and 5000 of them were handwritten. this is somebody that has been doing all the things you do up to and including and people have heard of this anecdote put up to and including her husband going out on the primary campaign trail in state races attorney general races congressional races in helping people who endorsed hillary clinton in 2008
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in democratic primaries against people who helped barack obama 2008. long after she started working for barack obama she still punishing his friends for opposing her through bill clinton. that's one of the sort of strange that goes through this book the two of them were together to keep expanding the political network to build the family's operation all the way through the 2008 election the 2010 election the 2012 election and terry mcauliffe's election as governor of virginia last year. for us that's the fun stuff and there's a fair amount of foreign-policy and there is well. i think what we will do now is read one of our favorite excerpts from the book especially one that i take is good here in d.c. about a time in which there's a clash clash between the obama and clinton camps within its hottest and heaviest in the early days of 2009.
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so you get a little context for where they were coming from and by the way we included at the end these guys aren't going on vacation together on martha's vineyard. they are living in separate houses the obama's and the clintons but at the same time the shotgun wedding of these two huge political forces in the democratic party in the united states ended up being a pretty profitable one for both of them. we'll see if that continues going forward but up to this point they essentially held that together. >> the >> do you want to start? >> this is an excerpt from chapter 5 and is called bloom where you're planted. i think john and i both love this particular quote. it's one of hillary clinton's favorite quotes and she says that often but it's basically you have to succeed where you are no matter if you are unhappy are happy and she believes that
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this is a philosophy she believes in. chapter 5, bloom where you're planted. in the spring of 2009 obama's vetting team gathered as it often did in white house counsel woodpaneled corner office on the second floor of the west wing. in lunchtime sessions for small set of senior aides typically shuffled through paperwork of as many as 15 job candidates. on this day one name conjured such searing memories from the campaign trail that stood out from the others. the person marshall. the west wing crew considered marshall a staunch hillary loyalist to be an enemy combatant. like many of the women who surround hillary marshall is graceful, disciplined and down-home brassy. a brunette with a short haircut and highlights. the half croatian half mexican marshall who favors rigorous workouts went way back with the
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clintons. marshall has been one of hillary's closest confidant in washington since becoming the youngest white house social secretary and memory following bills 1992 campaign. when hillary suspended her own quest for the presidency of ju june 2008 she entrusted marshall with running her political action committee at a time when some democrats fear that hillary might make her final play for the nomination at the convention. back then the animosity between the two camps have grown so deep that hillary's face was bulletin board material and obama scheduling office. they all have this unflattering pictures of her said one source who saw the display kind of like the sports locker mindset. even after the primary was decided marshall has been in charge of sensitive projects like recruiting staff to count late delegates from the texas primary convention to make sure hillary won her fair share. but no single marshall stood out
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in the minds of obama's aides so much as a general view that she embodied the hated hillary land. the presence t was when hillary chose cheryl mills has her chief of staff and was even greater hesitancy delete brian assessor at political adviser. they were members of hillary's personal staff and that was entirely within her domain that hillary picked marshall the nation's chief protocol officer a position that carried with it the coveted prestige of ambassadors rank and a reserved seat on air force one anytime the president traveled abroad. not only would hillary's gal pal have a lot of time with obama should be taken up a high-profile spot in the administration that could have gone to a friend of the president. there was another red flag on her nomination. generally vetting issues run the gamut from serious ethical
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lapses to dui charges and occasionally embarrassing associations. one nominee have been photographed with lisa and the film actress who claim the title in a video called whose mailing pale in? marshall's problem was less insidious than that but troubling all the same. she had not filed a tax return in 2005 or 2006. she had rectified the admission in the fall of 2008 around the time it became clear that hillary might take a job in administration. as it turned out marshall was entitled to a refund from the sears. still tax issues that beset several obama nominees including treasury secretary tim baker and tom daschle and the white house had little appetite for another story line. >> is offending attorney from the justice department wrote a
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three-page memo on marshall white house deputy chief of staff jim messina and deputy communications director dan pfeiffer grew visibly agitated in their upholstered wing backed chairs. as did other obama campaign veterans around the room. by all rights this job should be going to and obama loyalist not to marshall and not defending another nominee against questions about improper tax filings. -particular thought "quote it wasn't going to be a press problem at the time when we been through a lot of confirmation issues with daschle and geiger. let me pause for a moment. if you have small children you might want to cover their ears. this is a parental advisory. i will back up just a second. they had a lot of confirmation issues with daschle and geiger. she was a complete during the campaign and worse. marshall's combination of experience with white house level social closest to remade
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her natural selection for the job of obama's aides didn't see it that way. no one in the room spoke to defend the legislative affairs who would have to get marshall confirmed by the senate if she was nominated. not personal director nancy oken ethics are greg craig who along with senator richard blumenthal had been studied by the days when bill could tap his mamas for a chicken to serve to guests in the vietnam war the future first couple's apartment there yale law school. craig silliman with obama had been a major betrayal during the campaign. aides close to obama said it was less that they were against marshall than they wanted one of their own trusted people in that high-profile world. we need our person said one senior white house familiar with discussions on marshall. it would have been the equivalent of the roles been reversed if hillary was president of us cutting a deal that valerie jarrett would be protocol officer the aide said.
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when you think of it that way it's it's like why would ever want one of us traveling them click click the bidding process was infatuated infatuated by that time infatuated infatuated by that time itself can reach kate -- craig's office he or she was the only hopeful under consideration. it was up or down on marshall. if obama rejected her another canada would be lined up in the same way to same way a process that could take weeks or months. probably the obama clinton campaign to put the primary behind them but here huddled in craig's office huddled in craig's office were the bookcases were empty the truth poured out. the two sides didn't understand each other. they didn't like each other and they didn't trust each other. the president's aides didn't have another candidate in mind when messina asked his colleagues to cast their votes but they were certain that they did not want to marshall. one by one each aid extended a fist with a thumb pointing down.
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then messina a strawberry blonde montanans whose soft voice takes the edge off his often profane vocabulary delivered some bad news to the team. i agree he said that this is very clearly an "hrc" pic and it needs to be raised with the president. typically skirmishes over lower-level aides were resolved when cheryl mills hillary cheryl mills hillary clinton's chief of staff for obama states back down rather than taking the decision of the command chain. obama's team tried to draw a line in the sand on marshall or proxy for hillary. as one of the rare occasions when a personal fight in that obama store. this was a quote test case end of quote watershed moment in a brutal monthlong fight between the white house over hillary's power to pick her team according to one of the feathers. marshall had a super weapon in the cousin of ellery -- valerie jarrett who'd worked as an assistant to president clinton like us. marchant lobbied jerrett describing her shanks of skills and encouraging shared.
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hillary went to bat for marshall to for marshall too for marshall to matter that my testing didn't fully appreciate the role of the chief protocol officer and what went into it she thought that it wasn't just some provided bans staffer or a donor with little experience in washington. there's nobody better to do this job hillary told obama. she is the experience from the social office. she has a great touch and she will be fabulous. hillary had gone their routes with the president's aides. know what i'm telling you this is the best person she had said. you will know that i'm right after you have worked with her for a month. hillary knew she held the trump card. the president told me i could pick the people in the state department and this is my pic she said so let's move forward. there's a lot going on here we think in terms of that battle between obama and clinton i think it tells a lot about washington. from the outside the chief protocol officer and most people in nine states couldn't figure
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out who that is that these people actually work together very closely and if you have a pretty tightly held close staf staff -- sorry about that. i didn't listen earlier. i think i might be rudy giuliani's family. i don't know why that's having trouble. i'm just turning it completely off. >> but i think this part was really interesting for us to report because of all the tension. you know you had obama sides fighting clinton site and so what we try to do i think is to reporters, to political reporters reporters we talked to as many people as possible. you would think we would talk to one side to get their take but in reality we talk to white house aides and we talked a lot of clinton people and they all sort of agreed that this is what happened. but you know they all have their
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own takes. like well this is why we would want our person but they all agreed that this was a tense moment for both sides. >> you know i think one of the things and we will read another short bed in a minute but one of the things that you find in this story is this intense loyalty that hillary clinton feels toward people who are in her inner circle and that is for better or worse. we all think of loyalty as a positive. you want to be loyal to your friends and the people who work there to you but sometimes it can be a real crimp or a real inhibitor to the decision-making process that brings a lot of people in. so we work on both sides of that to show the loyalty. i think it's the trade of the clintons value in other people and themselves that anything else and to a fault sometimes.
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so we think this is one of the stories and i think there a lot of them in the book. it's something to think about going forward in terms of the presidential campaign in 2016. her 2008 campaign staff was very insular. i think they made a lot of bad decisions in right now you are still seeing some missing people around her. some faces have been exchanged up for others. she's making a lot of the same mistakes he made in 2016 so far, i mean in 2008. fast-forward to 2016. part of that is that there is not a lot of new fresh thinking. i think she's aware of that up here. i'm not sure she's completely internalized it. we will have to see but i wanted to read one other small piece here if i might. it's kind of short. then we will take some questions from you guys because we actually like interaction.
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we are used to asking questions and listening to other people talk, not the other way around. the reason i'm choosing this you will see because there's a tension between two interesting characters that i think we'll hear a little bit more from. rand paul the 50-year-old first-term republican walk to the capital to a hearing on benghazi with rachel bobrick his legislative aide for foreign relations matters at his side. it would be the libertarian be the libertarian nt party favors first hearing is a member of the senate foreign relations committee and he met with a staff the day before to go for the benghazi timeline. as paul made his way to the hart building beauford briefed him on hillary's prepared testimony in the state department has said of the night before. for the rest of the ten-minute walk in for a few minutes in the empty space behind the hearing room paul detailed his timeline
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and security between between aaa and washington did before the attack why hillary would have been a price of given, why hillary wouldn't have been apprised of the interactions and whether state department officials have been placed in other jobs for the men fired in the wake of benghazi. if you plan to go hard at hillary during the hearing he didn't share his strategy for the specifics of his questions with his eighth ahead of time. paul was one of two republicans on the committee widely considered to be interested in running for president 2016. the other marco rubio a 41-year-old cuban-american from florida have been following benghazi for months as a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committees. unlike paul rubio leaned heavily on the special security aides to generate questions for the hearing. he had been present for both
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public and close classified hearings on benghazi was determined he is his time at hillary to press for the answers to questions you've been asking of the state department privately. the posturing of the strike was that of the serious investigator eager to plug gaps in the information you gotten from the state department and to get to the bottom of answers he didn't think made sense. hillary some preparation for the hearing included reading transcripts and summaries for more than 30 capital briefings and hearings over the four half months since the attack. both sessions in which he participated and other officials appeared without her. she suspected shabazz questions about what departments and agencies have been sure to be ready to answer them even if they had nothing to do it the role of secretary of state. she had also met behind closed doors with todd bates in the days when vancouver questions from various centers -- senators. they went over the storyline and talking points with susan rice on the sunday shows that have become the focal point for
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republican critics of the administration. because the fbi had interviewed survivors of the attack in germany before rice went on the shows republicans were to miss the white house and miss the white house and stay should have met definitively that there've been no protests outside the gates of the consulate before the attack. the state department's response was officials in washington had waited to talk to survivors because anyone to create any appearance of interfering with the fbi's investigatory interviews and the fbi had disseminated enough information about its agencies until after races on the show appearances. during a preposition during a preposition or express frustration during a practitioner expressed frustration that senate republicans focus on talking points race used in the question of whether the administration started calling the event a terrorist attack. determining the motivation of the attackers were secondary to finding them and bringing them to justice. i just don't understand she told their aides. why don't they get it?
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everyone who was briefed or testified has wanted to stand up and scream what the hell difference does it make? indeed played in 2012 james clyburn the director of national intelligence have become so irate with questions along that line from the house intelligence committee that 11 longacre asked what do you want from benghazi he finally lost his temper. it will be a cold day in hell before we get talking points do you people again clapper had said. one republican worked thing up up talking versus ron johnson of first-term wisconsin senator elect poll would be interrogating hillary in the first hearing is america committee. johnson came from a business background whether the world of public policy and required staff briefings to get up to speed on most of the issues that he usually developed his own questions while the hearing was going on rather than coming with preprinted questions asked. no one say perhaps ron johnson was prepared for him to create the most memorable highlight of
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the hearing. and then after that we write about what's going on at the hearing. some of you may have seen some of it on video. imagine we will see some of that on video again. perhaps that what the hell difference does it make line. is there anything else you would like to say or maybe take some questions? we would like you to ask questions. yes, you. >> in a black shirt. >> there's a microphone up here. sorry. we planted her in the audience. >> i apologize if you adjusted this already. i got in late. i was wondering his administration's vigorous prosecution of weeks at that make it more difficult to get sources to speak to you or perhaps maybe this did the
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so-called clinton machine pose more of a difficulty? >> why don't i answer the first part in units of the second part. so the question is about whether the's prosecution which made it harder to do this part in the second is whether was harder to do this part because the clinton people don't want anyone talking. i think on the first part obviously we don't know entirely why people help back because of a fear of retribution from the administration or prosecution. most of what we dealt with in this book isn't classified material. there were some things that, i don't know what she would -- we should admit to. in fact i think sometimes when we clamp down like this when the administration clamps down the opposite effect happens where people get tired of information not getting out and why do we blow whistles?
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edward snowden brings out this whole trove of information that he is still mining that people are still mining in a really irresponsible way and one wonders if he had an opportunity to make the case for releasing it in a normal way whether that would have been better for american national security or whether some of the information would have gotten out or the administration would have started talking more about the secret data collection programs. i think there a lot of people who think they should but for the question about the book we did not find out. i don't have anything to report on it. >> it's a good question and the second is a little touchier. the clinton people in arguably i think most reporters would say they are tough. they are tough people to deal with and they have a reputation around town and i think they like that. they like knowing that they are
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the spitballs guarding this woman knew they value. i think the clintons both value that and their staff. so we danced a very delicate dance to do this i think you could say and we had to deal with them from the beginning. we sort of came to them with this idea a clinton operation we said we would like your cooperation. this is what we want to do and i think slowly over time they sort of started seeing where we were going and started helping us more. they were actually really valuable and in telling the story. the only thing -- i don't think they could've told told the story without them. >> to add to this we went to the clinton people very early on and said this is what we want to do. here are the people we want to talk to and every once in a while we would send out a blast of e-mails to people who had not set us up and got a few more people set up on the calendar so
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there would be a response and we could directly contact people but we also talk to people who had access to were not part of the inner circle. i think that's where a lot of valuable information from the book came from. those people didn't feel the same loyalty is the political aides who have been with her forever. also i think when politically cited story that is beneficial to them it turns out that it's not an sometimes when they try to hide things because they are worried they will hurt the person they're protecting it turns out the stories are pretty helpful for that person. i think it was an interior clinton strategy trying to get a set of interviews and exterior that we talked to who's got that access but doesn't necessarily care for and some of the people who talk to us who fall into the second category are part of the inner circle but didn't care to listen to whether they were supposed to talk to us or not or when or under what requirements.
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>> thank you very much. it's something very interesting interesting read. three briefings. one big criticisms on hillary if she comes across as calculating -- i was wondering if she realized that and was able to internalize it and try to act more naturally and two other quick things. what really happened in the meeting between obama and clinton had dianne feinstein tells and it rahm emanuel play any role since he traveled both worlds did traveled both roles that he played a role in bringing clinton and obama together? >> to answer your first question yeah that's a problem for her and it has been. i think her aides are filled fearful that she's a little too cautious in a little too guarded. you saw some of that. you saw them sort of, i think they a vice been aware of that
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and at the state department she started letting your hair down a little more if you will. we saw her drinking beer and dancing in south africa and they were very supportive of that main text from hillary enough that they invited these two creators into the state department so that they could meet her. i think they are very aware of letting the public see this personal side of her. i think they are actually very cautious of letting that slide show a little more especially in 2008 radiohead people advising her to not play the woman candidate role so i think we are going to see a different hillary clinton in 2016 should she run. i think they are going to expose her a little more. they want her to be out there and they want her to do "the daily show." think she did really well when she did "the daily show" recently. it was one of her best interviews where she was a little more candid and i think
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they want that side to come out a little more. >> as far as rom and manual goes by think from the manual was helpful in bringing the two sides together. that said rahm emanuel -- at the white house himself. in the early days he was a go-between in terms of getting hillary clinton to accept the job as secretary of state and somebody who tried to help the clinton people into the obama administration and keep others out. and figure out which one should be in which job. to be deputy treasury secretary until rahm emanuel decided it wasn't the idea to bring somebody in from citigroup in the middle of a financial crisis to be that the treasury secretary which is how he was at the state department so that is true of rahm emanuel and i pose an open question, is it better to be calculated or have no strategy. you get criticized for either of
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those things. with president obama obviously you intend that to come out differently than it did. i think that is one of those double edged trades and a fun thing about a book like this from a riding perspective and this is true, journalists who do any sort of long-term journalism is the same traits are good and bad. she is a calculator and not as she is not as natural and she works hard but she's not necessarily the most creative person in the room. she's good at picking up people's ideas and running with them. all of these things are cheering what you find is people like or don't like or see the same things and they like, half of them liked the trade and half of them don't like it. so it's a fun revelation for us and something to remind yourself as a reporter. you are trying to get to it the
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truth is because truth can be seen from all different perspectives. >> irc came into it thinking that she was a character you portrayed that was a very stiff woman. everybody had a funny story about her. slowly we started hearing these hilarious stories. one of them is the story that john and i love to tell about obama speechwriter. he was at a party. he got photographed cupping her breasts in a cardboard cut out of her. with a beer in one hand and he is cupping her breasts in the other hand. he is freaked out because this comes out right as president-elect obama's coming into office in the scared he's going to lose his job. suddenly he's trying to work out a way to apologize to her and he checks his voicemail. he has a message from her and she says i haven't seen the
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photo but i hear my hair looks great. [laughter] i think that sort of the hillary clinton that the public doesn't see so often that they are going to need to let show a little more. >> and let that be a lesson to you young people out there about facebook and social media and also as a read more stories, let that be a lesson to you older folks out there about the use of social media and what pictures you put out there. >> thank you. every time i see hillary she seems intelligent, articulate, sense of humor and really confident but she keeps being described as the wicked witch of the west. is she the wicked witch of the west or is this a case of sexism? >> i have always thought there's a little bit of sexism involved.
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i think john is tired of me as a woman talking about that. i got offended personally when people, there was a cover photo of her on "people" magazine and she is actually holding a lawn chair and people all of a sudden imagined that it was a walker. i thought you know that would never happen i don't think if that was a guy. so i think there is a little bit of sexism mixed in and i have been pretty vocal about that just as a woman. i think we need to judge these candidates for who they are and not based on their sex. >> or lack thereof. so i think as far as the question of sexism goes i think there's absolutely a lot of stuff that is played against or that has a sexist pander to it.
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upon the question i would pose is whether that helps the people that are doing that. to some extent it may work for obama in 2008 but we are seeing a real revolution in the way we treat tolerance and intolerance as a public in general and as a public in general. if you look at what's going on with kirsten gillibrand lately. i don't know if you have been following that i felt that she basically said fellow senators sat champ turn called her porky and said don't get porky. by the way christian gillibrand is not the first person you point out their weight about generally speaking. there's this huge backlash. which of these male senators think it's a all right to go around and do back? i think we have seen a sea change in marriage and tolerance of and and people with other orientations and identifications in our culture is also a function of that.
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it is worse to be the hater then i hated these days so i think those who take the sexist approach to her have calibrated it to such a point that they can't be seen as better talk about that on television or they will find themselves with a pretty big backlash but i do think that's part of the narrative. >> one last question. >> and what you've you have learned about hillary clinton at what point do you think principle would trump ambition and at what point did principle trump ambition in her service as secretary of state? >> in 2008 it's arguable that i think easily arguable that she left the democratic primary nomination because she voted for the war in iraq. she had declined to apologize for that vote for many years and i think what you saw when she was secretary of state in barack obama's administration she continued along the same lines about would be considered a hawk
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for the democratic party or maybe a pragmatist for the republican party, somebody who wanted more troops than the president put in iraq somebody he wanted to put together a coalition libya someone who wanted to arm the moderates in serious somebody went to the president and cast her vote for bin laden reagan tried to push him in that direction and basically understood the president had some reluctance to act quickly on things sometimes. so i think if she were looking at ambition of a principled easy thing to have done would have been to pull back a little bit from less hawkish views and from that sort of view of the world and i don't think she has and as a result of that you can say if you look back and say this is the position position she has held and has been firm on that the united states should use the military as part of its basket of foreign policy options and
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that is not something every democrat is comfortable with. that is what what caused the 2000 election and something if she is vice president biden are john kerry running against her in the primary we will seek to make that distinction. >> thank you. thank you so much. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> you have been watching jonathan allen under "bloomberg news" and amie parnes of the hill newspaper talking about the book that came out earlier this year "hrc" state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton and if you would like to have a reaction to that book we are live at the national book festival and you festival and you can call and the numbers on the screen. (202)585-3890 for eastern and central timezones 585. 91 and four pacific timezones. coming up in a few minutes kai bird will be in the history and
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biography room here talking about his book "the good spy" the life and death of robert ames and after that nina khrushchev the granddaughter of nikita khrushchev, her book the lost wish to hurt journey into the blog of the russian mind and she will also be speaking. we have a couple of calling opportunities throughout the day for you. michio kaku the scientist will talk about his recent book as well sally satel who is a psychiatrist and a psychologist. she is now speaking, she's about to begin speaking in the science room here at the national book festival and if you're interested in watching her you can turn over to c-span. we are covering the sinus roo room -- science room all day live on c-span. she will be beginning her speech in a few minutes. we are set up here on the third floor of the washington convention center this year. it's not down in the mall where
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the national book festival has been for many years. we are set up right outside the history biography pavilion and we will be interviewing sandra day o'connor about her recent book, her fifth book called out of order and it's a little bit of an inside, insiders look at the supreme court. so in just a few minutes we will be back live after this break.
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booktv asked what are you reading this summer? >> before answer your question i'd like to give you background. for the last 10 years i have concentrated most of my reading on the early constitutional
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history of our country and early presidents of our country and i suppose i have studied that stuff 50 years ago or more but it's good to go back to it. thomas jefferson, john adams, most recently john quincy adams so let me tell you my main interest this summer is going to be a book with a long title. edmund burke, thomas paine, the birth of the right in the left. the reason i am very interested in that is i have quoted edmund burke and so much during my political career never really studied his background. this gives me an opportunity as i read a short synopsis of this book, gives me an opportunity to find out what a conservative that thinks you ought to have incremental change versus the
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other rider that thinks you ought to do it by revolution and make change very quickly. so it's the difference between what i would call edmund burke the conservative. i would even call thomas paine a conservative. people might disagree with my analysis of paine but they seem to be people, how they want to change more than exactly that they disagreed on what ought to be done. so since i have quoted these people so much during my political career i want to study them in depth and i have never done it.
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.. look for these in bookstores this weekend watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and on
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>> that is flood dome of the capital, taken from the washington convention center which is in downtown washington. it is this year's site at the national book festival. the national book festival, begun in 2001 by first lady laura bush and continues many years. between the washington monument and the capital, this year we are inside at the convention center, having issues with the national park service and the library of congress and reseeding grass etc. etc.. is that a full day of coverage on booktv from the national book festival coming up in a minute. well-known author talking about his book, the life and death -- "the good spy: the life and death of robert ames" and then the granddaughter of nikita khrushchev will be talking about her book. and a couple caller is coming. michio kaku will be talking to
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us followed by sally who will talk about what those two authors, advances and limitations in neuroscience. richard mole will talk about fdr, we will talk with sandra day o'connor and the daughter of malcolm x throughout the day and finally doris kerns goodwin. in the history and biography room at the end of the day, she will be talking about the bully pulpit, no ordinary times, and we will be doing a call in with historian doris kerns goodwin right here on booktv so you will have a chance to talk with her as well. that is an update on our general schedule. if you want the first scheduled go to you will see the national book festival listed there and you will be able to look at the full schedule of the day so you can get exact times and we will be
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sending updates throughout the day, and, follow-up to like a son those platforms, you get scheduled updates and behind-the-scenes photos as well throughout the day so that is just a quick look at what we have coming up and if you happen to be on the area grab a booktv bag. i don't have one in my hand. if someone could hand me one, you can come down and grab a booktv bag and i am bringing one of her. thank you. there it is. you can't miss it. right now we are going to go into the history and biography 10, jonathan yardley is representing kai bird. >> don't know how many boy scout we have in the room that you all deserve badges for finding a way to this room in this dreadful building. has anybody missed the mall as
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much as i did? kai bird is a friend of mine. we live the mile from each other for each of the past three years in lima, peru. we have a good view of the pacific ocean, kai bird had a better one. it has been our remarkable good fortune this year to have two exceptionally good books published about spies. ben mcintyre's a spy among friends is the story of kim philby, the british citizen who betrayed not merely his country but the entire western alliance to the soviet union. kim philby was a bad spy. the good spy was robert ames which is the kind of extraordinary book that tells the story of -- what was made familiar to a number of leaders by washington post colleague
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david ignatius and agents of innocence. kai bird has found out so much more about the extraordinary story of robert ames than david himself was ever able to learn. i leave you in the very capable hands of kai bird. [applause] >> thank you. it is great to be here and to see john. tomorrow he promises to make me a good peruvian piece goes sour. and yes. my new book is called "the good spy: the life and death of robert ames". he is not to be confused with aldrich ames who was combat spy. he is a completely unknown
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character. he joined the cia in 1960 and was a clandestine officer, a man who recruited agents. he was of very good therapist. he had hopes in beirut, hayden, tehran, kuwait. unlike many cia officers and stereotypes when the agency was created in 1948 it was largely populated by blue bloods from yale and harvard and members of skull and bones, secret societies at yale but robert ames came from a simple working-class background, her father was a steelworker in
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philadelphia and he was a basketball star, stall, 6 foot 3, handsome guy, he had none of that sort of sophisticated aristocratic background. he was very much a jimmy stewart kind of all american character and i know this because he was my next-door neighbor when i was 11, 12, 13 years old in saudi arabia. where my father was a foreign service officer and ames was posted as the surf posting a broad as a clandestine cia officer. at the age of 13 i had no idea he was a spy. my father who should be here in the room some place, now 89 and at one point he confessed to me that bob is a cia officer. and to he had an extraordinary
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career. inside the cia he is a legend. ..
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who i see us sitting here in the audience who had 19 broken bones and numerous surgeries. it was a terrible event. usually a talk more about the whole blog and so give you a synopsis of it, but today i'd like to sort describe what it's like to try to write a spy book. initially i was not intending, i didn't think i could write a real biography of a clandestine cia officer. it was going to talk to me? where were the sources? everything seemed to be classified. so initially i stumbled upon this idea, well, i'll do a book about the embassy bombing which is largely forgot. people sort of remember the
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beirut marine barracks attack or a truck bomb killed 241 marines, but that took place in october 1983, and embassy a bombing occurred six but before that in april. it's been largely forgotten -- six months before that in april. i started out with this book on a whim. i googled robert ames name, and up came a court case referencing a 2003 civil suit filed by and tomorrow and the fun ends, the widow of robert ames in federal district court here in d.c. and on my computer screen sitting in lima, peru, where i was living at the time, came this court record, very detailed testimony by her and her six
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children. very moving documentation of what happened that widow in -- that day in beirut, how all these people lost their lives. and i thought well, this is very vivid material. if i can't do a blogge poverty t robert ames, i can sort of do a history of the bombing and focus on him as one of the chief characters. so the first thing i did after deciding to engage on this book was to fly up here to langley virginia to the cia headquarte headquarters. and explained what i wanted to do. write a biography of one of their great heroes. i walked into the lobby their where there's a wall of stars, one of whom represented robert ames. each star represents a fallen cia officer. and they checked me through security. i had to surrender my cell
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phone. and then i went up to see george little, then the public affairs officer for the cia. and i explained to them, you know, i was a biographer. he sort of knew i was, but i wanted to do this biography but really history of the embassy bombing. and all i asked for was a chance anto me sit down with an in houe historian and go over, check my facts and chronology and get the right job titles that things had during his career and things like that. and george said oh, this sounds like a plausible thing. maybe we can arrange to do this. and then on my way out i said, you know, to try to emphasize how much research i was already involved in, ma i reached into my backpack and pulled out a knife had. said here, let me show you pictures i found already. and george kind of glanced.
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apparently i have broken cia security by bringing in an ipad. but he nevertheless allowed me to show him a few of the pictures that i had already found of bob ames it and, indeed, by that time i had found the widow and i've flown down to a small town in north carolina where she lives in very simple circumstances, in an old farmhouse to i spent a day and half with her interviewing her, seeing her family albums. she gave me some of these photographs and we had a great interview. she remembered me from when i was 13 but we hadn't seen each other since then our days in arabia. and in the course of the interview she mentioned at one point that she thought maybe there were some letters that bob had written to her over the years. she didn't know where they were
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anymore, but maybe in a suit case someplace in the attic where her daughter lived nearby. and i said womack, you know, that might be something worth looking for. you know, this is a biographer's best dream and worst nightmare, that there are letters out there that would allow you to write in an authentic way about your subject. and the nightmare is that you never find them. so i spent six months thereafter sort of gently sending e-mails to her encouraging her to find those letters. and eventually after six months she did indeed find them in an attic, and a proverbial trunk. and never 150 pages of handwritten letters that bob had sent to murdering his various
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postings abroad when he was sort on short-term duty and she was still living in virginia. and the letters were sometimes mundane, family letters, reading queries about their six children. but he also wrote about his work. and he did so in a really personal way describing his daily routine. sometimes how much, you know, he complained about how much she had to write. so you sort of learn that an intelligence officer, every time he has a meeting he has to record what was said by everyone in great detail. this takes a lot of time. aims described some of his meetings with agents in beirut. he described his dinners every other night when he was in
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beirut. you know, he was, the old saying in intelligence is if you slept with the devil you should use a very long spoon. well, ames is the kind of empathetic character who know how to listen, you have to make people feel comfortable and he slept with the devil with a very short spoon. he very got close. he had dinner with them. he got to know his wife and his kids and when ames learned in the 1976 that hassan salameh was thinking of taking on as a muslim a second wife, he was squiring around beirut nightclubs a beautiful young woman who just happened to be ms. universe of 1971, a gorgeous woman, lebanese maronite, and yet fall in love with her.
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and bob ames disapproved and then one of his literacy writes, i don't understand what he sees in that woman. [laughter] anyway, it was great material in these letters and it made me, i knew then that i could actually write a biography. and i then proceeded to try to find, you know, i had asked for cooperation from the cia and i hadn't heard from them. they never set up a meeting with one of their in house historians at -- as i had requested. i wrote personal e-mails to the director, and i never heard back. they never answered. i never got any cooperation from the agency to write this book about one of their hero's. but i gradually found retired
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cia intelligence officers who, one by one agreed to see me initially off the record. i wasn't allowed to use their name. and they would talk to me and then refer me to other friends. and eventually i interviewed over 40 retired cia officers. and all of these guys had signed a secrecy oath's, and they all wanted desperately to tell me their secrets. there were 30, 40 year-old secrets, nothing that was going to harm national security, and they wanted to talk about their good friend, bob ames. betty, you finally made it. [applause]
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>> so this is the man who confirmed for me in the first instance of bob ames was actually a spy and not a forum service officer. but as i was saying, the cia officers were eager to tell me their stories. and yes, they were divulging secrets, but they were all 30 and 40 year-old secrets and they wanted to tell me the secrets for very honorable reasons. they wanted you as citizens to know the story, to know the history. anyway, it was great but it was a lot of fun talking to these old spooks. and at one point, at one point i was told, of course jonathan yardley mentioned that one of
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his colleagues at the "washington post," david ignatius, had written, published a book, a novel called agents of innocence in 1987. and so of course, in the book, everyone told me, was based on the robert ames story. but it was a novel. but when it started out i went to see david ignatius. and i wanted to feel him out and get his opinion about whether he thought this biography was feasible or not. and i knew we had sources in the cia and retired sources, but also active intelligence officers who might have known games. nt, i'm very grateful. he encouraged me to do this. he said yes, it's possible and the a great story. he wanted to tell the story as nonfiction, as a reporter, but in the 1980s he thought it was too early and no one would talk
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to him and everything was too sensitive. and he very graciously gave me some names and helped to get me started on finding some of these retired spooks. and he also told me, well, you know, a key source is a young lebanese businessman that ames and that in 1969. he said i don't know where he is now, but if you're going to tell the bob ames story you really have to find him. but he's kind of elusive and he's a difficult personality, and i don't know if i could find a i don't know if i would go to see him today. it was sort of a warning. but i nevertheless come every time i had interview with one of my cia sources i would say hey, have you ever heard of mustafa
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zein? is he still alive? at one point i get when he was in florida. i got his address. and i got one of my retired spooks who live in florida to go and knock on the door. and it turned out to be he had moved on. it was the wrong address, a dead end. many months later at a point where i had a chili, i was close to having a full draft of my, first draft of my book. i got a message from another spook who said, here's the number that i'm told is mustafa zein's cell phone. you can try calling it. so we i am sitting in lima, peru, and i get on my computer and i do a cold call on skype to a cell phone in, somewhere in
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the middle east. and the phone rings and it's picked up, and it's mustafa zein. and i explained what i'm doing, but i'm trying to write a biography of robert ames. and the first question mustafa zein has is how did you get this number? [laughter] only certain people have this number. and i explained, welcome i can't tell you who gave me this number but it's a mutual friend. and so he then said well, i've been waiting for 30 years for you to call. he gave me his e-mail, and for the next week we e-mailed each other furiously back and forth, and he had lots of stories. he was eager to tell. a few months later i flew out to the middle east, went to amman,
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and i spent eight days, 10 hours a day listening to mustafa. it was like i sort of like to think of it as a debriefing in an intelligent fashion. i took notes. i didn't record it because i thought that would make him nervous. but i filled notebook after notebook. and he turned out to be one of those great sources, because he was then 71, but he had a great memory and he was a good storyteller. at times such a good storyteller that i sort of wondered, well easy embellishing things? and i knew i had to be careful with some of this. when i got back i had to check every story with my other cia sources, and you know, it turned out trying once stories all checked out. he also had letters -- trend
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once stories all checked out. he also had letters that bob ames turned out -- sent to me. some of the dramatic letters about crucial moments in his relationship with ali, where the relationship had broken down in the wake of the terrible massacre at the munich olympics, carried out by like september -- black september, a wing of -- bob ames thought maybe ali hassan salameh had been involved in the munich operation in which 11 israeli athletes were tragically murdered. so the letters, you know, they give you a window into sort of id and how intelligence officer
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thinks and operates, and if you read the book you will get, you get an understanding that the cia officers are not james bond. and bob ames was no james bond. he did occasionally have to carry a gun, but he hated guns. he never killed anyone. in one of his letters to yvonne, his wife, he was in aden at the time of -- operate in the midst of this aborted before getting assassinated in the streets, and his cia station chief told him he had to take his pistol. and he just disobeyed the order and wrote to yvonne, you know, if i'm going to be shot, i'm going to be shot from behind. i will never see the boat coming, there will never be an opportunity to use this so the pistol anyway so i am not carrying it around. anyway, he was a very empathetic
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man, and that is why he was a good spot, why he was good at his work. i don't want to go on too long. anyway, after seeing mustafa zein in amman, i didn't have to spend about 10 days, two weeks in israel trying to track down some officers who may have known bob ames. and, indeed, i found 4, and they remembered him. they knew exactly who he was. they knew that he was a back channel. he had created this very secret back channel to the plo through ali hassan salameh, and that was a disturbing revelation to them in the 1970s. because henry kis promised the israelis that we wouldn't have any dealings with this terrorist organization.
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but, of course, i learned from my cia officers that this is exactly what intelligence officers are supposed to they go where foreign service officers can't. and they go to dangerous neighborhoods and talk to bad guys. bad guys like ali hassan salameh, who, choose your level. he was a terrorist. he was a professional revolutionary. he was a freedom fighter for the palestinian cause, but he was someone that no u.s. diplomat could talk to. but things could and he created this back channel that actually inside the agency today everyone gives him credit for starting the oslo peace process, starting to get americans talking to the palestinians, getting americans to try to persuade, actually rather successfully, to think about achieving palestinian aspirations without the gun,
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with a compromise, a two-state solution. and, of course, the tragedy is that we are this many years later, 31 years after bob ames was killed in beirut, the peace process is still at a stalemate. writing this book, researching it was a lot of fun, but when i announced to my wife, susan, i had to fly off to the middle east for a month to the research, she was a little worried. and i assured her that, you know, no problem, it would be a piece of cake, and indeed when i get to the root were i had a whole series of interviews -- got to beirut, schedule some time for myself and some of the
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newspaper archives of leaving beirut newspapers, i landed around noon and checked into the mayflower hotel which is the hotel that bob ames himself checked into and spent his last night before he was killed on april 18, 1983. it's a lovely little boutique hotel, and i got to see the room where he had spent his last night. and then i went for a stroll along the seashore. beirut looked fabulous. it had been rebuilt as part of the city have been rebuilt since the terrible civil war that are taken over 150,000 lives, over 15 years. and i walked along the river towards the spot where the u.s. embassy used to stand. it had been completely destroyed
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by the 2000-pound truck bomb, and beirut looked fabulous. it had seaside restaurants along the corniche pic you look like a very livable place but i was thinking to myself, oh, you know, i thought maybe we should think about spending a vacation here, or maybe even move your for a year or two but it would be a nice place to live and work. i get back to my hotel in the mayflower, two hours later, and i turned on the television and there was cnn reporting about a car bomb that i got off a mile away in beirut and dead killed eight people, including the chief of intelligence collecting investigating the assassination of the prime minister put been killed in 2005. so i quickly open my laptop and
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router e-mail to susan saying don't worry, a bomb exploded a mile away from me. i'm fine. [laughter] she immediately called me on her cell phone and says, what bomb? [laughter] anybody, it was a sad reminder that beirut is still a last a very dangerous place, very troubled part of the world. it reminded me that the book that i was trying to write and finish at that point was a very relevant subject. but having almost finished after speaking to mustafa zein, i had to rush back to lima, peru, and spent the next six was completely rewriting the book because what kind one had told me. which was a good thing.
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when the book finally came out, it was greeted with some really great reviews, and an official denial from the cia. [laughter] regarding the in the story in the book which was, you know, i actually to my surprise with mustafa's help and the help of some of my cia sources, and a lot of just playing detective work i managed to put together a really fairly iron cast story about the beirut embassy bombings had occurred. it wasn't, you know, it was the first suicide truck bomb attack on the u.s. embassy and when it happened it was industry about
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who have done it. and over the years the presumption was that hezbollah had done it in fact hezbollah did really exist until 1985. but at the end of the book i revealed that it was actually an active state terrorism carried out by the islamic republic of iran in the form of an intelligence operation carried out by some of their iranian revolutionary guards officer stationed in the valley who had been sent there in the wake of the israeli invasion of lebanon in 1982. and i named the commander of the iranian revolutionary guard post in lebanon, and i named his intelligence officer. and the surprising thing, the shocking thing that i learned in the end was that one of the masterminds of the truck bomb
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attack was this iranian intelligence officer who rose to became deputy defense minister in iran and then effected into the house and seven -- defected. at one point was debriefed here outside of washington in a cia safe house. and he is still alive and well and living may be in america, maybe in europe someplace. we are not quite sure, but the cia, when the book came out, issued a statement, a tweet saying that we categorically deny that we had anything to do with arranging and affection -- the defection. so the book ends on a sort of classic intelligence dilemma. you are dealing with bad guys and you want to get information that they have, and sometimes even if they have killed eight cia officers, you end up giving
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them haven in this country. it's a shocking story to me, but also a classic intelligence story. this is, you know, this happens in this world. anyway, i hope you all get a chance to read "the good spy" and understand it will give you not only a lot of history about the middle east and the arab-israeli conflict, sadly, also sort of a window into this world of intelligence. and i want to stop now, and we have time for at least 10 minutes of questions i think. so fire away. [applause] >> i've got a question. as a nation writer, i salute you for your work. fellow nation writer. thank you.
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one of the amazing things i thought about the book when i read it was president reagan's critic, criticism of israel during the invasion. and he was a president i always had a lot of contempt for, and it was surprising to me what he did at that time. and particularly in contrast to what has happened recently in gaza, and i consider the silence of the president i voted for. i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about mr. ames relationship with president reagan and how he sort of influence that critique speak with sure. that's a great question. as i said, ames started out on the clandestine side -- site as a clandestine cia officer recruits agents in such. and he rose very high up inside the agency in that field on the
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covert side, but he got bored with it and frustrated with the business of recruiting agents. he was a very intellectual fellow. he was criticized in fact by his colleagues for being too intellectual. he read a lot of books on the middle east. he loved the history. he loved the language. he relieved learned the language. so at one point in his career he jumped at the chance to flip to the other side, to the analytical side. so by the time reagan became president in 1981, robert ames was chief of the whole analytical division for the middle east and south asia. and in that capacity he was a guide to brief the president on anything to do with the middle east. and he would do so often in the oval office or up in camp david. and in the wake of the israeli invasion in 1982, where you
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recall the israelis under general sharon, ariel sharon, initially walked into southern lebanon and then suddenly pushed all the way to the gates of beirut and deceased the city. -- beseiged the city and attempted come eventually successfully expelled the plo from beirut. in the wake of that invasion, ronald reagan was being briefed by ames. and he took the opportunity to sort of persuade reagan and his 22nd of state, george schultz, to sign on to a peace plan. the first official american initiative to say well, here's our notion of what should happen in a sort of final peace settlement. let's try to settle this. this conflict between israelis and the palestinians and the rest of the arab world. and it was called the reagan
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peace plan and initiative, unveiled by reagan himself in a speech on september 1, 1982. and ames was basically a ghost writer for it. and it was inching towards a two-state solution. so reagan had, the questioner suggested, and understanding that is festering problem was a threat to u.s. national security and that peace was in the interest of the united states. and he attempted to get the israelis to withdraw from lebanon and to honor the commitments they have made in the camp david accord with regard to settlements in the west bank. but, you know, after ames was
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killed in 1983 just six months after the reagan peace initiative, ames was the only person that reagan knew personally who have died in the bombing, and he was devastated to you can see this from his diary notes. and then six months later with the marine barracks were another truck bomb rolled in and killed 241 u.s. servicemen, reagan gave up. he withdrew the troops. he lost interest in pushing his middle east peace plan, and everything began to fall apart in retrospect i believe. >> i didn't think i was going to have a question but i do. where to start? so, 30 some years ago you sent
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me down to pick up some freedom of information act documents -- not from langley but somewhere in northern virginia. i don't remember where. >> steve was "nation" magazine intern working for me at the time, and so i stated i am an unsuccessful protége, kind words. [laughter] so i remember looking through these documents and coming across a report from 196 1963 or 1964 that was an internal memo that someone in the cia wrote to someone else in the cia about how the castro regime is going to implode of its own corruption and wait any day now, and they united states did need to do anything, that the cuban government is going to just fall apart of its own accord. this was five or six years after the revolution. and i mentioned that now because
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i know you've done a lot of thinking over the years about intelligence and intelligence community, and i'm wondering in the post 2001 world, and thinking about the u.s. role in iraq and afghanistan and the way that the agency and intelligence world has changed since then, to what extent are we getting good intelligence and to what extent are people within the intelligence community passing disinformation to themselves to justify a point of view that they all leader -- already want to promote such as invading a country on the basis of weapons of mass destruction that don't exist? >> okay. well, that's a difficult question. actually i'll answer it by
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telling you, giving you a quote, as far as i can paraphrase it, from one of my cia sources, who explained that when he was a young man in the clandestine services, he was, you know, mesmerized by all the secrets he had access to. all the privileged intelligence. it was, you know, it gave him a rush. and learning more and more secrets was, you know, it's fun to be on the inside. and you think you have special knowledge. but then he explained to me that, you know, over the years, and he said that this is true of all intelligence officers, over the years they become a little more cynical and skeptical about this special knowledge.
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and they realize a lot of it is not so special. they think initially that, well, if i can just get the right, right the right kind of memo, get access to the policymaker in the right moment, and my special knowledge can persuade the policymaker, the politicians, to arrive at a better policy. but over the years they become very cynical and they suddenly realized that u.s. foreign policy is not fact-based. that, in fact, none of the secrets, none of the special knowledge they have makes any difference. the policymakers rarely listen, and i think this is, this is not a self-serving sentiment. a lot of the people i interviewed expressed to me
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their enormous frustrations with the fact that they know u.s. policy and x, y or z is on the wrong road, but they have no ability to change it. and the cia in particular, from its founding, it was actually a liberal haven during the mccarthy era in the early '50s, when mccarthy was going after state department foreign service officers and destroying their careers. the cia was protected because it's a secret intelligence agency. they didn't allow senator mccarthy to question their men. and a lot of them were, had a good sense. in fact, i interviewed people who, for some of my previous books about the bundy brothers who got us into the vietnam war. this it was actually often giving good intelligence about what a disaster it would be to
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turn this conflict in vietnam into a ground war, and we would end up doing the same thing the french did in the '50s. so the lesson i learned if anything from writing "the good spy" is that yes, there are secrets, but they are often wasted, and many of the secrets long in the pages -- belong in the pages of the washington post and "the new york times" and we would all be better off if we had fewer secrets and more knowledge available to the public. >> i found mustafa zein such an interesting character are you still in touch with him? what is he doing? is he going to write a book of his own? [laughter] >> i am still in touch with mustafa, and he is a lovely man. he is in his mid '70s now, and
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he has written an unpublished personal memoir just for his own use and purposes. he, you know, at the end of my eight days, or more than that, he actually came to america at one point and we had more sessions. he finally get access to his unpublished memoir abou here bua don't think it's any intention of publishing it. this is a man actually i should make very clear who never accepted a dime of u.s. money. he never signed a contract to be an agent. he was never under orders, but he had befriended ames in beirut in 1969. he was a successful lebanese businessman, and he had his own financial resources. but he had spent a senior year
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in high school as an exchange student in naperville, illinois, and had fallen in love with america and all things american and he just thought it was a damn shame that the u.s. government didn't understand the middle east and didn't understand the palestinian question in particular. and so he took upon himself -- he took it upon himself to try to bring these parties together. and he was the man who actually had known ali hassan salameh in his cairo days, even before he joined fatah and the plo and they were personal friends. so he was intermediary between ames and ali hassan salameh. and he did this simply because he thought it was the right thing to do. so he was never, never an agent, although for 10 years he served acted as a virtual acts as agent
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as it's called, a man who introduces the cia clandestine officer to other sources. and even after ames' death, which devastated him, he did, he courageously went back to the middle east after the cia station chief was kidnapped in 1985, and he, in very dangerous circumstance, risked his own life and was almost killed in a car bomb attack, and to try to find a way to free the cia officer. he's an extraordinary character, you know, but he's actually rather depressed and pessimistic these days about the future of the troubled neighborhood. [applause] >> thank you.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> and you're watching kai bird to talk about his most recent book, a good spy. this book is live coverage of the 14th annual national book festival here in the washington convention center, not down on the mall as we used to be. we're inside, up on ♪ ♪ t, sharing
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cookies together. a beautiful doll that i had, a rocking chair. >> what you member of the day he was killed? >> fortunately i don't remember that. but when i was writing growing up x. i realize it did have an impact because when my uncle came to visit us, i was about four or five years old and a member and he was leaving that it was traumatizing but i just remember crying, you know, uncontrollably and so i knew that some of that must have been indicative of me missing my father. >> who was girl little? >> oh, my gosh. earl little, yes. girl little was, or is malcolm's father. girl little was actually be president of the milwaukee branch of the movement and he was, he helped marcus garvey get
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out of jail back in the 1920s for the alleged to mail fraud. earl little was a pastor, an activist. he was a great preacher. use all these great things that instills specific values into his children. >> where did he live? how did he die? >> oh, gosh. well, they say he was killed by the black legion which was a splinter group of the kkk back in the 1920s during the great depression. and they put him on, you know, not the greatest situation that he was killed. >> and did your father witnessed the? gauger fathered remember that? >> yes. my father to talk about it in his autobiography. they proceeded their father as is really indefensible person of the great protector, the great
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provider, the great, you know, strength of the family. he would take his son, malcolm, with him when he gets beaches, ma when he was speaking to the community about self-reliance about perseverance, about working hard, about the importance of education. >> what was malcolm little lifelike in omaha, nebraska? >> malcolm little -- malcolm. my father's childhood was exceptional. because he is so me siblings. much like my own having five sisters, it gives you the sense of, you know, pride, humor, tenacity, you know? it makes you a good friend, compassionate, all of these wonderful things that were instilled in malcolm by both of his parents would enable him to go on in his adult life and become this person, malcolm x from one of the greatest legal
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strategist, one of the greatest humanitarians, just so many wonderful things because my father was so young. when the world learned about complex he was only 29. 28, 29 and is killed at the age of 39 and to admit such a significant contribution in such a short lifetime. in 12 years, it speaks volumes who he was. for me now as an adult, i reflect on that sense of loneliness, you know, that sense that he must have really felt having sacrificed his life, not asking for anything in return but the benefit of humanity so we can move forward for more egalitarian future. >> you have administration in here. what is this? >> well, when my father, i think about four years old, his
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father, okay, so his father was an activist also. and he bought land, land at that time was reserved or whites only in omaha, nebraska. and so, you know, the stories, you are not allowed to leave your pics of the burned the house down but then they moved from wisconsin to nebraska to michigan. >> and who burned down the house of? >> the kkk. >> when did your father stop being malcolm little and become malcolm x? >> my father became malcolm x once he went to jail at 20, he went to jail at 20 and he was, before he came out of jail, 1952, so i guess he was about, i don't, however old he was, he went to -- 26, 27 years old, he
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became ask him -- malcolm x. he was financial spokesman for the muslims, nation of islam. >> this is a children's book. >> and focus on the value importance, the role of the mother, the role of a father. you see a young impressionable child. it could be any nationality. and the values. you know, the values of a mother is nurturing her children, stressing the importance of education, the love for learning. and the father being the provider, the strength. and just instilling these values of leadership, accountability, compassion, integrity, all the things that my father would go on to exhibit to the world in his adult life. >> ilyasah shabazz, are you finding the generation today is too removed from your father's activism? >> you know, i travel the world
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and i speak to many different audiences, you know, young people, middle age, elders. and what i find is that there are many young people who are very much in tune with malcolm. they are very much, you know, very attracted to his legacy, you know, and then there are some who are not. and so i think it's just important for all of us who are conscious, more educated, that it's important that we educate the ones who are misinformed or, you know, who need guidance. >> there's some pretty magnificent illustrations in this book. who did the demonstrations of? >> the illustrations were done by a g4. is absolutely just phenomenal. phenomenal. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
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depictions of moments that were important to my father that played key roles in my father's life. >> "malcolm little: the boy who grew up to be malcolm x." here's the cover of the book. ilyasah shabazz, daughter of malcolm and eddie shoe bombs who is the author. and now live coverage from the national book festival continues up next, a presentation by nina khrushcheva, granddaughter of of nikita khrushchev. her book, "the lost khrushchev: a journey into the gulag of the russian mind." she is being introduced now. >> propaganda and then in the political process. this study is that with national collective historic experience. she


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