Skip to main content

tv   In Depth Craig Shirley  CSPAN  May 2, 2021 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

12:00 pm
future of the republican party. next "fox news" anchor can ingrain profiles women from the bible. this followed by retired admiral william life lessons from the euro code. and wrapping up our look at some of the selling books according to publishers weekly is everything will be okay from the white house press secretary and fox news host, dana recap of her career. some of the authors have appeared on the tv to watch the programs anytime apple tv .org. >> author craig shirley you've written for biographies of ronald ragan. craig: that's an interesting question peter. they were divided up by chapters mostly political and the first book i did reagan's revolution and that was about the 1976 challenge to gerald ford.
12:01 pm
narrowly narrowly lost despite a few in 1976 and in the next book i did was about that 1980 campaign. that just four years to complete. if i did a another book called last act, reagan's postelection years. nobody's ever done book on the postelection years and what he did rated there's a lot of living that went on after for 13 years from the time he left to the time he passed away. he flew hot air balloons and did fishing and did a lot of things longer before he was contracted with alzheimer's. and then i finally did another book on reagan about him rising prayed about that. when in 1976 - 1980, and is very important time to be conservative movement and politics is that yet padlocked
12:02 pm
canal treaty fight and raising is an issue and you had tax cuts raising is an issue. and all sorts of issues and at the time conservatives had jimmy carter from michigan. he was advocating a certain service for pushing back in a different view of government. this was a very interesting time for the american movement. led mostly by ronald reagan definitely on the panama canal treaties, help propel into 1980 nomination. as of now working on two more books on reagan. and is real true ideology and another one on reagan's skills and negotiating.
12:03 pm
these under appreciated in that regard so he had skills with both tip o'neill and later others. all of his life he was under appreciated in many regards one of them was a negotiator. it has been a fun ride. there are a number of stories and proud of being among the rights . peter: what you mean about the real etiology, the new book that you have coming out. craig: that is a good question peter. reagan was never his conservative as but much more pragmatic and much more temperate in his outlook on the world and a lot of conservatives wanted him to be.
12:04 pm
there is this great warrior who negotiated treaties including the reduction in the elimination of thousands of nuclear warheads in western europe. when he ran in 1980, part of his campaign was that were getting behind the soviets that we needed to catch up. in order to the negotiating table and to agree to reduce nuclear arms and he was proven right of course. and only took eight years really before we saw the winning of the cold war and its structure of the soviet union. peter: in your book the last act, you talk about the emerging legacy. what is that mean. craig: the emerging legacy.
12:05 pm
that's interesting because in webster's dictionary, there is not obama is him or bush is him or trump is him, but there is mechanism and he was content and a lot of scholars would contend and i contend is individual ideology more hybrid between libertarianism and conservatismd other elements to go into it and his own philosophy any enacted much of it. when he was present knowledge to be sure but he had different views of the world than most politicians did at the time. the name and have now. there is nobody who's his shadow
12:06 pm
is cast more of the republican party than ronald reagan. he is the super leader or he is i think even in my opinion, abraham lincoln. as the icon of the republican party. c1 some would argue the ronald ragan newt gingrich, we've also written about and donald trump are the outside figures of the modern republican party. would you agree with that . craig: i absolutely agree with that and they certainly are ending which in revelation of 1984 and trump and his populist revolution four years ago, all of them represent different periods in time and philosophies of republican ism which is essentially of the remote and big kind of ideology going back
12:07 pm
to abraham lincoln and down through the ages. peter: pointed you first meet ronald reagan. craig: i first met ronald reagan in 1978. i was working on the campaign and gordon humphrey was considered by everybody at the time is a long shot and actually ended up winning. over his incumbent, 6000 votes and reagan came up to campaign and obviously it was a very important primary and reagan did win new hampshire 1980 and he came up to campaign and ran for the election of the time and he came in to the hampshire hybrid hotel and did a phone
12:08 pm
commercials for humphrey and i was there in the lobby and is accompanied by two aides and so governor reagan and i just lobbying and you know, had been in this man for many years. he was completely jovial we talked about high school college boards only light. and about the weather and have he was utterly charming and kind. and there he was just the 21 -year-old kid talking to the national leader of american conservatism. leading contender for the republican nomination and he gave me nothing but kindness and generosity of his spirit. that was a memory that will carry with me for the rest of my life. it. peter: you talk about how you set his hotel lobby and chatted with him and you also account in
12:09 pm
the last act, the story about his post- presidency office. and the phones weren't hooked up correctly. craig: that was a story that that was present reagan's chief of staff in his book presidency and they had granted office-based to open up their office for former president reagan in century city. and ironically, he worked in the building in a film showing a terrorist disaster. the speaker was impressed that this office was chosen when the attack had happened. but it was high in this building and the office was being assembled in the reagan's was not supposed to be in the office several weeks or lease months prior to his presidency any had
12:10 pm
his own house and miller to attend to. and had lots of interviews and as you can imagine was busy. and he showed up at the office monday. and there i am worried when i myself's positive. in case we ran around and got cardboard boxes and set them up in the office. a basket of phones and paper and they thought he would be okay for a short time. but phones have been routed incorrectly so at the receptionist as they were going to actually do office work and he would answer every one it would be joe blow calling and wondering if they could speak to the president and reagan will write it down and write it down and came out a couple of hours later had the list to craig
12:11 pm
o'brien and said these people want to be with me. and everybody he wrote down was called back and got their picture taken with ronald ragan except for this one though after he was on the list and talk to fred bryant, he wanted to come back and bring one of his neighbors and friends and no. he said you are up your wants. that's enough. so he didn't get a chance to come back. peter: what are some of the top things in your view that ronald reagan accomplishes governor of california for eight years as president for eight years. craig: that is a good question. he went to sacramento obviously i thought he was going to do a lot more and he actually dead. he started to address the
12:12 pm
government more diligently and was able to enact a huge tax rebate at the time in 1970 by $500 million as an astronomical amount of money and the time. had a deal in the 1960s. there were many antiwar protests going on. it was one story that perhaps that reagan was at. and there is sign that said make love not war that hippie was holding and hit reagan look at the sign and said i don't think you can do either. so he had that to deal with. and had tried to reorganize
12:13 pm
government and reform welfare. and he was very successful governor and at the time, california just in itself, the economy, the six largest economy in the world. just one standalone was the six largest economy. a reformed welfare, police protection was going to a greater degree and he dealt successfully - he would listen to their complacent things. nothing he can actually do anything about it but a mental lot he would just talk to young people. any did - the students would ask of the reagan on the weekly television show and these new
12:14 pm
high school college students he would answer all their questions. it was just unheard of at the time he actually listened. he was able to handle all of their questions. so even when ragan left the presidency, had been. [inaudible]. they acknowledge that reagan saved the same from bankruptcy because it was running when he became governor, he was running in a million dollars a day deficit. and it was increasing by million dollars they prayed and he turned around and eight years. to a surplus and save the state from bankruptcy. but it was exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran in 1980, he was going to defeat and turnaround of the economy.
12:15 pm
is going to restore the americans and he did exactly all of those things. he defeated southern communism. the inflation, when he was running in 1980, the interest rates were something like 18 percent in the inflation was almost as high. the value of the dollar was not what it was today as it was yesterday. so is really devastating to the people's savings. especially to the senior citizens. as we turn around the economy and created 18 million jobs and when he left office, the inflation was a 4.7 percent than when he left and january. so if there are those any resolve the american morale. his approval rating among all americans with something like 7. when he left office in january
12:16 pm
of 1989, is higher even then fdr's when fdr passed away in april 1945. it was higher the dwight eisenhower's when he left office. it was the highest in a long long time. and he still is regarded today by the market people is one of our greatest presidents alongside lincoln and jefferson and franklin roosevelt. peter: one of the critiques of the reagan pregnant lofgren presidency is attempted on time talking about differences but they grew under his stewardship. craig: that is true peter. he later wrote this memoir, he was disarmed about abortion and deficit he couldn't do more about it printed and on the other hand, the deficit is explainable is what we now as
12:17 pm
the peace dividend and this was necessary to build up america's defenses and the fraction kept for years and his time in the presidency. gerald ford and jimmy carter and richard nixon all/the national - 19 see you at soldiers and gis 1980 who were actually on food stamps. were applying airplanes that were over 50 years old. their findings claimed. and he was infecting the newest technology including a bomber which was actually supersonic jet. so it was rebuilt in ragan, that was his commitment because he knew we needed a stronger defense. and everything else after that. this was a deficit that was created by the defense program.
12:18 pm
but if rain millions of people that have been imprisoned be behind iron curtains in poland and other countries other third world countries. soviet russia itself, then it was a price worth paying to free the millions of people who have been imprisoned behind the iron curtain. peter: you talk about his so true ideology is being more pragmatic than he is given credit for. is that going to hurt his legacy among the conservatives. craig: i don't think so. i think his legacy is . well cemented among conservatives. his library and simi valley in california still the most let visited the presidential library and all-america.
12:19 pm
people call it the reagan library which was by way out of the way. it is not, it is like to get there. simi valley, is off the beaten path. and yet more people go there and go to the kennedys library or the clinton library or the bush libraries. anything approaching that. so he still remains to this day, very popular and susceptible library. peter: in march of this year you wrote reagan was a populist and he had the articulation and intellect. in dragonfly trump ran a time when many americans also had grievances of the establishment and unlock trump, he made every talking point optimistic in every speech uplifting. something trump could never do if his life depended on it.
12:20 pm
craig: that is the essential and i'm glad you voted that, that the essential differences between trump in ragan. reagan first of all was reelected. and trump was not. and second, ragan had high approval ratings and donald trump. and most of donald trump's philosophy is derived from ronald reagan the idea for this conservative of the judges or tax cuts, not just the stimulating the economy that would expand personal freedoms. increase the power of the individual. that was what he was really doing, there is a time in 1981 just after he was elected president, he was one end, he was meeting with a group of servers and he said and talk about creating jobs. and about extending personal freedoms. he knew the power is finite.
12:21 pm
you can't put it here or there. she there with the government or the citizenry and he wanted a tech go back to a time when the framers kept or give them more power the way to do that was more rent money so that was real motivating force than the tax cuts. that was expanding the powers of the individual. he was very committed. if you look the speeches and how many times he uses the words individual or individual allergy or something other than and this was the core of his philosophy. it was a small respectful government, intelligence that eat could leave people alone
12:22 pm
otherwise. that was his philosophy. and he started this in the 40s. in a default into the 40s and 50s. so became this really i would say in 1980, he became the advent of the social conservatives them which he added to his coalition. the conservatism. peter: in 2017, your book reagan rising, the decisive years, 1976 - 1980, came out. i want to play a little bit of video from 1976 in kansas city. >> if i could just take a moment, someone asked me the other day to write a letter for the time capsule that is going to be opening in los angeles 100 years from now. and our tri- centennial and it sounded like an easy assignment and they suggested i write something about the problems and issues of the day and i set out to do so writing down about the
12:23 pm
automobiles looking at the booth pacific on one side in the mountains on the internet can help to wonder if it would be like that beautiful hundred years from now as it was in the summer day and then as i tried to write, let your own blinds turn to that task, you're going to write for people 100 years from now. will they look back in appreciation and say thank god for those people in 1976 who headed off that awesome freedom and kept now 100 years later free. who kept our world from nuclear destruction rated and if we failed, i probably won't get to read the letter at all because the scope of individual freedoms and they won't be allowed to talk or read of it. this is our challenge. and this is why here in this hall tonight, better than we've ever done or under never done before, we've got to quit talking to each other and about each other and go out and
12:24 pm
communicate for the world that we may be fewer numbers than we've ever been but we carry the message they are waiting for. we much go forth from here in united and determined and what a great general that a few years ago is true. there is no substitute for victory. [applause] [applause] peter: craig shirley what did you hear. craig: that's interesting. speech is so so important. reg's political future. first of all, i was not there in 1976. it is now since gone that arena, is destroyed in a tornado. some years ago. i was actually working my way through college. i was leaning hash on cape cod
12:25 pm
in a seafood restaurant. but she was working the campaign and she was on the floor that night and she told me repeatedly many times, shocked about and she said it was the most thrilling experience of her life to hear ragan give the speech. but i wrote this book and i interviewed many people including the director who is on the floor as well and am standing next to a floor supporter from florida. from ford. and after ragan gave his speech, she muttered, oh my god, we've nominated the wrong man. at the convention, at the time, is 1130 for the nomination in florida nomination only by 506019 regularly lost by 80. she was very very slim and
12:26 pm
narrow. just the accusations over the years some hanky-panky in new york delegation and other states. but it was . clean as far as i could tell. but there were accusations. and light inspectors came in and one of the police officer said the time, the autographed test came back negative, he said that's the first time ever that is heard about policymaker telling the truth. but the speech itself this important because reagan, the newspaper articles in the columns and things like that by the time that there was an article - sunset it was about
12:27 pm
reagan's political career. he was 65 years old, he had been on the track twice in 1968 and in 1976. most people assume but he gave a speech and what is interesting is that fall is now campaigning. and across the nation and press conferences and fundraisers and endorsements and things like that. and everywhere he went, everywhere, police officers, bill captains, private attendance, citizens on the streets, everybody came up to him and said you have just have to do it one more time for you just have to run one more time. and if said that point that i think convinced him to try one more time in 1980 because he wasn't going to try. that was probably is for him.
12:28 pm
but there was one time when he was on an airplane and he always like to sit in the aisle so he could greet people as they're coming in on the plane. in this woman came on and she embraced him and she said, governor you just have to do it one more time. in sitting next to him. before he passed away, interviewed him and he told me the story. he was sitting next to governor reagan. this woman embraced him. and he turned to mike at the time and he said, i guess i better do it one more time. i guess i'm going to do this. so, that point of his speech, it is interesting because usually this nominee who is the last speaker, he is the last speaker of the night but this night, in kansas city it was ronald ragan
12:29 pm
who was the last speaker not gerald ford. so last-minute idea, reagan was not supposed to speak to the audience. but ford now that he was the head of the badly fractured party and you have to. so at the last minute, they urged ragan to come down and reagan did interviews in the skyboxes in the kansas city. this one interview with tom brokaw in skybox. and reagan said no that he was a bit columns and 70000 people, urged him to come down to the stage along with fords. we want reagan, we want reagan. and we want ron, we want ron. and he reluctantly leaves a
12:30 pm
skybox and goes down to the podium. this was not a teleprompter there is no prepared speech. and can you imagine the pressure life on three networks giving a speech before 17000 people. that was a home run talk. ... ... to the governor and he said, the governor said to him what you think i should say mike peters said governor, you will think of something >>. >> host: ronald reagan went on to win landslide elections
12:31 pm
in 1980 and 1984. b,1040 to 62 total for jimmy carter and walter mondale in those twoelections . good afternoon and welcome to the tv on c-span2. this is our monthly and we looked at his or her entire body of work. craig surely has written seven books, with the reagan folks including reagan's revolution , rendezvous with destiny came out in 09, then he switched topics due december 1941, 31 days that changed america. will be as well. last, the final years of ronald reagan came out in2015 . reagan rising, decisive 76 in 2017 and citizen new, the making of a reagan
12:32 pm
conservative female in 2017 and finally his most recent book is very small washington, told tori of george washington. that came out in 2019 and we will be discussing as well this is an interactive program and we want to hear your voices and here's how you can participate with craig surely. call in number one, 202 is the area code, the 200. for those of you in the mountain pacific time zones 202 748-8201 and if you can't get throughbut still want to participate you can do it a variety of ways . number one via text and this number is only for text messages. include your first name and city . 202-748-8903. will be looking at comments
12:33 pm
on ourfacebook page, twitter page, instagram page . just remember @booktv is our handle there and you can email booktv@cspan.org. will be scrolling through all those ways of contacting us in a minute so you can participate and we will begin taking your calls in just a minute as well. craig surely, in the midst of writing biographies on ronald reagan, you switched to december 1941. what inspired that? >> guest: i remember as a child i was born in the 50s. i obviously didn't remember world war ii but i had in-laws and grandparents and and every sunday afternoon after church there was dinner at one of my grandparents house . there was no lace tablecloth's and white linen
12:34 pm
napkins and there would be a big ham or big steak on each side of the table and invariably around the cake would be various relatives and the conversation turned to the war as in my grandfather was a brought that de soto beforethe war but i sold it afterwards . they would talk about their various exploits but world war ii was a national experience everybody sacrificed for the war effort . they all had, everybody had victory cards. one third maybe, one for all vegetables grown in america for several years during world war ii and you know, my father was a boy scout and they used the boy scouts, the government used the boy scouts to hand out emotional
12:35 pm
posters bars and restaurant and locations where people would gather. who looks sink ships and i were on other promotional posters and my mother victory party. and my grandfather tried to list three times and after pearl harbor, three times the the draft board said you're blind as a bat, you have defendants, you or dependence, so after trying failing four times, three times the game's defense broadcaster. my grandmother, both my grandfathers were rosy directors. one tested machine guns and the other grandmother was a bomb inspector. i had a measure of what a bomb inspector would do but grandmother inspected machine guns in syracuse new york and
12:36 pm
they would come down the assembly line and she pick up one and fire at target and set it down and then another one fire at the target and set itdown and i used you , i saw one time or industry badges things like that, but everyone in my family including my uncle who paid the ultimate sacrifice, both my father was too young for world war ii and so was his brother ronnie their oldest brother barney house would was a navy radio operator and was killed in action in the pacific. his plane was shot down while they were making a bombing run in southeast asia and ironically he was killed on his 21st birthday in 1945 so far and became a cherished memory for all of us. it still is today and he always was part of the
12:37 pm
conversation so they used to talk about the tire rationing or gasrationing or meet rash . they had to mix polio foryour bread and things like that . this all, i always had this belief and many many books on on pearlharbor obviously , the last best being i think gordon ramsay which came out 20 or 30 years ago. it was a terrific, terrific book on december 7 19 but there's never been a book done on december 7 add on the civilian americans and how america changed literally overnight. literally overnight and how the war affected the national mood and national behavior. it's that something like three weeks after pearl harbor, ford motor company
12:38 pm
fisher auto body parts goodyear rubber stopped making cars and by the way, the ran everything including counterfeiting . they issued proclamations on how many baby. diapers you could use. so they are made with ford motor, gordon fisher stopped making cars on the orders of the united states and started making the 20 4v 25 bombers out of fabricated auto parts. in a matter of three weeks, you couldn't use, the government sent out a memo to radio operators to radio stations to say that you use radio owners and operators. you couldn't use the war for promotional purposes like cameras, you couldn't do that you couldn't broadcast troop movements, you couldn't
12:39 pm
broadcast ship movements for they took sink ships quite literally and gave instructions to these radio stations on what you could say and couldn't say and everything went along. everybody follow the orders of the government. they believed their nation was at risk. the nation was being threatened and they had to do these things when the war, how whole lodging is our nation was in 1941 versus today. the only thing i can think of is paris and obviously is september 11 when the planes ran into the world trade center and pentagon. and our national unity only lasted for a couple of weeks, couple of months and they soon felt a bickering among themselves over union issues
12:40 pm
whereas we stayed pretty unified as a nation starting december 7 and stayed that way until 1945 when the japanese finally surrendered to macarthur in world war ii. >> host: craig surely, the book is divided by day december 1 through 31st . i'll prepared was the united states on december 1 for a major war and how much of a surprise american government was december 7? were not prepared at all. we had come within one month dissolving her standing. i think it was over of 1940.
12:41 pm
one month of dissolving the standing army would have sent hundreds of thousands home at the time who were not battle tested they were trained. they were undergoing training . we had modern-day airplanes. we were not prepared for a war at all. so we work unawares. was interestingly enough and it's nothing we discovered at the library. my son andrew was head researcher on this book.he went to the er library in upstate new york at fdr's home and he came across a memo from the office of naval intelligence written december 4, 1941. was a 17 page memo stamped tops. it already had been declassified in 70 it sat
12:42 pm
around gathering dust until andrew found it. and just three days before the attack this memo warned the president from the office of naval intelligence, he spoke in great detail about the japanese and potential for high between the emperor of japan and the united states so the office of naval intelligence was doing and where the japanese whether it be, we island, philippines, indonesia and the hawaiian islands. this memo was given to the president three days before the attack. and no action was taken other than sending a warning to our field commanders on december 6, 1941 but it was not in a word to disperse your ships and planes to minimize the
12:43 pm
and take cover all these other things that they were notified aboutwhat they were . and so interestingly enough they were unnoticed until andrew found it at the fdr library in new york. class i was the economy, eight years of fdr at that point. what was the economic situation in america? >> it really had high interest. it's a nuanced answer. i'll take a minute here to answer this because the new deal as an economic strategy was a failure. the other appointment in 1943 was almost the same as it was in 1941 with the advent of the war. the new deal was good because
12:44 pm
it raised peoples grounds and gave people and that's always important. without hope there is no future. the economy itself did improve. several things were a mistake, one was smoot hawley which raised tariffs coming into the united states and fdr didn't cut taxeswhich he should have . you need to have as much money in circulation and the other thing to the failure of the new deal in my opinion was focused on production instead of consumption and to achieve a growing economy you need consumption. it's not enough to build the car. you have to sell and use it so ford for gm or what ever,
12:45 pm
you can make all the cars you want and they did but people don't have the money to buy them, then it's beside the point. this is the problem with the economy all through those many years until the advent of -- [inaudible] it's when theeconomy started to perk up . rich people were already leaving them in world war ii and fighting the nazis and fighting the japanese in the pacific. they were consuming american products under one lease and they were borrowing or buying and we were donating under such a program written. so the american economy only began to perk up because we were producing things that were consumed by the british
12:46 pm
people they took after pearl harbor and after going into a mass production of ships and planes and guns and uniforms and foodstuffs and all that and everything was devoted towards the war effort. everything that was humanly thought of was made by the national government and by the american people 's craig surely, before we get to calls it should be notedyou are not a full-time author . >> i also wear many hats as a matter of fact. i used to for many years be a lacrosse coach coaching youth and high school across and i a few years ago but i would finish up my life as a college professor and i also own a small public relations marketing firm here in virginia. we have many conservative
12:47 pm
foundations and think tanks and individuals and authors as clients. and as i said, the firm was destroyed, my partner kevin mcvicker and this now for 35 years. we never missed a payroll in 35 years until the pandemic and i guess you could say business was made and also a farmer. >> let's hear from our callers, we've discussed a little bit of american political history and world war ii history. michael's in deerfield beach florida, . >> you guys are always so amazing area reagan was so amazing because of his popularity, i think it was
12:48 pm
his positive conservatism which unfortunately in my opinion at least i'm a democrat was the same as from what is different. and reagan was tamer and it needs a more precise metaphor which would be a slushy, needs a precise temperature control otherwise solid, it's nice for its liquid and it's not a good slushy and reagan had asense of that . what i mean is there a balance between like positivism, group interest and abundance versus fear, a mindset of scarcity and self-interest. right now in our current contest with tropism, we're seeing that as a battle, a mortal battle in some cases one versus the other what he had a sense of was as important is this, it needs governance, it needs temper temperature control and steam
12:49 pm
engines used the blowout and created this thing that the governor is something which is ourselves is this neurobiology, there is. >> if only get to be there, very quickly. you're a fan of ronald reagan and not so much of donald trump, is that correct? >> caller: correct. >> host: let's hear from craig surely. >> guest: thank you for your call and your interest. i'm in that same camp myself as a fan of reagan, somebody who worked for reagan and grew to admirereagan . i'm less of an admirer of donald he had very good stories to tell us resident of this state, what he did in the lease or how he arrived in the economy for his handling of the vaccination and all the other interests of deregulation and there's issues that i take issue with him on and i take issue to with his personal behavior as
12:50 pm
far as what he said and the comments he made weren't always seeming very presidential and there was i guess, it's still to be determined i think. we need to set the ground rules before we irrationally address it but was his presence is simply a detour in time or wasn't something more important. i tend to lean more that it was something more important but important in the short context in the nuanced context because i do think the evolution of the united states is sometimes we lean to the left and sometimes to the right andnow we're listing to the left . ever since w bush in 1988 and his son and clinton brought obama and others with them
12:51 pm
slowly moving to the left whereas we weremoving to the right before that . this has happened many many times, this rhythm in american presidents. we go through periods of less great presidents. but i agree with michael that reagan's legacy is important and it needs to be studied and that's what i've tried to do. by the way i'm writing two more books on reagan and i just finished april 1945 and that is the companion book my book december 1941. the reason i did this book april 1945 is so much happens, almost everything happens in april 1945. franklin roosevelt passing away and hyde park new york, his boyhood home.
12:52 pm
adolf hitler committing suicide. mussolini beingtaken down by the law . the bloodied campaign in okinawa island which was the final staging before the invasion of japan. auschwitz is discovered. .how is discovered. allied troops most especially the soviets and americans are closing inon berlin . there are so many things that happen in these first four weeks which is why i devoted this time to this next book which comes out early next year. >>hughes in ashland virginia, you're on with author craig surely . >> thank you so much of this wonderful program. it's so interesting to look back and really see a lot of things that we weren't aware of and i like to help mister surely bring even more things out and in a positive way. i actually have a poem in the president ronald reagan library titled caring
12:53 pm
sharing, i can give you a blog it's on the seat of proclamation he made on the 5139 where he claimed to december 19, 1983 national care and share day. really asking companies and nonprofits to do as much as they can to help the less fortunate so that's a really positive message that needs to come out even more in these times. i wanted to see if you could comment on to people. i received a letter from a friend of president reagan's, charles wick who headed the us information agency. related to information i sent to him. concerning the company of the future now. back in the early 80s and one other quick thing, roy: add a relationship i believe with charles wick who introduced roy cohen to president reagan
12:54 pm
but roy cohn also was donald trump's namementor . so i wanted to see if he knew much about those two gentlemen. >> mister surely. >> charlie wic was an old and dear friend of reagan's area the was goes back to the hollywood days. when reagan was, came up through the years and later evolved into a bitter political framework and reagan wanted him, not radio free europe of the other broadcasting for a part of the government but they were very close. and they used to spend christmas together every year . mrs. reagan was particularly fond of charlie wic and his wife . he i think was godfather to at least one of the reagan children. so they were close culturally and politically and geographically . they were their entire life
12:55 pm
area as far as roy cohen, when you're president a lot of people come away thinking the president is going to take their place and listen to them but roy cohen was important to joe mccarthy and his senate subcommittee on investigating sabotage in the united states government during the time of the red scare in the early 50s, late 40s and early50s . but roy cohen, i don't like the cast s version on those who passedaway but he was a selfpromoter . he promoted , he made himself more important to reagan than he really was.he already had his framework for how he was going to run the country and to govern the country.
12:56 pm
his worldview is already set so there's very little you can point to to show that he had any influence over reagan . he simply met him once or twice and i think that was about it. there were several letters or memos i believe in the reagan white house that were generated , his indications to nancy reagan and to president reagan when they were in new york. and the political analysis was that to stay away from him. just stay away as much as possible so his influence was pretty outsized considering who reagan was and who he listen to and whose advice he took. >> boat is in sylvester georgia, good afternoon area that you're on home tv it's a
12:57 pm
wonderful program. two things, the first one i looked down the street from a pearl harbor survivor that commanded the uss ward and decided that the japanese submarine that morning. the other thing i want to ask you is you mentioned that one of the books you wrote about reagan between 76 and 80. i remember me reagan debating his fellow conservative bill buckley about the panamacanal treaty . and there was an attempt to elevate reagan international status withinhis own party . >> go ahead. >> these done, craig surely. >> the panama now treaties were amazing in this country. at least everybody was talking about in 1977, 1978 and it previously had started , going back when the isthmus of panama was dug out under jd roosevelt administration
12:58 pm
and the panama canal was created. it's that over the 70s in the 1960s and 70s, we always had control and jurisdiction over the panama canal. but the, there was this anti-imperialist belief or theme in america and i happen to share it, i agree with it that we should return the rights for the sovereignty of the canal to the panamanian people. but panama at the time was being run by a dictator. omar real reagan used to refer to as a 10 had dictator. and what was a great debate inside the republican party over the panama canal treaty. said reagan was opposed to
12:59 pm
relinquishing the trees to the panamanians in 1978 and felt it was in favor. there were other conservatives in favor of it to like charlemagne and others but reagan was leading national campaign against the trees. and he participated in the panama canal piece process, the country and helped it was much debate. in the senate and on national television and then in the newspapers really gripped the nation were a number of, for a long time before the party voted on it they only passed the senate to two treaties and they only passed both the senate i believe by one vote. so the jurisdiction of the panama canal was returned to the panamanian people. and it was, reagan used it to
1:00 pm
maximize his advantage for himself. he himself in the public eye and keep himself focused on politicians that were inspiring to the imagination of many americans. and it really helped him and help the republican party. >> .. he felt as a result of voting for those three days-- it was a hot issue in the country at the time. this was just after the vietnam war and watergate and it became
1:01 pm
an issue of national pride. you know the panama canal i remember my grandmother was so hot about it at the time because she grew up in an era of the panama canal was taught to her as one of the five wonders of the world, this and other things and it was important psychologically to the american people that conquered malaria because of it, albert schweitzer and we others had tried and failed to build the panama come out and we were successful and it was important to the american people psychologically and it just became an issue of something patriotic, not a complex issue like it was in about american imperialism or anything out like that it was about american sovereignty at the time the soviets were itching to have-- control the
1:02 pm
canal so they could easily move their fleets between the atlantic and the pacific ocean, so it was a hot hot issue at the time and by the way i salute your neighbor and thank your neighbor who is a panama canal survivor, wonderful thing he did and it was a great sacrifice he made, so thank you to him? host: the pearl harbor survivor. we have one hour left in our conversation with author craig shirley and here's how you can participate, our numbers for those of you in the east and central time zone if you are out west you can dial-in. if you can't get through on the phone line or would prefer to send a text or a written message you can do that in many ways with our text number for text only. please include your first name and city.
1:03 pm
when it comes to social media if you'd like to make a comment there at the tv is what you need to remember and finally e-mail book tv at c-span.org. craig shirley, we referenced william f buckley a minute ago but i wanted to ask about him and milton friedman and their effect on ronald reagan's thinking guest: it cannot be measured. in fact both of them, reagan was a personal friend of bill buckley-- buckley and they exchanged many letters and bill buckley was also a friend of nancy reagan and they had many dinners together and were together socially and things like that and natural review is a magazine that cannot be underestimated in its
1:04 pm
role for the conservative movement beginning in the 1950s and refining it and rejecting john burke's society and things like that as part of the american conservative movement and they were extremely close friends and i would say added greeters and also milton friedman as reagan-- friedman of course won a nobel prize for economics while teaching at the university of chicago and was a national celebrity. i remember in the 70s when pbs was running a series on economics containing a lot of interviews with friedman , but his thinking inspired a lot of reagan's policies including the tax cuts
1:05 pm
and budget policies that helped restart the economy as a means of adding dollars to the workplace. host: well, the reverend robert hines from new york e-mails into you, craig shirley, what was nancy reagan's role in his success and what you think of karen tumble new biography of her? guest: i have not read the book yet. i'm anxious to read it and i'm sure where it's a very good book. she's a good reporter for the "washington post" and i've known her for years and so i'm sure-- what was the first part of your question? host: what nancy reagan's role was. guest: yes, nancy reagan was invaluable for ronald reagan. if reagan had wanted to be the best shoe salesman in the world, she would have made sure he was the best shoe
1:06 pm
salesman in the world and it just so happen he wanted to be president of the united states, but she was not a passive little cookie baker. she was traditionalist. she was elegant. she was beautiful and she also had a very good mind on her shoulders. she also had a lot more -- a lot better and hannah for detecting people who were using reagan to their benefit than he did. she was good at keeping people at bay who were not going to help her husband or were going to hurt her husband. she famously was involved in the church, choice of personality in sacramento when he was governor more so when he was president of the united states. they were a true
1:07 pm
partnership, one of the great romances of the white house history going back to george and martha washington. some presidential couples are more estranged than others, but they were not only a loving couple, but they were a good political team. although, her influence was much more subtle than salem-- eleanor roosevelt was. she was equally effective as a first lady, not as effective as eleanor roosevelt or maybe others, but behind the scenes that she was effective. mrs. reagan was wonderful to me over the years. i remember when i was starting on my first book on the 76 campaign. i was having trouble with the reagan library and she caught wind of it through a mutual
1:08 pm
friend of mine who has sense passed away who is one of the presidents speechwriters and notebook had been written on the 76 campaign. it was one of the most thrilling campaigns he ever had. they were involved with all the gubernatorial presidential campaigns and 76 was the most meaningful and exciting and she directed them, these files that the library had had been sealed and not catalogued yet because they weren't a priority like the presidential files were but she personally told them to open up the files and make them available to me or my exclusive use for my book on the 76 campaign, so i will be ever-- forever indebted to mrs. reagan and honor her memory. >> bookie-- book tv has covered karen on her new biography of nancy reagan in fact we covered her at an event at the ronald reagan library.
1:09 pm
it was in montgomery alabama. >> good show, gentlemen, i'm celebrating my 68th birthday today as a baby boomer. guest: happy birthday. caller: thank you. i want to share a story i remember my dad is saying in regards to fdr coined the day of infamy he had two other brothers and four sisters and i remember him saying that he and one of his siblings, one of my aunts were driving on their way to see my grandparents, they are parents, of course, and the bulletin came over the car radio that the japanese had bombed pearl harbor and my dad and my aunt looked at each other and they were thinking the same thing. their oldest brother was a cto, petty officer stationed on pearl, so a
1:10 pm
lot of things were going through their mind. my grandparents did not have a radio, so my dad and my aunt decided not to say anything to them when they arrives. luckily, my uncle called -- it was an inordinate amount of time when they heard from him but you can imagine what they all went through. as time went on shortly after that my grandparents, of course, got word the japanese bombed pearl harbor, but my uncle called and he was in sick bay that day recovering from a appendectomy. thank god he was safe-- host: can you bring this to a wrap? caller: yes, yeah, so basically nationalism was running very good. my other aunts worked in the cheese men's factory making military
1:11 pm
equipment. my other two uncles, of course, my dad served in the marines and my uncle in the navy and my other uncle in the army, so it was but a time of being proud to be an american and i just wanted to say that mr. shirley, thank you for writing about world war ii. indeed, it was the greatest generation is. host: thank you. anything you want to add to that, mr. shirley? guest: first of all, thank you and your family for your service. i'm sure you have-- [inaudible] you are right, it was a time upgrade patriotism and great sacrifice. every family sacrificed in world war ii, every family large or small sent a son off to war were father off to war. or they had victory gardens or they sacrificed grocery store or taxes or they bought
1:12 pm
bonds, but everyone made some type of sacrifice in world war ii. it's really a remarkable time which we will probably never see again [inaudible] host: craig shirley, e-mail from mark: do you think carter would been reelected over reagan if the ron hostage rescue operation eagle claw had succeeded in 1979? guest: good question for its hypothetical, obviously. i delved a lot into this in my book and other writings and i talked to president carter about that. i think it's possible he might have wanted. it would have been such a wave of euphoria for the release of the hostages. it might well have been a wave-- he might have gone to reelection, on
1:13 pm
the other hand is that eagle claw, months before the election and people started to focus on the real issues at hand and high inflation, high interest rates, unemployment, soured relations with the soviet union and other things that were blamed on the carter administration, so i'm not sure. i think if anything, it may have made the election close. it may have been not a complete electoral popular vote around reagan as it was an 1980 host: allen, from florida, good afternoon. caller: hello, how are you? i wanted to say a couple little things and ask a question and that was by the way, when i was six weeks old i'm told my father took me out of the bassinet to hear
1:14 pm
roosevelt declare a war and then my father's three brothers subsequently served, when getting at least 14 metals, but my question is about the response. you mentioned in 1945, in april, we found out-- my understanding is that the state department knew about it all the time going back late to the 1930s and that breckenridge and the state department almost eagle handily kept the information from going to any newspapers. are you familiar with that story? guest: thank you, ma'am. i salute your brothers and your family for their commitment to the work and one thing you mentioned was franklin roosevelt. president roosevelt although they knew deal with economic failure, it was still a social
1:15 pm
morale success and fdr's greatest success, greatest in the defeat of the empire of japan and nazi germany this in winston churchill and what he did, these two men literally saved the world. they saved europe and they saved america and the pacific from the acts of the powers, so no amount-- not enough praise can be heaped on president roosevelt for what he did in world war ii. new deal was on debatable is that there's no debate about world war ii. he's the reason we won world war ii. yes, i've heard that
1:16 pm
story appeared there is no evidence to prove it. trying to remember when auschwitz was first open in 1933 or 1935 or something like that and that u.s. state department, the u.s. government may have a new, probably knew but there's no paper trail to follow and obviously no one to talk to about this, so i had to rely on what was available to me at the time, which was fdr documents, truman administration documents, the documents of newspapers and things like that and that's when austerlitz and the other caps were discovered was an early 1945, so that's what i remembered. it would be the subject of a very, very good book or a good article or speech or discussion over when the united
1:17 pm
states actually knew about ostrich-- i'll switch and why they did move to stop it earlier. it's very worthy topic of discussion. >> craig shirleycoming 2017 your book citizen new to the making of a reagan conservative came out. is newt gingrich a friend of yours? guest: yes. i would consider him a ride, i don't know if he considers me a friend but it's unauthorized biography i took three or four years to finish it and it's about his childhood up until 1994 and established himself, i think, certainly one of the leading political figures in america today you have to think long and hard to come up with a political figure who isn't president who had as much influence over the national political
1:18 pm
debate as newt gingrich has had and still has today with his regular commentaries and social media comments and fox news and his columns and speeches. he e-mails me and we e-mail back probably once every several weeks or whatever and he was cooperative in this book with unlimited access to him and to his papers and to talk to him about everything in the campaigns and when he was house minority leader and how-- [inaudible] basically we talked about everything. you know, we talked about reagan. we talked about gorbachev, we talked about clinton, what he thought about clinton, al gore and so you know you would have to go back to probably henry clay who was speaker of the house in 1820s abilene, 1830s to find a
1:19 pm
national political figure who had a much affect and not be president of the united states as these two gentlemen, both henry clay and newt gingrich and i think his place in history and the republican party conservative movement, his place in history is assured. host: do you think nancy pelosi has that same status today? guest: as a woman, gas. she's not an ideal the way gingrich is or was, but she probably understands power better than he does. she's never been ousted as a speaker or run out as speaker or challenged as speaker. her authority is supreme , certainly from a political standpoint
1:20 pm
and admirable woman. has done much with her tenure, to 10 years as speaker of the house. revolutionary thing that gingrich did, gingrich reform the house post office in the house is banking when after corruption left and right in his own party and the other party, much more so than anyone else did, much more so than nancy pelosi did, so they are similar and they are different. she understands power better than he does. he understands ideology and movements better than she does. host: mckay competence in 2018 wrote in the atlantic this about newt gingrich: few figures in modern history have done more than gingrich to lay the groundwork for terms) during his two decades in congress he pioneered a style of partisan
1:21 pm
combat, replete with the name-calling conspiracy theories and strategic obstructionism that poisoned america's political culture and plunged washington into permanent dysfunction. guest: i rejected that. i rejected that. you have had animosity between the two parties for eons, going back to the civil war when they literally went to war with each other, the two parties, the democrats and the republicans. 600,000 men died as a result of the fight between two political parties, so it hasn't come to that yet. newt gingrich is not to blame for that. he's a tough fighter, but he was a firefighter he went after corruption when he saw it and defended people who needed defending when he saw that also.
1:22 pm
his motives were always mostly if not all pure and i talked to many, many people who work for newt gingrich and i talked to him that knows him and i came to the conclusion, this is a good man and because he's been so successful that it invokes criticism and someone like mckay would be a critic because he's a liberal and because he is envious or thus oppose to newt gingrich's ideas and strategies and philosophies. host: patch in keyport, new jersey, please go ahead with your question or comment for author craig surely. caller: thank you. mr. shirley, it's customary for former presidents to give speeches, write memoirs.
1:23 pm
what do you look at now like 30 years after the fact about ronald reagan taking one or $2 million per couple of speeches in japan? was that nonpresidential, unseemly? guest: pat, do you think it was? caller: i really don't know what to think about it seeing how other former presidents like the clintons have cashed in on the presidency. this was the first when i remembered in my lifetime. host: thank you, ma'am. guest: that's a good question, pat. i thought about it a lot is that maybe i would advise him to do it differently or take a lesser amount or whatever but they needed the money at the time, i know that in the japanese were willing to pay it, so why not. on the other hand also, probably for momentary point history it
1:24 pm
diminishes some about luster of his legacy, but not completely, only in a transitory sense. he still regarded as one of our greatest presidents and this is not-- usually it's iran contra when people question the reagan presidency or dealing with his hard line early on with the soviet union, whatever those are usually the points complained about reagan as opposed to his post- presidency, but i understand your concern. it's a valid and when i don't have an answer to, quite frankly unless-- if i had been there at the time i would've been a position to advise him i may have advised him differently. host: craig shirley, what is your take on iran contra and ronald reagan? guest: well, it was unusual.
1:25 pm
it was arms for hostages, as we all know. it was illegal for this activity. [inaudible] it was oliver north, lieutenant colonel oliver north who is out of control operating out of the basement of the white house. there was a turnover in the chief of staff position at the white house and we have gone from supremely top confident tim baker who has become the role model now, for all good white house chief of staff to don regan who was supremely incompetent and was fired by reagan. he earned mrs. reagan's buyer justifiably. he had his own personal
1:26 pm
past. still equipped to serve the president of the united states much less his chief of staff. at the end reagan took responsibility himself and said look, it happened on my watch. the argument is over whether or not reagan knew about it or not. many said he didn't and i remember he wrote in his diaries that he was mad at oliver north claiming he gave reagan a briefing on this the deal and the logs at camp david did not show oliver north ever going there to brief ronald reagan, so the proof was on reagan's aside, but it's a black eye on his administration that should not have been done. best of intentions of helping the contras or freeing the hostages in the middle east, which really tugged at reagan's heartstrings a lot, the hostages being
1:27 pm
tortured. no one profited from the iran-contra. no one made money, but it was wrong, a violation. reagan took his lumps and it is something that needs to be considerably considering all the aspects of his presidency because i remember at the time 1986, i think it was, when his popularity, 65% approval and went down to 45% approval in a matter of days because of the controversy over iran-contra. certainly cost a lot of staff people their jobs justifiably or not, and it was months long debate here in washington and the united states before the matter was all cleared up. host: before we run out of time we have about a half-hour left
1:28 pm
and i want to make sure to get your most recent book, "mary ball washington" untold story of george washington's mother peggy wright mary washington was a woman who used a façade of motherly virtue to cover her desire to control her son. in the same way he led a country to wait breakaway from its overbearing imperial matron george had to struggle to find independence in his own life to step away from the power of his demanding mother. how were you able to discover that 250 years later? guest: through letters, other books, tempering his accounts at the time and the obvious truth like for instance when washington was 14 years old, of course the american colonies were under british rule. he wanted to enlist in the british navy and so
1:29 pm
mary wrote a letter to a relative in london and it came back that said under no circumstances might george become a cabin boy in the british navy and really this is quoting, he will be treated terribly. there was a cassa system in british society and in the british navy that said royalty was first and then there were subjects and then other lesser people in the breakdown of the list would have been american cabin boys and they-- this is a time also that british admiral trey kept logs including that one third of british cabin boys died at sea. they were washed overboard, killed in battle, caught scurvy
1:30 pm
but there were many ways that british cabin boys-- all cabin boys in the british navy died at sea and of course they were serving with some really sailors who were you know drunkards and bombs-- bomb and all sort of nature, british army would go through bars and brothels in london and grab a man and throw them on their ships and trained them to become seamen, so he would have been with a really rough crowd, maybe dangerous crowd and so she told them he was not going to come a british cabin boy she changed the course of history in that decision i may have saved his life as well. there were other times in her life where she
1:31 pm
changed either changed course of history or spared his life for both host: what got you started on mary ball washington? guest: two of my favorite presidents are george washington and ronald reagan because i think they are fascinating individuals. they both had many different interests and pursued many different careers in the military and politics and things like that and after i discovered books written about washington it seemed to be kinda pretty well petered out, but a book about his mother because no one had ever done a book about mary ball washington before and i lived in the middle peninsula of virginia
1:32 pm
and the ball family, her descendents, are thick as thieves down there and there's a lot of paperwork on my lot of history, and a lot of history there including mary herself died in her 80s a breast cancer and just a couple of years ago a ball descendent, a woman who owned a antiques store in the northern neck of the woods, she also died of breast cancer and followed the geological trail 250 years unfortunately to inflict this women as well, but she had an anonymous influence on her son her entire life and i wanted to record-- write this book about him, but how is influenced by her. she was a single mother raising six children in a century that wasn't very hospitable to women
1:33 pm
[inaudible] what we don't know is that few people know that women in the era were not allowed to own property and unless they were holding onto the property simply for a deceased husband to pass along to the oldest son as she was doing, holding it for george washington. she was a strong capable woman because she had to be strong and capable because it was a tough century for women, but especially so for her as a single mother, so she again is someone that's fascinating and you can't find everything out about her. i had to, you know,
1:34 pm
limited, but for instance when i couldn't discover is where she is buried here no one knows where the mother of george washington is buried. meditation rock where she used to go, it was called meditation rock and she would go there with her bible and meditate and she may have been buried there. she may have been buried at her call it ash cottage. no one knows, so i was limited in how much i could write about her because not everything is known about her, not everything that should be known say like sarah roosevelt. we know everything about franklin roosevelt's mother or other presidential mothers of more recent era. we know about them, but mary ball washington, we
1:35 pm
don't. host: stephen from pennsylvania, please go ahead with your question or, per craig shirley. caller: hello, mr. shirley. i appreciate you being on today and your insights pair i would like to ask a question on the more personal level for president reagan. it's my understanding that he appreciated his staff and when a staffer would have a significant event in their life says -- such as a marriage or maybe birth of a child that he would personalize something for the staff i appreciate you answering that. guest: thank you. yes, reagan had-- how do i say it, debatable relationship with his staff. some staff he was indifferent and other staff he was intellectually curious or personally involved,
1:36 pm
but on the issue of marriages and birth of babies and things like that he was deeply involved. he would write them a letter. he would bring them into the oval office for a photograph. there was a zone of privacy around him and nancy reagan that people could not penetrate. on the other hand also, this was a very convivial letter-- man who would write tender c people when he was giving them donations, there was one famous story when he was governor. he would get a pile of news clips every morning and get a bunch of letters every morning. he got hundreds of letters and staff would break it down to about five letters. hate letters, love letters and people in need letters and read one from a woman who was in need and out in indiana and she was
1:37 pm
raising her two children by herself and having a difficult time. he wrote her a letter back and send her a check for $100 and she couldn't believe it that the president of the united states would answer her letter and give her a check. she took it to the bank and the bank found out, president of the united states, ronald reagan's signature and reagan later the next month was balancing his checkbook at his desk in the oval office and he noticed this woman that he donated the check to had not deposited the check so he got on the phone and of course the white house communications office is famous for-- you could say i knew this girl when i was in fifth grade with brown hair and get her on the phone five minutes later without a name or address or phone number, famous for tracking down people.
1:38 pm
tracked this woman down and got her on the phone and reagan asked her why and she said i'm sorry, mr. president, but i want to keep it as a souvenir and reagan said look, i'm going to send you another check, but don't cash both. there were moments of great tenderness. he would donate a personal effect to the school that he attended so many times he showed affection and warmth and kindness to people. like for instance you know the white house staff is big and complex and things like that, but one department he loved the most was the speechwriting department. he probably had the best set of speechwriters in the history of america with the exception of ted sorensen who is john kennedy's a speechwriter, but he had a marvelous a set of
1:39 pm
speechwriters and it wasn't just order takers. this was a think tank in the white house and they would come up with ideas and suggestions and things like you know tear down this wall and other things like that, came up the speechwriters and sometimes rate-- reagan would accept them and sometimes they win and he was involved with every one of them. he would add and write and move paragraphs around and things like that, he was very involved with them and they grew to really, really appreciate and love ronald reagan. host: here's an e-mail from margaret and a place i think you have probably been, dixon, illinois. thank you mr. shirley for extensive information on ronald reagan. i live in dixon,
1:40 pm
illinois. at the church he attended is still going, the school he attended is now a museum, public library has largest section on reagan. i will check to find your about. i once lived in reagan's home before it became a historic site. guest: how about that, wonderful story. yes, i have been in dixon many times i have been to his boyhood town, attended his churches several times. there are two statues of ronald reagan in dixon, one of him on horseback down by the river where he was a lifeguard. where he saved 77 lives as a high school lifeguard. there is another statute there in dixon, so it's very important to his legacy. it's also important to remember that he moved around many times as a child. his father was a shoe
1:41 pm
salesman as well known, an alcoholic, and took jobs in many areas including chicago, dixon, and other places in and around western illinois, so this is important. there are a number of homes there that he lived in including near the college where he was a member of the church there as well. he once joked, he was that she would serve food in a women's sorority and joked later it was the best job he ever had. host: george from taxes-- from virginia text into you, can you comment on the importance of the radio show president reagan did between 1976 and 1980 and he goes on to say i heard president reagan speak in 1975.
1:42 pm
it changed me. it felt like he spoke only to me, was his comment. guest: what a wonderful letter. i'm glad he brought up the radio commentary because so, so important. this is an era before cable television and the internet. you are limited in your forms of communication. you have a local television. and then you had local radio and syndicated radio and then you had newspapers and wire services, magazines and things like that and personal letters and the spoken word but communication was much more limited in that era and that made his radio pronouncements very, very important here. he did over a thousand radio commentaries in his lifetime before his presidency. they were five minutes each, five days a week and so you had to really
1:43 pm
keep your wits about yourself to make sure your radio commentary was topical. they were done at a radio studio in west los angeles literally at the corner of hollywood and vine. he wrote many of them. somewhere written by jeff. somewhere written by pat buchanan and peter hannaford, but he wrote the vast majority of them and several books have been published about his radio commentaries. they were syndicated on hundreds of radio stations around the country including a radio station in syracuse, and i would hear the radio broadcast there and parents home in syracuse in the 1970s. of course, millions of people listen every day. they had a great effect on his ability to mobilize voters and to
1:44 pm
eventually seek the presidency one more time there were lots of people who listened to reagan who later became reaganites after his commentaries. host: mark in st. paul, minnesota. hello, mark. caller: my recollection to his joint address to the congress president biden indicated trickle-down economics has never worked. i'm curious as to what mr. shirley steak would be on that comment and the economic legacy of president reagan in general. thank you. guest: thank you for the question. i'm glad you brought it up. i heard that in biden's speech to congress the other night also and of course it was nonsense. it was never down-- trickle-down economics, it was getting people back their own money. it was an unfortunate phrase that was created by david stockman who is then reagan's budget
1:45 pm
director who later resigned and remains with a stain on his record today. it's a false argument. it's a false charge. it's a waste of time to try to engage, but you can't argue with the results. in eight years reagan created 19 million new jobs. he beat inflation. he beat high interest rates. he beat high unemployment. he turned around the nation's per hour. the proof is in the pudding, as they say and the proof is that reaganomics worked as an economic and cultural and social political forests from 1981 until 1989. spewing craig shirley, you wrote recently in newsmax quote we have had great presidents and we've had bad presidents and at the moment we are stuck with one, joe
1:46 pm
biden, who will at most be just mediocre. my hopes aren't even that hi, to be honest. guest: my op-ed can be a bit rougher. i think biden's problem today is he has two fundamental belief in government's ability to solve people's problems. reagan, when he accepted the nomination for president of the united states in 1980, he said -- he assembled delegates and the national audience washing-- watching he said don't trust me, trust yourself and that is the essential difference between the two parties. when is the poor should be the party of the individual and the party that believes in themselves, believe in ourselves and the other is the belief that people are inherently ineffectual in solving their own problems in the government activism is necessary as a means
1:47 pm
to solve the problems and that's the summation really up what biden said, historically wrong in the context of arad reagan did. i may write a op-ed about that. host: barbara, from virginia, please god with your question or comment. caller: i have a comments. the comment is, i can't believe that you sat there and said that no one made money off the iran-contra affair. there's no way for you to make that statement. you have no knowledge of that. you have the cia. everyone they knew, all the politicians that they were getting paid to look the other way and the military industrial complex, which is the corporations that run the world, which is why
1:48 pm
it was done and who had it done and then you say reagan paid the price politically. big deal. he should have gone to prison-- host: barbara, craig shirley? guest: i think we should put barbara down is undecided. host: carmine, new rochelle, new york. caller: good afternoon. mr. shirley, over the years i have heard rumors and suspicions that when president reagan was running for office against jimmy carter, he had representatives in iran talking to the iranian leaders as to not release the hostages because it would aid him when election time came around. i always wondered if that was true and maybe if you could shed some light on it that. guest: thank you.
1:49 pm
a good question. there is no evidence. there was a book written several-- several books and one was by terry sick whose last name i think summed up as political philosophy and he charged representatives of the ayatollah to keep the hostages in iran in the 1980 campaign to enable reagan to win. nothing could be further from the truth. george bush did not fly to paris, france. he did not fly to toronto and was any the u.s. all times are no representatives of the reagan campaign or anyone from the military or cia or anything like that ever met with delegates. these are conspiracies that have no basis in fact, just made up and it's just utterly untrue. i will tell you, i interviewed bruce
1:50 pm
langdon of the american embassy and turn on-- to run. he said the reason we were released on the eve of the and operation of ronald reagan was the iranians were terrified of reagan and they felt they could push jimmy carter around and didn't feel like they could push reagan around and they were terrified reagan would take military action, decisive military action if they stayed captive and that's why the iranians released them. that's the simple fact. host: for all of our in-depth authors we like to ask him or her what they are reading currently and some of their
1:51 pm
favorite books. here are the responses from craig shirley, some of his favorite books include: between the adventures of tom sawyer, jay winick april 1865, catherine drinker poland miracle of philadelphia, tom wolf the bonfire of the vanities, and larry mcmurtry lonesome dove. currently, mr. shirley is reading james swanson end of days. napoleon hill's think and grow rich, john misha franklin winston and michael dobbs one minute to midnight. a lot of history titles there. one stood out to me and that was napoleon hill's three-- think and grow rich. what is that about? guest: that book has been around for a hundred years. my grandmother of georgette first turned me onto it when i was a young boy and i've read it many, many times. it's kind of a similar
1:52 pm
to other motivational books, but it's different also. the power of positive thinking by norman vincent peale, similar to his book and its inspirational. it's about how you achieve success in different meanings, spiritual meaning, through social means, their cultural means and it's a book i turn to to read for pleasure and just to re-energize my thinking every couple of years and i have four many years now. as a matter of fact, for many years i also whenever i hired a new person in my pr firm i gave them a copy of think and grow rich because it has so much useful information. host: another book you say you are rereading in cs lewis the screwtape letters. why? guest: i love cf lewis. he proved you can be
1:53 pm
spiritual and be a libertarian, and his case is that it teaches about word's work is the devil and what he's teaching is young award how to ruin people's lives and things to avoid and things to know about like like if the house is burning down you hand someone a box of matches or if someone is drowning you hand them a fire hose. it's about what's going on in society and culture and what to avoid and what to embrace. it really is a good spiritual and practical book. host: wilner, please go ahead. caller: good afternoon, mr. shirley. how are you doing today? guest: good. how are you? caller: hanging in there.
1:54 pm
guest: thank you for asking. caller: no problem to be the reason for my call i would like to ask you what was your thoughts on reagan documentary that aired on showtime a few months ago. do you think that it was, you know-- host: what were your thoughts about it? caller: well, my thoughts i found it to be you know interesting documentary because you know i watched past reagan documentaries like reagan experience, but this was more in depth. you know, i just wanted to know because since he's the reagan experts i wanted to know if he believed it was accurate or was-- host: it was not accurate. it was a mass. it was a mess. it was made by a man who used to work for the caucus-- the caucus. i was not approached to do an interview because he knew i wouldn't cooperate in the way he wanted me too cooperate, but one person who did
1:55 pm
cooperate later told me he said he had been duped, sold a bill of goods. it was selectively edited. it was another liberal attempt unfortunately, to submerge the reagan legacy. a much better treatment of reagan's life is an epic movie coming out for released in the next several months, the next year or so called reagan and i happen to know the producer and he's a straight up guy and he's using several reagan books as basis. it's not a documentary, it's a theatrical movie, dennis quaid is playing reagan and the several well-known actors are playing as well, so this , i think, will be more accurate pro trail of reagan's life and
1:56 pm
career than that documentary that was so sorely lacking. host: craig shirley, when you say the producers a straight up guy, is that a way of saying he's coming at it from a conservative point of view? guest: actually, i don't know his policies. i know him socially, but i don't know him politically. but, i have known him over many years and many years he's been working on this movie, raising funds and actors and such and i have always-- i've been on several political panels and i judge him to be a straight up guy, you know no agenda. there's been many documentaries that have been anti- reagan. there are a few that are pro reagan, so i'm looking forward to the movie because i'm not sure, maybe-- i'm not going to be happy with it, but i believe it
1:57 pm
will be a factual accounting of his life and career. host: we've often heard over the past four years about the media and donald trump. did donald reagan faced a hostile media creature you betcha. guest: downright hostile. washington post, you know-- of course endorsed jimmy carter and endorsed i believe every democrat running since adlai stevenson 1952. their newspaper coverage was heinous towards reagan, same with the "new york times", the three networks were very rough on reagan all those years and that's why they would use the phrase talking over the media. [inaudible] you know support tax
1:58 pm
cuts, support aid to the contras and things like that because the white house staff knew that he couldn't get a fair shake in the media so he faced a very hostile media, not probably as hostile as trump because he was a professional governance that tempered the media back then, but it's less prevalent today. issues like individual shows and things like that were much more respectful on the other side of the aisle than they are today. now it's downright hostile. abc, nbc, cbs, "washington post" and "new york times", which is why alternative media is growing up or around the three networks, you know why fox and newsmax in one america news and the washington examiner
1:59 pm
and the c-span and other broadcast outlets where people who are on the right feel like they get a fair shake or at least a chance to tell their point of view without a filter. host: craig shirley is the author of four biographies on ronald reagan and a couple more in the works. keys were written about world war ii, another one in the works and also written about newt gingrich and mary ball washington, the mother of george washington. he's been our guest on in-depth on book tv for the past two hours. thank you, mr. shirley. guest: thank you very much. host: if you missed any of this program and you want to rewatch it, it will bear in just a minute. ♪♪
2:00 pm
.. >> host: author craig shirley you've written for biographies of ronald reagan. >> guest: the chapters in his

56 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on