tv Author Discussion on George Washington CSPAN July 5, 2021 6:00pm-6:56pm EDT
regarding looks back at nixon's decision to in the connection between the value of the u.s. dollar and the gold standard journalist emily to stop hiv and aids in africa to in the play, heinz titled the coming week wherever book and watch for many of these authors to appear in the near future and bookkeeping. >> hello and welcome to the 2021 to the book festival. i am your host for this presentation. before we get started a quick plug to support the authors by purchasing their books from our wonderful bookseller partner politics and prose. one of america's premier independent bookstores. we have links to purchase in the presentation description given all we have been through the pasture it is so important to support local jobs in the local
economy. i want to extend a big thank you to her 2021 future sponsor david and michael blair family foundation for their generous support. okay, let's get started tonight we have with us toee highly acclaimed authors here to discuss the latest books both oe our first president george washington. george washington the political rise of america's founding father by david stewart is a fascinating account of how washington became the single most dominant force in the creation of the united states of america. davidow stewart is a bustling writer of history and historical fiction exploring topics such as the constitutional convention, the gifts of james mattis,
ahrens treason trial in the impeachment trial of president andrew johnson. he won the washington writing award for best book, the history prize of the society of the cincinnati in the prescott award of the national society colonial days off america. george washington's final battle the epic struggle to build a capital city and nation by robert p watson dives into washington the moment in the establishment of the capital city and describes how the process really for our young and vulnerable countryes apart. robert p watson is a professor, historian and author with over 40 published books and hundreds of scholarly articles. he served as a visiting scholar in many historic sites including presidential libraries, museums and universities. and was an analyst for nbc and pbs for many years. several of his books have won awards including the knotty titanic, the ghost ship of brooklyn and untold story of the america revolution and america's first crisis.
welcome david and robert. >> the story i tried to tell was intriguing to me and i became aware of something a lot of people know which iser washington's key election and he was elected commander-in-chief in the army and elected the constitutional convention and elected of course but the kicker is he was elected unanimously and you don't get that with box tops, that was a big deal in the 18th century and is unimaginable today, i wanted to try to understand how that happened, what was the magic that he was able to apply to make that happen. >> the story i found was different from the one that we think we know from george
washington he was not an instant since s and it was not easy, he was a third son of a planter of the second rank not an elite figure in virginia by any means. his father died when he was 11 and when you were the third son you did not get very much in those days and he didn't, he got some pretty shopworn assets because he was 11 his mother took him a over anyway and she s right to do that for five little kids to raise and she was a single mom, he goes to work winning 16 he's not had the formal education is two older brothers had her he wished he had, he was embarrassed about his lack of formal education. he goes to work because he needs the money which is not how we think of george washington but through connections any
wonderful next door neighbors the fairfax who own most of northern virginia and incredibly powerful and they sponsor him and he becomes in a very young age the head of the virginia regiment fighting the french and indians on the western frontier and it's a great opportunity and seems but then it turns out to be a terrible opportunity because the indians are wonderful forest fighters are not in he has basically three years on the frontier where nothing goes well, ambushes, massacres, he does not win anything and it's really miserable, he is miserable and he becomes testy and he manages to alienate basically all of his superiors with the british military establishment and the
royal governor of virginia who gave him the job, he and alienates them honestly and sayt run thanks to them and jumps the chain of command and goes behind their backs and when he finally redesigns commission, i think they were all delighted to see him leave and he doesn't have am career in the military world that he had hoped to have. >> he decides to reinvent himself as a political figure,
tradition,er in the and relatives have to die, he marries an extremely wealthy woman a widow martha, he steps off on a career that most people ignore when they write about washington and think about him, he spent 16 years in the virginia house of burgesses as a legislator with the colonial legislature, he spends a decade which had many public responsibilities included taking care of poor and he also spends untrained pictures on the court which sounds very judicial and is partly in was partly but also administrative's, had responsibility for figuring out the roads and running tobacco warehouse is for the expert business in washington was was extraordinarilync a good administrative work and executive action. , in these roles he creates a new person as near as i can seea he tries to build on his strengths and use his weaknesses
that's withdrawing up is all about and he does it in an interesting way he doesn't have a very good voice he doesn't trust his education so to mix it up he needs to develop a quiet leadership, and there's a wonderful episode i emphasize which highlights some of his challenge he brings early on the legislation forward okay he brings pigs into the city of winchester in the frontier city and if you pigs q running throuh town not in pins you're not in a civilizedon place, i they go to the bathroom and they want, it's ugly and they break into your storage and is lousy. he brings a legislation which i could not understand why he was controversial did the pigs have lobbyist, it's confusing. but he loses he cannot get approved in another legislature
takes over the bill he reinvented as a bill to protect the water quality in winchester because the defecating every writer goes intoe the wells in its sales through, it's a very small window into if i dare say how clueless i was, he needed to learn a lot. and he does, it takes him a while, he doesn't rocket to the top ofng the political ladder bt he creates a new persona built on talents he has and is always the tallest guy in the room and he always looks good he was very fussy about his presentation and his clothing, he developed a
quiet style where he made himself a great listener and we would hear people out and i think maybe time on the court helped him with that. as a young man in a military leader he had been a bit reckless going with his got too often, and he developed an approach where he wants to hear from smart people he's going to make up his own mind what he wants to know what smart people say, he has the ability to make years extreme her energy he gets about four in the morning and he looks over everything on the plantation and he goes off and rides he doesn't rest in poetryy in the afternoon he's basically worked for ten hours, he has a
meal and then he works a few more hours and then he has suffered and sometimes works more and that sort of energy well directed makes a huge difference in your life, something that struck me that i was not expecting, it turned out by my interpretation he had a great emotional accessibility, a gift with people not necessarily in a large group, it was a tremendous performer john adams called him the best actor we ever hadwa as president but he s referred to by many contemporaries and this surprised me which is not how we think of him we think of him as a marlboro man but in fact people enjoyeddo his company the was a french officer who
described traveling to early america with him and he said and that the key to his leadership style john adams told the guilt of silence which is a gift that john adams did not have.nd it made a difference i was surprised to discover on several occasions he left in public he was not embarrassed he had feelings, i think that ability was something that matters as well, i tried to take this understanding that i was working
towards and how he made himself when he gets to the congress in 1774, he george washington he's the guy that we recognize as george washington and i think he is and then we look at specific episodes in a mature career where he demonstrates the political talent that he developed in a quick overview i focus on his seven months at valley forge one that the army was at risk of unraveling, he needed toe build bridges to congress to make that work, he needed to repel, an effort to replace him as commander-in-chief there was a bureaucratic maneuver to get them out. and it turned out he was pretty good at a political knife fight and able to survive cleanly the second period his peace time in his resignation is a huge moment
and it creates and reinforces the notion that he doesn't lust after power in the period of drift and articles of the confederation as washington's reputation and talent and they end up bringing the country together the constitutional convention gratification of the constitution. as president there are two episodes especially the first to stay out of european wars the second which i will leave to robert because he made thet real study was establishing a new government in particular the seat of government which was a central act in creating a nation we sometimes forget there was no tradition of united states of america the colonies were
independent and they did not think of themselves as one country and the only things that were unified for the army in the work the new constitution and george washington we cannot address the slavery issue he does come to appreciate if you extract himself from slave ownership and he doesn't make that work because he doesn't have enough money is aen complicated story i will not dwell on it here. at an interesting thing because he wants to but he cannot.
where i do mark him down to be honest he never speaks out hespeaks privately that we needo get rid of slavery but never publicly and this is huge for the nation and our greatest leader was silent and that was a shame i think he decided he wasn't going to change anything anyway he made a cold political calculation but that was too bad most of us know about his freeing of his slaves in his will and i see mostly as an active personal atonement not a political act and he wrote at one point i hope this action will not be displeasing to my maker and a load of guilt as a slaveowner for many years, with that i look forward to hearing from robert on the final bell.
>> david, thank you i am impressed i agree with everything that h you say some f the awards david has one for his writing there more prestigious in our field, if i may i always like to ask authors what they learn new or how they change their image of the subject you said you were a little surprised about washington's emotional accessibility, as was i. could you expand on that and one of the things that i've always said that they tackle a subject i often times like them less as they get to know the more with a few exceptions like washington, lincoln and truman, how did your view of washington did it evolve or did you like it more or less and if you could expand on that idea of emotional accessibility. >> a lot is his moment in most
people all eight of his siblings died before he did. his two stepchildren and he writes plainly, directly about how much it hurts and i did a book on james mattis, there's nothing like that there. and they never said anything about the one episode in particular involved his stepdaughter had epilepsy as a young girl and died at the age of 15 in a family dinner it is a horror whom he writes a letter about one ofe his in-laws and then he does something, i hadpi noticed anybody else pick up on
but he has a lot the next three months and he canceled the mall and he stays with martha and he and martha ride together and they never did that washington was a tremendous wiseman and a great writer and a great athlete and i think she probably couldn't keep up with him and he would get a little impatient and it wasn't the best but in this time. he stayed with her and he rode with her and it's not heroic it's not more than you would hope anybody would do but he did it. it was a picture of the real man that meant something to me. >> that's an important insight as one of your contributions and many peeling back the layers of the onion and trying to get into real washington when she said at the outset i share your beauty comes across to the generations
as the statute may boys felt it was the hardest of all of the founders but stories like that provide us with an invaluable insight can i ask you another question i like to ask authors can you tell the audience to myself about your writing, your approach to writing and research you have a certain room in the house in aue certain time give a certain number of words per day i always like to ask authors that. >> i do as much as i can in whatever needs to be done that day i do i like to work my wife has adjusted to that over the years. i don't have a target for i realize i don't know what happened. as you know with all the books
that you written there is so much to do and so much to know and it takes a lot of scrounging around. >> any big challenges starting the research process, in a way there's so much in washington that it would seem to be an easy project because there is so much in washington to really find new nuggets and insight times you've done to flush out the person rather than a caricature of an existing narrative that we often have, any challenges during your research. >> it's a big life that's what a focus on the five episodes of his mature career i cannot face at this took five years. it was toond much. it got 87 volumes of published papers and you been through ahi lot of them, it is great that you can lose yourself in it so
at some point you have to say okay i'm going to write. >> i know some authors don't mind saying it and others like to keep it a secret but do you have another book planned and can you let us know what is coming up next? >> is something completely different i have three novels that i've actually written and been inspired through the stories in the first one will comeme in november and it's abot essentially the family coming te america in the 18 centuries on the maine coast a bunch of germans come over and get swindled by the anglos. and then the civil war of volume two and volume three and i had to restricted because my mother was an unreliable narrator, she
told great stories and we always knew they probably were always entirely true so it became fiction. thank you for that. >> perhaps that's where you get your gift for storytelling but you make sure it's accurate. >> may be both. >> no question, thank you david, that is a tough fact to follow i will say the idea behind my book george washington's final battle which is what you heard john say at the outset and david allude to it's a storyu about washingtn going to capital city and in doing so forging a nation of a republic. i got the idea in two respects one ties to what david said first off we all of our capital city and we love the tree line mall in the best smithsonian in a level the monuments and touching memorials who are heroes in the fallen and the
government buildings. but a few people know the street behind the capital city why was located where it was the design and architecture and of course all the political twists and turns behind it whiche is a heck of a story. i wanted to tell that. the second reason why i wrote the book ties into a lot of david's work i've always seen washington is the least assessable of all of the framers and all the great founders he's come across as more monument than man more myth than flesh and blood i particularly like the story david shared about him canceling the engagement over three months that's what we need to do we need to breathe more light into washington and in particular and again, i overlap with david and agree with this argument i voicing washington is more political than we often times see the narrative or the pop-culture, washington had political talents as david said
washington could reinvent himself politically. i would not put washington as a political chess master as abraham lincoln or an arm twister like lbj or he clearly wasn't the gifted fdr or jfk but nonetheless washington had a set of political skills and i agree with david instincts on reading people and he also had charisma and he was well aware of his charisma he was always the biggest guy in the room hewi was physically a large man and by today's and athlete, great horseman and a real presence in the raw charisma, he knew that and he knew he was not that well educated and not the articulate. so he kind of wheels himself and plays a role in the cards he was given. there's a story in the book of>> the boat on a key issue and there was four votes shy in the senate and the senate was a lot smaller ten today this a be like
40 votes shy in the senate so there was four votes shy in the senate and washington asked madison and others to call for a revote and people are scratching their head, we need time to work on this they were for votes shy and they call for an immediate revote in washington visits for senators and flipped all for. >> of them. we don't have the details behind it but one can only imagine somebody sitting in their office and the door opens and filling out the door well is george washington who said i'm going to need you to do something for me and i'll be darned if they didn't, that's an example, the other aspect of washington which david alluded to i've seen washington's life as a quest for self-improvement, he was aware of his weaknesses and worked and did reinvent himself into making himself quite an amazing leader and he was more introspective than i think people realize i agree more accessible and a
little less standoffish but two aspects of that i want to flush out one washington which create andov innovate and if you're ina revolutionary war he didn't knew what he was doing he did not have the classic military training which ended up probably being a good thing what is the critique generals are already fighting the last war that they learned about the training. washington was making it up as he was going along see what sticks, it had to be very innovative and creative it as a first person you see this again there is no template, we created the framers created altogether new form of government they went beyond what the roman senate had done they went far beyond the philosophers and contemplated that lincoln would call for the people. washington did not have a
template through his every action and inaction through everything that he said and did not say, he was forging an office in forging a nation, he did not know what he was doing he had to be creative and fill in the blanks and i see this as the farmer george washington washington was a very innovative farmer he was doing fish farming he was trying to grow things that should not grow in the course soil of the virginia region, washington was very innovative and very creative, he was ordering new farming technology and books on scene and everything from architecture to farming he could order through his london merchant and was always trained to improve himself and i think the ultimate view of washington's passion is vision and creativity, he was a visionary and political talents all comes together in forging a capital city and building the capital city.
that's where you see him put his political stock he puts it on the table and he uses his gifts, he's a visionary and looking at a brand-new form of a capital and so on. the backdrop for the story for the capital you can see after the war. we won the war, now what. i found headlines in newspapers and stories where people and writers and said have we really fought for this, we don't have a functioning government yet the articles of confederation which took 77 - 1781 to get ratified it was one branch of government and ineffective ineffectual we kick the british out but when the british left they took the physicians of the money people in the lawyers and the educators, what do we have left we could not pair veterans, we
could not fuel the standing army and we cannot pay back your debts to europe, our currency was worthless, the states were bickering in some ways it was probably easier to win a war for the ability to govern and actually govern where the rubber meets the road is a new challenge. washington city long for retirement and go back to mount vernon by his work was not yet done so in the vacuum after the war washington emerges and based on his letters and letters from others we can see washington identified a series of basic problems, one of them was since the revolutionary war starts in 1775 it does not end until 1783 . . w . veterans cannot field a standing army could not back our debts to europe are currency was worth the states were bickering now what? some ways it was probably easier to win a war for the ability to govern than to actually govern where the
rubber meets the road with the new challenge. go back to mount vernon. but his work was not yet done. so in that vacuum after the war washington emerges based on his letters and letters from others washington identified a series of problems. one of them was this the revolutionary war starts in 1775. does not end until 1783 per with the whole way through the war without a permanent seat of government. we create a brand-new nation without a permanent seat of government but that's no way to start a mission or a economic windfall. of boarding houses and restaurants, economic activities. there is even a joke at one point even had revolving capital.
there's a joke about the trojan horse alluding to how unpopular congress was. the joke about a lot of the members of congress is maybe we should build a trojan horse, cut congress in the belly and sneak it into a city at night. but do the business, loaded up and sneak out the next city. so enter george washington. he really identifies, for problems for this is what is so remarkable to me. it should have been ben franklin. it should have been john adams, thomas jefferson. we had some remarkable renaissance men, well educated, well-traveled, extraordinary intellects. it was not then that identified these core problems and came up with the solution. it wasng the one man among them who was not well-traveled was not well educated. he spent his time in barbados. it was washington. i think it was the creativity the innovation to think outside of the box.,
so here for the proms i focus on trade number one comment the government was not going to endure. as soon as the revolutionary war was ending and march of 1783 at the headquarters in newburgh, along the hudson in new york there was a mutiny. a newburghha conspiracy. and as david noted and bust out in his book, their efforts to remove washington. washington is realizing just as we are ready to seize victory were going to snatch feet from jaws of victory. that in june of 1780 as a mutiny in philadelphia group of u unpaid veterans drunks pull out of pubs in philly and they surround and dependence hall threating to grab people in civil this oak obedience. and this scares the hell out of washington per heat realizes the government may not endure, we are in debt that's the first one way to do about the government? the second problem is factions
and sectionalism. we are already seeing the north, south rift. the federalists and the and site federals in the factions between adams and hamilton's and jeffersonians and medicines, we are already seeing and of course today on our politics have no credibility in the eyes of your. we are a cultural backwater the image of america's a bunch of people running around the wilds wearing deerskin and raccoon hats. how do we conduct treaties the fourth problem we don't have a
spirit of an american identity or any nationalism if yes bens franklin sylvania you find that letters say these, plural, united states how does washington address all these problems, capital city. romanesque inspired by rome, city for the ages, located between south together it's too far in the south to four on the north one half of the faction is not happy. how did you in view the people with the sense of national
identity if you have a small federal town with a couple of brick buildings? you don't. you have a glorious capital. the capital city as they stated in the constitution something david has written about, a 10-mile square. this is 100 miles everybody, this would put paris and london to shame for this is quite an ambitious undertaking the government will not endure. if we imbue the government with the judas me, strength that could endure. you basically have two visions for the capital. one is led by jefferson and southerners in kind of a slaveowning vision. jefferson's federal town as youhe call just a few acres, single story brick building separated by fields and woods aand forests.ty think of the architectural politics or the politics of architecture at the federal government is a couple small brick buildings than the states are supreme.
there's not a challenge to the institution of slavery if you have a great and glorious rome on the potomac, and the federal government is viewed with power and that cane change the equation. washington challenges his g fellow southerners and the jeffersonian model in envisioning this brand-new incredible capital city now furthermore, washington is cognizant of and i think one of the biggest surprises for me and all of this, you don't think of washington as a deep thinker or philosophically, often times he wasn't. he learned his life lessons in serving and fighting indians in what was then ther wilderness. but washington realizes we have a brand-new, hereto for unknown system of government we are going to create a brand-new capital. they are going to grow up
together. and that capital city will influence the development of this new nation and countless ways, which i think is just an extraordinary way of thinking about it. and again i'm surprised it was washington and not a ben franklin or john adams two of the other founders i quite enjoy. so they would grow up he helped select the site with the cavity will be. now for my self interest perspective it happens to be near land he owns, happens to be near mount vernon. it happens to be near his beloved potomac. he was obsessed with the potomac. which she had canoed, surveyed and charted and he knew it he loves it. let's naïvely alludes to thet
potomac is greater the tigers and euphrates which is why the hudson and other rivers were in thewh equation. he's going to forge a brand-new capital.wn washington helped select the site. washington surveys a lot of it. washington picks the architects for he picks the finest french architect and engineer who he knew through his service in a revolutionary war he was also a mason that helped. but he is classically trained in paris and most importantly shared washington's vision of a glorious capital of the ages the grand boulevards that intersect for their public squares in each of the filled
with memorials and monuments and glorious marble looking buildings. so it left font washington's exaggerated view of the capital part washington picks the architecture another immigrant, james hogan from ireland. washington is part of the effort to get the scottish stone masons to come in and provide all of the beautiful embellishments on the building. so washington plays a role pretty even plays a role employed selling the plots of lyland so from beginning to end washington is intimately involved in this. and i agree with david during his presidency one of the great things he had his eyes on the ball of creating a nation. in you could really say the last ten years of his life with the idea of capital part he visited the site, he hires
the three federalan commissioners to oversee the city. he demands regular updates and reports and stays intimately involved in it. let me just say one more thing i will bring this to a close. everyone has seen hamilton the musical, right? which i loved my 20-year-old son is actually named for alexander hamilton. which he now tells all of his friends very proud, he did not like his name before but now things is really cool. i always remind my colleagues and fellow historians i was a hamilton fan wagon 20 some years ago when my son was being born. i always said it's easy to love hamilton but is hard to like him pretty straight complicated as they all were. john adams -- jefferson is an acquired taste.e
and they all were quite frankly. the dinner party on june 20, 1790's they wrap in the musical the room where it happened. the jeffersonian action and the hamilton, the less government, the more government just to make it simplistic why because of washington. it was more ideologicallylw aligned but hamilton is a federal spirit washington saw hamilton as more of a son. hamilton sent washington as a father figure he never really had. and hamilton is washington'sat right-hand man is a say in the musical. washington would side with hamilton including neutrality, as opposed to jefferson's
involvement on behalf of france in that issue. jefferson is waiting outside of washington's house. and he hears a great commotion.me washington and hamilton have a fight. both washington and hamilton have volcanic tempers. part of washington's legendary comic can be contributed to may be a lifelong effort i should say to control his temper and present himself in another way that is self-improvement that i talked about that reinvention is david talks about. so hamilton comes out of jefferson roti never seen them so contracted. he's going to move quickly. he invites his right-hand man madison. on they have to resolve a couple of pressing issues,
just two of my men. one would be the location off the capital per the other one will be the question of the debt they called it federal debt assumption. so where should the b-uppercase-letter? now hamilton once in the north, one point new york for jefferson and the southerners one in the south. it's darn near nonnegotiable. on course to jefferson, madison when their beloved virginia. leaving adams and others to joke only inn virginia are all decent swans, right? so to jefferson and madison's surprise, it seems we don't have a lot of sources for this we have secondary sources. jefferson would later write a reimagined version of thisve meeting try to put himself in favorable light. he would later admit when he realized hamilton duped him was the worst moment of his political life because he did not like hamilton. hamilton agrees the capital goes south. jefferson and madison could
not believe it. but what hamilton knew his washington was eyeing up the edge of the potomac. now the question of debt, the south, virginia, did not what to contribute toward the debt assumption. some southern states and covered their debt. a lot of the fighting in the cost of the war were borne by the northern states. in pennsylvania, new york and massachusetts were in a pickle to try to pay back their debts. so jefferson went south to nona payback that debt they do not want to contribute. the federal government would have to assume their debts rated who wanted that? hamilton. hamilton was a treasury secretary. omit makes him with the most powerful people in the government. the federal government assumes we don't need a bank we need a currency we need a strong treasury, all the things hamilton wanted.ye and federal debt assumption so hamilton pretty much plays a jefferson and a brilliant madison like a guitar and gets
all he wants. later there be another interesting exchange that jefferson pursuing his idea of a little simple federal tone a one story brick building, jefferson proposes we have a design contest. how democratic is this? the public submits the designs. jefferson proposes an picks is waiting design affect all share it. she thanks. he picks his own design basically which is probably submitted anonymously. what he does not realize is he takes it the hamilton and a washington he says no we are going with mine and left font. so i will bring it to a close by saying i think washington has many extraordinary legacies. when the important elections even at the local level and residing at the constitutional convention in 1787 to two terms. stepping down as both a general and president really create some remarkable customs.
his greatness is not what he did but what he didn't do in that respect. they forge this capital city and for the life of me we don't have that strong, grand, glorious capital. the questions of the problemsis i discussed whether the government would long endure would be rethought. would be totally different. and of course there wasbr consideration as to what we should name the capital city. everybody knew, one of the idealist washington obelisk. i am just nerdy enough to say it's scary but part of me thanks it's funny and interesting. but thankfully they dropped the obelisk. washington does not dies 1799 the capital city finally opens on november 1, 1800 year later when john adams moves in.
it was not a city we know today, everybody. a couple of buildings, fields of mud because they cut everything down. adams was disgusted and abigail even more so by the presence of slaves building our city which is quite ironic. but because we did not have the money would have to rely on slave labor. one interesting story i fleshed out in the book one of the folks that help survey and set up was benjamin banneker a former slave in extraordinary self-taught engineer, architect, astronomer, surveyor who works with lafond surveying the city. that is kind of poetic. adams was disgusted by the sight of slaves building a city. only six rooms in the white house were finished really roof leaks, there's no place for abigail to hang her laundry to get running water. in the building or reek of fresh plaster all night and all day long was the hammering and sawing of construction.
it was not the city it was. adams did not play hardly any role in any of it which is odd because john adams was intimately involved in virtually every decision for years and the founding of this country but not in the capital. it doesn't recognize washington's extraordinary vision. it doesn't recognize he has a front row seat to history as he moves in and writes a letter containing a poetic verse. he writes a letter to abigail who did not travel with him and kirk stickley says the building is in a situation to be inhabited. knowing abigail would not like what she found she writes of the building we now know as the white house. a prayer which at the end of fdr's life was engraved in the mantle of one of the fireplaces pretty says i pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings upon this house and all will who hereafter i inhabited.
but none but wise and honorable men ever serve under this roof. and that today is in the white house. i think that's part of the great vision of george washington. and his extraordinaryt efforts, his political his vision, his creativity and just getting c this capital city founded and built which ensures the survival of our republic. thank you for that like to thank david it's an honor to be on with him. and to be a part of this wonderful book festival, thank you everyone. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> during a virtual event at the reagan presidential library, fox news host arthur mccallum discussed world war ii battle of iwo jima with fellow host dana perino. here is a portion of the program. >> is grateful to the editor pretty started segment writing a book i started telling him this story about being a little girl and going up into my grandfather's attic and finding these letters that had been written by my mother's first cousin harry great this killed it iwo jima when he was 15. at a young age i would read these letters they would move me too tears. i thought if i'm going to put the time into writing a book, i want it to be a book about something i am going to learn a ton researching. i spent the next three years researching your jima, learning about the battle,
traveling to and immersing myself in this one battle from world war ii part i learned so much about harry and not only that learning a lot about the men here there with him. >> tell me little bit about harry. >> is 18 years old from arlington, massachusetts. his father died when he was 12 so he quickly became sort of the young man of the house. he was very close to his sister and his mother. his mother was my grandpa's sister. we were all very close to have a pretty small family part i grew up knowing her very well. i always wonder with the loss she suffered losing her husband at a young age and then her son which is a heartbreaking loss that reverberated through my family. my mom who is very close to her cousin harry adored him he is like a "big brother" to her pre-losing him was something for the rest of her life. as a child i did not ascend the magnitude of it. the older i got, the more i dug into letters i realize
what a huge part of her life and her family's life. >> the way you structure the book as you have the story at the battle of iwo jima, the fight of the pacific. you enter disperse that story schumer from your childhood, if you would not mind telling everybody, the story that sticks with me so much as when they find out that pearl harbor has been bombed. >> armor my mom told music kid as that david went to church after words we are so excited she and another emily friend that's go to howard johnson's and have hot chocolate purchase i were sitting in the booth it has just arrived with whipped cream on top of it she could smell it was so she was starting to cool it off should something crackling on the irradiance of the all the adults in the room got nervous and started standing up and put their coats on it she member her mother grabbing her by her wrist thing with got to go. got to go. like all hell is breaking loose the world has just
changed in an instant. she did not know what was going on. she member that moment the rest of her life and that changed everything. all the young men they knew including harry, he would go a couple of years later he went to the pacific and change their lives forever. >> to watch the rest of this program visit our website book tv.org. use the search box on the top of the page to look for martha column or the title of her book unknown valor. >> book tv in prime time starts now. percy 2021 prizes awarded for the finest work in english on abraham lincoln the american civil war soldier or subject link to that era than steven felson looks out autocratic governments and digital technology to reinforce their power and influence politics. also tonight wall street journal columnist jason riley discusses the life and career
of the communist, story annette gordon reed talks about american presidents. slavery, and emancipation. editor news argues the mainstream media has destroyed his credibility. find more information at booktv.org or consult your program guide. here is 2021 lincoln prize. >> good evening and welcome. i am the senior high school in new york city and a member of the student advisory council of american history. i've been accepted at several colleges including george law, harvard, brown, john hopkins and boston university.nd it will be deciding soon were to start in the fall. throughout this evening at this important event. as when the most prestigious awards we are sad to not be