Skip to main content

tv   George Packer Last Best Hope- America in Crisis and Renewal  CSPAN  July 12, 2021 2:59am-4:06am EDT

2:59 am
testosterone has shaped human evolution and carry on as a collection of writings by the late democratic congressman john lewis of georgia. find these titles this coming week wherever books are sold watch for many of these authors to appear in the near future on book tv. >> c-span shop.org is c-span's online store. as a c-span products browse to see what is new per your purchase will support of nonprofit organizations are still time to organize a congressional director with contact information for members of congress and the biden administration breaker to cspanshop.org. >> next on c-span book tv atlantic staff writer georgia bakker makes his case for how to reunite americans. columbia university professor shares his thoughts on how americans can move away from
3:00 am
political polarization. and later harvard university professor provides a history of religion and the importance of the church in black communities. find more information on your program guide or @booktv.org. now come here's author george packer. >> hello everyone welcome to the store's virtual event series my name is hal and the event director of the bookstore and an absolute thrill today to get to welcome george packer for the release of last best hope american crisis and renewal in conversation with williams. but the pandemic is taken a toll on all of our lives, events like the one you see her become bright spots in our days to give a huge thanks for guess for joining us this evening especially to george what our favorite locals. some housekeeping should build to see in your presenters but they cannot hear or see you. so if you have any questions click on the q&a button at the bottom of the screen, submit them will be absolutes at the end of the program. there's also a chat button hereto which i'll be hosting a link to buy tonight's book.
3:01 am
we are all at the mercy of her home internet connection and server load so please bear in thinning technical issues that might arise. will try to solve them quickly. we scheduled a whole host of summer programming. had over to our website to stay up-to-date. i do want to point out next tuesday june 22 we are thrilled to be collaborating of their friends to welcome joshua brilliant and increasingly timely new level in conversation with corey roth and for that program is up on a website now taking registration filing going to enable auto trans typesetting was to get going so if you have your version assume is up-to-date hit the live conception but the bottom of your screen to enable that. a little bit about tonight's guess we will get started george whoops, george packer's and award-winning author and staff writer at the atlanta produce previous books include young winding enter history of new america and our man
3:02 am
richard holbrook at the end of the american century which is the winner of the hitchens prize in los angeles times book price for biographies also the author of two novels underplay the editor of a two vibe initiative essays of george oro. is the author of losing self-portrait in black and white he's contributing editor near times magazine but do that's a 19 american fella visiting fellow at aei for his work has appeared in the new yorker, lamont and many other places has been collected the best american essays and travel writings he lives in paris with his wife and two children his next book nothing was the same the pandemic some of george for the shift in western consciousness would published. suturing the stage over to you. >> thank you so much. hey george it is amazing to be talking with you about another book that you have written i'm still trying to work on my prey left next event thank you for during this past midnight your time you are a great friend to do it. >> i would not miss it.
3:03 am
it's the second time i've read this book it is really impressive to me on so many levels buried one of which is the kind of sweep you are able to fit into a book where this learning very lightly. i was wondering if you wanted to maybe say a few words about it or read passage will get into a conversation finished with the q&a from the audience. >> sure, thanks thomas. this is a covid book it was written during the pandemic when i was trapped in front of a screen and could not do any traveling could not do much reporting. so it is unusual book for me. it is not a recorded book is not a research book, it is an essay. i think of it as a political pamphlet in the tradition of short books that come out in the middle of a crisis you try to say something about, make an intervention or push people's thinking in a certain
3:04 am
direction. i'm just going to read the first few paragraphs at the start of the book. and then we can talk about it. i am an american, no i do not want pity for the long story of our experiments in self-government the world's pity has taken the place of admiration, hostility, arc, envy, fear, affection, and repulsion. pity is more painful than any of these and after pity comes indifference which would be intolerable. i know a woman who said of her own husband and children they are not the people i would choose to be quarantined with. are my fellow citizens the people i choose to be quarantines with? while there is no choice, they are mine and i am theirs. during the time of separation, we americans with their dollars and easy smiles and allowed voices have not been welcome abroad. u.s. passports once worth stealing are no good.
3:05 am
formerly mobile women trapped with ourselves and one another. a lot of americans have explored their options for expatriation, a deceased irish grandfather a suddenly promising canadian girlfriend, an open invitation from the government of ghana, a loophole in new zealand. as for me i'm staying put. not because he's exit strategies are not available to me, i want to see how all turns out or my children if not myself. where there huge multi- everything democracy can survive or perish from the earth is a matter of interest. not only for us, the virus gave us this one gift. it interrupted us. the mask wearing, the grocery wiping the regretted handshake, the risk in this muscled person headed my way on the sidewalk credit became impossible to pass of the world in the normal manner. the virus forced us to look at ourselves and for once paid the kind of attention we have
3:06 am
always taken for granted from others. i do not mean the image check of a teenager glancing at the smart phone screen or store window. this attention is a long middle age stair in the mirror at a face rising from a dark background. it is not the face i expect to see. vertical etchings under the cheekbones, the color of exhaustion around the eyes, what is left of the hair badly in need of professional organizing instead of the calm wisdom expected by now there is an expression of uncertainty. a hint of panic the brings a shock don't look too long. knowing who this is. the time of separation made of strangers, not just to one another but to ourselves pretty young girl told her parents she felt unreal purge she wanted to stay in bed so it would all seemed like a bad dream from what she would wake up. i will be due when he finally come out of hiding and take
3:07 am
off our masks, we will ask who are we? what has happened to us? is this the beginning of the end or a new beginning? what do we do now? >> i love that intro. maybe i'll start off by asking you, you mentioned this is an tradition of democratic one of these political pamphlets. it was written fast and under very strange circumstances, what was that like for you as a writer? was that something that's made the writing easier the urgency of the issue and the timeframe? >> on the one hand it was liberating because i had a short time to do it. i had a short book to rights. i did not have massive piles of notebooks and transcripts and recordings and readings to try to facilitate.
3:08 am
and it was like say what you think right now purge when you thinking right now, say it. there's kind of an impulsiveness and directness that was sort of exciting. maybe brought me back to my earlier days as a writer before he came under the very strained discipline of magazine work. and yet, it was also really hard. i did not have a built-in narrative to follow. every page, every aircraft was a high wire act because i had to think. he had to come up with ideas. in a book like this it's the ideas as well as the pros that carry the reader or the reader is going to leave you pretty always for the come lose the reader any second and i have to keep making sure there is energy, there is tension, there is excitement or else they're going to abandon me. in this case was particularly hard because there was no
3:09 am
story to tell it's a natural form for me. in this case i only had my own mind to draw on those a scary thought because sometimes you come up empty. rex the world provided she was some crazy events. the last book the biography of richard holbrook was in many ways about the end of share american dominance. it was often looking out into the world where this book is looking inward. it's talking and it's not trying to pull ourselves together and survive. and to complement each other you see them as links in any way customer. >> think of always writing about america and americans. i left for five books including this one that seems to be the theme of all of
3:10 am
them. the book that is most connected to is the unwinding the left behind forgotten regions on the rest of that is how the institution of a democracy failing people not feeling as if it was a con game. a rigged system came as a shock. it's in the midst of the first term of obama there still a fair amount of optimism about the future of the country. i began to get a dark view of america on the work of the unwinding. the holbrook goes back early from world war ii to afghanistan it's the american century was that 60 years, let's hope it returns to some
3:11 am
of the materials but it does so in a different way. it's more of an essay kind of style, does more analyzing. it has a first-person voice which the unwinding did not have. it allowed all the characters to speak for themselves here i am the one telling you where we are going and what we are doing. it is very much in the style of essay writing there always in my head it was also written, i began it right before the election. it was an incredibly frightening time. we were still the thick of the pandemic. we were facing the possibility of a second trump term which i thought was the end of our democracy. and possible violence. people were arming up. i even thought maybe i should get a gun. seriously and my wife said no
3:12 am
you're not going to do that. it felts, and people had conversations you think there'll be a civil war? that is a normal conversation october 2020. i did not think there be lines of troops shooting across the creek. but there might be widespread violence whipped up by and the forces on the right, did not happen quite to that degree other january 6 was violent enough for most of us. i had a sense of dread when i wrote the book. i wanted to write both an unvarnished brutally honest accounts come as much as i could of how this happened how did we get here, not just 2020 which is the first part of the book the year of covid and the election and protest, but 50 years that led to 2020. in the last part of the book i
3:13 am
felt a really deep urgency to write about how we could rebuild our democracy and come out of this. and so i look to the past for sources of inspiration and understanding. i read walter whitman and frances perkins was a great civil rights figure, we vented this before. even in more near death experiences, closer to death than we are now. it was affirming almost a watch americans in earlier times deal some of the same political issues and find their way through them. and give examples to us that we can use all that we to live in her own moment. the book was an intense experience that really began with the fear of the
3:14 am
pre-election. and ended with the really cautious hope of the bided inauguration in the beginning of the pandemic. it was an intense three months that he think i am still recovering from. >> i do feel like the ending does have a slightly more optimistic note than the beginning. i don't know if it's because i was talking throughout the period, i feel good by the time the book is over. even though you've taken us through quite a lot of what is wrong with this. i do still have that american hope you are also dealing with. the idea of self government that you are drawing is essential to the book. and indeed it's something probably would've found itself evident to the readers in the past. at least on the it's an art
3:15 am
form. and then on the right there's a negative freedom and body in the slogan don't tread on me which you argue is a shallow isolation. what exactly is self-government and why is it so crucial we recommit ourselves? >> i used self-government more than i use democracy in the book what sort of scene is meeting the same thing. i think of self-government has democracy in action. it is what people under democracy do or should do together in order to solve their common problems. and tocqueville did call it an art. he saw something had to be learned, it's not natural at all. in fact throughout human history almost nonexistent feels more fragile today than even a year ago. something has to be learned, relearn and can easily be forgotten or cast aside which is something south america
3:16 am
seemed willing to do right now. because it is hard from the wires almost contradictory impulses. you have to think for yourself that is filtered yet you have to grant others the tommy of their own views. you don't agree with them but in some basic way grant this going to the other views furthers pluralism. it means being able to argue without wanting to kill each other. it means being able to compromise and know when not to compromise. i keep going back to a speech at in his very young in illinois after the been a killing of an abolitionist minister in southern illinois he gave a speech in springfield. he said you know, we will not be conquered some napoleon striving across the atlantic in tricking from the ohio
3:17 am
river. if destruction be our lot we must be its author. we felt men or die by suicide. suicide is a powerful metaphor for what democracies can do. it is absolutely relevant to what's happening in this country. we have not been conquered from abroad. i would say we not even have been conquered by donald trump. with contributed your own destruction in a lot of ways. i wanted to look hard at the ways trumpets on the failure as a whole country not just one part of the country. self-government is the un- natural art form that free people have to practice. it's an interesting way because i think without a
3:18 am
quality, without the sense we are all is good as a child there we have the same rights and opportunities and status. self-government is going to fail this company can happen again and again we have not lived up to the code of equality. it's the hidden coast that creates shared sister ship. without it self-government is going to failure is not true in other countries. the first key word of the declaration of independence is what tocqueville called the ardent desire of americans. the most striking thing about us is a passion for equality. it's integral with self-government it also drives us apart. each of us is pursuing her own destiny in this country is her famous individualism. we take it too far that leads to incredible inequality but any sense of having a common destiny. and so, in a way equality is
3:19 am
the ingredient for self-government and if we lose track of the true equality that holds us together. >> the common thread. the framework you develop to talk about i went to get into it's very interesting pretty breakdown american society into four narratives. and what you called just. smart americas in many ways a global phenomenon goodheart described it people from nowhere as opposed to people from somewhere to weight you point out smart america tend to be democrats to overlap with freedom america are republicans. and it made me wonder if you see the opportunity these two
3:20 am
americas finding common ground in opposition to identity extremism or xena phobic populism. >> exactly. first i want to say that section of the book was excerpt in the atlantic. it did justice to that section. but it did not do justice to the whole book. you should say that notion of the four americans this is not try to capture the whole country. a lot of people are left out. these are the dominant narratives. almost by definition going to leave out for the most part working-class people who do not have the clout in the capitol to influence the
3:21 am
narratives that drive us. i try to find a narrative that does not leave them out. but these four have a chronology. free america comes in the 70s and 80s that's reagan's america. it's consumer capitalism on steroids. and it is negative freedom produce the freedom of leave me alone so i can make money. get the government out of my life. i began the sense of limited government took a turn tried anti- feeling. while it certainly prosperity in some areas and freed up people from the 70s and also grade massive inequality and corporate monopolies in disempowered workers, destroyed the union movement and what's left of it.
3:22 am
in the end did not answer and that's true of all four of them. they have their own values there is a flaw or blindness that creates winners and losers but smart americans always follows chronologically of educated people, professional people during the '90s. the democratic party really became to a large degree educated professionals. that was not true 20 years earlier. it was a big shift and has gotten more dramatic over time up till now education is really the dividing line between the two parties today. not the only one but the most decisive one. meritocracy sounds good,
3:23 am
people should be judged on their talents. it becomes a closed system. newborns are certain family certain neighborhood and it's almost punched from the start because of all of the advantages you're going to get from the start. that is true more and more in our education system. meritocracy becomes an aristocracy it's a privilege class rather than a class of the truly deserving. think that is happened more and more. one statistic i came across today it is no easier for somebody from the poor parts of america to get into one of the top ivy league universities than it was in 1954. we really made no progress for americans to rise to education the b were 1954. this has become entrenched aristocracy.
3:24 am
i was just going to say, along some of these lines. >> will get to that for sure. first, chronologically and in book order, real america is sarah palin's america is white identity politics but is the american sees itself as the backbone of the country. really to be honest it's a white christian america in the rural areas in the small towns. it goes back to jacksonian america. the great populace there is a long thread and even george wallace in a much different form for the long thread that collects this narrative which is a populace narrative. in our times the third palin to john the baptist to donald
3:25 am
trump road trenton brought real america to the forefront of our politics. and yet it is a rebellion against free america because of the rebellion but ordinary voters against the clichés of reaganism, free trade, immigration, low taxes, deregulation. none of that really spoke to sarah palin's people and even donald trump's people. they were living in deteriorating places in postindustrial cities, and small towns that were d king as main streets a lot of boarded up shops. it was really no longer the sunny optimism of reagan became darker and hostile to group seen as alien. whether to delete on the coast or black americans are all others. surreal america is a rebellion from free america they've had
3:26 am
a very uneasy coexistence in the republican party with free america continuing to dominate the top with mitch mcconnell and the koch brothers. but real america are the voters the republican party now has to pay homage and kowtow to that. and finally, ontologically in the last five or six years we've seen an explosion of a new narrative that is also an old narrative. it is the narrative of social justice critical just america. it is generational it's really for people under 40 who have looked at their parents promises, the liberal parents of promises, smart america and said this is a lie. we are not getting better. we are still trapped in the same history bennett from the beginning. let's look at that history. just america is a deeply
3:27 am
interested in american history. but as a source of criticism of our system. and just america is the rebellion against smart america because real america is a freedom against real america even though we will continue to run on the treadmill of the rat race something hollow about it now. it's an inauthentic pursuit and the authentic pursuit is the pursuit of justice. it's a powerful one. if you are obviously a member of smart america. it's not necessarily clear to me, weird your sympathies lie or whose struggle i guess
3:28 am
very critical of smart america. >> i believe there's a great deal of complacency and hypocrisy. also a finalist this. salina in the book that says achievement is too fragile a basis. it's for people to stand up for their own work when they're under attack. >> i'm heard that. >> i have not quite got it right but something like that. they are under attack in so many of her institutions. in the media, the arts in philanthropy and politics. they cave they do not want -- it turns out the liberal
3:29 am
values they seem to stand for very fragile when an illiberal force challenges them they may well not be able to stand up to it. that is a weakness of a meritocracy. shows been built on a strong foundation of values. so i am hard on america. i think and it will weird way it is devastated and is treated so and pain and suffering. low taxes deregulation, you could read that on the homepage of the heritage foundation for the cato institute year after year no matter what is going on. low taxes have not created jobs for its been periods of high taxes on the wealthy we had job creation.
3:30 am
those of the two a can get my juices going real injustice and most threatened by. because they are the most potent right now. they have the energy of the new and of populism and a kind of contempt for the previous generation. and nobody wants to be cast aside or told you are irrelevant, or told the world belongs to us not you. it's always threatening and made my portrait of both of them has a certain in it. maybe in intensity to its that reflects that. i'm sort of sympathetic to both form or to just america than real america for even real america the motive that
3:31 am
goes into it that is in anger at the elite their contempt for leaving them behind for not caring for thinking of them as inferior americans, which is real. i really don't like real america's attitude toward non- white americans. that is what makes it so toxic just america i'm really the desire to force and confront the racial history that really never confronted. white americans have never forcing us to face it, doing so in a way that heard this into identity groups, that erases our individuality. that event quite coercive known as cracking the whip are hurting people in jails.
3:32 am
there is more pressure to fall in or you will be shamed. that is not a way to build a free society. those two have my attention. those ones i most see with and think about all the time and try to come to some sort of. [inaudible] >> erase an interesting contradictions within our just america. and smart america you mentioned unions hardly exist. put me in mind which is consistent smart america institution. it's the kind of values a publication like that. : : :
3:33 am
>> the unions are like a corrupt boss and they had the new energy and full of the energy of social justice. and at the times in the new yorker and the atlantic where i work so now today are very soon to be the member of the union. because journalists need
3:34 am
collective support in the industry that has had so many devastating blows the last 20 or 30 years. what i don't love and we saw this at "the new york times" , is a spirit not just empowering workers but also to be about keeping them in a political orthodoxy or if you make a mistake or if you refuse to swear by it you might find yourself on the wrong side of your colleagues and they may not have a right to your own disagreement. or that you are not fit to be there colleague we have seen examples of that. >> so in that sense the
3:35 am
journalistic unions the union in american tradition and the aspects of america today. >> i recently shared on twitter a friend pointed out a good example of your assertion that was more than material conditions and those from the "washington post" entitled the racist legacy and birds named after historical characters and put me in with the times how presently one thirds birds in total have vanished and then worried about semantics of these that may not even
3:36 am
exist much longer because of much more serious underlying problems that have the bandwidth to deal with it so that is very wrong in this moment. even though nobody would object to the idea we should think of those historical legacies of oppression but it seems with the perspective that the emphasis is entirely on performance that i sometimes wonder when just america will create justice because i don't think that's how you do it. but just america is very concerned with language and a subjective experience and this comes from both the theoretical background of just america because each of these
3:37 am
especially free with the intellectual context, free america is the philosophers of the mid- 20th century which led to critical studies in feminist studies in american universities which is concerned with identity and subjectivity and not so much in the old marxist conditions. it also draws on an older american history which is the history of the puritans which were the original settlers of this country who saw god in everything in god was expressed in our language and everything and believed that
3:38 am
goodness and justice depended on each of us purging ourselves whatever got in the way with that connection to god. and that meant there was a lot of confession of sin and public shaming and repentance or death and a redemption and salvation to be reunited with god. i can't help but thinking there is some of that in the social justice movement. a strong sense of original sin especially in white americans and it is just as vexing to get rid of your whiteness is a prompt or a dogma in some
3:39 am
circles and yet if it simply the accent of your skin color, how do you do that and should we make in essence of the accident of our skin color? the worst aspects of history doesn't mean we shouldn't in the opposite direction? when races the construct one - - a construct. >> i share your sensibility but you mentioned him admiringly not be unsound but
3:40 am
under sound civil-rights hero. in equal america and making america finally. can you say why with the embodiment of the spirit quick. >> if you read him, it is breathtaking the life he lived. he was a freedom writer in the late forties and rode the interstate bus and then the incredible days how he turned himself into the indispensable man the prison guards needed and yet was so radical he was a socialist and a christian
3:41 am
and a civil rights activist he brought gandhi to the civil rights movement more than any other figure and he was gay and that was his constant downfall. civil rights leaders would tolerate a lot of things but that wasn't what he could tolerate so he was constantly push down. as a brilliant strategist. the guy behind the scenes and also the philosophy. but equality is the keyword of my book. if it isn't rhetorical alone
3:42 am
isn't a simple reference to the declaration of independence but we really are all equal. and at one point in 1969, he was asked by the city of cleveland to write letter to the school children about the wonderful times in which we lived in that was not such a wonderful time we were having riots and factories were closing. and the river was catching fire. was a bad time that he sat down and wrote this letter. and that what she describes on - - he describes nobody is held back everyone has equal opportunity and the poverty doesn't hold you back so it is
3:43 am
material conditions. then self-government running your own affairs. and then spoils the american ideas. so we did not betray it when it was convenient on equal america which is an america where in the relentless inequality from our history
3:44 am
especially to be reversed by policy but also individual actions. >> and maybe simply we need to create those mechanisms to meet each other again that we don't necessarily run into. and yes i think it is a good idea but somehow we managed to speak exactly 45 minutes you have a lot of questions waiting for you in the first one i like. what about the nine - - the nonfiction? >> hamilton ready much took
3:45 am
over my family for about two years. that's all we listened to in the car. the kids have the entire soundtrack memorized we would just break into song spontaneously and it also became a civics class because my kids were not getting a lot of it at their own schools. in terms of writers, i tried to read fiction all the time when i'm writing not necessarily researching but i want the best fiction in my head i don't want research or journalism god knows it not one social media. i love the neapolitan novels. and what books that i've read in the last year.
3:46 am
magic mountain. it kind of breaks my heart that these classics are not taught much anymore in school that it's no longer relevant i see that in my kids education and stories of education but toni morrison said how do you get children to want to read? you give them good books give them the best literature and the nonfiction i cannot get enough of baldwin or orwell. a few essays seem to me gideon and then my contemporaries and friends like from the new yorker alice mcginnis' book about amazon fulfillment which is an important book writing
3:47 am
books about everything. living to the golden age of narrative journalism, we will look back and say just as the media made itself more and more are trivial also this great writing of essays and journalism took the place of fiction for a lot of people. >> you have good questions here. >> i will be brief. were there any passages that didn't make it into the final book due to an argument you felt bad to lose? >> i had a little page about the experience you and i shared last summer as coal
3:48 am
organizers of the harpers letter because i've never written about the experience itself because there were a lot of interesting things going on behind the scenes. my editor said you don't need to do that. then i got a lot of attention it would just be a distraction from what you are trying to do. he was right. i had to cut it when the editor is right you can't fight it. it may take a while to get there but the passages in my books that i regret leaving in the book. >> the ones they told you to take out. [laughter] there is one answer. >> in regards to the rhetoric of self-government is it possible to push back with the
3:49 am
libertarian with individualism and politics? >> i think if we use that language and take the word freedom away from the plutocratic libertarians freedom to destroy the planet or the freedom is to pay no taxes on billion-dollar incomes, then yes. but if you abandon the language if freedom makes you uncomfortable newt gingrich or ted cruz you risk the argument so in their hearts most americans know that simply destroying the ability to govern cutting it to the bone or through the irs cannot audit rich people are using
3:50 am
language that the basis us has not helped us it drags people down. i think if we use that language that says freedom is the freedom to live by her own choices but that depends on social conditions on whether you have the strength to participate in the political and economic systems. if you don't and you're just trying to survive working add an amazon warehouse and just getting by you are not free. you cannot participate in the political and economic system and saying that then we will take back language and has been co-opted or debased by cynical people for their own purposes.
3:51 am
>> so it's different who are the contemporary cultural that you read and whom you might be arguing with in this book? >> that's a great question. tallahassee codes has had a huge influence both on our culture and on me. in a argue with him a lot in my head and even into print. we both came out of it i felt we treated each other with respect and found a way to have a serious argument without drawing blood. so he is one certainly. there may be some on the right. because i find there is a
3:52 am
never trump republican i am more drawn to that i know i disagree with completely about taxes and the welfare state and social democracy that i admire and would be willing to go against the tribe. and yet stand up for values that go beyond this political partisanship that i call liberal values so that group of people like peter the writer for the atlantic a george w. bush white house aide and evangelical christian and in every way different from me but yet i always read him because i think he's doing something quite brave. adam, from the atlantic a
3:53 am
younger writer a terrific writer and honest i don't agree with some of his ideas. but i always read him knowing he will play it straight and think hard and those are the qualities i admire so in some ways political disagreement is less important than admiration as a writer. i wish we had more of that but we seem incapable to like someone's work but disagree with their politics. >> i blame social media for that in so many ways. do you think there is anything positive of nationalism to be used in the 21st century? >> here is another word i would take out. not nationalism which i do think has the connotation of
3:54 am
aggression or hatred, violence, exclusion, but patriotism which does not mean beating down other countries and forcing our way on them were chanting usa. i think it is an extension of family loyalty i see it to my love and loyalty to my family which no matter how hard i try i have to acknowledge my family and i think that's human and to me the same is true for my country a different kind of love and loyalty it's a feeling that doesn't go away unless you try to kill it or your circumstances are eroded which is happen to some americans
3:55 am
but first of all the ability to do big things as a country depends on that you cannot combat racism or reverse inequality or save democracy without solidarity it's too big for one tribe or one party and patriotism is the glue and the motor that allows us to take them on because if you don't love the country then what's the point of trying to solve the problems? i talk about it quite a bit in the book other historical figures had no problem being left-wing patriots that is not a contradiction frances perkins was a progressive patriot that feels like a contradiction and that's a great loss.
3:56 am
>> so to deliver gop support to the americans? >> they have gotten quite far. and maybe something as a materialist someone who thinks how they are living concretely and shocked at how well they have done without offering anything with improvement i think biden is a politician his domestic policies are largely driven by a sense we need to improve conditions for the majority of people and empower workers and take power away from giant corporations and break up monopolies. to me those are the key ingredients of a policy of an equal america and this
3:57 am
includes the real americans if they are a part of it if they want to be or not the only way the temperature can start to go down we are not going to persuade people or convert them or show them the error of their ways or how foolish it is to vote against your interests that only drives people further into the demagogue. if we can slowly rebuild the working class to create the conditions of the quality then i think the level of vitriol might diminish and with it the specter of the country breaking up or falling apart. >> think we have time for one more question who are some
3:58 am
actual thinkers or writers with a conspiracy or theorist? >> with that impoverished literature and of that helps but it certainly has a in the competition for cultural supremacy. but there are interesting philosophers, writers, when i put on the spot like this here's a harvard law professor who writes about who is willing to attack the foundations. >> he is monarchist. >> yes. going back to the hierarchy.
3:59 am
and then distorting it so forgive me if im but there's a book about with this failure of liberalism in the modern world. so there is a whole strain in the support for trenton some ways to mirror the anti- liberal stream that lost faith in the enlightenment and the idea of instead and then to
4:00 am
lead us into a terrible that end which nothing means anything that desire for meaning and community is constantly being felt so then they turned back to other forms of identity. . . . .
4:01 am
when you have written about this at thomas with the movement in france that has a lot of traffic with the american version. >> yes it does. i wonder, that question is fascinating to me. i wonder if real america in some ways is a place without real thinkers. that is probably too simplistic. it made me wonder and i could not name any off the top of my head, somewhat on the chant mentioned kerri but she is a journalist. i think the question was asking for writers. i want to think about that similar. unfortunately are out of time. i would like to talk to for three or four joe rogan hours. [laughter] i come i'm the worst part
4:02 am
about the event i'm ending it. as always, you need to get deep. [laughter] rex promises to get some sleep is extremely lady simple impairs which we did not mention. thank you thomas the mvp of the event, stay up late, asking great questions, george is always wonderful working with you, one for senior. thank you for joining us. what they going to do, is post a link to the book which i should've had ready was just so captivated by that last answer that involved monarch is an evolving spring putting that in the chat one more time before you leave. so please click that link, check it out with plenty of copies at the bookstore but otherwise george thomas thank you so much this was lovely and everyday have a lovely evening. support your committee bookstore everywhere, thank you guys but. >> he will soon hope lynn
4:03 am
person. >> weekends on cspan2 are intellectual feast. every saturday will find events and people that explore a nations pass on american history tv. hun sunday, book tv bring to the latest in nonfiction books and authors of television bursaries readers. learn, discover, explore, weekends on cspan2. ♪ ♪ here's a look at some of the best-selling nonfiction books according to the "new york times". topping the list as bill o'reilly and martin's history of organized crime in america, killing the mob. followed by best-selling author malcolm gladwell's examination of the development of bushes and bombing during world war ii. after that to memoirs after matthew mcconaughey's green lights and active doyles
4:04 am
maintained red wrapping up or look at some the best-selling nonfiction books according to the york times is pulitzer prize-winning author isabel's look at what she calls a hidden caste system in the united states. some of these authors have appeared on book tv purdue can watch their program on booktv.org. >> weekends on cspan2, every saturday american history documents in american story. nonfiction books and authors. funding for cspan2 comes in these television companies and including comcast. comcast is part of thousand committee centers to enable wi-fi for students in low income families can get what they need to be ready for anything.
4:05 am
comcast, along these television companies support cspan2 as a public service. >> you are watching book tv. for complete television schedule visit booktv.org. you can also follow along behind the scenes on social media book tv on twitter, instagram and facebook. >> welcome and thank you for joining us. ms. senior of special studies. i direct some programs at columbia. professional studies its urgencies in the advance consortium with cooperation. the peter coleman's new book and research resulted in a book called the way out :

10 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on