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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 16, 2014 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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there was a big shipment of weapons going to south sudan and they hijacked that so it was a bunch of high artillery weapons. people were concerned that they were going to take these weapons and send them to al-shabaab so now you have weapons and that's what made people start paying attention to the piracy.
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the first is you have to have a legitimate government you can't have these power-sharing agreements very at peac people n government are there to enrich their clan and there has to be a lot more people sen people cento there has to be some point where people are allowed to vote to select their own leaders and have a lot better situation. the second thing is to reduce the amount of violence. the main priority is if you're into violence in somalia you can have some political development and economic development as well.
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with guest host author mac of the forgotten man. this week herbert hoover expert in his latest 1933 to 1955. the hoover institution represents what is referred to as the missing link in the memoir he provides the 31st philosophy and a analysis of the depression he was blamed for and the sentry's most historic conflict. this program is about an hour. >> hello. the book is the crusade years. the editor is the most esteemed scholar of herbert hoover today. herbert hoover from 1929 to 1933 which means he saw the worst years of the depression ended
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the great depression was so bad that a lot of our modern history is about assigning blame for it and figuring out whose fault that depression was. many people blame hoover and down the decades increasingly so. the president of the united states was ranked 37 out of 43 in the recent u.s. news poll magazine wrote. he was known as a poor communicator that exacerbated the depression. so not only those on the left but some on the right assigned the blame and we are here today to talk about that specifically. at president hoover's on and i was us and work that blames other people as well including his successor franklin roosevelt and his predecessor calvin coolidge. so, we want to welcome the viewers to this revision. he's a frequent guest on this
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channel and richard norton smith introduced him and interviewed him for another book and this time we are going to give license to this depression subject. we are going to break the hour into three parts. the first is to remind ourselves who hoover was and to talk about the production of this tremendous book and its many pages and much editing and a detailed and the third part would be to talk about why it matters. what about the great depression and today's c-span viewers, welcome. hoover's identity really began in college and you have written a whole book about that. where did hoover go to college and how did it affect him? he was born in 1874 as the son of quakers and a blacksmith and he was orphaned before he was ten. eventually with an uncle in oregon he never had more than a middle school education and then
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applied for entrance into the newly formed stanford university in the summer of 1891 and got admission and was told to take some additional tutoring with the help of which he passe passf his entrance exams. he was literally the first at the stanford university in the fall of 91 getting his dormitory rooroom ahead of anyone else and that became his alma mater. you have to remember he was trying to make it in the world. he was only 17 when he entered college and was rather shy but he blossomed in college and became the treasurer. about 25 years or so after that after world war i, hoover literally built his own home on the stanford campus. and that's a fair as the
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official residence of the president of the university. >> host: what did he do with his education that he got when he studied engineering? >> guest: his official nature was geology and he had an interest that quickly became his career after he graduated in the class of 1985 and after a year or two in the united states he got a break and was hired as the mining firm that was preeminent in the world at the time and he was sent as a very young man to australia and before he left at the age of 23 he was already manager of one of the great gold lines of the gold rush and it was from there he got married to a stanford women who also was a geology major and possibly the first such woman in the united states to have that nature, but she was certainly the pioneer and they went to china for a couple of years and eventually
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hoover used london as the space during the mining engineering career that took him up to world war i. he became very successful, took it all over the world to live in places like burma, australia and so forth and had a great success in that career. >> host: imagine you have a son or daughter and he goes to college and that being the world needs most at that point getting minerals out of the ground into the growing economy needs minerals especially when it's on a gold standard and george is the best educated in that area who studied with his masters and he is also the most able. so hoover was the best paid man of his generation and certainly one of the most successful. he was into just any. >> guest: you're quite right. he became the outstanding engineer of his time and was recognized for that. he was earning probably in
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excess of $100,000 a year which was a lot of money and it was before income tax. he didn't want to stop there. by the time he was 40 he was probably a modest millionaire. i'm not a rockefeller but he punted to do more with his life. having done well in his profession he wanted to do something more creative to give back in the circumstances that led to the second career as a cemetery in. >> host: that's right. and professor nash has written about these early days of his life. first wartime to getting americans back to the u.s. in world war i and defend a great rescue to the people of belgium and then to also be the food administrator; is that not
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right? that was the beginning of american politics. >> guest: yes. hoover was in world war i during the month of his 40th birthday he already had these notions he was going to return to the united states and get back in public life in a big way. i think that he thought he would become a newspaper owner. but at any rate, circumstances turned his life in a different direction and as you pointed out, he had american tourists stranded in europe and then was asked to organize what was a temporary emergency relief mission to help the distressed people of belgium who had just been overrun by the german army at the start of the war. they didn't have enough food and that turned into something that was without precedent in the history of humanity feeding an entire occupied nation of several million people almost over 9 million people if you count the couple million in northern france that fell into that sphere. that made hoover an international hero and a symbol
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of force of american benevolence here was the new world coming to help the old and its tribulations. hoover was doing this not by conducting war but fight dealing with the problem of war as a humanitarian. that made him as i say an international hero. it made him an american hero as well and he entered the administration and became the food administrator. now he's kind of a world authority on food and food relief, humanitarian relief. himself the accolade of the great humanitarian he was called the master of emergencies come of the napoleon of mercy, and at the end of the war he went back on will send's instructions to organize relief in europe, many countries over 20 countries received food assistance that hoover orchestrated and facilitated and truly tens of millions of people were
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dependent. >> host: at that time he had the opportunity to form opinions about the revolution going on in europe whether it was germany or russia. tell us a little bit about russia because he had investments and he saw what happened in the russian revolution. >> guest: hoover as an american traveled all over the world and was a very perceptive observer and was constantly comparing the america that he knew with these other social systems many of which were failing and as you mentioned there was a great turmoil in the aftermath of world war i and the communists had taken over russia in the pol polls show that revolution of 1917 and hoover had basically pulled out of the russian mining interests before these revolutions. but he lost a prospective fortune when they came in and seized the minds and general chaos ensued and he saw one of the great lessons from that wartime and postwar experience he saw what he regarded as the
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failure of the control the economy is as we would say he used the word socialism and so forth. especially in russia. and he saw that as a great failure but also as a great challenges of philosophically to the americans way of doing things. so after his humanitarian episode, which probably resulted in saving more lives than any person that ever lived that's been said of him as a remarkable achievement. after that he returned to the united states and and heard american public life. >> host: that's right. and we are going to move for his career very quickly just to brief the reader so that we can get -- the listeners so we can get to the controversy. he was such a success that both parties vied for his affection. >> guest: yes indeed. >> host: at the end he went republican. he was commerce secretary to president harding and president coolidge.
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he didn't get along very well with president coolidge, did he? >> guest: eventually he did but it became a tense relationship partly for reasons of temperament and partly hoover was much more aggressive in terms of wanting to build public work expenditures and so on and that graded against coolidge's more fiscal conservatism, so there were tensions but they were both party loyalists and so coolidge did endorse hoover ultimately in 28 and again when hoover ran for the re- election so it's a complicated story but you're right it became a tense relationship underneath. >> host: that's right. so coolidge was no longer president. hoover was president and as hoover becomes president, within a year of the stock market crashes, so hoover is stuck with the albatross of a downturn, and this is why there's so much emphasis and focus. what did hoover do in the depression. a as president in his first
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year; find out the highlights. >> guest: hoover didn't believe in the philosophy a lot -- philosophy of laws a fair. by the historic standards of the presidents he was an activist at the start. what he tried to do is bring in the leaders of industry, the laborers and bankers and so forth and have a kind of cooperative approach that would hopefully stimulate recovery through the greater public works spending and the like. there were phases to what hoover did and he did some things he's been criticized by conservatives like agreeing to the smoot-hawley tariff for example. >> host: there was a great tariff which he signed a call to smoot-hawley. some of us have seen a little scene about it" ferris bueller's day off." that was at the time the business could ill afford it. >> guest: hoover was reluctant
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to sign it but it was through something his party stood for historically, the high tariffs of the republican party. and he did hope that in the law as written, he could turn into a better advantage by setting up the tariff commission that would presumably be more impartial and perhaps lower as well as raise the terrorist so we had a hope that scientifically things would work out better. but that was probably a forlorn hope. >> host: what about wages? >> guest: the leaders in the industry had the view that they should remain where they were. the argument being that this would create a purchasing power for people who were stumbling. perhaps the unemployed and so forth. that has been much deviated. >> host: he's not alone. henry ford believed in paying high and buy back the car. so it isn't keynesianism because keynes wasn't around in this way that it's an idea that is very
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popular now. consumer spending is good for the economy. >> guest: and hoover was kind of a keynesian at that point in the sense that he deleted in stimulating the economy through a countercyclical public expenditure on public work. remember hoover was an engineer so he had a certain interest in that kind of thing so that was a part of his early policy. i think what happens to hoover as the depression deepens -- and people know it wasn't the great depression on day number one they thought it was a typical cyclical event. but when the pattern didn't hold and the depression deepened, he then found himself facing increasing pressure from the left for the greater expenditures and intervention on the economy and he's started to hold the line against that and became very much a fiscal conservative balance the budget save the gold standard republican in the last year or two of his life and that perceived rigidity on his part is part of the reason that he
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got attacked as supposedly not doing anything. he was activist in his time including some of the policies that might not have been all that effective and on the other hand he was valiantly struggling against a total statist term such as he saw coming in the new deal. >> host: there are so many clichés about hoover but they are so different. some people blame him for being too active and some people blame him for doing nothing. laissez-faire and neither is entirely correct. and this is why your writings about hoover are so important. there is a third-rate measure. it often discussed which is they had an enormous tax increase in the later part of hoover's time. and i often think what do you think doctor nash said it's kind of blamed wrongfully because in today's terms to go to a very high tax like in the 60% range from the 25 or 24 that they had when he started seems like a
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watch that he walock that he waa gold standard world, and in the gold standard world washington must balance its budget or the rest of the world does it and the recession upon taking the gold away. what do you think about this tax increase and whether he is wrongly blamed? >> guest: there was a consensus among economists and politicians of both parties in late 31 and early 32. it was deficit spending that there had to be tax increases to balance the budget because as you say, balancing the budget was presented to be critical to recovery. the question was do you have a national sales tax were a lot of miscellaneous taxes were the income tax. they favored but was caugh whatt the time the manufacturer sales tax. but eventually what happened is that there was a whole bunch of taxes.
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but the census of the economic thinking of the time is that this is a wise idea. this isn't something that he placed it onto the congress. there was a bipartisan consens consensus. if you look at the results of the tax increase even after the raids were raised people didn't pay the income taxes. and i am inclined to think whether it was a good idea or bad idea if it wasn't a catastrophic explanatory idea for the late phase of the depression and some on the right would say. so i tend to think that the tax increase while as a mistake by our understanding of the policy was and as merelwasn't as merelr in that context you might say what choice did they have? so i think that hoover has too much criticism on that. >> guest: postcode you think
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of that sort of in an emotional arc. the stock market went down in the 40s to $3.81. the country is very angry. so who had they chosen to blamed? he is the most blamed president and elway. quickly to move on a little bit before we talk about your book in his own, the work of a biographer and editor, he's out in 33 kind of help on his rear end unfortunately. it goes back to california, and you had said he invente have sae ex- presidency because he lived very long after the presidency and held a record until jimmy carter surpassed him with more than three decades. can you tell us what he did in that post-presidency. go? >> guest: he was a pariah when he left office and hated as much
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as any person in american history that he didn' but he diy away. he did two -- went to california where he stayed out of sight for about a year and a half so he gave roosevelt a chance. hoover didn't just want to start about roosevelt at the very start. he wanted to permit a genuine change of administration. that hoover then became partly for reasons of temperament and the desire to vindicate himself and because he saw a great threat in merging he became very active as an ex-president. it's been said maybe theodore roosevelt had some inclinations along that line. hoover became really the leader of the opposition. he fought back and he wrote a book in 1944 which is kind of his return of the scene called the challenge to liberty. perhaps we will talk about that in a minute. he ended up becoming a vigorous critic of the new deal. he actually really i think
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wanted to be president again and there is considerable evidence that in 1940 he was angling for and hoping for the republican nomination so he wanted to return to stay in public life of a visit he was the influential leader of the republican party during the perco from 1943 until the end of eisenhower's administration return of republican presidency in 1953. and then in a period, hoover became a man of the right because even though he saw himself as a sort of aggressive republican and historical liberal he was battling against what he saw as a greater challenge from the left and that pushed him towards the right. during all these years he is writing books, he's doing all sorts of philanthropic work. people forget for almost 30 years he was the chair of the boys club movement and he made it into a major philanthropy for urban boys and he did a huge amount of travel, so he was an
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extraordinarily activist ex-president and that is something people tend to forget. >> host: and this is a story that is not told, especially the part about the republican party. we sort of forgot it if we ever knew it that he buys for example william f. buckley or he was around when the conservative free-market journal the freeman was created that he was a the counselor to many conservatives or out of power republicans. they didn't always take his advice and heat gave it out often that he was there and that father figure is underappreciated in modern history as well. what did that mean for the new deal? >> guest: that was his term for the new deal. a number of variants of what he called state control of the economy and society into socialism, communism, fascism.
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he sai said the variants that he some relationship to the others was the regimentation. that is msn's dot economy would have to be a free economy regulated by the government empire which hoover said of his approach but it would become a top-down managed economy dictating to the business or even behaving as a leader of this organizing business, so he argued the individual is him was the proper alternative to what he called the sheer socialism. >> host: speaking of communism in russia in a sense he wasn't for the recognition of communist russia burussia that he is also complaining about the regimentation of the new deal just related to what we would call the mandate, unfunded mandate for example, to many rules. too many rules. it would be too much control and this is all in his mind. i want to move briefly because
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it's very important and interesting to you and your own career and our art of working on hoover. you are from new england. you went to amherst college where your class of 67 it was the class. in 1945 that was my doctoral dissertation. >> host: an and this had an effect on many conservatives or free marketeers. as a writer at "the wall street journal" learning about it lately you did a revision of what you think what did you say that dan and what's changed. >> guest: i kept this after world war ii and more recently
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the book of writings called for reappraising which i bring up to date some of the more current happenings and while doing that i worked as a historian and biographer on several volumes produced on the life of herbert hoover and i got in by invitation. it wasn't something that i expected to do after getting my dissertation completed and looking for a job on the academic job market and so i have the commission to write a biography of hoover. many of those embattled and the weaker conservatives in the new deal period. how they are today is not as bad as it was in the 70s or now at
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least there are some conservative magazines who don't see hope in the political process. >> guest: into the 70s there was the conservative presence and william f. buckley junior was a major figure. they put the conservative intellectuals into the united states into the room of modest size the conservatism and it's been a formulations is a richer. go for the conservative to live to cause the movement has grown and matured but there was a time there was a lonely occupation and in that era it was a figure of rectitude and fighting the
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good fight. >> host: i want to ask you very briefly to see why di say e do with the hoover institution backs before we come to the break. >> guest: herbert hoover founded what is called today the institutional revolution of peace. it started in world war i and its aftermath as he began to collect documentation relating to the war with the mission. the material that might otherwise be lost or overlooked what documented this tragedy. so it started with a collection and archives and it's grown over the years to a broad institution with a think tank characteristic as well. >> host: on the soviet material especially the premier archive.
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>> guest: export from the union he ended up at the institution to research his later writing. it wouldn't have been in the soviet union. >> host: you said this might be the institution with the library because it's very interesting to say a few words about that and then we will close for a break. >> guest: in this phenomenal years in the public eye, for him to say that i thought was a remarkable statement. and i think that illustrated his concern that history to be understood and the lessons of history to be assimilated by people and that this great archive that he founded could make a singular contribution to the understanding of the world of revolution and communism and the national socialis socialismn is tremendously tumultuous and
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here he was collecting from all over. the documentation that they could go into into that was the greatest contribution. it is one of the think tanks. we will be back shortly after the break. >> we are back with the premier scholar of herbert hoover and we are going to spend some time now talking about the job of the
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hoover biography. i want to mention some of the names of people we've built our works on because there is a lot of work. there are many other biographers committed forgotten progressive, kendra clemens wrote in perfect visionary and bill lautenberg wrote a book in the arthur censure series. the wonderful scholar recently passed an and david berner, robt wrote about the presidents and did some interesting work on how elliott the fishing president about hoover and fly fisherman of richard norton smith and the other common man and hoover that wrote a book not about hoover directly but about his ideas on the individualism. is there anyone to add?
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have we left anyone out? >> guest: there are many monographs we probably didn't have time to list but i knew all of them and know all of them except mr. lyons that passed away so many years ago. one of the things that has happened in the generation is the scholarship has taken off. up to that point people have to rely on newspaper articles and so forth and now they got to see the story from the inside. so there has been a kind of boom if you will in the scholarship and maybe more detachment as time passes and the sum of the imo should. i'm happy to be in the company of those scholars and many other presidential library in iowa. >> host: >> guest: as we said earlier it was founded by herbert hoover
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and that is effectively in 1919 with stanford university. >> host: i want to say doctor is wearing the tie and it is quite beautiful. we are all very proud of the hoover institution. it is a dominant landmark in the stanford landscape. there is a system of presidential libraries in the united states administered largely by the archives. and one of those in the system is that herbert hoover presidential library in west branch on iowa and that was my basic operation for years working on the civil operations and i think i spent many months every minute i've enjoyed at the hoover institution because if
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you are a hoover biographer you end up having to draw u upon the archives resources of both places so that gives you a bit of background into the context in which i work as an independent scholar and both of those places and elsewhere over the years. >> host: the keywords "-begin-double-quotes to branch might want to know there are other papers including of the y. old family, rose wilder maybe laura ingalls wilder about the writing of the famous little house books. and that's important to a lot of americans, too. too. how did the daughter of laura and doctor herbert hoover? >> guest: the papers of rose wilder lane went to a man named roger mcbride who i was a libery and candidate at one point or at least an active libertarian and he donated the papers to the library in iowa so that is how the papers ended up in the
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presidential library. through mr. mcbride's donation as i understand. roosevelt was a friend and actually wrote one of the first campaign biographers way back in 1920 and it was pretty good she went around and interviewed people and i don't think that he cared for the buck and hired away. she felt like he was glamorizing her too much. >> host: this is very exciting how friendly he was and, you know, for whom he was a figure people we never would have imagined. here is your book. perhaps it is your sixth or seventh and related. he wrote so much after. where does this fit in? >> host: it was previously unknown to exist in all of my years of study i've never known. >> host: it's a dramatic
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discovery. >> guest: it is part of a set of memoirs that he began to write after wendell wilkie got the nomination for the republicans and he realized that was his last chance so he said he is taking a new turn of immense energy into writing what turned into six volumes of memoirs. there were two left but of which they referred to in other places but hadn't yet seen. after hoover died in 1964, this manuscript called the magnum opus that was used in world war ii and its aftermath and his critique of what you saw as roosevelt's foreign-policy id the great. that was put in storage by his heirs after he died in 1964 and as far as i can determine if the
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peoplthatthe people that made te decision are long deceased, they were concerned it would be lengthy to cause the controversy and open the political battles if manuscript published after the state funeral at that point in his life he's 90-years-old and that didn't seem like the right moment so they put it in storage and it was actually not until another generation to bring that into the publication. that cannot freedom betrayed. i give you all that prelude because while working on that other book i found in the 200 boxes of papers relating to it the manuscript of this book and this is a companion volume. it was on the foreign-policy
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decisions the account of what he called the crusade against collectivism in the united states during the new deal period and has some charming factors and interesting chapters as well on his philanthropies. the twofold gems that have recently been published is post-presidency with only one of them was known to exist and then i discovered as i mentioned before this one and with the permission of the family and the hoover family foundation this book has been released. >> host: so many books he seems to have written the autobiography a number of times and you can see his edits where he says hoover changed this or that. is it more like frederick douglass that wrote the biography why did he feel the
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need to go back. >> guest: he wrote my favorite statistic that had the ages of 85 to 90 when he died, he published several books not including -- everything he wrote was by pencil and then he would send it off to a typist and he would revise it and send it back again and again and he would get to the point he would like to see what it looks like so then he would have it set up and would keep tinkering. it was perfectionism he wanted not only his style to be perfect but also the facts to be perfect because he saw both of these books as having a purpose. freedom betrayed and the crusade
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years like the new deal and its socialism and regimentation and all that. the great value for people to learn lessons from, so he also thought that because of his unique stature and with the resources and access that he had any people with inside information, he thought that he was in a unique position to bring out to the american people some very important lessons about the recent history. so, i think that drove him to death all the more carefully. but he didn't quite let it go. he finished the other book before he died and -- >> host: you want to picture a man with tremendous energy with a lot to do -- i think you have a description of him going into his kitchen opening a can of campbell's soup and he is alone
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and then going off to write a little bit before anyone else he was correcting and writing the great philosopher that spoke of the road to serfdom. >> guest: they were hoping they would give the magnus opus but i haven't been able to find much beyond that and i can't find the correspondence that has been lost. there was at least a couple of correspondence but beyond that, i don't know. >> host: we come ou come out ofe third part which is about the controversy because if you read the papers today on the great depression or who was at fault or not roosevelt but this is why
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this book is timely, again, or for the first time it was discovered because it is about what happened in that and i wanted us to mention one thing that you discovered that i was able to write about in the discovery the professor finds lots of interesting new things. people often blamed calvin coolidge for his statement that he allegedly made as early as 29, right? the statement is that the market was just fine. what did you discover? >> guest: he said that prosperity was absolutely sound and cheap in the market. it turns out that the only source that i've been able to
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define and others were able to define as herbert hoover. he makes that point in his memoirs. but what i did a year or so ago doing some research and so forth and we discussed this before, hoover wrote several drafts and i found the drafts and it turns out in the initial draft he made that statement just before he came into office as president before coolidge left he made these statements that he didn't put quotation marks around the original draft and then in the types revision whether it was the secretary putting in quotation marks added by the time the book gets published into the passages published in the memoirs of 1950, 1952 or so it looks like he said this precisely and we haven't been able to find at that time he may have had a little slip of his memory or he may have been
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thinking of an earlier episode a year before when coolidge asked comments abou,it's about the st. and -- >> host: we all have a natural eagerness to shift the blame over to someone else and in that case maybe he shifted a little too much to coolidge. he shifted a little too much to coolidge but didn't live as long. but both themselves had a tremendous burden of being assigned a blame game for the terrible motion in the business cycle, quite interesting. since we have been studying hoover, there has been some revision that's important to point out. one piece of the revision relates up to the soviet union. when you began writing he says the union was a bad history didn't always say the soviet
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union was bad. since then, the discovery in the papers have seen the reality reported by the soviet refugees who came over. we came to see for example regarding the new deal that there were many new people in the new deal who were communists or some who were reporting to moscow. and that is a big change since you've become a historian and i've begun to look into it. and a part of that is possible because of hoover's work in the archives. not everyone reported to moscow but some day the -- but some of them did. so he was not exactly wrong the soviet union was evil. >> guest: he regarded one of the great mistakes of roosevelt, that being the recognition, diplomatic recognition of 1933. he gave respectability and much
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easier access into a american public life and in the 30s they are developed in what is called at the popular front. perhaps at one point there were 100,000 members of the communist party so that might seem small l but they were concentrated and effective and energetic and so forth and hoover was worried about this and he thought that this was pulling the new deal to the left. >> guest: >> host: he was not inaccurate on some of those and we want to give him credit. he was also not an accurate about the economic and social process of the soviet union. >> guest: he argued if we were not careful in our proper description of the evil empire, we would have another evil empire in its place and that stalin would win the war and that was a part of the argument that crusade years that roosevelt had a very naïve
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feeling about his ability to domesticate joseph stalin to make him into a gentle man after the war and hoover was critical anand saw that the book freedom betrayed as what you've got to understand the mistakes that we made, and we must eliminate these notions so he didn't think he was a communist. >> host: tha >> host: but as controversial today and important when you look at the current policy. david davenport and former pepperdine university with george lloyd of recently published a book to say it is the paradigm for the modern debate. you are for government expansion and if you are against it, the
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1930s deal then you have other positions about the current policy. they think hoover therefore is a definer. they think that coolidge is kind of retro and out of it. what i enjoy very much about your book is that you show that, hoover is thinking about the new deal and things that could be articles today. you said we cannot extend the mastery of the government without making it a master of people's soul and thoughts. can you say a word or two more about what is in this book and how it might be perceived? >> guest: yes i'm glad you mentioned gordon lloyd into the new deal on the conservatism just out a few months ago. same publisher i might add. neither of us knew that we were writing the separate volumes but we had a great deal of convergence and recognizing and hoover this figure and leader in
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the deployment of arguments and the anti-statist arguments that have now become an trouble to the conservatism into some of the arguments that hoover because in the 1930s that we are having still as kind of a permanent issue in our politics. of the economy which is the problem and which is the solution and how far should we go in regulation and deregulation and so forth, so he raises issues in this book which are very defining as you say of the american political landscape. in fact he gave a talk at the madison square garden on the campaign. he said that this is more than a contest between two men and two parties. it's between two philosophies and the outcome will dictate the course of american life for 100 years to come. and he regarded that as one of the prophetic speeches he ever
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gave so what he is doing in this book is documenting his battle against the new deal all through the 30s and 40s and the aftermath and he regarded this as a critical buying less of the america that he knew into the america of the more individualistic philosophy that might be lost and we would move towards a more regimented society come a managerial state. >> host: there would be a gradual expansion step-by-step and to a very large state. just to recall the new deal with in the 1930s into the great depression was unfortunately unemployment did not come down and the stock market did not recover. those are the two main facts that make it a depression. it was the duration that made the depression. so sometimes underwent too far. you do have a wonderful item i
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be leaving one of your appendices where he wrote a letter to the justice asking can you tell us about that? >> guest: yes. in 1940. briefly linda loki was running against roosevelt as a fairly tight election and he was afraid that roosevelt would get his third term. hoover went to the chief justice of the united states and asked him to resign from the court in the middle of the campaign and campaign against roosevelt. roosevelt had a big battle a few years ago. the court packing scheme that cost him a lot of political support. he had been an opponent -- >> guest: it was a political change of the court. >> guest: he came up with this idea that this gesture might turn the tide of the campaign. and he couldn't put them in jeopardy that way by using the
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position to leave it and then do this. and he would appoint a new deal in this place especially if roosevelt got elected. he didn't stay on the court much longer tha but this was one of e documents i found that hoover doesn't talk about in the regular book that it belongs in an appendix because this is a rather sensational or would have been more sensational had it happened. >> host: you talk of a man wrestling with urgency thinking he's right and with his own sense of importance and how to conduct your self i worked with president bush for several years and one of the things i noticed is his incredible graciousness as pulling back. he was a less active president because he was more on the statesmen and that it's hard for
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anyone to be an ex- president. you have an anxiety about the future and about how the past is perceived. what do you think is the single most important thing in this but? >> guest: i think that hoover was unusual among the political figures of his time and ours in that he be leaving the importance of the proper narrative of understanding of the past in order to avoid the mistakes of the present and future. the future. so he did not want to go quietly into the night or elected the new deal monopolized the argument so he fought back and rather energetically sketched out a counter narrative which meant the new deal came under criticism and i think that argument whether or not one accepts that on every detail or its fundament was, it is part of a constant argument that we still have about the place of government in our society and
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whether the government can be a menace as well as a help. and hoover saw the collectivism in the 30s and he is worried about the totalitarian liberals. it was a rather striking phase they thought we can keep the other freedoms but still have state control of enterprise. he said you can't have that combination. i was made a few years before. there are some interesting comparisons. >> host: that's right and it must be a little painful because some don't like hoover. this is a controversial area. this is the way that americans think about themselves and their politics through these figures. so here is the gospel according to palo alto where hoover is issuing from stanford. what might hoover have thought about china now what do you think?
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>> guest: he was of course highly disturbed at american policy in his view had undermined the late 40s and to take power. >> host: again thinking about communism. >> guest: there are several books about china among others. i think that he would read those bookbooks it is a look at the horrible cost from 1949 until the turn towards the greater economic freedom in the 80s. so hoover would probably say, and i'm speculating of course, think about what was lost before china found its offense started in some ways to move in a more prosperous and free direction, still not a totally free society by hoover's standards. standards. the thing of the tens of millions of people that lost their lives because of the utopian fantasies and terrible policies fortunately china has
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gotten beyond that so i think that hoover would be pleased that he's coming back to say we might have avoided all of that if we had not been so naïve in thinking that he was just one more agrarian reform. >> host: to put it simply if you were in undergraduate in 1960 or 67 or you were graduating china was different and it was their culture and then he went and said it is terrible, it's a bit hysterical. and we didn't really learn about the great famine of the professor described in that book or wrote about this incredible famine where the tens of millions died and and i would guess to the gulags and what hitler did and someone warning about it didn't get more time or much more attention.
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so, that is what he would have said in the parallel. china, russia -- >> host: >> guest: hoover was concerned because he was trying to bring out the history and the dangers of the historical trends before people learned about the cost. so i think that he would have been frustrated to think that we have these illusions about the period in china and it was only much later that we found out or that we find out from the papers in the 1990s about the extent of the espionage much of which he figured it 50 years or 40 years before. so i suspect tha suspected thate feeling a little out of sorts when do you take so long to reach the conclusions that should have been played at you been studying the history early on said he's trying to be a historian and a teacher in this book.
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>> host: what you'r you were geg at are the facts. what is your advice to the young scholars but i follows you were you might teach. what should they look at and what method should they use? >> guest: they shouldn't pay attention to all of the historiography that is developed and take a fresh look. that's always important. i would like to quote a phrase that said nothing can deceive like a document. i urge don't take what seems to be the face value of the documentation. you have to have skepticism and therefore not accept just the standard narrative or the
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conventional wisdom. much of the conventional wisdom has turned out in the communist period and the new deal period in the salon and the heroic interpretation of those events that's turned out to be terribly wrong or at least in need of revision. so i would urge the young historians to do that. >> host: he's very factual and very magnanimous. he sees others may do some useful work and rather than be selfish and only interested in his own name, that is one reason beyond of the accuracy and the academic contribution that he is admired so much. herbert hoover you know he was right and sometimes as the doctor shows he was. thank you very much c-span viewers come audience and doctor
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nash for this time. .. >> we are focused on making sure we can eliminate carriers to getting those networks in place,
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building out these networks as their priority so sometimes there are local side issues and sometimes there are federal rules that might affect how we deploy things are the impacts on historic sites or the environment. we want to make sure we are sensitive to those issues and at the same time we want to make sure we move forward on deployment has our customers, those that use these devices every day in their lives, depend on having a good strong connection and getting the data they want when they wanted and wherever they wanted. that means having a robust wireless network. >> up next author john judis presents a history of israeli and palestinian relations. the author focuses on the truman administration foreign-policy decisions between 1945 and 1949. this is about an hour.
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[applause] >> thank you for having me. i spent months at the truman library five or six years ago and the last time i stayed in kansas city was in 20004 at the carnahan ashcroft election. [laughter] one of the strangest events in the history of american politics. glad to be back here again. i know that this is talking about german and israel is like talking about the last time the kansas city royals won the world series. i have to warn you that i am a
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disappoint because i'm going to go-round this and that kind of secure this way. we will get to truman at the end that we are going to start much further back about 70 years before. let me say first something about how i came to write this book because i kept having to ask myself as i was doing it why i was writing it. i wanted to write a book about the arab-israeli conflict. i was concerned that i hadn't been a reporter and done the daily work but i also worry that in writing about that conflict and about how we were in the conflict in the present i would get into a kind of he said she said dynamic that you sometimes find in divorce hearings where you get into a question of who fired, whether the rocket was fired before the assassination, who started the second intifada,
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who screwed up kant david. in other words where there's no resolution in the argument just goes back and forth and i thought the way around that was to look at the history. in particular to look at the truman years because that is really the beginning. that is when america became involved in the arab-israeli conflict. i thought that i could see from their how it came to be that the conflict itself lasted 50 or 60 years had not been resolved in the united states had not been very effective in trying to reconcile the two parties. perhaps i thought in looking at the truman years i could find that in that is how i started and i started with a pretty blind slate of what happened there. the only thing was that as i proceeded to what i found that in those years, and we are talking about 1945 to 1948, those were the years when people
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learned about the holocaust. those were the years that people learn that the nazis had killed 6 million jews and that fact alone deservedly so overshadowed everything. it made it very hard for the people at that time and it's made it very hard for historians ever since to understand those sides of the conflict and particularly the arab side of the conflict and why they were so angry and that period. so what i thought it doing and what i was driven to do was go backwards and to try to provide a setting in which truman himself found himself in 1945 when he took office. i want to say a little to begin with about that, what the setting was and how this conflict began. to do that you really have to go back to the 1880s.
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zionism starts in the pale of settlement which is the area on the edge of the russian empire where jews were allowed to live in the greatest concentration of jews was in europe. jews were treated as an alien nation and zionism really a rose is a movement with the idea that insofar as jews were in million nation they would be better off having a real nation to which they could go, to which they could find refuge so that they could no longer be lodged within these various countries as aliens. that was really the heart of the idea the original idea of zionism. there was an idea of national liberation in that sense but it was an idea of national liberation for people that didn't yet have a nation. that is the positive side of
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zionism. the problem was that the country that the zionist movement which begins in the 1880s and immigration starts in the 1890s, the country that the zionist chose to emigrate to us one where somebody else already lived. in palestine in 1898 all these demographic things are in dispute but i will give you a rough estimate that a lot of demographers would agree with. there were about 500,000 people in palestine. it was an agricultural area. the jewish population was about 4% or 5% at most. about 10% arab christian and the rest are of muslim. arabs have lived there since 600 years. the three people got along reasonably well but what
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happened was that when scientists began immigrating not with the idea of let's say the average coming to boston but with the idea of not just settling there but establishing a jewish state, that created the races for a conflict. in 1917 the british decide that they are going to sponsor or champion a jewish homeland in palestine. at the same time woodrow wilson and also linen the russians pressing this idea of self-determination for colonized people. the arabs in the middle east thought it was their turn. they had been living under the ottoman empire. the arabs in palestine so they should have a country of their own so at that point you get an enormous conflict and you get
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agreements on the side of the arabs that has lasted ever sense. they want a state, they won't self-determination of their own. these other people are coming in and one to establish a jewish state a state in which they will either be a minority, unable to determine their own destiny or have to leave. so that is the basis and if you look at that period you will understand a lot of the arab grievance. it goes on of course. you can go back to 1947 when the united nations decides to partition palatine -- palestine. it's about 30% jewish, 70% arab and the proposal is 40% arab and the rest 4% under u.n. control. after the award in 1948 it
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78-22. after 1967 the west bank and gaza are occupy its so in that grievance remains. now what about the zionism. if you look now at that period up to let's say 1924, 1925 or ss for a people settling in palestine are either the buckle, you have to believe that people lived someplace hundreds and thousands of years before to reestablish their own state or they are of the kind that they jews are going to bring civilization to a barbarous people. what changes in 1925? what gives the zionism a moral justification that to some extent it really didn't have a
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four? two things happen. the first thing that happens is immigration to the west gets cut off. 1924 and united states immigration laws, the same things happen over the next 10 years in europe, south america, south africa. from 1880s to world war i when,e in to jewish settlements and kill people and burn down synagogues there was tremendous immigration. 2.5 million people left the settlement. 1.2 million came to the united states area to 30,000 went to palestine so what i am trying to say is that up until my team 24
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the united states was in effect is real. it was the place where jews who were oppressed in europe could go. that gets cut off. that is incredibly important event. the second thing that happens as you well know in 1933 the nazis take power. not only to the nazis take power but in the surrounding central and eastern european countries anti-semitic parties gain a foothold inspired by the nazis. so get over the next six years as jews attempting to flee central eastern europe but not having anywhere to go and looking towards palestine at that point as a safe haven as a refuge. so now jump up to the period of 1945 or so. on the one hand arabs grievances
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the arabs at this point have gone to war against the jews and gone to war against the british. they failed. they were decimated in the late 30s by the british during the arab rebellion. their leaders exiled. immense bitterness. a feeling that the leaders at this point what they wanted was not some kind of, not just just simply an arab state and not simply to stop jewish immigration but there were proposals to basically deport everyone who had come after world war i. that is one side. the jews at this point feeling a tremendous urgency that they had to have some place where other jews could go and that included the refugees from nazism but it also included the possibility which in 1946 didn't seem so far-fetched. it's starting all over again
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someplace else so those sides were locked in to a kind of mortal kombat. now up until 1945 the british were in charge. palestine was a british colony. they created palestine and they were responsible in effect for holding the two sides apart. the british come out of world war ii incredibly weak and they lose most of their fleet. they have enormous debt. there are problems in india. they basically have to get rid of their empire. and palestine is part of their empire so they want to get out of this point. who is left? who is stuck as the major outside power trying to do something? the united states. the united states before that completely deferred to the british. under roosevelt it was a british
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problem. 1945 harry truman comes to office in april and suddenly it's an american problem. america becomes responsible along with the british and then solely responsible as the main outside power just trying to resolve this conflict between the arabs and the jews. that is the kind of incredible dilemma that truman inherited when he comes into office in 1945. now how did truman approach the issue? there were two things i think and one is pretty obvious and the other isn't. the first thing was that truman was always, he was always the guy who saw the world in moral terms and who sought international relations and bullies and underdogs and he was
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was -- there was no one he saw more of a bully than the nazis. if you read most of his speeches, he was not a grade a raider. i hesitate to say that in kansas city you know, but i came upon a speech he gave in 1943 about the nazis and what they had done to the jews and there is a passage that you just don't find in a lot of his other speeches. he felt that and in 1945 he passionately believed that the refugees called displaced persons at the time, the jewish refugees in europe should be allowed to go to palestine. that is one side. the other thing that truman believed, and this is the thing that is not i think fully appreciated is he was not in favor of the idea that oven to
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jewish or an arab state. he was a jeffersonian democrat. he believed that different races and religions should get along with each other even if it was difficult. he attributed all the wars and chaos in europe to a religious rivalries. he wanted, he wanted in palestine something where both sides would be reconciled. what he favored was a confederation where they would be different parts that were jewish and different parts that were arab but then they, and legislature or a bi-national state. he didn't have, he didn't have let's say in august of 1945 any specific scheme in mind but what he did insist upon was that he didn't like the idea of a jewish state or an arab state.
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when the zionist leaders came to visit him he would say that to their dismay. what he tried to do during that period was to work out with the british the idea of and arranged arranged -- the british would remain in control of foreign-policy until such a time you know five years and 10 years where the two sides could get together and it a point would become a federated commonwealth if you want to put it that way, and that was to be done through something called the british american committee. and the report that came out of that that truman himself took a hand in devising was called the grady morrison proposal. that was a proposal for federating palestine. i say those words because it's going to come up and i'm going
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to read you different passages where he refers to that. so let me repeat once more so i get this straight what truman's reasons were, what his worries were, what his qualms were about a jewish and arab state. he thought it wouldn't be fair that if those sides should have their due but the second was the call that now geopolitigeopoliti cal. he was worried that if such a state, if they jewish or an arab state were imposed it would lead to conflict in the conflict itself would have inevitably drawn in the united states and might also draw in the soviet union. at one point he accused the zionist leaders of wanting to start world war iii so those were his two words.
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now let me talk about what happens then to truman after he devices this idea. truman's idea was that if he could condense the british 20 allow the the jews into palestine and the displaced camp it would have let off the steam. it would take all the energy out of zionism in palestine. this is completely mistaken of course and the jews in palestine would no longer want a jewish state. they would no longer care. that was his strategy. so august 1946 you get the grady morrison proposal. let the jews into palestine but
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no state confederation. truman encounters at that point immense opposition in the united states and particularly from the zionist movement. now the zionist movement in the united states was quite strong in that period. the jewish vote was much more important than it is now. new york was the most important state. new york was like california is now and the jewish vote was decisive in new york. it was also important in maryland, ohio, pennsylvania and illinois. elections were coming up in november of 1946, critical elections as it turned out. those were the congressional elections where the democrats got swept out of office. truman was very worried about that. the pressure comes in early august and he just gives up and he says i can't do it. i don't have sufficient support. and he gives up the idea of the grady morrison planned.
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what happens at that point is you look at truman and you get a kind of bifurcation. you get to harry truman's. one harry truman continues to operate on a practical level and the other harry truman on a psychological level. let me talk about first the practical. in practical terms truman to a great extent uses -- loses interest in 1946. i hate to tell you this but it's true. he cedes control over the state department. the state department makes up proposals that are anathema to the zionist movement so you get truman is dragged in and truman makes various decisions but he himself is making decisions and then trying to withdraw. he keeps trying to stay out of the conflict. he gives up on the idea
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practically speaking of the federated palestine but he still tries to apply the same principles. the united nations when the proposal for partition comes up in 19478 partitioning palestine into a jewish and arab state he tries to make the proportions fair to the arabs than they were. not 56-40 but something closer to 50/50. after this date is recognized the same thing on the refugees and borders. he will make attempts to try to resolve conflict and then withdraw. so it's not, it's not a kind of picture you would get if you look at the truman of the cold war the decisive luck stops here are truman. the other side of it is the side
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that is really peculiar and we are talking about the psychological side here. throughout this whole period truman remains wedded to the idea of a federated palestine the grady morrison planned. he keeps telling people to come visit him and i'm going to read you a few things just to convince you that i'm not making this all up. he recognizes the state of israel on may 14, 1948, okay? may 15 he writes a newspaper man who had been pressuring him to recognize israel. he says u. of cores are familiar with all the effort put forth by me to get it peaceable and satisfactory settlement of the palestine question. i'm still hoping for just that.
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i think the report of the british american commission on palestine was the correct solution and i think eventually we are going to get it work out just that way. so you know what he's talking about there. may 18, four days later. he writes another person who was pressing him named dean alfonse. my sole objective in the palestine procedure has been to prevent bloodshed. the way things look today we apparently have not been very successful. nobody in this country has given the problem more time and thought than i have and here we go. in 1946 when the british american commission on palestine was appointed and the foreign secretary of -- the british foreign secretary had made an agreement with him that he would accept the finding at that commissiocommissio n. i thought we have the problem solved at the emotional views of the united states and the
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equally emotional arabs in egypt and syria prevented that settlement from taking place. i sincerely hope sanity will come to both sides and a peaceful approach can be made through settlement which should have been worked out by the british some 20 years ago. truman flames different parties for this. one more and do. so september that is five months later, he gets a visit in the white house from the jewish war veterans and the leader was a guy named general julius klein. truman expected a kind of routine visit where he would be asked to appear at a conference and he would say yes and he would shake hands and out the door but to his surprise they presented him with a list of
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demands that he wanted determined to do including ending the arms embargo on the israelis. and i will just read you what happens from my own book. truman was taken aback. he said he was the best friend the jews had in america and then he said something that clearly shocked klein and the delegation. he complained to the jewish war veterans that he and the british foreign secretary ernest bevans had agreed on the best possible solution for palestine and it was the zionist and killed that plan by their opposition. now i'm not confirming his judgment. i'm not saying that he was right or wrong but i just want you to understand that truman was a very divided man and after august 1946 he approached the issue in a very bifurcated way operating on two levels. on one level he continued to
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want a federated paula stein and thought that was the just solution and a solution that would be the least likely to lead to war and rebellion over the next 40 or 50 years but on a practical level he kept a seating to basically what the zionist movement wanted. whether that was right or wrong, that is truman. now what can we say finally about that and about his decision? on the practical level of truman really had no choice but to recognize israel. the only way conceivable in which he could have achieved a federated palestine or even a different kind of partition in 1947 was to agree to send
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american troops to palestine to in force an agreement. there was just no other way. american troops would have had to replace the british. they would have had to stand between the jews and the arabs. they might have had to stand there for a decade and maybe they would still be there for all we know. truman was absolutely not willing to do that. in 1945 he wasn't willing to do that because america was demobilized. in 1948 the berlin airlift the middle of the cold war completely preoccupied by europe, not my palestine of that point. completely unwilling to contemplate sending troops to the middle east when the possibility loomed looms of the major war in europe with the soviet union. so without that it's hard to imagine. the state department had this fantasy that they could get the british to stay there and kept
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sending people over to convince the british to stay. the british kept saying well listen to it and we tell you before that we are not willing to do it? if you look at the papers it's almost, cool because he keeps happening every few weeks. the state department didn't see any other alternative. if not that then it would have to be a state. so there really wasn't any realistic alternative to the outcome that occurred which was a jewish state at the time that the heat of the decimation of arabs. the king says the word palestine has to disappear from all textbooks. i just don't see, i don't see either the recognition was a mistake or that truman's idea of a federation was realistic.
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but, now let me look at it from another standpoint. if you look at truman's underlying principles and what he was worried about and his clones, they resonate down the decades. first of all he wanted a settlement leave aside the federation question or whatever. he wanted a settlement that was fair to the arabs as well as the jews. that was very important. secondly he feared that if there was a settlement like that there would be war, there would be riots, there would be rebellion. that had been happening since basically 1920 in palestine. i think he was right in both of those respects. i think his impulses and his initial impulses were absolutely
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correct. his practical sense of how to do it, well it didn't work in the circumstances. the lesson i draw from this history has nothing to do really with 1948. it has to do with now which is to say that we are now in a situation where a recurring situation where both on a moral and a geopolitical basis it's important for us to do something about the conflict between the israelis and the palestinians. morally it's important to do something and i think again going back to what i said at the beginning about the sinus and in the 1880s and 1890s it's important to understand the arab side of this and to understand that they have legitimate grievances and the jews have a state in the palestinians don't. i would like to see american policy recognize that and take
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that seriously. second the geopolitical side. we could argue in certain times in the 1980s for instance that israel was an important ally in the cold war. maybe during the war on terror. no question the united states can be friendly to israel but it's in our interest at this point to resolve that conflict. it just breeds instability in the region. it's a kind of organizing tool for terrorists to end up coming here and trying to do stuff so it's very much not only in our moral interests but are geopolitical interest to do something and that is the lesson that i draw from the truman years. thank you. [applause]
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>> the there are microphones on either side of the four i else. come up and ask your questions at the microphone. that would be great. >> it i guess there are mics so speak up. i'm not good on male voices. i'm better on female voices. my daughter is in theater and we would go to plays. i was always come out and say i thought the female actresses were great but the men all mumbled. so anyway. >> clearly.
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>> i take issue with a few things you said. >> we can't hear you. >> oh good. i was getting really worried. >> i think when you said zionism started in 1880s in the pale of russia it was really theodore holtz will -- hurts all in austria became after the dreyfus situation that came up with the idea that maybe after 2000 years the jews should have a place to go where they are not persecuted just because they are jews. it was actually and everyone should read the book 1919 which really speaks about the ottoman empire and how after world war i when the ottomans lost world war i it was the americans, the english and the french that divided up the middle east and
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made the countries that we know today that are the problem today in iraq syria and lebanon and jordan and took king faisal from saudi arabia and put him and all of his relatives in positions of authority. >> i got it. >> you wait, excuse me. you don't have it. >> i can answer. >> it would just like to say that as you were saying, and it was the zionists who brought -- from the arabs and created the state after world war ii for some of the moral reasons. truman was the first president and the first country to recognize the state of israel. it isn't as if the zionists came to this piece of land and there
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were jews living there for the last 2000 years so wasn't that they just came over there and there were these people that were living there and they overcame it. >> oh eight, thank you. keep the questions brief. i can usually pick up what you are asking in the first 20 sentences. [laughter] let me make two points. first of all, they were actually zionists for hundreds of years but the zionist movement itself starts in russia where some of my relatives took the boat about that time and a guy named pinsker and that is where the first émigres come from. theodore hurts so is incredibly important. that's 10 years or 15 years
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later. 1919 i know the book by margaret macmillan. it's a wonderful book and it's absolutely true. if you look at the conflicts that are happening now in the middle east including israel and the palestinians it's all previewed in a settlement after world war i but what you have then is france. you have france and syria and france elevates the aluise to power and what's going now is an incredible civil war and iraq same problem. saddam hussein was the air up and the sunnis that the british put in power so yes and
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palestine existed as a holy land but it didn't exist as a country people thought about palestine. they what about palestine but the actual geographical boundaries get set by the british after world war i. so as you think about what's happening now in the world the two most important events or what happens after world war i and then what happens after world war ii the soviet union and the ukraine and all that stuff that goes right back. in fact ukraine goes back to world war i in the russian revolution. we are still living through that period. should i go over here? >> thank you. could the result of the situation we have today had been different if after may of 48 and
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a war for independence the united states have put more pressure on israel or the surrounding arab states to do something about the refugee situation from the beginning? could that have made a difference today? >> you know i would love to say yes to that question that i am skeptical and the reason i'm skeptical was that the arab states that attacked israel egypt jordan lebanon and syria and iraq were as divided among themselves as they were divided from israel at that point. and i think to a great extent the objections wanted to use the refugee issue is a kind of that are in ram both against the jordanians and against the israelis. i'm just not sure. it's a good question but i lean
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on the side that they probably could have been resolved at that point. >> it i just wanted to clarify the record real quick. i think he said at the beginning the arabs came into the area around 600. believe the palestinians actually have heritage in and does -- ancestry going back to the philistines and that's an ideological record. >> thank you. i'm interested in the archaeological questions myself and these are very thorny issues. there is a big issue about the canaanites. my resolution for those is that you can't resolve these questions on the basis of the bible or the koran. i might be at the center.
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>> the british are getting blamed for everything in the world. [laughter] i am interested in the way --. >> speak up. cm interest in the way the truman makes policy and i'm interested in the idea that he is a bifurcated attitude towards things psychological and practical but the key thing that he does the whole issue he recognizes israel. if you didn't recognize israel we wouldn't be talking about truman and the palestine. what i want to know is what where the pressures that pushed him into doing that? was this entirely coming for him or was it outside and other people telling him that you need to recognize it as well? was a people outside of this administration?
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was that leaders in congress or is it kind of lobbyists who are concerned about upcoming elections? >> there are two different kinds of questions. along the way from 1945 to 1948 truman faces a whole host of decisions where lobbyists and things like that are very important. the decision to recognize israel on may 14, truman's decision to do it exactly when he did it ,-com,-com ma 15 minutes after david ben-gurion proclaimed a new state was political. there were rallies planned that evening. he did to face a situation where he was being denounced around the country but the decision to recognize israel would have happened anyway. it would have happened in a week maybe or in two weeks. really he and the state department had no alternative.
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they had run out of alternatives. truman again at this fantasy about it that are rated palestine. the state department was trying to insist on a trusteeship where the british would stay around. the british refused so in effect it would have happened anyway. that the particular time at which it happened was because of political pressure. >> you the bulk of your presentation is without mention that they are arab muslim states in that region. there is no country for arab muslims to go to and they should have a piece of up what could have been a jewish state. i think that's an unfair presentation because the region is pretty much arab muslim with many states in many countries most of which deported the jews when israel was established. i think it's unfair not to mention that and i also think
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it's worthwhile to mention all the benefits that have come to the united states of america through the israel united states relationship. >> it okay, thank you. beginning in the 1920s and i think the first person to make this argument was the founder of revisionism and wanted not only palestine but jordan to be part of the jewish state and to some extent netanyahu. he made this argument and it was widely adopted that let me put it this way the arabs were fungible people and palestinian could as easily live in iran as palestine or move to jordan or what have you. they didn't feel that way.
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you know i was amazed as i was doing the research in the mid-1930s. louis brandeis is enforced in american liberalism and he is. it would be a good idea to transfer the arabs to iraq to resolve the conflict. you would have the jewish mid--- minority. this was the time the germans were trying to move the sub three out of germany so it's a transfer population is not a good idea. i don't think that's a proper framework to understand what was going on prior to 1948. >> at one point during the 1940s the king king of jordan tried to portray himself as a middleman who would be glad to be in charge of the confederation of israeli and
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arab citizens. to truman or the grading more so than people did they support that at all? >> there were secret negotiations that went on between the jordanians and it was a jewish agency. i think golda meir was involved in those negotiations. they are like the negotiations now almost because at one point they were going to work and then there was a massacre and the jordanians pulled out but there was always a kind of implicit deal because the jordanians wanted the west bank. so their troops didn't go beyond that during the 1948 war.
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there was that kind of the deal. i will mention one other thing about it. there was a window from september 1946 to february 1947 when it might've been possible to work out some kind of transitional federation as truman wanted. it was a very narrow window. the zionists were worried that the issue would get thrown to the united nations. they expected wrongly as it turned out that the soviet union would he on the arab side in the united nations. the arab states were willing to make some kind of the deal but they told the british that in order to make it yield they
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would have to work out all the arrangements in secret and then have these public negotiations because if they tried to do the negotiations in public they would get tremendous opposition from their own public and from what existed of the palestinian leadership. the arab states announce them and so on. it's just an interesting sidenote because john kerry, one of the things he has tried to do with his negotiatinegotiati ons is to keep things absolutely secret and not allow them to get out. then it becomes impossible. the british did not heed the lesson. there was a slight possibility but you know it was gone. >> it i was in wishing to d.c. earlier this month at the global
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u.s. conference and i asked one of the ambassadors, how do we solve the conflict? his answer was we just get them to talk to each other. i would like to ask you the same question since you gave us that at the end of your talk you said it's our moral obligation to work on solving this conflict. how would you solve the conflict? >> oh boy i have no idea. [laughter] i tried to stay away from this in my book. i'd -- i'm leaving it to john kerry. [laughter] i think the main point i would make is you remember when obama came into office. we thought that the republican
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senate democrats could sit down together and you saw what happened there. i think it's the same thing, without our intervention nothing was going to happen articulately without kerry's intervention in 2013 in july, think nothing would have happened. i'm not sure obama had the stomach to go through that again so again the negotiations take place. you know, i would expect it that if they succeed the palestinians will probably get a bad deal. they will probably have to allow israeli troops along the jordan river which will prolong the occupation. certainly no refugees coming back but at this point and i'm
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glad i don't have any power. even if that deal is better than no deal because if the situation continues as it is it's going to become impossible and you will get a one-state solution there but it will be a nightmare one-state solution. >> i have a history question for you. >> i'm going to fail this one. >> you have done a lot of research and that's good. i'm reading a lot of world war i books right now and there's a sentence in the back of my mind that at some point someone had come up with the idea of finding a homeland for the jews in africa. i'm not familiar with that. >> it 1903 theodore wurtzel was negotiating with the british. his idea was imperial sponsorship for the homeland from the turks and that failed and then he tried the british and they british came with this
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idea of giving the jews uganda. the uganda used for whatever it is. they weren't so happy about that and neither were the zionists. at the zionist organization in 1903 that proposal got beaten down. in fact i think lloyd george became the prime minister and was involved in those biggish asians as a lawyer. >> you mentioned the friendship between israel and the united states government at the end of your talk and touched on during the question and answer period or a flea. rattu mina quote and i will paraphrase this room father john sheehan. he said whenever i hear that israel is their only friend of the middle east i can't help but think before friendship with israel we have no enemies in the middle east. >> that is pretty tricky.
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[laughter] i can't answer that directly. i will just say this. i think they ran negotiations -- negotiations are incredibly important and if those work out they will not only benefit the united states but israel as well because they will have one less enemy in the region. israel and iran used to be allies under the shah. it's not like those countries have a history of antagonism. i think that's very important and i personally have been disturbed that the main lobbying organization in washington a pac has been trying in my view to undermine those negotiations at putting impossible conditions on them.
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i think if you ask about other things that's a nightmare. i don't see any light in that. >> it i'm sorry but i have another historical question. >> i keep warning you that i'm going to flunk when you ask me these questions. >> i think you will get this. he will be able to explain this to me. what was the motivation between between -- behind the british issuing the bell for? >> sigmund freud's theory of dreams, he had this concept that dreams were overdetermined and what he meant was we have numerous causal elements intercepting and he couldn't say one thing caused it.
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there were a number of things. that is the case with the bell for declaration. number one the british wanted a buffer between turkey -- turkey which they fight in world war i and the suez canal. palestine was right in between. it was a passage. they wanted also to protect that group through the middle east from india. these were all, you could save these were imperial concerns. they were worried that the germans would beat them to the punch and make a deal with the jews and when their allegiance. to some extent they encourage that idea and i didn't think was ever going to happen. finally some of the high officials in the british government lloyd george, belfour
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and sykes were christian zionists. they believed that the jews in biblical term should he able to return and reclaim the state of israel. i think if you look at those three different things intersecting. finally that is what sold it to the entire cabinet at the time. yes. >> i was surprised to learn over years of breeding that there is a strong voice within the jewish community of anti-zionism couched in ultra-orthodox religious belief. one name that comes to mind in the organization is card to.
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their basis of being opposed to zionism is they reject utterly on spiritual terms the achieving of the homeland under forest law because it violates the place spiritually that the jewish community in their view, in their devout view once to arrive in terms of evolution of moral perfection. so it's a message from deep within israeli and the jewish community. it's an astounding message of peace and reconciliation. >> let me respond to that. there always has been a strain of orthodox judaism that believes the way in which israel will be established is becoming the messiah and anything else is
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not acceptable. that especially if you look at american politics and american zionism is a very small minority. it's not a large voice. before 1946, 47 i would say the majority of jews in america were either a nonzionist or maybe even anti-zionist but as the news about hitler and the final solution came up that transform things and really had i don't know 95% in favor of israel. there is a group called the american counsel for judaism that still exists that was the name -- main group but they have no problem. >> it another history question. i would go back in truman's early history when he had the
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haberdashery in kansas city and he added partner by the name of betty jacobsen and betty jacobs and was a jewish gentleman that he was a staunch zionist. i was wondering in your research did you find eddie jacobsen that close to truman, business partners here in kansas city did eddie jacobsen pushed truman do you think more than anybody toward going with israel or getting behind israel? ..

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