tv Book Discussion CSPAN September 14, 2014 10:30am-11:13am EDT
>> 73 discusses her book, "the bully pulpit: theodore roosevelt, william howard taft, and the golden age of journalism" from the 14th national annual book festival. [applause] >> so, we are very honored today to have doris kearns goodwin as our guest. before we start some questions, how many people here have read a book by doris kearns goodwin quiet [laughter] how many people have read two books? three books? four? five? six? all of them, okay. how many people are going to buy her book today? and get it out of graft? see doris kearns goodwin is obviously a leading presidential scholar. she is a person who has written
books on the most important president and today we'll talk largely about her new book, "the bully pulpit," which is about teddy roosevelt and william howard taft in the muckrakers of that area. before we do so, like to give you more background about her another book she's written you she's written books on lincoln and kennedy family, fitzgerald family, eleanor and franklin roosevelt pokémon and johnson with whom she worked as a white house fellow. she is from brooklyn. [applause] a big fan of the brooklyn dodgers ensured a book about them as well. the brooklyn dodgers don't exist any longer, so she has shifted her allegiance to the boston red sox. [cheers and applause] she was the first woman to going to the boston red dots locker room. she is a graduate of colby
college, phi beta kappa naturally, magna laude. later won a white house fellowship and is a white house fellow was assigned to the white house and work with president johnson directly. after she left, she went to harvard, finisher teaching assignment air. she got her phd at harvard as well and that she began her career after teaching of writing extraordinary books. i think to start by asking you this. you've written books about some presidency obviously couldn't know. franklin roosevelt. if you had a chance to have dinner, who would you want to have dinner with. i keep knowing that people say to you, you could have dinner with one of you guys. i know i should ask abraham lincoln, what would you attend different about instruction had he lived? but i know i wouldn't ask you
not. i would say mr. lincoln, would you tell me a story and if he started telling me a story, his whole face would change. my would come on. the story might be a funny story. i might have an anecdote. it might have a moral. it might be a dirty story and i would see him come alive. the idea of this man abraham lincoln who i thought about coming alive ensued in his melancholy by telling a story to me would be my favorite dinner i could possibly imagine. >> suppose you had a chance to ask a question of each of the others. but they franklin roosevelt. >> i guess it may well be in part because i just went to the holocaust museum today i would want to ask him when you think about is there more you could have done? once we were to happen, the doors are closed forever, but is there more you could have done to bring more jewish refugees to the country before that moment?
[applause] will he last eleanor roosevelt? >> i think what i would ask eleanor is in fact it happened when i was working on the book, there were so many times when i felt there were such between eleanor and franklin and yet such hurt because he had had an affair so many years before. i would ask her again, just forget that affair. i know he loves you. i would talk to her when i was writing the book until i remember you are so much better than any of these other women in his life. just absorb the fact that you are eleanor is closer to him because he was lonely in those years and there was still a resent and understandably they separated them from their beds from each other, but made them incredible partners. i would try and tell her i know him and i know he wants to be with you more and if you could stay home a little more i think it would be good.
[laughter] so if you hadn't been a presidential scholar, you would have been a marriage counselor. what about teddy roosevelt quite >> these are great questions. out of about teddy, why couldn't she waited to run for the presidency until 1916? even taft were such great friends. he loves you. you knew when he did that daring act running against him that the chances for the republican party would split and the democrat would win. why couldn't you wait? i think i know the answer in part he loved being the center of attraction so much he couldn't bear being out of power. this is the part of the site even though i love the fact that he wanted to be in the center power. he wanted to be the bride of a wedding, and of course the cathedral and the baby at the back to them. but had he been able to make him
if he would've been president in 1916. he would've gotten what he wanted to be in the most dramatic times. i would say why didn't you wait? >> john kennedy, he could've asked of anyone question, what would you like to know from him? >> file, this may put me back in the marriage comes the room because i would say to him, when the presidency is so exciting and the greatest job in the world and you've got such talent, why would you ever take a guy having his involvement with other involvements while president? it seems incomprehensible it will not venture enough and yet he was an extraordinary fellow and he had lots of -- i better stop. i'm about to defend him and i don't know why. >> you obviously would have been a great marriage counselor. let's talk about lyndon johnson. how did you get a job because most fellows don't actually work for the president of the united states. how did you actually get to work
for him? >> there is no question that every part of my career as a presidential historian goes back to lyndon johnson. when a selected a white house fellow we had a big thing he did dance with me. it was not peculiar. only three women. but you are right, you could've been assigned anywhere in the white house, but he whispered that night as he was toiling me around the floor that he wanted me to be at time directly to him. but it was not to be that simple because in the months to my selection like many young people was a graduate student at harvard, i'd written an article against them which unfortunately came out in the new republic because i was involved in the antiwar movement with the title how to remove lyndon john and from power. [laughter] it came out two days after the dance in the white house, so i was certain he would take me under the program but surprisingly he said when we down here for a year and if i can win her over, no one can. i did work him in the white
house. i have for this fabulous man secretary words of the labor department. once he resigned from the racy studies that i should be out of power, nice guy to work for me so i ended up staying with him until his presidency was over and accompanied to his ranch in the last years of his life. i saw him in the side last years of his life when he knew his latest he had been cut in two, although he had been such great stuff in civil rights in the opener to me in ways he never would've had i known that the height of his power. the top and top and i listened and listened and it is the greatest experience of the world. half of the stories i discovered later were true, but they were nonetheless. more importantly i developed an empathy because i had been so much a judge from the outside on him and i saw what it was like to be president and for the joys and the sadness is and it may be forever onward catholic inside
the people i would be studying from their point of view to understand what they were going through rather than judging them from the outside in a knot lesson from lbj i would like to believe maybe the kind of historian i eventually became. >> is it easier to read about people you've never met for about somebodies never met. >> in some ways it was hard to write lbj having met him because i wanted to be fair, i felt the tingle of emotions on the more you knew him, the more he wanted to feel good about what you've written. i still had the antiwar feeling. i knew there were parts of him. he was a difficult character to be around at some level i love the person i got to know. so there are lots more emotion involved in writing about him than about these other people. and a certain sense once i spent
10 years of abraham lincoln or six years at franklin and eleanor, longer than it took a war to be five, i feel like i'm living with them. and thinking about them. the same sense that i feel intimacy and you do have to withdraw myself to understand them and yet i want to be fair and yet i want to like them. the tingle of the been there the whole time and nasa makes it so exciting. >> your book on lincoln, a team of rivals have been arrested on attention because it was a bestseller, while the of course and it was made into a movie. when he told steven spielberg you're writing a book about lincoln is that i want to option it and you have a good book yet. how long did it take you to get the book finished? >> that is correct. he was doing a documentary on the millennium of the century in 1999 and i met him with other historians that has always wanted to make them movie with lincoln. he said shake hands and all have the first year to be 20 people
lined up other than steven spielberg to make a movie on lincoln. said he did option it. i was finishing chart of tears, they did a really good job. but he wanted daniel day-lewis to be his lincoln emptying of the next set either one of those scripts until finally after i'd finished the book, tony kushner came on and wrote on and what is scripted dana said yes i will be abraham lincoln. as soon as that happened, steven spielberg asked me to take into springfield, illinois to go through the link inside. he was coming incognito because they didn't want to announce he was linking it because he wanted time to become lincoln. he becomes the person. or if the seat in the hotel. he said he wanted to go to a bar. immediately somebody came right up to us and offered a stirring spirit i thought of 30 over, but they didn't recognize him. it was me they recognize.
we laughed and laughed. [applause] anyway, we got through it in for an entire year he had me send him books about clay and webster of the revolution and finally went to richmond, virginia to see the filming. he was no longer my friend daniel. he was mr. lincoln. you had to call him mr. lincoln. you couldn't talk to him as if he was daniel, so i didn't get to see daniel again until the awards ceremony started in the premieres for the first one in new york, he said we have to go far to celebrate to remember that night before when he was just becoming lincoln. so he takes me to the carlyle. we had a couple drinks, his old cuban. he had more than me, which is an important part of the story. a few weeks later he won his first award and stephen kamen gave him the award and incomprehensibly receiving the award he talked about he rejected the role so long and he finally said yes and it was so great. he says i don't reject
everything. when doris kearns did when asked me to go binge to you or i accept it. last night there was a "wall street journal" reporter there so is in the paper the next day. here i saw this man walked away with the lincoln walked only because somebody told us he walked like us at the end of a hard day. he talked with a high-pitched voice, which renewed because not because we've ever heard it. he had the sense of humor. he told the stories. he was not in college, deep, wise and i truly felt the lincoln had come to life. >> your book covers much of lincoln's life. we surprised movie covers only four pages of the book? were you disappointed that only such a small part is covered or you thought that was appropriate? >> on the contrary, what happens is when he started at 600 pages that covered more of the book and then it got down to 500 pages.
what they found and this is not something i could've found. it shows a visual person is different in the wake of the working person i am. they found a story within the story of the story of his political genius and getting the 13th amendment passed with the larger story i had told about his political genius. the person i knew who was lincoln was air. the morality of an anonymous what i cared about. it didn't matter that it was the best. it was this and i could never thought of making it back, but that was the genius of tony kushner. >> is said there were more books written about link in other than described. what made you think you could write a book about lincoln that would say something on the deals didn't they and the team of rivals concept, when did that come to you? >> to be honest, when i started to write about lincoln was
terrifying precisely because of the question you're asking. 14,000 books have been written about him and i knew there were lincoln scholars wide net to send their whole life on lincoln and i was a rookie going back to the 19th century. it was just because i wanted to live with them. because it takes me so long i have to like the person. i could never write about stalin or hitler. i would want to up with them in the morning. i couldn't figure out how to have my own angle sofirst i thought i'd write about marian avis i've written about franklin and eleanor. so many books about him. many books about her, so their partnership during world war ii became the theme. as they started sending the first couple years i realize she couldn't serve the public side of the story the way all of our day. somehow locally and went to the secretary of state early in the research that's a wonderful museum and i began to get
interested in him and i read his letters and his wife was away from washington for a year or so he her letter after letter after letter and then i got interested in the other guys in the cabinet. jason stanton and while the male cat diaries and they all wrote letters. so it's probably three or four years into it i realized this is the story i can tell. his relationship with all of these guys because they talk about him in a way that not everybody has and they tell me everyday what they thought about him and what they felt about each other and team of rivals finally became the subject of the book. >> to president obama call you and say have an idea by the secretary of state or that your book influenced him? >> what did happen when he was running against hillary clinton but way behind her in a seven i got a cell phone call and he said hello, this is a rock obama. i just read team of rivals and we have to talk. but he wasn't talking about putting her into the cabinet.
he was fascinated by lincoln's emotional intelligence. how was he able to give stanton, who had humiliated him when he was a young lawyer and bring them into his cabinet. how was he able to not let it fester. so he had read the book and then he read it again and what happened when he won the nomination, reporters had what she really be willing to put into your inner circle a chief rival even if his or her spouse for an occasional pain in the? he then quoted lincoln and said this is a type of peril. when he put hillary clinton into the cabinet, the lock was this was a years after the book has come out that the term became a term for what he had done. she teased me when i saw hillary right before the exaggeration. she said you're responsible for my being secretary is day.
>> so when you read a book, do you do all of your research and then write it later or do you little research, write, research, write. have you do this process? >> it is research and write, research and write. in college i read barbara tuchman's guns of august in for me as a woman to read that incredible account of world war i by a female historian, she became my mentor and away. she once read an essay that i take to heart when i started writing. she said have to be careful not to research too much or you're going to get paralyzed. you'll have all of this stuff. so you have to start writing when you've begun researching. she also said enology is defined of telling a story. i believe that. academics a lot of time can write a story, but then they know so much that based on stuff
into a appeal to you later. what she said his only tell the story from what the people at the time knew. because everything iritis, logical, i can research the beginning and write the beginning and research more and keep going until their lives come to the end. >> cigarette in the daytime or night and then what do you do to relax after you write some of it? >> i wish i knew i could say that. is the research that takes most of the time. for the lincoln book, tenures are working probably would have been six or seven of research compared to writing. i wake up early. i was in a morning person. i used to be a night when a single, but once you have kids come you can't be a morning person and i person. my husband doesn't make up until 7:00, 7:30. i wake up at 5:00 before breakfast is on. my husband come to richard edwin
has just had an e-book come out is now finally just an e-book in fabulous book about his experiences with kennedy, johnson, the civil rights movement, bobby kennedy. so use writing in one part of my work and another my work in another and work until 1:00 or so and then we go to lunch in the town we live in, bring the newspapers which i try not to read in the morning. then i read until dinner and every night are relaxation if you're not going to a ballgame where season-ticket to the red sox to go to dinner where we have a couple local bar. this is another bar story for friends of ours in all of his kids are grown together and we've made so many good friends and we sit there and relax and go home and go to bed and start all over again. >> so let's talk about this book. >> i got a terrible letter from
a wound he said she was loving the book she was reading it before she went to sleep and it's on her nose and broke her nose. [laughter] >> 200 pages or so. it's an excellent book of course. well researched, well-written. you don't want to put it down. it's a terrific vote. i another book on teddy roosevelt. why did you think you needed to write one about him and what was the idea? between taft and roosevelt relationship? >> what happened if it's not when you start you think the world might need another book about teddy because he couldn't have answered that question again. i knew i wanted to live with him. i give a seminar when i was down about the progressive era in that time had always interested
me, we've got the robber barons and the industrial revolution and although his inventions happening. it was just such an exciting era that it was also a difficult area because the guy between the rich and poor was so great and good people in slums of little been done for workman's comp nation and teddy roosevelt comes along and understand he needs to get the government involved in softening the aspects of industrial order. so i taught him that way my course 20, 30, 40 years ago when i knew what a great character he was cited will go back to. it's not that you're living with him or her that in that era. once again, so many good books on teddy. they been a great trilogy so i couldn't just do a biography. i was searching her what my new angle could be and i found early
on this 400 letters between teddy and taft and i doubt they'd run against each other. but i had no idea how close friendship had been developing from the early 30s. i guess i love human chips. the idea these two men had been so intimate and eventually ran against each other and felt betrayed and eventually came back, that story just intrigued me. >> so teddy roosevelt grew up in a reasonably wealthy family but his father died young demerit when he met in college and kind of didn't marry someone he had known much longer. then his wife more or less after childbirth dies in the same time his mother dies. so he goes into a bit of a depression in many moves southwest and he abandoned daughter a bit. how did he just abandoned his daughter and then he made his famous beach for the day when
nixon used in the speech than the light has gone out when my wife died, but he never again mentioned that wife to anybody his entire life and he didn't take his daughter back for a few years. how do you explain not? >> it's a really complicated relationship they teddy roosevelt had to sadness and death. when his father died when he was a sophomore at harvard, he felt that he couldn't go forward. this was the man who said i was closer to than anyone in my life it is only way of dealing with the west direction. he immediately got involved in things so you wouldn't have to think about it. unlike lincoln when he lost his 10-year-old son willie felt the best way to honor was to keep his scrapbooks and every time someone came and he was sure the poems he had written. he would scare stories because he believed you keep the data
life by talking about them. somehow teddy roosevelt, different velocity was you got to keep moving forward with something bad happens. when his father died he got involved in activities. when his wife died idolizes the amount of my life and he would never marry again commandos to the badlands and is on a for 10 hours a day. he said finally he could be that night because constant activity prevented over thought. he did back in eventually marry and have a fulfilling marriage and loves her as much as he could have loved anybody. the little girl who was born i think i presented the dead wife he couldn't remember and didn't want to remember because you had to move forward. it's a terrible thing in some ways. they brought her into the family. in his memoir, he never even
mentioned alice's name. just the opposite of somebody who wants to believe the more you talk about the people you've slept, the more you keep them alive. you just have to keep moving forward. when he was ready to go for the roughriders experience in the spanish-american war, he evoked edith so much now, but if she were on her deathbed, he would have to go because that was his mission in life. so there's a hardness as well as a sentimental thought that i could never figure out. >> he was a civilian and the spanish-american war goes forward and he volunteers to go down there to meet a troop of civilians. how did that happen? how did he have to did he have to do that and did he exaggerate what he did down there and not let us to become governor because of the reputation he developed on there. was that while the surgeon was
he doing leading a civilian group of the mountain? >> in those days he did volunteer for the army in a way that was so much less a part of our lives. similarly, general started out being politicians and then they became generals. so he offered to raise a regiment, which he did. he was under a general at the beginning but when he went up the hill, he did show courage. there is no doubt about that. when he was a child he was afraid of everything am the only way to get away from the fear was to do the things you're afraid of. so they are marching up the hill and they are being mowed down by bullets because they are going to slow. so he gets on his horse and it's got a red bandanna and he moves the troops forward. he could've been the best target for the bullet and the journalists as they are writing about them and they do overtake the spanish. so there was rock urge there. but it was also the fact would
touch the country with tears each roughriders and they're both cowboys and that is from the western under harvard and yale elites. he brought together this motley group and i capture the imagination of the country. >> it helps him get elected governor. >> without question. >> his party thinks he's too tough on business, so they promote him to be vice president and then he becomes vice president, but then he didn't enjoy being vice president? what happens to mckinley? >> he is being vice president. going back to study law he was so bored. he said at the time you thought you were being put into a dead-end. the vice president was not the stamping plant for the presidency that if later become a nun of course mckinley is shot on september the sixth of 1901 and a catapult that changes the whole treasure or he and he
becomes the thing he always wanted to be, the youngest president of the united states. >> taft was at that time the governor of the philippines appointed by mckinley and he was doing a great out there. they had bonded even though there were different. how do they develop a close relationship when roosevelt was president then what did he do it cast? >> what happened when they were both in their 30s, when taft was solicitor general in teddy was civil service commissioner, they live near each other. they were the same agent as to what to work together all the time. it's a wonderful thought of the picture somebody described teddy walking with all this energy. task big even a third of listening teddy is much shorter and much more energetic than he, but he developed in part because they saw in each other the things they didn't have. tapscott in teddy the spirit
they might not have. teddy side passed a person everybody loved. he was so kind and so gentle and so good. when he did become governor of the philippines, the very job you wanted, he definitely would've given up the vice presidency in two seconds to become general governor of the philippines. ..abinet as secretary of war as his most important counselor and he becomes really the closest person to him during his president the and when the time comes yesterday about the presidency because he had promised in 1904 after becoming the first term of mckinley then he wins a second term which would've been two full terms almost that he won't write again in 19 away. he would have cut out his tongue to not make that promise because he wanted to stay in the job. instead he has a successor, taft, he thinks groomed for the job and he's given them all
sorts of advice. don't play golf. it doesn't look good to the working class. don't get on a horse. you weigh 350 pounds. it's not good for the horrors. [laughter] incredibly the song at the time which makes no sense was get on a raft with taft. it would be a rather dubious proposition to get on a raft with taft. he was so happy when he won, thinking this is my guy. he will carry up and make us see. then he goes to africa, comes back and begins to question whether taft was the right person to follow him. >> so he goes for about a year. he left his family to go to africa and what did he do in africa? >> you shooting game. a game hunting -- yet all these hobbits of the time he was done partly because he was asthmatic so he became a birder. he later became a hunter. he wrote books. yet more energy and vitality than anyone i've ever written
about. so he is collecting things for the smithsonian, but mostly he went away because he knew he had to do some to take away the loss of the presidency. he loved that job every moment of every day and he had to somehow have excitement and that is what africa matters than it. >> the muckrakers you write about were very influential with roosevelt in a talk to them, listen to them for advice, responded. they supported him, but they turned on taft debate. do you think they're turning on taft is why he turned on taft? >> what happened when teddy was president, what he understood, the one in taft didn't understand, which is the president the past had he defined the word, a bully pulpit to educate the country in the most power in a way the president has and he was brilliant at it. i mean, you would take train rides around the country. six weeks in the spring and fall and he talked about simple
language. he said the harvard audis think i talk into folksy language, but i know i reached them. speak softly and carry a big stick. it summed up his entire administration. he then gave maxwell house a slogan, good until the very next stop. he was able with his relationship, but he was so interesting. he had a mid-a shave. when the barbarous shaving hand, he is answering their questions and they say the barber has to keep up with him as he's moving around. he understood the press was an important channel for him to reach the public and so he would ead their aricl time.
he should've called the book alone in cuba. so wha what does teddy to proxy rights to journalists and set a record today my my wife and my entire family loved your title for my book. now you only when. you have to come and meet me. so taft tried to carry out teddy's progressive legacy. he tried to get it through. he tried to do with making boss out of teddy's executive orders on conservation. he never understood the public site, hate giving speeches. he waited until the last minute. he said i've said things and run away. he didn't move congress andy dement the relationship with the press that he had. the presidency was drifting and the progressives werehe moving forward, even further forward than teddy was at the time.ing so it's both his desire to be back in office and in feeling he had to keep that pressure on the conservative ideologies in the country that taft wasn't up to k the job then he decide to run
untry th against. the job but he decided to run against him. >> so you rant against against him and he barely loses the republican nomination so he decides to run as an independent on the newly formed party and while his campaigning he is shot. somebody shoots right into his chest and he nonetheless go ahead and make his speech even though a bullet has been lodged into him. why did he do that? >> guest: is just part of him. it was an extraordinary moment. he was in a car. the assassin did shoot him and it did go into his chest and they said he can't give the speech. he said i have to give a speech so he goes into a green room and the doctor takes his clothes off. he is a big red spot from a blood but he says i can still breathe. i know i'm okay i can still breathe. he says he's going to to give the speech and he goes in and takes the speech out of his pocket and it was like 50 pages
of speech, two-hour speech and i was folded over and he realized when he took it out of his pocket that the bullet hole had gone through the speech and it had also gone through a spectacle glass case which was the only reason he was not killed automatically. so he gives a a speech and he a speech and he starts throwing the pages down finally they keep coming up to him because he's beginning to get woozy. he says i can tell i finish. he says okay take me to the hospital. he's in the hospital for weekend as the sustained the rest of this campaign than i thought he might have had a reaction to the shot but it was i that crazy kind of courage that he showed all of his life that he felt compelled to do. >> he came second in the election. woodrow wilson is elected in 1912. taft came in third. you think i'd have to not become the republican nomination that roosevelt would beat will send? >> guest: yes, do you think so. think roosevelt was still so popular then that i think yes, for sure he would have because
roosevelt and taft together got 50% of the vote so i think it would have happened. the sad thing was because he did this i know, you and i know about this guy. the guy that got so into my emotional head when i was writing this book was a man named archie but who had been a military aide for teddy before becoming a military aide for taft and again for what you look for it as a historian or letters and diaries. this guy wrote letters to his his family of a single danny loves both teddy and taft. he was despairing when it turned out, he stayed on with taft and teddy thought it was fine at first and then went teddy started running against him he felt he was born into and he was so depressed he was beginning to lose some of his vitality so taft said you had better take a vacation. he said okay i'm going to go for a while but i'll be back before this heats up. as it turns out went teddy finally announced that he was running against taft archie but
says i can't leave you now. taft says go now, it will be fine, you will be back in time. he goes to europe and comes back on the titanic and he died. for taft it was yet another blow. he said every time i look in the room i think is coming in. i miss him every single moment but those letters are an absolute treasure in showing how taft especially felt betrayed and saddened by his great friend teddy running against him. >> to me the most poignant part of the book is taft and roosevelt were enemies even though they have been friends for so long so after the election wilson as president. taft and roosevelt don't talk at all and taft tries to talk to roosevelt that roosevelt ignores them and finally they meet by happenstance in a hotel. what happened than? >> i was so happy this happen. what happened is when i finished the book up to 1912 i did not want it ended with a sense of betrayal but i didn't really
know what the relationship had been like past that. i followed them in 1914, 15 and 16. people brought them together but taft says it was like an armed neutrality. in 1918 teddy was in the hospital with an operation that taft had once undergone any work undergone any wrote them a letter saying i know how painful this is an teddy wrote him back. it's often things a little bit so it just happened than some months later by happenstance they were both at the blackstone hotel in chicago and when taft checked in the elevator operator told him roosevelt was in the restroom -- restaurant eating alone. taft said bring me down immediately. he walked over to roosevelt and the whole room, 100 people dining in a broom and he says i'm so glad to see you. they throw their arms around each other and teddy says please sit down and the entire restaurant collapsed. entire restaurant collapse. there's a journalist there to record this. i said yes i have my ending and then what happens is only six months later teddy dies.
he's only 60 years old and he dies in his sleep at night and has a private funeral. taft is an honored guest at that private funeral. he comes and stands at the grave longer than anyone else and tells teddy sister i don't know what i would have done if we hadn't come together before he died. i have loved him all my life. it's ridiculous to say you want a happy ending that you want an ending that sums things up. i couldn't bear the idea of lincoln dying in the end so knowing what mattered to him so much was to be remembered after he died from the time he was young, that was his greatest dream that his story would be told. when i found this incredible interview with tolstoy given to new york newspaper yes it shows he remembered him even then. tolstoy went to a remote area of the caucuses where they were barbarians who had never set foot outside the apartment where they were living so he was excited to have tolstoy.
he said i told him about the napoleon and alexander the great but before i finish the chief of the barbarians stood up and said wait,, you haven't told us about the greatest ruler of the mall. we want to hear about the man who spoke with a voice of thunder and laughed with the sunrise. tell us about man, tell us of lincoln. tolstoy told him everything about lincoln and then said what made them so great after all not a great general not a great statesman. a greatness consisted of the integrity of his character in the moral fiber of his being. then i knew, here's ending ending for that book. your eyes looking somehow to make it to make it all come beyrle -- full circle. >> so, what is your next book going to be? >> right now i'm doing two things. i'm working on what might be potential movies about teddy and taft. they bought the rights for "the
bully pulpit" maybe even a miniseries. [applause] i'm trying to think about muckrakers as a miniseries. a ida tarbell is my favorite character in the idea of this great female investigative journalist and then the relationship between teddy and taft but for a book at this stage of my life i don't think i can afford 10 years on millard fillmore or franklin pearce. there's no big person to go back too easily so i'm bringing all my guys in the room at the same time and i'm going to write about leadership. that's really what i care about underneath it all. [applause] oh thank you. i just started it. >> after you finish that book i hope you will do a great service for america by running ask froml over the country some questions of doris. are you ready? >> this is booktv's live coverage of the 14th annual national book festival.