tv Q A CSPAN July 3, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
scott miller talks about his book on the assassination of president william mckinley. in a conversation what britain's prime minister, david cameron. this "q&a" week aren't a new book by scott miller. it tells the story of life in america. president william mckinley was shot by an assassin leon czolgosz. >> why did he decide to do a book on the assassination of william mckinley? >> i have been interested in this timeframe in the 18
eighties and the 1890's. it is a fascinating and important turning point. before then, you had a united states that would be recognized by the founding fathers. by the turn of the century, it is the america we would know it today. it is a tremendous patriotism in this time. it is very romantic. you look through american society and to see it. we think of the tycoons. it was a proliferation of new products. you'd be hard-pressed to go to a grocery store where you did not see projects came from this. ivory soap, pillsbury dough. the art really reflected this as well. john philip sousa was writing this.
who was leon czolgosz? did he use a different name? >> he was the assassin. he had worked in a steel factory. he worked in the cleveland area. did the economy had tank in 1893. it is the worst depression in america. his steel company decided that they were going to try to reduce wages. this is the pattern for companies. when they were hit with something, and they said wage cuts across the board. the union was not the most of this kid in the world. all these workers were out of work. there is no help.
czolgosz was out for six months until he realized everyone at his company have been let go. he needed to go back. he was rehired under the name of fred newman. he use that threat the rest of his life. a became confusing as the -- he used that name for the rest of his life. a became confusing. >> what day did he actually assassinate president mckinley? >> it took place on september 6 1901. it was added exposition in buffalo, new york. -- at a exposition in buffalo, new york. he was completing an exposition. he was planning to go to one of buffalo.
he also went up to niagara falls. several days before he arrived, he said he would kill them. he went out. he bought a pistol. the newspapers reported in great detail with the president would be. he started tracking him. >> where did he come from? where did he live when this happened in buffalo? >> this is part of the mystery of leon czolgosz. he was living with his family on a farm in ohio, a leading about. where he had gone was a bit of a mystery. it was a bit of a surface. it offers some explanations about where he was going.
he had these sorts of ideas. he had been in buffalo for several days. he decided he would kill the president. >> had the present it to buffalo? where did he come from? >> -- how did the president get to buffalo? >> where did he come from? the wife had been a bit of an invalid. she was making good progress. they came to the fare at the end of their summer vacation. stay?ere did he sa >> it the home of the organizer of the fair. it was a beautiful house on
delaware st.. he was staying at a private home. >> czolgosz where more than stay? >> -- where did czolgosz stay? quite a boarding house. he introduced himself as fred newman there. people that he was a bit of a curious guy. he disappeared during the day. no one knew where. once he was meant to have a whiskey or something. he stayed in his room. he read the newspapers. 1 0 he went to a local hardware store. it was a local shop. he practiced wrapping his hand and a white handkerchief.
>> what type of gun was it? >> i believe it was a 45. it is in a museum and buffalo. >> been mentioned the niagara falls jet and how far is it from buffalo? >> not far. they looked around. they had a nice lunch at a hotel. he was a great cigar smoker. he returned from niagara falls. mckinley had just one official stoplight day. he is going to be fair until 4:00. it was at the music auditorium.
members of the public have lined up hours ahead. they warned that it would happen. this was a real treat to shake the hand of the president. mckinley was there waiting for him. it was a very quiet setting. sonata was playing in the background. >> be given a speech to over 100,000 people. people but it is the best ever given. he outlined his agenda going forward. the united states was improving the economy and commerce. czolgosz trapped in there and got in the front row. he was standing near the front. he is debating or the to shoot him then he told the police. his word not be able to drive this.
-- he was worried to would not be able to draw it out of this range. a had some experience of as hunter. he is worried someone would dump him after they saw the pistol drawn. >> president mckinley was held on that day? >> 54 believe. >> czolgosz was how old? caught in his mid-twenties. >> how about secret service? weird had two presidents killed. this would have been the third president. >> they have local buffalo police that were tracking the movements around town. in this temple of music, if they had to go along and through the corridor of officers and soldiers. they would take some police and
organizers of the fair. they were there to keep an eye on things. they were meant to what the crowd. >> 100,000 people were there. >> they got there early in the day. it was a very hot day. september 6. people were -- this gives credence to wrapping his pistol and a handkerchief. he was waiting there for some time. when the doors are open their as it did a man in front of them.
when you and at mckinley went to shake hands, the visitor to it and and in order and at times release the hands. >> what was the interpretation of when it came to being in public arenas? >> he had his own hand sheika the mckinley group. he said he loved this. when he did this meet and greet, they he was warned twice that maybe we should take it off the
agenda. there were some lingering security concerns. set to not worry about it. no one's do hurt me. it sure that the 4:00 when he was shot. >> how did the actual assassination attempt done? >> here is point-blank range. he withdrew the pistol. it was wrapped in a handkerchief. he said in his jet. one of the two shots hit a bump. the other bullets went deep into his stomach. it alleged in the muscles in his back.
when the second shot occurred, people were in line. there was quite a powerful man just behind him who is working at the fair that had some police training. he worked on them. they probably could have killed them right there. they were enraged. mckinley he was always a terrific guy urged his police to take it easy on czolgosz. they gambled on their attack and pulled him into a back room. >> what did czolgosz say after he shot him? >> he did not say anything right away. he was taken into police custody and gave a confession that evening. that was a bit of a mystery. he never really understand what he was saying.
he had taken it upon himself -- he thought the press and had gained too much power. he harbored a personal hatred and mckinley. -- for mckinley. he was in jail for weeks. he is constantly interrogated about what his motives have been. he did to strike a blow for the working man. >> what did they do with the president after he was shot? the hospital was surely better for people with upset stomachs.
they put out a call. they eventually found someone. he was quick when they showed that. they closed the president's wounds. but did not have the equipment. the lighting was very poor. they could see what was going on with the sunshine in the wounds. there was an x-ray machine on display. there were that the president is going into shock. there were going to the fair grounds and said the hospital.
after that u.s. steps up. he was with his wife. >> you talked about his wife having illness problems. how did they do with her? -- deal with her? >> she had suffered from all sorts of epileptic attacks and fitts. fits. and she lost her mother to disease and illness. the present was very concerned about her. that is one of the first words he said. be careful how you break this to my wife. they waited -- they did that tell her right away. they did the surgery and chicken to the house before the informed her. she took the initial news with remarkable strength.
they initially seem to be improving. >> when did he die? why did he die? what happened? >> he died about a week later. he was well on his way to recovery. he was reading the this paper and having solid foods. he was asking about current events. at the time of the shooting, the political figures rushed to buffalo. the comforted him. he was well enough that a lot of them left. the president was quite concerned. he got up into the mountains. he did. a very quickly. the green from the weren't set in. it was about 24 hours. it is quite a shock to everyone.
>> a new president was sworn in. where? how did he find out about the death of? >> it was in the mountains. he was having his lunch on a lake when members of his party sought a ranger coming up with a telegram. everyone knew that there was bad news. the president had died. he was sworn in right away in buffalo. >> what happened to a leon czolgosz? >> she spent some time in jail. it was a bit awkward. they did not know what to charge him with. he heard the president. he had not committed an assassination. it is only once the president died that they knew what to be charged with.
at that point, everyone wanted to have a trial over as quickly as possible. lassitude days. predict it lasted two days. czolgosz -- it lasted two days. czolgosz admitted guilt. the defense counsel wanted nothing to do with it. they did it encouragingly. the defense was perfunctory. he was not interested in helping. after two days he was found guilty. he was sentenced to death. sometimes they are after he was sentenced to the electric chair. >> i think there is only 47 days between the actual bullet shot until the time he was killed we cannot have anything close like that today.
>> it was remarkable. >> once the new they are going to try the murder of the president, they wanted to get it over with. it was a sorry chapter in american history. there is the dow about that. bad he is that interviewed further. czolgosz de clam up and refuse to talk about appeariit. >> i read your bibliography. i read about the mckinley presidency. where did you go to get this account? what makes this different than any other but you have seen?
>> i think a lot of research at the mckinley presidential library, they have great materials. they did some work there. i tried to really look at this the route the book. -- did this throughout the book. i tried to explain the anarchist lost the he believed in. >> you have spent 20 years over the seas. have to find your way? -- how did you find your way to this story? >> i was interested in this timeframe. it is such a magical time in american history. i wanted to find a good story that could illustrate a lot of the currency or flowing.
it is the first time the americans were looking beyond their own borders. they declared the western frontier to be close. this is a tremendous shock to the american psyche. there is constantly expanding frontier. what is next? lesson of the pacific. i was looking for a story that would show all these defenses that were going on. i became interested in mckinley as a way of doing that. he is a bit of a shower. -- overshadowed. if you look at mckinley's presidency, it was very fascinating. he and next hawaii. he started a war in the philippines. he sent the marines to china.
there're a tremendous amount of trauma -- there was a tremendous amount of trauma. there were a couple of psychologists. czolgosz after was executed, two psychologists believe that maybe he had been insane. they tried to reconstruct his life as much as they could. the end of the people they had worked with, family members. -- they interviewed people they had worked with, family members. they needed to explain that and where that came from. >> had he become an anarchist? >> it is an evolving process. it probably began around 1893 or 1894 when he was laid off from
his job in the steel mill. he was quite unhappy during that time about what had happened. i think he felt that companies had acquired too much power. yet done everything right. he deserves better. he was raised in a catholic family. he is the publish origin. for guidance from the bible and priests. even after he got his job back, he still kept attending meetings. he was always a curious figure was some of these revolutionaries. some would sit in the back and not say a word. -- sometimes he would sit in the back and not say a word. sometimes he would talk endlessly.
he was a strange character. he kept to himself. >> where was he way started attending these meetings? >> cleveland. >> you are the first people that he followed? -- who were the first people that he followed? >> he immersed himself in the overall ideology. he would have learned about the two most famous anarchist. the first was albert parsons who had grown up in texas. he was a bit of a dandy. he was usually germany. the typical anarchist was heavy set with a big beard. he died his hair black. he always wore nice clothes. he became a leader of the anarchist community in chicago. he created a whole subculture of anarchist and social
revolutionaries. >> what did they believe? >> all sorts of things. even among people who call themselves anarchists, it was a fairly aggressive group that he got around him. it was at one of his speeches in 1886 in chicago that he had finished speaking. it was a rainy and stormy night. they left it to go to a bar in the rain. a policeman arrived. someone on the sidewalk, we do not know who, tossed a bomb into
the police. one person was killed. a number of others were wounded by the way. the police panicked and shot fires into the crowd. they probably hit each other more than the crowd. a policeman died in all. -- eight policemen died in all. this is a devastating attack on the country. there were rumors that anarchist would take over city hall. maybe this is the first attack in a takeover of the entire nation. there was a massive manhunt to round up people. they finally charged eight anarchists with the murder of the policeman and four were hanged for it. >> when did leon czolgosz meets goldman? >> that was in 1901. goldman was on a speaking tour.
she was a terrific speaker. >> where was she from? >> she was a rigid from russia. she was a russian immigrant. she was a seamstress. she had gone to new york were shared fallen in with other anarchists -- where she had fallen in with other anarchists. her boyfriend had attempted to murder a steel executive. the executive survived. he was sent to prison for a long time. goldman really bastion the glory. she became a famous figure after that. she is able to gather large crowds.
she was always arrested and thrown in jail. >> for a minute, go back to the story. her boyfriend attacked henry ford. >> how did he attacke him? >> she was one the leading steel and executives in the country. bergmann was unhappy with how he was treating his work force. kia plans to attack him in his office. -- he had plans to attack him in his office. he needed a bomb to do this with. he was very keen that maybe a blow himself up in the manner of another anarchist who had died.
he was able to get an appointment. he claimed he was the representative of a labor company that would help him find workers. he gave him access to its office. he pulled out a gun, shot him twice in the neck. there is some sort of a scuffle between the three of them. they were wrestling around on the floor. a carpenter who was working nearby heard what was going on and rushed in and hit him in the head with a hammer and subdued him momentarily. he was chewing on something. they reached in his mouth and discovered he had an explosive cartridge in his mouth. he was hoping to blow himself up. after the attack, he reduced and
as the ship while the doctor probe around removing the bullets. -- he refused anesthesia. he lived quite a long time after that. >> you said 28 years, incredible. when i was reading your book, i kept thinking, this sounds a lot like today. what was the 1893 great depression all about? >> it was a financial panic. since the early 1970's -- 1870's, there were usually financial panics. a bank would collapse, companies depending on the banks for loans would collapse. it happen with agonizing regularity. , but890's 31 was typical the depths of it were much more severe. people were scratching their heads about what had caused it
all. the economics then were even more difficult to understand that now. there were all sorts of theories about money supply and various ideas, but nobody quite knew what the solution was. >> no social security in those days, no income taxes. that we ask you about yourself and we will come back to this. were you born? >> i was born in seattle, and spent about 20 years overseas as a journalist for reuters news agency and "the wall street journal" in asia and in europe. i was in tokyo for five years and in the uk for a little over year, in germany for eight or nine years, and in brussels for four years. >> why did you get out of that business? >> i enjoyed journalism.
i think i was kind of looking for something new. my wife and i were trying to decide -- we had personal reasons for wanting to go to seattle. it just made sense that this was a good time to move back home. >> how do you make your living other than writing these books? >> cordially, my wife has a real job. she works for the bill and melinda gates foundation. >> how many books have you done? >> this is the first one. >> did you miss the daily journalism? >> i do. i'd miss -- i miss the dentures of it. journalism gives you entry to all sort of events that you do not really get to do in other walks of life, just to go and attach yourself to someone for a couple of days. i miss the colleagues, of course, and working in a busy
news room. writing books has its own pleasures, but it is definitely a different pace, and you have to get used to the lifestyle. >> how long did it take you to do this book from research to the end? >> probably about 3.5 to four years. >> you mentioned earlier the value of the presidential library in canton, ohio. if you had to name something else that made the most impact on you as you went about finding this information, what would you say it is? >> the massachusetts historical society has papers that were prepared -- the psychologist who had studied the life of czolgosz. they had papers on file, and they were very helpful in tracking that down. there were a lot of things before i did this book that influenced me. there is a section about anarchist's, and that was
probably the first time i had heard of this philosophy as it pertains to actual practice in the 1887 1890's. >> how much has been wrong about what has been written about the assassination itself? >> i think it has generally been fairly correct. it was difficult at the time picks there was probably a lot of misinformation got off the bat that was eventually sorted out. newspapers were rushing to get to print and there were varying accounts of what happened, who had done what. the trial itself help clear that up a little bit. hisably mckinley's life and presidency have been the subject of a fair amount of study in the decade that followed and revisions, but the assassination itself, once the dust cleared, the historians got it right and agreed on the details. >> went jim grant was talking
about his book on thomas reed, the speaker of the house, he was talking about william mckinley running against him and he did not make it. how long did william mckinley spent in the house of representatives? >> he climbed from being a junior congressman and he really made a name for himself in congress on the subject of terps, which even now is a fairly arcane topic -- the subject of tariffs. they were an important source of revenue for a government that did not have a lot of other means of supporting itself. they were seen as an instrument for the u.s. to gain access to foreign markets. mckinley was from an area that depended on foreign trade to some extent. the steel industry was very big and ohio at that time. it was something he felt he could deliver for his constituents. it also suited him personally. as a student, he was a hard
worker than he was bright, i think. he was a bright guy, no doubt, but what he really brought to the party was just a willingness to really get down to it. going over these link the tables was something that really appeal to him. there was a tremendous amount of negotiating over tariff tables and what all the industries wanted. there was lots of horsetrading and dealmaking and this really appealed to mckinley, and was something he excelled at. >> given what you know about william mckinley, and if he were here today, where he fit in the party? >> that is a really good question. i don't think so, because his personality was such that he was a very modest guy who liked to work behind the scenes. i don't think the body can produce a tantalizing mckinley quote. there was no great wordsmith
thing. he liked to work behind the scenes and pull the strings of the different actors ticket he was a little bit of a yes man, told people what they like to hear. but he was very pragmatic. he was not extremely religious. he just wanted to get good policy done a lot of the time. he was a little too pragmatic and a little to behind-the- scenes for today. >> karl rove, well known as one of the top aides to george dabbers, used to talk about william mckinley. there were -- there was a lot of copy suggesting he was the mark hanna to william mckinley. >> mark hanna was one of mckinley's lifelong friends. he was an industrialist. he is one of the few major business figures that mckinley spent considerable time with. he was from ohio and the kind of
discovered mckinley when he was governor of ohio. had had many different business interest. he was a tremendous businessman. he was interested in politics, but he just did not want to climb the ladder. he delicately was someone he could mentor and connect to the right people and really hold his hand when he ran in 1896. mckinley repay the favor by helping him get in the senate when he was elected. hata was desperate to become a center, which mckinley help him achieve. they remained good friends throughout his years in the white house could >> how did mckinley get into the spanish- american war, and what was it? >> this is one of the hard things to figure out about mckinley, the war and how he reacted to it. when he entered the white house, he was very aware that there was a revolution going on down in cuba.
cuban revolutionaries wanted to keep the spanish out. spain had ruled it for 400 years. normally, this might not have been such a big deal. there were revelations happening all the time but you did not pay attention to it. because it was close, 90 miles off the tip of florida, and because of the thinking of the time, americans were becoming more interested in asserting themselves. there was a tremendous groundswell of support for the revolutionaries. there were speeches and rallies and petitions were signed and sent to congress, pleading for congress and the president to support the revolutionaries. there was one lowboy he was 10 years old who was marching down some railroad tracks. he was going to take on the spanish by himself.
there was tremendous support for helping revolutionaries. when mcanally entered the white house, he said he had seen enough bloodshed and was not anxious -- he was concerned about where all this was going. he did not want the u.s. to get involved in a military action there. i think he probably sided with the revolutionaries but wanted to keep it at arm's length. it made the decision to send u.s. maine to havana, which mysteriously exploded and sank with a couple hundred deaths. the feeling was that the spanish had done this terrible act. it was probably the understandable conclusion. mckinley felt like there was not enough evidence. he waited for the navy to prepare a report on it. even then he thought he might be able to negotiate a solution with the spanish. if only declared war, decided he would sent the troops down.
teddy roosevelt immediately resigned and formed the rough riders. we all know about their running up san juan hill from our history books. >> the beginning of the resistance when they got to the top of the hill? >> it was quite a bloody battle. the slopes of the battlefield quite exposed and the american troops were forced to line up at the base of san juan heights, which were actually to hills. they had to wait for orders before they could make their advance, and the spanish just sat there and pick them off one at a time. >> did we lose many americans? >> from a percentage standpoint, it was quite a costly charge. roosevelt remained on his horse. it was a suicide run fort roosevelt to stay on his horse. there is one story of him stopping and a soldier was hiding under a bush.
it was miraculous that roosevelt survive that. >> did the role that roosevelt played in cuba have a thing to do with him being paid for vice president? >> it gave roosevelt a tremendous amount of profile. mckinley really did not choose him. when his vice-president die, mckinley said to the republican party, i will let you decide who the vice president will be. roosevelt went around the country or around the eastern seaboard saying i do not want to be vice president. the job is beneath me. people began to wonder if he had just the opposite in mind. there is a story of him going down to washington in going to see john hayes, secretary of state, and saying i do not want to be vice-president. hayes snickered, what game is he
playing? roosevelt turned up at the republican convention wearing a hat that look like a roughriders hat. i think he was quite pleased when he was named to be vice- president. >> what was a result of the war in cuba? >> they won the battle of san juan hill and then the spanish fleet that the americans were after, which was at the harbour in santiago, try to make a run for it and the u.s. fleet that was waiting for them had blockaded them and solve them. that effectively ended the occupation of cuba itself. they had no means to resupply from spain. a large part of the army had been defeated. after that, the war in cuba was effectively over. there had been a battle in the philippines, which was the other major battle of the war.
it was somewhat strange that mckinley would decide that we needed to launch an attack in the philippines. the navy had included attack in the philippines as part of its warplanes from early on, -- part of its warplanes from early on. the had decided that -- it was one of the most lopsided naval battles in american history. i think we killed over four hundred spaniards, sent their entire fleet to the bottom. our ships suffered nothing but superficial damage. that was the first engagement of the war and its excited the american public tremendously. >> why did we next a white? >> why it was seen as an important stop on the way to the
pacific -- why did we annexes hawaii? >> he was thinking it would be nice to have a port in the philippines because of china. it was seen as an american hongkong. a couple of days' sailing from the chinese coast. for a lot of people, it was almost a panacea for economic ills that face to the country. we needed to have a port in the philippines for our ships to repair and take on fuel. we needed steppingstones in those days. hawaii had been eager to become part of the united states for some time. mckinley obliged. we also took guam, which was
also a spanish colony. the spaniards there did not even know that a war was on when a u.s. navy ship turned up and guam and fire a couple of shots. the spaniards road out in little boat and said we cannot return your salute. the american captain said we were not saluting you, we were shelling you. they were quickly informed that the countries were at war and that they were american prisoners, much to their astonishment. so we captured off with just a couple of shots. >> philosophically, why did we want all of this, and what made us think that the philippines, guam, puerto rico, cuba, all these places should have something to do with us? >> i think mckinley was not interested in foreign conquest
when he entered the white house. in his inaugural speech, he talked about taking over the country as an act of criminal aggression. he said there would be no doing dope nonsense in my administration. he was also very worried -- no jingo nonsense in my administration. the idea had been developed that american industry could just produced too much stuff. companies had become so efficient that there was a surplus of goods. it is interesting reading the comments from executives at this time, saying the laws of supply and demand were true a couple hundred years ago but not now. nobody could have seen how much investment is required now.
when there was economic downturn, companies did not ratchet back production. they just produced even more, trying to beat the competition by attacking on price. we had this tremendous surplus, and it terrified economists and ordinary people. what are we going to do with all this? foreign markets were seen as the one way out of it, and in particular, china. with its vast population, it was untapped. europe had only got in ticket a little bit. there were not great inroads of manufactured goods like america could offer. there were all sorts of calculations about how if we could just capture a certain percent of the china market, it would solve all our troubles. that was the interest in the pacific. in cuba, we kept troops there after the war, which astonished a lot of people. we had more troops in cuba after
the war than we did during the battle. there were some security issues. he was concerned about the revolutionaries and help organize than educated they work. he was afraid they could not govern the country adequately and that may be a european power would intercede. he was interested in the wealth of cuba, which is a tremendously well the country and natural resources and agriculture. almost as soon as the peace treaty was signed, american businessmen got on ships and just descended on cuba. there are great stories of cubans watching all these yankees descend with map in hand, looking for things to invest in. that is what mckinley won it, that cuba could be an important economic engine for the united states. >> the anarchist sell like terrorist, when you read your stories about them. was there any connection to a
foreign country? >> not really. although a lot of them came from europe. his family was a polish ancestry, so they probably would have considered them polls. >> was he born here? >> he was born a month after his mother arrived in detroit and had grown up around michigan. he lived near pittsburg in cleveland. >> how big a movement was the anarchist movement? >> it had been growing. this is one of that the banks i learned in my research into one of the things i learned my research. it was not a huge number of people, but americans certainly knew of them and feared them. anarchism as an ideology that dates back to the greeks and
before. it is very appealing, that there should be no authority and everybody should be a will to pursue their own interests. early philosophers described something that was quite magical. in the 1840's and 1850's in europe, people began to look at it as a possible solution to the economic ills of that time of the industrial revolution. there was a lot of thinking about how to make society more fair, and anarchism was one of those. >> what happened to emma goldman? where was she on the day of the assassination attempt which turned out to be successful? did she know about this? had she been close to leon czolgosz? >> she delivered a speech that she had heard in may of 1901. they met only once after that. czolgosz had tractor down in chicago. he turned up on her doorstep and
introduced himself and said he wanted to learn more about anarchism. she was on her way to the train station that day and she rode with him to the train station. there are varying accounts, but i think she felt a little bit of sympathy for him. she may have thought he was a bit strange. at the train station, she handed him off to some friends of hers and said can you look after this guy? he seems interested in learning more about anarchism. she apparently knew nothing about the assassination in advance. she said that she only learned of it -- she had gotten a job selling paper and was on a sales call. she learned the president had been assassinated, but she did not know who had done it. she looked down at a newspaper on a desk and saw a picture of
czolgosz, who had introduced himself under a different name, and she recognized him. she began to read the newspapers and learned that the police were looking for him and had arrested a number of anarchists. she quickly went to chicago and decided that she probably needed some money for her legal defense. she was going to sell a newspaper interview, and she did not turn herself and right away. she wanted to give a newspaper interview and to charge for it. she was apprehended in the bathtub of a friend when the police learned where she was. they came barging into the apartment, found her there. they said we are looking for in a goldman. she first said i am just a swedish maid or a nanny or something. the police scoured the
apartment, not knowing it was her. this is her account, i should say. finally she was convinced that she should give herself up, and she did. she was arrested. she was never implicated in playing a part in the assassination. >> did anybody pay her for the interview? >> she never gave the interview, so i don't think she got paid. >> did they pay for interviews back in those days? >> i think sometimes they did. >> everything in the book, 100 years ago, sounds an awful lot like today. >> when i started the book, i was looking for an interesting story in an interesting time. i was only in the process of doing the research when i began to see the parallels, these eerie parallels with what is going on. you see it with the anarchists of that time. they had a meeting in the 18 eighties that may be violence would be required in order to advance their philosophy.
you hear them talking in those days and it does sound very modern. they felt that may be violence was required because society was treating them unfairly, but the power of business and governments had conspired against them. for them to resort to violence was only leveling the playing field. >> out of our 44 presidencies, where review put william mckinley? >> that is a great parlor game for historians. i think most agree he was not a great president, certainly on the order with lincoln and roosevelt. part of id is because admirable as he was in a lot of ways, he probably was not a great leader. he did not get out in front. he was effective working behind the scenes, but you can read
about his time in office and you do not release the ex-president that is out there charting a course. in the end, it happen in a way he wanted, but you do not see a clear, ideological path from his presidency. also, i think he got himself into some predicaments he did not want to be in. the war in the philippines was something that was out of character for him that he would not have wanted to have done. >> you have another book that you are working on. what is the subject matter? >> i will tell you later. >> is it history? >> it is history. i love the subject. history is so fascinating, because it really happened. explains a lot about ourselves today. >> what years and are you interested in? >> i am interested in the 1930's. >> the bug "is called the
president and the assassin." our guest is scott miller. >> thank you for having me. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> for a dvd copy of this program, call 1-877-662-7726. to give comments on this program, visit us at q-and- a.org. the programs are also available as podcasts. >> next, british prime minister david cameron at house of commons. then journalist david acts reports on u.s. troops in southern afghanistan. after that, republican congressman thaddeus mccotter
announces his candidacy for the president next, prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. this week, prime minister david cameron defended his government's plans for reforming the health plan. tax breaks for individuals to choose private health plans. >> questions for the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in the house, i shall have further such meetings later in the day. >> what does my friends say to the teachers who are putting the education of the children first by not striking tomorrow? >> i would congratulate them for doing the right thing and for doing the right thing and for