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tv   Book Discussion on Let Me Be Clear  CSPAN  August 23, 2015 10:05am-10:16am EDT

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i but i think it's significant that he ran her up the flag pole, so to speak, and thought about it. and he joked when they said no, he said there was going to be hell to pay with pat. [laughter] and he was right about that. nixon was surprisingly ahead of his time on women's rights generally. he set out, he got a very, he set out to hire good women, this was early days. they did more than most, more than johnson ever did. he got a guy named fred malik to find some women who had gone to harvard business school. he did start making some early appointmentings. he was not avert to that. in fact, he was in some ways ahead of the curve on that. he was also, he had daughters. he was a cold, difficult guy. he was a pretty good father. and very close to his daughters who were tender with him.
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now, you know, i don't want to go too far down this road because it was richard nixon -- [laughter] but you do have to, you have to take the whole man. and there are pieces of him that did try to do the right thing on this. >> as far as whether there was any reliable information about him being involved with corruption, i thought that in some of the more recently-released tapes that there was clear indication that there were conversations between nixon and perhaps his lawyer when he was president about the release of jimmy hoffa from jail. and it was an agreement where, in effect, they got the republicans got money for political use, and jimmy hoffa got out of jail with an agreement that he wouldn't be allowed to run for a position in the union. so that would be one instance where i think -- >> i'm not saying nixon wasn't
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corrupt. i don't think he was mobbed up. the question was, was he mobbed up. nixon took money, as all presidents do particularly this that time, for questionable things. lyndon johnson did that, the kennedy administration, believe me, bobby kennedy was not above doing that kind of thing. so it's shady, it's reprehensible, but it wasn't unique. >> first of all, i'd like to thank you for authoring what i consider to be one of the fairest books about president nixon that's ever been written. my question is about the rapprochement with china. i haven't read the book yet, i'll admit that. the review in the "wall street journal" said you tended to minimize the reproachment. my understanding is the
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reproachment was conducted in order to put the kibosh on world communism, which it did, because of the chinese -- because of the red sow yets' fear -- soviets' fear that the chinese could open up fronts every 500 miles on that 3,000-mile front that the two countries share. i'd like for you to comment on your views on the -- >> yeah. >> -- nixon doctrine and the effect that the reproach had worldwide. >> yeah. nixon did this all under the radar for a long time. he went to europe in the early '60s, and conrad add power -- adnauer and de gaulle said you ought to go to china. he wrote a foreign affairs piece in 1967 saying we need to include china in the community of nations. nobody paid any attention to it.
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typical lazy reporters were too busy covering the campaign. he gets into office, and he had a number of motives here. one was just this higher thing of you can't forever exclude the chinese. they're about to get nuclear weapons, they've got a billion people. but then there was also geopolitics involved. the russians and the chinese were about to go to war. there was real tension on the border. and nixon saw the chance to play one against the other, to make the russians anxious about the chinese and the chinese anxious about the russians. nixon loved this pitting one side against the other, and he played that actually -- and kissinger deserves crept, he was -- credit, he was good at this kind of thing. they did play them against each other. ultimately, he wanted the chinese and the russians to tell the north vietnamese to take a deal. that didn't work out. they had this word linkage, that they were going to link all these things together ultimately to lean on the north vietnamese
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government to take a deal, and the north vietnamese were pretty stubborn. the chinese and the russians didn't really play ball, so that piece didn't work out that well. but the fact is nixon went to china, nobody else had done it. it took a republican to do that. it was the right thing to do, and it took some guts and some vision to do it. >> as an afterthought, the number of things that you've outlined here that nixon actually accomplished i constantly, despite all of his facts -- all of his faults, wonder why he isn't given more credit than some of his colleagues who have accomplished -- >> because he disgraced his office. he disgraced his office. he's the only president to be driven from office, and he should have been. he did a terrible, he did terrible things, and he got
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caught. our system caught him and ran him out, and they should have. but that doesn't mean that he didn't do some great things as well and some meaningful things as well. he's the first president to go to moscow to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction treaty. it was a flawed treaty, but nixon did it, you know? nobody else did that. and he had that kind of activism and vision. he did imperfect things as well as really terrible things, but he did them. he was a guy who woke up every morning, what am i going to accomplish today for better or for worse, but he accomplished a lot. [laughter] >> i grew up down the street from here, and my dad used to, like, say he voted for nixon four times, which seemed -- >> incredible. >> -- incomprehensible. is that possible? [laughter] >> yeah, among other things, nixon, this shy, awkward guy was on five national tickets. only fdr did that. he won, he was vice president
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twice, lost -- won both times, lost the presidency in '60, won the presidency in '68 and '72, and '72 by the third largest landslide in history, won every state for, i think, except for massachusetts and d.c. [inaudible conversations] >> i've got one question, and we're almost out of time, so we'll make in the last question. i'm interested about the timing of doing biographies. you've got a number under your belt now. some biographies are done when the subject's still alive, some are done decades later. why, why is this a good time for a nixon biography, and is there sort of an optimal time? >> it's always a good time for a nixon biography! [laughter] i'm the 13th nixon biography. there are going to be 13 more, i guarantee, because he's an endlessly fascinating, complex guy. i don't pretend to have broken the code on anybodies son. i made a good run on it.
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there is an incredible amount of evidence. almost all the tapes have been released. it took years. nixon fought it hammer and tongue. he knew what was on those tapes. he spent millions of dollars on legal fees trying to stop those from being released. almost all of them, except for 700 hours are out now, including the classified stuff. a lot of the documents are out now, so in terms of documents, you can -- you can't totally get into his head, but between the documents, diaries, holdman took notes on everything nixon said, stream of consciousness, you know? hundreds of orallies. so the record -- oral histories. there'll still be more, there'll be new interpretations. that's the beauty of history, it's constantly being revised and improved. >> great. well, thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> so copies of evan's book are for sale at the cash register. please form a line to the right of the table, and please
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remember to fold up your chairs. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> evan thomas is going to be live on booktv taking your calls from the national book festival on september 5th. for more information, go to booktv.org. >> here's a look at some of the upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. this weekend booktv was live in jackson for the first mississippi book festival held at the state capitol building. in two weeks, on saturday september 5th, we'll be live from the 15th annual national book festival here in washington, d.c. where you'll have the chance to talk with authors such as david mccullough, tom brokaw and buzz also driven. -- buzz
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aldrin. later in the month, the southern festival of books will be held in nashville, tennessee, from october 9th-11th. let us know about book fairs and festivals in your area, and we'll be happy to add them to our list. e-mail us at booktv@c-span.org. >> now, dr. david casarett on his investigations into medical marijuana around the world. >> welcome again, i'm george, and welcome to the college of physicians at philadelphia. we are delighted tonight to bring one of the hand grenades of current thought and issues medical marijuana, not recreational use of marijuana, but should marijuana and its derivatives the cannabinoids be

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