tv Book Discussion on Mary Mc Grory CSPAN February 6, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EST
think of when we think of conservative. >> booktv saturdays and sundays at 9 p.m. eastern. you can watch all previous programs on the website, booktv.org. mr. norris will be interviewed by press club member up with a correspondent for the "washington post" and the author or co-author of the books including two "new york times" bestsellers published in 2012 with the late john's and the battle for america 2008. he's a regular panelist on pbs washington week and a frequent guest on cbs, nbc and cnn. and he's so busy he will probably have to leave this event in less than an hour to be one of the roasters and toasters
of gwen ifill across the ballroom. i would answer questions, so i hope you have a bunch. afterwards, mr. morris will sign copies of his book at the table. by the way, marion was the recipient of the state award in 1998 and her picture from that night is just outside the room on the law. please get a national press club welcome to dan and john morris. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. we are here to celebrate the life and times of a great washington institution, a former colleague of mine and many others, some of whom are in the room. john has written a wonderful and engaging book. we will give you a flavor of it here tonight and then i hope that you all if you haven't bought a copy, go out and get
one. john is a senior fellow at the center for american progress and served in a number of senior roles in government and international institutions and nonprofits including the state department and the international crisis group and he's written for the atlantic and "washington post" in foreign policy and a number of other publications. john, welcome. i want to begin the question and read a couple of blurbs on by my colleague at the post who describes this depicted with admiration. it's what you get when keen observation skills, painstaking reporting from a judge's passionate liberalism coalesced in a singularly talented writer. and in "the new york times" book review said the first queen of journalism will scratch every
nostalgic itch with ink stained fingers. so with that let me just ask you i think what is an obvious question. what prompted you to write the book? >> i had the good fortune to know her when she was alive and like lots of her contemporaries, i got to go in to help the orphans and i got to see mark shields dressed up as santa claus and lay on the couch and the kids would want to to come in and sing jingle bells to him and increasingly rising decibels until he woke up and got off the couch. every once in a while when i was working at the state department, i had the good fortune to go to some of the parties to see that mix of people she brought. as a young person coming to
washington it was absolutely relevant tory to take drinking orders data directly copy boys running around and everybody was expected to pass a dish or have some song or poetry after the end of a few drinks and the more i got to know it was just an absolutely fantastic story and a great window into the contemporary history and a great ratio story from the lower middle-class family in middle class family in boston her dad was a postal clerk, she broke into the industry at a time when women reporters were rare and columnists were even more rare. she had no way she should have succeeded and she did so in a blazing fashion. >> how did she manage to succeed in the world of washington journalism?
>> i think by sheer stubbornness she decided early she wanted to be a reporter and her papers at the library of congress there were notes and diaries contemplating either being a schoolteacher or a reporter from the time she was 12 or 13 she was quite enamored with a comic strip at the time and she set her mind to it and languished in the book review department both the boston herald traveler in the washington star she kept pestering her editors again and again saying i want to write about politics. her editor at travelers had -- and those of you that knew her will find this amusing, too shy to make a good reporter. but she kept on it until the
mccarthy hearings. >> how did she get that break? she made the most of it. >> mary was known as one of the sharpest wits on the staff and the book reviews were always beautifully crafted. they were on the hill to do a few profiles of lyndon baines johnson and i think that he saw something there. he saw she had not only a real gift as a writer but an eye for observation she thought could be unleashed on politics. >> i learned she wasn't purely irish, she had german on one side of her family but when she came to washington she was very much irish. i want to talk about the relationship with the kennedys and politics, president kennedy and senator kennedy.
start with jfk. how did she get to know him and what was that relationship like? >> her relationship is more complicated than has originally been per trade. >> she got to know jack when she was a single congressman in washington and jfk asked her out on a date and he did so in perhaps the most kennedy fashioned through a proxy which took considerable umbrage with and said if the congressman would like to ask me on a date he will have to do with himself, showing that she wasn't too shy to be a good reporter. he went on a date with her and it never went anywhere. she drove to one of her girlfriends that he had to do some thing about that massive hair but they became good
friends. for the initial period he was in washington and considering the run for office. she thought he was too untested for the presidency and was a stevenson supporter and she felt kennedy might get there but it was too soon and too fast but by the time he did announce it, she became quite a solemn supporter. ..
>> host: the 60 campaign won her over or it was after that? >> guest: is the 60 campion and the run-up to the campaign where they had a lot -- mary appreciated that not only did he have soaring language that could inspire people but also willing to engage in real policy and as much as mary liked that factor, he was always late, never good at shaking hands, like to be out in the sun. she was quite pleased by that point. >> host: you write in the book at the time of the assassination, writings during that period were some of the best of her career. walk us through. u.s. emotionally -- the first
day she had to write a column and an editorial she had to go through the entire weekend. tell us a little bit about what struck you about what she wrote. >> guest: it was one of the most extraordinary periods of production by a modern american. this was somebody she cared about deeply, somebody who was a friend, who had been killed and she managed to right through it. as you say, given two assignments on the night of the assassination, people forget how much mary rode to. a good chunk of her career she was -- to do two for the better part of her career -- days after kennedy had been shocked, she
really worked through her grief on the printed page and it didn't come easy. that is one of the things that is striking and important about mary, an extraordinarily gifted writer but never an easy rider. ken, 20, 30 drafts in the column littering the little balls, she worked, reworked, read it over and particularly the column about jfk's funeral, the column mary is best known for, she absolutely struggles to do it, she wrote sentences, black rates as she described it and for her it took her back in frustration to her education back to school in boston, she decided moments of great grief need to be short and simple, she produced the column that is still a hallmark of american journalism.
>> host: years ago we had an in house university to do a class on deadline writing so i went around the newsroom to talk to relieve the deadline writer and ask them their secrets and mary was one because she is turning out so much, she told me the story, set i had absolute right is blog, i could not write that column, it was brilliant. she had a different relationship with robert kennedy, and was resentful because of the way it got into the presidential race. talking about that. >> relationship with bobby is fascinating and in some ways body appreciated that he could never be jack in mary's eyes. politicians like body and lyndon johnson carried a lot about how they looked because it changed the column and it meant a great deal. it was a little too hodge, of
little too at aggressive, too much enforcement but in some ways they were an awful lot alike. they were deeply devout. certainly after jack, bobby became much more of a social justice issues and big brother had been. a real affinity as far as those issues go but by 1967 and 1968, the one issue in american politics is the vietnam war. end and complaining about vietnam, she made it a cause. she bonded with young people. a hand sat down with bobby kennedy and his senate office in 1967 and her notes from that
interview in the library of congress and were a fascinating read. you got to run, perhaps not the ideal of an objective reporter but have to do it. the president can only appear on military at this point. this is a stain on the national consciousness and there was a rough back-and-forth and he was reluctant to get in as we know until later ron and that is the reason mary threw her weight and passion behind gene mccarthy, ready to pick up that anti-war mantle that time when no one else was and he did so well in new hampshire in the primary, mary was one of the moment in american politics but to understand mary and her relationship with bobby, one of my favorites in the book was bobby came out and made a rather
sherman asked statement that he would not run for president in 1968, incredibly bad timing made the statement the same morning as the tet offensive was launched in saigon. because people didn't have cellphones and everything else, it looked like bobby had come and said after the news of the tet offensive had broke that he was not going to run. mary was not amused and wrote him a cable from western union that says in its full, apparently saint patrick did not drive all the snakes out of ireland. how many male reporters are tough enough to send that to bobby kennedy? bobby's colleagues said he lost mary, this is an irish thing, we got to sort it out. >> host: did they sorted out?
>> guest: by the time bobby was shocked, certainly mary was pretty disaffected with eugene mccarthy as a politician, a person on a lot of levels, recognized, maintained all along was the only one who could get in and end the war and win the presidency and those tensions were still there. mary held a grudge, run into any number of people not just one or two, folks who moved over to the washington post, washington star at some point in their career and as a result mary did not talk to them for your two and or got matt at the matter cocktail party, leaving the star was an unbelievable sin. so she held a grudge. one of the interesting fingers, and they were not sentimental.
and it difficult place, dealing with his brother's debt dealing with vietnam and the family. >> briefly on teddy kennedy, that was also a different kind of relationship. >> they were very close, mary would go up there and they would have a scotch and talk politics but mary does approved with teddy on this level that his personal life had been at times quite messy, she didn't like the drinking and carousing. mary like a good stiff drink. and a lot of ways she was quite prim when it came to her behavior. she didn't approve of gambling or womanizing. i think she enormously respected kenny and teddy had enormous affection for her.
there's still that french. >> host: you have a hotline in the book in the column at the end of the 1980 convention. carter left an airline pilot, defected to the i hijacker, it was a reminder of her ability, and some of the scene and at any event and the book was replete and there were many good reasons to read it just to be reminded of her skill as a writer to encapsulate events. bush and for the unlikable versus -- >> guest: you are so right. to turn a phrase that made
things enjoyable for the average reader and have to live through. could be dry and sand. and in the middle of a long procedural process as she did at one point describe two senators looking like a pair of elderly polar bears in swan lake as they navigate a cloture vote. there are not that many people who confined magic and poetry in a cloture vote. one of my favorites was during the watergate hearings describing goings on in the white house, a mix of evil and ineptitude, a marx brothers movie as retold by the german general staff. it is those kinds of things that made mary powerful and the misread and made it to the politicians wanted to appear and
absolutely dread it. >> host: el bj who offhanded an offhand comment tried to proposition her once which is described in the book but he said mary mcgrory gets better and better at my expense. you mentioned watergate. at the end of the 1972 campaign, she was more or less convinced mcgovern had a real chance of winning, proved to be slightly off base with that prediction and she said later i hit the pits in 72 but as you write, it set up in many ways the pinnacle of the career during the watergate years, the relationship with nixon, the nixon administration and what she was riding in watergate was so dead on, mary thrived with good enemies and things to write about. >> guest: her writing on vietnam was exceptional. nixon and mary were perfectly
cast to not get along, they were the best of enemies. if you think about two people, hard to find two individuals more dissimilar than mary and nixon. one of my favorite things at one point nixon decided to unleash the irs on mary. she got audited a number of years in a row, she took it very seriously. herrmann had been an accountant, she is never the most organized person. the full weight of the iris comes down on mary and after numerous audits she gets a larger refund because she is underreported, charitable contribution. for me that was -- >> host: a perfect example of how badly nixon misunderstood what made somebody like mary
take. the she is going to be fast and loose with her money or cheating on her taxes, she is helping a little kids that don't have much. >> host: nixon came to washington star for lunch and made her way in over the objection of some people but found in an engaging politician and then once in the pew with him that martin luther king's funeral sharing a hymnal, the juxtaposition of those events was what later happened is quite striking. >> host: writing about the funeral ceremony, it was is gracious to be. was ready to turn the page and knew all the words so knowing you're in this, and what mary
appreciated, she also fought he was poorly cast as a politician because was not comfortable with people and the idea of engaging the natural back-and-forth, and an editor's lunch at the washington star the press secretary at the time with only male reporters allowed, the washington star, initially there was an uproar over the facts that women reporters were being included and to keep mary specifically out of the room and so mary 8 her brown bag lunch and they offered small talk that is really telling that somebody from mary's position of having a column to the earnest in her belief was seen by nixon as an enemy of the state, bring the full force of government to
bear. >> guest: wishy up for the state would greet clinton don't call me, people who are losers call me, with pauses and need things call me. she existed in a world unlike any reporter i can't think of in the relationship she had as you say and the lines she crossed. not just the she operated in a different era, she operated differently than most people in that era. how did she balance that? board did she? >> you have to take it with a grain of salt. she talked-about being an outsider and not having access, not returning a call quickly enough but clearly on a list with mary no matter what you say. for someone who claimed to be an outsider you go to parties and the supreme court justice and senators and vice presidents and she did have a rather
extraordinary -- she never really used to the access for a quick or easy scooped. wanted to understand politicians. she wanted proximity to see how they behave, to see how they fought and what made him think. one of the interesting things about mary was she was an anachronism throughout her career. when she got into the industry she was one of only one or two women on the campaign and by the time she finished her career, or able to balance home life and work life to a certain extent with her career, you could be a reporter. it is not acceptable to embrace both. through force of will was able
to carry off. >> she moved supposed but her heart never left the star and years later, what was it about the start that had so much grip on her? >> almost everybody -- in love with the place. it was eclectic, it was free wheeling and funds, it is on the front page. of pioneering journalism and a lot of ways. people stayed for a long time. she may have had some faults,
loyalty and lack of loyalty. she was enormously loyal, to her longtime editor at the star, followed by his last name from her professional career in a very old school way of doing business. she loved everything about the star and almost had to be dragged out of the building when it closed down. the post was a really jarring transition for her. she always compared -- this quite shrewd of mary because she realized nobody could object too loudly to be compared to paris. even though it was a backhanded compliment how can you complain? she thought the stock was rome. it is beautiful and messy and disorganized and the post was a
loop and a little distant and imperial and to know mary was to know that she would spend some of the law with anything italian, she vacationed there every single year for 50 years in a row. anything compared to roma was praised highly. >> host: tell me about the source material you were able to plumb for this, remarkably intimate details about her life that you were able to find. how did you get that? >> guest: mary was the saber, she answered her male, every single letter she ever got as the journalist throughout her entire career, that took out a decent chunk during some parts of the column. she donated 184 boxes of her letters and notebooks and shorthand and longhand to the
library of congress. her family was quite generous in sharing papers, letters that had not been turned over. she wrote 8,000 columns or so during her career. she appears in numerable time is in other people's books and speeches and stories and i sat down with a journalist and friends and colleagues and family members and got to say that was the most fun part of the process. when reporters are approach noncompetitive we they are incredibly gracious, incredibly thoughtful, they know what makes for a good interview and it was a great pleasure getting to talk to a lot of giants sitting down with pay johnson who i know, a good friend and colleague, ben bradlee, folks like roger mudd,
people were so excited that this project was happening and wanted to participate in and just a blast. >> host: there were tough things to say about her. must have had a competitive relationship. >> guest: they were like a cranky old couple in some ways. jack was messy, he liked pony's which mary disapproved of. he didn't want to carrier bag, i got my own bag to carry, he had been an editor for period of time at the star. like many of mary's editors, she approached editors with good health, hard to get attitude, got the pleasure of aging, my
column, don't mess around, thank you very much. >> host: one of her former editors is in the room. >> guest: they could just a little bit but very poignant appearances together in their careers where they are talking about how these are free of change. neither one was nostalgia, the 50s and 60s for a golden era of american political life for american politics. what really came through was they loved politics. they loved it. they could sit there at the bar talking about food, plotting with campaign managers, handicap mr. j a race until 4:00 in the morning and the thing that bothered the most about the industry and how political it was wasn't the technology even though it drove them crazy but there were more journalists cycling fruit, punching the air ticket, hoping to go on and
cover different pieces and were not just there to breed and each. >> host: she did sleep and breathe politics for entire life and other columns and other kinds of writing that captured the imagination of a lot of readers. she would write about gardening and squirrels, she seemed to have a gift about jeh johnson. she had a gift about political junkies. >> her column this about these topics came out after the 60s and into the mid 70s. part of it was 68 had been such a wrenching period for mary personally and professionally when everything went wrong.
she understood to keep people's attention, she loved her gardening column, she turned this little plot of land behind her apartment in to this place of mystery and wonder. she had a horrible black from. always digging what was dying on top of line and it was only -- what always rescued her garden. in the jane austen column, such an amazing response that the letters that i read, amazing, people would send in three page diagrams anjou is this, she asked sandy berger who at the time was national security adviser of the united states of america who i assume that this
going on, to get lion dome from the national zoo because it was held for. because they are an endangered species they were not allowed to to take from the national zoo. i think it really went to the fact that they were funny, self-deprecating and beautifully crafted. >> host: she will rose one column that juxtapose the coming of spring and washington with the invasion and away she wrestled with the iraq war particularly as it was about to happen was one of the more remarkable periods of her career and that too drew incredible response. >> she was faced with seismic
events, looking at the mccarthy hearings, the first bookend at the beginning of the career, september 11th, the iraq war, they were very tough. she wrote a column, you would find it absolutely and controversial. it is indecisive, was not predictably presidential, being escorted from military base to military base, wasn't very commanding presence as president, which in retrospect is not that harsh a judgment on the bush presidency. at the time, got more hate mail than mary ever got, hundred and hundreds in the most vile terms
that anyone would dare to be critical of such a moment in american history. being critical at high moments or important moments was the thing you do. that is why democracy works. the iraq war columns were tough because after colin powell a. the u.n. making the case for the iraq invasion, and this amount of chemical weapons in american cities, they were persuaded by that as were a lot of americans and wrote a column that her mind to been changed on america. she got a furious response from readers on the other side, from democrats, they were much more
gracious, an issue for a different day. the column that you mentioned contrasting the onset of spring that she absolutely loved with the ball perking out because their head is a long, and to go into iraq. and they did the last little at it. it is bittersweet as it was to have that stroke, very fitting end for her career. >> host: your description of those last years is so poignant. a woman so gifted with words unable to speak or write could understand, various friends would go see her and she would struggle with it and just
couldn't make it work. your description of it is so touching and poignant but what a tragic ending to such a great life that was. >> incredibly fortunate, robbed of her ability to communicate. should get out a few words every once in awhile, string together a sentence or two but for somebody who was as good with language as anybody we had the pleasure to know, it felt so mean for her final days to be that way. in a lot of ways was also quite touching, the outpouring of help and support from her friends in those final days. one of my favorites was al kamen
harappan notable career. he would go to her house, and try to communicate with her, would trundle her into a her convertible, put classical music on, put the top down and go for a drive, those things, the kennedyes would stop by and it was those things that really showed how many lives mary touched and the number of letters she got from readers wishing her well and saying it feels a little forward but i need to call you mary because you have been part of my life for so long, a touching testament. >> host: is a wonderful book, i will turn it to all of you, thank you for coming out and thank you. [applause] >> let's have a and friedan he did a great job into viewing,
please come to the microphone. we have one microphone over here so please come by and ask a question while people are making their way to the microphone i will tell you miley mary mcgrory story which should take 30 seconds. at the democratic national convention in 1968 i was a young college student out there working for the maryland news covering montgomery county delegates. i went to breakfast one morning with the maryland delegation and some presidential candidates came by. i forget which one it was and after he was finished the delegates applauded and i was at the first table and applauded, where is the press if we don't applaud? never made that mistake again. >> i wonder about mary's
personal life, she never married or had children. i wondered another it and her column, and what else did she have going on in her life? >> she never had kids, she had an incredibly private view. and made the rounds, friends, family, people didn't know what went on with romance. after a series of interviews the great love of her life was blair park who had been a reporter at cbs and it never worked out for a bunch of different reasons and there were some times that i
thought because mary had been so conditioned to thinking a romance would end her career in the 50s and 60s and this was a time when getting married was an offense in a lot of papers, there were women reporters to hit their marriages, including the new york times so she was given a stark choice so their part-time this i think her approach to romance was to gravitate towards men that in some ways were unattainable whether she was of the sabotaging their chances or just thought she had to make a choice. for somebody who loved jane austin, romantic life was frustrating and incredibly private. >> i will invite people to come to the mic. she did have a whole life of children. tell us about the rule of children in her life.
>> mary volunteered at the st. anne, when she came to washington at dupont circle, she had just moved here, showed up at the orphanage and said i am mary mcgrory and i'm your to volunteer, they had never had a volunteer, trying to find a polite way to tell this strange interest of young woman that they were good. off of the playground, asked to stay the night and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship, mary volunteered in st. anne's almost every week for five decades, she helped out, she read to them and paid school fees, and a lot going for
them, had a chance to reach out and talk to the couple, people who had grown up at st. anne's and remembered mary influence and were touched by it years after the fact. it wasn't just mary but it was scores of friends colleagues and others, sometimes willingly to help out at the orphanage. >> i don't think people knew that. >> guest: she did not advertise it. her volunteer work was incredibly important to her, she very rarely talked about it. >> i wonder if you could compare and contrast her with maureen dowd. >> that is a dangerous comparison to make. maureen dowd got her start when
mary was there, it was a long relationship, maureen dowd's father was a capitol hill police in a front row seat. and see a nice irish girl get ahead. obviously mary and maureen who was here tonight were close friends. i don't think she was a mentor to writers and women, her style was to show how it could be done. she was not necessarily someone who pulled under their wing. there was somebody was going to do good work. hisself and there to support people doing good work. and mary recognized maureen's considerable talent, they both
made their lives eliminating the american political scene for decades. >> you mentioned her relationship with the kennedyes and nixon. what about lbj? >> it is a complicated relationship in that lbj could never be the jack kennedy. lbj, histories and interviews, this thing that he fought for, that is adult life to become president was suddenly a poising challenge because the president had been assassinated, he desperately wanted to will mary in the column, made an incredibly:keep half at her
apartment, showed up with the secret service after hours, and mary thought it was one of hurt points that led. had a couple drinks from what i pieced together, lbj basically said i know you love the kennedys it you should love me and i am crazy about you, but i can't think of a more awful headline. to be used on anybody but particularly to the use on mary, but certainly lbj tried to woo her, there were enormous examples from the white house and his administration where he would yell at his press secretary to get things right with mary you have got to fix this, tired of this but increasingly as the vietnam war picked up steam that was a deal breaker for mary and i think
mary, recognized how indeed be lbj was and thought it was a damning policy. >> he mentioned she not only wrote about politics but in some ways was sort of an adviser to some politicians. how do we square that with the role of a journalist? >> it is not a hating to offense in this town and one of the things that stand out if you go back and look at the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s you know, reporters live the campaign, travel with them, in hotel rooms, on the bus, it is a lot of time to spend and not have an opinion about them and their policies or approach to politics.
in some ways it is almost naive that we turn out students in journalism school hoping they will all be perfectly neutral and not have an opinion. if you sit down and play a game of poker with a bunch of reporters they have got opinions even if they're not opinion writers or on the editorial page. in a lot of ways mary's approach especially in '68 when she pushed body to get in or hired gene mccarthy, that breaks all the rules of journalism and she should have recused herself. it was also an era where almost every senior editorial writer and senior reporter was aligned with a campaign in some way or another. as every politician in mansions they are secretly a hollywood star every reporter in mansions
they are brilliant campaign manager. the campaign would work better with their sage advice. >> is there anybody else who would like to ask a question? now is the time to come to the mic. seeing none, it is now my pleasure to present you with the highly coveted national press club mug. congratulations. [applause] >> if you will go to the table i will have people lined up but i would like to if thanks julie and mohammad of the national press club journalism institute for helping us a range this end we are adjourned. go to the table and sign books. >> why don't we start out here
and go this way? [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on instagram. follow us for publishing news, schedule update and behind-the-scenes pictures and videos. instagram.com/booktv. >> stanley greenburg has the a pulling adviser to presidents and prime ministers and is author of "america ascendant: a revolutionary nation's path to addressing its deepest problems and leading the 21st century". what is america's biggest problem right now? >> guest: the biggest problem is the problems are not being addressed. you have accused revolution remaking the country, technology, breakdown of the
family, new gender roles, influx of immigration, a changing country, and this new majority that is growing in the country has a whole range of issues they want to address and politics isn't addressing it. this new majority think we have a corrupt american politics that politicians just are toned by billionaires and corporations and not really addressing the needs of the middle-class. they are reacting to the short-term but they are part of huge changes that are changing america in a way that is very positive. few countries in the world, economically vibrant, culturally, looked at everything happening in the world with migration and reaction to it. we are a country -- it may not look like that, we will see what it is like in a few months but this is a country where diversity is part of our dna and
there are not many countries on earth where that is the case and they're waiting for policy. >> host: we are taking this at a moment when the country is debating syrian immigrants coming in to the united states and many many states have decided they don't want immigrants in their state. how does that jibe with current understanding of immigration policy throughout history? >> guest: you have to have perspective on how powerful immigration is and how much it reshapes america. one of the reasons we are economically dynamic is we have an immigrant revolution. if you look it cities like new york city, 37% of foreign-born. if you look at states like california, 30% foreign-born. half of our nobel prize laureates, silicon valley engineers are foreign-born. we are country that is being reshaped, nate dynamic buy blocks of emigration.
it is probably the biggest change changing the nation of the electorate and that is why we are getting a reaction among the republicans to try to stop that from happening but it is a full's errand and we will see the country will be shaped by its growing diversity and immigration and when the election is over, when we have time year from now to look back on it you will find major -- we will say we like this country that is so diverse and we will see a different story looking over the long term. >> host: talk about technology being a major driver for change in this country but people look at the north american free trade agreement and ask about jobs jobs jobs. what is the dichotomy between our embrace and technology and physical work. >> guest: when you look at high-tech, big data and those kinds of changes they are huge, they grow productivity and the
economy, it is central to it and the whole range of things including immigration but it is very much like the industrial revolution. it changed the country, massively, it brought great influx of population into the city and also brought great poverty and concentration in the city. the industrial revolution produced a progressive era, the union movement, two decades period of reform. got to mitigate the changes. that is, i am optimistic about america come i knows the we have declining wages and increased inequality and family breakdown but i also know it creates a politics that reform politics brings change to make it possible to have a country that can be successful. >> host: obvious second gilded age? >> guest: we are in a second gilded age for shore given the level of inequality the we are also in a reform era. just look at the cities, look at
what is happening on cities on minimum-wage, paid sick days and a variety of reforms, look at california, passing these reforms. look what is happening in business, a variety of changes. look what is happening in the church, catholic church, momentum for reform is taking place. >> host: are we seeing and assuage and in the influence of the baby boom generation? >> guest: yes. they are being supplanted by the millennials. that is one of the biggest changes i talk about in this book. you have two revolutions where this comes together. when is the growth of the millennials at the expense of the baby boom and the others the growth of the metropolitan areas at the expense of the rural areas and even the suburbs. they are all coming together like a cauldron in the city and
the millennials where all this diversity, change in attitude, change -- drive with is happening in the country, an enormous force that is retiring and will be a factor. if you look what drives politics you are going to see it growing millennial population. >> host: in your opinion what is the greatest difference between the two generations? >> guest: everything. everything. the baby boom in some ways the middle-class, the idea that you can work for a single employer and work your way up that ladder, move to homeownership, having a pension, the whole story that led america to think of itself as a middle-class country with a middle-class dream. the millennials know that is not the story. that is part of why they have a higher focus on quality of life, identify with the cities they live in, believe in urban
density. half of millennials don't have driver's licenses. two thirds of millennials with college degrees have already moved to the largest cities. they are moving. there is a change in dominant values, where they live, what their life trajectory is. millennials are and miserable. in some ways they are the most optimistic even though the baby boom had the best shot the millennials are optimistic about the future of the country. >> host: stanley greenburg is the author of "america ascendant: a revolutionary nation's path to addressing its deepest problems and leading the 21st century". thanks so much. >> guest: thanks very much. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here is a look at what is on prime time tonight. we kick off the evening at 7:00 p.m. eastern with david shields's presentation of several years of war photographs from the front page of the new york times.
at 8:30 a panel on the life of recently retired librarian of congress james billington. at 10:00 on afterwards the data because our's matt lewis argues for the republican party to return to conservative principles or risk demise. we finish our prime-time programming at 11:00 with the largest refugee camp in the world. that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> welcome to santa barbara on booktv located along california's coast near the pacific ocean. was originally settled by spanish missionaries to fortified the territory and converted the native population to christianity. today it has a population of around 90,000 entries known for its spanish architecture and its tourism. with help from the office of communications cable partners, for the next hour we will visit with the city's local lawyers.