tv David Nasaw The Last Million CSPAN January 14, 2021 10:16pm-11:17pm EST
good afternoon and welcome to lark carnegie council book talk with david nassau, author of the new book the last million. persons from the cold war. most of us in the kornegay filled family and in that institution have had the special effects produced, the biography of this was published in 2006 was a life changing event for us so david's work we've come to know andrew carnegie and all of the humanity and complexity and there's one less from the book that really stayed with me, and has really and then needed my work at the corner. and that is as david would put it carnegie's cockeyed optimism which not entirely
misplaced. for all the madness we see in the world, progress based on reason and a can-do spirit is indeed possible that idea keeps me going in this occasion is the opportunity to say thank you. in addition to the carnegie biography, david's previous books include prize-winning books of joseph e kennedy, and william randolph hurts. and today we turn to david's latest book, the portrait of not one person, but over the 1 million displaced person who emerged relies yet alive on ve day april, 1945. the last million is an epic story. it takes us right into the heart of europe during and after world war ii. it describes the movement of millions of people among shifting borders and chaos.
the chaos of that war and its aftermath it describes life at the street level and at the highest levels of government. millions of people with this by world war ii, most known were those in the concentration camps, yet there were also migrant laborers, forced laborers, collaborators, pows. when the war ended many if not most displaced persons returned home. yet as the title suggests, a million did not. this book tells the story of their search for new home. so david thanks for joining us. you can kick it off i have a simple question, how did you come to the story how did you see the last million as a singular story that should be told? >> i think you had a lot to do with trying to tell an
extraordinary story postwar. and i have learned not to take the common sense view of historical events as necessarily truthful, sometimes only partially truthful exhalation.when i read tony jeff's book, it became clear to me, much more clear than it had been before with peace treaties that the station of hostilities even with the soldiers going home. this leads into postwar and the suffering for people who have been displaced by war and continues unabated and these last million these three to five years remain in germany, and camps and many behind barbed wire.
for three to five years let me emphasize after d-day. let's talk about a million who remain. you talk about the 1 million into germany can you give us a little bit of information about who these people were and who went willingly and who didn't? >> yes there were three different streams into germany during the war. the largest was was the stream from eastern europe from poland and ukraine. these were in large part, had lessons young men and women who work wraps from their homes who were forced onto trucks and trains into germany. hitler and his third right leadership from the very beginning there was only in harrogate believe millions of soldiers to the eastern front was to replace them with millions more, and force them
to the east. so that was the first group and they began arriving in 1940 and 1941 and continued to arrive through the end of the war. the second stream that made up the last million, came in 19441945 from both the way neah, estonia, and parts of ukraine. and these were men, women and their children. the men and women who had in one way or another, collaborated with the nazi authorities. sometimes that authorities that collaboration meant working in the office that was being overseen by a nazi official. in other cases it meant serving in the auxiliary police. in some cases it meant joining an ss division.
when it became clear that the red army was on its march and would soon arrive in the baltic states, and in crane, thousands upon thousands of citizens who would collaborate in some way. and citizens who could not abide sort of living under soviet domination. they made their way into germany. the third group, or the jewish survivors. as the war came to an end hitler and the german officials realized that they didn't want the fact that the death camps might be discovered by the russians in the world. number one, number two, they needed more labor home than they were getting from the forced laborers and slave laborers. in the decision was made to relocate those who had
survived the death camps and the labor camps in poland and in the balkans, to relocate them to death march them into germany. where they would be not gassed but worked to death. most of them laid underground mines, mills, and were armed factories. these are the three groups that make up the last million. their journeys into germany are different, so too would be their experiences in germany. >> so it's ve day or a little bit after and we are in europe in 1945, can you give us a little bit of a feel in these camps. what sort of life in futures or choices are these people looking at. >> there is no way to comprehend the devastation in germany.
when they left their workplaces or their concentration camps for the p of the camps. they were rounded up by the allies, but on trucks, got out of the way and shift to assembly centers. and then sorted out by nationality. input into camps behind barbed while wire often. camps that were run by united nations relief and rubella tatian ministration. but supplied by the armies they's army supply them with metals coal supplies and shelters. they built facilities. what happened was in germany, and the years following the day. in these camps there were little ukraine's little little
jewish places, in the beginning the allies decided that they were going to separate out the last million by nationality. they did not recognize that there is such a thing as a jew. lithuanian jews were sequestered with the weightings, polish jews with non- jewish polls. in many instances the jewish survivors found themselves in the same camps as those had been there guards in that concentration in labor camps. that ended in july and august when the jews were put into their own camps the sense that all of that this was transitional. that they would soon be allowed to go home and they believe that the world war iii
was coming rapidly and that the american the british were going to liberate ukraine, lithuania, estonia, from the soviets and displaced persons could go home again. same with the polls. the jews knew they could never go home again they knew they had no place in europe. they try to the beginning to convince themselves and others if they could return to poland and build a new jewish community. so for jews the only place on earth they recognized with would be and welcomed was palestine. so the british of everything they possibly could under the mandate to keep the jews out. >> i want to pause here for second and talk about those that couldn't go home i understood that, but at what what.was a decision made to
not force re- patriotism. that individuals would have a choice? whether they would be forced home or not, could you talk to slow it about that? >> so one of the things i realized as i did my research was at the cold war begins almost immediately. that the ramp from the world were ii the cold war is a steep one. and at the very beginning the soviets and their allies in eastern europe and the soviet dummy lands in eastern europe. they demanded that every displaced person, except for the jews, and those who had been displaced by franco years before. every displaced person should go home. whether they wanted to or not, they had to go home. the allies said no, the americans and the british said no! people have the right to choose their own citizenship
whether they wanted to go home or not. the soviets were convinced, there was a paranoia that has some basis in reality, after the great war world war i the allies tried to over throw the bolshevik regime. and stalin and some of his compatriots believed that that was a real possibility after world war ii, and what the alleys were doing with the british and the americans were doing, was creating an army of anti- soviet, anti- communist dissidents that would be available to spread anti-soviet propaganda, and or begin world war iii. >> so i want to talk a little bit about what you mentioned in passing about the establishment of these international institutions to deal with this problem. so first we have, that united
nations were beef and rubella tatian authority, and later we have the ir zero, the international refugee organization and there is an amazing passage in your book for those who will look at it it's on page 258. i'm not going to read it at the beginning of chapter 17. where you talk a little bit about how these organizations, and their name they sort of hint at a mission of being humane institutions meant to provide literally relief for this immediate human suffering. and yet, they turn into something else. and they turn it is sort of this utilitarian employment agency if you will. can you talk a little bit about those institutions and how their set up and where they eventually go? >> yes franklin roosevelt in this book and in the others,
1943 i think their way in norma's refugee problem all the europe button and other nations as well when the war is over. and the only way to resolve a refugee problem mister international corporation again this is a 1943, and setting up the united nations rehabilitation administration and he gets the nations of the world to join. the understanding is it will be an agency that repatriate that takes care of the media needs of the refugees and then provides passage and provides passage home for them. for the last million does that happen. even though the soviets demand that they be sent home, or made to survive on their own in germany, the americans and
the british continue to support these people camps. for a year or year and a half until it becomes clear that they're not going home. the americans and the british spearhead the establishment of a new organization, the new organization without the soviets. the soviets won't join in. and each task is not too repatriate but to resettle the last million. and in late 1946, 1947, there is this extraordinary and bizarre meat market set up as one of the is one of the employees calls it in the displaced persons camp. and all the members of the
international representative ug organization the ir zero, dozens of latin american nations, canada, australia, south africa, they sent delegations recruiters into the camps. to find workers to take jobs that they can't find anybody else to take. it begins with the british, the british have a severely labor shortage and they can't get anybody to work in that tuberculosis center or in the hospitals. so what are they due? they go into the camps, and they recruit thousands of refugees in the beginning. and then they decide this has worked so well we need help in the mines, we can bring in these men, then the law fans
run out they go to look the way mia, estonia, ukraine, and poland. the french the minors to, that canadians need where world workers and people to work in four street. and so, the international refugee organization, becomes a recruitment organization. it tries to look after the welfare of those, but the shots are being called. the governments are doing that recruiting enough the organization. >> so there is sort of a hierarchy in terms of desirability. in the resettlement process and is some of that based on race? is some of it based on perception or maybe it's just more pew or are utilitarian function question mark. >> is a combination, it's a
combination. the australian prime minister makes it clear to the recruiting team going out to get to the law fans. why? because they are white, they are protestants, they are reliably anti-communist, and they had only arrived, unlike the polls and the jews they had only arrived in germany at the end of the war. and they were relatively healthy, they hadn't suffered the ravages of the war that the jewish dividers or the polish forced laborers had suffered. and it was felt that they were hard workers and they were really this simple. no country on earth when the jews. they didn't want the jews again for a variety of regions reasons. they want reasons, they were a
variety of myths and misconceptions. they regard of the jews as clannish, as unwilling to do hard manual labor, as scoundrels as rogues, sp use, and worse yet, as the bulk of that should sympathizers or operatives. so 1947 to 1948 as the law fans and the ukrainians, and they use tony and henry settled outside of the camps the only way for the jews to get out of those camps was through illegal immigration. to palestine. the british tried to stop the ships that left from different ports and was they were bound for israel but they couldn't do it. twenty or 30,000 displaced jews made their way to
israel. once they arrived the british grabbed them and put them on the second series of ships and set them to cyprus and put them behind barbed wire and displaced persons camps. but for the jews getting out of germany, even to go into another set of displaced persons camps was far preferable to remaining into the land of murderers. >> there so many questions about the stories of the jewish misplaced persons. but when asked about truman as it relates to the story. so the way the i'm reading it in the narrative is that he is willing to confront the british to say you know you need to open up palestine is a painful process he eventually confronts the british and he sort of gets there or that direction. he's not willing to confront the u.s. congress, so that's opening up the dead states.
is that fair? >> truman believes that from the very beginning, with this naïve optimism, that the state department told them don't go there. but truman says i'm going there. he confronts churchill and then audrey, immediately says you've got to open up palestine to the jewish displaced persons. and he hits that if you want loans that you need to rebuild your nation, you gotta help me out here i've got lots of jewish favors and people i need to support and it's the humanitarian thing to do and it's the right thing to do. and then he lets you know this for the their argument that just is tragic. he says to the british, he says you don't have to worry that you did the weight before the war. he said that 6 million jews were killed, their dead.
so the european jews aren't going to overwhelm palestine. were not talking about millions here were talking about a couple hundred thousand. the british will not budge. the british stated truman, look if you care this much about the european jews take them into the united states. that truman knows and he's much smarter about domestic politics then british politics or international politics. truman knows he can do that. that's not possible. that the hostility, european jews missed understanding of what has happened to them is such that congress will never allow them into the country. >> just on truman too, there was a question i had that is sort of a theme in this book, or a few throwing strung together. this goes back to the camps
themselves. and word gets back to truman that the situation is really dire. these camps are really, people are suffering, and he talks to eisenhower and basically tells him to clean it up. and you know, eisenhower goes back and goes back and tours the camp, and particular the camps, makes the.that these are under the united states authority and we're going to clean this up. did i read this right? was it an act of humanity, or was i kind of romanticizing truman and eisenhower eisenhower a little in light of more recent events where we see the treatment of displaced people under the united states? >> you know truman and eisenhower somehow our heroes in this book. i mean flawed heroes but, heroes nonetheless. truman recognizes from the
very beginning the plight of the displaced persons and the jewish displaced persons. and there are those that said clark clifford, his advisor said that he had read the bible from early on, and he knows that jews belong in israel. i don't know if that's whether or not. but the pain in the beginning you gotta realize what a mess europe was right after the war. nobody know how many jews have survived. we knew that millions had been killed but no one knew what the condition was or how many made it out of the camps. and there was this state, the state department had the sense in the british had the sense, the jews had suffered for so is everybody else in this war. we can't single out the jews. the jewish organizations in the united states, and in britain, said the jews have suffered more than anyone or any other group. then they need special
treatment. the american state department, the united nations in the beginning said no. the british said absolutely not. the jews can be treated like everyone else. will the jews were treated like everyone else. and the suffering was intense. and finally in july, two months after the war was over, and july truman sends a fact finding mission. led by dean harrison, dean earl harrison of the university of pennsylvania, he said to harrison who was not a scientist was not a jew sends him to visit the camps. and harrison comes back with a report and he says, we are treating the jews just as terribly as the germans did, except were not exterminating.
and when truman reads this report and writes his letter immediately to eisenhower says to eisenhower, you gotta take care of this. this is inhumane in this is impossible and this is un-american. and eisenhower goes to work. >> that's great. i wanted to, you mentioned before the@want talk about the cold war aspect of this and could you say a little bit more about this sort of soviet interest in this whole situation. how does it look from moscow, is as they are looking at this problem and how does it drip into the beginning stages of the cold war from the east? >> the soviets no that large numbers of collaborators and war criminals have escaped from the east, have escaped from the baltic nations from
belarus and ukraine. and made their way into germany. and you know, and the book i tell many stories of the collaborators who throw away their uniforms and all the papers they have and don't do histories for them self. and they find into the displaced persons camp and what's in those camps they invent past histories. they been farmers, factory workers, the soviets no and the polls no and the yugoslavs no that there are war criminals there. then they want to bring them to justice. number one, number two they know that there is a cauldron of anti- communism in these camps and it's gonna affect
the future direction of europe in the world. that having these dedicated on anti-communist and anti- soviets let loose in the world is not going to, it's going to cause them hardship. and then the third, and may be the most important reason, is that the soviets in the polls, and the yugoslavs, how the extraordinary task of rebuilding their nations. and they need every labor they can, including the members of the last million who are idle in germany. rather than returning to poland, to rebuild the devastated country. >> so i want to turn out to the united states, so it takes a while and i don't room for exactly what happens, but we
do there is a bill passed in the united states congress signed by president truman for resettlement of refugees in the united states. a couple years later, it takes time. but this is the big question and i'm sure that everybody will feel this when the reading the book, why doesn't the united states you can talk about the other countries as well but i'm been a focus on the united states, do more to sort of sort out the war criminals in the collaborators the nazis, and others as they begin to issue these reasons to resettle in the united states? back for a long time we felt that the americans and the british and the canadians and the australians didn't keep the war criminals and the clubbers out because they didn't know how to do it. in doing my research i discovered that wasn't the case. in every displaced persons camp there was a historical
commission into poland the surviving jews immediately established of historical commission. in austria, the most famous of the jewish or the nazi hunters set up a commission. they take testimony from the displaced persons. they have lists, long lists, they know from the camps who are the displaced persons. who among the displaced persons are war criminals or collaborators who should be tried. no one consults them and no one gives a damn. in one of the reasons for this, is that the memories of world war are obliterated by the fears of the cold war. hitler has been defeated. so the sentiment in the united
states, the fascists and the nazis have been defeated them not coming back. the danger moving forward is from the cold war. in this notion that there is such a thing called totalitarianism and that stalin is a latter-day hitler, the soviets are the same as the germans and we've got to turn from fighting one war to fighting another almost immediately to. and so what? if some of these displaced persons were nazi collaborators or were anti- anti- soviets were fought against the red army or for the red army. so what? if they joined the balkans, if there anti-communist we need them now. let's forget the past and move forward. and this happens, this happens everywhere. this story i tell which just
stays with me. they group of minors in england who discover, the miners are left wing, but it doesn't really matter they discover that the law fans and the displaced persons who are working with them in the minds have tattoos and they third to go on strike unless something is done about it. when it's his back to the government, the labor government says well, you know, what we will do is we will keep all the ss soldiers, we will keep them out of the minds and we will put them in jobs where they don't have to take up the shirts and no one will see their tattoos. in 19151951, the americans change their regulations, their immigration regulations, to let in former members of the ss the nazis.
it's not a pretty picture. it is because this country or congress, i did about people on the street, but congress is set or beset by this cold war hysteria. >> so david is i was reading i understand that in the context of the time, and in 1940s and into the early 50s, it does seem to be a little bit towards the end of the book and kind of this wave into the 80s that maybe his time was by 30 years later and this all becomes more well-known i don't know there's a sort of wave and famous cases. ivan the terrible and all these things, that kind of puff up and that that just a function of time in a way i'm just curious how you read that were kind of bubbles up. >> a bubbles up in the united
states. 50% of the time he is wrong, he accuses people who used in the cues but 50% of the time he's right. and he has this residue of nazi hunters who nobody listens to for 30 years and the beginning of the 70s, reporters and journalists who some of them are jewish and some of them are not jewish, look again at what is going on 30 years before. and there began to be leaks from the ins, ins leaks to reporters and to congresswoman elizabeth holtzman the news that there is in the records of innovation and naturalization services lists of nazi collaborators who were
led into the country as displaced persons. and because of the crusade of the journalists, and of was holtzman, and a couple of other congressmen the question is reopened in the united states. and lets the united states begins to look again at what happened 30 years before, how did these people get into the states? how many are still here? and what can we do about it? the canadians, this trillions, and the brits, begin to start to say start the same process. but unfortunately it's too late. it's too late. even though the were some that were brought to justice, it's been a good 30 years in the united states their crimes go unpunished. >> so i just want to look to the audience, i have a couple more questions for david but i
want to do and encourage those who are watching her with questions or comments to submit them. by the chat function and we will try to get to those towards the end of the hour. so david? david, i can't help but resisted his question a lot of people are thinking it. and i think i want to avoid for support paraffins. they were living in a world now, i look this up, that 80 million forced displaced people in the world. so you know, this is a large issue in a different way. but i have to ask, having spent all of the time on the story and telling the story you know, what does it leave you with now as you look at the world today? what lessons learned or thoughts that you could connect to the situation we find yourselves in today? >> else a tragedy and that the
president situation well let me start with the most obvious. to me at least. in 1943, roosevelt establishes an international organization because he understands that this is international problem that requires international cooperation. until the present administration, the united states believed in international cooperation to do something about the refugees. now having said that, the obligation of the united nations and its participating nations has been not to repatriate, or resettle the refugees. but to shelter and feed and supply them with minimal medical assistance in the
camps. in the 70 years since the end of the displacement person camps in germany, this sense has been that the world's responsibility is to make sure none of these people starve. not, to allow them to lead meaningful lives. through re- patriotism or through resettlement. and this is tragedy that is only getting get worse. in my book, at the end the only place for the displaced jews to resettle is an independent israel. and i make the argument that
truman and the establishment and independent israel, seeing those known a lot which the west need for the commonest coalition you've got to get the jews out of germany. it can't be a west germany with 250,000 jews in camps. and the only place he can get them out, he can't get them into the united states, is israel. so he supports an independent israel. but where did those chews go? where did the european jews go? they are settled in rural communities, agriculture settlements, and houses and apartments have been cleared of palestinians fighting and
by the israeli army. or there were some that had left voluntarily and voluntarily, they refused to let the palestinians return israel did. the problem of the displaced jews is solved by the displacement of palestinians. and while i do not want to do is diminish the suffering of the jews who end up in israel, there displacement lasted five years. this placement of the palestinians is now into its third generation with no signs of there ever being re- patriot it and resettled. >> thank you and my less question and then you move it over to someone else and then
he might first question. but i did want to make note of this theme of aftermath. the way that you will conclude the book. the sort of code into the book that's titled aftermath. to me, that sort of suggests some idea of regeneration or some growth. i don't know, it's sort of like i guess the tragedy that leads to some redemption and some way i don't know. or maybe in some way dispense off another one. i don't know but just before i let you go to go over to the questions, i mean do have a sense of redemption here or do you just like the cycle kind of, the way just left it there for just kind of repeats itself. >> let me tell you two stories quickly, one, peter meyer told me that in his new book it
tells about two displaced persons who when they are in israel are sent to an apartment and as they move in they see that the apartment is totally furnished. and they realize that it's there or there's because it's been the palestinians have left. and they look at it and think about their suffering and they turn around and they leave. the second, story is about a man and his wife lola. i met him when he was 98 and his wife lola was much younger she was 96. and they had met in and had known each other in poland, they had met in taha and had gotten married and to the two of them had lost their entire
families, had suffered immensely in camp after camp after camp, into the kindness of cousins their only remaining relatives in the united states, they were resettled relocated through locksmiths. they found work for him they found a home for their family. they had taken a lower raise three kids, they had a large brood of grandchildren come to visit them in their assisted living facility and at the end of this discussion i look at him and and i say i tried to ask you, a question he looks a knowing one and ask and he says that it's a good life. i've had a good life. he said i love my wife we've
been married for 70 years, and i love my children. and i will forever think my cousins who took me in in america. >> i don't want to downplay it, especially in the jewish camps. the surviving remnant, as they call themselves, recognized that morning was a luxury. they wouldn't forget. their task was to resurrect
judaism. they were all clear about that. the polls believed in exile, the anti-communist, that it was their job and the task and mission to resurrect the cultural nationalism and keep it alive. so, this wasn't one of the deep victimizations, but one of preparation for the next days of their lives, which they hoped and they knew would follow. >> this is from david. my father was a jewish refugee that escaped in 1838 and was in australia until 1942 and then returned to england.
he came to the united states in may of 48, as a displaced person because the quota was too small and already filled. how could he have come as a displaced person when the act wasn't passed until june? >> i haven't talked about it in this interview, it was a truman directive and in large part because he couldn't get the british to move, he said the german and the austrian quotas would be in line and number two, he set up offices in and around the displaced persons camps to provide visas for those who
could establish german or austrian citizenship in some way. so, a small number of german or austrian jews were allowed to enter before the displaced persons act. they were not considered displaced persons because the un defined as those who had fought against the germans, the germans and austrians were not displaced persons but under the directive, some of them were allowed to enter the country. >> next question is from the council in massachusetts. we are often taught as children in the u.s. that the liberation from nazi germany was a major reason that the allies fought world war ii. but they were not immediately concerned with the justice perpetrated on the people and indeed mistreated them as well.
at what point did that attitude change and do you think it was this more a failure of the historical curriculum? >> it is abundantly clear to me that the war wasn't fought to save the jews there is no evidence whatsoever. as a matter of fact, roosevelt and the cabinet went out of their way to discount any word that american boys were being sent over. the war was fought for a variety of reasons, but the rescue was never part of that.
if that is currently in the textbooks, then that is just wrong. when the war was over, the common sense view is that americans opened their arms to save the jews, who they hadn't saved before the war. a quarter million remained and the common sense view is that again we opened our arms and welcomed them. that wasn't the case. in the end of those quarter million displaced jews, only about 50,000 came to the united states as displaced persons. some went to israel because there was no place else they could go and later came back to the united states. but the number was minimal
compared to the need. >> this is more of a comment. the tenant of international law could lead to death. there's obligations somewhere forced even israel didn't take everyone in at first that they were willing to do so. >> yes and no. in the beginning they said we will take all of them and israel set up an organization to bring those that had tuberculosis or were sick, to bring them to israel. there were groups, large numbers that remained in germany with those that had gone to israel
and they found they couldn't live there because they were in a state of war. they came back to germany and there were groups of orthodox jews that remained in germany. but for the most part, the israelis accepted the jews. there are questions about whether they could have treated them better once they got to israel. and there was also some resistance to bringing them into the country. but israel did open its doors. it felt an obligation to take in as many as they wanted to come in. >> this question goes back to one that's more specific from billy pickett. are there any lessons we can learn when looking at the u.s. border with mexico?
>> yes. one, there has to be a fact based approach. we can't let, just because they left out so all of us have to do everything we can to counter those that don't want to work hard or criminals or colombians or gang members. there has to be a fact based fad realism. at the same time, the humanitarian interest at some point. we have to open our hearts and souls and minds to the crisis on
the southern border. and, you know, there is no sign that that is being done in the current administration. one would hope that it changes. >> i can take it now. i want to make sure david had a chance to sum up. i had a big question. we might have to have a separate conversation. i know a big part of the book you were talking about how it doesn't really and but it blends into the cold war and have you given any thought to some things that could have been done differently, were we able to sort of go back in time, seeing the cold war on the horizon, how
the problem might have been addressed in a way that was more positive and perhaps less confrontation. >> i think it would have been possible to cooperate with the soviets and with the soviets wanted was they had a lot of nazi records, they had a load of german records. the soviets also had eyewitnesses to the states in the ukraine who knew who the war criminals were. and if the americans had cooperated with the soviets, war criminals would have been found and brought to justice. they didn't cooperate because we didn't trust the soviets and we were right to.
we didn't have to trust them entirely to enter into some sort of a cooperative relationship with them early on. and that was not done. and as a result, the soviets were convinced that we were keeping these criminals in the camps because they were anti-communist, which was possibly true. and the hostility between the soviets and the american coalition increased to the point where it was unmanageable. >> we are at the top of the hour so we have to adjourn. thank you for spending the time with us. this is one of those book it's another life changing experience. it makes me look at the end of the war in a completely different way. thank you so much and we look
including the john harvey an american ship that was secretly holding 2,000 bombs. i'm delighted to welcome jennet conant. and one of the scientists of the 20th century she's the author of "new york times" bestsellers the irregulars and the british wartime washington and the wall street tycoon and the science that changed the course of world war ii. she will be speaking tonight about her new book the great secret the