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    Richard Rhodes’s Interview (2018)
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    Richard Rhodes’s Interview (2018)

    September 1, 2019


    Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage
    Foundation. It is Tuesday, November 27, 2018, and I have
    with me Richard Rhodes. My first question for him is to please say
    his name and spell it. Richard Rhodes: Richard Rhodes, R-h-o-d-e-s. Kelly: Okay. Richard wants to share some of his expertise
    on the history of the Manhattan Project and its legacy—which is wonderful. Why don’t we start with Robert Oppenheimer
    and talk about what was going on with this very enigmatic character—who is often a
    central figure. Rhodes: You know, in a way today, the Manhattan
    Project is fading into myth, and the myth is that there was one bomb for Hiroshima. Poor Nagasaki tends to be forgotten. The myth is that there was one bomb for Hiroshima. Nagasaki tends to be forgotten. That there was one site where the weapon was
    developed—Los Alamos—and the huge factories and power reactors that were sited at Hanford,
    Washington, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the work on nuclear reactor development at the
    University of Chicago—those things tend to be forgotten. That there was one man who was central to
    the whole story. Most people, I think, believe he ran the Manhattan
    Project, and that’s Robert Oppenheimer. [Background discussion] That there was one man who somehow magically
    ran the entire, huge, 650,000-person project, and that that was Robert Oppenheimer. In fact, Oppenheimer was the director of the
    laboratory at the secret weapons site on a mesa north of Santa Fe called Los Alamos—“the
    cottonwoods”—because of the trees around it. Who directed the development of the actual
    physical weapon itself—or themselves—there were two different kinds. He [Oppenheimer] played a crucial part, but
    the question for me has always been, “Why is he the mythological figure?” There were extraordinary people—Nobel laureates
    by the bushel. General Leslie Dick Groves, who at six foot
    three and 230 pounds was a mighty figure in his own right, and who did run the whole project
    and ran it [0:03:00] well. Why Oppenheimer? I think part of the answer is exactly that
    enigmatic quality that Oppenheimer still has. But where did that come from? Why was he enigmatic? Some of his friends had insights into the
    kind of person he was that I think help us understand who he was, and why he was able
    to direct a group of scientists at every level of skill from first-class up through Nobel—with
    egos to go with levels like that. And somehow bring them all together and make
    them work together, and allow them to do the work to produce these weapons in a remarkably
    short time for something that was essentially absolutely new. Such things had never been built before. Oppenheimer—to Isidor Rabi, one of his best
    friends, who was a Nobel laureate physicist at Columbia University. Rabi said, “He reminded me of something
    someone said of a friend of mine once, that he never could decide whether he should be
    president of B’nai B’rith or the Knights of Columbus.” Let me do that again. “He reminded me of something a friend of
    mine said once—that he never could decide whether he should be president of B’nai
    B’rith or the Knights of Columbus.” Rabi said he [Oppenheimer] had an identity
    problem—he really didn’t have a solid core. He tended to be an actor—he tended to play
    roles. And, often, those were painful roles for his
    friends and those who loved him. Because he could be brittle, he could be cruel. He knew this. If he was talking in a classroom and one of
    his graduate students said something that he thought was stupid, he would say, “That’s
    stupid. You’re stupid. Think about this.” Then he would explain to him what he didn’t
    understand. So he was hard to be around, and he did this
    to everyone. Hans Bethe, one of the great Nobel laureates
    of the time—the man who figured out how the sun works, why the sun has so much energy
    production—told me once, “Oppenheimer could be cruel, and he was to me sometimes
    if I made a mistake. And we all make mistakes.” “But,” Bethe said, “I didn’t mind.” He minded enough at least to remember that
    it happened, of course. But when he was asked to run the Los Alamos
    [0:06:00] laboratory, Oppenheimer decided to take on the role of being the absolute
    perfect lab director. Someone who could master all the science that
    was involved, someone who could understand the various personalities and their conflicts,
    someone who could make peace every day in many ways, while staying ahead of everyone
    in the knowledge part. He played the role superbly, so superbly that
    when I interviewed Edward Teller, who was perhaps his worst enemy in the world—Oppenheimer’s,
    I mean—Teller was very difficult about Oppenheimer. “He was a complicated, difficult man,”
    he said to me. But I said, “What kind of lab director was
    he?” And Teller said, “Robert Oppenheimer was
    the best lab director I ever knew.” I thought of something that President [Dwight]
    Eisenhower wrote in one of his memoirs, that he, Eisenhower, had always most admired Hannibal—the
    general who defeated the Romans, or tried to. “Because,” Eisenhower said, “all of
    the stories of Hannibal’s life come down to us in the writings of his enemies.” If Edward Teller thought that Oppenheimer
    was the best lab director he’d ever known, he must’ve been spectacular. Rabi thought that Oppenheimer was not sufficiently
    focused. That to do Nobel-level work you really have
    to just be very practical and pragmatic about what you’re working on. Oppenheimer, who was insecure, intellectually
    even, believe it or not. Bethe said, “He was far more brilliant than
    the rest of us.” But he was still insecure, so he always had
    to know the latest thing that was going on. You can’t really quite get the job done
    if you’re constantly trying to scramble to keep up with the latest, so that you feel
    everyone sees that you know everything. Yet, what a fascinating man. He was a poet. He wrote several good poems that I’ve seen,
    and there are probably others. He decided that he wanted to understand the
    Bhagavad Gita better, so he casually learned Sanskrit. In fact, there’s a story about his time
    in Copenhagen working with Niels Bohr. When one of the graduate students who’d
    come there—Oppenheimer said, “Why don’t you give a lecture in Danish next month?” The graduate student said, “I don’t speak
    Danish.” Oppenheimer said, “Well, you have a month,
    you can learn it.” He was in addition physically, strangely charismatic. He was about six foot one, rail-thin—I mean,
    he weighed never more than 140 pounds in his life. [0:09:00] At the time of the first bomb test
    in 1945 at Los Alamos, he had just been through a bout of chicken pox and he only weighed
    115 pounds at six foot one. He was just narrowly framed. Someone said that he was the only adult they’d
    ever seen who would come to their house and casually sit in the baby’s highchair. We know how narrow those things are. He made powerful martinis and drank quite
    a lot, actually. I don’t suppose it showed in the exterior,
    because he was superbly mentally controlled. But that was a side of his life that hinted
    at some of his anxieties. He had been—as he himself described himself—a
    terrible, obnoxious child, just lording it over all the other kids by what he knew. He called up the New York Geological Society
    [misspoke: Mineralogical Club] at the age of 15 [misspoke: 12] and proposed to give
    a lecture on crystals, because he collected crystals. They didn’t know, he sounded totally knowledgeable,
    so they said, “Please, come.” When he arrived, this basically little boy,
    they were shocked, but it was a fully professional lecture that he gave. So a really complex, interesting, fascinating,
    brilliant man, who was able to mold himself to the circumstances, to do something that
    he knew would be historic. There has been at least speculation—I’m
    not sure how much I credit it—that both he and Edward Teller, who of course, contributed
    importantly to the invention of the hydrogen bomb, were two men who never quite worked
    at the Nobel level. But they found their way into history another
    way, by inventing these terrible weapons of war. Oppenheimer was visited early at the time
    of the opening of the Los Alamos laboratory, 1943, by a man who became his mentor during
    the war years, to help him understand the larger meaning of what this weapon might be. This was Niels Bohr, a great Danish physicist,
    probably the second-most original physicist after [Albert] Einstein in the twentieth century. It was Bohr who came up with the basic ideas
    that led to quantum physics—the idea that there’s another level of reality where particles
    and waves don’t operate the same way as they do in what we call classical physics,
    the real world that we all know. Bohr was also [0:12:00] a philosopher and
    a good one. Contributed in many different ways to thinking
    about how people communicate with the natural world. But he was prepared with this background to
    think very deeply about what it would mean to have a weapon so destructive that one bomb
    could destroy a city, and ten bombs ten cities, and a hundred bombs an entire continent. What would that mean? Was that just horror? Was that just destruction? [Background discussion] There’s a myth about the Manhattan Project
    that if the scientists—once they understood nuclear fission had been discovered—had
    gotten together in some secret place and agreed together not to tell the world about this
    terrible thing—that the world would be safe from atomic bombs. It’s a charming myth in its own way. Would that life were so simple. But the truth is, physics—starting around
    the turn of the twentieth century—had slowly begun exploring the kind of energies that
    occur in the core, in the nucleus of atoms. Before then, it had been basically chemistry
    that was the leading science. And chemistry is entirely involved with the
    electron shells around the nucleus. The energies are much, much lower. The energy from the fission of an atom produces
    about four million times as much energy in the form of heat as a chemical reaction. That’s why in a nuclear power plant, the
    amount of fuel is not much more than you could put in a small room. Yet it produces as much energy annually as
    150 carloads of coal or so forth. Actually, closer to a thousand. So the nucleus was what really intrigued scientists. It was clearly the source of the radiation
    that had been discovered, beginning with Marie Curie’s discovery of polonium with her husband,
    Frederic Joliot in 19, sorry, 1898. Just then, is that… Kelly: Marie Curie’s husband, it was Pierre
    Curie. Rhodes: Oh, yes. So… Kelly: Frederic Joliot was her son-in-law,
    so maybe you want to say that again. Rhodes: Beginning with the discovery by Marie
    [0:15:00] Curie and her husband, Pierre Joliot in the last… Kelly: Pierre Curie. Rhodes: I’m sorry. Once more. Kelly: Okay. Rhodes: Beginning with the discovery of polonium
    by Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, in the last decade of the nineteenth century,
    one by one, elements had been found that were, as she coined the term, “radioactive.” Across the early quarter of the twentieth
    century, and particularly in the 1930s, increasingly powerful methods of splitting atoms and chipping
    out pieces of the core of the atom had been worked through. Until finally, in 1933 [misspoke: 1932], with
    the discovery of the neutron, there was finally a way to fire a particle into a nucleus that
    wouldn’t be repelled by the nucleus, because the neutron had no electric charge, and that
    really began to be the breakthrough. So by 1939, when fission was discovered—actually,
    late ’38—in Nazi Germany by two radiochemists, it was an inevitable discovery. It wasn’t something where the scientists
    could get together in secret and say, “Oh, let’s not do this.” With the discovery of fission in Germany and
    the publication of that fact in a couple of different scientific journals, every physicist
    in the world went to the blackboard, went to the laboratory, pulled equipment off the
    shelf, ran the experiments, saw the energy release, and usually hit themselves in the
    head and said, “How on God’s earth did I miss that?” It was, as one of the scientists, Philip Morrison,
    said, “Overripe.” It’s amazing that it hadn’t been found
    before. But it had not. And with the discovery, all the countries
    in the world that had a reasonably advanced group of physicists working very quickly realized
    that with this kind of energy you had a new source of power and the potential for making
    a weapon of vast destructive power. So it wasn’t something people could say,
    “Let’s not do,” because everyone presumably would try to do it. Particularly Nazi Germany where the discovery
    was made. There was real terror on the part of our scientists,
    particularly those who were Jews, who had just escaped from anti-Semitic Germany and
    Hungary and come to the United States in rescue. A fear that if Hitler got the bomb, the Third
    Reich would lead the world for the next [0:18:00] thousand years. The Jews understood what would happen to them. They were already aware that the beginnings
    of the assembly of the Jewish people and even the early so-called Bullet Holocaust where
    they were shot in the pits was beginning. They had a powerful impetus to work on a bomb—to
    forestall a German bomb. The French, who had not yet been conquered
    by Germany, saw the possibility of a bomb and immediately started working on it. So did the English, so did the Italians. So did the Japanese—a little later, and
    not for very long, because they really didn’t have the kind of industrial capacity in wartime,
    as it soon was, to also build these huge installations that were needed to enrich uranium to weapons-grade
    level or to build the big reactors that would breed plutonium from uranium. They had to basically stay at the laboratory
    level rather than move on. But there’s no question that Japan would
    have built a bomb had it been able to do so. Everyone would have. There was just no doubt that this was going
    to be the ultimate weapon of war. Presumably, and this came early, the realization
    that the only way you could defend yourself—you certainly couldn’t build a building strong
    enough to not be blown up by an atomic bomb—the only way you could defend yourself would be
    to have a comparable weapon in hand. To be able to say, “If you destroy us, we’ll
    destroy you.” What we’ve come to call deterrence was already
    in place in 1941 in the minds of the scientists who understood the energies involved. Most people don’t know that, and they don’t
    understand what a race for time this whole thing was. It’s a popular exercise in public school
    these days to run a mock trial and ask whether Harry Truman should be impeached for having
    used the bomb on those nice Japanese. But if you think back to the beginning and
    you realize that we were really racing—we thought—against the Germans, and only very
    late in the war, after Germany was defeated, did we turn toward Japan. As an answer to what seemed like an implacable
    problem of the Japanese leadership absolutely refusing to surrender, even if their own population
    was slaughtered to the 100 million. It was something that was believed to be not
    merely a weapon, but also a defense against that weapon. This is the paradox that Niels Bohr, back
    at Los Alamos—having escaped from Denmark just ahead of the Gestapo—when the Gestapo
    went to Denmark to round up its 6,000 [misspoke: approximately 8,000] Jewish people. [0:21:00] With Bohr’s help and the help
    of the King of Sweden [misspoke: Denmark], the Swedish [misspoke: Danish] people secreted
    them out in the middle of the night on little boats over to Sweden and to protection for
    the rest of the war. One of only two European countries that saved
    almost all their Jews. Bulgaria being the other one. Because, the Danes saw them as Danish citizens
    first and as Jews second. So they didn’t want their citizens involved
    or murdered. Bohr escaped and arrived in England and was
    astonished to see how advanced the bomb program was in Britain, and by extension in the United
    States. Then he traveled to the United States and
    was allowed to go to the secret site in Los Alamos, because he was highly respected at
    every level in the government—right up to the president. By then, he’d thought it through. He even told Franklin Roosevelt—President
    Roosevelt—about his idea, which was that this was not simply a new weapon. It was also a new kind of reality that the
    world was going to have to deal with. That if you live in a world—well, one step
    back. Nations define themselves not only by their
    borders, but also by their ability to defend themselves against attacks. Their military—whatever they have that allows
    them to say, “This is us and you can’t take us over.” That’s a kind of boundary that says, “Here
    is a nation-state and if you try to cross into it in a violent way, we will fight you
    and protect our boundaries.” With nuclear weapons, the boundaries are all
    down. Someone attacks you with nuclear weapons,
    which are basically small bombs—the first ones were big, but they’re down to no bigger
    than this these days—there’s really no defense. If they come over in an ICBM [intercontinental
    ballistic missile] and enough ICBMs are fired, you can’t knock them all out of the sky. If someone carries one in in the back of a
    pickup truck, who would know? So the whole premise of a nation as a physical
    entity was demolished, Bohr realized, by this new discovery and this new development. That meant countries were going to have to
    rethink the whole thing. Who were they? What defined them? What sort of relationships could they have
    with their neighbors if, at the boundary of a dispute, they couldn’t go to war? Which is exactly what [0:24:00] the new situation
    was going to bring. Bohr imparted these thoughts to Oppenheimer
    and worked them through with Oppenheimer in his visit to Los Alamos. He said later, “They didn’t need me to
    build a bomb. They already knew what they were doing.” He actually did fiddle a little bit with one
    small part of the bomb, just for fun. But he wasn’t any better at it than the
    others who’d been trying to make this particular thing. They solved the problem eventually, fairly
    simply. But other than that, Bohr was there—he said—to
    try to impart this idea to people. Interestingly, it connects with something
    Oppenheimer had partly worked through already. When he was recruiting scientists for Los
    Alamos, he went around campuses all over America—this would have been ’41 and ’42 in particular—picking
    out the best minds that he could find. He couldn’t tell them what they were going
    to do. It was secret. He could tell them that they’d be working
    in a secret site in the Southwest, but he couldn’t tell them what they’d be working
    on. Some of them guessed it, of course—nuclear
    physics was a thriving enterprise by then. But what he did was say, “I can’t tell
    you what we’re doing. What I can tell you is that it will probably
    end this war, and it may end all war.” That was idealistic enough for this man recruiting
    for someone to make weapons of mass destruction, truth be told, that they signed on. They trusted him for that. But that idea is at the core of Bohr’s idea
    that there’s a complementarity, as he called it—a term out of quantum physics—to the
    bomb. It’s a weapon of mass destruction and that’s
    its dark side, but its complementary side is that it will inevitably either lead to
    the end of major war, or the destruction of the human world. A kind of take it or leave it proposition,
    to be sure. In my way of thinking, scientists—well,
    actually the English physicist and novelist C.P. Snow said this. In 1945, he said, “Physicists became the
    most important national asset a nation had.” Because they could design and build nuclear
    weapons, is what Snow meant. That was going to change the whole outlook
    of the world. Well, did it? If you take the number of man-made death from
    war, starting in the eighteenth century, and graph the numbers up through 1943, there is
    almost an exponential increase. Until, in 1943, the worst year in terms of
    war deaths in human history – 15 million people died in 1943. [0:27:00] That is both the Holocaust, the
    Jews who were being murdered in the death camps, and the war itself. Then the number starts to decline as the wars
    kind of began to wrap up, and in 1945 at the end of the war, it drops to about a million
    per year. Then, strangely, it stays there—between
    around one and two million up to the present time. So wow, what happened? I would argue, and Bohr would have argued,
    and others have argued, that what happened was the appearance of nuclear weapons in the
    world. It’s no longer possible to have the kind
    of large-scale war that would inevitably involve nuclear powers, whether primarily or secondarily. It’s no longer [possible] to have a large
    major war in the world with the involvement of major nuclear powers. Instead, what we’ve had is a series of kind
    of marginal proxy wars around the edges. Even then, what on earth led the United States,
    the most powerful country in the world militarily, to put itself in a position to be defeated
    by Vietnam? A small colonial country with a fiercely prideful
    and dedicated military, but no real resources to support that military. Well, they were a client of the Soviet Union,
    and we hesitated to push that situation so far that the Soviet Union would step in and
    back them with its ability to use nuclear weapons. Again and again across the years after the
    Second World War up to the present time, we’ve been deterred—not in some fancy theoretical
    level that the mandarins of nuclear theory have come up with over the years to rationalize
    building more bombs. But at the basic, gut level of existential
    fear of the destruction of all that we hold dear and love, including the physical world
    we live in and the people we live among. That’s what happened with the discovery
    of how to split a uranium atom into two pieces with the release of a little energy. Kelly: That’s marvelous. Nice. You did a summary of some very complicated
    ideas that changed all of western civilization. Unidentified Male: You got the bomb right
    there. _____ [0:29:33]. Kelly: There it is, a little model, right,
    I know. Oh, goodness. Wow. That’s very nice. Let’s see, you touched a lot of, that’s
    excellent. Now, what else can you do? Rhodes: Thank you. Kelly: Yeah. That’s excellent. So… Rhodes: So, we could go into more detail,
    we could go on to the hydrogen bomb. [0:30:00] We could talk… Kelly: Yeah. What do you think makes sense? I guess the hydrogen bomb comes before the,
    no, Acheson-Lilienthal Report. Rhodes: Oh, that’s first. Kelly: Yeah. Rhodes: Yeah, let’s do that. Kelly: That’s first, so let’s do that. Rhodes: Because, that’s still Oppenheimer. Kelly: Yeah, exactly. Rhodes: Oh, good. Okay. In fact, it’s a continuation of what we
    were just talking about. Kelly: Right. [Background discussion] Rhodes: At the end of the Second World War,
    with the defeat of Japan—Germany had been defeated the previous May, and we had discovered
    to our surprise that they’d never had a serious bomb program. But we didn’t know until later in the war,
    so we had to pursue that possibility. The atomic scientists, the men who had worked—men
    and a few women, not very many, sadly, but a few—who had worked on these weapons were
    engulfed with really complex feelings about what they had done. The news came back—despite Army censorship—from
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of tens of thousands of people killed almost instantly. Not—I want to stress—not by the radiation
    from the bombs. The bombs produced a lot of prompt neutron
    radiation, but it was focused pretty much on the same area where the blast effect from
    the bomb killed people anyway. The bombs were designed not to kill people
    with radiation. They were designed to be set off at a high
    enough altitude—about 1800 yards, in each case—that the fireball wouldn’t touch
    the ground and churn up dirt and irradiate the dirt and make a really dirty fallout cloud. So that didn’t happen. What all those stricken human beings were
    stricken with—the ones in the photographs—was fire. These were consummate fire weapons, because
    the fireball that erupts from a nuclear explosion starts out at about three million degrees
    Celsius, and as it expands taking in cold air, cools down to the point where you can
    even see it. Because, light—blue light—the color, the
    last color we can see as you go up the electromagnetic spectrum, is about 10,000 degrees. Three million degrees, those are [0:33:00]
    X-rays, those are gamma rays, you can’t see those. You just see something, I don’t know what
    you see, a cloud of dust around this thing. As it expands, it cools and at 10,000 degrees,
    it’s flashing what is like the world’s worst sunburn on everyone below. That’s what those burns were on Japanese
    women where the pattern of their kimono was burned into their skin. It ignited everything organic that was ignitable
    for about a half mile diameter circle around the center of the explosion. That started a mass fire—what we used to
    call a firestorm—and it was the firestorms that burned out Hiroshima, that burned out
    Nagasaki, and many, many people with it. There were then some people who were irradiated
    enough that their burns didn’t heal, and they died of complications of their burns. Because radiation kills cells and prevents
    them from dividing, so that the healing process couldn’t go beyond a certain point. [Edit out noise of something dropping?] But the myth that everyone in Hiroshima and
    Nagasaki died from radiation, I mean, it’s horrible enough that they died from fire. We don’t need to go on and talk about that
    other thing, because it isn’t true. I emphasize that only because Americans are
    so phobic about radiation. We encounter it every day when we take an
    airline flight, when we get an X-ray, when we have a CAT scan—so many contexts where
    radiation is a part of our world. But radiation from nuclear fission seems to
    have a special place of evil in the American mind. It’s getting in the way of our producing
    some good energy from nuclear power. That’s a little sidelight. But to go back to where we are, the first
    conception that the atomic scientists—still at Los Alamos, still at Oak Ridge, still in
    Chicago, still at Hanford—had of what had happened was that they somehow had to prevent
    it from ever happening again. They conceived that in this way: that as soon
    as another country—Soviet Union no doubt, Germany was destroyed—there were only two
    powers left in the world with any kind of military capacity. That was the Soviet Union and the United States. We were way ahead of the Soviet Union. They had lost 25 million people in the Second
    World War, and 25% of their entire industrial plant. They were not in great shape, but they were
    still a vast power with a lot of people and a strong—if evil—leader, [Joseph] Stalin. We knew that they would get to work as soon
    as they could on a bomb, and they did, just as soon as they got the news from Hiroshima. Stalin called in his chief scientist and said,
    “Comrade, give me the bomb. You have all the resources of the state at
    your disposal.” [0:36:00] So they were at work on the bomb. Some spies who had infiltrated our bomb program
    had carried designs of weapons to them and information about how to enrich uranium and
    so forth. The good scientists were aware of that. How long it would take them to get there was
    another question. But the scientists at Los Alamos and elsewhere
    in the Manhattan Project assumed that as soon as two countries were nuclear powers, there
    would be a nuclear arms race, followed inevitably by a world-scale nuclear war. Excuse me. For the scientists, it became a duty and a
    moral responsibility to find a way to control the atom—as they called it—to bring it
    under control, not only domestically in the United States, but throughout the world. Well, how do you do that? You do that with treaties, presumably. Treaties and inspection, treaties and the
    right to go into another country and look at what they’re doing. The United Nations was in formation at that
    time, and the obvious place to them seemed to be to go through the United Nations. President Truman felt much the same way, evidently. He also understood that international control
    was important to the future of this weapon and of his country. So, he delegated his secretary of state to—let
    me start over. It wasn’t, it was Stimson, wasn’t it,
    Secretary of War. Kelly: War, and Jimmy Burns was… Rhodes: He delegated his Secretary of State,
    Jimmy [James F.] Byrnes—a canny [South] Carolina politician who thought of himself
    as kind of the second president. [He] didn’t think much of Truman, even though
    Truman knew he was smarter than Byrnes. Anyway, Byrnes delegated the job to an Undersecretary
    of State, Dean Acheson—famous later for his negotiations and so on. Acheson in turn turned the job over to a committee
    of basically industrialists with the presence also of Robert Oppenheimer as their guide
    to the science involved in these new weapons. There were like five people and they were
    hard-headed business men and engineers. They sat down with Oppenheimer. For the first ten days they met together,
    he basically taught them enough nuclear physics so that they could understand how this weapon
    worked and what it was. He was a good teacher when he wanted to be,
    and he did a good job with them. Then they started thrashing out the problem
    of, “How do you control something like this? What [0:39:00] do you do? How does the whole world agree to something?” How do they protect against cheating—and
    on and on and on. They came up with the most extraordinary ideas. You would never imagine that a hard-headed
    industrial engineer would have signed on, but they were all sold and all unanimous about
    what came to be called the Acheson-Lilienthal Plan. [David] Lilienthal being the head of the Tennessee
    Valley Authority, and a highly-placed lawyer who was involved in government and who was
    one of the members of the committee. Here, I think Oppenheimer plugged in Bohr’s
    ideas—at least Bohr’s ideas are embodied in this document. I did talk to Rabi—one of the Nobel laureates
    who was close to Oppenheimer—who told me that he and Oppenheimer thrashed these ideas
    out at Rabi’s apartment next to Columbia University on the Upper East Side. East Side? Which side is Columbia on? Upper West Side. Anyway, we’ll skip that. I’ll go back. Rabi said that he and Oppenheimer worked through
    the whole idea for international control at his apartment near Columbia University in
    the months just before this committee began meeting. There was an input from the scientists, probably
    from Bohr’s ideas, Oppenheimer’s ideas, and then the test bid was hard-headed engineers
    and lawyers in this little committee. They argued, and they thrashed, and they argued,
    and they thrashed. Lilienthal wrote later that about every day
    someone said, “Oh, let’s just outlaw the damn things.” As if that was somehow a solution. Finally, they got such crosswise with each
    other that they decided to take a train trip down to Oak Ridge to see the big factories
    down there and learn a little more. There was a lot of whiskey shared on the train
    down. Everybody arrived with a hangover. But they’d solved some of their problems. Excuse me. There were a lot of shots of whiskey shared
    on the train down to Oak Ridge, but the five hungover committee members arrived at Oak
    Ridge and took the tour, and they resolved some of their disputes. Then they went on in General Groves’ private
    plane to Los Alamos and [0:42:00] visited that. They went to Hanford. By the time they got back to New York, they
    had really worked through their ideas. Their ideas were absolutely radical. Basically, it was fairly simple. The only way to control the development of
    nuclear weapons is to make sure the unique materials—highly-enriched uranium and man-made
    plutonium—never got out of the hands of the control system. Well, how do you do that? Where do you start? You start at the factory where you’re making
    the material? Do you start when the ore arrives at the factory? Do you start after you’ve made the material
    and you’re working on the weapon? No. You take over all the mines that produce the
    ore from which the materials will be made. The bomb—the mechanism of the bomb isn’t
    the important part. It’s those little cores—the plutonium
    core of the Fat Man bomb was about the size of a softball, and it destroyed an entire
    city. So you control the materials from the beginning
    to the end of the whole process by an international authority. That was their solution. Unfortunately, President Truman—playing
    the complicated politics of left and right as we do in this country—decided to assign
    the presentation of the Acheson-Lilienthal plan to the United Nations to a famous Wall
    Street guy named Bernard Baruch. Who had kind of set himself up as a wise man
    for government officials to visit, sitting on a bench on Wall Street. He would give them forth his wisdom, and they
    would go back to Washington and he would have solved their problems. That was Bernard Baruch. When Baruch read through the plan—he understood
    it, except for one key part. He asked Oppenheimer, “Where’s the police
    force if someone violates these terms?” Because, you see, if someone then with international
    control of all the parts, if someone started mining uranium somewhere off in the distance,
    that was a breach of the treaty. And was therefore a sign that someone was
    starting to try to cheat. You would react accordingly. You would have diplomatic discussions. If that didn’t work, you might have a war,
    a conventional war. If that didn’t work at the extreme, every
    other country that was threatened by this development—by this sneak attack, as it
    were, toward building weapons—could do the same thing. You would slowly then return to the deterrence
    that presumably was already in place in the world. It’s brilliant. In fact, it’s the only solution I’ve ever
    seen that would actually solve the problem. But Baruch couldn’t see that part. He just kept asking Oppenheimer, [0:45:00]
    “What if someone cheats? Where’s my army?” Oppenheimer finally explained to him the fact
    that the treaty was self-policing. He said, “If someone starts mining uranium,
    why, that would be an act of war, wouldn’t it?” But Baruch really didn’t get it. So he modified the proposal—renamed it the
    Baruch Plan, and presented it to the United Nations with the idea that the UN would have
    a small army that would be able to invade another country if someone started trying
    to build their own bombs. The Soviet Union wasn’t buying that. He also set it up so that only after every
    other country had complied with the treaty would the United States give up its small
    but existent arsenal. That was totally unacceptable to Stalin as
    well. So the plan fell by the wayside. And indeed, we had the arms race that everyone
    had feared. What we did not have—because those young
    scientists really hadn’t seen all the way through as Bohr had—what we did not have
    was nuclear war. We had a lot of close calls, we had a lot
    of near-misses, but no country even as powerful as we, the United States, have been, or the
    Soviet Union, ever dared begin a nuclear war. We lost the war in Vietnam because we wouldn’t
    use nuclear weapons. We lost the war in Korea because we wouldn’t
    use nuclear weapons, and so on. We just simply didn’t dare. McGeorge Bundy, who was a national security
    advisor—a very important one in the government—and then Secretary of Defense, was quoted once
    as saying, “A decision by a leader that would lead to one bomb on one city in one’s
    own country would be seen in advance as a catastrophic mistake. Ten bombs on ten cities would be unthinkable. A hundred bombs on a hundred cities would
    be beyond history.” He meant that one bomb—he said, basically—was
    sufficient to deter a war. That’s a little bit poetic perhaps—maybe
    not one bomb—but in a nuclear-armed world there’s no question that countries have
    not felt that they dared start that kind of war. So in an inadvertent and much more dangerous
    way, the Acheson-Lilienthal [0:48:00] plan worked. Except rather than being in a world where
    there was only the knowledge of how to build nuclear weapons on the part of various countries,
    but no physical weapons in the barn, as it were, we’re now in a world where there are
    lots of nuclear weapons. There are ten [misspoke: nine] nuclear powers
    and the damn things could go off. The other way we would’ve had deterrence
    at the level of human knowledge—which is basically what Bohr saw as the ultimate deterrent,
    which of course, it is. People who don’t have any knowledge of science
    can’t build nuclear weapons. People who do—and the sufficient infrastructure—can
    build nuclear weapons. And that makes them potentially a threat. It doesn’t really matter if you are attacked
    by a nuclear power and they destroy your country. If you have weapons safe from destruction
    that, a month from now or six months from now or ten years from now could destroy the
    other country as well, deterrence is still there. We don’t need 30 minutes of delivery time. It was all thought through—this unique and
    unusual problem. It was all thought through at the very beginning
    and then, in a way, it was lost. Because, the nation-state—this powerful
    invention of about three or four hundred years ago during the Enlightenment, when peoples
    come together because they share in common, in most countries, language and history. In the United States the idea of the country
    itself embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—that’s such a powerful
    bonding mechanism for a group of people. The leaders have so much power thereby, because
    these people are all willing to defer that power to the leader, the president, the prime
    minister, whoever, that it’s really hard to move beyond. One of the things I’ve found in writing
    histories of technology and science is people are really, really reluctant to change. They just don’t. If we’re talking about something as simple
    as switching from wood to coal in Elizabethan England—it took about 100 years. It took about 100 years to move from lamplight
    to the electric light. Every time a new technology is introduced
    into the world—whether military or civilian—there are lots of people resisting it for lots of
    reasons, including they have a stake in the older forms, they’ve got money invested
    in it, and so on and so on. The same thing is true for a nation-state. I mean, think of our president, Mr. [Donald]
    Trump, and his words about the border. That’s kind of an extreme version of this
    problem. It’s really hard for [0:51:00] people to
    think in terms of a whole world of people. We’re still to some degree tribal, national—whatever
    word you prefer—and the really hard, cold reality of nuclear war just hasn’t quite
    sunk in yet. In the meantime, we’ve had at least a dozen
    near-misses since the beginning of the Cold War. When it was within often a few hours that
    one side or the other was prepared to attack because they believed the other side was attacking. Some of them have occurred because heroic
    people have stepped in and stopped it. Some of them have not occurred just from sheer
    luck. There we are, living in this precarious balance
    between a kind of uneasy world peace on the one hand, and a war beyond human imagining
    on the other. Syngman Rhee—who was President of South
    Korea in the early years of that country—every time he visited President Eisenhower in the
    White House used to try to convince Eisenhower that he should join Rhee in attacking North
    Korea. He said, “You know, you can use nuclear
    weapons on them. That’s okay,” Rhee said. Eisenhower had a phrase that he used for that. He said, “Why, if we used nuclear weapons,
    there aren’t enough bulldozers in the world to scrape the bodies off the streets, sir.” And Rhee would say, “Oh, yes, yes, yes.” And then he’d say, “But if we really did
    it carefully—” I mean, his dream was to take over the rest of Korea. But Eisenhower had a much grimmer experience
    of war than Syngman Rhee ever did, and understood that it wouldn’t do. Kelly: Thank goodness. Rhodes: Indeed. Kelly: Wow. Oh, my. Rhodes: These are long, long answers. Kelly: No, these are wonderful. Rhodes: Is that okay? Can you cut… Kelly: These are perfect, because… Rhodes: Okay. Kelly: …I can imagine a, you know, again,
    we’re, we’re beginning to work with educators and high school, high school teachers. And, that’s our new… Rhodes: Oh, good. Kelly: …you know, sort of… Rhodes: Yeah. Kelly: …audience, in addition to online. But I think it makes a lot of sense. Rhodes: Yeah. Kelly: You know, where can, people learn by
    listening these days… Rhodes: Sure. Kelly: …and watching, so they could watch,
    you know, we can cut this up in, you know… Rhodes: Good. Kelly: …half-hour… Rhodes: Good. Kelly: …20-minute segments. So, it’ll be perfect. Rhodes: I’ve just done this for 40 years
    now and I’ve distilled out what, to me, are the most important parts of the story. Kelly: Oh, yeah, no, it’s fabulous. Rhodes: And, the meaning of it, most of all,
    because I don’t think most people have thought beyond these are big bombs, they’ll blow
    people up. Kelly: Yeah, no. Rhodes: And, it’s so much deeper than that. Kelly: Oh, yes. Rhodes: Yeah. Kelly: So, any rate, well, those were great. Now, we haven’t touched, I mean, we were
    talking about after this we might go into the hydrogen bomb. Rhodes: Ah, yes. Okay. There’s [0:54:00] a phrase from somewhere
    that I’ve always enjoyed quoting. That is, “The first act is the tragedy and
    the second act is the first act repeated as a comedy.” If you appreciate dark comedy, the development
    of the hydrogen bomb falls in the comedy part. Just to encapsulate it in one image—when
    at his trial for supposed security breaches, Robert Oppenheimer was asked, “If you had
    had a hydrogen bomb for the Hiroshima bombing, wouldn’t you have used it on Hiroshima?” Oppenheimer said, “No.” The lawyer said, “Why not?” Oppenheimer said, “The target was too small.” Which says everything there is to say about
    hydrogen bombs. They are capable of being made—not in kiloton,
    thousands of tons of TNT equivalent like fission weapons, like uranium and plutonium weapons—they’re
    capable of being made as large as you want to make them. Because, they’re basically a thermonuclear
    burning process, a sort of a radioactive burning process. If you add more fuel in the form of hydrogen,
    you get more explosion. To take one of my favorite examples, Dr. Edward
    Teller—sort of the dark figure in all of these stories—once sat down to figure out
    if you could make a bomb with 1,000-megaton explosive force. That’s a thousand million tons of TNT equivalent. For comparison, remember that the Hiroshima
    bomb was about 15 kilotons, not even close to one megaton—much less a thousand megatons. And the Nagasaki bomb was 22 kilotons. Again, a long way away from even one megaton,
    much less a thousand. The largest bomb ever exploded in a test was
    a Soviet bomb that was 57 megatons. The only reason it was that small—they designed
    it at 150, but they were afraid it would just destroy all of Siberia. So they took off the uranium outer shell that
    was part of the material that made the big explosion and replaced it with a lead shell. Which would not react—would just melt, blow
    away, and even then, it was 57 megatons. The plane—a fast jet bomber which dropped
    it from a high altitude and then skedaddled—the plane was painted white and still had burns
    all over the wings by the time it got back to Moscow. And that was still not a hundred megatons. Teller’s idea was really the kind of grandiose
    toying with the natural world that he thought was interesting to do. But [0:57:00] he realized very quickly that
    the bomb wouldn’t be an advantage in any way. Because, the fireball would expand to 10 miles
    in diameter—I’m sorry, in, yeah, in diameter. Because the fireball would expand to 10 miles
    in diameter, and the atmosphere is only 10 miles deep. That meant that any energy coming off the
    fireball would just blow out into space. It wouldn’t—you’d get some lateral movement,
    but it would go that way mostly, and that would mean that you might as well use a smaller
    bomb. Why build this giant thing? But that’s what’s possible with thermonuclear
    weapons. You can make them as big as you want. Once the idea was broached—and it was broached
    during the war by Teller and Italian Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi. They were walking one day, fairly early in
    the war. I think it was around 1942, on the campus
    of Columbia University in New York, and they were thinking about the immense amount of
    energy that an atomic bomb releases. I mean, truly an immense amount of energy,
    enough to make its light so powerful that it could actually compress iron and steel
    and uranium. The light—we don’t even think of light
    as having the push energy—but when you get that much in one place, it does. And the temperature, of course, is 300 million
    degrees at the outset, which is hot as the interior of the sun. Fermi was playing around with the numbers
    and he said to Teller, “You know, I wonder if we could use an atomic bomb to set off
    hydrogen and make a thermonuclear weapon.” Well, Teller ran with the idea. He was someone who when he had an idea, would
    think it through and work it through and then toss it away and let someone else finish the
    job of actually making it work rather than just theorizing it. But that was his baby after that, and all
    through the war he tried to see how you could make it. But fundamentally, you couldn’t make one
    until you had an atomic bomb. So Oppenheimer would say, “Why don’t you
    work with us on the atomic bomb? You can’t make your thermonuclear until
    we have this one.” Teller wasn’t interested. “Oh, that’s already done,” he’d say. So Oppenheimer finally said, “Look, Edward,
    you go off and do whatever you want. If I have a problem that I think you could
    help me with, I’ll give you a call.” And Teller just hung around and played the
    piano all night and thought about hydrogen bombs. After the war, there was a big interregnum
    when it wasn’t clear how this whole enterprise was going to be controlled legally and politically. There was a delay. Teller was incensed to hear Oppenheimer once
    say, “We should give Los Alamos back to the Indians.” Oppenheimer didn’t want to make any more
    bombs. He didn’t see why we needed them at that
    [1:00:00] point, when the war was over and we had won. But Teller was still dreaming of this powerful
    new weapon and continued to pursue it up to around 1948, ’49, with a design that, as
    it turned out, would never have worked. In fact, was tested later on and did not work. Certainly, not as well as he thought it would. So, he was increasingly upset and increasingly
    paranoid, believing that somehow—excuse me—so, Teller was increasingly upset and
    increasingly paranoid that somehow the forces behind Oppenheimer were thwarting his dream. The breakthrough came for Teller, and the
    people on his side, with the Soviet test of its first atomic bomb in August of 1949. There was panic in Washington. Everyone was running around, “They’ve
    got the bomb. What do we do now?” Which sounds strange, because we had the bomb. If they got the bomb, the balance of forces
    was the same. We had been the monopolist before. I’ve heard people in this industry say,
    “We should’ve bombed the Russians before they got the bomb.” As we didn’t have very many bombs, we really
    couldn’t have done it. But the reason for the panic was really quite
    realistic in this regard. The Soviets had never moved their four million
    men on the ground in Europe and Germany back to the Soviet Union after the war was over. They’d left them there, because of course,
    they took control of all of Eastern Europe. We, on the other hand, had rushed out as fast
    as we could get out. Curtis LeMay, who was later the head of the
    Strategic Air Command, complained. He said, “Everybody just dropped their tools
    and ran home.” He was horrified, because he knew the Soviets
    were still there. But as long as they had an army on the ground
    in Europe and we had the bomb—that was a balance of forces, too. But then they got the bomb, and suddenly the
    balance was broken. And that’s why people panicked. The military’s perspective was “We need
    something that rebalances the forces.” Teller was there to say, “Hydrogen bombs
    would do that for you. It can take out not only cities, it can take
    out whole states, can take out whole armies in one explosion.” And—speaking to the Strategic Air Command,
    because all we had in those days were bombers, planes, we didn’t have ICBMs—you can carry
    a lot more destructive force on one bomber with a hydrogen bomb than if you have to carry
    five or ten or twenty atomic bombs. So, from the SAC’s point of view—Strategic
    Air Command’s point of view—this was something they wanted, so that they could fulfill their
    mission. [1:03:00] It was their mission to destroy
    the Soviet Union if we went to war. Because they knew some of their planes would
    be shot down, but if each one was carrying a megaton-scale bomb, then even if only one
    or two got through it would be enough. LeMay had this cockamamie dream that we would
    overfly Eastern Europe and bomb all of Eastern Europe, because it was communist now—not
    thinking about the people. Then we would fly over the Soviet Union and
    bomb them into destruction. And then, if we had any bombs left, we’d
    fly over Red China and bomb them, too. I mean, some Navy officer who attended one
    of LeMay’s briefings wrote in his diary afterwards, “I came away with the impression
    that all of that side of the world would be one smoking, reeking ruin within three hours.” So that’s where the pressure from the Air
    Force to move toward a hydrogen weapon came from. On the other hand, Oppenheimer was now Head
    of the Scientific [misspoke: General] Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission. In October of 1949—responding to the first
    Soviet bomb, the SAC—the Science [misspoke: General] Advisory Commission—was asked by
    the Atomic Energy Commission to give them its best judgment about the feasibility of
    building a hydrogen bomb. They met and wrestled with this issue. Some of the members of the committee, including
    Enrico Fermi and Rabi, were so horrified by the idea of building a weapon of this scale
    of destruction that they basically wrote an ancillary report that said, “This thing
    is a weapon of evil in any light and should never be built.” But the main committee’s response was to
    say, “Our proper response to the Soviet development of an atomic bomb should be to
    build more fission weapons, more atomic bombs, and expand our arsenal.” Well, where was our arsenal at that point? We had, as I recall, something less than 100
    Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs by then, with the capability of really rapidly expanding
    production. We were at a point in the development of the
    idea of how to make a hydrogen bomb, where the fuel—which was presumed to be a special
    form of hydrogen called deuterium—would not be enough to sustain a big thermonuclear
    explosion. You would have to have had yet another kind
    of special form of hydrogen called tritium [1:06:00] in increasingly large quantities. As they did the calculations, up to a kilogram
    or more. That’s a lot of a gas. Well, it turned out that the way you made
    tritium was to put lithium—a metal—in slugs into a nuclear reactor, and let the
    big neutron flux breed tritium in the lithium, by converting the lithium to a form of hydrogen. But the amount of slugs that would have to
    be put in the reactor to make even a small amount of tritium would be the equivalent
    of making the plutonium for 75 fission bombs. To get a little bit of tritium for one hydrogen
    bomb that you really didn’t know how to make, Teller was proposing that we eliminate
    the production of 75 or 150 or however many atomic bombs, which would be the equivalent
    in blast force. It was crazy. But Teller’s dream was this dream, “Let’s
    build this great bomb. This is my bomb,” even though it wasn’t
    really workable yet. With that imbalance, the committee rightly
    said, “We believe the proper response is to continue working on the hydrogen bomb at
    the present level of intensity and investment. But at the same time, increase the production
    of fission bombs, knowing that they will do the same job.” The crazy Air Force dream of having a bomb
    that only one plane had to carry—and the Teller dream of having a bomb with his name
    on it that was vastly more destructive than anything else human beings had ever designed
    and made—was something that all of the right-wing component of the physics community was pushing. Behind Teller, against what was believed to
    be Oppenheimer’s perfidy in preventing the development of the hydrogen bomb. The chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission—who
    was a mean, politically really almost fascist guy named Lewis Strauss—had it in for Oppenheimer. Because Oppenheimer had exercised some of
    his skill at insulting people on this man, and this man was a very proud man, and a wealthy
    man. Strauss was gunning for Oppenheimer anyway
    and just assumed that he had worked some sort of mesmeric magic on the committee—this
    committee made up of hard-nosed Nobel laureates of science of various [1:09:00] kinds—and
    convinced them against their better judgment that fission bombs would do just because Oppenheimer
    didn’t want someone to outdo him in explosive force. These things sound so infantile, but the record
    is clear that this is what was going on. All glazed over like a beautiful birthday
    cake with various kinds of theories and ideas and rationalizations for these positions. But they were pretty primitive., they really
    were. The Air Force was out for Oppenheimer, Teller
    was out for Oppenheimer. The Air Force was out for Oppenheimer, Teller
    was out for Oppenheimer. Many of the scientists at the Berkeley laboratories
    were out for Oppenheimer. On the other side, the guys on the committees
    were very much on his side. One spinoff from this was the famous Oppenheimer
    having his security clearance lifted and having to go through a “security hearing,” so-called. So the official report of the General Advisory
    Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission proposed not building the hydrogen bomb. Not not building it, but simply not accelerating
    the development of something that—as they all pointed out—they didn’t know how to
    make. When that meant using crucial materials in
    limited supply that could be used to make a large arsenal of atomic bombs that would
    do the same. In fact, do it better, because the blast center
    would be multiple all over rather than just one. So in a way, you get more power, more bang
    for the buck from using a number of bombs. But two things happened. The first was that a German scientist who
    had worked at Los Alamos during the war turned out to be a spy. His name was Klaus Fuchs, and after the war
    he had gone to Great Britain and was working on the British bomb program. In fact, in a sense, he was the first nuclear
    proliferation agent in the history of the world, because he first delivered information
    about the American bomb to the Soviet Union. He was a dedicated communist. Then, when he went to England, delivered information
    about the American bomb to the British. They knew a lot, but he knew a lot, too, so
    he helped them. Then later on, after he got out of jail when
    he was arrested in England—he was held for nine years and released—and he opened a
    research institute in East Berlin, in East Germany. And presumably proliferated the bomb beyond
    from there—in fact, he did. Because it was the Soviet bomb that helped
    the Pakistanis build—through China—build their bomb and off we go. It’s really a strange kind of web of personal
    delivery of information from one to another. Against the rules, needless to say. Anyway, Fuchs was one of the spies. There was an American named Ted Hall—who
    was also a dedicated communist—who basically unknowingly, operating independently, duplicated
    the same [1:12:00] information. So the Soviets had good reason to trust it. Because the spy thing broke in the middle
    of this debate over the hydrogen bomb, it just terrified this country even more. We just felt beleaguered. And, then on top of that—wait, I’m blocking. I’ll come back to it. Oh… Kelly: North Korean invasion? Or… Rhodes: And then on top of that, Lilienthal—who
    was now overall in charge of atomic energy matters in the government—told Truman that
    we really shouldn’t build the hydrogen bomb. Truman said, “Let’s ask the Joint Chiefs
    of Staff. They are the military leaders.” As soon as they heard about it, they said,
    “Oh, yeah, we need that.” Because they were thinking of this balance-of-power
    problem again. That the Soviets had military on the ground
    in Europe and bombs, and we only had bombs. The hydrogen bomb was somehow going to magically
    adjust that balance for us. The fact that, obviously, the Soviets would
    get the hydrogen bomb sooner or later, that we, the United States, was much more vulnerable
    to these big bombs. Because we have big cities and more of them
    than the Soviet Union had. These things went by-the-by. It was just, “Let’s get this new weapon,
    it will save us.” Early in 1951 [misspoke: 1950], on the advice
    of the Joint Chiefs—against the advice of the scientists—President Truman authorized
    the accelerated development of the hydrogen bomb, which is nice. It’s like saying, “I would like a Christmas
    tree to magically appear in my front yard.” But that doesn’t make it happen, just because
    you order it to happen. The scientists still had to figure out how
    to make this happen. There were various ideas tried. The first Soviet hydrogen bomb—which many
    of our people grudgingly refused to acknowledge—was a hydrogen bomb, consisted of layers. There was a layer in the middle of uranium,
    surrounded by a layer of a solid form of hydrogen—actually, lithium, which would breed tritium in the
    course of the explosion. So another way of actually having a solid
    fuel rather than a gas around. And then another layer of uranium, another
    layer of lithium, and so on. It was a big, bulky thing, but the one that
    they tested delivered something like 400 kilotons of explosive force. Well, our rule was it wasn’t really a hydrogen
    bomb unless it was at least a full megaton. But from their perspective, it did the same
    job. Half a megaton of explosive force is a lot
    of explosive force. They in a way were a little bit ahead. We knew that design. Teller had come up with that design on his
    own, independently. He called it the “alarm clock,” because
    he hoped it [1:15:00] would, as he said, “Wake up the American scientific community.” We eventually built a few, but they were big
    clumsy bombs. They weren’t really a very efficient design. The breakthrough came after a lot of work
    with early computers. The first use for the digital computer was
    to calculate the hydrodynamics of an exploding hydrogen bomb, to see if the design would
    actually work. I mean, the computer figures into this kind
    of weird, sinister, angelic phenomenon of nuclear weapons as well. Every time they ran a simulation on whether
    the explosion would really progress beyond simply the trigger atomic bomb—it would
    get to a certain point and then it would cool off at the edges and then it would fail. Teller was just tearing his hair. He was desperate, he wanted his bomb and somehow,
    he knew he was right about it. And people like Oppenheimer were thwarting
    him. They were deliberately trying to prevent a
    hydrogen bomb, because they had some weird idea that if you didn’t build one, the Soviets
    wouldn’t build one. Teller had grown up in Hungary as a little
    boy during the First World War. After the First World War, Hungary was briefly
    taken over by a communist group of Hungarians, and they had a little communist interregnum
    during which soldiers were posted in people’s houses. Teller’s father was a banker; they were
    a wealthy family. Teller was living in this fancy apartment
    with his mother and father and Soviet soldiers, who—he pointed out—would piss in the potted
    plants. They were crude from his point of view, and
    they were scary. And there were bodies turning up in the river. I mean, it was a scary time in Budapest at
    that point. Because Jewish children in the nineteenth
    century were commandeered by the Russians for their military, and would be taken off
    at eight or nine years of age and kept in the military for up to 25 years. It was really scary to be a Jew in Hungary
    any time during that long period, from Russia to the Soviet Union to after the First World
    War. Teller’s grandmother used to tell him, “Edward,
    if you don’t behave, the Russians will come and take you away.” True. So he really was terrified of the possibility
    of a Soviet takeover of the United States. He once said in anger about this question
    of whether to work on the hydrogen bomb, “If we don’t develop the hydrogen bomb, I will
    be a prisoner of the Soviets in the United States within five years.” That’s how he felt about it. But he didn’t know how to do it. So they struggled and struggled. [1:18:00] There was a Polish mathematician,
    a very charming man named Stanislaw Ulam, who had gotten interested in physics. Mathematicians can be converted into theoretical
    physicists fairly easily—they just have to learn a little physics, because theoretical
    physics is basically mathematical. Ulam was a very good mathematician. He made some major breakthroughs in mathematics
    in the course of his life. But he had been commandeered to work with
    Teller during the war at Los Alamos on the hydrogen bomb ideas and had done a lot of
    calculations with Teller. Ulam was working one day at this home—and
    I heard this from him—I interviewed him in his adobe home in Santa Fe late in his
    life. He was working on the numbers trying to see—he
    had come up with an idea to make a bigger fission weapon. He thought, “What would happen if I had
    a fission bomb and next to it another fission bomb, smaller with less material, and then
    another one and another one, as many as you wanted?” This one could be used, using the blast wave
    to set off and squeeze and set off the second one using less material, which in turn the
    blast wave could be directed to set off the third. With each explosion, you’d have a bigger
    and bigger explosion—all happening within a few millionths of a second. So essentially, a way to get to megaton range
    weapons at the fission level. Teller immediately saw that this would work
    for, well, not only Teller, but first of all—let me start over. Ulam immediately saw that you could do this,
    too, and maybe make a hydrogen bomb. That if you could separate the trigger from
    the hydrogen material and only use the radiation in the form of neutrons—which is basically
    what the blast is. To squeeze an amount of hydrogen gas or hydrogen,
    liquid hydrogen, to the point where it was hot enough and the atoms were squeezed close
    enough together to start thermonuclear burning—you might be able to set off a thermonuclear explosion
    much bigger than the trigger was. He at that point shared the idea with Teller. And they didn’t get along at all. Teller didn’t like Ulam. He thought he was stupid, which he was not. I think Ulam thought Teller was stupid, which
    he was not. They had nothing good to say about each other
    when I talked to them. But Teller took one look at this and argued
    that it wouldn’t work for about a half an hour. Then he started thinking about it and he had
    a second breakthrough. That was that if you used the blast, everything
    would blow apart before you could get much yield out of this thing. But that the radiation which [1:21:00] travels
    at the speed of light—radiation in the form of gamma rays and X-rays and whatever other
    rays are pouring off this little fireball—could itself squeeze a mass of hydrogen in some
    form to the point where it was hot enough and compressed enough to begin thermonuclear
    burning. With that, they had the breakthrough. That was the key idea. They went immediately and filed a patent under
    their joint names, Ulam and Teller. They wrote a paper that explained how the
    thing worked and shared it with the laboratory. They were at Los Alamos at the time—this
    is 1951, ’52. Everyone who saw it said, “Eureka!” including
    when it was reported to the General Advisory Committee, Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer said, “The reason we were hesitant
    before is you didn’t have a good idea. What, are we going to waste all this good
    material on something that might not work when we can make regular bombs with it that
    we know will work? Now, you have a good idea.” He famously said, “When you see something
    that’s technically so sweet, you just have to go ahead and build it and then decide what
    the moral issues are and so forth.” That was Oppenheimer’s perspective on the
    world. They proceeded and 18 months later—I think
    it was November 1, 1952, on an island in Bikini [misspoke: Enewetak] Atoll in the middle of
    the South Pacific. This huge device, which was not a bomb—it
    was an experiment. But it certainly exploded like a bomb. There was a tank of liquid deuterium—one
    of the special forms of hydrogen that’s more reactive than ordinary hydrogen—the
    size of a railroad tank car, sitting on end under a shelter to keep the sun off. With a rounded top, which is where the trigger—the
    primary—as it was now called, was set that would set off the rest of the explosion. The secondary—which was cylindrical—was
    this tank of liquid hydrogen surrounded by layer after layer of cryogenic cooling systems. When everything was ready, they backed off
    on ships twenty miles away—they weren’t sure what the yield would be—and fired this
    thing. It went with—what was the yield of that
    first bomb? It was a megaton [10.4 megaton] yield. It was stunning. It was this huge fireball, a column bigger
    around than a bunch of ships together. It went up 120,000 feet into the stratosphere
    and then spread out in its characteristic mushroom cloud for a hundred miles in every
    direction. There’s film footage of it and photographs
    of it, but they don’t do justice to—one of the people who was there told me, [1:24:00]
    “I was twenty miles away. When I took off my mask that I was wearing
    to shield myself from the light so I could see it, it felt as if I had opened an oven
    door.” That much heat that far away was coming off
    this huge explosion. Within a couple more years, we had gotten
    the bomb down to the size of a Cadillac, and it was now fueled with lithium, so a solid
    fuel. You didn’t have to have cryogenic cooling,
    which was enormously complicated to maintain—to keep that liquid hydrogen at minus 270 degrees
    Fahrenheit or something like that. The bombs were now deliverable, and they were
    loaded onto SAC planes and flown continually back and forth around the Soviet Union. Then in 1954, primarily because of the work
    of Andrei Sakharov, the famous Russian scientist, the Soviets had figured out how to do a two-stage
    primary/secondary bomb. They, too, had tested such a weapon and we
    were back equally at odds with each other. It never got us anywhere, it just put us all
    at greater peril. I tell audiences when I talk about this history,
    “The first thing that a country learns when it becomes a nuclear power is how much it’s
    put itself in danger.” Because, a little country like North Korea—as
    we’ve been seeing these last years—is suddenly in the target sights of every major
    nuclear power in the world. Because they’ve got the potential to destroy
    a major power. On the other hand, they’ve at least contingently
    made themselves invulnerable to such an attack, because they have the capability to retaliate. It’s like a little dog with the biggest
    claws and teeth you’ve ever seen. So that process—which could have happened
    so differently. Rabi and Fermi, the ones who had said, “This
    is an evil thing in any light,” had proposed as one answer to the question, “Should we
    build the hydrogen bomb?” that that was the perfect time to go once again to the Soviet
    Union and say, “Can we negotiate some kind of thing about this? Can we avoid taking that next step, which
    increases the radius of destruction by tens and hundreds of miles?” Nobody liked that in Washington. It was the height of the Cold War. We thought we could do anything, and we should
    do anything. And the enemy was so evil and dangerous that
    anything we did was justifiable, [1:27:00] except go to war, because we didn’t dare,
    thank God. [Background discussion] Kelly: Goodness. And, there we are, and the rest is history. Rhodes: We hope. Kelly: I don’t know. Rhodes: If we still have history. Kelly: Oh, dear. I know, and now we’re building, well, new
    weapons, we don’t know. Rhodes: Oh, we’re just reshuffling the deck
    chairs, as they say, we’re not doing anything new with weapons. Kelly: I guess, I hope not. Rhodes: There was another way possible. Kelly: There’s what? Rhodes: There was another generation of weapons
    possible. The energy that comes off the fireball of
    a nuclear weapon is unbelievably large. When Teller was trying to figure out a way
    to invent a Star Wars system—so-called Strategic Defense Initiative—he envisioned using X-ray
    lasers to simultaneously shoot Soviet incoming warheads out in space with enough laser energy
    to make them heat up and explode. Not fission or fusion, but just explode. Well, how do you get all that energy into
    space? You have a big wire running down to the ground? No. The only way he can see to make his dream
    system work was to have bombs. The so-called bomb-pumped X-ray laser was
    his idea for a sleek, small device that could simultaneously take out a thousand Soviet
    war—you see, he always thought big, even though he didn’t necessarily think very
    clearly. But what that tells you is there’s a lot
    of energy coming off a nuclear fireball. You don’t have to let that energy just dissipate
    as heat, which is what all these bombs do. You can convert it by putting the right kind
    of filters into microwaves. You can convert it into visible light. You can convert it to anything you want in
    the electromagnetic spectrum just by bouncing it and filtering it and so forth. Well, imagine exploding a warhead overhead
    that would produce a directed beam that could burn out one city’s electronics and everybody
    in it and so forth. That level of use of bombs has never been
    developed. Obviously, it’s been thought about—just
    because it’s interesting to think about what you do with so much energy in one little
    place. So in a way, we stopped short of really being
    crazy. We’ve only been crazy to the extent that
    we’re prepared to destroy human civilization. When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the
    Soviet Union, he was a horse of a different color. [1:30:00] Most of the guys who’d been the
    head of the country after Stalin had been apparatchiks. They’d been in the government in Moscow,
    they were city boys—they were city slickers in a way. Maneuvered with each other, knocked each other
    in and out of power, grew old together—reached a point where they even no longer believed
    in their own dogma. But the country was shambling along as best
    it could. It had actually reached the point by 1980
    where one of the most bountiful countries in the world couldn’t even grow enough grain
    to feed its own people. It had to buy it from us. Gorbachev was a child of the peasantry. He had grown up on a collective farm. He had worked side-by-side with his father
    and his uncle and his aunt and his cousins harvesting grain and all the rest. He was awarded a four-year scholarship to
    Moscow [State] University as the 17-year-old who harvested more grain in one summer in
    his seventeenth year than any other 17-year-old in the country. He was awarded a Lenin medal [Order of Lenin]
    for that, as well as the four-year scholarship. He said years later, “That Lenin medal always
    meant more to me than all the other medals I was awarded.” So he was a country boy. He was jeered at by these slickers in Moscow. They sent him out to the provinces from whence
    he’d come to run the regional programs. He did a superb job; he was a very smart man. He developed a mentor in the form of the man
    who soon became the head of the KGB. Who saw in Gorbachev the kind of intelligence
    and passion and larger perspective on the world that the country needed. But when he was brought into the Politburo
    in 1983, he was brought in as Secretary of Agriculture. His job was to somehow make the wheat grow
    again so that they could feed the people. And to be fair to the whole process. In the course of rapid industrialization starting
    in the 1920s and forward, and then after this debacle of a Second World War, which just
    about destroyed the country—they had basically starved the countryside of material development. For example, they just didn’t have much
    of an electrical grid outside the cities. Because everything was fed into building up
    the cities and the industries around the cities, and the farmers were like— “Grow the grain,
    comrade, shut up.” From Gorbachev’s perspective, everything
    had to change. His first priority was to make [1:33:00] sure
    everybody had enough to eat. His second priority was to develop the countryside
    in all of its potential—human and otherwise—up to the level of the cities. He worked through with some of his wise friends
    whom he’d developed over the years. I should throw in here, he went on vacation. This was one of the perks of being a member
    of the Party and a leader of the Party. He went on vacation as a young man to places
    like Italy. And looked around and couldn’t figure it
    out. “How could these people who weren’t even
    communists have all this wealth and prosperity? Why did they all own personal homes and have
    automobiles and so on, and good clothes and plenty of food?” He was struck by that as so many of the younger
    generation of communist leaders were. It really put a dent in his enthusiasm for
    the Party’s ideas, of course. For him, he said later, the turning point
    was Chernobyl. When Chernobyl blew up and he went through
    the whole experience of dealing with it—first by trying to hide it. And then, after two or three days, he realized
    he couldn’t hide it because the radiation had drifted over Finland and into Sweden and
    across the world. Then he opened up about it in that glasnost-ian
    way that he was beginning to think through. [He] was very direct about what had happened—but
    from his perspective. He understood that what had happened is bad
    management. Making all of these nuclear power plants military
    secrets because they were dual-purpose plants. You could use them to make electricity or
    you could use them to make plutonium. They were made that way deliberately, so they
    could be used in wartime. Just as Soviet automobile factories were set
    up so you could quickly convert them to making tanks. Everything was dual-use. But unfortunately, the design that made it
    possible to make plutonium was deadly for trying to use it to make electricity. Because, it had a fatal, built-in flaw that
    meant that if it lost its coolant, it would go faster, not shut down. That’s in fact what happened at Chernobyl
    and the whole thing blew sky-high. But from Gorbachev’s point of view, Chernobyl
    was not a flaw in nuclear power. It was a flaw in the system that led to the
    development of such a dangerous reactor with no chance to learn how to do better with nuclear
    power. Because one plant, if it had a problem, couldn’t
    report that problem to another plant, even with an identical reactor. So there was no learning curve. Everybody was off for themselves. Well, all of this came together, and he said
    to one of his closest advisors, [Eduard] Shevardnadze, he said, “The whole system is rotten. [1:36:00] It’s got to be changed.” He had hoped before to adapt, and that’s
    when he realized you couldn’t adapt—[you] had to throw it out and start over. That’s where Gorbachev came from when he
    went—actually, Chernobyl was 1986, just before the summit at Reykjavik—so it really
    was a fresh lesson for him when he went to Ronald Reagan. Reagan, who had doubled the defense budget
    in his first year in office, which scared the hell out of the Soviets. “Why would he do that unless he wants to
    start a war? And comrade, he’s got a lot more stuff than
    we do.” They were scared. Then when Reagan proposed SDI [Strategic Defense
    Initiative] and was proposing to spend billions of dollars on it. The American press says, “This is silly,
    and it won’t work.” “But the Americans are spending of billions
    of dollars on it, there must be something in it.” So Gorbachev proposed to Reagan innocently
    that maybe they should have a little preliminary meeting before the summit that had been planned
    the following year to be held in Washington, D.C. But in fact, Gorbachev convinced the Politburo
    through a bunch of clever manipulations that they should agree that if he could, he would
    get Reagan’s agreement to begin the elimination of all nuclear weapons. From Gorbachev’s point of view, not only
    would that make the world safer, but it would also cut the defense budget way down and make
    it possible to divert some of those funds to feed the people, to develop the countryside—to
    do all the things he’d hoped to do for his country. Well, the Reagan people fell for it and Reagan
    was counseled basically to just take whatever the man gives you and put it in your pocket,
    but don’t give him anything. That was his brief for the weekend that he
    was going to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev. They got there, and it turned out to be something
    totally different. At one point, Reagan says—it’s in the
    transcript— “Mr. Gorbachev, this isn’t a preliminary to a summit. This is a summit.” He was shocked, but he joined into the whole
    summit. So then the second question for me was, “Why
    did these two men—of all the leaders of the Cold War—come together and actually
    talk about eliminating nuclear weapons?” It never happened before. For me, the answer—as I read their autobiographies
    and books about them and the transcripts from meetings—was they were both outsiders. Reagan was a country, or actually, a small-town
    boy who’d grown up fairly poor. His father was a semi-alcoholic shoe salesman,
    who was never really quite enough. He [Reagan] worked as a lifeguard all during
    his adolescent years and developed a sense of himself as someone who could save things,
    save the world, even though people didn’t appreciate being saved. In a way, Reagan imagined himself as kind
    of a national lifeguard when he became [1:39:00] president. On the way to the convention when he was nominated,
    one of his advisors said, “Mr. Reagan, why do you want to be president?” Reagan said, “Because I want to end the
    Cold War.” So he was thinking about it from the beginning. In fact, all the way back to the end of the
    Second World War, Reagan had been a Roosevelt Democrat then and had been a proponent of
    the Acheson-Lilienthal plan. He was plugged into all those ideas that came
    out of Los Alamos and Niels Bohr and so on. About how eliminating nuclear weapons was
    possible, given the right arrangement. So that had all percolated away in his mind
    for, I don’t know, forty, fifty years. Until at this late time, here he was with
    the Chairman of the Politburo, sitting in a little room in a little house in Reykjavik,
    Iceland. They started talking about eliminating all
    of the nuclear weapons in the world. To the horror of their advisors on both sides,
    who just—that wasn’t what they came here for. There’s a story that Ambassador Tom Graham
    [Jr.] tells about when George Shultz—who was Secretary of State—no, wait, was it
    Shultz or was it Reagan, it was Shultz. There’s a story that Ambassador Tom Graham
    [Jr.] tells after the Reykjavik Summit, when Secretary of State George Shultz was called
    in by Maggie Thatcher, the Prime Minister of England. Who had a big purse on her arm and who started
    berating him for having done such a stupid thing as talk about getting rid of our deterrent—the
    thing that prevents us from having wars. And started actually beating him with her
    purse. She was so angry at him. Shultz is backing up. The ambassador who told this story said, “I
    don’t think this is apocryphal.” George Shultz himself tells this story, so
    it may have happened that way. In any case, these two men—because they
    were outsiders, I think—because they had a different experience of the world than the
    people who were professionals, and who had a deep sense of the people built into their
    souls somehow. I understand Gorbachev’s maybe more than
    Reagan’s, but he had it, too. He had a sense of being one of humanity. At one point, when he was at Reykjavik, he
    said, “Mr. Gorbachev, I know that you would never start a nuclear war.” Gorbachev said, “How do you know that?” [1:42:00] He said, “Because the Russian
    people love their children.” Gorbachev shook his head, like “What? That isn’t the sort of thing I expect these
    capitalists to be saying to me.” But that’s what Reagan said and that’s
    what he meant. They came so close. They came within a hair’s breadth. It broke down because Reagan had a fixed idea
    that treaties by themselves could never guarantee a peace in the world. That you had to have some sort of backup. In his mind, that backup was technological—was
    his dream of a shield over America in the form of—I don’t know—bomb-pumped X-ray
    lasers, I suppose. That’s what Teller was selling. He [Reagan] couldn’t let go of that. Gorbachev also was limited, because the Politburo’s
    remit had been, “Fine, if you can sell that idea, sell that idea. But only if you get President Reagan to agree
    never to test his Star Wars system in space. Because that would be the beginning of a deployment
    and we would be at terrible risk if he did that.” So they were both this close and restrained
    by the forces behind them. Nevertheless, as a result of Reykjavik, there
    had been a major breakthrough in arms negotiations. In one sense, certainly—one way of measuring
    the beginning of the end of the Cold War. “After that was on the table,” as Gorbachev
    said later, “No one was going to take it off.” Once they started talking about it, they would
    continue talking about it, and they did. Kelly: And then everybody should come and
    see your play [Reykjavik]. Rhodes: Well, let me just say—when I saw
    the transcripts, there was obviously the material for a wonderful play. Just almost by lifting the dialogue directly
    from the transcript. I had to make not much adjustment, basically
    moving things around a little and adding some more human moments—some of which actually
    occurred—to turn it into a well-rounded, long one-act play of these two men alone in
    a room making these decisions. I was able to bring from their other writings—these
    past experiences stated to each other as memories, that I hope help explain how these two men
    should have come to such an extraordinarily large-scale [1:45:00] decision—or almost
    came to. So, yeah, I hope people see the play. I think it would be enlightening. Maybe it’ll happen again someday. Kelly:To have two leaders, you mean, happen
    again. Rhodes: Maybe two leaders who will meet in
    the right place and the right time and the right two leaders, and they’ll get the job
    done. Kelly: Yeah. [End of audio]

    Money as a Democratic Medium |  The Color of Money: Banking and Racial Inequality (with Slides)
    Articles, Blog

    Money as a Democratic Medium | The Color of Money: Banking and Racial Inequality (with Slides)

    September 1, 2019


    CHRISTINE DESAN: I’m going
    to go ahead and start. I think we’ll have a
    few people trickling in, chomping on their potato chips. But I do want to take a
    few minutes to introduce Mehrsa Baradahan–
    because she’s worth it. Mehrsa is the Robert
    Cotten Alston Associate Chair in Corporate Law at
    the University of Georgia. She currently also serves as
    the school’s Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives. But I want to talk
    about her banking stuff. I got to know Mehrsa
    through her work. I read the How the Other
    Half Banks, and I thought, this has got to be a part
    of any conversation– this is central to
    any conversation about monetary design
    and the problems that it’s meant to cure. It’s fair to say
    that Mehrsa reframed the literature on banking. She pushed the reset button,
    I think, in a lot of ways. And I want to be very
    specific about that. Banking, as opposed
    to shadow banking– the scholarship on
    banking, as opposed to the scholarship
    on shadow banking, has generally been written
    by those who believe in it. It’s a really interesting
    kind of historiography, that the believers
    wrote their own history. And so if you think
    about the canonical works of Rondo Cameron, Richard
    Timberlake, even more contentious
    contributions like those of Naomi Lamoreaux, Charles
    Calomiris, Stephen Haber– in those works, banks figure as
    enormously valuable instruments of economic development, even
    if their origins are parochial, even if they have flaws– for example, instability. Against this background,
    Mehrsa Baradahan’s work makes a striking break. And I want to be
    clear here, it’s not that she doesn’t
    believe in banks quite. It’s that she believes
    they’re profoundly shaped by their own
    profit-driven logic. And that logic makes them
    increasingly ill-equipped to serve as much as half
    the American population. So as she put it
    in her first book, as she conceptualized it, “A
    kind of social compact used to require banks to earn the
    privilege of money creation”– you can hear shades of Morgan’s
    argument here as well– “used to require banks to earn
    the privilege of money creation by including poorer
    Americans in their services, and that that social compact,”
    she wrote, “has broken down. Given that failure,
    we’re obligated to think beyond our
    current complacency about the way we organized
    credit and its allocation in modern America.” It wasn’t clear, at
    least to me, that Mehrsa could raise the stakes
    in her argument, but she did just that
    in her most recent book, The Color of Money: Black Banks
    and the Racial Wealth Gap. In The Color of Money,
    she explores the way white Americans
    parlayed black banking into a solution
    for black poverty and an engine for black
    economic development, thus denying white societies’
    responsibility for both, all the while leaving
    in place barriers to black wealth
    that would handicap both black banks and their
    customer for decades, indeed to the present day. So the book is a prize-winning
    tour into the forces that configure modern capitalism. Mehrsa’s scholarship has had
    an enormous impact in part because it succeeds in
    reaching three audiences. So I just want to mention those
    audiences because, as we know, as all of us here
    have dealt with, it’s really hard to do
    money stuff in a way that’s accessible, both for our own
    brains and those around us. But Mehrsa succeeds
    in reaching, I’d say, three different
    very important audiences. First, she has catalyzed
    legal scholars– mainly, but not solely, in the fields
    of financial regulation, monetary reform,
    and poverty law– to attend to the crisis
    of credit that she flags. Second, her books accessibly
    explain enormously complicated issues, complete
    with their history, normative argument, and
    analysis, to a lay audience. That audience is enormously
    important insofar as Mehrsa aims in significant part
    at the policy making world, and at their influence
    in that world. Popular understanding
    and attention to the problems of low income
    and non-discriminatory credit appear to have expanded
    already, judging by the profile of her work. And that brings me to the
    last audience that Mehrsa has. Policymakers and politicians
    are registering and responding to Mehrsa’s arguments. We see that more
    and more every day, from the first work
    on postal banking, and the post office’s white
    paper that followed that, to legislative proposals made
    over the last several years for credit reform
    and banking reform. Indeed, Elizabeth Warren,
    who used to hang around here, has also been moving in
    unrelated initiatives because of Mehrsa’s influence. In short, Marissa moves us
    from thinking about banking to acting on reform,
    and to acting on reform by thinking about banking. She connects our work here to
    the world of social justice. In that way, she inspires
    us truly to make money a democratic medium. Mehrsa. [APPLAUSE] MEHRSA BARADAHAN: Thank you. That was very overly generous. I really appreciate it. So I want to talk about the
    racial wealth gap, which is staggering,
    and I want to show the role of credit policies,
    economic theories, and banking regulation in creating
    and perpetuating it, and to explore why
    the racial wealth gap hasn’t abated over time. To say that our
    public policy efforts to eradicate the wealth gap
    have been a total failure is an understatement. If we’re going to talk about
    democracy, money, and banking markets, we need to consider
    how racism and racial exclusion expose the myths
    surrounding each. So I want to focus
    specifically on black banks, because that’s what I
    wrote the book about, but also because this
    history sheds light on the relationships between
    markets and state power. In fact, it is the lies we
    tell about markets, I think, that present the biggest
    obstacle to closing the racial wealth gap and
    achieving economic justice. So I hardly need to preach to
    this choir about these myths, but I’ll lay them out anyway. So one, that money
    markets and trade exist outside the realm
    of political power. Two, that inequality
    is a natural byproduct of market forces rather than
    being created by the state. And three, that
    people left outside of the structures of power
    can overcome these barriers through self-help
    institutions or, sort of, local grassroots efforts. So the promise of
    free market capitalism is that it does
    not discriminate. This goes from Marx
    to Adam Smith– or Adam Smith to Marx. Free markets offer equal
    opportunity for all to trade and prosper based
    on one’s skill and ability to produce. Yet history reveals
    that, in fact, markets do discriminate–
    or alternatively, that the American economy has
    never borne any resemblance to a free market. For most of our
    history, blacks have been excluded from occupations,
    schools, neighborhoods, and trades. And their property was
    not protected by law. Money, likewise, is
    said to be apolitical. As Christine Desan explains
    in a beautiful conclusion to a game-changing
    book, Making Money, the revisionist history
    of money likened it to water, neutral and colorless,
    outside of the infrastructures of power. In fact, the color of money for
    much of US history was white. White, too, was the color
    of government credit. In each historical
    moment when wealth was created, whether
    through the Homestead Act, or the FHA mortgage
    credit, farm loans, black communities were
    shut out of land and wealth accumulation. Moreover, at certain
    pivot points in history– specifically during
    Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Era,
    and I’ll talk about both– where black communities were
    demanding state intervention and capital to remedy
    past injustice, the rhetoric of free
    market capitalism was used as a weapon. A self-help market of
    segregated banks and businesses were offered as a decoy
    for other, potentially more direct avenues for
    inclusion in the economy. In other words, power
    brokers promised that the market would fix
    the problems created by law and backed by state violence. This last myth is not
    limited to racial exclusion– the one about small
    community banks. But using black banks
    as a case study, I want to debunk what I think
    is this broad, stubborn, and longstanding myth that
    small community banking cooperatives are the
    remedy to poverty, specifically from
    marginalized communities. And I blame Thomas Jefferson
    for starting this myth, and George Bailey
    for perpetuating it every single Christmas. And it is high time for
    a boycott of this movie. Who’s in? OK, great. Who, but the
    absolutely heartless, would criticize
    George Bailey’s bank? George Bailey’s bank is the
    Jeffersonian fantasy bank. During the founding,
    Hamilton pushed for a large, centralized,
    government-coordinated banking system. He believed that a national
    bank and a public credit system was not a mere matter
    of private property but a political
    machine of the greatest importance to the state. Jefferson, on the other hand,
    believed that all federal power worked against the common man. He feared that powerful
    centralized banking would favor the elites. And this fear was valid. The law of capital is that
    it flows toward more capital. And the innate trajectory of any
    banking system left unregulated is toward growth
    and concentration, which in turn
    breeds power, which inevitably leads to concentrated
    wealth and inequality. Jefferson was, however,
    wrong in his solutions. He rejected federal banking
    and the federal credit system altogether. Still, his ideas
    were very persuasive. Limits on bank size and
    reach, like unit banking, were the norm
    through US history. Jeffersonianism still
    carries the day when it comes to solutions for poverty. So even as the Federal
    Reserve and Wall Street have reached a size
    that Jefferson could not have fathomed in his
    worst nightmares, we still pretend that local
    and small necessarily means egalitarian and accessible. And here comes George Bailey. The idea is that a
    group of poor people– and imagine them as farmers,
    widows, and coal miners– living in a free market economy
    will pool their resources together, lend to each
    other, and collectively lift themselves out of poverty. And this idea has seduced
    not just the right, but also the left– or
    maybe more so the left– who both seem to pine for the
    noble Main Street community banker who made America great. The left focuses on the
    nobility of George Bailey, who has ideals besides profit,
    and the right focus is on how cheap and easy a
    solution this is to inequality. You can be the change you
    want to see without having to actually change anything. Neoliberal reforms
    created mammoth banks all underwritten by
    federal subsidies, and for those left
    behind, offered a hodgepodge of microcredit
    fantasies and incentives for entrepreneurs who do
    good while doing well. So while JP Morgan gets–
    according to Morgan Ricks– $900 million a year in interest
    on their excess reserves, they’re celebrated for helping
    indigenous woman set up a lending circle
    somewhere in Bangladesh. And before you blame me
    for being too cynical, let me assure you that I spent
    a summer in college organizing microcredit in Cusco, Peru. It’s too bad there’s
    no pictures of that. Then, I closely observed how the
    New York Fed created the Maiden Lane SPV and used trillions of
    dollars of money created out of thin air to buy up Wall
    Street’s toxic mortgage-backed securities and the
    derivatives accompanying them, making their creditors whole– which was nothing
    like a lending circle. It’s not an exaggeration to say
    that the history of community empowerment, or the theory
    of community empowerment, in one form or another, has
    been the foundational theory of every act of banking
    legislation over the past 50 years aimed at financial
    inclusion, inequality, or addressing the historic
    racial exclusions in credit and banking services. And I’ll go through that
    history in a second. These solutions are ineffective
    but so clouded in goodwill that they’re practically
    impossible to oppose. And let me be very clear, I have
    nothing against the mythical George Bailey. In fact, I cry every single year
    when the humble citizens come to the rescue of this bank. So boycott starts next year. Black banks especially have been
    the heart of their communities. Many black banks were
    founded by preachers, community leaders, and leaders
    of the Civil Rights Movement. So just across town– I don’t know Boston well– Boston’s first black
    bank was Unity Bank and was created in 1968. And its founders called it
    the bank with a purpose, and explained to
    the Harvard Crimson that they intended to have
    a quasi-crusading role. For the communities
    that they serve, black banks have been much
    bigger than their balance sheets and have
    served as a shield against economic exploitation. These banks have often had
    a quasi-crusading role. They were symbols and sights of
    community boycott and protest. They have stepped into the void
    of Jim Crow and segregation to offer services amidst
    banking exclusion. In 2016, this movement revived
    on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement with
    a #bankblackpush as another means of protest. Killer Mike, who was
    linked with this movement, explained that his motivation
    was to take his money out of the dog’s hands
    until they can better represent the population. But as community-oriented,
    skilled, and celebrated as these banks and bankers were,
    they could not build wealth nor could they take the
    money out of the dog’s hand, because they could not overcome
    the money-sucking centripetal pull of the dominant
    banking market. The same forces that created
    the need for these banks– so financial disenfranchisement,
    segregation, and poverty– were the very
    forces that impeded their ability to grow wealth. So racism and
    housing segregation presented tangible and
    observable economic effects on the black population
    that you can see on these bank balance sheets. Yet the segregated
    banking industry, and the self-help
    rhetoric around it, has been advocated by both
    reform-minded policymakers and cynical ones. Obviously, the cynical
    ones are more of a problem. So in the quick
    history that follows– and I’m going to cover
    a lot of ground– I hope to demonstrate
    the following– that insofar as the levers of
    power were held by whites and the economy was based
    on racial subordination, markets would perpetually block
    black capital accumulation. So let’s start with
    the economy of slavery. Slaves were assets,
    credit, debt, and currency. Their bodies were akin
    to capital and wealth. Between 1820 and the
    Civil War, black banks across the South issued
    notes with images of slaves printed on the money– and Sven Beckert
    and Seth Rockman have done excellent work here–
    showing that slaves were not just the generators
    of cotton production, but they were collateral used
    to finance the institution. Slavery modernized
    credit markets, creating complex new forms of
    financial instruments and trade networks through which
    slaves could be mortgaged, exchanged, and used as leverage
    to purchase more slaves. Americans and the British
    built fortunes on slavery and defended the institution
    with law and violence. Without getting
    their hands dirty, the British developed the
    common law on contracts to protect their
    overseas investments. In the end, the Union
    won the Civil War thanks to Grant and
    Sherman, but also thanks to Lincoln’s Greenbacks,
    and the Supreme Court’s decisions to uphold the legal
    tender cases and the issuing of fiat currency. Greenbacks bankrupted
    the South– the southern banking
    system that was issuing their own currency–
    and allowed the Union troops to buy provisions. As Keynes says of
    legal tender, the state “claimed the right not only
    to enforce the dictionary, but to write it,” in
    this case with new money. And during Reconstruction,
    the freedmen were expected to make
    the transition from being capital to being capitalists. Freedmen and their
    abolitionist allies demanded land as a form of
    reparations and as a punishment for the treasonous Confederates. Without land, freedom
    and justice, they said– and was true–
    would be meaningless and participation in
    capitalism would be a farce. President Andrew Johnson
    vetoed the land grant and the Freedmen’s Bill,
    except one provision– which I’ll get to in a second. He reasoned that the
    freedmen would be protected by the free market. This is actually
    true in his veto. You should really read it. They would be protected by
    the free market and contract law, that they would
    bargain for fair wages and buy their own land. So this was unbelievably
    naive or incredibly cynical. The Southern economy was
    nothing like a free market. Whites refuse to sell to blacks. Southern legislatures,
    lawyers, and judges drafted laws governing
    every aspect of black labor. And they restricted blacks
    from skilled trades. Vagrancy laws were prevalent. Wages were capped by law and
    by cabal between employers. And violations led to convict
    labor without due process. By the end of the
    Reconstruction era, most freedmen were
    landless, voteless, and with practically every
    profession blocked to them. Their only choice
    was to grow cotton. Of course, that was
    the whole point. The world cotton
    markets were heavily dependent on cheap and abundant
    cotton from the United States. And in order to have
    enough cotton exports, the freedmen had to grow it. And for that to happen, they
    could not be landowners. America could not go
    the way of Haiti– that was the threat– where after independence,
    the former slaves refused to grow sugar, the
    slave crop, and output halted. They grew crops they
    could eat instead. There was every
    reason to believe that freed American slaves
    would also go this route. In the meantime, the
    federal government was actively providing free
    land to private railroads for expansion and to
    white men continually through the Homestead Acts. Blacks were denied land not
    because the government was constrained by
    laissez-faire but because, as Andrew Johnson
    explained, America was and should remain a
    white man’s government. This white man’s government had
    control over capital and land because it had control over
    lawmaking, in force, of course, by their monopoly on violence. But instead of getting land,
    the freed slaves got a bank. In 1865, Union General
    Oliver Otis Howard explained that a bank
    was better than land because it would teach the
    freedmen thrift and savings. Freedmen, he said, and I quote,
    “should earn land and not receive it as a gift.” So was the Freedman’s
    Bank, just– and he was a Union general. And so was the
    Freeman’s Savings Bank justified by reformers,
    and obviously Johnson. The Freedman’s
    Savings Bank was one of the only tangible creations
    of the Reconstruction era Freedman’s bill. No bank before or since has
    resembled the Freedman’s Bank. It was created by Congress,
    signed into law by Lincoln with a special charter. I mean, the Federal Reserve
    was still decades away. We just barely had a currency. The bank was
    immediately successful, and it was embraced
    by the freed slaves. And the main reason they trusted
    the bank with their money is that they thought
    that it had the backing of the federal government. Why did they think this? Because the bills and the
    notes had the building– and the building itself
    had government insignia all over them. These notes seem to be
    backed by the Treasury. And bank managers did nothing
    to sort of, counter this image, and they plastered the
    government insignia all over the building. And the mission of
    the bank, according to the congressional
    charter, was to safeguard the deposits
    of the freed slaves. It was likened to
    the savings banks that were popular in that era. It was not a commercial bank. No loans were given of any kind. It was a glorified piggy bank. For a decade, the bank also
    disseminated propaganda throughout the South,
    advertising a savings account as the best way of
    getting land as responsible– and the data shows it that’s
    actually how it was used, to save up for land. The capital of the
    bank grew to what today would be
    about $1.5 billion, too much money for the
    white manager to resist. The bank president
    was Henry Cook, who was brother of infamous Wall
    Street speculator, Jay Cook. And he took the
    deposits to speculate, to make personal profit
    on railroad bonds. And when the bank
    failed in 1874, depositors lost about
    half their deposits. And the significance
    of this failure reverberated and
    lingered in the community in very interesting ways. Black leaders and black
    bankers for almost a century repeated the assertion
    that the bank had caused the black
    community to not only trust white banks but also
    their own banking sector. I actually began this
    project because I was reviewing the FDIC
    data on the unbanked, and I was struck by the
    staggering racial differentials of the unbanked. In the South, blacks are
    60% unbanked or underbanked, compared to like 10
    or 13% for whites. And the number one
    reason stated was distrust of the banking sector. And as I started
    conducting interviews, the Freedman’s Bank came
    up– this is in 2014. W.E.B. Du Bois says
    of the failure, “Not even 10 additional
    years of slavery could have done so
    much to throttle the thrift of the freedmen
    as the mismanagement and bankruptcy of the
    Freedman’s Bank chartered by the nation for
    their special aid.” Some believe that
    they were purposely defrauded by Congress. In fact, Congress
    wasn’t paying attention and neither was the
    board of directors, which were filled with
    philanthropists like John Jay and Thomas Webster. But Cook and his
    colleagues had violated the law and the charter,
    and no one was prosecuted. Henry Cook’s defense, when
    he was asked by Congress, was that he was a mere
    victim of the crisis. So the market stole the money. By the time the
    Freedman’s Bank failed, a disenfranchisement of the
    black population was complete. And the rights written into
    the 13th to 15th Amendment were nullified by
    legislatures, courts, police power, and
    paramilitary-style violence by the Klan. In a series of decisions
    between 1873 and 1898, the Supreme Court weakened
    the rights of black citizens and blessed Jim Crow
    and disenfranchisement. The chief judge, when outlawing
    the Civil Rights Act of 1875, said that it’s been 20
    years since slavery. It was time for the slaves to
    stand on their own two feet and stop being, and I
    quote, “the special favorite of the law.” In fact, for the next
    century, the 14th Amendment came up more to
    defend corporations against state
    overreach than it did black men and women against
    the hostile arm of the state. The state used its power
    to uphold property rights and corporations–
    their special favorite– rather than the rights
    of black citizens. The myths used to justify these
    decisions bear spelling out, because it was a pervasive–
    and not just by white lawmakers, but black leaders as well,
    like Booker T. Washington, who happened to be the leader
    that white industrialists, like Rockefeller and
    Carnegie, kept funding. Washington was influenced
    by the gospel of prosperity and said that blacks
    would achieve wealth through hard work and
    thrift and that wealth would lead to
    respect, which would leave to lead to integration,
    and then political power. And history showed the
    opposite, that once blacks accrued wealth, white resentment
    would often lead to violence. So the Tulsa riot is
    one dramatic example. So after the Freedman’s Bank,
    black banks formed in response to Jim Crow in the South. Many were inspired by
    Washington’s rhetoric, but most were born
    out of necessity. So these banks were oriented
    towards self-help and community building. They were linked with a
    church, a fraternal society, a secret society, and insurance
    and banking were usually part and parcel of the system. One of these banks was Maggie
    Walker’s St Luke’s Bank. She was the first
    woman of any race to starts a bank,
    first black banker to be inducted into the
    Virginia Bankers Association. Her bank was one of a
    handful of black banks that survived the
    Great Depression. And she saves
    several other banks by merging them into hers. So I’m gonna pause and let
    you enjoy this good story before we finish– before
    I go onto the rest. I’m not close to
    finishing, though. OK. So by 19– there won’t be
    very many, more good stories. Sorry. By 1910, the Great
    Migration north is met with
    segregation, which leads to concentrated black
    populations in northern cities which, of course, leads to
    a demand for more banks. This was the heyday
    of black banking, where 130 of these
    banks are formed, and they’re in most
    of the northern cities and segregated economies. If segregated banking
    was ever going to work, it was during the
    Roaring Twenties when segregation
    was almost complete. However, these banks were
    not able to create wealth. They couldn’t even keep the
    wealth in their communities. One is their deposits. Their deposits were
    small and volatile because of the
    concentrated poverty of the black population. Small and volatile
    deposits lead to high operating costs and
    a lowered ability to lend because banks had to
    offset the risk by holding, say, for assets, meaning more
    capital and more reserves. Their assets were
    on home mortgages in segregated neighborhoods that
    even in the Roaring Twenties could not retain value. The first black family to
    move l a white neighborhood paid a premium for purchase. Once a neighborhood tipped
    into a black neighborhood, and this only took 5% to 10%
    of black families moving in, white flight led to a
    freefall in property values. This, unfortunately– this lack
    of ability to retain property value is still the case. So these signs were not just
    motivated by racism but also to protect home equity, which
    was also based on racism. So same with racial covenants,
    HOA associations, and sometimes bonds. Moreover, these banks
    could not participate in the money-multiplying
    magic of growing wealth in black communities. Because though you
    can segregate people, you can’t segregate money. So these banks acted
    as a sieve, with money leaking out of the community
    with every lending transaction. And I’ll just show real quick. So this is a simple– I mean, those of
    you who understand banking are going to think
    this is overly simplistic, and those who maybe
    are new to banking are going to think this
    is too complicated. So I shouldn’t be doing this. But this is the basic money
    multiplier that says if you– this is how banks create money. So having the money
    multiplier here. So a black bank could get
    deposits from a black customer, lend to a black borrower. But as soon as she
    paid for the house, it would leak out into
    the financial system. And black bankers were
    constantly frustrated by this sieve-like quality. And white banks weren’t lending
    back into the community. Actually, Chase
    Manhattan Bank had several locations in
    Harlem, where they’re happily taking deposits. But these branches did
    not offer any loans. They took deposits from Harlem
    and made loans downtown. One bank manager explained
    in his PhD dissertation that I found explaining
    this very matter-of-factly, and he says that it
    was too risky to lend because blacks were not
    really good businessmen. George Bernard Shaw reveals
    the backwards logic here. “The haughty American
    nation,” he says, “makes the Negro clean
    its boots and then proves the moral and
    physical inferiority of the Negro by the fact
    that he is a shoeblack.” Oddly, Harlem was the only place
    where large black population did not have a bank– at all– during this time. And the reason, I suspect– and
    I think I support this theory in the book– has to do with the
    state banking regulator. It’s very discretionary
    to offer a charter there, and they were very cozy
    with Chase Manhattan, who was quite enjoying their
    monopoly on deposits uptown. As James Baldwin says, “White
    is a metaphor for power, and that is a way of describing
    Chase Manhattan Bank.” I found this quote after I
    had already finished the book, and I think I need to
    write another book just to start with this quote
    because it’s brilliant. Meanwhile, in
    Chicago, Binga’s bank was the largest
    and most successful commercial bank during this
    era and was the most profitable of the black banks. He bought a house in a nice
    neighborhood incidentally, and it was bombed seven times. And he kept moving back in. Binga had joined a
    Chicago clearinghouse, which is where good
    banks went before there was FDIC insurance. The point of these
    clearinghouses was to protect all
    the member banks during a liquidity crisis. This clearinghouse refused
    to help Binga’s bank. If we understand trust to be
    the basis of sound banking, then racism threats the very
    viability of black banks. They did not trust his bank,
    which they use actually racial expletives to describe. All the other members of
    the clearinghouse survived. So racism also had a tangible
    effect on his mortgage– on his asset, sort
    of, portfolio. Binga explained that he selected
    the best of his mortgages– and he couldn’t sell them,
    even for a haircut of 50%. So his bank is liquidated. This is during the Great
    Depression, so lots of banks failed. And that’s not even
    the worst of it. As far as I can tell
    very few banks– some sources say no
    bankers went to prison after the Great Depression
    for their failure of banks. If someone can find this
    source, I’ve dug around. Some say no bankers
    went to jail. Binga did go to jail. The state brings criminal
    penalties against Binga for violating state banking law. He goes to prison for 10
    years until he’s exonerated from the trumped-up charges
    by Clarence Darrow himself. So Binga’s wealth did not lead
    to political power or equality. The truth was that
    absolute equality before the law
    had to come first. So what happens during the New
    Deal makes this quite explicit. Roosevelt restructures the
    US Banking and credit markets through heavy
    state intervention. Between 1933 and 1970,
    hundreds of thousands of small community banks,
    credit unions, thrifts, and ILCs are formed. They’re safe, stable,
    and profitable. And the reason these
    small banks are thriving is because the New Deal
    essentially takes the risk out of banking, or bank lending. So deposits are
    insured by the FDIC, and loans are subsidized by
    the FHA, the GI Bill, farm loan programs, and Fannie Mae. As Perry Mehrling has said,
    in effect, the effect of this is if the government
    said you were solvent then you were, because the
    government would stand behind you and prop you up. So the government made
    these banks solvent. There was no historic
    past of credit unions until credit unions
    became solvent. All of this built the
    middle class and created intergenerational wealth through
    homeownership and low-cost higher ed– which, again, made
    America great. In return, banks are heavily
    regulated with interest rate caps, geographic restrictions,
    activity restrictions, capital controls. For a while, the
    only competition allowed between banks is who
    can offer the best toaster. So the mythical
    Bailey’s bank in 1945 was not actually taking
    money from the nice residents of Bedford Falls and
    investing it in homes. It was doing that, right? But all the home mortgages
    that thrifts lent were FHA mortgages,
    just like Potter’s bank. So this was Jeffersonian ends
    through Hamiltonian means, local and small
    banks made possible through large federal
    credit programs. In other words, public
    policy protected banks and kept them small,
    because that is the banking sector that Roosevelt
    and his Congress decided that they wanted. The very idea of
    capitalism was under threat before the New Deal. In his inaugural
    address, Roosevelt claimed that no less than the
    future of a central democracy depended on getting
    these reforms right. So the New Deal responded
    with a Keynesian program that was as close
    to state planning or democratic socialism
    as the US ever came. Afterwards, with businesses
    and banks moving, we go back– booming, sorry– we go
    back to telling stories about the triumphs
    of the free market. This wasn’t the only irony. From Jefferson to Wilson,
    from the Constitution to the New Deal,
    progressive reformists fought Big Money power for
    the sake of the people, and their reforms were built on
    a bedrock of white supremacy. So Wilson’s progressive
    reforms broke up monopolies, gave unions credit
    collective bargaining power, established the FTC, set
    up the farm loan banks, established the Federal
    Reserve to break up the monopolies of
    credit that hinder the true liberties of men,
    and he institutionalized Jim Crow in the federal government. He screened Birth of a
    Nation in the White House, which is the movie
    that lionized the Klan. It was Southern
    Democrats in the Senate that pushed FDR’s New Deal,
    the same Southern bloc that made sure that no anti-lynching
    bill reached the floor, despite 240 attempts. So the New Deal built
    the lily-white suburb of homeowners and the segregated
    black ghetto through redlining. And I’m going to use
    the word “ghetto” because it’s more accurate. Black community assumes–
    which is the term mostly used– assumes that geographic
    segregation was voluntary. The HOLC appraisers
    used census data and elaborate
    questionnaires to predict the likelihood of
    property association in neighborhoods
    across the country. So these maps had
    four categories based on perceived risk. So A was green, no risk,
    down to red, highly risky– green being the most
    desirable, red being the least. And in making these judgments
    about a home’s potential to appreciate, these
    HOLC mapmakers, like individual
    appraisers before them, used race as the
    number one indicator of risk and desirability. So green neighborhoods
    were homogeneous and white. At the other end,
    red neighborhoods were predominantly black
    or racially inharmonious. So this is one form in Atlanta. This is called, as
    you can see, “The best Negro section in Atlanta.” And if you look
    at that top line, it measures
    percentage of Negroes. So this is businessmen– right next to Spelman
    and Morehouse, the two black colleges. And the top line is
    percentage of Negroes and the percentage
    of foreign-born, and then infiltration
    of those races. That was the method
    used to determine race. So FHA bureaucrats
    actually advised developers to include racial covenants
    and for realtors not to show blacks homes
    in white neighborhoods because they would lose
    their FHA financing. The FHA maps were essentially
    geographic risk management. They cordoned off risks
    of concentrated poverty in the black ghetto and
    created Jim Crow credit markets essentially. So as the white American economy
    grew by leaps and bounds, a segregated black
    economy became locked in a state of
    perpetual depression due to exclusion
    and exploitation. So on top of the FHA mortgages,
    a dual market and consumer credit was also created
    during this time. The FHA had a consumer
    credit guarantee, but it was short-lived,
    but around long enough to create a secondary
    market in consumer credit. So in the suburbs,
    department stores began offering credit cards
    with a revolving credit line. And this type of
    credit was flexible. It was low interest. In the black ghetto, there
    was only installment credit. Consumers with little wealth
    bought most necessities– including medical
    care and appliances– on installment credit. And the way that these
    contracts were structured was that the goods purchased
    were bundled together. And each payment went to pay off
    a slice of the total interest and principal. So if a few payments
    were missed, the borrower was
    deemed to be in default of the entire bundle of goods. And this was done
    through contract law and enforced by the law. So defaults involved repo
    men, criminal penalties, sometimes threats
    of bodily injury from the shadier
    installment creditors– much different than
    revolving credit. And because of the
    high cost of credit, ghetto residents were
    paying three to five times more for lower quality
    goods and services. So before there was a
    Montgomery bus boycott, there were boycotts and protests
    of these installment credit arrangements. In Harlem, the boycotts were
    even sanctioned by the courts. And a few community
    groups teamed up with state legislators
    to push these reforms. In Anne Fleming’s new
    book, City of Debtors, she talks about activists,
    lawyers, and judges who use the unconscionability
    doctrine in contract to invalidate these contracts. And this movement
    hit, unfortunately, against a wall of
    market fundamentalism and the sanctity of
    contract in the 1970s. So in the meantime, the
    Civil Rights Movement picks up heat, and with
    it the establishment of a new movement for credit. The leaders of the movement,
    both the intergrationists and the nationalists,
    saw economic rights going hand-in-hand with civil rights. So Malcolm X saw the ghetto
    economy as white exploitation, akin to colonialism abroad. Black nationalists
    expressed solidarity with global
    anti-colonization movements and demanded sovereignty. So why should the white
    people be running the banks in our community? Malcolm X said, and I quote,
    “A revolution is based on land. A revolutionary wants land so
    he can set up his own nation, an independent nation.” Martin Luther King was
    the opposite, right? He’s an intergrationist. Not the opposite– they
    shared a lot in common. Before Martin Luther King
    became a national figure, he was on the board
    of a black bank. And in laying out the
    movement’s future in 1956, he had six goals
    for the movement. Number one, he said, was
    to establish a black bank in Montgomery because
    white banks were not lending to blacks. Two, it was to organize
    a credit union. He says, “We are
    anxious to demonstrate that cooperation
    rather than competition is the way to solve
    our problems.” Later down the list was voting. If you listen to the momentous
    “I Have a Dream” speech– and I was going to show
    it, but save time– “I Have a Dream” speech
    from a banking experience, you can see that King
    is asking for redress. So I’ll just read it. “In a sense,” he says, “we’ve
    come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects
    of our republic wrote the magnificent
    words of the Constitution and the Declaration
    of Independence, they were signing a promissory
    note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise
    that all men, yes, black men as well as white
    men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable rights’
    of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ It is obvious today that
    America has defaulted on this promissory note,
    insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring
    the sacred obligation, America has given
    the Negro people a bad check, a check
    which has come back marked insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe
    that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe
    that there are insufficient funds in the
    great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash
    this check, a check that will give upon demand the
    rights and riches of freedom and the security of justice.” King, who chose his
    words carefully, was not advocating
    colorblindness or to be judged by the
    content of one’s character, not the color of one’s skin. He was asking for
    that, but he was also asking for a remedy for past
    injustice in economic terms. He was explicit
    about this later. But by then he was too
    unpopular and radical for anyone to listen to. King said, and this is a
    quote, “the underlying purpose of segregation was to oppress
    and exploit the segregated, not simply to keep them apart.” He said, “The basic
    purpose of segregation was to perpetuate
    injustice and inequality.” In other words, the
    state created inequality. Segregation had nothing
    to do with free markets and neither did poverty. His last speech before his
    death, he proposes a “bank-in” movement coupled with
    collective action in Memphis. His last movement was akin to a
    populist movement of the past. It was a poor
    people’s movement like the past populist revolutions. Everything changes
    between 1965 and 1968. The civil rights law,
    the voting rights law, Brown versus Board of Ed,
    Montgomery Bus Boycott, Selma March– all of those
    happened before 1965. The national appetite
    for civil rights reform shifted so much that by 1966,
    Roger Wilkins of the NAACP says, “It would have
    been hard to pass the Emancipation Proclamation in
    the atmosphere prevailing now.” By 1969, Malcolm X,
    King, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy had
    all been killed. Johnson’s out of office or
    announcing that he will be. And the consensus of the black
    community toward the Civil Rights Movement, if there was
    one, was that it had failed– at least it was incomplete. Yes, the “Whites Only”
    signs were now gone, but joblessness,
    dilapidated housing, and intractable
    poverty were not. The Federal Reserve
    studied inequality in 1967 and found that blacks had one
    fifth the wealth of whites, and half of black children
    grew up in deep poverty, compared to 9% of
    white children. So black protests turned
    to a resistance movements, and black ghettos across the
    country erupt in violence. To many, it felt
    like a domestic war. CBS called it a rebellion,
    says, “This is not a riot. It was an insurrection
    against all authority.” So there are several commissions
    to study these riots. The Kerner Commission
    is the most famous one, and it comes out the last year
    in the Johnson presidency. And it is scathing. It says, “What white America
    have never fully understood but what the Negro
    can never forget is that white society is deeply
    implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it,
    white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.” There were also two hearings
    conducted by the Senate Banking Committee chaired by Senator
    Proxmire with studies presented by the FTC. And the FTC finds that
    blacks living in the ghetto are paying more for everything
    than in the suburbs. And there’s three
    conclusions specifically that this hearing finds. One is that the rioters are
    targeting lenders and saying things like, burn the books. These lenders were the
    symbols of white oppression in the ghetto. Two, that these rioters– and this is the one everyone
    sort of hangs their hat on– that these rioters are
    leaving black lenders and black businesses alone. As Senator Javits calls them,
    “soul brother establishments” were not targeted. And three– and
    this is the one that is supported by both
    studies but ignored by everyone else– is that these
    lenders aren’t making a profit. They just operate in a
    different lending market. As Louis Hyman shows
    in his excellent work, 94% of the difference in costs
    between installment credit and revolving credit
    had to do with increased risks and default. So Proxmire’s big
    push is to create credit unions in the ghetto. Proxmire was a very
    enlightened Jeffersonian. He believed in the
    public duties of banks, but he was obsessed with
    small business, credit unions, local banks, George
    Bailey, I guess, against federal spending. So he would pass the
    Community Reinvestment Act a few years later to
    force white banks to lend into the red line areas. These programs, though,
    ignored the main finding, which is the market
    needed to be changed. But this was one
    among many proposals that the 1968 election
    brought to the fore. So Robert Kennedy, Humphrey,
    Nelson, Rockefeller all had programs, including
    extending the Great Society programs. Romney, who was a candidate
    until he made a big gaffe, described the white suburbs
    as a high-income white noose around the black inner city. And he said it was the
    government’s job to fix it. So Nixon is the
    winning candidate. And he decides to use white
    backlash to civil rights as his coalition
    building platform. In 1968, Nixon couldn’t explain,
    like Andrew Johnson had done, that this is a white
    man’s government. He had to be more subtle. But his top aide,
    Ehrlichman admits there was a subliminal
    anti-black message to all of his
    advertisements and speeches. So his campaign issued these
    fear-stoking images of rioting, and with a voiceover
    that says, we shall have law and order
    in the United States. To defeat economic reforms
    that were being advocated by black activists,
    other Democrats, and a wing of his own party,
    he used black capitalism. And this is the part of
    the Southern strategy that I think has
    been forgotten, and I try to cover it in my book. So Nixon co-ops the language
    of the Black Power Movement. Black capitalism is so vague
    that it appeals to everybody. To blacks, it seems like it
    would be a grant to power. So Nixon says,
    blacks in the ghetto have to have more
    than equal chance; they would get a dividend. To suburban whites, it
    would cure violence. He said, people who own
    their homes don’t burn them. To middle-class voters
    who love George Bailey, any program using the
    words “entrepreneurship” and “self-help” struck a chord. To fiscal hawks, it
    would cost nothing. He said, instead of government
    jobs and government housing and government welfare,
    let Government– the greatest engine of progress
    ever developed in the history of man– use American private enterprise. So this is his platform–
    it’s black capitalism. I won’t play the ad, although
    it’s very interesting. I want to focus here–
    so this is his ad. Basically, we will
    have integration later. This last line, he
    says, “It’s time to move past the
    old civil rights and to bridge the gap
    between freedom and dignity, between promise
    and fulfillment.” I looked in the Nixon archives
    of the first five drafts of this. And at first it said,
    “forget civil rights.” And then the next– and
    then someone crossed it out, and they were like,
    “move beyond.” And then it became, “move
    past the old civil rights.” But the message was the same. He put it actually bluntly
    in another talk to the Senate Republicans where he
    says if he gets elected, I’m going to “lay off
    the pro-Negro crap.” So in order to see how great a
    political diversion this was, you have to look at
    the paths not taken. So going into 1968, the
    reform paths were clear– either integration
    or reparations, both of which are
    being actively pursued. Integration was pushed forward
    by MLK Coalition, the Kerner Commission, Johnson, Romney,
    and Romney’s wing of the GOP. And the logic, as James Baldwin
    explains– sorry there’s so many Baldwin quotes. But– I just wish I was
    more of a Baldwin writer. So he says, “a ghetto can
    be improved in one way only, out of existence.” And that’s what Johnson was
    trying to do with the FHA– Fair Housing Act,
    unlike the other one. He pushed through Congress
    the Fair Housing Act just four days
    after MLK is killed. He sort of takes
    a stunned nation and gets his bill through. And he says it’s the most
    important bill he passed. The law says that the
    government, the HUD, should affirmatively
    further fair housing– which was understood to
    mean integration programs. So Nixon appoints Romney
    as his HUD secretary. And Romney is the only member
    of Nixon’s cabinet interested in pushing forward on civil
    rights instead of pulling back. So a Times column
    describes Nixon’s cabinet as “George Romney and
    11 fellows named Clyde.” A black activist called it
    “Uncle Strom’s Cabinet.” So Romney pushed
    hard for integration, and Nixon fights him
    every step of the way. And he tries to
    send him to Mexico. And Romney writes him this
    note with this line underlined. He says, the poor “cannot
    continue to be isolated in the deteriorating
    core cities without broad-scale revolution.” He underlines it
    as if Nixon cares about the logic of integration. So he shuts him out of the
    administration in 1972, sends him away. The other option
    was reparations. And demands for
    reparations were not just provocations by radical
    groups like the Black Panthers. There was actually one
    program that got to Congress and got proposed. It was bipartisan. It was the CORE plan by Roy
    Innis and Floyd McKissick. It involved treasury financing
    and a large-scale capital program. Nixon met Roy Innis
    and Floyd McKissick but refused to talk to
    them after getting elected, even though he starts
    to co-op their language. So no reparations,
    no integration. Black capitalism instead. Just like Andrew Johnson
    during Reconstruction, no land, but how about some deposits? So with much fanfare,
    Nixon deposits millions of dollars of treasury accounts
    into black banks to aid them. As you all understand,
    deposits are not the same thing as capital. In fact, quite the opposite. Unity Bank across town said that
    they got deposits from the post office, which were small. They had to go pick
    them up every day. It cost them more to get these
    deposits than it was worth, so they stopped getting them. He also creates the Office of
    Minority Business Enterprise, the OMBE, which cannibalizes
    the budget of Johnson’s poverty programs. So Humphrey says
    during the campaign, “Talking about black
    capitalism without capital is just kiting
    political checks.” You can’t have capitalism
    without capital, but this was exactly the plan. No capital, just deposits. When a black
    official at the OMBE actually tried to put forward
    a plan costing $8.6 billion, Nixon’s Commerce
    Secretary, Maurice Stans, who was one of the
    Clydes, shut it down. In a memo to the OMBE– and I can’t believe they
    wrote this stuff down– Stans says that “the most
    important objective”– I’m quoting– “was to
    create success stories, which would create pride
    among the minority. What the black people,
    the minority people, need more than anything
    else”– more than anything else, emphasis mine– “today is a modern
    Horatio Alger.” So another piece of
    the Nixon’s program was affirmative action,
    which nobody lobbied for. It was a weak compromise. So Nixon asked his SBA to ask
    corporations to voluntarily hire more black employees and
    to set aside some contracts for black businesses. But this program obviously
    garnered a lot of hostility because it cost more to whites. Soon, any affirmative
    action program was called reverse
    discrimination and cut down–
    actually, many opposed them using Martin
    Luther King’s own words, “content of character.” As Justice Roberts said in 2014
    in advocating colorblind laws, he said, the way to
    stop discrimination on the basis of race is
    to stop discrimination on the basis of race. So black capitalism was anemic
    and utterly unresponsive to the needs of the
    black community, but it was a very clever decoy. This was Nixon’s
    detente on race. He took the sting out of
    the black radicals’ demands for black power, jettisoned the
    Johnson anti-poverty program, maintained his opposition
    to integration, and even won the support
    of a few black leaders. So checkmate. Incidentally, a black leader
    that was not in on the hoax, was Andrew Brimmer, who was born
    to a family of sharecroppers and received a PhD in
    economics from Harvard. He was Johnson’s appointment
    for the Federal Reserve governor, first black governor
    of the Federal Reserve. And he denounced capitalism. He says, this doesn’t work. It’s a cruel hoax. You cannot have capitalism
    without capital. So I want to pause here to
    consider the coincidence that it was this
    exact moment when the neoliberal ideas of
    limited government and market fundamentalism went
    viral, so to speak, and broke out of the
    academy and into politics. In fact, the most potent weapon
    against the demand for capital was capitalism. As soon as the black
    community began asking for a share of
    wealth created by New Deal Keynesianism, the response
    was hardcore capitalism with a libertarian edge. So Alan Greenspan serves
    as Nixon’s economic advisor before the campaign. He writes in a memo in
    1967 on the urban riots. He calls the protests “an
    attack on America’s system of free enterprise and
    individual rights.” He says, “The
    critical question is whether the Negroes
    are correct in claiming they have been exploited.” His answer, no. “The charge of exploitation
    in the sense of value being extracted from the Negroes
    without their consent for the profit of the
    whites is clearly false. This distinction between
    discrimination and exploitation is all the difference
    in the world.” He said that the
    higher prices were justified by the laws
    of supply and demand. There were higher
    risk, and therefore it was erroneous to
    claim exploitation. So he suggests–
    and this is where Nixon gets his anti-black
    capitalism program, is from Alan Greenspan– he
    suggests that Nixon should help the Negroes help themselves,
    and any capitulation to their demands for
    integration or reparations was anti-capitalist and an
    attack on free enterprise. Milton Friedman even
    claimed basic civil rights anti-discrimination laws
    were anti-capitalist, and an interference–
    this is the quote– “with the freedom of
    individuals to enter into voluntary contracts.” He compared the civil rights
    laws with the Nuremberg Codes. It was all unjustified
    government intervention. It was oppressive. And Friedman said that the
    markets would naturally root out discrimination because
    anyone who opposed buying goods from black businessmen or
    employing black employees was being inefficient and
    would pay a higher price for that prejudice. Theoretically, this was true. But historically, it was not. Whites did not pay a
    higher cost for racism. Quite the opposite, it
    was the black ghetto that bore the cost. The reality was
    that the ghetto was the only place on the map
    where the full price of credit was being paid– to loan sharks, who couldn’t
    reduce the risk of default by selling off their loans
    to the secondary market. Everywhere else were
    subsidies, federal insurance, secondary markets. And this had nothing
    to do with capitalism. For Jim Crow in the South
    and segregation in the North were all heavy
    state interventions. You’d think Friedman and his
    Chicago economics department would have been on the front
    lines of the Civil Rights Movement to deregulate the– get rid of Jim Crow. That’s not what happened. So Friedman and
    Greenspan, like Ayn Rand, were not describing the
    world as it was or had been, but fantasizing
    an imaginary one. As Quinn Slobodian– sorry– explains in his
    excellent new book, this was the mission of
    Hayek, and the Mont Pelerin Society as well. And they also used the rhetoric
    of neoliberal free market capitalism to oppose South
    African rights for land. So these theories were
    elegant and often assumed perfect information
    and rational behavior. They were aspirational faiths
    but not accurate descriptions of the real world. You could be
    forgiven for thinking this ideological movement
    was a direct response to the economic demands
    of the black activists. So Lee Atwater, his famous
    quote, he talks about, first you’re saying
    racial expletives, and then you’re
    talking about tax cuts. You’re opposing black
    claims using economic terms. That was his famous
    deathbed confession. But there were
    other links as well. The John Birch Society starts
    alongside the Goldwater movement, and it’s an
    example of an early alliance between the Wallace
    segregationists and the libertarians. Another link was
    John Olin, who began to funnel money toward
    libertarian organizations, including his own Olin
    Foundation, the Federalist Society, and the law
    and econ movement. He was radicalized, if you
    will, after witnessing the 1969 takeover of the Cornell
    campus by Black Power groups during Alumni Weekend. Olin also funded Charles
    Murray’s research which produced several
    tracts on, you know, genetic racial inferiority,
    including The Bell Curve. And speaking of
    pseudoscience, each era has its dogma justifying racial
    inequality and oppression. In the Antebellum era,
    Christian doctrine was corrupted to hold that white
    men had a divine right, even duty some said, to subjugate
    and enslave blacks. When religious theory
    fell out of favor, it was natural selection. So Social Darwinists made
    spiffy-looking pseudoscientific charts of racial progress
    using skull measurements. Colonialism abroad and
    racial inequality at home were justified as just
    the laws of nature. After those theories
    were sort of discredited by being put
    into practice by the Nazis, that theory was unpopular. And so the laws of
    the market, I think, came to replace the laws
    of nature and of God. Economic theory and the
    law of supply and demand were the reason black
    labor was undervalued and credit cost more. Any effort to change this
    market was harmful government interference with
    what Reagan called “the magic of the marketplace.” And just as God’s will
    was difficult to challenge in the 1800s, so too was
    free market economic theory, lest one be labeled a
    heretic or a communist. These theories of capitalism
    proved very useful. But a lot of their
    most avid proponents use them very
    hypocritically, as they ran alongside a very draconian
    criminal justice system. Reagan’s gubernatorial campaign
    ran ads of footage of violence with a voiceover saying,
    “Every day the jungle draws a little closer.” Goldwater suggested that
    Stokely Carmichael should be sentenced to death for treason. So began the slow depriving
    of rights and livelihoods of generations of black men. But racial capitalism was
    as durable as it was weak. Every administration
    since Nixon has had a version of black capitalism. The Ford administration changes
    it to minority enterprise. Ford says, black
    capitalism is not a civil rights program
    or jobs program, it’s a business program. This is not an apology. It’s a boast. Carter increased
    government purchases. President Reagan,
    of course, sharpened the weapon of free market
    capitalism against government. He claimed that the best way
    to fight racial inequality was to oppose welfare,
    minimum wages, and tax cuts. So it was an economic
    bill of rights. He said that minority business
    development is the key to black economic progress. So black initiatives slowly– which began as a
    neutralizing response to one of the biggest racial
    uprisings in history– were soon programs
    reduced to congratulating a few black businessmen. And what got added is
    other sort of minorities and female entrepreneurs. So Carter and Reagan
    included women in the SBA and DBA programs– they changed the name. The theory of black enterprise
    was no longer discussed as an anti-poverty measure,
    nor was it about black power. It was about, sort
    of, diversity, representation– all of
    which are great motives, but not what was the
    purpose of these programs. So Clinton cut welfare, decrying
    a culture of independence, and declared that
    minority businesses would prove that we can bring the
    benefits of free enterprise to every neighborhood
    in America. All free enterprise needed
    was a nudge from the tax code. So Clinton passes
    the CDFI program which was modeled after
    ShoreBank– the country’s most famous black
    bank, even though it was not really black-owned. ShoreBank’s motto is,
    “let’s change the world,” and has a threefold mission– first, profitability, second,
    community development impact, and third, an
    environmental return. This is where
    Muhammad Yunus goes to be inspired to create Grameen
    International nationwide. So maybe I’ll, real
    quick, show this. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] – Muhammad Yunus had
    brought a lot of attention to microfinance and
    got a Nobel Prize. Tell me, when you look at
    it, how effective is it, and how much is it spreading. – First, it is almost
    universally effective where it’s done based
    on the same model that he and the other big
    givers in Bangladesh have used– that is, where you really– you realize you may be dealing
    with people who have never had a balance sheet, but
    they have a good reputation in the community, you
    know they’ve got a skill, and there’s clearly a market
    for what they want to do. In the early– [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] MEHRSA BARADAHAN:
    So Nixon had tried to induce white
    firms to voluntarily hire black employees and
    to give these contracts. But Clinton promises profits. So as HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo
    said, “It’s not about charity. It’s about investment.” Harvard professor Michael
    Porter wrote that the best way for the economy of the ghetto– to improve it– was through
    private for-profit initiatives and investment based on
    economic self-interest and genuine advantage. Businesses had to exploit
    the competitive advantage of inner cities. Lawrence Summers,
    Treasury Secretary, said, minority banks were
    like niche venture capital firms that deploy their superior
    knowledge of an emerging market, niche, to
    invest and manage risk better than other investors. These banks were
    called market scouts, never mind that black-owned
    banks have long been using– scouting these
    markets for profits. So as deregulation was creating
    profitable global monopolies, minorities were being
    told that to prosper they should focus small and local. Jeffersonianism, still alive. The ghetto is now called
    “enterprise zone”, “emerging market”, “untapped
    market,” Trump just released an “opportunity zone” program. And the idea was
    that entrepreneurs would make profits, and
    it would be win-win. So instead of capital, the
    ghetto would get entrepreneurs. And eventually,
    the entrepreneurs do end up finding profits. They’re called subprime loans. And– so I’m going to skip– so this infrastructure
    continues to today. This is Obama’s promise to
    help bring businesses back. There is now a department
    in every banking agency– the Fed, OCC, Treasury–
    for minority banks. From laws like
    FIRREA to Dodd-Frank, there are minority
    bank push, not to mention the CRA and the
    CDFI, which are the big ones. So this continues–
    this is Trump– with the rhetoric of self-help. So I was at the
    Treasury Department during the Trump
    administration when the Treasury
    Secretary, Jack Lew, was asked about the
    racial wealth gap. And the event, by the
    way, was the Treasury naming a wing, “The
    Freedman’s Bank,” without any sense of irony. In fact, this would
    be the first time that the Treasury was linked
    with the Freedman’s Bank. So Jack Lew responded that,
    yes, the racial wealth gap was a problem. But, and I quote,
    “A lot of people say they can’t afford to save. I understand. Living on a paycheck income
    is really challenging. I experienced this at the
    beginning of my career, and I know it’s hard. By the same token, most
    people buy a cup of coffee without thinking about it. Most people buy an
    extra magazine or video without thinking about it. If you take the accumulated
    decisions people make lightly and on one of these
    occasions say, I’m going to put my money
    away for retirement, you’d see people
    start with more. I think financial education,
    financial literacy is about understanding that
    some people buying a home might not be a good idea.” Coffee and magazines. Meanwhile, the financial crisis
    wiped out 53% of the wealth of the black community–
    mostly through subprime loans– which were disproportionately
    given to black borrowers. By 2009, 35% of black families
    had zero to negative wealth. Rory Van Loo and Pamela Foohey
    have done excellent work on disparities in bankruptcy
    filings of these families of racial disparities. Former Congressman Brad
    Miller called the crisis “an extinction level event”
    for black communities. This was made
    possible, of course, by theories of free market
    fundamentalism being applied to banking regulation. So while the administrative
    state deregulated markets with one hand, creating
    behemoth financial oligopolies, with the other, they
    offered the powerless and the disenfranchised
    microfinance and financial education. So the idea– again, we’re
    reviving Karl Polanyi, but there’s a quote. So the ideas industry, led by
    the Chicago school neoliberals and expounded by
    Greenspan, Friedman, and the Olin Foundation’s
    law and econ takeover, all push the idea that banking
    law and monetary policy was the domain of
    technocrats with models, that money was this fixed
    universal substance, like Plato’s theory
    of Forms, as opposed to just a legal form
    created by a government. The theory is that
    monetary policy was akin to an equation
    that could be solved rather than a decision to be made. This takes an absurd form when
    libertarians start proposing bitcoin as better than money. It goes back to the black
    box discussion we had yesterday with Eric and Anna. That the laws of the market
    could be measured and observed like the laws of nature– so if you brought up
    inequality or racism or any social consideration,
    it was because you didn’t understand how markets work. Morality, public duty, social
    responsibility, justice– those are all nice but had
    nothing to do with markets. Legal academics, our field,
    especially in the business and banking law, began
    talking like economists, and apologizing for
    not being economists. And this has a lot to do
    with the Olin law and econ takeover of law schools. And instead of talking about
    democracy, power, and law, they spoke the language
    of law and econ, or if especially
    liberal, sometimes just behavioral economics. Obviously there are
    exceptions in the room– Bob, Saule,
    Christine– actually, all the legal people here. The demise of the
    New Deal regulations created powerful and
    profitable banks. But that was the point. Deregulation was not just
    about removing restrictions. It changed the way policymakers
    talked about banks and money. The government’s focus changed
    from a paramount objective of keeping banks small,
    powerless, and democratic, which was Jeffersonian,
    to ensuring that banks a profitable and efficient. Read Saule Omarova’s
    The Quiet Metamorphosis to understand exactly
    how this worked. Banks were relieved
    of public obligations. Their only obligation
    was to manage risk. But they didn’t. And when it came time for free
    markets to do their things, which is market discipline,
    the government lost its nerve. And I’m going to
    wrap up right now. The financial crisis
    revealed that the deal had been lopsided, that government
    had waived the restrictions but was holding the bag
    when the banks failed. If anything, the
    central bank is now more involved in holding
    more assets in the banking sector than ever before. So surely if the government
    creates guarantees and subsidizes the
    credit markets, that must mean the banks cannot
    exclude a significant portion of the public from the
    bounty of government support, or actively exploit
    vulnerable populations. And so the problems of payday
    lending, debt fraud, redlining, the racial wealth gap are more
    than just market problems. They’re social and
    political problems. Money and credit
    policy must create– must have an active role. And– so I was going
    to march through– I don’t have time– how from Jackson to
    Jefferson, they were wrong. I mean, William Jennings
    Bryan was perhaps being dramatic that
    the common people were being hung by a cross of gold. But could we not make the
    claim today that the 98% is being harmed by the Fed’s
    monetary policy decision to use QE to purchase
    mortgage-backed securities instead of, say, modifying
    mortgage loans, or maybe funding Title I schools? And Brandeis, you know,
    calling banks a public utility, because they were using
    other people’s money, perhaps now they’re not. As Morgan and
    others demonstrated, they are using money
    created by the central bank. So the question now– and I’m going to finish. This went longer than I thought. The question is
    how do we fix it? We have to stop watching
    It’s a Wonderful Life. For the last 200
    years, the answer has been community
    banking, minority banking, begging big banks to
    lend through carrots and sticks, or just
    not buying lattes. But it hasn’t worked, and banks
    have just not been interested. And so it’s time to drop the
    theory that private banks are necessarily intermediaries. We need a public option. And many here have proposed
    many good proposals. Morgan and John and Lev
    talked about the fed accounts. Saule and Bob have
    done amazing work showing the banks are
    a public franchise. Derrick Hamilton talked about
    baby bonds and jobs guarantee. MMT, the positive money people. Mike [? Consol, ?] William
    [? Greiter– ?] Lots of people have very good ideas here. I’ve just proposed a 21st
    century Homestead Act with Federal Reserve
    financing that would target the racial wealth gap. So we have to shed
    the destructive myth that capitalism will fix
    what public policy created. We cannot deflect the
    responsibility of economic equality onto these
    communities alone. W.E.B. Du Bois declared in
    1948 that the great problem of American democracy was that
    it had not yet been tried. So perhaps it’s time to try. [APPLAUSE] CHRISTINE DESAN: Maybe
    what we should do is just take a
    couple of questions. I lost the microphone, which
    is good, it’s the second day. Does anyone have the
    microphone by any chance? Whoever has the microphone
    has the first question. First question, from someone
    who hasn’t spoken yet. AUDIENCE: Thank you so much. We heard yesterday
    about payment systems. And for instance, PayPal
    sort of holds up its mission as sort of financial inclusion
    and democratizing access. What’s been the track
    record of fintech companies? And are there opportunities
    maybe to fold them in as well? MEHRSA BARADAHAN: Thank you. I mean, poor– and this is
    another one of those myths, right? It’s really bad. This is– I go into
    this in the first book. This fintech bias that every– you know, the treasury is
    all bound up in fintech, so if you try to say, hey postal
    banking, brick and mortar. The poor live in cash. If you’re unbanked, you don’t
    have a bank account, right? And all of the
    fintech providers, PayPal and Square,
    all of them, Venmo, operate on a bank
    account, right? So I even talked– and I
    talked to Jack Morrissey about financial inclusion. He’s like, oh, Square,
    we don’t use a bank. I’m like, yes, you do. I know the bank
    that you’re using. So they’re using these
    loophole, this ILC in Utah, to plug into the
    banking charter. So they’re getting
    around banking laws. And then they’re saying, oh,
    we’re going to disrupt banks. But it’s not a
    solution to the poor. Fintech is this
    like– who said it was, like, this bourgeois
    solution, right? It’s basically like, what
    would I want if I were poor? And the imagination goes
    to, like, it’s just me with everything I have
    but just less money. But that’s not what– but that’s not what
    poverty is, right? Poverty is a fundamentally
    different thing. It’s not just me
    with less money. It’s a different world. And that’s what fintech
    people don’t quite understand. I think. And that’s overgeneralizing. I’m sure there’s
    some good people. AUDIENCE: Hi. I really liked the
    picture you had of the money cycling among
    the white people banks, and then just it siphoning out
    of the black banking sector. And what it reminded
    me of was, yesterday, when we were talking about– when Rana was talking
    about money kind of in this loop in the financial
    sector and just kind of getting stuck there. And I was like, well, this looks
    like exactly the same thing as we were talking
    about yesterday. And I’m wondering,
    to what extent have you explored the
    problems with black capitalism as being like a microcosm
    of some of the problems with larger capitalism
    in the financial sector? MEHRSA BARADAHAN: I haven’t. But that’s a really
    good question. And then there’s so much
    more work to be done here. I mean, honestly, when
    I was writing this book, I just wanted to read a
    book about black banking. So I asked my library, just
    find me a book on black banking. And there’s, like, nothing. The last one was 1930. So I had to spend time
    in the Nixon archives looking at this
    black capitalism. Someone should have written
    that book that is a historian. Like, I am pretending. So there’s a lot of
    work– like, for you PhDs that are historians or
    economists to do more work than we law people can cite. I’m not capable of
    doing that kind of work. But I would love to
    cite any of you who want to go deeper into this
    and theorize it, or dig up some of the dirt.

    Real Reason These 5 America’s Richest Families Went Broke
    Articles, Blog

    Real Reason These 5 America’s Richest Families Went Broke

    September 1, 2019


    This episode is brought to you by Dashlane;
    Try Dashlane Premium free for 30 days at www.dashlane.com/infographics and never forget another password and keep
    all your online accounts secure! In the 1800s when the USA was growing into
    the powerhouse it is today, a lot of families were getting rich. This was called the gilded age. Some made a fortune from things like the gold
    rush, while others just had great ideas. Thanks to a guy called Levi Strauss we got
    blue jeans, something he invented during the Gold Rush for people who needed sturdier work
    pants. He amassed great wealth thanks to his nifty
    invention. Prior to this some of the wealthiest people
    were plantation owners, merchants, statesmen, and then came the bankers, real estate moguls,
    and those working in the oil and railroad industries. In the 20th century others made fortunes,
    too, or should we say fickle fortunes. Some families managed to retain their wealth,
    while others lost it all, or most of it. Those are the people we’ll talk about today. The Pulitzers
    We’ll start with a name we think many of you will be familiar with. The reason you might have heard the name is
    because there is an award called the Pulitzer Prize. This is given to people who have created something
    great, either in literature, journalism, music, and more. But do you know why we have this prize at
    all? Well, that’s because a kind man called Joseph
    Pulitzer gave Columbia University a bunch of money to start a journalism school in 1892. This was the world’s first journalism school. Joseph had amassed quite a fortune in the
    newspaper business and wanted a country full of great reporters. He got depressed, sick, and died, but in 1917
    his name lived on when the first Pulitzer prize as we know it today was awarded. But that’s not why we are here today. What we want to know is what happened to all
    his cash? The answer is his grandson Peter Pulitzer
    invested a lot of that fortune in an 800-acre citrus farm, but that didn’t go well because
    the trees got sick from something called citrus canker. This is a bacterial disease that destroys
    the trees. We are told this would have ruined him, but
    the husband of his ex-wife bailed him out. That saved the citrus operation, so while
    Joseph didn’t exactly lose it all, he would have without a little help from friends. The Strohs
    This family we doubt you’ve heard of, unless you’re a big beer fan. The story goes that a young Bernhard Stroh
    had learned how to make beer in his native Germany, but during the German revolution
    he went to the USA with 150 bucks in his pocket and a recipe to make a decent beer. At age 28 in 1850 he started a brewery in
    Detroit and his son, Bernhard Stroh Jr., took over after him. Prohibition obviously wasn’t good for these
    beer makers, and they branched out into non-alcoholic beer and ice cream. When that ended the beer company just went
    from strength to strength and its said by 1978 the Stroh’s were pumping out 6.4 million
    US beer barrels to thirsty Americans. According to Forbes magazine in the 1980s
    the Stroh’s were rolling in dough with a fortune of $700 million. Then came the decline. Apparently the new generation got into serious
    debt after some shaky acquisitions. Then came some other mighty brewing companies
    such as Miller and Coors and the Strohs got left behind. In 1999 after brewing beer for 149 years the
    company was done and was taken over by other brewers. That 700 million fortune was gone. The then company president, John Stroh III
    said in a statement, “Emotionally, it was an extremely difficult one to make, knowing
    that it would impact our loyal employees, and recognizing that it would mean the end
    of our family’s centuries old brewing tradition that had become, in essence, an important
    part of our identity.” The Hartfords
    So far we haven’t had anyone who lost their fortune from living what you might call a
    playboy lifestyle, but with the Hartfords we do. Before we get to the big spending kid of the
    family, we’ll tell you how these people got their money. A man called George Huntington Hartford had
    taken over a business called The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. When he was head of that he branched out into
    grocery stores and supermarkets under the name A and P. This became massive, a name
    as big as McDonald’s is today. In fact, you might hear it being called the
    Walmart before there was a Walmart. In the 60s it was the biggest retailer of
    any kind in the USA and in the 70s was at least the biggest chain of grocery stores. Everyone went to A and P. At its peak it had
    15,709 stores in the USA and as you can imagine it made the Hartford family very, very rich. They were ranked as one of the wealthiest
    families in the USA for a while. So, what could go possibly go wrong? Well, it was basically competition from more
    modern stores starting in the 50s. They tried to keep up, but kept failing. Over the decades it closed 100s of its stores,
    got hurt badly by the Great Recession in the 2000s and finally filed for bankruptcy in
    2015. And like that, it was gone. But there was still cash around, because we
    are talking about extreme wealth here. Now we can talk about the playboy. His name was Huntington Hartford and according
    to various reports he squandered his massive inheritance. He hung out with the stars, bought fast cars,
    big houses, lots of art works, and we are told he lost it all. That was the end of the Hartford fortune. The Kluges
    This story begins with something called Metromedia, which was a media behemoth. It was taken over by German-American entrepreneur
    John Kluge in the 1950s and he expanded it and made a lot of money. In the 80s he sold it to 20th Century Fox
    film studio and at one point Forbes had him as the richest man in America. The billionaire later turned to philanthropy
    and did things like invest $60 million to build the John W. Kluge Center. In fact, he donated millions all over the
    place. So again, what could possibly go wrong. Well, it seems Mr. Kluge was never settled
    in his relationships and he got married four times. Now we don’t exactly know where all his
    cash went, but we do know that one person who got quite a lot of it lost it all. Her name Patricia Kluge, one of those wives. After her divorce she got her hands on a 200-acre
    estate and $1 million per year in the divorce settlement. She bought a vineyard and tried to expand
    it, which got in her lots of debt. There was then a real estate crash that ruined
    her and she declared bankruptcy. As for her vineyard, it was bought by the
    man who is now President of the United States, Donald Trump. The Vanderbilts
    We will finish with one of the most well-known of wealthy families in the USA. Their story starts with a man called Cornelius
    Vanderbilt, the son of American-Dutch parents. As a young boy he worked on his father’s
    ferry in New York Harbor. He was only 11. At age 16 he wanted to do his own ferry business
    and he borrowed a bit of cash to start his own operation taking people between Staten
    Island and Manhattan. You just couldn’t hold this boy back and
    he was well known for his entrepreneurship. At 19 he married his first cousin and got
    busy at home as well as at work. What we mean by that is he had 13 kids. He eventually branched out into regional steamboat
    lines and ocean-going steamships and after that built a railroad empire and all kinds
    of other business. At the time of his death in 1877 he had amassed
    $100 million. According to an inflation calculator today
    that would be two billion, three hundred eighty-two million, three hundred nineteen thousand,
    six hundred thirty-five dollars. Quite a bit of cash. And you know what, he left 95 percent of that
    to one son called Billy because he believed this son was capable of running his empire. Billy did just that and more, doubling the
    family’s wealth in his lifetime. But it seems this family just ran out of steam
    when it came to making cash, and over the years the fortune dried up. Some of the Vanderbilts over the years would
    do well, but none remained ultra-wealthy and that’s why some people talk about the “Fall
    of the House of Vanderbilt.” Is it really that good anyway to be born rich? In a book about the family the author wrote
    that one of the grandsons of the great Cornelius once said, “Inherited wealth is a real handicap
    to happiness.” There’s plenty of different ways to lose
    your money, and we’re betting that if we made this video again in ten years, at least
    one family would have lost their fortune to something that’s becoming more and more
    common every day – hacking. But you, being the intelligent Infographics
    Show viewer that you are, will rest easy because you’ll have Dashlane, the one and only tool
    you need to keep your personal info and digital accounts safe and secure. And in addition to that, their Dark Web monitoring
    services will immediately notify you if it finds any of your personal information for
    sale on an online marketplace, so you can take steps to protect yourself right away! Don’t be like millions of victims every
    day, get Dashlane and keep your digital life secure right now! Head on over to www.dashlane.com/infographics
    for a free 30 day trial, and if you use the coupon code ‘infographics’ you can get
    10% off a premium subscription today! Do you agree with that statement? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
    Why Winning The Lottery Is The Worst Thing That Can Happen To You. Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
    forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

    Suspect Arrested In Murder Of Railroad Security Guard In Harvey
    Articles, Blog

    Suspect Arrested In Murder Of Railroad Security Guard In Harvey

    September 1, 2019


    WHILE SHE WAS PULLED OFF THEEXPRESSWAY WHILE IN LABOR. CHARGES COULD BE COMING TODAY FOR THE MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING A SECURITY GUARD IN HARVEY. WE HAVE A CLOSER LOOK HOW THEY CAPTURED HIM, GOOD MORNING, MIKE. OF COURSE THIS WAS A HIGH PROFILE CASE AND POLICE SAY THE TIPS REALLY NEVER STOPPED COMING IN POLICE ANNOUNCED THEY WERE LOOKING FOR RASHAD WILLIAMS THAT HE KILLED TYRONNE HARDEN IN CONNECTION WITH A CAR THEFT HE WAS WORKING AS SECURITY GUARD AT THE TIME THE TWO MEN HAD THEIR ENCOUNTER WHEN HE RAN OFF THE TRACKS HARDEN WAS GUARDING FOR THE RAIL WAY. WILLIAMS ALSO FIRED AT SOMEONE ELSE IN ADDITION TO HARDEN INVESTIGATORS SAY THE 24-YEAR- OLD MURDER SUSPECT WAS ARRESTED LATE LAST NIGHT IN CHICAGO HEIGHTS. HE WAS SEEN WALKING WITH A GROCERY BAG AND IN A FOOT PER SUIT. THEY CAN WANT WILLIAMS TO BE CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER POSSIBLY AS SOON AS TODAY, HARDEN WILL BE LAID TO REST THIS UPCOMING WEEKEND

    Stephen King Biography: The Man Who Almost Didn’t Become a Writer
    Articles, Blog

    Stephen King Biography: The Man Who Almost Didn’t Become a Writer

    August 31, 2019


    The world outside of central Maine almost
    never got to know Stephen King. If not for his wife’s diligence and her
    confidence in her husband, the book that launched a million pages might never have come into
    being. When his wife Tabitha rescued the start of
    the manuscript of “Carrie” from the trash and insisted her husband finish it, King was
    working as an English teacher and writing on the side. Tabitha’s judgment was right, Carrie became
    a smash hit, and Stephen King is one of the world’s most famous and most prolific authors. So what’s the story behind the stories? Let’s delve into his life… Early Life Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine,
    the largest city of the mostly rural state that serves as the setting for so many of
    his famous stories. Stephen was the second son born to Nellie
    and Donald King, but the family of four soon became a family of three. When Stephen was only two years old, and his
    brother only four, their father went out, telling the family he was buying a pack of
    cigarettes. He never returned. King’s mother worked several jobs, moving
    with the boys from Maine, going from state to state to find work and a place she could
    afford to live and raise two boys on her own. But Maine was home, and it’s where the family
    eventually settled for good. When they moved back to Maine, the family
    didn’t have indoor plumbing. And this was the 1960s. King’s life growing up was a far cry from
    the wealth he has now. But King didn’t see his childhood as exceptional
    or out of the ordinary. Though he does acknowledge he’s always liked
    scary things. “My childhood was pretty ordinary, except
    from a very early age I wanted to be scared. I just did. I was scared afterward. I wanted a light on because I was scared. There was something in the closet. My imagination was very active even at a young
    age.” Some have said that King might also be inspired
    to write such horrifying stories by a childhood event he doesn’t even remember. “According to Mom, I had gone off to play
    at a neighbor’s house—a house that was near a railroad line. About an hour after I left I came back (she
    said), as white as a ghost. I would not speak for the rest of the day;
    I would not tell her why I’d not waited to be picked up or phoned that I wanted to
    come home; I would not tell her why my chum’s mom hadn’t walked me back but had allowed
    me to come alone. It turned out that the kid I had been playing
    with had been run over by a freight train while playing on or crossing the tracks (years
    later, my mother told me they had picked up the pieces in a wicker basket).” As traumatic as that event must have been,
    it was not the only explanation for King’s vivid imagination. Friends of the King tell stories about how
    the family was known for their attention to literature. If their mother couldn’t find – or couldn’t
    afford – a babysitter, she’d leave her sons alone with the expectation they would read
    aloud to each other. King’s love of stories and the written word
    was fostered from an early age. And, the tradition stuck – King and his wife
    Tabitha also made their own kids read aloud to each other, and to them. He’d even record them on cassettes to make
    the family their own collection of audiobooks. Growing up, King also wrote material for his
    brother’s newsletter. Called “Dave’s Rag,” they made copies
    on a mimeograph machine and distributed it to their friends. But King was soon able to move beyond just
    writing for his sibling’s newsletter. In 1965, when he was still in high school,
    King was published in Comics Review. The story was right in line with the frightening
    plots we all know King for today. King had been working as a gravedigger to
    earn money as a teenager. The job inspired him to write a story called
    “I Was A Teenage Grave Robber,” and its publication was his first taste of published
    success. The only downside – he didn’t get paid for
    the work. His first paid published work didn’t come
    until he was in college and earned $35 for a story called “The Glass Floor.” King graduated from Lisbon Falls High School,
    the high school in the town that later became the setting for portions of the book “11/22/63.” Lisbon Falls was a milltown, and King spent
    time working in the town’s mill when he was a teenager. College & Career Start After graduation, King had aspirations to
    be a writer. So he headed north to the University of Maine
    Orono to earn a degree in English Literature. While in college, King was a columnist for
    the college paper, was outspoken against the Vietnam War, and worked in the college library. That same library is now home to many of King’s
    papers. It’s also where he met his wife. Tabitha was looking for a book in the stacks,
    King passed by and struck up a conversation with her, and four years later the literary
    couple had graduated, had a daughter and was married. Though King had been writing in college, he
    was far from being able to support himself and a growing family just by writing. He, Tabitha, and their daughter Naomi were
    living in a trailer outside of Bangor, and King was working two jobs. He was teaching English at Hampden Academy,
    and in the summers was pumping gas at the local station while also working shifts at
    a laundromat. Tabitha took on shifts at a Dunkin’ Donuts,
    and they struggled to get by. But King always made time to write. Even in the cramped quarters of the family’s
    trailer, he made a point to set aside space for a writing desk and typewriter. 2,000 words a day was his goal, and that’s
    a goal he stands by today. Eventually, King earned a teaching certificate
    and was able to put his college education to use as a teacher at Hampden Academy. The work still wasn’t what he wanted to
    be doing, though. It was writing he loved, and writing that
    he wanted to earn a living from. Writing has always been his purpose in life,
    as he explains, “There was nothing else I was made to do. I was made to write stories and I love to
    write stories. That’s why I do it. I really can’t imagine doing anything else
    and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.” Though it took years of effort, his big break
    did come. After Tabitha fished the beginning of Carrie
    out of the trash in 1973, King finished the book and sent it off to a publisher. He wasn’t confident about its chances of
    being published: “…my considered opinion was that I had
    written the world’s all-time loser.” The family wasn’t doing well financially
    when he sent Carrie in, and they couldn’t even afford a phone. So he got the news via telegram … he’d
    be receiving a 2500 dollar advance and Doubleday would be publishing Carrie. Then…even better news. The paperback rights were sold for 400,000
    dollars. King could quit teaching and write full-time,
    and his family would be better off than they had ever dared to imagine. The book was a smash hit. Within the next year, a million copies were
    sold and only three years later it was made into an Academy Award winning movie. Stephen King was now officially a writer,
    and an American celebrity. But success didn’t mean that King settled
    into a completely untroubled life. As he kept writing, cranking out books like
    Misery, Cujo, and Pet Sematary, he was drinking heavily…and he knew he had a problem. King told Rolling Stone: “Nobody in the house drank but me. My wife would have a glass of wine and that
    was all. So I went in the garage one night, and the
    trash can that was set aside for beer cans was full to the top. It had been empty the week before. I was drinking, like, a case of beer a night. And I thought, “I’m an alcoholic.” That was probably about ’78, ’79. I thought, “I’ve gotta be really careful,
    because if somebody says, ‘You’re drinking too much, you have to quit,’ I won’t be able
    to.” He knew he had a problem, but he didn’t
    stop drinking. In fact, he took it one step further. In the late 70s, King started doing cocaine,
    using it at night while he was writing. By this time, he and Tabitha had three kids
    and he knew his addictions were taking a toll both on his family and his writing. He attributes the length of Tommyknockers
    to cocaine, and looking back has said the book could have been half the length if so
    much of it hadn’t been inspired purely by his drugged-up energy. He’s also said he doesn’t even remember
    writing Cujo, so bad was his consumption of alcohol and drugs during the 80s. “There’s one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember
    writing at all. I don’t say that with pride or shame, only
    with a vague sense of sorrow and loss. I like that book. I wish I could remember enjoying the good
    parts as I put them down on the page.” And, The Shining and Misery both carry an
    undercurrent of reference to his struggles – Jack Torrence is an alcoholic in The Shining,
    and King has described the antagonist of Misery as essentially the personification of cocaine. It wasn’t until the late 80s, when Tabitha
    threatened to leave him and the family staged a dramatic intervention that King cleaned
    up his act. At the intervention, his family displayed
    drug paraphernalia and pills they had collected from the trash. King, with the magnitude of his problem laid
    out in front of his eyes and in front of family and friends, made the decision to get sober. Now, he’s been sober for nearly three decades. During the 1990s and into the 21st century,
    King continued to be one of the world’s most prolific and well-known writers. His books spawned movies and mini-series,
    and over 350 million copies of his books have been sold. After he became so popular, King took the
    step of publishing under a pseudonym – Richard Bachman. He wanted to see if he could still get books
    published and have them sell without his now-famous name splashed across the front. Turns out, he could. The first book he published under the name
    Richard Bachman was “Rage.” Set in King’s familiar world of a Maine
    high school, the book tells the story of a teenager who engages in violent acts at his
    school. He sets his locker on fire, shoots his algebra
    teacher, and attacks another student with a wrench. In 1977, it was a figment of King’s imagination. But in the late 1980s and 1990s, the book
    unfortunately started to resemble actual occurrences at schools across the United States. In 1997, after a student shot eight people
    at a prayer meeting in Kentucky, it was discovered that he had a copy of Rage in his locker. Disturbed by this, King asked his publisher
    to take the book out of print. To this day, Rage remains out of print. Accident Even as his success grew, King remained living
    in Maine. The family owns a home in Bangor, and a home
    in Lovell near the lakes for the summer. It was near the home in Lovell that King’s
    life almost ended in 1999. King was taking a walk along one of the winding,
    wooded roads that are so familiar a part of Maine’s landscape. Then, a van smashed into him from behind. King was knocked off the road, into a ditch. Witnesses said he was in a heap and it was
    clear his leg was broken. His glasses flew off, and landed in the van
    that hit him. At the hospital, he underwent multiple surgeries
    and had to do physical therapy as part of his recovery. Bryan Smith, the driver who hit King, had
    a track record of driving infractions, including an OUI. The King accident was blamed on the Smith’s
    dog distracting him, causing him to swerve into the author. Smith received a six month jail sentence that
    was later suspended, and has his license revoked for a year. King was upset … he wanted Smith’s license
    revoked for life given his history of bad driving. Only a year after the accident, Smith was
    found dead in his trailer at the age of 43. He died of a painkiller overdose, and, in
    a twist of fate that seemed straight out of a King novel – he died on King’s birthday,
    September 21st. King sustained horrific injuries in the accident,
    but he resumed writing only a month after being released from the hospital. He finished the highly regarded “On Writing,”
    and in 2000 the book was published, but by 2002 King decided that he simply didn’t
    have the strength to keep writing as he had in the past. Where he had previously sat and typed for
    hours at a time, it now hurt him to sit for long periods. Addiction had also become part of his life
    again. After the accident, he took OxyContin to deal
    with the pain from his injuries and became addicted. As he had a decade earlier, he was able to
    overcome the addiction and live soberly. The lure of the written word ultimately proved
    too strong for his post-accident injuries and struggles, and so King returned to his
    craft. He has said that he literally needs to write
    to live. What would happen if he didn’t write? “’Oh, I’d be dead. I would have drunk myself to death or drugged
    myself to death or committed suicide or some goddamn thing.” Since his accident, he’s published dozens
    of stories and books, including Mr. Mercedes, Duma Key, 11/22/63, and Under The Dome. A diehard Red Sox fan, like so many of his
    New England neighbors, Stephen King also co-wrote a book after the Red Sox 2004 World Series
    win. Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans
    Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, shared the story of the emotional roller coaster
    King and so many other Red Sox fans rode throughout the summer and fall of 2004. In a further display of his eclectic interests
    and abillities, King dabbles in music. He played guitar for “The Rock Bottom Remainders,”
    a band whose other members you might recognize too: Amy Tan, Dave Barry, and Matt Groening
    are only a few of the other celebrities who joined King on stage. And, he even co-wrote a musical with John
    Mellencamp. Billed as a “southern gothic supernatural
    musical,” Ghost Brothers of Darkland County opened ran for a month at the Alliance Theater
    in Atlanta. King is 70 now, but hasn’t run out of ideas…in
    fact, he and his son Owen just released a co-written book in 2017. Charitable Work & Political Involvement King is incredibly wealthy – he writes and
    sells books at a breathtaking pace. But he doesn’t use his wealth to amass ‘stuff.’ He and Tabitha own three houses – two in Maine
    and one in Florida. It’s the house in Maine that is most iconic…located
    in Bangor, it’s a huge old Victorian surrounded by a wrought iron fence decorated with bats. From the outside, the house is exactly where
    one would expect Stephen King to live. On the inside, it has an indoor swimming pool
    and a huge underground library. The houses are extravagant by everyday standards,
    but they are really the primary way King prefers to spend money on himself and Tabitha. “I’m not a clothes person. I’m not a boat person. We do have a house in Florida. But we live in Maine, for Christ’s sake. It’s not like a trendy community or anything.” His houses are beautiful, but they don’t
    use all of his money … so what does he do with it all? Well, he gives it away, mostly. Or, he invests in projects that support his
    interests and his community. A music fan, King has purchased radio stations
    in Maine. A huge baseball fan, he funded the construction
    of a Little League Field in Bangor. The field is now known as “Field of Screams,”
    a tip of the hat to the field’s funder. Together, he and Tabitha run the Stephen and
    Tabitha King Foundation. Libraries and colleges, especially the University
    of Maine and the Bangor Public Library have benefitted from the Kings’ philanthropy. Maine’s historical societies, fire departments,
    arts organizations, and hospitals have also been beneficiaries of the Kings. In a 2001 speech at Vassar College, King made
    his view on generosity and charity clear to his audience. “Should you give away what you have? Of course you should. I want you to consider making your lives one
    long gift to others, and why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All you want to get at the getting place,
    from the Maserati you may dream about to the retirement fund some broker will try to sell
    you on, none of that is real. All that lasts is what you pass on. The rest is smoke and mirrors.” In that same speech, he discussed natural
    resources and his dislike of the George W. Bush administration. With the advent of Twitter in the years to
    follow, King had an even wider audience to share his political views with. He’s take on President Trump via Twitter,
    announcing that the President wasn’t allowed to see the new version of “It” when it
    hit theaters in 2017. He’s also made clear in very profane language…we
    won’t repeat it here… what he thinks of the President and his administration. Stephen King is a national figure in his own
    right. For thirty years he has been affecting the
    conversation around pop culture. His books sell by the millions, and his movies
    rake in millions of dollars and win Academy Awards. Growing up, he knew he wanted to write, but
    he never wanted to do it to achieve the wealth and fame he’s now amassed. His reasoning was much simpler, and it remains
    his mantra to this day. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting
    famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives
    of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” For over three decades, from his home tucked
    away in the northeast corner of the United States, Stephen King has been able to live
    out his childhood dream to write for a living. In doing so, he’s brought many of us nightmares
    – but they’re nightmares the world gladly welcome as we continue to delve into his stories.

    Patti Smith Interview: I Will Always Live Like Peter Pan
    Articles, Blog

    Patti Smith Interview: I Will Always Live Like Peter Pan

    August 31, 2019


    (instrumental music) (applauses) [Christian] Welcome to Louisiana, Patti. [Patti] Thank you. I’m really happy to be here. It’s beautiful here. Really special. [Christian] When you’re onstage you are considered as the godmother of punk, but when I read your books, it seems like I meet another Patti Smith. It’s like you were expressing two different sides of yourself in two different medias. [Patti] Well, there’s a lot more than two because, as Walt Whitman said we contain multitudes and that energy that people later called punk rock, an energy I’ve had since I was a child… I still have, I’ll have it my whole life, but I have many different energies, in many ways of expressing myself. So if I’m expressing myself, if I’m, you know, taking care of my children, if I’m washing clothes, I’m still the girl that can put her foot through the amplifier. You know, I’m the same person. [Christian] I would like to invite you to do a reading from ‘Woolgathering’. [Patti] Sure. (applauses) Actually, this little passage talks about the year 1957 I think I was about ten years old. And it’s the story of two important things: the birth of my little sister Kimberly, which I wrote the song Kimberly about, on ‘Horses’. and also about my dog, Bambi, who I… Now, it’s how many years from fifty-seven? (counting) Wow. Over fifty years ago. I still remember this dog with the most precious of loves. “In the summer of 1957, my youngest sibling Kimberly was born. She came ten years after me, and it was a surprise to everyone, including my mother. I remember my parents leaving for the hospital. There was a commercial for paper towels on TV from the Kimberly Clark company, and that’s what my mother named her. My mother said when she saw her face, she knew she had seen that face
    before but she couldn’t place it. Then she realized that it was her own face. Kimberly looked exactly like my mother. Kimberly was a sunny child, although she
    had severe asthma and a host of allergies. In our little house, we were
    now eight: four children, my mother, my
    father, my mother’s cat Mittens, and my dog Bambi. My mother loved her cat and I
    loved my dog as myself. My dog Bambi was a good companion. Intelligent, quiet, and obedient. We had brought her with us when left Germantown to start a new life in southern New Jersey. My father used to go to the barber shop, when he had some extra change to get a haircut. His barber sometimes let me sit in the big chair and he trimmed my bangs, somehow they were never even. One day he brought a basket
    of puppies into the barbershop. His miniature collie had made it with a
    German Shepherd. That’s quite a match, right? (audience laugh) It’s like David and Goliath. All the pups were long-haired, except for the runt of the litter. She had the coat of a Shepherd, but the markings of a Collie. She really resembled a small deer. So sweet and vulnerable in the basket. And I called her Bambi. My father said we couldn’t afford to
    have another dog. I said she could eat some of my food, but he also wondered about my mother. He worried because she was still grieving for her dog Sambo. A lively black Cocker Spaniel that was
    killed on the railroad tracks while we were gathering coal. The coal would fall from the passing railroad cars. There were enough pieces that would fall to fill our pockets for the coal stove. Sambo never listened and ran in front of
    the train. My mother was devastated by the loss, and my father didn’t think she would want another dog But Bambi was so meek and so loving, that he relented. After a small flutter of protests, and the fact that Mittens, the cat, took a liking to her, she was given entrance into our family. I had never wanted to leave the city Germantown, where we came from, was just a short trolley ride to Philadelphia, where there were lots of big libraries, with an infinite amount of books. But nonetheless, we moved to a little starter house in Woodbury Gardens, with a pig farm, and a swamp to the right, and an unkept field in an old barn across the road. It was a comfort having my dog in this unknown territory. We spent long hours together as I explored the small forest lining the edge of our neighborhood. I named all I saw Red Clay Mountain, Rainbow Creek, Punk Swamp. There was life everywhere. Mysterious and energetic. In time I came to cherish our surroundings. We led our Peter Pan existence. Bambi, my spirit dog, with the deep sad eyes. Kimberly was often ill. The doctor ordered the house to be stripped of every allergen, including our precious animals. She was allergic to the dog and cat. This was a terrible blow yet I was not without understanding. I had no resentment against the baby, or the doctor. We all knew it was our duty to help Kimberly, but the thought of giving up Mittens and Bambi was heartbreaking. I thought of running away with my dog, but where would we go? We could sleep in the fields, shrouded at night with the invisible cloth of the wool gatherers. I could hide in the forest, and build a hut in the trees, and live like one of the Lost Boys. But I knew I could never really run away and leave my siblings. I could never really leave Kimberly. Who would rock her to sleep when my parents were working? Who would watch her sleep making certain she did not hold her breath and leave us forever? The day was fast coming when the family offered to take Bambi. I vaguely knew one of them from school. The idea sickened me. In my heart I felt a possessiveness I had never experienced. I couldn’t bear of someone else having my dog. I got up quite early and I left the house with her. It was in my mind to take her to all the places we loved. We would take one last walk to Red Clay
    Mountain, and stop by Rainbow Creek. I had a peanut butter sandwich wrapped in wax
    paper, and some dog biscuits. I sat with Bambi at my feet, and surveyed my domain. Bambi would not eat her treats. She knows, I thought. She knows. I stopped trying to hide what was going to happen, and I told her everything, without words. I told her through my eyes and through my heart. She licked my face and, I knew she understood. Bambi rat rarely barked. There was only the silence of her sad deer eyes. Soon, it was time to go back home, but first I took her to Thomas’s Field, and we laid in the grass and looked up at the clouds. The sun was warm on my face, and I dozed, and Bambi slept with her head and — resting on my chest. I awoke, and I knew we had to hurry home. I could feel my mother searching me out. I ran across the fields, towards home. I ran, and it was just across the road, Bambi darted ahead of me. I called her. She stopped suddenly in the middle of the road. I called her again, but she stayed still, looking right into my eyes. Even from a distance, it was as if I could see my own reflection. I froze. I just stood there, as a firetruck came racing out of nowhere and struck her. The firemen stopped and got out. My father rushed from the house and scooped her up, laying her near the bushes. The sacred bushes of God. No one said anything. No one asked what happened. The fireman felt terrible for killing her, but I knew it wasn’t his fault. I knelt down and looked at my dog, she was still warm. There was not a mark on her, not even a drop of blood. It was as if she was sleeping, but she was dead. My mother was crying, my sister’s astonished blue eyes dominated her compassionate face. I got an old woolen blanket and wrapped her in it. My father buried her by the side of the house, and we said our prayers. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you very much. [Patti] You’re welcome. [Christian] You said you were living in a clan of Peter Pan when you were a child. What— Could you give some examples of what was that? [Patti] Well, as a child I cherished all my books. I loved The Little Women, and Pinocchio, and Alice in Wonderland… But Peter Pan was really my favourite. Because that was the atmosphere in the world that I most lived in. And really, I thought it was possible because it was in a book. That we didn’t have to grow up And when I was very small I decided I didn’t want to
    grow up, that I would stay about ten or eleven, and that was good enough for me. And it was a big surprise for me, actually, I was heartbroken to find out that we didn’t have a choice. I thought we were just put on earth and then we could decide what happens in our life. And… But I’ve never let go of that feeling. You know, I’ve never really felt that I’ve grown up. [Christian] You described how your family had their daily prayers and praying seemed like an important part of your childhood life. I connect that somehow maybe to your poetry. [Patti] Well, you know, to me prayer is the essential, you know, that is… you know, this the essential way that we communicate with our loved ones and of course with our God. In my life, my last time I was in an organized religion was when I was twelve I left my religion, but I never left prayer. You can pray anywhere, you can pray, there’s beautiful cathedrals and churches everywhere, but at the seer, in a field, or when you’re falling asleep at night. You know, it’s a way to stay in contact, sometimes just with yourself, sometimes with a higher energy, and sometimes with our loved ones. And… prayer to me is just a natural part of being. [Christian] You had an early interest in poetry, do you see there’s a connection between your being brought up with praying and the interest for poetry? [Patti] Yes. I’ve never thought about that really, but that’s really a good thought, because many poems are like little prayers. My first book of poetry was called Silver Pennies, and it was all poems that had to do with elves, and fairies, and mysticism. And in that book I read Blake, I read Yates, and Vachel Lindsay. Many poets that have stayed with me in my life. And they… a lot of them were like little prayers. “Little Lamb who made thee, Dost thou know who made thee.” It’s quite like a prayer. And yes, that’s a nice thought. I think there is an absolute connection there. [Christian] You were also reading Arthur Rimbaud, the French poet, when you were sixteen. That’s quite an early age to discover French poetry. [Patti] Well, I discovered Rimbaud two ways. When I was fourteen, fifteen years old, I wanted to be an artist, and I was very skinny, and I loved Modigliani, and I loved his paintings, because well, they reminded me of the Sienese paintings but, you know, his models I could relate to. And I read a book about him, and he loved this poet, named Arthur Rimbaud. And I didn’t know who Arthur Rimbaud is but I thought, I have to read him if this painter liked him so much. And then I was in Philadelphia, and there was a secondhand bookstore outside of bus station. Books very cheap. And there was a book, and I saw it, and what attracted me was the boy the face on the
    cover. I mean I was fifteen, sixteen years old and, Arthur Rimbaud is really cute. (laughs) So truthfully I was attracted by his
    face, and then I picked up the book, and realized this was the poet that Modigliani liked. So that was very lucky that it just happened to be a very cute poet. So… So I fell in love with him, but not just his face, when I opened the book, his language. I couldn’t really understand it all because poetry is sometimes like a secret language, and sometimes takes a while to unlock. But I’ve never let that bother me. If I don’t understand a poem right away, but I’m seduced by its beauty, I just, uh, I just revel in the beauty of the language. So it took me a while to decipher Rimbaud, but I loved him right away. His words, and his face. (audience laughs) Well, until I discovered Bod Dylan. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] You left rural south Jersey when you were about twenty years old, and went to New York City. And you described that you felt like a country mouse in the city. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] At that time. [Patti] Yeah. [Christian] New York City back then it’s quite different from what it is today. Could you describe the atmosphere that you met at that time? [Patti] Well, I mean, first of all for me it was fantastic, because there was no real culture where I was raised. There was no libraries, no bookstores, no art museums. There were fields, and pig farms. And, most of the culture was in my house because all my family were readers. So our house always had lots of books. But when you left my house there was, you know, nature, which is beautiful but, uh… no culture. So New York City was like a Mecca for culture. And, uh… But also it was interesting because the architecture was very dense, it was uh… you know, turn-of-the-century architecture. It was a gritty city. There was all kinds of life, you know, if you went to 42nd Street there were the sailors, and the prostitutes, and then there was a lot of places where you could get uh, voodo things, and the Spanish and Mexican talismans, and there were bookstores everywhere, you could live very cheaply. And it seemed just alive with also uh, creative energy. Because at that time, the city was economically oppressed, so a lot of young people were coming there, because they could live there very cheaply. So it was a very, it was a, in its.. I can’t say that it was deep poverty, but it was a poor city. So it was exciting. And I felt at home there. And I never felt afraid because there were people everywhere. People would say: ‘Oh it’s a dangerous city’, and I said: ‘Well no, there’s people everywhere, they’re out all night’. I was never afraid. Nothing bad ever happened to me there. So, it was a… It was like opening up Pandora’s Box, except only good came out of it. [Christian] Actually you arrived being an artist or feeling like an artist, and you said that rural south Jersey wasn’t so pro-artists, wasn’t so favorable for artists. [Patti] Well, I mean there was nothing to
    do there was no, uh, there was no center. There was no cultural center, and there most of the people that I went to school with, you know, the boys were sent to Vietnam, or the girls became wives, or worked as hairdressers, and got there, or worked in factories. There wasn’t a whole lot of work. And truthfully, I went to New York City not to become an artist at first, I went to New York City to get a job. Because I lost my factory job in Philadelphia, there was no more work, a big shipyard closed, and like 30,000 jobs were lost, and there was no, uh… Work for a 20 year old girl with a partial education. So my first duty was to get a job because I had no money. There was no credit cards in those days, or uh… you know, if you didn’t have money in your pocket you didn’t eat. So, I needed work. And New York City had so many bookstores. I figured sooner or later one of them would hire me. Which they did. And I got bookstore jobs for the next seven years. So, it was a good place at that time to get a job. [Christian] Could you please tell us about your first encounters with Robert Mapplethorpe, who was not a famous photographer at that time? [Patti] No, he wasn’t famous anything. I mean, it’s very funny though because sometimes people read my book and they say: “Um, well, you drop all these names, you seem like you ran around with all these famous people.” I say, none of us were famous, even Allen Ginsberg wasn’t famous. I mean, there was a cult of people that
    appreciated him, but none of most of the Beat poets… Gregory Corso never had any money, everybody was scrambling. Jim Carroll was just a kid. Uh, you know, it wasn’t, the the cult of celebrity was not so big then. Even rock stars that I met that lived in the Chelsea Hotel at the same time as us, they weren’t much different. But um, I met Robert by chance. uh, I met him going to Brooklyn looking for some friends, and my friends had moved, and they told me to go in a room and ask the boy in there if he knew where they went. And so I went in the room, and there was a boy sleeping, and I stood there and looked at him, and it was like looking at a shepherd boy, sleeping. Because he had all these masses of dark, curly hair. He was a slender boy, and just sleeping peacefully. And he woke up, and I was standing there. And he smiled at me. And from that moment it just seemed like we were destined to be friends, or destined to know each other. It’s just his smile was so totally welcoming. It held nothing back. I was just a stranger standing in front of him. And that was my first meeting with Robert. [Christian] The second meeting you had or encounter was in Tompkins Square Park. [Patti] No, that was the third. [Christian] Ah, okay. (laughs) The second was, uh, Robert also worked in a bookstore. He worked in a this bookstore named Brentano’s. He worked downtown, and I worked uptown in the same bookstore. And he had some kind of credit slip, and he wanted to buy something, and he came into my bookstore uptown, because they sold ethnic jewelry. And there was a Persian necklace there that I really loved. It wasn’t expensive and it wasn’t it was very simple, but it seemed mystical to me. And I really wanted it, but I didn’t have the money to buy it. And so Robert came in, and we said hello,
    and he remembered me. And he was there for like an hour looking at every single thing, and then he pointed to the Persian necklace and said: “I want that”. And I couldn’t believe he picked it, because there were hundreds of things there, that he picked the one thing that I wanted. So I wrapped it up and gave it to him. And to this day I don’t know how I got the guts, or the balls to say this, but I said to him: “Don’t give it to any girl but me.” (laughs) (audience applause) And he said: “I won’t.” And he left. And then the next time I met him I was in a funny situation because a week had gone by working. In New York City you have to work two weeks before you get a paycheck. I didn’t know that. Because it wasn’t like that in New Jersey. And I was so hungry, and I worked for a week, stood in line for my paycheck and they said: “No, next week.” And I was really crying. I was so, so dissapointed. And then this guy asked me for dinner. If I wanted to go out for dinner. A strange guy, an older guy. Thirty years old. (laughs) But he was kind of square and… I was really nervous, I had never gone out with an older guy before. And my mother always said: “Don’t take anything from strangers because they always want something in return. Especially a guy.” So I’m thinking, oh, all right. But I was so hungry I decided to go. So he took me to eat, and I was nervous the whole time. And then we walked down to Tompkins Square Park which was the East Village, the grittiest of the parks and the coolest. And it’s where all the hippies slept and everything, and I was sitting there on a park bench with him, and he asked me to come up to his apartment and have a cocktail. (laughs) And I thought: “Oh, this is just what my mother told me about.” (laughs) So I was trying to figure out what to do and how to get out of this, and I was really nervous because I was, it just seemed like such a difficult situation. And all of the sudden I looked, and coming up the path was the boy, was Robert. And I didn’t even know his name actually, he was just The Boy. And I saw him, and I just impulsively ran up to him, and I said: “Um, do you remember me?” And he said: “Of course”. And I said: “Will
    you pretend you’re my boyfriend?” And he said: “Yes.” So I took him over to the guy, And I said: “Uh, this is my boyfriend. He’s really mad.” (laughs) And I said: “So I have to go.” And the guy was like looking at me like I was crazy. And I grabbed Robert’s hand, and I said: ‘Run!’ (laughs) So Robert and I ran, you know, ran away, and then finally we sat on a stoop, and I said: “Oh, thank you. You saved my life.” (laughs) And then I said, well I said: “I guess we should exchange names. My name is Patty.” And he said: “My name is Bob.” And I said: “Bob… You don’t really seem like a Bob. Can I call you Robert?” And he said: “Sure.” So, I call him Robert. And then after time, everybody called him Robert. (applauses) [Christian] But Just Kids begins with Robert dying, and it gives the story of your relationship, a light of intensity. It’s a story of love, but it’s also a story of loss. [Patti] Well, I think it’s also a story of an
    unconditional friendship. I think really love and loss are the… It’s framed in that, but the heart of it is what true friendship is all about. I mean Robert, you know, was my boyfriend, and it was heartbreaking for both of us to go through the transition of going from being so intimate to being friends. And naturally this would break up most couples, and uh, But Robert and I had something so much deeper than, you know, things like well sex and things like that. Which all of these things are
    important. You know, living together, um, you know, being true to one another and being physically intimate. They’re all beautiful things, But the thing that we had transcended everything, and that was that we bonded through our work, and both of us felt magnified by the other. Both of us completed our self-confidence, and our belief in ourselves as an artists through the other. And it was so strong that, I mean, I still feel it today. If I falter, if I feel lacking in confidence, I can access that part of him that believes in me, and I feel stronger. And there was no reason to give that up. There was no reason to give up, you know, other things that we shared like our common laughter. Because we laughed a lot. And really, had he lived, I know that we would have worked, and collaborated, and laughed till the end of our lives. Because we were only a month apart, and I always thought we’d know each other forever. And of course we do in a certain way, but I never imagined that he would die so young. But I cherish that thing that we nourished and that we saved, you know, if we couldn’t save our, you know, relationship as a couple, we saved something more precious. And, uh, so I think that is at the heart of the book. [Christian] What strikes me when reading it it’s your ability to communicate the love and compassion that was in your relationship. It’s so strong, it resonates even after you put down the book. Even years after, it really resonates. It’s
    incredible. [Patti] Well, I still feel it. It’s like my dog, you know. I wrote that piece not long ago and just reading, it almost made me cry. I still love my dog as much as I did when I was eleven. I still, you know, what we had was true love, me and my dog. And what Robert and I have is also true. You know, it’s a… You know, so… It would have to have, it would have to resonate, or because it does resonate. (applauses) [Christian] In your book you say that Robert was the one asking you to write your story. Why do you think he wanted you to write your story? [Patti] Well, I think that one, I was the only one that could write it. There weren’t many people that knew Robert when he was so young. I met Robert when we were twenty. And we live such a secluded life and I think I probably, in some ways, well, I knew his young self better than anyone. And he knew also that he could trust me. Robert really liked my writing. He knew that I would, you know, do well by him, and he wanted to be remembered. He was only forty two years old. He was just, he was still evolving as an artist, he had all kinds of work to do. He didn’t want to die. He wasn’t… He did not go gently. And uh… So I think, you know, truthfully, he
    wanted to be remembered, and I also think he was proud of our connection. And uh… So it took me a long time to write, but I promised I would. I did. [Christian] How long did it take you to write the book? [Patti] Well, he asked me in March of 1989, and it came out in 2010. (laughs) And it went through two publishers, and… But a lot of things happened in my life that made it difficult to write. First just grieving for him, and then, the loss of my pianist, my husband, my brother, my mother, my father. I suffered so much loss. And also raising my young children, that I didn’t have the emotional energy to write it. And I kept shelving it. I’d write it and put it back, and write it and put it back. And then sometimes I’d throw it away and start it over. And uh… But finally, you know, I got to a point where I felt around 2008 or ’09 that, if I didn’t get it done then I’d never do it. And I had a lot of responsibility. How I would, you know, portray other people, both living and dead. I wanted to make sure I was fair toward everyone. And also, you know, was able to provide an atmosphere of the city. There’s a lot of responsibility. I think people write memoirs or autobiographies really overly concerned with themselves. And uh… And don’t realize how they impact other people’s lives by writing about them. Sometimes really vindictively. A memoir should not be a format to seek revenge on people. Because you’re writing to give the people something inspiring, something interesting, something that, you know, will… Hopefully they can identify with or that will take them someplace new. It shouldn’t be a format for personal grievances. Books are too precious for that. (audience applauds) [Christian] You write in the beginning of Woolgathering that the writing process took you out of melancholy. What did the the writing process of Just Kids do to you? [Patti] It nearly killed me. That’s what it did. (laughs) It was not an easy book to write. Um… It was difficult, uh… Well, it was difficult technically, it was difficult in many ways, I wasn’t really comfortable talking
    about, you know, myself, especially when I started becoming successful. I felt a little uncomfortable about how I had to really think about how to talk about that without seeming conceited or something, or self-preoccupied. So there was a lot of challenges in that book. And it was also painful, sometimes sad. But the one thing I did like is sometimes it made me laugh out loud, because what things that Robert and I did, some of them were really funny. Our arguments, because we argued all the
    time about the stupidest stuff, And uh… Well, I don’t even think this is, I don’t
    know if this is in the book or not, but Robert around 1970 started designing his
    own clothes, and they were getting pretty… Flamboyant. And he designed these, like, chaps, like cowboys wear, you know, where they’re around here, and he had like a codpiece, you know, here in gold lamé, these pants. And we’re in a café, and we’re on our way to a poetry reading, and Robert is wearing gold lamé chaps and a codpiece. And I used to like to have honey in my tea, but they never served it in restaurants, they would only have sugar, so I would carry honey in a little bag. So I pulled out the honey and I put it on the table, and I’m putting the honey in the tea, and Robert said: “Patty, don’t, why do you have to bring honey to a restaurant?” and he said: “You’re drawing attention to yourself.” (laughs) (applauses) I just, I don’t even think I said, I just looked at him, you know, he’s like sitting there with like four necklaces, bandanas, a big thing of keys, and gold lamé pants, for a poetry reading. I said: “Yeah, I’m just you know, you know me, I’m just uh… (laughs) A real exhibitionist.” (laughs) But I mean, there were more playful little bickerings or arguments, but these things… That was the part of the book that I enjoyed just, you know, some things would just, you know, I can still laugh, I can still cry thinking of other things, but there’s was always a lot of laughter, which is important in life and important in any relationship. I always think my mother and father, who fought all the time, we were pretty poor when I was young, they fought about money, they fought about… I mean they were always fighting, but I never saw another couple laugh as much as those two. They would tell, retell and tell stories about the 30s, and World War II stories, but from the funniest angles and just be on the floor laughing. And I think it saved their marriage. It wasn’t the kids, it was the laughter. (laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] In Just Kids there’s a description of your first performance at Slang Mark’s Church, February the 10th, 1971. [Patti] Yeah, it was Bertolt Brecht’s birthday. [Christian] Right. (laughs) But that was your first poetry reading. [Patti] Yes, it was, um… It was Robert who helped me get it. Robert always thought I should have poetry readings, he really liked to hear me read my poems, and he always wanted me to sing and read poetry. And he got me, he got a poet, Gerard Malanga, who was part of the Warhol’s Factory, to let me open him and read for like eighteen minutes. And I really wanted it to be special, mostly because I was really good friends with Gregory Corso, and he – I would go to poetry readings with Gregory, and if the poetry readings were boring, which they were always boring, but I mean, there was a lot of really boring poetry readings. And Gregory would go: “Meh, no blood, no blood. Meh. Shitty. You’re killin’ poetry.” (laughs) I would sit next to him, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, if I do a poet reading it’d better be good because Gregory will heckle me the whole time.” So I was seeing Sam Sheppard at the time. Sam Sheppard and I were doing a play together that we wrote called Cowboy Mouth, and I said to Sam: “I really want my poetry reading to have something special.” And he said: “Well, why don’t you get a guitar player and maybe sing a little or something?” And so I had met Lenny Kaye, and he was working at a record store. And I said: “I think that guy, Lenny, plays guitar.” So I went and visited Lenny and said: “You play guitar, right?” and he said: “Yeah.” And I said: “Want to play with me at St. Mark’s? You know, and do some sonic stuff a couple of songs, and then, can you do a car crash? Can you make your guitar sound like a car crash?” (laughs) He’s: “No problem.” (laughs) The big finale was about a boy in a stock car race that likes smashes against the wall. So I wanted there to be a… You know, sort of like feedback, and car crash sounds. And, so he said: “Sure”, and so, you know, we put together eighteen minutes, and we did our poetry reading, which began with, um, what is now Gloria. The beginning of Gloria used to be a poem called Oath, that began: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. Melting in a pot of thieves, wild card up my sleeve, thick heart of stone, my sins my own.” And, so it began like that, and went straight into the car crash. And uh, it was a… Some people loved it and herald it as a new thing, and other people thought I should be arrested for desecrating the church. Which is not all that unfamiliar now, is it? But in any event, Lenny and I wheathered that, wheathered all kinds of storms, and we’re still together, forty years later. (applauses) [Christian] Actually, you mentioned somewhere that your first song or your first poem, maybe it was your first song, was Fire of Unknown Origin. [Patti] Yes [Christian] That was part of the performance
    at that time at St. Mark’s Church. [Patti] Yeah. [Christian] 1971, with Lenny. I would ask you please read it so we can have the atmosphere. I’m not sure whether Lenny can do the… [Patti] Well, Lenny and I haven’t done this for a very long time, but I’m sure we could figure it out but… (audience applauses) [Patti] Lenny, come on up. Uh, this poem actually I wrote in memory of Jim Morrison, and uh… (audience applauses) Well, we haven’t done it in the some years, so if we fuck it up, it’s your fault. (laughs) [Christian] I take the blame. [Patti] This is scary. (laughs) (Lenny plays) [Patti] (singing) A fire of unknown origin took my baby away. Fire of unknown origin took my baby away. Swept her up and off my wavelength. Swallowed her up like the ocean in a fire, thick and gray. Death comes sweeping through the hallway like a ladies’ dress. Death comes riding down the highway in its Sunday best. Death comes driving, death comes creeping, death comes, I can’t do nothing. Death goes, there must be something that remains. ’cause the fire of unknown origin made me sick and crazy. A fire of unknown origin took my baby away. (audience applauds) [Christian] Beautiful. [Patti] Thanks, Lenny. [Christian] Thank you, Lennny. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you. [Patti] You’re welcome. (laughs) [Christian] In Just Kids you mentioned somewhere that you knew you wanted to be an artist, but you also say you wanted your work to matter. [Patti] Since I was a child I wanted to be a writer. And then, I discovered art, I saw art in person in a museum when I was about twelve, and wanted to be a painter. But when I say artist I mean them all. You know, not necessarily a painter, you know, whatever creative expression I choose. Or one chooses. People that have a really, a real true calling. So it’s not simply just expressing oneself, which is beautiful, but something more than that, something that sometimes you have to sacrifices deeply for. And I really, uh… I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to produce work that, you know, would be enduring, work that would inspire other people. When I read Pinocchio, or you know, I read Murakami, or Roberto Bolaño, or… You know, the Songs of Solomon… Anything that is given to us. It makes me want to give something in return for all the… I mean, I’m a real bookworm. All the pleasure in my life, I would say at least, I’ve spent over half my life reading. And uh… So to give back something. You know, something worthy to be in that canon, something that would give some people equal joy. [Christian] I’ve noticed that you wrote about Andy Warhol saying you felt little for the can and didn’t like the soup. (laughs) That you preferred an artist not mirroring the world but transforming it. [Patti] Yes. Well, when I was young I truthfully didn’t have an affection for Andy Warhol, as a human being I thought that he was not a very generous or kind person. His work really didn’t speak to me. Robert loved Andy Warhol though, and Robert believed he was a genius. And so I didn’t dismiss him because I knew Robert knew things, you know, I trusted in Robert’s instinct. And uh… But when I was young he just… His work just didn’t speak to me. Uh… At this time in my life I found, I’ve really gotten to appreciate what a genius he was. And I find if I’m in a museum and looking at contemporary art, I’ll just, I’m not so drawn to contemporary art, and I’ll suddenly see something across a room and I think: “That’s strong.”
    And I go over in it’s Andy’s. And the last works he did, or some
    of the last works he did before he died, his Last Supper body of work, I thought was genius, was quite moving. So I’ve learned to appreciate Andy’s genius. I think part of it is I didn’t have to deal with him as a human being, I could just look at his work. And really, it’s important, you know, to… You know, especially I look at our times, we’re so celebrity-driven, and we expect, you know, one loves an actor, or loves the work somebody does, and then you expect them to live up to your your expectations, or want to know about their personal life. In the end, the best thing any artist, or any actor, or people that do work, that the only thing they owe us is their work. And if they do good work their personal life should be their own. And it’s just that I kept colliding with Andy, you know, we all, we all lived around the same area. But, he’s a great artist. The reason I wrote that too is, well, it was how I really felt, you know. When I wrote that about Andy’s work, I wrote it as a young, in the mind of a young person. Because I’ve evolved to other places where I deeply, deeply appreciate him. He’s you know, with Picasso, you know, they’re two of the most important artists of the 20th century. So I understand his importance. [Christian] But what I think is important in the quotation about an artist are the mirroring or transforming, I think you are… What you do is you are transforming instead of mirroring what you see. It’s two different conceptions of how to be an artist. [Patti] Well, I feel more drawn to the
    transformative in art itself. I’m not so drawn to non-fiction. And uh… But you know, I also appreciate more and more someone that has the ability to mirror our times. I think that it’s important that people do that, it’s just I’m not really that style of person. And uh… But you know, we need everybody. We need all kinds of points of view. And I learned this lesson when September 11th happened. Where I lived in New York City I could see the towers from my stoop, and I watched them come down. And uh… And then I went, you know, I didn’t live far from there so I went and looked at the remains of one of the towers, the South Tower, and it was an extraordinary… It was like a piece of sculpture, it looked like the Tower of Babel. And I started to thinking a lot about Andy then. I really missed Andy as an artist then because he would have known what to do as an artist, not to transform but to document this extraordinary thing that happened. I’m not talking about the pain, or the loss of life, or the political resonance, I just mean the physical event and these buildings. And I know that he would have done a body of work. And that it would have been extraordinary. And no one was doing it, so I had a little studio, so I had some pictures, made some pictures and made silk screens and did a body of work of silk screens, only to satisfy my need or longing to have someone do that. Because in my whole lifetime Andy what would have done it. And I even did some of the some of the images in silver to resonate Andy’s silver hair and the silver pillows in his factory. And I only bring that up not to speak about my body of work but to speak of how much I missed having an artist there who could reflect and animate what had happened. Even though I’m not that style of artist, I recognized the importance of that type of artist. But when I was young I was really judgmental. (laughs) [Christian] Just Kids is about many people, many friends, you write about you and Robert being surrounded by people all the time, and I think we heard from ‘Woolgathering’, you are surrounded by your siblings and your spirit dog Bambi. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] And in your recent album Banga, it’s Amy Winehouse and Maria Schneider. [Patti] Yeah. I don’t know why but it’s always been like that. The first poem that was ever published that I wrote was in uh… I was about fourteen years old I think, and it was poem dedicated to Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker died in 1959, and my father used to listen to Charlie Parker’s music and called him the bird. That was his nickname. So I wrote a poem called Bird is Free. You know, just probably a corny teenage poem, but it was the first real poem I wrote, was to in remembrance’s to someone that passed. It’s just part of what I do. I can’t say why I just do it. I didn’t plan to write a song about Amy Winehouse. And, you know, she lost her life, you know, while we were working on the record, and I just wrote her a little song. Maria Schneider I had known in the 70s and felt very sad when she died because she wasn’t that old, she was younger than me. And I wrote one for Maria. But on the other hand, there’s also a song, Nine, which was written for Johnny Depp’s birthday, and he’s very much alive. (laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] You call it your talismanic nature, right? [Patti] What? [Christian] You call it your talismanic nature. [Patti] I suppose. One of them is one of my natures. [Christian] I would like you to read one a little from Just Kids. You talked about Robert, and actually, I would like, here at the end of the conversation, you to read the foreword. [Patti] Okay. [Patti] I was asleep when he died. I had called the hospital to say one more good night, but he had gone under beneath layers of morphine. I held the receiver and listened to his labored breathing through the phone, knowing that I would never hear him again. Later, I quietly straightened my things: my notebook and fountain pen, the cobalt inkwell that had been his, my
    Persian cup, my purple heart, a tray of baby teeth. I slowly ascended the stairs counting them. Fourteen of them. One after another. I drew the blanket over the baby in her crib. I kissed my son as he slept, then laid down beside my husband, and I said my prayers. He is still alive I remember whispering, and then I slept. I awoke early, and as I descended the stairs, I knew that he was dead. All was still safe the sound of the television that had been left on in the night. An arts channel was on, an opera was playing. I was drawn to the screen as Tosca declared, with power and sorrow, her passion for the painter Cavaradossi. It was a cold March morning, and I put on my sweater. I raised the blinds and brightness entered the study. I smoothed the heavy linen draping my chair and chose a book of paintings by Redon, opening to the image of the head of a woman floating in a small sea, closed eyes, a universe not scored contained beneath her pale lids. The phone rang, and I rose to answer. It was Robert’s youngest brother Edward, he told me that he had given Robert one last kiss for me, as he had promised. I stood motionless, frozen. Then slowly, as in a dream returned to my chair. At that moment, Tosca began the great Aria: Vissi D’Art. I have lived for love, I have lived for art. I closed my eyes and folded my hands. Providence determined how I would say goodbye. (audience applauds) [Christian] In 2010 you won the National Book Award, and I saw on YouTube, from the award, you having tears in your eyes describing how you worked at Scribner’s bookstore dreaming about one day writing your own book. [Patti] Well, when I work I worked in bookstores for years, and my best job was at Scribner’s bookstore, and every year when the National Book Award happened, all the winners of the National Book Award, they would order a lot of copies, and then I had to wrap them in blue paper and put a little silver seal on it, and I hated this job. (laughs) Because I was a really bad wrapper.
    I mean… You know, everything would look all crooked and gets hairs in the scotch tape. But when I would pick up this books they would all have this gold seal on them. Because you would have to put, I would get like a big roll of seals from the National Book Foundation. And it would say “Winner of the National Book Award” And I thought that was so cool. And I use to daydream about writing a book and I’d win the National Book Award, and then somebody else would have to wrap them. (laughs) [Christian] And now you’re admired by many young people not least many young artists and writers here at the festival who find inspiration in your book and in your life story. How do you feel about that? [Patti] I find it… it’s inspiring It’s really… I never… I mean my main goal was first to finish the book as I promised Robert, and then give Robert to the people. Because no one knew anything about Robert except the end of his life, and I… You know, there was more Robert than you know, someone who broke new boundaries and died of AIDS. There is a holistic person. And I wanted people to know him as a human being. And that was my great hope and I thought “Well, maybe it’ll be a little cult book and some people will read it.” And so many people have read it and talked to me about it. And it makes me so happy. One, because you know, it’s so nice for Robert. But it’s inspiring, it makes me want to write more books. It’s… You know a writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people. You know, I’ve done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe, you know, fifty people read. And you just keep doing your work because you have to, because it’s your calling. But it’s beautiful to be embraced by the people. Some people have said to me: “Well, you know, don’t you think that kind of success spoils one as an artist or, you know, if you are a punk rocker you don’t want to have a hit record.” And I say “Fuck you”, you know. It’s just like… One does their work for the people, and the more people you can touch the more wonderful it is. You don’t do your work and say “I only want the cool people to read it.” You want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by it. But i’m equally inspired because, truthfully, I never thought I would write another book of non-fiction, or another memoir. But so many people have asked me to write one that now I’m working on one because, you know, Robert asked for that one, and the people have asked for another, so… So I’m working. (audience applauds) [Christian] You made it all the way to here from rural south Jersey. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] Is there some advice that you could give to a young artist who have a long journey in front of him or her? [Patti] Work hard and be true to yourself, and… You know and don’t forget your… the most important goal is to do good work. When I was really young William Burroughs told me, and I was really struggling, we never had any money and William, the advice that William gave me was: “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, you know, that name will be its own currency.” And I remember when he told me that and I said: “Yeah, but, William, my name is Smith, you know…” (laughs) [Patti] Just joking. (laughs) But I… But that’s… He gave me that advice and it was a beautiful advice and i tried to follow it. To be an artist, actually to be a human being in these times is all difficult. You have to go through life hopefully, you know, trying to stay healthy, you know, being as happy as you can, and pursuing, you know, doing what you want. If what you want is to have children, if what you want is to be a baker, if what you want is to live out in the woods or try to save the environment, or maybe what you want is to write scripts for detective shows. It doesn’t really matter. You know, what matters is to be… is to know what you want and pursue it And understand that is going to be hard. Because life is really difficult. You’re going to loose people you love, you’re going to suffer heartbreak, sometimes you’ll be sick, sometimes you’ll have really bad toothache, sometimes you’ll be hungry. But on the other hand you’ll have the most beautiful experiences. Sometimes just the sky, sometimes you know, a piece of work that you do that feels so wonderful, or you find somebody to love, or your children, or… There is beautiful things in life so when you’re suffering just you know, it’s part of the package. You know, you look at it, we’re born and we also have to die. We know that. So it makes sense that we are going to be really happy and things are going to be really fucked up too. Just… just ride with it. You know, it’s like a rollercoaster ride. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s going to have perfect moments and then rough spots but it’s all worth it. Believe me. I think it is. (audience applauds) [Christian] One last question, your children Jessie and Jackson, they are the same age more or less as you and Robert in Just Kids. What are your reflections on the world they are meeting today as opposed to the one you’re describing in Just Kids? [Patti] I think our world is… You know, I’m sure that each generation, you know, could say that their time was the best and the worst of times. But I think that right now we’re something different that I’ve never seen. You can say the best in the worst of times, but also we are in a transitional time. Something very unique to the history of mankind because of technology. Everything is shifted at a very rapid pace. And there is a lot of challenges. And uh… But I just think also it’s a pioneering time because there’s no other time in history like right now. And that’s what makes it unique. It’s not unique because we have, you know like Renaissance style artists, it’s unique because the people, it is a time of the people. Because technology has really democratized self-expression. Instead of a handful of people making their own records or writing their own songs, everybody can write them. Everyone can post a poem on the internet and have people read it. Everyone has access, and access that they never had before. There is possibilities for global striking. There is possibilities for bringing down these corporations and governments who think they rule the world because we can unite as one people through technology. We are all still figuring it out. And what power we actually have. But the people still do have the power more than ever. And I think right now, we are going through this painful sort of like adolescence. Again, what do we do with this technology? What do we do with our world? Who are we? But it also makes it exciting. Your know all the young people right now, the new generations they’re pioneers in the new time. So… Just… I say stay strong, Try to stay… Have fun but stay clean, stay healthy, because you know, you’ve got a lot of challenges ahead and be happy. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you very much. [Patti] Thank you for coming.

    Illinois Adventure #1404 “Kankakee County Museum”
    Articles, Blog

    Illinois Adventure #1404 “Kankakee County Museum”

    August 31, 2019


    HERE, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES ARE
    TAUGHT IN THE SAME ROOM.
    NEARBY ARE THESE PLASTER STUDIES TAUGHT IN THE SAME ROOM.
    NEARBY ARE THESE PLASTER STUDIES
    INSPIRED BY BOTH THE BEAUTIFUL NEARBY ARE THESE PLASTER STUDIES
    INSPIRED BY BOTH THE BEAUTIFUL
    AND THE HORRIBLE. INSPIRED BY BOTH THE BEAUTIFUL
    AND THE HORRIBLE.
    AND THIS WAS THE HOME OF A LOCAL AND THE HORRIBLE.
    AND THIS WAS THE HOME OF A LOCAL
    PHYSICIAN WHOSE SON REACHED THE AND THIS WAS THE HOME OF A LOCAL
    PHYSICIAN WHOSE SON REACHED THE
    HIGHEST OFFICE OF THE STATE. PHYSICIAN WHOSE SON REACHED THE
    HIGHEST OFFICE OF THE STATE.
    HI, I AM JIM WILHELM. HIGHEST OFFICE OF THE STATE.
    HI, I AM JIM WILHELM.
    BEHIND ME ARE THE BUILDINGS HI, I AM JIM WILHELM.
    BEHIND ME ARE THE BUILDINGS
    WHICH MAKE UP AND HOUSE THE BEHIND ME ARE THE BUILDINGS
    WHICH MAKE UP AND HOUSE THE
    COLLECTION OF KANKAKEE COUNTY WHICH MAKE UP AND HOUSE THE
    COLLECTION OF KANKAKEE COUNTY
    HISTORICAL MUSEUM. COLLECTION OF KANKAKEE COUNTY
    HISTORICAL MUSEUM.
    IT IS A COLLECTION OF THAT HISTORICAL MUSEUM.
    IT IS A COLLECTION OF THAT
    REMINDS PEOPLE OF THIS AREA’S IT IS A COLLECTION OF THAT
    REMINDS PEOPLE OF THIS AREA’S
    PAST WHICH HAS TIES TO TWO REMINDS PEOPLE OF THIS AREA’S
    PAST WHICH HAS TIES TO TWO
    COUNTRIES. PAST WHICH HAS TIES TO TWO
    COUNTRIES.
    ON DISPLAY ARE THESE ITEMS, ONCE COUNTRIES.
    ON DISPLAY ARE THESE ITEMS, ONCE
    USED BY THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO ON DISPLAY ARE THESE ITEMS, ONCE
    USED BY THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO
    INHABITED THE AREA. USED BY THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO
    INHABITED THE AREA.
    THEY HAD BEEN A TRAKTDED BY THE INHABITED THE AREA.
    THEY HAD BEEN A TRAKTDED BY THE
    RICH RIVER VALUE ICE AS WERE THE THEY HAD BEEN A TRAKTDED BY THE
    RICH RIVER VALUE ICE AS WERE THE
    EUROPEANS LATER. RICH RIVER VALUE ICE AS WERE THE
    EUROPEANS LATER.
    THESE ARTIFACTS WERE DISCOVERED EUROPEANS LATER.
    THESE ARTIFACTS WERE DISCOVERED
    AT THE FIRST PERMANENT THESE ARTIFACTS WERE DISCOVERED
    AT THE FIRST PERMANENT
    SETTLEMENT WHICH BECAME AT THE FIRST PERMANENT
    SETTLEMENT WHICH BECAME
    KANKAKEE. SETTLEMENT WHICH BECAME
    KANKAKEE.
    IT WAS A TRADING POST THAT HAD KANKAKEE.
    IT WAS A TRADING POST THAT HAD
    BEEN SFEABED BY FRENCH CANADIAN IT WAS A TRADING POST THAT HAD
    BEEN SFEABED BY FRENCH CANADIAN
    NAMED NOEL LEVASSEY. BEEN SFEABED BY FRENCH CANADIAN
    NAMED NOEL LEVASSEY.
    EVENTUALLY HIS BUSINESS BECAME A NAMED NOEL LEVASSEY.
    EVENTUALLY HIS BUSINESS BECAME A
    DESTINATION POINT FOR OTHER EVENTUALLY HIS BUSINESS BECAME A
    DESTINATION POINT FOR OTHER
    COUNTRY MEN WHO ALSO SETTLED IN DESTINATION POINT FOR OTHER
    COUNTRY MEN WHO ALSO SETTLED IN
    THE AREA. HERE IS NOEL’S COUNTRY MEN WHO ALSO SETTLED IN
    THE AREA. HERE IS NOEL’S
    ACCOUNT BOOK SHOWING HIS SYSTEM THE AREA. HERE IS NOEL’S
    ACCOUNT BOOK SHOWING HIS SYSTEM
    FOR REPORTING HIS FURRED ACCOUNT BOOK SHOWING HIS SYSTEM
    FOR REPORTING HIS FURRED
    TRADINGS WITH THE POTOWAME FOR REPORTING HIS FURRED
    TRADINGS WITH THE POTOWAME
    INDIANS. TRADINGS WITH THE POTOWAME
    INDIANS.
    ALSO FROM NOEL’S TIME IS THIS INDIANS.
    ALSO FROM NOEL’S TIME IS THIS
    HIS WIFE’S SILK GOWN FROM THEIR ALSO FROM NOEL’S TIME IS THIS
    HIS WIFE’S SILK GOWN FROM THEIR
    WEDDING IN 1838. HIS WIFE’S SILK GOWN FROM THEIR
    WEDDING IN 1838.
    HERE IS SOME JEWELRY SHE HAD WEDDING IN 1838.
    HERE IS SOME JEWELRY SHE HAD
    LATER MADE FROM THE HAIR OF HERE IS SOME JEWELRY SHE HAD
    LATER MADE FROM THE HAIR OF
    THEIR CHILDREN. LATER MADE FROM THE HAIR OF
    THEIR CHILDREN.
    BESIDES HIGHLIGHTING EARLY THEIR CHILDREN.
    BESIDES HIGHLIGHTING EARLY
    HISTORY, THE MUSEUM ALSO CRON BESIDES HIGHLIGHTING EARLY
    HISTORY, THE MUSEUM ALSO CRON
    KELS SOME OF THE BUSINESSES ONCE HISTORY, THE MUSEUM ALSO CRON
    KELS SOME OF THE BUSINESSES ONCE
    LOCATED IN THE COUNTY. KELS SOME OF THE BUSINESSES ONCE
    LOCATED IN THE COUNTY.
    DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA, THE LOCATED IN THE COUNTY.
    DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA, THE
    SCENE IC RIVER VALLEY WHICH HAD DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA, THE
    SCENE IC RIVER VALLEY WHICH HAD
    FIRST ATTRACTED NATIVE AMERICANS SCENE IC RIVER VALLEY WHICH HAD
    FIRST ATTRACTED NATIVE AMERICANS
    AND THEN NOEL LEVASSEY BEGIN TO FIRST ATTRACTED NATIVE AMERICANS
    AND THEN NOEL LEVASSEY BEGIN TO
    ATTRACT WEALTHY CLIENTELE FROM AND THEN NOEL LEVASSEY BEGIN TO
    ATTRACT WEALTHY CLIENTELE FROM
    SOUTH CHICAGO. ATTRACT WEALTHY CLIENTELE FROM
    SOUTH CHICAGO.
    ONE POPULAR DESTINATION WAS THE SOUTH CHICAGO.
    ONE POPULAR DESTINATION WAS THE
    RIVER VIEW HOTEL. ONE POPULAR DESTINATION WAS THE
    RIVER VIEW HOTEL.
    BUILT IN 1887, IT OFFERED THE RIVER VIEW HOTEL.
    BUILT IN 1887, IT OFFERED THE
    FINALEST ACCOMMODATIONS FOUND BUILT IN 1887, IT OFFERED THE
    FINALEST ACCOMMODATIONS FOUND
    ALONG THE KANKAKEE RIVER. FINALEST ACCOMMODATIONS FOUND
    ALONG THE KANKAKEE RIVER.
    HERE IS SOME SILVERWARE FROM THE ALONG THE KANKAKEE RIVER.
    HERE IS SOME SILVERWARE FROM THE
    HOTEL, ALONG WITH GLASSWARE FROM HERE IS SOME SILVERWARE FROM THE
    HOTEL, ALONG WITH GLASSWARE FROM
    THE BAR AREA. HOTEL, ALONG WITH GLASSWARE FROM
    THE BAR AREA.
    BUT THIS WASN’T THE ONLY DRAW. THE BAR AREA.
    BUT THIS WASN’T THE ONLY DRAW.
    IN 1883, A LOCAL RIVERBOAT BUT THIS WASN’T THE ONLY DRAW.
    IN 1883, A LOCAL RIVERBOAT
    CAPTAIN NAMED WILLIAM GOUGAR, IN 1883, A LOCAL RIVERBOAT
    CAPTAIN NAMED WILLIAM GOUGAR,
    OPENED TOURIST ATTRACTION, CAPTAIN NAMED WILLIAM GOUGAR,
    OPENED TOURIST ATTRACTION,
    WATERFRONT PARK. OPENED TOURIST ATTRACTION,
    WATERFRONT PARK.
    THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL TO WATERFRONT PARK.
    THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL TO
    GOUGAR’S WAS ON ONE OF HIS STOLE THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL TO
    GOUGAR’S WAS ON ONE OF HIS STOLE
    BOATS. GOUGAR’S WAS ON ONE OF HIS STOLE
    BOATS.
    ONCE THERE, GUESTS WOULD FIND BOATS.
    ONCE THERE, GUESTS WOULD FIND
    PAVILION FOR DANCING TO LIVE ONCE THERE, GUESTS WOULD FIND
    PAVILION FOR DANCING TO LIVE
    BANDS, CLUBHOUSE, AND YOUNGER PAVILION FOR DANCING TO LIVE
    BANDS, CLUBHOUSE, AND YOUNGER
    CROWDS, A SHOOT TO SHOOT RIDE. BANDS, CLUBHOUSE, AND YOUNGER
    CROWDS, A SHOOT TO SHOOT RIDE.
    HERE IS A TICKET FROM 1892 FOR CROWDS, A SHOOT TO SHOOT RIDE.
    HERE IS A TICKET FROM 1892 FOR
    GRAND EXCURSION TO THE GROVE HERE IS A TICKET FROM 1892 FOR
    GRAND EXCURSION TO THE GROVE
    COSTING 75 CENTS. BUT BOATS WEREN’T THE ONLY WAY
    TO TRAVEL.
    AT ONE TYPE, MORE RAILROAD TO TRAVEL.
    AT ONE TYPE, MORE RAILROAD
    COMPANIES HAD THEIR HUB IN AT ONE TYPE, MORE RAILROAD
    COMPANIES HAD THEIR HUB IN
    KANKAKEE THAN ANY OTHER TOWN IN COMPANIES HAD THEIR HUB IN
    KANKAKEE THAN ANY OTHER TOWN IN
    THE STATE. KANKAKEE THAN ANY OTHER TOWN IN
    THE STATE.
    WHEN THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL CAME THE STATE.
    WHEN THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL CAME
    IN, IT FORCED THE TOWN TO CHANGE WHEN THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL CAME
    IN, IT FORCED THE TOWN TO CHANGE
    ITS AXIS FROM RUNNING PARALLEL IN, IT FORCED THE TOWN TO CHANGE
    ITS AXIS FROM RUNNING PARALLEL
    TO THE RIVER TO RUNNING PARALLEL ITS AXIS FROM RUNNING PARALLEL
    TO THE RIVER TO RUNNING PARALLEL
    WITH ITS LINES. TO THE RIVER TO RUNNING PARALLEL
    WITH ITS LINES.
    ON DISPLAY ARE EXAMPLES OF CHINA WITH ITS LINES.
    ON DISPLAY ARE EXAMPLES OF CHINA
    PATTERNS THAT WERE EXCLUSIVE TO ON DISPLAY ARE EXAMPLES OF CHINA
    PATTERNS THAT WERE EXCLUSIVE TO
    CERTAIN LINES. PATTERNS THAT WERE EXCLUSIVE TO
    CERTAIN LINES.
    THIS WILD ROSE MOTIF WAS USED BY CERTAIN LINES.
    THIS WILD ROSE MOTIF WAS USED BY
    THE CHICAGO NORTHWESTERN THIS WILD ROSE MOTIF WAS USED BY
    THE CHICAGO NORTHWESTERN
    RAILROAD. THE CHICAGO NORTHWESTERN
    RAILROAD.
    HERE IS A SCALE MODEL FROM 1880 RAILROAD.
    HERE IS A SCALE MODEL FROM 1880
    THAT WAS USED BY THE HERE IS A SCALE MODEL FROM 1880
    THAT WAS USED BY THE
    CONSTRUCTION FOR MAN AS A VISUAL THAT WAS USED BY THE
    CONSTRUCTION FOR MAN AS A VISUAL
    AID FOR THE BRIDGEWORKERS. WELCOME BACK TO THE KANKAKEE
    HISTORICAL MUSEUM WHOSE DISPLAYS
    NOT ONLY RECOUNT THE HISTORY, HISTORICAL MUSEUM WHOSE DISPLAYS
    NOT ONLY RECOUNT THE HISTORY,
    BUT INCLUDES ARTI ARTIFACTS FROM NOT ONLY RECOUNT THE HISTORY,
    BUT INCLUDES ARTI ARTIFACTS FROM
    SOME OF THE BUSINESSES THAT ONCE BUT INCLUDES ARTI ARTIFACTS FROM
    SOME OF THE BUSINESSES THAT ONCE
    CALLED THIS HOME, SUCH AS THE FD SOME OF THE BUSINESSES THAT ONCE
    CALLED THIS HOME, SUCH AS THE FD
    RADEKE AGENCY. CALLED THIS HOME, SUCH AS THE FD
    RADEKE AGENCY.
    ONE OF THEIR PRODUCTS WAS RADEKE AGENCY.
    ONE OF THEIR PRODUCTS WAS
    VITAMIN BEER, ALCOHOLIC DRINK ONE OF THEIR PRODUCTS WAS
    VITAMIN BEER, ALCOHOLIC DRINK
    WITH LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA FOR VITAMIN BEER, ALCOHOLIC DRINK
    WITH LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA FOR
    THE BODY. WITH LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA FOR
    THE BODY.
    OVER HERE IS THIS RARE CIGAR THE BODY.
    OVER HERE IS THIS RARE CIGAR
    STORE INDIAN. OVER HERE IS THIS RARE CIGAR
    STORE INDIAN.
    ITS PREDECESSOR ALONG WITH THE STORE INDIAN.
    ITS PREDECESSOR ALONG WITH THE
    TOBACCO COMPANY BUILDING IT ITS PREDECESSOR ALONG WITH THE
    TOBACCO COMPANY BUILDING IT
    STOOD IN FRONT OF WAS LOST IN TOBACCO COMPANY BUILDING IT
    STOOD IN FRONT OF WAS LOST IN
    1871 IN THE CHICAGO FIRE. STOOD IN FRONT OF WAS LOST IN
    1871 IN THE CHICAGO FIRE.
    SO THE OWNER MOVED TO KANKAKEE, 1871 IN THE CHICAGO FIRE.
    SO THE OWNER MOVED TO KANKAKEE,
    OPENED ANOTHER PLANT, AND SO THE OWNER MOVED TO KANKAKEE,
    OPENED ANOTHER PLANT, AND
    ORDERED ANOTHER CIGAR STORE OPENED ANOTHER PLANT, AND
    ORDERED ANOTHER CIGAR STORE
    INDIAN STATUE. ORDERED ANOTHER CIGAR STORE
    INDIAN STATUE.
    DUE TO HIS CHICAGO EXPERIENCE, INDIAN STATUE.
    DUE TO HIS CHICAGO EXPERIENCE,
    THIS TIME HE DECIDED TO BUY A DUE TO HIS CHICAGO EXPERIENCE,
    THIS TIME HE DECIDED TO BUY A
    CAST METAL FIGURE. THIS TIME HE DECIDED TO BUY A
    CAST METAL FIGURE.
    DUE TO RESTORATION, THE MUSEUM CAST METAL FIGURE.
    DUE TO RESTORATION, THE MUSEUM
    DISCOVERED THIS IS ONE OF ONLY DUE TO RESTORATION, THE MUSEUM
    DISCOVERED THIS IS ONE OF ONLY
    TWO KNOWN FIGURES PRODUCED IN DISCOVERED THIS IS ONE OF ONLY
    TWO KNOWN FIGURES PRODUCED IN
    THIS STYLE THAT ARE STILL IN TWO KNOWN FIGURES PRODUCED IN
    THIS STYLE THAT ARE STILL IN
    EXISTENCE. ONE WING OF THE MUSEUM HOLDS THE
    PLASTER STUDIES DONE BY THE
    RENOWNED ARTISTS GEORGE GRAY BAR PLASTER STUDIES DONE BY THE
    RENOWNED ARTISTS GEORGE GRAY BAR
    NARD. RENOWNED ARTISTS GEORGE GRAY BAR
    NARD.
    HE SPENT HIS CHILDHOOD YEARS IN NARD.
    HE SPENT HIS CHILDHOOD YEARS IN
    KANKAKEE AND NEVER FORGOT THE HE SPENT HIS CHILDHOOD YEARS IN
    KANKAKEE AND NEVER FORGOT THE
    TOWN. KANKAKEE AND NEVER FORGOT THE
    TOWN.
    TWO YEARS BEFORE HE DIED, HE TOWN.
    TWO YEARS BEFORE HE DIED, HE
    DONATED ALL OF HIS PLASTER TWO YEARS BEFORE HE DIED, HE
    DONATED ALL OF HIS PLASTER
    MODELS TO HIS OLD HIGH SCHOOL. DONATED ALL OF HIS PLASTER
    MODELS TO HIS OLD HIGH SCHOOL.
    THAT WAS IN 1938 AND THEY WERE MODELS TO HIS OLD HIGH SCHOOL.
    THAT WAS IN 1938 AND THEY WERE
    PUT ON DISPLAY UNTIL MORE THAT WAS IN 1938 AND THEY WERE
    PUT ON DISPLAY UNTIL MORE
    CLASSROOM SPACE WAS NEEDED. PUT ON DISPLAY UNTIL MORE
    CLASSROOM SPACE WAS NEEDED.
    AFTER THAT, THE PIECES WERE CLASSROOM SPACE WAS NEEDED.
    AFTER THAT, THE PIECES WERE
    STORED IN THE BASEMENT WHERE AFTER THAT, THE PIECES WERE
    STORED IN THE BASEMENT WHERE
    SEVERAL WERE LOST OR DAMAGED STORED IN THE BASEMENT WHERE
    SEVERAL WERE LOST OR DAMAGED
    BEYOND REPAIR. SEVERAL WERE LOST OR DAMAGED
    BEYOND REPAIR.
    TODAY, THE SURVIVING PIECES HAVE BEYOND REPAIR.
    TODAY, THE SURVIVING PIECES HAVE
    FOUND A PERMANENT HOME HERE. TODAY, THE SURVIVING PIECES HAVE
    FOUND A PERMANENT HOME HERE.
    ONE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS AND FOUND A PERMANENT HOME HERE.
    ONE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS AND
    CONTROVERSIAL WORKS WAS THIS ONE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS AND
    CONTROVERSIAL WORKS WAS THIS
    BUST OF LINCOLN WHICH WAS CONTROVERSIAL WORKS WAS THIS
    BUST OF LINCOLN WHICH WAS
    COMMISSIONED BY THE TAFT FAMILY. BUST OF LINCOLN WHICH WAS
    COMMISSIONED BY THE TAFT FAMILY.
    BEFORE HE BEGAN THE WORK, GEORGE COMMISSIONED BY THE TAFT FAMILY.
    BEFORE HE BEGAN THE WORK, GEORGE
    SPENT SIX MONTHS STUDYING THE BEFORE HE BEGAN THE WORK, GEORGE
    SPENT SIX MONTHS STUDYING THE
    LIFE MASK AND THE PHOTOS TAKEN SPENT SIX MONTHS STUDYING THE
    LIFE MASK AND THE PHOTOS TAKEN
    OF THE LATE PRESIDENT. LIFE MASK AND THE PHOTOS TAKEN
    OF THE LATE PRESIDENT.
    DETERMINED TO PORTRAY LINCOLN AS OF THE LATE PRESIDENT.
    DETERMINED TO PORTRAY LINCOLN AS
    A REAL MAN OF THE FRONTIER, THE DETERMINED TO PORTRAY LINCOLN AS
    A REAL MAN OF THE FRONTIER, THE
    STATUE’S ROUGH HEWN FEATURES A REAL MAN OF THE FRONTIER, THE
    STATUE’S ROUGH HEWN FEATURES
    WERE TERMED BY SOME CRITICS AS STATUE’S ROUGH HEWN FEATURES
    WERE TERMED BY SOME CRITICS AS
    UGLY AND HAVE DONE IN POOR WERE TERMED BY SOME CRITICS AS
    UGLY AND HAVE DONE IN POOR
    TASTE. UGLY AND HAVE DONE IN POOR
    TASTE.
    TODAY IT IS CONSIDERED ONE OF TASTE.
    TODAY IT IS CONSIDERED ONE OF
    THE BEST REPRESENTATIONS OF TODAY IT IS CONSIDERED ONE OF
    THE BEST REPRESENTATIONS OF
    LINCOLN. THE BEST REPRESENTATIONS OF
    LINCOLN.
    HE WAS LIVING IN FRANCE WHEN LINCOLN.
    HE WAS LIVING IN FRANCE WHEN
    WORLD WAR I ERUPTED. HE WAS LIVING IN FRANCE WHEN
    WORLD WAR I ERUPTED.
    AFTERWARDS, HE CREATED AND WORLD WAR I ERUPTED.
    AFTERWARDS, HE CREATED AND
    SUBMITTED SEVERAL DESIGNS FOR AFTERWARDS, HE CREATED AND
    SUBMITTED SEVERAL DESIGNS FOR
    MONUMENTS TO HONOR THE FALLEN. SUBMITTED SEVERAL DESIGNS FOR
    MONUMENTS TO HONOR THE FALLEN.
    THIS IS ONE OF THEM. MONUMENTS TO HONOR THE FALLEN.
    THIS IS ONE OF THEM.
    IT WAS PATTERNED OFF THE STONE THIS IS ONE OF THEM.
    IT WAS PATTERNED OFF THE STONE
    EFFIGIES OF MID EVIL KNIGHTS IT WAS PATTERNED OFF THE STONE
    EFFIGIES OF MID EVIL KNIGHTS
    SEEN IN EUROPEAN CHURCHES. EFFIGIES OF MID EVIL KNIGHTS
    SEEN IN EUROPEAN CHURCHES.
    IT SHOWS A SOLDIER DRAPED IN AN SEEN IN EUROPEAN CHURCHES.
    IT SHOWS A SOLDIER DRAPED IN AN
    AMERICAN FLAG LYING ON TOP OF IS IT SHOWS A SOLDIER DRAPED IN AN
    AMERICAN FLAG LYING ON TOP OF IS
    OVERCOAT AND BEDROLL. AMERICAN FLAG LYING ON TOP OF IS
    OVERCOAT AND BEDROLL.
    HIS BOOTS ARE CAKED WITH THE MUD OVERCOAT AND BEDROLL.
    HIS BOOTS ARE CAKED WITH THE MUD
    THAT WAS SO PREVALENT ON THE HIS BOOTS ARE CAKED WITH THE MUD
    THAT WAS SO PREVALENT ON THE
    FRONT LINES. THAT WAS SO PREVALENT ON THE
    FRONT LINES.
    UNFORTUNATELY, THIS SUBMISSION, FRONT LINES.
    UNFORTUNATELY, THIS SUBMISSION,
    LIKE HIS OTHERS FOR WAR UNFORTUNATELY, THIS SUBMISSION,
    LIKE HIS OTHERS FOR WAR
    MEMORIALS, WAS NOT ACCEPTED. BEHIND ME IS THE ONE ROOM
    SCHOOLHOUSE WHICH WAS RELOCATED
    TO THE MUSEUM GROUNDS. SCHOOLHOUSE WHICH WAS RELOCATED
    TO THE MUSEUM GROUNDS.
    IT WAS BUILT IN 1904, AND IT WAS TO THE MUSEUM GROUNDS.
    IT WAS BUILT IN 1904, AND IT WAS
    THE LAST SCHOOL OF ITS TYPE IT WAS BUILT IN 1904, AND IT WAS
    THE LAST SCHOOL OF ITS TYPE
    CLOSED IN THE COUNTY IN 1954. THE LAST SCHOOL OF ITS TYPE
    CLOSED IN THE COUNTY IN 1954.
    GRADES ONE THROUGH EIGHT WERE CLOSED IN THE COUNTY IN 1954.
    GRADES ONE THROUGH EIGHT WERE
    TAUGHT TOGETHER IN THIS ROOM. GRADES ONE THROUGH EIGHT WERE
    TAUGHT TOGETHER IN THIS ROOM.
    THE MOST STUDENTS EVER ENROLLED TAUGHT TOGETHER IN THIS ROOM.
    THE MOST STUDENTS EVER ENROLLED
    HERE NUMBERED 27 IN 1911. THE MOST STUDENTS EVER ENROLLED
    HERE NUMBERED 27 IN 1911.
    ON THE WALL IS THIS TEACHER’S HERE NUMBERED 27 IN 1911.
    ON THE WALL IS THIS TEACHER’S
    CONTRACT FROM THAT SAME YEAR. ON THE WALL IS THIS TEACHER’S
    CONTRACT FROM THAT SAME YEAR.
    IT OFFERED THE STATELY SUM OF 45 CONTRACT FROM THAT SAME YEAR.
    IT OFFERED THE STATELY SUM OF 45
    DOLLAR PER SCHOOL MONTH. IT OFFERED THE STATELY SUM OF 45
    DOLLAR PER SCHOOL MONTH.
    BUT THE CONTRACT ALSO STIPULATED DOLLAR PER SCHOOL MONTH.
    BUT THE CONTRACT ALSO STIPULATED
    THAT THE TEACHER WAS RESPONSIBLE BUT THE CONTRACT ALSO STIPULATED
    THAT THE TEACHER WAS RESPONSIBLE
    FOR THE JANITORIAL WORK AS WELL THAT THE TEACHER WAS RESPONSIBLE
    FOR THE JANITORIAL WORK AS WELL
    AS THE BUILDING MAINTENANCE, FOR THE JANITORIAL WORK AS WELL
    AS THE BUILDING MAINTENANCE,
    PLUS IN THE WINTER, THEY WERE AS THE BUILDING MAINTENANCE,
    PLUS IN THE WINTER, THEY WERE
    CHARGED WITH STARTING THE FIRE PLUS IN THE WINTER, THEY WERE
    CHARGED WITH STARTING THE FIRE
    IN PLENTY OF TIME TO WARM THE CHARGED WITH STARTING THE FIRE
    IN PLENTY OF TIME TO WARM THE
    SCHOOL BEFORE THE CHILDREN IN PLENTY OF TIME TO WARM THE
    SCHOOL BEFORE THE CHILDREN
    ARRIVED. SCHOOL BEFORE THE CHILDREN
    ARRIVED.
    NOTICE THAT THE STOVEPIPE ARRIVED.
    NOTICE THAT THE STOVEPIPE
    TRAVERSES THE LENGTH OF THE ROOM NOTICE THAT THE STOVEPIPE
    TRAVERSES THE LENGTH OF THE ROOM
    TO RADIATE AS MUCH HEAT AS TRAVERSES THE LENGTH OF THE ROOM
    TO RADIATE AS MUCH HEAT AS
    POSSIBLE. TO RADIATE AS MUCH HEAT AS
    POSSIBLE.
    AS WAS COMMON IN SUCH ONE ROOM POSSIBLE.
    AS WAS COMMON IN SUCH ONE ROOM
    SCHOOLS, THE DESKS ARE AS WAS COMMON IN SUCH ONE ROOM
    SCHOOLS, THE DESKS ARE
    EXAGGERATED SIZES TO ACCOMMODATE SCHOOLS, THE DESKS ARE
    EXAGGERATED SIZES TO ACCOMMODATE
    THE SMALLEST FIRST GRADER AND EXAGGERATED SIZES TO ACCOMMODATE
    THE SMALLEST FIRST GRADER AND
    LARGEST 8TH GRADER AND EACH HAD THE SMALLEST FIRST GRADER AND
    LARGEST 8TH GRADER AND EACH HAD
    ITS OWN INK WELL. LARGEST 8TH GRADER AND EACH HAD
    ITS OWN INK WELL.
    NEXT TO THE MUSEUM’S MAIN ITS OWN INK WELL.
    NEXT TO THE MUSEUM’S MAIN
    BUILDING AND THE SCHOOLHOUSE IS NEXT TO THE MUSEUM’S MAIN
    BUILDING AND THE SCHOOLHOUSE IS
    THIS HOME. BUILDING AND THE SCHOOLHOUSE IS
    THIS HOME.
    CONSTRUCTION ON IT BEGAN BEFORE THIS HOME.
    CONSTRUCTION ON IT BEGAN BEFORE
    THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE HOME WAS CONSTRUCTION ON IT BEGAN BEFORE
    THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE HOME WAS
    ADDED ONTO AS THE FAMILY GREW. THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE HOME WAS
    ADDED ONTO AS THE FAMILY GREW.
    HOME TO A LOCAL DOCTOR, IT WAS ADDED ONTO AS THE FAMILY GREW.
    HOME TO A LOCAL DOCTOR, IT WAS
    SAVED BECAUSE OF ONE OF HIS HOME TO A LOCAL DOCTOR, IT WAS
    SAVED BECAUSE OF ONE OF HIS
    CHILDREN. SAVED BECAUSE OF ONE OF HIS
    CHILDREN.
    ORIGINALLY, THE EXTERIOR WALLS CHILDREN.
    ORIGINALLY, THE EXTERIOR WALLS
    WERE LIMESTONE LIKE THOSE OF THE ORIGINALLY, THE EXTERIOR WALLS
    WERE LIMESTONE LIKE THOSE OF THE
    MILK HOUSE OR ROOT SEL LARS WERE LIMESTONE LIKE THOSE OF THE
    MILK HOUSE OR ROOT SEL LARS
    WHICH STANDS IN BACK. MILK HOUSE OR ROOT SEL LARS
    WHICH STANDS IN BACK.
    IN 1890 TO CREATE MORE FORMAL WHICH STANDS IN BACK.
    IN 1890 TO CREATE MORE FORMAL
    APPEARANCE, DR. SMALL HAD THIS IN 1890 TO CREATE MORE FORMAL
    APPEARANCE, DR. SMALL HAD THIS
    CONCRETE STUCCO PUT ON AND APPEARANCE, DR. SMALL HAD THIS
    CONCRETE STUCCO PUT ON AND
    SCORED. CONCRETE STUCCO PUT ON AND
    SCORED.
    ORIGINALLY THE HOME HAD FOUR SCORED.
    ORIGINALLY THE HOME HAD FOUR
    ROOMS, TWO ABOVE AND TWO BELOW. ORIGINALLY THE HOME HAD FOUR
    ROOMS, TWO ABOVE AND TWO BELOW.
    EVENTUALLY THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE ROOMS, TWO ABOVE AND TWO BELOW.
    EVENTUALLY THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE
    SIX CHILDREN. EVENTUALLY THE FAMILY WOULD HAVE
    SIX CHILDREN.
    SO THE DOCTOR KEPT ADDING TO THE SIX CHILDREN.
    SO THE DOCTOR KEPT ADDING TO THE
    FRONT OF THE HOUSE. SO THE DOCTOR KEPT ADDING TO THE
    FRONT OF THE HOUSE.
    THIS WAS THE FIRST SITTING ROOM FRONT OF THE HOUSE.
    THIS WAS THE FIRST SITTING ROOM
    WHICH BECAME A DINING ROOM. THIS WAS THE FIRST SITTING ROOM
    WHICH BECAME A DINING ROOM.
    NOTICE THE BUILT-IN SHELVES WHICH BECAME A DINING ROOM.
    NOTICE THE BUILT-IN SHELVES
    SURROUNDING THE ROOMS. NOTICE THE BUILT-IN SHELVES
    SURROUNDING THE ROOMS.
    VERY HANDY IN A HOME WITH ALMOST SURROUNDING THE ROOMS.
    VERY HANDY IN A HOME WITH ALMOST
    NO CLOSET SPACE. VERY HANDY IN A HOME WITH ALMOST
    NO CLOSET SPACE.
    AND THIS IS THE NEW SITTING ROOM NO CLOSET SPACE.
    AND THIS IS THE NEW SITTING ROOM
    ADDED IN 1870. AND THIS IS THE NEW SITTING ROOM
    ADDED IN 1870.
    IN A CORNER IS THIS UNIQUE MUSIC ADDED IN 1870.
    IN A CORNER IS THIS UNIQUE MUSIC
    BOX WHICH PLAYS METAL CYLINDERS IN A CORNER IS THIS UNIQUE MUSIC
    BOX WHICH PLAYS METAL CYLINDERS
    SEVERAL OF WHICH ARE STORED BOX WHICH PLAYS METAL CYLINDERS
    SEVERAL OF WHICH ARE STORED
    UNDERNEATH. SEVERAL OF WHICH ARE STORED
    UNDERNEATH.
    THIS IS THE GATHERING SPOT FOR UNDERNEATH.
    THIS IS THE GATHERING SPOT FOR
    THE FAMILY DURING THE EVENING THIS IS THE GATHERING SPOT FOR
    THE FAMILY DURING THE EVENING
    HOURS. THE FAMILY DURING THE EVENING
    HOURS.
    BUT FOR A TIME, IT SERVED A DUAL HOURS.
    BUT FOR A TIME, IT SERVED A DUAL
    PURPOSE. BUT FOR A TIME, IT SERVED A DUAL
    PURPOSE.
    BECAUSE IT WAS THE ARTIST STUDIO PURPOSE.
    BECAUSE IT WAS THE ARTIST STUDIO
    FOR SUSANNE SMALL, THE SECOND BECAUSE IT WAS THE ARTIST STUDIO
    FOR SUSANNE SMALL, THE SECOND
    OLDEST CHILD WHO WAS ALSO AN FOR SUSANNE SMALL, THE SECOND
    OLDEST CHILD WHO WAS ALSO AN
    ACCOMPLISHED ARTIST. OLDEST CHILD WHO WAS ALSO AN
    ACCOMPLISHED ARTIST.
    HERE IS A SELF PORTRAIT SHE DREW ACCOMPLISHED ARTIST.
    HERE IS A SELF PORTRAIT SHE DREW
    AT THE AGE OF 15. HERE IS A SELF PORTRAIT SHE DREW
    AT THE AGE OF 15.
    LATER SUSANNE WAS SENT TO EUROPE AT THE AGE OF 15.
    LATER SUSANNE WAS SENT TO EUROPE
    TO STUDY ART, AND IT WAS THERE LATER SUSANNE WAS SENT TO EUROPE
    TO STUDY ART, AND IT WAS THERE
    SHE BECAME INFLUENCED BY MONET TO STUDY ART, AND IT WAS THERE
    SHE BECAME INFLUENCED BY MONET
    AS EVIDENCED BY HER LANDSCAPES, SHE BECAME INFLUENCED BY MONET
    AS EVIDENCED BY HER LANDSCAPES,
    BUT SHE IS NOT THE REASON THE AS EVIDENCED BY HER LANDSCAPES,
    BUT SHE IS NOT THE REASON THE
    HOUSE HAS BEEN PRESERVED. RIGHT NOW HERE IN THE HOME OF
    DR. ABRAHAM SMALL WHO CONTINUED
    HIS BRA HERE AFTER HE CLOSED HIS DR. ABRAHAM SMALL WHO CONTINUED
    HIS BRA HERE AFTER HE CLOSED HIS
    DOWNTOWN OFFICE. HIS BRA HERE AFTER HE CLOSED HIS
    DOWNTOWN OFFICE.
    THIS PARLOR WHICH HAS ITS OWN DOWNTOWN OFFICE.
    THIS PARLOR WHICH HAS ITS OWN
    OUTSIDE DOOR BECAME AWAITING THIS PARLOR WHICH HAS ITS OWN
    OUTSIDE DOOR BECAME AWAITING
    ROOM DURING THE DAY. OUTSIDE DOOR BECAME AWAITING
    ROOM DURING THE DAY.
    ON THE OTHER SIDE, IS THE ROOM DURING THE DAY.
    ON THE OTHER SIDE, IS THE
    DOCTOR’S OFFICE AND EXAMINATION ON THE OTHER SIDE, IS THE
    DOCTOR’S OFFICE AND EXAMINATION
    ROOM. DOCTOR’S OFFICE AND EXAMINATION
    ROOM.
    BUT TODAY, THE HOME IS KNOWN FOR ROOM.
    BUT TODAY, THE HOME IS KNOWN FOR
    MORE ONE OF HIS SONS THAN FOR BUT TODAY, THE HOME IS KNOWN FOR
    MORE ONE OF HIS SONS THAN FOR
    DR. SMALL. THIS WAS THE BIRTHPLACE OF
    LENNINGTON SMALL WHO RAN FOR
    GOVERNOR A RECORD SETTING SIX LENNINGTON SMALL WHO RAN FOR
    GOVERNOR A RECORD SETTING SIX
    TIMES. GOVERNOR A RECORD SETTING SIX
    TIMES.
    IN 1921, HE WAS ELECTED TIMES.
    IN 1921, HE WAS ELECTED
    ILLINOIS’ 26TH GOVERNOR, AND HE IN 1921, HE WAS ELECTED
    ILLINOIS’ 26TH GOVERNOR, AND HE
    SERVED FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE ILLINOIS’ 26TH GOVERNOR, AND HE
    SERVED FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE
    TERMS. SERVED FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE
    TERMS.
    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE IS TERMS.
    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE IS
    KNOWN FOR HIS HARD ROADS. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE IS
    KNOWN FOR HIS HARD ROADS.
    ON DISPLAY IS THE DESK HE USED KNOWN FOR HIS HARD ROADS.
    ON DISPLAY IS THE DESK HE USED
    WHILE IN OFFICE. ON DISPLAY IS THE DESK HE USED
    WHILE IN OFFICE.
    LEN SMALL BECAME KNOWN AS THE WHILE IN OFFICE.
    LEN SMALL BECAME KNOWN AS THE
    GOOD ROADS COMPANY. LEN SMALL BECAME KNOWN AS THE
    GOOD ROADS COMPANY.
    DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, MORE GOOD ROADS COMPANY.
    DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, MORE
    ROADS WERE PAVED IN ILLINOIS DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, MORE
    ROADS WERE PAVED IN ILLINOIS
    THAN IN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE ROADS WERE PAVED IN ILLINOIS
    THAN IN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE
    UNION, ABOUT 7,000 MILES IN THAN IN ANY OTHER STATE IN THE
    UNION, ABOUT 7,000 MILES IN
    EIGHT YEARS. UNION, ABOUT 7,000 MILES IN
    EIGHT YEARS.
    IN ADDITION TO THE ROADS, AND EIGHT YEARS.
    IN ADDITION TO THE ROADS, AND
    THE PRACTICE OF LAW, THE SMALL IN ADDITION TO THE ROADS, AND
    THE PRACTICE OF LAW, THE SMALL
    FAMILY NAME WAS WELL-KNOWN IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW, THE SMALL
    FAMILY NAME WAS WELL-KNOWN IN
    THE RHUBARB WORLD. FAMILY NAME WAS WELL-KNOWN IN
    THE RHUBARB WORLD.
    DR. SMALL WAS AMATEUR THE RHUBARB WORLD.
    DR. SMALL WAS AMATEUR
    HORTICULTURIST. DR. SMALL WAS AMATEUR
    HORTICULTURIST.
    HE DEVELOPED METHODS FOR GROWING HORTICULTURIST.
    HE DEVELOPED METHODS FOR GROWING
    THAT PLANT DURING WINTER MONTHS. HE DEVELOPED METHODS FOR GROWING
    THAT PLANT DURING WINTER MONTHS.
    TODAY, THE NURSERY THAT ONCE THAT PLANT DURING WINTER MONTHS.
    TODAY, THE NURSERY THAT ONCE
    SURROUNDED THE HOME HAS BECOME A TODAY, THE NURSERY THAT ONCE
    SURROUNDED THE HOME HAS BECOME A
    CITY PARK. SURROUNDED THE HOME HAS BECOME A
    CITY PARK.
    HOME ITSELF IS PART OF A MUSEUM CITY PARK.
    HOME ITSELF IS PART OF A MUSEUM
    COMPLEX THAT REMINDS VISITORS OF HOME ITSELF IS PART OF A MUSEUM
    COMPLEX THAT REMINDS VISITORS OF
    THE RICH HISTORY OF THIS AREA. COMPLEX THAT REMINDS VISITORS OF
    THE RICH HISTORY OF THIS AREA.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION OR THE RICH HISTORY OF THIS AREA.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION OR
    DIRECTIONS TO THE KANKAKEE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR
    DIRECTIONS TO THE KANKAKEE
    COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND DIRECTIONS TO THE KANKAKEE
    COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND
    MUSEUM CALL (815)932-5279.

    Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures – Geoff’s Failed Sex Dream II
    Articles, Blog

    Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures – Geoff’s Failed Sex Dream II

    August 30, 2019


    [intro music playing] GEOFF: Do you guys remember when I had that sex dream with Jenny McCarthy? Yeah, I had another one the other night. Do you guys know the comedian Jenny Slate? I was having a dream the other night and we were in L.A. for a party, for some work thing. And, she was there. And, she was just, like, really fucking cool and funny, and we were joking and hitting it off, and stuff. And then, Griffon and Millie were there, too. And, they were like, “We gotta go back to Austin.” because Griffon had to a chainsaw carving or something, And, so, I was like, “Oh, well, I’ll just hang out here with Jenny Slate.” And, uh… we were just hanging out, shooting the shit. And, you know, having a lovely time. And, then, at some point, she was like– gave me a hug. And, it was, like, a sexually charged hug. And, my dick was, like, “Hello!” And, uh… then she, like, nuzzled my neck a little bit, and I was like, “Oh, boy!”
    [Geoff mumbles] And, then, she’s like, “Do you wanna go back to my hotel room with me?” -MICHAEL: Ho-ho-ho!
    -JEREMY: Woah. GEOFF: I was like, “Woah. Do you, uh–” And, she’s like, “Yeah, for sex, idiot.” And, I’m like, “Oh. Well, I am married.” And, she’s like, “I don’t see your wife.” -JEREMY: Ooh, wow. Slut.
    -MICHAEL: Damn.
    -GEOFF: And, I’m like, “Uh, yeah, she’s–” GEOFF: So, I was, like, “W– uh… h-hold on a second, I gotta make a phone call. And, she goes, “You’re going to call your wife and ask if you can have sex with me, aren’t you? And, I was like, “Yeah.” And, she goes, “Well, make it fast.” And, I was like, [softly] “OK.” So, I walked out the room and I called Griffon. And, I was like, “Hey, you’re not going to believe it, but, that Jenny Slate chick, she hit on me.” And, Griffon’s like, “What?” And, I was like, “Yeah, she– she wants to have sex with me.” And, Griffon’s like, “Excuse me?” And, I’m like, “Listen, this is a dream, so it shouldn’t matter.” [the others laugh] And, she goes, “I don’t care if it’s a dream, I will wake up in the real world and I will remember this– [Jack laughs] “if you have sex with her in this dream.” And, I was like, [stuttering] “Are you–” She was like, “I will know.” -GEOFF: And, I was like, “OK.”
    -MICHAEL: Damn, dude MICHAEL: at that point you gotta know, are you in you dream or are you in Griffon’s? She’ll fucking kill you. GEOFF: So, that was the end of the dream. She was like, “I will know.” And, I was like, “OK… OK.” And, then I woke up. I’m getting real sick of not getting laid im my dreams, though. -GAVIN: I like how faithful you are, even in dream form.
    -GEOFF: Yeah, Griffon said I was stupid. She was like, “Stop putting this on me! “I don’t care if you sleep with women in your dreams.” And, I’m like, “obviously you do.” [outro music playing]

    Train Hits & Kills Pedestrian On Railroad Tracks
    Articles, Blog

    Train Hits & Kills Pedestrian On Railroad Tracks

    August 30, 2019


    investigators in Mercer County are still working to identify a woman who was hit by a train before 5 o’clock this morning Claire cops key was at the tracks this morning and she has more details from Harrodsburg this morning a nightmare I was killed or after the accident who saw the best skaters look at the road track trinka Coster louisville sit across from his house along West factory Street between College Street and West Lane he decided to check out what was going on and was greeted by a firefighter said a woman was laying across the road track and when the train came she set up and they couldn’t stop the time and she couldn’t get off the track he was looking around his pointing out stuff and I got my cousin showed him and he’s seen parts of the corpse this little small parts another man saw the scene after investigators left I walked over there and some pulls the blood sheena flip-flops and glasses still in the tracks it’s pretty gruesome I see people walking on them all the time when they walk on this get from point A to point B the railway company released a statement following the accident saying in part it is extremely dangerous and also trespassing to walk on or within the right-of-way of railroad tracks they also say people should only cross tracks at designated crossings and use extreme caution at all times the community agrees to stay off the tracks stuff like this might happen Mercer County Clerk offski lex18 news the coroner says the woman didn’t have an ID on her at the time of that accident her body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy

    3 Photos Taken Before Mysterious  Disappearances | Part 2
    Articles, Blog

    3 Photos Taken Before Mysterious Disappearances | Part 2

    August 30, 2019


    1.Andrew Gosden
    In 2007, Andrew lived with his parents and sister in Doncaster. On the morning of September 14, he got ready
    for school, however, rather than attending class that day, he had waited in a nearby
    park until his parents had left for work. Upon returning to the house, he changed out
    of his uniform, placed it in the washing machine and then collected his PSP, leaving the charger
    behind. There was £100 in his room, however he did
    not take this, but instead, He withdrew £200 from his bank account, went to Doncaster railway
    station and purchased a one-way ticket to London before boarding the 9:35am train to
    King’s Cross. Witnesses saw him getting on the train alone. The ticket seller on Doncaster station remembered
    Gosden because he refused a return ticket, despite it only half a pound more. Eye witnesses on the train have since reported
    seeing Andrew on the train, describing him as quiet. He had played with his PSP for the duration
    of the journey. He would be captured on CCTV at approximately
    11:20 AM. CCTV imagery of Gosden at King’s Cross was
    not checked until 27 days after his disappearance, by which time the trail had gone cold. CCTV images showed Andrew leaving Kings Cross
    station on the day he vanished. That was the last confirmed sighting of him. One year after Andrew’s disappearance, an
    unidentified man spoke into the intercom at the doorway to Leominster Police Station,
    claiming to have information about the case. When an officer arrived to answer the door,
    the man had disappeared. There were fears that Andrew may have been
    groomed by someone he met online. This was investigated, but searches of his
    sister’s laptop, which he occasionally used (Andrew did not have one of his own) and the
    school computers found nothing. His parents hold the belief that he did not
    have any social media or email accounts that they were aware of. He also did not own a mobile phone. There was speculation that Andrew may have
    travelled to the capital to end his own life. His family doubted this, but didn’t rule it
    out. They payed a company to search the Thames
    using sonar equipment. A body was found, but it was not Andrew. A further theory was that Andrew ran away
    in search of a new life. It was reported that his favourite TV show
    featured a character that left his old life and changed his identity. His parents have continued to put money in
    his bank account, just in case he needs it, however it has remained untouched since the
    day he left. After more than 10 years, there is still no
    trace of Andrew Gosden or any explanation for his mysterious train trip. 2.Daniel Entwistle On May 3rd 2003, 7-year-old Daniel Entwistle
    from Great Yarmouth, England, arrived home after going to the local store to run an errand
    for his mother. Upon re-entering the house, Daniel asked his
    father, David Entwistle, for money to buy some sweets. He left again and was captured on store CCTV. Daniel was caught one final time on the store
    surveillance camera, cycling by. This was the last confirmed sighting of the
    boy. Daniel’s red and white bike was found along
    a harbor wall near the River Yare, about a half mile from his home, around 3am Sunday,
    May 4th. Authorities thought he may have fallen into
    the river and drowned. His body was never found, but it could have
    been swept out to the North Sea. However, Daniel was afraid of water and could
    not swim, so it doesn’t seem logical that he would climb the harbor wall, which would
    put him at risk of falling into the river. In 2003, Joseph Zugor came forward a few days
    after Daniel disappeared and said he had seen Daniel playing with some kids near a raised
    wall by the River Yare (where his bike was found) around lunchtime on May 3 and again
    around 4pm that same day. Zugor said Daniel and other children often
    played there. What’s interesting about Zugor’s claim
    is that it conflicts with Daniel’s mother, Paula’s statement on where she and the family
    were that day. Paula claimed the whole family went shopping
    earlier that day, then returned home, at which time Paula went to rest as she felt unwell. yet Zugor claimed to have seen him playing
    around lunchtime by the river Yare. Despite a large police search of the area,
    Daniel was never found. Heartbreakingly, due to few funds and no PR
    campaign, his disappearance stopped being reported by the media after only a few days,
    and the case was closed by police just 3 months after he vanished. The boys father, David Entwistle, died in
    2015. It is also worth noting that david was convicted
    of having sex with a 12-year-old girl in 1985. Police were aware of the conviction when Daniel
    vanished but it was never made public. David was interviewed by detectives in the
    search for his son but never made a suspect. Daniel remains missing to this day. 3.The Disappearance Of Jared Negrete
    On July 19, 1991, Jared Negrete, a 12-year-old boy from El Monte, California, traveled to
    Camp Tahquitz in the San Bernardino National Forest. He was going on an overnight camping trip
    with his Boy Scout troop and they were planning to hike to the top of the 3,500-meter (11,500
    ft) Mount San Gorgonio. As the troop neared the top the summit, Jared
    grew tired. Another group of hikers spotted Jared straggling
    behind and notified the Scout troop leader at the mountain summit but the leader, an
    experienced hiker, told him, He would be collected on the way back. However, when the troop returned, Jared was
    nowhere to be found. An extensive search was conducted of the area
    by rescue teams. They found a lot of matching shoe prints and
    some items which belonged to Jared including his backpack, beef jerky, and candy wrappers. In spite of these clues, they could not find
    any trace of Jared. This story would probably be a straightforward
    and tragic case of a boy wondering off and succumbing to the elements, but Jared managed
    to leave behind one very haunting image. Jared’s camera was also found in the woods,
    and its film contained 12 recent photographs which were eventually developed. Most of the photos were landscape scenes apparently
    taken before Jared went missing. But the final picture on the roll of film
    was a photograph of the Scout’s eyes and nose, taken with the aid of the camera’s flash,
    possibly at night after he disappeared. Family members said it appeared Jared pointed
    his camera at his face and snapped the picture. It seemed possible that the boy had lost the
    camera while sliding down a portion of the mountainside. Although I couldn’t find the images since
    they haven’t been released by the police, Police said that Jared looked very scared
    and that the mysterious picture was taken after he went missing. Despite the discovery of the camera and its
    pictures, Jared remains missing 26 years on.